COMING UP SHORT THIS MONTH.
Thought for the day
"Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners." -- George Carlin
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Cloud Services Were Implemented Without Key Security Controls, Placing Taxpayer Data at Risk (No. 2022-20-052) (Sept. 27, 2022):
To facilitate and guide its cloud security implementation efforts, the IRS developed its Cloud Security Reference Architecture in September 2019 and the Cybersecurity Cloud Operations Framework in November 2019. The IRS issued its updated Cloud Strategy and Cloud Security Internal Revenue Manual in March 2021 and September 2021, respectively.
By the end of Calendar Year 2020, the IRS had fully implemented 56 cloud services, 12 of which contained taxpayer data. The IRS deployed these cloud services without fully implemented security controls for protecting the data. ... [T]he IRS continued to accelerate cloud adoption without ensuring that important security controls designed to protect taxpayer data were in place in the cloud environment. ...
Ron DeSantis has described the tsunami-like flooding across Florida as a ‘once in a 500-year’ event, leaving 2.7million without power as Hurricane Ian continues to barrel its way northwards through Orlando.
Hundreds of people are feared dead, as 50 National Guard helicopters are starting the search and rescue for thousands who are stranded or missing in the aftermath of the catastrophic water damage and 155mph winds.
But rescuers this morning admitted they are only 'scratching the surface' and the actual number of victims could soar even higher.
The House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on antitrust, commercial, and administrative law was supposed to hold a hearing Thursday afternoon dealing with bankruptcy, only to postpone hours before it was set to start.
Democrats had planned to have Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as a guest, and Warren was expected to announce legislation with Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., that would allow people to declare bankruptcy to have their student loans canceled. In turn, Republicans wanted to call Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., as a witness. Thursday morning, the hearing was postponed.
"@HouseJudiciary Democrats are so scared of @RepMTG testifying that they POSTPONED today’s hearing. Unbelievable," the House Judiciary GOP Twitter account posted.
The fact checkers' war on reality has continued unabated this month.
Here's just a few things they managed to spin.
The Great Martha's Vineyard Invasion
In response to Governor Ron DeSantis sending illegal aliens (who are technically classified as asylum seekers) to Martha’s Vineyard, and the hilariously hypocritical response that followed, PolitiFact’s Madison Czopek attempted to provide some damage control for the understandably embarrassed residents of the island.
In response to a social media post mocking the island’s virtue signaling residents for “deporting 50 illegals after only 24 hours,” Czopek rated the claim false on the basis that the illegals couldn’t be “deported” because the word “deported” means removal from the country as a whole, not from a particular area.
Of course, anyone using the term “deported” in this context is well aware of this, and it using it as a synonym for "removed." You can bet that just about every Republican mocking Martha's Vineyard for "deporting" these illegals is also outraged that they are in fact just being relocated, not actually deported from the country.
While Czopek is grasping at straws here, she at least didn't embarrass herself by trying to argue that this wasn't true because the illegals were actually deported after nearly 48 hours, not "just" 24.
Meanwhile, also at PolitiFact, Gabrielle Settles rated it only “half true” that Martha’s Vineyard "was a sanctuary city until the buses arrived" with dubious reasoning.
President Vladimir Putin will formally annex four partially Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine on Friday, the Kremlin has said, a move already rejected by Kyiv and its Western allies as illegal and meaningless.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a ceremony to mark the incorporation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia into Russia would take place at 3pm Moscow time (12:00 GMT).
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for CNN’s chief propagandist Don Lemon.
The United Nations’ Food chief is urging the public to prepare for famine and widespread food shortage next year amid an severe fertilizer supply shortage.
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday signed a package of 12 laws that provides some of the toughest abortion protections in the country.
Two-time Emmy winner Bruce Willis can still appear in movies after selling his image rights to Deepcake, a Delaware-based company founded by Ukrainian-born CEO Maria Chmir, last year before his aphasia diagnosis.
Engineers at the AI-powered content optimization web platform created a ultra-realistic 'digital twin' of the actor, 67, by putting images of his face into their network.
In March the Die Hard veteran's family shared news he was retiring from acting due to the condition, which is a neuro-cognitive disorder that effects the sufferers ability to speak and understand language.
