Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

LinkSwarm for November 4, 2016

Friday, November 4th, 2016

Believe it or not, there is some non-Presidential race news. But yeah, I’m starting with that:

  • Trump takes lead in Florida.
  • Tied in Colorado. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Another poll shows Trump leading in Virginia. Trump jumped 10 points from early October, and Hillary dropped 5 points.
  • Trump up 13 with independents in D+7 poll. That’s a Trump rise of 6 points and a Clinton fall of 7 points. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • And he’s within the margin of error, down only one point in Michigan.
  • Michael Moore on why trump will win: “He is the human Molotov Cocktail that they’ve been waiting for; the human hand grande that they can legally throw into the system that stole their lives from them.”
  • “Former Democrat pollster Pat Caddell says this year’s election could be like 1980 – a 40 state Trump landslide.”
  • Early black voting is down this year. Bad sign for Hillary? Maybe.
  • Why Trump will win, and what comes after:

    Trump will win because:

    • The polls pervasively understate his support (the “shy Trump voter”).

    • Enthusiasm for Clinton is low, enthusiasm for Trump is high. Early voting is showing a pattern closer to 2008 than 2012 (high turnout). Given the enthusiasm gap, this is bad news for Clinton and supports the Shy Trump Voter hypothesis.
    • This (like 2008) is a “Change Election”. Three quarters or more of voters think that the country is on the wrong track. Clinton is the insider, Trump is the outsider. Advantage: Trump.
    • The Clinton camp is paralyzed by the emerging scandals. It’s been 5 days [post is from 11/2 – LP] and there’s no coherent reply to the FBI reopening the email investigation. The paralysis says that Clinton’s inner circle is divided on what to do, and she has poor leadership skills – and so the campaign twists in the wind. This is a very, very bad sign for her.
    • The Marc Rich announcement today is almost inexplicable. There’s no reason that a FOIA request announcement couldn’t wait until after the election. Instead, it came out 4 days after the previous FBI announcement. My take is that Obama has polling showing that she’s going to lose, and lose big. It’s no secret that the Obamas and the Clintons despise each other – this is his chance to dismantle the Clinton machine in the Democratic party (and hill the resulting power vacuum with his people).
    • The UK betting markets are showing the same pattern as before the Brexit vote – a few big money bets on Clinton (as with Remain), but a huge number of small bets on Trump (Leave).
    • Independents are leaving Gary Johnson and breaking hard for Trump. The latest poll from North Carolina has Johnson down 5 and Trump up 5. This feels like more confirmation of the Shy Trump Voter hypothesis.
    • There is very little or no equivalent data pointing to a strengthening by Clinton. If she were actually as far ahead as we’ve been told, there would be evidence dropping from the trees. There isn’t.
  • Florida paper apologizes to readers for such biased, anti-Trump coverage.
  • Things are getting really, really bad in Turkey. This is not a surprise, and the writing was on the wall when the “coup” failed and Erdogan’s crackdown began. But Erdogan’s purge is even more extensive than I anticipated.
  • And Iraq is threatening war with Turkey over Turkish troops in Iraq.
  • Speaking of Iraq, the good news is that Iraqi forces seem to slowly but surely be taking back Mosul from the Islamic State.
  • There’s already a no fly zone in Syria: Russia’s no fly zone.
  • But the press’ instance on focusing on trivia means that we’re not talking about the five wars America is currently involved in.
  • Indeed, the press prefers to talk about Trump’s sex life instead of Hillary’s corruption or the massive failure of ObamaCare.
  • Estonia prepares to defend itself from Russia.
  • “Sheriff Clarke: Gun Control Was Meant to Keep Arms Away from Black People.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Do most felons obtain their gun illegally? Yes. Says who? The felons themselves. (Hat tip: Hsoi.)
  • What China learned from the Gulf War. And what they then unlearned: “China did try adding more officers selected for skills rather than loyalty but since 2010 have shifted back to the “loyalty first” model. This was necessary because of problems eliminating the corruption in the military and the realization that the military would more likely be needed to deal with an internal threat rather than an external one.” (Hat tip: Austin Bay at Instapundit.)
  • ESPN lost 621,000 cable subscribers in October. “Of we’re very conservative and project that ESPN continues to lose 3 million subscribers a year…within five years ESPN will be bringing in less subscriber revenue than they’ve committed for sports rights.” (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • “Science” has its own superstitions. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • America’s first airplane hijacking, from 1939. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Topless, under-age drunk, taking a selfie and crashing into a cop car are no way to go through life, Aggie girl.
  • This Week in Clinton Corruption for October 28, 2016

    Friday, October 28th, 2016

    A huge Clinton Corruption update this week! And who knows how much bigger next week’s will be?

  • Newly leaked memo maps cash flows between the Clinton Foundation and Bill’s for-profit activities:

    We have written frequently in recent weeks about a feud that erupted between Chelsea Clinton and Doug Band back in 2011 after Chelsea raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest between Band’s firm, Teneo, the Clinton Foundation and the State Department (see here, here, here and here). The feud ultimately resulted in Band being forced to draft a memo spelling out, in vivid detail, the many entangled relationships between himself, Teneo, the Clinton Foundation and the State Department. Fortunately, today’s Wikileaks dump included that memo which reveals, for the first time, the precise financial flows between the Clinton Foundation, Band’s firm Teneo Consulting, and the Clinton family’s private business endeavors.

