Hillary Clinton’s Emails: “The Best Worst News.”

The good news for Hillary Clinton is that charges won’t be brought against her for her handling of government emails.  The bad news is she definitely looks guilty of being dishonest and incompetent regarding those emails.

According to FBI Director James Comey, she and her associates were “extremely careless” in the handling of sensitive information.  She also appears to have lied a number of times in public statements about passing around a number of emails that either were marked classified or should have been interpreted as classified by someone in Clinton’s position, including eight considered Top Secret.  She also used several servers and mobile devices over the years which were less secure than a gmail account, which made it quite possible, though not proven, her emails were hacked by a number of nefarious actors.

Though a stretch, I ponder if it would have been better for the Democrats if she had been indicted;  hence opening the door for Bernie to get back in.

This is likely to be a reoccurring nightmare for the Clinton campaign, something the splintered Republican party can gather around like a shark frenzy in bloody water.  Besides the usual “crooked Hillary” Trump tweets, House Speaker Paul Ryan is trying to bar her from receiving the secret intelligence normally accorded the two major candidates.  Also, Director Comey was called into a House hearing today for questioning about his decision not to press charges, while I have heard Attorney General Lynch will be called in next Tuesday.

The Comey hearing is on my TV as I write and the Republicans are doing a great job of portraying Hillary at her worst.  And, unlike their last Benghazi hearing, they are making valid points in their questioning of Comey.   For example, one Republican asked whether someone with Hillary’s email history would be accepted to join the FBI.  Resisting hypotheticals, Comey would only say it would be one important criteria, but to most of us, I think the answer is simply “no.”

The one point that Comey made in Hillary’s defense, although in a backhanded fashion, is that some of the issues may have evolved because of her lack of sophistication about the internet to the point that she did not recognize one common way of marking classified emails cited by Comey.  Frankly, I have had the thought for some time that maybe Hillary, like me and many others in our general age range group, just doesn’t want to think much about the internet, as long as it works.  Not exactly something a presidential candidate would want to publicize though.

So far Hillary’s approach has been to just stonewall the issue and focus on Trump’s own weaknesses.  Fortunately for her there is plenty to focus upon, as was the case yesterday when she made a speech at Atlantic City trashing Trump for his business failures there along with his pattern of often not paying contractors and engaging in over 3,000 lawsuits over the years, often just as a form of intimidation.

That was a strong attack, but my enthusiasm was sapped by thoughts of the email scandal and how hard it is for her to now stand solidly on the moral high ground in any sphere.

However, she still has the advantage of whom she is running against for president.  I agree with Ben Carson when he asks:  “Are Americans willing to place everything in the hands of somebody with such poor judgement?”

Given Trump as the alternative,  I still say Hillary.   Or, as Jon Stewart sardonically said awhile back, he would take Mr. T. over Donald Trump.

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Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch: What on earth were they thinking?

I was planning on doing a post on the recently completed two year, $7,000,000 attempt by a Republican congressional committee to purportedly get at the truth of what happened at Benghazi back in 2012, but to any fair minded individual this seventh investigation by them has been actually aimed like most of the others at blaming Hillary Clinton for as much as possible.  Never mind that the Washington Post editorial board has concluded that their 800 page report adds “exactly nothing substantial to the story.”

None of these investigations have proven any egregious actions by Hillary, but innuendo-wise, they have been a great success.  Altogether they form one of several pillars that hold up Hillary’s public image of untrustworthiness.  One of the great jokes of the race is that Donald Trump, who blatantly lies whenever he feels like it, gets a better score on trustworthiness in polls.

“Benghazi” has been a long running scam, but unfortunately for Hillary it accidentally uncovered the use of her private email server and the investigation of that has not been a scam.  It is that email folly that still gives Bernie Sanders a reed of presidential hope to cling to, assuming the Justice Department will come out with a report before the election.   If by chance Hillary is indicted for something, welcome back Bernie.

Here is my take on the Clinton email folly.   I agree with them that there has been something like a “right wing conspiracy” for decades to nail them in any way possible.  So I understand the paranoia that led Hillary to have a private server so she could control access to her emails. Benghazi exemplifies how much bad press the right will make out of anything.

But she didn’t think it through, the security issue, and just how bad it looks in general.  Is there anyone out there who actually believes that the only emails she deleted were personal,  all talk of baby baptisms or the like?   Of course, some of those emails had political aspects to them.  Frank talk that could be spun like a top by her enemies.  Pretending that is not true is like taping an “I’m lying” label on your forehead.

Ironically, that sense of self-protection and that odd, Clintonesque assumption that somehow they can get by setting their own rules (a tendency developed through past success I guess) has given her foes a fat carcass to feed upon as long as the email issue lingers.

It can only be the Clintonesque mind set that allowed Bill Clinton to think he could “stop by” Lynch’s plane in Phoenix for a social visit while they shared the same airport for awhile a few days ago.  It is hard to imagine no one pointing out the awful optics of this meeting with the Attorney General while his wife is still under investigation. Also, it is hard to understand Loretta Lynch allowing him on the plane, but what is she going to say to the former president who helped in her own career:  Get off the damn plane?  How many times have any of us found ourselves in a situation which we realize is not good but felt so awkward that we did no more than hope it would pass soon?

This TV morning I watched Jonathan Capehart grill Ms. Lynch on the inappropriate meeting and he was like a dog with a bone, much better than the usual political interview.  In one form or another he wouldn’t let go of the question:  “What on earth were you thinking ?”   And the Attorney General kept repeating a mantra about how little she had to do with the investigation and that she would accept the FBI’s recommendations, but it all sounded so bureaucratic. And Capeheart kept coming back to the question of “what on earth….?”

Can’t these politicians and bureaucrats just occasionally get real and say:  “I screwed up.”

Loretta.  Can I call you Loretta?   After all I call Hillary, Hillary.  Look, here’s what you needed to say:  You know what?  I just wasn’t thinking.  I’ve know Bill Clinton for……etc. and when he stopped by I was happy to see him and, frankly, the optics never occurred to me.  It hurts a lot that this has cast a shadow on the impartiality of the investigation, but I assure you that the investigation has been conducted by the FBI separate from my office and I plan on enacting whatever recommendations I am given.  Since that has been so clear to me, I forgot for a moment how it would look to others and believe me, I could not be more sorry about that.

Had she said something like that, Jonathan Capehart would have shut up a lot sooner.  Oh, well.

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P. S. – Thinking of how often Bill and Hillary serve up questionable practices to their enemies to skewer reminds me of Tiger Woods playing golf in his hey day.   Occasionally he would hit a very bad shot and then make a brilliant recovery with his next stroke.  I often imagined him unconsciously making the bad shot, so he would have the opportunity to make a great one.  Ponder that for awhile.