October 31, 2016

Staten Islander from SNL Turns Out to be a Bozo for Real



I only watch SNL when I know something special is happening and one of the reasons is because they bring in all types of low lives with the excuse of talent in comedy. I’ve seen more failures than success’ but this Bozo Pete Davidson who found a political platform I never liked, not his face, laughter or timing on jokes and now I really don’t like him personally! On his new found fame he decided he had nothing important to say so he started to knock the town where his *Mamie dearest lives and where he was born. I use that term* because when he knocked Staten Island he was too stupid to exempt his family unless he is just a smart ass and a bad son so he meant them too.

Dean Balsami of The NY Post wrote just the way I feel and here it is:

Pete Davidson, the 22-year-old, Staten Island-born “Saturday Night Live” comedian, recently trashed his hometown in an interview with Uproxx.com. Of his fellow Islanders he said, “F–k them. They all suck. They have nothing to do with me or my success. It’s a terrible borough, filled with terrible people. A f–king tidal wave could take out Staten ­Island, and I wouldn’t even move in my sleep. In fact, I would sleep better. F–k Staten Island. A bunch of Trump-supporting f–king jerk-offs. F–k them. End quote.” It didn’t sit well with our Staten Island-bred Post reporter Dean Balsamini.
Memo to Pete Davidson: Don’t throw rocks at The Rock.
Or at your Staten Islander mother, whom you called “too f–king stupid to realize” she should move.
It’s easy to riff on Staten Island. Everybody does it. But it’s usually done badly. One-note guido/mobster/bridge-and-tunnel schtick that elicits an eye roll from real New Yorkers — the ones born and bred in the outer boroughs.
Try taking a cue from your fellow “SNL” cast member Colin Jost, who also hails from Richmond County. His coming-of-age film “Staten Island Summer” playfully ribs the borough, but the audience is in on the laughs, not the butt of some ­humorless screed. He’s also way better-looking than you.
You say if a tidal wave hit the ­Island you’d sleep better?
Keep talking like that and you may end up sleeping with the fishes.

Modal Trigger
Davidson (left) and Colin Jost during an episode of Saturday Night Live.Photo: Getty Images

You’ve said that in high school, you had one friend and didn’t get invited to parties.
Shocker. You’re such a people person.
Maybe you’re bitter because Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton and Alec Baldwin’s spot-on Donald Trump blew away your listless impersonation of Marco Rubio?
Or maybe you’re just angry about your minuscule air time.
You may hate Staten Island, but it was a good enough place to call home for Ralph Waldo Emerson, Martin Sheen, Christina Aguilera, Alyssa Milano, Joan Baez, OJ prosecutor Marcia Clark, Wu-Tang Clan and Paul Newman.
“Game of Thrones” author George RR Martin was so enamored of Staten Island, which he could see from the window of his boyhood home in Bayonne, NJ, he modeled his map of Westeros on it.
In the same interview where you diss The Rock, you note you “mostly live alone in Midtown” but just bought a home with your mom on the Island and “go there as much as you can.”.
My gut tells me your outburst was timed to drum up interest for your Comedy Central special, which premiered Saturday night.
In the words of Bill Maher, I don’t know it for a fact, I just know it’s true.
Not for nothin’ Pete, but if you don’t have something nice — or funny — to say, shut your elfin’ ­pinhole.  *So no Denino’s pizza for you.  *And no Jacques Marchais ­Museum of Tibetan Art.  *And no free ferry trips or Staten Island Yankees games.  *And you’re not allowed to ride the tallest ferris wheel in the world.
Your stoner, “everything sucks” act is staler than last Sunday’s ­lasagna.
You, the son of a hero, should know better. Your dad, Scott Davidson, was one of 78 Staten Island firefighters who perished on 9/11. The borough with only 5 percent of the city’s population was home to 23 percent of the firefighters who died that awful Tuesday.
My dad, who still lives on Staten Island, has a phrase for people like you, who move off the Island and then big-time the borough: Brick thrower.
I live in Montclair, NJ, now, but I never forget my roots. Don’t forget yours.
And stop acting like Larry ­Harmon.
He was Bozo the Clown — and a Staten Island resident.

NJ Rep.Garrett in Trouble After AntiGay Statement


Dems Ad (thehill.com)




For most of his career, Wall Street has been good to Rep. Scott Garrett (R, N.J.). Garrett is chairman of a powerful subcommittee that regulates banks, a job that traditionally comes with perks, including big political contributions from financial firms. But that was before Garrett made some controversial remarks about gays.
  
In a closed-door meeting with the National Republican Congressional Committee in 2015, Garrett reportedly said he would withhold his dues unless the party stopped supporting gay candidates. After those comments leaked to the press, Garrett found himself doing damage control.

"I have no problems with anyone running for office," Garrett told an interviewer from New Jersey public broadcaster NJTV earlier this year. "I support the Republican platform. Which I think you just mentioned is supporting of traditional marriage."

Now Garrett's comments are creating problems for his reelection bid. In 2012 and 2014, financial firms donated an average of $600,000 per cycle to Garrett's campaigns. After his anti-gay remarks, that number dropped by half. Capital One, Goldman Sachs, and big Japanese brokerage firm Nomura all stopped payments to Garrett's political action committee.

