What’s most disturbing about this story is Attorney General William Barr’s failure so far to pursue evidence that might lead to a completely different conclusion to the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Is Barr taking a dive? From John Solomon, who has done some of the best investigative work on these matters, at thehill.com:
August in Washington can be the political equivalent of an elephant graveyard: One good rain can wash away the dirt and expose the bones of scandals past.
And this August did not disappoint. Thanks to the relentless investigative work of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), we are learning that the Hillary Clintonemail case may not really be settled.
A staff memo updating the two senators’ long-running probe discloses that the FBI — the version run in 2016 by the now-disgraced and fired James Comey, Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok — failed to pursue access to “highly classified” evidence that could have resolved important questions.
The failure to look at the evidence back in 2016 occurred even though the agents believed access to the sensitive evidence was “necessary” to complete the investigation into Clinton’s improper transmission of classified emails — some top-secret — on her unsecure private email server, the memos show.
The Trump administration is trying to make permanent the same unconstitutional spying authority that was used on Trump and the Trump campaign! From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:
While most of us have been thinking about the end of summer and while the political class frets over the Democratic presidential debates and the aborted visit of two members of Congress to Israel, the Trump administration has quietly moved to extend and make permanent the government’s authority to spy on all persons in America.
The president, never at a loss for words, must have been asked by the intelligence community he once reviled not to address these matters in public.
These matters include the very means and the very secret court about which he complained loud and long during the Mueller investigation. Now, he wants to be able to unleash permanently on all of us the evils he claims were visited upon him by the Obama-era FBI and by his own FBI. What’s going on?
Here is the backstory.
After the lawlessness of Watergate had been exposed — a president spying on his political adversaries without warrants in the name of national security — Congress enacted in 1978 the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It prescribed a means for surveillance other than that which the Constitution requires.
Here’s an outrageously stupid story about how five people almost stopped a man from selling his property for almost $5 million. They would have forced him to accept an offer of virtually nothing. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:
The year was 1967. Ronald Reagan had just become governor of California. Aretha Franklin was belting out R-E-S-P-E-C-T on the radio. Marxist revolutionary leader Che Guevara was captured and executed in Bolivia.
And a restaurant chain called The White Spot opened its newest location in Denver, Colorado.
It was a popular diner; the White Spot served pancakes and milkshakes to customers for decades, and ownership of the Denver location eventually changed hands when an entrepreneur named Tom Messina bought the diner in 1999.
He changed the name from the White Spot to Tom’s Diner, and he’s been serving Denver customers for the last 20 years.
But Tom turned 60 recently, and he’s thinking about retirement. After two decades of cracking eggs and frying bacon, he’s ready to spend more time with his family.
And fortunately for Tom, he’s sitting on an extremely valuable asset: his real estate. Tom’s diner is located in downtown Denver in an area that has been heavily redeveloped.
Decades ago the land wasn’t worth very much. But in recent years, Denver became one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Property prices skyrocketed.
If Osama bin Laden was trying to cast the US as an illegal, imperialist power, he did a pretty good job. From David M. Crane at thehill.com:
“Common Article 3 [of the Geneva Conventions] … says that there will be no outrages upon human dignity. It’s very vague. What does that mean, ‘outrages upon human dignity’?” — George W. Bush
The past week marked the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. This laudable treaty, signed by every country, codified centuries of custom, treaties and protocols to protect individuals found on the battlefield. There are four articles to the Geneva Conventions protecting the wounded and sick, prisoners of war and civilians. This is an attempt to bring law and order onto the battlefield. These conventions are part of a larger set of treaties, protocols and rules called international humanitarian law, or the “laws of armed conflict.”
The Geneva Conventions were part of a promising four years after World War II that attempted to prevent the horrors of future conflict. The Nuremberg Principles were adopted, the United Nations Charter was signed, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention were created. These became the cornerstones to settle disputes peacefully and use force only as a last resort. The focus was on international peace and security.
You can’t fight the government with an AR-15, and why would you want to fight the government anyway? From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:
There are two fundamental arguments most commonly made against gun control.
The Anti-Crime Argument
The first one is based on the idea that persons have a fundamental right to self-defense against ordinary criminals. That is, in a world where criminals have access to either legal or illegal weapons, ordinary people ought to be able to arm themselves for purposes of self defense.
The benefits of private gun ownership in this regard can be illustrated in a variety of ways. Mexico’s strict gun-control regime, for instance, ensures ordinary Mexicans are at the mercy of the cartels and ordinary street criminals. Mexico’s astoundingly high homicide rates illustrate the unfortunate reality.
Moreover, within the United States, some of the worst regions for homicides are areas with some of the most strict gun control laws. Baltimore, for example, has a homicide rate ten times that of the United States overall, while the state of Maryland heavily restricts gun ownership.
Studies that assert “more guns means more crime,” meanwhile, have never been able to demonstrate a causal relationship here. Not only is there no reliable data on where exactly all the guns are, but the direction of causality can go either way. We would expect people living in a high crime area to be more likely to purchase a gun for protection. In other words, the proper conclusion may just as likely be “more crime means more guns.”
The gun-for-self-defense argument is the easier one to make. For the most part, one need only argue that people need to be at least as well armed as ordinary criminals. Shotguns and rifles for home defense, or conceal-carry of handguns, for instance, would arguably be sufficient.
How government invariably makes things increasingly complicated. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
Kids didn’t used to roast to death, forgotten in the back seat of cars, because it was hard to forget your kid when he was sitting right there beside you – or even sitting in your lap. That was outlawed – for saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety.
And now kids are forgotten about in the back seat and left to roast to death.
Solution? Keep them strapped in back even longer. Some states have mandated that “kids” ride in saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety seats until they’re practically ready for Social Security – or at least, high school.
A few people backed up over kids – chiefly because it is almost impossible to see what’s behind any car made since the early ‘90s, which is because cars made since then have been made with bulbous rear ends apparently modeled on Kim Kardashian in the interests of . . . . saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety.
They can take being bumped into better than the non-Kardashian models of the pre-saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety era.
President Trump and company have never been big fans of civil liberties. From Jake Johnson at commondreams.org:
“The White House is calling for reauthorization of a program that security agencies have used to spy on innocent people, violate their privacy, and chill free speech.”
Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden speaks via video link as he takes part in a round table meeting on March 15, 2019. (Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images)
Civil liberties groups and privacy advocates raised alarm Thursday after the Trump administration called on Congress to reauthorize an NSA mass surveillance program that was exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The New York Times, which obtained the Trump administration’s request to Congress, reported that “the administration urged lawmakers to make permanent the legal authority for the National Security Agency to gain access to logs of Americans’ domestic communications, the USA Freedom Act.”
“The law, enacted after the intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden revealed the existence of the program in 2013, is set to expire in December, but the Trump administration wants it made permanent,” according to the Times.