2018-11-14 05:15:00

America needs single-payer health care, say progressives. That’s a system where government pays doctors and hospitals, and no sick person has to worry about having enough money to pay for care. After all, they say, “Health care is a “right!”

“Who pays for it?” asks Chris Pope, “And that’s really not a rights question.”

Pope studies health care systems for the Manhattan Institute. In my newest video, Pope explains that although many Americans think that Canada and most of Europe have single-payer systems, that’s not really true.

“In Germany, employers provide most of the health care…just as they do in the United States,” he says. France and Switzerland also offer multiple options, public and private, and most people buy private health insurance. Some of the Swiss government subsidies are similar to those of Obamacare.

But Canada, England, Norway, Cuba, and a few other countries do have genuine single-payer. I’m constantly told that it works well—people get good care and never have to worry about a bill. They spend less on health care and live longer.

Pope says that claim is naive.

They do live longer in many of those countries, but it’s not because they get superior health care; it’s because fewer of them are fat; fewer crash cars; and they shoot each other less often. “Take out (obesity), car accidents and gun violence, the difference in life expectancy disappears entirely,” Pope says.

Also, government-run systems save money by freeloading off American innovation. American drug companies, funded by American customers, fund most of the world’s research and development of pharmaceuticals. New drugs and devices are expensive, so oftentimes in Britain, says Pope, “whenever a new drug comes on the market that can save lives, the government just doesn’t have the funds to pay for it.”

Patients, accustomed to accepting whatever government hands out, don’t even know about advances available elsewhere.

Single-payer systems also save money by rationing care. Hence the long waiting times for treatments declared “nonessential” in Canada, Britain, and, for that matter, at American veterans hospitals. The VA’s problems are similar to what’s happened in Britain’s National Health Service.

“In England,” says Pope, “rarely a week goes by without a crisis or another in the health care system being part of the news. This year, there was a crisis in emergency room care—people left in hallways for hours and hours.”

Critics of U.S. health care say waiting in line is better than getting no care, which is what happens to Americans who cannot afford to pay.

But is that true? Pope points out that America already has “over a trillion dollars a year in public spending, really, to provide health care to people who don’t afford it.” Also, American emergency rooms treat anyone who comes in.

By contrast, single-payer means taxpayers’ funds are spent on everyone—even people who can afford to pay for their own care. That means there’s less left for the truly needy. The affluent often escape government’s waiting lines and treatment limits by buying private health insurance.

In Britain, millions of people purchase private insurance, says Pope.

At least they still have that option.

In America, Sen. Bernie Sanders says gleefully that he wants to put private insurance companies “out of business.”

Hearing that, Pope replied, “makes you wonder whether this is more about spite than it is about improving people’s health.”

All of this doesn’t mean the system in the U.S. should stay as it is.

Government already does too much here. People say America has free-market health care, but we don’t, and we haven’t since World War II. Government and government-subsidized insurance companies currently spend most of America’s health dollars. If politicians here really want to improve things, they should try letting the market function.

Let hospitals compete. Right now, state laws won’t even allow new private hospitals unless a regional board—often made up of people affiliated with already-existing hospitals—declares a “need” for a new one and it is registered with the American Hospital Association.

Let insurance companies compete for your business. American tax laws push workers to employer-funded coverage. Equalize the tax law and more individuals would pick the coverage best suited for them.

Pope says, “If we move towards a health care system where individuals were more responsible for shopping around…people would choose a better system.”

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[Ed. note: Judge Napolitano’s choices are marked with italics.]

1) The Republican nominee for president in 2016 will be…

a. Donald Trump by unanimous acclamation of the Republican National Convention.
b. Ted Cruz by unanimous acclamation of the convention.
c. Mitt Romney after a contested, bitter, brokered convention.
d. none of the above.

2) The Democratic nominee for president in 2016 will be…

a. Hillary Clinton.
b. Bernie Sanders.
c. Al Gore after a contested, bitter, brokered Democratic National Convention.
d. not Hillary Clinton, because she will be indicted by a federal grand jury for various crimes.

