Posts Tagged ‘Debbie Wasserman Schultz’

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Just As Good at Cybersecurity as at Running the DNC

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Debbie Wasserman Schultz has long been the gift that keeps giving for Republicans. Her tenure at the top of the DNC saw dramatic declines Democratic Party officeholder at a time when Obama was still (theoretically) personally popular. Now her incompetence may be endangering not just the Democratic Party, but American security.

Remember earlier this year when three Pakistani brothers (Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan) who managed office IT for Democratic members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers were abruptly relieved of their duties on suspicion that they accessed congressional computer networks without permission?

Refresher:

Jamal handled IT for Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat who serves on both the intelligence and foreign affairs panels.

“As of 2/2, his employment with our office has been terminated,” Castro spokeswoman Erin Hatch told TheDCNF Friday.

Jamal also worked for Louisiana Democrat Rep. Cedric Richmond, who is on the Committee on Homeland Security.

Imran worked for Reps. Andre Carson, an Indiana Democrat, and Jackie Speier, a California Democrat. Carson and Speier are members of the intelligence committee. Spokesmen for Carson and Speier did not respond to TheDCNF’s requests for comments. Imran also worked for the House office of Wasserman-Schultz.

Then-Rep. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, employed Abid for IT work in 2016. She was a member of House committees dealing with the armed services, oversight, and Benghazi. Duckworth was elected to the Senate in November, 2016. Abid has a prior criminal record and a bankruptcy.

Abid also worked for Rep. Lois Frankel, a Florida Democrat who is member of the foreign affairs committee.

Also among those whose computer systems may have been compromised is Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Democrat who was previously the target of a disastrous email hack when she served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign.

In addition to the brothers Awam, two more staffers, Hina Alvi (Imran Awan’s wife, who worked for Rep. Gregory Meeks (Democrat, New York) and Rao Abbas, were also fired. “The five current and former House staffers are accused of stealing equipment from members’ offices without their knowledge and committing serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network.”

(Though reports often list five members, Natalia Sova, another Awan wife, also worked as a staffer.)

So when they were accused of stealing and improperly accessing information, they were fired, right? No. Because they were Muslims:

Meeks said he was hesitant to believe the accusations against Alvi, Imran Awan and the three other staffers, saying their background as Muslim Americans, some with ties to Pakistan, could make them easy targets for false charges.

“I wanted to be sure individuals are not being singled out because of their nationalities or their religion. We want to make sure everybody is entitled to due process,” Meeks said.

“They had provided great service for me. And there were certain times in which they had permission by me, if it was Hina or someone else, to access some of my data.”

[Rep. Marcia] Fudge [Democrat, Ohio] told Politico on Tuesday she would employ Imran Awan until he received “due process.”

“He needs to have a hearing. Due process is very simple. You don’t fire someone until you talk to them,” Fudge said.

On Wednesday, Lauren Williams, a spokeswoman for Fudge, wouldn’t provide details about Imran Awan’s firing but did confirm he was still employed in Fudge’s office as of Tuesday afternoon.

The bottom line is simple – these House Democrats decided it was better to be at risk of hacking and extortion than to be accused of racism.

Then it came to light that “House IT Aides Fear Suspects In Hill Breach Are Blackmailing Members With Their Own Data.” Turns out that the Awan brothers were incompetent at their jobs, but House Democrats refused to fire them or consider cheaper employees.

Also this: “Court records show the brothers ran a side business that owed $100,000 to an Iranian fugitive who has been tied to Hezbollah, and their stepmother says they often send money to Pakistan.”

More on that lovely individual the Awan brothers do business with:

The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has reported that while working for Congress, the Pakistani brothers controlled a limited liability corporation called Cars International A (CIA), a car dealership with odd finances, which took–and was unable to repay–a $100,000 loan from Dr. Ali Al-Attar.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, wrote that Attar “was observed in Beirut, Lebanon conversing with a Hezbollah official” in 2012–shortly after the loan was made. Attar has also been accused of helping provoke the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as a leader of Iraqi dissidents opposed to Saddam Hussein.

