These are elected officials meeting with a private citizen. Until the law was trampled into irrelevance by the Bush Administration, such meetings were required to be disclosed, and are still required by the premises of good taste and good government, if not also the law.
It is comparatively easy to deduce the overall intent of the meetings, which is that Mrs. Clinton is ironing out some details regarding her expected Presidential run.
The meeting with Biden is actually the more important one. Joe Biden might be considered a dark horse in 2014, but he's also one of the most prominent and qualified warhorses of the Democratic Party. As President of the Senate, Biden has also been unusually adept at helping to coordinate and implement the plans made between the Executive Branch and the Senate.
It's entirely possible that Joe Biden likes his job as chief cat-herder in the Senate, which opens up the interesting possibility that Mrs. Clinton is asking Joe if he'd like to keep his job as Vice President. That's highly speculative at this point in time, but it's worth filing away....
Everything from carefully chaperoned public perception management to botched police work to favorable jury instructions to, today, post-trial image repair work, has fallen in favor of this person and his family.
Is not that also far fetched? Yet here it is for all of us to contemplate, if we allow ourselves.
The law is designed to protect only the privileged. Rich white kids are privileged, while your hypothetical assailant is not.
This is a corrupt decision, not a functional defense for anyone but the son of a judge. Just like other important but corrupt court decisions, like Bush v. Gore, it will not be allowed as precedent in other cases, because the court system itself will recognize that it's an insider decision and not applicable to the unwashed masses.
Nevertheless, your observation is still quite valid: murdering your adversary and telling authorities the story that best defends yourself is potentially an effective legal tactic... if you have an ace in the hole.
But if you're a minority or poor, it ain't gonna work for you.
It amuses me that one of my favorite bands as a kid, Scream, foretold all of this in a concise double-song during the Reagan era:
Theyíre never wrong, only mistaken
It donít replace your rights that have been taken
They throw the book away, youíve been forsaken
For American justice has just been faking
If you got no money then youíre just out of luck
ĎCause the lawyers and legal aid, they just donít give a fuck
Thatís why the jails are full of the poor and black
And once they get out, you know they end up just going back
Let us not fail to recall that virtually all of the public revelations in this case were already publicly revealed in 2001-2009, some of them by Greenwald himself, when they were totally illegal, impeachable offenses.
Now they are for the most part legal and totally uninteresting to those of us who remained informed during the Bush years.
So, if you ask me, the real question is, "Does Greenwald have ANYTHING new, that we did not previously know about from the Bush years?"
My current guess is that the only undisclosed factoid out there is both Snowden and Greenwald were duped by the Chinese, who ignited this incident just days after the United States dared to castigate China for human rights abuses.
This is going to be an instructive event for you whippersnappers out there. The law represents only money and power, and while Zimmerman doesn't seem to have a lot of money, his father the judge--the judge nobody seems to know, which might suggest he's a FISA judge--has plenty of power.
Zimmerman will stay free for the trial, and stay free on appeal even if the prosecution or the cops don't flop for him. If he is convicted, the appeal will be dragged out for years, and then when things are more quiet, the case will be steered to one of Daddy's pals, the charges will be reversed and the case dismissed.
Wonkette is all over it. But I would like to note a couple of things:
* The television media and right-wing radio dial have been relentless in their attempts to savage the IRS; one of the major attempts at public perception shaping is the attempt to delude Americans into believing that Republicans were disproportionately singled out;
* Romney has contrived to place himself back in front of the cameras, forgetting that God sends hurricanes to punish the evil, apologizing for himself and trying to look human;
* The IRS has a roughly 36-month investigative time-limit on audits from the date of filing; Romney had a habit of filing amended returns later in the year so that he could appear to pay more taxes during the political seasons;
* The Romney's 2010 taxes indicated that the Romneys were using a Swiss bank account in 2010;
So... there's that. I'm just putting it up there for your consideration. I must note that I have a bet with myself riding on it. Last September I suggested that Mitt Romney could prove to be one of the worst candidates in U.S. history, if his subsequent prosecution for tax fraud bled into the results of the 2014 mid-terms. So I am neither impartial nor reliable.
