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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 13 January 2023 at 7:26pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I'm sure without even looking at details almost anything Biden does would rise to the level of impeachment for the Republican congress. Bill Clinton lying about a dumb private affair of his did after all.

This is really pretty bad though, I hoped at first it wouldn't be, the papers would be minor, similar to Hilary's own emails, with a very short term classified rating long over, but they are not, and now found in two locations. Consolation in that it didn't come out before mid-term voting I guess. Biden as much as he is admirable and competent in many ways (wish Ukraine had listened to him earlier) has a reputation for being loose and careless in other ways. He has tightened up as Pres but this was back in his VP days. Definitely a team with unforced errors compared to Obama's.

Of course this makes it much harder now to apply consequences to Trump's mishandling which was obviously deliberate, may have had personal gain motives against the country's interests, and which were lied about enormously multiple times. Still, it sounds like though far fewer there were some real and still classified documents Biden had retained. I expect and of course hope he survives this as I don't see too many others around as capable of the top job.
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Jason Czeskleba
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Posted: 14 January 2023 at 5:48am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

 John Wickett wrote:
The problem is that Biden, Clinton, Trump, etc., are all being treated more favorably than an ordinary person would, after violating the protocol for handling classified information.
The other problem is that all of these people have treated classified information carelessly, and potentially compromised sensitive information.
Clinton and Trump handled classified information carelessly.  Biden has said that he was surprised the classified documents were found at his offices.  Assuming he is telling the truth, that means he was not responsible for them being there and did not know they were there.  So it would be more accurate to say that an employee of Biden, rather than Biden himself, handled classified documents carelessly.

Certainly you can make a "buck stops here" argument that Biden is ultimately responsible for the careless actions of his employees, and should have had policies and procedures in place to ensure such a thing wasn't done.  But there is a notable distinction between being personal carelessness (or outright disregard for the law) and being responsible for the actions of an employee.

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John Wickett
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Posted: 14 January 2023 at 2:51pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

"Biden...should have had policies and procedures in place to ensure such a thing wasn't done."

Wouldn't the absence of such policies and procedures constitute the same level of carelessness?  

In a military setting, any staff that could potentially be in a position to handle classified materials would be thoroughly trained and have the proper level of clearance.

Should an elected official be held to a lower standard?  IMO, it should be just the opposite.  The higher the level of classification, the greater the burden should be on the person responsible for protecting the information.  Surely Biden was aware of who had access to classified documents in his possession, and had the ability to ensure they were properly instructed on how to handle the documents.  If he failed to do so, then he should be accountable for that.

Having said that, we are still early in the process of discovering the facts surrounding the handling of the documents.  Biden may have had policies and procedures in place, and its possible his staff disregarded them.  Until we know otherwise, Biden is entitled to the benefit of the doubt.




Edited by John Wickett on 14 January 2023 at 2:58pm
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Michael Casselman
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Posted: 14 January 2023 at 4:18pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Clinton and Trump handled classified information carelessly.  Biden has said that he was surprised the classified documents were found at his offices.  Assuming he is telling the truth, that means he was not responsible for them being there and did not know they were there.  So it would be more accurate to say that an employee of Biden, rather than Biden himself, handled classified documents carelessly.
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The mental gymnastics used to obfuscate what's going on here are Olympian quality..

All government employees go through the same yearly (sometimes more frequent) information systems security training regarding the handling, retention, etc. of classified materials. Secret, Top Secret, TS/SCI, etc. A sitting Vice-President with decades of service in the government should know better. That VP's staff should know better. Everyone. Knows. Better. No one gives a damn if Trump himself packed the stuff up and took it to Maralago or if Trump himself was pushing a handcart stacked with boxes... or if he had a bunch of staffers doing the heavy lifting. INFOSEC 101.

Offices? There were boxes found in the garage at a private residence. . This isn't like they cleared out a desk and forgot to check a drawer. Now, do high level staff occasionally work from their private residences? Sure. Can those residences be certified as a SCIF for the duration of that work, should the situation call for it? Yes. But at the conclusion of that work, that certification is removed and all classified materials need to be removed. For all intents and purposes, these materials (whatever they are... I haven't seen it inventoried yet) have been sitting right there for the 4 years he was out of office as a private citizen plus the first two years of this administration, next to his bicycle tire pump and a ladder the neighbor could come over and borrow.

