[VIDEO] The Hammer: Hillary Is Not Trying to Clear the Air, Because She Can’t

“…if she has such a press conference, she will be asked, ‘You turned over 55,000 e-mails. How many are left on your server?’ She will either say, ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I’ll get back to you,’ and then she is going to have to answer, ‘Why don’t you turn them over?’, to which there is no answer.”

Said Charles Krauthammer, on Thursday’s Special Report. 

“Of course, the answer, is ’Because I want to hide them, I want to sift them, I want to make sure the ones that are incriminating are kept back.’ She can’t do it because the answers to the questions, if remotely honest, are self-indicting.”

Read more at The Corner

National Review


PUSHBACK: Republican Proposes Abolishing the ATF Amid Bullet Ban Controversy

Cristina Marcos reports: Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) has reintroduced legislation to do away with the 117_2013_b3-halbrook-gun-str8201_s640x1292Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

“The ATF is a scandal-ridden, largely duplicative agency that lacks a clear mission. Its ‘Framework’ is an affront to the Second Amendment and yet another reason why Congress should pass the ATF Elimination Act.”

– Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, House Judiciary Committee

Sensenbrenner, a senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said the policies under ATF’s jurisdiction could be easily incorporated into other agencies. Moreover, he argued, the ATF has become embroiled in too many controversies in recent years, like the botched “Fast and Furious” gun-tracking operation.

“The ATF is a scandal-ridden, largely duplicative agency that lacks a clear mission. Its ‘Framework’ is an affront to the Second Amendment and yet another reason why Congress should pass the ATF Elimination Act,” Sensenbrenner said in a statement.

The ATF has drawn the ire of Republican lawmakers for its proposed ban on an armor-piercing bullet used in AR-15 rifles. Republicans say that hunters frequently use the bullets. The bureau says it initiated the regulation to help protect law enforcement officers from bullets that can pierce armored vests. Read the rest of this entry »


Charles C.W. Cooke: Progressives, Its Time to Start Panicking: THERE IS NO PLAN B

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Once we take Hillary out of the equation, the game looks rather different. As potent as it might be on paper, the Democratic party’s present edge within the Electoral College is by no means infinite, and it does not obtain in a personality vacuum…

Charles C.W.Cookecooke writes: I’ll say it, happily: Democrats should be worried about Hillary Clinton, and moderately panicked about the immediate future of both their party and their cause.

This is not, of course, because Hillary’s latest scandale du jour is in any practical way going to “disqualify” her; and nor is it because leftward-leaning voters are likely to recall anything more from this rather awkward period in time than that the Clintons are as perennially sleazy as they ever were. Rather, it is because the last few days have underscored just how tenuous the Left’s grip on power and influence truly is in the waning days of the once-buoyant Obama panic-bettyera.

“The Democratic base that isn’t wedded to her is nervous about it. It makes her more vulnerable. What is this anointed candidate getting us?”

At present, Republicans control the House of Representatives, they lead the Senate, and they enjoy pole position within a vast majority of the states. The Democratic party, by contrast, has been all but wiped out, its great historical hope having relegated himself by his obstinacy to the role of MVP on a team of just a few. For the next couple of years, Obama will dig in where he can, blocking here, usurping there, and seeking to provide for the Left a source of energy and of authority. cookeBut then . . . what?

[preorder Charles C.W. Cooke’s new book “The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right’s Future” from Amazon]

After last year’s midterm elections, New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait contended grimly that the sheer scale of the Republican wave had rendered Hillary Clinton “the only thing standing between a Republican Party even more radical than George W. Bush’s version and unfettered control of American government.” The customary rhetorical hysterics to one side, this estimation appears to be sound.

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On the surface, the knowledge that Clinton is ready to consolidate the gains of the Obama project should be a matter of considerable comfort to progressivism and its champions. Indeed, as it stands today, I’d still bet that Hillary will eventually make a somewhat formidable candidate, and that, despite her many, many flaws, she retains a better than 50 percent chance of winning the presidency in 2016.

“…A much more flawed candidate than we thought. And Republicans now have material they never thought they would have.”

– Deborah Arnie Arnesen, a progressive radio host in Concord, New Hampshire

In part, this is because she is a woman, yes, and because she will play ad nauseam upon this fact between now and November of next year; in part this is because she has been distressingly effective at selling herself as a moderate, and because her husband is remembered as a solid caretaker and remains popular across partisan lines; in part this is because the Democratic party is currently benefitting from a number of structural advantages that Republicans will struggle to overcome, whomever they choose to be their standard bearer; and in part this is because the economy will almost certainly be doing well enough by next year that the “Obama saved us all” narratives will seem plausible to a good number of voters. Read the rest of this entry »


‘But Not For Thee!’ Clinton Internal Cable Forbids Use of Personal Email Accounts?

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Fox News has exclusively obtained an internal 2011 State Department cable that shows Secretary of State Clinton’s office told employees not to use personal email for security reasons, while at the same time, HRC conducted all government business on a private account.

[Source – Gretawire]

Sent to Diplomatic and Consular Staff in June 2011, the unclassified cable, with Clinton’s electronic signature, makes clear to “avoid conducting official Department from your personal e-mail accounts”  and employees should not “auto-forward Department email to personal email accounts which is prohibited by Department policy.”

