Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

Will EmailGate Finally Bring Hillary Down?

Friday, May 27th, 2016

“Over a year ago, Clinton held a press conference at the United Nations intended to put the whole controversy to rest. Nearly every significant statement she made was a lie. And we’ve known it for a year.”

Will the State Inspector General report on Hillary Clinton’s email lies finally be the fateful pebble that brings her down?

The Office of the Inspector General at State, as in all federal departments, exists to ferret out internal fraud, waste and illegalities. However, State had no real IG boss from 2009 to 2013, with an acting director heading up the office. Neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton were in any hurry to find a permanent director for State’s IG shop. Now we know why.

The State IG report, weighing in at over 80 pages, is crammed full of bureaucratese yet paints an indelible and detailed portrait of things going very wrong at Foggy Bottom—especially under Hillary Clinton. It can charitably be termed scathing, and it leaves no doubt that Team Clinton has lied flagrantly to the public about EmailGate for more than a year.

That the State Department’s IT systems were a mess for years was hardly a secret, and the IG report makes painfully clear that State has had a difficult time transitioning into the electronic age. Several recent secretaries of state used email in a manner that would be judged inadequate, and perhaps improper, by today’s standards, including Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, who served under President George W. Bush.

That said, only Hillary Clinton simply refused to use government email for government work—she repeatedly denied requests from State security and IT to use state.gov email—and she systematically dodged federal regulations on electronic communications and records preservation by setting up her private email server of bathroom infamy. Damningly, while several former secretaries of state cooperated with the IG in this important investigation, Ms. Clinton refused to.

As secretary of state, Ms. Clinton attempted a novel experiment of trying to avoid using any information systems that create records that can be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The IG report includes painful details, including how she flatly refused to use state.gov email for anything, ever, citing privacy grounds. State IT was concerned because Ms. Clinton’s work emails—all being sent via her clintonmail.com address—were winding up in the spam folders of State officials. Important information was not getting where it needed to go. She needed to use official email for official business. Except she refused.

What was so important, so sensitive that Hillary had to dodge FOIA altogether? Clearly protecting her private life—whatever that might be—was valued more highly by Ms. Clinton than actually heading the Department of State.

Then we have the repeating warnings from State officials about the incredibly vulnerable nature of her ramshackle private email system from any cybersecurity perspective. These, too, were blown off by Ms. Clinton and her staff, despite several hacking efforts that staffers were aware of. Guccifer, the Romanian hacker who illegally accessed Ms. Clinton’s email during her tour at Foggy Bottom, has just pleaded guilty, and there can be little doubt that hackers more adept than he penetrated Hillary’s communications.

Any foreign intelligence service worth its salt would have had no trouble accessing Ms. Clinton’s emails, particularly when they were unencrypted, as this column has explained in detail. Yet Hillary was more worried about the American public finding out about what she was up to via FOIA than what foreign spy services and hackers might see in her email.

What she was seeking to hide so ardently remains one of the big unanswered questions in EmailGate. Hints may be found in the recent announcement that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, the former head of the Democratic National Committee and a longtime Clinton intimate, is under FBI investigation for financial misdeeds, specifically dirty money coming from China. In fact, Mr. McAulliffe invited one of his Beijing benefactors over to Ms. Clinton’s house in 2013. Not long after, Chinese investors donated $2 million to the Clinton Foundation.

That an illegal pay-for-play-scheme, with donations to the Clinton Foundation being rewarded by political favors from Hillary Clinton—who when she was secretary of state had an enormous ability to grant favors to foreign bidders—existed at the heart of EmailGate has been widely suspected, and we know the FBI is investigating this case as political corruption, not just for mishandling of classified information. That certainly would be something Ms. Clinton would not have wanted the public to find out about via FOIA.

How bad is it? Noah Rothman puts it this way:

“In my opinion, there is a 100 percent chance that all emails sent and received by her, including all the electronic correspondence stored on her server in her Chappaqua residence, were targeted and collected by the Russian equivalent of NSA,” former CIA case officer Jason Matthews, an expert in Russian intelligence, told the AP. Clinton’s personal-issue Blackberry device also provided foreign intelligence services a window into her email account when she used the device in places like Vietnam, Brazil, and South Korea. In Vietnam, in particular, experts believe her use of a device not hardened by State Department security on telecommunications systems owned and operated by Hanoi likely offered Chinese intelligence services an open door to access Clinton’s email account.

