Boy, Hillary's Probably Hooped Now


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The FBI may not know exactly what is on the computer but they have a dam good idea. Early on in this scandal  while watching CNN it was reported that when the FBI were originally going through the computer in their investigation of the scumbag, they came across all these emails. After a cursory examination they realized what they had and it was then they approached Comey about it.

I firmly believe this is not a flash in the pan investigation. Comey did not get to be the director of the FBI by being stupid.  He knows where they are going and what they fully expect to find more of, based on the initial examination.

My $.02

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Said it before... You can lead 'em to knowledge, but ya can't make 'em think.

Personally, I see 3 main reasons for this. First, America's obsession for stardom and celebrity. Second, social media and internet allowing everyone, who has access, to voice their (not very

don: what is wrong with being friends with Russia?   Cold war aside, I suspect we have more commonality with Russia than we do with China.   Ru

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Personally, I believe the Director had an obligation to inform Congress of the discovery of these e-mails. In his testimony before Congress, I believe he stated that the FBI had no knowledge of the existence of any further e-mails. Once agents learned of the contents of Weiner's laptop, not reporting would have been tantamount to concealing and that would necessarily involve weighing the risks and rewards of disclosure which I submit is not part of his function.

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UD, I agree the Director was caught between a rock and a hard place. But the Director always has discretionary powers and also under the obligation to adhere to the FBI's long-standing policy of not releasing information to the public during an investigation.

The "information" released cast doubt on one candidate without accompanying evidence. That isn't acceptable in any circles let alone these high-level ones.

As well, there are indications across media that he acted unilaterally, without consultation with other senior members prior to sending the letter to Republicans. 

It is reasonable to expect that the Director would have had to have known that if it went to Republican Representatives in Congress, (copied to Democratic Representatives), that it would be public in time for the evening news and that it would materially affect the election, and that is clearly against FBI policies. Doing so without evidence to back up a decision to re-open an investigation is simply beyond comprehension.

Although it won't likely go that far, there are also the legal requirements under the Hatch Act which may or may not have been breached. 

I don't know how or which way to interpret this but strong ideologies among powerful people bring about outliers in terms of decision-making and actions.

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This just in...

Washington Post
After another release of documents, FBI finds itself caught in a partisan fray

By Rosalind S. Helderman, Tom Hamburger and Sari Horwitz

November 1 at 9:04 PM

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/after-release-of-documents-fbi-finds-itself-caught-in-a-partisan-fray/2016/11/01/9d466908-a068-11e6-8832-23a007c77bb4_story.html?wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

The surprise tweet from a little-used FBI account came about 1 p.m. Tuesday, announcing that the agency had published on its website 129 pages of internal documents related to a years-old investigation into former president Bill Clinton’s pardon of a fugitive Democratic donor.

The seemingly random reminder of one of the darkest chapters of the Clinton presidency a week before the election drew an immediate rebuke from Hillary Clinton’s campaign — with its spokesman tweeting that the FBI’s move was “odd” and asking whether the agency planned to publish unflattering records about Republican candidate Donald Trump.

“Will FBI be posting docs on Trump’s housing discrimination in ’70s?” asked Brian Fallon.

For the second time in five days, the FBI had moved exactly to the place the nation’s chief law enforcement agency usually strives to avoid: smack in the middle of partisan fighting over a national election, just days before the vote.

The publication of the files related to the Marc Rich pardon inquiry, which agency officials said was posted automatically in response to pending public records requests, came as the Clinton campaign and Democratic lawmakers continued to fume over FBI Director James B. Comey’s decision with less than two weeks before the election to announce that he was effectively resuming a review of Hillary Clinton’s email practices.

Comey’s move to direct agents to suddenly review thousands of emails discovered as part of a separate inquiry into former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) has led to a range of criticism of the FBI, with Democrats and some Republican lawmakers questioning whether Comey violated Justice Department policies by making a decision that risked shaking up a political campaign.