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[12 FAM 544.3 unclassified]

The Cable was addressed to all diplomatic and consular posts with the subject line “Securing Personal E-mail Accounts.” Read the rest of this entry »


The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet

Originally posted on TIME:

If we’ve learned anything from the Dress That Broke the Internet, first posted to Tumblr by a 21-year-old singer from Scotland, it’s that anyone with a web connection can start a global conversation. Yes, it helps to be famous in real life. But the rise of social networks has leveled the playing field, allowing unknowns to command audiences rivaling those of real-world leaders, even if by accident. Who rises above the rest? To determine the unranked list, we analyzed social-media followings, site traffic, overall ability to drive news, and more.

View original


Hillary Email Scandal: TMZ Doing the Job the Media Won’t

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John Noltenolte writes: When it comes to the current scandal surrounding Democrat Hillary Clinton, the gossip/celebrity site TMZ is doing the job the mainstream media won’t. In the search for answers, TMZ was willing to send a staffer to the airport in the hopes that Ms. Clinton would answer questions about the scandal brewing around her decision to use only a private email hosted on her private server while serving as Secretary of State.

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Two questions:

  1. Why wasn’t the mainstream media camped out with TMZ in the hopes of getting some answers?
  2. Why isn’t this video of Hillary refusing to answer running every fifteen minutes on cable news? I haven’t seen it once.

[Also see – How pathetic is THIS? Hey, MSM, ‘TMZ just ate your lunch’ on Hillary emails]

The answer of course is simple: Democrats sure got it good. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] REWIND 2007: Hillary Clinton Complains about Secret Email Accounts

Hillary Clinton demonstrating her hypocrisy by complaining about secret email accounts in the Bush administration. Later she did far worse with her secret email accounts.

 


The Real Party of the Rich

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Back in October, Fred Barnes wrote: Democratic senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina was pounded last winter and spring in TV ads by conservative groups for having voted for Obamacare and echoed President Obama’s false claim that people could keep their current health insurance. “They had her on the ropes,” says Marc Rotterman, a Republican consultant in North Carolina.

Then Senate Majority PAC, Harry Reid’s personal political action committee, intervened. Its television spots defended Hagan and attacked Thom Tillis, her Republican challenger, for supposedly dubious ethics. This was only the beginning. By last week, Reid’s PAC had spent $9 million to boost Hagan’s reelection. And Hagan’s candidacy was saved from an early, and possibly fatal, tailspin.

“Outside spending by groups—mostly super-PACs—that disclose their donors… is dominated by the left.”

Hagan has outraised Tillis, the state house speaker, $19.2 million to $4.8 million. But that’s only one measure of her money advantage. Liberal and Democratic groups have devoted $26.3 million to going after Tillis—a chunk of it on ads while he was still running in the Republican primary—and another $4 million touting her. Conservative and Republican groups were unable to neutralize the anti-Tillis barrage. They’ve spent $17.3 million against Hagan and $10.9 million to promote Tillis. In overall campaign spending, Hagan tops Tillis by $53.7 million to $33 million. This, however, doesn’t count undisclosed millions in “issue ads” criticizing Hagan by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group.

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The result: Hagan, a mediocre candidate at best, led Tillis in polls for months. Only in mid-October, with spending for Tillis finally matching that for Hagan, has the race tightened. He was ahead by a percentage point or two in several recent polls. Still, Hagan felt confident enough of winning to skip a scheduled debate with Tillis last week.

The North Carolina campaign is a reflection of what’s happened in many of the competitive Senate races. The political fundamentals favor Republicans. President Obama is so unpopular that Democratic candidates avoid mentioning his name, much less inviting him to appear at their campaign events or in their TV spots. Meanwhile, the economy is stagnant. Foreign policy failures continue to stack up. America’s global influence fades. Two-thirds of Americans are pessimistic about the country’s future. Democrats have few national issues they’re comfortable talking about. Read the rest of this entry »


150 Years Ago Today: Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1989

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Weeks of wet weather preceding Lincoln’s second inauguration had caused Pennsylvania Avenue to become a sea of mud and standing water. Thousands of spectators stood in thick mud at the Capitol grounds to hear the President. As he stood on the East Portico to take the executive oath, the completed Capitol dome over the President’s head was a physical reminder of the resolve of his Administration throughout the years of civil war. Chief Justice Salmon Chase administered the oath of office. In little more than a month, the President would be assassinated.

Fellow-Countrymen:

At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public lincolndeclarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”  Read the rest of this entry »


Naming Names: List of Lawmakers That Blew Off Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech

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Natalie Andrews reports: Here is the list of lawmakers who say they won’t attend, which has been updated as more lawmakers issue statements. Republican Senator Roy Blunt is also not attending, but not for political reasons. He is at a funeral for Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich, who died Thursday.

Senate

Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.)

Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.)

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D., N.M.)

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.)

Sen. Brian Schatz (D., Hawaii)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.)

House

Rep. Karen Bass (D., Calif.)

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D., Ore.)

Rep. Corrine Brown (D., Fla.)

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D., N.C.)

Rep. André Carson (D., Ind.)

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D., Texas)

Rep. Katherine Clark (D., Mass.)

Rep. Lois Capps (D., Calif.)

