Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Why the FBI Recommending a Clinton Indictment is Becoming Likely.

There are some Clinton supporters exhibiting Tea Party-like lunacy who probably think nothing Hillary Clinton can do would justify an FBI indictment for breaking one or more laws and that there is always some explanation for everything. 

That she was caught lying repeatedly about her server and willingly and intentionally broke State Department rules is, according to them, and many of her voters "nothing." But what the FBI is currently weighing isn't breaking government rules or lying to the public but whether or not what Clinton did and her subsequent use of her email server for her entire tenure as Secretary of State resulted in criminal acts  and multiple criminal acts meaning that she violated statutes not just rules including multiple counts of mishandling classified documents, having them removed to an unauthorized location, a component of the Espionage Act, and additional felonies arising out of her unauthorized use of a private server and attempts at concealing it. And a decision on that is coming from the FBI very soon.

The Inspector General Report on Hillary Clinton and her use of a private email server, a report even friendly media outlets like MSNBC called "devastating" and revealed Clinton as " a liar" was an investigation Clinton refused to cooperate with. That ought to tell you something -- the former Secretary of State refused  to cooperate or be interviewed by the Inspector General of her own State Department into an investigation of her email server that she said had been approved and that everyone knew about. 

It's no wonder the report was called damning by everyone who's read it in that it exposed Clinton for having lied multiple times in public statements about her use of a private email server having been approved. Both the lies and the refusal to cooperate with the Inspector General has showed clear and intentional deception by Clinton. Her refusal to cooperate also was evidence that she was worried and proves intent to deceive. 

But deception,while a crime that could lead to multiple counts of obstruction and conspiracy to obstruct, while serious, is the least of everything piling up against Clinton. 

The OIG report set the record straight -- Clinton's server was never approved, Clinton never asked for approval and had Clinton asked for approval it would have been denied.

That Clinton never even asked to have her private server approved indicates a state of mind for Clinton that could be used in legal proceedings against her. State of mind is important in evaluating intent in criminal proceedings, since Clinton knew it would not be approved and decided to go ahead anyway because she wanted it  for her own purposes which had nothing to do with convenience, the excuse she first gave. 

And her state of mind clearly blows Obama's recent statement out of the water that whatever she did, he was sure was unintentional, a subtle indication that maybe he doesn't think the investigation is going Clinton's way. But a statement that is absurd on two levels. First lack of intent or unintended consequences is never a defense to breaking the law. You did or you didnt.Second, there is already proof that what Clinton did with her email server and keeping it a secret from authorities was intentional and that she knew she was violating rules and procedures. For the FBI they have to determine if all she did rises to the level of  criminal. And all that matters on that count is did Clinton break any laws.

From a legal point of view lying publicly is not a crime. However lying does reveal  Clinton's state of mind and intention to thwart, obstruct and deceive a government agency in the lawful administration of its functions,and so her lying is relevant. And Carl Bernstein's reporting has  filled us in on her real motive, not convenience  but that Hillary Clinton didn't want any of her emails subject to the Freedom of Information Act and wanted to circumvent it. Maybe for the same reasons she has so zealously guarded her Wall Street speech transcripts. She just didnt want anyone, watchdogs, the congress or the public to know everything she was doing.

 That alone is a crime, both breaking the  Federal Records Act (that's a law not a rule) and trying to keep State Department officials from knowing it means  she was violating both department rules and committing a crime. And keeping it a secret could rise to the level of obstruction of justice. 

Her public statements that she both had approval and it was known in the State Department were both lies. Her staff knew. That was it.  Her public lying could also be used to show Clinton engaged in a cover up to keep her use of a private email server secret.

That she conspired with others to do that is also a crime and there is evidence she did -- with both her Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan and Bryan Pagliano the IT professional who set up her email server and who, on advice of counsel, pled the 5th amendment both in front of a House committee and the FBI. The FBI granted him immunity. And he's talked.

Though admittedly speculation it is logical and informed speculation to consider that if Pagliano and his lawyer believe that he committed at least one crime and possibly more following Clinton's instructions in setting up her email server and possibly conspiring to cover it up,  its not illogical to think there is a good possibility that Clinton did too. And that could be just the beginning.

According to the OIG report two lower Clinton staffers at the State Department testified to the Inspector General that they expressed concerns about her use of the private home email server to a superior on Clinton's staff, another indication that it was common knowledge that Clinton's private server was at least a violation of rules and possibly against the law.  

The report states that  when the staffers expressed that concern they were told to "never discuss or bring up the Secretary's private email server again".

While a lawyer could claim that was not an attempt to obstruct, muzzle or conceal Clinton's private server from authorities by instructing staff never to talk about it but that he simply meant there were more important things to deal with, the FBI and their lawyers are probably at this moment deciding if that is enough to get a conviction against that staffer and Clinton on obstruction, conspiracy to obstruct and obstructing a government agency from the lawful administration of its duties. As well as conspiracy to violate the Federal Records Act. 

