Good ol’ John, reliable as ever

McCain defends the media in NBC interview

In an interview on NBC airing on Sunday, Senator John McCain defended the media, saying “we need a free press, we must have it.”

In an interview with NBC News’ Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” the Republican senator was asked to respond to President Trump’s tweet on Friday where he called many media outlets “the enemy of the American people.”

McCain said that in order to “preserve democracy” you must have a free press. He says that without it he’s “afraid we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time.”

“That’s how dictators get started,” McCain added in a clip of the interview released on Saturday.

“They get started by suppressing free press,” the Senator responded asked if he was referring to Trump’s tweet.

McCain added that “the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press.”

The media’s ever reliable go to guy on the Republican side of the aisle, Sen. John McCain, has spoken up once again, willingly jumping at the bait that Chuck Todd laid out for him by responding to a question regarding President Trumps’ latest Tweet blasting the press.

Now, there is something I want to make perfectly clear here. We absolutely do need a free press that is not subject to suppression by government whim, as that indeed is the path to dictatorship.

However.

We also need the press to do their jobs by reporting the news as it is, not as they wish it was. We call people who work as journalists “reporters” for a reason, and that reason is that they are supposed to report, and leave the opinionating to the pundits.

Am I saying that reporters can’t have an opinion on what is happening in the world? No, as that would be an infringement on their First Amendment rights to have that opinion. What I am saying is, if your job description title says “Reporter”, then report. If it says “Opinion Commentator”, then by all means, tell us what your opinion is (and not what you think our opinion should be). Just do your jobs, reporters. Hash out your opinions with your friends and family like the rest of us do.

Now comes the part where John and I part ways, and is partly why I call him the media’s ever reliable go to guy on the Republican side of the aisle (along with his buddy Sen. Lindsey Graham). In the next snippet, John first says one thing, then denies that he really means what he just said, even though he just said it.

I’m not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator, I’m just saying we need to learn the lessons of history,” McCain said in the NBC interview. [Emphasis mine]

“I’m not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator …” Uh, you just did, John. If not directly, then through inference and innuendo, which is fodder for both the Liberal media and the Alt-right fringers, both of whom will have a field day with that, and you know it, which is probably why you said it. And I also think he said it to maintain his more than friendly relationship with his pals in the media.

Now, what was I saying about what he said being fodder for the media? Just look at the headline at the linked NBC piece:

McCain Defends a Free Press: ‘That’s How Dictators Get Started’

It wasn’t a “veiled swipe” either. Rather, it was almost subtle in a blatant way.  You inferred it, they’re running with it. “I’m not saying …” even though you did say it.

That’s not how you win friends, John, but it is how you damage someone you don’t like.

About those leaks …

By now, you’ve heard, read, or have been told of the resignation of former NSA head Michael Flynn, brought about because ‘someone’ decided to leak details of one or more telephone conversations he had with a Russian diplomat, details which involved the previous administrations sanctions against, and expulsions of, Russian diplomatic officials due to alleged interference in our recently concluded national elections (which could possibly be a violation of the Logan Act). Remember that these phone conversations occurred in December 2016, before the current administration took over. Whoever it was is not currently known, nor is the explicit reason for the leak, but the most probable reason would be to deligitimize the incoming administration.

Leaks happen all the time, and have happened since the first governments assumed power back in ancient times. They are, to put it simply, a fact of life that each administration has to come to grips with. Leaks happen for various reasons from the “whistle blowing” leak to shine a light on something wrong being done, to the revenge leak, where specific information regarding someone or some program or operation of government that is sensitive information, is leaked to “get back at” someone for whatever reason, and various and sundry other types of leaks. The one thing you need to keep in mind about leaks is that they are intended to cause damage (yes, even the “whistle blower” leaks) of one form or another.

The two most common sources of leaks are hold overs from the previous administration who leak information for the sole purpose of undermining the new administration, and inner circle types who are engaged in some form of power struggle, and think that leaking information about those in the “other camp” will advance their “cause”, boosting themselves through the diminution of others. Leaks of any kind, in my opinion, are potentially lethal in that, if the information leaked is about a program or operation either in a war zone, or in a foreign land, people could get killed, and that must never be allowed to happen.

Leaks plagued the George W Bush administration, specifically from the intelligence community (I’m looking at you CIA), which I blame on too many Clinton administration hold overs who despised Bush, who amazingly enough, didn’t do much against the leakers. The previous administration also had their problems with leakers, but they pursued them with gusto, and managed to keep the lid on things to a certain extent. And now, the current administration has to deal with a plague of leaks, some of which occurred even before they took office, but are having to deal with now.

