A Few Points on Yesterday’s Big DDos Attack

October 22nd, 2016

If you had trouble getting to a various websites yesterday it was probably fallout from a huge distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack:

Criminals this morning massively attacked Dyn, a company that provides core Internet services for Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify, Reddit and a host of other sites, causing outages and slowness for many of Dyn’s customers.

In a statement, Dyn said that this morning, October 21, Dyn received a global distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on its DNS infrastructure on the east coast starting at around 7:10 a.m. ET (11:10 UTC).

More coverage of the attack here. “At the peak of the attack, average DNS connect times for 2,000 websites monitored by Dynatrace went to about 16 seconds from 500 milliseconds normally.”

Internet-of-Things-enabled devices appear to be at the heart of the DDoS attack:

According to Dan Drew, the chief security officer at Level 3 Communications, the attack is at least in part being mounted from a “botnet” of Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.

Drew explained the attack in a Periscope briefing this afternoon. “We’re seeing attacks coming from a number of different locations,” Drew said. “An Internet of Things botnet called Mirai that we identified is also involved in the attack.”

The botnet, made up of devices like home Wi-Fi routers and Internet protocol video cameras, is sending massive numbers of requests to Dyn’s DNS service. Those requests look legitimate, so it’s difficult for Dyn’s systems to screen them out from normal domain name lookup requests.

Earlier this month, the code for the Marai botnet was released publicly. It may have been used in the massive DDoS attack against security reporter Brian Krebs. Marai and another IoT botnet called Bashlight exploit a common vulnerability in BusyBox, a pared-down version of the Linux operating system used in embedded devices. Marai and Bashlight have recently been responsible for attacks of massive scale, including the attack on Krebs, which at one point reached a traffic volume of 620 gigabits per second.

Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of the content delivery and DDoS protection service provider CloudFlare, said that the attack being used against Dyn is an increasingly common one. The attacks append random strings of text to the front of domain names, making them appear like new, legitimate requests for the addresses of systems with a domain. Caching the results to speed up responses is impossible.

At least some commenters have pointed to a possible connection between DDoS attacks and web services firm BackConnect Inc.:

The latest comes the day after Doug Madory, director of Internet Analysis at Dyn, gave a presentation at an industry conference about research he had done on questionable practices at BackConnect Inc., a firm that offers web services, including helping clients manage DDoS attacks. According to Madory, BackConnect had regularly spoofed Internet addresses through a technique known as a BGP hijack, an aggressive tactic that pushes the bounds of industry.

Madory’s research was conducted with Brian Krebs, a well-known writer on computer-security issues. Krebs also published an article based on the research last month. Within hours, his website was hit by a “extremely large and unusual” DDoS attack, he wrote.

Perhaps someone with more computer security knowledge than I (Dwight? Borepatch?) might comment on how best to defend from these attacks in the future. Spin up big on-demand cloud clustered DNS VMs when a DDoS attack is detected?

This Week in Clinton Corruption for October 21, 2016

October 21st, 2016

It’s getting to the point that not only can I not keep up with the torrent of email leaks documenting Hillary Clinton corruption, I can’t even keep with the people keeping up with the leaks!

  • State Department tried to bribe FBI to unclassify Clinton emails“:

    A top State Department official offered a “quid pro quo” to an FBI investigator to declassify an e-mail from Hillary Clinton’s private server in exchange for allowing the bureau to operate in countries where it was banned, stunning new documents revealed Monday.

    The FBI documents show that Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy pitched the deal to the unnamed agent, allegedly as part of an effort to back up Clinton’s claim that she did not send or receive classified documents on the server in her Westchester home.

    “[Redacted] indicated he had been contacted by [Kennedy], Undersecretary of State, who had asked his assistance in altering the e-mail’s classification in exchange for a ‘quid pro quo,’ ” according to the documents, which summarized interviews the feds conducted in the summer of 2015 while investigating Clinton’s e-mail practices.

    “[Redacted] advised that in exchange for marking the e-mail unclassified, STATE would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more Agents in countries where they are presently forbidden,” the document added.

    One State Department staffer described feeling “immense pressure” to complete the review quickly and to not label anything as classified.

  • FBI agents say that director James Comey hindered the investigation:

    “This is a textbook case where a grand jury should have convened but was not. That is appalling,” an FBI special agent who has worked public corruption and criminal cases said of the decision. “We talk about it in the office and don’t know how Comey can keep going.”

