Black Flag

SCENE:  A conference room at the FBI in Quantico, Virginia.   Special Agent Charles SIEGELMEYER, in charge of the Russian Online Political Espionage (ROPE) desk, sits at the head of the table.

In the room are Jared SCHLAUTERMEYER, a cybersecurity analyst with the ROPE desk, Juliana SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO, a senior Russian policy analyst, and Oscar VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ, from the Central Intelligence Agency.    SIEGELMEYER convenes the meeting.

SIEGELMEYER: OK.  Welcome to the task force on Russian political cyberespionage.   Juliana, do we have an update on the Clinton case?

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:  Nothing, really.  Nobody, either at State or at FBI can tell what Putin would stand to gain by punking Clinton.

SIEGELMEYER:  Devil’s advocate here – less defense of the Baltic States?

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:   At the risk of getting all of Europe to start rebuilding its military?

SIEGELMEYER:  I agree.  At worst, I think Putin is just imparting chaos, because…

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:  …chaos increases your options.

SIEGELMEYER:  Jared?

SCHLAUTERMEYER:  Well, so far it’s just a story. Nothing hard to pin it on.

SIEGELMEYER:  Huh.  So it sounds like this investigation…

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO: …is at a standstill?

(SIEGELMEYER, SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO and SCLAUTERMAYER nod glumly)

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  Let me interrupt here…?

SIEGELMEYER:  I’m sorry – this is Oscar Villanueva-Lopez, from the CIA.  You’re from the…

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  I’m from the Cuba desk.  And we’ve really got one theory here.

SIEGELMEYER: Shoot.

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:  Let’s hear it.

SCHLAUTERMEYER:  Anything’s better than nothing.

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  So the question is “who is running a cybermole operation in the US, we’ve had one big clue to work with.  In Cuba, the people at the top of the food chain are given to giving these loooooong speeches – four, five, even six or seven hours.  They just go on and on.  And sometimes it’s just babble; they’re not a whole lot more “accurate” than Kim Jong Un, plus they’re all full of that Latino sense of drama.  It literally is about hearing their gums flap.

SIEGELMEYER:  Interesting.

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:  Huh

SCHLAUTERMEYER:  Fascinating.

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  Now, at the CIA, one of our analytical tools is “Berg’s Law“, specifically Berg’s Seventh Law…

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:   …Oh, yeah!  “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character, humanity or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.”

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  Wow – you use Berg’s Seventh here at FBI, too?

SIEGELMEYER:  Absolutely.

(SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO and SCHLAUTERMEYER nod in enthusiastic agreement)

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  Excellent.  So the DNC has accused the GOP of colluding with a foreign power, that means…

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:  Someone at the DNC is colluding with a foreign power.

SCHLAUTERMEYER:  Damn.

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  And the Russians are know to work through proxies.  What you need to do is find a long-winded liberal commentator who makes endless proclamations, puffed up with lots of drama and strurm und drang, but all talk.  Not just any long-winded BSers – the longest-winded, most BS-addled ones!

SIEGELMEYER:   And they’ll be a Cuban mole?

VILLANUEVA-LOPEZ:  Yep.

(SIEGELMEYER, SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO and SCHLAUTERMEYER nod in agreement).

SCHMIDT-BULAWAYO:  So we just need to find an American liberal commentator that goes on and on and on and on, and never really says anything of value?

SCHLAUTERMEYER:  Hmmm.

SIEGELMEYER:  We’ll obviously have to continue this discussion.  I’ll schedule a meeting on Monday.

Who.  Who, indeed.

And SCENE 

 

Optimism

Kurt Schlichter is predicting a dem meltdown.

Conclusion:

Nineteen sixty-eight was the year normal Americans saw the Democrats for what they were, and that’s the danger for them in 2016 too – that normal Americans will be reminded about what a circus of welfare-chiseling, race-obsessed, work-averse, baby-shredding freaks the Democrat party is.

So keep fighting for purity, Democrats – your painful cramming to pass your dozens of litmus tests is going to provide us with endless amusement. And don’t worry about us Republicans – it’s actually pretty easy to pass ours. You’re disqualified if you have ever given money or a medal to Hillary Clinton. After that, we can talk.

Amid all the predictions that this would be the end of the GOP – and I’m not happy with things, truth be told – this could turn out much worse for the Dems.