3) The voters will elect in a landslide…

a. whoever promises to give them the biggest piece of the federal pie.
b. whoever scares them the most.
c. whoever comes across as most faithful to the Constitution.
d. a sleeper candidate not yet on the scene.

4) The 2016 Republican platform will promise… 

a. to eradicate the Islamic State group by using ground troops and fighting an all-out war.
b. to replace Obamacare with a lighter, easier version of it.
c. to make abortion illegal, except for in cases of rape and incest.
d. to bring the troops home and let the Russians fight the Islamic State.

5) The 2016 Democratic platform will promise… 

a. a 2016 version of “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.”
b. free health care for those who want it.
c. criminalizing hate speech.
d. all of the above.

6) The Super Bowl will be won by… 

a. the Carolina Panthers.
b. the New England Patriots, but only by cheating.
c. the New York Jets after the greatest comeback in NFL history.
d. none of the above.

7) The World Series will be won by…

a. the New York Mets.
b. the San Francisco Giants.
c. the Boston Red Sox, but only after they acquire A-Rod from the Yankees.
d. none of the above.

8) In 2016, climate change…

a. will be embraced by the Republican Party in a dramatic turnabout.
b. will be defined as an article of faith by Pope Francis.
c. will be exposed as a fraud.
d. will leave the public marketplace of ideas.

9) The Supreme Court…

a. will invalidate all spying without a warrant based on individualized suspicion.
b. will invalidate race as a factor to be taken into account by government-owned schools.
c. will continue to expand First Amendment rights.
d. will finally invalidate Obamacare.

10) Congress will…

a. continue to finance the federal government by borrowing money.
b. will let President Barack Obama declare war.
c. will impeach President Obama for refusing to enforce federal law.
d. do none of the above.

11) Pope Francis will…

a. permit divorced and remarried Roman Catholics to receive the Blessed Sacrament.
b. forgive everyone’s sins during the 2016 Year of Mercy.
c. remove the requirement for a miracle as a condition for declaring someone to be a saint.
d. resign and become a simple parish priest in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

12) The Hollywood industry will…

a. offer movies directly to consumers.
b. suffer its most crippling actor strike in its history.
c. continue its leftward view of human existence.
d. leave California because of the drought.

13) The highest taxes in the United States will be in…

a. New Jersey, where they are now.
b. New York City because Mayor Bill de Blasio will tax the rich at 50 percent of income.
c. in California.
d. none of the above.

14) One year from today…

a. Hillary Clinton will be in prison.
b. Donald Trump will be selling pencils.
c. Chris Christie will have been in the Olympics.
d. the president-elect will be someone who did not participate in any 2015 presidential debates.

15) One year from today…

a. the government will be able to take any property from you that it wants.
b. the Environmental Protection Agency will be able to regulate your use of a lawn mower and a rake.
c. the National Security Agency will still be able to capture your keystrokes on your computer in real time.
d. none of the above will be true.

16) In 2016, President Obama will announce…

a. that he will become the president of the University of Chicago.
b. that he has lost his license to practice law.
c. that he and Michelle Obama will soon divorce.
d. that he was not born in the United States.

17) In 2016…

a. Fox News Channel will surpass the broadcast networks in audience share.
b. Bill O’Reilly will run for public office and lose.
c. A-Rod will get sexual reassignment surgery.
d. Madonna will enter a convent.

18) By the end of 2016…

a. the Islamic State will be dead and gone.
b. the Islamic State will have signed a peace treaty with the West.
c. Vladimir Putin will be out of office.
d. none of the above will have happened.

19) One year from today…

a. gasoline will cost less than $1 a gallon.
b. a Big Mac will cost $10.
c. half the newspapers presently in the country will be out of business.
d. Apple will be producing an iPhone that it claims can contact dead relatives.

20) Ultimately…

a. it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
b. that government is best which governs least.
c. taxation is theft.
d. all of the above are true.

My choices: 1d, 2d, 3b, 4a, 5b, 6c, 7d, 8b, 9a, 10a, 11a, 12a, 13a, 14a, 15d, 16c, 17a, 18d, 19c, 20d.

