Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Those Emails from IRS

If you follow the news....the last couple of days, there's been various comments made about the IRS and these missing emails.  We've now learned that Lois Learner's hard drive crashed and the IT department have no back-up copy beyond the last year or two of work.  Then yesterday, we learned that several other IRS folks had the same accident.

Having worked around IT folks, you don't have an incident like this to occur, and when it does happen....the director or commander would usually bring in the chief IT guy and fire him on the spot.  In this case?  Nothing.

The odds of six different people all have crashes and no surviving email trail?  It's practically impossible to rig up and occur by accident.  It's like lightning strike both goal posts in a NCAA football game, or your wife, girlfriend, mistress, and mistress #2 all happen to accidentally meet up at the local Piggy Wiggy on the same day---same time.  Statistically, it's just not possible.

So, this brings me around to the necessity of a independent investigator.  In a normal administration....like President Carters, President Reagan, President Clinton or President Bush II.....you'd to the right thing and appoint someone because it really starts to smell bad.  In this case?  Zero.  I doubt if there will be a guy appointed, and for the remaining 2.5 years....it's mostly a comical show of people just walking away.

All this does in 2016....is open up the door for retribution, with no public prosecutor to be called in to fix wrongs.  How might this be corrected?  If fifty-one Republicans sit in the Senate in January.....I can see some light coming on and finally someone asking stupid questions to stupid idiots.  Either you run an ethical administration, or you run a comedy show.  For the IT crowd in the IRS....I suspect a number of them ought to be let go and new folks brought in.  Some folks might need to visit a federal prison for six months and get a new view of ethics.

Sadly, this is the state of affairs today....pretty screwed up and just begging for some naive people to exist.  Heck, if you get called into the IRS for an audit....what prevents you from using the same scheme.....I lost all my emails and digital proof.....you just need to trust me.  How far will that go?

The Lack of Hillary Show?

Some people are natural-born campaign figures. George Wallace of Alabama fame in the 1960s....could have stopped his car in some town-seat....got out and delivered a twenty-minute speech (unrehearsed and unwritten)....shook hands with three-hundred folks and gone onto another town within an hour's drive to deliver another totally different speech.  Bill Clinton had that capability and knew how to say all the pleasant things required to make folks happy.  There used to be fifty-odd Senators who could deliver an act like that with no problems.

Today?  Well....it's crap.

I can't think of a single Senator who could stand up and give a unrehearsed and unwritten speech.  Most require a operations chief to handle all of their office affairs, and a campaign chief to handle all of the politics involved.....with a speech-writer and a scheduler on the staff to handle major events.

All of this brings me around to Hillary Clinton.  In terms of campaign ability....she's a marginal 2-star player.  Her efforts in 2008 for the primary in Iowa.....which meant a lot.....were seriously lacking.  Her "squad" was there in Iowa at least six months prior to the primary and burned through a ton of cash.  There's no evidence that they really made any difference.  A bad political player can make up for their lousy campaign ability....with top-notch campaign staff personnel.  In her case?  She picked a group who just weren't up to the job.

This past month with various appearances and interviews....I've sat here from the distance in Germany and watched a couple of these unfold.  Either Hillary doesn't really care much for the whole act, or she's just doing it to pretend she's a contender when she isn't.  For the Democratic faithful....it's a big question mark.  If she's not the big-time player.....then who is?  By January of 2015.....folks who are getting into the Iowa campaign swing theme....need to declare themselves and get folks up to talk up their objectives.  Right now.....there's just no one else talking about doing this.

In some ways....I imagine the 2008 run in the primary was the one and only chance in Hillary Clinton's life.  The stars were aligned.....the moon was rising....the waves were going the right way, and all she had to do was pull some minor victory out in Iowa's primary.  And she couldn't do it.

A real political figure would have looked at a loss in the Iowa primary....fired a couple of people....reorganized and really come back for a tough forty-five day "fight".  She wasn't that type of political player and just lounged through the rest of the primary episodes.  So I'm guessing this effort now.....is mostly for show and she has no intentions of running.  And without Hillary?  It's a big question mark for any Democrat for 2016.

This Iraqi ISIS Thing

If you sit around and watch CNN, and a host of other network news episodes....this Iraq ISIS "war" is a fairly big deal.  The President has been thrust back into international affairs....which he hates.  The Pentagon crowd are a bit peeved because they really don't care to walk back into a hornet's nest.  The news media is sitting there and thought that Iraq was all done and finished.

So you come to ask one key question over their news reporting....which comes up to why ISIS is different than your regular ragtag operation....why they are getting traction and taking territory so easily.
The ISIS crowd are Sunni-Muslims....which are different than the Shiite-Muslims that make up most of southern Iraq and most of Iran.  This whole western sector of Iraq....is mostly "Sunni-land".  If you lived in the area....there's pretty good odds that you were a Sunni and attracted to the Sunni philosphy.  And you held a grudge against most of the government folks (the ones in charge by order of the central government in Baghdad)....because they were continually putting Shiite-Muslims in charge of government operations.  After a while, it doesn't take much for an entire neighborhood to be anti-Shiite.  So the ISIS crowd took advantage of that.  The folks slaughtered so far?  Mostly all Shiite-Muslims.

So, you'd take a pause and what the heck difference does it make?  A Sunni-Muslim and a Shiite-Muslim.

Well, this goes back around twelve-hundred years to the point of the original prophet of Islam....Muhammad, and his passing.  You see....as many things as he decreed and wrote as rules of Islam....he just didn't think much over who would preside over things after he passed on.  Course, maybe he was busy.....philosophers are that way, you know.

After the passing, the head Islam guys sat down and did some talking, and there's two groups of thinking that occur.

Group one was mostly all buddies and friends of Muhammad.  They were of the mind that the exalted leader ought to be elected from the inner circle.  Kinda like the method that the Catholic Church used to promote folks up to Pope.  The best of the best.....electing the better choice.

Group two was mostly all relatives of Muhammad.  You can guess this outcome.....leadership can only come from family kin.  Their end result was to select leaders who were within the family or had been Imams who God had indicated they should be promoted.  Yeah, it's a fair stretch on the Imam deal, and how God communicated his desires on this.  You can imagine the meetings where promotion was discussed and someone kinda mentioned that God told him he was clear to be head guy number one.

The Shiite guys believe in the family rule of leadership.  The Sunni guys believe in a guy being elected by his peers.

The curious thing....if you count up all the Muslims in the world.....most come from the Sunni group (the peer leadership).  Some folks claim up to eighty-five percent of the Muslims in the world.....are Sunni-Muslims.

Where do you find most of the Shiite Muslims?  Well....in Iraq and Iran, with a fair number in Lebanon, Syria, Bahrain, and Yemen.  The Saudi crowd and most of the 9-11 players?  All Sunnis.

Are all Muslims in Iraq just Sunni-Muslims and Shiite-Muslims?  No.  You also have the Kurdish guys, and a small number of Christians in the country.

Where does this all lead?  If this morphed creature of protection (the US and Iran buddied up to protect poor Iraq).....doesn't get a handle on this.....then Iraq is broken up into three territories (figure the kurds will ask for the norther quarter of Iraq and get it).  For Iran, it really invites a bigger mess to develop if ISIS is a long-term player in the region.  And Saudi Arabia?  Strangely enough, you might note how quiet they've been over the past week.  Maybe they aren't unhappy with this episode?

All of this fighting and killing....mostly over how Muhammad never envisioned leadership after he passed on?  Yeah.....that's the strange history lesson in this episode.  Being a prophet and head guy of your religion is fine....up until you are six feet under, and then?  What happens?