2020 election: rebutting “things that make you go hmmm…”

December 3, 2020

Last week I wrote a post about oddities surrounding the 2020 presidential race that left me wondering if the election had been indeed stolen. I linked to an article in The Spectator from a pollster who look at several elements in support of the case that something was rotten here.

To say out-loud that you find the results of the 2020 presidential election odd is to invite derision. You must be a crank or a conspiracy theorist. Mark me down as a crank, then. I am a pollster and I find this election to be deeply puzzling. I also think that the Trump campaign is still well within its rights to contest the tabulations. Something very strange happened in America’s democracy in the early hours of Wednesday November 4 and the days that followed. It’s reasonable for a lot of Americans to want to find out exactly what.

At the time I had hoped someone would examine Mr. Basham’s contentions point-by-point to either support or refute them. Finally, someone has.

Writing today at the Darwin Catholic blog, “Darwin” has a long essay on the Spectator article and finds it wanting. The short version is that Mr. Basham’s assertions are facile and just wrong. Here’s one example, first quoting Mr. Basham’s piece:

Trump’s vote increased so much because, according to exit polls, he performed far better with many key demographic groups. Ninety-five percent of Republicans voted for him. He did extraordinarily well with rural male working-class whites.

Trump grew his support among black voters by 50 percent over 2016. Nationally, Joe Biden’s black support fell well below 90 percent, the level below which Democratic presidential candidates usually lose.

Then rebutting it:

This conflates something that is true with something that isn’t.

It’s true that Trump improved his performance with black voters, but even with that improvement Trump only got the support of 12% of black voters (19% of black men and 9% of black women). It’s also true that Trump won white working class voters by a large margin — he beat Biden by 35% among white voters with no college degree. But in a sign of trouble for Trump, that was a decline in his core constituency from 2016 when he beat Clinton by 37% among whites with no college degree. Also a significant problem for Trump is that fact that while he won college educated white men by 14% in 2016 he only won that demographic by 3% in 2020, while Biden won among white college educated women by 9% which was actually an increase over Clinton’s win among the demographic of 7%.

So yes, Trump got lots of votes from working class whites, and he increased his support among blacks and Hispanics, but if we look at all the demographics we see a picture of Trump as a candidate who lost more support than he gained in terms of percentages of voters, even though partisanship drove record turnout numbers and thus a record number of ballots cast for both candidates.

There’s more like this, and I recommend you read the whole thing. I still think there was significant fraud in places, but not enough to swing the election. Darwin’s piece reinforces that belief.

On the other hand, I have not changed my belief that Nancy Pelosi and her allies exploited the pandemic to press for voting changes that would make it easier for their side to cheat …er… “win,” as Kim Strassel relates, even if they didn’t swing this particular race. We still need to institute serious reforms in our electoral systems.


2020 election: Things That Make You Go “Hmmm…”

November 29, 2020

To put it mildly, I’ve been skeptical of the idea that the 2020 election was stolen for Joe Biden. Yes, there was a fair amount of corruption (looking at you, Philly and Detroit) and incompetence (really, Georgia?), but the idea that some grand fraud could move enough votes over several states to rig the election just seemed unbelievable.

Even if the President believed it.

But, there are things that make you wonder. Writing in The Spectator, pollster Patrick Basham describes himself as puzzled:

First, consider some facts. President Trump received more votes than any previous incumbent seeking reelection. He got 11 million more votes than in 2016, the third largest rise in support ever for an incumbent. By way of comparison, President Obama was comfortably reelected in 2012 with 3.5 million fewer votes than he received in 2008.

Trump’s vote increased so much because, according to exit polls, he performed far better with many key demographic groups. Ninety-five percent of Republicans voted for him. He did extraordinarily well with rural male working-class whites.

He earned the highest share of all minority votes for a Republican since 1960. Trump grew his support among black voters by 50 percent over 2016. Nationally, Joe Biden’s black support fell well below 90 percent, the level below which Democratic presidential candidates usually lose.