    The memo starts with a brief background on Teneo, which was created in June 2011, shortly after Declan Kelly resigned from his position as “United States Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland,” a position to which he was appointed by Secretary Clinton.

    In June 2009, DK Consulting was founded by Declan Kelley. Mr. Kelly served as COO of FTI Consulting until June 2009, when he stepped down and established DK Consulting. At that time, he also became the United States Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland. Pursuant to the terms of his exit agreement with FTI and consistent with the ethics agreement of his uncompensated special government employee appointment at the State Department, Mr. Kelly retained and continued to provide services to three paying clients (Coke, Dow, and UBS) and one pro bono client (Allstate). In late 2009, Declan retained me as a consultant to DK Consulting to help support the needs of these clients.

    Stop right there. Who takes Allstate, a Fortune 100 company, as a pro bono client?

    Here’s a copy of the document Zero Hedge is relying on (though alas, whoever put that up through some encoding bullshit to keep you from copying from it). Band goes into detail about just how much scratch is involved in scratching the Clintons’ backs:

    “Cognizant of the Foundation’s significant fundraising needs as well as my role as the primary fundraiser for the Foundation for the past 11 years, as a partner in Teneo, Mr. Kelley [sic] and I have asked and encouraged our clients to contribute to the Foundation,” Band wrote. “Through our efforts, we have brought new donors to the Foundation and garnered increased giving from existing donors.”

    And let’s look at the donors (all amounts for the period 2004-2011 except where noted):

    • The Coca-Cola Company: Total giving: $4,330,000

    • The Dow Chemical Company: Total giving: $780,000
    • UBS: Total giving: $540,000
    • The American Ireland Fund: Total giving: $350,000 (all 2010-2011)
    • The All-State [sic] Corporation: Total giving: $265,000 (with an additional $500,000 pledge)
    • Barclays Capital: Total giving: $1,100,000 (2008-2011)
    • Indo Gold: Total giving: $100,000
    • BHP Billiton Limited: Total giving: $20,000
    • Teneo: Total giving: $100,000

    There’s a further list of Teneo clients (GEMS Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Laureate International Universities) who were already donating to the Clinton Foundation.

  • Even the Washington Post was forced to notice:

    The memo, made public Wednesday by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, lays out the aggressive strategy behind lining up the consulting contracts and paid speaking engagements for Bill Clinton that added tens of millions of dollars to the family’s fortune, including during the years that Hillary Clinton led the State Department. It describes how Band helped run what he called “Bill Clinton Inc.,” obtaining “in-kind services for the President and his family — for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like.”

    That’s called “quid pro quo.” Also this: “Emails show that Cheryl Mills, who at the time was serving as Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department, was deeply involved in the foundation’s proceedings.” Yeah, I think that’s been pretty well established at this point. (Hat tip: Powerline.)

  • And remember: Huma Abedin was working for Teneo while she was working for the State Department. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • The Wall Street Journal wonders: Why isn’t the IRS investigating the Clinton Foundation?
  • More Clinton pay to play: “The head of a for-profit university that donated up to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation was rewarded with an invite to a high-profile State Department dinner at the request of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.” (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • The five most disturbing donations to the Clinton Foundation. Including the Saudis, the Russian uranium deal money, and Indonesian tobacco magnate Putera Sampoerna who “donated and worked with the foundation before he got the U.S. government to underwrite millions in loans offered by the foundation and secured high-profile support for its activities from Sec. Clinton and other senior federal officials.”
  • “Five mega-donors and their wives are responsible for one in every $17 dollars that have been spent on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Funny how right when Hillary Clinton came under FBI scrutiny:

    The political backers of a longtime Clinton crony and fixer, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, made $675,000 in cash and in-kind contributions to the election campaign of the wife of the FBI official who later ran the investigation of Mrs. Clinton.”

    As the Wall Street Journal reports, the contributions went to the 2015 Virginia state senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, the wife of then-associate-deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe. McAuliffe had recruited Dr. McCabe to run. After her campaign ended unsuccessfully (Dr. McCabe lost to incumbent Republican Dick Black), Andrew McCabe was promoted to deputy director, a role in which he assumed oversight of the Clinton e-mail investigation.

  • And Hillary headlined a fundraiser for her. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “The fact that Hillary Clinton’s inner circle was raising substantial funds for Gov. McAuliffe’s PAC and this same PAC gave close to a half-million dollars to the campaign of the wife of the senior FBI official involved in the Clinton investigation sure looks like a payoff – a major payoff.”
  • It’s not just the FBI. Department of Justice employees as a whole are hevaily backing Clinton:

    Employees of the Department of Justice, which investigated Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State, gave Clinton 97 percent of their donations. Trump received $8,756 from DOJ employees compared with $286,797 for Clinton. From IRS employees, Clinton received 94 percent of donations.

    Which brings up the question: Why are federal government employees even allowed to make campaign donations?

