Saturday, July 23, 2016

Nuclear Weapons Security: The Most Pressing Critical Issue Facing Mankind

The nuclear bomb in question in this posting 
(The B61)

We must do everything possible to prevent this


The headline from the story here is damn scary and should be a major concern especially for anyone seeking to be the next president and CINC of our Armed Forces and particularly of our nuclear forces, and by extension for the safety and security of the country and free world.

Preface: I am not one for hyperbole or chest-beating or hand-wringing, but this is a very serious matter that needs immediate attention (behind the scenes I hope it is getting proper attention at the highest level possible).

| … security at the European sites varied widely – most did not meet 
U.S. nuclear weapons protection standards.

This recent event ties directly into that headlines: The recent military coup attempt in Turkey multiple organizations have raised appropriate concerns about the 50 U.S. nuclear bombs stored at a Turkish Air Base less than 70 miles away from the Syrian border.

While this new interest is warranted, the security vulnerabilities of the 131 U. S. made B-61 nuclear bombs currently deployed at military bases in Belgium, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands have been a growing concern for almost a decade.

Those bombs are relics of Cold War and the perceptions of reassurance, however they are now more of a liability than a legitimate international security strategy.

Given how uncertain the security situation is in Europe, particularly in Belgium and Turkey, it’s time to consider just how useful, or not, these weapons actually are.

In 2012 and again in 2013, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) wrote letters to the Secretary of Defense questioning the military efficacy of keeping these bombs in Europe when faced with mounting costs and troubling security concerns. Although these weapons are protected by U. S. military personnel, the overall security of the sites where they’re stored is the responsibility of the host nation.

This can be dangerous if, in the case of the recent events in Turkey, there is an abrupt change in national leadership. The Washington Post reported that one of the Turkish officers detained after the coup was the commander of the base where the nukes are kept.
Plus, God forbid if ISIS or any other terrorist group ever got their hands on even one nuclear weapon… and be assured, they want to achieve that therefore security of nuclear weapons anywhere should be of paramount concern to everyone around the globe. All it would take is one nuclear bomb in the wrong hands to cause historic damage and suffering on a massive scale.

Finally, as far back as 2008, an U. S. Air Force Blue Ribbon review found that security at the European sites varied widely, and most did not meet U.S. nuclear weapons protection standards.

Some security requirements — including armored vehicles and perimeter fencing — were underfunded, leading the review to conclude: “The United States Air Force must continue to emphasize to its host nation counterparts their requirement to honor security commitments.” 


Thanks for stopping by and a big thanks to “Project On Government Oversight” (POGO) for their fine article.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Trump: Always a Thumb or Two Up — I Know Better Place for Those Thumbs

Thumbs Up: Ready to Fly or Least Take Off
(On another wild tangent)

Proposed Trump Cabinet
(One-man/one-branch: Me, Myself, and I)


Introduction to the Trump Book of Pledges and Promises: No treaties, no allies, no trade agreements, no military involvement anywhere (except here in CONUS), and basically just the U.S. going it alone in world affairs. The source: The Trump Business Playbook. Now the latest.

From this article verbatim … pretty shocking stuff from Trump – which we’ve come to expect – this however, just about take the proverbial cake (my emphasis included in RED):

Donald Trump raised doubts about whether the United States under his leadership would come to the aid of its NATO allies in Europe in the event of an attack by Russia, in an interview recently with The New York Times.

When specifically asked about his views of Russia, the newly-minted Republican nominee said that if that country attacked some of the small Baltic States, which are the most recent members of NATO, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing whether those nations “… have fulfilled their obligations to us.”

Note: NATO's collective defense agreement requires all member countries to come to the aid of any member state that is attacked.

Trump also said during the interview that as president he would question the security agreements the United States currently has with the 28 members of NATO, and that he'd pull back troops deployed around the world, citing economic reasons.

“We are spending a fortune on military in order to lose $800 billion. That doesn’t sound very smart to me,” Trump said to the Times.

Trump elaborated on his foreign policy plans in the interview, saying the United States has to “… fix our own mess” before trying to influence the behavior of other countries. 

