Wednesday, November 28, 2012

After Susan Rice Meeting Yesterday, Three top GOP Senators say that Barack Obama Hasn't Answered Most Basic Questions about Benghazi

Following on their meeting with U.N. Ambassador Rice, Senators Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Kelly Ayotte  issued a joint a statement questioning Rice's answers and lack of answers; as well as pointing out that President Obama, himself, had serious questions to answer concerning  various statements made in the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks  resulting in the deaths of four Americans.

Also, during the same meeting, Acting CIA Director Morell gave incorrect information as to the source of changes made to the talking points provided to Ambassador Rice  ---  that information was then changed in a post-meeting statement by the CIA

Senator John McCain  came out of the talks with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice unsure why she had been chosen to go on television to speak about the Benghazi fiasco, and questioning “whether Ambassador Rice was prepared or informed sufficiently in order to give the American people a correct depiction of the events that took place.”

Senator Kelly Ayotte said that “Right now, where I’m at is, there are still so many questions that need to be answered related to the attacks on the consulate in Benghazi, including, I think there will still be follow-ups to Ambassador Rice....  So I will hold her nomination until I have additional answers to questions and then I will render judgment.” (So far, it is expected that Susan Rice will be put up for Secretary of State by President Obama, but the present Secretary remains Hillary Clinton)

After the meeting, U.N. ambassador Susan Rice said in a statement that neither "I nor anyone else in the Administration intended to mislead the American people" regarding Benghazi, however she admitted that the statements that she made on television were "incorrect in a key respect."

Her full statement reads as follows:

"Today, Acting CIA Director Michael Morell and I met with Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte to discuss my September 16th public comments regarding the attack against the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, and the intelligence assessments that formed the basis for those comments. I appreciated the opportunity to discuss these issues directly and constructively with them. ***  In the course of the meeting, we explained that the talking points provided by the intelligence community, and the initial assessment upon which they were based, were incorrect in a key respect: there was no protest or demonstration in Benghazi. While we certainly wish that we had had perfect information just days after the terrorist attack, as is often the case, the intelligence assessment has evolved. We stressed that neither I nor anyone else in the Administration intended to mislead the American people at any stage in this process, and the Administration updated Congress and the American people as our assessments evolved. ***  The Administration remains committed to working closely with Congress as we thoroughly investigate the terrorist attack in Benghazi and bring to justice the terrorists responsible for the tragic deaths of our colleagues, Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. We also look forward to the findings of the Accountability Review Board and the FBI investigation."

On another point presented to the Republican Senators yesterday,  Sens. McCain and Ayotte issued a statement late Tuesday saying that Acting Director of the CIA Michael Morell  had earlier told lawmakers in the closed session that the Federal Bureau of Investigation removed references to al Qaeda in talking points prepared by the CIA. According to the Senators, the CIA later corrected Mr. Morell's statement and said that the CIA, not FBI, had removed the references.  The Senators again expressed their consternation, "We are disturbed by the administration's continued inability to answer even the most basic questions."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Not much happening, so let's poke the Eaton log in the fireplace just to make a few sparks fly up the chimney

The fire in the belly of the Brooklyn GOP seems to have gone out under the five-year leadership of KCRP Chairman Craig Eaton

On November 7th I posted "  "Craig Eaton's Brooklyn GOP "Rebirth" is a breached delivery in 2012"  with the subheading that said this about Eaton, "Republican ... Leader[ ] Craig Eaton look[s] on helplessly as [his] candidates almost all go down in bad defeats...."  His post-election fence mending might be another of those pesky "Hurricane" Sandy casualties, but he's making more enemies and few new friends inside the Brooklyn GOP with his post-election possum play among the other road-kill. 

Here are just a few of the grumbles about Eaton in the three weeks since election day:

Eaton's trial balloon about "Alf" Carrion's run for Mayor on the GOP line got a real and very public brushoff  from one of Eaton's "old reliables" Russell Gallo;

Several of the GOP candidates, not in Eaton's home turf of Bay Ridge, complained about the lack coordination of their various campaigns with the "up ticket candidates" like Golden, Storobin and Grimm and the complete lack of anything going on for the top of the ticket;

Eaton is also being slammed by many of his "old" supporters for his usual habit of saying "Let's talk soon..." followed up by no follow up; and 

An old nemesis, Peter Cipriano, has been whispering that he has the support of a key Eaton supporter, while Eaton may quickly be losing favor  with that keystone of Eaton's hold on the Bay Ridge crowd ( I remember when one of Cipriano's now-strongest patrons told me that he had put Eaton at the top of the Brooklyn GOP).


Monday, November 26, 2012

Congressman Grimm says there's 'room for compromise' on the 'Fiscal Cliff' Negotiations --- He would change Social Security into another welfare entitlement only for those "who need it" --- Oh, and there's something on Immigration "...Amnesty"

The local Tea Parties and other conservative-minded organizations need to take "Backsliding-Mike" Grimm to the woodshed and show him the error of his ways  ---  "Compromise" is how we got into this mess   --- including the fact that there is a fiscal cliff.

According to   Tom Wrobleski/Staten in the  Island Advance, 11/25/12,   GOP Rep. Michael Grimm said there's room for compromise in order to put the economy on solid footing and that "The short-term fix is not that difficult.... Everything should be on the table...." Grimm said.  "The president says he wants revenue on the table. Let's see what we can get for that.....  The Democrats have to put up something, some plan," Grimm said, adding that he's  "open to anything [that] doesn't end up screwing the American people in the end."

Grimm has some ideas of his own like this:  "some type of 'needs test' for government entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, 'The less money you have and the sicker you are, the more you get,' Grimm said, adding that "...[t]he wealthier and healthier you are, the less you get."  According to Grimm,  some wealthier and healthier Americans "don't need a full boat of Medicare.... If you don't need it, you shouldn't get it. 

In other words, Grimm wants to change Social Security and medicare into another poor person's welfare program and pay for it by a tax on those who won't get to use it.  Is that Grimm's version of  the "conservative" solution to the problem? I sure as hell hope not.

Grimm also wants to change the immigration laws so that immigrants that are already here illegally  be given a "realistic, humane and very fair" pathway to citizenship. However, Grimm said he opposes outright amnesty.  Yeah, right !

The various "Tea Parties"  in Brooklyn and Staten Island need to scrutinize this guy quickly; and if he don't come up with some right answers fast, slap him up the side of his head even faster.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hold on “Marty” — Something Doesn’t Smell Right With This “Salvatore Perrone Case” — State Senator Martin Golden has been “on top of this case” before it really was much more of “case” than the single corpse of a Bay Ridge Merchant shot in his Fifth Avenue Store

Now Golden  is buying into the NYPD  “slam-bam-thank you-mam-duffle-bag-man-solution” that was there before they even had a suspect named “Salvatore Perrone” —   a  63/64 year old Staten Island man, who somehow became a “serial killer” between July 4th and Thanksgiving Day 2012

Shortly after a Bay Ridge merchant, Mohammad Gabeli, was murdered in his 5th Avenue store, Valentino Fashion between 78th and 79th Streets, State Senator Martin Golden, at a gathering of Arab-Americans on Shore Road, announced that he was offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the “cold-blooded killer”.  A few weeks later, on July 29th, Golden was cranking up his re-election campaign and holding a press conference in front of the scene of the first murder, 7718 5th Avenue.

There was another murder in August at a Bensonhurst 99 cents store, which was located at 1877 86th Street, the victim was Isaac Kedare. This time there was a solid description of a man and a woman who were being sought for questioning in connection with the two related murders. According to an account in the Daily News, which was largely quoted by Joe Trutonico in the blog “Bay Ridge Odyssey,” “a witness said the suspect bumped into him and barked ‘What are you looking at?’ before he fled into a nearby Mexican bakery…” Minutes later, the same man was reportedly seen getting into “a black or gray, two-door jeep.” The suspect was clearly described as a 5-foot-5 male weighing around 140 pounds. An accompanying  police sketch showed a black man with dark glasses. This sketch was distributed up and down 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge, both by the NYPD and various community groups.

There was a third murder  —  this time the victim was Rahmatollah Vahidipour, who was killed between 4:30 and 7:11 p.m. last Friday in his store, She She Boutique at 836 Flatbush Avenue, near Caton Avenue. Security cameras showed four people who were captured on video between 6 and 6:52 p.m. on the night of the killing. The police seemed to zero-in mainly on the first person in the video. He was referred-to by the cops as “John Doe Duffel Bag.”   The video of that man and the phrase “...Duffle Bag...” were repeated over and over and over on TV and cable news.

