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Ed Driscoll

Go Dark

March 6th, 2015 - 11:22 am

Ben, I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Yes, sir.

Are you listening?

Yes, I am.

Silence.

Exactly how do you mean?

At Ricochet, GOP strategist Rick Wilson proffers some very simple advice to Republican politicians: “Stop talking:”

In the next two weeks, try something new; maintain discipline, hold focus, and keep an eye to a bigger objective than your daily press release. Try to play the long game, and help Hillary Clinton self-destruct.

Proceed against Clinton with a measured pace and tone. Don’t make it all about Benghazi or the record-keeping laws. Focus instead on the grave national security risks that her amateur-hour email server shenanigan posed. Do it with the sickly-sweet, sincere tone of “I just want to work in a bipartisan way for good, transparent government… and to protect national security secrets from the Chinese, Russians, and other threats” that the Acela media claims to worship.

Press the sore spots, subtly, but constantly. Use it as way to leverage discussion of the Clinton family’s infamous contempt for the law and remind the public of their their obsessive secrecy, paranoia, and habitual lawbreaking. Wonder, in serious tones, how much of the email traffic has to do with the other scandal that reporters have been desperately trying to cover up: the Clinton Foundation’s scuzzy foreign-money vacuum. Welcome the chance for Mrs. Clinton to give her side of the story in press conferences and hearings.

When you talk to the press, do it in measured tones, and avoid making wild claims about either the substance or political outcomes. Reduce expectations, rather than raise them. Be persistent. Be serious. Be smart.

This is the sort of media discipline shown by Democrat talking heads on cable TV shows that allowed the Clintons to wriggle out of so many self-made debacles in the 1990s. Republicans don’t seem anywhere near as good at playing that game. Which is too bad. “Where’s the Brutalizing Media Narrative Demanding Hillary Clinton Answer Questions?,” John Nolte asks at Big Journalism. A GOP with JournoList-level focus could force some Democrat operatives with bylines into asking those questions if only through sheer message discipline and focus. But since such a beast is impossible to imagine, as Jonah Goldberg writes in his column today, “The E-mail Scandal Won’t Doom Hillary:”

The real significance of this moment — and a partial explanation of the media firestorm over it — is that time is running out to stop the Clinton freight train.

Nothing in this story is surprising: not the desire for secrecy, nor the flouting of legal norms, nor the cynical attempts to shoot the messengers — and certainly not the staggering hypocrisy. (In 2007, then-senator Clinton denounced the Bush White House’s far more defensible use of “secret” Republican National Committee e-mail addresses for campaign business as proof that “our Constitution is being shredded.”) It’s all vintage Clinton.

At some point down the tracks, when yet another fetid cloud of Clintonism erupts into plain view, many smart liberals will look back at this moment as the time when they should have pulled the emergency brake and gotten off the Hillary train.

The unease they feel now will be nothing compared to the buyer’s remorse to come.

Because, as Charles Cooke writes elsewhere at NRO, “There is no Plan B for 2016.”

Quote of the Day

March 5th, 2015 - 5:01 pm

 

We’ll get to the above 1972 video of Walter Cronkite in just a moment, but first, let’s set stage. Return with us now to the end of the 1960s and the dawning of the craptacular ’70s. As Power Line’s Steve Hayward wrote in the first volume of The Age of Reagan, environmentalism — then simply called “ecology” — became an obsession of the left shortly after President Nixon took office, eclipsing both anti-Vietnam war and pro-civil rights protests:

Writing in Science magazine, Amitai Etzioni of Columbia University dismissed ecology as a “fad,” and thought that “the newly found environmental dangers are being vastly exaggerated.” Even if not exaggerated, Etzioni thought the environment was the wrong priority: “Fighting hunger, malnutrition, and rats should be given priority over saving wildlife, and improving our schools over constructing waste disposal systems.”

This criticism was mild compared to the blasts that came from black civil rights leaders. The most bitter attack came from Richard Hatcher, the black mayor of Gary, Indiana: “The nation’s concern for the environment has done what George Wallace was unable to do—distract the nation from the human problems of black and brown Americans.” Whitney Young of the National Urban League was equally distressed: “The war on pollution is one that should be waged after the war on poverty is won. Common sense calls for reasonable national priorities and not for inventing new causes whose main appeal seems to be in their potential for copping out and ignoring the most dangerous and pressing of our problems.”

And being a good doctrinaire liberal, CBS’s Walter Cronkite was quick to move with the times and ride the fad. As left-leaning historian Douglas Brinkley noted in his 2012 biography of Cronkite:

A CBS Reports segment in September 1962 had Eric Sevareid famously interviewing the literary biologist Rachel Carson about the perils of the insecticide DDT at her home in Silver Spring, Maryland. Cronkite, at the time, had been focused on the Earth-orbiting flight of the second Mercury launch. But now that Neil Armstrong had walked on the Moon, Cronkite sensed that ecology would soon replace space exploration as the national obsession. CBS News producer Ron Bonn recalled precisely when Cronkite put the network on the front line of the fight. “ It was New Year’s Day, 1970, and Walter walked into the Broadcast Center and said, ‘God damn it, we’ve got to get on this environmental story,’ ” Bonn recalled. “When Walter said ‘God damn it,’ things happened.”

What could go wrong?

Cronkite pulled Bonn from nearly all other CBS duties for eight weeks so he could investigate environmental degradation. He wanted a whole new regular series on the CBS Evening News—inspired by Silent Spring, the philosophy of René Dubos, and those amazing photos of Earth taken by the Apollo 8 astronauts. The CBS Evening News segments were to be called “Can the World Be Saved?” “We wanted to grapple first with air pollution, the unbreathable air,” Bonn recalled. “But then we wanted to deal with the primary underlying problem, which was overpopulation.”

So, eugenics, then. And then a quick detour into global cooling. As Julia Seymour writes today at NewsBusters, “And That’s the Way It Was: In 1972, Cronkite Warned of ‘New Ice Age:’”

The late Cronkite is considered a “legendary journalist” and a pioneer in the field, which is why Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot, said this footage was so important. Morano is a former staff member of U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee and producer of the upcoming global warming documentary Climate Hustle, set for release later in 2015.

“Global warming activists have claimed for years that the 1970s global cooling scare never existed. They have tried to erase the inconvenient history which ironically blamed extreme weather like tornadoes, droughts, record cold and blizzards on global cooling,” said Morano.

Morano told MRC Business, “But now — unearthed from bowels of media archives — comes none other than Walter Cronkite reporting on fears of a coming ice age in 1972. Having Cronkite’s image and face discussing global cooling fears reveals the fickleness of the climate change claims.”

