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The Patriots News Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:12:10 GMT  

The National Popular Vote Fallacy
In 2000, out of a total popular vote of 101,455,900, the Gore-Lieberman ticket won a narrow majority, 50,999,900 votes (50.26%) to 50,456,000 (49.74%) for Bush-Cheney.

http://www.cnsnews.com/rss/headlines.xml Sun, 05 May 2013 05:17:45 GMT  


http://www.newsbusters.org/node/feed Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:12:10 GMT  


http://americandaily.ws/index.php/amdws-rss Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:12:17 GMT  


Breitbart Feed Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:12:17 GMT  

MN State Rep Wants $329,000 Refund from Jonathan Gruber for Work With 'Beyond Laughable' Error Rates

Minnesota State Representative Greg Davids is calling for embattled MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber, the "architect" of Obamacare, to return all $329,000 he was paid by the state of Minnesota as a subcontractor on a 2011 contract to analyze the state's plan to develop its Obamacare health care exchange, MNSure.

On November 21, Davids sent a letter to Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson requesting her to investigate Gruber's work.

"In recent weeks," Davids wrote, "significant concerns have been raised regarding the contract between the State of Minnesota and Dr. Jonathan Gruber entered into in March 2011. In light of troubling remarks by Dr. Gruber and MNsure, I believe that a review of Dr. Gruber’s work, and payments made to him, is necessary."

On December 9, Davids sent a second letter to Swanson.

"Earlier today," Davids wrote, "in testimony before Congressional investigators, Dr. Jonathan Gruber refused to answer questions regarding compensation for his work with state-based insurance exchanges. The evasiveness displayed by Dr. Gruber reinforces my concerns expressed in the previous letter."

"I implore your office to investigate Dr. Gruber’s work and its relationship to MNsure’s fiscal troubles," Davids requested again, "and urge you to explore all possible remedies for recovering the taxpayer funds wasted on his report."

"To date," Davids told Breitbart News in an exclusive statement on Wednesday, "I have received word via phone call that the Attorney General's office was working on a response, but nothing in writing yet."

Davids blasted Gruber's projections for the state of Minnesota about enrollment for the state's health care exchange, MNSure, when it launched.

"MNsure, Dr. Gruber and Governor Dayton's Administration repeatedly guaranteed that the exchange would serve 1.3 million Minnesotans by 2016, including over 600,000 in commercial plans - a financial necessity to avoid a taxpayer bailout," Davids told Breitbart News.

"Those projections were so far off that it has proved absurd," Davids said.

"Instead of 500,000 private enrollees by the end of 2015, MNsure has repeatedly lowered Dr. Gruber's projections and now estimates that fewer than 70,000 will enroll in private plans by the end of next year," Davids added.

"The error rate for Dr. Gruber's work is beyond laughable," Davids stated.

"It is a shame," Davids continued, "that nearly $600,000 in public funds was used for projections that were inaccurate from the moment MNsure opened. The Dayton Administration has essentially used over $150 million in taxpayer money to build a broken IT system for public health programs."

Davids, who has served in the Minnesota House of Representatives since 1991, is scheduled to become Chairman of the powerful House Taxes Committee in January.

"There has been little to no transparency in Dr. Gruber's work with MNsure," Davids told Breitbart News. "Given that Dr. Gruber missed the deadline to submit his final report by four months - thereby avoiding scrutiny during the legislative process that led to MNsure's creation - it is sadly unsurprising that he may have failed to live up to other aspects of his taxpayer-funded contract," Davids concluded.

A Breitbart investigation into the state of Minnesota's 2011 contract in which Gruber was paid $329,000 as a subcontractor to develop economic projections using his proprietary Gruber Microsimulation Model has uncovered a disturbing pattern of billing practices that indicate a lack of oversight. April Todd-Malmlov, the former executive director of MNSure, the state's Obamacare health exchange, was the official responsible for that oversight.

Breitbart obtained copies of the Gruber invoices, the contract,  and the Gruber subcontract in a public records request filed with the state of Minnesota.

