Ron Fournier’s article for National Journal draws on his extensive historical knowledge of the Clintons. Here’s a great example of that information:
April 22, 2015 Gennifer Flowers. Cattle futures. The White House travel office. Rose Law Firm files. The Lincoln Bedroom. Monica Lewinsky. And now, the Clinton Foundation. What ties these stories together is the predictable, paint-by-numbers response from the Bill and Hillary Clinton political operation.
- Deny: Salient questions are dodged, and evidence goes missing. The stone wall is built.
- Deflect: Blame is shifted, usually to Republicans and the media.
- Demean: People who question or criticize the Clintons get tarred as right-wing extremists, hacks, nuts, or sluts.
One thing that’s left out of Fournier’s article is that the Clintons will fiercely insist that they’re innocent of any criminal wrong-doing. That isn’t meaningful because politicians write ethics laws that protect politicians. One political consultant once said that the thing that’s infuriating isn’t what is a crime in Washington, DC. It’s all the stuff that isn’t a crime in Washington, DC. Here’s a list of questions Fournier wants answered:
What did donors expect from the Clintons? Did they receive favors in return? Why did the Clintons do business with countries that finance terrorism and suppress the rights of women? Did family and friends benefit from their ties to the foundation? And, in a broader sense, what do the operations of the foundation say about Hillary Clinton’s management ability and ethical grounding?
Already, John Podesta, one of the sleaziest political operators in US history, is insisting that Peter Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash is total political hackery:
Here’s Podesta’s opinion about Schweizer’s book:
JOHN PODESTA: It’s a book that’s written by a former Bush operative who’s a reporter for that august news organization Breitbart.com. He’s cherrypicked information from information that’s been disclosed and woven in a bunch of conspiracy theories about it. The facts — there’s nothing new about it — the conspiracy theories, I guess, we’ll find out when we get to read the book.
It’s particularly noteworthy that the first accusation out of Podesta’s mouth was that Schweizer is “a former Bush operative.” It’s noteworthy because it’s setting the table for discrediting Mr. Schweizer. The inference is that anyone who worked for the Bush administration isn’t trustworthy. Here’s what Schweizer did as “a Bush operative”:
Schweizer Worked For The Bush White House As A Speechwriting Consultant From 2008-2009.
WOW! Being a presidential speechwriter is one hell of an accusation. But I digress. What’s interesting about Podesta’s statement is that they’re made without him knowing what’s in the book. He admits that he doesn’t what’s in it when he said “we’ll find out when we get to read the book.”
Podesta’s statements are non sequiturs at best. Let’s suppose that Schweizer was a speechwriter during the last 2 years of the Bush administration. So what? The only thing that that’s proof of is that Schweizer was a speechwriter for the Bush administration. As for being a reporter for Breitbart, that information is worthy of another so what? Finally, considering the fact that Podesta admitted that he doesn’t know what’s in the book, how can he say with total certitude that Schweizer’s book is filled with conspiracy theories?
The reality is that Podesta won’t let Hillary answer the questions that Mr. Fournier wants answers to. That’s because he knows that there’s lots of corruption wherever the Clintons of Tammany Hall spot an opportunity.
Technorati: Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Tammany Hall, John Podesta, Nuts and Sluts Defense, Democrats, Peter Schweizer, Political Operative, Bush Administration, Republicans, Election 2016
When I first read David French’s article, my first reaction was that John T. Chisholm, the Milwaukee County District Attorney, should be disbarred, then tried and convicted, then thrown into prison for a very long time. Chisholm is a progressive political hack with a mission to destroy the conservative movement in Wisconsin:
Cindy Archer, one of the lead architects of Wisconsin’s Act 10 — also called the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” it limited public-employee benefits and altered collective-bargaining rules for public-employee unions — was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house — the windows and walls — was shaking. She looked outside to see up to a dozen police officers, yelling to open the door. They were carrying a battering ram.
