Sunday, August 30, 2015

FLASH UPDATE: THE “SUNDAY OF HILLARY’S SHOCKING IOWA POLL” EDITION


ANYBODY THAT WATCHES THE SUNDAY MORNING NEWS SHOWS NOW KNOWS ABOUT THE “SHOCKER POLL” OR THE “SHOCKING NEWS” OUT OF IOWA  —   AND IT’S THAT BERNIE SANDERS IS CLOSING IN ON HILLARY CLINTON THERE

CBS NEWS/ FACE THE NATION ASKS,  “IS HILLARY CLINTON IN TROUBLE IN IOWA”  —   THE SANDERS’ VOTERS LOOK LIKE THE OBAMA VOTERS THAT BEAT HILLARY IN IOWA IN 2008  —  IF THIS WERE ONLY ONE MONTH OUT FROM THE IOWA PRIMARY, IT WOULD MEAN THAT BERNIE WOULD BE LIKELY TO WIN AND HILLARY LOSE  

THE GOOD NEWS FOR HILLARY RIGHT NOW IS THAT THE IOWA PRIMARY IS SEVERAL MONTHS AWAY & SHE HAS A CHANCE TO STOP THE BLEEDING, AND MAYBE EVEN TURN THINGS AROUND  

FOR HILLARY THIS IS THE END OF THE BEGINNING   —   AND THE BEGINNING HAS GONE VERY BADLY FOR HER 



All of the Sunday morning network news programs opened with the news of the “SHOCKER” Des Moines Register – Bloomberg News Poll that Hillary Clinton has crashed below 50% voter support at 37%, while Bernie Sanders has climbed to 30% among Iowa Democratic voters..

FACE THE NATION

For example,  here’s how the folks at CBS’ “Face The Nation” put it:   “A new Iowa poll out Saturday showed Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont's independent Senator, coming within seven points of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. But pollster Ann Selzer, the president of Selzer & Company, said it's not motivated by anti-Clinton sentiment....   ‘Her support is going a little bit into the not-sure category with people being sort of waiting there. But the Bernie Sanders vote it certainly getting stronger,’ Selzer said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday. ‘It isn't just that there's an anti-Clinton sentiment...When we ask Bernie Sander supporters is this because you align with Bernie Sanders, the person and his views, 96 percent say yes. Overwhelmingly, that's what they're up to.’...” ( See “Why Bernie Sanders is gaining on Hillary Clinton in Iowa” by Rebecca Kaplan, 8/30/15, CBS News/ Face the Nation [http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-hillary-clinton-in-trouble-in-iowa/]).  It’s buried in the link, but the “Face The Nation” crowd clearly is asking the question, “Is Hillary Clinton in trouble in Iowa ?”

According to Ann Selzer, the pollster interviewed by CBS for “Face the Nation” this might be more important than the headline story: “.... [Even though] Sanders might still be losing to Clinton overall, but he's up among people who say they will participate in the Iowa caucus for the first time, those who consider themselves independent, and people under 45....   ‘That's the Obama coalition. Those are the groups that he put together that surprised Hillary Clinton in 2008,’ she said....”


ABC THIS WEEK WITH .... [MARTHA RADDATZ] 

The coverage on ABC was little different.  Here’s how Martha Raddatz introduced the first segment of “This Week”:   “.... We begin with that shake-up in the 2016 race. A brand new poll coming in overnight from the critical state of Iowa, showing Senator Bernie Sanders closing in on Hillary Clinton....  It's your voice, your vote. And let's take a look at those numbers....
The biggest surprise is among Democrats. Clinton's lead now down to single digits, just 7 points ahead of Sanders. It's the first time she's dropped below 50 percent in "The Des Moines Register"/Bloomberg Poll this year....  We're taking on every twist and turn in the 2016 race this morning....”  (See “'This Week' Transcript: Sen. Bernie Sanders...” 8/30/15, ABC News/ This Week With [Martha Raddatz] [http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/week-transcript-sen-bernie-sanders-gov-bobby-jindal/story?id=33383476]).

What followed was an interview with candidate Bernie Sanders, “One on One.”  Of course, the questions to Sanders immediately turned to the most recent Iowa poll  —   “Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said today he does not know whether new poll numbers putting him within 7 percentage points of Hillary Clinton in Iowa mean her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is in trouble, but his campaign is ‘doing great.’...  ‘You know, it’s not just in Iowa. It’s in New Hampshire. It’s all across this country....I think people are responding to our message.’...   Sanders admitted that Clinton was ‘way ahead’ of him in terms of her support among Democratic Party and institutional leaders, but argued that many of them might still support him in the end....  ‘Democratic leaders are not dumb,’ said Sanders, the longest-serving independent member of Congress. ‘What they want and what I want is to make sure that we do not see a Republican gain control over the White House....  And I think as these look around the country and see the kind of energy and see the kind of huge turnouts we're getting, seeing the kind of young people who, for the first time, are getting involved in the political process ... I think what these leaders -- maybe not today but in a couple months -- will say, 'You know, we want to win.'...” ( See “Bernie Sanders: ‘People Are Responding to Our Message’” by Mary Alice Parks, 8/30/15, ABC News/ This Week
[http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/bernie-sanders-people-responding-message/story?id=33413601]).

Ms. Parks made this significant observation:  “....  In the Des Moines Register poll released Saturday night, an overwhelming percentage of Sanders' supporters –- 96 percent -- said they support him and his ideas, while just 2 percent said they were supporting him out of opposition to Clinton....  ‘They want a candidate who is not dependent upon super PACs, a candidate who is prepared to take on and overturn this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision,’ Sanders said....”

NBC – MEET THE PRESS – CHUCK TODD  —   THEY DID’NT BURY THE LEAD, BUT THEY DID BURY THE STORY  —   BUT SO DID FOX

Hillary was given a little cover for her poor Iowa polling by NBC’s “Meet The Press”; and , oddly enough "Fox News Sunday."

At the top of the “Meet The Press” show,  Chuck Todd introduced the news about the latest Iowa poll with this: “....  Plus the latest polls out of Iowa, where things stand this morning will surprise you....”  He came back to it shortly after a break, saying this: “Good Sunday morning. I've got a couple of shock poll results out of Iowa to start us off, from The Des Moines Register and Bloomberg. Check this out. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders has polled to within seven points of Hillary Clinton in Iowa. It is now 37-30, Clinton over Sanders, throw in Joe Biden, he sits at 14. Back in May, the same poll had Clinton leading Sanders by 41 points....” (See “Meet the Press Transcript” 8/30/15, NBC News/ Meet the Press [http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meet-press-transcript-august-30-2015-n418466]). Todd  then quickly shifted to a discussion of the Republicans in the same poll; he never returned to the story that was a top item on all the Sunday news shows  —  more important, he didn’t leave it open for commentary by the “Meet The Press” panel of reporters.

“Meet The Press” did several segments covering Republican candidates; and when it shifted back to the Democrats, it was a meandering comparison of the various positions of Clinton, O’Malley, Biden and Sanders.... Then there was a complete detour down memory lane for a retrospective about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina; and lastly, a very wonky discussion of the adequacy of field intelligence in the fight against ISIS/ISIL.

It wasn’t much different at Fox.  The show opened normally with this: “CHRIS WALLACE, HOST:  I'm Chris Wallace.  Donald Trump keeps rising in the polls as Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush slip and fight back....”  Then there was a taped segment showing Donald Trump, Jeb & Hillary on the campaign trail, followed by Chris Wallace’s description of the various segments on the show.

After the commercial break there was this: “WALLACE:  And hello again from Fox News in Washington....  Well, breaking news in the race for the White House, a new poll shows self-described socialist Bernie Sanders closing the gap on Hillary Clinton in Iowa.  The Des Moines Register poll shows Sanders now within seven points of Clinton among likely Iowa caucus goers.  Clinton has lost one-third of her support since May....”  (See “Exclusive: Gov. Christie talks 2016 campaign, calls Clinton a 'disgrace' [transcript]” 8/30/15, Fox News/ Transcript [http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/2015/08/30/exclusive-gov-christie-talks-2016-campaign-calls-clinton-disgrace/]). The details of the Des Moines Register-Bloomberg News poll were not discussed further by Wallace or by the Fox panel.

IF THE RECENT IOWA POLL NUMBERS HOLD UP FOR BERNIE SANDERS, EVEN FOR A LITTLE WHILE  —   EXPECT AN URGENT CALL FROM HILLARY’S  IOWA OPERATIVES TO HILLARY’S CADMAN PLAZA HEADQUARTERS: “BROOKLYN,  WE HAVE A PROBLEM”  —   CERTAINLY, THE 2015-2016 CAMPAIGN LOOKS LIKE IT HAS REACHED A NEW PHASE

As Churchill said after British forces first held and then were victorious at El Alamein, and the successful Allied invasions of Western North Africa in World War II  —   “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning....”

Hillary Clinton has time to stop the bleeding, rally the troops and press on.

She should be happy that this is the end of the beginning.  She seemed to have begun her campaign reluctantly with a series of failed roll-outs — then there’s been this six-months-long multi-faceted crisis for her and her campaign that’s been all about the official and private E-mails, on a private server and containing at least SOME very classified information, whether marked “CLASSIFIED” or not.

One way or another, this has not been a very good “BEGINNING” for Hillary or her 2015-2016 campaign for the presidency  —  she’ll be better off being done with it.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

One set of Huma Abedin E-Mails might be “The Rosetta Stone” for the whole Hillary Clinton E-mails caper


One of the reasons Hillary Clinton wanted to keep her communications secret from everybody while she was Secretary of State was to conceal a selling of access operation that went with her everywhere like a round-the-world floating crap game


One set of Huma Abedin’s E-mails showed how it all worked involving a small get together with Secretary of State Clinton in Dublin at the end of 2012



The Washington Post reports that “As Hillary Rodham Clinton was preparing for her farewell international trip as secretary of state, her close aide and confidante Huma Abedin e-mailed a small number of longtime political allies to help arrange an intimate get-together at a private club in Dublin....   ‘Maybe we can all gather for drinks/dinner and HRC can come join for as long as she can?’  Abedin wrote....  The December 2012 event showcased the unique position that Abedin occupied at the apex of the Clintons’ public and private worlds during the final six months of Hillary Clinton’s tenure heading the State Department....” ( See “How Huma Abedin operated at the center of the Clinton universe” by  Rosalind S. Helderman & Tom Hamburger 8/27/15, The Washington Post [http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-huma-abedin-operated-at-the-center-of-the-clinton-universe/2015/08/27/cd099eee-4b32-11e5-902f-39e9219e574b_story.html]).

The article by Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger also stated that “....  New interviews and documents, including the e-mails about the Ireland dinner, provide additional details about some of Abedin’s activities during those months and how her overlapping roles make it difficult to determine when she was working for the public and when her work was benefiting a private interest. Now, Abedin’s work during that time is becoming a central element in several controversies dogging Clinton’s presidential campaign....”


