Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Cruising the Web

This is simply amazing.
The FBI found nearly 15,000 emails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton never turned over to the government after she left office — despite her insistence she’d handed in all her work-related messages.

The Obama administration revealed the messages in a court hearing Monday.

The 14,900 emails are just part of thousands the FBI has turned over, after it took control of Mrs. Clinton’s secret email server.
The State Department wanted to wait until after the election to release some of these ads, but the judge overhearing the FOIA request case from Judicial Watch isn't giving in on such an obvious politically motivated delay.
A federal judge set a preliminary schedule Monday for the release of nearly 15,000 documents between Hillary Clinton and top aides when she was the secretary of state.

The State Department was directed to assess 14,900 documents it received from the FBI as part of the investigation into Clinton's use of her private email server while she was secretary of state, determine a plan to release the documents and report back to the court September 23.

The State Department had proposed releasing the documents the second week of October, but Judge James Boasberg of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, at the request of the conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch, is asking State to focus on new documents uncovered by the FBI.
These, apparently, were work-related, but she didn't turn them over to the State Department, thus giving the lie to her claims to have turned everything over. When you consider that, after her team's questionable methods for picking out work and non-work related emails by just searching the subject lines, this new batch of close to 15,000 emails is about half of the around 30,000 emails that her lawyers did turn over in December 2014. That's a lot of emails to miss and it puts this new revelation in some context.
Government lawyers disclosed last week that the FBI has turned over eight computer discs of information: one including emails and attachments that were sent directly to or from Clinton, or to or from her at some point in an email chain, and were not previously turned over by her lawyers; a second with classified documents; another with emails returned by Clinton; and five containing materials from other people retrieved by the FBI.

The 14,900 documents at issue now come from the first disc, Fitton said.

In announcing the FBI’s findings in July, Comey said investigators found no evidence that the emails it found “were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.” Like many users, Clinton periodically deleted emails, or they were purged when devices were changed.

Clinton’s lawyers also may have deleted some of the emails as “personal,” Comey said, noting their review relied on header information and search terms, not a line-by-line reading as the FBI conducted.
Well, let's not forget that there is a federal law for all her work emails to be saved and archived by the government to make them available for future researchers or FOIA requests.

Think about how many times we're finding out something new that indicates that Hillary was lying in her claims about the server. And as the details dribble out from the emails that are released, there is just no doubt of the political coordination between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation to benefit the Clintons.

As Chris Cillizza writes,
these are emails that the FBI was aware of when Comey decided not to prosecute her. They were the ones who found them.
But, the whole thing just makes it harder and harder for Clinton to sell the idea that her process for sorting emails into professional and private piles was effective. And that raises the possibility that Clinton got rid of lots of emails that she shouldn't have via a process that was something short of transparent. Which is a very bad look for someone who is currently the clear front-runner to be the next president.

The emails that have been released demonstrate how the Clinton Foundation worked with the State Department. Just as Peter Schweizer detailed a year ago in Clinton Cash, a book the liberal media pooh-poohed, donors would give money to the Foundation and then, just by coincidence, they'd get something they wanted from the State Department. The Washington Post gives some examples.
A sports executive who was a major donor to the Clinton Foundation and whose firm paid Bill Clinton millions of dollars in consulting fees wanted help getting a visa for a British soccer player with a criminal past.

The crown prince of Bahrain, whose government gave more than $50,000 to the Clintons’ charity and who participated in its glitzy annual conference, wanted a last-minute meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

U2 rocker and philanthropist Bono, also a regular at foundation events, wanted high-level help broadcasting a live link to the International Space Station during concerts.

In each case, according to emails released Monday from Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state, the requests were directed to Clinton’s deputy chief of staff and confidante, Huma Abedin, who engaged with other top aides and sometimes Clinton herself about how to respond.

The emails show that, in these and similar cases, the donors did not always get what they wanted, particularly when they sought anything more than a meeting.

But the exchanges, among 725 pages of correspondence from Abedin disclosed as part of a lawsuit by the conservative group Judicial Watch, illustrate the way the Clintons’ international network of friends and donors was able to get access to Hillary Clinton and her inner circle during her tenure running the State Department.

