Who is Eric Hoteham? [Updated With Twitter Account]

In its excellent story this morning on the private email account Madam Hillary set up for official business during her tenure as Secretary of State, the Associated Press notes this telling detail:

It was unclear whom Clinton hired to set up or maintain her private email server, which the AP traced to a mysterious identity, Eric Hoteham. That name does not appear in public records databases, campaign contribution records or Internet background searches. Hoteham was listed as the customer at Clinton’s $1.7 million home on Old House Lane in Chappaqua in records registering the Internet address for her email server since August 2010.

The Hoteham personality also is associated with a separate email server, presidentclinton.com, and a non-functioning website, wjcoffice.com, all linked to the same residential Internet account as Mrs. Clinton’s email server. The former president’s full name is William Jefferson Clinton.

And then we have this:

In November 2012, without explanation, Clinton’s private email account was reconfigured to use Google’s servers as a backup in case her own personal email server failed, according to Internet records. That is significant because Clinton publicly supported Google’s accusations in June 2011 that China’s government had tried to break into the Google mail accounts of senior U.S. government officials. It was one of the first instances of a major American corporation openly accusing a foreign government of hacking.

Then, in July 2013, five months after she resigned as secretary of state, Clinton’s private email server was reconfigured again to use a Denver-based commercial email provider, MX Logic, which is now owned by McAfee Inc., a top Internet security company.

No word on the role of Mr. “Hoteham” in making the backup arrangements.

Trouble must be brewing if the AP goes out of its way to note:

The AP has waited more than a year under the open records law for the State Department to turn over some emails covering Clinton’s tenure as the nation’s top diplomat, although the agency has never suggested that it didn’t possess all her emails.

Twitchy has more here and elsewhere. I think this is one of those situations in which Steve Hayward would invite us to pull up a chair and get out the popcorn.

UPDATE by JOHN: We haven’t quite pinned down who Eric Hoteham is yet, but apparently he has a Twitter account. It’s pretty entertaining! Hillary deserves a whole lot more mockery, on this and many other topics.

Democrats respond to Netanyahu (video edition)

President Obama let it be known that he didn’t watch Prime Minister’s historic speech to the joint session of Congress yesterday. Netanyahu came to present the case against the nuclear deal with Iran that is in process. Obama has made concession after concession that would abrogate sanctions against Iran and facilitate Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. Netanyahu sought to explain why that was the case and why it wasn’t a good idea.

Obama had arranged a conflict in his schedule in order to avoid watching Netanyahu’s speech. Obama took an important conference call at the time Netanyahu was to address Congress. The conference call must have kicked off around 11:000 a.m. (Eastern) and run 40 minutes or so, overlapping perfectly with Netanyahyu’s address.

Obama turned Netanyahu’s speech into an offense against majesty. He refused to meet with Netanyahu while he was in town. He procured the absence of Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Kerry from the speech. He assured that his administration had no representation at the event.

Obama commented on Netanyahu’s speech yesterday afternoon (video below). What a contrast with Netanyahu. Obama appeared petty, angry and petulant. He can’t help it.

Obama dismissed Netanyahu’s speech as lacking “viable alternatives.” If there is no alternative to what Netanyahu argued was “a bad deal” with Iran, that means Obama finds rejection of a bad deal or achievement of a good deal to be unrealistic alternatives to his chosen path.

Obama thus starkly confirms Netanyahu’s critique. Obama intends for us not to think too hard about what he has to say. We can foil him by exercising the power of critical thought.

Obama also sought the absence of Democratic congressmen from the speech. He wished to turn the event into a matter of partisan division. Though the vast majority of the minority attended, some 53 dutifully obeyed and stayed away. Among the conscientious objectors were Minnesota’s own Al Franken, Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum, representative of the range of congressional Democrats from jerk to thug.

Democrats who opposed Netanyahuy’s speech held a press conference immediately following Netanyahu. What a crew. C-SPAN broadcast the whole thing and posted the video below.

The video is 45 minutes long. I won’t say it’s worth your time; it probably isn’t. These folks deserve the fate of having to listen to each other as the price of getting their mugs in front of a national audience.

Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth led off and set the tone. “This speech was straight out of the Dick Cheney playbook,” Yarmuth explained. For anyone who had seen Netanyahu’s speech, this event would have been laughable were it not for the animus that creeps through (and I do mean creeps).

The video is especially valuable in one respect. In case you have wondered whatever happened to Baghdad Jim McDermott, the video answers the question.

