05/20/15

Hillary Clinton’s Hypocritical and Totalitarian War on Free Speech

By: Benjamin Weingarten
TheBlaze

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has suggested that a key litmus test in evaluating prospective Supreme Court appointees would be their willingness to challenge “the right of billionaires to buy elections.”

Presumably, a suitable judge would indicate a desire to overturn the Citizens United decision that struck down a ban on political expenditures by corporations and unions ruled to violate the First Amendment protection of free speech – a case coincidentally centered on Citizen United’s attempt to advertise for and air a film critical of none other than Clinton.


Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the reporters at United Nations headquarters,
Tuesday, March 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

In light of recent allegations swirling around the presidential favorite, Clinton’s support of such a position is highly ironic.

For while the former secretary of State may oppose the rights of the wealthy to spend money on politics, she seems to have no such concern with the wealthy spending money on the Clinton Foundation and her husband Bill – all while Hillary served in the Obama administration.

Would Clinton seek a Supreme Court justice who would protect the rights of the likes of Carlos Slim and James Murdoch to contribute to the favored cause of a politician and shower the politician’s spouse with millions for speaking engagements?

If so, this apparent hypocrisy can be read in one of two ways:

  1. Clinton believes that money does not have a corrupting influence so long as it is funneled through “indirect” channels
  2. Clinton believes that the wealthy and powerful ought to bypass funding elections and simply pay politicians outright.

Appearances of impropriety aside, there are a few substantive questions around political speech that Clinton should be required to address.

Why does Clinton believe that the government has a compelling interest in stifling the political speech of any American, rich or poor?

How does Clinton square her supposed advocacy of human rights with her belief in inhibiting the right to free speech — which facilitates the robust and vigorous debate essential to a liberal society?

More generally, given a system in which millions of dollars are spent on losing causes each election cycle on both the left and right, what have Americans to fear about spending so long as laws are enforced equally and impartially regarding “pay-to-play” schemes and other politically corrupt activity?

Spending is a symptom of our system, and an all-intrusive government its proximate cause.

This is well known to Clinton, who seeks to raise a record $2.5 billion for her own campaign.

She is aware that people spend money on politics because there is the perception that there is something to be bought.

This perception becomes a reality when government creeps into every aspect of our lives, creating an unfortunate two-way street: Individuals and businesses spend money in order to maintain competitive advantages. Politicians in effect extort individuals and businesses by threatening to take away said competitive advantages, or threatening to mitigate them.

If we want money out of politics, the answer is not to stifle speech, but to shrink government.

***

While Hillary Clinton’s aversion to political speech is well-documented, less scrutinized is her support of limitations on speech of an entirely different kind: Religious speech.

During her time as secretary of State, Clinton championed the Organization of Islamic Conference-backed United Nations Human Rights Commission Resolution 16/18, which calls for “combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief.”

Retired Maj. Stephen Coughlin, the Pentagon’s leading adviser on Islamic law as it relates to national security, makes a compelling case in his book “Catastrophic Failure” that the resolution is actually a Shariah-based Trojan Horse meant to stifle all criticism of Islam.

Coughlin writes that the Islamic Conference, through the resolution, seeks to criminalize incitement to violence by imposing a “legal standard designed to facilitate the “shut up before I hit you again” standard associated with the battered wife syndrome.”

He convincingly argues that the Islamic Conference desires that…

the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and all other non-Muslim countries pass laws criminalizing Islamophobia. This is a direct extraterritorial demand that non-Muslim jurisdictions submit to Islamic law and implement shariah-based punishment over time. In other words, the OIC is set on making it an enforceable crime for non-Muslim people anywhere in the world—including the United States—to say anything about Islam that Islam does not permit.

For believers in the sanctity of the First Amendment, Clinton’s support of this policy as secretary of State should be disqualifying.

This is made crystal clear when we consider that Clinton has shown her support for the resolution in practice.

In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, then-Secretary of State Clinton and President Barack Obama felt compelled to film an address for the Muslim world. In the video, Clinton and Obama disavowed any link between the U.S. government and the “Innocence of Muslims” movie that critically depicted Muhammad, which the Obama administration infamously argued prompted the jihadist attack.


Hillary Clinton delivers a message to the Arab world disavowing any ties between the U.S. government
and the “Innocence of Muslims” video following the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack.
(Image Source: YouTube screengrab)

That address we may chalk up to political correctness.

But a related fact we cannot.

In spite of Judicial Watch’s bombshell report indicating that the Obama administration knew about the Benghazi attack 10 days in advance – and knew that it had nothing to do with “Innocence of Muslims” — as revealed in an October 2012 interview with Glenn Beck, Charles Woods, father of slain Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, told Beck that Clinton had personally vowed to “make sure that the person who made that film [“Innocence of Muslims”] is arrested and prosecuted.”

The “Innocence of Muslims” filmmaker and former bank fraudster Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was later arrested and charged with violating the terms of his probation, spending one year in prison.

Consequently, the U.S. government — as promised by Clinton — in effect enforced Shariah compliance concerning blasphemy consistent with the Islamic Conference-backed resolution, and did so knowing that the film had nothing to do with the Benghazi attack.

Of course, even if a jihadist declared explicitly that he killed Americans because of a film, or a Muhammad cartoon or a burned Koran, it is the jihadist and the jihadist alone responsible for such actions. This point is apparently lost on the U.N.’s policy advocates, who in their victomology fail to realize that they are exhibiting the soft bigotry of low expectations when it comes to Muslims.

Hillary Clinton has shown herself to be an ardent opponent of free speech, notably with respect to politics and religion.

Her positions are anathema to an America founded on the basis of protecting political and religious dissent, which requires free expression.

Absent such protections, an America under Clinton will look increasingly like the totalitarian Islamic world that she seeks to protect, rather than the Liberal Judeo-Christian America with which we have been so blessed.

Feature Image: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

05/18/15

Stephanopoulos Fiasco is Par for the Course

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

What is surprising about the latest George Stephanopoulos controversy is that most of the media are treating it as something unusual rather than an acknowledgement of a problem that’s been plaguing the media for decades. We at Accuracy in Media are happy to see this issue receive the scrutiny it deserves. However, anyone convinced that Stephanopoulos’s ongoing political conflict of interest and failure to disclose it to his viewers is the exception, not the rule, hasn’t been paying attention to a long history of media corruption.