After moving to the U.S., Attar made his money practicing medicine in Maryland and Virginia and defrauding Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies by billing for non-existent medical procedures. The FBI raided his offices in 2009 and the Department of Health and Human Services sued his business partner in 2011.

Attar was indicted in March 2012 on separate tax fraud charges after the IRS and FBI found he used multiple bank accounts to hide income. He fled back to Iraq to avoid prison.

“He’s a fugitive. I am not aware of any extradition treaty with Iraq,”

Then the story of the Awan brothers’ security breech took yet another strange turn:

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz threatened the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police with “consequences” for holding equipment that she says belongs to her in order to build a criminal case against a Pakistani staffer suspected of massive cybersecurity breaches involving funneling sensitive congressional data offsite.

The Florida lawmaker used her position on the committee that sets the police force’s budget to press its chief to relinquish the piece of evidence Thursday, in what could be considered using her authority to attempt to interfere with a criminal investigation.

The Capitol Police and outside agencies are pursuing Imran Awan, who has run technology for the Florida lawmaker since 2005 and was banned from the House network in February on suspicion of data breaches and theft.

“My understanding is the the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate Members’ equipment when the Member is not under investigation,” Wasserman Schultz said in the annual police budget hearing of the House Committee On Appropriations’ Legislative Branch Subcommittee.

“We can’t return the equipment,” Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa told the Florida Democrat.

“I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way and you should expect that there will be consequences,” Wasserman Schultz said.

As one of eight members of the Committee on Appropriations’ Legislative Branch subcommittee, Wasserman Schultz is in charge of the budget of the police force that is investigating her staffer and how he managed to extract so much money and information from members.

In a highly unusual exchange, the Florida lawmaker uses a hearing on the Capitol Police’s annual budget to spend three minutes repeatedly trying to extract a promise from the chief that he will return a piece of evidence being used to build an active case.

“If a Member loses equipment and it is found by your staff and identified as that member’s equipment and the member is not associated with any case, it is supposed to be returned. Yes or no?” she said.

Police tell her it is important to “an ongoing investigation,” but presses for its return anyway.

The investigation is examining members’ data leaving the network and how Awan managed to get Members to place three relatives and a friend into largely no-show positions on their payrolls, billing $4 million since 2010.

The congresswoman characterizes the evidence as “belonging” to her and argues that therefore it cannot be seized unless Capitol Police tell her that she personally, as opposed to her staffer, is a target of the investigation.

When TheDCNF asked Wasserman Schultz Monday if it could inquire about her strong desire for the laptop, she said “No, you may not.” After TheDCNF asked why she wouldn’t want the Capitol Police to have any evidence they may need to find and punish any hackers of government information, she abruptly turned around in the middle of a stairwell and retreated back to the office from which she had come.

Very curious indeed.

It seems that Wasserman Schultz (and very possibly other Democratic congressmen) would prefer to see American intelligence compromised rather than have embarrassing personal information revealed. One wonders if the dismissed staffers were conveying information to overseas jihadis, or if they had incriminating information on any of the DNC, Obama or Hillary Clinton scandals so much in the news.

Stay tuned…

Etched in Eternity: Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Easily the most emotional part of President Trump’s joint address to congress was his tribute to fallen Senior Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, the first solider who died under President Trump’s watch, with his widow Carryn Owens in the audience.

Ryan died as he lived — a warrior, a hero, battling against terrorism, and securing our nation. I just spoke to our great General Mattis just now who reconfirmed that, and I quote, Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemy. Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. Thank you.

Following the tribute was a full two minutes of standing ovation for Owens and his widow everyone in attendance (with the notable exception of several prominent Democrats, including former DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and newly-elected DNC Vice Chair Rep. Keith Ellison).

It was clearly the emotional highlight of President Trump’s speech, and arguable of any joint address/state of the union address in recent memory. And Trump’s gentle quip “I think he just broke a record” was a masterful way to bring the moment to a satisfying denouement and continue the speech.

Here’s an overview of Senior Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens’ career serving his country:

Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens

Died Jan. 29, 2017 Supporting U.S. Central Command operations
36, of Peoria, Illinois; assigned to a special warfare unit based on the U.S. East Coast; died of wounds sustained in a raid against al-Qaida.

