Free Markets, Free People

Hillary Clinton

Will justice actually be served?

Anthony DeChristopher over at The Hill thinks the latest finds on Hillary’s email server are a “game changer”.  And he makes a good point … it’s a game changer for someone:

Special Access Programs (SAP) is a game changer.  It is now undeniably clear that the results of the FBI investigation will be the end of one of two things:  Hillary’s bid for the White House or the legitimacy of the FBI—at least when it comes to prosecuting cases on the mishandling of classified material.

The FBI’s reputation has been tarnished in the last decade or so.  No longer is it thought of quite in the same way it once was.  A series of missteps, scandals and problems have lowered the once sterling reputation of the law enforcement agency.

On the other hand is a powerful political figure that’s in the running for President of the United States and just happens to be of the same party and the presently serving President of the United States.  To make it clear, the FBI works for the executive department under the Department of Justice.  And, of course, the DoJ is headed by an Obama appointee.  Oh, and remember, the Dems want to hold on to the White House.

Hillary Clinton is a “win at any price” person.  She badly wants to be the first female President of the United States.  Badly.  Very, very badly.

The FBI wants to polish up its reputation as the incorrigible and incorruptible law enforcement agency that isn’t swayed or impacted by politics, but simply enforces the law.

Something has got to give.

DeChristopher is apparently a former Special Forces soldier who gives you a brief run down of the gravity of the Clinton offense.

First, when imagery that is classified SECRET//NOFORN (no foreign national) is viewed, regardless of the absence of classification markings, it is distinctly evident. Second, any documents that contain or reference HUMINT is always classified SECRET, and if specific names of sources or handlers are mentioned, they are at a minimum SECRET//NOFORN.  Third, SIGINT is always classified at the TS level.  It’s not uncommon for some SI to be downgraded and shared over SECRET mediums, however, it is highly unlikely that a Secretary of State would receive downgraded intelligence.  Finally, SAP intelligence has been discovered on Clinton’s private server, and many are now calling this the smoking gun.  SAP is a specialized management system of additional security controls designed to protect SAR or Special Access Required.  SAR has to do with extremely perishable operational methods and capabilities, and only selected individuals who are “read on” or “indoctrinated” are permitted access to these programs.  The mishandling of SAP can cause catastrophic damage to current collection methods, techniques and personnel.

Got it? This isn’t something that is hard to figure out, and anyone who has worked at high levels of government for years already knows all this.  Now comes the chaser:

In other words, if you have worked with classified material for more than a day, it seems highly implausible that someone could receive any of the aforementioned over an un-secure medium without alarm bells sounding.  However, reading about a Special Access Program on an unclassified device would make anyone even remotely familiar with intelligence mess their pantsuit.

You can tell it has put her highness off her stride, but she’s resurrecting the VRWC to cover that.

However this is going to be interesting to watch.  There is a large amount of evidence that points to her being directly responsible for a horrific, nay, epic security breach at the highest level.

Will the FBI do it’s job?  Or is this, like so many Clinton scandals, going to end up with no action being taken when you can be sure if it was you or I, we’d be frog-marched so fast to the local hoosegow that it would make our heads swim.

But we’re the little people, aren’t we?

~McQ

The death knell of establishment politics?

As much as the media would like to cast what’s going on during the GOP presidential nomination process as a “crisis for the GOP”, the Dems have their own establishment crisis problem.  And it is getting very little media coverage.  But Kim Strassel talks about it today in her WSJ piece.  As much as the Democrats (and media) would like voters to believe the right is melting down and heading toward Tea Party land, it seems clear the left is getting ready to “Move On.”

On both sides, frustration with the establishment is the most evident feature:

Some of Mrs. Clinton’s struggles are self-imposed. She’s a real-world, political version of Pig-Pen, trailing along her own cloud of scandal dust. Even Democrats who like her don’t trust her. And a lot of voters are weary or unimpressed by the Clinton name. For all the Democratic establishment’s attempts to anoint Mrs. Clinton—to shield her from debates and ignore her liabilities—the rank and file aren’t content to have their nominee dictated.

Especially because many of those rank and file belong to a rising progressive movement that has no time or interest in the old Clinton mold. Barack Obama’s biggest legacy may prove his dismantling of the Democratic center. He ran as a uniter, but he governed as a divisive ideologue and as a liberal, feeding new fervor in the progressive wing.

These progressives proved more eager than even the Republicans to steadily pick off Democratic moderates—and helped the GOP to decimate their ranks. The Democratic congressional contingent is now at its smallest size since before FDR. But boy is it pure, and it retains an unwavering belief that its path to re-election is to double down on the Obama agenda.

