Election 2016

The Lies From Trump, Clinton, and Obama That We Choose To Believe

"We don't pay ransom for hostages" and other obvious falsehoods from the past week.


Contemporary politics, explained in one chart

The past few days have featured several spectacular instances of would-be presidents and an actual president lying their faces off. Depending on your partisan and ideological affiliations, you have probably chosen to believe some of the lies while calling attention to vileness of the folks with whom you disagree. Congratulations, you—we—are part of the problem.

Can we at least agree that we are living in a post-fact world? Hell, maybe we always have. Such an admission might be the start of a productive reset, at least when it comes to politics. Here are three examples to illustrate the depth and breadth of the problem.

Example 1: Donald Trump and the Amazing, Disappearing Jetliner Full of Cash for Iran. Earlier this week, the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, testified several times yesterday that he watched a video in which $400 million in cash paid to Iran earlier this year was "pouring off of a plane." He repeated this claim even after his own campaign denied its validity. In fact, there is no such video, plain and simple, or (same thing) no video that Donald Trump has ever seen. Eventually, even The Donald had to retreat from his blatant falsehood:

Example 2: Hillary Clinton's Straightfaced Denialism of Very Basic Reality, James Comey Edition. Last Sunday on Fox News, host Chris Wallace laid out very clearly and precisely a series of statements made by Hillary Clinton about the level and amount of confidential material that passed through her personal email server while acting as Secretary of State. As Jacob Sullum noted earlier at Reason,

"On July 5, the day he recommended against prosecuting Clinton for her "extremely careless" handling of "very sensitive, highly classified information," Comey directly refuted Clinton's claim that retroative classification accounts for any official secrets that may have made their way into her email. "From the group of 30,000 emails returned to the State Department," he said, "110 emails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received [emphasis added]."

Clinton's response to Wallace is priceless, partly because it's delivered in a countenance suggesting she could be the all-time champ on the old game show Make Me Laugh (which awarded prizes based to contestants who never cracked a smile while comedians told jokes): "Chris, that's not what I heard Director Comey say."

Only the most in-the-tank zealot could insist that Clinton is not full of beans on this score. For anyone undecided who can still be convinced, watch this:

Example 3: The Great Iranian-Hostage-Release Coincidence & Good-Timing, $400-Million Miracle. Back to Iran: As The Wall Street Journal reported recently, the U.S. government flew $400 million in currency to Iran in January, just as long-held American hostages were being released by the Islamic Republic. This raises an obvious question: Was the payment actually ransom? "We do not pay ransom for hostages," said Obama when asked about it. But as Eli Lake at Bloomberg View notes, that's a total, bald-faced lie. Of course we pay ransom for hostages and have been doing so for decades. In fact, that's especially the case

when it comes to Iran…, ransom payments are standard operating procedure. It goes back to the Reagan administration. In the early 1980s, Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy in Lebanon, had taken several Americans hostage. In 1984, the Reagan administration began what it had hoped was an opening to Iranian moderates (sound familiar?). Eventually, that secret diplomacy turned into a deal to exchange anti-tank missiles from Israel for the release of hostages in Lebanon. The profits from the arms sale later went to fund the Nicaraguan Contras, but that's another story.

Reagan didn't get his story straight at first. In an address in November 1986 he acknowledged the arms sale, but insisted it was not part of a deal to free the hostages. By March 1987, Reagan came clean to the American people and acknowledged the arms-for-hostages deal with Iran.

Obama supporters claim that the $400 million payment was in the works for years now, don't you understand, and the bizarre timing doesn't suggest anything about payments for hostages. If that's the case, someone should get on the Don Ameche with Tehran immediately since, Lake writes, "Since releasing the four U.S. citizens in January, the regime has arrested two more Iranian-Americans and detained other Westerners. The Wall Street Journal reports that friends and family of two captives say Iran wants more cash or a prisoner exchange." Of course, the payment was ransom. (And let's not pretend that this is the only dissembling done by the Obama administration. It's simply the most recent. See here for early instances.).

Now, you can argue that paying ransom for hostages is or isn't a bad idea, or that Hillary has to deny any wrongdoing related to her email scandal, and that Trump suffers from some sort of neurological condition that impairs his reality-testing, or whatever. But let's not pretend, shall we, that these people are not recidivist bullshit artists.

Sure, the internet and other technologies allow us to live in an ideological bubble that is virtually impervious to non-confirming information and data.

Vaclav Havel
David Sedlecký, Wikimedia, Creative Commons

But it's equally and even more true that we live in the Age of Transparency where the whole world can fact-check your ass (including mine!). The best way forward, especially in a time when confidence and trust in major institutions are flopping quicker than Cristiano Ronaldo in UEFA play, is for the people in charge of our politics to actually argue in good faith. Failing that, it's up to us little people, regardless of ideological predispositions, to hold our own folks as accountable as possible. My colleague Matt Welch is fond of citing Vaclav Havel, the great Czech writer, dissident and, later, politician on the subject of insisting on truth in everyday discourse. One of Havel's greatest essays, "The Power of the Powerless," was published in "post-totalitarian" Czechoslovokia in 1979, under circumstances that are virtually incomprehensible in 21st-century America. And yet, Havel's call to "live within the truth" is relevant to contemporary discourse.