HUMA ABEDIN SIMULTANEOUSLY PERFORMED FOUR JOBS FOR MULTIPLE EMPLOYERS ARRANGING AN OPPORTUNITY FOR “DRINKS AND DINNER” WITH SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON

The article in the WaPo went on to say, “....  At the time [December 2012], Abedin held four jobs with four different employers — an arrangement allowed by a special government designation she held permitting outside employment. And each job had a connection to the Dublin dinner [for Hillary Clinton]....”

HERE ARE THE DETAILS ACCORDING TO THE WASHINGTON POST

The invitation itself had been sent from Ms. Abedin’s State Department account, while Secretary Clinton was making plans for an official trip in her role as the Secretary of State. The dinner was attended by the chief executive of the private consulting firm named “Teneo,” which has close ties to both Bill and Hillary Clinton, and which simultaneously employed Abedin as an adviser at the time. At the dinner were donors to Hillary Clinton’s campaigns as well as to the Clinton Foundation, where Abedin was also simultaneously functioning as contractor preparing for Hillary Clinton’s eventual transition to the charity. Lastly, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended the dinner in Dublin for about an hour, and at the time HRC was also paying Huma Abedin directly out of personal funds to prepare for her overall transition from Secretary of State to “private life.”

WHAT IT ALL MEANS

To critics, Huma Abedin is an avatar of concern as to whether Hillary Clinton ignored rules and customs expected of government officials while she served as the U.S. Secretary of State. They say Abedin, who was a political appointee, was not qualified for the “special government employee” treatment, which allowed her to simultaneously hold her additional jobs. The program was established in 1962 to bring private-sector experts into government for temporary assignments. It is reported that more than 100 people, many with expertise in niche areas of science and global affairs, receive the special status from the State Department each year.

Congressional oversight committees as well as several citizen lawsuits are looking into the details of Huma Abedin’s complicated work/employment arrangements, and the likelihood of conflicts of interest and multiple payments for identical work.

ABC NEWS DOES SIMILAR REPORT ABOUT HILLARY CLINTON AIDE HUMA ABEDIN 

According to the report posted on the ABC News web, “Newly released e-mails offer a glimpse into Hillary Clinton confidant and personal aide Huma Abedin, who is facing growing scrutiny for her “special government employee” status inside the U.S. State Department while Clinton was in her final year as Secretary of State....  Some have alleged that Abedin used her ties to Clinton to improperly exert influence for the benefit of her [other] bosses. No evidence has been presented publicly, however and Abedin has not been charged with any crime or formally accused of violating government policy....”  (See “What's Inside The Just Released Huma Abedin State Department Emails” by Arlett Saenz & Benjamin Siegel, 8/27/15, ABC News
[http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/inside-released-huma-abedin-state-department-emails/story?id=33365469]).

The Main Stream Media, Fox News and the whole pro-“Illegals"-Hispanic Crowd think that they have Donald Trump Surrounded — Let’s see what the GOP’s most popular candidate for President does next

What all those opposed to Trump missed is that a huge chunk of America and the Republican Party probably loved what Donald Trump did to Jorge Ramos of Univision at Trump's Tuesday press conference

Last night, Megyn Kelly was all love and lolly pops during her interview with Univision’s Jorge Ramos  —   She didn’t even confront him when he mis-characterized what happened at Donald Trump's news conference     Look for the blogs to back Trump and bash Fox News


A Google search for “Donald Trump News” at around midnight EDT Wednesday-into-Thursday would have showed you how one-sided the coverage of the Donald Trump-Jorge Ramos press conference flap really is. In particular, please note the following:
“....  Donald Trump Gets Earful in Spanish as Latino Outlets Air Disdain
New York Times - 4 hours ago –  Many Spanish-language news outlets no longer pretend to objectively cover Mr. Trump, who ...

Univision's CEO just ripped into Donald Trump –  Business Insider - 3 hours ago
( See See: “Donald Trump News” search, 8/26/15, Google [https://www.google.com/search?q=Donald+Trump+News&oq=Donald+Trump+News+&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l2j69i65j0l2.20522j0j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8];  for several additional similar links, see also [https://www.google.com/search?q=Donald+Trump+News&oq=Donald+Trump+News+&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l2j69i65j0l2.20522j0j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8#q=Donald+Trump+News&tbm=nws]).

FOX NEWS AND MEGYN KELLY DO THEIR “FAIR AND BALANCED” NUMBER ON THE TRUMPSTER  —   SHE DID AN  INTERVIEW WITH JORGE RAMOS AS IF HE WERE A REAL NEWSMAN WORKING FOR A REAL NEWS ORGANIZATION  —  AND SHE SAID THAT MAKING THE SPEECHES LIKE HE WAS DOING AT TRUMPS NEWS CONFERENCE WAS A COMMON PRACTICE FOR NEWS PEOPLE

By tomorrow morning, the conservative and further right-wing blogs will all be flipped-out about Megyn Kelly’s interview with Jorge Ramos of Univision.  Already, I’ve seen several describing Ms. Kelly’s questioning as “cream puff” and “Pattycake,” and the questions to Jorge Ramos as “soft balls.”

As someone who saw the segment, I completely agree. Furthermore, she did nothing to correct Mr. Ramos’ distorted description of what went on between Mr. Trump and him.  Also, I think Kelly again showed that she likes getting a few quick kidney punches in on “The Donald” when she can get away with it  —  for example, she volunteered that many newsmen often jump into the questioning the way that Ramos did.  Only later in her program with other guests like Ann Coulter and Dana Perino did Megyn Kelly allow that Jorge Ramos was using the Trump presser as a soapbox for Univision’s Pro-Illegals position on the whole issue of Illegal Immigration.

EVERYBODY SEEMS TO HAVE MISSED THE NEWS  —  LOTS OF PEOPLE LIKE TRUMP AND HIS POLITICAL STAR CONTINUES TO RISE

According to a report appearing in the Breitbart News,  Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner, hit the 40 percent marker in a recent poll. According to the Breitbart report, this is the first time a candidate has reached above the 30 percent mark (See “POLL: DONALD TRUMP SETS RECORD, HITS 40 PERCENT IN NEW POLL” by Alex Swoyer, 8/26/15, Breitbart News
[http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/26/poll-donald-trump-sets-record-hits-40-percent-in-new-poll/]).

Breitbart gave these details about the poll:   “....   The [Gravis Marketing] poll surveyed 3,567 voters randomly across the United States. It had a margin of error of plus or minus two percent and was conducted August 21-22. Since the previous survey done by Gravis Marketing on July 31, Trump increased almost 10 points. Dr. Ben Carson increased 7 points and was named the winner in a Post GOP Debate Poll....   Trump, Carson, and Fiorina three of the top five GOP presidential candidates, have never held office....”

Monday, August 24, 2015

Is Hillary Clinton getting close to her “Sell By” date ? ? ?


The center of gravity for the Hillary Clinton campaign for President is reaching a tipping point —   some might say it’s already there 

Hillary was even convinced to cut her “VACATION” short  —   In order to start working on a “Fire Wall” in Ohio  —   Just the way she did in 2008 against Barack Obama  —   Hmmmm !



In the hustle and bustle of all the things raining down on Hillary Clinton’s head last week  —   a week that some thought ranked up there as “Hillary Clinton’s Worst Week Ever” with losing the nomination to Obama in 2008 and hearing that Monica still had her blue dress  —   I think I missed something that really needed reporting.  If this were posted as a “Comment,” it would either be marked “UPDATE & BACKFILL”  —   Or possibly, just “BACKFILL.”

WALL STREET MELT-DOWN DOESN'T  STOP FINANCIAL PAPER FROM WRITING ABOUT HILLARY CLINTON'S OWN CAMPAIGN LET-DOWN

Even on a day when the big news was the world-wide financial melt-down, one international finance journal was still talking about Hillary Clinton’s faltering campaign for President.  According to Martin Matishak of “The Fiscal Times” —    “The ongoing din over Hillary Clinton’s use of private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State has grown so loud that Democratic Party stalwarts have begun to openly wonder whether she will even be their nominee next year, something unthinkable just a few short months ago....”  ( See “Democrats Are Openly Speculating About an Election without Hillary Clinton” by Martin Matishak, 8/24/15, The Fiscal Times [http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/08/24/Democrats-Are-Openly-Speculating-About-Election-without-Hillary-Clinton]).

That article went on to say this: “....  Buzz about a [V.P. Joseph] Biden presidential run has increased in recent weeks, as questions over Clinton’s personal server continue to haunt her candidacy. Numerous surveys show she has lost ground in several key battleground states [tonight a poll showed HRC slipping behind Jeb Bush in Michigan, with Donald Trump close behind nipping at her heels]....”   And  “....  [Mean]while the vice president’s numbers among core Democratic constituencies have risen....”

CANDIDATE MARTIN O’MALLEY SAYS HILLARY’S E-MAILS AND PRIVATE SERVER ARE LEGITIMATE ISSUES FOR THE GOP AND THE MEDIA

Another devastating item in the Fiscal Times article involved Democratic Presidential candidate Martin O’Malley.  According to the Maishak-Fiscal Times piece, cited above,  “....  [F]ormer Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is running against Clinton but whose polls numbers have been stuck in the single digits, said the GOP and the media are right to ask the former secretary of state about her email arrangement....   ‘So long as our Democratic Party is not talking about the issues that matter most around the kitchen table, the only question that will be asked every day, and it’s a legitimate question, by media people like yourself, or by the Republicans, are questions about Hillary Clinton's emails,’ O’Malley said on ABC’s This Week....  ‘Those are questions that I will leave to her and to her lawyers to answer,” he added. ‘But as a party, we need to wake up and we need to have start having debates about the issues that really matter....’ ”   [The O’Malley comments, mentioned herein immediately above were previously discussed on this blog yesterday in a thread to a post below (See my 8/23/15 comment,  “UPDATE: THE “ONCE IN A BLUE MOON COMMENT ABOUT A CBS COMMENTARY” EDITION” to my 8/22/15 post, “THE LATEST HILLARY CLINTON "ROLL-OUT" A NEW THREE-PRONG STRATEGY TO GET PAST THE E-MAILS ISSUE”]

IS HILLARY CLINTON’S 2016 CAMPAIGN ACTUALLY DYING BEFORE OUR VERY EYES ? ? ?

Last Thursday, Wesley Pruden at the Washington Tomes said this : “Hillary Clinton may think those creatures making wide, gentle circles over her campaign are bluebirds of happiness, but they’re looking more and more like buzzards. They look hungry...."  (See “The birds circling over Hillary Clinton” by Wesley Pruden, 8/20/15, The Washington Times [http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/20/wesley-pruden-hillary-clintons-dying-campaign/]).


