Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Try, Try Again

Meet Fritz.  Fritz can’t catch. His human tosses tasty food to him.  Hot dogs, steak.  It doesn’t matter.  Fritz can’t catch.  You kinda feel sorry for Fritz because his missed catches result in food hitting him in the face making a mess on his adorable face.

I feel his human’s frustration.  My little furkid, Sophie, won’t fetch.  Maybe she feels like playing a game of fetch is too much of a commitment.  That’s okay though.  Her unconditional love is all I really need.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Flowing Curves Of Beauty


“Where should one use perfume?" a young woman asked. "Wherever one wants to be kissed.”  Coco Chanel






Sunday, March 22, 2015

March Madness: Duke Blue Devils Vs San Diego State Aztecs

Last night’s action in the NCAA Tournament saw No. 1 Villanova fall to the NC State Wolfpack.  Though I picked ‘Nova to win in my brackets, it was heart-warming to see the Pack win.  It was reminiscent of 1983 when the team known as “Phi Slamma Jamma” led by Jimmy V took the national crown.  (I miss Coach Valvano)

I must confess that I wasn’t as invested as a fan in that game as I was 32 years ago, but I kept my eye on it as the Tarheels methodically took apart the Arkansas Razorbacks’ full court pressure to convincingly defeat them 87-78.  The Heels now advance to the Sweet 16.

Today my attention is turned to the game which pits my beloved Duke Blue Devils against the San Diego State Aztecs.  The game will air at 2:40 PM ET on CBS.

These two teams have met only one other time: December 2001 at Cameron Indoor Stadium where the Atzecs lost 92-79.  Today, playing in Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena, it will seem like home field advantage for Duke.  The Aztecs have big guys in their line-up that should match up well against Okafor and Marshall.

If Duke can light it up like they did against RMU they should emerge the winner in today’s game, but that’s predicated on an up-tempo game and the Aztecs not being able to shut down Okafor.  Duke definitely needs to speed up the game and get out in transition in order to beat the Aztecs.  Oh, and foul trouble for SDSU’s forwards.

GO DUKE

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Monica Lewinsky: The Bloodsport Of Public Shaming

Monica Lewinsky spoke from the TED stage in Vancouver recently to tell the audience, “At the age of 22, I fell in love with my boss.  At the age of 24, I learned the devastating consequences.”

In her speech, entitled “The Price of Shame”, Lewinsky recounts how she was betrayed by her friend Linda Tripp, was threatened with jail time and was swept up in the maelstrom of President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.  Throughout the national disgrace of Clinton’s unchecked libido, Lewinsky was the target of slut-shaming.

She withdrew from public view for more than a decade, but has reemerged to tell her story.  I listened to her 22-minute speech and found it compelling and moving.  The temptress is resigned to her mistakes, but forcefully speaks to the viciousness of cyberbullying and makes a plausible argument that she was the first true victim of the phenomenon of “cultural humiliation”.

I think when President Clinton referred to her as “that woman”, he wounded her forever.  Many believe she is speaking out now to cripple the political future of the Clinton dynasty, but Lewinsky defended herself saying, “It is time to stop tip-toeing around my past.”

For now, at least, I believe her because no one would wish to “walk a mile in someone else’s headline.”

Friday, March 20, 2015

March Madness: Duke Blue Devils Vs Robert Morris Colonials

According to ESPN, just 273 out of 11.6 million Tournament Challenge brackets were a perfect 16-for-16 after Thursday’s games.  My brackets were likewise busted.  *sigh*

Sam Vecenie, writing for CBS Sports, thinks Bobby Mo’s key to a win against my beloved Duke Blue Devils is 6 ft. 6 guard/forward Lucky Jones who scored 21 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals in their 4-point victory over North Florida.  Duke’s Jahlil Okafor towers over Jones at 6-11. The Colonials will not have an easy job containing the big men who make up the Blue Devils roster.

I made abysmal predictions during the ACC Tournament which prompted one commenter to write, “Please, please, please stop rooting for the team I root for.” 

Like Coach K and many of the other coaches whose teams made it to “the dance,” everybody starts at zero in the tourney.  Duke has made appearances in 15 Final Fours and won 4 national championships.  Tonight the drive for five begins.

GO DUKE

Curmudgeonly Cartoon: One Ringy-Dingy


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Why Is There No Starbucks In Ferguson?

On Monday, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced an initiative he dubbed “Race Together” in which he asked his company's baristas to write "Race Together" on coffee cups as an invitation to talk about race with customers. 
Commuters who simply wanted their morning java quickly became irritated at the company’s insipid notion and took over the Twitter hashtag #RaceTogether mocking it to a fare-thee-well.
The company's Senior Vice President of Global Communications, Corey duBrowa, was forced to delete his Twitter account after a torrent of wilting criticism “overwhelmed” him.
"We knew this wouldn't be easy, but we feel it is well worth the discomfort," duBrowa bravely wrote in an email to CNN Money
.
The campaign started in cities where protests had erupted over rising racial tensions, like St. Louis, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Oakland.

