South America

The Pronk Pops Show 735, August 12, 2016, Story 1: Big Lie Media Fearing and Trembling Over October or September Surprise — Surprise — Surprise — Surprise –Russia, China, and U.S.A. (National Security Agency) — Have All of Hillary Clinton’s “Destroyed” — Emails On Libya–Benghazi–Syria–Islamic State, CIA agents blown by Hillary and Staff and Clinton Foundation Pay for Play Access and Influence Racket (RICO Complaint Filed — Public Corruption)! — Story 2: The Sinking of The Clippers in October — We found the mighty CLIPPER and then we cut her down — Corrupt Lying Incompetent Progressive Politician Eugenics Racists — Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — Story 3: We Have To Sink The Clippers To The Bottom of The Sea — Trump To Big Lie Media “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” –Hillary, Lies and Drugs – “But if you try sometime you find You get what you need” — Trump, Truth and Freedom — Videos

Posted on August 12, 2016. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, American History, Benghazi, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Coal, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Egypt, Employment, European History, European Union, Fast and Furious, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Foreign Policy, France, Germany, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Great Britain, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Investments, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Iraq, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic State, Israel, Jordan, Law, Legal Immigration, Libya, Media, Middle East, National Security Agency, Natural Gas, Networking, News, Obama, Oil, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, Progressives, Qatar, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Resources, Scandals, Second Amendment, Senate, Social Security, South America, Success, Syria, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Turkey, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 735: August 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 734: August 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 733: August 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 732: August 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 731: August 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 730: August 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 729: August 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 728: July 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 727: July 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 726: July 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 725: July 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 724: July 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 723: July 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 722: July 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 721: July 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 720: July 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 719: July 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 718: July 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 717: July 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 716: July 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 715: July 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 714: July 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 713: July 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 712: July 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 711: July 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 710: June 30, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 709: June 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 708: June 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 707: June 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 706: June 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 705: June 23, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 704: June 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 703: June 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 702: June 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 701: June 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 700: June 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 699: June 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 698: June 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 697: June 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 696: June 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 695: June 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 694: June 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 693: June 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 692: June 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 691: June 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 690: June 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 689: May 31, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 688: May 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 687: May 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 686: May 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 685: May 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 684: May 23, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 683: May 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 682: May 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 681: May 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 680: May 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 679: May 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 678: May 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 677: May 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 676: May 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 675: May 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 674: May 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 673: May 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 672: May 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 671: May 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 670: May 2, 2016

Story 1: Big Lie Media Fearing and Trembling Over October or September Surprise — Surprise — Surprise — Surprise –Russia, China, and U.S.A. (National Security Agency) — Have All of Hillary Clinton’s “Destroyed”  Emails On Libya–Benghazi–Syria–Islamic State, CIA agents exposed  by Hillary and Staff and Clinton Foundation Pay for Play Access and Influence Racket (RICO Complaint Filed — Public Corruption)! –

quid pro doughclinton foundationcartoon-bill-clinton-lynch-scratchclinton-foundation-scandalsdrive up corruptionClinton_Family_Corruptioncookie jarsClintons-Again0follow the moneyjpgfeel my pain
stepping updefine wealthhillary_clinton_cartoonClinton-Proppedreal truth about hillarylipstick on a pigclintonfallinghillary and pimpLookShinycartoon-clinton-foundationclinton crime familyclintonfoundationClinton-Foundation-2013-Breakdownpay for playpay for playpay for play crime familycf hillary clintoncnn state department report news cover

The Clinton Foundation: Pay For Play

Reality Check: Emails Prove Clinton Found. WAS Getting Favors From Hillary’s State Department

Emails Expose Clinton Foundation Corruption: Special Report 8/10/16 Full

New developments in Hillary Clinton pay for play scandal

DOJ Blocked FBI Investigation Into Potential Public Corruption at Clinton Foundation

DOJ under scrutiny over Clinton Foundation

Kelly File 8/11/16-Clinton Foundation revelations could be serious;Clinton econ plan;(On The Record)

The Kelly File 8/11/16 | Intel Reports manipulated, Donald Trump’s Meltdown, Mike Huckabee interview

BUSTED! State Dept. Covering For Crooked Hillary Clinton @Mr_Pinko

On the Record 8/10/16 FULL: Clinton Foundation Exposed! Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich

Wikileaks: More Hillary E-mails Could Indict Her This Time?

New Bombshell in the Hillary Clinton Deleted Emails and the Wikileaks DNC Email Scandal

Napolitano and Assange Say Email Leaks Lead to Death of Scientist

Clinton Discussed Iran Scientist In Emails – Iran Executes Nuclear Scientist – America’s newsroom

Executed In Iran – Shahram Amiri Exposed On Hillary Clinton’s Server – Lt Gen Flynn – Fox & Friends

16-0807 Sen. Tom Cotton on Hillary’s Email Killing an Iranian Scientist

Iran Executes Scientist/Spy – What’s Hillary’s Role?

Executed In Iran – Shahram Amiri Exposed On Hillary Clinton’s Server – Fox & Friends

America’s Newsroom 8/8/16- Iran Scientist &Clinton Email;Trump Economy Plan;Giuliani Blast MediaBias

Why PUTIN hates HILLARY – UN meeting exposes the Truth!

Putin Orders “Full Defense” of Trump, Authorizes All Hillary Emails Released.

All USA need to see this! 2016 Please Share

Next leak will lead to arrest of Hillary Clinton – Assange

Julian Assange : we have proof that the Clinton camp is rigging the election,we will release it soon

Hillary ‘deliberately and blatantly lied’ if Assange claim true – Ron Paul

Hillary Clinton Won’t Stop Lying! Judge Jeanine Opening Statement 8/6/16

Wikileaks Exposes Hillary’s Benghazi Lies To Congress

Hillary Clinton New Email Scandal – Clinton Foundation O’Reilly

Why is Putin Attacking the Globalists?

News Alert: Judicial Watch Uncovers New Unseen Emails From Hillary Clinton’s Private Email Server

Clinton Foundation has a RICO Complaint Filed

Rudy Giuliani “Clinton Foundation Is A Racketeering Enterprise To Enrich The Clintons!”

Donald Trump On Crooked And Crazy Hillary – Rudy Giuliani On Fox And Friends August 7, 2016

Wow: Julian Assange Just Delivered Next Batch of Hillary Emails! She’s Toast!

CLINTON CASH OFFICIAL DOCUMENTARY MOVIE ( FULL )

Gomer Surprise

Sink The Clipper

SINK THE BISMARCK ~ sung by Johnny Horton

Lyrics

In May of nineteen forty-one the war had just begun
The Germans had the biggest ship that had the biggest guns
The Bismarck was the fastest ship that ever sailed the seas
On her deck were guns as big as steers and shells as big as trees

Out of the cold and foggy night came the British ship the Hood
And ev’ry British seaman, he knew and understood
They had to sink the Bismarck, the terror of the sea
Stop those guns as big as steers and those shells as big as trees

We’ll find that German battleship that’s makin’ such a fuss
We gotta sink the Bismarck cause the world depends on us
Hit the decks a-runnin’ boys and spin those guns around
When we find the Bismark we gotta cut her down

The Hood found the Bismarck and on that fatal day
The Bismarck started firin’ fifteen miles away
“We gotta sink the Bismarck” was the battle sound
But when the smoke had cleared away, the mighty Hood went down

For six long days and weary nights they tried to find her trail
Churchill told the people “Put ev’ry ship a-sail
‘Cause somewhere on that ocean I know she’s gotta be
We gotta sink the Bismarck to the bottom of the sea”

We’ll find that German battleship that’s makin’ such a fuss
We gotta sink the Bismarck cause the world depends on us
Hit the decks a-runnin’ boys and spin those guns around
When we find the Bismarck we gotta cut her down

The fog was gone the seventh day and they saw the mornin’ sun
Ten hours away from homeland the Bismarck made its run
The admiral of the British fleet said “Turn those bows around
We found that German battleship and we’re gonna cut her down”

The British guns were aimed and the shells were comin’ fast
The first shell hit the Bismarck, they knew she couldn’t last
That mighty German battleship is just a memory
“Sink the Bismarck” was the battle cry that shook the seven seas

We found that German battleship was makin’ such a fuss
We had to sink the Bismarck ’cause the world depends on us
We hit the deck a-runnin’ and we spun those guns around
Yeah, we found the mighty Bismarck and then we cut her down

We found that German battleship was makin’ such a fuss
We had to sink the Bismarck ’cause the world depends on us
We hit the deck a-runnin’ and we spun those guns around
We found the mighty Bismarck and then we cut her down

Sink The Bismarck (1960)

The Bismark Documentary on Sinking the Bismark,

the Deadliest Warship Ever Made

Rudy Giuliani Blasts Media Bias – Media Has Almost Like Put Mob Hit On Trump – America’s Newsroom

FULL SPEECH: Reince Priebus speaking at Donald Trump rally in Erie, Pennsylvania

Donald Trump Tells Protester: “YOUR MOTHER IS VOTING FOR TRUMP” Erie Pa Rally 8/12/16

[youtube-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4uQ8_GYgPs]

Live: Donald Trump Holds Rally in ERIE, PA (8/12/16)

 

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: The Future of FREEDOM

The Rolling Stones – You Can’t Always Get What You Want (TV Show ’69)

You Can’t Always Get What You Want
I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she would meet her connection
At her feet was her footloose man
No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need
I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna meet her connection
At her feet was her footloose man
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need
But I went down to the demonstration
To get your fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a fifty-amp fuse”

The Rolling Stones – You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Live) – OFFICIAL

Obama admin blocked FBI probe of Clinton Foundation corruption: Report

– The Washington Times – Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Trump campaign seized on reports Thursday that the Obama administration rejected requests from three FBIfield offices that wanted to open public corruption cases involving the Clinton Foundation and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

After banks alerted the field offices to suspicious activity involving the Clinton family charity, the FBI wanted to investigate conflicts of interest stemming from foreign donations during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, CNN reported.

“Today’s news that President Obama’s Department of Justice overruled three separate DOJ field offices and the FBI in declining to open a public corruption charge against the Clinton Foundation shows a troubling pattern of Obama andClinton politicizing any government institution for their own personal political interests,” Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller said in a statement.

“This latest refusal to allow even a cursory investigation into the Clinton Foundation’s pay-for-play dealings smacks of political favoritism. This is exactly why the American public has lost trust in the U.S. government and is ready to elect an outsider like Donald Trump,” Mr. Miller said.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/aug/11/obama-admin-blocked-fbi-probe-clinton-foundation/

The revelation of the blocked corruption probe follows criticism of decision the Justice Department not to pursue criminal charges against Mrs. Clinton for her secret email setup as secretary of state, despite the FBI’s determination that she was “extremely careless” and mishandled classified information.

Abedin’s Overlapping Jobs Renew Focus on Clinton Conflicts

By Ben Brody and Nick WadhamsNick

August 15, 2016 — 4:00 AM CDT Updated on August 15, 2016 — 12:27 PM CDT

Huma Abedin Faces Questions About Overlapping Jobs

Huma Abedin stepped down from her post as deputy chief of staff at the State Department and Hillary Clinton’s ever-present personal assistant on June 3, 2012. Only she didn’t really leave.

Instead, in a reverse twist on a program intended to bring talented outsiders into government, Abedin was immediately rehired as a “special government employee.” She also took paying jobs with the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings, a consulting firm with international clients that was co-founded by a foundation official who also was Bill Clinton’s long-time personal aide.

Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton.
Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton.
Photographer: J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Abedin’s multitasking in the final eight months of Hillary Clinton’s time as the top U.S. diplomat — and her role as intermediary for some of the same players before that — are drawing renewed scrutiny after a conservative watchdog group’s release last week of a new batch of e-mails to and from Clinton aides. Abedin has become the personification of an election-year debate over whether the nonprofit foundation will create conflicts of interest if Clinton wins the White House.

‘Walking Conflict’

“The Clinton Foundation for Hillary Clinton is kind of a walking conflict-of-interest problem,” Meredith McGehee, policy director for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, said in an interview. “Clearly this notion that it could continue to operate while she was secretary of state — it was a built-in problem. If you’re really looking at what should happen if she’s elected, neither her husband nor her daughter, certainly no relative, should have any connection with the foundation.”

Clinton was rated trustworthy by just 41 percent of likely voters in a Bloomberg Politicsnational poll conducted Aug. 5-8. More than half said that the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of foreign contributions while she was secretary of state bothers them “a lot.”

The Clinton Foundation is a nonprofit which says on its website that it has focused “on tackling a number of the world’s greatest challenges: Global health, climate change, economic development, health and wellness, and improving opportunity for girls and women.” Its annual financial statement for 2014 said its grants and contributions for the year totaled $331.7 million.

Political Contributions

Bill and Hillary Clinton have never been paid for their work with the foundation, and Bill Clinton told Bloomberg Television in June that “I always took all the money people gave us and put it right into the work.”

But Republican critics say they have benefited from political contributions and speech fees provided by some of its wealthy contributors. Republicans have cited the questionable human-rights records of some countries that contributed to the foundation, and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump last week called it a “pay-for-play” operation that rewarded its benefactors with State Department favors.

Clinton’s Pledge

When Clinton was awaiting confirmation as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state in 2009, she wrote a letter to the State Department’s chief ethics officer promising that she wouldn’t “participate personally and substantially in any particular matter that has a direct and predictable effect upon this foundation, unless I first obtain a written waiver or qualify for a regulatory exemption.”

But that “did not preclude other State Department officials from having contact with the Clinton Foundation staff,” just as they “are regularly in touch with a wide variety of outside individuals and organizations,” department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters last week.

That’s where Abedin came in.

Best known for her “Good Wife” ordeal standing by her husband, former Representative Anthony Weiner, throughout the sexting scandal that brought down his career in politics, Abedin’s professional accomplishments have been mostly behind the scenes as the ever-present assistant to Hillary Clinton.

Campaign Role

The Michigan-born daughter of an Indian father and a Pakistani mother, Abedin graduated from George Washington University and worked as a White House intern for Hillary Clinton as first lady. She followed her boss to the Senate, on her 2008 presidential campaign and to the State Department. Abedin is still at Clinton’s side as vice chair of this year’s presidential campaign.

Abedin’s arrangement as a “special government employee” has been challenged since 2013 by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who has questioned whether she was overpaid and wrote her that “you allegedly sent or received approximately 7,300 emails on your official Department of State address that involved Mr. Douglas Band,” the Bill Clinton aide and Clinton Foundation official who co-founded Teneo.

In a 2013 letter to State Department officials, Abedin said she left her full-time post because “the birth of my son in December 2011 led me to decide to spend the bulk of my time in New York City where my family lived.” She said she stayed on as an hourly employee working for “the Secretary of State in her personal capacity to help prepare for her transition from public service.”

‘Strategic Advice’

Abedin wrote that she provided “strategic advice” to Teneo’s management team but never did “any work on Teneo’s behalf before the department” nor provided information from government sources to help its clients make investment decisions, as Republicans had suggested.

Abedin’s arrangement was questioned in a 2013 civil lawsuit by Judicial Watch, the conservative watchdog group, which pressed for documents under the Freedom of Information Act. After Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server when she was secretary of state became public, the group got the the case reopened and has been obtaining — and publicizing — a steady barrage of e-mails and deposition transcripts on the e-mail system and other topics..

Last week, Judicial Watch produced e-mails including a 2009 exchange in which Band wrote Abedin that it was “important to take care of” an individual, whose name was redacted. Abedin replied that “personnel has been sending him options.”

In another 2009 exchange, Band asked Abedin and Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, to put Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury in touch with a State Department “substance person” on Lebanon. The Chagoury Group co-founder has given between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to a list of donors posted online.

“Neither of these emails involve the Secretary or relate to the Foundation’s work,” Josh Schwerin, a spokesman for Clinton’s campaign, said in a statement. Referring to Band’s work for Bill Clinton, he said, “They are communications between her aides and the President’s personal aide, and indeed the recommendation was for one of the Secretary’s former staffers who was not employed by the Foundation.”

Trudeau, the State Department spokeswoman, said the department was “not aware of any actions that were influenced by the Clinton Foundation.” A lawyer for Abedin declined to comment.

GAO Report

On Monday, the Government Accountability Office released the findings of a probe into the “special government employee” designation Abedin had, concluding that agencies don’t keep reliable data on the role. While not addressing Abedin’s position specifically, the review, prompted by Grassley’s concerns, cited “weak internal coordination and misunderstanding” about what the job involves.

“The report shows government agencies are having trouble determining who should be given this designation and what’s needed to process the designation,” Grassley said in a statement after the report was released. “This is worrisome because if the government isn’t properly tracking who has the designation, it may not be looking at whether anyone has a conflict of interest with government service and a private sector job.”

The thousands of work-related e-mails from Clinton’s private server that have been released by the State Department also underscore that some of the almost-constant contacts between Abedin and Douglas Band during her years at the State Department simply reflected their roles as the all-purpose helpers alongside Hillary and Bill Clinton in their separate global travels.

“If u r still up, wjc landed in brazil for refuel,” Abedin wrote the secretary of state in June 2009, using Bill Clinton’s initials. “He should be on the ground for an hour or so. Call dougs cell.”

Washington’s Ways

Washington is in many ways a small town with government as its industry, and the debate over the Clinton Foundation simply shows “the way Washington works,” said Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight.

“It’s instances like this that cause the public to have a negative view of how our government works, and it really gives people the impression that deals are done in back rooms and based on who you know rather than what you know,” Amey said in an interview.

While Abedin hasn’t said whether she’d return to Washington and the White House to serve again in a Clinton administration, the Clintons have acknowledged that they would have to forge a new relationship with the foundation they started. But they haven’t provided details.

“There’ll clearly be some changes in what the Clinton Foundation does and how we do it,” Bill Clinton told Bloomberg Television anchor David Westin during a June session of the foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative in Atlanta. “And we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-08-15/huma-abedin-s-overlapping-jobs-renew-focus-on-clinton-conflicts

Clinton Foundation Investigation Could Spell Hillary’s Doom

A report that the FBI is investigating the Clinton Foundation could spell serious trouble for Hillary Clinton. (AP)

A report that the FBI is investigating the Clinton Foundation could spell serious trouble for Hillary Clinton.

Scandal: The Daily Caller reports that the FBI now has multiple investigations underway into the nefarious dealings of the Bill and Hillary’s favor bank, also known as the Clinton Foundation. If true, this investigation could succeed where others have been stonewalled or blocked by the Clinton machine.

Is Hillary Clinton going to be held to account for her corrupt dealings between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation? That question just became highly relevant again.

According to the Daily Caller, this investigation — unlike the politically neutered FBI probe into Clinton’s reckless use of a private email server while Secretary of State — is being headed by Preet Bharara, a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Bharara, the story notes, has a well-deserved reputation as a nonpartisan who fearlessly takes on powerful political interests.

If this is true, and the report is admittedly based on the word of an unnamed source, it could spell big trouble for Hillary.

This latest report comes just days after Judicial Watch released a batch of emails that exposed a cozy relationship between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation — a relationship Clinton swore she would avoid when taking the job.

As the Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton put it, the documents show that “the State Department and the Clinton Foundation worked hand in hand in terms of policy and donor effort.”

Even the mainstream press was forced to admit that the new emails “raised questions” about “whether the charitable foundation worked to reward its donors with access and influence at the State Department.” On Sunday, the Washington Post editorialized that the emails reveal a “porous ethical wall” while Clinton was at State, and that the story would have been bigger news if so much attention weren’t being devoted to the imploding Trump campaign.

Meanwhile, CNN is reporting that in 2012, Clinton’s top State Department aide, Cheryl Mills, traveled to New York in 2012 to interview candidates to run the foundation. As CNN put it, this “raises new questions about the blurred lines that have dogged the Clintons in recent years.”

The Daily Caller report also comes amid news that three FBI field offices were pushing months ago to launch a public corruption investigation into the Clinton Foundation, but were rebuffed by the Justice Department.

The FBI announced in May that it was investigating longtime Clinton crony and Virginia’s ethically challenged Gov. Terry McAuliffe for possible illegal campaign contributions. The FBI said it was also looking into McAuliffe’s time as a board member of the Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative.

Before taking the job at State, Clinton agreed not to avoid conflicts of interest between the Foundation and her role at State. It should be obvious to everyone that this promise wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on.

All of this supports the central contention of Peter Schweizer’s 2015 book, “Clinton Cash,” that detailed how the Clinton’s used Hillary’s position at State to trade massive donations to the Foundation for favors from the Obama administration. As Schweizer put it, “they have monetized public service in a massive way.”

We also learned Friday that the Clintons made $1 million in donations to their own foundation, which effectively amounts to recirculating the money back to themselves and their friends while taking a massive tax deduction.

This sort of corruption would be intolerable to liberals and the mainstream media if a Republican were engaged in it. Yet these same liberals reflexively dismiss all such corruption claims against team Clinton as lacking “definitive proof” or as insignificant or immaterial.

As a result, for too long, the Clintons have gotten away such scams. One can only hope that this time Bill and Hillary meet their match in U.S. attorney Bharara.

Clinton Foundation Investigation Could Spell Hillary’s Doom

 

From Whitewater to Benghazi: A Clinton-Scandal Primer

Newly released emails show the complicated nature of ties between the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton-led State Department—and the high risk of conflicts of interest.

Newly released emails have shown again the troublesome interconnections between the Clinton Foundation and the Hillary Clinton-led State Department.

The conservative accountability group Judicial Watch released Tuesday night a tranche of nearly 300 emails it obtained through a lawsuit, and they paint a picture of some of the conflicts of interest created by a situation in which Hillary Clinton ran U.S. foreign policy as her husband’s foundation acted around the globe. Many of the emails are redacted, and some are almost comically boring—“No new voice messages,” one reads in full—but others are not.

In one of the more piquant interactions, from April 2009, Doug Band, a close confidant of former President Clinton who was then in charge of the foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative, pressed top Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills for a connection at the State Department for Gilbert Chagoury, a Nigerian-Lebanese billionaire who was a major benefactor of the Clinton Foundation.

“It’s jeff feltman. I’m sure he knows him. I’ll talk to jeff,” Abedin replied, referring to the then-U.S. ambassador to Lebanon. Band responded, “Better if you call him. Now preferable. This is very important… He’s awake I’m sure.”

On Wednesday, Chagoury released a statement through a spokesman, saying he had hoped to pass along insights about the Lebanese election, but that nothing had come of it. He said he had not spoken with Clinton or any member of her staff since 2006.

According to Clinton Foundation records, Chagoury has given the charity between $1 and $5 million, and pledged $1 billion to CGI. He had ties to the former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, according to The Wall Street Journal, as well as to Christian politicians in highly sectarian Lebanon. In 2000, he paid a $66 million fine in Nigeria as part of a plea deal in a money-laundering case.

In another case, Band appears to be lobbying for a job for someone. Also in April 2009, he wrote to State Department official Nora Toiv as well as Mills and Abedin, saying it was “important to take care of” an individual, whose name is redacted. Abedin replied, “We have all had him on our radar. Personnel has been sending him options.”

The Clinton campaign issued a statement saying Band’s correspondence was unrelated to the Clinton Foundation:

Neither of these emails involve the Secretary or relate to the Foundation’s work. They are communications between her aides and the President’s personal aide, and indeed the recommendation was for one of the Secretary’s former staffers who was not employed by the Foundation.
But rather than reassure, that statement only emphasizes the unusual and awkward situation. How would a third-party observer know when Band was working in his private capacity as an aide to Bill Clinton, and when he was working in his CGI capacity? For that matter, would Abedin and Mills know? The overlapping interests are effectively impossible to entangle. Moreover, the Chagoury interaction is not the first one in which Foundation donors had cause to deal with the State Department, raising the possibility of quid-pro-quos.
Judicial Watch also noted that there were 44 emails in the batch which Hillary Clinton had not turned over to the State Department as part of public-records compliance.