    The agent was also surprised that the bureau did not bother to search Clinton’s house during the investigation.

    “We didn’t search their house. We always search the house. The search should not just have been for private electronics, which contained classified material, but even for printouts of such material,” he said.

    “There should have been a complete search of their residence,” the agent pointed out. “That the FBI did not seize devices is unbelievable. The FBI even seizes devices that have been set on fire.”

  • And the FBI summary report shows that Hilalry indeed broke the law. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Independent charity auditor found that the Clinton Foundation was a favor machine:

    But most serious disclosure in the review was that donors expected a “quid pro quo” in return for their contributions. “Some interviewees reported conflicts of those raising funds or donors, some of whom may have an expectation of quid pro quo benefits in return for gifts.”

    “This was bright line illegal,” Wall Street analyst and philanthropy expert Charles Ortel told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “This is a rogue charity that was out of control for years. And the trustees elected to not correct them. We’re not talking about people with no knowledge of the laws. These are people who can’t claim ignorance.”

  • Hillary Charged Morrocan Government $12 Million for a Private Meeting.” Obviously they were desperate for some yoga tips…
  • More on that meeting:

    The email from Huma Abedin, Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff at the State Department, was addressed to Podesta and campaign manager Robby Mook. Hillary Clinton was a director of the foundation at the time.

    Singapore and Hong Kong officials reportedly were also vying to convene the CGI meeting in their countries, but the North African nation ultimately hosted it in a five-star hotel in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 2015. Abedin told Podesta and Mook that Morocco was not CGI’s “first choice.”

    The actual meeting was paid for by OCP, the Moroccan-government-owned mining company that has been accused of serious human rights violations. Clinton vigorously supported the Moroccan King when she was Secretary of State and the U.S.-financed Export-Import Bank gave OCP a $92 million loan guarantee during her tenure as Secretary of State.

    The mining company also contributed between $5 million to $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to the charity’s web site.

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

  • And of course there’s nothing suspicious at all about State Department officials discussing a $1 million donation to the Clinton Foundation from Qatar. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Only 5.7% of Clinton Foundation donations actually go to charity. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Clinton Foundation staffers talk about conflicts of interest within the Clinton Foundation.
  • The Clinton Foundation’s efforts in Columbia were a big success…at least for the bank account of Bill Clinton financial partner Frank Giustra. For regular Columbians? Not so much.
  • Woman on Hillary’s payroll brags about starting riots, hassling Trump supporters.
  • More on the same subject. DNC operative Aaron Minter: “So the Chicago protest when they shut all that, that was us.”
  • The dirty tricks are so blatant that even The New York Times was forced to notice. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Is this the fifth link I’ve provided to Hillary’s secret Goldman Sachs speeches, or the sixth? To tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost count… (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Clinton is not the tech privacy candidate.
  • Eight Hillary lies debunked. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • AP conspires with Obama Administration, Clinton functionaries to hide Iran deal from public.
  • Her crimes, his words.
  • Hillary Clinton’s non-answers to the Judicial Watch lawsuit. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Bill Clinton accused of yet another sexual assault by yet another woman.
  • “Believe the victims — unless they’re Bill’s.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Meanwhile, at the other end of the field, Trump accuser has the same phone number as the Clinton Foundation.
  • Even Democrats freaked out about Hillary’s agressive gun control stance. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Hillary Clinton’s security detail laughed after she broke her elbow because she treated them like shit.
  • Latest Wikileaks dump exposes George Soros’ contact information.
  • “Most Say Media, Not Russians, Tilting the Election.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Electing Hillary Clinton will be an endorsement of permanent political corruption and consent for the use of government as an instrument to extinguish dissent.”
  • WikiLeaks poisons Hillary’s relationship with left.” That headline is sort of like “Audit poisons Bernie Madoff’s relations with investors.” (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • GTA 5 Mod Let’s You Use Samsung Galaxy Note 7s as Grenades

    October 20th, 2016

    You’ve probably heard that Samsung has recalled and cancelled the Galaxy Note 7 phone after numerous incidents where the battery exploded.

    You may not have heard that someone did a mod for the video game Grand Theft Auto 5 that lets you use Samsung Galaxy Note 7s as grenades.

    Since Samsung has evidently forced YouTube to take down video of the mod in “arguably the worst misuse of the DMCA we have ever come across,” I thought I would share two other videos.