If Schultz and his delicate flower, duBrowa, sincerely wanted to improve race relations they should have begun their campaign with Rev. Al Sharpton who, while fanning the flames of racial hatred in New York City following the assassination of police officers Wenjin Liu and Rafael Ramos led a protest march in that city with marchers chanting, “What do we want? Dead cops.  When do we want it?  Right now.”
The cops’ assassin was Ismaaiyl Brinsley who posted on his Instagram account, “I’m putting wings on pigs today.  They take 1 of ours…let’s take 2 of theirs.”
Some clever Twitter user decided to start a new hashtag, #NewStarbucksDrinks, and so I decided to Photoshop the rev helping Schultz’s campaign with, yes, a new Starbucks drink.

Netanyahu Defeats Obama

The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer was shellacked in the 2010 midterms and his Democrat Party suffered an electoral blowout in 2014 and the drubbing continued on Tuesday when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ruling Likud Party scored a resounding victory.

There will be no celebration in the Oval Office and Secretary of State John Kerry and the dozens of foolish Democrats who boycotted his historic speech before a joint session of Congress will now be forced to tuck their tails between their legs.
Despite his protestations to the contrary, The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer has a seething disdain for PM Netanyahu.  That disdain motivated him to conspire to interfere in the democratic election of that nation.  He did so by “secretly” funding non-profit organizations that were hell-bent to replace Netanyahu’s government.

Stephen Kruiser suggests this:  
Expect the spinning to resemble the cartoon Tasmanian Devil by the morning. The last few days were absolutely polluted with stories about Netanyahu’s imminent political demise, with the most popular version of the tale being that he ruined his chances by angering great and powerful thin-skinned consumer of canines currently occupying the Oval Office. 
One does not hurt Barack Obama’s feelings without some backlash. 
Now that Obama has once again been revealed impotent in helping candidates not named Barack Obama to victory, his media petting zoo is out of sorts. They will be expending a lot of effort to explain exactly why this victory wasn’t really a victory.



Monday, March 16, 2015

Cankles Has Fallen

Jonah Goldberg painted captivating images in his article this past Saturday at National Review.  He imagines the veteran grifters of Team Clinton:  Lanny Davis “in the middle of a meeting with an African dictator when, suddenly, his assistant hands him a note.”  Upon reading the note, which simply read “Cankles Is Down”, Davis abruptly terminates the meeting declaring, “The Clintons need me.” 

Goldberg then directs us to the banks of a bayou where James Carville, who has caught a catfish, proceeds to devour its entrails in the manner of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Gollum.  His snack is interrupted by a signal flare.  He knows instantly its meaning.  Quickly, he steps into his waiting limousine which speeds him to an MSNBC studio.  Meanwhile the other gutter rat, David Brock, “slinks out of his leather onesie” racing to his command center barking orders, “This is a level-one Alpha scenario.  Cancel all leave.”

Goldberg was, of course, thinking of action movies where grizzled old pros get together one last time to spin furiously as their dowager queen rapidly sinks in the quicksand of scandal.

Goldberg continues to posit, ”For 30 years, Hillary Clinton has been defensive bordering on paranoia (with occasional forays far over the border). For 30 years, Hillary Clinton has responded to every challenge—not just every scandal, but every challenge (like HillaryCare)—by convening huge task forces of loyalists."

We now know that Cankles’ Emailghazi troubles are just beginning as we learn that a State Department whistleblower told The Daily Signal a “boiler-room operation” was set up to hide documents after Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others attached to the CIA complex in Benghazi perished in a hail of gunfire and mortar rounds.

As one commenter noted, this movie will be a “popcorn bonanza.”

UPDATE:  Dvorak News broke the news today that the former Secretary of State used MX Logic, a spam filtering service now owned by McAfee that had full access to all her classified State Department email in unencrypted form.  It could be read, tapped, archived or forwarded to anyone in the world without anyone ever knowing.

Flowing Curves Of Beauty

There are some days you should go back to bed with a hot brandy, a box of chocolates and a warm energetic companion.





Sunday, March 15, 2015

Here's My Brackets

Click to enlarge

Curmudgeonly Cartoon: Meanwhile, Back At Chappaqua

Throne-sniffer Maureen Dowd, surprised me yesterday with her “Open Letter To hdr22@clintonemail” in which she snarled, “…you knew you could count on the complicity of feminists and Democratic women in Congress” as she recounted the pathologically unpresidential behavior of her husband’s cigar fetish in the Oval Office.