The Godfather just got his Tom Hagen lifetime floor access to the Senate.
Before he was New Jersey's AG, Jeff Chiesa was Chief Counsel to the Governor. From now on, the Governor has direct floor access to the Senate. So long as Chiesa does not become a registered lobbyist, he has floor access for life, and he is forever in debt to the Governor for that... because of the implication.
That's going to instantly make Governor Christie one of the most important Governors in the nation, in no small part because he will be privy to privately-generated information unique to himself and the presumed Senator. It will put him in the front-running for the Chair of the National Governor's Association next year, which in turn will put him on any list of top Republican contenders for the nomination in 2016.
I cannot help noticing that all of these IRS "scandals" appear to be a concerted offensive on the part of Republicans against the IRS.
It's almost as if it's a preemptive strike against the IRS, an attempt to delay or derail some sort of pending investigation or disclosure, and to toss some water on it by first sullying the reputation of the Service.
Who might be inclined to do such a thing? My guess back in September was that Mitt Romney might turn out to be one of the worst Presidential candidates in history, if his subsequent prosecution for tax fraud burned into the results of the 2014 elections as well.
All of this may be the defiant squawk of the chicken(hawk) just before the hatchet falls.
I've been paying fairly close attention to what Congress has been doing for nearly 20 years now. Never, in that entire time, did I see the Republicans in the Senate meet even the minimum standards of conduct that the Senate's playbook demands.
They have operated disgracefully and dishonorably that entire time.
They were always dishonest negotiators, always obstructionists, always the instigators of false crises like shutdowns and debt ceilings, always the first to violate the rules of comity and, on the occasions when they were in control, always first to refuse to hear out minority dissent.
Snowe has consistently tried to give herself a pass by tacking moderate in election seasons, but her voting record clearly shows that she facilitated all of the dirty pool the Republican Party played, year after year, for the entirety of the time I have watched.
What we are seeing here is the Dr. Frankenstein moment of clarity, the moment when the old guard of dishonorable Republican Senators realize that their own machinations have created this monster, and now they are seeking to shackle it down. But it is their own behavior that brought them to this moment and it is far, far too late to contain the monster. All they can do is distance themselves in a desperate attempt to protect their own tarnished legacies.
Let me run down my own list of worst Presidents, and I think you'll see where I'm going:
Ulysses S. Grant. Sold out to corrupt corporate interests; widespread corruption across his administration; his Vice President was guilty of awarding his own corporate interests with lucrative government contracts...
Just like George W. Bush.
Warren G. Harding. Scandalously leased government-owned lands, particularly oil-rich lands, to his corporate cronies. Held secret policy-formulation meetings with corporate interests, then fought disclosure...
...Just like George W. Bush.
James K. Polk. Lied to the public in order to spark a war under false pretenses, for reasons far more greedy than publicly stated...
...Just like George W. Bush.
Franklin Pierce. Disinterested, alcoholic, accused drunk driver...
...Just like his many-great grand-nephew, George W. Bush
Ronald Reagan. Not intellectually capable of doing the job, nor of policing his subordinates. Presided over the systematic violations of Congressional direction and the Constitution...
...Just like George W. Bush.
Richard Nixon. Attempted (and successful) election theft. Manipulated an intelligence agency as part of a larger series of cover-ups. Fought undeclared wars in secret. Underlings included Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld...
...Just like George W. Bush.
George W. Bush is the worst President ever, without question, and it should be without debate. Why? Because George W. Bush did all of the worst things that all of the worst Presidents have done, and screwed it up bigger, killed more people, ruined more lives, and stole more land and homes than any of them--and probably more than the rest of those chumps put together. You bring me any other "worst ever" candidate, name his five worst sins, and I can show you W. committing and getting away with the same sins, only worse. He was that bad.
George W. Bush was a shambling composite of every prior evil that ever shat upon the Presidency. Worst. President. Ever.
Hey, does DU still sell those T-shirts? Mine's worn out.