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July 2015

U.S. Intel Fears Hundreds of Secrets Leaked in Hillary’s Private Emails By John Solomon and S.A. Miller

Many more classified emails identified as Congress is notified
The U.S. intelligence community is bracing for the possibility that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email account contains hundreds of revelations of classified information from spy agencies and is taking steps to contain any damage to national security, according to documents and interviews Thursday.

The top lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committee have been notified in recent days that the extent of classified information on Mrs. Clinton’s private email server was likely far more extensive than the four emails publicly acknowledged last week as containing some sensitive spy agency secrets.

A U.S. official directly familiar with the notification, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity, said the notification of possibly hundreds of additional emails with classified secrets came from the State Department Freedom of Information Act office to the Office of Inspector General for the Director of National Intelligence.

Obama Goes Nuclear on Iran Deal Opponents Daniel Greenfield

Republicans who oppose the deal will be tarred as traitors.

Obama has decided that two wildly unpopular policies, one foreign and one domestic, will be the final legacy of his wildly unpopular administration. The domestic policy is gun control. The foreign policy is Iranian nukes. While Americans will be disarmed, Iran will be getting ready for its ballistic missiles.

Ramming through wildly unpopular policies is what this administration does best. More than anything else, this administration will be remembered for the mix of bullying, smears, pop culture distractions, outright lies, bureaucratic sabotage and blatant lawbreaking with which it achieved its policy goals.

VIDEO: Defense Secretary (???!!!) Doesn’t Know If Ayatollah’s Religion Compels Him to Destroy Israel By Bridget Johnson

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday to answer questions about the Iran nuclear deal, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said he couldn’t determine whether Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had religious motivations to destroy the Great Satan and the Little Satan.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) first asked Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, “Do you believe the Iranians have been trying to build a bomb or a nuclear power program for peaceful purposes all these years?”

“I believe they have a militarization aspiration,” Dempsey carefully replied.


GRAHAM: Who’s the commander in chief of the Iranian armed forces, Secretary Carter? Who calls the shots?

IAEA Refuses to Brief Senators on Iran Deal, Even in Classified Setting By Bridget Johnson

Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said at a hearing on the Iran nuclear deal today that they requested a meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency on its agreements with Tehran.

These deals are not in the possession of the Obama administration and have never been seen by Secretary of State John Kerry, much less provided to Congress.

“I believe one person may have read it at the — at the facility, but doesn’t have it, they don’t possess it,” Kerry told the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday.

Today, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano had been invited to come address lawmakers next week, but refused.

Donald Trump: Poster Child of American Decline By Robert Spencer

“Trump’s presidential candidacy is yet another symptom of the decline of American culture and the degeneration of the public square into a freak show largely featuring sinister authoritarians like Hillary Clinton [5] on the one hand and puffed-up clowns on the other. Trump, of course, is in the latter camp, but he plays into the hands of the former.”

It’s hard not to be in Donald Trump’s corner when his targets are the likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

McCain may justifiably be indignant over Trump’s stupid and clumsy savaging of him for having such poor taste as to be captured in Vietnam, but the Arizona senator displayed judgment that was just as poor when he claimed [1] Michele Bachmann’s entirely reasonable [2] questions about Huma Abedin’s Muslim Brotherhood ties manifested an “ignorance” that “defame[d] the spirit of the nation.”

So when it comes to John McCain and Donald Trump, it’s blowhard versus boor. But that doesn’t excuse Trump. His current position at the top of the polls — and the very real possibility that he could continue to bestride the narrow Republican field like a Colossus while his petty rivals walk under his huge legs and peep about to find themselves dishonorable graves — is a sign of how much American politics has turned into an Oprah show of celebrity worship, lurid grandstanding, logorrheic superficiality, and tabloid scandalmongering.

Does Iran Already Have Nuclear Weapons? By Stephen Bryen and Shoshana Bryen

What happens to the Iran nuclear deal if Iran already has a nuclear weapon?