Some Democrats have also accused Comey of hypocrisy, citing reports this week that the director argued internally last month that it was too close to Election Day to publicly accuse Russia of meddling in the race. Top intelligence officials issued a rare statement implicating Russia in hacks of Democratic officials and party offices, but Clinton and aides have gone further, alleging that Russian President Vladi­mir Putin is trying to tilt the race in Trump’s favor.

All told, the events of the past week have dragged the FBI, a highly regarded institution whose leaders have in recent years worked to build a reputation for impartiality, into the thicket of the polarized presidential race.

“Americans now look at the FBI and see a political entity, not a nonpartisan entity — and that has huge ramifications for the FBI and for all of us,” said Matt Miller, former chief spokesman for the Justice Department and a Clinton supporter. “It sows disbelief in our system of government and is hugely toxic.”

On Tuesday, FBI investigators were continuing to examine the newly discovered emails and trying to discern how they ended up on a computer owned by Weiner. As of Tuesday morning, an official said, investigators had found no sign that the computer contained “new and bigger” evidence about Clinton. But the official said the FBI was deploying “all computers, all hands on deck” to sort through the high volume of emails and that “no one knows” what the emails contain.

FBI officials did not respond to questions about the agency’s role in the campaign.

At a rally in at Kent State University, Oct. 31, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke about the FBI investigation into emails that might be connected to her private email server. She said "by all means, they should look at" emails on a computer owned by Anthony Weiner, the husband of her top aide, Huma Abedin. (The Washington Post)

As for the release of the Rich files days before the election, FBI officials said the timing was coincidental. The FBI released a statement saying that they were published after Freedom of Information Act requests and were posted “automatically and electronically to the FBI’s public reading room in accordance with the law and established procedures.” This happens, the statement said, on a “first-in, first-out” basis.

The events of the past week have created an unusual political storm around Comey, who until this election year had generally drawn praise from leaders of both parties. When he announced in July that he believed that “no reasonable prosecutor” would charge Clinton for mishandling classified information through her use of a private email server, Democrats called him fair-minded while some Republicans, including Trump, accused him of being part of a rigged system. This week, the roles have been reversed.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who led the House investigation of the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic posts in Benghazi, Libya, said Tuesday that Democrats are improperly blaming Comey for a sequence of events that began with Clinton’s decision as secretary of state to use a private server. “Secretary Clinton is the reason why you and I are having this conversation, not Jim Comey,” he told CNN.

The Twitter account used to publicize the Rich files, an official FBI account called­@FBIRecordsVault, had been dormant for more than a year until Sunday, when it began to tweet links to archived documents. They included records related to Fred Trump, the father of the GOP nominee, which were posted to the website in early October. Those records included eight­ ­pages of largely biographical details about the elder Trump, much of which appeared to be compiled by the FBI in 1988. The agency advertised the Trump records by tweeting: “Fred C. Trump (1905-1999) was a real estate developer and philanthropist.”

Another tweet linked to previously released internal investigative notes from the FBI’s probe of Clinton’s private email server.

Agency officials said the tweets were automatically generated, a function of the website that they said had not been working since last year but that was recently fixed when the site was upgraded.

The Rich documents provided little new information about the matter, which plagued the first years of Bill Clinton’s post-presidency. But they served as a reminder of the vigor of the criminal probe into the matter.

Rich, who received his pardon on Bill Clinton’s last day in the White House, had fled to Switzerland after learning he would be indicted on a charge of tax evasion in the 1980s. The investigation, conducted between 2001 and 2005, was disclosed in news accounts at the time and looked at whether Clinton had issued the pardon in exchange for political donations, including to Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate race and to the Clinton Foundation. It was closed with no charges.

The newly disclosed documents show the FBI internally referred to the matter as a “sensitive investigation concerning possible public corruption surrounding the pardons granted by former president William Clinton.”

This week’s release of the Rich files demonstrates how many of the players in the current Hillary Clinton drama played roles in Clinton-related battles of the past.

Comey, for instance, as a young prosecutor in New York, helped lead the case against Rich. Later, as U.S. attorney, he led the office that handled the investigation into the Clinton pardon from early 2002 to the end of 2003.

