Of Bundys, Trump, Wikileaks, Rebellion—You Know, The Whole 2016 Election Thing

jury-nullThe jigsaw puzzle of an existential national crisis, a real one, are assembling sufficiently so an image can be distinguished. It is uglier than I imagined.

1. Item:  The Bundy Brothers were acquitted. This was pure jury nullification, because they were guilty as hell. It might be an aberration, but I fear it is not. The jury is a fractal of democracy, and when juries start finding lawbreakers innocent, they are sending a message that those in power ignore at their peril. They say “We don’t like or respect you or your laws, and you better change, or else.” The complete class, regional and ideological estrangement from the Federal government this decision represents shows how completely Barack Obama has divided the nation, and portend a long, long, difficult and, one can only hope non-violent recovery, if some competent leaders emerge who can handle it. As trust in our institutions have collapsed with accelerating speed over the last decade, civility has deteriorated and authorities have increasingly threatened the basic Constitutional rights of citizens while extending privileges to non-citizens for political motives, the connective tissue of our society has been frayed to the snapping point. Responsible leadership, objective  and rational citizens must not shrug this verdict off as just a bunch of gun nuts and cowboys throwing a tantrum.

2. Item: Donald Trump keeps saying that the election is “rigged.” This is beyond irresponsible, in isolation not more irresponsible than what Trump has said about other things, but the timing and sheer intensity of this drumbeat from him is truly horrible….and also likely to be effective.  Again, it reinforces Ethics Alarms’ conclusion that it is per se unethical for anyone to do anything that does not maximize the chances that he won’t  be elected. With rotting trust as our greatest problem, he is trying to tear down what little remains. Knowing that many of his supporters are desperate, uneducated people of the sort who resort to violence because they have no other conflict resolution tools, he nonetheless makes pronouncements calculated to arouse unthinking passion. Typically, Trump is  barely coherent and inarticulate. He doesn’t mean that the election is literally rigged, in the sense that the votes will be manipulated. He means that the campaign has been unfair, that the power of the news media and the Obama administration have been unjustly used to manipulate law and information to favor the Democrats, and that this makes a travesty of democracy. That is unquestionably true. On the other hand, as Reason points out in the linked article, if Trump wasn’t such a horrible candidate and human being, he might have overcome such obstacles at the ballot box. He rigged the election against himself, the moron.

3. Though Trump’s inciting more anger and suspicion is the tactic of a lunatic, it may have some salutary effects if we don’t end up with the Capitol in flames. The news media asked for this; its bias has been increasing since 2008, and eventually fair Americans were bound to say “Enough!” along with some journalists and leaders in their profession with integrity. Surely there are some. Right?

4. Item: The latest Wikileaks dump shows how the Clintons merged State Department favors, donor solicitation to the Clinton Foundation, and personal enrichment. This is pure corruption and pay-to-play stuff, and backs Trump’s labeling of Clinton as “corrupt.” Let me see if I can find a non-conservative news source that isn’t trying to blur what’s going on—greater good, you know. Ah! Here’s the LA Times:

“A close aide to Bill Clinton said he arranged for $50 million in payments for the former president, part of a complicated mingling of lucrative business deals and charity work of the Clinton Foundation mapped out in a memo released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday. The report was written by Doug Band, who has transitioned from his job as a Clinton aide to a partner in Teneo Consulting, a firm whose client roster now includes some of the biggest companies in the world. Along the way, Band wrote, he also pushed his clients and contacts to donate millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, and to help win business deals for Bill Clinton.”

Band simultaneously solicited wealthy donors, individuals, organizations and governments, for the Foundation and to hire Bill Clinton. Other e-mails show that these donors often sought access to the State Department after giving, and sometimes received it.

5. Item: The GAO reports that Obama’s golfing excursion with Tiger Woods cost taxpayers 3.6 million dollars. When will the certifiable incompetence and arrogance of the Obama Administration become an election issue, as it should have been from the start? Never, apparently. Even with that “signature achievement,” the Affordable Care Act, collapsing pretty much as critics predicted, Obama’s popularity has been rising.  This is because, presumably, Obama looks great compared to Clinton and Trump, and Obama’s accountability for inflicting Clinton on us has been nicely hidden by the press.

6. Item:  Director James Comey released a statement today saying that the FBI is going to continue the previously closed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

“In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation,” Comey wrote in a letter released today. Comey wrote in the letter that after being briefed on the unrelated case, he agreed, “the FBI should take appropriated investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”

KABOOM!

