Posted tagged ‘Bill Kristol’

America’s Biggest Losers: The Right’s Commentariat

June 5, 2016

 America’s Biggest Losers: The Right’s Commentariat, American ThinkerClarice Feldman. June 5, 2016

(If the Trump Hater’s Club prevails, the biggest losers will be the American people. — DM)

It’s looking to be a long hot summer, full of violence against Trump supporters, exposure of Clinton wrongdoing, and continued loathsome behavior by the president, academics, and the media. To its shame, at this crucial juncture many of the once-respected members of the right’s commentariat are failing their readers and proving to be America’s biggest losers.

Space constraints prevent me from detailing all the wrongdoing of Hillary Clinton and her aides and allies, but here are just some turned up this week.

Breitbart reports that it is now clear that Hillary shared the names of covert U.S. intelligence figures on her unprotected server, which had been targeted by “Russia-linked hacker attempts”, jeopardizing their lives and operations. (Compare and contrast her behavior with that of Lewis Libby and the difference in the politicized responses of this administration with Bush’s. Or even with this administration’s response to clear lawbreaking as opposed to scurrilous, baseless claims in the prior administration.)

When Bush commuted the sentence of Libby, who had not leaked the name of a covert agent — and actually he should have pardoned him altogether but failed to — Hillary was quick on the draw:

“This commutation sends the clear signal that in this administration, cronyism and ideology trump competence and justice.” Clip and save this should she be indicted and pardoned on far worse conduct — actually being the source of the leak of real covert agents.

The scandals continue to involve the Clinton Family Foundation as well the emails. As Don Surber observes, however, “Press scrutiny — applies to Republicans, not Democrats.”

The [Clinton] foundation’s latest Form 990 shows that as of December 31, 2014, Hillary and Bill and Chelsea and their hedge fund son-in-law sat on $439,505,295 in assets. That’s pretty good for a “non-profit.”

In 2014, they received $24,313,685 in contributions and $113,957,283 in grants, including government grants.

That $439 million in assets is 17 times larger than that $25 million hedge fund that son-in-law ran into the ground by hedging on Greek debt. That $439 million represents a hefty investment fee for some person or company lucky enough to land the account.

The foundation spent $248,221,698 in 2014:

$95,887,139 on salaries and benefits.

$20,786,529 on travel.

$17,249,876 on professional and consulting services.

$14,200,147 on conferences and events.

$14,196,240 on UNITAID commodities expense

$13,519,824 on meetings and training

Et cetera. Oh and $33,692,599 was spent on direct program expenditures. Sure, this is all legal, but as a charity, this is not on the up and up. The Clintons used this as a way to launder foreign donations (which would be illegal if they were campaign donations) to finance her campaign in absentia.

Compare this to the Trump Foundation, whose latest Form 990 covered the year 2012.

Income: $1,259,851 (all from Trump)

Disbursements: $1,712,089

Expenses: $5,305.

Assets: $1,717,293.

Short. Simple. No staff. No travel. No consulting services. No conferences. No meetings. No training. It’s just, here is the money, here are the charities I want to give to, and here is the audit (which cost $5,305).

Hillary, as we know, is a master of the art of projection — attributing her own misdeeds to her opponents. This week she used a suit against Trump University by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as a talking point. But there’s a far bigger scandal he’s ignoring — CGI University, “a shady joint venture of Laureate and the Clinton Global Initiative”.

The Laureate Education went private in August 2007, in a multi billion dollar, risky, hugely leveraged transaction, closed in the last gasp of the bubble. The leveraged buyout was completed around August 2007 for approximately $3 billion in debt plus equity. The driving force behind the deal is of Friend of Bill (FOB) hedge fund king Steven Cohen, a poster child for bad hedge fund behavior.

[snip]

After the deal closed, the schools had great financial difficulties and these capital suppliers grew concerned. Bill Clinton’s pals were feeling squeezed as a profitable exit seemed less and less likely.

To dress the deal up in 2010, Bill Clinton was brought in to serve as “Chancellor,” a part-time position for which he was collecting $16 million through early 2015. This extraordinary compensation was never properly disclosed until 2015. Many of those on the hook paid Bill and Hillary big fees for speeches as well. Bill Clinton was thus collecting from both Laureate equity and debt suppliers. The Laureate CEO, Doug Becker, is involved as a Clinton backer, Clinton Global Initiative and Clinton Foundation donor and involved in the International Youth Foundation, a recipient of favors and money from the Clinton-led Department of State. [emphasis added]

Incredibly, in 2013 the International Finance Corporation announced a record setting $150 million investment in Laureate at a time when its financial condition was rocky at best. Clinton’s involvement sealed the deal. Then the Clinton Global Initiative and Clinton Foundation entered into a joint venture with Laureate to create CGI-University. Yet none of these related party disclosures are included in any of the Clinton Foundation or Clinton Global Initiative filings for relevant periods (starting in 2008 or so).