Former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr., a Clinton backer who this week wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that Comey made a “serious error” in announcing the resumption of the email probe, was deputy attorney general at the time of the pardon and acknowledged that he had been contacted directly by Rich’s attorney. The pardon was criticized in part for bypassing an established process in which Justice Department lawyers review applications for merit. Holder’s name was one of only a few not blacked out in the redacted files released this week.

Comey eventually supported Holder’s nomination for attorney general but told senators in 2008 that he had been “stunned” by the Rich pardon and that Holder’s actions in the case reflected a “huge misjudgment.”

The release of the Rich files came as Democrats had been expressing their anger over Comey’s handling of their suspicions of Russian meddling. For months, Democrats have been talking about alleged ties that Trump and his team have to Russia, and they have been encouraging the FBI to investigate the claims — in addition to the ongoing inquiry into how Russian hackers broke in to the Democratic National Committee and the private email accounts of top party officials.

On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said Comey possessed “explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers, and the Russian government.” In a letter to Comey, Reid suggested that the FBI director may have violated a federal statute, the Hatch Act, that prohibits government officials from engaging in activities that can influence an election.

“Through your partisan actions, you may have broken the law,” Reid wrote.

When asked about Reid’s letter, a White House spokesman bluntly declined to back up his claims and concerns.

Press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that the Obama administration would “neither defend nor criticize” Comey, and that the White House had received no FBI briefings “on even the existence of any investigation into the activities or habits of the Republican nominee.”

Reid was briefed privately in August about the Russia threat by one of the country’s top intelligence officials and came away “deeply shaken,” according to an aide who was traveling with him at the time. During the private session, conducted in a specially secured briefing room at the FBI’s Las Vegas office, Reid told aides he received disturbing details of Russian efforts to influence the election — and about possible Trump campaign ties to the Kremlin.

Afterward, he wrote Comey urging the FBI director to publicly investigate “a series of disturbing reports” indicating that Russia was trying “to influence the Trump campaign and manipulate it as a vehicle for advancing the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

Trump, who has called Putin a “strong leader,” has denied any connections to Russia.

But the FBI’s approach to the questions has frustrated Democrats. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said Comey’s decision to speak out on the Clinton emails while choosing to remain silent on Russia “raises serious questions about a very disturbing double standard.”

Clinton campaign manager, Robby Mook, said it was “nothing short of jaw-dropping” that Comey would “show more discretion in a matter concerning a foreign-state actor than one involving the Democratic nominee for president.”

Matt Zapotosky, Karoun Demirjian, Alice Crites, Ellen Nakashima and Bob Woodward contributed to this report.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. had said that FBI Director James B. Comey made a “serious error” by resuming the Hillary Clinton email probe. In fact, Holder wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that Comey made a “serious error” by commenting publicly on the resumption of the probe in a vague letter to Congress.

Edited by Don Hudson
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5 hours ago, J.O. said:

When he "announced" it, they didn't even have the warrant for his laptop yet. Sorry but the timing of his announcement just doesn't fit with the notion of reasonable due process.

I stand to be corrected but I believe the Director reported to congress the existence of the e-mails. I emphasize that the disclosure was to congress. The warrant was required to actually retrieve (copy) the hardrive of the laptop to analyze the e-mails. That analysis is ongoing.

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5 hours ago, Don Hudson said:

UD, I agree the Director was caught between a rock and a hard place. But the Director always has discretionary powers and also under the obligation to adhere to the FBI's long-standing policy of not releasing information to the public during an investigation.

The "information" released cast doubt on one candidate without accompanying evidence. That isn't acceptable in any circles let alone these high-level ones.

As well, there are indications across media that he acted unilaterally, without consultation with other senior members prior to sending the letter to Republicans. 

It is reasonable to expect that the Director would have had to have known that if it went to Republican Representatives in Congress, (copied to Democratic Representatives), that it would be public in time for the evening news and that it would materially affect the election, and that is clearly against FBI policies. Doing so without evidence to back up a decision to re-open an investigation is simply beyond comprehension.

Although it won't likely go that far, there are also the legal requirements under the Hatch Act which may or may not have been breached. 

