Saturday, March 17, 2018

Who Else Has Been Exposed by the McCabe Investigation?

For John, BLUFThere will always be corruption.  How much is acceptable?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Roger L Simon, 16 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Friday's firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, based on a report from the Office of Professional Responsibility, is only the beginning of what is likely to be the most explosive series of revelations in American history.

Forget Watergate. It will be the distant past once the Inspector General's reports—there apparently will be more than one—start to come out. This will be the "Gate of Gates."

From the FBI and across the intelligence agencies an astonishing number of people are going to find themselves accused, one can safely predict at this point, of some atrocious behavior in a free republic.  And it will not just be the small change of Peter Strzok (the dimwitted director of counter-intelligence) and his gal pal Lisa Page.  It will include—on one level or another—James Comey, Loretta Lynch, John Brennan, James Clapper, Susan Rice and, almost inevitably, Barack Obama, not to mention others known and unknown.

Maybe Roger Simon is right, but maybe the Swamp will protect all those people named above.  Only time will tell.  That said, since we didn't really get a fire break with Mr Andrew McCabe, perhaps the fire needs to consume more territory before we can get it under control.  At the end of the day it is about cleansing and strengthening the Republic.

Personally, I wish he had gone quietly, with his pension in tact, but with the word out to others that it was time to stand down.  Didn't seem to happen.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Germany and Immigration

For John, BLUFGerman Chancellor Merkel is deciding the course of the future Germany and it isn't certain where that course is taking the nation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


Here is the lede plus two, plus quotes:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's disastrous decision to throw open an essentially defenseless western Europe to hordes of military-age males from the Islamic ummah will go down in history as one of Christendom's greatest blunders, either a triumph of wishful childless-feminist thinking or a malevolent act of epic proportions.  So this statement by new Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, while welcome, is way too little, and far too late:
New Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Islam does not belong to Germany, and set out hardline immigration policies in his first major interview since being sworn in this week, as he sought to see off rising far-right challengers.
Note that in the European media -- and soon enough in the American -- any conservative defender of tradition is now labeled "far-right."  As I've often said on Twitter (@dkahanerules), on the Left, "treason is the highest form of patriotism."
His comments put him on a collision course with Chancellor Angela Merkel, who on Friday reiterated her long-held view that Islam was a part of Germany, even if the country was traditionally characterized by Christianity and Judaism.

“Islam does not belong to Germany,” Seehofer, a member of Merkel’s CSU Bavarian allies who are further to the right than her own Christian Democrats (CDU), told Bild newspaper in an interview published on Friday.  Seehofer said he would push through a “master plan for quicker deportations” and classify more states as ‘safe’ countries of origin, which would make it easier to deport failed asylum seekers.

Seehofer is particularly keen to show his party is tackling immigration ahead of Bavaria’s October regional election, when the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) is expected to enter that state assembly.  “Of course the Muslims living here do belong to Germany,” Seehofer told Bild, but added that Germany should not give up its own traditions or customs, which have Christianity at their heart.

“My message is:  Muslims need to live with us, not next to us or against us,” he said.

If you think the White House is in chaos, think about being in a coalition that took four months to form and in the end didn't consist of the expected three parties, but of two, Chancellor Merkel's CDU/CSU and the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany—Progressives).  Four months without a Government.  What a mess.

So, what does Germany, with a declining birthrate, look like in twenty years?

For sure, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is correct in saying that (for the experiment to succeed) the Muslim immigrants need to live with the Germans and not next to them or against them.(CSU) Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Who Should Head the CIA

For John, BLUFOn the other hand, if you think they are all breaking the law, what difference, at this point, does it make?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by Speech Boy (Mr Michael A. Cohen), 16 MARCH 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

In August 2002, less than a year after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times n a CIA secret prison in Thailand. Seven months later, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was tortured in the same manner 183 times.

Other suspected terrorists rounded up during the US global war on terrorism were subjected to mock executions and threats to rape and murder family members. They were placed in stress positions, which included being kept in coffin-like boxes for days on end. They were deprived of sleep (some for as many 180 straight hours), physically assaulted, and forced to take ice-cold baths. One prisoner died from hypothermia during an interrogation. Detainees experienced severe psychological and behavioral problems, including hallucinations, paranoia, and suicidal actions.

In the words of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, detainees were subjected to “cruel, inhuman, and degrading” treatment and “the evidence of this is overwhelming and incontrovertible.”

In the 15 years since this happened not one person has even been held responsible for these heinous acts — and this week a key architect of the CIA’s torture program, Gina Haspel, was nominated to become the director of the agency. If she gets the job it will be, in effect, an acknowledgment by the federal government and Congress that those who broke US and international law by torturing prisoners did nothing wrong. If the rule of law means anything in America, that can’t be allowed to happen.

To me the problem is that if Ms Haspel doesn't meet our standards, then who does?  Do we bring in someone from the outside?  Do we recycle a previous office holder?

