Bar Them

It turns out the hacks into various cloud-based services and cloud providers by the People’s Republic of China was far more extensive in depth and breadth than heretofore reported.

They came in through cloud service providers, where companies thought their data was safely stored. Once they got in, they could freely and anonymously hop from client to client, and defied investigators’ attempts to kick them out for years.
Cybersecurity investigators first identified aspects of the hack, called Cloud Hopper by the security researchers who first uncovered it, in 2016….
A Wall Street Journal investigation has found that the attack was much bigger than previously known. It goes far beyond the 14 unnamed companies listed in the indictment, stretching across at least a dozen cloud providers, including CGI Group Inc, one of Canada’s largest cloud companies; Tieto Oyj, a major Finnish IT services company; and International Business Machines Corp.

Reduced NBA Viewership

The TV ratings of National Basketball Association games are down by 15% compared to last year.

Some folks ascribe this to fewer folks subscribing to television generally. Others blame it on geography:

Many of the league’s best teams are on the West Coast, meaning their games end after some viewers in the East have already gone to bed.

Yet others assign at least some of the blame to injuries, especially to marque players.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver blames in on a “broken” pay-TV system.

All of those would seem to be factors in the public’s decreasing interest in the doings of the NBA.

“Circle Games” and Losers

One last thought on this, and then I’ll depart from the foolishness.  Recall the cadets and midshipmen who made the OK sign as part of a so-called circle game and whose academy management teams then were cowed into investigating those cadets and midshipmen.

In the circle game, you try to trick someone into looking at your hand while you make an “OK” sign, usually below the waist. If the mark falls for it, you’re awarded a free punch.

Impeachment And Trial

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) is continuing to refuse to deliver her caucus’ Article of Impeachment to the Senate for trial.  Leave aside the premises that by withholding her Articles, she is confessing that her caucus has no case to present for trial or that she is functionally absolving President Donald Trump of any impeachable wrong-doing.  As The Wall Street Journal noted, her move only trivializ[es] a serious constitutional power and process. As the WSJ further noted,

There’s nothing in the Constitution that says impeachment requires a formal transmittal of the articles to the Senate, whether by sedan chair or overnight FedEx, or that the House must appoint impeachment managers.

The FBI and Surveillance

DoJ’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, has produced a report that’s pretty damning of the FBI and its surveillance practices.  This has raised concerns about how far the FBI goes, and whether it exceeds the spirit, even the letter, of our laws governing FBI surveillance.

Monday’s report…also faulted the bureau for its “failure to adhere to its own standards of accuracy and completeness when filing applications” to conduct electronic surveillance on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign staffer, under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Privacy advocates said the report’s findings validated their belief that surveillance practices under the FISA law…lacked adequate oversight and transparency.

It Doesn’t Matter

Vice President Mike Pence doesn’t think it’s a done deal that the Progressive-Democrats have the votes in the House to impeach President Donald Trump.

He’s operating from a misunderstanding of the Progressive-Democrats’ purpose. Their move has nothing to do with impeachment—they know they have no case based on what they’ve leaked from their secret hearings and what’s been exposed in both their committees’ public hearings—and everything to do with smearing Trump and poisoning the upcoming election.

As Al Green (D, TX) has made clear.

Subpoenas

Congressman Jim Banks (R, IN) wants to subpoena Congressman Adam Schiff’s (D, CA) telephone records in retaliation for Schiff’s releasing the personal call records of a fellow Congressman, journalists, and President Donald Trump’s personal lawyers.

This is why I’ve called for a tit for tat.

Banks’ anger is understandable, but his proposed retaliatory move is misguided.  The Congressman whose call record was so dishonestly publicized by Schiff, Devin Nunes, has the better response: deal with Schiff’s dishonesty and his abuse of subpoenas in court, not with revenge.

Streamlining Negotiations

DoJ says it wants to “streamline” negotiations over the size of penalties misbehaving white collar employees should pay.

Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski, the head of the department’s criminal division—which overseas various white-collar criminal investigations—said the DOJ has sought to reduce the time it takes to negotiate resolutions by grounding proposed fines in US sentencing guidelines and other objective criteria.

Here’s a thought on how to streamline those negotiations.

Stop negotiating.  Make a plea offer (rarely, these too often get used to extort guilty pleas of any sort), and if the white collar declines—no back and forth—go to criminal trial.  Better, if DoJ thinks it has an actual case, go straight to criminal trial.

Score One for Facebook

Facebook had a post up, recently, that the government of Singapore didn’t like and of which that government disputed the truthfulness.

As a result, By Order Of the Singapore government, Facebook added a notice—a “label”—to the post:

Facebook is legally required to tell you that the Singapore government says this post has false information.

For a wonder, Facebook didn’t take the post down, nor did it make any effort to “correct” its content.  Instead, it posted the notice, letting readers decide for themselves…whether they should take seriously the post or the notice required by a mendacious government.

Smart Move

Although, had it been me, I would have ignored it, not dignifying the thing with a response.

“It” is House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler’s (D, NY) pro forma invitation to President Donald Trump to send along his lawyer to be present at the Nadler Impeachment Inquisition, so long as Trump responded by Nadler’s deadline with the lawyer’s name and impeachment areas of interest.

The smart move was Trump’s refusal to accede to Nadler’s demand.