I don't know how or which way to interpret this but strong ideologies among powerful people bring about outliers in terms of decision-making and actions.

Don....

Let's step back for a minute. What actually has the public learned in the last few days.......that the husband of a senior aid to Clinton had e-mails on his laptop that emanated from Clinton. It has been emphasized that these may be duplicates of e-mails already disclosed. They may be irrelevant in their entirety. But they exist. If those facts affect the outcome of the election then the candidacy of Clinton was fragile at best.

Meanwhile, the repeated references by the Senate leader and Clinton campaign to Trump ties to Russia are actually stories about the relations between Manafort.....the campaign manager of Trump for all of 3 months....and Russians.

This is NOT a process where truth is sought. It is bottom-scourging intended by all involved to taint the opposition. There are no innocents....even us bystanders who sift through the reports to find and repeat those that support our position

 

 

 

 

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UD, here, I disagree with you.

For either candidate, without associated, supporting evidence for the re-opening of an investigation, the potential for innuendo, meaning public "conviction" without evidence, was high.

Had this series of actions been against Trump we would have heard the same objections.

The germane question here is one of due process. Why can that be set aside when it is counter to standard FBI procedures of avoiding potential electoral interference?

My views on Donald Trump are abundantly even exhaustively on record as some will observe..., but the only safe option in this election is Clinton-as-place-holder.

Sure, no one is innocent - but what does that really mean? One is never innocent when one has one's views and expresses them.

And in this mess, it has become bottom-scourging all the way down. Here's why:

Donald Trump has "normalized" David Dukism. He has normalized abusive language to express what used to be normal election-driven thoughts. He set that standard of electoral discourse sixteen months ago and others had to, in some way, survive or whither. Yes, it was the same in 2000, 2004, 2008 & 2012 but nowhere near the same level of degradation.

The problem for observers is, one cannot offer thoughts into this toxic cock-up without being painted the colour of one side or the other. Issues such as the FBI intervention affect do not affect both sides equally, but the observation of inequity still requires stating.

There is a truth to each and every act, and then there is surrogate and media spin collisions, ad nauseum. It is just too wild a storm for a bit of considered logic and thinking to remain anchored long enough to push ideology off the stage so something can be reasonably said about either candidate.

 

Edited by Don Hudson
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8 hours ago, UpperDeck said:

Let's step back for a minute. What actually has the public learned in the last few days.......that the husband of a senior aid to Clinton had e-mails on his laptop that emanated from Clinton. It has been emphasized that these may be duplicates of e-mails already disclosed. They may be irrelevant in their entirety. But they exist. If those facts affect the outcome of the election then the candidacy of Clinton was fragile at best.

Meanwhile, the repeated references by the Senate leader and Clinton campaign to Trump ties to Russia are actually stories about the relations between Manafort.....the campaign manager of Trump for all of 3 months....and Russians.

This is NOT a process where truth is sought. It is bottom-scourging intended by all involved to taint the opposition. There are no innocents....even us bystanders who sift through the reports to find and repeat those that support our position

UD, you're focussed only on the narrow legalistic issues, but there are legitimate and realistic political concerns. Where the law applies, you're no doubt intimidated by the frequent sharing of legal knowledge here, I don't want to terrorize you any further ;). Let's agree that most of the legal commentary is ... exotic? But there does remain some issues with Mr. Comey's handling of the file.

It's not likely that he's engaged in nefarious politicking, tho', just failed butt-covering. There's an aphorism about never attributing to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity (apocryphally attributed to Napoleon), and think it probably applies here, altho' "stupidity" is a little too harsh.

Friday's announcement about new emails was not released into a vacuum; it followed a sequence of related events. The original investigation did not yield sufficient evidence to press any charges. Period. Nonetheless, Mr. Comey took it upon himself to publicly editorialize, unfavourably & at some length about the matter beyond his actual task, and his difficulties now flow from that. It was gratuitous and unnecessary, and ironically fed the opprobrium that fell upon him from those who wanted a different result, instead of mitigating it as I think was his intent, keeping alive a matter that might otherwise have faded. I doubt he anticipated the discussion about releasing the info about Russian hacking, OR the resurrection of the emails. He seems to be victim of 1st-stage thinking at each step of the way, and has been repeatedly been blind-sided by new, but predictable developments. I don't give him quite the free pass that you do.

