I recently discussed the implications of Associated Press story on access given to donors to the Clinton Foundation. However, what is not getting much attention is that the Obama Administration delayed these journalist investigators for THREE YEARS in seeking this information from the State Department. Three years and the AP had to go to court to secure what is clearly public information. The Obama Administration is not unique in its resistance to disclosures, even in what President Obama once pledged would be the “most transparent” government in history. FOIA has long been reduced to a farce by bureaucrats who force public interest, journalistic, and legal groups to go to court to secure information. The lack of outrage over what the AP was put through is ample proof that the government has won in harassing efforts to use FOIA. Only the most organized groups tend to persist in such efforts.
For years, European Union advocates denied allegations that they were trying to erase national borders and create a single country with a shared military. Then recently proposals for a single military emerged — just before Britain left the EU. One of the most effective criticisms made against the EU before Brexit was to challenge voters to actually name the people in charge of the EU and policies affecting their lives. Now, the head of the EU has gone out of his way to confirm the worst suspicions of critics. The much-maligned EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker has publicly denounced the very concept of national borders as the “worst invention ever.”
There is an interesting twist in the Clinton email scandal. One of the most surprising elements of Hillary Clinton’s statements to the FBI was her insistence that it was former Secretary of State Colin Powell who convinced her to use a private email server. Clinton told investigators that Powell not only advised her to use a private email system but made it his one piece of advice when prompted by a third former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. Now, Powell has come out with a seemingly angry denial of the account and has said that Clinton’s “people have been trying to pin it on me.”
Ismail Berdiyev, a leading mufti from Russia’s North Caucasus region, has called for the universal use of clitoridectomy, or female genital mutilation, for “all women to reduce lechery” and “sexuality.” The shocking and disgusting proclamation by Berdiyev is magnified by the the supportive public statement by a senior priest in the Russian Orthodox Church, Vsevolod Chaplin, who wrote on Facebook: “My sympathies for the mufti. I hope he doesn’t retreat from his position because of the howls and hysterics which will start now.”
I have previously written that I believe that Trump supporters have a legitimate complaint about some of the coverage on the mainstream media. I say “some” because Trump has clearly generated the majority of bad press on his own and the media has merely covered the controversies. However, there has been some valid objections to how media has jumped on Trump statements, even positions that mirror those once held by the Clintons or currently held by significant numbers of Americans. Critics insist that media is unrelenting on Trump coverage and interviews while far less aggressive with Clinton or her controversies in coverage or interviews.
CNN has taken the brunt of much of the criticism from Trump supporters who commonly dismiss the network as the “Clinton News Network.” That is unfair in my view but a recent article on CNN.com has raised this issue again. Entitled “Trump wants GOP to court black voters — then slams voting rights for felons,” the column suggests that Trump was somehow hypocritical for making a pitch for African-American votes while opposing voting for felons. Moreover, the assumption that felons are somehow synonymous with blacks went by without any apparent objection or question. Had Trump made such an association, I am fairly certain he would have pilloried. Moreover, the highly negative coverage given his pitch to the black community raises valid questions of the balance in reporting analogous pitches from the Clinton campaign.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.
In a preposterous example of small minded, small town thinking, a chief of police fired a twenty-five year veteran officer for responding to an active shooter call in which three teenagers were murdered and other responding units were calling for help.
The affluent town of Brier, Washington seldom receives more than one call per night but apparently Chief Mike Catlett and Mayor Bob Colinas believe that leaving the city “unprotected” is a greater priority than others who might have been killed by the active shooter and sacked Officer Dan Anderson. Despite what many would call a commendable act to help save lives at great personal risk, Dan Anderson is without a job for doing what every rightful police officer would do without hesitation.
Below is my column in the Washington Post on Donald Trump’s proposal of “extreme vetting” for immigrants to the United States. While some have suggested that the proposal would violate the Constitution, I do not agree. There are ample concerns or objections that can be raised as a matter of policy. However, such vetting is neither unconstitutional nor unprecedented. Particularly if implemented with congressional approval, I believe that such a heightened level of scrutiny would pass constitutional muster. Conversely, this is clearly something that Congress could prevent legislatively.