One thing for certain. If the FBI does recommend an indictment its going to be big and involve a whole bunch of things, not some nickel and dime spitting on the sidewalk violation.

Clinton's repeated public statements that the server had been approved when she, Sullivan her Deputy Chief of Staff and others knew it hadn't gives further weight to Clinton's state of mind knowing that she was violating at least State Department regulations and possibly the law, knowing it was unauthorized but being arrogant enough to think she could circumvent laws and regulations and decided she was going to use it anyway.

Those issues alone  if corroborated could be enough to indict her. But there is a lot more.
Having not gotten approval for the private server there is no doubt that  legally every email sent to her server violated the statute that makes unauthorized removal of a government document to an unauthorized location a crime. The higher the classification of document the bigger the crime. It can be argued that every communication from a .gov address to Clinton dealing with government business violated that statue.

And by not getting approval and the OIG report stating clearly Clinton would not have gotten it, it not only buttresses the legal argument that any and all State Department emails sent to her  server broke the law but legally as soon Clinton opted to use  her private unauthorized server as a government server to conduct government business, it technically and legally became the property of the government not Clinton's.

What that also means is that the 33,000 emails that Clinton destroyed from her server may also be a crime. Especially since those very emails had been under subpoena. 

That server had become government property and Clinton had no authority to destroy or delete anything.It would have been left to a third party to go through all her emails, probably the Inspector General, and decide what was government business and what wasn't what she could keep and do with as she pleased and what she couldn't.  Which would have meant that her private emails would be seen by someone she didn't want to see them. So she destroyed them. 

How much of a crime was it and how much did it reveal about Clinton and her state of mind? She destroyed those 33,000 emails while they were under subpoena. Which could also land her in hot water for destruction of evidence. And she did it thinking she could sell the idea that everyone would accept her word for what was personal and what was government related.

By taking it upon herself to destroy those 33,000 emails she may have broken a number of laws including the unauthorized destruction of government records.And with it more of the laws of unintended consequences.

As for the email server itself as a violation of unauthorized removal of government documents to an unauthorized location remember that former general and CENTCOM commander then CIA Director David Patraeus was charged with the same violation after an FBI investigation proved he had taken documents home from CIA headquarters and had them on his home computer where they were seen by a woman he was having an affair with.

Patraeus pled guilty to unauthorized removal of classified government documents to an unauthorized location, lost his job and is on probation.

Clinton is guilty of the unauthorized removal of approximately 55,000 government documents to an unauthorized location and the FBI has been investigating how many of those might have been classified.  To date the number is 22. However even unclassified documents may be covered by statute which Clinton violated just not as serious as classified.They certainly violated State Department rules. 

It is part of the governments case against Snowden for espionage that he is guilty of unauthorized removal of classified government documents. The big difference is that Clinton didn't turn documents over to anyone and Snowden did. But there are those who say that if those documents were highly classified, aspects of the Espionage Act would apply.

There is already evidence of how fast and loose with the truth Clinton has been regarding her server to the extent of outright lying. But there might be something even more serious surrounding her penchant for lies and half truths.

Half truths could be at the heart of the 22  emails marked "classified" that were on her server.

Clinton's defense has been they were not classified at the time she got them and were only marked "classified" later. (which would be no defense regarding the other charges stemming from having the private server and unauthorized removal of government documents in the first place).

But there is some evidence though not complete or corroborated that Clinton tried to circumvent the problem of getting classified material on her server on some ocassions.

Knowing that some of the information Clinton needed to see was classified and showing a knowledge that her email server was not authorized to receive classified documents, there is some informed speculation based on knowledge, that Clinton may have had  a staff member remove the "classified" designation from documents she needed to see, had it sent via email as a document with no "classified" heading,  then after it was received, had the "classified" heading replaced on the document.
That would allow Clinton to claim the document wasn't classified when she received it and was marked classified only later,  after she received it which is what she claims.

But if Clinton did have the "classified" designation temporarily removed, that would be extremely serious and constitute multiple felonies. It would not only be a illegal for her to have received a classified document on her server,but it would also involve Clinton and a staffer altering and defacing a classified document as well as removing it. It would put Clinton in the most serious legal jeopardy imaginable.

The FBI investigation is a criminal investigation into when why,and  how the 22 classified  documents had been on Clinton's server.Like all criminal investigations where leads and evidence are followed it can branch out into different directions. The fact that  those documents were there at all is a crime. Since it's not up to Clinton to decide what is classified and what isn't having the server at all and having those documents in a place they were not authorized to be is an example of the laws of unintended consequences affecting Clinton. Saying the documents were not classified at the time would be no defense. It's not up to Clinton what gets classified or when.

