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INSIDE JOB: John Kerry’s State Department Sent MILLIONS To Daughter’s Group

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The Department of State funded a Peace Corps program created by Dr. Vanessa Kerry and officials from both agencies, records show. The Peace Corps then awarded the money without competition to a nonprofit Kerry created for the program.

Ethan Barton reports: More than $9 million of Department of State money has been funneled through the Peace Corps to a nonprofit foundation started and run by Secretary of State John Kerry’s daughter, documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation show.

The Department of State funded a Peace Corps program created by Dr. Vanessa Kerry and officials from both agencies, records show. The Peace Corps then awarded the money without competition to a nonprofit Kerry created for the program.

Initially, the Peace Corps awarded Kerry’s group — now called Seed Global Health — with a three-year contract worth $2 million of State Department money on Sept. 10, 2012, documents show. Her father was then the chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, which oversees both the Department of State and the Peace Corps. Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Imagine the Interior of Michelle Obama’s Kyoto Visit $78,741 Rental Car

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The cost for ‘Rental Vehicles for Flotus in Kyoto’ is $78,741, according to a contract signed last week

 reports: First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit to a Buddhist Temple in Kyoto is costing taxpayers nearly $80,000 for rental cars, according to a government contract.

Mrs. Obama, who is travelling to Japan and Cambodia for a girls’ education initiative, will arrive in Kyoto, Japan, on Friday.

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Disclaimer: This isn’t the car Michelle Obama rented. But for that kind of money, isn’t this the ride you’d want?

According to the White House press office, “The First Lady will travel to Kyoto on March 20 and visit the Kiyomizu-Dera Buddhist Temple and the Fushimi Inari Shinto Shrine. She will also greet staff from the U.S. Consulate in Osaka.”

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (C) makes a speech at a meeting on strengthening assistance for girls' education in developing countries at the Foreign Ministry's Iikura Guest House in Tokyo on March 19, 2015. Obama is flanked by Japanese first lady Akie Abe (L) and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy. (Pool photo)(Kyodo) ==Kyodo

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama makes a speech at a meeting on strengthening assistance for girls’ education in developing countries at the Foreign Ministry’s Iikura Guest House in Tokyo on March 19, 2015. Obama is flanked by Japanese first lady Akie Abe and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy. (Pool photo) (Kyodo)

Fushimi Inari Shinto is a shrine dedicated to a god of rice. Visitors of the temple can pay to go into a pitch-black basement that symbolizes the womb of Buddah’s mother…. Read the rest of this entry »


10 rules for writing about the 50th anniversary of the day John F. Kennedy was shot.

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Useful suggestions from Althouse. On reflection, I have violated least half of these rules–did I mention that I was in Dallas in 1963? While true, perhaps Althouse is right and it’s become a cliche–and will probably violate a few more by the time November is over. But since it’s Friday Nov. 22, and I’ve included a lot of coverage of Kennedy this month, Althouse’s list of 10 rules is a welcome addition.

Althouse writes: It’s coming up next Friday, and I’d like to help with that op-ed or blog post you might have in the works.

1. Don’t repeat the cliché that everyone who was around at the time remembers where he was and what he was doing when he heard the news.

2. Don’t tell us — especially don’t tell us as if it were not a big cliché — what youhappened to have been doing and how you’ve always remembered that. After 50 years, can you not finally see that it doesn’t matter?

3. Don’t even attempt to say that the assassination had a profound effect on people. There is no new way to say that. We know!

4. Don’t make up alternate histories of what would have happened if Kennedy had not been killed. Everything would have been different; we would all have been different. If you’re American and under 50, you can assume that you would never have been born.

5.  Don’t recount the conspiracy theories. Here‘s Wikipedia’s article on the subject. If you’re into that sort of thing, enjoy it some day in your spare time, but don’t lard your 50th anniversary writings with that. It’s tawdry and undignified, and we’ve heard it all a thousand times. And by “all,” I don’t really mean all. What’s the one about the Federal Reserve? I just mean, if that’s what you’ve found to talk about, just shut up.

6. Don’t connect the story of JFK to Obama. I know it seems as though everything is about Obama, but resist. It’s cheap and inappropriate.

7. Don’t tell us about other Kennedys. Don’t drag in the recent news that Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg’s son Jack appears to have reached adulthood in nonugly form and has grown a large head of hair and is therefore presumptive presidential material. That’s annoying and off-topic.

8. Don’t commemorate murder. A man managed to kill the President. He’s already gotten far too much press. He doesn’t deserve our endless attention. I’m sick of “celebrating” a death day. We don’t make anything of Lincoln’s death day. We celebrate his birthday, like Washington’s, because he was such a great President. We don’t celebrate JFK’s birthday — I don’t even know what it is — because he was not great enough. We celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday, not the day he was assassinated. Why? Because of his greatness, and because we don’t want to direct our attention toward his murder. So why do we focus on Kennedy’s death day? It must be because he was not great enough, and because of points #1, #2, and #3, above. It’s about ourselves. A man died and we morbidly relive it annually, for some reason that must make little sense to those under 50.

9. Do write to end the annual ritual of death commemoration. Nail down the coffin lid and give the dead President some peace. Inspire us to move on to modest acknowledgements of the date at 10 or 25 year intervals up until 2063, when we — those of us who survive — can go big for the centennial.

10. Do make it — if not original — short.

Althouse


Book: John F. Kennedy, Conservative

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The columnist Ira Stoll has managed to obtain a hard-to-get interview with the author Ira Stoll, whose new book, JFK, Conservative, is being published this week by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. An edited version of the exchange follows.

Q. Why did you write this book?

A. A lot of my conservative friends were contemptuous of the whole Kennedy family. I wanted to set them straight. And a lot of my left-of-center friend admired Kennedy, but for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to set them straight.

Q. Why does it matter now what people think of Kennedy? He’s been dead for nearly 50 years.

A. The same issues that Kennedy grappled with — economic growth, tax cuts, the dollar, free trade, peace through strength, immigration, welfare reform — are still with us today. I think he had some ideas that can inform our current debates over politics and policy.

Q. Oh, come on. When Kennedy wanted to cut taxes the top marginal rate was 91 percent. And when he built up the military we were in a global conflict with the Soviet Union. It was a totally different situation than the one we face today.

A. Well, read the book. You may be surprised by how similar some of the arguments then were to the arguments today. Al Gore Sr., the Democratic senator from Tennessee who was the father of Bill Clinton’s vice president, was denouncing tax cuts as a bonanza for fat cats. John Kenneth Galbraith, the Keynesian Harvard economist, opposed tax cuts and preferred, instead, more government spending. The top long-term capital gains tax rate in the Kennedy administration was 25 percent, and Kennedy wanted it lowered to 19.5 percent. In 2013, if you include the Obamacare tax, the top long-term federal capital gains tax rate is 23.8 percent.

Q. Why is the title of the book JFK, Conservative and not JFK, Libertarian?

A. There’s a lot in the book that will probably resonate with libertarians. Kennedy was likely influenced by a libertarian writer called Albert Jay Nock. Early in his political career, JFK gave some amazing speeches about the individual versus the state. On January 29, 1950, at Notre Dame, he said, “The ever expanding power of the federal government, the absorption of many of the functions that states and cities once considered to be the responsibilities of their own, must now be a source of concern to all those who believe as did the Irish Patriot, Henry Grattan: ‘Control over local affairs is the essence of liberty.’” And the Inaugural Address line “Ask not what your country can do for you” was a call for self-reliance and an attack on the welfare state. Other parts, like Kennedy’s foreign policy and his stance on some social issues, libertarians might find less attractive.

Read the rest of this entry »