Hillary’s Emails

The coming summer of scandal:

A long-awaited State Department inspector general report on the impact of personal email use on recordkeeping at State is expected to be made public any day. And as many Americans prepare for the traditional Memorial Day kickoff to the summer season, longtime Clinton aide Cheryl Mills is scheduled to sit for a sworn deposition Friday in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the conservative group Judicial Watch.

Mills’ testimony would be the first known time a member of Clinton’s inner circle has been questioned under oath in the email controversy. Another top Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, is set to testify next month. And Clinton herself is awaiting a judge’s ruling on whether she should be required to give a deposition.

No matter how that comes out, Clinton also faces an ongoing FBI investigation into the email set up. Some of her aides have already been questioned. She’s expressed a willingness to sit down with investigators — something they’re expected to take her up on in the next few weeks. Unless it takes place in complete secrecy, such a session would be the highest-profile legal spectacle the former first lady has faced since she testified 20 years ago before a federal grand jury investigating the disappearance and reappearance of Whitewater billing records.

“I think the [Office of Inspector General] report is going to be of interest and the testimony is going to be out there,” said Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton. “I think the courts will take action this summer….I don’t see any of this going away.”

Nope, no matter how much the media and the corrupt Democrat Party want it to.

[Update a while later]

The media is desperate to resurrect Hillary’s campaign.

For those too young to know what Whitewater was, here’s some inoculation to forthcoming media spin about it. No, she wasn’t “exonerated.”

[Update on Thursday morning]

Hillary’s problem isn’t her emails; it’s her dishonesty:

In this case, her dishonesty evolves from lying to potentially criminal activity.

Hence the FBI investigation, with the possible crimes including serious, fundamental breaches of the laws implemented to protect national security secrets. Hillary Clinton decided to retain personal control of her government-related communications, and the OIG report speaks to this seeming crime. Hiding her government-related communications from legally-required scrutiny served Ms. Clinton’s own personal political interests—more important, to her, than obeying the law. Even worse, her actions prove more important than protecting the American people.

The Federal Records Act has penalties for government employees who do not comply—of course, the Department of Justice has to enforce them.

Apparently, Ms. Clinton never requested permission to operate her own private server system. She certainly refused OIG requests for an interview. Great quote (footnote 152, document page 38): “Secretary Clinton declined OIG’s request for an interview. The former Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations has not responded to OIG’s request for an interview.” Yes, more than one key Clinton aide refused to grant interviews to OIG investigators. (See footnote 7 on document page 2.)

A close reader of the document will note that current Secretary of State John Kerry agreed to an OIG interview. So did former Secretaries Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright.

But, but, but…THEY ALL DO IT! TU QUQUE!!!

If the FBI concludes it has evidence of crimes, the DOJ must proceed. If it doesn’t, Congress must seek a special prosecutor.

Yes. Or there is no rule of law.

[Update a while later]

Obama snaps at a reporter who asks about Hillary’s emails.

[Update a while later]

Game over, it’s not a right-wing conspiracy, and the FBI will get to the bottom of the mess:

The State IG report, weighing in at over 80 pages, is crammed full of bureaucratese yet paints an indelible and detailed portrait of things going very wrong at Foggy Bottom—especially under Hillary Clinton. It can charitably be termed scathing, and it leaves no doubt that Team Clinton has lied flagrantly to the public about EmailGate for more than a year.

That the State Department’s IT systems were a mess for years was hardly a secret, and the IG report makes painfully clear that State has had a difficult time transitioning into the electronic age. Several recent secretaries of state used email in a manner that would be judged inadequate, and perhaps improper, by today’s standards, including Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, who served under President George W. Bush.

That said, only Hillary Clinton simply refused to use government email for government work—she repeatedly denied requests from State security and IT to use state.gov email—and she systematically dodged federal regulations on electronic communications and records preservation by setting up her private email server of bathroom infamy. Damningly, while several former secretaries of state cooperated with the IG in this important investigation, Ms. Clinton refused to.

…Hints are now emerging that Ms. Clinton’s neglect of basic security may have damaged more than her political reputation. A new report suggests several U.S. counterterrorism operations went awry thanks to Hillary’s slipshod communications security. This serious accusation is unsubstantiated yet plausible, given how easy it would have been for foreign spies to access Ms. Clinton’s email — as well as how much classified information she and her staff routinely put in “unclassified” emails. Counterintelligence officers will be investigating EmailGate for years, searching for clues about clandestine operations that went wrong, possibly due to Hillary’s IT misdeeds at Foggy Bottom.

We may never know just how much damage she did to national security, and how many operations failed and operatives lives were lost.

[Update a while later]

With the IG report, will Bernie finally muster up the gumption to take Hillary down?

We’ll see if he campaigns in California on it. A loss here would be politically devastating to her.

Trump And The Economy

His policies would crush the winners:

Like Google and Facebook, Amazon is under attack by European antitrust regulators. If Trump were really the economic nationalist he plays on TV, he would be defending these U.S. stars. But in his picture of the economy, these companies simply don’t count, perhaps because they weren’t around during his 1980s business heyday. Trump is neither pro-market nor pro-business, the usual Republican choices. He’s just pro-Trump.