Though the contract, which was signed by former executive director Todd-Malmlov, clearly specifies that all Gruber's invoices should be itemized in detail, the invoices submitted by Gruber and paid by the state of Minnesota were notably lacking in itemization.

Gruber's invoices do not specifically tie to deliverables specified in the contract other than to assert vaguely that some of them were delivered. The invoices do not consistently refer to the deliverables specified in the contract, nor, with the exception of the final report, do they specify the dates the deliverables were completed, to whom they were delivered in the state of Minnesota, nor whether they were formally accepted by specific bureaucrats in the state of Minnesota.

Despite these shortcomings, former executive director Todd-Malmov authorized all of Gruber's interim payments as well as his final payment.

Gruber delivered two final reports, one in 2012 and one in 2013, each about 60 pages long. Todd-Malmlov formally certified her acceptance of both these reports.

But records obtained by Breitbart News from the state of Minnesota indicate there is no auditable trail for the work product that resulted in those final reports.

In addition, Gruber's invoices do not track specifically to the deliverables identified in Exhibit B of the contract. The deliverables in that exhibit are labeled Deliverable A, Deliverable B, Deliverable C, and Deliverable D. None of Gruber's invoices refer to Deliverable A, Deliverable B, Deliverable C, or Deliverable D.

The Gruber invoice that potentially aligns with Deliverable B is cryptic at best in describing what was delivered. The Gruber invoice that potentially aligns with Deliverable C actually does not match what is specified as Deliverable C in the contract. Only the final Gruber invoice--which refers to the final report referenced in Deliverable D-- tracks with any degree of specificity to the contract.








New York to Ban Fracking; Environmentalists Cheer

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Handing environmentalists a breakthrough victory, New York plans to prohibit fracking for natural gas because of what regulators say are its unexplored health risks and dubious economic benefits.

New York, which overlies part of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation that has led to a drilling boom in Pennsylvania and other nearby states, has banned shale gas development since 2008, when the state began an environmental review of the drilling technique also known as hydraulic fracturing.

Wednesday's announcement, though not final, means a ban is all but etched in stone.

"Never before has a state with proven gas reserves banned fracking," said Deborah Goldberg, an attorney with Earthjustice, adding that the decision "will give courage to elected leaders throughout the country and world: Fracking is too dangerous and must not continue."

Industry and its supporters expressed outrage at the decision.

"We are very disappointed that it appears the governor is unwilling to be a leader and is going to pass the buck at the expense of New Yorkers," said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute.

"This technology has been used for over 65 years in the United States. It's been demonstrated repeatedly after drilling millions of wells that we're able to do it while protecting the environment and protecting the people."

Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said Wednesday that he is recommending a ban, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, responded that he would defer to Martens and Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker on the decision.

The Department of Environmental Conservation will put out a final environmental impact statement early next year, Martens said, and after that he will issue an order prohibiting fracking.

About 30 anti-fracking activists cheered the decision at a rally outside Cuomo's New York City office, chanting "Thank you, Governor Cuomo, for saving our air!" and "New York banned fracking — and next, United States!"

Zucker and Martens on Wednesday summarized environmental and health reviews that concluded fracking carries risks that haven't been studied enough.

The drilling boom in the Marcellus Shale, which also runs under Ohio and West Virginia, was made possible by high-volume hydraulic fracturing, which releases gas from rock by injecting wells with chemically treated water at high pressure.

The technique has generated tens of billions of dollars in industry profits and landowner royalties, and has reduced energy bills and fuel imports. But it has also brought concerns and sparked protests over air and water pollution, earthquakes, property devaluation and truck traffic.

Zucker said he had identified "significant public health risks" and "red flag" health issues that require long-term studies before fracking can be called safe. He likened fracking to secondhand smoke, which wasn't fully understood as a health risk until many years of scientific study were done.

Martens noted the low price of natural gas, the high local cost of industry oversight, and the large areas that would be off limits to shale gas development because of setback requirements, water supply protections and local prohibitions. Those factors, he said, combine to make fracking less economically beneficial than anticipated.

Even if drilling were allowed in New York, it probably wouldn't take off any time soon because of the uncertainty around regulations and legal challenges and the huge number of promising drilling locations that remain in Pennsylvania, David Spigelmyer, president of the industry group Marcellus Shale Coalition, said last week.