He's back: Two-time Emmy winner Bruce Willis can still appear in movies after selling his image rights to Deepcake, a Delaware-based company founded by Ukrainian-born CEO Maria Chmir, last year before his aphasia diagnosis
In August 2021, Bruce's twin made his debut by having his face 'grafted' on to understudy Konstantin Solovyov for a commercial for Russian telecoms giant MegaFon.
Webmaster addition: I like Bruce and sympathize with his medical issues. But as a film-maker I'm sort of a 'let's see some new faces' kind of guy!
Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan is ready to fight.
Jordan is warning the Democrat-led committee investigating the incident at the U.S. Capitol last January is a “political operation” aimed at stopping Donald Trump from running for president in 2024.
“There’s been subpoenas issued to 11 individuals, 11 American citizens who asked the government permission on an application to hold the Trump rally,” Jordan said. “The government granted it and now the January 6 committee petitions them to ask them questions about exercising their First Amendment right to assemble.”
“And why would they subpoena me? I didn’t do anything wrong — I talked to the president,” Jordan said. “I talk to the president all the time. I just think that’s — you know where I’m at on this commission — this is all about going after President Trump. That seems obvious.”
“Everyone in the country sees this as a political operation. This is designed to get after President Trump. Because they don’t want him to run again,” he added.
Sweden has found a new leak in a major undersea pipeline carrying Russian natural gas to the EU - making it the fourth discovered this week.
Denmark and Sweden reported gas leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines earlier this week.
Nato said the incidents were the result of "deliberate, reckless and irresponsible acts of sabotage".
Russia dismissed suggestions that it had attacked its own pipelines as "predictable and stupid".
Instead, the Russian foreign ministry said the blasts had occurred in "zones controlled by American intelligence".
The demolition of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea is one of the most outrageous and evil acts of terrorism and sabotage in the history of our world. Now that the sabotage has been confirmed by numerous nations, the blame game has begun as everyone is wondering, “Who did it?”
Resident Joe Biden, Russophobic State Department official Victoria Nuland and GOP Senator Ron Johnson are all on the record demanding the Nord Stream pipelines be taken out, implying they will use any means necessary to achieve that outcome.
Watch from 2:52 in the following exchange between Sen. Ron Johnson and Victoria Nuland, a known Russia hater and key architect of the corrupt Zelensky regime that openly cooperates with actual Nazis while stealing billions of dollars from US taxpayers:
The days when Hollywood was just focused on providing entertainment have long gone. It is now overtaken by political correctness and “wokeness” from the left.
Medical experts and frontline doctors who urged the public to refrain from getting covid vaccinated were ostracized and censored by the corporate press. Claims that the so-called “vaccines,” which provide no inoculation against transmission of covid, cause infertility were deemed a far-fetched conspiracy theory by the establishment.
The night before the line was damaged, thousands of people in Gera in Germany marched against Socialist Olaf Scholz’s policy and the explosion of energy and gas prices in Germany. The protesters called for an end to sanctions on Russia and the reopening of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
President Trump said Senator Joe Manchin is “off the rails” and “who the hell can blame him?” in a recent post on Truth Social.
The chief executive of a Boston-based tech firm told investors that he has been “praying for inflation” because it’s good for his business, according to a report.
William Meaney, CEO data storage and management company Iron Mountain, told Wall Street analysts last week that high prices benefit the company’s margins, which is why he has been “doing my inflation dance praying for inflation,” according to audio of the speech obtained by the news site The Intercept.
Meaney told investors on Sept. 20 that raising prices “obviously covers our increased costs, but … a lot of that flows down to the bottom line.”
After Hurricane Ian swept through Florida on Thursday, the storm left millions without power, and officials are predicting there may be hundreds of fatalities.
“Fatalities are in the hundreds,” Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno told Good Morning America on Thursday.
Ian was moving northeast across Florida at about 8 mph with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph at 5 a.m. Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center. However, the agency warned that Ian could pick back up and reach hurricane strength as it reaches Florida’s east coast on Saturday, posing risks to Georgia and the Carolinas.
Two CNN reporters are facing intense backlash after attempting to use Hurricane Ian to take political shots at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis; Ian is in the top 5 most dangerous hurricanes Florida has ever faced.