Fast forward — Fast forward  —  Fast Forward  —

Salvatore Perrone was confronted by police at the Farmacon Pharmacy, 8007 5th Ave # 1  Brooklyn, NY 11209 after a “tip” had brought them to that location, which is less than three short block from the original murder scene. Apparently, a pharmacy employee told cops that he recognized somebody referred to as, “[John] Doe Duffel Bag,” having been a regular customer who would often come in at night.

Based on the New York Post’s account, supposedly from an employee of the Farmacon Pharmacy on Fifth Avenue, two detectives approached Perrone who was in the pharmacy and convinced him to come with them to the 68th precinct.  The employee is quoted as follows,  “He was in here no more than a minute.... They must have been following him.”

According to the Post here is the Cracker Jack police work that broke the case:

“Perrone spent approximately 24 hours being questioned — and cracked only when he thought he was confessing to a federal agent, a law- enforcement source said. ***  “He says he worked for the FBI and CIA. He was leery talking to the NYPD,” the source said. “He wouldn’t talk to anyone but the CIA or FBI.” So cops played along. ***  “They brought in someone claiming to be a CIA agent,” the source said, which is when Perrone spilled his guts about the crimes. “The guy is crazy.”

Wait, it gets even better all the evidence is in the duffle bag that was famous even before Salvatore Perrone was. Here’s how the Post puts it:
“Perrone allegedly told cops the murder weapon was at his girlfriend’s house in Midwood. Police found the .22-caliber Ruger rifle with a sawed-off stock in a bag, said the sources, adding that his fingerprints were found on the weapon. ***  And cops recovered a 12-inch kitchen knife with dried blood on it and two Buck folding knives, each with seven-inch blades....”

A confession by the alleged “serial killer”;  all the evidence in one bag that ties directly  to the “serial killer”  —   it sure sounds like a slam dunk. Why a Brooklyn ADA is already saying that Perrone will spend the rest of his life in jail.

Here’s the complete statement on State Senator Martin Golden’s official website at


Brooklyn – State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) today is commending the work of the New York City Police Department who has arrested and charged Salvatore Perrone with the killing of 3 Brooklyn shop owners.

Senator Marty Golden stated, ‘I applaud the efforts of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and the men and women of the NYPD who have devoted countless hours to this investigation. I know that solving these murders has been a priority since the first shooting this summer in Bay Ridge, near where Salvatore Perrone was arrested yesterday’.”

There are some real problems with this case that any half-motivated defense attorney could blow wide open.

Another big problem for “Marty Golden” is that if Salvatore Perrone is so crazy-bad to actually be this 63/64 year-old “serial killer”;  why wasn’t he picked up within a week or two after the first murder, not very long after the Fourth of July. Perrone was reported to have been well known among Fifth Avenue merchants and had business dealings with the first victim  —  instead, Perrone was only brought in after two more killings, and just a few days before Thanksgiving?

Serving up a “Jive Turkey” for Thanksgiving — presenting Susan Rice — undistinguished U.N. Ambassador and Obama’s leading contender for Secretary of State speaking-out on her own behalf the night before Thanksgiving

Obama’s U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice now defends her earlier TV appearances, wherein she gave false accounts of the source of the attacks that killed the American Ambassador to Libya and three other U.S. operatives in Benghazi by saying that her statements had been made based on initial information from the intelligence community --- but she still says that demonstrations at U.S. Embassies were part of what she was sent out to talk about 

Speaking to reporters outside the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday evening, Ambassador Rice said,  "When discussing he attack against our facilities in Benghazi, I relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community."  She continued her explanation, as follows:  "I made clear that the information was preliminary, and that our investigations would give us the definitive answers....  As a senior U.S. diplomat, I agreed to a White House request to appear on the Sunday shows to talk about the full range of national security issues of the day, which at that time were primarily and particularly the protests that were enveloping and threatening many diplomatic facilities, American diplomatic facilities around the world, and Iran's nuclear program."

Her comments attributing the attacks to a mob enraged over an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube were also widely denounced by Republicans during the U.S. presidential campaign. The attack came on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States, and her critics said it was clearly a terrorist attack intended to coordinate with that anniversary.

Republicans in the House and Senate recently made Susan Rice their main target in the Obama Administration for a variety of reasons. Most important is that Rice has been a longtime Obama insider and is now believed to be his first choice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is not expected to remain on the job long into the president’s second term. On Monday, 97 House Republicans sent a letter to Obama indicating that they would oppose Rice’s potential nomination, saying her “misleading statements”about Benghazi on five national news programs five days after the fatal  attacks have caused “irreparable damage to her credibility."

Notably absent from Ambassador Susan Rice’s pre-Thanksgiving statements to reporters was anything sounding like “based on the best intelligence available” or “based on what I really knew or believed at the time.”  Ambassador Rice needs to be grilled ASAP about all that she knew concerning Benghazi at the time of her terribly misleading Sunday morning talk show appearances.

The appropriate Congressional committees, or preferably a Special Joint Committee set up to investigate all of the issues related to the Benghazi Scandal, must question Rice about the following: Who gave her the talking points? Who briefed her for the TV appearances?  Was she up to date on all of the intelligence about Benghazi when she spoke on national television on behalf of the Obama Administration to the American public?  >>>>>>  AND WHY FIVE DAYS POST-BENGHAZI-ATTACKS SHE  ---  U.N. AMBASSADOR SUSAN RICE, ASKED BY THE WHITE HOUSE TO APPEAR AS  ITS NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON FOR A "FULL RANGE OF NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES OF THE DAY"  ---  WAS MAKING MULTIPLE NATIONALLY BROADCAST STATEMENTS BASED ON  "PRELIMINARY INFORMATION" THAT ALREADY HAD  BEEN SUPPLANTED BY MORE ACCURATE INFORMATION.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson’s 1.2 Million Votes is highest yet for a Libertarian candidate for President — vote totals of all “Third Party” and independent candidates can be expected to easily exceed Two Million Votes after all of the votes are finally tallied

Even though the winner of the 2012 Presidential election had been decided before midnight on Election Day, the long term impact of Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson’s run is still being evaluated. One thing that is known is that Johnson garnered well over a million votes and topped all of the other “Third Party” presidential candidates on the ballot in the 2012

The nearly 1.2 million votes won by Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, a former two-term Republican New Mexico governor, reflected earlier public-opinion polls that showed  "consistently that a majority of Americans want less government than we have today," said Libertarian Party Executive Director Carla Howell shortly after the results of the 2012 election became known. At that time, Howell also said the Libertarian Party, whose slogan is "minimum government, maximum freedom,"  planned to move forward by seeking to enlarge the national footprint of the Libertarian Party perhaps through alliances with supporters of U.S. Representive Ron Paul, who had been a candidate for the Republican  nomination for president and who had been widely known for his libertarian positions.

Johnson’s  nationwide vote count was the highest vote count of the minor-party candidates. Johnson’s Libertarian party vote represented about 1.2 % of the total popular presidential vote in the 48 states where Johnson was on the ballot. Johnson’s name did not appear on the ballots for the voters in Michigan and Oklahoma. The 2012 Libertarian nominee’s  vote count also beat the previous Libertarian Party record, set in 1980 by lawyer-politician Ed Clark, of 921,128 votes, then about 1 percent of the nationwide total.

Green Party Candidate Jill Stein, a 62-year-old Massachusetts physician and former Green Party candidate for Governor in Massachusetts, tallied the second-highest vote count of the minor-party presidential nominees. After the election Green Party Media Coordinator Scott McLarty  said that Stein "did less than we expected" in Tuesday's election. She garnered more than 400,000 votes in 37 states, or an average of about ½  percent of the vote of  those states' presidential vote tallies.

Constitution Party nominee and former GOP Congressman from Virginia, Virgil Goode got 118,858 votes in the forty-four states where he ran; the highest number of votes cast for Goode was in Michigan.

Rounding out the field of formal "Third Party" Candidates was Justice Party nominee and former Democratic Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, whose national vote total was not reported.