There goes my head…

Exploding head

I want to take back everything good and understanding I’ve said about James Comey.  What an incompetent. What possible good can come out of doing this now? His once respected agency had its shot. He explained in great detail why what Clinton did wasn’t criminal while testing the limits of credulity on the part of those of us inclined to believe that the FBI and Justice wouldn’t “rig” a criminal investigation to let Hillary off the hook. Now, with the election slightly more than a week away, he suggests that they missed something? The Clintons always somehow run out the clock, don’t they? Trump is saying today that one reason the election is rigged is that Hillary is a criminal and “shouldn’t have been allowed” to run at all. That’s nonsense, especially coming from Trump. He, like her, is a plausible criminal who is still innocent in the eyes of the law. Oh, I agree that the Democrats muffed their duty to nominate an honorable candidate, but Republicans breached that duty even more grossly. Nonetheless, the FBI’s decision makes Trump’s argument seem almost fair.

Ugh.

There’s more, but, you know.

Brains on ceiling.

Later.

83 Comments

Filed under Character, Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Kaboom!, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, This Will Help Elect Donald Trump, U.S. Society

83 responses to “Of Bundys, Trump, Wikileaks, Rebellion—You Know, The Whole 2016 Election Thing

  1. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Apparently these emails, which number in the THOUSANDS, were discovered on Anthony Weiner’s device when the FBI was looking into him texting pictures of his junk to a 15-year old girl in North Carolina. What in the devil’s name was he, someone with NO connection to the executive branch, doing with any of those emails in the first place? And if he knew he had them what was he doing doing stuff that he had to know would get him looked into? I didn’t think it was possible to get slimier than the Clintons, but he is one of the few people who is, and it would be deliciously ironic if their ambitions back to power were derailed by the errors of a slimier tentacle reaching up from the much they play in and dragging them down.

    • Phlinn

      I believe the computer was shared with his wife, Huma Abedin, HRC’s assistant.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        Possibly. Still, the investigation was into sexting, and that’s usually done from a handheld device, not a desktop. It DOES probably all link back to HRC through Huma, though. I still think it would be very ironic if it dragged her down with a loud SLUUUUURP…POP!

        • Rusty Rebar

          You know that if the FBI suspects you of anything computer related that they are going to come in with a warrant for every electronic device in the household. I cannot tell you how many news stories and videos I have watched where they come in and take everything, phones, computers, xbox, tablet, usb drives.

          They will look at all of them, and if they find evidence of some totally unrelated crime, they still get to charge for it.

      • Other Bill

        Ironically, I think poor Anthony Weiner has been corrupted by the Clintons. He’s in way over his head with this crew. He was essentially lured into being Huma’s beard in return for getting to rocket up the ranks in the House and then get elected Mayor of New York, or some other pie in the sky.

    • zoebrain

      ” Although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work…”

      It might possibly be significant. It might be completely irrelevant. They might just be copies of what we already have. They may be full of administrative background chatter, or may contain ultra top secret information or plans for invading mexico and butchering the inhabitants. They may involve Clinton. They may not. No way to tell at this point. But there are e-mails. THOUSANDS of them. We’ll know more after the election, we haven’t even looked at them yet. Until then we’ll keep you in suspense, because you have a right to know.

      • I doubt that Comey would make what was obviously going to make a huge dent in the campaign unless he had to. He had to if what was found justified re-opening the investigation he had told Congress, under oath, was completed. He corrected that statement. Oops, it’s not completed. The spin coming from the Media Matters spin machine that the investigation has not been re-opened is particularly vile spin. If the investigation was completed, and is now adding more evidence, what is the word for it?

      • zoebrain

        Apparently according to Newsweek, there are 3 of interest. None to or from Clinton, but on the official unclassified network. The one she was supposed to use rather than a private server.

        http://reverbpress.com/news/5-facts-killed-new-hillary-email-scandal-less-afternoon/

        • Now, why would you cite that spin piece for any proposition at all?

          The title shows the agenda: the objective is to tamp down another e-mail eruption, not inform: “5 Facts that killed New Hillary E-Mail Scandal…” The scandal is NOT “killed.” That source has headlines like “This is Jason Chavitz’s REAL motive for duping the media…” and “New Report Show Economy on a HOT streak that only Hillary can maintain.” In fact, why would anyone trust a source with such an obvious bias? It’s a pro-progressive, pro-Clinton disinformation propoganda organ, and that’s all it is.

