The Wall Street Journal summarizes what information it is possible to gleen as the result of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits, and what we already know shows just how much trouble Hillary Clinton’s candidacy is facing.
Congressional investigators can subpoena documents, but even if after long delays they get them, the investigators must trust that the agency handed over everything. The agency usually doesnâ€™t. Under FOIA, by contrast, the agency is required by law to provide plaintiffs with a complete inventory and broad description of every document it has that pertains to the requestâ€”but is withholding. This is known as a Vaughn index. The State Department on Monday handed over its Vaughn index to Citizens United and, boy, are these email descriptions revealing.
We find that the State Department hasâ€”but is not releasingâ€”an email chain between then-Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and a Clinton Foundation board member about the secretary of stateâ€™s planned trip to Africa. We find that the State Department hasâ€”but is not releasingâ€”emails between Ms. Mills and foundation staff discussing â€œinvitations to foreign business executives to attend the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.â€ We find many undisclosed email chains in which State Department officials talk with Clinton Foundation officials about Bill Clinton speeches and Bill Clinton travel, including to events in North Korea and Congo.
Huma Abedin, a longtime confidante of Mrs. Clintonâ€™s, was somehow allowed to work, simultaneously, at the State Department, the Clinton Foundation and as a consultant to Teneoâ€”a consulting firm run by Clinton loyalist Doug Band. All three of Ms. Abedinâ€™s hats come into play in an undisclosed email exchange regarding a 2012 dinner in Ireland. As the Washington Examiner reported in May, Mrs. Clinton received an award at the dinner from a Clinton Foundation donor. The ceremony was promoted by Teneo. Mrs. Clinton attended in her official capacity as secretary of state. Sort through that.
We already know that the Clinton Foundation continued to take foreign money even while Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state. We now know this was only the start of the entwining. These email summaries show that the Clinton Foundation was the State Department and the State Department was the Clinton Foundation. All one, big, seamless, Clinton-promoting entity. We would know far more if State released the full emails. It is citing personal privacy as one reason not to make some public. In others, it claims the emails â€œshed no light on the conduct of U.S. Government business.â€
Separately, we learn that the State Department is withholding from Citizens United and congressional investigators 14 separate exchanges between department employees regarding Benghazi. Most of these involve discussions of the State Departmentâ€™s statement about the attack, or its responses to congressional inquiries about the attack. In short, those documents go directly to the focus of Congressâ€™s probe: whether the administration covered up what it knew about the attack or the risks to the four American diplomats who were killed. The State Department is claiming attorney-client privilege for its withholding, since most of the exchanges involve Ms. Millsâ€”who we now find also served as an attorney at the department. The Clintons think of everything.
All told, there are at least 35 FOIA lawsuits pending for Clinton-related email. Nearly everything important weâ€™ve learned has come from those suits. They are why the State Department is releasing emails; why we know they contained classified information; why we know Mrs. Clintonâ€™s aides also used unsanctioned email accounts; why we know that the State Department is covering for Mrs. Clinton.
As the Hillary for President campaign finds itself buried in an avalanche of scandals, Ann Coulter thinks Hillary is doomed by an even larger problem.
No one really likes Hillary. Ask Bill. Like Toni Morrison novels, most people just pretend to like Hillary just so liberals will leave them alone.
She’s a bore. She has the warmth of an Arctic ice floe. She hates people, and they hate her. She makes children cry and puppies shy away from her. Nobody wants to watch her wallow around in those neon pantsuits for the next five years.
It is kind of interesting to note that the Rice video’s release produced another classic Internet lynch mob with the self-appointed defenders of women howling for more punishment, while the victim they are championing pleads for all of it to stop. She and her husband obviously have a lot to lose were he to be permanently banned from football.
For a rational and intelligent approach to this very unfortunate incident, read John Hinderaker:
I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like Iâ€™m mourning the death of my closest friend. But to have to accept the fact that itâ€™s reality is a nightmare in itself. No one knows the pain that the media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific.
THIS IS OUR LIFE! What donâ€™t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, youâ€™ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is! Ravensnation we love you!
