The Bookworm Beat 8-28-15 — the “I vant to be alone” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265Sorry for the silence yesterday. The day started with my daughter’s migraine, which is something that needs to be taken seriously because, on a scale of 1 to 10, which 1 being a nothing of a headache and 10 being a bad migraine, hers come in at 25 and need a trip to the ER if we’re not vigilant.

We were vigilant, so I thought I’d successfully avoided the ER — that is, I thought that until I got a call from my Mom’s skilled nursing facility telling me that she’d taken a fall and was being loaded into the ambulance.  Lots of blood outside of her head and a very little bit of blood inside of her head, so she got checked into the hospital so that they could keep an eye on her.  I got to bed by 3 and was up again a little after 6 to get the kids off to school.  I’m tired and grumpy.

Meanwhile, in between those to minor head cases (pun intended), it was just the usual “everybody wants you” kind of day, which is the same that can be said for this morning.  I’ve got the two videos that sum up my feeling about life now:

Yeah! What Garbo said….

Still, aside from feeling sorry for myself this tired morning, I do have a few things to share.  First, a friend sent me an email with some links, so I’ll share it with you as written (with his permission, of course):

A smart friend on academic fraud, microaggressions, and Clinton apologists

From the NYT:  Many Psychology Findings Not As Strong As Claimed, Study Says.  Actually, the article is far more damning than the headline would lead you to believe.  An attempt to duplicate 100 experiments whose finding were deemed to be at the core of current psychological teachings and beliefs failed catastrophically.  The results of over half the experiments could not be duplicated.

The story of the Roanoke murder gets even more troubling.  Apparently, it was all microaggressions that set him off.  This article tells how he interpreted everything done by white employees as racist.  This guy is a poster child for what blacks are being fed today by the Left.  Want to bet that is why ABC, which has had Vester Flanigan’s manifesto now for two days, has not released it?

David Ignatius has a column out this morning on The Clinton Scandal That Isn’t.  It looks to be laying the groundwork for the next version of Hildabeast’s defense.  Yes, he says, she sent some classified materials over an unsecure e-mail system, but the reality is that the secure system is so ponderous and time consuming everyone does it.  He baldly asserts along the way that other prosecutions for mishandling classified information do not fit Clinton’s fact pattern.

I love the way he describes the Petraeus prosecution:  “Petraeus pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor last April for ‘knowingly’ removing classified documents from authorized locations and retaining them at ‘unauthorized locations.'”  How that differs from Hillary maintaining a private server to retain classified documents, apparently in an unauthorized bathroom in Colorado, neither Ignatius nor any of his mostly anonymous sources explain.

I could spend the day listing all the untruths and half truths in this one page article.  Most of them can be dealt with simply by noting that Ignatius raises one distinction without a difference after another, and that if his version of the acceptable handling of classified documents were ever to take root, we would not have a national secret left.

Beyond that, he also carefully limits his inquiry.  His thesis is that this will only be a “scandal” if Hillary is charged with mishandling classified information.  He does not address Hillary’s decision — one that violates policy — to unilaterally wipe her server.  He ignores the obvious conclusions that can be drawn from the stonewalling of responses to subpoenas and FOIA lawsuits.

And the more I think about this, the more I think Hillary has one question that she absolutely does not want to answer under oath.  On what day did she order her server wiped?  I have never seen so many legal and linguistic gymnastics given over to avoiding answering any question.  I wonder if it happened in March 2015, right about the time the subpoena was issued.

Bookworm here:  I’d just like to add that, if Hillary’s “it was too cumbersome” defense works, I find paying taxes, stopping at red lights, not littering, parking at meters (and paying those meters) cumbersome too.  Since America is all about equality, I feel I should be cut precisely the same slack her defenders are cutting for Hillary.

Just so you know how truly awful Margaret Sanger was

As a product of San Francisco public schools, I was raised to revere Margaret Sanger’s selfless efforts to help poor people. What I wasn’t taught was that her efforts at birth control for poor people were done in the service of the same impulse that led Hitler to send Jews, Gypsies, gays, and mentally and physically disabled people to the death camps: the desire to rid the white world of defective races and individuals. Here’s a nice Sanger quotation:

Sanger on the mercies of genocide

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population. And the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.

Steve Crowder has much more.

This is separate from abortion.  This goes to the Left’s habit of getting us, as a society, swearing fealty to truly evil people.

Thomas Friedman’s seminal lies

I’ve long since given over attacking Thomas Friedman.  He’s too easy a target with his adoration for Saudi Arabia’s tyrannical, antisemitic governing style (although, ironically, Obama’s love for Iran is pushing Saudi Arabia and Israel together), his passion for Chinese totalitarianism, and his frequently recycled columns, complete with straw man arguments.  Nevertheless, it’s worth knowing that his awfulness goes right to his core, because his whole career as a seemingly objective Middle Eastern observer is a lie.

The carbon offsets scam

Will it surprise you to learn that the only thing the whole carbon offsets scheme did was to encourage dishonest nations (of which there are many) to increase their carbon output?  No?  Well, it didn’t surprise me either.  My Leftist friends, incidentally, offered this response when I posted on Facebook the article about the scam:  *crickets*

And Hamas operatives are liars and scammers

I’ve got to run, but I’ll leave you with a link to how Hamas operates, creating propaganda videos for the benefit of credulous idiots and/or malevolent enemies of Israel.

Fun with fools — another “Found it on Facebook” edition, with help from my Progressive friends

I had so much fun the last time I deconstructed the analytically and factually foolish posters I found on the Facebook pages of my many, many Leftist friends, that I thought I’d do it again.  As before, my commentary is below each poster:

Jimmy Carter Humility Grace Courage

I’ll Yid with Lid the floor on this one.  He describes how he tried to feel true compassion for Carter when the former President announced his cancer.  Unfortunately, Carter sank to his usual depths:

I pretty much decided I would keep silent. Especially when he started his press conference on Friday revealing that the horrible disease had spread to his brain. Well—that was until a reporter asked him what he would like to see happen before he died, and when he answered the former president slandered the Jewish State (see video below):

In international affairs I would say peace for Israel and its neighbors. That has been a top priority for my foreign policy projects for the last 30 years. Right now I think the prospects of are more dismal than anytime I remember in the last 50 years. Practically, whole process is practically dormant. The government of Israel has no desire for two-state solution, which is policy of all the other nations in the world. And the United States has practically no influence compared to past years in either Israel or Palestine. So I feel very discouraged about it but that would be my number one foreign policy hope.

Perhaps it’s all the Times he met with Hamas, ignoring their terrorism and declaring they want peace that has clouded Mr. Carter’s memory.  But the Author of a book with a title calling the Jewish State an apartheid nation forgets history.  The truth is that the last Israeli Premier who did not support a two state solution was Yitchak Rabin. Every prime minister since Peres, Netanyahu, Sharon, Barak, Comb-over...er Olmert, every single one of them declared their goal was a two state solution. Heck under Barack and Olmert, the Palestinians were offered deals which gave them 98% of what they wanted and each time they said no.  On the other hand even years after Rabin shook the hands of the terrorist Arafat the Palestinians refuse to recognize the sovereign Jewish State of Israel.