She wasn’t dressed, but she started to run toward the door, her body in full view of the police. Some yelled at her to grab some clothes, others yelled for her to open the door. “I was so afraid,” she says. “I did not know what to do.” She grabbed some clothes, opened the door, and dressed right in front of the police. The dogs were still frantic. “I begged and begged, ‘Please don’t shoot my dogs, please don’t shoot my dogs, just don’t shoot my dogs.’ I couldn’t get them to stop barking, and I couldn’t get them outside quick enough. I saw a gun and barking dogs. I was scared and knew this was a bad mix.”
She got the dogs safely out of the house, just as multiple armed agents rushed inside. Some even barged into the bathroom, where her partner was in the shower. The officer or agent in charge demanded that Cindy sit on the couch, but she wanted to get up and get a cup of coffee. “I told him this was my house and I could do what I wanted.” Wrong thing to say. “This made the agent in charge furious. He towered over me with his finger in my face and yelled like a drill sergeant that I either do it his way or he would handcuff me.”
Last night, Megyn Kelly interviewed David French. Here’s the video of the interview:
Here’s the most chilling exchange of the interview:
MEGYN: Who was the judge that signed off on these subpoenas?
DAVID FRENCH: The judge’s name is Barbara Kluka, I believe is how you pronounce her name. She signed off on hundreds of pages of subpoenas in literally one afternoon of work. It was a rubberstamp process. It was not true judicial oversight and the result has been catastrophic to citizens’ rights.
French’s statement might be the understatement of the year. The things that are alleged, if they’re proven in a court of law, should be grounds for termination of the police officers and the disbarment of the judge and the district attorney.
The policeman (policemen?) who ordered Ms. Archer that she couldn’t speak with a lawyer and that she couldn’t speak about the police officers’ actions violated Ms. Archer’s constitutional right to an attorney. Saying that she couldn’t speak about the raid essentially amounts to putting a gag order on Ms. Archer. I’m no lawyer but aren’t gag orders meant to preserve the right to a fair trial?
In this instance, the purpose of the gag order was to protect these thugs’ secrecy. The only people that benefited were the thugs with badges.
This isn’t just about prosecutorial or judicial misconduct. It’s about how the Democratic Party weaponized the district attorney’s office and the Milwaukee police force to intimidate conservatives from speaking about the issues that matter most to them. That’s the heart of the First Amendment’s protections.
Finally, this is the face of pure evil. These Democrats should be destroyed politically. They should all spend years in prison doing hard time. Silencing people who just wanted to support a political issue is despicable.
Technorati: Fifth Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Barbara Kluka, John Chisholm, John Doe Investigation, Prosecutorial Misconduct, Totalitarian Progressives, Democrats, Cindy Archer, Weaponized Government, Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill, Scott Walker, Wisconsin Club for Growth
“Minnesota families rely on our road and bridge infrastructure to get their kids to school and themselves to work. The House Republican majority has listened to Minnesotans and worked toward a solution that provides immediate repair to roads in their communities. Furthermore, with the passage of the Road and Bridge Act of 2015, we have delivered a real, long-term solution without increasing the tax burden on middle-class Minnesotans,” said Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown).
Republicans won the majority in the House thanks to the promises they made of focusing on outstate Minnesota. Contrary to Ellen Anderson’s inside-the-Twin-Cities perspective, outstate Minnesota doesn’t care about transit. In February, Anderson participated in an Almanac Roundtable discussion. During that debate, Anderson said that Republicans better jump on board with transit funding because “outstate Minnesotans love their transit, too.”
Anderson is either lying through her teeth or she’s dumber than a sack of hair. At this point, that’s a close call. But I digress.
Seriously, when it comes to transportation, outstate Minnesota doesn’t give a rip about transit. The Republican plan focuses on Minnesota’s transportation needs. The DFL’s plan focuses on the transportation lobbyists’ wish list. If Republicans want to keep control of the House and take back control of the Senate, they should stick with their transportation plan.