Last year, Beijing compromised the personal data and social security numbers of every person in America who ever worked for the government or accessed a federal facility by hacking the Office of Personnel Management. It’s unlikely that the Chinese hackers found the modest safeguards securing Clinton’s server to be anything more than a nuisance.

Clinton’s secretive email practices betray a level of obsessive paranoia that has typified her entire career in politics. As president, Clinton would not be bound by law. She would also perceive her political enemies to be a more potent threat to her presidency than they represent, and the power and authority of the Oval Office would prove a seductive instrument for neutralizing them. Perhaps more chillingly, there is a high likelihood that foreign intelligence services have compromised Hillary Clinton. We do not know what they know, and she may no longer be at liberty to act in America’s best interests. That alone should preclude Clinton from serving as the commander of the most powerful military force on earth, one responsible for maintaining global peace, security, and navigation rights. In 2016, however, all bets are off.

As much as I’d like to see this as the final straw, the mainstream media will keep doing everything it can to prop up Hillary’s failing campaign and do everything it cane to avoid asking questions about tiny little matters like obvious, naked felonies as long as there’s still a chance she could win in November…

(Hat tips: , Ace of Spades HQ, Instapundit.)

Election Update for May 24, 2016

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Remember: Today is the runoff in Texas! Go vote if you didn’t last week!

Here are a few tidbits of election news:

  • Trump’s odds to win now top Hillary’s.
  • Trump steps up attacks on Bill Clinton and Hillary’s enabling same. Naturally the press is miffed; they spent two decades burying news of Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey’s sexual assault allegations against Bill Clinton to protect Democrats, and now Trump is forcing them to mention their names again. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Liberal commentator Van Jones on how in-the-tank DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz is for Hillary. “Debbie, who should be the umpire, who should be the marriage counselor, is coming in harder for Hillary Clinton than she is for herself. That is malpractice. I wish [RNC Chair] Reince Priebus was my party chair. He did a better job of handling the Trump situation than I’ve see my party chair handle this situation.”
  • Camille Paglia:

    Democratic strategists who prophesy a Hillary landslide over Trump are blowing smoke. Hillary is a stodgily predictable product of the voluminous briefing books handed to her by a vast palace staff of researchers and pollsters—a staggeringly expensive luxury not enjoyed by her frugal, unmaterialistic opponent, Bernie Sanders (my candidate). Trump, in contrast, is his own publicist, a quick-draw scrapper and go-for-the-jugular brawler. He is a master of the unexpected (as the Egyptian commander Achillas calls Julius Caesar in the Liz Taylor Cleopatra). The massive size of Hillary’s imperialist operation makes her seem slow and heavy. Trump is like a raffish buccaneer, leaping about the rigging like the breezy Douglas Fairbanks or Errol Flynn, while Hillary is the stiff, sequestered admiral of a bullion-laden armada of Spanish galleons, a low-in-the-water easy mark as they creak and sway amid the rolling swells.

  • Dennis Prager responds to the #NeverTrump crowd: “In the 2016 presidential race, I am not interested in moral purity. I am interested in defeating the left and its party, the Democratic Party. The notion (expressed by virtually every #NeverTrump advocate) that we can live with another four years of a Democratic president is, forgive me, mind-boggling.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • David Limbaugh: “There is almost no chance that Clinton would ever govern otherwise than repugnantly. There is a chance that Trump could govern as a conservative on some issues, even if that’s not his natural instinct.”
  • Sony Pictures already had enough problems with its dreadful-looking Ghostbusters reboot without Hillary Clinton honing in on the action.
  • And as long as we’re on the subject, Milo Yiannopoulos weighs in on why it looks so dreadful: “There’s a clichéd cast, clunky dialogue and the outlines of a woefully unimaginative story. The visual effects are Scooby Doo-esque (and not in a good way), and it seems as though — at least from the footage we’ve seen so far — the Ghostbusters reboot will have none of the original’s carefree charm. Even if the cast wasn’t made up of unsexy lesbian janitors, there would be plenty for fans of the franchise to dislike.”
  • Crooked Granny Panderbear is gonna pander. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Faced with a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, a lot of conservatives (myself included) will consider voting for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Well, isn’t this a pisser? “He’s Not Conservative and Not Even All That Libertarian.”
  • Virginia’s Democratic governor and Clinton toady Terry McAuliffe is under investigation for accepting campaign contributions from Chinese national Wang Wenliang. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Ted Cruz may be out of the Presidential race but his delegates fight on. (Hat tip: Conservatives 4 Ted Cruz.)
  • LinkSwarm for May 23, 2016