So why would Jimmy Carter take the time to slander the Jewish State at the same time he was announcing the graveness of his illness.  That’s easy, Carter hates Jews.  (Emphasis in original.)

Read more about the utterly despicable Carter here.  I don’t hope for him an agonizing death or anything like that.  But honestly compels me to say that I will be delighted when he is no longer around to slander the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

The fact is that antisemitism is a pretty damn good test of a person’s moral decency — antisemites have none, and Carter is not an honorable, decent man.  He is, instead, a national embarrassment who didn’t have the decency to retire following his utterly ignominious presidency, one plagued by failure, both at home and abroad.  The only thing that saves him from being the worst president ever is Obama’s presidency.  Carter managed to survive long enough to be succeeded by a man even more of an antisemite and failure than Carter himself.  What a sad record for American politics.

The other people did it too defense to Hillary's wrongdoing

I love the moral equivalency here:  Bush and Cheney’s campaign deleted lots of emails, so Hillary didn’t do anything that wrong!

In fact, the RNC did delete a whole bunch of emails in 2007, and they did so in violation of the Hatch act, but the equivalency ends there.  The Bush emails were purely political in nature (hyperlinks and footnotes omitted):

The Bush White House email controversy surfaced in 2007 during the controversy involving the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys. Congressional requests for administration documents while investigating the dismissals of the U.S. attorneys required the Bush administration to reveal that not all internal White House emails were available, because they were sent via a non-government domain hosted on an email server not controlled by the federal government. Conducting governmental business in this manner is a possible violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the Hatch Act.[1] Over 5 million emails may have been lost or deleted.[2][3] Greg Palast claims to have come up with 500 of the Karl Rove lost emails, leading to damaging allegations.[4] In 2009, it was announced that as many as 22 million emails may have been deleted.[5]

The administration officials had been using a private Internet domain, called gwb43.com, owned by and hosted on an email server run by the Republican National Committee,[6] for various communications of unknown content or purpose. The domain name is an acronym standing for “George W. Bush, 43rd” President of the United States. The server came public when it was discovered that J. Scott Jennings, the White House’s deputy director of political affairs, was using a gwb43.com email address to discuss the firing of the U.S. attorney for Arkansas.[7] Communications by federal employees were also found on georgewbush.com (registered to “Bush-Cheney ’04, Inc.”[8]) and rnchq.org (registered to “Republican National Committee”[9]), but, unlike these two servers, gwb43.com has no Web server connected to it — it is used only for email.[10]

The “gwb43.com” domain name was publicized by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), who sent a letter to Oversight and Government Reform Committee committee chairman Henry A. Waxman requesting an investigation.[11] Waxman sent a formal warning to the RNC, advising them to retain copies of all emails sent by White House employees. According to Waxman, “in some instances, White House officials were using nongovernmental accounts specifically to avoid creating a record of the communications.”[12] The Republican National Committee claims to have erased the emails, supposedly making them unavailable for Congressional investigators.[13]

On April 12, 2007, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel stated that White House staffers were told to use RNC accounts to “err on the side of avoiding violations of the Hatch Act, but they should also retain that information so it can be reviewed for the Presidential Records Act,” and that “some employees … have communicated about official business on those political email accounts.”[14] Stanzel also said that even though RNC policy since 2004 has been to retain all emails of White House staff with RNC accounts, the staffers had the ability to delete the email themselves.

I am not defending the fact that the Bush White House tried to avoid creating records.  It’s sleazy and the kind of thing one would expect from political operatives.  But come on, Progressive folks!  There is no indication whatsoever that what the White House did exposed America’s highest national security secrets to any Hacker who came along.  Nor is there any evidence that the Bush White House spoliated documents — which is what seems to have happened with Hillary and the State Department, which deliberate destroyed Benghazi records after Congress had called for their production.

Also, by 2007, when the Bush matter emerged, he was in the lame duck phase of his presidency.  There just wasn’t that much political hay to be made of it, so it vanished.  This time, however, we have a perennial presidential candidate who has been in the limelight for more than twenty-years and who, in that time, is consistently caught engaged in underhanded behavior.  Even if the behavior were morally equivalent (which I do not believe), the political implications are going to be different when the issues arise before a candidacy or at the end of an era.

But again, let me say the really important words that make what Hillary did so heinous:  NATIONAL SECURITY and SPOLIATION.  Bad Hillary!  Bad girl!

Curious antrhopogenic attack on Christianity

I adore my dog and my dog, being part chihuahua, adores me with reciprocal ferocity.  I would never confuse myself though into believing that my dog is a moral creature.  Perhaps I’m disgustingly anthropocentric, but I believe morality reflects conscious decisions, not instinct.  That a cat would rescue her kittens is a wonderful instinctive act completely consistent with Nature’s imperative for the continuation of a species.  But that cat did not sit there thinking about the value of her life, versus her kittens’ lives.  She just did what she needed.

Years ago, when my son was very little and announced that lions were bad because they hunted down zebras and gazelles, I said they weren’t.  “Bad” and “good” imply an ability to make choices about good and bad.  When a lion kills, it does so because it is programmed to do so.  Moral analysis is not involved.  My son, bless his heart, understood.  I sure wish the rabid anti-Christians out there had the intelligence of a bright three-year old.

Bernie on private prisons

I have one question:  Why is it obscene?  I understand that we want our judicial system to be from the government, because only the collective will and values of the people should be brought to bear in a criminal case — especially since the government, unlike a private corporation, is theoretically constrained by the Constitution when it comes to criminal process, up to and including sentencing.  But considering government’s gross inefficiencies, it would seem to me that (in theory at least) prisoners could fare just as well in a privately run jail, subject to government oversight and competing market forces, as they could in a government-run jail that answers only to itself, no matter how disgracefully managed it is.

What am I missing?

Warren Buffet against trickle down

There three things I find funny here.  First, Buffet imputes his selfishness to all, as well as confusing charity (which is an altruistic act) with investment (which is a theoretically selfish act that nevertheless yields benefit by pumping money and innovation into the market).  Second, Buffet, all historic evidence to the contrary, thinks that government will do a better job of creating wealth than private capitalism.  And third, Buffet hangs on to his money with a vengeance.  I think I’ll be waiting a long time if I expect Buffet to turn his fortune over to the government for the benefit of the people.

Chris Rock on racists and racism

Anyone see the logical fallacy here?  Rock doesn’t define the racists.  Ordinary people, the one’s who haven’t been brainwashed by our university systems, understand that racism, rather than being endemic in American culture, is almost nonexistent.  Our laws are color-blind and the American people will rarely be caught in acts of overt racism — unless you go trolling through the internet’s underbelly for the few KKK wackos, who lack political power or popular support.

