12:01 AM, Feb 28, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
There will come a time when the survivor of the circular firing squad that is commonly known as the Republican primary debates will square off against Hillary Clinton. That survivor will have to grin and bear seeing multiple videos of his Republican opponents attacking him for one thing or another. Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton will struggle to establish her new grandmotherly image as a caring person who, having arrived from her last stay at the White House in desperate financial condition, empathizes both with the struggling middle class and the Wall Street bankers who feed her campaign kitty, as well as with the oil oligarchs who, seeking nothing in return, pour tens of millions into the Clintons’ charity. The Republican candidate would do well to take a page from the Clinton playbook -- never let anything embarrass you.
The campaign will put both parties in an awkward position -- they agree that the recovery has benefitted the (in)famous 1%, and more or less left the middle class behind. But they are not certain what to do about it. Clinton has the easier task. She can rail against the glass ceilings that have kept the incomes of women lower than they would otherwise be, a complaint left over from her unsuccessful 2008 campaign before women emerged as CEOs of several Fortune 500 companies and she emerged as a candidate for the nation’s highest office. And she can soothe the disaffected left-wing core of the Democratic party by calling for more direct income redistribution.
Or can she? That would involve raising taxes on her major backers to fund new or expanded entitlement programs, attacking the special tax breaks of hedge funds and similar investors, and reviving the age of big government that one of her predecessors confidently assured voters had come to an end. Clinton is seeking advice from many economists, some of whom have much to offer, but many of whom are in the tax-and-spend school that is less attractive to voters, now more suspicious than ever of the ability of Washington’s political class to spend taxpayers’ money better than can the taxpayers themselves. Many of these economists and advisers were involved in the creation of Obama’s “middle class economics”. Len Burman, an official in what Mrs. Clinton hopes will become known as the first Clinton administration and now director of the Brookings-Urban Tax Policy Center, reckons that fully implemented that program would reduce taxes on families in the middle of the income distribution by $12 per year, since they would be paying some of the increase in the capital gains tax Obama has penciled in. The Treasury puts the figure at $150 dollars, still not enough to propel middle-earners very far up the income ladder, and low enough to make one wonder whether it is worth taking the risk that this complicated set of proposals might just have consequences not captured in Treasury models.
Republicans have an even more difficult task. It has always been the conservative position that economic growth benefits all income groups -- a rising tide raises both rowboats and yachts. And by and large that has been true over our history. So Republicans have not paid much attention to how markets distribute wealth, assuming that any market failure that distorts income distribution has more or less been offset by the creation of the welfare state by the New Deal, and more than offset by the excesses of LBJ’s Great Society. Now, however, the market does not seem to be doing a good enough job to satisfy the demands of equity as well as efficiency. So simply calling for the end of Obama/Democratic policies that stifle growth and jobs -- killing the Keystone XL Pipeline, raising employment costs by imposing Obamacare on a reluctant electorate, increasing the cost of energy and, now, communications by extending the regulatory state -- is not enough. And will not be enough if the economy is in full recovery mode when the real campaigning starts in 2016, which seems likely, and will be taken as verified by a Fed decision to begin raising interest rates. Having blamed the Democrats for the tepid pace of the recovery, Republicans will be hard pressed to deny them credit for what looks likely to be virtually full employment, or at least employment and growth levels that it will be difficult to characterize as unsatisfactory.
10:31 AM, Feb 23, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
In an email to supporters, Chelsea Clinton is asking for donations to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
"When it comes to my parents, I'm unapologetically biased. I'm sure you'd agree that they are two of the most optimistic and inspiring people in the world. In case you missed it, you still have 15 hours left to donate and be automatically entered for a special opportunity to attend our annual Clinton Foundation Gala on March 4," Chelsea Clinton writes in an email this morning from the foundation.
8:34 PM, Feb 18, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Conservative website Newsmax has pledged a very large donation to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, a new report in the Wall Street Journal states.
"Newsmax, a conservative news organization, last year pledged $1 million to the Clinton Foundation over a five-year period, according to a spokesman for Chris Ruddy, the organization’s CEO. Mr. Ruddy has been friends with the Clintons since 2007," reports the Journal.
