What happened today, with the FBI Director folding like a wet paper box and recommending Hillary Clinton not be prosecuted, has to go down in the annals of the history of the United States as the day respect for the law in this country died.
Andrew McCarthy outlines the irrefutable facts in the case:
There is no way of getting around this: According to Director James Comey (disclosure: a former colleague and longtime friend of mine), Hillary Clinton checked every box required for a felony violation of Section 793(f) of the federal penal code (Title 18): With lawful access to highly classified information she acted with gross negligence in removing and causing it to be removed it from its proper place of custody, and she transmitted it and caused it to be transmitted to others not authorized to have it, in patent violation of her trust. Director Comey even conceded that former Secretary Clinton was “extremely careless” and strongly suggested that her recklessness very likely led to communications (her own and those she corresponded with) being intercepted by foreign intelligence services.
So what shouldn’t be something that anyone could get around, assuming every box was checked as Comey says, is the consequences of their felony violations.
But … when it comes to the elite (politicians and various media types), there’s always a “but” … then Comey says:
Yet, Director Comey recommended against prosecution of the law violations he clearly found on the ground that there was no intent to harm the United States.
Intent or lack of intent really doesn’t repair the damage her gross negligence cost us, does it? In fact, that’s the point – “intent” is irrelevant. Damage to our national security is relevant. Comey is arguing that opposite – that if we mishandle classified material in such a way that it causes damage to the United States and its national security, but we do it with “no intent to harm”, why we’re good to go. As long as we intended no harm, well, in “otherworld” apparently “no harm was then done” and we should be left to do it again when occupying an even higher office. One can come up with endless variations on the “no intent to harm” nonsense when applied to other crimes. And guess what – it doesn’t do any better when used in those sorts of context either.
I have to wonder where James Comey will go to get his integrity back, because with that bit of nonsense he lost it. As did the organization he heads.
I wonder if he even thought about that. Apparently this whitewash was worth his honor and reputation, including that of the former proud organization he leads. Disgraceful doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Intent? In a gross negligence case? It isn’t even relevant. As McCarthy points out:
In essence, in order to give Mrs. Clinton a pass, the FBI rewrote the statute, inserting an intent element that Congress did not require. The added intent element, moreover, makes no sense: The point of having a statute that criminalizes gross negligence is to underscore that government officials have a special obligation to safeguard national defense secrets; when they fail to carry out that obligation due to gross negligence, they are guilty of serious wrongdoing. The lack of intent to harm our country is irrelevant. People never intend the bad things that happen due to gross negligence.
I would point out, moreover, that there are other statutes that criminalize unlawfully removing and transmitting highly classified information with intent to harm the United States. Being not guilty (and, indeed, not even accused) of Offense B does not absolve a person of guilt on Offense A, which she has committed.
One doesn’t need to be a Supreme Court Justice much less even have a law degree to understand these points. So how in the world did Comey justify this to himself to the point that he actually made this pitiful argument? How? How does a man who is qualified enough to be selected to lead one of the most elite law enforcement agencies in the world – one more time … law enforcement agency – just trade in his honor, integrity and reputation that quickly for … what?!
Finally, I thought McCarthy’s conclusion was spot on:
Finally, I was especially unpersuaded by Director Comey’s claim that no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case based on the evidence uncovered by the FBI. To my mind, a reasonable prosecutor would ask: Why did Congress criminalize the mishandling of classified information through gross negligence? The answer, obviously, is to prevent harm to national security. So then the reasonable prosecutor asks: Was the statute clearly violated, and if yes, is it likely that Mrs. Clinton’s conduct caused harm to national security? If those two questions are answered in the affirmative, I believe many, if not most, reasonable prosecutors would feel obliged to bring the case.
Comey’s job is not to decide whether to prosecute or not. His job is to gather the evidence and let those who do that job make that decision. And he clearly gathered enough evidence, according to himself, to make the case.
And then threw out an irrelevant excuse as justification for not doing so.
No penalty for Clinton’s obvious gross negligence and the harm she did to national security. No accountability.
And the same can be said for Comey. Oh he won’t be reprimanded, you can count on that. No, the only way he’d have gotten in trouble with the administration is to recommend indictment. Nope, he’ll likely be able to keep his job in the next Clinton administration – at least until Hillary finds someone more suitable and amenable to her priorities. Yup, no accountability for Comey either.
Well, except to be seen by those who know better as a honorless political hack who traded his integrity and reputation, and that of the FBI, for a pat on the head from his masters.
