Saturday, December 20, 2014

The cyber attack on the studio has a serious side and it’s not really about North Korea.

The Real Fallout from Sony is Nuclear - Roger L Simon/PJ Media

The whole Sony story has a certain twisted dark comedy flavor with CEO Michael Lynton bickering with Obama over the release of what is said to be an unwatchable movie. It sure looks that way from the trailers. If the NORKS had any brains, they should just have let the film be released and it would have sunk like a stone. But perhaps they had other intentions – or someone did – beyond making fun of inane Hollywood studio executives or even silencing a movie.

The cyber attack on the studio has a serious side and it’s not really about North Korea. It’s about who helped North Korea, the assumption being that the NORKS don’t quite have the technical expertise to pull this off by themselves. Russia, China and Iran are the three candidates whose names have been thrown into the hopper as possible co-perps – maybe more than one of them.

The fact that Iran is on the list at all should gives us all pause. Not long ago most of us thought they weren’t capable of something like this; they were just another third world Islamic fundamentalist outback tooting their own bizarro anti-imperialist horn over and over, shouting “Death to America!” until they gave themselves and us migraines. How could you take them seriously?

...We may have “stuxneted” them, but now they may have “stuxneted” us back. After cyber war comes real (nuclear) war. You don’t need a purloined Sony email to tell you that.

Over A Thousand People Came Together To Break a Record And Bring This Moving Christmas Hymn To Life

Over a thousand people and ten thousand hours went into this beautiful rendition of the 1862 Christmas hymn, “Angels We Have Heard On High.” - IJ Review

Friday, December 19, 2014

Celine Dion - Ave Maria

Let’s Talk About Obama’s Imaginary ‘Winning Streak’

There’s a big story emerging in D.C.: Barack Obama is making a comeback. - David Harsanyi/The Federalist
Politico’s newest contribution to this flourishing genre is titled “Obama libre.” The piece oscillates between the president’s success with executive power – “He’s spent a year nudging Americans to judge him less on legislative accomplishments and more on his executive actions” – and the long-peddled fiction that he’s merely a centrist in search of unanimity. “Obama’s always ready to make a deal, often at the expense of brushing off his base …” says Politico. It comforts me to believe that the person who typed that sentence may have winced just a little....

Would the media describe a string of Republican victories won exclusively through executive action a “winning streak”? Today, somehow, even after a historic repudiation of his policies, Obama is not only reinvigorated and freed from the constraints of annoying process, but according to some in the media, he has been “politically triumphant.” There are two ways to explain this phenomena: Some folks are engaged in a lot of wishful thinking or we’ve severely downgraded the meaning of winning. Then again, maybe it’s a little of both.
Obama libre - Politico
It’s been a bad year. But the president is closing strong.
Obama's on a Winning Streak - Albert R. Hunt/Bloomberg Review
Never before has a president experienced as severe an election drubbing as Barack Obama did in November and followed it with such a politically triumphant six weeks.

Obama scored his latest coup today by announcing that the U.S. and Cuba would restore full diplomatic relations and exchange prisoners. The right is enraged, but the politics favor the president.
Obama sheds Clark Kent demeanor, tries on Superman costume - CNN
In case you haven't noticed, President Obama has been flexing his executive muscles lately. On paper, it's a head-scratcher. After all, he lost control of the Senate in the last election. His popularity is hovering near an all-time low. And, of course, he's a lame duck.
White House: Exec Amnesty Made 2014 ‘Year of Great Progress’ for ‘Progressive Agenda’ - Tony Lee/Breitbart Big Government

The Real Barack Obama is Standing Up - Bloomberg News

MSNBC Gushes Over Obama’s Press Conference ‘Swagger’ - Brendan Bordelon/National Review Online

Podesta Detailed Obama’s Power Grab in September - Dan Riehl/Breitbart

Sony Hack may have been a practice run for something far worse

North Korean defectors are saying that the hack of Sony may have been a practice run for the NoKo's real target; telecoms and energy grids. - Rick Moran/American Thinker

For North Korea's cyber army, long-term target may be telecoms, utility grids - Reuters

Non-conventional capabilities like cyber-warfare and nuclear technology are the weapons of choice for the impoverished North to match its main enemies, they said.

Obsessed by fears that it will be over-run by South Korea and the United States, North Korea has been working for years on the ability to disrupt or destroy computer systems that control vital public services such as telecoms and energy utilities, according to one defector.

