National Review Under Fire

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, a controversy has broken out over whether the conservative magazine National Review is a non-profit entity that violated tax laws by attacking Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as a fake conservative.

A libertarian commentator is claiming that National Review is a non-profit entity that violated tax laws with its “Against Trump” editorial and collection of commentaries from various conservative personalities. But Jack Fowler, publisher of the magazine, says the claims are based on misinformation about the magazine’s tax status. He tells AIM that National Review is not tax-exempt itself, but is owned by a tax-exempt institute. Indeed, the “donate” page for the on-line version of the magazine does not promise tax-deductibility for contributions.

At the website of Chronicles, a competing conservative publication, Justin Raimondo cited claims that National Review is tax-exempt and said, “This anti-Trump issue of National Review is, in effect, a campaign pamphlet directed against a political candidate—indeed, the cover proclaims ‘Against Trump’—and, as such, is in clear violation of IRS statutes regulating nonprofit organizations.”

He cited a story last year from Politico, which reported that National Review was becoming a nonprofit organization, which would make it exempt from federal taxes. The article also noted that it was merging with the nonprofit National Review Institute (NRI), its sister organization. The apparent purpose of the change was to save money for the magazine and encourage donations.

Also citing Politico, Eric Wemple of The Washington Post said, “The magazine last year became a nonprofit organization so that its contributors could enjoy the tax benefits of their generosity.”

If true, the publication of the material attacking Trump would represent a potential violation of the IRS tax code. An exemption from federal taxes means the organization is prohibited from endorsing or opposing candidates for office.

On the left side of the political spectrum, The Nation magazine has endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), but it remains separate from The Nation Institute, which is non-profit and tax exempt.

The anti-Trump editorial in National Review, signed by the editors, said Trump was “not deserving of conservative support in the caucuses and primaries,” in part because his political opinions “have wobbled all over the lot.” Several conservatives wrote their own articles attacking Trump.

Fowler said National Review is the same entity that it has been for 60 years, since it was founded by William F. Buckley, Jr. The difference is that “We are now owned by the National Review Institute,” he said. Fowler said that the two entities have separate boards and separate sources of revenue.

The National Review Institute’s 2015 year-end newsletter called the change “a major institutional transformation.” It said, “On August 1, 2015, NRI and National Review underwent a significant reorganization: the magazine and website—corporately, National Review, Inc.—became a wholly owned subsidiary of National Review Institute. This is good—very good—not only for NRI, but also for National Review. This organizational transition will allow NR to remain consequential for decades to come and allow it to do what it does best—publish hard-hitting, thoughtful, and witty pieces from today’s best conservative writers.”

Some of the confusion may stem from what is said elsewhere on the website of the National Review Institute. It says the magazine and the institute “joined forces so that the entire National Review enterprise,” including the magazine’s editorial activities and the institute’s educational programs, could have a greater impact. Itadds, “All aspects of the National Review family will be combined within one entity.”

Based on this part of the website, which is devoted to opportunities for jobs at the institute, it would appear that the magazine and the institute became one and the same, apparently some time last year.

But that’s not the case, Fowler said. Instead, it appears one is now a subsidiary of the other.

It was not immediately clear how National Review could legally become part of a non-profit, which is supposed to be “educational,” while pursuing partisan and political activities apart from its parent company.

In any case, the overlap between the two entities is significant. The National Review Institute says it “supports” National Review writers, such as the “widely popular and increasingly influential” Charles C.W. Cooke. It was Cooke who made an appearance on MSNBC to lead the National Review charge against Trump, calling the billionaire businessman a “con-man” and “charlatan.”

Commenting on Sarah Palin’s “rotten endorsement” of Trump, Cooke suggested it was all about staying in the spotlight and making money. He declared, “That Palin and Trump are together at last is no accident of ideology or timing; rather, it is the inevitable and rational confluence of two ghastly cults of personality—a fat-cutting, cash-saving merger that will serve to increase overall market share.”

It appears that Cooke is a British citizen who can’t even vote for or against Trump. His personal website says that “He emigrated to the United States in 2011 and lives in Connecticut with his wife, and their dog, a black labrador named Oakley.” He asks for personal donations for his work through PayPal.

