[VIDEO] Justice Clarence Thomas: Personal Reflections On The Court, His Jurisprudence, and His EducationPosted: October 22, 2016
Personal reflections on twenty-five years on the Court, his jurisprudence, and his education. Click “Show more” to view all chapters. For more conversations, visit here.
Appointed by President George H.W. Bush, Justice Clarence Thomas has served on the Supreme Court since October 1991. In this conversation, Justice Thomas shares personal reflections on the Court, his jurisprudence, and the people, ideas, institutions, and experiences that have influenced him. Justice Thomas also reflects on his late colleague and friend Justice Antonin Scalia.
The ban had little practical effect as Catalonia had only one functioning bullring — in its capital, Barcelona — but neither is the court decision likely to greatly change things.
Spain’s top court on Thursday overruled a controversial local ban against bullfighting in the powerful northeastern region of Catalonia, saying it violated a national law protecting the much-disputed spectacle.
The Constitutional Court ruled that Catalan authorities generally could regulate such public spectacles, and even outlaw them, but in this case the national parliament’s ruling that bullfighting is part of Spain’s heritage must prevail.
Catalonia banned bullfighting in 2010. The decision was part of the growing movement against bullfighting, but it was also seen as another step in the Catalan government’s push to break away from Spain.
The ban had little practical effect as Catalonia had only one functioning bullring — in its capital, Barcelona — but neither is the court decision likely to greatly change things.
“There’ll be no bullfights in Catalonia regardless of what the Constitutional Court says,” Catalan Land Minister Josep Rulls said.
The World Animal Protection group described the decision as “outrageous,” adding that “cultural heritage does not justify an activity that relies on animal torture and indefensible levels of suffering.”
But the Fighting Bull Foundation of breeders, matadors, ring workers, aficionados and event organizers welcomed the news, warning that attempts to prevent bullfights in Catalonia would now be illegal…(read more)
Source: The Japan News
[VIDEO] Krauthammer: ‘Hard to Deny That There Is a Quid Pro Quo’ between the FBI and State DepartmentPosted: October 17, 2016
Charles Krauthammer said that newly released documents show that the FBI’s coordination with the State Department on the Hillary Clinton case indicates corruption.
“There are so many ironies here. The first is that this is probably normal procedure inside any administration, inside a bureaucracy: trading off favors, trading off probably shady maneuvers. But the problem is this — the charge that Republicans, Trump in particular, are making against Hillary Clinton is precisely that she represents business as usual. You can defend Clinton and say saying ‘Oh, this goes on all the time,’ but that’s the point. They are trying to wipe away this sort of culture of corruption. It is hard to deny that there is a quid pro quo, or at least one was proposed, when the phrase ‘quid pro quo’ is used to describe the transaction in the documents.”
“This is the ‘camera and sausage’ factor. I don’t think that we should be shocked that this happens in any bureaucracy, but once you see it in black in white, and you hear the charge that Clinton represents business as usual — and corrupt business as usual — that, I think, accentuates the charge, and makes it a very serious one.”
Hillary Clinton finally submitted her court-ordered written response to 25 questions posed by Judicial Watch regarding her private email practices. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the deposition it’s this: Clinton has absolutely committed perjury.
Why? Let’s break down the facts.
In Clinton’s sworn deposition to Judicial Watch she says she never got permission for her private, unsecure email server, and that she got the idea from former Secretary of State Colin Powell. But she told the FBI in July that she didn’t get the idea from Powell. She also told the House Select Committee on Benghazi she’d gotten permission for her server.
All three of those stories can’t be true.
Deductive reasoning says:
- If her Judicial Watch testimony is true, then she lied to the FBI about Powell. That’s a crime.
- If her Judicial Watch testimony is true, then she lied to the Benghazi Committee about the server. That’s a crime.
- If her FBI testimony is true, then she lied in a deposition. That’s a crime, and it’s what got Bill Clinton impeached and disbarred.