COPYRIGHT 2015 ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO || DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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2018-11-20 15:00:00

Our government says e-cigarettes and vaping are the latest “epidemic” among teens. So the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it will restrict them. Cities across the country are banning e-cigarette use in public.

But e-cigarettes help smokers quit traditional cigarettes. Michelle Minton of the Competitive Enterprise Institute tells John Stossel that people have misconceptions about e-cigarettes. “It’s about 95 percent less harmful than a normal traditional cigarette,” she says.

That’s because e-cigarettes let people get a hit of nicotine without actually burning tobacco. The burning of paper and tobacco leaves is what makes cigarettes so dangerous.

Minton admits that the nicotine in e-cigarettes is addictive. But “on the spectrum of drugs that you can become addicted to, nicotine and caffeine are very similar to each other.”

The Surgeon General says there are other health risks to vaping: “Besides nicotine, e-cigarettes can contain harmful and potentially harmful ingredients.”

Despite the dangers, researchers seem to agree that e-cigarettes are substantially less dangerous than combustible cigarettes.

Other studies concluded that long-term e-cigarette use is “associated with substantially reduced levels of measured carcinogens and toxicants relative to cigarette-only smoking.”

Nevertheless, the FDA threatens to crack down to discourage kids from using e-cigarettes.

Minton says that is a bad idea: “Do we want children to become addicted to anything? No….But keeping a small percent of teenagers from trying e-cigarettes is not worth sacrificing adults whose lives could be saved.”

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“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” —Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

In 2008, the Supreme Court laid to rest the once-simmering dispute over the meaning of the Second Amendment. In an opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court articulated the modern existence of the ancient right to keep and bear arms as a pre-political right.

A pre-political right is one that pre-exists the political order that was created to protect it. Thus, the court held, the origins of this right are the ancient and persistent traditions of free peoples and their natural inclinations to self-defense.

The court also characterized the right as fundamental. That puts it in the highest category of rights protected by the Bill of Rights. Though the origins of this right are from an era well before guns existed, the textual language in the amendment—”Arms”—makes clear, the court ruled, the intention of the Framers that its continuing purpose should be to recognize the right of people to keep and use the same level of technologically available arms that might be used against them.

That, in a nutshell, is the history, theory, and purpose of the amendment as the modern Supreme Court has found them to be. But as we have seen, the constitutional guarantees that were written to keep the government from interfering with our rights are only as viable as is the fidelity to the Constitution of those in whose hands we have reposed it for safekeeping. In our system, principal among those are the hands of the president; and sadly, today we have a president seriously lacking in this fidelity. And that lack is salient when it comes to the Second Amendment.

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama announced that he will sign executive orders that expand the size and scope of federal monitoring of the acquisition and use of guns—traditionally a matter left to the states—and he will interpret the laws in novel ways, establish rules and impose obligations that Congress rejected, and prosecute those who defy his new system.

The president has very little room to issue executive orders on guns because the congressional legislation in this area is so extensive, detailed, and clear. In addition to ordering your doctor to report to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) any mention you may make to the doctor of guns in your home, the president has decreed on his own and against the articulated will of Congress the obligation of all people who transfer any gun to any other person to obtain a federal gun dealer license. This is among the most cumbersome and burdensome licenses to obtain.

He has also decreed that any licensee who fails to perform a background check on the person to whom the licensee has transferred a gun shall be guilty of a felony. Give a BB gun to your nephew on his 16th birthday without a federal license and you can go to prison.

Can the president do that? In a word: No.

Under our system of government, only Congress can write federal laws and establish crimes. The president is on particularly thin constitutional ice here because his allies in Congress have proposed this very procedure as an amendment to existing law, and Congress has expressly rejected those proposals.

The president is without authority to negate the congressional will, and any attempt to do so will be invalidated by the courts. As well, by defining what an occasional seller is, beyond the congressional definition or the plain meaning of the words, the president is essentially interpreting the law, a job reserved for the courts.

By requiring physicians to report conversations with their patients about guns to the DHS, the president will be encouraging them to invade the physician-patient privilege; and I suspect that most doctors will ignore him.