Remember, folks … laws are for the little people.
I assume you may have seen this:
The FBI’s study showed 64 “mass killing” incidents from 2000 to 2013. The gunmen in these cases murdered 418 people.
The 418 people who were killed over a 14-year period works out to an average of 29.8 persons a year.
To be clear, no one wants to see even one life lost to tragedy, but the mainstream media’s focus on “mass shootings” to the detriment of other news where hundreds or even thousands more lives were lost is telling.For example, the CDC bicycle-related injury report for 2010 shows that almost twice as many people died on bicycles in that one year than were killed in “mass shootings” during the 14 years studied by the FBI. Thus, while there were 418 deaths in “mass shootings” from 2000 to 2013, there were 800 deaths by bicycle in 2010 alone.
Moreover, there “were an estimated 515,000 emergency department visits” due to bicycle accidents.
And CDC death statistics for 2010 show there were 26,009 deaths from “falling” for that year alone. That’s right–26,009 deaths in one year from falls from ladders, counters, roofs, mountains, etc.
To summarize there were an average of 29.8 deaths a year for 14 years from “mass shootings” versus 800 bicycle related deaths and 515,000 bicycle related trips to the emergency room. Plus an additional 26,009 deaths from falling.
Now this isn’t news to anyone who has been following this debate for any length of time and has been interested in the facts, not the ideological take or spin.
In a nation of 300 million plus with about the same number of guns among the population, the loss of life in mass shootings is … that’s right, statistically insignificant. That doesn’t mean we should like them or condone them or not feel grief and outrage about the deaths. What it means is that there is no crisis, no significant problem, no reason to concern ourselves about draconian gun restrictions because of “mass shootings”. Oh sure they give the 24 hour news channels plenty to shout about and of course it gives the politicians what they feel is an easy mark to “solve” the problem. But just as the 26,009 deaths from falling are statistically insignificant (hey, I know, let’s outlaw falling .. or should we outlaw stairs and ladders?), so are the mass shooting statistics.
“Assault weapons” are not a problem (they’re semi-automatic weapons … period) and mass shootings, while a tragedy are certainly not a crisis that requires more laws, regulations and rights violations. The gun control laws in place now have never stopped a mass shooter from doing his thing. What has stopped them though are other armed and law abiding citizens.
That’s the lesson that should be taken away from these tragedies. Not the guns. The statistics do not support any further gun control because of “mass shootings”.
Sigh. I guess the old maxim “you get the government your deserve” certainly rings true today. House Democrats are staging a sit in because the Speaker of the House won’t call a bill to the floor that violates the Constitution and denies due process to people who are placed on its secret no-fly and terrorism lists.
They’d like you to believe it is a “gun control” bill. In fact, it is a “due process denial” bill, and we ought to refer to it that way. Their claim is expanding government’s authority to defy the guarantees of the Constitution will help curb gun violence.
Really? How? Will it stop someone who ends up on the list and still wants to buy a gun from getting one? Certainly not as just about any criminal can tell you (and as study I linked a few posts back revealed). Again, that “Human Nature 101” thing seems to stump these deep thinkers.
And the irony is that one of those leading the charge for violating the Constitution and denying due process – civil rights icon John Lewis (okay, it’s a bit of double irony) – was once placed on a no-fly list without due process.
So what has been the result of not getting their way and denying you due process protection? They’ve been reduced to throwing a collective tantrum and harkening back to the good old days when they were protesting Vietnam or whatever. They even come up with a clever chant – “No Bill. No Break”. You see they’re supposed to take a legislative break and now, apparently, the desire to deny you your rights is so strong they feel called to pretend they are Social Justice Warriors and act accordingly.
Where’s “Black Lives Matter” when you need them. Now here is a perfect protest for them to hijack and they’re nowhere in sight.
Not that I necessarily believe there’s anything better coming along behind it, but this one is just blatant with its disregard for both the law and our traditions.
To say I was aghast at the decision to censor the 911 call from the Orlando murderer (even though what was said was widely known) would be an understatement.
I immediately asked “why”? Now, I’m not a conspiracy theorist at all so I don’t subscribe to much of what some are saying out there. To me it speaks of three things, in this order – 1) politics, 2) fear and 3) arrogance.
One … If they acknowledge that fact that this was a terrorist attack by a representative of a sworn enemy that the administration (and by extension, the leading Democratic contender for President) has badly mismanaged to the point that they are regularly striking random targets here – well, that reflects pretty badly on the “home” team. So let’s pretend it’s something else and let’s divert attention to things like guns, Christians and the NRA.
