Archive | May 2011

WeinerGate: Hacking or Mistake? Update: How’d Weiner Get Back In To Twitter?


By now, many people should have seen the coverage of what’s being dubbed Weinergate… if you haven’t, here’s a good primer from the PJ Tatler.

Now, Weiner started off claiming that it was a hacking job, but there’s several problems with that explanation. First, it would have had to be two hack-jobs… one to hack the yfrog account and post the picture in question, and once to hack the Twitter account and send the tweet. Just one account being hacked is problematic enough, but two stretches the imagination to the point where “Weiner goofed and is now desperately trying to cover up” becomes more likely than a double-hack.

The fact that it may have been a mistake has some technical merit, as well, as pointed out by Lee Stranahan, from the Twitter support files about tweets from a cell phone:

Note: If your message is longer than 140 characters and Twitter receives it intact, we will send your message in two parts for you. But, beware: if your service provider breaks up long messages into two parts before sending the message to Twitter, we will only see the d+username attached to the first message! The second part will post to the public time line as a regular update because it doesn’t have the d+username preceding it.

Now, the pic in question looks like it could easily have been a cell phone photo, so if Weiner got a bit wordy in his message accompanying the pic–and he is a Congresscritter, after all–it could easily have caused the message to be split.

And, secondly, Weiner has refused to say whether or not the person in the pic was him, which leads to the question, if it wasn’t him, why wouldn’t he say so loudly and often?

Occam’s razor is definitely pointing to a mistake by Weiner that he’s now desperately trying to cover up because it points to some very inappropriate behavior.

UPDATE and BUMP: A very good point raised by commenter “Black Sabbath” over on the PJ Tatler (comment #4):

And we’re still supposed to believe the hacker just handed the Weiner the keys back to the accounts after messing with him for a little while.

How did Weiner regain access to his Twitter account so soon after the hacking? You’d think that the first thing a malicious hacker would do would be to change the password so that Weiner couldn’t do any damage control… like deleting the offending tweet. If Weiner used the “forgot password” routine to regain access, there should be a record of it on the Twitter computers… those things are frequently used to hack accounts so it’s highly likely any reputable company is going to keep a record of them. Has Twitter been asked if Weiner did that–or perhaps contacted the company directly–to regain access to his own account?

The more I think about this, the fishier the “hacker” story smells.

Why Lefties Hate Fox News


I’ve never seen it explained better:

If you read the histories of journalists over the past 40 years or so, certain patterns emerge. Most of them — like the folks at Slate — are liberal and got into the business to “change the world.” Further, most of them are losers who did not play sports and could not get dates in high school and college. When Fox came along, with its chutzpah in allowing conservatives an actual voice, its bombshell anchors, its joyful ridicule of the self-righteous left, its outright sense of fun — well, this was just too much. Liberal journalists — now there’s a redundancy — didn’t just see their empire collapsing. They saw the cheerleaders who ignored them. They saw the conservative jock they hated and his country-club parents. They saw these people, these ogres, moving into their turf. And they went absolutely batshit.

And they continue to do so. Liberals can’t just ignore Fox; they find it too fascinating. They are like the kids in high school who absolutely despise the pretty, popular girl, then spend hours on the phone every night talking about her. At the core of it is jealousy, as well as the rage, paranoia and resentment that Tim Dickinson attributes to Fox. I mean, journalists were going to help the left change the world. And you can’t do that by giving dissenters a voice.

In fact, this also explains why lefties get so upset when any conservative wins anything, especially elective office.

DNC Chair: Republicans Want To Make Crime Illegal!


Debbie Wasserman Schultz demonstrates her grasp of doublespeak:

“We have 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country that are part of the backbone of our economy and this is not only a reality but a necessity,” she said. “And that it would be harmful–the Republican solution that I’ve seen in the last three years is that we should just pack them all up and ship them back to their own countries and that in fact it should be a crime and we should arrested them all.”

Gee, one might think that illegal immigrants were… well… breaking the law!

