Thursday, June 30, 2016

Benghazi, Fish and Rocks

I would think that eventually one would run out of topics that specifically relate to Hillary Clinton, especially when I'm doing a new column every workday.  I suppose that she is the gift that keeps on giving columns whether she tries or not.  Sort of like Rachel Dolezal in that way.

The House committee investigating the events surrounding the Obama administration's response to the attacks on the USA facility in Benghazi, Libya, just released its report.  The left and the press (but I repeat myself) were falling all over each other to parrot back the Clinton campaign's talking points in regard to the committee's report.

That, of course was something of the form "No new information regarding Mrs. Clinton's activities in response to the events in Benghazi."  You could hear it from all the reliable sources -- the New York Times (italicized to accentuate their pomposity) pumped out that response literally before they even read the report, and it is to be asked if anyone in their employ actually has read it, even as this is written.

The broadcast "journalists" quickly followed suit."No new information", they trumpeted, "so we can get back to our normal job of doing whatever we can, and as corruptly as we can, to get her elected."

Now, I have used a simile over the years, and in these pages, to describe people complaining about X by calling it Y and then describing why "Y" is so bad.  I have said that it is like calling a mountain an ocean, and then complaining because the fish look so much like rocks.

I keep going back to that analogy, because it applies on almost a daily basis to the left.  Conservative solutions actually work, so the left lies about the results and then complains about the results they're misrepresenting and lying about.

For example, the Reagan tax cuts of the early 1980s not only stimulated the economy and pulled us out of the recession of the Jimmy Carter years, but they resulted in a huge increase in tax revenues from the private-sector stimulation and job growth -- tax revenues were 50% higher over the five years after enactment.  Now, the national debt still went up, but that was because the Democrat Congress spent a buck and a half for every buck the tax cuts increased revenue by.  So to make it sound "bad", the left keeps spouting that the tax cuts "didn't work."  They worked just fine, thanks, but the left uses an irrelevant metric to make their case.

The left is doing the same thing here.  The Benghazi committee was chartered to investigate why four Americans, including our Ambassador to Libya, died without the USA doing anything to help them.  It was not, Kevin McCarthy notwithstanding, chartered to investigate Hillary Clinton's participation or non-participation that night.  So to assess the report first by saying nothing new was turned up on Hillary is to assume that's why the committee was formed.  Fish, meet rocks.

In fact, there was new information.  The committee discovered that the White House had responded within three hours of the start of the attack, and while the ambassador was still missing and unaccounted for, by meeting to assess the political outcome and to concoct the cover story needed to avoid making it sound like a planned attack by Islamist terrorists.  We were, after all, late in a presidential campaign where Obama had already claimed that he had won against terror.  To call it a planned attack would be politically a problem.

And that was more important to Obama -- and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, wherever she was that night -- than the lives of the ambassador and any others.

So sure enough, they put together the meeting, not a military-response meeting in the Situation Room of the White House, mind you, where the Osama bin Laden take-out was given approval, but a political-cover meeting.  Susan Rice was then prepped to go out and blather the quickly-developed talking points on the Sunday talking-points shows (by the way, the committee discovered that she hadn't even done a good job parroting the talking points on the shows, which would be funny if four people hadn't died).

Now maybe you don't think that is "new information" that casts Hillary in a bad light, but I sure do.  Maybe you don't think that it's "new" to discover that the military, or in this case Leon Panetta, the Secretary of Defense, left the meeting believing that the White House was going to deploy military assets to rescue our people in Benghazi, whereupon the Hillary Memorial State Department stopped the effort.  I sure didn't know about it.

So the press goes with a pre-planned response, given to them by the campaign, "no new information" even though it is (A) irrelevant because it wasn't the job of the committee, and (B) wrong, as there was new information unflattering to Hillary, had they actually read the report.

It is the job of the left -- deflect at all costs, and work their fish and rocks by lying about the fish.  Or the rocks, I forget which one applies.

It's sort of the same approach the press took to Donald Trump's trip to his golf course in Turnberry, Scotland, that happened to coincide with the Brexit vote.  He went there to support his son, who had completed overseeing a renovation of the facility there -- as he said multiple times, the trip, long-planned, was "to support my son."  He had planned to do a press conference about the renovation and did -- he started with a lengthy statement about what had been done at Turnberry because that's why he was there.

So when the press's questions naturally turned to Brexit, he answered them.  One question was about the results for the UK economy, and he noted that the devalued pound would make prices there cheaper for Americans, and increase sales.  Since he was at Turnberry, for a Turnberry press conference after a statement about Turnberry, he used Turnberry as his example of a business that would benefit, as would every other business in the UK that serves or supplies foreigners.

Naturally Hillary, her acolytes and sycophants, and the press decided that he was "for" Brexit because it would "help his golf course."  Naturally, he hadn't said that about why he hoped for Brexit; in fact, while he hoped Brexit would pass, it was for other reasons (belief that the EU had turned into a political beast).  Unlike Barack Obama and Hillary, Trump had openly said he was not going to advocate for one side in an election in another country.

I'm pretty fed up with the whole fish and rocks thing.  If the left wants to defeat Trump, the least they could do is compete using ideas that have a rationale for working, and arguing rationally against Trump's actual plans from his website.  It is contemptible to argue against an incorrect statement of his -- or anyone's -- statements, positions or actions.  It is politically bankrupt to do that.

But that's not "new" information, is it, Rocky?

Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
Like what you read here?  There's a new post from Bob at at 10am Eastern time, every weekday, giving new meaning to "prolific essayist."  Sponsorship and interview inquiries cheerfully welcomed at or on Twitter at @rmosutton.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hillary and the McDonnell Case

On Monday, in its last day, the Supreme Court vacated the corruption conviction of the former Republican governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell.  That particular decision was hidden a bit, in that the Court handed down several decisions Monday, and one was about abortion, which got all the excitement of the press.

But let's stick with the McDonnell case for today, because I think the ramifications of that decision could affect the presidential campaign this year, if only the Trump people can figure out how to present it accurately and persuasively.

This case actually had enough subtlety to where it might have confused the press, so I'll try to keep it simple.  Bob McDonnell, as the facts appear to bear out, received gifts from a Virginia company which was trying to market a product.  In return, he took some actions to try to help the company, which consisted of setting up meetings and providing introductions to individuals in government who could assist the company.  For that, he was charged with, and convicted of, corruption in office.

It is no more complex than that, and I am keeping it that way for the purpose of this piece to make it easier to understand the Court decision.  McDonnell appealed the original conviction, had lost his appeal in Federal court, and took the case to the Supreme Court to rule on the statute itself under which he was convicted.

McDonnell claimed that what he actually did on behalf of the company did not constitute an "official act" as defined under the statute.  He claimed that what he had done -- arranging meetings and introductions and the like -- was not actually "official" in the man-on-the-street view, in that you didn't have to be the governor to take the actions that he did.  I'm not a lawyer and was not privy to the arguments, but he could have said that a former governor could have done the same thing, or a General Assembly leader, or even an influential private citizen.

Key to McDonnell's appeal was that he actually took no official steps; did not award contracts, did not do anything that couldn't otherwise be regarded as constituent service -- despite having received gifts to provide that"constituent service."

