Monday assorted links

by on March 28, 2016 at 2:53 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. Good summary of the Clinton email scandals.

2. Why fiscal policy is not the answer for China.

3. Orbeht, “I can’t believe they published that,” they link to especially bad articles, a new experimental web site from the people who brought you The Browser.

4. Do the super-rich have worse taste than before?

5. “We find that an increase in Academic Progress Rate, as measured by the NCAA, for a college team in either sport significantly reduces the probability that the coach is fired at the end of the season. We find little to no evidence that an increase in the Academic Progress Rate enhances the chances of advancement (in the form of outside job offers) for these coaches.” Link here.

6. French average is over.

1 Turkey Vulture March 28, 2016 at 3:15 pm

1. In my mind, the heart of the “scandal” has been that Clinton set up her own server to try to work around transparency rules and policies. I’ve seen so much discussion and so many stories about what was classified and whether she violated any laws that I worried that the forest of setting the server up in the first place would be missed for the individual trees of possibly-illegal individual emails.

This story seems to bring it back toward the center.

“The man Clinton has said maintained and monitored her server was Bryan Pagliano, who had worked as the technology chief for her political action committee and her presidential campaign. It is not clear whether he had any help. Pagliano had also provided computer services to the Clinton family. In 2008, he received more than $5,000 for that work, according to financial disclosure statements he filed with the government.

In May 2009, with Kennedy’s help, Pagliano landed a job as a political employee in the State Department’s IT division, documents and interviews show. It was an unusual arrangement.

At the same time, Pagliano apparently agreed to maintain the basement server. Officials in the IT division have told investigators they could not recall previously hiring a political appointee. Three of Pagliano’s supervisors also told investigators they had no idea that Clinton used the basement server or that Pagliano was moonlighting on it.”

This kind of behavior should seem odd. It should seem corrupt. We should expect more from the people we entrust with the machinery of state. And we should worry about why she needed to take such steps to avoid transparency in the first place – like you’d worry if you found your spouse’s burner phone.

2 (Not That) Bill O'Reilly March 28, 2016 at 3:34 pm

Yes–I’ve lamented to friends that the media narrative has coalesced into the arcane discussion of how classification works, which bores the average voter to tears, and consequently absolved Clinton of any responsibility to explain herself. To my knowledge, no one has demanded a positive explanation for why she needed a private server (as opposed to the negative explanation for why she was permitted to utilize one), despite her initial answers about wanting to use a single device having been disproven within days.

The use of a private e-mail server to evade transparency laws is positively Nixonian in all the worst kinds of ways, and the fact that Secretary Clinton is still even politically viable after such an incredible lapse in judgment suggests that American politics are well and truly broken.

3 Jan March 28, 2016 at 4:23 pm

If there was a shred of evidence that your indignation is driven by anything other than partisanship and/or your hate for Clinton as a person, your argument would be more credible.

How about a few more hearings?

4 (Not That) Bill O'Reilly March 28, 2016 at 4:37 pm

You could consider reading the other comments in the thread and addressing the logic of why this should be disqualifying, unless of course your own indignation is driven merely by partisanship.

5 Hazel Meade March 28, 2016 at 4:41 pm

Is there a shred of evidence that your indignation at his indignation is driven by anything other than partisanship and/or your hate for Republicans as a party?

6 Jeff R. March 28, 2016 at 5:28 pm

Jan doesn’t do self awareness like that.

7 JWatts March 28, 2016 at 4:43 pm

“If there was a shred of evidence that your indignation is driven by anything other than partisanship and/or your hate for Clinton as a person, your argument would be more credible.”

This looks like a classic case of projection. There’s nothing in NTBoR’s post that would indicate his motive is purely partisan hatred.

8 Derek March 28, 2016 at 11:06 pm

Don’t get your panties in a twist. This is in fact good news and could only be topped by Hillary doing the inaugural walk in an ankle bracelet.

Progressivism has run its course, all the internal contradictions are evident and about to dismantle any benefits it has ever brought. What better way to hasten it’s demise by putting a self righteous corrupt and profoundly annoying person like Hillary in the highest office?

Just think, the backdrop to all the fiscal meddling that is desperately on a response loop to its own consequences now will have a face. The full consequences of the hubris and incompetence in foreign affairs will have a face. Progressivism as the notion of our betters leading to a bright future will be laid bare by the bumbling incompetence of Clinton and her hangers on. The media will disappear as a political force as they desperately try to cover her incompetent lies. Her policy initiatives will define the regulatory Laffer curve.

These things aren’t her doing, but she will take them on as defining characteristics against her will. The US population have had the option of moving to a better place to get away from feckless and vile politicians, avoiding the very hard work of refusing to accept. A Clinton presidency will probably end with a complete disemboweling of one or both party establishments.

This is all good. I hope she wins.

9 Thomas March 31, 2016 at 11:52 am

Hillary has a billion dollar foundation/family aristocracy machine. The Clinton’s will live off of this economic manifestation of political power for generations. Her foundation is only the newest and most extreme form of political corruption and will surely serve as a model for all future high-level politicians willing to trade in favors for the equivalent to a medieval grant of hereditary nobility.

10 Thomas March 31, 2016 at 11:49 am

The new line from the left is that Hillary wanted to work within the confines of the government’s security structure, so long as she received a special NSA Blackberry like President Obama, and that the NSA declined Hillary’s request – probably because she’s a woman, and, you know, sexism and all that.

