Category Archives: Hillary Clinton

The Cheap Moralizing of Never Trump

Surely, you won’t…?
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Three weeks out from Election Day, the Never Trump argument has been neatly summed up by Bill Maher. Not only is Donald Trump coarse and boorish, anyone who supports the man is as revolting as he is.

On his show last month, Mr. Maher put it this way to Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway: “You are enabling pure evil.” The HBO comedian went on to amuse himself by adding that “Hillary was right when she called a lot of his supporters deplorable.

Mr. Maher might have added that it is also a well worn Democratic trope. After all, wasn’t it Barack Obama who described small-town Americans as bitterly clinging to guns and religion and disliking anyone who is different? As for Hillary Clinton, in her deplorables crack she dismissed half of Mr. Trump’s followers as “racist, sexist, homophobic.” Less well noted (but more telling), she also declared them “irredeemable.”

This is an old argument for the left. But Republicans are now hearing it from the right as well. Which puts conservative Never Trumpers in a curious position vis-à-vis government of, by and for the people: Are the tens of millions of Americans who will pull the lever for Trump come November evil too, or just invincibly stupid?

Give the Never Trumpers their due: Most do not shy away from the implication that anyone who would vote for Mr. Trump is as low and base as he is. Their problem is that the argument doesn’t seem to be having much traction with Republican voters. A Rasmussen poll released Monday found that while Mrs. Clinton enjoys the support of 78% of Democrats, Mr. Trump is supported by 74% of Republicans. Other polls show that even after all his fumbles and embarrassments, the vast majority of Republicans do not want Mr. Trump to drop out.

One reason may be that the argument about morally corrupt GOP voters is not really an argument. More precisely, it’s an argument Republicans typically hear from the left. Instead of weighing the prosaic facts—i.e., the practical ramifications of having Mrs. Clinton sitting in the Oval Office versus Mr. Trump—how much easier it is to try to end all discussion by pronouncing the GOP nominee repellent.

Trump supporters get this. Probably few were surprised by the “Access Hollywood” tape that showed Mr. Trump in full Bill Clinton mode. They support him in spite of it.

They support him because they fear political correctness is making vital discussions about the country impossible— and conclude that any candidate who’s going to take this on is not going to be Miss Manners. They support him because they know what they will get if Mrs. Clinton wins, as now looks likely.

They support him because they get the contempt dripping from Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton whenever the subject is the things they cherish: faith, patriotism, the decency of ordinary citizens, and so on. Above all, they support him because they also get that the elite contempt for Donald Trump is a proxy contempt for them.

Still, each new day brings new accusations and analogies. Like college sophomores ransacking history for the most extreme metaphors, no pejorative is too fantastic. Trump is Hitler! Trump is Mussolini! Trump is Nietzsche! Even George Will just likened the GOP convention to a “mini-Nuremberg.”

Ironically, the cheapest moralizing has been reserved for those trying to make the best of a bad situation. Thus Trump running mate Mike Pence finds himself accused of moral turpitude for working to keep the Republican Party from coming apart and giving voters some hope for a conservative agenda if Mr. Trump were to win.

Ditto for House Speaker Paul Ryan, excoriated by the Trumpers for his efforts to preserve the GOP’s House majority and by Never Trumpers for refusing to un-endorse the Republican nominee. Mr. Ryan understands that losing the Congress would give President Hillary Clinton two years to push through the progressive wish list, not to mention putting a liberal majority on the Supreme Court, preserving ObamaCare and maintaining the travesty that is the nuclear deal with Iran. Having watched what the 2010 GOP House takeover did to the Obama agenda, she would no doubt take full advantage of the time she has to act.

In the end, the strongest argument for a Trump vote has always been this: The alternative is a president who lies, whose public life has been a series of scandals from cattle futures to the destruction of documents under subpoena, who would be a third term for disastrous Obama policies at home and abroad, and who has never taken a position that wasn’t done from naked political expediency—from supporting the Iraq war in 2002 or opposing it later to invoking Abraham Lincoln to justify saying one thing in public and another in private.

Meanwhile, the Never Trump movement’s contribution has been to give us a word for all those who have weighed this evidence and have found the argument against a Clinton presidency persuasive: evil.