Happy Memorial Day!


Here’s something for everyone to do while waiting for the steaks or burgers to barbecue…

First, go to PajamasMedia and read this moving story about how the mom of a fallen soldier started an organization and managed to get a CD/DVD combo put together with basically no money.

Then, go to America’s Mighty Warriors and buy that CD/DVD. Maybe get a t-shirt as well!

And pray for those who have lost loved ones to keep us all safe… not just in the current conflicts, but from the Revolutionary War forward.

Perry May Run For President


Rick Perry is starting to sound like a candidate:

Gov. Rick Perry today gave his strongest indication yet that he may run for president.

“I’m going to think about it” after the legislative session ends Monday, Perry said. He added, “But I think about a lot of things.”

For years, Perry has said that he would not run for president and that he had no interest in the job. He has often said that he has said no to the presidential question in as many ways as he could.

But he and his advisers have inched closer to saying he may run all week, following the announcement that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels would not enter the GOP field. A couple of days ago, he told Greta Van Susteren on Fox News that a run was tempting.

Gov. Perry would certainly shake up the current crop of hopefuls, and might even stand a good chance of winning the whole thing.

Romney Supports Ethanol


Well, Mitt’s definitely no Tim Pawlenty:

Bombarded with questions following his talk at the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Presidential Forum Speaker Series, the former Massachusetts governor told the gaggle of press and fans today that he supports the production of ethanol.

“I support the subsidy of ethanol,” said Romney, working his way through the Des Moines crowd, where he shook hands and doled out autographs. “I believe it’s an important part of our energy solution in this country.”

If I had one question to ask Mitt, it would be, “if ethanol is such a great fuel, why can’t it compete on its own without government subsidies?”

MediScare vs. ObamaCare


The Wall Street Journal lays out the difference between what the Democrats say the Ryan plan will do and what ObamaCare is already set to do if it’s not repealed:

Last August, the Office of the Medicare Actuary predicted that Medicare will be paying doctors less than what Medicaid pays by the end of this decade and, by then, one in seven hospitals will have to leave the Medicare system.

But suppose the law is implemented just as it’s written. In that case, according to the Medicare Trustees, Medicare’s long-term unfunded liability fell by $53 trillion on the day ObamaCare was signed.

But at what cost to the elderly? Consider people reaching the age of 65 this year. Under the new law, the average amount spent on these enrollees over the remainder of their lives will fall by about $36,000 at today’s prices. That sum of money is equivalent to about three years of benefits. For 55-year-olds, the spending decrease is about $62,000—or the equivalent of six years of benefits. For 45-year-olds, the loss is more than $105,000, or nine years of benefits.

In terms of the sheer dollars involved, the law’s reduction in future Medicare payments is the equivalent of raising the eligibility age for Medicare to age 68 for today’s 65-year-olds, to age 71 for 55-year-olds and to age 74 for 45-year-olds. But rather than keep the system as is and raise the age of eligibility, the reform law instead tries to achieve equivalent savings by paying less to the providers of care.

The GOP needs to make this case loudly, strongly, and often. Democrats wanted ObamaCare, it’s time to really hang that lead weight around their necks.

Oops! Dem Who Rips GOP Opposition To Auto Bailouts Drives A Foreign Car!


File this one under “do as I say, not as I do.”

The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) appears to drive a foreign car, despite criticizing Republican presidential candidates for supposedly favoring foreign auto manufacturers.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the DNC, ripped into Republican presidential contenders who opposed President Obama’s 2009 bailouts for General Motors and Chrysler.

“If it were up to the candidates for president on the Republican side, we would be driving foreign cars; they would have let the auto industry in America go down the tubes,” she said at a breakfast for reporters organized by The Christian Science Monitor.

But according to Florida motor vehicle records, the Wasserman Schultz household owns a 2010 Infiniti FX35, a Japanese car whose parent company is Nissan, another Japanese company. The car appears to be hers, since its license plate includes her initials.

But… but… but… she’s one of the self-anointed elite, she’s allowed to break the rules she sets for other people!

No Surprise: Sumi Strikes Down WI Budget Repair Bill


Nope, no surprise here, given that this judge is from the bluest county of Wisconsin. This one is almost certainly headed to the state supreme court, and Gov. Walker stands a good chance of winning, because of this fact pointed out by two legal experts:

“She doesn’t address the argument that the open meetings law wasn’t violated because of various senate and assembly and joint rules” that exempted the legislature from the law’s requirements, says Rick Esenberg, a professor at Marquette University Law School.

And…

The senate chief clerk, a nonpartisan official who advises the senate on parliamentary and legal issues, advised the senate majority leader that no notice was required to be given for the March 9 meeting other than a bulletin board posting because the senate was in special session. The open meetings law does not apply to special sessions, under which the legislature was convened on March 9.

The open meetings law states: “No provision of this subchapter which conflicts with a rule of the senate or assembly or joint rule of the legislature shall apply to a meeting conducted in compliance with such rule.”

And the Wisconsin senate and assembly each have a rule stating that during special sessions: “A notice of a committee meeting is not required other than posting on the legislative bulletin board, and a bulletin of committee hearings may not be published [emphasis added].”

In other words, the law that Sumi used to strike down this bill does not even apply in this situation.

Even Democrats Don’t Like Obama’s Budget


It went down to defeat in the Senate today… by a vote of 0 aye, 97 nay.

That’s right. Not even one Democrat in the Senate voted for it.

And where is Harry Reid’s budget proposal? Nonexistent.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said it would be “foolish” for Democrats to propose their own federal budget for 2012, despite continued attacks from Republicans that the party is ducking its responsibility to put forward a solution to the nation’s deficit problems.

“There’s no need to have a Democratic budget in my opinion,” Reid said in an interview Thursday. “It would be  foolish for us to do a budget at this stage.”

No, the Dems would rather bash the GOP budget than offer one of their own.

So, as you wander around the blogosphere, remember this tip… if some lefty troll bashes Ryan’s budget, ask them where the heck Reid’s is… or how Obama’s did in the Senate. And don’t let them weasel out of it, hold their feet to the fire.

Dr. Sanity On The Narcissistic Sins Of The Left


Psychiatrist and blogger Dr. Pat Santy, who blogs under the appropriate name of Dr. Sanity, has started a series of posts about The Political Left And The Seven Deadly Sins Of Narcissism.

It’s hard to excerpt such a post, but this should give you a little taste:

The ideology of the political left in all its various iterations–socialist, communist, radical environmentalism, progressive; call it what you will– is, at its core an essentially narcissistic and self-indulgent pursuit of power, with all the unhealthy psychological attributes that implies

This is not to suggest that narcissism or sociopathy exit merely within the political left. Clearly it does not. But, having made that qualification, today’s progressive leftist is steeped in and encouraged by an ideology that rewards only feelings and not critical thinking or truth; fantasy and not reality; and good intentions instead of actual outcome in the real world. The seven deadly sins of narcissism outlined above lead the the poor, innocent and unsuspecting lefist into cognitive dissonance in his thinking patterns and wreak all sorts of misery and spiritual destruction on the people who are the targets of the leftists’ supposed goodwill.

But they neither care nor notice, since the primary determinant of why they do what they do is to make themselves feel good; to escape for one brief moment the emptiness of their own individual souls and the self-hatred and rage that motivate them.

Part 1 deals with the first two of these sins, and I’m definitely looking forward to part 2.

Obama Advisor Jarrett Helped Jesse Lee Propose To Nita “General Betray-Us” Chaudhary


And the saga of Jesse Lee keeps getting more embarrassing for President Obama:

I’m told that senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett quietly helped a fellow aide, White House online guru Jesse Lee, hatch a plan to propose to his Indian-American girlfriend at the glitzy state dinner festivities yesterday.