Some think that Janay Rice is psychologically defective because she has stood up for Ray. Others think she is a gold-digger who will dump him now that he is more or less unemployable. They could be right. I donâ€™t know, Iâ€™ve never met the woman. But why not believe her? Is she embarrassed by the videos that have come to light? No doubt. Imagine the worst 30 seconds of your life being published on TMZ. But she has been with Rice since they were teenagers. She knows him a hell of a lot better than you and I do. She got knocked out, and married him anyway. I donâ€™t know; there is a lot of posturing going on here, but my inclination is to be on her side.
Meanwhile, another of those racist Republicans and conservatives, Ian Tuttle, writing at National Review, notes just how thoroughly this kind of media feeding frenzy violates due process.
[T]he release of the video reopened the case not in a court of law, but in the court of public opinion, where millions of amateur observers have psychoanalyzed, speculated, and nitpicked every grainy second of footage.
There is much to be said about the problem of domestic violence, about the rights and responsibilities of victims of abuse, about the way cases of abuse ought to be handled by the legal system. But Ray and Janay Rice made a point of not offering their case as evidence for any argument in these debates. Against their will, the affair they deemed settled, finished, past, has been commandeered for political points, usurped as evidence, transmuted into a morality tale.
TMZ has no doubt garnered millions of website clicks in the last three days. But the release of the video has not served to correct an error or to right a wrong. It has served only to inflame our voyeuristic inclinations and give us de facto permission to readjudicate a settled matter of law.
We do not suffer the consequences of armchair lawyering. Ray and Janay Rice do. However damnable their decisions, in America private citizens still have the right to live private lives.
Blaming the filmmaker offered liberals the chance to affirm that reactionaries and bigots are the source of much of the worldâ€™s troubles. Therefore, jailing Mr. Nakoula was loud validation of the Obama Administrationâ€™s progressive, multicultural bona fides, and proof that Obama has zero tolerance for such â€œhate speech.â€ That narrative became important for practical reasons as well: did the Administration really wish to defend itself from the charge that it had arrested and jailed Nakoula on a trumped up parole violation when his video had nothing to do with violence in Libya? Moreover, by blaming a filmmaker, the administration de facto conceded that some sort of unjustified provocation had occurred, as if reactionary â€œhate speechâ€ earns retribution that falls on the innocent.
There is an enormous amount of theorizing about what the â€œreal storyâ€ behind Benghazi really is. To me itâ€™s always been obvious. The White House was caught off guard â€” for reasons stemming both from ideology and incompetence â€” on September 11, 2012. As they have after virtually every other (jihadist) terrorist attack on Americans, they acted as if it had absolutely nothing to do with them. As with the Times Square bomber, the Fort Hood shooter, and other Islamist assaults, thereâ€™s always some other reason for the bloodshed, some attempt to claim, at least for a while, that this was an â€œisolated incidentâ€ with no broader implications for the War on Terror or Obamaâ€™s foreign policy. Admittedly, even this White House understood that spinning the Benghazi attack as an isolated incident wasnâ€™t going to work (such intense spinning could risk irreparable scrotal torsion). So they went with the story about the video. …
Of course, the White House and its defenders insist that they really believed the video was to blame. This strikes me as a lie, for the most part, if not initially than certainly over time. But even if thatâ€™s true, thatâ€™s no exoneration. As I said, there was a mix of incompetence and ideology at work. As an ideological matter, that this White House could convince itself for hours â€” never mind weeks â€” that this terror attack was all about the video is incredibly damning, if true. And, as I argue in my column today, the fact that the once-proud champions of civil liberties under George W. Bush were perfectly happy to throw the First Amendment under the bus is even more damning.
Given that the Benghazi attack came during the thick of the presidential election, itâ€™s no surprise that the White Houseâ€™s political and ideological instincts overpowered everything else. Itâ€™s no surprise, either, that the pressâ€™s instincts pointed in the same direction. Itâ€™s really non-surprises for as far as the eye can see.
Obviously there are still some unknowns worth knowing, and they might be surprising â€” like the exact details of how and why the response was so non-responsive. Just because the White House and State Department were unprepared shouldnâ€™t mean that the professional military was too. The exact nexus between the political screw-up and the militaryâ€™s failure to â€œrun to the sound of gunfireâ€ hasnâ€™t been established. Ditto, the question of â€œWhat the hell was Barack Obama even doing that night?â€
Glenn Reynolds was amused the other day when he found the gun-running scandal involving Democrat State Senator Leeland Yee (who represents San Francisco & San Mateo County and who was, when the scandal broke, running for Secretary of State) was getting coverage from Popular Mechanics, while being studiously ignored by CNN.