"North Korea's ultimate goal in cyber strategy is to be able to attack national infrastructure of South Korea and the United States," said Kim Heung-kwang, a defector from the North who was a computer science professor and says he maintains links with the community in his home country.

"The hacking of Sony Pictures is similar to previous attacks that were blamed on North Korea and is a result of training and efforts made with the goal of destroying infrastructure," said Kim, who came to the South in 2004.

Feinstein: In Past 6 Years, ‘No Real Policy’ to Handle Sony-Style Attacks - PJ Media

The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said the hacking attack against Sony is part of a longer-running plot — and the administration has had “no real policy” to face such attacks....

“Now, right now, you can look at North Korea, taken off the terrorist list, you can see this attack is in a sense a terrorist attack. You could put them back on. You can levy financial sanctions against them,” Feinstein continued.

China Tests Ballistic Missile Using Guidance Technology Traded by Bill Clinton for Campaign Donations

China has just tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile that can deliver up to 10 independently targeted nuclear warheads, using technology given to them on President Clinton's watch to launch communications satellites. - Doug Ross

The Dec. 13 test of the DF-41 was the third for the new weapon. But it marked the first test of a multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle, or MIRV, technology and raises by an order of magnitude the nuclear threat to the U.S. as China continues its massive arms buildup. And disturbingly, the threat is in large part of our own making.

"The DF-4, which could be deployed as early as 2015, may carry up to 10 MIRVs, and have a range as far as 7,456 miles, allowing it to target the entire continental United States," according to the latest report produced for Congress by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

"China could use MIRVs to deliver nuclear warheads on major U.S. cities and military facilities as a means of overwhelming (existing) U.S. ballistic missile defenses," the report added....

China Tests DF-41 Missile Using U.S. Technology - IBD


“I wish they had spoken to me first,” he said, when asked his opinion on the matter. “I would have told them, ‘Do not get into a pattern in which you’re intimidated by these kind of criminal attacks.’” - Charlie Spiering/Breitbart
Sony: We called White House - The Hill [Washington, DC]
Sony exec fires back at President Obama - CNN
Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, denying that the studio had "caved" by scrapping next week's opening of "The Interview," fired back Friday after President Obama said the studio had "made a mistake."

"The president, the press, and the public are mistaken as to what actually happened," Lynton said in an exclusive interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria. "We do not own movie theaters. We cannot determine whether or not a movie will be played in movie theaters."

Lynton said he would be "fibbing" to say he "wasn't disappointed" in Obama's remarks.

"I don't know exactly whether he understands the sequence of events that led up to the movie not being shown in the movie theaters," Lynton said. "Therefore I would disagree with the notion that it was a mistake."

Lynton's response came just hours after a White House press conference where Obama criticized Sony's decision.
“We have not caved. We have not given in. We have persevered, and we have not backed down. We have always had every desire to have the American public see this movie.” - Deadline

Hackers send Sony a new message: Cyber attacks will end ‘unless you make additional trouble’ - HotAir

White House Mocks Republicans for Failing to Repeal Obamacare

Ahead of President Obama’s press conference on Friday, Dan Pfeiffer, his senior political adviser, mocked Republicans for failing to repeal Obamacare. - Charlie Spiering/Breitbart

“This is blatant intolerance, and the university should take action on the behalf of intellectual diversity and all of the students who are intimidated into silence”

College Professor Writes Column Confessing Her ‘Hate’ for Republicans — Here’s the University’s Response - The Blaze

...Students have also reacted, slamming the professor for intolerance toward those with differing political beliefs.

“This is blatant intolerance, and the university should take action on the behalf of intellectual diversity and all of the students who are intimidated into silence,” Grant Strobl, chairman of U-M’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, told M-Live.

On Thursday, university released a statement saying that the “views expressed are those of the individual faculty member and not those of the University of Michigan.”

“Faculty freedom of expression, including in the public sphere, is one of the core values of our institution,” university spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said, according to M-Live. ”At the same time, the university must and will work vigilantly to ensure students can express diverse ideas and perspectives in a respectful environment and without fear of reprisal. The university values viewpoint diversity and encourages a wide range of opinions.”