Dowd goes on to say, “You seem like an annoyed queen, radiating irritation at anyone who tries to hold you accountable.”  She goes a step further giving her take on “Clinton Fatigue”, perhaps because she remains enamored with The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer saying, “You’re still idling on the runway, but we’re already jet-lagged. It’s all so drearily familiar that I know we’re only moments away from James Carville writing a column in David Brock’s Media Matters, headlined, ‘In Private, Hillary’s Really a Hoot.’”

On Saturday, March 14, 2014 Ed Klein, who broke the story about Mrs. Clinton’s email scandal, told Larry Kudlow on his WABC radio show that this Administration “is up to its eyebrows in efforts to stop” her and Valerie Jarrett has launched six investigations into her years as Secretary of State.

This movie is rated 5 out of 5 stars; so pull up your recliner, grab your popcorn and enjoy the show folks.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

North Carolina Tarheels Vs. Notre Dame Irish: ACC Championship Game

I took a lot of ribbing last night as my beloved Duke Blue Devils trailed the Irish of Notre Dame throughout the entire semi-final game.  At the half, Duke trailed by 15 but chipped away at the huge Notre Dame lead.  Duke got within 4 but never overcame the deficit.  ND Coach Mike Brey refused to double-cover Jahlil Okafor and chose instead to foul him.  Watching him try to make a free throw at the charity stripe was painful to watch.  Last night’s loss by Duke could imperil their No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

While the “all-Tobacco Road” championship will not happen tonight, I have to root for the Tarheels against the Irish.  The Heels are riding high after defeating No.1 seed Virginia.

Tipoff is at 8:30 PM ET and the game will air on ESPN.  The Tarheels are 24-10 this season averaging 77.8 points and shooting 47.3 percent while defensively they are allowing 67.8 points.  The Irish are 28-5 averaging 78.6 points and shooting 50.9 percent.  They’re allowing their opponents to score 65.2 points.

As you can see, the stats for both teams are fairly equal, but for the very first time in Carolina’s history, the Heels defeated two higher seeds—No. 4 Louisville and No. 1 Virginia in the ACC Tournament.  During the regular season there were obvious problems on both ends of the court for Carolina in terms of finishing off teams.  I don’t want to be an ACC chest-thumper but…the ACC is one of the toughest conferences in the country.

Notre Dame, in all their years in the Big East Tournament, never made it to the final and they haven’t advanced past the first weekend in the NCAA Tournament since 2003, in fact, they haven’t even won a tournament game in four years.  So, I’m going to boldly predict a win for the team I only ever root for when Duke is not playing.  I hope Carolina ruins St. Patrick’s Day for Notre Dame’s leprechaun mascot.

Oh, and their shoes are ugly.

GO HEELS

And since no basketball post would be complete without some pom-poms, check out these lovely Tarheels cheerleaders.





Friday, March 13, 2015

Basketball Heaven: ACC Semi-finals

It’s going to be a BIG night tonight.  Game One of the 2015 ACC Tournament Semi-finals features the North Carolina Tarheels against the Cavaliers of Virginia.  The game airs on ESPN at 7:00 PM.  Following that game will be the biggie:  my beloved Duke Blue Devils vs. Notre Dame.

As I’ve written many times before, none of my friends are Duke fans.  They are all huge fans of the Tarheels.  I’ve invited them all to Casa de Curmudgeon for a little camaraderie, adult beverages and a taco bar.

I’m going to whip out all my Duke Campus Crystal barware engraved with the Iron Dukes logo and a Duke chips and dip bowl and a couple of Duke serving trays, after all my quests need to be reminded whose house they’re visiting.

Drinks will be served at the bar in the kitchen and I’ll set up a buffet in the den with tortilla bowls that can be filled with shredded beef, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and their choice of hot or medium salsa, Pico de Gallo and guacamole.  There’ll be some Grilled Corn with Avocado Pico de Gallo, Mexican Rice and Dulce de Leche Brownie Bites for dessert.

Carolina looked really strong in their defeat of the Cards yesterday afternoon.  The Heels are averaging more points per game than the Cavs but their percent shooting is fairly equal.  I think the Heels pull this one out late in the game.

At 9:00 PM THE game is on.  Duke faces the Irish of Notre Dame for the third time this season.  Ordinarily my friends might seek to leave after the Carolina game, but they hate despise dislike really can’t stand that school so they will hang around to join me in cheering on the Blue Devils to victory.

The Irish are going to have to battle a tenacious little point guard in Tyus Jones.  The third Plumlee brother, Marshall, and Jahlil Okafor are going to be tough to defend so the question for tonight’s game is:   Will Duke face an explosive offense or the team that last night needed 12 minutes to get its first field goal of the second half?  After the drubbing Duke gave NC State last night, I’m betting Duke emerges the victor and plays for the ACC Championship crown tomorrow night.