The current leak scandal that the media wants you to believe is the specific details of telephone conversations between Flynn and the Russian diplomat back in December, as well as details of conversations President Trump has had with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. That is what the media and the Left is focusing on and trying to get you focusing on as well, not the fact that the conversations were leaked in the first place.

In the wake of Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser, President Trump and Republican allies on Capitol Hill are turning their attention to the potentially “illegal” leaks that revealed Flynn’s politically fatal discussions with a Russian diplomat and other sensitive details from inside the administration.

The president, after accepting Flynn’s resignation overnight, tweeted Tuesday morning that, “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?”

“Illegal”? Yes, in that any conversation between a foreign operative and an American citizen, the name of the American citizen is to remain masked. Any divulging of the name of the American citizen is illegal under the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. Flynn’s name was not masked, instead leaked to CNN, the WaPo, and the NY Times. So, now the House is going to be asking the FBI to look into these leaks, to try to get to the bottom of it all, and to see if any of them were coordinated.

“We are going to be outlining all of our concerns over the last 60 days that appear to all be related, maybe even coordinated in some ways,” committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told Fox News. “I am going to be asking the FBI to do an assessment of this to tell us what’s going on here because we cannot continue to have these leaks as a government.”

Rep. Nunes is correct. We can’t afford to continue to have leaks if our government is going to be effective at home, and respected, and more importantly, trusted, abroad.

Dems hair on fire – again.

Trump says top priority is to ‘protect and serve’ America amid backlash over extreme vetting

President Trump’s order to suspend the country’s refugee program and temporarily ban immigration from seven mostly-Muslim nations erupted Sunday into a full-scale political battle — with Trump and top aides defending the move amid nationwide protests and congressional Democrats vowing a relentless Capitol Hill fight to undo the order.

First off, this is a temporary thing. It is not permanent regardless of what the media typists type. Second, this was promulgated poorly, in my opinion, as green card holders were not to have been affected, and yet were, hence the ‘clarification’ as you’ll see later in this article. I don’t know if this was simply a misunderstanding on someone’s part, or overt overzealousness. Somehow, from his statement, I don’t get the sense that it was the President’s doing, although he is taking the blame. Meanwhile, the Dems are up in arms, outraged, nonplussed, determined, and girding their loins. Lot of that going on lately.

Earlier in the day, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., staged a press conference with some immigrant children and adults impacted by the bans and vowed to fight them on Capitol Hill “with every fiber of my being.”

And cue the props, as “courageous” Sen. Schumer trots out some poor, poor immigrant folks (are they here legally, Senator?) in another grandstanding show, stating that he vows he will fight with every fiber of his being! Oooh, tough guy rhetoric coming from the guy who was SILENT for the previous EIGHT YEARS while his BFF ran roughshod over the Constitution. Oh, and lest anyone forget, he’s the leader of the LOSER party (for now, but I love typing that – it’s like the smell of napalm in the morning, you know?).

Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., said that she would introduce two bills Monday. One of the bills would rescind Trump’s order, while the other would give Congress greater oversight of the president’s immigration authority.

And California Democratic Rep. Lou Correa said the executive orders on illegal immigration “directly challenge the right to due process under the Constitution” and that he’ll introduce legislation to fund legal aid to those who are “targeted.”
Yeah, have fun trying to get any of those bills through a REPUBLICAN controlled Congress. Do these people have lizard brains? I mean, they keep saying they are going to do this, and they are going to do that, while totally ignoring the fact that – pardon me for repeating myself, but I can’t resist – they are the LOSER party and have no chance at getting the votes necessary to get these bills to the Presidents desk. Oh, one last thing. If they think he’d even think about signing any of them, then they do have lizard brains. I mean, c’mon. Seriously?

Congressional Democrats led by Schumer, who said he’s already appealed to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, will have a difficult task getting any kind of measure through the Republican-control Congress that would reverse the executive order.

Secretary Kelly, being the honorable man that he is, probably with grace, took time out of his busy schedule to hear the plaintive whines from Sen. Schumer, and then, again probably with grace (Marines can be merciful when necessary), after hearing him out, probably told him he was going to obey the President by carrying out his orders. Of course, Kelly also could have tore him a new one, too. I have no idea which version happened, but I’m leaning to the former, rather than the latter. Anyway, moving on.

