Sunday, January 31, 2016

You're the one that I want

That "Grease: Live" was remarkably good, despite some audio problems.

It was a welcome counterbalance to Lord Grantham vomiting blood on "Downton Abbey."

Update - Big ratings for Fox.  Hey, it was a good show.

Living in the media bubble

Points and Figures: "The New York Times Is Dumber Than I Thought."  It's all about feel-good-intentions.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Hillary is swallowed by her lies

Sometime before today's news broke, Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post channeled her inner William Safire with "Hillary Clinton's historical problem with honesty":
But more recent issues of inaccuracies are both concerning and consequential. We now know with certainty (thanks to an email from Clinton to daughter Chelsea the night of the Benghazi attacks) that the then-secretary of state knew it was a terrorist attack, contrary to official reports, in the days following, about street riots that escalated. We also know from the intelligence community inspector general that her private server contained information ranked beyond top secret, contradicting her assertions to the contrary.
That was written when Parker was merely referring to "special access programs" which are, as I understand it, a different classification of "top secret."  And now today it's been reported by Fox News and the Associated Press that some emails in the the latest batch are so sensitive that they can release nothing:
The State Department formally announced Friday afternoon that seven email chains, found in 22 documents, will be withheld “in full” because they, in fact, contain “Top Secret” information.
What is Hillary's endgame here?  See if you can follow along:

"There is no classified material".
There is classified material but it wasn't marked at the time.
This classified material was classified after the fact.
There's an interagency dispute about what's really classified.
That inspector general is a leaker and probably a liar.

While visiting with family over Christmas, I had a mini-debate with my wife's uncle about whether Hillary would be indicted.  He said they would have done it already but I said the FBI had to make sure their case was super-tight before accusing a former First Lady and upsetting the political process.  I believe it more than ever and the thing that only bolsters my confidence is that Obama has been making public statements about how much he admires Hillary and there probably won't be an indictment.

This is classic "keep your friends closer and your enemies closer."  If Obama thinks Hillary is going down, he looks like the good pal who - more out of sorrow than anger - must bend to the recommendation of his FBI chief and appoint a grand jury.

Predictions: Bernie will win Iowa by a wide and surprising margin, sparking a panic in the DNC.  Then, Debbie "No debates!" Wasserman-Schultz makes a secret, midnight trip to the United States Naval Observatory.

Extra - Ace and Patterico.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Suspicions confirmed

NY Times: "Wounded Warrior Project Spends Lavishly on Itself, Insiders Say."  This is why most of my charity goes to my church; I'm fairly sure it won't go to five-star retreats.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Western Massachusetts update

Political correctness claims another victim: Lord Jeff.  MassLive: "Amherst College trustees vote to drop controversial Lord Jeff mascot."

I've said it before that it's only a matter of time before they dump the University of Massachusetts Minuteman because he's a white dude with a gun.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Now we know why the markings were gone

For a while now, Hillary's go-to excuse to explain away classified information on her homebrew server was that the documents weren't "marked."  Idiots like Chuck Todd let her get away with it by asking the same questions she's already rehearsed very well.  These journalists never ask why there were no markings on these highly classified documents.

Over at the Federalist, former Army Colonel Kurt Schlichter explains the mechanics of moving this sensitive information onto Clinton's server: it was a deliberate violation of the law.  From "How Hillary got classified information on her private email."
If these new revelations are true, then it appears Hillary Clinton systematically conspired with her minions to transmit classified information from secure systems to her unsecure server. It’s not merely hard to see how she is not guilty of multiple violations of Section 1924. It’s impossible.
In short, the only way these top secret documents got there was if Clinton or her minions purposely stripped the markings and then transmitted them via email to the bathroom server.  Why would they do this?  Because Hillary explicitly asked them to!  This scandal is now incandescently criminal.

Extra - Andrew McCarthy: "Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal Appears Gravely Criminal."

More - Neo-Neocon: "I used to think there was zero chance of Hillary being indicted. Now I think there’s a 10% chance."  Uh-oh.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Waiting on the DOJ

Hot Air: "Former AG: It’s time to charge Hillary."

The thing that drives me nuts is the Clinton defense (such as it is) that classified documents weren't "marked" classified so - hey! - how can Grandma know what's really classified?  She's often confused.  Spy satellite pictures of North Korea?  I'm just an old woman who can't handle two cellphones at once.

Shut up, they explained - a continuing series

Here's Jonah Goldberg responding to a New Yorker hit piece on the Koch Brothers:
Liberals are constantly talking about how we need an “honest conversation” about race or guns or this or that. But what they invariably mean is, they want everyone who disagrees to shut up. (That’s why they hate Fox News, too.)

