Screw Puerto Rico

I barely noticed the imbroglio over the Harvard and George Washington studies that contradict the official Hurricane Maria death toll for Puerto Rico by raising the deaths to several thousand, 4,645 for the Harvard Study and over 3,000 for the George Washington University study.  I figured that they were in some way phony, and were just a grab for federal cash, and my checking the methodology of the George Washington University Study showed I was right:

“We implemented the project as three studies, each with specific yet complementary methodologies. Our excess mortality study analyzed past mortality patterns (mortality registration and population census data from 2010 to 2017) in order to predict the expected mortality if Hurricane María had not occurred (predicted mortality) and compare this figure to the actual deaths that occurred (observed mortality).The difference between those two numbers is the estimate of excess mortality due to the hurricane. “

In other words, the studies were simply statistical analyses, with no examination of the actual causes or mortality.  Living in a hurricane zone, I’m well familiar as to how hurricane deaths are actually counted, and that’s through death certificates; the actual causes of death.  Imagine its three days after a hurricane and a family runs their generator inside their home and die of carbon monoxide poisoning (it happens after every hurricane):  That’s a hurricane death.  Choke on a peanut?  Not a hurricane death.   It’s not difficult and doesn’t add up to a requirement to run a statistical analysis of any sort.  Just look at the death certificates.

So in spite of the running around by Puerto Rican officials shopping around these fake reports as a way to say screw Trump and Trump please send us more money, I ignored the issue until I happened to catch this interview with Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló on Morning Joe last week.

Most of the interview is Rosselló making the case for the studies, and the various needs of the island for disaster preparation but there was a point in which I found myself, as the kids say, triggered, by Rosselló’s comments.  Starting around 6:28, “legendary” journalist Mike Barnicle asked Rosselló to make his case for statehood. Rosselló went on to blabber that the only reason that Puerto Rico’s recovery was different from other areas was because Puerto Ricans are treated as second class citizens and Puerto Rico is a colonial possession of the United States, and the “root cause” of the problem is colonialism. He phrased it thusly, “Do you want the United States to be the standard bearer of democracy while carrying colonial territories in the 21st Century? How can you go to Cuba or Venezuela and preach democracy while you have over 3 million US citizens disenfranchised?”

This is his case for statehood?  That the United States is an oppressive colonial power, therefore let us join it?

Throughout history, there has been one solution to imperialism for a colonial territory, independence.  If Rosselló really has a vision of the United States as an imperial boot on the necks of freedom loving Puerto Ricans, that actually really isn’t different from the views of the Cuban and Venezuelan governments toward the United States, and it’s not that different from the view the old Soviet Union for that matter. Why the hell is he serving as governor of a territory that’s, in his view, is an occupied territory?  That makes him no better than a Quisling.

If Rosselló and Puerto Rico feel so damn oppressed by the imperialist colonial running dogs of the United States, I feel the only and correct solution to such an injustice is for Congress to act and grant immediate independence to the “colonial’ territory of Puerto Rico.

Good luck with your next hurricane.

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The Long #resist Funeral

John McCain died Saturday, August 25th.  His funeral was yesterday, September 1st, and today, the news and talking head shows are still talking about him.  I can’t think of any American politician who has this kind of death coverage, not Ronald Reagan, and not Ted Kennedy, each whom had extensive news coverage of their death and funeral, but nothing like this.

In some ways this was far worse than the Paul Wellstone funeral, which is looked on as ground zero by the right of the left politicizing the most sacred and solemn rituals in our culture.  However the leftist protest march that the Wellstone funeral became was spontaneous, or at least not planned by the family.  Of course Wellstone died in a plane crash so he probably hadn’t been thinking of the details of his funeral arrangements. John McCain, on the other hand, had been staring down the barrel of a death sentence for over a year.  He had plenty of time to think about the end, and what sort of message and legacy he wanted to leave.

And the message was revenge.

