With The Loss Of Our Wisest Supreme Court Justice, I Now Share Some Of His Wisdom With You All


The following is an article I wrote in February of 2005 about a debate on foreign law influences upon the American legal system between originalist Justice Antonin Scalia and activist Justice Stephen Breyer. I hope you find it illuminating.

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WHO WILL SPEAK FOR YOU?
By Edward L. Daley

A few weeks ago I was watching a program on C-Span pertaining to the impact of foreign court opinions upon the U.S. justice system. The primary participants in the discussion were Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer, and the event took place at the American University Law School in Washington D.C.
rtsp://video.c-span.org/archive/sc/sc011305_scalia.rm

The debate revolved around questions asked by a moderator named Professor Norman Dorsen, and the first multi-part question asked was, “When we talk about the use of foreign court decisions in U.S. Constitutional cases, what body of foreign law are we talking about? Are we limiting this to foreign constitutional law? What about cases involving international law, such as the interpretation of treaties, including treaties to which the U.S. is a party? When we talk about the use of foreign court decisions in U.S. law, do we mean them to be authority, or persuasive, or rhetorical? If, for example, foreign court decisions are not understood to be precedent in U.S. Constitutional cases, are they nevertheless able to strengthen the sense that U.S. law assures a common moral and legal framework with the rest of the world? If this is so, is that in order to strengthen the legitimacy of a decision within the U.S., or to strengthen a decision’s legitimacy in the rest of the world?

Some question, huh? I don’t think I’d be comfortable trying to answer it all in one fell swoop, and apparently neither did the two justices. Justice Scalia began his reply by stating that most of the parts of it should be posed to Justice Breyer, simply because Scalia does not use foreign law in the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

He stated that he will use it when interpreting a treaty, because treaties are based upon a mutual understanding of the law by the signatories thereof. That seemed like a no-brainer to me, and the point was not argued by Breyer.

Scalia went on to say that, aside from that, he refuses to use foreign decisions in Constitutional law. He argued that some justices refer to foreign law because they want to feel assured that we have the same “moral and legal framework as the rest of the world.” He then pointed out, quite matter-of-factly, that we don’t have the same moral and legal framework, and we never have.

He continued by referring to the Federalist Papers, saying that they are full of statements which make it clear that our founding fathers had little respect for the laws of European countries in that day and age, citing a passage by James Madison to that effect. He then asked the rhetorical question, should we be willing to change our laws based upon the fact that many of them are not in step with the vast majority of foreign law decisions, mentioning the issues of abortion on demand, and the exclusionary rule relative to ‘Miranda’ as examples.
http://www.law.ou.edu/hist/federalist
http://www.robertslaw.org/4thamend.htm

He went on to ask the question, why haven’t we changed these laws if the court feels we should use foreign law… or do we just use foreign law selectively, whenever it agrees with what an individual justice would like a particular case to say? He then asked what the criterion is for citing foreign law, if doing so is not meant to be authoritative.

Justice Breyer responded by saying, among other things, that law emerges from conversations among law practitioners, law students, and academics. He recounted an event at which he was first confronted with the question of whether or not foreign law decisions should be considered by U.S. courts. He described a past seminar he’d attended with various judges and law makers wherein a Congressman had remarked that he thought it was a terrible idea to use foreign law in U.S. court decisions.

Breyer reflected that he’d told the Congressman “Of course foreign law doesn’t bind us in Constitutional law. Of course not.” But, he added, these [foreign justices] are human beings who often have problems which are similar to our own.

He mentioned that the societies about which these foreign decisions are concerned, are becoming more and more democratic, and that in a case which is similar to one he might face as a Supreme Court Justice, “why don’t I read what he says, if it’s similar enough?” Apparently the Congressman he was speaking to at the time said fine, go ahead and read it, just don’t cite it in your legal opinion.

Breyer’s response to this remark had been that since foreign courts cite our Supreme Court’s findings in their decisions, he didn’t see anything wrong with citing theirs in his. He added that by doing so, we might actually lend credibility to their laws, or as he put it, “give them a leg up.” The Congressman’s response was that Justice Breyer should simply write them a letter of approval instead, if he felt that way.

At that point, Breyer seemed to stall, relating that the Congressman had “made a point,” and then failing to explain why he felt that position wasn’t essentially correct. He went on to refer to Justice Scalia’s implication that we do not understand enough about any particular foreign decision to cite it responsibly, asking, “how do we know we cite both sides” of an argument in foreign law cases? “How do we know we look for everything?” His answer to both of those questions was that such problems arise in every sort of citation. “A judge can do what he’s supposed to do, or not,” he continued, “and we hope they do what they’re supposed to do.

This is where he lost me, and, apparently, where he lost Justice Scalia as well. After all, the fact that American justices face decisions without looking at every possible viewpoint available in the written law, has nothing to do with the fact that foreign law systems are often completely alien to our own. It’s not a question of whether or not we are able to see every bit of available information, but rather that the systems by which other countries arrive at legal decisions are usually not very similar to ours. Also, as Scalia pointed out, other legal systems may only have adopted part of a law that has originated in the U.S. (e.g. Miranda), and ignored other parts (e.g. the exclusionary rule) that are just as important to the fundamental principle underlying that law.

I found it interesting that Justice Breyer first announced that foreign law is “of course” not binding in Constitutional law, yet followed up that point by giving reasons, ostensibly, why it should be.

Justice Scalia seemed just as confused as I was by certain points that Breyer had made, beginning his retort by declaring, “I don’t know what it means to express confidence that judges will do what they ought to do, after having read the foreign law. My problem is that I don’t know what they ought to do. What is it that they ought to do? You have to ask yourselves, why is it that foreign law would be relevant to what an American judge does when he interprets – INTERPRETS – not writes [the law]… it [foreign law] is very useful in devising a Constitution, but why is it useful in interpreting one?

Scalia then explained his basic theory as it relates to the interpretation of the Constitution, saying that he tries to understand what it means, and what society understood it to mean when it was adopted, adding that his philosophy used to be orthodoxy prior to the 1940s. He stated that foreign law is irrelevant to anyone who embraces that philosophy, with the exception of old English law, because of the fact that many of our legal definitions were taken from that to begin with.

He went on to relate two other approaches to interpreting the Constitution. The first, he explained, was the notion that the Constitution doesn’t mean what it meant when it was first ratified, but that it changes from era to era to conform to, as Scalia then quoted, “the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.” – Troy v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86, 101

At that point he mentioned that he detests that phrase, arguing that societies don’t necessarily mature, and that “sometimes they rot.” However, he opined, even if you buy into that theory, you are still primarily concerned with the standards of decency of Americans, not foreigners, and that the only way a person would ever be willing to accept the standards of other countries as being applicable to our standards, is if that individual espoused a third way of interpreting the Constitution.

That third philosophical approach, Scalia continued, says “I am not looking for the evolving standards of decency of American society, I’m looking for what is the best answer in my mind, as an intelligent judge. And for that purpose, I look to other intelligent people, and I talk sometimes about conversations with judges, and lawyers, and law students. Do you [the law students in the audience] think you’re representative of American society? Do you not realize you are a small, cream at the top, and that your views on innumerable things are not the views of America at large? And doesn’t it seem somewhat arrogant of you to say I can make up what the moral values of America should be on all sorts of issues?

The whole time he was saying this, Breyer looked as if he’d just swallowed a prune pit, since he clearly understood (as did I, and probably everyone else watching) that Scalia had just implied he was arrogant. Once Justice Scalia had concluded by saying that he did not wish to undertake the responsibility of deciding what is moral and what isn’t for all of society, Justice Breyer commented, “I think that’s pretty good.