Any hacker who obtained the documents later marked "classified" would have classified documents because Clinton was using an illegal unsecured server. Clinton's knowledge of whether the documents were classified at the time she got them would be irrelevant. She had no legal right or basis for having them on her server to begin with.

One thing is clear: all the other witnesses  on the FBI witness list have been interviewed except one. Clinton.  If the FBI had nothing on Clinton and no reason to continue to investigate they would have called her for an interview more than a month ago and been done with it.They haven't.

That Clinton broke a number of State Department regulations is irrefutable and Clinton voters and supporters including former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, obviously don't care. And don't seem to care if she committed crimes or not, was lying or not was deceptive or not, broke laws or not. 

The FBI does, and so may voters. And delegates at the convention.

If the FBI does in fact have enough evidence to  show what Clinton did rises to the level of criminal violations they must decide that soon. It means a decision as to whether to change Clinton's status from a witness to a "target" of the investigation.

By law, if they change her status to "target" they must notify her and her attorney before she is called. That gives her the legal right to refuse to be interviewed. 

 If the FBI had nothing to implicate Clinton it's likely Clinton would have been interviewed by now and the matter closed.  So there is enough for them to keep going. And keep Clinton waiting. Which is not to say that alone means an indictment is coming. But its clear the FBI has enough to review and weigh.

If the FBI does have evidence against Clinton, serious enough to warrant recommending an indictment by naming her as a "target", there is no doubt the FBI and Jim Comey understand the consequences . That means in all probability they will not wait for the Democratic convention to start on July 25th before making a decision. Its inconceivable the FBI would have enough evidence to charge her and allow her name to be put in nomination at the convention and then name her as a target later which would throw the entire political process into chaos.

That's why its a little better than 50-50 she will be indicted. Based on what the FBI must have from Pagliano and the indications and inferences that can be drawn from the OIG report, if  it were anyone else they probably would have been indicted by now. But the consequences of a presidential campaign and nominating convention coming up given that Clinton is the front runner for the Democratic nomination (yes front runner despite the fraud she, the DNC and the news media tried to commit claiming she had clinched anything)  the consequences of an indictment goes beyond Clinton.  There are no do overs. So the FBI knows they need to dot all their "i"'s and cross their "t"'s. And be sure.

Its useful supposition to consider there was a sense of urgency among Clinton, her supporters, the DNC and super delegates to see what they could do to head off an FBI announcement making her a target.  Or make it more difficult. Super delegates were clearly given marching orders to call the AP  and say they would vote for Clinton which were used by a colluding AP and a Simon Says New York Times in promoting the fiction that she "clinched" to try and intimidate the FBI by claiming she was already the nominee and it's too late  to indict her.

It's not too late. And James Comey is as straight an arrow as they come. He won't be intimidated. And Attorney General Lynch is on the record as saying if the FBI recommends an indictment the DOJ will indict.

There are legal experts among them former  U.S. Attorneys making the rounds of some TV news shows who make it better than 50-50 she will be indicted. Some say its 60-40. And that's based on information that is public and their knowledge of federal statutes without knowing what the FBI has or their witness statements.So its not about Clinton lying. Lying repeatedly in public is not a crime. If it were Clinton would be wearing an ankle bracelet by now.

Joe DiGenova, a Republican but also a former U.S. Attorney has gone a step further and said in an interview that Clinton's indictment is virtually certain, citing many of the same points mentioned here. But he added one more thing that for Clinton would be chilling if true. As a former U.S. attorney Di Genova has contacts inside the FBI. And DiGenova said the evidence of Clinton's having committed crimes is so great, and that people have been prosecuted for less, he claimed that if  the FBI recommends indictments to the DOJ, and there are no indictments of Clinton there will be a "revolt of Watergate style proportions" by FBI agents who had been assigned to the case. Meaning they would walk out in protest.

If what DiGenova says is true, then its not better than 50-50 Clinton will be indicted, its a certainty. Which might be one more reason Bernie Sanders has not made a single gesture towards endorsing Clinton, supporting Clinton, ending his campaign or giving any indication he is no longer a candidate for the presidential nomination. If anything all his words say the opposite.

 DiGenova thinks indictments would come before November. But it wont take an indictment to force Clinton to drop out. The FBI recommending an indictment would be enough.

But one thing is certain. If the FBI is going to do something it doesnt make sense they would wait till November and throw the political landscape into utter chaos. It makes no sense that if they decide to recommend an indictment they wouldnt do it before July 25th the date the Democratic National Convention opens. If nothing happens by then, Clinton might be home free. But the fact still remains she has not been called as a witness in the investigation as the last witness to be called. And the longer that goes the worse it looks for Clinton.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Why Hillary Clinton Clinched Nothing. And Can't. Really.

There is an old Woody Allen line, "When you tell the truth all the time you never have to remember anything".