The Supreme Court unanimously agreed -- meaning that even the hard-core lefties like Kagan, Sotomayor and Ginsburg agreed -- writing that the corruption statute was so broadly written in its definition of "official acts" as to be unconstitutional, and the conviction was vacated.  The prosecution will now have to decide whether or not to retry McDonnell with the narrow definition the Court has left them.

Why do I bring this up?  Because, assuming we stipulate that a unanimous SCOTUS opinion on the issue of defining the kind of "official acts" that can constitute corruption at any level, we have a whole 'nother corruption case to look at.

I'm talking about you, Hillary Clinton.

Right now, the Washington Post is not thinking about her, but they should.  In yesterday's editorial comment on the McDonnell case, they noted:

"Mr. McDonnell, who previously apologized to Virginians for the embarrassment his conduct in office caused them, now hails the court’s decision as vindication for his insistence that he broke no law. It may turn out that he’s right. If it does, however, the court’s ruling will mean that sticky-fingered public officials can skate right up to the line of outright bribery with far less trepidation and legal risk than good government and sound ethics demand."

So if they can "skate right up to the line of outright bribery", then what do you say about foreign countries, with matters before the Department of State, skating right past that line, outright bribing the sticky-fingered Hillary Clinton by making payments to Bill Clinton for speeches and fat donations to the Clinton Foundation, from which the Clintons received salaries?

What does the Post think the appropriate punishment should be when the FBI determines that the quid pro quo for Hillary's influence, such as facilitating a sale of a big percentage of the USA's uranium to Russia, was cash payments?  I don't know if the paper will ever make the connection, but I will certainly be examining every word they write about McDonnell for evidence of hypocrisy when the FBI report finally comes out.

Because whatever they think should be the punishment for a governor setting up meetings on behalf of a company which provided him gifts, that has to pale before the acceptance of heavy payments, routed through speeches and donations to a "charitable foundation."

I made that link.  I hope those with louder voices do as well, and say so.  Loudly.

Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
Like what you read here?  There's a new post from Bob at at 10am Eastern time, every weekday, giving new meaning to "prolific essayist."  Sponsorship and interview inquiries cheerfully welcomed at or on Twitter at @rmosutton.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Congressman's Contempt for You

I would imagine that a few of you have heard this stunning audio clip from an interview done by Kerry Picket with the Honorable Charles Rangel (D-NY), whose butt has been in a seat in the United States Congress for 35 years and who is 86 years old.  Not that there's anything wrong with that (?).

Here is the clip -- it is two minutes long and worth the effort if you have not recently eaten.

Rangel is famous for his raspy voice, extreme-left politics and general contempt for the people of his district although when he finally retires, expires or both (this is his last term), there will be statues of him all over Harlem and all manner of things named for him.

If you have heard the clip, you most probably caught only the end of it.  There, Miss Picket asks Rangel a question about how he can spout the nonsense he does about limiting gun ownership and concealed-carry permits, while he himself is surrounded by armed guards.

Rangel's response to that is a very predictable laugh out loud, and then a pompous "That's a little different -- We deserve, I think we need that protection ..."  He used the term "we" to mean "congressmen."  It's pretty hard to put a meter on how pompous and how typically leftist-power that sounds.  "We know better than you; we are the elite; we need more than you; two legs good, four legs bad .."

And he would get reelected easily in what must be the stupidest congressional district in the USA, at least the most gullible and easily persuaded.  If my congressman tried to say that I would choke, and certainly vote for someone else -- or move.

But today's piece is about highlighting something else that Rangel said, earlier in the brief interview, regarding concealed-carry permits.  Miss Picket was noting that corruption in the city had led to very few concealed-carry permits being issued, and those only to the well-connected, who had friends high up in the NYPD, city government or Congress.

Rangel responded as only a leftist control-freak with contempt for the Constitution that created his elected position could.  Referring to those permits, Rangel immediately said "We don't need that many guns ...".

I'm almost surprised that part of the clip wasn't played as much as the despicable end of the clip (the laughter and the "we deserve protection ..." line.  Because to start a line with "We don't need that many guns", as an excuse for a corrupt issuance practice for concealed-carry permits, is to say something that tells all about the left.

"We" don't need that many guns.  "We."  Rangel just cast the royal "we" ahead of the rights of the individual citizen's right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed in the Second Amendment.  In the view of the left, that is the proper balance, as it is in the globalize-everything crowd that just got its butt kicked in the UK.

I know that I immediately heard that line as being every bit as pompous as the more-quoted part of his words.  Whether or not "we" do or do not need more or fewer guns is not for Charles Rangel (D-NY) to decide.  That issue was decided, about 230 years ago, for him.

It is in fact, embarrassing for those few in his district who might have the capacity for embarrassment, that he would say that in the context that he did.  Not only did he put himself above the Constitution, but he essentially said -- and other parts of his comments reinforce this -- that a corrupt process for the issuance of permits is effectively defensible because "we" don't need that many guns.

That's so miserable on so many levels.  Certainly his contempt for his constituents and those of neighboring districts is, well, contemptible.  But he is saying that if there are only a few concealed-carry permits, and the people who get them obtained them by participating in a corrupt process involving influence-peddling or exercise of inappropriate political power, that's OK.

Follow?  Good and decent people feeling at risk because their mayor, the dishonorable Bill DiBlasio, has vilified his police force, cannot arm themselves through a workable process.  But people can get those permits, through exercise of political string-pulling.  Who, you have to ask, would you want to be issued those permits -- the decent but unconnected, or those who obtain them through the back door?  Whom do you trust more?

I do not think this to be an unwarranted extrapolation of what Rangel said.  He did what leftists do, which is to live in his own realty bubble, knowing he can say whatever he wants and still get elected until he is 105 years old, which is not that far off, were he not retiring.  He will spout his contempt for his constituents both overtly (laughing at why congressmen deserved armed guards) and covertly (my right to defend myself stops at his interpretation of what we "need").

When will the left or the press (but I repeat myself) comment on that?  When will Hillary Clinton be asked if she agrees that Congress should have armed guards but I, who has never been arrested in my 65 years (and who, by the way, has been an expert shot since his teens), cannot in Rangel's view, buy a weapon to protect myself?

Ain't going to happen.  But a lot can change in November.

Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
Like what you read here?  There's a new post from Bob at at 10am Eastern time, every weekday, giving new meaning to "prolific essayist."  Sponsorship and interview inquiries cheerfully welcomed at or on Twitter at @rmosutton.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Birds o' a Feather: Cameron and McConnell

On the heels of the vote in Great Britain to leave the European Union, in fact, as the results were being announced, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he was stepping down from his position.

I think perhaps the resignation was met with less surprise than it might otherwise have, given that Cameron had been firmly on the "stay in the EU" camp and had actively campaigned for Britain to stay.  What I suspect was a bit surprising, at least it should have been, is that Cameron was prime minster as leader of Britain's Conservative Party.

Now, I will give voice now to the notion that we all rather understand that British Conservatives and American Republicans are not necessarily the same things.  However, as you can interpret from this piece from 2014, what makes an American a conservative would, if the person were to be transported to Britain and to British citizenship, make them a Conservative.  The specific issues on either side of the pond might invoke some variance, but the impact of each individual's upbringing would still apply.

