Skip to main content the last day, we've heard that SOS Clinton used only private email accounts to conduct official business.   It appears that Clinton aides have said that they have turned over some, but not all, of the email conducted on those accounts.  

I and others have expressed concern about the legality of SOS Clinton's activities.   Clinton supporters have responded that the relevant regulations did not go into effect until 2014, and therefore, our legal concerns are inappropriate.  Unfortunately, based on my reading of the statutes and regulations as they existed from October 2009 through 2012, I believe that the legal concerns are justified.  

My analysis below the fold, but, a few caveats:

(1)   I am looking at regulations that went into effect in October 2009.   I am specifically responding to the claim -- offered repeatedly -- that there was no law regarding the handling of email in until 2014.   That argument is simply wrong, as I will show below.

(2)   Ms. Clinton's liability is premised on the report that she has not turned over, to the proper authorities, government records she sent while serving as the SOS.   If she turned over every record already then there is no liability.  However, right now, based on what I've read, it appears that Clinton aides themselves are saying that not every record has been turned over.  Doubtlessly, this will be the debate in the coming days.

(3)  Things I think may be important are marked by bold or at least asterisks.

Also, as you will see, I try to point out things helpful to Mrs. Clinton, as well as problems I believe she will have justifying her actions.

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Then how about starting with General Petraeus?   Per Political Wire:

The F.B.I. and Justice Department prosecutors have recommended bringing felony charges against retired Gen. David Petraeus for providing classified information to his former mistress while he was director of the C.I.A., the New York Times reports.
H/t Political Wire

Appointed by President Obama to head the CIA, General Petraeus takes top secret information and gives it to his mistress on an unsafe computer. Who knows who got this information, or what else he gave away, all so that he could score points with his mistress?

Mr. President:  if you are going to make prosecution of leaks a priority, how about ordering the public prosecution of this one?    Or are prosecutions limited to those who are not apparatchika?

This is going to be a drive by diary.   I'm going home, after a long, miserable, and frustrating day.


Tue Nov 25, 2014 at 09:18 AM PST

Views of one white man

by Cthulhu

Dear friends in the African American community:

We as a nation failed you. The system should not be that a cop can angrily confront a person of any color, start a fight with them, and then shoot them when they are trying to surrender.   You deserve justice, and unfortunately, we have failed to provide it.

I am so sorry. I have no words to calm your justifiable rage.  


I was aware, in a very general way, of the stories surrounding Bill Cosby back in the early 1980s, when I was a kid.

A member of my family worked for General Foods, the makers of Jello.   This family member was permitted to attend the filming of some commercials for Jello.  

I was a huge Bill Cosby fan at the time -- I was still a kid -- and I thought how cool it would be to meet Bill Cosby.   This was pre-Cosby Show days -- he, to me, was just the guy who made Fat Albert and had been on the Electric Company, and then he was the guy who sold Jello.   But he was on TV, and he was a guy I could actually name from the TV, as opposed to a gazillion other actors whose names meant nothing to me.  

And so, I sort of fished around for an invite to watch the taping of a commercial.   I wasn't too overt about it, but I thought that it would be neat.   And so, finally, I asked this family member if I could attend taping.  I was just 12 years old.  Here's what that family member told me:

"Look, I know you think that he's a really nice man, and that's what he plays on TV.   But I've seen him on more than one occasion and he's a real jerk to women.   He's married, but he always demands that he be given "girls on the side" which have been paid to be with him.   And that's not the sort of man I want you around."

Its funny:  it could all have been bullshit, but I didn't think it was.   I was old enough to know what "paid to be with him" meant, and it was sort of stunning to me that, as a 12-year-old boy, I'd be imparted with this information.   My relative could have just said, "Sorry, no kids on the set" or "Sorry, you'd miss school" or even "We'll see."   The relative instead went out of his way to tell me something that was very direct, very "adult" for a 12-year-old kid, and forced me to look at Cosby in a whole different way.   Like I say, I have no idea if any of it was true, its all hearsay, but my relative never took me to a commercial and never made any comment on the Cosby ads, which were selling the product his company made.