It's not just a fringe issue, as it might have been 10 years ago.
Out Leadership founder Todd Sears, on LGBT rights
"There are real risks from a brand perspective, and from a talent-recruiting perspective, from being associated with anti-LGBT, or anti-inclusive policies," says Todd Sears, a former investment banker and founder of Out Leadership, a group that promotes LGBT awareness in financial firms and other industries.

Garrett's situation underscores how quickly the politics around LGBT issues have shifted. It wasn't long ago that support for LGBT rights could have been a political liability in all but a handful of Congressional districts. Now polls show growing support for same-sex marriage and LGBT rights generally, especially among millennials. "It's not just a fringe issue, as it might have been 10 years ago," says Sears.

The Republican Party is still wrestling with how to respond. The party has supported a handful of gay candidates, which is what prompted Scott Garrett to withhold his dues in the first place.

Democrats have been trying for years to paint Garrett as too conservative for moderate voters in the New York City suburbs. So far, it hasn't worked. But they sound confident that this year is different.

"His anti-gay comments are just one part of a very extreme Tea Party record that's now out there," says Democratic challenger Josh Gottheimer, a former speechwriter for Bill Clinton who went on to work for Ford Motor Company and Microsoft. "I think as you peel back the onion here, people say 'Wait a second, I didn't realize just how extreme this guy is,'" Gottheimer says.

Gottheimer has raised more than $3 million, which has allowed the campaign to air TV ads like this one in one of the country's most expensive media markets. And the race has become a top target for House Majority PAC, which has spent more than $1.5 million attacking Scott Garrett.

I think as you peel back the onion here, people say 'Wait a second, I didn't realize just how extreme this guy is.'
(Democratic challenger Josh Gottheimer)

Democrats hope to persuade people like Karen Gerbatsch, a registered Republican and self-described fiscal conservative who's voted for Garrett before.

"I started looking at Scott Garrett and what he represents, and it's not me," says Gerbatsch. "The woman's right to choose isn't there. Legal rights for people of all sexual orientation to get married is not there."

Gerbatsch lives in Oakland, N.J., a leafy suburb about 25 miles from Manhattan. But if you keep driving west across this congressional district, the suburbs give way to fields and forests near the Pennsylvania border.

The northwestern corner of New Jersey is where Scott Garrett lives. And where his support is the strongest.

"I know I've changed his oil many times before some of the big votes," says Kevin Kennedy, who runs an auto repair shop near Garrett's house in Wantage. It's easy to spot, thanks to half a dozen Garrett for Congress signs on the lawn. Kennedy says Garrett is soft-spoken and serious — a regular guy.

"I heard on the radio they called him a bigot and all kinds of different things," Kennedy says. "I think it's totally unfair. Anything I've seen from the guy, he's just a gentleman."

Kennedy says they've talked a couple times about this year's election. And he says Scott Garrett seems pretty nervous.


Black Life in it’s Joy and Sadness in ‘Moonlight’







The film Moonlight is extraordinary for many reasons, but to me it is most so for two. First, it considers black boys to be precious, at a time when news stories perpetually make it seem as if the United States considers them to be utterly expendable. Second, it acknowledges the effects that the stalking ghosts of premature death and incarceration have upon gay black masculinity – and it manages to do so without ever diminishing the lives full of complex humanity that black gay men still manage to have in America while navigating that reality.
So often, gay lives in America are coded as white, and the forces that shape the lives of queer people of color – say, how immigration affects being Chicano and gay in Calfornia, or how police surveillance affects being black and gay in the New York – are ignored, as gay identity is usually swept up into whiteness. Moonlighteschews this reductivism entirely, brilliantly portraying in a lyrical story how love and connection attempt to take hold. 
The fact that there are about a million and a half black men disappeared from American society by early death and incarceration is not a side issue to black gay men. It’s certainly no side issue to Chiron, Moonlight’s hero, who successfully seeks out a father figure, Juan (Mahershala Ali), only to lose him to an early death. And yet, Moonlight also shows how creative and brilliant black humanity is at being so much more than its pain. Director Barry Jenkins doesn’t dwell on Juan’s death as much as he does on the beauty of his embrace of Chiron in his arms in the sea, on his smile, on his joyful proclamation that you can find black people wherever you go in the world.

October 30, 2016

What ever Happened to Billy Bush? Don’t ask His Wife Who Still Furious




 

Billy Bush’s “locker room talk” with Donald Trump continues to haunt him. NBC fired him over the leaked tape, and sources tell Page Six his wife is even more angry than his former bosses.

“Billy Bush’s wife, Sydney Davis, was furious about the tape. Not just because of what was said, but because he was stupid enough to put himself in that position. It wasn’t just the . . . vile talk, it’s because he insisted the woman hug him and Trump. It was creepy. She was so furious that she refused to speak with him for a while — and she’s still furious. They are having marriage problems. He didn’t apologize to her for the embarrassment he caused in his statement. And she hasn’t released a statement at all,” an NBC insider told us.

Bush and Davis have been married for 18 years and have three daughters.

“Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed,” Bush said in early October, after he was heard egging on Trump’s sexist comments. “It’s no excuse, but this happened 11 years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.” Bush was 33 years old when the video was made.

To make matters worse, the Trump tape emerged after Bush himself boasted about the creepy conversation with the bilious businessman while in Rio in August with his NBC colleagues.

His braggadocio prompted someone at the network to dig the revolting recording out of their archives and leak it to the Washington Post.