Trump increased his share of the national Hispanic vote to 35 percent. With 60 percent or less of the national Hispanic vote, it is arithmetically impossible for a Democratic presidential candidate to win Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. Bellwether states swung further in Trump’s direction than in 2016. Florida, Ohio and Iowa each defied America’s media polls with huge wins for Trump. Since 1852, only Richard Nixon has lost the electoral college after winning this trio, and that 1960 defeat to John F. Kennedy is still the subject of great suspicion.

In addition to his general misgivings, he lists nine specific points. Here are two:

1. Late on election night, with Trump comfortably ahead, many swing states stopped counting ballots. In most cases, observers were removed from the counting facilities. Counting generally continued without the observers

2. Statistically abnormal vote counts were the new normal when counting resumed. They were unusually large in size (hundreds of thousands) and had an unusually high (90 percent and above) Biden-to-Trump ratio

I’ll admit, put all these together and it does look suspicious. It’s like a bank robbery: if you see security footage of guys coming into a bank and spray-painting the cameras so you can’t see anything else, you can still make reasonable inferences when, the next day, the money you thought was there is now gone.

But inference is not proof. This was a passionate election, with, if I recall right, the largest percentage turnout since 1900. Trump is a polarizing figure, and it’s not a stretch for me to think two things can be true at once: that voters chose to maintain the Republicans in the states and increase their numbers in the House, while at the same time enough of those same voters rejected Trump personally and voted to replace him. I’ve remarked several times that, regardless of the success and popularity of many of his policies (Operation Warp Speed, for example, the quest to find a vaccine for the Wuhan virus, is an undoubted success), his behavior, his inability to rise to the role of Chief of State during the pandemic, not just Chief Executive, hurt his campaign.

When many in the nation wanted that Chief of State, that “national reassurer,” if you will, Trump couldn’t do it, and I think that cost him a lot of votes. He needed to do that to beat the headwinds of an insanely hostile and dishonest media, but failed.

And to be fair, Mr. Basham is not exactly disinterested. He has written for the UK’s Daily Express predicting a Trump landslide. Thus, he has an arguable interest in self-justification. And there are questions about his claims to academic qualification. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the suspicious activity he cites are not still signs of a stolen election, nor that he’s wrong or disingenuous here. It does mean we should be wary, however.

Still, take a look also at this article from Kim Strassel about Nancy Pelosi’s biggest priority when she returned as Speaker in 2019: not healthcare, not the Green New Deal, but changing the electoral system:

House Resolution 1 is the designation for the first bill unveiled in any new Congress. It’s designed to highlight the majority party’s top priority. In early 2017, the Republican-led House gave the title to Donald Trump’s tax reform. When Mrs. Pelosi retook the speaker’s gavel in 2019, her party had just campaigned on a slew of urgent Democratic priorities: health care, climate change, immigration, student debt. None of these rose to the honor of H.R. 1.

Instead, Mrs. Pelosi unveiled a 600-plus page bill devoted to “election reform.” Some of the legislation was aimed at weaponizing campaign-finance law, giving Democrats more power to control political speech and to intimidate opponents. But the bill was equally focused on empowering the federal government to dictate how states conduct elections—with new rules designed to water down ballot integrity and to corral huge new tranches of Democratic voters.

She then lists the provisions of the bill:

The bill would require states to offer early voting. They also would have to allow Election Day and online voter registration, diluting the accuracy of voting rolls. H.R. 1 would make states register voters automatically from government databases, including federal welfare recipients. Colleges and universities were designated as voter-registration hubs, and 16-year-olds would be registered to vote two years in advance. The bill would require “no fault” absentee ballots, allowing anyone to vote by mail, for any reason. It envisioned prepaid postage for federal absentee ballots. It would cripple most state voter-ID laws. It left in place the “ballot harvesting” rules that let paid activists canvass neighborhoods to hoover up absentee votes.

The bill didn’t become law (thank you, Mitch McConnell), but Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats, following the infamous advice of Rahm Emanuel –“Never let a crisis go to waste”– used the pandemic to ram many of these measures through the courts and at the state level, the latter often via “emergency” decrees by Democrat governors, such as California’s Gavin Newsom, grossly abusing their emergency powers to rewrite their states’ laws.

