The tale of the mail

Jul 6, 2016

Republicans  are not happy with the F.B.I.  as Clinton is absolved from legal repercussions from her email handling of state secrets. But some of the FBI's language criticizing Clinton is all but certain to be used in future attack ads.


David Montero in L.A. Daily News: "Charles Moran doesn’t expect to see less heat on Hillary Clinton this month at the Republican National Convention simply because the FBI recommended Tuesday that she not face criminal charges for using a private email server for classified information."


"The Donald Trump delegate from San Pedro said that while Clinton wasn’t indicted, FBI Director James Comey’s words showed she’s less trustworthy than the presumptive Republican nominee."


"“Hillary Clinton loves to make the justification that we can’t trust Donald Trump with the nuclear codes,” Moran said. “Well, we have trusted you with state secrets and we’ve seen what you’ve done with them. If she wants to use that same bright red line with Trump, well, we now have plenty of evidence against her thanks to the FBI."


READ MORE: Why the FBI concluded Hillary Clinton's email practices did not rise to the level of criminal charges -- David G. Savage in L.A. Times; Patrick Healy, FBI's report likely fodder for future attack ads -- Patrick Healy, NYT.


Donald Trump gave an empassioned speech in North Carolina last night, and praised Saddam Hussein for being 'so good' at killing terrorists.


Jenna Johnson reporting in The Washington Post writes: "RALEIGH, N.C. -- Donald Trump praised Saddam Hussein at a campaign rally on Tuesday, embracing the dictator who oppressed Iraq for more than 30 years, aggressively suppressed dissent in his country and was widely considered one of the leading enemies of the United States."


"Saddam Hussein was a bad guy. Right? He was a bad guy, really bad guy. But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn't read them the rights -- they didn't talk, they were a terrorist, it was over," Trump said as many in his audience of about 2,000 laughed on Tuesday evening. "Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism. You want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq. It's like Harvard. Okay? So sad."


"This is not the first time Trump has praised Hussein or other dictators, although his comments on Tuesday night gathered much more attention than his earlier comments. In October, Trump said that the world would be "100 percent" better if dictators like Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi were still in power. In February, Trump said at a political event in New Hampshire that "whether you like Saddam Hussein or not, he used to kill terrorists" and now Iraq is a breeding ground for terrorists."


Meanwhile, California still has a little over 70,000 untallied primary votes from June.


John Myers reports in L.A. Times: "The number of uncounted ballots in California from the June 7 presidential primary fell substantially over the holiday weekend and Tuesday, with the tallied vote count standing at almost 8.5 million."


"The latest report, issued Tuesday afternoon by the secretary of state's office, found 70,455 ballots had yet to be reviewed four weeks after election day. The tally as of last Friday was about 288,000."


"Only eight counties still have ballots left to process, with California's largest counties having finished their work prior to the July 4 holiday."


As California's water wars rage on, a new bill being introduced aims to increase salmon in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, as well as stifle problems that farmers face with the Central Valley Project Improvement Act.


Sacramento Bee: "Lawmakers are targeting striped bass in a farmer-backed effort to protect the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta’s salmon while trimming a 1992 environmental law."


"In what amounts to a multi-pronged move, the House on Tuesday night approved a bill by Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, that ends the 1992 law’s goal of doubling the number of striped bass living in and around the Delta."


"Removing the doubling goal for the predatory fish is supposed to protect preyed-upon salmon, whose preservation is another goal of the 1992 law. It’s also a modest way to scale back the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, which farmers blame for water shortages and have long tried to revise." 


Humboldt State University has discovered a megaweapon for fighting back against global warming, and it's located in our very own backyard: ancient redwood forests.


Paul Rogers with Mercury News reports: "California's ancient redwood forests aren't just majestic and among the oldest living things on Earth -- a new study finds they are a particularly potent weapon against global warming."


"The towering trees remove and store more carbon from the atmosphere per acre than any other forests on the planet, including tropical rain forests, researchers found in a discovery that could influence everything from logging rules to how parks are preserved as the state grapples with climate change."


"The story of the carbon is huge," said Robert Van Pelt, a scientist at Humboldt State University who helped lead the research. "The carbon part of a redwood may be more important than the lumber part in the coming decades."


As PG&E's San Bruno trial continues to unfold, recent testimony reveals that the utilities giant approved over-pressurized pipelines despite federal restrictions.


