Congressional Term Limits – 28th Admendment

After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, regarding term limits [emphasis mine] :

“I would say we have term limits now,” Mr. McConnell told reporters. “They’re called elections. And it will not be on the agenda in the Senate.”

I was moved to contact my Senators and urge them to support the  introduction and a roll call vote on term limits.

On November 10th, I contacted both Senators Rubio and Nelson urging them to support a Senate bill for term limits and to put pressure on Mitch McConnell to bring the bill to the floor for a roll call vote.

As of November 16th I have received an acknowledgement from Senator Rubio (11/10/16), promising a response soon and the following from Senator Nelson (11/15/16):

Dear Mr. Miller:

Thank you for contacting me regarding congressional term limits. I understand your frustration.

Currently, Members of Congress serve as long as the electorate desires. A constitutional amendment is required to place restrictions on congressional tenure. Many constitutional scholars argue that congressional term limits would diminish the prerogative of voters. I believe we must ensure that ultimate authority remains with American citizens.

I know that many Americans are concerned about the state of affairs in Washington and the challenges facing the nation. Please know that I am committed to doing my part to bring a measure of common sense to the deliberations in our nation’s capital.

I appreciate your letter and will keep your views in mind as I serve you in the Senate.

Sincerely,
Bill Nelson

I believe I can put Senator Nelson in the opposed to term limits, an unwilling to have it come to the floor for a roll call vote column.

The Legislature of Florida has gone on record, calling for an Article 5, constitution convention to consider term limits, via HM-417 which passed this year.

Here is my draft of text for a Congressional Term Limit Amendment, the limits can be argued.

Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of Senator for more than three terms (18 years) , and no person who has held the office of Senator, or acted as a Senator, for more than three years of a term to which some other person was elected Senator shall be elected to the office of the Senator more than twice. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of Senator when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of Senator, or acting as Senator, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of Senator or acting as a Senator during the remainder of such term.

Section 2. No person shall be elected to the office of Representative for more than five terms (10 years), and no person who has held the office of Representative, or acted as a Representative, for more than one year of a term to which some other person was elected Representative shall be elected to the office of the Representative for more than four terms.  But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of Representative when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of Representative, or acting as Representative, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of Representative or acting as a Representative during the remainder of such term.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states within seven years from the date of its submission to the states by the Congress.

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Cedar Hill, Texas Chili’s

Julieta Chiquillo, of the Dallas Morning News, wrote a story that is going viral on FaceBook.  It has:

  • Donald Trump supporter
  • Elderly white WW-II vet, likely 88+ years old.
  • Younger black vet enjoying free veteran’s day meal a Chili’s
  • Service dog
  • young Chili’s manager who takes away vet meal.

The highlights of the article:

For his free meal on Veterans Day, Ernest Walker picked the Chili’s Grill & Bar in Cedar Hill. The 47-year-old sat at a table and ordered a burger while his service dog, Barack, waited by his side.

As Walker tells it, an elderly white man wearing a Donald Trump shirt approached him and said that he was in Germany and that blacks weren’t allowed to serve there. Walker, who is black, says he was wearing his old Army uniform.

In a widely shared Facebook post, Walker wrote that the manager claimed another guest said Walker was not “a real soldier” because he was wearing his hat indoors. Walker said he provided a military ID at the manager’s request, along with his discharge papers.

“The guest also said your dog is not a service dog,” Walker says the manager told him.

“Barack had his red service vest on, and his certified service tags,” Walker wrote. “I was sitting for 35 minutes prior with Barack beforehand. At this point I was grossly offended, embarrassed dehumanized …

The manager grabs his leftovers as Walker talks over him.

“You have a great day,” the manager says before walking away with the to-go box.

There is no doubt that Walker deserves an apology from the manager.

But there are some inconsistencies concerning Mr. Walker’s military service:

Walker said he was stationed in Hawaii in the 25th Infantry Division during the late 1980s. He showed his discharge form to an NBC5 reporter at a press conference Sunday.

There is photo in the article of a young Walker, in uniform with the caption:

Served Proudly 25th Infantry Division Tropic Lightning I was only 16 and homeless I had ran away from home at 13 and slept in 23 different houses when a recruiter saw me sleeping behind a Kroger and I sign up and it SAVED MY LIFE !!!!!

If we assume he was 17 when he enlisted, minimum age for enlistment, with parental consent, there are three possibilities for an Army enlistment with an honorable discharge:

  1. 3 year enlistment with 3 years reserve obligation, served circa 1986 – 1989
  2. 6 or more years enlistment but less than 20 years, served circa 1986 – 2005
  3. 20+ years with full military retirement benefits, served circa 1986 – 2006-2016.