In the absence of real racism, the racial justice hustlers are left with “microagressions” that any sentient being understands are faked in order to browbeat and blackmail (hah! racist pun!) ordinary people.  So, no, we don’t have to stop being “racist.”  We have to stop the race hustlers from lying about what and who we are so that ordinary Americans of all colors can get down to the business of living their lives without government intervention and hustler shakedowns.

As I discuss at greater length below, the problem with American blacks is almost certainly not too little government, but way, way too much. (I’ve also expanded on this thought in a number of prior posts, such as this one.)

African American males end up in jail

Bernie’s good at point out problems.  He’s right that it’s a disgrace that so many blacks end up in jail.  Of course, his solution is “Thank you, government. May I have another dose of toxic condescension” disguised as genuine welfare.  There’s a huge difference between a decent society’s obligation to care for its “widows and orphans” and a racist society’s efforts to keep blacks in perpetual servitude by convincing them that they are incapable of standing and accomplishing things on their own.”  Lyndon B. Johnson sure understood how welfare works, and it’s not for the black’s well-being that’s for sure:

Johnson on welfare and blacks

Keeping people dependent on the government never lets them develop beyond the infant stage. Depriving them of the right to bear arms keeps them at the mercy of criminals. And constantly telling them that, without the government, they are helpless victims would, if the government were a parent and the blacks a child, be parental abuse that everyone would recognize and decry.

American as a Christian nation

As always, you give the Left a little knowledge and it runs riot in ignorance.  While the Founders were adamant that the Federal government not replicate the British government by having a state religion and controlling how citizens worship, the Founders — including the merely “deist/theist” Jefferson — strongly believed that the nation could thrive only on a foundation of Judeo-Christian morality:

“I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.” — Thomas Jefferson

“While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.” — George Washington

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” — John Adams

Unsurprisingly, James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, expressed most clearly the Founders’ belief (no matter their personal relationship to God) that, while the federal government could not be a religious institution, only a Godly people could handle the freedom their new nation gave them (emphasis mine):

Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, “that religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.” The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no man’s right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority.

Oh, and about that quotation attributed to Adams with regarding to the U.S. not being a Christian nation, the giveaway is that it was a part of the Treaty of Tripoli.  Anyone halfway conversant with that treaty (i.e., no Progressives) knows that this was a treaty signed with the Muslim pirates that the Marines defeated the “shores of Tripoli.”  The language was not a disavowal of Christianity but, instead, a reminder that America allowed all people to practice their religion freely, without state intervention (hyperlinks and footnotes omitted):

Article 11 reads:

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims]; and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

According to Frank Lambert, Professor of History at Purdue University, the assurances in Article 11 were “intended to allay the fears of the Muslim state by insisting that religion would not govern how the treaty was interpreted and enforced. John Adams and the Senate made clear that the pact was between two sovereign states, not between two religious powers.” Lambert writes,

“By their actions, the Founding Fathers made clear that their primary concern was religious freedom, not the advancement of a state religion. Individuals, not the government, would define religious faith and practice in the United States. Thus the Founders ensured that in no official sense would America be a Christian Republic. Ten years after the Constitutional Convention ended its work, the country assured the world that the United States was a secular state, and that its negotiations would adhere to the rule of law, not the dictates of the Christian faith. The assurances were contained in the Treaty of Tripoli of 1797 and were intended to allay the fears of the Muslim state by insisting that religion would not govern how the treaty was interpreted and enforced. John Adams and the Senate made clear that the pact was between two sovereign states, not between two religious powers.”[15]

The treaty was printed in the Philadelphia Gazette and two New York papers, with only scant public dissent, most notably from William Cobbett.[16]

Michelle Bachmann great wall of China

I see this everywhere, and it’s a complete canard, one that could be advanced only by people who don’t know that Michele Bachmann has an LL.M. from William and Mary University.  I was going to add, as a prop to W&M, that it was Thomas Jefferson’s alma mater, but now that he’s been intellectually discredited on account of his owning slaves when doing so was still the norm, I guess that doesn’t help Bachmann.  But back to that stupid quotation:

Several readers asked us to look into whether Bachmann actually made the comments. We obliged and found no evidence backing the claim. We also reached out to Bachmann’s spokesperson, who said the former member of Congress never made the remarks.

[snip]

We also searched three comprehensive databases — Nexis and CQ, which aggregate transcripts, and Critical Mention, which records video and closed captioning — and found no record of Bachmann ever making those comments.

To our knowledge, she hasn’t appeared on Fox News since Trump announced his candidacy. She has commented on and praised Trump in several interviews on different networks, though she has never mentioned his wall proposal.

[snip]

We found no evidence that Bachmann ever said this, and her spokeswoman said she did not, in fact, say it. The meme seems to have satirical origins but is now being passed off as fact. We rate the statement Pants on Fire!

Bernie Sanders on Hitler's winHere’s the really interesting thing about Hitler’s win:  He never got more than 30% of the popular vote.  What Bernie doesn’t get is that the real problem with Hitler was his fascism — which is a form of socialism that, rather than nationalizing industry, merely co-opts it.  (I call this crony fascism, and it’s precisely what the Democrats under Obama have been doing for the last seven years.) The reality is that, once a leader and his party gain total control over all facets of government and the economy — which is precisely what Bernie wants to do — you have a recipe for tyranny and war.

Every time I find these posters, and then track down the facts or expose the logical fallacies, I am reminded again that, while I like my Progressive friends because they are, in day-to-day life kind and enjoyable people, when it comes to politics they are monomaniacs, and are precisely as crazy as the nice old lady down the street who lives an exemplary life and then, when she dies, is discovered to have believed that her home was Martian headquarters and that, in order to continue to placate them, her home must be left to her cars, whom the Martians worship.

Monomaniacs can be great people so long as you don’t find yourself dealing with their particular brand of insanity.

 

Hillary and the five stages of grief — an update from my astute friend Scott

Hillary's prison face 2(Scott continues to track the continuing Hillary saga)

The five stages of grief are

1) Denial
2) Anger
3) Bargaining
4) Depression
5) Acceptance

It is normal for a human being to go through the five stages of grief, and indeed, to jump back and forth between them as they progress to the fifth stage. So it is for Hillary. She has now gone through the first three stages at least, and, given the latest from her campaign, is likely near stage four. Here are her defenses to date:

1. Denial: There was no classified material.

2. Anger: This is just a partisan witch hunt.

3. Bargaining: Technically I didn’t violate the law. Nothing was marked classified.

4. Depression: The law is stupid. Everything was over classified.

According to her campaign, Hillary now intends to claim that everything is regularly over classified, and thus it is unfair to apply the same standards to her that apply to everyone else who handles classified information. Her campaign tweeted out a link to the Toobin article I addressed here. This from her campaign, via Hot Air:

To get in front of these headlines, the Clinton campaign is plotting a three-pronged pushback strategy. The first, described by Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri in an interview with The Huffington Post, is an end-of-summer effort to educate the public on the classification process for national security material. The second, coming when Congress returns from recess, is to aggressively pivot to policy announcements, from economic and women’s issues to President Barack Obama’s Iran deal, which will receive a vote in September. The last is to “go on offense” on Clinton’s record as Secretary of State, which the campaign sees as the ultimate target of her Republican critics

Unfortunately for Hillary, the over classified argument as well as the “not marked classified” arguments are, by any rational standard, foreclosed to her. This from Reuters:

The new stamps indicate that some of Clinton’s emails from her time as the nation’s most senior diplomat are filled with a type of information the U.S. government and the department’s own regulations automatically deems classified from the get-go — regardless of whether it is already marked that way or not.