The Marcellus Shale is enticing to energy companies because of its proximity to the major demand centers of New York City and New England, which is paying more for gas because of delivery constraints. But the regulatory uncertainty remains too high to commit to drilling in New York, Spigelmyer said.

In states where fracking is not yet allowed or is happening but is subject to criticism, New York's move excited some anti-drilling activists.

"The more fracking expands, the more opposition grows," said Sharon Wilson, of the group Earthworks, who has organized anti-fracking activists in Texas, California and Colorado. "Industry is its own worst enemy because they continue to deny the impacts."

Fracking supporters decried the New York move. Karen Moreau, executive director of New York's branch of the American Petroleum Institute, said the Cuomo administration is denying landowners the right to develop their mineral resources.

"The secretary of energy, the U.S. EPA administrator and President Obama recognize the benefits of fracking, and yet the Cuomo administration simply did not want to anger their activist base," Moreau said.

Dan Fitzsimmons, president of the Joint Landowners Coalition, which represents leaseholders, accused Cuomo of appeasing "environmental extremists" for political gain.

"Is our health department ignoring impacts of other energy options and suggesting that we continue with our reliance on coal and nuclear energy?" Fitzsimmons said. "Did our health department consider the health effects of poverty and unemployment?"

Cuomo said he is expecting lawsuits will be filed "every which way from Sunday."

In California, energy companies have been using a type of fracking to extract oil for many years and are pushing to expand such drilling. Environmental groups hope the New York decision will influence Gov. Jerry Brown, who has largely supported fracking. A scientific study is due to be released next month.

Californians will ask now, "If it's not safe for New Yorkers, why should we think it's safe for us?" said Charles Margulis, with the California branch of the national Center for Environmental Health, a nonprofit organization.

___

Associated Press writers Jon Fahey and Jenn Peltz in New York, Emily Schmall in Dallas and Don Thompson in Sacramento contributed to this report.








Goodlatte: Court's 'Unconstitutional' Executive Amnesty Opinion 'Good Sign'

The recent court opinion declaring portions of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration to be “unconstitutional” bodes well for future litigation against the president’s recent order, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte tells Breitbart News. 

Tuesday, District Court Judge Arthur Schwab ruled that aspects of Obama’s executive actions go “beyond prosecutorial discretion” to actually legislating. He made these judgments as part of an opinion dealing with a criminal case.

“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional,” Schwab wrote.

In a statement to Breitbart News, Goodlatte — whose committee has jurisdiction over immigration matters — said he agreed with Schwab’s analysis and expressed optimism about future court challenges to Obama’s executive actions. 

"I agree with Judge Schwab that President Obama's unilateral rewriting of our immigration laws violates the separation of powers and the President's duty to enforce the law,” the Virginia lawmaker said. “This ruling is a good sign for the states' lawsuit challenging President Obama's unilateral, unconstitutional actions.”

Goodlatte continued, saying that when Congress returns next year it must look at all options to take on Obama’s executive actions.

“Congress will continue fighting the President's actions early next year and should consider all the tools it has at its disposal, including potential litigation. Additionally, I am hopeful that the states will be successful in their effort to stop the President's actions from being implemented.”

Goodlatte recently signed on to an amicus brief the conservative American Center for Law and Justice submitted Tuesday in support of the recent lawsuit 24 states have filed challenging Obama’s executive amnesty. 

“The President’s executive overreach on immigration must be stopped,” he stressed Tuesday in announcing his support of the brief.









2014 Election News - Election Projection Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:12:18 GMT  

AZ-02: McSally survives recount, Republican gain confirmed
After a very close result on Election Day that required a mandatory recount, Republican Martha McSally can now rest easy. She did indeed defeat incumbent Democrat Ron Barber and earn the GOP's 16th official pickup ...
Arizona CD-2 election results to be finalized next week
The recount in the razor-close race between incumbent Democrat Ron Barber and Republican Martha McSally is winding down. The only remaining item is a sample hand recount in 5% of polling places scheduled to begin ...
Louisiana Senate runoff looks to be a Republican romp - updated
Despite her performance in last month's general election in which Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu won a plurality of the vote, the incumbent's prospects for retaining the seat for Democrats look mighty dim. Republican challenger Bill Cassidy enjoyed a small ...