So the question then, is this.  "Brexit" is, by its nature, a conservative-leaning concept.  People who are essentially conservative tend toward nationalism vs. globalism, toward independence vs. reliance on a large government, toward bearing responsibility for one's own rather than, by decree, having to take on the burdens of those who failed on their own (e.g., Greece, Ireland, Portugal).

Why, then, would the leader of the Conservatives not be behind what is logically a conservative initiative?

I think that, for Americans, the answer is to be found in our own Congress.  In 2010, after two years of the contempt for Americans shown by Obama (and his lapdog then-Democrat Congress) in ramming Obamacare down our throats, the voters turned the House Republican, where it is today.  In 2014, after four more years of Obama due to an ineffectual 2012 Republican presidential campaign against a vulnerable president, the voters turned the Senate Republican as well.

And yet nothing got fixed.  Congress did nothing.  And voters who had asked for -- mandated -- change in Washington decided to make sure their voices got heard, and made Donald Trump the Republican candidate.

However could the Republican leadership in Congress -- particularly the Senate under Mitch McConnell -- be so deaf?

To me it is not that hard, and it applies to Cameron and the Brexit issue.  There is an incredible inertia in Washington, driven by the entrenchment of many, especially the leadership, in Congress, and their singular focus on reelection and keeping themselves in power.  The status quo, for them, is associated with their own positions of authority and the gravy train that goes with congressional power.

If the conservatives leading Congress were primarily focused on doing what was good for the USA from a conservative perspective, they would actually be putting such a platform together as a legislative package and moving it forward.  They are not (although there are hints that the House Speaker, Paul Ryan, is trying to).  They are not, and the people who voted them in know it -- and resent it.

It is hard not to see the analogy in the UK.  David Cameron may be the leader of the Conservative Party, but conservative principles favored Brexit even if he didn't.  At least based on the commentary the day after the vote, it appears to be the consensus feeling that Cameron's opposition to Brexit was grounded in a status-quo motivation, where the way things were going was good for keeping him in power.

We here get that.  We look at the inactivity in the Senate, particularly in January 2015 after the Republican-majority Senate was sworn in, and we seethe at the lack of evident leadership there acting out of a sense of responsibility to the voter who had given them that majority.  We look at Mitch McConnell, rightly or wrongly, as the symbol of that deafness to the voter.

McConnell should have started out last January with a solid legislative agenda and a strong outreach to the voter -- right past the White House -- to communicate precisely how Congress was now going to act in accordance with the wishes of the people that gave them the majority.  He did nothing of the kind, because that would involve a level of boat-rocking inconsistent with his stability in power.

David Cameron should have gone for principle over his own stability in his position and, as a result, he lost that position.  The British political system exacts its punishment a bit different from that system here, and so Mitch McConnell will continue in office for the foreseeable future despite his inaction.

But the similarities between the two situations -- a conservative and a Conservative acting against the best interest of their constituent conservatives and conservative principles -- are striking.  Both went for retention of power over the good of their people.  And both should be ashamed. 

When Donald Trump becomes president, though, they ought to have a pretty good idea why.

Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
Like what you read here?  There's a new post from Bob at at 10am Eastern time, every weekday, giving new meaning to "prolific essayist."  Sponsorship and interview inquiries cheerfully welcomed at or on Twitter at @rmosutton.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Hillary Said What??

I had a momentary curiosity on Wednesday and decided to listen to the speech that Hillary Clinton gave in Raleigh, NC, as she continues a run for the presidency that may likely have a diversion off to prison, at least if we are all lucky.

It is hard as heck to listen to a Hillary speech.  On one side, you have to listen to That Voice, which makes each hair stand up on the back of your neck before it then combusts into little puffs of smoke.  Oh, my Lord, I pity anyone who has to listen to that involuntarily.  It makes you understand why Bill traveled so much.

More to the point, though, is what she said.  I watched the speech with my best girl, who detests Hillary as much or more than I do.  We more wanted to hear if she said anything in response to Donald Trump's earlier devastation of her record of corrupt dealings, while Secretary of State and before.

She chose, by the way, or her handlers chose, not to address them -- it's pretty hard to respond when you've been caught enriching yourself at the expense of the American people and our safety -- except for one predictable point. 

Trump had pointed out how many millions had been sent to the Clinton Foundation by foreign interests with issues before Hillary's State Department.  Hillary made mention only of how he was taking issue with a "charitable foundation that helps poor people get AIDS medicines", leaving out the fact that it also paid the Clintons pretty healthy amounts that had come from those foreign donations.

Much of the promises she made in the speech were stolen from Bernie Sanders (free public college tuition, forgiveness of college debts, etc.) in a thinly veiled attempt to suck up to his voters.  In no case did she explain in the speech how all that would be paid for, not the infrastructure "investment", nor the paid family leave, nor the higher minimum wage.  She said she had answered that elsewhere, but the only reference was to making the wealthy "pay their fair share."

I waited for her to tell us what that "fair share" actually was, but apparently she is not yet ready to tell us.  So we won't know if that's 40%, or 90%, or somewhere in between.  As I've written, I don't think we're ever going to get that answer.  As the link suggests, don't hold your breath waiting for it.

Once in a while -- and this is the point of this piece -- we had to stop the TV, ask ourselves "what the Hades did she just say?", then rewind and listen again.  And in one case, that meant three rewindings to figure it out.

That one case was where she was talking about wages and fairness, and tried to link in "immigration reform."  Now, I think anyone who says "immigration reform" owes their listeners, at the very least, a description of what that phrase means.  A more open border?  A more secure border?  "Reform" can mean almost anything.  And Hillary usually means eight different things at once, none of them good.

In this case, she was trying to link higher wages for Americans to the fact that there are illegal immigrants being paid sub-minimum wage rates.  It took three tries, but eventually enough rewinding let us hear that she was saying that she was going to legalize the illegal aliens in the country, which would force their employers (in her view) to pay them higher wages (i.e., they would be less illegal, and so would be covered by the minimum-wage law).

The odd thing was that she was using that point to say that her approach would stop illegals from competing with low-wage actual Americans (presumably mostly black and Hispanic).  That is, of course, why it was so hard to figure out what she was saying.  The problem is that the USA is full of illegal aliens who are competing with low-wage Americans for a limited number of low-wage jobs, and her solution is to pay the illegals higher so they will no longer compete

I kid you not.  Listen for yourself and try to figure out what she meant.

Now, Donald Trump had mentioned this very problem earlier in his speech.  He specifically pointed out that his approach to reforming immigration, which he clearly said was to limit immigration overall and stop illegals from getting in, would cut the number of illegals competing with Americans for the limited low-wage job pool.

I didn't have to rewind that part in Trump's speech, because it was obvious.  If you have people who should not be here, taking jobs from our citizens and thereby depressing wages (too-high labor supply), you fix the problem by making it impossible, or at least very unattractive, to hire illegals -- and you try to deport the illegals.  If America comes first, you protect the Americans.

Hillary's approach was mind-numbing.  You don't get rid of the illegals, nope -- you make them Americans.  So help me God, Hillary Clinton actually tried to say that making them legal would address the problem of illegals competing with Americans for that job pool.  Do you understand why we had to rewind so often? 

But this was her approach -- make the illegals legal, which will force business to pay them at least the minimum wage, and they will no longer be a competitor with actual Americans for those jobs (because it will no longer be more attractive to hire illegals, get it?).  Never mind that now you have 11 million more people in the market for those jobs.

