Free Markets, Free People

Hillary Clinton

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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 16 Sep 16

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Donald Trump disavows Obama Birtherism, and says it was all Hillary’s fault, anyway. Hillary takes time out from convalescing to campaign a bit, looking hale and healthy. For now. Not that we’ll know how healthy she actually is, unless she collapses again. There’ll never be another movement Conservative as President, because Americans want their free stuff. Finally, remember to stand, sit, or kneel for the National Anthem.

This week’s podcast is up on the Podcast page.

Observations: The QandO podcast for 2 Sep 16

Podcastlogo 150x150Hillary Clinton  can barely remember being Secretary of State, much less what happened to her emails. Gun sales to medical marijuana cardholders are banned, so no more shooting while high. SJWs are punchably irritating in every way. 2nd Lieutenants are pretty dumb. Gene Wilder dies. Comedy idea: A half-hour sitcom based in a Nazi prison camp. What is porn good for? Not families, apparently. Government makes a bad family. Black people hate Republicans, but Manhattan millionaire Donald Trump thinks he can change that.

This week’s podcast is up on the Podcast page.

Hillary’s challenge from the even farther left

How unattractive a candidate is Hillary Clinton?  Well, first she’s not the first female to nominated for president by a US political party (you have to put “major” in front of “political party” for that to be true and only if you think that difference matters).  The Green Party has been doing it for years.

Speaking of the Green Party, this is how unattractive a candidate Clinton is … among her own kind:

Now that Hillary Clinton has officially won the Democratic presidential nomination, chances are we’re going to hear a lot more about Jill Stein. The Green Party candidate, currently polling in the low single digits nationally, has been gunning for the support of disaffected Bernie Sanders fans, urging them to “keep the revolution going” by getting behind her own long-shot White House bid. Tuesday, she was on hand at the Democratic convention to meet aggrieved Sanders delegates, some of whom formed a small crowd around her to chant, “Bernie or Jill.” Thanks to progressive grassroots rage, she may well peel off a few percentage points of the vote come the fall, when she’s expected to be on the ballot in about 47 states.

That would be lovely.  In fact, I’ve read in more than one place that votes for the Johnson/Weld libertarian ticket might actually find votes on both sides of the political spectrum, those from the left coming from “dissatisfied Democrats” who can’t stomach Clinton. How bad is it when the chosen candidate (she was certainly not “elected”) can’t even dampen the fire of contention in her own party?

And, finally, a recent poll found Clinton’s unfavorable rating to be atmospheric in relation to other presidential candidates in recent presidential elections.  Like not even close!

Look, we all know Stein is Sanders in a skirt.  An unrealistic, economically illiterate Socialist platform based on wishes, hopes, unicorns and rainbows.  But frankly, if it’s enough to siphon off votes from Clinton, I say let the unicorns stampede.

This could end up being a very interesting election after all.

~McQ

Cowardice

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.

~McQ

Bern with Bernie?

Will Bernie become a write-in candidate?  Well, his supporters let it be known that they won’t vote for Hillary and many of them were thinking “write-in”:

Many took a different approach, saying they would not vote for Clinton, but would vote for Sanders as a write-in candidate.

That would split the left’s vote fairly significantly if they actually did that.  But, in reality, it is likely anger talking right now and many of them will fall in line and vote for the Hildebeest. But I would absolutely love to see this take off.

Others, though, are so mad they’re claiming they’d rather vote for Donald Trump than give Hillary the satisfaction of winning the White House.  Check out this reasoning:

A member of the group said: “I will vote for Trump as a f*** you to the stupid people that voted Hillary in. We are more likely to have a revolution with Trump in office and less likely to have a foreign war”

They have a point.  Well, at least about the “revolution” and their rather violent proclivities (see Trump rallies to find Bernie’s troops).

As for the “let it burn” crowd, they’re very well represented among the Bernie supporters:

Some said they would rather let the country ‘burn’ with Trump than let Clinton into the White House, with one person writing: “I’d rather Trump than Clinton. I won’t vote for him, but I’d be happy to see this country burn.”

If they weren’t such little fascists, I would be more sympathetic.  If they weren’t of the socialist mind-set, I could likely find more common ground with the sentiment.

But as it is, I hope they do what they say they’re going to do.  Neither of the candidates is worth warm spit and the more voters split away, the better this might all become.  No one gets a majority of either the popular vote or the electoral college?  Wouldn’t that be simply wonderful.

~McQ

Is Europe moving away from “Social Democracy”?

The “Feel the Bern” gang want to be just like the European social democracies, but as I’ve pointed out before, if any of the European countries were a state in the US, they’d be among the bottom two or so.  And while the benefits are wonderful when you’re living off of other people’s productivity, that can only go on for so long.

France … yes, that’s right, France … seems to be at least figuring it out a little bit.

The French cabinet has given the go-ahead for Prime Minister Manuel Valls to force through highly controversial labour reforms.

An extraordinary cabinet meeting invoked the French constitution’s rarely used Article 49.3, allowing the government to bypass parliament.It came after rebel MPs from the governing Socialist party had vowed to vote down the bill.The reforms will make it easier for employers to hire and fire workers.

[…]

The government says relaxing workers’ protection will encourage businesses to hire more people and help to combat chronic unemployment.

As one is prone to say, “baby steps” are necessary when learning to walk.  And apparently those old nasty laws of economics are finally bitch slapping France enough that they’re at least willing to do something positive to help stimulate business and hopefully then grow their economy.

The American Interest notes:

Valls’ decision is part of a long-running trend: For decades, the decline of the blue social model has been pushing many European countries, including ones we think of as social democracies, to abandon some of the more statist features of their economic agendas. Policies that worked relatively well in closed, stable, national economies of the mid-20th century fail to deliver in the open, dynamic economies of the 21st—and even center-left governments are forced to adapt to this reality once they take power.

Indeed, the “blue social model”, the Bernie Sanders (and to a slightly lesser extent, the Hillary Clinton) model, is, in fact, been running off the rails and not at all delivering what it has promised.  But that seems to be the case with all blue social models and their components (ObamaCare anyone?).

Of course the trending away from that model is being roundly ignored by the left in the US.  Just as the economic wrecks that are Cuba and Venezuela are blamed on “extenuating circumstances.”

The left will never face the reality of their utopian central control’s failure everywhere and in whatever flavor it is tried.  There’s a reason for that.  It goes against everything that actually works.  Without “perfect knowledge” and then the means to implement it in a direct and timely fashion – two things which will never be achieved – it will always fail.  Most importantly, central control simply runs against human nature and therefore authoritarian governance to impose true socialism on the citizens.  And yes, the light form of that is indeed “social democracy” but to become anymore “socialist” requires government to move in a more authoritarian way to enable those sorts of “reforms”.  Instead, what you see in Europe is resistance coupled with a realization that this just isn’t working as advertised.

Thus the “trend” as discussed.  As more of the blue model is scrapped and countries begin to realize gains, other European countries will likely follow suit.

Meanwhile, in the US, we’re apparently considering adopting the model they’re moving away from.  And it certainly will be a rousing success.  They can’t make it work in countries with about one-eighth our population, but with the “competent” politicians and bureaucrats we have here, we’re sure to make it work.

Uh, huh.  Really.

~McQ

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