    Texas vs. California Update for October 19, 2016

    October 19th, 2016

    Time for another Texas vs. California update! Included here are several links from City Journal’s special “Texas Rising” issue.

  • Texas cities continue to kick ass economically:

    Texas’s spectacular growth is largely a story of its cities—especially of Austin, Dallas–Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. These Big Four metropolitan areas, arranged in a layout known as the “Texas Triangle,” contain two-thirds of the state’s population and an even higher share of its jobs. Nationally, the four metros, which combined make up less than 6 percent of the American population, posted job growth equivalent to 30 percent of the United States’ total since the financial crash in 2007. Within Texas, they’ve accounted for almost 80 percent of the state’s population growth since 2000 and over 75 percent of its job growth. Meantime, a third of Texas counties, mostly rural, have actually been losing population.

    Texas is sometimes described as the new California, an apt parallel in terms of the states’ respective urban geographies. Neither state is dominated by a single large city; each has four urban areas of more than 1 million people, with two of these among the largest regions in the United States. In both states, these major regions are demographically and economically distinct.

    But unlike California, whose cities have refocused on elite priorities at the expense of middle-class occupations, Texas offers a complete spectrum of economic activities in its metros. Another key difference is that Texas cities have mostly embraced pro-development policies that have kept them affordable by allowing housing supply to expand with population, while California’s housing prices blasted into the stratosphere due to severe development restrictions. Texas cities also benefit from favorable state policies, such as the absence of a state income tax and a reasonable regulatory and litigation environment. These factors make Texas cities today what California’s used to be: places to go in search of the American dream.

  • More on how Texas cities are growing:

    Though some east/west coastal cities—notably, San Francisco—have enjoyed vigorous growth of late, none has been nearly as proficient in creating jobs in the new millennium as Texas’s four leading metros. Overall, Dallas–Fort Worth and Houston have emerged as the nation’s fastest-expanding big-city economies. Between 2000 and 2015, Dallas–Fort Worth boosted its net job numbers by 22.7 percent, and Houston expanded them by an even better 31.2 percent. Smaller Austin (38.2 percent job-base increase) and once-sleepy San Antonio (31.4 percent) have done just as well. New York, by way of comparison, increased its number of jobs in those years by just 10 percent, Los Angeles by 6.5 percent, and San Francisco by 5.2 percent, while Chicago actually lost net employment. And the Texas jobs are not just low-wage employment. Middle-class positions—those paying between 80 percent and 200 percent of the national median wage—have expanded 39 percent in Austin, 26 percent in Houston, and 21 percent in Dallas since 2001. These percentages far outpace the rate of middle-class job creation in San Francisco (6 percent), New York and Los Angeles (little progress), and Chicago (down 3 percent) over the same period.


    Among 52 American metropolitan areas with more than 1 million residents, San Antonio had the largest gain in its share of middle- and upper-income households—that is, the percentage of households in the lower-income category in the city actually dropped—from 2000 to 2014. Houston ranked sixth, Austin 13th, and Dallas–Fort Worth 25th in the Pew survey.


    In 2015, unemployment among Texas’s Hispanic population reached just 4.9 percent, the lowest for Latinos in the country—California’s rate tops 7 percent—and below the national average of 5.3 percent.

    Texas Latinos show an entrepreneurial streak. In a recent survey of the 150 best cities for Latino business owners, Texas accounted for 17 of the top 50 locations; Boston, New York, L.A., and San Francisco were all in the bottom third of the ranking. In a census measurement, San Antonio and Houston boasted far larger shares of Latino-owned firms than did heavily Hispanic L.A.

    In Texas, Hispanics are becoming homeowners, a traditional means of entering the middle class. In New York, barely a quarter of Latino households own their own homes, while in Los Angeles, 38 percent do. In Houston, by contrast, 52 percent of Hispanic households own homes, and in San Antonio, it’s 57 percent—matching the Latino homeownership rate for Texas as a whole. That’s well above the 46 percent national rate for Hispanics—and above the rate for all California households. (The same encouraging pattern exists for Texas’s African-Americans.)

    California and Texas, the nation’s most populous states, are often compared. Both have large Latino populations, for instance, but make no mistake: Texas’s, especially in large urban areas, is doing much better, and not just economically. Texas public schools could certainly be improved, but according to the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress—a high-quality assessment—Texas fourth- and eighth-graders scored equal to or better than California kids, including Hispanics, in math and reading. In Texas, the educational gap between Hispanics and white non-Hispanics was equal to or lower than it was in California in all cases.