The Village Voice also did a report on several of the non-major party candidates and independent candidacies, giving vote totals from rather early in the evening, as follows:
“Yes, there are actually people who aren't in the two main parties who have their own ideas about fixing this country, who had the courage to run for president. Number 3, behind Obama and Romney, was Gary Johnson, a Libertarian who had 348,000 votes by 9:47 p.m. Not bad for raising only $1 million bucks.... Jill Stein, a Green Party candidate who backs job creation through environmental initiatives, was running fourth with 98,000 votes.... Virgil Goode, great name by the way, the conservative party candidate and former Virginia congressman with basically three staffers, got 31,230 votes.... Roseanne Barr, the comedian who says 'the war on drugs is just plain crazy,' won 10,000 votes.... Randall Terry, an anti-abortion activist, got 8,700 votes.... Rocky Anderson, another great name, a former Salt Lake City mayor and a lawyer who skews liberal, got 7,800 votes.... Richard Duncan, an Ohio ex-postal worker who wants to avert nuclear attacks by terrorists, got 6,400 votes.... Tom Stevens, the "objectivist" party candidate and a historian, got 3,500 votes.... Stewart Alexander, the socialist party USA candidate, got 2,000 votes.... Pete Lindsay, an anti war activist, got 1,520 votes....  Merlin Miller, who says 'are you tired of the two-party system,' got 1,475 votes.... Tom Hoelfing, not such a great name, the America's party candidate who says 'I don't want your money,' got just over 1,000 votes.... And then we come to Jeff Boss, our favorite candidate who believes the National Security Agency paid people off to allow the 9/11 attacks to happen. He got 263 votes. Impressive!... ” (By simple ratio comparison of the Village Voice’s early evening tallies with the later results obtained by Johnson, Stein and Goode, its fair to concluded that all of the “Third Party” candidates probably obtained well over two million votes in 2012).

Rand Paul talks about running for President in 2016 — Tea Party and other Right leaning blogs immediately echoed the mere mention of RP’s possible run

Less than three weeks post-election in 2012 and libertarian Republican Rand Paul has started phones ringing, and computer terminals clicking and buzzing merely by mentioning a possible run for the presidency in 2016  —  his positions on immigration, defense cuts and legalization of marijuana would really shake, rattle and roll the current GOP, whose most recent nominees McCain and Romney had stands on a lot of that were quite stodgy by comparison.

Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul said he's interested in mounting a 2016 presidential bid. "I'm not going to deny that I'm interested," said Paul in an ABC News interview published yesterday. That item was picked up by some local press in Kentucky and went national with reports in “The Hill” and “The Huffington Post.”  At least one of the Tea Party blogs picked up the news and ran their own post about Rand Paul’s comments about his possible run for the GOP 2016 nomination.

According to the report in “the Hill,” Rand Paul emphasized that he was not yet ready to announce his candidacy, but said he did believe his brand of  “libertarianism” could open up the map for Republicans. The young U.S. Senator from Kentucky, who has been a favorite of the Tea Party movement, would be breaking new ground if he were an actual GOP Presidential candidate. "I think we have to go a different direction, because we're just not winning, and we have to think about some different ideas....”  Among his proposals: undertaking immigration reform, making defense cuts and allowing the individual states to legalize marijuana. "States should be allowed to make a lot of these decisions....  I want things to be decided more at a local basis, with more compassion. I think it would make us as Republicans different."

There had already been some buzz about Senator Paul’s political ambitions, when after endorsing Mitt Romney before the Republican National Convention, he was rewarded with a high-profile speaking slot at the 2012 RNC in Tampa. Given that a significant financial and field infrastructure is already in place from his father Ron Paul’s runs for the presidency, an early entry by Rand Paul would make the 2016 race for the nomination a grueling marathon for any of the other prospective candidates

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In case he didn’t know it already, Barack Obama has now formally been told that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is unfit to be Secretary of State by 97 Members of Congress

Latest GOP effort to focus on U.N. Ambassador Rice for being an Obama Administration mouthpiece for its lies in the aftermath of the September 11th attack in Benghazi is being countered by only a small minority of Democrats

A group of ninety-seven House Republicans sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Monday, saying that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice misled the nation about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, making her unfit to be a candidate to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Republican House Members’ letter specifically stated that Rice’s “misleading statements” about the attack that led to the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans “caused irreparable damage to her credibility both at home and around the world.”

Obama’s  U.N. Ambassador became a target when she went on five Sunday talk shows five days after the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic mission on Sept. 11 and said that, from the best information she had at the time, the attack was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video and not a premeditated attack. That "best information" later proved to be incorrect. Interestingly, after the arrival of the four dead bodies from Benghazi, the current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has put a lot of geographic and institutional distance between herself and the rest of the Obama Administration over the shifting Benghazi narratives and the equally shifting intra-agency time-lines related to Benghazi.

The House Republicans said in their letter to the President that Susan Rice, “is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public in the Benghazi matter.” As a result, they said, “we believe that making her the face of U.S. foreign policy in your second term would greatly undermine your desire to improve U.S. relations with the world and continue to build trust with the American people.”  Or as Clint Eastwood might say to President “Empty Chair” if he were in the same position, “Are you feeling lucky....”

So far only a handful of Congressional Democrats have come forward to particularly defend Ms. Rice;  and right at the start that defense has become bifurcated.  Members of the Intelligence and other committees actually dealing with the issues of Benghazi have countered the Republican arguments with their view of the facts and the record. On the other hand, some others in Congress have decided to push the routine hot buttons. Certain Members of Congress who are black, like James Clyburn and incoming Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge are speaking out, because they say they are hearing “dog whistles” and seeing “racial code words”; about a dozen others (actually many of them the same people, being “twofers” using the same racial arguments) attacked the Republicans and their charges against Ambassador Rice as a continuation of the so called “War Against Women”.  Since these kinds of arguments seemed to work so well in the recently ended campaign, the Obama Administration and this lead group of Democrats are presuming that Democrats across the board and the rest of the citizenry will be content with their use of race and gender in their defense of this perfidious and incompetent administration on many Benghazi-related matters.

The current Susan Rice fracas looks like it is just the beginning of a very long , very ugly and very polarizing battle over lots more than a black man exploiting some black woman while trying to get by on a Sergeant Schultz-style Nuremberg defense, “I knew nothing and I was just obeying orders....” Ah, the perfect mix of perfidy and incompetence. Only when the buck stops, it was the black man who was probably giving the orders.

The noose gets tighter around somebody’s neck for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s untruthful talking points during five appearances on national television on Sunday, September 16th

In what some say is a change of earlier testimony, DNI Clapper now says “The Intelligence Community” and no other part of the Obama Administration changed the CIA’s draft talking points. Make no mistake about it  ---  the Benghazi cover-up is now getting into the highest levels around the White House, nearer and near to President Barack Obama

According to a Monday evening report by CNN's Pam Benson and Dana Bash, a spokesperson for DNI James Clapper has stated, “The intelligence community - not the White House, State Department or Justice Department - was responsible for the substantive changes made to the talking points distributed for government officials who spoke publicly about the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.”

Spokesman for 
Office of the DNI, Shawn Turner, has indicated that the unclassified talking points on Libya, developed several days after the  deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, were not substantively changed by any agency outside of the intelligence community. 

According to CNN, the Republican criticism of the talking points had intensified after the testimony of former CIA Director David Patraeus last Friday following a closed door hearing.  Following a closed  meeting of the House Intelligence Committee,  Long Island Republican. Peter King, told reporters that the original talking points drafted by the CIA had been changed and it was unclear who was responsible.  Said Congressman King, “The original talking points were much more specific about al Qaeda involvement and yet the final ones just said there were indications of extremists."

Over the weekend, some Republicans in Congress had suggested the changes to the CIA version of the talking points had came from within the Obama administration, either at the White House, at the Justice Department, or at another government agency.  Turner, the spokesman for National Intelligence Director James Clapper, now indicates that was not the case; "The intelligence community made substantive, analytical changes before the talking points were sent to government agency partners for their feedback," Turner added, "There were no substantive changes made to the talking points after they left the intelligence community."

Obviously, Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee are not satisfied with Turner's conclusory statement. Committee spokeswoman Susan Phalen said , "The statement released this evening by the DNI's spokesman regarding how the Intelligence Community's talking points were changed gives a new explanation that differs significantly from information provided in testimony to the Committee last week.... Chairman Rogers looks forward to discussing this new explanation with Director Clapper as soon as possible to understand how the DNI reached this conclusion and why leaders of the Intelligence Community testified late last week that they were unaware of who changed the talking points."

Monday, November 19, 2012

Is there something brewing for Conservative Chairman Kassar to get control over the Brooklyn T. E. A. Party --- and then for somebody to set up a Tea Party Caucus inside the Brooklyn GOP ?

The buzz is that there is a move afoot to turn the small grassroots Brooklyn T.E.A  Party into  astroturf for the Brooklyn Conservative Party run by State Senator Martin Golden's Chief of Staff Gerry Kassar.

Right now, the President of the Brooklyn Tea Party, Joseph Hayon, is completely beholden to 41st AD Republican Committeeman Anthony Testaverde, who is both an insider in Craig Eaton's Brooklyn GOP establishment and one of State Senator Martin Golden's staff employees.