House Transportation Committee Chair Tim Kelly hit the nail on the head with this statement:
“With this bill, House Republicans are offering a workable, common sense solution to our transportation funding debate,” said House Transportation Committee Chair Tim Kelly (R-Red Wing), chairman of the Minnesota House Transportation Finance Committee. “We were able to prioritize roads and bridges in the fiscally responsible manner that Minnesotans wanted and expected.”
Rep. Kelly is right. There isn’t a great groundswell of support for transit. There’s less support for a gas tax increase than there is support for transit funding.
If Sen. Bakk wants to give the GOP a majority in the Senate in 2016, all he needs to do is keep pushing a major gas tax increase. According to the February KSTP-SurveyUSA poll, 75% of Minnesotans support the Republican plan. If Sen. Bakk wants to force his vulnerable members to vote for an unpopular tax increase that’s supported by only 18% of Minnesotans, he’ll hand the majority of the Minnesota Senate to Republicans on a silver platter.
It’ll be interesting to see how transportation plays out. Gov. Dayton is pretty much forced to fight for transit funding. Sen. Bakk is pretty much forced into fighting against increased transit funding because forcing outstate DFL legislators to vote for a package of major transportation tax increases will sink his majority status.
Paul Thissen, the House DFL Leader, is a classless jerk. This article offers proof of that:
In the House debate Tuesday, lawmakers exchanged words over an amendment offered by DFL leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, to name a part of U.S. 12 the “Tim Miller Goat Trail” after a freshman Republican lawmaker from Prinsburg who has sparred with Thissen. House GOP leader Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, responded by saying it was the latest in a series of examples where Thissen had behaved inappropriately.
I won’t demand that Thissen apologize. If he mouthed the words to an apology, it wouldn’t mean anything. It wouldn’t be sincere. Thissen is who Thissen is.
What Rep. Thissen is isn’t a picture of statesmanship. He’s been a picture in classless partisanship. In that respect, it looks like Rep. Thissen studied under the tutelage of Tony Sertich although, to be fair, Sertich wasn’t classless like Thissen is.
What type of classless partisan offers an amendment that gives a road a name that insults a colleague? The DFL isn’t the party of Hubert Humphrey anymore. It’s the party that looks for opportunities to humiliate their political opponents.
I hope Republicans remind voters who the DFL really is. I hope Republicans remind voters that the DFL is the political party that puts a higher priority on playing partisan games than they put on doing the right thing.
Until recently, Rep. Gene Pelowski, (DFL-Winona), had a reputation of being a reformer of higher education systems. That reputation has slipped mightily in the last 3 years. I wrote this post to highlight how disengaged he’s been on higher education:
Chairman Pelowski hasn’t held a single hearing looking into any of these disgraceful events. Examining the minutes for the House Higher Ed Committee’s meetings shows that Chairman Pelowski didn’t devote a single minute on oversight. Chairman Pelowski didn’t ask Clarence Hightower where negotiations were at between the Board and Chancellor Rosenstone. He didn’t ask the MnSCU Board about contract negotiations between MnSCU and the IFO.
Rep. Pelowski’s inattention to detail is only surpassed by his willingness to insist on just throwing more money at the problem without providing proper oversight. Here’s something from his latest e-letter:
Rep. Gene Pelowski, the minority lead on the committee, issued the following statement after the vote:
“With a projected budget surplus of $1.9 billion, now isn’t the time to burden our college students with more debt. If enacted, the House Republican’s bill would lead to increased tuition for Minnesota’s students and more debt. Making higher education more accessible and affordable is part of Minnesota’s economic success that produced the $1.9 billion surplus.”
Again, Rep. Pelowski hasn’t demonstrated an attitude towards making sure MnSCU spends the taxpayers’ money wisely. Rep. Pelowski’s attention is solely focused on funding.
