Another reminder of how the email story is out of Hillary’s control

Our Clowns Our Circus..

Another reminder of how the email story is out of Hillary’s control

Last night’s news that a former Clinton IT staffer who helped set up Hillary Clinton’s private server is invoking the Fifth Amendment and refusing to testify before the House Benghazi committee is yet another reminder how this email story is out of her control. After all, what’s in the best interests of the campaign (Team Clinton released a statement that they wanted the former aide, Bryan Pagliano, to testify) isn’t necessarily in the best interests of everyone involved (Pagliano’s lawyer certainly thought otherwise). And when that dynamic is at play, things are no longer in your hands. The other (and maybe more important) reminder about how this entire story is no longer in Hillary Clinton’s control is the current FBI investigation into whether classified information was mishandled. That FBI investigation could potentially end tomorrow. Or it could end a year from now — which would be politically problematic for the Clinton campaign. Bottom line: In sheer political terms, you have to hand it to House Republicans: They created a fishing expedition with their Benghazi committee. And maybe this email story doesn’t turn out to be a marlin, but it’s sure a nice grouper.

The Clinton campaign responds

Here’s the response from the Clinton campaign on Pagliano invoking the Fifth, per NBC’s Kristen Welker: “We have been confident from the beginning that Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email was allowed and that she did not send or receive anything marked classified, facts confirmed by the State Department and the Inspector General,” the campaign said. “She has made every effort to answer questions and be as helpful as possible, and has encouraged her aides, current and former, to do the same, including Bryan Pagliano.” More: “Bryan is an utter professional and a wonderful young man who does not live in the public eye and understandably may not wish to be drawn into a political spectacle. So his decision is both understandable and yet also disappointing to us, because we believe he has every reason to be transparent about his IT assistance.” Indeed, it is worth noting that former top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills is testifying before the Benghazi committee today (behind closed doors), as NBC’s Alex Moe reports.

Does Biden truly have the stomach to take on Hillary?

Does this invoking-the-Fifth story make Hillary more vulnerable to a Democratic challenge? You bet. But the question that Vice President Joe Biden faces is this: Does he have the stomach to take Clinton on and use this kind of story against her? Remember, a gutsy Barack Obama crafted an entire primary message of “turning the page” and “change” against Clinton in 2007-2008. Is Biden as gutsy? We’re about to find out. By the way, this Labor Day weekend will be fascinating for Biden, who is in Florida and Georgia today selling the Iran deal. Do we get any clues from his Labor Day event in Pittsburgh?

Trump meets with the RNC’s Priebus amid “pledge” talk

Meanwhile, “Donald Trump is set to meet with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus Thursday in New York City, NBC News has confirmed. The meeting comes amid reports that the RNC has asked the GOP candidates to ‘pledge’ not to run as a third-party candidate if unsuccessful at clinching the nomination. Trump’s campaign did not comment on whether the RNC’s pledge is on the meeting’s agenda. After the Priebus meeting, Trump is scheduled to hold a press conference at 2 p.m. ET at Trump Tower in Manhattan.” Our take: It certainly looks like Trump will pledge not to run as a third-party candidate — what he has been hinting at in the past week or so — in return for another media platform (i.e., a news conference in New York).

Jeb acknowledges he needs to “turn it around

On ABC this morning, Jeb Bush was asked how he turns around his campaign. He answered, per NBC’s Jordan: “Turn it around by recognizing it is a long road. I have a well-funded campaign,” he said, adding that he will unveil his tax plan next week. Bush also said in the interview that Trump is “trying to insult his way to the presidency” with comments like suggesting that Bush should speak English.

