No Clinton Foundation Access for Benghazi Dead

clinton foundation

An AP story says 85 of 154 meetings Hillary Clinton had regarding private interests, when she was Secretary of State, were with Clinton Foundation donors.

Clinton Foundation Access Fit For A Prince

Some of those donors represented foreign interests too. Politico reported that the crown prince of Bahrain used his Clinton Foundation connection to get a meeting with  Secretary Clinton. That was after he struck out going through “normal channels. So Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band emailed Huma Abedin with the request:

“Cp of Bahrain in tomorrow to Friday[.] Asking to see her[.] Good friend of ours,” Band wrote Abedin on her State Department email address on June 23, 2009.

Abedin responded the same day, a Tuesday, that the crown prince had asked to see Clinton through “normal channels” on Thursday and Friday.

“I asked and she said she doesn’t want to commit to anything for thurs or fri until she knows how she will feel. Also, she says that she may want to go to ny and doesn’t want to be committed to stuff in ny [sic],” Abedin wrote via her State account, following up that she meant “stuff in dc.”

Band responded to the first message, “Cool.”

Two days later, on June 25, 2009, Abedin wrote Band: “Offering bahrain cp 10 tomorrow for mtg [with ] hrc[.] If u see him, let him know.”

“We have reached out thru official channels,” Abedin added in the same message.

Band responded: “Nice[.] Abdullah is his guy[.] He’s great[.]”

Crown Prince Salman had committed $32 million to scholarships through the Clinton Global initiative.

Never Trump Media

media

A common thread among the elite media seems to be that Trump is so bad anything goes to stop him. Which is interesting, since The Donald brags that his electoral success so far comes from free media coverage.

Howard Kurtz picked up on the NeverTrump media movement in his August 9 Media Buzz column titled Media justify anti-Trump bias, claim he’s too dangerous for normal rules. Howie says some in the media “are flat-out making the case for unfairness—an unprecedented approach for an unprecedented campaign.”:

Liberal investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald recently told Slate that “the U.S. media is essentially 100 percent united, vehemently, against Trump, and preventing him from being elected president”…

Now comes Jim Rutenberg , in his first season as media columnist for the New York Times. He’s a good reporter and I give him credit for trying to openly grapple with this bizarre situation.

But Rutenberg is, in my view, trying to defend the indefensible:

“If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional. That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, nonopinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable.”

Then there’s Michael Goodwin in this New York Post column titled American Journalism Collapsing before our eyes:

The largest broadcast networks — CBS, NBC and ABC — and major newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post have jettisoned all pretense of fair play. Their fierce determination to keep Trump out of the Oval Office has no precedent.

And here’s historian Victor Davis Hanson:

The media somehow outdid their propaganda work for Barack Obama and have signed on as unapologetic auxiliaries to the Hillary Clinton campaign — and openly brag that, in Trump’s case, the duty of a journalist is to be biased.

NeverTrump Media

Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic isn’t having it. He explains why it’s difficult to cover Trump. Trump says provocative things like “Obama founded ISIS”. That’s not literally true – you can look it up. So what did Trump mean by it? That answer involves judgement and interpretation:

His strategic gambit was always and precisely to have things both ways.

By insisting that Barack Hussein Obama “founded” ISIS, knowing full well that his use of the word was unusual, inapt, and likely to mislead, then doubling down again and again when asked to clarify, Trump—who began in national politics by questioning Obama’s birth certificate—could again appeal to the part of his base that believes America is led by a secret Muslim foreigner who is allied with America’s Islamist enemies. And as even Trump acknowledged at the end of his interview with Hewitt, Trump willfully chose less accurate, more outrageous words to generate attention.

Having deliberately provoked with the repeated false statement that Obama founded ISIS, and deliberately inflamed with his reluctance to say he was speaking figuratively when asked to clarify, one Trump objective was achieved; having had things one way, he could move on to pretending, at the end of his Hewitt statement, that he was really just saying Obama had lost the peace all along, though he had directly rejected that notion moments earlier when Hewitt presented it.

Then, the next day, Trump sent out a Tweet with yet another contradictory explanation: He didn’t literally think Obama was the founder of ISIS; nor was he simply trying to express that Obama’s policies gave rise to ISIS; rather, when he said Obama founded ISIS, he was being “sarcastic,” but the media doesn’t get sarcasm.

All this deliberate, mendacious gamesmanship puts journalists in a very tricky position. If they merely report what Trump literally says, they’re accused of hyper-literalism. If they report what he reallymeans, judgment and interpretation are required.

Trump the Gardener

Another rich guy with “rice pudding between the ears” comes to mind. Maybe Trump is really Chance the Gardener (Peter Sellers character in the 1979 movie Being There):

President “Bobby”: Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?