In the small fraction of emails made public so far, Reuters has found at least 30 email threads from 2009, representing scores of individual emails, that include what the State Department’s own “Classified” stamps now identify as so-called ‘foreign government information.’ The U.S. government defines this as any information, written or spoken, provided in confidence to U.S. officials by their foreign counterparts.

This sort of information, which the department says Clinton both sent and received in her emails, is the only kind that must be “presumed” classified, in part to protect national security and the integrity of diplomatic interactions, according to U.S. regulations examined by Reuters.

“It’s born classified,” said J. William Leonard, a former director of the U.S. government’s Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). Leonard was director of ISOO, part of the White House’s National Archives and Records Administration, from 2002 until 2008, and worked for both the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. . . .

That being the case, Hillary’s last line of defense can only be, as her supporters in the USA Today argue, that she was too stupid to recognize classified information. Good luck selling that one to the voting public or a jury.

If everything stops now, there is no way Hillary survives this politically. Less than one person in three considers her trustworthy even now. After six months of super-pac ads pointing out how she is guilty and that she is getting the benefit of a double standard no one else would get, no one who is not a committed prog. will vote for her. Moreover, the only way she survives this criminally is if the Obama administration orders the DOJ to stop its investigation. With the Reuters report, Hillary could be charged today with numerous separate violations of 18 USC 793 and 1924.

And still to be answered:

1. Did she, intentionally or through gross negligence, allow anyone else to have access to these e-mails who did not have an adequate security clearance.

2. What other classified information exists in the 30,460 emails she provided to the State Dept?

3. Are the emails she destroyed recoverable or still available on back-up? If so, can any be considered legitimate Government Records? Do they contain classified information? Are any responsive to the subpoenas provided to the State Dept. in 2013 and her attorney in March 2015?

4. Is there any evidence that her server or e-mail was successfully hacked and, if so, by who?

The answers to none of those questions will exonerate her. They can only make her situation far worse, adding more separate violations of the laws governing the handling of classified information as well as potential counts of obstruction of justice and destruction of government records. That ought to be enough to put her away for life plus another century or so.

That said, if Democrats can rally around Ted Kennedy, ignore the butchery of Planned Parenthood, and elect Marion Barry and Buddy Cianci after their prison stints, then Hillary and the progressives can take heart. There is nothing in the Constitution to prevent her from taking office while in prison. Keep hope alive, my prog friends, keep hope alive.

When it comes to the legal consequences of Hillary’s conduct, her defenders swing and miss

Hillary's prison face 1My friend Scott continues to be fascinated by the slow-mo train wreck that is Hillary’s political career (not to mention her careening into criminal territory).  He sent me the following thoughts:

Hillary’s defenders are claiming that our national secrets are over classified and thus, irrespective of any finding that she handled and retained classified information, it is unimportant. It is all a tempest in a teapot according to David Brock of Media Matters and Matthew Miller at Politico. Ed Morrissey deals with this new spin at Hot Air:

This glosses over a couple of very important points. First, the proper way to reclassify material is to have the issuing authority review it. That duty does not fall to the Secretary of State or her aides, but to the agencies that produced the data, and their direct chain of command, all the way to the President. Not even Congress can declassify material, at least not directly. Users of this material have a positive responsibility to protect it, are briefed constantly on how to handle it while it remains classified, and face severe consequences for violating those protocols and laws, most definitely including prosecution when it involves willful violations or gross negligence (18 USC 793, especially in (f)(1), the application of which is not limited to classified material).

Second, while much of the e-mails flagged (so far) are classified at Confidential and Secret levels — where overclassification is a chronic issue — two e-mails contained information that the issuing agencies considered Top Secret and compartmented. That data came from the NSA and other signals intelligence operations, including satellite-gathered data. Those kinds of information carry high classifications for very substantial reasons, including the protection of our methods of collecting it.

Finally, all of this starts and ends with the exclusive use of an unsecured and unauthorized communications system located in Hillary Clinton’s house, effectively an unauthorized retention of classified material (a crime under 18 USC 1924). There is no valid reason for a federal official with compliance requirements not just for secure transmission of sensitive materials but also with the Federal Records Act to conduct official business through a home-brew server. It was a deliberate attempt to circumvent both responsibilities, and largely succeeded at the latter until the existence of the server became public. As a result, the State Department made numerous misrepresentations in courts in response to FOIA demands that involved communications from Hillary and her team that were required to be part of the public record.

Classifications are not “elastic” either, not to those who handle the material, and especially not when it comes to signals intelligence. They are required to handle it according to the markings no matter what they personally think of its necessity. If Hillary and her staff had a problem with the classification levels cited, then they should have requested a review of the material — and there is no indication that anyone ever did. Even if they had, Hillary and her team were still were required to comply with the laws and protocols while the material was still classified.

Overclassification may be a problem, but it’s not this problem. This problem is that a high-ranking public official secretly evaded legitimate constitutional oversight from Congress and the courts with this e-mail system, which recklessly endangered US national security for four years to service her own personal motives.

Jefferey Toobin raises a very closely related defense at The New Yorker that is deserving of its own fisk. Toobin is supposedly a legal analyst and a lawyer. One could not tell from his recitation of the facts and the law. If he were to make this argument in Court on Hillary’s behalf, he would be eaten alive for misstating the facts and the law.

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The Bookworm Beat 8-18-15 — the “Hillary is toast (and other stuff)” edition

Woman-writing-300x265Hillary is unfit to be president

My friend Scott, the same one who wrote this excellent time line and analysis about Hillary’s criminal malfeasance, continues to follow the Hillary saga closely. In a recent email to me, he wrote:

I can pretty much assure you, I and everyone else who ever held a security clearance and dealt extensively with classified documents did a spit take when we heard Hillary conducted all of her email as Sec. of State on a private address and server. That she would be involved with not just classified information, but the most classified secrets of our nation was inevitable.

Go here, watch former CIA Agent turned CNN analyst Bob Baer just rip into Hildabeast as unfit to be President. He’s right.