It’s really because I think, and I think many judges think, that your own moral views are not the answer, that people look other places for trying to find out – how to find answers,” he added. Yet once again his statement didn’t have any bearing upon the issue raised. The question isn’t whether one should look for answers as to what may be the morally right thing to do, but rather, where it is they’re looking!

Breyer pointed out that there is “nothing in ‘Blackstone,’ ‘Bracton’ or even ‘King Arthur,’ that says that cruel and unusual punishment – to determine that – you cannot look, except to England, or except to the United States… So, there’s nothing barring me.” This statement is a dead giveaway that Breyer believes it is reasonable to define morality in America based upon what other countries think, or upon what members of the legal profession think. Does it really need to be written that American moral issues should be decided by the American citizenry? Isn’t that just plain common sense?
http://www.agh-attorneys.com/4_william_blackstone.htm
http://culaw2.creighton.edu/rarebooks/display1/bracton’s.htm
http://www.gongfa.com/common%20lawbuliedianbaike.htm

Apparently Justice Breyer doesn’t think so. Even though he goes to the trouble of saying once again that he doesn’t look to himself to determine the answers to moral questions within the law, the undercurrent running throughout his remarks is that he’s willing to let someone other than the American people make the call.

But I’m thinking, Well, on this kind of an issue you’re asking a human question, and the Americans are human – and so is everybody else,” Breyer states, “and I don’t know, it doesn’t determine it, but it’s an effort to reach out beyond myself to see how other people have done… So I’d have to say I’d rather have the uncertainties and I’d rather have the judge understanding that he’s looking but it’s not controlling. And I’d rather have him use it with care, hoping that the judges won’t lack the control to do so. Then I would like to have an absolute rule that says legally never. And the fact that I cannot find such an absolute rule – legally never – even in King Arthur – gives me some cause for hope.

Hope? Hope of what?

Justice Scalia carried on the conversation by repeating the points he’d made before, discussing in greater detail certain cases in support of his argument, and stating that “One of the difficulties of using foreign law is that you don’t understand what the surrounding jurisprudence is, so that you can say, you know, Russia follows Miranda, but you don’t know that Russia doesn’t have an exclusionary rule.

He said that it was unfair to compare American death penalty cases, and the issue of whether it is cruel and inhuman for someone to wait a dozen years before being executed, to similar foreign cases. His basic point was that foreign and American cases were not comparable because of the enormous differences in the way each system deals with the death penalty to begin with. The question of what might be considered cruel and unusual in one country would not apply to another for that reason, and, therefore, would be rendered irrelevant.

This argument seemed to be completely lost on Breyer, as was evidenced by the fact that he responded with the following statement: “Well, it’s relevant in the sense that you have a person who’s a judge, who has similar training, who’s trying to, let’s say, apply a similar document, something like cruel and unusual or – there are different words, but they come to roughly the same thing – who has a society that’s somewhat structured like ours.

At that point Justice Scalia wisely decided to ask the moderator for a new question, and the professor’s response was to say that, “Although you have suggested your view about this, I’m still unclear about what the harm or risk is of considering foreign sources that may bear on problems that are common to both countries. For example, you mentioned the – both of you have mentioned the death penalty. Why shouldn’t U.S. constitutional decisions take account of shifting world standards on such things as the death penalty, on the execution of juveniles, on the execution of the mentally ill? Are we that far from the rest of the world in terms of the way life is lived?

The first thing I thought after hearing this was WHAT AN IDIOT! However, even though I suspect that Scalia was thinking the same thing, he showed enough restraint to continue the conversation without becoming insulting to his host, and eventually related that in his dissenting opinion regarding a homosexual sodomy case, he’d pointed out that the court had cited only European law. “Of course,” remarked Scalia, “they [the Europeans] said it not by some democratic ballot, but by decree of the European Court of Human Rights, who was, you know, using the same theory that we lawyers and judges and law students – we know what’s moral and what isn’t.

Breyer attempted to water down the argument, by infusing some mundane legal point into the mix, but the issue’s course was quickly corrected by Scalia when he related that, “it [the matter of selectively citing foreign decisions] lends itself to manipulation. It lends itself – It invites manipulation.” His subsequent remarks on that score were nothing short of eloquent, and were masterfully reproachful of Justice Breyer’s opinion without actually being too insulting to the man personally.

Justice Breyer was quick to change the subject, saying, “Can I go into a different topic? Because I – it’s slightly – it’s still international application. But I’m curious what my colleague thinks of this because I actually do believe, which I’ve said several times, that this is really a very dramatic issue and so forth, but it isn’t really the important issue to me.

Of course it wasn’t the important issue to him at that point in the conversation. He’d just had his head handed to him, figuratively speaking, and was obviously perplexed as to how he could continue to address Scalia’s line of reasoning without either agreeing with him, or looking like a jackass.

Be that as it may, he then went on to talk about a few cases which were, as he put it, “much less glamorous,” rounding out his comments by asserting, “this world we live in is a world where I think it’s out of date for people to teach about foreign law in a course called ‘foreign law.’ I think it’s in date to teach in contract law or in tort law, because those are the cases we’re getting.

I must admit that in certain cases relative to contract law, where companies deal with one another internationally, there are foreign law principles which may well permeate the meat of the matter. But the supposition that the more important and far-reaching moral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, pertaining to American societal norms and conventions, should necessarily be dependent upon the whims of foreign law decision-makers, merely because such is the case in the aforementioned respects, is ridiculous on its face. But then, that’s just my opinion.

Later on, Mr. Dorsen queried, “The question I have in my own mind is whether this question is a naive question. And that is, rather than looking at foreign courts to say Greece decided our way, the United Kingdom decided our way, X country decided a different way, another country has a different view, rather than thinking about these courts and cases in terms of the results to think about them in terms of the persuasiveness of the opinions, just as a New York court might look at a Montana decision and be influenced not by the result of the Montana court or the Wyoming court or the Illinois court but by the cogency of the arguments, by the depth of the reasoning, by the logic.

To which Justice Scalia responded, “Well, you’re begging the question. I mean, your question assumes that it is up to the judge to find THE correct answer. And I deny that. I think it is up to the judge to say what the Constitution provided, even if what it provided is not the best answer, even if you think it should be amended. If that’s what it says, that’s what it says.

Ask yourself why Antonin Scalia would say such a thing. If you understand the role of a judge in the American system of government, the answer should be obvious. It’s not his job to write the law, only to interpret it. Writing law is the job of the legislative and executive branches. Even if he disagrees with the law he’s considering, he has no lawful authority to change it, nor should it be his desire to do so. You see, Judge Scalia understands the fundamental principle behind the words “separation of powers,” and he actually practices what he preaches.

Furthermore, he proves his allegiance to the Constitution, and to the American people when he contends, “And on these Constitutional questions, you’re not going to come up with a right or wrong answer; most of them involve moral sentiments. You can have arguments on one side and on the other, but what you have to ask yourself is what does American society think?” Although the discussion continued for nearly another half hour, nothing was said by anyone present which was more profound than that, so I won’t bother reiterating further.

Suffice it to say that if I were a Supreme Court Justice, I’d ask myself the following questions:

Do judges in the U.S., at any level of jurisprudence, consider the Constitution to be satisfactory or not?

If not, what other nation has exhibited the capacity to improve upon it, or even to approach its standards of excellence in such a way as to be worthy of my consideration of its views?

Should justices of the highest court in the land be allowed to speak for the attitudes of the American people, while simultaneously ignoring them, respectful only of the opinions of elitists from other countries, and/or the American legal intelligencia?

In short, do we really want these people making moral judgments for the rest of us?