          It’s really simple: If the emails found are pertinent to the investigation of whether Hillary Clinton knowingly and intentionally exposed US classified material to malign acquisition and breached federal law, that’s what matters. Obviously, the FBI was impressed enough to risk throwing the election cycle into more chaos. Why? Gee, I don’t know, but I know why the left is spinning. According to rags like this (Newsweek is also a rag now, though not this pathetic), the e-mails have nothing to do with Hillary or her server at all. Well, anyone who believes that is too gullible to be trusted out doors.

          The investigation was about Clinton’s server and the information she allowed to pass through it, one way or the other, AND her intent and knowledge in doings so. What was found on Weiner’s device must have relevance to that inquiry, obviously. Either it came from Clinton, to Clinton, or was about Clinton’s emails and server. If the e-mail is to Weiner from Huma, and says, “Hillary says communication with Iran successful, will nuke LA in exchange for one billion dollar grant to Clinton Foundation and major Bill speech. I’m moving to Samoa: are you coming or not?”, I’d say its still a “scandal.” And whether it is three e-mails or 3000 doesn’t matter. All it takes is one.

          Those 5 things–only some are “Facts”—don’t “kille anything. The Pete Williams account contradicts his own organization at this point, and for all we know, his “sources” are David Brock. That’s double hearsay: a Huffpo editor says that Pete Williams’ unnamed sources SAY…are you kidding? Since when was that a “Fact”? “Fact 3” is a fact, and is a fact that was in Comey’s letter: it doesn’t prove or disprove anything.

          Especially this: “The campaign is clearly not scared of what’s in these emails and is asking for the FBI to put out more info for the public.” The campaign knows the FBI cannot do that until its completed its investigation.

          Again: why cite a source like this?

          • zoebrain

            The investigation is about whether or not classified info got out. Either into the unclass net, or worse, someone’s private server, which was used because the IT mandarins refused to provide one that wasn’t user-hostile to such a degree that normal operations were impossible.

            It’s a rule that if you make something so clunky it doesn’t do the job, stupid users ,ie all of them, will find or make work arounds so they can do their jobs. Warnings and threats of prison won’t work.

            Which is an IT security nightmare. Trust me.

            Been there done that got the T-shirt albeit many moons ago.

            Hillary prefers hard copy. Sometimes there’s no real alternative. Apparently getting data from the unclass net to a printer has to go through so many firewalls and onto a secure printer that it basically can’t be done with less than a few days notice. So of course stupid users just forward it to a gmail account, and print from that with a minute’s delay rather than a week’s.

            Thereby subverting the additional layer of defence that stops any classy data accidentally leaked onto the unclass net (you have to assume that that will happen) from leaking to the outside world.

            Anyway the first thing you do is ascertain what if anything got out. Then how far it got out. Then assess the consequent damage. Then go hunting witches if appropriate, write lessons learnt reports that get ignored etc.

            How do I know this? I still have the griddle marks on my back from some very unpleasant interviews with the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation because someone in the US needed to convey really time urgent info to Australia on a Sunday when all the pollies were on recess in both countries and the only way of doing that was over an open channel to me.

            I didn’t ask to be involved. I just got caught in the crossfire. And that’s about all I can say. Who it was, what the data was, what I did with it, what the consequences were no can say. A happy ending, though our careers were ruined.

            The Newsweek data might be completely bogus and spun. But it very very definitely has the ring of truth to it. Including the fact that the FBI had had this data for over 6 months without analysing it.

            What has this got to do with HRC? Nothing. She’s just another stupid user, too big to jail, like all her predecessors who did worse. The investigation isn’t about her, it’s about state dept unclass emails going onto open channels. The investigation is not “all about her”, even though from a political viewpoint she and her private email server are stars of the show.

  2. charlesgreen

    Brains on ceiling indeed. This is truly uncharted territory. Excellent post, because it is so scary.

    Listen, this is a minor quibble, but I didn’t want to let pass the opportunity to comment on a common cost-accounting error. It first came to my attention when I was helping a finance professor defend the Minneapolis Star-Tribune against charges of predatory pricing, on the basis that the paper’s own internal financial statements showed the afternoon paper as producing a loss. The argument went, they were maintaining a paper at a loss so as to undercut all competition, violating anti-trust laws, etc. etc.

    The error here lies in confusing imputed costs with marginal costs. The finance prof was able to clear up the whole thing by asking simply, “If they were to shut down the afternoon paper, would the company save the money that the financial statements showed as a loss?” Absolutely not; in fact, they’d lose real money, because no costs would disappear, and a certain amount of revenue would be lost.