11 Nathan W March 28, 2016 at 5:41 pm

Given how things transpired, is it credible to think that she was trying to evade trasnparency laws, given how it there were ultimately shared?

12 JWatts March 28, 2016 at 5:47 pm

Well the Federal Judge thinks there are reasons for concern:

“Last month, in a hearing about a Judicial Watch lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Sullivan cited that email as part of the reason he ordered the State Department produce records related to its initial failures in the FOIA searches for Clinton’s records.

Speaking in open court, Sullivan said legitimate questions have been raised about whether Clinton’s staff was trying to help her to sidestep FOIA.

13 (Not That) Bill O'Reilly March 28, 2016 at 5:48 pm

It’s undisputed that she deleted 30,000 e-mails before anyone even started turning things over to the State Department, and there are currently unexplained gaps in the record of released e-mails. Not sure how any of that happens if she’s not engaged in some degree of subterfuge.

14 Nathan W March 28, 2016 at 6:17 pm

Given how many of the emails were ultimately found to contain classified information, I don’t see any reason to suppose that the deleted personal emails were not in fact personal.

And, haven’t they recovered all of those personal emails via forensic means? If they had found deleted emails that were obviously suspect, there wouldn’t be any debate, the criminal nature of such an act would be unambiguously clear. But that’s not the case.

15 Thomas March 31, 2016 at 11:54 am

“Given how many of the emails were ultimately found to contain classified information, I don’t see any reason to suppose that the deleted personal emails were not in fact personal.”

The one doesn’t follow from the other. It’s very much possible that just like her sloppy email implementation that her email filtering was sloppy as well. They couldn’t exactly spend 10 man years going through each email while maintaining the case that they had nothing to hide.

16 Harun March 29, 2016 at 12:36 am

How were they ultimately shared?

For example, we might never have known about this, except Guccifer hacked Blumenthal’s email.

17 Hazel Meade March 29, 2016 at 6:32 am

Indeed, she didn’t turn over her emails to State until after the scandal broke. And that was three years after she left office and after repeated requests to obtain her Benghazi related emails.

18 Daniel Weber March 29, 2016 at 11:10 am

Given how things transpired

Because she thought she wouldn’t get caught.

I mean, I get it: if you are a Clinton, you are used to the GOP sniffing through all your laundry and garbage and so you want to hide all of it. I understand that completely.

Of course, “I didn’t want people looking through my things for stuff to embarrass me with” has horrible optics, and so we get 3 cubic acres of BS instead.

19 Nathan W March 29, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Probably pretty much on the ball.

20 anon March 28, 2016 at 3:35 pm

“A request for a secure device from the NSA was rebuffed at the outset:’The current state of the art is not too user friendly, has no infrastructure at State, and is very expensive…'”

I think this is easy to read as “an old” wanting to do things her way. Various semi-competent assistants helped her achieve her goals. I am sure some will never bend that this was nefarious, but I think something about banal convenience applies.

Stepping back, what would work? Should the NSA provide many, many, more secure phones? Or should we go full-Apple and complete security for everyone?

21 (Not That) Bill O'Reilly March 28, 2016 at 3:46 pm

It’s not really clear to me how even an explanation as facially anodyne as “banal convenience” isn’t disqualifying. Clinton was the head of the American Government’s diplomatic service–without even wondering about classification issues, is there any doubt that her communication would be of intense interest to foreign intelligence agencies? If we accept that as axiomatic, any explanation of the private server has to involve the Secretary either (A) not recognizing that obvious fact; (B) not caring about that obvious fact; or (C) hubristically believing she could secure her communications better than State (while also doing nothing to reform State’s internal security).

I don’t she can be politically viable with any of those explanations; thus, no one wants an answer.

22 Lord Action March 28, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Not that I’m a big fan, but I find anon’s explanation “She’s stupid and old and didn’t understand the fancy electronic letter machines” very, very hard to swallow. She’s 68, not 98. And she’s running for president.

Now, “Casual disregard for the law”? That should be her campaign slogan.

23 anon March 28, 2016 at 4:06 pm

Computer security and encryption are specialties. Few actually understand them to a safe operational level. The average BS CS does not.

24 Lord Action March 28, 2016 at 4:12 pm

Having to do an end-run around State and the NSA may have been her first clue something was amiss…

25 anon March 28, 2016 at 4:16 pm

I think it is still under-appreciated what it means when the NSA say “too hard” for use of hand-held email devices. How many commentators high and low understand that the safe and secure route would have been no email?

“Politicals” just view this as protect or get (depending on orientation) the emails.

26 Lord Action March 28, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Maybe I give her more credit than you do, but I would be shocked if this wasn’t thoroughly understood, legally and technically, by her and her team.

27 Nathan W March 28, 2016 at 5:45 pm

It is well understood that executives throughout the corporate world have insufficient understanding of IT security to be allocating appropriate resources.

If that is the case in the private sector, why would we expect a public official to have any related specialist knowledge? Empower someone in an IT position to asses communications and block any areas of potential problems, don’t assume that someone whose speciality is in executive stuff or politics will have specialist knowledge.

28 Thor March 28, 2016 at 7:07 pm

What gets me is the sheer number of warnings her and her staff received about the dangers of being hacked. And still she persisted.

