1. It’s Tuesday, July 5, 2016.
2. OK, it’s not much of a surprise that the FBI isn’t recommending charges against Hillary Clinton concerning the private e-mail server she used as Secretary of State. Only the real right-wing crackpots with the “Hillary for Prison” bumper stickers thought that would happen or would be appropriate.
But it is not correct to say that Clinton is off the hook.
She and her team screwed up when they set up the server. FBI Director James Comey says they were “extremely careless” in the handling of important e-mails, including a few that were classified.
So, Clinton should not, under any circumstances, say she’s been exonerated. No, she’s not legally culpable. But she did something for which she needs to apologize to the American people and promise that she will be more careful if she’s elected President in November.
A candid interview with a strong journalist – a Judy Woodruff or a Scott Pelley – would help.
3. America did something really great for its 240th birthday.
NASA confirmed last night that the Juno spacecraft entered Jupiter’s orbit, performing a complex maneuver after traveling 1.7 billion miles in nearly five years.
After about three months of making sure everything works OK, the spacecraft will begin its work trying to determine what the biggest planet in solar system is all about. In the process, it will tell us about the other planets in our system and the development of other systems.
Juno will hang about 3,000 miles away from Jupiter for more than a year before self-destructing.
It is a point of American pride that, so far, we are the only nation ever to put people on the moon. We have also pioneered the exploration of our solar system, landing vehicles on Mars and photographing so much of the planet that we can start drawing maps and make conclusions about its composition.
That’s what the United States, in peaceful partnership with the rest of the world, is capable of doing. When we welcome the best and brightest. When we confront something we don’t know and embrace the knowledge of it. When we shun ignorance and small-mindedness.
If you’re not proud of what we accomplished last night, you’re completely missing the point of the United States of America. It’s not enough to be the world’s most powerful nation. In thousands of years, we will be judged for how we advanced civilization and the human race.
The Juno mission is a gold star for us. It’s up in the western sky tonight, right next to a big honkin’ planet.
4. Hope everyone had a nice Independence Day.
I did, partly because my Mets came back from a 6-0 hole to beat the Miami Marlins, 8-6. I wasn’t at the game, and when I saw they were coming back I didn’t turn on the TV for fear I would interrupt the positive karma.
But then, after the game, the Mets decided to bring up Jose Reyes from the minor leagues.
As I wrote last week, I’m a little troubled by the decision to bring back someone who was one of the most popular players in franchise history. Last Halloween, Reyes was arrested for allegedly grabbing his wife by the neck and shoving her into a sliding glass door at a Maui hotel.
He wasn’t prosecuted because his wife declined to press charges – as, apparently, happens all too often in alleged domestic abuse cases. But Major League Baseball imposed a 52-game suspension without pay, and the team he was playing for, the Colorado Rockies, released him last month.
When Reyes was a Met, he was a joy to watch. He was young, fast and flashy. But he left as a free agent in 2011 as the team was wandering through the morass caused by the owners’ embrace of Bernard Madoff.
He’s older now, 33, and not likely to be the spark plug he was a decade ago.
But that’s not why the acquisition is troubling. It’s troubling because I’m a fan who likes to think of the players I root for as good guys. Pillars of the community. Teams – not just the Mets – promote that sort of thing, showing their players visiting disabled veterans or dishing out meals at a homeless shelter.
Now you’re bringing in a guy who, while not convicted, walks under a cloud for what he might have done to his wife. It’s upsetting.
On the other hand, he has paid the maximum price for how he stands under the law. Again, he’s not a convict, and in this country that still should mean something. So the Mets are giving him a second chance.
I would prefer they didn’t. But I hope he makes the best of it. Most importantly, I’d like to see him speak out about how spousal abuse ruins lives – victims, children, parents, extended family and, yes, the abuser.
The fans at Citi Field will be singing the Jose-d out words to a popular soccer song the first time he triples to the right field corner. Let’s hope he reminds them that it’s never OK to hurt people you love.