Thursday, October 02, 2014

Julia Pearson, Director of the Secret Service, whose mission it is to protect the life of the President of the United States has resigned. On Ms. Pearson's watch Omar Gonzalez climbed over a fence, ran, while armed, across the entirety of the lawn in front of the White House, entered the front door and and made it deep into the mansion's first floor. Several layers of security failed there, all caused by Pearson's colleagues. They were failures so manifold, so serious that they were viewed correctly as systemic Secret Service failures. Pearson had charge of that system and she had to go. But she may not have had she not performed so poorly as a witness before the congressional committee investigating the Gonzalez intrusion. Her agency first gave different accounts of the intrusion which were false, first that Gonzalez was stopped inside the front door by a guard, then that the front door guard, inexplicably, was not inside the door, then that he was but was overpowered by Gonzalez; first that Gonzalez did not have a weapon in his hands, then that he had a serrated knife. That Gonzalez made it into the Green Room of the White House was leaked to the press, not offered by Ms. Pearson.  Before the House committee Pearson outraged congressmen with her pro forma acceptance of ultimate responsibility while still defending her agency. It was done so unemotionally so pro forma that it outraged the committee members, of both parties. That part of America that is the Secret Service, and that is a pretty important part, does not work. It did not work under the previous director. The problems truly are systemic and that means getting rid of more than the Director. Maybe this Secret Service should not exist anymore; call for everyone's resignation build the whole thing up again anew. Let other federal law enforcement handle presidential security until the "new" Secret Service is ready to go.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Today is the first anniversary of the operational beginning of America's Affordable Care Act, now almost universally called ObamaCare. Not an anniversary that its namesake is going to celebrate as the opening was plagued by computer crashes due to demand. The silver lining there however is "due to demand." One year on and 7,500,000 Regular 'Muricans who didn't have any health insurance now do.

2013 was all around a bad year for Barack Obama. Islam's attacks on America on 9/11/12 were still fresh wounds and the Muslim "street's" chants of "Obama, Obama, We Are All Osama" were ringing painfully in the president's ears. In June he took a powerful one-two combination to the gut when his spying on the world got out and when the non-coup coup in Free Egypt occurred. So when the computers crashed on October 1, 2013, well, one can understand being depressed about it all.

ObamaCare is the single most important social legislation in half a century in America and it WORKED!  Barack Obama's legacy will always have that gold plating. Obama got America out of the Great Recession, too; paint on another coat of gold for that.

Will history find the Obama coin-of-the realm 24 carat through and through or are will it find those achievements gilding of base metal? Those are some pretty thick layers of gold. Obama got the base metal in change when he inherited the presidency, the spying was George W. Bush's legacy to him, as was the economy. Obama could have turned lead into gold if he had stopped the spying as he stopped the recession. Instead, on the spying, Barack Obama became what Herbert Hoover was on the
Depression, a president at first ignorant of the scale of the calamity and then a president willfully impotent, who consciously decided to do next to nothing.

Barack Obama will not suffer Herbert Hoover's legacy--Is Hoover remembered for anything else? (No.)--Obama will always have health care and the economy but the change that the president of Change inherited and that he refused to change, that was bad money indeed, it was devastating, it did more lasting harm to the country than his achievements in combination; indeed it showed that America was a different country entirely from what Americans and the world thought it was, the American people different, Obama himself different, all base. The country, the American people and Barack Obama personally were shown to be at base, base. Bad money indeed and bad money drives out good money. That will be Barack Obama's legacy.

"New NATO chief: better ties with Russia possible."-Yahoo News.

"We see opportunity in the cease-fire that has now been established in the eastern Ukraine."
                    -Jens Stoltenberg, new NATO Secretary-General.

Farewell to "Farewell to Russia." Outrageous. Of all things, I would have bet NATO collaboration would have been absolutely off the table.

And about that cease-fire, Jens?  The Russians today launched a major attack to take the Donetsk airport. So yeah, good start to your first day on the job, Jens.

"Spy Agencies Urge Caution on Phone Deal."-New York Times.

An obscure federal contract for a company charged with routing millions of phone calls and text messages in the United States has prompted an unusual lobbying battle in which intelligence officials are arguing that the nation’s surveillance secrets could be at risk.

The contractor that wins the bid would essentially act as the air traffic controller for the nation’s phone system, which is run by private companies but is essentially overseen by the government.

And with a European-based company now favored for the job, some current and former intelligence officials — who normally stay out of the business of awarding federal contracts — say they are concerned that the government’s ability to trace reams of phone data used in terrorism and law enforcement investigations could be hindered.

A small Virginia company, Neustar, has held the job since the late 1990s, but a private phone-industry panel has recommended to the Federal Communications Commission that an American division of Ericsson,

the Swedish-based technology company, get the work instead. No final decision has been made.

In its bid to hold on to the $446 million job, Neustar has hired Michael Chertoff,

a well-connected former secretary of homeland security, to examine the implications of the proposed switch.
Neustar declined to say how much it paid Mr. Chertoff for the report, indicating only that it was a “modest sum.”

Ericsson is a Swedish technology firm, but its supporters in the contract debate point out that the network’s operation would be handled by an American-based division, Telcordia Technologies, and that it would be run more cheaply than Neustar without any harm to the system’s operations.
The battle over the little-known routing network reflects the central role that the phone companies play in the government’s surveillance and phone-tracing capabilities.

The surveillance system has been intensely criticized in the 14 months since Edward J. Snowden,
the former National Security Agency analyst, released classified information detailing the wide scope of the government’s capabilities. As a result, Apple and Google took steps this month to encrypt smartphone data in ways that would make it much more difficult for government investigators to crack.
The routing network that was put in place, with Neustar as its administrator, was designed partly to allow the government nearly instant access to the data on where calls were being routed.

Apple, I luvvvv U! Just because of this I am not going downgrade from your smartphone. I will UPgrade to your newest ENCRYPTED iteration. And I am going to buy one for every one of my criminal clients.

I love you Googly-Poogly.

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