I have to admit loving the characterization of Hillary as “Pig Pen”.  That notwithstanding, you’d think Hillary, who has prepared for this since Bill first stepped into the White House, would be a natural choice of the left.  But then how does one explain the rise of someone who uses the term “socialist” to describe himself because communist would likely be a bridge too far?  It’s because the left and right have drifted further apart over the years and the “establishment” of both parties has been set adrift.  It’s because to more and more Americans (who didn’t live during the Cold War and didn’t see the wreck the Soviet Union was when it imploded) are enamored with the idea of “equality” as the left now describes it.  Equal income, high minimum wage, free this and free that.  When you’re an economic illiterate, those things are appealing.  And when you further believe the government is the instrument of all things good, well, you’re on the road to serfdom.

Just as Donald Trump is busy calling out the GOP pretenders to the throne, the lefty heroes are undermining the chances of the anointed one:

The president insists that financial institutions were entirely to blame for the 2008 crisis, and that government’s role is to transfer more from those greedy capitalist owners to poor Americans. Out of this class warfare came the likes of Occupy Wall Street, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and today a Sanders campaign that describes “wealth and income equality” as the great “moral issue” of our time.

Mrs. Warren, a progressive hero, went out of her way last week to praise the Sanders Wall Street “reform” plan. Even Joe Biden wanted in on the action, lauding Mr. Sanders and suggesting that Mrs. Clinton was still “relatively new” to the income-inequality debate. Hillary is stuck trying to explain why her campaign donations from bankers aren’t a disqualifier.

The usual subjects have also rallied around the Clinton opposition:

These movements and activists (who also embrace the gun debate, and the women’s-rights debate, and socialized health-care debate) are now the beating heart of the Democratic Party. And they are rallying around Mr. Sanders. MoveOn.org has endorsed Bernie. The liberal Nation magazine has endorsed him. Bill McKibben, the head of 350.org, has endorsed him. Jodie Evans, the co-founder of the antiwar group Codepink has endorsed him. Celebrity activists like Susan Sarandon and Mark Ruffalo are feeling the Bern.

Now no one is saying that all that is enough.  But for both parties, if ever they figured out they had missed their wake up call, this is the season that drills that home.  For too long, both establishment parties have taken their voters for granted, essentially merged into a tax and spend entity that no one is satisfied with, and have missed the proverbial boat for government reform.  Of course, reform is defined differently by the right and left, but you get my point.

The party that is in trouble this year isn’t the GOP or the Democrats, per se.  It is the party of establishment politicians who’ve ignored the restless and frustrated voters one election too many.  People are tired of the Obamafication of politics – talk, talk, talk and then do what the hell you want to do.

We’ll see how it all turns out, but it is one of the more interesting political periods of my lifetime – and I’ve been around since Truman.

~McQ

Stray Voltage

So yesterday was one of those days with a million things to do and not enough time to do them … such as blogging.  Anyway, today, we see a college pushing back against the tyranny of the ignorant:

Oxford University installed its first female vice-chancellor this week, Louise Richardson, who boldly stressed the importance of free speech and critical thinking at university amid roiling student protests.

Addressing students for the first time in her new role, Richardson urged them to be open-minded and tolerant; and to engage in debate rather than censorship, alluding to countless calls from students at Oxford and other universities across the U.K. to ban potentially offensive speakers and rename or remove historical monuments.

“How do we ensure that we educate our students both to embrace complexity and retain conviction?” she asked. “How do we ensure that they appreciate the value of engaging with ideas they find objectionable, trying through reason to change another’s mind, while always being open to changing their own? How do we ensure that our students understand the true nature of freedom of inquiry and expression?”

Richardson’s installment comes as students at Oxford’s Oriel College campaign to dismantle a statue of Cecil Rhodes, the British colonialist who endowed the Rhodes Scholarship.

They claim the monument glorifies a man who was “the Hitler of South Africa” and speaks to “the size and strength of Britain’s imperial blind spot.”

Uh, that’s history, and that’s precisely the message that was conveyed by Ms Richardson to those who would take down Rhode’s statue:

Richardson stood by the university’s chancellor, Lord Patten of Barnes, as he referenced the statue debate, reminding students that history cannot be rewritten “according to our contemporary views and prejudices.” He, too, was forthright in his criticism of speech codes and calls for “no-platforming” controversial speakers.

The point Richardson makes seems to be a difficult one for the SJWs to grasp.  Obviously none of them are Rhodes Scholars.  Good for Louise Richardson.

The “melting pot” makes a comeback:

A generation ago the Europeans, who had bled themselves white in war after war, usually in the service of chauvinistic nationalism, decided they could save the day with a new concept called multiculturalism. The concept was vague but expansive, which celebrated ethnic and other cultural differences and sprinkling them with holy water. “Multi-culti” became fashionable.

