The epic cybersecurity fail

A hacker–probably connected to the Chinese government–has hacked into the databases of the Office of Personnel Management, stealing personal records on some 21 million federal employees.  The stolen information includes the results of security clearances, as well as coercion material on people with security clearances, meaning that this is an intelligence disaster.  Nebraska freshman Senator Ben Sasse, perhaps my highest-ranking personal acquaintance, has written perceptively about this in Wired Magazine, no less.  Excerpt and link after the jump.

(HT to Anthony Sacramone, whom you should also read on the subject.) [Read more...]

Airport insecurity

In a recent test of airport security measures, 70 attempts were made to smuggle weapons and explosives past TSA checkpoints.  67 got through, a failure rate of 96%.

Apparently, the details from the classified report are worse than that.  Freshman Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb)–the only politician I know personally–is taking up the cause.  He wrote an op-ed piece for USA Today on the problem. [Read more...]

Friend in the Senate

My friend Ben Sasse whom I’ve blogged about, won the Republican primary race for Senate in Nebraska.  Observers are saying he will be a shoo-in for election.  Pundits are calling this a “Tea Party” victory, but Ben is nothing like the angry-rabble of the stereotype.  He’s a scholar of public policy, the president of Midland University, and a former White House official.  (And, of interest to this blog, he is a Lutheran.)

Molly Ball, writing about Ben’s victory in the Atlantic, comments about the way the media keeps trying to make the elections fit the Procrustean bed of “Tea Party” vs. “Establishment.”  In reality, she points out, the best candidate tends to win against “rank incompetents” no matter who endorses them.  She calls Ben a “fusion” candidate that may be a herald of the future. [Read more...]

Move the nation’s capital to Nebraska

We talk about politics here at the Cranach blog, being careful to keep the two kingdoms distinguished, but we don’t do politicking, in the sense of agitating for one candidate or another.   But I wanted to show you this campaign video as a virtuoso example of the genre.

Ben Sasse is running for the senate in Nebraska.  I have known him personally for a long time in different capacities, and he’s a good guy.  He’s a Lutheran, and I’ve worshiped with him at  Immanuel in Alexandria, where he attended when he lived in the D.C. area.

I know at least one of you will cringe at the exaltation of rural midwestern values, and I admit that some of the conventions of the genre–brilliantly realized in this video–can get kind of cheesy (the waving flags, the obligatory interview with the wife and kids, etc.).  But Ben presents himself ridiculously well.   As for his signature issue here, I am pretty sure he is (mostly) being ironic and metaphorical, but he’s got himself a clever slogan, one that voters will remember and that sets him apart from the pack in the Republican primary.

We are certainly not endorsing him, knowing nothing of his competition or of the issues in the state of Nebraska.  But you’ve got to see this video, after the jump. [Read more...]


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