Another person who bears close scrutiny is the Brooklyn T.E.A. Party's current "Number Two Man"  —   Cartrell Gore, who is an enrolled member of Gerry Kassar’s Brooklyn Conservative Party and who had arranged for the Conservative Party Chairman to speak at yesterday’s Brooklyn T.E.A. Party meeting at  Joe’s Dream Burger on the subject, “WHERE DO CONSERVATIVES GO FROM HERE?”  Simultaneously to all of that , the Brooklyn T.E.A. Party is trying establish a separate power base inside the Brooklyn GOP organization by forming what they want to call “The Brooklyn Republican Committee TEA Party Caucus”  If we simply connect the dots, it doesn't take much to see that there's another move by Kassar and the Conservative Party in the direction of being the tail that wags the  Republican Party dog.

The Brooklyn T.E.A. Party has had a rocky history. In the beginning it was headed by a Manhattanite, John Kenneth Press, a crypto-rightist who re-styled his world view, "Culturism," into a very narrow-focused rant principally aimed against the building of mosques at the "Ground Zero" Burlington Coat factory site in lower Manhattan and in the Sheepshead Bay-Brighton Beach community in Brooklyn. Since 2010 this tiny local off-shoot of the national Tea Party movement has been operated by Joseph Hayon, an Orthodox Jewish student and sometime teacher. Under his leadership the Brooklyn T.E.A. Party has remained small, and there was even an attempt by members loyal to the Brooklyn GOP to set up a counter-Brooklyn Tea Party, which faded completely in less than a year. In any case Hayon has made it clear that he has no intention of merging the Brooklyn T.E.A. Party with any other local Tea Party affiliates like the Brooklyn-Queens Tea Party Patriots, The Staten Island Tea Party Patriots and/or the Staten Island Tea Party.

At this critical juncture in conservative Republican activism in Brooklyn, the failure to have any significant Tea Party presence in the few possibly conservative areas of Brooklyn is more than disappointing, it is embarrassing. Already, too many Republican congressmen  have expressed a willingness to support for an Obama compromise that would be a major victory for the President. A Brooklyn Tea Party needs to goad all sitting Republicans to do the right thing. That can't be done if a chief of staff of one of the few elected Republicans in the area is able to take over the Brooklyn T.E.A. Party.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Simcha Felder thing with Dean Skelos and Mitt Romney's Gifts

Gifts and hypocrisy are the lifeblood of politics --- why should the Skelos-Felder marriage of sorts be any different ?  Which is more important, the gifts or the hypocrisy ?  Just ask Santa Claus and he'd tell you, "It's the gifts, stupid" !

I was recently reading the "Error 503 Blog" when it was interrupted by something called  Room 8 - Gatemouth. This Gatemouth blogger or "Error 503 Blog Interrupter" was discussing a flap over Simcha      Felder's caucusing with a Republican majority in the NYS Senate. This was the plan all along; and it had been sealed with an exchange of what the titular head of the GOP, Mitt Romney, would call "GIFTS".  There is also the issue of hypocrisy — Gatemouth focuses on many instances of giving free passes to other crossing-over Democrats, who did it for this, that and/or the other reason(s). Perhaps a bigger lump of hypocrisy can be mounded on top of Felder’s new allies in the once-and-future GOP controlled state senate run by Dean Skelos  —  interestingly this ties-in with the Romney “gifts” thing.

A few out there might still  remember how Skelos got behind the installation of an anti-crime video surveillance system that was installed in a significant chunk of the now-Felder Senate District to protect the children from among other terrible things, one of the unspeakable sins.  This was all part of the Skelos-Felder-Hikind-Greenfield cluster-courtship.  Nobody saw the obvious rank hypocrisy in that --- especially on the level of “protecting the children”. That's because the Skelos-led Republican caucus in the New York State Senate opposes meaningful child-protective legislation, long-referred to as "The Markey Bill," which routinely passes the Democratic controlled Assembly. The community “leaders” in the Felder-Hikind-Greenfield districts also oppose anything that would open the unspeakable sins against children to public scrutiny and proper intervention by law enforcement. All of that hypocrisy reaches scandalous proportions with reported secrecy deals involving the Brooklyn DA, Charles Hynes, another notorious cross-over Democrat. Those are similar to deals that Hynes has with the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn about the same unspeakable subject.

The Skelos-based hypocrisy also extends to other areas of morals and religious instruction, such as the passage of laws and rules that very well might require the teaching of a broad tolerance of abhorrent lifestyles in Yeshivas and other religious schools.  Does Simcha know that he has signed onto that ?  More important, does he care, since Skelos must have recently promised even more “gifts” to Simcha than ever before.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, even for the Jews, because it's all about the gifts, stupid.

Mitt Romney gives his backers the low down — down low

Romney says, “It’s the gifts, stupid !”

There have been a ton of opinion pieces about Mitt Romney’s post-election whine about how the president won his re-election by “giving” stuff  to targeted groups of voters. The Maggie Haberman, “Romney tells donors he lost because of Obama 'gifts' to minorities, young voters (Updated)” posted Wednesday on Politico is as good or better than most. What I liked most is how Maggie ( I hope that she doesn’t mind the familiarity) briefly alluded to this as a version of Romney’s “47%” view of the electorate.  I saw the same thing and I thought, “Perfect, Mitt Romney has gone ‘full circle’.”

That doesn’t tell the half of it.  Of course Romney went full circle  —  he did it over and over, it’s what he did throughout the 2011-2012 presidential run-up, and then on into the primaries and even during the post-convention campaign. His approach to the primaries and the election was the common approach to pinning the tail on the donkey  —   perhaps the favorite game of all good Republicans.  Romney put on the blindfold and spun round and round, but he never really stooped spinning and stabilize, nor did he line up and zero-in on the target Obama. Instead, he kept trying to pin the tail while spinning, spinning, spinning  —  not only did he seldom hit the target, none of his tries really stuck.

Romney’s latest reported remarks also drove home another of Mitt Romney’s shortcomings as a candidate  —   whenever he tried to be honest, he just didn’t sound serious; and whenever he tried to be serious, he just didn’t sound honest.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Berardelli and Gallo — Who’s the boss? Lawyer Berardelli’s tweet suggests that he wants to testify about how the BOE works, but it’s all up to Gallo !

The Brooklyn GOP Law Chairman Gene R. Berardelli, Esq., “leans forward” with Young Dem and gets his tweets caught in a wringer

What with his Republican County Chairman Craig Eaton looking to settle on some Democrat like Alfonso Carrion to endorse for mayor in 2013, who could blame Mr. Berardelli for a little  cross-the-aisle chin wag on twitter with Brooklyn Young Dem activist Seamus Campbell ?  After all both Berardelli and Campbell were twittering back and forth, slamming the incompetent hacks at the Board of Elections. So it was sort of an even-steven, 50/50 slam on the bottom-feeders of the two major political parties  —  those very needy party members with the BOE jobs.

Here’s the rub, a simple line in one of Beradelli’s tweets to Seamus Campbell might have given away a lot more than Gene R. Berardelli, Esq., ever intended about his “relationship” with Russell Gallo.  Taken as a simple reply to Seamus Campbell’s saying that he wanted to testify at the City Counsel hearings about the BOE, the tweet seems innocuous enough, Gene thought he’d like to do the same thing both at the Council and in Albany.. But, just think about it for few seconds, what does the casual remark really say about Gene and Russ ?

Here’s the tweet:

Gene Berardelli, Esq
@SeamusCampbell I plan on submitting testimony as well once I talk to @RussGallo. I even want to go to Albany and do the same.
5:16am Wed Nov 14

Based on a contact often around these two, Russell Gallo isn’t going to like this one bit.

Wait a minute, maybe Gallo won’t mind at all; it does show the world that it’s Gallo, not Berardelli, who’s the boss of that pair.

Eliot Spitzer — “Petraeus Shouldn’t Have Resigned” — Ed Koch Agrees

For some reason two men who are obviously content to live without honor felt free to “weigh-in” and speak out on a former military man who chose to leave his office of public trust with some remnant of his honor apparently still intact

Colin Campbell reported on a bit between a pair of “Wise Guys,” former Governor Eliot Spitzer and former Mayor Ed Koch, who showed up on “Inside City Hall” last night. Structurally, Colin’s piece more or less kicked-off with a quote by the very ethically and morally incontinent Mr. Spitzer: “As I understand the facts as we’ve seen in the papers so far, there was no criminal violation here.” With syntax this bad, one wonders how Mr. Spitzer is capable of making any logical or even any meaningful pronouncements.

