It is now being reported that congressional leaders have been told that the cash payment to Iran was not $400 million, as earlier reports indicated, but it was $1.7 billion, which was the total amount that Iran said it was owed.
The $1.7 billion was the original $400 million plus interest. One of the excuses the White House gave for paying the $400 million for four American hostages was that it saved the American people millions of dollars, since Iran wasn’t paid what it claimed it was owed.
The White House said it was not a ransom, but the State Department admitted it was used as leverage and hostages were not released until after the cash-filled plane took off from Switzerland.
Now it turns out that just like the story that the $400 million in cash was not a ransom, the $400 million was also a lie. Or perhaps it makes the first statement true: President Barack Hussein Obama did not pay a $400 million ransom for four Americans, so the liberal fact checkers will no doubt rate that as a false statement, because Obama paid $1.7 billion in ransom for four Americans.
Obama did not have a good week at the G-20 summit.
Back eight years ago when Obama first became president, the US and the US president were respected by other nations. No foreign heads of state were publicly calling the president of the United States a “son of a bitch.” And the US president was not publicly humiliated when he arrived for international meetings.
Not having the same red carpet for Obama as for the other heads of state may not seem like much to some people. Who cares what kind of steps the president of the United States walks down? But from an international diplomacy standpoint it was like being greeted with a slap in the face.
Obama is reaping what he has sown. He has treated other nations and heads of state with disrespect and now he is receiving the same disrespect in return. But what those on the right, some of whom are cheering at the disrespect shown for Obama, don’t seem to grasp, is that it isn’t Obama who is not being shown respect – it is the United States.
It may sound like a stretch, but showing disrespect can lead to war.
China, for instance, has shown no respect for the US and other nations by building military bases in disputed areas of the South China Sea. China has been found to be in violation of international treaties by doing so, but in international affairs there is only one rule, and that is the strong man wins.
Ultimately the only way to make China give up its new military bases is by force. It can be economic force or military force. China knows that the US economy is too weak to use economic force and that Obama won’t use military force. So China has no reason not to do what it perceives will benefit China.
It leaves the next president in a terrible position. Will he or she allow China to continue to build military bases in disputed territory? Will sanctions be imposed?
China doesn’t give a hoot about international treaties except those treaties that benefit China. The US has appeased dictatorial governments in the past by giving them disputed territory and it hasn’t worked out well.
If China can build bases in the South China Sea, why can’t Russia take the rest of Ukraine?
Even the mainstream media are having trouble ignoring the fact that there is something wrong with Hillary Clinton’s health.
Hillary Clinton made two public speeches in the last two weeks in August, so it was not campaign fatigue that caused yet another coughing fit when she spoke in Cleveland or to reporters on her plane this week.
Everybody coughs now and then, but most healthy humans don’t have coughing fits that last minutes and can’t be stopped by sipping water or taking a lozenge of some kind. She has now used the allergic reaction to Trump at least twice, and the second time it was old.
Healthy people don’t fall down for no apparent reason, and Hillary Clinton has a well-documented problem with that also.
It’s incredible that some otherwise responsible journalists are reporting that Donald Trump can’t win this election.
Some of the most recent polls show the race within the margin of error. Some show Trump ahead by a percentage; some show Hillary Clinton ahead by two. Since the margin of error on all these polls is three, they are officially tied.
If Trump is essentially tied in early September according to some reputable polls, how can Hillary Clinton have already won the race? The huge problem for Hillary Clinton is not Donald Trump, it is Hillary Clinton.
She made a classic mistake when the fact was revealed that she used a private homebrew server in the basement of her house for her emails while she was secretary of state. She could have turned over her server to the State Department, which owned the information on her State Department emails, and asked the State Department to separate out the personal emails and not release them since they are not public records.
But she doubled down on what even she now admits was a mistake and had her people only turn over about 30,000 emails. Then she doubled down again by attempting to have the other 30,000 emails destroyed.