    Though California, with 12 percent of the American population, has more than 35 percent of the nation’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families welfare caseload—with Latinos constituting nearly half the adult rolls in the state—Texas, with under 9 percent of the country’s population, has less than 1 percent of the national welfare caseload. Further, according to the 2014 American Community Survey, Texas Hispanics had a significantly lower rate of out-of-wedlock births and a higher marriage rate than California Hispanics.

    In California, Latino politics increasingly revolves around ethnic identity and lobbying for government subsidies and benefits. In Texas, the goal is upward mobility through work. “There is more of an accommodationist spirit here,” says Rodrigo Saenz, an expert on Latino demographics and politics at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where the student body is 50 percent Hispanic. It’s obvious which model best encourages economic opportunity.

  • Chuck DeVore explains how SB1234, a bill that establishes the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust, a state-run retirement fund for 7.5 million Californians, is actually a mechanism for forcing taxpayers to bail out public pensions:

    Per section 100004 (c) of the new law: Moneys in the program fund may be invested or reinvested by the treasurer or may be invested in whole or in part under contract with the Board of Administration of the Public Employees’ Retirement System or private money managers, or both, as determined by the board. What is the California Public Employees’ Retirement System or CalPERS for short? It’s America’s largest public pension fund with some 1.8 million current and retired government employees.

    But, as with many public retirement systems around the nation, CalPERS is grossly underfunded. Including the California teacher retirement system and smaller local government systems, the unfunded liability for future retirement payouts is about $991 billion, according to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research’s Pension Tracker run by Joe Nation, Ph.D., a former Democratic member of the California State Assembly.

    Since cash is amazingly fungible in government hands, dragooning some 7.5 million Californians into a retirement system that supports 1.8 million state government workers by levying what amounts to a 3 percent payroll tax is going to go a long way towards ensuring CalPERS’ short-term solvency while, perhaps more importantly, building public support for bailing out CalPERS’ looming trillion-dollar shortfall.

    7.5 million Californians will be made to care about CalPERS fiscal health.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • California wants to offer ObamaCare to illegal aliens. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Governor Bush’s education reforms were a lot more successful than President Bush’s. “Educational outcomes overall have continued to improve in Texas.” A long article that points out the need for more reform.
  • Meanwhile, California’s teacher’s unions are trying to destroy charter schools.
  • “The Redding Police Department’s net personnel costs in fiscal 2007-08 were $21 million for 173 employees; in fiscal 2015-16 the costs were $22 million for 131 total employees. In fiscal 2015-16, the Redding Police Department is paying $47,500 per employee more than in fiscal 2007-08. The increase is to pay its unfunded pension liability.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • San Jose voters to vote on compromise pension reform that rolls back real pension reform passed four years ago. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • “Former [Orange County] Public Works administrator and convicted felon Carlos Bustamante, who served jail time this year for his sex crimes against county workers, lost a chunk of his pension benefits Monday after he was stripped of credit for the years he worked while committing the crimes.” But he’ll still get a pension. Also: “The board’s decision also means Bustamante is owed the nearly $56,000 he paid into the system during the 2 1/2 years he was committing crimes – meaning he’ll be refunded nearly $32,000 but will collect lower pension payments moving forward.” (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Los Angeles is suffering from a housing shortage. So naturally there’s a ballot initiative to make housing construction more expensive through requiring union kickbacks.
  • Here’s a long piece in City Journal by Watchdog.org’s Jon Cassidy. It’s a very balanced assessment of both the strengths and weaknesses of Texas’ governmental structure.

    The good news is that the benefits of the Texas model, overseen by its part-time legislature, are impossible to ignore. From 2000 to 2014, Texas created some 2.5 million nonfarm jobs, more than a quarter of the U.S. total for the period. In 2015, amid free-falling oil prices, Texas still managed to finish third among states in job growth, thanks to booming health care, education, professional services, manufacturing, hospitality, warehousing, and light industrial sectors. Construction is doing well, too. Wondrously cheap housing and pro-growth land-use policies draw people and business to the state. None of this diversification was centrally planned. It’s the product of an economy that’s wide open to foreign trade and immigration. Immigration has boosted native Texans’ income by an aggregate $3.4 billion to $6.6 billion a year. Income inequality is up, too—but that’s just another way of saying that high-paying jobs are growing fastest.