We would do well to heed his warning that "Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world. It offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them." And we'd make not just the 2016 election but our country's future much better if we insisted on calling bullshit where we find it, even or especially when spoken by our politicial allies.

NEXT: Unauthorized Fun in a Dumpster Pool Perturbs Philadelphia Bureaucrats

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  1. The plane I saw on television was the hostage plane in Geneva, Switzerland, not the plane carrying $400 million in cash going to Iran!

    ? Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2016

    This is why DJT will win in November: because he trolls the media like this. They nail him on a miscue, at which point he springs the trap. Now they have to report on something they’d prefer was just buried.

    (lies I choose to believe)

    1. Trump lied about seeing something illegal that the Obama Administration did – something they actually did do.

      Clinton lied about crimes she committed – the FBI Director contradicted her and confirmed that she really did commit a bunch of felonies.

      I’m going to go out on a limb as say Clinton may be the worse liar here.

      1. I just wish Trump were more consistent and focused*, because this tactic is brilliant. It reduces the lefty media machine to arguing, “The president does not sodomize sheep as Mr. Trump risibly suggests. The animal in question was a single goat, and the incident took place only once.”

        *and less of a statist scumbag, obvs

        1. “And this document imprinted with a shit-covered goat hoof indicates there was clear consent.”

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      2. Trump’s is worse because his lie was so bad that even The Donald had to retreat from it and, er, well tell the truth.

        1. That’s the game dummy!

          He had to admit that he didn’t actually see the planeload of cash Obama flew to Iran. Without Trump’s whopper, the media never ever would have reported on it. It would be under the rug with the Clinton Foundation and the email investigation. Instead, they had to talk all about it to explain how bad Trump is.

          1. You know who else plays 4th Dimensional Chess?

      3. It has been said that Trump lies to exaggerate while H Clinton lies to cover up her criminal activity. Who holds the moral high ground????

      4. I’ve written this here before, but I’ll write it again. I think there is a qualitative difference between Clinton’s lies and Trumps lies, when considered strictly on the basis of how they make arguments. Clinton lies, this is clear. But at least she attempts to connect her lies to evidence. Usually, she’s misusing evidence, to be sure, but the fact that she goes back to the Comey transcripts to see exactly what he said, and then twists it to her advantage, indicates that she has at least one foot planted in reality. She knows that most people think evidence really matters. What bothers me about Trump is that many (most?) of his lies are wrong on the face of it or can be easily proven to be untrue. For him, evidence doesn’t seem to matter at all. He’s a fabulist. Yes, they both lie, but Clinton at least pretends that facts matter.

        1. There is definitely a qualitative difference. Clinton’s lies are to cover her crimes or make herself look good and Trumps are to make himself look good or to rope a dope the media. He is truly gifted at it, I will give him that. As for your assertion that Clinton is more fact based, I beg to differ.

          For real world results as opposed to the Clinton facts I ask you to look at the Eric Trump Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, especially telling is that the CGI had around 10% that has actually gone to charity work the last few years, and the Haitian relief effort that CGI spearheaded wasted over 2 billion dollars.

          How did that work out?

          For the Haitians very badly, for the Clinton’s pretty well. Lots of pay, brother gets the only gold mine in Haiti, and billions in slush money to set up the next stage of the scam, Hillary’s presidency.
          At least Trump had to go bankrupt, Hillary and her crowd just raise taxes when they run through the taxpayer money.

          Does the government ever come in on budget or do anything well?
          Why would anyone vote to let them take more power?

          I submit that Trump hated having to pay off these losers so he could build his properties. I think he would see the benefit in smacking them down a little. For now, that’s the best we are offered.

          1. You’re missing the point. Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I’m not disputing the fact that Clinton lies. Nor am I denying that she profited from these lies, monetarily and otherwise. The issues you raise above suggest that Clinton is bad and what she does, and takes advantage of the system. Again, no argument from me. What she does do is at least *attempt* to connect her lies to evidence, however inappropriately and unskillfully. Implicit in these attempts, I think, is a recognition that evidence still matters. And for people like me, who do think it matters, this is not a trivial point because without recourse to evidence, we’re all off in Lala Land. As P.J. O’Rourke has been quoted in these pages as saying about Clinton, “She’s wrong about absolutely everything. But she’s wrong within normal parameters!”

            Trump, on the other hand, has a very different problem. Namely, he sees things that simply do not exist, like the thousands of Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey. Or he is out of touch with basic mathematics, like when he claimed that he will eliminate $19 trillion in debt in 8 years. Or he subscribes to odd conspiracy theories, like the one about how Ted Cruz’s dad was involved in assassinating JFK. Now, it’s a debatable as to why he’s doing all this, whether he is just doing it to get a rise out of people or simply doesn’t have a clue. But he seems absolutely unconcerned that no evidence exists for these claims. At all.

    2. Trump is no ‘outsider’. He has been in bed with pols on both sides of the aisle for decades. I have to wonder how much shit like this he has watched over that time. Maybe the guy just got sick of it and decided to shit in their punchbowl.

      It is pretty likely that when he claimed to have seen a video of X he knew people were going to want verification. Thus, as commodious points out, Obumble’s deal would be the center of attention.

      Clinton’s lies are of a completely different nature. Purely pathological. She lies to our faces about videos she knows we have already seen.