    Presidential golf trips (your Item 5) fall in the same category. I guarantee you the greens fees for Obama’s golf outing were not $3.6M. If he had NOT gone on the golf outing, the secret servicemen would still have been paid; the pilot of AirForce One would still have been paid; ditto the depreciation on the plane; and so forth.

    When the GAO calculates the “cost of” something, it’s generally an allocation of costs, most of which would have been incurred whether or not he’d gone golfing. The relevant incremental question is, “If Obama HADN’T gone to play golf with Tiger Woods, but rather stayed in the White House, how much taxpayer money would have NOT been spent as a result?” And the answer is almost certainly, zilch; maybe the cost of airplane fuel, and that’s about it.

    Again, that’s a minor quibble. These are hard and scary times indeed, and I appreciate your continued forcing the legal and ethical issues facing all of us. Scary stuff.

    • Thanks for the clarification, Charles. My position, as I think I’ve suggested before, is that Presidents should indulge themselves as little as possible, and try to keep costs down in the interest of being role models and avoiding the appearance of impropriety and elite lifestyles while the debt rises and ordinary citizens suffer. I had the same attitude when I worked for major DC associations, when letting the organization pay for expensive lunches, elaborate office decoration, gym memberships and barely justifiable travel was the norm.

      • Fred Davison

        There is a whole fleet of planes that travel along with Air Force One. C5A’s are used to carry the vehicles and helicopter. Often, the second presidential 747 also goes so both planes are available in case the first one can’t be used. There is more than one set of cargo planes and equipment, so when the President visits more than one location in a day, the cargo planes are leapfrogging along the path of the itinerary so a limo or helicopter is always waiting when AF One arrives.

        When the president flies outside of the continental US, one of the four Doomsday planes will go too. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_E-4

        Air National Guard and Air Force fighters and tankers routinely escort AF One.

        So, it’s not just the hourly cost of fuel and maintenance for a single 747. While AF One alone is nearly $200k/hour for fuel and maintenance, the E4 is nearly as much. Add in the C5A’s, etc, and it starts to add up.

    • Joe Fowler

      Perhaps I too can have a golf outing with Tiger, since the plane, pilot and secret service are all already paid for? The cost would be zilch! Right?
      Unless, of course, those assets and costs could be deployed towards something that was actually productive for the country…then it would be bullshit, and a total waste of taxpayer money. Like if the President sent his wife and daughters on a really expensive vacation to Africa, or something.

      • charlesgreen

        I think you miss the point. The US taxpayer pays for planes, secret service and pilot for the President – not for you. If you can get Tiger to play a round with you, what’s stopping you from hopping a commercial flight to Orlando! Though I suspect you’ll have to pay it yourself, since the government hasn’t budgeted funds for you.

        • Joe Fowler

          You miss the point that these funds/resources are fungible. Don’t feign being obtuse enough to believe that these are fixed costs; they are not, and you know it. All personnel could have used the time elsewhere, including vacation days.
          This was one more self-aggrandizing waste of resources by Obama.

        • Other Bill

          Charles, your accounting discussion is interesting but I think, to use your phrase, you miss the point. To use a very popular current term (popularized by mostly lefty consultants, I think), the “optics” are what matters. Tiger Woods couldn’t have flown to D.C. on his Gulfstream and played the President at Congressional? The most powerful man in the world had to work around Tiger Woods’ schedule? The President of the United States wanted to play golf with Tiger Woods more than Tiger Woods wanted to play golf with the President of the United States? Congressional has hosted how many majors? Not to mention Herr Woods’ own tournament. How many courses in Florida, never mind Palm Beach County have ever hosted a major. One that I can think of. PGA National. And you think the President would stoop to play on a resort course? I bet they played at Seminole, the club on Palm Beach that didn’t admit Jack Nicklaus as a member because they thought his kids were brats. I suspect our President is playing golf at as many exclusive clubs as he can, Pine Valley, Augusta National, etc. like any other run of the mill yuppie wannabe guy. Anyway, I’m getting off track here. But the point is the trip LOOKED terrible and, as you say, wasted tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jet fuel. Your fixed costs argument is interesting but largely irrelevant.

    • Who wants to take a stab at demonstrating how this just an accountant’s version of the “there are worse things” rationalization?

      • (Among other rationalizations)

      • charlesgreen

        I completely agree that the optics are terrible. I further agree, and in fact noted at the outset, that my fixed costs argument is interesting but largely irrelevant to the optics argument.

