Following Up and Following Down: July 2017 Edition

WC will set aside his magpie sensibility long enough to attempt some follow up on issues written about earlier. It’s not journalism, and Bog knows it doesn’t happen often enough to be due diligence.

WC has written a couple of times about iPhone encryption. The legal issue of whether it violates the Fifth Amendment’s guaranty against self-incrimination to compel passwords from suspects is still unresolved. But it is nearly moot. An outfit called Cellebrite has developed techniques to hack encrypted iPhones. It was probably Cellebrite that hacked the cell phones of the suspects in the San Bernadino mass shooting. Most recently, it was Cellebrite that hacked the iPhone of would-be sextortionist and reality-TV star Hencha Voigt and her then-boyfriend, Wesley Victor. We know this because, ironically enough, Cellebrite itself was hacked and portions of its business records made public. Likely the Fifth Amendment issue is going to get resolved as a motion to supress evidence, rather than a motion to compel. Stay tuned.

When Baltimore cop Richard Pinheiro was busted for faking a drug bust, with his set up documented on his police body cam, WC predicted that every case Pinheiro had touched would end up dismissed. It’s happening. Already 34 cases have been dismissed and another 89 are under review. Some of these cases are probably genuine, and don’t involve police misconduct. But when a crooked cop is involved, it becomes impossible to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. A dirty cop is, almost by definition, a reasonable doubt. Bad dudes go free.

The Boy Scouts offered a lame apology for tolerating an appallingly egregious violation of the Scout Law and the Scout Oath at the 2017 Jamboree. “I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree.” No apologies for the obscenities, the attacks on American values or the misogyny. If the Boy Scouts administration thinks that’s just “political rhetoric,” there is far more wrong with the Boy Scouts of America than any of us suspected.

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act augured in in the U.S. Senate. It was an instructive, gut-wrenching example of how not to attempt to enact law. And an example of what happens when a political party is simply opposed to something that is in the best interests of the nation. You can’t beat something, even a flawed something, with nothing, let alone with tax cuts for the rich.

The U.S. House, a gang of idiots who make the clowns in the U.S. Senate look like statesmen by comparison, have demanded special counsel be appointed to investigate Secretary Clinton and former FBI Director Comey. Because Benghazi. Because emails. Because they are really, really pissed that the Affordable Care Act is still law and want to punish someone. WC has seen more mature thinking on the playground at recess in second grade.

President Trump, who criticized President Obama for having three Chiefs of Staff in three years, has had two chiefs of staff in six months. Reince Priebus lasted just 182 days. Priebus was replaced with retired General John Kelly. Presumably, Trump thinks a marine general can bring order to the chaos that is the Trump administration, But the chaos comes from the top, from the commander in chief. Order is not going to happen. The Trump Administration is designed to create chaos.

The Alaska Legislature, with just one extended regular session and three special sessions managed to enact a budget. Of course, the state senate refused to do anything helpful to address the deficit, instead digging still deeper into Alaska’s dwindling cash reserves. The state recession continues to deepen. The truly frightening thing is that the same Republican majority will still control the state senate in January.

Finally, here’s Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station on Lisa Murkowski and Joe Miller:

And she wouldn’t have won the write-in except for the fact that the guy who DID win the primaries was so utterly horrible that I’m surprised he hasn’t been hired by the Trump Administration to exterminate endangered species and light gay people on fire. I suspect Murky’s new found courage is less about doing what’s right for America and more about sending a big fuck you to the Trump Administration for threatening her yesterday.

Our political culture has reached the point that Jim Wright’s posts seem reasonable.

There, you see why WC doesn’t do these monthly reviews very often any more? They are incredibly depressing. WC is going to have to post a couple of days of bird photos to cheer himself up.

Nothing to see here. Move along…