Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Cruising the Web

Is Tim Kaine trying to give people more of a reason to vote to keep Republican control of the Senate? Now he's threatening that, if the Democrats gain control of the Senate and Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, they would employ the nuclear option to get rid of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations. The Republicans should get some ads up there in the tough states for their Senate candidates to encourage voters to vote a check on Hillary Clinton by voting Republican for the Senate.

PJ Media reminds us of three times that the Clinton Foundation took money from governments that fund terrorism and/or have bad human rights records. THey took money from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Accepting huge sums of money from governments that Hillary herself stated fund the Islamic State is bad enough. What’s even worse is that the donations seem to influence her positions.

There are many, many, troubling indications that Clinton is susceptible to bribes.

On January 18, 2015, Clinton’s closest aide Huma Abedin wrote to Podesta and Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook about a proposed meeting between Clinton and King Mohammed VI of Morocco:

Just to give you some context, the condition upon which the Moroccans agreed to host the meeting was her participation. If hrc was not part if it, meeting was a non-starter. CGI [Clinton Global Initiative] also wasn’t pushing for a meeting in Morocco and it wasn’t their first choice. This was HRC’s idea, our office approached the Moroccans and they 100 percent believe they are doing this at her request.

The King has personally committed approx $12 million both for the endowment and to support the meeting. It will break a lot of china to back out now when we had so many opportunities to do it in the past few months. She created this mess and she knows it.
The king of Morocco gave $12 million to the Clinton Foundation “to support” a meeting with Clinton.


In November 2015, the State Department approved the sale of a $157 million missile system to Morocco, a state with an extremely poor human rights record.
The examples continue with Qatar which got 14 times as many authorizations of sales of military equipment under Clinton's State Department than in Bush's second term.

Of course, the Clintons will use the same line that they used throughout Bill's presidency - that there is no evidence of a quid pro quo. Of course there isn't. They're too crafty to put anything in writing. But there is that infamous "culture of corruption" that the Democrats use to complain about.

Gee what a coincidence! Apparently, the man the Justice Department chose to head up the investigation of Clinton's use of her server and the renewed investigation has all sorts of connections to the Clinton campaign.
In summary: The Justice Department official overseeing the latest email investigation of Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized use of a non-secure, non-governmental email server for her work-related correspondence as Secretary of State once represented Campaign Chair John Podesta during the Clinton impeachment proceedings. He was recommended for his current job by that same Podesta during the latter’s stint in the Obama Administration. He dined privately with Podesta during the Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony. His son asked Podesta for a job on the Clinton campaign. And he was a central figure in the cash-for-pardon Marc Rich scandal in the waning days of the Clinton Administration.

At this point, is there anyone working at the Justice Department who hasn’t been tainted by the stench of Clinton corruption?
Yup, these are the people who are trying to convince us they should be in charge of national security.
An unnamed “senior aide” to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left classified information unsecured and unattended in a hotel room during a 2010 trip to China, one of several overseas lapses by Clinton’s inner circle, Fox News has learned.

Confirmation of the alarming violation comes as Clinton herself is under a renewed FBI probe for mishandling sensitive information on a private server and her longtime senior aide, Huma Abedin, also faces scrutiny as part of the investigation. It was not known which of Clinton’s aides left the information exposed.

“In May 2010, Secretary Clinton was on official travel in Beijing, China, accompanied by senior staff. Upon Secretary Clinton’s departure, a routine security sweep by Diplomatic Security agents identified classified documents in a staff member’s suite,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told Fox News in a statement, issued several weeks after a Freedom of Information Act request was filed with the agency.
Remember how we were assured by Clinton that there was no evidence that her secret had been hacked. Well, not so fast.
Judicial Watch today released new State Department documents detailing repeated efforts to hack into the unsecure email system used by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in November 2010. The hacks are detailed in email exchanges between State Department IT official Brian Pagliano and Bill Clinton aide Justin Cooper. The emails show the system was hacked 10 times in two days from November 27 to 29.

The documents also reveal that Pagliano warned Cooper that because of an outside service vendor relied upon by the Clinton system, “we’d be susceptible to such an attack.” Cooper subsequently informed the U.S. Secret Service of the attempted hacks, providing agents with each of the ten reports and summaries Pagliano had provided him.

The new documents were among the nearly 15,000 Clinton emails discovered by the FBI, and obtained in response to an April 8, 2016, federal court order directing the Department of State to begin producing materials for Judicial Watch in response to a September 3, 2015 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit
Think of that. They knew that there had been a hacking attack on the server in 2010 and she kept on using it. And the Secret Service knew about this and did nothing.