I do not know how you get through college, law school, law practice, be a professional wife to a governor and then to a president, serve in the Senate and then become Secretary of State, and still have no earthly idea of the law of supply and demand!  If there are ten million low-wage jobs out there that Americans, or illegal aliens, could do, then every worker added to the economy starting with Mr. 10,000,001 becomes surplus.  That surplus drives down wages as it drives up unemployment, because ten million jobs can only be done by ten million people -- or fewer.

Right now, there are X number of citizens who are in (or are looking for) low-wage jobs.  There are Y number of illegal aliens also looking for (or are in) low-wage jobs.  And there are Z number of those jobs.  We know X + Y is a lot greater than Z.  So Hillary snaps her fingers and makes the illegals part of the work force.  But X and Y are still the same and, more importantly, there are still only Z number of jobs.  And X + Y is still way bigger than Z.

Except now, to the extent there was illegal sub-minimum paying going on, the cost of those Z jobs in terms of wages just went up.  And that means that the number of those jobs is going to shrink as much as it can, because costs went up with no benefit to the employer.  So they'll look for better, more diligent people so three workers can do the work that four cheaper ones were.

Hillary somehow thinks that the poor American (an X) who was trying to get one of those jobs is now better off after she snapped her fingers.  But he is not better off.  All those Y people are now X people, and he has no advantage over them for having been, you know, legal.  The only ones better off are the illegals with a good work ethic who will have a big-old leg up on those Americans who should have been put first.

The crowd in Raleigh, NC, of course, cheered.  They thought this was wonderful stuff, assuming, of course, that they understood a word of what she was saying.  Which, of course, was essentially impossible to have been the case.

You see, they didn't have a rewind button.

Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
Like what you read here?  There's a new post from Bob at at 10am Eastern time, every weekday, giving new meaning to "prolific essayist."  Sponsorship and interview inquiries cheerfully welcomed at or on Twitter at @rmosutton.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Gee, Don't Let History Guide You

If last week was "what is Hillary thinking" week, I guess this must be "Could Loretta Lynch's reputation plummet any further" week.  She would be wise to step out of the news for a while, even if it would deprive me of some column topics.

Tuesday, our formerly-esteemed Attorney General was talking about the Orlando shootings, which gave her the opportunity to say some very stupid things in a vain attempt to toe the Obama party line.  That's the fiction that the shootings somehow were not about Islam, but rather were about anti-gay violence and unfettered gun ownership.

This party-line-toeing led to some silly things coming from her mouth, like saying that we might "never really be sure" of the motivation for the attack.  "We're never going to be sure", even though the murderer told police and the FBI in his calls during the attack that he was doing it to get America to stop bombing Iraq and Syria -- sentiments 100% in accord with his Internet presence.  He said why he was doing it and his actions before the shooting bore that out.  But Loretta Lynch will "never be sure."

It's OK, Loretta, the country knows, and your successor as Attorney General knows, even if he or she doesn't know they'll be your successor at this point.

But here is the all-time champion stupid thing she said Tuesday, and I'll explain why it merits its own column:

" ... [Our most effective] response to terror and hate is compassion, unity and love."

La, la, la, la.  All we need is love.  Sort of like the victims of the San Bernardino killers showed when they threw a baby shower for the couple who would then soon turn around and murder them.  All you need is love, la, la, la.

That stupid comment from Loretta Lynch is actually extremely relevant, because it represents the classic mistake that leftists make all the time -- they espouse approaches to solving problems which have universally, or at least most often, failed, or which have no grounding in history to show they worked.

Look at gun control, for example.  Leading Democrats, leftists and the press (but I repeat myself) cannot even wrap themselves around the fact that their own proposals would not have stopped any of the recent shootings.  They disrupt the House of Representatives to vote on a bill the Senate already rejected.  Yet they continue to advocate for those proposals on the grounds of "doing something."

Ignorant of history as far as what happens (lost jobs) when you raise the costs of production, the left continues to pound the $15 minimum wage drum.  Ignorant of the almost-immediate fleeing of good jobs from California on merely expecting the downstream implementation of such a plan, and the cancellation by Walmart of planned stores there, the D.C. government has now passed a $15 minimum wage.

Doesn't work, but the left can say it "did something", even if far more detrimental than helpful.

And now comes sunny Loretta Lynch, to say that the most effective response to terror and hate is "compassion, unity and love."  So first, let's point out that Orlando was an act of terror, not an act of hate.  Miss Lynch still has to toe the line ("it was anti-gay", which it wasn't), so it was imperative to sneak the word "hate" in there, and I'm going to call her out on that.  It's a code word, and we all know Hillary Clinton doesn't like it when people use code words.  Of course, when Miss Lynch has the FBI's recommendation that Hillary be indicted and reams of evidence in front of her, she may have her own code words.  But I digress.

"Compassion, unity and love", as a solution for Islamist terrorism, ranks right up there with the minimum wage, Democrat gun-control proposals, destabilizing foreign leaders we don't like, and government control of health insurance, as things that don't work.

How do we know?  Because it never works!  I mean, compassion, unity and love work for next-door neighbors and maybe our family members.  Compassion, unity and love are actually nice, positive concepts.  But they are approaches that have never worked when applied to murderers, terrorists and religious fanatics, neither to communist dictators nor Nazis.

So we have, or should have, this question for Loretta Lynch that the press needs to ask her today.  "Miss Lynch", they should ask, "you called for compassion, unity and love as our response to terrorist acts like the murders in Orlando.  Can you please give us three examples of where that kind of approach has ever worked when applied to Islamist terrorists, and how it would be effective now based on those examples?"

Or this -- "Miss Lynch, you called for compassion, unity and love as our response to terrorist acts like the murders in Orlando.  Can you please elaborate?  Who is supposed to offer that response, and to whom is that response supposed to be addressed?  Are we supposed to fly to Syria and hug an ISIS member?  Your solution was just a bunch of nouns, no subject, verb or object involved.  Can you please explain exactly who is supposed to do what to whom?"

We need to ask those questions.  Because any reasonable American would agree that the only solutions that should be applied to any problem are those that either have worked in the past, reliably, or which are innovative and have a good probability of working because of empirical evidence X, Y and Z.

But for the left, love apparently trumps logic.  And the attorney general sold her soul to that idiotic notion, in the name of Barack Obama.

 Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

But IT Had to Be a Hate Crime!

On the heels of the release of transcripts of the Orlando Islamist terrorist murderer's 911 calls by the Justice Department -- which are really hard to find on line because they're still not complete -- came yesterday's column about Loretta Lynch.  Apparently our esteemed Attorney General tossed her principles out the window when she took the job, and tried to toe the White House line by pushing the "hate crime" and "gun control" narrative for Orlando over the rather obvious Islamist terrorist facts.

Her tactic was to censor the references to ISIS and Islam and the ISIS leader from those transcripts.  Logic got in the way, though, when she went on five Sunday morning news talk shows to say, essentially, that all those "[censored]" references were to, you know, ISIS and Islam and the ISIS leader's name.  That pretty much made it ludicrous to do any censoring.

Even to avoid "revictimizing" anyone.