As Strassel writes, these measures didn’t create cheating, they just potentially facilitated it. To use the bank analogy above, Pelosi the bank manager unlocked the doors and then went home, confident she’d get her cut.

So, did Joe Biden win the presidency through cheating? I still doubt it, but now less so.

But, even if he did, what can be done? The Trump campaign’s efforts have been weak and repeatedly thrown out of court. As National Review’s Andy McCarthy has written, the remedies they’re seeking (such as tossing out the votes and having legislatures name electors) are way out scale with any evidence of harm they’ve been able to produce.

But it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It’s like the provision in Scottish law, “not proven.” In other words, “we can’t prove you did it, but we know you did it, so don’t do it again!”

It may be that, barring shocking revelations in the next few weeks that change the national mood, the best solution remaining, assuming corruption, is sunshine and reform: research proving the election was stolen that in turn leads to reforms to secure the integrity of future elections. These would include voter ID, strict limitations on mail-in ballots, and an end to vote-harvesting.

For now, however, I’m left thinking “hmmm…”


Will Corporal Klinger be our new National Supply Commander?

November 13, 2020

It’s going to be a long four years, isn’t it? Via Reason magazine:

“This week, President-elect Joe Biden previewed several ways he plans to take bold action upon assuming office in January. Among the most immediately consequential would be his promise to appoint a “Supply Commander” to “take command of the national supply chain for essential equipment, medications, and protective gear.”

Overburdened hospital capacity was one of the primary concerns cited by proponents of lockdowns as the COVID-19 pandemic gained steam in spring 2020. The system’s continued potential vulnerability is now a doubly contentious issue. On one hand, there are renewed calls for stricter lockdowns; on the other, there is criticism that the system did not improve under incumbent President Donald Trump’s watch.

‘We can no longer leave this to the private sector,” proclaims Biden’s website. “The Supply Commander should work with every governor to determine their needs, and then coordinate production and delivery of those needs in a timely and efficient manner. And, the Supply Commander should direct the distribution of critical equipment as cases peak at different times in different states or territories.'”

Lockdowns prolonged the problem, and the last thing we need is more statism and bureaucracy.


Lincoln in 1838 foresaw America in 2020

August 19, 2020

Dusting off this old blog, because I was listening to the Power Line podcast, and something guest Charles Lipson said moved me to reread Lincoln’s Lyceum speech of 1838, when he was only 28 years old, and I was struck by this passage in particular. If you’ll bear with the more florid rhetoric of the time, I think you’ll agree that Abraham Lincoln at even a young age appreciated the danger we now face.

“But all this even, is not the full extent of the evil.–By such examples, by instances of the perpetrators of such acts going unpunished, the lawless in spirit, are encouraged to become lawless in practice; and having been used to no restraint, but dread of punishment, they thus become, absolutely unrestrained.–Having ever regarded Government as their deadliest bane, they make a jubilee of the suspension of its operations; and pray for nothing so much, as its total annihilation. While, on the other hand, good men, men who love tranquility, who desire to abide by the laws, and enjoy their benefits, who would gladly spill their blood in the defense of their country; seeing their property destroyed; their families insulted, and their lives endangered; their persons injured; and seeing nothing in prospect that forebodes a change for the better; become tired of, and disgusted with, a Government that offers them no protection; and are not much averse to a change in which they imagine they have nothing to lose. Thus, then, by the operation of this mobocractic spirit, which all must admit, is now abroad in the land, the strongest bulwark of any Government, and particularly of those constituted like ours, may effectually be broken down and destroyed–I mean the attachment of the People. Whenever this effect shall be produced among us; whenever the vicious portion of population shall be permitted to gather in bands of hundreds and thousands, and burn churches, ravage and rob provision-stores, throw printing presses into rivers, shoot editors, and hang and burn obnoxious persons at pleasure, and with impunity; depend on it, this Government cannot last. By such things, the feelings of the best citizens will become more or less alienated from it; and thus it will be left without friends, or with too few, and those few too weak, to make their friendship effectual. At such a time and under such circumstances, men of sufficient talent and ambition will not be wanting to seize the opportunity, strike the blow, and overturn that fair fabric, which for the last half century, has been the fondest hope, of the lovers of freedom, throughout the world.

