Long Hot Summer

We’re visiting family up at the Suwannee River this weekend. On the way up, the mister and I made a solemn vow to not talk politics with our kin, and so far, we’ve kept to it.

I saw my 96-year-old grandma this morning and got her to try virtual reality with a Google Cardboard thingy. She was fascinated by it but seems convinced it’s sorcery.

Now we’re taking a boat ride. You?








FBI Director Comey’s Testimony Before the House Oversight Committee Live Feed

Here’s the live feed. Scroll back to the beginning for the whole thing:



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Misty Water-Colored Mem’ries

I’m almost that old; my first political memory is the muted glee & mild wonderment as I was allowed to fall asleep on the couch, because my parents were too busy watching the 1960 election-night coverage on the tiny new black & white TV they’d bought for just that reason. That was a week before my fifth birthday — #Dem4Life!

The Spousal Unit is on vacation this week, and while he hasn’t been able to revert entirely to his natural nightowl biorhythms, he’s claiming my attention during those late-evening hours that I usually spend with you guys. And then also: Trump.

hillary missed by falling gotchas handelsman

(Walt Handelsman via GoComics.com)
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Live Feed for Clinton/Obama Campaign Event in NC

Have at it!



Follow up to BettyC’s Post: Full Video and Transcript of FBI Director Comey’s Press Conference and Statement

Just wanted to put a quick follow up to BettyC’s breaking news post on Director Comey’s press conference and statement pertaining to the FBI’s review of Secretary Clinton’s email server.

I want to highlight two sections that I think really get to the nub of the statement. They basically provide something for everyone to take away. If you don’t like Secretary Clinton or the Obama Administration item 1 is for you. If you think this has all been much ado about nothing, then the first part of item 1 and all of item 2 is for you.

  1. The allocation of responsibility as a warning and potential deterrent:

Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government—or even with a commercial service like Gmail.

While not the focus of our investigation, we also developed evidence that the security culture of the State Department in general, and with respect to use of unclassified e-mail systems in particular, was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government.

2. Why the recommendation not to prosecute is being made:

Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.

In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.

As a result, although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.

Here’s the video of the press conference:

And here’s the full transcript of Director Comey’s statement (h/t: Charles Johnson – the sane and normal one – at Little Green Footballs for the link): Read more



Bundy Bunch Update: The Pa-Traitor-ating!

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(Worst Episode of Hollywood Squares Ever!)

We have our first capitulation err, um, plea agreement of one of the 26 fine upstanding Patriots charged in the Ammon Bundy led Malheur Federal Wildlife Refuge takeover and occupation. Brian Cavalier (2nd from right, top row), bodyguard for Ammon Bundy and professional tattooist, aka Buddha, aka Booda, aka Booda Belly, and aka The Fluffy Unicorn, now doing business as the Benedict Arnold of the New American Revolution, has reached a plea deal in regard to his charges in Oregon. This agreement does not impact or effect his case pending in Nevada for the Bunkerville Standoff of 2014. Unless, of course, he’s cut a deal in exchange for cooperation. Or has he? Regardless, thanks to JJ McNab’s excellent Twitter feed we can see that the other upstanding Patriots are none too pleased with Boddadict Arnoldbelly’s cutting a deal for a negotiated, reduced sentence.

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And for those who really want to dig in and get their Bundy on, here’s the pdfs of the plea document:

800 — Cavalier Plea Document

And the plea agreement:

799 — Cavalier Plea Agreement