Stephanopoulos interviewed Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos on April 26. But the ABC host, formerly a Senior Advisor on Policy and Strategy, and unofficial hatchet-man, for President Bill Clinton, treated his broadcast as more of an interrogation than an interview in an effort to discredit Schweizer and defend, in turn, the Clintons. A real interview would have endeavored to understand Schweizer’s critique of the Clintons, not demand to see a “smoking gun” or “evidence” of a crime.

Stephanopoulos’s conflict of interest was blown wide open by an excellent outfit, The Washington Free Beacon, which started the ball rolling when it contacted ABC News about Stephanopoulos’s donations to the Clinton Foundation. ABC’s spokeswoman, Heather Riley, said that they would respond, but then turned first to a friendly ally—Politico—to spin the story favorably for the network and its golden boy.

“I thought that my contributions were a matter of public record,” said Stephanopoulos in his apology. “However, in hindsight, I should have taken the extra step of personally disclosing my donations to my employer and to the viewers on air during the recent news stories about the Foundation.”

ABC News initially incorrectly stated that he had given only $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation—an amount he later amended to $75,000 over three years.

But there’s more, much more.

The Washington Free Beacon’s Andrew Stiles reported that Ms. Riley “worked in the White House press office from 1997 to 2000,” including serving “as a press contact for then-First Lady Hillary Clinton.”

But beyond that, Schweizer followed up on the week’s revelations, and found that Stephanopoulos’s ties with the Clinton Foundation were much closer than just cutting checks to the foundation. Schweizer called it “the sort of ‘hidden hand journalism’ that has contributed to America’s news media’s crisis of credibility in particular, and Americans’ distrust of the news media more broadly.”

He pointed out that Stephanopoulos “did not disclose that in 2006 he was a featured attendee and panel moderator at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).” Nor did he “disclose that in 2007, he was a featured attendee at the CGI annual meeting, a gathering also attended by several individuals I report on in Clinton Cash, including mega Clinton Foundation donors Lucas Lundin, Frank Giustra, Frank Holmes, and Carlos Slim—individuals whose involvement with the Clintons I assumed he had invited me on his program to discuss.” And on it goes.

Stephanopoulos inadvertently revealed in another setting what donations such as his are all about. “But everybody also knows when those donors give that money—and President Clinton or someone, they get a picture with him—there’s a hope that it’s going to lead to something. And that’s what you have to be careful of,” Stephanopoulos said to Jon Stewart about Schweizer’s theory on April 28. “Even if you don’t get an action, what you get is access and you get the influence that comes with access and that’s got to shape the thinking of politicians. That’s what’s so pernicious about it.”

“Could Stephanopoulos, who is also ABC News’s chief anchor and political correspondent, be hoping for access to and exclusives from Bill and Hillary, giving him a competitive edge during the 2016 presidential campaign?” asks Lloyd Grove for The Daily Beast.

On the May 15 broadcast of Good Morning America Stephanopoulos “apologized” again—while patting himself on the back for supporting children, the environment, and efforts to stop the spread of AIDS. “Those donations were a matter of public record, but I should have made additional disclosures on air when I covered the foundation, and I now believe that directing personal donations to that foundation was a mistake,” he said. “Even though I made them strictly to support work done to stop the spread of AIDS, help children, and protect the environment in poor countries, I should have gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict.”

The extra mile?

This is, basically, the same argument the Clintons and their Foundation have put forth to explain their conflicts of interest or “errors,” after having taken millions of dollars from companies and countries that had business with the U.S. government while Mrs. Clinton served as Secretary of State. Their failure to disclose many of these donations resulted in them refiling their tax returns for five years, once the obvious conflicts of interest came to light.

In reality the Clinton Foundation gives about 10% of what it collects to direct charitable grants, according to a study by The Federalist, as reported in National Review. “It looks like the Foundation—which once did a large amount of direct charitable work—now exists mainly to fund salaries, travel, and conferences,” writes David French. The study pointed out that “Between 2011 and 2013, the organization spent only 9.9 percent of the $252 million it collected on direct charitable grants.” In other words, less than $10,000 of the money that Stephanopoulos paid as tribute to the Clintons went to the causes he claims to care about.

Stephanopoulos has removed himself from the ABC-sponsored Republican presidential primary debate next February. Yet he simultaneously claimed, “I think I’ve shown that I can moderate debates fairly.” His decision to not participate ignores the bigger picture.

As we have pointed out, the incestuous relationships between the Democrats and media are almost endless. It’s not just ABC’s Sunday show, but the two other main broadcast networks that also feature highly partisan Democrats as hosts. NBC’s Meet the Press host Chuck Todd “served as a staffer on Democratic Senator Tom Harkin’s 1992 presidential bid,” according to Politico. John Dickerson, the new host of CBS’s Face the Nation gave the following advice to President Barack Obama in 2013: “The president who came into office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. If he wants to transform American politics, he must go for the throat.”

Stephanopoulos says he should have announced his conflict of interest. If such announcements become commonplace, which they should, where exactly will that end? Should CBS News announce each and every time it broadcasts news about President Obama’s foreign policy or national security issues that the president of CBS News is actually the brother of White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes? Or should ABC News have regularly disclosed that its former ABC News President Ben Sherwood had a sister with the Obama White House? She still works with the Obama administration. And, NBC? That’s the network of Al Sharpton, Brian Williams, Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow. Need I say more?

Chris Harper, formerly of ABC News, has posted his views, along with those of other mostly liberal former ABC News people, as cited by Kevin Williamson of National Review: “During the 15 years we worked for ABC News,” wrote Harper, “we remember that we had to sign a yearly disclosure of gifts worth more than $25 and contributions. Perhaps these documents no longer exist in the muddled world of TV news.”

Added Harper: “Mr. Stephanopoulos has few defenders among his former colleagues. According to a Facebook page, ABCeniors, the rather liberal bunch of former network staffers discussed the problems with his contributions. ‘That shows either indifference or arrogance. Or a nice cocktail of both,’ wrote one former ABC hand. A former producer noted: ‘He knew what he was doing, and he didn’t want us to know. That’s deceit.’”