The insider added, “Billy has brought this on himself. He’s blown his big chance at ‘Today,’ and he doesn’t have his old job at ‘Access’ to fall back on. He fears his career is over. His wife is angered that he has embarrassed her and their daughters.”

Bush’s wife and kids remained in LA while he was in New York, but he has since moved back to the West Coast. He has been seen out in LA since his return, but always with friends and not with his wife.

Bush’s rep declined to comment on his marriage. When contacted directly by Page Six, Bush replied, “I cannot take this call.”

Get A Grip! Clinton Looks Perfect Compared to Trump’s Off The Charts






Get a grip, America.

FBI Director James Comey has no idea what is contained in the new emails that agents will be examining in connection with the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Odds are the FBI will no more uncover an indictable offense than it did in July. Whatever happens, the choice on Nov. 8 remains simple and stark.

On the one hand, we have a candidate with years of service as first lady, senator, and secretary of state. She is a centrist Democrat who knows public policy cold. Her meticulous preparation was on display in the three debates, all of which she won.
 
When his football career ended, he became an Opera sensation
Sure, like all politicians, Hillary Clinton sometimes stretches the truth. (No, she wasn’t under sniper fire in Bosnia.) Sure, like all politicians, she adjusts some positions based on shifting public sentiments. She was for the Trans-Pacific Partnership before she was against it. She was, at the least, “extremely careless” with her emails, as Comey said in July. Her ties to the Clinton Foundation lead many to wonder whether donors were buying access.

These would be serious handicaps if Clinton were running against Jeb Bush or John Kasich. But she’s not. She’s running against Donald Trump. To paraphrase P.J. O’Rourke, Clinton’s problems are within the normal parameters. Trump’s are off the charts.

Think she has ethics issues? Trump faces a civil trial for fraud over Trump University. He has denounced illegal immigration while employing illegal immigrants to build his buildings. He claimed to have donated $102 million to charity without giving a penny of his own money. He is a pathological liar who keeps repeating falsehoods — such as his claim to have opposed the Iraq War — long after they have been debunked. According to Politico, he lies an average of once every three minutes and 15 seconds.
 
One of the few times he told the truth was when he bragged about groping women against their will. A dozen women have come forward to accuse him of sexual assault. Another one claims he raped her when she was 13; that trial begins Dec. 16. This is not “locker room” talk. If true, these are criminal acts far more serious than anything in Clinton’s emails.

What Trump is doing to our democracy is also a serious offense. He vows to lock up his political opponent, calls the election “rigged” without evidence, and won’t promise to respect the result if he loses. This is an unprecedented and disqualifying assault on our political system.

Another disqualification: Trump is the first candidate in decades not to release his tax returns. We know he hasn’t paid income tax since 1995, when he lost $916 million, contradicting his claims to be a boffo businessman, but we don’t know what other ethical landmines are buried in his records. Does he have financial as well as sentimental ties to Vladimir Putin? No way to know.

We do know Trump is intolerant of dissent. He threatened lawsuits against his accusers and libel suits against newspapers that have reported their allegations. He wants to loosen libel laws to facilitate such suits. He has incited violence at his rallies. He is, in short, a budding authoritarian who should never be given control of the FBI and IRS.

Trump lacks a presidential temperament. He gets flustered in debates. Imagine how he’d perform in a crisis. Trump is also almost completely ignorant of public policy. He says that U.S. and Iraqi forces blundered by not launching a surprise attack on Mosul, yet can’t explain how it’s possible to hide 30,000 troops in flat terrain.
 

When Trump speaks, he offends. He insulted a Gold Star family, called U.S. troops thieves, and said that John McCain isn’t a hero. He mocked a disabled reporter. He said that Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was born in Indiana, isn’t fit to preside over his fraud trial cause because he’s “Mexican.” He spent years pushing offensive claims that Barack Obama, the first African-American president, wasn’t born in America. He has run the most blatantly racist campaign since George Wallace.

It’s almost an afterthought, but Trump does have policy proposals — and they would be ruinous if implemented. He thinks that NATO, the most successful alliance in history, is obsolete. He threatens to pull troops out of South Korea and Japan, and he doesn't care whether this leads to nuclear proliferation. He wants to order U.S. troops to commit war crimes by killing relatives of terrorists and torturing terrorist suspects. He vows to launch trade wars that will cost millions of jobs.

The email flap doesn’t change the fact that Clinton is sane and safe, while Trump is the least qualified, most dangerous presidential candidate in U.S. history. This should not be a close call, America.

Max Boot

Max Boot is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors.
 

Answers to Questions About the Comey-Wiener Emails





Most breaking news stories, especially ones based on law-enforcement sources, tend to be contradictory, confusing or incomplete. That’s because reporters are chasing for scraps of information, which may or may not be right depending on the quality of the sourcing. It usually takes a few days — or weeks — for a complete and accurate picture to emerge.

[This Posting is from the Washington Post]

FBI Director James B. Comey’s announcement Friday that new emails had been found that might be relevant to the Hillary Clinton investigation is a good example. His letter to Congress was cryptic, forcing reporters to scramble for additional explanation. The announcement came 11 days before a highly charged presidential election, leading to political spin on both sides.

Here are answers to some key questions. We will update this as additional, credible information emerges.

I haven’t paid much attention to the news. What happened?

The FBI announced in July that it had completed its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state, concluding that although she and her aides were “extremely careless” with the handling of classified information, there was no case for criminal prosecution. In large part, Comey said, no prosecutor could bring a case because the FBI could not find evidence that indicated “clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information.”

