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What is James Comey’s obsession with “intent?” If I fail to pay taxes, the IRS doesn’t give a damn whether I *meant* to or not. The State Trooper doesn’t care that I didn’t mean to speed on the interstate. The ref doesn’t care that LeBron didn’t want to hack Steph Curry during a three-pointer.
The FBI Director appeared before a Senate panel today for an update on the investigation surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server. He also addressed the October 27th letter he sent to Congress updating them on new developments in the probe. Those “new developments” were cited by Clinton this week in a CNN interview as one of the main reasons she lost to Donald Trump.
Comey said he was basically in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation when some of Clinton’s e-mails were found on the laptop of Anthony Wiener…the husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. If he said nothing, and the information was uncovered much later (presumably with Hillary in the White House), it would have looked like the FBI was covering for her. If he updated Congress less than two weeks before the election, there was a chance he would be perceived as trying to influence the election. He made his choice. The rest is history.
But Comey’s information today on the tie-ins between the Wiener probe and the e-mail investigation revealed startling new information. Abedin emailed classified information to Anthony Weiner — allegedly so he could print it out and deliver it to Clinton. And she did this quite often. That is a no-no. And anyone with high-level security clearance like Abedin knows it.
For 15 minutes last summer, Comey laid out a brutal case against Clinton’s e-mail practices. It read like a damning opening statement from the prosecution. With every sentence, he undermined the myriad of talking points that Hillary had been tossing around like confetti for more than a year. Comey said, she ‘sent or received’ e-mails that were classified at the time…not to mention many more than were later upgraded to classified. Comey also said Clinton had used not one but several private e-mail servers and devices. That destroys the main explanation she gave for having a private server installed:—that she wished to use only a single device for “convenience.” Comey also said Clinton’s lawyers never actually read the 30,000 of her e-mails they deleted after she left State. Thousands turned out to be work-related — despite her assertions otherwise.
That’s why it was so stunning when Comey then announced that “no reasonable prosecutor” would pursue criminal charges in the case. After laying the groundwork detailing a cavalier disregard for security, forthrightness, and following the law; Comey then told us none of that mattered.
He re-iterated that perplexing conclusion today for both Clinton and Abedin.
“Really the central problem we had with the whole email investigation was proving that people knew, the secretary and others knew, that they were communicating about classified information in a way that they shouldn’t be,” Comey responded. “…proving that they had some sense that they were doing something unlawful.”
This is horsesqueeze. A first-year prosecutor could have proven “intent” in this case. Why would you go through the pain and expense of setting up a homebrew server to handle all of your communications as Secretary of State if you didn’t INTEND to use it to transfer classified information? The only way there could be no *intent* is if you somehow believed that, during the course of your serving as the top diplomat of the most powerful nation on Earth, you would NEVER receive classified information via e-mail. And that is to say nothing about destruction of evidence, destroyed emails, devices crushed with a hammer, a conveniently “lost” laptop, etc. Comey had all that evidence which screamed “intent,” and said it wasn’t quite enough.
Even today, Comey renewed the word-parsing he employed last summer, carefully saying that Clinton and Abedin were “extremely careless” with handing the information…and not “grossly negligent.” That’s because the latter phrase is actually part of US code for dealing with classified material.
We are left to wonder why Comey doggedly clings to this threshold. Maybe he truly wanted the voters to make up their own mind about Clinton’s culpability. I’d say they did. Still, a crime was committed and there was most certainly intent. It does little to dissuade the notion many have that laws are “for the little people.”
David French with National Review has a career of prosecuting cases of mishandled classified information in the military. Today he re-visited his assertion from last year:
“…if a soldier had sent classified documents to his wife “to print out” his best legal outcome would be a one-way ticket to a dishonorable discharge. His worst outcome would be jail.”
Instead of going to jail, Clinton’s sentence will be to spend the rest of her life living off of the vast proceeds she somehow amassed as a humble public servant. Of course, she will live with the knowledge that her name is forever embossed alongside catastrophic failures like Dukakis, the Edsel, New Coke and the ’64 Phillies. I guess that will have to suffice for me.