What a dishonest Democratic party, super delegates, a dishonest Debby Wasserman-Schultz and DNC and an even more dishonest collection of banana republic news media headed by the AP, New York Times, CNN and MSNBC all colluding with Hillary Clinton in attempting to rig and steal the nomination,didn't remember was something obvious but crucial in their single minded intent of using unofficial super delegate declarations for Clinton to get her to the coveted 2383 delegate total.

And like most people who try to lie, cheat, or steal their way to something that isnt rightfully theirs and haven't earned, there is always something they forget that trips them up. Its how criminals get caught. And the attempted putsch by Clinton,the DNC,her supporters and a corrupt colluding news media is no different.

And what has tripped them all up and what usually trips up people so arrogant as to think rules or laws dont apply to them is just that. The rules .Because its the Democratic Party's own rules that can be found here,  that proves Clinton clinched nothing. And not only didn't clinch the nomination, but it is actually impossible for her to do so.No matter how many super delegates actually vote for her. If they vote.

Like the movie War of the Worlds where the Martian invaders were felled by the smallest most simple of things, so to is it with Hillary Clinton,the DNC and their colluding partners in the news media and big money interests behind Clinton (for one simple reason: Sanders cant be bought because of his integrity and Trump can't be bought because of his money).

 And this simple thing that they overlooked that upends all their well planned rigging since January when super delegates,arranged by Clinton and Debby Wasserman-Schultz began coming out the woodwork to make unofficial "announcements" to  make it look like Clinton's lead was bigger than it really was, is right there in the Democratic party rules, the official rules,not some banana republic AP "survey"  to use as a substitute for democracy to shove Hillary Clinton down the throats of Sanders and his voters and  America for that matter, but the official Democratic Party rules of what it takes to nominate a candidate.

Those rules show clearly that the number of pledged delegates in the Democratic party is 4051. The number of super delegates is 712.

What  they forgot because they were so fixated on getting Clinton to 2383, is that 2383 is approximately 60% (58.9% down to decimals) of the 4051 pledged delegate total. Which is what the rules require. But with the primaries over we know that neither Clinton nor Sanders got there. The Clinton camp in collusion with the media have tried to put out the fiction that Clinton will get there using super delegates. But what they forgot is that once super delegates vote its not the 2383 that matters anymore. Because it's not 4051 voting anymore. Add 712 super delegates and it's 4763 voting . And it's still getting 58.9% of the total delegate pool that matters. And Clinton can't get there either even with super delegates.

In almost every case except twice in the last 50 years a nominee has been able to win the approximate 60% of pledged delegates (the approximation is because of what the Democratic Party calls " at large" delegates - neither pledged nor super ) in the primaries. Which is why super delegates have actually only voted once to nominate a candidate and that was 32 years ago in 1984 when the total number of pledged delegates were 1000 fewer than today.

But what those trying to rig the nomination for Clinton with super delegates forgot is that as soon as super delegates actually vote at the convention, if they vote,those 712 super delegates increase that voting pool by 712 to 4763. The point is simple: increase the voting delegate pool and you increase the number of delegates a candidate needs to win the nomination. Because its the percentage of delegates won that counts not the 2383.

Based on Democratic party rules that define a nominee as having to win 2383 of 4051 voting delegates or 58.9%, as soon as super delegates vote and add 712 to the delegate pool a candidate now needs to win 58.9% of 4763 not 4051. And 58.9% of 4763 is 2805. And Clinton can't get there even if all 519 super delegates who came out with "declarations" actually voted for her.

The best Clinton could do if 519 super delegates voted for her which would never happen, is 2738.She'd still be 67 delegates short of what the rules show is the 58.9% needed for the nomination. And no more delegates to be had. Not in Clinton's pocket or under Debby Wasserman-Schultz' dining room table. And again, that's if all 519 super delegates claimed in the AP announcement voted for her.(It should be noted that the final pledged delegate count is up in the air.Clintons reported pledged delegate count after California was estimated at 2026. California is not through counting.Some are reporting a pledged delegate count of 2219 after the DC primary.Clinton did not win 197 delegates from the DC primary so actual delegate counts are imprecise but using the 2219 total gives her the benefit of the doubt.)

Anyone who thinks the nomination can be rigged by claiming that super delegates count when they cast votes at the convention but don't count as part of the overall voting pool ought to think twice.

As they like to say, do the math. Its not who has the most or a simple majority as everyone knows. If that were the case there would never be a need for super delegates as part of the nominating process. Its who gets 58.9% of the delegates. So to reiterate: once super delegates vote and increase the pool to 4763 it is, depending on Clinton's final pledged delegate totals, to quote Robby Mook,Clinton's campaign manager, almost "mathematically impossible" for Hillary Clinton to get enough delegates to win the nomination on either the first or second ballots. And the same is true for Sanders. If Clinton's final pledged delegate totals are 2092 or less all 712 super delegates could vote for her, something that would never happen and Clinton still wouldn't have enough for the nomination.