Rep. Lacy Clay (D., Mo.)

Rep. James Clyburn (D., S.C.)

Rep. Steve Cohen (D., Tenn.)

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D., N.J.)

Rep. John Conyers (D., Mich.)

Rep. Danny K. Davis (D., Ill.)

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D., Ore.)

Rep. Diana DeGette (D., Colo.)

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D., Texas)

Rep. Donna Edwards (D., Md.)

Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.)

Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.)

Rep. Martha Fudge (D., Ohio)

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D., Ariz.)

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D., Ill.)

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D., D.C.)

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D., Texas)

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Ohio)

Rep. Barbara Lee (D., Calif)

Rep. John Lewis (D., Ga.)

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D., Calif.)

Rep. Betty McCollum (D., Minn.)

Rep. Jim McDermott (D., Wash.)

Rep. Jim McGovern (D., Mass.)

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D., Calif.)

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D., N.Y.)

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D., Texas)

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D., Maine)

Rep. David E. Price (D., N.C.)

Rep. Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.)

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D., La.)

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.)

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D., Miss.)

Rep. John Yarmouth (D., Ky.)

 

via Washington Wire – WSJ


Priorities: De Blasio and Farina de Blasio’s Overture to the Muslim Community

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“We made a pledge to families that we would change our school calendar to reflect the strength and diversity of our city. Hundreds of thousands of Muslim families will no longer have to choose between honoring the most sacred days on their calendar or attending school,” Mr. de Blasio said in a statement.

It’s the fulfillment of a campaign pledge Mr. de Blasio made when he was running for office in 2013, and today the mayor said it reflects the growth of the city’s Muslim population. Mr. de Blasio has also expressed support for giving students the day off for Lunar New Year, something for which the city’s growing Asian American community has advocated. Read the rest of this entry »


Americans Getting Taste of What a Second Clinton Presidency Would Look Like

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With Americans’ attention diverted perhaps to the big and controversial visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, two news bombshells dropped on Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations. They provide not just a reminder of the Clinton era — a time when government accountability vanished from the earth and excuses abounded for even the most flagrant illegalities — but also an early taste of what a second Clinton administration would be like.

The first story was a follow-up on the Washington Post‘s earlier report that the Clintons’ family foundation received millions in donations from foreign governments while Clinton was serving as Clinton, Gates, And Mullen Testify Before Senate Foreign Relations CmteSecretary of State. This implies obvious conflicts between her personal and official obligations — how does Clinton respond to a 3 a.m. phone call from a foreign government that is also feeding her family foundation?

Clinton’s defense — and the State Department’s — was that State had vetted all such donations under a prior agreement that had (incredibly) permitted them. In the words of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki, “We have reviewed every donation that was submitted.”

But on Monday, the State Department had to back off this claim, because it wasn’t true. As Josh Gerstein reported in Politico, “there are no indications any Clinton Foundation donations were ever sent to the State Department for approval.”

Meanwhile, The New York Times went up with its own bombshell. For her entire time as Secretary of State, Clinton conducted all of her official business using a private email address, and did not contemporaneously save emails related to government business. This is how government officials illegally circumvent the Freedom of Information Act and prevent transparency in government. Read the rest of this entry »


Insurers’ Sweet Screaming Nightmare Scenario: A Health-Law Death Spiral

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Anna Wilde Mathews reports: As the Supreme Court hears arguments on Wednesday in the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, health insurers are struggling to prepare for a decision that could unravel the marketplaces created by the law.

“Without the tax credits, insurance-industry officials say, the individual insurance markets in those states are likely to start collapsing, as many people drop coverage they can no longer afford, leaving only those less-healthy consumers who value insurance because they’re likely to need care…”

The ruling could come in June—but insurers must make regulatory filings before then about their 2016 plans. Utah’s Arches Health Plan, for one, says it may propose an array of insurance product designs this spring. Then, depending on what the court decides, the insurer would be poised to drop some of them before they’re finalized with regulators and offered to consumers. The insurer may also come up with two different sets of rates for next year, one for each potential court outcome.

“…That would drive up premiums, because insurers would raise rates to cover the costs of this smaller, sicker pool. Then even more people would likely refuse the ever-more-expensive coverage.”

“We’re hedging our bets right now,” says Ferris W. Taylor, chief strategy officer.

The Supreme Court case focuses on federal subsidies that help lower-income consumers purchase plans. The plaintiffs argue that these tax credits aren’t authorized by the law in states where the federal government provides the online insurance exchange—which total as many as 37. Avalere Health, a consulting firm, estimated that around 7.45 million people could lose the federal financial help if the court rules against the subsidies.

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“What happens is, you go into a classic death spiral…It doesn’t hang together.”

– Janie Miller, chief executive of nonprofit insurer Kentucky Health Cooperative Inc

Without the tax credits, insurance-industry officials say, the individual insurance markets in those states are likely to start collapsing, as many people drop coverage they can no longer afford, leaving only those less-healthy consumers who value insurance because they’re likely to need care. That would drive up premiums, because insurers would raise rates to cover the costs of this smaller, sicker pool. Then even more people would likely refuse the ever-more-expensive coverage.

health-care-ins-chart

An analysis by researchers at the Urban Institute, a liberal-leaning policy research group, projected that in states where the subsidies disappeared, individual insurance premiums would go up 35% on average in 2016. That increase would affect all consumers purchasing their own plans in those states, including people who didn’t buy through the government marketplace, the researchers suggested. The financial blow would be particularly tough for smaller insurers that can’t dilute the impact with other, unaffected business, like employer and Medicare plans.