    Monday, May 23rd, 2016

    This kept getting pushed out by other posts, so enjoy a heftier-than-usual LinkSwarm:

  • U.S. district court judge rules that House Republicans lawsuit against ObamaCare on separation-of-powers grounds can move forward. (Hat tip: Elizabeth Price Foley at Instapundit.)
  • You know how American leftists claim socialist Denmark is paradise on earth? Yeah, not so much. “Denmark’s suicide rate has averaged 20.8 per 100,000 during the last five decades, with its highest level of 32. The American suicide rate averaged only 11.1 during the last five decades, and has never exceeded 12.7. Danes are deeply deprived, driven by severe narcissism, and so more than 11 percent of adult Danes – the supposed happiest people in the world – are on antidepressants.”
  • Why the left hates the Jews:

    The Arab–Israeli conflict is a bitter and ugly one. My own view of it is that the Palestinian Arabs have some legitimate grievances, and that I stopped caring about them when they started blowing up children in pizza shops. You can thank the courageous heroes of the Battle of Sbarro for that. Israel isn’t my country, but it is my country’s ally, and it is impossible for a liberty-loving American to fail to admire what the Jewish state has done.

    And that, of course, is why the Left wants to see the Jewish state exterminated.

  • Vaguely related: “Frank Sinatra’s Love Affair With the Jewish People.
  • Brazil’s President impeached.
  • This just in: Europe is still screwed.
  • Greece approves new “austerity” measures that they’ll no doubt continue to cheat and ignore while spending money they don’t have.
  • Speaking of Greece, “More than one in five school-aged refugee children in Greece have never been to school, a study has revealed. Child refugees stranded in Greece have been out of school for on average 1.5 years, and many of them ‘cannot even hold a pencil.'”
  • Hezbollah operations chief killed by Syria, but nobody’s entirely sure by who.
  • Why did the feds give Bill Clinton’s pedophile friend Jeffrey Epstein a sweetheart deal?
  • Elijah Woods says there’s widespread pedophilia in Hollywood. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • One billionaire moving to Florida is going to cost New Jersey $140 million in tax revenue.
  • Electric cars don’t lower emissions overall.
  • No sign of a down ballot Republican crackup.
  • Target has shed $10 billion in stock value since announcing its tranny bathrooms policy.
  • Why feminists hate sex: “The new feminist puritans see heterosexual sex as confirming and reinforcing outdated gender roles. That men and women not only have sex but enjoy it is a threat to the notion that both gender and sexuality are merely social constructs, to be crafted and rejected as instinct takes us.”
  • Why did 16 Republican Senators save the agency that’s hell-bent on creating instant public housing slums across America?
  • More than 300 UK CEOs come out in favor of a Brexit.
  • Eye-open infographic on mass public shootings from John Lott.
  • More proof that Social Justice Warriors hate everything, no matter how cute.
  • World’s oldest woman, and last living American born in the 19th century, dies. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Listeria outbreak among frozen fruits and vegetables. “Some of the affected products were sold under brand names such as Earth’s Pride, Panda Express, Signature Kitchens and Trader Joe’s.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Meet the vegan Bernie Madoff. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Black Pimps Matter.
  • Safety tip: Try not to get killed over cutting in line for the taco truck.
  • Facebook bans conservative for saying that Facebook bans conservatives. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Canadian company working on 20km high space elevator.
  • Jim Geraghty visits NRRAM.
  • The Dallas convention center sucks.
  • Microsoft is gonna Microsoft redux. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Wikipedia editor contemplates suicide over toxic atmosphere of powertripping.
  • Rehab for Internet addiction. “The program costs $25,000 for 45 days at the center.” Obviously I can’t be addicted to the Internet, because there’s no way I could afford the rehab…
  • I’m stealing this from Ace of Spades HQ:

  • Texas Hits 1 Million CHL Holders

    Thursday, May 19th, 2016

    Here’s a milestone worth celebrating: Texas hits 1 million citizens possessing CHL/LTCs.

    Remember how gun control advocates said violent crime would soar when more people were armed? Hasn’t happened. Both rates and absolute numbers of violent crimes in Texas have been falling since 1991, even as Texas population increased by almost 10 million people. Says CHL bill sponsor Jerry Patterson: “I’d say those who predicted shootouts at four-way stops need to apologize to the rest of us.”