So today I received a note from a regular reader, and I'm sure he won't mind if I quote him here:

"There is a large contingent of the gay community for whom it is an article of faith ... that the attack was directed at Pulse due to rampant homophobia in the country, fostered by the religious right and evangelicals in particular, and has nothing to do with Islam.  I know this as result of a brief and heated discussion with a gay person who holds those views, but is otherwise pretty rational."

Now, gay people are as well-distributed on the intellectual spectrum as anyone else.  While I was not privy to the discussion the reader actually had with the gay person referred to, I still have trouble with the extension of logic.

For one, evangelicals don't particularly hate gay people, as a rule.  They may regard gay activity as sinful, but we are all sinners and we don't hate each other for those sins.  The religious right absolutely exists, and absolutely has issues with gay activity, and absolutely does not sanction them marrying.  But you take 100 religious conservatives and you'd have a hard time finding any that would tell you they actually hate gay people, certainly not for being gay.

Islamic fundamentalists, on the other hand, have a whole 'nother attitude.  I am not, of course, a Muslim and have not read the Koran, so I'm not going to go too far in interpreting what it teaches as far as gays are concerned.  But I do know that those Islamic fundamentalists are killing gay people in the Middle East, while Christian fundamentalists (i.e., the religious right), well, aren't.  It may be that the Islamists are thinking they're doing the gays they murder a favor, by getting them to Heaven faster, but Christians certainly aren't doing that.

So if there were to be a "hate gays" component of the Orlando attacks, at the very least it would have nothing whatsoever to do with the religious right, which does not hate gay people, or Christians in general, who are taught (not always successfully) not to hate people.  Neither of those groups is out there murdering gay people.

If there was a "hate gays" component, then it would have to have come from the professed faith of the man who did the killing, a faith in whose name gay people in Islamic countries are being slaughtered.  That faith, by the way, is not Christianity, no matter what the quoted individual above appears to believe.  Muslims are not killing gays because Christians hate them, if you get my drift.

Regardless, an immutable fact is that in all the "transcripts" -- which to date are only a transcript of the first call and summaries of the other two, not word-for-word transcriptions -- there is zero mention of gay people or of gayness or anything about the Pulse nightclub. 

In fact, according to the transcript, at about 3:24 AM, the murderer told the negotiator on the phone to "tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq" and that is why he was "out here right now."

He says he was out there to get America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq.  He says nothing about gays, gay people or the nature of the nightclub.  He says he did it for reason X, and never mentions reason Y.

Yet people are willing to assume that he did it for reason Y.  Those are the same people who think that Matthew Shepard was murdered because he was gay, as opposed to what the killers eventually admitted (it was a robbery) and the evidence bore out.

I have never wanted to be part of a group or class that was made to be a victim, nor have I wanted to claim to be a victim because of such group -- unless you call being fairly diminutive a victimized group.  We really get the short end of the stick, you know.

Not wanting to be made out to be a class-based victim makes it hard for me to sympathize with people who seek to be made victims.  But that what life in Obama's America has devolved into.  Apparently it is utterly impossible for something to happen in a gay nightclub that is unrelated to its being a gay nightclub.  Every criticism of a black president has to do with his color, not with his hideous, anti-American policies.

I admit that right up until the FBI agent spoke, only about an hour after the murderer was killed, I assumed that the murders had to do with it being a gay nightclub, since that was its most salient feature.  Once the agent then shared the murderer's stated association with ISIS a moment later, I still assumed it was because Pulse was a gay spot, only now it was because of Islamists' hatred of gays.

So I find it ironic that it appears the attacks may have had nothing to do with Pulse being a gay nightclub, except possibly for it having been determined by the murderer to be a "soft target" without visible armed guards.

That, of course, is not enough to satisfy the attorney general "We may never know his real motivation") or the professional victim class, the latter of whose existence is only validated when they can have an "Aha!" moment interpreted as hatred of their group.

Even when it is no such thing.

Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Loretta Lynch Playing Doctor and Word-Coiner

The good news: the White House will finally release transcripts of the conversations had between the Islamist terrorist who murdered 49 people in a gay nightclub in Orlando, and the law enforcement officers who were communicating with him.

The bad news: the same white House, in the form of the Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, was -- until sufficiently castigated by Americans to decide late yesterday to release without redaction all the content -- only going to release, as she called them, "partial transcripts" -- meaning we would have gotten to read only what she, who knows better than we what our tolerance level for Islamist terror is, decides is OK for us.  So now she is the word-doctor-in-chief.

Note -- we taxpayers pay her for that privilege.

Loretta Lynch went on all five of the Sunday morning news talk shows this past Sunday, to say that she was going to do that "partial release."  Not the voice recordings, mind you, just written transcripts of the part of the dialogue she wants you to know.

What was really curious -- well, several things were, but certainly this was at the top -- was that she essentially said, on all five of the shows, what was in the part we weren't mature enough to hear.  She specifically is taking out the part about where the Islamist murderer pledged allegiance to ISIS, where he pledged allegiance to the clown who is the head of ISIS, and anything to do with Islam.  But in print, those references would be replaced with a "redacted" mark.

Now, this really strains credibility, so let me try to put some facts together in a logical organization for you.

- Barack Obama, in his first year as president, ordered the scrubbing of certain terms like "jihad" and "sharia" from training manuals in use in Federal agencies associated with law enforcement and the like.

- Obama refuses to use any term associated with either Islam or Islamism (they're not the same, as I noted yesterday) in speaking of ISIS, even when an ISIS-driven murderer involved does use the words, himself, as this one did -- and the first "I" in ISIS stands for "Islamic."

- We all know that the Orlando killer pledged allegiance to ISIS.  That was out there within an hour of the murderer's being killed, possibly by the FBI to make sure that Obama couldn't try to make it a "hate crime" (he did anyway).

So you have a reflexively Muslim-supporting president trying for eight years to deny the involvement of Islam or Islamism in terror, confronting a mass murder where the murderer flat-out says he did it for ISIS.  What does he do?  He tells his Attorney General (and, embarrassingly, she complies) to scrub out the mentions of Islam or ISIS from transcripts of conversations we're all aware of already.

By the way, we need to give Miss Lynch credit for creativity.  In trying to answer the question that was asked as to, you know, "why" she was practicing censorship in what was supposed to be the most transparent administration ever, she came up with a nearly brand new word.  "Because", she explained, "we wanted to avoid revictimizing those who went through this horror."

"Revictimizing."  OK, she is not the first person to use the term; it's just fun to dump on her.  But the families and friends of the people who were killed or wounded in the Orlando attack already know the guy had pledged allegiance to ISIS.  What is the difference between their victim status today and what it would be tomorrow if the transcripts were to be released in full, and we saw the words "I pledge allegiance to ISIS"?  Is that difference, nonexistent as it even is, more important than the public's right to know what was said and the public's trust that the White House -- and Justice Department -- is giving us all the facts and not playing Big Brother?

Last. but not least, I call attention to the answer that Miss Lynch gave in answer to another question.  The murders took place in a gay nightclub.  When asked if anywhere in the transcripts, before or after censoring them, if the Orlando murderer had ever mentioned his feelings about gay people, she said "You know, he didn't get into that."  Those words.

He "didn't get into that."  Hours of transcripts later, let's use the Occam's Razor approach here.  If the fact that this were a gay nightclub had had anything to do with his motivation, do you not think that even once, he would have mentioned on those calls to 911 that he had some kind of feelings toward gay people that contributed to the murders or, at least, the selection of the murder site?

