Trump plans overhaul of intelligence agencies

The review is being pushed by President Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and would be led by Stephen A. Feinberg, a billionaire private equity executive.

President Trump has grown increasingly frustrated with the way the US intelligence community has maintained its independence and is apparently considering engaging Stephen A. Feinberg, a private equity executive, to do a top-to-bottom overhaul.

According to the voices I hear in my head, Steve Bannon immediately put in a call to former KGB Lt. Colonel Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, to ask for pointers on how to use the US intelligence apparatus to assassinate his opponents, harass the media, intimidate nongovernmental organizations, and round up hooligans and rootless cosmopolitans.

Source: White House Plans to Have Trump Ally Review Intelligence Agencies – The New York Times

Michele Bachmann goes on insane rant

Click to listen to Michele Bachmann and then answer this quiz:

  1. Has the Bitemaster finally gone so far in putting words into people’s mouths that he’s passed the bounds of satire?
  2. Is Michele Bachmann suffering from a neurological disorder?

Source: Michele Bachmann goes on insane anti-Muslim rant: Migrants are nuking Western Civilization with rape!

Breaking News: Ted Cruz an Illegal!

Bad news for Ted Cruz supporters. It turns out that the popular candidate (not the populist candidate) for President is not, in fact, a citizen of our great nation. This is a slight problem, because it happens to be a requirement for the job of President. To be specific one must be either a natural born citizen or have been a citizen at the time of the adoption of the Constitution. For those of you wondering, I suspect that the meaning of the second half of that requirement is because the Articles of Confederation had been extant at the time and therefore there was something resembling a United States, even if it has little similarity to the home of the free.

Actually, it’s worse than it seems. He’s illegally holding the office of Senator as well, since one must be a citizen of the United States. As he maintains he is a natural born citizen, I doubt he’s ever been naturalized. Fortunately for those of us with some degree of sanity remaining in our souls, to be a citizen, one must be born in the United States or be naturalized and be subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. It’s a funny old world, but the Fourteenth Amendment does actually set out rules for citizenship.

Does this mean he can’t have been added by Congress (who are given the power to determine the procedure for citizenship)? Not at all. But it does mean that those of us out there who read the Constitution itself instead of our preconceived notions (precious few of us out there and virtually none are the ones who call themselves “originalists”–more on that another time) will find ourselves joyful in knowing that Ted Cruz is on the outs.

 

Until Next Time,

Professor H.O. Hell

Sen. Chuck Schumer flails around on the Syrian refugee question

Schumer is widely expected to become leader of Senate Democrats in the next Congress.

On Tuesday, Sen. Schumer said that temporarily rejecting Syrian refugees from entering the United States “may be necessary” in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris.

On Thursday, after a national security briefing, Schumer said “What they [Executive branch terrorism experts? Left wing pundits? My cousin Vinnie?] showed us is this: There are about 2,000 refugees who have come here from Syria over the last four years. None have been arrested or deported for terrorism. None.”

Like the senator, I’m not sure where I stand on admitting Syrian refugees. But I’m just “some blogger,” not one of the most powerful members of the U.S. Senate.

Source: Top Senate Democrat: Rejecting Syrian Refugees ‘May Be Necessary’ [UPDATED] | ThinkProgress

More government spying

The Obama administration has stepped up the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program on U.S. soil to search for signs of hacking.

There once was a story that went something like this: A guy wanted to know how many submarines the Navy had, so he called the Navy and was told that the information was classified. So he called the Soviet embassy and they gave him the number.

The point of the story was that our enemies already knew the answer and the only point of keeping it a secret was to prevent American citizens from finding out.

So now Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor, has revealed that the Obama administration has expanded a secret National Security Agency program of warrantless surveillance of Americans’ international Internet traffic, searching for evidence of malicious computer hacking.

The Chinese, no doubt, already knew all about the NSA’s surveillance of our Internet traffic, so the only possible reason that Obama didn’t reveal it to us was that he wanted to avoid the possibility that we wouldn’t approve it. And for that, he can Bite Me.

I really don’t want the Chinese hacking into my computer — or my bank’s — but I also don’t want the gummint rifling through my Internet traffic. I know I can’t have it both ways and there will have to be compromises but I’d like to be part of the debate and not just have the Executive Branch decide what’s best for me.

Source: New Snowden Documents Reveal Secret Memos Expanding Spying

Is Islam at war with us?

To the Bitemaster, the answer is a clear “no.”

In 1945, a little less than 10% of the US population was serving in the military. If 10% of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims were truly at war with us, I’d expect to see 150 million of them in the military. An invasion by an army of 150 million would be devastating.

Should we carefully watch what the more radical Muslims are up to? Sure.

Should we go out of our way to antagonize the non-radicalized Muslims? Not unless we have a death wish.

Should we try to get our agents provocateurs like Rudy Giuliani to STFU? You betcha!

West Collapses in Spasm of Verbalist Derp.

FBI says new Apple, Google phones too secure, could put users beyond the law

FBI director James Comey is concerned that Apple and Google are making phones that cannot be searched by the government.

Let me join with the Founding Fathers in telling the Director to Bite me! If he wants to know what I’m doing with my phone, he can get a warrant, just like the Constitution provides.

FBI: new Apple, Google phones too secure, could put users ‘beyond the law’ – Yahoo News.