- If her Benghazi Committee testimony is true, then she lied in a deposition. That’s a crime, and it’s what got Bill Clinton impeached and disbarred.
Furthermore, the fact that she wasn’t under oath when speaking to the FBI is irrelevant. It is a crime to lie to the FBI in any interview setting.
The Judicial Watch press release is below, along with all of Clinton’s answers.
Judicial Watch Releases New Hillary Clinton Email Answers Given under Oath
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released received responses under oath from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton concerning her email practices. Judicial Watch submitted twenty-five questions on August 30 to Clinton as ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan.
The new Clinton responses in the Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit before Judge Sullivan was first filed in September 2013 seeking records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former deputy chief of staff to Clinton. The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about the clintonemail.com system (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).
Judicial Watch has already taken the deposition testimony of seven Clinton aides and State Department officials.
Below is text from the document filed with the court today:
NON-PARTY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON’S RESPONSE
TO PLAINTIFF’S INTERROGATORIES
Pursuant to the Court’s August 19, 2016 order and Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Non-Party Hillary Rodham Clinton hereby responds to Plaintiff’s Interrogatories dated August 30, 2016. The General Objections and the Objections to the Definitions set forth below are incorporated into each of the specific responses that follow. Any specific objections are in addition to the General Objections and Objections to the Definitions, and failure to reiterate a General Objection or Objection to the Definitions does not constitute a waiver of that or any other objection.
- Secretary Clinton objects to the Interrogatories on the ground that any discovery of Secretary Clinton is unwarranted in this case, for the reasons set forth in Secretary Clinton’s Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to Depose Hillary Rodham Clinton, Clarence Finney, and John Bentel (Dkt. #102) and Surreply in Further Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to Depose Hillary Rodham Clinton, Clarence Finney, and John Bentel (Dkt. #109), and as stated by Secretary Clinton’s counsel during the Court hearing on July 18, 2016. Secretary Clinton will answer the Interrogatories notwithstanding this objection, subject to the other objections stated herein.
- Secretary Clinton objects to the Interrogatories insofar as they request information outside the scope of permitted discovery in this case. The Court permitted discovery of Secretary Clinton on the topics of “the purpose for the creation and operation of the clintonemail.com system for State Department business,” as well as “the State Department’s approach and practice for processing FOIA requests that potentially implicated former Secretary Clinton’s and Ms. Abedin’s e-mails and State’s processing of the FOIA request that is the subject of this action.” Dkt. #124, at 14, 19 (internal quotation marks omitted). Secretary Clinton will answer the Interrogatories insofar as they seek non-privileged information related to those topics.
- Secretary Clinton objects to the Interrogatories insofar as they request information relating to events that occurred, or actions taken by Secretary Clinton, after her tenure as Secretary of State. Such post-tenure actions or events are not within the scope of the permitted topics of discovery set forth in General Objection No. 2.
- Secretary Clinton objects to the Interrogatories insofar as they request information about Secretary Clinton’s use of her clintonemail.com account to send and receive e-mails that were personal in nature, as such use is not within the scope of the permitted topics set forth in General Objection No. 2. Secretary Clinton will construe the Interrogatories to ask only about her use of her clintonemail.com account to send and receive e-mails related to State Department business.
- Secretary Clinton objects to the Interrogatories insofar as they request information about management, retention, and/or preservation of federal records. This action arises under FOIA, which does not govern management, retention, or preservation of federal records. See Kissinger v. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 445 U.S. 136, 152 (1980). Accordingly, management, retention, and/or preservation of federal records are not within the scope of the permitted topics of discovery set forth in General Objection No. 2.
- Secretary Clinton objects to Instruction No. 1 insofar as it purports to require Secretary Clinton to provide information that is not within her personal knowledge. The purpose of the limited discovery permitted by the Court is to obtain Secretary Clinton’s “personal knowledge of her purpose in using the [clintonemail.com] system.” Dkt. #124, at 16; see also id. at (directing Plaintiff “to propound questions that are relevant to Secretary Clinton’s unique first-hand knowledge”). Secretary Clinton is answering these Interrogatories based on her direct personal knowledge. She is not undertaking to provide information known only to other persons, including but not limited to her attorneys, representatives, persons acting under, by, or through her, or subject to her control or supervision, or other persons acting on her behalf.
