"Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life." -- Frank Sinatra, as Maj. Bennett Marco
"His brain has not only been washed, as they say ... It has been dry-cleaned." -- Khigh Dhiegh, as Dr. Yen Lo
These lines from the 1962 classic film "The Manchurian Candidate" came to mind after I listened to President Obama's endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
The president said, "I don't think there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office."
Really? She would be equal to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and himself? Notice President Obama didn't say she is "more qualified," because that would diminish him and when it comes to narcissism, Obama and the Clintons make Donald Trump look like a shrinking violet.
In his effusive praise of Hillary Clinton, the president did not mention any specific accomplishments that might qualify her for the office. That is because there are none. There is a lot of symbolism, of course, but no substantive results as secretary of state, an unremarkable single term as a senator from New York, and eight years as first lady when, in 1993, she couldn't get the Clintons' health reform legislation through a majority Democratic Congress. There is, however, a long list of dubious and possibly criminal "achievements."
Besides the questions surrounding Clinton's use of a private server and whether secret government documents were compromised and possibly hacked by America's adversaries, there is another issue the major media have completely ignored.
Townhall.com columnist Guy Benson writes about it in a recent posting. It involves an institution known as Laureate Education, the parent company of Walden University, an online, for-profit school, which in its practices, according to Benson, sounds a lot like Trump University.
Benson writes: "Laureate Education has been sued over such programs as its Walden University Online offering, which many have alleged is a scam designed to bilk students of tens of thousands of dollars for degrees. Students say they were repeatedly delayed and given added costs as they tried to secure degrees, leaving them deeply in debt."
That's not the worst of it. Benson continues: "The respected Inside Higher Education reported that Laureate Education paid Bill Clinton an obscene $16.5 million between 2010 and 2014 to serve as an honorary chancellor for Laureate International Universities. While Bill Clinton was the group's pitchman, the State Department funneled $55 million to Laureate when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state."
If this doesn't suggest conflict of interest, quid pro quo and possibly even bribery, these words have lost all meaning.
You haven't read, heard or seen any of this mentioned in the major media, which are largely serving as an auxiliary to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.
This and many other things from what conservative critics call "the Clinton crime foundation" ought to be red meat for Donald Trump. He should ask why the media are engaging in a near total blackout of Laureate Education and the enormous flow of money to the Clintons and their foundation from governments, institutions and individuals.
Speaking of qualifications, perhaps no president, or presidential candidate, has been bought and paid for more than Hillary Clinton. She comes to this contest not with a long list of accomplishments, but with a trail of "receipts" and IOUs. If she becomes president, donors might reasonably be expected to collect on their investment.
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Cal Thomas, America's most-syndicated columnist, is the author of 10 books.