I know the American People are much attached to their Government;–I know they would suffer much for its sake;–I know they would endure evils long and patiently, before they would ever think of exchanging it for another. Yet, notwithstanding all this, if the laws be continually despised and disregarded, if their rights to be secure in their persons and property, are held by no better tenure than the caprice of a mob, the alienation of their affections from the Government is the natural consequence; and to that, sooner or later, it must come.”

Now look at the news and at the near-total collapse of law and order in New York or Portland or Seattle or Chicago or… on and on. Look at the elected officials, supine before mobs, when not collaborating with them out of fear or even sympathy. The police rendered craven by a lack of support, and attempts to enforce the law denounced as tyranny. People hounded in their own homes, realizing no authority was there to protect them or even hold the mob in check through fear of punishment.

I’ve joked in the past that Lincoln was an “American Jesus,” dying for our sins. But reading this speech and looking at us today… He may well have been a prophet.

 


A Martin Luther King quote that should be better remembered

January 15, 2018

Via Jim Geraghty, there’s a quote from Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech that many, many people passionate about so many causes would do well to read and take to heart in the modern era:

“In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.”

Indeed.


[Video] What the Alt-Right and the Left have in common

October 28, 2017

A lot more than you might think, and a lot more than they have with the traditional American Right:

To put it bluntly, the alt-Right wouldn’t be getting the attention they do these days without opening the door for them through their obsession with identity politics.


(Video) Facts don’t care about your feelings

May 14, 2017

We seem lately to be going through a phase of madness in which what one feels or believes is more important than the truth. If you feel you been offended, then you have been offended regardless of the intent of the other person. And that in turn makes you a victim, which gives you special moral authority against which there can be no rational argument, no reasonable other point of view, just “hate.”

Here’s Ben Shapiro with the facts:


Why Trump is being inaugurated today

January 20, 2017

Fine as long as the mouth stays shut

“Thanks, Lefties. You helped make me a winner.”

Found this on Facebook. I’d say it’s nearly perfect:

how-trump-happened

 

And if that doesn’t get the point across, here’s an F-bomb laden tirade from a UK Lefty:

The Left isn’t the sole reason Trump won, of course. Something this extraordinary has many causes. But their sanctimonious jackassery was a huge part of it.

The next four years are on you, Social Justice Warriors of America. Own it, and enjoy.


“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom”

November 15, 2016

Still holds true after 85 years:

Adrian Rogers redistribution

Source: Someone on Twitter or Facebook, can’t recall whom.

But it’s the thought that counts.


What we’ve lost

November 15, 2016

A thoughtful essay from an acquaintance on Twitter. Well-worth reading.

The Hoondat Report

On the morning of November 9, when the votes were counted and we all knew that Donald Trump would become our next president, I put the following statement on social media:

Well, folks, it’s been a nice republic.

It got a positive response from friends on the left and the right. They all sensed that something very important had been lost, though it was hard to pinpoint what. But those who find profit in that loss are leaving no end of clues, and it’s our job to read those clues.

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Climate Advocates Look to Totalitarian China for Leadership

November 14, 2016

Not surprising, since the core of environmentalism itself (as opposed to a wise conservationism) is totalitarian.

Watts Up With That?

Smog hangs over a construction site in Weifang city, Shandong province, Oct 16. 2015. Air quality went down in many parts of China since Oct 15 and most cities are shrounded by haze. [Photo/IC] Smog hangs over a construction site in Weifang city, Shandong province, Oct 16. 2015. Air quality went down in many parts of China since Oct 15 and most cities are shrounded by haze. [Photo/IC] Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Trump’s America cancelling billions of dollars of UN climate payments apparently opens the way for totalitarian China to assume the moral high ground in global environmental diplomacy.

Trump Win Clears Way For China to Lead on Climate

The election of climate change skeptic Donald Trump as president is likely to end the U.S. leadership role in the international fight against global warming and may lead to the emergence of a new and unlikely champion: China.