KEY QUESTION: Why isn’t Rep. Pelowski interested in efficiency?
Here’s what’s heartbreaking. Throwing good money into a dysfunctional system incentivizes corrupt officials to continue misspending money on unimportant initiatives. Nothing about that sounds right to a sane person. While I’m picking on Rep. Pelowski in this post, the truth is that other legislators have the same attitude.
In 2007, when higher ed funding was increased by $296,000,000, Sen. Sandy Pappas complained that we were “starving higher education.” Despite that increase in funding, students still got hit with major tuition increases. That $296,000,000 increase, BTW, represented an 11% increase in funding.
The point is that MnSCU received a major funding increase but didn’t lift a finger to limit tuition increases. Parents got hit twice, once for a funding increase, then with a tuition increase. There’s nothing equitable about that. In fact, it’s a rip-off to parents. That’s before talking about students who had to take out student loans to pay for MnSCU’s fiscal insanity.
The Totalitarian Left’s intimidation tactics might’ve reached criminal level. Glenn Reynolds explains in this USA Today special op-ed:
When Vladimir Putin sends government thugs to raid opposition offices, the world clucks its tongue. But, after all, Putin’s a corrupt dictator, so what do you expect?
But in Wisconsin, Democratic prosecutors were raiding political opponents’ homes and, in a worse-than-Putin twist, they were making sure the world didn’t even find out, by requiring their targets to keep quiet. As David French notes in National Review, “As if the home invasion, the appropriation of private property, and the verbal abuse weren’t enough, next came ominous warnings. Don’t call your lawyer. Don’t tell anyone about this raid. Not even your mother, your father, or your closest friends. … This was the on-the-ground reality of the so-called John Doe investigations, expansive and secret criminal proceedings that directly targeted Wisconsin residents because of their relationship to Scott Walker, their support for Act 10, and their advocacy of conservative reform.”
Is this un-American? Yes, yes it is. And the prosecutors involved, who were attacking supporters of legislation that was intended to rein in unions’ power in the state, deserve to be punished. Abusing law enforcement powers to punish political opponents, and to discourage contributions to political enemies, is a crime, and it should also be grounds for disbarment.
These thugs with law degrees haven’t earned the right to be called prosecutors. Just like I refuse to call Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or Jeremiah Wright reverend, I refuse to call these thugs prosecutors. Prosecutors theoretically stand for justice. These thugs don’t even pretend to stand for justice.
Ed Morrissey’s post starts with the text of the Fourth and Fifth amendments:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Ed’s commentary is pitch perfect:
The above comes from an old document, written over two centuries ago, that until very recently had legal force in this country. To a large extent it still does, but the actions of Wisconsin’s state government in reaction to a political reform effort, and for that matter, property confiscations in the war on drugs, indicate that the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the US Constitution have become passé. In its place, we have law enforcement raids that not only seize property while threatening violence against its owners, the targets are denied counsel and forbidden to speak of the seizures publicly.
Thugs with law enforcement badges that “seize property while threatening violence against its owners” are tyrants. Based on Dr. Reynolds’ statements, they’re apparently criminals, too. There’s no disputing that these thugs don’t respect or obey the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.
They’re morally reprehensible in addition to being Democrats. The people conducting these sham investigations are Democrats who don’t care about the Constitution’s protections of individuals’ rights:
The basis for this was the campaign-finance reform movement, which sees money in politics as a greater evil than a government empowered to shut down political speech. The John Doe law in Wisconsin shows exactly why government intervention in political speech is worse than any corruption it attempts to prevent. The use of force in Wisconsin got applied to one side exclusively, and intended to shut down conservatives before they could exercise their legitimate political power. It’s even more egregious than the IRS targeting of conservatives between 2009-2013, but it’s the same kind of abuse of power, and it leverages the same kind of campaign-finance reform statutes that give government at state and federal levels entrée to control political speech.
