The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

James Comey Knows the Clintons Well

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The rift between America’s Left and Right moved this week.

Hillary Clinton has done it again.  She has evaded the grasp of the long arm of the law.

What’s that?  Hillary never broke the law during Chinagate, Travelgate, Filegate, her cattle futures miracle, or the Clinton Foundation and she certainly didn’t break the law with her email servers.  FBI Director James Comey said so.

Yes he did, yes he did.

But do those words really ring true?

Hillary Clinton and James Comey

FILE -In this file photo combo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, left, and FBI Director James. Comey. (AP Photo/File)

According to a lot of lawyers, judges, and legal experts weighing in on the Director’s statement on July 5, no.  The common sentiment coming out of the Monday quarterbacking is that James Comey made it very clear Hillary Clinton did everything required to be prosecuted for a felony violation of Section 793f of the federal penal code (Title 18), which says anyone with lawful access to highly classified information who acts with gross negligence in removing and causing to be removed from its proper place of custody, transmitting it or causing it to be transmitted to others not authorized to have it is guilty of a crime.

Comey himself conceded Mrs. Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless” with classified material and there is a very real possibility that her reckless behavior likely led to foreign intelligence agents, including those hostile to the United States, gaining access to those classified communications.

But Director Comey recommended no prosecution for the violations of law he very clearly articulated during his statement.

According to Andrew McCarthy, former assistant US attorney for the Southern District of New York known for his prosecutions of the Blind Sheik and the terrorists who bombed the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Comey and the FBI effectively rewrote the statute.

McCarthy wrote in the National Review on July 5th, “In essence, in order to give Mrs. Clinton a pass, the FBI rewrote the statute, inserting an intent element that Congress did not require. The added intent element, moreover, makes no sense: The point of having a statute that criminalizes gross negligence is to underscore that government officials have a special obligation to safeguard national defense secrets; when they fail to carry out that obligation due to gross negligence, they are guilty of serious wrongdoing. The lack of intent to harm our country is irrelevant. People never intend the bad things that happen due to gross negligence.” FBI Rewrites Federal Law to Let Hillary Off the Hook

The second guessing and re-analyzing of this decision will continue for…well…a long damn time. Probably and likely right up to the election in November.

From a legal perspective Comey’s decision has been shredded.  In concluding his statement before a congressional committee today, Comey said, “I know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation, as there was throughout this investigation. What I can assure the American people is that this investigation was done competently, honestly, and independently. No outside influence of any kind was brought to bear.”

I want to believe that. I really do. Throughout this investigation I wanted to believe the FBI and its Director would do exactly what he claims to have done.  But I don’t.  Here’s why.

The Whitewater investigation or Whitewater scandal as it was later known, involved real estate investments of Bill and Hillary Clinton and their associates, Jim and Susan McDougal, in the Whitewater Development Corporation, a failed business venture in the 1970s and 1980s.

The investigation was done to determine whether Bill Clinton used his political position and influence as governor of Arkansas (in the 1980s) to secure an illegal loan to benefit Bill and Hillary’s business partner Jim McDougal. Several people involved in Whitewater went to jail, but no criminal prosecution followed Bill and Hillary Clinton.

James Comey was the Deputy Special Counsel on the Whitewater investigation….

American Evita: Hillary Clinton’s Rise to Power, a book authored by Christopher Anderson a former contributing editor for Time Magazine, goes into great detail about Comey’s past dealings with the Clintons

Lloyd Billingsly writes in Frontpage Mag, “After Bill Clinton left the White House, one staffer told Andersen, the entire focus was on “getting Hillary back in.” The road led through New York, where Hillary took aim at the Senate seat vacated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Hillary was not from New York and had never spent more than a few days there, so she needed creative ways to attract votes.

New Square, a Hasidic enclave 30 miles northwest of Manhattan, had voted as a bloc in previous elections and campaign workers urged Hillary urged to stop there. In New Square, four members of the Skver sect had been convicted in 1999 of bilking government aid programs for some $30 million. During her visit, Hillary denied that any pardon was discussed.

During the final days of his presidency, Bill Clinton opted to reduce the prison terms of the New Square offenders, and after 9/11 that sparked an investigation. As Anderson notes, “Hillary received an unexpected gift in late June when, without explanation, U.S. Attorney James B. Comey closed the New Square clemency case.