Under the Constitution, fundamental liberties (speech, a free press, worship, self-defense, travel, and privacy, to name a few) are accorded the highest protection from governmental intrusion. One can only lose a fundamental right by intentionally giving it up or via due process (a jury trial resulting in a conviction for criminal behavior). The president—whose support for the right to keep and bear arms is limited to the military, the police and his own heavily armed body guards—is happy to begin a slippery slope down into the dark hole of totalitarianism, whereby he or a future president can negate liberties if he hates or fears the exercising of them.

We still have a Constitution in America. Under the Constitution, Congress writes the laws, the president enforces them, and the courts interpret them. The president can no more write his own laws or impose his own interpretations upon pre-existing laws than Congress or the courts can command the military.

As troubling as this turn of events is, it is not surprising. The president is a progressive, and the ideology of progressivism is anathema to self-help or individualism. He really believes that the government can care for us better than we can care for ourselves.

Yet he ignores recent history. Any attempt to make it more difficult for people to keep and bear arms not only violates the fundamental liberty of those people but also jeopardizes the safety of us all. Add to this the progressive tendency to use government to establish no-gun zones and you have the recipe for disaster we have recently witnessed. All of the recent mass killings in America—from Columbine to San Bernardino—have occurred in no-gun zones, where crazies and terror-minded murderers can shoot with abandon.

That is, until someone arrives with a gun and shoots back. Then the killer flees or is injured or dies— and the killing stops.

COPYRIGHT 2016 ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO | DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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2018-11-20 15:00:00

Our government says e-cigarettes and vaping are the latest “epidemic” among teens. So the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it will restrict them. Cities across the country are banning e-cigarette use in public.

But e-cigarettes help smokers quit traditional cigarettes. Michelle Minton of the Competitive Enterprise Institute tells John Stossel that people have misconceptions about e-cigarettes. “It’s about 95 percent less harmful than a normal traditional cigarette,” she says.

That’s because e-cigarettes let people get a hit of nicotine without actually burning tobacco. The burning of paper and tobacco leaves is what makes cigarettes so dangerous.

Minton admits that the nicotine in e-cigarettes is addictive. But “on the spectrum of drugs that you can become addicted to, nicotine and caffeine are very similar to each other.”

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The federal criminal investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s failure to secure state secrets was ratcheted up earlier this week, and at the same time, the existence of a parallel criminal investigation of another aspect of her behavior was made known. This is the second publicly revealed expansion of the FBI’s investigations in two months.

I have argued for two months that Clinton’s legal woes are either grave or worse than grave. That argument has been based on the hard, now public evidence of her failure to safeguard national security secrets and the known manner in which the Department of Justice addresses these failures.

The failure to safeguard state secrets is an area of the law in which the federal government has been aggressive to the point of being merciless. State secrets are the product of members of the intelligence community’s risking their lives to obtain information.

Before she was entrusted with any state secrets—indeed, on her first full day as secretary of state—Clinton received instruction from FBI agents on how to safeguard them; and she signed an oath swearing to comply with the laws commanding the safekeeping of these secrets. She was warned that the failure to safeguard secrets—known as espionage—would most likely result in aggressive prosecution.

In the cases of others, those threats have been carried out. The Obama Department of Justice prosecuted a young sailor for espionage for sending a selfie to his girlfriend, because in the background of the photo was a view of a sonar screen on a submarine. It prosecuted a heroic Marine for espionage for warning his superiors of the presence of an al-Qaida operative in police garb inside an American encampment in Afghanistan, because he used a Gmail account to send the warning.

It also prosecuted Gen. David Petraeus for espionage for keeping secret and top-secret documents in an unlocked drawer in his desk inside his guarded home. It alleged that he shared those secrets with a friend who also had a security clearance, but it dropped those charges.

The obligation of those to whom state secrets have been entrusted to safeguard them is a rare area in which federal criminal prosecutions can be based on the defendant’s negligence. Stated differently, to prosecute Clinton for espionage, the government need not prove that she intended to expose the secrets.

The evidence of Clinton’s negligence is overwhelming. The FBI now has more than 1,300 protected emails that she received on her insecure server and sent to others—some to their insecure servers. These emails contained confidential, secret, or top-secret information, the negligent exposure of which is a criminal act.