Soon Europe’s native minorities were joined by vast new numbers of arrivals from places far from Europe, many from former colonial appendages. By cultivating their differences, rather inviting them to join a melting pot that had worked so well for so long in North America, tolerance and “cultural enrichment” became the norm.

But there’s a growing realization that maybe “multi-culti” hasn’t worked so well, after all. Prominent Europeans are turning their backs on the idea. Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany have called the scheme, however well meant, into serious question.

Segregating by culture, claiming all cultures are as viable as the next and “tolerating” what is intolerable in the native culture do not lead to a harmonious or united nation.  You’d think smart people could have figured that out before going all in on this sort of experiment that had “bad idea” written all over it when it began.  And that’s been proven now, with the wrecked lives of a number of British girls (Rotherham):

The British Home Secretary, Theresa May, told Parliament that “institutionalized political correctness” was responsible for the lack of attention given to the mass rape.

In other words, between protecting over a thousand girls from repeated gang rape and protecting Muslims from being identified as the rapists, British authorities chose to protect multiculturalism and “diversity.” In the competition between multiculturalism and one of the most elementary instincts and obligations of higher civilization — the protection of girls and women from sexual violence — higher civilization lost.

And look what their choice got them.  The authorities need to be in jail for their refusal to do what was right and, by the way, their job.  Oh, and feminists?  Where are you?

How bad a candidate is Hillary Clinton?  This is just an indicator:

Bernie Sanders has a 19-point lead over Hillary Clinton among Democratic and independent women ages 18 to 34, according to a USA Today/Rock the Vote poll.

The Vermont senator, who has been surging in the polls in the last two weeks, won 50 percent compared to Clinton’s 31 percent among millennial women.

However, I have to say, if your choice on that side of the political spectrum is narrowed down to these two, you’re stuck with two bad candidates anyway.

Yeow.  Really?

A poll out Thursday from the Pew Research Center shows more Americans distrust sharing their personal information with social media companies, smart cars and homes than office surveillance cameras, retail loyalty programs and health services websites.

According to the study, 54 percent of American adults polled found the prospect of security cameras in their workplace capable of tracking employee performance and attendance with facial recognition technology and stockpiled footage “acceptable,” compared to 51 percent who said it was “not acceptable” to give up personal information in exchange for free use of a social media platform, which would use the data to target users with ads.

“More acceptable”?  How about finding neither “acceptable.”

By the way, if you’re wondering why Clinton is losing millennial women to Sanders, this may be the cause:

As for Mrs. Clinton, she has clearly been rattled by Mr. Trump’s merciless resurrection of her alleged complicity in the sometimes brutal handling of women involved in her husband’s dramas. This reminds everyone of—and introduces young voters, who were children during the Gennifer Flowers through Monica Lewinsky stories to—the whole sordid underside of Clintonism. Mrs. Clinton clearly wasn’t expecting it, and she bobbled. She has never gone up against a competitor like Mr. Trump.

History is a bear, and this is a history that I would bet (especially in the light of the Cosby problem) that many of those women weren’t familiar.  It really puts “hollow” in the claim of feminism Clinton has been trying to sell them.  Instead, it shouts “enabler”.  Add in all the other negatives and the candidate looks even less attractive to them.  Most of us would consider it to be well earned shadenfruede.

Is the next recession already teed up?  And will it be worse than 2008?

A major contributor for this imminent recession is the fallout from a faltering Chinese economy. The megalomaniac communist government has increased debt 28 times since the year 2000. Taking that total north of 300 percent of GDP in a very short period of time for the primary purpose of building a massive unproductive fixed asset bubble that adds little to GDP.

Now that this debt bubble is unwinding, growth in China is going offline. The renminbi’s falling value, cascading Shanghai equity prices (down 40 percent since June 2014) and plummeting rail freight volumes (down 10.5 percent year over year), all clearly illustrate that China is not growing at the promulgated 7 percent, but rather isn’t growing at all. The problem is that China accounted for 34 percent of global growth, and the nation’s multiplier effect on emerging markets takes that number to over 50 percent.

China has been in trouble for a while.  In my best Rev. Wright voice, I wonder if the “chickens are coming home to roost?”  I also wonder if so, what that means in terms of stability for China’s ancient totalitarian ruling class.

And in the world of participation trophies and no consequences, this was inevitable:

With nothing but hope and her faulty judgement, Cinnamon Nicole allegedly spent her entire life savings buying up all the Powerball tickets she could afford. But the Cordova resident ended up a broke loser when none of her lucky numbers matched Wednesday’s $1.6 billion Powerball numbers.

So what’s a penniless woman to do when she’s still all filled with hope but not a hint of common sense? Create a GoFundMe page, get donations and “spend another fortune trying to hit it big again.” That’s what Nicole did before GoFundMe decided they weren’t going to stand idly by while she makes a mockery of the crowdfunding site and shut her Powerball Reimbursement page down.

