Category: Politics

Can it get even more rediculous?

If you have any doubt that the Obama administration, reluctantly or otherwise, is protecting that criminal Hillary Clinton from being indicted for breaking the law and basically allowing nations with hostile intentions to the US to use her setup as a doorway to hack our government, then read this latest revelation in this saga:

Documents recently obtained by the conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch show that in December 2010, then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staff were having difficulty communicating with State Department officials by e-mail because spam filters were blocking their messages. To fix the problem, State Department IT turned the filters off—potentially exposing State’s employees to phishing attacks and other malicious e-mails.

The mail problems prompted Clinton Chief of Staff Huma Abedin to suggest to Clinton, “We should talk about putting you on State e-mail or releasing your e-mail address to the department so you are not going to spam.” Clinton replied, “Let’s get [a] separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal [e-mail] being accessible.”

The mail filter system—Trend Micro’s ScanMail for Exchange 8—was apparently causing some messages from Clinton’s private server (Clintonemail.com) to not be delivered. Some were “bounced;” others were accepted by the server but were quarantined and never delivered to the recipient. According to the e-mail thread published yesterday by Judicial Watch, State’s IT team turned off both spam and antivirus filters on two “bridgehead” mail relay servers while waiting for a fix from Trend Micro.

There was some doubt about whether Trend Micro would address the issue before State performed an upgrade to the latest version of the mail filtering software. “I am not confident Trend Micro will provide an update for SMEX 8,” wrote one member of State’s IT team, Trey Jammes. “That is two revs behind their current offering, SMEX 10, and they are pushing us to go to that (currently in pilot), and they have never not yet been able to deliver a fool-proof solution for a problem that has been around for at least 2 years. Unfortunately, we have seen similar problems with SMEX 10… I don’t think we have seen that problem with SMEX 10 when running without the anti-spam piece.”

A State Department contractor support tech confirmed that two filters needed to be shut off in order to temporarily fix the problem—a measure that State’s IT team took with some trepidation, because the filters had “blocked malicious content in the recent past.”

It’s not clear from the thread that the issue was ever satisfactorily resolved, either with SMEX 8 or SMEX 10. But State’s unclassified e-mail system has been repeatedly breached by attackers. An attack purported to have been staged by Russian hackers caused the department to briefly shut down all its unclassified e-mail systems in 2014 but persisted within State’s network for more than a year afterward. Then Iranians spear-phished State employees in 2015, breaching the e-mail system again.

And those are the attacks we know of or they are willing to talk about. The FBI is pissed beyond belief with the amount of shit that got compromised and the amount of bad actors that got in, to the point that their director has refused stand down orders from the complicit WH. Think hard about this. We are in a country where a criminal that shouldn’t be allowed a security clearance of any kind not only still remains at large and is running for the highest office in the land, but is because of the blatant need to keep lying about what she did or ordered her minions to do, a prime candidate for blackmail by hostile agents of all sorts.

Can anyone seriously say that if this person was a republican, that they, and for that matter a sitting president that provided them cover for fear of what it would show about how inept and down right criminal their agency has been, would not be making license plates wearing an orange jump suit by now after a media firestorm and the opposition party basically going balisitic?

Yeah, I didn’t think so either, but this is the age of the credentialed democrat political aristocracy and that fundamental change Obama promissed us. Get used to being fucked over royally by people that think they are not just above the law, but that the law exists to go after their political enemies and anyone that stands in their way.

Sunday Triple Play

Three thoughts on unrelated topics:

Brexit:

When it came to the Brexit vote, I was partial to Remain, mainly because I am an avid supporter of free trade. And I’m worried that the departure of the UK could trigger an eventual dissolution of the EU, with bad economic consequences and an empowerment of Russia. I still worry about this but … I think the reaction of the Remain faction has been hysterical. Vox alone has run a few dozen articles rending their garments and gnashing their teeth over this. To borrow a thought from Greg Guttfield, this is about ten times as many articles as they’ve run on Venezuela, which is having an actual economic meltdown right now, with severe shortages of good, medicine and power. For Americans to go into hysterics because the UK’s economy might be a little weaker going forward while ignoring the Lord of the Flies situation developing in our own hemisphere is insane. McArdle argues they are lamenting the decline of this idea that we will no longer be citizens of nations but “citizens of the world” — a notion that has a lot of sway in elite circles.