One of the top-secret emails she received and forwarded contained a photo taken from an American satellite of the North Korean nuclear facility that detonated a device just last week. Because Clinton failed to safeguard that email, she exposed to hackers and thus to the North Koreans the time, place, and manner of American surveillance of them. This type of data is in the highest category of protected secrets.

Last weekend, the State Department released two smoking guns—each an email from Clinton to a State Department subordinate. One instructed a subordinate who was having difficulty getting a document to Clinton that she had not seen by using a secure State Department fax machine to use an insecure fax machine. The other instructed another subordinate to remove the “confidential” or “secret” designation from a document Clinton had not seen before sending it to her. These two emails show a pattern of behavior utterly heedless of the profound responsibilities of the secretary of state, repugnant to her sworn agreement to safeguard state secrets, and criminal at their essence.

Also this past weekend, my Fox News colleagues Katherine Herridge and Pamela Browne learned from government sources that the FBI is investigating whether Clinton made any decisions as secretary of state to benefit her family foundation or her husband’s speaking engagements. If so, this would be profound public corruption.

This investigation was probably provoked by several teams of independent researchers—some of whom are financial experts and have published their work—who have been investigating the Clinton Foundation for a few years. They have amassed a treasure-trove of documents demonstrating fraud and irregularities in fundraising and expenditures, and they have shown a pattern of favorable State Department treatment of foreign entities coinciding with donations by those entities to the Clinton Foundation and their engaging former President Bill Clinton to give speeches.

There are now more than 100 FBI agents investigating Hillary Clinton. Her denial that she is at the core of their work is political claptrap with no connection to reality. It is inconceivable that the FBI would send such vast resources in the present dangerous era on a wild-goose chase.

It is the consensus of many of us who monitor government behavior that the FBI will recommend indictment. That recommendation will go to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who, given Clinton’s former status in the government and current status in the Democratic Party, will no doubt consult the White House.

If a federal grand jury were to indict Clinton for espionage or corruption, that would be fatal to her political career.

If the FBI recommends indictment and the attorney general declines to do so, expect Saturday Night Massacre-like leaks of draft indictments, whistleblower revelations, and litigation, and FBI resignations, led by the fiercely independent and intellectually honest FBI Director James Comey himself.

That would be fatal to Clinton’s political career, as well.

COPYRIGHT 2016 ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO | DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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2018-11-21 05:01:00

When we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I will give thanks for property rights.

Property rights allow each individual or family to do what we want with our small piece of the world without having to answer to the whole community.

On Thanksgiving, we’ll probably be told to think of America as one big family—and for some people, government is the head of that family. That idea warms the hearts of America’s new “democratic socialists.”

But thinking like that nearly destroyed this nation before it began.

The Pilgrims at Plymouth didn’t share a feast with Indians after arriving in 1620 because America was so filled with bounty.

Instead, the Pilgrims nearly starved to death. They’d tried to farm collectively—the entire community owning all the land and sharing everything, like socialists. Gov. William Bradford wrote, “By the spring, our food stores were used up and people grew weak and thin. Some swelled with hunger.”

Then, writes Bradford, “After much debate (I) assigned each family a parcel of land… (T)his had very good success, because it made every hand industrious.”

Crop production increased because workers reaped direct benefits of their own effort. They stopped hoping someone else would do the hard work.

It’s not that the Pilgrims were lazy or weak. They’d risked their lives to cross an ocean to try to build a community from scratch. But in tiny, often imperceptible ways, we each do a less efficient job, and pay less attention to the task at hand, if we think the whole community is responsible for that task.

The Pilgrims were the same people after their switch from collective to individual farming—from socialism to capitalism, as it were—but after the switch, they thrived. That led to the first Thanksgiving in 1623.

The bounty for which we give thanks this week was made possible by that early course correction to private property.

I worry that, 400 years later, we’ve turned into ingrates. Instead of celebrating individual producers, Americans give thanks to a gigantic government for handouts.

It’s not just the poor who get a helping hand. Middle- and even upper-class Americans have been taught to expect government to guarantee health insurance programs, dispense our retirement income, run our schools, and provide security.