The release of the correspondence follows previous disclosures of internal emails showing a similar pattern of access for foundation contributors, and it comes as Republicans allege that Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, used her perch in the Obama administration to trade favors for donations. Clinton and the foundation have vigorously denied the charge.
It's all a coincidence just like those big donors getting to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom in exchange for soft-money donations to the Democratic Party when Bill was president were all on the up and up. It's just those nasty, partisan Republicans who are making anything of all these revelations. If there is no evidence that anyone explicitly said, "I'll give you this money if you'll do this favor for me" then the Clinton defenders can just keep denying that there is any evidence of a quid pro quo as if everyone involved didn't know what was going on.

It is also notable that so much of the information we're finding out about Clinton's server and emails are coming out from Judicial Watch and Citizens United FOIA requests. That makes it easy for the Clinton team to dismiss any new revelation as just something that a "right-wing organization" like Judicial Watch uncovered as if that negates the sleazy details. When I teach about FOIA to my students, I usually describe it as something that anyone can do: academics, the media, interest groups, and individuals. How come most media organizations aren't the ones filing these FOIA requests, though credit goes to the Associated Press for filing a lawsuit for emails from Hillary's time at State.

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An African-American Democrat has some criticisms for the smugness of white liberals.
For so long, as a Black American, I have been told that the problem is Conservative Republicans. While I’ll admit they may have done little to try to improve African-American lives, they also don’t promise to every election season like the liberal elites. Instead we have given our loyalty and votes to Democrats, who paternalistically tell us they want to help us, but we have little to show for it since blacks started voting Democrat back in the 1960’s. I have never lived in a city as an adult that was run by Conservatives or Republicans, but I live in the biggest poor city in the country, Philadelphia. A city, for decades, run by liberal insiders....

The truth is that Liberalism is about making elites feel better about themselves and their lives without requiring the underlying action of significantly improving the lives of African-Americans. Hillary Clinton rightly says that it’s not about what you say about problem, but you should be judged by what you are doing to solve the problem. In this election, let’s take her at her word and take a deeper look at what Liberalism is really doing for us.
She is right that African Americans need to do more to hold Democrats' feet to the fire. But as long as they vote over 90% for Democrats, why should Democratic politicians do more than pay lip service to the concerns she is discussing.

The excuse-making from Hillary Clinton's good friend and aide at State and in her campaign Huma Abedin and the State Department to respond to the NY Post story is so very lame. The Post has reported that from 1996 and 2008 Abedin was listed as "assistant editory" of a journal, JOurnal of Minority Muslim Affairs, of which her mother is the editor-in-chief and of which her siblings had jobs as associate and assistant editors. The journal published articles which should have been anathema to anyone who values principles that most Americans value.
the Saudi-based and -funded Journal of Minority Muslim Affairs, which featured radically anti-feminist views and backed strict Islamic laws roundly criticized for oppressing women.

A journalism major at George Washington University, Abedin, 40, was listed as “assistant editor” of the journal from 1996 to 2008, when her name was removed from the staff box and she went to work for Clinton at the State Department....

The journal supported a strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia laws, which call for beheadings, require women to cover their bodies and faces and advocate death for “infidels” — which in their view includes just about everyone but the most extreme religious hardliners.

The publication also blamed the US for the 9/11 terror attacks, which were carried out largely by Saudi nationals.

Typical fare in the publication includes a 1996 piece titled “Women’s Rights Are Islamic Rights,” which argues that single moms, working moms and gay couples with children should not be recognized as families.

It also maintained that revealing dress “directly translates into unwanted results of sexual promiscuity and irresponsibility and indirectly promote violence against women.”

In another 1996 article, Abedin’s mother wrote that Clinton was advancing a “very aggressive and radically feminist” agenda that was un-Islamic because it focused on empowering women.

“‘Empowerment’ of women does more harm than benefit the cause of women or their relations with men,” Saleha Mahmood Abedin wrote.
So what's Huma's answer? She's not talking. Instead a Clinton campaign spokesman is claiming that her name was just on the masthead of her mother's journal as a "figurehead," and she wasn't truly on the staff. Gee, how much of Huma's resume involved her being a do-nothing figurehead?

Stop worrying about the depth of organization of the Donald Trump campaign. They're so on top of things.
Donald Trump's campaign has some young blood among its leadership.

And by young, that means 12 years old.