I may not be a law professor, an attorney, a judge, or even a formal student of the practice, but it seems to me that the law should be based, at least in part, on common sense and practicality. It should also be reflective of the will of the American people, if it is to have any true weight at all.

As Ulysses S. Grant once said, “The will of the people is the best law.

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Leftist Louisiana Governor: No More LSU Football If Budget Isn’t Balanced – His Solution? More Taxes

Louisiana Gov. Edwards: Balance Budget Or No LSU Football Next Year – CNS

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In a televised address to the state Thursday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said that “you can say farewell to college football next fall” if the state doesn’t fix a near $2 billion budget deficit for the next fiscal year.

“If the legislature fails to act and we are forced to proceed with these cuts the LSU Ag Center and parish extension offices in every parish, and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center will close by April 1st and the LSU main campus in Baton Rouge will run out of money after April 30th,” Edwards said. “Many students will not be able to graduate, and student athletes across the state at those schools will be ineligible to play next semester. That means you can say farewell to college football next fall.”

Edwards noted in his speech, as found on NOLA.com, that the LSU system is not the only one in danger. Thanks to the $940 million budget deficit that Louisiana faces this fiscal year and the $2 billion budget deficit for the next fiscal year, the Southern University System, University of Louisiana System and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System are in the same boat.

“Without legislators approving new revenue this special session, some campuses will be forced to declare financial bankruptcy, which would include massive layoffs and the cancellation of classes,” stated Edwards.

According to Edwards, the budget deficit threatens other universities the state’s healthcare system and the New Opportunity Waiver program, a program for families with developmental disabilities.

To help bridge the gap Edwards said he plans to increase alcohol and cigarette taxes and also intends to add an extra penny to the state’s four cent sales tax, which he claimed isn’t permanent.

“I am proposing this penny as a bridge that will give us time to stabilize and restructure our state’s tax code,” remarked Edwards. “When that restructuring is complete, this penny sales tax will be removed.”

Alongside tax increases, Edwards called for reducing tax credits, suspending corporate tax deductions and making further cuts in an effort to stabilize the budget. Edwards said this would include a hiring freeze and more than $160 million in cuts in government spending.

He also proposed using $128 million from the rainy day fund and $200 million from non-coastal BP payments.

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The Democrats’ Likely Nominee Appears To Be A Felon – This Is Not Business As Usual (Andrew C. McCarthy)

The Democrats’ Likely Nominee Appears To Be A Felon… This Is Not Business As Usual – Andrew C. McCarthy

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Competing Democrats debate each other one night. Republican rivals take their shots at each other a couple of nights later. An air of frenetic normalcy sets over primary season: The country is $20 trillion in the red and under heightened terrorist threat, yet pols bicker over the legacy of Henry Kissinger and the chameleon nature of Donald Trump – another liability the mogul is marketing as an asset. It is business as usual.

Except nothing about the 2016 campaign is business as usual.

For all the surreal projection of normalcy, the race is enveloped by an extremely serious criminal investigation. If press reporting is to be believed – in particular, the yeoman’s work of Fox News’s Catherine Herridge and Pamela K. Browne – Hillary Clinton, the likely nominee of one of the two major parties, appears to have committed serious felony violations of federal law.

That she has the audacity to run despite the circumstances is no surprise – Clinton scandals, the background music of our politics for a quarter-century, are interrupted only by new Clinton scandals. What is shocking is that the Democrats are allowing her to run.

For some Democrats, alas, any criminality by the home team is immaterial. A couple of weeks back, The Donald bragged, as is his wont, that he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” Trump was kidding (at least, I think he was). Unfortunately, the statement might have been true had it sprung from Mrs. Clinton’s lips.

In a Democratic party dominated by the hard Left, the power Left, what matters is keeping Republicans out of the White House, period. Democrats whored themselves for Bill through the Nineties, seemingly unembarrassed over the lie it put to their soaring tropes about women’s rights, good government, getting money out of politics, etc. They will close ranks around Hillary, too. After all, if she was abusing power while advancing the cause of amassing power – er, I mean, the cause of social justice – what’s the harm?

More-centrist Democrats realize there could be great harm, but they seem paralyzed. The American people, they know, are not the hard Left: If Mrs. Clinton is permitted to keep plodding on toward the nomination only to be indicted after she has gotten it, the party’s chances of holding on to the White House probably disappear. By then, there may not be time to organize a national campaign with a suitable candidate (as opposed to a goofy 74-year-old avowed socialist).

So these Democrats play Russian roulette: hopefully assuming that the FBI won’t dare recommend criminal charges with the stakes so high; that the Obama Justice Department won’t prosecute if charges are recommended; that Obama will figure out a way to intervene with a pardon that won’t do Clinton too much damage, and that the public can be spun into thinking an investigation led by Obama appointees and career law-enforcement officers is somehow a Vast-Right-Wing-Conspiracy plot dreamt up by Republicans.

Many of these Democrats know that the right thing to do for their party – and country – is to demand that Mrs. Clinton step aside. They also know that if they do the right thing, and Clinton wins anyway, there will be vengeance – Hillary being the vengeful sort. So mum’s the word.

Their silence will not change the facts.

To take the simplest of many apparent national-security violations, it is a felony for a person “being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any… information relating to the national defense” to permit that information “through gross negligence… to be removed from its proper place of custody” or to be “delivered to anyone in violation of his trust” (Section 793(f) of Title 18, U.S. Code).

Mrs. Clinton was entrusted with national-defense information and knew that working with such classified intelligence was a substantial part of her duties as secretary of state. Despite this knowledge, she willfully, and against government rules, set up a private, non-secure e-mail communication system for all of her government-related correspondence – making it inevitable that classified matters would be discussed on the system. This was gross negligence at best. And the easily foreseeable result is that classified intelligence was removed from its secure government repository and transmitted to persons not entitled to have it – very likely including foreign intelligence services that almost certainly penetrated Mrs. Clinton’s non-secure system.

The penalty for violating this penal statute is up to ten years’ imprisonment for each individual violation. Mind you, there are already 1,600 reported instances of classified information being transmitted via the Clinton server system, and the latest indications are that at least twelve, and as many as 30, private e-mail accounts are known to have trafficked in our nation’s defense secrets. Many of these account holders were certainly not cleared for access to the information – and none of them was permitted to access it in a non-secure setting.

Fox has also reported that the FBI has expanded its investigation to possible public-corruption offenses – the cozy connections between the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, and Clinton-connected businesses; the question whether Clinton Foundation donors received favorable treatment in government contracts. Such allegations could fill a book. Indeed, investigative journalist Peter Schweizer has written just such a book: Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.

It’s a hair-raising story, but corruption cases are tough to prove. Comparatively, classified-information offenses are straightforward: There is a paper trail and secret intelligence either ended up someplace it was not supposed to be or it didn’t. Corruption cases, by contrast, can involve complex transactions and the gray area between grimy political deals and actionable quid pro quo. They hinge on proving the state of mind of the players, which can be challenging.

So I want to pass over that for now and think about something rarely mentioned in the Clinton caper: the unknown e-mails. What has been revealed about Mrs. Clinton’s disclosed e-mails has been so shocking that we often forget: There are 30,000 other e-mails that she attempted to destroy. We do not know what’s in them, so it is only natural that we have focused instead on what is knowable – the e-mails that have been disclosed. But there have been media reports that the FBI, to which Mrs. Clinton finally surrendered her private servers some months ago, has been able to retrieve many of the “deleted” e-mails, perhaps even all of them.

Mrs. Clinton told us she destroyed these e-mails because they were private and unrelated to government business. Basically we are to believe that one of the busiest, highest-ranking officials in our government had time to send tens of thousands of e-mails that were strictly about yoga routines, her daughter’s bridesmaids’ dresses, and the like. This, from the same Mrs. Clinton who looked us in the eye and insisted that none of her e-mails contained classified information.