29 Derek March 29, 2016 at 5:14 am

Security is not complicated if someone sets it up. It is annoying and restrictive. You have to do things a certain way. I fully understand why she did her own thing. But I don’t have people working for me in war zones.

30 TMC March 29, 2016 at 8:50 am

It’s more than “I didn’t know” when you set up your own email server at your house. Many CEOs don’t understand technology, but they are aware of the dangers of disclosing confidential information. They don’t set up private servers to get around the laws they don’t like.

31 Nylund March 29, 2016 at 10:28 am

“What gets me is the sheer number of warnings her and her staff received about the dangers of being hacked. And still she persisted.”

Realizing how much of this Involved her staff as the conduit between her and the security folks actually had the opposite effect on me. It makes me imagine a super famous, rich, powerful boss and a staff who are accutely aware of that fact. I can imagine them not looking forward to confront the boss and say, “you can’t do that,” and when they do they fully coat it in sugar, and she says, “but their way is so annoying. surely there’s a way I can use my own. figure something out,” they say, “yes madam secretary,” slink off, and the status quo persists.

32 Lord Action March 29, 2016 at 10:37 am

“figure something out,” they say, “yes madam secretary,” slink off, and the status quo persists.”

That’ll work out great when the issue is auditing political enemies, drone strikes on citizens, and ensuring no American has access to good encryption, won’t it? Yes, this level of inattention and irresponsibility is exactly what we need!

I don’t buy it. I’m not in love with Hillary Clinton as a candidate, but there’s just no way she’s so buffoonish that this could be some innocent mistake. That would be completely out of character.

33 Daniel Weber March 29, 2016 at 11:16 am

Computer security and encryption are specialties. Few actually understand them to a safe operational level. The average BS CS does not.

Classification levels are not an arcane art. They go back to before computers exist. You can’t even work at a bank without sitting through training videos about this.

Hillary Clinton knew all this stuff. It was part of her vast experience she was telling us about in 2008.

34 Thomas March 31, 2016 at 11:59 am

When I was in the Navy, they entrusted top secret security clearances, access to top security and SCI materials, and access to the transmission equipment to anyone who was designated IT – which required a > 60 or 70 ASVAB, and passing a 2 month school. Hillary Clinton’s LSAT to get in to Yale surely would have put her in the 90+ ASVAB region, and she was surely given briefings on how classification works. Do you think there is a single 0-5 or above in the military or any officer at State that doesn’t understand classification and the rules on government messages?

35 Thomas March 31, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Basic knowledge for military officers. You’d think the highest officer at the Department of State, someone who deals in classified information daily, would know what every e-6 and above in the military knows. My God you guys have low expectations for Hillary. She absolutely knew what classification was, for the love of God, she was an ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION AUTHORITY as SecState. That means that she had the power and responsibility to mark classification levels of messages based on the information contained within. There is no argument to be made about “classification after the fact”, as an OCA she is responsible for classifying information that she sees, ergo, it should have been marked classified the minute she saw the information by HER.

36 anon March 28, 2016 at 4:04 pm

I am not that interested in personalities, and I see a general problem for high officials.

To back up again, as I understand the old days, high government officials would retain written documents but use cleared/secured telephones without continuous recording. This gave them the ability to do private-official business, and to differentiate what was recorded. The problem with email was that it was communication, much like phone, but starting in 2000s new rules came in for government and for business to archive and record.

I believe the first reaction of Presidents was to skip, or stop, using email. They stuck to the unrecorded phones.

It does seem that Clinton tried to thread a path, but if the other alternative was to not email, I’m not sure you’d be much happier. I don’t suppose you want to bug and record people (President Trump) to capture all that info.

37 Turkey Vulture March 28, 2016 at 4:23 pm

It doesn’t seem like the timeline supports that interpretation.

“On Jan. 13, 2009, a longtime aide to Bill Clinton registered a private email domain for Hillary Clinton,, that would allow her to send and receive email through the server. … Eight days later, she was sworn in as secretary of state”

She seems to have made the decision (and then not told anyone about it) before even being confirmed. This is not “Oh darn technology. I am set in my ways!” Ways of what, being Secretary of State? She has more years of experience using handheld communication devices than the vast majority of people, young and old.

What would work? Not using personal devices for government business. If you want to use government devices for personal business, have at it, but accept that the same transparency rules will apply to your personal communications as would apply to work-related communications. Don’t take proactive steps to avoid transparency to keep your likely-corrupt dealings in the dark. Seems simple enough to me.

38 anon March 28, 2016 at 4:29 pm

The timeline continues, she put her Blackberry in a lockbox downstairs, her assistant asked for an NSA phone to use on the 7th floor, and then basically they bull their way through to use .. the redacted word was probably the “Crackberry” anyway.

A chain of human error certainly. And if the alternative wasn’t Trump maybe I’d care.

39 Turkey Vulture March 28, 2016 at 4:56 pm

“And if the alternative wasn’t Trump maybe I’d care.”

This seems like the line of thinking that led us to our currently-corrupt politics, and will continue to lead us on our descent towards the endgame of a thin veneer of stateless capitalism over a heaping pile of kleptocracy.

40 anon March 28, 2016 at 5:02 pm

I remember my dad voting for the least bad alternative, so I know I’m not really the first.

41 (Not That) Bill O'Reilly March 28, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Well, the alternative could also be Sanders (or even O’Malley, since he was around after the story broke) if dem primary voters could be bothered to care.