[Long pause]

Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.

President “Bobby”: In the garden.

Chance the Gardener: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.

President “Bobby”: Spring and summer.

Chance the Gardener: Yes.

President “Bobby”: Then fall and winter.

Chance the Gardener: Yes.

Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we’re upset by the seasons of our economy.

Chance the Gardener: Yes! There will be growth in the spring!

Benjamin Rand: Hmm!

Chance the Gardener: Hmm!

President “Bobby”: Hm. Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that is one of the most refreshing and optimistic statements I’ve heard in a very, very long time.

[Benjamin Rand applauds]

President “Bobby”: I admire your good, solid sense. That’s precisely what we lack on Capitol Hill.

I like to watch.

Obama No Ransom Iran Nuclear Deal Narrative

ransom

Earlier this month he WSJ reported that the Obama administration shipped Iran a pallet of foreign cash worth $400 million. President Obama scolded the press for asking if the delivery of the unmarked bills, in an unmarked plane, in the middle of the night was ransom.

You’ve probably seen his four step reply:

1) The payment was old news.

2) It was Iran’s money.

3) It’s illegal to trade dollars with Iran.

4) We don’t pay ransom.

Then he mocked reporters by saying, it “defies logic” that we would pay ransom. He also said the story “reads like a spy novel.”

So it does.

For good measure State Department spokesman John Kirby tweeted:

“Reports of link between prisoner release & payment to Iran are completely false.”

So the WSJ reporters, Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee, dug a little deeper and learned that the payment was “specifically timed to the release of several American prisoners held in Iran.” The money was loaded onto an Iranian cargo plane in Geneva, Switzerland. And it wasn’t released until a plane departing Tehran with the prisoners was “wheels up.”

It’s Not Ransom. It’s Leverage. Or Not.

Based on the new information Kirby was asked by a reporter:

Q: “In basic English, you are saying you wouldn’t give [Iran] the 400 million in cash until the prisoners were released, correct?”

A: “That’s correct,” Kirby responded.

Iranians call it “ransom” (they’re already collecting more ransom chips). Kirby calls it “leverage.”

Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said, “I never used the world leverage” – leaving Kirby hanging out to dry.

Showing Up In Louisiana

Louisiana

According to CBS News, thirteen people have died and 30,000 have been rescued from homes and cars due to flooding in Louisiana.

President Obama doesn’t want to get in the way of the relief effort so he’s staying put on the golf course at Martha’s Vineyard. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards obliged by asking him not to come.

But the Baton Rouge Advocate doesn’t see it that way. The paper invited the president to come on down. A lead editorial was titled Vacation or not, a hurting Louisiana needs you now, President Obama:

Sometimes, presidential visits can get in the way of emergency response, doing more harm than good. But we don’t see that as a factor now that flood waters are subsiding, even if at an agonizing pace. It’s past time for the president to pay a personal visit, showing his solidarity with suffering Americans.

The press and politicians weren’t so cautious either when President Bush did a Katrina flyover in 2005. The Washington Examiner quotes Senator Barack Obama on the 2008 campaign trail:

“We can talk about what happened for two days in 2005 and we should. We can talk about levees that couldn’t hold, a FEMA that seemed not just incompetent but paralyzed and powerless, about a president who only saw the people from the window of an airplane instead of down here on the ground.”

Speaking of the campaign trail, Hillary can’t very well make a Louisiana appearance if Obama says he’d be in the way. So she’s visiting Martha’s Vineyard too.

80% of Success is Showing Up

All that island hopping left a flood victim vacuum. Donald Trump wasted no time filling it. Trump and Mike Pence were soon photographed helping unload a relief truck for the flood victims. And they didn’t seem to be in the way.

Now Obama says he’ll show up Tuesday.

 

Aetna Says Bye Bye to ObamaCare

aetna says bye byeThe four biggest insurers are going wobbly on ObamaCare.

What initially looked like a great deal for them – customers federally mandated to buy their product – doesn’t seem to be working out as they had hoped.  Bloomberg Businessweek reports that insurers are loosing hundreds of millions of dollars on Obamacare.

Aetna Says Bye Bye

So Aetna now says bye bye to ObamaCare by way of pulling out of exchanges in 11 of the 15 states it serves. UnitedHealth and Humana are following suit. UnitedHealth is ditching 31 of its 34 states, and Humana is leaving 9 of 19 states.

In July the Justice Department blocked a proposed merger between Aetna and UnitedHealth. At the time Aetna wrote that without the cost savings of the merger it would leave the exchanges.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton supports a government funded public option to compete on the exchanges with the remaining private insurers.