It’s Not Hypocritical To Review the Election

A commenter on an article in the Independent about how the election might have been rigged wrote this

Liberals lost, they should accept the result. They slated Trump when he said he may or may not accept the result. Severely damaging to democracy to challenge the result they said…except when liberals do it eh.
Turn the result around now, legitimately or not, and all hell would break lose.
This is the most hateful election I’ve ever experienced.

Bullshit. The problem with Trump’s accusations of rigging are that he had no evidence. Even before the election, as he was dropping in polls, he was said the only way he could lose was due to rigging.

We’re not even making accusations yet. Looking at evidence before making accusations while condemning someone for making accusations without evidence is not hypocrisy. It’s the opposite of hypocrisy.

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People who Did Less than Clinton, According to Political Insider

There’s an article in the Political Insider, by Rusty, with the headline, “10 Times People Were Punished for Far Less Than What Clinton Did”.

Here are two examples: A sailor who got 34 years for trying to sell classified documents to a Chinese agent, and a man who knowingly passed classified information to the Baltimore Sun for an article on the NSA. For that crime …

Charges were dropped and the NSA manager pleaded to a misdemeanor, in what was called a victory against the Obama administration whom had attempted to use dated laws to prosecute leakers of classified information

So, according to Rusty, attempting to sell classified information to the enemy is less offensive than being careless with emails, and having all charges dropped is the same as being punished.

This article was picked up by Breitbart and other right wing blogs.

This article does more to support the decision not to prosecute Clinton then it does to refute it. Of the ten people listed in the article, the pattern seems clear: People sometimes get convicted for knowingly compromising classified information, but almost never for carelessness.

The list includes:

  • Sandy Berger:
    Violation:Knowingly removed classified information from a secure compartment.
    Penalty: Pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Lost secret clearance. Fined $50,000. No jail time.
  • Peter Van Buren:
    Violation: Violating orders by posting a link to classified information on Wikileaks.
    Penalty: Fired
    Note: Yea, Ok. This guy seems to have gotten a pretty raw deal. But still, no jail time.
  • John Deutch:
    Violation: Having classified information at home, on a government owned computer, after he left the CIA
    Penalty: None. Pardoned.
  • Bryan Nishimura:
    Violation: Removing and keeping classified information at home.
    Penalty: Probation, fined $7,500, loss of security clearance
    Note: This is the best example they can come up with, but unlike Clinton, he deliberately took the classified information home. Clinton did not intend to receive classified information on her server.
  • Bryan Martin:
    Violation: Stole classified secrets with intent to sell to a Chinese agent.
    Penalty: 34 years.
    Note: Way worse than what Clinton did
  • Kristian Saucier
    Violation: Taking photos of a classified space, then destroying evidence while under investigation
    Penalty: Still Pending
    Note: This case, like Nishimura’s is often compared to Clinton’s. But again, this was willful. Also of note, similar violations rarely result in harsh penalties. From a Salon article

    “Two guys in our boat were caught taking photos in the engine room on the nuclear side of things. Basically, all that happened to them was they … lost a rank,” Pitcher said. “I’ve seen quite a few cases like this and never seen any handled like Kris’.”

  • Jason Brezler
    Violation: Personal storage of classified information
    Penalty: Pending
    Note: We cannot use this as an example until we see how it turns out
  • Jessica Lynn Quintana
    Violation: Deliberate removal of classified information
    Penalty: Up to one year and a $100,000 fine but I don’t know what the actual penalty was.
    Note: I bet she didn’t serve time or pay such a high fine, but again, this was the deliberate removal of classified information
  • Thomas A. Drake
    Violation: Giving secrets to a newspaper
    Penalty: 1 year probation. No fine.
  • Donald Willis Keyser
    Violation: Willful removal of classified documents and digital devices from the Department of State
    Penalty: 1 year in prison

This is the top ten list that Political Insider could come up with. None of these examples involved storage or transmission of classified information without knowing it was classified, and several were dismissed.

String ‘Em Up

Scientists, Professors, Librarians, Journalists. Anyone who has dedicated their life to discovering or disseminating knowledge. String ’em up.

photo of man wearing t-shirt saying 'Rope, Tree, Journalist.  Some assembly required'

Photo: Posted on Twitter by Patricia Zengerle (@ReutersZengerle)

Linda Johnson Just Lost My Vote

I was happy when Mayor Linda Johnson showed up briefly for the Don McEachin meet and greet at LeOtis Williams’ center last month, but now I’m pissed off that she sent a flyer out saying, “Endorsed by our Republican delegate Chris Jones.”