The Department of Defense today has identified Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens as the first American war casualty of the President Donald Trump era.

Owens, 36, of Peoria, Ill., died Jan.29 of wounds received during a raid conducted in Yemen. Three other service members were wounded in the raid.

Nava Special Warfare Command confirmed Owens was assigned to an “East Coast-based Special Warfare unit.” While multiple news outlets are reporting the unit as Seal Team Six, the Navy would not confirm.

An estimated 14 al-Qaida terrorists were killed during the raid, according to a release by the U.S. Central Command.

“Americans are saddened this morning with news that a life of a heroic service member has been taken in our fight against the evil of radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said in a White House press release on Jan. 29. “My deepest thoughts and humblest prayers are with the family of this fallen service member.

A fifth service member was injured when “a U.S. military aircraft assisting in the operation experienced a hard landing at a nearby location,” according to the CENTCOM release.

That aircraft was unable to fly after the landing and was intentionally destroyed.

Owens enlisted in the Navy in Aug. 24, 1998. After initially training as a cryptologic technician (communications), he served his initial tour of duty at the Office of Naval Intelligence in Suitland, Maryland, before attending basic and advanced SEAL training in Coronado, California, completing training in December 2002.

His first tour as a SEAL was at a West Coast unit, followed by three consecutive East Coast unit tours. He was on his fifth team tour when he was killed. He’d been with that unit just over two years.

He was selected for chief petty officer in 2009.

Along with his SEAL Trident and Basic Parachutist wings, he is qualified to wear the following awards:

Navy/Marine Corps Medal
Bronze Star w/Combat “V” (2 awards)
Bronze Star
Joint Service Commendation Medal w/Combat “V” (2 awards)
Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2 awards)
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3 awards)
Combat Action Ribbon
Joint Meritorious Unit Award (2 awards)
Good Conduct Medal (6 awards)
Presidential Unit Citation (3 awards)
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (8 awards)

The Navy doesn’t hand out Navy/Marine Corps Medals or Bronze Stars (with or without the Combat V) to just anyone. Senior Chief Owens was clearly an American hero, which makes it all the more inexplicable that prominent Democrats would fail to stand for the ovation to him and his widow.

Dave Barry 2016 Year in Review

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Another year gone, another Dave Barry year in review.

Some of the tastier selections:

On the Democratic side, Clinton and Sanders are also in a tight and testy battle, although Clinton slowly gains the upper hand thanks to the Democratic Party’s controversial formula for allocating “superdelegates,” which is as follows:

▪ 57 percent go to Clintion.
▪ The remaining 43 percent also go to Clinton.

Responding to charges from the Sanders camp that the Democratic National Committee is tipping the scales in Clinton’s favor, chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz states that “the DNC is scrupulously neutral in the contest between Secretary Clinton and the senile Commie fart.”

JUNE: It becomes evident that, barring some highly unlikely political development, the next president of the United States will be either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Meanwhile, the nation is in the grip of a worsening heroin epidemic. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Speaking of coincidences: Bill Clinton happens to find himself in the same airport as U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and – as any two people would do if one of them was the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer and the other was married to the subject of a federal investigation – they meet privately aboard Lynch’s Justice Department jet. When word of the meeting leaks out, Lynch assures the press that she and Bill did not discuss the FBI investigation into Hillary’s email, adding, “nor did we inhale.” For her part, Hillary continues to insist that she never emailed anything classified, and even if she did she actually didn’t, besides which so did a lot of other people such as Colin Powell and Harry Truman, and this so-called “scandal” is ancient history from literally years ago that just makes a person sigh and roll her eyes because it is preventing her from fighting for working families while at the same time being a historic woman.

Internationally, the top story is “Brexit,” the decision by voters in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. This comes as a big surprise to professional pollsters, who had confidently predicted the opposite result; they enjoy a hearty laugh, then head across the Atlantic to apply their talents to the forthcoming American presidential election.