    If you’re wondering why more law-abiding citizens carrying guns has coincided with dropping crime rates, the book linked below might have some answers for you…

    Venezuela: Socialism Is Death

    Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

    When socialists run out of other people’s money, everything falls apart. In Venezuela, socialism is killing babies:

    By morning, three newborns were already dead.

    The day had begun with the usual hazards: chronic shortages of antibiotics, intravenous solutions, even food. Then a blackout swept over the city, shutting down the respirators in the maternity ward.

    Doctors kept ailing infants alive by pumping air into their lungs by hand for hours. By nightfall, four more newborns had died.

    “The death of a baby is our daily bread,” said Dr. Osleidy Camejo, a surgeon in the nation’s capital, Caracas, referring to the toll from Venezuela’s collapsing hospitals.

    Also this: “At the University of the Andes Hospital in the mountain city of Mérida, there was not enough water to wash blood from the operating table.” With a picture to match.

    (Hat tip: Althouse.)

    Is this the point where the bankrupt socialist regime changes course and implements economic reform? Of course not. “Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced a sweeping crackdown Saturday under a new emergency decree, ordering the seizure of paralyzed factories, the arrest of their owners and military exercises to counter alleged foreign threats.”

    Naturally the democratically elected opposition refuses to knuckle under to Maduro’s unconstitutional decrees.

    “Opposition leader Henrique Capriles also said the army must decide whether it is ‘with the constitution or with Maduro,’ a day before nationwide protests demanding the president’s ouster through a referendum.”

    The Atlantic offers up a photo essay on how little food Venezuelans have to eat. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

    And all this has come to pass thanks to The Magic Power of Socialism™:

    The government doesn’t just control the oil industry, imposing windfall taxes as high as 50 percent on the few private sector projects that remain. The government has nationalized rice mills, large producers of agricultural products, and expropriated millions of acres of farmland; it has acquired some banks and shut down others; nationalized the cement sector; tried to nationalize gold miners; nationalized the country’s largest steel mill and the country’s largest telecommunications company; expropriated the nation’s largest power producer (remember those rolling blackouts?), and more.

    People close to the regime have benefited from many of those deals. Corruption has skyrocketed since the beginning of Venezuela’s “Bolivarian revolution.” According to the Cato Institute, $22.5 billion in public funds have been transferred from Venezuela to foreign accounts with no plausible explanation. Relatives of President Nicolas Maduro have been implicated in drug trafficking, with suspicions of drug money used to finance his campaign.

    Oh, and Venezuela’s capital has earned the distinction of being the murder capital of the world.

    All of these tragedies were avoidable. They are all the result of a mentality that sees only nails for the hammer of government control. Chavez and Maduro kept saying that everything that was wrong with Venezuela was the fault of markets and that if the government either eliminated or regulated those markets, things would get better. They implemented their agenda and it has been a disaster. This socialist brand of economic authoritarianism had the predictable consequence of political authoritarianism, corruption, and a breakdown of the rule of law.

    How many more babies have to die before Venezuela abandons its failed socialist experiment?

    Presidential Race Update for May 17, 2016

    Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

    Today Kentucky and Oregon have Democratic Presidential primaries, make it possible that “inevitable” Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton could suffer two more losses.

    Here’s a roundup of Presidential race links:

  • If Hillary does win, if after a string of state losses, after a blundering, scandal-plagued, email-tormented, Benghazi-haunted campaign she limps, staggeringly and breathlessly, across the finish line ahead, where, really, is she? Where’s her party? The Democrats are playing against the laws of cause and effect. Hillary’s campaign is dead, and she’s winning. Bernie’s is alive, and he’s losing.”
  • Hillary did much worse in West Virginia than she did in 2008:

    On Tuesday, Clinton lost the West Virginia primary to 74-year-old socialist Bernie Sanders 51% to 36%.

    That’s a stark contrast to 2008, when she trounced Barack Obama, 66.9% to 25.7% (John Edwards received 7.3%).

    But perhaps what’s more shocking is the raw vote total.