Nothing defines our modern times better than a cleverly-titled, market-tested phrase that urges us to be “aware” of something that simply does not exist.
Today is “Equal Pay Day.” The idea is that women are routinely paid less than men who are performing the same job. A couple of years ago, this so-called “wage gap” was placed at 23% by adherents. Today’s event is based on a 20% assumption. So I guess that’s progress, of sorts.
There are individual businesses today who are offering women 20% discounts on their wares and services. Even some national businesses are joining in the fun. Hey…more power to them. It doesn’t hurt business when you appear to join half the nation in solidarity for a cause…even if the cause is suspect.
The bottom line is this. There is no “Wage Gap.” Sorry. Not when you’re comparing apples to apples. Karin Agness with Forbes Magazine published an article today with the latest information on the Mythical Wage Gap. It unveiled what many other studies have shown in recent years. It does not exist.
“Modern feminists use the statistic that women make 82 cents on the dollar compared to men as evidence of rampant discrimination, but what the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics is actually measuring with the 82 percent number is the median earnings of women and men in full-time wage and salary jobs.”
That is an important distinction. *Median* earnings. A first-year Statistics course could explain the difference. And there’s more, according to Agness.
“This statistic does not take into account significant differences in labor choices. Specifically, the statistic does not factor in many of the choices that women and men make—including education, years of experience and hours worked—that influence earnings. For example, among full-time employees, men worked 8.2 hours compared to women working 7.8 hours.”
This is what we call comparing apples to oranges. It’s a common tactic when you want the research to match your pre-conceived conclusion. It’s great for marketing and politics but it sacrifices facts and the truth. Collateral damage, I suppose.
I have had several friends and acquaintances tell me stories of pay gaps that they witnessed first-hand. In some case, they claimed they WERE, indeed, paid less than a man for the same job. Guess what. We already have laws to address such actual cases of gender bias. The Equal Pay Act in 1963 made sex-based discrimination in pay illegal. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination in the workplace based on sex illegal. What else, exactly, do you require? I know there has been legislation proposed in the past that would have put more teeth in these laws…but they also would have had the unfortunate effect of shifting the burden of proof in such allegations from the employee to the employer. That would be like forcing an accused thief to prove his innocence. Not gonna happen.
And I will close with the question I consistently ask with this red herring of an issue comes up. If the wage gap were real and legal, why would a business EVER hire a man? Why would they even bother interviewing one?
I swear I don’t think I’ve ever seen the far left happier.
Oh, I don’t mean that they’re HAPPY-happy. You know…like the kind of happy you get when you win the lottery, solve Final Jeopardy or pop a huge zit. No, this is the kind of happy where you feel like you’re doing the Lord’s work. That contentment that comes with suffering for what you feel is a worthy cause.
We’ve seen the women’s marches this year that included vagina costumes (see picture), “p*ssy hats” and notes scrawled across tampons which were then plastered onto walls. Not exactly akin to nailing 95 theses on a Cathedral Door in Wittenberg, but hey—you make do with what ya got. We’ve also seen the far-left tactics of Antifa…a group that employs the curious strategy of using fascist tactics to fight alleged fascists. These are the bandana-faced people who have committed the more egregious acts of violence while making sure the world does not hear from people with whom they disagree. If they’re not careful, actual fascists will sue them for copyright infringement.
I say all this to make a point. I think the far left is MUCH happier now than they would have been had Hillary been elected. With Trump in the White House, they can proudly join “The Resistance ©.” They can do what liberals do best—assign altruistic motives to otherwise pointless political posturing, empty symbolic gestures and willing martyrdom. With Trump as President, they have the perfect cover to allow them to promulgate vapid rhetoric while acting like a five-year old who’s been told they cannot have a third scoop of Neapolitan ice cream.