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If Mayor Johnson is trying to be a Democrat for Democrats and a Republican for Republicans, then she is indeed a hypocrite. But it’s not hypocritical to appear at a Democratic event hosted by a well loved local businessman and later accept the endorsement of a popular local Republican.

What bothers me so much about this flier is the word “Republican”. I’m not bothered by the endorsement by Chris Jones. Delegate Jones has served his district well and has the support of many local politicians who are, otherwise, Democrats.

But by putting “Republican” in bold letters at the top of the flier, she’s not just appealing to those of us who like and respect Chris Jones. She’s courting low information voters who don’t even know who their delegate is and are only Republicans today because they’re pleased with the nationalism, racism, and all around viciousness that has defined the Republican campaign this year. “Deplorables, I’m one with you. Vote for me.”

Suffolk has a rule that councilmembers run as independents, and for a long time they have honored the spirit as well as the letter of the rule by avoiding such overt appeals to partisanship in their campaign literature.

It is harmful to our city for our mayor to choose this year, when the Republicans have sunk so low that even long term party elites are disgusted, to bring partisanship to the front of our local elections. Shame on her.

So who’s left? I’m suddenly undecided.

Edit: I posted this with “Bishop” Staten’s name at the bottom because I had started to list all of the other candidates, then decided not to, but accidently left Mr. Staten’s name there. In fact, I’m currently torn between Kerry Holmes and Brian Bass, leaning towards Mr. Bass.

Milteer Campaign for Suffolk City Council: Stop Putting Signs In My Yard!

The first time I found an uninvited Milteer sign in my yard, I chalked it up to a simple mistake and moved it down to a spot not in front on anyone’s house. The second time, it went into the can, as did the likelihood of me voting for councilman who held his position for 35 years.

My vote will go to Vanessa Harris. Ms. Harris is a businesswoman who owns a funeral home in the borough, and is also a teacher at Kings Fork Middle School. And those middle school students can be a lot to handle, so if she can teach them and run a business, I think she has the civic mindedness and the ambition needed to represent my borough.

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Defining Patriots and Tyrants

If it comes down to the blood of patriots and tyrants, remember that the patriots will be the ones defending the civil transfer of power to the democratically elected candidate, and the tyrant would be the one trying to gain power with the help of a foreign dictator and a rogue army of bloodthirsty nationalists.

 

 

 

A normal campaign would disavow an army of twitter nazis

Matthew Yglesias tweeted:

An example of what Mr. Yglesias is talking about:

@ThaRightStuff @Mattyglesias Hopefully we can gas him before too long
—Oliver Who? (@UltraOliver) October 29, 2016

An argument with a Trump Supporter about the Clinton Foundation

I argued with a Trump supporter at Peanut Fest last night. She said that Trump’s foundation got a higher rating that Clinton’s. I told her that it wasn’t true; that Charity Navigator gave the Clinton Foundation the highest rating. There were two kids, about twelve years old, watching. She asked them who they thought was winning. One said she was. The other abstained. We ended up with me saying that she’s wrong, but I promised to go home and check it out.

It wasn’t difficult. The Clinton foundation has a four star rating from Charity Navigator. Their rating was recent, which some right wing sites claim is suspicious, but the reason for the late rating is explained.

In 2013, the Clinton Foundation merged with one of its affiliates, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). This merger made it difficult to compare financial information of the combined entities with financial information from the Clinton Foundation before the merger. In situations like this with any charity, we will reevaluate if the charity provides consolidated financial data that will allow us to perform an accurate year-over-year comparison.

Meanwhile, the Trump foundation is not rated because it is a private foundation, not a charity.

So, in the eyes of a 12 year old, my opponent may have won, but like Pence during the VP debate, she did so by lying. Thankfully, among those of us who were old enough to vote, most of us seem to be more impressed with the truth. I hope that holds for another month.

Comparing Clinton’s and Trump’s Plans for Veterans, Military Members and their Families

At the top of Hilary Clinton’s page for “Veterans, the armed forces, and their families”
is a paragraph about Clinton’s father who was a Chief Petty Officer during World
War II. Trump’s “Veterans affairs Reform” page, of course, describes no connections to the military, since his entire family has avoided service.