“Look at what is happening in our country,” he told The Times, referring to the recent mass shooting of Dallas officers earlier this month. “How are we going to lecture when people are shooting policemen in cold blood?”

Throughout Trump's year-plus long campaign, he has advocated to “Make America Great Again,” and has bucked the Republican establishment by promising to “rip up” free trade deals with Mexico and Canada. However, he told The Times that he'd like to continue existing agreements only if U.S. allies “stopped taking advantage” of Americans.

~ End of that article

I would add in closing about his last comment:

So, the U.S. doesn’t take advantage of other countries and their citizens, right, Mr. Trump? He seems to think he could run the country like one of his business ventures – or so his words seem to prove that.

Related and a footnote for fun added from this site – just for fun, yet sadly, truthful:

A short list of some of Trump’s most obvious hypocrisies about his candidacy and his campaign.

1. He built a campaign centered on how terrible trade deals are, even though many of his company’s products are made in Bangladesh, China and other nations.
2. He’s the candidate for the party that claims it stands for “Christian values” and for “preserving the sanctity of marriage,” despite the fact he’s on his third marriage and has had at least one affair.
3. He claims politicians are corrupt, unethical and cannot be trusted, then admits to trying to buy politicians in the past so they would unethically help him with his business dealings.
4. He brags about how he’s such a successful businessman, yet refuses to show his tax returns to prove his success.
5. He calls Hillary Clinton a liar, when he’s the most dishonest person we’ve ever seen run for public office.
6. He often calls other people “stupid,” yet frequently speaks with the vocabulary of a spoiled 5th grader.
7. He says America isn’t great anymore, while he almost constantly brags about how successful he’s become in this country.
8. He boasts about how many votes he received during the GOP primary, but never mentions that he got less than half the vote and had more people vote against him than for him.
 9. He calls Hillary Clinton “crooked,” yet was found guilty of creating a fake anti-gambling front organization with the sole purpose of slandering the Mohawk Native Americans in an attempt to prevent them from getting approval to build a casino that would compete with his.
10. He calls President Obama divisive, while he vilifies Mexicans, immigrants, Muslims, women and has managed to divide his own party.
11. He talks about how much respect he has for our military and our veterans, yet mocked the thousands of American POWs who’ve served in our military when he said he doesn’t consider Sen. John McCain a “hero” because he doesn’t like people who were captured.
12. He claims he isn’t a racist or a bigot, yet has shared blatantly racist memes; has based a lot of his campaign on vilifying minorities; and he once said, “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys wearing yarmulkes… Those are the only kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else…Besides that, I tell you something else. I think that guy’s lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks.”
13. During the 2012 election he said that Mitt Romney should release his tax returns; four years later as he’s become the GOP presidential nominee, Trump refuses to release his.
14. He says he’s going to be the “law and order president,” however, on numerous occasions, he’s said he wants to commit war crimes.
5. He claims he’s a great negotiator and a master at making great deals, yet couldn’t convince any big-name Republicans to become his running mate, ultimately settling for no-name Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

There are much more – do the research for yourself … interesting stuff. Shows how dumbed down those who support Trump really have lowered themselves. Amazing in that regard, too.

As for me, I have great concern about how Trump could win, and make no mistake he could under certain precise conditions. Consider the condition of scared angry voters coming out, believing him, and voting out of fear like we saw in 2010 with the so-called TEA “party” movement.

Remember what the result wrought on Congress ... the worst and most-divisive in our history. For anyone who stays home and does not vote this cycle, somehow thinking, “Oh, he can't win,” well let me say: Yes, he can. People cannot stay home and not vote; not this time. 

All the cards are on the table and Trump is about to deal off the bottom of the deck. He wants to win, but mostly for himself and not much else despite his slick slogans. 

I say we can get a better deal and better hand without him shuffling the cards (a weak analogy, but somewhat apropos, too, right?).

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Major Issue Facing the Country: Open Carry Gun Laws and Court Protection

Right on Target (No pun intended)

Picture of the Utter Insanity All Across America 

CLEVELAND — The open-carry activists who brought handguns to an afternoon rally for the new Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had more than firearms in common.