    In 2008, she received 240,890 votes. Yesterday, Clinton netted 84,176 votes, according to NBC — a 65% decline.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • If primary-to-general-election ratios hold, “we can plausibly estimate the number of votes for Donald Trump in November at 80 Million. Hillary plausibly tracks to 55 Million.”
  • Trump’s strength in Appalachia: “Of the 420 counties seen as sharing a culture that transcends state lines, Trump won all but 16, including a sweep of western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and the western uplands of Virginia with potentially profound ramifications for the general election.”
  • Hillary’s negatives continue to soar. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Why Trump can win. “Hillary Clinton also seems to quietly dislike (a) people, and (b) America, and you don’t need an advanced degree in election analytics to know this is not good.”
  • Ted Cruz is not interested in a Supreme Court seat. (Hat tip: Conservatoives 4 Ted Cruz, which is still running.)
  • Looking for someone to vote for rather than against? Ace of Spades HQ offers up a list of Republican senators, representatives and governors who supported Cruz.
  • Burlington College closes due to huge debt incurred under leadership of Jane O’Meara Sanders, Bernie Sanders’ wife. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Liberal billionaire Tom Steyer, who wasted millions to no effect in 2014, wants to do the same in 2016. Tiny problem: Lots of unions object to his job-killing green politics and refuse to pony up. (Hat tip: Powerline.)
  • Woman at the center of that “Trump is a jerk with women” story says that the New York Times reporters lied about what she said to make Trump look bad.
  • The Washington Post calls Hillary Clinton “Objectively offensive.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Clinton-supporting actor Wendell Pierce (Detective Bunk Moreland from The Wire) arrested for punching out a Bernie Sanders supporter. “There you go. Givin’ a fuck when it ain’t your turn to give a fuck.” (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Cavalcade of Clinton Corruption

    Monday, May 16th, 2016

    There’s so much news about the corrupt dealings of the Clinton Clan popping up that I need to do a separate roundup.

    First up: Clinton Global Initiative money going to one of Bill Clinton’s “special friends“:

    The Clinton Global Initiative, which arranges donations to help solve the world’s problems, set up a financial commitment that benefited a for-profit company part-owned by people with ties to the Clintons, including a current and a former Democratic official and a close friend of former President Bill Clinton.

    The $2 million commitment was placed on the agenda for a September 2010 conference of the Clinton Global Initiative at Mr. Clinton’s urging, according to a document from the period and people familiar with the matter.

    Mr. Clinton also personally endorsed the company, Energy Pioneer Solutions Inc., to then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu for a federal grant that year, said people with knowledge of the endorsement.

    Snip.

    Energy Pioneer Solutions was founded in 2009 by Scott Kleeb, a Democrat who twice ran for Congress from Nebraska. An internal document from that year showed it as owned 29% by Mr. Kleeb; 29% by Jane Eckert, the owner of an art gallery in Pine Plains, N.Y.; and 29% by Julie Tauber McMahon of Chappaqua, N.Y., a close friend of Mr. Clinton, who also lives in Chappaqua.

    So just who is Julie Tauber McMahon? Since 2014, many Clinton watchers have tabbed McMahon as “Energizer,” the Secret Service code-name given to Bill Clinton’s “attractive, busty” blonde mistress.

    Paying off your mistress’s for-profit company with charity dollars isn’t exactly standard accounting practice.

    Such financial shenanigans are far from the only financial irregularity carried out by the Clinton Foundation.

    After more than a year of research, a Wall Street analyst is arguing the Clinton Foundation’s books are riddled with financial inconsistencies that rise to the level of “fraud.”

    Charles Ortel, who gained recognition for correctly identifying problems with General Electric’s financial statements in 2008, has prepared 40 reports highlighting discrepancies that he said proves the Clinton Foundation has covered up cash flow since 1997.

    The financial whistleblower said his 15 months of research revealed gaps in the amount of money donors claim to have given and the amount of money the foundation claims to have received.

    Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ, who notes:

    From 2000 until now, the Clintons were on their very best behavior, to preserve Hillary’s electoral viability.

    In that period, they created a sham charity for personal enrichment and to pay off their cronies they could get government jobs for and put American secrets online for the Russian and Chinese and Iranian intelligence agencies to pilfer.

    That was the Clintons at their finest.

    What happens when they no longer have to care about the law at all?

    So what sort of donors give money to the Clinton Foundation? I know you’ll be shocked to know that Arab sheiks were among the most generous givers.

    A Daily Caller News Foundation investigation reveals that Bill and Hillary Clinton received at least $100 million from autocratic Persian Gulf states and their leaders, potentially undermining Democratic presidential candidate Hillary’s claim she can carry out independent Middle East policies.

