Sorry, Teacher. My Dog Ate My Homework: More wacky excuses in an already ridiculous American presidential race, long on farces and short on answers

When we were kids and we didn’t do something we should have done, many of us would come up with lame excuses for our parents and others. If you didn’t do your homework, you’d tell your teacher that your dog ate the homework. (That was one of my favorites, even though we never had a dog).

But possibly the next American president—running in a campaign in which both major candidates have taken turns playing the fool, with Hillary Clinton as the next fool in the batter’s box and Donald Trump, eagerly waiting his turn, in the on deck circle—has proven that you can have a second childhood even when you’re in your 60s and your lame childhood excuses are a distant memory.

The Feds Want Some Answers

What happened, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently asked in investigating if state secrets were compromised during the first years of the Obama administration, to numerous mobile devices used by Hillary Clinton in her years as Secretary of State? Clinton, in contravention of government policy, used her own email system. So where are those emails?

“The FBI does not have in its possession any of Clinton’s 13 mobile devices which were potentially used to send emails using Clinton’s clintonemail.com email address,” the FBI said in a report. “As a result, the FBI could not make a determination as to whether any of the devices were subject to compromise.”

Many of the emails involved the use of drones against terrorists in Pakistan. But if they were being sent through unsecured systems, then almost any fourth-rate hacker could have tapped into them. The FBI wants to check those emails. Well, good luck, FBI.

Where are the devices?

The FBI says the Clinton people said the devices couldn’t be found.

“Geez, Whiz, Teacher. I Lost Them! All of Them!”

How does one lose 13 mobile devices? Maybe when they find them, they’ll also find my overdue homework. Maybe they’re next to those missing minutes of tapes going back to the Nixon administration and Watergate.

There are also questions raised over whether Clinton, as Secretary of State, during the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya in which American officials died, did or did not later tell her computer technicians to delete those sensitive emails.

The FBI has investigated these email problems that compromised security during the Clinton years. It decided the problems weren’t bad enough to recommend a potential criminal indictment against her. However, it did severely criticize her for the reckless way she used email to communicate with State Department officials in the field. The problem was that she used an unsecured private email server instead of sending emails through official channels.

Hillary Clinton, in responding to an FBI report of her email practices, focused on the lack of indictment and denied that she had been criticized by the FBI. Here she is both right and wrong.

What’s to Be Done?

All American voters, asked to decide on whether Hillary Clinton should be the next president, should get some answers en seguida. And these answers shouldn’t come through some cozy, pre-arranged little interview on the Tonight Show or some other entertainment show with a smiley host. Here is an illustration of what we wrote about her in this space the last entry. It is time for Hillary Clinton to take any and all questions from the press—left wing, right wing, radical and even GregoryBresiger.com!—about national security, net security and why Americans died in Libya.

If she thinks she can fudge her way through this, the way we used the old dog routine as kids, then Hillary Clinton is mistaken. She might still win the election. That’s because her main opponent is an uncultured wildman with the attention span of a teenager who just had six lattes and is asking for the car keys. But what will happen if she becomes president?

The press won’t go away and neither will millions of Americans who will quickly start comparing her to Tricky Dick Nixon or Lying Baines Johnson and wonder if she will become the Democratic version of Warren G. Harding. No, that last one was a bad analogy. Harding and his Ohio band of pirates ran one of the most corrupt administrations in history. Some of Harding’s friends, who played poker in the White House and drank bootleg booze, ended up making license plates in the caboose (Harding, who mercifully died before the political damn broke, reportedly once said to a newspaper reporter that he could handle his enemies, but his friends kept him “pacing the floor at night.”). But Harding himself seemed aboveboard in part because he was a human blank. No one says Hillary lacks a medulla. Indeed, she is quite smart. But perhaps she is a little too smart for her own good.

Oh, and one more thing: it wouldn’t hurt for her to look again for those mobile devices.

 

 

About The Author

Gregory Bresiger

Gregory Bresiger is an independent business journalist from Queens, New York. His Personal Finance articles have appeared in publications such as The New York Post & Financial Advisor Magazine. He is the author of the eBooks “Personal Finance For People Who Hate Personal Finance” and “MoneySense”.