I agree with Scott, and have only this to add: I think that the more that is revealed, the more it’s clear that she’s unfit to be president. It’s not just that she’s paranoid, arrogant, dishonest, spent too much time sending personal emails on the job, and didn’t give a hang about America’s national security. The underlying problem, one that should be apparent even to her fans, is that she’s dumb as a post. Can we really have someone this staggeringly stupid in the White House?

The recent revelation about Hillary’s offsite server only adds to the impression of someone with a low two-digit IQ.

Oh, and Scott adds that Eugene Robinson unintentionally sums it all up for the left.  “He bemoans her decisions, dispenses with her excuses as ridiculous, then says that she’ll be our next President, but we won’t love her quite as much as could have.  And I love how he mentions having classified data on her server as a ‘technical violation of the law’ while still crediting the charge of ‘partisan witch hunt.'”  Says Scott, “I so detest people who are not intellectually honest.”

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Understanding just how serious Hillary’s server problem really is — BY SCOTT, MY GUEST BLOGGER

Hillary-Jail-copyWill Hillary Clinton survive this e-mail scandal criminally and politically? It is tough for me to see how, given the revelation that she had retained on her private server e-mails containing classified information. This is all dripping out slowly – the worst possible thing for Hillary. Her trustworthiness rating in the polls is already Nixonian and it will only continue to drop as more information – or more stonewalling – comes to light.

And rightfully so. Every single word Hillary has said about her email system has turned out to be likely false, demonstrably false, or ridiculous spin:

She complied with all regulations – false.

She wasn’t subject to a subpoena for documents when she unilaterally disposed of over half of her e-mail as private — false.

She didn’t send or receive classified information – false.

The information in her e-mails wasn’t classified at the time it was sent – false.

She didn’t send the classified information stored on her server, someone else did – meaningless.

The information was not marked classified – meaningless.

I’ve compiled a time line, below, and these facts tell the tale. Regardless of why Hillary set up a private server, there is no question that she used it to hide from lawful subpoenas and FOIA requests. She didn’t turn over a single document until it became clear that Trey Gowdy was being so persistent in forcing the issue that she had to. She had no right, under State Dept. regulations, to unilaterally decide what was and was not a government record, nor could she destroy records knowing that they would be part of an ongoing investigation. We know that some emails she received from Sydney Blumenthal were not provided in the documents she submitted to the State Department in December, 2014 claiming that they were a comprehensive production of all government records on her private server.  Thus it is reasonable to assume that she in fact destroyed government records relevant to a subpoena.

Hillary’s conduct amounts to obstruction of justice (18 USC 1519) and comes with a jail term of up to 20 years. To put this in perspective, the accounting firm of Arthur Anderson was put out of business by the DOJ in 1992 for obstruction of justice when it destroyed records relating to its accounting of ENRON.

I would imagine that, criminally, the Obama DOJ, which is perhaps the most politicized in our nation’s history, would simply ignore Hillary’s obstruction if that is all there was. And given the complexity of the facts, most people would just tune it out. Clinton would do one of her well-practiced shameless squeals of victimized outrage, complain of a vast right wing conspiracy, and her minions would do the rest in the press and the Sunday morning shows. Obama’s DOJ certainly showed no rush to intercede in this matter, just as it already has countenanced obstruction of justice and destruction of government records from the IRS and Lois Lerner without any sort of criminal investigation.

But obstructing justice is far from all. Hillary’s email scandal reached critical mass when the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community found classified information in four of forty documents Hillary Clinton produced from her private server. That is when this private e-mail travesty went from obstruction of justice to a threat to national security. And what we are seeing is the tip of the iceberg.

The government takes little more seriously – among the peons at least – than maintaining the security of our classified information. People are prosecuted all of the time for mishandling classified information (18 USC 1924). By mishandling, that means that the defendant took control of and secured classified information in a place or manner that was not authorized. Notably, both David Petraeus and Sandy Berger were prosecuted for that offense. Hillary Clinton’s private server was not an authorized conduit or receptacle for any classified information. The presence of classified information on her private server would seem a clear violation of the applicable statute.

A far more serious offense comes when you take classified information and destroy it or transfer it to other people not authorized to see it (18 USC 793). That carries a jail sentence of up to ten years per act and the standard of conduct is gross negligence. Under the Obama administration, Bradley Manning was convicted for violating this statute and jailed for 35 years. State Dept. contractor Stephen Kim was given 13 months for discussing arguably non-classified information with Fox News’ James Risen. Former CIA officer Jefferey Sterling was recently sentenced to 42 months in prison while former CIA officer John Kiriakou served 30 months, both for providing classified information to a party not entitled to see it.

The IT company Hillary hired to control her server beginning in 2013, River Platte, has no security clearance. Neither do any of the attorneys Hillary tasked with reviewing all of her e-mails and selecting those that she was willing to produce to the State Dept. on December 5, 2014. Those would appear to be clear violations of the statute at issue.

So what remains to be answered:

  1. How many more of the 30,490 emails contain classified information? We are at four out of forty at this point. At some point, these documents will be evaluated by the IG for the Intelligence Community.
  2. Who precisely has had access to Hillary’s server and e-mails because of her “gross negligence?” What are their security clearances, if any?
  3. Are the 31,000 “personal” documents Hillary claims to have wiped clean from her server backed up on any other medium. This is very unclear. River Platte claims that it transferred all data on Hillary’s server to one or more servers in 2013, then wiped her original server clean. The FBI has taken control of the original server. Where did River Platte transfer the data and where is it today? What about backups and archives?
  4. If Hillary’s emails were sanitized and 31,000 emails wiped clean, who precisely did the document review and what criteria were they instructed to follow? When did they do it?
  5. What are the actual contents of the 31,000 emails Hillary erased?
  6. How much damage has Hillary done to our national security?

None of the answers to the above questions bodes well for Hillary. This is not the typical Clinton scandal. It is not Travelgate, White Water, the Rose Law Firm, Vince Foster, nor Monica Lewinsky and the bimbo eruptions. This isn’t even about Benghazi now. And as the fact pattern below suggests, this is on a trajectory to get far worse for Hillary in the coming months. I don’t think she survives this. What say you?

Background Information & Time Line:

Applicable Laws

  • 18 USC 793Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information. Felony with fines and imprisonment up to ten years.
  • 18 USC 1924Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material. Misdemeanor with fines and imprisonment up to one year.
  • 18 USC 1519Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy. Felony with fines and imprisonment up to 20 years.

Clinton Timeline

13 January 2009 – (CW) Hillary registers clintonemail.com.

21 January 2009 – (RT) Hillary sworn in as Secretary of State and immediately begins use of her private e-mail system to conduct all her duties as Secretary. For the first three months Hillary served as Secretary of State, her private email server had virtually no security. It was not encrypted.

29 March 2009 – (Wired) Hillary finally begins to use run-of-the-mill, commercially available security on her system. This decision to use a private e-mail server and commercial security left her highly vulnerable to hacking. We may well never know if or how often her e-mail was hacked by individuals or foreign agencies.

