Friday, November 04, 2016

The DOJ's Cracking Façade

The establishment's desperate attempt to cover up for a lawless and lying Hillary is coming apart at last

When news broke Friday that FBI Director James Comey had notified Congress that the FBI was re-opening its investigation into Hillary Clinton due to newly discovered emails, jaws collectively dropped across the nation. This was the same James Comey who for the past couple of months had become the punching bag of conservative pundits for his lawless decision of recommending no charges be brought against Clinton. Conversely, he received high praise from Democrats for being an apolitical straight shooter.

Suddenly, 11 days before one of the most controversial elections in our nation’s history, the tables turned. The “apolitical” director is now completely politicized — at least that’s what Hillary Clinton and the Democrats charge, while Donald Trump crowed, “Justice will finally be done.” By the way, on Sunday, a letter, ostensibly from former DOJ officials, with Eric Holder topping the list, was circulated castigating Comey: “Justice Department officials are instructed to refrain from commenting publicly on the existence, let alone the substance, of pending investigative matters, except in exceptional circumstances and with explicit approval from the Department of Justice officials responsible for ultimate supervision of the matter. Director Comey’s letter is inconsistent with prevailing Department policy, and it breaks with longstanding practices followed by officials of both parties during past elections.” Except, again, by Democrats four days ahead of Bill Clinton’s election in 1992. We know you will be shocked to learn the letter was drafted by Clinton campaign hacks.

Meanwhile, news has leaked of infighting between Loretta Lynch’s “Justice” Department and the FBI over the direction of the Clinton investigation. The DOJ wanted to end investigations while many agents within the Bureau were frustrated with what amounted to a “stand down” order regarding further probes of the Clinton Foundation. The constant stream of WikiLeaks releases coupled with news of agency infighting seemingly motivated by political concerns reveals that the façade of a government committed to serving the interests of everyday Americans has cracked severely.

Gallup recently released a poll showing that currently fewer than three in ten Americans trust government leaders to do the right thing. In fact, the period since 2007 marks “the longest period of low trust in government in more than 50 years.” Is it any wonder that Donald Trump is in serious contention? It’s precisely because he is not a part of the distrusted and often corrupt political establishment.

And to add more fuel to the increasingly contentious relationship between the agencies and the Clinton campaign, just yesterday the FBI released documents relating to its 2001 investigation into Bill Clinton’s pardoning of fugitive billionaire Marc Rich — an investigation that concluded with no charges filed. Hillary and the Democrats were quick to question the FBI’s timing of the release, accusing the FBI of yet more political schemes. The FBI insisted the release was a result of its automatic programmed response designed to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests that are on a “first in, first out” basis. One thing is for certain, this certainly doesn’t help Hillary.



What has she got to hide?

Destroying emails completely and forever normally suggests something illegal

Hillary Clinton's campaign chief suggested in early 2015 that Clinton's team should quickly "dump" all of the emails on her private server, documents published by WikiLeaks revealed Tuesday.

The remark was made by campaign chairman John Podesta during a March 2-3, 2015, exchange that included chief counsel Marc Elias and top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills as they were discussing whether to hire a new campaign consultant.

"On another matter ... and not to sound like Lanny, but we are going to have to dump all those emails so better to do so sooner than later," Podesta wrote.

It's not clear what he meant by "dump," but the email was written on the same day the New York Times broke the story that Clinton used her own private email when she led the State Department. If he was hoping Clinton's emails would be released quickly, those hopes would soon be dashed — her emails would be released in several tranches each month for most of 2015 and into 2016.

The email scandal continues to follow her into late 2016. Last Friday, the FBI said it believes it has found tens of thousands of additional emails on the computer of her top aide, Huma Abedin. The FBI said many of those might be duplicate emails or messages that aren't relevant to the investigation, but it still might take weeks or even months to find out.

It's also not clear who "Lanny" is in Podesta's email, but Lanny Davis, a former special counsel to Bill Clinton, was urging Hillary Clinton's team from the beginning that she should release her emails.

About a week later, on March 10, 2015, Hillary Clinton announced that she gave emails she deemed to be work-related to the State Department, and deleted 33,000 more she said were personal.

The FBI reported in findings from its investigation that Clinton staffers had instructed the tech firm responsible for maintaining the server, Platte River Networks, to scrub the emails using proprietary software known as Bleachbit. Clinton has long contended those decisions were made in a period spanning December 2014 to January 2015, well before the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued a March 4 subpoena demanding the messages.

It was discovered in September that the process of attempting to destroy the emails lasted longer, at least to the end of March 2015. Tech staffers responsible for the operation were mostly exempt from prosecution as a result of immunity agreements granted by the FBI over the course of its investigation.




