Wednesday, August 19, 2015

About Those Hillary Clinton Emails....

With all the discussion about Hillary's email server and classified documents, I found myself asking who designates a document as classified. Turns out that the President and Vice President can classify a document, as can agency heads and officials designated by the President.

OK. Since I'm sure that the president does not spend his time classifying documents throughout the entire federal bureaucracy, he must be designating that authority to agency heads....For example, the State Department would be an agency, and Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State would be the agency head, would she not?

So it is Hillary herself who would have the authority to designate a document as classified! What does she mean she never sent anything that was marked as classified. She is the one who would be responsible for doing the marking!!

Now it seems that she can designate someone else to do the classifying for her, according to Executive Order 13526 which follows.

But if Hillary designated someone below her to choose which documents to classify, that would need to be done under Hillary's authority and with her instructions!

So for Hillary Clinton to claim ignorance of what was classified and what was not is nonsense. She was the one in charge of the process for her agency, the State Department!

Am I missing something? What follows is the order designating authority to classify documents.
According to Executive Order 13526--Classified National Security Information, issued by President Obama, information may originally be classified only by the following people.
Sec. 1.3.  Classification Authority.  (a)  The authority to classify information originally may be exercised only by:
(1)  the President and the Vice President;
(2)  agency heads and officials designated by the President; and
(3)  United States Government officials delegated this authority pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.
(c)  Delegation of original classification authority.
(1)  Delegations of original classification authority shall be limited to the minimum required to administer this order.  Agency heads are responsible for ensuring that designated subordinate officials have a demonstrable and continuing need to exercise this authority.
But regardless of what classified documents were sent over an unsecured server, the question still remains What was Hillary trying to hide? Remember this entire question of her emails came up during a Congressional investigation of Benghazi.

Now the server is said to be scrubbed clean.  Why didn't she just delete personal emails? Why the necessity to make them perhaps irretrievable.

Personally, I think Hillary is in a lot of trouble. When a politician says that she will not hand over her server and the FBI forces her to, you know there is something going on.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ann Coulter....Seriously?

Noted conservative Ann Coulter tweeted the following on August 16:
I don't care if @realDonaldTrump wants to perform abortions in White House after this immigration policy paper.
Well, that tells me quite a bit about Ann Coulter. I understand it was hyperbole. It was also a crass belittling of the abortion issue. Might it also reveal a touch (or more) of xenophobia on her part?

Ms. Coulter, what is so wonderful about Trump's immigration policy that makes you care not at all about the taking of the lives of unborn children? It almost looks like your contempt for immigrants, legal and illegal, is so satisfied by Trump's policy that it trumps your own sense of right and wrong.

Ann Coulter purports to be a conservative. In my book, conservatives don't make "jokes" about murders being committed in the White House. Nor do they make light of issues of such grave morality.

I've never read any of Ann Coulter's books. And I won't be reading any in the future.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Glory of God is All Over Everything!

I'm trying to exercise regularly (#attemptingtomakeitdaily)

I want to maintain my health. AND I have that little grandson on the way. A fit grandma can have more fun with her grandkids.

I belong to a gym. And I have a bike that I absolutely love. It's easy to ride. It's fast. (not that I ever really want to go very fast) And it's comfortable. So. My favorite exercise is riding my bike.

It's especially fun for me to ride somewhere. And my favorite somewhere to ride to is Gallup Park! At least 3/4 of the ride is designated bike paths. I love it! (One of those wonderful advantages to living in a "green" city.) I know I have written about this ride before. I can't help myself. I have to write about it again!

The final stretch of the journey takes me over a bridge from which I have the following view. Yeah, magnificent.

As I come into the park I enter a path that circumvents a beautiful pond. Below you can see the bike path to the left of the service drive around the pond. I get to ride right next to the water.

Much of the path is paved but some of it is groomed pathways. (woodchips, easy to ride over)

 I cross several lovely wooden bridges...

Sometimes I take a break, sitting on a bench by the water's edge.

Recently the city has added some additional sights along the way, public art, like this model of a Canadian goose. It's large. I was just glad it wasn't real!

And this cute Tiger Salamander...

And this Painted Turtle...

I love the bridges. I love going over them, the views to the right and to the left. I even love the sound of my tires rolling over the wood.

And this piece which is part of the Canoe Imagine Art Project. No, I could not have imagined this use of  retired canoes. But I can imagine that it was a great deal of work. Kind of cool looking.

And then I pass this lovely butterfly and hummingbird garden. So sweet.

The glory of God is all over everything. It really is. And how often do I walk right by without so much as a thank you to the creator of it all. Thank you, Lord. You are so good to us. The beauty of your creation is exquisite.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Ring Arrives!!!

Well, no sooner had we returned from up north, than Jim had to return to Texas.

Here we are saying good-bye at the airport.