All of the armed activists who talked to Yahoo News at the event, which was held just outside the security perimeter for the Republican National Convention, cited similar reasons for having pistols on display. They expressed fear about the state of the country, eroding personal freedoms and concerns about violence from the jihadist group the Islamic State and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The debate over open carrying of firearms has gained prominence in recent years, in the aftermath of a series of high-profile mass shootings. And for the activists at the Trump rally, carrying weapons was both protection and a political statement.

Jim Peterson was wearing a tight T-shirt with an American flag and a visible bulge from the body armor he was wearing underneath. The holster on his hip held a .357 magnum revolver.

“It’s strong enough. It’ll do the job,” Peterson said as showed off the gun.
Peterson explained that he was carrying the firearm to express support for the Second Amendment and to guard against potential dangers at the convention.

Story continues here … whew boy… what a load of horseshit … the question has been posed before and is a famous line from the Eddie Murphy movie: The Distinguished Gentleman spoken by Olaf Andersen: (a lobbyist on the take) who says: “Now the question is, can we get the shit back into the horse?”

My view is simple, but not likely to happen: The USSC should revisit and then reverse this crazy “right to open carry” ruling they made that has generated this “Wild, Wild West” mentality, which is utter insanity. Someday (soon, but probably not), we will see it play out. 

That will be good guys with guns mowing down other good guys with guns – then saying oops won’t suffice. Fear and panic and worry about “losing our guns and our rights and freedoms” are the basis for this men and women to open carry guns in public like the 1800’s. Utter insanity and it is recipe for disaster on the horizon that I see here.

Stay tuned as usual… I predict the high-court will move to reverse that “open carry policy” position. We shall see.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Trump vs. Ginsburg: Round 2 — She Apologizes, He Issues Threat and Insult

She is lady-like. He opens yap (Trump fashion) like a spoiled child
(I will never apologize to him until he does. Hell in deed will freeze over)


Consider this vis-à-vis Justice Ginsburg remarks about Trump from this source: 

What is good for the Goose is good for the Gander comes to mind. But that does change the fact that Donald J. Trump is a nasty, insulting, despicable man while being extremely skilled as clever and at his silly-ass name-calling PR stunt.

Now he issues this threat to Justice Ginsburg – not personal threat but one aimed squarely at the entire Supreme Court, and naturally he did on Twitter:

Donald J. Trump
‎@realDonaldTrump 

If I win the Presidency, we will swamp Justice Ginsburg with real judges and real legal opinions!"

By that post he implies in no uncertain terms that she and others on high court bench are not “real judges who issue real legal opinions.”  

So, I ask, Mr. and Mrs. Trump Supporters: Where is the outrage about that kind of ugliness? Oh, I see, it appeals to you because that is how you believe and think – check, got it. Carry on.

Overall: If what Justice Ginsburg said is a disgrace that so many are saying and that she “crossed the ethical line” then she’s in illustrious company.  To wit: Supreme Court justices have been messing in politics, including active campaign politics even while the ink was still wet on the Constitution.

A few examples: 
  1.  In 1800, just a short decade after the high court was founded, so many of its justices at the time were out campaigning for John Adams that the opening of the court term had to be delayed.
  2.  Now some 200 years later, it’s more taboo what she said than that? Or for a justice to openly endorse a particular candidate? None of that has stopped the country’s top legal jurists on the court from taking sides.
  3.  As recently as election night, 2000, when NBC declared for Democratic candidate Al Gore, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor told the guests at an election party that the Democrat’s election victory was “terrible.” 
  4.  She then went on to participate in making sure nothing so terrible would happen, casting the crucial fifth vote in Bush v. Gore without blinking an eye.
  5.  Justice O’Connor had a long history of rooting for the Bushes in presidential elections. For example, in 1988, she wrote to longtime political ally Sen. Barry Goldwater (also from AZ), in a letter now in his public archives, that she “would be thankful if George B wins. It is vital for the Court and the nation that he does.”

Like so many times before following a string of floor speeches, posturing, appearances on the many 24/7 news shows (namely Fox), after issuing this or that finding (with little evidence like Benghazi or Clinton email flap) all across GOP Talk Radio la-la land, the GOP once again overreacts and usually ends up the same way, or as they say: “There ain’t no there, there.” That is the case here. Get political mileage not matter how or whom it damages.