As for your final comment, some of us sift through the "reports", such as they are, actually searching forlornly for any credibility on either side. There's a lot of totally irresponsible circulation of crap on these pages from the nether regions of the 'web. Some of us are not persuaded by such bull$#!+ in the slightest, and refrain from the practice ourselves altogether.  Doesn't that merit any credit?

Cheers, IFG :b:

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http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/11/02/fbi_sources_tell_fox_news_indictment_likely_in_clinton_foundation_case.html 

1. The Clinton Foundation investigation is far more expansive than anybody has reported so far and has been going on for more than a year. 

2. The laptops of Clinton aides Cherryl Mills and Heather Samuelson have not been destroyed, and agents are currently combing through them. The investigation has interviewed several people twice, and plans to interview some for a third time. 

3. Agents have found emails believed to have originated on Hillary Clinton's secret server on Anthony Weiner's laptop. They say the emails are not duplicates and could potentially be classified in nature. 

4. Sources within the FBI have told him that an indictment is "likely" in the case of pay-for-play at the Clinton Foundation, "barring some obstruction in some way" from the Justice Department. 

5. FBI sources say with 99% accuracy that Hillary Clinton's server has been hacked by at least five foreign intelligence agencies, and that information had been taken from it.
 

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"FBI sources say with 99% accuracy that Hillary Clinton's server has been hacked by at least five foreign intelligence agencies, and that information had been taken from it."

 

Yep, the entire fiasco must be Comey's fault.

The democrats loved Comey back in July, now they would have us believe he's a careless partisan that's out to destroy an American dynasty, impact the election result and destroy the Country.

  

I'm looking forward to the big release Wikileaks apparently has planned for today; some say it'll include the 33000 missing documents Hilary attempted to destroy.

Hilary's going to look good in a prison striped pant suit.

    
 

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Don and IFG....

I don't think I can usefully add to the discussion about the Director except to note....when he made the announcement some months ago that there would be no charges relating to the use of the unauthorized server.....was he interfering in domestic politics? His statements were certainly relied upon by the Clinton campaign. Did he exceed his authority? Now objection is taken to his disclosure of the discovery of a new source of emails.

Is the objection to the timing of the disclosure? Would the disclosure have been unobjectionable three weeks ago; or how about eight weeks ago?

In the public statement back in....was it June?......he was critical of Clinton calling her judgment into question. Was that okay? On this occasion HE REPORTED TO CONGRESS the fact of discovery of emails. That's it. So.....it appears that your collective objections are 1) timing and not substance and, 2) only because OTHER PEOPLE will use that information as it suits their own purposes.

IFG....you suggested I might be intimidated by the exchange of "legal information" on this forum. I suspect that's not what you meant but I assure you that it bothers me not a whit that people in all walks of life are inclined at times to express (or offer) "legal opinions". Lord knows...I don't hesitate to wax eloquent on the conduct of pilots!! (Lol).

Don....I understand that you view the potential of a Trump presidency with both fear and loathing. Of course, that bias will colour your interpretation of the barrage of information and opinion. I neither support nor oppose either candidate. Certainly the election MAY have consequences for me personally but except to the extent that the market suffers a prolonged and significant reduction in value, I don't expect any near-term negative  impact and as a result...and as selfish as it may sound...I don't care. And I don't have a vote. But I will be glued to the tv on Tuesday!

Oh...one other question. Is Obama the head of the Democratic Party or the President? I know others before set the precedent but I question whether the President should be "above the fray". Once elected, shouldn't the President be excluded from the political arena? In Florida...and I'm sure elsewhere....he is in a lot of ads urging voters to support the opponent of the Republican candidate for the Senate. He is using his office to convey gravitas and pull on the voters' loyalty to "the commander in chief".

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The Elite are running scared. Those with the most to lose are starting to use scare tactics just like they tried during Brexit.

