Let the Clinton derangement syndrome begin!

cjones03042015So, Hillary Clinton had her own e-mail account and the frenzy begins:

Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.

Let’s point out something here. The lead says that this may have violated federal requirements. But when did those requirements go into effect?

The Federal Records Act requires government agencies to preserve records documenting the “organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures and essential transactions” of an agency’s business. But it was only last year that Congress passed, and President Barack Obama signed, a law with a series of modern-day changes to improve recordkeeping and preservation. …

The National Archives and Records Administration in September 2013 issued guidance to federal agencies that said federal employees generally shouldn’t use personal email accounts to conduct official business, except in limited situations, such as during emergencies when an official may not be able to access an official account.

That little bit of information comes from the Wall Street Journal, definitely not a Clinton loving news organization. So why is this relevant?

Because Hillary left the State Department in February 2013. The rules that are now twisting everybody’s panties in a bunch DIDN’T EXIST WHEN SHE RAN THE STATE DEPARTMENT!!!

I guess everybody must be upset then because by not having her e-mail handled by the State Department, hackers might have accessed her account and embarrassed the U.S., right?

In November 2010, WikiLeaks collaborated with major global media organisations to release U.S. State department diplomatic “cables” in redacted format. On 1 September 2011, it became public that an encrypted version of WikiLeaks’ huge archive of unredacted U.S. State Department cables had been available via BitTorrent for months and that the decryption key (similar to a password) was available to those who knew where to find it. WikiLeaks blamed the breach on its former publication partner, the UK newspaper The Guardian, and that newspaper’s journalist David Leigh, who revealed the key in a book published in February 2011;[22] The Guardian argued that WikiLeaks was to blame since they gave the impression that the decryption key was temporary (something not possible for a file decryption key).[23] The German periodical Der Spiegel reported a more complex story[24] involving errors on both sides. The incident resulted in widely expressed fears that the information released could endanger innocent lives.[25][26]

Oh, that’s right. Tons of State Department information was hacked. And guess what. None of it was Hillary’s e-mail.

Do we really have to go through GOP congressional hearings on Hillary’s hidden e-mail, which will morph into the next season of “Benghazi’s greatest hits?”

Yep.

And are we going to get a wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth from the pundit class who’ll say that this is just a sign that Hillary shouldn’t be president because she won’t be able to work with the Republican Party and we’ll have four to eight years of conflict if she’s elected?

Yep.

But remember. We heard that in 2008, when everyone said we should pick Barack Obama because it was obvious that he was willing to work with all sides to do what’s best for America, regardless of party affiliation. I mean, we didn’t want to lead to an election result that would produce rancor in out political environment.

And how did that work out for us?

Well, the moral equivalent of Ozzie and Harriet are now in the White House, and Mr. and Mrs. Nelson are accused of being Muslim, Kenyan, socialist, communist, fascist usurpers. I mean, who could have seen that coming? (Other than anyone who was sentient during the Clinton administration?)

The Republican Party will never consider a Democrat as a legitimate resident of the White House. I doesn’t do it with Barack Obama. It didn’t do it with Bill Clinton and it sure as hell isn’t going to do it with the Democrat who inevitably wins the next presidential election, considering the clown show the GOP is preparing to give us when the primaries start.

Fox News in France

OK, so you don’t speak French, but if you stick with this, you’ll understand the reaction the people in Europe have to Fox News’s reports that there are places in Europe that are “no-go zones” because they’ve been taken over by Islamists.

The Parisians have come to the same realization that many of us in America have had for years.

Fox News makes you stupid.

The Earth, and its wealth, at night

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If it were night everywhere at the same time, this is what the Earth would look like (click to enlarge). But that strange statement doesn’t explain the importance of this view. What this image shows us is a representation of global wealth. As Vox puts it:

What you see is that in rich countries, light is largely a proxy for population density. Observe the thick cluster of the US Northeastern Megalopolis and the even bigger cluster in northwestern Europe. In poorer regions, however, the map represents not just population density but also the actual availability of electrical lighting. Huge swathes of Africa are barely illuminated at night, and densely populated India looks rather dim.

But of course, if it were night everywhere, that would mean the sun would be gone and we’d all be dead. Money can’t fix that.

Demonstrations in D.C.

A very busy day in the nation’s capital yesterday (From the Washington Post):

Demonstrations drew thousands of people from around the country to the White House and the streets of downtown Washington on Saturday afternoon in peaceful protests.

In one, participants called for an end to the continued violence between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. At the same time, advocates converged in the District to urge President Obama to take administrative action on issues involving undocumented immigrants. Both groups ended up at the White House in the afternoon, seeking a stage to voice their concerns.

The larger group, supporting the Palestinians, arrived by bus from big cities and many others drove hundreds of miles to participate, organizers said

“Free, free Palestine, killing children is a crime,” the crowd chanted. Several people held Palestinian flags, cardboard boxes representing coffins or posters with graphic images of the wounded. …

… At the same time, hundreds gathered — first at the Mall, and then at Freedom Plaza and at the White House — to push for ­immigration-policy reform..

I don’t usually go around the White House on Saturday, but I was biking to Northwest Washington to see a friend headed off to China, and just saw mobs of people everywhere and a huge police presence around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. For some reason, there were also a lot of people lined up to go on the White House grounds, and I didn’t think they had tours on the weekend.

And I will say that although this story gives the impression that both demonstrations drew equal attention. the reality is that the immigration gathering was nothing compared to the Gaza demonstration. I biked by Freedom Plaza and saw a very small group of people for the immigration rally. And to be honest, I’ve seen more people at the regular Sunday night tango sessions in Freedom Plaza than at the immigration rally.

For those of you who never pay attention to international news, you are aware, in the abstract, that people are getting killed as Israel and Gaza exchange rocket and missile fire. There are pretend cease-fires, but the minute one is announced, it’s broken. This is the death toll so far (click to enlarge):

Gaza-deathsThis is what the Gaza demonstration was about. The slaughter of children. No one would be demonstrating if it was just soldiers and militants killing each other.

What does your nation’s leader drive?

What’s interesting in the following chart is:

1) The queen of England got ripped off.

2) South American leaders drive cheaply (look at Chile and Uruguay).

3) The premise that you can determine a country’s level of corruption by the cost of a head of state’s car is really stretching it.

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