Justice Ginsburg was lady-like and apologized to Trump, and I support her brave decision … but folks, she still has 1st Amendment rights just like you and I – we must never forget that.

So, when was the last time Trump ever apologized to anyone for anything since he has been in this race to be President?  

I refer to his trademark name calling and insulting labels, like: (1) “Crooked" Hillary Clinton, (2) “Lying” Ted Cruz, (3) “Low-Energy” Jeb Bush, (4) “Little” Marco Rubio, (5) “Disgusting He Can't Stop Stuffing His Face” John Kasich,  (6) “Crazy” Bernie Sanders, (7) “Goofy” Elizabeth Warren, and (8) “Blood Coming Out of Her Whatever” Megyn Kelly (Fox GOP debate moderator), and anyone else who disagrees with him or vice versa. 

So, I ask again, when did Trump last apologize to anyone for any insult? Yeah, right – boy, that's a long time (like never).

Thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Trump vs. Ginsburg: Battle Lines Drawn, Words Heat Up. Nasty Stuff


Trump vs. Ginsburg (Washington Post): One gets to yap, insult, spread hate and discontent and the other one has to keep quiet and just rule on the merits of important and pressing constitutional issues. Guess who is who.

Short clip is here - FYI and some of the “faux” GOP outrage (a hoot):



Also, here (CNN) and here (CBS)

Trump gets to keep and practice his 1st Amendment rights and freedoms, but Justice Ginsburg does not as many expect her to shut up and just be a judge. I think she has more sense than that and would be impartial in any case dealing with Trump before the high court, or any other case before her as well. To think differently is utter speculation and quite frankly, nonsense.  Trump wants to ban Muslims and build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico (but not Canada) and hang out a huge Trump Tower II Sign: “Welkom to Trump Amerika.” This is view in his clearly stated words and comments.

FYI: Re this story, Justice Ginsburg merely quoted her late husband almost in jest with that an analogy and uncertainty of a Trump presidency. Now the rabid 24/7 media cycle kicks into high gear with their wackiness to see who can get the most ratings and comments at their shrinking newspaper comment sections and at on-line public forums, and all across rightwing Talk Radio. This is a field day for them. Yippee…!!! I wonder if this all GOP-run Congress will wade in demanding a string of hearings and committees for more of their craziness, too.

The synopsis of what she said as reported in the WaPost story:

Generally, though, you don't hear a Supreme Court justice talking like this. In fact, you generally don't hear a Supreme Court justice talking at all — much less about the big political issues of the day.

Most justices aren't Ruth Bader Ginsburg, though. And in a New York Times interview, Ginsburg doesn't hold a thing back when it comes to the 2016 election, saying in part: “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be with Donald Trump as our president.” (Ginsburg speaking to Times' Adam Liptak) “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”

Now my take: I think she expresses the view of the vast majority of Americans who follow this election cycle closely and right so. One person/one vote is the principle – she has one and does the rest of us and an opinion as.

We can’t wave the flag of freedom and democracy and say we are #1 (and we are BTW) and praise the rule of law, the blessed Constitution and all it stands for and then pick and choose who can say what about anything just because they sit in a certain station in life … that is not the America I see nor the one want, either. Do you?

It is a fact that if one supports Trump, it matters not what he says or does, they will defend him even by attacking others over weak arguments, and to be fair many will do that for Hillary Clinton, too. Most rational people will not evaluate things that route, but sadly that is a shrinking number in my view.

I would say for anyone who believe in “pick and choose what can be said and by whom,” then may I suggest a one-way ticket to Pyongyang (North Korea, BTW). I’ll be happy to pick up their tab. Harsh; nope, not one bit and not any sillier than nonsense we hear about this story.

Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Shame on CNN: We Need a National Boycott of that C-razy N-etwork N-ow (CNN)

(click for story and larger image)


Introduction: Suffice it to say the headlines of this article says it all.

Now the public, I hope will totally boycott CNN for this stunt and antic for this their “paid expert.” (I wonder how much he is paid).

Disgusting is actually sufficient about this story. So, continue here – then you can throw up later or along the way.

As for me, I will never ever watch or listen to CNN again.

