Hillary’s Debutante Coming Out Party; Or, Here’s the Deal with the Private Email Server

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While the media waited with bated breath for Hillary Clinton to come to the podium, it was reported that Jen Psaki at the State Department was letting everyone know that State was going to make the emails related to Benghazi available online. Interesting time for State to break that news, and that still doesn’t address the fact that Clinton has released to State only what she felt necessary to release, as a private server allows one to do.

But that’s the sideshow. The main show happened when Clinton stepped to the microphone and said, “There have been questions about my emails.”

“I opted for convenience to use personal email account, which was allowed, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device,” she said during a press conference after her speech at the United Nations Tuesday. “Looking back, it would’ve been better if I had simply used a second email.”

Clinton turned over 55,000 pages of correspondence to the State Department to evaluate, which department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday would be released on a public website after a review, which could take months.

The former secretary of state defended her process in choosing emails, telling reporters that she and her staff “err[ed] on the side of providing anything that could be possibly viewed as work-related.”

Mitchell on Taxes, Part 2: Now the White House Wants to Raise Taxes without Congressional Approval?!?

This was originally posted at International Liberty. You can read Mitchell’s thoughts on the Flat Tax here.

I’m not reflexively opposed to executive orders and other unilateral actions by the White House. A president and his appointees, after all, have a lot of regulatory authority.

This is because, for better or worse, many of the laws approved in Washington basically express a goal and identify some tools. It’s then up to the relevant agency or agencies to promulgate regulations to enforce and implement those tools in order to supposedly achieve those goals.

But here’s the catch. The executive branch has to make at least a semi-plausible case that any given action is consistent with the law.

And the problem with this White House is that it has been using regulations and executive orders to change laws, thwart laws, and ignore laws.

There have been several instances of the White House arbitrarily deciding to ignore or alter major parts of Obamacare.

Dan Mitchell on The Laffer Curve, Tax Progressivity, and Government Revenue. Alternate Headline: Why We Like the Flat Tax

This was originally posted at International Liberty. The follow-up, “Now the White House Wants to Raise Taxes without Congressional Approval!?!?” will be posted here tomorrow.

On the issue of so-called progressive taxation, our left-wing friends have conflicting goals. Some of them want to maximize tax revenue in order to finance ever-bigger government.

But others are much more motivated by a desire to punish success. They want high tax rates on the “rich” even if the government collects less revenue.

Some of them simply pretend there isn’t a conflict, as you might imagine. They childishly assert that the Laffer Curve doesn’t exist and that upper-income taxpayers are fiscal pinatas, capable of generating never-ending amounts of tax revenue.

Hillary Clinton’s email could be far worse for national security than Edward Snowden’s leaks were alleged to have been

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In the months following the Edward Snowden disclosures of NSA surveillance procedures, hysterical establishment hawks chose to warn of the potential damage to national security from the leaks, instead of condemning the blatantly unconstitutional violations of American citizens’ privacy. Even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed Snowden had helped terrorists by releasing that information. As it turns out, the private email servers she was keeping for State Department communications may have been even worse.

Not only were her unarchived communications in violation of 20-year old federal records regulations, they were also terribly, horrifically unsecure.

The government typically uses military-grade certificates and encryption schemes for its internal communications that designed with spying from foreign intelligence agencies in mind. But the ClintonEmail.com setup? “If you’re buying jam online,” says Hansen, “you’re fine.” But for anything beyond consumer-grade browsing, it’s a shoddy arrangement.

Today in Liberty: Email Scandals, Threats to Signature Legislation, and Netflix’s Discovery That Big Government Is No Friend

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Plenty of red meat in the news these days, from Hillary Clinton’s homebrewed email server to the US Ambassador to South Korea getting slashed in the face. Taken individually, these stories are just a fun diversion as part of surprisingly full news cycle. Taken together, however, they represent a potential sea change in how government functions — and how citizens and voters are reacting to it. Not surprising that things are changing in the time of NSA data gathering, a newly confident Russia, and the (continued) rise of the brutal Islamic State. So here’s a rundown for those seeking the little glimmers of liberty buried under the chaos.

