Wednesday, September 30, 2015

IT'S ARNALDO ! ! !


IL VINCITORE ! ! !


At the 2015 Convention of the Brooklyn GOP County Committee,  Arnaldo A. Ferraro was selected to be the GOP County Chairman for the remainder of 2015, all of 2016 [including the NYS GOP Primary & National Convention] and through September 2017 -- THE OFFICIAL VOTE OF COUNTY COMMITTEE DELEGATES AND PROXIES WAS  >>>  327 TO 46



EATON'S FINAL PLAN TO PLACE EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIRMAN IN AS HIS SUCCESSOR WENT LIKE CLOCKWORK

Prior GOP Chairman Craig Eaton's "ABC" plan was fully implemented earlier today at the gathering of the GOP Kings County Committee  --   It can now be revealed that, of course, "ABC" means  >>>   "ARNALDO BECOMES CHAIRMAN"  <<<     I had been present at a meeting with Chairman Eaton in February in the Bridgeview Diner, where Eaton predicted that Mr. Ferraro would be elected the next GOP County Chairman if nobody put forward a more suitable candidate.

A few weeks ago, when the name, "Ted Ghorra" first reached the out-going Chairman, Eaton said to certain insiders, "Well, it looks like Marty wants us to go with Arnaldo...."


TODAY'S NOMINATIONS AND VOTING   

After a dust-up over several of the proxies held by State Senator Martin Golden, which took hours to resolve;  nominations proceeded; and sometime after 3:00 PM voting was commenced. The votes finished being counted shortly before  4:00 PM.

And, once again, State Senator Martin Golden was rebuffed in his attempt to take over and run the Brooklyn GOP.  Mr. Golden put Ted Ghorra's name into nomination, and he spoke passionately, though not precisely, about Ghorra's contributions to the Brooklyn GOP and the Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights community.  Several other elected members of the GOP County Committee spoke against the Ghorra nomination , saying that they knew nothing about him and asking why he wasn't even an elected  member of the KCRP, as a County Committee person.

The Golden faction also nominated Dr. Arnaldo Ferraro to continue be Executive Vice Chairman of the Brooklyn GOP.

Eaton and his allies completely outmaneuvered the Golden folks by nominating Dr. Ferraro to be the party's next County Chairman.  With that nomination, Dr. Arnaldo A. Ferraro suddenly emerged with a vast majority of eligible delegates and proxies ready, willing and able to vote for him and support his ascent into the chairman's spot in the KCRP hierarchy. The formal voting reflected Dr. Ferraro's overwhelming support and the culmination of Eaton's "ABC" plan.

After the vote was tallied and confirmed, it was recorded.  After a few formalities, Arnaldo Ferraro assumed the chairmanship; and after some other niceties, the convention was formally brought to a close.

For "Arnaldo" this was a long-awaited vindication  ---  especially since it involved an acknowledgement of his years of good service to the Brooklyn GOP by an almost a 7-1 majority.


AN INTERESTING SIDELIGHT 

Several members of State Senator Martin Golden's staff were refused admission into Remsen Hall for the 2015 Brooklyn GOP Convention pursuant to a ruling by the Credentials Committee. None of those Golden staff people were members of the Brooklyn GOP County Committee. They were seen at various times in the morning and into the afternoon hanging around a car parked around the corner from the entrance to the Remsen Hall.  

Along with the staff members were two attorneys, who appeared to be advising the Marty Golden faction, John Ciampoli, long associated with the NYS Senate Republicans; and Ted Ghorra, who was also SSMG's chosen candidate for chairman. They too were refused admission because they were not members of the Brooklyn GOP County Committee. For a while they remained with Golden's staffers at the car around the corner.

After the formal close of the 2015 Brooklyn Republican County Convention, a rump group of Golden supporters attempted to continue proceedings, even though a majority of delegates were vacating the premises.  Attempts by Golden and his crew to keep things going fell apart when the management of the hall refused to allow Golden's folks to rent it to conduct their own rump convention.


There will be more details when we get them....   OR  >>>   feel free to do your own reporting, using the comments below.

Monday, September 28, 2015

It's been a bad Sunday and Monday for Hillary Clinton and her campaign --- AND --- Yes, it's largely about E-Mails


Cascading effect of E-mails and falling polls show Hillary Clinton and her campaign are beginning to totter

HRC's televised interviews show her arguably looking somewhat strong and confident  ---  but almost every new appearance adds more fuel to the fire growing at her feet

Yesterday's "Meet the Press" Hillary Clinton interview by Chuck Todd shows HRC all but throwing up her hands, as if to say "I can't say or do anything to make these problems go away...."  ---   In other words, Hillary's E-Mails scandals  [ there are many scandalous E-Mails problems for Hillary] have taken on a life of their own; and the stories are telling themselves with wider, deeper and more varied coverage by the main stream media

A perfect example is today's WaPo Fact Checker giving Hillary and her campaign THREE PINOCCHIOS for their adherence and push-back using a false timeline for the commencement  of the State Department's attempts to gain access to HRC's State Department E-mails, which had been on her private server



THE CHUCK TODD'S  "MEET THE PRESS" INTERVIEW OF HRC   

Mediaite gives this rather tepid and uninformative synopsis of the Todd-Clinton "Meet The Press" interview:  "Chuck Todd grilled Hillary Clinton on Meet the Press this morning about her transparency issues, email controversy, and her changing positions on multiple issues....  'Had every government agency head,' he said, 'did what did you at the State Department, there would be a lot of information that wasn’t in the public. Do you see that now as a problem as far as the public is concerned?'...   Clinton maintained that a large majority of emails she got and sent ended up in the government system, but still admitted in hindsight it was probably a mistake....   Todd confronted her about a number of discrepancies in what she’s said about the emails versus what’s come out publicly, and how despite her claim that it wasn’t a big deal to her at the time, 'to put an email server at your house was a complicated thing.'...”   ( See "Chuck Todd Grills Hillary on Email ‘Discrepancies,’ Changing Positions"  by Josh Feldman [with video link to whole "Meet The Pressa' Interview], 9/27/15, Mediaite [http://www.mediaite.com/tv/chuck-todd-grills-hillary-on-email-discrepancies-changing-positions/]).

NY TIMES ARTICLE FOCUSED ON HRC'S INABILITY TO EXPLAIN NEWLY DISCLOSED E-MAILS DUE TO HER LACK OF TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE  

Amy Chozick, who is one of the NY Times reporters  that regularly covers Hillary Clinton, focused on this:  "Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Sunday that she could not fully explain the discovery of a string of work emails sent from her personal account more than two months earlier than when she has said she began using that address as secretary of state. But she said she hoped that voters would look past what she called the “drip, drip, drip” of the furor over her emails....   'There was a transition period. You know, I wasn’t that focused on my email,' Mrs. Clinton said on NBC’s 'Meet the Press' when asked about emails sent from her personal account in her first two months after taking office in January 2009. She had previously said she did not begin using a clintonemail.com address for State Department business until that March....    The State Department said on Friday that Mrs. Clinton had exchanged emails in late January and February 2009 with Gen. David H. Petraeus, then the commander of the United States Central Command....   Pressed to explain the discrepancy, Mrs. Clinton said it was beyond her technical understanding...."   (See "Hillary Clinton Says She Cannot Explain Why Previously Undisclosed Emails Turned Up" by Amy Chozick, 9/27/15, NY Times/ First Draft [http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/09/27/hillary-clinton-says-she-cannot-explain-why-previously-undisclosed-emails-turned-up/?_r=0]).

