I was planning on analyzing The Economist’s latest cover story, which analyzes the humanitarian tragedy in Yemen. However, today’s news of Houthi rebels killing ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh is a shocking development:
IT WAS an unceremonious end for an Arab leader who had dominated his country for decades. On December 4th Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s former dictator, was killed outside the capital Sana’a, which has been paralysed by a week of fighting. A video circulated online showed his bloodied body wrapped in a blanket, surrounded by militiamen. State television called the former president “the leader of the traitors”. His death is likely to escalate a three-year civil war that has laid waste to the country. It was also a microcosm of Yemen’s complexity: Mr Saleh was killed by former foes who had become allies, only to become enemies again.
As The Economist discusses above, an already-complex war has become even more so.
The fighting in the capital over the weekend was already very destructive and caused many civilian casualties, and further fighting between the factions there will be even more devastating. If the breakdown of the Houthi-Saleh alliance prompts a coalition assault on the capital, the loss of life could be great. The humanitarian situation in the country continues to grow more dire as the coalition blockade deprives the population of essential food, fuel, and medicine. The civilian population needs a complete halt to the fighting now more than ever, but unfortunately that seems unlikely to follow these events.
Please pray for the poor souls suffering in Yemen.
While Venezuela has been the focus of attention recently due to its political turmoil and dire shortages of basic necessities, this has not stopped President Nicolas Maduro from turning his attention towards one of the world’s best-known Venezuelans for not toeing the line.
Gustavo Dudamel is the conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra. Originally created as a youth orchestra, the SBSO is the centerpiece of Venezuela’s “El Sistema” of state-sponsored youth orchestras. Dudamel forged his career through the system, which former president Hugo Chavez strongly supported during his tenure.
Dudamel has found himself in a delicate position between arts and politics for several years. In 2014, he was strongly criticized for making a high profile appearance in Caracas on February 12th, the same day “that violent clashes between protesters and police in the country left three dead”:
Initially, reports had circulated on social media that Dudamel had been conducting a performance in Maracay with president Nicolas Maduro in attendance. The conductor has denied that vehemently, however, pointing out that he was in the country’s capital city leading an orchestra of young musicians from his home town of Barquisimeto in celebration of El Sistema’s foundation 39 years ago.
This incident led Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero to write an open letter to Dudamel and José Abreu, founder of El Sistema, pleading that they should use their public status to speak out against government policy:
Writing an open letter to Dudamel and Abréu on Facebook, [Montero] says that ‘the time has come in which the artists with the most prominent voices can no longer quietly accept the theft and destruction of our nation by the corrupted manifestation of a political ideology, for fear of biting the hand that feeds them. Our democracy has collapsed, and with it our dignity.’
Addressing Dudamel in person, Montero says that he is ‘right to focus your unique creative energy on the beautiful flower of music and youth, and nobody can deny that you have brought joy and rejuvenation to classical music nationally and internationally. I would be the first to congratulate you for it, but you are simply wrong to ignore the toxic oasis in which that flower stands alone, and on the brink of withering and dying, subsumed as it will be by the stench that surrounds it.’
Following the criticism, Dudamel, who has both enjoyed a long friendship with Montero and shared the concert stage with her on a number of occasions, released a statement. ‘What our National Network of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela represents are the values of Peace, Love and Unity,’ it read. ‘February 12 is a special day because it was the day that a project was born that has become the emblem and flag of our country to the world. Therefore, we commemorate all youth, we commemorate the future, we commemorate brotherhood. Our music represents the universal language of peace; therefore, we lament yesterday’s events. With our music, and with our instruments in hand, we declare an absolute no to violence and an resounding yes to peace.’
Perhaps it’s no surprise for an artist, who may know Pachelbel but not praxeology, to hide behind high-falootin’ gobbledygook so he can focus on his art.
However, as much as Dudamel wanted to avoid politics, politics had no desire of avoiding him.