But, as so much else does in the White House, the plans went awry due to unforseen events and had to be hastily reworked on the spot.

When the state dinner honoring the prime minister of India was first announced, Lee quietly approached Jarrett and asked for her help in laying a plan to propose to his girlfriend at the dinner. The venue was particularly meaningful because Lee’s girlfriend, Nita Chaudhary, a top official at MoveOn, is from an esteemed Indian family that includes the former foreign secretary of India.

I wonder if Lee realized the first negative news stories he’d have to deal with were gonna be about him?

Edwards Will Be Prosecuted


And remember, this man was once the choice of many Democrats for the big chair in the Oval Office:

The United States Department of Justice has green-lighted the prosecution of former presidential candidate John Edwards for alleged violations of campaign laws while he tried to cover up an extra-marital affair, ABC News has learned.

A source close to the case said Edwards is aware that the government intends to seek an indictment and that the former senator from North Carolina is now considering his limited options. He could accept a plea bargain with prosecutors or face a potentially costly trial.

Edwards has been the focus of a lengthy federal investigation focusing on hundreds of thousands of dollars allegedly provided by two wealthy supporters. The government will contend those were illegal donations that ultimately went to support and seclude his mistress, Rielle Hunter.

Now, the question is, will Edwards fight, or try to plea-bargain? I’m pretty sure any plea bargain is still gonna involve jail time, so he might decide to fight… or he might not.

Barone Nails It On ObamaCare


Michael Barone might just have written the perfect 2012 campaign slogan for the GOP:

If Obamacare is so great, why do so many people want to get out from under it?

That’s part of a piece about the various ObamaCare waivers, which Barone then continues to hammer:

More specifically, why are more than half of those 3,095,593 [citizens covered by waivers] in plans run by labor unions, which were among Obamacare’s biggest political supporters? Union members are only 12 percent of all employees but have gotten 50.3 percent of Obamacare waivers.

Just in April, Sebelius granted 38 waivers to restaurants, nightclubs, spas and hotels in former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco congressional district. Pelosi’s office said she had nothing to do with it.

On its website HHS pledges that the waiver process will be transparent. But it doesn’t list those whose requests for waivers have been denied.

It does say that requests are “reviewed on a case by case basis by Department officials who look at a series of factors including” — and then lists two factors. And it refers you to another website that says that “several factors . . . may be considered” — and then lists six factors.

What other factors may be considered? Political contributions or connections? (Unions contributed $400 million to Democrats in the 2008 campaign cycle.) The websites don’t say.

Transparent… but we won’t tell you what factors we consider. Orwell would be proud.

Obama’s Pushback Czar Linked By Marriage To “General Betray-Us” Ad


The PJ Tatler does the simple research (i.e. Googling) the Dinosaur Media didn’t want to–for reasons that should be obvious soon–and finds an embarrassing connection in the background of Obama’s new Director of Progressive Media & Online Response, Jesse Lee:

Lee is married to Nita Chaudary. Here is a CSPAN transcript from Sep. 10, 2007, wherein Chaudary represents — and ardently defends — MoveOn.org for publishing the Petraeus smear ad prior to Petraeus speaking a word before Congress.

Says Chaudary:

We want to make sure the truth gets out there in advance of this testimony.

I found the following bio for Chaudary from 2008:

Nita Chaudhary, Campaign Director at MoveOn.org Political Action: Nita leads MoveOn’s campaigns on the Iraq War, Constitutional Liberties as well as running the fundraising program for MoveOn’s 2008 electoral effort. In the past she was the Director of Online organizing for the DNC. She’s also held several positions at People for the American Way, including Media Research Analyst, Web Editor, and Online Organizer.

I think it fairly safe to hypothesize that Chaudary may own that ad: as the leader of MoveOn’s campaigns regarding the Iraq war, the ad as conceived may be her work.

I think anyone familiar with media bias can understand why the Dinosaur Media didn’t bother to report on this part of Lee’s family.