IS THE FBI ABOUT TO MAKE IT’S “SECURITY INVESTIGATION” INTO HILLARY CLINTON’S E-MAILS AND PRIVATE SERVER INTO A “CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION” ?

The most important single item in Wesley Pruden’s long and detailed analysis of Hillary Clinton’s deepening crisis over her E-mails is this:  “.... [T]he FBI is investigating more than a security situation, defined as a simple matter of learning whether classified information leaked from the State Department when she was the secretary of State, and if so, who it was leaked to. National Public Radio, which usually feeds only the bluebirds of Democratic happiness, reports that it learned from “two lawyers familiar with the inquiry” that a formal criminal investigation is under consideration, presumably at the Justice Department, and it could happen ‘soon.’...   Hillary might not be the first target. She can always find somebody else to throw under the bus or feed to the alligators....”

According to the report of that on the NPR web page, “For now, federal authorities characterize the Justice Department inquiry into Hillary Clinton's private email server as a security situation: a simple matter of finding out whether classified information leaked out during her tenure as secretary of state, and where it went....  Except, former government officials said, that's not going to be so simple....   ‘I think that the FBI will be moving with all deliberate speed to determine whether there were serious breaches of national security here,’ said Ron Hosko, who used to lead the FBI's criminal investigative division....”  (See “Government Inquiry Into Clinton Emails Likely To Widen” by  Carrie Johnson, 8/19/15,  NPR/ npr.org [http://www.npr.org/2015/08/19/432908987/government-inquiry-into-clinton-emails-likely-to-widen]).

The NPR article also said this: “....   Two lawyers familiar with the inquiry told NPR that a formal criminal investigation is under consideration and could happen soon — although they caution that Clinton herself may not be the target....”


FOR THE CLINTON FOLKS, IT'S LIKE THEY ARE ALREADY MAKING THEIR PITCH TO A JURY  —   BUT JUST WHAT KIND OF JURY WILL BE HEARING THIS ? ? ?  

According to NPR, “....  The Clinton campaign maintains that Clinton did nothing wrong, that the government inquiry would not move beyond a ‘security-related review’ and points a finger at a ‘culture of classification’ within the intelligence community....  "She was at worst a passive recipient of unwitting information that subsequently became deemed as classified," said Brian Fallon, Clinton campaign press secretary, in a conference call Wednesday with reporters, per NPR's Tamara Keith. "When it comes to classified information, the standards are not at all black and white, and in the absence of markings that officially designate something classified, reasonable people each taking their responsibilities extremely seriously, can nonetheless disagree on the character of the information they are dealing with — and both could be completely justified in that perspective....”

THE NPR ARTICLE CONCLUDED WITH THIS

“....   As the campaign intensifies, the FBI and its director, James Comey, will be operating in an environment filled with political sensitivity. But it won't be the first time....   ‘The FBI won't be ignorant to the political realities,...  but they have a job to do, they know that job, they've done it before, they will do it here.’...”

Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Campaign can’t take comfort in any part of that.


HILLARY’S CAMPAIGN PROS KNOW THAT THEY HAVE BIG  PROBLEMS  —   THEY ARE ALREADY SETTING UP “FIRE WALLS” IN PLACES LIKE OHIO

Not long ago it was announced that HRC would cut short her “vacation” in the Hamptons and get back on tothe campaign trail.   According to a local Ohio blog,  “Hillary Clinton will lead a grassroots organizing rally Thursday morning at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland....   [The] event, which is open to the public, will be the Democratic presidential candidate's first official political visit to Ohio since announcing her candidacy in April....  ‘During the event, Clinton and volunteers will be asking supporters to fill out a “Commit to Vote” card, pledging to vote for Hillary in the Ohio primary next year,’ her campaign said Monday in an advisory confirming details of the visit....”  (See “Hillary Clinton will campaign Thursday at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland” by  Henry J. Gomez, 8/24/15,  Northeast Ohio Media Group [http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2015/08/hillary_clinton_will_campaign.html]).

According to the report,   “....   The trip has been on Clinton's schedule since early August. But it comes as she faces more questions about her private email server and as speculation swirls about Vice President Joe Biden's possible candidacy....   A recent Quinnipiac University poll shows Clinton leading all challengers in the Buckeye State. But her numbers have dropped. Sixty percent of all voters surveyed said they don't find her "honest and trustworthy," up from 53 percent in June. And a majority -- 54 percent -- have an unfavorable opinion of Clinton....   Ohio was a big firewall for Clinton in her 2008 race for the Democratic presidential nomination, giving her a big win over Barack Obama at a crucial point....”

BTW, how did that one turn out for good old Hillzy ?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

THE LATEST HILLARY CLINTON "ROLL-OUT" A NEW THREE-PRONG STRATEGY TO GET PAST THE E-MAILS ISSUE


TEAM CLINTON IS TELLING HILLARY’S CLOSEST INSIDERS, SUPPORTERS AND FRIENDS IN THE MEDIA THAT IT IS ROLLING-OUT A NEW E-MAIL STRATEGY  —  A THREE-PRONG APPROACH, WHICH IGNORES HILLARY'S PROBLEM E-MAILS AND HER PRIVATE SERVER

CLINTON STRATEGY IS POINTED TOWARD THE OCTOBER 22nd BENGHAZI HEARINGS  —   ONCE THAT EVENT PASSES BOTH E-MAILS & BENGHAZI WILL QUICKLY BECOME OLD NEWS    AT LEAST,  THAT'S THE CLINTON TEAM'S THINKING


EARLY ATTEMPTS AT CLINTON’S “NEW STRATEGY” ARE QUICKLY REBUFFED 



THE DAILY CALLER ARTICLE  —  CRITICAL AND MORALISTIC

According to a report in the “Daily Caller” —   “The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign is developing a three-pronged strategy to help the Democrat recover from the growing controversy surrounding her emails and her private server. But none of the pieces of that multi-part pushback plan [...] appear to involve the Democrat actually explaining why she used a private server, when she wiped it clean, and why she did so....  Clinton is making even her most loyal supporters nervous over her response to the scandal. Not only has she had to back-pedal on several of her claims — about having turned over all of her work-related emails and about handling classified information — she’s also made two jokes dismissing the the ongoing investigation....”
( See “Clinton’s New Three-Pronged Strategy To Respond To Email Scandal Doesn’t Even Address Emails, Server” by Chuck Ross, 8/21/2015, The Daily Caller [http://dailycaller.com/2015/08/21/clintons-new-three-pronged-strategy-to-respond-to-email-scandal-doesnt-even-address-emails-server/]).


THE HUFFINGTON POST COVERAGE OF THE MATERIAL WAS MORE TRANSACTIONAL AND WONKY THAN THE DAILY CALLER’S MORALISTIC SCOLDING

The basic information in the Daily Caller report, cited above, originated in the Huffington Post, whose underlying article had taken an entirely different tack.

The Huff-Po article by Sam Stein noted that  —   “....  For the past few months, Clinton has been unable to shake criticism over her email habits as secretary of state. Her self-admitted regret over operating solely from a private account was compounded by ethical questions about the arrangement and revelations about its vulnerabilities. An awkward press conference here, reports of confidential information exposure there, and voila: A seemingly shoo-in Democratic nominee has lost a fair bit of her luster over the course of a summer....   On the periphery of the campaign, the faint lines of anxiety are getting bolder. Clinton confidantes, mostly speaking anonymously for fear of alienating the candidate, described the entire episode as ‘self-destructive’ and ‘baffling.’ The few willing to attach their names to the quotes are only slightly more filtered. ‘It’s tone deaf,’ said former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, referring to the campaign’s decision this week to dismiss the email controversy with a quip about SnapChat. ‘Can you imagine making a joke about this in the middle of it all?’...” (See “The Clinton Campaign Is In 'The Barrel.' They Have A Plan To Get Out.” by Sam Stein. 8/21/15, The Huffington Post [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-clinton-campaign-is-in-the-barrel-they-have-a-plan-to-get-out_55d76df0e4b08cd3359c0858?2ihpvi]).

Stein goes on with this description of the calmer insiders: “....  A few steps in from the periphery, the mood is calmer. Aides and advisers argue that the saga is overblown. They say it's the product of confusion over byzantine classification processes; a campaign where she's targeted by all 16 Republicans and several Democrats; and the sui generis nature of being a Clinton. More than one compared the email scandal to Whitewater, the real estate controversy that plagued the Clintons in the early '90s and led to large legal bills but not lasting political damage....  ‘I wish this hadn’t happened,’ said one longtime adviser, ‘but it goes with Clinton Inc.’...”

To get in front of [expected bad E-mail headlines in the future], the Clinton campaign is plotting a three-pronged pushback strategy. The first, described by communications director Jennifer Palmieri in an interview with The Huffington Post, is an end-of-summer effort to educate the public on the classification process for national security material. The second, coming when Congress returns from recess, is to aggressively pivot to policy announcements, from economic and women's issues to President Barack Obama's Iran deal, which will receive a vote in September. The last is to ‘go on offense’ on Clinton's record as secretary of state, which the campaign sees as the ultimate target of her Republican critics....”


THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN EXPECTS THAT IT WILL ALL COME DOWN TO HILLARY CLINTON’S QUESTIONING BY THE HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON BENGHAZI

The Stein-HuffPo article says that —   “....   In attempting to soothe jittery Democrats, aides have begun highlighting Oct. 22 as a moment that could bring clarity -- if not some finality -- to the email story. Clinton will head to Capitol Hill that day for testimony before the House committee investigating the 2011 consulate attack in Benghazi. And the presumption that she'll do well under questioning is matched only by the conviction that House Republicans will grow over-eager under the camera lights....  ‘It will be the best day of the campaign,’ said Steve Elmendorf, a longtime Democratic operative, lobbyist and Clinton confidante. ‘They will overreach. That's what they do.’...”


E-MAILS & BENGHAZI NOT SEEN AS AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT BY CLINTON INSIDERS

According to Sam Stein, “....  Clinton's team doesn't see these issues, even collectively, as amounting to an existential threat. Instead, it is adopting the mantra that election strategy can't be dictated by surrounding theatrics....  In this mindset, the campaign is joined by veterans of successful presidential runs of the past. David Axelrod, who alongside Plouffe helped Obama get elected, described what they called life in the barrel: the all-consuming moment in every campaign that is more noise than crisis point....  Clinton, Axelrod added, needed to take a long view. ‘You can't get wrapped up in the meme of the moment but you can’t ignore it either,’ he concluded. ‘I think she is in a very strong position, and my guess is there isn’t a candidate around who wouldn’t change places with her right now with whatever freight she is carrying.’ ”


THE DAILY CALLER ARTICLE, CITED ABOVE, ALSO DESCRIBED TWO OF FRIDAY’S E-MAIL-RELATED  ITEMS AS PREVIEWS OF HILLARY’S TEAMS NEWEST TACTICS ON THE E-MAILS FRONT — BOTH TURNED OUT TO BE CONTROVERSIAL AND RECEIVED QUICK PUSHBACK 

According to the Chuck Ross article in the “Daily Caller”  —   “....  As an apparent preview of her plan to educate the public about how classified information is handled by the federal government, Clinton sent a tweet Friday morning lamenting the federal government’s ‘ridiculous classification rules,’ which she said are ‘the real problem.’...   Later in the day, Clinton’s campaign press secretary Brian Fallon posted a video in which he responded to some of the claims circulating about Clinton’s handling of classified information....”

