Friends, Enemies, and Party Discipline

The Obama administration, through its Eric Holder DoJ, has decided to prosecute Senator Robert Menendez (D, NJ) on various charges of misbehavior, charges which the administration and the NLMSM have been bruiting about for roughly three years. Why bring the charges now? Because we’re in the end game of the Obama “negotiations” with Iran over the latter’s nuclear weapons program, and the deal being talked about will codify Iran’s ability to build nuclear weapons. Menendez is a powerful Democrat, and he’s been a vocal critic of Obama and his Iran “negotiations.”

My Irony Meter

…is pegged.

It seems that Israel spied on the US’ nuclear weapons “negotiations” with Iran. From a “senior US official:”

It is one thing for the US and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal US secrets and play them back to US legislators to undermine US diplomacy.

It certainly is terrible that Congress should find out from an ally what the Obama administration is doing instead of finding that out directly from the administration.

Another carefully anonymous (secretive?) US “official” added this:

Too Little, Too Late

Responding to pressure from Congress and veterans groups, the Department of Veterans Affairs is relaxing a rule that makes it hard for some veterans in rural areas to prove they live at least 40 miles from a VA health site.

The relaxation consists of the VA using mapping facilities (vis., Google Maps) to measure actual driving miles rather than simply plotting straight line distances. Here’s Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald:

We’ve determined that changing the distance calculation will help ensure more veterans have access to care when and where they want it[.]

It Would Be All Right if He Did

President Barack Obama, in a Huffington Post interview, had this to say about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pre-election remarks about a Palestinian state:

We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership, and so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region[.]

It would be good if Obama really did take Netanyahu at his word; this is what the PM actually said:

These Explain a Lot

Joseph Clancy, Secret Service Director, testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee, and this loose exchange between Clancy and Congressman Chris Stewart (R, UT) ensued:

Clancy: It’s going to take time to change maybe some of this culture. There’s no excuse for this information not to come up the chain. That’s going to take time because I’m going to have to build trust with our workforce. And the best way for me to work or earn that trust with our workforce is by my actions.

ATF and Gun Control

They’re not capable of letting this go.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Thursday raised new concerns about surplus military ammo used in popular AR-15 rifles and pistols just days after pulling back on a proposal to ban the ammo because it could threaten police safety.

In a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, ATF Director B Todd Jones said all types of the 5.56 military-style ammo used by shooters pose a threat to police as more people buy the AR-15-style pistols.

So is the ammunition for any firearm a threat. So are knives. So are hammers.

Clinton’s Emails

Ex-First Lady, one-time Senator, and woman who once sat in the Secretary of State’s chair had a press conference.

QUESTION: How could the public be assured that when you deleted emails that were personal in nature, that you didn’t also delete emails that were professional, but possibly unflattering?

And what do you think about this Republican idea of having an independent third party come in and examine your emails?

CLINTON: Well first of all, you have to ask that question to every single federal employee, because the way the system works, the federal employee, the individual, whether they have one device, two devices, three devices, how many addresses, they make the decision.

Rule By Law—Spying Edition

The People’s Republic of China is on the verge of enacting a law that would make legal corporate spying by the PRC government. Of course, the Chinese are couching this as a wholly innocent effort at countering terrorism.

The draft law requires both foreign and domestic telecommunications and Internet service providers to create backdoors in their systems to give Chinese authorities surveillance access, hand over copies of their encryption codes and assist government agencies with decryption when asked, among other provisions. Also, companies would be required to store Chinese users’ data on servers in the Chinese mainland; otherwise, they wouldn’t be allowed to operate in the country.

The Mosul Campaign

A couple of things.

Regarding the well-publicized upcoming Mosul, Iraq, campaign (remember the ability of WWI allied general staffs to predict German army movements by reading Berlin newspaper society pages? President Barack Obama plainly does not), a carefully unnamed “military official” had this to say:

When we feel that the Iraqi forces are ready to go and win decisively, we will go and advise the Iraqis to begin the operation.

Hmm….

Mulling Things Over

The US military is considering a months-long campaign of airstrikes to squeeze Islamic State fighters in Mosul before inserting Iraqi ground forces to retake the city, officials said Friday.

The on-the-ground fight to retake Mosul isn’t likely to start until the fall at the earliest, after an intensified air campaign to target Islamic State leaders and cut off supply lines in and around the city, the officials said.

The emerging plan is at odds with a briefing by a US military’s Central Command official in February in which he said the US and Iraq were looking at starting a campaign to liberate Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, by April or May.