While the New York Times has reported that the “State Department’s inspector general sharply criticized Hillary Clinton’s exclusive use of a private email server” and “undermined some of Mrs. Clinton’s previous statements”, the report did far more than criticize and undermine. It directly contradicted Clinton’s assertions on a number of key points. It further indicated not only clear violations of the State Department rules, but rules that were made clear to Clinton and her staff. (The Washington Post took a more critical view of Clinton’s statements in light of the report). Moreover, while this report deals with State regulations and rules (as well as the Federal Records Act), it does have bearing on the ongoing criminal investigation to the degree that it shows knowledge or reckless disregard of the security protocols and rules. It does show precisely that.
Remember that “historic” vote to lift the statutory ban on 9/11 families suing Saudi Arabia? Senators lined up to vote unanimously with the 9/11 families and to reject the threats of Saudi Arabia to wreck economic havoc on the United States. However, it was revealed this week that Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. added a small amendment to the bill that gave the Administration the right to bar such lawsuits. Since the Administration opposes the changing of the law, its position is quite clear. Now many are objecting that the Senate vote was knowingly misleading given the Schumer amendment.
The rapid decline of free speech in England accelerated further this month with a ruling of the British high court banning The Sun newspaper from naming celebrities involved in a sordid sex story despite the fact that all three names are widely known and discussed on the Internet and non-British newspapers. Indeed, papers like the Toronto Star have running virtually mocking accounts of Elton John, his Toronto-born husband David Furnish, and British businessman Daniel Laurence. Elton John is obviously the quintessential public figure who has participated in a wide range of stories and programs on his family life with Furnish and their children. It is a chilling example of England’s rollback on basic free speech and free press protections.
We have been discussing the bizarre situation of the two major parties nominating the two candidates with not just the highest, but unprecedented, negative numbers with voters. The presumptive nomination of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have renewed calls for reforms to challenge the control of a duopoly of power in the country. This week there are new polls showing not only that Trump and Clinton are roughly equal in the high rejection of the majority of the voters, but 58 percent say that they are considering voting for someone other than Trump and Clinton. That could be a huge boast to the Libertarian and Green candidates this election. It also may reflect the dangerous gamble of the establishment in the Democratic party in securing the nomination for Clinton.
Louisiana State Rep. Kenneth Havard is under fire this week for a measure that would have required strippers in Louisiana to be no older than 28 and weigh no more than 160 pounds. The amendment was . . . well . . . stripped from the bill after objections.
Trump supporters have repeatedly objected to what is viewed as a bias in the media in favor of Hillary Clinton, including the failure to recognize that Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton have previously said things that are now denounced as hateful or extremist. Now a Clinton surrogate has sounded positively Trump like in his criticism of Trump. Ed Rendell, the former Pennsylvania governor and Philadelphia mayor had a curious way of analyzing the impact of statements by Trump about women on voters. I will say it again: this election cannot get more bizarre.
We previously discussed how the government has kept 28 pages classified in the 9-11 Report to protect Saudi Arabia from a public backlash of its alleged involvement (or at least the involvement of Saudi officials) in the attacks. Now, a report on the treatment of U.S. sailors by Iran in seizure of Navy boats earlier this year will reportedly remain classified for some time. That is rather curious since Iran already knows how it treated the sailors. Again, there is a suspicion that the Administration simply does not want the public to know the full details of the mistreatment, which Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, says are far worse than has been made public. Recently, the Navy fired the commander in the incident.