    To a large degree, the Texas model has worked because the Austin governing establishment is penned in, limited in the damage that it can inflict by a state constitution that not only keeps lawmakers from enacting new laws for one out of every two years but also severely restricts taxation and imposes budget caps. Texas has no state income tax, and instituting one would require voter approval. The legislature makes do with a sales tax, a handful of excise taxes, and an onerous gross-receipts tax that penalizes high-volume businesses. The Texas state government simply never has the money for bold new expansions of government. So it stays small, just as the original Texans wanted it. It’s not perfect and never will be, but the state is flourishing.

    (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)

  • Texas state government has done a good job controlling debt. Local governments? Not so much. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Police are under fire in Sacramento and Los Angeles.
  • The high speed rail project is uniting Californians! In opposition to it:

    The rest of the story is the astonishingly widespread political opposition to the train by California voters these days, even though 53 percent of them approved the idea when it was on the state ballot in the November 2008 election. The opposition spans ideological left and right and demographic rich, poor, and middle-class: from wealthy Silicon Valley technocrats horrified that the ultra-fast rail lines, with overpasses only every 10 miles or so, would wreck their leafy, bicycle-friendly upscale-suburban neighborhoods, to Latino-majority working-class towns in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley that would be split in half by the train corridors, to equestrians in the San Gabriel Mountain foothills who would see their horse trails destroyed and environmentalists concerned about wetlands destruction in Northern California and threats to wildlife and endangered plant species in Southern California’s Angeles National Forest, through which several of the proposed train routes would plow.

  • Hat tip for the above to Amy Alkon, who also notes:

    The analyzed per mile rate would make a one-way SF to LA ticket cost about $190.5 Therefore, if the CHSRA’s assumed private operator must charge enough to break even, four tickets for a LA/SF round trip would cost at least $1,520. Conclusions: California’s 2009 median household income was $42,548.6. For a middle class household to ride the train LA-SF once would cost them about 4% of their annual pre-tax income.

  • San Francisco to city of Brisbane: “Build housing in your city so San Franciscans can enjoy it…or else!”
  • CalPERS tries to stick 700 person town of Loyalton with a $1.6 million bill as punishment for dropping out of the system…for four retirees. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • The Bay Area Air Quality Management District needs more money so employees can enjoy more expensive junkets to New Orleans.
  • Want to sell signed books in California? A newly passed law requires you to issue a certificate of authenticity for any item over $5, including your name and address, even if it came from the publisher pre-signed. No COA? “You can be liable for TEN TIMES damages, plus attorneys fees. Call it a cool half mill, because you didn’t know you were supposed to issue a COA.” Word is they’re planning to change this idiocy, but that doesn’t excuse passing it in the first place.
  • Another California idiot law: A man can’t display historical Civil War paintings at the state fair because they have confederate flags in them. More here.
  • Did California just legalize child prostitution? Snopes says no, but I’ve seen California impose more tendentious readings on other laws. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Jerry Brown Just Signed a Tough-on-Rape Bill That’s So Bad, Even Feminists Hate It.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Voters in Apple Valley, California push for initiative to force voter approval on debt spending. Naturally the City Council puts their own initiative on the ballot to continue “eminent domain acquisition efforts unencumbered by another election.” Plus they illegally spent taxpayer money advertising in favor of their own initiative. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Harrison County in east Texas has been enjoying industrial gains.
  • Dallas has become a big hub for philanthropy. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • California passes a hide an actor’s age upon request law. I sincerely doubt this will pass constitutional muster on first amendment and equal protection clause grounds. Plus, IMDB’s servers are in Washington state…
  • Verengo Inc, the largest installer of residential solar systems in southern California, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday as it seeks to sell itself after defaulting on a bank loan.”
  • “The San Diego-based Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., which owns the Souplantation chain, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection…Court papers show that Garden Fresh pins its troubles on declining sales, higher minimum wages, and higher employee benefit costs.”
  • DentalOne is relocating its headquarters from Ohio to Plano.
  • No One Wants To Buy Twitter

    October 17th, 2016

    From Slashdot comes news that no one wants to buy Twitter.