20 Sept. 2012 – (Wash. Ex.) The House sends a document request to Sec. of State Clinton requesting all documents relating to Benghazi, putting Clinton on formal notice for the purpose of federal law governing Obstruction of Justice that the House “contemplated” investigating the Benghazi incident. The State Dept. responded to this request by producing some responsive documents, but did not produce any of Hillary’s e-mails.

1 February 2013 – (NRO / NRO) Hillary resigns as Sec. of State. She does not follow any of the internal State Dept. Procedures for turning over records. Moreover, Hillary never had the authority under State Dept. regulations applicable to all employees, “including political appointees,” to decide unilaterally what was and was not a government record on her e-mail account. Per those regulations, she was supposed to make a list of proposed items she would retain.  A reviewing official would then inspect both the list and the items.  If they passed inspection, the official would then certify that the material removed or retained did not “diminish the official records of the Department” or “violate confidentiality required by national security . . .”

2013 – (WaPo): “After she left government service in early 2013, the Clintons decided to upgrade the system, hiring Platte River as the new manager of a privately managed e-mail network. The old server was removed from the Clinton home by Platte River and stored in a third-party data center, which are set up to provide security from threats of hacking and natural disaster, [Barbara J.] Wells [a lawyer for Platte] said. [¶] Platte River Networks has retained control of the old server since it took over management of the Clintons’ e-mail system. She said that the old server ‘was blank,’ and no longer contained useful data.”

(Daily Caller reported 14 Aug 2015) – “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton entrusted her email server to an IT firm [Platte River] that was not cleared to handle classified materials, according to the chief spokesman for the Defense Security Service. The DSS is an arm of the Defense Department and is the only federal agency authorized to approve private sector company access to sensitive or confidential material.”

1 August 2013 – (Wash Ex) The House issues two subpoenas to the State Department, one for documents the House had requested but the State Dept. still had not produced, and a second for documents related to Secretary Clinton’s internal, self-exonerating State Department investigation, known as the Accountability Review Board.

17 April 2014 – (Wash Ex) The State Dept. completes its production of documents allegedly responsive to the House subpoenas. None of the documents include e-mails by Hillary.

8 May 2014 – (Wash Ex) A new House Select Committee is formed under Trey Gowdy to investigate the Benghazi incident. Gowdy attempts to “reset” relations with the State Dept and asks them to comply fully with prior subpoenas.

11 Aug. 2014 – (Wash Ex) The State Dept. produces documents to the House. The production includes approximately ten emails to or from Hillary showing her private email address. This is the first time the House becomes aware that Hillary was conducting her duties as Sec. of State using a private e-mail account. Gowdy’s committee against presses the State Dept. to comply with the subpoenas.

October 2014 – (Wash Ex) The State Dept. formally requests that Hillary provide all government records still in her possession, including e-mails. It does so in response to pressure from the House. In order to make this seem as if it is in the normal course of business, it sends out similar requests to the previous three Secretaries of State.

Late 2014 – (LI) According to documents Hillary’s lawyer filed in federal court, Hillary Clinton directed her lawyer to review the e-mails on her server in order to provide all “federal records” to the State Department. Her lawyer has no security clearance.

18 November 2014 — (Wash Ex) The House sends another request to the State Department asking for emails to and from Clinton relating to the Libya attack. This time, committee staffers include instructions specifically demanding emails that were sent or received on any @clintonemail.com account.

2 December 2014 – (Wash Ex) The House sends a letter to Clinton’s attorney asking for all emails to or from clintonemail.com that relate in any way to Libya. Clinton’s attorney would later respond by directing the House to to the State Dept’s previous production.

Dec. 5, 2014 – (LI) Clinton’s attorney delivers to the State Dept. 30,490 e-mails hard copied onto 55,000 pages, claiming those to be the sum total of all federal records in Hillary’s possession. He retains thumb drives with those e-mails in their electronic form.

2 March 2015 – (NYT) The NYT breaks the story about Clinton’s use of a private e-mail system to conduct her duties as Sec. of State.

4 March 2015 – (Fox) Trey Gowdy issues a subpoena directly to Clinton demanding responsive e-mails on her private server.

7 March 2015 – (Daily Caller) It becomes apparent that the State Dept. intentionally mishandled Numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests going back to 2012, all of which should have elicited emails from Hillary’s private email.  These requestse included one in in 2012 that specifically asked the State Dept. to identify all email accounts Hillary used to conduct her State Dept. duties.

10 March 2015 – (WaPo) Hillary holds a press conference at the UN before mostly foreign journalists to address her e-mails. She makes no mention that her server has been wiped clean, stating only that she will not submit it for inspection. She states that what she did complied with all relevant rules and that it was custom and practice to to so, a claim an  AP Fact Check disputes the next day:

  1. “I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.” (See NYDN article showing Hillary bragging about managing three different email/electronic devices in her daily life)
  2. “[T]he vast majority of my work emails went to government employees at their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department.” (That would not been the case with her assistant, Huma Abedin, nor her Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, both of whom likewise maintained email accounts on clintonemail.com. Nor would it be the case as regards correspondence outside of the State Dept., such as to heads of state or Sydney Blumenthal)
  3. “[A]fter I left office, the State Department asked former secretaries of state for our assistance in providing copies of work- related emails from our personal accounts. I responded right away and provided all my emails that could possibly be work-related, which totaled roughly 55,000 printed pages, even though I knew that the State Department already had the vast majority of them.”
  4. “QUESTION: Were you ever — were you ever specifically briefed on the security implications of using — using your own email server and using your personal address to email with the president? CLINTON: I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material. . . . So I’m certainly well-aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

19 March 2015 — (Pdf) Congressman Trey Gowdy, in a letter to David Kendell, Hillary’s lawyer, all but accuses Hillary and her team of being dishonest by omission in regards to Hillary’s emails. Moreover, Gowdy notes that the emails that Hillary had already produced show a significant gap in time around the Benghazi disaster. Gowdy asks Hillary’s attorney to agree to give Hillary’s private server to the State Dept.’s IG or a neutral third-party so that all of her emails can be reviewed for compliance with the latest and prior subpoenas.

27 March 2015 – (Politifact) Hillary’s lawyer responded to Trey Gowdy’s letter. This from Polifact: “’During the fall of 2014, Secretary Clinton’s legal representative reviewed her hdr22@clintonemail.com account for the time period from Jan. 21, 2009, through Feb. 1, 2013,’ Kendall wrote. ‘After the review was completed to identify and provide to the Department of State all of the secretary’s work-related and potentially work-related emails, the secretary chose not to keep her non-record personal emails and asked that her account (which was no longer in active use) be set to retain only the most recent 60 days of email. No emails from hdr22@clintonemail.com for the time period Jan. 21, 2009, through Feb. 1, 2013, reside on the server. Thus, there are no hdr22@clintonemail.com e-mails from Secretary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate and legally authorized.'” (This statements begs the question of precisely when the server was wiped clean and whether there are any archived back-ups. If this is accurate, then the server was wiped clean sometime between 5 December 2014 and 27 March, 2015. Moreover, as noted at Hot Air, this meant that Hillary wiped clean from her server over 31,000 e-mails from her time as Sec. of State, claiming them to be wholly personal. That is more documents than she produced. She would have had to have been sending an average of over 21 personal emails a day each day while she served as Sec. of State.)