New York State law requires specific approvals for an entity to hold itself out as being a university. In this case CGI (a fraud) created CGI University (a fraud) in league with Laureate, a fraud.

There’s also a private suit against Trump University in California where Trump’s criticism of the judge handling the case has drawn press rebuke. Of course, that ignores Obama and Hillary’s attacks on judges, as James Taranto notes with examples.

As a rule, a show of public disrespect for judicial authority is a foolish litigation strategy. It worked for Obama with Chief Justice Roberts because, like Mr. Clinton before him, he had virtually all Democrats and most of the media cheering him on. Criticism of a Democratic president for traducing democratic norms is inevitably discounted for partisanship. President Hillary Clinton would get away with it for the same reason.

And I must add to this review by Taranto mention of the inappropriate and unprecedented dressing down Obama gave the Supreme Court justices at a State of the Union Address where they were powerless to respond. This was a display of unpresidential and inappropriate behavior, which I do not recall getting much in the way of media censure.

I stopped watching television years ago, but if you still do and don’t have amnesia, you might remember this video example Andrew Klavan links to comparing Dana Bash’s reaction to the press denouement on the charge Trump hadn’t donated to veterans organizations when he had and her attack on Major Garrett for asking a deservedly tough question of Obama on the Iran deal about which he was flat-out lying. She made clear that tough questioning of a Democratic president on false claims is over the top but fake claims against a Republican candidate are just what the press’s job is. This is why nobody who can think with any degree of discernment pays TV news much mind.

In any event, in the private suit against Trump University, Trump has a point. The judge is clearly biased and the suit is — pardon the expression — trumped up.

To quote Facebook poster Jennifer Verner about the judge (an activist in MALDEF who appointed to represent the plaintiffs law firms which contributed almost $700,000 to Clinton’s campaign directly and through speaking fees):

So it took me about 10 minutes on the INTERNET to find that the California La Raza Lawyers Association lists MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) as an affiliate group, and that MALDEF is one of the organizations that have been actively protesting Donald Trump. Lazy Jerks at CNN need to get their facts straight. The La Raza judge needs to go, not because he’s Hispanic, but because his political activity leads to a conflict of interest.”

From the California La Raza Lawyers Association. Look up which groups have been organizing the protests at the Trump rallies. Notice MALDEF? Oops.

Using the courts with the help of partisan prosecutors and judges to beset and discredit their opponents is a standard Democratic trick. It works so often because the folks more interested in keeping their white togas spotless will not ally themselves with a colleague or party official charged with wrongdoing no matter how preposterous and biased the charges. (See the cases against Lewis Libby, Senator Ted Stevens, Congressman Tom DeLay, and Senator Rick Perry.)

This vicious, no-holds-barred Clinton campaign will continue on to November, and what makes it worse is that while we can count on the major media to continue to front for his opponents, hiding their gaffes and wrongdoing and exaggerating his, some people who should be Trump’s allies are joining in the fight against him.

Bill Kristol has put forth National Review writer David French (who in January said he’d vote for Trump if Trump got the nomination) as his third-party choice.

Daniel J. Flynn at the Spectator responded:

What he lacks in experience he lacks in money and name recognition. David French enjoys a level of popularity above Eddie Spanish but somewhat below Jimmy the Greek. Even among National Review’s stable of writers, French ranks, at least in terms of reader familiarity, as something of a b-lister — not appearing, for instance, in the list of the magazine’s “notable” contributors at Wikipedia.

[snip]

Mistaking the views of a cliquish community inside a 64-mile band of clogged roadway for popular sentiment in the country outside of it, beltway conservatives inflate their influence. They imagine themselves as shaping the opinions of conservatives and quadrennially playing Republican kingmaker. So, imagine the terror of witnessing the rise of a candidate who not only stood them up at their annual CPAC gathering but dared call their bluff on immigration and challenged the orthodoxy of a busybody foreign policy that made the last Republican president and his party terribly unpopular. If nothing else, Trump’s success screams “the emperor has no clothes” at the ruling clique that rules in the way the D&D dungeonmaster imagines he does. French’s failure would further emphasize their impotence.