42 Lord Action March 29, 2016 at 9:35 am

There’s not much light between Trump and Clinton. They’re much closer in policy than Clinton and Sanders. I can understand a vaguely centrist Democrat who thinks Sanders is too scary to vote for. And yes, I’m cutting Clinton some slack for the kind of things you have to say to primary audiences.

43 anon March 28, 2016 at 4:30 pm

If the NSA can provide devices then I think a “no personal devices” rule can work, but can they? I have never heard of a program to create a secure but archiving government phone.

44 Thomas March 31, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Bizarre. The other hundreds of thousands of people with top secret security clearances follow the rules without being issued NSA Blackberries.

45 Hazel Meade March 28, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Amusingly, she could keep her likely corrupt dealings in the dark simply by using a separate device for them – like everyone else who has dirty laundry does.

Somehow this simple concept of separating the dirty laundry from the official business was lost on her.

46 JWatts March 28, 2016 at 4:54 pm

“Somehow this simple concept of separating the dirty laundry from the official business was lost on her.”

It was all the same to her. The important point was to create a server under her own control that would shield her from prying eyes. And clearly, she was more concerned about FOIA requests than actual foreign intelligence sources.

I do imagine that there is at least one backup of her entire email inventory:

47 anon March 28, 2016 at 4:59 pm

And yet there are archives. You know, many companies have an “email retention policy” that just says “no email may be kept longer than 30 days.” There it is and done. No hiding of specific email. No refusal to honor subpoenas. Just one policy. Sorry.

If Clinton was as Machiavellian as conspiracy theorists claim, there would be no archive. 30 days. Sorry.

48 (Not That) Bill O'Reilly March 28, 2016 at 5:07 pm

You know, many companies have an “email retention policy” that just says “no email may be kept longer than 30 days.”

I have never heard of such a policy, and would have to counsel a company against such a retention policy if ever presented with one. I know it’s not uncommon to archive communications after 30-90 days and then store them in a less-accessible format for some period of years, but absolute deletion after 30 days would see that company losing lawsuits left and right over spoliation.

And that’s just in organizations not covered by record retention laws, which no one has seriously contended don’t apply to Clinton’s e-mails relating to her work as Secretary of State. If she had purged everything she would have absolutely no defense.

49 Turkey Vulture March 28, 2016 at 5:07 pm

A company can have a 30 day email retention policy if it wants to lose all future legal disputes.

50 anon March 28, 2016 at 5:35 pm

What I’m saying is it is a particular combination of nefariousness and incompetence for Clinton to be running her own servers to hide emails, and to still have them.

So easy to say “oops, my server fell down the stairs onto a sledge hammer .. repeatedly.”

On 30 days, maybe I got carried away with “many.” I see quotes online that 90 day retention policy is fairly common. I consider that quite short, but not 30, no.

51 (Not That) Bill O'Reilly March 28, 2016 at 5:52 pm

Again, she was subject to federal recordkeeping requirements regardless of whose servers she stored her e-mails on. So if she someone came up empty-handed when asked for her e-mails, she would be nailed as having violated those requirements. As things currently stand, if she deleted anything incriminating before turning over the responsive e-mails, no one will ever be the wiser unless there was another server hosting a recipient’s e-mail account.

Additionally, her communications were all shielded from FOIA in their entirety for as long as State was in the dark about the private server.

52 JWatts March 28, 2016 at 5:54 pm

“So easy to say “oops, my server fell down the stairs onto a sledge hammer .. repeatedly.””

Or maybe that the server hard drive was wiped?

“To recap, Clinton’s private server was wiped clean —technically, filtering out emails older than 60 days — sometime between Dec. 5, 2014, and March 27, 2015. No clearer timeline has been stated.”

53 anon March 28, 2016 at 6:00 pm

I think this is still to tied to “she” and the assumption of guilt.

Assume an innocent he for a moment. What should we be giving him to do his job as Secretary of State? If it is a secure smartphone, and one does not exist (and I believe it does not) what then? Should we require that he use old world tech of voice calls and a smaller number of secure “cables?”

I actually started with the day siding with the FBI on terrorist phones. I want security, but I’m OK with warranted search. I’m OK with police searching my phone, with a subpoena. Perhaps though all the arguments made in Apple vs FBI matter here. If you can’t have a secure but searchable phone, maybe you have to choose one.

And maybe all our communications, high and low, should just shoot for secure.

54 anon March 28, 2016 at 6:05 pm

I was writing as JWatts posted that “wipe” comment. I didn’t know that, but yes, that’s what I’m talking about.

55 JWatts March 28, 2016 at 6:08 pm

The way I look at a scandal like this is asking the question: If I flipped the Principals involved would it change my opinion? If I’m tempted to say it would, I’m guilty of Principals over Principles.

56 anon March 28, 2016 at 6:12 pm

I would be more upset about the Bush White House email controversy if I did not know about the Chinese White House email incursion.

57 anon March 28, 2016 at 6:16 pm

For “flashback Monday” – The administration officials had been using a private Internet domain, called, owned by and hosted on an email server run by the Republican National Committee …

58 Careless March 29, 2016 at 1:16 am

So does anon ever make a post that isn’t terribly weak partisan hackery?

59 TMC March 29, 2016 at 9:21 am

re: GWB43 – Not for govt business, certainly not for classified material.