15 June 2015 – (Politico) Responding to a subpoena, the State Dept. produces documents to the Benghazi Select Committee. The production does not include at least 60 e-mails Sydney Blumenthal sent Hillary at her private e-mail address discussing national security and foreign policy matters. It appears that they are among the ones Hillary never turned over and subsequently destroyed.

7 July 2015 – (Youtube) Hillary gives her first, and to date only, national interview. She states that all the questions and accusations about her email are a vast right wing conspiracy. She further claims that the House never subpoenaed her documents and that she had no legal obligation to provide her e-mails to the State Dept., adding that they all would have been captured when she sent the e-mails to .gov addresses.

8 July 2015 – (Hugh Hewitt) Trey Gowdy appears on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show to point out that Hillary’s documents have been under multiple subpoenas since 2013, with the most recent directly addressing her private e-mail account served on her attorney on 4 March 2015.

31 July 2015 – (Powerline) It is revealed in Court for the first time that Hillary’s two closest associates at the State Dept., her “special assistant” Huma Abedin and her Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, also maintained their work email addresses on clintonemail.com, thus shielding their emails from production just like Hillary’s. Hillary later certifies that only Huma Abedin maintained such an email address.

1 Aug. 2015 – (Politico) Approximately 30 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits seeking documents that would have been kept on the clintonemail.com server are ongoing or have been reopened following revelations about Hillary’s private server. On 1 Aug, Fed. Dist. Ct. Judge Emmet Sullivan asked the State Dept. to have Hillary, Huma Abedin, and Cheryl Mills each certify under oath, subject to penalty of perjury, that they have produced all responsive documents.

11 August 2015 – (Fox) Charles McCullough, Inspector General for the Intelligence Community, informs Congress that, of the 40 random e-mails the State Dept. provided to him for review, four contained classified information from five different intelligence agencies. Two of those e-mails contained information classified Top Secret at the time of its production. Further, the Top Secret information in one of the e-mails consisted in part of “operational and geospatial intelligence from the CIA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which produces satellite images.” He has been denied further access to any of Hillary’s documents. The State Dept. is currently producing tranches of documents that Hillary turned over to the State Dept. on 5 Dec. 2014, some with significant redactions. It is unknown as to whether these redactions hide classified information relating to national security or foreign policy.

11 August 2015 – (Breitbart) Hillary makes a partially non-responsive declaration under oath to Judge Sullivan, stating in part that she does not understand what documents are required in this law suit. Further, she states that Cheryl Mills did not have an email account on clintonemail.com but that Huma Abedin did. Neither Mills nor Abedin submitted a declaration under oath.

11 August 2015 – (Clinton Campaign / and see Ron Fournier’s response at National Journal) Hillary’s campaign issues an op-ed length series of talking points, recycling some of her old defenses along with a few new ones. One, they claim that any classified information on Hillary’s server was not marked as such at the time. That is a red herring as it is meaningless to the statutes at issue. Two, while they admit to an investigation of the classified information on the server, they claim that it is not an investigation of Hillary. As Jonah Goldberg points out at NRO, that is like saying you’re investigating a car in a hit and run accident but not the driver.

12 August 2015 – (WaPo) FBI takes custody of Hillary’s e-mail server from a data center that Platte River Communications maintains in New Jersey. Reports are that the server is “blank.”

12 Aug 2015 – (WND) The State Dept. refuses to turn over any further of the 30,460 emails produced by Clinton to the IG for the Intelligence Community.

13 August 2015 – (Breitbart) In the State Dept.’s latest production of a portion of Hillary’s e-mails, Hillary requested a book on e-mails that included a chapter on how to permanently delete them. (You can’t make this stuff up)

14 August 2015 – (McClatchy) According to an analysis of 6,000+ documents released to date, at least 86 influential private citizens and foreign leaders corresponded with Hillary on her personal email. It is noteworthy that none of those emails would otherwise have been captured by the State Dept. for their records absent voluntary production by Hillary.

14 August 2015 – (McClatchy) The FBI and the House Homeland Security Committee have both begun investigating Platte River Communications, including such interesting as (1) whether they were authorized to handle classified communications (per today’s DC, linked earlier, they are not), (2) who would have been able to access information on the server, and (3) whether and how they backed up Hillary’s server.

14 August 2015 – (Legal Insurrection) The State Dept. files a response to Judge Sullivan’s Order, stating that they do not intend to search Hillary’s private server for responsive documents to a FOIA request, claiming (1) that they are under no legal compulsion to search for documents not under their control and (2) that Hillary’s certified claim that she already produced all government records in her possession obviates the need for them to act.

15 August 2015 – (Fox) At a speech in Iowa, Clinton addressed the e-mail issue: “Hillary Clinton defended her handling of the 2012 Benghazi attacks and her use of a private email server as secretary of state, dismissing the controversies as ‘partisan games’ in a speech in Iowa on Friday. [¶] ‘They’ll try to tell you it’s about Benghazi, but it’s not,’ Clinton said, pointing to Republican-led congressional inquiries that she said had ‘debunked all the conspiracy theories.’ ‘It’s not about emails or servers either. It’s about politics,’ she said. ‘I won’t get down in the mud with them. I won’t play politics with national security,’ Clinton said at the annual Wing Ding, a Democratic fundraiser in northern Iowa that attracted three other presidential candidates.” (This woman is beyond shameless. And if that is the best she can do, Democrats are right to be very worried about her future electability.)

The Bookworm Beat 8-15-15 — Found It On Facebook edition, with stuff both dumb and smart

People seemed to enjoy my last foray into Leftist posters, all of which I found on Facebook, courtesy of Leftie friends. I thought, though, that after subjecting you to the insanity, I’d also include some smart snark from the sane side of the political spectrum. First, though, the crazy stuff, with my comments (if any) following each image:

It's not Obama's fault

I find amusing this defense of Obama’s myriad failures — that Republicans have been obstructing him — considering that (a) Obama owned all of Congress for the first two years of his administration and (b) Boehner and McConnell have been his lap dogs for the last seven plus years.

Australian hates Republicans

I include the above as an example of the incisive political analysis that characterizes the Left.  When people are this ignorant about economics, it suddenly becomes understandable that they are perfectly happy to bypass the collective wisdom of the marketplace and to invest all of their faith in a government bureaucracy.