It’s time to a) put these thugs in prison and b) legislate these sham investigations into oblivion.
Government gets its powers with “consent from the governed.” I’m totally certain Wisconsin citizens didn’t give these thugs permission to ruthlessly violate their constitutional protections.
Surprise, Surprise; NOT!
by Silence Dogood
Monday evening the St. Cloud City Council unanimously approved a land swap brokered by Mayor Kleis between the city and SCSU’s President Earl H. Potter. Essentially, Mayor Kleis fleeced SCSU out of a 50-acre parcel of land on the East side of St. Cloud by swapping it for a couple of acres of what amounts to some pretty valueless property south of the St. Cloud campus.
What did the city get? A 50-acre parcel which is a natural area with several water-filled quarries. What did the city have to give up? The 66-foot wide right of way for a road that no longer exists, a small vacant lot, and a little-used and unneeded storage yard. Total acreage of the three city properties is less than a few acres.
Based on the ‘appraised’ values of the property, the city came out ahead by $34,000. However, based on the real value of the swapped properties, the city took President Potter and SCSU ‘to the cleaners.’ The deal needs to be approved by the MnSCU Board of Trustees before it becomes final. However, the Board also approved the lease between the Wedum Foundation and SCSU that has already cost the university $7,700,000 with the potential to cost the university another $6,000,000 over the next five years of the lease. So much for sanity prevailing.
Monday night, the Minnesota Wild defeated the St. Louis Blues, shutting them out 3-0. The Granlund-Parise-Pominville line scored the first 2 goals, with Granlund and Parise assisting on Pominville’s goal that opened the scoring:
Just 2:05 later, Granlund and Pominville assisted on Parise’s goal:
Parise’s goal was just sick. He’s being tied up by the Blues’ defenseman. The puck is in the defenseman’s skates. Parise’s solution? Poke the puck loose, get it onto his stick. Finish by rifling a shot over the goalie’s shoulder from point blank range.
Devan Dubnyk was strong when he needed to be, which, tonight, wasn’t that often. The story tonight was how totally unequipped the Blues are to deal with Minnesota’s speed. Wave after wave of Wild forecheckers kept the pressure on the Blues’ wings, defensemen and goalie. While the Granlund-Parise-Pominville line dominated the stat sheet, they weren’t the only Wild forwards that caused the Blues headaches. The Coyle-Niederreiter-Vanek line was relentless with its physicality and their forecheck. The Brodziak-Bergenheim-Fontaine line provided admirable energy for being the Wild’s 4th line.
The other story tonight was how the Wild totally frustrated the Blues’ goon. Shift after shift, Steve Ott tried running Wild players. Shift after shift, Wild players would laugh at Ott before leaving the ice at the end of their shift. Finally, with the game decided, Ott tried provoking a fight, first against Marco Scandella, then against Jared Spurgeon. Still, the Wild resisted the temptation. That ultimately led to Ott getting tossed from the game with a 2-minute minor and a 10-minute misconduct.
There’s an unmistakable trend developing. St. Louis is doing its best to intimidate the Wild. That’s failing miserably. The Blues’ defensemen are having tons of difficulty containing the Wild’s speedy forwards. Devan Dubnyk is making big stops whenever they’re needed.
This series isn’t over. Still, if St. Louis doesn’t bench Ott and figure out how to contain the Wilds’ speed, it won’t take long before St. Louis will be singing the end-of-season blues.
This morning’s St. Cloud Times Our View editorial is mostly the type of stuff you’d expect from liberals trying to paint themselves as moderates. There is a section, though, that’s clearly liberal:
Now is the time to (pardon the pun) pave the middle ground between DFL and Republican proposals to stabilize long-term transportation funding.
Dayton’s plan does the most because it spends the most by correctly getting users of the state’s transportation system to pay more in gas taxes. Never willing to raise taxes, House Republicans would rather shift general-fund money into transportation. That’s a bad idea because the next Legislature could shift it back based on its funding priorities.