Esquire magazine picked up the Popular Mechanics “Leeland Yee-supplied guns” feature, but the MSM is generally ignoring all this, classifying the matter as merely “local news.”
Leeland Yee was honored in 2006 by the Brady Campaign for “gun violence prevention” for his co-athoring a bill requiring semiautomatic handguns (not sold covertly by State Senator Yee) to include ballistics identification microstamping.
Let me get this straight… Ivygate reports that two Yale students complained of being “sexually assaulted” while attending a BDSM Party. What did they think those riding crops were for?
Last week, Yale students received two university-wide Clery Act emails informing them that two Yale students were victims of â€œsexual assault by an acquaintance, who is also a Yale studentâ€ at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house on February 8th. February 8th was the night of the annual â€œDomâ€ party thrown by the Women in Power Society (WIPS), a secret society, which was held in the SigEp house.
The â€œDomâ€ party is an infamous, no-cellphones-allowed event. From what we hear, people dress up in BDSM gear and porn is projected on the walls as hot freshmen guys pass around drinks. Interestingly, itâ€™s also generalized as one of the safer party SigEp hosts: there is a closed guest list with doors closing at 11 pm and everyone (besides those hot freshmen boys) is over 21-years-old.
For two assaults to happen on a night that typically gets by without major public notice is surprisingâ€“but only considering its history of safety. Dom is a party full of porn, S&M, and lots of alcohol, after all.
Yale Police Department Chief Ronnell Higgins reported the two statements in separate emails to the University community on Feb. 19 and Feb. 21. The messages stated that the alleged assaults occurred at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house, and the second email corrected the first by reporting that they were both said to have taken place on Feb. 8.
â€œI write to let [the University community] know that the Yale Police received an anonymous report today that a second Yale student was the victim of a sexual assault by an acquaintance, who is also a Yale student,â€ Higgins said in the Feb. 21 email.
On Feb. 22, President of the Yale Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter Andrew Goble â€™15 issued a statement saying the fraternity allowed another student group to lease a room in its house for a private event on Feb. 8. The statement said the event was open to guests of that organization, which remained unnamed.
â€œThe members of Yaleâ€™s SigEp chapter were shocked and saddened to hear allegations that sexual assault may have occurred in our facility on an evening when the chapter had leased event space to another campus organization,â€ Goble said in the statement. â€œAt this time, SigEp does not believe that the allegations are against members of their chapter.â€ …
On the same night of Feb. 8, a private party in connection with the Women in Power Society (WIPS) senior society, took place at the SigEp fraternity house. Nine students interviewed said that party had a â€œdominatrixâ€ theme. Several attendees declined to provide additional details about the annual party.
The WIPS said in a statement to the News, â€œWe are not commenting out of respect for the privacy of the individuals involved in this situation.â€
A student who attended the party and spoke on the condition of anonymity said the WIPSâ€™ mission is to promote female empowerment.
FINEM RESPICE (a Private Equity professional, and another obviously well-educated elite cynic) has a nice sardonic rap for Americans appalled by the recent Government-snooping-or lying- or out-of-control scandals.
If you live in the United States it may finally be dawning on you that you have something of a problem in the government to which you are now a Subject. In fact, the details of the [NSA Snooping|Verizon Metadata|IRS Political Targeting|Bankruptcy Preference|Fast and Furious|State Department Coverup|Libyan Ambassador|George Takei Facebook Ghostwriting] scandal are meaningless. You are already far too late. It will get worse before it gets better, it may never get better again, and, frankly, finem respice has not a shred of sympathy for your plight or that of your countrymen/women. In fact, given the manner you have quashed the opportunity- almost unique in the history of the species- created by an impossibly rare coexistence of liberty, private property, free markets, the rise of scientific method, and freedom of expression (to name just a few) there is more than a passing argument to be made that your society has squandered one of the greatest intellectual and individualistic fortunes in history.