In May, Dudamel spoke out against the Maduro government after a member of El Sistema died in street protests that killed more than 120. In August, he was involved in successful negotiations with National guard forces to release Wuilly Arteaga (pictured above), a Venezuelan violinist that had been detained in July. Arteaga had gained a following on social media for playing music in the middle of violent street protests against Maduro.
Apparently Dudamo’s recent involvement was too much for Maduro to take.
“I hope God forgives you,” Maduro reportedly said, criticizing Dudamel for spending time in Madrid and Los Angeles while a political and economic crisis deepens in his homeland.
“Welcome to politics, Gustavo Dudamel. But act with ethics, and don’t let yourself be deceived into attacking the architects of this beautiful movement of young boys and girls.”
(Nice orchestra you’ve got there. ‘Shame if anything were to happen to it.)
Dudamel’s remarks and involvement in Arteaga’s release appears to have been enough for the Venezuelan government to cancel the SBSO’s tours of the United States and Asia. BBC Music Magazine reports in its October 2017 issue that “Dudamel’s continued involvement with the SBSO is now believed to be in doubt.”
As entertaining as Lin-Manual Miranda’s Hamilton is, an unfortunate side effect has been American youngsters idolizing a man that has done an immense amount of damage to the American legal and political system. While Brion McClanahan’s new book How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America isn’t going to compete in popularity with the Broadway musical’s hip-hop songbook, it is a welcome remedy that clearly articulates Hamilton’s impact on American government.
McClanahan discusses the impact Hamiltonianism had on American politics through four key figures in American history: Hamilton himself, John Marshall, Joseph Story, and Hugo Black. Of course, Hamilton is the key figure in this narrative; McClanahan demonstrates him as the key mover behind American nationalism. John Marshall, as the first chief of the U.S. Supreme Court, uses Hamiltonian arguments to further the nationalist cause. Joseph Story, although a Supreme Court justice, solidifies the nationalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution primarily through publishing a three-volume treatise on the document. Finally, Hugo Black, as a Supreme Court Justice in the 1960s, finalized the dominance of nationalist Constitutional though through a series of rulings that applied the Fourteenth Amendment to the activities of the states.
Throughout the book, McClanahan shows that these men had two things in common: they each sought to establish and maintain a national government, inconsistent with how the U.S. Constitution was structured and presented to state legislatures at the time of its adoption, and they were duplicitous in how they carried out their work.
The tone of the book is established right from the beginning. McClanahan pulls no punches when discussing Hamilton’s tactics while the Constitution was being designed, debated, and ratified:
Hamilton spoke out of both sides of his mouth. Put simply, he often lied, particularly when it came to defending federal power. Hamilton would craft a narrative of constitutional authority that would fit his agenda, but that narrative was often at odds with the story he spun when the Constitution was in the process of ratification. In 1787 and 1788, Hamilton sang a tune of federal restraint and limited central authority. When backed into a corner by Jefferson or James Madison after the Constitution was ratified, Hamilton would often backtrack and advance positions he favored during the Philadelphia Convention, namely for a supreme central authority with virtually unlimited power, particularly for the executive branch. This Hamilton was the real Hamilton, but the real Hamilton would never have been in a position to direct the future of the United States had he not been part of a disingenuous sales pitch to the states while the Constitution was being debated and ratified.
McClanahan is at his best when he supported well-constructed arguments by referring to a wide variety of original sources. Simply put, he knows his original sources. He uses them, and the arguments he articulates, in a nuanced and comprehensive manner.
In short, this is an excellent book that demonstrates how Alexander Hamilton and his fellow travelers throughout history moved American politics away from the decentralized general government, as articulated and originally understood in the Constitution, towards a national government. Lovers of American history, and American culture, would do well to read this brief yet powerful book.
This author has a love-hate relationship with The Economist. I love to hate it.