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Jack Shafer writes at Politico that CNN's firing of Donna Brazile should be the start of a cleaning out of political hacks who are hired on by news organizations to comment on politics.
Her deceit reveals an ugly aspect of news talk that will probably go unremedied as Brazile is tarred and feathered by the ethics cops: That is, the whole show-business concept that places paid partisan yakkers on television is corrupt and venal and deserves burial in a shallow grave. The yakkers populate the news shows not because they add much in the way of substance to our political knowledge, but because they’re a cheap form of on-air talent for television’s 24/7 programming needs, and television has been over-relying on them for a long time. A partial list of notable politicians or political operators who’ve worked their way into TV includes Tim Russert, Bill Bradley, George Stephanopoulos, Joe Scarborough, Van Jones, William Safire, James Carville, Jeffrey Lord, Kayleigh McEnany, Pat Buchanan, Rick Santorum, Paul Begala, David Gergen, Chris Matthews, Peggy Noonan, Sarah Palin, Jennifer Granholm, David Axelrod, Tony Blankley, Mary Matalin, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Mike Huckabee, John Bolton, Newt Gingrich, Eliot Spitzer and Corey Lewandowski.

TV hires these people and their ilk not for their spellbinding political insights but because they’re known quantities who will provide safe and predictable idle talk. By dividing their partisan contributors between Republicans and Democrats, TV creates the illusion of impartiality and inclusion. The contributors take the job because it’s easy—anybody can fill the air with platitudes and generalization, and all that face-time makes them more marketable on the lecture circuit. Working as a paid pundit is such a good deal, the contributors tend to conform to the expectations of the producers putting on the show. They hit their marks, fill the dead spaces with palaver, keep the commercials from bumping into one another, and sit at attention until called on—or interrupt should the show stall.

Not every TV contributor moment is a complete botch. Most of these people, with the exception of Lewandowski, know something about politics. Much more than you do. Much, much more than I do. But it’s not in, say, David Axelrod’s interests to share a damaging insight about Barack Obama, the horse he rode to prominence on. Almost to a one, the contributors pull punches and dilute the political conversation to the weakest of teas so the people in the bar and riding the elliptical trainers at the gym don’t have to strain to follow the Punch and Judy of it all.

What transpires during the paid contributor segments isn’t journalism. It isn’t politics. And it’s rarely even entertaining. I’d call it the worst sort of tasteless soy filler, only that would be an insult to soy, which is nutritious. There’s no reason outside of pragmatism that justifies their continued employment on the news shows.

Instead of deploying political hacks, the news shows would be smarter to hire journalists whose job it would be to extract meaningful information from the political hacks. Under my scheme, the Braziles and Carvilles and Palins could still be interviewed on TV, but they couldn’t draw pay—and they’d have to have something worthy to say or accept having the camera cut away from them.

Donna Brazile is probably sipping a cocktail tonight somewhere in Washington, wondering what hit her. CNN hired her to be a partisan, although not as much as her real employer, and what can be more partisan than leaking valuable political intelligence to help your side? Did CNN really think that the elementary concepts of journalistic fairness would govern her conduct?
I so agree with this. These hacks really say anything worthwhile. It's all predictable partisan babble that just fills time.

Jonah Goldberg is in accord with Shafer's argument, but would separate out those who are still getting paid to be a political operative and those who have completely left their political career and now are full-time pundits.
Having a past in politics shouldn’t disqualify you from sharing your opinions on TV. But it would be best if that past was, you know, in the past. Green rooms are full of people playing pundit on TV who are really just carrying water for their party or partisan faction with the talking points of the day.

If you still work for the party or one of its paper-tiger fronts or if you work for a SuperPAC helping a candidate, by all means go on TV. But don’t pretend you’re a dispassionate analyst. More than once I’ve talked to supposedly independent party-hacks-turned-pundits who, when the camera is off, said something like “You’re obviously right. But I couldn’t have possibly have said that on-air.” This happens on both sides of the ideological aisle....

I don’t think Shafer is right that they are all banal air-fillers. Evan Bayh? Sure. But Karl Rove and Joe Trippi provide real insight and substance. So does David Axelrod. Heck, William F. Buckley ran for mayor. Some former White House speechwriters are wildly overrated as analysts and pundits and some are wildly underrated.

Anyway the point is, by all means have a purge. But let’s be more selective and discerning about it – like they do in all the best purges.

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Hillary just can't stop lying. It's what she does.
Hillary Clinton claimed incorrectly during an address Tuesday evening that she was in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I know what happened not far from here at Pulse nightclub in Orlando," the Democratic nominee said at a campaign rally in Sanford, Fla., in reference to a mass shooting event in which an Islamic State-inspired 29-year-old, Omar Mateen, shot and killed more than 40 patrons at a gay bar.

