This Is Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Who Risked Her Career to Endorse Bernie Sanders

By Alexander Reed Kelly

It was remarkable to watch Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, an Iraq War veteran, defy her bosses, resign her post as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee and endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders for president.

She did so Feb. 28 on the grounds that Sanders would make a more responsible and effective commander in chief than Hillary Clinton, his rival for the Democratic nomination and the party’s clear favorite.

The nation must have a president “who has foresight, who exercises good judgment,” Gabbard told NBC host Chuck Todd on Sunday’s edition of “Meet the Press.”

Gabbard, 34, is one of only five members of Congress currently endorsing Sanders. The others are Democratic Reps. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Alan Grayson of Florida, Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Peter Welch of Vermont. (Read a comprehensive list of Sanders’ endorsements here.)

“As a veteran and as a soldier I’ve seen firsthand the true cost of war,” Gabbard continued on “Meet the Press.”

“I served in a medical unit during my first deployment, where every single day I saw firsthand the very high human cost of that war. I see it in my friends who now, a decade after we’ve come home, are still struggling to get out of a black hole.

“I think it’s most important for us to recognize the necessity to have a commander in chief who has foresight, exercises good judgment, who looks beyond the consequences, looks at the consequences of the actions they’re looking to take before they take those actions, so we don’t continue to find ourselves in these failures that have resulted in chaos in the Middle East and so much loss of life.”

Gabbard was referring in part to Sanders’ opposition to President George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, a decision the Vermont senator has described as “the worst foreign policy blunder in the history of the country.” The invasion and subsequent fighting killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of Americans and plunged the region deeper into a sectarian hell that birthed the D.C. establishment’s current bête noire, Islamic State.

In a debate with Clinton in early February, Sanders said that what occurred as a result of the invasion was entirely predictable and avoidable.

“We differed on the war in Iraq, which created barbaric organizations like ISIS,” he said. “Not only did I vote against that war, I helped lead the opposition. … And it gives me no pleasure to tell you that much of what I feared would happen the day after Saddam Hussein was overthrown, in fact, did happen.”

Clinton seemed to regard the point as inconsequential, saying merely that she and Sanders differed at the time and that “a vote in 2002 is not a plan to defeat ISIS. We have to look at the threats that we face right now.”

Sanders was not impressed. “I fully, fully concede that Secretary Clinton, who was secretary of state for four years, has more experience—that is not arguable—in foreign affairs,” he said. “But experience is not the only point—judgment is. And once again, back in 2002, when we both looked at the same evidence about the wisdom of the war in Iraq, one of us voted the right way, and one of us didn’t.”

Still, some voters remain unconvinced. “What is Sanders’ plan?” they ask, phrasing the concern as Clinton did. Reinforcing Gabbard’s confidence in Sanders is Lawrence Korb, a former director of national security studies at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations and former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration. Korb has advised President Obama on foreign policy and, the senator has said, is one source of advice in the Sanders campaign.

“[H]ow serious could Sanders—the socialist crusader battling the former secretary of state—really be?” Lawrence asked at the top of an article published at Politico in early February. “The answer is: serious.”

“In my dealings with him, and in analyzing his record in Congress over the past 25 years, I have found that Sanders has taken balanced, realistic positions on many of the most critical foreign policy issues facing the country.” Sanders, Lawrence wrote, “isn’t a foreign policy lightweight: In fact, given his long tenure in the House and Senate, he has more foreign policy experience than Ronald Reagan or Barack Obama did when they were running for office the first time.”

Korb presumes that a Sanders foreign policy would rest on the principles of restraint, diplomacy and international cooperation and a clear articulation of objectives when a decision is made to use force.

“Those who argue that Sanders should get more specific about foreign policy should keep in mind that some of our more successful foreign policy presidents were not all that specific as candidates,” Korb went on. “Eisenhower said only that he would go to Korea; he had no specific plan for how to end the conflict there. … Candidate Nixon said he had a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam but never said what it was.”