The best working definition of “right wing” today has almost nothing to do with the ideological content of what right-wingers say or do. A right-winger is someone who disagrees with the liberal narrative, has the temerity to say so, and dares to actually try to change the conversation.
There's been a mini-controversy here in the Happy Valley of Western Massachusetts because the mayor of Northampton allowed a "Black Lives Matter" banner to hang on city hall for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Some people who believe "All Lives Matter" view the banner as divisive and anti-police.  But the most risible comment to come out of the controversy is that somebody said that they wanted to draw white people into a conversation on race.

They want no such thing.  The BLM activists want capitulation to their narrative.  As I wrote on the MassLive comment board, there is a 0.00001% chance a white person who did not offer up a confession would not be branded a racist.

Why bother?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Wow, that's some penalty

Yet part of me thinks it's not enough: "For defying no-call lists, Dish faces potential fines totaling $24 billion."  "Dish’s telemarketers allegedly failed to heed no-call lists, and the satellite-TV provider may be fined up to $24 billion, a sum larger than the company’s current market value."

Gaming Obamacare

Hit and Run: "How Long Will Health Insurers Continue to Put Up With Obamacare? - People are gaming the system, and losses in the health law's exchanges are piling up."

It's winter

Fox News: "Why can’t DC handle snow? Once again, officials hit for storm response."  Just grab a shovel, you wimps.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"America Alone" is a great book

Mark Steyn's book about demographic changes wiping out Western civilization is one of the few books I've read in a single day.  Ten years later, he looks like Nostradamus: "It's still the demography, stupid."

Agent X is exposed!

McClatchy: "Clinton campaign accuses Obama appointee of trying to smear Clinton."  All of our work tricking Obama into nominating this inspector general is threatened.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Top secret and fancy free

NBC News: "Hillary Clinton Emails Held Info Beyond Top Secret: IG."
Clinton, who tops national primary polling as a Democratic presidential candidate, has repeatedly said that none of the information she sent or received while secretary of state was marked classified, and nothing has emerged to contradict that. But it's become clear that classified information bled into the emails, which were sent over unencrypted channels open to interception by foreign intelligence agencies.
Ace has consistently maintained that the politicized Justice Department will never bring charges against the not-inevitable Clinton.  Now he's changing his tune:
I'm starting to think that the FBI will recommend a grand jury investigation. This is just too big to cover up.

Loretta Lynch may refuse, but the FBI can't roll over for Hillary and then ever have any credibility in any criminal investigation ever again.
Keep in mind that these classified documents were so sensitive that "McCullough and some of his aides had to receive clearance to be read in on it before viewing the sworn declaration about the Clinton emails."  Oh, tell us about the "markings" again, Hill.

Extra - Charles Krauthammer agrees: "This is an investigative story. And now it’s in the hands of the FBI. It’s hard to imagine that the Department of Justice will ignore this or wave it away."

More - Twitchy: "Time for a perp walk? Latest IG report on Hillary Clinton’s emails is DEVASTATING."

Sock puppet

Good question, Legal Insurrection: "Why is George Stephanopoulos even allowed to cover Clinton campaign?Clear conflict exacerbated by inconsistent disclosure of donations."

Sunday, January 17, 2016

AYFKM Boston Globe?

Today's Boston Globe dedicates almost the entire "Ideas" section to bashing Donald Trump.  This editorial wins the gold medal in sheer left-wing hypocrisy: "In the Oval Office, experience matters."
Ben Carson, Donald Trump, and Carly Fiorina would be remarkable historic outliers to win the White House, not only because they’ve never held elected office; they have never even held senior positions in either the government or the military. No president has ever been sworn in without such experience.
Yes, they wrote that.  Here's a typical online comment:
This from the paper that shamelessly promoted a community organizer/state senator who racked up a total of 743 days in the US Senate before being elected? For a minute, I thought I was reading The Onion.
The Boston Globe and its similar MSM ilk propped up this junior senator, claiming he had the world-class temperament for the job and really that's all that mattered.  Now we're told - golly! - the prerequisite is that we should have a President who believes in government.  Unbelievable.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Emptying out Connecticut

National Review: "Taxes chased GE out of Connecticut"
GE's decision to leave Fairfield for Boston is another sad marker in the downhill slide brought about by Connecticut’s high-tax, high-regulation, anti-business policies of the last 25 years.
So I live in Massachusetts but work in Connecticut...and I'm also losing my job.  The company I work for (not GE) basically said they're sick of getting dunned by Hartford.  How bad is the climate in Connecticut that General Electric is looking for relief in Boston?  This bad:
Connecticut has the second-highest property tax in the nation, ranking 49th out of 50. The Tax Foundation ranks Connecticut 42nd out of 50 in terms of tax climate (Massachusetts ranks 24th), and second highest in terms of state and local income-tax collections per person.