      1. if you recall his entry into the campaign, Trump talked about having rented this official or that one in order to get something done. The man stood before cameras and mikes, and discussed how the sausage gets made. And no one in the press gave a shit because his early feud with Megyn Kelly was far more important.

      2. That’s a good point, about trump’s speech being more clickbait than content. Also, we should start demanding video evidence that people watched the videos they claim to have watched. It’ll be like newspaper stories about tweets!.

    3. Related:

      Networks Are Now Fact-Checking Trump’s Lies in Real Time and It’s Ruining His Campaign

      In comparison with other prominent politicians and elected officials from both the Republican and Democratic parties, Trump leads the pack in lies told. In a chart assembled by fact-checking website Politifact, roughly 75 percent of Trump’s statements were rated “pants on fire,” “false,” and “mostly false.” The billionaire TV star lies even more than Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

      1. From the politifact chart, all the top spots are republicans and Hillary and Obama are the bottom two.

        1. Yes, but it’s Politifact. FACTS! Unbiased, unvarnished, scientifically validated FACTS!

      2. roughly 75 percent of Trump’s statements were rated “pants on fire,” “false,” and “mostly false.”

        I enjoy that they included this in the article and also included “he makes one false statement every 5 minutes of speechifying” because those are directly contradictory claims that serve to highlight that you can make whatever portion of Candidate X’s claims lies you want by manipulating what you’re checking in the first place.

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    6. I’ve got my FIRST check total of $4800 for a week, pretty cool. working from home saves money in several ways.I love this. I’ve recently started taking the steps to build my freelance Job career so that I can work from home. here is i started.. Go this website more info work… http://bit.do/oMaVAv

  2. Good article Jacket. Commentariat will now discuss. *cue shitshow take 493

    1. Commentariat will of course dicuss how ridiculously, blatantly, biasedly cosmotarian it is that all three of those lies are being lumped together when obviously to any fair-minded person………

      ah, fuck it. blah blah blah You know. Nick just lit the mother of all Trumpalo signals and like fucking ADD moths to the flame, here they’ll come.

      1. Is the defense of the Jacket now that he writes and says stupid things just to get a reaction not because he means them? Is that really his fanboys’ final answer?

        1. Come on, John; Trump says outlandish things. How unpresidential. But selling influence while in office, or basically funding Iran’s export of terror, those are signs of diplomacy, leadership, and smart power.

          1. When exactly did Nick say this? Did we read the same article?

        2. I’m not going to go back and find the old post, but I can paraphrase it.

          For a long time I figured global warming was all a big scam – until Ron Bailey said he had seen enough to convince him there was something there, that the climate is warming up somewhat and Man does have something to do with it. My first reaction was “Aw, hell, they got Bailey. And I used to respect the guy.” But after a little bit of thought I had to admit to myself that I’d bet my life Ron Bailey knows more about science than I do and that maybe if he’s saying he’s convinced man-made global warming is a real thing I should be a little less skeptical. Does this mean I believe 100% everything Ron Bailey says or that everything the watermelon global warming alarmists are saying is true? No – I’m just saying that a little respect for the opinions of people who know more than you do and a little humility in your own self-regard are flipsides of the same healthy coin.

          I’ve been libertarian longer than you’ve been alive, John. I’ve heard more shit than you can shake two sticks at and it’s just tiresome to hear know-it-alls talk shit about somebody or something they don’t know enough about to have even a modestly informed opinion about. If Nick said he was voting for Jill Stein and here’s why I would probably think less of him and I’d argue he’s wrong – but I wouldn’t dismiss his argument like he’s a retarded 5-year old. He’s not. The man has opinions worth listening to.

          1. I was born in 1970. The libertarian movement didn’t start until the late 60s. So unless you were a founding member, i doubt you have been one longer than I have been alive.

            I don’t have a problem with people I disagree with. What I have a problem with is people who are dishonest and don’t really believe what they say. I also have a problem with people who hold logically inconsistent positions. Nick does both. First, he claims to be a “pox on both houses” independent but then never applies the same standards to both sides. So he is not a “pox on both houses”.

            The problem with this post is that he is claiming they are all liars but then posts three lies that are in no way comparable. Nick is just pretending they are.

            The problem is the obvious bias and dishonesty not that Nick has to agree with me. He doesn’t. I just wish he would disagree in a more honest and interesting way.

            1. If Jerryskids is as old as I am, it’s perfectly possible he’s been a libertarian longer than you’ve been alive. (For me, 1970 was the year my 11th-12th-grade self read a boatload of Ayn Rand, Jerome Tucille, Leonard Read, and Ludwig von Mises. I can’t claim I understood any of the von Mises.) What makes you think that’s so unlikely?

          2. But after a little bit of thought I had to admit to myself that I’d bet my life Ron Bailey knows more about science than I do and that maybe if he’s saying he’s convinced man-made global warming is a real thing I should be a little less skeptical.

            No offense, but this is a silly way of reasoning. If Bailey, or anyone else, knows so much more about a subject than the rest of us, he can very well explain the data and support his position in a substantive manner, rather than insisting we’ve got to accept his authority. That’s just taking responsibility for your own mind.

            It’s not a person who has opinions that are worth listening to. It’s opinions themselves that are or aren’t worth listening to.

            1. When you judge an man;s credibility by his thesis it is different than judging him by the weight of someone else’s antithesis. The former is belief and the latter is science.