So if super delegates, who haven't voted to nominate a candidate in 32 years, actually do vote they bring the total voting delegate pool to 4763 and what's needed to nominate is 2805 not 2383.

And no one, especially Debbie Wasserman-Schultz can say " it doesnt work that way" or "that's not how it's done". Neither she nor anyone can say the rules arent the rules and numbers arent the numbers.And neither she nor anyone say "how it's done" since this specific situation has never occurred. Thats why there are rules. And no, it didnt happen in 2008  because super delegates never voted in 2008. A deal was cut between Clinton and Obama before the roll call vote (can anyone say "Secretary of State"?) though Clinton never released her delegates.Obama was nominated in the end by acclimation as part of his deal with Clinton meaning all votes were recorded for him.

The only time in the history of the Democratic party super delegates ever voted to nominate a president was 1984 where Walter Mondale had a 500 delegate lead over Gary Hart with Jesse Jackson in 3rd with another 350 in a total delegate pool that was 1000 less than it is now. Hillary Clinton's pledged delegate lead over Sanders is half of what Mondale's was with 1000+ more delegates in the pool now. It took substantially fewer super delegates in 1984 to get Mondale to what he needed.And he got all of them.

The irrefutable point is,Clinton clinched nothing. The 2383 she and the media are claiming as her having clinched is invalid if the super delegates that brought her to 2383 actually vote. 

What those trying to rig the nomination for Clinton since January didnt count on was Sanders winning as much as he did, winning 22 states outright, tying in four others and in many states beating Clinton by margins so great she looked like a third party candidate winning at times by margins of as many as 60 points.The result was Sanders picking up more than 45% of the pledged delegates. Meaning the most Clinton could ever win in primaries was slightly less than 55% and so could never get to the 2383 or 58.9% of delegates needed. So she needed help.And they thought they could give it to her with anonymous last minute super delegate declarations arranged by Clinton and Debby Wassermsn-Schultz to aid the fraud. They were wrong.

Clinton does not have and likely cannot get with or without super delegates the number she needs to clinch the nomination either on a first ballot or second. Neither can Sanders.

A candidate still needs approximately 60% (or 58.9% down to the last decimal) of whatever the total voting pool is. And with 712 super delegates voting that number is 2805. 

If Democrats and the DNC at the convention try at some point to make some tortured claim that super delegate votes would count towards the original 2383, but somehow don't count as increasing the delegate pool as a way to rig it for Clinton, or if they try and change the rules or re-interpret the rules so that 2383 remains constant no matter the size of the pool to rig the nomination for Clinton they are guaranteed to bring the Democratic party to its knees both in Philadelphia in July and in November.

So to be clear: the AP announcement, the New York Times headline,Clinton the DNC and their allies in the news media who have been part of the collusion trying to claim that she has "won" the nomination were perpetrating a fraud, an attempt at a putsch by Clinton,the DNC and corporate media based on a 2383 number that is no longer what a nominee needs if super delegates vote. Clinton hasnt won a thing. 

What happened on June 6 where the AP falsely proclaimed Clinton had won the nomination based on a "survey" of a handful of anonymous super delegates who said they'd vote for Clinton to get her to the mythical 2383, and then validated by the NY Times and CNN and MSNBC without, in their minds,the need to take a single vote, was not just fraud, it was the most shameful episode in the history of  modern American politics.It was an attempt at the very definition of a  putsch and cheating democracy, Sanders and his 12 million + voters and either trying to get around Democratic party rules or forgetting the simple fact that when you increase the delegate voting pool you increase the number of delegates needed to win. 

It was a bizarre game of "Simon Says" played by the New York Times and other media outlets as a substitute for voting except it was "the AP Says".

And to close any loopholes Debby Wasserman-Schultz or a rules committee might try to use if super delegates vote at the convention,(and remember, they havent voted in 32 years so its no guarantee) they do not vote selectively they vote en masse. It's all or nothing.Once they are asked to vote (they do not automatically vote on the first ballot) all super delegates vote or none do. Anything else and its the Democrats and Hillary Clinton playing "heads I win tails you lose" with Sanders,his voters, Democratic Party rules and  anyone's idea of democracy.

What Clinton, the DNC and the colluding media, the AP, CNN, MSNBC and NY Times tried to pull on June 6th wasn't democracy but a putsch. It was the DNC and Clinton trying to impose their idea of the Divine Right of Kings on the 2016 Democratic nominating process. King George found out how Americans felt about that in Philadelphia in 1776. Hillary Clinton and the DNC will find out,ironically, also in Philadelphia in 2016, if they persist.

So if neither candidate is able to get to the delegates needed on the first or second ballots what happens at the convention?

The  answer is simple. Its how the Democratic party used to nominate a candidate for president for 200+ years before the creation of the much despised super delegates. Barring what many think may be an intervention by the FBI before the convention, Clinton and Sanders will both go to the convention unable to get the requisite number of delegates,pledged and super,needed for the nomination after two ballots (barring mass defections from either side after the first ballot which could happen if in fact there is bad news for Clinton courtesy of the FBI).