The new disclosures weave together two threads of scandals around Hillary Clinton. The first are the many possible conflicts of interest involving the Foundation and Foggy Bottom, in which there have been various sightings of smoke but no obvious flames as yet. The second are her emails. Even after the Department of Justice announced on July 6 that Clinton would not face charges related to her use of a private email server, the fact and content of those emails continues to haunt her. FBI Director James Comey called Clinton and her aides “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” and the State Department is still probing the emails. Meanwhile, lawsuits like Judicial Watch’s continue to produce embarrassing revelations.

The emails represent something of a classic Clinton scandal. Although the House investigation turned up no evidence of wrongdoing on her part with respect to the attacks themselves, it was during that inquiry that her private-email use became public. This is a pattern with the Clinton family, which has been in the public spotlight since Bill Clinton’s first run for office, in 1974: Something that appears potentially scandalous on its face turns out to be innocuous, but an investigation into it reveals different questionable behavior. The canonical case is Whitewater, a failed real-estate investment Bill and Hillary Clinton made in 1978. Although no inquiry ever produced evidence of wrongdoing, investigations ultimately led to President Clinton’s impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice.

With Hillary Clinton leading the field for the Democratic nomination for president, every Clinton scandal—from Whitewater to the State Department emails—will be under the microscope. (No other American politicians—even ones as corrupt as Richard Nixon, or as hated by partisans as George W. Bush—have fostered the creation of a permanent multimillion-dollar cottage industry devoted to attacking them.) Keeping track of each controversy, where it came from, and how serious it is, is no small task, so here’s a primer. We’ll update it as new information emerges.

What? During the course of the Benghazi investigation, New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt learned Clinton had used a personal email account while secretary of state. It turned out she had also been using a private server, located at a house in New York. The result was that Clinton and her staff decided which emails to turn over to the State Department as public records and which to withhold; they say they then destroyed the ones they had designated as personal.

When? 2009-2013, during Clinton’s term as secretary.

Who? Hillary Clinton; Bill Clinton; top aides including Huma Abedin

How serious is it? Serious, but slightly less serious. A May report from the State Department inspector general is harshly critical of Clinton’s email approach, but Loretta Lynch announced on July 6 that the Justice Department would not pursue criminal charges, removing the threat of an indictment that could be fatal to her campaign. But the scandal will remain a millstone around her neck forever. Comey’s damning comments about her conduct—“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information”—will reverberate throughout the campaign. Also unresolved is the question of whether Clinton’s server was hacked. Comey said the FBI did not find any proof, but he also said that “we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence.” Meanwhile, a recently released deposition shows Abedin expressing her frustration with the unwieldy setup, which she called “not a good system.”

What? Setting aside the question of the Clintons’ private email server, what’s actually in the emails that Clinton did turn over to State? While some of the emails related to Benghazi have been released, there are plenty of others covered by public-records laws that are still in the process of being vetted for release.

When? 2009-2013

How serious is it? Serious, but not as serious as it was. While political operatives hoped for embarrassing statements in the emails—and there were some cringeworthy moments of sucking up and some eye-rolly emails from contacts like Sidney Blumenthal—they were, for the most part, boring. More damaging is the fact that 110 emails included classified information at the time they were sent or received, even though Clinton had insisted she did not send or receive anything classified. Meanwhile, some emails remain to be seen. The State Department, under court order, is slowly releasing the emails she turned over, but there are other emails that she didn’t turn over, which have surfaced through court battles.  In particular, roughly 160 emails that Clinton did not turn overhave now surfaced through lawsuits by the conservative group Judicial Watch, raising questions about how and why they were withheld. In one, she even wondered about how her messages would be handled: “I have just realized I have no idea how my papers are treated at State. Who manages both my personal and official files?”

What? On September 11, 2012, attackers overran a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Since then, Republicans have charged that Hillary Clinton failed to adequately protect U.S. installations or that she attempted to spin the attacks as spontaneous when she knew they were planned terrorist operations. She testifies for the first time on October 22.
When? September 11, 2012-present

How serious is it? With the June 28 release of the House committee investigating Benghazi, this issue is receding. That report criticized security preparations at the American facility in Benghazi as well as stations elsewhere, but it produced no smoking guns or new accusations about things Clinton could have done the night of the attacks. Although some conservatives will likely continue to assail her, the biggest damage is likely to be iterative—the highly damaging private-email story was revealed during the course of the House inquiry.

What? Before becoming Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills worked for Clinton on an unpaid basis for four month while also working for New York University, in which capacity she negotiated on the school’s behalf with the government of Abu Dhabi, where it was building a campus. In June 2012, Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin’s status at State changed to “special government employee,”allowing her to also work for Teneo, a consulting firm run by Bill Clinton’s former right-hand man. She also earned money from the Clinton Foundation and was paid directly by Hillary Clinton. In a separate case, ABC News reports that a topClinton Foundation donor named Rajiv Fernando was placed on State’s International Security Advisory Board. Fernando appeared significantly less qualified than many of his colleagues, and was appointed at the behest of the secretary’s office. Internal emails show that State staff first sought to cover for Clinton, and then Fernando resigned two days after ABC’s inquiries.

Who? Both Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin are among Clinton’s longest-serving and closest aides. Abedin remains involved in her campaign (and she’s also married to Anthony Weiner).

When? January 2009-February 2013

How serious is it? This is arcane stuff, to be sure. There are questions about conflict of interest—such as whether Teneo clients might have benefited from special treatment by the State Department while Abedin worked for both. To a great extent, this is just an extension of the tangle of conflicts presented by the Clinton Foundation and the many overlapping roles of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

What? A former journalist, Blumenthal was a top aide in the second term of the Bill Clinton administration and helped on messaging during the bad old days. He served as an adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, and when she took over the State Department, she sought to hire Blumenthal. Obama aides, apparently still smarting over his role in attacks on candidate Obama, refused the request, so Clinton just sought out his counsel informally. At the same time, Blumenthal was drawing a check from the Clinton Foundation.

How serious is it? Only mildly. Some of the damage is already done. Blumenthal was apparently the source of the idea that the Benghazi attacks were spontaneous, a notion that proved incorrect and provided a political bludgeon against Clinton and Obama. He also advised the secretary on a wide range of other issues, from Northern Ireland to China, and passed along analysis from his son Max, a staunch critic of the Israeli government (and conservative bête noire). But emails released so far show even Clinton’s top foreign-policy guru, Jake Sullivan, rejecting Blumenthal’s analysis, raising questions about her judgment in trusting him.

What? Since Bill Clinton left the White House in 2001, both Clintons have made millions of dollars for giving speeches.

When? 2001-present

Who? Hillary Clinton; Bill Clinton; Chelsea Clinton

How serious is it? Intermittently dangerous. It has a tendency to flare up, then die down. Senator Bernie Sanders made it a useful attack against her in early 2016, suggesting that by speaking to banks like Goldman Sachs, she was compromised. There have been calls for Clinton to release the transcripts of her speeches, which she was declined to do, saying if every other candidate does, she will too. For the Clintons, who left the White House up to their ears in legal debt, lucrative speeches—mostly by the former president—proved to be an effective way of rebuilding wealth. They have also been an effective magnet for prying questions. Where did Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton speak? How did they decide how much to charge? What did they say? How did they decide which speeches would be given on behalf of the Clinton Foundation, with fees going to the charity, and which would be treated as personal income? Are there cases of conflicts of interest or quid pro quos—for example, speaking gigs for Bill Clintonon behalf of clients who had business before the State Department?

What? Bill Clinton’s foundation was actually established in 1997, but after leaving the White House it became his primary vehicle for … well, everything. With projects ranging from public health to elephant-poaching protection and small-business assistance to child development, the foundation is a huge global player with several prominent offshoots. In 2013, following Hillary Clinton’s departure as secretary of State, it was renamed the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

When? 1997-present

Who? Bill Clinton; Hillary Clinton; Chelsea Clinton, etc.

How serious is it? If the Clinton Foundation’s strength is President Clinton’s endless intellectual omnivorousness, its weakness is the distractibility and lack of interest in detail that sometimes come with it. On a philanthropic level, the foundation gets decent ratings from outside review groups, though critics charge that it’s too diffuse to do much good, that the money has not always achieved what it was intended to, and that in some cases the money doesn’t seem to have achieved its intended purpose. The foundation made errors in its tax returns it has to correct. Overall, however, the essential questions about the Clinton Foundation come down to two, related issues. The first is the seemingly unavoidable conflicts of interest: How did the Clintons’ charitable work intersect with their for-profit speeches? How did their speeches intersect with Hillary Clinton’s work at the State Department? Were there quid-pro-quos involving U.S. policy? Did the foundation steer money improperly to for-profit companies owned by friends? The second, connected question is about disclosure. When Clinton became secretary, she agreed that the foundation would make certain disclosures, which it’s now clear it didn’t always do. And the looming questions about Clinton’s State Department emails make it harder to answer those questions.

What is it? Since the Clintons have a long history of controversies, there are any number of past scandals that continue to float around, especially in conservative media: Whitewater. Troopergate. Paula Jones. Monica Lewinsky. Travelgate.Vince Foster’s suicide. Juanita Broaddrick.

When? 1975-2001

Who? Bill Clinton; Hillary Clinton; a brigade of supporting characters

How serious is it? The conventional wisdom is that they’re not terribly dangerous. Some are wholly spurious (Foster). Others (Lewinsky, Whitewater) have been so exhaustively investigated it’s hard to imagine them doing much further damage to Hillary Clinton’s standing. In fact, the Lewinsky scandal famously boosted her public approval ratings. But the January 2016 resurfacing of Juanita Broaddrick’s rape allegations offers a test case to see whether the conventional wisdom is truly wise—or just conventional. On May 23, Donald Trump released a video prominently highlighting Broaddrick’s accusation.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/tracking-the-clinton-controversies-from-whitewater-to-benghazi/396182/

 

//

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The Pronk Pops Show 729, August 1, 2016, Story 1: Progressive Politician Pathological Prevaricating Pinocchios — Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — And Hillary’s Helpers Big Lie Media Propagandists — American People Shunning of Hillary Clinton — Videos — Story 2: Trump Response To Khizr Khan — Goes Off Message Instead of Telling Truth About Crooked Lying Incompetent Progressive Politician Eugenics Racist — Clipper Hillary Clinton — Videos

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 Story 1:  Progressive Politician Pathological Prevaricating Pinocchios — Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama — And Hillary’s Helpers Big Lie Media Propagandists — American People Shunning of Hillary Clinton —  Videos

hillary greatest hitshillary-clinton-testified15-0415-Hillary-Liar Clintons-AgainConservative Political Cartoons 2Evolution-of-Hillary-750  clinton-hillary-cartoons-liar-lying Hillary_Clinton_Phonyhillaryplant8hillary____it_depends_on_what_the_meaning_os_dead_broke_isliar liar embassy on fireHillaryResetCartoonHillaryCartoonlyinghillary helpers I'm A Pathological Liar

hillary_clinton_america_liars_quote_poster

hillary-at-27birds of a featherobama-is-pathological-liarliarBarack Obama Trust me Liar Liar Next time he'll really do everything he promised to do last timebarack-obama-pathological-liarCartoon-Lie-Often-and-Loud-600Liar-Liarmany obama liesaa-barack-obama-liar-poster Obama+Lying+Book_Obama-Liar obama nose grows  Someone-Needs-To-Pay-The-BillsIObamaLyingToAmerica.1-1obama noseObama-is-a-Liar Obama-Lying-We-Can-Believe-In The-Crook

hillary clinton

American People Shunning of Hillary Clinton

hillary-clinton-tim-kaine-rally-cancelled

Clinton Lies Again On Email Scandal, Claims She Never Sent Classified Info

Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace 7/31/16 | Hillary Exclusive Interviev on Benghazi, Her Emails

FBI Director James Comey about Hillary Clinton – Full Press Conference

Trey Gowdy GRILLS James Comey On Hillary Clinton Emails 7/7/16

Trey Gowdy Destroys FBI’s James Comey over Hillary Clinton’s ‘Intent’

Jim Jordan Grills James Comey

Jason Chaffetz Digs in on Comey at Start of Capitol Hearing: ‘We Are Mystified and Confused’:

REP MEADOWS GETS FBI DIRECTOR TO ADMIT CLINTON LIED

Hillary Clinton Battles Chris Wallace Over Emailgate: That’s ‘Not What I Heard’ Comey Say

Hillary Clinton Denies Blaming Benghazi Attack On Video

FULL Hillary Clinton interview On “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace (7/31/2016)

Chris Wallace grills Clinton on Benghazi, policy positions

Hillary Clinton’s Strategy Going Forward

Mike Cernovich and Stefan Molyneux: The Truth About the MSM and the DNC

DVD Trailer: The Shunning

The Amish: Shunned

Top Secrets about Body Language – Full Documentary

CBS anchors chuckle when Hillary Clinton says she can’t be bought

Ben Shapiro: Hillary Clinton Lies… A Lot

The truth about “pathological liars”

The Truth about Liars and Lies – Documentary Films

Clinton-Kaine Have to CANCEL Cleveland, Ohio Event Due to Lack of Interest

In only the second day on the general campaign trail, Clinton-Kaine are already cancelling appearances in key battleground states.

CLEVELAND – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine will no longer be visiting Cleveland on Sunday.

Clinton’s campaign tells Fox 8 that the event was canceled due to time constraints. The pair will still be stopping in Youngstown on Saturday night before heading to Columbus on Sunday. (read more)

The event cancelled was originally billed as: “Cleveland Manufacturing Event”  scheduled for: 12:00 p.m. EDT, Sunday, July 31 Where: APOC (A Piece of Cleveland), 1310 E 49th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114

Yesterday, in Johnstown Pennsylvania the Clinton-Kaine rally could only attract a few dozen, heavily vetted/controlled, supporters.   The Clinton-Kaine campaign have kicked off their general election efforts by traveling via buses through Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Some, given the history of how the Clinton campaign deliver misleading information, may speculate the Cleveland cancellations was due to lack of interest, ie. bad optics. Perhaps this is a possibility.

However, there’s a very solid argument to be made that Hillary Clinton is not physically healthy enough for the rigors of general election campaigning.   It is entirely possible the decision to use large buses for travel is more attached to her health condition.

Time will tell.

http://truthfeed.com/clinton-kaine-have-to-cancel-cleveland-ohio-event-due-to-lack-of-interest/14329/

Wow! Hillary Clinton Holds Event at Cleveland Church – Less Than 100 Attend

This was rough.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made a stop Sunday to speak at Imani Temple Ministry.

Less than 100 people were there to see her preach from the pulpit.
(The event was in Cleveland not Columbus.)

There was even open seats on the stage.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

On the bright side, at least lightning didn’t strike the building.

The event was put on the schedule after the campaign canceled a stop at a furniture maker.

Why Does the Left Hate Hillary?

She appeared to lose her faith in progressive policies after her shattering defeat over health care in 1993.

May 31, 2016

 

illary Clinton has worked for nearly half a century to establish her bona fides on the left. In 1968, she stuffed envelopes in New Hampshire for Eugene McCarthy’s anti-war presidential campaign, and four years later, she registered Texas voters for liberal icon George McGovern. During Bill Clinton’s first campaign for governor in 1978, she riled traditionalists in Arkansas because she hadn’t taken her husband’s last name. She had enough of a liberal fan base that in 1992, buttons read “Elect Hillary’s Husband.” In 1993, she shattered the first lady mold by becoming a major policy aide with a West Wing office. In her first year, she fiercely fought the corporate health insurance lobby in her quest to enact universal health coverage.
So how did we arrive at a place today where, to some on the left, she is “the candidate of the war machine” with a “deeply pro-corporate ideology” who is “building on the legacy of Ronald Reagan.” How does one go from a symbol of women’s equality and battler of corporate interests to being perceived as the personification of the corrupt intersection of corporations and government?

The short answer is her record, and her husband’s. Clinton’s 2002 vote in the Senate to authorize an invasion of Iraq was the first big crack in her bond with the Democratic base. Her 2008 presidential campaign further alienated anti-war voters when she criticized President Barack Obama’s pledge to meet with leaders of rogue states in his first year. She fed the perception of a craven, calculating politician when she gave a convoluted answer on whether undocumented immigrants should get driver’s licenses. When Wall Street shenanigans tanked the global economy, Bill Clinton’s deregulation policies were fingered, and her ties to the financial industry were put under the microscope.
But even that doesn’t fully explain why Hillary Clinton doesn’t have more street cred today with the progressive movement—and why she herself often appears to lack faith in it. It’s an attitude, and voters notice. It’s the way Clinton talks when she dismisses Sanders’ ambitious proposals by saying they “just won’t work” and “the numbers don’t add up.” It’s her squeamishness toward his desire to mobilize the grass roots behind single-payer health care (“I don’t want us to start over again [and] plunge our country into a contentious debate”).
The best explanation may be deeply personal and goes back to one of the worst moments of her life: the searing experience of being entrusted with the biggest piece of Bill Clinton’s domestic policy agenda in the first two years of his administration—universal health coverage—and failing totally, arguably contributing to her party’s loss of both chambers of Congress and with it, the end of hope for an ambitious legislative legacy for herself and her husband.
As described in Carl Bernstein’s biography, A Woman in Charge, the “near universal view” of White House staffers was that afterward, she sank into a deep depression. The preternaturally prepared Clinton had her confidence shaken, reportedly telling current Clinton antagonist but then-top strategist Dick Morris, “I’m so confused. I just don’t know what works anymore.” However, we don’t know the exact nature of her emotions because, as Bernstein writes, “Hillary appears to have kept to herself her deepest feelings about the wreckage of the twenty months between inauguration day and election day … Except for conveying her general despondency she did not even discuss with her close friends … her role in the debacle.”
Most strikingly yet rarely remembered, her health-care failure came from trying to win the battle Bernie-style: publicly attacking corporate interests and overcoming corporate influence by rallying the public behind reform.
***
Perhaps it’s because many progressive voters sense that she doesn’t have the religion when it comes to movement-style politics that they don’t forgive her as readily as they do other Democratic politicians.
After all, Obama raised a lot of Wall Street coin too, and rebuffed efforts to break up the big banks. While in the Senate, Joe Biden voted for the Iraq War authorization and wrote legislation that protected Delaware’s credit-card companies. Sen. Elizabeth Warren copped to taking Wall Street contributions during her 2012 race (“Securities & Investment” ranks sixth on the list of industries that have contributed to her), and has followed the wishes of home-state corporate interests including medical-device companies and defense contractors.
While Hillary Clinton’s associations with Lloyd Blankfein and Henry Kissinger are treated as damning, little is said about Bernie Sanders’ top aide, Tad Devine, who in the documentary “Our Brand Is Crisis” epitomized neoliberal meddling in Latin America.
Of course, there’s a difference between those mentioned and Clinton: They’ve had the opportunity to prove that they were not defined by past votes and individual ties. Obama built up early reservoirs of good will on the left for gutting out the Recovery Act and Obamacare, and maintained it in the second term with a steady stream of liberal executive actions. Biden has been depicted as a dovish voice within the Obama administration. Warren and Sanders have taken so many bold positions that they drown out the occasional discordant note. Clinton, on the other hand, didn’t have an unequivocally “liberal” accomplishment as secretary of state and rather prominently took the hawkish side of many internal White House debates. And serving as Democratic senator during the George W. Bush administration didn’t provide many openings for big legislative wins.
Understanding that her progressive bona fides were going to be questioned in the primary, Hillary has tried to re-introduce herself to the Democratic electorate in the past 12 months, with biographical spots covering her civil rights activism in the 1970s and Bill talking up her policy initiatives as Arkansas first lady in the 1980s. The idea was to define what’s in her core.
But there is a big hole in Hillary’s own self-narrative that probably tells us more about how she’s perceived today than anything else. And that’s the health care debacle.
In a May 1993 address to the Service Employees International Union, Clinton tore into the health care industry. The New York Times reported: “What most energized Mrs. Clinton’s speech were her populist attacks. ‘We have to be willing to take on every special-interest group,’ she said, asserting that ‘the status quo exists because there are people who benefit from it. … Talk to your friends and neighbors about what you see every day in terms of price gouging, cost shifting and unconscionable profiteering.”
The rhetoric alarmed the lead health insurance lobbyist at the time, Bill Gradison. As reported in Haynes Johnson’s and David Broder’s definitive book chronicling the health care fight, The System, Gradison immediately sent her a letter complaining about her attacks, but asking for a meeting. The legislation hadn’t been drafted yet and he said, “We stand ready to help you” with it.
She snubbed his request. Instead, the White House encouraged congressional Democrats to echo Hillary’s attacks on “profiteers” during the summer recess. That prompted Gradison to give up on pursuing compromise and shift to war footing.
In September, the health insurance lobby launched the famous “Harry and Louise” advertising campaign, in which a despondent middle-class married couple in the future grapples with the aftermath of the, at that point, nonexistent bill. “Having choices we don’t like is no choice at all,” says Louise. “They choose,” Harry responds. Louise finishes the sentence, “we lose.”
The ad immediately made waves, but the health insurance lobby quickly offered a deal: “Stop bashing the industry” and the ads would be pulled. The Clintons didn’t respond, and the ads kept coming.
Hillary Clinton escalated the fight in a November speech, ripping the “Harry and Louise” campaign as dishonest and the industry as greedy: “They like being able to exclude people from coverage because the more they can exclude, the more money they can make. … They have the gall to run TV ads that there is a better way, the very industry that has brought us to the brink of bankruptcy because of the way that they have financed health care … One of the great lies that is currently afoot in the country is that the president’s plan will limit choice.”
The result of Hillary’s broadside? The health insurance lobby’s fundraising exploded, and the “Harry and Louise” ad budget quintupled. Hillary became a national lightning rod. Republicans became emboldened to kill the bill instead of seeking compromise, and the legislation never received a vote. Six weeks after the plug was pulled by Senate Democrats in September 1994, Republicans seized control of Congress for the first time since 1954.
And Hillary Clinton was shattered.
It’s too pat to say that Hillary came into the White House a liberal idealist and left a chastened realist. Like her husband, her moderate and pragmatic strains were evident at an early age. “Very much a moderate” said one of her Wellesley classmates. She volunteered to ditch her last name, over Bill’s objections, to salvage his gubernatorial comeback in 1982. “She was always against raising taxes” in Arkansas, said Morris, because she was “nonideological, just pragmatic.”
Then “that all changed in 1993,” said Morris, and “she began to become more liberal.” For her first opportunity to wield power at the federal level, her impulse was to take on a corporate special interest in service of a decades-old liberal dream.
And she got beat, utterly and completely. How could her political worldview not have been shaped by that experience?
Clinton does not include this tale of humiliating defeat in her biographical narrative for understandable reasons. Not only does it trigger the image of a power-hungry ideologue and tin-eared politician, but the lesson of the fable is not terribly inspirational: You can’t always get what you want, especially when you go up against Corporate America. (It’s a lesson that President Barack Obama learned, having bargained with the insurance and drug lobbies to neutralize opposition to Obamacare.)
But without that piece of her story, how can anyone understand what drives her resistance to Sanders’ argument that change can only come through political “revolution”?
Most Sanders voters are highly allergic to claims that the Sanders agenda is too unrealistic to be enacted and that his revolutionary tactics are no match for the congressional grinder. Hearing one more lecture from a Democratic elder wouldn’t change any minds. But if Clinton told that part of her story earlier, might it have changed hearts?
***
To win in November, she doesn’t need Bernie voters to agree with her pragmatic approach to politics. She only needs them to believe that their disagreements are largely about tactics and scope of ambition. She needs them to believe that, at her core, she isn’t a neoconservative or a tool of Wall Street.
But without filling the gap in the narrative between her youthful activism and current incrementalism, others step in to fill in the blanks. The record of the 1990s was a “total repudiation of the FDR/LBJ legacy,” and Hillary Clinton “has been taken in by a fundamentally right wing paradigm,” argued Huffington Post blogger Benjamin Studebaker; never mind the higher taxes on the wealthy, the anti-poverty Earned Income Tax Credit expansion or the new Children’s Health Insurance Program the Clintons managed to establish in the second term.
The post-presidency Clinton Foundation isn’t seen as a good-faith attempt to encourage corporate social responsibility; instead, it’s, in the words of The Nation’s Naomi Klein, “part of a never-ending merry-go-round of corporate-political give and take.”
Hillary’s relative hawkishness isn’t accepted as stemming from a sincere belief in the principles of humanitarian military intervention shared by most Democratic presidents; there must be a nefarious motive. As Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs speculated, “Is it chronically bad judgment? Is it her preternatural faith in the lying machine of the CIA? Is it a repeated attempt to show that, as a Democrat, she would be more hawkish than the Republicans? Is it to satisfy her hard-line campaign financiers? Who knows? Maybe it’s all of the above.”
Depending on how old they are, different generations interpret her record differently. Democratic voters age 45 and older, more than two-thirds of whom voted for Clinton, remember when the Clintons first took the national stage in 1992. They were the Democrats who saved the Carter-Mondale-Dukakis party from political oblivion and subsequently faced down Newt Gingrich’s Republican Revolution. Show them examples of when the Clintons veered right, and they’ll remind you they did what they had to do to win, and when seemingly no other Democrat could.
Democrats younger than 30, 70 percent of whom voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders, were not yet teenagers during the Bill Clinton presidency. A college student today had not been born when Hillary was going 10 rounds with the health insurance lobby. Their political awakening stems from the 2008 market crash and the Iraq War debacle, and their introduction to Hillary Clinton was her war vote and her husband’s repeal of Glass-Steagall. While older voters see her as a left-of-center figure weathering decades of brutal attacks while valiantly navigating the realities of Washington, younger voters are quick to tag her as the embodiment of everything that’s wrong with the current political system.
If younger Democrats were more aware of the enmity Hillary Clinton and the health insurance lobby once had for each other, they still probably would have felt the Bern. They still would have rejected the notion that the corrosive nature of big-dollar fundraising was worth stomaching to win elections. They still would loathe Wall Street deregulation and the Iraq War vote. They still would believe only a revolution could change Washington.
But if they knew more about her personal journey, they might be more likely to view Clinton the way many view Obama: as a decent person trying to push a lot of boulders up a big Washington hill. And that might have made it a little easier for a steadfast Bernie supporter to eventually get to “I’m with her.”
 http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/05/hillary-clinton-2016-progressives-213916#ixzz4GJ8Wmpqi

Washington Post hits Clinton with four ‘Pinnochios’ on emails

HERE THEY ARE: HILLARY’S 22 BIGGEST SCANDALS EVER

Does America really want ‘2 Clintons for price of 1’ back in White House?