The masthead photo shows Walker, wearing the uniform he presumably wore to Chili’s, Barack, with his vest and a lady I presume to be Kim Cole, his attorney.  NB! her firm is listed on his “Likes” section of FB.

cole

Getting back to the inconsistency.  His uniform has the 25th Infantry insignia on the right sleeve, indicating former wartime service.  The 25th Infantry Division saw only limited service in Desert Storm and Iraq and Afghanistan in 1991 and 2004/5.

insignia

It is strange that a combat veteran would identify his military service as Hawaii in 1980’s.

I contacted Julieta Chiquillo and got this response:

Thank you for writing. We reached out to the Army on Sunday to verify Mr. Walker’s service. We’ll update the story when we hear back.

11/15/16 Update

The National Archives has confirmed that Mr. Walker served in the Army from 1986 to 1988. I’ve updated the story to reflect this information.

Julieta Chiquillo

WFAA – ABC 13 reports:

Walker returned to the Chili’s Saturday with a small group of supporters to protest the Ceder Hill franchise location.

“I am a military veteran,” he said. “I served, I served my country. I did not go and fight a war but I stood ready.”

Handling of Classified Information – Saucier vs Clinton

References:  Saucier’s Government Sentencing Memorandum
Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of
Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System

The Accusations:

Saucier – Took, using his cell phone, retained, and displayed to several friends six photographs of the interior of the nuclear attack submarine U.S.S. Alexandria which included images of equipment classified Confidential.  For this he was charged with violation of 18 U.S.C. § 793 Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information, subparagraph (e)

(e) Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

His phone was found “sitting on top of a heap of demolition trash in a dumpster that was flush with the ground” and subsequently turned over to NCIS.

After being interviewed by NCIS he destroyed his laptop computer, a camera and memory cards for the camera.  He also surreptitiously disposed of these devices.  For this he was charged with one count of obstruction of justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519.

Clinton – Maintained a private e-mail server which contained Classified Material and exposed the material to individuals not cleared for such information.  The server contained e-mails related to her official duties as Secretary of State and should have been turned over when she left office, IAW the Federal Records Act.

From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.

Seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails)

Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information. But even if information is not marked “classified” in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.

When confronted with her failure to comply with the Federal Records Act (FRA) she had her uncleared lawyers and staff determine which e-mails were subject to FRA.  These were returned to Department of State and the computer’s hard drive and all backup copies were destroyed.

If it is ever determined that any classified material was destroyed a charge of obstruction of justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519 will be appropriate.

This appears to be a violation of the same 18 U.S.C. § 793 Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information, but subparagraph (f) vice (e).

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Adjudication

Saucier – Under threat of 63 months in jail Saucier agreed to a plea agreement pleading guilty to one count of unauthorized retention of defense information in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 793(e), resulting in a one year jail sentence and three years probation.

Clinton – Comey concluded “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.”

Discussion

Harm to National Security

Saucier – Saucier took 12 photos of the engine room, of a 19 year old submarine, 6 six were subsequently classified confidential.  To wit:

1) photograph  of the Reactor Compartment as viewed through one of its two existing portal windows. The Reactor Compartment is the room within the engine room where the nuclear reactor is located that creates the power to operate and propel the submarine. The Reactor Compartment is normally closed and specific authorization is required to enter this compartment. The submarine has two portals through which the Reactor Compartment can be viewed. These portals are small, round yellow-tinted windows that are not designed to open and exist solely for viewing the Reactor Compartment.

2) photograph of the auxiliary steam propulsion control panel. The auxiliary panel is a secondary panel that controls the steam propulsion plant, which controls the overall propulsion of the boat. The information contained on this panel also appears in the maneuvering compartment, but with more detail.

3 & 4) photos that capture the entire maneuvering panel within the Maneuvering Compartment. The Maneuvering Compartment is the area where the nuclear, steam and electrical systems of the submarine are monitored and controlled. It is the nerve center of the vessel. The two photographs, viewed together, provide a panoramic view of the maneuvering panel and are so clear that a person could read the gauges and determine the condition of the submarine when the photos were taken. The location of the submarine could also be determined after examining the photographs. From these photographs an engineer could determine significant design characteristics of a U.S. nuclear submarine, including its reactor plant.