GO DUKE

And since no basketball post would be complete without some pom-poms, here’s some lovely cheerleaders for you to peruse.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

"Traitors" of the Lost Snark

In keeping with our Harrison Ford themed headlines...I give you Moooove On dot Org!
Dear MoveOn member,
What's the word for American citizens who undermine the diplomatic efforts of the American president by communicating directly with a foreign government? 
"Traitors," according to the New York Daily News—referring to the 47 Republican senators who signed a letter to the Iranian government with the goal of derailing sensitive and potentially historic nuclear negotiations.
I've been hearing this "47 traitors" horse hockey being tossed about for too long now. What's the word for American citizens who undermine the diplomatic efforts of the American president by communicating directly with a foreign government? Traitors?? Let me take you on a little trip down memory lane, and then you tell me!

According to wikipedia:
In the fall of 2002, (Baghdad Jim) McDermott and fellow Representatives David Bonior of Michigan, Nick Rahall of West Virginia and Mike Thompson of California visited Iraq; in Baghdad they met with members of parliament and the Iraqi Foreign Minister...
Wow! George Bush is president in 2002. (He was a Republican in case that small detail slipped anyone's mind.) Jim McDermott, Democrat, David E. Bonior, Democrat, who served as Democratic whip in the House from 1991 to 2002. Mike Thompson, Democrat. Nick Joe Rahall II, Democrat:
Rahall and another Congressman of Arab descent traveled to Syria and ignored State Department policy by meeting with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat...
Great! Nicky Joe is a twofer! He was not only trying to "undermine the diplomatic efforts of the American president by communicating directly" with the foreign government of Iraq, but tried to "undermine the diplomatic efforts" of the American State Department by communicating directly with a foreign leader (and part time terrorist), Yasser Arafat.

So these four...traitors(??) didn't just send a letter to Saddam Hussein. What's that they say? When you care enough to send the very best? They traveled to Iraq and met with the Iraqi foreign minister and members of their parliament.

Now, typically foreign policy isn't the purview of the House of Representatives, there probably isn't a lot in the budget for treason (according to good liberals), so where did they get the funding to pay their way to Iraq? Funny you should ask!

Muthanna Al-Hanooti was an official with a Michigan "charity" that offered to pay their way. But, in reality, Saddam Hussein offered Al-Hanooti some 2 million barrels of Iraqi oil in exchange for the charity funding the treasonous (according to liberals) quartet.  Saddam apparently used Iraqi intelligence agents (read: "spooks") to fund the intermediary.

And, as they say in the infomercials, But wait! There's more!!

Remember the Sandinistas? Ronald Reagan was president. (He was a Republican, in case that has slipped anyone's mind). Remember how many Democrats tried to thwart Reagan?
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger hammered John Kerry in 1985 for interfering in diplomatic negotiations with Nicaragua’s Marxist government as a (Democrat) Massachusetts senator. 
... Kerry and then-Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin (Democrat) visited Nicaragua in 1985 to cut a deal with the Sandinista government, which was close to the former Soviet Union. President Ronald Reagan, however, was already set on overthrowing the Marxist government in Nicaragua by sending aid to a group of Nicaraguan rebels — the contras.
So, Kerry and Harkin were  "trying to "undermine the diplomatic efforts of the American president by communicating directly" with a foreign government".  Which makes them (say it with me, America!)

Traitors.

(By the way, if you really wanted to call Kerry a traitor, there's more than enough material, but that's a story for another day!)

In 1984, Speaker of the House Jim Wright, Democrat (Are you starting to see a pattern here?) sent a letter - SENT A LETTER! - signed by ten Democrats, to  "undermine the diplomatic efforts of the American president by communicating directly" with a foreign government"!

Looking for this reference, I ran across the following from Breitbart News:
Senators John Sparkman (D-AL) and George McGovern (D-SD). The two Senators visited Cuba and met with government actors there in 1975. They said that they did not act on behalf of the United States, so the State Department ignored their activity. 
Senator Teddy Kennedy (D-MA). In 1983, Teddy Kennedy sent emissaries to the Soviets to undermine Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy. According to a memo finally released in 1991 from head of the KGB Victor Chebrikov to then-Soviet leader Yuri Andropov...

...Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). In 2002, Rockefeller told Fox News’ Chris Wallace, “I took a trip by myself in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq...

...House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). In April 2007, as the Bush administration pursued pressure against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went to visit him.
Traitors, traitors, traitors, traitors, TRAITORS!!!!

Can you say "hypocrisy"? I will bet you a large lunch at a drive in of your choice, that you will not be able to find a liberal, Democrat, no good lying weasel (but I repeat myself) who called any of these Democrats "traitors".