It means the nominee would be chosen the old fashioned way, the way Democratic candidates were chosen before super delegates existed in a contested convention: behind the scenes old fashioned  horse trading. That mean each candidate and their surrogates making their pitch to the other's delegates to get them to switch after the first ballot(assuming the DNC recognizes that super delegates voting for Clinton at that point won;t matter and skip the process) ,making arguments, looking to make deals, cajoling, offering compromises, promises, concessions, arm twisting and all the rest to woo delegates. Some delegates will listen some won't, some will listen to their respective leaders, some will take into account any new facts or realities that could make delegates flip from one candidate to the other(Sanders leaves no doubt he would beat Trump where Clinton is very much in doubt) and make up their own minds.A scary prospect for a candidate who tried to get there by rigging the process.

It will be up to each candidate,Sanders and Clinton to do whatever it takes to get enough delegates to switch so someone can get to the number needed. It took 5 ballots at the 1932 convention doing it just that way for Democrats to nominate FDR.And that didn't turn out too badly.

What the outcome of that kind of horse trading at the convention in Philadelphia would be no one knows. Would it be Clinton or Sanders? After the first ballot pledged delegates are free to switch. Super delegates who wouldn't vote on the first ballot are also free to take those phony "declarations" which never officially counted in the first place and dump them. It would then be up to the delegates to decide who they thought the best candidate would be, a true democratic process, something it seems that Clinton and her allies were hoping to avoid.

It would also make great drama as well as finally being democratic because the outcome would be in doubt. But whatever the outcome, it wouldn't be the result of phony super delegates "declarations" that didnt count,voter fraud in at least 6 states, a president intervening on behalf of Clinton in the South while pretending he was staying neutral or a middle of the night putsch Clinton and the news media tried to pull on June 6, ironically the anniversary of D-Day showing  how oblivious they were in hoping to rig a nomination on that day. What mattered was that it needed to be done the day before the California primary to suppress the Sanders vote.

If there is going to be an FBI intervention with Clinton it's going to happen soon, before the convention. If the FBI thinks they have enough to recommend an indictment its hard to believe they would let it go into the convention. If something is going to happen with that it will happen before July 25.

The OIG report didn't help her. Clinton is scheduled to be the last witness called in the FBI investigation but the law requires the FBI must notify her before she appears if her status changes from witness to target. That's because if she becomes a target (based on the FBI deciding they having enough evidence to show that she broke one or more laws) she has the right refuse to appear. It's not an indictment,only the DOJ can do that, but obviously if the FBI notifies her that she has become a target of the investigation its over for Clinton.

If there is no intervention by the FBI then a nominee will emerge from all the horse trading,haggling, arm twisting and deal making at the convention. 

And in the end at least it has the possibility of creating some kind of unity in the Democratic party that is currently impossible since Sanders and his 12 million voters would at least have confidence that the outcome was honest and democratic as opposed to the dirty politics and rigging and fraud that's been going on for Clinton since January.It would be the way Democrats have traditionally nominated a candidate before the advent of not so super super delegates.As was the case with FDR on the 5th ballot in 1932.And with JFK in 1960 who sewed up the nomination and delegates needed by getting Lyndon Johnson on the ticket as his vice president at the convention. Similar strategies may be employed by both Clinton and Sanders to woo delegates. Some may succeed some may not.

Hopefully the DNC will not be so stupid as to try to change the rules or re-interpret the rules in some absurd or tortured way to hand Clinton the nomination on a second ballot anyway by claiming super delegate votes count when they vote but don't count as part of  the voting pool .If they try that magic act the DNC will  be responsible for making Philadelphia look like Chicago 1968.Which it was on its way to becoming anyway.

And that doesn't mean violence. The violence in Chicago in 1968 wasn't caused by the protestors who protested loudly and passionately against the Viet Nam war but were peaceful. A DOJ investigation afterwards concluded the violence was caused solely by the Chicago police in what the DOJ investigation called an out o control "police riot".

The analogy to Chicago 1968 was not about violence but a massive and loud protest and demonstration against Democratic party corruption that will continue past the convention if it isn't stopped in its tracks in Philadelphia.  It would also guarantee no Sanders voter would ever vote for Clinton. And no amount of Democratic kicking and screaming would change that so they could forget unity.

And lest it be overlooked Obama's hands haven't been clean in any of this despite his pretense of acting above the fray. He has been aware of or been a behind the scenes active participant in everything that has gone on since January. As president and the party's leader he controls the DNC and Debby Wasserman-Schultz his hand picked Chair,and she's been carrying out her marching orders from the beginning.Even David Gergen,one of the few honest faces on CNN said as early as February that "it's obvious the DNC is in the tank for Clinton".

