If the Clintons made $230 million, spent $135 million and have just $45 million left over, what happened to the other $50 million?
Dan Alexander reports: Since Bill and Hillary Clinton left the White House in 2001, they have earned more than $230 million. But in federal filings the Clintons claim they are worth somewhere between $11 million and $53 million. After layering years of disclosures on top of annual tax returns, Forbes estimates their combined net worth at $45 million. Where did all of the money go? No one seems to know, and the Clintons aren’t offering any answers.
“I don’t see how that would be possible…That’s quite a quite a mystery you have on your hands.”
— Jim Gilmore
From 2001 to 2014 the power couple spent $95 million on taxes. Hillary’s 2008 presidential run cost her $13 million. Their two homes cost a combined $5 million, and the Clintons have given away $22 million to charity. All of this is according to FEC filings, property records and years of tax returns. Add it up and you get $135 million. If the Clintons made $230 million, spent $135 million and have just $45 million left over, what happened to the other $50 million?
“That’s kind of strange,” says Joe Biden’s accountant, Walter Deyhle. “You have to report all of your assets. You have to report assets that are owned by your spouse.”
“That’s kind of strange. You have to report all of your assets. You have to report assets that are owned by your spouse.”
— Joe Biden’s accountant, Walter Deyhle.
It seems unlikely that the Clintons could have spent all of it. Over 14 years $50 million averages out to $3.6 million in extra expenses per year, or $9,800 per day.
WHERE COULD THAT much money have disappeared? The Clintons have been speaking around the world for years, and they count millions in travel expenses under their businesses. It is unclear whether they have paid for additional travel expenses out of their own pockets. It seems unlikely, but they could have given it away overseas: Donations to foreign charities are not deductible and would not be listed on tax returns. Billionaires like Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, Lakshmi Mittal of India and Joseph Safra of Brazil have donated to their foundation. Maybe the Clintons are returning the favor?
Or maybe they have given millions to their daughter, Chelsea, although she has plenty of her own money, after working for years and marrying hedge fund manager Marc Mezvinsky in 2010. The problem with all of these ideas is they are merely guesses. The Clintons did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Others were just as perplexed as we were. Read the rest of this entry »
Obama’s Brutal Foreign Policy
The Democratic left’s worldview was defined forever by the Vietnam War. LBJ’s budget got caught between guns for Vietnam and butter for the Great Society. Barack Obama is refusing to be trapped by this dilemma. The Obama legacy will be about butter…
We have reached that point. They are not enough.
In just the past few weeks, the following events have happened. They are a blur of chaos and brutality.
Islamic State videotaped its beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya and Egypt’s bombed Islamic State camps in retaliation. An ISIS sympathizer sprayed bullets into a free-speech meeting in Copenhagen. A 4,000-man army post in Yemen was overrun by fighters from al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula. Russian-supported rebels in Ukraine commenced an artillery barrage on Kiev’s forces inside the city of Debaltseve after the grand cease-fire brokered by Germany and France.
Jordan’s King Abdullah asked the U.S. to send aircraft parts and munitions after ISIS immolated a caged Jordanian pilot. Nigeria’s homicidal Islamic jihadist group, Boko Haram, extended its assaults into Niger and Chad. Both Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi separately called on the United Nations, of all things, to organize a coalition to clean up Libya. A Jewish cemetery in France was smashed to pieces.
The reaction of the U.S. government to all this?
The White House this week assembled a “summit” on “countering violent extremism,” where on Wednesday Mr. Obama restated the difference between Islam and the perversion of Islam.
Ukraine’s embattled army, encircled in the strategic railway city of Debaltseve by rebels using Russian artillery and tanks, desperately needed defensive military equipment from the U.S. They didn’t get it. On Tuesday Vladimir Putin said they should surrender. On Wednesday, hours before Mr. Obama spoke to the extremism summit, they gave up.
“Before I go through the elements of this strategy, I want to note how our approach may differ from what others may recommend. We believe in the importance of economic growth, but we insist upon investing in the foundations of American power: education and health care; clean energy and basic research.”