While National Review argued that Trump had “wobbled” on conservative matters, Cooke has emerged as a major supporter of same-sex marriage, a position opposed by most conservatives. He argues in his book, The Conservatarian Manifesto, in favor of homosexual marriage, saying, “there is more to be gained by including gays in the institution [of marriage] than by keeping them out.”

For his part, Trump called National Review a failing publication and accused some of those writing articles against him of having asked for his money or wanting him to go on their radio and TV shows. When he refused, he said, they turned against him.


Hillary Clinton Faces Legal and Political Obstacles in Presidential Bid

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

This is not how Hillary Clinton’s run for the White House was supposed to go: full of never-ending scandals, with a close primary competitor, and two FBI investigations. There is but one week to go before the Iowa caucuses, where the first votes in this year’s presidential race will finally be cast.

While Hillary Clinton is still the clear leader in national polls and likely to receive the nomination, the numbers are extremely close in Iowa between Hillary and the democratic socialist candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). And in the first actual primary, the following week in New Hampshire, Mrs. Clinton is trailing in a CNN poll by almost 30 points. Yes, New Hampshire is right next to Sanders’ home state of Vermont, but Sanders’ potential victories in Iowa and New Hampshire could dramatically alter the dynamics of the race.

But winning the Democratic presidential primary might be the least of Mrs. Clinton’s worries. As the State Department continues its monthly release of Mrs. Clinton’s emails, in compliance with a federal judge overseeing their release, the news keeps getting worse and worse. In the meantime, the weekend snowstormserved as an excuse for the State Department to try to get an extra month to release the final batch of emails, which would conveniently be after—instead of before—the first four states’ primaries and caucuses.

It was recently reported that the emails that crossed Mrs. Clinton’s unsecured “home brew” server included those with the Top Secret classification of SAP, or Special Access Programs, including “‘dark projects,’ such as drone operations,”according to The New York Post. In addition, Paul Sperry reports, “at least one of Clinton’s emails included sensitive information on spies.”

To date, at least 1,340 emails that went through Mrs. Clinton’s server have been deemed classified. Clinton’s defense is that none of these emails were marked classified when she sent or received them. Yet, “An intelligence official familiar with the matter told NBC News that the special access program in question was so sensitive that [Inspector General Charles] McCullough and some of his aides had to receive clearance to be read in on it before viewing the sworn declaration about the Clinton emails.”

In other words, this information was too important for the intelligence community’s inspector general to view it without special access, yet it made its way freely through an unsecure server almost certain to have been hacked by foreign nations. If the CIA were to ever have such access to the Russian foreign minister’s email server, it would be considered a bonanza for them.

Even if Mrs. Clinton’s claims were true, it would make no difference. It doesn’t matter if the material was “marked” classified. What matters is if the content was, in fact, classified. It was her responsibility as secretary of state to know the difference. Marc Thiessen, a former speechwriter for President Bush, spelled it out: “Having any classified information on your private server is against the law. But Special Access Programs contain information so sensitive, it is given a secret ‘codeword’ and placed into a ‘compartment’ to which only a small number of specially cleared people have access. To see this information, it is not enough to have Top Secret security clearance; you have to be cleared for that specific compartment.”

The truth is that as secretary of state, Clinton showed blatant disregard for the security of our nation. When her aide Jake Sullivan said that aides were having trouble sending information via secure fax, Clinton wrote back, “If they can’t, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.”

“This is gigantic,” argues former federal prosecutor Joe diGenova. “The removal of the classified marking is a federal crime. It is the same thing to order someone to do it as if she had done it herself.”

The FBI investigation will no longer be examining just the transmission of classified information. There are also 150 FBI agents looking into allegations of public corruption between Secretary Clinton’s State Department and the Clinton Foundation.

But the cronyism and corruption didn’t just start when Hillary Clinton became secretary of state. Peter Schweizer’s recent article on the Clinton-pardoned international fugitive Marc Rich highlights some of the continuing rewards the Clintons are reaping in return for that last minute pardon of Rich, who was on the list of the FBI’s ten most wanted.