“I doubt many Arkansans or Americans more broadly object to taking a harder look at foreigners coming into our country from war-torn nations with known terror networks. I think they’re wondering why we don’t do that already,” said Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton, who as an Army officer served combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. [Emphasis mine]

Why yes, yes we do, Sen. Cotton, and for everyone out there who still can’t understand how Trump got elected, this was probably the number one issue on people’s minds during the primaries, and then the general election that pushed him to the White House. After watching Barry open our borders to hordes of illegal aliens and then do nothing to stem the resultant tide (why should he, as they were potential future voters for the Dems), and then hearing Hillary promise more of the same, and watching as state and federal monies went to support those illegal aliens (any other phrase is merely a euphemism, and I refuse to use them – they are illegal aliens, period!) while American citizens were told to get to the back of the line, alarmed and angered the average American (and many legal aliens who were following the immigration rules, as well), resulting in what we have now. Trump in the White House, and Temporary bans on travel for people from a grand total of seven countries that terrorists call home.

If Congress and the previous President had done their jobs (I’m looking at some specific Republicans, as well as ALL of the Democrats), and actually enforced our immigration laws, we wouldn’t have this situation on our hands now – going from lax non-enforcement to what seems like draconian measures now. Speaking of specific Republicans who didn’t do their jobs … right on cue, it’s the usual suspects, with one minor surprise thrown in –

However, Trump is facing opposition for some congressional Republicans, including Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, of Florida, and Barbara Comstock, of Virginia, along with Sens. Ben Sasse, of Nebraska, Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, and John McCain, of Arizona.

The one minor surprise here is Sasse, because he checks off all of the Conservative Republican boxes, but has been, and still is a NeverTrumper, so I guess it isn’t that much of a surprise after all. The other four? I would have been surprised if they hadn’t said anything.

“It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump’s executive order was not properly vetted,” Graham and McCain said in a joint statement. “Ultimately, we fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism.”

Not to let an opportunity to get in front of the cameras be wasted, Graham and McCain rushed to issue the above statement. While I nominally agree with the first part of it, they should have discussed this with President Trump first, instead of rushing to get in front of the media. If after discussing the subject with the President, and not getting their concerns alleviated, they should then have gone to McConnell, before going to the press, but no, not these two media hogs. As a result, you get a Trump Tweet. *headdesk*

So, what does the Executive Order cover?

The executive order Trump issued Friday imposes a 120-day suspension of the U.S. refugee program and a 90-day ban on travel to the United States by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

That translates to a 3 month temporary travel ban, and 4 month temporary suspension of the U.S. refugee program by people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. From other things I’ve read/seen, for certain individuals from Iraq who have helped us (translating, providing intelligence, etc) in fighting against ISIS and Al Qaeda, the travel ban will be waived on a case-by-case basis, which is good, as those people have risked not only their own lives, but the lives of their families by helping us, and they should get deferential treatment, imo. Other than that, these folks are simply going to have to wait as the new administration looks at how these people have been vetted in the past.

That’s basically what this all boils down to, you know. The new administration looking at how the previous administration did things that affect our national security, to see if what they were doing worked, or not. If what they were doing works, keep on keeping on, with possibly some minor tweaks. If, however, it does not work, how can things be changed to ensure that policies and procedures do work?

And the Democrats are running around with their hair on fire over this? They need to get serious.

Dems threatening “Scorched Earth” tactics, might get burned by it instead

Democrats reportedly plan scorched-earth approach to fighting Trump

Well, that escalated rather quickly, but I’m not surprised. As the Dems watch item after item of their progressive, Leftist, agenda get rolled back, the more they get “outraged”, and begin yelling, screaming, name calling, having fits, and generally acting like a bunch of three year olds having a temper tantrum and stomping their collective foot. It’s almost as if they were totally unaware that this was a possibility … oh, wait. They didn’t think it was a possibility, because they were smugly assured of a Hillary win last November that didn’t happen, and that has them totally discombobulated.

For the past two months, Democratic leaders have been reportedly discussing ways to approach the presidency of Donald Trump and have largely landed on a conclusion: fight him at every turn in a ‘not-now-not-ever’ opposition.

So, basically, since that fateful day in November, 2016, when progressives saw their dreams of a Leftist Utopia go down in scorching hot flames?

I’m not surprised that they’ve been plotting against President Trump (it’s what Dems do you know – plot against Reps at every turn) but I am a little surprised they admitted it.

Politico reported that it conducted interviews with about two dozen Democrats in office who were willing to discuss the internal debate.

It apparently did not take very long for these politicians to determine that a working relationship was not possible, though Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told the magazine that there was a “grace period.”

“But it was midnight the night of the inauguration to 8 o’clock the next morning, when the administration sent out people to lie about numerous significant things.”

He continued, “It’s been worse than I could have imagined, the first few days.”

This is my State Governor speaking here. He’s a former Congressman who decided to bring his Leftist policies back home, and really screw up my state, but I digress.