Both Clinton Team forays were quickly rebuffed by events in the form of pushback.  Hillary’s tweet was pounced-upon by the U.S. Intelligence Community and the U.S. Military; and Brian Fallon’s video was critiqued and rebutted by Fox News’ Catherine Herridge.


HILLARY TWEETS THAT IT’S “THE RULES” THAT ARE THE PROBLEM — NOT HER E-MAILS OR SERVER  —   THE MILITARY & INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY QUICKLY LASH BACK AT HILLARY’S TWEET

According to another report in the “Daily Caller” [not the one cited above], “Former intelligence and military officials were swift to reply Friday to Hillary Clinton’s contention that government over-classification of materials are “the real problem,” not her use of an unsecured private email server to conduct official business during her four years as secretary of state....    ‘Our ridiculous classification rules’ are ‘the real problem,’ she tweeted this morning, quoting a former Justice Department official....  Senior military and intelligence officials immediately fired back....  ‘It’s not up to her to decide what level it’s classified at. It’s up to her to obey the law, and clearly she did not.’...” (See “Intel, Military Officials Fire Back At Hillary’s Over-Classification Tweet” by  Richard Pollock,  8/21/15, The Daily Caller [http://dailycaller.com/2015/08/21/intel-military-fire-back-at-hillarys-over-classification-tweet/]).


CATHERIN HERRIDGE & FOX NEWS SAY THEIR WORK WAS MISUSED AND DISHONESTLY PRESENTED BY BRIAN FALLON’S E-MAIL PRESENTATION 

Last night Catherine Herridge appeared with Martha MacCallum and discussed how Brian Fallon had mis-portrayed a report that Ms Herridge had done on Fox News. In addition, the newswoman pointed out that markings -- “NOT CLASSIFIED” –  on certain E-mails, used as examples by Mr. Fallon, were not on the original documents, but had been added when they were released to the congressional committee that had requested them. The marking “NOT CLASSIFIED” had nothing to do with the documents’ original classification status.

Friday, August 21, 2015

IT'S HILLARY CLINTON THAT NEEDS THE “GAME-CHANGER” And this ain’t it — It looks like it’s a lot more of the same — but it's important becuase it is a Newsday Editorial


NEWSDAY  –  you know, that bastion of the great right-wing conspiracy  – TELLS  HRC THAT SHE HAS TO TAKE THE E-MAILS  >>> “SCANDAL” <<<  SERIOUSLY AND ADDRESS IT

To make it’s point, Newsday seems to find an awful lot to fault with former Secretary of State Clinton  —  concerning her handling of the E-mails themselves

“[W]hen it comes to the email and server scandal, it's not politics. It's [Hillary Clinton's] likely inappropriate behavior.”                                                                                                                  Newsday Editorial




Here’s something from a brand new opinion piece taken from a source that I seldom quote on  this blog  —  Newsweek:  “For months Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has responded to her email scandal by treating it as both a joke and as an overblown partisan political attack....  In fact, it is neither, and her continued minimizing of the situation is looking worse and worse the longer it goes on....
Federal Judge Emmet G. Sullivan blew a hole in Clinton's narrative on Thursday when he said she did not conform to State Department rules in her use of a personal email account as Secretary of State.  The statement came at a hearing over a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department Involving Huma Abedin, a Clinton adviser who was allowed to work simultaneously for both the government and as a consultant to private firms....” ( See “Hillary Clinton needs to start taking her email scandal seriously” by Lane Fuller, 8/21/15
Newsday [http://www.newsday.com/opinion/hillary-clinton-s-email-scandal-isn-t-a-joke-1.10762067]).

[Needless to say, if you were a studious follower of my blog, right here at this “...same Bat-Station...”; you would have been completely up-to-date on all that stuff — but enough about me and my blog.]


NEWSDAY’S WRITER/EDITOR RAISES SOME POINTS TO MAKE A POINT

Lane Fuller goes on to point out that “....   The larger issue is Clinton's use of a personal email account and server to conduct government business, some of which may have been classified. Which is to say that Clinton says none of them was ever classified ...  and government officials involved in the investigation who've been looking at the emails say some of them were....”

And also this: “....   Clinton has claimed her conduct complied with State Department rules and policies, but that isn't the case. To protect classified information and make sure historic archives are complete, such emails were required to be dealt with on government devices and preserved in the agency's record-keeping system....”

And let’s not forget this: “....  And she also erased 30,000 "personal" emails before turning another 30,000 to the government that she says are work-related. How will we ever know what was in those personal emails? It remains to be seen what can or will be retrieved, but in the meantime we're being asked to simply trust that they were personal....”

NEWSDAY’S CONCLUSION

Even though I clearly think that “Benghazi” and all that it means  is a very big deal  — Lane Fuller at Newsday isn’t of the same mind.  But look at what he does say on behalf of those at Newsday:   “...  When it comes to the endless and fruitless Benghazi investigations, [Hillary Clinton is] right. It is about politics. She didn't want anyone to die, or negligently cause anyone to die. But when it comes to the email and server scandal, it's not politics. It's her likely inappropriate behavior....   Judge Sullivan put it best when he said, ‘We wouldn't be here today if this employee had followed government policy.’...”

_______________________

Lane Filler is a member of the Newsday editorial board.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Glenn Nocera trial balloon is not a signal for a happy Brooklyn GOP for most observers — regardless of whether they are for or against the current Chairman, Craig Eaton


The article that appeared yesterday in the “Kings County Politics” blog says  —   “....  Glenn Nocera announced [ ] that he is seriously considering taking on Kings County Republican Chair Craig Eaton for the party’s reins at next month’s reorganizational meeting....”



According to the “Kings County Politics” blogs,  “Seeking to invigorate Brooklyn’s fractured GOP,  Glenn Nocera announced yesterday that he is seriously considering taking on Kings County Republican Chair Craig Eaton for the party’s reins at next month’s reorganizational meeting....  Nocera, a lifelong Kensington resident, chairs the Brooklyn Young Republican Club, is its’ former president, and is the Republican District Leader for the 44th Assembly district. He ran unsuccessfully against Dov Hikind for the assembly seat in 1998, and against Kevin Parker for the state senate in 2008....”  ( See “Brooklyn GOP Leadership Struggle: Nocera Challenges Eaton For County Chair” by ? ? ?,  8/18/15, Kings County Politics [http://www.kingscountypolitics.com/brooklyn-gop-leadership-scrum-nocera-challenges-eaton-for-county-chair/]).

Based on sources close to the newly announced prospective Kings County Republican Party Chairman, Glenn Nocera specifically timed his announcement to come out on the “Kings County Politics” blog prior to the monthly meeting of the Kings County Republican Executive Committee meeting.  To be certain that the matter would be an item of discussion at the meeting, Nocera himself placed strategic phone calls to certain individuals that he felt would be likely to attend the meeting.


EARLY REPORTS FROM THE FIELD INDICATE LITTLE INITIAL DIRECT SUPPORT FOR NOCERA

Reports back from the Executive Committee meeting indicated that -- for the most part, Nocera's announcement was not taken seriously.  Even some of the 44th A.D. members at the Executive Committee meeting  were somewhat dismissive of Nocera's opening gambit.

In addition, one of Brooklyn's more venerable political consultants said that his inquiries indicated that the Golden faction was neither behind the Nocera announcement nor ultimately likely to be supportive of his candidacy.


THE REAL AGENDA OF GLENN NOCERA  —   IT'S NOT QUITE CLEAR

Glenn Nocera had told me before either last night’s Executive Committee meeting or the post that appeared in the “Kings County Politics” blog, that his run against Eaton would be contingent upon the ABSENCE of any other challenger to Eaton that Nocera believed might be in a better position to win the chairmanship of the party.

An interesting proposition for Glenn was the possibility of backing Lucretia Regina-Potter, a State Committee Member in the 46th A.D.; however when he had last the matter with her, she had insisted that Arnaldo Ferraro, former member of the NYS Assembly, former Member of the GOP State Committee, Executive Vice Chairman of the KCRP and  founder of the Fiorello LaGuardia Club had to be the next County Chairman for the La Guardia Club to back the effort.

Inasmuch as Glenn Nocera has long been associated with Gerry Kassar (???) and the GOP faction backed by State Senator Marty Golden, I asked Nocera if he had the support of any of them.  He was evasive on the point, but he said to me that they knew what he was doing and that nobody had told him that they were opposing him.

During a conversation earlier today (Wednesday), Glenn Nocera specifically noted that he considered former mayoral candidate and Brooklyn Republican, Joseph Lhotta, a person who could lead the Brooklyn GOP.  Nocera also mentioned that he had conversations about Lhotta’s being the Kings County Republican Chairman at various times.  Nocera, stated that if Lhotta’s name were to be put forward at almost any stage of the proceedings to select the GOP chairman for 2015-2016, Nocera would be likely to support him —  even if Nocera’s own name was being considered at the time. When I asked Glenn if he was a stalking-horse for Joe Lhotta, Glenn said that he was never asked to do that and he didn’t consider himself a stalking-horse for any other candidate, named or un-named.

My recent prior conversations with Chairman Craig Eaton indicated that he believes that he has the support of many members of the County Committee, just like he did in 2013.  He expects that number to climb on Primary Day and in the days before the 2015 GOP County Convention, as a result, he is relatively confident that he will be re-elected to another term as GOP County Chairman.

I have sought a comment from Eaton about the Nocera announcement; however, Mr. Eaton has not been available to be interviewed on that issue since the announcement.


MY "DISCLAIMER"  —  OF SORTS

Although I don’t support Glenn Nocera at this time, I believe that he has the requisite GOP  background to run for County Chairman. On the other hand, although I have been an often-time critic of Chairman Craig Eaton, he does articulate several legitimate arguments for continuing to allow him to operate as the CEO of the KCRP.

__________________

End Note: A former BSI contributor to this blog claimed authorship of an article concerning the Brooklyn GOP Chairmanship, indicating that the former BSI’s  impersonator “Galewyn Massey” had written the article....  My conversations with Glenn Nocera indicated that the most likely author of the blog piece in the “Kings County Politics,” cited in my post above, was Steve Witt, without any apparent contribution by any former BSI contributors of my blog.