He’s oblivious to most U.S. success stories. On just about any list of excellence — the most admired companies, the most valuable brands, the world’s supply-chain leaders — U.S. enterprises dominate. Nike has even surpassed long-time champion Louis Vuitton as the world’s most valuable apparel brand, a triumph for American culture as well as a U.S. business. The chemists coming up with new products at 3M or Procter & Gamble are no more important to Trump than the FedEx and UPS drivers delivering packages, the longshoremen offloading cargo at the ports of Long Beach and Charleston, the animators creating new films for Pixar, or the buyers finding bargains for T.J. Maxx. Whether you work for a U.S. company or a foreign company with U.S. operations, if you’re a successful player in a global supply chain, you simply don’t exist to him.

This is a candidate who promised to bring big steel back to Pittsburgh without considering why it disappeared. In Trump’s version of the economy, the only threat to established industries comes from diabolical foreigners and stupid U.S. trade negotiators. (Never mind that Chinese steelmakers already face nearly 500 percent punitive tariffs for corrosion-resistant products, with more tariffs for other types of steel potentially on the way.) He can’t imagine disruption that comes from changing demand or better ideas.

He’s an economic ignoramus, or a demagogue, or both.

But one possible good outcome; could he cause “progressives” to rethink big government?

Having watched the rise of Trumpism — and, now, having seen the beginning of violence in its name — who out there is having second thoughts as to the wisdom of imbuing our central state with massive power? Have progressives joined conservatives in worrying aloud about the wholesale abuse of power?

That’s a serious, not a rhetorical, question. I would genuinely love to know how many “liberals” have begun to suspect that there are some pretty meaningful downsides to the consolidation of state authority. I’d like to know how many of my ideological opponents saying with a smirk that “it couldn’t happen here” have begun to wonder if it could. I’d like to know how many fervent critics of the Second Amendment have caught themselves wondering whether the right to keep and bear arms isn’t a welcome safety valve after all.

Furthermore, I’d like to know if the everything-is-better-in-Europe brigade is still yearning for a parliamentary system that would allow the elected leader to push through his agenda pretty much unchecked; if “gridlock” is still seen as a devastating flaw in the system; if the Senate is still such an irritant; and if the considerable power that the states retain is still resented as before. Certainly, there are many on the left who are mistrustful of government and many on the right who are happy to indulge its metastasis. But as a rule, progressives favor harsher intrusion into our civil society than do their political opposites. Are they still as sure that this is shrewd?

Unfortunately, I’m not sure they’re really capable of thinking those sorts of things through.

[Update a while later]

“Even within the private sector, Trump’s background does not extend to the sorts of decision-making situations that would confront, say, the chief executive officer of a large, well-established corporation. Instead, Trump’s career, apart from his flings at presidential campaigning, has almost exclusively been about deal-making aimed at personal enrichment and enhancing recognition of the Trump brand name. Against the backdrop of U.S. history and past U.S. presidents, Trump’s personal qualifications are breathtakingly narrow and shallow, and his endeavors inwardly oriented.”

You don’t say.

The Trump Phenomenon

Thoughts from Walter Russell Mead:

I don’t think the system is quite as corrupt as some Trump supporters believe or, perhaps more accurately, I lack their confidence that burning down the old house is the best way to build something new. But it would be equally wrong and perhaps more dangerous to take the view that there is nothing more fueling his rise than ignorance, racism and hate. The failure of the center-Left to transform its institutional and intellectual dominance into policy achievements that actually stabilize middle class life, and the failure of the center-Right to articulate a workable alternative have left a giant intellectual and political vacuum in the heart of American life. The Trump movement is not an answer to our problems, but the social instinct of revolt and rejection that powers it is a sign of social health. The tailors are frauds and the emperor is not in fact wearing any clothes: it is a good sign and not a bad sign that so many Americans are willing to say so out loud.

Those of us who care about policy, propriety and the other bourgeois values without which no democratic society can long thrive need to spend less time wringing our hands about the shortcomings of candidate Trump and the movement that has brought him this far, and more time both analyzing the establishment failures that have brought the country to this pass, and developing a new vision for the American future.

Yes, as I’ve been saying for months, I get that people are angry, and I get why; the current political class is the worst in memory, and I’m angry too. I just can’t see a willful ignoramus and reality-show con artist who doesn’t even know what liquified natural gas is as the solution.

Nutrition Labels

The guy who came up with the stupid idea says they don’t work:

If the nutrition label doesn’t work, how else can the government help consumers make more informed, healthier choices? For starters, the FDA should be more like the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the people who created the Internet. Instead of just focusing on trying to fix the unfixable, the FDA could shift its focus toward thinking more creatively about viable solutions and give up on what isn’t working.

First, the FDA would need to honestly concede how little it knows about how different foods and food combinations actually affect individuals with distinct genetic and environmental factors, along with their personal preferences or capacity (or willingness) to exercise. The FDA would need to expand its base of knowledge and understanding within these areas and then consider how manufacturers and consumers would respond to any changes the FDA suggests as a result.

But that would involve having to do real science.

And of course, despite their failure, Michelle and the FDA commissioner continue to cheer lead for them.

[Update a while later]

Sorry, there’s nothing magical about breakfast.

I rarely eat breakfast, except on weekends, or vacation. I’ll generally go all day without eating if I’m just working at home. But when I do eat breakfast, I try to make it mostly protein and fat. Cereal is a dietary abomination, invented by a scientific whack job in Battle Creek.

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