Regards  —  Cliff

Economics Comes to the Ivy Halls

For John, BLUFI suspect this is a self-inflicted wound and I find it, in one way, sad.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The American Thinker, by Mr Thomas Lifson, 16 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

If you are sick and tired of professors indoctrinating students in politicized classes that teach nothing of any use in real life, and hate the idea that tenure immunizes them from accountability, the next decade or so is going to provide some relief.  The reckoning is coming, as shocked professors at a University of Wisconsin campus just discovered.  The higher education bubble that Professor Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit has forecast to burst has just popped in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

It turns out that you can’t earn a living teaching subjects that students aren’t that interested in.  Even if you have tenure.  Colleen Flaherty writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

…the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point announced its plan to cut 13 majors -- including those in anchor humanities departments such as English and history and all three of the foreign languages offered -- and, with them, faculty jobs. Tenured professors may well lose their positions.
Further down we learn who died:
Here is the list of the departments being closed at Wisconsin, Stevens Point.
  • American studies,
  • art (excluding graphic design),
  • English (excluding English for teacher certification),
  • French,
  • geography,
  • geoscience,
  • German,
  • history (excluding social science for teacher certification),
  • music literature,
  • philosophy,
  • political science,
  • sociology
  • Spanish.
I have a BS, and a Masters focused on Management in the Aerospace area, but still, there are some majors there I have enjoyed dabbling in, including History, Philosophy, Political Science and Sociology.  There are things to be learned in those fields.  For instance, there is that old bromide, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)  I would suggest Venezuela is an example of that.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Mr Corbyn Sides With the Other Side

For John, BLUFIf only Ms Clinton had been elected this wouldn't have happened.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

May Slams Corbyn Over His Refusal to Condemn Russia.

This is from Guido Fawkes, at his Blog, Order-Order, on 14 March 2018.  It has embedded video of the Prime Minister condemning the Opposition Leader.

Here is the lede plus one:

Theresa May slammed Jeremy Corbyn for his lack of support over the Russian spy poisoning crisis. The Prime Minister told Jezza:
There is a consensus across the backbenches of this House. I am only sorry that this consesnsus does not go as far as the Right Honourable Gentleman, who could have taken the opportunity as the UK government has done to condemn the cuplability of the Russian state.
To his face.  It was, after all, Prime Minister's Questions.

But, back to Jessa (Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn).  He has refused to point a finger at Russian President Putin in the attempted murders of two Russian Expatriates and the incidental poisoning of a British Police Office.

There is this, further down the blog post:

In this type situation Guido would normally expect the leader of the oppostion’s spin doctor to back pedal in the Lobby briefing huddle that follows, he would “clarify” and nuance the wording. Emphasise the more conventional parts of the argument to soften the inevitably hostile headlines coming tomorrow. When that spin-doctor is Seumas Milne however it seems there was to be no compromising on Putin’s line. Under intense questioning he refused to say that the Labour Party’s leader accepted the Russian state was at fault:
The government has access to information and intelligence on this matter which others don‘t. However, also there is a history in relation to weapons of mass destruction and intelligence which is problematic, to put it mildly. So, I think the right approach is to seek the evidence to follow international treaties, particularly in relation to prohibitive chemical weapons.
The reference to "a history" refers to the run up to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, when the UK supported the United States Government regarding accusations of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction.  There was, first, The Butler Review, and then in 2009, The Chilcot Inquiry.

There you have it.  The Labour Party in the United Kingdom is officially in President Putin's pocket.  There is a lot more evidence for that than there ever was for President Trump being in collusion with the Russians.

Regards  —  Cliff

  President George H. W. Bush said, "I count my blessings for the fact I don't have to go into that pit that John Major stands in, nose-to-nose with the opposition, all yelling at each other."
  For those hoping to see Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrap up soon, the Chilcot Report started in 2009, with its appointment by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and ended in 2016 with a public statement by Sir John Chilcot.  Speaking of sinecures.

Going After Russia's Espionage

For John, BLUFWe are taking actions against Russia, but it is a game that needs some deft action, less it spiral down into war.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is interesting.  The EMail Alert is:

US imposes sanctions on 19 Russians for alleged interference in election

On the other hand, at the article itself, the headline writer gives us:

US accuses Russia of ongoing effort to hack US energy grid

This is an Associated Press item by Messers Matthew Lee and Josh Lederman, in the 15 March 2018 edition of The Boston Globe.

Here is the lede:

The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of a concerted, ongoing operation to hack and spy on the U.S. energy grid and other critical infrastructure, and separately imposed sanctions on Russian officials for alleged high-tech interference in the 2016 American presidential election.
By the way, there is a teaser at the right of the article, "US, France, Germany join Britain in blaming Russia for poisoning".

So, how does this fit into the Democratic Party narrative, the narrative of US Representative Adam Schiff?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  That is to say, President Trump is President Putin's puppet.

Pushing Back on Russia

For John, BLUFIn case you thought this poisoning in England was not a big deal, we have folks trying to make it a bigger deal than it is.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from The Lawfire Blog, written by Duke Law Professor Charlie Dunlap, on 13 March 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

Yesterday the British Prime Minister Theresa May stated that “it was highly likely that Russia was responsible” for the March 4th poisoning attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury, England.  May also said that in the absence of a “credible response” from Russia, the UK “will conclude that this action amounts to an unlawful use of force by the Russian State against the United Kingdom.”

According to a new essay by respected scholars Ryan Goodman and Alex Whiting, if an “unlawful use of force” is the conclusion, the two nations were, as a matter of law, in an “international armed conflict.”  My view is that international law should avoid construing events like this which are essentially criminal in nature as creating an armed conflict between two nuclear powers.

Prime Minister May was careful to use the words “use of force” and not “attack” in describing the incident.  Why would that be important?  Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter says that “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nation.”  Obviously, a “use of force” violates the Charter.

In response to a comment on the article, saying "As terrible as these crimes were, do they really sound like enough to declare that 200 million people were in an armed conflict?"

To which Charlie replies:

You make excellent points, and I'm not dismissing the seriousness of the actions, but at the end of the day, I can't agree with you. The fact of the matter is that as bad as it is that three people were injured, a state of armed conflict between two nuclear powers carries more potential for harm. The UK can do lots of things to counter and punish Russia without being in an armed conflict with it.
So, there you have it.  Serious things happening, but with a little statesmanship we can avoid armed conflict between nuclear armed nations.

Regards  —  Cliff
-, Wed 3.0