Saturday, February 6, 2016

Why There Are Almost No Girls Named Hillary

Doesn't anyone name their baby girls "Hillary" anymore? The evidence is inconclusive for several reasons, such as that popular names for children run in generational cycles, however, it does appear that First Lady Hillary Clinton put off many parents from naming their girls Hillary. Look at the steep drop off that coincides with the start of the Bill Clinton administration. It also looks like there was a bad Hillary aftertaste that has remained to the present day.

The generational cycles in children's names are quite pronounced, by the way. A college professor friend tells me she is always amused by the historical echoes she sees in the names of new Freshmen. Twenty years after the Woodstock generation, classes were full of students with names like Sunshine and Freedom. Then, there were waves of Yuppies' kids with corporate-friendly names. And there are always names of twenty year-gone movie stars, and so on.

I don't think all that many parents are inspired enough by politicians to name their kids after them. But, looking at that chart, I can believe that HRC spoiled the name for many parents who would otherwise have gone with Hillary. Truly, HRC has a likability problem, which is something that came up the last time she ran in a New Hampshire primary.

Thank you WaPo Wonkblog for today's story on how the Clintons ruined the name ‘Hillary’ for new parents.

Friday, February 5, 2016

A Mildly Interesting Disruption at John Kerry's Press Conference in Rome

There's not much to see here, but since an Italian activist of the No-War Network Roma went to the trouble of staging a scene and getting arrested, and an Iranian news agency recorded it an put in on YouTube for us to see, why not do so? Anyway, I hadn't seen anything about the incident in our local news media, so, kudos to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting people.

SecState Kerry was in Rome this week to meet with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni regarding the coalition against ISIS. At a press conference on February 2, one of the attendees - Marinella Correggia, of the No-War Network - started toward Kerry while shouting and waving a poster. Local police collared her at once.

Kerry's protective detail kept a low profile. I think I heard an American voice saying "whoa, whoa, whoa!" when the pinko started waving her poster, but it was the Italians who pounced on her.  

All's well that ends well.

Stop Replying to All, Our In-Boxes Are Full

The National Counterterrorism Center puts out a weekly newsletter aimed at domestic law enforcement agencies and anyone else with an interest in non-classified news articles about terrorism. It's a modest enough thing, or at least it was until this week when someone in the Seattle area 'replied all' to the distribution list. She was answered by another 'reply all' from Nebraska, which was followed by some out-of-office messages, again 'to all.' Then she replied to all again to withdraw the first message, and so on, and so forth, until today the cyber floodgates were opened and hundreds of auto messages started going out to thousands of people on the newsletter's distribution list.

By noon today I'd received over 500 messages from people asking the NCTC to remove them from the newsletter distribution list, or from people replying 'to all' to tell other people to stop replying to all, or from NCTC advising me of non-deliverable messages. Finally, I set up an email rule to send any more messages to my deleted folder.

I just hope this is really a fiendishly clever ISIS denial of services attack on the NCTC. That would be less alarming than the obvious explanation, i.e., that thousands of people in Homeland Security intelligence fusion centers from sea to shining sea are dumb enough to keep replying to all when they try to get out of this email storm.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Trump Gives Sanders the Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels

This dubbing idea is brilliant. A Cockney accent fits Trump's rhetoric perfectly. He sounds so good this way, he ought to fund an app for converting all his speeches.

p.s. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a 2007 movie.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Most Eyebrow-Raising Headline of the Week

How "elaborate" could it be under a trailer in Sitka?

"Fugitive found in 'elaborate tunnel system' at trailer park" - Sitka, Alaska (AP)

Sid "Vicious" Blumenthal: Ineffectual Ectomoph?

So who is Sidney Blumenthal, exactly? He's an old Bill Clinton suck-up and HRC crony from the 1990s, a self-styled political hatchet man ('Sid Vicious') who works as a paid consultant to two groups supporting Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign - American Bridge and Media Matters - and he's someone the Clinton Foundation had on its payroll for $10,000 a month while Hillary was Secretary of State. More to the point, he's someone who sent Hillary what she called "unsolicited" emails that she sometimes passed on to State Department officials.

I believe that they were unsolicited, because their content was plainly nonsense. See for yourself here. Just as plainly, they were really intended to advance Blumenthal's personal business interests by giving foreign clients the impression he was a Beltway influence peddler. Showing his clients that he could send their crap policy advice on Libya to Hillary's personal email account was a way to monetize his access to her. See this? ""!

Considering that motive, look at the email address Sid used for himself in those unsolicited messages, "sbwhoeop", which looks like an imitation of the official White House email address convention: first initial, last initial, White House, Executive Office of the President. Was that just self-important fantasizing, or window dressing for foreign clients who wouldn't know any better?

Last but not least, he's Ichabod Crane. At least, so said Camille Paglia in a 1999 interview about Hillary Clinton and the weird Ichabod Crane men she surrounded herself with:

"Hillary loves eunuch geek men! Oh, my God, look at them all! Sidney Blumenthal, Ira Magaziner, Harold Ickes. They are all these weird Ichabod Crane men, all high-IQ men who have no natural virility ..."

I recall getting an uneasy feeling just looking at Ickes, Magaziner, and Blumenthal back in the first Clinton era. There was indeed something weird about them, but I couldn't put my finger on what it was until Paglia absolutely nailed it.

Norman Rockwell illustration of Ichabod Crane

The Legacy of HRC's Personal Email Troubles

Photo from Flicker

It's not all about the boot-licking sycophants and her frustration with DVRs and secure fax machines. It's about those too, but there are also much larger interests.

The National Security Archive - a non-governmental organization sponsored by The George Washington University which collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act - has a refreshingly sensible take on what is and is not important about Hillary Clinton's email troubles.

Read it here: The Real Legacy of Clinton’s Personal Email: Outdated Government-wide Email Management and Overclassification
Reports have paid particular attention to whether or not she mishandled classified information, speculation that has been buoyed by the retroactive classification of emails that she sent or received over her personal account. While Clinton, her camp, and the State Department’s FOIA office all share blame for her personal email use, the larger – and more complicated – problems of poor, outdated email management and government-wide overclassification have been buried by frenzied reporting on whether or not any of Clinton’s emails were classified.

Some of them were almost certainly overclassified, based on what State Spokeperson/Admiral Kirby has said, but that won't help Hillary's election campaign. Even if true, no excuse will be believed when it comes from a figure the public associates most closely with the word "liar", and the words "dishonest" and "untrustworthy" coming in at second and third place.

Could this be how The House of Clinton goes down? I had not thought so until this week, but now, with the White House giving her no political cover at all, I'm wondering.

Here's a tip: watch for signs of Joe Biden warming up.