On the Democratic side, the month gets off to a rocky start when FBI Director James Comey, announcing the results of the bureau’s investigation, reveals that when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, her official emails, some including classified material, were basically as secure from prying eyes as a neon beer sign. Nevertheless, Comey says he is recommending that no criminal charges be brought against Clinton, because, quote, “I don’t want to die.”

With that legal hurdle cleared, relieved Democrats gather in Philadelphia for their convention, which opens, in a bid to placate Sanders delegates, with the ceremonial caning of Debbie Wasserman Schultz. This is followed by several hundred speeches praising Hillary Clinton for the many accomplishments she has achieved, as well as the achievements she has accomplished, while at the same time being, historically, a woman. In her acceptance speech, Clinton calls on Americans “to join with me in building a better world for us and for our children,” adding, “or I will crush you like an insect.”

Meanwhile, newly released State Department emails cause some people to suggest that the reason a variety of dodgy foreign businesspeople and nations gave millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state was that they expected – get a load of this wacky right-wing conspiracy theory! – to receive special access to or favors from the U.S. government. Hillary has no choice but to roll her eyes and laugh in a violently unnatural manner at this latest attempt to use these discredited smear tactics to prevent her, a historic and lifelong woman, from fighting for working families as well as working for fighting families.

Meanwhile the Clinton campaign is dealing with a steady stream of WikiLeaks emails suggesting that the Clinton Foundation is dedicated to humanitarian relief in the same sense that the Soprano family was dedicated to waste management. But this kind of scandal is ho-hum stuff for the Clinton campaign, whose campaign slogan has slowly morphed from “Stronger Together” into “At Least She’s Predictably Corrupt.” As the month wears on and Trump continues to flail away unconvincingly at his alleged groping victims, it appears more and more likely that Clinton has established herself, with just enough voters, as the least-loathsome choice in this hideous, issues-free nightmare of an election.

And then, just when we thought it could not get any weirder or any worse, we are hit with the mother of all October surprises in the form of the incurable genital wart on the body politic known as Anthony Weiner. While probing Weiner’s laptop (Har!) for evidence of alleged sexting with an underage girl, the FBI reportedly discovers thousands of emails that were sent from or to Hillary Clinton’s private email server, which apparently had a higher internet profile than Taylor Swift. James Comey sends a letter informing Congress that the FBI is taking another look at the email issue. In a display of the intellectual integrity that has made our political class so respected by ordinary citizens, all the Democrats and allied pundits who praised Comey in July as a courageous public servant instantly swap positions with all the Republicans and allied pundits who said he was a cowardly hack. This new development sends the political world into Full Freakout Mode, with cable TV political analysts forced to change their underwear on an hourly basis. Meanwhile millions of critical swing voters switch from “undecided” to “suicidal.”

Donald Trump is elected president of the United States, unless this turns out to be one of those really vivid dreams, like the one where you’re at the dentist but you’re naked and your dentist is Bette Midler and spiders keep coming out of your mouth.

Trump’s victory stuns the nation. Not since the darkest days of the Civil War have so many Americans unfriended each other on Facebook. Some even take the extreme step of writing “open letters.” Angry, traumatized protesters cry, march, shout, smash windows, set fires – and that’s just The New York Times editorial board. Leading celebrities who vowed to leave the country if Trump won immediately start making plans to … OK, to not actually leave the country per se, but next time they definitely will and YOU’LL BE SORRY.

In Washington, Democrats who believed in a strong president wielding power via executive orders instantly exchange these deeply held convictions with Republicans who until Election Day at roughly 10 p.m. Eastern time believed fervently in filibusters and limited government.

On TV, the professional Explainers, having failed spectacularly to predict what just happened, pause for a period of somber and contrite self-reflection lasting close to 15 minutes before they begin the crucial work of explaining to the rest of us what will happen next.

Joe Biden lies awake at night, staring at the ceiling.

In the month’s biggest non-election news, the death of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro is greeted with expressions of sorrow from several dozen world leaders who never had to live under his rule, and tears of happiness from many thousands of Cubans who did.

Read the whole thing.

Lawrence Lessig Was Talking Out His Ass

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Let’s take a look at a small sideshow act to this year’s Electoral College circus: Lawrence Lessig’s Amazing Disappearing Faithless Electors.

