Clinton-Style Corruption

It’s inevitable when you mix big government and sleazy people.

Yup. Too many opportunities for graft.

[Update mid-afternoon]

In this banana republic, Hillary couldn’t get indicted if she tried:

The Democratic party in Texas is a criminal enterprise (my friend Michael Walsh describes the Democrats at large as a crime syndicate masquerading as a political party, which isn’t inaccurate) that is sustained by corruption and old-fashioned ward politics that would have been familiar to a Chicago boss in the 1920s or a denizen of Tammany Hall. The Democrats happen to run Washington, too, which is why Hillary Rodham Clinton knows that she can violate the law, at will, for obvious personal political reasons, with very little fear of official sanction. And the fact is, the Democrats prefer their politicians a little crooked, a little dirty. It helps them, a Chavista party constrained mainly by the temperamental (rather than ideological) conservatism of the American electorate, to make up in viciousness what they lack in policy ideas appropriate to the 21st century.

That lack of policy ideas isn’t really very important. The Left isn’t interested in policy; it is interested in power, and the things you can do with it, meaning rewarding one’s friends and punishing one’s enemies. Barack Obama has been, in his less guarded moments, fairly plain about that. For the Left, all justice is Wonderland justice: decision first, arguments afterward as necessary. There is seldom if ever any doubt about how the so-called liberals on the Supreme Court (who are not liberals at all) will vote on any question: They will vote the way the Left wants them to. Elena Kagan, you may recall, testified in her confirmation hearings that there is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage lurking in the penumbras to be discovered. Once confirmed, she reached a little deeper and pulled one out. Conservatives can never really guess which way a Kennedy or a Roberts is going to come down on a question, but you know how the judges of the Left are going to vote. Arguments do not matter; only outcomes matter. That’s another way of saying that the law does not matter.

Yes. And it’s exactly how they behave.


Thoughts from Leon Wolf about the cause:

…people’s willingness to act rationally and within the confines of the law and the political system is generally speaking directly proportional to their belief that the law and political system will ever punish wrongdoing. And right now, that belief is largely broken, especially in many minority communities.

And it’s the blind, uncritical belief that the police never (or only in freak circumstances) do anything wrong that is a major contributing factor to that.

We should also consider it in the broader context of an administration, and future president, who think themselves above the law. When people decide the system is rigged against them, the social compact breaks down, and it doesn’t end well.

[Update a few minutes later]

Earlier thoughts from Radley Balko last year. Note the irony of this happening in one of the most enlightened police departments in the country.

[Update a while later]

Is it 1968 again? I don’t think the music is as good.

And Apollo 8 wasn’t the only good thing about the year. It was a World Series for the ages, that helped Detroit heal from the riots the summer before.

[Update a few minutes later]

Yes, part of the solution is to end police unions (along with all public-employee unions) and sovereign immunity.

[Update a while later]

More thoughts from Richard Fernandez:

Was terrorism involved? Were the ideas of Ferguson taken to their final, frightening conclusion? While the individual culprits of the shooting have yet to be identified, the factors which have turned the summer of 2016 into a witches’ brew were clear for all to see. It is the culmination of decades of identity politics, the fruit of open borders, the outcome of an unwarranted disdain for Islamic extremism, the destruction of everything once held in common. Most of all it is the product of a collapse in legitimacy that has soured the public on nearly every institution: the political parties, the Supreme Court, the presidency, the police and the FBI. Now at the very moment when the public needs to trust someone the question is: whom can you trust?

It’s depressing.

Back To The Moon

I agree with Eliot Pulham, it shouldn’t be about destinations (though SLS/Orion aren’t much more useful for going back than they are for Mars).

[Update a while later]

Sort of related: John Holdren rewrites history, and Eric Berger sets him straight.

[Update mid-morning]

Here’s a nice editorial from the Orlando Sentinel about the hopeful future in space due to competition between billionaires.

The Unseriousness Of The FBI Investigation

It is now clear that Comey’s FBI never took the Clinton server scandal seriously. The “investigation” was apparently just for show, despite all the resources wasted on it. And it should have been clear over the past weeks, when her aides were interviewed sequentially, so they could go back and tell the boss what they’d told the FBI, and coordinate stories to avoid perjury traps when in later interviews, most particularly the one with Hillary this weekend.

Ken Starr’s investigation into the Clintons in the 90s was similarly unserious, which was why he was unsuccessful. He was the wrong man for the job (which he showed abundantly in the botched investigation of the death of Vince Foster). To go after the Arkansas Mafia in the 90s required a prosecutor with RICO experience in going after other crime families, not a distinguished judge with no investigative or prosecutorial experience.

Similarly, a serious investigation into the server would have involved giving immunity to some key player (in this case, Pagliano, which they did), and then interviewing everyone simultaneously, in separate rooms, so they couldn’t know what the others were saying. Inevitably, some of the stories would be different, either from each other, or from Pagliano’s sworn account, and the aides would then be pressured to become state’s evidence against the ringleader (in this case, Hillary). That they interviewed her last, after everyone had told her what they’d told the FBI, and that they didn’t record the interview meant that they never had any intention of charging her, or even attempting to catch her in a lie. They were not serious.

They didn’t bother to look at what she had said under oath to Congress as part of their investigation. They were not serious.

Comey didn’t participate in the interview, and couldn’t even say whether or not she had contradicted herself, something that one would look for to determine guilt and truth. He was not serious.

Of course, the FBI has demonstrated its lack of seriousness quite a bit, lately, as Glenn Reynolds has documented.

Taxpayers should be outraged. Those concerned about national security should be outraged. But most of all, those concerned about the rule of law should be outraged. And while no doubt the Democrats in the Senate will protect their own (as Comey has become), I don’t think, at this point, that it would be inappropriate to impeach him.

[Update a while later]

And now the State Department is re-opening the investigation.

[Update a few minutes later]

According to Andy McCarthy, like it or not, the FBI does not record interviews.

Comey’s Credibility

I’m just watching it disintegrate in this hearing.

He didn’t look into whether or not she lied under oath to Congress? He didn’t put her under oath for her “interview”? He didn’t record the “interview”? He didn’t participate? Really? And we’re supposed to take his result seriously?

[Update a couple minutes later]

(Former prosecutor) Trey Gowdy destroyed Comey’s legal argument:

Gowdy’s response: How do you know she didn’t intend to put classified information on her private server? Absent a defendant saying “I hereby intend to do act X,” the only way a prosecutor can ever prove intent is though circumstantial evidence. That’s the point of leading Comey through Clinton’s many lies. It’s not (just) a political exercise designed to embarrass the Democratic nominee, it’s evidence that she was trying to hide her intent in making one false statement after another suggesting mere incompetence. Even by Comey’s own higher standard of mens rea, there’s enough here to recommend charges, Gowdy’s saying. So why weren’t they recommended?

If Comey thinks that mens rea is a requirement (perhaps it should be, but it is not), then he should get a court to rule on it. He can’t unilaterally rewrite the law.

But of course, her intent was obvious. He’s shown himself to be as corrupt as the rest of the Beltway.

[Update a while later]

[Update a few minutes later]

Let’s make her president!

[Update a couple minutes later]

[Update a while later]

The hearing isn’t over, but Ashe Schow has eleven take aways so far.

This is just stunning. I’ve lost all confidence in the FBI.

[Update a while later]

Note to people who think she’s off the hook:

But I’m sure Comey will say she didn’t have any intent to take those bribes.

[Update later afternoon]

[Update a few minutes later]

There is plenty of precedent for prosecuting for gross negligence. And before someone says those are military cases, my response is “so”? Classified is classified.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!