The Extreme

While I left North Dakota for a lot of reasons, I feel a certain fondness for my homestate; a certain homer pride at its economic success (and not just the oil boom, mind you – the state rode out the recession in pretty good shape before the oil boom really started)…

…and doing it all the conservative way.  Not as conservative, perhaps, as Utah or Wyoming or even South Dakota – there’s a certain Scandinavian communitarianism in NoDak that makes it a little more Minnesota-ish than some of its fellow red states – but for all that, its government is tiny and unobtrusive.  And it works – but not too much.

As a result, the North Dakota Democrat/Non-Partisan League (Dem/NPL), the local term for Democrat Party, has gone from contending for power two decades ago, to nearly extinct today;  their 2016 State Convention was held at the Kroll’s Diner in Minot1.   They had to twist arms to put a warm body on the ballot for Governor.

And as happens when party units hit their death spirals – like American Communists, or Klansmen – the North Dakota Dem/NPL has become dominated by its hard-core lunatic fringe.

How fringe-y?   They’re too far left for Senator Heidi Heidtkamp:

[13 of the 22 National] North Dakota elected delegates crafted a harsh resolution criticizing Sen. Heidi Heitkamp for endorsing Hillary Clinton.
The resolution claims Heitkamp is being “disrespectful to the people of our great state … (and) the political process” by not endorsing the Vermont senator as a superdelegate at the upcoming Democratic National Convention. Sanders carried North Dakota in the state’s primary election in June, earning more than 64 percent of the vote.

Sending 22 people to Philly, as well as Heidtkamp to DC, may have left the ND/DNPL with nobody left in the state2.

[1] Not really, but it’s fun to say.

[2] No, not that either, really.  But again, fun to say, and not as inaccurate as you might think.

The 62nd Minute

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Dog Gone has picked up the DNC chanting point that not only did the Russians steal the DNC’s email, it altered the messages before releasing them, all in an effort to help Trump get elected.

 There’s a simple way to prove it, made famous by Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs to prove Dan Rather’s “fake-but-accurate” documents were not accurate at all, only fake.

 Show us the emails side-by-side.    

 Let’s see Rebecca Christopher’s original “taco-bowl” email, for starters.  

 Joe Doakes

I’m sure there’ll be no problem getting the DNC to cooperate with this.  Will there?

Dog Gone:  One of your anonymous but unimpeachably-expert neighbors is tight with the DNC, right?  Make it happen!

Triangulation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Trump’s convention speech criticized free trade and foreign military adventurism.  America First!

 Cue Liberals to warn of catastrophic global economic collapse if the United States fails to continue subsidizing the rest of the world’s trade and security with our blood and treasure.

 Joe Doakes

It’s a Clinton thing.

Well, I’ll Be

So abusing emails can take a powerful Democrat down!

Fran Wasserman-Drescher, the DNC chair and one of a menagerie of villains in plot to fix the Committee’s process in favor of Hillary (who, as the Greatest Canddiate in History, should not have needed any fixing), is going to preside over the pep rally convention, and then shuffle adenoidally into the sunset:

The resignation becomes effective at the end of the convention, which wraps up Thursday.

Wasserman-Schultz cited her desire to focus on boosting Hillary Clinton in Florida, where she is running for re-election, in a statement announcing her decision to step down just one day before the Democratic convention begins in Philadelphia.

“Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as party chair at the end of this convention,” she said. “As party chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans.”

A hilarious and validating byproduct of the Wikileaks DNC scandal?   It’s a classic Berg’s Seventh Law issue; as much as the left claims that the RNC and Fox News are in bed with each other, it naturally follows that the DNC and MSNBC have, essentially, a client-vendor relationship.

Complete with golden parachute.

I’ll Bet All You Sanders Supporters Feel Berned Now

To:  Bernie Sanders supporters
From: Mitch Berg – Uppity Peasant
Re:  Feeling Stupid?

All

Bernie Sanders endorsing Hillary?

Why, isn’t that exactly like endorsing the Wall Street and military-industrial complex he railed against?

Yeah.  It totally is.

Every last one of you has been had.  Played for fools.  Suckers.

That is all.

Collapse

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails

Democrats want to use the No Fly list to deny suspected terrorists the right to buy guns. If Hillary wins, considering the Clinton’s history of renting out the Lincoln bedroom in exchange for campaign contributions, I would anticipate them expanding the program and operating it like a Public Television fundraiser.

If you make no donation, your name stays on the list and you cannot exercise Constitutionally protected rights.

