State Department Declines to Pursue Influence Peddling Allegations
Suspicion that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have been involved in questionable financial transactions between foreign governments and the Clinton Foundation was brushed aside as a "matter of no interest" by Department spokesman Jeff Rathke.
"Secretary Clinton has assured us that there were no improprieties," Rathke said. "We 'd have to have some concrete proof before we 'd undertake any moves that could impugn her integrity. Now that her private server has been erased it doesn't look like there could ever be any concrete proof."
"Personally, I find it hard to believe that a woman who has dedicated here life to public service could be influenced by any amount of money to deviate from pursuing the public good," Rathke added. "Besides, the Clintons are already quite wealthy. They'd have no need to engage in anything so sordid as taking bribes in exchange for favorable policies or actions by the State Department."
Rathke's views appeared to conflict with those of State Department Assistant Secretary Joyce Barr who characterized Clinton's use of a private server for official business as "not acceptable" in testimony at a Senate Judiciary hearing. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) used a bit stronger language saying Clinton's actions "amounted to a premeditated and deliberate violation of the law."
Lawyers for Clinton rejected these allegations and contended that "the private server gave the nation an added layer of security. A government server would have been vulnerable to a 'freedom of information' disclosure of its contents, but her private server could be and was simply erased—protecting vital secrets from unwarranted prying."
In related news, Hillary Clinton's campaign declined to disclose who its major donors are. Campaign Manager Robbie Mook said "revelation of the names of key donors will remain confidential. The only reason why people demand to know names is so they can try to intimidate these donors and deny the candidate the resources she needs to fight for the rights of everyday Americans. Anonymity is an important protection with significant historical precedence. We will resist all efforts to breach this protection."
Black Panther Leaders Say More White People Need to Get Hurt
Spokesmen for the New Black Panther Party called for actions designed to "put the hurt on white people" as a means for "addressing centuries of oppression of Black folks."
Former national chairman of the New Black Panther Party and current national president of Black Lawyers for Justice, Malik Zulu Shabazz, urged Baltimore rioters to "strike back in self-defense against the police. The Mayor invited the victims of oppression to take revenge and reparations against the society that has harmed them. Those who stand in the way have no one to blame but themselves if they get hurt."
New Black Panther Party, Chief of Staff Michelle Williams and King Samir Shabazz, upped the ante by calling on rioters "to firebomb nurseries so that they can kill as many white babies as possible." Shabazz characterized this as "the most effective way to make our case. Pulling white people out of their homes, skinning them alive, and dragging them behind trucks is what they deserve, but it's too risky. Some of these whites have guns, but none of the white babies can fight back and the deaths of these innocents will cause the most pain to our white oppressors."
In related news, Islamic Imam Anjem Choudary claimed it is his "Constitutional right to publicly urge Muslims to murder Pamela Geller for hosting a blasphemous draw Mohammed contest. Under the US Constitution my right to practice my religion is guaranteed. My religion condemns all disrespect for the Prophet and prescribes death for anyone who violates this command. I cannot be prohibited from proclaiming this tenet of our doctrine. Neither can any Muslim be legally prohibited from slaughtering the blasphemer."
White House Against GOP Attempts to Restrict How Iran Spends Released Funds
A component of the forthcoming agreement between the US and Iran on nuclear weapons development is the US release of Iranian funds that have been frozen in US banks. GOP critics of the agreement fear that these funds will be used to aid terrorist attacks in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Press Secretary Josh Earnest mocked these fears as "paranoid delusions. It would make no sense for the Iranians to besmirch the rapport our two countries have worked so hard to achieve by 'stabbing us in the back' with such a duplicitous response to our generosity."
Earnest cited "the historic precedent set by President Franklin Roosevelt's policy of giving Stalin everything he wanted while asking nothing in return as evidence that trusting Iran to do the right thing will work out over the long run. Stalin did everything we could have hoped for when FDR extended this trust in their intentions."
Earnest brushed off Stalin's initiation of the Iron Curtain and the Cold War as "a predictable reaction to Truman's post-war anti-communist policies. It was Truman who sent aid to Europe under the Marshall Plan with the express purpose of helping these war-torn nations resist communist inroads. This direct challenge to the Soviet Union's interests provoked Stalin's hostility. Today's GOP mistrust of Iran threatens to repeat Truman's errors."
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected the idea that any conditions could be attached to how his country spends the released funds. "We are a sovereign nation," Khamenei said. "How we handle our funds is no one else's business."
Educational Standards Demanding Hard Work Called Discriminatory
California's Pacific Educational Group (PEG) denounced educational standards that require students to study and work hard in order to graduate as "discrimination against Black students."
PEG co-chair Kenneth K. Knowlton asserted that "Blacks are less likely to respond to fundamental ideas like working hard to achieve success, or being on time for school or work. The notion that such attitudes ought to be instilled in every student is a racist endeavor that seeks to submerge this vital subculture."
"What's more, the contention that hard work is a key to success is belied by reality," Knowlton maintained. "A significant segment of the Black subculture has learned to survive on government benefit programs that do not require hard work. Adapting to these programs is a viable low-energy route to reasonably comfortable subsistence in our society. In terms of return on investment or effort it is very efficient. A school's attempt to divert students from this efficient path does them a disservice."
A statistic bolstering Knowlton's claims was obtained from a Department of Agriculture study indicating that 40% of the people on Food Stamps are obese—a finding that Knowlton contended "debunks the old-fashioned thinking that warns of the privation awaiting those who don't put forth the effort to support themselves."
In related news, British academic Adam Swift charged that "parents who read to their children are giving them an unfair advantage over children whose parents are unable or unwilling to read to their children. Evidence shows that the difference between those who get bedtime stories and those who don't – the difference in their life chances – is bigger than the difference between those who get elite private schooling and those that don't. For the sake of equality of opportunity we ought to figure out a way to interdict this type of selfish behavior."
Swift lamented the improbability for success "as long as children are entrusted to the care of their own parents. If all children could be separated from their parents at an early age and raised by childcare professionals, a more uniform experience would be more easily ensured. All or none could be read to as seems most conducive to the collective well-being of society."
ACLU Calls Surveillance of Baltimore Riots an "Invasion of Privacy"
The American Civil Liberties Union demanded an end to the use of government drone aircraft to "spy" on those looting and burning buildings in Baltimore.
"Persons walking the streets should not be faced with such an intrusive violation of their privacy," declared ACLU spokesman Bertram Petty. "Officials need to present a 'probable cause' case to observe a specific individual suspected of a specific crime. They have no authority for a general surveillance of an entire city."
Petty also questioned whether the looting and burning would even qualify as crimes, per se. "The title to the property being removed from the businesses is unclear," Petty argued. "Some of the ancestors of the current white business owners were surely slaveholders. The wealth passed down to them was obtained by the exploitation of the ancestors of some of the current looters. On top of this, any pain they may have suffered from seeing their businesses burn can't possibly exceed the pain suffered by slaves who were whipped or worse by their white masters."
President Obama endorsed the ACLU move. "The unrest in places like Baltimore and Ferguson are the natural consequences of white indifference to the plight of Black men," Obama asserted. "Shut out of lucrative employment by racial discrimination Black men have no alternative but to resort to crime just to make a living. Taking the initiative to sell drugs or steal property puts them at risk of being shot by police. This perpetuates the racial injustices that have stained America's history."
The President issued a call for "a nationwide mobilization to reverse inequalities and redistribute the nation's wealth more fairly among all its people. If victims of injustice could have confidence that the government would redistribute wealth they would have no need to attempt an ad hoc redistribution through looting."