The Case for Pardoning Hillary Clinton

hillaryI am sure this will elicit a backlash from those who want to “Lock Her Up”.  I am also pretty sure that her still stunned supporters will protest that she has already been cleared of any wrongdoing and should not be investigated.

But, hear me out.   A protracted investigation will do nothing more than increase the divide between the left and the right.  It will cost the tax payers millions.  It will derail any effort to move forward with reforms or simply doing the nation’s business.  It is a losing proposition no matter which way you approach it and, in reality, will only serve to create a martyr out of Hillary Clinton at a time when many just want her to go away.   It will be an unnecessary distraction at a time when we all need focus on the future of this country.

The headlines today seem to indicate that the President-elect does not want to initiate an investigation in order to allow Mrs. Clinton to “heal”.  If you take him at his word, that seems to be a reasonable position to take to avoid looking like you are vindictively prosecuting a political rival.  But tomorrow is another day and Mr. Trump  retains the prerogative to change his tweet without warning.

He did not ask the Speaker of the House or the Senate Majority Leader to shut down Congressional committee investigations that are still looking for a pound of her email.  A few of the Republican chairs of various committees don’t seem inclined to let go of ongoing efforts that could result in requests from the House or Senate to the  incoming administration’s Justice Department to indict Secretary Clinton.

I do believe she lied about everything from Benghazi to her reckless mishandling of classified information.  I think the advisors around her were corrupt and complicit in trying to coverup the extent of her willful disregard for laws governing the handling of material.  I believe, despite the declarations of current FBI Director and Attorney General that her actions did not rise to the level of a crime,  there is ample evidence that could lead to her conviction in a court of law with an impartial jury.

I don’t think we can find an impartial jury for her.

Here is my recommendation.  President Obama should grant her a blanket pardon for her actions while Secretary of State and the coverup of her email server after she left office.  I also think that her immediate aides should also be pardoned.   It would be grossly unfair for Huma Abedin to be punished when Secretary Clinton gets off with a pass.   Besides, isn’t being married to Anthony Weiner enough punishment for any human?

President Obama will not likely suffer any further decline in popularity for doing this.  The people who will howl about the injustice of a pardon don’t like him anyway.  Those that would support it are already in Secretary Clinton’s camp or realize that the future of the country is more important that living in Hillary’s past.  I don’t see a downside.  I even think this will take some of the pressure off of the incoming president.

In a way, this could be a turning point in moving towards a better future in the same way that  President Ford’s pardoning of Richard Nixon was back in September 1974.


Christmas Tunes All Year

At any given moment, it may happen.  Sometimes it makes me laugh, sometimes it makes me crazy. Sometimes, even on a hot July Sunday on I-95 North coming home from South Carolina it happens.  You may have the same issue I do, so you will understand. Christmas music on my smart phone. Need I say more?

I didn’t know I could create a completely different music library on my smart phone for Christmas music. I know it can be done, I just don’t think I can do it.  I am about as technology savvy as the next 50 something year old so why is it that I cannot keep my Holiday songs from playing on Memorial Day, the 4th of July or Halloween?  I am certain that I can find a random ten-year old to give me a condescending look as he/she reshuffles my smart phone with the magical touch that only a human born into the latest technology can.

There are moments though, when I am on the highway covering the distance from Chesapeake to Savannah, when I will give in.  Don’t judge me!   You know the moment when you have had a couple of great tunes hit all in a row on shuffle.  You are in full car karaoke mode singing along with the Eagles to the live version of “Hotel California” at the top of your off-key voice.  The crowd goes wild and then your travel lane encore is “Last Christmas” by Wham?  I don’t think so.  “Blue Christmas” by Elvis may sneak through though, even in August when the mercury is pushing north of 95. Mid March, yeah I am singing along to John Denver and the Muppets singing “Twelve Days of Christmas”. Bare Naked Ladies singing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” will sometimes punctuate my afternoon commute in mid April. I have been known to sing the round on that song while waiting for the Great Bridge Bridge (that is really the name of the bridge, but that is another post) to finishing letting boats through on the canal .I have even been caught doing my Copycat version of Dean Martin’s “Rudolph”.

For now, because it is November, I can get away with a stray Christmas tune invading my shuffle playlist.  People will think I just need a little Christmas, right this very minute.  But come February, when I am doing the long distance run to my mistletoe partner’s Low Country kingdom,  that will be me passing South of the Border on I-95, polishing up my Brooklyn accent and joining in with Dave Koz and Friends on “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.


An old photo and a 49 year memory shared

I am startled that I do not remember some significant moments in my family history from my childhood.  A Facebook post by my father yesterday jarred my thought process and brought me here.

One of my early posts in this blogging experiment had to do with a treasure trove of slides sent to me from my father in Massachusetts. I spent weeks going through more than 1,000 slides and discovering faces and memories that have been long out of my mind. Among them were photos of my paternal grandmother dating from the 1940’s through the 1960’s.  One in particular struck me.  The occasion was my Father’s commissioning as an Ensign in the United States Navy at Newport, Rhode Island. Alice’s only child was starting out on a new life.  Her pride in his accomplishments was evident on her face.

S-021 (2)

Alice Baumann and her son, Jerry, on the occasion of his Commissioning at Naval Station Newport, RI.

I scanned hundreds of slides into my hard drive with the intention of populating a family website full of generations of photos, stories and vital records.  As I scanned, I sent some photos along to my parents and siblings.  The photo of my Dad with his mother on that day was one of the first to be passed along.

My paternal grandmother  died a few weeks before my 7th birthday, 49 years ago this week.  Sadly, she has faded from my memory.   I don’t remember that week or the grief that my father must have felt at the sudden loss of his mother.  Compounding that grief was the fact that only a week before his uncle, the brother of his mother, had passed away suddenly as well.  I cannot, for a moment, imagine the incredible loss that he must have suffered.

In my efforts to scan photos and slides and collect stories, I had forgotten that these long hidden glimpses into a past that is unfamiliar to me, would stir so much emotion in my Father’s ancient, kind heart.  His Facebook post was simple and to the point:

My Mom’s anniversary! She died suddenly in 1967! She didn’t have an easy life but she was always supportive of me !

I am very lucky.  As my 56th birthday approaches in November, I can say that I still have both my parents.  Most of my friends cannot say the same.  I saw them a few weeks ago at a family reunion of my Mother’s people. My Father looks older to me, but his mind is as sharp as any 25-year-old and his sense of humor, which I seemed to have inherited, is still wonderfully timed and playful.

I am reminded that old family photos hold a variety of memories and emotions.  My excitement at uncovering these old images is tempered by the impact they have on the people who lived those captured moments.