“Climate fear promoters switched effortlessly from global cooling fears in the 1970s to global warming fears in the 1980s. In the present day, the phrase ‘global warming’ has lost favor in favor of ‘climate change’ or ‘global climate disruption’ or even ‘global weirding,’ Morano added. “’Settled science’ has never seemed so unsettled.”

By the way, let’s end with this inadvertently telling paragraph from Brinkley (his book, meant to celebrate Cronkite, raised many questions about the man who spent much of his career posing as Mr. Objective):

In January 1970, the promise of a new environmentalism brought about the end of [Cronkite’s future-themed series] The Twenty-First Century (which had succeeded The Twentieth Century in June 1967). No longer would Cronkite tolerate Union Carbide (a major polluter) as a sponsor. The Texas-based Fortune 500 company was the enemy of “Earthrise,” he told Bonn. At Cronkite’s insistence, CBS canceled The Twenty-First Century to coincide with the debut of the “Can the World Be Saved?” segments.

Yes, the crank science of the 1970s brought an end to the heroic phase of Kennedy and Johnson’s space program and its dalliance with embracing the 21st century a few decades early. And along with the collapse of the Great Society, which disillusioned the left when it tried to be all things to all voters, the optimism of the postwar 1950s and the first half of the 1960s would fade away, replaced by a grim nihilistic permanent malaise.

Exit question: Scott Pelley, the current incarnation of Cronkite on CBS has publicly likened those who question the “settled science” of global warming to Holocaust deniers, asking, “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?”

What would he say if he ran into the 1972 iteration of Walter Cronkite?

mother_jones_food_racist_3-4-15-1

But then, isn’t everything? First up, Mother Jones declares your mother’s advice that you eat three healthy meals a day to be totally racist, you guys. As Tom Blumer writes at NewsBusters, “Leave it to a writer at Mother Jones to dispense condescending healthy eating advice while serving up a side dish of alleged historical racism with a tincture of capitalism bashing”:

Kiera Butler, a senior editor there, didn’t have to engage in either exercise to make her nutritional points, which may have some validity. She must have felt that her primary headline (“Why You Should Stop Eating Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner”) was too boring, and that she needed to provide an attention-grabbing subheadline to get people to start reading her piece.

“Dogmatic adherence to mealtimes is anti-science, racist, and might actually be making you sick,” Butler’s article screams in its subhead. “Here is her reasoning,” Katherine Timpf responds at National Review:

When the Europeans came over to the United States, they ate three meals a day whereas the Native Americans ate in a less restricted fashion — a practice which Butler claims the Europeans considered to be unrefined. Butler offered excerpts of an email interview with Abigail Carroll, author of the book Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal, as proof of this point.

“The eating schedule of the native tribes was less rigid … the Europeans took this as ‘evidence that natives were uncivilized,’ Carroll explained to me in an email,” Butler wrote.

There may have been other clues as well, of course.

Meanwhile, in her own efforts at reprimitivization, a Social Justice Warrior asks “Cui bono?” when it comes to employing that quaint form of communication formerly known as the English language. Or as Patricia L. Dickson quips at the American Thinker in response, “Proper English Grammar Is Now Racist”:

It seems like not a day goes by without my reading about some new absurdity. I ran across an article written by some left-wing lunatic who purports to be an English teacher and who is part of what she calls the “social justice movement”. She writes for a blog called Everyday Feminist. She claims that demanding that everyone speak proper English grammar is “grammar snobbery” and is oppressive and racist. Why is it oppressive and racist? Because the dictionary was written by a white supremacist, heteropatriarchal system:

“As educated (and – okay – snarky) activists, we’re quick to respond to “According to the dictionary” arguments with “Who wrote the dictionary, though?”

“We understand that a reference guide created by a white supremacist, heteropatriarchal system does nothing but uphold that status quo.”

“Similarly, we have to use that line of thinking when talking about the English language: Who created the rules? And who benefits from them?”

You won’t be surprised to learn that “grammar snobbery comes down to an intersection of multiple privileges,” which include, “Educational Privilege, Class Privilege, Race Privilege, Native Language Privilege, and Ability Privilege.” All of which boils down to — of course! — raaaaaacism.

Al Gore long ago declared global warming to be racist (when he wasn’t comparing it to the Nazis); Australia’s Tim Blair stands ready to assist you through the difficult and painful “Climate Grieving Process”:

Celeste Young – “a sustainability/climate change professional who works as a communication and operational specialist with a particular interest in innovation and the use of creative and business processes” – asks:

How can we help people and communities work through the climate grieving process?

One of Celeste’s excellent grief-coping suggestions:

Another way to help people accept these changes is through cultural activities that support the expression of grief. In Australia, local government, community, and the arts sector have led in this area. Storytelling is often used as it provides a structured and often empowering way of expressing difficult emotions.

Storytelling? And possibly even sharing of meals as well? Check your multiple privileges!

(Since everything is now racist and causes global warming, someone really should do a mash-up of these two great Websites.)

Update: Backwards ran the “Progressives” until reeled the mind. Where it all ends knows ISIS:

Fresh off accusing TMZ of “stalking” Hillary by — gasp! — asking her questions about the scandal(s) enveloping her pre-coronation ceremony not yet off the pad presidential bid, “Politico’s not giving up yet,” Ace writes, noting that “one of their lead stories is ‘Hillary Clinton email flap creates awkward GOP silence,’ with, yes!, a big picture of Scott Walker, because you know that Hillary’s lawbreaking is really the Shame of the Conservatives:”

The investigation into Walker’s tenure as a county executive, which was prior to 2008.

So that’s where Politico is — asking Hillary about this is “stalking;” the real journalism concerns ages-old allegations about Scott Walker’s aids from when he was a county executive.

Meanwhile, Glenn Thrush of the Politico has a Twitter meltdown over being accurately quoted by the Washington Examiner as describing Hillary’s homemade email server as “badass,” a word I doubt he would use to describe a similar arrangement employed by a politician with an (R) after his name. (In November of 2013 he used a slightly different but related tactic to explain away Obama’s own server issues involving his namesake signature healthcare bill by describing them as “boring,” despite it being the political story of the fall. This was also his tactic to explain away Wendy Davis’ campaign meltdown in Texas the following year when she attempted to exploit Greg Abbott as being wheelchair bound in one of the most ill-conceived campaign ads ever devised.)

I’m sure Hillary’s equivalent of the JournoList will eventually nail down all of the talking points for the “journalists” “reporting” on her. But for now, it’s fascinating to watch the collective scurry while they’re waiting for new orders from the queen.