Warren Meyer has a great post up, contrasting the “it was racism!” explanation that is now the default on the Left against the real regulations coming down on things like tea kettles. It’s worth a read but here’s a critical point:

The real crime from a US perspective is the actions of our President. Mr. Obama has told the British that by voting for Brexit, they go to “the back of the line” for trade negotiations with the US. This is, amongst a lot of stupid things politicians say, one of the stupidest I have ever heard. My response as president would have been to move Britain to the front of the line, offering them a free trade treaty with the US the day after the Brexit vote. Like most politicians, unfortunately, President Obama does not view trade as a vehicle for the enrichment of individuals but as a cudgel to enforce his whims in the foreign policy arena. Why on Earth has President Obama threatened to undermine America’s strong interest in trading with the UK merely to punish the UK for not staying in the EU, a transnational body this country would certainly never join?

The UK would be one of the most logical countries in the world for us to have a free trade agreement with. I have little hope that our next President will grok this.

Orlando:

The FBI has said that they have no evidence that the Orlando shooter was gay. That doesn’t prove he wasn’t, as the FBI notes. There are still indications from his friends and wife that he might have been. But the narrative that he was actively dating men and a regular at the club appears very unlikely.

The FBI is currently saying “they may never know” his motive, given some of the ambiguity around his sexuality. But given that he called 911 to specifically pledge allegiance to ISIS and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the slightest thought might begin to speculate about the merest possibility of crossing our minds that this was Jihadist terrorism. Especially as Jihadism and killing gay people are not exactly incompatible ideas.

Honestly, theres enough blood to go around. We don’t have to confine ourself to one motive.

Obamacare:

Blue Cross has announced that they are pulling out of the Minnesota individual insurance market. The Kaiser Foundation is projecting steep hikes in insurance premiums. The longer this goes on, the more Obamacare is faltering, slowly destroying the individual market. We’re barely two years into this thing and we are now at the point where it’s not if, but when, Obamacare is going to face a massive overhaul. I don’t know that the insurance market can be repaired after this. But I know that if we dick around for much longer, we’re going to see uninsured rates spike drastically to the point where individual insurance may cease to exist.

Makes you kind of wonder if that was the point.

The British people have spoken…

To be honest with you, I doubted every poll that showed that Britian would choose to remain in the UE simply because of all the water carrying by the usual lefitst big government types, and now that the only poll that counts has been taken, the results back my suspicions. By a 52 to 48 margin, those that voted chose to pull out of the EU. As was expected, there are both financial, and political impacts, but my favorite one is that the fucking scumbags were, yet again, on the wrong side of history. I don’t have to point out that all the people that said the other guy was in thw wrong, will now have to eat some crow.

As others pointed out during some chats in comments in other threads, this might not be a great thing for the British people. After all, they could simply be trading an unaccountable corrupt and totally inept political aritocracy in Brussels for one locally, with not much changing, but then again, I think the EU has been the prime example of what is wrong with collectivism gone haywire, and thus, I am glad to see that institution crumble and fall. Basically I see the Brexit vote as the people finally rebelling against a disconnected and abusive political ideocracy that has turned their lives into a miserable thing while pretending to do them right. And I admit I am not surprised by it. The political leadership around the globe today is basically a bunch of criminal idiots and unlike politicians of the past, no longer offer any real service in return for being able to feed at the trough.

Hey, speaking of a revolt against the political class: where else are we seeing something like that? Keep that in mind whenever you hear how bad Trump’s numbers are. The political aristocracy and their lackeys in the media have a vested interest in convincing people that Trump is DOA. Take that for what it is worth.

UPDATE: Oh, oh….

Voters in France, Italy and the Netherlands are demanding their own votes on European Union membership and the euro, as the continent faces a “contagion” of referendums.

EU leaders fear a string of copycat polls could tear the organisation apart, as leaders come under pressure to emulate David Cameron and hold votes.

It came as German business leaders handed a considerable boost to the Leave campaign by saying it would be “very, very foolish” to deny the UK a free trade deal after Brexit.

Get out of it, then form a trade pact so you are not getting screwed by the crooks in Brussels sounds like a smart thing to me…

Obama Smacked Down. Yes, Again.

The Supreme Court split 4-4 on United States v. Texas. This lets stand the lower court ruling that invalidated Obama’s attempt to do immigration reform by executive fiat. And it really should have been 8-0.