FLASH UPDATE: THE "HUMA ABEDIN BREAKS BACK INTO THE HEADLINES” EDITION


E-MAILS BY HILLARY CLINTON AIDES  >>>  HUMA ABEDIN AND JAKE SULLIVAN  <<<  TRIGGERED FBI PROBE

IS THE SECURITY LAPSE ASPECT OF THE E-MAILS SCANDAL BEING STEERED TOWARD HUMA ? ? ?


According to reports in Newsmax and other sources, FOX NEWS has reported that,  “....  [E-] mails from Clinton adviser Huma Abedin and aide Jake Sullivan passed through Clinton's private email server. The messages were about military intelligence information a year before the 2012 Benghazi attack, and about the aftermath of the Benghazi attack....  Fox News reports that it confirmed via the intelligence community inspector general the material in the emails was classified when it was sent....” (See “Report: Email by Hillary Aide Huma Abedin Triggered FBI Inquiry” by Jason Devaney, 8/19/15, Newsmax [http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/huma-abedin-hillary-emails-fbi/2015/08/19/id/670827/]). The original scoop on this story, belongs to Catherine Herridge at FOX News (See “Classified emails from Clinton aides kick-started FBI probe, candidate downplays controversy” by Catherine Herridge, 8/19/15, Fox New/ FoxNews.com [http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/08/19/sensitive-emails-from-clinton-aides-kick-started-fbi-probe-candidate-downplays/]).


THE NEWSMAX REPORT

The Devaney-Newmax article says that the  “[t]wo emails containing classified information from two people in Hillary Clinton's inner circle jump-started the FBI investigation into her use of a private email setup during her time as secretary of state, according to a new report....  Fox News reports that it confirmed via the intelligence community inspector general the material in the emails was classified when it was sent....  Both Abedin and Sullivan are working on Clinton's presidential campaign....”

At this point, it might be fair to ask if the security breach part of this investigation concerning Hillary Clinton’s E-mails might legitimately laid at the door of Huma Abedin, the very close personal aide to Hillary Clinton.  Or, alternatively, one could ask whether this investigation is being steered by somebody in the direction of Huma.


THE FOX NEWS REPORT

According to the Herridge-Fox News report, “An email from a top Clinton adviser containing classified military intelligence information, and one from a top aide containing classified information about the Benghazi terror attack, were the documents that kick-started the FBI investigation into the mishandling of classified information, Fox News has learned....  The emails, among thousands on Hillary Clinton's personal server, were released to the Benghazi select committee in May and have been widely discussed but Fox News for the first time has identified which Clinton aides sent them and the subject matter....  The revelation came as the Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of state tried to brush aside the burgeoning scandal....”

The Fox report goes on to state this: “....   Fox News has identified two of the Benghazi-related emails on the server that were deemed to contain classified information at the time they were sent....   The first was forwarded by Clinton adviser Huma Abedin and contained classified material from military intelligence sources. The 2011 email forwards a warning about how then-Ambassador Chris Stevens was "considering departure from Benghazi" amid deteriorating conditions in a nearby city. The email was mistakenly released by the State Department in full, and is now considered declassified....  The second was sent by Clinton aide Jake Sullivan and contained classified information as well as sensitive law enforcement information on Benghazi. The partly redacted November 2012 email detailed how Libyan police had arrested "several people" with potential connections to the terror attack....   Abedin and Sullivan now work for the Clinton presidential campaign. A spokeswoman for the intelligence community inspector general confirmed to Fox News that the information was classified at the time it was sent....”

FOX REPORT ALSO INCLUDES THE CLINTON TEAM PUSH-BACK

Part of the Catherine Herridge feature is the following:  “....Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon says the information was not classified at the time the emails were sent. In maintaining this position, the campaign pointed to the fact that the State Department shared this judgment, as the Abedin email was released in full by the State Department on its FOIA website. The campaign spokesman acknowledged there is disagreement with the intelligence community inspector general...  A State Department spokesman said they shared Fallon's stance....  The emails are now just a fraction of those under review by the intelligence community. On Tuesday, while Clinton joked about her server's apparently missing contents, Fox News has learned the FBI is aggressively trying to recover the data....”

Monday, August 17, 2015

FLASH UPDATE: THE “CASCADING E-MAILS PROBLEMS ARE FLOODING THE HILLARY CLINTON TEAM & CAMPAIGN” EDITION


THREE HUNDRED (300) E-MAILS FLAGGED FOR CLASSIFICATION REVIEW   —   THUMB DRIVES WITH HILLARY’S E-MAILS CLIMBS TO THREE (3)  —  HAD THEY BEEN IN POSSESSION/CONTROL  OF UN-AUTHORIZED PERSON  —   HILLARY’S I-T CONTRACTOR NOT AUTHORIZED TO HANDLE “CLASSIFIED” DATA  —   HILLARY’S I-T CONTRACTOR INDICATES THAT ALL E-MAILS MIGHT HAVE BEEN PUT ON A BACK-UP SERVER


STATE DEPARTMENT REPORTS TO FEDERAL COURT THAT THREE HUNDRED (300) HILLARY CLINTON E-MAILS HAVE BEEN FLAGGED FOR REVIEW FOR CONTAINING “CLASSIFIED” MATERIAL



POSSIBLY “CLASSIFIED” E-MAILS REACHES 300 ACCORDING TO STATE DEPARTMENT LETTER TO COURT

According to a report by Politico,  “Intelligence agencies are pushing forward with their reviews of emails from Hillary Clinton’s personal account that might contain classified information, while a top Republican lawmaker is questioningwhether Clinton’s personal attorney had the proper clearances to handle material deemed ‘TOP SECRET.’...   The intelligence agencies flagged 300 emails that warrant further scrutiny, according to a court filing the State Department made to explain to U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras why it is taking so long to make the emails public under the Freedom of Information act....” ( See “300 Hillary Clinton emails screened for classified info” by Josh Gerstein,  8/17/15,  Politico  [http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/hillary-clinton-emails-300-screened-121438.html]).

Politico provided these additional observations about the likely scale of E-mails to be reviewed:  “....   The new figure of 300 warranting further scrutiny.suggests [sic] that by the time officials finish wading through the roughly 30,000 emails the former secretary of state returned to her agency last year, about 1,500 are likely to be referred to intelligence agencies to see if they contain national security secrets....  ‘Out of a sample of approximately 20% of the Clinton emails, the [Intelligence Community] reviewers have only recommended 305 documents — approximately 5.1% — for referral to their agencies for consultation,’ Justice Department lawyer Robert Prince wrote in a court filing [ to U.S.D.J.  Contreras] related to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Vice News....”


LEADING SENATOR QUESTION HRC’S LAWYER ABOUT QUESTIONABLE HANDLING OF THREE (3) THUMB DRIVES

Also in the same Politico article by Josh Gerstein, “Meanwhile, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Clinton attorney David Kendall to explain how he secured three thumb drives containing back up copies of roughly 30,000 emails Clinton gave to her former agency in printed form last year....  ‘It appears the FBI has determined that your clearance is not sufficient to allow you to maintain custody of the emails,’ Grassley wrote in a letter sent to Kendall Friday and obtained by POLITICO. ‘Reporting indicates that Secretary Clinton may have provided you copies of her emails in December 2014 and that government officials realized that the emails contained classified information in May 2015 yet the Department of State did not deliver a safe to store the thumb drives until July 2015.’...   Grassley suggested it was unlikely that a safe — reportedly in Kendall’s law office — would by itself be deemed adequate to hold data classified at the “TOP SECRET/Secure Compartmented Information” level.... [E]arlier this month, her personal lawyer David Kendall turned over to the FBI three thumb drives containing copies of the messages. The FBI has also taken possession of at least one server that was used to store Clinton’s emails after she left the State Department....”

HILLARY’S I-T CONTRACTOR NOT AUTHORIZED TO HANDLE “CLASSIFIED” DATA  —   BUT  —   SAME CONTRACTOR INDICATED EXISTENCE OF A BACK-UP SERVER FOR HILLARY’S E-MAILS

It had been previously reported on this blog that HRC’s IT contractor, Platte River Networks, was not among the 13,000 IT contractors authorized to handle “classified” information (See “UPDATE & BACKFILL: THE 'CONTINENTAL DIVIDE OF I-T CONTRACTORS ' EDITION” --  comment by Galewyn Massey above, 8/17/15 ).

However, it should be noted that according to many news outlets, Platte River Networks , which is the Denver-based cybersecurity firm that Hillary Clinton hired in 2013 to maintain her old email server, says that probably a full backup of the device was made; and as a result, the thousands of emails Clinton deleted might still exist ( See e.g.,  “IT firm hired by Hillary Clinton: It's 'highly likely' there's a backup of emails she deleted” by Natasha Bertrand, 8/17/15, The Business Insider [http://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clinton-it-firm-platte-river-says-email-backups-are-likely-2015-8]).

For example, according to the report in the Business Insider, “....  The IT firm hired by Hillary Clinton to oversee her private server has told ABC it is "highly likely" a backup copy of the server was made, meaning any emails Clinton deleted before she handed the server over to investigators may still be accessible....”

Saturday, August 15, 2015

FLASH UPDATE: THE “ PULLING NO PUNCHES WITH AN ‘OLD FRIEND’ ” EDITION

SATURDAY'S TOP HEADLINE FOR NEWSMAX   —   DICK MORRIS SAYS HILLARY CLINTON WILL BE INDICTED OVER E-MAILS AND HER HANDLING OF CLASSIFIED MATERIAL

"WHEN THEY GO THROUGH ALL 30,000 [E-MAILS], THE EVIDENCE IS GOING TO BE SO OVERWHELMING THAT I BELIEVE SHE WILL BE INDICTED....”

                                            — FORMER CLINTON ADVISER, DICK MORRIS



DONALD TRUMP SAYS HILLARY’S PRIVATE E-MAIL SCHEME WAS TO KEEP THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION FROM SEEING WHAT SHE WAS UP TO



Saturday morning’s top story in Newsmax starts off like this: “Political analyst Dick Morris is convinced Hillary Clinton's email scandal will lead to her being indicted and forced out of the race for president....   During an interview with Newsmax TV's ‘Newsmax Now,’ Morris tells host Miranda Khan Clinton's actions — using a private email address and server during her time as Secretary of State, which presumably allowed classified material to be passed over the non-government server — will lead to ‘overwhelming’ evidence that she broke the law.... (See “Dick Morris: Hillary Will Be Indicted” by  By Jason Devaney, 8/14/15, Newsmax [http://www.newsmax.com/Newsmax-Tv/dick-morris-hillary-clinton-indicted-drop/2015/08/]).

For Dick Morris the bottom line is that all of this is OVERWHELMING  —   "....  ‘The magnitude of the evidence is going to be so overwhelming that it’ll be impossible not to indict her,’ Morris says. ‘So yes, I do believe Hillary Clinton will be indicted and will be forced out of this race.’..."