- Secretary Clinton objects to these Interrogatories to the extent that they call for the production of information that is privileged or otherwise protected from discovery by the attorney-client privilege, the work product doctrine, or any other applicable privilege, protection, or immunity. Secretary Clinton will respond only to the extent privileged or otherwise protected information is not required and to the extent that the Interrogatory is not otherwise objectionable.
- Secretary Clinton objects to Instruction No. 5 insofar as it purports to require Secretary Clinton to identify the factual and legal basis for a claim of privilege. Secretary Clinton is not providing herewith a privilege log.
OBJECTIONS TO DEFINITIONS
- Secretary Clinton objects to the definition of “Clintonemail.com email system” insofar as it refers to e-mail system(s), server(s), provider(s), and infrastructure used to host her clintonemail.com e-mail account after her tenure as Secretary of State. Information concerning the e-mail system(s), server(s), provider(s), and infrastructure used to host her clintonemail.com account after her tenure as Secretary of State is not relevant to the purpose for the creation and operation of the clintonemail.com account during her tenure as Secretary of State, and therefore is outside the scope of the permitted discovery. In answering these Interrogatories, Secretary Clinton will construe the term “Clintonemail.com email system” to refer to the e-mail system(s), server(s), provider(s), and infrastructure used to host her clintonemail.com e-mail account during her tenure as Secretary of State.
- Secretary Clinton objects to the definition of “Clintonemail.com account” insofar as it refers to e-mail addresses used by other individuals ending in the domain name “clintonemail.com.” In answering these Interrogatories, Secretary Clinton will construe the term “Clintonemail.com account” to refer to email@example.com, which was the clintonemail.com account used by Secretary Clinton during her tenure.
RESPONSES TO INTERROGATORIES
- Describe the creation of the clintonemail.com system, including who decided to create the system, the date it was decided to create the system, why it was created, who set it up, and when it became operational.
Response: Secretary Clinton objects to Interrogatory No. 1 as outside the scope of permitted discovery. The clintonemail.com system, as that term is defined in the Instructions and subject to Secretary Clinton’s objection to that definition, consisted of equipment set up to host e-mail for President Clinton’s staff. Information regarding the creation of that system, including the reasons for its creation, is irrelevant to this lawsuit and outside the scope of permitted discovery. The Court permitted discovery in this case on the question of “the purpose for the creation and operation of the clintonemail.com system for State Department business.” Dkt. #124, at 17 (emphasis added). That question is the subject of Interrogatory No. 2, which is answered below.
- Describe the creation of your clintonemail.com email account, including who decided to create it, when it was created, why it was created, and, if you did not set up the account yourself, who set it up for you.
Response: In the Senate, when Secretary Clinton began using e-mail, she used a personal e-mail account for both work-related and personal e-mail. Secretary Clinton decided to transition from the account she used in her tenure at the Senate to the clintonemail.com account. She recalls that it was created in early 2009. Secretary Clinton did not set up the account. Although Secretary Clinton does not have specific knowledge of the details of the account’s creation, her best understanding is that one of President Clinton’s aides, Justin Cooper, set up the account. She decided to use a clintonemail.com account for the purpose of convenience.
- When did you decide to use a clintonemail.com email account to conduct official State Department business and whom did you consult in making this decision?
Response: Secretary Clinton recalls deciding to use a clintonemail.com e-mail account to conduct official State Department business in early 2009. She does not recall any specific consultations regarding the decision to use the clintonemail.com account for official State Department business.
- Identify all communications in which you participated concerning or relating to your decision to use a clintonemail.com email account to conduct official State Department business and, for each communication, identify the time, date, place, manner (e.g., in person, in writing, by telephone, or by electronic or other means), persons present or participating, and content of the communication.