    Neither Google nor Disney plan to bid on Twitter, despite reports saying both were interested. Recode says that Apple is likely also out of the picture. And Verizon immediately dismissed speculation that it was considering a bid. Facebook is also said to be uninterested, according to CNBC. And while Microsoft’s name has been tossed around, no one seems to think the acquisition would make any sense for an increasingly enterprise-focused company.

    It seems that Twitter’s stock price has nosedived precipitously since appointing radical Social Justice Warrior Anita Sarkeesian to their newly formed “Trust and Safety Council.” Since then, Twitter has:

  • Banned Robert Stacey McCain
  • Banned Milo Yiannopoulos, AKA @Nero, permanently
  • Suspended Instapundit
  • Shadowbanned Anna Maria Perez
  • Forced James O’Keefe to remove a Tweet and perform a spite reset
  • Twitter’s war on conservatives is one of the many reasons it has lost $2 billion over ten years, and why its stock has plunged 27% in the last two weeks. “Twitter is trading 35 percent below its IPO price.”

    And after having damaged their brand and destroyed billions worth of shareholder value, lo and behold, no one wants to buy them! Gee, turns out that alienating half your user base at the behest of a tiny cadre of radical feminists is a lousy business strategy…

    LinkSwarm for October 14, 2016

    October 14th, 2016

    This year…

  • Rasmussen has Trump ahead.
  • Italy’s economy is a mile high house of cards.
  • Citigroup, parent of Citibank, had a huge role in staffing and shaping the agenda of Obama’s first term.
  • Cracked on the country/city divide fueling Trump’s rise.
  • Wisconsin Senate candidate Russ Feingold admits that he and Hillary Clinton want to disarm Americans.
  • Competitive shooter stopped Minnesota mall jihad rampage. (Hat tip: KR Training.)
  • Social Justice Warriors hate women’s magazines.
  • Peak New Hampshire.
  • Lawyers file fake lawsuits against fake plaintiffs to obtain fake judgements to take down real comments off the Internet, then pressure Google to deindex the offending article, all evidently at the behest of a “reputation management” firm. Presumably The King in Yellow is not involved…
  • Scandal claims another Andrew Cuomo advisor. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • “Liberalism has lost the loyalty of the downtrodden that once, with admittedly mixed motives, it set out to help. That’s a loss it’s unlikely to survive.”
  • Library addition: Nine William F. Buckley, Jr. non-fiction books, seven signed.
  • Shorter than usual, for Reasons.

    Have a nice weekend.

    This Week in Clinton Corruption for October 13, 2016

    October 13th, 2016

    There’s a gusher of Clinton corruption information coming out of the leak of Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s emails:

  • Hillary’s State Department gave special treatment to Friends of Bill.
  • “I know [Hillary] has begun to hate everyday Americans.”
  • She also called blacks and Muslims “professional never-do-wells.”
  • Her campaign also mocked Catholics, Southerners and “needy Latinos.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • 14 things we learned from the latest email revelations. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Chelsea Clinton almost drove the Clinton Foundation COO to suicide.
  • Hillary’s email team failed to turn over key subpoenaed documents. (Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.)
  • And here they are discussing which emails to delete. So they’re actually on record discussing felony destruction of evidence.
  • “Unless The Saudi Sheikh Gave Us $6 Million, This Sounds Crazy To Do.”
  • Wikileaks also brought back to light a bit of information that was mostly swept under the rug at the time: Eric McFadden, Hillary’s 2008 Catholic community liaison, was arrested in 2009 for running an underage prostitution ring. Just another member of the Clinton Campaign Moral Freakshow…
  • The list of MSM reporters who take their marching orders from Hillary. On the list: ABC’s George Stephanopoulos (Duh) and Diane Sawyer, New York Times‘s Gail Collins, etc. The only surprise is no one from the Washington Post on that list. Maybe they just assumed they already had marching orders to support Hillary. (Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.)
  • The Wikileaks emails expose the inner workings of the American Nomenklatura:

    Most evident from their downloads is the unremitting, almost incestual, alliance between elites (read: Democratic Party leadership) and the press, those who are informing us of what we are supposed to think. The myriad emails between New York Times reporter and CNBC anchor John Harwood and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta would approach the risible were they not so disturbing by implication. Presidential debate moderator Harwood, putatively a journalist, actually acts as an advisor to Podesta in them, warning the campaign manager of the dangers of a potential Ben Carson candidacy and even bragging to him about having tripped up Donald Trump at a debate.

