In my childhood, I was a fan of the admittedly and deliberately masculine and borderline psychotic James Bond as penned by Ian Fleming and the similarly-scripted character placed in far more absurd situations on the silver screen. When Fleming passed, the authors who tried to carry his torch failed to hold my attention, but the movies did a reasonably enjoyable, if somewhat incoherent, job of keeping the flame alive. I was initially a fan of the reboot; Casino Royale was excellently amoral. Later movies did not live up to the initial promise, but remained entertaining, even as the actor's anti-gun BS dampened any enthusiasm I might have felt for the franchise.
But with the above, I think I'm done. A Bond tied down and nagged to death by a girlfriend (and remember, in-canon, the foundation for his inability to commit is the death of his wife!), surrounded by anti-smoking messages and friends nagging him about not being gay-friendly enough, is not a Bond that can express the things that fans want him to express so that they can, vicariously, share the experience through fantasy. Or to put it another way, a henpecked Bond is not a fun Bond.
When this stunning bit of social-justice-warrior entryism fails to keep fans who have followed the franchise for decades coming back to see and read the latest adventures of the pathetic pussy-whipped ex-icon, they'll probably claim the character was old, outdated, out of touch, and that modern people just aren't interested anymore.
The above is definitely underselling the case. We don't have any proof of involvement by the White House because:
1) Lois Lerner and about 20 of her closest friends and colleagues had their emails and other computer records deleted, scratched, shredded, recycled, degaussed, destroyed, and lost.
2) Lois Lerner twice pled the 5th amendment before Congress on this matter.
3) The White House is refusing to release records of requests for taxpayer information made under Presidential signature, though a judge has recently ordered this information to be released.
4) The FBI is sitting on its investigation. The DC DA has already declined to prosecute Lerner, which he announced on his last day before retiring.
5) The inspector generals normally responsible for investigating corruption have had their investigative authority castrated under Obama, to the point that they have sought legislation from Congress to remedy the restrictions.
These people seem to think that if they can write a clever enough bill, we won't notice what it does. The truth is, at this point we don't care what it does. We know they are lying, and we aren't going to trust any of them.
He's resigning because he knows he would lose a vote of confidence in the House soon, and it's better to fall on your own sword than be forced out. It's easier to sell your ability to lobby effectively if you leave voluntarily and put a good spin on it. And, of course, he's already been paid for whatever ends up in the continuing resolution we're going to get instead of a budget again this year, so he can't step down until that passes. (I wonder if the House Republicans have the balls to shut down the government until after Boehner steps down and negotiate then?)
And on another topic: "unruly conservatives"? That constitutes both a clear demonstration of biased reporting AND an admission the Boehner was not a conservative. In truth, he was at best a middle-of-the-road type who cared for little beyond maintaining his own power. And he's likely going to be replaced by someone in the same mold, who takes their marching orders from the same people.
This should be a chance for the party leadership to realign itself with their voters, but it's more likely they will simply move another pawn into his place and continue business as usual.
He's talking about the Hugo awards puppy controversy, and he's simultaneously demonstrating an utter lack of self-awareness. Because I haven't seen any of the Puppies, sad or rabid, describing anyone as Nazis; however.
That's the only time I'm aware of that accusations of Naziism have been thrown around, and note well that Gallo is in a position of some power and influence at a major publisher of science fiction and fantasy. While, no doubt, some random person on the internet who considers him or herself a puppy supporter can be found to have said similarly intemperate things, prominence does matter.
So, George, call out your own side rather than trying to lump the bad acts of your friends onto your enemies.
As for the other terms. I'm not going to play social justice warrior terminology games. Just not. I'll call them as I see them, and I will describe someone whose self-image involves fighting for social justice as a social justice warrior, and if they are bullying people in the process, I'll use that term. If they are a Maoist, a communist, a socialist, I will use those terms as well, and I will be the judge of whether they fit appropriately or not, because I won't submit to tone policing. I write what I think and to hell with being told to shut up.
Stop kicking puppies, George. It makes you look like a bully.
Rather than asking Congress to pass a law to provide government funding for transgender medical procedures, which the Constitution requires originate from Congress, Obama is doing things differently. He's having his HHS department issue regulations requiring insurance companies to add these measures to all of their policies -- measures needed by a tiny fraction of the population. So everyone with a medical insurance policy is going to pay for these procedures now, without any opportunity to decline or even vote through their representatives. They will pay in the price of their medical insurance going up, and they will pay again when those insurance companies come to the government to make up the money they are losing on Obamacare. (Yes, there is a provision in Obamacare allowing for "reimbursement" of financial risks).
I have nothing against people who are confused about their gender, but I think that the problem is that they are confused about their gender, not that they need expensive and publicly funded cosmetic surgery to make their physical body match their mental self-image. If they really feel they need that surgery, they can pay for it themselves; I have no objection to that.