Saying that any newly elected President has a ‘grace period’ of only eight hours is rather breath taking, and I would be saying the same thing about this if a Dem was in the office as President, and some elected Rep said that. And then to state that Trump has lied about numerous significant things without giving any examples is disingenuous on his part. Just a reminder, Jay: We here in Washington State can say the exact same thing about you, that you have lied about numerous significant things (Like you have made the state “business friendly” – Seattle is part of the state, right? Go talk to them about how “business friendly” they are!). Another reminder: the internet is forever. Just sayin’, Jay.

Sen. Kirsten GIllibrand, D-N.Y., is credited so far with voting the most against Trump, voting against three of four Trump Cabinet-level picks.

So, what does she win? A shiny gold colored star? It’s no surprise that one of Barry’s biggest sycophants in the Senate would vote against Trump at nearly every turn. She also marches to the orders of Sen. Chuck Schumer as well, so maybe she’s earned a pat on the head for being “anti-Trump”.

Another example of the Dems acting like three year old children was the boycott of the inauguration by about 50 or so Dem Congressmen and women, done because they didn’t want to “normalize” the man who was freely, legally, elected (by a landslide in the Electoral College, btw), claiming that he was
not “legitimate” because he didn’t win the popular vote, and that Russia “helped” him win. I’ve written on that subject before, so I won’t beat that, to me, dead horse again. I’ll just say that no Russian person came to me to whisper in my ear to say who he would prefer me to vote for, and not one other voter had someone tell them who to vote for, either. Well, unless it was your Crazy Uncle Murray who tells everyone in the family what to do all the time, that is.

The one thing that still amazes me, is that the Dems are convinced, and I mean totally assured, that the severe electoral losses they’ve taken over the last three election cycles (over 1,000 seats at the National and State levels, which is astonishing!) are merely aberrations, that the electorate is “acting out” a little, but will, in the next election, come to their senses and vote Dem again, like they’re “supposed” to.

Being condescending does not win you elections. Not even your “seminars on how to talk to people” (i.e, whites in blue collar areas – the people you took for granted) will do any good, really, because you aren’t going to talk to people, you’re going to continue to talk at people. There’s a significant difference there.

The next election cycle, 2018, is right around the proverbial corner, and there are 25 Dem Senate seats up, and 10 of those are in states that Trump won. I would think that those Dems would be a little circumspect on how much scorching of Earth they want to be involved in. If not, things could get a little hot for them (in a figurative sense – please don’t actually do what you see in the video, ok?), like what happens here.

We live in different times.

Obama suggests that moving US Embassy to Jerusalem could be ‘explosive’

The following is mainly a Reuters story (see the link below). Just in case you’re unaware, the AP and Reuters seem to be in a race to see who can put out the least fact based, most narrative/agenda driven drivel. In case you don’t believe me, where do you think the likes of CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, the WaPo & NY Times get most of their “news articles” from? Reuters and the AP. Anyway, before I get too much further afield here, let’s unpack this, shall we?

President Obama said Wednesday that his administration has warned President-elect Donald Trump’s team that big policy shifts come with consequences and suggested that moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem could have “explosive” results.

“When sudden unilateral moves are made that speak to some of the core issues and sensitivities of either side, that can be explosive,” Obama said at his last news conference as commander-in-chief, Reuters reported.

For many of our Jewish friends living outside of Israel, there is a saying of hope – “Next year in Jerusalem” – that embodies the traditional desire, if not to emigrate then to at least go to Israel, and to the Holy City of Jerusalem. Well, except for the soon to be gone current administration, past US administrations have also stated, in effect, “Next year in Jerusalem”, saying that if certain conditions are met, then we would move our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. So far, none of those (sometimes unsaid) conditions have been met, and the embassy hasn’t budged.

Well, guess what? We now live in different times my friends. Whether you like him or not, Trump is going to be our next President, and you’ve already seen that he is not one to kowtow to the status quo, the old ways of doing things. Not by a long shot! And the Dems, including President Hipster, still haven’t figured that out! At any rate, I do believe that at some point in the next four years, you will see the US move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

As for that being “explosive”? Do you really think that the ‘Palestinians’ will erupt in violence over something such as this? Wait … what’s that you say? They erupt in violence at the drop of a hat, seemingly for no reason at all? Oh, yeah, there is that. Well, we could just put a few M1A2 Abrams tanks manned by Marines in and around the embassy compound as a deterrence.

As for sudden unilateral moves, President Hipster? You have no room to talk. In your disastrous eight year reign of calculated misfeasance and malfeasance, coupled with just plain stupidity, we have watched you unilaterally try to “fundamentally transform” America, which has adversely affected not only America but our allies as well, leaving them dazed and confused, wondering what you were going to do next.

Trump, like some of his predecessors, has vowed to move the American embassy to Jerusalem, a politically charged act that would anger Palestinians who want east Jerusalem as part of their sovereign territory. The move would also distance the U.S. from most of the international community, including its closest allies in Western Europe and the Arab world.