DrudgeReportArchives.com Recent Headlines Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:12:18 GMT  

Jimmy Carter 'Proud'...
ISIS releases penal code: Crucifixion, Lashings for Unbelievers...
VT gives up on single-payer system amid ballooning costs...
TOM COBURN'S LAST STAND AGAINST HARRY REID...

MichelleMalkin.com Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:12:18 GMT  

Priorities: Obama admin tasks healthcare facilities with focusing more on … climate change

**Written by Doug Powers

“Welcome to Solyndra Memorial Hospital. We’d like to introduce you to your team of heart surgeons: Al Gore, the U.N. and Dr. Steven Chu — Good luck!”

The White House wants healthcare providers to get serious about bulking up their defenses against climate change.

In a best-practice guide for healthcare providers and policymakers released on Monday, the administration advises them on how to best improve their “climate readiness.”

The guide is one piece of a larger initiative at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched by President Obama last year, and provides information to healthcare facilities on how to prepare of extreme weather events the administration says is tied to climate change.

The guidelines released by the White House on Monday include commitments from leading healthcare providers across the country to bulk up climate resilience at facilities and of operations.

“HHS recognizes climate change as one of the top public health challenges of our time,” the White House said.

Call me crazy, but maybe we should be leery of being cared for in facilities whose operational guidelines are rooted in the belief that people are the problem.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

*****

Note: Get all the latest news, commentary and even “hate tweets of the day” delivered to your inbox daily by signing up for Michelle’s newsletter.

null
The doctor is: In
Now how about a report about how many Dems already knew about the CIA’s interrogation techniques?

**Written by Doug Powers

Dianne Feinstein should call for another in-depth study: How many Democrats already knew about the things they’re acting shocked about in the Senate’s “torture report”?

The man who oversaw the controversial CIA interrogation program said Sunday that Rep. Nancy Pelosi was “fully aware,” of the methods used against militants, while former Vice President Dick Cheney continued to defend the program and reiterated that the U.S. “stopped short of torture.”

Both men said the techniques used — including waterboarding — had been approved by Bush administration lawyers and did not cross the legal line.

Jose Rodriguez, former director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, said on “Fox News Sunday” that Pelosi “knew every one of our enhanced interrogations,” including sleep deprivation as well as slapping and pushing prisoners.

Pelosi wasn’t the only Dem fully informed, according to Rodriquez:

“These people were fully aware of all of the techniques that were given to us and approved by the Office of Legal Counsel at Justice,” Rodriguez continued, saying that neither Nancy Pelosi nor other Democrats — with the exception of then–California congresswoman Jane Harman — “ever objected to the techniques at all.”

Not only that, but…

Rodriguez alleged that some lawmakers, such as Democratic West Virginia senator Jay Rockefeller, actually pushed the CIA to be even harsher. “All of these people knew exactly what we were doing,” he said.

Hmm:

Maybe that’s why he’s retiring.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Note: Get all the latest news, commentary and even “hate tweets of the day” delivered to your inbox daily by signing up for Michelle’s newsletter.

She was "fully aware."
If you like your Slurpee, you can keep your Slurpee: Obamacare ads coming to 7-Eleven receipts

**Written by Doug Powers

Obamacare ads are coming not just to 7-Eleven receipts, but other stores accepting the same payment service:

ObamaCare ads will now appear on 7-Eleven receipts at more than 7,000 stores nationwide as government health officials expand their outreach in the second year of healthcare sign-ups.

Information about ObamaCare sign-ups will appear on the bottom of receipts for anyone using a mobile payment company called PayNearMe, which allows bank-less customers to pay in stores like 7-Eleven and Family Dollar.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced the new partnership with the tech start-up PayNearMe on Thursday at a store in Washington, D.C.