Walker: “In the last six years under President Obama, we’ve seen a rise in anti-police rhetoric”

Talk about Scott Walker turning up the volume here. “In the last six years under President Obama, we’ve seen a rise in anti-police rhetoric. Instead of hope and change, we’ve seen racial tensions worsen and a tendency to use law enforcement as a scapegoat,” he said in a piece for the conservative site Hot Air. “This kind of attitude has created a culture in which we all too often see demonstrations and chants where people describe police as “pigs” and call for them to be “fried like bacon.” This inflammatory and disgusting rhetoric has real consequences for the safety of officers who put their lives on the line for us and hampers their ability to serve the communities that need their help.” By the way, Unintimidated PAC, the Super PAC supporting Scott Walker, says it will spend $9.25 million in South Carolina, New Hampshire and Nevada leading up to those contests — with $8 million alone going to South Carolina. This is on top of the $7 million campaign that the Super PAC has already reserved time for. The Wall Street Journal first reported the story.

Fiorina: CNN “did the right thing” by changing its debate rules

Meanwhile, in an interview with NBC’s Hallie Jackson, Carly Fiorina said CNN “did the right thing” by changing its debate rules; she claimed she’s been a “frontrunner” since Aug. 6; and she added she’ll be focusing on her bio at the next GOP debate, given all the eyeballs Trump has drawn to previous debate. “We know that a lot of people watch these debates. We also know that I went into last debate with the lowest name ID in field. I still have the lowest name ID in the field. So any opportunity to introduce myself to the American people is an opportunity I’m going to take advantage of,” Fiorina told Jackson.

That Kentucky clerk story becomes a hot 2015/2016 topic

“The county official in rural Kentucky who has become the focal point for resistance to the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision will appear this morning before a federal judge to explain why she should not be held in contempt of court,” NBC’s Pete Williams reports. And interestingly, it’s become an issue in this year’s Kentucky gubernatorial race, with Republican Matt Bevin supporting clerk Kim Davis’ decision not to give marriage licenses to gay couples, while Democrat Jack Conway opposes. And NBC’s Alex Jaffe writes how it has become an issue in the 2016 GOP race.

$16 million in TV ad spending so far in ’16 vs. $2 million at this point in ’12: $2 million

Finally, according to our look at the 2016 presidential TV ad spending, roughly $16 million has so far been spent on TV ads — by the campaigns and outside groups. By comparison, at this same point in the 2012 race, just $2 million had been spent, according to the data from NBC’s ad-tracking partner SMG Delta.

The top spenders (as of Sept. 1, 2015):

  • Team Kasich: $3.7 million (all in NH)
  • Team Rubio: $2.6 million (all on national cable)
  • Team Clinton: $2.2 million (in IA, NH)
  • Team Jindal: $1.6 million (all in IA)
  • Team Christie: $1.4 million (all in NH)
  • Team Perry: $1.4 million (all in IA)
  • Team Paul: $470K (in IA, NH)
  • Team Pataki: $314K (in NH)
  • Team Carson: $297K (in IA, NH)

On the trail

Bernie Sanders, Bobby Jindal, and Carly Fiorina campaign in Iowa… Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Lindsey Graham are in New Hampshire… Marco Rubio holds a rally with supporters in Chattanooga, TN… Mike Huckabee stumps in South Carolina… And Ted Cruz holds rallies in Texas.

Missing Malaysia Flight Debris Confirmed

PARIS, France — The Boeing 777 wing part found on the remote Indian Ocean island of La Reunion is from missing flight MH370, French authorities said Thursday after almost one month of forensic analysis.

Investigators were finally able to match a serial number on the flaperon, which washed shore on the French island on July 29, to parts used in the manufacture of the doomed Malaysia Airlines plane.

The match was made following confirmation with a technician from Airbus Defense and Space (ADS-SAU) in Spain, which had made the part for Boeing,

“It is now possible to state with certainty that the flaperon found on July 29, 2015 corresponds to the flight MH370,” French investigators said in a statement.

The fragment — a 6-foot-long, barnacle-encrusted wing flaperon — was discovered by a crew cleaning the beach.

It is the first confirmed piece of wreckage from the flight, which disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 239 people on board.

Malaysian authorities said straight away that the flaperon was linked to MH370 but French experts said they wanted to eliminate any doubt using forensic analysis conducted at a military laboratory near Toulouse.