Let’s plow on, maybe the rhetorical soil might get less rocky. “...[t]here was no violation, I’ve been told, of even C.I.A. rules or regulations although there may be some questions there. It does strike me that perhaps the president could have looked him in the eye and said, ‘You have violated a bevy of ethical and moral rules that you understand. You will have to deal with that. You and your family will deal with that. But you will go back and continue to serve your nation. You will be straightforward with the public with what you’ve done. But I’m telling you as the commander and chief, serve the nation. That’s what we expect of you; deal with the personal issues in your own way.’ ”

It seems that for Eliot Spitzer if  “You have violated a bevy of ethical and moral rules that you understand. You will have to deal with that. You and your family will deal with that.... [ but, please, go back into public service as if nothing happened].  One wonders if Eliot Spitzer is speaking out on behalf of a public aggrieved by the loss of General David Patraeus as their C.I.A. Director or on behalf of poor old  “CLIENT  9” pining after what wouldah, couldah, shouldah been.

For what it’s worth, Mr. Spitzer’s fellow “Wise Guy” on “Inside City Hall,” former Mayor Ed Koch, supposedly “concurred”.  What he is quoted as having said was a quip about the relative acceptability of one or two mistresses. The line was too glib and cynical by half,  but it’s really not fair to criticize somebody for whimsically  talking about something so far beyond his own life experiences, since that obviously was part of the Mayor’s joke.

The "Big News" here is that Michael Allegretti has re-surfaced in Brooklyn as an Adolfo Carrion flack

The sidebar story is that Brooklyn Republican Chairman Craig Eaton is again prematurely "supporting" a candidate to run on the Republican line --- as is too often the case, that candidate is not a Republican  ---  even better, the candidate is a proud veteran of the Obama Administration  ---  making the candidate a "three-strikes-you're -out" kind of guy, he has been adjudicated as ethically challenged and has been punished for that little bit of corruption --- that candidate is named "Adolfo Carrion" and he is being "Shepherded" by a former failed Eaton candidate, "Big News" Michael Allegretti

Two key independent activists emailed me with the cites for three different posts/ articles about all this: "Shepherding A Possible Adolfo Carrion 2013 Run: Michael Allegretti" by CELESTE KATZ, NOVEMBER 13, 2012 12:51 PM, Daily News - Daily Politics; "Brooklyn GOP Chairman Craig Eaton: Adolfo Carrion Jr. Could Be 2013 'Gamechanger' " by  CELESTE KATZ. NOVEMBER 13, 2012 10:57 AM, Daily News - Daily Politics; and "Brooklyn GOP Chair Backs Carrion (Updated)" posted by Liz Benjamin on November 13, 2012 at 11:57 am at Your News Now – Capital Tonight.

A quick survey of  Brooklyn independent GOP activists completely agree that Craig Eaton is "the gift that keeps on giving."  

Why have the careers of so many of America’s highest level flag officers been under such severe storm clouds lately?

Four-Star Generals  John Allen, Carter Ham, David Patraeus and  Kip Ward have all suffered severe setbacks to their careers lately — Ham’s, Ward’s and Patraeus’ military careers are over or soon will be. Marine Corps General John Allen’s confirmation hearings related to his latest proposed command have been put on “hold”. 

Ward and Ham have both been the head of  “Africom.” Africom is the area command that has administrative and tactical authority over the geographical area that includes Benghazi. General Carter Ham took over the command from Ward last year, gaining accolades as one of two key U.S. military leaders directing operations in the Libya conflict

Patraeus and Allen have been associated with Centcom, whose headquarters in the Tampa area is a key connector in the current scandal that now embroils them.  However, since his move into his position as the CIA Director, General David Patraeus has been directly involved in several aspects of the Benghazi fiasco.

Around the time these other flaps were percolating, in what was described as “an unusual move,” the Navy replaced an admiral commanding an aircraft carrier strike group while it was deployed to the Middle East.

Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette, the commander of the USS John C. Stennis carrier strike group, is being returned to the United States for temporary reassignment.  In a formal statement the U.S. Navy said it had approved a request made by Vice Admiral John W. Miller, the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, to temporarily reassign Gaouette  “pending the results of an investigation by the Navy Inspector General.” The replacement of Gaouette was prompted by an Inspector General’s investigation of allegations of some undescribed “inappropriate leadership judgment.” An addendum to that was a statement that what was being investigated did not involve personal conduct. The Stennis group arrived in the Fifth Fleet’s area of operations on October 17th.  The allegations are recent and were made within a couple of weeks of the October 27th announcement.

General Ward’s case involved a very long period of investigation (fourteen months) and a formal demotion was ordered after he had retired, while the investigations of the other generals have popped up recently and suddenly.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

“L’Affaire Patraeus-Broadwell-Kelley-Allen, etc., etc., etc.....” is emerging as the American “Perfumo” scandal, but it might well be an even bigger and broader scandal than the one that caused the Head of the British Government to Step Aside after his Minister for War was forced to resign

Certainly the Patraeus-Broadwell affair was not about flashy high-end party girls, and a well-known procurer for the rich and famous, but what WAS  going-on after hours at Centcom in and around Tampa ?  What WAS going on when Paula Broadwell was imbedded with Patraeus in the Afghan?  Remember! Just like the Patraeus scandal,  “Perfumo” wasn’t just about sex and adultery, it was also about British national security

Each and every aspect of the CIA Director/former Army General David Patraeus-Paula Broadwell-Jill Kelley-USMC General John Allen, etc., etc., etc. scandal, the FBI  investigation of the CIA Director without lawfully-mandated oversight, and the probable White House politicization of the Patreaus investigation-conflated with the Benghazi coverup is a tar bucket that’s just beginning to spill on the Obama Administration.

According to several news reports of the disclosures in the Patraeus scandal to date, the scandal is about much more than sex. According to CNN, even the FBI investigation of the initial Patraeus-Broadwell-Kelley flap might have been illegally conducted by the “Executive Branch” from the moment that substantial information involving wrong-doing by the CIA Director was uncovered through its revelation with the resignation of CIA Director Patraeus on Friday November 9 ( “Feinstein to investigate why FBI didn't notify Congress of Petraeus affair” by Ted Barrett, CNN, 11/13/12; “Lawmakers turn up heat on FBI over investigation of Petraeus” by Jeremy Herb and Jordy Yager, The Hill, 11/12/12 ).  Section 501 of the National Security Act of 1947 requires that the Executive Branch must inform the congressional intelligence committees of key intelligence-related activities, as follows: "The president shall ensure that the congressional intelligence committees are kept fully and currently informed on the intelligence activities of the United States, including any significant anticipated intelligence activity as required by this title."  One specific “intelligence related activity” deals with whether Paula Broadwell, the woman with whom Petraeus had an affair, was privy to classified intelligence information. In a speech at the end of October, Broadwell suggested the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, took place because the U.S. was housing Libyan prisoners there -- a theory, she noted at the time, that had not been vetted yet.

Tuesday, Congressman Jason Chaffetz, the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations subcommittee, noted that to gain access to the private email accounts of those involved, the FBI had to obtain a special warrant. To get such a warrant, the FBI would have had to go to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ( “FISA Court”). It is largely used to aid federal investigators in national security-related probes.  The use of the FISA warrants, Chaffetz said during a morning interview, causes him suspect the FBI investigation is about “something more” than simply a couple of Four-Star generals allegedly behaving badly ( “Rep. Chaffetz: Special Warrants Needed in Petraeus Probe Suggest FBI Found More Than Sex” by John T. Bennett, “Intercepts - The official blog of DefenseNews” 11/13/12).

Do the serious questions linger ??? — You know, the ones raised during the summer by an Orthodox Jewish blog about the Brooklyn Republican Organization’s rocky relationship with Republican Jews.

Three months and an election have passed since the “Orthodox Pundit” made some caustic observations or charges about the Brooklyn Republican Party and its relationship with certain Jewish Republican activists and candidates  —  has anything been proven, been disproved and/or changed since August  —   OR, to put it another way, has the 2012 election experience by the people active in the Kings County Republican Party changed anything vis a vis the Brooklyn GOP's relationship with its Jewish “members”?

It’s the purpose of this post to re-raise certain issues in the aftermath of the debacle that befell the Brooklyn Republican Party in the 2012 election.  Those issues should be addressed openly and honestly as part of a necessary element in the rebuilding of a Brooklyn GOP that appears to be a shambles in the aftermath of the just past election.  It’s not my goal to give any answers or make any suggestions about resolving any open questions  —   at least  NOT YET.  However, I do think that most people of good will, who might still be interested in making something good, positive and effective out of the Brooklyn Republican Party should weigh in with any suggestions, answers and/or observations that they might have by commenting below (anonymously or otherwise).