Geraldo Rivera recalled that he had been fired from ABC back in 1985 because of a $200 political donation. At least that was the reason given at the time. Rivera wondered why Stephanopoulos was being treated differently: “The point is ABC treated my undisclosed $200 donation harshly because the network wanted me out for that unrelated reason,” Rivera continued. “Now ABC is bending over backward to minimize and forgive George Stephanopoulos’s $75,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation because he is central to the network’s recent success.”

Former ABC News reporter Carole Simpson said Sunday on CNN’s Reliable Sources that she “was dumbfounded.”

“But I wanted to just take him by the neck and say, George, what were you thinking?

“And clearly, he was not thinking. I thought it was outrageous, and I am sorry that, again, the public’s trust in the media is being challenged and frayed because of the actions of some of the top people in the business.”

She added that “there’s a coziness that George cannot escape the association. He was press secretary for President Clinton. That’s pretty close. And while he did try to separate himself from his political background to become a journalist, he really is not a journalist. Yet, ABC has made him the face of ABC News, the chief anchor. And I think they’re really caught in a quandary here.” She believes that ABC, despite their public support for Stephanopoulos, is “hopping mad” at him.

When the left has conflicts of interest involving money, the media allow the perpetrators—including themselves—to portray this as charity and supporting good causes. “[NBC’s Brian] Willams wrapped himself in the flag; Stephanopoulos cloaked himself in charity,” writes Grove. MSNBC identified 143 journalists making political donations between 2004 and the start of the 2008 campaign. “Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes,” according to NBC News.

But when conservatives are shown to have financial conflicts of interest, or even to have accepted legitimate campaign donations, they are generally portrayed as serving the interests of evil, greedy businessmen or lobbyists who are paying off politicians to allow them to pollute, destroy the environment, fatten up defense contractors and avoid paying taxes.

“As you know, the Democrats have said this is—this is an indication of your partisan interest. They say… you used to work for …President Bush as a speechwriter. You’re funded by the Koch brothers,” Stephanopoulos told Schweizer during the interview, casting the author as biased. Stephanopoulos, however, they want us to believe, is just an impartial journalist inquiring after the truth.

This is what happens when you have a corrupt media that don’t play fair, but instead put their thumb on the fairness scale to tilt it towards their partisan interests.

05/14/15

Media Attack “Clinton Cash” Message Not Facts

By: Bethany Stotts
Accuracy in Media

Criticisms of Clinton Cash follow a common template, one which emphasizes that Peter Schweizer’s book is really an unsuccessful partisan attack on the Clinton family. Some of these critiques point to errors within the book while asserting that the rest of it has leaps of logic amounting to a false account full of speculation and innuendo. For good measure, some journalists throw in background information about the author that emphasizes Schweizer’s conservative ties, as if that should disqualify his analysis entirely.

“So, let me ask you this for the record—were you looking deliberately and hoping for this kind of pickup in the, quote/unquote, ‘mainstream media’ to blunt some of the criticism that you are just a Clinton critic and that this book lacks credibility as a result?” asked CNN’s Reliable Sources host Frank Sesno on the May 10 show. Sesno questioned the lack of a smoking gun, or definitive proof that the Clinton family was corrupt. “I mean, if you did that—if you were writing for a major newspaper, they’d send you back and say you haven’t got the story yet,” he said.

“Any serious journalist or investigator will tell you that proving corruption by a political figure is extremely difficult,” writes Schweizer in his first chapter of Clinton Cash. “…That is also why investigators primarily look at patterns of behavior.” He argues that the “repeated pattern of financial transactions coinciding with official actions favorable to Clinton contributors” warrants “further investigation by law enforcement officers.” In other words, Clinton Cash offers no smoking gun. It is meant, instead, to provoke a public investigation and discussion based on his initial research—not to offer all the answers.

There were some errors found in the book, including that Schweizer incorrectly asserted that the company Digicel had paid Bill Clinton for speeches, and that Digicel had not received USAID funds. Also Schweizer was fooled by a fake TD Bank press release, which he used to make a point, and he held former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responsible for approving the Uranium One deal when it was actually an interagency decision.

“In a response to BuzzFeed News, Schweizer said that while Digicel had received previous USAID contracts, its charitable arm, the Digicel Foundation, did not receive USAID contracts until after the earthquake [in Haiti], and argued the basic premise of the book remains intact,” writes Buzzfeed.

As for Uranium One, the analysis seems to misconstrue Schweizer’s original words. “Besides the secretary of state, [the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] includes cabinet officials such as the secretary of defense, the secretary of homeland security, and the treasury secretary,” writes Schweizer in his book. His allegation is, “Hillary’s opposition would have been enough under CFIUS rules to have the decision on [the Russian purchase of Uranium One] kicked up to the president. That never happened.”

In other words, Schweizer actually informed his readers that Mrs. Clinton wasn’t the only one responsible for the CFIUS decision on Uranium One, which gave “Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States.” However, he implies that Mrs. Clinton should have interceded, given her past political record. His allegation is one not only of corruption, but hypocrisy.

“The rooster doesn’t cause the sun to rise, but this is the thrust of Schweizer’s argument,” wrote Taylor Wofford for Newsweek on May 1. “But throwing up a bunch of dots and not connecting them isn’t great judgment either.”

“The only evidence is timing: people who would benefit from the sale made donations to the foundation at around the same time the matter was before the government,” writes Paul Waldman for The Washington Post about the Uranium One controversy.

The timing of events in the book do, in fact, seem very suspicious on their face. “Even as Bill was being introduced to the audience by the crown prince of the [United Arab Emirates], the prince’s brother (the foreign minister) was en route to Washington for meetings with none other than Hillary,” writes Schweizer. “Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan arrived in Washington on December 12 and met Hillary the day after Bill collected his half million.”

“Based on the Clintons’ financial disclosures, it does not appear that the UAE royal family had ever paid for a Clinton speech before.”

Schweizer doesn’t just rely on his own account of what the Clintons may or may not have done—he also produces a couple of witness statements alleging that they had either bought off the Clintons or were told that they needed to. These statements were made to law enforcement or foreign media outlets long before the release of his book, and critics can’t claim they were solicited in order to support Schweizer’s assumptions.