Anyone want to join me in indulging the possibility that many of the deleted e-mails involve government business?

I ask because, wholly apart from any classified information crimes, there is another penal law defining an offense that is very easy to prove: the federal embezzlement statute (Section 641 of Title 18, U.S. Code). This provision targets anyone who, among other things,
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embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to his use…, or without authority… conveys or disposes of any record… of the United States or of any department or agency thereof…; or …conceals, or retains the same with intent to convert it to his use… knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted.

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As with the afore-described crime of mishandling classified information, the penalty for violating this statute is up to ten years’ imprisonment for each instance of theft.

To the extent Mrs. Clinton’s e-mails involved government business, they were not private – they were government records. When she left the State Department, however, she took these government records with her: She didn’t tell anyone she had them, and she converted them to her own use – preventing the government from complying with lawful Freedom of Information Act disclosure demands, congressional inquiries, and government-disclosure obligations in judicial proceedings, as well as undermining the State Department’s reliance on the completeness of its recordkeeping in performing its crucial functions.

I believe that Clinton has already violated the embezzlement law with respect to the 30,000 e-mails she finally surrendered to the State Department nearly two years after leaving. But for argument’s sake, let’s give her a pass on those. Let’s consider only the 30,000 e-mails that she withheld and attempted to destroy but that the FBI has reportedly recovered. Does anyone really doubt that this mountain of e-mail contains State Department-related communications – i.e., government files?

In a better time, responsible Democrats would already have disqualified Mrs. Clinton on the quaint notion that fitness for the nation’s highest office means something more than the ability to evade indictment for one’s sleazy doings. But now we have a candidate who may not – and should not – be able to meet even that lowly standard. No self-respecting political party would permit her to run. Obviously, a plea to do the right thing is not a winning appeal to today’s Democrats. But what are we left with if appeals to self-interest also fall on deaf ears?

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Leftist Congressional Candidate Says It’s Not ‘Sporting’ To Use Semi-Automatic Weapons For Self-Defense

This Democrat Says It Is Not ‘Sporting’ To Use Semi-Automatic Weapons For Self-Defense – Downtrend

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Dan Muroff is an anti-gun liberal nutcase who is running for Congress. He is hoping to unseat fellow anti-gun kook US Rep. Chaka Fattah for Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District by being an even bigger anti-gun kook. In a positively illuminating interview, Muroff explains how he wants to ban semi-automatic firearms because it is not “sporting” for people to use them in self-defense.

While speaking with aldianews.com about his campaign, Muroff laid out his street cred on gun control with liberal gems like these:

“Guns in the street are easier to find than healthy produce. They unravel the fabric of not just an individual’s future, but with it their family’s future,” said Muroff.

Sounds like “the streets” have more of fresh produce problem than a gun problem. Also, there’s that whole thing about how the Constitution doesn’t guarantee our right to keep and bear carrots, which I’m sure Muroff is aware of.

“The number of deaths, the number of families that are devastated. When I say remediable, I don’t been fixable. But you can remedy in part, and mitigate in part, the gun violence in cities and elsewhere by passing reasonable legislation,” he continued.

I don’t been fixable? I’m not sure if that is a typo or if Muroff just has some mild brain damage but either way, this is a great new liberal take on the ineffectiveness of gun control. He’s saying, “Sure, gun control won’t actually fix the problem of crime and violence, but it will make lefties feel better about it.”

And speaking of liberal creativity with words:

“We can’t allow those who see this as a single issue stand in the way of what reasonable people know what needs to be done,” said Muroff.

According to him the people that want to take away a Constitutional right are the reasonable ones and by implication, those who would fight to preserve that right are the unreasonable ones.

After laying out his plan to ban weapons, hold gun owners accountable if their firearms are stolen and used in a crime, and closing non-existent loopholes, Muroff assures us: “I’m not talking about taking away second amendment rights, but responsible ownership and responsible sales.”

I don’t think he meant that the way it came out, but he did just say that he is talking about taking away “reasonable ownership and responsible sales.” Then again, maybe that’s exactly what he meant to say.

Finally, we get to the single dumbest thing he said in an insanely unintelligent interview:

“It’s not sporting to use a semi-automatic weapon to go hunting, or frankly, self-defense,” said Muroff.

WTF!?! It’s not sporting to defend yourself using a semi-automatic weapon against a dangerous criminal? Does he honestly feel like we need to give the scumbags a sporting chance when they are trying to rape and murder? I guess so. Maybe he thinks we should all have muzzle-loading black powder muskets just to give the bad guys a reasonable chance of succeeding in their evil deeds.

In hunting there is a train of thought that says using a semi-automatic rifle makes the sport less challenging. No such thing exists in self-defense. You meet force with equal or greater force. Period. There is no sportsmanship in matters of life and death.

And again, Muroff’s misunderstanding of the 2nd Amendment shines through. There is nothing in the Constitution that ties gun ownership to hunting or even self-defense. We simply have the right to own guns and liberal douchebags like him don’t have a right to mess with that.

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Professor Cries Racism After Getting Busted For Traffic Offenses – Video Shows Nicest Cops In The World

Dashcam Shows Princeton Professor Who Cried Racism Experienced Staggeringly Cordial Arrest – Daily Caller

The dashcam arrest video showing police arrest a Princeton University professor this weekend paints a markedly different picture than the racist ordeal described by the professor, Imani Perry, in a 1,201-word Facebook rant.

Perry, a professor in Princeton’s African American studies department, also tweeted angrily about her arrest, but she appears to have since deleted her entire Twitter account.

A pair of Princeton, N.J. police officers busted Perry on Saturday morning for going 67 miles per hour in a zone where the posted speed limit is 45 miles per hour.

The officers then proceeded to arrest Perry because of a warrant for an outstanding parking ticket from three years ago. She still owed $130 for that infraction.

Police did not allow Perry to make any telephone calls before she was officially placed under arrest, she complained. The professor said she was rudely subjected to a brief frisking by a male police officer as well.

“This was my first time in handcuffs,” Perry wrote on Facebook. “They were very cold on my arthritic wrists. I have been thinking about how vulnerable they make you feel.”

Perry also righteously threw down the race card.

“Now, make no mistake, I do not believe I did anything wrong,” she wrote. “But even if I did, my position holds. The police treated me inappropriately and disproportionately. The fact of my blackness is not incidental to this matter.”

However, video of Perry’s arrest shows two of the nicest-appearing police officers you’d ever hope to meet straining to be diplomatic and generally participating in what may be the most cordial police interaction ever.
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“Are you okay?” the male cop asks Perry at one point during the video, when she is in the police car.

“No,” a female voice – apparently Perry’s – responds.

“Are you hyperventilating?” the cop then asks.

The male officer then explains that everything will be easy and expedient “as long as you’ve got the money.”

In addition to the Princeton traffic troubles which led to her brief arrest, Perry also has an active Abington Township, Pa. traffic case in which she drove an unregistered automobile, according to Planet Princeton.

The Princeton professor also has an outstanding summons for failing to pay a parking ticket in Lower Merion, N.J.

In a second clip, which shows an earlier stage of Perry’s traffic stop, she tells a skeptical officer that she never received any sort of notice that she had a parking violation or a suspended license.
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And here is Perry speeding down a narrow, tree-lined road, getting caught on radar and then getting initially busted.
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In her Facebook rant, Perry cites institutionalized racism “from elementary school suspensions, to car purchases, to teachers recommending students for gifted and talented programs, to how often waiters visit your table in restaurants, to mortgages, to police stops and arrests.”

