Chris Matthews Clueless On Why Hillary’s Private Email Account Is Suspicious

MSNBC

The New York Times piece by Michael S. Schmidt on Hillary Rodham Clinton using a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state has many of her supporters scrambling to justify her actions. Mrs. Clinton’s exclusive use of a personal email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department is a serious breach of federal law since these communications are considered government records.

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews thinks that Mrs. Clinton not using a secure government email account is not worthy of scrutiny. He compared the use of personal email for official government correspondence with the petty violation of stealing office supplies for use at home.

I don’t know with this formal custom how often it’s honored, how often it’s not. It’s almost like don’t take your pens home and use them at home. I wonder if it’s one of those roles.

Matthews asked former campaign strategist David Axelrod if this should be a NYT front page story.

David Axelrod, you’ve got experience with this. What did you – you think this is something worth the top of the fold of the New York Times? Hillary Clinton didn’t use her email instead of her government email? Is this worthy of this kind of hootin’ and hollerin’?

Jonathan Allen, Bloomberg News D.C. Bureau Chief, explained to the Hardball host that all government letters and emails belong to American citizens.

I think what’s interesting about this story, it used to be the criticism that the Clintons wanted to re-write history. Now it seems that Hillary Clinton doesn’t want to have history recorded at all with these emails. I mean, it’s disturbing on the level, you know, as Ron pointed out today, these are our emails. This is our information and I think it goes to a larger question.

Matthews interrupted with a weak analogy that Mrs. Clinton should be able to send her husband an email to meet at a restaurant for dinner through a private email account. Mr. Allen responded that a private email is permissible for personal communications, but all government business needs to be conducted on a government email server.

You can have a private email for your private conversations. But you shouldn’t be conducting government business from your private email account. And honestly, if you look at the way this is set up, it was set up with a forethought to evade the spirit of the open records laws. I mean, it’s the pattern almost of paranoia.

Matthews interrupted Allen in an attempt to defend the former secretary of state.

What was the law at the time she did this? What was the law at the time she did this? I thought the law didn’t come into effect after…

h/t: Newsbusters

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

‘Morning Joe’ Defend Chris Christie From NYT Article By Highlighting The Clintons’ Royal Lifestyle

Joe Scarborough

A New York Times report about New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie’s lavish lifestyle stumped the hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe Tuesday. They wondered what said article would have looked like if it were about the Clintons.

People have talked about Hillary Clinton recently due to her potential 2016 presidential bid; last summer, her erroneous and callous claims of being “dead broke” and “truly not well off” were largely frowned down upon.

Co-host Joe Scarborough expounded on those talking points, remarking that it would be interesting to see an article placing the Clintons under the same scrutiny:

They talked about the one night that Chris Christie was around Bono. Would we like to count the nights that the Clintons have been around Bono, Beyoncé, rockstars, kings and queens? They have lived an extraordinarily lavish life that very few people, not only in America but on the planet. They have lived like kings and queens.

“I’m just curious if the New York Times is going to write a story about Hillary Clinton and the lifestyle that she has had over the past 30 years, along these lines,” he added.

h/t: Newsbusters

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

The Price Of Speaking Truth To Power: $80 Million

Holder Obama

Leftists love using the phrase “speaking truth to power.” But when Standard and Poor’s, the respected credit ratings service, told the truth about the federal government’s out-of-control spending, power came crashing down on its head.

In August 2011, S&P lowered America’s credit rating below AAA because it found that the government’s ability to manage its finances had become “less stable, less effective and less predictable.” This set off a firestorm within the White House. The Treasury Department publicly attacked the report, and then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called the CEO of the company and threatened them. According to reports of the conversation, Geithner promised that the company would be “looked at very carefully” and would “be held accountable for that.” Harold McGraw III, the CEO of S&P’s parent company, said in a sworn deposition that Geithner said: “Such behavior could not occur without a response from the government.” The response came; and it was swift, harsh, and costly.