For $25, you will not be subject to a “random” tax audit. This doesn’t protect you from a justified audit based on red flags on your return, but it will avoid the “random” audit of political enemies that President Obama pioneered in his first term. 

For $50, you can take one round-trip flight.   Go ahead and book that vacation, you’ve got flight insurance.

For $100, you can vote in this year’s election. Special discounts are available for groups likely to vote Democrat: Blacks, welfare recipients, illegal immigrants.  And by “discount” of course, I mean a program like the Earned Income Credit where the government pays you.  But it’s per vote so in some cities, it could be a huge economic stimulus.

For $500, you can apply for a permit to be considered to purchase a single round of ammunition. Not guaranteed, it’s dependent on a background check and is discretionary with the local Democrat party chairman who will consider whether you are a person of “Good Moral Character” meaning “not a Republican.” But you can apply.

For a cool million, you can buy any firearm you want, even fully automatic, no background check, no waiting, conveniently delivered to your door by agents of the ATF themselves.  Because if you can afford to make that large a donation, by definition you are one of the Good People and not one of the Little People, so ordinary laws don’t apply to you.

The sad part is Republicans are poised to give it to them.

Joe Doakes

Sad, but true.

A Banana Republic, If You Can Keep It

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The IRS has released a list of nearly 500 conservative groups it targeted for extra scrutiny to delay their fundraising abilities and thereby allow Democrats to outraise, outspend and out-advertise their way to winning the election.

I’m so old that I can remember the President of the United States insisted there was not even a smidgen of corruption at the IRS.

 With this new information, I guess the President will be outraged to learn he was misled, heads will roll, people will be fired and prosecuted.  Hell, the President might even step down out of sheer embarrassment, knowing that his party intentionally violated the civil rights of millions of Americans for the benefit of Democrats in Congress. 

 Joe Doakes

Ya gotta have faith.

Stacked

Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds wasn’t writing about the Twin Cities’ Met Council in his USA Today piece, “Why Politicians Love Cities”.   But in another sense, he was precisely writing about the Met Council.

Reynolds cites urban theorist and “New Urbanism” critic Joel Kotkin’s new book (we’ve met Kotkin on this blog before) in getting to three reasons why politicians – like the Met Council – loooove big cities;  snobbery, graft and politics.

I’ll commend Reynolds’ article to you for the first two.  As to the politics?

Cities tend to repel – and, ultimately, exclude – people who intend to raise children; it’s become something of a phenomenon.   What it’s not, it would seem, is accidental:

Politicians like to pursue policies that encourage their political enemies to leave, while encouraging those who remain to vote for them. (This is known as “the Curley effect” after James Michael Curley, a former mayor of Boston.)  People who have children, or plan to, tend to be more conservative, or at least more bourgeois, than those who do not. By encouraging high density and mass transit, urban politicians (who are almost always on the left) encourage people who might oppose them to “vote with their feet” and move to the suburbs.

This isn’t necessarily good for the cities they rule. Curley’s approach, which involved “wasteful redistribution to his poor Irish constituents and incendiary rhetoric to encourage richer citizens to emigrate from Boston,” as David Henderson wrote on theEconLog, shaped the electorate to his benefit. Result: “Boston as a consequence stagnated, but Curley kept winning elections.”

But that’s OK. Politicians don’t care about you. They care about power, in urban planning and in everything else.

Pushing people who tend more conservative out of the city/ies is just plain good politics for the DFL that the Met Council exists to serve.

Pass

My mom worked at a nursing school. My niece is a NICU nurse.  I have quite a few nurses among my closest friends.  

So it’s hard not to say “I have all the sympathy in the world for the nurses that are striking at the various Alina hospitals”.

So I will let Larry from “Very Angry Bird” say it for me:

Normally, I am very sympathetic to anyone who is affected by the treachery and deceit of ObamaCare. The only ones who escape by shoulder to cry on are union types who supported ObamaCare when it was first being hatched. Since most unions are Democratic strongholds, the nurses union all supported ObamaCare. To put it in old west terms – they now know what it is like to be shot with their own gun.

nurses are wonderful people – but the nurses union is as hard left as the SEIU. The union jumped up and down and did cartwheels for Obama, and Obamacare, eight years ago.

Now, as the “Affordable Care Act” makes healthcare I’ll truly unaffordable for millions – exactly as predicted – the union is trying to insulate itself and its members from the policies that the union supported, worked for, and donated its members ‘money to.