— National Security Adviser Susan Rice
Islamic State’s videotaped barbarism expands, but the U.S. commitment against them in Iraq and Syria will not move beyond limited airstrikes.
Nigeria, like Libya and Iraq, is a nation of vast oil revenue for whoever controls it. Nigeria’s chance of getting support from the Obama administration before it falls into chaos is zero, no matter how many girls Boko Haram kidnaps.
“Leftist realpolitik—melting guns so it can churn more butter—may survive a pullout from the world in normal times. But it’s not going to hold for the next two years, not at this pace, not with Islam’s jihadists using social media to make all of us party to the de-civilizing of the world.”
It is a mistake to think that Mr. Obama’s passivity or indecision are sufficient explanation. What is on offer here is the American left’s version of realpolitik. The decision by the Obama White House not to deploy American resources is thought-out, brutal and unapologetic.
“Eventually Barack Obama will be forced to act, or his presidency will erode politically, taking many Democrats with him.”
President Obama in his Feb. 6 national-security statement explained what he is doing—or not doing. He was precise and clear:
“We have to make hard choices among many competing priorities and we must always resist the overreach that comes when we make decisions based upon fear.”
Short version: He’s not spending real money on any of this. Get over it. Read the rest of this entry »
Airstrikes follow release of video purportedly showing the beheadings of Egyptian Coptic Christians
A spokesman for Egypt’s military said Egyptian aircraft had targeted Islamic State training camps and weapons and ammunitions stores in a bombing raid around dawn. The planes returned to their bases in Egypt safely, the spokesman said in a post on his Facebook page.
“We assure that we will take revenge for Egyptian blood and that taking punishment against criminal killers is our right and duty.”
The announcement was accompanied by video footage that the spokesman said showed Egyptian fighter jets taking off at night in preparation for airstrikes on “ISIS in Libya,” according to text accompanying the video.
“We assure that we will take revenge for Egyptian blood and that taking punishment against criminal killers is our right and duty,” an announcer said in an official Egyptian military video posted on the same Facebook page.
“There will be more coordinated airstrikes in the future with Libya and Egypt operating side by side.”
Omar al Sinki, the minister of the interior in Libya’s Tobruk-based government, said Egypt’s air force had struck 7 targets in Derna early Monday. He added that the strikes had been coordinated with the anti-Islamist forces based in eastern Libya and that General Khalifa Haftar, the nominal leader of those forces, was in Cairo on Monday “coordinating” with Egypt’s armed forces and that the campaign would be sustained.
“There will be more coordinated airstrikes in the future with Libya and Egypt operating side by side,” he said
A spokesman for Egypt’s defense ministry declined to comment on Monday beyond what the military posted on Facebook, although a news conference was planned for later Monday.
— Tristan Lejeune (@TristanLejeune) February 16, 2015
Saqer al Joroushi, the commander of Libya’s air force, was quoted by Egyptian state media saying “at least 50” militants had been killed in the airstrikes, in addition to several being arrested. He said Egypt had conducted the strikes “with full respect to the sovereignty of Libya.” He also said Libya wouldn’t allow any ground operations by the Egyptian armed forces.
He separately told the Saudi Arabia-owned Al Arabiya television station that Libya’s own air forces had launched attacks on Islamic State targets in the coastal city of Sirte, a stronghold of those loyal to ousted longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, and nearby towns. However, a resident of Sirte said he had seen no evidence of an aerial attack on the city.
In a statement on its Facebook page, Libya Dawn, a more moderate Islamist group that controls the Libyan capital Tripoli, “deplored the violation of sovereignty” and said children had been killed in bombing of Derna. Read the rest of this entry »
Byron York writes: Members of the House Armed Services Committee met with Jordan’s King Abdullah Tuesday not long after news broke that ISIS had burned to death a Jordanian pilot captured in the fight against the terrorist group.
“He said there is going to be retribution like ISIS hasn’t seen. He mentioned ‘Unforgiven’ and he mentioned Clint Eastwood, and he actually quoted a part of the movie.”
— Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr., who was in the meeting with the king.
In a private session with lawmakers, the king showed an extraordinary measure of anger — anger which he expressed by citing American movie icon Clint Eastwood.