Energy Sense from an Unlikely Source

In preparing for this week’s session of my graduate course on energy policy, I happened to stumble across a very sound discussion of why the energy romanticism of the Climate Haters (I think I’m going to retire “climatistas” and go with the more accurate Climate Haters instead, because settled science!) makes no sense. It is in a series called “Getting to Zero” (as in zero carbon emissions), written by a self-described liberal convinced about climate change disaster, and described thusly:

In this series GETTING TO ZERO we will take a very hard-headed look at current energy policy and energy strategies. We will ask hard questions: does this really get us to zero? How much would it cost? How rapidly can it be deployed? We may find some answers along the way, but don’t expect them to be easy.

We’ve all read those rosy optimistic stories about renewable energy, and how in some given month 100% of new electrical capacity in the US was all renewable; or about how during some hour in the dead of night all of the electricity demand in Denmark was met by wind. You read those stories and you think, “Hey! We’re making progress in the climate fight!”

And that impression is dead wrong.

The second installment of this series looks at the economics of renewable energy and, citing a study in the journal Energy, concludes that it really blows (so to speak). The discussion gets a bit technical at this point, with an extended discussion about EROI (energy return on investment) and “buffering” (meaning essentially backup supply for sources like wind and solar that are intermittent) along with some very interesting charts, but the author ends up concluding that wide scale adoption of renewable energy “will reduce GDP. The economy becomes less efficient as we deploy less efficient energy sources to run it.”

The discussion of wind power is especially interesting:

Wind is a tricky case. If you ask most people, they will tell you that we don’t currently have energy storage for wind. In fact we do, but the buffering for wind comes from natural gas powerplants, which are typically built at the same time wind is deployed. When the wind dies, the backup gas plants are turned on, to keep the grid power reliable. Thus the energy storage for wind is embodied in the natural gas that isn’t burned when the wind turbine is producing peak output.

This means that wind, as it’s used now in the US, isn’t really zero-fossil. It’s a hybrid system that’s part wind, part natural gas. And considering the availability of wind (30% is typical for a wind turbine), most of the energy actually comes from the fossil side of the equation. We’re using the wind to offset some of the CO2 emissions from the gas plant (which is good), but instead of getting to zero, we’re just walking toward the cliff instead of running toward it.

Denmark currently is one of the most wind-energy-intensive countries in the world, which works because they buffer their wind energy against hydroelectric power from Norway and Sweden. When the wind is blowing in Denmark, they export electricity to Sweden, which then can turn down its hydro plants (thus keeping more water stored in the reservoirs behind the dam). When the wind dies, Sweden turns up the taps on the hydroelectric production, and exports that stored energy back to Denmark. It’s a great zero-fossil system, but it’s only possible because of the unique geography that places a flat windy country right next to a couple of wet mountainous countries.

The author concludes that we need a lot more hydropower and nuclear power—both forms of energy that environmentalists hate. (In fact, most state “renewable portfolio standards” specifically exclude hydropower as an option to satisfy the RPS mandate.)

The third segment in this series looks at energy efficiency, which many greens seem to think is the magical pathway to a carbon-free future. Here the author is even more scathing:

There’s just one problem. They [the efficiency/conservation advocates] are all completely and totally wrong. Increasing energy efficiency does not, has not, and will not ever reduce overall demand for energy. This is not just an opinion; it has been demonstrated with the cold hard equations of physics, based on the second law of thermodynamics.

Now don’t get me wrong. Energy efficiency has obvious economic benefits, and those benefits are often enough to make such improvements worthwhile. It’s not that we should stop being more efficient. It’s just that we should not expect those improvements to reduce energy demand or carbon emissions. Because they won’t do that.

So what Koch-supported, flat earth, denialist site hosted these sensible reflections?

The Daily Kos.

You read that right. Here are Part I, Part II, and Part III. I’ve never heard of the author, Keith Pickering, but if he keeps this up, he’s going to get “investigated” by House Democrats for departing from the script.

MSM mainstays cut Clinton no slack over her email account

If the mainstream media were applying the sort of scrutiny to Hillary Clinton it has applied to Republican presidential candidates, we would by now have seen articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post about Whitewater, Travelgate, and the 1993 health care reform debacle. We would also have been treated to disparaging stories about Clinton dating back to her days as a Goldwater Girl.

But the MSM’s fondness for double standards has its limits. One of them is an institutional intolerance for government secrecy.

Thus, the New York Times was quite harsh in its article reporting that Hillary Clinton never used an official government email address during her time as secretary of state and likely violated government regulations regarding retention of her business related emails. Times reporter Michael Schmidt did not confine himself to stating these facts. Rather, he went on to opine that these facts “echo[] longstanding criticisms directed at both the former secretary and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, for a lack of transparency and inclination toward secrecy.” He also noted that, unlike Hillary, “Jeb Bush, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, released a trove of emails in December from his eight years as governor of Florida.”

Now Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post has piled on. He presents five ways in which the Clinton email story “reminds and reinforces for people many of the traits that they do not like in the Clintons while also suggesting a level of hubris that is very dangerous for someone who is the biggest non-incumbent frontrunner for a presidential nomination in modern political history.”