EVEN TRUMP HAD SOMETHING INTERESTING TO SAY ABOUT HILLARY'S E-MAILS

>>>>   Elsewhere in the same Newsmax article, Donald Trump was quoted as saying Hillary’s private E-mail system was to keep the Obama Administration from knowing what she was doing.

Here's how the Donald put it:  "....  I think Hillary has got huge problems right now....  Is she going to make it? I hear this thing is big league. Why did she do it? You use the server? Because [the Clintons are] always looking to go over the edge, whether it's Whitewater or anything else. They always want to go over the edge.... I'm just looking at it saying, 'What the hell was she doing? You know what she was doing? She was guarding from the president seeing what she was doing."

Friday, August 14, 2015

Jeb Bush gets rolled by “Black Lives Matter” Activists in Las Vegas, Nevada — Even though he had spoken to them before the event — And he answered one of their questions in the Q & A


“'Black Lives Matter' activists are starting to go after Republicans  —  and it isn't pretty”                     

                                                          —  Business Insider


Bush attempted a reasonable and conciliatory approach, but still got hustled out of the room by “Black Lives Matter” protesters and others


Maxwell Tani writing for the “Business Insider” reports that  “ ‘Black Lives Matter’ activists have begun to turn up the heat on Republican candidates....   At a campaign event in Nevada on Wednesday, protesters interrupted former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R). They chanted, ‘Black lives matter,’ as Bush made a quick exit from the stage....  The event marked the first time that Black Lives Matter protesters have targeted a major Republican presidential candidate's campaign event, after weeks trailing Democratic candidates — especially Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) on the trail....” (See “ ‘Black Lives Matter’ activists are starting to go after Republicans  —  and it isn't pretty” by Maxwell Tani, 8/13/15, Business Insider/ Politics [http://www.businessinsider.com/black-lives-matter-jeb-bush-2015-8]).

Mr. Tani’s report continued with this:  “....  Though Bush did not engage with the protesters, Bush's campaign told CNN he met with advocates before his event....”  Also . According to the Busines Insider, when protesters began chanting “Black Lives Mater, other event attendees began chanting, "White lives matter," in response. Protesters and attendees then reportedly gave each other respective middle fingers as Bush's event ended without a closing statement.


DEMOCRATS ORIGINALLY TARGETED  —   “BLACK LIVES MATTER” ACTIVISTS NOW TAKING AIM AT REPUBLICANS

Over the past month, "Black Lives Matter" protesters had set their sights on liberal and left-leaning presidential candidates, hoping to expose racial biases even in the most progressive wing of the Democratic Party and to push candidates to address social-justice issues head on. The protesters targeted the Democrats specifically because some of them felt that their voices had been taken for granted by Democrats.  Las month a  prominent activist, Zellie Imani told Business Insider that for decades the Democratic Party had based its strategy on an assumption that it would get the “black vote” without any real accountability to the black voters. But, according to Imani, the young among them have found their voice, and they found that their voice is strong....

The Business Insider reported that candidates from both parties have attempted to diffuse tensions by meeting with protesters in private. In the past week, Republican Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a Democrat,  have met with “Black Lives Matter” activists to talk about their concerns. However, thus far it seems unlikely that closed-door meetings will placate the entirety of the "Black Lives Matter" movement. Members of the movement, which is not hierarchical, have so far been fairly unimpressed by responses from any of the presidential candidates, Democrat or Republican.

Zellie Imani told the Business Insider,   "No candidate, Democratic or Republican, will campaign without having to publicly address their position sooner of later on their campaign trail.”

ANOTHER REPORT ON THE PROTESTERS AT THE BUSH EVENT IN LAS VEGAS DESCRIBES BUSH’S CALM AND REASONED APPROACH TO “QUESTIONER” AMONG THE PROTESTERS

According to part of Scott Sonner’s AP report that appeared in "The Grio,"  Jeb Bush was not interrupted by “Black Lives Matter” protesters until late in the program when Bush was taking questions from and working the crowd; and after he had started to answer a question from somebody who was with "Black Lives Matter."   ( See “‘Black Lives Matter’Protesters Disrupt End of Jeb Bush’s Town Hall, by Scott Sonner with AP writer Kimberly Pierceall, 8/13/15, The Grio/ AP
[http://thegrio.com/2015/08/13/black-lives-matter-protesters-disrupt-end-of-jeb-bushs-town-hall/]).

Here’s how Scott Sonner and Kimberly Pierceall described the goings-on in Las Vegas:  “.... At Bush’s North Las Vegas appearance Wednesday night, the last question asked for his solutions to racial injustices as they relate to fatal police shootings of black men, police training and prison populations. ‘Look, we have serious problems,’ he said. ‘There is racism in America. No one should deny that, although there’s been significant progress.’...  Bush said he would encourage local leaders to be more engaged to prevent ‘despair and isolation’ in communities and that education is key....  ‘A child that is educated, that believes that their chances of going to college and living a life of purpose and meaning, is important,’ he said....”

Significantly, "The Grio" coverage ended with this observation: “Bush left the town hall as some in the crowd of about 150 people chanted ‘black lives matter.’ Several of those chanting also wore pink shirts that read “I stand with Planned Parenthood.”

Thursday, August 13, 2015

FLASH UPDATE: THE “HILLARY CLINTON SERVER IN PHYSICAL CUSTODY OF THE FBI — HOWEVER, INFORMATION FROM CLINTON SERVER WAS ‘MIGRATED’ TO ANOTHER SERVER — CASCADING FACTS INDICATE CRIMES ARE LIKELY TO HAVE BEEN COMMITTED” EDITION


ACCORDING TO THE WA-PO, FBI AGENTS HAVE TAKEN POSSESSION OF HILLARY CLINTON’S E-MAIL SERVER, WHICH IS AT THE CENTER OF THE CURRENT E-MAIL CONTROVERSY  —   THE E-MAIL SERVER WAS TURNED OVER TO THE FBI LATE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON FROM A “DATA CENTER” >>> IN NEW JERSEY <<<

AN ATTORNEY FOR THE COMPUTER SERVICES COMPANY THAT “MANAGED”  THE CLINTON SERVER SAYS THAT  “...  THE OLD SERVER ‘WAS BLANK’ AND NO LONGER CONTAINED USEFUL DATA....” —   ALSO THAT INFORMATION ON THAT SERVER "MIGRATED" TO ANOTHER SERVER OPERATED BY THE COMPUTER COMPANY

MORE PROBLEMS FOR HILLARY CLINTON AND/OR HER TEAM  —  MULTIPLE SOURCES INDICATE THAT “SATELLITE IMAGERY” AND “SIGNALS INTELLIGENCE” WAS PART OF A “TOP SECRET” E-MAIL CONTAINED ON HILLARY CLINTON’S SERVER  —   ALSO THAT “TOP SECRET” MARKINGS LIKELY  ON THE ORIGINAL SOURCE MATERIAL THAT CAME INTO THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT WERE "STRIPPED" BY A  STAFFER FOR THEN SEC/STATE HILLARY CLINTON



A late Wednesday night report in the Washington Post states, “The e-mail server used by Hillary Rodham Clinton when she served as secretary of state was turned over to the FBI late Wednesday afternoon from a private data center in New Jersey, according to an attorney familiar with the transfer....  ‘It was picked up about 4 p.m.,’  said Barbara J. Wells, a Denver lawyer who represents Platte River Networks Inc., a small computer services firm that has managed the Clintons’ private e-mail system since mid-2013....  Wells said her client was contacted by the FBI, which expressed interest in obtaining the old server. The FBI did not have a search warrant or subpoena and did not interview her clients, she said.....” ( See “Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server turned over to FBI” by Tom Hamberger & Karen Tumulty, 8/12/15, The Washington Post/ Politics [http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clintons-e-mail-server-turned-over-to-fbi/2015/08/12/aba5feea-4160-11e5-8ab4-c73967a143d3_story.html]).


THE QUITE SURPRISING TRAIL OF THE HILLARY CLINTON E-MAIL SERVER

The Washington Post article, cited above, described the following trail taken by this Clinton server, which had not heretofore been outlined: “....  Before it was taken to the data center in New Jersey, the server had been in the basement of the Clintons’ private home in Chappaqua, N.Y., during the time she was secretary of state, according to people familiar with the Clintons’ e-mail network....  After she left government service in early 2013, the Clintons decided to upgrade the system, hiring Platte River as the new manager of a privately managed e-mail network. The old server was removed from the Clinton home by Platte River and stored in a third party data center, which are set up to provide security from threats of hacking and natural disaster, Wells said.... Platte River Networks has retained control of the old server since it took over management of the Clintons’ e-mail system. She said that the old server “was blank,” and no longer contained useful data....”


SOME OF HILLARY CLINTON’S E-MAIL DATA HAD BEEN  “MIGRATED” TO A NEW SERVER OPERATED BY PLATTE RIVER NETWORKS

The Tumulty-Hamberger report in the WaPo went on to quote the lawyer for Platte River Networks as follows: “....  ‘The information had been migrated over to a different server for purposes of transition,’ from the old system to one run by Platte River, she said, recalling the transfer that occurred in June 2013....  ‘To my knowledge the data on the old server is not available now on any servers or devices in Platte River Network’s control.’...   She said that Platte River officials ‘have been working with and cooperating fully with the FBI.’  She added that ‘we have been assured that Platte River Networks is not the subject of any investigation.’...”


LATE REPORTS ABOUT THE “TOP SECRET” INFORMATION ON HILLARY CLINTON’S E-MAIL  —   IT WAS “EXCEPTIONALLY HIGHLY CLASSIFIED AND MUST BE HANDLED WITH GREAT CARE UNDER PENALTY OF SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES FOR MISHANDLING” 

According to the Daily Beast, “These weren’t just ordinary secrets found in [Hillary] Clinton’s private server, but some of the most classified material the U.S. government has....”  

John R. Schindler’s report in “The Daily Beast” indicates that  “....  Hillary Clinton [had]  little choice but to hand over her server to authorities since it now appears increasingly likely that someone on her staff violated federal laws regarding the handling of classified materials. On August 11, after extensive investigation, the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General reported to Congress that it had found several violations of security policy in Clinton’s personal emails....  Most seriously, the Inspector General assessed that Clinton’s emails included information that was highly classified —  yet mislabeled as unclassified. Worse, the information in question should have been classified up to the level of “TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN,” according to the Inspector General’s report....” ( See “The Spy Satellite Secrets in Hillary’s Emails” by John R. Schindler, 8/12/15, The Daily Beast [http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/12/the-spy-satellite-secrets-in-hillary-s-emails.html]).