Why do I take pictures like this? I don't know. I always do. I hate good-byes and somehow taking a picture allows me, in some way, to hold on to the moment.

The delivery of the ring was only off by one day! It was supposed to arrive by Monday at 10:30 AM. At 10:00, the package arrived and at 10:05 Mary Pat (Elle's mom) and Elle arrived. Mary Pat and I were honored to be able to witness the "unveiling" of the ring.

The tension mounted.....

In the large box there was another box with ring cleaner and then this sweet wooden box.
Naturally thanks to our amazing technology Jim was with us on Skype. Above photo is Elle just having opened the box and looking at Jim on her laptop screen.

 She loved it!!!

Here they are enjoying the moment together while thousands of miles apart...(I have a love-hate relationship with technology. This was a love moment.)

So very, very sweet.

 And here it is!! In all its sparkles, the ENGAGEMENT Ring!!! Woohooo.

So happy for them both!!!!  (And it sure was fun being there, right Mary Pat?)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Continuing Saga of the Engagement #RockstarsJimandElle

OK. They're not really rock stars, but they all thought this photo looked like an album cover. That is, if they were actually musicians and had an album which they do not. Although some of them (all?) are musicians.  (Hey....moms who love music always get these ideas...)

This photo was still on Mackinac Island but I actually want to continue the saga of Jim and Elle's engagement..

So Jim had the entire engagement surprise planned out. But there were indeed a few glitches.

The Ring!! He ordered the ring from an online jeweler and, knowing that they ship overnight express, thought he had plenty of time to get it. Alas, they needed more than just the shipping time. They needed to make the ring. (Jim picked out the diamond and the setting.)

Not only was it not ready for Mackinac Island, it would not be ready before Jim had to return to school. But if he was going to propose he needed a ring, right?

Well, after many trips to the store, and many consultations with the other women in his life, and a number of texted photos, Jim made his decision. Trying to decide between pearls which he knew Elle loved and diamonds which one traditionally expects for an engagement, he decided to get both.

Yes, these two purchases, in addition to the major diamond ring which was coming.

Extravagant? Yes, but you know, gentlemen, there are times to be extravagant. (But not stupid.)

The occasion of asking your girlfriend to marry you is one of those times.

So Jim purchased a string of pearls and a much lesser diamond ring to give to Elle at the time of the proposal. The thought was that she could have this ring to remember the proposal and perhaps wear it later on another finger. He was given strict instructions to tell Elle that this was not the REAL ring, before giving it to her. We don't know if those instructions were followed because Liz, thankfully, was shooting pictures from a distance that was too far to hear the words being spoken. You have to give the couple some privacy, after all.

I think Jim was feeling pretty good about this decision...

Yeah, real good....

It's not the official engagement ring, but it is a sweet ring with two little diamonds in it. (Jim doesn't mess around.) Tomorrow, I will write about the arrival of the REAL ring.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Engagement Surprise!

Elle was the only one who did not know that Jim was planning to propose to her this year on Mackinac Island.

The trip started with a picturesque ferry ride from Mackinaw City to the Island, passing the Mackinac Bridge along the way. (Longest suspension bridge in this hemisphere. )

No cars are allowed on the island. Horses and bikes are used for transportation. So the first order of business is usually the renting of the bikes.

The plan was for Jim and Elle to separate from the group for a bit.  Jim had planned in advance the exact spot where he wanted to propose.

Little did Elle know that Liz would be among the trees higher up with a camera to capture the event. (This was not the work of a meddlesome little sister. Jim had asked for the pictures.)

Jim went down on one knee as Liz caught the scene with a telephoto lens.

And here they come. I love the mission accomplished look on Jim's face and the I can't believe that just happened look on Elle's.

Shortly after this moment I received a text on my phone that read, "She said yes!"

And we arranged for them to catch up with the rest of us at the ice cream stand on the far side of the island.
Anne greeting her future sister-in-law!
And a hug for Jim.
And my hug for Elle!
And for Jimmy!
And congratulations from Dad.
Mary's face says it all.

Jim with Elle and her future mother and father-in-law.

Elle with her future sisters-in-law.
A celebration dinner on the island!

We secretly told the staff that Elle and Jim had just become engaged.  They brought this lovely piece of cheesecake with Congratulations written on the plate.

Then we were back on the ferry to the mainland.

As they stood at the very front of the ferry, we had to ask for a Titanic pose. I mean, you just have to do that at the front of a boat.

The bridge is so lovely at sunset.

By the time we were back at our cottage, the word was out. This cute sign was on our door.

Pretty exciting day!!! Many thanks to Liz who is not in many of the pictures because she was the one taking them! And to Jonathan, her boyfriend, for helping her out and lending moral support.

Congratulations, Jim and Elle! May God bless you both, now and all the days of your life together.

(Well done, Jim!!!!)