The Chozick-Times piece continued along the same line with this:  "She said the clintonemail.com server had existed in the basement of her family’s home in Chappaqua, N.Y., for years before she added her account. 'It apparently took a little time to do that. And so there was about a month where I didn’t have everything already on the server, and we went back, tried to, you know, recover whatever we could recover,' she said. 'And I think it’s also fair to say that, you know, there are some things about this that I just can’t control.'...   'I am by no means a technical expert,' she added. 'I relied on people who were.'...    The issue of whether Mrs. Clinton has been forthcoming about when she began using the personal account – hdr22@clintonemail.com – is only the latest email-related question to distract from her policy positions and message during her presidential campaign...."

FALL-OUT OF THE TODD-CLINTON INTERVIEW AS TOLD BY NEWSBUSTERS 

A lot of this coverage has become a study in the media talking about what has been talked about  by Hillary.
                                                                             
The sort of snarky conservative blog NewsBusters put it this way:  "Don't put that popcorn-popper away just yet . . . On today's Morning Joe, Chuck Todd said he felt that in his Meet the Press interview of Hillary Clinton yesterday, she was signalling to her Dem supporters that there could be more damaging revelations to come on the email scandal. Todd was alluding to the moment in the interview in which Hillary agreed with his characterization of a 'drip, drip, drip' aspect to the scandal.  When Todd asked whether she could 'reassure Democrats that there's nothing else here," Hillary's answer was a very un-reassuring 'there's only so much I can control.'...   Hillary did get off a good laugh line, telling Todd she's providing 'more transparency and more information' than anyone else.  If the president thing doesn't work out, maybe a stand-up Vegas gig could be in Hillary's future...."   (See "Chuck Todd: Hillary Signaling More Email 'Stuff' Will Come Out"  by Mark Finkelstein, 9/28/15,  MRC NewsBusters [http://newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/mark-finkelstein/2015/09/28/chuck-todd%E2%80%94hillary-signalling-more-email-stuff-will-come-out]).

Especially notable was this exchange between Chuck Todd and the 'Morning Joe' panel:
WILLIE GEIST:  For people who didn't get a chance to sit down and watch the full interview with Hillary Clinton, we've been playing a lot of it this morning, what was your takeaway as you sat across from her?
TODD: I'm always a little hesitant to try to characterize your own interview.  Sometimes when you're involved in it --
GEIST: What new did you learn talking to her?
TODD: I guess I learned a couple of things. One is that she is not willing to say there's no more stuff that's going to come out. That I thought that she wanted to make it clear yesterday hey, more stuff could come out. There could be more revelations or there could be more charges. She said some of them could come from the Republicans, I think she was trying to politicize it a little bit, but she was basically, to me it was sending a signal to supporters, hey, maybe this doesn't go away but I'm trying to figure out how to handle it.
HAROLD FORD, JR.: But she did say that most of that if not all of that was out of her control.
TODD: Well that's what, right, that was another way of saying, hey, more stuff's going to come out: there's nothing I can do about it. A lot of people I think have come to her and say can't you just put everything out there that's out there and I think her argument is I don't know what's out there. I've already done what I can do."
Well, maybe that's part of Hillary's ongoing E-mails problem ---  but another part is what Hillary has  done and said about what has come out already.   A lot of what she and her campaign has told us about the E-mails just isn't true, like for example what follows.

THE WASHINGTON POST FACT CHECKER GIVES HILLARY AND HER CAMPAIGN THREE (3) PINOCCHIOS FOR HER STATE DEPARTMENT E-MAIL TIMELINE 

According to a report in today's Washington Post,  "...  [R]eaders have asked the Fact Checker to explore Clinton’s stated timeline about her dealings with the State Department about her private e-mail system. New questions have arisen in light of The Washington Post’s report that the State Department confirmed that the triggering event to seek Clinton’s e-mails was the congressional investigation into the 2012 Benghazi attacks that left four Americans dead....   Previously, the State Department had danced around this fact, despite a report in the New York Times on March 5 that quoted unnamed 'current and former officials' as saying 'it was the review of Benghazi-related documents last summer that, within the State Department, set off the chain of events leading to the public disclosure this week of Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email account.'... ( See "Hillary Clinton’s incomplete timeline on her personal e-mail account" by Glenn Kessler, 9/28/15, Washington Post/ Fact Checker [http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2015/09/28/hillary-clintons-incomplete-timeline-on-her-personal-email-account/]).

The WaPo Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler  then asks this rhetorical question:   "Why is this important? Under the [Hillary Clinton] campaign’s preferred timeline, Clinton is not being singled out. She is simply one of several recent secretaries, rather than the secretary who exclusively used a private e-mail account for government business — and maintained a server for it in her New York home...."

The Kessler-WaPo Fact Checker article concludes with this:   "....   [Hillary] Clinton appears to be sticking to her timeline because it obscures the fact that she exclusively used a private e-mail for company business. If she had used a State Department e-mail, just as many other cabinet officials in the Obama administration used '.gov' addresses, it’s likely the State Department would not have had trouble responding to congressional requests. That’s why there are 'gaps in the record keeping.' ...    As part of Clinton’s effort to clear up questions about her e-mail set-up, Clinton should begin using a more complete timeline regarding her staff member’s dealings with the State Department on this matter. The current timeline is incomplete....     Three Pinocchios ...."

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Just when you thought it was safe to back into the Biennial KCRP Convention --- most likely, this year will again work out like a bunch of guys* smokin' pot and havin' a roman candle duel in a fireworks plant


OMG, do I really have to stop writing my snarky posts about HRC and her E-mails problems;  and/or Donsey the blonde Fonzey  showing that gravity still does exist ---  in spite of his personal take on the "Unbearable Lightness of Being" ? ? ?     The answer, of course,  is a tree-falling-in-the-forest-resounding  ---  YES ! ! !  ---   regardless of how boring this chicken shot local GOP politics now is   ---   and, is likely to remain for the foreseeable future.....


The KCP blog  --  is talking-up a guy named Ghorra  [sort of a rhyming cross between "horror" and "whore"  -- and don't even get me started on having  "A Ghorra Phobia"]  as SSMG's  guy   ---   to which I say:   "AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA  ! ! !"   ---   In other words,  if "I ain't heard o' him, he's going nowhere"  ---  OR  ---   to put it slightly differently, come Thursday he'll be "....  sitting in his nowhere land making all his nowhere plans for nobody" [cue the Beatles  for their musical interlude]


There's going to be a meeting on Wednesday, September 30th  ---  it will involve key Republicans from Kings County [Brooklyn]  ---  At that meeting [possibly at Remsn Hall] they will select the Kings County GOP Chairman for the rest of  2015 all the way through to September 2017 ---  after that meeting the 2015 GOP County Convention will be convened at Remsen Hall to ratify that choice



According to a recent report, the one on the Kings County Politics blog,   "The ongoing feud between Kings County GOP Chair Craig Eaton and Bay Ridge Sen. Marty Golden – the borough’s highest elected Republican official – is about to go politically ballistic come Wednesday....   That’s when attorney Ted Ghorra, with Golden’s blessing,  is set to challenge Eaton for the Brooklyn Republican Party County chairmanship at the party’s bi-annual restructuring convention....    Ghorra, a born and raised Brooklynite now living in Bay Ridge, said he decided to seek the chairmanship after a number of people at the city, state and federal level approached him about the position...."  (See "Brooklyn GOP Battle Brews: Ghorra Challenges Eaton For Borough Chair" by  9/26/15,  Kings County Politics  [http://www.kingscountypolitics.com/brooklyn-gop-battle-brews-ghorra-challenges-eaton-for-borough-chair/]).

