Democrat Says Drop Benghazi Investigation
Member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) is calling for an end to the investigation. As Schiff sees it, "the hearings can serve no useful purpose. Closing them down will save the taxpayers' money."
Schiff, who has attended only one of the Committee's 45 sessions, reasoned that "even if it is incontrovertibly proven that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was responsible for the lapses that resulted in the death of Ambassador Stevens and several others there is no remedy Congress can implement. The dead cannot be brought back to life. And Mrs. Clinton has already resigned the post."
The Congressman pooh-poohed the possibility that criminal liability might be shown. "Bad judgment is not a felony," Schiff argued. "Selecting a local Muslim cadre to provide security may have been stupid. Blocking a rescue attempt may have been cowardly. Concocting a false cover story may have been dishonest, but such stories are routine tools of diplomacy."
Bryan Pagliano, the man who set up Mrs. Clinton's private email account announced that he will avail himself of the US Constitution's Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination if he is required to appear before the Committee. Schiff cited this as "further proof that there is no smoking gun to be found by continuing the investigation."
"At best, Congress might urge the Attorney General to press ahead with a criminal investigation, but does anyone sincerely believe a serious investigation would be undertaken?" Schiff jibed. "Isn't it more likely that Attorney General Lynch would either decline to take up the matter or simply issue a finding of insufficient evidence? And let's not forget that President Obama could just pardon Mrs. Clinton and spare the country further agony."
Poor Turnout for Screening of Planned Parenthood Videos
The Susan B. Anthony List invited 2,000 Democratic Congressional staffers to a screening of the undercover videos that have been released by the Center for Medical Progress. Only ten showed up. Only three would look at any of the videos. Only two unpaid interns watched all 90 minutes of tape.
SBA President Marjorie Dannenfelser acknowledged that "viewing the horrors shown to be taking place at Planned Parenthood is difficult. Nevertheless, awareness of the enormity of the crimes being committed by this organization is an important step if we hope to end them. Abortionists in this country have murdered over 50 million children. By shining more light on some of these atrocities the Center for Medical Progress may spur the type of action needed to put a stop to the continued slaughter of innocents."
In contrast, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) praised "the courage of our dedicated staffers for resisting this emotional appeal aimed at diverting them from aiding our Party in its pursuit of a progressive agenda. Using pictures of chopped up babies and covertly obtained tapes of Planned Parenthood officials haggling with anti-abortion activists posing as prospective buyers of these fetal tissues is reprehensible. This time they have gone too far. I am hopeful that the callous invasion of privacy perpetrated by the Center for Medical Progress and abetted by the Susan B. Anthony List won't go unpunished now that they have exposed themselves for what they are."
Clinton Apologizes for "People's Confusion about My Emails"
In yet another attempt to dampen the negative implications emanating from her 2009 decision to use a private email account for official State Department business, Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was "sorry that people are so confused by the issue."
Clinton acknowledged that "the decision was not well thought out. I didn't stop to think about the potential downside of using an unsecured network for the highly confidential messages my work would entail. I was too eager to dive into the much more important business of resolving the diplomatic mess left behind by the outgoing Bush Administration."
The presidential candidate then sought to clarify matters "for voters who have been misled by Republican efforts to use this complex situation for political advantage. My decision to use a private account for public business was not an unusual one. While it may not have been in accord with statutory law, it was a common practice authorized by President Obama and was widely used within the Administration. That I am being singled out for scrutiny is a desperate ploy by the GOP to try to block my ascension to the presidency."
While admitting that her private email account may have been hacked (this week a private hacker offered Mrs. Clinton's 30,000 emails for sale with a $500,000 price tag), she contended that "continued prying into this past history risks exposing vital secrets to our more dangerous enemies—not the Chinese, Russians, or even the Islamic State—but the right-wing elements who have a realistic chance of undoing the progressive reforms of President Obama that my election in 2016 would preserve and build upon."
In related news, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump's speculation that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal aide Huma Abedin may have shared her classified emails with her husband—Anthony Weiner—was labeled "absurd" by the former congressman. "These are not the kind of emails my wife and I send to each other," Weiner said. "Anyone who knows me and knows my history with emails and sexts also knows I have no interest in such matters. Huma would never send me boring memos on ISIS or Russia. She knows my taste runs more toward the erotic."
Judge Defends Jailing of Kentucky Clerk
Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, was led away in shackles after U.S. District Judge David Bunning ordered her to be held in jail until she agrees to comply with his orders.
Bunning justified the harsh treatment calling "contempt of court among the most serious offenses against the rule of law in this country. The humiliation of shackles and the open-ended nature of the incarceration is needed to strike fear into both Ms. Davis and others who night contemplate challenging our authority."
The judge belittled Davis' contention that her natural right to freedom of religion was being infringed, saying that "the idea of natural law superseding court authority would be a dangerous precedent. The US Constitution firmly establishes the courts as the ultimate arbiter of justice. Government officers at all levels—federal, state, and local—cannot refuse to carry out what a court directs them to do. Likewise, any statute or ordinance that is incompatible with a court's ruling must be swept aside."
Kerry Sees Lessons from WWII for Fight against Global Warming
US Secretary of State John Kerry told attendees at the Global Leadership in the Arctic conference in Alaska that global warming presents a threat every bit as severe as World War II did 75 years ago.
"World War II was the most disastrous event of the twentieth century," Kerry said. "Over 50 million people died as a result. Global warming could easily top that toll. That is why it is imperative that the leaders of the world steel themselves for the hard choices they will have to make to combat this threat."
An example of the kind of hard choice leaders have to steel themselves to make is "the possible internment of potentially dangerous segments of the population. Students of history recall that US President Franklin Roosevelt took the hard step of imprisoning Americans of Japanese descent. It is not too difficult to envision a future president taking a similar step to imprison global warming deniers in order to prevent them from impeding the actions necessary to stave off undesirable climate change."
"Maybe a stint in an internment camp will aid in reeducating these misguided individuals," Kerry hoped. "But we must be prepared for sterner measures if mere internment fails to do the job. The United States undertook some harsh actions to ensure that World War II could be won. We may have to undertake similarly harsh actions to ensure that the fight against global warming is won."
Boehner Outraged over Mountain Name Change
This week, President Obama announced he was using his executive authority to rename the nation's tallest peak Mount Denali. The peak was named after former President William Mckinley by Congress in 1917. McKinley's career of public service included a stint in the US House of Representatives, a term as Governor of Ohio, and a a bit more than one term as President from 1897 until he was assassinated in 1901 after being reelected in 1900.
A red-faced House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called President Obama's unilateral decision to rename Mount McKinley "an outrage. It makes my blood boil. This mountain was named by an Act of Congress. President Obama has no right to change it without Congress' consent. He has acted lawlessly."
Presidential Press Secretary Josh Earnest found Boehner's objections "amusing. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives Congress the authority to name mountains. There is nothing in the Constitution barring the President from changing the names of mountains. There is nothing that Mr. Boehner can do to undo what President Obama has done."