I find it hard to grasp the kind of hatred that McCain had for Trump that he dedicated his death to him.  In a similar situation, I can’t imagine I would spend my final days trying to get back at someone for some long ago insult.  And yet John McCain, a man who had been extensively tortured by the North Vietnamese for years, was able to forgive them for what they did, but couldn’t begin to put behind him the insult of man who simply said he wasn’t a hero.

That’s an interesting window into McCain’s character; make of that what you will.

FBI Double Down’s on Corruption: Used Leaked Stories to get FISA Warrants

What the…I had just wrote a few days ago how the former FBI Director James Comey lied about reviewing emails having to do with the reopened Clinton email investigation during the final days of the 2016 election. Now in the “hold my beer” department the FBI tries to beat that breach of trust with another.

“An FBI intelligence analyst admitted to House committees last week that bureau officials were known to leak information to the press and then use the resulting articles to help obtain surveillance warrants, according to a source with knowledge of his testimony.

Jonathan Moffa, who worked with controversial former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, testified last Friday behind closed doors before the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight Committee.

The source with knowledge of his statements confirmed to Fox News that Moffa said FBI personnel would use media reports based on information they leaked to justify applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants.

The source told Fox News that Moffa acknowledged this “had been a practice in the past.””

So I feel vindicated in my belief that the FBI needs to be broken apart and demolished.  A free society cannot have this sort of routine lawlessness from their chief law enforcement agency.  Or we can choose not be a free society.

Comey Lied-FBI Hardest Hit

In the hardly breaking news department, comes this story at Real Clear Investigations, “Despite Comey Assurances, Vast Bulk of Weiner Laptop Emails Were Never Examined.”

“When then-FBI Director James Comey announced he was closing the Hillary Clinton email investigation for a second time just days before the 2016 election, he certified to Congress that his agency had “reviewed all of the communications” discovered on a personal laptop used by Clinton’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, and her husband, Anthony Weiner.

At the time, many wondered how investigators managed over the course of one week to read the “hundreds of thousands” of emails residing on the machine, which had been a focus of a sex-crimes investigation of Weiner, a former Congressman.”

Yeah, no shit.  I remember pondering that very same thing in 2016.  The FBI announced that they had found almost 690,000 emails on Huma Abedin’s laptop, then days later the FBI announced, nothing to see here, they’ve all been checked and everything’s fine.  Here’s the thing though, even though I was incredulous that so many emails could actually have been checked so quickly, I believed them.

What a naïve fool I was.

“But virtually none of his account was true, a growing body of evidence reveals.

In fact, a technical glitch prevented FBI technicians from accurately comparing the new emails with the old emails. Only 3,077 of the 694,000 emails were directly reviewed for classified or incriminating information.”

What a difference two years makes.  Now, I think to myself, “Of course they lied!” I regard the FBI as an inherently corrupt institution, one that should be disassembled with the law enforcement functions sent over to the US Marshal’s and spin the counter intelligence functions…somewhere else.  I don’t know if we need a new agency for counterintelligence or  it’s function’s need to be absorbed into another existing agency, but I don’t see how the FBI, as currently constructed, can be allowed to continue to exist.  It’s already shown it’s more than willing to put its thumb on the scale of a US election, and  no government agency should be doing that.

I may still be a naïve fool but I would like to think such reform is still possible.

 

With Sarah Jeong’s Tweets, the Left embraces Tribalism

The New York Times provided several days of amusement this week after hiring racist technology writer Sarah Jeong, with full knowledge of her twitter history.  That history?  Here’s a small sample:

The Times was in full bore defense mode of their pick:

On Thursday, The Times released a statement saying that it knew about the tweets before hiring Ms. Jeong, 30, and that she would stay on the editorial board.

“Her journalism and the fact that she is a young Asian woman have made her a subject of frequent online harassment,” The Times said in its statement. “For a period of time she responded to that harassment by imitating the rhetoric of her harassers. She sees now that this approach only served to feed the vitriol that we too often see on social media.”