In sum, whatever else French is, he’s this year’s Admiral Stockdale — a nice man being thrown into the ring without training in boxing or gloves.

Others have gone further and said they’d vote for Hillary over Trump. This, even as the evidence of her corruption, incompetence, and lack of regard for either the rule of law or national security become impossible to ignore.

Oddly enough, these right wing critics did not get behind Ted Cruz in the primaries when it became a two-man race and Cruz was clearly the most conservative of the two choices. My friend “Ignatz Ratzkywatzky” responds to those of the commentariat who assert they are backing French or even Hillary because of their deeply held “principles”:

Is it actually a principle if its result is electing someone diametrically opposed to and intent on destroying those things that the principled person supposedly believes in?

Sounds more like a conceit to me.

Sounds like it to me, too.

Mickey Kaus, a Democrat, has long argued that immigration and open borders were big issues that needed to be addressed. He faults the right for failing to do so:

If they’d stood up to the Democrats — harnessing some of that GOP grassroots anger they knew was out there! — they could eventually have cut a different sort of deal, one that guaranteed enforcement as a precondition for any discussion of legalization, but that did offer eventual legalization to immigration-oriented Latino voters. Why didn’t they do that? ** Answer: Because Amnesty First reform wasn’t just a practical sop to an ethnic voting bloc. It’s what the GOP business elite actually wanted — i.e., a steady flow of eager, wage-restraining workers for the foreseeable future.*** Maybe this is also the reason why the allegedly hard-nosed elite actually believed all the polls ginned up by Latino activist groups (most prominently an outfit called Latino Decisions) designed to show that they really had to cave on immigration fast or else their party was doomed.

Some are even going so far as to suggest that at least one big Republican donor active in the gay rights movement is behind opposition to Cruz and Trump for failing to support his gay rights stance. If so, I think they are making a big mistake and are America’s biggest losers. The right’s commentariat failed over the past eight years to convince voters of their positions and are now doubling down with no real economic consequences to themselves. Perhaps they are already drafting emails and letters dated January 2017 begging for more contributions in order to “fight” Hillary. They seem to be well insulated from the costs the base has borne as a result of their ineffectiveness. And now they are adding “feckless” and “conceited” to any honest description of their work.

As for me — should that horrible-to-contemplate prospect of a Hillary victory come to pass, I will toss the begging letters of these losers into the trash.

 

Kristol’s Betrayal gets Serious

May 30, 2016

Kristol’s Betrayal gets Serious, Front Page MagazineDavid Horowitz, May 30, 2016

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Reprinted from Breitbart.

Over the Memorial Day Weekend, Bill Kristol doubled down on his betrayal of this country with a pair of tweets:

“Just a heads up over this holiday weekend: There will be an independent candidate–an impressive one, with a strong team and a real chance.”

“Those accused of betraying GOP by opposing Trump can take heart from P. Henry 251 years ago today: ‘If this be treason, make the most of it!’”

This fatuous invocation of an American patriot to justify the betrayal typifies the arrogant disregard for political realities shared by all those involved in a defection that could produce even greater disasters than the Obama era’s 400,000 deaths by jihad and 20 million refugees across the Middle East.

A week earlier a Never Trump diatribe appeared in National Review, written by Charles Murray. To summarize why “Trump is unfit outside the normal parameters” to be president, Murray cited these words by NY Times columnist David Brooks:

Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa. . . . He is a childish man running for a job that requires maturity. He is an insecure boasting little boy whose desires were somehow arrested at age 12.

This is a perfect instance of “Trump derangement syndrome,” the underlying animus that motivates Kristol and his destructive cohorts. Dismissing Trump as an ignoramus and a stunted twelve-year old is the stuff of schoolyard put-downs, not a serious critique of someone with Trump’s considerable achievements. Yet this is typical of Trump’s diehard opponents on the right.Is Trump more unprepared than Barack Obama whose qualification for the presidency was a lifetime career as a leftwing agitator? And how did that work out? Despite the lacunae in his executive resume, Obama is now regarded as “one of the most consequential presidents in American history” by reasonably qualified experts.

Can Trump be reasonably criticized, and is he something of a loose cannon? Of course he can, and yes he is. But criticisms that focus exclusively on the candidate miss the larger reality of this election, which is not merely a contest between two candidates but a clash between two parties and constituencies with radically differing views of what this country is and should be about, and even more importantly about the threats we face and how to deal with them.

