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Friday, July 31, 2015

The Real Question about Hillary's Classified Email

By now, you are probably tired of reading about Hillary Clinton's classified email.  Nevertheless, there is one question that no one seems to be asking, and it's, perhaps, the most important.  How can Hillary still have her server and how can Hillary and her lawyers still have copies of the email if we now know that they have classified information on them?

1.  At the moment, it is an established fact that Hillary Clinton's emails contain information that is classified.  We have, to start, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Agencies who says that a review of just a random sample of 40 of Hillary's email turned up 4 that contained classified information.  When the State Department released the first batch of Hillary's email to the public, it deleted sections of many of them because the information contained there was classified.  That means that both the Inspector General and the State Department view Hillary's emails as containing classified information.  Even Mrs. Clinton does not say anymore that there's nothing classified in her email.  Her current formulation is that she never "knowingly" sent classified information in her email.  She also argues that her sending email containing information that later became classified is not a problem. 

2.  We also know that Hillary's emails were sent on the server kept at Mrs. Clinton's home in New York.  While those emails may or may not have been deleted, there is general agreement that portions of those emails are likely still retrievable from the server. 

3.  We also know that Hillary's attorney has copies of all the emails.  We have heard that he has them in digital form on a thumb drive.  It is probably safe to say that Hillary, herself, has copies of those email too.

Put this together, and it means that classified documents (Hillary's emails) are in the possession of a former government employee (Hillary) who had a security clearance as well as that of her lawyer who does not have the same sort of security clearance.   It also means that classified documents are resident on a computer server not in the possession of the federal government.  Simply put, THERE IS NO WAY THAT THIS CLASSIFIED INFORMATION MAY BE HELD BY ANYONE OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES OR AGENTS WITH THE APPROPRIATE SECURITY CLEARANCES.

So, without a doubt, Hillary's server needs to be turned over to the government.  The thumb drive of emails kept by the lawyer needs to be turned over to the government.  Hillary's copies of the emails need to be turned over to the government. 

This is not a minor issue.  General Petreus was convicted of a crime because he showed classified documents to his biographer who had a security clearance, but not one high enough to be allowed to see the documents in question.  Bill Clinton's National Security Advisor Sandy Berger was convicted of a crime because he took a few classified documents from the National Archives during the period after he left office.  Berger's position was much like Hillary's is now.  Both are former government employees who had the highest possible security clearance.  Both had possession of classified documents after leaving office.  Berger was punished as a criminal.  Hillary is instead running for president with no action by the federal government.  That's not right.

No matter what happens to Hillary, there is no question as to what ought to happen to the email, the copies of the email and the server.  They all need to be turned over to the federal government.



Thursday, July 30, 2015

The AP Runs Interference For Planned Parenthood

Did you see the articles today about how a California Court ordered that no more videos about the sale of baby parts from aborted children can be released by the Center For Medical Progress?  If you did, you probably saw the amazing and false spin put on the story by the AP.

First, let's look at what happened.  A court issued a temporary restraining order on an ex parte basis that bars the release of new videos discussing Stem Express, the company that processes the body parts for Planned Parenthood.  This means that lawyers for Stem Express went to a judge without anyone from the Center For Medical Progress being present and asked for a temporary order against release of more videos.  The Stem Express lawyers would have told the court that their business was being damaged and would suffer further damage with additional videos and also claimed that they had a legal basis to stop the dissemination of the videos.  The judge would look to see if there was the risk of further damage based upon what the Stem Express lawyers had to say and if they had any chance to succeed in their claim against the videos in a trial.  In that sort of situation, it is very easy to get a temporary restraining order since there was no one present to tell the other side of the case.  Since the court just delayed the issuance of videos about Stem Express for ten days, there is little reason not to do so since the Center For Medical Progress will suffer no harm from the delay.

In other words, by going to court without opposition, Stem Express lawyers got a ten day delay in the issuance of new videos.  This says nothing about the likelihood that when all facts are before the court there will be an injunction issued.

The AP, however, presented this news as if something important had happened.  On top of that, the AP distorted the story in favor of Planned Parenthood.  For example, the AP calls the prior videos the "Center for Medical Progress’ highly edited undercover videos on fetal tissue donation."  The videos are not highly edited.  Indeed, the full raw footage of the videos is released to the public on the internet by Center For Medical Progress.  That means that the full context and the full, unedited video was released.  So, the videos are not "highly edited".  In addition, the videos are not about "fetal tissue donation".  The Planned Parenthood officials are selling body parts, not donating it.  The whole subject of the first two videos is haggling by Planned Parenthood officials about how much they want to be paid for these body parts.  Some supporters of Planned Parenthood (like the AP reporters, no doubt) argue that the payments are just to reimburse Planned Parenthood for costs of collecting the body parts.  That cannot be the case.  Reimbursement for costs is easy; the total cost has to be calculated and the result presented for payment.  These Planned Parenthood officials, however, state their concern that they not price the specimen below the market.  They won't even give the proposed buy with whom they are negotiating a price without first hearing an offer.  If this were reimbursement only and not profit, there would be no need to hear the offer first.

The sale of human body parts is disgusting enough.  Videos showing the callous disregard for human life displayed by the Planned Parenthood officials is worse.  It is even worse for a media organization like the AP to push phony stories that distort the truth in order to support their political allies.  They're supposed to be the free press, not the press that is free to lie.