Kentucky Clerk, Held in Contempt and Ordered to Jail

Kim Davis, Kentucky clerk blocking gay marriages, is due in court

A federal judge has ordered a Kentucky clerk to jail after she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Kim Davis, a clerk in Rowan County, was found in contempt of court on Thursday morning. She has said granting marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples would “violate God’s definition of marriage” and infringe on her personal beliefs as an Apostolic Christian.

Davis, in tears, said on the stand that she could not comply with the judge’s order. U.S. Marshals later took her into custody.

“Thank you, judge,” Davis said as she was being led out.

District Court Judge David Bunning has said Davis is bound by an oath of office to perform her duties under the law, and ordered that she be jailed until she complied with his order to grant licenses.

Bunning has upheld the Supreme Court’s decision in June to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, and wrote last month after the contempt lawsuit was filed that the state is merely forcing her to do her job within the law.

Before the hearing, dozens of protesters on both side of the issue clashed outside of the federal courthouse in Covington, some in support of Davis for standing up for her beliefs.

While clerks in other states have made similar refusals, Davis’ defiance is the most prominent — leading GOP presidential candidates to weigh inand casting a spotlight on her personal life, too.

It was revealed this week that she was divorced three times and had children out of wedlock before a religious awakening became a turning point in her life.

Davis, a registered Democrat, had worked as a deputy clerk for 27 years before voters in Rowan County elected her as clerk last November.

As an elected official, she can only be removed in a vote by state legislators, who don’t reconvene in the State House until January.

Despite her political leanings, she’s likely to get much support from Republicans lawmakers.

Prepping for Modern-Day Martial Law?!

Members of U.S. Army Special Operations Command will train with other U.S Armed Forces units July 15 through Sept. 15 in a multi-state exercise called Jade Helm 15.

USASOC periodically conducts training exercises such as these to practice core special warfare tasks, which help protect the nation against foreign enemies. It is imperative that Special Operations Soldiers receive the best training, equipment and resources possible.

While multi-state training exercises such as these are not unique to the military, the size and scope of Jade Helm sets this one apart. To stay ahead of the environmental challenges faced overseas, Jade Helm will take place across seven states. However, Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) will only train in five states: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas Special Operations Soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas.

The training exercise will be conducted on private and public land with the permission of the private landowners, and from state and local authorities.  In essence, all exercise activity will be taking place on pre-coordinated public and private lands.

The public can expect nothing much different from their day-to-day activities since much of exercise will be conducted in remote areas.  The most noticeable effect the exercise may have on the local communities is an increase in vehicle and military air traffic and its associated noise. There will also be economic gain: an increase in the local economy, in fuel and food purchases and hotel lodging.

This exercise is routine training to maintain a high level of readiness for ARSOF since they must be ready to support potential missions anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.

During this eight-week period, ARSOF soldiers will use this opportunity to further develop tactics, techniques and procedures for emerging concepts in Special Operations warfare.

USASOC intends to conduct the exercise safely and courteously while providing the best possible training available for the nation’s Army Special Operations Forces. State and local officials are being informed of the scope of Jade Helm and will continue to be updated as the exercise progresses.


What is Jade Helm

“They” have their hooks deep into Alt media, as they never could have let it remain independent and a solid counter to MSM. Do they every invite the likes of Gordon or I, or Mike Harris or Fetzer to debate their shills on their networks? No… never… and for a good reason. It would not work out for them so well.

But no dummies they, for short money (compared to regular media) they have shown they can drop stuff like this on us and it will take off like wildfire. Sure, their operatives are to blame, but so is the gullible audience, as there have been a long history of these.

I remember way back when, the militia story (ADL maybe) about 2000 “barefoot” African troops at a military base in SC, Charleston I think, in a warehouse complex of UN-painted armored vehicles… the “advance guard” of a black invasion under NATO. That was my real first exposure as to how stupid Johnny lunch bucket could be… off the charts stupid.

“They” used to use small fry, throw-away talent for stuff like this because there is an endless supply of them. But the evolution of Disinformation Planet and head psyops kahunaa you know who was ever more aggressive, as it showed they could even come out of the shadows to do this in plain sight.