I'm happy that he's cooperating, but his lack of being an obstructionist is the main saving grace in this situation.
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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 19 January 2023 at 5:16pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Ron DeSantis just BANNED AP African American Studies from being taught in schools... because “it lacks educational value” and violates Florida’s anti-CRT law...

...wasn't he kissing ass and quoting Dr. King just 3 days ago??

-C!
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 21 January 2023 at 2:48am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I noticed when DeSantis made this announcement there weren't the usual (token?) black people on stage with him as other times. Having heard Republican representative Donalds a few times on various networks lately, the guy the few froot loops kept voting for at one stage during the 15 votes for House speaker, I wonder where do they find people like that to stand with them? Well, Herman Cain can't even stand anymore, Trump killed him off at a super-spreader no masks rally. Or some of these Republican women who robotically recite some of the simple minded pro-Life rhetoric. How do they buy into this party lately? The death rate for women in the states that have banned access to services lately is triple compared with others! Pro life? Not in actual practice, they are ending lives... and now they are talking about prosecuting individual women who simply get the RU-486 drug via mail as well as suppliers/providers.

If it were not for minorities in the U.S., especially of African origin, it would be a much lesser (and poorer) country than it has been in so many ways. Canada too! Wouldn't want some white person to have think critically about race though, how awful? It's just history, how could that be educational... oh wait, maybe it wasn't so 'great' after all... never mind again. I say take down a statue (General Lee said he didn't want any) or a street sign (usually honoring some old colonial swell), and lower the Confederate flags, but keep the history books available.

I did see the other night how Democrats may finally be in charge of Michigan though... they won the popular five times out of the last six yet never formed the government somehow, so that rigged thing isn't just nationally. And tonight they caught a Wisconsin Republican in charge of elections crowing about tactics keeping minority voters from going to the polls! That guy needs to have consequences happen to him like should've happened to rick Scott, and even more than for that Santos froot loop still getting all kinds of attention.


Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 21 January 2023 at 2:51am
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Dave Kopperman
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Posted: 23 January 2023 at 10:17pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Nikki Haley just gave an interview where she said the problem with today's GOP is that it needs (and I quote) "more leadership."  Not "more structured leadership" or "more robust leadership" or "more [insert adjective here] leadership".  Just... more of it.  Like a quantity of leadership, rather than the quality of it.  And while I understand(?) she meant to say the latter, the absence of any kind of adjective for the modifier 'more' there just bugged me.
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Michael Casselman
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Posted: 24 January 2023 at 5:48pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11671807/Classified -documents-Mike-Pences-home.html

That's it: everyone empty out your closets, let's see whatcha got!
All of 'em.
I guess EVERYONE sleeps through that INFOSEC training.

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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 24 January 2023 at 6:55pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Yes, one way the impact on Biden of also having documents in possession that should not be is dilution through others being found also to have done the same, a bit like Hilary's predecessors to her position also having similar or identical practices. Of course it also dilutes the capacity for charges against Trump despite his scale and obfuscation... what doesn't benefit the wriggly debt leveraging one though?
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Andrew Bitner
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Posted: 24 January 2023 at 7:43pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Pence was found to have classified docs in his possession also.
It seems that this is evolving into a problem with officials removing docs without proper guardrails and constraints on them, enforcing accountability even for the president. That's a problem.
It doesn't mean Trump shouldn't be prosecuted or Biden investigated. 
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Mark Waldman
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Posted: 24 January 2023 at 8:28pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I have a feeling this is commonplace. If you investigated every member of Congress as well as previous presidents, you would find the same thing. Civilian politicians apparently are loosey goosey with the handling of documents.

The difference is Trump packed up cases of the documents and took them home, and even if that was staff accidentally doing that, he was asked repeatedly to return the documents and would not comply. Biden and Pence are coming forward with documents.

I think all of this is unfortunate as it somehow sets a tone that what Trump did during his reign of terror is equaled by Biden (and now Pence). The documents are just one of many problem areas under Trump, and even if you want to stop there and say well, he did this but Biden did that, even that is not equal.

At least this gets people (and politicians) focused on partisan politics vs the state of the country, 39 mass shootings in 24 days, etc. Wonderful.
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James Johnson
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Posted: 24 January 2023 at 10:06pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply


Ron DeSantis just BANNED AP African American Studies from being taught in schools... because “it lacks educational value” and violates Florida’s anti-CRT law...

...wasn't he kissing ass and quoting Dr. King just 3 days ago??

=====================================================

I'm sure the African American descendants of Rosewood would tell DeSantis to go fuck himself............
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