China worked closely with the administration of outgoing President Barack Obama to build momentum ahead of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. The partnership of the two biggest greenhouse gas emitters helped get nearly 200…

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The recent election and being accountable

November 13, 2016

Fine as long as the mouth stays shut

“Okay, Fahrquar, say the words!”

Before I write anything else, I have to say one thing: I was wrong.

When I wrote after the Indiana primary, where Donald Trump de facto secured the Republican nomination:

When Trump gets swamped in November; when Obamacare becomes irreversible; when the Senate flips back to the Democrats; when even the House is lost; when Hillary gets away with her felonies; when all the gains we made in state legislatures and governorships are pissed away; when the economy still stinks; when the IRS goes back to abusing people whose opinions it doesn’t like; when the state grows and grows and grows and our rights shrink ever further and the world becomes ever more dangerous, well, that’s the choice you made.

I, along with so many others, got it all wrong. In fact, about the only people to forecast the election correctly were the Trump team itself, and a few perceptive journalists who saw the growing populist wave for what it was. My friend Salena Zito was one of the latter. You should really read her articles — she knows her stuff.

So, too, did Donald Trump, who spotted and gambled on a popular discontent with the governing class that most everyone else underestimated, and won.

So, just as I demand accountability in others, I expect it of myself. I freely admit I was wrong about Trump’s chances and the outcome of the election.

Does this mean I’ve become a Trump fan or supporter? No. I stand by my criticisms of him, whom I consider unqualified for the job, and his supporters, who’ve made an extremely risky bet with the nation’s future at stake. Were the election to be replayed, I would still oppose him and I would still vote for almost anyone but.

But, the election is over, and Trump has won in a legitimate, fair election. In a constitutional republic, that means we accept the results and give Trump and his team their chance to prove themselves. That’s what I intend to do: skeptical as I am, I will give President Trump the benefit of the doubt and a chance to prove me wrong, just as I did with President Obama.

And I hope he does just that. The passions of politics aside, the responsibilities of he presidency are so great, and the state of the world so parlous, only a fool would do otherwise.

I may have been wrong, but I am no fool. I hope President Trump succeeds and turns out to be a fine Chief Executive.

One thing has struck me in the days since the election: just how calm and accepting I and other “Never Trumpers” have been about the results. (Unlike the juvenile, thuggish Left.) I think it’s due to a couple of things:

First, relief that the Republicans retained the Senate and House with minimal losses, while expanding their hold over governorships and state legislatures. This bodes well for getting needed reforms done, and spares the nation of the horror of New York Senator Chuck Schumer as Majority Leader. It also gives me hope that the Supreme Court won’t swing in a more progressive, anti-Constitutional direction. Fingers crossed.

But, what gave me joy the day after was not Trump’s election, but the crushing defeat of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton crime family. To see “Lady Macbeth” denied that prize for which she’d sacrificed almost everything, including her professed feminist principles… Well, I’ll admit something else: I laughed out loud. Literally. That her and her clan of grifters and corruptionists and all their progressive hangers-on were left crying through the egg on their faces was a joy I’ll savor for a long time.

Whatever else comes of the election of Donald Trump, the banishment of Hillary and Bill Clinton from our political life can only be a good thing.

So, what comes in the future? Watching and waiting. I’ll support Trump when I think he’s right and I’ll oppose him when I think he’s wrong. I won’t rush to rejoin the Republican Party, because I don’t like the populist direction it’s gone in. But I will be willing to ally with them for the right causes. And I hope Congress will take this opportunity to reassert its role as a co-equal branch of government, checking the Executive when needed. Passing the REINS act to check the out of control regulatory state would be a great start.

But, for now, congratulations President-elect Trump, and best of luck to you in your administration.

The nation needs it.


The Sociopath: Ben Howe’s documentary on Donald Trump. You need to watch this.

November 4, 2016

For those who haven’t voted yet, but who are leaning Trump and may still be open to argument. I’ll let the video and its “About” text speak for itself:

He’s been called an impostor, a fraud, a fake. A charlatan. His own ghostwriter for the book “The Art of the Deal” called him a sociopath. There are many words that describe Donald Trump, and there are just as many words that don’t describe him: Conservative. Decent. Serious. Presidential.