Related: As the No Pasaran blog asks, “If You Were a Member of the MSM, What Hillary News Would You Choose to Lead With This Week?” For AOL News, it’s — make sure you’re sitting down for this one — “Hillary didn’t pioneer the pantsuit in DC”, a breathtaking Woodward & Bernstein meets Mencken-level scoop. You can’t blame this one on the Politico, but I’m sure they’d certainly approve the headline.

Unless they thought AOL was stalking Hillary in obtaining its reportage, of course. Nice juxtaposition here:

“Hillary Clinton Won’t Take Questions at Journalism Award Ceremony,” Mediaite reports:

Hillary Clinton, known for giant paydays in exchange for speeches, will take no money for her remarks before the 2015 Toner Prize Celebration later this month. She’s also not taking any questions.

The March 23 ceremony will celebrate the winner of the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting. Clinton, a longtime friend of the award’s sponsors, is keynoting the event for free.

Tickets to the ceremony run $250, but the event is open to the press. “It’s going to stop being an awards ceremony if she makes any news — everyone will exit the room and start writing,” said Peter Gosselin, husband to the late reporter Robin Toner, for whom the award is named. “Journalists will be journalists.”

Having Hillary, who hasn’t driven a car since the mid-1990s, and whose idea of maximum encryption is a apparently an eMachine running WindowsMe in her living room attending something called the “Toner Awards,” is a nice Tom Wolfe-style touch. But then, this isn’t the only journalism event where journalism isn’t permitted:

 

From Sean Davis at the Federalist:

Although Hillary Clinton and her allies may be claiming that her private e-mail system is no big deal, Hillary’s State Department actually forced the 2012 resignation of the U.S. ambassador to Kenya in part for setting up an unsanctioned private e-mail system. According to a 2012 report from the State Department’s inspector general, former U.S. ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration set up a private e-mail system for his office in 2011.

The inspector general’s report offered a scathing assessment of Gration’s information security practices — practices that are eerily similar to those undertaken by Clinton while she served as Secretary of State:

Davis links to State Department document that notes:

During the inspection, the Ambassador continued to use commercial email for official government business. The Department email system provides automatic security, record-keeping, and backup functions as required. The Ambassador’s requirements for use of commercial email in the office and his flouting of direct instructions to adhere to Department policy have placed the information management staff in a conundrum…

And Davis adds, “Liberal commentators took him to task for jeopardizing American security by insisting on the use of a private e-mail system. A 2012 dispatch from The New Republic about Gration’s resignation specifically noted that Gration’s e-mail gambit “put classified information about the U.S.’s operations in East Africa at a higher risk for exposure…”

“In other words,” Mark Hemingway writes at the Weekly Standard, “State Department policy was very clear. Using a private email outside the State Department’s secure system was completely unacceptable. If this applied to ambassadors, one would think it was sensible policy for the Secretary of State as well.”

Meanwhile, Jim Geraghty twists the knife a bit in his emailed Campaign Spot update today: “Some of Hillary’s E-Mails Are Probably Destroyed. That’s Good News: From a supremely cynical political perspective, it’s better for conservatives and Republicans if Hillary Clinton’s e-mails never come to light. If they’re destroyed and impossible to recover, it means she will never be able to dispel everyone’s worst suspicions:”

We don’t know if foreign intelligence services ever cracked the (apparently flawed) code and got to read Hillary’s private e-mails. We do know that we would be fools to assume they hadn’t. This prospect makes a lot of Obama’s first-term foreign policy look a little different in retrospect. Was there any particular time when a foreign power seemed one step ahead of our policies? Did Moscow, Beijing, or other foreign capitals seem to know what we were thinking in our negotiations before we began? Any of our spies get burned, or sources of intelligence dry up? Was Hillary Clinton’s e-mail effectively a leak all along?

(By the way, in the interim, every imaginable White House official should be brought before Congress and asked why it didn’t seem unusual to them that Hillary Clinton never used a state.gov address, ever, at all, in a four-year span. Her use of a private e-mail was not secret within the administration.)

The answers to these questions are above my pay grade and security clearance. But if foreign spies were reading the e-mail of the Secretary of State for four years, it represents nothing less than a catastrophe, and one that is entirely the fault of Hillary Clinton herself.

It all seems so Orwellian. Like something out of the Ministry of Truth. Like something out of 1984. Don’t you agree, Mr. Obama?

So how will the MSM Play this? Probably something along these lines:

And right on cue, Hillary’s allies at the Politico are already blaming their fellow media mavens in their efforts to defend the Queen Bee.

“I would argue, the Clinton operation counts as a machine — not just as a metaphor or allegory, but as a bona fide, contemporary update of the old 19th-century operation,” Jay Cost writes at the Weekly Standard:

A lot of people were wondering what public business she was conducting on a private account. What I wanted to know was: what private business did she not want to conduct on a public account? If given three guesses, I’d say: politics, politics, politics.

There’s a historical parallel here with the Cameron Machine of Pennsylvania, which formed in the 1870s and lasted, in one form or another, until the 1920s. Simon Cameron was Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of War, but was basically fired in 1862 for facilitating graft. Yet he was a political maestro who had grown wealthy by trading on his governmental stature, and he was able to buy his way back into politics. In 1867, he defeated popular wartime governor Andrew Curtin for a Senate seat. This was back when senators were chosen by state legislatures, so Cameron won by persuading or buying off members of the Pennsylvania house and senate. He eventually became a powerhouse during the Ulysses Grant Administration — with control over Pennsylvania patronage, veto authority over executive officers, and a huge, loyal following (the Cincinnati Times estimated at one point that hundreds of people in Washington owed their position to him). He even prevailed upon Grant to name his son, J. Donald, secretary of war, even though Don had no experience to speak of.

Much of this is reminiscent of the Clintons — the initial fall from grace, the careful management of political contacts, the accumulation of wealth via political channels, the carefully run political shop, and especially the nepotism. And also, the cheesy scandals that embarrassed Simon Cameron but never brought him down. Cameron was caught up in a scandal trying to defraud the Winnebago tribe, and later on the House censured him for bilking the War Department — but it barely ever slowed him down. Sound familiar?

So, ultimately the question is: how is a machine liked this stopped? Unfortunately, the only thing that brought down Cameron, Inc. was the Great Depression. It survived the outlawing of the spoils system, the direct election of senators, and even the entirety of the progressive movement against the machines. It even survived the Camerons themselves. That is how powerful it was.

But a machine is only as strong as its component parts, which brings us to our exit quote: “If your lying liar pants on fire source worked with me at a federal agency as you and they contend, did you ask them to provide even a single email exchange with my using that account?”

It’s likely not a good idea at all for someone affiliated with the Clintons to reference pants; it’s poor salesmanship, to paraphrase Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca.