No, it seems pretty clear that this was an ISIS-motivated or ISIS-inspired attack, at least it is clear from what he said that it was.  But that doesn't fit the whole "hate crime" narrative that the administration wants to foist on us.  It would be so much easier to maximize the "gay hate crime" aspects of this and make victims out of the victims, as long as Obama can minimize the actual reason for the murders, which was an act of violent Islamist terrorism.

As difficult as it is to understand where Obama's head is at, and why he holds ISIS above ordinary Americans, it is nearly impossible to understand how he gets other people, like Loretta Lynch, to go along with it.  How does she have the brass whatevers to stand up in front of the American people and on five different shows, tell us that she is going to scrub ISIS references in the transcript that we already know exist?

I mean, we know that she is doing it under orders to make sure that Orlando is seen as (A) under a hate-crime-against-gays narrative to try to get votes from the gay community (which apparently is starting to arm itself, a bit hilariously and wonderfully), and (B) a gun-control narrative to try to get laws passed that weaken the Second Amendment and would not have stopped most, or all, of the ISIS attacks in the USA to date.

Unfortunately, the attempt by the White House to deflect blame from ISIS only makes ISIS stronger and the USA weaker.  Which clearly is what Obama wants -- how do you read anything else into it?

But however, we have to ask, does he get anyone to go along, including his Attorney General?  We'll never know.

Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
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Monday, June 20, 2016

What Obama SHOULD Call It

Last week, in a speech after the Orlando murder investigation, Barack H. Obama paused in his blaming of Republicans for what happened in Orlando by addressing the matter of -- well, not of radical Islamic terrorism itself, but the term "radical Islamic terrorism."  Words.  Words he doesn't use, at least not together.

Two days after Hillary Clinton said she was "willing to use the term radical Islamic terrorism" but didn't actually use it, here is Obama doing his usual strawman thing, saying that if he used the term, the murders in the gay nightclub in Orlando still wouldn't have been prevented.

As if that's what anyone said the reason for using the term was.  But don't miss a chance for a good strawman, nope.

And although this piece is not about whether Barack Obama agrees to use the term or not, it does matter, after all.  I, for one, want to know whom he, as commander in chief, even thinks that we are fighting in the ongoing war.  That's the conflict that was called the Global War on Terrorism, or GWOT, until Obama ordered the discontinuation of that term for some reason.  If that's not the war anymore, and we have Americans in combat and dropping bombs, then it would be expository to know whom the commander in chief is actually fighting against.

But that's where it gets murky.  While we really don't know what Obama's motivation is for doing what, on the surface, are incredibly stupid and anti-American things like sending prisoners from Guantanamo back to the Middle East to fight against us, he does keep saying that we are "not at war with Islam."

Unfortunately he won't say we are at war with anything except "extremism", which could be anything, from excessive patriotism by, say, Indonesians or Burkina Fasoans, to the religion of Hasidic Jews, to what motivates Chicago Cubs fans.  Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, Barry Goldwater said in 1964, and so it's possible that Obama uses that word because a Republican made it famous.

I don't think we are at war with Islam, either, in the same way we were not at war in 1943 with German-Americans who practiced lederhosen-dancing in Iowa.  They were German, all right, but they weren't fighting.  And certainly the Muslims who are not engaged in bombing marathons and shooting up gay nightclubs, and are not doing the things ISIS is doing to other Muslims in Iraq and Syria, they're not at war with us.  They have a religion called Islam, and they practice it peacefully.

But there is this thing, which is often called not Islam but "Islamism", which is not itself a religion.  Whatever it is, and whatever it should be called (I'll use Islamism here for convenience), it is a political and not a religious driver.  What it is is the movement to install a specific religion, Islam, in the form of a worldwide caliphate, everywhere on earth, and to slaughter all who do not comply.  While Islam is the central theme, Islamism is about political aims, i.e., world domination.

So when we refer to Islamism, we are specifically calling out the political effort to make the world a global caliphate with humans practicing only Islam.  It is not the religion itself.  So there's no reason not to name it.

If there is an easier analogy, we could borrow a page from Obama and refer to the Crusades.  Sure, they happened back in the Middle Ages, but they were to some extent an effort to force Catholicism on an unwilling people, at the point of the sword.  It is not a normal practice of the actual faith of Catholicism to kill people until they converted, certainly not since 1500 or so, any more than it should be a normal practice of Islam.

Except, of course, that there is nothing in the Bible to be interpreted as doing missionary work at the point of a sword, and there are plenty of people reading that into the Koran.  Oh yeah, and the last Crusade-like pursuit was in the 14th Century, while Islamists killing people who don't convert to Islam or, for example, simply live in the USA (or France) is going on now.  2016.

What we are fighting against, and certainly should be willing to say we are fighting against, is Islamism, and our battle, to be joined by our allies once we have a president whom they can actually trust, is against radical Islamist terrorism -- not Islam.  There is no reason on God's green earth that Barack Obama should not stand up in front of the country, explain the difference -- it is pretty easy; I just did it -- and start using the term "radical Islamist terrorism."

At least we'd have a name for the guy on the other side we're trying to stop.  And we would know a little bit better what the heck the president is thinking.  Or smoking.

If he is ever willing to tell us.

Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
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Friday, June 17, 2016

Qualifications and Hyperbole

It seems to be all Hillary, all the time in this week's posts, so it makes sense to end on a low note as well.  Likely you at least heard an allusion to Barack Obama's recent endorsement of Hillary Clinton, which would be meaningful if anyone cared any more what Barack Obama thinks about anything.

But Hillary probably appreciated it, at least as a sign that there's a chance he intervenes to stop the Justice Department from indicting her.

The allusion you very possibly did hear was where Obama said about her, “I don't think there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office.”  So there are two parts to that sentence, as Prof. Irwin Corey might have answered. 

The first: "I don't think."  Now, that we all can agree on.

But this president, who ought to know at least enough about American history to have been some kind of professor of Constitutional law at some institution with low standards, apparently assumed no one would actually take issue with that ahistorical judgment.  When the press lets you say and do anything without question, you get to where you do say and do whatever you feel like.

I, however, am not in the press.

So let's look at reality, something from which Obama is somewhat divorced.  Now, even I will concede that Hillary's qualifications are different from anyone else's.  No previous candidate, for example, had all of their previous public experience be derived not from experience but from whom they were married to.  Hillary was 53 before she served in any public salaried capacity whatever (carpetbag senator from New York), because after practicing law, she spent 19 years of her adult life being the wife of the governor of Arkansas (11 years) and president (eight years).

Now, that's different.  But it is arguably no more qualifying than Bill's Secret Service detail, or his butler, might have, given the proximity to decision-making and the lack of responsibility associated with being married to the person actually in the job.  Actually it's less responsibility than the butler.

I will also concede that the term "qualified", as a criterion, is a real stretch too.  Dwight Eisenhower was a perfectly fine president, and he never held public office until being elected in 1952.  But in the sense of background, a term or so in the Senate and one as Secretary of State is perfectly fine, or would be if she hadn't failed so miserably at State.  But it's on her resume.  So is she qualified?  Sure, I guess.

And in fairness, she wasn't the moron who said he didn't think there had ever been anyone as qualified.  After all, Obama himself was pretty minimally qualified, if at all, since before his term in the Senate spent not voting on bills and running for president, he hadn't done squat.  So in contrast, I guess she looked fine to him.

