Friday, September 30, 2016

Watergate II: FBI Director Comey Complicit in Crime

FBI's L. Patrick Gray                        FBI's James Comey
In 1972, Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray learned about the White House connection to Watergate, didn’t himself participate in the cover-up, but failed to expose it. As a consequence, the Senate declined to confirm Gray as FBI director. Gray resigned before major evidence against President Nixon became public.

Now we have another FBI director acting to protect the administration that pays his salary. More and more the Hillary Affair is looking like Watergate, though this time, the media switching sides is now helping the coverup.

Thank goodness for Republicans in Congress and for Wall Street Journal reporter Kim Strassel. They are putting the pieces together of a government conspiracy to obstruct justice, one guarded by FBI Director James Comey.

Strassel’s reporting on Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee questioning of Comey zeroed in on two exchanges:  

Question 1.

Rep. Tom Marino (R., Pa.), an ex-Justice Department prosecutor who knows how investigations work, asked Comey why Hillary Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills was offered immunity in return for turning over her laptop, a laptop, according to Strassel, “Comey admitted investigators were very keen to obtain.” Marino wondered why Comey didn't simply convene a grand jury, get a subpoena, and seize the laptop?

Strassel writes:
Comey’s answer was enlightening: “It’s a reasonable question. . . . Any time you are talking about the prospect of subpoenaing a computer from a lawyer—that involves the lawyer’s practice of law—you know you are getting into a big megillah” [Yiddish for a long involved story].
The key words: “The lawyer’s practice of law.” What Mr. Comey was referencing here is attorney-client privilege. [But] here’s the rub: When Mills worked at the State Department she was not acting as Clinton’s personal lawyer. She was the secretary's chief of staff.
Mills was allowed to get away with this “attorney-client privilege” nonsense only because she claimed that she did not know about Clinton’s server until after they had both left the State Department. Ergo, no questions about the server.
Question 2.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) showed Comey an email Mills sent in 2010 to Justin Cooper, Clinton’s personal employee charged with maintaining her private server. The email reads: “hrc email coming back—is server okay?” Cooper responds: “Ur funny. We are on the same server.”

As Strassel makes clear:
When Clinton had an email problem, Mills . . . called a privately employed Clinton aide and asked specifically about Clinton’s “server.” She did this as chief of staff at the State Department. Chaffetz asked Comey why the FBI [claimed] that Mills was ignorant about the server until later.
Comey suddenly sounded like a man with something to hide. “I don’t remember exactly, sitting here,” he said, in what can only be called the FBI version of “I don’t recall.” . . Really? Only a few minutes before he had explained that the Justice Department was forced to issue immunity to Mills because she had asserted attorney-client privilege. Yet he couldn’t remember all the glaring evidence proving she had no such privilege?
Mills was part of a criminal scheme. [Comey] could have offered immunity in return for the real goods on Hillary. But going that route would have required grand juries, subpoenas, warrants and indictments—all things that Comey clearly wanted to avoid.
As in Watergate I, the FBI seems to be aiding the administration’s “obstruction of justice”.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Watergate v. Clinton's Server: Media Switches Sides

Jonathan Turley is a distinguished law professor at George Washington University, D.C.  Turley is clearly distressed at the immunity the Justice Department awarded key potential witnesses in the Hillary Clinton affair:
Of all of the individuals who would warrant immunity, most would view [Cheryl] Mills as the very last on any list. If one assumes that there may have been criminal conduct, it is equivalent to immunizing H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman in the investigation of Watergate. Mills appears repeatedly at critical moments as one of the most senior figures making decisions or monitoring events, including being informed as Clinton chief of staff of the search for emails by the State Department in response to a Freedom of Information demand in 2012 (three years before the disclosure of Clinton’s use of a private email server).
What do we know about Clinton's separate email server, and the related destruction of over 30,000 emails?  We know that after Watergate had forced Richard Nixon out of the White House, Nixon said failure to destroy the secret tapes of his private White House conversations was his "biggest mistake."

Clinton knows all about Watergate.  She was Democratic staff on the House Judiciary Committee's investigation of Watergate.  So it's no surprise that Clinton was determined to block her Watergate-type downfall by destroying any possible records of her crimes, and by making sure her aides and underlings won't be forced to testify against her.

In spite of his failure to destroy tapes, "obstruction of justice" is the crime that brought down Nixon.  Why is Clinton getting away with destroying evidence?  Answer: the media.

Our nation enshrined "freedom of the press" in the Constitution to be a check on abusive governmental power.  Press freedom worked as it should in Watergate.  The media, along with our independent judiciary and an executive branch special prosecutor, took down Nixon.