As part of that probe, Comey said, the agency had examined every possible work-related email it could find, including reconstructing fragments of emails found on an abandoned server. On Friday, Oct. 28, Comey sent a letter to Congress saying additional emails that might be relevant to the investigation had been found.

What do we know about the new emails?

Not much. In fact, it does not appear as if the FBI has yet examined them in depth. Comey, in his letter, said the new emails “appear to be pertinent” to the earlier investigation. He also added the FBI “cannot yet assess whether the material may or may not be significant,” including whether the emails contained classified information.

Translation: Once the FBI examines the emails, it may discover these are emails that have already been reviewed in the earlier probe. Alternatively, these could be fresh emails that had been missed in the first investigation. Even then, they may or may not have classified information.


How many emails are there?

There is no precise number, but news reports have said there are more than 1,000. It is unclear whether that number means actual email chains or individual emails.

How did these emails get discovered?

Law enforcement sources have told reporters that the emails were found on a computer that belonged to former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and his estranged wife, Huma Abedin, who had been Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the State Department. The computer had been seized as part of an underage sexting investigation of Weiner, conducted by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

The prosecutors investigating Weiner obviously had not been part of the Clinton probe, but apparently once they found State Department emails on the computer, they notified FBI headquarters. Now the investigators who had been part of the Clinton probe will need to comb through the emails found on the computer to determine whether there is anything new in them.

News organizations have reported conflicting information about the nature of the emails. They apparently include some Clinton-Abedin exchanges, but even that has not been confirmed.

How would State Department emails end up on Abedin’s computer?

Abedin had previously told the FBI that when Clinton requested a printout of an email, she would send it to one of two personal accounts because it was too clunky to use the State Department’s system. She told the FBI that she also had maintained an email account for support of Weiner’s campaign activities. It is unclear whether these emails were on an account that had not been disclosed to the FBI or if (and how) they ended up on the hard drive of the computer. Abedin has previously testified that she turned over to her attorneys all devices that she believed contained government work: two laptops, a BlackBerry and some files in her apartment.

What’s the legal risk for Clinton?

Recall that Comey said that the FBI could not find evidence of “clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information.” If it turns out that the emails had been previously reviewed, there would be no liability for Clinton. Even previously undisclosed emails, especially ones not in Clinton’s possession, would not necessarily change that calculation.


The earlier investigation also focused on Clinton’s closest aides, so Abedin may face new scrutiny if it turns out that she stored classified information on a personal computer. When Abedin left the State Department, she signed a form, known as OF-109, saying she had turned over all classified information.

There are different levels of classification. About 2,000 emails in the Clinton probe were not classified when they were sent, but were “up-classified” to the low-level “confidential” classification after a review by intelligence agencies. But, Comey had said, “110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received,” including eight that were deemed Top Secret. In any case, government officials are supposed to know whether they are in possession of classified information, whether or not it is clearly marked.

Was the investigation “reopened” as Republicans claim?

This is a bit of a semantic dispute. The investigation had not been officially closed, but it had certainly been completed. Comey’s letter was intended to alert Congress that information had been found (the emails on the computer) and the FBI needed to assess whether they are relevant. If it turns out these emails had been previously examined, the FBI would then determine they were not relevant. But if the emails actually had not been discovered in the initial investigation, then the FBI would make it active again.

In any case, from a political perspective, the email issue is “reopened” for Clinton.

Did Comey only write to Republicans as Clinton claimed?

In a news conference, Clinton faulted the FBI for “sending this kind of letter that is only going originally to Republican members of the House.”

That’s wrong. Comey addressed the letter to the Republican chairmen of the relevant committees, but he cc’ed the ranking Democrats on the second page. A Clinton spokesman said she misspoke, having focused on the first page of the letter.

Did Comey have to issue this letter now?

That’s a judgment call. Comey, a Republican, was appointed three years ago by President Obama to a 10-year term, so in theory he is immune from political considerations.


Comey came under heavy criticism from Republicans for having cleared Clinton in the first place — and Democrats were angry that he issued a lengthy statement at the conclusion of the probe, criticizing Clinton and her aides. (His news conference at the time was considered by some as a departure from the norm.)

The Justice Department advised him not to make this new information public so close to the election, saying it was against government policy. But if he did not make it public, the information may still have leaked, especially as prosecutors would need court permission to use information seized in the Weiner probe in a separate investigation. In his letter, he referenced the fact that he had testified that the probe into Clinton’s email server had been completed, and he wanted to update his testimony. 

October 29, 2016

Justice Dept Had Warn The FBI Director Not to Influence The Election



Senior Justice Department officials warned the FBI that Director James B. Comey’s decision to notify Congress about renewing the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server was not consistent with long-standing practices of the department, according to officials familiar with the discussions.

The bureau told Justice Department officials that Comey intended to inform lawmakers of newly discovered emails. These officials told the FBI the department’s position “that we don’t comment on an ongoing investigation. And we don’t take steps that will be viewed as influencing an election,” said one Justice Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the high-level conversations.

“Director Comey understood our position. He heard it from Justice leadership,” the official said. “It was conveyed to the FBI, and Comey made an independent decision to alert the Hill. He is operating independently of the Justice Department. And he knows it.”

