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June 16, 2015
... with Jim Geraghty
This year's summer trip to Hilton Head is on an off-kilter schedule, meaning I won't be writing a Jolt starting Thursday, June 18, through Wednesday, June 24. Look for Jack Fowler and Patrick Brennan to fill in during my absence.
Small Charities Paid $11.7 Million for Clinton Speeches Since 2001
Oh, how revealing:
When Condoleezza Rice headlined a 2009 fundraising luncheon for the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach, she collected a $60,000 speaking fee, then donated almost all of it back to the club, according to multiple sources familiar with the club's finances.
Hillary Clinton was not so generous to the small charity, which provides after-school programs to underprivileged children across the Southern California city. Clinton collected $200,000 to speak at the same event five years later, but she donated nothing back to the club, which raised less than half as much from Clinton's appearance as from Rice's, according to the sources and tax filings.
Instead, Clinton steered her speaking fee to her family's own sprawling $2 billion charity.
Politico reveals that small charities have paid $11.7 million for speeches by Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton since 2001.
The OPM Data Breach Is the Clearest Symbol of the Obama Era
Thank you, Michael Brendan Dougherty!
You might expect outrage, but so far this system-wide failure has been met with a shrug. The federal government zealously guards its powers to compile ziggurats of data on Americans when those powers are challenged by libertarians like Rand Paul. But the job the government is actually supposed to do with data — keep it safe and us safe with it — is entirely left undone. The zeal disappears once the data is stacked, somewhere. Wherever.
In a sense, the data breach reveals how far American government is from republicanism in character. Republics are flinty things. Men who govern republics are supposed to find it shameful when they waste the public's money. They are supposed to think of their failures as a kind of betrayal of the public trust. But how many people are going to get fired for this? How many will lose contracts or suffer public and professional humiliation? None is my guess.
The story of the Obama era is the story of one colossal federal-government train wreck after another. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms shipped guns to Mexican drug cartels in Fast & Furious. Recovery.gov, allegedly designed to promote openness and accountability, ended up filled with bad data.
The stimulus "was riddled with a massive labor scheme that harmed workers and cheated unsuspecting American taxpayers."
The president stood in front of the White House, urging the American public to use Healthcare.gov when it wasn't working.
The U.S. Secret Service, which began the Obama presidency by allowing the Salahis into the White House and stumbled through one humiliating scandal of unprofessional behavior after another.
The Obama administration toppled the government of Libya -- without any supporting act of Congress -- then sent Americans there and ignored the security requests from our ambassador.
The NSA hired Ed Snowden and gave him the keys to the kingdom after a month.
Veterans died, waiting for care, while the branch offices of the VA assured Washington everything is fine.
We traded terrorists for a prisoner, sealing the deal with an assurance to the public that Bowe Bergdahl "served with honor and distinction."
The IRS data breach. The postal-service data breach. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hack. The data breach at federal contractor US Investigations Services, which performs background checks on DHS, ICE and border-patrol units.
And now, the epic OPM hack.
We are governed by progressives who have an infinite faith in the federal government's ability to manage enormously complicated tasks and almost no interest in ensuring the government actually does those tasks well.
Why Is Hillary Clinton Such a Fan of the Export-Import Bank?
Freedom Partners wants to know why, out of all the issues under the sun, Hillary Clinton is an outspoken advocate for . . . the Export-Import Bank?
Strangely, Hillary Clinton has made Ex-Im one of the few issues she's actually addressed on the campaign trail. In New Hampshire, she praised the bank and called on Congress to reauthorize its charter when it expires at the end of this month. . . .
. . . Just like Hillary Clinton, the Ex-Im Bank is at the beck-and-call of some of America's largest companies. In 2013, 81% of the bank's taxpayer funding directly subsidized big businesses. Roughly two-thirds of its money helped a mere ten businesses, some of which had profit margins in the hundreds of millions or even the tens of billions of dollars. . . .
. . . Interestingly, two of the bank's biggest beneficiaries -- General Electric and Boeing -- have also donated to the Clinton Foundation. Now they're lobbying Congress around the clock to keep the Ex-Im bank alive, and Clinton supports their cause. It might also help that Ex-Im's chairman, Fred Hochberg, was bundler for Hillary in her failed 2008 presidential run. . . .