  • Speaking of the FBI, a retired agent slams James Comey’s non-indictment of Hillary. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Watch Clinton campaign staff take an illegal $20,000 donation on camera.
  • The Clinton Foundation was set up to be corrupt. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Clinton State Department IT official John Bentel takes the Fifth Amendment 90 times. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Was EmailGate buried to protect Obama rather than Clinton?
  • Maybe that’s why the Clinton campaign coordinated with both the White House and the media on how to conduct the coverup.
  • More emails emerge of how Hillary’s secret private server was causing problems at the State Department. More emails that, yet again, Clinton failed to turn over to the FBI.
  • Despite all this, could all 33,000 emails from Hillary’s private serve still exist someplace? (Hat tip: Legal Insurrection.)
  • Yes, Donna Brazile did feed debate questions to the Clinton campaign while working for CNN. Of course, CNN is an extension of the Clinton campaign, so I don’t see how anyone can be surprised.
  • The Clinton campaign is coordinating with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Maybe that’s why some Facebook employees tried to remove a Trump post on Muslims as “hate speech.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The Clinton Clan’s hunger for foreign campaign contributions goes back to at least the 1990s. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Scott Adams endorses Trump for all the bullying Democrats carried out against him and other Americans:

    I’ve been trying to figure out what common trait binds Clinton supporters together. As far as I can tell, the most unifying characteristic is a willingness to bully in all its forms.

    If you have a Trump sign in your lawn, they will steal it.

    If you have a Trump bumper sticker, they will deface your car.

    if you speak of Trump at work you could get fired.

    On social media, almost every message I get from a Clinton supporter is a bullying type of message. They insult. They try to shame. They label. And obviously they threaten my livelihood.

    We know from Project Veritas that Clinton supporters tried to incite violence at Trump rallies. The media downplays it.

    We also know Clinton’s side hired paid trolls to bully online. You don’t hear much about that.

    Yesterday, by no coincidence, Huffington Post, Salon, and Daily Kos all published similar-sounding hit pieces on me, presumably to lower my influence. (That reason, plus jealousy, are the only reasons writers write about other writers.)

    Joe Biden said he wanted to take Trump behind the bleachers and beat him up. No one on Clinton’s side disavowed that call to violence because, I assume, they consider it justified hyperbole.

    Team Clinton has succeeded in perpetuating one of the greatest evils I have seen in my lifetime. Her side has branded Trump supporters (40%+ of voters) as Nazis, sexists, homophobes, racists, and a few other fighting words. Their argument is built on confirmation bias and persuasion. But facts don’t matter because facts never matter in politics. What matters is that Clinton’s framing of Trump provides moral cover for any bullying behavior online or in person. No one can be a bad person for opposing Hitler, right?

  • More from Adams: The Crook vs. the Monster.
  • Clinton campaign staffer: So, how are we going to handle all this Bill Clinton/Bill Cosby comparisons? Response: [Silence] (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Erica Garner rips Hillary for trying to make political hay out of her father’s death.
  • “Hillary Clinton campaign aides had a frantic email exchange in August 2015 over who should call the candidate to ‘sober her up some’ at around 4:30 in the afternoon.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Another story on Hillary’s health:

    Sources close to Hillary tell me that her doctors have discovered she suffers from arrhythmia (an abnormal heart beat) and a leaking heart valve. They have recommended that she consider having valve replacement surgery, but Hillary has refused because she does not want to risk the negative political fallout from stories about such a serious operation.

    In addition to the arrhythmia and leaking heart valve, Hillary suffers from chronic low blood pressure, insufficient blood flow, a tendency to form life-threatening blood clots, and troubling side effects from her medications.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine attracts all of 30 people to a rally in Florida. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • And just before I clicked the Publish button, Wikileaks dropped another 1,400 Podesta emails. With the Clintons, corruption never takes a holiday…

    Syria: Sometimes All the Options Are Bad

    Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

    Certain factions of the Washington establishment (here’s a good example) are demanding that Obama “do something” to stop the fighting around Aleppo in Syria, the “something” in this case being the threat of force, or even actual use thereof, to stop Russian airstrikes and prevent a “humanitarian disaster.” And Hillary Clinton is calling for a no-fly zone.

    To which I reply: Why?

    We can’t back the good guys in the Syrian civil war because there are no good guys. Assad’s ruling faction are scumbags. The Russians backing Assad are scumbags. Hezbollah, fighting on Assad’s side, are scumbags. The Iranian mullahs backing Assad are scumbags. Turkey is currently ruled by Erdogan’s Islamist scumbags, and Turkey is more interested in attacking the Kurds than the Islamic State. The Free Syrian Army is riddled with Islamist scumbags. The al-Nusra front are scumbags. The Islamic State is made up of the very worst scumbags in the region (and world). The only notable faction that aren’t scumbags are the Kurds, who, as an ethnic and geographic minority, are in no position to rule Syria, or even a significant fraction of it.

    To the extent that Obama’s imaginary red lines and desultory, ineffectual backing of Syrian rebel groups have harmed America’s reputation for competence in the region, the damage has already been done. (Indeed, the Obama/Clinton/Kerry strategy for fomenting regime change in the hope that things would turn out better, like a liberal funhouse mirror distorted reflection of George W. Bush’s far more limited regime change goals in Iraq, have made things worse across the region.) We have no pressing national interest at stake in the Syrian civil war, there’s not a contending faction (outside the peripherally-involved Kurds) worth backing, and it’s not apparent what such an intervention might reasonably achieve.

    All of which makes me incredulous when I read pieces that suggest that Obama is considering military actions in Syria.

    Even some on the right have been agitating for the United States to “do something” in Syria, and S. E. Cupp’s Twitter timeline has gone to an “all heart-tugging photos of Syrian children” format without saying why it is the United State’s interest to intervene in Syria or proposing anything concrete as to what form that intervention should take.

    A large part of the current push to intervene in Syria seems to be coming from an interest group called The Syria Campaign. Who is behind it?