Thankfully, Mr. Schindler goes on to tell us,  “.... [S]o let me explain what this means:

• TOP SECRET, as the name implies, is the highest official classification level in the U.S. government, defined as information whose unauthorized release ‘could cause exceptionally grave damage to national security or foreign relations.’....
• SI refers to Special Intelligence, meaning it is information derived from intercepted communications, which is the business of the National Security Agency, America’s single biggest source of intelligence. They’re the guys who eavesdrop on phone calls, map who’s calling who, and comb through emails. SI is a subset of what the intelligence community calls Sensitive Compartmented Information or SCI. And these materials always require special handling and protection. They are to be kept in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility or SCIF, which is a special hardened room that is safe from both physical and electronic intrusion....
• TK refers to Talent Keyhole, which is an IC caveat indicating that the classified material was obtained via satellite....
• NOFORN, as the name implies, means that the materials can only be shown to Americans, not to foreigners....”

Schindler sums all that up like this: “....   In short: Information at the “TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN” level is considered exceptionally highly classified and must be handled with great care under penalty of serious consequences for mishandling. Every person who is cleared and “read on” for access to such information signs reams of paperwork and receives detailed training about how it is to be handled, no exceptions—and what the consequences will be if the rules are not followed....”


NO DOUBT THAT THERE WAS A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW BY PUTTING “TOPSECRET//SI” INFORMATION ON AN UNCLASSIFIED SYSTEM 

In addition to all of the matter discussed above,  John R. Schindler did a long analysis of the possible criminality involved in the handling of the  “TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN” information that was in Hillary Clinton’s E-mal.

In relevant parts of that analysis,  he said this: “....   There is no doubt that [Hillary Clinton], or someone on her State Department staff, violated federal law by putting TOP SECRET//SI information on an unclassified system. That it was Hillary’s private, offsite server makes the case even worse from a security viewpoint. Claims that they “didn’t know” such information was highly classified do not hold water and are irrelevant. It strains belief that anybody with clearances didn’t recognize that NSA information, which is loaded with classification markings, was signals intelligence, or SIGINT. It’s possible that the classified information found in Clinton’s email trove wasn’t marked as such. But if that classification notice was omitted, it wasn’t the U.S. intelligence community that took such markings away. Moreover, anybody holding security clearances has already assumed the responsibility for handling it properly....  As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had no authority to disseminate IC information on her own, neither could she make it less highly classified (a process termed “downgrading” in the spy trade) without asking IC permission first....  There’s still a lot we don’t know about Hillary’s Emailgate. Exactly how many emails contained TOPSECRET//SI information is unclear. We may never know since thousands of emails were already destroyed by Clinton. Who exactly placed the classified information in emails—it may not have been Hillary Clinton—and how did they access the information in the first place? How many of Hillary’s staffers at Foggy Bottom were also using her personal server?...  The FBI is now on the case and one hopes they will exercise due diligence in their investigation of what may be a serious leak of classified information, made worse by the fact that Clinton’s personal server was wholly unencrypted for three months, leaving it wide open to exploitation by foreign intelligence services....”


FOX NEWS REPORTS THAT A HILLARY CLINTON STAFFER STRIPPED-OUT CLASSIFICATION MARKINGS FROM INFORMATION THAT APPEARED ON HILLARY CLINTON’S E-MAILS 

On Wednesday evening, Megyn Kelly reported that the “Top Secret” information contained among Hillary Clinton’s E-mails was from “Satellite Imagery” and “Signals Intelligence” and that all such information would have classifications markings on it when it was sent from the intelligence services to the State Department. In addition, Ms. Kelly reported that someone on Hillary Clinton’s staff “stripped” the classification markings off the material that appeared on Ms. Clinton’s E-mail. Shortly there after,  Judge Andrew Napolitano reacted on the same program to Kelly’s reports that a Hillary Clinton staffer stripped "top secret" classification markings off information on her private email server (See “Judge Napolitano: Hillary's Legal Problems 'Worse Than Grave'.” as seen on the Kelly File, 9/12/15, Fox News/ Insider [http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/08/12/judge-napolitano-hillary-clintons-legal-problems-worse-grave]

Judge Napolitano explained that what he heard described would constitute two felonies: “altering a top secret document” and “placing a top secret document in an unsecured place....” H particularly noted, “...  In this case Clinton's server....”

Judge Napolitano went on to say this: “.... ‘Our colleagues in the intelligence community have told me with certainty that if it was on that server, it can be extracted....  ‘If  “top secret” was on there, we know she lied, and she committed a felony by possessing and storing top secret information on an insecure server. If 'top secret' was not there, we will know that someone removed it.’...”


JUDGE NAPOLITANO SAYS HILLARY CLINTON’S LEGAL PROBLEMS ARE "... WORSE THAN GRAVE"

Napolitano, Fox News’ top legal expert, then agreed with host, Megyn Kelly, that these new disclosures raised Hillary Clinton’s email scandal to a whole new level, possibly that of a criminal conspiracy.  Judge Napolitano then noted that earlier in the day, while appearing on another Fox News program, he had said that Hillary Clinton's legal problems were gravely serious. The in conclusion he said,  "Now, 16 hours later, I don't know what word to use, but they are worse than grave."

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

FLASH UPDATE: THE “BIG TURN-OVER FOLLOWS QUICKLY AFTER ANNOUNCEMENT OF ‘TOP SECRET’ MATTERS IN HILLARY’S E-MAILS” EDITION


ACCORDING TO MULTIPLE REPORTS FBI AGENTS INVESTIGATING HILLARY CLINTON’S HANDLING OF CLASSIFIED MATERIAL ON HER E-MAIL SYSTEM WILL BE  TAKING POSSESSION OF HILLARY CLINTON’S PRIVATE E-MAIL SERVER  —   ALSO,  THUMB DRIVES HELD BY HILLARY CLINTON’S ATTORNEY, DAVID KENDALL, TURNED OVER BECAUSE THE FBI DETERMINED THAT HE SHOULD NOT HAVE THEM

CLINTON CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN NICK MERRILL SAYS THAT THE FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE HAS AGREED TO TURN OVER HER SERVER TO GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE TURN-OVER OF HILLARY CLINTON’S DEVICES FOLLOWS QUICKLY ON DISCLOSURE THAT SOME MATERIAL ON THOSE DEVICES WAS “TOP SECRET”



CBS/ AP REPORT

An early report on a CBS News blog indicated the following: “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has directed her staff to turn over her private email server to the Department of Justice, the spokesman for Clinton's presidential campaign, Nick Merrill, told CBS News Tuesday....   ‘This past spring, Hillary Clinton asked the Department of State to publish the 55,000 pages of the work emails she provided to the Department last fall. As she has said, it is her hope that State and the other agencies involved in the review process will sort out as quickly as possible which emails are appropriate to release to the public, and that the release will be as timely and transparent as possible,’  Merrill explained. ‘In the meantime, her team has worked with the State Department to ensure her emails are stored in a safe and secure manner. She directed her team to give her email server that was used during her tenure as Secretary to the Department of Justice, as well as a thumb drive containing copies of her emails already provided to the State Department.’..."   ( See “Hillary Clinton to hand her email server over to the FBI” by CBS News Staff & Associated Press, 6/11/15, CBS News [http://www.cbsnews.com/news/hillary-clintons-lawyer-turns-her-emails-over-to-the-fbi/]).

A U.S. official said the FBI recovered at least two thumb drives containing Hillary Clinton’s emails from her attorney David Kendall. The drives contain around 30,000 emails that Clinton deemed work-related and turned copies over to the State Department [Additionally, she says that she destroyed thousands of others that she said were not work-related].  Kendall, turned over the emails on the thumb drives after the FBI determined that he should not remain in possession of the classified information, a U.S. official briefed on the matter told the Associated Press.

The article on the CBS News blog concluded with this: “....   The FBI is looking into the security of the Clinton email arrangement. There is no evidence she used encryption to shield the emails from foreign intelligence services or other prying eyes.”


WASHINGTON POST REPORT

In a Washington Post report about the FBI’s taking of HRC’s server and thumb drives, it quoted the following comments by Hillary Clinton’s spokesperson:  “Nick Merrill, a Clinton spokesman, said Tuesday night that Clinton is cooperating with the FBI probe. He declined to say whether the FBI ordered that she turn over the devices and when her attorney, David Kendall, had done so....  ‘She directed her team to give her e-mail server that was used during her tenure as secretary to the Department of Justice, as well as a thumb drive containing copies of her e-mails already provided to the State Department,’ Merrill said. ‘She pledged to cooperate with the government’s security inquiry, and if there are more questions, we will continue to address them.’...” ( See “Hillary Clinton agrees to provide private e-mail server to FBI” by Carol D. Leonnig, Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman, 8/11/15, The Washington Post
[http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/top-secret-e-mails-were-sent-on-clintons-private-account-official-says/2015/08/11/f3117f08-403d-11e5-9561-4b3dc93e3b9a_story.html]).

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015 — Hillary files something official about her E-mail with the DC Federal Court in a Civil FOIA case


“While I do not know what information may be 'responsive' for purposes of this law suit, I have directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody, that were or potentially were federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done....”                                                                                                                          —  Statement filed in Federal Court by Hillary Clinton 

In a responsive filing with the same court, the plaintiff in the case, Judicial Watch, complained that Hillary Clinton’s statement was virtually useless in tracking down the government records that had been in her possession  —  it listed several specific shortcomings of the statement she filed with the court



According to a report in Politico by Josh Gertsein, “Hillary Clinton's first official legal statement about her handling of her email records was released Monday, triggering an immediate response from critics who said it failed to resolve questions swirling around her use of a private email account and server while she served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013....  The one-page declaration, signed "HR Clinton" [ ] was filed Monday afternoon in federal court in Washington in connection with a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking records about the employment arrangements of one of Clinton's top aides, Huma Abedin....  Clinton's declaration was dated Saturday. A State Department spokesman said Monday that the text of the declaration was sent to the department on Friday, with a copy of the signed statement arriving the following day.”  (See “Hillary Clinton email certification released” by Josh Gerstein, 8/10/15, Politico [http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2015/08/hillary-clinton-email-certification-released-212156.html]).

SOME DETAILS CONTAINED IN HILLARY CLINTON’S STATEMENT

Here is more detail, as reported in the Gerstein-Politico article:  “.... [Quoting the statement] ‘While I do not know what information may be 'responsive' for purposes of this law suit, I have directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody, that were or potentially were federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done,’ wrote Clinton, the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination....   Clinton also responded to a request from U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan for information about how Abedin and another top Clinton aide, Cheryl Mills, used Clinton's personal email system....  ‘Cheryl Mills did not have an account on clintonemail.com. Huma Abedin did have such an account, which was used at times for government business,’ Clinton declared....”

POLITICO’S VIEWS ON THE HILLARY CLINTON STATEMENT

“Clinton's declaration [link contained in the article] did not add much to the sum total of public knowledge about the use of her email server. However, the filing did highlight the fact that Mills and Abedin did not respond directly to Sullivan's request for similar information. Instead, they submitted letters from their attorneys describing efforts made to search for work-related emails and provide them to State and to a House committee investigating the Benghazi attack....” —  according to Josh Gerstein, writing for Politico.