Donald Trump has spearheaded one of the most divisive campaigns in modern politics and, in the eyes of many in his own party, is unfit to hold the highest office in the land.

But when the dust settles, whether he wins or loses, how will his campaign for the presidency be remembered? As an insurgency? Is it the story of someone “who fights” taking on power while taking power? Or will it be a hostile takeover from an invader that played out on national television as sane people watched and despaired? Will Trump be remember as the head of a movement, or the head of a snake? Or even as the snake-oil salesman and crony who hoodwinked millions?

And what of those who resisted? History will remember the resistance, but it remains to be seen if that will be positively or negatively.

But perhaps most importantly of all, will the people who support him ever get a clear picture of who he REALLY is?

“The Sociopath”, a film by Ben Howe, will show you not only who this man is, but more importantly, how he got to where he is, who supported him in doing so, and what it could mean for the future of the nation if he is elected.

I remain #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary.

via Andrea Ruth on Facebook


Assessing Trump’s Acceptance Speech at the GOP Convention: Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers

July 22, 2016

I’m not a fan of Trump (to say the least), but the sloppy work, bias, and outright dishonesty of “fact checkers” is something we shouldn’t tolerate.

International Liberty

Since I’m not a fan of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, I think that puts me in a good position to fairly assess whether the candidates are being dishonest.

And since several media outlets just produced their “fact-checks” on Donald Trump’s acceptance speech to the Republican convention, this is a perfect opportunity to see not only whether Trump was being dishonest but also whether media fact-checking is honest.

Here’s some of the “fact-checking” from NBC., with each indented example being followed by my two cents.

TRUMP CLAIM: Nearly four in 10 African-American children are living in poverty, while 58 percent of African-American youth are now not employed. Two million more Latinos are in poverty today than when the President took his oath of office less than eight years ago.

THE FACTS: Yes, 38 percent of African American children are living in poverty, according to Census data. But…

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(Video) It’s Socialism that makes people selfish, not Capitalism

July 19, 2016

Speaking for Prager University, Dennis Praeger himself:

I’ll disagree with him a bit about students staying on their parents’ insurance until 26: grad students in particular are often on perilously thin resources and many have started families by this time. There’s a natural urge for parents to help their offspring (and maybe their grandkids) out by keeping them on their health plans a while longer. However, this should be worked out by the market — between company and consumer–  and not by government mandate.

As for the rest, couldn’t agree more. As Churchill said:

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

Just look at who runs the Democratic Party today. smiley thumbs down

 


Did Aliens’ “Private Hudson” foreshadow the Republican Party of 2016?

July 11, 2016

"We nominated Trump? What are we gonna do now, huh?"

“We’re gonna nominate Trump? What are we gonna do now, huh?”

Bill Paxton’s “Private Hudson” is a fan-favorite character in 1986’s “Aliens,” an overall great movie. But was he also an omen for the Republican Party’s fate thirty years later?

Don’t look at me like that, I think I’m on to something here. Consider:

The Republicans started the presidential cycle full of confidence and hope. They had many good, respected candidates. The current administration was unpopular, its policies moreso, and the Democrats’ leading candidate to succeed the president was awful. The Republicans had every reason to be confident. To act like “badasses”, even. Just like Hudson:

 

But things went downhill from there. An alien monster invaded the primary, and one promising candidate after another failed and dropped out until, on the night of the Indiana primary, Ted Cruz and John Kasich ended their campaigns, leaving the field to Trump. The race was seemingly over. Amidst the flaming wreckage of the party’s once-soaring hopes, it was “game over.”

Just as Private Hudson foretold:

I wonder if Trumpkins “mostly come out at night”?

Still, some fight on against Trumpery under the banner of “Never Trump,” refusing to give in and promising a fight to the death at the convention.

Did Private Hudson prophesy their fate, too?

Who needs the Oracle of Delphi when we have Private Hudson? smiley can't look

PS: Yeah, I’m “never Trump,” but the thought of this comparison got me laughing so hard last night, I had to share. Smiley Laughing Maniacal Clown


FBI won’t recommend charges against @HillaryClinton. R.I.P. Rule of Law

July 5, 2016

Above the rules.