          3. Does this mean I believe 100% everything Ron Bailey says or that everything the watermelon global warming alarmists are saying is true? No

            Right answer.

          4. Jerry….regarding appeal to authority….you are a dumbass.

          5. I believe that Ron believes climate change is real, and I believe that the climate has never once in the history of Earth stopped changing.

            Those aren’t really the same thing though, and even Ron admits he’s come to his conclusions by hanging out with the scientists who make these predictions and through his own reading. Last I checked, though, Ron is a journalist and not a scientist so his opinion is one informed by someone else just like the vast majority of us. He’s just read more than most of us on the subject.

        3. Is the defense of the Jacket Johnmenter now that he writes and says stupid things just to get a reaction not because he means them?

        4. John,
          I’m not a fanboy of the Jacket. I do however throw shade when it is needed and praise when warranted.

          1. I never see it. Please link to a single time you have ever criticized Nick or done anything but defend him. I would be curious to see.

            1. Are you serious? John, I’m called him out repeatedly for all his Cruz bashing. Jeesh, you love to tilt at windmills.

              1. *I’ve
                Yes, in replying to John, I made a type. Go figure. Next reply to SugarFree will have an SF’ed link.

      2. Everybody knows Nick is in the tank for Hillary. /s

  3. One of these lies is not like the other.

    Meanwhile, holy crap on a cracker.


    1. Days before an ISIS sympathizer attacked a cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, he received a text from an undercover FBI agent.
      “Tear up Texas,” the agent messaged Elton Simpson days before he opened fire at the the Draw Muhammad event, according to an affidavit filed in federal court Thursday.

      “U know what happened in Paris,” Simpson responded. “So that goes without saying? No need to be direct.”

      That revelation comes amidst a national debate about the use of undercover officers and human sources in terrorism cases. Undercover sources are used in more than half of ISIS-related terror cases, according to statistics kept by the George Washington University Program on Extremism, and civil liberties advocates say some of those charged might not have escalated their behavior without those interventions.

      1. It’s funny: four years ago, Romney said Russia was the greatest geopolitical threat, and the left laughed and laughed. Now, the left shits its pants over Putin and accuses Trump of being agent. Current day, some folks have noticed that radical Islam is a thing and not a good one, and again, the left laughs and laughs and calls them bigots. How many times do leftists have to be wrong before that becomes noticeable?

        1. That is a question that experience has yet to answer.

        2. Aren’t you idiots on Russia’s side these days?

          1. Again: Romney said the Russians were THE geopolitical threat, and you folks laughed. Then Hillary came along, sold a bit of influence as SoS, the Foundation got some cash, Bill’s speaking fees skyrocketed, and the Russians got uranium rights. Smart power, indeed. Perhaps you can point out where “we idiots” are involved.

              1. Ukrainium rights?

            1. Voting for Trump?

          2. Richman is not the Libertarian Pope.

      2. People have been saying the US is the #1 purveyor of terrorism for a while now. What do they have to lose?

    2. It would certainly be inappropriate for an FBI undercover agent or cooperating witness to provoke or inspire or urge a person to commit an act of violence,” Michael German, a former FBI agent now at the Brennan Center for Justice, told The Daily Beast. “I could imagine an undercover agent thinking it was just the hyperbolic rhetoric they are participating in, and it wasn’t an intent to go to texas and do harm.”

      According to the court papers, [the jihadist] asked the undercover officer about the Draw Muhammad event’s security, size, and police presence, during the event, according to an affidavit filed in court.

      The affidavit does not specify what the undercover responded to questions about size and security.

      You read that right. The FBI appears to have encourage Jihadists to attack the Pam Geller event. Wow.

      1. Wait – are you another one of my sockpuppets?

      2. Weren’t there some bits of evidence that the FBI was tangentially involved with Timothy McVeigh as he was working on conceiving and building the bomb he used in Oklahoma City?

        1. How much you wanna bet that they were also involved with the Tsarnaev boys too?

          1. At least, the elder was involved in a triple murder a few years earlier. Probably they were closing in. The FBI killed one of the accomplices during an hours-long interview – unclear why.

    3. For a guy who’s been bloviating on this thread about the quality of one’s “facts,” you sure have a low fucking threshold as to what you consider to be quality data. The comment that the agent is purported to have made is sufficiently vague — “Tear Up Texas” — that it could mean almost anything. “Days before” — what does that mean? How many days? 1? 100? Not to mention the fact that undercover law enforcement operations are intended primarily to bait people into doing illegal shit (for better or worse). And don’t even get me started on the overall reliability of “Ace of Spades HQ.” What a fucking joke.

  4. They lie? This made me do a double-take.

    1. They were discussing how unstable Trump is ad nauseum on the independents yesterday, but that bitch is fucked in the head on a whole another level. I think she has Creutzfeldt-Jakob or late stage syphilis.

    2. Not a siezure. It was a short circuit

      A video where Hillary tries to spin her statement to Chris Wallace that Comey said she was totally truthful.

  5. Okay, I’ll quibble: Trump’s plane claim gets top billing? I am curious how that is worse that the actual giving of $400 mil to the world’s leading sponsor of terror.

    1. Shhhh. You’re spoiling the narrative.

    2. You have to grab the young kids with the lede. Dry potatoes and healthy veggies underneath.

    3. It’s just the warm-up.

    4. You don’t blow your wad in the opening salvo.

    5. Trump’s plane claim gets top billing? I am curious how that is worse that the actual giving of $400 mil to the world’s leading sponsor of terror.