I’ll grant that moving the embassy to Jerusalem could be “politically charged”, and that it it would anger ‘Palestinians’. But, you know what? So what! They’re already perpetually angry over the simple fact of Israel’s existence, so the US moving the embassy to Jerusalem won’t add to their “anger”, it’ll just give them another excuse to express their anger. Again, I say so what? For them, any excuse will do, so stop with the hand wringing and pearl clutching.

Now, want to know the real reason that embassies are in Tel Aviv, rather than Jerusalem? Basically there are two main reasons, with one secondary reason. First is that for many years, Israel holding on to Jerusalem was seen as an “iffy” prospect, and no one wanted to be in the position of having to scramble to get their personnel out in case the Israeli’s were forced to leave Jerusalem, whereas Tel Aviv was a much more secure area. The other is that, because everyone has had their embassy in Tel Aviv for so long, they’ve grown comfortable there and simply don’t want to go through the hassle of moving. This brings up the secondary reason – beefing up security for embassies in Jerusalem, which will cost money.

But, you watch. As soon as we move our embassy (and after the ‘Palestinians have their little hissy fit over it), and show that it’s secure, other nations will look at relocating. when we lead from the front, other nations follow. Happens every time.

Trump’s next ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, supports Israeli settlements and other changes to U.S. policies in the region.

This sentence was thrown in gratuitously to A) show the Left that the author has his progressive cred’s, by B) “showing” that Mr. Friedman is a baaaaaaaaad man because he has supported Israeli settlements (in their own territory, which is conveniently omitted, btw). It does not add to the main narrative of the article, rather, it detracts and should not have been included. But narrative!

Friedman said he looked forward to carrying out his duties from “the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem,” even though the embassy is in Tel Aviv. Trump advisers have said that the president-elect will follow through on his call for moving the embassy.

“He has made that promise,” Kellyanne Conway told reporters Thursday. “I can guarantee you, just generally, he’s a man who is going to accomplish many things very quickly.”

So far, Trump has been able to do some rather remarkable things, and he hasn’t even been sworn in yet. I don’t see this as being too difficult to get moving on, although, to be honest, I don’t see this as a top tier priority. We have other issues that need to be addressed first, I think. Once corrective measures have been started on those things (repeal/replacement of the ACA, fixing the tax code, etc.), then we can look at this as a second tier priority.

Obama said that he is worried that the chances of a two-state solution were dimming. He has been critical of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Want to know why you couldn’t make headway on this, President Hipster? Because everybody involved with this looked upon you and your two Secretary’s of State as the Three Stooges, who had no clue whatsoever as to what you were doing. They knew you weren’t being serious, and so tried to ignore you as much as possible, talking about you as the fool they saw you as, mostly behind your back, but sometimes to the international press when they wanted to rub your nose in something you did or said that they looked at as being stupid.

As I stated above, we now live in different times, and all of the sides involved in the so-called two state solution, are going to watch very closely what soon to be President Trump will be doing. Will he in fact move the embassy, as he said? Will he defend Israel in the UN, unlike President Hipster? Will he pressure Abbas to get his act together, and quit fomenting violence?

The answer to that short list is, of course, yes. What happens as a result remains to be seen. The one thing I do know is that results will be completely different than what we’ve seen over the previous eight years.

Just some thoughts on the Russian “controversy”

I’ve been around the block a few times now, and I distinctly remember as I was growing up the very real, and palpable fear we all had of the now former Soviet Union, formed by Russia after the Communists took power. The Soviets were portrayed as diabolical, only wanting one thing, which was world domination – a portrayal that had both an element of truth, and an element of propaganda behind it.

The truth was that they did seek to dominate the world. Their ultimate goal was to convert the entire world to Communism, with them at the head of this new global order. Two things were standing in their way however, one of which was the second huge Communist country, China, which had a slightly different “flavor” of Communism than the Soviets did, while the other of course was the US and our allies.

The propaganda came in the form of how the Soviets were depicted as people. Mainly as mindless automatons, brutes or uneducated peasants, depending on what type of propaganda was being pushed at any particular time. It also came in the form of painting their military as being huge, formidable, and poised just “over there” to come rolling through the Fulda Gap in Europe with their overwhelming number of tanks. In other words, as being unbeatable.

After WWII, the US pretty much dismantled the military, with the exception of our bomber and nuclear missile forces, while the Soviets not only kept their military at end of war size, but kept growing it and moving large numbers of troops into the countries it dominated, the Warsaw Pact countries of eastern Europe, in hopes of intimidating the still fledgling NATO alliance. They were partly successful in that endeavor, frightening our European allies silly with their hordes of troops and tanks, but were restrained by the lead we had at the time in the number of nuclear weapons we had, which we possibly, maybe even probably, would have used if it came to it.