Mukhtar Dzhakishev, former president of the government agency “that runs Kazakhstan’s uranium and nuclear energy industry” told authorities in 2009 that “prime minister Karim Massimov ‘was in America and needed to meet with Hillary Clinton but this meeting was canceled. And they said that those investors connected with the Clintons who were working in Kazakhstan have problems. Until Kazakhstan solved those problems, there would be no meeting, and all manner of measures would be taken,’” according to Schweizer.

“I called them, and they came. I met them in Astana and then Clinton’s aide, Tim Phillips, began to scream that this deal involves Democrats and is financed by them, and that we were hampering the deal,” said Dzhakishev, according to Chuck Ross of The Daily Caller.

“In its 2010 article, The Post considers that Dzhakishev’s account is questionable,” Ross writes. But Dzhakishev “has proven more truthful” than either Frank Giustra or Bill Clinton, at least in one case, Ross writes, when in 2007 Dzhakishev told The New York Times that he’d had a meeting at the Clinton home, and Giustra and Mr. Clinton denied having the meeting. Giustra later admitted to it.

“But, other than Dzhakishev’s assertion, there’s no proof,” complains Wofford. He fails to mention Schweizer’s accounts of the statements by Sant Chatwal, who the author describes as one of Mrs. Clinton’s “largest soft-money donors,” made to Indian media.

“Even my close friend Hillary Clinton was not in favor of the [Indian nuclear] deal then,” Schweizer quotes Chatwal. “But when I put the whole package together, she also came on board. …In politics nothing comes free. You have to write cheques in the American political system.”

“This is 100 percent wrong. There is not even an iota of truth in it,” Chatwal told India’s Economic Times on May 7.

Chatwal is one of “at least four [members of the] Clinton Foundation board of directors [who] have either been charged or convicted of financial crimes, including bribery and fraud,” reported Breitbart on May 7.

In 2014 Chatwal pled guilty to funneling illegal contributions to federal candidates, writes Schweizer. “During the course of the federal investigation, FBI agents recorded Chatwal discussing the flow of money to politicians,” he writes. Chatwal said, “Without the cash, ‘nobody will even talk to you.’”

If Schweizer’s allegations were mere speculation and empty innuendo, then why have a series of mainstream outlets built on his initial research to expose Clinton conflicts of interest and “errors” made by the Clinton Foundation? Those include The New York Times and The Washington Post.

“When Mr. Clinton worked as a co-chairman of Haiti’s earthquake recovery commission, [Hillary Clinton’s youngest brother] Mr. [Tony] Rodham and his partners sought a $22 million deal to rebuild homes in the country,” reports The New York Times’ Steve Eder in a May 10 piece that does not mention Clinton Cash.

“I deal through the Clinton Foundation. That gets me in touch with the Haitian officials,” Rodham told the court three years ago, according to Eder. “I hound my brother-in-law, because it’s his fund that we’re going to get our money from,” said Rodham. “And he can’t do it until the Haitian government does it. … And he keeps telling me, ‘Oh, it’s going to happen tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.’ Well, tomorrow hasn’t come yet.”

In an interview with Schweizer, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos said, “you take it pretty far,” and, “As you know, the Clinton campaign says you haven’t produced a shred of evidence that there was any official action as secretary that—that supported the interests of donors.”

“We’ve done investigative work here at ABC News, found no proof of any kind of direct action,” said Stephanopoulos, asking, “Is there a smoking gun?”

The author of Clinton Cash never claims to have found a smoking gun, only a suspicious pattern of behavior. Attempts to claim that Schweizer somehow failed in his attempt to reveal concrete proof of Clinton malfeasance are designed to deliberately set him up for failure by holding him to a standard higher than the mainstream media often expect of themselves.

How many times have pundits such as Al Sharpton called for further investigation into Darren Wilson’s shooting of Michael Brown with limited evidence available? “MSNBC titled one segment of Sharpton’s PoliticsNation show, ‘Still no arrest in Michael Brown shooting,’” reported Accuracy in Media.

The media were quick to leap to conclusions about the murder of three Muslims in North Carolina. They have accepted the word of anonymous government officials rather than reading public documents. And they constantly dismiss the overwhelming evidence of the ongoing Benghazi cover-up.

Demands that Schweizer, or any other author, find a smoking gun and present it to the media prepackaged demonstrate a sheer laziness on the part of reporters, and perhaps a hidden desire that his claims about the Clintons might not actually prove truthful. If reporters remain skeptical about Schweizer’s claims, they should get to work vetting the Clintons and find out for themselves what’s real instead of simply attacking the messenger.

Last week on Chris Matthews’ show, “Hardball,” on MSNBC, the host expressed his trust in Mrs. Clinton, and challenged the only skeptic on the set, Ron Fournier of the National Journal, to explain the reason for suspicion in the absence of concrete proof of a quid pro quo between any donors to the Clinton Foundation and favorable treatment these donors may have received from the U.S. government as a result. Fournier said, “What there isn’t evidence of is [that] somebody got a favor done because of money. But what we do have is a very obvious and big overlap between people who are donating to the foundation and people who are dealing with the government.”

Even Matthews tacitly admitted that these relationships are troubling. Fournier asked Matthews “Why did President Obama say she did not take donations from foreign companies? That the foundation should not take donations from foreign countries? Why did they say it would be disclosed?,” while Hillary was Secretary of State. Matthews replied, “For the reasons you’re arguing.” Fournier then asked, “So why didn’t she, and why did they still take funding and not disclose it?” Matthews replied, “I think Clinton advocates and Clinton critics see the same reality. They have different views on it…[the Clintons go] right up to the edge sometimes.”

04/23/15

Hillary Clinton Foundation and Uranium

*** Also see: Cash Flowed Abundantly to the Clinton Foundation as Russians Pressed for Control of Uranium Company

By: Denise Simon
FoundersCode.com

Primer:

The Russian reset via Hillary appears to be uranium and Putin’s control of the same. Reminder, Russia sells uranium to ahem….Iran.

Sheesh, almost by the hour news breaks on the Clinton Foundations(s) where fraud and collusion are bubbling to the surface.

Last week Newsweek broke a story about InterPipe owned by Victor Pinchuk of Ukraine whose financial worth is estimated at $4.2 billion. He is quite close to the Clintons and generous with his money to their Foundations in exchange for policy decisions at the State Department. As an aside, Pinchuk is tied to Tony Blair, Paul Krugman, Shimon Perez, Dominique Strauss Khan, Larry Summers and well yes, even Elton John.