They can cite “Freedom of Speech and the Press” all they want and I always support that except in this case where CNN allows such behavior from one of their paid experts who comes on national TV to spew his ugly nasty racist hatred. Worse, CNN has the gall to call it news. 

Shame on CNN.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Trump Machine: Runs Illegal Foreign Money Soliciting Spam Network

Hey, don’t blame a guy for trying to get a few campaign bucks


The headline for this post is startling (but quite frankly not surprising). 

The story:  Who could have imagined this? As was reported just a week ago, the Trump camp's massive fundraising blitz ending up hitting legislators in numerous foreign countries as well as spamming a seemingly limitless number of victims around the world.  

According to Return Path, 79% of Trump fundraising emails were caught in spam filters, an extremely high rate by industry standards, seemingly because Trump was using purchased or rented lists rather than ones the campaign had grown organically through campaign-related supporter sign ups. In any case, this led to problems.

At least one of the bulk email platforms Trump's campaign was using to send between 50 and 60 million emails moved rapidly to suspend his access because the “email in question has raised serious security and legal concerns among Adestra and other industry leaders.” This from Campaign and Elections (C&E):

Adestra, a U.K.-based email service platform, confirmed to C&C that within just the last 48 hours it has suspended service to Paramount Communication Group, the Beltway-based company working directly with the Trump digital team who was reselling the platform's services, and with Adestra’s co-founder and CEO (Henry Hyder-Smith) saying this: 

Adestra, a leading global provider of innovative marketing technology software and services, has suspended services to one of its agency clients, which recently sent an email on behalf of the Trump Campaign. The email in question has raised serious security and legal concerns among Adestra and other industry leaders. If we believe that a client is misusing the platform or not adhering to the high standards to which Adestra is committed, we may exercise our contractual option to suspend their service from sending email while still allowing them access to our products and their data.”

That’s why they pulled the plug on the Trump spam. 

As the story concludes: This case doesn't mean the Trumpeters won't be able to send emails anymore or spam and scam for money that on the surface appear to be nothing more than illegal campaign fund raising scheme via this massive spamming effort. 

Why not? There are more vendors out there, and the Trump bunch likely are already using multiple vendors. More worrisome is this Trump move from indifference to fundraising to maniacal fundraising this underhanded and possibly illegal way.  

Trump has now become perhaps one of the biggest spamming operations going at the moment. It is not clear how that can be quickly resolved or improved even if Trump wants it easily and quickly resolved – that is huge question mark.

My Take on All This: The nickname for him using his own standard might well be: “Donald J. Trump, the Biggest Illegal Campaign Fund Spammer of all Time.



So, I wonder if the GOP running congress will launch an investigation of Trump and blatant violation of Federal law in regard to campaign financing and soliciting money from foreign entities and foreign nationals around the globe. The short answer is of course: Hell no…!!

It is clear that this Trump stunt piled on top of everything else he has said and done to this point as he seeks office that it is only merely about propping himself up for future TV reality shows and to build more for his own personality and name expansion that are tied to his business developments not only in place now, but for future commercial endeavors and profit, and personal wealth and not much else. 

That’s the way I see it. Thanks for stopping by … leave a comment if you want. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Hillary Clinton Email Scandal — FBI Clears Her But New Angle Appears

Is there any other news worthy to talk or post about???
(Hardly seems possible)


Updated (after the following was posted): A good read from here. Highlight of this story update. It is both enlightening and worth a lot, I think:

Hillary Clinton has insisted all along that none of the emails she sent or received on her private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State was marked classified at the time.

That was contradicted by the Director of the FBI (James Comey) when he claimed that a “very small number” of her emails were in fact classified at the time.

The New York Times has since determined that that number was just two.

Now, the State Department has confirmed that those two in question weren’t actually classified at the time, but had been marked incorrectly during the course of the investigation (I note: That is probably true and was most likely done in haste to get them to the FBI investigators in a timely fashion – my guess, but it  makes sense).

Original Post Starts Here. 


1.  We cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: (1) clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or (2) vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or (3) indications of disloyalty to the United States; or (4) efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

2.  To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.

3.  As a result, although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.

4.  I know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation, as there was throughout this investigation. What I can assure the American people is that this investigation was done competently, honestly, and independently. No outside influence of any kind was brought to bear.