Because we can’t predict exactly what challenges the next president will face, Korb added, “ultimately, judgment matters more than experience for a potential president.” Korb warns against investing advisers with ultimate control over policy. Reagan, Obama, George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State John Kerry, he wrote, “all showed great judgment in considering, but not bowing to, the advice of the foreign policy establishment.”

“With the right partners in place—and, above all, the right [principles] and instincts—a President Sanders could be just the foreign policy president we need.”

That’s a message Tulsi Gabbard is helping get past a cadre of publishers, editors and broadcasters that has failed to deliver Sanders’ message of justice, economic equality and accountable governance to Americans who polls suggest would support it.

We don’t know what her endorsement might cost her in advancing up the Democratic Party ladder. But her courage is an example to all who believe in the moral necessity of Sen. Sanders’ campaign. For risking her career to endorse Sanders, we honor Tulsi Gabbard as our Truthdigger of the Week.

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Why Is Our Government Working for the Private Good Over the Public Good?

By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program

It’s been more than two years since a massive chemical spill in West Virginia left regulators puzzled over basic questions like, how toxic is this chemical? Does it pose a threat to pregnant women and children? How long will this chemical stay in the environment, or in people’s bodies?

The reason we couldn’t answer those questions was simple.

Chemicals that were invented or discovered before 1976 – thousands and thousands of chemicals that were developed in the early 20th century – were simply “grandfathered in” to the Toxic Substances Control Act (ToSCA) of 1976 and presumed safe until proven dangerous.

There was a massive public outcry in response to the Elk River chemical spill, and Congress quickly took up action to reform and strengthen the ToSCA.

So, more than two years later, how’s that new legislation coming along?

If you happen to be on the board of a multibillion dollar agrichemical giant called Monsanto, it’s going great!

Not so much though, if you happen to be a private citizen who actually wants accountability when corporations poison communities or expose them to cancer-causing chemicals.

Right in the middle of the sweeping new chemical safety bill that Congress is working out, Republicans in the House of Representatives have added one paragraph that would save Monsanto, and only Monsanto, hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits.

The clause relates to “PCBs,” which are non-flammable Monsanto-produced chemicals that were used extensively in electronics, caulk, paints, pesticides and thermal insulation in buildings for most of the 20th century.

Starting in the 1930s, Monsanto manufactured nearly all of the 1.25 billion pounds of PCBs that were produced and sold in the United States.

In 1977, Monsanto stopped producing PCBs because of health concerns, and the EPA banned the chemical with few exceptions in 1979.

PCBs don’t break down easily though: They stay in the environment and in sewage systems, they accumulate in the fat tissues in animals and humans, and they cause health problems like cancer.

Just last year, cities and school systems tried to sue Monsanto for hundreds of millions of dollars to get them to pay part of the cost to reduce PCB levels in sewer discharge and in construction caulk to meet federal and state regulations.

At the same time, another group of individuals with non-Hodgkins lymphoma related to PCB exposure sued Monsanto for damages.

If the House version of the new chemical safety bill passes into law though, those cities and schools will be stuck with the bill to clean up Monsanto’s cancer-causing chemical, and individuals will be stuck with the bill to treat the cancers that the chemical caused.

That’s a real possibility, because our government has stopped working for the public good, and now it works mostly to line the coffers of multibillion dollar corporations.

Thanks to the court rulings in Citizens United, Buckley v. Valeo and Santa Clara County v. the Southern Pacific Railroad, Monsanto is technically a person, and the money that Monsanto spends to put their shills in Congress is technically “free speech.”

But these corporations apparently aren’t happy with being seen as merely being equal to living, breathing human beings under the law.

No, they also use their incredible financial resources to go to court to make sure that certain laws just don’t apply to them.

Right now, Monsanto is suing the state of California to make sure that consumers in California don’t know that Roundup is probably cancerous.

Under a California law that was passed by ballot initiative back in 1986, it is illegal for businesses to knowingly expose any individual to a chemical known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity without first giving a clear and reasonable warning, and the discharge of such chemicals into a source of drinking water is prohibited.

Just makes sense right? Companies should tell consumers when they’re being exposed to dangerous chemicals, and those chemicals should be kept out of people’s drinking water.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer found in 2015 that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is “probably carcinogenic.”

