From February, 2015

Why Would We Want the Headaches of a Clinton Presidency?

Oh, look; an ethical lapse associated with the Clintons. And it’s a doozy. The Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from seven foreign governments during Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, including one donation that violated its ethics agreement with the Obama administration, foundation officials disclosed Wednesday. Most of the contributions were possible because of exceptions written into the foundation’s 2008 agreement, which included limits on foreign-government donations. The agreement, reached before Clinton’s nomination amid concerns that countries could use foundation donations to gain favor with a Clinton-led State Department, allowed governments that had previously donated money to continue making…

An Open Letter

TO: Thomas Piketty FROM: Pejman Yousefzadeh RE: Incurring Paul Krugman’s Contempt Dear Professor Piketty: Congratulations on successfully positioning yourself so that you may be looked down upon by Paul Krugman until the end of time itself. Your ability to cause Professor Krugman to consider you to be less intellectually developed than your average paramecium–and make no mistake; this is what he must think of you right now, given that you have the temerity to disagree with him–is tremendously impressive and merits your warm welcome into a special club of people whom Professor Krugman considers to be the dust and grime beneath the…

Quote of the Day

A journalist decided to test how safe the streets of Paris are for Jews – by wearing a religious skullcap and filming the public’s reaction using a hidden camera. Zvika Klein, a reporter for Jewish news outlet NRG, silently walked in the city for ten hours wearing a kippah – also known as a yarmulke – on his head and a tzitzit (knotted ritual tassels). And the shocking hidden camera footage shows antisemitism is rife in the French capital as he is seen harassed and intimidated. As he wanders around neighbourhoods wearing the garments associated with the Jewish faith, he…

Jeb Bush’s Foreign Policy Fluency

Edward Luce finds much to like in Jeb Bush’s recent speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs: Jeb Bush knows George W Bush, he was raised with George W Bush and can safely declare that he is no George W Bush. That — in a manner of speaking — was the message the former governor of Florida wanted to convey in Chicago. Billed as his first foreign policy speech since he chose “to actively explore” a presidential bid, Mr Bush has doubtless garnered the “I am my own man” headlines he sought. Yet people listening to the detail of his address…

Speaking of Curbs on Freedom . . .

The onetime fans of the Hugo Chávez regime in Venezuela–the ones who thought that the regime was filled with wonderful people and ideas and who thought it was just marvelous that Chávez went to the United Nations to call George W. Bush “the devil”–have been rather quiet (as noted many times on this blog), now that it is clear that the regime is responsible for an economic catastrophe and the decline of political freedoms. One would think that they might say something about how they now regret having supported Chávez and his gang, but thus far, most of the past…

The “Most Transparent Administration Ever” Helps Bring about Less Transparency

Kudos to the New York Times for recognizing the harm that has been done to press freedom by the Obama administration. And the harm, it should be noted, is quite real: The United States has dropped 29 spots in the annual Reporters Without Borders press freedom ranking since 2009, when President Barack Obama took office. The U.S. ranked 49th this year out of 180 countries included in the organization’s World Press Freedom Index, joining the ranks of countries like Niger, Malta and Romania. The decline from its position at No. 20 in 2009 has been spurred by the Obama administration’s aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers,…

The Worst Analysis Regarding ISIL that You Have Ever Seen

Courtesy of Marie Harf, who actually has a job in our State Department, and who said the following regarding the war with ISIL: . . . We can not win this war by killing them. We can not kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium and longer term to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it is lack of opportunity for jobs– Harf has now taken to Twitter to claim that her critics are too dumb to have properly understood her comments. Or something. To be sure, there is much…

The Difference Between Me and Hillary Clinton

If I were crazy enough to run for president of the United States, I wouldn’t allow foreign donors to be perceived as being able to buy access to my potential administration: The Clinton Foundation has dropped its self-imposed ban on collecting funds from foreign governments and is winning contributions at an accelerating rate, raising ethical questions as Hillary Clinton ramps up her expected bid for the presidency. Recent donors include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Germany and a Canadian government agency promoting the Keystone XL pipeline. In 2009, the Clinton Foundation stopped raising money from foreign governments after Mrs.…

Running Campaigns and Running the Country

Back in 2008, Obama partisans pointed to the fact that their candidate presided over a well-run and well-executed campaign, and claimed that this would translate into an ability to run the country as well as the campaign was run. The claim was always bogus–being a competent president of the United States is harder (by many orders of magnitude) than being a candidate in a well-run campaign, and furthermore, candidates don’t run their own campaigns–but if we are to take the claim seriously, Hillary Clinton is already showing that she would make for a poor president of the United States: Lingering…

Marxist Economist Begins to Realize that Marxist Economics Does Not Work

You’d think that the lesson would have taken earlier: Venezuela’s economic failings are turning it into the “laughing-stock” of Latin America, according to late president Hugo Chavez’s top economic planner. Former Finance and Planning Minister Jorge Giordani, who was sacked in mid-2014 by Chavez’s successor, Nicolas Maduro, said in an interview this week that reforms in the South American OPEC nation are years overdue. “We should have taken measures from Oct. 7, 2012,” Giordani told local website notitimes.com, referring to the date of Chavez’s last presidential election victory. Chavez, who was president for 14 years, died of cancer in 2013.…