My relative never watched the Cosby show, so far as I can tell.   He didn't talk about Cosby a lot, and but he always gave the impression he didn't like what he saw.   Mhy relative was not a high-level person, so his opinion wasn't going to have any impact on an advertising campaign that was wildly successful.

But my relative made damn sure to warn me off, and to tell me something about the proper treatment of women by men, and to tell me not to admire Cosby too much.   He never did this with football players who I got to meet through my relative, or with other actors and celebrities.   And when the stories about Cosby's alleged sexual abuse came out, my relative just nodded and said he wasn't shocked at all.

I still like Bill Cosby's comedy routines.   The Noah routine is awesome.   The story about cocaine is great.   The tale of the visit to the dentist makes me howl with laughter.   But I believe that the various women speaking out about his sexual predation are telling the truth, because their stories match up with what I was told by a trusted relative many years ago.  

No, I haven't spoken about this in the past.   Why?   I didn't start writing on Daily Kos until the last ten years, and I didn't think anyone gave a damn about the fact that I had any belief about a sexual assault that took place outside my presence.   But today, Cosby through a lawyer said that the stories coming out about him are simply smears and lies, and the attack on the credibility of the accusers has begun in earnest.

This is my attempt, however, minor, to indicate that I believe the accusers, and give my reasons for doing so.   I don't know if any of this matters; it certainly wouldn't be admissible in Court, but I am in a position to support (however modestly) the credibility of the claimants, and staying silent amounts to an acquiescence in the attacks upon them.

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Dear Idiots at the DSCC:

I get that you want to shake me down for money.   Its OK, I understand, its part of the deal.   However, calling me at 7:45 in the morning is a bit extreme, don't you think?

I mean, seriously.   7:45 in the morning?   This isn't a normal time for fund raising.   Where's it going to stop?   7;30?   7:00?   5:30?  

And when you call, don't start talking to me bout how, even though we aren't going to win the Texas senate seat, I still need to stand with Democrats everywhere to help them achieve their fund raising goal.   Yeah, yeah, yeah.   Thanks for that.   Shaking me down at 7:45 in the morning as I'm running out the door for work is horseshit.  


From the NYT, Breaking:

Here you are.  Link

Sorry for the drive by -- on the road.


I am on the record as opposing an intervention in Syria in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons.    I would ask those who feel differently to consider the following two questions.   I am at work, so this will probably be a drive-by diary.

1.   Syria has not ratified and refuses to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention, and they have only adopted the Geneva Convention (which says that chemical weapons will not be used against opposing forces).  It is also doubtful that "customary international law" forbids the use of chemical weapons internally. It is hardly the case that killing of 1450 people with chemical weapons constitutes a genocide.   If the United States is to champion international law, please explain why you believe that military action against Syria is appropriate and authorized.

2.   It is reported that Syria has begun using chemical weapons because the Saudis have managed to arm rebels with anti-aircraft missiles -- thereby making it impossible for the Syrian government's forces to defeat the rebels with conventional forces.   The United States (from 1950 onwards) had a force posture in Europe which said that the United States would use "all means at its disposal" in the event of a Soviet attack on Europe, if conventional arms were insufficient to defeat the Soviets.   Why is it that the Assad regime's force posture is in violation on international law, while the force posture of the United States was (apparently) in keeping with International Law?

Thanks.   More questions later


Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 09:18 AM PDT

The apostles were....married?

by Cthulhu

I apologize for the drive-by diary, but I read this, and it blew my mind.