Perry, the parking ticket recipient who says she was ultimately able to pay her fine “without hesitation” to secure her release, also compares her fate to “poor Black, Indigenous, and Latino communities” which “experience disproportionate police surveillance, harassment, violence, and punishment.”

“I can say that what I experienced was far more likely because my skin is a deep brown, my nose is round, and my hair is coily,” Perry also claims.

The trio of YouTube clips were posted Thursday afternoon by Krystal Knapp, a reporter for Planet Princeton.

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Ted Cruz Mocks Hillary Clinton With Brilliantly Funny New ‘Office Space’ Ad (Video)

Hilarious New Ad From Ted Cruz Spoofs Classic ‘Office Space’ Scene To Mock Hillary Clinton – Right Scoop

Wow I love this ad. Morning Joe released part of a video from Ted Cruz showing Hillary Clinton destroy a server in a spoof from a classic scene in the great movie, “Office Space.”

Take a look:
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Just on a personal note, I really love the wit and humor of this ad. The panel on Morning Joe, who all hate Ted Cruz, of course were flabbergasted that he would do such a thing as transgress against Hillary, their Mother Gaia of liberalism. Well screw them, I think it’s hilarious.

BUT – will South Carolinians like it? If Cruz did it specifically to target my age demographic, then it’s brilliant. If it’s meant to be a general ad, then it might miss the mark among older Americans. Now I’m gonna watch it again and laugh, BRB!

We’ll post the whole ad once it’s available, keep checking back.

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*VIDEO* Yes, There Actually Was Another Democrat Debate Last Night… Really!

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Feel The Bern… Sanders Experiences The Wonders Of Socialism After New Hampshire Vote

Sanders Gets Berned By His Own Type Of “Justice” – Moonbattery

Anyone capable of feeling sorry for socialists might start with Bernie Sanders. After a de facto tie in Iowa was counted as a loss, his overwhelming victory in New Hampshire went down as a tie:
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Hillary Clinton is expected to leave New Hampshire with just as many delegates as Bernie Sanders, even after he crushed her in Tuesday’s presidential primary.

Sanders won 15 delegates with his 20-point victory Tuesday while Clinton won nine.

But Clinton came into the contest with the support of six superdelegates, who are state party insiders given the freedom to support any candidate they choose…

[A]s it stands, the superdelegate support gives Clinton a total of 15 New Hampshire delegates.

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Maybe the Democrats are undemocratic, but you can’t say they aren’t fair – in the Democrat sense of the word:
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During his victory speech Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders said that America is “based on a simple principle, and that principle is fairness.” Ignore for a moment the sound of Thomas Jefferson rolling over in his grave and instead be happy for Sanders that his dream was put into practice after the New Hampshire votes were counted.

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Sanders might have won his blowout victory because he campaigned harder, and was more effective in crafting a message the voters wanted to hear. He might just be a better politician than Shrillary. But thanks to this political application of his own notion of economic justice, they get the same benefit anyway. It’s called “equality.”

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President Asshat Bullied Bank To Pay Racial Settlement Without Evidence

Obama Bullied Bank To Pay Racial Settlement Without Proof: Report – New York Post

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Newly uncovered internal memos reveal the Obama administration knowingly exaggerated charges of racial discrimination in probes of Ally Bank and other defendants in the $900 billion car-lending business as part of a “racial justice” campaign that’s looking more like a massive government extortion and shakedown operation.

So far, Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has reached more than $220 million in settlements with several auto lenders since the agency launched its anti-discrimination crusade against the industry in 2013. Several other banks are under active investigation.

That’s despite the fact that the CFPB had no actual complaints of racial discrimination – it was all just based on half-baked statistics.

A confidential 23-page internal report detailing CFPB’s strategy for going after lenders shows why these companies are forking over millions of dollars in restitution and fines to the government despite denying any wrongdoing.

The high-level memo, sent by top CFPB civil-rights prosecutors to the bureau’s director and revealed by a House committee, admits their methods for proving discrimination were seriously flawed from the start and had little chance of holding up in court. Yet they figured they could muscle Ally, as well as future defendants, with threats and intimidation.

“Some of the claims being made in this case present issues, such as use of [race] proxying and reliance on the disparate-impact doctrine, that would pose litigation risks meriting serious consideration prior to taking administrative action or filing suit in district court,” the Oct. 7, 2013, memo addressed to CFPB chief Richard Cordray acknowledges.

“Nevertheless,” it added, “Ally may have a powerful incentive to settle the entire matter quickly without engaging in protracted litigation.”

At the time, the Detroit-based bank was seeking permission from the Federal Reserve to remain a financial holding company. Without regulatory approval, Ally risked losing key business lines, primarily its insurance subsidiaries.

“Protracted litigation” would present “a high hurdle” to Ally retaining such status, the CFPB lawyers conspired.

Prosecutors also sought to use the Community Reinvestment Act as leverage against Ally. At the time, the FDIC was reviewing the bank’s compliance with the anti-redlining law.

They huddled with FDIC and Federal Reserve officials to get them on board with their scheme; and the Fed assured them it would look favorably upon “a prompt and robust” settlement by Ally, while the FDIC confirmed that a quick resolution would help Ally pass its CRA exam.

So CFPB applied the screws to Ally, saying it had “statistical evidence” showing its participating dealers were “marking up” loan prices for blacks and Hispanics vs. whites (by an average of $3 a month). Ally fought back, insisting non-discriminatory factors, such as credit history, down payments, trade-ins, promotions and rate-shopping, explained differences in loan pricing. After conducting a preliminary regression analysis, the bank found these factors alone accounted for at least 70 percent of the “racial disparities” the government was claiming.

CFPB admits in the memo that it never considered these or other legitimate business aspects of the car deals it investigated: “Such factors were excluded as controls from the markup analysis.”

Also in its initial rebuttal, Ally complained CFPB’s entire case was based on “disparate impact” statistics, not actual complaints by consumers, and that those estimates relied on guesswork about the race of the borrowers. (The auto industry does not report borrower race, so CFPB tried to ID race by last name and ZIP code, a so-called “proxy” method that is wildly inaccurate.)

“The evidence of discrimination on the basis of race and national origin is strictly statistical,” the agency confessed in a report footnote.

With all these machinations hidden from public view, Cordray held a press conference to announce “the federal government’s largest auto-loan discrimination settlement in history.” He claimed that 235,000 minorities had been harmed by Ally, even though he didn’t know the race of a single borrower or whether they had actually been harmed.

“He had no idea how many actual victims there were because their whole case rested entirely on statistical estimations they admitted internally were inaccurate,” said a senior staffer for the House Financial Services Committee, which recently obtained the internal documents from CFPB.

In fact, CFPB still has not been able to definitively ID the race of any borrower it claims Ally victimized – which is why it has taken more than two years to send remuneration checks to alleged victims. Desperate to find them, the bureau recently had to mail 420,000 letters to Ally borrowers to coax at least 235,000 into taking the money, and to allow Cordray to save face.

Checks started going out this month to the fictitious victims – just in time for the election. So what if some recipients are white? They will all no doubt thank Democrats for the sudden, unexpected windfall of up to $520 in the mail.

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Thanks Barack… Illegal Aliens Benefitted From Up To $750M In Obamacare Subsidies

Senate Report: Illegal Aliens Benefitted From Up To $750 Million In Obamacare Subsidies – Weasel Zippers

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Didn’t Obama say illegal aliens would not be getting subsidies?

Via Fox News:
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Illegal immigrants and individuals with unclear legal status wrongly benefited from up to $750 million in ObamaCare subsidies and the government is struggling to recoup the money, according to a new Senate report obtained by Fox News.