Update: A video reminder that Clinton Inc. is a multinational machine:

Last night, CNN aired a report claiming systematic racial bias in Ferguson, which I watched at the gym last night while being force-fed my daily half-hour ration of the Most Busted Name in News on the two-way Ministry of Truth telescreen above the treadmill. Watching it begged the obvious question, which of course CNN won’t answer: even if it’s true, what does that have to do with a man who robbed a convenience store, strongarmed the clerk, resisted arrest and died while trying to steal a police officer’s gun?

Answer: smokescreen, baby. “Must read: DOJ report totally vindicates Darren Wilson in Michael Brown shooting,” Allahpundit writes today:

Lots more at the link about how the most damning witnesses against Wilson, the ones who claimed Brown did nothing more than try to surrender, were easily exposed as liars once their stories were compared to the physical evidence and testimony from others. I’m imagining Eric Holder, who went to Ferguson promising to bring the “full resources” of the DOJ to bear on this investigation, rubbing his temples as he read through to the end of what his deputies had concluded. But then, as Ace says, that’s why Holder hedged from the outset by promising to investigate the Ferguson police generally for wider racial bias. He was smart enough to know that a civil-rights investigation of Wilson, which was always a longshot, could blow up on him completely by generating the sort of total acquittal that we’re seeing in today’s report. He needed a political consolation prize. No wonder he released that report yesterday, before this one. [Emphasis mine -- Ed] Imagine if the “Wilson was innocent” results had dropped today as the sum total of the DOJ’s work so far.

Exit question: Would Eric Holder, after reading this report, have brought charges against Wilson if he had been the St. Louis D.A.? Bob McCulloch, the St. Louis prosecuting attorney, ate mountains of crap from the left when he couldn’t obtain an indictment. Does Holder think he could have, or should have?

As Ace sardonically asks, with Wilson vindicated, “What am I expected to do with this information?”

Well, riot, I guess.

And Holder and Obama do want those riots, because any riots empower Obama and Holder, and give the rioters an outlet for their rage (and thus will not hold it against Obama and Holder that they’re not prosecuting Wilson).

This crew is actually willing to sacrifice some mid-sized cities rather than take a small PR hit.

I would expand “this crew” to also include their enablers in the MSM, who seemed gleeful to gin up the riot in November, and are doing everything they can to make the rubble bounce today.

Gray Lady Insults Servants

March 4th, 2015 - 12:52 pm

“Which New York Times Employees Are Treating Their Janitors Badly?” asks Gawker:

From: [Redacted]
Date: Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 9:35:43 AM
Subject: Hi

I work as a janitor at The New York Times. On Friday night around 2am I was harassed by employees of The Times who were getting drunk in one of the offices of the floors I clean. Besides calling me creepy and implying that I would harm them somehow, they also threw a garbage can full of Chinese food all over the ladies bathroom right after I cleaned it.

I don’t know if you guys could use a story like that but I figured you’d find that interesting.

Is the story true? On the one hand, it’s Gawker. On the other, it’s the New York Times, whose journalists and editors act as if they’re still in junior high and refer to entire swatches of America as “The dance of the low-sloping foreheads.” Survey says…well, we certainly wouldn’t be surprised if it’s true, let’s put it that way.

 

So yesterday, the spin from team Hillary is that hey, she’s getting up there; she hasn’t driven a car since the mid-1990s, she doesn’t do new technology all that well. Email accounts? They’re so complex to set up. Today? AP reports that Hillary had her own private email server while Secretary of State, as Seth Mandel writes at Commentary:

First, the latest: not only did Hillary Clinton exclusively use private email addresses to avoid transparency and record keeping. She, as the AP reveals today, operated her own server at her home:

The computer server that transmitted and received Hillary Clinton’s emails — on a private account she used exclusively for official business when she was secretary of state — traced back to an Internet service registered to her family’s home in Chappaqua, New York, according to Internet records reviewed by The Associated Press.

Later, the AP explains why she did it, and how great of a security risk it was:

Operating her own server would have afforded Clinton additional legal opportunities to block government or private subpoenas in criminal, administrative or civil cases because her lawyers could object in court before being forced to turn over any emails. And since the Secret Service was guarding Clinton’s home, an email server there would have been well protected from theft or a physical hacking.

But homebrew email servers are generally not as reliable, secure from hackers or protected from fires or floods as those in commercial data centers. Those professional facilities provide monitoring for viruses or hacking attempts, regulated temperatures, off-site backups, generators in case of power outages, fire-suppression systems and redundant communications lines.

As Mandel writes, “with latest revelations that for purposes of digital communication Hillary essentially ran her own parallel government, it’s clear that Clinton’s ethical lapses should also be a scandal for President Obama:”

Obama didn’t think much of Clinton’s experience abroad*. HRC notes Obama’s belief that Hillary’s sense of worldliness amounted to “what world leader I went and talked to in the ambassador’s house, who I had tea with.” In Obama’s estimation, Hillary was not up to the task of being a top figure on the world stage.

But Obama wasn’t looking necessarily for competence or experience. His view in piecing together his team has always been about sidelining critics and rivals. So, fully aware that Hillary was unqualified, he asked her to be secretary of state. Allen and Parnes write:

Obama wanted Hillary on his team, and in making the case to his own aides, he knocked down the argument he had made on the trail that her experience was limited to tea parties. As important, having Hillary on the inside would let Obama keep control over perhaps the nation’s most potent political force other than himself.

Except it wouldn’t. Sometimes the Clintons’ parallel government works in Obama’s favor, such as Clinton’s Benghazi disaster. Her independent email server and private addresses enabled her to hide her correspondence on the attack, which also shielded the rest of the administration from that scrutiny. Obama is infamously secretive about his own records and his administration’s unprecedented lack of transparency was a good match for the Clintons.

And this latest development should be fun: “House committee to subpoena e-mails from Clinton’s personal account,” the Washington Post reports:

A House investigative committee is preparing to send out subpoenas later Wednesday to gather a deeper look into former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton’s nearly exclusive use of personal e-mails to do her official business as the government’s top diplomat, according to people familiar with the probe.

The House Select Committee on Benghazi, which first discovered Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail based on a home server in its inquiry into a fatal 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, is asking for all e-mails related to the attack from all Clintonemail.com accounts and any other staff members’ personal accounts.

The subpoenas are expected to go out to the State Department later Wednesday. The move escalates the panel’s conflict with Clinton and could complicate her expected run for president.

Beyond playing the expected wounded victim card, how will the Clintons not comply? Will they go the Lois Lerner “the dog ate my email server” route? Will they simply flat out refuse? Will lots of emails be deleted or redacted somehow? I’m sure they’ll find a way to checkmate this, or at the least employ some sort of modified limited hangout.

