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    • Book Review: Zero To One by Peter Thiel
      A few weeks ago, for work related reasons, I had to bone up on Venture Capital. One of the books I read was Thiel’s “Zero to One.” Thiel has become even more famous recently for bankrolling the lawsuit that put Gawker out of business and for his support of Trump.  He’s a libertarian gay man. […]
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Putting “Extremely Careless” into perspective

According to James Comey, head of the FBI who happens to be a Republican, after sifting through 50,000+ emails at a cost of millions of dollars to the taxpayer, he was able to dig up 113 emails that contained classified material. Some of this classified material was classified after the mail was sent, some was buried in email threads, which, as anyone who gets email threads at work can verify can sometimes be mind bogglingly long and hard to follow. The recipient can’t control what other people send to her.

Let’s do the math:

113 classified emails/50000 emails total = .23%. (I rounded up)

I can only assume that James Comey went through all of Condoleeza Rice’s emails and Colin Powell’s emails and Madeline Albright’s emails for comparison and that none of our three most recent Secretary of State’s emails contained anywhere close to that number of unintentional violations.

That would be about 2 tenths of 1% of emails.

What would be considered “extremely careful”? Shouldn’t Comey provide a scale so we know what would be considered rigorously careful? Presumably, 50000 emails would contain 0 classified emails unintentionally passed between communicants.

In the absence of any data from other Secretaries of State, we have no way to know just how egregiously bad Clinton’s numbers are.

So, James Comey, Republican, can say whatever he likes about the standard of care that was applied here. There is no way of knowing whether this is higher or lower than any other secretary of state who used private emails.

Ok, then.

Why Condoleeza Rice should never be VP of the United States

This is how her testimony went down at the 9-11 Commission after the White House Finally let her testify after months and months of requests:

She might have lady parts but that doesn’t excuse the way she filibustered, “forgot” or behaved like she was irritated with the question about the name of the presidential daily briefing. It is clear,to ME, anyway, that she knows a lot more than she said. She lied for the Bush administration about 9-11. She did it willingly.

Putting her in the ticket would be stupid unless the Romney campaign knows something I don’t. The Democrats, misogynistic dicks that they are, wouldn’t have to use her gender as an excuse to go after her.

Wikileaks the State Department

Click on pic for the game "Diplomacy"

The cables are out and now is the time to sift through them and come to our own conclusions about what they contain.  For those of you who want a running commentary, Peter Daou recommends Greg Mitchell’s blog at The Nation.

I’m not surprised that we’re spying on UN officials  and gathering intelligence from around the world.  Didn’t we learn from Joe Wilson that diplomats are sometimes deployed to get information about uranium shipments?  Even a Democrat must understand that keeping tabs on foreign nationals who reside in our country and are operating at a high level in world affairs should be monitored.  We legitimately object when our government spies on American citizens but I’m pretty sure that even Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson understood the value of keeping your foreign friends close and your enemies closer.  Let’s not be naive and let the world head for the smelling salts.  If Hillary authorized some of the surveillance, it shouldn’t come as a shock.  That’s her job.  What’s more important is how discriminant she or her predecessors were in applying it.

What is more surprising is how the NYTimes reports a remarkable lack of agency with these cables.  There is no indication who sent them or with what authority.  Are we to understand that no one in the Bush White House was responsible?  Things just happened?  Who should get credit for negotiating hard bargains in the current administration?  Specific people cause specific things to get done or not get done.  The NYTimes is cheating the casual reader of knowing who is responsible when the agents are referred to so vaguely.  The paper needs to clarify when the actions were taken and by whom.  I think we will all wait in vain for level headed analysis.  The reader is advised to dig into the cables and consult multiple sources for discussion.

In the wake of 9/11 and the Bush administrations heavy handed approach to diplomacy, we shouldn’t be surprised if American foreign service is in the midst of some serious rebuilding years.  A 2007 report that appeared in the Washington Post blamed Condoleeza Rice for poor morale at the State Department:

The report from the Foreign Affairs Council, which includes retired ambassadors and senior diplomats, also said morale is dropping among diplomats.

“In the first two years of Secretary Rice’s stewardship almost no net new resources have been realized,” the report said. It noted that Congress has twice denied money for Rice’s plan to rearrange diplomatic postings away from the Cold War model, which was heavy on jobs in Europe, and toward modern challenges in places like China and India.The council found a severe staff shortage and holds Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice partly responsible. The State Department needs 1,100 more employees, especially since recent staff additions have gone to fill jobs in Iraq, Afghanistan and other difficult posts, the report said.

Back in the Bush era, when conservative ideologues started permeating the State department, some career diplomats quit in disgust and some of them quite publicly. Some were given an ultimatum: to serve in Iraq  during the most dangerous period of the insurgency or resign.  As the WaPo article reports, Rice had a hard time getting funding.  None of these problems have gone away.  The Secretary still has to ask Congress for money.  The ideologues are still there. Let’s keep this in mind as we read through these cables.  Bush screwed up.  Putting it back together requires hard work and ingenuity.  The question is, will the people now in charge take responsibility?  How much is the fault of Rice/Bush/Cheney?  How much is still salvageable?  Who has stepped up and who hasn’t?

Thursday- To do’s

Ack! I just turned my oatmeal into soup. How do you fix that?

Anyway, I want to remind you guys that you only have a couple more weekends to make history in PA. This weekend and especially next weekend, will be important GOTV opportunities for those of you who want Hillary to kick Obama’s @$$. I know where I’ll be going this weekend. But, you ask, how can *I* get involved, Riverdaughter? I’m so glad you asked. To volunteer for Hillary in PA, check out this page: Pennsylvania for Hillary. Make History!

BTW, I have room in my car for a fellow traveller from the NJ area if anyone wants to come with me tomorrow. My mom has an extra bed. Lemme know if you’re interested in the comments.

In other news:

  • Elton John says “there’s no one more qualified to lead this country” than Hillary.  He was in NYC to raise money for Hillary last night.  John also said, “I’m amazed by the misogynistic attitudes of some of the people in this country. And I say to hell with them …. I love you Hillary, I’ll be there for you.”  Awwwww.  Let’s all Crocodile Rock!
  • Pelosi nixes Unity ticket again.  The lady doth protest too much, methinks.  What could Nancy be thinking?  Surely, SURELY, she isn’t contemplating herself as Barack’s running mate?  Would she?  It’s just a thought.  Please tell me how this couldn’t happen.  (OTOH, it would explain an awful lot)  On the other side, polls indicate that McCain and Condoleeza Rice would make a winning pair.  Fess up, guys, you’ve been freeping this poll, haven’t you?  You sly dogs. 😉
  • Mr. Committment needs more time to assess the situation regarding China and Tibet before weighing in on whether to suggest a boycott.  Well, that was clear.
  • Oh, Wait!  It’s not McCain and Rice.  It’s McCain and BLOOMBERG.  Well, that will solve the fundraising issue.