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Monday afternoon, Sen. Marco Rubio was interviewed by the Five. Here’s the video of the interview:

When it was Greg Gutfeld’s turn to ask questions, he sought a clarification. Here’s that exchange:

GREG GUTFELD: I think what Julie is trying to say is that dictators might be cruel but the Islamic religious extremists that replace them are apocalyptic so once we found out what came in there, it made everything look different. I disagree but I think that’s what you’re trying to say.
JULIE ROGINSKY: Well, sort of.
GREG GUTFELD: Isn’t the underlying driver of Obama’s foreign policy was to shrink our footprint, that we were too big and we were failing and he wanted to turn a Cadillac into a Moped?
SEN. RUBIO: So the underlying argument he has for the Middle East is that this is a grievance-based problem. But these groups in there, whether they’re Iran or a radical jihadist, have grievances against us and if we just stop doing the things that make them aggrieved, things will be better. That’s not the truth. The truth is that these are not grievance-based problems we have with them. These are ideological-based problems and it’s a pretty simple ideology. They want everyone to worship like they do or die. And they view us in the short term as a threat to their regional ambitions but in the long term, once they’re done conquering the region, they intend to come for Europe and, ultimately, the United States. They’ve made that very clear. When they say that, we should believe them.

In that brief exchange, Sen. Rubio showed a better grasp of reality than our current commander-in-chief and his Secretary of State.

With the Middle East being in tatters, this election will be more about national security than most elections. In a head-to-head matchup with Hillary, Sen. Rubio would likely mop the floor with her behind. Add into that the possibility of electing the first Hispanic president and Hillary’s troubles. If that’s the matchup, Hillary will have a steep hill to climb.

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I didn’t trust Hillary when she said she’d turned over all of her work-related emails to the State Department. That’s just one reason why I don’t believe it when her lawyer, David Kendall, when he said that Hillary’s private emails have been destroyed:

WASHINGTON — An examination of the server that housed the personal email account that Hillary Rodham Clinton used exclusively when she was secretary of state showed that there are no copies of any emails she sent during her time in office, her lawyer told a congressional committee on Friday.

After her representatives determined which emails were government-related and which were private, a setting on the account was changed to retain only emails sent in the previous 60 days, her lawyer, David Kendall, said. He said the setting was altered after she gave the records to the government.

“Thus, there are no hdr22@clintonemail.com emails from Secretary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate or legally authorized,” Mr. Kendall said in a letter to the House select committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Those statements have more gaping holes in them than a brick of Swiss cheese. First, it’s clever to say that there aren’t any “copies of any emails she sent during her time in office.” Parsing Clinton 101 immediately requires the reader/listener to question modifying words like copies. The next question I’d ask is whether there’s a registry on the Clintons’ private server listing emails Hillary sent in her official capacity as Secretary of State. The next question I’d ask is whether there were any original emails still stored on the Clintons’ private server. The third question I’d ask is what the Clintons’ definition of work-related emails is.

That’s just for starters.

Next, I’d want investigators to determine if there are any emails on the Clintons’ private server from other email addresses other than hdr22@clintonemail.com. I’d ask because we know other high-ranking staff had private @clintonemail.com email addresses. It’s important to remember that Kendall didn’t say that there weren’t any emails sent or received by Huma Abedin or Sheryl Mills.

That’s before stating the obvious.

IRS Commissioner Koskinen testified that Lois Lerner’s hard drive had been destroyed, meaning all of Ms. Lerner’s emails were destroyed, too. It isn’t surprising that that’s been updated:

Despite IRS Commissioner John Koskinen repeatedly saying under oath in previous hearings that Lerner’s emails could not be recovered, Camus and investigators have been successful in recovering nearly 33,000 emails relevant to the IRS investigation.

“To date we have found 32,774 unique e-mails that were backed up from Lois Lerner’s e-mail box. We are in the process of comparing these e-mails to what the IRS has already produced to Congress to determine if we did in fact recover any new emails. We are also in the process of having the e-mail server hard drives analyzed if there are any readable e-mails that can be recovered from these hard drives. And finally, we are continuing to determine if there are any other sources that may contain Lois Lerner’s e-mails,” Camus said during testimony.

The other lesson people should know in parsing the Clintons is this fundamental rule: the Clintons will always do the right thing…when that’s their only option left. Trusting the Clintons isn’t advised. Trusting a Clinton protector is downright foolish.

That’s why I’d tell Chairman Gowdy to depose Hillary before I’d have her testify. I’d want to question Hillary at length privately before she testifies in public just to paint Hillary into a corner with her own testimony. The lengthier the time I get to question her, the more likely it is she’ll trip herself up.