The report, produced by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, examined Affordable Care Act tax credits meant to defray the cost of insurance premiums. It found that as of June 2015, “the Administration awarded approximately $750 million in tax credits on behalf of individuals who were later determined to be ineligible because they failed to verify their citizenship, status as a national, or legal presence.”

Keep reading

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Obamanomics Update: President Asshat Releasing $4 Trillion-Plus Budget For 2017

Obama Releasing $4 Trillion-Plus Budget For 2017; New Taxes And Spending – CNS

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President Barack Obama is unveiling his eighth and final budget, a $4 trillion-plus proposal that’s freighted with liberal policy initiatives and new and familiar tax hikes – all sent to a dismissive Republican-controlled Congress that simply wants to move on from his presidency.

The budget will be released Tuesday morning, the same day as the New Hampshire primary when it’s likely to get little attention. It comes as the deficit, which had been falling over the duration of Obama’s two terms, has begun to creep up, above the half-trillion mark.

The White House is countering the worsening deficit outlook with a proposed $10-per barrel tax on oil that would finance “clean” transportation projects. It also is sure to propose taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

Long gone are proposals such as slowing the automatic inflation increase for Social Security benefits and other ideas once aimed at drawing congressional Republicans into negotiations on a broader budget deal.

Now, Obama has broken out a budget playbook filled with ideas sure to appeal to Democrats: A “moonshot” initiative to cure cancer; increasing Pell Grants for college students from low-income backgrounds; renewed incentives for GOP-governed states to join the expanded Medicaid system established under the health care law, and incentives to boost individual retirement accounts.

The $10-per-barrel tax hike proposal comes as the price of crude has dropped to the $30 per barrel range.

“We’re going to impose a tax on a barrel of oil – imported, exported – so that some of that revenue can be used for transportation, some of that revenue can be used for the investments in basic research and technology that’s going to be needed for the energy sources of the future,” Obama said. “Then 10 years from now, 15 years from now, 20 years from now, we’re going to be in a much stronger position when oil starts getting tight again, prices start going up again.”

Republicans, however, immediately rejected the idea after its release last week and it will meet the fate of prior dead-on-arrival proposals such as increasing capital gains taxes on the wealthy, imposing a fee on big banks, and cutting the value of charitable deductions for upper-income taxpayers. Higher cigarette taxes and a minimum 30 percent rate for wealthier filers have also gone nowhere.

Obama’s proposed tax increases also mean that he can present relatively reasonable deficit estimates without having to go for painful cuts to benefit programs such as Medicare, health care subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, food stamps, and Medicaid health care for the poor.

The budget deficit, after hitting a whopping $1.4 trillion in Obama’s first year, dropped to a relatively manageable $439 billion last year. But a softening economic outlook, combined with a round of tax cuts and increased spending enacted by Congress last year, will make the deficit problem about $1.5 trillion worse over the coming 10 years, according to the latest Congressional Budget Office estimate.

CBO’s “baseline” deficit – what it expects would occur if Congress does nothing – would now total almost $10 trillion over the coming decade.

The White House hasn’t revealed what, if anything, Obama will propose to address the worsening deficit picture. In its budget roll-out, the White House has instead focused on new spending initiatives. The plan is also likely to call for a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws, highly unlikely in an election year.

On Monday, Obama proposed $1.8 billion to combat the Zika virus, asking for the money immediately as emergency spending on top of the $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill that passed in December. The virus is spreading rapidly through Latin America. While most people experience either mild or no symptoms, Zika is suspected of causing a devastating birth defect – babies born with abnormally small heads – and the funding is aimed at fighting its spread both abroad and in the U.S.

Obama has largely shifted his focus elsewhere. After winning a higher income tax rate in 2013 on couples earning more than $400,000 per year, Obama and Republicans have battled over relatively small increases to the less than one-third of the budget passed by Congress each year. Republicans seeking higher spending for the Pentagon have been forced to accept Obama’s demands for additional funds for domestic agencies.

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More Proof That Leftists Are Batshit Crazy

‘Experts’ Warn ‘Global Warming’ Is Making Pet Dogs Depressed – Breitbart

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A leading “dog behaviourist” and an “animal behaviour counselor” have warned that “global warming” is responsible for a supposedly massive rise in bored and depressed pet dogs.

The “experts” said that “extreme” weather and a spate of wet winters was responsible for the tragic trend, which the Independent newspaper attributed to “decades of global warming”.

“I’ve been working with dogs for more than 20 years and I can’t remember a time when they’ve been this bored. I tend to see boredom in bursts but I’m seeing it chronically this winter”, said Carolyn Menteith, a dog behaviourist who was named Britain’s Instructor of the Year in 2015.

Ms. Mentheth said that cold crisp winters had given way to “constant wet dreariness”, with the Independent explaining that, “she – like many scientists and meteorologists – puts this down to climate change and expects to see more bored dogs in the future as global warming unleashes increasingly frequent and intense bouts of winter rainfall.”

She said the dogs “are just really, really, bored” because “People are quite happy to get their dogs out in frosty, hard weather but not when it’s muddy and horrible.” The problem, therefore, is that dogs are not being walked enough, regardless of whether or not this is due to global warming.

However, Sarah Fisher, an animal behaviour counsellor with around two decades experience, has also said she had noticed a level of canine unrest that is unprecedented in her career.

“I’ve never seen our dogs or horses this bored before in 20 years. Horses that have lived happily outside before are saying ‘I actually can’t cope with this mud and wet anymore’,” she said.

“We’re turning them out of their stables and they’re saying ‘Get me back in straight away’.

“They can’t settle, they look bored, but actually it’s to do with physical stress and mental boredom, they can’t go off quietly and graze because they keep sliding around the field,” Ms. Fisher added.

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*AUDIO* Mark Steyn And Howie Carr Discuss The Presidential Primaries (02/05/16)

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What If The Democrats Held A Debate And Nobody Watched It?

Last Night’s Democrat Debate Was The Lowest Rated One To Date – Weasel Zippers

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Nobody wants to watch Communists argue over who’s the rightful heir to Marx.

Via CNN:
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MSNBC’s feisty debate between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton received high marks from political observers, but not high ratings from ordinary viewers.

It was the lowest-rated debate of the 2016 election cycle by far, according to preliminary Nielsen data. The debate had a 3.3 household rating in Nielsen’s metered markets.

The prior low was a 6.0 household rating for ABC’s Democrat debate on the Saturday night before Christmas.

Keep reading

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Seven More Hitlery E-mails Too Secret To Release

Seven More Hillary Server E-mails Too Secret To Release In Any Form – Hot Air

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The State Department has decided to withhold seven more e-mails from Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized and nonsecure homebrew system as too sensitive to release even in redacted form. That brings the total number of such messages to 29, and one member of Congress who has seen them is aghast at what may have been exposed:
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“There are more than 22, and it’s not just one or two more,” Rep. Chris Stewart told the Washington Examiner, referring to the 22 emails deemed top secret by the State Department last week. “It’s a more meaningful number than that.”

Stewart said the State Department has classified seven additional emails as “top secret.” The agency will now withhold 29 emails from the public due to their sensitive content.

“These were classified at the top secret level, and in some cases, above that,” he said.

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Yesterday, Stewart told Fox News what kind of information went through the server – and it’s every bit as bad as one would imagine:
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“They do reveal classified methods, they do reveal classified sources, and they do reveal human assets,” he said during an appearance on Fox’s “America’s Newsroom” earlier in the day.