Either way, no matter what the final outcome, and no matter who finally gets the nomination, Bernie Sanders and his supporters need to make sure the DNC, Clinton and her Gang That Couldn't Count Straight play by the Democratic Party's own rules. And the rules show that if super delegates vote 2383 isn't enough. And if Clinton or the DNC don't play by the rules, get a federal court to force them to.A court will.

All good reasons Sanders is not going to quit, not going to drop out. Nor should he despite the temper tantrums of some in the news media or those who misrepresent or misunderstand his own words, misreading his statements about stopping Trump as somehow being the same as endorsing Clinton. They aren't .Because there's a  very good chance that before the convention is over when all is said and done,if Democrats are forced to play by their own rules and democracy prevails, Sanders could be the next president. Whether Clinton, dishonest Democrats and super delegates,and a conniving news media and big money interests like it or not.The rules say it can happen. And so may the voters.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

If the FBI Doesn't End Clinton's Candidacy Obamacare Could.

From the beginning Obamacare otherwise known as the ACA was the most unprincipled dishonest sell out of a government policy - the public option -  to a special interest group - the health insurance industry - in U.S. history. It wiped out the Democrats in the House in 2010 and again in 2014 in the senate. And  Hillary Clinton's loud, carnival barker-like support would, if  super delegates are dumb enough to rig the nomination for her, finish her in a general election.

In 2009 with Democrats holding the biggest congressional majority of any party in 60 years including a 60-40 filibuster proof senate, and with Obama and Democrats having promised a government run public option as the centerpiece of healthcare reform, passing it was thought to be a formality.

Healthcare reform with the public option was legislation that would have done more good for more people and would have done more to level the playing field on a basic human right - healthcare - than anything since the Civil Rights Act in 1964. And even though Obama had the votes to pass it he caved in to the health insurance lobby and directed Harry Reid to remove it from the senate version of the healthcare reform bill  after it had passed the House and instead let the insurance companies themselves write the part of the law that dealt with the insurance exchanges, what people would pay for coverage and what they would get. It was like letting the plantation owners write the Emancipation Proclamation,all the more ironic since the public option was sold down the river by a black president.

Not only would the public option have done more to create equality in the area of healthcare it would have been a boon to the economy since it would have put money for health insurance premiums back into the pockets of workers and employers who chose the government public option.

Instead Obama pulled a  bait and switch to satisfy the insurance companies and it's been a miserable failure on every level for everyone. Even the insurance companies it was meant to satisfy.

In 2008 the last year of the Bush administration 12.1% of Americans, about 35 million people had no health insurance and no coverage. In 2016, 3 years after the implementation of the ACA, the uninsured rate is 9.1%.

Three years of a health care reform bill that was supposed to do two things: provide health coverage for the 35 million who didn't have it and bring down the obscene cost of health care for those who did. Obamacare is a major failure on both counts.

The drop in uninsured has been a measly 3%. Meaning 97% of those without health care coverage before Obamacare because they couldn't afford it are still without healthcare coverage.

As for bringing down the cost of health care, it has done nothing but go up. And its going to spike again to levels so high that if super delegates are dumb enough to rig the nomination for Hillary Clinton, Obamacare alone and Trump's pledge to replace it will be enough to defeat her.Because  insurance companies are going to be announcing these premium hikes for 2017 in October only weeks before the election.

The reason for the coming increases are that most of the 3% who did sign up were the older, sicker and most desperate, people who would have been covered anyway with a public option. The younger, healthier uninsured looked at the garbage the insurance companies were offering through Obamacare - little coverage, very few medical facilities and doctors willing to accept the low end insurance and high premiums, (as high as $600 a month in some markets) $6,000 deductibles and 40% co-pays - and no government subsidies to single people making over $40,000 a year, said no thanks.

The fraud the White House,Hillary Clinton and other Democrats have tried to present as Obamacare success is based on lies,distortions and smokescreens happily parroted by the press much like the lies Ben Rhodes successfully sold to ignorant members of the media on the Iran deal. Obamacare was no different. Despite constant White House lies, repeated by Hillary Clinton and Democrats and parroted by the news media there are no 16 million people who bought health insurance  through Obamacare who never had it before. It is a total and easily provable lie. That number is a product of Obama counting the same people two and three times. Do the math, as they say. If 16 million uninsured have coverage due to Obamacare, the uninsured rate would have dropped almost 50% from 35 million to 19 million. The actual drop is 3%.

In fact Obamacare enrollments have been so low the Inspector General reported 22 of the 23 state exchanges are folding because they've lost so much money they cant continue. Insurers are losing even more since they have to cover the older sicker insured and those with pre-existing conditions ( all whom would have had coverage under the government public option) while the younger and healthier have wisely decided they'd rather take their chances than waste their money on policies that, incredulously, even the White House  admitted to the New York Times were "substandard".