. . . Over the last eight years, there have been at least 792 reported claims of fraud at Ex-Im, leading to 124 official government investigations. The result: 85 indictments for fraud, bribery and other crimes. . . .
The group has a new video tying Hillary to the bank and its unsavory elements of its history here.
A Sketchy, Unverified Accusation Derailed a GOP House Candidate
Looks like Carl DeMaio has a really good reason to be steamed about the way his 2014 congressional race was covered:
Former candidate, Carl DeMaio, has called on CNN to correct the story, reported by Chris Frates, that featured a former campaign staffer's accusations he was sexually harassed by DeMaio.
The nine-minute-long investigative story aired at a critical time, just weeks before the mid-term elections. DeMaio went on to be defeated. Politico reports the accuser, Todd Bosnich, plead guilty Friday to obstructing justice and now faces 20 years in prison. DeMaio was cleared of sexual harassment charges in October.
DeMaio demanded CNN correct its reporting:
"I am also calling for CNN to correct the record of their shameful reporting. Investigative Reporter Chris Frates went on Jake Tapper's show to irresponsibly broadcast Bosnich's lies in the last days of the election. Sadly, Frates and CNN editors were given the same exact evidence that the FBI was given and yet ignored it."
This afternoon, Tapper delivered an "update" on the story, bringing on Frates to report "the latest twist" in the story. Noting that prosecutors did not rule on the truth of the sexual harassment charges -- and that CNN's story did not deal with a faked e-mail that was at the core of the obstruction charge, Frates reported that Bosnich stood by his claims of sexual harassment.
Tapper's as straight a shooter as you're going to find at a major network, but . . . would the network have been as credulous about the charges if the accused candidate was a Democrat?
Do You Trust Marco Rubio on Immigration Policy?
Everyone who's been calling me a Rubio stooge and immigration squish, please note Monday's article.
Rubio tried to explain his stance on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, the Obama administration policy of exempting those who entered the country illegally before they were 16 from deportation, and allowing them to obtain renewable two-year work permits.
In an interview with MSNBC shortly after he'd announced his campaign in April, Rubio seemed almost deliberately murky:
I've always said that eventually that will not be the permanent policy of the United States. It will have to come to an end at some point. And I hope it comes to an end because we've improved our immigration laws, we've improved the way we enforce our immigration laws, so that future illegal immigration is under control and third, that we've been able to accommodate those people who have been in the country for a long period of time, especially young people. At some point DACA is going to have to end, there's no doubt about it.
His interlocutor asked him, for clarification, "But you wouldn't repeal it right away?"
Absolutely, I wouldn't. And the reason why is it would be very disruptive. People are working, they're in school, they're employees, and suddenly overnight they would be illegally in the country. But ultimately, there will come a point when it will have to end. Maybe not in six months, but at some point it will have to end.
So to sum up, he opposes DACA, but he doesn't want it repealed too quickly, and he hopes it is replaced with a change in the law that will allow those who entered the country illegally before they were 16 stay in the country and pursue their American dreams.
"There's no flip flop; I still think we have to address it," Rubio said on Fox News's Outnumbered last week when asked about his views on immigration. "The only thing I am arguing differently from what I did two years ago is that we can't do it in one major piece of legislation."
So Rubio thinks the Gang of Eight bill represented the right policies, just mistakenly bundled together? Eh, maybe not quite; here's what Rubio spokesman Alex Conant told me:
"It's not the bill that Marco would have written if we were writing our own bill," Rubio spokesman Alex Conant says now. "We never argued that the Senate bill was perfect, we always said that there was a lot of room for improvement. Our hope was that it would have improved further if the House had moved forward on it."
Look, there is a lot to like about Marco Rubio. And he lays out his principles and preferred policy thoroughly in his book published earlier this year, American Dreams. But he's already made a pretty big shift from 2010 to 2013, and sometimes it's not clear whether he really likes the Gang of Eight bill anymore or not.
ADDENDA: I'm scheduled to appear on the panel for Greta van Susteren's On the Record tomorrow.
I will be attending a meeting of the Beaufort County Republican party June 18 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., held at 1 Cooperative Way, Hardeeville, SC 29927. I'll be discussing The Weed Agency, the 2016 race, and probably a bit about the upcoming book with Cam.
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