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TGIF – January 5, 2018

January 5, 2018

Mitt to rise again?

With Orrin Hatch out next year, many people are of the opinion that electing twice-defeated 2008 and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney to fill his seat would essentially have the same effect as electing a Democrat.

Assuredly, there was no love lost between Romney and Trump, although the President reportedly seriously considered Romney for the Secretary of State position following the election.

Whether the outcome of that would affect Romney’s decision to run for Hatch’s seat is unclear. It seems likely that Hatch made his decision not to run after at least speaking with Mr. Romney.

Given former Governor  Romney’s experience with crafting Romney-care in Massachusetts, he would come in with at least one issue on which he could offer expertise, assuming that the healthcare battle trickles off into 2019.

Following a Federal court ruling striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban in 2013 , Utah has become a magnet of sorts for a small but growing contingent of liberal-aligned social reformers.

While no one could say that Utah is in any danger of becoming the California of the Intermountain West, there will probably some effort to mount a Democratic challenge if Romney should choose not to run. Steve Bannon has already committed to opposing Romney, which that might be the best endorsement Romney could get.

If Romney runs there is every likelihood he will win. He offers a known quantity, won Utah in 2012 by almost 50 points, and doesn’t carry the same baggage that Roy Moore did.

Is California dreaming?

Speaking of California, expect some sort of confrontation over states rights and sanctuary policy between the Federal and state government, if not this year, then surely in 2019.

Governor Brown seems to be banking on the assumption that the state has a right to make rules for state and local law enforcement within its own boundaries, and ordinarily he might be right.

However, immigration policy and enforcement is one of the areas specifically reserved by the Constitution to the Federal government.

Acting ICE director Homan suggested that state and local officials should be charged with obstructing Federal officers in the performance of their duty.

If ICE and the DOJ pick the right test case to prosecute, i.e. one where there is a is a lawful detainer already in effect when California officials  choose to release an illegal immigrant instead notifying ICE or they actually block an ICE agent from arresting the person, this is sure to go to the Supreme Court where the question rightfully belongs.

There is already some evidence that California is treading on thin ice in its near-constant contempt for Federal law.

Evidence of that is Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ reported declaration of  the proposed enforcement of Federal drug laws regarding recreational marijuana sales and possession.

No matter your personal point of view on immigration and pot, it is high time to decide if we still have a national government.

This contempt for Federal authority is the epitome of the slippery slope, but it could work against as well as for liberals. .

For instance, perhaps a state decides that being part of the LGBTQ community bars one from associating with children.

The first thing that would happen in that instance would be for the community to challenge the law by pointing to Federal anti-discrimination laws.  However, if Federal laws can legally be ignored under the principle of states’ rights then that defense would be invalidated.

Like it or not, you can’t choose which laws you will obey, and which ones you won’t.

That’s a lesson that needs to be taught, and California seems to be a good place to start.

Your device has sprung a leak.

Finally, if you are one of those users who doesn’t use Windows automatic updates or even blocks them, and you work in the cloud a lot, you might want to reconsider that policy right now.

This article by Brandon Russell published yesterday on The Verge website explains it far more succinctly than Musings can. For another slant, The Verge also offers this one by Tom Warren.

Suffice it to say, the cloud is not a secure storage space, if it ever was.

The patch is available now for Win 10 users and will be downloaded next Tuesday for the Win 7 and 8 OS.

Of course it isn’t just Windows that is affected, as Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services and the popular browsers immediately issued a patch for one of the two processor vulnerabilities.

All of which points up the need to develop a dedicated and independently funded cybersecurity defense department at a much faster rate than we are doing at present.

Maybe that’s one of those areas in which both parties could develop some bipartisan cooperation?

From → op-ed

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