My dissatisfaction with it rests primarily on its hiding behind the moniker of being a conservative, free market magazine while advocating for the worst statist positions possible. With a straight face, and far too many words, they persistently push for central banking, neocon foreign policies, and policies designed to “confront” global warming.
The latest example of its chicanery is its latest cover story, which makes a case for the estate tax.
The magazine claims that the estate tax pits “two vital liberal principles against each other.”
One is that governments should leave people to dispose of their wealth as they see fit. The other is that a permanent, hereditary elite makes a society unhealthy and unfair. How to choose between them?
The Economist creates a false sense of tension through its selection of these principles. The second one presumes that a permanent elite can arise in a society without the help of the state. However, the only way a permanent ruling class can arise is through the state.
To paraphrase Murray Rothbard and Franz Oppenheimer, there are two ways of acquiring wealth: by selling products and services through the free market, or by stealing other people’s stuff. A free market won’t allow a permanent elite to exist, unless that elite constantly provides value through providing goods and services to people across generations. That is highly unlikely.
However, the state is essentially a framework through which stealing other people’s stuff is legitimized and made permanent. The only way an elite can be made permanent, let alone hereditary,is if a state is set up in such a way that allows for the designated elite to remain.
One would think that a publication located in Great Britain – which, after all, has a monarchy and used to have an active aristocracy – would appreciate this simple fact.
The rest of the article works through the exercise of resolving the supposed tension between the above two principles. In the end, the magazine argues that the estate tax should remain, primarily because it is the “least distorting” of taxes.
Unlike income taxes, they do not destroy the incentive to work—whereas research suggests that a single person who inherits an amount above $150,000 is four times more likely to leave the labour force than one who inherits less than $25,000. Unlike capital-gains taxes, heavier estate taxes do not seem to dissuade saving or investment. Unlike sales taxes, they are progressive. To the extent that a higher inheritance tax can fund cuts to all other taxes, the system can be more efficient.
However, Hans Sennholz argues in “The Envy Tax” that none of these arguments hold water.
Death duties are no painless levies, as the taxmen want us to believe; they actually affect the conditions and actions of three parties: wealthy owners, their heirs, and the public. Owners who created the wealth usually are aware of the confiscatory nature of their future estate levies and therefore may adjust their life styles while they are still alive. They may seek early retirement in leisure and play, enjoy their wealth, or give it away. Wealthy retirees support the fastest growth industry of our time, housing and entertainment of a large leisure class congregating in affluent retirement communities. Or they may redirect their talents and efforts toward estate tax avoidance or evasion in order to leave more wealth to the family.
The loss of capital is compounded by an army of tax accountants and attorneys who thrive on the administration and distribution of estates. The indirect costs of estate taxation often decimate productive capital as effectively as the death duties themselves. Billions of dollars are spent every year for devising and administering trusts and foundations which, loaded with tax attorneys and accountants, wage expensive battles with their counterparts in government, all frittering away productive capital. Many billions of dollars are sent abroad in search of reliable tax havens.
Death duties do not visibly destroy capital goods such as factories, oil wells, refineries, or stores; but the heirs may be forced to sell all or part of the estate in order to raise the cash needed for the tax payment. The cash consists of someone’s savings which will never build a factory or store, never drill an oil well, never manufacture a tool or die. They merely replace the capital consumed by government. When the death duties fall on a large private enterprise, many stockholders may take the place of the family paying the duties. Their investments are simple replacements of productive capital lost. The media may then speak of the “passing of an era.”
While The Economist recognizes that the estate tax forces heirs to sell business, farms, and homes to pay the tax, it pretends to come up with the practical suggestion that heirs should be allowed “to pay the duties gradually, from cashflow rather than by fire-sales.”
Because after all, what matters to The Economist is that government gets the revenue it deserves.
The magazine closes its attempt to have a “sensible discussion” on the issue by articulating three “design principles” behind an appropriate estate tax: target the wealthy, keep it simple, and reduce other taxes.