It makes you wonder what is on those emails she had destroyed, since she had to know about the bad publicity she was going to receive for destroying them, and nobody in their right mind believed she sent 30,000 emails about yoga, her mother’s funeral and her daughter’s wedding.
By having her own email server she avoided the whole Freedom of Information Act law, and until conservative organizations went to court and judges ordered the emails turned over, the State Department was willing to allow a secretary of state to bypass the laws regarding the retention and release of public records.
Anyone else would have been indicted. And who knows what would have happened in this case if former President Bill Clinton had not had a private meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch days before an announcement was made not to indict Hillary Clinton.
Disregarding everything else, a private meeting by Lynch with the husband of someone under investigation by the FBI is improper.
But so much of the emphasis has been on classified information on Hillary Clinton’s unprotected server that it has overshadowed an issue that, although not as important as sharing classified information with the world, is still important and that is the public’s right to know.
By using her private server, Hillary Clinton as secretary of state thwarted the public records laws. The Freedom of Information Act – which asserts the public’s right to know what its government officials are doing, particularly when they don’t want the public to know – was trashed.
The first requests for Hillary Clinton’s emails to the State Department were answered by the State Department with letters stating that no such emails existed in the State Department system.
The public has a legal right to know what Hillary Clinton did as secretary of state, who she contacted and what she wrote to them. It is not the right of Hillary Clinton or her aides to determine what the public gets to see and what it doesn’t. There are laws that govern public information and there is no law that says if the secretary of state doesn’t want a document released then it should not be released.
Hillary Clinton has a long history of wanting her actions to be done in secret. When her husband was president and put his wife in charge of designing a national healthcare insurance system, Hillary Clinton insisted that all the meetings and documents produced by her task force remain secret.
All she wanted the American people to see was the final product, which, by the way, went down in flames in Congress. Democratic congressional leaders tried to get Bill Clinton to withdraw the bill because the defeat was going to be so embarrassing, but at Bill Clinton’s insistence it was introduced and had virtually no support.
The courts finally ruled that the documents from Hillary Clinton’s healthcare task force were public records, but by that time nobody was really interested in a national health insurance system that didn’t have any support.
As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, with her private email server, tried to accomplish the same thing, and she did while she was in office. But once again the courts decided that her emails had to be released to the public. Imagine what she could do as president. Judging from her past behavior it would be the most closed, secretive presidency in modern history.
Reading the FBI notes about its interview with Hillary Clinton leaves you with the impression that she is as dumb as a brick.
She said she didn’t know much of anything about classified documents, why they were classified, what the different categories of classification were or what they meant.
She claimed she didn’t even know that a (C) on a document meant it was classified. She said she thought the paragraphs were being listed alphabetically, which means she thought she wasn’t receiving the paragraphs marked (A), (B), (D) or the other letters of the alphabet.
It defies belief that a graduate of Yale Law School and a former US senator could possibly be that dumb.
But we know that Hillary Clinton is not as dumb as a brick. We also know that she was on two Senate committees that handled classified information regularly, so she wasn’t a novice.
The Clintons have proven throughout all of their vast legal troubles and entanglements that they care nothing about right and wrong. They only care about legal and illegal.
Clinton’s answers make no sense unless you consider the fact that one of the things the FBI was trying to establish was that Hillary Clinton knew or should have known that the information she was sending and receiving on her unprotected basement email server was classified.
Hillary Clinton was willing to look like a complete dolt to keep from being indicted. She was willing to claim that she didn’t understand anything about classified information and couldn’t remember being briefed on classified information because she had suffered a serious concussion.
Her supporters say the concussion was nothing – a little bump on the head. Hillary Clinton herself said that it was so severe that it wiped the briefings on classified information right out of her head. It is certainly possible that it did, but then it can’t have been a little knock on the noggin. Bill Clinton said that it took her six months of hard work to recover. It seems odd, but in this case Bill Clinton may in fact be telling the truth.