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The first thing I need to say before getting into this post’s substance is that George Will is one of the brightest conservatives I’ve ever listened to. That’s why it was difficult for me to watch this video:

Here’s the transcript from the important part of Fox News Sunday:

WALLACE: George, where do you think Cruz fits in the Republican presidential field? And what do you think are his realistic chances to win the nomination?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: We’ve seen this movie before, Chris. In 1964, Republicans nominated Barry Goldwater, partly on the theory called conservatives in the woodwork, that there were enormous number of conserves who only offered candidate who ignored what Cruz calls the mushy middle, they’d come out of the woodwork and form a national majority. Well, Goldwater’s 27 million voters, of whom I was one, suffice to carry six states.

The question for Mr. Cruz and for anyone seeking the Republican nomination is this, given that 18 states and the District of Columbia with 242 electoral votes voted Democratic in six consecutive elections and if the Democratic nominee holds that base, he or she will spend the fall looking for 28 electoral votes and will find them. Given that, they have to ask the question, what red, what blue state are you going to flip specifically? Can Ted Cruz campaign effectively in one of those 18 states? Pennsylvania, how is he going to do piling up big majorities to carry the state in the suburban counties, Bucks, Montgomery, around Philadelphia? I’m skeptical.

First, let’s stipulate that every Republican faces the same obstacle as Sen. Cruz. Next, let’s stipulate that some are better equipped to flipping some of the states that Will is referring to. Third, let’s stipulate that Will has said the same thing about every other Republican potential presidential candidate with one exception. That exception is Chris Christie.

Will’s defeatist attitude, which I’m certain he’ll characterize as simply a statement of fact, isn’t worthy of a man of his intelligence. According to this map, Will is right that Republicans start at a distinct disadvantage:

That’s the extent, though, that I’m willing to concede. There are 538 electoral votes, which is why the winning candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win. Starting with 242 electoral votes means that 296 electoral votes are still up for grabs or solidly in GOP-controlled states.

First, let’s look at solidly red states. The GOP candidate starts with a base of 200 electoral votes. Next, let’s look at purple states like Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa and Nevada. Florida has 29 EVs, followed by Ohio with 18 EVs, Virginia with 13 EVs, Colorado with 9, Nevada and Iowa with 6 apiece, New Mexico with 5 and New Hampshire with 4 EVs.

If Sen. Rubio is on the ticket, either as the nominee or running mate, that definitely flips Florida’s 29 EVs and likely puts Nevada and Colorado in the GOP column. Just putting those states in the GOP column gives the GOP ticket 244 EVs. If Scott Walker is the GOP nominee and Rubio is his running mate, that likely puts Iowa and Wisconsin in the GOP column. That puts the GOP ticket at 260 EVs. That means Hillary has to win Ohio, New Hampshire and Virginia.

At that point, if Republicans win either Virginia or Ohio, they’d retake the White House.

Is it mathematically challenging? Yes, for both parties.

That’s before factoring in the quality of campaigns the two sides run and events that are beyond the candidates’ control. If Republicans run a youthful, energetic, ideas-driven ticket, they won’t have to say a thing about Hillary looking fatigued. It’ll be that obvious. Further, if the Middle East continues being a disaster and Russia continues its expansionist ways, Hillary will have lots of problems because she’s joined at the hip with President Obama as the co-architects of that foreign policy.

If Mr. Will wants to continuously be a pessimist about the GOP ticket for 2016, that’s his right under the First Amendment that he writes so eloquently about. It just doesn’t mean he’s right. He should know that campaigns and events matter. Right now, Hillary is a terrible candidate and events both domestically and especially internationally favor Republicans.

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If Josh Rogin’s article is right, Hillary’s paranoia has led to a national cyber-security breach of great magnitude. Rupert Murdoch started the ball rolling with this tweet:


Here’s what Mssrs. Rogin and Lake wrote:

Hillary Clinton didn’t take a basic precaution with her personal e-mail system to prevent hackers from impersonating or “spoofing” her identity in messages to close associates, according to former U.S. officials familiar with her e-mail system and other cyber-security experts.

This vulnerability put anyone who was in communication with her clintonemail.com account while she was secretary of state at risk of being hacked. Clinton said at the United Nations last week that there were no security breaches of her personal e-mail server, which she used to send and receive more than 60,000 professional and personal e-mails. But former cyber-security officials and experts told us that there were gaps in the system.