…but CNN had to try and score some political points.
According to The Dialy Wire, CNN reporter Steve Contorno tweeted, “As DeSantis prepares Floridians for Ian, he is urging residents to heed advice from the same local leaders he suggested they ignore during COVID and praising a federal agency he previously alleged withheld aid to the state bc Biden was playing politics.”
U.S. home prices fell in July over the previous month, marking the first nationwide monthly decline since 2012.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index report indicates that prices across the country fell between June and July by 0.2% after seasonal adjustment. The more narrow 10-City Composite index fell by 0.5% and the 20-City Composite was off by 0.4%.
Even though home prices fell month-over-month, they were still holding higher than they were in July of 2021. On the year-over-year index, prices were up nationally by 15.8%. However, that was a substantial drop from the 18.1% year-over-year number from June.
US Vice President Kamala Harris is on a trip to Japan and South Korea, her first visit to Japan and her second to Asia since taking office early last year. Ahead of the US midterm elections in November, Harris has increased her attacks on China, something she has not stopped doing since arriving in Japan on September 26 for the state funeral of assassinated former leader Shinzo Abe.
During a meeting in Tokyo on September 26, the American Vice President and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned China’s actions in the Taiwan Strait. A White House statement described Beijing’s actions in the Taiwan Strait as “aggressive and irresponsible provocations.”
Meanwhile, a series of visits to Taiwan by senior US officials and the increased US supply of weapons to the island have heightened tension in the region. It is evident that China’s actions are only a response against US-instigated provocations.
With these statements, the US has increased propaganda and support for actions against China. There is growing Western desire to erode the “One China” principle and Japan is increasingly participating in these actions. For Beijing, it is not just a matter of military exercises, warships passing through the Taiwan Strait and arms shipments to Taiwan, but an intensification of Western propaganda to put psychological pressure on China and normalise the idea of an independent Taiwan.
Russia’s foreign ministry has said that leaks on the Nord Stream pipelines were in a zone controlled by US intelligence services, the RIA Novosti news agency reported on Thursday, as a fourth leak was reported.
In recent days, European Union member states have been investigating sudden and unexplained leaks in the gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea.
The pipelines link Russia to Germany and have been at the centre of geopolitical tensions as Moscow cut gas supplies to Europe in suspected retaliation against Western sanctions following the Ukraine invasion.
Washington has rejected previous insinuations from Moscow that it was behind the leaks, calling them “ridiculous”.
Russia has said suggestions from European officials that Moscow sabotaged the pipelines were predictably “stupid”.
Former First Lady Melania Trump has announced that she is selling new nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and Christmas ornaments that she designed.
Russell Brand says YouTube censored his popular channel over his discussions about COVID-19 — so he is now moving to their competitor Rumble.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s office has responded to students walking out of school this week in protest of the new state guidelines for how schools handle transgender issues.
Joe Biden on Wednesday delivered remarks at a White House conference on hunger, nutrition and health.
US military helicopters habitually and on numerous occasions circled for hours over the site of the Nord Stream pipelines incident near Bornholm Island earlier in September, Flightradar24 data showed.
Earlier this month, a US Navy Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopter spent hours loitering over the location of the damaged natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea near Bornholm for several days in a row, September 1, 2, and 3, in particular.
Denmark's maritime traffic agency and Sweden's Maritime Authority on Monday reported a "dangerous" gas leak in the Baltic Sea close to the route of the inactive Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which experienced an unexplained drop in pressure.
The Ukrainian army has attacked a refugee convoy in the eastern region of Kharkov, killing over 30 people, according to the Lugansk People’s Republic’s envoy to Russia.
Rodion Miroshnik wrote on his Telegram channel that those killed in the artillery bombardment included children. He added that emergency services are unable to access the bodies, as shelling from Kiev’s forces continues. The republic’s health ministry stated that seven other people were injured, including two children who lost their parents in the shelling.
Miroshnik claimed the Ukrainian army knew exactly who they were shooting at, as they had allegedly used drones to track down the refugee vehicle convoy and were “intentionally aiming at civilians.” Kiev has yet to respond to the allegations.