When it comes to Hillary’s run for the Oval Office, these actions may be coming out too soon given election day in November of 2016, but this could all be a good thing as money going into her campaign may slow to a crawl. It should also be noted that the Gowdy Benghazi Commission reports are not slated to be published either until the height of the election season in 2016.

Now let us move on to uranium and Hillary.

Gifts to Hillary Clinton’s Family Charity Are Scrutinized in Wake of Book

State Department sat on panel that approved sale of mine involving contributor to foundation

Hillary Clinton’s State Department was part of a panel that approved the sale of one of America’s largest uranium mines at the same time a foundation controlled by the seller’s chairman was making donations to a Clinton family charity, records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show.

The $610 million sale of 51% of Uranium One to a unit of Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear agency, was approved in 2010 by a U.S. federal committee that assesses the security implications of foreign investments. The State Department, which Mrs. Clinton then ran, is one of its members.

Between 2008 and 2012, the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, a project of the Clinton Foundation, received $2.35 million from the Fernwood Foundation, a family charity run by Ian Telfer, chairman of Uranium One before its sale, according to Canada Revenue Agency records.

The donations were first reported in “Clinton Cash,” a new book by Peter Schweizer, an editor-at-large at a conservative news website, about the financial dealings of Mrs. Clinton and former President Bill Clinton. A copy of the book, set to be released next month, was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The book is to be published by HarperCollins, a division of News Corp. NWSA 0.23 % , which also publishes the Journal.

The book adds fresh details to previous reporting by the Journal and others about potential conflicts between Mrs. Clinton’s private charitable work and her public activities as secretary of state. The Journal reported in February that at least 60 companies that lobbied the State Department during her tenure donated a total of more than $26 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Josh Schwerin, a campaign spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, the front-runner for Democratic presidential nomination, said the Uranium One sale “went through the usual process, and the official responsible for managing CFIUS reviews has stated that the secretary did not intervene with him. This book is twisting previously known facts into absurd conspiracy theories.”

The campaign on Wednesday also provided a comment from Jose Fernandez, a former assistant secretary of state who served as the department’s principal representative on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, which reviewed the sale. “Secretary Clinton never intervened with me on any CFIUS matter,” Mr. Fernandez said.

In response to past questions about possible conflicts, Mrs. Clinton has said she is proud of the foundation’s work. Earlier this week, she called the book a distraction from real campaign issues.

Mr. Telfer, in an interview Wednesday, said he made the contributions not for the sake of the Clintons, but to support his longtime business partner, Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining executive and longtime Clinton friend who co-founded the program to spur development in poor countries.

“The donations started before there was any idea of this takeover,” Mr. Telfer said. “And I can’t imagine Hillary Clinton would have been aware of this donation to this growth initiative,” he added.

The Fernwood contributions don’t appear on the Clinton Foundation website, as was required under an agreement between the foundation and the Obama administration. A Clinton Foundation spokesman referred questions to the Clinton-Giustra program spokeswoman in Canada, who didn’t respond.

Under the terms of the sale, the company said it wouldn’t seek an export license to send uranium out of the country, and that executives at the U.S.-based unit would control the mine, according to a Nuclear Regulatory Commission report. Uranium One, now a fully owned subsidiary of the Russian nuclear agency, owns a 300,000-acre mine in Wyoming and could produce up to half of the U.S. output of uranium this year. Some members of Congress at the time wrote to the committee calling on it to block the sale.

The Journal confirmed some other instances detailed in the book about Mrs. Clinton’s official activities and her family charity.

In June 2009, the Clinton Giustra initiative received two million shares in Polo Resources, POL 1.33 % a mining investment company headed by Stephen Dattels, a Canadian businessman, according to a Polo Resources news release. About two months later, the U.S. ambassador to Bangladesh pushed the energy adviser to that nation’s prime minister to allow “open pit mining,” including in Phulbari Mines, where Polo Resources has a stake, according to a State Department cable released by WikiLeaks. The company seeking to develop the mine is still waiting for government approval, according to the firm’s website.

It isn’t known whether the Clinton-Giustra program still owns the shares. Neither Mr. Dattels nor his foundation nor Polo Resources are listed as donors by the Clinton Foundation website. Mr. Dattels, who retired in 2013, and representatives for Polo Resources couldn’t be reached for comment.

Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien, who heads a mobile-phone network provider called Digicel, won a $2.5 million award in 2011 from a program run by the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development to offer mobile money services in post-earthquake Haiti. The firm won subsequent awards. Funds for the awards were provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, while USAID administered the program, with a top Clinton aide directly overseeing earthquake aid.

Mr. O’Brien has given between $5 million and $10 million to the Clinton Foundation since its launch. It is unclear whether Mr. O’Brien gave while Mrs. Clinton was at the State Department because of the way the foundation discloses its donations.

A USAID spokesman said the company met the criteria laid out in the Haiti Mobile Money Initiative. A spokesman for Mr. O’Brien said he couldn’t be reached and declined to comment. The Clinton campaign didn’t respond to request for comment on Polo Resources or Mr. O’Brien.

Write to Rebecca Ballhaus at [email protected] and Peter Nicholas at [email protected]

04/22/15

If Hillary Clinton Wants to ‘Topple’ the One Percent, She Should Start With Herself

By: Benjamin Weingarten
TheBlaze

Hillary Clinton, without a hint of irony, has reportedly called for “toppling” the 1 percent. So the putative favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination intends to target those who — like herself, her husband and the benefactors of her family foundation – are the wealthiest of the wealthy.

If Mrs. Clinton is seeking to upend a system that pays off a select group of elite insiders who profit by undertaking cronyistic, anti-free market acts, I applaud her. But if Mrs. Clinton is rather seeking to punish the few who have amassed great wealth by producing goods and services for their fellow man, Hillary ought to be pilloried.

Hillary Clinton. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Hillary Clinton. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Any national conversation convened by Mrs. Clinton on disparities in wealth should begin with a long look in the mirror. Hillary and Bill Clinton have obtained their wealth not by meeting a true market demand, but by transacting in the political marketplace of power and influence.