This time it's so different.  The media no longer operates as an independent check on executive overreach.  Today's media works hand in glove with the executive breach to keep progressives in the White House, helping them run America on behalf of our ruling elite.  Thus we live with weak investigations of Hillary's crimes, along with strong efforts to protect her stonewalling of the truth.

Fortunately, the mainstream media is no longer the force it once was, and at least some truth is reaching the people who still remain sovereign.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Message to Hillary: Blue Lives Matter

“[Race] determines how [people] are treated in the criminal justice system. I think implicit bias is a problem for everyone not just police.”

Hillary Clinton

In last night’s debate Clinton claimed the New York City murder rate is down under progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio. Wrong.

Clinton is also wrong to impugn that police are out to kill young black men, the meme of her “Black Lives Matter” friends. An April 2015 study by Peter Moskos, assistant professor at the City University of New York, found that white Americans are significantly more likely to die at the hands of police than blacks.

Said Moskos:
Adjusted for the homicide rate, whites are 1.7 times more likely than blacks die at the hands of police. Adjusted for the racial disparity at which police are feloniously killed, whites are 1.3 times more likely than blacks to die at the hands of police.
More facts, from the same Edmund Kozak article in “LifeZette”:
  • Police are three times less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed white suspects — and take far longer to decide whether or not to shoot armed black suspects than armed white ones. 
  • Blacks commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined. Black males between the ages of 14-17 commit gun homicide at nearly 10 times the rate of white and Hispanic male teens combined. 
  • Over the past decade, black males comprised 40% of all cop killers, though they are 6% of the population. That means that an officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer. 
 As “Dragnet’s” Sgt. Joe Friday (picture) would say, "Just the facts, ma’am.”

Friday, September 23, 2016

Presidential Debates Matter, 1960-2012

Trump, Clintons in Happier Times
 According to GOP political guru Karl Rove:
When Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton meet Monday for the first of their three debates. . . a big mistake on either side could scramble the contest. But don’t count on it.
In fact, presidential debates have played a major or dominant role in deciding most (9 of 11) of the elections during which debates took place (as we wrote in 2012).  One just can't predict which debate in each cycle will matter (there have been 30 total), and why.

Here are the presidential debates that made a difference:

1960: First debate ever (in series of three). Kennedy held his own, looked better than Nixon, emerged as presidential, won debate and election. Debate so consequential that no debates take place in 1964, 1968, or 1972.

1976: Second debate of three. Ford unaccountably and inaccurately proclaimed Poland was not under Soviet domination, in spite of moderator’s effort to help him say otherwise. Ford lost debate and election.

: Only Reagan-Carter debate, held week before election. Reagan parried Carter attacks with “There you go again” and concluded by asking voters, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” Reagan won debate and election in a landslide. Debate so consequential subsequent final debates all held at least two weeks before election.

1984: Second debate of two. In first debate, Reagan stumbled and showed his age. In second, Reagan crushed the age issue by saying, "I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience." Mondale threat effectively collapsed at that point.

1988: Second debate of two. Asked if he would still oppose capital punishment if his wife were raped and murdered, Dukakis replied by statistically documenting the ineffectiveness of capital punishment. Dukakis lost the debate and the election to Bush 41.

1992: Second debate of three between Bush 41, Clinton, and Ross Perot. In first-ever town hall format debate, an apparently bored Bush was caught on camera looking at his watch during audience-candidate discussion of the weak economy. Symbolized Bush’s detachment from the economy and helped cost him the election.

1996: No debates of consequence. Clinton kept his lead over Dole through two debates.

: First of three debates. Gore caught audibly sighing several times during Bush 43 answers, a demonstration of condescension that voters disliked, helping cost Gore a very close election.

2000: Third of three debates. Gore walked up to Bush while Bush was answering a Gore question, invading Bush’s personal space, a demonstration of disrespect that voters disliked, helping cost Gore a very close election.

: Third of three debates. Kerry publicly called out Vice President Chaney’s lesbian daughter to make the point that homosexuality is inherent, not acquired, crossing a personal-political line to which the Chaneys strongly objected, likely costing Kerry votes in a close election.

2008: No debates of consequence. Obama kept his lead over McCain through three debates.

2012: Second of three debates.  In first, an aggressive Romney beat an unprepared Obama and tightened the race.  But in the second, Obama and moderator Candy Crowley of CNN ganged up on Romney for saying Obama falsely blamed the Benghazi massacre on an American video rather than terrorism, and a surprised Romney's lack of a comeback wiped out his first-debate advantage.