And yes, before GoFundMe shut her down, she had actually raised $800.

*sigh*

Have a great weekend.

~McQ

 

Oh, yeah … the “debate”

Also known as a free prime time commercial for the Democratic party.

Much has been made of the Hillary “enemies” comment.

Meh.  I actually agree with Jonah Goldberg:

1. This should properly be considered a Kinsley gaffe in that she accidentally told the truth.

Absolutely … since the early days of HC, she’s always fallen back on the VRWC as a reason for her bad press.  She just made it official last night … among others she considers Republicans “enemies”.  Which, of course, would give any Republican that warm, fuzzy feeling if she were ever elected President – God forbid.

That said, here’s the important part:

2. Even though it was gaffe, it won’t get treated as one by the media because it doesn’t sound like one to their ears (for all the obvious reasons).

Indeed.  And don’t forget it was a media type who asked the question.  But again, enemies you’re most proud of having – Republicans?  My goodness.  Jim Webb made her and the others look petty and small.  But that won’t play in the media either.

Finally:

3. It wasn’t necessarily bad politics — in the primaries. The Democratic base largely shares her Manicheanism when it comes to the Republican party these days.

Exactly.  She was singing to the choir last night and as far as the choir is concerned, the tune was perfect.
So don’t expect anything to come of that supposed “gaffe” except grumbling and mumbling among the right.

~McQ

Hillary Clinton’s latest position of political convenience – opposition to the Keystone pipeline

As one might imagine, her opposition comes as somewhat of a surprise:

Her comments made her the last major Democratic presidential candidate to come out against Keystone, a project that has dragged through more than seven years of wrangling and several environmental reviews that appeared to favor the pipeline — most of them produced by the State Department when Clinton was secretary. Obama remains the project’s biggest wildcard: He hasn’t said whether he will grant or deny a permit for the pipeline, or when he’ll decide, even as Republicans lambaste him for repeatedly postponing the issue.

As secretary, Clinton had galvanized a nationwide activist campaign against Keystone with her off-the-cuff remarks in 2010 that the department was “inclined” to approve the $8 billion-plus project. That was her last substantive public statement on the issue until Tuesday.

But then, when poll numbers are sinking and momentum is waning, what better than to flip-flop (when you favor the candidate, it’s called a “pivot”) and throw a bone to a particular core constituency to shore up that vote? Its a move any political opportunist would surely applaud.

Why the Keystone XL pipeline has remained such a political football remains a mystery.  All the past routing problems that first held up the pipeline have been satisfactorily resolved.   And, after all, there are 2.3 million miles of existing oil and natural gas pipelines in the US.  Why has this one remained in the news?

Simple answer?  Politics.  It’s about voting constituencies and keeping them happy.  It certainly isn’t about what is best for the US.

As The Hill points out, it has now officially taken longer for the federal government to review the Keystone XL pipeline’s permit application than it did to build the entire transcontinental railroad 150 years ago.

Amazing and typical.  As for the party that continues to tell us it is for jobs and economic growth, it blatantly turns its back on both with its opposition to the pipeline’s approval:

Consider the economic opportunity this $5.4 billion pipeline presents. The Canadian Economic Research Institute estimates it could add $172 billion in U.S. economic growth over 25 years. Meanwhile, President Obama’s own U.S. State Department estimates construction would support over 42,000 jobs. Nearly 10,000 would be skilled—aka, well-paying—jobs like steel welders, pipefitters, electricians, and heavy equipment operators.

There’s also the potential for gas prices to go even lower than they are today. According to a February 2015 report from IHS, a leading energy research firm, the “vast majority” of Keystone XL’s refined oil will stay right here in the U.S. In other words, it could further add to America’s surging oil supply that has sent gas prices plummeting over the past year.

And yes, as mentioned, that’s the US State Department estimate made while Hillary Clinton was SecState.

Environmentalists live with the fantasy that if the Keystone pipeline is blocked, the oil to be found in the oil sands of Canada and in North Dakota will simply have to be left in the ground.  Of course, that’s nonsense.  Instead is it is shipped by rail, a much less safe and less efficient means of transportation (but one that does amply reward a Democratic donor) than a state of the art pipeline :

This is especially so when you consider pipelines—particularly new, state-of-the-art ones like Keystone XL—are the safest mode of transportation. Ensuring we’re using the safest and most efficient methods possible only makes sense.

Indeed.  So, why is Hillary Clinton opposed to safe transportation of oil and gas, the jobs and income that would come from the construction of the pipeline and economic boost it would give our economy?

Perhaps someone will ask her that at the first Democratic debate.

Yeah, I know, I’m laughing too.

~McQ