So this should be an open and shut case.

Monsanto produces a chemical that’s recognized as cancerous, and the law says that they have to label products that contain cancerous chemicals.

But Monsanto is suing, saying that it’s unconstitutional for a state agency to use findings from any international organization.

And that’s just flat-out insane, because WHO research and the international exchange of public health data is critical to answering questions like “is this chemical linked to cancer?”

The fact is that these corporations don’t really care about public health, they care about their bottom line.

They figure that it’s cheaper to sue the state of California than to potentially lose out on sales by telling people about the fact that chemicals like those in Roundup can cause cancer.

And that’s the same reason why Monsanto pays to get Monsanto-friendly politicians into Congress.

Buying elections might be expensive, but owning lawmakers who can write loopholes is cheaper than paying out hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits.

Our government should be protecting people’s health, not corporate bottom lines.

We need a government that we can count on to inform us about health risks and protect us, because not everyone is a scientist, not all science is created equal and people just don’t have the time to research every chemical that they’re exposed to.

We need a government that we can trust to protect us from corporations that only care about shareholder profits, even when their products are killing Americans.

That’s why it’s time to repeal Citizens United and to pass a constitutional amendment that makes it clear that a corporation is not a person and money is not speech, because our government should work on behalf of the living, breathing citizens of this country.

This article was first published on Truthout and any reprint or reproduction on any other website must acknowledge Truthout as the original site of publication.

 

 

 

A “complete rebuild” of the U.S. election system is needed to take money out of politics.

By Jack Rasmus

As the United States election cycle began to ramp up last summer, for example, the New York Times/NBC News poll showed no less than 84 percent of U.S. voters – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike – shared the common view that there was simply “too much money” flooding into U.S. elections today. While 85 percent of those in the poll further indicated that either major changes or a “complete rebuild” of the U.S. election system was needed to take money out of politics.

Forget minor tweaking reforms of campaign financing. The people of the U.S. now believe the entire process is rigged in favor of rich contributors and corporations who fill to over-flowing the campaign coffers of their chosen politicians.

A related major concern expressed by those polled was that those billionaires writing the checks for candidates were “hiding behind the curtain” as never before. The electoral system itself was becoming increasingly opaque. Seventy-five percent of those polled thus demanded full disclosure of just who was providing all the money.

The current election cycle is just now getting underway with the primary season and nominating of candidates, so total spending won’t be known for at least mid-2017 at the earliest. But there are signs appearing in numerous places that this election year will break all records for money flowing from the billionaires, their banks, and their corporations to their “hat in hand” candidates, as they regularly stumble over themselves and trek one after the other attending private meetings with the Koch Brothers, the Sheldon Adelsons, the Paul Singers, Goldman Sachs and other bankers – and all the rest of the billionaire class who write checks for tens of millions of dollars at a single sitting – to fund whichever candidate bends his knee and bows his head the most in committing to their favorite economic interest or pet political cause. And bend and bow they do.

Marco Rubio

For example, there’s the Republican presidential candidate, Marco Rubio, who led the attack on Argentina in the U.S. Congress to pressure that country’s Kirchner government to concede to the blackmail by U.S. vulture funds led by multi-billionaire, hedge fund magnate, Paul Singer. A financial supporter of the expansion of Israeli settlements in the west bank of Palestine, Singer is an ardent advocate that “Israel can do no wrong.” As Singer’s boy in the U.S. Senate, Rubio consistently takes a hard line on every Israel debate and vote, effectively representing Singer’s views and interests. Not surprisingly, for that Rubio has been repaid well. Singer is Rubio’s second biggest campaign contributor, second only to Florida real estate billionaire, Norman Braman. Multi-billionaires, both have already contributed more than US$11 million in 2015 to Rubio’s campaign. Software billionaire, Larry Ellison, the world’s fifth richest person, worth $47 billion, has also already contributed millions to Rubio. All three no doubt appreciate Rubio’s pledge to eliminate all taxes on capital gains and dividends, which would mean $1 trillion tax free to them and their billionaire friends. Rubio’s election campaign committee and his “Conservative Solutions” super PAC have accumulated more than $60 million in 2015. Bush money is reportedly moving to Rubio recently as well.