Massachusetts? It dropped its corporate tax to 8 percent from 9.5 percent and has a flat income tax of 5.15 percent. Connecticut, on the other hand, jacked its corporate tax to 9 percent from 7.5 percent and its top income-tax rate to 6.99 percent from 5 percent.
The mayor of Boston likened the GE move to winning Powerball.  Too bad, Connecticut.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The day after tomorrow...

...we'll still have climate change hysteria.  Watts Up with That: "The abject failure of official global-warming predictions."
To the continuing embarrassment of the profiteers of doom, the least-squares linear-regression trends on Dr Roy Spencer’s UAH satellite dataset shows no global warming at all for 18 years 6 months, despite a continuing (and gently accelerating) increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
The science is settled!  Now if only the observations would cooperate.

Thanks Google!

I got nothin'.  So I'll recount this story: about two weeks ago I used the "reminder" function on my Google Now to tell me to buy stamps the next time I'm at Stop and Shop.  Fast forward to today and, of course, I had completely forgotten about this reminder.  I walk into Stop & Shop and my phone beeps: "buy stamps!"

How cool is that?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Accelerating the death spiral

Prepare to be shocked: Americans are gaming Obamacare to run up medical bills then drop coverage.
Both those trends make the risk pools skew toward sicker, costlier customers — and under Obamacare, plans can no longer deny coverage to those with expensive medical conditions. That problem has been exacerbated by the large numbers of healthier people who are choosing to stay uninsured rather than shell out money for coverage.
Hmmm...I seem to remember somebody predicting that this very thing would happen.

I question the timing

Fox News: "US sailors, boats held by Iran in Persian Gulf."

I have a theory that the mullahs don't want to give the slightest hint that they're bowing to the Great Satan so they fund terrorism and launch missiles and then seize American sailors on the night of Obama's SOTU.  They know Mr. "Peace in our Time" will do nothing.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Clinton quid pro quo

Hot Air: "FBI expands Hillary e-mail probe to investigate corruption."  Act One of the Clinton email saga was the mishandling of classified information but Act Two was always going to be Clinton Cash.  Hillary didn't erase 60,000 emails about yoga positions.

Extra - From Powerline.

David Bowie

Is responsible for one of my all-time favorite lyrics:

"This mellow fat chick just put my spine out of place."

Sunday, January 10, 2016

I have never seen a football team implode like the Bengals last night

What an ugly game.  The Bengals were up 16-15 with the ball on the Steelers 26-yard line and all they had to do was run down the clock and kick a field goal.  Instead they fumbled the ball to the Steelers.  Then, since Ben Roethlisberger had a hurt arm, the Bengals helped him downfield with a stupid hitting foul.  Even this wasn't enough to guarantee an easy field goal, so they drew a personal foul to move the ball closer.  I couldn't believe my eyes.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Really, Liam Neeson?

Independent Journal: "More than 100 Hollywood Celebs Just Backed Obama’s Gun Control Push."

I can understand, say, Sarah Jessica Parker whose most famous character is in a search for shoes.  But Liam Neeson?  Is there a movie star that owes his career to the glorification of guns more than him?  (After Ah-nold).

This, right here, is a felony

One time I saw a show about how the FBI caught mob boss John Gotti.  The "social club" where he would frequent had listening devices everywhere but occasionally they lost track of Gotti's voice.  Eventually, the FBI figured out that, when Gotti was conducting serious Mafia business, he would go out a back door to an apartment upstairs.  They, of course, then planted a bug there.

What they captured on this new bug was pure gold.  If I remember correctly, Gotti would say things like "I'm La Cosa Nostra forever" and "Oh, yeah, I had that guy whacked."

I thought about that when reading about how Hillary instructed an aide to send classified information through an unsecured system because she was impatient:
In a thread from June 2011, Hillary exchanges e-mails with Jake Sullivan, then her deputy chief of staff and now her campaign foreign-policy adviser, in which she impatiently waits for a set of talking points. When Sullivan tells her that the source is having trouble with the secure fax, Hillary then orders Sullivan to have the data stripped of its markings and sent through a non-secure channel.