      1. I find your argument compelling and logical. Do you have a newsletter to which inquiring minds might subscribe?

    6. It’s just news, since the payment was reported in January. Iran’s money, not the US’s.

      1. Take it up with Nick; he’s calling it something else, along with just about every other media person.

      2. How does it being Iran’s money make it not ransom?

        We had it locked up the day before. They let people go. The next day they had it.

        Paint it up any way you want, they wound up with $400 million they didn’t have. Even if it’s only the doing, if the events are in any way related it’s still ransom.

    7. Lies were presented in alphabetical order: Donald, Hillary, Obama, not in order of worseness

    8. Does going first mean it’s the worst? Could one just as easily argue that they saved the worst for last?

    9. Confusion from a rambling bullshitter on something he thought he saw on TV some time ago, versus calculated campaigns of deception to enable, at best, terrible policies and rank corruption, if not outright treason.

      Forget it, Nick is a pod person now.

  6. Don’t go to Iran. Don’t send your child there and then say, “Their payment of ransom made me think he would be safe, and now the government is lying when they say they can’t do it.”

    1. Go to Iran, Weigel. Please go to Iran now, and try and look like you’re working for the CIA or something.

      1. Are you one of the ‘good guys’ who promises to protect us from the ‘bad guys’? Hard to tell these days.

        1. Pay up your bet fuckface, and stop posting under seven different identities.

  7. Everything about this Iran “nucular” deal is a godawful mess and brings me to a point of major disagreement with Penn Jilette on how “smart” Obama is.

    On the scale of presidents, Obama isn’t that smart. To be sure, he’s no idiot, but he’s simply not as smart as his supporters have repeatedly made him out to be. He’s nowhere near as smart as Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton.

    I think that Obama isn’t cynical as Bill Clinton was (‘who cares if it doesn’t work, I’ll score political points’), I believe that Obama believes that all of his plans, schemes and ideas will actually work out just as they’re written on his Big Chief notepad. I truly don’t think he understands things like incentives- whether they’re market incentives or geopolitical incentives vis-a-vis nation states.

    1. If Jilette honestly believes Obama is that smart, then Jillette is an idiot.

      1. Penn is nice to everyone. He always believes the best about anyone.

        Yeah, I’ve rolled my eyes during his podcast a few times at his worship of guys like Obama.

    2. I know how to settle this. Let’s look at his transcripts from all those fancy schools he attended.

    3. I’ve never gotten that “smart” thing, either. Unless it’s a nicer way of saying evil genius. When someone fucks up that many things, it becomes reasonable to ask if the person doesn’t see fucking up as success.

      1. Hillary Clinton is the evil genius. That woman is smart. She’s in command of a major political empire which has proven to be untouchable, and she’s made mountains of cash by selling access to power. She’s a one-woman political dynasty who commands alarming loyalty from large cadre of political sycophants. And her vision for power and domination is patient and long-term.

        Bill Clinton was also very smart, but channeled his political intelligence in a rock-star kind of way. Bill Clinton just wanted to be liked and popular.

        1. She’s sneaky and conniving, that’s all. She’s basically Cersei Lannister – vicious but stupid.

          When it comes to actual tests of intelligence, she dumb as a post. Flunked the DC Bar exam a bunch of times. She has been a spectacular screw-up in every job she’s ever had. From the devastating review of her performance on House Judiciary Committee during the Nixon impeachment, to screwing up everything she touched as Secretary of State, Hillary keeps proving herself incompetent.

          The only things she seems good are shady deals, cronyism, and outright criminal activity.

          1. The only things she seems good are shady deals, cronyism, and outright criminal activity.

            Because she’s a criminal mastermind. She’s not stupid. All of those ‘screw-ups’ are going to bring her to the whitehouse.

            1. Is she saving her biggest fuck-ups for her Presidency?

              1. Is she saving her biggest fuck-ups for her Presidency?

                Yep, and she’ll have unwavering support the entire time.

          2. Wait, is that link from wnd.com for real is this the right-wing conspiracy in action?
            “Moreover, Zeifman claims Clinton bolstered her fraudulent brief by removing all of the Douglas files from public access and storing them at her office, enabling her to argue as if the case never existed.”

            Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2008/04/609…..2rIcJ9u.99

            Wasn’t this the same committee she served on with her good buddy Weld?

            1. The problem is that Hillary Clinton remained on the Watergate Committee until Richard Nixon resigned and the Committee was shut down. Hillary Clinton did not work directly for Jerry Zeifman, and so he had no authority to fire her.

            2. It’s for real. She was identified as a liar and a sneak by a lifelong Democrat in her first job. All memory-holed by right-thinking people.

    4. Jonah Goldberg

      Sometimes you just have to marvel at the way smart people can talk themselves into stupidity. The whole point of not paying ransoms to terrorists isn’t to save money. The reason we don’t pay kidnappers is that we understand that it will only encourage more kidnapping. So letting the Iranians think the $400 million was a ransom payment is doubly asinine, because it fooled exactly the wrong people, the wrong way. Who cares if the Obama administration “knew” it wasn’t a ransom? What mattered was to make it clear to the Iranians that it wasn’t a ransom, not give them every reason to believe it was. Now, because of this pas-de-deux of asininity, not only have we given the Iranians untraceable walking-around money to give to its terrorist proxies, we’ve also given them every incentive to kidnap more Americans ? which is exactly what they’ve been doing. But at least the folks at the State Department can sleep soundly knowing that they didn’t really pay a ransom ? it just looks that way.