        It is, however, spot on as to the tangential issue of characterizing fully attributed costs as if they were marginal costs.

        Sounds like we are in violent agreement.

      • charlesgreen

        Good luck with that one, Texagg. You might want to first pick up a textbook on cost accounting 101. You’ll find my point is utterly clear, fairly straightforward, and has nothing to do with ethical rationalizations.

        It’s the difference between what accountants call directly attributable or variable costs, vs. allocated costs. The millions it “costs” us to pay for a Presidential trip consists largely of allocated costs; they are costs that would not have changed had the trip not been taken.

        An example of a mostly-attributable, variable cost would be the cost of fuel. It varies with the length of trip, and would not have been incurred had the trip not been taken.

        Examples of allocated costs – costs that would have been incurred REGARDLESS of whether Obama had stayed in Washington or gone to Florida – are the depreciated cost of the plane, and the salaries of the crew and the Secret Service.

        Directly attributable, variable costs are best used to describe activities at the margin – the financial implications of making a decision to do X or Y, like go to Florida or stay in DC.

        Allocated costs are best used to describe the “full cost” of running an operation, like the daily average of the annual cost of maintaining the Presidency.

        Most situations have costs of both types. And most confusions, like this one, come from mixing the purpose of the data with the presumed intention of the reader. You’d like to claim that Obama spent tons of the taxpayer’s money by going to play golf with Tiger Woods. Unfortunately, most of those costs are allocated – had he not gone to Florida, very little out of pocket funds would have been saved.

        There’s nothing remotely ideological about this, which probably explains why nobody has taken you up on your offer to “take a stab at demonstrating how this just an accountant’s version of the “there are worse things” rationalization.” Because it’s nothing of the kind.

        • So in other words, it would have been a worse thing if the plane had been sitting around doing nothing while using tax payer dollars.

          Thanks!

          That was simple enough.

          Enough rope.

          • charlesgreen

            “So, it would have been a worse thing if the plane had been sitting around doing nothing while using tax payer dollars.”

            Nope. It would have been a (very) slightly better thing.

            Are you congenitally obtuse? Or just willfully?

            • I’m just kind of blown away. We’re saying that a weekend of Golfing with Tiger cost 3.6 Million dollars. Let’s write that out: $3,600,000.00. And the quibble is…. Just to be clear: It would have normally cost America $3,600,000.00 for presidential upkeep over the weekend, and the incremental additional costs were negligible?

              By this logic the budget on the president’s plane, security and incidentals are something like 600 Million dollars annually. Is that right? And if that’s right, is that sane?

              • Charles, note how Humble is getting to the core of why the accountant’s view in this matter is a rationalization.

                • charlesgreen

                  Not at all, Texagg.

                  First, ask yourself: How much do YOU think the taxpayer would save by having the President stay in DC vs. going to Florida? Clearly you’d save on fuel, some level of maintenance, and airport charges. Just as clearly you’d NOT save on employee costs who are on payroll regardless of a given trip on a given day – I’m pretty sure the White House doesn’t lay off all the flight-involved personnel after every flight and then hire them back for the next one. They remain on the payroll.

                  How much of the $3.6M allocated cost is actually a direct, variable cost that changes per flight, and how much is fixed? I don’t know, but there’s no way the taxpayer is out an incremental $3.6M for a weekend because of a decision to fly a few hours.

                  For some evidence, see Business Insider on the cost of AirForce One.
                  http://www.businessinsider.com/cost-of-air-force-one-2015-2

                  They put the in-flight cost (that is, the variable cost associated with actually flying) at $200K per hour – that includes “fuel, flight consumables, depot level repairables, aircraft overhaul, and engine overhaul.” 2 hours each way DC to Orlando totals 4 hours, or about $800K: approximately 25% of that fully allocated $3.6M number you like to be aghast about.

                  What accounts for the difference between variable and fixed costs? According to the article, things like the 20 crew members and a doctor who fly on every flight. My point is: those crew members and doctors are getting paid regardless of whether they fly or sit on the ground.

                  As everyone agrees, the optics are still important. It costs a lot of money for the President to fly around no matter where they’re going (and recall that vacation trips are a small portion of the total flying the President does).

                  My point is: if you’re going to analyze the cost of having a presidential plane, you should use fully allocated cost. If you’re going to analyze the cost of a specific trip, you should use variable costs. Any decent MBA student or cost accountant can explain the difference to you, and when to use each number.