The Chronicle's Bob Egelko reports: "A Pacific Gas and Electric Co. engineer repeatedly denied Tuesday that the company had a policy of exceeding federal pressure limits in its gas pipelines — but testified he had approved such a policy, at his manager’s orders, before the deadly San Bruno pipeline explosion."


"This is a draft,” Gene Muse, a senior gas engineer and 24-year PG&E employee, told a federal court jury in San Francisco in describing a series of memos circulated among company employees starting in late 2008, and shown to federal and state regulators after the September 2010 explosion. The documents said PG&E could increase the pressure on certain pipelines, including the San Bruno line, by as much as 10 percent above federal limits without reclassifying them as high-risk, which would have required a temporary shutdown and expensive water-pressure tests."


"But Muse acknowledged that his supervisor, William Manegold, had told him to establish the 10 percent exception. That was an apparent shift from the supervisor’s conclusion earlier in 2008, in messages displayed in court, that the utility was bound by federal limits even if it meant taking some customer lines out of service."


Slowly but surely, California is on its way to meeting the 2006 global warming law's 2020 projection of reduced emissions.


David R. Baker in SF Chronicle reports: "Despite a surging economy, California’s greenhouse-gas emissions fell in 2014, according to new data from the state."


"But the paltry size of the drop — with emissions down less than 1 percent from the previous year — illustrates just how difficult meeting California’s ambitious global warming goals may be."


"California’s factories, power plants, farms and cars pumped 441.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in 2014, according to the California Air Resources Board. That represents a decline of just 2.8 million metric tons from 2013."


And in other news, it turns out the United States has larger oil reserves than both Saudi Arabia and Russia.


Rob Nikolewski with L.A. Times writes: "The United States has overtaken industry giants Saudi Arabia and Russia in recoverable oil reserves, an international study released Monday says."


"The U.S. is sitting on 264 billion barrels, 8 billion barrels more than Russia and 52 billion more than Saudi Arabia, the dominant member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), according to the report by Rystad Energy, a respected oil and gas consulting firm based in Oslo."


"Three years ago, the U.S. was behind Russia, Saudi Arabia and Canada in Rystad's estimates of recoverable oil — barrels that are technologically and economically feasible to extract."


The newly formed Providence St. Joseph has announced a $100 million mental health initiative shortly after becoming the nation's third largest nonprofit health system.


Courtney Perkes writing for the Daily News reports: "The newly formed Providence St. Joseph Health, which on Friday became the nation’s third-largest nonprofit health system, announced a $100 million mental health initiative on Tuesday."


"The Institute for Mental Health and Wellness will serve residents in the seven states where Irvine-based St. Joseph Health and Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health and Services own a combined 50 hospitals."


"When the state Attorney General’s Office signed off on the merger last month, it included a condition that the new entity invest $30 million in mental health services for Californians. Providence St. Joseph Health decided to increase the funding and create a systemwide foundation that will focus on research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment."


Oakland's police scandal involving a minor sex worker has now voiced the concern that many arrests and cases made by the same officers could be tainted.


Matthias Gafni, Karina Ioffee and David DeBolt in East Bay Times report: "The Contra Costa County public defender opened an investigation Tuesday into the five Richmond police officers and one former sheriff's deputy alleged to have had sex with the young woman at the heart of a widespread police sex misconduct scandal to determine if any criminal case they handled has been "tainted."


"Public Defender Robin Lipetzky said those officers' current and past cases will be reviewed to determine if their alleged actions impacted their police work. At least some of the officers have made prostitution arrests, so any involvement with a sex worker could raise questions about their actions and potentially create a conflict of interest in those cases."


"We are currently looking into this to see if there is anything we need to do to protect current or former clients whose cases may have been tainted by these officers," Lipetzky said."


And now from our "Throw a steak on the barbie" file:


Drones. Steak. Cooking steak with drones. Try this for next year's independence day, just remember: don't drink and drone.


UPI: "MONTREAL, July 5 (UPI) -- A Montreal drone enthusiast put his hobby to practical use by using his quadcopter to barbecue a steak on his grill."


"David Freiheit, whose previous drone stunts included lifting goldfish out of a pond, used his quadcopter drone to carry the steak to the grill and start the barbecuing process."


"Freiheit allowed the meat to cook for a few moments before using the drone to flip the steak."

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