    As a presidential candidate, the amount of foreign cash the Clintons have amassed from the Persian Gulf states is “simply unprecedented,” says national security analyst Patrick Poole.

    “These regimes are buying access. You’ve got the Saudis. You’ve got the Kuwaitis, Oman, Qatar and the UAE. There are massive conflicts of interest. It’s beyond comprehension,” Poole told TheDCNF in an interview.

    Overall, the Clinton Foundation has received upwards of $85 million in donations from five Persian Gulf states and their monarchs, according to the foundation’s website.

    And all this news is popping up just when the Clinton Cash documentary is about to debut at Cannes:

    A few more Clinton Corruption tidbits:

  • Speaking of Bill Clinton, records show he took at least 26 trips aboard registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s Lolita Express. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Flashback: This piece, where the late Christopher Hitchens nails the sleazy antics of the Clintons, remains as relevant as ever:

    What do you have to forget or overlook in order to desire that this dysfunctional clan once more occupies the White House and is again in a position to rent the Lincoln Bedroom to campaign donors and to employ the Oval Office as a massage parlor? You have to be able to forget, first, what happened to those who complained, or who told the truth, last time. It’s often said, by people trying to show how grown-up and unshocked they are, that all Clinton did to get himself impeached was lie about sex. That’s not really true. What he actually lied about, in the perjury that also got him disbarred, was the women. And what this involved was a steady campaign of defamation, backed up by private dicks (you should excuse the expression) and salaried government employees, against women who I believe were telling the truth. In my opinion, Gennifer Flowers was telling the truth; so was Monica Lewinsky, and so was Kathleen Willey, and so, lest we forget, was Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who says she was raped by Bill Clinton.

    (Hat tip: Instaundit.)

  • Secure cell phones frighten and confuse Hillary Clinton. She seems almost as technically savvy as Grandpa Simpson…
  • Hillary’s emails are almost certainly in the hands of Russian intelligence services that were monitoring Romanian hacker Guccifier. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Watch Hillary’s Tool Thwart Democracy

    Sunday, May 15th, 2016

    Following up on yesterday’s story of Hillary’s minions rigging the Nevada Democratic convention, more detailed coverage and video is leaking out and it’s even more blatantly antidemocratic than I originally described:

    The Convention began on a negative note when controversial temporary rules were adopted. Sanders supporters had been worried about these rules for weeks and had collected delegate signatures to seek changes to the rules. According to Jordan Chariton of The Young Turks, this rule change involved going with the delegate count from the first tier vote and ignoring the delegate count from the second tier, which Sanders had won.

    A vocal vote was held to determine if these temporary rules should be adopted as permanent. The rules were voted on through a vocal “aye” or “nay,” led by Roberta Lange, the party’s chairwoman. The video above shows the voice vote, which doesn’t clearly show a majority…If it’s not clear who gets the majority, then the convention is supposed to have a “vote of division of assembly,” reported Jason Llanes, who stayed at the convention all day, reporting live from Periscope. A division of assembly vote involves having people stand on either side of the room to indicate their vote, he said.

    Lange, however, announced that the “ayes” won and that her decision could not be contested. The vote was taken at 9:30 a.m., while many delegates were still in line.

    And if you don’t believe the report, take a look at the video yourself:

    By the way, Roberta Lange is a Democratic Party superdelgate, though oddly enough, one that hasn’t officially pledged to Hillary. I don’t think there’s any question who she’s supporting now, is there?

    Some Hillary supporters have basically responded by saying: Hey, the rule change only gave Hillary one extra delegate! Get over it! Oddly enough, the fact that Team Hillary would cheat so blatantly when the stakes were so low does not exactly fill me with confidence.

    I’m seeing a lot of Sanders supporters saying that this has pushed them over the edge into supporting Donald Trump in November if Clinton is the Democratic party nominee.

    Clinton Machine Steals Nevada

    Sunday, May 15th, 2016

    Hillary Clinton’s election machine has dropped the facade of even pretending to care what actual voters think. In Nevada, they all but told Bernie Sanders supporters “Fuck you. We’re rigging it for Hillary and you can’t stop us.”

    Team Clinton began the steamrolling by counting the delegates while Team Bernie was still in the registration process….

    The convention began with secret meetings within the rules committee and a quick collection of delegate counts prior to all of the attendees and Delegates actually having an opportunity to be present on the floor. Bernie Sanders supporters demanding delegate recounts, and requesting a re-vote.

