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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Today's Clinton Email Story

The State Department released another 12% of Hillary Clinton's emails this afternoon.  This batch includes more than 200 more emails that contain classified information.  While the classified content was removed, there is enough left to show that the subject matter included clearly classified information like the content of conversations with foreign leaders and an update on the secret contacts between the USA and Iran that led to the negotiations of the nuclear agreement.  Of course, this secret information was all kept on Clinton's private and unsecured email system.  Meanwhile, the FBI has confirmed to Congress that Clinton's system was the subject of multiple attempts by foreign hackers to gain access.  Many of these attempts came from the Russians, but there may have been others as well.

So Hillary put national security secrets on a private unsecured email system which was most likely compromised by the Russians, but nothing more is happening.  For anyone else, there would already have been an indictment followed by a prison sentence.  Maybe president Obama thinks he can still protect Mrs. Clinton.  If so, it just shows the utter contempt in which both Hillary and Obama hold the American people.


Now I'm a Prophet?

Just this morning, I speculated that the Russians might use their air force in Syria to attack the Free Syrian Army, the Sunni Arab non-terrorist opposition to the Assad regime which the USA supports.  Hours later, the Russians bombed that group.  As I predicted, president Obama has done nothing about it. 

Think of what this means.  The entire Middle East understands that in Syria, the Free Syrian Army group was as close to being an American ally as any group could be.  The so called "vetted Syrian rebel force" that Obama tried to establish was to have come from the Free Syrian Army.  Russia is now bombing out ally.  Russia is in an alliance with the Assad regime, Iran and Hezbollah.  Russia is sticking it to the USA and Obama and were are just sitting still; there's no reaction other than some mentions about how we need to talk more to the Russians.  This is an image which the Jordanians, the Turks, the Saudis and the Israelis cannot miss.  It tells them that status as an ally and friend of the USA means nothing if they get attacked.  Obama will not do anything to help them.  With this one move, Putin has proved to the Middle East that, to use the old Chinese expression, America under Obama is a paper tiger.

This is an extremely dangerous situation.  The mischief that can happen in the next sixteen months is huge.  We will need a leader who will be able to extricate us from this mess.  At the moment, despite all the men and women running, there are few good choices.  We can cross off Hillary Clinton; she was the one responsible for the "reset" with Russia that proved to be a na├»ve, misguided and almost delusional policy.  Biden is also part of the group responsible for the failed policy we already have.  Sanders plan for dealing with Russia is to pull all American troops home and to abandon involvement around the world even more than Obama has already done.  Sanders policy is the failed Obama policy on steroids.  On the GOP side, Trump is similarly delusional in his thinking on Syria.  Ben Carson has said little or nothing on the subject; there is no reason to expect that he understands the situation.  In fact, the only one who has indicated any understanding of Russia and Syria and the rest of the foreign policy problems we face is Marco Rubio. 


Dumb and Dumber - 35

Every time I think I have heard the dumbest possible thing coming out of Washington, the inside the Beltway crowd outdoes itself.  Today, Politico is reporting that the Senate Democrats are holding a conclave to hear about the 2016 election strategy of ..... attacking the Koch brothers.  The main proponent of the strategy is Harry Reid and it is being presented by David Brock.  Brock is a political hit man who works for Hillary Clinton, he often seems like he is a few votes short of a quorum.  In any event, this "kill the Kochs" strategy was used repeatedly by the Democrats in 2014 and it was a complete failure.  The Democrats spent tens of millions of dollars to denounce "big money" in politics, and no one cared.  Now Brock and Reid want to do it again in 2016.

The truth is that I hope the Democrats use this strategy.  It will be a waste of time and money.


Why Is It "Business Insider"?

Every day, I get articles from something called Business Insider.  Supposedly, it's about business, but generally it is more about biased liberal Democrat reporting.  Let me give you an example.  Today, there was an article about a poll in which voters were asked to describe Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina in just one word.  The story from Business Insider was quick to emphasize that five and a half percent of respondents called Carly "dishonest" or "liar" or "untrustworthy".  (You need to know that those polled included Democrats as well as Republicans, so these negative responses are not surprising.)  The amazing thing is that a few weeks ago, a similar poll about Hillary Clinton got about 30% of voters calling Hillary Clinton the same three things.  That means that over five times as many people think Hillary is dishonest as compared to Carly Fiorina.  Business Insider, however, "neglected" to mention that comparison.  For them, a small number of people who use that regarding Carly is much more important than a huge number who describe Hillary in that manner.


Is There Anything That Isn't Caused By Global Warming?

The other day, I was told by a friend that the civil war in Syria was the result of global warming.  I know that sounds like the punch line to a joke, but it is the truth.  You see, the fighting in Syria is the result of lower crop yields in Syria due to climate change, or so I was told with a straight face.  I looked on the internet and found a series of articles making this preposterous claim. 