And despite their very spotty track record, the audience is still there. So the problem is not them, but the audience. Please share your thoughts as to why so many people could be so stupid as to believe this silly stuff.

The worst part about it is when “they” view us as advanced plantation animals, who deserve the appropriate right for their real position on the food chain… they have some justification, due to these Pied Piper idiots. I think they should all have tatoos on their forehead… Jade Helm – 2015Jim W. Dean ]


Wal-Mart Closings and Jade Helm

Wal-Mart suddenly closed five stores in four states on Monday for alleged plumbing problems.

The closures could last up to six months and affect roughly 2,200 workers in Texas, California, Oklahoma, and Florida, CNN Money reports.

Wal-Mart employees say they were completely blindsided by the news, having been notified only a couple hours before the stores closed at 7 p.m. Monday.

“Everybody just panicked and started crying,” Venanzi Luna, a manager at a store in Pico Rivera, California, told CNN Money.

Read more:

10 defining moments of the Sochi Olympics

It promises to be another memorable occasion — but will it beat Winters Games gone past?

The 17-day sporting extravaganza is being dubbed as the most expensive Olympics ever, with the Russians having spent $50 billion on turning the faded Black Sea resort into a rejuvenated host venue.

Thousands of athletes from over 80 different countries are ready to descend on Sochi as the 2014 Winter Olympics begin in Russia.

Here at CNN, we’ve put our heads together and come up with our top 10 definitive moments in Winter Olympics history.

Do you agree? What have we missed? Give us your views on Facebook and Twitter and enjoy the Games!

‘The Miracle on Ice

It is the moment that all American ice hockey fans still talk about.

At the 1980 Lake Placid Games, the U.S. team — made up of college students and amateurs — produced one of the greatest shocks in the sport’s history.

Facing the Soviet Union in the semifinals — a team which had won the four previous gold medals — the U.S. was expected to be swept aside easily.

It had been beaten 10-3 in a warmup game two weeks before the Olympics, though the Americans did qualify for the last four without too many problems courtesy of wins over Norway, Romania, West Germany and Czechoslovakia.

read more…

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

With former Port Authority official David Wildstein’s new claim that  “evidence exists” showing Christie knew about the politically motivated lane closings on the George Washington Bridge back in September, several Jersey State politicians are already floating the dreaded “I” word: impeachment.

It wasn’t so long ago that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was a popular Republican in a big blue state with big 2016 dreams. But with the twin scandals of Bridgegate and his handling of Superstorm Sandy recovery money, the real question may now be whether he can even hang onto his current job.

The editorial board of the Star-Ledger is calling for Christie to either step down or be impeached if the new accusations prove true.

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak told msnbc that if Wildstein’s allegations prove true, the state Assembly would “have to issue articles of impeachment.” The Democrat said there is “reasonable suspicion that a series of crimes may have been committed by the governor.”

ohn Wisinewski, the head of the New Jersey Assembly panel probing the lane closures, has said it’s “not credible” that Christie was unaware of the plot and that impeachment does become a possibility if it can be proved Christie had direct involvement. He has since softened his rhetoric, telling such talk is premature. New Jersey Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell calledthe  letter, in which Wildstein’s lawyer claims he has the evidence, “devastating” for Christie.

To read more…

Is Marijuana the Bootleggers’ 21st Century ‘Moonshine’?

Prohibition Researcher Cites Historic Parallels

Whether they realize it or not, residents of Colorado and Washington have traveled back in time – 80 years, to be exact.

The first two states to decriminalize recreational marijuana are sharing in the national experience of 1933: the end of Prohibition. And the similarities are uncanny, says Prohibition-era researcher and author Denise Frisino.

“As with Prohibition and the criminalization of alcohol production and sales, after marijuana possession was banned in 1937 there were many unintended negative consequences,” maintains Frisino, author of “Whiskey Cove,” (, a novel based on firsthand interviews with Prohibition-era bootleggers in the Pacific Northwest.

“The most obvious is the proliferation of corruption and organized gangs. After Prohibition became effective in 1920, America saw the rise of unprecedented crime.”