The Economist‘s last principle is the most ridiculous. Government are rarely inclined to reduce taxes while putting new taxes in place.
Rather than focusing on how a tax that shouldn’t exist be designed, I have an even better idea.
How about if governments stop getting involved in monetary policy, stay out of the affairs of other countries (and the affairs of its constituents, I might add), and protect property rights?
While this wouldn’t be anarcho-capitalism by any stretch of the imagination, these moves would lead to far smaller governments, thereby reducing the amount of taxpayer money needed, cutting the number of parasitical elites that would live off of government largesse, and eliminating the need for a death tax.
During an event at Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday evening for her new book “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House,“Brazile weighed in on Gillibrand’s statement about Clinton and whether Democratic candidates should campaign with the Clintons during the 2018 midterm election campaign.
“Absolutely, no doubt, and let me tell you something,” Brazile said. “I worked for Bill Clinton and Al Gore, OK, part of my formative years. Bill Clinton was impeached. In 1998, I went over to the DNC, I left my job with [Reps.] Eleanor Holmes Norton and Dick Gephardt to go over to the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] and the [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee] and the DNC, and we came within five seats [of taking the House in the 1998 midterm elections]. Bill Clinton paid a huge price and I know everybody wants to re-litigate it today and rather than talk about Roy Moore, a man who has been banned from the mall, and not want to talk about sexual harassment — sexual harassment is a pervasive problem in our society and the workplace.”
At the book event, Brazile said she was worried that the focus on individuals like Bill Clinton would distract from the broader problem. “It’s not just celebrities. It’s not just politicians. It’s not just comedians. Rather than address this issue, we’re trying to make this out of a political issue like, ‘Oh, should he do this and should he’ — this is a pervasive problem in the workplace, and we need to give encouragement to the people who are coming forward with their story,” she added.
“I believe the women and we should stop trying to distract from the issue at hand, which is sexual harassment. It is immoral, it’s wrong, and it doesn’t matter if it occurred 30 years ago or if it occurred last night. We need to speak out and give voice to what is happening in our society.”
Despite Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 election, Brazile said the Democratic Party needs the Clintons out on the campaign trail. She applauded the Clintons for helping “recruit” new faces for the party.
“I am grateful for their service. Bill Clinton was in Puerto Rico yesterday. I know a little bit about, you know, not having running water after a storm. I know a little bit about what it’s like to have your roof blown off your head after a storm. I am proud that Bill Clinton has continued his service. He’s not perfect. I’m not perfect. John 8 said he or she without sin – I put ‘she.’ I know the men who wrote the Bible didn’t understand that women had a role too, but — cast the first stone,” Brazile said.
“The Clintons have been extremely effective in helping the Democratic Party recruit the next generation of candidates and much more. We need Bernie Sanders out there. We need Hillary Clinton out there. We need Joe Biden out there. When your party has been in the wilderness; when you’ve lost 932 state legislative seats and 11 gubernatorial seats; when you’ve lost over 63 congressional seats, we can’t afford to be going out there and saying, ‘Donna, sit your butt home. Bill, sit your butt home.’ We need everybody to get their butts out there and win in 2018 and beyond – that’s where I stand,” she added.
This is rich on so many levels. I’ll just focus on three issues that spring out from her remarks.
First, Donna Brazile wants Bill Clinton to campaign for Democrats during the 2018 elections, even though he is accused of, among other things:
Raping Juanita Broadrick,
Sexually assaulting Kathleen Whiley,
Sexually harassing Paula Jones, and
Sexually assaulting Leslie Millwee.
This is in addition to the recent allegations made by four women that Clinton sexually assaulted them after he was President.
But you see, it’s ok for Clinton to campaign for Democrats, because Donna Brazile believes the women.
Second, Brazile thinks that because he isn’t perfect, and nobody is perfect, not only should nobody complain about what Clinton did to specific women, it is perfectly acceptable for Clinton to campaign. For support, she refers to John 8, in which Jesus challenges those without sin to cast the first stone against an adulteress.