Response: Secretary Clinton objects to Interrogatory No. 4 insofar as it purports to request information about communications after her tenure as Secretary of State, which communications would be irrelevant to the purpose for the creation and operation of her clintonemail.com account while she was Secretary of State. Subject to the foregoing objection, Secretary Clinton states that she does not recall participating in any communications before or during her tenure as Secretary of State concerning or relating to her decision to use a clintonemail.com account to conduct official State Department business. Read the rest of this entry »
(Washington, D.C.) – The Senate Ethics Committee has cavalierly dismissed a June 25, 2015 complaint from the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) and nine other signatories alleging that senators or Senate employees committed fraud and broke federal laws when they submitted applications to the Washington, D.C. Small Business Exchange, claiming status as a “small business.” As a result, rather than being subjected to the Obamacare healthcare exchange as individuals, senators and their staff were able to buy insurance and qualify for taxpayer-funded subsidies as employer and employees. The September 21, 2016 response from the committee stated that the allegations had been “carefully evaluated” and “that there had been no violation of Senate Rules.” The committee made clear that it would not reconsider its decision or take any further action.
“The Senate and Senate offices are plainly not small businesses. The falsified documents were a blatant attempt by senators to shield themselves from the harmful effects of Obamacare. This committee’s arbitrary and capricious decision is another sad example of why taxpayers have such contempt for their elected officials.”
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as ObamaCare, required members of Congress and their staff to enroll in individual plans through the new healthcare exchanges. As open enrollment approached in 2014, members and staff realized that by enrolling as individuals, they would no longer receive generous taxpayer-funded contributions to help pay their insurance premiums as they had for decades under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. They would instead only qualify for subsidies if their household income was less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, just like tens of millions of other Americans who had to purchase insurance in the individual market.
To get around this problem, senators from both sides of the aisle worked with the White House and the Office of Personnel Management to convince the agency to issue special guidance permitting them and their staff to enroll in the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), which was also created under Obamacare. The applications that were submitted to the D.C. Small Business Exchange farcically claimed that the Senate and/or each Senate office is a small business with fewer than 50 employees. The employer was identified as “Twenty Congress,” and the statements were sworn to be true. Read the rest of this entry »
The Cascade Mall shooting suspect, Arcan Cetin, may face an additional investigation related to his voting record and citizenship status.
Natalie Brand reports: Federal sources confirm to KING 5 that Cetin was not a U.S. citizen, meaning legally he cannot vote. However, state records show Cetin registered to vote in 2014 and participated in three election cycles, including the May presidential primary.
“Our hands are kind of tied, but make no mistake, we want to make sure that everybody has confidence that people casting ballots are eligible. This is certainly going to be a topic at next legislation.”
— Secretary of State Kim Wyman
Cetin, who immigrated to the United States from Turkey as a child, is considered a permanent resident or green card holder. While a permanent resident can apply for U.S. citizenship after a certain period of time, sources tell KING his status had not changed from green card holder to U.S. citizen.
While voters must attest to citizenship upon registering online or registering to vote at the Department of Licensing Office, Washington state doesn’t require proof of citizenship. Therefore elections officials say the state’s elections system operates, more or less, under an honor system. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Trey Gowdy to FBI Director Comey: ‘What more would Hillary Clinton have had to do to get you to prosecute her?’Posted: September 29, 2016
…Gowdy’s point is the same now as it was then. Isn’t destroying evidence and then lying about it the best evidence of criminal intent insofar as it reveals a guilty mind? Because that’s what we have here — deleted emails, wiped servers, and then a series of public lies by Hillary about whether she’d ever dealt with classified information on her private system. What more would you need to have seen from her by way of suspicious behavior, he asks Comey, to conclude that she really did know all along that she was mishandling classified information and therefore is guilty even under Comey’s own standard of intent? Comey … has no good answer. Yes, he says, it’s true that concealing evidence is a strong indicator of bad intent, but we need to look at what the suspect has said, too. Which is Gowdy’s point: The false exculpatory statements Clinton has made publicly are further proof that she’s concealing the truth. We also need to look at whether anyone’s been prosecuted for this particular crime before, notes Comey.