Democrats have been trying to criminalize differences of opinion for years. (Remember the Boland amendment?)  Aside from the Jonathan "I know the entire Democrat base is stupid" Gruber crowd,  this is demagoguery of the worst kind. Well, maybe not the worst kind. Nancy Pelosi bleating that Republicans wanted to defund Homeland Security and leave America defenseless, because they wanted to defund the part of Homeland Security that funded Obama's illegal illegal alien program is petty demagoguery.

Of course, you can find examples at least as far back as Newt Gingrich's speakership, when Newt proposed giving MORE money to school lunches, but funding it through the states, demagogues and their accomplices in the MSM spread the lie that the Republicans wanted to "starve kids", because they wanted to eliminate federal funding for school lunches. More money for school lunches = starving kids, if the feds aren't in charge of the funds.

So, I guess you could say that dishonest, lying Democrats (but, I repeat myself!) accusing Republicans of being traitors for doing no more or no less than the things they themselves do is just more of the same when it comes to demagoguery.

Bumper Sticker Of The Day: DELETE Hillary Clinton


Basketball Heaven: ACC Quarterfinals

Retirement has it perks.  Yesterday I enjoyed the second round of games in the ACC Tournament.  I slopped up on the couch and watched the afternoon matches between Clemson and Florida State followed by North Carolina and Boston College.

I jumped in the shower after the Tarheels shellacked the Eagles, fed my little furkid and headed out to my favorite watering hole to join friends to enjoy the contest between North Carolina State and the Pitt Panthers.  I stayed through the first half of the Canes/Hokies game and then headed back to Casa de Curmudgeon and turned in for the night.

The game plan today is to watch the first two quarterfinal games and then join my posse at the same watering hole to root for my beloved Duke Blue Devils.  I’m hoping for a victory so they can advance to the semi-finals and then on to the championship game on Saturday.

ESPN will carry the 12:00 PM tipoff featuring the Virginia Cavaliers and the Florida State Seminoles.  The Cavs have one the best defensives in the country so I think FSU is going to lose this game.

At 2:30 PM Louisville is set to play the North Carolina Tarheels.  This is their first ACC Tournament since joining the conference.  I’m not sure how they’re going to react to the venue of the Greensboro Coliseum which will be filled to the rafters with fans rooting for their “home” teams.  The two teams split their regular season meetings, but I’m predicting a victory for the Heels.

My evening will be spent with friends watching the two remaining games of the quarterfinals that pit my beloved Duke Blue Devils against the Wolfpack of North Carolina State.  The Pack had a really strong game against the Pitt Panthers and they knocked the Blue Devils from the ranks of the unbeaten back in January, but Duke drew a double-bye for the tourney so they are well-rested.  This game is going to be brutal, but I think Duke is hungry to win.

The final game of the quarterfinals will see the Irish of Notre Dame go up against the Miami Hurricanes.  I can’t stand either team and could care less who wins.  Wait.  No, that’s not true.  I’m going to root for the Canes in this one.  I don’t think they can pull off the win, but that doesn’t mean I can’t root for them.

GO DUKE

And because no basketball post would be complete without some pom-poms, check out the gals of the ACC.


UPDATE 2:15 PM:  Poor FSU.  They never had a chance against the Cavs.  They threw clunker after clunker and were slow running down court to defend and wound up losing 58-44.

UPDATE 4:42 PM:  For a team that can't decide which league they want to play in, they may want to consider yet another after losing pitifully to Carolina 70-60.  'Ol googly-eyed Rick Pitino told his players not to foul with 21 seconds left in the game.  Now the Tarheels face Virginia tomorrow in the semi-finals.

FINAL UPDATE:  I couldn't contain my joy watching the Blue Devils manhandle the Wolfpack.  The final score was 77-53.  NC State fell behind by double digits early in the first half and never had a chance at recovering.  Notre Dame barely escaped against the Canes.  They ran hot and cold but managed to win 70-63.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Basketball Heaven

In Tuesday’s first round of the ACC Tournament, Boston College defeated Georgia Tech and Wake Forest lost a heartbreaker to Virginia Tech.

Today’s Second Round match-ups, which will air on ESPN and ESPN2, has No. 8 Clemson playing No. 9 Florida State, No. 5 North Carolina vs. No. 12 Boston College, No. 7 North Carolina State playing No. 10 Pitt and No. 6 Miami goes against No. 14 Virginia Tech.

The ACC Tournament is a three-day battle on the hardwoods for the crown before the winner heads on to their NCAA dreams.

No. 1 Virginia will play the winner of the Clemson/Florida State game in Thursday’s Quarterfinals.  I believe FSU will defeat Clemson.  Louisville will be pitted against the winner of the North Carolina/Boston College game.  North Carolina will edge out the Eagles.

