SLAMMIFER: Romanian Hacker ‘Guccifer’ Sentenced to 52 Months in U.S. Prison

Lazar is believed to have hacked into email accounts of about 100 victims between 2012 and 2014.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Dustin Volz reports: A Romanian hacker nicknamed “Guccifer” who helped expose the existence of a private email domain Hillary Clinton used when she was U.S. secretary of state was sentenced on Thursday to 52 months in prison by a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

Marcel Lazar, 44, who used the alias online, had pleaded guilty in May to charges including unauthorized access to a protected computer and aggravated identity theft after being extradited from Romania.

Lazar’s public defender, Shannon Quill, was not immediately available for comment.

Lazar has said in interviews he breached Clinton’s private server at her home in Chappaqua, New York, but law enforcement and national security officials say that claim is meritless.

Lazar is believed to have hacked into email accounts of about 100 victims between 2012 and 2014. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: FRESH BAKED HOT MESS! State Department Releases 1st Round of Hillary Clinton Emails in Benghazi Inquiry

AFP PHOTO / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / FILESBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

The State Department released Friday its first round of emails from Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, offering a new look at her handling of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

“The Committee’s interest is in building a complete record from which the final, definitive accounting regarding the terrorist attacks in Benghazi can be provided.”

The roughly 300 emails, about 850 pages, are part of the 30,000 that she turned over to State from her private email server, which she used almost exclusively to conduct both private and public business during her time at State.PANTSUIT-REPORT

“The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks,” the State Department tweeted shortly after the announcement.

Facing considerable backlash and deep skepticism over her use of a private server as she makes her second bid for the White House, Clinton asked State to make her emails public this past March, and repeated her public push to have them released on the campaign trail this week.

“The best way to answer all questions related to the attacks in Benghazi continues to be having access to the full public record, not a ‘record’ controlled, possessed and screened exclusively by Secretary Clinton’s personal lawyers.”

The State Department initially planned to release them in January 2016, but a federal judge ruled this week that there should be a “rolling production” of the emails, and they must be disclosed publicly in batches before then. Clinton called for State to expedite their release this 12-hillary-clinton-email.w245.h368week in Iowa, saying “nobody has a bigger interest in getting [the emails] released than I do.”

“We will not reach any investigative conclusions until our work is complete, but these emails continue to reinforce the fact that unresolved questions and issues remain as it relates to Benghazi.”

— Trey Gowdy

A congressional panel investigating the Benghazi attacks, meanwhile, has had the emails related to Benghazi and Libya since February.

Details of Clinton’s email habits that have trickled out over the past few months suggest she used email sparingly, mostly for logistics and to forward information to aides. She’s said previously that she was careful to never use email to exchange classified information, and the initial batch isn’t expected to show otherwise — the highest classification of messages was “sensitive but unclassified.”

sidney-blumenthal-hillary-clinton

On Thursday, the New York Times published a portion of the emails relating to Benghazi, which include a handful from controversial Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal tipping Clinton off to volatile conditions on the ground in Libya, including one blaming the Benghazi attacks on an anti-Muslim video, which he later walked back. Read the rest of this entry »


Charles C. W. Cooke: Happy New Year, Happy New Gun-Control Nonsense

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Charles C. W. Cookecooke writes:

…In the space of just 144 words, Gopnik has managed to: 1) conflate the supposed problem of “assault weapons” with the actions of the man who murdered Richard Martinez’s son (when, in fact, that killer did not use a rifle, but instead used a trio of bog-standard handguns that were legal even in California); 2) propose that those handguns “should never have been in the hands of a lunatic” (when, in fact, that “lunatic” passed the federal and state background checks that Gopnik’s ilk routinely sell as a panacea for our problems); and 3) pretend that there is any evidence whatsoever that to “reinstate assault-weapons bans” would likely “stop the next massacre” — which, as even the Obama administration’s DOJ concedesthere is not….(read more)

National Review Online


Obamacare Approval Rating Hits New Low As Open Enrollment Cancer Metastasizes

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Americans are getting sicker of Obamacare. Approval rating for the 2010 Affordable Care Act reached a record low this month as the open enrollment period began for 2015

 reports: According to a Gallup poll released Monday, only 37 percent of Americans say they approve of the health care law, down one percentage point from the previous low in January.

Similarly, the number of Americans who disapprove of the law hit a new high of 56 percent, according to a survey of 828 telephone interviews conducted earlier this month.

However, the law remains popular with those who have signed up for coverage, with about 75 percent saying they would renew their policies or shop for another ACA health plan.

Obamacare Graphic
Gallup asked: “Do you generally approve or disapprove of the 2010 Affordable Healthcare Act, signed into law by President Obama that restructured the U.S. healthcare system?”  Reuters

Obamacare has especially taken a hit with independents, who are much frostier toward the law than they were two years ago, when it was at the height of its popularity. Only 33 percent of independents say they approve of the ACA, compared with 74 percent of Democrats and 8 percent of Republicans. The poll reveals racial divisions as well, with only 29 percent of whites voicing their approval, compared with 56 percent of nonwhites. Read the rest of this entry »


Gun Controls Potemkin Village

 

Political trends come and go in response to events. Gun control was the rage during the Clinton administration, but over the past decade or so it became an obsolete cause. After the horrific crimes in Newtown and Aurora, though, it’s staging a comeback.

One thing hasn’t changed: The agenda includes mostly measures that will have little or no effect on the problems they are supposed to address. They are Potemkin remedies—presentable facades with empty space behind them.

This is something that supporters as well as opponents labor to conceal. Treating them as serious allows them both to posture for their own advantage.

So on Wednesday, President Barack Obama unveiled a raft of executive actions and proposed changes in federal law intended to prevent both mass shootings and chronic gun violence. A few are innocuous and reasonably promising, like improving databases for background checks and helping “ensure that young people get the mental health treatment they need.”

But the most notable ones fall into three categories. In the category of “useless” is the ban on “assault weapons,” which has been tried before with no evident effect. The administration is fond of demonizing a style of firearm that the gun industry likes to glamorize.

What they are talking about, though, are ordinary rifles tricked out and blinged up to resemble something else: military arms designed for the battlefield. The “weapons of war” Obama wants to ban do nothing that other legal weapons won’t do just as quickly and just as destructively.

Most criminals have no need of them. In 2011, reports The New York Times, 6,220 people were killed with handguns—compared to 323 by rifles of any kind, including “assault weapons.”

In the “probably useless” realm is a ban on ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds, which was part of the 1994 assault weapons ban. A mass shooter can overcome the restriction by carrying multiple magazines or multiple guns—as many of them do anyway. The notion that an attacker can be subdued when he stops to reload works better in movies than in real life, where it is virtually unknown…

More via Gun Controls Potemkin Village – Reason.com.