But before popping off about her qualifications, the least he could have done -- and this was a taped, pre-written speech -- would have been to look at even some recent candidates.  Even in his own party, the previous candidate, John Kerry, followed two years as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts with 28 years in the Senate.  Al Gore had eight years in the House, eight in the Senate and eight as Vice President.  Bill Clinton had eleven years as governor of Arkansas, an executive position that is a reasonable one from which to gain experience.

I realize that Obama didn't expect anyone to challenge his assertion, or anything else he says, but at least the last two Democrat candidates before him had stronger resumes than hers -- or his own.  He could have, you know, looked it up.

And that's before we get to old #41, George H. W. Bush, who was elected president when Barack Obama was 27, meaning at least he could have voted for him -- or against him.  Either way, he should remember him; the man is still alive after all.  Bush the Elder served as congressman from Texas, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, envoy to China, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, director of the Council on Foreign Relations and then vice president of the United States for eight years.  And he didn't marry anyone to get well-known.

Barack Obama can say stupid, uninformed or simply intentionally mendacious things, and some people will smile and applaud, for some reason.  Fortunately, when he tried to portray Hillary as if no one in his memory were more qualified for the presidency, there was no one in the office to applaud.  So we can avoid getting caught up in whatever anyone would get caught up in, and think for ourselves.

She may have served in a couple jobs, but she was incompetent.  And he has to be deluded.

Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Good for the Goose

Yesterday I explained that, with the discovery of marked-classified material on her private server,  Hillary Clinton had blown her last possible defense against indictment.  The indictment would be for failure to carry out her obligation to protect national security information, and she lost her last defense short of Barack Obama yanking strings in the background to prevent her indictment.

One day prior, though, she made a typically yawn-worthy speech, this time discussing the rights of people under Federal Bureau of Investigation investigation, in this case whether people on a watch list (the famous '"no-fly list") can exercise Constitutional rights.  In this case, it was the Second Amendment, but it pretty much doesn't matter.

"If the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist links, you shouldn't be able to go buy a gun, no questions asked," she said in the speech.

I happened to see a clip of that, and my hypocrisy meter pegged to the extreme right, which in itself was rather ironic.

Hillary Clinton may or may not own a firearm, but she certainly is surrounded by a lot of people who have them handy.  But I digress mightily.

I'd love to have her go through the legal machinations by which she got to that statement she made and the intended point.  Now, I don't actually disagree with the basic point.  I'm not a fan of allowing watched terrorists to pass through firearm purchase checks without all kinds of red flags flying through the air.

I support the process by which those on the no-fly list are flagged in a firearm-purchase scenario, so long as there are ample protections in place so that if someone is flagged, they have a very speedy capability to appeal their presence on the list to the FBI, and have a "resolution" within seven days

Now that list has over a half-million names on it, and we're all aware that there have been plenty of situations where a person with the same name as someone on the list has been flagged (famously Ted Kennedy, who matched a "T. Kennedy" on the lesser, "extra-search" part of the list and couldn't immediately board a flight he'd been taking for years).

So -- that "resolution in seven days" is either that the individual is told that they're on the list, why they are and how to appeal it (and there must be such a process), or they are removed from the list and able to fly and do all the things people can do.

If they are, say, a name duplication of an actual terrorist who needs to be on the list, then the FBI needs to create a paired "safe exclusion" list with the Social Security numbers and/or picture IDs of cleared, non-terrorist individuals who duplicate a name on the list.  If someone is flagged, the person checking can turn right to the "safe" list and look for confirming IDs.

But back to Hillary.  "If the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist links, you shouldn't be able to go buy a gun, no questions asked."  OK, let's go with that, she said it.  If you are free to take otherwise Constitutional rights from people because they're simply on an FBI watch list, then we should be all over taking rights from people more aggressively being pursued by the FBI -- like, say, a criminal investigation -- right?

I certainly think one logically leads to the other.  Hillary Clinton is so seriously the topic of a criminal investigation by the FBI that some 50 special agents are hard at work finalizing the case against her -- a case that, somewhere along the line, Barack Obama is going to have to allow an indictment on, or jam politics into the Justice Department and watch 50 dedicated FBI agents resign in protest.

If someone is on an FBI watch list, but the case is not strong enough to have an investigation in progress on them, let alone to be picked up and arrested, and you can still clip their rights, then certainly someone under criminal investigation should not be allowed to run for president of the United States.

And I agree up and down the line.  If you're on a terror watch list or no-fly list, then you shouldn't be allowed to buy firearms as long as your due process to appeal that, is honored and honored quickly.  And if you are in a higher situation of presumed risk, as in "under an ongoing criminal investigation for exposing classified and national security information and for subverting the Freedom of Information Act", then your rights should be suspended far beyond that.

I don't care if Hillary buys a firearm, although I suspect Bill might be a little twitchy if he did.  But I for darn sure don't believe that she should be running for president while under an FBI criminal investigation.

Hopefully the rest of the country agrees, even before she goes to prison.

Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
Like what you read here?  There's a new post from Bob at at 10am Eastern time, every weekday, giving new meaning to "prolific essayist."  Sponsorship and interview inquiries cheerfully welcomed at or on Twitter at @rmosutton.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What "Portion" of Prison Makes Sense?

Despite her protestations of having done nothing wrong, let alone illegal, it has now come out that Hillary Clinton knowingly received classified material, marked classified at the time it was sent, on her home-brew private server.  That would be the one set up on the day her confirmation hearings began, specifically to avoid the nosy people who file those Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) inquiries that is their right under, you know, the law.

I have tried to explain, within the limits of reason, things that anyone who has held a clearance understands, including Hillary Clinton.  I don't say "should understand", because every year, every person with a clearance is briefed to their clearance level on what is the proper process and what is and is not allowed, and how to handle classified material.  They "understand", all right.

And "classified material" has nothing to do with how it is marked, by law and by that annual re-certification.  It is all about the content, not the marking.

But Hillary's protestations have always been about the markings, and her sycophants and toadies (I'm looking at you, Lanny Davis), have always used the "markings" argument.  That has always annoyed those who know better, including everyone who has ever held a clearance.

Well, now we know better.  As noted in the referenced article, at least one email received into her private email server (because she never had, or never used, the email account she was supposed to use), had what are called "portion markings" on it, a clear indication of classified material.

If you are not familiar with this concept, it is fairly simple.  But first, the disclaimer for the 46th time: Classified material is classified because of its content; and its content -- not the markings -- is what makes it classified.  Every cleared individual knows that, and if they have somehow forgotten they are reminded of the fact every year when they have to pass a test to retain their clearance, a test which specifically includes the fact that classified material is not handled differently based on whether it is marked so.

Documents marked classified can have individual paragraphs marked at different levels -- e.g., confidential, secret, top secret, unclassified.  They are marked with a letter in square brackets at the start of the paragraph -- and a classified document must have every paragraph marked, even if the entire document is unclassified except for one paragraph on page 37.  A document with portion markings will also have headers and footers appropriately marking the level.

Those letters are called "portion markings", because the paragraph is the "portion" of the document to which the marking applies.

What is important is this -- as soon as you see a portion marking on any paragraph, you instantly see that the document is classified.  It is OK, though very inadvisable, to transmit a page of content where all the portion markings are "[U]", meaning unclassified.