I had always thought that the reason the Church claimed that its priests had to be celibate was because the Apostles were celibate, and Paul preached celibacy.   But now, it turns out that apparently the Apostles were married, and not only that, their wives travelled with them while they preached.  
The money quote is at the end of the article:

Claudio Hummes, a Brazilian Cardinal and close confidante of the new Pope, has made this point: "'Celibacy is a discipline, not a dogma of the Church,' Hummes was quoted as saying by the Folha de. S. Paolo newspaper. 'Certainly, the majority of the Apostles were married. In this modern age, the Church must observe these things. It has to advance with history.'" Indeed, while Archbishop of Buenos Aires, the future Pope Francis acknowledged that "the celibacy rule is simply one of tradition and is flexible."
Does this portend actual change in the Church?  

On Youtube right now, there is a gentleman named David Andrew Christenson who is calling for the assassination of President Obama in his videos.   He isn't hiding this -- its right in the title of several of his videos.   He also calls for the assassination of lots of other people, too -- senators, former mayor Ray Nagin, pritate company CEOs.   He claims that all thesepeople know that the U.S. military used bioweapons against New Orleans during Katrina, resulting in something called the "Katrina Virus" being released and killing losts of people.

Normally, I don't get too upset when I see crazy on the internet -- except when it calls for terrorism, particularly against the President.  I worry about stochastic terrorism -- calls for violence which are designed to trigger action by lone wolves and otherwise deranged individuals, such as what happened with Gabby Giffords.   So, I decide to write Youtube and flag the video.   I figure, they'll take it down soon enough.

Nope.   36 hours later, they don't seem to care.   After all -- I'm but one dude, bitching about one video.   I'm at the bottom of the queue, and so what if the videos call for the death of the President?   So look-- I would ask that the Kossacks here check out the videos calling for the assassination of the President and then also "flag" the videos for inappropriate content.  Flagging is supposedly anonymous (you don't need to worry about him naming you next).    I'd also ask that you post a comment if you've flagged as I asked, so that I'll have an idea of how many people have actually flagged the videos.

My thought is that if YouTube gets enough complaints, they'll take down this insanity, or, at the very least, stop letting him use YouTube as a means of propagating his hate.   I've thrown in a couple of the other videos to try to get Youtube to recognize that calls for assassination against anyone should be taken down -- calls for assassination against the President, however, are simply beyond the pale.

The videos are:

V294 I hope and pray that Obama is assassinated to save your life and your families. Katrina Virus.

V269 (#2) Why I hope and pray that Obama and his family are assassinated.

V323 Pray that US Representative Cedric Richmond is assassinated to save your life Katrina Virus

V312 I pray that igak-12745-ref is assassinated to save your life Katrina Virus

I hope and pray that US Attorney Billy Gibbens is assassinated to save your life Katrina VirusO

There's tons more, but I figure if enough people flag these videos, YouTube will act.  

Please help.  



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Query:   Having read the classified white paper on drone strikes, I'm wondering the following:

(1)   Is there any check on the President's power to claim that a U.S. citizen is a member of a terrorist group?

(2)  Is there any check on the President's power to assassinate a U.S. citizen outside the borders of the United States who has been declared a member of a terrorist group?

It seems to me the answer to Question 1 and Question 2 are clearly, according to the President, "No."   This means that the President does not believe in the extra-territorial application of the 4th Amendment to American citizens.  

(3)  Is there any check on the power of the President to claim that assassination is subject to either "executive privilege" or "national security privilege"?  

It seems the answer is "No," again, according to the Present.

And this leads me to (see after the Orange Squiggle of Doom!)

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Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:08 AM PST

Does it hurt, Mitt? Does it hurt?

by Cthulhu

I'm writing this not so much as a diary but as a rant.   I've wanted to write this letter since election night.  

Does it hurt, Mitt?   Does it fucking hurt?

I hope so.   I hope it hurts bad.   The kind of hurt that doesn't wash away in a week, a month, or years.   I hope that it hurts.   I hope that your wife turns to you months later, tells you she loves you, and tells you that you need to get over what happened.   And then your stomach will curl with a little bit of anger but you'll hold your face steady, kiss her, and then turn away before she can see how you know deep down you'll never, ever, ever get over it.