    From that Zero Hedge piece:

    A careful look at the origins and operation of The Syria Campaign raises doubts about the outfit’s image as an authentic voice for Syrian civilians, and should invite serious questions about the agenda of its partner organizations as well.
    A creation of international PR firms

    Best known for its work on liberal social issues with well-funded progressive clients like the ACLU and the police reform group, Campaign Zero, the New York- and London-based public relations firm Purpose promises to deliver creatively executed campaigns that produce either a “behavior change,” “perception change,” “policy change” or “infrastructure change.” As the Syrian conflict entered its third year, this company was ready to effect a regime change.

    On Feb. 3, 2014, Anna Nolan, the senior strategist at Purpose, posted a job listing. According to Nolan’s listing, her firm was seeking “two interns to join the team at Purpose to help launch a new movement for Syria.”

    At around the same time, another Purpose staffer named Ali Weiner posted a job listing seeking a paid intern for the PR firm’s new Syrian Voices project. “Together with Syrians in the diaspora and NGO partners,” Weiner wrote, “Purpose is building a movement that will amplify the voices of moderate, non-violent Syrians and mobilize people in the Middle East and around the world to call for specific changes in the political and humanitarian situation in the region.” She explained that the staffer would report “to a Strategist based primarily in London, but will work closely with the Purpose teams in both London and New York.”

    On June 16, 2014, Purpose founder Jeremy Heimans drafted articles of association for The Syria Campaign’s parent company. Called the Voices Project, Heimans registered the company at 3 Bull Lane, St. Ives Cambridgeshire, England. It was one of 91 private limited companies listed at the address. Sadri would not explain why The Syria Campaign had chosen this location or why it was registered as a private company.

    Along with Heimans, Purpose Europe director Tim Dixon was appointed to The Syria Campaign’s board of directors. So was John Jackson, a Purpose strategist who previously co-directed the Burma Campaign U.K. that lobbied the EU for sanctions against that country’s ruling regime. (Jackson claimed credit for The Syria Campaign’s successful push to remove Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad’s re-election campaign ads from Facebook.) Anna Nolan became The Syria Campaign’s project director, even as she remained listed as the strategy director at Purpose.

    From The Syria Campaign’s own website:

    The Syria Campaign is a non-profit organisation registered as a company in the United Kingdom as The Voices Project—company number 8825761. (You can’t be a registered charity in the UK if most of your work is campaigning.)

    We have a Governing Board who are legally responsible for the organisation and oversee strategy and finance for The Syria Campaign. The board members are Daniel Gorman, Ben Stewart, Sawsan Asfari, Tim Dixon and Lina de Sergie.

  • Jeremy Heimans co-founded “a campaign group in the U.S. presidential elections that used crowd-funding to help a group of women whose loved ones were in Iraq hire a private jet to follow Vice-President Dick Cheney on his campaign stops, in what became known as the “‘Chasing Cheney’ tour” among other leftist activism.
  • Daniel Gorman heads “the UK’s largest festival of contemporary Arab culture.”
  • Ben Stewart is a Greenpeace activist who has a grudge against Russia for detaining 30 of his fellow travelers.
  • Sawsan Asfari is “active in various charities that help Palestinians across the Arab world” and is the wife of Syrian-born British billionaire Ayman Asfari.
  • Lina de Sergie seems to more commonly go by Lina Sergie Attar. “She is a Syrian-American architect and writer from Aleppo. She co-developed Karam’s Innovative Education initiatives: the creative therapy and holistic wellness program for displaced Syrian children and the Karam Leadership Program, an entrepreneurship and technology program for displaced Syrian youth.” Yes, I’m sure “holistic wellness” is a big priority for Syrian refugees. Karam’s Mission Statement: “We develop Innovative Education programs for Syrian refugee youth, distribute Smart Aid to Syrian families, and fund Sustainable Development projects initiated by Syrians for Syrians.”
  • Tim Dixon has quite an extensive resume, being a former speechwriter to two Australian Labor Party Prime Ministers and involved in a large number of causes:

    – a large-scale initiative to help change hearts and minds on the global refugee crisis;
    – The Syria Campaign, to move the world to action on the humanitarian crisis in Syria;
    – Everytown, the movement to tackle gun violence in America

  • Etc.

    So, to summarize: It’s run by international left-wing activists in favor of Europe accepting more “Syrian” “refugees”, soft jihadis, and gun banners.

    These are not the sort of people I want driving American national security decisions.

    The situation in Syria is horrible, but outside territory held by the Islamic State, it’s the same type of horrible that has plagued the Middle East pretty much constantly absent control by a ruling power with sufficient force to keep the endemic ethnic strife under wraps. Wars there are fought under Hama rules, not those of the Geneva Convention.

    It is not in the best interests of the United States to intervene militarily in Syria. We have no compelling national security interest in Syria right now, there’s no faction worth backing, and trying to “create safe areas” or “establish no-fly zones” would be dangerous, cost-prohibitive and unlikely to succeed.

    Sometimes the best choice is doing nothing at all.

    LinkSwarm for October 24, 2016

    Monday, October 24th, 2016

    The latest Clinton Corruption update pushed the LinkSwarm to Monday:

  • National Review published Victor Davis Hanson’s endorsement of Donald Trump. And the moon became as blood…
  • Trump leading in poll that has best track record over last three elections.”

    The poll with the best track record over the last three presidential elections gave Donald Trump a 2-percentage-point edge over Hillary Clinton on Saturday.

