October 22, 2014

China still chipping away at American state secrets.

The cybercrime has reached the point where the FBI has warned American companies about a group of sophisticated Chinese government-backed hackers that has been working for years to steal economic and national security secrets from the U.S. government and private contractors...Part of it can surely be chalked up to what has been called “data breach fatigue.” Presumably the same mindset has infected the nation’s capital
...Last year, the Washington Post reported on a classified Defense Department report that revealed Chinese hackers have compromised the designs of more than two dozen U.S. military weapons systems. The list of impacted programs reads like a catalogue of weapons critical to current U.S. military dominance, including the stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F/A-18 fighter jet, the Patriot missile system, the Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile defense system, the Navy’s Aegis ballistic missile-defense program, the V-22 Osprey, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, and the Littoral Combat Ship. The Washington Free Beacon reports that other data stolen by the Chinese include the P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft and RQ-4 Global Hawk drones.
As the Chinese continue their military modernization while undermining America’s, Pentagon officials have increasingly sounded the alarm that U.S. military technological superiority is at risk. This technological superiority, in the words of Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Frank Kendall, “is being challenged in ways that I have not seen for decades, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.
I'm sure there are a lot of people who care, but not enough people in the right places, with the right amount of backbone to put a stop to it.

Some strategic advice for Republicans on Immigration

For what it's worth, here's my two cents on how the GOP can win on immigration.

The president has advertised his next move - after the elections but before the Senate changes control to Republican hands, he's going to use some sort of Executive action(s) to bypass immigration laws and open the floodgates for illegal immigrants to become legalized. 
Rodríguez’s agency will be front and center once President Barack Obama announces the executive action he’ll take on immigration. Obama said he would take executive action after the elections but before the end of the year.
So Republicans, you know what the president is going to do.  He's going to use the window to not hurt the Democrats too much before the midterm elections, curry favor with Hispanics pre-election to help goose the get out the vote effort for Democrats, and more importantly fundamentally change the voting landscape for generations to come.

There's bad news and good news in that for the GOP.

First the bad news.  There's not much the GOP can do to forestall this.  Consider this - if the GOP in Congress and the Senate act immediately after being sworn in to pass legislation negating the potentially illegal executive action, the president is simply going to veto it.  The GOP, no matter how well they do in the midterm elections, are not going to have the numbers to override presidential vetos on legislation.  True, president Obama visibly becomes the roadblock he has claimed the GOP have always been, but he can spin that as the GOP still being the roadblock - to progress.  The media will eat that up.  With the next election cycle representing an opportunity to re-take the senate, don't count of Democrats to join forces with the GOP to override the presidential veto.  If Obama had moved pre-election, some of them might have had to do so.

There's more bad news.  While the executive actions may be illegal, challenging them in court will take time - years most likely.  By the time any result can come out of it, the damage will already have been done.  In fact even a Supreme Court decision could possibly have a decision mitigated with a disclaimer that too much time has passed and those who have been legitimized cannot now be deemed illegal once again.  So legal recourse will not solve the problem.  It might taint the Obama legacy and some sort of censure might be a result.  Those considerations should not be overlooked, for he will clearly be overstepping his bounds.  But the root problem remains: millions of illegal immigrants legalized and beholden to a liberal Democrat president and his hiers.  That means a major tilt towards liberal voters.

That's pretty bad.

But there is a silver lining to all of this.

Firstly, this trajectory and scurrilous plan should be featured in every Republican commercial for the next two weeks.  And there's no reason additional legislation on securing the border cannot be passed or attempted at least after the new Congress and Senate are seated. Those things may move the dial towards Republicans a hair, but there's a bigger picture at stake here.  Hispanics have traditionally been predominantly liberal voters.  Central and South America have a history of socialism and an often negative view of America.  They also have a Catholic slant in their religiosity.  Their brand of Catholicism often has a bent towards charity towards those in need, whom they often regard as fellow Hispanics.  So changing the hearts and minds of these new voters is not going to be easy.  We on the right view socialism with something more than disdain and our version of Christianity is typically a more Protestant oriented view - the work ethic, and charity being more based on teaching a man to fish than giving him a fish.  There's perhaps a disconnect there.

But can these new voters be co-opted into the Republican fold?  Firstly we should ask, "should they be"?   The answer is yes.  Every voter is a potential conservative, no one should be excluded from the big tent and certainly no one should be excluded from the attempt to persuade them that their votes are perhaps misaligned with their ideals.  Every challenge after all, is an opportunity.