That’s just the start of things. Here’s more:

Experts told us that oversight was just one flaw of a security system that would have been relatively easy for foreign intelligence services and others to exploit. “I have no doubt in my mind that this thing was penetrated by multiple foreign powers, to assume otherwise is to put blinders on,” said Bob Gourley, the chief technology officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2005 to 2008 and the founder of Cognitio, a cybersecurity consultancy.

“If a Sender Policy Framework was not in use, they could send an e-mail that looks like it comes from her to, say, the ambassador of France that says, ‘leave the back door open to the residence a package is coming,'” added Gourley. “Or a malicious person could send an e-mail to a foreign dignitary meant to cause an international incident or confuse U.S. foreign policy.”

Guy Benson wrote this scathing opinion of Hillary:

This is unforgivable. Myopia, paranoia, arrogance and reckless incompetence, all rolled into one set of astounding revelations. By the way, just a few days ago, the State Department shut down large parts of its email system due to malware placed by Russian hackers who somehow burrowed into the network.

It’s one thing to have our national security email system hacked by experts working for hostile foreign governments. It’s another when our national security email system was hacked because Hillary Clinton didn’t take minimal security precautions to protect her private email account, which she used for conducting diplomacy.

Hillary’s recklessness, coupled with her intent to avoid oversight scrutiny, has compromised US national security. I’ll state without hesitation that Hillary isn’t qualified to be the US commander-in-chief. Exposing sensitive and/or classified communications to foreign governments was avoidable. For that reason, Hillary flunks the commander-in-chief test. Period.

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Last night on the Special Report All Star Panel, Ron Fournier said that James Carville had accidentally sold Hillary out:

Fournier also commented on James Carville’s defense of Clinton, arguing that “what Carville did is give up the goods. What he admitted there was that this was not a matter of convenience, which is what the Secretary said. He admitted that the reason she did this was so she didn’t have to comply with the oversight of the House, and with the natural laws of transparency. He gave up the goods. He sold her out.”

What a tangled web she weaves when Hillary attempts to deceive. The more she talks about this, the deeper she digs the hole. The dishonesty is bad enough but that isn’t the worst part for Hillary.

Hillary’s dishonesty contributes to her image that she isn’t trustworthy. Everyone remembers her most famous moment of dishonesty:

It’s clear that Hillary’s first instinct is to not tell the truth. It’s clear that telling the truth isn’t a high priority with her. In fact, Hillary has repeatedly shown that Hillary’s highest priority is protecting Hillary politically.

As bad as those things are, though, they aren’t Hillary’s worst attributes. What’s worst is that Hillary’s lived a life of privilege for so long that she thinks that the rules don’t apply to her. Every State Department employee signs Form OF-109except Hillary. Every State Department employee’s emails are stored on the State Department’s server. When those employees leave, the State Department determines which emails are personal and which are work-related…except Hillary.

People talk about Hillary’s campaign as a coronation. What these people haven’t realized is that Hillary’s already appointed herself queen…years ago.

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Until Hillary Clinton affirms under oath that she signed form OF-109 and provides forensic proof that she complied with the form’s requirements, everything else, like James Carville’s op-ed, is irrelevant. Saying ‘Trust me’ won’t suffice.

Here are the first 2 things on the OF-109 form:

1. I have surrendered to responsible officials all classified or administratively controlled documents and material with which I was charged or which I had in my possession, and I am not retaining in my possession, custody, or control, documents or material containing classified or administratively controlled information furnished to me during the course of such employment or developed as a consequence thereof, including any diaries, memorandums of conversation, or other documents of a personal nature that contain classified or administratively controlled information.

2. I have surrendered to responsible officials all unclassified documents and papers relating to the official business of the Government acquired by me while in the employ of the Department or USIA.

To this point, Hillary hasn’t stated whether she signed this document or whether she complied with this requirement. Those points require all State Department employees to affirm that they’ve turned over all records (past tense), both classified and unclassified, to the State Department Intelligence Agency before their last day of work with the State Department.

According to the GSA website, Form OF-109 hasn’t changed since the Clinton administration:

Form: OF109

Separation Statement Current Revision Date: 09/1994

The last time this form changed was before the Gingrich Revolution. That’s more than 20 years ago.

Finally, we don’t have verified forensic corroboration that Hillary turned over everything she was required to turn into the State Department because that corroboration is only possible through a thorough search of Hillary’s server. That clearly hasn’t happened. Until it does, ‘trust me’ won’t cut it.