Expensive, substandard,ineffective and Clinton touts Obamacare as having made health care "affordable" sounding more like Marie Antoinette than FDR or LBJ. Or Bernie Sanders. 

The bottom line to all this aside from the fact that people who needed health coverage and couldnt afford still can't afford it, is that health insurance premiums for everybody are going to be skyrocketing in 2017.

Texas insurers, the 3rd largest in the country have applied for a 60% increase in premiums in 2017. That's right, 60%. In other parts of the country the increases will range from 5% for the lucky ones to 19% or more in other states. Those hardest hit will be in rural areas. United Healthcare, the country's largest insurer said they are pulling out of the ACA exchanges in 2017 because they have lost hundreds of millions through Obamacare. In other words no one is happy and Obama's bait and switch and needless sell out has been a disaster for everyone.

The big rise in premiums is something Trump would obviously use against a Clinton candidacy but unlike Republicans who previously just wanted to get rid of it Trump has said he wants to replace it (without, to no one's surprise saying with what). But the reality is only Sanders and his universal health care plan can save Democrats from getting clobbered again on Obamacare. And with Clinton as the nominee they will get clobbered.

What will happen in the California primary remains to be seen. Some polls show it tied which usually means a Sanders victory and others (NBC)  show Sanders destroying Clinton among Independents and Democrats by landslide numbers. And you can't put it past Clinton and the DNC to commit fraud with the vote to try and save Clintons candidacy. A loss would be more than an embarrassment and a big loss which some polls are showing would pull the rug out from under any argument Clinton has.

If Sanders wins California and 4 out of 5 primaries and super delegates still nominate Clinton (something we wont know for sure till the 2nd ballot at the convention) it will reek of rigging and dirty back room deals and  will ensure Sanders voters will probably make Philadelphia look like Chicago 1968 without the police riot, and assure  Democratic defeat in November. Any idea that Clinton would attract Sanders voters by adding to the rigging and dishonesty that's been obvious from the beginning is so preposterous it's not worth discussing. And forget Sanders campaigning for Clinton. Clinton and her supporters would do well to stop using the word "unity". There isn't going to be any with Sanders voters if they are robbed by Clinton and the DNC. Clinton, Debby Wassermann-Schultz and many other Democrats have created so much had blood with their lies and underhanded fraud and dirty politics and attacks on Sanders, if Clinton were handed the nomination but can't win without Sanders voters she ain't winning. She will never get Sanders voters and if she ever won, it will be with less than 50% of the vote if there are 3rd party candidates.

There are already early polls showing a virtual tie between Clinton and Trump and a case can be made that a tie with Trump is evidence of how preposterous a Clinton candidacy is.She and Democrats would have to hope that Trump implodes which is not out of the question but his promise to end Obamacare and replace it is going to have a profound effect on tens of millions of disgusted voters without healthcare coverage because of Obamacare. 

Will Democrats see it? No one misses warning signs like Democrats. They have been driving through "Bridge Out" signs since 2000 and are still trying to pull people out of the water  from the debacles in 2010 and 2014.

Now there are  "Bridge Out" signs for Democrats everywhere except in one place, Bernie Sanders. 

If they still don't see it the one thing that might save them from themselves and their own corrupt nomination process is the FBI investigation of Clinton.

Democrats seem to be doing a lot of whistling past the graveyard,pretending there is nothing to worry about  regarding the FBI and accepting assurances from the person who told everyone her server was "approved" and ignoring that Bryan Pagliano who set up Clinton's private email server in her home pled 5th amendment protection on advice of his lawyer who obviously believes, based on what Pagiliano told him, that Pagliano committed a crime. If Pagliano did, Clinton did since everything he did was at Clinton's direction. An exercise in 2+2= that is too hard for Democrats and the news media to add up.Or maybe too scary.

Pagliano has been given immunity by the FBI and is talking.And it bears repeating. If Pagliano committed crimes so did Clinton. 

If the FBI decides they have enough evidence that Clinton broke the law that will change her status from witness to target. By law the FBI has to notify Clinton that she is a target since that would allow her to refuse to be interviewed.

There is a good chance Clinton has not yet been interviewed because the FBI is discussing among themselves and their lawyers whether to inform Clinton she is a target. It is a huge decision and the FBI is no doubt applying standards that go beyond the usual thresholds of any other case. If they recommend indictments they have to be 100% certain of a conviction. 

 The FBI knows what's at stake and so its unlikely they are going to wait till the convention. The decision will be made before then. If they notify Clinton she is a target and not a witness that will end her candidacy then and there.It means indictments are going to be recommended.

And if Democrats can't see that coming along with the spike in healthcare premiums and its affect on the election then they deserve to get wiped out like they did in 2010 and 2014. And with Clinton as their nominee, its just as inevitable. Unless super delegates wake up and end her candidacy with a vote. Or hope the FBI does.