    But the presidential debate moderator is far from alone in his fealty to the ways and means of the nomenklatura. The New York Times and the Boston Globe—the emails show, as if we hadn’t guessed already—colluded with the Clinton campaign.

    But the level of collusion goes much deeper than press and politicians. The Department of Justice itself—the emails also reveal—was in private communication with the Clinton people during the investigation of the Hillary Clinton homebrew server, warning her campaign in advance of a State Department release of emails. Everybody was colluding!

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

  • Excerpts from Hillary’s Goldman Sachs speech. In which Hillary declares she has nothing in common with those peons in the middle class, admits that jihadists are coming over among Syrian refugees, and proclaims her love of open borders.
  • More on the subject: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.” Sounds like the EU written large.
  • Still more from her speeches on having different public and private positions.
  • So who is she lying to: her supporters or her donors?
  • On Hillary’s dream of open borders. “If you don’t have borders, you don’t have a country.” (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • And 2000 more Podesta emails.
  • FBI: “The vast majority felt she should be prosecuted.” (Hat tip: Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt.)
  • The White House coordinated with the Clinton campaign back in 2015 to do damage control over the email scandal.
  • Hard to believe it’s been a mere five days since Trump held a press conference with women Bill Clinton sexually assaulted. So much news has come down the pike since…
  • The long list of women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Eileen Wellstone, Carolyn Moffet, Elizabeth Ward Gracen, Becky Brown, Helen Dowdy, Cristy Zercher… (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “It’s always ‘believe the women’ until they threaten the career of a Clinton.”
  • Bill Clinton gets Bone-d. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Scott Adams: “If the new battleground is spousal fidelity, you have to like Trump’s chances.”
  • New Trump ad hits Hillary on Pay-to-Play corruption:

  • Nigel Farage on Brexit and Trump: “I believe we are witnessing a popular uprising against failed politics on a global scale. People want to vote for candidates with personality, faults and all. It is the same in the UK, America and much of the rest of Europe. The little people have had enough. They want change.” (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Even Green Party candidate Jill Stein says that “it is actually Hillary’s policies which are much scarier than Donald Trump.”
  • New York City election commissioner admits on camera that “voters get bused around to vote multiple times.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • That NBC poll showing Hillary up 11 points is pure hogwash with biased samples from a company that’s on the Hillary campaign’s payroll. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Stephen Green is right: I need a bigger week…


    October 12th, 2016

    So much work to be done on big posts that it’s hard to do a small one today, so instead enjoy some selections from the #ClintonAFilm hashtag off Twitter instead:

    Rio Grande Valley Corruption Update for October 2016

    October 11th, 2016

    Been a while since I did an update on corruption down in Rio Grande Valley, so let’s do a roundup:

  • A border patrol agent is being tried for murder and aiding drug smugglers:

    The discovery of a headless body floating near the spring break haven of South Padre Island touched off an investigation that prosecutors say revealed a U.S. Border Patrol agent had helped a Mexican cartel move illegal weapons and ammunition south of the border and illicit drugs to the north.

    The prosecutors allege that agent Joel Luna got pulled into the business to help his brothers, including one linked to a cartel, and that their operation unraveled when investigators found a “treasure trove” of evidence in a safe at Luna’s mother-in-law’s home. The material included passwords to Luna’s work computer, almost $90,000 in cash and a kilo of cocaine. The trail of evidence led to Luna facing a raft of charges, including capital murder in the death of a man seen as a possible snitch.


    The case against Luna and his brothers, Eduardo and Fernando, began in March 2015 when boaters found the headless, nude and bloated body of 33-year-old Jose Francisco Rodriguez Palacios Paz. The Honduran immigrant had worked at Fernando Luna’s tire shop in Edinburg, about 20 miles north of the border.

    Investigators said phone records and texts revealed that Palacios Paz’s wife expressed concern to Fernando Luna that he was going to reveal the drug operation. Prosecutors allege that the Luna brothers conspired to kill Palacios Paz and that he was killed at the tire shop.

  • And here’s the story of another law enforcement officer arrested for working with drug smugglers:

    A Rio Grande Valley police officer accused of aiding a drug trafficking organization out of Starr County appeared for his initial hearing on Monday.

    Rio Grande City police officer Ramon “Ramey” De La Cruz Jr. is currently under federal custody. He’s charged with conspiring to possess and distribute marijuana.

    Investigators said he accepted cash and marijuana while providing smugglers with police radios and security.