Sorry, nurses. You lost me on this one.

Prerogatives

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

IT’S EXACTLY WHAT YOU THINK IT IS: How Clinton Donor Got on Sensitive Intelligence Board.

A prolific fundraiser for Democratic candidates and contributor to the Clinton Foundation, who later traveled with Bill Clinton on a trip to Africa, Rajiv K. Fernando’s only known qualification for a seat on the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) was his technological know-how. The Chicago securities trader, who specialized in electronic investing, sat alongside an august collection of nuclear scientists, former cabinet secretaries and members of Congress to advise Hillary Clinton on the use of tactical nuclear weapons and on other crucial arms control issues.

“We had no idea who he was,” one board member told ABC News.

No biggie, just nuclear security issues, it’s not as if she put it on an unsecure email server that our enemies could hack.

I suspect her defense will be “Doesn’t matter, I didn’t listen to any of them, anyway.”

Joe Doakes

Seems to be working for her.

Hillary Clinton – Spouse-Beater?

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline on former Secret Service agent Gary Byrne’s book on life in the Clinton White House; I’ve added some emphasis:

Secret Service agents are, of course, charged with protecting the physical well-being of the president. Byrne says they had discussions about the possibility of having to protect Bill Clinton from Hillary’s physical attacks. He recalls that the couple had one “violent encounter” the morning of a key presidential address to the nation.

Byrne also remembers arriving for work one day in 1995 following a loud fight between the Clintons the night before. He says the dustup resulted in light blue vase “smashed to bits” and left Bill with a “real, live, put-a-steak-on-it black eye.”

Don’t let anyone tell you that Hillary isn’t a fighter.

Mirengoff also adds, after noting the many, er, social provocations Bill presented her during those years:

For Hillary, her options regarding Bill may have seemed like “fight or flight.” Flight, apparently, was out of the question, given her ambitions.

But if it were the other way around (and the subjects weren’t the Clintons), if a husband found a wife in flagrant delicto and decided to take “direct action”  against her?  Society has a term for that; “domestic abuser”.    It doesn’t matter if one’s wife is sleeping with the entire staff at Jiffy Lube, in your bed, without changing the sheets after; you call a lawyer (and an STD test provider); you don’t hit her.

That there’s a double standard for women is obvious; that there’s a triple standard for Hillary is – assuming the accuracy of Byrne’s account – a new one.

And it should be damning – but for Democrats, it won’t be.

The Hypocrisy Industry

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

On the one hand, the Americans with Disabilities Act was more than a kind-hearted gesture, it was an acknowledgement that America is rich enough to be able to afford to make its public spaces accessible to everyone, including the handicapped. If the law says you have to make accommodations, then by God you have to make them; and if it takes a lawsuit to force you to comply, then you’re jerk and we don’t feel sorry for you. .

Except when the bureaucrats and building inspectors and disability lawyers get ahold of the kind-hearted gesture and turn it into a nit-picking, mountain-out-of-a-molehill tangle of impossible and conflicting regulations, compliance is not simple. The comments show how clueless the public is about the law. “It only requires that the business make the stuff from the second floor available by catalogue, or the disabled person can be met off site, and old buildings are exempted, grandfathered in.” They may be exempt until some minor change is made, then suddenly the entire place needs a major overhaul. Meet a client offsite? Portable temporary ramps? Not likely. The coffee shop with the temporary ramp will be sued because the wheelchair bound person can’t get inside to tell the store they need the ramp.
Now we’ve decided it’s time to rein in the lawsuits and make it tougher for people to force businesses to comply with the kind-hearted law.
The whole problem is another example of Liberals at play. It would feel good to do something nice for those sad victims and it doesn’t cost us anything because we’ll make somebody else pay for it, so pass the law to signal everyone how virtuous we are for Doing Good. But when people we know have to start paying real money to comply, well, that’s not so much fun anymore. Blame the nasty lawyer for bringing all the lawsuits. Make him stop forcing us to comply with our feel-good law.
It’s not so much the hypocrisy that annoys me: it’s the notion that virtue is good if it’s free; but if we have to pay for it ourselves, then it’s too much bother.
Joe Doakes

Want to start a fire?  Ask a flaming committed “progressive” what they think about private charity.  Hold kindling to their ears.

Coincidence?

