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 on: February 05, 2016, 12:18:05 AM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

People Have A 'Fundamental Right' To Own Assault Weapons, Court Rules
Certain semiautomatic firearms deserve the highest level of protection the Constitution allows, says appellate court.
02/04/2016 06:06 pm ET

    Cristian Farias
    Legal Affairs Reporter, The Huffington Post

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
A federal appeals court on Thursday said Maryland's 2013 assault weapon ban, passed in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, must be held to a stricter constitutional standard.

In a major victory for gun rights advocates, a federal appeals court on Thursday sided with a broad coalition of gun owners, businesses and organizations that challenged the constitutionality of a Maryland ban on assault weapons and other laws aimed at curbing gun violence.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit said the state's prohibition on what the court called "the vast majority of semi-automatic rifles commonly kept by several million American citizens" amounted to a violation of their rights under the Constitution.

"In our view, Maryland law implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment -- the right of law-abiding responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home," Chief Judge William Traxler wrote in the divided ruling.

Provisions that outlaw these firearms, Traxler wrote, "substantially burden this fundamental right."

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who recently suspended his Democratic presidential campaign, signed Maryland's Firearm Safety Act of 2013 in the wake of the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, which spurred similar initiatives in other Democratic-leaning states.

The legislation mostly targets specific kinds of semi-automatic firearms -- such as AR-15s and AK-47s -- and large-capacity magazines, and adds certain registration and licensing requirements.

But gun rights advocates, including the National Rifle Association, quickly moved to challenge these laws in the courts, claiming that the restrictions they imposed on lawful gun ownership were overly broad and weren't proven to save lives.

    "This case was a major victory for the NRA and gun rights advocates." Adam Winkler, UCLA law professor

The legal attacks have largely failed. Last October, a federal appeals court in Manhattan upheld the most iconic of these laws -- those passed in New York and Connecticut in direct response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. And in December, the Supreme Court declined to review a ruling out of Illinois that upheld a similar ban on assault weapons.

The high court's reluctance to intervene in these disputes has left the Second Amendment in a bit of a state of flux. Since the Supreme Court established in 2008 and 2010 that the amendment protects a personal right to keep and bear arms for self-defense within the home, judges have struggled to apply those decisions to the newer spate of gun legislation. And inconsistent rulings and standards across the country have left the scope of the law unclear.

When the Supreme Court refused to take up the Illinois case, Justice Clarence Thomas complained that the Second Amendment was being relegated to "a second-class right."

"If a broad ban on firearms can be upheld based on conjecture that the public might feel safer (while being no safer at all), then the Second Amendment guarantees nothing," he wrote, and added that those earlier decisions enshrining the right to gun ownership shouldn't be expected to "clarify the entire field."

The lack of clarity since then underscores why Thursday's decision may be a boon to those who want to see a broader interpretation of the Second Amendment, setting the stage for the next Supreme Court confrontation.

"This case was a major victory for the NRA and gun rights advocates," said Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA who specializes in Second Amendment law. "This opinion is an important one because it subjects important gun control laws to the most strict form of judicial scrutiny."

Indeed, the biggest surprise in Chief Judge Traxler's 66-page opinion is the words "strict scrutiny," a stringent constitutional test that most government laws and regulations fail. Other courts have applied more forgiving standards to similar gun legislation and upheld it.

The 4th Circuit's decision didn't outright strike down the Maryland legislation. Instead, it instructed a lower court to subject the provision to the higher legal standard, meaning more litigation and the possibility of a future showdown at the Supreme Court -- though maybe not yet, according to Winkler.

As if to illustrate the volatile politics and legalities of gun control, dissenting Circuit Judge Robert King all but declared that the court's ruling would lead to the next mass shooting.

"Let's be real," King wrote. "The assault weapons banned by Maryland's [law] are exceptionally lethal weapons of war."

 on: February 04, 2016, 11:40:47 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
Third post

 on: February 04, 2016, 11:34:23 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: February 04, 2016, 11:26:35 PM 
Started by Dog Dave - Last post by Crafty_Dog

 on: February 04, 2016, 11:17:20 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog

Fact Checker
How did ‘top secret’ emails end up on Hillary Clinton’s server?
By Glenn Kessler February 4 at 3:00 AM

Clinton defends telling aide to send 'nonsecure' memo
Play Video1:06

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton maintains she never sent classified information via email as Secretary of State, as questions arise over her instruction to have a talking points memo sent to her in 2011 by a nonsecure system after it could not be sent by secure fax. (Reuters)

George Stephanopoulos: “You know, you’ve said many times that the emails were not marked classified. The non-disclosure agreement you signed as secretary of state says that that’s really not that relevant. It says classified information is marked or unmarked classified and that all of you are trained to treat all of that sensitively and should know the difference.”

