Over half Clinton’s non-government meetings were with foundation donors

Hillary Clinton hears the beat to "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" for the first time.

Hillary Clinton hears the beat to “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” for the first time.

More than half the people outside of government whom Hillary Clinton met in her capacity as Secretary of State were donors to the Clinton foundation, the Associated Press reported yesterday. Beware autoplay video with sound at the other end of this link. According to the AP’s review of State Department calendars:

At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs.

Does that mean Secretary Clinton sold access to State in exchange for donations to her foundation? No. But if she had, she only would have needed to update about 45 percent of her calendar. Since this is an election year, we don’t have to worry about whether what she did was ethical. We only need to know what it means for the horse race.

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Okay, they are looking at the content of your emails



The New York Times announced today that, contrary to earlier assurances from the executive branch, the NSA is looking at the contents of large numbers of Americans’ emails. Don’t worry, though: they’re only looking at emails and text messages that originate or are received overseas, and they’re only searching for information related to specific targets. The word “target” appears in an alarming number of reassurances about this program. While we’re trusting implicitly the institutional structures of America, there’s also this paragraph from the Times report:

Hints of the surveillance appeared in a set of rules, leaked by Mr. Snowden, for how the N.S.A. may carry out the 2008 FISA law. One paragraph mentions that the agency “seeks to acquire communications about the target that are not to or from the target.” The pages were posted online by the newspaper The Guardian on June 20, but the telltale paragraph, the only rule marked “Top Secret” amid 18 pages of restrictions, went largely overlooked amid other disclosures.

Which is understandable, because why would journalists notice the one marked “Top Secret?”

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Close Readings: Sarah Palin’s view of expertise

"Are you going to stand there babbling about what carbon does, or are you going to get the first woman president a fuckin' Jamba Juice?"

There is much to enjoy, guiltfully, about this review of Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin, the tell-all book by former staffer Frank Bailey. Memoirs like his threaten to become an ugly micro-genre of an already ugly mini-genre, but there is something in the essential sameness of Sarah Palin Stories—the pride in ignorance, the deceptions of others en route to self, the different supporting characters in the same vexed orbit around our heroine—that suggests a form whose themes transcend detail. They’re like Sherlock Holmes stories. As Holmes was to Victorian London and solving crimes, so is Sarah Palin to suburban America and being a mindless church bitch. What I’m saying here is that I think here oeuvre is more than genre work. That’s good news for Close Readings, which received from Stubble yesterday this wonderful gift:

Remember: amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.

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In memoriam: Tea Party Nation email subjects

Tea Party Nation leader Judson Phillips, photographed here with his deputy, Ponderin' Joe Phillips

Now that Election Fever has passed, and we are left with only Election Post-Fever Palsy, it’s time to take stock of what we’ll miss. I personally miss the last campaign cycle in roughly the same way King Kong misses vaudeville, but it did have its highlights. There were the insane commercials, for example, which a slightly less hysterical electorate and some version of the DISCLOSE Act will hopefully ensure that we never see again. There was Christine O’Donnell, who is presumably doing buttershots in a Dave & Buster’s right now. Best of all, there was Tea Party Nation, whose unstoppable email apparatus sent me two, sometimes three emails a day.

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