Monday, August 31, 2015 Struggles with Classification Scandal

Not going away anytime soon.

Mystery deepens into how classified emails got onto Clinton's unclassified server
"It is hard to move classified documents into the non-classified system. You couldn't move a document by mistake," said Willes Lee, a former operations officer for the U.S. Army in Europe and former operations officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

State Department spokesman Alec Gerlach confirmed the two systems don't connect. "The classified and unclassified system are separate and you cannot email between the two," Gerlach told Fox News.

The Clinton campaign adamantly denies any emails traversing Clinton's homebrew server were marked classified at the time. The intelligence community inspector general says "potentially hundreds" of classified emails may be in the mix, but acknowledges at least some were not properly marked.

So if the Clinton denial is to be believed, individuals in her inner circle would have simply typed or scanned classified information into a non-classified system without regard for its contents. In this case, emails would have started in, and stayed in, the unclassified system -- albeit improperly, based on the findings of the intelligence inspector general.

But if it turns out emails literally jumped from the classified to the non-classified system -- something the State Department claims cannot happen -- it would seem to point to Clinton's staff going to great lengths to create a work-around to do so.

A government employee doing so would commit numerous felonies, according to Bradford Higgins, who served as assistant secretary of state for resource management and chief financial officer from 2006-2009. "A violation, in addition to criminal charges and potential prosecution, would likely mean that person who committed the breach would never again be given a security clearance," Higgins said.
. . .
"Emails don't change from unclassified to classified. The originator of the email decides the classification before it is sent out based on basic protocols, not subsequent readers," Higgins said. "I believe it would be highly unusual for an unclassified email to later become classified."

Regardless of how it happened, Lee faulted Clinton and her staff.

"It is not as if Hillary Clinton and her staff do not know the rules and the law," he said.
Sure they know the rules and laws; just enough to break them with as much plausible deniability as possible.

Petraeus prosecutor: Clinton committed no crime
Both the law and his oath required Petraeus to mark these books as “top secret” and to store them in a Secured Compartmented Information Facility. He did neither.

Rather, Petraeus allowed his biographer to take possession of the journals in order to use them as source material for his biography.

Importantly, Petraeus was well aware of the classified contents in his journals, saying to his biographer, Paula Broadwell on tape, “I mean, they are highly classified, some of them. They don’t have it on it, but I mean there’s code word stuff in there.”
. . .
In sharp contrast, Clinton is not being investigated for knowingly sending or receiving classified materials improperly.

Indeed, the State Department has confirmed that none of the information that has surfaced on Clinton’s server thus far was classified at the time it was sent or received.
Glossed over, of course, is that numerous other agencies, including DOD and the CIA are disagreeing with that assessment, and they should know, since it was their intelligence she was mishandling, and it was their right and duty to classify it before it was sent to the State Dept.
Additionally, the Justice Department indicated that its inquiry is not a criminal one and that Clinton is not the subject of the inquiry.

Anne M. Tompkins is . . . a donor to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
In the eternal words of Gomer Pyle, "Suprise, Suprise."

Hillary Is In the Zone of Maximum Danger
Let's check in with the big 2016 news from last week: Jim Gilmore? He gone. From the CNN debate, that is. I expect he'll be formally gone from the race soon and whoever manages to scoop up his support will be in the driver's seat to Cleveland.

I kid, obviously. I'm dead serious, however, when I say that the next few weeks will likely determine the outcome of the Democratic nomination. Because Hillary Clinton is now in the zone of maximum danger.

It's never good when a candidate is being linked to an ongoing FBI investigation, as Clinton is with her private State Department email system. And you can see this in Clinton's poll numbers with Democratic primary voters: She's gone from 63 percent in late July to 49 percent today. She's not just sub-50 percent right now, but at her lowest ebb since a year ago and with a surging Bernie Sanders, who's at 25 percent and climbing. (Remember Barnes' First Law of Politics: All races tighten.) . . .
Who is scariest, President Biden, Warren or Sanders?

What can Clinton do to regain the trust of voters, generate genuine enthusiasm among grass-roots activists and reassure nervous Democrats that she will be a strong nominee atop the party’s ticket in November next year? - An assassination campaign?

If You Like Your Retirement, You Can Keep Your Retirement

Maybe: Obama Labor Dept. Sets Stage for Nationalizing Retirement Accounts
In 2013, in a little-heralded case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected the Obama Labor Department's attempt to punish voluntary retirement plan service providers. The DOL, under the direction of the controversial, radical leftist Tom Perez, had tried to force providers of 401(k), 403(b), IRA, and related services to adopt a massive new set of regulations known as "fiduciary" responsibilities.

The Seventh Circuit slammed the door shut on Labor and the Supreme Court thereafter declined to hear the appeal, which meant that the Obama administration had lost in the highest court in the land.

Of course for the "most transparent administration ever", that step simply meant that the court's opinion was to be rejected and that Obama would use his infamous pen to rule by executive fiat. After all, the ends justify the means, correct?

On August 24th, Perez and the Labor Department confirmed they are moving forward with new regulations that would repudiate the court's opinion. Even Obama's SEC Commissioner issued an ominous warning that the Labor Department's new regulations would unleash havoc and create "a mess."
The Obama administration appears to have dropped all pretense of playing by the rules. They think they're owed that money, and they mean to have it.
The Obama administration has its sights set on an incredible amount of your money. By some estimates, Americans are holding well over $10 trillion in private retirement accounts.

For a country with debt that is clearly "unsustainable" (source: the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office), flashing that kind of figure to a Democrat politician is akin to showing a kilo of heroin to a desperate junkie.

One of the first steps the Obama administration took to signal its direction was to unveil its wildly unsuccessful "MyRA" program. This takes participants' funds and invests them in "ultra-safe", government-issued debt.