The Harvard professor, Creative Commons founder, and all around political gadfly boldly declared a few days before the election that “at least 20 Republican members of the Electoral College may not cast their votes for President-elect Donald Trump.”

That’s just 18 more than the 2 that actually flipped. One wonders how Lessig arrived at his grossly inflated count, assuming it wasn’t plucked out of thin air or his nether regions.

Indeed, Lessig spent much of the 2016 election cycle making mystifying moves and puzzling pronouncements. In August 2015, he announced he was running for the Democratic nomination for President, raised $1 million to do so, pledged that if elected, he would pass a campaign finance “reform” (including a basket of liberal activist proposals, including limiting free speech by overturning Citizens United, eliminating Gerrymandering, introducing ranked voting, etc.) and then resign. Two months later he walked back the resignation promise, and shortly after that, after being excluded from the debates and unable to obtain any traction in the race, dropped out entirely.

So instead of Lessig, Democrats nominated Hillary Clinton, the poster child for the campaign finance abuses and conflicts of interest Lessig railed against. Indeed, Lessig himself mentioned that the Clinton Foundation was why Clinton could never make campaign finance reform central to her campaign, and said that Clinton’s big money was deadly to the cause of reform. Indeed, his criticism of Clinton’s big money ties to lobbyists goes back at least to the 2008 Presidential race. (Note: That piece criticizing Clinton is from the Wayback Machine, as Lessig appears to have scrubbed the piece from his own website.) He also noted that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Hillary’s hand-picked head of the DNC, did everything she could to keep him out of polls and debates.

Believe it or not, Lessig was actually enthusiastic when Donald Trump entered the race, and even talked about running on a third-party Presidential ticket with him:

“Donald Trump is the biggest gift to the movement for reform since the Supreme Court gave us Citizens United,” Lessig told Politico.com, referring to Trump’s boasts that he’s given big sums to candidates in both parties and then called in favors as needed. “What he’s saying is absolutely correct, the absolute truth. He has pulled back the curtain.”

“I’ll make a promise,” Lessig said in Politico’s report, after stating he would not “rule out a third-party run with Trump” should that offer be made. “If Trump said he was going to do one thing and fix this corrupted system, then go back to life as an entertainment figure, I absolutely would link up with Donald Trump.”

In light of all that, it’s strange that Lessig would not only throw his full weight behind Hillary Clinton, the embodiment of special interest money in politics, but lie about faithless electors in a last-ditch attempt to deny Donald Trump the presidency.

Then again, if I were to pick a locale for the most intense cases of Trump Derangement Syndrome, the Harvard University faculty lounge would probably rank near the top of the list…

Trump Taps Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

As one of his first staff announcements, President-elect Donald Trump tapped Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff.

It’s a serious pick for a man who evidently aims to be a serious President.

Priebus did an excellent job at the RNC, helping Republicans grab and maintain House and Senate majorities in 2014 and 2016. He is widely credited with being the diving force behind a huge technology upgrade to RNC efforts, including increased get-out-the-vote efforts for those two elections.

Another huge plus is that, despite close ties to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (Priebus was previously head of the Wisconsin Republican Party before being elected RNC head), and unlike DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, he didn’t put his thumb on the scale for any of the 2016 GOP Presidential contenders. When Trump clenched the nomination, Priebus put the organizational weight of the RNC behind Trump despite vociferous arguments from the #NeverTrump faction to cut him lose and reallocate the money to House and Senate races. Priebus’ support, and Trump’s greater focus during the last month of the race, is why we have President-Elect Trump rather than President-Elect Clinton.

My guess is that Priebus will be a great Chief of Staff, and his position there should reassure conservatives worried that Trump will go too far off the reservation. The saying is that “personnel is policy,” and Priebus will be in the ideal situation to make sure policy doesn’t fall pray to Trump’s whims.

The only downside is the necessity of the RNC to find a capable replacement for Priebus. That may prove a difficult task.

