Hillary Clinton is no doubt a talented speaker. She recently went into what the left wing sees as the heart of darkness of the American 1 percent at Goldman Sachs, purportedly gave two brief chats, and walked away with a reported $400,000 in fees. Such compensation is almost as profitable as Hillary’s long-ago cattle-future trading, in which as a talented rookie speculator she beat one-in-several-million odds by parlaying an original $1,000 investment into a $100,000 profit.
That Goldman’s shenanigans were central to the 2008 housing and financial meltdown — and were empowered, in part, by Bill Clinton’s own prior twofer of deregulating Wall Street and appointing to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae greedy, though liberal, incompetents of the likes of James Johnson, Franklin Raines, and Jamie Gorelick — apparently meant nothing to Hillary.
Her current frenetic speaking career is consistent with the ethics that allowed Anthony Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, to freelance as a six-figure private “consultant” while simultaneously working as Hillary’s aide and representing the U.S. State Department. With the Clintons, government service is never quite inseparable from private lucre. The more public anguish is voiced over fairness, and the more loudly the undue influence of big money over big government is criticized, the more both are drawn to just that. The Clintons must think of Wall Street the way the Reverend Jimmy Swaggart used to talk of “the Devil” — a dark force that nonetheless always alights on their shoulders, improperly but successfully seducing them. Continue reading “Hillary’s Odyssey”→
The campaign contour is pretty clear: The Obama reelection team will not make the case for the advantages and popularity of Obamacare, for the Chuian advantages of $4-a-gallon gas, for the dynamism of a 1.7 percent GDP growth rate, for the stimulatory effects of adding $5 trillion in new debt, or for why 8 percent unemployment does not qualify under the old rubric of a “jobless recovery.” Continue reading “The Face of Things to Come”→
George W. Bush left office in January 2009 with one of the lowest job-approval ratings for a president (34 percent) since Gallup started compiling them — as compared to Harry Truman’s low of 32 percent, Richard Nixon’s of 24 percent, and Jimmy Carter’s of 34 percent — and to the general derision of the media. Continue reading “Bush Reconsidered”→
Many were as pursuant of women as they were of the enemy — and the former rarely impaired the latter.
“You’re a very bad man.” So yelled Dorothy at the Wizard of Oz, once the imposing, larger-than-life face on the screen was revealed to be a mere projection of a tiny old man behind a curtain fidgeting with levers and knobs. Continue reading “A Short History of Amorous Generals”→
The second-term curse goes like this: A president (e.g., Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, etc.) wins re-election, but then his presidency implodes over the next four years — mired in scandals or disasters such as Watergate, Iran-Contra, Monica Lewinsky, the Iraqi insurgency and Hurricane Katrina. Continue reading “Oh, We Forgot to Tell You . . .”→
Supporters of President Obama have dubbed those who question administration statements about Libya as either partisans or conspiracy theorists, on the premise that the administration had no reason to dissimulate. But in fact, it had plenty of political reasons not to be candid, as the following questions make clear. Continue reading “Oh What a Tangled Web”→
David Petraeus’s resignation marks the end of one of the great postwar military and government careers — his successful surge in Iraq being analogous to and as impressive as Matthew Ridgway’s salvation of Korea or Sherman’s sudden taking of Atlanta that saved Lincoln’s and the Union cause before the 1864 elections. In a book due out in late spring, The Savior Generals, I argue that his achievements were comparable to those of the best of history’s maverick commanders who were asked to save wars deemed lost — and did. But for now, the explanation of Petraeus’s resignation unfortunately raises more questions than it answers, in a number of significant ways: Continue reading “Down from Olympus”→