Comey decided to inform Congress that he would look again into Hillary Clinton’s handling of emails during her time as secretary of state for two main reasons: a sense of obligation to lawmakers and a concern that word of the new email discovery would leak to the media and raise questions of a coverup.

The rationale, described by officials close to Comey’s decision-making on the condition of anonymity, prompted the FBI director to release his brief letter to Congress on Friday and upset a presidential race less than two weeks before Election Day. It placed Comey again at the center of a highly partisan argument over whether the nation’s top law enforcement agency was unfairly influencing the campaign.

[Hillary Clinton calls on FBI to release information on emails]
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke to reporters Oct. 28 in Des Moines. 

In a memo explaining his decision to FBI employees soon after he sent his letter to Congress, Comey said he felt “an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed.”
“Of course, we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record,” Comey wrote to his employees.

The last time Comey found himself in the campaign spotlight was in July, when he announced that he had finished a months-long investigation into whether Clinton mishandled classified information through the use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. After he did so, the denunciation was loudest from Republican nominee Donald Trump and his supporters, who accused the FBI director of bias in favor of Clinton’s candidacy. There was also grumbling within FBI ranks, with a largely conservative investigative corps complaining privately that Comey should have tried harder to make a case.

This time the loudest criticism has come from Clinton and her supporters, who said Friday that Comey had provided too little information about the nature of the new line of investigation and allowed Republicans to seize political ground as a result. The inquiry focuses on Clinton emails found on a computer used by former U.S. congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), now under investigation for sending sexually explicit messages to a minor, and top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who is Weiner’s wife. The couple have since separated.

“It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election,” John Podesta, the chairman of Clinton’s presidential campaign, said in a statement. “The Director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining. We are confident this will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July.”

Officials familiar with Comey’s thinking said the director on Thursday faced a quandary over how to proceed once the emails, which number more than 1,000 and may duplicate some of those already reviewed, were brought to his attention.


Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail
View Photos The Democratic presidential nominee hits the road as Election Day nears.
Comey had just been briefed by a team of investigators who were seeking access to the emails. The director knew he had to move quickly because the information could leak out.

The next day, Comey informed Congress that he would take additional “investigative steps” to evaluate the emails after deciding the emails were pertinent to the Clinton email investigation and that the FBI should take steps to obtain and review them.

In July, Comey had testified under oath before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that the FBI was finished investigating the Clinton email matter and that there would be no criminal charges. Comey was asked at the hearing whether he would review any new information the FBI came across.

“My first question is this, would you reopen the Clinton investigation if you discovered new information that was both relevant and substantial?” Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) asked Comey during the hearing.

“It’s hard for me to answer in the abstract,” Comey replied at the hearing. “We would certainly look at any new and substantial information.”

In the Friday memo to his employees, Comey acknowledged that the FBI does not yet know the import of the newly discovered emails. “Given that we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don’t want to create a misleading impression,” Comey wrote.

An official familiar with Comey’s thinking said that “he felt he had no choice.”

“What would it look like if the FBI inadvertently came across additional emails that appear to be relevant to the Clinton investigation and not at least inform the Oversight Committee that this occurred?” the official said. “What would be the criticism then? That the FBI hid it? That the FBI purposely kept this information to themselves?”

The official said the decision came down to which choice “was not as bad as the others.”

Comey’s action has been blasted by some former Justice Department officials, Clinton campaign officials and Democratic members of Congress.

“Without knowing how many emails are involved, who wrote them, when they were written or their subject matter, it’s impossible to make any informed judgment on this development,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who called the release “appalling.”

“However, one thing is clear: Director Comey’s announcement played right into the political campaign of Donald Trump, who is already using the letter for political purposes. And all of this just 11 days before the election,” Feinstein said.

Matthew Miller, a former Justice Department spokesman in the Obama administration, said the FBI rarely releases information about ongoing criminal investigations and does not release information about federal investigations this close to political elections.

“Comey’s behavior in this case from the beginning has been designed to protect his reputation for independence no matter the consequences to the public, to people under investigation or to the FBI’s own integrity,” Miller said.

Miller and other former officials pointed to a 2012 Justice Department memo saying that all employees have the responsibility to enforce the law in a “neutral and impartial manner,” which is “particularly important in an election year.”

Miller said he had been involved in cases related to elected officials in which the FBI waited until several days after an election to send subpoenas. “They know that if they even send a subpoena, let alone announce an investigation, that might leak and it might become public and it would unfairly influence the election when voters have no way to interpret the information,” Miller said.

Nick Ackerman, a former federal prosecutor in New York and an assistant special Watergate prosecutor, said Comey “had no business writing to Congress about supposed new emails that neither he nor anyone in the FBI has ever reviewed.”

He added: “It is not the function of the FBI director to be making public pronouncements about an investigation, never mind about an investigation based on evidence that he acknowledges may not be significant.”

In Comey’s note to employees, he seemed to anticipate that his decision would be controversial.

“In trying to strike that balance, in a brief letter and in the middle of an election season, there is significant risk of being misunderstood,” Comey wrote.


Tom Hamburger contributed to this report

Election Polling Ending Oct. 26

This is a summary of a YouGov/Economist Poll conducted October 22-26, 2016. The sample is 1376 Registered Voters with a Margin of Error of ±3.1%.

Where not specified otherwise, findings shown are for registered voters.

GENERAL ELECTION 

Who [did/will] you vote for in the election for President in November? 