Before you wash down those two chili cheesedogs with a six pack of Heineken Dark, consider your options in advance:

How long before you can get a voter registration with your Big Gulp?

(h/t IOTW Report)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Resistance is futile

http://kkk.bz/?feed=rss2 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:12:19 GMT  


RedState Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:12:19 GMT  

There They Go Again

With metronomic precision each year the national press corps begins running columns by “religion scholars” who wish you to know that Jesus Christ is a fictional character. Mind you, no newspaper of note in the world is brave enough to run a similar story about the Prophet Mohammed. The latest comes from a “lecturer in religious studies” from Australia named Raphael Lataster. The Washington Post | Read More »

The post There They Go Again appeared first on RedState.

With metronomic precision each year the national press corps begins running columns by “religion scholars” who wish you to know that Jesus Christ is a fictional character. Mind you, no newspaper of note in the world is brave enough to run a similar story about the Prophet Mohammed.

The latest comes from a “lecturer in religious studies” from Australia named Raphael Lataster. The Washington Post felt compelled to run this so the godless heathens in Washington, D.C. can continue on with no consequence.

According to Mr. Lataster, “There are no existing eyewitness or contemporary accounts of Jesus. All we have are later descriptions of Jesus’ life events by non-eyewitnesses, most of whom are obviously biased.” These biased, non-eyewitness accounts include the writings of the Apostles Matthew, Peter, and John all three of whom were standing near the cross on which the magical mythological Jesus was nailed. They were just, one might suppose, looking in a different direction.

Then, of course, there are the books of James and Jude in the Bible, written by the brothers of Jesus. There are also the several letters written by Paul, who claims Jesus appeared in physical form to him after Jesus’s death. Lastly, there is Luke, a doctor, who interviewed many eyewitnesses including the imaginary Mary, mother of the imaginary Jesus.

Mr. Lataster must write out of history many people we know existed in order to write Jesus out of history. His dismissal of all scholars who disagree with him is pretty staggering. One must wonder if he is also prepared to write out of history Socrates who, like Jesus, never wrote anything himself. Others wrote about him after he died.

That the Washington Post and other news outlets feel compelled, each year, to point out that Jesus is a myth is telling in and of itself. They lack the bravery to do it about Islam’s top prophet because Christians will turn the other cheek whereas muslims would kill them. For any who disagree, just review the book stores bombed for carrying Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses” or the riots against cartoonists who drew Muhammed.

The only really remarkable thing about the media effort to cast doubt on Jesus’s existence is that the press usually finds an Episcopalian priest or Jesuit scholar to do it. They first attack the virgin birth as an interpretation then end up at Jesus dying and his resurrection being only metaphor. Rarely do they go straight to the atheist religious scholar.

The common thread of all these columns, articles, and expositions are unbelievers writing to reassure other unbelievers at a time of year billions of people are celebrating either the miraculous burning of oil for eight days or a virgin giving birth to a child. The secular left can abide no miracles.

For the rest of us, it is worth reflecting on what did happen two thousand years ago. A virgin gave birth to a child fulfilling a prophesy made at the beginning of time in the fifteenth verse of the third chapter of the first book of the Bible. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

The prophet Isaiah, nearly 750 years before the birth of Jesus, said God told him, “the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” The Apostle Matthew, a friend of Jesus, wrote that Mary was a virgin and Jesus’s birth fulfilled Isaiah’s prophesy.

Non-Christian scholars and poseurs within the faith argue over Isaiah’s word choice, but the Christian’s scripture gives no choice. It is a fundamental belief of the faith that Christ was born of a virgin and rose again from the death. Take away either and we are left with just a man, not a God.

Several billion people around the world believe Jesus is real. We can also hold with equal certainty that a century from now several billion will still believe that and no one will remember the name of Raphael Lataster.

The post There They Go Again appeared first on RedState.

Barack Obama not yet understanding that he needs to be irrelevant to 2016.

This should be fascinating to watch: “In recent weeks, Democratic operatives have begun to voice concerns that the 2014 midterms made plain the limits of an approach that failed to reach beyond minority groups or those who are reflexively liberal. And yet what should come next is not yet totally clear.” Largely because it’s essentially futile.  The Democrats will not have control over their message in 2016, | Read More »

The post Barack Obama not yet understanding that he needs to be irrelevant to 2016. appeared first on RedState.