I support immigration reform. I also support doing it through Congress, as the Constitution mandates. If Obama has the executive power to rewrite immigration law, so will Trump.

When Stomping Your Feet And Holding Your Breath Does Not Work

Oh, look, the kid’s table is acting up again;

Rebellious Democrats shut down the House’s legislative work on Wednesday, staging a sit-in on the House floor and refusing to leave until they secured a vote on gun control measures. Exasperated Republicans were forced to recess while cutting off cameras that showed the protest.

I guess putting them in “time out” didn’t work

“No bill, no break,” shouted Democrats, who demanded that Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., keep the House in session through its planned weeklong recess next week to debate and vote on gun legislation.

What a spectacle, and on the House floor no less.

Rules, decorum, procedures, when you want something really bad, don’t let those get in your way.

I am reminded of the 100’s of bills the House passed that were DOA on Harry Reid’s desk, never placed before the Senate for a vote. Now this same party is getting some of their own, and they don’t like it one bit.

Ryan said Wednesday that House leaders were “waiting to see what the Senate does before proceeding” on gun legislation, including a possible compromise that Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is seeking.

But, but, we want to vote on it now, why won’t those meany Republicans let us vote on it now.

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Democrats, behaving in ways even their parents wouldn’t put up with.

No, Clinton is Not Inevitable

With Trump falling in the polls, his unfavorable numbers an all-time high and Clinton enjoying a huge money advantage, it would appear that the Donald’s campaign is in deep trouble. There are already people sticking a fork in him and Democrats dreaming of an electoral landslide and a capture of both houses of Congress.

This is way way way premature.

Look, I’m not saying this couldn’t end in an electoral massacre. I’ve put up several posts worrying about that possibility myself. But the idea that Trump is inevitably doomed and the only variables are just how badly the Republicans will be shellacked is ridiculous. There are four and a half months left of this campaign. Four and a half awful, interminable, grinding …

Ugh …. give me a second here.

Anyway, there are numerous reasons why Trump could make this close or even win:

  • The GOP is unlikely to allow the bad money situation to continue. There are simply too many people out there who want to contribute to the GOP for the money gap to persist.
  • The funding gap matters; it is not the end of the world. Money is important in politics: it’s how you buy ads, it’s how you get out the vote, it’s how you expand the ground game to get votes from people who aren’t political junkies. But money is not destiny. During Scott Walker’s re-election campaign, he was outspent massively. He still won.
  • We have an electoral system and the GOP has certain advantages. There are states that comprise a red wall that the Democrats are unlikely to take no matter how poorly the GOP candidate does. And, in the end, electoral college votes are what matter. If Clinton wins New York by three million votes and Trump wins Texas by one, Trump is still ahead. (That having been said, some alarming state polls are emerging, including a close race in Utah). Trump doesn’t need 50% of the votes. He just needs 50% of the electoral college.
  • Hillary Clinton is no Barack Obama. You have probably heard that Trump is the most unpopular Presidential candidate ever. The second most unpopular, however, is Hillary Clinton. Right now, she’s riding a wave from having clinched the nomination (just as Trump did). Eventually, people will remember that she’s Hillary Clinton. And the race will tighten.
  • The e-mail scandal is still hanging over Clinton. I don’t think she will be indicted even if she did commit a crime. This Administration has amply demonstrated that laws are for plebs, not elites. But there’s a reason Bernie Sanders isn’t packing it in. It turns out that he cares very much about Clinton’s damned e-mails after all.
  • The economy has shown signs of weakening. If we enter a recession later this year, that will hurt Clinton badly.
  • The news cycle … well, cycles. Trump has been hitting a wave of bad press recently — Judge Curiel, Orlando, Trump University, etc. Clinton, meanwhile, has been keeping her nose clean. This could reverse very quickly. Clinton is very good at screwing up and throwing away advantages. And she’s got 25 years of baggage. Watch the news regarding the Clinton Foundation. That could become a very big thing this summer.

I still think Clinton is going to win. But I don’t think it’s inevitable and I don’t think it’s going to be an historic blowout. There are simply too many balancing factors baked into our electoral system and this particular election to make that likely. It’s not impossible and I, for one, will be stocking up alcohol for election night. But it’s unlikely.

Of course, the gripping hand is that this election should be a slam dunk for the GOP. Their candidate should be leading by ten points right now. Paul Ryan should be smiling in his sleep, dreaming of what he could do with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. But the GOP mainstream rallied behind an extremely poor Bush III and the voters went with the angry cheeto. So here we are.