In the most charitable way possible, Brazile’s argument is sanctimonious bullshit. While she wants people to pay less attention to Bill Clinton, she wants people to more attention to Ray Moore because he is alleged to have harassed teen aged girls! She can’t have it both ways!
Or she can try, but then that would make her just another Democrat.
Finally, the primary reason Brazile wants Clinton on the road is she believes he is an effective campaigner and candidate recruiter. But is he really as good as she makes him out to be? After the 2016 election, The Atlantic published an article suggesting that the Democratic party is in serious trouble. Not only did the Jackasses lose the White House and both houses of Congress, but Republicans won the most state governorships since 1922. The Democratic party’s leadership is aging, its bench is weak, and given the sexual harassment allegations hovering over several key leaders, it has a significant image problem.
Having said everything, if Brazile really wants Clinton to go on the campaign trail, who am I to complain? If his presence during the next election further deteriorates the Democratic brand, that would be a-ok by me.
After all, the sooner the Democratic party disappears from American politics, the better.
It’s already being estimated that NFL advertisers have lost over $500 million due to the ratings decline, and that is when they were in the 20 percent year-on-year range.
Vox ties the NFL’s decline to SJW infestation of the league. While I don’t necessarily disagree with it, in many ways the NFL’s current problems come down to one factor.
For far too long, the NFL took its success, and its fans, for granted.
Rather than finding a franchise for Los Angeles after the Rams and Raiders left in 1994, the NFL 1) used LA as a negotiating chip so that team owners could strong-arm cities into using taxpayer funds to build bloated stadiums, and 2) played regular season games in London and Mexico City, while dangling the possibility of setting up teams in those cities. In the name of safety, the NFL diluted the rule book by increasing penalties on supposedly questionable hits by defenders, putting them in near-impossible situations when trying to play a game that should be simple. Meanwhile, playing games on Thursdays actually increases the risk of injury for players. Further, Roger Goodell has put the league in a terrible negotiating position by how it handled concussions.
Add in the SJW infestation, best exemplified by players kneeling during the national anthem*, et voila, the NFL’s popularity is imploding.
I don’t know how the NFL is going to turn this around. But I have to confess feeling somewhat satisfied that this far-too-smug of a league is being brought down a notch or two.
*While it is certainly obnoxious that the Defense Department has subsidized displays of patriotism during the national anthem,
Bill Clinton is facing explosive new charges of sexual assault from four women, according to highly placed Democratic Party sources and an official who served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations.
The current accusations against the 71-year-old former president — whose past is littered with charges of sexual misconduct — stem from the period after he left the White House in 2001, say the sources.
Attorneys representing the women, who are coordinating their efforts, have notified Clinton they are preparing to file four separate lawsuits against him.
As part of the ongoing negotiations, the attorneys for the women are asking for substantial payouts in return for their clients’ silence.
A member of Clinton’s legal team has confirmed the existence of the new allegations.
The negotiations in the new lawsuits are said to have reached a critical stage.
If they fail, according to sources in Clinton’s inner circle, the four women are said to be ready to air their accusations of sexual assault at a press conference, making Clinton the latest — and most famous — figure in a long list of men from Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey who have recently been accused of sexual assault.
The new allegations refer to incidents that took place more than 10 years ago, in the early 2000s, when Clinton was hired by Ron Burkle, the playboy billionaire investor, to work at his Yucaipa companies.
Clinton helped Burkle generate business and flew around the world with a flock of beautiful young women on Burkle’s private jet, which was nicknamed ‘Air F**k One.’
The four women, who have not yet revealed their identities, were employed in low-level positions at the Burkle organization when they were in their late teens and claim they were sexually assaulted by the former president.
There are two additional tidbits worth highlighting.
First, the story quotes a Democratic party official stating that “Bill is distraught at the thought of having to testify and defend himself against sex charges again.”