Distasteful as we might find this, one cannot blame them – at least to the extent to which they were not effectively compensated for fulfilling or seeking to fulfill their end of a bribe.

For though an extreme example of successful political entrepreneurs, the Clintons are a mere symptom of a problem created by government itself, which like all institutions seeks to protect, preserve and enrich its own.

People like the Clintons, Eric Cantor, Deval Patrick and thousands of other well-connected ”public servants” find highly remunerative work while out of office because political access and protection are prized in the marketplace.

Political power is only prized by the marketplace because there is something to be bought. Political payoffs, to our nation’s detriment, are simply seen as the cost of doing business.

Stated differently, because we have a hyper-regulatory state today that is all-intrusive and all-powerful, currying political favor may be the difference between life and death, endless riches and cataclysmic failure.

This state of affairs effects corporate executives whose profits may rest on regulations that keep out or handicap competition, antitrust rulings that prevent competitors from merging or the receipt of government contracts and subsidies. But more broadly, it encompasses an endless army of accountants, lawyers, regulators, compliance officers, human resource professionals and even investors whose jobs exist solely due to such a system.

In a truly free economy – as opposed to the caricature of one provided by the Left — the marketplace votes on who succeeds and who fails by rewarding those with the skills, talents and ambitions to provide something the public deems of value.

When an enterprise fails, its resources – from land, labor and capital to intangible assets like intellectual property and market information – are picked up by more capable hands and put to better use.

In such a system, the so-called ”1 percent” – unlike in socialist countries – does not consist of a static class of politicians and their cronies, but rather, a dynamic class of individuals who rise and fall based on the marketplace. This is another way of saying that businesses succeed and fail based on the ever-changing demands and preferences of the people.

Of course, not only the political class but many others in today’s 1 percent would be adversely effected by abolishing the hyper-regulatory state and implementing a loophole-free intelligible tax code where all compete on an open and level playing field.

That America still retains even a semblance of dynamism in the face of our hundreds of thousands of pages of indecipherable regulations, a byzantine tax code not to mention the increasingly whimsical enforcement of property rights is a testament to the undying creative spirit that has yet to be extinguished by a political class that in effect is hellbent on doing so.

Americans in general, and Hillary Clinton in particular ought to remember that the government in Washington D.C., unlike the one percent and the rest of the private sector, does not create anything. Rather, its denizens take the wealth of others – including that of our children, our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren – and redistribute it. In the process, the jobs “created” are at root non-productive: They merely serve as one pocket from which to funnel money from another. These jobs represent a massive diversion of resources from activities that society would otherwise reward to those which dissipate wealth.

This is a tragedy not just in economic terms as a “deadweight loss,” but in human terms in the waste of the talents and ambitions of those who would be better served focusing their energies elsewhere – developing truly great and transformative goods and services to the benefit of all, while in so doing creating fulfilling work for others.

The trillions of dollars in wealth diverted today further would be better allocated by the public rather than by politicians. Imagine what Steve Jobs might have accomplished had Apple’s tax dollars remained with him and not been entrusted to the federal government each year.

From a moral perspective, should you have control over what you have created, or should government have a first claim on the fruit of your labor?

For Mrs. Clinton who has also railed against money in politics, a Constitutionally faithful and thereby limited government that stopped concerning itself with every aspect of our lives would have the doubly positive effect of discouraging individuals and businesses from “investing” in politicians through the funding of their campaigns. After all, successful individuals invest their time, energy and capital where it will receive its highest return. There would be very little return to be generated if government solely concerned itself with the clearly enumerated powers of the Constitution.

Fairness does not consist in tearing down our fellow citizens, but in treating them equally on the basis of merit. And little is more antithetical to a free society than rewarding people based upon how well they wield the threat of government control.

Here’s to hoping that Hillary topples the government-created one percent, beginning with herself.

Feature Image: AP Photo/Elise Amendola

03/24/15

Art Imitating Life, or Propaganda Selling a Flawed Iranian Nuke Deal?

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

When the CBS show “Madam Secretary” premiered last September, there was much speculation and hand-wringing about whether or not the title character, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord played by Tea Leoni, was inspired by Hillary Clinton, and if this show was meant as a long-running political ad humanizing Hillary Clinton. Such an effort might help make her ascension to the White House seem plausible, if not inevitable.

Despite the denials, it seems clear that “Madam Secretary” was just such an effort, and still is. But in the few episodes I’ve watched, I haven’t seen much of what we know of the real Hillary. “If I had the power to fire her, I would have fired her,” commented her long-time critic Jerome Zeifman in 1998, reflecting upon Mrs. Clinton’s political maneuvers during the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

Mrs. Clinton is a prima donna who travels like a rock star, and who puts herself above the law, presenting herself as a great fighter for women’s rights—yet in her own life she stood by her man, who has cheated on her for decades, and has been credibly accused of forcing himself on women who wanted nothing to do with him. In addition, Mrs. Clinton has, through her foundation, collected money from countries that deprive their women of their basic human rights. “But the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation has accepted tens of millions of dollars in donations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Algeria and Brunei—all of which the State Department has faulted over their records on sex discrimination and other human-rights issues,” reported The New York Times this month. So besides the hypocrisy issue, her conflicts of interest are quite extraordinary.

Hollywood elites strive not only to shape American culture, but also to promote their left-wing agenda. While CBS is engaging in propaganda to support of Hillary Clinton, it is also attempting to not-so-subtly condition the American people to accept a badly-flawed Iranian nuclear deal crafted in Washington. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry hope to impose this nuclear deal on the world in the name of stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons. But based on what we know about the deal, and the concessions made to the Iranians, it is more likely that the opposite will occur.

The current storyline on the CBS show has the fictional Madam Secretary traveling to Iran to attempt to save the Iranian nuclear deal—just days before the actual deal is about to be foisted on the world. There she met with the “moderate” Iranian foreign minister, Zahed Javani. At the end of the show, she went on CBS’s Face the Nation, and who was the host? None other than Bob Schieffer—playing the role of Bob Schieffer.

And keep in mind, President Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser is Ben Rhodes, whose brother David Rhodes happens to be president of CBS News. But since “Madam Secretary” is produced by the entertainment division—not news—that couldn’t have been a factor. Could it?