Then, they developed their own nuclear arsenal – with no little help from spies in our midst – and the saber rattling commenced anew. Another shocker happened when they launched Sputnik, prompting the creation of NASA and our own space program suddenly got fast tracked. We couldn’t allow them to stay ahead of us there, you see. Korea happened, with military aid and personnel from the Soviets, with the intervention of the Chinese almost tipping the balance. Cuba changed regimes, with a Communist dictatorship taking over just 90 or so miles from our shores, and the Soviets decided to set up nuclear missiles there. President Kennedy faced down Soviet Premiere Khrushchev, who then removed the missiles. Civilians here learned how to drop and take cover in the event of a nuclear attack by the Soviets.

The Communists were pushing against the West all over the globe, and we became embroiled in what would be termed proxy wars, as we pushed back. Viet Nam was one such proxy war as we attempted to prevent the “domino effect” in South East Asia, which ultimately came to pass as Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam all eventually fell to Communist forces, something that we could have prevented if our feckless politicians in Washington DC had allowed us. The Arab-Israeli wars were also proxy wars, as the Soviets backed the Arabs, while we backed Israel, both sides battle testing military equipment and strategies.

This period was known as the Cold War, and I participated in that by enlisting in the US Navy in the mid-1970’s. By that time, we had put a man on the moon, ending the Soviets dream of doing the same, although they had put a small space station – Mir – up, which we visited. But here on the surface, tensions were still high, as both sides worked on and developed newer and more potent ways to kill each other, and in the process everyone else, too. Mutually assured destruction, they called it. MAD. The perfect acronym for the insanity of the times.

The proxy wars continued into the 1980’s, albeit at a slower pace, with the Soviets having their own “Viet Nam” in their ill-fated invasion of Afghanistan, coming to the “rescue” of the puppet government they had by subterfuge installed. We immediately began backing the mujahideen, supplying them with arms to resist the Soviets, the most devastating of which to the Soviets being the Stinger anti-aircraft missile, allowing the Afghans to shoot down the Soviet helicopters they so heavily depended on, making their military efforts untenable, causing them to eventually pull out entirely from Afghanistan with their tails between their legs as depicted by a crowing Western press, much as the Eastern press had crowed about our withdrawal from Viet Nam ten or so years earlier.

The 1980’s saw some rapid developments affecting the Soviet Union in an adverse way. Lech Waleska and Solidarity in Poland, Ronald Reagan and the military build up here, other Warsaw Pact countries deciding that Communism’s time had come to an end, Mr. Gorbachev and perestroika, and then the “Tear down this wall” speech by Reagan, which ultimately lead to the Berlin Wall in Germany actually coming down, and with it the collapse of the Soviet Union. The collapse was an economic one, rather than one through military defeat, as we spent more money than they had available to keep up.

The collapse of the Soviet empire caused extreme upheaval in Russia (as well as some of the former satellite countries, as economic and military aid from the Soviets evaporated), and they renamed themselves the Russian Federation (a couple old Soviet satellite nations stayed with Russia), headed up by Boris Yeltzin. This situation didn’t sit well with old Soviet hardliners, many of whom found themselves politically isolated, and also hurt the pride of Russian nationalists, who have recently taken over, lead by Vladimir Putin.

Where am I going with all of this? During all of this time, and even before when Russia was lead by the Tsars, they have looked at the West in both fear and jealousy, and so have made it a priority to influence us through whatever means they can. Spies on the ground, moles in our intelligence agencies and State Department, theft of commercial property, overt propaganda, and covert propaganda – misinformation. Within the last twenty years with the growth of the internet, they’ve just been given a new tool with which to ply their spy-craft, and they played with their new toy this past year. They will lie, cheat and steal to get the desired affect, which is to “influence” some, while destabilizing others to get an advantage. Perhaps that’s why the Democrats like them so much, since they model their activities after the Russians so much.

So, to sum up, the Russians have been trying to influence us politically since like, forever. It’s not a new phenomenon. Only the method used is (fairly) new.

Lets clean up the mess without pointing fingers, and for Heavens sake get the knot out of your knickers!

 

 

Sen. Sessions to have a tough ride in confirmation hearings

Trump picks for attorney general, DHS kick off week of confirmation hearings

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees to lead the departments of Justice and Homeland Security will appear before Senate commitees Tuesday to kick off what is likely to be a contentious confirmation process.

Ok, that’s fair I suppose, as long as the ‘contentiousness’ doesn’t devolve into ad hominem hyperbolic attacks that are based in personal feelings, and devoid of facts. Oh, wait …

Late Monday, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., announced that he would testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee against the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. Booker will be joined by Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La. — the head of the Congressional Black Caucus — as part of an effort by Democrats to portray Sessions as out of the mainstream on civil rights legislation.