We do things as a single, unanimous unit that could be done better by private individuals and the voluntary groups we form. Why?

I think the idea of everyone pulling together under the warm umbrella of wise political leaders, as if all 330 million Americans sat around the same dinner table, makes people feel cozy and safe.

But it’s a dangerous illusion.

It’s hard enough to get a real family to agree on things for the holidays. Children fight. Tastes differ. Not everyone wants to hear the same music.

On a small scale like that, we know each other well enough to forgive slights such as an uncle knocking over the gravy boat or the kids playing loud music.

But trying to do that with 330 million strangers is a formula for disaster.

The result of pretending we’re one big household that can manage everything collectively is more than $20 trillion of debt and a million complicated laws. Then we fight about who should be in charge of it all.

Collective farming nearly starved the Pilgrims. It also starved tens of millions in the Soviet Union and in Communist China. And it’s not just a farming problem.

Doing anything collectively, especially if you do it involuntarily, is a bad, inefficient idea.

Government can force everyone into the same centrally-dictated plan, but in doing so it stifles individual initiative and drive. Economists call it the “tragedy of the commons,” and it happens whether the individual’s goal is to make food, build houses, or invent a better running shoe.

This holiday, I’ll be thankful that the Pilgrims were smart enough to stop doing things the hard way. Modern America should learn from that.

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Hillary Clinton’s nightmare is not the sudden resurgence of Bernie Sanders. It is the fidelity to the rule of law of the FBI.

The recent revelations of the receipt by Clinton of a Special Access Program email, as well as cut and pasted summaries of state secrets on her server and on her BlackBerry, nearly guarantee that the FBI will recommend that the Department of Justice convene a grand jury and seek her indictment for espionage. Here is the backstory.

It seems that every week, more information comes to light about Clinton’s grave legal woes. Her worries are in two broad categories: One is her well-documented failure to safeguard state secrets and the other is her probable use of her position as secretary of state to advance financially her husband’s charitable foundation. The FBI is currently and aggressively investigating both. What I will describe below is in the state secrets category. It is apparently not new to the FBI, but it is new to the public.

Among the data that the FBI either found on the Clinton server or acquired from the State Department via its responses to Freedom of Information Act requests is a top-secret email that has been denominated Special Access Program (SAP). Top secret is the highest category of state secrets (the other categories are confidential and secret), and of the sub-parts of top secret, SAP is the most sensitive.

SAP is clothed in such secrecy that it cannot be received or opened accidentally. Clinton—who ensured all of her governmental emails came to her through her husband’s server, a nonsecure nongovernmental venue—could only have received or viewed it from that server after inputting certain codes. Those codes change at unscheduled times, such that she would need to inquire of them before inputting them.

The presence of the SAP-denominated email on her husband’s server, whether opened or not, shows a criminal indifference to her lawful obligation to maintain safely all state secrets entrusted to her care. Yet, Clinton has suggested that she is hopelessly digitally inept and may not have known what she was doing. This constitutes an attempted plausible deniability to the charge of failing to safeguard state secrets.

But in this sensitive area of the law, plausible deniability is not an available defense; no judge would permit the assertion of it in legal filings or in a courtroom, and no lawyer would permit a client to make the assertion. This is so for two reasons. First, failure to safeguard state secrets is a crime for which the government need not prove intent. The failure can be done negligently. Thus, plausible deniability is actually an admission of negligence and, hence in this case, an admission of guilt, not a denial.

Second, Clinton signed an oath under penalty of perjury on Jan. 22, 2009, her first full day as secretary of state. In that oath, she acknowledged that she had received a full FBI briefing on the lawfully required care and keeping of state secrets. Her briefing and her oath specified that the obligation to safeguard state secrets is absolute—it cannot be avoided or evaded by forgetfulness or any other form of negligence, and that negligence can bring prosecution.

What type of data is typically protected by the SAP denomination? The most sensitive under the sun—such as the names of moles (spies working for more than one government) and their American handlers, the existence of black ops (illegal programs that the U.S. government carries out, of which it will deny knowledge if exposed), codes needed to access state secrets, and ongoing intelligence gathering projects.