Obama’s most consequential domestic legislation is the Affordable Care Act, which he had no part in writing. It was the work of leftwing think tanks and the congressional Democrats. So it will be with Trump, which is why all the blather about his vagueness or impracticality on policy issues is beside the point. Will he build a wall the length of the Mexican border? Probably not. But will he secure the border? Probably so.  Will a Democrat – whether Hillary, Bernie or Joe Biden, secure our borders and stop the flow of illegals, criminals and terrorists? Certainly not. In addition to their decades long war for amnesties and open boarders, Democrats are responsible for the more than 350 “Sanctuary Cities” that openly defy federal law and provide safe havens for those same illegals, criminals and terrorists.

Open borders, Sanctuary Cities, importing unvetted Muslim refugees from the Middle East are but the tip of the iceberg in assessing the threat that the Democratic Party and its candidate (whoever it is) pose to America’s national security. For twenty-three years since the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, the Democratic Party has been the party of appeasement and retreat in the holy war that fanatical Muslims have declared on us. The first bombing of the World Trade Center misfired but still killed 6 people and wounded 1,000 others. Clinton never visited the site while his administration insisted on treating it as a criminal act by individuals who needed to be tried in criminal courts, an attitude that would culminate in Barack Obama’s refusal to recognize that we were in a war at all, and certainly not one with fanatical Muslims. To a man and woman the Democratic Party’s elected officials continue to participate in and support this denial.

Following the first World Trade Center bombing, there were three more devastating attacks on American assets by al-Qaeda’s barbarians during the Clinton administration, with no response and no change of mind towards the nature of the threat. There were also massive security breaches, including the theft by Communist China of America’s nuclear arsenal and the publishing of all our hitherto classified data from America’s nuclear weapons tests. Clinton’s leftist Secretary of Energy published the reports for the world to see, as she put it, “to end the bomb-building culture.

Following the 9/11 attacks the Bush administration focused on Afghanistan, which had provided al-Qaeda with a base to attack us, and Iraq, which had violated 16 Security Council resolutions designed to enforce the Gulf War truce, which Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein had repeatedly violated and prevent him from reviving the massive chemical and nuclear weapons programs we had destroyed. In 1998 Saddam threw the U.N. weapons inspectors out of Iraq, a further violation of the Gulf War truce and a clear sign of his determination to revive his weapons programs. Embroiled in the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clinton fired 451 cruise missiles into Iraq, a pointless response that was correctly seen by critics at the time as an attempt to deflect attention from his appearance before the grand jury looking into his personal disorders.

The Bush administration put 200,000 troops on Iraq’s borders, which prompted Saddam Hussein to re-admit the inspectors, but then to throw obstacles in their path. Bush went before the UN and secured a 17th Security Council resolution, unanimously passed, in the form of an ultimatum to Saddam to destroy any weapons of mass destruction he possessed and provide proof that he had done so. Bush also went to Congress and got an authorization for the use of force from Senate but not House Democrats. The ultimatum date came and went, and to prevent the word of the United States and the commitment of 200,000 troops from meaning nothing, Bush proceeded to invade Iraq. But before he did so he gave Saddam the option to quit the country in which case the invasion would be called off. A simpler measure would have been to assassinate Saddam, since he was the Iraq problem. But thanks to a law passed by the post-Watergate Democrats the CIA is prevented from assassinating foreign leaders, which made the invasion necessary.

Within three months of the invasion, with American troops still in harms’ way. The Democrats who had authorized the use of force and spoken in favor of the removal of Saddam turned against the war and began a five-year campaign to sabotage it. The Democrats reversal – and betrayal of our men and women in arms – was triggered by a presidential primary in which a leftwing candidate, Howard Dean, was running away with the Democratic nomination. This betrayal prevented us from pursuing Saddam’s generals and chemical weapons into Syria, and bringing Assad to heel. Bush managed to rescue the war effort and defeat al-Qaeda on the battlefield through the “surge” that Democrats opposed. But then Obama took charge and implemented, the Democrats’ America-is- guilty platform of appeasement and retreat, creating a power vacuum in Iraq and Syria that ISIS quickly filled. At the same time, the Democrats have systematically taken down our military which is now at its lowest levels since World War II.

This is the issue that defines the coming election. A party in denial about the Muslim holy war against America and its allies, whose basic instinct is to weaken America’s defenses and enable her enemies, is opposed by a party that wants to rebuild America’s strength, secure our borders and put the safety of our people first.

The Kristol attack on the Republican Party and its candidate Donald Trump, is an attack on all Americans, and needs to be seen in that light.