                  The difference is relevant because the “OMG $3.6MM!!!” headlining number overstates things by about 400%, and is just like shouting “Fire!” where there is merely a little smoke. It’s expensive having a President; but let’s try and be accurate when we talk about the expense.

                  • I think that the same people who are aghast at 3.6 million wouldn’t be that comforted to know the incremental increase was a MERE $800,000. I also think you’re being overly generous in your interpretations… Because that $200,000 was just the plane, and nothing else… But at the end of the day, you’re right in that the specific number probably isn’t that important.

                    Bev Oda was an MP in the Canadian Parliament, there was a scandal with her expense claims, because they were made public and people took umbrage with her ordering a $20 glass of orange juice with a breakfast. (Not kidding, look it up) The idea that a million dollars is a deal for your president to play gold is anathema to me.

              • charlesgreen

                HT, by YOUR logic, $3.6M per weekend, times 52 weekends, is about $187M, not $600M. Or less than one-third of your OMG $600M figure.

                And does that sound right?

                It sounds right to me, if you read up on what goes into Air Force One.
                http://www.therichest.com/expensive-lifestyle/location/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-air-force-one/

                Is that sane? It seems within bounds to me, but reasonable people could differ. What do you think? $187M to fly around the leader of the free world?

                • And that would be right if he were only the leader of the free world and travelling on weekends. My math was ((3.6)/2)*365 which breaks it down to a daily, and then annual rate.

                  But who cares? Let’s say your number is right. Politicians spend a lit of time arguing over much more necessary and much less frivolous costs than either a fifth or two-thirds of a Billion dollars. I think it’s insane that you let mere politicians rack up these kinds of expenses… Believe it or not, they represent you, not rule you.

  3. Wayne

    He’s done more than suggesting they may have missed something on Hillary’s emails. The FBI according to Fox News is re-opening the case against Hillary. I really hope that Hillary loses the election at this point because there is too much coming forth about the Clinton’s corrupt pay for play arrangements.

  4. Rick M.

    Can the FBI be dirty?
    Two word answer: James Bulger.

  5. “Again, it reinforces Ethics Alarms’ conclusion that it is per se unethical for anyone to do anything that does not maximize the chances that he won’t be elected.”

    Unless of course that thing is to run a cynical third party candidacy designed to either split the vote and lose him, or just outright steal electoral college votes.

    • That’s not why that candidacy is unethical. But since you mention it, unethical methods of defeating Trump, like confounding the voting and splitting the electorate under false pretenses, is, in fact, unethical. You know those cases where a Democrat runs as a third party “conservative” to elect a Democrat? Same thing. Unethical. The comment you quote referred to legal and ethical measures. Obviously.

  6. “Knowing that many of his supporters are desperate, uneducated people of the sort who resort to violence because they have no other conflict resolution tools,…”

    Knowing that many of HER supporters (maybe a larger number of them, even – a larger percentage of hers than of his) are desperate, uneducated people (who think they are educated, when all they are is indoctrinated and corrupted) of the sort who resort to violence because they CHOOSE no other conflict resolution tools (because they are at least THAT “well-educated”), she nonetheless flashes that smug smile calculated to deflect the suspicion and scorn she deserves, when all she is doing is inflaming those who (evidently) know, better than she knows, what she is getting away with (for now, so far).

    Come and take us, Russia.

    • Wayne

      Yep. totalarism will be on it’s way if Hillary wins. Goodbye First and Second Amendment. Hillary’s brown shirts will get rid or silence all those that dare to dissent. She already had some practice silencing Bill’s troublesome women.

  7. Other Bill

    Thanks for the comments on Comey, Jack. The FBI’s previously closed investigation of HRC’s server and your vigorous defense of his decision not to recommend sending the case on to the DOJ continues to trouble me. Maybe Comey and FBI incompetence explain it? I doubt it, but you never know.

    • The best guesses now is that he didn’t have the nerve to be point central in a prosecution that would make him and the Bureau a political and partisan target, and thus passed on the first try. We hear that his staff was furious. The guessing now is that whatever turned up, it must be bad enough that he felt he had no choice. I hope so. It better be.

      • I remember originally saying that I didn’t question his integrity, but I questioned his courage…. I feel vindicated.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        Might this be a false alarm to distract from wikileaks, that will turn out to be nothing in 5 days?