Premise, accepted as a given:  Most government taxation and spending, especially in one-party cities like Minneapolis and Saint Paul (and, really, in de facto one-party states like Minnesota) exists primarily to take wealth from the producing class and give it…not so much to people who need it as much as to the political class.

With that accepted as a given (and I do accept it as a given, and so do you, if you think about it even a little), can it be even a tiny surprise that the same week brought us both this story…:

Legislators approved $35 million this year with $17.5 million ongoing to address racial and economic disparities, particularly in north Minneapolis.

…and this one?

Pick Your Poison

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

C.S. Lewis’ famous quote:

 “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

 Seems appropriate for this election: Trump versus Hillary. 

 Joe Doakes

Although Sanders probably most perfectly fits the definition of “moral busybody”, as opposed to “self-aggrandizing megalomaniac” or “political robber-baroness”.

The Stick

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In the olden days, public sector jobs were filled by patronage, which led to massive incompetence and frequent turnover.  These employees could get away with lousy service without repercussion because their jobs didn’t depend on customer service, they depended on remaining in favor.

 Later, public sector jobs are filled by civil service procedures to avoid nepotism and favoritism, hopefully resulting in more competent employees.  These employees couldn’t give the public lousy service because they’d be disciplined or even fired.

 In states like Minnesota, public sector jobs became union jobs with the adoption of the Public Employment Labor Relations Act in 1984.  They’re still filled by civil service exams but now they’re union jobs so employees can get away with lousy service without repercussion because it’s so difficult to discipline or fire a public union employee.  Local media attention or legislative scrutiny often is required before action is taken.

 I once submitted documents to the County Recorder but they were rejected.  The phone conversation went something like this: “Why were my documents rejected?  We can’t give you legal advice.  I don’t want legal advice, I want to know what’s wrong with my documents so I can fix them to get them recorded.  Read the statute.  I did read the statute, I still can’t see anything wrong with my documents.  Consult a lawyer.  I AM A LAWYER AND AS FAR AS I CAN TELL THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH MY DOCUMENTS SO WHAT’S THE PROBLM?  I’ll refer you to my supervisor.” 

 I don’t know whether that’s incompetence, malice, stupidity, or just an idiotic policy, but it did not delight the customer.

 And in the federal government, it’s even worse: public sector jobs are union jobs, supposedly filled by civil service process except the bosses are political appointees so the workers actually selected to fill positions tend to mirror the boss’s political views.  The federal government workforce leans Democrat so they have no personal qualms about treating Tea Party fundraisers less well than Move On fundraisers, for example.  Massive media attention and Congressional inquiries were insufficient to motivate the IRS to discipline anybody.

 Maybe this will get their attention.

 Joe Doakes

Something will have to, someday.  Perhaps it’ll be DC collapsing.

MNDFL: They Know What Matters

The transportation, tax and bonding bills are all a shambles.

So what is the Minnesota DFL focused on?

Baseball players and their tobacco.

The bill was introduced Monday by Rep. Mike Freiberg, DFL-Golden Valley. It would ban the use of tobacco at Target Field, CHS Field and other professional sports stadiums in Minnesota.

“We need to make smokeless tobacco use in baseball a remnant of the past – and Minnesota should be proud to play a role in that movement,” said Freiberg Monday. “By allowing smokeless tobacco at the ballparks, we send the absolute wrong message about tobacco use. It’s time to take tobacco out of the game completely for the good of baseball and the health of our kids and players alike.”

We Gotcher Minimum Wage Hike Right Here

Wendy’s follows McDonalds in moving to automated kiosks in its thousand and thousands of restaurants:

After New York City and California mandated $15 minimum-wage laws, fast-food chain Wendy’s reacted, announcing Thursday its plans to make available self-serving kiosks in its 6,000-plus restaurants across the country by year’s end.

In addition to using the technology to cut down on labor costs, Wendy’s President Todd Penegor noted on the company’s quarterly conference call, that some of its franchise locations have been raising prices to offset the minimum-wage increase, according to Investor’s Business Daily.

“Wendy’s Penegor said company-operated stores, only about 10 percent of the total, are seeing wage inflation of 5 percent to 6 percent, driven both by the minimum wage and some by the need to offer a competitive wage ‘to access good labor,’” IBD reported.

Why, it’s almost as if you’d think the left would have to know that artificially raising the minimum wage without increases in skill and productivity is going to increase unemployment among low-skill, low-wage workers, thus increasing dependence on government (thus increasing employment for government workers and their unions) or something.