The crime here occurs when SAPs are exposed by residing in a nonsecure venue; it does not matter for prosecution purposes whether they fell into the wrong hands.

Clinton’s persistent mocking of the seriousness of all this is the moral equivalent of taunting alligators before crossing a stream. SAPs are so sensitive that most of the FBI agents who are investigating Clinton lack the security clearances needed to view the SAP found among her emails. Most FBI agents have never seen a SAP.

Shortly after the presence of the SAP-denominated email was made known, the State Department released another email Clinton failed to erase wherein she instructed her subordinates to take state secrets from a secure venue, to cut and paste and summarize them, and send them to her on her nonsecure venue. Such an endeavor, if carried out, is a felony—masking and then not safeguarding state secrets. Such a command to subordinates can only come from a criminal mind.

Equally as telling is a little-known 2013 speech that recently surfaced given by one of Clinton’s former subordinates. The aide revealed that Clinton and her staff regularly engaged in digital conversations about state secrets on their BlackBerries. This is not criminal if the BlackBerries were government-issued and secured. Clinton’s was neither. It was purchased at her instructions off the shelf by one of her staff.

Can anyone doubt that Clinton has failed to safeguard state secrets? If her name were Hillary Rodham instead of Hillary Rodham Clinton, she’d have been indicted months ago.

What remains of the rule of law in America? The FBI will soon tell us.

COPYRIGHT 2016 ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO || DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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2018-11-27 14:30:00

Socialism is now cool in some circles. Newly elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praises “Democratic Socialism” and told comedian Stephen Colbert, “in a modern, moral and wealthy society, no person in America should be too poor to live.”

Colbert ate it up. “Seems pretty simple!” he replied, to cheers from his audience.

But socialism shouldn’t be cool, Gloria Alvarez reported recently, noting that it wrecks economies. In this video she points out that it also leads to government using force against its own citizens.

Regimes that call themselves socialist have killed millions of people. Tens of millions were killed in the USSR. Same in China. Millions also died in Cambodia and North Korea, which claimed to follow socialist ideals.

Today’s socialists say that those countries didn’t practice “real” socialism. They promise that their experiment will be different, and better. “Democratic socialists” like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez certainly promise to avoid anything like the horrors of previous self-described socialist governments.

But Alvarez says that socialism, whatever the variant, tends to turn out the same way. Right now, people die in Latin American countries that fell for socialism’s promises.

In Cuba, because government restricts private property and trade, Cubans trade on the black market to survive. Sometimes the government violently cracks down on them.

Alvarez interviews Ibis Valdes, who says: “my father was a political prisoner [in Cuba] for almost a decade … because in his 20s he sold soaps and perfumes and did not want to relinquish all of his profits to the government.”

Michel Ibarra, who escaped Cuba, says: “Socialism is the perfect excuse for someone who wants to rule an authoritarian regime.”

Political violence in the name of socialism also occurred in Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Alvarez interviews Ramón Muchacho, a former mayor of a section of Venezuela’s capital city, Caracas. He tell Alvarez that he was pressured by socialist leaders to use his police force to brutally suppress protests against the regime. Because he refused, he was threatened with jail. He fled to America.

“It seems to me we are not able to learn,” Ramón Muchacho tells Alvarez. “[Politicians] will always be dreaming about the future and never delivering. People keep falling in love with that kind of crap.”

Alvarez hopes that some will learn. Gustavo Tefel, who fled violence in Nicaragua tells her that he did.

“I don’t think [people] realize how deep socialism is involved in all [the violence]…America is a great country. People really don’t appreciate it much…they should travel a little more to poor countries to really get a feeling for what they have here in the United States. Just look around, you know, and really get some knowledge.”

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The views expressed in this video are solely those of John Stossel; his independent production company, Stossel Productions; and the people he interviews. The claims and opinions set forth in the video and accompanying text are not necessarily those of Reason.

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This has not been a good week for Hillary Clinton. She prevailed over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses by less than four-tenths of one percent of all votes cast, after having led him in polls in Iowa at one time by 40 percentage points. In her statement to supporters, standing in front of her gaunt and listless looking husband, she was not able to mouth the word “victory” or any of its standard variants. She could barely hide her contempt for the Iowa Democrats who deserted her.

