ARCHIVE - MARCH 2015
The Best of The Best
Who will be the
SELF-SERVER: PUBLIC OFFICE FOR FUN AND PROFIT (or, A TALE OF TWO CITIES)
2015/03/18 - People want to know the life story of their presidential candidates. So you will see stories about Jeb Bush and his pot-smoking days at Andover. You will hear about Scott Walker dropping out of college (in his senior year, while in good standing). And the media will rehash stories of Rick Perry hunting on a friend’s property. Not to mention Carly Fiorina's fabulous typing-pool-to-CEO feel-good story that makes you proud to be an American. It's all good, it’s good to critically assess a candidate, in a way that Obama was not.
And then there’s Hillary Clinton. Ahhh, yes, the Clintons, they’re back! Unlike the candidates on the GOP side, the Clintons’ sordid past is about the last thing people want to delve into. But now the homebrew server is forcing America back to that place. As Barack Obama might put it, the ‘90’s are calling asking for their smarm back.
If the Clintons had a motto, it might be “you’re known by the company you keep”. Either the Clintons were innocently but naïvely surrounded by legions of crooks, or they were very good at covering their tracks. Or maybe it’s more like, they were neither innocent nor naïve, and definitely surrounded by legions of crooks, and very, very good – extremely good – at covering their tracks.
The homebrew server debacle forces us to look back at Hillary Clinton’s career and to grapple with how corrupt she is. She called the server a “mistake” for the sake of “convenience”, but this is Hillary: hiding and destroying documents is her MO. It’s what she does. It’s a way of life!
Back in the ‘70’s Hillary Clinton was involved in the Watergate proceedings. She wanted to deny Richard Nixon access to an attorney (any problem with that?) for his impeachment hearing, so she stole documents that would demonstrate a precedent, namely, the impeachment of Justice William O. Douglas, to whom we shall return to later. With contradicting records removed from public access, Rodham filed a brief that Democrat Jerry Zeifman would later describe as “unethical and unconstitutional”. Missing documents.
Mademoiselle Rodham would go on to marry William Jefferson Defarge and move to Little Rock where the couple would befriend many unscrupulous people. Bill would become Arkansas’ Attorney General and then Governor, and Madame Defarge would as if by magic find herself a partner at the prestigious Rose Law Firm. By the late 1980’s some of Clinton’s friends and legal clients – among them the McDougal’s and Madison Guaranty – would fall under federal investigation, and Hillary would brazenly order the mislocation and/or destruction of her firm’s records relating to those investigations. More missing documents.
And then there’s that scandal-prone Clinton sycophant Sandy Berger. Berger, about to testify to the 9/11 Commission in 2004, stole classified documents from the National Archives relating to the Clintons’ handling of several terror plots a few years earlier. Berger pled guilty to a misdemeanor. Even more missing documents.
See the pattern? Stealing, hiding and destroying records is merely a wall tool at her workshop, which she wields as nonchalantly as you or I turn a screwdriver, and as habitually as Madame Defarge twiddles her knitting needles. So of course Hillary has her own email server. Much easier for her to hide and destroy public records when she controls them.
And no, the homebrew server has nothing to do with Benghazi, or at least that wasn’t the intent. Madame Defarge had no idea that her term as Secretary of State would be so disastrous. Rather, the purpose of the private server was to ringfence the Clintons’ family foundation, Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), or more accurately, Clinton Inc.
There are many corrupt enterprises operating under the veneer of a nonprofit, and those controlled by public figures are among the worst offenders. Consider the likes of Vito Lopez or Shirley Huntley. Elected officials use the legislative power of their office to direct public funds to their nonprofits, or they can offer “pay-to-play” influence to induce donations from private interests. Once the spigot is cranked opened the politician is able to redirect some of the funding to further their own self-interest, with no accountability to the public.
These nonprofits must be fronted by legitimate activities to window dress their existence, so don’t be distracted by the shiny object – most of the money does indeed go to legitimate purposes. It’s the rest of the money that’s the problem. It's money laundering. They do smarm, but cover it up with some good. So when CEO Bill said Clinton Inc. has "done a lot more good than harm" all he was doing was describing the exact outcome one expects from a corrupt nonprofit. We are not accusing Clinton Inc. of any specific improprieties, but warning lights and alarm bells of flagrant venality are screaming out.
The overwhelming majority of charities are wonderful organizations, and fully worthy of generous support; buy a nonprofit controlled by a public official has the potential for extreme abuse – it is a Pandora’s Box of temptation. If a public official insists upon operating a charity it is imperative that it function with overwhelming transparency. But that’s not what we are going to get from Hillary. As she said, “the server will remain private”.
And finally, we conclude by going back to the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas that we mentioned earlier – the case whose records were stolen by young Hillary. The charge against Justice Douglas was that his objectivity and judgment was compromised by his financial distress, his speaking fees, and his membership on the board of notorious gangster Albert Parvin’s foundation. Compromised? Scoundrels? Foundation? Dead broke? Speaking fees? Hmmm... doesn't that sound strikingly reminiscent of...?
Ahhh, yes, the Clintons, they’re back!