Ted Cruz

Then there’s candidate Cruz. His billionaires include ultra-right wing, hedge fund owner Robert Mercer, who contributes to restoration of the death penalty, advocates return to the gold standard, funds pro-life and anti-gay causes, and collects machine-guns for a hobby; Toby Neugebauer, the billionaire Houston investment banker; and Farris and Staci Wilks, extreme bible-thumpers, who view the U.S. from a prism of the biblical old testament, and whose family has made their billions by fracking and poisoning land in the U.S. from Texas to Montana. All have all written checks to the Cruz campaign for more than $10 million each thus far, and contribute heavily to Cruz’s super PAC, “Keeping the Promise,” and his campaign committee, together worth at latest estimate more than $100 million. Cruz repeatedly pilgrimages to their respective billionaire compounds and retreats, that is, when he’s not getting loans from the big Investment bank, Goldman Sachs, where his wife worked as a managing director, and from which Cruz has been given low interest loans.

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush got most of his money from his personal and family investment sources, from his super PAC, “Right to Rise,” to which wealthy friends have already contributed $118 million in “outside money,” from his election committee with a pot of more than $40 million more so far, from his 50+ per year public speeches for which he is paid an average of $40,000 each, and unknown amounts from his multi-billionaire Bush dynasty family. Another big billionaire contributor, writing a $10 million check recently, was the notorious Hank Greenberg, former Chairman of the American Insurance Group that the government and U.S. taxpayer bailed out to the tune of $180 billion in the 2008 crisis.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s money comes from all the above sources and then some. For example, there’s hedge fund billionaire, George Soros, who contributed $8.5 million just last year. And the media billionaires, Haim and Cheryl Saban, who have directly already contributed millions; and reportedly may have contributed an estimated $10-$25 million more indirectly from their own personal foundation to the Clinton’s foundation: a favorite way the rich contribute to each other. Both Hillary and Bill have also had multi-million dollar royalty book contracts, Hillary’s latest worth $5 million. She is also the biggest recipient of contributions from professional Lobbyists among all the candidates. Her campaign committee has amassed $115 million as of January 2016 and her super PAC, “Priorities USA,” more than $40 million.

The Clintons, however, have especially farmed the speech circuit for big money ever since Bill left office. That’s how former presidents and other big-name, high visibility politicians who have performed well for the rich are “paid off” in the U.S. when they leave office. Corruption is “post-hoc” in the U.S. system, a more sophisticated arrangement than crude graft or theft while in office practiced in other countries. Bill Clinton has earned more than $100 million in speeches alone since 2001. Hillary and Bill have earned another $25 million just since her announcement to run. And then there are Hillary’s “closed door talks,” off-the record, unrecorded, Q&A sessions of an hour or so, which Hillary has held with scores of financial institutions, banks, and big companies since announcing her candidacy.

Her speeches and talks average $225,000 to $275,000, according to her “schedule A” campaign finance statement that is public record. When challenged by Sanders why she has been accepting fees of $275,000 from scores of bankers and big corporations, including a recent 3 speech $675,000 fee from Goldman Sachs, her reply was “I don’t know, that’s just what they offered”. Yeah, out of the pure generosity of their banker hearts, expecting nothing in return no doubt.

The Clintons have given more than 50 speeches each in 2014 alone, according to public records. Adding it up, it’s more than $25 million in speeches and “talks” in 2014 alone. Their 2014 income was $28 million and net worth $110 million. At least $28 million, and likely far more will eventually be reported for 2015 later this summer. Even more for 2016.

Trump and Sanders

Trump claims his net worth is more than $10 billion, and receives $3 million per show just as host of the TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice,” providing ample cash for his campaign, that is, so far. His long list of investments generate millions more in cash every year.

Sanders relies on small donors, has no super PAC or outside money, while his campaign committee reportedly has accumulated $95 million. He owns no business and his net worth is reportedly $330,000.