Clinton’s pardon of fugitive Marc Rich also drew an investigation and Andersen finds it odd that the Bush administration would “help the Clinton’s out” by refusing to release documents related to the pardons. And “in accordance with his boss’s wishes, U.S Attorney James Comey gave Bill and Hillary a pass.”

Now we see the paths of James Comey and the Clintons crossing again, and again Mr. Comey is in a position to let the long arm of the law grab Mrs. Clinton and hold her accountable, and again Mrs. Clinton slips free.

Just a guy doing his job according to the law?  Or something else?

About half of the people in this country think it’s one, while the other half thinks it’s the other.

And the divide widens.

Written by DCL

July 7, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Posted in News

Muhammad Ali and Me

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Muhammad Ali defeats Sonny ListonThe Greatest is gone.  At age 74, Muhammad Ali has died.

My dad was a boxer.

Everything I know about my father’s boxing career comes from the stories, the trophies, and old photographs. I never saw him fight. He quit boxing before I was born. I can’t say I know the reasons, but I can guess it had something to do with supporting a wife and new family, namely me in 1960.

Born in 1936, his early childhood spanned a world war and it was in post war America, with Joe Louis as the boxing hero, that my father’s love for the sport was born.  In the 40s, 50s, and 60s, boxing clubs were as common as convenience stores today. It was kind of rite of passage for young men to try their hand in the ring and my dad was pretty good at it. He never lost a fight.

For me and boxing it was 1970 and a controversial figure named Muhammad Ali. I remember my dad talking about this fighter and calling him Cassius Clay and then explaining to me that he changed his name for his religion and that he refused to go fight in Viet Nam because of his religious beliefs. At age 10 those things weren’t all that interesting to me I just wanted to see if there was going to be a knock out, but it appeared to me even at that young age, that my dad respected Ali for that. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that we were Mormons and he understood what it meant to make choices that were very different from the world due to one’s faith. I don’t know. But I do know we never missed an Ali fight.

I can’t say I was an Ali fan. I think it had something to do with my mother’s teaching that it was wrong to be cocky, boastful, and arrogant, and Muhammad Ali was all of those things and then some. But, due to a mother’s strong influence, I always cheered for the other guy. History says I cheered for a lot of losers.

In that first fight of 1970, Ali’s return from exile after three years of being banned from the ring due to his decision not to go to Viet Name, my guy, Jerry Quarry, lost when a cut in the 3rd round forced an end to the fight and a TKO win for Ali.

Outwardly, I may not have been a fan, but inwardly I loved to watch Ali fight. He was light on his feet, quick, always moving, fast hands and feet, and when he struck it was hard and fast. His style was truly elegant and graceful which is why the catch phrase “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” was the perfect simile.

I don’t think my dad and I missed a single heavy weight bout by Ali. Boxing was on free TV then. We watched the majority of his fights on a little black and white set. I remember listening to Howard Cosell at ringside giving the call blow-by-blow.

By the late 70s and early 80s, as the Champ’s career was coming to a close, I was more fan than foe. Ali had been so good for so long, it was hard not to like him and impossible not to respect him. Though I never had the opportunity to meet Muhammad Ali he had become a friend. No longer the foe. When he fought Leon Spinks, losing once then coming back to win the second time, and then Larry Holmes who exposed the declining Ali and handed him the worst defeat of his career, I…no all, could see the end was near. When it did end, it happened in a less than spectacular 10 round loss by decision to Trevor Berbick on December 11, 1981. My heart ached for the man I loved to hate for so long who’s only real defeat in my mind came at the slow and methodical hands of father time.

The Greatest of all time had come to the end of his dominance in the ring and I was sad.

Now 25 years later The Greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali, has come to the end of his sojourn on this earth.

And I am sad.


Dear Media, Way to Get Played…Again

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Donald Trump calls the press sleazyIf there is one thing Donald J. Trump is good at it’s making others look stupid…along with himself.

In this case it was the media who came away with drool on their chin wearing a dunce cap.  (Google it)

While the mainstream political press spent the week fuming over and reporting on the tongue-lashing they received by Donald Trump this week, the Trumpster was likely chuckling at his sleight of hand and misdirection ploy that kept the attention span of the political press focused on his charity donations (and even more so the scolding), and off of the growing, gaping wound known as Trump University.