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During her ‘Trust Me’ news conference, Hillary Clinton insisted that she did everything she was supposed to do in terms of preserving her emails. Last night, the All-Star Panel on Special Report sharply disagreed:

Judge Napolitano opened the panel with this observation:

JUDGE NAPOLITANO: There are two forms that [Hillary] had to sign. She had to sign one on Day One in which she took an oath to preserve in the government’s possession the government records. If she signed it and two weeks later, she diverted the government records to her husband’s server in Chappaqua, NY, she probably committed perjury. The second one, the one that you’ve identified that Megyn revealed last night, which you sign on your last day in office in which you say “I have returned to the government already — it’s in the past tense — the government’s records, if she signed that, and she did so under oath, as the document requires you to do, she probably committed perjury. We don’t know if she signed this but we do know nobody in the government is authorized to exempt her from [signing] these documents.
BRET BAIER: Congressman Jason Chaffetz is planning a formal investigation into the legal implications of this. So you’re saying that there are legal implications?
JUDGE NAPOLITANO: I’m saying there are profound legal implications because you have to swear under oath the second document, the one you just identified, is the basis for the prosecution of Gen. Petraeus, who signed the same document the day he left the CIA and, he says, he forgot he had loose leafs in his drawer in his home, and when the FBI raided his home, they found them there and that’s what he’s going to plead guilty to — the possession of documents that belong to the government in his home.

Later in the segment, Charles Krauthammer chimed in with this perspective:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: It’s not over. It’s got legs. It’s got long legs. It’s got legs because the AP has now sued the State Department to get access to her e-mails, because three committees in the House are going to sue to get access or subpoena her e-mails because we are now in a position where we’re arguing over what is the proper meaning of the word is.

I said that a week ago and I did it as a joke. With the Clintons, you can’t make this stuff up. We are actually returning to it depends what the meaning of the word is is. And I think what the Judge is explaining, what Shannen Coffin, who used to work at the Justice Department, has raised, is a very serious issue. If she did not sign the document, then what she did, the one on separation, then what she did is to leave without turning over government documents, which I believe is a felony.

I don’t see how you could interpret it either way. If she signed it, it’s perjury. If she didn’t, then she left with government documents, which is illegal. So, now we have the legal issues. I’m sure the Clintons will invent a parsing of the words, it depends what a document means, it depends what is is, but I do want to say one thing about what the Obama people are saying in astonishment. I suspect that what the hell is a loose translation of what they actually said.

Hillary’s tortured performance at the hastily-arranged news conference left people with the nauseated feeling that she thinks the laws don’t apply to her and that people should trust her because she’s the political equivalent of a celebrity.

People have long talked about her as a great politician, that it was only a matter of time until she rose to this nation’s highest office. In the minds of many, this was just assumed. That’s foolish. She isn’t the nimble-footed politician that her husband is. She’s wooden, lawyerly, scripted. She’s Al Gore in a pant suit.

At some point, this controversy will get old. That’s inevitable. The question that’s important in all this is whether her credibility will still be intact. I’m betting it won’t be. Throughout her public life, Hillary’s highest poll results have happened when she’s been silent. That isn’t coincidental. Think of it from the perspective of this old cliché: Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

The times she’s gotten into the biggest trouble have been when she’s come out of hiding. During last spring’s book tour, which was supposed to be the launch of her presidential campaign, she stumbled badly and repeatedly until it got to the point that she had to leave the stage and cancel most of the book tour stops.

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This article isn’t the type of thing Hillary wanted to read a day after she tried putting her email controversy behind her:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the State Department to force the release of email correspondence and government documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

The legal action comes after repeated requests filed under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act have gone unfulfilled. They include one request AP made five years ago and others pending since the summer of 2013.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, comes a day after Clinton broke her silence about her use of a private email account while secretary of state. The FOIA requests and lawsuit seek materials related to her public and private calendars, correspondence involving longtime aides likely to play key roles in her expected campaign for president, and Clinton-related emails about the Osama bin Laden raid and National Security Agency surveillance practices.

First, the AP’s lawsuit is substantive. They first filed a FOIA request 5 years ago to find out about the Osama bin Laden raid and the NSA surveillance program. Next, it’s impossible for the Clintons to convince serious people that the AP is a card-carrying member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

The worst part about this for the Clintons is that a judge might demand to view her server. At that point, Hillary’s options are to surrender the server or to file an appeal. Anyone familiar with the Clintons knows that surrendering isn’t part of their DNA. Filing an appeal, though, is fraught with negatives. One definite downside filing an appeal is that it re-opens the wound. That automatically means more TV time for James Carville and Lanny Davis saying that this is old news and that Hillary followed the rules.

A court ruling that Hillary needs to turn over her server, though, isn’t the same as accusing a political enemy of waging political war against the Clintons. People don’t think that courts are partisan. They think of them as essentially being impartial.