That should be game, set, and match, yes?
One would think.  Here's Hillary telling this deputy to strip the security markings, scan it into a PDF (I assume), and send it via a non-secure server.  All this story needs to complete the picture is Hillary writing: "I know this is violation of security protocols and federal law but go ahead and do it for me, Hillary."

Ace of Spades gives this the rare three flaming skulls:
If the FBI does not indict Clinton, two things follow:
1. There is no longer any law against the selling or transmission of classified information.
2. There is no longer any rule of law in the United States of America, and, the United States being conceived as a place of laws not men, there is then no longer any United States of America, either.
Can the Department of Justice really decline to indict?  This is a crime:
Besides, as I pointed out in the earlier post (and several other times over the past year), 18 USC 793 does not require information to be classified to take action on violations, although that does allow prosecutors to build a case easier. It just requires information that transmitted or stored in the open could damage national security. Clearly Sullivan thought this needed to go through secure channels, and yet Hillary not only tried to override it, she wanted the headers deleted to allow for it — which shows a pretty clear intent to violate the regulations on handling of secure information.
Hillary belongs in prison.

Extra - Let's see what my legal buddies have to say.  Legal Insurrection: "At this point, if Hillary is not indicted for conspiracy it’s because someone at DOJ doesn’t want her indicted."

Thursday, January 07, 2016

The Chicago way

Daily Beast: "Lawyers Went to Rahm Emanuel, Then Quashed the Laquan McDonald Video" - "The mayor’s men demanded that dash-cam video be kept confidential for at least several years as part of a $5 million settlement with the teenager’s family."

Don't worry, Rahm.  Being a Democrat means never having to say you're sorry.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Those Ted Cruz supporters are decent...some of them...I suppose

Patterico: "MSM Partisan Hack: Ted Cruz is a Nazi."  This from a senior writer Newsweek who is a professional that can turn on his objectivity powers just like that.

Extra - From Instapundit.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Netanyahu at War

This PBS Frontline special on the acid relationship between Israel's Netanyahu and the Obama Administration is absolutely riveting.

Monday, January 04, 2016

This lawless Presidency

Do words mean anything at all to this President?  In case you missed it, the Obamacare employer mandate finally went into effect on January 1st after several delays for purely political reasons:
This is why the Obama administration ignored the law, which required the mandate to go into effect for all employers on January 1, 2014. Hoping to avoid the wrath of the voters in that year’s midterms a group of congressional Democrats went to the White House and persuaded the President to delay its implementation. Thus, the enforcement date was pushed back to January of 2015. Six months later, he arbitrarily moved back the implementation date for employers with 50 to 99 workers until this year.
This "selective enforcement" of the written law - with specific implementation dates - was illegal.  The Executive branch does not exist to write or interpret legislation: it exists to enforce laws.  In this case, Obama delayed implementation of his own namesake law for purely political reasons (which didn't help anyway.)

Now I'm no gun nut but as Ace points out, the current law is very specific about who is and is not required to perform a background check for a gun purchase:
(21) The term “engaged in the business” means--
(C) as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921(a)(11)(A), a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms;
I understand that Obama is going to do a town hall meeting on gun control where he can stroke his ego as being the only person in the room who cares about the kids.  He'll have a plant in the audience to throw him some softballs but nobody will ask the former Constitutional Law professor if there's any limit to bending the English language to fit his agenda.

And I didn't even mention illegal immigration.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Western Massachusetts update: Feel the Bern

Bernie Sanders made a stop at the University of Massachusetts today.  He filled the Fine Arts Center to capacity and a large-screen TV was set up outside for the overflow crowd.

"Youse gonna be working together"

Hot Air: "As predicted, New York managed to lose huge amounts of sin tax money."  This reminds me of when, when confronted with the fact that capital gains revenues drop when rates rise, Obama defended tax hikes in the name of "fairness."  Because there is always virtue in taxes.

High and getting worse

Homicides in Baltimore spiked after the Freddie Gray case: "Something went wrong in Baltimore."

Friday, January 01, 2016

The new authoritarians

Scratch a liberal and you'll find a fascist.  Coyote Blog points out that the martinets at Mother Jones think it's swell that younger Americans are being "threatened" and "browbeaten" into buying Obamacare.

"I'm not lying," Hillary lied.

Daily Caller: "Hillary Goes On The Offensive Against Benghazi Victims’ Families."  According to Hillary, they're all simultaneously mis-remembering her blaming Benghazi on an internet video.  I'll bet she was really surprised when she saw Susan Rice on the Sunday morning shows.