Estimating the Totals

A proxy of just how much money is involved this year is perhaps estimated by how much in total was spent on the 2014 midterm Congressional elections, where no presidential candidate was running. No less than $3.77 billion was spent that year. And that was what was only official reported to the Federal Election Commission for donors contributing more than $200 – excluding as well all spending on state and local government races and excluding what is called “dark” money from nonprofit organizations – called 501( c) (4) shell groups-like Karl Rove’s notorious “Crossroads GPS,” which has reportedly raised $330 million in recent years. Spending by 501s is directed at attacking a candidate’s opponents instead of contributing to the favorite candidate via PACs, super PACs, campaign committees, party committees, and the like. But it is campaign spending on behalf of candidates, nonetheless. Super-PACs and 501s are projected to spend more than a $US billion each in the current year.

Totals for 2015 from all the above sources – i.e. corporate and special interest PACs, super PACs, leadership PACs, the 30,000 Washington, D.C. lobbyists, the 501s and their “Limited Liability Company” middlemen who raise money from the super-wealthy but can legally keep their names unreported, from House and Senate and political party fund raising committees, and so on – were likely more than $5 billion, at minimum. But public records for 2015 totals won’t be released by the government until June 30, 2016

For the entire 2015-2016 election, the cumulative totals will no doubt range from $10 to $15 billion. But the actual totals will have to wait even longer, until June 30, 2017. But even then will reflect only what is officially reported, as more “dark money” flows into elections in increasingly opaque system that grows progressively “darker” as the mountains of election money provided by billionaires, corporations, and bankers grow ever higher.

Donald Trump Responds To Romney’s ‘Roundhouse’

Following the unprecedented Romney roundhouse kick to Trump’s character, The Donald is about to rebuff “the loser.” As John McCain backs Romney’s rant, it appears yesterday’s Koch Borthers, Icahn, Murdoch mega-donor call for a truce has been broken as Trump prepares to return fire against “failed candidate Romney” and his establishment cronies.

 

Via Ben Garrison

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump responded to former Mitt Romney’s broadside on Thursday by saying the candidate “begged” for his endorsement.

“He was begging for my endorsement,” Trump said at a rally later in the day in Portland, Maine.

“I could’ve said ‘Mitt, drop to your knees.’ He was begging me,” he added.

Trump was referring to the 2012 race for president in which Romney, the GOP nominee that year, sought Trump’s endorsement.

But if they wre friendly four years ago, that relationship has clearly deteriorated. Earlier Thursday, Romney gave a fairly unprecedented speech in which he railed against Trump, whom he called a “fraud,” “con man,” “phony,” and “fake,” among other things.

“His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University,” Romney jabbed. “He’s playing the American public for suckers. He gets a free ride to the White House, and all we get is a lousy hat.”

Throughout his speech in Maine, Trump repeatedly and extensively lashed back out at Romney.

“Mitt is a failed candidate, he failed badly,” Trump said. “That is a race that should have been won.”

He repeatedly called Romney a “choke artist” throughout the speech, an insult he’s used against Marco Rubio, a top Trump rival for the 2016 nomination.

“He’s a choke artist, I started hitting him so hard,” Trump said.

“We can’t take another loss. He choked, he choked like nobody I’ve ever seen except for Rubio,” he continued.

At other points in his speech, Trump called Romney a “disaster” candidate in 2012. The billionaire businessman then mentioned a fundraiser he held for Romney that “ruined” his carpet. Trump said Romney did not compensate him for the damages.

“Hey maybe I can send Mitt a bill for ‘carpet ruined.'” Trump quipped.

Trump also called out Romney for turning on him after their 2012 endorsement event.

“He came out, it was very nasty, I thought he was a better person than that,” Trump said of Romney’s speech on Thursday. “So you help somebody, and then he turns. Now, I will say this. He probably had a right to turn, because nobody could’ve been nastier in getting him not to run [again, in 2016] than me.”

He added that Romney “doesn’t have what it takes to be president.”

