President Obama broke all the boundaries—and now Clinton and Trump are following suit.
Kimberley A. Strassel writes: Twenty-two years ago, my esteemed colleague Dan Henninger wrote a blockbuster Journal editorial titled “No Guardrails.” Its subject was people “who don’t think that rules of personal or civil conduct apply to them,” as well as the elites who excuse this lack of self-control and the birth of a less-civilized culture.
“Can such leaders be trusted to administer Washington fairly? Of course not. That guardrail is also gone. Mr. Obama egged on his IRS to target conservatives, used his Justice Department to exact retribution on politically unpopular banks, and had his EPA lead an armed raid of an Alaskan mine.”
We are today witnessing the political version of this phenomenon. That’s how to make sense of a presidential race that grows more disconnected from normality by the day.
“Mr. Obama doesn’t need anyone to justify his actions, because he’s realized no one can stop him. He gets criticized, but at the same time his approach has seeped into the national conscience. It has set new norms.”
Barack Obama has done plenty of damage to the country, but perhaps the worst is his determined destruction of Washington’s guardrails. Mr. Obama wants what he wants. If ObamaCare is problematic, he unilaterally alters the law.
If Congress won’t change the immigration system, he refuses to enforce it. If the nation won’t support laws to fight climate change, he creates one with regulation. If the Senate won’t confirm his nominees, he declares it in recess and installs them anyway. “As to limits, you set your own,” observed Dan in that editorial. This is our president’s motto.
“Mrs. Clinton routinely vows to govern by diktat. On Wednesday she unveiled a raft of proposals to punish companies that flee the punitive U.S. tax system. Mrs. Clinton will ask Congress to implement her plan, but no matter if it doesn’t. ‘If Congress won’t act,’ she promises, ‘then I will ask the Treasury Department, when I’m there, to use its regulatory authority.’”
Mr. Obama doesn’t need anyone to justify his actions, because he’s realized no one can stop him. He gets criticized, but at the same time his approach has seeped into the national conscience. It has set new norms. You see this in the ever-more-outrageous proposals from the presidential field, in particular front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
“Today’s divisive president never misses an opportunity to deride Republicans or the tea party. He is more scornful toward fellow Americans than toward Islamic State. This too sets new norms.”
Mrs. Clinton routinely vows to govern by diktat. On Wednesday she unveiled a raft of proposals to punish companies that flee the punitive U.S. tax system. Mrs. Clinton will ask Congress to implement her plan, but no matter if it doesn’t. “If Congress won’t act,” she promises, “then I will ask the Treasury Department, when I’m there, to use its regulatory authority.”
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
“Think what you may about George W. Bush’s policies, but he respected the office of the presidency. He believed he represented all Americans. He didn’t demonize.”
Mrs. Clinton and fellow liberals don’t like guns and are frustrated that the duly elected members of Congress (including those from their own party) won’t strengthen background checks. So she has promised to write regulations that will unilaterally impose such a system.
“For his part, Mr. Trump sent the nation into an uproar this week with his call to outright ban Muslims from entering the country. Is this legally or morally sound? Who cares! Mr. Trump specializes in disdain for the law, the Constitution, and any code of civilized conduct. Guardrails are for losers.”
On immigration, Mr. Obama ignored statute with executive actions to shield illegals from deportation. Mrs. Clinton brags that she will go much, much further with sweeping exemptions to immigration law. Read the rest of this entry »
NEW YORK—Calling it a major breakthrough that will significantly expedite and streamline its daily operations, Wall Street financial firm Goldman Sachs revealed Thursday it has developed a new high-speed algorithm that is capable of performing more than 10,000 ethical violations per second.
“With this new automated program, we’ll be able to systematically deceive investors, engage in conflicts of interest, and execute thousands of other blatantly unethical dealings in the time it takes to press a button.”
…said John Waldron, co-head of Goldman Sachs’ investment banking division, who added that the high-frequency impropriety system will be able to break more rules in a minute than an entire floor of morally suspect securities traders, financial analysts, and portfolio managers could over the course of a week.
“In the past, if one of our brokers wanted to exploit a questionably legal regulatory loophole or breach the covenant of good faith with an investment client, that would require hours of manually contravening the basic principles of professional integrity. But this innovative system will allow millions of such transgressions to go through every single day. Going forward, I expect this revolutionary program to be the cornerstone of our business.”
— John Waldron, co-head of Goldman Sachs’ investment banking division
John Nolte reports: A fine piece of reporting from Jennifer Epstein of Bloomberg Politics informs us that Hillary Clinton has a pretty brilliant strategy to get her out of her current email scandal: Wait for America’s unbiased, objective, not-at-all liberal media to bail her out. The strategy is a smart one that worked throughout Bill Clinton’s presidency. It also depends exclusively on the cooperation of a willing national media.
Clinton and her team are aware that her tactics will only hold out for so long and that she’ll eventually have to answer questions about her e-mail practices, but she and her advisers are aiming to delay that moment, ideally until she formally announces she’s running for president. At that point, they hope, the controversy will have subsided to the point where her campaign launch will be a much bigger headline than her response to a month-old scandal. An added benefit to the approach: the potential for Republicans to overreach and overreact while Clinton stays silent.
The strategy is simple and, as Epstein points out, “time-tested.”
Hunker down and refuse to answer questions until the media loses interest and moves on.
Hope the media accuses a Republican — any Republican, of “overreaching” on the scandal. The Narrative around the scandal can then turn to those mean, wild-eyed Republicans.
Despite all the national security and ethical issues surrounding the use of an email server located in her own home, despite the fact that we will probably never know if we are seeing all of a former-Secretary of State’s emails, Clinton Land is certain that in the end none of this will matter to the media.
Rather than fearing the media will run the story to ground and demand she give a full accounting, Clinton is counting on being able to wait out the media and the fact that the media is always eager to find a way to blowback the story on any Republican that can be accused of “overreach.”
The media is already eager to pounce on overreach…
Hillary has no war room or WJC publicly defending; her best bet for relief is that old Clinton standby: a GOPer going too far in attack
For Evan Selinger writes: While I am far from a Luddite who fetishizes a life without tech, we need to consider the consequences of this latest batch of apps and tools that remind us to contact significant others, boost our willpower, provide us with moral guidance, and encourage us to be civil. Taken together, we’re observing the emergence of tech that doesn’t just augment our intellect and lives — but is now beginning to automate and outsource our humanity.
But let’s take a concrete example. Instead of doing the professorial pontification thing we tech philosophers are sometimes wont to do, I talked to the makers of BroApp, a “clever relationship wingman” (their words) that sends “automated daily text messages” to your significant other. It offers the promise of “maximizing” romantic connection through “seamless relationship outsourcing.”
Now, it’s perfectly possible that this app is a parody (the promo video includes bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto and feminist voice Germaine Greer among the demo contacts), and its creators “James” and “Tom” didn’t share their last names with me. But my 29-year-old interlocutors — one who apparently has a degree in Engineering and Mathematics, the other in Design and Applied Finance — had clearly thought deeply about why relationship management tools are socially desirable and will be increasingly integrated into our everyday lives. Read the rest of this entry »