5.  I know there were many opinions expressed by people who were not part of the investigation — including people in government — but none of that mattered to us. Opinions are irrelevant, and they were all uninformed by insight into our investigation, because we did the investigation the right way. Only facts matter, and the FBI found them here in an entirely apolitical and professional way. I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this organization.

Now this development from here – totally out of the blue and refreshing at the same time.
  • The Associated Press now alleges Clinton lied — for saying there were no classified emails.
  • House and Senate Republicans are demanding Comey immediately testify.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan told Fox News that “people have been convicted for less.” 
  • The New York Times’ front page called Comey’s testimony “an attack ad, ready-made.”
  • Donald Trump, who initially attacked Comey’s decision as “rigged,” then posted videos of his comments.

But what almost nobody is questioning is whether the FBI director crossed the line, abusing his discretion and his power, by smearing Clinton in the press and interfering in a political campaign.

The DOJ manual for federal prosecutors bars them from making statements about people who aren’t indicted. One former CT public defender said, in part: “It goes beyond discretion. It’s completely improper when there’s not going to be a trial.”
The story and this angle continue in part with these elements:

Mainstream media and Republicans fawned over Comey’s comments, even as GOP congressional leaders claimed their sense of justice was offended because the opposing party’s presidential nominee would not face federal charges.

Virtually nobody outside of legal circles and academia questioned the appropriateness or outrageousness of Comey’s comments.

One academic legal blogger, Stetson University College of Law professor Ellen Podgor, notes: (1) most FBI investigations with no indictments don’t issue public statements; (2) the FBI’s investigation was one-sided; (3) Comey cited hypotheticals without facts; (4) Comey’s accusations about Clinton lawyers were unnecessary and unprofessional; and (5) it is Congress’ responsibility to upgrade the IT protocols of federal agencies like the State Department. 

Podgor continued: “When they do provide an announced recommendation of non-indictment, the FBI should limit their statement to just that. There is no need to tarnish a person's reputation in the process — especially when there is no concrete evidence to support the hypotheticals.”

[… other practicing lawyers were more blunt] … to read them and the rest click back to the main story to see the full scope of this totally new and different angle into this whole affair. Then stay tuned … 

This all is apt to get far, far worse over the coming days, weeks, months as we head towards November that is if the GOP has anything to say about it, and you can bet your bottom dollar they will milk this more than ever, even if that’s possible.

Hillary Clinton Email Scandal — FBI Clears Her But New Angle Appears

Is there any other news worthy to talk or post about???
(Hardly seems possible)


Updated (after the following was posted): A good read from here. Highlight of this story update. It is both enlightening and worth a lot, I think:

Hillary Clinton has insisted all along that none of the emails she sent or received on her private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State was marked classified at the time.

That was contradicted by the Director of the FBI (James Comey) when he claimed that a “very small number” of her emails were in fact classified at the time.

The New York Times has since determined that that number was just two.

Now, the State Department has confirmed that those two in question weren’t actually classified at the time, but had been marked incorrectly during the course of the investigation (I note: That is probably true and was most likely done in haste to get them to the FBI investigators in a timely fashion – my guess, but it  makes sense).

Original Post Starts Here. 


1.  We cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: (1) clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or (2) vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or (3) indications of disloyalty to the United States; or (4) efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

2.  To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.

3.  As a result, although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.

4.  I know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation, as there was throughout this investigation. What I can assure the American people is that this investigation was done competently, honestly, and independently. No outside influence of any kind was brought to bear.

5.  I know there were many opinions expressed by people who were not part of the investigation — including people in government — but none of that mattered to us. Opinions are irrelevant, and they were all uninformed by insight into our investigation, because we did the investigation the right way. Only facts matter, and the FBI found them here in an entirely apolitical and professional way. I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this organization.

Now this development from here – totally out of the blue and refreshing at the same time.
  • The Associated Press now alleges Clinton lied — for saying there were no classified emails.
  • House and Senate Republicans are demanding Comey immediately testify.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan told Fox News that “people have been convicted for less.” 
  • The New York Times’ front page called Comey’s testimony “an attack ad, ready-made.”
  • Donald Trump, who initially attacked Comey’s decision as “rigged,” then posted videos of his comments.