Hillary Is No Friend of Small Business

She claims to want to invest, but she means to add burdens

“People who create things nowadays can expect to be prosecuted by highly moralistic people who are incapable of creating anything. There is no way to measure the chilling effect on innovation that results from the threats of taxation, regulation and prosecution against anything that succeeds. We’ll never know how many ideas our government has aborted in the name protecting us.” —Joseph Sobran

In an effort to distract from her core anti-free market ideology, Hillary Clinton threw a proverbial bone to American small business owners during the debates. Speaking in the first debate, the Queen of Pay-to-Play said, “I want us to invest in you. I want us to invest in your future. That means jobs in infrastructure, in advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology, clean, renewable energy, and small business, because most of the new jobs will come from small business. We also have to make the economy fairer. That starts with raising the national minimum wage and also guarantee, finally, equal pay for women’s work.”

Clinton, who has spent her entire adult life in government, is so bereft of understanding regarding the fundamental tenets of the free market that she likely didn’t understand the contradictory clauses in her statement. Or she did, which is even worse.

First, government does not “invest.” Investing requires capital, and in a free market, capital is owned by individuals and businesses. Government does not have a single penny that it does not first confiscate from a private individual who earned it. And when Hillary talks about making the economy “fairer,” she means she wants government to pick winners and losers. Of course, there has to be some kind of system by which winners and losers are determined — like maybe, who donates to the Clinton Foundation?

In a true free market, the winners are those that are best able to allocate scarce resources in the most efficient way in order to meet the demands of the market. Those that innovate, who create goods and services that people want, are the ones who succeed. Those who are inefficient, wasteful, or who don’t recognize what the market wants, are the ones who fail.

Unless they have friends in government.

For decades, we have lived not so much in a free market as a quasi-capitalist/corporate socialism hybrid where small businesses and major corporations operate under different rules. Small businesses innovate, risk capital, and work tirelessly to bring new goods and services to the market, all while being forced to navigate through literally tens of thousands of pages of federal regulations, a byzantine tax code, and the heaviest tax burden in the industrialized world.

Big Business, on the other hand, can afford an army of lawyers and lobbyists to manipulate the system for their benefit. They can buy off politicians who in turn write special exemptions into the tax and regulatory code for them, and then the same politicians hypocritically rail against the exemptions they wrote, demanding an end to these “loopholes.” Small businesses, which create nearly two-thirds of all new jobs in America, and which account for nearly half of all private GDP growth, do not have that luxury, and find themselves crushed under the weight of government bureaucracy.

In the second debate, Hillary had the audacity to say, “We’ve got to provide some additional help to small businesses so that they can afford to provide health insurance.” Clinton has been a champion (godmother, even) of ObamaCare, which is a massive regulatory takeover of the U.S. health care system. Rather than “bend the cost curve down” as Barack Obama promised, it has caused premiums and deductibles to skyrocket, and millions of Americans lost their health insurance. Furthermore, it has forced small business owners across the country to freeze or reduce hiring, cut hours, and shift workers to part-time in order to avoid the more onerous, back-breaking provisions of the health care law.

In the third debate, Hillary claimed that she wants “to do more to help small business” but then, literally in the next sentence, said she wants to raise the minimum wage, which is nothing more than an additional tax on businesses, the levying of which raises their labor costs and reduces profitability, and even drives some businesses out of business altogether.

According to the 2016 Small Business and Priorities Survey, “unreasonable government regulations” is the second biggest worry of small business owners in America. The first? Rising health care costs.

Both of these are a direct result of the very kind of government interference in (or a takeover of) the free market that Clinton advocates. ObamaCare has crippled the health care market, driving up costs and increasing complexity. Likewise, the Obama administration has implemented, since Obama took the oath of office, a staggering 229 new “major” rules (rules expected to cost businesses and individuals at least $100 million in direct compliance costs), for a total of $107.7 billion in new regulatory costs.

That doesn’t even include the massive amount of new indirect costs, in the form of millions of man-hours to fill out federal compliance reports and forms, or the hiring of lawyers and accountants to make sure they don’t end up in jail for accidentally violating some arcane rule. There is also the hidden cost of the distortion this does to business planning, forcing companies to make decisions not based on what is best for the shareholders or employees, or what will sell best, but rather, what will keep them out of the crosshairs of government bureaucrats who often act arbitrarily and vindictively.

Frederick Douglass, the famous freed-slave, abolitionist and orator, once declared, “Everybody has asked the question… ‘What shall be done with the Negro?’ I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!”

The same, we dare say, should be applied to the free market. End burdensome taxation and slash regulations to only those absolutely necessary to protect the public from harm, a course which has shown immediate benefits. And then keep government out of it, and let businesses thrive or crumble according to their entrepreneurialism and market demands. Government meddling has caused almost nothing but mischief.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- mainly about Hillary and immigrants


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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