Congressional committee defines encryption backdoors as against national interests


❝ In a rebuke to the anti-encryption campaign waged by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation — with Apple as a target — the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Encryption Working Group issued a report today stating “any measure that weakens encryption works against the national interest.”

❝ In a bipartisan report, the group observed that “any measure that weakens encryption works against the national interest,” citing representatives of the national security community who noted that “strong encryption is vital to the national defense and to securing vital assets, such as critical infrastructure.”

A second finding of the report was that “encryption technology is a global technology that is widely and increasingly available around the world.” That echoed an earlier study for Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society…

❝ The HJC report further suggested that “Congress should foster cooperation between the law enforcement community and technology companies,” the same suggestion Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook made in asking that the elected representatives of the U.S. Congress work on the issue rather than having it be pushed through under court orders facilitated by the state police, invoking fears of terrorism as a emotional ploy…

❝ FBI director James Comey pursued a charm campaign using FBI press releases to insist that “the San Bernardino litigation isn’t about trying to set a precedent or send any kind of message,” and subsequently repeated those comments in testimony to the U.S. House Intelligence Committee…

However, Comey has a vast public record of desperately seeking to break encryption. In 2015, Comey unsuccessfully lobbied the Obama administration to press for laws empowering the police to force private companies to break their own encryption products.

Bipartisan reports are rare enough in the crapper called Congress. To have something like this roll out of a committee controlled by the latest degeneration of Republicans is amazing. The clarity and simplicity of the convincing testimony must be outstanding.

Of course, all we now need is for this to be transformed into legislation, agreed upon by both houses of Congress, and arrive on the desk of a president bright enough to understand progress, privacy rights and the gumption to sign the bill over objections from a prick like James Comey.

No Republican President since World War 2 missed their chance to dump Americans into a recession

❝ Here’s a frightening factoid for Donald Trump as he prepares to take office next month: Every Republican president since World War II has been in power during at least one recession.

Of course, as the saying goes, past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results and the billionaire developer may well avoid a downturn on his watch.

But with the economic expansion soon to become the third-longest on record, the risk of a contraction occurring during his time in office can’t be cavalierly dismissed…

The same can’t be said of Democrats. Outgoing President Barack Obama did preside over an economic downturn in his first six months in office – one he inherited from his predecessor, Republican George W. Bush. John F. Kennedy took office just before a recession ended. And the U.S. entered and exited slumps when Jimmy Carter and Harry Truman were in charge.

But it was recession-free during the tenures of Democrats Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s and Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

❝ “The U.S. economy has performed better when the president of the United States is a Democrat rather than a Republican,” Princeton University professors Alan Blinder and Mark Watson wrote in a paper published in the American Economic Review this year.

RTFA if you feel like spending a minute reading a journalist trying to cover his butt by sounding “fair and balanced”. Otherwise, take a look at the crowd of neo-cons and nutballs Trump has cobbled together for a cabinet. All the neo-con types who can’t win a primary in the 21st Century get to guide policy as a matter of choice instead of competency – once again. The losers who felt George the Little was too liberal – and demand economic policies formulated and failing since the days of Hoover and Hayek – get yet another chance at crushing the US economy with dribble-down crappola.

And, then, there are the nutballs. The leadership of stupid over ignorant. I quoted the usual misquote of Mencken in the weeks before the election: “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” It still stands. And the truly incompetent, conspiracy-nuts, the spooky fools who get daily headlines on FOX NEWS, led the least-educated portion of the American electorate down the same old primrose path that worked for Hoover and Reagan…and Trump.

Putin will sing at Trump Inauguration – Borowitz Report

Matt Dunham/WPA Pool

❝ After having difficulty persuading prominent entertainers to participate at the event, the Trump transition team announced on Sunday that the Russian President Vladimir Putin would sing at Donald J. Trump’s Inauguration next month.

In a brief statement from the Kremlin, Putin said, “I will be most delighted to perform for my comrade.”

❝ The choice of Putin raised eyebrows in Washington, since the Russian, while famous for invading neighboring countries and imprisoning political opponents, is not particularly well known as a singer.

The Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway pushed back against such criticism during an appearance on CNN. “If we limited ourselves to people who had talent and experience, that would disqualify half of our Cabinet,” she said.

Andy Borowitz is one of my favorite madmen. A turd like Trump would probably have him shot if he thought he could get away with it. Even on Fifth Avenue.