I honestly think many of them are jealous. Protest groups in the past stood against REAL injustices. The Civil Rights movement addressed seminal race issues and questions about the very essence of humanity. Labor Unions dove head-first into very real concerns about workplace safety and the fundamental relationship between workers and management. Now that most of those issues have been addressed, there’s very little left for people to go after today. There are no more impressive dragons to slay. Goliath is already dead. The only enemies worth fighting now are not terribly formidable…so they must be played up as much as possible. You don’t brag when your football team beats a patsy…you brag when they take down the #1 team in the AP Poll.
The Far Left feels like they have a cause and I think this sense of purpose is sustaining many of them. As long as they restrict it to marches where they don costumes that resemble their private parts, I look forward to the entertainment. I will also make it a point to differentiate them from actual liberals who are truly interested in debate and maintaining their dignity. Yes, such people DO still exist.
I haven’t had to deal much with the TSA. I’ve flown twice since 9/11. Both times the only items I took on board were a paperback book with crossword and sudoku puzzles. I figured the less I carried, the less suspicious I would be. I was wrong.
I guess it was the beard that prompted the vigilant TSA agents to have me remove my shoes, empty my pockets, and submit to a visual scan of my Mr. Olympia-eqsue body before being awarded the honor of boarding a clausterphobe’s nightmare.
Look, I understand the concept of airport security and why its so important. It’s an unfortunate sign of the times. My main concern is that this is the latest instance where Americans have had to ask, “how much do we put up with and still consider ourselves a free people?” It seems we’re asking that question far too much these days.
Here’s the little secret that no one in the TSA will admit. The next major terrorist attack will almost certainly NOT be via air travel. The success of the 9-11 attacks were almost entirely dependent upon the cooperation from the passengers. I’m sure many of them were thinking, “Great—I’m going to be late for that sales presentation in San Francisco.” Flight 93 demonstrated what will happen on ANY flight when passengers know there’s a threat of terrorism.
Since that fateful day, a would-be shoe bomber and underwear-bomber have been subdued by civilians. But the classic overcorrection, as the government assures us they’re doing SOMETHING to fight terrorism, is asinine. Don’t even get me started on the profiling. Until we determine that terrorists are using elderly Asian females to carry out bombings, elderly Asian females should not be profiled for extra “lovin'” by TSA agents. Young Muslim males should be.
I think it’s also a prudent use of our limited resources. If that makes me xenophobic, so be it. as long as you don’t ask me to fly.
The Sunday night before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2004, I spent most of the evening gathering as much information as I could on the storm. Even though I didn’t live in the line of fire, I knew that it would be a critical story for our FM station’s news the next morning. The warning bulletins from the usually-reserved National Weather Service were scary. “Human suffering catastrophic by modern standards” was one that stood out. It was clear we were dealing with a monster.
We all know what happened. The storm hit. The flood waters rose. People died. Looting began. Help arrived far too late for most people’s taste.
People feel uncomfortable talking about things like this because the overwhelming majority of the victims were black. We MUST get past this “soft racism.” Fear of making people angry or uncomfortable might be our biggest obstacle to coming up with real solutions to our most vexing social problems.
I find it curious that some on the extreme left claim GOP policy proposals would put blacks back in “slavery.” What is blind and complete dependence on the state, if not slavery? Is it slavery when you are incapable of providing yourself with the necessities of life without The State stepping in? Is it charity to assist a group of people to such a degree that they have to make virtually “no” decisions about their day-to-day lives?
At the risk of sounding alarmist and melodramatic, I fear this could be what’s in store for the nation at large if we’re not careful. Under the worst case scenario, I see a nation populated by people whose lives are so closely intertwined with the Government that it is impossible to determine where one ends and the other begins. I see a once-great country with people living in the equivalent of FEMA trailers, waiting for the next check to arrive in the mail. That nightmare also includes a populace that throws up its hands and wails when disaster strikes—and the entity on which they’ve relied completely is suddenly unavailable.
A blank check from a nameless and faceless entity is NOT the answer! Engagement is the answer. We as Americans and Christians had better get off our collective asses and work directly with those in need. Sitting back and letting The State handle it is cowardly, counter-productive, and will end up costing us more than we could ever imagine in terms of our liberty and individual freedom.