I do object to being required to pay for such treatment, however indirectly, and I object to the end-run around appropriate Constitutional process.
If the American economy was humming along at full employment, desperate for unskilled (but trainable) workers to manufacture goods, people who were willing to work hard to become Americans, then high levels of immigration would make sense. Historically, that has been the condition of America: lots of room, lots of economic growth, and little in the way of a safety net for people to relax in.
The interesting thing here is that the IRS is reporting each of these things like it is discovering them for the very first time. Yet Congress has been looking for Lerner emails for years now. Either the people providing those emails to Congress are entirely separate from (and not talking to) the people searching for Lerner emails via the Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit, or the IRS failed to discover these materials in prior searches.
Regardless, now that the IRS has learned it can destroy criminal evidence while that evidence is under Congressional subpoena without legal consequences, we can be pretty sure they will provide nothing damaging. Whether it exists or not.
There's no such thing as friendly fire. If someone is shooting at you, react appropriately. If they are buying attack ads against the person leading the Republican primary field because he is so popular they are afraid to have their candidates challenge him directly, consider the possibility that they are not your friends.
I'll call out point 3 as the most important. Right now we have the illusion of choice; we can vote on local and state law enforcement officials, or the politicians who appoint them. But usually that's not a very granular system, so abuses at the state level can't be addressed locally, and even if you vote out the county sheriff, you're not voting out the local police -- you'll likely get a new sheriff and most of the old police with a new boss. The new boss will have similar self-interest to the old boss and will likely end up in similar policies, given the incentive structure.
If we could actually have competing bids for law enforcement services by different companies, changing the law enforcement service you hired would actually mean something. It might mean the difference between a polite knock on your door and a 3am SWAT raid that shoots your dog, grenades your kid, and sends you to prison based on planted evidence.
The government takes the money and hands it out to favored corporations who won't do anything with it, subsidizing their pissant efforts in rural areas while also blocking competition from startups who might do better.
Mind you, I say that despite probably being one of the people who benefit from the spending.
In other words, NSA made a deal with German intelligence to provide software in return for access to data retrieved using that software. And I am pretty sure that software isn't being provided to Germany on a CD; instead, it sounds like they are adding German intelligence sources to the existing NSA installation. Meaning they have access to US data just like we get access to German data. And this is hardly news; the NSA has been making intelligence data deals with foreign governments for decades to get around constitutional limits on spying on Americans. Because if the NSA wants to spy on an American and for some reason a court objects (they never do, but hypothetically) the NSA can simply ask German intelligence to run their queries and share the results; German intelligence has different limitations.
They've been doing this all the way back to the Clinton administration.
Another private email address and hard drive crash
Remember, it wasn't just Lerner's hard drive that crashed. Hers was simply the most central. About 20 of her coworkers also lost computer data in some form or another and were unable to provide it to Congress, including coworkers who visited the White House extensively while the targeting was going on.
The EPA has already had issues with its director, Lisa Jackson, having a separate email address under her dog's name and evading FOIA requests. Now we have another person at the EPA communicating with political groups privately, and the records have gone missing in a hard drive crash.
How credulous does this administration think we are?
That's a very interesting stance for him to take. The thing is, normally setting up an email server wouldn't be at all criminal. In the narrative as we understand it, the criminal liability would attach to actually transferring the classified materials to the insecure location (ie, sending an email to an address on Hillary's server) or receiving such an email knowing the contents were classified.
Unless Hillary was emailing her server admin with classified information (unlikely, though as the admin he could probably access the emails on the server, something that strikes me as a likely grey area in the law of classified material), he wouldn't have liability just for setting it up.
He might be concerned about setting it up knowing Hillary intended to receive classified information on it. He might be concerned about wiping the server to delete evidence of wrongdoing or evade FOIA. He might also be concerned about conspiracy charges.
And he's probably looking to what happened to Lerner as an example of the treatment he will get. Since Hillary is on the outside now, I doubt he will get anything like that. However, given the potential exposure he has, I would expect a deal to get negotiated where he tells the FBI everything he knows, admits wiping the server, gets immunity for it, and what he tells the FBI doesn't help them much since he can't unwipe the server if he did it halfway competently.
Other than the massive implied corruption and embarrassment of a 5th amendment plea, I don't think we're going to advance the case against Hillary much here.
Good and bad news, here. The good news is, there likely are records of White House requests to the IRS for specific tax records. If there were none, the IRS would not be trying so hard to hide them. The bad news is, such requests may be legal; there is in fact a formal procedure for requesting them that is authorized by law. Whether that law is a good idea or not is a different matter, and if that authority was somehow abused for political targeting as seems likely, that would demonstrate a direct link to the White House and also potentially implicate the White House in any criminal activity that took place against those individuals.
Which is why we will find out, in a few minutes, that the IRS doesn't keep records of those requests. Oops.