Moreover, less charitable commentators may one day look upon what you have vainly and arrogantly loosed upon the world and wonder if the word “criminal” might not actually be excessive. To the extent humanity was headed towards something approaching a post-scarcity society finem respice would not wonder if you have collectively set that project back decades, or even centuries.
You see, for generations now you have collectively built and nurtured a massive, living, metabolizing creature. From the inanimate, intellectual detritus of “progressivism” and your unending and increasingly all-consuming narcissism you have kneaded it into a shapeless husk, pouring in rank mud like “Save the Planet,” “Global Warming,” “The American Dream of Home Ownership,” “The War on Drugs”, “Mothers Against Drunk Driving”, “The War On Terror”, “Speculators”, “Too Big To Fail”, “The 1%”, and of course the essence and spark of its life, “â€¦if it saves just one child.” In conjunction with (but far more so than the other buckets of intellectual mud) “â€¦if it saves just one child” has created the Golem of Government.
It was useful once, certainly, but it has since grown larger and more unwieldy as you slumbered. It is more potent than you now, and now it wields its own momentum with a self-directed animus of its own design, winding to and fro, unpredictable and twister-like, a destructive force that, despite what you thought, is not magically contained by the frontiers of the United States. Its power is extraterritorial and carves a wide swath across and through international law, international relations, international taxation, “force projection,” and grips a stranglehold on the global financial system, which it greedily claims as its own and uses as hostage to bend the laws of other states to its will.
With almost Tolkienesque malice it seeks to see all, hear all, and know all- and owing to complacency that runs the gamut from your blithe acquiescence to your active participation, increasingly looks close to meeting its total information omniscience goal. Yet, the Golem is possessed of no craft, no subtlety, no art. Its sensory organs inform crude appendages that know how to do nothing but squeeze, smash, stomp, kidnap, and explode the targets of its interest without apology or feeling. Moreover, the Golem has no sense of proportion, happily imposing costs of $10 billion on the developed world to collect less than one tenth of that in revenue for itself, raining fire from the sky upon any collection of persons it feels might maybe contain a couple troublemakers. It thinks nothing of shutting down the 20th largest city within its borders (at a cost of many billions of dollars) to hunt down a single sleep-deprived, starving, wounded, and suicidal criminal. Likewise, it laughs to spend hundreds of thousands in time and expenses to ransack those of its Subjects’ entities with operating budgets of $20,000, $15,000, or even less, or to ruin a mid-sized enterprise with a displeasing political orientation over vague foreign regulations on the exportation of wood.
Like its namesake, the bureaucratic Golem you have formed may at one time have grudgingly served the better angels of The State’s nature (if such can even be said to exist), but it has long since grown past your control. Try to rein it in and it fights back mercilessly, turning to bite and scratch and often inflicting mortal political (or corporal) wounds without thought. Try to starve it and it merely helps itself to lucre by encumbering the royal mint with its debts and thus accelerates the process of impoverishing you and yours with its ceaseless appetite for blood and treasure, growing even more potent and desperate in the meantime until every challenge to its ever-growing hunger occasions a political crisis, a violent and deadly storm that none dare to brave for more than the briefest of interludes, and never twice in a row.
It seems you once believed that the proper demigod might tame the Golem, direct its purpose to your own pet causes, or at least blunt its influence and attenuate the heat of its hate and ceaseless anger. You believed those heroes from the lands to the West had the steel to domesticate it, or those philosopher kings from the Northeast the intellect to reason with it. Those from the political right, you argued, or those from the left, you insisted, would best shrink its influence, or channel its immense power for good. How foolish it must feel (if you even bother to take the time to reflect) to learn, finally, that none of the last ten of your modern heroes have ought but grown the Golem’s power and influence. None have felt its power and resisted the urge to attempt to pollute that power for their own ends. In fact, of late those who scorned it most vocally seem to have coupled with it most passionately, spurting forth from their sinful and false loins the seed that spawned ever more Golem offspring. For how many more cycles will you perpetuate the insane hope that the “right leader” will tame it? When will you finally recoil in horror to watch the Golem consume these offspring, growing by absorbing these massive juggernauts in their own right with names like “DHS”, “CFTC”, or the nearly 150 nameless progeny spawned off in one massive birthing in March of 2010?