THE ENABLING ACT OF 2015
2015/03/04 - There are two legislative altercations presently proceeding through Congress and the courts which could potentially have a profound impact on future Presidential powers.
Concerns about Presidential powers may seem complicated and unimportant, but in fact they are neither. Many people today wonder how a tyrant like Hitler could have come to power, and the answer is that he was elected, just like we elect our President. Through various means he was able to subdue the Courts and convince the Legislature - especially those from his own party - to cede power to him. Ultimately he became the absolute ruler, and what came next was one of the greatest scourges ever inflicted on mankind.
Bear in mind that “Hitler” and “Nazi” were not bad words until the late 1930’s. Germany had been suffering and Hitler came to power promising to be a uniter of the German people, promising to pull the country out of its economic misery. Indeed, he had some successes, and raised the spirits of the people. He was quite popular. Indeed, Neville Chamberlain, who painfully reminds us of our President, genuinely but naively thought he could negiotate with, and placate, this tyrant.
Still, Germany at that time was every bit as fractured, politically, as we think we are today. In addition to his supporters, Hitler also had his share of opponents, detractors who saw right through him. Thus, their Congress - the Reichstag - suffered from the same gridlock we endure today. In order to “get things done”, Hitler was able to push through the “Enabling Act” which took power from the legislature and consolidated it in the executive office, the office of the Chancellor – namely, Hitler. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Get things done. He had to act, because the Reichstag wasn’t doing its job.
But it’s not like the rise of a Hitler couldn’t have be foreseen. Indeed, a full hundred and fifty years before Hitler, our founding fathers foresaw precisely that. Our Constitution was specifically designed to separate and disburse power in order to prevent the rise of a tyrant like the one they had just thrown off, King George III, to prevent the rise of tyrants to come, like Hitler, or so many others. The rise of a tyrant is always to be expected. And at all times to be opposed. Unfortunately the Germans didn’t realize, until it was too late, what Hitler really was. But that’s how it always happens.
Germany was so obsessed with enemies from without, like we are today, that they did not see the enemy that was rising from within. But this too was predictable, that's why the Constitution, laying out the Oath of Office, implores the President to protect the Constitution "from all enemies, foreign and domestic".
And that brings us to those two legislative altercations we referred to earlier. In November, President Obama, realizing that there was no way the 114th Congress would pass an immigration law to his liking, arbitrarily, on his own and without Constitutional authority, usurped Congressional authority and “changed the law”, to use his own words. And changed the law to do the exact opposite of what the text of the law says. Naturally, this has gone to court (Texas v. United States) and in Round One, a Federal Judge has ruled against the Administration and issued an injunction blocking Obama’s actions.
The other altercation (King v. Burwell) involves ObaMcCare. The text clearly reads that subsidies are available only to policies sold over exchanges established by the State, and defines “State” to exclude the federal government. Thus anyone buying a policy over the federal exchange is not entitled to subsidies. Yet Obama, in complete contradiction to the text of the law, has instructed the IRS to grant subsidies to everyone, regardless of the exchange through which they bought their policies. This case is being argued at the Supreme Court this week.
These two cases could be highly influential to future jurisprudence. If the Courts decide in favor of the rule of law - that laws actually mean what they say - they will reinforce the boundary on executive authority and prevent the accumulation of Presidential power. It will also force legislators to draft their legislation carefully, and precisely lay out their intent, thus preventing future Presidents of either political stripe from “changing the law” on a whim. But if the Courts decide in favor of the Administration they will enable further accumulation of Presidential power, and set a precedent for even more.
This week Congress is fighting about funding the Department of Homeland Security, which has authority over Immigration. Democrats want to give the President carte blanche to spend how he likes, notwithstanding that a judge has already ruled that some of his plans are illegal. Republicans want to pass funding legislation that explicitly blocks spending on his illegal power grab. Indeed, last week Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) wagged his finger at House Democrats, warning them that what goes around comes around, that they would rue this day if they abandon their authority, and thus grant increased powers to the next Republican president.
We believe it is important for Congress to take a stand, in law, regarding its opposition to the President’s illegal action. It must block any illegal spending. This will clearly demonstrate to the Court the intent of Congress, thus providing further support to the Courts to block the President. In effect, two branches of the government – the legislature and the judiciary – join forces to oppose the third, the power hungry executive. Or will Congress just roll over like the Reichstag, will it stand aside and leave the judiciary to stand alone against the executive?
It appears that about ten Senators from the Democrat minority, who have voiced disagreement with the President’s plan, are going to block the Republican legislation anyway. We see, in these Senators, a modern equivalent of the jellyfish Nazis in the Reichstag who acquiesced and gave to Hitler all the power he demanded. Worse, we see in the judiciary a number of liberals who will also capitulate to the Administrations demands, including two Supreme Court justices, hand-picked by Obama, who are notorious for ignoring the text of law. Who will stand for the Constitution?
The Copnstitution requires the President to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed". The President swore to "defend the Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic". But what if that enemy is the President himself? Who will stand for the Constitution?
We do not know how the Courts will judge these cases. We do know which decisions will defend the Constitution, and strengthen our democracy.
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