"Barack Obama warned America last night that the “fate of the world” was at risk if Donald Trump was elected president, as he publicly criticized the FBI."

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/obama-slams-fbi-for-new-email-inquiry-saying-agency-shouldnt-operate-on-innuendo

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UD, my "fear and loathing", as you put it, has to do with stability and risk. My reasons for thinking and believing this are set out in my posts.

The "skin in the game" I and my family have is the sensed threat to world stability. Asssurances to the contrary do not make a case for throwing dice.

We can posit Hillary's hawkish attitude and Trump's irrationality and ignorance all day without result; my perception is of a man who demonstrably chooses not to learn, to listen or to change in the face of new information or advice.

That to me is sufficient evidence of high risk behaviour when associated with high office.

That said, (and I have observed this in previous posts), I believe Donald Trump's candidacy has touched a decades-old nerve in U.S. society, (neoliberalism, and the resultant angry population; "immigration" remains, sadly, an old standby scapegoat for other ills), and so has something serious to say, if only he would say it. But the candidate is wholly unsuited to convey the message and unsuitable to the Presidential task and instead is merely populist while continuing to thwart his own success.

U.S. voters will do as they will on Tuesday. We have the popcorn ready, but not the champagne. None of this merits celebration.

On a bright note, my wife's favourite baseball team won the World Series last night. It has only been a hundred-and-eight years, so there is hope yet for the Canucks.

Edited by Don Hudson
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12 hours ago, Jaydee said:

The Elite are running scared. Those with the most to lose are starting to use scare tactics just like they tried during Brexit.

"Barack Obama warned America last night that the “fate of the world” was at risk if Donald Trump was elected president, as he publicly criticized the FBI."

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/obama-slams-fbi-for-new-email-inquiry-saying-agency-shouldnt-operate-on-innuendo

As well, the thing that is quite amusing to see is the 99%'ers, who are clamoring to demonize Trump and rally behind Hillary...imho... the epitome of graft.

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I'm just tired of the "Crooked Hillary" hypocrisy from the Republican camp. They have just as many skeletons in their own closet, some of them far greater in scope but we don't need to talk about that. Here's just a few:

  • Bill Clinton cheated on his wife and was impeached. Trump proudly brags about sexual assault and has cheated on his wives. Let's sue his accusers.
  • 4 people died in an embassy attack while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State - she's a criminal. When the Republicans were in office, over 200 people died in embassy attacks. Not a word about that though.
  • 87% of donations to the Clinton foundation went directly to helping people but Hillary is crooked. Trump's foundation paid off his debts and made political donations to avoid investigations while using less than 5% of funds for charity, but he's a smart business man.
  • The illegal immigrants who are supporting Hillary pay no taxes - kick them out of the country. Cough!

With that, I'm bowing out. Neither outcome has me particularly excited but only one scares me to death, and he doesn't wear pant suits.

Edited by J.O.
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On ‎2016‎-‎11‎-‎03 at 9:39 AM, UpperDeck said:

IFG....you suggested I might be intimidated by the exchange of "legal information" on this forum. I suspect that's not what you meant but I assure you that it bothers me not a whit that people in all walks of life are inclined at times to express (or offer) "legal opinions". Lord knows...I don't hesitate to wax eloquent on the conduct of pilots!! (Lol).

Of course not literally what I meant, UD', tongue was firmly in cheek, but that was the most trivial part of my post. Since you didn't comment on my other suggestions (Comey's added commentary in July enmeshed him in his ill-handled political snarl, & a few of us might be credited for at least aspiring to "innocence"), I'll take it you think Comey's July presser was appropriate and professional, that you do tar us all with your brush, and your reticence indicates low interest in any of that. Fair enough, nothing ventured, nothing gained ;)

Cheers, IFG :b:

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Charles Krauthammer: No matter who wins on Tuesday, the free world will be leaderless

Thu Nov 3, 2016 - National Post

WASHINGTON — Rule of thumb for a presidential campaign where the two candidates have the highest unfavourable ratings in the history of polling: if you’re the centre of attention, you’re losing.

As election day approaches, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton cannot shake the spotlight. She is still ahead in the polls, but you know she’s slipping when she shows up at a Florida campaign event with a week to go accompanied by the former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado.