This should be fascinating to watch: “In recent weeks, Democratic operatives have begun to voice concerns that the 2014 midterms made plain the limits of an approach that failed to reach beyond minority groups or those who are reflexively liberal. And yet what should come next is not yet totally clear.” Largely because it’s essentially futile.  The Democrats will not have control over their message in 2016, because in our system a sitting President has tremendous power to define for the public what his political faction does or does not care about.

And the bear is loose:

[Barack] Obama feels liberated, aides say, and sees the recent flurry of aggressive executive action and deal-making as a pivot for him to spend the last two years being more of the president he always wanted to be.

I don’t often feel sympathy for my opposite numbers – and, in fact, in this case I still don’t.  But if I were to feel sympathy, it’d be in the way that they’re going to have to spend the next two years going Never mind Barack Obama without actually looking like they’re going Never mind Barack Obama.  Because while Barack Obama’s popularity generally is in the toilet*, it’s noticeably better among Democratic primary voters. Which means that the Democrats can’t actually tell Barack Obama to sit down and shaddap.

In case you’re wondering: yes, normally second-term Presidents don’t need to be told this.  Generally speaking the sitting President gets out of the way as gracefully as possible so that the eventual nominee from their party can get on with the remarkably difficult task of winning three elections in a row.  Fortunately (for my side), nobody bothered to tell Barack Obama that. Or maybe he doesn’t care.  Or – and this would be the best answer – the man still hasn’t come to terms with the limits to his competence, and Obama thinks that he can (chuckle, snort!) help

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: If Barack Obama thinks that what was going this session was ‘deal-making’ (instead of, say, ‘trying to work around an over-rated Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Harry Reid10%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard10%‘), we will probably find next year to be quite amusing, in its way.

*I should note, by the way, that his reputation will recover, post-Presidency.  That’s what typically happens.  Don’t get bent out of shape over it, because doing so won’t affect the process and you’ll just be there in the dark chewing bitter bones, as the Elves might say.

The post Barack Obama not yet understanding that he needs to be irrelevant to 2016. appeared first on RedState.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms: The Detroit Project, The Interview, and Cuba #BATF

In tonight’s episode of The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Friends, the guys are joined by Ben Howe to discuss their favorite holiday season adult beverages, Ben’s upcoming Detroit film project, the controversy over The Interview movie, the normalization of Cuban relations, and the kerfuffle. Tune in via Google Hangout to interact with the group or watch via YouTube below. BIG NEWS: The Bureau is | Read More »

The post The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms: The Detroit Project, The Interview, and Cuba #BATF appeared first on RedState.

ATF-logo-woodIn tonight’s episode of The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Friends, the guys are joined by Ben Howe to discuss their favorite holiday season adult beverages, Ben’s upcoming Detroit film project, the controversy over The Interview movie, the normalization of Cuban relations, and the Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Ted Cruz95%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard95% kerfuffle.

Tune in via Google Hangout to interact with the group or watch via YouTube below.

BIG NEWS: The Bureau is now available in podcast format via iTunes! Subscribe by clicking here!

Embed code:

The post The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms: The Detroit Project, The Interview, and Cuba #BATF appeared first on RedState.

How to Lose a Cyberwar with North Korea

In the past twenty-four hours, United States intelligence officials definitively confirmed that the recent cyberattacks against Sony Pictures Studios and the explicit threats to terrorize movie theaters showing its film, “The Interview,” are indeed the work of North Korean state actors.  Sony, of course, canceled the global release of “The Interview,” which threatens to ex ante effectuate some of the most outright perverse incentives in geopolitics that | Read More »

The post How to Lose a Cyberwar with North Korea appeared first on RedState.