So virulent racism is OK as long as it’s used as a counter attack against trolls?  It’s a brand new argument which isn’t even remotely intellectually defensible, but it’s one I’ve seen copied across forums and message boards throughout the week.  Of course at this point I fully expected a defense of her hiring, I was just curious as to what form it would take.  It’s almost disappointing that they put such little effort in mounting a defense.  What makes Jeong’s tweets perfectly acceptable compared to say, Roseanne Barr’s comes down to, “it’s just different OK?”

Just a couple of observations…

In a political sense, this is good news for the GOP. The Democrats have really been driven off the rails this year with the party being pushed into indefensible positions on abolishing ICE and embracing socialism (whatever that means, and I suppose that most have no clue).  This is all in a year when the Democrats should have expected some Congressional gains. Instead, it’s turning into the “I don’t believe in borders, #CancelWhitePeople” party.  If Trump and the GOP have any wit about them, they’ll capitalize on this.  Every Democratic Congressional candidate should be asked about Jeong’s tweets, whether they are acceptable, is the New York Times supporting #CancelWhitePeople? “Candidate A, do you believe that white men are bullshit?”  They need to be made to own their crazy.

Also in a political sense, but in a more long run view, how does being the anti-white party influence Democratic Party prospects?  During the 2016 election, I observed that some of these guys really were serious about having a case of the ass for white people. Key to the Democrat’s “Demography is Destiny” voter replacement plan is that at least for the short run (the next two decades) white voters will continue to vote for the Democrats at about the same percentages.  But how much comparison to white people as “groveling goblins” can Democrat white voters handle?  I’ve no doubt that a certain type of NPR listening, sweater wearing, herbal tea drinking white person, reading Jeong’s tweets, could chuckle and say, “Yes we are the worst!”  Nor would this be anything but catnip to your typical white college radical; but what about families? Does the typical white Democratic voter with children really want to support a party that targets their children and see them as a problem?  I’m not so sure.

And that brings me to my final observation, that the lack of even a pretense of intellectual evenhandedness in the defense of Jeong shows that the left has gone full tribalism.  They are defending Jeong, not because she’s misunderstood, or there is merit to her tweets, but simply because they are in the same tribe and are defending one of their own. We live in an age when intellectual and political arguments are passé. The only thing that matters is which side you are one.

So how will this play out in the midterm elections?  I’ve already made my predictions, but hopefully at least through October Trump should be reminding voters what the “failing New York Times” thinks of them.

 

 

Reuter’s Fake News on the Mueller Indictment

In a busy news week (but aren’t they all these days?) I can barely keep up to read what’s going on, never mind look more deeply into an issue and analyze it.  However, certain things stick out.  And with the latest Mueller indictment of 12 Russian GRU Cyber warriors, a couple of things stuck out.

The Reuters headline to the story, “U.S. indictments show technical evidence for Russian hacking accusations,” was eye popping because I’m not familiar with indictments actually containing evidence, but it wasn’t just a headline blurb that some editor pasted on someone else’s story, it was in the body of the story too:

“SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – U.S. indictments against a dozen Russian intelligence officers on Friday provided detailed technical evidence to back up allegations of Russian hacking and leaking of information to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

The indictment tells a compelling and detailed story, but no evidence.  But such is the strength of Reuter’s reputation that I had a weekend long online argument about whether the indictment consists of “evidence” or not.  But the story in the indictment is good that I didn’t believe that Mueller’s team could have gotten this information.  It had to come from US intelligence sources.  If there is any “evidence’ it resides there, as the article seemed to admit further down:

“Some researchers said the indictment might have depended on U.S. signals intelligence, the fruits of which are rarely revealed, because it quotes electronic messages sent to an unidentified organization presumed to be London-based WikiLeaks.”

Signals Intelligence from the NSA or some other agency makes more sense, but how in the world would that end up in a Justice Department Independent Counsel indictment?  Was it declassified?  Where did it come from?

Well according to Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House select committee on intelligence, in a Daily Caller article:

“…an Intelligence Committee report released to the public on April 27 contained “almost everything” laid out in Mueller’s indictment, which was handed down Friday.

The indictment accuses military intelligence officers with Russia’s GRU of hacking into the DNC and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton campaign’s computer networks and releasing stolen documents through the fake online personas, Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.