What I am doing first, is revisiting what the “Orthodox Pundit” had to say a while before this year’s elections in August 2012  —  exactly three months ago.  On August 13th the following post appeared on the “Orthodox Pundit: News and Political Analysis”; because of its controversial and possibly incendiary content, it is reprinted here at length as it appeared in the OP blog (the “***” are in place of paragraph jumps) :

“Is the GOP in Brooklyn ‘A Home for Jews’? (1)” ***  After years that the Brooklyn Republican party was dug into a trench - mostly defending one State Senate district in the Bay Ridge area - it lately saw a renaissance of sorts and a chance to expand. It is clear that the Orthodox community - especially the grassroots movement within the community - played major role in the recent Turner and Storobin upsets, and they also contributed to Michael Grimm's victory. One would expect the borough's republican party to roll out a red carpet to Jewish operatives, in order to build on recent momentum, but a real insider is telling me that this is not the case. "Unfortunately the GOP in Brooklyn is not the home for Jews," he emailed me. ***  County Chairman Craig Eaton, other party activists and leaders, including Joseph Hayon - a Jewish assembly candidate who discusses openly his brush-ins with the county lay chair, Gene Berardelli, who is the target of most of the critics - strongly deny these allegations. ***
"I have worked extremely close with the Orthodox Community in the Turner and Storobin elections. And after each of these victories, in which the Brooklyn GOP played major roles, I have attempted to continue the relationships that were developed during the campaigns," Chairman Eaton wrote me. "Within the last few months, I have reached out to many respected members in the Orthodox Community and we have been discussing several individuals who might be able to serve in that capacity." ***   I received the first complaint, under the subject line "The Brooklyn GOP backstabs the Jews," from an anonymous tipster, who disguised him-self as the Flatbush Pundit. "It is simply easy for people to attack others anonymously without having to stand up and justify the statement or allegations that they make," Chairman Eaton observes correctly. I mentioned the first complaint only dismissively. But To my surprise, a real insider who is active in the republican circles and campaigns in South Brooklyn wrote me afterwards that, "unfortunately it is true... so its good it gets out there..." It's self-understood that he wouldn't go on the record, but I know him and he's a credible source. His complaints showed a real disenfranchisement of Jewish Republican operatives with the borough party. ***  I started to dig deeper, and had tens of email exchanges with party officials, campaigns and Jewish operatives, and found an issue that is simmering under the surface, but it's hard to pinpoint if it is a for real or perceived. One thing is clear, that this hampers the republican party's chances to grow in Brooklyn. ***  Few people are like Joseph Hayon, the republican candidate against Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, who will put his conservative principals above anything else. ***  "I don't see why you are focused on the GOP's relationship to the Jews when the Democrats have already thrown the Jews under the bus," Hayon wrote me. "The Democrats... really want to turn America into the Greeks of Hanukkah. Almost every advocate that wants to ban circumcisions are Democrats, and Bloomberg, an LGBT friend, wants to ban metitza bapeh. Quinn wants Chick-Fil-A out of new York city, but every kosher restaurant in NYC opposes gay marriage, or gives money to rabbis that oppose gay marriage. You think Quinn doesn't want every kosher business closed? Didn't she say that such intolerance is not welcome in NYC? Does that not translate to all orthodox Jews are not welcome?" ***   Others, though, will be discouraged from staying involved in republican politics, and the party may squander a chance of a lifetime to turn around from its slump, started after Watergate. ***  Part of the complaints may have something to it, or they may be just a miscommunication. In either case, I think that airing it may benefit both sides, to better understand each other and maybe take corrective actions if necessary. ***  I will continue with the specific complaints and responses, when time permits. ***   For notification of new posts, follow me @opundit. ***  Posted 13th August by 123" 

>>>>  AGAIN:  Please Comment here (or directly to @opundit)  if you have any facts, opinions, corrections, admissions or denials to anything posted above.  — GM  <<<<

Last vestige of Republican power in New York State hanging by GOP thread in Brooklyn — that thread is named E. Obrien-Murray — he’s not affiliated with Brooklyn’s GOP Organization or KCRP Chairman Craig Eaton — based on recent quotes in the press, he’s still acting on behalf of “Democrat” State Senator Elect Simcha Felder

Felder could become a key vote among Democrats if the party is able to claim 32 seats or more. Counting Felder and the IDC, Democrats currently hold 31 seats and the GOP 30 in a chamber that will expand to 63 seats next session. 

Right after the 2012 election, the New York Daily News quoted  E. O’Brien-Murray, Felder’s 2012 campaign manager, who said Felder had not decided whether to support the Republican Caucus in the New York State Senate. According to Murray, Felder would decide with whom to caucus in Albany  based on what would be best for the 17th SD.  Just yesterday,  again quoting E. O’Brien Murray, the Republican “consultant” who managed the Felder campaign, it was indicated that the state senator-elect continues to leave open the possibility of caucusing with the Republicans.  According to Murray, Democrat Felder has “made it clear he’d work with senators from any party at this point, but basically it would be incumbent upon which party is best for his district.” Murray also said, “Simcha Felder just won a seat with 67 percent of the vote. That puts him in a very strong position in any situation. In a tight Senate, that just makes it a little more powerful.”  I wonder if Mr. E. O’Brien-Murray could just as easily have been talking about himself.

On November 7th Brooklyn GOP spokesperson Jacob Kornbluh wrote a very interesting piece  about Mr. Obrien-Murray, calling him perhaps the most significant Republican in Brooklyn politics in 2011 and 2012.  “From the Situation Room: The Man Behind Simcha Felder's Victory” is the title of  Kornbluh’spiece which appeared in his blog,  “Let’s Talk Dogri (straightfoward)” on  11/7/12 ; and in that post Kornbluh says that “While Simcha Felder is the ultimate winner of the 17th State Senate race last night, Murray definitely was the driving force behind the campaign.”  Often referring to Mr. E.O’Brien-Murray as “OB,” Mr. Kornbluh observed that “...OB knew not to rely on the comforting advice some in the community gave his candidate, and the Republicans in Albany over the prospect of the race, and the bubble they created ...Murray took charge in setting the campaign message and outreach, fighting day and night .... OB managed to take on the big guys and a sitting State Senator with grassroots support.” And he and his candidate won.

Jon Lentz did a largely biographical article in “City and State” in which he noted that, “E. O’Brien Murray...  helped Turner win a seat in Congress in a come-from-behind special election victory last year, has also served as political director for the New York Republican Party and currently is a member of the party’s advisory committee. *** Murray was also Turner’s campaign manager in the Republican primary for Kirsten Gillibrand’s U.S. Senate seat, a race that Wendy Long won ...(but in which Turner carried Brooklyn by a large margin). ***  Murray has worked for candidates from other parties in the past. He worked for the Conservative Party on the Doug Hoffman race in upstate New York, and in 1992 he was campaign manager for Democrat Sandy Galef in her state Assembly race for George Pataki’s seat. But a source close to Felder’s campaign told City & State that that Murray’s decision to work for a Democrat this time around had not been especially easy.” The "decision" might also have been part of a rumored but largely credited deal between Democrat  Felder and the GOP State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. The ultimate success of that "deal" for some Republicans is obviously, completely dependent on whether Skelos and the GOP are able to hold control of the New York State Senate chamber.

In the event that Simcha Felder emerges as part of a Democratic Party majority caucus in the Upper House of the New York Legislature, it would firmly establish "OB" as a Republican "Black Knight" with all of the love and affection that anyone has for a blackmailer.

Nonetheless, if State Senator Martin Golden is smart, he'll dump consultant Jeff Kraus and hire "OB"-wan ASAP, before somebody like Andrew Gounardes hires him. Since Jerry Kassar, the Conservative Party Chairman and Chief of Staff for Golden, "ultimately" (and maybe penultimately or even antipenultimately) backed Felder in the state senate race and has worked with O'Brien-Murray in some of his more notable recent successes (but not the recent Turner-Long head-to-head), that "deal" might be in the works already. But then Kraus would be available to......  Forget that, "OB"-wan probably wouldn't line up with Gounardes anyway.  But then again...... who wants to work for a minority caucus state senator, like .......

Monday, November 12, 2012

State Senator Martin Golden issued a vague and toothless “call” or “post” on Saturday, apparently it was aimed at the U.S. Department of Energy calling on it to open the New York area gasoline terminals in order to ease the lines at the pumps

In spite of massive problems afflicting the gasoline infrastructure in the New York metro area, State Senator “Marty” Golden thinks that he can change things with a simplistic press release, or blog posting, or open letter, or whatever it was on his “official” website  —  addressed to nobody in particular —  that “calls” on the U.S. Department of Energy to open a petroleum terminal in Brooklyn as well as eight others closed by "Sandy".

According to a very up-to-date journalistic report on the status of petroleum based fuel terminals in the New York Metropolitan area, and other east coast terminals effected by “Hurricane” Sandy by Reuters, “The New York harbor remained crippled from Hurricane Sandy on Sunday, with some signs of progress in restoring normal flows through the biggest and most important oil-trading hub in the country.”