More Trouble for Hillary

There's more trouble for Hillary Clinton on a front that has been quiet of late:  the Clinton Foundation.  According to press reports, the Swiss banking firm UBS gave enormous contributions to the Clinton Foundation and paid Bill Clinton 1.5 million dollars for holding question and answer sessions with the UBS CEO after Hillary intervened as secretary of state to get a settlement of a tax dispute between the IRS, the Department of Justice and UBS. 

The key point here is that according to the reports, the secretary of state got involved in settling a tax dispute.  That is not just unusual; it is extraordinarily unusual.  The State Department has nothing to do with tax collection and enforcement of the tax code.  Nevertheless, Hillary pushed her way into the dispute to bring it to a conclusion that was acceptable to UBS and then her foundation got enormous amounts of cash and her family got $1.5 million directly.  It surely looks like Hillary was selling favors.  She really is at the point where she cannot continue to duck this issue.  Hillary has to explain what she did for UBS and the others who made massive contributions to the Clinton Foundation or who hired Bill for inflated prices.


I Never Sent Classified Information In My Emails.......Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!

We all know the mantra of Hillary Clinton and her apologists that she never sent classified information on her private email system.  She is still sticking to that story, but it is falling apart before her eyes.  Today, McClatchy released a story reporting that in just five of Hillary's emails reviewed by the intelligence agencies, there was secret information from five different sources.  Here's how the story puts it:

The  [first] email contained information from the NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a spy agency that maps and tracks satellite imagery, according to the official, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The other four classified emails contained information from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA, the official said.  According to the people who reviewed some of the emails, there could be hundreds or more of Hillary's email on her private system that contain classified information. McClatchy is a member in good standing of the mainstream media and it has been protecting Hillary for quite some time.  Even McClatchy won't support Hillary's lies, however.  It is looking more and more like instead of running for president, Hillary may soon be looking for a criminal lawyer to deal with her mishandling classified information.

Read more here:

The Non-Growth "Recovery"

The American economy sucks.  I know it.  You know it.  Even the fools in Washington know it.  I'm not sure, but it could be that by now the media knows it too.  Today we got more proof (as if we needed it).

The government reported that in the second quarter of 2015, the gross domestic product grew at a rate of 2.3%.  That's an abysmal rate of growth.  Remember, during the first quarter the economy did not grow at all because, we were told, of the bad winter.  That's right, the same people who tell us how global warming will mean winter is a thing of the past now blame slow economic growth on the extra cold winter.  But I digress.  The economic pundits in the media told us that in the second quarter the rate of growth would soar because activity that got delayed by the weather in the first quarter would be pushed to the second quarter.  Instead of robust growth, we got 2.3%.  At that rate, growth for the first half of the year is now at roughly 1.4%.

The lack of growth is perhaps the biggest long term problem facing the USA.  If the economy does not grow, there is no way for people to leave poverty.  If the economy does not grow, there is no way for the government to pay for all its programs or ever to reduce the debt.  If the economy does not grow, there is no way to pay for a robust national defense.  We have to grow the economy.

That is why the 2016 election is so important.  The policies of under Obama have all been ones that slows growth rather than increasing it.  Obama raised taxes.  Some would argue incorrectly that higher taxes do not slow growth, but no serious economist would argue that raising taxes increases growth.  Obama imposed all sorts of new regulations on banks, utilities, energy producers, and essentially every part of the economy.  Each one of those regulations cost billions and billions of dollars that otherwise might have been used to grow those businesses.  Again, no serious economist would ever argue that adding regulations of this sort cause increased growth in the economy.  Obama refused to allow projects that might have helped create jobs and economic growth; think of the Keystone XL pipeline or all manner of exploration for oil or minerals on federal or off shore land.  An extension of Obama's policies will mean more years of slow growth or no growth.

Right now, most of the focus in the 2016 race is on polls, on who said what about illegal immigrants, on who used private email illegally, on who sold influence in exchange for contributions, and the like.  It is not that these subjects are unimportant.  The truly important stuff, however, centers on the economy and on promoting growth.  Each candidate needs to be clear as to what he or she would do to promote growth.  Then America should choose.  And we must choose growth.

Refocusing the 2016 race won't be easy.  The media won't like it.  Most of the reporters don't understand the economy and how it works.  There are no ways to portray economic policies as scandals.  Too bad.  It has to be done.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hey Hillary, It's the White House not the Waffle House

In yet another dodge, Hillary Clinton just waffled on the question of off shore drilling in the waters around Alaska.  That drilling has been approved by the Obama administration, but there are activists in Seattle who have been protesting the outfitting of the drilling platform before it moves into position up the coast.  When Hillary today was asked about whether or not she supports this drilling, she responded by saying that she had "doubts" about it.  Get it?  Maybe she would approve of the drilling but she has doubts, or maybe she would stop the drilling because of the doubts.  She just won't say.  It's another one of those things that she will only tell the country if she is ever elected.

I really have come to the conclusion that Hillary is confusing the White House with the Waffle House.  She waffles on everything.  She's about the worst leader imaginable (and after six plus years of Obama, that is truly saying something.)


More Corruption in Liberal Land - 2

Now that he has been indicted on over 20 counts of racketeering and fraud, Democrat Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania has had to step down as the ranking Democrat member of the committee overseeing -- get this -- criminal prosecution by the federal government.  It get's better though.  His replacement as ranking Democrat member is a California representative who is the subject of a probe by the House Ethics Committee.  Isn't there anyone the Dems could name who isn't under an ethical cloud?