 “The impact would be substantial enough that I would expect many carriers to consider pulling from the market. There’s a question, if the subsidies are struck down, if it’s an insurable market.”

– Tom Snook, an actuary with consultants Milliman Inc. who is working with a number of insurers offering exchange plans

“What happens is, you go into a classic death spiral,” says Janie Miller, chief executive of nonprofit insurer Kentucky Health Cooperative Inc. “It doesn’t hang together.” Her nonprofit’s home state wouldn’t feel the direct impact of a ruling, because Kentucky has its own exchange. But the insurer has said that next year it will go into West Virginia, where the subsidies could potentially be affected. Ms. Miller said the co-op would have to re-evaluate its expansion plans if the court struck down tax credits there. Read the rest of this entry »


Chris Cillizza: The Hillary Clinton Email Story Just Keeps Getting Worse for Her

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Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail address that she used while secretary of state reinforces everything people don’t like about her, argues The Post’s Chris Cillizza, and is very dangerous to her presidential ambitions

Chris Cillizza writes: Hard on the heels of the New York Times scoop Monday night that Hillary Clinton exclusively used a private email account to conduct business as Secretary of State comes this report Wednesday morning by the Associated Press:

The computer server that transmitted and received Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails — on a private account she used exclusively for official business when she was secretary of state — traced back to an Internet service registered to her family’s home in Chappaqua, New York, according to Internet records reviewed by The Associated Press.

The highly unusual practice of a Cabinet-level official physically running her own email would have given Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, impressive control over limiting access to her message archives. It also would distinguish Clinton’s secretive email practices as far more sophisticated than some politicians, including Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, who were caught conducting official business using free email services operated by Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc.

Uh oh.

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There’s any number of problematic phrases in those two paragraphs but two stand out: 1)”impressive control over limiting access to her message archives” and 2) “secretive email practices as far more hillary-eyessophisticated than some politicians.”

“This wasn’t some garden variety home email system; it was “sophisticated” in ways that went well beyond what candidates like Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin — both of whom used private email accounts to do official business — put in place.”

Let’s take them one by one.

The first phrase speaks to the suspicion that has long hung around the Clintons that they are always working the angles, stretching the limits of how business can be conducted for their own benefit.  It seemed clear that Clinton went out of her way to avoid the federal disclosure requirements related to email by never even setting up an official account. That she took it another step and created a “homebrew” email system that would given her “impressive control over limiting access” is stunning — at least to me — given that she (or someone close to her) had to have a sense that this would not look good if it ever came out.

“That level of sophistication speaks to the fact that this was not thrown together at the last minute; instead it was a planned manuever to give the Clintons more control over their electronic correspondence.”

Yes, her allies have maintained that she turned over more than 55,000 pages of emails from her time as Secretary of State. But, the decisions over which emails to turn over were made by Clinton and/or her staff. That’s not exactly the height of transparency for someone who is the de facto Democratic presidential nominee in 2016. Read the rest of this entry »


Americans Disappointed Hillary’s Email Scandal Doesn’t Live Up to High Standards of Sordidness Set by Clintons in the Past

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[BOOKS] Tocqueville’s Nightmare: The Administrative State Emerges in America, 1900-1940, by Daniel R. Ernst

Tocquevilles Warning to America: The Dangers of Despotism

Review of TOCQUEVILLE’S NIGHTMARE: The Administrative State Emerges in America, 1900-1940, by Daniel R. Ernst Oxford University Press, 2014

ADRIAN VERMEULE is the John H. Watson Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is the author or co-author of eight books on public law and legal theory, most recently The Constitution of Risk (2014).

Adrian Vermeile writes: Although Dan Ernst ends his account of the emergence of the American administrative state in 1940, the true climax, at least from the lawyer’s point of view, occurs in 1932. In that year the great Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes undertook his titanic effort to forge a charter of compromise, a treaty of peace, between the administrative state and the rule of law. The case was Crowell v. Benson, involving an agency charged with deciding workman’s compensation cases involving injured maritime workers.

Franklin Roosevelt

“The mid-century attempt to domesticate the American administrative state, described so skillfully by Ernst, ultimately came undone, and it is a live question whether anything else has taken its place.”

Hughes’s opinion in many ways laid down lines of demarcation that were written into the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946, the great framework statute or quasi-constitution of the administrative state. It is a tribute to Hughes that his effort created an equilibrium that outlasted the turbulent years of his Chief Justiceship — despite the intervening constitutional revolution of 1937, after which the courts stopped trying to enforce narrow readings of the national government’s power tocquevilles_nightmare_bookover interstate commerce, and stopped trying to police statutory grants of authority from Congress to the executive (the so-called “nondelegation doctrine”).