In a late Sunday item, entitled, “Factbox: NY Harbor oil terminals, refineries crippled by Sandy” the Reuters News Service reported a mixed bag of results in oil and gasoline suppliers’ attempts to restore full-scale operations to New York area oil and gasoline terminals, petroleum refineries and pipelines.  For anybody interested in that sort of thing, that article contains a detailed list of what is or isn’t online, and what facilities are operational, partially operational or not operational. Reading that article would give any person not familiar with the scope and complexity of the infrastructure for gathering and distributing gasoline and other petroleum products in the New York area an idea of the scope of the breakdown caused by the massive northeast storm Sandy.

Many earlier articles also catalogued the massive problems caused to the local petroleum industry and consumers by the massive east coast storm, so I have to wonder what State Senator Martin Golden is trying to accomplish with his problematic Saturday, November 10th  post on his official website  —   “SENATOR GOLDEN CALLS ON THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY TO OPEN PETROLEUM TERMINAL IN BROOKLYN AND OTHERS CLOSED SINCE SANDY.”  What is the governmental activity that New York State Senator Golden wants the Federal government to perform at this time ?  How does he propose that government policy and practice change with respect to providing gasoline to the public during the current post-Sandy gasoline shortage ?

The Golden posting on his webpage specifically mentioned  “... the Motiva Terminal in Brooklyn.” Although his statement failed to include that terminal on its list of “shut”facilities,  according to The Situation Report issued by the United States Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability “... the Motiva Terminal in Brooklyn.” was listed as “shut.”  However, there are no specific details as to the reason the facility is marked "shut" and the most recent update as to “... the Motiva Terminal in Brooklyn.” is dated 10/31/12.    >>>  If State Senator Golden wanted to demand something meaningful from the Department of Energy, he should have asked why the most recent report about the status of “... the Motiva Terminal in Brooklyn”  was ten days old at the time he made his statement to them on his official website ( it was eleven days old when Reuters made its “Factbook, ...” report). <<<

Without something more specific to say or more meaningful to ask, it looks like State Senator Martin Golden is just making griping and whining noises without any real purpose.  —  OR  —  Is this just one of those kinds of  “statement” meant to score some political points with a suffering public, who are looking for any public official who can do something for them, without the state senator's actually having to do anything ?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

There was an overwhelming mandate coming out of the 2012 elections

The voters have spoken clearly almost with one voice --- they want gridlock and by inference they want to try the fiscal cliff. The Republicans in Congress need to be sure that we go over the fiscal cliff and have a survival strategy for that.

Boehner and the non-Tea Party majority in congress are going to try to get the majority of Republicans to lose focus on who elected them and why.

Gridlock and the fiscal cliff prepare for it  ---  be ready to use it  ---  make it happen.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Four days post-election and the Brooklyn GOP Establishment of Eaton, Gallo and Berardelli have yet to acknowledge their utter defeat

The  Republican renaissance in Southern  Brooklyn crowd, including KCRP Chairman Craig Eaton, and his "Brooklyn ...Official ..." media guys Gene R. Berardelli, Esq., and Russell Gallo, and a few other of their lesser know acolytes have been especially quiet in the aftermath of the 2012 Republican election disaster throughout Brooklyn. 

Their collective reticence is quite understandable. What is now obvious is that there is no apparent Republican renaissance in any part of  Southern Brooklyn. In fact, the Republican Party leadership in that large area of Brooklyn needs to be completely revamped to reflect current ethnic and religious realities or else there never will be a Republican rebirth of any kind there.
What is now obvious is that there is no Republican redoubt and any area of Brooklyn  —  for those who are uninformed or especially thick that means Bay Ridge. Any current "leader" needs to be re-vetted based on current effectiveness and responsiveness, and then tested by the full election process in 2013.

What is becoming  clearer every day is that there is no Republican incumbent whose reelection in 2014 is assured.  that includes everybody  whose district is completely in Brooklyn or anyone whose district intrudes into any area of Brooklyn, or to put it another way, anybody whose names end in "Golden", "Grimm" or "Malliotakis". Given that fact, as far as Brooklyn Independent Republicans are concerned, there should be no reason that any of those incumbent's re-nominations as GOP candidates should assured without solid proof of their personal support for change of the Brooklyn GOP organization.

Those factors make the upcoming 2013 election cycle all the more  interesting, both with respect to the primaries that are a prelude to the organization of the Kings County Republican Party going forward, and the slates for the municipal and other races for political office in 2013.

As one of my favorite people likes to say, “Let’s see what happens next.”

Former Brooklyn GOP spokesman Jacob Kornbluh picks winners and losers in the 2012 Elections — He’s right, he’s wrong, he’s all over the lot --- BUT HE'S RIGHT ABOUT THIS, CRAIG EATON'S BROOKLYN GOP IS A BIG LOSER

Oddly Kornbluh picked as a “winner”  —   the organization “Community First” founded and headed by the parvenu “Republican” Rabbi Nachman Caller.  However, the candidates supported by “Community First” lost

In his November 7th post “WINNERS AND LOSERS OF THE 2012 ELECTIONS” on his personal blog, “Let’s Talk Dogri (Straightfoward), look who “The Jacob Kornbluh” said were “LOSERS” in the 2012 elections:

“David Storobin and the Brooklyn Republicans: ***  Southern Brooklyn ain't so red anymore. With Turner and Storobin's departure, and local candidates relying on down the ballot victories or at least coming close, proves the interesting dynamics of politics in Brooklyn. Special elections and general elections don't bind together, they don't guarantee the same turnout and outcome. Storobin got no support from the Republicans statewide and locally, and no support within the Jewish community to even make the race close enough to send a message. David Storobin is still young and motivated, but his six month political career is over as of now.”

As far as that goes, I think that  “TJK” hit the nail right on the head....

On the other hand I must completely disagree with Mr. Kornbluh when it comes to his assessment of Nachman Caller’s “Community First” organization as a winner in 2012, quoted herein at length:

“Community First: ***   'Community First' founded and headed by Rabbi Nachman Caller and directed by Moshe Friedman get the credit for opening the conversation about our community's needs and educating the individual to learn the issues that matter most to all of us, examine the candidates record and holding our elected officials accountable. Agudath Israel's lobbyists and the drawer of the super Jewish district Shea Ostreicher now know there's a new kid in town. The Republican Senate leadership or by reverse the new Democratic majority leadership and local public officials know that Rabbi Caller and his new organization are a powerful voice representing the individual in the community, and are not to be ignored or neglected.”

How can “Community First” have been a “winner” in the 2012 elections when three of its strongly supported candidates: David Storobin and Ben Akselrod in Brooklyn; and Eric (corrected from "David") Ulrich in Queens, all lost completely and absolutely ( I am working on a detailed analysis of how the strategies of Democrat “consultant/director” Moishe Friedman, took a special part in these very strong candidates' campaigns and turned those campaigns into non-competitive failures).

Kornbluh named altogether too many winners and losers ---  including Mitt Romney,  who did  nothing in Brooklyn, and still ran well ahead of most of the GOP's local candidates in Kings County.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

According to Colin Campbell, “Bob Turner Is Done With the Whole Politics Thing” — According to Bob Turner, "I'm very disappointed, but the country has changed, its demographics, its values, but I'm part of the old guard.... I think it's a really sad day."

In a moment of weakness, U.S. Congressman Bob Turner (R-C, Bklyn-Queens) made some very real statements that are just so wrong in so many ways.   —   It’s yet another example of somebody who’s been endorsed by Brooklyn GOP Chairman Craig Eaton ( in Turner’s case, twice in a year ) coming up short

Bob Turner lost his home, has been under a lot of strain lately and everything he seemed  to care about politically went down the drain on Tuesday, so maybe I should cut the man some slack.  The reason that I can’t is that he is still a sitting U.S. Congressman, sworn to uphold, support and defend, and representing a district part of which is in my home borough. So what does Congressman Turner say he is going to do about all of that ?  “One of [the] things is going to be not to be in politics...."   That’s it !

As recently as the late spring and through this summer, Turner had also been endorsed and was strongly supported by Kings County Republican Leader Craig Eaton to be the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate instead of Wendy Long. That made two endorsements of  Turner by Eaton in just over one year  —  what a judge of talent and character  —   “...very disappointed...the country has changed, its demographics...I’m part of the old guard....”  Only a few months later, and it seems like Congressman Turner is a disappointed and broken man, leaving the political scene and complaining ominously about what his country has become.

Another T.S. Eliot  “...Prufrock” ending for one of Eaton’s guys.