5 & 6) photos that depict a panoramic view of the Reactor Compartment and a close-up view of the reactor itself. These photographs provide substantial design information about the reactor core as well as the reactor plant. Contrary to the photograph of the Reactor Compartment taken in January, which was taken through the reactor compartment portal, these two photographs are crystal clear as they are taken from inside the Reactor Compartment itself. Moreover, the vantage point of the photographer shows that the defendant was in a corner of the compartment from which he could not be seen by those outside of the compartment.

These were disclosed to:

  1. individual who found the phone
  2. a retired Navy Chief, who recommended he contact NCIS
  3. four separate unrelated witnesses made sworn statements that not only had they seen the photographs, but that Saucier admitted to having taken them.
  4. a shipmate who was his roommate
  5. his wife
  6. a live-in girl friend after his divorce
  7. a shipmate who was present when Saucier took two of the pictures.

In their hardball case, put forward to get the plea, the government also implied that he may have passed the photos to a foreign agent, in the “more than an hour” he was separated from his wife on a trip to Mexico and had the phone with him.

Saba and Saucier went on a trip to Cancun in December 2009. The trip was Saucier’s idea and he brought his LG Phone with him on the trip. (The LG Phone did not have an international calling plan and could not make or receive calls while in Mexico; the couple also brought a camera with them.) Moreover, according to Saba, Saucier spent more than an hour away from her one day during the trip and took his LG Phone with him. According to Saba, she and Saucier had signed up for a parasailing trip, which was cancelled due to weather. Saucier left Saba for more than an hour to allegedly find an alternative group with whom to do the trip.

Note: anyone who has traveled to a foreign country knows that you can use a phone anytime you have a Wi-Fi connection.

It should also be noted that two fellow sailors were reprimanded and forfeited $560 in pay, for taking photographs in the engine room.  One was also demoted and the other passed over for next promotion.

Clinton – Had 2110 e-mails that were classified at levels up to Top Secret, Special Access Programs.  Of those 110 were determined to be classified at the time they were sent or received, 2000 were up-classified to confidential subsequent to being sent or received.

The FBI did not document the number of unauthorized individual who had access to this system, but there were at least four individual who had administrative privileges to the server, in addition to the lawyers and their staff.

There was at least one documented attempt to hack the server, but the FBI concluded

With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial e-mail accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.

Comey also commented:

None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government—or even with a commercial service like Gmail.

Unless all 2110 emails were sent by Secretary Clinton there should also be charges of violation of subparagraph (f) levied against the sender for knowingly sending classified material to an un-secure server.

Florida Early Vote as of 10/30/2016

Source data at myflorida.com

A total of 821,147 Republican vote-by-mail ballots have been returned compared to 755,712 Democratic and 372,619 other/npa ballots.  There are 473,675 Republican, 545,375 Democratic and 335,758 other/npa vote-by-mail ballots yet to be returned.

A t0tal of 629,613 Republicans have voted early compared to 671,602 Democrats and 311,799 other/npa.

Now for a little speculation, assume that all Republicans/Democrats/Others vote a party line ticket we would have:

Republican (821,147+629,613)                                1,450,760

Democrat (755,712+671,602)                                   1,427,314

Now lets assume that NPA split by the Real Clear Politic margin of 54% for HRC and 46% for DJT

NPA HRC [(323,467+274,412)*0.54]                          322,854

NPA DJT                                                                             275,024

Total   DJT 1,725,784, HRC 1,750,168

According to One Source Huma Abedin Routinely Sent Classified Information To Clinton.com, Yahoo.com And Shared Account With Husband Anthony Weiner.

Friday, October 28, 2016

This AM a letter from FBI Director James Comey to Senators; Richard M. Burr (R-NC), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Representatives; Devin Nunes (R-CA), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), John Culberson (R-TX) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), disclosed that the investigation into HRC’s e-mails reportedly found on computers of Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner.  He hinted that there may be more classified e-mails.

comey
Comey’s Letter

The probability of classified material on Abedin’s computer is supported by an FBI 3o2 in which Abedin reportedly told the FBI in an April interview:

“that she didn’t know how to consistently print documents or emails from her secure Dept. of State system. Instead, she would forward the sensitive emails to:

  • Her personal Clinton.com email address
  • Her personal yahoo.com address
  • Her email linked to husband Anthony Weiner

Abedin said, according to FBI documents, she would then access those email accounts via webmail from an unclassified computer system at the State Dept. and print the documents, many of which were classified and top secret, from the largely unprotected webmail portals.

Clinton did not have a computer in her office on Mahogany Row at the State Dept. so she was not able to read timely intelligence unless it was printed out for her, Abedin said. Abedin also said Clinton could not operate the secure State Dept. fax machine installed in her Chappaqua, NY home without assistance.”