[Order Daniel R. Ernst’s bookTocqueville’s Nightmare: The Administrative State Emerges in America, 1900-1940” from Amazon.com]

Having paid due tribute, however, it must be said that the equilibrium Hughes brought into being is a thing of the past. The line of demarcation between administration and law, the frontier of the administrative state, has shifted markedly, with law giving way to administration across almost every margin identified in Crowell — in large part because law has abnegated its authority to administration. Ernst is not wholly clear about whether the equilibrium he identifies persists all the way into the present, doubtless because the story from 1940 to the present is not the story he is trying to tell. But to understand the significance of his book, it is important to understand that what it offers is a portrait of a particular equilibrium, one that has since vanished. The mid-century attempt to domesticate the American administrative state, described so skillfully by Ernst, ultimately came undone, and it is a live question whether anything else has taken its place.

“Ernst’s narrative is highly readable and strikes just the right balance among the historian’s love of detail, the lawyer’s need for conceptual organization, and the political theorist’s addiction to high-level principles.”

Ernst’s narrative is highly readable and strikes just the right balance among the historian’s love of detail, the lawyer’s need for conceptual organization, and the political theorist’s addiction to high-level principles. Let me begin with the level of political and constitutional theory. The high-level frame of the book is a choice or contest among possible visions of the relationship between law and administration. Traditional lawyers were afflicted by “Tocqueville’s nightmare,” a vision of a centralized administration abusing its powers and trampling on legal rights. (The nightmare persists, of course, as Philip Hamburger’s recent book Traveling throughout the United States of the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville pondered the question of just how funny Americans were before deeming us decidedly unfunny.shows). The main alternatives or competitors may be understood as different conceptions of “the rule of law.”

[Read the full text of Adrian Vermeile‘s book review here, at New Rambler Review]

One alternative, championed by Ernst Freund, was the German idea of the Rechtsstaat — the rule-of-law state founded on clear positive enactments that would fix the metes and bounds “where the sovereign’s will prevailed and where it yielded to the will of the individual” (p. 2). The Rechtsstaat ideal, however, lost out to a different conception of the rule of law, championed by Hughes among others — a modified and updated version of Albert Venn Dicey’s ideal that subjected all official action to review by ordinary common-law courts.

Nomination Hearing Held For Thomas Wheeler To Chair The FCC

“…perhaps the major expansion of the administrative state since Crowellhas come not in the areas it addressed, but in an area it said almost nothing about: agency rulemaking. Agencies may act like little courts, as in Crowell, or like little legislatures, making general rules with the force and effect of law.”

After the emergence of the administrative state, the original version of the Diceyan ideal was a non-starter. Ernst shows convincingly that even some traditional lawyers came to understand and appreciate the expertise and efficiency of relatively nonpolitical agencies, who were more professional and less (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)liable to be overrun by patronage politics than other potential suppliers of lawmaking, such as legislative committees, and more knowledgeable and less expensive than the common-law judges and the elaborate processes of litigation. Such lawyers reinvented themselves as transactional engineers, shepherding clients through the administrative process — not “officers of the court” but “officers of the state” (6). Yet lawyers like Hughes also worked to translate or adapt Dicey’s commitments in the new environment, developing an approach that retained a crucial role for judicial review of administrative action. As Richard Fallon has observed in a different but related context, the translated Diceyan approach attempted not so much to get every given case right, but instead to provide an overall scheme of review that would suffice to keep the administrative state within the bounds of law. Read the rest of this entry »


Phyllis Schlafy: Democrats Plan To Win Elections With Illegal Immigrant Votes

David Simas, right, in the White House last year. His new job is political director, and his goal is to help Democrats do well in political campaigns, even if it means violating the Hatch Act, because White House counsel W. Neil Eggleston believes Simas is immune from congressional process and can refuse to respond to subpoenas. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Phyllis SchlafySchlafly_Phyllis_big.jpg.cms writes: The Obama Democrats have an audacious scheme for winning future elections. They just plan to import 5 million non-citizens and credential them as voters who will, in gratitude, vote Democratic.

The way this devious formula works is stunningly simple. Just get the new Republican Congress (under Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell) to pass a full-funding bill for Homeland Security without any exception for the funding of Obama’s illegal executive amnesty, which will allow Obama to give work permits, Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses to 5 million illegal aliens.

Once the 5 million so-called undocumented persons are given those valuable documents, there is no way to stop them from voting. That conclusion is drawn from the testimony of voting experts such as Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who told the U.S. House Oversight Committee on Feb. 12, “It’s a guarantee it will happen.”

Immigration

Kobach’s warning was reinforced by testimony before the same committee by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who noted that the 5 million non-citizens would receive the “same documents that federal law requires the states to recognize as valid forms of identification for voter registration.” And once an alien registers to vote, Kobach said, it is “virtually impossible” to remove him from the voter rolls.

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A third witness, Hans von Spakovsky, suggested that Social Security numbers issued to the 5 million illegal aliens should contain a code (such as “N” for non-citizen) that would instantly reveal their ineligibility to vote. But that simple fix would happen only if the Obama administration sincerely wants to keep them from voting, which I doubt.