    5. In the catalog of presidential qualities, I think the importance of intelligence is highly overrated.

      We’ve had too many politicians who were already too-clever-by-half.

      I’m much more impressed with qualities like honesty, modesty, diligence, and patience.

      1. Nobody with those qualities would want the job, Bill.

    6. “On the scale of presidents, Obama isn’t that smart. To be sure, he’s no idiot, but he’s simply not as smart as his supporters have repeatedly made him out to be. ”

      Smartest black president ever!!!

    7. Its not just that he’s wrong, he’s also totally missing the point of our form of government. Presidents have not been, and aren’t supposed to be, the best of the best of the best, sir, as they say (“they”, like usual, being will smith). That’s an old world way to think.

  8. I get all my best political opinions from tumblr.

    1. Tumblr? Friendster is what us cool kids are hep to these days, daddy-o.

  9. My favorite part of the story is how the government flew a pallet of Euros and francs because it’s illegal to do bank transfers with Iran. I’m sure they would let that slide if a private company did the same thing.

    1. Of course they would — if the company in question made an appropriate contribution to the Clinton Foundation.

    2. Tell me this whole deal couldn’t be considered “structuring”.

      1. Well, that would be where they broke it up into more than 40,000 individual sub-$10K transactions.

  10. i>Can we at least agree that we are living in a post-fact world?

    You’re just saying that.

  11. Tags aer hsrd.

  12. In fact, there is no such video, plain and simple

    I’m pretty sure they call them secret” missions for a reason.

  13. I think the “Nazis are Bad” article linked to the photo is probably worth reading more than the actual post here.


    Nazis are bad. I think we can all agree on that. But what is a Nazi? I don’t really know. What I do know is that they are bad. I hate them for being bad and that makes me good. And since I am good, anybody who disagrees with me is bad. Since anybody who disagrees with me is bad, anybody who disagrees with me is a Nazi.

    In fact, there are a lot of people out there that scare me. The government has been telling me about them for years, groups like the NRA and evangelical Christians and homophobes, and people who hate immigrants. They ought to be rounded up and put to some productive work rather than letting them infect society with their lies. We could get them all in a single place where the government could keep an eye on them and at the same time get some good out of them for once by forcing them to work on useful things, like green energy projects. If you don’t agree with me, you’re a Nazi.

    I wish we could get done what President Obama proposed when he came to office and create a domestic security force as big and as well-equipped as the armed forces. I don’t know if I trust the army to follow presidential orders, but a Security Staff would, if we recruited the right kind of people. Only a Nazi could oppose the creation of the Security Staff!

    1. The first few were a good breakdown of fascist economic control too. I found it amusing.

  14. Legitimate “Breaking News”: Clinton takes questions from reporters

    I’m not watching, but from following commentary on Twitter, apparently the ‘journalists’ applauded her at one point.

    1. apparently the ‘journalists’ applauded her


    2. Any word on why the lyrics for “The Girl From Ipanema” are running on the crawl?

      1. Mrs. Brady will play this part tonight during the Olympic Games opening ceremony.

      2. Holy shit you weren’t kidding.!?

        I thought you meant that the media was singing paens to Hillary’s subtle and elusive beauty.

        When she walks, she’s like a samba
        That swings so cool and sways so gentle that
        When she passes, each one she passes goes
        But I watch her so sadly
        How can I tell her, “I love you?”
        Yes, I would give my heart gladly
        But each day, when she walks to the sea
        She looks straight ahead, not at me

        1. Next up: “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”

        2. I thought you meant that the media was singing paens to Hillary’s subtle and elusive beauty

          close, it’s the rest of the quote from Huma about when they first met

    3. She isn’t taking questions from any white reporters. And, no, I’m not making a joke.

      1. Black lives matter SugarFree.

        1. And Hispanic ones. I can’t find a feed of it. Even MSNBC is not running it.

          1. National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists


            That acronym just rolls off the tongue.

            1. “Nabja… Nabina… Not gonna work here anymore, anyway.”

          2. They will run some clips once they’ve edited out anything that doesn’t get her best side.

            1. And delete any seizures she has.

            2. they’ve edited out anything that doesn’t get her best side

              So what you are saying is that they won’t be running a clip?

  15. Sorry, Nick, but getting your “facts” from Eli Lake is not a good idea. Eli is Bloomberg’s Likudist in residence. The $400 million we “gave” Iran was $400 million we owed them. Is it ransom to repay a debt? I know Eli wants us to send Iran bombs rather than bucks, but that’s another story.

    More on the “deal” (that was two separate deals) here:


    1. so your argument is that the administration is absolutely tone-deaf in regards to appearances (metaphor mix intentional) or it simply does not give a shit that this looks exactly like a quid pro quo? This is supposed to be the smartest man in history to ever sit in the Oval Office ever, and he goes with a move that is straight from the El Commandante book of non-transparency?

      It’s equally possible to suggest that BI is an Obama water-carrier, in the same vein as you accuse Lake of being a Likud insider. It’s politics, appearance matters.