60 JWatts March 29, 2016 at 10:18 am

“For “flashback Monday” – The administration officials had been using a private Internet domain, called”

LOL, that was set up because the administration was legally forbidden use of their government accounts for campaign purposes. However, it’s a good point, though in the opposite direction that you clearly intended. The Bush administration used a private domain to comply with Federal requirements. The Obama administration (Hillary) used a private domain to subvert Federal requirements. Kudos, you’ve just given supporting evidence than the Obama administration is demonstrably worse than the Bush administration.

61 Hazel Meade March 29, 2016 at 12:26 pm

I don’t know of any serious corporation that deletes email older than 90 days. Or, in fact, ever.
My corporate email account goes back four years to the day I started. Sure, it is archived every 60 days, but I can access the archives easily within Outlook.

In fact, it would be crazy in my job to delete email like that since so much of it contains important information whose usefulness does not disappear after 90s days. There have been multiple times when I have needed to look up a two-year-old email. I can’t imagine any serious job where this would not be the case. I suppose the cashiers at the dollar store might not need to keep emails older than 90s days, but anyone in any sort of professional field certainly does.

62 Hazel Meade March 29, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Assume an innocent he for a moment. What should we be giving him to do his job as Secretary of State? If it is a secure smartphone, and one does not exist (and I believe it does not) what then? Should we require that he use old world tech of voice calls and a smaller number of secure “cables?”

Why should this pesky matter of foreign espionage interfere with the Secretary of State’s ability to use the latest technology?
Information wants to be free!

63 Thomas March 31, 2016 at 12:10 pm

“Assume an innocent he for a moment. What should we be giving him to do his job as Secretary of State? If it is a secure smartphone, and one does not exist (and I believe it does not) what then?”

The left thinks that Hillary Clinton was denied a secured Blackberry because she is a woman and the NSA is sexist. That speaks for itself.

64 anon March 28, 2016 at 4:18 pm

Maybe this is an argument for the Tim Cook position, that all of us should have secure and private email.

65 So Much For Subtlety March 28, 2016 at 7:04 pm

But work product is still work product. And the law is the law.

Do you have any sensible reason why Clinton should be exempt from Freedom of Information laws and all that implies?

66 JWatts March 29, 2016 at 10:19 am

It’s pure Principals over Principles.

67 Thomas March 31, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Earlier, anon suggested that NSA didn’t provide Hillary a secured Blackberry because she is a woman, therefore perhaps anon thinks Hillary should be exempt from the law because she is a woman. That wouldn’t be too far outside of the Democrat mainstream nowadays.

68 too hot for MR March 28, 2016 at 3:23 pm

4. Steve Wynn used to pay tens of millions for Picassos. More recently it’s tens of millions for giant, dumb Jeff Koons sculptures.

69 IVV March 28, 2016 at 4:08 pm

I had once observed that although we might not know the nature of the lawyers in South Africa, we all know that if someone asks if you are a god, you say yes. This is empirical evidence that despite their release in the same year, Ghostbusters was a far more important movie, culturally, than Gandhi.

Whether or not this corresponds to a lack of something as non-quantifiable as “taste,” it does tell us that culture does continue to develop and grow, even in today’s world.

Now, admittedly, Koons is essentially the anti-Ghostbusters. Ghostbusters was a commercial success, with people all over the world giving money to see it, while Koons only needed to convince one man of his worth. To be honest, I don’t think it is in the bankrolling of individuals for outsize gestures that the future of art and culture are going to be; it’s going to be in the pieces that can circulate throughout society and galvanize as many minds as possible that are going to be the updated force of the art world.

And is that so bad? What is “high art” anyway, but a class of luxury consumption designed to be appreciated only by the classes with enough resources for the time, education, and wealth necessary to acquire and enjoy them? Does high art represent the best method of transmitting cultural mores in the future?

70 too hot for MR March 28, 2016 at 4:42 pm

I don’t think Koons fits “Gandhi” in your typology, either.

I had typed my comment after reading only the headline; you can imagine my delight, then, to see that the article was in large part a discussion of Koons.

I frequent the Wynn and duly take visitors to see “Tulips” and “Popeye” in their proud repose. I try to reserve judgment in their presence, but did laugh at the comment of one friend: “The welds on that look like absolute s**t.”

71 IVV March 28, 2016 at 5:18 pm

True, Koons isn’t Gandhi, either. However, the “decline” of “high art” and its replacement with “pop art” doesn’t really amount to much. It just means that what the previous generations loved and the new generations love are different. Art marches on. However, if art collectors want to protect the prestige of high art, they need to choose new individuals to lavish millions on, and that choice is ultimately arbitrary, and not informed by a cultural education.

72 Doug March 29, 2016 at 1:24 am

> And is that so bad? What is “high art” anyway, but a class of luxury consumption designed to be appreciated only by the classes with enough resources for the time, education, and wealth necessary to acquire and enjoy them? Does high art represent the best method of transmitting cultural mores in the future?

Have a reasonably educated person sit down and write out what they think are the most accomplishments of humanity. My guess is that in nearly every single case high art in one form or another makes the short list. If civilization was to collapse tomorrow, the West’s legacy of magnificent and transcendent visual art would be one of the few things that out ghosts could still be proud of millennia later. The glaring exception is anything from anytime near the current era.