As a big-time Dookie, the 7 PM game between NC State and Pitt is of enormous interest as the winner will face my beloved Duke Blue Devils in the quarterfinals on Thursday.  I smell a victory for the Wolfpack due to Pitt’s weak defense.

Finally, the winner of the Miami/Virginia Tech game will meet the Irish of Notre Dame at 9 PM on Thursday.  The Hurricanes whipped the Hokies twice in the regular season and will likely emerge the winner tonight.

I am going to be in basketball heaven for the next three days watching teams that comprise the very best of men’s college hoops.  I make no secret of my love for Duke.  I know America hates them, but hey, with a 28-3 record and ranked No. 2 in the AP Poll and the USA Today Coaches Poll they are indisputably a title-winning team.  The hate piles up for Duke in the same way it does for the New York Yankees or the Dallas Cowboys; they’re worthy opponents.

And since no basketball post would be complete without some lovely cheerleaders, have a gander at these pretty young things.


UPDATE 2:32 PM:  The Noles barely defeat the Tigers 76-73 after losing a 20-point lead.

UPDATE 4:57 PM:  With 5:01 left in the game, if became apparent the Eagles could not overcome the big lead the Tarheels had.  Carolina wins 81-63.

UPDATE 9:13 PM:  The Panthers played hard, but struggled throughout the game never once taking the lead.  The Wolfpack skinned the cats 81-70.

FINAL UPDATE:  Hokie's turnovers killed their chances to win against the Canes.  Their only lead in the game came in the second half and quickly disappeared as they lost 59-49.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Curmudgeonly Cartoon: The Server Will Remain Private


Monday, March 9, 2015

Hillary Clinton and the Emails of Doom

...or, No Sequel for Hillary!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

My friend Adrienne, over at Adrienne's Corner, put up a post minimizing the importance of Hillary's email in flagrante delicto, characterizing it as a "tempest in a teapot". I'm sure that plenty on the Left would love for us to believe this, and have in the meantime, come up with some of the lamest excuses, defenses  and doublespeak I have ever heard from a liberal, bar none.

Surprisingly, though a number of folks on the Left are outraged by her conduct as well. Let's examine (and shred) some of the arguments put forth on Hillary's behalf.  

Her emails were public (because she sent them out publicly ) Lannie Davis, long time Clinton apologist, tried to make the argument that Hillary had made her emails public because she sent out so many of them publicly. Let's call this the "iceberg defense". As long as you can see part of it, just assume you've seen it all!
what she did was open. She sent these e-mails to thousands of people with that e-mail address. So there's no intent to hide...
This is absurd on the face. Any email she sent to you is not necessarily public to me. The fact that thousands of people may have received emails from Hillary's account, means the account may have been public, but not the emails. Apples and Orangemen. The fact that she sent out thousands of emails is irrelevant unless all of them are archived with the government so that they can be searched, and if need be, subpoenaed. If she sent 1,000 emails to Kim Kardashian and 20 to Vladimir Putin, turning over all the Kardashian emails doesn't mean her email was "public". They are public when the public has access to them all, according to prevailing law. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was passed because some government officials had to be forced by law to turn certain documents that should have been part of the public record, over to 'we the people'. But, FOIA doesn't give you access to Hillary's private server, therefore the original documents are in fact being hidden away from the public who owns them.

Any possibility that there are emails from Ambassador Chris Stevens to his boss and good friend Hillary Clinton, telling her of deteriorating conditions, requesting more protection for the compound at Benghazi? Emails from Hillary to Chris telling him to pound sand?? It would be most unusual if there weren't.

Any emails to Saudi Arabia around the time the Saudis gave $25 Million to the Clinton Foundation? From them? Any veiled (pun intended) hints of a quid pro quo?

No Independent Legal Authority This from former alleged conservative turned conservative inquisitioner David Brock. He says the NYT had 'no independent legal authority' to say that Hillary broke any law. This sounds a little bit like the Al Gore's fundraising excuse, back in 1996, when the Clintons were looking at a different controversy in accepting money from foreign governments. "There is no controlling legal authority",was what the vice president said. David Brock notwithstanding, there was a 2009 regulation
"agencies that allow employees to send and receive official electronic email messages using a system not operated by the agency, must ensure that federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency record keeping system."
Hillary's house is NOT in an appropriate agency record keeping system.  

The State Dept manual on foreign affairs stated that employees "must use a secure, department approved computer system". Who, dear Hillary, aside from yourself, in your department approved your personal system? Craig Livingston*? Was there a tape back up run by Rose Mary Woods**??

False equivalence "Hillary did nothing wrong, everybody has a private email account!" Everyone may have a belly button, too, but that's equally irrelevant. Having an additional email account to one's government account is not unusual for public officials. In fact, Congressmen are forbidden by law to use their gov't email for fund raising or campaign events, so they use private accounts for those, as liberals are pointing out with glee. "See? See? Congressman Hornblatt has a private email and it's RIGHT ON HIS BUSINESS CARD!!!"***  However, not one of them uses a private account exclusively for conducting government business. That's a distinction that falls solely to Hillary Diane Rodham Milhous Clinton.