And, as was true in the 1920s, increasing crime means a greater need for – and expenditures on – law enforcement and judicial services. Enforcing the Prohibition cost the federal government more than $300 million.

In the interest of learning from history, Frisino cites these additional parallels to Prohibition and our contemporary problems with criminalized marijuana:

• Public safety: During Prohibition, there was no regulatory oversight on the production of alcohol, which meant some illegally brewed and tampered with liquors were downright dangerous. “Bad booze actually killed people,” Frisino says. On average, 1,000 people a year died from drinking tainted alcohol. Marijuana, too, can be dangerous when dealers lace their product with chemicals to make it seem more potent. One benefit of decriminalization is that the quality of substances can be monitored. In Colorado, the growing process is strictly monitored from seed to sale.

• Tax revenues: The federal and state governments lost $11 billion in tax revenues during Prohibition, which was especially painful for states like New York, where nearly 75 percent of revenue came from liquor sales. Today, with the country still reeling from the Great Recession, legalization of marijuana will provide some much-needed extra tax income for Washington and Colorado.  

• Medical uses: Like marijuana, alcohol has medicinal uses. Physicians of the early 20th century prescribed it for a variety of ailments. During Prohibition pharmacies could sell medicinal liquor, which led to a spike in the numbers of pharmacies as bootleggers set up shop. 

• Common criminals: As with marijuana, outlawing alcohol turned many average Americans into outlaws. During the 13 years of Prohibition, jobs were lost and families crumbled as breadwinners went to jail and became stigmatized as lawbreakers. The number of federal convicts increased 561 percent, according to Mark Thorton’s, “Policy Analysis: Alcohol Prohibition Was a Failure.” In 2004, more than 12 percent of the drug offenders in federal and state prisons were convicted of crimes involving marijuana, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. And that’s just prisons – it doesn’t include local jail populations.

The Prohibition era holds valuable lessons about the unforeseen outcome of criminalizing “vices,” Frisino points out. Rather than reducing alcohol consumption, which was the goal, it actually increased from 1929 to 1933, she says. In addition, legitimate jobs and businesses were destroyed and even restaurants and other entertainment businesses suffered.

“History teaches us that going about change by criminalizing certain behaviors can have a very negative impact on society,” Frisino says.

About Denise Frisino

Denise Frisino is an award-winning writer, actress and arts teacher. She has spent her summers playing and working in the numerous islands that define the Pacific Northwest, where her family spans four generations. Frisino and her husband spend time at Hood Canal and reside in Seattle. Her novel, “Whiskey Cove,” is a nominee for the 2013 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award.


26 dead in elementary school massacre

The bodies of children and educators lay where they fell in a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school — in classrooms and hallways — as investigators worked to identity the dead early Saturday while piecing together the path of the gunman.

Twenty children and six adults were killed when the shooter opened fire Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in a rampage that shattered the quiet of this southern New England town and left a nation reeling over the number of young lives lost.

Authorities were expected to announce the identities of the dead as early as Saturday morning, though the bodies could remain inside the school until as late as Sunday, said Lt. J. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the Connecticut State Police.

There were more questions than answers about the possible motive of the shooter, identified by three law enforcement officials as 20-year-old Adam Lanza — who authorities say appeared to have taken his own life, turning his gun on himself in the school.

Police say Lanza, who grew up in the tight-knit community of 27,000, killed his mother at her Newtown residence before going to the school where he primarily targeted two classrooms.

Within minutes, Lanza killed 26 people with chilling efficiency, leaving only one injured survivor, according to Vance. Among the adults killed were Dawn Hochsprung, the school’s beloved principal, and school psychologist Mary Sherlach.

“Stuff like this does not happen in Newtown,” roughly 60 miles northeast of New York City, said Renee Burn, a local teacher at another school in town.

Until Friday, only one homicide in the past 10 years had been reported in the upscale community of expansive homes surrounded by woods, where many residents commute to jobs in Manhattan and the nearby Connecticut cities of Stamford and Hartford.