Debates matter most in tight races.  That describes where we are today.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Are Elite and Bureaucrats Covering Up Our Sick Economy?

"Democrats enable incompetence because they are beholden to public-sector unions that expect their members to get paid whether or not they do the job."

Peter Thiel, PayPal founder

Tyler Durden, a pseudonym used by anonymous “Zero Hedge” financial industry analysts, mixes facts and opinion while writing about what’s wrong with today’s U.S. economic stats:
If we were in the midst of an expanding economy why would 41.6% of African Americans and 36% of Hispanics be receiving means-tested benefits each month?
The most blatant attempt by the ruling class to subvert the truth regarding our ongoing depression is the despicably absurd propaganda churned out by the government apparatchiks at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With a working age population of 253.9 million people and only 151.6 million of them employed (27 million part-time, 15 million self-employed, 7 million working multiple jobs and worst of all 22 million government workers), the BLS has the gall to report only a 4.9% unemployment rate. There are 102.3 million working age Americans not working, but only 7.8 million of them are unemployed according to the highly educated establishment lackeys at the BLS. The other 94.5 million non-working Americans must be frolicking in the surf, sipping margaritas and counting the millions they’ve made in the rigged Wall Street casino.
Would the labor participation rate and employment to population ratio be hovering at levels last seen in 1978 if the jobs market was booming? And don’t blame it on Baby Boomers retiring. With 28% of people over 55 years old with no retirement savings and the median retirement savings of those 55 to 61 years old of $17,000, few Boomers can afford to retire on $12,000 of Social Security per year. The percentage of those over 55 years old working is at an all-time high, while the percentage of men 25 to 54 (prime working years) working is at an all-time low. Since 2007 the country has added 5.6 million mostly low paying service jobs, while 15.7 million Americans have supposedly left the labor force of their own free will, and the unemployment rate is virtually the same. Only an Ivy League educated economist or highly paid CNBC pundit would believe such malarkey.
[I]f you want the true unemployment rate you must adjust the government figures for the misinformation which began in 1994. Long-term discouraged workers were defined out of official existence in 1994. If you stop looking for a job because there are no jobs available, the BLS pretends you no longer exist and you are dropped from their unemployment calculations. John Williams at Shadowstats rightfully adds these discouraged workers, who are willing to work, back into the calculation and surprise, surprise, the real unemployment rate in this country has been between 18% and 23% for the last seven years (see graph below). Those rates are identical to the worst years of the Great Depression.

Comment: Real unemployment "between 18% and 23%" for 7 years.  Wow.

Government workers are like the media; they are woven into America’s progressive elite. Here, from conservative commentator Glenn Harlan Reynolds, in USA Today:
the civil service, though supposedly professional and nonpartisan, has become a Democratic Party monoculture. Federal employees overwhelmingly vote for Democrats, donate to Democrats, and, by all appearances, cover for Democrats as a routine part of doing their job.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Clinton Post-Convention Bounce Disappears

In the closely-watched and trusted "RealClearPolitics" average of national polls -- 2-way between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and 4-way adding in Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party's Jill Stein -- Clinton leads Trump by a combined average of 2.9%.

On July 18, before both parties' conventions, Clinton led Trump by a combined average of 3.2%.  Now for the first time, both post-convention "bounces" are gone, and the combined poll average difference between the two is down to the margin of error.

On August 8, after what the "Huffington Post" called Trump's "Worst Week Any Candidate's Ever Had," Clinton's lead over Trump in the "RealClearPolitics" combined averages was 7.8%.  "HuffPost" crowed, "Polls taken late this week show Democratic candidate Clinton leading Trump by double digits nationwide. The businessman is even behind in deep red states like Georgia."

"HuffPost" ended with "Only 12 more weeks to go..."  Well, 4 of those weeks are gone, and the race is  now "margin-of-error" tight.

Still 8 more weeks to go...  

Friday, September 02, 2016

Latest Jobs Report: U.S. Economy Stays Flat

Yellen: Dove on Growth
The U.S. created 151,000 jobs in August, below the consensus estimate of 170,000 jobs. The six-month job creation average is 175,000 jobs, just 30,000 jobs a month above the level needed to keep pace with population growth.

Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities, said:
The August employment report was not a disaster but it was just weak enough that any chance that Janet Yellen and her band of doves might think about surprising us and raising rates later this month just went out the window.
Unemployment is a lagging indicator, and the fall in job creation numbers over the Summer (271,000 in June, 275,000 in July, now 151,000) is trailing the nearly flat gain in GDP: only 1.2% over the past year.