THE PLAINTIFF IN THE ACTION, JUDICIAL WATCH, PRETTY MUCH EXPRESSED THE SAME VIEW AS POLITICO’S IN A RESPONDING FILING TO THE COURT

“In a court filing later Monday [link contained in the article] , Judicial Watch attorney Michael Bekesha complained that [Hillary Clinton’s] submission didn't really advance the case....   ‘Neither the Court nor Plaintiff is any closer to knowing where responsive records may exist,’ Bekesha wrote. ‘It is of the utmost importance that all federal records in the possession of Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin, and Ms. Mills be returned to Defendant [ U.S. Department of State] to enable Defendant to conduct a search reasonably calculated to uncover all responsive records.’...  Bekesha also noted that Clinton's statement did not detail how her work-related emails were selected for submission or by whom, nor did it say what had become of Abedin's clintonemail.com messages....”

Sunday, August 9, 2015

TRUMP DRAMA DOMINATES NEWS FOR ANOTHER WEEKEND — EARLY POLLING SHOWS TRUMP IS STILL WAY AHEAD OF THE GOP FIELD


Donald Trump  —  Roger Stone  —   Breakup over Donald T’s handling of Kelly matters after the debate

Trump-Kelly imbroglio is some kind of  “Blood Feud”

DRUDGE REPORT HEADLINE GOING INTO SUNDAY:   “REPUBLICAN LEADERS DECLARE TRUMP DEAD [AGAIN]” —   Are Republican candidates, leadership and pundits going to kill GOP chances in 2016 by going after Donald Trump so hard in 2015


Not only has Donald Trump dominated the political news in America since last Thursday’s debate, starting yesterday Trump has been actively pushing back against almost everybody who came after him for any of his remarks against Megyn Kelly.


TRUMP STILL LEADING OTHER REPUBLICANS IN THE POLLS

According to a report coming out of NBC News,  “If Donald Trump's comments about Fox News Anchor Megyn Kelly are hurting his standing in the Republican primary, it's not showing in the numbers....   [T]he latest NBC News Online Poll conducted by SurveyMonkey [shows] Trump is at the top of the list of GOP candidates that Republican primary voters would cast a ballot for if the primary were being held right now....  The overnight poll was conducted for 24 hours from Friday evening into Saturday. During that period, Donald Trump stayed in the headlines due to his negative comments about Kelly and was dis-invited from a major conservative gathering in Atlanta....   None of that stopped Trump from coming in at the top of the poll with 23 percent. Sen. Ted Cruz was next on the list with 13 percent....”  (See “New NBC News/Survey Monkey Poll: Donald Trump Still in the Lead After Debates’ by Shawna Thomas & John Lapinski, 8/9/15, NBC News [http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/new-nbc-news-survey-monkey-poll-donald-trump-still-lead-n406766]).

It had previously been reported on this blog that Donald Trump had been way ahead in two non-scientific post-debate polls, one conducted by the Drudge Report, and the other by Time Magazine.


DON’T MISS THE “DAMAGE WITHIN” THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN

To me, a more important news item seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle.  Donald Trump and Roger Stone have had parting of their ways – at least as far as politics is concerned – and the reason seemed to be Trump’s over-focusing on Megyn Kelly after the Thursday debate.

Typical of the coverage of the Trump-Stone flap is the report that appeared in Politico, “Donald Trump made the surprising announcement Saturday afternoon that he was firing his top adviser, Roger Stone, but, hours before that, the political consultant’s friends told POLITICO that he was actually quitting. “Sorry @realDonaldTrump didn’t fire me- I fired Trump. Diasagree with diversion to food fight with @megynkelly away core issue messages,” Stone, referencing Trump’s battle with a moderator of Fox’s Republican debate Thursday, said just before 3 p.m. on Twitter....   Later in the day, Trump’s campaign denied the claims from Stone and his friends and said he was fired the night before....”  ( See “ources: Roger Stone quit, wasn't fired by Donald Trump in campaign shakeup” by Marc Caputo,  8/8/15, Politico [

Some might argue that the whole issue was encapsulated by this Politico sub-headline, “... Trump says he fired his campaign adviser. His adviser says he fired Trump...”;  however I’d argue that Politico got it closer to being right when it observed, “....  Regardless of who resigned or was fired first, the campaign shakeup was the first sign that Trump’s election effort was seriously damaged from within after his Thursday night debate performance and his subsequent comments in which he attacked one of the Fox debate moderators, Megyn Kelly....”

Roger Stone’s position came down to this: “....  “Unfortunately, the current controversies involving personalities and provocative media fights have reached such a high volume that it has distracted attention from your platform and overwhelmed your core message,” Stone wrote. ‘With this current direction of the candidacy, I no longer can remain involved in your campaign.’...”

Those siding with the Trumpster would tell it more like this: “....  Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski called POLITICO’s Mike Allen and said, ‘This conversation [between Trump and Stone] didn’t take place. … He spoke to Roger Stone last night when he terminated him from employment. … That was the first time they talked since the debate.’  Lewandowski said Trump fired Stone ‘some time after 6 p.m.’ Friday. The campaign manager said he didn’t know who initiated the call....”

Here’s how Politico ended it’s story about Trump and Stone: “....  on Saturday morning, Stone’s friends confirmed to POLITICO that he was intending to leave the campaign....  Along the way, and soon after informing some at Fox, Trump allegedly trumped Stone....  ‘Well this is what happens when you deal with Donald Trump,’  one of Stone’s friends said.”


MANY FOCUSED ON A “BLOODY” STATEMENT THAT TRUMP MADE AS PROOF OF HIS MISOGYNY —  I THINK THE STATEMENT WAS UNFAIRLY EDITED BY CNN AND OTHERS  —   BUT,  TRUMP HAS BEEN CONTENT TO DEFEND IT AS REPORTED  —  SO WHAT CAN I SAY ?

So “The Donald” supposedly really stepped in it when he said this in a CNN interview:  “....  Trump slammed Kelly, saying her questions were ‘ridiculous’ and ‘off-base.’...   ‘You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes,’ Trump told CNN's Don Lemon on Friday night. "Blood coming out of her wherever.’...”  (See “Donald Trump's 'blood' comment about Megyn Kelly draws outrage” by Holly Yan, 8/8/15, CNN [http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/08/politics/donald-trump-cnn-megyn-kelly-comment/]).

That CNN print report is interesting because it pivots to the negative opinions of candidate Donald Trump expressed by certain so-called conservatives.  According to CNN,  “Erickson [The producer of the “Red State” gathering in Atlanta, Georgia] wasn't the only conservative bashing Trump....  Penny Young Nance, the CEO and president of the conservative group Concerned Women for America, told CNN that Trump's ‘tantrum was even more enlightening than his original remarks she questioned.’  ‘Does he have a problem with women?’ Nance asked in a statement Saturday morning. ‘Three wives would suggest that yes, maybe there's a problem. The good news is that Kelly is a mother of toddlers and knows how to deal with petulance and tantrums. Every presidential election since 1964 has been carried by women. Women don't like mean and we certainly won't vote for men or women we don't trust. Trump's biggest woman problem is how does he convince women to trust him to keep America safe?’....  Media mogul and Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch praised debate moderators Kelly, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace early Saturday morning while criticizing his friend Trump.... ‘Friend Donald has to learn this is public life,’ Murdoch tweeted....”

I don’t know what Penny Young Nance and Rupert Murdoch were watching, but on Thursday I saw Donald Trump kick Megayn Kelly’s pretty blonde ass pretty good.  And later Trump justified that ass-kicking because Megyn clearly had “blood in her eyes” or wherever.

Here’s were I don’t get where everybody is getting so bent out of shape.  In a version of Trump’s remarks that I heard, Trump said almost exactly the same thing about Chris Wallace a line or two later, when he went after Wallace pretty hard and compared him unfavorably to Mike Wallace. Needless, to say Trump has chosen to defend and justify his remarks about Megyn Kelly strictly on their own terms.  That’s Donald’s choice, and who am I to gainsay any of it.

Suffice it to say that Donald Trump is comfortable to continue his “Blood Feud” with Megyn Kelly  —  and he doesn’t care if Roger Stone, or I, or anybody else inside or outside the Republican Party likes it or not.


REPORTS OF DONALD TRUMP’S POLITICAL DEMISE ARE PREMATURE  —   AND  —    ANY COUNSEL TO CUT TIES WITH TRUMP AT THIS TIME, LIKE BY SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM, NEED TO BE LOOKED AT WITH EXTREME SUSPICION 

Overnight, the “Drudge Report” blared forth this as its main headline: ““REPUBLICAN LEADERS DECLARE TRUMP DEAD [AGAIN]” !

Several GOP candidates, leaders and associated pundits have been all over Donald Trump’s case since Thursday.  These folks don’t get Donald Trump or the Donald Trump phenomenon. However, another thing that they don’t get is that, for now at least, Donald Trump does have Archimedes-like leverage over the Republican Party and its presidential hopes for 2016.

All Republicans need to ask themselves whether they agree with Republican Presidential Candidate and member of the GOP leadership in the Senate Lindsey Graham’s criticism of Trump.  —    “In an interview with The Washington Post, Graham said Trump's personal attacks on Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly after she questioned him in Thursday night's primary debate were "an affront to all women" and undermine the Republican Party's urgent mission to appeal to more women voters....   ‘I think we’ve crossed that Rubicon, where his behavior becomes about us, not just him,’ Graham said. ‘I hope the party leadership will push hard. I hope that those seeking the nomination to be the standard bearer will unequivocally reject this. People gave Mr. Trump a pass on the [debate] stage. I understand that to a point, but we’ve crossed a line here that can’t be ignored. There can be no more tiptoeing around this.’...” ( See “Graham says Trump is inflicting permanent damage on GOP, urges party leaders to stop ‘tiptoeing’”  by  Philip Rucker, 8/9/15, The Washington Post [http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/08/08/graham-says-trump-is-inflicting-permanent-damage-on-gop-urges-party-leaders-to-stop-tip-toeing/]).

According to the WaPo report, Senator Graham was even more blunt than that: “....  Graham said GOP leaders need to ‘take the leverage away and not be afraid to speak honestly and directly about this problem.’...  ‘He’s a bully,’ Graham said. ‘He intimidates people by calling them bad names. Like every other bully, he’ll meet his fate only when good people say, “Enough.” Donald Trump, enough already. Take your ball and go home.’...”

It sounds like Graham won’t support Donald Trump, even if he were to become the Republican Party’s nominee.  That’s what happened to the GOP presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater, in 1964  —   and that led to the “Great Society” liberalism that has been implemented as part of U.S. domestic policy ever since.