I've written before about how to do this. In fact many times, and in relation to many different topics.  The main point is simple enough though.  The GOP cannot rely on the media to get their message out to these groups.  They shouldn't because it won't work.  They need to go directly to Hispanic organizations, churches, etc. and talk directly to them.  Share the conservative message with them.  And most importantly, listen.  Assuming their existing positions are anathema to conservatism is a political poison pill.  Their expressed ideas for solutions may be socialist, progressive or liberal in orientation, but their concerns are voter-based concerns.  Listening opens up the opportunity to communicate (a) another way to solve their problems and (b) the reasons that the Republican way, will better solve their needs.

It's really that simple.  Engage, listen, talk.

Actually maybe it isn't that simple, maybe the GOP need this spelled out:  once is not enough.  This needs to start immediately, and it needs to be happening frequently and regularly.  The ability to convince voters takes time.  You need to understand their issues.  You need to synthesize them into core issues.  You need to distill them into a message that explains how the GOP solution would work for them.  Think of this as a sales process.  You need to move the voters from Awareness to Interest to Desire and then to Action.  That could take years.

But you don't have nothing to work with from the start.  Those who come here from Latin America are not part of some vast socialist conspiracy to overrun American society.  They left supposed socialist paradises in order to take a risky journey to America.  Why?  It's the land of opportunity.  They wanted to be part of that.   Yes, there are those who want to turn the U.S. into another communist state, there are those who came for criminal reasons, and those who just cannot be persuaded to change their views.  All of those potentialities are true of any group coming to America.

Securing the borders and ensuring that the welfare state is not collapsed by an influx of future wards of the state is still important.  It'll be important to those who have already made it here thanks to Obama's largess.  If they are shown the impact of continuing illegal immigration - from anywhere in the world.

From the perspective of Hispanics arriving in America, they do not want to feel excluded from the opportunity America presents.  Those who immigrate legally shouldn't be, and really aren't excluded from what America has to offer.  But with those here illegally, and the rest of the existing Hispanic community, aren't going away.  This is simply a matter of taking the lemon created by Obama's actions and making lemonade out of it. Even getting Hispanics to a 50/50 split would be a big win for conservatives, but even more is possible if you make the effort.

Boston Herald endorses Scott Brown for NH Senate

Not a huge surprise - this is not the Boston Globe.
"New England Republicans may be scarce in Congress but New England voters who consider themselves moderate or conservative aren’t exactly in short supply. And in the November election Scott Brown represents one of the best chances for those voters to have their voices heard in Washington. The Herald is pleased to endorse Brown for election to the U.S. Senate from New Hampshire.
The erstwhile Massachusetts senator has tapped into a campaign theme that ought to resonate with our neighbors to the north. He is a Republican, but he is a consensus-builder. During his legislative and congressional career he has voted with Republicans, and he has voted with Democrats. Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, the incumbent Brown hopes to unseat, can’t make the same claim.
Consensus from the Democrats only involves a consensus among the left.
As that clever pro-Brown ad now in heavy rotation notes, Shaheen has voted with President Obama and her party 99 percent of the time during her time in the Senate. That’s an astonishing record for a senator from a state generally known for its independence. New Hampshire may be bluer than it used to be — it went for Obama twice — but it’s hardly … well, it’s hardly Massachusetts.
Live Free or Die New Hampshire, live free, or die.

Voting Machine fraud aids Democrats in Illinois

Really?  the Democrats need to cheat in Illinois by having machines change votes from Republican to Democrat votes?
"Moynihan offered this gracious lesson to his followers on Twitter: “Be careful when you vote in Illinois. Make sure you take the time to check your votes before submitting.”
Cook County Board of Elections Deputy Communications Director Jim Scalzitti, told Illinois Watchdog, the machine was taken out of service and tested. 
“This was a calibration error of the touch-screen on the machine,” Scalzitti said. “When Mr. Moynihan used the touch-screen, it improperly assigned his votes due to improper calibration.”
Uh huh.  Just one machine.  Nothing to see here folks.

Shootout at Parliament Hill, Ottawa Canada.

Canada recently sent fighter jets over to Iraq to help in the fight against ISIS.  More recently a couple of Canadian soldiers were run over by a man with Jihadist sympathies and today, it looks like something similar happened today as one soldier was shot and two or three perpetrators were believed to be involved.

Canada has not been a big player in that theater in the past.  We have helped quite a bit in Afghanistan but not in Iraq.  This is not the first effort to target Canada or Canadians as part of the coalition fighting radical Islamists.  But it is new in the sense that it happened and wasn't foiled beforehand.

Heroine Malala Yousafzai was due to get a Canadian citizenship today from Prime Minister Harper.

The details will fill in over time, but the bigger picture suggests that Canada cannot consider itself free from risk if it is part of the effort to combat global terror.  Then again, it's not free from risk if it doesn't play a part either.

Here's an interesting thought - a shooter got into parliament, a guy got into the White House.  What's up with security?  It's seemingly all window dressing.

One final thought - CNN is reporting as if this were a lone gunman.  I fully expect that to change as more information comes out.  Specific information.
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