During his 1992 campaign for the presidency, Bill Clinton was fond of promising America, “You get two for the price of one,” indicating Hillary Clinton would act as his co-president.

But the nation got much more than it bargained for, as the top power couple brought a load of baggage with them into the White House from their days in Arkansas.

After the Clintons moved into the presidential mansion, the political scandals multiplied – from use of the IRS and FBI to target political opponents to stalking and harassing subjects of Bill Clinton’s sexual advances and even attempts to loot taxpayer-funded items from the White House. Americans also witnessed capers such as Travelgate, Chinagate, Filegate and Pardongate.

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clintons3Bill Clinton’s sexual escapades and subsequent impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice consumed more than a year of American public life and bitterly divided the nation.

In the years since the memorable Clinton presidency, Hillary has brought America Emailgate and the Benghazi scandal, among others. New developments in the Clinton Foundation scandals emerges almost daily.

Now, it’s Hillary’s “turn” to be president, according to her Democrat supporters.

What do YOU think? Is Hillary fit to be president? Sound off in today’s WND poll!

But in 2015, America is still apparently suffering from “Clinton fatigue.” Results from a Quinnipiac poll published in April revealed between 49 and 56 percent of voters in three significant swing states – Colorado, Virginia and Iowa – believe Hillary is neither honest nor trustworthy.

Even former California Democratic Party Chairman Bill Press told WND that controversies surrounding Hillary should convince members of his own party an uncontested coronation of Clinton as the party’s 2016 nominee for the White House is a very risky idea and should encourage other Democrats to throw their hats in the ring.

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican candidate for president, said Sunday he believes voters will reject Hillary because of the “cloud of constant scandal she brings to the political process.”

Rubio told Fox News Sunday, “Unfortunately, both under her husband’s presidency, her time in the Department of State, her campaign for the president last time and even now, there seems to be this cloud of constant scandal and things that distract us from the core issues of the moment.”

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hillary3Hillary’s “drama” could become a distraction, Rubio warned, at a time when the stakes are high for America in the 2016 election.

“I just think that at this hinge moment in our history, where we are asked to make a transition from the past into this new future, with all the challenges and the opportunities of our time that we really – the American people are not at a point now where they are going to be supportive of more drama surrounding the political process,” he said.

In 2003, ABC News’ Barbara Walters referenced numerous Clinton scandals from Whitewater to Travelgate and the death of Hillary law partner Vince Foster in an interview with then-Sen. Clinton.

Walters asked Hillary, “How did you get in this mess where your whole credibility is being questioned?”

Hillary’s response: “Oh, I ask myself that every day, Barbara, because it’s very surprising and confusing to me.”

With Hillary making another run for president, don’t get caught up in the lies and spin! In “Hillary Unhinged: In Her Own Words,” find out who the true Hillary is with this raw and humorous collection of quotes that pitilessly underscores her hypocrisy

With the prospect of another “two-for-one” Clinton presidency looming, is America ready for a repeat of the Bill and Hillary “drama” in the White House?

If, as psychologists say, “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior,” then a fresh look at the top 20 scandals involving Hillary is in order.


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IRS_audit

1) Clintons turn IRS into ‘gestapo’

Few federal agencies are more feared and loathed by Americans than the Internal Revenue Service – especially when corrupt presidents abuse the power of the IRS to harass and exact revenge on political enemies. As WND has reported, during Bill Clinton’s terms in office, IRS audits were conducted against individuals and groups who caused problems for the administration. Several prominent conservative groups found themselves facing IRS audits following their criticism of the president and his policies. Among the conservative groups targeted for audits were the Heritage Foundation, the National Rifle Association, Concerned Women of America, Citizens Against Government Waste, National Review, American Spectator (which was burglarized three times), the National Center for Public Policy Research, the American Policy Center, American Cause, Citizens for Honest Government, Progress and Freedom Foundation, David Horowitz’s Center for the Study of Popular Culture and the Western Journalism Center.

Individuals singled out for audits during the administration included Clinton paramours Gennifer Flowers and Liz Ward Gracen, sexual assault accusers Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick, fired White House Travel Office Director Billy Dale and attorney Kent Masterson Brown. Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, an outspoken critic of both Bill and Hillary Clinton, said he was audited three times during the Clinton presidency.

A 1996 survey by the Washington Times could not identify a single liberal public policy organization that had been audited during the entire Clinton administration.


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clintons2) Covering Bill’s dirty deeds

The Clintons have been accused of hiring private investigators to not only dig up dirt on perceived adversaries – such as Juanita Broaddrick, the woman allegedly raped by Bill, and other abused women such as Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones – but to stalk, scare and threaten them. Willey asserts Hillary was behind a campaign of intimidation and harassment against her that fit a pattern employed against numerous other women whose claims of sexual impropriety or assault by Bill Clinton threatened the couple’s political fortunes.

As WND reported, Willey and her husband, Ed, were Democratic activists who founded Virginians for Clinton and helped send Bill and Hillary to the White House in 1992. While serving as a volunteer in the White House and facing financial hard times, Willey says she met with Bill Clinton in the Oval Office to request a paying position. But instead of getting help, she says, she was subjected to “nothing short of serious sexual harassment.” Distraught, Willey fled Clinton’s presence, only to discover that her husband Ed had committed suicide that same tragic afternoon. Later, she was drawn “unwillingly” into the Paula Jones lawsuit, the Ken Starr investigation and impeachment proceedings.

Willey, author of the 2007 book, “Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton,” has claimed the Clinton tag team used mob-style intimidation campaign to keep her silent, even purportedly breaking into her home to steal her memoirs of the events.

Kathleen Willey

Despite Bill’s 20 years of alleged and admitted extra-marital relationships, Hillary famously came to his defense shortly after the Monica Lewinsky affair broke in 1998. Asked about the accusations, the then-first lady said, “Certainly, I believe they’re false. Absolutely.”

Then, in a memorable interview with the “Today” show’s Matt Lauer, she explained years of accusations by women such as Willey, Gennifer Flowers and Dolly Kyle Browning: “Bill and I have been accused of everything, including murder, by some of the very same people who are behind these allegations,” she said, pointing to a “vast right-wing conspiracy. … So from my perspective this is part of a continuing political campaign against my husband.”

What makes a book about Bill and Hillary Clinton so explosive that someone would STEAL it? Kathleen Willey tells America the shocking story in her book, “Target: Caught in the Crosshairs of Bill and Hillary Clinton.”

Later, however, when placed under oath, Bill Clinton admitted to an affair with Flowers, as he did with Lewinksy. But Hillary’s actions, Willey contends, indicated by word and deed that her main concern was to ensure her husband’s proclivities didn’t ruin their political careers.

In her book, Willey cites sources who contend Hillary began engaging private investigators during their time in Arkansas so she could head off any repercussions from her husband’s behavior. The first to be dispatched were her own father and brother when she committed to marry Bill, according to author Jerome Levin in “The Clinton Syndrome.” Bill had left Yale University for Arkansas to teach law, and she went to work in Washington, D.C.

When Bill was governor, Hillary sent out a group of investigators known at the “Truth Squad” to discourage many of her husband’s lovers from going public.


3) Looting the White House

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WHITE HOUSE-300When the Clintons left 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 2001, they reportedly vandalized and looted the White House. Hillary tried to ship furniture to the Clintons’ personal home in Chappaqua, New York. The Clintons came under fire when they reportedly tried to take $190,000 in gifts and furnishings from the presidential mansion. Additionally, the General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, reported that ”damage, theft, vandalism and pranks did occur in the White House complex” during the presidential transition from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush – including the theft of a presidential seal. According to the General Accounting Office, the cost of the White House vandalism reached about $14,000 and included $4,850 to replace computer keyboards with damaged or missing “W” keys. The agency said some of the destruction was intentional, including glue smeared on desks, broken furniture, offices full of trash and graffiti in a men’s restroom stall that disparaged Bush. There were also missing doorknobs, medallions and office signs.

During their time in the White House, the Clintons also reportedly auctioned off and sold taxpayer-financed government goods and services in exchange for political campaign contributions and personal profit. Among the items sold by the Clintons, which Judicial Watch uncovered in various lawsuits, and the media and Congress in their investigations, were: 1) seats on overseas trade missions; 2) export licenses for high technology sales to communist China and elsewhere; 3) commissionerships and judgeships; 4) rides on Air Force One; 5) overnight stays in the White House’s Lincoln Bedroom; 6) graves at Arlington Cemetery; 7) meetings with key Clinton-Gore administration leaders; and other favors.

The Clintons' $1.7 million home in Chappaqua, N.Y., where they attempted to send White House furniture and other items as Clinton left office


4) Filegate: FBI files on GOP enemies

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top_secretThe Clinton duo was involved in a scandal known as “Filegate” in which they illegally obtaining FBI files on perceived adversaries, most of whom served in previous Republican administrations.

“In an effort to discredit the women who charged President Clinton with sexual misconduct, personal files and papers were illegally obtained and released. The courts found, under the Privacy Act, that the privacy of Linda Tripp and Kathleen Willey had been violated,” a Judicial Watch report said, citing just a few of more than 900 relevant files. Judicial Watch said Hillary had been linked “directly to the center” of the controversy.

The scandal was first detected by the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, which investigated the Clintons’ Travelgate caper. The committee found that the FBI files had been improperly accessed by Craig Livingstone, a former bar bouncer Hillary had hired to work in the White House Counsel’s Office. However, Hillary called the whole affair a “completely honest bureaucratic snafu.”

In “Whores: Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment,” Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch Founder Larry Klayman details the stunning incompetence and corruption of Bill and Hillary Clinton


5) Hillary’s ‘Muslim Brotherhood princess’

Huma Abedin

Huma Abedin, who served as Hillary’s longtime deputy chief of staff and has worked with her for nearly 20 years, has known ties to the Muslim Brotherhood – a group bent on “destroying Western civilization from within” – and other Islamic supremacists. As WND has extensively reported, the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic supremacist connections not only extend to Abedin’s mother and father, who are both deeply tied to al-Qaida fronts, but to Abedin herself.

As WND reported, a manifesto commissioned by the ruling Saudi Arabian monarchy places the work of an institute that employed Abedin at the forefront of a grand plan to mobilize U.S. Muslim minorities to transform America into a Saudi-style Islamic state, according to Arabic-language researcher Walid Shoebat.

Abedin was an assistant editor for a dozen years for the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs for the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs. The institute – founded by her late father and currently directed by her mother – is backed by the Muslim World League, an Islamic organization in the Saudi holy city of Mecca that was founded by Muslim Brotherhood leaders. The 2002 Saudi manifesto shows that “Muslim Minority Affairs” – the mobilizing of Muslim communities in the U.S. to spread Islam instead of assimilating into the population – is a key strategy in an ongoing effort to establish Islamic rule in America and a global Shariah, or Islamic law, “in our modern times.”

Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin

WND reported Abedin also was a member of the executive board of the Muslim Student Association, which was identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front group in a 1991 document introduced into evidence during the terror-financing trial of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation.

At her father’s Saudi-financed Islamic think tank, WND reported, Abedin worked alongside Abdullah Omar Naseef, who is accused of financing al-Qaida fronts. Naseef is deeply connected to the Abedin family.

WND was first to report Huma’s mother, Saleha Abedin, was the official representative of Naseef’s terror-stained Muslim World League in the 1990s.

Shoebat previously reported that as one of 63 leaders of the Muslim Sisterhood, the de facto female version of the Muslim Brotherhood, Saleha Abedin served alongside Nagla Ali Mahmoud, the wife of Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s now ousted president.

Saleha Abedin and Morsi’s wife both were members of the Sisterhood’s Guidance Bureau, Shoebat found.

WND also recently reported Abedin used emails hosted on HIllary’s private server while she was secretary of state.


6) Vince Foster’s 1993 death

Hillary and Vince Foster

Vince Foster was deputy White House counsel and Hillary’s friend and law partner who had connections to the Travelgate and Whitewater scandals. In 1993, Foster was found dead in a park with a fatal gunshot wound to his mouth. As WND reported, his suicide was the subject of much speculation and three official investigations.

Investigations by the U.S. Park Police, the Department of Justice, the FBI, Congress, Independent Counsel Robert B. Fiske and Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr concluded Foster’s death was a suicide. However, as WND reported in 2003, one of Starr’s key investigators challenged the official line, insisting the probe’s result was predetermined, only a few plotters were required to engineer the result, the crime scene was altered and that major newspaper editors killed stories by reporters pursuing the truth. The Washington Post reported that federal investigators were not allowed to enter Foster’s office after his death, but “White House aides enter[ed] Foster’s office shortly after his death, giving rise to speculation that files were removed from his office.”

In his 2005 book “The Truth about Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, And How Far She’ll Go to Become President,” Edward Klein wrote of Hillary’s involvement in the effort to remove Foster’s files:

The night of [Foster’s] death, Hillary launched one of the most shameful – and illegal – cover-ups of her entire career.

She sent two of her most trusted White House loyalists – Maggie Williams, the First Lady’s chief of staff, and Patsy Thomasson, who was in charge of White House administration – into Foster’s office to retrieve embarrassing and incriminating documents related to Whitewater and Hillary’s other personal affairs. While White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum barred investigators from entering Foster’s office, Maggie Williams, Patsy Thomasson, and Craig Livingston, Hillary’s director of White House security, removed armloads of files and loose-leaf binders.

“In addition, a White House staffer allegedly tampered with the titles of several memos and removed the First Lady’s initials in an effort to erase her role in improper behavior.”


7) Emailgate: ‘She should go to prison for this’

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Hillary_emailIn March 2015, WND reported Hillary kept all her official correspondence as secretary of state, as well as her personal emails, on a private email server located at her home – instead of using the government-mandated process while serving in the high appointed position. Her email system was unsecured for months while she used it for government business, and she did not sign a standard agreement when she left office that promised she had left government property behind.

The Hill reported Hillary did not encrypt her private email service with a digital certificate for the first three months of her tenure as secretary of state.” That was while she was traveling to China, Egypt, Israel, Japan and South Korea.

Several present and former members of the U.S. intelligence community said Hillary’s private email server was a major security risk, and America, going forward, ought to assume enemies of the state all had access to it.

“The name Clinton right on the email handle meant this was not a difficult find,” said John Schindler, a former National Security Agency counterintelligence officer, Investors Business Daily reported.

With Hillary making another run for president, don’t get caught up in the lies and spin! In “Hillary Unhinged: In Her Own Words,” find out who the true Hillary is with this raw and humorous collection of quotes that pitilessly underscores her hypocrisy

In April, J. Michael Waller – a longtime consultant to government entities ranging from the secretary of defense to the U.S. Senate to the U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory – told WND the Russians hack into the U.S. government, and so does any foreign intelligence worth its salt, most likely through Hillary’s private server. Waller said Hillary deserves prison time for insisting on an email system that clearly left the nation vulnerable to attack.

“This is the national-security equivalent of drunken driving,” he said. “She should go to prison for this. When you drink and drive, you know in advance that you’re putting other people in danger. Yet, you think because you’re so smart or so clever or just don’t care, that nothing’s going to happen and then something does, so it’s your fault. This is precisely what she did on the national security sphere.”

Hillary gave 55,000 emails from her private email account to the State Department in December. On March 10, Clinton announced she had deleted 30,000 emails she considered personal. She was warned by Congress way back in 2012 against using a private email account for government business – and her response? Silence.


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Hillary_Clinton

8) Chinagate: Sale of high-tech secrets

Chinagate, documented by Judicial Watch, was uncovered by Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman. Technology companies allegedly made donations of millions of dollars to various Democratic Party entities, including President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign, in return for permission to sell high-tech secrets to China. B

ernard Schwartz and his Loral Space & Communication Ltd. later allegedly “helped China to identify the cause of [a rocket failure], thereby advancing China’s missile program and threatening U.S. national security,” according to records.

In a 2013 column titled “Proof Hillary isn’t fit to be president,” Klayman wrote:

Not to be outdone by her prior scandals, Hillary … masterminded a scheme whereby the Clinton-Gore presidential campaign of 1996 took bribes from communist Chinese banks and their government to bankroll the president’s and the Democratic Party’s re-election efforts when it appeared, due to their low standing in the polls, that all the stops needed to be pulled out. It was the lawsuit that I brought against Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, where at Hillary’s instruction, he literally sold seats on Department trade missions to China and elsewhere, which principally uncovered this. In late 1996 and early 1997, the scandal had burgeoned to such a level that joint congressional hearings were empaneled, ultimately to be shut down when Democrats uncovered illegal fundraising by some Republicans. The two parties, faced with mutual assured destruction, simply took an exit stage left. However, I soldiered on with my lawsuit. And, while I uncovered a lot about Bonnie and Clyde and their Chinese ‘friends,’ this scandal ultimately took back seat to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, since the media preferred sex to foreign espionage and graft. Hillary and Bill were ironically saved by Monica, who became the lightening rod drawing attention away to what at the time was perhaps the biggest scandal – Chinagate – in American history.


9) Travelgate: Always room for friends

In the Travelgate scandal, the staff of the White House travel office was fired to make way for Clinton cronies, including Bill’s 25-year-old cousin, who was reportedly promised the position of office director.

Hillary allegedly fired seven employees and gave the positions to her Arkansas friends. According to the Washington Post, there was an effort to award a White House airline contract to a Clinton friend.

Also, Hillary reportedly had the FBI investigate the former head of the travel office, Billy Dale, who was fired without notice and removed from White House grounds. Dale was charged with embezzlement but found not guilty of the crime in 1995. He was later audited by the IRS.


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10) Whitewater: Jail for friends, but not Clintons

The Whitewater investigation by independent counsel Kenneth Starr began in 1994 with accusations of impropriety against the Clintons and others concerning improper campaign contributions, political and financial favors, and tax benefits. Its initial subject was a failed Arkansas real-estate venture involving the Clintons in the 1980s that was linked to the collapse of Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, a Little Rock savings bank run by the Clintons’ Whitewater business partners. Clinton friends James and Susan McDougal went to jail for fraud (James died while serving his sentence), as did former Arkansas Gov. Jim Tucker and municipal judges David Hale and Eugene Fitzhugh.

The probe eventually expanded to include the death of deputy White House counsel Vincent Foster, the dismissal of White House travel office employees, receipt by the White House of a number of FBI files and the issue of whether President Clinton lied or obstructed justice to hide an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.


11) ‘Landing under sniper fire’ in Bosnia

In her March 17, 2008, foreign-policy speech on Iraq, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton recalled a trip she made to Tuzla, Bosnia, in 1996.

“I remember landing under sniper fire,” Hillary said of her visit while she was first lady. “There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

But news footage of her visit revealed her “sniper fire” claim wasn’t just exaggerated. It was completely false. And Hillary had repeated the claim several times, including during her time on the presidential campaign trail in 2007.

Rather, Hillary landed on a tarmac and greeted a crowd, including an 8-year-old child who gave her a poem, under no duress. According to the Washington Post, a review of more than 100 news articles revealed no security threats to Hillary at the time.

After the 2008 speech, Hillary was asked about her statements, and she stood by them: “There was no greeting ceremony, and we basically were told to run to our cars. Now that is what happened.”

But, a week later, Hillary told the Philadelphia Daily News that she “misspoke.” Hillary claimed she had been told there was a threat of sniper fire in the area.

The following day, she declared: “So I made a mistake. That happens. It shows I’m human, which for some people is a revelation.”


12) Hillary’s ‘missing’ law firm billing records

In 1994, federal investigators subpoenaed Hillary’s billing records from her days as a partner in the Rose Law firm during the Watergate scandal. The White House said it didn’t have the 115 pages of files.

While Hillary claimed she had a minor role in the affair, the Washington Examiner reported that “when the records mysteriously turned up in the White House in 1996, they showed she met repeatedly with key figures in the scandal.”


13) Pardongate: Hillary Senate contributions

Before Bill Clinton left the White House in 2001, he granted numerous controversial pardons – including to convicted tax evader Marc Rich, whose wife made significant contributions to Hillary’s 2000 Senate campaign and the Clinton presidential library.

The Associated Press reported that Rich had been “indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury on more than 50 counts of fraud, racketeering, trading with Iran during the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis and evading more than $48 million in income taxes – crimes that could have earned him more than 300 years in prison.” Rich fled to Switzerland in 1983 after his indictment and remained on the FBI’s Most Wanted List until President Clinton pardoned him.

Also, Hillary’s brothers, Tony and Hugh Rodham, reportedly received large amounts of money from people who were pardoned by Bill Clinton. Hillary said she and Bill were unaware of the scheme.