        • Joe Fowler

          I think probably not. It’s not too late for the “stepping down for health reasons” scenario to play out. Clinton looked tired and lifeless today responding to questions about this. She mouthed all the right platitudes, but they might as well have run a tape of any of 100 similar press Q & A denial fests she has held over so very, very, many years.

        • Do we even talk about hillary’s apparent health issues anymore? Or did the MSM figure 3 days of flippant coverage was enough to appear objective?

          • Joe Fowler

            Barring a public Grand Mal seizure…yeah, the press has decided we should all move on from the her obvious health issues, and focus on what an asshole Donald is. I don’t think she cares if she drops dead at her inauguration, as long as she’s the FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT. (TM, C., all rights reserved by the Clinton Foundation.)

  8. Other Bill

    I’ll also add in on the Bundies front. I know the federal government is supposed to have exclusive control over immigration matters, but living in Arizona and seeing the left’s favorite pinata, Joe Arpaio, being hounded by the DOJ for trying to deal with illegal immigrants in the absence of any real effort by the feds is absolutely maddening. My federal tax dollars are being spent to do battle with my Maricopa County tax dollars so the Democrats can swell their ranks. Brilliant.

  9. You must be wishing the Dems nominated Jim Webb

  10. Of the many early commentaries on the Weiner/Huma/ Hillary email investigation, this is the most reasonable so far: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/10/observations-on-the-fbis-clinton-email-reentry.php

  11. valkygrrl

    For the record, the full text of Comey’s letter to congressional republicans .
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/politics/oct-28-fbi-letter-to-congressional-leaders-on-clinton-email-investigation/2113/

    Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

    In previous congressional testimony, I referred to the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had completed its investigation of former Secretary Clinton’s personal email server. Due to recent developments, 1 am writing to supplement my previous testimony.

    In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.

    Although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant. and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work, I believe it is important to update your Committees about our efforts in light of my previous testimony.

    Sincerely yours,

    James B. Comey
    Director

    And his letter to FBI emplyees. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/10/28/read-the-letter-comey-sent-to-fbi-employees-explaining-his-controversial-decision-on-the-clinton-email-investigation/?utm_term=.b129c67e9791

    To all:

    This morning I sent a letter to Congress in connection with the Secretary Clinton email investigation. Yesterday, the investigative team briefed me on their recommendation with respect to seeking access to emails that have recently been found in an unrelated case. Because those emails appear to be pertinent to our investigation, I agreed that we should take appropriate steps to obtain and review them.

    Of course, we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed. I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record. At the same time, however, given that we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don’t want to create a misleading impression. In trying to strike that balance, in a brief letter and in the middle of an election season, there is significant risk of being misunderstood, but I wanted you to hear directly from me about it.

    Jim Comey

    • And yet ThinkProgress et al are still trying to make everyone misunderstand.

      Translation: I testified under oath that the investigation into Clinton’s emails and private server was complete. What was just uncovered on Weiner’s device relates to that investigation significantly enough to examine it in that context to see if it requires a revision of our findings. Thus what I told Congress is no longer true. The Clinton investigation is no longer “complete.” Since we are again engaged in it, it has been re-opened.

      And every single writer and publication that says otherwise should be marked as a lying, propaganda organ spinning for Hillary, and not worthy of being trusted.

      • valkygrrl

        You can’t say it was Weiner’s device. It’s obvious when they seized his devices they also took the opportunity to seize Huma Abedin’s justifying it with the excuse that he had physical access to them, then decided that they had the right to read any of her files as well. Like when the police arrest someone for disorderly conduct and then feel justified in looking though the arestee’s phone.

        • It was apparently Weiner’s phone.

          • valkygrrl

            Where did you get that? If he used a phone she had free use of, he’d be caught and the divorce settlement would be punitive.

            Unless you think the emails are form Clinton to Weiner but what could she possibly have to say to him? ‘Hey I’m keeping that woman who’s far too good for you working late tonight, so why don’t you make her a nice dinner or something?’

            • I have no idea where, right now, after reading all the hysteria and spin all over the web last night, and I have no idea if it’s reliable anyway. It is the e-mails themselves and their contents that matter, if they matter, not where they were found. Unless they were fount on Putin’s phone. Who knows who Anthony has been sexting?

              • valkygrrl

                Where matters a great deal to me, far more than what. If they were investigating Anthony and looked in Huma’s files, I’d want them flayed, even if they had the moral luck to turn up the cure for cancer.

                As for Anthony, they had warrants for his stuff, not they I understand the need for an investigation that’s lasted this long. They’ve got him for sexting an underage girl across state lines. Lock the swine up for that and let him rot.