The five reminders are:

1. The Clinton’s don’t think the rules apply to them.

2. They are surrounded by enablers, in this instance aides who apparently never warned Clinton to at least occasionally go through the motions of using a government email account.

3. They’re always hiding something.

4. They only think about politics.

5. They never own up to anything.

That about sums it up.

Is there more to the MSM’s treatment of this story than good old-fashioned reporting coupled with unhappiness about secrecy? Possibly. Perhaps certain reporters consider Clinton insufficiency left-wing. Or maybe they simply would like to cover a decent horse race on the Democratic side.

If so, Clinton will not get a free pass from the MSM, at least not unless and until she has the nomination locked up. By then, it will be difficult to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Another Reason Why Hillary Can’t Win

Steve noted earlier tonight a little-noticed exchange with an ABC reporter who was assigned to follow Hillary Clinton, which suggested one reason why Hillary’s 2016 campaign may be doomed. Here is another one: her relationship with Bill–the only reason anyone has heard of her in the first place–can’t withstand the light of day.

The email controversy that came came to light today is a problem for Hillary, for obvious reasons. But here is something that I don’t think anyone has pointed out: Hillary’s private email address was hdr22@clintonemail.com:

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 8.28.46 PM

There was no universal protocol for clintonemail.com addresses. Thus, for example, Anthony Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin used Huma@clintonemail.com. So Hillary’s choice of an email address was personal. And it is rather striking: her initials are HRC, for Hillary Rodham Clinton, right? So what does HDR stand for? Hillary’s middle name is Diane:

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 8.35.44 PM

So HDR stands for Hillary Diane Rodham. At the moment when she had been nominated as Secretary of State, Hillary chose to declare her independence from Bill Clinton, her ticket to the big time, by dropping his name from the email address that she used for four years as a cabinet officer.

Would that in itself disqualify Hillary from the presidency? Of course not. But it illuminates a larger problem that will be an enormous obstacle to Hillary’s 2016 run. It is common knowledge that she and Bill have lived separate lives for quite a few years. They are united only by political ambition–and, to be fair, a shared history, in service of that ambition, that goes back a long way. I am currently reading Augustus, by John Williams, and it occurs to me that Bill and Hillary would have been very much at home in ancient Rome. With contemporary America, they are badly out of step.

It’s not just the sham marriage. Bill has never been able to keep his various appetites under control, and since he left the White House, he has been a disaster waiting to happen. Let’s sum it up with this observation: anyone who wants to be active in public life must avoid situations that could give rise to newspaper headlines that combine his name with the words “underage sex slave.” That isn’t a high bar. Mitt Romney never had to worry about it, nor did Barack Obama. But Bill Clinton has suffered precisely that indignity, and there is much, much more to come between now and November 2016.

It is no wonder that Hillary wanted to declare independence from Bill by designating herself as Hillary Diane Rodham in her official State Department correspondence. (Of course, she was too much the political animal to separate herself from Bill publicly.) But that choice opens the door on many uncomfortable questions; questions that, I believe, will sink Hillary’s 2016 candidacy.

UPDATE: One thing I can’t figure out is, what is the significance of the 22 in hdr’s email address? The numbers have no obvious significance; not to me, anyway. Any ideas?

What Color Is the Dress? What Dress?

If you don’t know what The Dress is, it means, among other things, that you don’t have teenage daughters. But even the daughterless are generally aware of the dress that took Twitter, and most of the rest of the internet, by storm a few evenings ago. Only Michael Ramirez would think to connect The Dress with President Obama’s myopia (or collaboration, whichever it is) on Iran. Click to enlarge:


Why Hillary Won’t Make It

Time out briefly from the Obama Debacle to contemplate the Hillary 2016 debacle-in-waiting. Jennifer Rubin has a nice rundown of all of the new difficulties Hillary mas made for herself lately with all of the usual foibles we associate with the adjective “Clintonian” but without any of the Big Dog’s roguish charm.

This includes her use of a personal email account at the State Department in what looks like an attempt to get around ethical and legal rules, and raking in millions in foreign donations.

But these are not the land mines that are going to do her in. Did you happen to catch this bit last week from a Q & A with Amy Chozick, the ABC News correspondent assigned to cover Hillary:

Covering Clinton, what is one thing that has surprised you about her? 

Amy Chozick: Hmm. She likes to drink. We were on the campaign trail in 2008 and the press thought she was just taking shots to pander to voters in Pennsylvania. Um, no.

Hmm, indeed.  These rumors have been around for quite a while.  Now it’s out, ever so slightly, in a MSM source.  Will any MSM reporter have the guts to ask her about this on the campaign trail, or during a televised debate?