Accuracy in Media reported, “Hugh Rodham, Hillary’s brother, was taking money and promising access to help get pardons. Two such high profile cases were those of drug kingpin Carlos Vignali and convicted swindler Glenn Braswell. Rodham received hundreds of thousands of dollars from each, and they were both granted pardons. Rodham was quoted as telling a top White House aide that the pardon for Vignali was ‘very important’ to Hillary.”


image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2015/05/cow.jpg

cow

14) Hillary’s cash cows and 9,987 percent profit

In March 1994, it was revealed Hillary – with no previous experience – had made massive profits from cattle futures trading between 1978 and 1979, when Bill Clinton’s salary as Arkansas attorney general had been modest. She reportedly made $99,537 in profit on a $1,000 investment (a 9,987 percent profit) in just nine months because of a highly placed connection at Tyson Foods, which was the largest employer in Arkansas and a big Clinton donor.

The New York Times reported: “During Mr. Clinton’s tenure as Governor, Tyson benefited from several state decisions, including favorable environmental rulings, $9 million in state loans, and the placement of company executives on important state boards. … The commodities trades were the most successful investment the Clintons ever made. The nearly $100,000 profit enabled them to buy a house, invest in securities and real estate and provide a nest egg for their daughter, Chelsea.”


image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2015/05/body_count.jpg

body_count15) Clinton body count: ‘You find dead people’

“The Clinton body count,” first published in WND and later circulated by Linda Tripp to Monica Lewinsky, is a collection of names of people associated with Clinton administration scandals who have died mysterious and often violent deaths. Reporter David Bresnahan broke the story of the list during the summer of 1997 while researching his book, “Cover Up: The Art and Science of Political Deception.”

“I started looking into all the various deaths of people that were involved in various Clinton scandals,” Bresnahan said. “I started to investigate the entire picture instead of just one focused event.

“Nobody out there was putting it all together,” he said. “If you look at one scandal, you’ll find one dead guy. When you investigate all Clinton scandals, you find similarities, you find common tactics, you find common actions and you find dead people.”

The list was not just a source of terror among sworn enemies of the administration. It was an even greater terror for those close to Clinton – for those closest, it appeared, died younger and more inexplicably than those on the outside looking in.

In his research, Bresnahan came up with more than one list.

“Not only did I find a list of dead people, but I also found that there are over 100 people who have refused to testify,” he said at the time.

“There is also a list of people who have gone to jail. There are 45 people who have gone to jail, some of them White House staff, Cabinet members as well as people from the Justice Department. So many of those (lists) developed when I started to pursue the big picture.”


Saul Alinsky

16) Hillary’s radical pal, Saul Alinsky

As WND has reported, the exact nature and extent of Hillary’s relationship with radical community organizer Saul Alinsky has long been the subject of speculation and intrigue. The interest has been largely fueled by her suppressed and later released 92-page senior thesis for Wellesley College offering an extensive, largely positive critique of Alinsky and his work.

WND recently found that long after Alinsky’s death in June 1972, a group Clinton co-chaired maintained a working relationship with Alinsky’s main community organizing outfit, the Industrial Areas Foundation, or IAF.

The partnership extended into the 1990s and yielded influence over the education policy of the Clinton presidency. Dick Morris, a former top political adviser to Bill Clinton both as governor of Arkansas and as president, noted to WND that education reform “is the key issue Hillary Clinton used to propel herself independently to the forefront of Arkansas politics during Bill’s governorship.”

“The revelation of how closely linked her efforts were back in the 80s – and have been since – to an Alinsky radical front group is deeply disturbing and expands our understanding of Hillary’s fundamental radicalism and commitment to the new left of Saul Alinsky,” Morris said.

Hillary Rodham in 1965, when she was president of Wellesley College's Young Republicans, shown here with the cover page of her senior thesis from 1969 on radical organizer Saul Alinsky

Hillary was said to have met with Alinsky several times in 1968, when she was writing her thesis. In her most recent memoir, Hillary wrote that she rejected a job offer from Alinsky to instead attend law school.

The Hillary-Alinsky relationship received more media attention last September, when the Washington Free Beacon uncovered direct correspondence between Clinton and Alinsky from the archives of Alinsky’s IAF. The correspondence dates to the summer of 1971, when the 23-year-old Clinton was living in Berkeley, California, and interning at the law firm Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein. In a July 8, 1971, letter to Alinsky marked “personal,” Hillary wrote: “Dear Saul, When is that new book [Rules for Radicals] coming out – or has it come and I somehow missed the fulfillment of Revelation?

“I have just had my one-thousandth conversation about Reveille [for Radicals] and need some new material to throw at people,” she wrote, referring to a 1948 Alinsky treatise on community organizing.

The Free Beacon’s Alana Goodman noted the letter documents Hillary and Alinsky had kept in touch since she entered Yale and that Alinsky even offered her advice on campus activism.

Hillary wrote that she missed their regular conversations and asked if Alinsky would be able to meet her the next time he was in California.

“I am living in Berkeley and working in Oakland for the summer and would love to see you,” she wrote. “Let me know if there is any chance of our getting together.”


17) Hillary laughs about defending child rapist

Hillary Clinton in 1975, the year she defended 41-year-old Thomas Alfred Taylor, who had been accused of raping a 12-year-old child

As WND reported, Hillary explained her defense of a child-rape suspect as just part of the job. But she hasn’t explained her laughing about his passing of a lie-detector test, which “destroyed” her faith in such evaluations.

“Once I was appointed I fulfilled that obligation,” she said in an interview with Mumsnet, a U.K. community of parents providing and sharing information on a variety of subjects and issues.

In the video she is asked, “As a lawyer, you defended the rapist of a 12-year-old girl, calling the victim ’emotionally unstable’ and saying that girls have a tendency to ‘exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences especially when they come from disorganized families.’”

Comments?

Clinton said: “When I was a 27-year-old attorney doing legal aid work at the law school where I taught in Fayetteville, Arkansas, I was appointed by the local judge to represent a criminal defendant accused of rape. I asked to be relieved of that responsibility. But I was not and I had a professional duty to represent my client to the best of my ability, which I did.

“He later pled guilty to a lesser included offense. When you’re a lawyer you often don’t have the choice as to who you will represent, and by the very nature of criminal law there will be those who you represent you don’t approve of, but at least in our system, you have an obligation and once I was appointed, I fulfilled that obligation.”

However, she did not address the reports of unearthed recordings in which she almost boasts of knowing of her client’s guilt and laughing about the case. The tapes reveal her discussing the case of Thomas Alfred Taylor, then 41, who was accused of raping a 12-year-old in Springdale, Arkansas, on May 10, 1975.

“It was a fascinating case, it was a very interesting case,” Clinton said on the tape. “This guy was accused of raping a 12-year-old. Course he claimed that he didn’t, and all this stuff. … I had him take a polygraph, which he passed – which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs.” She laughed at the statement.

Listen to the audio of the interview. (Warning: Description of the case may disturb some listeners):

The Washington Free Beacon report on the recordings also confirmed she was laughing several other times while discussing the case, including “when discussing the crime lab’s accidental destruction of DNA evidence that tied Taylor to the crime.”

Published profiles of the case reveal that Clinton’s strategy at the time was to attack the 12-year-old. She submitted an affidavit that said she was told the girl was “emotionally unstable” and was viewed as having a “tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing.” She claimed the child “in the past made false accusations” and she exhibited “an unusual stubbornness and temper when she does not get her way.”

The woman who says she was raped by the defendant blasted Hillary in 2014, accusing her of intentionally lying about her in court documents. “Hillary Clinton took me through hell,” she told the Daily Beast.


18) Hill ca$hes in: Iranian fundraising

Former Clinton fundraiser Nemazee received a 12-year prison sentence

As WND recently reported, Hillary received funds from an arm of the Iranian government and hired a convicted Iranian-American multimillionaire with ties to Tehran as her national campaign finance director in 2008. The Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation accepted $30,000 between April 2005 and March 2006 and another contribution of between $25,000 and $50,000 in 2008 from the New York-based Alavi Foundation, which U.S. government prosecutors have identified as an arm of the Iranian government.

For her 2008 presidential campaign, Clinton hired Hassan Nemazee as her national campaign finance director, who was known for his efforts to normalize relations with the theocratic Iranian regime. In 2010, Nemazee pleaded guilty to running a Ponzi scheme in which he obtained $292 million in fraudulent loans. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

In his explosive bestseller, “Clinton Cash,” Peter Schweizer follows the Clinton money trail, revealing the connection between their personal fortune, their “close personal friends,” the Clinton Foundation, foreign nations and some of the highest ranks of government.

Rachel Ehrenfeld, director of the American Center for Democracy, spelled out the problem with the Clinton Foundation receiving funds from the Alavi Foundation in a Jan. 5, 2009, article published by Forbes.

“Alavi’s contribution [in 2008] to Clinton came just two days after the Treasury Department also designated Alavi’s partner, the New York-based Assa Corp., as a terrorist entity, and the New York Southern District’s attorney seized and forfeited its assets,” Ehrenfeld wrote.


image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2015/05/clinton_foundation.jpg

clinton_foundation

19) Clinton Foundation: Scandals keep coming

As WND reported, the Clintons appear to have siphoned off tens of millions of dollars annually from funds the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation has received from a United Nations-sponsored program that uses levies on airline tickets to help HIV/AIDs victims in the Third World, charges Wall Street analyst and investor Charles Ortel. The Clinton Foundation also reportedly distributed useless drugs to AIDS patients in Third-World countries.

Although Hillary was appointed to the board of directors of the Clinton Foundation in 2013, after she had resigned as secretary of state, Ortel contends she is complicit in what he has described as systematic financial fraud warranting a criminal investigation.

After months of tedious investigation, Ortel has concluded the foundation has filed financial and tax forms that were materially misleading, incomplete and in error with the goal of enriching the Clintons and their close associates. Ortel alleges Hillary advanced an “inurement” scheme – enriching oneself through a nonprofit organization – in complicity with her husband by positioning various key associates within the Clinton Foundation structure while she served as U.S. senator from New York and subsequently as secretary of state under President Obama.

“Ongoing analysis of legally required public disclosures reveals that while Mrs. Clinton served as director, the Clinton Foundation and its principal constituent elements, filed false and materially misleading tax returns with the IRS and with other governmental authorities, for multiple years,” Ortel charges in his second report on alleged Clinton Foundation mismanagement.

As WND also recently reported, based on Ortel’s findings, a prominent lawyer and a top government watchdog in the nation’s capital are calling for the Clinton Foundation to be shut down.

Like the reporting you see here? Sign up for free news alerts from WND.com, America’s independent news network.

In April, the New York Times reported, “Cash flowed to Clinton Foundation as Russians pressed for control of uranium company.”

Hillary has said, “I am very proud of the work the Foundation does,” but just 9 percent of the Foundation’s money went to charity in 2013. Fox News’ John Stossel noted, “Charity Navigator, the biggest charity rating service, won’t even list the Clinton Foundation in its rankings. This is repulsive. If a Republican candidate ran a charity that did that, it would be a scandal. But the Clintons must be immune.”

WND reported Sunday that before Hillary completed her first year as President Obama’s secretary of state, Ortel calculates $17 million went missing from Clinton Foundation financial reports.

The New York Post recently reported Hillary’s former chief of staff and counselor, Cheryl Mills, “knows where the bodies are buried” in many Clinton scandals, has been at Hillary’s side since the 1990s and “has a long track record of hiding Clinton documents.” According to the Post, Hillary gave her the job of “identifying and preserving all emails that could potentially be federal records.” The Post added, “And, presumably, deleting.” Mills, who has officially been accused of perjury and obstruction of justice, is a key member of the Clinton Foundation board.


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Benghazi20) Benghazi: 4 American lives lost

On Sept. 11, 2012, while Hillary was secretary of state, Islamic militants attacked a U.S. special mission in Benghazi, Libya, and murdered U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management officer Sean Smith. Two CIA contractors, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, were also killed.

In the months leading up to the attack, Hillary’s State Department cut security in Libya.  Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., accused Hillary of “dereliction of duty” that led to the deaths of the four Americans.

“The State Department not only failed to honor repeated requests for additional security, but instead actually reduced security in Libya,” Johnson wrote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Although no one can say with certainty, I firmly believe a relatively small contingent of armed military guards would have prevented the attack, and those four lives would not have been lost.”

In “The REAL Benghazi Story: What the White House and Hillary Don’t Want You to Know,” New York Times bestselling author Aaron Klein provides shocking details about the central role Hillary Clinton actually played in the scandal

As WND reported, a security decision finalized personally by Hillary may have unwittingly doomed the Americans in Benghazi. Hillary herself signed waivers that allowed the facility to be legally occupied, since it did not meet the minimum official security standards set by the State Department. The waiver legally allowed the CIA annex to be housed in a location about one mile from the U.S. special mission.

According to accounts from Benghazi survivors, the delayed response time by those at the CIA annex may have cost the lives of Stevens and the three other Americans killed at the special mission. If the CIA annex had been co-located with the U.S. special mission, a rapid response team would have been on site during the initial assault in which Stevens was killed. Clinton’s waiver allowed the CIA annex to be housed at the separate location.

Hillary Clinton testifying on the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack

As WND also reported, State Department emails show Clinton knew while the attack was under way that it was being carried out by terrorists.

Judicial Watch has obtained previously classified documents from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of State revealing that DOD almost immediately reported that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was planned and carried out by al-Qaida and Muslim Brotherhood-linked terrorists. A federal court ordered the government hand over more than 100 pages of previously secret documents that showed then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other senior Obama officials were given reports within hours of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack. In those memos, the DOD described details of a plan 10 days in advance “to kill as many Americans as possible.”

Nonetheless, Hillary falsely blamed it on “rage and violence over an awful Internet video” when she spoke at a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base on Sept. 14, 2012, as the remains of the four Americans were returned to the U.S.

To this day, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., says the State Department has failed to comply with requests for information about Benghazi.


21) Peter Franklin Paul: Another Hillary friend goes to prison

Hillary Clinton greets Peter Paul at Hollywood gala in August 2000 (Courtesy Peter F. Paul)

As WND reported, Hillary was named in a lawsuit brought by Peter Franklin Paul for allegedly directing to her 2000 Senate campaign an illegal, in-kind contribution from Paul that included a fundraiser at the exclusive Spago restaurant in Beverly Hills, a tea hosted at the Beverly Hills home of socialite Cynthia Gershman and a lavish, A-list, million-dollar-plus Hollywood gala honoring Bill Clinton. At the trial of Clinton’s finance director for the 2000 senatorial campaign, David Rosen, the government told the jury Paul personally gave more than $1.2 million to produce the events.

Paul, a former business partner of Spider-Man creator Stan Lee who sued Bill for fraud and accused Hillary of hiding nearly $2 million in Senate campaign donations, alleged they sabotaged the media company he formed with Lee to get out of a $17 million agreement made with Bill Clinton to serve as an international promoter for the company after he left the White House. Paul was indicted in June 2001 for manipulating the price of the stock in his company, Stan Lee Media, as it was collapsing. A judge determined Paul didn’t profit from the attempt to save his company, but he accepted a plea bargain and served three years in prison. WND reported in 2012 that Paul charged Attorney General Eric Holder and his Justice Department obstructed justice by reneging on a sentencing agreement.

“Hillary is carrying out her promise to finally destroy my family to punish me for exposing the corruption that elected her to the Senate,” Paul told WND at the time.

The Clintons were effusive in their praise of Paul until just days after an August 2000 Hollywood gala, when the Washington Post reported Paul’s 1970s criminal convictions in a story that accused the senator of being soft on crime. Clinton continued, however, to quietly solicit money from Paul and sent him letters expressing friendship. Paul has extensive video corroborating his contention he and Hillary spent hours together and sat next to each other at the fundraising events.


22) Watergate: Fired for being a ‘liar’

Hillary actually played a role in the Watergate saga, and her actions as a young attorney may have set the tone for her career.

The 27-year-old Clinton was fired from the staff of the House Judiciary committee investigating the Watergate scandal in 1974. She was fired by her supervisor, lifelong Democrat Jerry Zeifman, who called her a liar and much worse.

“She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer,” he said. “She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.”

Zeifman also refused to give Clinton a letter of recommendation, making her one of only three employees he snubbed during his 17-year career.


Hillary Clinton and Princess Lalla Meryem wearing Moroccan caftan

Bonus!

Gift-gate: Hillary blasted former Clinton adviser Dick Morris when he alleged in a New York Post article that the former first lady hadn’t disclosed “three or four” pricey handbags from designer Judith Leiber worth more than $3,000 each, five dresses received from the king of Morocco (one of which Hillary was seen wearing), a gold bracelet Chelsea Clinton accepted in India and other gifts Hillary was given during the Clinton administration.

Morris wrote, “Hillary Clinton got many expensive and personal gifts during her eight years as first lady and never disclosed them.”

A Clinton aide acknowledged the handbags were given to Hillary, but he said one was received before the inauguration, another was listed on a 1994 disclosure form and others were turned over to the National Archives. He said four dresses were returned to the king, and Hillary gave the fifth dress to the National Archives after she wore it. The aide claimed the bracelet was also sent to the National Archives.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/here-they-are-hillarys-22-biggest-scandals-ever/#qXCIcwz5xYTLzpdX.99

http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/here-they-are-hillarys-22-biggest-scandals-ever/#qXCIcwz5xYTLzpdX.99

Hillary Clinton’s Top 10 Lies & Exaggerations

Secretary Clinton’s claim that she tried to join the Marines in the 1970s is coming under fresh scrutiny from the media. As Chris Cillizza highlighted yesterday “this isn’t the first time that Clinton might have been caught exaggerating the details of her past life.”  Far from it. While her campaign tries to prevent the Marine recruitment story from joining the all-time ranks of Clinton’s lies and exaggerations, here’s a refresher on the top ten lies and exaggerations of Secretary Clinton’s career in politics.

Clinton Claim 1: During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Clinton claimed she landed in Bosnia “under sniper fire”during the 1990s.

The Facts: Videos uncovered of then-First Lady Clinton’s arrival in Bosnia showed “a calm scene without any obvious danger”.

Clinton Claim 2:  In an interview, Clinton stated that she “came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt”.

The Facts: PolitiFact rated Hillary Clinton’s claim “Mostly False” that she was “dead broke” when she left the White House.  

Clinton Claim 3:  Secretary Clinton claimed her e-mail server set up was in “accordance with the rules and the regulations in effect.”

The Facts: Federal Judge: Hillary Clinton “violated government policy” when she used a private server to store official State Department messages.

Clinton Claim 4:  When talking about immigrant stories, Clinton asserted that “all my grandparents… came over here.”

The Facts:  PolitiFact says it’s “very clear” that Clinton’s claim is “False.” In truth, only one of Clinton’s grandparents immigrated to America.

Clinton Claim 5: Secretary Clinton emphasized the famous Situation Room Bin Laden photo captured her reacting to the helicopter crash.

The Facts: In actuality, Secretary Clinton said  “early spring allergic coughs”, not the helicopter crash, are responsible for her reaction in the photo.

Clinton Claim 6: Passing DOMA was a “defensive action” to prevent further action against same-sex marriage.

The Facts: Independent observers  say that “any fair historical analysis” shows DOMA to be “a campaign tactic” by the Clintons.

 Clinton Claim 7: Hillary Clinton claims concern over the cost of college is the impetus for her college affordability plan.

 The Facts: While Secretary Clinton claims she has a plan to lower college costs, her family has “received millions” from universities across the country.

Clinton Claim 8: Hillary Clinton’s campaign has said they will go carbon neutral.

The Facts: Months after that pledge there have been no records that show Clinton moving to live up to this pledge, all the while she continues to fly around in private jets.

 Clinton Claim 9: In an interview, Hillary Clinton declared that the Veterans Affairs scandals are not “as widespread as it’s been made out to be”.

 The Facts: Clinton’s campaign was forced to immediately walk back the statement.

Clinton Claim 10: In response to questions about her tenure at State, Hillary Clinton claimed that there was “a long list” of her accomplishments.

 The Facts: Given multiple chances, Secretary Clinton has been unable to name a “marquee” or “proudest”achievement from her four years as Secretary of State. Finally giving her something in common with Iowa voters.

 

WHAT THE ORIGINAL “PINOCCHIO” REALLY SAYS ABOUT LYING

This piece is drawn from “Love and Lies: An Essay on Truthfulness, Deceit, and the Growth and Care of Erotic Love,” out from FSG on February 3rd.

When I was a boy I was made distinctly uncomfortable by, and even tried not to think about, the Walt Disney movie “Pinocchio.”

But in Carlo Collodi’s “The Adventures of Pinocchio” (serialized in 1881-1883)—the original text for the Walt Disney adaptation—Pinocchio, unlike Rousseau’s ideal of the child, is created naughty. In fact he’s badly behaved even before he’s created: while still a stick of wood, he starts a fight between Geppetto and his owner, and once he is a marionette he immediately wreaks all kinds of havoc: he insults Geppetto as soon as he has a mouth, laughs at him, runs away from him, etc. He behaves, in short, like a fairly typical two-year-old when the two-year-old is misbehaving. Collodi seems to have had Rousseau in mind. When the wise hundred-year-old cricket asks Pinocchio why he wants to run away from home, Pinocchio tells him: “I shall be sent to school and shall be made to study either by love or by force. To tell you in confidence, I have no wish to learn; it is much more amusing to run after butterflies, or to climb trees and to take young birds out of their nests.” Contra Rousseau, Collodi thinks that a young boy who does not undergo a traditional education will get only naughtier and will “grow up a perfect donkey” (as the cricket warns—and prophesizes—Pinocchio does indeed later become a donkey).

The first real lie in the story is not told by Pinocchio, who does, however, repeat various fanciful inaccuracies almost as soon as he can speak, but by Geppetto, who sells his coat in order to buy Pinocchio a schoolbook and lies to the boy, telling him that he sold it “Because I found it too hot.” (This is a classic example of a paternalistic lie told with good intentions, of which both a Buddhist and perhaps even Plato would have approved.) Interestingly, Pinocchio understands what his maker has really done, “and unable to restrain the impulse of his good heart he sprang up, and throwing his arms around Geppetto’s neck he began kissing him again and again.” So Pinocchio does have a good heart and a subtle enough intelligence to understand that though Geppetto has lied to Pinocchio, he has done so out of kindness; it’s simply that Pinocchio likes to misbehave, and he hasn’t learned the ways of the world yet. When the fox and the cat come along, he is easily led into temptation.

Because Geppetto’s lie is such a common one, before we continue Pinocchio’s story, it is worth bringing to mind Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s notion of the living truth. Bonhoeffer argues that it is naive and misleading, perhaps even dangerous to suppose that the literal truth always or even typically conveys what we mean when we talk about telling the truth. Of course we often tell a straightforward lie, and for morally blameworthy reasons. But we also often make statements that are not literally true—that are in fact literal lies—while conveying a deeper truth that an honest statement of the facts could not communicate. So, for example, if Geppetto told Pinocchio, “I sold my coat in order to buy you a schoolbook,” he would be speaking the literal truth, but his meaning might well be (or be understood by Pinocchio as) “Look what sacrifices I make for you!” By telling Pinocchio that he sold his coat because it was too hot—a lie—he communicates to Pinocchio something like “My coat doesn’t really matter to me, and your schoolbook does, and I don’t want you to feel bad about the fact that I sold my coat.” This is a very nice example of what Bonhoeffer means by the living truth, the more important meanings in communication that may not, and sometimes cannot, be conveyed by strict reportage. So many of the stories we tell our children are of this kind—Santa Claus is the obvious example—and we should ask ourselves, as parents and also as lovers: How many stories might my child, or my boyfriend, or my partner, or my mom be telling me, not in order to mislead me but rather to tell me something that, if said outright, might be misunderstood or cause me harm?

