Clinton to GOP re emails: Checkmate in 3

Did you feel like you got the answers you wanted from Hillary’s press conference? Probably not.  Virtually nobody else seems happy:

  • Republicans say Hillary Clinton’s press conference ‘raised more questions than it answered’ (
  • Clinton’s message to voters is, ‘Trust me.’ Will they listen? (
  • Clinton Deleted “Personal” Emails Following Opaque Review Process (
  • Trey Gowdy: ‘Clinton has created more questions than answers’ (

And on and on and on.

So are you looking forward to the next round of questions and disclosures? Don’t.  It will not happen.  I know you want to learn some fact or clue that will contradict her statements and prove, well, I’m not sure what, but something bad.  Maybe the servers were hacked by China. Maybe the emails she kept back from State would hurt her election prospects. Maybe she schemed against the interests of America.  You never know what you’ll catch when you go fishing.

But here’s the thing: Hillary Clinton has figured out the absolute minimum she was required to do and the least she has to explain.  She’s fulfilled those obligations and made those explanations. All her pieces are in position now, and it’s checkmate in 3.

Her position is defensible: She supplied the State Department with printed copies of all (so decided by her) relevant emails. She has explained how every aspect of it was logical and legal. She did it for convenience sake. She says she has complied with all relevant laws and rules.  She has indicated that the system was secure and never held classified information.

If you don’t believe it, I feel for you.  I too find the explanation lacking.  Is there a weakness you can exploit? No, there is not.

Here’s the most important line in the press conference: “At the end, I chose not to keep my private personal emails.”  The precise phraseology of “at the end” here means only one thing: someone has taken a sledgehammer to the server — or specifically its disk drives — and littered the fragmentary remains in the Hudson river. All emails, in electronic format, are irretrievably lost.

The paper copies given over are the only thing that’s left of her emails.  That’s why you have to ask State for them.  What she destroyed, she was under no obligation to keep. What she was obligated to keep, she handed over to the custody of the State Department.

So ask whatever else you wish. Try to prove anything. The answers are going to be exactly the same every time. There is nothing else she can say, or provide in response to subpoena because there is nothing left of that the email system. She’s explained it all.  The press will get tired of asking shortly, because they know there’s no way to learn anything else, and that cannot prove there is anything else to learn.

The GOP can try, through its powers in Congress.  But about the third time the Gowdy asks for the same thing, and is told, for the third time, it does not exist or the question can no longer be answered, Hillary will be able to make the case that it’s a baseless witchhunt.  The GOP will have to give up at risk of scoring too many own goals.

Either she was perfectly innocent, or it was the perfect crime, but either way, Hillary’s chess game was perfect.

Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics, and Quinnipiac Polls

Let’s say you poll a random sample of 1,000 residents of Boston and New York City, each, about who they think the best football team is. You could expect a few to pick who they think will win the super bowl but, by and large, people in Boston will say “Patriots” while people in NYC will say either “Jets” or “Giants”.  Nothing surprising there, and you really wouldn’t learn anything other than that people root for their home team.

Add up all the choices, and you’ll find that about 50% of the people you asked said Patriots (the 1,000 people you asked who are in Boston), about 30% said Giants, and 20% said Jets(1).  No surprise, right?

So what do you tell people? Why, you tell people that “People in Boston and New York said that the Patriots are their favorite team”!  Because, of course, in your poll, the Patriots came in first.  And what would people say about your analysis? Well, in Boston, they’d say “of course, that’s right!” and you’d get a pat on the back (so to speak).  In New York they would say “bite me” (or similar) and I hate to think what they’d do to you.  Everywhere else they’d just call you an idiot for your analysis.  And, to be fair, you’d actually be an idiot for making such a claim.

So it’s surprising, to say the least, to see that Quinnipiac University has become the source of just this kind of idiocy. They conducted a poll that asked people who the worst post-WW2 president is.  And in this version, Boston, the republicans, overwhelmingly said “Obama”.  And the New Yorkers, aka the democrats, split their worst-president vote between their two least-favorites: George W Bush and Richard Nixon.

And, so, Quinnipiac reports, breathlessly, that “Obama Is First As Worst President Since WWII”.  Just like the Patriots are first as the favorite football team in Boston and New York City.  It’s not really true except in a meaningless way, but it sure sounds shocking, and it is getting them a lot of publicity during an otherwise very quiet week.

It’s sad to see a major university stoop to clickbait headlines that suggest conclusions not supported by the data. But if all you really want is attention, that’s one way to get it…

(1) That 60/40 breakdown is a guestimate based upon some quick googling.  If it’s wrong, it doesn’t affect the analysis.  Nonetheless, I apologize to Jets fans unreservedly.

Does Walmart pay its employees better than left wing magazine “The Nation”?

An email landed in my email box today:

Walmart pays workers 80% more than its liberal critic

Oh, SNAP1! That sounds really bad.  Damn liberal hypocrites!  A click through to the underlying web site reveals this headline with more details:

Walmart still pays its average associate in N.Y. 80% more than The Nation will be paying its interns.

Hmmm, not quite as bad, but still bad sounding.

The web site goes on to quote an article in The Daily Beast entitled Walmart Calls Out The Nation for Its Low-Wage Internship Program.  That article comments on an email sent out by Walmart that chastises The Nation magazine for only now beginning to pay its interns minimum wage (instead of a previous $150 stipend).  The Daily Beast article goes on to state that Walmart employees average much higher wages (pointing out an average of $12.53 in Alabama) and get access to health benefits. So “The Nation” is a hypocritical left-wing double-standard holder who demands high wages from Walmart while paying the absolute minimum itself? Let’s look to the evidence presented to support their case.

Continue reading

Anthea Butler gets attacked by Malkin’s Twitch-Mob

Anthea Butler was the target of an angry Twitter mob on Wednesday; a mob purportedly worked up over her opinions about the anti-Islam film-makers tied to events in Egypt and Libya.  But just like the angry mobs in the middle east, this was no expression of spontaneous anger.  Instead, it was the result of a leading conservative whipping up her followers into an attack.  This is the story of how events unfolded…

Continue reading