First Day of DNC Makes RNC Look Like A Lovefest

Monday, July 25th, 2016

You’ve probably already heard that DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned for leaked DNC emails showing the whole DNC was in the tank for Hillary as deeply as we already knew, and that she instantly accepted a position with the Clinton campaign, going from a de facto shill to a de jour one.

How popular is Schultz? Her own Florida Democratic delegation booed her at their morning breakfast.

But the booing didn’t end there! California’s Democratic delegation booed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

In the background of an MSNBC interview, people (presumably Bernie Sanders supporters) chant “Lock her up!”.

The boos didn’t end at the main stage either. “Sanders supporters booed loudly at virtually every mention of Hillary Clinton’s name and at other times, defiantly led chants of ‘Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!'”

The logistics do not seem designed to cool tempers either. “It’s about a 30-minute walk and not the most pleasant experience in near-100-degree temperatures.” Reporters are saying the Philadelphia DNC has the worst logistics they’ve seen at any national convention.

James Woods tweeted this:

Finally, Ace of Spades offers up the convention schedule the DNC deserves.

“How to Bank $200 Million as a Public
Servant and claim to be broke”
Hillary Clinton
4:45 PM

All in all, the DNC is making the boos that greeted Ted Cruz’s RNC speech look like whatever the big story was on December 6, 1941…

Now a glimpse at a far more august political occasion:

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 February 29, 2016

    Monday, February 29th, 2016

    Happy Leap Day, everyone! Enjoy a yuge LinkSwarm, and if you’re in Texas or another Super Tuesday state, take time to dig out your voter registration card for tomorrow.

  • The Case for Cruz: The Math. “In the states where Cruz is ahead of Rubio in the upcoming Super Tuesday, he is either beating Trump or within striking distance. In the states where Rubio is ahead of Cruz in the upcoming Super Tuesday, Trump has a huge lead. Rubio doesn’t lead in a single state.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Sixteen Reasons Why Ted Cruz Is The Better Anti-Trump Than Rubio.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The Millennial Case For Ted Cruz. “Polls show that Hillary beats Trump in a general election. On the other hand, Cruz beats Hillary in a general election.” (Hat tip: Conservatives for Ted Cruz.)
  • Cruz releases nine years of tax returns, calls on Trump to do the same.
  • Analysis of Ted Cruz’s positions on defense.
  • How Ted Cruz’s ads are so Hollywood slick.
  • Cruz has rebuilt his stump speech around the Scalia vacancy.
  • Lefty Robert Reich’s attacks on Ted Cruz provides yet more reasons to vote for Cruz.
  • Our cultural elites just can’t figure out why those ignorant gun- and religion-clinging redneck freaks of JesusLand keep flocking to Trump when he says he love them. It’s an insoluble mystery…
  • 40 reasons not to vote for Donald Trump.
  • Trump University was a scam. “Many people believe that higher education is a de facto scam. Trump University, Donald Trump’s real-estate institution, was a de jure one.”
  • Hillary heckled.
  • DNC vice chair steps down to support Bernie Sanders. An understandable move, given the DNC is so far in the tank for Hillary under Debbie Wasserman Schultz that supporting Sanders is probably looked on as akin to treason… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Mark Steyn lays out some grim election analysis: “No one loses as expensively as Republicans.”
  • 720,000 taxpayers have their tax form information stolen from the IRS. Our country is in the very best of hands!
  • Public employee unions are the establishment. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Left-wing protesters shut down lecture on welfare reform at London School of Economics. Here’s the book protester’s don’t want people to read: Adam Perkins’ The Welfare Trait: How State Benefits Affect Personality.
  • Muslim immigrants will cost Sweden fourteen times more than their defense budget. Good thing Germany and Russia are such historically peaceful neighbors…
  • Merkel must have a political death wish: “German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday defended her open-door policy for migrants, rejecting any limit on the number of refugees allowed into her country despite divisions within her government.”
  • Stratfor analyses China’s new military facilities on Woody Island. “While the media’s response to China’s actions on Woody Island suggests that they represent a watershed moment in the militarization of the South China Sea, in reality they are neither surprising nor particularly meaningful.”
  • How disasterous Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro could be removed from power.
  • The truth about the MiG-29. Longish but interesting piece. Turn out the Soviet super fighter was very good at basic fighter aircraft maneuvers, but had poor avionics that severely limited the pilot’s situational awareness.
  • Mass transit doesn’t actually save any energy. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Male feminism is a sort of disease.”
  • Joe Straus’ primary opponent Jeff Judson has a couple of major financial backers, including Alice Walton.
  • Beloved, innocent man shot down by Seattle police. And by “innocent” I mean “a convicted rapist with a gun, crack and heroin.”
  • “Turn down the fucking music.” “The more and more you attempt to compensate for the fact people have no social skills, making the music so loud conversation is impossible, the more and more intelligent and competent people you will drive away.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Soldier of Fortune magazine to cease publication.
  • Man makes video designed to show that SERPA holsters are safe, proves the opposite. (Hat tip: Tam via Dwight.)
  • Tweet 1: The bus is turning around. Tweet 2. The bus is on fire. Tweet 3. The bus exploded. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • The OSS World War II escape knife.
  • LinkSwarm for February 17, 2016

    Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

    Early voting started in Texas Monday, which means I’m way behind on covering state and local races. Oh well, maybe later this week…

  • Hillary Clinton didn’t do as badly as expected in New Hampshire. She did worse.

    Sanders’s margin of victory — 60 percent to 39 percent — was the largest ever by a Democrat who wasn’t a sitting president. It was a come-from-behind win: Eight months ago, Sanders was at 9 percent and Clinton held a 46-point advantage. And Sanders overperformed the polls. Only 1 of the last 15 polls had him above 60 percent; the Real Clear Politics average in New Hampshire had him at 54.5 percent going into the vote.

    Then there are the crosstabs. The exit polling for Clinton was brutal. Sanders won men by 35 points; he won women by 11. He won voters under the age of 30 by 67 points. People expect that of Sanders and his children’s crusade. Clinton took home senior citizens, 54 percent to 45 percent. People expect that of Clinton’s boomers. But in the big band of middle-aged Democrats, ages 45 to 64 (who made up 42 percent of the electorate), Sanders beat Clinton 54 percent to 45 percent. He beat her among Democrats with a high school diploma or less; he beat her among Democrats with postgraduate degrees. Among people who’d voted in a Democratic primary before, Sanders won by 16 points; among first-time voters, he won by 57. He won self-identified “moderate” voters by 20 points.

    Clinton made gun control a substantial part of her pitch in New Hampshire. Sanders won voters who own guns by 40 points. But he won voters who don’t own guns by 14. He even won voters who said that terrorism was their number one concern.

    The biggest problem for Clinton, however, came in the candidate-perception categories. The second-most important quality voters said they wanted in a candidate was someone who “cares.” Sanders won these voters by 65 points. The most important quality people said they wanted was “honesty.” Sanders took those people home 92 to 6. Look at that again. When asked “Is Clinton honest and trustworthy?” 53 percent of all voters — not just Sanders voters, but everyone casting a Democratic ballot — said “no.”