Hillary Clinton is, according to the late, great William Safire, a “congenital liar.” She certainly has no problem telling lies, telling lies to cover up those lies and then, when discovered, telling a whole new set of lies as she has done with the entire email scandal.
Hillary Clinton insists that she thought all of her emails were being recovered by the State Department because they were sent to State Department email addresses. But we now know that Hillary Clinton emailed two of her closest aides, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, at their Clinton email addresses, which means there was no way for the State Department to capture those emails because they never hit the system. Her emails with long-time friend and unpaid consultant Sidney Blumenthal, which were frequent, would be in the same category.
An iPad and a thumb drive, both with all of the emails from the Clinton server, were supposedly lost in the mail. This is eerily similar to the Rose Law Firm billing records that disappeared into thin air while Bill Clinton was president. It is hard to believe, but the day after the statute of limitations ran out on a potential lawsuit, those same lost billing records from the law firm where Hillary Clinton was a partner were found right outside her White House office door.
What are the odds that the day after she could no longer be sued those records fell out of the sky and landed on a shelf right outside her office door? It is truly incredible, but that is the story that the Clintons told with straight faces.
Now the laptop and thumb drive were either lost by the US Postal Service or UPS, nobody is sure exactly how they were sent, because it apparently wasn’t considered important to track how some highly sensitive classified information was sent across the country.
It would be illegal to send classified information in that manner, or to send it to someone without any security clearance, which was being done, but this is such a small violation of the laws compared to others that it evidently is not even being considered.
Then there is the fact that Hillary Clinton evidently never followed the protocol for discarding her communication devices when she was done with them. The FBI reported there were 13 BlackBerry phones and iPads that Hillary Clinton used as secretary of state. It was reported that two were destroyed by hitting them with a hammer; the rest nobody knows what happened to them. For all anyone knows Russian President Vladimir Putin has them.
It means there are somewhere around 11 communication devices containing classified information that are lost. There is also a protocol for destroying communication devices that contain classified information, as these did. But the Hillary Clinton State Department routinely ignored the laws and regulations governing classified material.
Do the American people really want someone with so little regard for classified information, often obtained by government employees risking their own lives, to be president? Evidently the incredible answer is, yes, something in the 40 percent range do.
One thing you have to give Obama credit for is that he is loyal. Susan Rice was the representative of the White House they sent out to lie repeatedly to the news media and the American public about Benghazi. It was the talking points given to Rice, which she dutifully read and defended, that said the attack at Benghazi was the result of a spontaneous mob upset about a YouTube video.
Rice went out and made this claim, ignoring the fact that even a cursory look at the attack proved it wasn’t true. People do not show up at spontaneous demonstrations with heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, jelly bombs and mortars. Spontaneous mobs do not follow their quarry for a mile and repeatedly attack a heavily defended compound.
Rice had to know that the attacks on the ambassador’s compound and the CIA annex later in the same evening were not the work of a spontaneous mob. But she dutifully went out and made a fool of herself because that is what Obama asked her to do.
Now she is Obama’s national security advisor. With her as the chief national security advisor it is no wonder that the US is in trouble all over the world.
Even a hint that the Department of Homeland Security, run by Obama’s buddy Jeh Johnson, is going to run the US elections this year has to be nipped in the bud. If it becomes more than a hint, it will be time for local elected officials to stand up to the federal government.
The elections in Guilford County are by law run by the Guilford County Board of Elections, a duly appointed body that reports to the North Carolina Board of Elections. There is no room for Homeland Security – one of the most political and worst run agencies in the federal government – to step in and take over.
If that attempt is made, it is up to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, the North Carolina General Assembly and the governor to put a stop to it quickly and without any doubt about who has the authority. North Carolina didn’t appoint or elect Johnson to run our elections.
Hopefully, this idea is simply being floated out there to see what the public response will be. If the public response is an overwhelming no, then the idea will go away. Not being a big fan of our current president, I don’t doubt he is considering federalizing elections. But there is no reason to even consider removing local control of elections.