Guilty as sin, free as a bird.

This is a very depressing moment:

FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday that his agency would not recommend criminal charges against anyone involved with Hillary Clinton’s private email network, even after finding that Clinton’s team was “extremely careless” in handling classified emails.

“We cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges,” he told reporters in Washington. Comey added that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges.

Still, he said Clinton sent or received dozens of emails that were classified at the time they were sent and noted the former secretary of state did not turn over thousands of work-related emails to the State Department.

Comey said 110 emails contained information that was classified at the time they were sent, including eight emails that were top secret. That finding marked a direct contradiction to Clinton’s previous statements, in which she said she never sent any information that was classified at the time it was sent.

Comey said the investigation focused on whether Clinton violated federal statutes prohibiting the removal of classified information from secure areas, which is a crime whether that is done intentionally or inadvertently.

I have to agree with attorney Gabriel Malor:

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This is the statute in question:

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer-
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

How, I ask, is Hillary Clinton’s unsecured server, which was in her mansion in Chappaqua, in any way, shape or form a “proper place of custody?” And how in God’s name do any of her actions while in charge of national secrets as Secretary of State constitute anything other than “gross negligence?” General Petraeus was prosecuted for less. The information that passed through her servers is likely in the hands of the Russians and Chinese — and who know who else? Clandestine human and technical sources were almost certainly compromised by her “gross negligence.” Intent is immaterial: the existence of the unauthorized server itself is the smoking gun here.

Mere words aren’t enough to convey my disgust.

The Rule of Law may not be dead in this country, but it is gut-shot and bleeding.

RELATED: One small smidgen of good news. While declining to prosecute, Director Comey’s statement point by point demolished all Hillary’s claims of innocence. Not that anyone seems to care that she’s a congenital liar.

 


Italy’s Fiscal and Demographic Death Spiral

July 5, 2016

An overly generous welfare state combined with demographic decline. There’s a recipe for national collapse.

International Liberty

European economic analysts are paying too much attention to the United Kingdom and too little attention to Italy.

Yes, the Brexit decision is important, and the United Kingdom is the world’s 5th-largest economy so it merits attention to see if there are any speed bumps as it escapes from the slowly sinking ship otherwise known as the European Union.

But one of the other passengers on that doomed ship is Italy, the world’s 8th-largest economy. And if the UK merits attention because of uncertainty on its way to a brighter future, then Italy should be getting five-alarm focus for its festering economic crisis as it descends into chaos.

Part of that crisis is quasi-permanent stagnation, as illustrated by this map showing changes in per-capita economic output since 1995.

To state that Italy is the slow student in the class is an understatement. There’s been a two-decade period with…

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Election 2016: She may have a point

June 5, 2016

Although some wags on Twitter pointed out that Joker was a genuine genius, as opposed to a mere mentally-unstable blowhard, I still think there’s something to this:

"If the makeup fits..."

“If the makeup fits…”

via @tarheelkrystle on Twitter


Bookshelf update – The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962-1976

May 29, 2016

Renaissance scholar astrologer

I’ve updated the “What I’m reading” widget to the right to reflect the latest item on the Public Secrets lectern, Frank Dikötter’s  “The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962-1976”.

Book Cover Dikotter Cultural Revolution

 

I’m only a few chapters into it, so far, but it seems to be another proof of something I’ve long believed: that Human history produces far more horror than any story by King or Lovecraft. The Cultural  Revolution, like so many other Leftist attempts to remake humanity –the French Revolution during “the Terror,” Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy (2), the USSR, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Cuba, North Korea– shows how dangerous it is to let one person, one group, or government in general to have too much power.

The Cultural Revolution is available in both Kindle (1) and hardcover formats.

PS: Why, yes. This is a shameless bit of shilling on my part. I like getting the occasional gift certificate that comes from people buying stuff via my link. But I still think it’s a good book.

Footnote:
(1) I’m happy to say I’ve found no typos or formatting errors, so far. These are all too common in Kindle e-books.
(2) Yes, Fascism and Nazism, two variations on statism, are products of the Left.