The absolute atrocious state of contemporary visual art is certainly not the worst thing to ever happen in history. But the fact that we let what was once one of the crown jewels of Western civilization simply rot away is shameful. Then consider we let this happen, to a large degree, just so art critics and museum directors could play sycophant to billionaires and third-world kleptocrats who decided to rape the art market in all kinds of way that sensible securities law prohibits in nearly every other major market.

73 rayward March 28, 2016 at 3:31 pm

2. Houze Song (what a name) from the Paulson Institute (founded by Henry (Hank) Paulson, either a thief or the savior of capitalism, depending on your point of view) writes this short essay as if he descended from Mars yesterday and saw what he saw and wrote it down. Why on Earth (yes, Song is on Earth) would China invest in more infrastructure and productive capital when China produces far more than the Chinese will ever consume, or the Americans and Europeans for that matter. Why on Earth? The Invisible Hand, that’s why. The Invisible Hand decided that productive capital belonged in China because China has cheap labor to operate it and that bankers and Mad Men belonged in America because bankers prefer Manhattan and Mad Men prefer the Bay Area. And so it was written. After awhile on Earth, Song will understand the wisdom of the Invisible Hand. And Song is wise, for he ends his little essay with this gem: “anything that is not sustainable has to stop, and it is better to stop it earlier than later”.

74 stan March 28, 2016 at 3:55 pm

The scandal makes perfect sense once you understand that she is corrupt and dishonest and always has been. Whitewater bribes, suppression of bimbo eruptions, cattle futures bribes, illegal snooping in FBI files, selling pardons and paroles, selling the travel office and lying to the FBI, obstruction of justice, selling tech secrets to the Chinese, illegal contributions, stealing White House property, bribes for approving uranium reserves to Russia, bribes for approving arms deals for dictators, the list just goes on and on.

FOIA is a nightmare for her. Keeping her corrupt dealmaking secret was a far bigger priority for her than worrying about enemies obtaining our secrets. Just as it was more important for her husband to keep having phone sex than it was to worry about spies recording his use of insecure phones with Monica. They have their priorities. National security has never been on the list.

75 Heorogar March 28, 2016 at 4:27 pm

The true scandal is that Clinton isn’t now in prison.

The rule of law is dead. Act accordingly.

Laws only are enforced against state enemies, e.g., the tea party, and the little people.

76 too hot for MR March 28, 2016 at 5:32 pm

Did Cheney/Yoo’s rewrite of American law to normalize torture give you the same discomfort?

77 TMC March 29, 2016 at 9:44 am

Didn’t need to rewrite anything. Following the law was OK enough for them.

78 Nathan W March 29, 2016 at 12:54 pm

If they didn’t need to rewrite the law, then why did they rewrite the law?

79 Hazel Meade March 29, 2016 at 12:39 pm

FOIA is a nightmare for her. Keeping her corrupt dealmaking secret was a far bigger priority for her than worrying about enemies obtaining our secrets.

And again I wonder why she couldn’t keep her dirty laundry on a separate burner phone like a normal criminal.

80 stan March 28, 2016 at 4:07 pm
81 Hadur March 28, 2016 at 4:17 pm

What a whiny article – how dare rich people spend their money on art they personally like, rather than art that the author likes!

82 (Not That) Bill O'Reilly March 28, 2016 at 4:47 pm

Much easier to justify taxing them to fund the art the author likes once we’ve built up a “consensus” that the art they would independently spend on is frivolous.

83 Doug March 29, 2016 at 1:11 am

Rich people should be able to spend their money on whatever art they like. But given the size and scope of the art market, is there any reason that securities fraud law should not also apply to multi-million dollar art works? Furthermore the wealthy should not be able to tax deduct “donations” to museums when it’s little more than strategic manipulation to increase their portfolio’s value.

Much of the contemporary art world is little more than pump-and-dump schemes. The art is often just a blank canvas (sometimes literally), where billionaire hucksters wheel and deal, manipulate and hype, before offloading on some rube who’s convinced that “art is a great investment.” Buy up some early artist for a few hundred thousand, bribe a few art critics and make a few donations to get his work features in pre-eminent salaries. Maybe swap some pieces with your other billionaire friends for mutually inflated prices. Offload your original works for tens of millions in profit.

Frankly this type of behavior is highly illegal, with good reason, in pretty much every other “investment” market. Not only is it fraudulent and corrupt, but the colonization of the visual arts by the swindler class, is turning what was traditionally the apex of Western civilization’s culture into uncritical, celebrity-worshiping mush.

84 kimock March 29, 2016 at 3:50 am

The article left me disoriented. Is the author implying that the wealthy should fund the traditional highbrow arts, generously and with no strings attached, or is she mocking such conservatism? Or both? Her opening example of the Cedar Lake Contemporary strikes me as the epitome of when funders *should* withdraw their support due to obvious mismanagement. However, I can’t rule out the possibility that this was lost on the author.

85 Ray Lopez March 29, 2016 at 4:27 am

Yeah, badly written article, though I did learn about the weird Dakis Joannou, a Greek-Cypriot billionaire, industrialist, hotel magnate, the largest importer of Coca-Cola in Europe and Africa, and one of the most famous art collectors in the world. It’s true: getting an import license (you need to have connections) is a gravy ticket in Greece.

And Doug is right about the modern art scene being tax writeoffs and pump-and-dump. I saw once from the comments on this site that an artist canned his own s hit back in the 1960s, and, due to scarcity and/or hype, it’s now selling at some incredible figure. Canned “art” or canned excrement? Or both?