A large group of Immigrants, guided by two "coyotes" or guides, walk on the desert of Sonora bound for the border with Arizona. This group consisted of 37 border crossers, from four different countries- They included people from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and one Brazilian. Sasabe, Mexico. 01/23/05

A large group of Immigrants, guided by two “coyotes” or guides, walk on the desert of Sonora bound for the border with Arizona. This group consisted of 37 border crossers, from four different countries- They included people from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and one Brazilian. Sasabe, Mexico. 01/23/05

In case the illegal aliens need spending money, they can collect a special handout from the U.S. taxpayers called Earned Income Tax Credit, which was designed to help parents who are working to support their families. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 3 that as soon as the illegal aliens receive their Social Security numbers, they will be allowed to go back and claim the EITC for up to three previous years in which they worked illegally. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Hillary Email Story About to Metasticize': Clinton Ran Own Computer System

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The highly unusual practice of a Cabinet-level official physically running her own email would have given Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, impressive control over limiting access to her message archives

WASHINGTON (AP) – Jack Gillum and Ted Bridis report: The computer server that transmitted and received Hillary Clinton’s emails – on a private account she used exclusively for official business when she was secretary of state – traced back to an Internet service registered to her family’s home in Chappaqua, New York, according to Internet records reviewed by The Associated Press.

“In November 2012, without explanation, Clinton’s private email account was reconfigured to use Google’s servers as a backup in case her own personal email server failed, according to Internet records. That is significant because Clinton publicly supported Google’s accusations in June 2011 that China’s government had tried to break into the Google mail accounts of senior U.S. government officials.”

The highly unusual practice of a Cabinet-level official physically running her own email would have given Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, impressive control over limiting access to her message archives. It also would distinguish Clinton’s secretive email practices as far more sophisticated than some politicians, including Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, who were caught conducting official business using free email services operated by Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc.

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Most Internet users rely on professional outside companies, such as Google Inc. or their own employers, for the behind-the-scenes complexities of managing their email communications. Government employees generally use servers run by federal agencies where they work.

“The AP has waited more than a year under the open records law for the State Department to turn over some emails covering Clinton’s tenure as the nation’s top diplomat, although the agency has never suggested that it didn’t possess all her emails.”

In most cases, individuals who operate their own email servers are technical experts or users so concerned about issues of privacy and surveillance they take matters into their own hands. It was not immediately clear exactly where Clinton ran that computer system.

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“Operating her own server would have afforded Clinton additional legal opportunities to block government or private subpoenas in criminal, administrative or civil cases because her lawyers could object in court before being forced to turn over any emails.”

Clinton has not described her motivation for using a private email account – hdr22@clintonemail.com, which traced back to her own private email server registered under an apparent pseudonym – for official State Department business.

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Operating her own server would have afforded Clinton additional legal opportunities to block government or private subpoenas in criminal, administrative or civil cases because her lawyers could object in court before being forced to turn over any emails. And since the Secret Service was guarding Clinton’s home, an email server there would have been well protected from theft or a physical hacking.

“It was unclear whom Clinton hired to set up or maintain her private email server, which the AP traced to a mysterious identity, Eric Hoteham. That name does not appear in public records databases, campaign contribution records or Internet background searches.” 

But homemade email servers are generally not as reliable, secure from hackers or protected from fires or floods as those in commercial data centers. Those professional facilities provide monitoring for viruses or hacking attempts, regulated temperatures, off-site backups, generators in case of power outages, fire-suppression systems and redundant communications lines.

A spokesman for Clinton did not respond to requests seeking comment from the AP on Tuesday. Clinton ignored the issue during a speech Tuesday night at the 30th anniversary gala of EMILY’s List, which works to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights.

It was unclear whom Clinton hired to set up or maintain her private email server, which the AP traced to a mysterious identity, Eric Hoteham. That name does not appear in public records databases, campaign contribution records or Internet background searches. Hoteham was listed as the customer at Clinton’s $1.7 million home on Old House Lane in Chappaqua in records registering the Internet address for her email server since August 2010. Read the rest of this entry »


The New Yorker Praises Greg Gutfeld

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For more than eight years, Fox News has been broadcasting a 3 A.M. program called ‘Red Eye,’ an odd and often funny late-night show that is not exactly satire, and not exactly anything else, either. Its sensibility is snarky and surreal, thanks to its host, Greg Gutfeld, a former magazine editor who adopts a tone of half-sarcastic alarm, as if he can’t decide which is more annoying: the politician he is talking about, or the fact that he has to talk about politicians. 

For  an unlikely source of praise for anything on Fox News writes:

Last month, Jon Stewart declared that he would be leaving “The Daily Show,” after sixteen years. One of many writers who paid him tribute was Oliver Morrison, in The Atlantic, who used the opportunity to consider the relationship between comedy and ideology.

“From the beginning, ‘Red Eye’ was cheerfully repetitive, finding humor in a series of running gags. Gutfeld liked to introduce guests with absurd, sexually suggestive hypotheticals that were meant to be flattering. On Greg Proops, the comedian: ‘If hilarity were a telethon, I’d do him in front of a bunch of sick kids’.”

Stewart’s former colleague, Stephen Colbert, once joked that “reality has a well-known liberal bias.” Morrison wondered whether political satire, too, might have a liberal bias. He noted that liberal humor would live on, thanks to programs such as “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” on HBO. But he Greg Gutfeld EXCLUSVIEcouldn’t identify an equivalent tradition on the other side of the political spectrum. “Why,” he asked, “hasn’t a conservative Daily Show found its own place on Fox?”