Krauthammer: Obama ‘Oversteps Everywhere,’ Is ‘Destroying’ Balance Of Power

In a discussion on the large number of President Barack Obama executive actions, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer told Fox News’ Bret Baier that the president “oversteps everywhere” because he’s been forced to enact his agenda on his own, rather than going through Congress. - Daily Caller

KRAUTHAMMER: “Look, this is quite clear. The president came in as an extremely ideologically ambitious man. He said he was going to change America. He was very open about it. First State of the Union address, he talked about changing education, energy, healthcare. He succeeded in congress with healthcare. He did not succeed with anything else. Cap and Trade did not succeed. He loses the House, which means he loses control. He has no chance of enacting anything sweeping again after healthcare. And he decides to spend the next six years trying to get his agenda enacted by executive order, which is why he oversteps everywhere. And when you say it’s not — the federal government isn’t working, what’s the definition of working? Sweeping change of our immigration laws in a country that has not decided how it wants to actually do that. It’s working exactly as designed with the power of the president is checked and what Obama is doing is destroying that balance.”


Just one day before President Obama announced sweeping changes that would allow potential American investment in Cuba, the Cuban government apparently had begun preparing itself by announcing new measures that would allow Cubans who work for foreign companies to keep only 8% of their salaries. - Breitbart

In an official announcement in state newspaper Granma, government officials announced a system in which employees who work for corporations with foreign capital will be paid two Cuban Pesos for every Convertible Cuban Peso (CUC) the corporation actually pays them. The Convertible Peso (CUP) is almost exclusively for the use of tourists and is of significantly greater value; one CUC is the equivalent of an American dollar and the equivalent of 26.5 CUPs. The other 24 CUPs Cuban workers will not receive amount to 92% of their salaries....

The new measures, though enacted hours before the release of USAID worker Alan Gross and President Obama’s announcement of new trade measures, should inspire caution in American companies that would like to do work on the island. American companies would be keeping very little of the money they invest and earn in business on the island, while lining the pockets of the communist government. As Raúl Castro noted in his speech, the Cuban government made no concessions in this recent negotiation with the United States, save the freedom of Gross and one other American agent whom President Obama did not name, which leaves it open to sanctioning American companies who dare attempt to do business on the island as they see fit.

Who Is Organizing The Racial Protests Across America? Must See Video

Via Barracuda Brigade

The GOP's Obama-era rebirth.

It’s official: GOP will have biggest House majority since before the New Deal - NOAH ROTHMAN/HOTAIR

On Wednesday, the Associated Press called the outstanding race for congress in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional district. Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ), a former aide to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and her successor in office, was narrowly defeated by Republican Martha McSally.

With McSally’s victory, the 2014 midterm elections have officially concluded. At the start of the 114th Congress, Republicans will enjoy their largest majority in the House of Representatives since prior to the Great Depression and the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt with 247 members. The last time the GOP enjoyed that large of a majority was the 71st Congress in 1929 and 1930.

In the Senate, the GOP will be in an almost equally unparalleled position of power.

“Republicans will control 54 out of 100 seats,” The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake noted. “That’s tied for their fourth-highest number of seats since that same 1929-30 Congress, but the larger three were majorities of 55 seats — i.e. only one more seat.”

Combined with the GOP’s dominance at the state legislative level (Republicans control 56 percent of seats in the legislatures, the highest number since 1920), and the party’s control of 31 of 50 gubernatorial mansions, the Republican Party will be in the strongest position it has seen since prior to the popularization of Democratic progressivism.

“The last time the GOP clearly had more power than today was in the early 1920s, when it controlled more than 70 percent of governorships, 69 percent of the House and more than 60 percent of Senate seats,” Blake observed.

That’s nothing to sneeze at, and it is all due to the ideological realignment of the Democratic Party.

The press and the political analyst class are near myopically focused on the Republican Party’s ideological realignment. And it is true that the GOP has become a more conservative party since the end of the last century. They rarely, however, devote much of their attentions to the realignment of the Democratic Party, which has become markedly more liberal in the early part of this century.

The Democratic Party suffered two disastrous midterm elections not because the GOP made no mistakes or overreached. They did both, and they did so often. The Democrats suffered these debacles because the traditionally older and whiter midterm electorate has turned on the Democratic Party. As recently as 1998, it was possible for a midterm electorate in a Democratic president’s sixth year in office to overlook their frustrations with the incumbent in the White House. That kind of dispensation toward Democrats from a midterm electorate seems nearly unthinkable today.

In many ways, the Obama presidency has set his party back generations.

Movie world fears for freedom of speech as parody pulled...

Sony Pictures' decision to cancel the release of its madcap comedy about North Korea after threats from hackers has caused consternation in the movie world and triggered concerns about freedom of expression. - AFP

"The Interview", starring James Franco and Seth Rogen and depicting a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, had been due to hit US cinemas on December 25.