86 Floccina March 28, 2016 at 4:50 pm

#5 The NCAA colludes on player compensation why not on coach compensation. It is close to a zero sum game for the NCAA schools.

87 Turkey Vulture March 28, 2016 at 4:58 pm

They should require that coaches be amateurs too, and that all broadcast-related work be done by amateurs.

88 Floccina March 28, 2016 at 5:04 pm

#1 The way that I see it is that most people look at and say it is not a big enough infraction to take down the leading candidate for president. We have a problem how to punish top level politicians for small infractions.

89 Nathan W March 28, 2016 at 5:57 pm

Top level politicians should face political (via media), not legal, costs for minor infringements. Otherwise, we invite a culture of endless witch hunting and massive diversion of security resources away from more important matters.

I would be more concerned about the millions in donations from various high-dollar supporters and what this implies for the ability to make sound judgment for the public interest. But, that applies to virtually every high level politician in the country. The problem is the laws and the system, not the politicians who naturally work at the outer edges of what the system allows.

90 jb March 28, 2016 at 6:03 pm

Alright, so Hillary’s political stock takes a hit, and she’d lose to an honest, competent Republican this fall.

But since her potential opponents are neither honest nor competent, she’ll get away with it.

The problem with imposing political costs is that there’s really only one political cost–losing an election–and only one leading candidate can be so punished at a time.

91 Nathan W March 28, 2016 at 6:21 pm

If there were more than two options, or a credible chance for a third/fourth/fifth party to achieve electoral gains, the entire party would suffer. Doesn’t work so well in a two party system I guess.

92 anon March 28, 2016 at 6:28 pm

In a Parliamentary system we’d vote our philosophy and a tainted PM could be swapped out?

93 Nathan W March 28, 2016 at 7:00 pm

anon – not easily, but more likely. A weight of small scandals without the party throwing the responsible people under the bus leads to poor future electoral performance. If the issues abound across several of the major parties, this allows alternatives to enter into the fray.

We’re talking about the presidential right now. But I think it has more to do with winner-takes-all than a republican presidenctial system versus a parliamentary democracy, in terms of the potential effectiveness of refraining from legal punishment and deferring to political punishment for uppers. Years after the fact, and we still hear a $16 glass of orange juice drank by a Conservative cabinet minister. With five other alternative parties winning seats in the legislature, that creates a very strong imperative to avoid such things. In a two party system, there’s nowhere else to go and few prospects for a new party to impose the political cost, so both options easily trend towards corrupt or even legally questionable practices – were the more ethical halves of the Republicans and Democrats to leave the party tomorrow and propose a new alternative, I think they would win the election in a landslide, but as suggested recently by TC, the existing party infrastructures and branding make such things very unlikely.

94 Careless March 29, 2016 at 1:28 am

I would be more concerned about the millions in donations from various high-dollar supporters

Well, if they’re getting millions of donations in high-dollar supporters, you should inform the FEC so they can prosecute the donors and the candidates.

95 Nathan W March 29, 2016 at 12:57 pm

But that would entirely gut both parties at the highest levels. Who wants to start the gutting of the worst parts of the system?

96 Nathan W March 28, 2016 at 5:53 pm

1) Sounds to me like growing pains in adjusting to communications in the digital era. Not supremely brilliant? I guess so. Scandalous? Only if you’re on a witch hunt.

2) 6.5% growth as a failure? Yeah, it’s a growth slowdown, but when you’re comparing to 10% growth, obviously it’s gonna come sooner or later. The idea that growth is below potential at 6.5% certainly seems dubious to me.

97 Thor March 28, 2016 at 7:24 pm

Nathan, this might be true if she and her people hadn’t been warned repeatedly of the dangers. Also, when is naivete a defence? (Ignorance of the law, etc etc.) At the rarefied level of Clinton’s post? Surely not. I have to overcome the polite Canadian in me and say that I am not sure you have read the WaPo article, before you rushed to enlighten us. From the article:

” “Nine days later, Clinton told Boswell that she had read his memo and “gets it,” according to an email sent by a senior diplomatic security official. “Her attention was drawn to the sentence that indicates (Diplomatic Security) have intelligence concerning this vulnerability during her recent trip to Asia,” the email said.

But Clinton kept using her private BlackBerry — and the basement server.”

98 Thor March 28, 2016 at 7:31 pm

I realize that hypocrisy is not a crime. Nor is stupidity. And selfishness. But this renders Clinton’s judgement and conduct singularly unimpressive.

” “Security remained a constant concern. On June 28, 2011, in response to reports that Gmail accounts of government workers had been targeted by “online adversaries,” a note went out over Clinton’s name urging department employees to “avoid conducting official Department business from your personal email accounts.”

But she herself ignored the warning and continued using her BlackBerry and the basement server.”

99 Nathan W March 28, 2016 at 8:17 pm

Perhaps she considered Gmail accounts and the personal server to be different things. I agree that it wasn’t the best of judgment, but a) I haven’t seen anything that convinces me that it was criminal and b) I don’t see why shouldn’t wouldn’t be able to learn a lesson from the scenario and empower someone to ensure digital security is fully addressed. Anyways, I don’t think sensitive material should be handled by email of any sort – if it’s that important, it should be done on paper, imo.