Two … They’re afraid of ISIS and what ISIS can and will do. So they handle that fear by ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t exist and hoping it will go away, or at least leave us alone. If they call it’s name (i.e. Islamic terrorism) and acknowledge its existence, they’ll be called upon to do something. They haven’t a clue about how to do that. So again they divert. The US Attorney General, in attempting excuse the “omitting” of parts of the transcript of the 911 call talked about her ‘greatest fear’ – and it ain’t ISIS or attacks on Americans:
Speaking to the audience at the Muslim Advocates’ 10th anniversary dinner Thursday, Lynch said her “greatest fear” is the “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric” in America and vowed to prosecute any guilty of what she deemed violence-inspiring speech.
“The fear that you have just mentioned is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor, as someone who is sworn to the protection of all of the American people, which is that the rhetoric will be accompanied by acts of violence,”she said.
Three … pure arrogance. While other examples of censored releases were blamed on “glitches” (French President’s remarks, State Department briefing), they didn’t even try on this one. It’s rather hard to blame “glitches” when actual words are replaced with the word “omitted” or actual words are changed to other words (Allah/God). The administration isn’t even playing the game anymore. No more blaming it on glitches, just pure and plain censorship because the words said by the killer don’t help support the narrative this fearful administration has been trying to push on the people for almost 8 years.
And now, the Attorney General of the United States says her greatest fear is “rhetoric” against Muslims? Really?
Speaking of rhetoric, “the most transparent administration” ever has forever made it clear that transparency is campaign rhetoric for consumption of the rubes in flyover country only. They won – they’re your rulers. They can do whatever they want.
Suck it up, buttercup.
The Orlando shooting gives our president the chance to finally answer the question millions of Americans have been asking for years:
A young American Muslim pledging allegiance to Islamic State is now responsible for the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. Can we finally drop the illusion that the jihadist fires that burn in the Middle East don’t pose an urgent and deadly threat to the American homeland?
We hope so after the Sunday morning assault on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that killed at least 51 and wounded 53 as we went to press. The killer was Omar Mir SeddiqueMateen, the son of immigrants from Afghanistan who was heard shouting “allahu Akbar” (God is great) as he fired away. Mateen attacked a popular night spot for gays, who are especially loathed in Islamist theology.
Well no, we can’t “drop the illusion” because, guns!
That’s right, never let a tragedy go to waste and certainly never let a tragedy redefine your agenda priorities. Islamist terrorism? Bah, never heard of it (or at least never have admitted to hearing of it). Instead call those who try to identify the problem “Islamaphobes” … and screw the 911 call in which the killer pledged allegiance to ISIS or the fact that witnesses say he was yelling “allahu akbar” as he gunned down his victims or the fact that per those who knew him he was intensely homophobic as is his claimed religion.
Instead, let’s talk about guns:
Reporter Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest: “Does the President really think that common sense gun laws would deter terrorists now that he has admitted that these two may have been terrorists?”
“Yes. The president believes that passing common sense gun laws that makes it harder for people with bad intentions to get guns, makes the country safer,” responded Earnest.
“But so the president thinks that when there are potentially two terrorists sitting around planning a mass murder they may call it off because President Obama has put in place common sense gun laws?” Doocy shot back.
“Why wouldn’t we make it harder for them? What’s the explanation for that?” responded Earnest.
This is the face of insanity. Why wouldn’t we make it harder for them? To do what? Ignore the law? Maybe someone ought to tell the fools in the White House that those who plan on committing mass murder don’t normally worry about breaking laws. In fact, it is pretty well known that criminals avoid getting their guns where the left thinks “common sense gun laws” would stop them cold. This is really not rocket science for heaven sake. And, as usual, the left and the White House seem absolutely clueless about human nature.
A recent study that was conducted by the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab has learned that Chicago criminals do not acquire their guns from gun shops, gun shows or the internet.
The study examined and interviewed inmates in Chicago’s Cook County Jail who are either facing current gun charges, or have a background consisting of firearms related convictions.
The study learned that virtually zero criminals have ever used the internet or gun shows, because that method is easily traceable. It’s much safer for a criminal to acquire firearms on the streets where they’re harder to keep track of, and that’s most criminals method of choice.
Furthermore, University of Chicago Crime lab co-director, Harold Pollack, said that criminals “were less concerned about getting caught by the cops than being put in the position of not having a gun to defend themselves and then getting shot.”