‘Out of the mainstream’ meaning that Sen. Session’s views don’t mesh with Democrats views, the supposed ‘mainstream’ position on anything, but especially race relations. Disregard everything Sen. Sessions has done in defense of civil rights (we’ll get to that below) and the testimony of those he’s worked with over the years, and because he’s white, and from the South, paint him as an automatic red neck, KKK loving, racist who will see to it that all civil rights legislation (pushed through by Republicans, btw – look it up) is either ignored or repealed. Or, you know, the usual.

Booker is believed to be the first sitting Senator to testify in a confirmation hearing against another sitting senator nominated for a Cabinet position.

Whoop dee do. All kinds of ‘glass ceilings’ being broken this election season.

“I do not take lightly the decision to testify against a Senate colleague,” Booker said in a statement. “But the immense powers of the Attorney General combined with the deeply troubling views of this nominee is a call to conscience.

A call to conscience? Seriously? You just happen to be the frontman in the Democrat effort to smear Sen. Sessions as a racist.

“The Attorney General is responsible for ensuring the fair administration of justice, and based on his record, I lack confidence that Senator Sessions can honor this duty,” the senator added.

After the previous two examples of ‘the fair administration of justice’ Ag’s, you’d think that statements like this would be kept at a minimum, but apparently due to a lack of awareness of just exactly what is being said, and that you can look things up on the internet, I guess we’ll be seeing more of things like this. It appears that Sen. Booker thinks that none of us out here in Fly Over Country knows how to use the internet.

Democrats don’t have the power to block the nomination of either Sessions or retired Marine Gen. John Kelly to head DHS, since Republicans control the Senate and only need a simple majority to confirm both men.

However, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are expected to try and paint Sessions as being out of the mainstream on issues critical to the party’s core voters — Hispanics, African Americans and women — ahead of the 2018 election cycle.

So instead of doing their jobs properly, which is to ask pointed questions to gain information – not an advantage – they think the obvious course of action is to paint Sen. Sessions as a racist, and in the most damning of ways so as to scare their constituents in the hope of boosting their electoral chances in 2018. What’s that one definition of insanity? Doing something over and over again, hoping for a different result? Yeah, go with that Dems. We’re not as stupid as you seem to think we are, and I’m including your constituents in that statement.

The next five paragraphs then set out to do the Dems work for them, painting Sen. Sessions in as unflattering a light as possible. Let’s break those down, shall we?

Sessions has been a leading advocate not only for cracking down on illegal immigration, but also for slowing all legal immigration, increasing mass deportations and giving more scrutiny to those entering the United States. He vehemently opposed the bipartisan immigration bill that the Senate passed in 2013 that included a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

Cracking down on crime is only semi-ok, as long as it doesn’t involve someone not born here, but that is here without permission (In other words, an illegal alien)? Hmmm, seems to me that would be a feature, and not a bug.

As for slowing down legal immigration? Most legal immigrants come here seeking employment, and generally are willing to accept lower wages than an American worker, which then displaces American workers from American jobs. We’re talking about immigrants here, not visitors here on temporary visa’s, ok? These people want to stay. As long as they come here LEGALLY, I’m not opposed to them coming here per se, but at a measured pace. We need to control our own borders, and access to our country. Something that is anathema to Democrats, who would love to see all immigration restrictions relegated to the “dust bin of history”, as they like to say. That’s also why they don’t like that Sen. Sessions would like to see as many illegals as possible removed from our country.

As for Sen. Session’s opposition to the Gang of 8 “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” bill, that would have granted amnesty to at least 11 million illegal aliens (they aren’t “undocumented immigrants” – they are trespassers who have broken the law, hence illegal aliens)? Excellent!

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who worked with Republicans to craft the immigration legislation, indicated last week that he would have a hard time supporting Sessions, saying “he has been more anti-immigration than just about any other single member of Congress.”

No, Sen. Schumer, he has not been anti-immigration, he has been anti-illegal immigration. There is a difference, which you are purposefully eliding. You would think that someone opposed to people breaking the law would be held in higher regard, but since this is about slowing down the growth of the Democrat base, the Democrats in Congress are taking it as a personal affront, and when that happens, they lie, which is what Sen. Schumer just did.

In 1986, Sessions was nominated to the federal bench by then-President Ronald Reagan, but was rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee over allegations that he had called a black attorney “boy” — which he denied — and described the NAACP and ACLU as “un-American.”