But what almost nobody is questioning is whether the FBI director crossed the line, abusing his discretion and his power, by smearing Clinton in the press and interfering in a political campaign.

The DOJ manual for federal prosecutors bars them from making statements about people who aren’t indicted. One former CT public defender said, in part: “It goes beyond discretion. It’s completely improper when there’s not going to be a trial.”
The story and this angle continue in part with these elements:

Mainstream media and Republicans fawned over Comey’s comments, even as GOP congressional leaders claimed their sense of justice was offended because the opposing party’s presidential nominee would not face federal charges.

Virtually nobody outside of legal circles and academia questioned the appropriateness or outrageousness of Comey’s comments.

One academic legal blogger, Stetson University College of Law professor Ellen Podgor, notes: (1) most FBI investigations with no indictments don’t issue public statements; (2) the FBI’s investigation was one-sided; (3) Comey cited hypotheticals without facts; (4) Comey’s accusations about Clinton lawyers were unnecessary and unprofessional; and (5) it is Congress’ responsibility to upgrade the IT protocols of federal agencies like the State Department. 

Podgor continued: “When they do provide an announced recommendation of non-indictment, the FBI should limit their statement to just that. There is no need to tarnish a person's reputation in the process — especially when there is no concrete evidence to support the hypotheticals.”

[… other practicing lawyers were more blunt] … to read them and the rest click back to the main story to see the full scope of this totally new and different angle into this whole affair. Then stay tuned … 

This all is apt to get far, far worse over the coming days, weeks, months as we head towards November that is if the GOP has anything to say about it, and you can bet your bottom dollar they will milk this more than ever, even if that’s possible.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

America Today: Thanks Supreme Court for Two-Word Summary “Insanity Amuck”

Not Allowed in Cleveland at RNC Nominating Convention

Allowed in Cleveland at RNC Nominating Convention
(Simple Question: Why???)
 
 Recent headlines and front page photo from this story here:


Protesters flooding the streets outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland won’t be allowed to come with “Super Soakers (water guns)” — but they’ll be able to bring a loaded firearm.

Strict RNC rules call for a ban on soda cans, glass bottles, tennis balls, and umbrellas with metal tips or “any projectile launcher” like BB guns, paintball guns, and water guns in the 1.7-square-mile “event zone” surrounding the Quicken Loans Arena convention site, where 2,470 delegates will gather to officially name Donald J. Trump as the GOP’s presidential nominee.

But pistol-packing protesters — as per Ohio’s lax open-carry laws — can freely carry in public areas, like parks, within the designated zones around the venue.

Ohio is an open-carry state that has no ban on assault weapons, so long as they are legally obtained and don’t fire more than 31 cartridges without reloading, according to SmartGunLaws.org.

Typical response from an arrogant a-hole in today’s America on this issue I am sorry to say: “You can take my string, and you can take my duct tape, but you can’t take my gun — it is open carry.” (Quote from Tim Selaty, director of operations at Citizens for Trump).

How pathetic is all this, Mr. and Mrs. Red, White, and Blue America? That is the right to carry openly a gun in public as seen above, and I guess in a pinch, you have no right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness if fired upon by a AR-15 wielding nutcase who has a high-capacity magazine with only 30 rounds of ammo (he is within the law) – so, the word pathetic does not even come close to describing this absolute and total insanity. Just keeping us safe, right? Yeah, right.
Finally, I wonder if the Trump family (his wife and 4 kids) all lined up to speak will be packing heat?
 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Trump's View of the Constitution: “What Constitution — What Me Worry?”

What's Dat Dare Smoke I Smell???


I love the analysis in the fine article … I have set it up to fit the blog … it’s a terrific read.

Trump is engaging in an arguably thuggish, demagogic campaign, staking out controversial and offensive positions but most troubling of all is that he comes across as wanting to defy the Constitution (as stated below and highlighted). 

Facts: The president pledges upon taking the oath office this in part: “…preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.”