The War on [Omitted]

What the actual hell?

In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Attorney General Loretta Lynch says that on Monday, the FBI will release edited transcripts of the 911 calls made by the Orlando nightclub shooter to the police during his rampage.

“What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this man’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda,” Lynch said. “We are not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance [to the Islamic State].”

The Obama Administration did indeed release redacted transcripts of the 911 call, with references to ISIS and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi replaced with “[omitted]”. After relentless and brutal mockery in both traditional and social media, they reversed course and released the unredacted transcripts last night.

I have no idea what Lynch was thinking. You can see the unredacted transcript at the link and, really, it’s trivial stuff. It’s just the names of people we are effectively at war with. I’ve read what Lynch said. I’ve watched the video. And it still have no idea what she’s on about. Do they really think some terrorist’s decision about whether or not to kill a bunch of people is conditional on him hearing the name ISIS? Is ISIS like Beetlejuice? If we say their name three times, a terrorist get an AR-15?

I don’t think there’s any deep conspiracy here. This is just another case of the Obama Administration trying to look smarter than it is. I’m sure when they discussed this, some Ivy League idiot came up with this notion and they all thought it made them some really smart (since actually being smart about terrorism seems a bit beyond their capabilities). But once it got out, the rest of the country sad, “Huh? What?! That makes no sense.”

This is how “Sensible gun control” really works

When your government disarms you in the name of public safety and security, the only people with guns will be the agents of the state and the criminals. In Brazil, a nation with one of the world’s most draconian gun control frameworks in place, crime also sets a world record. Case in point stories like this one:

After two members of the Australian Paralympic sailing squad were robbed at gunpoint, Australia’s Olympic team leader is urging Brazilian authorities to implement Olympic-scale security now in Rio de Janeiro “before an athlete gets hurt.”
The weekend incident in Rio highlighted fears of crime against foreign athletes ahead of the Aug. 5-21 Summer Games.

An estimated 85,000 police and soldiers will be patrolling the streets during the Olympics and Paralympics, but violent crime remains a fact of life in Rio.

This shit can’t be made up. In a country where owning a gun carries swift and horrible repercussions, gun wielding criminals robbed some handicapped Olympians despite the fact that the government claims some 85K agents of the state are out patrolling the streets to prevent this sort of crime.

Reality is that when seconds count help will always be minutes late. That’s why the best defense is people that have the ability to defend themselves. Of course, had Brazilians been able to defend themselves, they would have likely lynched their corrupt and criminal political aristocracy after the recent revelations of how hard they have been screwed by them. And I have no doubt that these scumbags that passed these laws’ primary reason behind the “sensible gun control laws” was to make sure that scenario couldn’t play out, from the start.

The left in this country wants to disarm the citizenry for the same reason. They have lost any desire to waste time pretending they aren’t crooks, as the past 7 years clearly show us, and if it was up to them things would only get worse. But the fear of an armed response from an angry people still holds some sway, so from that we get the surreal world we have today where terrorist attacks by islamist monsters warp into calls for disarming law abiding citizens.

Say what you want, but the forefathers that created this once great nation had the prescience to realize that the constitution was worthless paper without it also guaranteeing the people with the means to protect their rights from a calous political class claiming to want to do something noble and good and robbing us of said freedoms and the ability to protect them especially. Collectivism may claim noble intentions, but it is a scourge on humanity.

Another Day, Another Trumpocalypse

If there is a difference between the campaign Trump is running and one designed to destroy the GOP and give the Democrats enough numbers to pass their dream agenda, I have yet to see it.

Assuming, for the moment, that Trump is earnestly trying to win this thing, it’s a good illustration of the difference between someone saying, “Hey, I should be President!” and actually being President. Being President means watching what you say because politics is stupid but real. It means compromising with people who don’t agree with you 100% and want some of the credit for themselves. It means cobbling together coalitions. And yes, it means calling up rich people and raising metric tons of money.

