Wednesday, September 3, 2014

When Democrats Have No Answers . . .They Make Stuff Up

The Democratic Party knows that the gas that Obama put in the tank in 2012 has about run out.  Most likely, they counted on the Hillary rollout earlier this year to help boost their brand.  For the first time, she stepped on the national stage unencumbered by powerful men such as her husband and Obama.  Unfortunately for her, the book tour turned into a book snore.  She came away looking both out of touch and saddled with painful reminders that foreign policy devolved into a mess under her stewardship.

Hillary was the last chance for a Democratic Party that has clung more to appearances than accomplishments.  But she turned out to not have nearly the political savvy of her husband, which most had assumed whether they supported her or not.  Without Hillarymania, Democrats have nothing on which to hang their hat.  No one wants to own either Obamacare or the rapidly deteriorating foreign policy disasters.

What is a Democrat to do?  When you don't have the facts, just make something up.

Liberal media coordination showed its weird face again last week.  Almost simultaneously, Think Progress, MSNBC, Atlantic, and other outlets posted stories about the Republicans planning a government shutdown over possible executive order amnesty for illegal immigrants.  This naturally took the GOP by surprise, since it is confident that voters will oppose Obama enacting law on his own.

The Daily Caller and other conservative media exposed the crude ruse yesterday.  Quickly following this came White House word that Obama had backed off on his amnesty proposal, calling for a national debate before doing anything.  The Daily Caller's Neil Munro speculated that this is a retreat, if not a white flag.

Did the White House gin up a fake concern, lead supporting media by the nose, and then start to dump the whole issue?  Maybe not, but clearly someone made up the shutdown story for some purpose they thought would benefit the Democratic Party.

This all came only weeks after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spent weeks wasting the Senate's time grousing about two Americans promoting their ideals within the letter of federal and state laws.

With many predictors indicating Republican control of Congress after this election, desperate times must have called for desperate measures from the Democratic Party.

West Virginia is not immune.  Natalie Tennant's campaign actually brought in anti-coal Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts to campaign with her.  No sane campaign official could have thought this would help Tennant against Capito; it seemed more of a rally for Warren's possible presidential run than anything for Tennant's benefit.

After Warren's visit, Capito increased her polling lead dramatically.

Meanwhile, Nick Casey's campaign against Alex Mooney has also gained no traction.  From Stephen Elkins to Jay Rockefeller to Patrick Morrissey, the Mountain State's supposed prejudice against outsiders has usually proved illusory. Polls indicate that prior residency is still not an issue in this race.

Casey's supporters have tried to paint Mooney as anti-coal, based in part on his opposition while state senator to putting a trash incinerator within literal shouting distance of a national battlefield.  Also Casey, owner of five separate houses, has tried to cast himself as a frugal common man.  He slammed Mooney in the past because he, like many other West Virginians, rented his home instead of owning it.

The WVGOP has enjoyed poking fun in particular at Casey's claim that he only buys black shoes and socks.  Some criticized the party for making a point of showing that he indeed had other colors of shoes and socks, but state Republicans have made the Casey campaign look trivial in the spat.  Mooney talks about jobs; Casey talks about his socks.

Capito, Mooney, Evan Jenkins, and David McKinley all run on common sense proposals that would help the state and national economy while enhancing our security.  Tennant, Casey, and others try to run on the tired old stereotypes of the rich Republican, seemingly unaware that Obama has made the Democrats the party of golf and Kobe beef.  More damningly, they are also the party of rich environmental elitists putting working men out of jobs.

Nationally, Democrats face the same set of crises.  They followed left wing policies on health care and the environment, only to see them lead straight to what the GOP predicted. They exploited the easy politics of the cult of personality, until that personality was shown to be bankrupt of ideas and listless in action.  Republicans do not have a beautiful image to rally behind, just a set of tried and true ideals that most people happen to agree with.

And Democrats have no real or imaginary answers to both their upcoming political defeat and the escalating crises facing the US.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What Story Could Link the Shadier Parts of the Internet to Apple's Corporate Image?

Last weekend, the news broke that nude pictures of a large number of female celebrities had been swiped from iCloud.  The list includes Kate Upton, Jennifer Lawrence, Mary Kate Olsen, and many others.

Deadspin reported that a reader approached them weeks ago with a tale of a Facebook offer to trade nude pictures of Jennifer Lawrence for similar pictures of his girlfriend.  This has led some to believe that these pictures have actually been in circulation for a long time in the nether regions of the internet.

The pictures have turned up mostly on a site called 4chan, a site dedicated to picture sharing.  According to the Washington Post, one particular area of the site known for graphic images of sex and violence hosted most of the leaked celebrity pictures.

Users of 4chan tried to use the leaked pictures to launch a campaign to get young women to pose nude in sympathy for Jennifer Lawrence and other victims of the leaked pictures.

If they are celebrity pictures.  Some of the victims have taken to social media and shown that the images are fake.  Others may be genuine.  The FBI has launched an investigation, particularly in the case of specific victims. And Kirsten Dunst, another possible target, publicly lashed out at Apple.

Another related issue for the stars does not simply come from the breach of privacy, but also comments made on the pictures themselves.  Emma Watson condemned anonymous comments that she said "lacked empathy."

Dunst's choice tweet directed at Apple, calling them a sliver of excrement, could symbolize a backlash against the ubiquitous use of that company's products.  If consumers start to question the safety and wisdom (which they should!) of putting most of their lives into the digital realm, this could take a bite out of Apple's plans to link everything, including your microwave and crockpot, to the internet.

Putting nude images in something called a cloud should seem like a bad idea to begin with.  The cloud is a digital community as safe or unsafe as a tangible one.  If you put something up there in high demand, like naked pictures or Quentin Tarentino's next script, it could very well be stolen.

It's a violation of rights to steal celebrity pictures, or anything else, from the cloud. Those who did this ought to be prosecuted. But the crime is tantamount to someone stealing a car with the keys in it.  The victim did not take sufficient care to protect his or her property.  Apple is a company that mastered the art of planned obsolescence.  It is less a moral force and more of a company that short ends its consumers in the same manner as US automakers in the 1950s. Can such a company really be trusted with your secrets?