    The Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP tracking poll has Trump with 42.1 percent and Clinton at 39.7 percent.

  • Thoughts on #NeverTrump: “They are putting a great volume of energy into bringing about a disaster, for which they will not take any ownership.”
  • No one trusts the media anymore. “Only one in nine Americans believes that Hillary Clinton is ‘honest and trustworthy.’ They don’t trust the media’s cover-up of her misdeeds, and the cover-up of the cover-up of the cover-up.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Why I Now Feel Compelled To Vote For Trump“:

    More than anything, I can’t sit idly by and allow these perpetrators of fraud to celebrate and leak tears of joy like they did when they helped elect Barack Obama in 2008. I have to know I weighed in not only in writing but in the voting booth. The media needs to be destroyed. And although voting for Trump won’t do it, it’s something. Essentially, I am voting for Trump because of the people who don’t want me to, and I believe I must register my disgust with Hillary Clinton.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • And speaking of media bias, the Rolling Stone campus rape hoax case goes to trial. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Here’s a New Yorker piece on the failure of the Euro. It provides a good, but incomplete, overview of the Euro’s failure (nowhere does it note that Europe’s cradle-to-grave welfare state is unsustainable, and it fails to note that none of the nations practicing “austerity” in southern Europe have cut outlays to match receipts). And the myopic policy prescription offered is, of course, more central planning. But there are some good bits. Like this:

    The U.S. unemployment rate hit ten per cent for a single month in 2009 and is now below five per cent; the eurozone unemployment rate hit ten per cent around the same time, and is still in double digits. In some European countries, youth unemployment is more than forty per cent. America’s economy is bigger than it was when the crisis hit. The eurozone’s is smaller. To take just one example, Italy, the third-largest economy in the eurozone, has a per-capita G.D.P. that’s lower than it was at the end of the last century.

    Also this:

    Stiglitz observes that if the countries that committed to the single currency in 1992 had known what they know now, and if people had had the chance to vote on the proposal, “it is hard to see how they could have supported it.” That’s a hell of an indictment.

  • Hey, remember how we were told California’s assisted suicide law would only apply to terminally ill people who wanted to die? Now insurance companies are enouraging suicide rather than pay for life-extending drug treatments.
  • Even The New York Times figures out that new gun laws wouldn’t prevent most mass shootings.
  • Russia is conducting nuclear survival drills. (WSJ hoops apply.) Good thing we have Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama running things rather than that warmonger Bush… (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • College isn’t for everyone:

    But if you’re not sure yet what you want to do, then take time to decide before you spend $30,000, $50,000, or $100,000 you don’t have for something you don’t need. In the meantime, start working. You’ll probably only find low-paying, hard-working jobs at first, but guess what? If you go to college, you’ll be working those same jobs when you get out, only you’ll be four years older and fifty grand poorer.

  • Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have discovered a chemical reaction to turn CO2 into ethanol. Better idea than corn subsidies…
  • The Large Hadron Collider “nightmare scenario has come true:

    For the last ten years you’ve been told that the LHC must see some new physics besides the Higgs because otherwise nature isn’t “natural” – a technical term invented to describe the degree of numerical coincidence of a theory. I’ve been laughed at when I explained that I don’t buy into naturalness because it’s a philosophical criterion, not a scientific one. But on that matter I got the last laugh: Nature, it turns out, doesn’t like to be told what’s presumably natural.

  • Hamilton County, Tennessee doesn’t monitor parole tracking devices outside business hours. A good thing people never commit parole violations nights and weekends… (Hat tip: Fark.)
  • This just in: Democratic Representative Shelia Jackson Lee is still an idiot.
  • AT&T trying to buy Time Warner. I’ve got a bad feeling about this…
  • Internet-connected CCTV cameras made by Chinese firm Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology seemed to make up the heart of the botnet used in Friday’s DDoS attack.
  • Yuan hits all time low against the dollar.
  • Microsoft Surface sucks.
  • Texas is goat country.
  • Clinton Corruption/Election Update for August 4, 2016

    Thursday, August 4th, 2016

    Hillary Clinton corruption! The 2016 Presidential race! Two not-so-great tastes that taste absolutely rancid together!

    Let’s tuck in, shall we?

  • How the DNC used its illegal favoring of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders to break campaign finance laws:

    A joint fundraising committee called the Hillary Victory Fund, ostensibly designed to funnel money from rich donors to local party committees, had in fact been used as a cut-out to funnel money back to the national party and the Clinton campaign.

    As an example, take couples who paid or raised $353,400 to sit at a table with George Clooney, a sum that Clooney himself called an “obscene amount of money.” The figure represented the maximum allowable donation given the structure of the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint venture between the Clinton campaign, the DNC and 32 state committees.

    Donors can give a maximum of $5,400 per election cycle to Hillary’s campaign, $33,400 per year to the DNC, and $10,000 per year to each of the 32 state committees in the fund.

    If you assumed that the Clooney guests had already given their maximum $5,400 to the Clinton campaign, that left just over $353,000 for the DNC and the committees.

    But Vogel and Arnsdorf found that less than 1 percent of the $61 million raised by the Hillary Victory Fund went to the state committees.

    Actually it’s better to say that only 1 percent of the money “remained” with the committees. In talking to state sources, the Politico reporters found that large sums of money would sometimes appear briefly in state committee coffers, and disappear just as quickly, and then just as quickly be deposited into DNC accounts.

