Free Markets, Free People

Hillary Clinton

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Observations: The QandO Podcast for 28 Oct 16

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There’s a chicken-duck-woman thing waiting for us. The FBI seems to have reopened the email investigation on Hillary Clinton, because Anthony Wiener is the gift that keeps on giving. I thought we had already established that she was above the law, so there’s no need to address this moving forward. Vladimir Putin is a scary guy. The Chinese are somewhat less so. Apple’s new Macbooks have no touchscreen and a shitty keyboard. On the other hand, they’re 30% more expensive, so theres that. Obamacare is crashing, so expect to have single-payer health care in the next four years.

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

Observations: The QandO Podcast 21 Oct 16

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The last debate is over…FINALLY! We now cruise towards an election with Trump losing badly in traditional polls, but ahead in the tracking polls. Is there a hidden silent majority for Trump? We’re not betting on it. Dale is reading a lot about Rome, and makes a lot of tendentious parallels between Ancient Rome and modern America. The Cubs may do something no Living American has ever seen. Football will disappear within 20 years. Michael talks about golf, and Dale’s attempt to have fun with that goes terribly wrong, making the last five minutes of the podcast unlistenable.

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

Observations: The QandO Podcast for 15 Oct 16

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Donald Trump is a boor, which we already knew. The media has abandoned any pretense of objectivity, and gone all in for Hillary Clinton. How do you fix a biased media? You dont. Not easily, anyway. Meanwhile, Milwaukee sheriff David Clarke says a riot is an ugly thing, but it’s about time we had one. The US looks like it collapsing slowly, in the same way the Roman Republic did…we’re just waiting to see who our Julius Caesar is. But, maybe, just maybe, we can avoid that with a Constitutional Convention. How much of the GOP’s decline can be based on the Entertainment Wing? Oh, also, Russia and China are dangerous.

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

Observations: The QandO Podcast for 07 Oct 16

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Donald Trump’s…um…intemperate remarks about women hit the airwaves, and got wall-to-wall coverage. So, it looks like Ted Cruz picked the wrong week to release a photograph of him making phone calls for the Trump Campaign. Anyway, the disaster that is Election 2016 continues apace. With the election almost in the bag, why are Dems cheating so much? Popular culture is sending us subtle messages that are hard to pick up, but dramatically affect our thinking. Also, the educational system in this country is a frickin’ disaster.

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

Observations: The QandO Podcast for 30 Sep 16

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If this week’s podcast had a single thread running through all our topics…it would be interesting and listenable. But it doesn’t. So…Anyway, we talk about Donald Trump’s inability to forego responding to criticism. We know exactly what kind of horrific disaster a Hillary presidency will be, but we don’t know what kind of horrific calamity a Trump presidency would be, though we know it would be one. How can we protect Cuba’s unique culture of poverty and despair from being lost to tourism and money? Dale updates us on the status of his Volvo, and tells Michael what car to buy. We then just swap car stories for an hour. We finish up by discussing how women fail to understand that men live in a world where a smart mouth can get you punched.

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

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

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