Because from Team Hillary’s point of view, really, what difference at this point, does it make? As Allahpundit writes:

The point about how early it is in the campaign and consequently how little people will remember about this by election day 2016 is right on. A few righties on Twitter yesterday were kicking around the theory that Team Hillary exposed the private e-mail account themselves, just so that they could get this out there now, take their beating for a week, and then let the media forget about it. I doubt that’s right — if they wanted to leak this, they wouldn’t have handed the credit for it to Trey Gowdy’s Benghazi committee — but they would have leaked it eventually, likely sooner than later, knowing that voters have short memories about most scandals. That’s especially true for Bill and Hillary, whose brand already has plenty of scandal built in. If you vote for Her Majesty in 2016, you do so with absolute assurance that her administration will be one ethical clusterfark after another because that’s who the Clintons are and that’s how they roll. If you’re okay with that then by definition you’re okay with her conducting America’s diplomacy off the books. If you’re not okay with that, and you shouldn’t be, then you probably gave up on the Clintons sometime around 1995. The only reason there’s a bipartisan flavor to the current outrage over her e-mail corruption rather than unified wagon-circling on the left is because there’s still hope among progressives that Elizabeth Warren can be convinced to run. They’ll add some blood in the water if they think it might attract Warren. Once she’s definitely out, though, they’re out of the Clinton ethics-watching business too.

Vox, the Politico and Bloomberg are all certainly “Ready for Hillary,” to coin a phrase; perhaps this defense of the Queen Bee is coalescing on the JournoList:

 

Meanwhile, David Brock spins into action in a bumbling attempt to defend Hillary on MSNBC, pondering many questions about his strange appearance, and one answer: Now we know which Democrat inherited the late Jim Traficant’s sky-high hair

* And in 2008, he was such a great judge on these matters himself…

“Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts” is a topic explored by Justin P. McBrayer, who bio states that he’s an associate professor of philosophy at Colorado’s Fort Lewis College. Curiously though, his article is in the New York Times, a odd location given that it’s a newspaper run by children who don’t believe there are moral facts. But responding to the Common Core syllabus, McBrayer writes:

But second, and worse, students are taught that claims are either facts or opinions. They are given quizzes in which they must sort claims into one camp or the other but not both. But if a fact is something that is true and an opinion is something that is believed, then many claims will obviously be both. For example, I asked my son about this distinction after his open house. He confidently explained that facts were things that were true whereas opinions are things that are believed. We then had this conversation:

Me: “I believe that George Washington was the first president. Is that a fact or an opinion?”

Him: “It’s a fact.”

Me: “But I believe it, and you said that what someone believes is an opinion.”

Him: “Yeah, but it’s true.”

Me: “So it’s both a fact and an opinion?”

The blank stare on his face said it all.

How does the dichotomy between fact and opinion relate to morality? I learned the answer to this question only after I investigated my son’s homework (and other examples of assignments online). Kids are asked to sort facts from opinions and, without fail, every value claim is labeled as an opinion. Here’s a little test devised from questions available on fact vs. opinion worksheets online: are the following facts or opinions?

— Copying homework assignments is wrong.

— Cursing in school is inappropriate behavior.

— All men are created equal.

— It is worth sacrificing some personal liberties to protect our country from terrorism.

— It is wrong for people under the age of 21 to drink alcohol.

— Vegetarians are healthier than people who eat meat.

— Drug dealers belong in prison.

The answer? In each case, the worksheets categorize these claims as opinions. The explanation on offer is that each of these claims is a value claim and value claims are not facts. This is repeated ad nauseum: any claim with good, right, wrong, etc. is not a fact.

In summary, our public schools teach students that all claims are either facts or opinions and that all value and moral claims fall into the latter camp. The punchline: there are no moral facts. And if there are no moral facts, then there are no moral truths.

As Allan Bloom wrote 35 years ago at the beginning of The Closing of the American Mind:

There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative. If this belief is put to the test, one can count on the students’ reaction: they will be uncomprehending. That anyone should regard the proposition as not self-evident astonishes them, as though he were calling into question 2 + 2 = 4. These are things you don’t think about. The students backgrounds are as various as America can provide. Some are religious, some atheists; some are to the Left, some to the Right; some intend to be scientists, some humanists or professionals or businessmen; some are poor, some rich. They are unified only in their relativism and in their allegiance to equality. They are unified only in their relativism and in their allegiance to equality. And the two are related in a moral intention. The relativity of truth is not a theoretical insight but a moral postulate, the condition of a free society, or so they see it. They have all been equipped with this framework early on, and it is the modern replacement for the inalienable natural rights that used to be the traditional American grounds for a free society. That it is a moral issue for students is revealed by the character of their response when challenged – a combination of disbelief and indignation: “Are you an absolutist?” the only alternative they know, uttered in the same tone as “Are you a monarchist?” or “Do you really believe in witches?” The danger they have been taught to fear from absolutism is not error but intolerance. Relativism is necessary to openness; and this is the virtue, the only virtue, which all primary education for more than fifty years has dedicated itself to inculcating. Openness—and the relativism that makes it the only plausible stance in the face of various claims to truth and the various ways of life and kinds of human beings—is the great insight of our times. The true believer is the real danger. The study of history and of culture teaches that all the world was mad in the past; men always thought they were right, and that led to wars, persecutions, slavery, xenophobia, racism and chauvinism. The point is not to correct the mistakes and really be right; rather it is not to think that you are right at all.

And as McBrayer’s essay today illustrates, that’s now a state-sanctioned policy. Because as Glenn Reynolds writes at Instapundit, “Our ruling class doesn’t like the idea of moral facts because that might limit their flexibility, which reduces opportunities for graft and self-aggrandizement.”

See also: Oceania’s existential struggle with Eastasia and/or Eurasia and the real-life turn-on-a-dime pivot by leftwing intellectuals that inspired it.

Earlier: ‘Let’s Destroy Liberal Academia’

Obama: The Provincial President

March 3rd, 2015 - 6:23 pm

“Why Obama hates Netanyahu, and vice versa” is explored in a remarkable essay by Haviv Rettig Gur of the Times of Israel:

At a recent gathering of the Israel Council on Foreign Relations, the eminent former director general of the Foreign Ministry, Prof. Shlomo Avineri, called Obama’s foreign policy “provincial.” It was a strange choice of words to describe the policies of a president with such a cosmopolitan outlook and so much eagerness to engage the world.

But Avineri had a point.

Obama’s remarkable memoir, “Dreams from My Father,” includes a powerful account of how his experiences as a young, keenly observant social organizer in South Chicago instilled in him the sensibility that would come to define his presidency.