    The money sometimes came and went before state officials even knew it was there. Politico noted that the Victory Fund treasurer, Beth Jones, is also the COO of the Clinton campaign.

  • “Hillary Clinton’s relationship to the truth is akin to a mass murderer’s relationship with his victims. She is a Charles Manson of falsehood.”
  • The complete Huma Abedin report. Among her State Department duties: Determining if the speeches Bill Clinton gave for big while Hillary was Secretary of State were “appropriate” at the same time she was also working for the Clinton Foundation. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • How Hillary eased the way for Russian state tech company Skolkvovo to receive tech and money transfers from U.S. tech giants like Intel and Cisco. “Many of the key figures in the Skolkovo process—on both the Russian and U.S. sides—had major financial ties to the Clintons. During the Russian reset, these figures and entities provided the Clintons with tens of millions of dollars, including contributions to the Clinton Foundation, paid for speeches by Bill Clinton, or investments in small start-up companies with deep Clinton ties.”
  • “At least a handful of the State Department’s global health efforts relied on drug companies that were also major Clinton Foundation donors in arrangements that raise questions about the distance Clinton kept from her family’s philanthropy.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Hillary Clinton still hasn’t given a straight answer on her emails. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Walid Shoebat says that Khizr Khan has a long history of supporting Sharia law and the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Which explains why after he gave his DNC speech attacking Trump, Khizr deleted the website of his business supporting Muslim immigration.
  • Charles Woods, father of dead Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods: “I know who should apologize, and that would be Hillary Clinton, for lying to the American families who lost their loved ones as well as to the American public,”
  • Examining Trump’s “racism” it seems that a lot of Trump’s “racist” incidents have no objective proof they ever happened.
  • “We had a few stories on the front page yesterday that were critical of Clinton. Whenever those stories were in the top slot, traffic bombed. Put up a story about Trump, the traffic goes back up. Clinton’s actual presence is beside the point. Everything is about what prism you view the phenomenon of Trump through.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Trump is Fishtown’s revenge. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Leftwing Democrats now favor Palestine over Israel. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The Panama Papers:
    The Clinton-Putin Connection

    Friday, April 8th, 2016

    Among my first thoughts when the Panama papers scandal broke was “How soon until until this is tied to the Clintons?”

    The answer seems to be about four days:

    The revelations of the so-called Panama Papers that are roiling the world’s political and financial elites this week include important facts about Team Clinton. This unprecedented trove of documents purloined from a shady Panama law firm that arranged tax havens, and perhaps money laundering, for the globe’s super-rich includes juicy insights into how Russia’s elite hides its ill-gotten wealth.

    Almost lost among the many revelations is the fact that Russia’s biggest bank uses The Podesta Group as its lobbyist in Washington, D.C. Though hardly a household name, this firm is well known inside the Beltway, not least because its CEO is Tony Podesta, one of the best-connected Democratic machers in the country. He founded the firm in 1998 with his brother John, formerly chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, then counselor to President Barack Obama, Mr. Podesta is the very definition of a Democratic insider. Outsiders engage the Podestas and their well-connected lobbying firm to improve their image and get access to Democratic bigwigs.

    Which is exactly what Sberbank, Russia’s biggest financial institution, did this spring. As reported at the end of March, the Podesta Group registered with the U.S. Government as a lobbyist for Sberbank, as required by law, naming three Podesta Group staffers: Tony Podesta plus Stephen Rademaker and David Adams, the last two former assistant secretaries of state. It should be noted that Tony Podesta is a big-money bundler for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign while his brother John is the chairman of that campaign, the chief architect of her plans to take the White House this November.

    Sberbank (Savings Bank in Russian) engaged the Podesta Group to help its public image—leading Moscow financial institutions not exactly being known for their propriety and wholesomeness—and specifically to help lift some of the pain of sanctions placed on Russia in the aftermath of the Kremlin’s aggression against Ukraine, which has caused real pain to the country’s hard-hit financial sector.

    It’s hardly surprising that Sberbank sought the help of Democratic insiders like the Podesta Group to aid them in this difficult hour, since they clearly understand how American politics work. The question is why the Podesta Group took Sberbank’s money. That financial institution isn’t exactly hiding in the shadows—it’s the biggest bank in Russia, and its reputation leaves a lot to be desired. Nobody acquainted with Russian finance was surprised that Sberbank wound up in the Panama Papers.

    though Sberbank has its origins in the nineteenth century, it was functionally reborn after the Soviet collapse, and it the 1990s it grew to be the dominant bank in the country, today controlling nearly 30 percent of Russia’s aggregate banking assets and employing a quarter-million people. The majority stockholder in Sberbank is Russia’s Central Bank. In other words, Sberbank is functionally an arm of the Kremlin, although it’s ostensibly a private institution.

    Snip.

    John and Tony Podesta aren’t fooling anyone with this ruse. They are lobbyists for Vladimir Putin’s personal bank of choice, an arm of his Kremlin and its intelligence services. Since the brothers Podesta are presumably destined for very high-level White House jobs next January if the Democrats triumph in November at the polls, their relationship with Sberbank is something they—and Hillary Clinton—need to explain to the public.

    So in summary: Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager is a registered lobbyist for Vladimir Putin.