In fact, you do remember the faux outrage over the suggestion that a Republican governor may have conducted some government business on a private email account? Romney? Palin?? "What were they trying to hide???" What if they had conducted ALL of their communications on a private email server, say one called GOP.org? Would the lynching be public or would they be flayed and boiled in oil first? Can I get even a small fraction of the outrage there, for one of the highest office holders in the land, who used a private email account EXCLUSIVELY for all her government business, none of it properly archived in government agencies?  

"Bush did it" in 2007, something something, missing emails, something something, Bush and Cheney did it, too! More false equivalence. Whatever Bush and Cheney did, you can be 100% certain that Bush did not exclusively conduct government business on private email, with some private server in Crawford, Texas. You can also be 100% certain that Bush was not soliciting cash for any private eponymous foundation and arranging any quid pro quos for infusions of cash to foreign governments.  

Hillary turned over 55,000 emails. That's a LOT! State Dept spokesperson Marie Harf may be easily impressed with large numbers. And shiny objects. Actually, it's 55,000 pages of documents. Out of how many emails? Ever get a highly detailed email or one with attachments that ran more than one page? Me too.

Even if that were 99.999% of the government documents generated, it would not be enough. If there were 55,002 emails she sent, and she conveniently neglected to hand over two incriminating ones, it circumvents both the spirit and the intention of the law, and the record is incomplete. Short of giving all the servers to the government for a forensic evaluation, there cannot be full compliance. The Clintons sending out copies of however many emails they want is not evidence that the email was totally or properly archived. The servers need to be turned over. Every document she authored as Secretary of State needs to be properly archived. This is part of the history of this country and this government. Those emails do not belong to Hillary.

The Clintons should turn over all the servers to an impartial third party or court, to separate the personal from the professional, so that the professional can be archived and searchable. Until then, one can never know if there has been a full compliance with the law.  

At that time, there was no time requirement. Now there is.  Again, the lovely Ms. Harf strains credulity. Even though there was not a 60 day requirement, as I believe is the case today, is it reasonable to assume that Hillary was in compliance if after two years, she only turns documents over after they were subpoenaed?

If a politician generates hard copy documents on their own stationery, are they entitled to store them in their garage until such time as someone compels them to be delivered?
"And she has given everything, according to her staff, to the State Dept." 
Key words being "according to her staff".

But! But! There's a lot of private information on them too! All of the Clintons' private emails! This is just a "fishing expedition" by Republicans! Gosh. Actions have consequences! Even Hillary's. No one made Hillary set up her own private email servers. If she had wanted to keep her personal email separate from those emails which properly are the property of the people of the United States, then the "smartest woman in the world" should have figured out to keep her personal emails on her private servers and emails dealing with the office of the Secretary of State should have been archived on government servers from the very beginning. Period.  

National Security Risk We know that Hillary's email was hacked. What we don't know is how many times and by whom? A hacker who goes by the name of guccifer hacked Hillary's email and published a number of them. But, if a common everyday garden variety hacker could hack Hillary's email, how about teams of hackers from foreign governments? Could a foreign government or governments have hacked Hillary's email for confidential or even classified information? We don't know. That's one of the reason why the government needs to conduct a forensic search of her private servers.

The thought occurred to me, given the insecurity of Clintonemail, that if a foreign government or governments had hacked her account, they would have had the inside scoop, play by play of US foreign policy, for possibly as many years as she was Sec State. Imagine the foreign policy failures of the last six years. What if Barack Obama is not the bumbling, fumbling incompetent we've come to know and love. What if the reason he was so easily thwarted by Putin in the Ukraine, by Bashar al-Assad ignoring his red lines, by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the mad mullahs of Iran was not because he was a foreign policy noob, but because there was a gigantic hole in his secure communications, and nations unfriendly towards the US were listening in?

Did Hillary ever in her entire tenure as Secretary of State send a classified document via email? Not inconceivable, in fact, probable. That means at least for a time, that document was stored on whatever device she was using, her Blackberry, perhaps, desktop or laptop and a copy of it was created (illegally) on the server in her Chappaqua home. How is this any different than the felony that Gen. Petraeus was charged with in having classified documents in an unsecure location. Because Petraeus brought his in notebooks and Hillary brought hers in "1"s and "0"s?  

But! But! Secret Service Agents surrounded the server in her house Physically, maybe. But secure against hacking? See: Guccifer. Oh, and did I mention it's against the law? Was the Secret Service even aware the servers were there, possibly with classified information on them, much less needing protection against intruders? Knowing the Clintons, I rather doubt it. Was her webmaster a frequent visitor at the house? Was it by any chance Craig Livingston??  