Four-way presidential vote intention among Likely Voters:

  • Hillary Clinton (Democrat): 46%
  • Donald Trump (Republican): 41%
  • Gary Johnson (Libertarian): 4%
  • Jill Stein (Green): 2%
  • Other: 1%
  • Not sure: 7%
Among Registered Voters
  • Hillary Clinton (Democrat): 45%
  • Donald Trump (Republican): 41%
  • Gary Johnson (Libertarian): 4%
  • Jill Stein (Green): 2%
  • Other: 1%
  • Not sure: 8%
2-way follow-up: Respondents who selected Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, or ’someone else’ were asked the following question ’Which candidate do you prefer more, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?’ Below those responses have been added to the support for Clinton and Trump from the initial question. 

Major party presidential preference among Likely Voters:

  • Hillary Clinton: 49%
  • Donald Trump: 46%
  • Someone else / Not sure / No preference: 5%
Among Registered Voters: 
  • Hillary Clinton: 48%
  • Donald Trump: 46%
  • Someone else / Not sure / No preference: 6%
What do you think is the most likely outcome of the presidential election with Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee and Donald Trump as the Republican nominee?
  • Clinton will win in a landslide: 31% (+3)
  • Clinton will win narrowly: 26% (-3)
  • Trump will win narrowly: 19% (0)
  • Trump will win in a landslide: 9% (+1)
  • Not sure: 16% (-1)

FAVORABILITY

Hillary Clinton 
  • Favorable: 41% (-1)
  • Unfavorable: 57% (0)
  • Not sure: 1% (0)
Donald Trump
  • Favorable: 38% (+2)
  • Unfavorable: 61% (-2) 
  • Not sure: 2% (+1)

CONGRESS 

Among Likely Voters:

If the election for Congress were being held today, and you had to make a choice, would you be voting for...
  • The Democratic Party candidate: 45% 
  • The Republican Party candidate: 40%
  • Other: 2% 
  • Not sure: 12%
  • I would not vote: 1%
Among Registered Voters:

If the election for Congress were being held today, and you had to make a choice, would you be voting for...
  • The Democratic Party candidate: 43% (0) 
  • The Republican Party candidate: 39% (+1)
  • Other: 2% 
  • Not sure: 14%
  • I would not vote: 2%

Approval of Obama as president 
  • Approve: 47% (-3)
  • Disapprove: 50% (+2)
Approval of Congress: 
  • Approve: 11% (-1)
  • Disapprove: 64% (-6)
  • Neither: 17% (+4)

Direction of the country: 
  • Right direction: 29% (+1)
  • Wrong Track: 62% (-1)

Pres.Obama Has Been Quietly Exporting LGBT Rights Overseas







While the world was watching America's gay rights transformation, the Obama administration was pursuing a quieter mission to export the same freedoms overseas to places like sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and eastern Europe.  The U.S. has deployed its diplomats and spent tens of millions of dollars to try to block anti-gay laws, punish countries that enacted them, and tie financial assistance to respect for LGBTQ rights. It was a mission animated in part by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's declaration that "gay rights are human rights." 
Yet the U.S. encountered occasional backlash, including from some rights groups that said public pressure by the West made things worse. 
"I walked into a very backward environment in 2009," said Susan Rice, President Barack Obama's national security adviser and former U.N. ambassador. In an Associated Press interview, Rice said both the U.N. and U.S. had avoided taking on the issue. 
She argued that despite a cascade of pressing global crises, the White House had tried to "deal with the urgent and deal with the important, and even if the important is, some might say, optional, it's important."  In its latest push to use dollars as leverage, the Obama administration announced Wednesday it is enacting a rule prohibiting U.S. Agency for International Development contracts from going to groups that discriminate in delivery of services. That means a clinic, food program or shelter can't refuse services to a gay or transgender person. 
Yet even in countries where legal protections have improved, like Brazil and Argentina, it's difficult to draw a straight line between U.S. advocacy and progress, and in Latin America, those changes have been accompanied by increasing violence against LGBTQ people. In Uganda, a court eventually invalidated an anti-gay law the U.S. had emphatically opposed. But in Gambia, anti-gay rhetoric has escalated despite a U.S. decision to revoke the country's preferential trade status following an LGBTQ crackdown. 
The growing focus on gay rights in diplomacy mirrored the shift in attitudes in the U.S. toward LGBTQ people, illustrated by seismic changes like gay marriage and gays serving openly in the military. As with its domestic efforts, the Obama administration faced objections from social conservatives and some religious groups at home and abroad who called it an inappropriate use of government to infringe on others' cultural beliefs. 
 A 2011 memorandum signed by Obama directed the government for the first time to use diplomacy and foreign aid to "promote and protect the human rights of LGBT persons." U.S. embassies started taking part in pride celebrations, with outposts in socially liberal capitals like Tel Aviv and London raising rainbow flags. 