Hillary Clinton: “Well of course and that’s exactly what I did. I take classified information very seriously. You know, you can’t get information off the classified system in the State Department to put on an unclassified system, no matter what that system is. We were very specific about that. And when you receive information, of course, there has to be some markings, some indication that someone down the chain thought that this was classified and that was not the case.”

— exchange on ABC’s “This Week,” Jan. 31, 2016

Many readers continue to ask questions about Hillary Clinton’s private email setup and whether she mishandled classified information. We have looked at this issue in the past, but the reader interest spiked again after the revelation that seven email chains contained “top secret” information and would not be released.

As the saga has dragged on, Clinton’s terminology has become ever more nuanced. When she first discussed her private-email arrangement in detail last March, her staff distributed a Q&A that flatly stated that no classified material was sent or received by Clinton at her private email address. Now she says the emails were not marked classified: “When you receive information, of course, there has to be some markings, some indication that someone down the chain thought that this was classified and that was not the case.”
Takeaways from Hillary Clinton’s e-mails
View Photos
Clinton has come under fire for using a private email address during her time as secretary of state. The emails are being screened and released in batches. Here are some things we’ve learned from them.

In the ABC News interview, she cited the opinion of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee: “There is no classified marked information on those emails, sent or received by me. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member of the intelligence committee, who’s had a chance to review them, has said that this email chain did not originate with me and that there were no classification markings.” (Feinstein did release such a statement.)

So what’s going on here?
The Facts

The nondisclosure agreement

Clinton did sign a Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement, in which she pledged to safeguard classified information whether “marked or unmarked classified information, including oral communications,” as defined by Executive Order 12958. (That was later superseded by Executive Order 13526.)

Interestingly, in that executive order, the secretary of state is given the authority to classify and declassify information at the “top secret” level. In other words, Clinton had presidential authority to decide what State Department information was classified or not.

“It is not simply that she would ‘know the difference’ between classified and unclassified information — it was up to her to make the original determination,” said Steven Aftergood, director of the project on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “This authority, however, did not extend to information generated by other agencies, such as CIA.”

(Note: A number of readers have asked about an email in which Clinton asked to have classified markings removed regarding some talking points, and have it emailed unsecured. In theory, under the executive order, she had the authority to declassify the material, since it originated in the State Department. However, a congressional official said the indications are the material ultimately was transmitted appropriately.)

Classified and unclassified systems

The State Department has both classified and unclassified systems — known informally as the “high side” and the “low side.” The classified system has tight controls, often housed in what is known as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF); it is not possible to “cut and paste” from the classified system into the unclassified system. Instead, one would have to extract the information from the classified system and then reenter it manually into the unclassified system. Thus far, no one has alleged that happened.

Instead, congressional aides say, the concern centers on the fact that secret information was revealed as part of an email exchange. In at least one case, the discussion started with an aide forwarding a newspaper article; then in subsequent exchanges, aides revealed sensitive details as they discussed (for instance) the shortcomings of that public report. Ultimately the email chain ended up in Clinton’s email box. If the email chain was released, some intelligence officials believe, it would confirm aspects of a secret program.

Clinton’s private email system was designed to deal with the unclassified communications, similar to the unclassified email account. Clinton claims it was for convenience; others suspect it was to prevent reporters or political opponents from easily obtaining her emails through the Freedom of Information Act.

“The use of a home server was the original problem that spawned all of these continuing concerns,” Aftergood said. “Everything that the secretary of state does or says is potentially sensitive, even if it is unclassified, and so it ought to have been protected accordingly. The home server also complicates or undermines records management and document preservation. It was a mistake.”

Clinton’s private email system was discovered when the House Select Committee on Benghazi sought her emails at the time of the 2012 attacks and initially was told none could be found. Ironically, if Clinton had operated from a account, the inquiry would have ended once the Benghazi emails were turned over. Instead, Clinton has been forced to turn over all of her work-related emails for public release — precisely the situation she presumably had hoped to avoid.

The ‘top secret’ communications

So how could information sent on an unclassified system turn out to be “top secret”? The answer is easy — when State Department officials review it in response to a request for public release.

“State’s upgrading process is retroactive,” said one congressional aide. “It’s not a sign of wrongdoing but rather the normal process used by State under all administrations before unclassified documents are made public (usually via FOIA). Often an unclassified email will be retroactively classified to protect foreign and diplomatic communications, for example.”

Yet for intelligence officials, the Clinton controversy has exposed serious shortcomings in how the State Department handles sensitive communications, another congressional aide said. In the view of intelligence officials, State Department officials have been sending highly sensitive information on the unclassified system — with the expectation that if a FOIA request is made, department officials could then redact the emails and prevent any classified information from becoming public.