      1. Are you really outraged over this, or do you just really hope it ticks Obama’s poll numbers down a point or two?

        1. Poll numbers. Really? There is no amount of water than you won’t carry how ever far you are told to carry it, is there?

          1. But you don’t give the slightest shit about this except to the extent that it harms your political opponents in the polls. Am I not right?

            1. So. Much. Projection.

              1. Yep, the first thing that Tony thought was ‘I hope this doesn’t hurt Obama’s poll numbers.’

                1. If you’re gonna worry about anything, who the next president isn’t actually a frivolous concern.

                  1. So why are you talking about the current one?

    2. No word on why Iran has hostages after the historic deal.

      1. Funny that. I thought Reagan got us out of that one, no?

    3. “People knew what it was going to look like, and there was concern the Iranians probably did consider it a ransom payment,” the newspaper quoted one of the people as saying.

      “The Department of Justice fully supported the ultimate outcome of the Administration’s resolution of several issues with Iran, including Hague settlement efforts, as well as the return of U.S. citizens detained in Iran. We will not comment further on internal interagency deliberations,” a department spokesman said in a statement.

      I’m good with it.

      1. Apparently we had some outstanding debt related to the 80’s hostage crisis that needed to be repaid with interest. Makes sense.

    4. It was a debt that we had no intention of paying that we magically decided to pay to get the hostages back. Moreover, as the Jonah Goldberg quote above says it doesn’t matter what we call it, it matters how the Iranians saw it.

      You really are a half wit.

      1. Anal is exactly the sort of person Goldberg was talking about.

    5. The $400 million we “gave” Iran was $400 million we owed them.

      You’re a fucking moron if you think we “coincidentally” decided to resolve a 40yr old disagreement with Iran over withheld funds at the exact same time they were staging the release of hostages.

      You also have to ignore actual testimony from those hostages who were told by their Iranian captors that their flight couldn’t leave until the plane with the blood-money arrived.

      its not just facially absurd to believe there is no connection; its willfully ignorant.

      and what exactly do you mean by “owed”? Since when did we normalize relations with Iran?

      The idea that the US has any undisputed obligations at all to Iran is itself an absurd claim –

      they’ve violated so many ‘agreements’ in the ensuing 40 years that one could just as easily argue that they have still not met conditions to even merit *talking* about resolution of any ancient-funds. We sanctioned and boycotted them for decades and have routinely blocked billions from their economy. Yet you think this particular $400m is somehow magically free from any of those complications?

      I don’t know if i should even bother pointing out the idiotic anti-Semitic conspiracy-mongering; your reputation is such shit already, i don’t think it needs to be highlighted further.

      1. Even if we did decide to release the funds or repay them – it would have been a quiet wire-transfer. Not a flight to Switzerland with a planeload of cash. Laundering that cash into another currency, then physically delivering the cash.

        First off, it breaks our own money-laundering laws. It’s clearly seen as ransom. And it was delivered in the way to most effectively help them sponsor terrorism.

        1. Even if we did decide to release the funds or repay them – it would have been a quiet wire-transfer.

          Not exactly. their claims about the complexity of doing direct business with Iran is actually correct (if mostly handwaving). US Law bars many international banks from doing those kinds of direct transfers with Iran. We’re the creator of that problem.

          It *still* doesn’t explain/merit why they’d need to urgently ship a planeload of currency on short notice. They could in theory have done it a half-dozen other ways, through intermediary financial partners. the reason they did it the way they did was because that’s what the iranians demanded. because they like making the US look bad while they extract their pound of flesh.

          “the Appearance is the Reality” in politics, especially international-politics – and that the appearance of handing a planeload of cash on the same day as a prisoner-swap is de-facto ‘what it looks like’. If it could have been done any other way, it would have, simply to avoid this obvious scandal.

          It was done that way because Iran insisted it be done that way, because *they knew* that it would create problems for Obama – because it would appear *exactly like what it was*

          Its simply Iran getting a pound of flesh on top of their blood-money.

          There’s no possible explanation of what actually happened that doesn’t require the admin either being incompetent or dishonest.

          1. “It *still* doesn’t explain/merit why they’d need to urgently ship a planeload of currency on short notice. ”

            Maybe its because the first 3 shipments never arrived because they got lost in the Clinton Foundation Warehouse…..

        2. Can’t send a wire-transfer to Iran. They aren’t part of the electronic banking system due to sanctions.
          Owed them a bunch of cash. Got a few hostages released in return for finally coughing up payment.
          Looks crappy. Is crappy.

    6. Money we owed them?

      Wasn’t that the same excuse Bush II used for the 12 billion in $100 bills that vanished without a trace into Iraq?

    7. Are you literally retarded? People are objecting because giving ransom money to hostage takers encourages them to take more hostages.

      It doesn’t matter whether under some half-assed Democrat rationalization it’s their money, it matters whether the provision of the money was a payment for hostages.

      And even ignoring that, if the US chose to impound the money of a terror state, and then chooses to give it back to them while they remain a terror state, the US is funding a terror state, “their money” notwithstanding.

      Your attempts to justify this shit are as weak as their attempts to circumvent the law by providing cash in foreign currencies.

      1. Exactly! This stupendously stupid action will only make matters worse. But maybe that is the plan.

  16. You are correct Nick, there is an awful lot of confirmation bias going on in the arena of politics.

    I don’t remember the name of the study, just remember reading about it many years ago.