Instead, Dayton should accept a smaller gas-tax hike to a level that more closely aligns with Republican spending targets. Oh, and just call it a user fee.
I hope the Republicans immediately reject the Times’ proposal. The Times editorial board will rationalize their opinion on the faulty theory that compromise is automatically the right thing. It isn’t. Principled compromise isn’t the wrong thing. Compromise for compromise sake is foolish.
First, I’d argue that We The People should come first. It’s clear that the vast majority of Minnesotans a) prefer fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges and b) don’t want to get hit with another tax increase. That means that the DFL would deserve the political nightmare they’d get in if they tried undoing the GOP transportation plan.
Next, I’d argue that it’s foolish to think that the DFL is interested in good faith negotiations regarding transportation. Move MN, the DFL front group that’s campaigning for a $13,000,000,000 tax increase, has consistently talked about Minnesota’s roads and bridges during their TV and radio interviews. The minute they’re off the air, though, they’re lobbying legislators for raising the sales tax on people in Washington, Dakota, Carver, Sherburne and Anoka counties to pay for transit projects that benefit Hennepin and Ramsey counties.
There’s nothing fair about that. It’s a major rip-off that benefits the DFL’s political base by taxing people more closely aligned with Republicans. If Hennepin and Ramsey counties want increased transit projects, let them pay for those projects. It’s immoral to force people to pay for things that a) they don’t benefit from and b) others benefit from.
There’s another flaw with the Times’ thinking. They say that “the next Legislature could shift it back based on its funding priorities,” which is true. What the Times isn’t taking into account is that people can let the DFL know that they’ll pay a steep political price if they get rid of the Republicans’ plan while replacing it with a plan that’s already been tried and failed.
If we implemented the Republicans’ plan and it fixed Minnesota’s roads and bridges, why wouldn’t the Times praise the Republicans’ plan? Further, why wouldn’t the Times criticize the DFL if they tried getting rid of a transportation plan that’s working?
Finally, Republicans should utterly reject the DFL plan in the strongest words possible because it’s been tried before and failed miserably. Compromising with people who’ve proposed terrible policies isn’t a virtue. It’s stupidity.
The case for major reform of MnSCU seemingly gets stronger each week. Silence Dogood’s article about the latest financial crisis at St. Cloud State is an argument against MnSCU’s current structure. While the ‘highlight’ of the article is on President Potter’s getting taken to the cleaners by St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis, the understory is MnSCU’s indifference towards President Potter’s mismanagement of SCSU’s finances.
Here’s the first question that MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone hasn’t answered: Why didn’t MnSCU, either through MnSCU’s Central Office, MnSCU’s Board of Trustees or through Dr. Rosenstone’s office directly, take quicker action to get SCSU’s finances in order?
OBSERVATION: Dr. Rosenstone, the MnSCU Central Office and MnSCU’s Board of Trustees have been portraits in lethargy, indifference and apathy. Simply put, they’ve drawn 6-figure salaries without being the taxpayers’ watchdog or without providing oversight of the system.
Here’s the next question that needs answering: Why did MnSCU hire a consultant to a $2,000,000 contracts for things that MnSCU employees should’ve been able to handle? Apparently, spending money that doesn’t need to be spent is a habit within MnSCU. This emphatically suggests that the culture within MnSCU needs changing. That won’t happen with this chancellor. He’s established his identity. Dr. Rosenstone had the chance to straighten MnSCU’s financial ship out. He failed. Dr. Rosenstone was officially installed in October, 2011.
ULTIMATE QUESTION: How many more multi-million dollar contracts will Dr. Rosenstone be allowed to sign before he’s terminated?
In 2013, the DFL legislature bragged about freezing tuition. While I’m sure students and parents appreciated that, I’m totally certain that this didn’t lower the cost of higher education. It just increased the subsidy needed to hide the cost of getting a degree.