Here was the closing dialogue from last Sunday night’s episode, with Leoni’s character appearing on Face the Nation to discuss what happened on her trip to Iran, and to explain why it was so necessary and so important to the American people:

Bob Schieffer (BS): Madame Secretary, you made an unprecedented trip to Iran to save the nuclear deal between the Iranians and the United States.

Madam Secretary (MS): Yes, I did.

BS: And while you were there, of course, a coup, that was eventually foiled, began. You were in the room when the foreign minister Javani was killed.

(MS): That’s right.

BS: Who else was there and what happened?

(MS): We were at minister Javani’s house when it happened. Several members of my security detail were wounded or killed. And their courage was awe-inspiring. And I deeply mourn their loss, as does the entire country. Minister Javani’s son witnessed his father’s death. As a mother I would have given anything to protect that child. Which is why I am determined as ever to see through the nuclear agreement that his father gave his life for. Because I think that’s our greatest responsibility in this life. To leave a safer and more peaceful world for our children.

BS: Madame Secretary, thank you.

(MS): Thank you Bob.

You can watch most of that scene in this video, in which Schieffer says that if most of the guests he has on his show were “as direct and as honest” as Madam Secretary was, they would be a lot better off. Schieffer is confusing fact with fiction.

Leoni wasn’t being “direct” and “honest” on camera. She was merely repeating a fictional dialogue that she was given to memorize as an actress. This was propaganda, in which Schieffer was an active participant in trying to convince the audience about the wonderful peace dividends we should expect from a successful deal with Iran.

“I may send this around to Capitol Hill and say if you want to be on Face the Nation, this is how you should act,” said Schieffer.

The fictional Foreign Minister Zahed Javani parallels Iran’s current foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who, apparently, wants a really good deal for all sides—while all those hard-liners are sitting in the background demanding more from the deal, such as an immediate end to sanctions. So, the narrative goes, America should align itself with the Iranians who just want peace like we do, the ones who have our interests at heart.

“Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei called for ‘Death to America’ on Saturday, a day after President Barack Obama appealed to Iran to seize a ‘historic opportunity’ for a nuclear deal and a better future, and as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry claimed substantial progress toward an accord,” reports the Times of Israel. The Los Angeles Times ran news of this under the title, “As crowd chants ‘Death to America,’ Khamenei backs nuclear talks.”

The Iranians also blew up a replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier last month, and their government regularly conducts cyber attacks against our country. Is this part of their charm offensive to get Americans to support the deal, or is it complete disdain for America and its leaders?

Of course “Madam Secretary” is just fiction, and any resemblance to the real life negotiations is purely coincidental. Who could possibly think otherwise?

Let’s be clear, almost everyone desires a world without Iran developing and threatening to use nuclear weapons on Israel, its regional neighbors, or other targets. But does the best strategy to achieve that goal include lifting sanctions on this rogue regime, while it is in the process of expanding its hegemonic reach across at least five countries in its region? Proponents of this deal—at least what we know of it—suggest that the options are making this deal or going to war. Yet President Obama says he is prepared to walk away if he doesn’t get the right deal. Does his Plan B include going to war?

As I reported earlier, according to Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi member Clare Lopez, the “November 2013 Joint Plan of Action gave Iran just about everything it wanted: the right to enrich, the right to keep uranium, centrifuge research and development, and continued intercontinental ballistic missile development.” And it added sanctions relief onto that long list of concessions.

Iran maintains that their nuclear energy is just for peaceful purposes. Yet they have a secret facility that we’ve recently learned about through a dissident group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors are also not allowed to visit another known site of unknown activity called Parchin.

Iranians are still sponsors of terror worldwide, and have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans. They simply can’t be trusted. But CBS, through “Madam Secretary,” would like America to think otherwise. And Mr. Schieffer has become complicit in such misinformation. Incredibly, as we approach the latest artificial deadline of March 31st for the Iranian nuclear deal, the Obama administration has removed Iran and Hezbollah from the terror threat list.

On top of that, we now we have our President vouching for the character of two of Iran’s top leaders: “Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has said that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon,” said President Obama in a speech to the Iranian people, that was posted on the Whitehouse.gov website. Does anyone believe that these people are being honest and sincere?

In a just released New York Times article, a source close to Ayatollah Khamenei said that for now, the so-called hard-liners are finally keeping quiet. “Iran speaks with one voice,” he told the Times, and said that “the muzzle would remain in place as long as the negotiations seemed to be progressing.” He said that the “Fact of the matter is that we are seeing positive changes in the U.S. position in the nuclear talk…We are steadfast and the U.S. is compromising. We are not complaining.”

A deal with Iran would be just another “accomplishment” for the Obama legacy, and CNN acknowledged as much when it published “Iran nuclear deal: President Barack Obama’s legacy moment on Iran” two years ago. When the deal goes bad, he can always blame it on George Bush.

The Associated Press now reports that criticism of Obama’s desire for a legacy-building Iranian deal originates with “GOP hawks.” Yet as CNN is reporting, “A veto-proof, bipartisan majority of House lawmakers have signed an open letter to President Barack Obama warning him that any nuclear deal with Iran will effectively require congressional approval for implementation.” Among the signers of the March 20th letter are Democratic Congressmen Steny Hoyer (MD), Charlie Rangel (NY), Elijah Cummings (MD), John Lewis (GA), Alan Grayson (FL), Nita Lowey (NY), Joseph Kennedy III (MA) and Jan Schakowsky (IL), hardly a group of “GOP Hawks.”

The letter says that “In reviewing such an agreement, Congress must be convinced that its terms foreclose any pathway to a bomb, and only then will Congress be able to consider permanent sanctions relief.”

While the world is waiting to see how this potential Iranian deal might affect the balance of power in the Middle East, it is clear that President Obama is pushing ahead, using all the tools at his disposal to sell this deal. But what’s not so clear is whether his tactics, and those of the Iranian leaders, will prevail.

02/13/15

Warring Factions Threaten Clinton White House Bid

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Ongoing rivalries and dissension among Clinton loyalists have percolated up through the mainstream media, even The New York Times—whose own investigative reporting may have set off the latest salvo. It seems despite the president-in-waiting status often accorded to Mrs. Clinton, there might not be enough money to go around, evoking harsh internal criticisms.