Pinocchio does not tell his first real lie—the first lie that is identified by Collodi as a lie, and the occasion for the growth of Pinocchio’s already enormous nose—until after he has been tricked by the fox and the cat, and he’s learned that telling the truth (in this case, about the gold coins he has) may get him into trouble. He is telling a fairy his story of how the cat and the fox stole one of his gold coins and how he fell into the hands of assassins when she asks him: “ ‘And the four pieces—where have you put them?’ ‘I have lost them!’ said Pinocchio, but he was telling a lie, for he had them in his pocket.”

A not unreasonable lie, given that earlier his honesty had led him to be cheated. Nevertheless, every time he lies, his nose grows—this time, two fingers longer—and then he tells two more lies in quick succession, while the fairy laughs at him and poor Pinocchio, “getting quite confused,” finds himself with such a long nose that he can’t even run from the house to hide his shame; his nose has grown to such an enormous size that it won’t fit through the door.

The series of lies Pinocchio tells is instructive. He tells the first lie because he’s worried about losing his three remaining gold pieces. His second lie is told to back up his first lie: the fairy asks him where he lost his gold pieces, and he has to provide an explanation (Walter Scott’s familiar “Oh what a tangled web we weave / When first we practise to deceive!”). But the fairy is practicing the “broken cookie jar” style of interrogation (itself inherently deceptive, because it feigns honest ignorance and curiosity) in order to expose Pinocchio’s lies. So, knowing that he’s lying to her and that he is likely to continue to lie, she pursues: “If you have lost them in the wood near here … we will look for them, and we shall find them: because everything that is lost in that wood is always found.” It is at this point that Pinocchio loses all composure and tells a still-clumsier lie: “I didn’t lose the four gold pieces, I swallowed them inadvertently while I was drinking your medicine.” In a familiar, rarely effective technique of argument, scrambling to extricate himself from the lies he has told, Pinocchio tries to put the blame back on the fairy. The fairy then “allowed the puppet to cry and to roar for a good half hour over his nose … This she did to give him a severe lesson, and to correct him of the disgraceful fault of telling lies—the most disgraceful fault that a boy can have.”

Whether or not Collodi is tongue in cheek here is hard to say: the fairy is quick to forgive Pinocchio, and despite Pinocchio’s historical reputation, the rest of the book is much less concerned with Pinocchio’s lying than it is with other kinds of naughtiness he engages in. Collodi also, here agreeing with Rousseau, tells a lot of stories to illustrate how commonly adults mislead children into misbehaviors that the children otherwise might not have pursued. Moreover, the story is told by a writer of fiction, who is making veiled, often sarcastic observations about the politics of late-nineteenth-century Italy; perhaps Collodi is an advocate for truth in one way, but in another way, he is clearly someone who understands the subtleties of communication and the necessity for pretense, irony, and disguise.

One quick, delightful example of Collodi’s trickery: Pinocchio asks the fairy how she knew that he was lying. The fairy replies: “Lies, my dear boy, are found out immediately, because they are of two sorts. There are lies that have short legs, and lies that have long noses. Your lie, as it happens, is one of those that have a long nose.”

This is an interesting distinction, one worth remembering. Lies that have short legs are those that carry you a little distance but cannot outrun the truth. The truthful consequences always catch up with someone who tells a lie with short legs. Lies that have long noses are those that are obvious to everyone except the person who told the lie, lies that make the liar look ridiculous. In either case, according to our often-deceitful fairy, lies are bad because they result in bad consequences for the liar. And this conclusion of the fairy is noteworthy, because the vast majority of arguments against lying are made because lies are, so this line goes, unfair or harmful to the people who believe the liar. But it can also be—as another Italian, Machiavelli, advises—that lies should be avoided because they produce negative consequences for the liar. This is Aesop’s argument as well, and much of what Aristotle says against lying also comes down to the idea that lies are harmful mostly to the teller of lies.

When at last Pinocchio is transformed into a real boy by the fairy, it is not because he’s learned the value of honesty, but as the fairy says to him in his dreams, “To reward you for your good heart … Boys who minister tenderly to their parents, and assist them in their misery and infirmities, are deserving of great praise and affection, even if they cannot be cited as examples of obedience and good behavior. Try and do better in the future and you will be happy.” So it is really for his good intentions that he is rewarded, and Pinocchio’s few lies—and many misdeeds—were, though consistently misguided, never malicious. Pinocchio himself doesn’t learn the lesson. Thinking about his life as a puppet, “he said to himself with great complacency: ‘How ridiculous I was when I was a puppet! And how glad I am that I have become a well-behaved little boy!’ “ Here we know Collodi is laughing at his character: Pinocchio hasn’t learned to be a well-behaved little boy—the fairy’s told him so—and he’s congratulating himself not with the resolution to be a better boy but with the “great complacency” of a job well done. The lesson, if there is one, is about trying one’s best to be a good boy—the story was serialized in a children’s magazine—and to please one’s parents.

Before reading Collodi, when I was familiar only with Walt Disney’s version of the story, I had the idea that the moral of Pinocchio’s story was “The truth sets you free”: as long as you are lying, you are dancing on the strings of others, but once you are brave enough to speak your mind—rather than worry about what others would have you say and do—you can be authentic; you can be a real boy. I still think there is some merit to this view, and I imagine it must be part of what Disney had in mind. But the reason I prefer Collodi’s original, much longer version of the story is that he appears to moralize but in fact lets his hero behave very much as we expect a typical little boy will. Pinocchio is naughty, he lies, he breaks (well-intentioned, sincerely meant) promises, he gets into all sorts of difficulties—through hastiness, inexperience, and misjudgment. (Sound familiar?) But he is nevertheless a hero in the end, he is goodhearted, he loves Geppetto, and the fairy nobly gives him his just reward, which is, after all, just to be an ordinary boy.

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The Pronk Pops Show 645, March 24, 2016, Story 1: Obama’s Last Junket and Tango As Lame Duck Lying Lunatic Leftist — Strategic Patience Regarding Islamic State Lead To World Wide War With Radical Islamic Jihadists — Open Borders Are Dangerous — New Leaders With A Will To Win The War With Islamic State — Trump/Cruz — Videos

Posted on March 24, 2016. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, American History, Benghazi, Blogroll, Bombs, Books, Breaking News, Bribery, Business, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Drones, Drugs, Education, Empires, Employment, European History, Fast and Furious, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Government, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Investments, IRS, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic State, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Libya, Media, Middle East, MIssiles, News, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Scandals, Senate, South America, Success, Taxation, Taxes, Ted Cruz, Ted Cruz, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 645: March 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 644: March 23, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 643: March 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 642: March 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 641: March 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 640: March 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 639: March 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 638: March 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 637: March 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 636: March 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 635: March 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 634: March 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 633: March 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 632: February 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 631: February 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 630: February 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 629: February 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 628: February 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 627: February 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 626: February 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 625: February 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 624: February 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 623: February 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 622: February 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 621: February 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 620: February 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 619: February 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 618: February 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 617: February 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 616: February 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 615: February 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 614: January 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 613: January 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 612: January 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 611: January 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 610: January 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 609: January 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 608: January 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 607: January 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 606: January 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 605: January 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 604: January 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 603: January 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 602: January 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 601: January 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 600: January 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 599: January 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 598: January 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 597: December 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 596: December 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 595: December 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 594: December 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 593: December 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 592: December 14, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 591: December 11, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 590: December 10, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 589: December 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 588: December 7, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 587: December 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 586: December 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 585: December 2, 2015 

Story 1: Obama’s Last Junket and Tango As Lame Duck Lying Lunatic Leftist — Strategic Patience Regarding Islamic State Leads To World Wide War With Radical Islamic Jihadists — Open Borders Turn Dangerous and Deadly  — Surge in Trump and Cruz Popularity Regarding 30-50 Million Illegal Invasion of United States — Videos

Obama Dances Tango in Argentina

President Obama arrives in Argentina

KT McFarland: “Obama’s ‘bad deal’ with Castro”

Obama: Criticism of Anti-IS Strategy Legitimate

RAW Tour of Yazidis village Sinjar Iraq demolished under Islamic State control recaptured by Kurds

Obama to NPR: ‘Strategic Patience’ Necessary In Foreign Affairs

US says Islamic State group committing genocide in Syria and Iraq

BOOM! Rudy Giuliani GOES OFF on Weakling Obama after Brussels ISIS Attacks

Obama slammed by media for ISIS response and strategy | SUPERcuts! #254

The rise of ISIS, explained in 6 minutes

Breaking News March 2016 Terrorist Attacks waterfront resort Ivory Coast Africa & Ankara Turkey

Islamic State UK stabbing & USA San Bernardino Terrorist attack update Breaking News December 8 2015

Paris Terror attacks: overview of series of deadly attacks on France capital city

Paris Terror attack: Islamic state group claims responsibility for France deadliest attacks

Islamic State and the Failures of the War on Terror

The Changing Nature of Terrorism and Counterterrorism

Kurdish WAR in Syria & Iraq against Islamic State ISIS ISIL DAESH Breaking News December 2015

Obama Asks Congress To Declare War On Islamic State | Authorization for Military Force Against ISIS

Feasibility of the US strategy against ISIS

Obama Announces Strategy to Destroy ISIS

How the US Created the Islamic State: Talking Heads

William McCants: “The History, Strategy and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State”

Published on Dec 16, 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
“The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy and Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State”
William McCants, Director, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World and Fellow, Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution

The Islamic State is one of the most lethal and successful jihadist groups in modern history, surpassing even al-Qaida. How has it attracted so many followers and conquered so much land in its relatively brief existence? On December 9, Will McCants will discuss the Islamic State’s history, tactics, and goals, and the many ways in which it is more ruthless, more apocalyptic, and more devoted to state-building than any of its predecessors or current competitors. McCants’ recently-published book, The ISIS Apocalypse, is based almost entirely on primary sources in Arabic—including ancient religious texts and secret al-Qaida and Islamic State letters that few have seen—and explores how religious fervor, strategic calculation, and doomsday prophecy shaped the Islamic State’s past and foreshadow its dark future.

Sponsored by UC Berkeley’s Center for Right-Wing Studies. Co-sponsored by Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Institute of European Studies.

ISIS – “Islamic” Extremism? | Full Documentary – HD

Documentary – Meeting ISIL (PressTV goes deep inside the terrorist group)

FULL: Donald Trump AIPAC POWERFUL SPEECH, Washington DC March 21, 2016 [HD]

After Brussels Terrorist Attack, Watch Cruz And Trump Say What Obama Can’t

Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days

Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A.

 

 

 

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 644-645

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The Pronk Pops Show 586, December 3, 2015, Story 1: Islamic Terrorist Deniers (ITDs) and Gun Grabbers (Obama, Clinton, Democratic Party) Call For More Gun Laws and Gun Confiscation In Response To Radical Militant Islamic Terrorist Attack Killing 14 and Wounding 21 Crusaders! –When Guns Are Outlawed, Only the Outlaws Will Have Guns — Ban No Gun Zones — Trump Wants To Attack, Bomb, Destroy and Kill Radical Militant Islamic Terrorists and Their Families of Islamic State! — When Will Congress Declare War on Islamic State? — American People Want A War Time President! — Videos

Posted on December 3, 2015. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Crime, Culture, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Eugenics, Foreign Policy, Genocide, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Impeachment, Law, Media, Middle East, Pistols, Politics, Radio, Rand Paul, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rifles, Second Amendment, Senate, Social Networking, South America, Taxation, Taxes, Ted Cruz, Terror, Terrorism, United States Constitution, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 586: December 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 585: December 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 584: December 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 583: November 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 582: November 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 581: November 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 580: November 23, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 579: November 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 578: November 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 577: November 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 576: November 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 575: November 16, 2015  (more…)

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The Pronk Pops Show 565, October 30, 2015, Story 1: Budget Busting Bastards of The Republican and Democratic Parties — No Dollar Ceiling on National Debt! — Two Party Tyranny with A Bad Habit — Spending Addiction Disorder (SAD) — America’s Warfare and Welfare Expanding Empire Burdening Future Generations — Videos

Posted on October 30, 2015. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Bombs, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Cruise Missiles, Culture, Defense Spending, Drones, Drugs, Economics, Education, Empires, Employment, Eugenics, European History, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Gangs, Genocide, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, House of Representatives, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Investments, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Media, Medicare, Middle East, MIssiles, Monetary Policy, News, Nuclear, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, President Barack Obama, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rifles, Scandals, Senate, Social Security, South America, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Unemployment, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 565: October 30, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 564: October 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 563: October 28, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 562: October 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 561: October 26, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 560: October 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 559: October 22, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 558: October 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 557: October 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 556: October 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 555: October 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 554: October 15, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 553: October 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 552: October 13, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 551: October 12, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 550: October 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 549: October 8, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 548: October 7, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 547: October 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 546: October 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 545: October 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 544: September 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 543: September 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 542: September 28, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 541: September 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 540: September 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 539: September 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 538: September 22, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 537: September 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 536: September 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 535: September 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 534: September 16, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 533: September 15, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 532: September 14, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 531: September 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 530: September 10, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 529: September 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 528: September 8, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 527: September 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 526: September 3, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 525: September 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 524: August 31, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 523: August 27, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 522: August 26, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 521: August 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 520: August 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 519: August 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 518: August 20, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 517: August 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 516: August 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 515: August 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 514: August 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 513: August 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 512: August 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 511: August 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 510: August 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 509: July 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 508: July 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 507: July 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 506: July 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 505: July 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 504: July 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 503: July 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 502: July 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 501: July 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 500: July 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 499: July 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 498: July 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 497: July 1, 2015

Story 1: Budget Busting Bastards of The Republican and Democratic Parties — No Dollar Ceiling on National Debt! — Two Party Tyranny with A Bad Habit — Spending Addiction Disorder (SAD) — America’s Warfare and Welfare Expanding Empire Burdening Future Generations — Videos

Sen. Cruz: The Budget Deal Is a Corrupt Betrayal of the American People

Rand Paul Speech against Obama’s Debt Deal | Senate Floor CSPAN

Senator Rand Paul speaks on the US Senate floor to speak on President Obama’s debt deal to raise the debt ceiling. Paul will filibuster the debt deal into the morning to hopefully slow down the passing of the debt bill.

Sen. Mike Lee: Budget Deal Is ‘Last Gasping Breath Of A Disgraced Bipartisan Beltway Establishment’

Senate Republicans Who Betrayed The American People by voting YEA:

Screen-Shot-2015-10-30-at-9.34.59-AM

cruz and mcconnell

“Senator McConnell has proven to be the most effective Democratic leader of all time.”

~Senator Ted Cruz

What Pisses Me Off About Government Debt | The Debt Ceiling and Budget Act

Ted Cruz On Debate Performance, Mainstream Media, Budget Deal

Presidential Candidates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul Opposed Budget Bill

Senate votes to pass bipartisan budget deal overnight

Senate Passes 2-Year Budget Deal, Raising The Debt Ceiling – Newsy

Cruz: It’s not two parties, it’s one party; Washington Cartel; 10-29-2015

Clueless Charlie Rose — Obama and Clinton Are Liars! 

CBS’s Charlie Rose Desperately Tries To Lecture Marco Rubio On Benghazi

Following Wednesday night’s CNBC Republican presidential debate, on Thursday’s CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose repeatedly tried to lecture Senator Marco Rubio over Hillary Clinton’s role in the 2012 Benghazi attack. After Rubio stated that he had not engaged in personal attacks throughout this campaign, Rose immediately rushed to defend Clinton and proclaimed that on the issue of Benghazi “[w]ell, well, you called Hillary Clinton a liar, senator. You called Hillary Clinton a liar.”

Hillary_Obama_Poster_Liar

Hillary Clinton: A Lying Compilation

Jim Jordan GRILLS Hillary Clinton About Video

Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) relentlessly questioned former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday over why she and other administration officials initially blamed a YouTube video for the Benghazi terror attacks, a claim contrary to available intelligence at the time. “Your experts knew the truth, your spokesperson knew the truth, Greg Hicks knew the truth,” Jordan said during a House Benghazi Committee hearing. “But what troubles me more is I think you knew the truth. Jordan accused Clinton of telling the president of Libya, Egyptian prime minister and even family members that terrorists were behind the attack, but later suggested an anti-Muslim video sparked the attack.
“The American people want to know why,” Jordan added. “If you look at the statement that I made, I clearly said it was an attack,” Clinton replied. “Calling it an attack is like saying the sky is blue — of course it was an attack,” Jordan shot back.

Confirmed: Hillary Clinton Repeatedly Lied Under Oath During Benghazi Committee Hearing

YouTube Video Maker Blamed for Benghazi Attacks Breaks Silence on CNN

Obama and Hillary Blame Youtube Video for Benghazi Terrorist Attack as Coffins Arrive

Hillary Clinton Still Says A Video Was A Factor In The Benghazi Attacks

liars

See How Your Senator Voted on the Boehner-Obama Budget Deal

Less than five days after it was introduced, the Senate passed the 144-page, two-year budget deal that suspends the debt limit until March 2017 and raises spending caps.

The Senate passed the budget deal, 64-35, just after 3 a.m. on Friday. Thirty-five Republican senators opposed the deal, though it was not enough to stop the bill from heading to President Obama’s desk.

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 9.34.59 AM

The bill was approved after a 1 a.m. procedural vote which passed, 63-35, and allowed the budget plan to proceed.

The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation.  We’ll respect your inbox and keep you informed.

The budget deal, the result of weeks of closed-door negotiations between McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, former House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, passed the House of Representatives Wednesday night.

The president is expected to sign the two-year budget agreement, called the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, within the next few days.

Though the deal passed by the House and Senate with support from members of both parties, the fiscal plan was protested by conservative senators who opposed both the substance of the deal and the manner in which it was negotiated.

Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jeff Sessions of Alabama—the current and former chairmen of the Senate Steering Committee, respectively—sent a letter to their GOP colleagues calling on them to oppose the deal. In their message, Lee and Sessions criticized the deal for being “crafted in secret without the involvement of the vast majority of our conference.”

Additionally, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., threatened to filibuster the legislation in what many believed would be an overnight protest. Paul, however, spoke on the Senate floor for just 18 minutes.

The Kentucky senator did appear on the Senate floor later in the night and criticized the deal for giving Obama unlimited borrowing authority.

“Both sides of the aisle have what I would call sacred cows. On the right, they have the sacred cow of military contracts. …The left wants more welfare,” he said, adding, “Should we give Congress more money? Hell no.”

Conservative senators went head-to-head with Republican leadership before the vote.

“The budget deal before the Senate today is not just a horrible piece of legislation that is undeserving of this chamber’s support. It also represents the last gasping breath of a disgraced, bipartisan Beltway establishment on the verge of collapse,” Lee said on the Senate floor. “The bill is a product of an unfair, dysfunctional and fundamentally undemocratic process, a process that is virtually indistinguishable from what we promised the American people a GOP-controlled Congress would bring to an end.”

McConnell, though, stressed that the agreement satisfied the list of demands Republicans had during negotiations with Democrats.

“This agreement isn’t perfect. I share some concerns other colleagues have raised. But here’s the bottom line: this is a fully offset agreement that rejects tax hikes, secures long-term savings through entitlement reforms and provides increased support for our military, all this at a time when we confront threats in multiple theaters,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “Each of these was a Republican goal heading into negotiations. Each of these items was achieved in the agreement before us.”

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 lifts spending caps by $80 billion—$50 billion in 2016 and $30 billion in 2017—with the increases split evenly between defense and nondefense spending.

It also suspends the debt limit until March 2017, and shifts $150 billion from the Social Security Trust Fund to the Disability Insurance Trust Fund

The budget deal was viewed by Boehner, who resigned from his post earlier this month, as a way to “clean the barn” for his successor, the newly elected Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

gdp_largeUS_GDP_second_quarter_2015_July2015

quarter-to-quarter-growth-in-real-gdp-2005-2009_q2

spreas of empireCG-map-3bases  US_military_bases_in_the_world_2007globalmilitarism58_14

U.S.Gov_SafetyNetProgramsUS Welfare State

Budget buster: Senate passes debt and spending hike in dead of night

144-page bill amounts to $558 million in new spending per page

Senate Republicans managed to wrangle enough of their troops to overcome a filibuster early Friday morning and pass the new budget deal, granting President Obama yet another debt holiday, busting the budget caps and boosting spending some $80 billion over the next two years.

Democrats, who are far more thrilled with the deal, did the heavy lifting, providing most of the votes as they won some $40 billion in new domestic spending in 2016 and 2017. They also forced the GOP to retreat on the hard-fought 2011 budget agreement that had helped bring deficits back under control.

Conservative Republicans were irate at their leaders and at defense hawks within the GOP who forced the deal by saying it was worth busting the caps in order to get the Pentagon more money at a time when the U.S. is fighting the war on terror.

“This deal represents the worst of Washington culture,” said Rep. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and presidential candidate who’d vowed to lead the filibuster, but who saw his efforts fall short to what he called an “unholy compromise between right and left.”

The bill cleared on a 64-35 vote, with just 18 Republicans joining all Democrats in backing the bill.

President Obama said the deal will “break the cycle of shutdowns and manufactured crises” that he and Congress have been through the last few years.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/30/senate-passes-debt-and-spending-hike-dead-night/

Senate passes two-year budget deal

Jim DeMint

When I had just started to raise a family, and I struggled to make my small business turn a profit, I had to make decisions about what bills to pay based on priorities and due dates. Sometimes, the struggle to balance the checkbook would be a painful one, and we had to do without some things as “luxuries”—even if we hadn’t considered them luxuries before.

This wasn’t some unique experience of mine. Too many Americans these days are forced to make sacrifices to keep the lights on.

But the federal government doesn’t do the same—in fact, it rarely even tries. Instead, the impending Boehner-Obama agreement allows Congress to rack up new debt and guarantees even more spending without putting any checks in place.

This is an insult to the American families whose tax dollars pay their salaries. It is slap in the face to families who are forced to shell out for every single irresponsible spending bill and wrecked entitlement system, because their representatives are too cowardly to tighten the belt and work on some hard reforms.

Instead, the current budget deal keeps our government on a trajectory to spend another $7 trillion more over the next 10 years than it will receive in taxes, according to the Congressional Budget Office. So, like clockwork, Congress raises the debt limit.

Just as credit cards have limits that serve as warning signs for reckless spending, the debt limit is Congress’ self-imposed warning sign that our spending problem needs to be addressed. They’ve ignored it to the tune of $18.1 trillion and counting.

The Boehner-Obama deal has gimmicky savings that will not materialize—if ever—until 10 to 15 years from now. It bails out the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund by robbing the general Social Security Trust Fund without putting in any meaningful reforms. This is no help to the next generation of retirees.

Insultingly, the deal also turns Overseas Contingency Operations (an emergency spending provision that was meant to help the troops) into a slush fund for non-defense spending. If that disgusts you, welcome to the club—your annual dues are paid every April 15.

Congress hasn’t been forced into this. Better options have been proposed, but they require holding to budget caps and building on them with real spending and entitlement reforms.

Until Washington is forced by the voters into fiscal sanity, American families can expect to continue making those painful budget decisions at home while watching their leaders pile more debt on their heads from afar. Unfortunately, government debt will eventually lead to less opportunity and lower quality of life for all Americans.

http://dailysignal.com/2015/10/28/lame-ducks-lame-deal-the-boehner-obama-budget-plan/

EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EDT, Thursday, October 29, 2015
BEA 15—50

* See the navigation bar at the right side of the news release text for links to data tables,
contact personnel and their telephone numbers, and supplementary materials.

Lisa Mataloni: (202) 606-5304 (GDP) gdpniwd@bea.gov
Jeannine Aversa: (202) 606-2649 (News Media)
National Income and Product Accounts
Gross Domestic Product: Third Quarter 2015 (Advance Estimate)
      Real gross domestic product -- the value of the goods and services produced by the nation’s
economy less the value of the goods and services used up in production, adjusted for price
changes -- increased at an annual rate of 1.5 percent in the third quarter of 2015, according to the
"advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the second quarter, real GDP
increased 3.9 percent.