TED GHORRA IS PROBABLY A NICE ENOUGH GUY  ---   BUT I DON'T KNOW HIM         

But --- doesn't it take more than being a neighbor living near State Senator Martin Golden to be the leader of the KCRP  --  remember where Timmy Cochrane lived  before he fell from the bluff overlooking the Narrows ?  [I know,  I know,  Craig Eaton was Marty Golden's neighbor  too  --  but at least CE had some established GOP and community credentials before becoming the GOP County Chairman.]

There's no nice way to say this, however I don't know this guy,  Ghorra [didn't Golden get burned enough with a recent candidate who spelled his named with some consonants, an "ho" in the middle, and an "a" at the end ?]; and neither Marty Golden nor anybody on his staff cleared Ghorra's being GOP County Chairman with me  [the same was true two years ago with Mr. Cochrane; and look at what happened to him].  Of course NYSS Marty G should know better, but he thinks like an old-fashioned cop [remember, Marty was like one of the lesser guys in the police "crew" in TNT's "Public Morals" ..... ].  Nonetheless, I'm sure the real blame for this will fall on Marty Golden's Bay Ridge political go-to guys, Gerry Kassar and John Quaglione ( I thought the guy from Queens was brought on board to avoid this kind of stuff).

WHAT BLAME ? ? ?    YOU ASK.....

I've been around, and  this don't look like it's going to fly.   Yes, I've spken to a few people, too,  and they all agree.  Ted Ghorra   ---    No, not this time.....    Maybe, sometime, but not this time.
What the folks at  " Kings County Politics" missed is that there are more than two factions in the Brooklyn GOP.   ---   An old Brooklyn wag, since departed,  called the the Brooklyn GOP a three-legged stool.  If you have to, you can balance on just two legs; better to have all three, but in a pinch, two will do.
 
No doubt, SSMG thinks that he has the solid support of at least two such factions; and his staff whips probably have assured him of the count and the reliability of the "deals" that went into this.  However, based on just two calls that I made about this whole Ghorra thing,  I'm pretty sure that the Golden-Ghorra faction doesn't have all its ducks in a row.  What Marty has never gotten is that elective  governmental office holders, either  a state  senator, or a member of the state assembly or the city council, does not convey any direct control over the political apparatus.

OH MARTY !  AND THERE IS SOMETHING ELSE  ---  AND THIS MIGHT ATTRACT PREET B'S ATTENTION          

There is another thing that Marty and his staff whips have failed to get under control; and it involves the NYC Board of Elections in and for Brooklyn.

At this moment, SSMG exercises some real control "...   at the Brooklyn Board" through his hand-picked Commissioner Simon Shamoun, and through a deal that kept Diane Rudiano and Khashed Choudry in their positions at the Brooklyn/ Kings County Office of the BOE [of course, Georgea Kontzamanis an "executive employee" of the BOE is in the mix of SSMG's operators at the Board, as well].  Here's the rub, there appears to have been a little gorilla [note: not "guerilla"] activity on behalf of the candidate selected by SSMG; and it was directed at the residual crew of Craig Eaton supporters, elected County Committee members, who were still working at the Brooklyn BOE.

The threats of  "... we'll know how you vote for County Chairman, and don't think it will be overlooked this time..." are not just heavy-handed and thuggish, they are illegal under the NYS Election Law.  This would be two consecutive election cycles where Golden and his staff peeps tried to influence the selection of County Chairman by improper political activities at the BOE.  This time a few professional people  have spoken about taking the problem to the NYC DOI and to the IG of the BOE.

The failure to ride heard on  -- or even worse,  possibly to have encouraged this kind of unlawful behavior at the BOE --  shows a complete breakdown of good staff work. This is especially egregious in light of the Federal corruption investigations by US Attorney for the Southern District of NY Preet Bharara.

_________________________

*"As it is used hereinabove, "guys" means "guys 'n' gals"; however though guys 'n' gals might both smoke pot, even together,  only guys are likely to engage in a roman candles duel in a fireworks plant.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

FLASH UPDATE: THE “SUDDEN RE-EMERGENCE OF E-MAILS AS THE BIGGEST HILLARY CLINTON NEWS STORY” EDITION

AT MIDNIGHT 9/22 – 9/23,  HILLARY CLINTON’S E-MAILS WERE AMONG THE TOP STORIES FOR THE GOOGLE SEARCH: “HILLARY CLINTON NEWS”

REPORT OF FBI’S RECOVERY OF “PRIVATE” AND “WORK RELATED” E-MAILS FROM HILLARY CLINTON’S PERSONAL SERVER MAKES THE WHOLE E-MAIL STORY “NEW” AGAIN

TEAM-HILLARY’S RESPONSE OF “CONTINUING TO COOPERATE WITH THE FBI” IS - AT BEST - TEPID

AT THE SAME TIME, THE DES MOINES REGISTER RAISES ANOTHER PROBLEMATIC DISCREPANCY IN HILLARY’S NARRATIVE ABOUT HER E-MAILS – AND HILLARY IS UNABLE TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT IT 



Hillary Clinton’s E-mails are again back at the top of the news.  This time it’s all about FBI investigative technicians being able to “recover” at least some of the E-Mails that the Democratic Presidential candidate had said she erased when she first address the E-mails issue back in March of this year.

MY MOST RECENT GOOGLE SEARCH

According to the folks at Google, these were the top responses to an inquiry for “Hillary Clinton News”:
“...  Clinton disputes report of new email discrepancy –  DesMoinesRegister.com - 2 hours ago
Another apparent discrepancy has arisen in what Hillary Clinton has said about her emails.
Investigators Find Emails Hillary Clinton Said Were Erased –  New York Times - 2 hours ago
FBI Said to Recover Personal E-Mails From Hillary Clinton Server –  Bloomberg - 5 hours ago....”  (See “Hillary Clinton News Google” 9/23/15, Google [https://www.google.com/search?q=Hillary+Clinton+News&oq=Hillary+Clinton+News&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60j69i65l3j0.7718j0j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8]).


NY TIMES COVERAGE

According to a report by Schmidt at the New York Times  —   “WASHINGTON — F.B.I. investigators have recovered work-related and personal emails that Hillary Rodham Clinton said had been deleted from the server that housed the personal account she used exclusively when she was secretary of state, according to two government officials....” ( See “Investigators Find Emails Hillary Clinton Said Were Erased” by Michael S. Schmidt, 9/22/15 [9/23/15 print editions], NY Times [http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/us/politics/investigators-find-emails-hillary-clinton-said-were-erased.html?_r=0]).

In addition to crediting Bloomberg News for breaking to story, the Schmidt-Times article went on to say, in part, the following: “....  The F.B.I. is looking into how classified information was handled in connection with the account. It was not clear whether the entire trove of roughly 60,000 emails had been found on the server, but one official said it had not been very hard for the F.B.I. to recover the messages....   The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a continuing investigation. The recovery of the emails was first reported by Bloomberg News....  Mrs. Clinton and her lawyer have said that the server’s contents were deleted last year after her aides determined which emails were personal and which were work-related and should be provided to the State Department. In March, a House committee asked Mrs. Clinton to give the server to a third party to determine whether she had turned over all of the work-related emails....”


BLOOMBERG NEWS COVERAGE

The original story broke on the Bloomberg News site with this: “The FBI has recovered personal and work-related e-mails from the private computer server used by Hillary Clinton during her time as secretary of state, according to a person familiar with the investigation....   The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s success at salvaging personal e-mails that Clinton said had been deleted raises the possibility that the Democratic presidential candidate’s correspondence eventually could become public. The disclosure of such e-mails would likely fan the controversy over Clinton’s use of a private e-mail system for official business....  The FBI is investigating how and why classified information ended up on Clinton’s server. The probe probably will take at least several more months, according to the person, who described the matter on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing and deals with sensitive information....   A review by Clinton and her aides determined that about half of the 60,000 e-mails she exchanged during her four-year tenure as secretary of state were of a personal nature, the presidential candidate has said....  Those e-mails, she said, mostly dealt with planning for Chelsea’s wedding, yoga routines and condolence messages....  Clinton said the personal e-mails were deleted from the server and her staff turned over paper copies of the remaining work-related e-mails in December to the State Department for processing and archiving. The FBI obtained Clinton’s server from the Colorado-based company managing it....”   (See “FBI Said to Recover Personal E-Mails From Hillary Clinton Server” by  Wilber Del Quentin, 9/22/15, Bloomberg News [http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-09-22/fbi-said-to-recover-personal-e-mails-from-hillary-clinton-server]).

ALSO ADDITIONAL COVERAGE OF THE FBI STORY IN RIGHT WING MEDIA

In addition to the material discussed above, several “Republican,” conservative and right-leaning outlets have also jumped on this news lead about the FBI’s recovery of the Hillary’s deleted E-mails....


DES MOINES REGISTER ARTICLE REPORTS ON  ANOTHER APPARENT DISCREPANCY IN HILLARY CLINTON'S E-MAIL NARRATIVE

The Des Moines Register’s report relates to a completely different story, which is also quite problematic for the Democrat front-runner for the presidency.  According to Jennifer Jacobs report in the Register,   “Another apparent discrepancy has arisen in what Hillary Clinton has said about her emails....  When The Des Moines Register asked her about the latest twist in the private server saga on Tuesday, she said she had no new answers....   Just before Clinton sat down for a 105-minute meeting with the Register's editorial board, the Washington Post posted a news story that said the State Department's request for her emails was ‘prompted entirely by the discovery that Clinton had exclusively used a private e-mail system.’...   That contradicts what Clinton has been saying, which is that agency officials asked her for her emails as part of a benign, general record-keeping effort to sweep up ‘everything from other secretaries of state, not just me,’ as she said Sunday....  (See “Clinton disputes report of new email discrepancy” by  Jennifer Jacobs, 9/22/15, The Des Moines Register [http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2015/09/22/clinton-on-conflicting-explanations-about-her-emails-i-cant-answer-that/72651534/]).

This is where the rubber meets the road – and where Hillary has a real problem: “....  After the editorial board meeting, a Register reporter asked Clinton if she could explain the discrepancy between her characterization of why she turned over the emails and the State Department's....   ‘I don't know that. I can't answer that,’ Clinton answered. ‘All I know is that they sent the same letter to everybody. That's my understanding.’...”

WE’LL HAVE TO SEE ABOUT THAT NOW – WON’T WE.....

Sunday, September 20, 2015

BEN CARSON SHOWS DONALD TRUMP HOW TO MAKE REAL BIG NEWS TALKING ABOUT A “MUSLIM PROBLEM” IN THE U.S.

The Number Two [#2] GOP Candidate One-Ups Trump, the Republican leading in the polls, on an issue that bugged him for days   


Carson tells Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" that Muslims in the United States might have their own problems accommodating to the U.S. Constitution  —  And, as a result, Dr. Carson might have a problem with a Muslim's being POTUS 


Muslim group, C.A.I.R., quickly issues a call for repudiation of Carson by all ends of the political spectrum


WITH THE TWO LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES CLEARLY READY TO DISCUSS THE “MUSLIM PROBLEM” IN AMERICA  –  IS THE GOP GETTING READY TO LAUNCH A HOLY WAR AGAINST ISLAM IN THE UNITED STATES ? 



Here’s how the Republican-oriented  “Newsmax” blog handled what the Republican candidate for president, who is now in second place, said on NBC’s Sunday morning “Face The Nation” program, hosted by Chuck Todd:  “The Islamic faith isn’t ‘consistent’ with the U.S. Constitution, and a Muslim shouldn’t be president, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said....   ‘I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,’ Carson said on NBC’s 'Meet the Press' on Sunday....  Carson said the religious beliefs of a president would matter if his or her faith was inconsistent with U.S. values....”  ( See “Ben Carson: A Muslim Shouldn't Be US President” by Greg Richter, 9/20/15, Newsmax/ newsmax.com [http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/carson-muslim-not-president/2015/09/20/id/692429/]).

Similar coverage exists across the entire spectrum of Republican internet outlets; and the story is also being told in/on most of the mainstream media.

DETAILS OF THE “MEET THE PRESS” BEN CARSON – CHUCK TODD INTERVIEW

The Newsmax article went on to give these details of Ben Carson’s Sunday morning interview: “....  Carson, asked by moderator Chuck Todd whether a presidential candidate's faith should matter to voters, said it depends.

"If it's inconsistent with the values and principles of America then of course it should matter," Carson said. "But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the Constitution, no problem."

Todd then asked whether Islam is consistent with the Constitution.

"No, I do not. I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that," Carson said.

But Congress is a different matter, he said.

"It depends on who that Muslim is and what their policies are. Just as it depends on what anybody else says. And if there's somebody who's of any faith but they say things and their life has been consistent with things that will elevate this nation and make it possible for everybody to succeed and bring peace and harmony then I'm with them."

Carson said he takes President Barack Obama at his word that he was both born in the United States and is a Christian. Trump declined Sunday to talk about either of those issues....”

TIE-IN TO EARLIER REMARKS BY DONALD TRUMP

The issues of Muslims in American politics and/or America’s having a “Muslim Problem”came to the fore late last week when  Trump chose not to correct a questioner during one of Trump’s rallies, who mentioned his belief that President Barack Obama is a Muslim.

On another segment of “Meet the Press,” Trump said that he didn’t have any obligation to defend President Obama.  Newsmax quoted one of Trump’s remarks to Todd thus:  “....  This is the first I’ve ever gotten into hot water for not saying anything.”

Also on Todd’s Sunday program,  Trump and Carson both said they believed Obama was a Christian.

MUSLIM GROUP, C.A.I.R., RESPONDS TO CARSON’S "MEET THE PRESS" STATEMENT

According to the Newsmax report.  “....  The nation's largest Muslim advocacy group says lawmakers from across the political spectrum should repudiate Carson's comments....  Ibrahim Hooper is a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations and says the Constitution expressly prohibits a religious test to qualify for elected office....”

Saturday, September 19, 2015

FLASH UPDATE: THE “E-MAILS OF HILLARY CLINTON’S TOP AIDES TURNED OVER TO STATE DEPARTMENT AT LAST” EDITION

MORE THAN NINE (9) MONTHS AFTER HILLARY CLINTON BELATEDLY TURNED OVER A PORTION OF HER E-MAILS TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT, THREE OF HER TOP AIDES HAVE EVEN MORE BELATEDLY TURNED OVER 100,000 PAGES  OF THEIR OWN                                                                                  

ACCORDING TO THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT,  HUMA ABEDIN TURNED OVER ABOUT 23,000 PAGES OF E-MAILS  —  PHILIPPE REINES RETURNED 70,000 PAGES  —  & CHERYL MILLS ALMOST 12,000 PAGES


STATE DEPARTMENT INDICATES THAT IT MUST PERUSE ALL THE ABEDIN, REINES & MILLS E-MAILS, COMB THEM FOR CLASSIFIED MATERIAL AND REDACT SUCH MATERIAL —  BEFORE MAKING IT AVAILABLE TO REQUESTS BY THE PUBLIC




According to a report in the Saturday Washington Times  —   “Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s top aides have belatedly turned over more than 100,000 pages of emails they had kept on personal email accounts, or accounts tied to Mrs. Clinton’s server, the government told a federal judge late Friday....   Huma Abedin turned over an estimated 23,000 pages of emails, Philippe Reines gave back 70,000 pages of messages and Cheryl Mills returned somewhere in the neighborhood of 11,870 pages, the Obama administration told Judge Rudolph Contreras in a court filing....”  ( See “Hillary Clinton’s aides relinquish more than 100,000 pages of emails” by Stephen Dinan, 9/19/15,  The Washington Times [http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/19/hillary-clinton-aides-relinquish-more-100000-pages/]).

Stephen Dinan’s article went on to note that “....  The messages came to light after it was discovered Mrs. Clinton used a non-State.gov account to conduct her business during her four years as secretary. Attention then turned to her aides, and it turned out they, too, did a lot of business on non-State.gov email accounts....   Those messages have effectively been shielded from public scrutiny for years, in defiance of federal policies that discourage use of personal email accounts and insist that when they are used, all government-related business be forwarded to an official account for record-keeping....  Mrs. Clinton returned about 32,000 messages to the government in December. Ms. Mills didn’t return her last batch of messages until Aug. 12, and Ms. Abedin was even later, taking until Sept. 1 — or after the deadline the State Department had agreed to — to finally give back all of her government business messages....  Mr. Reines returned 70,000 pages of emails on July 28. But most of those are daily compilations of articles in the press related to State Department business. Excluding those, Mr. Reines has provided about 16,000 pages of new emails to the Department....”

ADDITIONAL DELAYS AND PROCEDURES

The Dinan-Washington Times article also indicated that there would be an additional period of delay while the approximately 100,000 pages of E-mails submitted by HRC’s aides are subjected to the departmental classification review process.  Once that process has been performed and redactions of classified material completed, the E-mails will be made available for the public pursuant to requests under FOIA or other open document procedures. There are no plans by the State Department to openly publish or post the Abedin, Reines and/or Mills E-mails.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Why should Donald Trump apologize for something somebody else said ? ? ? — Or — Have The Establishment Republican Candidates shown themselves all to be >>> RINOs ? ? ?


Something is very wrong with the establishment Republicans  —  Many of the top-tier and far-behind GOP candidates have jumped on Donald Trump and his NON-response to the OBAMA-MUSLIM question  —   It shows that they have completely bought into “Political Correctness”  —   and that real questions by real Americans scares the piss out of them


Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal and a few others make me want to puke....  They’re upset that Trump didn’t  >>> IMMEDIATELY CORRECT <<<  a fellow American that expressed the heart-felt beliefs of many good Americans 


THEY WANT TRUMP TO SPEAK-UP AND DEFEND OBAMA AS A CHRISTIAN  


So far Trump’s silence on the OBAMA-MUSLIM issue is  >>>>  BRILLIANT <<<<  —   I hope he keeps it up  —   Let the others hang themselves  —   Almost as BRILLIANT was Trump’s pivot to  >>>>  “....  The bigger issue is that Obama is waging a war against Christians in this country. Their religious liberty is at stake....” 


Here’s a precis of what all the brouhaha is all about – according to Newsmax –   “....   Trump is facing criticism from both Republican and Democratic candidates following caustic remarks made by two men about the president that he failed to correct, The Hill reports....   One man in the crowd told Trump,   ‘We have a problem in this country —  it’s called Muslims.…  We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American. That’s my question, when can we get rid of them?’...   Trump answered back, ‘We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things. A lot of people are saying bad things are happening, [and] we’re going to be looking at that and plenty of other things.’....”   Then a second man said, “....  ‘I applaud the gentlemen who stood and said that Obama is a Muslim born abroad.’...  ‘Right,’ Trump replied....” (See “Trump Scraps Campaign Trip for 'Significant Business Transaction' ” by Bill Hoffman, 9/18/15, Newsmax/ newsmax.com  [http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/trump-cancel-trip-conservative/2015/09/18/id/692274/]).

Since, that occurred at a Trump Q & A last night, there has been weeping and gnashing of teeth among several GOP candidates, like those mentioned in my sub-headline above; Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley; and to be sure, myriad communities in the main stream media.

I have a simple question about all of that  —   how is any of that bad for Donald Trump and his campaign ? ? ?

FOR ONCE, TRUMP’S SILENCE IS GOLDEN

So far, Trump’s silence on the questions has everybody more flummoxed than anything that he has said up to now about anything  —  including Mexicans and Jeb Bush’s half-Mexican family.....   So far TRUMP has been brilliant in his silence.....  Almost as brilliant was his generally responsive comment that was issued a couple of hours later  —   the one about Obama's "War on Christianity."

Here’s how theBusiness Insider (a representative of the MSM) handled it  —   “Trump did not correct [what the Business Insider characterized as ‘the blatant falsehood’] that Obama is a Muslim, nor did he address the questioner calling American Muslims ‘a problem.’...  Trump released a statement to The Washington Post defending his comments....  ‘The media wants to make this issue about Obama,’ he told the Post. ‘The bigger issue is that Obama is waging a war against Christians in this country. Their religious liberty is at stake.’...  His campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, talked to the Post late Thursday night to further defend Trump's answer....   ‘Mr. Trump was asked about training camps,’ Lewandowski said. ‘Mr. Trump answered the question and said, “If there are any, we will fix it.” He said, “I will look into it.”  The question was specifically about training camps.’...  When asked if Trump believes that Obama is a Muslim, Lewandowski told the Post that he doesn't speak for Trump and that it's ‘up to the media’ if they want to ‘make this about Obama.’...” (See “TRUMP: 'Obama is waging a war against Christians' ” by
Dan Turkel and Pamela Engel, 9/17/15, Business Insider [http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-just-dodged-a-question-that-called-obama-a-muslim-2015-9]).

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What has happened to Christine Gupana ? ? ? — And — Why ? ? ?


One of Hillary Clinton’s top Nevada campaign operators, Christine Gupana, has disappeared and erased her tracks on the internet after the release of a video showing her describe campaign registration procedures that are illegal in the State of Nevada



JAMES O’KEEFE VIDEO shows Hillary Clinton’s Nevada campaign operatives, including Christine Gupana,  discussing registration procedures that involve multiple violations of Nevada’s election laws [ A YouTube link to the O'Keefe video is contained below]



According to a report in yesterday’s Breitbart News  —   “The Nevada immigration attorney and Hillary Clinton campaign fellow has gone into hiding since she was captured in a James O’Keefe video apparently conspiring to violate election laws. Gupana told who she thought were Hillary Clinton campaign staffers and volunteers to ‘Do whatever you can. Whatever you can get away with, just do it, until you get kicked out, like, totally.’ Gupana seemed to know that none of these volunteers were licensed to register voters by a county clerk, as required by law in Nevada....  Breitbart News reported Friday that Nevada election officials are now investigating the Hillary Clinton campaign to determine if Gupana or other campaign staffers broke the law....”  ( See “HILLARY CLINTON STAFFER IN HIDING AS AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATE HER WORK ON THE CAMPAIGN” by Patrick Howley, 9/16/15,  Breitbart News [http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/16/hillary-clinton-staffer-hiding-authorities-investigate-work-campaign/]).

Last Friday, another Breitbart News report indicated, “.... Nevada election officials are now investigating the Hillary Clinton campaign to determine if Gupana or other campaign staffers broke the law....” ( See “EXCLUSIVE: NEVADA ELECTION OFFICIALS INVESTIGATING HILLARY CAMPAIGN” by Patrick Howley, 9/11/15, Breitbart News [http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/11/exclusive-nevada-election-officials-investigating-hillary-campaign/]).  In that article, Mr. Howley reported, “.... Top election officials in the state of Nevada are investigating the Hillary Clinton campaign official who was snared in the latest James O’Keefe video....   Nevada attorney Christina Gupana, who is managing voter-registration efforts for the Clinton campaign in the key state of Nevada, was the unwitting star of O’Keefe’s undercover sting video this week. Gupana was caught on film apparently conspiring to violate election laws....”


TOP NEVADA ELECTION OFFICIALS INVESTIGATING THE MATTER

According the Breitbart’s Friday report —   “‘We do have an official complaint referencing the video,’ said Wayne Thorley, deputy secretary for elections in Nevada’s Secretary of State’s office....  ‘The complaint was filed 2:30 local Nevada Time today. We will be investigating the complaint.... We can confirm that we are aware of the video and we will look into what’s on the video.’...  The O’Keefe project marks one of the most clear-cut examples of potential election fraud yet committed by a 2016 presidential campaign. Gupana deleted the website for her law practice Friday....”


WHO IS CHRISTINA GUPANA ? ? ?

According to all of the reports to date, Christina Gupana is an attractive young woman and an immigration lawyer in Nevada, who is a voter registration coordinator for the Hillary Clinton Campaign in and around Las Vegas, Nevada.


WHAT DID CHRISTINA GUPANA DO ? ? ?

She is shown several times during the O’Keefe video apparently giving verbal instructions to various HRC campaign volunteers in Nevada. In addition, Gupana is shown listening to reports by the volunteers as to what they did in their canvasses at various public places. Those HRC volunteers are shown apparently discussing  with Gupana unlawful or other irregular behaviors in what they had done in the field; and Gupana, a lawyer and the operative apparently in charge of the voter registration operation for the HRC campaign, verbally approves and encourages those tactics and practices in the O’Keefe video.

The first report about these matters appeared in the Daily Caller a week ago ( See “James O’Keefe Releases His Most Damning Clinton Campaign Sting Video Yet [VIDEO]” by Chuck Ross, 9/10/15, The Daily Caller [http://dailycaller.com/2015/09/10/james-okeefe-releases-his-most-damning-clinton-campaign-sting-video-yet-video/]).  According to that report by Chuck Ross  —   “An undercover video released by the muckraking journalism group Project Veritas on Thursday appears to show several Hillary Clinton campaign workers and volunteers in Nevada openly flouting election law and bragging about it....”

The video shows Hillary Clinton campaign staffers discussing how during voter registration drives they openly endorsed Clinton and the Democratic Party. According to the Ross-Daily Caller article,  that’s an apparent violation of the Nevada Election Law, which prohibits registration workers from advocating for a candidate or a party. However, Chuck Ross made this observation, “....  But the campaign workers appeared to abide by another legal code: ‘ask for forgiveness, not for permission.’...”   Then Chuck Ross and the folks at the Daily Caller made particular note of the following: “....  Several of the Nevada Hillary for America staffers are recorded uttering [that] mantra in the sting video.”


THE O’KEEFE VIDEO

The O’Keefe-Project Veritas video, shows  “.... [h]idden cameras capture Clinton campaign staff in Nevada not only skirting election law but mocking it....”; that video is available on YouTube ( See “Clinton Campaign: ‘Whatever you can get away with just do it’ ”  published on You Tube 9/10/15, Project Veritas Action [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhI6bMbhsDE]).

The video, .which was released last Thursday by O’Keefe’s organization Project Veritas, showed  Gupana telling those in the video,  who Gupana believed to be HRC campaign staffers and volunteers,  “.... Do whatever you can. Whatever you can get away with, just do it, until you get kicked out, like totally....”   According to the Breitbart report, only licensed field registrars, certified by a county clerk, can register voters in the State of Nevada; and as mentioned above, the Daily Caller noted that local election law  “... prohibits registration workers from advocating for a candidate or a party....”

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What is going on with Hillary Clinton’s E-mails now that the FBI has her server ? ? ?


What the FBI is doing as part of its investigation involving HRC’s E-Mails and Server  —   Mother Jones:  An expert explains how the agency may be trying to resurrect her emails....  Given that this involves lawyers, the FBI, the State Department, and a host of intelligence agencies, that expert adds,  “....  It's going to be really messy” 



FBI INVESTIGATION DISCUSSED IN MOTHER JONES ARTICLE



According to the folks at Mother Jones  —   “Last week, Hillary Clinton finally apologized for using a private email server when she was secretary of state. That server is now in the hands of the FBI, but it took a while to get there. In December, the Clinton camp provided 30,000 or so work-related emails to the State Department after it deleted more than 31,000 emails from the server that it considered personal. In March, while declining to give a congressional committee access to the server, Clinton's lawyer David Kendall said the emails stored on it had been permanently erased, or ‘wiped.’ But weeks ago, with the email controversy showing no signs of subsiding, Clinton handed over the server to the FBI. The Washington Post reported Saturday that Platte River Networks, the Denver-based company that has managed Clinton's email system since 2013, had no record of the server being ‘wiped.’  So this could mean the FBI will be able to recover emails that the Clinton crew deleted—and that the bureau will be able to review all the emails and documents on the server to determine if materials, possibly including classified information, were handled properly....”  (See “These Are the Forensic Tests the FBI Is Running on Hillary Clinton's Server” by AJ Vicens,  9/14/15, Mother Jones/ Politics [http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/08/hillary-clinton-emails-server-fbi]).

AJ Vicens at “Mother Jones” asked  Jon Berryhill, a computer forensics expert and a former US Air Force investigator, to help explain what the FBI might trying to do to pull-up the deleted (or non-deleted)  material from Hillary Clinton's email server and detail what challenges the FBI’s investigators might have to face. The Vicens-Mother Jones article then detailed several of the techniques that the FBI computer experts would employ on the Hillary Clinton server to determine a variety questions related to the configuration, operational history and security of the Clinton server; and the preservation and/or recovery of all the “official” and “private” E-mails.

According to Jon Berryhill,  “....  Within a couple of hours....  ‘the analyst is going to have a good feel for the kinds of things that are there and what's possible.’  If there is information to pull from the machine, investigators will likely use automated tools to comb through the system, grab files and piece them together, but this could take weeks. ‘The time line of something like this gets drawn out usually because of other things and other people....  If you put it on paper, you could have millions of pages out of a process like that.’ Given that this involves lawyers, the FBI, the State Department, and a host of intelligence agencies, he adds, ‘it's going to be really messy.’...”

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Today is Primary Day --- GOP Races for County Committee in a few EDs in Brooklyn

"...  Is any body there - - - ?"   "... Does anybody care - - -?"

Little organization or interest shown by main factions of Brooklyn GOP

2015 GOP Primary appears to be pre- or anti-climactic to behind the scenes movements  



The Brooklyn GOP Organization backing County Chairman Craig Eaton has a strategy and plan involving the party rules, the use of proxies and the conduct of the upcoming 2015 GOP County Convention that the County leader is confident  he can implement to maintain his control and influence through 2015 and beyond. Unfortunately, I don't have a clue what that might be  ---  other than  ---   "... just like in 2013..."

Recently, when I asked County Chairman Eaton about a report that I had received that involved a phone call between State Senator Martin Golden and him,  the leader denied that any such call had been made.  Then in a cryptic way that only Mr. Eaton can master --- he acknowledged that someone had contacted him on behalf of Mr. Golden and said everything that I had mentioned.

The some and substance of that conversation was that Golden had enough delegates to take control of the Brooklyn Republican Party apparatus; and that Golden and Eaton should sit down to avoid any mistakes, of the sort that had happened at the convention before --- and so that Eaton could avoid embarrassment  

Eaton was emphatic that his answer was a simple,  "No thanks.... I've heard it all before...."

Eaton then went on to tell me that going into the convention of 2015, the various sides (and there are several more than two) are in approximately the same ratios as in 2013; and that like in 2013, Eaton had a plan to make moves with certain factions so as to maintain his county-wide majority. According to Craig Eaton, a few faces might change on the GOP County Executive Committee, but overall the lineups will be very similar to what's there right now.

Glenn Nocera's gambit generated little new [or old] interest, but one reported reaction was most telling. Those in the 46th AD LaGuardia organization felt betrayed -- and they recited their age old mantra, "It has to be Arnaldo...." as their alternative to Mr. Eaton's leadership.

Interestingly, if there is anything that both Eaton and Golden agree about, it is that it won't be Arnaldo running the Brooklyn GOP anytime soon.

BTW, one of the "mistakes" that SSMG supposedly wanted to avoid was any "deal" that would have resulted in the "possibilty" of Arnaldo Ferraro becoming the GOP County Leader. That possibility had been contemplated coming out of the 2013 County Convention; but according to Eaton, Mr. Ferraro just made that impossible by his repeated failures to participate with or attend the County Executive Committee. [What makes that odd is that I had heard about talks between the Goldens and the Ferraros earlier in 2015 -- but nobody close to either of those factions would ever confirm or deny that].


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

OMG ! ! ! It looks like another Hillary Clinton “Roll-out” — Or is it another Hillary Clinton “Pivot” — Some are calling it a Hillary Clinton “Reboot”


“I’M SORRY....   I’M SORRY....  I’M SORRY....”  —   BUT WHAT IS HILLARY CLINTON REALLY SORRY FOR ? ? ?  —   YOU TELL ME ! ! !


An appearance of “Ellen...” and an interview with a triple “Apology” all in one day  —   And that was just in the first day after saying she had nothing to apologize for  —  You can’t make this stuff up [really you can, but you don’t have to, Hillary and her folks are doing it for you]  —  In fact, “The Atlantic” magazine pointed out that the reports of Hillary’s non-apologies were the news in the morning of the day that Hillary made her triple-apology


“.... [I]t doesn't matter how many times James Carville goes on TV to mock the press or warn his fellow Democrats against overreacting to Clinton’s troubles: His fellow Democrats are already alarmed — and her [latest] reboot, rather than assuaging their fears, may be making the problem worse”                                                                                                                              — “The Atlantic” Magazine, David A. Graham 


I choose to call this "Re-Boot"  —  "Das Boot"  —  OR  —  an “Iron Coffin” for an "Iron Maiden"



This morning, one of the folks at “The Atlantic” magazine asked this pertinent question: “....  Bumbling through new strategies publicly, reversing herself on an email apology within 24 hours—has the Democrat learned any of the lessons of 2008?”  (See “Hillary Clinton's Bungled Reboot” by David A. Graham, 9/9/15, The Atlantic [http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/hiilary-reboot/404398/]).

David A. Graham goes on to tell us what he really thinks in his very thoughtful piece, here’s how he starts: “It’s a bad sign when your presidential campaign needs a reboot. It’s a worse sign when your advisers announce that reboot publicly....  That’s exactly where Hillary Clinton finds herself this week. In an attempt to right what is universally seen as a listing campaign, the Democratic frontrunner is attempting to reassure her supporters, donors, and party—as well as prospective supporters and donors—that she has what it takes to run and win a race. But so far, the hamfisted execution of that reboot suggests that she hasn’t learned enough from the debacle of her 2008 campaign, and it’s hard to imagine that events of the last two days will do much to reassure major donors and party leaders....  The precipitating cause of all of this is the continuing drip-drip of Clinton’s State Department email scandal....”

Here’s the point that David Graham and “The Atlantic” magazine wants to drive home in this article, “.... [Hillary Clinton’s] reversal — two almost diametrically opposed answers to the same question in two days — does not suggest a campaign that is confident and has a plan. And the spectacle of Clinton’s aides speaking to the press about what they “want her” to do makes for uncomfortable recollections of the 2008 campaign, in which Clinton aides fought for control of the campaign (and with each other) via the media. Heading into this race, Clinton promised she had learned the lessons of the campaign, including the risk of failing to show emotion on the trail and the danger of allowing chaos among advisers, and wouldn’t make them again....  So far, the record is mixed....” It continues further on with this: “....  Clinton's struggles show the disadvantages of running as an incumbent, her strategy so far. (Clinton’s Wednesday morning speech making the case for President Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement is the latest instance of this strategy.) One is that the campaign can forget that it actually has to win voters over. A second is that the strategy assumes the candidate has already proven her competence. Clinton’s waffling over the emails, and her advisers’ public declaration of a broader change of course, do nothing to project competence....”

David Graham’s article closes with this: “....  [I]t doesn't matter how many times James Carville goes on TV to mock the press or warn his fellow Democrats against overreacting to Clinton’s troubles: His fellow Democrats are already alarmed — and her [latest] reboot, rather than assuaging their fears, may be making the problem worse”

“Reboot” !!!  More like “Das Boot” —  a German U-boat depth-charged to the bottom, which greatly struggles to get back to its covered pens, only to be destroyed there in a British air raid !!!  By the end of the war, they didn’t call them “Iron Coffins” for nothing....  

So far, Hillary’s Campaign is looking very much like an “Iron Coffin”.......

Sort of appropriate —  an "Iron Coffin" for the "Iron Maiden".......

Saturday, September 5, 2015

FLASH UPDATE: THE “IS HILLARY CLINTON GETTING ALL THAT SHE PAID FOR ?” EDITION


MEDIA REPORTS INDICATE THAT HRC MADE “PERSONAL PAYMENTS” TO HER STATE DEPARTMENT I-T AIDE, BRYAN PAGLIANO, FOR HIM TO MAINTAIN HER “PERSONAL SERVER” FOR HER “PERSONAL E-MAILS” —   ALL WHILE SHE WAS SECRETARY OF STATE  —   SOON THIS WHOLE THING MIGHT BE GETTING REALLY “PERSONAL” FOR HILLARY CLINTON   



CONTROVERSIAL DUAL-EMPLOYMENT SITUATION IS QUICKLY ACKNOWLEDGED BY HILLARY CLINTON AND HER CAMPAIGN  —  HILLARY SAYS SHE THINKS IT'S "IN THE PUBLIC RECORD"



DUAL PAYMENT SCHEME INVESTIGATED JUST LIKE ANOTHER HILLARY CLINTON AIDE, HUMA ABEDIN




According to a report in the Washington Post, “Hillary Rodham Clinton and her family personally paid a State Department staffer to maintain the private e-mail server she used while heading the agency, according to an official from Clinton’s presidential campaign....  The unusual arrangement helped Clinton retain personal control over the system that she used for her public and private duties and that has emerged as an issue for her campaign. But, according to the campaign official, it also ensured that taxpayer dollars were not spent on a private server that was shared by Clinton, her husband and their daughter as well as aides to the former president....” ( See “Clintons personally paid State Department staffer to maintain server ”  by Rosalind S. Helderman and Carol D. Leonnig, 9/5/15, The Washington Post [http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clintons-personally-paid-state-department-staffer-to-maintain-server/2015/09/04/b13ab23e-530c-11e5-9812-92d5948a40f8_story.html]).

The WaPo article went on to note that  —   “The private employment of Pagliano provides a new example of the ways that Clinton — who occupied a unique role as a Cabinet secretary who was also a former and potentially future presidential candidate — hired staff to work simultaneously for her in public and private capacities....”  And that  —   “....  Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, and Huma Abedin, a close confidant who served as deputy chief of staff, both spent time working for the State Department, the Clinton Foundation or the Clintons personally....”


