From March, 2015

The Decline and Fall of American Foreign Policy

American foreign policy is–to put matters bluntly–in free-fall. The United States is significantly less able to influence events around the world, it is not trusted or respected by allies, and it has undermined its negotiating position with Iran in the nuclear talks by making it abundantly clear that it is desperate for a deal. If you care about the state of American foreign policy, you should be very scared right now. Let’s start with the recently concluded Israeli elections. Benjamin Netanyahu won, and that made the Obama administration mad. So the administration decided to work to delegitimize Netanyahu’s election by…

The United States Senate Is about to Get a Whole Lot More Respectable

Why? Because Harry Reid–the worst Senate majority leader in history–is retiring. I imagine that there are people who will miss him, but they shouldn’t; Reid’s corruption (I’ve only cited a couple of cases here) and the incredibly nasty way he behaved towards political opponents–including the adoption of McCarthyite tactics–brought shame and disrepute upon the United States Senate. Add to all of this Reid’s gaffes, and you can plainly see–unless you are blinded by partisanship–why the Senate and American politics are better off without him. In discussing Reid and the reasons for his retirement, let’s all make sure that we understand that…

Don’t Look Now, but Hillary Clinton’s E-Mail Scandal Just Got a Whole Lot Worse

I know, I know. You didn’t think it was possible for Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal to get any worse. And yet, here we are: Hillary Clinton wiped “clean” the private server housing emails from her tenure as secretary of state, the chairman of the House committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi said Friday. “While it is not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record…

Clinton Scandal Watch (A Continuing Series)

I’m waiting for Hillary Clinton to realize that she and many of those who hang around her are too ethically compromised to be allowed near the White House, and to withdraw from presidential consideration as a consequence. Until that happens, I guess that I and others will have to keep emphasizing the point that Hillary Clinton has no business being president of the United States. I have written previously about David Metcalfe, who in the past, was responsible for FOIA implementation at the Department of Justice. Here is more regarding his concerns about Clinton’s e-mail practices: . . . the soft-spoken academic who resembles…

Ha, Ha, Ha. Funny.

Apparently, secret homebrew e-mail accounts that can be hacked, a server in your own house–where it is vulnerable to all manner of dangers–and the frustration of efforts to make the government transparent are supposed to be real knee-slappers: Hillary Clinton opened her speech to a room full of political reporters by acknowledging an awkward, if obvious, fact: she’s not known for being media-friendly. But Monday night, she also pledged to make a change. “I am well aware that some of you may be a little surprised to see me here tonight,” she said. “My relationship with the press has been at…

Foreign Policy Question of the Day

Why don’t we talk about the chaos in Libya as much as we talk about the chaos in Iraq? This time it was the guards from an Austrian-run gas facility in Libya’s Saharan southwest. They were shown beheaded in a series of images posted to social media on March 8. A few weeks earlier it had been 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian labourers, their throats slit, some murmuring prayers as they were slaughtered in the central coastal city of Sirte. A month before that it had been the storming of the five-star Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli in which nine were killed, including…

Anti-Semitism on Full Display in London

Behold: A drunken mob of more than 20 thugs shouted “kill the Jews” as they stormed into a north London synagogue while young worshippers celebrated the end of the sabbath. The anti-Semitic abuse was hurled by the group of men and women as they first beat up a young man outside before chasing him inside, breaking windows and attacking others. Part of the chaotic incident in Stamford Hill was captured on video before the intruders were beaten back as the worshippers grabbed chairs to protect themselves. Scotland Yard said six people – four men and two women – were later…

Quote of the Day

This study investigated the antipoverty efficacy of minimum wage policies.  Proponents of these policies contend that employment impacts are negligible and suggest that consumers pay for higher labor costs through imperceptible increases in goods prices.  Adopting this empirical scenario, the analysis demonstrates that an increase in the national minimum wage produces a value-added tax effect on consumer prices that is more regressive than a typical state sales tax and allocates benefits as higher earnings nearly evenly across the income distribution.  These income-transfer outcomes sharply contradict portraying an increase in the minimum wage as an antipoverty initiative. —Thomas MaCurdy. (Via Tyler…

We Are Not Event Close to Done with the Hillary Clinton Saga

The latest news bulletins: The National Archives now want the State Department to explain how Hillary Clinton’s e-mails ended up on a private server, instead of being collected by the United States government. It sounds as though the people from the National Archives are concerned that there might have been shenanigans afoot. Imagine that. Even Democrats want an e-mail probe. According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, “nearly half of Democratic respondents – 46 percent – agreed there should be an independent review of all of Clinton’s emails to ensure she turned over everything that is work-related.” Additionally, “[t]here was also sizable support…

The Latest in the Clinton E-mail Controversy

Behold: Hillary Clinton has a long history of frustrating efforts to promote government transparency. Read the whole thing, but here is a highlight: Remember the commodity trading, in which she somehow made $100,000 “from an initial investment of $1,000 in a matter of months for a return of almost 10,000 percent”? Clinton “threatened a campaign lawyer who had access to the [investment] material with retribution if she released the data: ‘You’ll never work in Democratic politics again,’ the lawyer, Loretta Lynch, says Clinton told her.” Charming. And this purveyor of mafia boss tactics wants to be president of the United States? Remember…