In the book, he describes his reaction upon hearing the children of a poor Chicago neighborhood divided into “good kids and bad kids – the distinction didn’t compute in my head.” If a particular child “ended up in a gang or in jail, would that prove his essence somehow, a wayward gene…or just the consequences of a malnourished world?”

“In every society, young men are going to have violent tendencies,” an educator in one majority-black Chicago high school told him in the late 1980s. “Either those tendencies are directed and disciplined in creative pursuits or those tendencies destroy the young men, or the society, or both.”

The book is full of such ruminations, and they echo throughout Obama’s rhetoric as president. In his last speech to the UN General Assembly, he asserted that “if young people live in places where the only option is between the dictates of a state or the lure of an extremist underground, no counterterrorism strategy can succeed.”

For Obama, terrorism is, at root, a product of social disintegration. War may be necessary to contain the spread of Islamic State, for example, but only social reform can really cure it.

Add to this social vision the experience of a consummate outsider – half-white and half-black, with a childhood and a family scattered around the world – and one begins to see the profile of a man with an automatic empathy for the marginalized and an almost instinctive sense that the most significant problems of the world are rooted not in ideology but in oppressive social and economic structures that reinforce marginalization. This sensibility is broader than any economic orthodoxy, and is rooted in the hard experience of South Chicago.

After taking the helm of the world’s preeminent superpower in January 2009, this social organizer set about constructing a foreign policy that translated this consciousness into geopolitical action.

“The imperative that he and his advisors felt was not only to introduce a post-Bush narrative but also a post-post-9/11 understanding of what needed to be done in the world,” James Traub noted in a recent Foreign Policy essay. “They believed that the great issues confronting the United States were not traditional state-to-state questions, but new ones that sought to advance global goods and required global cooperation — climate change, energy supply, weak and failing states, nuclear nonproliferation. It was precisely on such issues that one needed to enlist the support of citizens as well as leaders.”

The world was one large Chicago, its essential problems not categorically different from those of South Chicago’s blacks, and the solutions to those problems were rooted in the same essential human capacity for overcoming social divisions and inequities. This was Obama’s “provincialism” — his vision of the world that favored the disadvantaged and downtrodden, that saw the ideological and political clashes between governments as secondary to the more universal and ultimately social crises that troubled a tumultuous world.

No wonder the gang at NBC attacks anyone using the word “Chicago” as racist; it’s the entire prism through which their God King sees the world.

Perhaps what worried Mr. Obama the most about Prime Minister Netanyahu speaking today were the inevitable comparisons of tone and style, and for good reason. As a result of watching Netanyahu, Jazz Shaw of Hot Air takes a second look at Bibi:

When the Prime Minister finished speaking today, I realized exactly how wrong I had been in assuming that this was going to be some cheap, catchpenny display. This was, as I said on Twitter in the moments following the address, one of the most powerful speeches which I have seen delivered in that chamber in the modern era. Netanyahu was the essence of many attributes so lacking in American politics today. He was gracious, not only to those who obviously support him, but to those who might disagree with him here on various policy points. (And, as I will cover below, even with those who were simply rude.) He projected wisdom and rational thought, so frequently lacking in the cheap seats of the theater of American politics. He was sincerely grateful for all that he and the nation he represents have received from the United States and for the consanguinity between our nations. He expressed confidence and hope in a lasting relationship which should be a hallmark of civilized relations in the modern world.

Above all, he was not there to be a politician as I had previously supposed. He was there to be a leader, but also a gracious ally, speaking as an equal on the world stage. He did not come with his hat in hand to ask America to save him. He reiterated that Israel could save itself, but that it would not have to stand alone as long as those with common values which embrace basic goodness stood together in sodality. It was, quite simply, one of the most moving speeches I have witnessed in many years.

I was wrong – in the worst way, since I have clearly allowed cynicism to poison the well – when I supposed that this speech was a pointless, partisan, political ploy. I think I’ve spent too long watching American politicians standing up on cable news and barking out the same tired talking points which their minions repeat ad nauseam for the mainstream media complex. I was highly impressed and felt a bit ashamed. I owe the Prime Minister an apology and I do so now.

I miss the days when America was led by a grownup who had faith in his country and its people. I hope we have that experience once again.

Related: “Dreams from Netanyahu’s Father,” from Seth Lipsky of the New York Sun and Time magazine.

Yesterday, Chris Matthews compared Netanyahu speaking to Congress to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Today, Matthews doubles down:

MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews escalated his rage over Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress, Tuesday, hinting that the Israeli prime minister delivered what amounts to a coup. Appearing on his cable network for analysis, Matthews darkly warned, “This man from a foreign government walked into the United States legislative chamber and tried to take over U.S. foreign policy.”

Angered by the address, the cable anchor called the speech “shocking” and blamed both Netanyahu as well as Republicans: “They went into the U.S. Congress to take over U.S. foreign policy today from the President. It’s a remarkable day when the leaders of the opposition in Congress allowed this to happen.”

Of course, as Kathy Shaidle likes to say, for Democrats, “It’s different when we do it.” Return with us now to December 4, 2007, when Joe Biden, then Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said that he “would move to impeach” Bush if he circumvented the Democrat Congress and unilaterally disarmed Iran. As Matthews glowingly replied, “They don’t even remember when there were senators that understood the checks and balances of our government, of our Constitution. I am so impressed you said it.”

Meanwhile, San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi lives out Gloria Swanson’s theatrics in Sunset Boulevard in order to mug for the nightly news cameras, declaring that she was “near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech.” As Allahpundit responds at Hot Air, “Whatever:”

Here’s how seriously you should take her alleged outrage over Netanyahu’s “Bibi knows best” attitude. Back in 2007, while George W. Bush was warning people that Bashar Assad might not be the cuddly would-be “reformer” that Democrats like Hillary Clinton were convinced he was, one prominent liberal flew all the way to Damascus to sit down with Assad and pose for photos. Bush wanted to isolate him; the Democrat in question, convinced that she and her party knew best, had other ideas. Guess who.

I also like the idea here that when U.S. intelligence tells you something, you can go ahead and take it to the bank. This is coming from someone who became Speaker by exploiting voter frustration with the Iraq war.

Allahpundit adds, “This was a performance for lefties by an abject hypocrite on the idea of Congress undercutting the commander-in-chief’s hegemony over foreign policy. Don’t forget it as the crocodile tears keep ‘nearly’ flowing:”

And as Ace writes, rounding up similarly stompy-footed reactions from a variety of Democrats with and without media bylines, “Confirmed: The Left Pretty Much Freaks Out When a Jew Tells Them They’re Wrong.”