Bernie's college idea

And speaking of economic ignorance, Bernie continues to amaze.  I haven’t been able to find a wonderful poster making the rounds on the Left in which Bernie expresses bewilderment that student loans charge higher interest than mortgages.  He seems unclear on the whole concept of security.  If I don’t pay back my mortgage, the bank at least gets to keep my house, which may have some value to offset my default.  However, when the gal with a major in Womyn’s Studies and a minor in Gender-free Puppetry defaults on her $200,000 student loan from Smith, the taxpayers are left with nothing.  There is no value there to offset the default.  And Bernie just can’t seem to grasp that when the risk is higher, so is the cost.

Oh, and about those tuition-free four-year colleges in Europe. . . .  When I was in England, probably around 20% of English students went on to college.  Nowadays, the average seems to float around 30%.  In America, almost 70% of graduating students go on to some form of higher education.  In other words, more than twice as many students in egalitarian America go on to college as to those in still-class-bound Britain.

In addition, American colleges and universities have become grotesquely expensive, in large part because infusions of federal monies over the past thirty or more years have created a tuition inflation far in excess of the inflation rate in the rest of America.  The way in which schools teach calculus probably hasn’t changed over the years, but the necessity of a vast bureaucracy dedicated to lesbians, and another vast bureaucracy dedicated to women, and yet another for blacks, and one more for Hispanics, and a whole hierarchy for disabled people, and this “free” education has taxpayers funding, not education, but a hard-Left propaganda machine that is desperate to get its tentacles into every young person in America.

Once that happens, all of America will be like a college campus.  This doesn’t mean that Americans will be learning things and basking in new experiences.  It means that Americans will be living a Kafka-esque nightmare of political correctness, the tyranny of microaggression claims and trigger warnings, virulent attacks on men in an effort to destroy them, etc.  I don’t want to fund that.  Do you?

Bernie's anti-war position

There are a lot of Bernie posters populating my Leftie friends’ Facebook pages, so I don’t have to hear the man speak to get an idea about his idiocy.  In a world with ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, and other forms of radical Islam, is he really prepared to head a government that de-funds defense?  Obama has already weakened America’s defense almost to the breaking point.  Sanders, idealistic to the point of moronic stupidity, seems to want to finish the job, with our only defense against militant ISIS being his plaintive 1960s cry to “give peace a chance.”

Even worse than the fact that Bernie is mouthing this type of idiocy is the fact that so many of my friends — all of whom are college educated incidentally — think this is a great idea.

Leftists don't understand religious freedom

In other words, according to the Left, freedom of religion means that you are totally free to be religious in the privacy of your home and within the four walls of your house of worship.  Otherwise, to the extent religion informs your values, you are a theocratic dictator in the making and you’d better shut up and shut up good.

I’ve tried to tell my Leftie friends that, if they had imposed this view of religious freedom on America in the 19th century, we’d still have slavery, child labor, the 7 day/80 work week, child brides, etc.  America’s greatest humanist strides came when people of faith applied those teachings to the world around them.

DeGrasse pretends to be a scientist

The asterisk to that statement, of course, is that “It’s OK to change your opinion based on the newest evidence* . . . *unless that evidence proves definitively that the whole anthropogenic climate change mania is built upon theories that have been proven invalid every time they’ve had the opportunity to play out in real time.”  Challenge AGW, and suddenly Tyson is all about “shut your mouth.”

Insanity in voting for a third Bush

Okay — even though I found this on a Leftie Facebook page, I have to agree with it.  Even Lefties can be correct occasionally.

Planned Parenthood services for men

Here’s my rebuttal to the above poster:

Planned Parenthood

 

Yes, my poster attacks the Left’s War on Women meme, but the argument is the same assuming it’s true that Planned Parenthood provides healthcare services for men:  Now that we have ObamaCare, why do we still need to pass extra Federal funds on to Planned Parenthood?  Isn’t that double-funding the organization.  With ObamaCare, it becomes apparent that the only reason to fund Planned Parenthood is to pay for abortions which, theoretically, aren’t supposed to be part of ObamaCare’s funding.

Bernie Sanders calls for socialized medicine

Leftists are stuck in a perpetual time warp.  The reason the rest of the industrialized world had free health care is that, for the entirety of the Cold War, America took care of the military costs for all those “free” health care nations.  That was really nice of us, but it left us with less money for such self-indulgent things as “free” medical care that was actually funded by America.

In addition, medical care in the rest of the world sucks.  Sure, everyone can see a doctor for free, but you might have to wait so long you die or, if you finally do see a doctor, the care is so bad you might as well have died waiting.  In other words, the rest of the world gets the same kind of care we foist on our Veterans at the Veterans Administration.

And now, a few words and posters from sane people, none of which need any further comments:

Navy SEAL job interview

Colorado River on EPA

EPA pollution and liberal hypocrisy

Separate church and state when state is your church

Party of old white people

Sexual consent double standards

 

Hillary and the server

McCarthy on guns

Hillary’s downfall . . . and what comes after

Hillary Clinton looking oldMy dear friend Wolf Howling sent me an email rich in schadenfreude, something I appreciate because Hillary Clinton is the object of his delight:

This confidential information over her private server is going to kill her.  And now there is the related issue of her attorney, who may have had a classification to defend David Petraeus but who is a private citizen and is thus limited to a need to know basis, also having access to all of her e-mails.

This will kill her.  There is only so much this administration can stonewall, and Hillary apparently was completely clueless about handling classified material.  If I had to guess, it appears to me that she culled out those e-mails that would make her look incompetent and weak, then quite incompetently left a ton of e-mails containing classified data not only be stored on her private server, but now released in the tranche of 55,000 e-mails she gave to the State Dept. a few months ago.  She can’t get those back to neutralize the problem . . . . so, she is completely screwed.  Anyone else, they would already be in jail, getting waterboarded, and her server would be in an adjoining cell. Hillary will not be able to say this is minor and forgivable because every other person who committed half the violations she has are wearing pinstripes.  She may be out and about now, but this is just going to get worse and worse.

All I can say is that it couldn’t happen to a more despicable politician — and one, moreover, who has placed her country in more danger than any previous Secretary of State thanks to her incompetence and paranoia. And isn’t it ironic that, while she beats her predecessors hands down for the title of worst American Secretary of State ever, she’s still not the champion. The honor for worst all time Secretary of State goes to John Kerry, who has worked hard to ally us very tightly with one of the most evil nations on earth, and to make us complicit in its openly expressed plans for the extermination of all Jews from the face of the earth. (If the link doesn’t work because of the paywall, you can find it through Google.)

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The Bookworm Beat 6-24-15 — the “midnight ramblings” edition

Woman-writing-300x265I should be heading for bed, as it’s after midnight, but I’m so thrilled to have a moment to myself that I can’t resist a little blogging. I’m feeling especially smug (and tired) tonight because my heroic 1:30 a.m. efforts yesterday were the difference between success and ignominious failure on a big motion. Damn it all! I deserve some time to write.

Anything you can be I can be better….

My favorite military humorist, Lee Ho Fuk has taken the Rachel Dolezal mantra — “anything you can be I can be better” — to a whole new level:

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