This is good news for Clinton and bad news for Republicans, period. A few months ago, Trump-hating former Jeb Bush communications director Tim Miller told me, memorably, that Hillary would beat the presumptive nominee “from jail.”Clinton’s people were always confident this day would come, but they didn’t want to test Miller’s proposition — one maudlin low-level staffer lamented, earlier in the spring, that “the race is ours, so long as she doesn’t get indicted.” I couldn’t tell if he was joking, and neither could he.Congrats, Brooklyn. The boss won’t have to put her wallet, keys and belt in the big steel box. But hold the handstands. The email scandal (yes, we still get to call it that) has already done serious damage to a candidate who didn’t enjoy a sterling reputation to start with, created weeks of needless distraction and spotlighted her management weaknesses at a time when she is supposed to be selling the American electorate on her steadiness, competence and smarts in comparison to big, bad you-know-who.Here are five consequences of Comey’s decision:1) Americans still don’t trust Clinton.Imagine an alternative universe where the email story wasn’t hanging over Clinton’s head for an entire campaign — a world in which the candidate hadn’t provided the hammers used to demolish her old sky-high State Department approval ratings. That universe, like the Hillary-in-the-pokey fantasy, doesn’t exist. Even as Clinton leads in state and national head-to-head polls against Trump, she ties or trails him on the core question of trustworthiness, with about two-thirds of voters saying they don’t trust her.Trust isn’t everything, and neither is likeability (candidates have won with relatively low ratings in the past) — and she’s lucky to face Trump a candidate whose public utterances have been deemed, by the nonpartisan Politifact, to be mostly, false, or flat-out lies (Clinton’s reviewed statements have been judged to be 73 percent true by comparison). But the toxic combination of Clinton’s untrustworthiness, a sense that the Clintons play by their own set of rules and her own unwillingness — for months — to fess up to making a mistake with the server, tamp down enthusiasm for her candidacy and have put a ceiling on her poll numbers. The Republicans, they had a dream.And in that dream, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the only presidential candidate at the major-party level with a functional campaign and (relatively) united party behind her, is led out of Whitehaven in handcuffs to face a campaign-killing indictment for setting up an illegal email server.For the past 16 months, since the New York Times “homebrew” server story broke, GOP operatives, voters, talk-radio and media types, have banked on an FBI deus ex machina to once and for all crush the Wicked Witch of the Left. Then, on Tuesday, bureau director James Comey, a career prosecutor who reeks of rectitude and contempt for Clinton’s behavior, walks to a podium to declare Madam Secretary’s actions had been “extremely careless” but not criminal. 5) Stop using email. Put the politics and the legal issues aside: Comey’s statement essentially represented a public capitulation in the fight to safeguard government (or quasi-government set-ups like Clinton’s) for official business. The Russians and the Chinese, according to recent reporting, have launched potentially successful invasions of the State Department system — which is one of the reasons Clinton tried to concoct her own.Apart from flouting the rules, Clinton’s attempt to circumvent the system simply didn’t work, the FBI found.“Secretary Clinton’s… personal e-mail domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent,” Comey said. She also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.” Also On POLITICO FBI recommends no charges against Clinton in email probe By Nick Gass Clinton’s pivot to the general election, understandably, began with a blunderbuss against Trump. But the email scandal (and lingering questions about her family’s charitable foundation) means that she’ll also need to erode her negatives, a tougher task for a candidate with universal name recognition. “From her point of view, establishing positives is far more important to winning,” Mark Penn, Clinton’s hard-edged 2008 strategist told my colleague Annie Karni earlier this month. “Why spend so much energy attacking Trump, what difference does it make, when he’s over 57 percent negative and she has a lot of leadership qualities that have gone unsung?”Why? Because it’s easier, cheaper and more fun to tear Trump apart than to reassemble the humpty-dumpty of the candidate’s trustworthiness.2) Paranoia may destroy her. The email scheme (conceived by a half-dozen longtime aides and lawyers in secret) came as no surprise to everybody else not admitted to the innermost inner sanctum of Hillaryland. Clinton (who famously demanded a “zone of privacy” around her family during the 1992 elections) jealously