Best of Lee: Brownie Moment

This was one of my favorite Leeisms:

I’d like to take a moment to coin a new phrase: Brownie Moment. A Brownie moment can be defined simply as the moment when a supporter of President Bush is smacked in the head by reality and loses any and all faith in the president from that moment forward. As you may have surmised the term comes from Bush’s recent comment regarding former FEMA head Michael Brown’s leadership in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”

This was my Brownie moment. I understand that in the world of politics leaders often have to say things they don’t mean, or shake hands with dictators and scumbags, and do a lot of morally repugnant stuff. But when Bush said that I realized that after surveying the impotent, incompetent response of the federal government he truly, honestly believed that Brownie was doing a heck of a job. That sealed it for me. I’d been turning sour on Bush for a while, but I was still generally supportive of him. When I heard him make that remark, however, that was it. That was my Brownie moment.

I bring this up in light of the Miers nomination. There are a whole lot of head-scratching Republicans gazing at each other wondering what the hell just happened. Could Bush really have nominated this woman to the Supreme Court? Yes, my friends, he just did. I imagine there are a whole lot of conservatives out there today who have just had their very own Brownie moment.

I bring this up because it seems like a lot of Republicans are having “Trumpie Moments”. A lot of Republicans have been endorsing Donald Trump. This is not unusual, of course, parties endorse their nominees. Duh. But it’s come under extra scrutiny this year because Trump is not an ordinary candidate. He’s brash. He’s politically incorrect. The things he says are controversial and often have no relationship with the truth. He contradicts himself, sometimes in mid-sentence.

But Republicans have still endorsed him. Partly because they don’t want to be told what to do by the elite media. Partly because they see defeating Hillary as the most important thing in this election. Partly because they’re hoping he’ll become more Presidential as time goes on. Partly because they think this is an act and he’ll either govern moderately or just rubber stamp their legislation. And partly because they genuinely support him.

But with Trump’s poll numbers plunging, his tone not moderating, a bad money situation developing in the RNC, new polls indicating the House and Senate may be at risk, and indications that Trump is already planning a post-election TV network, a lot of Republicans are backing away from their endorsements or saying they won’t support him. Larry Hogan, Richard Armitage, Rick Snyder, John Kasich, Mark Kirk and Fred Upton are the most prominent names of what is becoming a stampede.

I think a lot of people are having “Trumpie Moments” right now. They’re realizing that his caustic tone isn’t an act, it’s who he is. They’re realizing that he’s bringing the same financial disaster to the RNC that he brought to his businesses. It’s getting so bizarre — Trump is apparently wanting to push hard in traditional blue states like California, rather than swing states like Ohio — that some people are openly wondering if he’s tanking the election. There’s enough defection right now, that Gary Johnson is polling in the low 10’s. If he gets to 15%, he’ll get into the debates (in theory; I suspect the media will find an excuse to keep him out).

This is bad. We can deal with President Clinton and a Republican Congress. But we can’t deal with President Clinton and a Democratic Congress. There’s four and a half months to go and a lot can happen. I make absolutely no predictions. But a year ago, I thought the Republicans would easily sweep this election and get another chance to be conservative. Now, we’re looking at the possible total crackup of the GOP and a Democratic sweep.

And yeah, I know some people are going to say that’s great, that the GOP needs to be burned down. These people are fools. I’ve quoted Charles Cooke before but it’s worth quoting again:

But the idea that it hasn’t effectively and consistently opposed President Obama’s agenda is little more than a dangerous and ignorant fiction. Had the GOP not been standing in the way — both from 2008, when it was in the minority everywhere, and from 2010, when it regained the House — the United States would look dramatically different than it does today. Without the GOP manning the barricades, Obamacare could well have been single payer, and, at the very least, the law would have included a “public option.” Without the GOP manning the barricades, we’d have seen a carbon tax or cap-and-trade — or both. Without the GOP manning the barricades, we’d have got union card check, and possibly an amendment to Taft-Hartley that removed from the states their power to pass “right to work” exemptions. Without the GOP standing in the way, we’d now have an “assault weapons” ban, magazine limits, background checks on all private sales, and a de facto national gun registry. And without the GOP standing in the way in the House, we’d have got the very amnesty that the Trump people so fear

I would add, as I noted before, that Obama wanted to spend $2.5 trillion that the GOP refused to spend, including $700 billion in 2015 alone.

It’s scary what Hillary Clinton would do, pulled to the far Left by Bernie Sanders and unfettered by a GOP Congress. The White House may or may not be a lost cause. As I said, we’ve got four months left. But the House and Senate are not lost causes. And the GOP needs to go all out protecting them. And any conservative or libertarian who values divided government should get on board.