Who Said It: “Donald Trump Has Shown An Extraordinary Ability To Understand Our Economy, To Create Jobs”

Moments ago Mitt Romney concluded a fiery speech in which he blasted Donald Trump, accusing him of being a “con man” and asking republicans to choose anyone else. Among the point he brought up was that Trump’s domestic polices would sink America into a recession, that his foreign policies would make the world less safe, and criticized Trump’s personal qualities, calling him “a bully” and “a misogynist.”

However, what we found particularly ironic is that Mitt Romney, who previously had led Private Equity firm Bain Capital, mocked Trump’s business acumen by pointing out his track record of having various bankruptcies under his belt which “have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them.”

This is precisely what he said: “But wait, you say, isn’t he a huge business success that knows what he’s talking about? No he isn’t. His bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them.”

We found this particularly ironic coming from the man who made profits for himself by saddling companies with massive debt loads to generate outsized returns on equity in a 3-5 year investment horizon.

Here is how Romney himself fared as a businessman, based on a WSJ report from 2012:

Mitt Romney’s political foes are stepping up attacks based on his time running investment firm Bain Capital, tagging him with making a fortune from the rougher side of American capitalism—even as Mr. Romney says his Bain tenure shows he knows how to build businesses.

 

Amid anecdotal evidence on both sides, the full record has largely escaped a close look, because so many transactions are involved. The Wall Street Journal, aiming for a comprehensive assessment, examined 77 businesses Bain invested in while Mr. Romney led the firm from its 1984 start until early 1999, to see how they fared during Bain’s involvement and shortly afterward.

 

Among the findings: 22% either filed for bankruptcy reorganization or closed their doors by the end of the eighth year after Bain first invested, sometimes with substantial job losses. An additional 8% ran into so much trouble that all of the money Bain invested was lost.

 

Another finding was that Bain produced stellar returns for its investors—yet the bulk of these came from just a small number of its investments. Ten deals produced more than 70% of the dollar gains.

 

Some of those companies, too, later ran into trouble. Of the 10 businesses on which Bain investors scored their biggest gains, four later landed in bankruptcy court

 

So let’s get this straight: the man who led to 17 of the 77 business Bain invested in closing down in bankruptcy, and another 4 going Chapter 11 after Bain extracted all the possible value, is criticizing Trump for engaging in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection?

We wonder how many large businesses – because Bain does not bother with small business LBOs – “and the men and women who worked for them were crushed” as a result of Romney’s own attempt to extract as much value as possible by layering dozens of companies with massive debt loads?

To be sure, we don’t criticize Romney’s business model: it is what he does, just like what Trump does is to run companies, and the ultimate result is always failure. But we do find it grotesquely ironic that Romney has the gall to mock Trump’s business record when he himself is a far greater abuser of US bankruptcy laws.

This is, after all, capitalism. But for Romney to turn around and so blatantly ignore his track record when blasting Trump’s is, in a word, preposterous.

* * *

And speaking of ironic, we can’t help but be amused by what Romney said in February 2012 when Trump endorsed Romney’s presidential campaign:

“I am so honored and pleased to have Donald Trump’s endorsement. Donald Trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works. To create jobs for the American people. He’s done it here in Nevada. He’s done it across the country.He understands that our economy is facing threats from abroad. He’s one of the few people who stood up and said China has been cheating. They’ve taken jobs from Americans. They haven’t played fair. We have to have a President who will stand up to cheaters.”

 

Oops

Judge Warns Hillary “Should Be Terrified” After Justice Grants Email-Staffer Immunity

The Justice Department has granted immunity to a former State Department staffer, who worked on Hillary Clinton’s private email server, as part of a criminal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information, according to a senior law enforcement official.

As the FBI looks to wrap up its investigation in the coming months, agents are likely to want to interview Clinton and her senior aides about the decision to use a private server, how it was set up, and whether any of the participants knew they were sending classified information in emails, current and former officials said.

 

So far, there is no indication that prosecutors have convened a grand jury in the email investigation to subpoena testimony or documents, which would require the participation of a U.S. attorney’s office.