Both Iran and North Korea were part of the A.Q. Kahn proliferation network, and bilateral trade in oil and weapons has continued despite UN resolutions designed to stop it. Ballistic missile cooperation is documented, and nuclear cooperation has been an unspoken theme in Washington. Pyongyang helped Damascus, Iran’s ally, build a secret reactor. There are reports that North Korean experts visited Iran in May to help Iran with its missile program. Pressed by reporters on the subject of North Korea-Iran nuclear cooperation a few weeks ago, even the State Department acknowledged that it takes reports of such cooperation seriously.

A Paradigm Change: Re-directing public concern from Global Warming to Global Cooling By S. Fred Singer

I want to change public concern from Global (GW) to Global Cooling (GC). Presented here are three arguments in favor of such a drastic shift — which involves also a drastic shift in current policies, such as mitigation of the greenhouse (GH) gas carbon dioxide.

My main argument relies on the fact, backed by historical evidence, that cooling, even on a regional or local scale, is much more damaging than warming. The key threat is to agriculture, leading to failure of harvests, followed by famine, starvation, disease, and mass deaths.

Also, GC is reasonably sure, while GW is iffy. The evidence, again, is historical — from deep-sea sediment cores and ice cores. Our planet has experienced some 17 (Milankovitch-style) glaciations in the past 2 million years, each typically lasting 100,000 years, interrupted by warm inter-glacials, typically of around 10,000-yr duration. The most recent glaciation ended rather suddenly about 12,000 years ago. We are now in the warm Holocene, which is expected to end soon.

In fact, we may have already entered into the next glaciation — as we can discover only in retrospect. (Past cycles suggest a very gradual cooling initially — with ice accumulation and a drop in global sea levels, a decrease in atmospheric CO2 into the cooling oceans and lowest temperatures occurring only much later in the cycle.)

Did You Ever Notice the Asterisk on Your Social Security Statement? By Myra Adams

While engaging in the mundane task of gathering financial statements for a “secure retirement” meeting with my husband’s and my adviser, this Baby Boomer stumbled upon documented proof that our nation does not have the guts to confront one of its most serious economic problems. The realization came when I pulled from my files a document statement innocently titled, “Your Social Security Statement.”

At first glance, the statement did not appear menacing. I was told I could expect to receive a benefit of “about $2,136 a month” upon reaching age 70 — which certainly seems like good news. But immediately I thought of a parallel of President Obama’s infamous Obamacare promise: “If you like your Social Security, you can keep your Social Security.”

Then, as if on cue, I saw an asterisk with the following message:

The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2033, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 77 percent of scheduled benefits.

In Defense of the SAT Test : Charles Lane

TestPerfect is a new Silicon Valley start-up with an ambitious mission: to design a standardized college admissions test free of cultural or racial bias, resistant to differential test-prep efforts and accurately predictive of academic performance in postsecondary education.

TestPerfect’s chief executive says that development is far ahead of schedule and that a prototype exam should be available within two years. The forthcoming test promises to revolutionize college admissions by replacing not only the SAT but also traditional admissions-office functions such as evaluating transcripts from thousands of different high schools, parsing the compound adjectives of teacher recommendations and interviewing sweaty-palmed prospective students.

Once TestPerfect goes viral, as it surely will, the college admissions process, formerly the source of so much angst, individual and societal, will be rendered infallible, or close to it.

APUSH Revisions Won’t Do: College Board Needs Competition By Stanley Kurtz

The College Board has just published a revision of its controversial AP U.S. history framework. The revision is designed to meet the concerns of the 2014 framework’s many critics. As one of those critics, I want to give a preliminary response. This is also the first in what will be a series of posts on the new AP U.S. history framework and related issues.

Based on a preliminary reading of the Thematic Learning Objectives and the first two historical periods, I would say that the revisions do not allay my concerns about the College Board’s approach to AP U.S. history. The College Board has removed some of the framework’s most egregiously biased formulations, yet the basic approach has not changed.

Since the College Board has said that the revised framework will not require modifications to textbooks, there is reason to believe that we are looking at largely cosmetic changes. The textbooks are what students actually see. If the latest revisions won’t change the texts, they can’t mean much. Based on my reading of the first two periods, even if the College Board does call for textbooks to be revised along the lines of the new framework, the changes would be trivial.