Write to mcgurn@wsj.com.

Trump voters get that the elite contempt for their man is a proxy contempt for them.

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‘Queen’ Elizabeth Gives Orders to Hillary

WSJ 10/17/2016
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As Hillary Clinton expands her lead in the polls, Democrats are angling to influence her choices for policy-making jobs. Witness Elizabeth Warren’s extraordinary demand on Friday that President Obama demote Mary Jo White as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Massachusetts Senator made her demand in a letter to the President that is remarkable for its vitriol toward someone nominated by a President of her own party. The Bay State progressive accuses the SEC chair of “brazen conduct” in choosing not to require new disclosures from public corporations regarding their political activities.

She also rants that Ms. White is “ignoring the SEC’s core mission of investor protection” and trying to reduce the amount of information that investors receive. And she demands that he “immediately designate another SEC commissioner as Chair of the agency,” which is supposed to be independent.

The idea that Ms. White is reducing public disclosures must be news to everyone now struggling to comply with new reporting rules on asset management, CEO pay ratios, conflict minerals, derivatives, and more. The Warren charge springs from the fact that, like every other person who has run the modern SEC, Ms. White has wondered if disclosures can be simplified to make it easier for investors to find the information they need. As for ignoring investor protection, the record shows that in the 12 months ending in September, the SEC brought more enforcement cases than in any other year in its history.

But the Warren letter really has nothing to do with disclosure or investor protection. Ms. Warren has never forgiven the SEC chief for her 2013 decision not to turn the agency into an IRS-style political targeting operation.

Under pressure from then-Rep. Barney Frank and liberal activists, Ms. White’s predecessor Mary Schapiro overrode objections from career staff and put a new political disclosure rule on the SEC’s regulatory agenda. Commission staff rightly cautioned that the agency’s job is to ensure the disclosure of information that is relevant and material to those making investment decisions, not to regulate political speech.

But having failed to get its way in Congress or the courts, the left wants to use the regulatory power of the SEC to cut off corporate support for the Chamber of Commerce, trade associations and other groups that oppose more taxes and regulation. The idea is to impose heavy reporting requirements on business—but not on labor unions—for providing financial support to groups engaged in public debate. Left-wing activists will then take the information and use it to beat up CEOs or boycott companies that donate.

Ms. Warren’s letter claims that “corporations are flooding our elections with millions of dollars in secret political contributions, drowning out the voices of working families.” But corporate Pac donations to candidates or to Super Pacs must be disclosed under current law. Notice how she doesn’t target billionaire progressive donors like Tom Steyer or George Soros—perhaps because Politico reported on the weekend that Hillary “Clinton has built the biggest big-money operation ever.”

To her great credit, Ms. White dropped the partisan political disclosure idea from the SEC’s to-do list, and progressives have been carping ever since. Ms. White has stood firm against this threat to the SEC’s integrity, and White House spokesman Eric Schultz says the President continues to believe Ms. White ‘is the right leader’ for the job, according to the Associated Press.

But with Mr. Obama a short-timer, Ms. Warren’s broadside is really aimed at Mrs. Clinton. It’s a warning that she should replace Ms. White with a new chair who will impose the political rule, and that anyone Mrs. Clinton nominates as SEC chair won’t make it through a Democratic Senate without the approval of Queen Elizabeth.

This Warren gauntlet is already the talk of Wall Street Democrats who are wondering how they can please her highness and get back in government. The New Republic reports that Peter Orszag, an expert in the Beltway-Broadway revolving door, has suggested a trade-off of giving Ms. Warren her way on personnel in return for her tolerating a tax reform-public works spending deal with House Republicans.

All of which shows the sway the Bernie Sanders-Elizabeth Warren left will have over a Clinton Presidency. Get ready for much more anti-business law-writing by decree.

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The Press Buries Clinton’s Sins

I do hope you are not surprised. And I believe that when Trump talks about a “rigged” election, he is primarily making the point that the press in America does not really paint an objective picture of candidates.
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If average voters turned on the TV for five minutes this week, chances are they know that Donald Trump made lewd remarks a decade ago and now stands accused of groping women.