The Obama Administration unleashed Attorney General Eric Holder on the company. In August 2013, the Department of Justice sued the company for fraud in their ratings of mortgage-backed securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis of 2008. According to the DOJ’s theory, S&P ratings of the securities were tied to relationships they had with the investment firms. The government was threating the company with $5 billion worth of fines. There was no mention of the fact that other credit rating services also rated the same securities as safe. The New York Times noted that “S&P, one of three major agencies offering advice to investors about the quality of debt investments and the only one to face a Justice Department lawsuit, stood out as the rare company to actually follow through and fight the government.” It is clear that the actions of the DOJ were in response to the company’s decision to warn Americans about the coming debt crisis.

S&P decided to fight back by making motions in court demanding documents, emails, and other information connecting the White House, the Treasury Department, and the Department of Justice, in an effort to connect the dots between the credit downgrade and the actions of the DOJ. Not surprisingly, DOJ opposed those motions in court, castigating the effort as a “fishing expedition.” Turning the screws, the DOJ, again in the words of the New York Times, “invoked an obscure federal law passed a quarter-century ago after the savings and loan scandals. The law, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989, or Firrea, requires a lower burden of proof than criminal charges and empowers prosecutors to demand unusually large penalties: up to $1.1 million per violation.”

Faced with the threat to the future stability of the company, S&P was forced to settle to get the Obama Administration off their backs. This week, we discovered that the cost of speaking “truth to power” is about $80 million — the amount of money S&P will be forced to fork over to the government for speaking the truth about the country’s financial mess.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

New York Times’ Dean Baquet: ‘We Will Fix The Things The Buyouts Broke’

YouTube

New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet issued a memo on Tuesday in which he admitted that last year’s buyouts hurt the company in many ways. But he vowed to fix those things in 2015:

“By any measure, 2014 was a dramatic year — a sudden leadership change ending with the departure of treasured colleagues. But those headlines belie what you all accomplished for readers and the world.

“We will fix the things the buyouts broke. We will look internally to fill important jobs. We will carefully and judiciously make a few outside hires. I know it seems incongruous to hire after reducing the staff. But if we stop bringing in new talent we run the risk of missing a generation of future stars.”

Indeed, 2014 was a tumultuous year for the company as the paper abruptly fired Baquet’s predecessor, Jill Abramson. The year also saw some 100 staffers taking buyouts or being laid off, thus robbing the Times of decades of institutional knowledge and hurting morale in the process.

While Baquet was optimistic about the future of the Times, he also noted that he couldn’t guarantee that further cuts wouldn’t occur, underscoring the fact that the paper still faces competitive challenges ahead.

The Times has largely staked its future on providing news digitally. But as the news becomes increasingly commoditized, it will become more difficult to profit from it and the company may well find itself facing the same financial problems it did just a few years ago.

Read the full memo here.

This article originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

New York Times Finds Lawyers In League With States To Sue Companies

buddycaldwell

The New York Times has found that lawyers have been in league with state attorney generals, primarily Democrats, to enrich their law firms and the state at the expense of the companies they target.

According to the Times, there exists a “furious competition between trial lawyers and corporate lobbyists to influence”  state attorney generals.

How does it work? Private lawyers first look for cases in which companies can be sued, then pass on the cases they discover to the state. The law firm agrees to do most of the work. In turn, the prestige of their case against a company is raised when the state signs on to the case. The firm takes a portion of the money from winning the case, typically 20 percent, and the state takes the rest.

The state attorney generals have benefited from tens of thousands of dollars in donations, according to the Times. Often the donations come in right before or after the firm signs a contract to represent the state.

Scott Harshbarger, a former Massachusetts attorney general, told the Times:

“This has gotten out of hand. And it seriously threatens the perception of integrity and professionalism of the office, as it raises the question of whether attorneys are taking up these cases because they are important public matters, or they are being driven more by potential for private financial gain.”

Some state attorney generals defend the practice, saying that working with outside attorneys is the only way for them to deal with the hordes of corporate lawyers that defend the companies.

One victory for companies came in Louisiana, where Governor Bobbi Jindal signed legislation against the state working with outside law firms against pharmaceutical companies. $294 million in settlements had been collected from pharmaceutical companies in Louisiana by Attorney General Buddy Caldwell since 2011 with the help of outside law firms.

 

h/t Newsmax

Photo Credit: Marc Genre (cropped) (Flickr)

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom