Monday, June 30, 2014

The Curious case of Christine Sisto

Was National Review opinionator Christine Sisto’s razzing of Staten Island’s former Conservative-Republican Borough President James Molinaro done with “clean hands” and a dollop of unmelted butter between her tongue and palate  —   I DON’T THINK SO ! ! ! 

Whose agenda was being advanced ?   Mike Long or Mike Grimm’s ?   Maybe, somebody closer and more personally entangled ? 

“This story is just strange, so I implore you to stick with me.”

Since I don’t want Lena Dunham on my case, let me start by saying I’m not trying to “slut-shame” anybody  –  male, female, tranny, castrato, whatever.

Other than the line borrowed for my sub-headline above, Ms. Sisto's piece starts with this: “Former Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro is getting blocked from being elected to the CUNY’s (City University of New York) Board of Trustees because of comments he has made in the past, including once calling Lady Gaga a “slut.” The New York Post reports that prominent state Democrats are looking to stop his appointment on the grounds that his comments are offensive to women....” ( See "The Curious Case of James Molinaro -- How the Staten Island politician played ball with Democrats, and struck out" by Christine Sisto, 6/2/14, National Review  []).

So far so good, right ?  Possibly an in depth discussion about overreaching feminist-leaning  ideologues pounding on a crusty old It’lo-American from Staten Island ? Not at all !  Sisto was just being a cheerleader leading a cheer for Molinaro’s being deposited under the bus. Or, to put it another way, this was a hit piece against one of somebody’s political nemeses.

Here’s the pith of Sisto’s chant or hit on Molinaro: “The three-term borough president often gets definitions of relatively simple words wrong. In fact, he gets a lot of things wrong, especially endorsements. Although he is a registered Conservative and once held one of the highest positions within the party, that of Vice Chair of the State Party, he has since been ostracized from the New York Conservative Party for his wacky endorsements and political opinions, beginning with his support of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. His list of political endorsements reads much like Barack Obama’s would if he had weighed in on local New York elections: Senator Chuck Schumer, former Democratic Speaker Christine Quinn for mayor, and, of course, Governor Andrew Cuomo.”

So whose water is Sisto carrying with this piece ?  Well, let’s say at the outset, there is a public list and a private list.

First, at the top of the public list is Mike Long, Chairman of the New York State Conservative Party. As any good “Godfather”- type, Long feels about Molinaro like he would about a stone in his shoe. Next is Congressman Michael Grimm – the support that Grimm has gotten from the Staten Island Conservative Party is becoming more and more grudging ( interestingly, Brooklyn's Conservative Party is far more committed to the re-election of Grimm) and Grimm needs more than the grudging support he's been getting from the Staten Islanders; more important the vexatious and volatile former Conservative SI BP needs to be marginalized as much as possible before he can do something crazy vis a vis Democrat candidate for congress Domenic Recchia. There are many subsidiary players in all this who will not be mentioned; their bailiwicks are in Brooklyn, and their names and positions should be readily recognized by regular readers of this blog.

One of my sources told me that Christine Sisto is a card carrying member of Marty Golden’s so-called “Republicans for Change”; and she was at the hotly contested 2013 GOP Kings County Convention. (There is other reporting in a February 2014 article in the Daily Eagle that says Ms. Sisto is a Conservative Party member...) However, her local political opinions and activities are more likely to be influenced by her social and close personal relations with some members of the Brooklyn Conservative Party; and in any case, her motivation to get into Staten Islander Molinaro's grill probably comes out of that rather than from the Marty G. connection, although there is plenty of overlap.

Hmmm, a Brooklyn Conservative with a keen interest in Staten Island-Southwest Brooklyn politics, especially with respect to Michael Grimm  –  there aren’t that many to choose from, and if you take Sisto out of the mix ( I’m playing coy about this, because two of my Baker Street Irregulars have specifically asked me to keep this person’s name out of my blog) if I had such a name available to me (wink, wink), it would be at the top of Christine Sisto’s private list. But, you might say, "This isn't news, it's been reported here in the Brooklyn Papers...." However, it wasn't disclosed to the National Review readers of  "The Curious Case of James Molinaro -- How the Staten Island politician played ball with Democrats, and struck out."

Somebody who writes for National Review (especially cheerleaders) should disclose when they have a private interest in anything that they publish under that banner.

See y’all in church....

Sunday, June 29, 2014

THE IRS SCANDAL: “Lois Lerner fights back” ? ! ? — Well, not quite...

Lerner’s attorney addresses aspects of the lost Lois Lerner emails, some of the investigation of conservative groups and the Senator Grassley invitation inquiries

Poltico article about the statements by Lois Lerner’s attorney has some interesting takeaways  —  like she was an intense partisan, who was just doing her job for the IRS  looking into conservatives and conservative groups  —  she kept no personal backup of what she did on her computer and it wasn’t her responsibility to do so; and if it was required by law to keep any backup, then somebody else at the IRS should have been doing it

[ NOTE:  >>>  See my comment below “BACKFILL: THE “HOW DID WE MISS THIS ?” EDITION –  LA TIMES CALLS FOR AN ‘INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION’...   Galewyn Massey...  June 30, 2014 at 12:25 AM”]

Is this what Politico means by “fight[ing] back” ?   “Lois Lerner has no records of two years of missing emails and Republican claims that she’s hiding something are “silly,” her lawyer said in his first interview since the controversy around the former IRS official erupted two weeks ago *** ‘She doesn’t know what happened,’ lawyer William Taylor III said of the 2011 computer crash that erased two years worth of Lerner’s correspondence. ‘It’s a little brazen to think she did this on purpose.’ ....” ( See “Lois Lerner fights back” by RACHAEL BADE, 6/27/14, Politico []). Needless to say, the title of the Lois Lerner piece is a bit of a stretch  —   not a word in it comes from her; it’s all from her attorney; and all of the supposed “fight[ing]” are well-parsed statements concerning Lois Lerner’s missing emails. the problematic inquiry into the invitations sent to Senator Grassley and his wife and some of the lingering questions about the IRS operation to closely scrutinize conservative groups that applied for various categories of tax exempt status. .

There is very little that is new in what attorney William Taylor had to say about the 2011 computer crash that erased two years worth of Lerner’s correspondence. However, there was something.  —   According to the Politico article posted by Ms. Bade, Lerner’s legal representative  “...revealed that Lerner did not print official emails or have any saved on a backup computer....” and he specifically stated that  “She didn’t have anything to do with the destruction of her computer.”

Politico gave this specific time line of the loss of Lerner’s emails: “Lerner came to work one day in late spring 2011 and was surprised to flick on her computer to find a “blue screen,” he said. He said she tried to get it fixed since her practice of archiving was to simply save things on her computer. Democrats have released emails showing Lerner contacting the IRS IT department to show she tried to resolve the problem. ***   She never backed them up on a USB or separate hard drive, he said....”   That passage in the Politico article ends with this very provocative observation, “[Lerner’s attorney’s description of her practices handling her emails ruled] out a line of questioning posed by House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) about whether Lerner could have the emails stored elsewhere on a portable device....”  The article goes into very great detail on the issues surrounding the lost emails and Lerner’s attorney’s responses with respect to smoe of the questions raised, but it all seemed to be like a dog chasing its tail --- which might have been the real purpose of Lerner's lawyer's exercise.

The Senator Grassley matter was also mentioned by Lerner’s attorney and reported by Politico  as follows: “Taylor said ... Lerner was simply suggesting a referral for the group [that sent the invitation], not the Iowa lawmaker. ***  “You don’t refer people to the exempt organizations division,” he said, calling the accusations “false” and “irresponsible” on Ways and Means’ part. ***  Lerner and Grassley were invited to speak at the same event in winter 2012, but their invitations were swapped by accident. Lerner recalls that the topic was on 501(c)(4) and the conference was at a “nice resort,” her lawyer said. ***  The unnamed group offered to pay for Grassley’s wife to accompany him, something Lerner thought may have been improper. Her colleagues said it wasn’t and it appears she dropped it after that.”

Those few facile lines don’t quite cover the multitude of possible sins by Lerner involved in her raising the Grassley issue(s) for further investigation inside the IRS. Come to think of it, what Mr. Taylor III had to say about the lost emails was also a little too cute.

Maybe, thinking that what it had reported about Lerner’s attorney’s remarks was a little too close to flacking ..., the Politico article also addressed  this: “In most of her criticized email correspondence released thus far from GOP investigators, Lerner has referred to scrutinizing conservative groups, like Crossroads GPS, while at the same time joking with colleagues that she wanted to work for the pro-Obama group Organizing for America.”  Lerner’s  attorney’s response was that Lerner was just doing her job looking into the political activities of the rapidly rising number of conservative groups making application for tax exempt status.    R-I-G-H-T !

The breaking news on this is that Lerner’s attorney  also appeared on a Sunday morning news shows  to say the same stuff as above....  Is this just Bill Taylor III trying to get his full fifteen minutes of fame, or is there something more going on ? One critical review of Taylor's appearance on CNN's  "State of the Union" said this: "Taylor’s defense of his client is based on the notion that Lerner is the real victim of targeting here. ***  'She was as upset as anybody else was about the loss of the emails and the other documents which were on the[re] which were quite important to her,' Taylor said of what even Candy Crowley called the “suspicious” disappearance of two years’ of email records...." (See " ‘Phony scandals’ and an election year ‘demon’: Lois Lerner’s unconvincing defenders" by Noah Rothman, 6/29/14, Hot Air Blog []).

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Is Dean Skelos' state senate plan for 2014 a fantasist's strategy ? Wouldn't a concentrated counteroffensive against State Senator Martin Golden in Brooklyn knock Skelos’ plans into a cocked-hat ?

The "audacity" of Skelos' plan was worthy of comparison to those made by ykw in a deep bunker beneath the garden of the old Reich Chancellery during the spring of 1945 

Such a bunker fever plan could include the "Hermann Göring Division 3"  leading a full frontal attack by the reorganized Army Group Vistula against the massed center of the Soviet Army under Marshal Georgy Zhukov, breaking through crossing the Vistula and/or Oder Rivers and several others along the way, and driving to Moscow, capturing Stalin and winning the war for the Fuhrer by his next birthday in 1946  —  that would be easy compared to what Skelos is telling us he is "planning"

The Skelos' plan actually has a real hard part  —   it actually calls for Republican challengers Rich Funke, Susan Serino and George Amedore to defeat Democrat incumbent State Senators Ted O’Brien, Terry Gipson and Cecilia Tkaczyk

But, even if that's done, the Skelos numbers don't add up  —  but neither did those of ykw down in his bunker

According to Will Bredderman writing for the NY Observer,  “State Senate Republican co-majority leader Dean Skelos...  promised on WCNY’s Capitol Pressroom that the Republicans would gain four or five seats to compensate for the loss of support from the five IDC members — who have now vowed to join the Democrats after the November election. The Republican leader spotlighted three Democrats that he believed would fall: State Senators Ted O’Brien, Terry Gipson and Cecilia Tkaczyk, to respective Republican challengers Rich Funke, Susan Serino and George Amedore....” ( See “Skelos Vows to Keep GOP State Senate Majority by Taking Out Democrats” by Will Bredderman, 06/27/14, NY Observer/ []).

Of course, GOP Senate Leader Skelos’ numbers don’t add up.  However, those details are  not part of anybody’s deep bunker thinking.

A simple countervailing strategy would be to focus on low-hanging fruit like Brooklyn’s Marty Golden. The Golden re-election effort is hamstrung by deep divisions in the Brooklyn GOP and a pair of major scandals. The exploding scandal of the 2013 Hynes campaign on the GOP and Conservative Party lines already looks like it will directly engulf Golden and his key supporters. The long-percolating scandals involving Congressman Grimm, including a pending Federal indictment will add enough mass to weigh the whole Grimm-Golden ticket down, especially in the Brooklyn parts of the Grimm district.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Question for Jerry Kassar: If it’s “Common Sense” that “Obama is ‘a sinking ship’ ” — Isn’t it “Common Sense” that Marty Golden is a sinking ship

Jerry Kassar’s foreign policy cred isn’t very widely recognized  —  but the analytic formula he applied to President Obama and events in Iraq does work on the local political whirlpools pulling down on his boss State Senator Martin Golden 

“...What were their names ?  Tell me, what were their names...”

The first part of Jerry Kassar’s column in the Home Reporter this week was devoted to pounding on the President for the catastrophic decline of everything related to U.S. interests in Iraq. Taken at face value, it is a fairly accurate though quite superficial critique of Obama’s policies and actions in Iraq over the last six years or so (See “Common Sense: Obama is ‘a sinking ship’” by Jerry Kassar, 6/24/14, Home Reporter/ Spectator []).

The second part of that column by Kassar, which mentioned Rick Perry and  Rob Astorino’s appearance at some Conservative Party function, is a story for another day, especially this part: “Astorino takes the governor to task for the Start- Up zone program which he considers more of a highly advertised publicity vehicle than a true economic development program....”  (Can you tell where that’s going to go ?  Spoiler alert – it will be about Marty Golden !  But, as I said, that’s a story for another day.)

Clearly, as sinking ships go, Marty Golden plays more like the good old  Reuben James when compared to Obama’s classically disastrous Titanic.

Like the U.S.S. Reuben James, Golden put himself into dangerous waters by getting into somebody else’s fight under less than ideal circumstances.  At least the captain and crew of Reuben James were doing their duty and following orders patrolling in the North Atlantic prior to America’s formal entry into World War II; it is doubtful that Golden and his associates can make the same claim about their foolhardy entry into the re-election campaign of a beleaguered political ally, Brooklyn DA Charles “Joe” Hynes.

Those who read this blog, or the NY Post or Daily News, know that former DA Hynes’ legal position seems to be eroding as fast as the Iraqi lines north and west of Baghdad. So, if the eroding military position of Iraqi forces means that Barack Obama is a “Sinking Ship,” wouldn’t the eroding legal situation in and around Hynes’ 2013 campaign mean Marty Golden is a “Sinking Ship” as well ?

In fact, Golden’s current and potential position vis a vis the 2013 Hynes Campaign is far worse than that of President Obama  vis a vis the government in Iraq  —  Golden has no predecessor to blame for his problems; and more important, many of the key operatives of Hynes’ 2013 campaign are Golden’s key players as well. As the Kingston Trio’s great rendition of Woody Guthrie’s song about the good old Reuben James asked, “...Oh, tell me what were their names ?  Tell me what were their names...” ( See “"The Sinking of the Reuben James" by The Kingston Trio, You Tube [] with a video scrolling of the names of the officers and sailors lost on the U.S.S. Reuben James [DD-245]). All of the links and connections between Golden and Hynes have not yet been disclosed, but there certainly will be more disclosures of shared people and shared resources  —   "Tell me, what were their names ?  What were their names..."

So far, we do know the names and/or descriptions of several of Golden’s operatives that were active in the Hynes’ 2013 campaign, the most notable ones being Larry Morrish, Jack Malone, Dennis Quirk, some members of Golden’s staff and executive members of the Southwest Brooklyn Conservative Club and the Brooklyn Conservative Party.  The “best and brightest” of those oh so shiny Conservatives is the very same Jerry Kassar, Chairman of the Brooklyn Conservative Party and State Senator Martin Golden’s chief of staff.  Yes, that’s the same guy that wrote the column, “Common Sense: Obama is “a sinking ship.”  Does anybody think he’ll be writing a column, “Common Sense: Golden is ‘a sinking ship’ ” any time soon ?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Not yet reported in the Larry Morrish-Hynes coverage — his “Brooklyn District Attorney Neighborhood Office” or "outreach center" had no recorded official address

A source close to one of the investigations discloses that investigators can’t find the addresses of  32 “Brooklyn District Attorney Neighborhood Office[s]” or any of the leases for such offices

Same source indicates that investigations of DA Hynes’ operations and finances are mushrooming  —  including audits by NYS and NYC Controllers   

Larry Morrish and Jack Malone were present along with DA Hynes to at the opening of a new Brooklyn District Attorney Neighborhood Office at 224 Brooklyn Avenue in late May 2008.  Can any other address be associated with the so-called thirty-two (32) neighborhood offices operated by the Brooklyn DA prior to leaving office at the end of 2013 ?  That is a question that seems to be perplexing investigators looking into several financial questions associated with the operation of the Brooklyn DA’s Office for several years prior to the end of 2013.

As the Sunday NY Post was quoted  in my post below: “Among the issues being looked at is whether Hynes’ opening of the 32 outreach centers was only a political p.r. effort. The centers were closed this year. ***  Morrish said he worked in Bay Ridge and did ‘outreach to present the services of the DA’s office to the community.’  He wouldn’t disclose his salary. Records show he wasn’t on the city payroll....” ( See “Hynes probe looks at payments to cronies” by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, 6/22/14 []).”  Not reported by the NY Post was what “outreach center” or “Brooklyn District Attorney Neighborhood Office” Mr. Morrish operated out of while he “...worked in Bay Ridge....”

Millions of dollars were expended in the operation of these thirty-two (32) Brooklyn “District Attorney Neighborhood Offices” or “outreach centers.”  Where were they ?  Who received rent or properly recorded and reported expenses in lieu of rent ?

My source also indicated that both the New York State and New York City Controllers were likely to mount full audits of the Brooklyn DA’s Office finances for an undisclosed period of time prior to the end of 2013. It had previously been reported in the New York Times and other media outlets that the U.S. Attorney, the New York State AG’s Office and the NYC Department of Investigation are looking or have been looking into these matters  —  and the DOI has completed one report on its earlier investigations ( See “ Inquiry Widens Into Hynes’s Spending as Prosecutor” by Stephanie Clifford, 6/17/14, NY Times []). According to Stephanie Clifford’s report in the NY Times, since both Federal and NY State funds might have been misused and/or misapplied by the former Brooklyn DA, both could exercise jurisdiction. Furthermore, since these funds have come from a variety of agencies, auditors, inspectors and/or investigators from various agencies also will be giving close scrutiny to the finances of the Brooklyn DA’s Office.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Does the Sunday Post Article, “Hynes’ payouts to pals – $$ probe widens” scare State Senator Golden and Golden’s supporters to death ? — It certainly should !

Feds looking into Hynes' “slush fund” payments  —  one of the two names named is long-time Golden supporter and insider Larry Morrish

The headline for the on-line edition is equally damning “Hynes probe looks at payments to cronies” 

How long before this pattern of links and relations to Hynes will make Golden a subject of Federal scrutiny ?

“Among the issues being looked at is whether Hynes’ opening of the 32 outreach centers was only a political p.r. effort. The centers were closed this year. ***  Morrish said he worked in Bay Ridge and did “outreach to present the services of the DA’s office to the community.” He wouldn’t disclose his salary. Records show he wasn’t on the city payroll....” ( See “Hynes probe looks at payments to cronies” by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, 6/22/14 []).

If Golden’s name isn’t mentioned anywhere in the NY Post article, how does any of this threaten Golden, Golden’s supporters and/or Golden’s 2014 campaign ?  It’s the common connections between Golden and members of his state senate staff, and other Golden supporters to Hynes to the Hynes general election campaign of 2013 that very well could lead the Republican-Conservative State Senator from Bay Ridge to be a target in the joint Federal-NY State probe of political corruption by current office-holders.

Don’t forget State Senator Martin Golden was the driving force behind DA Joe Hynes’ pursuing a full-fledged general election campaign on the Republican and Conservative Party lines in 2013. In that quest, there was a mad scramble for personnel and resources; and there could easily have been some “spillage” between the various efforts on behalf of the incumbent DA.  Both Golden staffers and Golden’s community activist supporters, like Larry Morrish, were the backbone of the Hynes fall efforts in Bay Ridge and other nearby neighborhoods in southwest Brooklyn. If Hynes’ “slush fund” money found its way into the campaign(s) that they were running, then the Feds will really want to know chapter and verse the “Who?” and “Who knew?” behind the “What?”  “When?”  “Where?” “How?” and “How much?” of the whole deal.  One can’t see how that would not include Golden and/or his key operatives.

First things first, the Feds need to look into the details of the Hynes relationship with the “Bay Ridge Cabal” as it existed up to and including the 2013 election cycle. A good place to start would be the very close working relationship between Hynes and Golden (which has been well-recited on the record in court papers by none other than Hynes’ himself when he was DA)  —  and other personal connections between the two men, up to and including 2013. Another item of scrutiny is the relationships that Larry Morrish had with both Golden and Hynes up to and including  2013  —  and how that led to Morrish being paid for his services in 2013 and before. Some of the Larry Morrish connections to State Senator Golden already hit the press in the past  —  the aborted “Charm School” proposal at the Bay Ridge Manor comes to mind immediately.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tape about old Hillary Clinton sex case rears its ugly head and takes a hard bite out of her thick hide

New headlines like this:  “ Victim: Hillary Clinton ‘took me through hell’ ”

Renewed interest by the likes of ABC and Politico spurred by tape of a Hillary Clinton interview at the time of the rape case  —  and victim’s commenting openly about it for the first time 

Earlier this week, "Friends of Hillary" at the University of Arkansas vainly tried to suppress the tape of Hillary's interview by  Roy Reed

Maggie Haberman on Politico opened her post thus: “The victim in an Arkansas rape case in 1975, whose accused attacker was successfully defended by Hillary Clinton, is speaking out in her first extended interview, coming on the heels of unearthed tapes of the former secretary of State discussing the case....” (See “Victim: Hillary Clinton ‘took me through hell’” by Maggie Haberman, 6/20/14, Politico []).

From the perspective of a possible presidential run by Hillary, perhaps the most damaging part of  this episode is an old tape of a much younger Hillary Clinton answering questions about the case. Last Sunday the conservative website The Free Beacon published audio tapes from the 1980s, in which Hillary Clinton talked about the case with a reporter, Roy Reed. On that recording, Clinton seemed to indicate that it was her belief that her client, Thomas Alfred Taylor, was guilty of the crime for which he had avoided conviction  —  she’s also shown laughing about it.

Another problem for Ms. Clinton might be that the victim, who is still unnamed, is now questioning the accuracy of some of the “facts” that Ms. Clinton asserted attacking the character and veracity of the complaining victim, which Clinton had put in an affidavit on behalf of her client, the accused rapist.

Oddly, this is not the first time that this case was looked into by the media; the case was explored earlier by Glenn Thrush, who at the time he did his report on the case in 2008 was working for Newsday. Perhaps the tape containing Hillary Clinton’s cavalier laughter and blithe attitude about the case might be what has renewed the interest of some in the media to take another look at the story.  All of that was brought to light last week in a piece in The Washington Free Beacon by Alana Goodman ( See “The Hillary Tapes -  Clinton tells of defense of child rapist in newly unearthed recordings” by Alana Goodman, 6/15/14, Washington Free Beacon []).

Since the story of the audio (now contained as a soundtrack on certain videos) of Hillary Clinton first broke a bit of a tempest in a teapot has erupted. The University of Arkansas has gone after the Washington Free Beacon and its reporter Alana Goodman for originally airing the Clinton tapes, based on a few alleged technical violations of its use policy and the forms submitted or not submitted to the U of A library by Goodman (See “Hillary’s People - Column: The tapes they don’t want you to hear” by Matthew Continetti, 6/20/14, Washington Free Beacon []). Even while the Free Beacon’s lawyers took up the fight with the U of A, the audio has appeared and reappeared in videos, blogs and various other media outlets.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Earth to Marty Golden, ... ! — Earth to Michael Grimm, ... ! Joint statement contains a WTFAW moment

When did Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights become part of   >>> “SOUTHEAST BROOKLYN” <<<  ?

Is this just more bad staff work by a bunch of anti-Asian, Anti-Chinese racists on Golden’s and Grimm’s staffs ?

This geographical gaff appeared in a statement posted on State Senator Golden’s home page about a  “joint letter” sent to Mayor deBlasio: “I hope that the Mayor will take a hard look and work with us on this major problem, which is especially concerning since his City housing plan specifically mentions new up-zoning as a priority....”  Rep. Grimm said. 'For generations, neighborhoods in southeast Brooklyn like Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights have resisted overdevelopment to preserve that signature character and quality of life that make them so great....' ”  ( See “Rep. Grimm and Senator Golden Join Forces to Fight Illegal Home Conversions in Brooklyn” posted by Martin J. Golden, 6/19/14, Home Page New York State Senator Martin J. Golden [ ]). The passage speaks for itself   —   however, it clearly misidentifies the location of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights as part of Southeast Brooklyn.

Maybe, both Golden and Grimm need to talk to Liam McCabe and ask him why he thinks the area they’re talking about is in "Southwest Brooklyn."

btw, since when is just sending a letter “fighting”  —   and isn’t it clear that this pitch about  "this major problem, which is especially concerning"  is aimed at the anti-Asian, anti-Chinese element of potential Golden and Grimm supporters, who have [f]or generations, [lived  in] neighborhoods in ... Brooklyn like Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights [and  who] have resisted overdevelopment to preserve that signature character and quality of life that make them so great..." ? ? ?

Isn’t this letter to the Mayor deBlasio a none-to-subtle appeal to racism in the rhetorically mis-located Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights “communities” by the joint staffs of Grimm and Golden ?

I’d love to hear any response that tries to deny it or explain any of this away.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Daily News Editorial Page for June 17, 2014 is both an epiphenomenon and an epiphany

“What Obama wrought” —   “The Wages of his inaction”  —   “Look around Syria and Iraq” are headlines that clang out loudly like the old telegraph alarm bells giving a simultaneous  immediate signal at several firehouses of a three-alarm blaze needing an urgent response

The New York Daily News Editorial Page certainly isn’t the New York Times or the Washington Post  –  but it isn’t the New York Post or the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page, either

By whatever manner or means, people interested in the stakes of President Obama’s foreign policy in Iraq and Syria need to take a look at the Daily News Editorial “What Obama Wrought” and Richard Cohen’s column “The Wages of His Inaction” – both items appeared side by side in the print edition of the New York Daily News yesterday (See “What Obama wrought” NY Daily News Editorial Board, 6/17/14 []; and “The wages of his inaction” by Richard Cohen, 6/16-6/17/14, NY Daily News []).

The Daily News has not been solidly behind Barack Obama for a while now.  Nonetheless, when it unloads on the President with both barrels in a drive-by, it isn’t a small deal.  This isn’t the pounding that Obama routinely gets from the Post and the WSJ.  More important, The News is read by lots of the working poor and lower middle class supporters of the President. When those folks are exposed to the kind of criticism doled out by the News yesterday, it doesn’t mean nothing . —  No, it means something; something that is happening right now.

The two items from yesterday’s News were also picked up and republished on many media blogs.  The strident pushback that appeared in many of the comments sections on those blogs indicates that this stuff hit a raw nerve to many who see themselves as on the left or otherwise emotionally committed to President Obama. .

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

President's comments put BENGHAZI BACK IN THE NEWS: 9/11/12 Benghazi terrorist is captured in Libya outside of Benghazi after 20 months “on walk-about”

“Arrest” of Benghazi terrorist after twenty months of sun and fun in and around Libya is hailed as “Victory” for Obama by his cheering section in the media

Successful search and snatch operation by U.S. special services forces seemed well timed to divert from the current spate of scandals engulfing Obama and his administration 

Earlier today at an event in Pittsburgh, President Barack Obama smugly said the capture of the top Benghazi terrorist is a "message to the world" about what happens when Americans are attacked.  "No matter how long it takes, we will find those responsible and we will bring them to justice.... Since the deadly attacks on our facilities in Benghazi, I have made it a priority to find and bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of four brave Americans,” Obama continued.  Also, in a written statement, President Obama thanked the "painstaking efforts of our military, law enforcement and intelligence personnel," and said the suspect would "now face the full weight of the American justice system."  (See “Obama on message of Benghazi arrest: 'We will find you'” Fox News, 6/17/14 []; see also “Benghazi attack suspect captured by American team, en route to US” by Justin Fishel, 6/17/14, Fox News []; and  “U.S. Captures Top Suspect in Benghazi Siege, Pentagon Says” by David Kirkpatrick and David Schmitt, 6/18/14, NY Times []). The president was speaking about this weekend’s capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala, describing it as a partial step in fulfilling his pledge to find those responsible for the lethal attack on the American special mission in Benghazi, Libya. During that attack Ambassador Chris Stevens was the first American diplomat to die in a violent attack since 1979.

To be expected Obama’s “Amen Corner” in the main stream media are at a near crescendo of awe and admiration over Obama’s “VICTORY.” According to the Washington Post, “U.S. Special Operations forces captured one of the suspected ringleaders of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi in a secret raid in Libya over the weekend, the first time one of the accused perpetrators of the 2012 assaults has been apprehended, according to U.S. officials. ***  The officials said Ahmed Abu Khattala was captured Sunday near Benghazi by American troops, working alongside the FBI, following months of planning, and was now in U.S. custody “in a secure location outside Libya.” The officials said there were no casualties in the operation and that all U.S. personnel involved have safely left Libya. ***  Abu Khattala’s apprehension is a major victory for the Obama administration, which has been criticized for having failed so far to bring those responsible for the Benghazi attacks to justice....” (See “U.S. captures Benghazi suspect in secret raid” by Karen DeYoung, Adam Goldman & Julie Tate, 6/17/14, Washington Post []).

Unfortunately, this view by the WP writers eats up the same erroneous pre-9/11/01 “criminal justice model” of fighting against the jihadist world terrorists that had been pursued by the Clinton Administration, and which led directly to the 9/11/01 World Trade Center Attack  –  or as some Obamatistas prefer to call it, the “man made disaster” that happened at the WTC on 9/11. In fact, bringing this 9/11/12 terrorist back for a criminal trial is about as much of a “victory” as the arrest, prosecution and conviction of the “Blind Sheik” for the first WTC attack earlier in the Clinton Administration. Interestingly, earlier this evening during questioning by Bret Baer and Greta Van Susteren,  Hillary Clinton indicated that she would agree that the President and his team are right to follow the investigation-arrest-prosecution path; and that she would follow the criminal justice-prosecution model and  “Mirandize” a “suspect” like Ahmed Abu Khattala if the case against him were strong enough to be sure of a conviction.

On a completely different tangent, but related to all of that, is the Obama team’s obvious sensitivity to any suggestion that the special operation to capture Ahmed Abu Khattala might have been politically motivated by ulterior White House politics. While on the Fox News’ “Outnumbered” program just moments after news broke that the United States had captured the Benghazi terrorist,  Lisa Kennedy Montgomery quipped that “you have a former Secretary of State who is in the middle of a high profile book tour, I think this is convenient for her to shift the talking points to some of the things she has been discussing.”  That perhaps thoughtless stretch for a bit of irony by Ms. Kennedy Montgomery (perhaps specifically referring to Mrs Clinton’s appearance on Fox that night) prompted a feverish response by Jed Levison at the Daily Kos ( See “Fox: Political genius Obama gives Hillary book tour huge boost with obviously staged Benghazi arrest” by Jed Levison, 6/17/14, Daily Kos []). However, at the risk of setting off the rabid extreme leftist supporters of the Obama regime, one has to wonder why it took twenty months for POTUS Obama to authorize this operation to apprehend this Khattala character when he was running around open and notorious all around Benghazi and all over the Libyan countryside, wide-open for a snatch for well over a year.

Nonetheless, some of the Obama-style PR may be playing itself out. In spite of today’s well-timed victory lap by Obama, in many ways akin to his politically-exploitative use of the Osama Bin Laden operation,  the capture and/or arrest of this single terrorist will not quell all of the questions and very bad PR naturally arising out of and surrounding the Benghazi attack of 9/11/12, the questionable exchange of five key terrorists for a problematic military wanderer, the complete meltdown of U.S. foreign policy, including but not limited to the collapse of Iraq, and news of years-worth of lost Lois Lerner and other E-mails subpoenaed in the IRS scandal.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Does Nicole Malliotakis’ shift to support for medical marijuana mean that State Senator Marty Golden is going to give up the fight too ?

Golden’s long opposition to liberalizing the drug laws appears to be wavering   —   Will Nicole’s switch tip Marty at last

According to a report in the Brooklyn Eagle, “As a sign of the growing support for legalized medical marijuana, a Brooklyn lawmaker who had previously been opposed to the idea suddenly announced that she is switching sides. ***  Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) has become the first Republican elected official in New York City to support legalizing pot for medical purposes. ***  Malliotakis, who has consistently voted against bills calling for medical marijuana to be legalized, announced her change of heart on Monday. The State Assembly has already approved a medical marijuana bill sponsored by Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Chelsea-Murray Hill), chairman of the Health Committee. The measure is now in the State Senate, where supporters, including state Sen. Diane Savino (D-Coney Island-Bensonhurst-Staten Island), the bill’s sponsor in that chamber, are racing against the clock to secure passage before the legislative session ends on June 19....” ( See “Malliotakis changes position on legalizing medical marijuana” by Paula Katinas, 6/10/14,  Brooklyn Daily Eagle/

This raises the question of State Senator Martin Golden’s once-strong opposition to the legalization of pot. Although a long-time law and order supporter of the “War on Drugs,” Marty Golden has been a reliable opponent of any type of liberalization of the drug laws. However recently, Golden’s strong spine against this creep of permissiveness has begun to waver.

Marty Golden now has what for him is a nuanced position on the legalization of medical marijuana (I’ll bet none of you ever expected me to say that Marty Golden had a nuanced position on anything). In May the State Senator for Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Marine Park and other neighborhoods said he believed medical marijuana would be legal at some time in New York, but he added,  “I don’t believe it should be now.” He then said his inclination would be to support medical marijuana when the Food and Drug Administration approved it at the federal level ( See “Check Out This Revealing Exchange Between Senators Savino, Golden On Medical Marijuana” by Ned Berke, 5/22/14,  Sheepshead Bites []; same coverage as Bensonhurst Bean []).

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mother Jones tries to innoculate Hillary Clinton from some of the afflictions that the old broad fears the most — Meanwhile Hillary tries to double talk her way through the current Iraqi Crisis

Mother Jones’ “The Definitive Guide to Every Hillary Clinton Conspiracy Theory (So Far)” is a road map to every scandal and scary wives tale that the Democrats’ favorite old crone doesn’t want to deal with on her planned second trip to the White House

Politico’s report about Hillary Clinton’s remarks show an attempt to tri-angulate her position on the current crisis, while things deteriorate around Baghdad and Obama tries to make up his mind —   She also admits that she couldn’t have predicted the extent that some of the Syria-based ISIS would have been able to sweep across Iraq

This attempt to laugh-off some of the Right’s best material on Hillary is really a great list of punch lines to use on your Democrat friends,  if you have any  —   Just remember, any laughter that you might hear from them will be a dry nervous laugh hoping that you don’t have more material with which to hammer their altogether too-long-loved heroine (See “The Definitive Guide to Every Hillary Clinton Conspiracy Theory (So Far)” by Tim Murphy, 6/9/14, Mother Jones/ []).

Nobody on our side can say Hillary Clinton is just some angry bitch without a sense of humor. After telling the world that she and Bill left the White House “dead  broke,” we all know that she does have a sense of humor. And frankly, all of the times that I have seen her most angry, the anger always seemed feigned and well calculated to accomplish a particular political purpose. The problem for us Republicans is that we have already seen Hillary Clinton parlay her playing the role of wounded wife to Bill Clinton’s hound-dog  —  first, into a carpet-bag U.S. senate seat; next, to a near miss on the U.S. presidency; which then did earn her an honorary stint as Secretary of State for Barack Obama. Yet again, we all will get to enjoy her in all her consultant  and media generated glory in what looks to be a soon-to-be second shot at the presidency in 2016.

But before any of that can happen, and in spite of all of her other wonderful talents Hillary cannot make herself invisible for the questions coming her way about the collapse of the Obama Administration’s policy toward Iraq.  —   Well, under normal circumstances maybe she might have tried using her invisibility cloak, but because of her book tour, she is sort of stuck on public display. As a result we get an up close and personal look at how she might handle a crisis of this magnitude.  Her first crack at it is none to impressive.

“Warning that the United States doesn’t want to fight Iraq’s internal battle, Hillary Clinton on Friday blasted the Mideast nation’s ‘dysfunctional’ government and said the battle there has ‘global consequences.’ ***  Clinton made the comments, her most robust on the deteriorating situation in Iraq, at an event in Washington D.C. to promote her new book, ‘Hard Choices’ (See “Hillary Clinton slams Maliki, ‘dysfunctional’ Iraq government” by Maggie Haberman & Katie Glueck, 6/13/14, Politico []). According to Politico was a little didactic and pedantic, saying things like  the Iraqi army needed to show signs of discipline and professionalism. |

See if the following Hillary Clinton statements about the current Iraq crisis, which have been quoted in the article in Politico, make any more sense to you, taken as a whole:  “This has implications far beyond what if anything we think we can and should do to try to stave off a total collapse of the [Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki-helmed] government.... The requests that Maliki is making to [President Obama] to provide support, I know, are being carefully considered, but I think it’s also imperative that Maliki be presented with a set of conditions if you are even to discuss seriously any kind of military support for the fight against the jihadists....  That’s a delicate and difficult task for our government because we certainly don’t want to fight their fight....  Because you’d be fighting for a dysfunctional, unrepresentative, authoritarian government and there’s no reason on earth that I know of that we would ever sacrifice a single American life for that....   I agree with the White House’s rejection and reluctance to do the kind of military activities that the Maliki government is requesting, namely fighter aircraft to provide close support for the army....  And also to go after targets. That is not a role for the United States. There needs to be a number of steps that Maliki and his government must take to demonstrate he’s committed to an inclusive Iraq, something he’s not done up-to-date.... The army, which has not been able to hold territory, has to have an injection of discipline and professionalism, something the United States has been trying to help with, and Maliki has to be willing to demonstrate unequivocally that he is a leader for all Iraqis, not for a sectarian slice of the country.... What the White House is doing now is making it very clear to him what they would have to see, not saying they’d necessarily provide the kind of support he’s asking for, but the sort of support the U.S. believes would be appropriate.”

Doesn’t this seem a lot like the two-headed  “Push-Me-Pull-You” that tries to move in opposite directions at the same time from the fine old movie version of “Dr. Doolittle” ?

Clinton was also asked about fighting in Syria, where some of the militants in Iraq came from. The main militant faction is the al-Qaeda splinter group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS]. “This is not just a Syria problem anymore,” she said. “I never thought it was just a Syria (problem). … I thought it was a regional problem. I could not have predicted, however, the extent to which ISIS could be effective in seizing cities in Iraq and trying to erase boundaries to create an Islamic state.”  Is this Hillary in another mea culpa moment to go along with some of her admissions about her inability to predict events like she did about Benghazi ?

I somehow doubt it, but only time will tell. If you repeat things often enough, they do receive a degree of acceptance  —  especially by supporters and muted critics.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Barack Obama snoozes then goes on vacation out west while it all falls apart in Iraq

Obama’s latest jive is to sweep the dust of the Iraqi defeats from his pseudo-presidential shoulder boards  —   Can’t you hear him, “That’s just the ‘JV team’ playing ‘JV ball’  -  What’s that got to do with me, I don't play in a 'JV league'  ! ! ! ”

Obama says he’s going to think about it   —   What is it that he’s got to think about ?   —   It’s either leading, following or just getting-out-of-the-way

Is this the real reason Obama might be refusing to lead ?   By now it might be he knows that too many real Americans will not follow him

In January this year  —  New Yorker editor David Remnick pointed out to President Barack Obama that the Al Qaeda flag had been seen flying over Falluja in Iraq and the same flag was flying in certain locations in Syria; and thus, it might be fair to say that the terrorist group had not been “decimated” as Obama had repeatedly told the nation during his 2012 reelection campaign. In response,  Obama compared the Al-Qaeda-linked militants in Iraq and Syria to junior varsity basketball players, and he downplayed their threat as akin to little-league. At the time. The president Obama told David Remnick a feature reporter for New Yorker Magazine that, “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant....  I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”  The New Yorker’s David Remnick described  Obama’s jayvee (JV) analogy as “uncharacteristically flip” (See “Annals of the Presidency - Going the Distance - On and off the road with Barack Obama” by David Remnick, 1/27/14, New Yorker Magazine []; for a critical view of the same material see “Obama Dismisses Al-Qaeda Resurgence: They’re JV” by Sharona Schwartz, 1/20/14, The Blaze []).

Fast forward to the present  —   To judge from President Obma’s remarks on Friday the descent of Iraq into a virtual open civil war during the past week has not fundamentally changed Obama’s view that this is a conflict of JV teams, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, “a terrorist organization that operates in both Iraq and in Syria” and the government of Iraq (See “Obama to Iraq: Your Problem Now” by Amy Davidson, 6/13/14, New Yorker Magazine []).

According to the more recent New Yorker article, while speaking on the South Lawn of the White House, Obama argued that this was not just a matter of what the American people would accept, or the limits of our capacity to make sacrifices for humanitarian goals. It’s more that he doesn’t see the point. As he sees it, after all our investment of lives and money, “extraordinary sacrifices,” the Iraqis have not been willing to treat each other decently, and until they do our air strikes won’t help. “This is not solely, or even primarily, a military challenge....” Obama did concede, however, that it was alarming that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham [the Islamist Caliphate of Syria], had made what he called “significant gains” in Iraq (The fact that several cities in Iraq up to the suburbs of Bagdad have already fallen to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria would cause the president’s remark to rate as a monumental understatement.) He said that he wasn’t entirely surprised, because things in Iraq had not been looking good for a while. The President then added this ominous note: “Now Iraq needs additional support to break the momentum of extremist groups and bolster the capabilities of Iraqi security forces....  Nobody has an interest in seeing terrorists gain a foothold inside of Iraq.” However, the President wound it all up by saying, “We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq.”

From Obama’s perspective, the Iraqi government of Nuri al-Maliki has all-too-many problems that are not Obama’s. The only hesitation that he has  is in the realization that some of Iraqi President al-Maliki’s problems are ours, as well. After all the United States did invade the country, setting off years of warfare in which, there were thousands of American losses, and tens or even hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed.

Some very big questions have arisen, but have yet to be spoken. They are simply put like this: First, if President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama might choose to lead us back into war in Iraq, are there any who will follow  — Second,  perhaps a more important question is this: Are there loyal and patriotic Americans, especially in the armed forces,  that will see it as their duty to resist Obama's orders and seek follow the more reliable lead of another or others ?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Tell me again. Why should Republicans be supporting Grimm or even voting for him ?

In wake of Eric Cantor’s primary defeat and challenging remarks by Democrat Candidate Domenic M. Recchia, Congressman Michael Grimm tries to distance himself from both the Tea Party and mainstream Republicans  

According to Grimm, “Describing me as 'far-right' is laughable by any standard considering that I was one of the most outspoken Republicans against the government shutdown and have taken on members of my own party to stand up for labor...” (See “Sparks fly between GOP Rep. Michael Grimm and Democratic challenger Recchia in wake of Cantor's downfall” by Tom Wrobleski, 6/11-6/12/14, SI Advance/ [;]).  It’s notable that Wroblenski made the following observation about Grimm’s response to Recchia: “Grimm did not comment on Cantor's stunning defeat.”

Unlike Grimm, Staten Island Tea Party co-founder Frank Santarpia was not shy in commenting about Cantor’s loss. "Like many others, Cantor went to Washington as a conservative and changed.... In some moderate districts, you can get away with that - but this was a strongly conservative district and Cantor got smacked," said Santatarpia.  In what might be construed by some as a shot across Congressman Michael Grimm’s bow, the Staten Island Tea Party activist added: “[This is] another lesson in how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by ignoring your base."

Another report shows that Domenic Recchia is slightly ahead of Grimm with available campaign funds ( See “GOP Rep. Michael Grimm reports sparse fundraising in wake of federal indictment” by Tom Wrobleski, 6/13/14, Staten Island Advance/ [;]).  During the most recent reporting period, Grimm’s campaign fund spent more money than it took in; and Grimm’s opponent Domenic Recchia raised more that three times as much money as Grimm.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Witnesses put validity of Golden signatures into question — dire consequences if true

— The submission to the Board of Elections of any of the signatures gathered at the Bay Ridge Manor on June 3rd might be one of the final pieces of proof that State Senator Martin Golden is guilty of a particular class of violation of the NYS Election Law 

—  It would also be a "Candidate Fraud" that could invalidate Golden's entire petition

—  Vito Palmeri was elected “Baffoon of the Week” on the June 11th Brooklyn GOP Radio Program  —  Could it be the real reason for that was the fact that he remained silent when Gene Berardelli asked him whether anybody had anything to add to Russ Gallo’s description of possible Election Law violations that occurred at the Golden-Grimm-Astorino Victory Rally, which was held on the evening of June 3rd at the Bay Ridge Manor

According to the reports of several witnesses (this report is based on the statements of four persons who were there), GOP petition signatures were taken near the front door of Manor not far from the entrance to the main banquet hall. At that location, people were routinely “TOLD” to sign GOP petitions and put down their addresses and ED/AD information if it was known to them. Anybody that refused or objected was questioned and brow-beaten and asked why they were there. Several of those who would not sign immediately left.

Inside there was a selection of free food and drink. In addition to being at the event and speaking to the crowd inside the hall, the event was held-out to have been sponsored by State Senator Martin Golden, who reportedly made several personal-sounding invitations to many invitees; furthermore, everything happened at the Bay Ridge Manor, which is operated on a Golden piece of property by close family members to Golden.

Vito Palmeri along with his partner Vito DiGiovanni (both of the GOP Blog-talk Radio “Vito & Vito Show”) attended the June 3rd Victory Rally at the Bay Ridge Manor, supposedly as part of their reporting for their own political blog-talk radio program, which normally “airs” on Thursday evenings. Several times the reports of the goings on at the Bay Ridge Manor on June 3rd were recounted-to and/or in the presence of the two Vitos. At least two different times this happened on recorded episodes of the Brooklyn GOP Radio Show (June 4th and June 11th), each of those times the facts proving the election fraud were listed by Russell Gallo  —   each of those times the two Vitos remained silent and did not contradict Mr. Gallo in any way. How could they ? Gallo was merely repeating “on air” what Vito & Vito, and another person who had been there with them, had told Gallo previously.

In addition to the factors mentioned above that would go a long way toward proving a “candidate election fraud,” State Senator Martin Golden’s Chief of Staff, Gerard Kassar, was present and observed both the signature gathering and the free food and drink operation. He wouldn’t have needed to closely investigate any of it; that’s because Kassar was thoroughly familiar with the people and the techniques of the signature gatherers, and he also was well acquainted with the catering operations of the Bay Ridge Manor. The long and the short of it is that if Kassar was there, he saw what was going on, and knew everything there would be to know about all of it.

Golden and company have a tough decision to make   —   file the signatures and risk the finding of “Candidate Fraud” (and as Gene Berardelli has observed, a criminal violation)   —   or “deep six” the signatures gathered on June 3rd and leave everybody guessing as to why that was done.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Stunning development — Lucretia Regina-Potter circulating GOP petitions to run for Assembly in the 46th AD — Brooklyn GOP shocked

Charges that LaGuardia Club pulls rug on Brooklyn GOP and its ENDORSED candidate Marcus Nussbaum

Push to remove Potter and Ferraro from party posts

A fully signed petition sheet naming 46th AD executive member Lucretia Potter to be the Assembly Candidate in the 46th was turned over to officials of the Brooklyn GOP.

Again, there is a bunch of finger pointing about some under-the-table deals by Brooklyn GOP Vice Chairman Arnaldo Ferraro and certain Democrats over the issue giving Wilson-Pakula endorsements ( ...and we all know where that can lead) in 2014.

Some key Brooklyn GOP officials are pressing for the immediate removal of both Mr. Ferrraro and Ms. Regina-Potter from their current party posts of Vice Chairman and Parliamentarian, respectively.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Storm Clouds gathering over State Senator Golden and his re-election effort

Report:  Dems and WFP are targeting Golden in 2014

Brooklyn GOP has decided that when it comes to any campaign to re-elect Marty Golden it’s going to be strictly hands off  —  other key Republicans have said they will work for any Democrat against Golden

Inside the Golden campaign there are mounting problems   —   starting with signatures

According sources familiar with a Working Families’ Party generated coalition to put the NYS Senate completely under Democrat control, a top target this fall is going to be State Senator Martin Golden, of Bay Ridge (See “Labor-Dem-WFP Coalition Targets Sen. Golden (Updated)” by Liz Benjamin, 6/6/14, State of Politics (NY) []).  A few of the things that Liz Benjamin mentioned in he article in NY State of Politics were the following: “Two years ago, Golden’s Democratic challenger, Andrew Gounardes, lost to Golden, 57 percent to 43 percent, but performed surprisingly well in Golden’s home turf of Bay Ridge....”  ***   She added,  “Also worth noting: Golden was a close ally of former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who used his considerable wealth to bolster the Senate GOP’s coffers while he was in office. Now that Bloomberg is gone, the Republicans have lost their most prominent individual contributor.”

Not mentioned in the Liz Benjamin article are Marty Golden’s problems with other Brooklyn Republicans.

As a result and in response to State Senator Golden’s 2013 failed attempt to take over the Brooklyn GOP leadership, those who won the Brooklyn GOP fight for the Brooklyn party organization in 2013 pretty much have taken a formal “Hands-Off ! ! !”  policy toward it’s only remaining all-Brooklyn elected official –  the one and the same Marty Golden. What that means is that they more or less want Golden to lose his state senate seat, but they don’t want to be blamed for directly causing Golden’s defeat. To the uninitiated, that’s the classic passive aggression approach of the Brooklyn GOP and it’s results are usually bad politics for everybody involved.

Those aren’t Golden’s only problems inside the GOP. His 2014 Re-election team is a loose amalgam of Marty Golden loyalists that include: at or near the top of the list, the Brooklyn Conservative Party; so-called “Republicans for Change,” the losing faction in the 2013 fight in the Brooklyn GOP; and Golden supporters outside the Brooklyn Republican or Conservative Parties. Not very many of those people are eligible to gather signatures for Golden to run on the GOP line. As a result, Golden’s petitioning effort has turned into a catch-as-catch-can operation that has to use paid help, staff and other volunteer notaries and commissioners of deeds, out of district “volunteers,” and other irregular signature-gatherers.

An example of the problems that Golden’s “team” has confronted gathering signatures is that a few “hostiles” were in a position to observe the petitioning effort at the Golden-sponsored Victory Rally a the Bay Ridge Manor on June 3rd. Those observations included seeing the actual gathering of signatures, hearing what was said by and around the signature gatherers while they witnessed the signatures, and who was at and what went on at the event as a whole.  Based on that, already there is a major question about the validity of any signatures gathered at the June 3rd Victory Rally at the Bay Ridge Manor; and there are even some experienced observers who think the process and surrounding facts were tainted enough that a broad enough challenge to those signatures, even those that might be facially valid, would sink the entire Golden 2014 petition.

Another example of how bad things are for Golden’s effort, for the first time that anybody remembers, several Republican activists have reached out to their Democrat “friends” and actually offered  to help in the campaign against their Republican State Senator

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Fox News “Exclusive...” about Bowe Bergdahl’s conversion to Islam and Jihad discloses other “secret” parts of the Bergdahl case — like who was watching him while he was in “captivity” by the Haqqani

James Rosen disclosed Duane “Dewey” Clarridge and the Eclipse Group kept tabs on Bergdahl  --  first “under sub-contract” to the DOD  --  and later as a free-lancer   

According to James Rosen of Fox News, “U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl at one point during his captivity converted to Islam, fraternized openly with his captors and declared himself a ‘mujahid,’ or warrior for Islam, according to secret documents prepared on the basis of a purported eyewitness account and obtained by Fox News.  ***   The reports indicate that Bergdahl's relations with his Haqqani captors morphed over time, from periods of hostility, where he was treated very much like a hostage, to periods where, as one source told Fox News, ‘he became much more of an accepted fellow’ than is popularly understood. He even reportedly was allowed to carry a gun at times.” ( See “EXCLUSIVE: Bergdahl declared jihad in captivity, secret documents show” by James Rosen, 6/5/14, Fox News []).

As part of Rosen’s lengthy report about Bergdahl’s conversion, Rosen goes into an interesting side discussion about his main source of information for the report on Bergdahl  —   Duane R. ("Dewey") Clarridge and “secret documents” called  SITREPs. According to Rosen, the SITREPs are rich in on-the-ground detail – including the names and locations of the Haqqani commanders who ran the 200-man rotation used to guard Bergdahl – and present the most detailed view yet of what Bergdahl's life during the past five years had been like. Mr. Clarridge made the more than one dozen SITREPs prepared on the Bergdahl case -- all previously unpublished -- available to Fox News because he wanted to demonstrate, as he put it: "We know what we're talking about."

Rosen then said, “These real-time dispatches were generated by the Eclipse Group, a shadowy private firm of former intelligence officers and operatives that has subcontracted with the Defense Department and prominent corporations to deliver granular intelligence on terrorist activities and other security-related topics, often from challenging environments in far-flung corners of the globe.”

Clarridge reportedly told Fox News that his group had been on a subcontract through the assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict from November 2009 through May 31, 2010; and that after that contract had been terminated, Clarridge invested some $50,000 of his own money to maintain the elaborate network of informants and handlers that had yielded such detailed accounts of Bergdahl's status.

The Eclipse Group is run by Clarridge, who is a former senior operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1980s, and who is known to have been indicted for lying to Congress about his role in the tangled set of events that became known as the Iran-Contra scandal. While on trial for those charges in December 1992, he was pardoned by the outgoing President, George H.W. Bush.

Clarridge counts a number of positive achievements in his spy career, including a prominent role in the establishment of a national counterrorism center at CIA, a move widely copied around the world by foreign intelligence agencies. A New York Times profile of Clarridge published in January 2011 included a description of the contractual relationship that Eclipse had with the Pentagon, through subcontractors; and the Times specifically  reported that Clarridge's activities had included efforts to help find Bergdahl. In that profile, the New York Times described Clarridge’s agents' dispatches as “an amalgam of fact, rumor, analysis and uncorroborated reports.”

Rosen’s report is rich on names and dates as to the who, what and where Clarridge was sending his Eclipse Group's SITREPs. Anybody wanting to look at one  “man behind the curtain” in a significant part of the growing Bergdahl-Taliban swap scandal should look at Rosen’s article for that insight alone.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Grimm moment at “Astorino Event” at Golden’s Bay Ridge Manor

Grimm-Golden “team” going forward against Obama and the rest of the Democrats   —   Oh ! And did I mention OBAMA had his hand in all of this, you know ?

Yeah, Astorino....  But he’s not trying to get re-elected....  And he isn’t going to beat Cuomo, you know.... 

Last night, I decoded a message from one of my operatives who passed on the word that disgraced Republican Congressman Michael Grimm was haunting Tuesday’s Road to Victory Rally with Bob Astorino, which was hosted by State  Senator Marty Golden at the Bay Ridge Manor. There were lots of other strange goings-on at the event, most notably being the signing of GOP designating petitions as one of the admission requirements to what had been billed as an “open” GOP event.

Among a generally friendly and moderate-sized crowd for a Golden-Manor event, Congressman Grimm gave a rousing stem-winder in which he bashed Obama, Obama’s America and the Obama-motivated charges against the Congressman. Needless to say among the Golden-Grimm true believers of the “Republicans for Change” variety, the presentation was well-received (See “Michael Grimm Blames Barack Obama For His Fraud Indictment” by Ross Barkan, 6/4/14, New York Observer [;
@newyorkobserver on Twitter | newyorkobserver on Facebook ]).

A prominent Bay Ridge Democrat said that he expected that a close look into the financing tree of the “Astorino Event” would uncover a gold mine for a few local Democratic candidates  —  whatever that might mean !

Monday, June 2, 2014

Did Republican Congressman Michael Grimm commit a political blunder by signing-off on the Obama Administration’s swap of five top terrorists for the return of a problematic and contemptuous soldier

Record indicates that Bergdahl was UA before he fell into enemy hands  —  and that his actions directly resulted in the deaths of several of his compatriots

CNN Reports: Fellow soldiers call Bowe Bergdahl a deserter, not a hero

Apparently the 5-for-1 “prisoner swap” that resulted in the release of Afghan War Taliban prisoner, U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, is generating a firestorm of controversy for the Obama Administration and others who favored the swap. That would seem to include our local GOP congressman, Michael Grimm.

Obviously, in an attempt to get some good press and get out-front of a feel-good news story with a military hook, Congressman Grimm decided to rush in where angels fear to tread. Grimm was either  uninformed or else completely heedless of the fact that the exchange that resulted in the freeing of Bergdahl was so controversial. Of course, the freeing of five top terrorist operatives under any circumstances would be patently problematic from a “national security” perspective.. In addition, however, when it turns out that the swap was done to free an American, whose status at the time of his original capture remains clouded and unexplained, the deal takes on a whole new light and texture; and it also starts to stink to high heaven. Grimm either didn’t know or didn’t care about such complexities when he published his Facebook statement on his official congressional website.

As was reported on this blog below in yesterday’s [6/1/14] comment “UPDATE: THE “CONGRESSMAN GRIMM WEIGHS-IN [SORT OF] ON CONTROVERSIAL RELEASE OF U.S. ARMY SERGEANT BOWE BERGDAHL” EDITION” to the 5/23/14 post “Sure looks like this was a pretty bad week for Grimm !” Congressman Grimm’s “Official” Web Page contained the following Facebook entry about the release of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl: “'Thrilled to learn that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be coming home to the U.S. after being held prisoner in Afghanistan for the past 5 years. God bless him and his family for the incredible burden and sacrifice they have endured for our nation. Welcome home Sgt. Bergdahl, your country honors and salutes you!'” When I saw this statement by my congressman on 6/1/14, around 8:30 AM, about sixteen hours after it was made, I made the following observation: “Maybe, Grimm hasn’t heard the whole story about Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and how he might have fallen into the hands of the Taliban.” Later on 6/1/14 an “Anonymous” comment-maker opined that “One military fraud (Grimm) saluting another (Bergdahl).”  In less than 24 hours, significant portions of the media picked up on this part of the Bergdahl “prisoner exchange” story.

The opening paragraphs of Jake Tapper’s report on the Bergdahl story today are quite stark and unambiguous: “The sense of pride expressed by officials of the Obama administration at the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is not shared by many of those who served with him, veterans and soldiers who call him a deserter whose "selfish act" ended up costing the lives of better men. ***   "I was pissed off then, and I am even more so now with everything going on," said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl's platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. "Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war, and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him." ***  Vierkant said Bergdahl needs to not only acknowledge his actions publicly but face a military trial for desertion under the Uniform Code of Military Justice....”  (See “Fellow soldiers call Bowe Bergdahl a deserter, not a hero” by Jake Tapper, 6/2/14, CNN [] ).

The Tapper article on CNN’s blog pulls no punches when it comes to some of the negative history in the Bergdahl case, saying the following: “Questions surround the circumstances of Bergdahl's disappearance. Conflicting details have since emerged about how the militants managed to capture Bergdahl. Published accounts have varied widely, from claims that he walked off the post to that he was grabbed from a latrine. ***  According to firsthand accounts from soldiers in his platoon, Bergdahl, while on guard duty, shed his weapons and walked off the observation post with nothing more than a compass, a knife, water, a digital camera and a diary.  ***   At least six soldiers were killed in subsequent searches for Bergdahl, and many soldiers in his platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika province in the days and weeks following his disappearance.”


There are also aspects of the Bergdahl case that ominously suggest another Benghazi-like coverup by the Obama Administration. Jake Tapper noted that “... [A] Defense official said Bergdahl will not likely face any punishment. "Five years is enough," he told CNN on condition of anonymity....”  And also this: “Many of Bergdahl's fellow troops -- from the seven or so who knew him best in his squad to the larger group that made up the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division -- told CNN that they signed nondisclosure agreements agreeing to never share any information about Bergdahl's disappearance and the efforts to recapture him. Some were willing to dismiss that document in hopes that the truth would come out about a soldier who they now fear is being hailed as a hero, while the men who lost their lives looking for him are ignored.”

It’s only been one day since the prisoner swap to free Bowe Bergdahl had been announced; and there already are myriad articles, posts, video reports and the like questioning the wisdom, and policies, procedures and legalities of the entire process for securing Bergdahl’s release. There is  also ample coverage delving into Bergdehl’s personality and background and the circumstances of his disappearance and capture very much inline with what Jake Tapper did for CNN ( See e.g.,  “Brothers in arms bash Bowe Bergdahl as a traitor, say search for him cost American lives” by Steven Rex Brown, 6/2/14, NY Daily News []).

According to the Daily News article cited above, “The circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance remain shrouded in mystery. He reportedly had become disenchanted with the military and wrote to his parents shortly before his capture that he was “ashamed to be an American.”


A two year old report on CBS News indicated the very same thing about Sergeant Bergdahl, as much of the material mentioned above; including the following: “Bergdahl, a 26-year-old Army sergeant from Hailey, Idaho, was taken prisoner on June 30, 2009, in Afghanistan. ***  The military has never detailed circumstances of his disappearance or capture, and he is not classified as a deserter. He was initially listed as "duty status unknown" and is now considered "missing-captured." He is the only U.S. prisoner of war from the Afghanistan conflict, and U.S. officials say they are actively trying to free him. ***   The White House declined comment on the emails or Bergdahl's possible motivation for leaving his base in eastern Afghanistan in 2009....”  The article closed with this quotes, which quotes were attributed to Bergdahl, “Some of Bergdahl's reported words read like a suicide note. *** ‘I am sorry for everything,’ he wrote. ‘The horror that is America is disgusting.’ ***   He mailed home boxes containing his uniform and books.” (See “Bowe Bergdahl, U.S. soldier held by Taliban, was "ashamed to be American," emails show” 6/12/12, CBS News/ AP []).

Interestingly, that same June 2012 CBS News report also said the following: “Bergdahl is the subject of a proposed prisoner swap in which he would be traded for five Taliban adherents imprisoned by the United States at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Taliban have walked away from the deal and larger negotiations with the United States, but the Obama administration is still pushing a negotiated settlement between the Taliban and the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan....”


In spite of all the information mentioned above, most of which had been available in the public record for years, my so-called conservative Republican congressman, Michael Grimm, saw fit to endorse the exchange leading to Bergdahl’s release; and he personally said this about Bergdahl: “... God bless him and his family for the incredible burden and sacrifice they have endured for our nation....” And Grimm directly addressed Bergdahl with this appellation: “Welcome home Sgt. Bergdahl, your country honors and salutes you!'”

BTW, the head of the Taliban is hailing the 5-for-1 prisoner swap as a victory of the Taliban over the U.S.