Mother Jones freaked out so badly, they inadvertently declared Obama the second coming of Alan Alda, honorary woman:

Update: “Bibi’s Speech—The Real Fallout,” from Roger L. Simon: while Pelosi, Matthews, Mother Jones, Obama and other self-styled “Progressives” were huffing smelling salts and diving for fainting couches, Iran confirms that Netanyahu is correct: no negotiations with Mr. Obama will stop them from acquiring the bomb as quickly as they can.

“According to a report from Page Six, a fight broke out Friday during the filming of Stallone’s latest Rocky flick, Creed, which didn’t sit well with the legendary co-producer, who is also a star of the film,” Kipp Jones writes at Big Hollywood:

A source close to the film’s production near Philadelphia, PA said things became heated when the character “Pretty Ricky,” played by British boxer Tony Bellew, became upset at another actor, who is playing his corner coach.

While the cameras were rolling, things got violent. The source told Page Six that Bellew “immediately flipped out and began screaming.”  That’s when the now 68-year-old “Rocky Balboa” jumped into action and stopped the fight.

The cameras were immediately turned off, and all crew members and extras were ordered to leave the set, per Page Six.

A few necessary cast members were reportedly asked to return later that afternoon, but a second source told the publication that no punches were thrown, and that filming was only cut for lunch.

However, a source told TMZ that the brawl was very real, and that Bellew jumped out of the ring during filming to fight the unnamed man and landed several blows on him.

According to TMZ, the fight was only broken up after Stallone and a few others physically intervened.

Jones adds that “Creed, which is set for U.S. release on November 25, will follow the grandson of former Rocky Balboa adversary Apollo Creed, who is being mentored by Balboa.” Will Rocky also be mentoring Creed’s grandson on his education outside the ring? The possibilities for a montage scene there are awesome!

‘Chappaqua, We Have a Problem’

March 3rd, 2015 - 1:27 pm

Brilliant headline from PJM alumnus Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post:

It is unfathomable why Democrats feel as though they have no choice. Surely, there are fans of Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others who would recognize that the Democratic Party badly needs not merely a sparring partner in the primaries but an alternative to Clinton who is not perceived as personally corrupt or secretive and is not burdened by an increasingly problematic Obama foreign policy record. Surely, even a candidate who will have to work harder to raise money and create name identification but who is capable and not burdened by scandal would be preferable to a 67-year old woman of immense wealth, low ethical standards and nonexistent candor. Or perhaps the Democratic Party is so devoid of talent that it simply has no choice but to take Clinton with all her obvious and serious defects.

That’s a question that the Democrats chose to answer in 2008, when it picked tyro rookie senator Barack Obama over tyro (almost) rookie senator and former first lady Hillary Clinton in 2008. Might have had a lot more options open today if Obama had been Hillary’s veep for eight years. And if Hillary didn’t have that new president smell in 2007, her brand’s freshness date has long since expired, no matter what sort of new packaging her marketing department mocks up in Photoshop.

Meanwhile, to keep the Apollo 13 metaphors going — to paraphrase Kevin D. Williamson at NRO, with Hillary, failure is always an option:

Here’s my theory: She was preparing for failure.

Mrs. Clinton knows—she must know, at some level—that she has been grossly unprepared for every position she has held in public life other than that of first lady. She was a New York senator who knew the parts of the state more than 40 miles from a park-view room at the Plaza about as well as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. knows Muleshoe, Texas. She was a presidential candidate whose only recommendations were ovaries and a surname beloved—but not quite enough—by Democratic primary voters. And then she became a secretary of state appointed to the position mainly to appease the bruised feelings of Clintonites and to keep her from making mischief in case of a first-term Obama administration meltdown.

But she was a grossly incompetent secretary of state who knew that she was going to run for president again, and thus took positive steps in advance to put in place protocols that would help her to mask her inadequacy. It is difficult even for her admirers to make a credible argument that her time in that office was anything other than disastrous. She knows this.

The news media and the Democrats know this, too. Mrs. Clinton’s career in public office has been nothing more than a tribute to her husband, a fact that you would think would rankle the feminists who are so enthused about the former first lady’s presidential ambitions. Maybe it’s time to take off the presidential kneepads and admit what everybody knows: She isn’t very good at this sort of thing, and promoting her to her next level of incompetence is an invitation to disaster.

Though to be fair, Mr. Obama has set that bar so low that Hillary’s administration would be seen as an improvement by both parties.

‘Preparing for China’s Collapse’

March 3rd, 2015 - 12:58 pm

P.J. O’Rourke was interviewed by Peter Robinson of Ricochet and the Hoover Institute last month, and near the end of their wide-ranging conversation, Robinson asked O’Rourke about those of us in California who’ve given up on trying to reform the sclerotic dinosaur that is Sacramento. O’Rourke began his reply with this great anecdote referencing an even bigger and more dangerous ancient socialist government:

I remember going around China with a friend of mine who owned some steel foundries and a pelletized iron ore plant. He’s an American, but he lives in Hong Kong. Anyway, we’re wandering around mainland China, and I remember saying that I hadn’t heard any political discussions. Is it because people are afraid to talk about politics? He said, “no, they’re not afraid to [talk about politics]. You get ‘em started, and they’ll go on. But you’ve got understand the fundamental Chinese attitude toward government is ‘shhhhhhh….don’t wake it up when it’s sleeping.’” And I think our Millennials have a little bit of that same attitude. Fortunately, what they would wake up would not be as terrifying as [China’s cultural revolution.]

But what happens when China’s government does wake from its slumber? Steve Green writes today that the results won’t be pretty:

If a collapse should come, there is something we need to think about very seriously whether or not Washington ever heeds Mattis’s advice: The huge economic disruptions. China does in manufacturing today what America used to do, which is to move fast and scale up even faster. China moves workers and material in amounts and at speeds which are a legal and regulatory impossibility in 21st Century America. Between worker regs and the EPA, it simply isn’t possible for the US to replace China’s manufacturing ability — and there’s no other country besides us big enough and skilled enough to even try.

China’s collapse would cut a whole leg off of the global economy, with no anesthetic and no way to stop the bleeding. The loss of physical capital and manufacturing know-how would make a second Great Depression all but certain.

We need to have a plan in place to lift an awful lot of regulations, immediately, so that American business can go back to doing the kinds of things it used to do — and could do again if Big Fat Washington weren’t sitting on its chest.

In the early days of WWII, FDR asked for the impossible — that American industry build 50,000 warplanes in the first year, and 50,000 more every year after that. Nothing like it had ever been tried. But American business saw the profit potential, and FDR (for once) mostly got Washington out of the way. Sure enough, he got his airplanes.

We could do this, and avoid a global depression. The only thing stopping us is us.