The number of young victims, between the ages of 5 and 10, sent shockwaves across the nation.

“They had their entire lives ahead of them: birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own,” President Barack Obama said, wiping away tears.

In a televised address from the White House, the president recalled shootings this year at an Oregon mall, a Wisconsin Sikh temple and a Colorado movie theater.

“We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of politics,” he said.

The president stopped short of calling for gun control measures, though the White House said later Obama supports a reinstatement of a federal ban on assault weapons.

With the death toll at 26, the massacre in Newtown is the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, behind the 2007 Virginia Tech mass shooting that left 32 dead.

Flags were lowered to half-staff in a number of states, and vigils were held at houses of worship and at schools amid a national outpouring of grief that saw many ask one question: Why?

There are, for now, few answers.

Three weapons were recovered from the school: a semi-automatic .223 Bushmaster found in a car in the school parking lot, and a Glock and a Sig Sauer found with Lanza’s body, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said, on condition of anonymity.

The weapons were legally purchased by Lanza’s mother, said the official, who was not authorized to release details of the case to the media.

After killing his mother, investigators believe Lanza took her guns and made his way to the elementary school. There, dressed in black fatigues and a military vest, according to a law enforcement official, Lanza reportedly targeted two classrooms of kindergartners and first-graders.

How he got into the school remains a question as the doors were locked. At about 9:30 a.m., as announcements were read over the loudspeaker to the nearly 700 students, the first shots reportedly rang out.

Students described being ushered into bathrooms and closets by teachers after hearing the first shots.

It sounded like “pops, gunshots,” Janet Vollmer, a kindergarten teacher, said.

Vollmer locked her classroom doors, covered the windows and moved her 19 pupils toward the back of the room.

“We’re going over in a safe area,” she told the 5-year-olds. Then, she opened a book and started to read.

Outside Vollmer’s classroom, a gunman was moving through the hallway of the one-story building.

In the first few minutes, the gunman is believed to have shot the principal, Hochsprung, and the school’s psychologist, Sherlach.

One parent who was at the school in a meeting with Hochsprung, Sherlach and the vice principal said she heard a “pop, pop, pop.” All three left the room and went into the hall to see what was happening. The parent ducked under the table and called 911.

“I cowered,” she told CNN. The gunman “must have shot a hundred rounds.”

At the police station, dispatchers began to take calls from inside the school.

“Sandy Hook school. Caller is indicating she thinks someone is shooting in the building,” the dispatcher told fire and medical personnel, according to 911 tapes.

Then, another caller reported gunshots. And then another.

“Units responding to Sandy Hook School at this time, the shooting appears to have stopped. The school is in lockdown,” the dispatcher said.

The dispatcher warned police and medical personnel that callers were reporting “multiple weapons, including one rifle and a shotgun.”

Then, a police officer or firefighter called for “backup, ambulances, and they said call for everything.”

The dispatcher, according to the 911 tapes, asked how many ambulances were needed.

“They don’t know. They’re not giving us a number,” the officer or firefighter said.

Inside a classroom, Vollmer was still reading to the children when police officers banged on the locked door.

The kindergartners were told to line up and cover their eyes as they were led by police past bodies, presumably of their fellow schoolmates, Vollmer said.

As reports of the shooting made their way around town, frantic parents descended on a nearby firehouse where the children had been taken.

“Why? Why?” one woman wailed as she walked up a wooded roadway leading from the school.

Inside the firehouse, Vollmer’s kindergartners were beginning to understand something terrible had happened.

“They saw other people upset,” Vollmer said. “We just held them close until their parents came.”

By nightfall, the firehouse became a gathering point for parents and family members whose loved ones would never walk out of the school.

Authorities, meanwhile, in Hoboken, New Jersey, were questioning Ryan Lanza, the suspected gunman’s older brother, law enforcement sources said, though they did not label him a suspect. Lanza’s father, Peter, who lives in Connecticut, was similarly questioned, one of the law enforcement officials said.

Earlier Friday, investigators identified Ryan Lanza as the shooter. It was not clear what caused the confusion among investigators.