    *There is a doctor’s waiting room with a number of people, planted, sitting in it. A single person, not in on the study, comes in and sits down. After a few minutes a small bell rings and everyone except that person stands up for a few seconds then sits back down. A few minutes later the bell rings again and everyone stands. After this happens four or five times the person who isnt in on the study begins to stand when the bell rings along with everyone else.

    The plants leave one at a time every few minutes and new people come in. The new people are not in on what is going on but the process continues all day long until everyone in the room four or five cycles into new people, stands when the bell rings, having no idea why. Dumb fucking herd animals.

    Mix that in with confirmation bias and it is no wonder that we barely manage to bumblefuck our way along.

  17. How fucking funny is it that when Nick finally publishes an article about all the hobby horses people have been bitching about all week, the tards still bitch about the order?

    I personally think it’s hysterical hilarious.

    1. Did you read the CIA article? Nothing to complain about the article, so they focused on the pic of Clinton not being unflattering enough.

        1. They. The mysterious THEY.

          And by that I mean one of the usual suspects. So it should have just been He.

          1. Until they declare, it’s ‘xe’.

            1. [hangs head]

            2. Way to other those who identify as hive minds, you cis-numerary shitlord.

          2. (touches nose, glances knowingly at person in corner)

            1. That’s me in the corner.

              1. That’s me in the spotlight.

        1. R C Dean|8.5.16 @ 12:47PM|#|?|filternamelinkcustom

          C’mon, guys. You do a good job of showing us incredibly unflattering pics of Trump (although there has been some slacking off on that front lately), and we get soft-focus PR pics of Hillary? Entertain us with a different terrible pic of each candidate for each article, pls. C’mon – if this is going to be an epic shitshow, lets treat it like one. The intertoobz has a bottomless supply of embarrassing pics of candidates – let’s see the curated Reason collection, por favor.

          He is joking around and I am joking around. What’s the issue, Kenneth?

          1. Crap. Wrong R.E.M. song.

            1. Everybody hurts sometimes.

            2. this is the continuation of the world as we know it

            3. Stand in the place where you live, SugarFree.

            4. I can’t find nothin on the radio.

              1. I asked the guy, “Why you so fly?” he said, “Funky Cold Medina”

                1. Be my queen if you know what I mean and let us do the wild thing.

                    1. Definitely would. Three times a day, would.

      1. Weren’t they bitching that the article didn’t remind people that the CIA guy in question crafted the BS for Benghazi (thus possibly helping Obama to win re-election), and then resigned to work for an Obama/Clinton political outfit? I mean, officially (much like DWS).

    2. $400 million for a few hostages is a “hobby horse” to you because you’re an Obama momma.

  18. That political spectrum chart is fucking awesome by the way.

  19. As George Costanza once said…..it’s not a lie if you believe it.

    If Seinfeld didn’t go off the air, they should have had a story line where George gets into politics.

  20. Even if we did decide to release the funds or repay them – it would have been a quiet wire-transfer. Not a flight to Switzerland with a planeload of cash. Laundering that cash into another currency, then physically delivering the cash.

    First off, it breaks our own money-laundering laws.

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

    “If the President does it….”

  21. Its simply Iran getting a pound of flesh on top of their blood-money.

    “And when you come to the ransom drop, we want the cash in a giant canvas sack with dollar signs and “swag” stencilled on it. And you- are you listening carefully? You are to be dressed in a clown costume. Giant floppy shoes, big red nose, the works. Got it? Don’t fuck this up. Otherwise, you’ll wind up pushing a shopping cart full of Krugerrands through the front gate of our embassy in Washington, NAKED. Bye, now.”

  22. Still three unanswered (and unasked as far as I can tell) questions:

    (1) Why accede to the Iranians demand for cash?

    (2) Where’d the money come from, exactly?

    (3) Was this authorized by a Congressional appropriation?

    1. I’m hoping they got the money by selling weapons to Sandanistas (or at least the Mexican drug cartels), just for the irony.

    2. These are all answered and are a Google search away.

      1. It’s not that obvious at all. The narrative of decades long negotiations sounds plausible, but even the dumbest person can’t help but correlate the funds transfer with the hostage release. Do you suggest they are not at all related?

  23. That last comment and the smile that followed it from Clinton was truly Epic.

  24. RE: The Lies From Trump, Clinton, and Obama That We Choose To Believe
    “We don’t pay ransom for hostages” and other obvious falsehoods from the past week.

    Our leaders have never lied to us.
    They said so.
    Who are we to argue?

  25. I’ll just leave this here.

    1. Yes, the Clintons routinely murder their political enemies, and probably have some number of government personnel serving them not out of corruption, but under duress.

      On the other hand, Donald Trump is wrong and/or mean on the internet. Tough call as to who is worse.

      1. They were killed with love. Trump is definitely worse because he is a angry person.

  26. Thank you for the article was very helpful, I liked his discussion and hopefully a lot of other people who may read this article. Cara Mengobati Kelenjar Tiroid

  27. If ISIS releases prisoners after we unfreeze their assets and honor forfeited arrangement in a separate, we don’t have to consider that as ransom. Whew.

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  29. It’s a shame that “I am not a crook” Richard M. Nixon is not still around to witness this. He’s beginning to look more honest than today’s politicians.

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