    The Clintons generate corruption and conflict of interest the way bees make honey…

    Putin and the Panama Papers

    Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

    Here’s a potentially huge scandal that’s just unfolding now:

    An unprecedented leak of more than 11 million documents, called the “Panama Papers”, has revealed the hidden financial dealings of some of the world’s wealthiest people, as well as 12 current and former world leaders and 128 more politicians and public officials around the world.

    More than 200,000 companies, foundations and trusts are contained in the leak of information which came from a little-known but powerful law firm based in Panama called Mossack Fonseca, whose files include the offshore holdings of drug dealers, Mafia members, corrupt politicians and tax evaders – and wrongdoing galore.

    The law firm is one of the world’s top creators of shell companies, which can be legally used to hide the ownership of assets. The data includes emails, contracts, bank records, property deeds, passport copies and other sensitive information dating from 1977 to as recently as December 2015.

    It allows a never-before-seen view inside the offshore world — providing a day-to-day, decade-by-decade look at how dark money flows through the global financial system, breeding crime and stripping national treasuries of tax revenues.

    There’s 2.6 terrabytes of data released, including Donald Trump’s favorite Russian dictator:

    The most extraordinary allegations in the archive revolve around Putin’s closest associates, including Sergey Roldugin, a close friend since the late 1970s when Putin was a young KGB agent.

    Roldugin is a cellist for the St Petersburg orchestra, yet his name appears as the owner of offshore companies that have rights to loans worth hundreds of millions of dollars. A Russian news service report in 2010 disclosed that he owned at least three per cent of Bank Rossiya, Russia’s most important bank.

    When Mossack Fonseca helped open a bank account in Switzerland on behalf of Roldugin, the application form asked if he had “any relation to PEPs (politically exposed persons) or VIPs.”

    The one-word answer was, “No.” Yet, Roldugin is godfather to Putin’s daughter Mariya.

    “Roldugin is, by his proximity to a serving head of state, clearly an exposed person,” Mark Pieth, a former head of the Swiss justice ministry’s organized crime division, told the ICIJ team.

    The documents show how in 2008 a company controlled by Roldugin had influence over Russia’s largest truck maker Kamaz, joining with several other offshore companies to help another Putin insider acquire majority control of the company. They wanted foreign investment, and German carmaker Daimler later that year bought a 10 per cent stake in Kamaz for $250 million.

    The offshore company that connects many Putin loyalists is Sandalwood Continental Limited in the British Virgin Islands. Roldugin was a shareholder until 2012, as was Oleg Gordin, a little-known businessman whom incorporation documents describe as linked to “law enforcement agencies.”

    The files also mention a company co-owned by Putin friend Yury Kovalchuk, the largest shareholder of Bank Rossiya. Kovalchuk was among those targeted by US sanctions in 2014 in retribution for Russia’s invasion of Crimea. Another friend, Arkady Rotenberg, Putin’s judo partner and a billionaire construction mogul, openly obtained companies through Mossack Fonseca. The US Treasury Department, when sanctioning him in 2014, suggested that the oligarch acted on behalf of “a senior official.”

    That was widely believed to mean Putin, whose fingerprints were not on any offshore company.

    The fact that Putin is lining the pockets of himself and his cronies is hardly shocking, but having concrete proof of it is a different thing altogether.

    Strangely, the web page for the papers run by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists‎, doesn’t seem to have any Americans fingered by the papers yet. There’s a good chance that could change.

    Developing…

    LinkSwarm for April 1, 2016

    Friday, April 1st, 2016

    Happy April Fools day! No tricks here, just the usual Friday LinkSwarm:

  • ObamaCare didn’t do jack to lower costs. (Hat tip Instapundit.)
  • Indeed, Obamacare is the fail that keeps failing: “As a result of the ACA, between 4 million and 9 million fewer people are projected to have employment-based coverage each year from 2017 through 2026 than would have had such coverage if the ACA had never been enacted.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Great news! The Nigerian Army has rescued rescued 800 Boko Haram hostages. That’s compared to the number of those hostages rescued by the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag, which is (stops, counts, carries the one) Zero.
  • Bad news: They just kidnapped 300 more. (Hat tip: Weasel Zippers.)
  • Following the Brussels attack, the standard ruling class rituals of aversion are in full bloom.
  • Donald Trump suggested targeting the families of terrorists. Putin’s Russia does exactly that.
  • The Obama Administration treats Little Sisters of the Poor worse than Exxon, Visa and Pepsi, all of whom have health plans lacking the abortion mandate. Then again, as Instapundit noted: “To be fair, that was basically because they hate those groups and wanted to punish them.”
  • Xi Jinping has accumulated more power than any leader since Mao. “He has been fighting dissent with even more ruthlessness than he has been waging war on graft. Not since the dark days after the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 has there been such a sweeping crackdown on critics of the party.”
  • Belgium’s current crises sounds an awful lot like where California is headed: Expensive government that’s congenitally incapable of solving problems.
  • Canadian bank depositors are now officially at risk of bail-ins.
  • David Brin says the Amendment that most protects the right of citizens to film interactions with the police is the Sixth.
  • Rob Ford was more than just a loud-mouth drunk. “Ford was a political pragmatist who simply didn’t give a damn what anyone thought about him other than his constituents. It was that gumption that endeared him to hundreds of thousands of Torontonians.”
  • Supergenius New Yorker writer thinks Arizona is next to Texas.

    Screen shot 2016-03-23 at 10.56.52 PM

    (Screen shot has been included because the article has been edited and no notice made of the deleted error.)

