Here are my observations on items in the news.
ANOTHER LEGITAMATE CHARGE former FBI Director James Comey failed to make in his Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation surfaced with the late Friday release of Huma Abedin e-mails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. While the FBI had seen all of the e-mails, including some that were classified, we are reminded that Comey testified that there was no indication Abedin “had a sense that what she was doing was in violation of the law.”
IF THAT SOUNDS FAMILIAR, you may recall that it was Comey who said on a number of occasions that his decision not to bring charges against Clinton for mishandling classified information was the right call because proof of her intent was lacking. Remember his insistence that no reasonable prosecutor could possibly disagree with him?
NO INTENT? GIVE ME A BREAK – “Clinton set up a private network for the systematic handling of State Department-related communications in violation of federal record-keeping requirements of which she was well aware,” write’s Andrew McCarthy, “and under circumstances in which she (a former senator who served on the Armed Forces committee) was a longtime consumer of classified information. She was keenly aware that her responsibilities as secretary of state would heavily involve classified information.”
Certainly, Clinton knew that she would be receiving classified information on her private server. And now we know that those e-mails were also mishandled by Abedin, who copied them to her husband’s laptop.
CNN: TRUMP IS RIGHT ABOUT THE FBI – That’s correct, CNN. “While I rarely agree with much of what the President does or says regarding legal issues,” writes CNN Legal Analyst Paul Callan, “this time he’s got it right. The FBI’s reputation has been severely damaged not by the President’s criticism, but by a systematic failure of the bureau’s leadership.
“The ferocity of President Donald Trump’s recent attacks on the integrity of the FBI has sent shock waves through an agency accustomed to public adulation in recent years.
“The field agents of the FBI should still retain the trust of the American people. Their honor and dignity has not been compromised; but the bureau’s leadership ranks require a prompt and thorough house cleaning by the new director, Christopher Wray. The bureau’s leadership has forfeited the reputation of a cherished American institution.”
MOST ADMIRED OR SYMPATHY VOTE? The Gallup Poll released its Most Admired lists this week and guess who appeared in a tie for fourth place – Sen. John McCain. Why? Nearly all of those in the top ten have been there over the past ten years. McCain has never appeared, leaving one to believe it was a sympathy vote. After all, outside of his routine senatorial duties, his only significant action was his vote against a bill that would have repealed ObamaCare.
The only other newcomer to the top of the list was Jeff Bezos, CEO of the highly successful Amazon.com and owner of The Washington Post. Former President Obama retained the top spot, with President Trump just three percentage points behind.
Gallup conducted the poll among 1,049 individuals via landline and cell phones.
NORTH DAKOTA CELEBRATES SUCCESS – In just six months of operations, the North Dakota pipeline has significantly lowered energy transportation costs and energy companies to move their oil to the Gulf Coast, according to the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal.
With a peak of 1.185 million barrels a day during that period, the increased oil production has resulted in job growth as North Dakota’s unemployment rate was at 2.3 percent in November. Fifteen drilling rigs have been added and more than 850 wells require fracking crews. State revenues rose by about $43.5 million in the first five months and is on track for $210 to $250 million in additional revenues by the end of its biennial budget period.
The safety factor is also significant as it has greatly reduced train traffic. Twelve trains or 1,200 cars used to pass through the state daily, but the number is now down to two trains.