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Be sure to watch it, as Stewart uses a hypothetical that should have eyebrows raised. “My heavens,” he tells Martha McCallum, “if I received an e-mail saying, ‘here are the names and addresses and phone numbers of ten of our undercover agents in Pakistan,’ I would know … that was classified. I wouldn’t look for a heading.” Stewart then says that his hypothetical isn’t what was found in the e-mails, but clearly Stewart believes it to be as obvious as the hypothetical suggests. And if these messages disclosed human assets, as Stewart explicitly accuses in this interview after having seen the e-mails, then it would be obvious that they could not be transmitted through or retained within an unauthorized and non-secure system.

It’s no surprise, then, that the House Oversight Committee will start an investigation into exactly what went wrong and how much damage has been done to American intelligence by the State Department – and perhaps to put some pressure on the Department of Justice:
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House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz says he’s forging ahead with an investigation into the federal government’s record keeping – a probe he acknowledges could put Hillary Clinton in the cross hairs.

But Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy have been clear: They believe the FBI and Justice Department should handle the investigation into Clinton’s use of personal email for government business, and that congressional involvement could disrupt the criminal probe and appear overly partisan. Taking that cue, the House Science Committee, which had planned its own investigation into Clinton’s email server, on Wednesday opted to delay its inquiry and defer to the FBI, an aide on the panel told POLITICO.

As for Chaffetz, Ryan (R-Wis.) is giving him the green light to proceed – with caution. The speaker authorized Chaffetz to investigate systematic problems within his committee’s broad jurisdiction, while making clear his preference that Chaffetz steer clear of Clinton personally.

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A House probe will put the FBI’s efforts under a microscope, whether Chaffetz chooses to avoid taking on Hillary directly or not. It will also send a signal to the DoJ that simply running out the clock will not suffice. Chaffetz could choose to work on this as a probe to determine the amount of damage done by the mishandling of classified information at State – methods that had to be changed, opportunities lost, agents who had to be recalled, or even sources who might have dried up or vanished altogether. Making the damage clear will undercut any claims from Clinton and the White House of “no harm, no foul,” but more importantly will actually emphasize the need to properly protect national-security data pour encourager les autres.

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President Asshat Continues His Shame-The-Infidels Tour In Baltimore

Obama Visits Mosque: ‘Islam Has Always Been Part Of America’ – Big Government

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President Obama spoke warmly about Islam during his speech at a mosque today, highlighting the contributions that Muslims had made to the fabric of American society.

“Islam has always been part of America,” he said, detailing the beginnings of the religion among African slaves brought to America. He also pointed out that Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Virginia statute for religious freedom that the “Mohammedan” should have his faith protected in the United States.

Obama met with Muslim leaders during a visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore, before delivering a speech there. This is Obama’s first visit to a mosque as president – although George W. Bush also visited a mosque in New York City after the attacks of 9/11.

During his speech, he praised the religion for being a religion of peace – not the hate preached by groups like ISIS.

“The very word Islam comes from ‘Salam’ – peace,” he said. “The standard greeting is ‘As-Salaam-Alaikum’ – ‘Peace be upon you,’” he explained. “Like so many faiths, Islam is rooted in a commitment to compassion and mercy and justice and charity. “Whoever wants to enter paradise, the prophet Mohammad taught, let him treat people the way he would love to be treated,” he said as the audience applauded.

“For Christians like myself, I’m assuming that sounds familiar,” he continued.

Obama has frequently defended Muslim Americans – even meeting with leaders at private event at the White House last year. This is the biggest public display of support for the Muslim American community – cited by White House aides as a response to the anti-refugee and anti-Muslim rhetoric on the campaign trail from Republicans like Donald Trump.

Obama reminded the audience that political opponents of Thomas Jefferson accused him of being a Muslim. “So I was not the first,” he said lightly as the audience laughed. “It’s true. Look it up. I’m in good company.”

Obama pointed out that the founding fathers also supported the religion of Islam.

“Jefferson and John Adams had their own copies of the Koran,” he said. “Benjamin Franklin wrote, that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

He also recalled the history of mosques in America – pointing out that the oldest surviving mosque was in Iowa and that the first American mosque was built in North Dakota.

Obama also urged Christians to defend Muslim-Americans when their religion was under attack.

“If we’re serious about freedom of religion – and I’m speaking now to my fellow Christians, who remain the majority in this country – we have to understand, an attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths,” he said.

He demanded that Americans stop profiling Muslims and treating them differently because of their faith – criticizing political rhetoric for inflaming hatred against the Muslim community.

“We have to reject a politics that seeks to manipulate prejudice or bias and targets people because of religion,” he said.

He specifically addressed young Muslim Americans, urging them not to grow cynical.

“Let me say it as clearly as I can, as President of the United States, you fit in here. Right here. You’re right where you belong. You’re part of America too,” he said.

According to photos on Twitter of the speech, the audience in the mosque was segregated – men in one section and women in a special balcony.

As Obama concluded his speech, he said, “May God’s peace be upon you and God Bless the United States of America.”

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*VIDEO* Move Over Pajama Boy, Sticker Boy Is Newest Democrat Star

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*VIDEO* Yes, Bernie Sanders’ Supporters Are Dumber Than Dirt

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Iowa Democrats Prove They’re Completely Insane (Videos)

Clinton Won At Least 6 Iowa Precinct Votes By A Coin Toss – Chicagoist

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That American democracy would allow even one vote to be decided by a coin toss seems bizarre – but somehow the outcome of six separate Iowa Caucus precinct elections were decided by the flip of a coin Monday. And Hillary Clinton won them all.

The Democrats’ Iowa Caucus appears to be a “virtual tie” between Bernie Sanders and Clinton – or a hairline win for Clinton, depending on whom you ask. But before eking out the narrowest of victories against Sanders, Clinton won a truly bizarre-sounding six coin tosses used to decide which candidate would get the votes of several Iowa precincts that were too tied up to call.

Precincts in Des Moines, Newton, West Branch, Davenport and Ames were decided by coin tosses, according to Reuters, and became crucial parts of Clinton’s Monday night win. Democratic Party counts show Clinton ultimately winning the Iowa Caucus by just four delegates.

If you’re still scratching your head over how this could happen, the Iowa Democratic Party sort of explains: On the night of the caucus, Iowans vote for their favorite candidate. Each precinct receives a set number of delegates, and the number of precinct delegates each candidate gets is proportional to the votes he or she got from the precinct’s population. Votes from those delegates ultimately determine the night’s big winner. When a precinct’s delegates vote and it results in a tie, the precinct leaders can flip a coin to figure out which candidate should win their majority.

You can watch some Democracy in action below:
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Apparently Iowa is just one of 35 states to use “chance procedures” – a.k.a. throwing a coin in the air in exasperation and walking away in shame – to determine tied elections, according to the Washington Post.

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Sanders Campaign: Party Lost 5 Percent Of Iowa Vote – Roll Call

The Iowa Democratic Party informed the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernard Sanders late Monday night that it has no results for 90 precincts across the state, which could account for as much as 5 percent of the total vote. And the party has asked the campaigns for help in getting a tally for those missing results.

“We are, right now, calling all our precinct captains on precincts where we have knowledge of what’s missing, to report what we think happened there,” a visibly irate Robert Becker, Sanders’ state director told Roll Call after Sanders’ speech at the Holiday Inn near the Des Moines airport.

“They’ve asked the other campaigns to do the same thing. At the end of the day, there’s probably going to be squabbles on it,” he added.

An Iowa Democratic Party official disputed Becker’s characterization.

“We are currently getting results from our small number of outstanding precincts, and results continue to be reported on our public website,” an Iowa Democratic Party official told Roll Call. “The reports of precincts without chairs are inaccurate. These outstanding precincts have chairs who we are in the process of contacting to get their results. It is inaccurate to report that these precincts did not have chairs.”