David Brock, founder of the far-left Media Matters, “is a cancer,” argued John Morgan, a Florida lawyer connected to both President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, according to recent reporting by Nicholas Confessore and Amy Chozick at the Times. Brock made headlines earlier this week, when in response to their reporting, he sent out a letter that alleged “current and former Priorities officials were behind this specious and malicious attack on the integrity of these critical organizations” and “resigned from the board of the super PAC Priorities USA Action,” according to Politico’s Kenneth Vogel.

Brock is considering a return to Priorities USA, The Washington Post noted shortly thereafter. “People are starting to worry that Priorities could be a weak link,” one strategist told Vogel for his February 10 story about how this super PAC is “struggling in its early efforts to line up cash toward a fundraising goal of as much as $500 million.”

But one wonders whether the criticisms expressed in the media will sabotage Brock’s and other loyalists’ peacemaking. “If you care about your party and our country, you just do what you are asked,” said Morgan, according to Confessore and Chozick. “If you care about yourself, you take your toys and go home.” Morgan is apparently “close” to the co-chair of Priorities USA Action, Jim Messina. Messina served as President Obama’s campaign manager in 2012.

Confessore, a liberal writer/editor transplanted from Washington Monthly to The New York Times, seems to have access to a considerable circle of influential Democrats connected to the Clintons. After all, he sat down with John Podesta in 2003 and 2005. And his August 2013 exposé on mismanagement at the Clinton Foundation, co-authored with Chozick, included interviews with “more than two dozen former and current foundation employees, donors and advisers to the family”—most unwilling to speak on the record.

Like the 2013 piece, Confessore and Chozick report for the Times on February 10 that “most people interviewed for this article declined to speak on the record for fear of angering either the president or the woman who hopes to replace him.” But these persons are willing to speak to the Times about their frustrations.

“The Hillary people were more in it for themselves,” said Jonathan Alter, MSNBC political analyst, when he appeared on the February 10 Ed Schultz show on MSNBC. Alter was referring to the 2008 Democratic primary campaign against Obama. “If we get a repeat of that this time, she won`t have the passion and a genuine commitment that she needs to go the distance.”

“…what this is about is that is that there was a fundraiser who raised millions of dollars for these different groups including David Brock`s, but she was taking a 12.5 percent commission,” Alter said. Democratic strategist Bob Shrum described Mary Pat Bonner’s reported 12.5% commission as “way over the top.”

Confessore and Chozick cast this Democrat infighting differently. They describe the latest meltdown among Clinton movers and shakers as a conflict between two worlds: former Obama staffers who have been imported as strategists for Clinton, and long-time Clinton loyalists. But these writers aren’t the only ones with conflicted interests. The reality appears to be that many in the liberal media, including some reporters at The Washington Post and New York Times, want to tear Hillary and the Clintons down for being too close to Wall Street. But on the other hand, they realize that Mrs. Clinton is the overwhelming favorite to get the Democratic nomination, meaning they will undoubtedly support her when it comes down to her vying against any Republican candidate.

As I’ve reported in the past, The Washington Post—even amidst Mrs. Clinton’s “worst week in Washington” and her tone-deaf comments about being “dead broke” after leaving the White House—still gave her favorable coverage in order to ensure that a Democrat would retain the presidency. “The Post has issued wall-to-wall coverage of this subject, but most of it is about ensuring Hillary’s chances,” I wrote last July.

But when Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) launched her populist offensive in the Senate, hope sprang anew among die-hard liberals and some in the media that Mrs. Clinton, with all her baggage, might not be a shoo-in. The Post’s Paul Kane practically salivated over Sen. Warren’s presidential chances back during the December revolt. Sen. Warren has said she’s not running, but the Post continues to run articles like this: “Democrats suffering from Clinton fatigue say they’re ready for Warren.” Chozick recently described Sen. Warren as “an effective tool in moving Mrs. Clinton off message” whom Republicans favor as a candidate to create dissension within the Democratic primary.

Accuracy in Media has argued in the past that the Times’ David Kirkpatrick piece on Benghazi was a way of inoculating Mrs. Clinton while trying to make the definitive case supporting the Obama administration’s actions and justifications for Benghazi. But that obviously didn’t work, and revelations confirming the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi’s conclusions continue to break, implicating Mrs. Clinton not only for poor security preceding the 2012 Benghazi attacks, but her blind push to intervene in Libya in the first place. When Mrs. Clinton most likely appears before the Select Committee on Benghazi, an even greater spotlight will shine on her role in these attacks.

It looks like Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is very tempted to run against Mrs. Clinton from the left, and former Virginia Senator James Webb might run more or less from her right. The sharks are circling this establishment candidate; will Mrs. Clinton successfully fend them off?

And clearly others at the Times aren’t so interested in inoculating her. But in the meantime, the left is having a catfight, and it may be that some reporters are interested in stirring the pot for dramatic effect—and to cause some angst for Mrs. Clinton from their end.

Confessore’s bio from the Times states that he covers the “intersection of money, power and influence.” A visit to his Twitter page reveals that he, like many liberals, doesn’t like the Citizens United ruling very much.  His twitter feed recently stated, “Thanks to Citizens United, we can now have campaign infighting without the campaign.” He also has tweeted about the Clinton Foundation’s $81 million received from “clients of HSBC’s controversial Swiss bank.”

He also wrote an article with Chozick in July of last year which stated, “Few political families are closer to Wall Street than the ClintonsAnd the Clintons often interact with the titans of finance on the Manhattan charity circuit and during their vacations in the Hamptons.”

Could it be that at least one New York Times staffer doesn’t favor Mrs. Clinton for her entrenched, big-money establishment ties much, either? Or perhaps it’s just that Confessore, Chozick, and the Times itself want to go around poking sleeping tigers before an election to see what they can stir up.

These aren’t Mrs. Clinton’s only problems. She also has what might become known as a “Brian Williams problem,” meaning she “misremembered” coming under sniper fire on a runway in Bosnia, and she repeated the story on more than one occasion, yet there were plenty of eyewitnesses who knew it was a complete fabrication. It cost Williams his esteemed position, and a lot of money. Will Hillary pay a similar price?

Plus, former President Bill Clinton is becoming a problem again based on his being linked in the media to a sex scandal involving a good friend of his who is a convicted pedophile. It’s certainly never dull when the Clintons are involved.