“He said there is going to be retribution like ISIS hasn’t seen,” said Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr., a Marine Corps veteran of two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, who was in the meeting with the king. “He mentioned ‘Unforgiven’ and he mentioned Clint Eastwood, and he actually quoted a part of the movie.”
“He’s angry. They’re starting more sorties tomorrow than they’ve ever had. They’re starting tomorrow. And he said, ‘The only problem we’re going to have is running out of fuel and bullets.”
Hunter would not say which part of “Unforgiven” the king quoted, but noted it was where Eastwood’s character describes how he is going to deliver his retribution. There is a scene in the picture in which Eastwood’s character, William Munny, says…(read more)
Releases Video Depicts Captured Jordanian Pilot Burned Alive
Asa Fitch, Suha Ma’ayeh and Maria Abi-Habib report:
If the video is authentic, the killing would mark the first time Islamic State has used burning to execute a high-profile prisoner.
The 22-minute video, which SITE said was distributed via Twitter , begins with footage of Jordanian involvement in a U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State’s spread, before showing a man with a black eye who appears to be Lt. Kasasbeh describing Jordan’s military operations.
The video ends with the apparent execution of the man. He is shown being burned alive inside a cage by Islamic State fighters.
SITE, an organization that tracks extremist activities, has verified numerous Islamic State videos in the past that later proved to be authentic, but government authorities have yet to declare the latest video is genuine.
— Conflict News (@rConflictNews) February 3, 2015
If the video is authentic, the killing would mark the first time Islamic State has used burning to execute a high-profile prisoner. The group has beheaded numerous high-profile hostages in the past, including two Japanese men in the past two weeks. Read the rest of this entry »
But It Is Not Nuclear
Iran may have already secured its greatest leverage, achieving a strategic and economic chokehold on Saudi Arabia and Israel at the same time.
Ghanem M. Nuseibeh and Eli Epstein writes: President Barack Obama’s trip to pay his respects to the new Saudi Arabian king, Salman, could not come at a more crucial time. The past weeks have been momentous for the Middle East.
“The blocking of the Straits of Tiran by Egypt triggered the 1967 war between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Iran has in the past threatened to block the Straits of Hormuz if it was attacked by the West.”
Recent developments threaten to continue to spread instability to the region and indeed the world. But the particular media coverage of the demise of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and the concurrent collapse of the Yemini government are hardly the most compelling story, important and unsettling as they are.
“The access to the Red Sea by Iran’s allies makes the threat of an effective use of sanctions against Iran smaller. Iran is poised to push back the West in the nuclear negotiations.”
The unfolding events, including Islamic State (IS), the resurgence of al-Qaida, chaos in Syria and Libya, the unprecedented level of civilian refugees and the possibility of civil war in Yemen challenge policy makers around the globe. But a less obvious and even more threatening development may have already taken place that can further destabilize the situation for years to come.
“President Obama’s strategy of focusing on Iran’s nuclear ambitions ignores Tehran’s overall objective of asserting itself as the regional superpower.”
Western countries, led by the US, have been busy trying to justify to the Sunni Arab states their rationale for continuing negotiations with Iran with the goal to manage if not reverse Iran’s nuclear plans.
“Failure to deal with the threat of an Iranian takeover of Yemen has now contributed to vastly increasing the cards that the Iranian regime can play.”
Long-standing US allies in the Arab world remain skeptical and unwilling to sign on to Obama’s Iranian overtures. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is so intent on challenging the US policy that he is willing to risk a complete severance of his relationship with President Obama by encouraging the US Congress to push for additional sanctions.
But it may already be too late. Read the rest of this entry »
Omar bin Yahya bin Ibrahim al-Barkati was tried and convicted of incest, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
“He was executed as punishment for his crime and as a lesson to others,” the ministry said, adding that authorities carried out the sentence in southwestern Asir region.
In a separate case, Yassir bin Hussein al-Hamza was executed in northwestern Jawf region after his trial and confession for smuggling amphetamine pills, the ministry said.