I’m tempted to say “insert the Pogo quote here,” but given its origins during the rise of the American environmentalist left in the early 1970s, it was designed to stop us as well.

Related Exit Quote, via William F. Buckley: “Every ten years I quote the same adage from the late Austrian analyst Willi Schlamm, and I hope that ten years from now someone will remember to quote it in my memory. It goes, ‘The trouble with socialism is socialism. The trouble with capitalism is capitalists.’”

Shot:

—As collated by Twitchy, in a post titled “‘Like poo-flinging monkeys’: Journos high-five over ‘hilarious’ Benghazi report; Four Americans still dead,” November 21st, 2014.

Chaser:

Two weeks ago, we learned that the Clinton Foundation accepted contributions from foreign countries. Assurances from the Obama administration and Clinton aides that no donations were made during her tenure as secretary of State were proven false.

I called the actions sleazy and stupid. Sleazy because any fair-minded person would suspect the foreign countries of trying to buy Clinton’s influence. Stupid because the affair plays into a decades-old knock on the Clintons: They’ll cut any corner for campaign cash. In the 1990s, Bill Clinton and his top aides used the White House as a tool to court and reward big donors.

Now The New York Times is reporting that Clinton used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of State, an apparent violation of federal requirements that her records be retained.

Exposed by a House committee investigating the Benghazi Consulate attack, Clinton brazenly dug in her heels. Advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal email and decided which ones to release: Just 55,000 emails were given to the State Department.

Those are our emails, not hers. What is she hiding?

“Maybe Hillary Clinton Should Retire Her White House Dreams: Maybe she doesn’t want to run in 2016, top Democrats wonder. Maybe she shouldn’t,” former AP journalist Ron Fournier, National Journal, today.

Related: “Michelle Malkin compiles history of administration’s ‘unorthodox’ email methods,” today at Twitchy.

Update: At the risk of serving Vodkapundit-worthy levels of shots and chasers, have another round:

 

Susan Rice speaks to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference today, and you won’t believe what happens next! (Sorry.) As Twitchy notes, “The highlight of her speech was undoubtedly the standing ovation she received for acknowledging the desire for a complete halt to Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. The look on her face while waiting for the cheers to die down so she could add ‘but’ and finish her sentence: priceless:”

John Podhoretz responded, “So without a deal, Rice is saying, Iran will build a bomb. Also, with a deal, Iran will build a bomb. This is really astounding.” And Twitchy also quotes Bloomberg’s Dave Weigel, who tweeted, “Before Susan Rice got up to speak at AIPAC, the video screens played friendly reminders not to boo anybody.

Last night, Roger L. Simon asked, “Will Obama’s Iran Deal Be the Worst Deal Ever Made?” That is, if it even comes to pass:

 I don’t enjoy making predictions because I’m usually wrong, but this is what I suspect will transpire as of Sunday night, March 1.  A deal ultimately will not be made.  Khamenei never wanted one in the first place, only to mark time for more nuclear research.  To make a deal would, for him, undermine too many years of hating America, undercutting the rationale for his hideous regime.  BUT… Israel (specifically pushy Netanyahu), not Iran,  will be blamed for the failure by the U.S. administration and its MSM minions, led by the New York Times.  Iran will collude with this, dropping the proper hints — if it weren’t for those Israelis we would have had an agreement, but you know they can’t be trusted.  The Republican presidential candidates will be swept up in this. They better be ready, but I fear they are not.  They don’t impress me as a particularly sophisticated bunch on the international front, I’m sorry to say, and the Iranians know how to play disinformation-hardball almost as well as the Russians.  I hope I’m wrong in all this. I hope Netanyahu knocks that same hardball out of the proverbial park and with it some sense into the American public.  But I worry.

And for ever-increasing good reason.

Related: We know that, to paraphrase Sean Davis, Elizabeth Warren is off the reservation when it comes to Netanyahu’s speech tomorrow. So where does Hillary stand?

hillary_blackberry_3-2-15-2

In this Oct. 18, 2011, file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton works from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya. (AP Photo / Kevin Lamarque, Pool, File)

“Ever wonder why multiple investigations of the Benghazi attack failed to turn up much from Hillary Clinton’s e-mails?” Ed Morrissey asks at Hot Air:

So did the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the facility and the failures that led to it. To their surprise, the Secretary of State had conducted all of her e-mail on a private account rather than an official State Department account — and her aides had carefully culled only the e-mails they wanted investigators to see. The New York Times’ Michael Schmidt dropped that bombshell earlier this evening:

Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act. …

The existence of Mrs. Clinton’s personal email account was discovered as a House committee investigating the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi sought correspondence between Mrs. Clinton and her aides about the attack.

Two weeks ago, Mrs. Clinton provided the committee with about 300 emails — amounting to roughly 900 pages — about the Benghazi attacks that Mrs. Clinton’s aides had found among her personal emails.

Why, it’s not like Hillary is some sort of paranoid secretive character out of 1984, is she?

As Moe Line asked, shortly before news of Hillary’s private emails broke, “Hillary Clinton STARTED OFF as the villain. How does she plan to become the hero?”

But… that’s the problem, isn’t it? In 2007 the Democratic electorate was told, point-blank, You do not have to ‘settle’ for Hillary Clinton. You can have something that’s better. Different. Not more of the same.  And the Democratic electorate arguably responded* to that. And their reward? …Hillary Clinton has come back in 2016.  Only now she’s almost a decade older, and probably considerably more bitter about life.  Not to mention, really inevitable this time.

Thus the paradox. Hillary Clinton was used to establish, fix, and personalize everything that the Obama campaign wanted primary voters to think was wrong with the current system. Then they brought her into the administration, which means that she’s inextricably linked to it.  So Hillary Clinton can’t run on being opposed to Obama’s policies, because she helped implement them**.  But if she runs on being on-board with the Obama agenda, she’s left with two problems, the second*** one being that a large part of the Obama agenda was that he supposedly represented a break of the politics of the past, which were in no small part exemplified by… Hillary Clinton.

Of course, even before this latest Clinton scandal erupted* there was a simple solution for Democrats who pay lip service to transparency:

*You saw what I did there, right?

Update: And upon sighting a big juicy scandal to sink their shark-like teeth into, the Establishment Left MSM swings into action — to attack a conservative!

 

As Jon Gabriel writes at Ricochet after being singled out by the Over-the-Hillary Gang for ritual shaming, “The D.C. press corps is so unsettled by offering even the mildest concern about Democrats that they must quickly return to their comfort zone mocking proles. There is little interest in questioning the rich and powerful, it’s all about defending their tribe. The Clintons certainly don’t view Gray, Confessore, et al., as fellow elites, but this only makes these reporters more desperate to flaunt the tribal markers.”