“We have reached out to the campaigns for help in contacting the chairs for our outstanding precincts. We are not taking results from the campaigns. We are taking them from the chairs who are in these precincts,” the official added.

Clinton and Sanders were locked in a virtual tie for most of the evening, with the state party announcing early Tuesday morning that Clinton achieved a slight edge in delegate counts.

“The party has a responsibility to staff 1,681 individual precincts. And what we’re seeing right now is that they had no-shows. People not showing up with the materials, not showing up with the app to report it. And when they’re telling us an hour ago that they have basically lost 90 precincts, it’s an outrage,” Becker said. “It’s insulting to the people who worked their asses off across this state that they can’t come up with people to cover these things.”

Attempts to reach the Clinton campaign early Tuesday were unsuccessful.

“I’m assuming they’re in the same boat. And they should be just as outraged as we are,” Becker fumed.

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Official: Hillary Put Lives At Risk By Keeping Highly Classified, Operational Intelligence On Unsecure Server

Official: Withheld Clinton Emails Contain ‘Operational’ Intel, Put Lives At Risk – Fox News

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Highly classified Hillary Clinton emails that the intelligence community and State Department recently deemed too damaging to national security to release contain “operational intelligence” – and their presence on the unsecure, personal email system jeopardized “sources, methods and lives,” a U.S. government official who has reviewed the documents told Fox News.

The official, who was not authorized to speak on the record and was limited in discussing the contents because of their highly classified nature, was referring to the 22 “TOP SECRET” emails that the State Department announced Friday it could not release in any form, even with entire sections redacted.

The announcement fueled criticism of Clinton’s handling of highly sensitive information while secretary of state, even as the Clinton campaign continued to downplay the matter as the product of an interagency dispute over classification. But the U.S. government official’s description provides confirmation that the emails contained closely held government secrets. “Operational intelligence” can be real-time information about intelligence collection, sources and the movement of assets.

The official emphasized that the “TOP SECRET” documents were sent over an extended period of time – from shortly after the server’s 2009 installation until early 2013 when Clinton stepped down as secretary of state.

Separately, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who sits on the House intelligence committee, said the former secretary of state, senator, and Yale-trained lawyer had to know what she was dealing with.

“There is no way that someone, a senior government official who has been handling classified information for a good chunk of their adult life, could not have known that this information ought to be classified, whether it was marked or not,” he said. “Anyone with the capacity to read and an understanding of American national security, an 8th grade reading level or above, would understand that the release of this information or the potential breach of a non-secure system presented risk to American national security.”

Pompeo also suggested the military and intelligence communities have had to change operations, because the Clinton server could have been compromised by a third party.

“Anytime our national security team determines that there’s a potential breach, that is information that might potentially have fallen into the hands of the Iranians, or the Russians, or the Chinese, or just hackers, that they begin to operate in a manner that assumes that information has in fact gotten out,” Pompeo said.

On ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, one day before the Iowa caucuses, Clinton claimed ignorance on the sensitivity of the materials and stressed that they weren’t marked.

“There is no classified marked information on those emails sent or received by me,” she said, adding that “Republicans are going to continue to use it [to] beat up on me.”

Clinton was pressed in the same ABC interview on her signed 2009 non-disclosure agreement which acknowledged that markings are irrelevant, undercutting her central explanation. The agreement states “classified information is marked or unmarked… including oral communications.”

Clinton pointed to her aides, saying: “When you receive information, of course, there has to be some markings, some indication that someone down the chain had thought that this was classified and that was not the case.”

But according to national security legal experts, security clearance holders are required to speak up when classified information is not in secure channels.

“Everybody who has a security clearance has an individual obligation to protect the information,” said national security attorney Edward MacMahon Jr., who represented former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling in the high-profile leak investigation regarding a New York Times reporter. “Just because somebody sends it to you… you can’t just turn a blind eye and pretend it never happened and pretend it’s unclassified information.”

These rules, known as the Code of Federal Regulations, apply to U.S. government employees with security clearances and state there is an obligation to report any possible breach by both the sender and the receiver of the information. The rules state: “Any person who has knowledge that classified information has been or may have been lost, possibly compromised or disclosed to an unauthorized person shall immediately report the circumstances to an official designated for this purpose.”

The Clinton campaign is now calling for the 22 “TOP SECRET” emails to be released, but this is not entirely the State Department’s call since the intelligence came from other agencies, which have final say on classification and handling.

“The State Department has no authority to release those emails and I do think that Secretary Clinton most assuredly knows that,” Pompeo said.

Meanwhile, the release of other emails has revealed more about the high-level exchange of classified information on personal accounts. Among the latest batch of emails released by the State Department is an exchange between Clinton and then-Sen. John Kerry, now secretary of state. Sections are fully redacted, citing classified information – and both Kerry and Clinton were using unsecured, personal accounts.

Further, a 2009 email released to Judicial Watch after a federal lawsuit – and first reported by Fox News – suggests the State Department ‘s senior manager Patrick Kennedy was trying to make it easier for Clinton to check her personal email at work, writing to Clinton aide Cheryl Mills a “stand-alone separate network PC is… [one] great idea.”

“The emails show that the top administrator at the State Department, Patrick Kennedy, who is still there overseeing the response to all the inquiries about Hillary Clinton, was in on Hillary Clinton’s separate email network and system from the get-go,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.

Kennedy is expected to testify this month before the Republican-led Benghazi Select Committee.

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Hillary Is Finally Asked About Non-Disclosure Agreement That Obliterates Her Classified Email Defense – Daily Caller

Hillary Clinton was finally asked on Sunday about a non-disclosure agreement she signed in Jan. 2009 which completely undermines the defense she uses to downplay the existence of classified information on her private email server. But as is often the case with the Democratic presidential candidate, she dodged the question and gave an inconsistent answer.

“You know, you’ve said many times that the emails were not marked classified,” said ABC News “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos.

“But the non-disclosure agreement you signed as secretary of state said that that really is not that relevant,” he continued.

He was referring to the “Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement” – or Standard Form 312 – that Clinton signed on Jan. 22, 2009, a day after taking over as secretary of state.

“It says classified information is marked or unmarked classified and that all of your training to treat all of that sensitively and should know the difference,” said Stephanopoulos, describing the document.

Clinton responded to Stephanopoulos but did not address the meat of his question. In fact, she appeared to reject the language of the SF-312, saying that “there has to be some markings” on classified information.

“I take classified information very seriously,” Clinton said. “You know, you can’t get information off the classified system in the State Department to put onto an unclassified system, no matter what that system is.”

“We were very specific about that and you – when you receive information, of course, there has to be some markings, some indication that someone down the chain had thought that this was classified and that was not the case.”

However, as the SF-312 makes clear, classified information does not have to be marked as such in order to require being handled as classified information. The document applies not just to physical documents and emails but also to oral communications.

Clinton revised her defense of the classified information on several occasions, as federal agencies release more damaging information about her home-brew email system.

“I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified materials,” she said in March, when news of her personal email account and server first broke.

In July, after the State Department began retroactively classifying many of Clinton’s emails, she revised her claim saying that she was “confident” that she “never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent or received.”

Days later, she changed her tune again, adopting the now-familiar claim that she did not send or receive information that was “marked” as such. That was after it was reported that the Intelligence Community’s inspector general had found highly classified emails which were classified when originated.

Clinton’s statement to Stephanopoulos about the inability to transfer “information off the classified system in the State Department to put onto an unclassified system” also fails to hold water.

Earlier this week, Fox News reported on a 2013 video showing Wendy Sherman, who served as Clinton’s Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, discussing how State Department officials often used Blackberries during overseas negotiations to send and receive information that “would never be on an unclassified system.”

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