In one of the most important counties in swing state Colorado, Donald Trump is relying on 12-year-old Weston Imer, who runs the Jefferson County operation for the Trump campaign.

Jefferson County is one of the most populous counties in Colorado and is part of the Denver metro area.

Imer is in charge of the operation where volunteers will gather and help get out the vote, and while sitting behind a desk may not be the coolest thing to do, he hopes to use the position to inspire others.

"Get involved," Imer said. "That's what I'm going to say. Get involved. Kids need to be educated."

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Jed Babbin argues
that Obama's lies are worse than Hillary's lies. He's lying about public policy that will affect Americans for a long time past Obama's leaving the White House for golf courses around the world.
Lies in a political campaign should matter but those lies that are the basis for national security decisions — lies that are a matter of policy — can create existential dangers. The lies that President Obama has been peddling surrounding his deal with Iran on nuclear weapons are just such a case.
Sure, Hillary has clearly been lying about her server and deliberately twisted what the FBI Director said. However Obama's lies about Obamacare and the Iran deal are so much more dangerous to us as a country.
But the lies surrounding Obama’s Iran deal are so deadly, so obvious, and so much a part of his Iran policy that we must remind ourselves of them, expose them and examine them at every opportunity.

Four Americans were hostages. Some had been brought up on bogus charges of espionage, but none were held for any legitimate reason. When it was first revealed that there had been a payment of $400 million in cash to Iran at the same time the hostages were released, Obama denied that the payment was ransom. He said, “We were completely open with everybody about it, and it’s interesting to me that this suddenly became a story again. We do not pay ransom for hostages.”

Obama’s statement quickly overcame Hillary Clinton’s entries in the Lie of the Year contest, but Obama stuck to his story.

....Interviewed by CNN, [State Department spokesman] Kirby said that the money was Iran’s, “But when the lines all came together, right there in January in a very short 24 hour or so period, it would have been foolish, we believe, for us not to hold on just a little bit longer to make sure that we had the right leverage to get those Americans out and that was the priority.” Interviewed by Fox News’s Martha McCallum, Kirby insisted that the payment wasn’t ransom but admitted that the money was withheld until the hostages were released.

The fact that the payment was contingent on the release is clear. That the payment was made at all — regardless of the timing of the release — makes clear Obama’s intention to ensure his nuclear weapons deal would be undisturbed. The hostage release was merely an ancillary political benefit he could claim....Yes, four Americans were released by payment of the ransom. But why was it made in cash?

When the payment was first admitted, Obama claimed it was made in cash because we had no banking relationship with Iran. That’s a lie of evasion. Bankers in Switzerland and other nations could have served as intermediaries for a non-cash payment, but Iran insisted on cash. Why?

Because cash is fungible and easily moved. Unless it’s marked for future identification, it can’t be traced. And you can bet that it wasn’t marked because Obama doesn’t want it to be traced to the terrorist networks that will receive it.

Even Vichy John Kerry admitted that some of the money paid to Iran at the end of sanctions would go to fund terrorism. $400 million in cash can go a long way to pay for acts of terrorism....

Cash can be sent abroad from Iran quickly and easily to pay the cost of terrorist attacks.

It costs money to have hundreds of salaried clerics who incite terrorist attacks at every Friday sermon. Cars and trucks probably aren’t much more expensive but they have to be rented or bought, as do bomb-making materials.

And it costs a lot for Iran to maintain the 80,000 or more Shiite fighters it has in Iraq today.
And Obama has sent them cash to pay those terrorists. And then he and his administration brazenly lied to the public. All so Obama can pursue his idée fixe to conclude a deal that clearly doesn't accomplish what he claims it does.
Obama has said repeatedly that the deal blocks all of Iran’s paths to nuclear weapons, which is precisely the opposite of the truth. Hillary won’t disturb Obama’s lies about the Iran deal because it’s as much a part of her legacy as it is a part of his.

Obama’s lies — on Islamic terrorism, Iran, Syria, Russia, China and the rest — will remain undisturbed if, as seems likely, America elects the woman Safire labeled congenital liar as president. On Iran, Obama’s lies deserve the label “historic” because they will shape our history, and those of our allies.

When presidential lies are synonymous with policy, our nation is in great danger.
Of course, Donald Trump would be no better. He has lied openly and repeatedly in this campaign. It's all so depressing, but let's ignore the lies of leading politicians and instead fixate on whether or not Ryan Lochte was either a very big liar or just a medium-size liar.

