The FBI and Backdoors

Recall that the FBI has long wanted government-accessible backdoors into our personal but encrypted communications.  “Trust us,” FBI leadership assures us, “we wouldn’t misuse that access; we’ll only use for ‘criminal’ investigations, and only with government authorization.”  And they’ve claimed in support of that wide-eyed innocence that they can’t break into over 7,000 cell phones in the pursuit of criminal investigations.  Current FBI Director Christopher Wray even put the number at over 7,700.

However.

On Tuesday, the FBI told PCMag that a programming error resulted in a “significant overcounting” of the encrypted devices. “The FBI is currently conducting an in-depth review of how this over-counting previously occurred,” the agency said in a statement.

Believe a Woman

Last weekend, a woman accused a Texas State Trooper of sexually assaulting her during a traffic stop.  Sherita Dixon-Cole

alleged that after she failed a field sobriety test, Hubbard had “suggested she could go home in exchange for sexual favors,” according to [Dixon-Cole’s lawyer Lee] Merritt’s initial press release. Dixon-Cole said that after she refused, she was taken to Hubbard’s police car where she was “forcefully groped, fondled, and vaginally penetrated during a prolonged arrest.”

She went on to say Hubbard continued his sexual advances on the way to the police station, even alleging that he offered to take her to a remote location where she could provide sexual favors in exchange for her release from custody.

Europe, EU, and Iran

Walter Russell Mead had an op-ed in Monday’s Wall Street Journal wherein he suggested that, while Europe…is dismayed…with President Donald Trump, they still need us, as we need them.  There are, though, a couple of remarks that want response.

The Europeans should have checked the relevant clauses in the American Constitution, assessed the state of congressional sentiment, and realized that Mr Obama simply lacked the authority, political or constitutional, to commit the country permanently to such an agreement.

The Europeans knew—and know—this stuff full well. They’re just desperate for Iran’s post-JCPOA nuclear-armed missiles to fall elsewhere than Europe and hoping that their continued appeasement today might achieve that.

Compensation

Germany has decided to compensate two major utility companies for the government-forced shutdown of their nuclear power plants, shutdowns caused by government diktat, not by any plant failure or unsafe performance.

Sometime in the future, that is, in an amount to be determined.

The precise compensation sums depended on the development of electricity prices in Germany, the government said, adding that a concrete figure could only be calculated in 2023.

Those electricity prices already is rising rapidly from the loss of cheap, reliable electricity sources—coal-fired plants are being forced to close, too, in favor of wind- and solar-generated electricity.

Confusion, or….

The NLMSM has its collective panty in a twist over US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s use of her twitter account.

Or they’re manufacturing a paranoia about her use, claiming she’s campaigning for the Presidency by using her personal Twitter account for Official Business.  Here’s what Politico offered as examples of this misuse.

That can’t possibly be a personal opinion shared with her personal followers.  Nope—that’s Official Business.  She’s instructing staff with that expression.

And this:

Yeah, that’s an Official Instruction to…someone…all right.

And this:

Because any expression of sympathy and commiseration and encouragement can only be Official Business.

Student Loan Delinquency

…rates are declining.  Or so a headline number implies.

The share of new delinquencies on student loans has fallen to the lowest level in more than decade—and it’s not just due to the healthy labor market.

In the first quarter, slightly over 9% of student debt outstanding was newly delinquent….

Aside from employment rates, which encourage jobs as trade-off for college, the decline is laid off to a couple of causes.

[F]forbearance[] allows borrowers to go months without making a payment while remaining in good standing on their debt.

And

A Mueller Interrogation

It’s well enough known that Special Counselor Robert Mueller is anxious to interrogate President Donald Trump as part of Mueller’s “investigation” of Russian interference in our 2016 election and of the Trump campaign’s alleged role in colluding with the Russians in that interference.  Trump’s counselor, Rudy Giuliani, says that Trump should not agree to the interrogation unless and until Mueller details the degree of DoJ spying on the Trump campaign, including what the FBI’s planted “informant,” Cambridge Professor Stefan Halper (who may be only one of two or three such plants), was doing and what he passed on to his FBI handlers.

More Mindsets

Iran says that not only are Germany, France, and Great Britain not doing enough to satisfy the demands it’s made as a quid pro quo for staying in the nuclear weapons deal.  All of the EU must pay some vig.  Here’s Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif:

With the exit of the United States from the nuclear deal, the expectations of the Iranian public towards the European Union have increased….

That’s one mindset; unfortunately, it’s not unique to Iran: we exist, therefore, you owe.

Here’s another Iranian mindset:

The cascade of decisions by EU companies to end their activities in Iran makes things much more complicated[.]

A Tenth Circuit Speculator

The Institute for Justice summarized a 10th Circuit case regarding a car involved in an immediately prior weapons case, its driver, and a weapon thusly:

Aurora, CO, police run tags on car with broken tail light, discover the car was seized three weeks earlier in weapons-possession case and a man (a known gang member) associated with the car was arrested. They pull it over; the man is in it; they frisk him and find a gun. He’s charged with being a felon in possession. Suppress the evidence? No need, says the 10th Circuit. Though he was calm and compliant, officers were justified in patting him down to ensure their safety.
Dissent: The gov’t is going to use this decision to justify frisks in a much broader variety of circumstances than the ones here.

Mindset

Here’s the new US offer regarding the Iran nuclear weapons deal; we’ll soon see pretty clearly the mindsets of Germany, France, and the UK.  And of Iran.

Iran must

  • end nuclear weapons development in perpetuity
  • stop all uranium enrichment
  • never preprocess plutonium
  • allow nuclear unqualified access to all sites throughout the country
  • withdraw all forces from Syria
  • end support for militant groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, youths militia and Taliban in Afghanistan, and the IRGC Quds Forces
  • stop sending arms to the Houthi militia in Yemen
  • release all US citizens