But even if average voters had the TV on 24/7, they still probably haven’t heard the news about Hillary Clinton: That the nation now has proof of pretty much everything she has been accused of.

It comes from hacked emails dumped by WikiLeaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, and accounts from FBI insiders. The media has almost uniformly ignored the flurry of bombshells, preferring to devote its front pages to the Trump story. So let’s review what amounts to a devastating case against a Clinton presidency.

Start with a June 2015 email to Clinton staffers from Erika Rottenberg, the former general counsel of LinkedIn. Ms. Rottenberg wrote that none of the attorneys in her circle of friends “can understand how it was viewed as ok/ secure/appropriate to use a private server for secure documents AND why further Hillary took it upon herself to review them and delete documents.” She added: “It smacks of acting above the law and it smacks of the type of thing I’ve either gotten discovery sanctions for, fired people for, etc.”

A few months later, in a September 2015 email, a Clinton confidante fretted that Mrs. Clinton was too bullheaded to acknowledge she’d done wrong. “Everyone wants her to apologize,” wrote Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Center for American Progress. “And she should. Apologies are like her Achilles’ heel.”

Clinton staffers debated how to evade a congressional subpoena of Mrs. Clinton’s emails—three weeks before a technician deleted them. The campaign later employed a focus group to see if it could fool Americans into thinking the email scandal was part of the Benghazi investigation (they are separate) and lay it all off as a Republican plot.

A senior FBI official involved with the Clinton investigation told Fox News this week that the “vast majority” of career agents and prosecutors working the case “felt she should be prosecuted” and that giving her a pass was “a top-down decision.”

The Obama administration— the federal government, supported by tax dollars—was working as an extension of the Clinton campaign. The State Department coordinated with her staff in responding to the email scandal, and the Justice Department kept her team informed about developments in the court case.

Worse, Mrs. Clinton’s State Department, as documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show, took special care of donors to the Clinton Foundation. In a series of 2010 emails, a senior aide to Mrs. Clinton asked a foundation official to let her know which groups offering assistance with the Haitian earthquake relief were “FOB” (Friends of Bill) or “WJC VIPs” (William Jefferson Clinton VIPs). Those who made the cut appear to have been teed up for contracts. Those who weren’t? Routed to a standard government website.

The leaks show that the foundation was indeed the nexus of influence and money. The head of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Ira Magaziner, suggested in a 2011 email that Bill Clinton call Sheikh Mohammed of Saudi Arabia to thank him for offering the use of a plane. In response, a top Clinton Foundation official wrote: “Unless Sheikh Mo has sent us a $6 million check, this sounds crazy to do.”

The entire progressive apparatus— the Clinton campaign and boosters at the Center for American Progress—appears to view voters as stupid and tiresome, segregated into groups that must either be cajoled into support or demeaned into silence. We read that Republicans are attracted to Catholicism’s “severely backwards gender relations” and only join the faith to “sound sophisticated”; that Democratic leaders such as Bill Richardson are “needy Latinos”; that Bernie Sanders supporters are “self-righteous”; that the only people who watch Miss America “are from the confederacy”; and that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is “a terrorist.”

The leaks also show that the press is in Mrs. Clinton’s pocket. Donna Brazile, a former Clinton staffer and a TV pundit, sent the exact wording of a coming CNN town hall question to the campaign in advance of the event. Other media allowed the Clinton camp to veto which quotes they used from interviews, worked to maximize her press events and offered campaign advice.

Mrs. Clinton has been exposed to have no core, to be someone who constantly changes her position to maximize political gain. Leaked speeches prove that she has two positions (public and private) on banks; two positions on the wealthy; two positions on borders; two positions on energy. Her team had endless discussions about what positions she should adopt to appease “the Red Army”—i.e. “the base of the Democratic Party.”

Voters might not know any of this, because while both presidential candidates have plenty to answer for, the press has focused solely on taking out Mr. Trump. And the press is doing a diligent job of it.

Write to kim@wsj.com.