  12. valkygrrl

    I’ve got one in moderation

  13. Spartan

    The FBI is in a tough spot. I think these emails won’t tell us anything new, but they had to tell the public. If they waited, then people would have screamed about a cover-up after the election. But now they will look like they are meddling in politics anyway if there’s nothing incriminating. Why did it take them so long though? This story is not new, and usually the FBI seizes everything immediately.

    This story illustrates why you shouldn’t share a work computer with your spouse. Also, this is proof positive that the Clinton’s don’t whack their enemies — otherwise Weiner and his computer would be long gone — unless he didn’t possess anything that could hurt Clinton.

    • valkygrrl

      That people would blame the Clinton’s is probably the only reason he’s still alive. If I’d done what Weiner did, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. I’d have opened my wrists and ended it.

    • I hate it when Weiner is in the news, because all the cheap jokes come back. The NY Post went nuts on this…

  14. Spartan

    I just finished arguing with my husband (a practicing attorney) about this, so I thought I would share.

    There are a couple problems going on here. First, because Clinton produced PAPER images of electronic files, they cannot be easily deduplicated against what was located on Abedin’s or Weiner’s devices. There is near-dupe software available, and it is pretty good, but it still involves an attorney who knows how to use the software to go through and verify that the FBI doesn’t have anything new.

    Second, just because emails were found doesn’t mean that they are incriminating. Clinton did not have any obligation to produce non-responsive information in response to the subpoena. For example, if there are a bunch of emails between Huma and Clinton saying bad things about their respective husbands, there is nothing responsive there and they did not have to be turned over. However, because Clinton did not preserve a complete copy (and preferably it should have been a forensic image) of her data, any incidence of someone finding a new set of emails is suspect. Also, the FBI will have to examine that data to see if it is relevant. And, if it is relevant, then they have to see if Clinton also produced that document or documents in her response. (There is a wrinkle here admittedly about this being a “closed” investigation. I don’t know the process on this, but my guess is that it is up to the FBI to decide whether or not to reopen an investigation.)

    Finally, it does not matter that the FBI did not have a warrant for Abedin. If they used a shared computer, or if Weiner had access, the FBI gets to take everything. That is how FBI warrants work. It also doesn’t matter that Clinton emails weren’t a part of this warrant’s scope. Discovery is discovery is discovery. This is why corporations spend millions of dollars combing through their documents before responding to a DOJ, FTC, SEC, etc. investigation. If the government gets whiff of a new set of problematic behavior, they are going to open a new investigation in addition to the existing one.

    • Thanks, Spartan—do you know how often I have to delete your old name?—that’s very helpful.

      • Other Bill

        Sparty, you seem to have the criminal defense attorney gene. Are you a criminal defense lawyer? How did the argument go? Is your beloved a prosecutor? Who won the argument? Do you still come down on letting HRC go because there was no intent?

        • Spartan

          I did some pro bono criminal defense work but no, I always practiced commercial law. I have a lot of expertise is in eDiscovery though — so it pains me when I see people handle this badly.

          My husband believes he is right on everything — topic is irrelevant.

          • Other Bill

            If you ever get tired of transactional work, you’d be great at criminal defense. You’ve got that natural, “Yeah, but…” reaction. Were you the resident jail house lawyer in grade school?

            Atta boy, Mr. Sparty!

  15. Phlinn

    While reading the comments on your recent link to Popehat, I noticed that there is some significant disagreement with the idea that the Bundy verdict was jury nullification. Following a couple of links, I ended up at http://mimesislaw.com/fault-lines/the-ammon-bundy-trial-this-is-why-we-have-juries/13865 Basically, the prosecution claimed conspiracy, but never actually provided evidence that they conspired to do anything.

    I’m curious if that changes your view of the case.

    I had previously been frustrated by comparisons between the Bundys and the Standing Rock protest which completely ignored that there was no actual protestor initiated violence with the Bundys (Some threats to defend themselves I believ) and no invasion of private property. Someone on facebook actually referenced the one instance of shooting as evidence to the contrary, but didn’t read their link since only the police fired their weapons.

    • Phlinn

      Hmm… That should have read “…comments on that Popehat article you recently linked to…” since the comments in question were there and not here.

  16. Phlinn

    Jack, I submitted a comment which I think got stuck in a spam filter. Basically, it linked to what I thought was a persuasive argument that the Bundy case was NOT jury nullification, because the prosecution never bothered to prove conspiracy to commit specific acts.

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