You can be sure that the future of the retirement services business will be to extend "fiduciary" responsibilities to require advisors to leverage federal debt instruments in their clients' portfolios.

Rock Star Indulges in Victim Blaming

Women who walk around drunk and provocatively dressed should expect to be sexually assaulted, Chrissie Hynde, the lead singer of the Pretenders, has suggested.

The former chart topper claimed in a Sunday newspaper interview that scantily clad women were likely to “entice a rapist” and that it is their “fault” if they are attacked.

Oh, the feminists are going to be all over her case.
The book details an incident when she was 21 when she was picked up by a motorcycle gang who promised to take her to a party but instead took her to an empty house and sexually assaulted her.

But she said: “If I'm walking around in my underwear and I'm drunk? Who else's fault can it be? – Er, the guy who attacks you?

“Oh, come on! That's just silly.

“If I'm walking around and I'm very modestly dressed and I'm keeping to myself and someone attacks me, then I'd say that's his fault
Not being a binary kind of believer, I'm willing to grant blame to both. Whether or not women dress provocatively, they have a right to live without sexual assault.  Any male who assaults a woman regardless of dress must be held accountable. However, by dressing like a slut and going into bad situations (drunk, dressed in underwear in a biker bar, say for example), the chances of being assaulted rise to damn near 100%.  If someone leaves their car unlocked with the key in it, or their front door wide open, you can still blame the guy who rips them off, but you still have to shake your head and wonder what they were thinking.

If You Thought Annapolis Harbor was Busy

This is just nuts.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Beach Report 8/30/15

It's been a while since we got down to the beach. It's overcast, and moderate today, about 75, with just a touch of humidity. We got down there just a bit after low tide.
The first thing I noticed was a huge flock of birds clearly working over a school of fish. I hear there are Blues and Spanish Mackerel to be had.
The non-native Autumn Sweet Virgin's Bower is blooming.
We seem to have a recent flight of fresh Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, nice clean hardly damaged butterflies. This one is trying to find a wet spot to puddle on.
This Spicebush Swallowtail was much more serious about it.
Note the classic "comet" mark on the underside, the easiest way to tell the Spicebush from the Black Swallowtails or the black female Eastern Tiger Swallowtails.
There were a few other people out enjoying the beach, paddle boarding or. . .

Cloud bathing.

RIP Wrangler Jane

Melody Patterson, Wrangler Jane on ‘F Troop,’ Dies at 66
Melody Patterson, a winsome actress best known for playing Wrangler Jane on the sitcom “F Troop” in the 1960s, died on Aug. 21 in Hollister, Mo. She was 66.

Ms. Patterson died after a long illness, said Jason Bradley of Cremations of the Ozarks,which is handling her funeral arrangements.

66 is too young. When I see "long illness" I assume it was cancer.
On “F Troop,” a comedy set in the Old West that ran on ABC from 1965 to 1967, Ms. Patterson played a feisty postmistress and storekeeper for a squadron of scheming incompetents at Fort Courage, a fictional Army outpost. Her character was also the love interest of the fort’s captain, Wilton Parmenter, played by Ken Berry. “F Troop” also starred Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch as bumbling officers.

Wait a minute. Larry Storch may have been a "bumbling" non-com, but Forrest Tucker played a world wise and mildly corrupt senior sergeant, not real officers at all. Layers of fact checkers. You could even consult Wikipedia or IMDB.

In a 2001 interview with The Asbury Park Press, Ms. Patterson said she did not mind the innuendo between her character and Mr. Berry’s, even though she was a teenager at the time. “It wasn’t raunchy,” she said. “It was an innocent sexy.”
You can do the math, and see that she was 16 when F Troop began shooting. I agree; it was mildly suggestive in a girl chases boy kind of way, but never over the line, even for a teenager to play.
After “F Troop” ended, Ms. Patterson appeared on “The Monkees,” “Green Acres” and other shows. She met the actor James MacArthur after both were cast in the 1968 movie “The Angry Breed,” and they later married.
McArthur was the "Dano" in the original Hawaii Five-0.
She largely stopped acting after that, although she did appear in a few episodes of the CBS crime drama “Hawaii Five-0,” on which Mr. MacArthur played a detective, Danny Williams.

In true Hollywood style, she went through two husbands and died on the third.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in weekly "Sorta Blogless Pinup" and links post,  and at Larwyn's Linx.

Judge Orders IRS to Fess Up To White House Connections

If they exist. Believe it or not, the IRS has been holding out on whether the White House asked them for confidential tax payer information on the grounds that it would endanger taxpayer tax information:

IRS must say if White House sought taxpayers’ information: Judge
A federal judge Friday ordered the IRS to turn over the records of any requests from the White House seeking taxpayers’ private information from the tax agency, delivering a victory to a group that for two years has been trying to pry the data loose.

It’s not clear that there were any such requests — but Judge Amy Berman Jackson said the IRS cannot just refuse to say so by citing taxpayer confidentiality laws, known as section 6103 of the tax code.
. . .
Cause of Action sued in 2013 to get a look at whatever requests the White House, or other federal agencies, had made.

The IRS refused, saying even the existence of those requests would be protected by confidentiality laws and couldn’t be released, so there was no reason to make the search.

The judge said Friday, however, that the agency couldn’t use the privacy protection “to shield the very misconduct it was enacted to prohibit.”
The IRS, or at least important parts of it, have become a weaponized, government fund attack arm of the Democratic party. Republicans need to expose and attack that arm of the organization, if necessary defunding it.

I'm sure that Obama can stretch this past the next election with some creative obstructionism, and then hope his chosen heir declines to root out the malefactors, or hope Republicans are unable to get continued support in the courts.