4:29 PM, Feb 11, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Late-night cable comedian Jon Stewart announced he would be leaving The Daily Show on Tuesday night's broadcast, and Democrats are not too happy. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sent out a fundraising email Wednesday asking supporters to "Sign our card for Jon Stewart." See a screenshot of the email below:
7:35 AM, Feb 4, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Wall Street Journal has a revealing report on the hedge fund Eaglevale Partners LP, which is run by Hillary Clinton's son-in-law, Marc Mezvinsky. The fund, it turns out, bet big on a turnaround in the Greece economy -- and lost.
8:22 AM, Jan 15, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
A woman alleged to have been the fixer for Jeffrey Epstein, a pedophile and friend of Bill Clinton, has herself long had ties to the former president of the United States. Indeed, it's clear that even as her associate, Epstein, admitted to procuring sex with someone under the age of 18 and registered as a sex offender in 2008, Ghislaine Maxwell's relationship with the Clintons flourished.
10:23 PM, Jan 12, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Protesters gathered outside the Clinton Foundation in New York City to complain about "missing money" from the Haiti recovery effort from the 2010 earthquake:
"New Yorkers with roots in Haiti say the picture [of the Haiti recovery] isn't so rosy," said the NY1 anchor.
The protesters claimed that the $10 billion meant to help rebuild Haiti did little to help the country after the devastating quake. And that much of the money went to non-Haitian companies.
Shared image of Bill Clinton holding knife to her wrist.5:01 PM, Jan 10, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Bill Clinton once held a knife to her wrist. But now Wendy Clark, who claimed to be "Blood brothers with Bill Clinton," is reportedly going to work for his wife, Hillary Clinton.
The trade publication Beverage-Digest reported on Twitter that Clark, a Coca-Cola executive, has gone to work for probable Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
7:44 AM, Jan 8, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
On July 18, 2006, the Clinton Foundation received a $25,000 check from the C.O.U.Q. Foundation, whose president was known pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of Bill Clinton. The donation is revealed in the C.O.U.Q. Foundation's 990 tax form, filed with the IRS.
Others have previously reported that Epstein and Clinton parted ways in 2005, as the New York Post did, due to Epstein's legal problems:
7:08 AM, Dec 30, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
This morning, Hillary Clinton sent an email to supporters with the subject line, "Announcement." But the contents of the message did not explain the former secretary of state's future political ambitions. Instead, the message asked for money from supporters of what is now the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
11:01 AM, Nov 5, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Joe Biden seemed to take a shot at the Clintons in an interview yesterday when he brought up "all that stuff that was going on" in the 1990s. Biden's reference served as a reminder that Democrats avoided the Democratic president when President Clinton was getting impeached.
The Democrats’ strategy.Oct 20, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 06 • By FRED BARNES
Along with thousands of others, I got an email from Bill Clinton last week. “Hey there,” the former president began. He was raising money for the Democratic candidates. “There’s an election around the corner, so I’ve been traveling around the country to help Democrats who are standing up for the values you and I believe in, Fred,” he continued, adding a nice personal touch.
'It's almost impossible for the average American to understand how totally political Washington is today.'7:43 AM, Sep 24, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Bill Clinton was asked about Barack Obama's political situation by former aide George Stephanopoulos on ABC Clinton of course has some words for Republicans and "how totally political Washington is today" (as opposed to when Clinton was in the White House?). But surprisingly Clinton also claims a certain element of the media has always opposed Obama.
9:25 AM, Sep 16, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Over the weekend in Iowa, President Bill Clinton got caught on a hot mic at the Harkin Steak Fry agreeing that Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu can't bring peace between the Israelis and Palestinians:
“If we don’t force him to make peace, we won’t have peace,” a spectator at the Steak Fry told Clinton.
The fall of the Arkansas Democrats.Sep 22, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 02 • By FRED BARNES
In 1949, Harvard political scientist V. O. Key Jr. declared in his book Southern Politics in State and Nation that in Arkansas “we have the one-party system in its most undefiled and undiluted form.” Other Southern states, nearly as Democratic in those days as Arkansas, gradually became Republican. Arkansas didn’t. One-party Democratic rule in the state lasted another 60 years.