“Gutfeld probably regretted offending Canadian troops and their family members, but he was probably also pleased that his biggest scandal involved the phrase ‘gorgeous white Capri pants’.”

It wasn’t clear whether Morrison meant to refer to the Fox Broadcasting Company, which isn’t known for politics, or to Fox News, which isn’t known for comedy. (Why couldn’t a conservative comedy show air on Comedy Central, the ostensibly nonpartisan network that broadcasts “The Daily Show”?) But for more than eight years, Fox News has been broadcasting a 3 A.M. program called “Red Eye,” an odd and often funny late-night show that is not exactly satire, and not exactly anything else, either. Its sensibility is snarky and surreal, thanks to its host, Greg Gutfeld, a former magazine editor who adopts a tone of half-sarcastic alarm, as if he can’t decide which is more annoying: the politician he is talking about, or the fact that he has to talk about politicians. It sounds like faint praise to call “Red Eye” the funniest and most tin-gutfeldunpredictable program on cable news, but that’s what it is—or, rather, that’s what it was.

[read the full text here, at The New Yorker]

Last week, Gutfeld announced that he, like Stewart, would be leaving late night—in his case, to develop a new weekend program for Fox News. (“Red Eye” will continue, with a different host.) In his article, Morrison discussed Gutfeld in a dismissive paragraph, judging that his humor was often “hackneyed,” and “far . . . from working in prime time.” In fact, Gutfeld is a familiar presence on the network’s two highest-rated programs: he is a regular member of the panel on “The Five,” an afternoon talk show, and a guest and occasional guest host for Bill O’Reilly, at eight. Somehow, Gutfeld—the proprietor of a program whose continued existence once seemed like both a secret and a mystery—has become one of the most prominent faces on Fox News.

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From the beginning, “Red Eye” was cheerfully repetitive, finding humor in a series of running gags. Gutfeld liked to introduce guests with absurd, sexually suggestive hypotheticals that were meant to be flattering. (On Greg Proops, the comedian: “If hilarity were a telethon, I’d do him in front of a bunch of sick kids.”) For a time, Andy Levy served as the show’s pesky “ombudsman,” delivering persnickety or off-topic corrections during a “halftime report” in the middle of the show. “You said we need to weaponize space,” Levy told Gutfeld, one night, deadpan. “Actually, the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 prohibits the U.S. or any other signatory nation from installing any kind of nukes or weapons of mass destruction in space, and limits the use of the moon and other celestial bodies to purely peaceful reasons.”

gutfeld-redye

The New Yorker‘s descriptive phrase ‘half-sarcastic alarm’ reminds us that besides Andrew Breitbart, Greg Gutfeld has been perhaps the single most inadequately-credited influence on the tone of punditfromanotherplanet, as well as countless other news, and humor new media sites. 

“…Red Eye” was often “nauseating”—not to mention inane, ramshackle, mindlessly sarcastic, sneakily smart, patently absurd, and generally refreshing. But he would be quick to point out that the show never had anything like twenty million viewers…”

Sometimes, Gutfeld tweaked cable-news conventions, as when he purported to address banking reform by convening a sixteen-person panel of experts, including familiar Fox News personalities such as John Bolton, and markedly unfamiliar ones, such as Rosie O’Donnell. As he introduced them, they appeared (or seemed to appear) live, forming a four-by-four matrix of pundit redundancy—by which point it was time, of course, for Gutfeld to thank them all, by name, and then end the segment. Other times, the show came joyfully unmoored from those conventions, as when Levy, throwing the broadcast back to Gutfeld, suddenly began quoting “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”:gutffeld-bump

GUTFELD: Thank you, Andy.

LEVY: Get you gone, you dwarf; you minimus, of hindering knot-grass made; you bead, you acorn. Greg.

GUTFELD: Why rebuke you him that loves you so?

LEVY: I apologize for nothing.

This last line was Levy’s catchphrase, and it also served as a constant reminder of the time, in 2009, when Gutfeld was obliged to apologize to the Canadian military, after a particularly irreverent discussion. The head of the Canadian land forces had said that the Army might need “a short operational break” lasting “at least one year” following its engagement in Afghanistan. Gutfeld had wondered whether this might not be “the perfect time to invade this ridiculous country,” adding, “The Canadian military wants to take a breather, to do some yoga, paint landscapes, run on the beach in gorgeous white Capri pants.” Gutfeld probably regretted offending Canadian troops and their family members, but he was probably also pleased that his biggest scandal involved the phrase “gorgeous white Capri pants.”

Red Eye - A Block - Greg Gutfeld - Jedediah Bila - Fox News - 11-9-13

For all his seeming clumsiness, Gutfeld had a remarkable knack for saying ridiculous things without getting himself fired. (When one guest, a musician, set his electric guitar ablaze, Gutfeld was afraid that he might face punishment; he concluded, when no punishment came, that none of the executives stayed up late enough to watch his show.) On Friday night, during his final broadcast, he revisited some favorite old segments, including an excellent clip of Mick Foley, the former professional wrestler, mistaking Chris Barron, a co-founder of the gay conservative group GOProud, for Chris Barron, the lead singer of the Spin Doctors. (“I looked you up, man,” said Foley, sounding embarrassed but also disappointed—he had prepared a zinger about “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.”) “I dare you to find one boring moment,” Gutfeld said, sounding uncharacteristically earnest. “Excluding this one.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Hammer: Netanyahu’s Speech Reminiscent of Churchill — in the 1930s

“In a way it was Churchillian — not in delivery; it was not up to Bibi’s norm — but in the sonorousness and the seriousness of what he said…And it was not Churchill of the ‘40s. This was the desperate Churchill of the ‘30s.”

Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech today before a joint session of Congress was “Churchillian,” says Charles Krauthammer. But not Churchill triumphant…(read more)

“And it was not Churchill of the ‘40s. This was the desperate Churchill of the ‘30s. This was a speech of, I think, extraordinary power but great desperation.” 

National Review


[VIDEO] Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress In Two Minutes

“We’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.”

 writes:  In a speech before a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid out the perils of a potentially “very bad” nuclear deal with Iran and called for the U.S. to work toward a better one for the sake of Israel and the entire world’s security.

Netanyahu spoke strongly about the threat of Iran, the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, calling the new supposedly moderate regime “as radical as ever” and still bent on the destruction of Israel. He also laid out the connections between Iran and the Islamic State terrorist group, saying that despite their differences they were both still dangerous enemies of the U.S.

“First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East,” he said. “Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world. And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country Israel, the one and only Jewish state!”

The deal that could be struck between Iran and the U.S. would at best curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions but would do nothing to end them, and it would create a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, Netanyahu said.

“Not a single nuclear facility would be demolished,” he said. “Thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium would be left spinning.”

“The greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. We can’t let that happen. But that, my friends, is exactly what could happen if the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran.”

Even before it began, Netanyahu’s speech infuriated the White House. Obama has long been at odds with him, and more than 50 Democrats boycottedNetanyahu’s speech. Netanyahu used his prominent platform Tuesday to demonstrate why Obama’s second-term goal would have the unintended effect of further endangering the Jewish state.

Two key concessions to Iran made the deal “so bad,” Netanyahu said. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Obama Supporters Endorse Karl Marx for President in 2016 Election

Obama Supporters Endorses Communist Karl Marx for President in 2016 Election. Produced by Mark Dice. Filmed in San Diego, California. Mark Dice is a media analyst, author, and political activist who, in an entertaining and educational way, gets people to question our celebrity obsessed culture and the role the mainstream media and elite secret societies play in shaping our lives

 


Bret Stephens: Israel and the Democrats

susan-rice-brookings-WSJ

Chuck Schumer and other liberal fence-sitters will have their reputations stained forever if they let this Iran deal pass

Bret Stephensrenocol_BretStephens writes: The Democratic Party is on the cusp of abandoning the state of Israel. That’s a shame, though less for Israel than it is for the Democrats.

The Democrats’ historic support for the Jewish state has always been what’s best about the party. The understanding not only that Jews are entitled to a state, but also that a liberal democracy is entitled to defend itself—robustly and sometimes pre-emptively—against illiberal enemies, is why the party of Harry Truman, Scoop Jackson and Daniel Patrick Moynihan commands historic respect.

“The Democrats’ historic support for the Jewish state has always been what’s best about the party. The understanding not only that Jews are entitled to a state, but also that a liberal democracy is entitled to defend itself—robustly and sometimes pre-emptively—against illiberal enemies…”

But that party is evaporating. A 2014 Pew survey found that just 39% of liberal Democrats are more sympathetic to Israel than they are to the Palestinians. That compares with 77% of conservative Republicans. During last summer’s war in Gaza, Pew found liberals about as likely to blame Israel as they were to blame Hamas for the violence.

That means the GOP is now the engine, the Democrats at best a wheel, in U.S. support for Israel. The Obama administration is the kill switch. Over the weekend, a defensive White House put out a statement noting the various ways it has supported Israel. It highlighted the 1985 U.S.-Israel free-trade agreement and a military assistance package concluded in 2007. When Barack Obama must cite the accomplishments of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush as evidence of his pro-Israel bona fides, you know there is a problem.

A 2014 Pew survey found that just 39% of liberal Democrats are more sympathetic to Israel than they are to the Palestinians. That compares with 77% of conservative Republicans. During last summer’s war in Gaza, Pew found liberals about as likely to blame Israel as they were to blame Hamas for the violence. That means the GOP is now the engine, the Democrats at best a wheel, in U.S. support for Israel.

True, there is also the administration’s financial support for the Iron Dome missile-defense system, along with votes at the U.N.’s General Assembly opposing the usual anti-Israel resolutions. The administration and its congressional lemmings are nothing if not heroic when it comes to easy votes.

But this week Democrats don’t have the luxury of an easy vote. Will they boycott the Israeli prime minister’s speech? Will they insist the administration put any deal it reaches with Iran to a vote in Congress? Will they support a fresh round of sanctions, vehemently opposed by the president, if no deal is reached?

The administration is now trying to dodge all this by waging an unprecedented campaign of personal vilification against Benjamin Netanyahu (of a sort they would never dream of waging against, say, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan ), accusing him of seeking political gain for himself in the U.S. at Mr. Obama’s expense. Read the rest of this entry »


Poll: Netanyahu Popular as Ever in U.S.


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