100 Thor March 28, 2016 at 10:51 pm

Indeed, via paper or verbally. But I still feel — and I speak as someone who sees Hillary’s technocratic liberalism as probably the best option when the other options are Trump and (shudders) Bernie — that “bad judgement” just doesn’t cover the ethical bases of her infraction. How can you occupy that post, and repeatedly ignore the warnings about being hacked? She compromised her nation’s security. Can you imagine the outcry if she were a Republican?

101 Doug March 29, 2016 at 1:15 am

I’ve heard from many people who’ve worked with classified material in various jobs. They’re all unanimous that if any “peon” had done anything like Clinton, they would be arrested instantly and have the book thrown at them. No one certainly would be brushing it off as a “learning opportunity” What stinks to high heaven is why do the powerful get different treatment than everyday citizens?

102 Nathan W March 29, 2016 at 7:10 am

Doug – sort of changing the topic, but for consistency, I sure hope it bothers you a whole lot that wealthy people can get the best lawyers in the land and poor people sometimes just plead guilty because they can’t afford a lawyer, time off work, etc., or land up stuck in prison for weeks or months while waiting trial because they can’t afford a few grand for bail.

More on topic, consider that a peon might be fired for being late to work a few times, but an exeuctive may miss numerous meetings with dubious excuses and get away with it.

I don’t LIKE the idea of powerful people getting away with stuff. But, for practical purposes, a) they have a whole lot more on their plate and are more likely to encounter situations where there are grey areas, and b) I think we expect a little more leeway for people in powerful positions. If, say, Clinton was drunk driving, this is unambiguously against the law. The situation she is in is not at all clear.

Finally … so, when does Cheney or others go to prison under command responsibility for torture, when laws were changed after the fact to make what was formerly illegal into something “legal”? Clinton’s actions are dubious, but others have contravened core Western values and, arguably, international law, and many shrug their shoulders about it entirely.

103 Thomas March 31, 2016 at 12:17 pm

The situation she is in is absolutely clear, Nathan. 1. She violated FOIA requirements. 2. She violated federal record keeping requirements. 3. She violated classification requirements (she is an OCA, there is no such thing as “classified later” for someone who is supposed to be doing the classifying on sight). The only unclear part is what was in the emails that she deleted.

104 TMC March 29, 2016 at 9:51 am

Nathan, she has committed multiple felonies. Actions where others have gone to jail for years.

105 Daniel Weber March 29, 2016 at 11:22 am

I don’t know if she’s committed felonies, but the level of projection is frustrating. “Only people on a witch-hunt think there is anything here” makes me think some people simply don’t remember the 1990s.

Clinton is running on the Clinton record. This record includes a lot of very good stuff, but this record also includes lying to my face. Like a spouse who previously cheated, you don’t get to laugh this stuff off with a joke.

106 JWatts March 28, 2016 at 6:02 pm

“1) Sounds to me like growing pains in adjusting to communications in the digital era. Not supremely brilliant? I guess so. Scandalous? Only if you’re on a witch hunt.”

Oh, these type of growing pains predate the digital era:

107 Nathan W March 28, 2016 at 7:08 pm

Yeah, because spying on all the people that work for you and trying to use executive provilege to cover up patently illegal activity is a lot like deleting personal emails (recovered forensically) or not having quite mastered security dimensions of new technologies.

108 stan March 29, 2016 at 1:23 am

This may be one of the silliest defenses of the Clintons ever written. We could list all the crimes Hillary has committed over the last 3 decades, but Tyler doesn’t pay for enough pixels.

109 Nathan W March 29, 2016 at 7:14 am

Well, how about list ONE with reference to an actual law. Two?

People make statements like yours all the time, but never substantiate them. I encourage a little more independent thinking on the matter.

110 Thomas March 31, 2016 at 12:20 pm

You must truly believe that Hillary Clinton was the best cattle futures trader in the world for her very short cattle futures trading career. You must truly believe that Hillary Clinton, who maintained a private email server, while simultaneously getting donations from foreign governments, which simultaneously received beneficial treatment from State, is all just a terribly inconvenient coincidence. Also, you must truly believe that a blowjob is not “sexual relations”, and that Bill didn’t “lie” but merely “misled”. The list goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on. There hasn’t been a candidate this corrupt since… when has there ever been one?

111 Thor March 28, 2016 at 10:54 pm

As is often the case, it is the cover up that reveals a lot about the principals involved. So we’ll see what is uncovered by the investigation. (And I’m not saying Clinton is Nixonian. But nor do I think we can put this down to the naivete, of “not having mastered” various technologies.)

112 Mark March 28, 2016 at 9:45 pm

The Clinton article is, if anything, too light on her. They should have catalogued more of her lies about the system, including the “I only used one blackberry” story she started off with.

113 TMC March 29, 2016 at 10:11 am

As Secretary of State Clinton was basically one of the top 10 targets in the world to be hacked. This would have started just after the domain name was registered. ‘clintonemail’ is a bit obvious.

Organizations with multiple layers of security and teams of IT pros now say it’s just a matter of time when someone will get through. That’s what my company tells the board. Clinton had a basic server and firewall that would have been compromised right away by state level hackers. Only the most ardent supporter now believes her email system would not have been compromised.

On the bright side for such supporters – maybe this is why she sucked so bad as SOS. Everyone already knew her game plan.

114 Philo March 29, 2016 at 10:41 am

#1: Good, but l-o-o-ong!

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