I hope that for the next four years you can't watch the news, for thinking that it could have been you.   I hope you recoil when your kids tell you how much they are proud of you, because deep in your heart, you know that when your Dad lost, you lost a little bit of respect for him.   Your Dad didn't want your pity; you don't want the pity of your sons, either.

Yeah, I hope it hurts that bad.   I hope you feel it.   I hope you wake up at night for the next year, start awake, thinking that you'll need to go out on the campauign trail, and then realize that the campaign is over, that you lost, and that you could sleep in and no one cares.   I hope that you ache, knowing that the crowds will never cheer your again.   I hope that you now begin to doubt yourself, thinking that you actually believed all the bullship that you were going to win on November 6, that you really believed it, and now you realize that your talent for deception is matched by your talent for self-deception.   I hope it fucking hurts.

You know why I hope it hurts?   I hope it hurts because of the 972 different lies you told during the campaign.   I hope it hurts because you won the first debate not because Obama treated you with disrespect (as is being spun by your aides) but instead, because you were willing to lie about your record and your positions.   Blatantly lie, with a straight face and no trace of doubt, knowing that you'd get away with it.   Yeah:   you lied.   You completely reversed what you had said before.   You made shit up.   You lied, and no one could actually refute all of the lies without getting down in the mud with you, and the President tried to avoid doing that, which allowed you to make up stories and get away with it, for a while.

Your whole campaign was built on lies.   During the debate where you showed up Gov. Perry (Gov. Perry! Fer Christ Sakes), you fucking lied and flatly denied something you knew was true, and Perry, god bless him, didn't know how to handle it, either.   This wasn't spin, or bullshit, or even blather -- you just lied about what happened, and knew that no one would ever be able to shut you down.   You lied, made Perry look bad, and then swept up the pieces.   But in the end, the whole world found out you were a liar, and that you were lying to yourself, and now you lost because of those lies, not in spite of them.   Does it hurt?   Does it hurt to know that you have such a problem with the truth that it cost you the election?   Do you think about the lies you told about Chrysler, about the debt, about jobs, about abortion, about your taxes, about everything and wonder how much it cost you?   I hope it hurts.  I hope the pain never goes away.   (More ranting after the squiggle)

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Confession time:  in my earthly guise, I'm white, anglo-saxon, protestant male.   My wife is a white, anglo-saxon, protestant female.   We live in a Republican neighborhood in the Great Republican State of Texas.   We do not advertise our political persuasion -- we have no bumper stickers, no flag pins, we are not dressed like hippies, and, in fact, we are indistinguishable from the great Republican horde around us.

And today, my wife got harassed while voting.  It was a small thing, and her vote wasn't denied, but it hit us both pretty hard.  

This is down in Rlyeh, Texas, home of the Alamo.   My wife and I arrived in our Republican district for in person voting today.   We both brought with us out voter registration card.   Per the Country registration officials, there is no picture ID requirement for voting in Texas today (the new law goes into effect next election).  

I was in line first.   I handed in my voter registration card (signed in blue ink with my signature).   I was handed my voter registration card back and told to please sign the voting register.   While I was signing the voter register, my wife was asked for her voter registration card.   She handed over her voter registration card (signed in blue ink with her signatre) and was immediately asked for ID.

Whoa.   Wait a second here.  

Was this her first time voting at this polling place?   Nope.   This is where we always vote.   We voted here together in 2010 and 2011.   New address?   Nope:  same address.   Something different between our voter registration cards?   Nope.  In fact, the voter registration cards are identical, except for signatures.

I went to vote, and left my wife to present her ID.   Thanksfully, she was already prepared -- she had 2 state issued IDs, plus a birth certificate, plus a utility bill ready to go.   And she knew that I was not just her husband but her lawyer, and would, if necessary, file suit immediately to make sure she was permitted to vote.  
She showed her ID and was permitted to sign in, but then the precinct judge put aside her registration card and "forgot" to give it back.   She asked for it to be returned, and it was, and she voted.

More after the jump...

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