The Washington Post reports the Hillary campaign is “pleased” that Pagliano, who invoked his Fifth Amendment rights before a congressional panel in September, is now cooperating with prosecutors.

In a statement, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, said: “As we have said since last summer, Secretary Clinton has been cooperating with the Department of Justice’s security inquiry, including offering in August to meet with them to assist their efforts if needed.”

 

“There was wrongdoing,” said a former senior law enforcement official. “But was it criminal wrongdoing?”

But as TheBlaze.com reports, Judge Andrew Napolitano warns “She should be terrified of the fact that he’s been granted immunity,” adding that “they would not be immunizing him and thereby inducing him to spill his guts unless they wanted to indict someone.”

Napolitano argued that the revelation that former Clinton aide Bryan Pagliano, who set up Clinton’s private email server in 2009, is reportedly being offered immunity means he willlikely be called to testify against someone much higher on the “totem pole.”

 

Pagliano will likely be asked how he was able to “migrate a State Department secure system onto her private server.” He then presented this theoretical question: “Mr. Pagliano, did Mrs. Clinton give you her personal Secretary of State password to enable you to do that?”

 

If he answers, ‘yes,’ we have an indictment for misconduct in office as well as espionage. She should be terrified of the fact that he’s been granted immunity,” Napolitano added.

 

The Judge explained that only a federal judge can grant immunity and will only do so if a sitting jury is ready to hear testimony from the “immunized person,” suggesting the investigation is well on its way to a possible indictment.

 

“We also know they are going to seek someone’s indictment, because they would not be immunizing him and thereby inducing him to spill his guts unless they wanted to indict someone,” he said.

Napolitano admitted we don’t know who the DOJ is looking to indict, but he noted there are only about five people between Pagliano and Clinton. But as WaPo concludes…

The kindest possible reading of this news for Clinton is that Pagliano was simply nervous to talk about how — and why — he had set up the email server, and granting him immunity lets him speak freely without any concern that he might get into trouble.

 

Maybe. But it’s my strong impression that the Justice Department doesn’t go around granting immunity to people unless the person getting the immunity may be able to shed light on an important part of the investigation.

 

After all, if Pagliano a) knew nothing or b) did nothing wrong, why would he need immunity to talk to the FBI?

Keep on running…

HUGE NUMBERS OF GOP VOTERS FAVOR TRUMP’S PROPOSAL TO BAN MUSLIM ENTRY TO U.S.

Murtaza Hussain

GOP front runner Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States is racist, discriminatory, and a betrayal of American values. It’s also very popular among Republican voters.

Exit polls conducted by ABC News on Super Tuesday show that more than 60 percent of GOP voters in five states favor Trump’s proposed ban. In Alabama and Arkansas, that figure rises to nearly 80 percent. Trump won seven of the day’s 11 state primaries.

That kind of support is generating alarm.

“When you open the door to defining what religion isn’t sufficiently American, does anyone think it’ll stop with Muslims?” says Haroon Moghul, a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. “Trump himself is dangerous as a candidate, but his proposals now open the door to people who are even more dangerous.”

Source: ABC News

Trump first announced his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States last December. In a statement issued at the time by his campaign, Trump promised a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” until the government “can figure out what is going on.” He later reiterated this proposal in the face of public outcry, emphasizing in a speech that his policy of banning Muslims would continue “until we find out what the hell is going on.”

And his position now enjoys widespread support, even among Republicans who voted for other candidates. Many of those who supported Trump’s proposal actually voted for his main rival, Ted Cruz.

Even “establishment” candidates like Marco Rubio have gone on recorddescribing discrimination against Muslim-Americans as a “fiction.”

And it’s not confined to the Republicans. A Fox News poll this December showed that even among Democrats there was broad support for the measure — as long as it was not identified with Trump himself. Some 45 percent of those polled favored banning Muslims when the plan was not identified as originating with Trump. When Trump’s name was mentioned however, support dropped to 25 percent.

“When people in positions of power articulate extreme opinions, they make it even easier for ideas on the margins to become respectable,” says Moghul. “In the eyes of some, policies like these could even start to look desirable.”

 

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