However, the document received by Hillary's private server and viewed by her had markings higher than "[U]."  This meant that the following things happened:

- Someone at State sent a classified document to a private server, which is horribly illegal.
- No one, it appears, held the person who sent it accountable for a Federal offense at the time, nor since, presumably because the private server it belonged to was being run by his or her boss, the Secretary of State.
- Hillary Clinton saw a classified document sent to a private server, her own, and did nothing about it, presumably to keep the existence of her private server private.

It also means this -- Hillary Clinton lied to the American people repeatedly by claiming that she "never sent or received material marked as classified at the time."  Hillary, of course, has brought the art of the lie to new levels, but even though the markings are not necessary for the offense, this one is a denial of something that now is evident to the sycophants and toadies themselves.  What will they say?

The FBI has had dozens of agents going over what is now admitted, even by the White House, to be a criminal investigation into her use of a private server.  Enough has been leaked out so that we know it is a pretty strong case.  The leaks were done by career FBI people, no doubt so that if somehow Obama's Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, fails to indict Hillary, the FBI agents -- and possibly even the Director, James Comey -- who then decide to quit the Bureau in protest will be understood.  You can try to politicize an investigation, but if the nation has been told how strong the case is, Obama, Lynch and Hillary will all end up looking very bad.

The discovery of the marked-as-classified email removes the last defense anyone can possibly make, however sycophantic they might be.  Combined with the refusal of Hillary's rat pack to testify, or their answering only a few questions with a half-dozen lawyers, well, if the shoe fits ...

This cannot go on much longer.  The penultimate lifeline, unsuitable though it was in actuality, is now gone.  There are marked-classified documents that have gone to her private server and she lied about it.

Obama is her last lifeline.  Hillary has gotten her revenge -- there is no good action for him.  Either his own Secretary of State gets indicted, kills her campaign and soils his legacy for having appointed her, or he declines to let Justice indict her, and soils his legacy when 50 FBI agents and the Director resign because he politicized the process of justice.

Both of them are royally scrod.  Let's see where it goes now.

Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
Like what you read here?  There's a new post from Bob at at 10am Eastern time, every weekday, giving new meaning to "prolific essayist."  Sponsorship and interview inquiries cheerfully welcomed at or on Twitter at @rmosutton.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The "Strength and Courage" We Actually Need

The national nightmare continues, unabated and uncriticized by the slavish, leftist press that put Barack Obama into office by declining to vet his undistinguished non-record in 2008.

After the horrific shooting up of a gay nightclub in Orlando, The Man Whose Legacy Is More Important To Him Than Our Security made the speech he thought he had to make.  And, as if on cue, it included what we knew it would, and excluded what we knew he couldn't say.

"Say a prayer for [the victims] and say a prayer for their families -- that God give them the strength to bear the unbearable.  And that He give us all the strength to be there for them, and the strength and courage to change."

Say what?

I will certainly say a prayer for the victims and their families -- in my case, another prayer, as I've been praying for them since the attack on Sunday.  But I'll be darned if I think I need to ask the good Lord for the "strength and courage" to change, because for the life of me I can't make a shred of connection between the apparently-gay ISIS guy who carried out the attacks, called the police in the middle of the incident to pledge allegiance to ISIS, and then died ignominiously after shooting over 100 innocents, and me.

I didn't commit this attack.  I don't live in Florida.  I don't hate people, certainly not LGBT people who are perfectly entitled to go to a club at two in the morning and leave safely.  I'm decidedly not an ISIS sympathizer.  The murderer never heard of me nor, before yesterday, did I ever hear of him.  I rather think that if you are reading this, you can say every one of those sentences in this paragraph factually.

So what in the heck is Barack Obama talking about -- why do I need to pray for the "strength and courage to change"?

Well, I'll tell you.  Hillary Clinton loves talking about "code", as in people (in this case, Donald Trump) saying something when they mean something far more sinister, so that "we" will understand the message, you know.  Barack Obama does exactly the same thing, frequently, but I'm guessing that Hillary, who desperately needs Obama's intervention to keep her out of prison, isn't going to say anything about his coded message.

So I guess you have to depend on me to translate Obamaspeak.  Here goes -- "give us the strength and courage to change" is code for "It's all our fault, not ISIS's fault, not the guy's fault who attacked the nightclub.  It's our fault for hating people who are different from us (only applicable to straight white males, by the way, and definitely not to radicalized gay Muslims)".

It's not, in Obamaspeak, his own fault for facilitating ISIS by vacating our military victory in Iraq, and for handcuffing the FBI to limit the amount of time it can investigate a likely terrorist without bringing charges.  Nope, wasn't him.  It was us.  And we are the ones who have to apologize and pray for the strength and courage to "change."

OK, I'm going to change, all right.  I'm going to add a little more vitriol to my columns when Obama's name is part of the topic.  I'm going to point out those complicit in his rise to power, from the corrupt press, to the leftist powers in Washington like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, and be a tad more vitriolic when I do.  Because God only knows there's no better way to remember the 50-odd dead and 50-odd more wounded than to remind everyone whose inaction on ISIS, whose refusal to name them, led to the attack.

It can only be intentional, of course.  Listen to this further clip from Obama's speech, where he is discussing the FBI investigation and who he has "directed" to do this or that: "We’ve reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer."  I ask again -- say what?

Let's see.  The murderer has a history of scaring people at his workplace by claiming ties to terrorist groups, including causing at least one employee to go find work elsewhere.  In the middle of his murders, he paused to call 911 and pledge allegiance to ISIS.  He frequented this very club where the murders took place.  ISIS declared him to be a foot-soldier of the "caliphate" in the USA.  The "ISIS Radio" (how have we not bombed that into oblivion?) claimed three days earlier that it was going to conduct an attack in Florida.

Barack Obama knows, as much as you and I and the moss growing on trees in Idaho know, that this was an ISIS-connected act of radical Islamic terrorism.  The FBI knows it.  They know it so well that barely two hours after the attack ended, the FBI special agent in charge stood before microphones and answered a question of the press by effectively saying that it was.

But Obama?  Nope, it has to be intentional on Obama's part, else he would not have the brass nether-parts to stand in front of the USA and not even utter the words "radical Islamic terrorism" when everyone knows that was the "precise motivation" of the murderer.  Now, what that intent is may be a mystery, especially given his orientation, but it is quite plain what his "imprecise motivation" was.

I wonder if we ever will know, actually, why the president of the United States would sell out his countrymen as badly as Obama has.  I wonder if we will ever know his true motivation to defend radical Islam, to the point of turning every incident of ISIS violence into something Americans are supposed to blame ourselves for.

But I will indeed "pray for strength and courage."  I will pray for America, that we develop the strength and courage to learn from the disaster of the Obama presidency and never again elect an apologist for murderers, to public office, anywhere.  That we never again allow the left to capitulate to such a person.  That our nation's press finally develops the integrity to decide that "first black president" -- or "first female president" -- is a far less valid rationale for a vote than "strong, competent, intelligent and patriotic president who understands the role of the military, understands what a budget is, and when he or she puts two and two together, actually gets four."

And I will pray for myself.  That I will find the words to persuade America to find that strength before November.

Copyright 2016 by Robert Sutton
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