guards her right to set up any system she views as a necessary to retain her privacy — even when those actions conflict with a public servant’s need to heed disclosure rules.All of this is rooted in an extreme sense of defensiveness, people close to Clinton have told me over the years, born out of endless investigations into the families private dealings; But if scandals — Whitewater, cattle futures, the Lewinski affair, and now the emails — haven’t resulted in criminal prosecutions they have revealed a persecution complex, a sense of self-pity that had often acted counter to the family’s larger political and policy objectives.3) The system is rigged! Outsider rage is the fuel that rocketed Trump and Bernie Sanders through the primaries — and the FBI decision (fairly or not) immediately sparked charges that the fix was in. The mind-bogglingly dopey decision by Attorney General Loretta Lynch to chit-chat with Bill Clinton a few days before Comey’s announcement looked really, really bad; It looked even crummier after the Times reported that Hillary Clinton was, oh, you know, musing about possibly keeping Lynch on if she was elected.There is, so far, zero evidence that any of these dots connect to form a vast left-wing conspiracy to spring a felon from her criminal just deserts. But Clinton seems to have gotten away with playing by her own rules, and American despise a dynastic double-standard as much, maybe more, than they hate a little honest political graft. By Tuesday lunchtime Twitter was groaning under the weight of conspiracy theories and there will be — I’ll bet $5 on it — calls in the GOP-run House to investigate how all of this went down. For Trump, a presumptive nominee struggling to line up support (and staff) from inside his own nose-holding party establishment, the no-prosecution decision is a mixed goodie bag. On one hand, a Clinton indictment would have been huge — but he knows a good pitchfork issue when he sees one, and is intent on using it to motivate his base after weeks of playing defense.His first Tweet of the day, an outsider’s call to arms: “The system is rigged. General Petraeus got in trouble for far less. Very very unfair! As usual, bad judgment.”His second: “FBI director said Crooked Hillary compromised our national security. No charges. Wow! #RiggedSystem”4) Trump vs. Comey? The Republican “establishment” (which I will define as anybody not named Trump) reacted tentatively and with respectful disdain towards the FBI director’s decision not to indict. “While I respect the law enforcement professionals at the FBI, this announcement defies explanation. No one should be above the law,” Speaker Paul Ryan wrote in a statement released a couple of hours after Comey’s press conference. “But based upon the director’s own statement, it appears damage is being done to the rule of law. Declining to prosecute Secretary Clinton for recklessly mishandling and transmitting national security information will set a terrible precedent.”A raft of other Republicans responded in similar fashion — toeing the political tightrope — between criticizing Comey’s decision — without taking too harsh a line against a director renowned for his tough-guy probity and front-line investigators who are nearly universally respected by voters. Trump skated just up to the line in his Tweets – and his campaign hadn’t released an official statement by mid-afternoon.But it’s hard to see a candidate who prides himself on flouting political correctness — and calling out a “rigged game” — not piling onto Comey. And that could backfire big-time against a 6’8” career law enforcement official who stared down George W. Bush and his stop staff by refusing to sign a re-upping of NSA’s domestic wire-tapping program.
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Barcelona: Messi’s father and agent Jorge Messi has arrived in Barcelona to decide the future of Lionel Messi at Spanish club Barcelona. Georg joins Barcelona for the first time since reports emerged that Messi will leave Barcelona. He will hold talks with club president Joseph Bartholomew.Many journalists and fans were at the airport waiting for Georgie to arrive in Spain from Argentina. But Georgie’s response was that he knew nothing.Jorge Messi wants Barcelona to release the release clause and allow Messi to go as a free agent. However, Barcelona’s insistence that Messi should stay at the club and leave the club only if he gives a release clause.Messi’s decision to leave Barcelona came after Barcelona ‘s 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter – finals. But Barcelona were not ready to let go of Messi. Following this, Messi boycotted Barcelona’s training and Covid test.Content Highlights: Lionel Messis father and agent Jorge arrives in Barcelona
By Nick Creely Hampton Park’s gutsy Good Friday win against Springvale Districts could arguably be the most important moment in…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.