FBI Director Comey sworn in before House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Washington

Shut up, Republicans

I was pretty annoyed about the Hillary Clinton email scandal outcome.

FBI Director James Comey provided a laundry list of reasons why Hillary belongs in prison and wrapped up with a cheerful “and we don’t recommend pressing charges”, with the justification that Hillary did not act with ill intent. The actual law she broke uses the standard of “gross negligence” and intent is irrelevant.

clinton email

Does anyone believe an ordinary person would be allowed to shrug off such an enormity – refusing to even admit she was careless – while facing no consequences?

But history has shown that Hillary Clinton is not held accountable. In the past year, we’ve seen her take no responsibility for her bootleg server, her actions surrounding the attack in Benghazi, and now jeopardizing the country’s security by sending classified intel over an email with less security than an ordinary Gmail address.

The press offers minimal criticism (syndicated shows like On Point with Tom Ashbrook and The Diane Rehm Show didn’t even discuss the FBI’s findings until three days later) and her disproven claims are ignored, e.g., that time she landed under enemy fire, which turned out to be a group of well-wishers offering her flowers.

There was some critical coverage when her oft-repeated lie about the State Department allowing her irregular email practice was emphatically contradicted by the State Department. Politifact fact-checked an abbreviated list of claims that again highlighted her dishonesty.

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I felt nothing but disgust for Clinton, Comey, and the media. But two things altered my point of view:

  1. I listened again to the audio of James Comey mildly laying out Hillary Clinton’s lies, one by one. Like most people, I wished she had been indicted. Why? I wanted an acknowledgement that no one is above the law, and Clinton did something really bad. The unfortunate reality is that Hillary Clinton is above the law, but the FBI Director proved she knowingly and repeatedly lied to us, which highlighted her character effectively. She won’t be sent to jail, but Hillary Clinton was thoroughly discredited.
  2. I listened to James Comey testify to the House Oversight Committee. I was so disgusted with the committee, particularly the Republicans, that I was almost glad Clinton wasn’t charged, just to spite them. Comey repeated the facts of the case and his rationale about allowing her to skate. Few people agree with it, but it’s done. The Republicans were within their rights to say the law doesn’t care about her intent, and they did. And then came the most exasperating hour of grandstanding ever.

The Democrats were angry their presumptive nominee was continuing to be disgraced, but their sanctimoniousness was like a lullaby compared to the cacophonous Republicans, who repeated everything Comey said in disbelieving tones, and asked the same question over and over.

It was as if they thought the FBI director was going to say, “You know what? I never thought of it that way, you guys. But just by sitting here, listening to you sarcastically parrot my words, I’m seeing things in a whole new way! I officially retract my recommendation: we should definitely press charges.”

It seemed more like James Comey was under investigation for making a recommendation they didn’t like than a demonstration of concern Hillary Clinton’s “carelessness”.  The Republicans’ childishness actually made Hillary Clinton look not bad by comparison, which isn’t easy to do.

Republicans: Comey gave you the facts, and explained the rationale behind his decision. You might not like it, but there it is. Time to move on.

Hillary Clinton

 

Oh, of course I still think Hillary Clinton can’t be trusted but once we regroup from the danger she put us in, I propose we address the other major threat menacing our nation: the idiots in Congress.

Please join me in insisting on term limits.

Actually

FBI: No Consequences for Hillary

Felons – and those aspiring to become felons – today is your day!

Anyone who was trembling in fear for single-handedly jeopardizing the nation’s security can now exhale. Careless is the new criminal!

To pick an example out of the air, let’s say you have a day job handling highly sensitive and top secret info for the U.S. government, and that you run a shady organization (which is also under federal investigation) on the side. There is a lot of highly questionable crossover between your two jobs. You might catch a lot of flack for conflicts of interest, e.g., making decisions favorable to nations that harbor terrorists, in exchange for large cash donations to your shady organization.

This is so awesome!

This is so awesome!

What’s a gal to do? Hide the evidence!

Set yourself up with a bootleg server, so that when official records are subpoenaed you can say, “Not me, man!”

If your conflicts of interest raise suspicion and you are the subject of numerous ethical and criminal investigations, things might get a little too hot for comfort. The proper thing to do at this point is to delete anything incriminating (e.g., notes from your top aide informing you that the nation’s enemies have hacked into your bootleg server to access top secret intel). If you get much pushback, you can sigh and say anything you deleted was personal.

You might feel a bit queasy, knowing you personally jeopardized the nation’s security. Not due to concern for the nation, per se, but the adverse effect it may have on your future job prospects. Especially because you are asking the nation to entrust you with its top job and, of course, only 30% of voters say they trust you. (Never was a nickname more apt than Crooked Hillary.) But the FBI has you covered!

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Media Malignancy: Bullying Private Citizens is a Serious Problem

The liberal and conservative media are locked in an eternal race to the bottom. As the Emily Bazalons and Rush Limbaughs of the world fight to carry off the trophy for Most Off-putting or Worst Informed, don’t look to me to make the call. All I can say is that they’re all terrible.

Conservative shows are like a never-ending Stone Cold Steve Austin speech. They focus on special interests, Obama, Hillary, and Trump. Liberal podcasts are more amusing, even though they focus exclusively on Donald Trump. Like master chefs who only know how to make macaroni & cheese, they serve up Trump a hundred different ways.

Nate Silver interpreted the polls with astonishing accuracy in 2012, and has been considered a data wizard ever since. He and three co-hosts discuss politics on the 538 podcast.

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I was listening to his podcast a few months ago when I first heard a scripted segment, that has since become a media staple. The question is “Who are Trump’s supporters?”

The profile the media created never varies:

  • Old
  • White
  • Ignorant (defined as not having a college degree)
  • Blue collar/Working class
  • Racist

The hosts commiserate with each other about how it makes sense that working class people might vote for Trump, what with being racist and really threatened by how everyone else is smarter than them. The 538 podcast was an early pioneer of the idea that there is no such thing as a non-racist or minority member of the working class.

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