If this is true, IMHO Huma should have resigned from HRC’s campaign staff and been prosecuted under 18 U.S. Code § 798.

The obvious speculation is the FBI is finding new, possibly marked classified documents that were on the Clinton.com server, and were deleted to cover up their existence.

This report was troubling because it did not link to source and in my experience they is no way to forward from a classified system to an unclassified system.  Further investigation, using other sources, not cited documents lead me to believe that Huma was forwarding from her unclassified DOS computer to her home emails and that it is unlikely that classified information was transmitted in this way.

We will have to wait for FBI to report if they found classified information on Huma’s systems, or find the FBI 302 cited to see if it really contained the words “secure Dept. of State system”.

A Fiscal Conservative’s Recommendation for Nassau County Florida Federal Ballot

HRC currently has a 1.6% lead in the RCP average of polls.

My ideal presidential candidate would pledge to veto any bill not fully funded in current and future dollars, no budget tricks, no paid for by reduced fraud & waste.  Paid for by cuts in existing programs or new taxes.  If the voters want/need a new program they should pay for it.

He/she would also support legislation to add a surtax to pay down the debt.

He/she would hold a weekly budget meeting with House/Senate leadership and  give a “fire side chat” weekly along with social media post, if congress had not passed a budget by July, pointing out what congress needs to do, and identifying any individuals, from either party, who is holding up the budget.

Presidential

The Real Clear Politics average of recent polls by Bloomberg (953 likely voters [LV]), Bay News 9/Survey USA (1251 LV), Remington Research (R)* (1646 LV), CBS News/YouGov (1042) & FOX 13/Opinion Savvy (538 LV) has HRC up by 1.6% with the trend moving towards a toss up.

rcp1
14 Day Trend

As a fiscal conservative I have no choice but to vote against HRC, and a vote for anyone other than DJT would be an effective vote for HRC leaving me in the position of voting for DJT and hoping that he will promote some fiscal conservative policies.

If you are a fiscal conservative you will follow my lead and vote Republican, even thought you find DJT personally distasteful.

If you can’t bring yourself to vote for DJT, then Gary Johnson would be my recommendation. Be sure an vote Republican for Senate and house, gridlock will be better than unfettered Progressive-ism.

Senate

Rubio currently has a RCP margin of 3.6% with a relative flat trend.  Given Marco’s historical attendance record and self professed intent not to return to Senate, I may sit this one out,  he appears to have a safe margin.

“If I decide the best place for me to serve America is to run for president, that’s what I’m going to do,” he told South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel in February 2015.
“And I’m not going to have an exit strategy premised on the idea that I’m going to pivot back to a Senate race. We have quality candidates in the state on the Republican side who could run and make great senators.”

So I will follow his lead, my vote doesn’t appear to make a difference, so it is OK if I miss this one.

Sept. 17, 2015, Fox & Friends: “I’ve never missed a vote where my vote would make a difference.”

House

RCP does not have polling data for my house district (4th), the ballot has John Rutherford (R), David E. Bruderly (D) & Gary L. Koniz (NPA).  John Rutherford is former Duval County Sheriff so I will assume he knows how to budget and appears to have conservative values.  Unfortunately his issues page does not address fiscal policy.

Why you should be skeptical of polls!

“Polling is an art, but it’s largely a scientific endeavour.”¹

In this election season there are more “scientific” opinion polls than you can shake a stick at, should you believe them?

Maybe, most sample about 1000 – 1500 individual.  How they select them is the first factor.  There are two dominate methods:

  1. Random digit dialing sample of landlines – used by organizations such as Pew Research Center
  2. Registration based sampling uses voter registrations or sometime list of voters in a prior election.

The first polls people who may not be eligible to vote, while the second, if it uses up to date voter registrations, at least polls those who are eligible to vote.

Disregard any nationwide poll, we don’t elect based on a nationwide vote, it comes down to the electoral college.  If you don’t see a map and a count of electoral vote, ignore it.

Disregard any two candidate polls, there are 4 or more candidates on the ballot.

Understand margin of error, if it is given as 2% each individual’s results can change by as much as 2% thus 48 to 52 with a 2% margin of error could be 46 – 50 to 50 – 54, a tie or a 8% blow out.

Real Clear Politics does an average of poll, thus no margin of error is given.  Give their site a visit, have a look around.

rcp Focus on:

  1. Electoral College – RCP Electoral Map
  2. Your state if it is a Battleground state.
¹ Michael Link, president and chief executive of Abt SRBI Polling, in Nature Magazine, October 19, 2016