As some of the most damning information about T.U. was coming out in recently released federal court documents, Trump was busy shouting “look over there!” and look over there is exactly what the Press did.  The Trump news cycle for the week has been overwhelmingly filled with hand-wringing, whiney reports about the Press being called “sleazy” and “dishonest” by a man who is often called sleazy and dishonest.

But the trick worked and Trump avoided further scrutiny on the new information regarding his Trump University lawsuits…at least for this news cycle.

While the donations to veterans and whether money collected by Trump was actually paid out is a story, the fact that some of the checks were actually written on the day Trump verbally assaulted the press makes the story even more curious and relevant.  However, it appears Mr. Trump was taking a calculated risk to avert eyes from what he must deem a much bigger political problem at T.U.

Way to keep your eye on the ball news people! Or is the fact you missed the ball entirely, simply a result of the new black eye you were given by The Donald on Tuesday?




Target’s Potty Policy is Parlous

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My wife has always been a big fan of Target stores. She will drive the extra distance to shop there over other stores that are closer to our home.  Whenever we travel, finding the nearest Target is a must.

She’s not political. She votes, but that’s about it.

Me? Well, a quick scan of this blog will quickly answer that question.

Target potty policyWith the recent decision by Target to make a political statement dressed in a social issue and to adopt what I consider a wrong-headed and potentially dangerous policy regarding the use of its public restrooms, we will no longer be shopping there. This is very disappointing to my wife, but I’ve asked her to stand with me on this decision in the name of common sense and safety.  She agrees.

We don’t take this stand because we think poorly of “those people” or wish anyone in the transgender community discomfort or harm in any way.

In fact, this stand, in my mind, isn’t about an inclusive policy for transgendered people at all. It’s about a shabbily and hastily conceived decision that openly invites perverts, pedophiles, and sexual predators to use and take advantage of it for their own deviant purposes.  I challenge any thoughtful, rational, logical human being to convince me Target has not just put out the welcome mat to degenerates nationwide.

A person who has gone through the very difficult mental, emotional, and physical process of changing his or her gender is a completely different situation and frankly, I have no problem with that person using the bathroom designated for the gender they have psychologically and physically adapted to.

Could some guy dress up like a woman and walk into a restroom for purposes other than using the loo?  Sure, but that’s not what we’re talking about here and that guy would/should be arrested as soon as he’s discovered.  At least I like to believe he would have been cuffed and perp walked in the not so distant past.

What we’re talking about here, and what I have a huge problem with, is a man who is clearly a man but on any given day may decide he’s feeling more womanly than manly.  Now, with Target’s permission, can walk into the ladies’ room with my wife.  Target’s policy, as I understand it, would allow the very scenario I just described.

In fact, just this past Friday, April 29, 2016, a gentleman named Andy Park uploaded a video to his YouTube account of himself asking a Target store manager in St. Petersburg, FL if he could use the women’s bathroom.  Park was not dressed as a woman and made no attempt to identify as one. He simply asked if he could use the women’s bathroom. The manager confirmed to Park that he could indeed use the women’s bathroom if he wanted to, and told him if any of the women had a problem with that he would “speak to them” about it. (SOURCE:

Target then responded to the story:

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 12.07.46 AM

This is not going to end well for Target.

I wish businesses like Target would just do business and leave the politics at home.  This whole fiasco reeks of a show of executive coolness by Target bigwigs. It screams “Look at how hip we are!” to corporate peers, while quietly admitting, “We don’t care what the majority of people think, we’re smarter than they are” to customers.

The vast majority of Americans just want a place to shop where they can buy the things they need and feel safe doing so.  Whether that’s in the aisles, at the checkout stand, or in the restroom.

Target has decided the feelings of 0.3% of the population carry more weight than the other 99.7%

So be it. I will take my business elsewhere.

Are You a Builder or a Wrecker in this Election Season?

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Years ago, when the internet was beginning to blossom for businesses around the world, I traveled the world teaching people how to take their businesses to the web.

One of my colleagues had a poem he liked to quote at the end of his presentation and it has stuck with me since.

It’s words are cause for self-examination.  A personal inventory of our character to help determine the kind of people we really are.

As I watch the candidates, their campaigns, their staff, and zealous followers in this presidential race of 2016, the words to this poem become even more compelling and acute.