      The Bureau emphasized that the third-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source
data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see the box on page 2 and
"Comparisons of Revisions to GDP" on page 4).  The "second" estimate for the third quarter, based on
more complete data, will be released on November 24, 2015.

      The increase in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from
personal consumption expenditures (PCE), state and local government spending, nonresidential fixed
investment, exports, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by negative contributions
from private inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP,
increased.

      Real GDP increased 1.5 percent in the third quarter, after increasing 3.9 percent in the second.
The deceleration in real GDP in the third quarter primarily reflected a downturn in private inventory
investment and decelerations in exports, in nonresidential fixed investment, in PCE, in state and local
government spending, and in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a deceleration in
imports.

_____

      FOOTNOTE.  Quarterly estimates are expressed at seasonally adjusted annual rates, unless otherwise
specified.  Percent changes are calculated from unrounded data and are annualized.  "Real" estimates are
in chained (2009) dollars.  Price indexes are chain-type measures.

      This news release is available on BEA's Web site.
_____

      Real gross domestic purchases -- purchases by U.S. residents of goods and services wherever
produced -- increased 1.5 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 3.6 percent in the
second.

      Current-dollar GDP -- the market value of the goods and services produced by the nation’s
economy less the value of the goods and services used up in production -- increased 2.7 percent, or
$121.1 billion, in the third quarter to a level of $18,034.8 billion.  In the second quarter, current-dollar
GDP increased 6.1 percent, or $264.4 billion.
Disposition of personal income

      Current-dollar personal income increased $171.6 billion in the third quarter, compared with an
increase of $139.5 billion in the second.  The acceleration in personal income primarily reflected an
acceleration in wages and salaries and an upturn in farm proprietors’ income that were partly offset by a
deceleration in personal interest income.

      Personal current taxes increased $15.8 billion in the third quarter, compared with an increase of
$27.3 billion in the second.

      Disposable personal income increased $155.9 billion, or 4.8 percent, in the third quarter,
compared with an increase of $112.2 billion, or 3.4 percent, in the second.  Real disposable personal
income increased 3.5 percent, compared with an increase of 1.2 percent.

      Personal outlays increased $136.6 billion in the third quarter, compared with an increase of
$182.3 billion in the second.

      Personal saving -- disposable personal income less personal outlays -- was $636.7 billion in the
third quarter, compared with $617.5 billion in the second.

      The personal saving rate -- personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income --
was 4.7 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 4.6 percent in the second.  For a 
comparison of personal saving in BEA's national income and product accounts with personal saving in the 
Federal Reserve Board's financial accounts of the United States and data on changes in net worth, go to
www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/Nipa-Frb.asp.

_____

      BOX.  Information on the assumptions used for unavailable source data is provided in a technical note
that is posted with the news release on BEA's Web site.  Within a few days after the release, a detailed
"Key Source Data and Assumptions" file is posted on the Web site.  In the middle of each month, an
analysis of the current quarterly estimate of GDP and related series is made available on the Web site;
click on Survey of Current Business, "GDP and the Economy."  For information on revisions, see
"Revisions to GDP, GDI, and Their Major Components."
_____

      BEA's national, international, regional, and industry estimates; the Survey of Current Business;
and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA's Web site at www.bea.gov.  By visiting
the site, you can also subscribe to receive free e-mail summaries of BEA releases and announcements.



                                      *          *          *



                       Next release -- November 24, 2015 at 8:30 A.M. EST for:
                   Gross Domestic Product:  Third Quarter 2015 (Second Estimate)
                   Corporate Profits:  Third Quarter 2015 (Preliminary Estimate)


                                      *          *          *

Release dates in 2016

Gross Domestic Product

                 2015: IV and 2015 annual      2016: I            2016: II           2016: III

Advance....            January 29             April 28             July 29          October 28
Second.....           February 26               May 27           August 26         November 29
Third......              March 25              June 28        September 29         December 22


Corporate Profits

Preliminary...            ...                   May 27           August 26         November 29
Revised.......           March 25              June 28        September 29         December 22




                                        Comparisons of Revisions to GDP


	Current quarterly estimates of GDP are released on the following schedule: "Advance" estimates, based on source
data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency, are released near the end of the first
month following the end of the quarter; as more detailed and more comprehensive data become available,
"second" and "third" estimates are released near the end of the second and third months, respectively.  "Latest"
quarterly estimates reflect the results of both annual and comprehensive revisions, which are typically released in late July.

	Annual revisions generally cover at least the 3 most recent calendar years (and the associated quarters) and
incorporate newly available major annual source data.  Comprehensive (or benchmark) revisions are carried out at
about 5-year intervals and incorporate major periodic source data, as well as improvements in concepts and
methods that update the accounts to portray more accurately the evolving U.S. economy.

	The table below presents the average revisions to the quarterly percent changes in real and current-dollar
GDP for the different estimate vintages.  From the advance estimate to the second estimate (1 month later), the
average revision to real GDP growth without regard to sign is 0.5 percentage point, while from the advance
estimate to the third estimate (2 months later), it is 0.6 percentage point.  From the advance estimate to the latest
estimate, the average revision without regard to sign is 1.2 percentage points.  Larger average revisions for the
latest estimates reflect the fact that comprehensive revisions include major improvements to the accounts, such as
the incorporation of BEA's latest benchmark input-output accounts.  The current quarterly estimates correctly indicate the
direction of change in real GDP 96 percent of the time, correctly indicate whether GDP is accelerating or
decelerating about 75 percent of the time, and correctly indicate whether real GDP growth is above, near, or
below trend growth about 83 percent of the time.


                      Revisions Between Quarterly Percent Changes of GDP: Vintage Comparisons
                                                  [Annual rates]

       Vintages                                   Average         Average without     Standard deviation of
       compared                                                    regard to sign      revisions without
                                                                                         regard to sign

________________________________________________________Real GDP_____________________________________________________

Advance to second....................               0.1                 0.5                  0.4
Advance to third.....................               0.1                 0.6                  0.5
Second to third......................               0.0                 0.2                  0.3

Advance to latest....................              -0.1                 1.2                  1.0


____________________________________________________Current-dollar GDP_______________________________________________

Advance to second....................               0.1                 0.5                  0.4
Advance to third.....................               0.2                 0.7                  0.5
Second to third......................               0.1                 0.3                  0.3
Advance to latest....................               0.1                 1.3                  1.0

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 NOTE.  These comparisons are based on the period from 1993 through 2014.

http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdpnewsrelease.htm

Fiscal Year 2015, Budget Deficit $438,889,000,000 or $438 Billion

National Debt Clock

$18,425,566,000,000 Plus or $18.4 Trillion

national_debt_chart2014totalusdebtobligationsUS-Unfunded-Liabilities

Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis

America’s Debt Crisis Explained

Published on Feb 24, 2014

Fact: America’s national debt stands at $17 trillion. That’s a tough number to grasp. Most people will never come close to making $1 million in any given year. How can we understand the magnitude of the hole our country is in? Well, imagine you owed your credit card company $200,000. On top of that you have to pay them about $4,000 per year in interest. You are bringing in $150,000 per year, but you are spending way more than that. How are you going to ever pay back that $200,000 debt? And what happens if you default? Well, that is America today.

‘US hides real debt, in worse shape than Greece’

The US national debt is twenty times higher than is officially reported, approaching $222 trillion, and today’s children could soon be paying their parent’s debts, reputed American economist Laurence Kotlikoff told RT. TRANSCRIPT of the interview: http://on.rt.com/81u1ac

How Big Is the U.S. Debt?

Uploaded on Feb 11, 2011

Do you know how much debt the U.S. is really in? Learn more: http://bit.ly/1HVAtKP

Economics professor Antony Davies illustrates the size the U.S. federal government’s debt and unfunded obligations. He breaks down the total U.S. debt and obligations into parts and compares them with the size of the GDP of countries around the world, showing the magnitude of America’s fiscal situation.

Deficits, Debts and Unfunded Liabilities: The Consequences of Excessive Government Spending

Uploaded on May 10, 2010

Huge budget deficits and record levels of national debt are getting a lot of attention, but this video explains that unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs are Americas real red-ink challenge. More important, this CF&P mini-documentary reveals that deficits and debt are symptoms of the real problem of an excessive burden of government spending. http://www.freedomandprosperity.org

I.O.U.S.A.: Byte-Sized – The 30 Minute Version

Uploaded on Oct 31, 2008

By now, you may have heard about our acclaimed documentary I.O.U.S.A., a film that boldly examines the rapidly growing national debt and its consequences for the United States and its citizens. The film has been a huge hit, getting rave reviews from Roger Ebert and others.

Now, we proudly release a 30-minute condensed version of I.O.U.S.A. designed specifically for watching and sharing on the web – for free.

IOUSA Solutions: Part 1 of 5

The award-winning documentary I.O.U.S.A. opened up America’s eyes to the consequences of our nation’s debt and the need for our government to show more fiscal responsibility. Now that more Americans and elected officials are aware of our fiscal challenges, the producers of I.O.U.S.A. created I.O.U.S.A.: Solutions, a follow-up special focusing on solutions to the fiscal crisis. Learn more athttp://www.iousathemovie.com/.

IOUSA Solutions: Part 2 of 5

IOUSA Solutions: Part 3 of 5

IOUSA Solutions: Part 4 of 5

IOUSA Solutions: Part 5 of 5

FIAT EMPIRE: Why the Federal Reserve Violates the U.S. Constitution

$205 Trillion in Unfunded Liabilities

By Gary North

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is acting in a bipartisan way to cover up the biggest single threat to the bipartisan political alliance that is stripping America of its wealth: the United States Congress.

There is no question that the following policy is bipartisan. Democrats and Republicans in Congress are completely agreed that the following information should not get out to the American people, namely, that the present value of the United States government’s off-budget liabilities is over $200 trillion.

…the government needs $205 trillion… to invest in the private sector, in order to fund its legal liabilities.

The man who has followed this for the longest time is Prof. Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston University. He has created a great deal of embarrassment for the government by his relentless pursuit of the statistical implications of the statistics released by the Congressional Budget Office.

The Congressional Budget Office has a way to avoid this, namely, to cease publishing the statistics that Kotlikoff has used to expose the real condition of the United States government.

Kotlikoff referred to this suppression of information in an article that appeared in Forbes.

The CBO has two sets of books. This is what any Ponzi scheme requires. It releases one set of books to the rubes in the financial media, who are perfectly content to quote from it, when they are even aware of it. This is called the Extended Baseline Forecast or EBF.

The second set of books is called the Alternative Fiscal Scenario or AFS. Here’s how Kotlikoff describes the difference.

In past years, the CBO simultaneously released what it calls its Alternative Fiscal Scenario. This forecast is what CBO actually projects future taxes and spending to be given not just the laws in place, but also how Congress and the Administration have been bending and changing the laws through time. In short, the Alternative Fiscal Scenario (AFS) is what the CBO thinks we’re facing absent a truly dramatic and sustained shift in fiscal policy.

Because of Kotlikoff’s ability to get news coverage for the AFS, the CBO decided this year not to publish it.

Those of us who track U.S. fiscal policy eagerly await each year’s release of the AFS. But this year, the CBO’s long-term forecast included only the EBF. The AFS was nowhere to be seen. It wasn’t mentioned in the CBO’s lengthy report. Nor was it included in the downloadable data CBO provided on its website.

The national media, which generally “covers” fiscal affairs by repeating what it’s told, missed this omission entirely. Indeed, it spent an entire news cycle discussing the EBF figures as if they had real meaning.

The CBO did not get away with this, at least not to the extent that it had hoped. There were complaints. Kotlikoff says that enough people did complain to persuade the CBO to release a summary of the projections in an obscure spot in the CBO’s spreadsheet. The CBO posted this information, but it did not alert the financial media to the update.

He predicted that the link would soon be removed. This was in early October.

The EBF and AFS projections differ dramatically, yet the AFS is hidden away in one tab of one spreadsheet called Supplementary Data, the small link to which will shortly disappear from the CBO’s homepage, making it even harder for we taxpayers to find.

He was correct. It’s gone. It’s “page not found.”

[Ed. Note: We tried accessing the link, but nothing came up.]

He points out that the CBO’s projections on the deficit which it has posted in full public view, namely, the ESB, has the fiscal gap at $47 trillion. Now, just between you and me, $47 trillion is a large chunk of change. But it is such a low-ball estimate that the public has no real conception of how big the liability really is. Of course, the public doesn’t care one way or the other, because the public has never heard of the CBO, let alone the ESB. When I say “public,” I mean the financial media.

Using the AFS figures, the unfunded liability is $205 trillion. This is the figure that the CBO does not want the general public, meaning the financial media, to be aware of.

Understand, this is not the unfunded liabilities added up in all future years. This is the present value of the unfunded liabilities, discounted to today. This means that the government needs $205 trillion, cash on hand, to invest in the private sector, in order to fund its legal liabilities. This is not the deficit long after we are dead. This is the present value of the deficit long after we are dead.

The only fiscal measure that’s free of this classification problem, known as economics labeling problem, is what economists call the infinite horizon fiscal gap. This measure puts everything on the books — all future spending obligations, whether they are called official or not as well as all future tax and other receipts. The difference valued in the present (the present value) of future spending less future receipts is the infinite horizon fiscal gap.

Kotlikoff explains this in layman’s terms. He explains it in terms of the taxing and spending consequences of the present value of the unfunded liabilities. He tells us what must be done today.

The $205 trillion fiscal gap is enormous. It’s 10% of the present value of all future GDP. Equivalently, it corresponds to 10% of GDP year in and year out for as far as the eye can see. To raise 10% of GDP each year we could (a) raise all federal taxes, immediately and permanently, by 57%, (b) cut all federal spending, apart from interest on the debt, by 37%, immediately and permanently, or (c) do some combination of (a) and (b).

The odds of Congress agreeing on a bill to this effect, and then having President Obama sign this bill into law, are a good deal lower than the odds of your winning the state lottery. Three times in a row. One ticket per year.

This is the softcore version that he wrote for Forbes. He released a hard-core version in an interview on the Financial Sense website. He called this a conspiracy. But he made it clear that it is a bipartisan conspiracy.

I sent him [head of the CBO] an email and asked whether he was under some sort of political pressure to withhold this information and he said that was a big insult, and he was very upset with me for suggesting that. But then he said that the reason he hadn’t released it was because they didn’t think anyone was interested. I said, well obviously we’re interested — it’s the only thing worth looking at.

I love it when bureaucrats cover up the obvious. They do not even try to be clever. They give some obviously screwball explanation, and leave it at that. They cannot be fired. We cannot do anything about it.

This has gone on for a long time.

This is a pattern, you know. The Clinton administration — we put out the fiscal gap studies for a couple of years on the President’s budget. The Clinton administration then censored it. The guy who’s now head of the National Economic Council, the Chief Economic Advisor to President Obama, was the one who did the censorship back in 1994. President Bush’s Treasury Secretary O’Neil wanted us to do a fiscal gap accounting for the President’s budget in 2003 and he was fired in December 7, 2002, and that study was censored two days after he was fired.

So, this is not accidental. This is more or less a conspiracy to hide the truth to keep ourselves and our kids in the dark about what the politicians are really doing, which is trying to garner the votes of older people and then get reelected and leave a bigger mess for our kids to handle.

Our kids will handle this effectively. They will elect people to Congress who will vote to stop paying the oldsters and their physicians, the vast majority of whom will be dependent on Medicare payments. I call this “stiff the geezers.” I also call it the Great Default. The surviving generations that ran up the liabilities will bear the brunt of the pain, as well they should.

There is no way out, other than default. This will have profound consequences politically, economically, and socially. It will be the end of the Keynesian welfare state. The Keynesians will be left holding the empty bag.

This is how all Ponzi schemes end. But those deluded souls who buy into them refuse to face statistical reality until the scheme blows up, leaving them empty-handed.

Will they be wiser after the Great Default? It is our job to explain to them what happened. We must begin with this: “We told you so. We also told you why.”

Regards,

Gary North
for The Daily Reckoning

You Think The Deficit Is Bad? Federal Unfunded Liabilities Exceed $127 Trillion

By Vance Ginn

Although the battle over a two-year budget deal and the national debt limit in Washington, D.C. has received the lion’s share of media attention recently , the bigger, more ominous threat facing taxpayers are unfunded liabilities—the difference between the net present value of expected future government spending and the net present value of projected future tax revenue, particularly those associated with Social Security and Medicare.

While federal unfunded liabilities are important, state-level unfunded pension liabilities also pose serious obstacles. In Texas, the recent 2013 Employees Retirement System (ERS) Valuation Report outlines the funding shortages this pension system faces and there is some indication it may be unable to pay beneficiaries by 2052.

The federal unfunded liabilities are catastrophic for future taxpayers and economic growth. At usdebtclock.org, federal unfunded liabilities are estimated at near $127 trillion, which is roughly $1.1 million per taxpayer and nearly double 2012’s total world output.
With about 134,000 active members in Texas’ ERS at the end of fiscal year 2013, the total unfunded liability was $7.2 billion—or $54,000 per active member. Despite the much smaller future net debt obligations in ERS compared with federal programs, there are similarities how we got here.

Laurence Kotlikoff and Scott Burns’ book entitled The Coming Generational Storm: What You Need to Know About America’s Future argue federal unfunded liabilities are primarily from a generational accounting problem, in which the dependency ratio of retirees to taxpayers is declining from an aging population.

The authors’ state, “today there are about 4 payees for every 1 beneficiary, but by the year 2030 there will only be 2 payees for every 1 beneficiary. Simple arithmetic will note that this is not sustainable over the long run.”

To understand the magnitude of this problem, the authors note one solution that includes all the following: “raise income taxes by 17 percent, raise payroll taxes by 24 percent, cut federal purchases by 26 percent, and cut Social Security and Medicare benefits by 11 percent.”

In the current political and economic environment, these changes are highly unlikely, but it shows the substantial economic costs associated with these large unfunded liabilities.

State pensions across the country also face this generational accounting problem, whereby an author discusses his research in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed entitled “The Hidden Danger in Public Pension Funds” stating, “The ratio of active public employees to retirees has fallen drastically, according to the State Budget Crisis Task Force. Today it is 1.75 to 1; in 1950, it was 7 to 1. This means that a loss in pension investments has three times the impact on state and local budgets than 40 years ago.”

In addition to an aging population in Texas creating substantial challenges with funding ERS, it is also riddled with a problem many state pension portfolio managers face: low rates of return on risk-free assets, such as a one-year Treasury security that returns less than 1 percent.

As these managers choose riskier investments to gain a higher rate of return, the study cited in the WSJ op-ed notes that the standard deviation of public pension investments to state and local budgets—a good measure of risk—has increased 10-fold from about 2 percent in 1975 to 20 percent today. Along with fewer people contributing to these pensions, riskier investments should be of grave concern to all.

Since the actuarial funded ratio of ERS is 77 percent based on an 8 percent annual rate of return, this rate of return and the risk-taking portfolio managers must use to gain this return are vital. Over the last five years, the fund’s annual return was 6 percent and 7.1 percent over the last ten years. Although the ten-year annual average was close to 8 percent, there is no guarantee this will continue, which could dramatically lower the funded ratio.

Clearly, the generational accounting problem burdening programs at the federal level also burden Texas’ pensions and the more risky assets portfolio managers must invest in are increasing the susceptibility of an even lower funded ratio in the future.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/01/17/you-think-the-deficit-is-bad-federal-unfunded-liabilities-exceed-127-trillion/

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The Pronk Pops Show 540, September 24, 2015, Story 1: Pope Francis Sells (“Dialogue”) The Socialism of Jesuit Liberation Theology and Social Justice — Smiley Face Marxist Leninism — No Sale — Well Meaning People of Good Intentions Are Not Enough — Consequences Count and Results Matter — The Spread Of Free Market Capitalism Raises People Out of Poverty Into Prosperity — Videos

Posted on September 24, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Constitutional Law, European History, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Law, Legal Immigration, Media, Middle East, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, South America, Success, Taxation, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, United States Constitution, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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the truth about socialismfaces of socialism

   pope francis congresspope francis congress 2  pope francis 4_pope-congresspope francis congress 3

Story 1: Pope Francis Sells (“Dialogue”) The Socialism of Jesuit Liberation Theology and Social Justice — Smiley Face Marxist Leninism —    No Sale — Well Meaning People of Good Intentions Are Not Enough — Consequences Count and Results Matter — The Spread Of Free Market Capitalism Raises People Out of Poverty Into Prosperity — Videos

Pope Francis Speech to US Congress [FULL]

Pope Francis, the first pontiff in history to address Congress, speaks to a joint session of the United States Congress. Francis underscores the role of legislators as representatives of the common, public good and discusses key issues from immigration and social justice, to the abolition of the death penalty, poverty relief, peace, and the family. Pope Francis highlights the public role of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton.

Pope Francis addresses Joint Session of Congress – FULL SPEECH (C-SPAN)

Pope Francis Urges Congress to Treat Immigrants in ‘Humane and Just’ Way

HIGHLIGHTS FROM POPE FRANCIS HISTORIC SPEECH TO US CONGRESS IS JOHN BOEHNER CRYING?

Highlights of Pope Francis addressing Congress

Memorable quotes from Pope Francis’ speech to Congress

Dorothy Day from “Who Cares About The Saints?” with Fr. James Martin, S.J.

The Life of Dorothy Day: Robert Ellsberg Extended Interview

Dorothy Day’s unpopular stance

Dorothy Day Documentary: Don’t Call Me a Saint

Dorothy Day 1977

DOROTHY DAY

Merton – a film biography

Thomas Merton, Spiritual Master

Modern Masters of Religion

Thomas Merton on St. Bernard of Clairveaux

Pope Francis, the Jesuits and liberation theology

Thomas Merton from “Who Cares About The Saints?” with Fr. James Martin, S.J.

Liberation Theology

Liberation Theology and the Marxism Leninism Worldview (Part 12 of 15). Summit Ministries covers an interesting segment of Christianity as compared to a Biblical Worldview.

Jesus, A Marxist? | Irvin Baxter

Jesuit/Vatican author Malachi Martin on Liberation Theology

Viewpoint – Liberation Theology

Paul Vallely talks about his book ‘Pope Francis – Untying the Knots’ on BBC World News

Francis : The Pope From The End Of The World Full Documentary

Thomas Cahill on the People’s Pope

In just a few months, Pope Francis has proven to be one of the most outspoken pontiffs in recent history, especially when it comes to poverty and income inequality. In a message to be sent to world leaders marking the Roman Catholic Church’s World Day of Peace on January 1, he criticized the “widening gap between those who have more and those who must be content with the crumbs.”

Francis is the first Jesuit to ascend to the papacy, so this week Bill turns to Jesuit-educated author and historian Thomas Cahill to get his perspective on the meaning of Pope Francis and the relevance of the Church in the 21st century. “[Pope Francis] is talking about the poor, as Jesus did. He’s talking about the absolute necessity for us to take care of the poor, to do something for them.”

Cahill has written a series of best-selling books about critical moments in Western civilization; his latest is Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World.