The law changed after Hillary left office True. But that doesn't mean that many of the same requirements weren't in place before the law changed. The law became more specific, but the underlying principles of archiving official US mail in US government agencies, via whatever medium, did not change.  

Questionable foreign contributions to the Clinton Foundation That's what put everyone onto the missing emails in the first place. It seems that the Clintons have been accepting tons and tons of money from foreign governments, laundering it, er benevolently distributing it, after passing through the sticky fingers of Bill and Hil, who spent about a million dollars just on transportation last year, even providing first class tickets for an actress and her dog to some such "charitable" event.  The Clintons continue to live like kings and queens, filtering millions through their charitable organization (charity apparently begins at home!), along with the millions of dollars of government pensions, presidential expenses and speaking fees.

We do know that the State Dept. sent literally billions of dollars to the government of Haiti. And in 2012, the government of Haiti gave a gold mining permit to Hillary's brother, the first one coincidentally, issued in 50 years. Quid pro quo, anyone? Maybe having a record of correspondence between the Secretary of State, or the Clinton foundation (or both) and the government of Haiti might tell a tale!

How many other deals conducted by the State Dept may have been preceded or closely followed by "contributions" to the Clinton Foundation? Yet another reason, if not the primary reason, to keep their correspondence secret and unsearchable?  

Put the shoe on the other foot Forget all of the arguments you've heard to date. Now suppose the identical circumstances exist, but the official in question was George Bush, Sarah Palin, or Dick Cheney, or even...Richard Nixon?  If they told you, "Look, I've given you all the pertinent emails, because I said I've given you all the emails. Trust me!" At this point, does anyone, however so gullible, say, "Oh, well! If you say so, it must be true. Nevermind!"  

Guilt by association... What Charles Krauthammer refers to as "Early Onset Clinton Fatigue", is Hillary's close association with...Bill and Hillary! As bad as the 'dialing for dollars' of the Clinton Foundation, the apparent quid pro quos of Hillary's State Dept, with a strong suspicion of dialing for dollars for the Clinton Foundation, the missing emails and possible cover up of Benghazi, and perhaps even criminal enterprises, the longer Hillary's integrity stands in question, the more apparent it is, that she does not have any! This whole sordid affair has stirred up Clinton scandals long forgotten, but never resolved. Cattle futures? Rose Law firm records? Travelgate? Whitewater? FBI files?  Every shady deal that Hillary ever stuck her fingers into is now coming back to haunt her, like King Hamlet's ghost. "Out, out, damned servers!", she shrieks.

Speaking of self inflicted wounds, how does Hillary ever completely convince anyone, other than the Kool-Aid drenched, low information voters, that she has indeed turned over all official emails?  Having been the sole custodian of her emails, both good and bad for six years, how could any outsider know how many emails, or servers that might be incriminating that are not turned over? Do you ask the fox how many chickens were originally in the henhouse? Would you believe him? Exactly how many emails were there? How long is a rope?

Given the Clintons' long and checkered past, can anyone believe that they a) never did anything even questionably unethical, or b) they haven't tried to cover it up, ala the Rose Law firm billing records. Or Filegate or travelgate or who hired Craig Livingston...  

Bottom Line for the Drama Queen of Chappaqua  Hillary is sticking to the typical Clinton playbook: dribble out a little information and then hunker down until things hopefully quiet down, then, it's "old news". But this is, I'm convinced, the beginning of the end of Hillary's political career. I'd been thinking for a little while now that Hillary was just being coy about running for President, because, if she's a potential or viable candidate, she's courted by media outlets, her speeches command more money, her influence carries more weight. All of this translates into cash. And then, there's her ego, but...follow the money!

After Hillary makes it clear she is not running, she's yesterday's news. Period.  Her influence shrinks, her speeches aren't as exciting (or expensive). No one is quite so eager to purchase access to citizen Clinton as they might to candidate Clinton, with a hope of being President Clinton. The media would turn its eye to actual candidates, leaving Hillary in the dustbin of history, to spend the rest of her life to knitting booties for the grandkids and making sweet, sweet love to Billy Jeff.****

 Her emails regarding Benghazi have already been subpoenaed.  It's just a matter of time.

Stick a fork in her, she's done.

* Craig Livingston, employed by the Clintons at the time of the FBI file scandal, although no one would admit to having hired him

** Rose Mary Woods, Nixon's secretary, allegedly responsible for erasing 18 minutes of White House office recordings

***For brevity's sake, I did not use the prerequisite number of exclamation points generally used by the Left in such cases.

**** I know. Where's the mind bleach when you really need it?

Original art by John Cox. More at John Cox Art

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