Tea Party Patriots Chide GOP’s Failed Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney as a “Weak Moderate Candidate” Picked by the “Mushy-Middle” of the Republican Party

Some on the hard right are saying  —  “Maybe the GOP and the nation dodged a bullet on Tuesday”   —   After all, strongly opposing Obama for four more years might be more pure and beneficial to the Republican Party and the country than having to carry water for Mitt Romney’s brand of Republicanism  for eight 

Elizabeth Flock, in her November 7th , 2012  US News “Washington Whispers” article, “Tea Party Slams Mitt Romney as 'Weak Moderate Candidate' Hand-Picked by 'Mushy-Middle' GOP” quoted  Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, who wrote in an e-mail,  "For those of us who believe that America, as founded, is the greatest country in the history of the world – a 'Shining city upon a hill' – we wanted someone who would fight for us....  We wanted a fighter like Ronald Reagan who boldly championed America's founding principles... What we got was a weak moderate candidate, hand-picked by the Beltway elites and country-club establishment."

The Tea Party Patriots said  that they were "not going away," despite losses Tuesday night by tea party congressmen Allen West in Florida and Joe Walsh in Illinois, as well as a near-loss by Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota. Jenny Beth Martin said the group would now turn its attention back to Congress, where it has been more successful in pushing its message of fiscal conservatism, where it would battle over the budget, the debt and against Obamacare.

According to the leaders of The Tea Party Patriots, the Tea Party had to work harder going forward to stop the "mushy-middle" members of the GOP from "getting rolled" by the left.

A CNN article by Ashley Killough highlighted a quick riposte to Jenny Beth Martin for blaming  Romney's loss in the presidential election on his lack of conservatism. Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio, offered sharp criticism to that  reaction and analysis during an interview by Soledad O’Brien. However, even mainstream Republicans might view Rep. Steve LaTourette as a less than persuasive commentator on the subject of this year’s elections . Congressman LaTourrette is a self-proclaimed moderate Republican who said that his wife, a Democrat had voted for Obama after hearing two right leaning Republican Senate candidates making extreme statements about rape and abortion.  LaTourrette had announced his retirement back in July; and he has since been replaced by a more conservative Republican, David Joyce, who says he favors the basic principles of the Tea Party movement–less government, lower taxes, but he also notes  that he’s  not a formal Tea Party candidate and "they may not want me."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Craig Eaton's Brooklyn GOP "Rebirth" is a breached delivery in 2012

Republican and Conservative Party Leaders Craig Eaton and Gerry Kassar look on helplessly as their candidates almost all go down in bad defeats  —   Even State Senator Golden held on by a much closer margin than in 2010

The election results below clearly demonstrate that the Kings County Republican and Conservative Parties completely failed at the polls in Brooklyn in 2012.  President Obama had about a four hundred thousand vote advantage in Brooklyn, garnering over eighty percent of the vote over Mitt Romney who was well under twenty percent. Kirsten Gillebrand did even better with a four hundred forty thousand vote lead against Wendy Long, who received less than one vote for every eight votes cast in the U.S. Senate race.

In the New York State legislative races it was similarly bad news across the board.  Marty Golden was able to hold on against a political newcomer, Andrew Gounardes, with a margin closer than six-to-four (58% to 42%).  All of the other legislative races looked like relatively significant losses for the Republican-Conservative candidates ( However, Conservative Leader Kassar was able to successfully back the Democratic candidate in the 17th SD, Simcha Felder, nominally putting him up one State Senator on Eaton who formally backed David Storobin).

In the multi-county races ( along with Staten Island ) for the U.S. Congress and the NYS Assembly, the Republican-Conservative candidates won their races district wide, but they lost in the Brooklyn portions of their districts.


President                                Kings County  -  98.3% Reported
 EDs 1654-1683
Party                          Vote Vote%
Barack Obama All lines  503,291          81.4%
Mitt Romney All lines      106,630          17.6%


U.S. Senate                                Kings County  -  98.3% Reported
 EDs 1654-1683
Party                               Vote Vote%
Kirsten Gillebrand All lines  503,370          86.7%
Wendy Long All lines           69,536          12.0%


State Assembly - District 41 - General
95 of 95   Precincts Reporting - 100%
Name                        Party          Vote Vote %
Weinstein, Helene (i) Dem             24,195 79%
Hayon, Joseph GOP                      6,269 21%


State Assembly - District 45 - General
83 of 83 Precincts Reporting - 100%
Name Party Votes Vote %
Cymbrowitz, Steven (i)Dem 10,970 55%
Gallo, Russell GOP 5,141 26%
Akselrod, Ben Inp 3,938 20%


State Assembly - District 46 - General
81 of 81 Precincts Reporting - 100%
Name Party Votes Vote %
Brook-Krasny, Alec (i)Dem 13,224 59%
McCarthy, Thomas GOP 8,882 39%
Dwyer, Patrick Grn                    404 2%


State Senate - District 22 - General
184 of 184 Precincts Reporting - 100%
Name Party Votes Vote %
Golden, Martin (i) GOP 35,720 58%
Gounardes, Andrew Dem 25,761 42%


State Senate - District 17 - General
173 of 173 Precincts Reporting - 100%
Name Party Votes Vote %
Felder, Simcha Dem 36,641 66%
Storobin, David (i) GOP 18,105 33%
Tischler, Abraham Oth 507 1%


U.S. House - District 11 - General
County Precincts Mark Murphy(Dem) Mike Grimm (i)(GOP)      H. Bardel(Grn)
Total 423/423 82,401 46%                   94,102 53%                 1,782 1%
Brooklyn 149/149               24,208 52%                    22,000 47%                  648 1%
Staten Island 274/274 58,193 44%                    72,102 55%                1,134 1%


State Assembly - District 64 - General
County Precincts John Mancuso (Dem)   Nicole Malliotakis (i)(GOP)
Total         82/82                11,965            38%     19,252                   62%
Brooklyn    24/24                 4,084            53%                   3,665                  47%
Staten Island  58/58 7,881           34%                  15,587                  66%


"Etch a Sketch Romney" can't come up with a "47% Solution"

---  Mitt Romney, in perhaps his most truthful moment of the 2012 campaign,  identified "47%" of voters who were going to vote for Barack Obama, no matter what. Then he made his fatal error and said we can't worry about them. 
---  Not only did that result in a bad bit of video, in a bad sound-bite and in all kinds of great slogans for the other side, it showed that Mitt Romney had defined and chosen a political battlefield upon which he could not win. 
---  Even the Etch a Sketch guy couldn't erase that. 

In a video clip of a May speech, which surfaced in the middle of the campaign, Mitt Romney said,  "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what....  All right -- there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing."  Unfortunately, he added the following, "[M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

In March Eric Fehrnstrom, one of Romney’s closest advisers had said that after the primary campaign, “everything changes” and he added that “It’s almost like an Etch a Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.”  That gaff was also an embarrassment to the campaign. More important, it demonstrated that Romney had a very squishy approach to the principles and beliefs of various groups and individuals that would be necessary to Romney’s campaign efforts..

These two fundamental misconceptions were part of the DNA of  the Romney Campaign for  President in 2012.

Conceding “47%” of the electorate to his opponent, the sitting president, meant that the Obama Campaign only needed to win-over three percent of the remaining “53%” to win the election. Obama’s mantra, “Forward” (some times expressed in the MSNBC-ish “Lean Forward”) was about all that was necessary. Although it was a long hard lean, that’s how the push toward 50% was accomplished by the Obama Campaign; and President Barack Hussein Obama was re-elected.

Conversely, The Etch a Sketch image of Mitt Romney always lingered in the background. The Obama Campaign could always trot out historic Romney flip-flops, and they did so repeatedly on women’s issues and Obamacare. For his part, Romney chose to eschew many of the hot-button issues from the primaries during the campaign against Obama.  So instead of addressing the immigration issue head-on, Romney simply ignored the Latino-Latina population altogether. Rather than engage when the so called “War on Women” issues, arose during the general election campaign, Romney argued that the economy is more important to women than anything else.  Romney’s campaign was also rife with false starts, like Benghazi, that were advanced with some fanfare, and then left to fall flat, not to be followed-up in any way. All of that made it look like Mitt Romney didn’t really care about very much.

Mitt Romney seemed like a decent sort of fellow. He was somewhat well informed and looked presidential. He was running against an opponent who presided over four years of  economic stagnation and prodigious overspending. Nevertheless, Romney never really broke through the 50% mark at any point of the campaign; and at the finish line he was edged-out in the 49th percentile by the President. Romney just couldn’t win by being defensive and playing defense the whole way  —  especially  when he was so squishy in letting his supporters and potential supporters know exactly what it was that he was defending and from what.