I bet he is.
Second, while Hillary Clinton is reportedly furious with her hubby for getting entangled in yet another sexual scandal, she “offered to hire private detectives to dig up dirt on the women”. Bill Clinton’s attorneys, however, persuaded her from doing so.
The bionic mosquito thinks that because of this story, Bill and Hillary Clinton are done. While he may be right, I will be far from satisfied if this is all that happens.
Burn the Democratic party to the ground
The American left in general, and the Democratic party in particular, fought tooth and nail to keep Bill Clinton in office, regardless of the accusations against him. Feminists, who would have otherwise been abhorred by men demanding sexual favors of their female subordinates, defended Clinton regarding his treatment of Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, and Monica Lewinsky. Dateline NBC’s 1999 interview of Juanita Broaddrick , who accused Bill Clinton of raping her in the late 1970s (and Hillary Clinton of threatening her to keep quiet), was not aired until after the Senate acquitted Clinton of the House’s two impeachment charges. Moveon.org was created to support Clinton during his impeachment hearings, and became a staple of American politics afterwards.
Ever since, the American left has tried to be two completely opposite things simultaneously: the party of workers, minorities, and women, and the party of power. The left has been made sick by focusing on holding power, primarily through its use of inter-sectional politics. They don’t give a rat’s ass about workers, minorities, or women. What they care about is doing whatever it takes – whatever it takes – to stay in control.
However, the left has a lot more to confront, primarily because it refused to side with the women that Clinton harmed in the first place. If Bill Clinton was forced to accept responsibility for his actions, the culture war in which we find ourselves could very well have been avoided.
The left’s failure to confront Clinton has led to disastrous consequences to American politics and culture. Its hypocrisy have been the primary factors behind the toxic combination of identity politics and social justice warriors with which we find ourselves. Those forces have poisoned American culture, the effects through which we are presently suffering.
It is bad enough that the left has destroyed American finances, industry, and cities. Now we have to contend with the young souls that have been indoctrinated by the left’s overly emotional, Satanic mantras.
It is not enough for the left to finally purge itself of the Clinton legacy. It is far too late for that.
America needs to purge itself of the left.
The American left is bankrupt: financially, politically, culturally, and spiritually. So there’s only one thing left to do.
Without violence, without mayhem, and yet without pity: kill it.
I want the American left dead.
I want its influence dead.
I want it burned to the ground.
And may it rot in the dustbin of history.
And to those who are concerned about the neocon’s influence on American politics, as I am, I have one simple response.
A member of the Tom Woods Show Elite’s private Facebook page asked an interesting question. He asked what do SJWs want. He also asked how can libertarians reach SJWs.
These are very good questions, and this post is my humble attempt in answering them.
Basically, what SJWs want is what they want.
And they want it now.
It really doesn’t matter specifically what SJWs want. They don’t have a consistent philosophy or intellectual framework. Rather, their positions – never call them arguments, because they’re not – arise for one of two reasons: 1) it either justifies behavior which, in other circumstances, would be considered degenerate or unethical, or 2) it satiates a need to feel a particular emotion that, for whatever reason, resonates with them when holding that position. They are only satisfied when no one pushes back on their questionable behavior, or they are able to maintain feeling the emotion that they are seeking.
Anyone who pushes back against their position prevents them from either pretending that what they’re doing is socially acceptable or preventing them from keeping calm. Hence, their reaction is purely emotional, and is displayed as anger and/or righteous indignation. However, they’re not angry because they were proven wrong; they’re angry because someone is bursting their emotional bubble. They have no arguments against their opponents. All they have is the emotional state they are trying to preserve. Hence, all they respond with is anger and indignation.
As for how libertarians should reach out to them, I wish I knew. I haven’t the slightest idea.