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The FBI Clinton File

If the Left wants to simply ignore what Hillary Clinton has done and give her a ‘hall pass’, then they truly are of a different mind set than what I understand the America to stand for.
More reason why it should not be difficult to vote for Donald Trump; I mean how will you explain to your children that you voted for someone as reckless and distainful of the law as Hillary Clinton?
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WSJ 9/3/2016

The Federal Bureau of Investigation waited until the Friday afternoon before Labor Day weekend to release its investigation summary and interview notes with Hillary Clinton about her private email server, and no wonder. The new information makes a hash of what’s left of the former Secretary of State’s credibility.

Mrs. Clinton is running for President as an experienced statesman, but her handling of classified material was even more reckless about state secrets and disdainful of public records laws than even we had thought. Start with her convenient memory lapses.

For example, Mrs. Clinton told the FBI that she “did not know” that the “(C)” marks on classified material meant classified and “speculated it was referencing paragraphs marked in alphabetical order.” Yet in her famous—and last— press conference about the emails in March 2015 she said, “I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.” To the public she claims to be a sharp professional who knows the score; to the FBI she presents herself as a clueless grandee who left the details to her minions.

Mrs. Clinton even told FBI agents she “never had a concern” with how discussions of potential drone strikes were handled and classified and “could not recall a specific process for nominating a target for a drone strike.” In all, she told the FBI 27 times that she “could not recall” or “did not remember specifically” key details and events.

Mrs. Clinton also said in March 2015 that she used private email so she could use only one digital device, and her legal team turned two Blackberries over to the FBI. But the FBI identified 13 other mobile devices and five iPads that had potentially processed classified material. The Clintons were “unable to locate any of these devices” and only three of the iPads, says the FBI.

This also turned out to be convenient because it means the FBI couldn’t determine if those devices were hacked. The FBI summary explains that the loss of the 13 at-large devices and the “inability to recover all server equipment and the lack of complete server log data” during her tenure “limited the FBI’s forensic analysis of the server systems.”

Mrs. Clinton knew the risks of being hacked by foreign spies. Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell sent a 2011 memo directly to Mrs. Clinton that warned of a surge in hackers breaking into State personal email accounts. An all-points bulletin to State personnel sent under Mrs. Clinton’s name recommended against conducting State business over personal email “due to information security concerns.” She told the FBI she “did not recall” this episode, but she “understood the email system used by her husband’s personal staff had an excellent track record with respect to security and had never been breached.”

Yet the FBI reveals that the account of a Bill Clinton personal aide on the server was hacked in 2013 and the intruder “browsed e-mail folders and files.” The FBI also discovered she sent or received “hundreds of emails” marked classified or confidential outside of U.S. territory, where the danger of hacking is highest.

Mrs. Clinton also kept up a clandestine correspondence with her political Svengali and Clinton Foundation retainer Sidney Blumenthal, whose AOL account was hacked by the Romanian known as Guccifer in 2013. Though President Obama had barred Mr. Blumenthal from government, Mr. Blumenthal sent Mrs. Clinton at least 179 memos, some of which she then forwarded through the bureaucracy after having his name excised. Twenty-four of these dispatches were so sensitive that State later classified them.

In other words, Mrs. Clinton kept a man banned by her boss on the family foundation payroll, then used Mr. Blumenthal as an off-theofficial- books counselor whose memos she spread around State after disguising their provenance. She conned Mr. Obama too.

The FBI documents also suggest Mrs. Clinton’s server was a deliberate effort to evade accountability. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell told Mrs. Clinton in 2009 that her communications were “official record[s] and subject to the law.” State Executive Secretary Stephen Mull also informed Cheryl Mills that a State-issued Blackberry “would be subject to FOIA requests.”

Mrs. Clinton went ahead anyway. She was almost surely trying to protect from public exposure the intimate ties between State and the Clinton Foundation—the commingling of her political operation with her official business. The FBI uncovered “approximately 17,448 unique work-related and personal emails” that were never produced, and whose revelations in recent weeks are proving so damaging to her public image.

What a record. The FBI documents should be seen as a preview of how Mrs. Clinton would govern as President, with the same get-awaywith- anything entitlement that always follows the Clintons. She’s lucky she’s running for President because anyone else would have been indicted.

Vanishing digital devices, memory lapses and withheld emails.

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