Does the point that “virtually zero criminals have ever used the internet or gunshots, because that method is easily traceable” resonate at all? Seems “common sense gun laws” are already doing what they’re supposed to do, however, criminals, as they’re likely to do, have decided not to play the game. They’re not going to risk getting caught. They’re going to go outside the law.
So, then, what’s the point of more laws if not to deny criminals guns? Seems that’s working rather well. Is the purpose, then, of more laws, to further hobble legitimate and peaceful gun owners perhaps? To make it harder and harder for law abiding citizens to own the means of defending themselves?
And what has any of that nonsense to do with what happened in Orlando?
Why, after another tragedy obviously perpetrated by a militant Islamist, is the question still being ignored!?
These numbers should make everyone cringe, especially “scientists”:
- The biotech company Amgen had a team of about 100 scientists trying to reproduce the findings of 53 “landmark” articles in cancer research published by reputable labs in top journals.
Only 6 of the 53 studies were reproduced (about 10%).
- Scientists at the pharmaceutical company, Bayer, examined 67 target-validation projects in oncology, women’s health, and cardiovascular medicine. Published results were reproduced in only
14 out of 67 projects (about 21%).
- The project, PsychFileDrawer, dedicated to replication of published articles in experimental psychology, shows a
replication rate 3 out of 9 (33%) so far.
How can this be? Where is the rigorousness? Where is the peer review? Where are the reproducible results and why aren’t we getting more than we are?
Oh, with a minute:
[T]he US government gives nearly $31 billion every year in science funding through NIH only, which is mainly distributed in research grants to academic scientists. The 10% reproducibility rate means that 90% of this money ($28 billion) is wasted. That’s a lot. How are the tax-payers supposed to respond to the scientist plight for more research funding given these numbers? Would you give more of your own money to someone who delivered you such a result?
Any bets on what the 90% unreproducible results help further?
Ed Rensi is the former CEO of McDonalds and he commented on the reality of a $15 minimum wage and how most businesses will handle it:
“I was at the National Restaurant Show yesterday and if you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry — it’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries — it’s nonsense and it’s very destructive and it’s inflationary and it’s going to cause a job loss across this country like you’re not going to believe.”
He continues, “It’s not just going to be in the fast food business. Franchising is the best business model in the United States. It’s dependent on people that have low job skills that have to grow. Well if you can’t get people a reasonable wage, you’re going to get machines to do the work. It’s just common sense. It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. And the more you push this it’s going to happen faster.”
That’s the one he got right. Here’s the one he got wrong:
I think we ought to have a multi-faceted wage program in this country. If you’re a high school kid, you ought to have a student wage. If you’re an entry level worker you ought to have a separate wage. The states ought to manage this because they know more [about] what’s going on the ground than anybody in Washington D.C.”
Good grief, Mr. Rensi, why not let the market handle it? You know, supply and demand? What the heck is wrong with you? You wouldn’t even be discussing this if government hadn’t intruded and decided unilaterally that you should pay your employees a certain amount of money for their labor. It is because of government you’re even discussing automation above. And now you think government – even state government (you know like California or New York?) – would be the solution?
And you were a CEO of a major corporation?
I’m sorry, I’m a little angry today. That’s because of this statement:
“When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience?” McDonald said Monday during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters. “And what I would like to move to, eventually, is that kind of measure.”
That’s a statement by VA Secretary Robert McDonald addressing a question about excessive wait times at VA facilities. All I can figure is he must have been a rather mediocre product of public education because this screams “STUPID!”.
When waiting in line for “Space Mountain”, Mr. Secretary, do people die? No? Then, you idiot, it’s not a valid comparison.
And secondly, what sort of “satisfaction with the experience” can someone who died waiting have, dumbbell? I’ll tell you now, since it is obvious you can’t figure it out – a very UNSATISFACTORY experience.
But of course, the dead can’t speak, can they you moron?!
Tell you what, why don’t you quit trying to find ways to explain the excessive wait times that are killing veterans and fix the effing problem? Ever think of that?
What a freaking imbecile.
Denmark is abandoning wind power. Up till now, Danes had been paying very high energy bills, 66% of the bill being “green taxes” and only 15% going to energy generation. Under pressure from Danes, who enjoy the highest energy prices in Europe, Danish politicians are abandoning wind power as “too expensive”:
Denmark’s government abandoned plans to build five offshore wind power farms Friday amid fears the electricity produced there would become too expensive for Danish consumers.