I watched them tearing a building down, photo 3-1
A gang of men in a busy town.

With a ho-heave-ho and lusty yell,
They swung a beam and a sidewall fell.

I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,
As the men you’d hire if you had to build?”

He gave me a laugh and said, “No indeed!
Just common labor is all I need.

I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do.”

And I tho’t to myself as I went my way,
Which of these two roles have I tried to play?

Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square?

Am I shaping my deeds by a well-made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?

Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,
Content with the labor of tearing down?

~ Charles Benvegar

What are you? What is your preferred candidate?

Which category do your words, actions, and interactions on social media or in person place you in?

I know I have some work to do.



British Documentary on Donald Trump is Just Beastly

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British news anchor, or newsreader as they’re called in Britain, Selina Scott, spent two weeks with Donald Trump in 1995 while producing a 60-minute program for ITV on the Donald.

What began as an interview for a television program ended as, what she termed, a revealing and excruciating experience.  Apparently the Donald wasn’t happy with the ITV program, which didn’t always paint him in the best light.  Scott also pressed him on questions where she knew he wasn’t being truthful. She also showed his inconsistencies on numerous statements in the piece.  He immediately went on the attack and over the years since the program aired has continued to send Selina Scott nasty and intimidating letters branding her “sleazy, unattractive, obnoxious, and boring.”

The Donald also attempted to woo her during the visit expressing what she called “creep advances.”

What Ms. Scott ultimately took away from this experience was that Donald Trump has a pattern in his treatment of women and it isn’t a nice one.

I managed to get a copy of the program only to find it removed from YouTube days later as you can see by the link at the top of this article.  Sadly, many of the formerly free and easy to view videos about Donald Trump are now vanishing from YouTube and other video sites, since he began his run for President of the United States.

Another documentary out of Britain shows Trump’s consistent and insistent hounding of the people in a small Scottish village where he wants to build a golf course and luxury resort.  The people of the village are fighting him. Trump is fighting back and it isn’t pretty.  How long this video will remain available for public viewing remains to be seen.

To read more about Salina Scott’s interaction with Mr. Trump CLICK HERE to read her story.  Then decide if this is a man with the temperament and qualities you want in a president.

Written by DCL

March 1, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The 25 Year-Old Donald Trump Documentary You Never Saw or Knew Existed

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Donald Trump tells us if he’s elected president, he would “be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”

His go-to reason to substantiate this declaration is that he’s a great businessman. He has already created tons of jobs, he argues, and he can do it on an even bigger scale as president.

So just how great a businessman is Donald J. Trump?

For decades he has largely maintained a golden boy image though he did go through some very rough times in the late 80’s and 90’s garnering some not so loving press clippings, but nothing has exposed Donald Trump and his businessman legacy like this 25 year-old documentary that never saw the airwaves.

The film was commissioned in 1988 by Leonard Stern as the first of a series on celebrity businessmen and finished in 1991. It was called Trump: What’s the Deal? Back then, the only way for a film to be seen was on television or in the theater. Donald threatened to sue any broadcaster or distributor that took on the film. In effect, it was suppressed.

Trump threatened to sue Leonard Stern and his associates when he first learned of the film’s existence, and the ensuing ordeal garnered a great deal of media coverage. Even New York Magazine covered the battle in Edwin Diamond’s article, “Trump vs. Stern: The Unmaking of a Documentary.” Since then, there hasn’t been even the slightest hint of a whisper about the film.

Now that the mogul is hoping to attain the 2016 GOP presidential nomination and, eventually, the White House, the filmmakers felt it necessary to release Donald Trump: What’s the Deal? for free on the Internet.  So they did. In fact, you can watch the entire thing right here, free of charge.

I especially want to invite people who are supporters of Donald Trump due to his brash, no-holds-barred way of speaking to the issues Americans are most concerned about.  The economy, immigration, health care, and the USA’s place on the world stage.  It is important that you know who a leader is and what a leader does when that leader doesn’t think you’re watching or listening.  This film gives you that view and tells you what you need to know to make an informed character-based decision about the man who could become the most powerful man in the world.

I originally posted a link to the full documentary on YouTube, but that and all other links have since been pulled from YouTube.  I found a news blog Who.What.Why. where you can see the full documentary in 12 parts.  Go HERE to see the full documentary.

Written by DCL

February 1, 2016 at 8:17 pm