“As Necessary”

Recall the kerfuffle over whether senior government officials—an ex-CIA Director, for instance—should have their security clearances continued when they leave government services.  As Sean Bigley put it in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed,

The idea was that senior administration officials should be allowed to retain their security clearances after leaving government so they could consult with successors as necessary.

Bigley suggested that this particular rationale even “makes sense for a brief, defined period.”

He’s overstating the case, though.  “As necessary” doesn’t justify an automatic continuance of a clearance that’s no longer automatically needed, nor does “as necessary” come close to representing a continued need to know that is a Critical Item in granting clearances.

Who’s Doing the Blocking?

Yoram Hazony has a book coming out—The Virtue of Nationalism—that he wanted to advertise on Facebook.  Fat chance.  After he accepted Facebook’s Boost Post process, he got some boosted postings of his book, and then he got

Your ad was not approved because your Page has not been authorized to run ads with political content.

Never mind that the book is a history of the rise of the nation-state and a comparison of nationalism with imperialism.  Doesn’t matter.  It’s about nationalism, and so it’s political.

No Need to Waste the Time

…arguing the matter.  In an opinion piece, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board called out “Tricky Dick Schumer” (their appellation) for his stalling effort centered on his demand for millions of pages of documents from Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s past pursuant to evaluating Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.  Schumer has said he’ll try to block any discussion of Kavanaugh’s fitness until he gets those millions of docs.  The WSJ also noted that

Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley [R, IA] is trying to work out a document deal with ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein.

This against the backdrop of

The Man Has a Point

On the matter of revoking the security clearances of certain senior government officials after they’ve left office—the Trump administration’s thinking about doing that with former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, et al., and the associated flap come to mind—former Deputy State Department spokesman Adam Ereli has a point.  Such a move would ring alarm bells, and one alleged motive for doing so raises this problem identified by Ereli:

I think that we’re going down a slippery slope.  Who’s to decide what’s political and what’s not political?

There are Security Breaches

…and there are security breaches.  The NLMSM wants to talk about some, and it wants to spike reports about others.

Here’s one that the NLMSM is doing its best to spike.  It seems that Peter Strzok, a most highly paid and senior HR specialist in the FBI, had a meeting in 2016 with two people the then-Intelligence Community Inspector General Chuck McCullough had sent to brief him and three other FBI folks on a…matter…concerning

an “anomaly” that their forensic analysis had found in Clinton’s server.

Whose Divide?

Gerald Seib, in his Wall Street Journal‘s Capital Journal, has an odd take on the political (personal?) divide moving through our nation.

From the moment he rode down the escalator at his eponymous Fifth Avenue skyscraper to announce his candidacy three years ago, President Donald Trump has divided Americans[]

goes his lede, and he proceeds from there.

Never mind that it was then-Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) who dismissed Tea Partiers as mere Astroturfers.

Never mind that it was the NLMSM that insulted Tea Partiers with the careful slur of being mere tea bagger.

Censorship

Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook are moving to delete from Facebook postings items, which Zuckerberg is pleased to term “misinformation” or “false information” (and for which he’s been unable to provide a definition, coherent criteria, or a balanced set of “fact” checkers), that in addition to being somehow false incite violence.

Facebook will rely on local organizations of its choosing to decide whether specific posts contain false information and could lead to physical violence[.]

Because local sources in Sri Lanka or Malaysia, or Indonesia, are going to provide objective analyses—especially when the “incitement” is against the groups particularly hated in nations like those.

Rights

Some people have more of them, others have fewer.  That’s the position of the People’s Republic of China.

The Hong Kong National Party is being threatened by the PRC government, through its Hong Kong Secretary for Security, John Lee Ka-chiu, with being banned.  The heinous crime of which the party (and its leader, Andy Chan) is speaking too freely in favor of freedom for Hong Kong.

Or, as another man put it a while back, some people are just more equal than others.

Media Bias

We’ve seen how Facebook openly favors liberal news outlets; now we can see the unconscious bias against conservative outlets that media moguls have.

Facebook at least has started paying lip service to (and may actually be serious about) correcting its own bias.  The company held an allegedly off-the-record meeting with a dozen or so publishing executives (allegedly because of the leaks of the meeting’s contents by participants).  BuzzFeed‘s Editor in Chief Ben Smith, though, objected to the presence of “six conservative-leaning publications among the dozen or so outlets” present.  Apparently, actual balance between conservatives and liberals is biased representation.

Union Politics

Here’s what the American Federation of Teachers union “agency fees” would have been spent on absent the favorable ruling in Janus vs AFSCME, which said that public unions can no longer make non-union employees pay into union coffers as a condition of employment.  These are actual resolutions to be offered at the AFT’s convention this weekend.

Keep in mind, too, that those agency fees typically ran to 60% to 80% of member union dues—which gives an idea of how much a public union’s intake was spent on politics rather than on member matters.

  • single-payer health care