 

           _*_                                                                         

                                                                            A speech by Clinton to the U.N. in Geneva that year thrust the issue to the forefront, at least for a moment, when she said that "gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights," in an echo of her famous 1995 speech in Beijing equating women's rights and human rights. Mira Patel, a former State Department adviser now working on Clinton's presidential campaign, said she was shocked when the secretary first used the line publicly at a pride reception for U.S. diplomats. 
"I never expected these issues could be elevated so fast and at such a high level," Patel said. 
The U.S. in 2010 started issuing passports to transgender people that reflected their current gender identity, and the White House started sending openly gay athletes as part of its delegation to Olympics ceremonies — including the 2014 Winter Games in Russia. At the United Nations, Rice and other diplomats secured language in several resolutions opposing discrimination or condemning extrajudicial killings of LGBTQ people. 
For Obama, who only came around to fully embracing gay rights while in office, the campaign came to a head last year in Nairobi, Kenya. Warned in no uncertain terms ahead of his visits to keep quiet about gay rights, Obama called for equal legal treatment for gays while standing next to President Uhuru Kenyatta, who brushed it off and insisted it was "not really an issue."  
Bisi Alimi, a Nigerian gay rights activist, said that advocacy was critical to helping dissolve what for many Africans has been a persuasive argument against gay rights: that the U.S. and other rich nations are engaging in paternalism and cultural colonialism. 
"We should not forget that Obama's father is Kenyan," Alimi said by phone from London, where he fled after being physically attacked in Nigeria. "There was no better place for him to say that than in a place where his nationality wouldn't be questioned, where he wouldn't be seen as a Westerner telling us how to live our lives." 
Yet not infrequently, LGBTQ activists in other countries have urged the U.S. to pull back — or at least to stop making the case publicly. 
In Uganda, the U.S. in 2014 cut off visas for senior Ugandan officials, canceled aid and nixed a joint military exercise to punish Uganda for legislation that became known as the "Kill the Gays" bill. But activists said heavy-handed U.S. advocacy had given gay rights opponents the evidence they needed to argue that a native rights movement was being orchestrated by Washington.  Two years earlier, stolen diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks showed Ugandan activists had insisted to U.S. diplomats that "they preferred quiet diplomacy — not public statements." 
"What we've seen in the last eight years has been 99 percent great and 1 percent horrible backlash," said Jay Michaelson, an American author and LGBTQ activist who's written extensively on the subject. 
Rice said the key was to tailor efforts to each country's circumstances, limiting advocacy to behind-the-scenes meetings when a public push might cause more harm. 
“What we don't want to do to the extent we can avoid it is expose individuals who aren't wanting to be exposed and to put individuals at risk," Rice said.

AP

Russia Lost Seat on UN Human Rights Council





 Aleppo, Syria after a Russian bombing




[UN] Russia narrowly lost its seat on the main United Nations body devoted to human rights on Friday, signaling international dismay over the military power’s conduct in Syria.

The vote was to select countries to represent Eastern Europe on the United Nations Human Rights Council. Russia lost by two votes to Croatia and by 32 votes to Hungary. All 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly voted, and when the results were announced, there was a “small intake of air” in the large hall, said the New Zealand envoy, Gerard van Bohemen.

He said he believed that Russia’s conduct in the war in Syria, including the aerial bombardment of Aleppo, “must have played a part.”

The Russian ambassador, Vitaly I. Churkin, declined to answer a reporter’s question about whether Syria had anything to do with the vote. “We need a break,” he said.

Mr. Churkin said his country was more “exposed to the winds of international diplomacy” than the two countries from his region selected for the council.

The Human Rights Council, made up of 47 member nations, is sometimes described by critics as a rogues’ gallery of rights abusers. Current members include Burundi, China, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

In Friday’s vote, both China and Saudi Arabia were re-elected, essentially unopposed for seats representing Asian countries. Britain and the United States were also re-elected, essentially unopposed.

In the contested races, Russia’s loss was the most significant.

It was the first time a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council had lost a seat on the Human Rights Council, an intergovernmental body established in 2006 to strengthen “the promotion and protection of human rights.” The council’s members are elected for three-year terms.

The United States previously experienced a similar blow. In 2001, it lost an election to the council’s predecessor, known as the Human Rights Commission. At the time, the Bush administration appeared surprised by the setback, which it attributed to contentious American positions on China, Cuba and the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state, said that “we left a little blood on the floor.”

The United States regained its seat on that body the next year.

In 2006, the United States also lost a seat on the International Law Commission. That was seen as a response to the Bush administration’s perceived repudiation of international law. That commission, though lesser known, usually writes first drafts of far-reaching global treaties.

The Human Rights Council is politically influential. Its responsibilities include establishing panels to investigate human rights abuses in specific countries. Human rights advocates had hoped that the council would impanel an inquiry into rights abuses in Yemen. It was vigorously opposed by Saudi Arabia, which was re-elected on Friday for another three-year seat.

“It’s hard to imagine the atrocities happening in Aleppo were not on the minds of those casting their ballots today,” said Akshaya Kumar of Human Rights Watch, which had vigorously lobbied against both Russia and Saudi Arabia in recent weeks. The group called for competitive elections for all geographic blocs.

FBI Comey Replaces Wikileaks in Dumping Emails










FBI Director James Comey said Friday that investigators had found new emails related to the bureau's previously closed inquiry into Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information, restarting a long-simmering debate over the Democratic nominee's conduct as secretary of State in the closing days of a presidential campaign that Clinton appeared to be putting away.

In a letter to senior lawmakers explaining his decision, Comey said "the FBI cannot yet assess" whether the information is "significant" nor could he offer a timetable for how long it will take investigators to make an assessment.

But an official familiar with the matter said Friday that the new materials, perhaps thousands of emails, were discovered in the ongoing and separate investigation into sexually charged communications between former New York congressman Anthony Weiner and a 15-year-old girl. Comey was briefed on the findings in recent days, resulting in the director's notification to Congress, said the official who is not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The emails were discovered in a search of a device or devices used by Weiner, who is separated from longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin. It is unclear whether Abedin had access to the same device or devices.