Sanders isn’t even a Democrat. According to official Senate records, he is an “Independent Socialist” who votes to organize the Senate with the Democrats, and sits on the Senate floor with them. Clinton, of course, is the heiress to the mightiest Democratic political apparatus in the land. Hence the question: What do the Iowa Democrats know that caused thousands of them to flee from her?

They know she is a crook.

On the Friday before Monday’s caucuses, the State Department, which Clinton headed in President Obama’s first term, revealed that it discovered 22 top-secret emails on the private computer server to which Clinton diverted all her governmental email traffic. This acknowledgement marks a radical departure from previous State Department pronouncements and is a direct repudiation of Clinton’s repeated assertions.

She has repeatedly asserted that she neither sent nor received anything “marked classified” using her private email server. The State Department, until last Friday, has backed that up by claiming that while the substance of at least 1,300 of her emails was confidential, secret or top secret, they were not “marked” as such when she dealt with them.

These are word games. First, under the law, nothing is “marked classified.” The markings are “confidential” or “secret” or “top secret,” and Clinton knows this. Second, under the law, it is not the markings on the email headers that make the contents state secrets; it is the vulnerability of the contents of the emails to impair the government’s national security mission that rationally characterizes them as secrets. Clinton knows this because she signed an oath on Jan. 22, 2009, recognizing that state secrets retain their secrecy status whether “marked or unmarked” by any of the secrecy designations. She knows as well that, under the law, the secretary of state is charged with knowing state secrets when she comes upon them.

Yet, in order to further Clinton’s deceptive narrative, the State Department has consistently claimed that it retroactively marked at least 1,300 emails as state secrets. It did this until last Friday.

Last Friday, the State Department revealed that 22 emails it found on Clinton’s private server were in fact top secret, and were in fact marked top secret, and were in fact sent to or received from President Obama. This is a revelation that substantially undermines Clinton’s political arguments and is catastrophic to her legal position.

Politically, Clinton has lost the final argument in her public arsenal—that she did not recognize top-secret data unless it was marked as top secret. She has also lost the ability to claim, as she has repeatedly, that she neither sent nor received anything marked classified, as meaningless as that phrase is.

Legally, the ground under Clinton continues to crumble. The more she denies, the more she admits. How can that be? That is so because her denials are essentially an admission of ignorance, forgetfulness, or negligence, and, under the law, these are not defenses to the failure to safeguard state secrets entrusted to the secretary of state. They are, instead, recognition of that failure.

Late Monday afternoon, before the Iowa caucuses convened and after Clinton’s political folks had lobbied their former colleagues at the State Department to re-characterize what they found and revealed late last week, the State Department reversed itself and claimed that the 22 emails were not “marked” top secret. It was too little and too late. The cat was out of the bag and Iowa Democrats knew it. Few really believed that the State Department would state publicly that the 22 emails were top secret and then state publicly that they were not, without a political motivation and irrespective of the truth. All this is infuriating to the FBI, which perceives these word games as mocking its fidelity to the rule of law.

Sanders’ presence in the Democratic primaries will continue to give Democrats who mistrust Clinton a safe political haven. But he is not Clinton’s real worry. Her real worry is an FBI committed to the rule of law and determined to fortify national security by gathering the evidence of her mishandling state secrets.

Let’s be as blunt about this as the FBI will be: Causing state secrets to reside in a nonsecure, nongovernmental venue, whether done intentionally or negligently, constitutes the crime of espionage.

And there is more. When asked about the consequences of Clinton’s brazen exposure of state secrets to anyone who knows how to hack into a nonsecure computer, an intelligence operative winced as if in pain when he remarked that the nation’s then chief diplomat surely compromised the “sources, methods, and lives” of her colleagues. Even Democrats who see Clinton as a symbol of their long-time wish for a progressive female in the Oval Office are beginning to recognize that anyone who has jeopardized American lives for political gain is unworthy of their votes, unworthy of their trust, and unworthy of public office.

COPYRIGHT 2016 ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO | DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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