  • Bernie Sanders has more than ten times the number of staffers on the ground in South Carolina than Clinton does.
  • Lefty at The Nation: “Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote.”
  • The topic is the Clintons, so it’s time for another glimpse of Good Maureen Dowd: “It turned out that female voters seem to be looking at Hillary as a candidate rather than as a historical imperative. And she’s coming up drastically short on trustworthiness.”
  • Ted Cruz is very electable. “Cruz is electable because he’s the real thing.” (Hat tip: Conservatives 4 Ted Cruz.)
  • People who were actually paying attention during the Gang of 8 fight scoff at Marco Rubio’s assertion Cruz favored amnesty. (Hat tip: Conservatives 4 Ted Cruz.)
  • Only top Obama Administration officials with high security clearances knew about Hillary’s secret email server. And LinkedIn.
  • The NRA is saying gun-indifferent Sanders beat hoplophobe Hillary. Hmmm…
  • Remember how the Obama Administration swore up and down ObamaCare wouldn’t go to illegal aliens? Guess what?
  • I think this is quite an effective Donald Trump ad, targeting how black Americans have been hurt by illegal alien crime. Rick Perry did quite well with an ad highlighting an illegal alien who murdered a Houston police officer in his race against Bill White in 2010. Too bad too many gutless Republicans have been hesitant about running such ads for fear of being branded racists, xenophobes, etc. by the media.
  • Muslim immigrants are killing Sweden.
  • Germany to take in a half million more Islamic “refugees” in 2016. It’s like Merkel wants to destroy her own party… (Hat tip: JihadWatch.)
  • Police in the UK arrest man for criticizing Syrian “refugees” in a Facebook post. (Hat tip: JihadWatch.)
  • Boom! Headshot! (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Current law prohibits transferring prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S., and the military won’t do so until the law is changed, no matter what Obama may want.
  • “Scalia was not only finest writer ever to sit on the Court, he was one of the best rhetoricians in history.”
  • Dear naive young voters: socialism sucks in real life.
  • Behold the ideal government worker under socialism! Every bureaucrat his own Wally….
  • A look at China’s new stealth fighters.
  • China is also deploying missiles on a disputed island in the South China Sea.
  • Huge explosion at a military barracks in Turkey. Just occurred before I posted this, so details are scant.
  • The ACLU continues its long retreat from defending free speech. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Talk like Reagan.
  • Venezuela’s socialist government appears to have authorized the military to form an oil company.
  • Notes on the collapse of a tech startup. More than a grain of truth here. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • The Coen Brothers aren’t fans of cramming diversity for the sake of diversity into individual movies. “Not in the least!” Ethan answered. “It’s important to tell the story you’re telling in the right way, which might involve black people or people of whatever heritage or ethnicity—or it might not.”
  • Science fiction writer has book rejected by Harper Voyager because robot characters dared to voice non-PC thoughts.
  • Because driving I-35 just didn’t suck enough already, enjoy being attacked by thrown rocks.
  • How the Democratic Party is Going to Screw Bernie Sanders With Superdelegates

    Friday, February 12th, 2016

    It seems that Bernie Sanders supporters are finally waking up to the fact that Democratic Party “Superdelegates” are designed to screw over mere voters unwilling to toe the party line. And this year, that means “Bernie Sanders supporters.”

    Jim Geraghty explains how the screwing process works:

    Every Democratic member of Congress, House and Senate, is a Superdelegate (240 total). Every Democratic governor is a Superdelegate (20 total). Certain “distinguished party leaders,” 20 in all, are given Superdelegate status. And finally, the Democratic National Committee names an additional 432 Superdelegates—an honor that typically goes to mayors, chairs and vice-chairs of the state party, and other dignitaries.

    Here is where I would put a paragraph detailing the process by which the DNC goes about selecting Superdelegates…except I can’t find any online. As far as I can tell, DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is 100% in the tank for Hillary, gets to give her up to an additional 432 delegates. Or almost as many delegates as those chosen by all the actual Democratic Party voters in New York and Pennsylvania combined.

    As of this writing, Hillary Clinton has 387 superdelegates. Bernie Sanders has 16.

    “This is what makes Clinton so powerful in the Democratic race — even while she and Sanders battle it out among rank-and-file voters, she has a massive lead among superdelegates. Altogether, she already has 394 delegates and superdelegates to Sanders’ 44 — a nearly ninefold lead.”

    Someone at Wikipedia has helpfully compiled a list of 2016 Democratic Superdelegates.

    (Interestingly, among them is a Wendy Davis, but not the Texas Wendy Davis. This Wendy Davis is a city commissioner for Rome, Georgia, a small city of some 35,000+ people. And yes, she’s backing Clinton…)

    Also note that list of 20 “Distinguished Party Leaders,” in addition to your Bill Clintons, Walter Mondales and former DNC heads, includes David Wilhelm, whose claim to being distinguished is…running Bill Clinton’s 1992 Presidential campaign.

    There’s a good chance that Sanders, the candidate whose popularity comes in large measure from complaining that the game is rigged against the little guy, is going to get screwed out of the nomination because the Democratic Party Presidential nomination process is rigged against the little guy…