"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
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A deeper look at Comey’s report on Clinton’s emails


By Herb Panko

Mon, Jul 18th, 2016
Posted in Chatfield Commentary

Recently Chief FBI Investigator James Comey gave his final report on Hillary Clinton’s emails. In his conclusion, he stated that there was no evidence that Clinton intentionally lied or intended to commit fraud. For that reason, her actions did not rise to the level of a prosecutable crime based on past similar cases, he said. What was most alarming is that the Republican and news media response did not reflect the careful, deliberative, analytical response of what one would expect from an educated, informed, democratic society. There was virtually no in-depth analysis of Comey’s report by the news media, no consideration of various possible reasons why Clinton had claimed she had not sent or received any emails containing classified material. The only reaction we heard from the GOP and the news media was the shallow, superficial, knee jerk response, “She lied.” Doesn’t the public deserve a better more objective, nuanced, and studied response than that?

Let’s look at some significant conclusions and facts as stated by Comey. Out of over 30,000 emails sent by Clinton, only three, I repeat only three, were marked classified at the time they were sent, according to Comey. And of those three, he said, at least one should not have been marked as such. Another 110 contained classified material but had not been marked as sensitive when Clinton received or sent them. Comey defended his accusation that she should have recognized the classified nature even though they were not marked “classified.” That’s a subjective statement and open to interpretation according to analysts. More on that later. About 2,000 additional e-mails were retroactively “up-classified” after the State Department received them. There was also disagreement in the Department whether a number of those 2000 should have been “up-classified” at all.

Something should be obviously apparent here. Whether an item or email should be labeled as classified is a very subjective consideration in the State Department and is open to interpretation and disagreement even among its own staff, according to experts in the field. Experts also say the real story here is more about the dysfunction of the government classification system than about Clinton. Also, transparency advocates say the government regularly over-classifies. According to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel, the government classifies incorrectly 70% of the time. Thomas Blan .....
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Guest Commentary: Response to Mr. Erding’s rebuttal

By Herb Panko

Mon, Jan 26th, 2015
Posted in Chatfield Commentary

I generally do not respond to rebuttals to my articles as I feel that such replies are of little value. However, in this particular instance I am making an exception, since Jeff Erding sardonically invites me to do so at the end of his rebuttal ..... 
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Chatfield considers engineering proposals

Mon, Nov 3rd, 2014
Posted in Chatfield Commentary

At the October 27 Chatfield City Council meeting councilors discussed two engineering proposals. The objective of the first proposal is to solve the freezing problem of the north bio-solids tank. The purpose for the second proposal is improvement of ..... 
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Chatfield’s heartfelt thanks to legislators

Mon, Oct 6th, 2014
Posted in Chatfield Commentary

After repeated attempts over the years to secure state funding for the renovation of the Chatfield Center for the Arts, the tenacity of a dedicated group of the center’s promoters paid off. Legislators who were instrumental in getting the Center f ..... 
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Guest Commentary: The continuing success of the ACA

Fri, Aug 8th, 2014
Posted in Chatfield Commentary

By Herb Panko, Chatfield, MN I find it amazing that so many of the Obamacare detractors keep acting like spoiled children who didn’t get their way. They continue living in a magical world, thinking that the ACA will just disappear. (Read Davids ..... 
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