“Since 2012 when we reached the political agreement, the cost of our renewable policy has increased dramatically,” said Climate Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt, a Liberal Party politician representing the country’s minority government, according to Reuters.
The government would have had to pay $10.63 billion to buy electricity from the five wind farms — a price deemed too expensive for consumers who already face the highest electricity prices in Europe.
“We can’t accept this, as the private sector and households are paying far too much. Denmark’s renewable policy has turned out to be too expensive,” Lilleholt said.
Imagine that. The fact that “renewable energy” forms have been installed doesn’t equal “cheap energy” (much like ObamaCare doesn’t mean “cheap insurance”, even though you were led to believe it would). And all of them have required some sort of subsidy to survive – which means they’re obviously not self-sufficient (that meaning that they can’t produce a product at a price that consumers are willing to pay and make enough profit to ensure their continued production). In fact, I’m having a very rough time finding any “renewable” source of energy that is self-sufficient.
Of course, the reason for the emergence of “green” and “renewable” energy sources is the “global warming” scam. That scam allows the environmental extremist agenda full run with your money. And this, so far, has been the result (don’t forget Spain).
Meanwhile, in the US, we’re apparently going to continue with the fiasco and while we’re at it, kill more endangered species by extending the license to kill them that wind farms already have to 30 years:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency charged with protecting bald and golden eagles, is once again trying to make it easier for the wind industry to kill those birds.
Two weeks ago the agency opened public comment on “proposed improvements” to its eagle conservation program. It wants to extend the length of permits for accidental eagle kills from the current five years to 30 years. The changes would allow wind-energy producers to kill or injure as many as 4,200 bald eagles every year. That’s a lot. The agency estimates there are now about 72,434 bald eagles in the continental U.S.
And the media, which will make sure to run the picture of an oil soaked bird above the fold on page one and in the lead on newscasts, is not interested in this story at all. As for the enviros? Well, much like the so-called feminists were willing to remain silent about Bill Clinton’s sexual abuse of women, they must also have malleable principles that allow them to sanction at least 4,200 chopped up bald eagles a year for the sake of “green energy”.
We can only hope so … but then, one should remember that John Roberts sold his soul and his intellectual reputation to make payment for it into a tax. So we shall see. But some heartening news today if you’re someone who believes those in government should be held to the Constitution’s restrictions on government.
In a major ruling, Judge Rosemary Collyer, an appointee of President George W. Bush, said the administration does not have the power to spend money on “cost sharing reduction payments” to insurers without an appropriation from Congress.
Collyer’s decision doesn’t immediately go into effect, however, so that the administration can appeal it.“This is an historic win for the Constitution and the American people,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement. “The court ruled that the administration overreached by spending taxpayer money without approval from the people’s representatives.”At issue are billions of dollars paid to insurance companies participating in ObamaCare so they can reduce customers’ out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles for low-income people.
The House GOP argued that the administration was unconstitutionally spending money on these payments without Congress’s approval.
Of course that’s an almost daily occurrence for the past few decades. The lines have blurred and no one is held accountable. Oversight? What a joke.
How far this will go and whether the decision will be upheld is a mystery at this point, but not much of one … see again the first sentence.
The administration, of course, had an answer:
But the administration said it did not need an appropriation from Congress because the funds were already guaranteed by the healthcare reform law in the same section as its better-known tax credits that help people pay for coverage.
Yup, the executive needs no permission to spend your money anymore, just as he or she no longer needs permission to wage war. Blurred lines becoming even blurrier. Separation of powers? Get real.
Imperial presidency? For quite a while. The Judge, though, wasn’t buying the explanation:
Collyer ruled that the section only appropriated funds for tax credits and said the cost sharing reductions require a separate congressional appropriation, which the administration does not currently have.
“Such an appropriation cannot be inferred,” Collyer wrote. “None of Secretaries’ extra-textual arguments — whether based on economics, ‘unintended’ results, or legislative history — is persuasive. The Court will enter judgment in favor of the House of Representatives and enjoin the use of unappropriated monies to fund reimbursements due to insurers under Section 1402.”
Good for her. It won’t dismantle the dreadful system, but it does take another chink out of its funding. It’s a start. But whether the start will later faulter and fail to be upheld is still to be seen. In today’s world, unfortunately, the likelihood of that sort of a failure is much more prevalent than had this ruling come down 40 or 50 years ago when most people still believed in a much more limited government constrained by the Constitution.
Brave new world … one that promises to be much like the old and oppressive world if some have their way.