In other words, at State, the basis for classification appeared to rest more with FOIA than the president’s executive order — which some intelligence officials believe is backward.

Indeed, when State released the first batch of Clinton emails, some in the intelligence community were upset at what had not been redacted in a pair of released emails. As a result, other members of the intelligence community demanded a seat at the table as future redaction determinations were made.

The various intelligence agencies since have been arguing about what should be disclosed, with at least seven email chains (22 separate emails) — and possibly more — labeled as unfit for any public disclosure. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), a member of the House Intelligence Committee who says he has reviewed the emails, told Fox News on Feb. 3 that the emails “do reveal classified methods, they do reveal classified sources, and they do reveal human assets.” Other sources who have viewed the emails do not describe the emails as strongly, though one official said Clinton’s aides might have put their security clearances at risk.

Different government agencies often may disagree about the level of classification. One good example are the memoirs of former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and former vice president Richard B. Cheney. Both discussed a policy debate over North Korea. Cheney mentioned traces of enriched uranium on materials obtained from North Korea — which had been reported years earlier in The Washington Post — after receiving clearance to do so from the CIA. But to her frustration, Rice was not able to mention the uranium, though she wanted to, because the State Department refused to give her clearance — even though the information was already in the public domain.

In one famous case, journalist James Bamford in 1978 received 250 pages of previously classified documents regarding a Justice Department probe of illegal wiretapping performed by the National Security Agency. Two years later, the NSA convinced a new attorney general that the information should be reclassified. The government then demanded that Bamford return the documents or face prosecution. (He published the information anyway and no charges were brought.)

Update: NBC News reported that the State Department Inspector General concluded that classified information also had been transmitted over the personal email accounts of Clinton’s predecessors, Condoleezza Rice and Colin L. Powell.


Finally, we come to Clinton’s excuse — that none of the emails were marked classified. This is a bit of a red herring. Anything marked classified could not be sent through an unclassified system — and officials are supposed to know enough about the sensitivity of communications to recognize material that could be considered classified under the executive order.

The executive order, for instance, says all foreign government information should be presumed to cause damage if disclosed without authorization. In reviewing Clinton’s emails, for instance, the State Department redacted every page of a private communication to Clinton from then-British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

“It is entirely possible for previously unclassified information to be redesignated as classified, as long as it has not already been officially released to the public,” Aftergood noted. “It is also true that the question of public disclosure can drive a decision to classify information that had not been classified up to that point.”

The Pinocchio Test

Clinton is in a pickle here, largely of her own making.

The emails in question were sent on an unclassified system — as they would have been if she had followed standard protocol and used a account. Under State Department practice, a request for public release of her emails would have been subject to the same classification discussion currently underway. Any “top secret” communications would have been withheld.

However, if she did not have a private server, intelligence officials now would not be scrutinizing every single Clinton email for possible public release. That has heightened the scrutiny of what should not be disclosed — and what was discussed in the unclassified system in the first place.

The State Department’s unclassified system is not perfect — the Russians have hacked it — but Clinton’s home server was outside official control or supervision. Moreover, unlike, it did not have dedicated government security personnel responsible for it.

Clinton said, “When you receive information, of course, there has to be some markings, some indication that someone down the chain thought that this was classified and that was not the case.” But that’s only half of the story. Even without markings, officials are supposed to recognize that information passed through an unclassified system might be deemed as classified and should take steps to protect it.

The Clinton campaign has argued that some intelligence officials are now engaged in a game of overclassification. That could well be the case; it’s impossible to know without access to emails that may not be released for years. But this debate would not even be taking place without the decision to set up the private server in the first place.

 on: February 04, 2016, 11:10:27 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by Crafty_Dog
I must say I am open to the idea of reimposing Glass Steagall.


Hillary's Latest Arrogant Wall Street Lies
Published on on February 4, 2016
At a New Hampshire Town Hall on Wednesday night, Hillary Clinton claimed that Goldman Sachs/Wall Street is not donating to her campaign anymore, implying that they know just how tough she will be on them and won't support her anymore.

That's a big lie.

That huge bonanza is still pouring in. Big time. According to FEC reports, Hillary has received $21.4 million from the financial and insurance industry -- almost 15% of the total $157.8 million she raised. And she's still trolling them for big money. Last week, she left Iowa to attend a hedge fund money raiser in Philadelphia. She has several other Wall Street fundraisers scheduled, but postponed them until after the New Hampshire primary. The optics wouldn't be too good while Bernie is raising the issue.
But she'll be back when she thinks no one is looking.