That’s all that seems left of his decision not to charge her now. He’s not forcefully disputing Gowdy’s claim that Hillary knowingly, not just negligently, mishandled classified information. All he’s saying when you boil it down is that if no one’s gone to prison for this before, it’d be unfair to send Clinton to prison for it now. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Dr. Charles Krauthammer: FBI ‘Were Not Going to Indict the Democratic Candidate for the Presidency’Posted: September 29, 2016
Impressed by the lack of a prosecution in the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal, Charles Krauthammer contended that the FBI had an understanding that they could not indict the Democratic nominee, and he also said that it is possible Obama will pardon all those remaining who were involved.
“It looks awful. Normally you give immunity so you can prosecute. You may lose the case but at least you prosecute. There’s not even a prosecution. The impression left is — and we probably will never know — it was understood. Not said, not written, not e-mailed, but it was understood: We were not going to indict the Democratic candidate for the presidency, and thus everything else followed.”
“And the close aides are getting immunity as well. It looks very suspicious. I credit Comey’s sincerity, but I don’t know what role he played.”
“The one thing I would say is that if she wins I think it is possible that Obama will pardon the remaining high officials who are going to end up in office with her, as a way out of this, because otherwise this could pursue her and pursue them into her presidency. Remember Watergate came after, long after reelection. There’s a fuse here that I think will remain lit otherwise.”
Source: The Corner
[VIDEO] James Comey Explains Cheryl Mills’ Immnuity, Why She Was Able to Sit in on Hillary Clinton’s InterviewPosted: September 28, 2016
DEVELOPING: A suspect in Friday night’s shooting that killed five people at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Wash. has been arrested, authorities said Saturday night. Read the rest of this entry »
Lawmakers, press and the public need to understand the strength of this “doubling down” phenomenon of and guard against it when adopting policy positions.
In simplified form, the dynamic runs as follows:
1) Government, in response to a perceived need, takes action to meet that need in a manner that distorts economic behavior and produces predictable adverse effects.
2) The public consequently experiences problems and expresses concern.
3) The problems themselves become justification for additional government actions that worsen the distortions and the resultant problems.
4) As problems worsen, the public more urgently demands corrective actions.
5) Steps #3 and #4 are repeated ad infinitum.
We have seen and continue to see this dynamic operate in many areas of economic policy. To cite but a few:
Worker Health Benefits
With the best of intentions the federal government has long exempted worker compensation in the form of health benefits from income taxation. Lawmakers aren’t scaling back the flawed policy that fuels these problems.There is wide consensus among economists that the results of this policy have been highly deleterious. As I have written previously, this tax exclusion “depresses wages, it drives up health spending, it’s regressive, and it makes it harder for people with enduring health conditions to change jobs or enter the individual insurance market.” Lawmakers have reacted not by scaling back the flawed policy that fuels these problems, but rather by trying to shield Americans from the resulting health care cost increases. This has been done through the enactment of additional health programs and policies that further distort health markets and which themselves drive personal and government health spending still higher.
Federal Health Programs
The federal government has enacted programs such as Medicare and Medicaid to protect vulnerable seniors and poor Americans from ruinous health care costs.
The positive benefits of these programs co-exist with well-documented adverse effects. For example, it is firmly established that creating these programs pushed up national health spending, driving health costs higher for Americans as a whole. Consumer displeasure over these health cost increases subsequently became a rationale for still more government health spending, rather than reducing government’s contribution to the problem. Examples of this doubling down include the health exchange subsidies established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as its further expansion of Medicaid. As the problem of high health care costs remains, proposals have proliferated to expand government’s role still further; for example, some have proposed making Medicare available to the entire US population. Though intended to provide relief, such legislation inevitably adds to national health spending growth. Read the rest of this entry »