Certainly Homeland Security has nothing to brag about. The Transportation Security Administration is part of Homeland Security, which means the department is responsible for our airport security that, when tested, missed 90 percent of the guns, knives and bombs that agents attempted to get through the checkpoints. It’s interesting that the results of other tests haven’t been released. Could it be because the percentage on subsequent tests was higher?
All those hours that Americans have spent waiting in TSA lines, as it turned out, were totally wasted if the idea was to prevent dangerous items from being carried onto commercial aircraft.
If the idea was to get American citizens accustomed to the idea of being stopped and searched by poorly trained, poorly supervised federal agents, then the process has been a rousing success.
This is an interesting tidbit: In both the Republican and the Democratic presidential primaries, the wealthiest candidate won.
Hillary Clinton, who according to Forbes, is worth $45 million and made $28 million in 2014 alone, is far ahead in wealth of anyone else in the Democratic primary.
Trump, who Forbes estimates is worth $4.5 billion, left everyone else in the dust.
Of course, Trump made his money the old fashioned way, by successfully running a private enterprise. Hillary Clinton made her money from the Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit organization that has done little in the way of charitable work and a lot in the way of enriching the Clintons and their friends.
We probably won’t know the truth about Hillary Clinton’s health for years, if ever. But there is something wrong with a normal adult who can’t speak for two minutes without a coughing fit.
If Hillary Clinton had been making five speeches a day in front of big audiences, you could assume that her voice had just given out. But she has been in virtual hiding for weeks. She has made appearances at fundraisers, but in the last two weeks of August she made two public speeches. So both Hillary Clinton and her voice should have been well rested.
Some political observers had assumed that was what Hillary Clinton was doing – resting up so she could go full tilt for the final two months. That makes sense. But it would appear the rest didn’t help. It’s not that her voice is overworked. And her coughing fits have been going on for far too long to be a cold. She has some problem that causes her to have coughing fits when she tries to speak.
Is it related to the fact that she seems unsteady on her feet and is constantly leaning on something? Who knows. The Clinton campaign is not going to release that information, although if it gets to the point that she can’t speak in front of a crowd, they will have to explain it in some form or fashion.
But it has reached the point that even the mainstream media can’t ignore that their chosen candidate cannot stand up in front of an audience and give a speech like a normal healthy adult.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine has quickly learned the Clinton way of doing politics. When asked why Hillary Clinton had not had a press conference in 271 days and why she won’t take questions from reporters, he said that she took questions every day.
Reporters laughed when shown a video of Kaine making that statement.
This is what is called, in the world outside of politics, a “lie.” It is the way that both Bill and Hillary Clinton have usually dealt with tough questions.
Hillary Clinton held a press conference in front of a group of foreign journalists when the email scandal first broke and she told the truth a couple of times but the vast majority of what she said was lies:
She didn’t have a private email server for convenience because she wanted to use one communication device; she used many devices to access her email.
The attorneys working for her did not look at all of her emails.
She did not have 30,000 emails about her mother’s funeral, her daughters wedding and yoga. At least 15,000 of those emails were State Department business.
But she was told not to do it and it was a security risk.
Last Sunday Mother Teresa was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church and is now officially St. Teresa, or perhaps St. Mother Teresa.
Whatever you call her, Mother Teresa is beloved all over the world for her unselfish work for the poorest of the poor. When Bill Clinton was president, Mother Teresa spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast, which was attended by the first couple. After she spoke, Mother Teresa received a five minute plus standing ovation from everyone except Bill and Hillary Clinton. They wouldn’t stand because Mother Teresa had said that all people deserved to be loved, including unborn babies.
In the Clinton world it was such a horrible thing for anyone to say that they opposed abortion that they couldn’t bring themselves to stand and clap for a tiny woman who by taking care of the poor had become beloved worldwide.