Nunes said in an interview on “Fox Sunday Futures” that much of the information was included in Chapter 2 of the House Intelligence Committee’s report, but it was heavily redacted in response to requests from the Department of Justice and intelligence community.”

Hmm.

“Nunes said that the committee’s investigators have had information on the Russian spies for over a year. The committee began investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign back in January 2017. Committee Republicans ended their investigation on March 12, saying that they found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

Nunes said that if the information in the Intelligence Committee’s report had been declassified, “the American people would have known we basically wrote the indictment for Mueller.””

So Nunes is claiming that virtually the entire indictment was lifted from the classified portion of his committee’s report.  A couple of questions come to mind.

Did Mueller get those portions of the report declassified so he could include it on his indictment?

If so, why couldn’t the House Intelligence Committee release these portions of their report?

If Mueller didn’t get the story of the indictment from the House report, where did he get it from?  An intelligence community leak?

If this information wasn’t declassified, didn’t someone or multiple someone’s release that information illegally?

In any case, whether the release was legal or not, it seems the only place this could have come from was the intelligence community, meaning the actual evidence, sources and methods and classified reports, would NEVER be used in an open court.  There is no way to actually prosecute these 12 Russians, even if you get them in the United States and standing before a judge.

It’s Concord Management all over again.

So this is not only fake news, it’s a fake indictment as well.  It’s a good thing that I no longer concentrate on every detail of these investigations in the same way I used to do.  It seems every time I do, I discover I’ve wasted my time on fake news and fake investigations.

 

In SCOTUS Wars, the Dems Main Attack is Fake News

Last night, President Trump barely had the name “Kavanaugh” escape his lips when the MSM started ginning up their smear mill.  This article, deceptively titled Supreme Court nominee has argued Presidents should not be distracted by investigations or lawsuits, was posted on The Washington Post website at 9:01 pm; a minute before Trump had even declared his pick.

So the online commentary started immediately, with this article as the source to declare that Kavanaugh doesn’t believe that the President has to comply with subpoena. The truth is all right there, you just have to sift for it.  The way the Post article described it is thus:

“U.S. Circuit Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy who was nominated replace him, has argued that presidents should not be distracted by civil lawsuits, criminal investigations or even questions from a prosecutor or defense attorney while in office.

Kavanaugh had direct personal experience that informed his 2009 article for the Minnesota Law Review: He helped investigate President Bill Clinton as part of independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr’s team and then served for five years as a close aide to President George W. Bush.

Having observed the weighty issues that can consume a president, Kavanaugh wrote, the nation’s chief executive should be exempt from “time-consuming and distracting” lawsuits and investigations, which “would ill serve the public interest, especially in times of financial or national security crisis.””

But what did Kavanaugh actually write in the Minnesota Law Review?

“…With that in mind, it would be appropriate for Congress to

enact a statute providing that any personal civil suits against

presidents, like certain members of the military, be deferred

while the President is in office. The result the Supreme Court

reached in Clinton v. Jones—that presidents are not constitutionally

entitled to deferral of civil suits—may well have been

entirely correct; that is beyond the scope of this inquiry. But

the Court in Jones stated that Congress is free to provide a

temporary deferral of civil suits while the President is in office.

Congress may be wise to do so, just as it has done for certain

members of the military. Deferral would allow the President

to focus on the vital duties he was elected to perform.”

So what Kavanaugh actually said was that although he thinks it would be a good thing if a President had relief from suits while in office, he agreed with the Court decision in Clinton v. Jones that said he didn’t, and that relief could only come from the legislature.  So Kavanaugh isn’t going to rule that Trump can ignore any subpoenas from the Muller investigation (which is why the left has gone so crazy about this).

It took me all of about 5 minutes to research this and figure it out, but then, I’m not part of the journalist community, who were reporting the left wing blogosphere’s version all day today.

These reporters would really make me feel smart; if I wasn’t so sure they knew exactly what they were doing and were purposefully crafting phony attack lines to feed to an unaware public.