WWJD: What Would Jesuits Drive, Symbols to Sell Tyranny

What is liberation theology?

black-liberation-theology

Barack Obama’s Black Liberation Theology

Jeremiah Wright: “God Damn America”

Jeremiah Wright on Fox

Black Liberation Theology

It’s the Theology, Stupid – Obama, Farrakhan & Black Liberation Theology

Issue Preview – The Imitation of Christ

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis (FULL Audiobook)

Eckhart Tolle: Wisdom in Daily Life

The Sound of Silence (Original Version from 1964)

Lyrics:

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a streetlamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dare
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grow
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said “The words of the prophets
Are written on subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence”

© 1964 Words and Music by Paul Simon

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence – Madison Square Garden, NYC – 2009/10/29&30

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlNyl0xML5M full text of Pope Francis’ address to US Congress

Please find below the full text of Pope Francis’ Sept. 24 address to members of the United States Congress:

Mr. Vice-President, Mr. Speaker, Honorable Members of Congress, Dear Friends,

I am most grateful for your invitation to address this Joint Session of Congress in “the land of the free asnd the home of the brave”. I would like to think that the reason for this is that I too am a son of this great continent, from which we have all received so much and toward which we share a common responsibility.

Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility. Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. You are the face of its people, their representatives. You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics. A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk. Legislative activity is always based on care for the people. To this you have been invited, called and convened by those who elected you.

Yours is a work which makes me reflect in two ways on the figure of Moses. On the one hand, the patriarch and lawgiver of the people of Israel symbolizes the need of peoples to keep alive their sense of unity by means of just legislation. On the other, the figure of Moses leads us directly to God and thus to the transcendent dignity of the human being. Moses provides us with a good synthesis of your work: you are asked to protect, by means of the law, the image and likeness fashioned by God on every human face.

Today I would like not only to address you, but through you the entire people of the United States. Here, together with their representatives, I would like to take this opportunity to dialogue with the many thousands of men and women who strive each day to do an honest day’s work, to bring home their daily bread, to save money and –one step at a time – to build a better life for their families. These are men and women who are not concerned simply with paying their taxes, but in their own quiet way sustain the life of society. They generate solidarity by their actions, and they create organizations which offer a helping hand to those most in need.

I would also like to enter into dialogue with the many elderly persons who are a storehouse of wisdom forged by experience, and who seek in many ways, especially through volunteer work, to share their stories and their insights. I know that many of them are retired, but still active; they keep working to build up this land. I also want to dialogue with all those young people who are working to realize their great and noble aspirations, who are not led astray by facile proposals, and who face difficult situations, often as a result of immaturity on the part of many adults. I wish to dialogue with all of you, and I would like to do so through the historical memory of your people.

My visit takes place at a time when men and women of good will are marking the anniversaries of several great Americans. The complexities of history and the reality of human weakness notwithstanding, these men and women, for all their many differences and limitations, were able by hard work and self- sacrifice – some at the cost of their lives – to build a better future. They shaped fundamental values which will endure forever in the spirit of the American people. A people with this spirit can live through many crises, tensions and conflicts, while always finding the resources to move forward, and to do so with dignity. These men and women offer us a way of seeing and interpreting reality. In honoring their memory, we are inspired, even amid conflicts, and in the here and now of each day, to draw upon our deepest cultural reserves.

I would like to mention four of these Americans: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.
This year marks the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the guardian of liberty, who labored tirelessly that “this nation, under God, [might] have a new birth of freedom”. Building a future of freedom requires love of the common good and cooperation in a spirit of subsidiarity and solidarity.

All of us are quite aware of, and deeply worried by, the disturbing social and political situation of the world today. Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps. We know that in the attempt to be freed of the enemy without, we can be tempted to feed the enemy within. To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place. That is something which you, as a people, reject.

Our response must instead be one of hope and healing, of peace and justice. We are asked to summon the courage and the intelligence to resolve today’s many geopolitical and economic crises. Even in the developed world, the effects of unjust structures and actions are all too apparent. Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples. We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good.

The challenges facing us today call for a renewal of that spirit of cooperation, which has accomplished so much good throughout the history of the United States. The complexity, the gravity and the urgency of these challenges demand that we pool our resources and talents, and resolve to support one another, with respect for our differences and our convictions of conscience.

In this land, the various religious denominations have greatly contributed to building and strengthening society. It is important that today, as in the past, the voice of faith continue to be heard, for it is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and in each society. Such cooperation is a powerful resource in the battle to eliminate new global forms of slavery, born of grave injustices which can be overcome only through new policies and new forms of social consensus.

Here I think of the political history of the United States, where democracy is deeply rooted in the mind of the American people. All political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776). If politics must truly be at the service of the human person, it follows that it cannot be a slave to the economy and finance. Politics is, instead, an expression of our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good: that of a community which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace, its goods, its interests, its social life. I do not underestimate the difficulty that this involves, but I encourage you in this effort.

Here too I think of the march which Martin Luther King led from Selma to Montgomery fifty years ago as part of the campaign to fulfill his “dream” of full civil and political rights for African Americans. That dream continues to inspire us all. I am happy that America continues to be, for many, a land of “dreams”. Dreams which lead to action, to participation, to commitment. Dreams which awaken what is deepest and truest in the life of a people.

In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants. Tragically, the rights of those who were here long before us were not always respected. For those peoples and their nations, from the heart of American democracy, I wish to reaffirm my highest esteem and appreciation. Those first contacts were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present. Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us. Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this.

Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12).

This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us. The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.

This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.

In these times when social concerns are so important, I cannot fail to mention the Servant of God Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement. Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.

How much progress has been made in this area in so many parts of the world! How much has been done in these first years of the third millennium to raise people out of extreme poverty! I know that you share my conviction that much more still needs to be done, and that in times of crisis and economic hardship a spirit of global solidarity must not be lost. At the same time I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope. The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes. I know that many Americans today, as in the past, are working to deal with this problem.

It goes without saying that part of this great effort is the creation and distribution of wealth. The right use of natural resources, the proper application of technology and the harnessing of the spirit of enterprise are essential elements of an economy which seeks to be modern, inclusive and sustainable. “Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good” (Laudato Si’, 129). This common good also includes the earth, a central theme of the encyclical which I recently wrote in order to “enter into dialogue with all people about our common home” (ibid., 3). “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all” (ibid., 14).

In Laudato Si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to “redirect our steps” (ibid., 61), and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States – and this Congress – have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a “culture of care” (ibid., 231) and “an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature” (ibid., 139). “We have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology” (ibid., 112); “to devise intelligent ways of… developing and limiting our power” (ibid., 78); and to put technology “at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral” (ibid., 112). In this regard, I am confident that America’s outstanding academic and research institutions can make a vital contribution in the years ahead.
A century ago, at the beginning of the Great War, which Pope Benedict XV termed a “pointless slaughter”, another notable American was born: the Cistercian monk Thomas Merton. He remains a source of spiritual inspiration and a guide for many people. In his autobiography he wrote: “I came into the world. Free by nature, in the image of God, I was nevertheless the prisoner of my own violence and my own selfishness, in the image of the world into which I was born. That world was the picture of Hell, full of men like myself, loving God, and yet hating him; born to love him, living instead in fear of hopeless self-contradictory hungers”. Merton was above all a man of prayer, a thinker who challenged the certitudes of his time and opened new horizons for souls and for the Church. He was also a man of dialogue, a promoter of peace between peoples and religions.

From this perspective of dialogue, I would like to recognize the efforts made in recent months to help overcome historic differences linked to painful episodes of the past. It is my duty to build bridges and to help all men and women, in any way possible, to do the same. When countries which have been at odds resume the path of dialogue – a dialogue which may have been interrupted for the most legitimate of reasons – new opportunities open up for all. This has required, and requires, courage and daring, which is not the same as irresponsibility. A good political leader is one who, with the interests of all in mind, seizes the moment in a spirit of openness and pragmatism. A good political leader always opts to initiate processes rather than possessing spaces (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 222-223).

Being at the service of dialogue and peace also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world. Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.

Three sons and a daughter of this land, four individuals and four dreams: Lincoln, liberty; Martin Luther King, liberty in plurality and non-exclusion; Dorothy Day, social justice and the rights of persons; and Thomas Merton, the capacity for dialogue and openness to God.

Four representatives of the American people.

I will end my visit to your country in Philadelphia, where I will take part in the World Meeting of Families. It is my wish that throughout my visit the family should be a recurrent theme. How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.

In particular, I would like to call attention to those family members who are the most vulnerable, the young. For many of them, a future filled with countless possibilities beckons, yet so many others seem disoriented and aimless, trapped in a hopeless maze of violence, abuse and despair. Their problems are our problems. We cannot avoid them. We need to face them together, to talk about them and to seek effective solutions rather than getting bogged down in discussions. At the risk of oversimplifying, we might say that we live in a culture which pressures young people not to start a family, because they lack possibilities for the future. Yet this same culture presents others with so many options that they too are dissuaded from starting a family.

A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to “dream” of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do; when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed, as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work, the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton.

In these remarks I have sought to present some of the richness of your cultural heritage, of the spirit of the American people. It is my desire that this spirit continue to develop and grow, so that as many young people as possible can inherit and dwell in a land which has inspired so many people to dream.

God bless America!

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/watch-live-coverage-of-pope-francis-address-to-us-congress-50586/

Repent! Pope Francis lectures America on gay marriage, abortion, immigration and the Syrian refugee crisis in first-ever Capitol Hill address by a sitting pontiff

  • Francis opens last day of Washington visit with rebuke of congressional Republicans over lack of compassion for immigrants and refugees
  • Papal visit comes amid rising tensions over immigration policies in Congress
  • At least one Republican is boycotting speech in protest
  • Francis lectures lawmakers about ‘defend[ing] human life at every stage of its development’ and ending the death penalty
  • Subtle jab at gay marriage: ‘I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without’

By J. TAYLOR RUSHING

Pope Francis delivered a stinging blow to nativist conservatives bent on keeping illegal immigrants and Middle Eastern refugees out of the United States, saying Thursday in a landmark address to Congress that Americans should show compassion to immigrants of all stripes.

‘When the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past,’ the Roman Catholic pontiff said. ‘We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us.’

Speaking in English – a language he has learned only recently – Francis also dropped coded messages to conservatives about gay marriage and abortion, and made an impassioned plea for a left-leaning approach to capital punishment in an unprecedented visit to Capitol Hill by a sitting Pope.

‘I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without,’ Francis told a packed House chamber filled with legislators, Supreme Court justices and multiple presidential candidates.

Pope Francis delivered a stinging blow to nativist conservatives bent on keeping illegal immigrants and Middle Eastern refugees out of the United States, saying Thursday in a landmark address to Congress that Americans should show compassion to immigrants of all stripes.

‘When the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past,’ the Roman Catholic pontiff said. ‘We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us.’

Speaking in English – a language he has learned only recently – Francis also dropped coded messages to conservatives about gay marriage and abortion, and made an impassioned plea for a left-leaning approach to capital punishment in an unprecedented visit to Capitol Hill by a sitting Pope.

‘I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without,’ Francis told a packed House chamber filled with legislators, Supreme Court justices and multiple presidential candidates.

‘Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family.’

And without mentioning abortion by name – or the name of the embattled domestic Planned Parenthood organization – Francis told lawmakers that the ‘Golden Rule … reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.’

Francis spoke calmly but emphatically, never raising his voice as presidents often do in their State of the Union addresses to joint congressional sessions.

In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.

He was greeted by polite applause at certain points – particularly when he began reciting the Golden Rule but was interrupted before he could finish – ‘do unto others as you would have done unto you.’

Also, notably, applause broke out after these words: ‘The Golden Rule reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of development.’

But the applause was never raucous, a sign that members heeded party leaders’ directive not to applaud effusively or ‘glad-handle’ Francis if they got close to him.

Behind him on the raised speaker’s dais, close watchers got a different show during the speech, as both Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner – both well-known emotional men – proved to be almost as watchable.

Throughout the speech, Biden gravely nodded his head and looked down as if in serious thought. But Boehner appeared to tear up at several points, and was openly crying later on the Speaker’s Balcony after the address.

Francis’s speech was sprinkled with references to American history, as the pontiff repeatedly referenced and occasionally quoted from President Abraham Lincoln, civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., Catholic Worker Movement founder Dorothy Day and Cistercerian monk Thomas Merton.

The pontiff made clear his firmness on the sanctity of human life, not only the veiled reference to abortion but also his opposition to the death penalty.

Biden, a Roman Catholic who co-presided over the Joint Session of Congress as the constitutionally appointed president of the U.S. Senate, caused a stir this week by declaring that he believes life begins at conception.

But it’s Francis’ comments about immigrants that will be most sharply felt as the U.S. deals with the twin crises of Syrian refugees and an immigrant invasion from Mexico and Central America, both of which the Obama administration has taken steps to pacify by loosening America’s borders as a show of compassion.

‘Thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones in search of greater opportunities’ in in North America, he said. ‘Is this not what we want for our own children?’

‘We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal.’

WIthout naming Syria, the Muslim faith, the ISIS terror army, or any of the European nations that have hedged their bets again welcoming the tide of migrants displaced by Islamist armies, Francis noted ‘a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War.’

‘This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions,’ he said.

Ultimately the shepherd of more than 1.2 billion Catholics counseled adherence to a Biblical do-unto-others philosophy.

‘Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated,’ he implored Congress. ‘Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves.’

‘In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.’

Francis did warn against religious fundamentalism of the type that drew ISIS into the fight that has displaced an estimated 4 million Syrians, mostly young men.

‘Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion,’ he said.

‘We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind.’

But he split the baby, Solomon-like, between combating ‘violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system’ on the one hand, and ‘safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms’ on the other.

It’s no surprise that the Pope made a point to lecture Congress about the death penalty, a sticking point with the Church as it deals with governments the world over.

A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to “dream” of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do.

‘Society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes,’ he said Thursday.

‘Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.’

Reaction to the pope’s speech united Democrats in effusiveness, such as Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, who called it ‘inspiring and uplifting to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.’

‘He has such optimism in human nature and in the future, and is calling upon our better angels to achieve the best goodness we can for humankind,’  Schumer said.

Republicans were more terse. While none panned the speech, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin – the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee, was among those who pointedly noted the pontiff’s call for religious freedom.

Ryan called it ‘timely and inspiring,’ in light of social divisions over gay marriage that have some complaining that the government isn’t respecting the freedom of those who disagree with the practice.

Outside of Congress, critics were easier to find. John-Henry Westen, editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews, and a longtime anti-abortion activist, called the speech ‘a missed opportunity’ to influence the ongoing congressional debate over whether to fund Planned Parenthood.

‘Pope Francis just missed perhaps his greatest opportunity to make a difference on life,’ Westen said in a statement.

Shortly after his address, Francis appeared on the Speaker’s balcony, a small patio that looks out over the Capitol’s west-side lawn towards the National Mall and the Washington Monument.

Here, he began a short address in Spanish, then switched to Italian, and finished in English.

‘I am so grateful for your presence here,’ Francis said. ‘The most important ones here – children. I will ask God to bless them.’

Following a short prayer in Italian, Francis continued in Italian to ask the audience for their prayers on his own behalf, and even asked those ‘who do not believe or cannot pray… to send good wishes my way.’

‘Thank you very much, and God bless America,’ Francis finished in English.

Francis’s speech to a fractitious Congress had many Republicans wary of a lecture, as the pope is a well-known advocate of efforts to battle air pollution and has embraced the Democratic Party’s traditional acceptance of global warming.

In a meeting with Obama on Wednesday, Francis had reportedly called Obama’s efforts to fight climate change ‘encouraging.’

Francis has also been an outspoken opponent of unbridled capitalism and has advocated forcefully for more income equality around the globe – stances which align him closely with the White House but which have been staunchly opposed by congressional Republicans.

Underscoring the tension over those and other issues, at least one House Republican, Paul Gosar, boycotted the pope’s speech out of protest.

Francis arrived at the Capitol at 9:20 a.m., beginning his visit with a photo-op with House Speaker John Boehner that was only open to the press for about two minutes.

Boehner made a few awkward attempts at jokes, at one point saying he wanted to wear ‘a more conservative tie,’ than the green one he was wearing, at which point Francis signalled his approval of Boehner’s tie to soft laughter. An interpreter hovered between the two men.

The speech in the House of Representatives was attended by more than 500 senators and representatives and Supreme Court justices. As is customary for State of the Union speeches, Francis was flanked behind him by Boehner and Biden, who first met Francis Tuesday at Andrews Air Force Base.

Francis’ speech comes on his last day of a three-day trip to Washington.

After touching down at Andrews Air Force Base from Cuba late Tuesday, the pontiff was greeted by a welcoming ceremony at the White House on Wednesday morning, followed by a private Oval Office visit with President Obama and an address at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in downtown D.C.

Following his congressional speech, Francis is scheduled to address a much smaller audience of about 200 people in the Catholic Charities organization at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, before leaving for Andrews Air Force Base and then to New York City.

The pontiff visits New York on Friday and Saturday – which will include an address to the United Nations on Friday – and then Philadelphia later on Saturday and Sunday.

He returns to Rome on Sunday from Philadelphia.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3247609/Francis-takes-Congress-task-immigration-abortion-gay-marriage-Syrian-refugee-crisis-insists-Golden-Rule-approach-politics-Capitol-Hill-address-sitting-pontiff.html

Pope’s call for immigration leniency unlikely to change debate

Vatican has most restrictive immigration policy

Pope Francis is more than head of the Catholic Church — he’s also the head of state of the Vatican, which as a government has possibly the most restrictive immigration and citizenship policies of any nation in the world.

The pope, traveling to the U.S. for the first time, has made a special appeal to Americans to welcome immigrants, using his address to a joint meeting of Congress Thursday to invoke the Golden Rule in demanding generosity toward the millions of Central and South Americans seeking to come to the country.

“Thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children?” he said. “We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’”

Immigrant-rights groups had eagerly anticipated the pope’s message, as had illegal immigrants themselves.

Sofi Cruz, a five-year-old American citizen whose parents are illegal immigrants from Mexico, broke through the tight security around the pope during a parade on the National Mall Wednesday to hand him a letter begging him to pressure Congress and the White House to take steps to grant her parents legal status.

The pontiff didn’t mention illegal immigration during his speech Thursday, but did refer to the large numbers of people coming from Latin America. Advocacy groups cheered his words, saying his call for unity and acceptance should temper some of the harsh rhetoric that’s flared recently.

“At this moment, with many political candidates and elected officials fanning the flames of intolerance and divisiveness, let us hope that our leaders take the Holy Father’s powerful message to heart,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice.

But lawmakers doubted his words would break the legislative stalemate in Congress.

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, said he took the pope’s call for compassion to be a celebration of legal immigration — and said he welcomed that.

Rep. Michael Burgess, Texas Republican, said the U.S. is already doing its part to heed calls for compassion.

“The thing that always strikes me when we get into these discussions is the United States takes in more people every year legally than the rest of the world combined,” he said. “You stat from that premise — it was 1.7 million last year, you want to add another 400,000 to 600,000 that came in without the benefit of doing it the right way. What is the right number? If over 2 million is not enough, would someone please tell me what that right number is, and would other countries act accordingly.”

The Vatican, for its part, welcomes millions of visitors a year — but allows only a very select few, who meet strict criteria, to be admitted as residents or citizens.

Only about 450 of its 800 or so residents actually hold citizenship, according to a 2012 study by the Library of Congress. That study said citizens are either church cardinals who reside in the Vatican, the Holy See’s diplomats around the world, and those who have to reside in the city because of their jobs, such as the Swiss Guard.

Spouses and children who live in the city because of their relationship with citizens — including the Swiss Guard and workers such as the gardener — can also be granted citizenship. But that means few of the Vatican’s citizens are women.

A Vatican spokesman did not return an email seeking comment on its policy.

The strict policy has left the Vatican open to criticism in the past, including from right-wing political leaders in Italy who want tighter immigration controls in their country and have rebuffed the papacy’s calls for leniency by asking how many refugees live in the enclave.

Pope Francis, however, has taken some steps to mitigate those attacks, matching his call earlier this month for churches to host Syrian refugees with a vow that the Vatican itself would take in a couple of refugee families.

Last week the Vatican government announced it had accepted a mother, father and two children who are Melkite Greek Catholics, and who have asked for asylum in Italy.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/24/pope-call-immigration-unlikely-change-debate/

Pope Francis: Untying the Knots by Paul Vallely – review

An exploration of Pope Francis’s liberal reputation and murky past lifts this book well above the nervous reverence of much papal biography

The Roman Catholic papacy is understandably compared to a monarchy: a pope wears a crown, sits on a throne and, while he is debarred from having heirs, the cardinals are styled as pseudo-filial “princes”. Pontiffs differ from monarchs in one significant way, however: succession.

While we have recently endured multitudinous articles about how the royal baby might rule as King George VII in, say, half a century’s time, most popes come as a surprise. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis, had tendered his resignation as cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires (having reached ecclesiastical retirement age), and chosen his room in an Argentinian clergy retirement house, before flying to Rome to vote on a successor to Benedict XVI. Bergoglio had been mentioned in almost none of the media pieces on who would next rule the Vatican and, were Catholic priests not discouraged from gambling, could have got odds of 30-1 against himself at turf accountants.

The absence of any line of succession or electoral primaries creates problems for authors of papal biographies. Their books have most in common with the campaign-biogs that are rushed out by informed journalists as soon as the contenders to be next American president become known. However, with no shortlisting system, the papal biographer has to write after the election and with a speed that reflects the fickleness of public interest and the risk of being overtaken by what the new man does in post.

Two recognised classics of the form were inspired by shock events: Peter Hebblethwaite’s The Year of Three Popes (1979) was a quick-turnaround work covering the transition from Paul VI to John Paul I and then John Paul II, a time later covered more reflectively in John Cornwell’s A Thief in the Night (1989), which examined the theory that the first John Paul I had lasted for only 33 days because of the literally or metaphorically murderous pressure caused by opponents of his attempt to reform the Vatican civil service. Paul Vallely has the advantage that he is dealing with the only equivalently dramatic handover in the modern history of the papacy. The startling resignation of Benedict XVI and the subsequent oddity of a papal election that did not follow a funeral shape a story that could have been titled, after Hebblethwaite, “The Summer of Two Popes”.

With the apparent help of at least one good source within the college of cardinals (who are officially sworn to secrecy until death), Vallely gives riveting accounts of the “conclaves” in which first, in 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger was named Benedict XVI to follow John Paul II and then, in 2012, the first pope from the Americas was selected to succeed Benedict.

As Vallely tells it, Bergoglio of Buenos Aires ran Ratzinger close eight years ago, but his candidacy was hobbled by the circulation among the cardinals of a dossier alleging that the Argentinian had colluded with the country’s military dictatorship in the mid-70s arrest of two fellow Jesuit priests, who were subsequently imprisoned and tortured.

These allegations, which may have prevented him from becoming pope last time, rapidly resurfaced when he claimed the white skull-cap, and form one of two opposed simplistic narratives about the new pope that exist in the mainstream media: the rightwing sympathiser with blood on his hands, or the humble reformer who lived among the poor in the slums and is so without ego or ceremony that, after becoming the leader of the world’s Catholics, he personally phoned his newsagent back home to cancel future deliveries.

The conclusion of Pope Francis: Untying the Knots – which takes its title from a favourite devotional painting of Bergoglio’s in which the mother of Christ symbolically unravels a twisted rope – is that there is partial truth in both those stereotypes, which combine to reveal a man of sometimes tortured complexity.

Vallely, after tough-minded analysis, rejects the suggestions of some (led by the journalist Horacio Verbitsky) that Bergoglio, who at the time was head of the Jesuits in Argentina, was a lackey of the Videla dictatorship. However, he accepts that the two Jesuit priests were placed in jeopardy by their then superior’s decision to withdraw from them the protection of the Jesuit order as part of a row over the way that the gospels should be taught. Against this clear failure by Bergoglio, though, the biographer sets evidence of moral courage and bravery, including the smuggling out of others threatened by the junta.