DNC Sinks To Using Bibi To Try To Silence Jewish Republicans


Just when I think the Democrats can’t sink any lower, they prove me wrong:

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday met with representative delegates of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) and the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC). But while the meeting was meant to shore up bipartisan support for Israel from American Jewish political organizations, it quickly became a partisan bickering match, with the chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Debbie Wasserman Schultz, using the platform to tell Republican Jews to stop doing what they’re doing.

The RJC used their opening remarks to say that now was a historical time for the future of the Middle East, and to thank Prime Minister Netanyahu for meeting with them. But while the NJDC’s chairman said essentially the same thing, he was followed by hyper-partisan comments, first from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Steve Israel and then from the DNC chair, Wasserman Schultz.

Sitting in front of Netanyahu, the DNC chair asked the RJC to “pledge to refrain in 2012 from using Israel as part of the issues in campaigns,” according to RJC executive director Matt Brooks. “It started that way. Right from the get go they just jumped on it.”

Admittedly, this isn’t all Democrats doing this, but then again, the Democratic National Committee did elect Wasserman Schultz in an open election among their members, so they’re at least partially responsible for her behavior. And her antics have been known for some time, since at least 2006. So it’s not like she was an unknown quantity when campaigning to take over the DNC.

Bad News For IPAB


USA Today did their best to bury it–it doesn’t even appear on their main Opinion page–but a big gun in the healthcare debate has weighed in on the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board, and finds it worth repealing:

We all agree that Medicare costs must be contained and that the payment system is flawed and needs to be replaced. But simply cutting reimbursements is not the answer. IPAB brings unpredictability and uncertainty to providers and has the potential for stifling innovation and collaboration.

The threat of reduced payments is the least imaginative option and most unlikely to result in the kind of heath care we know seniors and all Americans deserve.

Now, I am sure you think that some conservative wrote that.

You’d be wrong. The author is a Democrat.

And not just any Democrat:

Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, D-Pa., is a former health care executive who helped draft and support the health reform law signed by President Obama.

I’d say if even she is against IPAB, its days may be numbered.

Obama Names Pushback Czar


Watch out, bloggers and commenters, here comes Obama’s Online Pushback Czar:

The White House has named Jesse Lee to a new position within its communications department titled Director of Progressive Media & Online Response. According to The Huffington Post, Lee will essentially be responsible for building up Obama’s online presence as he prepares for his reelection bid, and squashing any negative stories:

Squashing negative stories, hmmm? I guess the First Amendment no longer applies… but why bother with a 200+ year old document when you’re fundamentally transforming America?

One wonders why they just didn’t call it the George Orwell Memorial Ministry of Truth? That even has an easy acronym, GOMMOT. On second thought, that’s not quite as catchy as MiniTrue.

Pawlenty’s Iowa Gamble


It looks like T-Paw has not only thrown his hat in the big Presidential Ring, he’s also thrown the dice on a big crapshoot right at the start of his campaign: talking about ending ethanol subsidies… in IOWA!

This is an immense gamble for the midwesterner. If he comes across as someone who’s really serious about getting our fiscal house in order, it could pay very big dividends to him. However, if the Iowans get upset about him pulling the Federal Trough away, he’s in deep trouble right at the start of the campaign. I don’t know if he has a strategy for winning the nomination after losing Iowa, but politics is largely about perception, and if he starts off perceived as a loser… well, you can probably figure the rest on your own.

In short, T-Paw will likely sink or swim depending on how he did with that speech today in Iowa.

Watch for yourself.

A Stimulus For Tax Cheats?


That’s what the AP found:

Thousands of companies that cashed in on President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package owed the government millions in unpaid taxes, congressional investigators have found.

The Government Accountability Office, in a report being released Tuesday, said at least 3,700 government contractors and nonprofit organizations that received more than $24 billion from the stimulus effort owed $757 million in back taxes as of Sept. 30, 2009, the end of the budget year.

Your tax dollars at work!

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