I wasn’t there to hear Sen. Sessions allegedly refer to a black attorney as “boy”, so I can’t speak directly to that, except to say that if it had been proven true, and from everything I’ve seen, it has not, I would be opposed to his nomination as well. However, since it has not been proven unequivocally to be true, I am more inclined to take Sen. Sessions at his word.

As for calling the NAACP and ACLU un-American? Perhaps that is painting with too broad of a brush, but there have been several instances down the years where those particular organizations have indulged themselves in activities that have not been seen as having been in the best interests of America.

Last week, the NAACP staged a sit-in at one of Sessions’ Alabama offices, and its legal defense fund said it was “inconceivable that he should be entrusted with the oversight of our civil rights laws.”

To me, it’s inconceivable that people still resort to 1960’s style political grandstanding to make a “grand gesture”, rather than simply hold a press conference which would accomplish the same thing, but without the theatrics. But I guess when your argument is weak, you do what you feel you have to in order to deflect peoples attention from that weak argument.

Hank Sanders, a Democratic state senator in Alabama, points to cases Sessions pursued as a prosecutor against civil rights activists in the 1980s. “They called them voter fraud cases,” said Sanders, who won acquittals for the defendants. “I called them voter persecution cases.”

I would like to ask Mr. Sanders something. Were this case brought by then-prosecuting attorney Sessions on his own, or were they brought by the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama? In other words, were this case brought because of a personal animus or bias, or was he just doing his job following up on allegations of voter fraud (which he lost, btw, which is neither here nor there really)?

I’d also like to ask Mr. Sanders what he would have done should the roles had been reversed, but that’s a hypothetical. I’m 100% positive that Mr. Sanders would have absolutely refused to do his job, and would not have brought charges against the defendants in that case, as it would have offended his sensibilities. Well, actually, no I’m not 100% positive of what Mr. Sanders would have done if the roles had been reversed. Just trying to make a point about stereotyping.

I’ll let Albert Turner Jr. have the last word on this point.

However, Albert Turner Jr., the son of two of those defendants recently said he believed Sessions “is not a racist” and “was simply doing his job” when he prosecuted the cases.

The final four paragraphs finally get around to stating positive things about Sen. Sessions, although not ONCE in the entire article is he shown the respect due to a sitting Senator, as the author(s) never refer to him as Senator Sessions, or Sen. Sessions. Not once. Yet, all other national political office holders are. Ok, rant over. I’m irritated by the omission. At any rate, here are the positives that the author(s) appended to the article, almost as an after thought.

Supporters describe Sessions as a man of integrity who fought for desegregation during his career as a local GOP leader, prosecutor and elected official.

Doesn’t matter. He’s a white male from Alabama, hence automatically a cracker red neck, KKK lovin’ racist.

As U.S. attorney, Sessions’ office investigated and helped secure convictions in the 1981 Ku Klux Klan lynching of Michael Donald, a black teenager found hanging from a tree.

Doesn’t matter. He’s a white male from Alabama, hence automatically a cracker red neck, KKK lovin’ racist. Rinse, repeat.

Greg Griffin, a black Alabama judge who worked as a state attorney when Sessions was Alabama attorney general, told the Associated Press over the weekend that Sessions “always treated me with respect” and called him “one of the best bosses I ever had.”

Doesn’t matter. He’s a white male from Alabama, hence automatically a cracker red neck, KKK lovin’ racist. Rinse, repeat.

While in the Senate, Sessions voted to confirm Obama’s first attorney general, Eric Holder, the first black man to lead the Justice Department. He also worked with Democratic colleagues on efforts to combat prison rape and to reduce federal sentencing disparities between crack cocaine and powder cocaine offenses, saying the gap unfairly targeted the “African-American community simply because that is where crack is most often used.”

I think voting to confirm Holder was definitely a mistake, but I won’t hold it against him. As for the rest of what is stated in the paragraph? Doesn’t matter. He’s a white male from Alabama, hence automatically a cracker red neck, KKK lovin’ racist. At least, that is what the Democrats want to paint him as, irrespective of any facts.

As for the other fellow this article was supposedly about, retired General Kelly, the nominee for the head of DHS? He gets a mere one measly paragraph that says he shouldn’t have any problems, but makes an error in stating that he’ll be the first non-civilian to ever head the agency. What part of retired don’t you get? Once you have put in enough time to retire, and do so, you are no longer considered active duty, therefore your status is civilian. Sorry. I keep forgetting that most “journalists” have never been in the military, so they have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to the military, and make all kinds of glaring mistakes – at least to veterans, and it’s annoying.

Neither man should have any real problems being confirmed, although Democrats are going to try to make Sen. Sessions squirm as much as they can before they concede the inevitable. I just hope they don’t take it to ridiculous lengths. Both men are good picks and should be confirmed.