Specialized Judges, But for Whom Do They Work?

Joel Shapiro faced an uphill battle when he fought the Securities and Exchange Commission in an Atlanta court last year.

The investment-firm chief executive came before an SEC administrative law judge who has never fully cleared a defendant. In August, the judge found Mr Shapiro had violated securities law, showing “reckless disregard” for his duty to investors.

Shapiro’s outcome isn’t unusual. Shockingly, neither is that SEC admin judge’s record. Appeal? Don’t bet against the house [emphasis added].

The odds are once more against Mr Shapiro as he challenges this ruling. His appeal will be decided by the SEC’s five commissioners, the same body that decided the case against him should go forward in the first place.

How Crass

Hillary Clinton has figured out a way to monetize Mother’s Day—inviting supporters to enter a contest where she’ll ring up Mom just in case you forget to send flowers.

Entering is free, but those who sign up get directed to a page where they get the chance to “increase your odds” by giving cash to Clinton’s presidential campaign. Contribution amounts are listed at amounts ranging from $5 to $2,700.

There is no second prize listed….

Of course there’s a second prize: a campaign seasonful of duns from Clinton for more money.

Then Get Out Of The Way

President Barack Obama had some choice words about the Loretta Lynch nomination at a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

What are we doing here? I have to say, there are times where the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far. This is an example of it. It’s gone too far. Enough. Enough. … This is embarrassing, a process like this.

Naturally

The board of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation has decided to continue accepting donations from foreign governments, primarily from six countries, even though Hillary Clinton is running for president….

Other governments will be encouraged to contribute to the Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative, carefully ignoring the fungibility of money.

Corporate campaign money is bad. But foreign government…money is good. She will, after all, be dealing with those foreign governments as peers (in every sense of that word) if she’s elected, not those corporations.

Oh, and the evils of corporate campaign money? That’s for the little people. Clinton’s campaign organizations, PACs, etc are expected to raise $1-$2 billion this campaign season.

Who’s Protecting Whom?

The Drug Enforcement Agency has the way of the Secret Service, at least in Colombia: partying with prostitutes. DEA seems to have taken the thing a step further, though: the parties appear to be funded by the drug cartels the partying agents were sent to investigate.

The agents’ punishment? Two weeks of suspension. Naturally, Congress is…dismayed…both with the behavior and with the wrist-slap. How the anger is expressed is instructive, though. DEA Administrator Michelle Leonhart testified in front of the House Oversight Committee that there’s not much more she can do; civil service system law and regulations keep her from doing more. She’s not even allowed to have input on the sanctions to be applied for such misbehavior.

Whatever Happened

…to the plaint that Congress’ bill asserting its capacity to approve or disapprove Obama’s coming Executive Agreement with Iran regarding the latter’s nuclear weapons program would fatally imperil those negotiations?

Now the guy who sits in the Secretary of State’s chair, John Kerry, is saying

Yesterday there was a compromise reached in Washington regarding congressional input. We are confident about our ability for the president to negotiate an agreement, and to do so with the ability to make the world safer.

The only change of substance was to withdraw a requirement that President Barack Obama certify every 90 days that Iran was not supporting terrorist organizations anymore.

Foreign Policy

Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy cred.

At a moment when foreign policy figures to loom larger in this presidential race than in recent election cycles, none of Mrs Clinton’s prospective opponents can match her credentials as a four-year secretary of state. Ordinarily that would be a strong selling point. Yet Mrs Clinton also is tied to Obama-era overseas initiatives that have largely proved unpopular and she’ll be hard-pressed to cite concrete achievements that she made happen on her watch, analysts say.

Drop It

President Barack Obama told Congress to be quiet regarding his “deal” with Iran over the latter’s nuclear weapons program. Now he’s sending his guy who sits in the Secretary of State’s chair to tell them directly.

[Secretary of State John] Kerry said he would brief House members on Monday and senators on Tuesday. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to take up the legislation on the same day.

The administration should be free to negotiate without interference until the June 30 deadline for a final agreement, Kerry said on CBS’ Face the Nation.

The Arrogance of Democrat Power

CIA Director John Brennan had this to say at the Harvard Institute of Politics regarding the nuclear weapons deal “negotiated” with Iran:

I must tell you the individuals who say this deal provides a pathway for Iran to a bomb are being wholly disingenuous, in my view, if they know the facts, understand what’s required for a program[.]

How dare you criticize your Betters!?

Sit down, and shut up.

As The Wall Street Journal put it,

Mr Brennan’s naked public partisanship harms the CIA by making whatever it now says about Iran simply unbelievable.

Because, Shut Up

President Barack Obama really doesn’t like it when folks disagree with him.

Obama said that Arizona Senator John McCain (R, AZ) had suggested Secretary of State John Kerry’s explanations of the framework agreement in Iran were “somehow less trustworthy” than those of Iran’s supreme leader.

Never mind that Kerry released a FAQ on the framework “deal” (after it had been…negotiated…and before the proposed terms had been discussed with Congress) that’s radically different from what the Iranians thought they had tentatively agreed. Released by a man who once, in public and sworn testimony, accused our military of wholesale, routine war crimes. A man who tried to avoid his home state’s luxury taxes by berthing his multi-million dollar yacht in another state. Yeah, Kerry is entirely trustworthy.