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Hillary Clinton Has More Email Headaches Following State Department Report

May 25, 2016

Though I am a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton for president I am continually troubled by the lack of reasoning that went into the creation and use of a separate email server during her time as secretary of state.

The State Department inspector general has now concluded that Clinton did not comply with the agency’s policies on records.  The report with such a conclusion was released today to lawmakers.  Equally concerning to me is another revelation that Clinton and her top aides chose not to cooperate with the review.

I have been consistent with my concerns about how Clinton dealt with this matter and also am not pleased to know that the inquiry by the department did not have complete cooperation by herself or her aides.  The process of government deserved better.

While the report concludes that the agency suffers from “longstanding, systemic weaknesses” with records that “go well beyond the tenure of any one Secretary of State,” it specifically dings Clinton for her exclusive use of private email and failure to promptly turn over the records.

“Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary,” the report states. “At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”

This is just not the way Clinton wants to close the nominating process.   But then the way she handled her emails was not the way business should have been conducted in the secretary’s office.

There are more bumps and grinds for Clinton due to her own mistakes.

16 Years Of Togetherness

May 24, 2016

Walking our shared road….

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Donald Trump’s Ugly Hatreds

May 24, 2016

From the column penned by Michael Gerson.

As a leader, Trump has succeeded by appealing to stereotypes and ugly hatreds that most American leaders have struggled to repress and contain, His political universe consists of deceptive experts, of scheming, of criminal Mexicans, of lying politicians and bureaucrats and of disloyal Muslims. Asked to repudiate David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan, Trump hesitated, later claiming a ‘bad earpiece.’ Asked to repudiate the vicious anti-Semitism of some of his followers, Trump responded, ‘I don’t have a message to the fans’. This is not flirting with the fringes; it is French-kissing them. Every Republican official endorsing Trump should know: This is the company he keeps. This is the company you now keep.  

Amen.

Kenneth Star Says President Bill Clinton “Genuinely Cared”

May 24, 2016

Here is a news story no one thought they would ever read.  From today’s New York Times.

An unlikely voice recently bemoaned the decline of civility in presidential politics, warned that “deep anger” was fueling an “almost radical populism” and sang the praises of former President Bill Clinton — particularly his “redemptive” years of philanthropic work since leaving the White House.

But Mr. Starr expressed regret last week that so much of Mr. Clinton’s legacy remains viewed through the lens of what Mr. Starr demurely termed “the unpleasantness.”

His remarks seemed almost to absolve Mr. Clinton, if not to exonerate him.

“There are certain tragic dimensions which we all lament,” Mr. Starr said in a panel discussion on the presidency at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

He called Mr. Clinton “the most gifted politician of the baby boomer generation.”

“His genuine empathy for human beings is absolutely clear,” Mr. Starr said. “It is powerful, it is palpable and the folks of Arkansas really understood that about him — that he genuinely cared. The ‘I feel your pain’ is absolutely genuine.”

Wisconsin Democratic Party Has Embarrassing Bills To Pay

May 24, 2016

This is not the way the accounts should be left hanging when it comes to the Democratic Party.   This story below is simply embarrassing.

Granted, I do not do the bookkeeping in our home.  I am not interested in balancing checkbooks or making sure the bottom line is added correctly. Since boyhood anything to do with numbers has dismayed me.  (Give me letters any day!)  Even when I use my credit card at a restaurant I let James add the tip and finalize the matter.  Still when it comes to having bills paid–and on time–everything is done letter perfect.   I am really good at timeliness.

I wish the Democratic party could say the same!

When officials from the state Democratic Party show up for their convention in Green Bay in a couple of weeks, they may have to pay in cash.

That’s because they still haven’t paid the full bill from their 2009 convention at the same hotel.

Records filed earlier this month with the Federal Election Commission show the state Democratic Party still owes $5,807.34 to the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center — Green Bay.

The total bill for the event was just over $15,000, according to federal reports. It appears that the party last made a payment for $7,350 in January 2011 but has coughed up zilch since then.

It Is A Huckleberry Finn Weekend

May 21, 2016

Going back to Mark Twain’s original classic this weekend after starting a book about the famed work of Mark Twain days ago.  (This all is so much more interesting than Donald Trump.)

This week I selected Huck Finn’s America by Andrew Levy from my shelves.  It was published last year and its idea is that contemporary readers have been misunderstanding Huckleberry Finn for decades.  We think of Mark Twain’s grand work as a boyhood adventure book–that is the way I viewed it when first reading it about age twelve in Hancock, Wisconsin.  There were also clearly tough issues about race that made me aware that book was also talking about a very long sad chapter in our national story.    But in his book Levy argues Huck Finn was written at a time when Americans were nervous about youth violence and “uncivilized” bad boys, and a debate was raging about education, popular culture, and responsible parenting — casting Huck’s now-celebrated “freedom” in a very different and very modern light. On issues of race, on the other hand, Twain’s lifelong fascination with minstrel shows and black culture inspired him to write a book not about civil rights, but about race’s role in entertainment and commerce, the same features upon which much of our own modern consumer culture is also grounded. In Levy’s vision, Huck Finn has more to say about contemporary children and race that we have ever imagined—if we are willing to hear it.

So when I got to chapter four of Levy’s truly engaging read I thought perhaps I should also read the classic again by Twain.   James pulled a copy from his collection and now I plan to relax this weekend outside with Huckleberry Finn and a modern way to evaluate him.

Now to make a pot of coffee—will be back to blogging on Monday.

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Time Cover: Battle Of The Bathroom

May 20, 2016

This is what the nasty and needless divide created by conservatives has come down to–as shown on the cover of Time.  There is no harm coming from violence in bathrooms any more than there were voting problems at the ballot box.  But conservatives ginned up voter ID and now are ramping up false charges against transgender people.   When a political party can not win with ideas they resort to horse-rot.  Welcome to the Republican Party 2016.

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The cover story features the writing of Michael Scherer on “The Battle of the Bathroom”.

In a divided country, the social battle lines have been drawn once again in our most private of public places. State legislatures have been besieged, and school committees have split. Pastors have become politicized in the pulpit, and the gay-rights lobby has abandoned its past hesitancy to embrace the transgender cause. Courtrooms are filling with legal motions that are certain to end up at the Supreme Court. The fight—­political and legal, personal and ­collective—is just getting going….

Like all great political battles, this one is distinguished by the decision on both sides to commit loudly and completely, to elevate the issue and to force it on the American public…. The 2016 battle over bathrooms is, after all, about far more than public ­facilities—it’s about gender roles, social change, federalism, physical danger, political polarization and, most strikingly, a breakdown in the ability of anyone in this country to speak across our divides, or appeal to common humanity.

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