The original plan was for Clinton to pivot in the final week of the campaign from relentless criticism of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to making a positive case for herself. Instead, she reached back for a six-week-old charge that played well when it first emerged back then, but now feels stale and recycled.

The setback and momentum shift came courtesy of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey. Clinton’s greatest hurdle had always been the Comey primary, which the Democrats thought she had won in July when he declined to recommend prosecuting her over classified emails. This engendered an outpouring of Democratic encomiums about Comey’s unimpeachable integrity and Solomonic wisdom.

When it was revealed last Friday that there had been a Comey recount and Clinton lost, Solomon turned into Torquemada. But, of course, Comey had no choice. How could he have sat on a trove of 650,000 newly discovered emails and kept that knowledge suppressed until after the election?

His announcement brought flooding back — to memory and to the front pages — every unsavory element of the Clinton character: shiftiness, paranoia, cynicism and disdain for playing by the rules. It got worse when FBI employees began leaking stories about possible political pressure from the Department of Justice and about parallel investigations into the Clinton Foundation.

At the same time, Clinton was absorbing a daily dose of WikiLeaks, offering an extremely unappealing tableau of mendacity, deception and the intermingling of public service with private self-enrichment. It was the worst week of her campaign, at the worst time.

And it raises two troubling questions:

Regarding the FBI, do we really want to elect a president who will likely come into office under criminal investigation by law enforcement? Congressional hearings will be immediate and endless. A constitutional crisis at some point is not out of the question.

And regarding WikiLeaks, how do we know it will have released the most damning material by election day? A hardened KGB operative like Russian President Vladimir Putin might well prefer to hold back whatever is most incriminating until a Clinton presidency. He is surely not above attempted blackmail at an opportune time.

Supporters of Hillary Clinton have argued that Donald Trump’s evident affinity for Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin and the hacks of leading Democrats are clear indications that Russia has taken sides in the presidential race.

There seems to be a consensus that Putin’s hacking gambit is intended only to disrupt the election rather than to deny Clinton the White House. Why? Putin harbours a deep animus toward Clinton, whom he blames personally for the anti-Putin demonstrations that followed Russia’s rigged 2011 parliamentary elections.

Moreover, he would surely prefer to deal with Trump, a man who has adopted the softest line on the Kremlin of any modern U.S. leader.

In a normal election, the FBI and WikiLeaks factors might be disqualifying for a presidential candidate. As final evidence of how bad America’s choices are in 2016, Trump’s liabilities, especially on foreign policy, outweigh hers.

We are entering a period of unprecedented threat to the international order that has prevailed under American leadership since 1945. After eight years of President Barack Obama’s retreat, the three major revisionist powers — Russia, China and Iran — see their chance to achieve regional dominance and diminish, if not expel, American influence.

At a time of such tectonic instability, even the most experienced head of state requires wisdom and delicacy to maintain equilibrium. Trump has neither. His joining of supreme ignorance to supreme arrogance, combined with a pathological sensitivity to any perceived slight, is a standing invitation to calamitous miscalculation.

Two generations of Americans have grown up feeling that international stability is as natural as the air we breathe. It’s not. It depends on continual, calibrated tending. It depends on the delicate balancing of alliances and the careful signalling of enemies. It depends on avoiding self-inflicted trade wars and on recognizing the value of allies like Germany, Japan and South Korea as cornerstones of our own security rather than satrapies who are here to dispatch tribute to their imperial master in Washington.

It took seven decades to build this open, free international order. It could be brought down in a single presidential term. That would be a high price to pay for the catharsis of kicking over a table.

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57 minutes ago, Don Hudson said:

 I find the "Trump" phenomenon interesting because one could see something like this coming and now it is here; we just didn't know who would show up.. Thank what stars watch over the U.S. that it wasn't Ted Cruz.

 

 

Personally, I see 3 main reasons for this.

First, America's obsession for stardom and celebrity.

Second, social media and internet allowing everyone, who has access, to voice their (not very often researched) opinion.

Third, lazyness.

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