In the past twenty-four hours, United States intelligence officials definitively confirmed that the recent cyberattacks against Sony Pictures Studios and the explicit threats to terrorize movie theaters showing its film, “The Interview,” are indeed the work of North Korean state actors.  Sony, of course, canceled the global release of “The Interview,” which threatens to ex ante effectuate some of the most outright perverse incentives in geopolitics that we’ve seen since the TARP bailout.  Let us not mince words about North Korea: this is casus belli — a provocative act of war.  It is not mere rhetorical bluster by the despotic apparatchiks in Pyongyang.  This is unequivocally an act of 21st-century state-sponsored cyberwarfare and, indeed, state-sponsored terrorism.  Unnervingly, there is not much precedent for these sorts of attacks, and we are utterly clueless in how to respond.  Abe Greenwald, over at Commentary’s online blog, observes that

This isn’t a gossip story or an industry problem. It’s war. Moreover, it’s a war we don’t know how to fight. In 2011, the U.S. military declared cyberattacks tantamount to acts of war and therefore liable to military response. But that statement concerned cyberattacks on our government or infastructure. We now have rogue regimes going after American citizens and corporations. There’s nothing on the books for that. There’s been talk of “hacking back” among corporate victims, but that’s a reckless and probably illegal option. There needs to be fresh strategic thinking about this, and fast. We’re catching up to a challenge that’s already out of control.

What is particularly unnerving about all of this is that we are forced to learn how to deal with 21st-century cyberwarfare whilst we suffer the indignity of our benighted serial appeaser in the White House — a “mom jeans“-wearing sycophant to all the world’s worst actors whose love of apologizing for America’s ostensible sins at times frankly appears to outweigh his sincere desire to protect the homeland.  Indeed, this whole tragic saga has not-all-too-coincidentally overlapped with the latest emasculating embarrassment by the “Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy doctrine” (to borrow from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Ted Cruz95%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard95%‘s politically ingenious label) of isolating allies and kowtowing to enemy tyrants: the “naive” attempt at rapprochement with the evil, anti-human dignity, terrorism-supporting Castro regime 90 miles off the Floridian coast.  While I certainly look forward to purchasing Cohiba cigars, on a personal note, the eschewing of principle for the misbegotten sake of some “Nixon goes to China” legacy-cementing moment is utterly lamentable.

You really cannot make this stuff up; Barack Obama continually proves true the old adage that truth can indeed be stranger than fiction.  It does not have to be this way.  As my friend Professor Kevin Gutzman of Western Connecticut State University noted yesterday on Facebook, with respect to the North Korea terrorism: “Reagan would sink their entire navy in an afternoon and then show the movie in the White House cinema.”  Well said, Professor.  But no, today, Obama’s dangerous solidification of a national culture of appeasement has coincided with the metastasizing of Hollywood’s self-induced institutional castration.  Following Sony’s capitulation yesterday to the North Koreans, it got even worse today.  The proudly defiant Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, down in the great State of Texas, had planned to show in lieu of “The Interview” the 2004 Kim Jong-il belittling parody film, “Team America: World Police.”  And yet news soon broke that the dolts at Paramount Pictures — the studio behind “Team America” — quickly decided to ban all subsequent showings of “Team America” in American cinemas.

Yesterday, the United States conceded defeat to the brutal Castro regime; today, state-sponsored North Korea terrorists have outright defeated the United States in a 21st-century cyberwar.  It is nearly impossible to envision any scenario whatsoever in which Barack Obama decides to respond to this casus belli.  Tit-for-tat cyberwarfare response intuitively strikes us as being below our dignity, Pyongyang has a nuclear arsenal aimed squarely at our treaty-sworn ally South Korea, and in any event the White House and Foggy Bottom would probably rather go try to find a new dictatorship to whom we can unilaterally surrender.

God willing, Hollywood’s feckless obsequiousness and the Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy doctrine of “leading from behind” will not cost us any more than they already have.  Perhaps we will even earnestly strive to take Abe Greenwald’s advice about developing a coherent strategy of countering cyberwarfare.  But the damage to America’s national security interests and global standing is real, and We the People are increasingly powerless to stop this increasingly unhinged presidential ideologue acting with the full support of a complicit Hollywood.  This is a sad two-day stretch for the United States of America.

The post How to Lose a Cyberwar with North Korea appeared first on RedState.


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