"I was in New York City on 9/11 as one of two senators," Clinton added. "I will defeat ISIS."

Clinton was in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001. Congress was still in session. When transportation became available on Sept. 12, she traveled to New York City to survey the damage with then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
It's such an unnecessary lie. She could make the same point without the self aggrandizement. But the woman who lied about landing under sniper fire in Bosnia while First Lady isn't above telling such lies. Think about how many Pinocchios she could earn

The WSJ reports on some of what we're learning about widespread marijuana usage in the states that have legalized it.
One problem is that legalization and celebrity glamorization have removed any social stigma from pot and it is now ubiquitous. Minors can get pot as easily a six pack. Since 2011 marijuana consumption among youth rose by 9.5% in Colorado and 3.2% in Washington even as it dropped 2.2% nationwide. The Denver Post reports that a “disproportionate share” of marijuana businesses are in low-income and minority communities. Many resemble candy stores with lollipops, gummy bears and brownies loaded with marijuana’s active ingredient known as THC.

The science of how THC affects young minds is still evolving. However, studies have shown that pot use during adolescence can shave off several IQ points and increase the risk for schizophrenic breaks. One in six kids who try the drug will become addicted, a higher rate than for alcohol. Pot today is six times more potent than 30 years ago, so it’s easier to get hooked and high.

Employers have also reported having a harder time finding workers who pass drug tests. Positive workplace drug tests for marijuana in Colorado have increased 178% since 2012. The construction company GE Johnson says it is recruiting construction workers from other states because it can’t find enough in Colorado to pass a drug test.

Honest legalizers admitted that these social costs might increase but said they’d be offset by fewer arrests and lower law enforcement costs. Yet arrests of black and Hispanic youth in Colorado for pot-related offenses have soared 58% and 29%, respectively, while falling 8% for whites.

The share of pot-related traffic deaths has roughly doubled in Washington and increased by a third in Colorado since legalization, and in the Centennial State pot is now involved in more than one of five traffic fatalities. Calls to poison control for overdoses have jumped 108% in Colorado and 68% in Washington since 2012.

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has said that “criminals are still selling on the black market,” in part because state taxes make legal marijuana pricier than on the street. Drug cartels have moved to grow marijuana in the states or have switched to trafficking in more profitable drugs like heroin....

We realize it’s déclassé to resist this cultural imperative, and maybe voters think the right to get high when you want is worth the social and health costs of millions of more stoners. Then again, since four states have volunteered to be guinea pigs, maybe other states should wait and see if these negative trends continue.

You knew we wouldn't have to wait long before the whole story about Hillary's private server and possible violations of the law would become just a sexist war on women. Robin Lakoff who is a linguist specializing on language and gender, writes in Time to tell us what the scandal is really about.
'It's not about emails; it's about public communication by a woman’

I am mad. I am mad because I am scared. And if you are a woman, you should be, too. Emailgate is a bitch hunt, but the target is not Hillary Clinton. It’s us.

The only reason the whole email flap has legs is because the candidate is female. Can you imagine this happening to a man? Clinton is guilty of SWF (Speaking While Female), and emailgate is just a reminder to us all that she has no business doing what she’s doing and must be punished, for the sake of all decent women everywhere. There is so much of that going around....

FBI Chief James Comey has shown himself to be another bully of the same kind. He has repeatedly talked down to Clinton, admonishing her as a bad parent would a 5-year-old. He has accused her of “poor judgment” and called her use of a private email server “extremely careless.” If Comey’s a Boy Scout, here’s one old lady who will never let him help her across the street.

If the candidate were male, there would be no scolding and no “scandal.” Those very ideas would be absurd. Men have a nearly absolute right to freedom of speech. In theory, so do women, but that, as the creationists like to say, is only a theory.

Clinton’s use of a personal server has not been found to be a crime. Then how is it that so many have found the charge so easy to make, and make stick? How has her use of the server made plausible all the claims that she is “deceptive” and “untrustworthy”?

It’s not about emails; it’s about public communication by a woman in general. Of course, in the year 2016, no one (probably not even The Donald) could make this argument explicitly. After all, he and his fellow Republicans are not waging a war on women. How do we know that? They have said so. And they’re men, so they must be telling the truth.
Oh, please. And I guess that the GOP went after Bill Clinton in the 1990s because he was married to a woman. Notice that Lakoff doesn't provide any evidence of her theory, just ridiculous invective. She doesn't seem to know anything about what the scandal is about, just that Hillary is a woman so it must be an attack on a woman.

If Hillary becomes president, we're going to be hearing this any time a Republican criticizes her. Republicans will go from being racists because they don't like Obama to being sexists because they don't like Hillary. Why can't liberals believe that we have legitimate reasons why we don't like either one of them?

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