The official said it was not likely that the FBI's review of the additional emails could be completed by Election Day.

Clinton did not address the matter during a Friday speech in Iowa. But campaign chairman John Podesta demanded that the FBI director "provide the American public more information than is contained in the letter'' to lawmakers.

"Upon completing this investigation more than three months ago, FBI Director Comey declared no reasonable prosecutor would move forward with a case like this and added that it was not even a close call,'' Podesta said in a written statement. "In the months since, Donald Trump and his Republican allies have been baselessly second-guessing the FBI and, in both public and private, browbeating the career officials there to revisit their conclusion in a desperate attempt to harm Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.


USA TODAY
Clinton campaign chair on FBI review: ‘Immediately’ release more information

"We have no idea what those emails are and the director himself notes they may not even be significant,'' Podesta said. "It is extraordinary that we would see something like this just 11 days out from a presidential election."

In July, Comey announced that while Clinton and her aides during her tenure as secretary of State had been "extremely careless" in the way they'd handled classified information, he recommended that no criminal charges be filed.

Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Oct. 28, 2016. (Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images)

Soon after, the director testified before skeptical Republican lawmakers to explain the bureau's recommendation, which had been adopted by Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

“We’re mystified and confused by the fact pattern you laid out and the conclusion you reached," House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told Comey.

Comey, however, was unequivocal in maintaining that the conclusion of investigators was not a close call.

“There is no way anybody would bring a case against John Doe or Hillary Clinton for the second time in 100 years based on those facts,” he told the House panel on July 7.

 Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said in a statement that "without knowing how many emails are involved, who wrote them, when they were written or their subject matter, it’s impossible to make any informed judgment on this development."

She added: " The FBI has a history of extreme caution near Election Day so as not to influence the results. Today’s break from that tradition is appalling.”

The uncertainty of what the new review will yield, and when it will be completed, leaves open the question of how much of an impact it will have on the presidential campaign, as Trump looks to mount what would be a historic comeback, as polls show him trailing nationally and in key battleground states.

"Unless the FBI closes this new investigation one way or the other next week, the likely impact will be to cut into Clinton’s margin, with the bigger effect being on down-ballot races than on the outcome of the presidential election," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, in an emailed statement.

Whatever the long-term impact, the short-term jolt to Trump and his supporters, at least, seemed clear.

In his New Hampshire speech, the GOP nominee suggested the rest of his message for the day would no longer matter as much, given the FBI announcement.

"The rest of my speech is going to be so boring," he joked.

Contributing: David Jackson in Manchester, N.H.

In Politico:
"I got a lot of respect for Jim Comey, but I don't understand this idea of dropping this bombshell which could be a big dud," said former federal prosector Peter Zeidenberg, a veteran of politically sensitive investigations. "Doing it in the last week or 10 days of a presidential election without more information, I don't think that he should because how does it inform a voter? It just invites speculation ... I would question the timing of it. It’s not going to get done in a week."
CNN:
In defending the statement he made today, Comey might assert that he was attempting to clarify his prior Congressional testimony. But that elaboration on his testimony could legitimately have waited until the FBI completed its analysis of the new emails. He has been around long enough to understand that any new FBI statements regarding the email scandal during the final 11 days of the campaign had a high probability of improperly placing the Bureau into the political process.
Trashing the Justice and FBI rule books in the interest of "openness" is likely to put the FBI front and center in one of the most contentious presidential races in recent US history. J. Edgar Hoover loved to influence elections, but he had the good sense to keep quiet about it.


                                                                               
 I should also add no national security violated? No crime (but damaged would have been done)

In conclusion: The FBI Director has decided to throw a monkey wrench into the election by releasing some emails and some not. The ones that he released, no one knows what they say;
Particularly from the person of Anthony Weiner. The director was not required to advice Congress about this emails he accidentally found on Weiner’s computer.  One would think the FBI would check those emails for classified materials and then if there was nothing that would be the end of it. If they found something then ring the bell that they found something bad and what it is; But to leave things hanging in the wind can easily affect this election which is almost here.
[The only connection Anthony Weiner had to the Clinton camp was his wife which was a top aide when she was Secretary of State. The Weiners have since separated but she still works for Clinton’s campaign] 

What people are wondering is why would this FBI Director hang this unopened garbage bag at the wind just before the election and then say they wont be able to get to them, to examine them.
 To leave them hanging before the election sounds very unfair.  Some believe the pressure will mount for Comey to release everything and make a statement of what he has found so far…before the election.

Mrs. Clinton asked for more emails to be released and more information, not to leave things like this.

Trump on the other side seemed up and full of energy all of a sudden. He said to his crowd  “the election might no be rigged after all!” He was delighted calling the unknown emails worse than Watergate.

After weeks for many Republicans sulking because of Trump’s statements and the numbers going down for him, today they were jubilant like if lady luck was shinning on them again.

For people that were tired of these email controversy something smelled rotten coming from under the seat of the Director of the FBI.

Dealing with Clinton he has thrown to the wind all the protocols that his agency has always followed since Edgar Hoover;  By not announcing what the bureau is investigating and definably not interjecting the agency into a Presidential election. People will start wondering if Director Comey might even be a Republican; Wait he is!
Adam Gonzalez




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