News of the Tautological

The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal’s “Best of the Web” at The Wall Street Journal written by the editor, James Taranto.

News of the Tautological
“Earth Is NOT Prepared for a Surprise Asteroid Strike: Nasa Warns ‘There’s Not a Lot We Can Do About It at the Moment’ “—headline, Daily Mail website (London), Dec. 13

Hypothesis and Proof

  • “Obama: President Without Briefings ‘Flying Blind’ ”—headline, Associated Press, Dec. 13, 2016
  • “Obama Skipped 62.5 Percent of Intelligence Briefings This Year”—headline, Washington Free Beacon, Oct. 2, 2014

Problem and Solution

  • “Popular Government Energy Program Seeks a Big New Twist”—headline, Fortune .com, March 1
  • “Trump Picks Former Dancing With the Stars Contestant Rick Perry to Be His Energy Secretary”—headline, Slate, Dec. 13

News of the Tautological
“Earth Is NOT Prepared for a Surprise Asteroid Strike: Nasa Warns ‘There’s Not a Lot We Can Do About It at the Moment’ ”—headline, Daily Mail website (London), Dec. 13

The Only Thing Saving Us From the Bureaucracy Is Its Abject Incompetence
Politico has a new report on how Hillary Clinton managed to lose the solidly Democratic state of Michigan:

Everybody could see Hillary Clinton was cooked in Iowa. So when, a week-and-a-half [before the election], the Service Employees International Union started hearing anxiety out of Michigan, union officials decided to reroute their volunteers, giving a desperate team on the ground around Detroit some hope.

They started prepping meals and organizing hotel rooms.

SEIU—which had wanted to go to Michigan from the beginning, but been ordered not to—dialed Clinton’s top campaign aides to tell them about the new plan. According to several people familiar with the call, Brooklyn was furious.

Turn that bus around, the Clinton team ordered SEIU. Those volunteers needed to stay in Iowa to fool Donald Trump into competing there, not drive to Michigan, where the Democrat’s models projected a 5-point win through the morning of Election Day.

This sounds like illegal coordination, though that’s a penalty the other team would be well advised to decline. The New York Times, meanwhile, fills in some details on the hacking of campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails. It seems he received a “phishing” email informing him that someone had signed in to his account and inviting him to click on a link to change his password:

Given how many emails Mr. Podesta received through this personal email account, several aides also had access to it, and one of them noticed the warning email, sending it to a computer technician to make sure it was legitimate before anyone clicked on the “change password” button.

“This is a legitimate email,” Charles Delavan, a Clinton campaign aide, replied to another of Mr. Podesta’s aides, who had noticed the alert. “John needs to change his password immediately.”

With another click, a decade of emails that Mr. Podesta maintained in his Gmail account—a total of about 60,000—were unlocked for the Russian hackers. Mr. Delavan, in an interview, said that his bad advice was a result of a typo: He knew this was a phishing attack, as the campaign was getting dozens of them. He said he had meant to type that it was an “illegitimate” email, an error that he said has plagued him ever since.

This story doesn’t quite make sense. If he meant “illegitimate” rather than “legitimate,” why would he type “a” rather than “an”? And why would he say John does need to change his password?

At any rate, it’s probably not the worst thing in the world that this gang isn’t going to be running the government.

For more “Best of the Web” from The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto click here.