  • Illegal alien rapes 12-year old. (Hat tip: Director Blue.
  • Lake Travis hits full again.
  • Hulk Hogan may have just destroyed Gawker.” Well, we can only hope…
  • Lunatic hoplophobe associate professor of English calls 911 to report ROTC maneuvers on campus at the University of North Dakota. (Hat tip: Tam.)
  • Old and Busted: The Suicide Prevention Hotline. The New Hotness: The Suicide Encouragement Hotline. Not an April Fools joke, alas…
  • Why grackles love supermarket parking lots.
  • Burka-Clad Babysitter Decapitates 4-Year Old Girl, Carries Head Through Streets of Moscow Shouting “Allah Akbar”

    Monday, February 29th, 2016

    You really have to commit an extra–special atrocity to stand out from the usual jihad atrocities, but a Burka-clad babysitter has managed the trick by decapitating a 4-year old girl in her care, then walking through streets of Moscow carrying the severed head and shouting “Allah Akbar!”

    See, you couldn’t get away with that in fiction. Even editors who wouldn’t automatically reject it due to political correctness would still reject it on grounds of subtlety…

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

    LinkSwarm for March 27, 2015

    Friday, November 27th, 2015

    Here’s a Black Friday LinkSwarm you can while away your time with while waiting 5 hours in line to save 78¢ off a turkey baster:

  • Obama’s greatest legacy: downsizing the Democratic Party:

    In January, Republicans will occupy 32 of the nation’s governorships, 10 more than they did in 2009. Democratic losses in state legislatures under Mr. Obama rank among the worst in the last 115 years, with 816 Democratic lawmakers losing their jobs and Republican control of legislatures doubling since the president took office — more seats lost than under any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    “Republicans have more chambers today than they have ever had in the history of the party,” said Tim Storey, an analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “So they are in a dominant and historic position of strength in the states.”

  • Which of the GOP’s candidates beat Hillary? All of them.
  • Cruz is surging,
  • No, Ted Cruz did not support illegal alien amnesty (unlike Marco Rubio).
  • Ted Cruz’s plausible path to the Presidency.
  • More ObamaCare rate hikes coming down the pike. Houston has zero PPO plans through ObamaCare, and Dallas is suffering the largest rate hikes.
  • This month’s victims getting specially reamed by ObamaCare are (rolls dice)…graduate students, who by law can no longer be covered by university insurance programs. Oh, the irony…
  • Crimea power grid knocked offline.
  • Russia to seek economic revenge against Turkey over downed jet. Ukraine says “Cry me a river.”
  • The Antarctic has been cooling the last six years.
  • Black America’s addiction to conspiracy theories.
  • Spy Jonathan Pollard released. His supporters want Obama to rescind the conditions of his parole so he can move to Israel. It’s a tough case for Obama: He loves letting traitors off easy, but he hates Israel…
  • Hillary Clinton may be soft on terrorism, but she’s tough on the real threats to our nation: comedians making fun of her:

    In what appears to be a first for a serious presidential contender, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is going after five comedians who made fun of the former Secretary of State in standup skits at a popular Hollywood comedy club.

    A video of the short performance, which is less than three minutes, is posted on the website of the renowned club, Laugh Factory, and the Clinton campaign has tried to censor it. Besides demanding that the video be taken down, the Clinton campaign has demanded the personal contact information of the performers that appear in the recording. This is no laughing matter for club owner Jamie Masada, a comedy guru who opened Laugh Factory more than three decades ago and has been instrumental in launching the careers of many famous comics. “They threatened me,” Masada told Judicial Watch. “I have received complains before but never a call like this, threatening to put me out of business if I don’t cut the video.”

  • Crew member on radical feminist “campus rape epidemic” film The Hunting Ground alters Wikipedia to conform to film’s skewed view of events, in violation of Wikipedia policy.
  • Eric S. Raymond examines a recent police shooting a lot of people are talking about: “I would have said this was what cops call a ‘good shoot’ if it had stopped at the first two bullets. It didn’t. I don’t think this was murder one, but it was at least criminally negligent homicide and those who covered it up should be prosecuted along with Van Dyke.” Unlike, he points out, the fully justified Michael Brown shooting. Also this: “And that racial spin? Plain bullshit. Those cops were facing an angel-dusted thug brandishing a weapon; that was pretty much bound to end badly whether the thug was black, white, or purple polka-dotted.”
  • The “red mercury” scam is back. And the Islamic State is the latest patsy to fall for it. Plus some loony local embellishments:

    ‘‘Red mercury has a red color, and there is mercury that has the color of dark blood,’’ he said. ‘‘And there is green mercury, which is used for sexual enhancement, and silver mercury is used for medical purposes. The most expensive type is called Blood of the Slaves, which is the darkest type. Magicians use it to summon jinni.’’

  • Andre Glucksmann dies.
  • What War on Christmas?

  • Winners and Losers from Houston’s election (better late than never).
  • Refugio Mayor Joey Heard arrested on drug charges. Refugio is a town between Victoria and Corpus,
  • Texas Democratic State Ron Rep. Reynolds convicted of barratry.
  • Annals of criminal genius: Trying to assault someone while in the courtroom for your third attempted murder trial. “At some point in time, you’ve got to stop shooting people.”
  • The Bring Back Mystery Science Theater 3000 kickstarter not only hit their goal, the just passed $3 million and are bringing on Felicia Day as the next mad scientist.
  • I laughed.