Both pages include three or four paragraphs of general vision statements. Even in these general statements, Clinton’s page provides more detail than Trump’s, but Clinton’s also links to a fact-sheet that details how she plans to meet her goals.

Clinton’s page says she will narrow the focus of the VA so that it concentrates on providing health care for service-related conditions and treatments that Veterans need but have difficulty getting outside the VA. For issues that can be dealt with outside the VA, she’ll have the VA coordinate with other existing programs, and “Strategically purchase private-sector care when it makes sense to do so.” She promises to hold regular meetings with the Secretaries of Veterans Affairs and Defense. She will look for ways to streamline the VA by removing redundancies and co-locating operations. She will push to implement the electronic health record system, which has been delayed for years. Her fact sheet is filled with such details.

Trump’s page as no such details. It’s pretty much a short list which he calls a “10 point plan to reform the VA”. There is no link to any fact sheet.

The first of Trump’s ten points is “Appoint a VA Secretary whose sole purpose will be to serve veterans.” We already have a VA Secretary whose sole purpose is to serve veterans. Recently the VA Secretary failed to fulfill that purpose, but the position and the purpose both exist, so Trump’s first point is meaningless.

Points 2,3,4, and 5 are all about punishing poor performers at the VA. They’re one point divided into four because a “10 point plan” sounds better than a “7 point list”. So far, it’s really just a 6 point list because point 1 is nonsense.

Half of Point 6 is a good idea. Yay Trump. He will create a 24 hour, live manned, “private White House hotline”. I like the 24 hour part. We already have a VA hotline but it only runs during East Coast business hours. It can be trouble finding time during the workday to deal with government agencies. So that’s great, but I don’t know what Trump means by “private White House hotline”. It would be stupid to put the hotline in the White House, and what does he mean by “Private”? The hotline would be better off in a VA facility were someone might be able to turn the call over to a health care professional.

Point 7 is about punishing non-performers, so it should get rolled in with points 2,3,4, and 5. Now it’s a 5 point plan.

Point 8 is about visas. Even if a crackdown on visas would help veterans (and I’m not saying it wouldn’t), it’s not a point in a plan to reform the VA. Trump really has a four point plan to reform the VA.

Points 9 and 10 sound good to me. He’ll increase the number of mental health care professionals and allow veteran’s to choose between care at the VA or at a private service provider. But since it’s mainly the cost that keeps vets from getting care outside of the VA (there’s no rule that says we can’t), if Trump wants to make sure that vets can get care outside of the VA, he should provide some clue about how he plans to cover the cost.

That’s it. Four ideas: Set up a 24 hour “private hotline”, increase the number of health care professionals, improve access to private health care,and make the VA a scary place to work where great resources are devoted to punishment and employees are rewarded for turning in their coworkers. There is nothing about the economic challenges faced by active duty military members. There is no mention of their families. There is nothing about education.

Most of all, there is no framework for how Trump plans to meet the four goals he spells out in his so-called “ten point plan”. There is almost no accountability.

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Photo by: Senior Airman Nichelle Anderson (https://www.dvidshub.net/image/334506) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Clinton’s plan has several specific objectives that later we can review to hold her to her promises.

Trump’s plan reads like a book report done on the morning bus by a student who didn’t read the book. It is an insult that shows no regard for veterans, military members, or their families.

This is how bad it is

We have to elect Clinton and down-ballot Democrats. They we’ll have to deal with violent ignoramuses who will think Trump’s loss is due to rigging and are dreaming about a civil war.

Reporter tweets from Trump rally:

Jared Yates Sexton @JYSexton

I’ve covered the Trump campaign for over a year now and have seen this worsen. The anger changes, grows. It’s going to boil over.

It started with Muslims and moved to BLM. Then it was Clinton and calling for her death. Now it’s media. It won’t stop spreading.

Trump wasn’t Trump tonight. He was a megaphone spouting off Breitbart copy. It was organized and structured. Nuanced. That’s terrible news.

He kept crowd’s attention, which he’s never been able to do. He crafted a very dangerous narrative and they swallowed it whole.

See more: https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/trump-rally-tweets-jared-yates-sexton/