The left maintains power in the United States by controlling The Narrative, which isn’t based on reason and facts, but stories and fairy tales justifying the prevailing power structure. In many ways, SJWs are foot soldiers for the American Left, in that their constantly-evolving demands based on increasingly-silly reasons keep the non-Left off-balance.
I would be interested in hearing any suggestions on how libertarians can deal with SJWs.
Over the past few days, I am afraid I have identified something within my personality that is a cross between a talent, a gift, and a curse. On at least two occasions, I have had conversions that have gone along the following lines:
I state a position on a particular topic.
Someone else states an opposite position on the same topic.
We find ourselves at an impasse.
I make a remark so tangential so as to sound arbitrary.
The other person responds with a caustic remark that indicates a dark soul.
I was surprised by both outcomes. However, the common theme between both folks is that each have an extremely hostile attitude towards those who are: a) Christian and b) believe that each individual has a natural right to defend themselves (a la Second Amendment). In many ways, what I have experienced is similar to how leftists react to Trump. His alpha behavior brings out the worst of his opponents, much to the left’s dismay, and everyone else’s delight. While Trump doesn’t necessarily act so as to lead to their ridiculous responses, he doesn’t really care how foolish they look, either. It would be one thing if instances such as these would lead those who make really nasty remarks an opportunity to look in the mirror and reflect on the state where they are. However, my experiences has been none who have found themselves in this trip have been either willing or able to do so. I honestly do not know what to do with this observation. I am not intentionally baiting these folks into making their remarks, yet the remarks, indeed, are made. What I do know is the last thing I want to do is purposefully bait people into making nasty remarks. Because if I were to do so, the other person’s soul may not be the only one that’s black.
Back in August 2016, I posted about a Bloomberg study suggesting that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign used the Hillary Victory Fund to launder donations from wealthy individuals to the Democratic National Committee:
In essence, wealthy donors can take advantage of the current framework of campaign finance laws to donate up to $366,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund. The fund then sends the maximum contributions to the Hillary For President campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and state democratic committees.
The beauty of this arrangement is that once the state democratic committees receive the funds, they have the flexibility to send it to the DNC, which can then decide which state and national campaigns, including Hillary’s, to finance.
Today, Donna Brazile, who served as interim chair of the Democratic National Committee during the Democratic convention, wrote a shocking article in Politico (which ZeroHedge also published) in which she accused the Clinton campaign of taking over the DNC to secure her nomination:
Right around the time of the [Democratic] convention the leaked emails revealed Hillary’s campaign was grabbing money from the state parties for its own purposes, leaving the states with very little to support down-ballot races. A Politico story published on May 2, 2016, described the big fund-raising vehicle she had launched through the states the summer before, quoting a vow she had made to rebuild “the party from the ground up … when our state parties are strong, we win. That’s what will happen.”
Yet the states kept less than half of 1 percent of the $82 million they had amassed from the extravagant fund-raisers Hillary’s campaign was holding … When the Politico story described this arrangement as “essentially … money laundering” for the Clinton campaign, Hillary’s people were outraged at being accused of doing something shady. Bernie [Sanders]’s people were angry for their own reasons, saying this was part of a calculated strategy to throw the nomination to Hillary.
I wanted to believe Hillary, who made campaign finance reform part of her platform, but I had made this pledge to Bernie [to determine whether Hillary had rigged the nomination process] and did not want to disappoint him. I kept asking the party lawyers and the DNC staff to show me the agreements that the party had made for sharing the money they raised, but there was a lot of shuffling of feet and looking the other way.
When I got back from a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard I at last found the document that described it all: the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America.
The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.
I had been wondering why it was that I couldn’t write a press release without passing it by Brooklyn. Well, here was the answer.
On the one hand, given how the Democratic nomination process transpired last year, the fact that Hillary’s campaign had rigged it is not surprising.
However, it is clearly shocking that a DNC chair laid out how Hillary rigged the process.
This, my friends, is an earthquake.
While it may get a little bumpy, I hope you enjoy the ride!