The AP had sought Clinton-related correspondence before her use of a personal email account was publicly known, although Wednesday’s court filing alleges that the State Department is responsible for including emails from that account in any public records request.

“State’s failure to ensure that Secretary Clinton’s governmental emails were retained and preserved by the agency, and its failure timely to seek out and search those emails in response to AP’s requests, indicate at the very least that State has not engaged in the diligent, good-faith search that FOIA requires,” says AP’s legal filing.

Hillary’s unspoken response essentially was “Trust me. There’s nothing there.” Though younger voters aren’t familiar with an old Reaganism from the Soviet era, it’s still applicable:

“Trust but verify” seems like the perfect axiom for Hillary’s plea for us to trust her.

Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, predicted the State Department would speed up its review facing legal action, particularly given that Clinton has said that her email correspondence doesn’t include classified material. “When the government is under a court deadline, or really wants to review, they can whip through thousands of pages in a matter of weeks, which they should do here,” Blanton said.

The State Department will soon be motivated, thanks in large part to the AP’s lawsuit.

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Judge Napolitano highlighted Hillary’s twisted (corrupt?) logic in this interview with Megyn Kelly:

This question from the Clintons’ talking points is a reminder of the dreaded 1990s:

Q: Were any work items deleted in the process of producing the printed copies?
A: No

The tip is that the question uses the limiting term of “in the process of producing the printed copies.” Judge Napolitano rightly highlights the possibility that emails were deleted before producing “the printed copies.”

Further, printed copies of the emails aren’t the emails. Hillary doesn’t own the electronic communications because they’re government work product. Also, registry recording the emails sent or received by Hillary Clinton are owned by the federal government. Like the emails themselves, they have to be turned over to the federal government and maintained, too. The list of emails sent and received by Hillary Clinton is part of the electronic record.

Did Hillary give the State Department printed copies of her emails because the list of work-related emails stored on the hard drive doesn’t match the printed copies of the emails? At this point, we don’t know because we don’t have access to the Clintons’ server. Without that, we can’t prove if anything is missing. That is, unless one of Hillary’s confidantes steps forward and says that some emails are missing.

There’s only one way to know whether Hillary did everything that the Federal Records Act requires. Without looking through the server’s email register, it’s impossible to prove whether Hillary complied with federal law. It’s time to deploy a favorite Reaganism: Trust but verify.

UPDATE:
Check out Ron Fournier’s article on Hillary’s news conference.

George Will’s commentary sliced through Lanny Davis’s Orwellian spin:

Here’s part of Will’s exchange with Chris Wallace:

CHRIS WALLACE: How big a deal is this? And given the fact that we’re in March of 2015, how big a deal is this when we’re talking about an election that isn’t until November of 2016?

GEORGE WILL: It’s big because it is axiomatic that the worst political scandals are those that reinforce a pre-existing negative perception, which Kim [Strassel] has documented at length. The Clintons come trailing clouds of entitlement and concealment and legalistic, jesuitical reasonings, the kind of people who could find a loophole in a stop sign. Her obvious motive was to conceal. You conceal in order to control, and that’s what makes this literally, strictly speaking, Orwellian. In George Orwell’s novel “1984,” Oceania’s regime, the totalitarian regime, had an axiom: ‘He who controls the past controls the future, and he who controls the present controls the past.’ This is a way of controlling what we will know about the history of our country, and it is deeply sinister.

How much am I bid for another “It all depends on what the meaning of is is“?

Seriously, this begs the question of whether we’d like another 8 years of the Clintons and their endless supply of defenders, aka Clintonistas, appearing nightly on our news programs. Do we want another 8 years of a president who thinks that this nation’s laws don’t apply to her?

There’s no questioning the fact that Hillary doesn’t think the rules apply to her. Defenders like Lanny Davis will insist that the Clintons haven’t broken any laws. That’s probably true. It’s also irrelevant. The reason why people hate Washington, DC is because Washington writes the rules that we have to live by. Then it carves out the exceptions that exempt themselves from the laws they’ve forced us into obeying.

It shouldn’t be up to Hillary Clinton to determine which emails she turns over. It should be required that all communications, both hardcopy and electronic, be kept by the national archivist. Using a private email account should be dramatically restricted and frequently monitored. Further, there should be monthly audits of all political appointees’ email accounts. Finally, there should be stiff fines and/or jail times for political appointees who don’t comply with the new law.

Finally, it’s time for the American people to reject Hillary Clinton as the next president. She’s disgustingly dishonest, opposed to transparency and utterly lacking in accomplishments while in office. To paraphrase Carly Fiorina, flying is an activity, not an accomplishment.