Fascinatingly, Vallely argues that the Bergoglio lionised by liberals – living in the slums where he was so non-churchy that he was known as “The Dude”, and urging compassion towards those traditionally ostracised by Catholicism – developed during the latter part of his life in direct response to the priest’s guilt and self-chastisement over his actions under the dictatorship. Support for the book’s theory that Bergoglio is haunted by guilt comes in the startling detail that, when asked in the conclave if he accepted the vote to become pope, he replied not with the traditional “Accepto” but the words: “I am a great sinner, trusting in the mercy and patience of God in suffering, I accept.”

This strong suggestion that Bergoglio may hope that what he does as pope will atone for some actions earlier in his priestly career lifts the book well above the nervous reverence of much papal biography, and should recommend it to an audience broader than Catholics – although such readers may struggle with the text’s tendency towards untranslated doctrinal vocabulary such as “charism”, “breviary”, “homiliar” and “pre-conciliar”.

More accessible are the sections about ecclesiastical intrigue that remind us why Morris West, Michael Dibdin and Dan Brown found the Vatican such fertile territory for thrillers. One of Bergoglio’s long-time foes in the Buenos Aires church was apparently so riled when his rival became pope that he refused to ring the bells of his parish to celebrate. And Vallely’s account of the new pope’s apparent determination to reform the corrupt Vatican bureacracy and banking system, after reading a secret report locked in a safe by Benedict XVI, reads like a lost, unexpectedly literate chapter of The Da Vinci Code.

The book bears some marks of hasty publication, with missing words and wobbly punctuation that might have been picked up through more leisurely correction. And, strangely, an afterword repeats several anecdotes and facts that have already appeared (and sometimes more than once) in the main text, but without any inflection that recognises the repetition, so that this closing section reads like a stand-alone magazine article.

Otherwise, it’s hard to imagine the rapid papal biography being done better: Vallely brings to the task a combination of sore-footed reporting (especially in Buenos Aires) and quick‑minded thought. Generously, he even hints at a possible future pope: Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, who was apparently ruled out as too young (at 55) last time. If Tagle does ever get the top job, may he be as lucky in his biographer as Bergoglio has been.

Liberation theology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Liberation theology has been described as “an interpretation of Christian faith out of the experience of the poor…an attempt to read the Bible and key Christian doctrines with the eyes of the poor”,[1] or “the message of the gospels”, restored from “the first three centuries [of Christianity in which] it was … a pacifist … religion of the poor”.[2] Detractors have called it Christianized Marxism.[3]

The best-known form of liberation theology is that which developed in Latin America in the 1950s, however various other forms of liberation theology have since developed, including Asian, Black, and Palestinian liberation theologies.[citation needed]

Although liberation theology has grown into an international and inter-denominational movement, it began as a movement within the Catholic Church in Latin America in the 1950s and 1960s. Liberation theology arose principally as a moral reaction to the poverty and social injustice in the region. The term was coined in 1971 by the Peruvian priestGustavo Gutiérrez, who wrote one of the movement’s defining books, A Theology of Liberation. Other noted exponents include Leonardo Boff of Brazil, Jon Sobrino of Spain, and Juan Luis Segundo of Uruguay.[4][5]

Latin American liberation theology met opposition in the United States,[2] which accused it of using “Marxist concepts”, and led to admonishment by the Vatican‘s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in 1984 and 1986. The Vatican disliked certain forms of Latin American liberation theology for focusing on institutionalized or systemic sin; and for identifying Catholic Church hierarchy in South America as members of the same privileged class that had long been oppressing indigenous populations from the arrival of Pizarro onward.[6]

Theology

Liberation theology could be interpreted as an attempt to return to the gospel of the early church where Christianity is politically and culturally decentralized.[7]

Liberation theology proposes to fight poverty by addressing its alleged source: sin. In so doing, it explores the relationship between Christian theology (especiallyRoman Catholic) and political activism, especially in relation to social justice, poverty, and human rights. The principal methodological innovation is seeing theology from the perspective of the poor and the oppressed. For example, Jon Sobrino, S.J., argues that the poor are a privileged channel of God’s grace.

Some liberation theologians base their social action upon the Bible scriptures describing the mission of Jesus Christ, as bringing a sword (social unrest), e.g., Isaiah 61:1, Matthew 10:34, Luke 22:35–38 — and not as bringing peace (social order).[better source needed] This Biblical interpretation is a call to action against poverty, and the sin engendering it, to effect Jesus Christ’s mission of justice in this world.

Gustavo Gutiérrez gave the movement its name with his book A Theology of Liberation (1971). In this book, Gutierrez combined populist ideas with the social teachings of the Catholic Church. He was influenced by an existing socialist current in the Church which included organizations such as the Catholic Worker Movement and the Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne, a Belgian Christian youth worker organization. He was also influenced by Paul Gauthier‘s The Poor, Jesus and the Church (1965). Gutierrez’s book is based on an understanding of history in which the human being is seen as assuming conscious responsibility for human destiny, and yet Christ the Savior liberates the human race from sin, which is the root of all disruption of friendship and of all injustice and oppression.[8]

Gutierrez also popularized the phrase “preferential option for the poor“, which became a slogan of liberation theology and later appeared in addresses of the Pope.[9] Drawing from the biblical motif on the poor, Gutierrez asserts that God is revealed as having a preference for those people who are “insignificant”, “marginalized”, “unimportant”, “needy”, “despised”, and “defenseless”. Moreover, he makes clear that terminology of “the poor” in scripture has social and economic connotations that etymologically go back to the Greek word, ptōchos.[10] To be sure, as to not misinterpret Gutierrez’s definition of the term “preferential option”, he stresses, “Preference implies the universality of God’s love, which excludes no one. It is only within the framework of this universality that we can understand the preference, that is, ‘what comes first'”.[11]

Gutierrez emphasized practice (or, more technically, “praxis“) over doctrine. Gutierrez clarified his position by advocating a circular relationship between orthodoxyand orthopraxis seeing the two as having a symbiotic relationship.[12] Gutierrez’ reading of prophets condemning oppression and injustice against the poor (i.e., Jeremiah 22:13–17) informs his assertion that to know God (orthodoxy) is to do justice (orthopraxis).[13] Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI), however, criticized liberation theology for elevating orthopraxis to the level of orthodoxy.[14] Richard McBrien summarizes this concept as follows:

God is disclosed in the historical “praxis” of liberation. It is the situation, and our passionate and reflective involvement in it, which mediates the Word of God. Today that Word is mediated through the cries of the poor and the oppressed.[15]

Another important hallmark for Gutierrez’s brand of liberation theology is an interpretation of revelation as “history”. For example, Gutierrez wrote:

History is the scene of the revelation God makes of the mystery of his person. His word reaches us in the measure of our involvement in the evolution of history.[16]

Gutierrez also considered the Church to be the “sacrament of history”, an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, thus pointing to the doctrine of universal salvation as the true means to eternal life, and assigning the Church itself to a somewhat temporal role, namely, liberation.

The struggle of women for social justice has given rise to its own liberation theology, frequently known as feminist theology in Europe and North America. Black women and other women of color in the United States speak of womanist theology, while Mujerista theology denotes the liberation theology of Hispanic women.[17]

History of Latin American Liberation Theology

A major player in the formation of liberation theology was CELAM, the Latin American Episcopal Conference. Created in 1955 in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), CELAM pushed the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) toward a more socially oriented stance.[18] However, CELAM never supported liberation theology as such, since liberation theology was frowned upon by the Vatican, with Pope Paul VI trying to slow the movement after the Second Vatican Council.[19][citation needed]

More or less at the same time as the initial publications of Latin American Liberation Theology we also find voices of Black Liberation Theology and Feminist Liberation Theology as well.[20]

After the Second Vatican Council, CELAM held two conferences which were important in determining the future of liberation theology: the first was held in Medellín,Colombia, in 1968, and the second in Puebla, Mexico, in January 1979.[18] The Medellín conference debated how to apply the teachings of Vatican II to Latin America, and its conclusions were strongly influenced by liberation theology.[6] Although liberation theology grew out of these officially recognized ideas, the Medellín document is not a liberation theology document. It did, however, lay the groundwork, and since then liberation theology has developed rapidly in the Latin American Catholic Church.[21]

Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo was a central figure at the Medellín Conference, and was elected in 1972 as general secretary of CELAM. He represented a more orthodox position, becoming a favorite of Pope John Paul II and the “principal scourge of liberation theology”.[22] Trujillo’s faction became predominant in CELAM after the 1972 Sucre conference, and in the Roman Curia after the CELAM conference in Puebla, Mexico, in January 1979.

Despite the orthodox bishops’ predominance in CELAM, a more radical form of liberation theology remained much supported in South America. Thus, the 1979 Puebla Conference was an opportunity for orthodox bishops to reassert control of the radical elements; but they failed. At the Puebla Conference, the orthodox reorientation was met by strong opposition from the liberal part of the clergy, which supported the concept of a “preferential option for the poor“. This concept had been approved at the Medellín conference by Bishop Ricard Durand, president of the Commission about Poverty.

Pope John Paul II gave the opening speech at the Puebla Conference. The general tone of his remarks was conciliatory. He criticized radical liberation theology, saying, “this conception of Christ, as a political figure, a revolutionary, as the subversive of Nazareth, does not tally with the Church’s catechisms“; however, he did speak of “the ever increasing wealth of the rich at the expense of the ever increasing poverty of the poor”, and affirmed both the principle of private property and that the Church “must preach, educate individuals and collectivities, form public opinion, and offer orientations to the leaders of the peoples” towards the goal of a “more just and equitable distribution of goods”.[23]

Some liberation theologians, however, including Gutierrez, had been barred from attending the Puebla Conference. Working from a seminary and with aid from sympathetic, liberal bishops, they partially obstructed other clergy’s efforts to ensure that the Puebla Conference documents satisfied conservative concerns. Within four hours of the Pope’s speech, Gutiérrez and the other priests wrote a 20-page refutation, which was circulated at the conference, and has been claimed to have influenced the final outcome of the conference. According to a socio-political study of liberation theology in Latin America, a quarter of the final Puebla documents were written by theologians who were not invited to the conference.[24] Cardinal Trujillo said that this affirmation is “an incredible exaggeration” (Ben Zabel 2002:139).

Practice

One of the most radical aspects of liberation theology was the social organization, or reorganization, of church practice through the model of Christian base communities (CBCs). Liberation theology strove to be a bottom-up movement in practice, with Biblical interpretation and liturgical practice designed by lay practitioners themselves, rather than by the orthodox Church hierarchy. In this context, sacred text interpretation is understood as “praxis”. Liberation theology seeks to interpret the actions of the Catholic Church and the teachings of Jesus Christ from the perspective of the poor and disadvantaged. By approaching theology “from the perspective of the poor”, Liberation Theologians believe that they can turn the poor who are “the object of church teaching to the subject of church action” (Edward Russell).[citation needed] In Latin America, liberation theologians specifically target the severe disparities between rich and poor in the existing social and economic orders within the nations’ political and corporate structures. It is a strong critique of the various economic and social structures, such as an oppressive government, dependence upon First World countries and the traditional hierarchical Church, that allow some to be extremely rich while others are unable to even have safe drinking water.[21]

The journalist and writer Penny Lernoux described this aspect of liberation theology in her numerous and committed writings intended to explain the movement’s ideas in North America. Base communities were small gatherings, usually outside of churches, in which the Bible could be discussed, and Mass could be said. They were especially active in rural parts of Latin America where parish priests were not always available, as they placed a high value on lay participation. In May 2007, it was estimated that 80,000 base communities existed in Brazil.[25]

Contemporaneously, Fanmi Lavalas in Haiti, the Landless Workers’ Movement in Brazil, and Abahlali baseMjondolo in South Africa are three organizations that make use of liberation theology.[26]

Brazilian Liberation Theology

The Brazilian Catholic Church is arguably one of the most theologically progressive Catholic congregations due, in large part, to a history of violent military and political conflicts as well as a divisive socioeconomic climate. During Brazil’s military rule from 1964 to 1985, the Catholic Church and its members assumed responsibility to provide services to the poor and disenfranchised, often under threat of persecution. The Vatican II and Medellín conference innovations in liberation theology entered the Brazilian Church as the Brazilian lower classes experienced sharply deteriorating economic and political conditions. Among these were an increase in landownership concentration, a decline in wages and standards of living, and a rise in the military state’s political repression and violence, including mass detainment, torture, and the assassination of political opponents.[27]

Base ecclesial communities

After decades of repression from the government authorities, the liberationist Catholic Church in Brazil is absent of traditional centralization and encourages an increased lay participation. Faced with a severe priest shortage, much of the Brazilian Catholic Church is organized into Base Ecclesial Communities or, “CEBs” in which the Mass, community spirituality programs, and community needs are led or addressed by a single clergy member or a trained lay member in either a small chapel or an individual’s home. The CEBs introduced new social ideas and democratic methods which led to many participants’ active involvement in popular movements of Brazil that worked for progressive social change. An example of progressive social change initiated by the CEBs is in Nova Iguaçu. A health program began there to try to organize the population in order to remedy widespread malnutrition, open sewers, and other health hazards.[21] Eventually the neighborhood initiative reached a national interest level where it then became a mass movement in nearly every neighborhood. Initiatives like the health program in Nova Iguacu illustrate how CEBs have helped the transition from military to democratic rule.

While liberation theology has brought about significant progressive reforms in Brazil, anthropologist Robin Nagle questions the effectiveness of Catholic Church theology in Brazil. Nagle concentrates on the conflict between conservatives and liberationists in Recife, Brazil, in 1990. The poor neighborhood of Morro da Conceição had a liberationist priest named Reginaldo who was expelled by the traditionalist archbishop because the archbishop found Reginaldo’s politics and social theology annoying and adverse to his own agenda. When Reginaldo and his followers refused to accept the expulsion and the new priest, the archbishop called in the Military Police. Conversely, the event did not cause a mass response because the liberationist agenda aroused distrust and even hatred among many of its intended audience. The main reason was that it was too much to ask poor parishioners to embrace a Church focused more on the troubles of this life than solace in the next.[28]

While Robin Nagle claims that liberation theology is ineffective for genuine social change, anthropologist Manuel Vasquez argues that liberation theology embraced by CEBs create a twofold effect, because it not only provided moral justification for resistance but it also served as a means to organize the resistance. Many people come to the CEB through conversion experiences, but also because they are keenly concerned with the spiritual and infrastructural needs of their community.[29]Through his fieldwork in working-class neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro, Vasquez reveals that CEBs combat disenfranchisement but also serve to overcome the obstacles associated with materialism and globalization. The social and political impact can be viewed in terms of initial consciousness-raising, the motivation for involvement, the sense of community they develop, the experience of grassroots democracy, the direct actions they engage in, and finally, directly political actions.[21]

Liberation theology and indigenous Brazil

The Tapeba

Anthropologist and author Max Maranhao Piorsky Aires analyzes the influence of liberation theology on the transformation of the indigenous Tapeba people of Brazil from poor, uneducated inhabitants neglected by the state to rights-bearing and involved citizens. Specifically he largely attributes the work of the Brazilian Catholic Church to the progression of the Tapeba. The Catholic Church enlisted state authorities, anthropologists, and journalists to help uncover the identity of neglected indigenous peoples of Brazil. Early recognition by missionaries and followers of liberation theology stimulated indigenous identification of the Tapeba population as a possibility for attaining rights, especially land, health, and education.[30] The Church gathered and contributed historical knowledge of indigenous territory and identity of the Tapeba in Caucaia that ultimately succeeded in the tribes obtaining a legally codified identity as well as a rightful place as Brazilian subjects.

Gurupá

In Gurupá, the Catholic Church employed liberation theology to defend indigenous tribes, farmers, and extractors from land expropriation by federal or corporate forces. New religious ideas, in the form of liberation theology, have fortified and legitimized an evolving political culture of resistance.[27] Meanwhile, the Church-supported Base Ecclesial Communities (CEBs) have promoted stronger social connections among community members that has led to more effective activism in Gurupá. Anthropologist Richard Pace’s study of Gurupá revealed that CEBs assured safety in united activism, and, combined with liberation theology, encouraged members to challenge landowner’s commercial monopolies and fight for better standards of living. Pace references a specific incident in the CEB of Nossa Senhora de Fátima, in which a community of 24 families of farmers, timber extractors, and traders resisted an extra-regional timber extraction firm. The community negotiated an agreement with the firm that gained them a higher standard of living that included imported goods, increased food availability, and access to health care. While severe social dislocations such as government-initiated capitalist penetration, land expropriation, and poor wages persist, small-farmer activism is fortified by liberation theology and receives structural support from unions, political parties, and church organizations.[27]

Vatican reaction

Cardinal Ratzinger

In March 1983, Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI), head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), made ten observations of Gutiérrez’s theology, accusing Gutiérrez of politically interpreting the Bible in supporting temporal messianism, and stating that the predominance of orthopraxisover orthodoxy in his thought proved a Marxist influence. Ratzinger objected that the spiritual concept of the Church as “People of God” is transformed into a “Marxist myth”. In liberation theology he declared, the “people is the antithesis of the hierarchy, the antithesis of all institutions, which are seen as oppressive powers. Ultimately anyone who participates in the class struggle is a member of the “people”; the “Church of the people” becomes the antagonist of the hierarchical Church”.[31]

Cardinal Ratzinger did praise liberation theology in some respects, including its ideal of justice, its rejection of violence, and its stress on “the responsibility which Christians necessarily bear for the poor and oppressed.”[31] He subsequently stated that no one could be neutral in the face of injustice, and referred to the “crimes” of colonialism and the “scandal” of the arms race. Nonetheless, media reports tended to assume that the condemnation of “liberation theology” meant a rejection of such attitudes and an endorsement of conservative politics.[citation needed]

In 1984, it was reported that a meeting occurred between the CDF and the CELAM bishops, during which a rift developed between Ratzinger and some of the bishops,[32] with Ratzinger issuing official condemnations of certain elements of liberation theology.[33][34] These “Instructions” rejected as Marxist the idea that class struggle is fundamental to history, and rejected the interpretation of religious phenomena such as the Exodus and the Eucharist in exclusively political terms. Ratzinger further stated that liberation theology had a major flaw in that it attempted to apply Christ’s sermon on the mount teachings about the poor to present social situations.[35] He asserted that Christ’s teaching on the poor meant that we will be judged when we die, with particular attention to how we personally have treated the poor.

Ratzinger also argued that liberation theology is not originally a “grass-roots” movement among the poor, but rather, a creation of Western intellectuals: “an attempt to test, in a concrete scenario, ideologies that have been invented in the laboratory by European theologians” and in a certain sense itself a form of “cultural imperialism”. Ratzinger saw this as a reaction to the demise or near-demise of the “Marxist myth” in the West.[31]

Throughout the 1990s, Ratzinger, as prefect of the CDF, continued to condemn these elements in liberation theology, and prohibited dissident priests from teaching such doctrines in the Catholic Church’s name. Leonardo Boff was suspended and others were censured. Tissa Balasuriya, in Sri Lanka, was excommunicated.Sebastian Kappen, an Indian theologian, was also censured for his book Jesus and Freedom.[36] Under Cardinal Ratzinger’s influence, theological formation schools were forbidden from using the Catholic Church’s organization and grounds to teach liberation theology in the sense of theology using unacceptable Marxist ideas, not in the broader sense.

Towards reconciliation under Pope Francis

According to Roberto Bosca, an historian at Austral University in Buenos Aires, Father Jorge Bergoglio (later Pope Francis) had “a reputation as an opponent of liberation theology during the 1970s” but he “accepted the premise of liberation theology, especially the option for the poor, but in a ‘nonideological’ fashion”.[37]Before becoming Pope, Bergoglio said, “The option for the poor comes from the first centuries of Christianity. It’s the Gospel itself. If you were to read one of the sermons of the first fathers of the Church, from the second or third centuries, about how you should treat the poor, you’d say it was Maoist or Trotskyist. The Church has always had the honor of this preferential option for the poor…At the Second Vatican Council the Church was redefined as the People of God and this idea really took off at the Second Conference of the Latin-American bishops in Medellín“.[38] Bosca said Bergoglio was not opposed to liberation theology itself but to “giving a Catholic blessing to armed insurgency”, specifically the Montoneros, who claimed liberation theology as part of their political ideology.[37]Blase Bonpane, a formerMaryknoll father and founding director of the Office of the Americas, said “The new pope has not been comfortable with liberation theology”.[39]

On September 11, 2013, Pope Francis hosted Fr. Gutierrez in his residence, leading some to comment that this was a sign of warming relations between the hierarchy and liberation theologians.[40][41] The same month, L’Osservatore Romano published an article praising Gutierrez by the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Müller.[40] On January 18, 2014, Pope Francis met with Fr. Arturo Paoli, an Italian priest whom the Pope knew from Paoli’s long service in Argentina. Paoli is recognized as an exponent of liberation theology avant la lettre and the meeting was seen as a sign of “reconciliation” between the Vatican and the liberationists.[42]

Miguel d’Escoto, a Maryknoll priest from Nicaragua, had been sanctioned with an a divinis suspension from his public functions in 1984 by Pope John Paul II, for political activity in the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Pope Francis lifted the suspension in August 2014, in response to a request by d’Escoto.[43]

At a 2015 press conference in the Vatican hosted by Caritas International, the federation of Catholic relief agencies, Fr. Gutiérrez noted that while there had been some difficult moments in the past dialogue with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, liberation theology had never been condemned. Although he saw an increasingly clear emphasis on Church teachings on the poor, he did not consider that liberation theology was undergoing a rehabilitation, since it had never been “dishabilitated”.[44]

Other traditions

Black Liberation Theology

Black liberation theology is a theological perspective which seeks to liberate people of color from multiple forms of political, social, economic, and religious subjugation and views Christian theology as a theology of liberation. An example is the work of James Cone.[45]

Womanist and Feminist Liberation Theology

In the early 1970s some womanist or feminist theologians and practitioners began to develop concepts of liberation within the context of male-dominated societies. An example is the work of Rosemary Ruether.[46]

Palestinian Liberation Theology

Palestinian liberation theology is a form of contextual theology that represents an attempt by a number of independently working Palestinian theologians from various denominations—mostly Protestant mainline churches—to articulate the gospel message in such a way as to make that liberating gospel relevant to the perceived needs of their indigenous flocks. As a rule, this articulation involves a condemnation of the State of Israel, a theological underpinning of Palestinian resistance to Israel as well as Palestinian national aspirations, and an intense valorisation of Palestinian ethnic and cultural identity as guarantors of a truer grasp of the gospel by virtue of the fact that they are the indigenous inhabitants of the land of Jesus and the Bible. The principal figure in Palestinian liberation theology is theAnglican cleric Naim Ateek, founder of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem.[47]

Related movements

See also

People

Theologians

Further reading

  • Lernoux, Penny, Cry of the people: United States involvement in the rise of fascism, torture, and murder and the persecution of the Catholic Church in Latin America. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1980.
  • Alves, Rubem, Towards a Theology of Liberation (1968).
  • De La Torre, Miguel A., Handbook on U.S. Theologies of Liberation (Chalice Press, 2004).
  • Ratzinger, Joseph Cardinal, “Liberation Theology” (preliminary notes to 1984 Instruction)
  • Gutiérrez, Gustavo, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics and Salvation, Orbis Books, 1988.
  • Kirylo, James D. Paulo Freire: The Man from Recife. New York: Peter Lang, 2011.
  • Nash, Ronald, ed. Liberation Theology. First ed. Milford, Mich.: Mott Media, 1984. ISBN 0-88062-121-4
  • Smith, Christian, The Emergence of Liberation Theology: Radical Religion and the Social Movement Theory, University of Chicago Press, 1991.
  • Marxism and Missions / Missions et Marxisme, special issue of the journal Social Sciences and Missions, Volume 22/2, 2009

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberation_theology

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