“Rich died in 2013,” writes Schweizer, the author of Clinton Cash. “But his business partners, lawyers, advisers and friends have showered millions of dollars on the Clintons in the decade and a half following the scandal.”

Rich’s ally, a Nigerian businessman named Gilbert Chagoury, who was previously convicted of money laundering and working with a criminal organization, “organized an event at which Bill was paid $100,000 to speak (in 2003), donated millions to the Clinton Foundation and in 2009 pledged a cool $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative,” according to Schweizer. One of Chagoury’s relatives even served on Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 campaign.

No matter where one looks, there seems to be even more Clinton corruption. But don’t expect the mainstream media to report on it.

The mainstream media have been fond of saying that Mrs. Clinton is not the “subject” of the FBI investigation. However, according to Andy McCarthy, subjects may or may not be charged with a crime after the investigation is completed.

“As a technical matter, no matter how extensively the FBI pokes around on its own, no one can be a subject of a real investigation—i.e., one that can lead to criminal charges—unless and until there is a grand jury,” writes McCarthy. “That does not happen until the Justice Department hops on board.”

“So Obama is hedging his bets. He is letting the FBI investigate, but on its own, without Justice Department prosecutors and the grand jury,” writes McCarthy. He adds, “The FBI cannot convene a grand jury and present an indictment. But you’d best believe the FBI can make the Obama administration look very bad if it shrinks from doing so. Then it will be a matter of how far Barack Obama is willing to stick his neck out for Hillary Clinton.”

The Clinton family cannot run away from its corrupt and scandalous record, no matter how far the mainstream media will go to avoid mentioning specifics. Mrs. Clinton set off a firestorm recently when she accused Donald Trump of having “a penchant for sexism.” This brought out people who the Clinton campaign would have much preferred stayed beneath the radar, such as alleged Clinton rape victim Juanita Broaddrick.

The Trump campaign shot back about Bill Clinton’s history with women. There is a lengthy list of women who claim to have been hit on, assaulted, or even raped by Bill Clinton. And Hillary was forced to answer those questions in the context of having just recently tweeted that “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”

Mrs. Clinton’s best ally at this point is a corrupt establishment media that largely ignore her legal and ethical challenges, and which regularly portray the Democratic Party race as being fought over such high-minded virtues as “heart vs. head,” or between “Bernie Sanders’s idealism and Hillary Clinton’s pragmatism.” We’ll see how long they can continue to enable her.


Weekly Featured Profile – Tim Wheeler


Tim Wheeler, center

Tim Wheeler is a prominent Communist Party USAmember and the son of the late Soviet spy Don Wheeler.

Tim Wheeler is the national political correspondent of the People’s World. He has been a reporter and an editor for the working-class press for more than 40 years. He lives in Baltimore, MD and in Sequim, WA with his wife Joyce Wheeler.

In January 2008, Tim Wheeler and Rev. Pierre L. Williams of the Communist Party’s Religion Commission, canvassed for Barack Obama in South Carolina:

I have been canvassing with a friend, Rev. Pierre L. Williams, a United Methodist minister in Baltimore. We got a vivid feel for just how deeply Obama’s message is resonating here going door-to-door in a working class neighborhood yesterday.

In early 2008, Tim Wheeler, his wife Joyce Wheeler and another Communist Party USAcouple, Jim Baldridge and Margaret Baldridge, were all active members of Obama’s Baltimore operation – organizing, canvassing, phone banking and general campaign work.

Tim Wheeler, center

In 2010, Tim Wheeler and Joyce Wheeler worked in Democratic Senator Patty Murray‘s campaign in Sequim, Washington State.

Tim Wheeler wrote in the Peoples World:

The highest profile election victory here Nov. 2 was the reelection of Sen. Patty Murray…I was asked to coordinate street-corner “waves” for Murray here in my hometown…Washington State voters helped put up a firewall against the ultra-right in reelecting Murray, blocking a GOP majority takeover of the Senate. Victory was won when the coalition of unions and other progressive organizations succeeded in getting out the vote.

Tim Wheeler, his wife, and communist sister ”Honeybee Burns” are all active in the Clallam County (Washington) Democratic Party.

(Tim Wheeler|more…)