CPAC happened last week and there was an air of excitement and momentum surrounding the incredibly deep GOP field leading into 2016’s presidential election. Scott Walker has ramped up his game and Jeb Bush tried to make the case that he’s not just the guy the Democrats would love to see make a run. And Rand Paul, as he usually does, won the straw poll largely due to the contingent of young voters who attend the annual gathering. A really great thing in fact because it means the millenials may actually be migrating to the right at a greater clip than anyone knew. But while Rand won the youth, social media and news data says that Scott Walker’s the one to watch…for now:

UPDATED: When Child Protective Services becomes Child Abductive Services

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UPDATE: The story here, which was previously just Reason posts based on personal emails, has been fully confirmed. Unfortunately that confirmation came in the form of a Maryland CPS ruling against the parents for “unsubstantiated child neglect”. The Meitivs are now on a 5-year probationary period, during which any further unsupervised activity by their children could lead to additional charges.

It’s generally agreed that playing outside is good for kids. Fresh air, sunlight, exercise, social interaction are all vital for proper childhood development. However, a growing herd of nanny-statists within the government, specifically state Child Protective Services agencies, have decided that playing outside without direct supervision is so dangerous that it would be better if children weren’t raised by their own parents. They risk turning our children into a generation of physically stunted, psychologically addled wards of the state. But for their own good!

Republican Presidential Candidates are Being Asked the Wrong Question on Weed

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A common question of potential Republican presidential candidates for 2016 at CPAC this year was whether they support Colorado and other states partially legalizing recreational marijuana. They have mostly given the right answer, but to the wrong question.

In a Q&A following his CPAC speech, Ted Cruz was asked and answered thusly:

I actually think this is a great embodiment of what Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called ‘the laboratories of democracy. If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road, that’s their prerogative. I personally don’t agree with it, but that’s their right.

Jeb Bush answered similarly:

I thought it was a bad idea, but states ought to have that right to do it. I would have voted no if I was in Colorado.

It’s 2015. Almost no one thinks states don’t have the right to legalize marijuana if they so choose. And since they’re Republicans, none of the candidates who were asked about it actually support the legalization itself, just the right to do so. That’s not newsworthy. (The worthless question could have something to do with the affable rube who asked it.)

If we really want to get to the heart of the issue, reporters and debate moderators are going to have to start asking a different question:

Kasich-Appointed Ohio Judge Who Misunderstands First Amendment Whacks Geauga County GOP Official with Gavel

[Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on George Scoville’s blog.]

To my chagrin I learned firsthand in Tennessee last year exactly how selective judges can be when interpreting laws or ethics rules that apply to them, or when someone challenges how they use their powers. A recent story out of Ohio shows this phenomenon isn’t limited to the Volunteer State.

A Nation that Welcomes All Religions Shouldn’t Persecute Any Religion, Including Christianity. Our President Should Know This.

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In response to my last article, a number of readers expressed objections to the idea that Christians are being persecuted in the United States today. As I noted previously, I am in no way comparing the persecution of Christians in America today to the appalling savagery that we are seeing reported daily out of the Middle East, where men and women are being beheaded, shot, burned alive, raped, tortured, and where children are being buried alive or sold as sex slaves. However, if not eradicated at its root, the intolerance towards Christians in America today could escalate over time to violence.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, none other than Barack Obama offered a perfect example of this anti-Christian rhetoric and moral equivalence during his morally bankrupt speech at the National Prayer Breakfast recently. After briefly describing in broad strokes the atrocities that are occurring in the Middle East by ISIS terrorists, Obama lectures us on the need to resist the urge to get on our “high horse” because Christians were just as bad during the Crusades, and with 18th and 19th century slavery, and into the latter half of the last century with Jim Crow laws.

Huh? Is he serious?

Best Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette Gives Best Performance Yet: Using Oscar Speech to Rant About Mythical Wage Gap

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In a world…where women and children are being raped and slaughtered in Africa and the Middle East, where young girls are being abducted and enslaved to serve as international sex toys for wealthy lechers, leave it to Hollywood to use the biggest platform in the world, an audience of hundreds of millions globally, to bring awareness to an urgently important fairy tale.

When Patricia Arquette won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her 12-year long performance in Boyhood, she immediately went to the script, reciting a speech from a folded piece of paper. She thanked her fellow nominees, cast, crew, and her family, then, appearing to be auditioning for a role as Meryl Streep’s understudy, got confusingly political.

To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.

The reaction has been predictably swift and emotional, with little data to back it up. That’s because there isn’t any.

 


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