    This was followed by Bernie Sanders supporters becoming angry over a voice vote that adopted a set of temporary convention rules as the permanent rules. The rules committee denied points of order brought up by the attending Bernie Sanders supporters. The Bernie voters were shut down and not allowed to have their voices heard.

    The only question now is: What wouldn’t Hillary do to steal this election?

    Life in Venezuela is Murder

    Thursday, May 12th, 2016

    In the course of this piece on Venezuela’s bankrupt socialist government using tanks against “paramilitary” opposition, I came across this tidbit of crime information:

    The homicide rate in Venezuela is surging again in 2016, the Prosecutor General’s office warned in its first quarterly report of the year last week. Venezuela suffered 18,000 homicides in 2015 according to the Prosecutor General, but NGO’s put that figure closer to 28,000 murders for last year.

    Even given that Latin American murder rates are generally higher than North America and Europe, that’s shockingly high for a nation of 30 million. In fact, both figures are more murders than for all of the United States for 2013 (the last year full FBI figures are available). And U.S. figures include such idyllic peaceful environs as Chicago, Baltimore and Detroit.

    And life for Venezuelans who aren’t outright murdered continues to get worse. “The experiment with “21st-century socialism” as introduced by the late President Hugo Chavez, a self-described champion of the poor who vowed to distribute the country’s wealth among the masses, and instead steered the nation toward the catastrophe the world is witnessing under his handpicked successor Maduro, has been a cruel failure.”

    What our country is going through is monstrously unique: It’s nothing less than the collapse of a large, wealthy, seemingly modern, seemingly democratic nation just a few hours’ flight from the United States.

    In the last two years Venezuela has experienced the kind of implosion that hardly ever occurs in a middle-income country like it outside of war. Mortality rates are skyrocketing; one public service after another is collapsing; triple-digit inflation has left more than 70 percent of the population in poverty; an unmanageable crime wave keeps people locked indoors at night; shoppers have to stand in line for hours to buy food; babies die in large numbers for lack of simple, inexpensive medicines and equipment in hospitals, as do the elderly and those suffering from chronic illnesses.

    But why? It’s not that the country lacked money. Sitting atop the world’s largest reserves of oil at the tail end of a frenzied oil boom, the government led first by Chavez and, since 2013, by Maduro, received over a trillion dollars in oil revenues over the last 17 years. It faced virtually no institutional constraints on how to spend that unprecedented bonanza. It’s true that oil prices have since fallen—a risk many people foresaw, and one that the government made no provision for—but that can hardly explain what’s happened: Venezuela’s garish implosion began well before the price of oil plummeted. Back in 2014, when oil was still trading north of $100 per barrel, Venezuelans were already facing acute shortages of basic things like bread or toiletries.

    The real culprit is chavismo, the ruling philosophy named for Chavez and carried forward by Maduro, and its truly breathtaking propensity for mismanagement (the government plowed state money arbitrarily into foolish investments); institutional destruction (as Chavez and then Maduro became more authoritarian and crippled the country’s democratic institutions); nonsense policy-making (like price and currency controls); and plain thievery (as corruption has proliferated among unaccountable officials and their friends and families).

    A case in point is the price controls, which have expanded to apply to more and more goods: food and vital medicines, yes, but also car batteries, essential medical services, deodorant, diapers, and, of course, toilet paper. The ostensible goal was to check inflation and keep goods affordable for the poor, but anyone with a basic grasp of economics could have foreseen the consequences: When prices are set below production costs, sellers can’t afford to keep the shelves stocked. Official prices are low, but it’s a mirage: The products have disappeared.

    When a state is in the process of collapse, dimensions of decay feed back on each other in an intractable cycle. Populist giveaways, for example, have fed the country’s ruinous flirtation with hyperinflation; the International Monetary Fund now projects that prices will rise by 720 percent this year and 2,200 percent in 2017. The government virtually gives away gasoline for free, even after having raised the price earlier this year. As a result of this and similar policies, the state is chronically short of funds, forced to print ever more money to finance its spending.

    Though much of it will be familiar to anyone who follows this blog, read the entire story, if only for the factory owner who got in trouble for not stocking his bathrooms with toilet paper as per union rules (because it was unavailable at government stores), only to get in even more trouble for “hoarding” when he bought it on the black market…