Glenn Reynolds writes
that individuals should learn from what we've seen of Louisiana's "Cajun Navy" that they must depend on themselves instead of government in times of natural disaster.
A collection of boat-owning volunteers called the ”Cajun Navy” has been rescuing people and transporting supplies, using Facebook to coordinate their efforts. As one said, "In South Louisiana, we don’t wait for help, we are the help.”

That’s a good approach, because the history of major disasters suggests that it’s a mistake to expect help to come very soon. We’ve seen this over and over again, and not just with Katrina.

After the 9/11 attacks in New York, when things were paralyzed, an impromptu navy composed of ferryboats, tugboats, and other maritime professionals, along with ordinary citizens in pleasure boats evacuated survivors and brought supplies in.
They kept ferrying people for three days until Day Four when the authorities took over.
“Day Four, when federal authorities took over.” That says it all, doesn’t it? Likewise in New Orleans after Katrina. Although Democratic leader Donna Brazile later admitted that George W. Bush in fact did all that could be expected after Katrina, people still waited a long time for help to arrive.

And after New York and New Jersey experienced Hurricane Sandy, it looked like Katrina On The Hudson. Relief was slow, gas shortages were made worse by Gov. Chris Christie’s economically illiterate assault on “price gouging,” and FEMA’s performance, according to Rudy Giuliani, wasn’t any better than under Bush and Katrina.

Well, the truth is that it’s better to be the help than to wait for help. There’s one group of first responders that’s always on the scene at every disaster — the people who are already there. After a disaster, roads are likely to be blocked, power lines are likely to be down, and it’s likely to be days or weeks before outside help arrives in any quantity.

You had to know that Donald Trump couldn't keep from making distracting tweets that demonstrate a totally immature attitude instead of keeping focused on his policy proposals and attacking Clinton.
Donald Trump took his escalating feud with "Morning Joe" to a new level on Monday, threatening to "tell the real story" of the relationship between hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

In a series of tweets on Monday, the Republican presidential nominee slammed the MSNBC hosts over their criticism of his brash campaign style.
What is he, a middle-schooler? That is about the behavior I saw in 12 years of teaching in middle school. Someone would criticize someone else, the response would be a bunch of irrelevant attacks spewing forward silly gossip. Who cares whether two unattached people are having a romantic relationship?

So if you're a Republican who had been comforting yourself that Trump had spent a week without one of these kerfuffles breaking out over something stupid that Trump has done, time's up.

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CNN keeps raiding Fox News for their talent.
Kirsten Powers, a longtime Democratic pundit with Fox News, is moving to CNN.

Powers will join CNN effective immediately, the network announced.

Her first appearance will be on "Anderson Cooper 360" on Monday night.

CNN has been adding Fox News talent over the past two years.

Liberal commentator Sally Kohn and former "Fox and Friends Weekend" co-host Alisyn Camerota came over in 2014. Former co-host of "The Five" and Democratic strategist Bob Beckel came to CNN last year. Conservative commentator Mary Katharine Ham went from Fox News to CNN in March of this year.

This is the attitude of EU officials
to economic approaches not in accord with their idea of increased government spending accompanied by high taxes.
Theresa May's Brexit negotiations with the European Union will be "more difficult" if she cuts corporation tax, European leaders have warned.

Stefan Loefven, the Swedish Prime Minister, said that any "aggressive" tax cuts by Britain will damage relations with the European Union.

It comes as Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, prepares to "reset" Britain's fiscal policy in his Autumn Statement by cutting taxes and borrowing to invest in infrastructure....

He told Bloomberg: "If the UK wants some time to think about the situation, this will also give EU countries some time.

“On the other hand, you hear about plans in the UK to, for example, lower corporate taxes considerably. If they, during this time, begin that kind of race, that will of course make discussions more difficult.”

Mr Loefven added: “We will continue to invest, because that’s the future,” Loefven said.

“Tax cuts are not the future. We need to continue to invest, and, for example, make sure our children get a good education.”
So the Swedish Prime Minister doesn't think another country should have the temerity to embrace economic policies of which he disapproves. Countries in the EU might have to listen to his advice. Such arrogance is one of the reasons that British voters voted to leave the EU.