Think about that for a moment.  There is a terrible civil war in Syria with more than a quarter of a million people dead, many more injured and millions homeless.  The war was caused when president Assad decided to try to stop some protests against his regime by killing protesters at random.  Assad's brutality did not stop the protests but instead turned them into a civil war.  Now, the left wants to use this tragedy as yet another example of global warming consequences when the two things are clearly unrelated.

Because there is a supposed relationship between the crops produced in Syria which have supposedly fallen due to global warming, and the onset of the civil war, I decided to look into this.  What I found is that during the period when global warming has supposedly been at its worst (1990 to present), production of the most important crops in Syria have been at historic HIGHS not lows.  Here is a chart from the US Department of Agriculture showing wheat production in Syria over time.  It not only shows that wheat production is more than two times higher than it used to be before global warming kicked in, but also that in the years just prior to the start of the civil war production was growing rather strongly.  That means that there is no truth at all to the claim that global warming is to blame for the Syrian civil war.

I realize that these are facts, so many on the environmental left will want to ignore them.  Nevertheless, it still bothers me that people who ought to know better just don't.  We cannot live in a fantasy world in which leftist delusions triumph over facts. 


The Unprofessional Press

This morning I saw a headline from Politico that announces that Trump had raised the possibility of dropping out of the race.  Wow!  Could the Donald actually be moving on to something else?  I then read the article and found out that Trump was talking about how those in the race whose numbers fall to nothing need to consider getting out.  In other words, Trump was talking about people like Rand Paul or Lindsay Graham who are polling at 1% or even less and was suggesting that they ought to get out of the race like Rick Perry and Scott Walker.  Simply put, the headline by the Politico was false and misleading.  It's sad that so much of the mainstream media feels compelled to use bogus headlines to attack Trump.  This is not a defense of Trump so much as an indictment of the unprofessional press.


Russia and Iran Make Demands

In the last 24 hours, both Russia and Iran have made demands on other countries.  Iran demanded the immediate return by Saudi Arabia of all Iranian victims of the stampede in Mecca during the hadj.  The Saudis are in the process of trying to identify over 700 people trampled to death by their fellow Islamic pilgrims.  It is a slow process, but the Iranians do not seem to care.  Russia demanded that all American air force planes leave Syrian air space.  There are Russian fighter jets flying over Syria and the Kremlin wants all American planes out.  For the moment, the USA is ignoring the demand, but with Obama, one can only assume that we will soon see our forces depart.

What is interesting about these demands is that they are backed up by the threat if not the likelihood of the use of force.  Would Iran take military action against the Saudis?  Maybe.  Iran has a much larger military than the Saudis.  Would the Saudis be able to rely on America to thwart any attack by the Iranians?  Would Obama actually move against his new "friends" in Teheran?  The Saudis have to wonder.  And would the Russians actually use their local forces against American jets?  No.  But the Russians might start using their military in a major way against all of our local allies.  Imagine Russia attacking Kurdish areas in Syria or Iraq.  That could happen.  Imagine Russia attacking the small non-terrorist Sunni Arab opposition to Assad.  That could happen.  Would Obama take any action to help our friends?  Sadly, the answer here is also no.

The real lesson of these demands is that the illustrate just how weak Obama really is.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Next Clinton Mystery

There's a story in the next issue of Forbes that discusses the immense wealth of Hillary and Bill Clinton.  It's true that they don't have anything like what Donald Trump has, but Hillary comes in second among all presidential candidates of either party when it comes to personal wealth.  The woman who claimed to be "dead broke" just 14 years ago has assets worth between 50 and 60 million dollars according to her filings with the government.  But even with these filings, there is a major problem.  According to Forbes, the tax returns filed by the Clintons show that after taxes, political campaigns and charitable contributions, the Clintons ought to have a lot more than they say they do.  In fact, after assuming some pretty heavy expenses for Bill and Hillary, Forbes could not account for more than fifty million dollars that the Clintons reported on their tax returns.  The Forbes people tried for nearly a year to get the Clintons or their campaign staff to explain the missing fifty million dollars, but they go no answers and not even a response.

So why is it important that there is fifty million dollars that the Clintons earned but now claim not to have?  Remember about whom we are speaking; it's the Clintons.  Would it shock anyone to learn that Hillary has been giving money to various political leaders to buy their support for 2016?  Could the Clintons be paying off women that Bill hit on in the past so that they would stay quiet in 2016?  Could the Clintons have investments in other countries that they omitted from their disclosure forms?  The possibilities are limitless.

If this were a candidate we could trust, then the person would be entitled to the benefit of the doubt.  Hillary, however, has made a career out of telling lies and putting out misinformation.  She needs to come clean NOW about where this $50 million went.  As Bill Clinton said in his 2012 speech to the Democrat convention, "the math just doesn't add up."