    A Homeland Security Investigation’s federal complaint shows an extensive list of De La Cruz’s alleged crimes. It details a highway drug bust in Victoria County three years ago that led investigators to members of an alleged drug smuggling family in Starr County.

    The federal complaint shows sources from a string of indictments gave information about how De La Cruz aided the Beltran family.

    The report details how an informant said De La Cruz would give the Beltrans law enforcement documents, intel and would get paid in return with marijuana. Another informant said the police officer provided one of the smugglers with a police radio.

  • La Joya Housing Authority head Juan Jose Garza was indicted on a a bid rigging scheme:

    The 48-year-old executive director of the housing authority in a small Rio Grande Valley town and a construction company owner have been indicted on federal charges related to what prosecutors say was a bid rigging scheme.

    Juan Jose Garza, who runs the La Joya Housing Authority, and 52-year-old Armando Jimenez made initial appearances Monday before a federal magistrate in McAllen. They both were arrested Friday.

    Prosecutors say the men from July 2012 through March 2013 engaged in bid rigging for construction contracts with housing authorities in nearby Alamo and Donna in Hidalgo County.

    According to the indictment, they submitted false bids so Jimenez’s company would be awarded construction projects, then Jimenez falsely submitted invoices for work he claimed as his firm’s but actually was done by subcontractors working for Garza.

    Garza also seems to be a member of the La Joya ISD school board.

  • More on the same story, including the tidbit that “Roberto Jackson, who represents Garza [also] serves as a the [sic] La Joya city attorney.”
  • Misssed this from December of last year: Starr County Tax Assessor Collector Maria Del Carmen Pena arrested on 18 counts:

    Prosecutors have obtained five indictments against Starr County Tax Assessor Collector Maria Del Carmen Pena, charging her with 18 offenses, according to records obtained by CBS 4 News.

    Investigators arrested Pena and 14 other people Wednesday, when they raided the Tax Assessor Collector’s Office.

    According to the indictments, Pena embezzled at least $200,000 from the Tax Office from November 2010 to October 2012. Pena also conspired with clerks to backdate payments from taxpayers and make the transactions appear legitimate.

    Investigators have said they believe approximately $700,000 in taxpayer funds were stolen.

  • Two Hidalgo County employees arrested for stealing from the county. “La Villa Alderman Jose Lupe Contreras, 32, and 26-year-old Derick Palomin were arrested and charged with theft by a public servant, a Class B misdemeanor, and abuse of official capacity, a Class B misdemeanor, according to the news release.” What did they take? “The pair of cousins is accused of using county equipment to steal caliche from Precinct 1.” It takes a certain kind of genius to be arrested for stealing dirt…
  • Increased border enforcement brought by the Texas Department of Public Safety “surge” has meant that smuggling-related crime is down in Starr and Hidalgo counties, but up in Webb and Cameron counties. “The next step is going to be Cameron County, and we’ll keep moving to Zapata and Webb and keep moving west…It’s working exactly as we expected. We don’t just throw this strategy out based upon anything. This strategy was built on evidence and past experiences.”
  • Second Clinton Trump Debate Roundup

    October 10th, 2016

    No, I didn’t watch it. So here are some reactions from people who did:

  • Vodka Pundit Stephen Green: “I’ve never seen one candidate come on so week, then reverse course — in his own limited, almost demented fashion — so strongly. I’ve never seen another candidate, so thoroughly programed, act as though her various subroutines had been corrupted by one of those nasty Russian viruses.”
  • Scott Adams: “Trump won bigly. This one wasn’t close.” Also:

    The best quotable moments from the debate are pro-Trump. His comment about putting Clinton in jail has that marvelous visual persuasion quality about it, and it was the laugh of the night, which means it will be repeated endlessly. He also looked like he meant it.

    Clinton’s Abe Lincoln defense for two-faced politicking failed as hard as anything can fail. Mrs. Clinton, I knew Abe Lincoln, and you’re no Abe Lincoln. You know that was in your head. Or it will be.

  • Powerline’s John Hinderaker: “Some of the rats might want to consider returning to the ship. Donald Trump came through pretty well tonight, mainly because the focus was on the issues. As long as issues are being discussed, Trump wins….In short, Trump won. In my opinion, he won big. We will see whether it matters.”
  • How moderators hijacked the second debate. (Hat tip: Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit.)
  • Zero Hedge also scored the debate for Trump.