Here are my observations on items in the news.
THE HILLARY- COMEY STORY IS FAR FROM DEAD – “You have not sufficiently demonstrated that the public’s interest in disclosure outweighs personal privacy interests of the subject,” said FBI records management section chief David M. Hardy in a letter to Ty Clevenger an attorney, who is attempting to get Mrs. Clinton and her personal attorneys disbarred for their handling of official e-mails as secretary of state.
“It is incumbent upon the requester to provide documentation regarding the public’s interest in the operations and activities of the government before records can be processed pursuant to the FOIA,” Hardy declared.
The FBI says it will only release records from its files if a subject (Hillary) consents, is dead, or is of such public interest that it overrides privacy concerns.
Hillary’s use of a secret e-mail account to conduct government business was front page news for most of 2015 and 2016, and was so big that then FBI Director James Comey broke with procedure to make a public statement and appearance to report on the FBI’s probe.
What planet has Hardy been on? Is he one of the FBI’s Obama holdovers?
AND AS IF THAT ISN’T ENOUGH, we learned yesterday that former FBI Director James Comey drafted his statement exonerating Hillary Clinton months before completing the investigation, in fact, before Clinton and her two top aides were interviewed.
You may recall that Comey, unbelievably, did not consider the Clinton interview important enough to warrant his participation. And, the Clinton aides were given immunity for consenting to be interviewed.
Are you listening, Special Counsel Mueller?
THE IRS SCANDAL ISN’T DEAD EITHER – Judge Reggie B. Walton of the Washington D.C. District Court, has given the IRS until October 16, to find all of the records in IRS databases from May 2009 to March 2015 that are relevant to the targeting of conservative, libertarian and Tea Party Groups. It’s the result of a suit brought against the IRS in 2013 by True the Vote and 38 other groups.
Just a reminder, the scandal involves IRS bureaucrats denying tax-exempt status to groups solely due to their conservative political beliefs. IRS staffers made applicants jump through unnecessary hoops with requirements that covered years in time. Lois Lerner, who claimed the 5th when called to testify, is now retired and drawing a government pension. IRS Chief John Koskinen is still in charge though threatened with impeachment for not telling the truth in testimony before Congress.
This investigation is long overdue and needs the personal attention of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER (SPLC) – We now learn that the SPLC I have been writing about for its self-appointed ability to identify hate groups, is stashing funds offshore, including the Caymans. Why?
THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC is still bashing former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. After publishing a negative series on the sheriff last year, followed by a consistent pattern of opposition articles to assure his election defeat, and extensive trial coverage through the guilty verdict, the paper’s columnists took turns piling-on the sheriff.
President Trump’s decision to pardon Arpaio was a call to action for more piling-on. On September 2, the Republic turned over nearly all of its Viewpoints section to Jon Gabriel, the editor-in-chief of a blog and Republic contributor, for still another hit piece. Sixty inches of space, with copy wrapped around a magazine-style eye-catcher, complete with a black-bordered unflattering photo of Arpaio, was dedicated to a repeat of everything that has ever been written about the sheriff. Yes, he was a showboat, and yes, he was found guilty. Enough.
CNN REPORTER SURPRISED – “I just walked on the tarmac to cover (the president’s) visit to Corpus and was heckled by a crowd shouting derogatory things. Unbelievable,” tweeted CNN’s Nick Valencia.
“He works for a hate network devoted to destroying everything most Texans stand for, live for, believe in and cherish: faith, family and freedom,” wrote Breitbart’s John Nolte. “The last place-CNN has never even tried to disguise its unbridled hate for all things southern and Texan. CNN’s cultural supremacists are constantly smearing Christians, conservatives and southerners as backward bigots.”
ANOTHER CNN EMBARRASSMENT – You may recall my criticism of Jen Psaki when she was the spokesperson for the State Department. A real lightweight. Now a political commentator for CNN, she is taking up the network mantle of slamming President Trump.
“Every helicopter supporting a Trump visit to Texas in response to Hurricane Harvey is a helicopter not picking survivors off roof tops,” Psaki complained during the president’s visit to Corpus Christi. She knows better, but she had to throw her two cents into the CNN hate machine.
TRIMMING DOWN THE STAFF AT STATE – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has been struck by the enormous waste in the State Department, is trimming back the staff at State. Of the 38 positions created under the Obama administration, 23 will be either removed or reassigned. The staffers whose positions will be eliminated are those who worked on projects such as the closing of Guantanamo Bay, implementing the Iran Deal and the transparency coordinator position created in response to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server (you may laugh here). The reorganization is much broader than those 38 positions, however. Tillerson plans to eliminate and reorganize his staff of special envoys and special representatives. Of the 66 positions being discussed, only 30 envoys and representatives with titles will remain on board. Twenty-one will go to other bureaus and nine will be eliminated.
Similar position eliminations have been taken place in the bloated EPA. It’s part of the pledge to drain the swamp.
TEXANS – Before returning to Arizona, my wife and I lived in the Texas Hill Country for nine years. Since then we have often told friends about the kindness and friendliness of the people in Texas. From their familiar, “how y’all doin” greeting to offering a hot dish when someone is ill, Texans are special people. And now, with the flood coverage showing people helping each other, the world gets to witness them in action.