It's worth noting that Hillary has received a total of $41 million in campaign money from those same folks since she first ran for the Senate in 2000. And the money keeps pouring in.

But it is not just campaign money that Wall Street send her way. They take care of the Clintons personally, too. Since 2013, Hillary has raked in about $3 million in Wall Street speeches.

The $625,000 Goldman Sachs Speeches

Hillary claimed that she took $625,000 in fees from Goldman for 3 speeches since she left the Secretary of State's office in 2013 because "that's what they offered."

That's what they offered?

No, that's what she demanded. That's the regular -- and outrageous -- speaking fee her agent listed. Ten other big banks handed over the same fee. Are we supposed to believe that they each came up with the same outrageous amount on their own? No, that was the price of admission.

And it was a good investment for Goldman Sachs. They know they'll get a good return on it. In one of her pricey speeches to the Wall Street powerhouse, Hillary soothed the friendly bankers, saying "we're all in this together." For Hillary, it's all in the family. Goldman Sachs Chairman Lloyd Blankfein is an investor in Chelsea's husband's hedge fund. Marc Mezvinsky used to work for Goldman.

And Bill cleaned up, too. According to the Associated Press, "during Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state, Bill Clinton earned $17 million in talks to banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, real estate businesses, and other financial firms. Altogether, the couple are estimated to have made over $139 million from paid speeches."

So the Clintons are no stranger to Goldman and Wall Street. In fact, the Clinton Foundation even rented office space from them at one point. That's what friends are for.

Just to help out, though, Goldman's Blankfein called Bernie Sanders "dangerous" on CNBC last week. He knows who he can count on.

What Will Wall Street Get in Return?

The central reform that populists want to impose to stop the big bank gravy train is the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act prohibiting banks from using federally insured deposits to make risky investments.  Hillary opposes reinstatement of the prohibition, which was repealed in 1999 when her husband signed the necessary legislation.  That repeal opened the floodgates for the bank speculation and enabled Goldman to have a very profitable IPO at the same time as the repeal was passing. It's also blamed for the 2008 crash. And, as Elizabeth Warren has pointed out, Hillary sided with the big banks on bankruptcy reform, she'll be there for them again.

Hillary: Every Secretary of State And President Does It

Hillary's campaign has come up with a new, but highly unconvincing, talking point on her speaking fees. Barbara Boxer floated it a few days ago and Hillary repeated it at the Town Hall. Time to try another one. That one won't fly. She told Anderson Cooper that every President and Secretary of State makes large speaking fees. But as Cooper retorted, those people were not running for President.

But she was.
Then came her next big lie: she wasn't sure that she would run for President.

Does anyone on earth really believe that she wasn't running for President? The only reason she didn't announce her candidacy was so she could grab those big fees. And the only reason for the big fees is that she might be President. That's what all the coyness was about.

Hillary lied again and again at the Town Hall and she did it will great arrogance.  She seemed extremely irritated that anyone would dare to challenge her. How dare anyone question her motives!

The late New York Times writer William Safire got it right twenty years ago -- Hillary Clinton is, as he said, a "congenital liar." She hasn't changed.

 on: February 04, 2016, 06:30:40 PM 
Started by buzwardo - Last post by Body-by-Guinness
This won't surprise anyone except those so enamored with their doomstruck pronouncements that they believe any tactic is justified when trumpeting their beliefs, but someone has taken a look at whether a lack of neutrality correlates with the embrace of activism. Anyone who has watched environmental hysteria unfold knows that answer already:

 on: February 04, 2016, 03:23:27 PM 
Started by Crafty_Dog - Last post by ccp
This would be a dream come true for those with type 1 diabetes:

 on: February 04, 2016, 01:02:30 PM 
Started by DougMacG - Last post by G M
"a fake Hispanic"
What a bit of horse dung!  ...
Bottom line your friend is a Dem and if Rubio is not...

Correct.  (And he is gay, a stronger identifier than being Hispanic.  Still it is good to know that no automatic votes will come from Mexican American Hispanics to a conservative Republican for being Cuban American.  All the votes have to be earned.

He is probably a digit earner.  I told him R's will give him more liberties than Dems.

Only leftists are seen as "authentic".

 on: February 04, 2016, 12:51:34 PM 
Started by DougMacG - Last post by DougMacG
 "a fake Hispanic"
What a bit of horse dung!  ...
Bottom line your friend is a Dem and if Rubio is not...

Correct.  (And he is gay, a stronger identifier than being Hispanic.  Still it is good to know that no automatic votes will come from Mexican American Hispanics to a conservative Republican for being Cuban American.  All the votes have to be earned.

He is probably a 6 digit earner.  I told him R's will give him more liberties than Dems.

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