(Note: The actual oath office — 35 words): 
“I (state full name) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” 
  1. Any president is obliged to uphold the separation of powers and Bill of Rights. 
  2. Any president is in charge of the military, the intelligence community, the Justice Department, and the IRS.
  3. Any president is obligated to respect restrictions on presidential power. 

 Two applicable quotes: 
  1. President Lincoln called the Constitution “the only safeguard of our liberties.” 
  2. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter declared: “There can be no free society without law administered through an independent judiciary.  If one man can be allowed to determine … what is law [that] means first chaos, then tyranny.”
Trump arguably has challenged Constitutional principles these ways – all in his own words, not mine:

He questioned Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel and is fitness in office to even hear a civil case against Trump University, Trump has attacked the media most-recently in response to the Orlando attack.

He excoriated Judge Curiel, who was born in Indiana, as a “Mexican” whose “hostility” disqualifies him on the suit against Trump U, and he threatened, if elected, to retaliate by bringing a civil suit against Curiel.

Trump then stated he might make similar allegations about any Muslim judge in a similar case.   

Constitutional Impact: These are racial and religious bigotry and challenges to Article VI of the Constitution that has a clear prohibition against religious tests.  

Trump attacked NYS AG Eric Schneiderman, who is suing Trump University, as unfit.  

Constitutional Impact: These two attacks (Judge Curiel and AG Schneiderman) raise concerns as to whether Trump would respect the judiciary’s powers and autonomy delineated in Article III of the Constitution.  

Trump and the press – where he appears to have little regard for them and their role as outlined in the 1st Amendment, which prohibits abridging freedom … of the press.  

For example, Trump has banned several major news organizations from attending his events. 

Trump has excoriated Jeff Bezos, new Washington Post owner and Amazon CEO, for buying the Post to protect his own corporate interests.  He has threatened Bezos and the Post by warning: “if I become president, oh do they have problems.” 

Constitutional Impact: This raises the specter of a politicized Justice Department and IRS targeting them like Nixon used them in Watergate years ago.   
  
Trump has threatened a number of other critics. For example: 

When the Ricketts family, which owns the Chicago Cubs, gave $3 million to the “Never Trump Movement,” he warned them: “They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!”  Thus voters were left to wonder whether Trump would retaliate, if elected.
  
Trump repeated controversial statements about Muslims after the Orlando ISIS-inspired terrorist attack.  Trump has said he would ban Muslim immigrants and visitors to the US, and immigration from countries wracked by terrorism. He states he may place Muslims in a national registry to be tracked, close mosques and dispense with terrorism-related warrants. 

Trump pledges to employ torture against ISIS and target family members of terrorists (Note: as I have said in other places torture of any kind is illegal, unlawful, and a war crime and has been for decades).

Constitutional Impact: Most if not all of these proposals and warning and such all challenge the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 14th Amendments.  They clearly defy prohibitions against unilateral suspensions of writs of habeas corpus and warrantless or unreasonable searches and seizures, as well as the right to due process and equal protection under the law.  Banning Muslim immigration may violate the 1st Amendment prohibition of laws restricting religious freedom.   

If Trump were to employ torture or target innocents in military operations, this would violate the Geneva Convention and if he sanctioned torture of any kind against alleged Jihadists or terrorist detainees in the U.S., which would clearly violate U.S. law and the Constitution specifically. 

Trump’s view of the 14th Amendment is particularly controversial.  

He denies it grants citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants born in the US.  The 14th Amendment clearly does so. 

Trump denies the right of due process for illegal immigrants.  The 14th Amendment declares “The validity of the public debt of the [US] … shall not be questioned.”  

Notwithstanding, Trump says he may reduce US debt by persuading or pressuring creditors to accept less than full payment. 

Trump notes President Obama has “led the way on executive orders,” all the while he pledges to emulate him by rescinding Obama’s executive orders, regulations, and international agreements based solely on executive branch authority of his own. 

The oath of office obligating the occupant to uphold the Constitution would appear to disqualify Trump by his own words and proposed actions.  

He demonstrably takes exception to many Constitutional tenets.  The voters must decide whether Trump’s constitutional views preclude him from becoming president by asking: “Do his words and promises matter or not?” 


If only for show – then we can catch a good movie, if not then we are headed for big trouble if Trump were to elected – it’s that simple.