Clinton: What the WikiLeaks emails reveal
Hillary Clinton’s allies in the media are trying to bury the news, said Kimberley Strassel in The Wall Street Journal, but “the nation now has proof of pretty much everything she has been accused of.” The activist group WikiLeaks this week released another trove of internal emails from Clinton’s campaign—stolen, say intelligence officials, from the account of Clinton aide John Podesta by hackers working for the Russian government. Among a “flurry of bombshells,” the emails show Podesta and other aides colluding with sycophantic journalists to give her favorable coverage, mocking “needy Latinos” and Republicans drawn to Catholicism’s “severely backwards gender relations,” and fretting over her insistence on dismissing her private email server scandal as a trivial “mistake.” In paid speeches, Clinton assures those writing the checks of her support for big banks, fracking, and fossil fuels, while saying that environmentalists need to “get a life.” The WikiLeaked emails reveal the Democratic nominee as smug and utterly phony, said Rich Lowry in NationalReview.com. In private, she was “perfectly comfortable with the globetrotting financiers throwing six-figure speaking fees at her,” while in public she tossed “boob bait” at her party’s “inflamed left-wing activists.” Had Republicans not nominated the self-destructive Donald Trump, her campaign would now be in shambles.
Americans better pay attention to what these emails reveal before it’s too late, said Michael Walsh in NYPost.com. In one of the $225,000 speeches she made to investment bank Goldman Sachs, Clinton says, “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders”—a chilling prospect for Americans who value their jobs and their sovereignty. In another, she says that in politics, “you need both a public and a private position,” a nice summary of the “two-facedness” that has defined her career.
Here’s the bottom line of what the WikiLeaks emails reveal, said Doyle McManus in LATimes.com. Like her very successful husband, Clinton is a pragmatic, center-left Democrat “who believes in progressive goals but who’s willing to trim them, postpone them, even throw them under the bus (temporarily, anyway) when practical politics requires.” Is anyone really shocked? In the 10,000 emails WikiLeaks has published, there’s “no real smoking gun.” Yes, she was “chummy” with the Goldman Sachs crowd but also told them that bankers “have to be held accountable” for wrongdoing. And while she may “dream” of an America with “open borders” on trade, the trade and immigration policies she has actually proposed are totally mainstream. As for Clinton’s statement that it was necessary for politicians to have “both a public and private position” while making the sausage of policy, said Joe Klein in Time, she’s 100 percent correct. That’s “an essential, uncontroversial truth about how things work in a democracy”—or how they used to, when presidents and Congress actually compromised and solved problems, instead of battling to a standstill over ideology.
You know what’s most troubling about the WikiLeaks emails? asked Charles Lane in WashingtonPost.com. It’s that we’re reading them at all. As a general principle, transparency is necessary for a healthy democracy. But there’s nothing healthy about one candidate’s emails being “stolen and selectively publicized by a totally nontransparent organization of computer hackers” working for a hostile foreign government. What if this were to happen in every election? If Russia is deliberately trying to affect the outcome of a presidential race, said USA Today in an editorial, then “the very heart of American democracy—our fair and open elections”—has been attacked. “That harm, if confirmed, will last far longer than memories of the content of particular emails.”
Only in America
▪ Officials at the University of Florida are offering free counseling to any students who are offended by Halloween costumes that “reinforce stereotypes of particular races, genders, cultures, or religions.” The school is urging students to carefully consider their “choices of costumes and themes” and advising those who see something offensive to notify the university’s Bias Education and Response Team.
▪ A South Carolina waitress was left a note by a fundamentalist couple chiding her for working instead of staying home and taking care of her husband. The waitress, who is single and has no children, said she felt “a bit heartbroken” by the note, which stated that a “woman’s place is in the home” and urged her to “help make America great again” by cooking and cleaning as “her husband and God intended.”
Good week for:
Encores, after Michael Jackson topped Forbes’s annual list of highest-earning dead celebrities. The King of Pop took in $825 million in pre-tax earnings over the past 12 months due to the sale of his music catalog—more than any performer, living or dead.
Little devils, after researchers in Australia revealed that the milk produced by Tasmanian devils can be used to fight antibioticresistant superbugs like MRSA.
Trolling the trolls, after a prankster created a fake document from the Clinton campaign listing a $330,000 payment to the Black Panthers and $30,000 to the “Sharia Law Center” for “Voter Suppression,’’ and a $760,000 payment for rigged polls. Trump supporters widely shared it on Twitter and Facebook.
Bad week for:
Marketing ploys, after a restaurant in Guiyang, China, lost $15,000 in a single week with a “pay what you want” campaign. “I just don’t understand why [customers] haven’t come back after the promotion ended,” one of the owners said.
Free time, after a Texas man allegedly staged his own kidnapping so that he could hang out with friends without his wife’s permission. Rogelio Andaverde arranged to be taken from his home at gunpoint by two masked intruders as his terrified wife looked on.
The Fourth Estate, after news agencies in the U.K. announced that “robot journalists” would soon be used to cover sports, business, and election results. A spokesman for the Press Association said that automated storytellers wouldn’t replace humans but that, on certain stories, they might prove “more accurate.”
Boring but important
Budget deficit grows after six-year decline
The U.S. budget deficit rose to $587 billion for the fiscal year 2016, the Treasury Department said last week, marking the first time that figure has risen as a share of GDP in more than half a decade. The shortfall is equivalent to 3.2 percent of gross domestic product. Officials attributed the increase—last year’s deficit was $439 billion, or 2.5 percent of GDP—to slower-than-expected revenues and a 5 percent rise in total spending for government programs, including Social Security and Medicare. The last time the deficit rose in relation to economic output was back in 2009, according to Congressional Budget Office figures, when the deficit peaked at $1.4 trillion at the height of the financial crisis.