A third convict, Latif Khan Nurzada, a Pakistani, was executed for trafficking heroin into the kingdom. He was executed in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, the ministry said in another statement. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Smug vs. Smug: Bill Maher Exposes Howard Dean’s Ignorance in Argument Over Radical Islam: ‘You’re Just Denying The Facts’Posted: January 24, 2015
Bill Maher Confronts Howard Dean for ‘About as Muslim as I Am’ Comment
BILL MAHER, HBO’S “REAL TIME” HOST: [Saudi] King Abdullah died. He was praised by everyone from Obama to McCain as a “moderate.” Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, said he was a strong advocate of women. In the kingdom, women can’t drive, leave the house without a man, hold a lot of jobs. There’s summary beheading of female criminals. This is what I call the soft bigotry of low expectations when it comes to Muslims.
And Howard I know we disagree on this. I head you say that “ISIS is as Islamic as I am.”
HOWARD DEAN: I’m thrilled you brought it up because the right-wing jumped all over me after the usual suspects distorted what I said. Here’s why I say that. Here’s why I don’t call ISIS Islamic terrorists: it empowers them to do it. What they are, are a group of thugs who are murderers and subhuman. I mean, they do horrible things.
“When you don’t call things by their real name, you always get in trouble… We’ve entered the theater of the absurd… But it is not good for us or the Muslim world to pretend that this spreading jihadist violence isn’t coming out of their faith community.”
— Bill Maher quoting Tom Friedman
They want us to call them Islamic terrorists because it connects them with a billion people. They are not.
MAHER: But they are connected.
BRET STEPHENS, WALL STREET JOURNAL: But they are Islamic terrorists.
MAHER: And they are connected.
DEAN: They are thugs and murderers.
MAHER: Howard —
DEAN: And for us to — we empower them —
MAHER: Of course they are. And we’re not saying that all Muslims are thugs and murders, but this idea that they are not connected to the religion… Tom Friedman wrote about it this week. He said in an article “Say It Like It Is.” He said:
When you don’t call things by their real name, you always get in trouble… We’ve entered the theater of the absurd… But it is not good for us or the Muslim world to pretend that this spreading jihadist violence isn’t coming out of their faith community.
Do you disagree with that?
DEAN: This is not about political correctness. This is about depriving —
MAHER: Oh, come on. Read the rest of this entry »
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) January 14, 2015
Top Saudi Prince Alwaleed: New shale oil discoveries ‘are threats to any oil-producing country in the world’Posted: January 8, 2014
Thomas Lifson writes: It is worthy paying close attention when a certain Saudi prince speaks his mind. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal is sometimes described as the most powerful Arab in the world, thanks to his enormous wealth, business acumen, and influence in the Saudi royal family, which runs the Kingdom as a family fiefdom. Western-educated, he has shown himself to be an effective power broker, owning a 7% stake in News Corporation and donating $20 million each to Harvard and Georgetown Universities, arousing suspicions of undue influence.
The good prince let the world know what the real stakes are in the battle over fracking. Michael W. Chapman of CNS News reports:
Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, a billionaire businessman and nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, said the production of shale oil and natural gas in the United States and other countries, primarily done through fracking, is a real competitive threat to “any oil-producing country in the world,” adding that Saudi Arabia must address the issue because it is a “matter of survival.”
BURAIDAH, Saudi Arabia—Ellen Knickmeyer writes: Saudi women’s plans to defy their nation’s harsh restrictions on them driving is reigniting a fundamental conflict between conservatives and moderates on the kingdom’s future.
“It is my belief and my faith that it is my right to drive my own car.”
Even in the country’s most conservative town, Buraidah, some traditional women will challenge the de facto ban on driving on Saturday. In the northern desert town where few women are seen in public, let alone behind the wheel, protesters say they have the support of families and friends.
“It is because we are very conservative that I am part of this” campaign, one 50-year-old government worker said Wednesday in Buraidah. “It is my belief and my faith that it is my right to drive my own car.”
Although no law explicitly prohibits women from driving in Saudi Arabia, the government refuses to give them licenses.
Buraidah is home to some of the country’s most conservative clerics and is seen as a bastion of opposition to social change in Saudi Arabia. Many here say the monarchy is moving too quickly on civil liberties.