THE DUAL EMPLOYMENT ARRANGEMENT FOR PAGLIANO

The Washington Post says, “....   The Clintons paid Pagliano $5,000 for “computer services” prior to his joining the State Department, according to a financial disclosure form he filed in April 2009....   But even after arriving at State in May 2009, Pagliano continued to be paid by the Clintons to maintain the server, which was in their Chappaqua, N.Y., home, according to the campaign official and another person familiar with the arrangement. That person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter is under investigation....”


THE DUAL EMPLOYMENT ARRANGEMENT APPARENTLY PRESENTS A NEW DISCLOSURE PROBLEM FOR BOTH PAGLIANO AND HILLARY CLINTON

The private pay arrangement between the Clinton’s and Bryan Pagliano had not previously been reported according to the report in the Washington Post.

Here’s what the Washington Post said about the disclosure of any dual employment arrangements between Paliano and the Clinton’s:   “.... The State Department has declined to answer questions about whether the private system was widely known within the agency or officially approved....  Asked in early August about whether Pagliano had been paid privately to maintain the server, a State Department official said that the agency had ‘found no evidence that he ever informed the department that he had outside income.’...   This week, a different State Department official said he could not clarify Pagliano’s pay situation, citing “ongoing reviews and investigations” of Clinton’s e-mail setup....  Pagliano did not list the outside income in the required personal financial disclosures he filed each year. The State Department has said Pagliano concluded his full-time service in February 2013, which coincides with Clinton’s departure as secretary. He remains a State Department contractor doing work on “mobile and remote computing functions,” according to a State Department spokesman....”

The WaPo also quoted a campaign official as saying the arrangement with Pagliano ensured that taxpayer dollars were not spent on a private server that was also used by Clinton's family and aides to former President Bill Clinton.


DUAL EMPLOYMENT SITUATION FOR BRYAN PAGLIANO IS LIKELY TO BE AS CONTROVERSIAL AS THAT OF HUMA ABEDIN  —   PAGLIANO’S EMPLOYMENT  SITUATION  IS ALSO BEING INVESTIGATED BY THE SAME COMMITTEE AS THE ONE LOOKING AT HUMA’S EMPLOYMENT

The disclosure of simultaneous “personal” payments to Bryan Pagliano wile he was employed by the U.S. government is likely to cause additional problems for Pagliano and Hillary Clinton. Similar employment circumstances involving another Hillary Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, have been quite controversial —  even prompting a Senate inquiry by Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley.

Pagliano’s circumstances might prove to be even more problematic, inasmuch as there has been no indication to date that either Bryan Pagliano or Secretary of State Clinton disclosed his dual employment, or a mixed government employee-private contractor status  —  or that any such “special employment” status was ever applied for.

According to Rosalind S. Helderman’s and Carol D. Leonnig’s WaPo report, “....  A spokeswoman for the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was inquiring about Pagliano’s outside employment, said that Pagliano’s lawyer informed the committee that his client would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights....  Lawmakers interested in hearing Pagliano’s account of the server’s setup and security protocols are considering whether to offer him immunity in exchange for his testimony. If they take the step, Pagliano would be compelled to appear....”


LATER REPORT CONFIRMS PRIVATE PAYMENTS TO PAGLIANO FOR WORK ON HILLARY CLINTON’S PRIVATE SERVER  —  HRC AND CAMPAIGN SPOKEMAN ARE BOTH QUOTED ADMITTING TO THE PRIVATE PAYMENTS TO HER STATE DEPARTMENT I-T AIDE

According to Newsmax, “Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Saturday she and her family paid a State Department staffer with personal funds to maintain a private email server that she used for both personal and government matters while secretary of state....  After a campaign appearance in New Hampshire, Clinton told reporters the payments went to information technology specialist Bryan Pagliano, who this week declined to produce documents and testify before a U.S. House of Representatives committee about the server, invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination....  ‘With respect to personal services that he provided to me and my family, we obviously paid for those services and did so because, during a period of time, we continued to need his technical assistance. And I think that's in the public record,’ Clinton said....”  ( See “Clinton Says She Paid Staffer to Maintain Private Email Server”  8/5/15, Newsmax/ from Reuters [http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/clinton-paid-staffer-email/2015/09/05/id/673781/]).

Newsmax added this, perhaps for some clarification: “.... [Hillary Clinton] Campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said on Twitter: "Bryan was hired by the Clinton family as a consultant in order to help out periodically with the management of the system in Chappaqua that hosted the family's emails."



Friday, September 4, 2015

An Interesting Glitch in the Overall E-Mails Investigation — Bryan Pagliano, a key witness in the entire investigation of Hillary Clinton's E-Mail-Server System, Is Refusing to Cooperate With Any Government Investigators


Not only is Hillary Clinton’s IT-Aide “Taking the Fifth” With respect to questioning by the Benghazi Committee  —   Bryan Pagliano is also Reportedly Refusing to Cooperate with State Department and FBI Investigators 

HRC’s information tech aide won’t talk to the Benghazi Committee, U.S. State Department Investigators or the FBI about his work on HRC’s E-mail server system and related matters 

 

According to a report by Michael Isikoff for Yahoo News/ Politics:  “The former aide to Hillary Clinton who helped set up and maintain her private email server has declined to talk to the FBI and the State Department inspector general’s office, as well as a congressional committee, invoking his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself, sources familiar with the investigation confirmed to Yahoo News....  The move by Bryan Pagliano, who served on Clinton’s 2008 campaign and later as a technology officer in the State Department, to decline to cooperate in two federal probes considerably raises the stakes in the Clinton email investigation, the sources said. It confronts the Justice Department with a decision about whether to grant him immunity in exchange for his testimony — a move that could be taken only were the department to escalate the probe into a full-scale criminal investigation, the sources said....” (See “Exclusive: Former Clinton aide has rebuffed FBI and State Department investigators in email probe” by Michael Isikoff, 9/3/15, Yahoo.com/ Politics [https://www.yahoo.com/politics/clinton-aide-has-rebuffed-fbi-and-state-department-128271848515.html]).

It should be noted that —   “....   Pagliano’s decision this week to decline to testify before a congressional committee investigating the death of the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi was first reported Wednesday night by the Washington Post. But Pagliano’s earlier rebuffs to federal investigators, including the FBI, have not been previously reported.....”

BACKGROUND OF INVESTIGATIONS INVOLVING BRYAN PAGLIANO

Pagliano,  was first contacted by the State Department inspector general’s office in June, according to Isikoff's sources.  The State Department's IG was at that point in the early stages of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official business. However, Pagliano declined to speak to the inspector general’s investigators, informing them through his Washington lawyer, Mark MacDougall, that Pagliano would invoke his Fifth Amendment right, again according to Isikoff's sources.

Then, in late July, the State Department inspector general and the inspector general for the director of national intelligence referred the matter to the FBI counterintelligence division to determine if classified information was mishandled through the use of the private email server after finding evidence that classified information was communicated on emails sent through the server.  The FBI also sought to question Pagliano and he again refused. His refusal to answer questions was communicated by his lawyer to senior lawyers in the counterintelligence section of the Justice Department’s national security division.

On August 11th, the House Select Committee investigating Benghazi, subpoenaed Bryan Pagliano to turn over documents and testify at a hearing on September 10th. However, earlier this week, Pagliano's lawyer sent Rep. Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the Committee, a letter informing Gowdy that his client would not answer questions, citing the fact that the issue “is a subject of investigative activity by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice.”

PAGLIANO'S JOBS FOR HILLARY CLINTON

According to Michael Isikoff’s reporting,  sources familiar with the Clinton probe have said that Mr. Pagliano is a potentially central figure in any investigation of Hillary Clinton’s E-mail and server system.  Pagliano might be one of the few people who can answer key questions about why HRC’s private email server was set up, what he was told by HRC about its purpose, and who had access to it and what protections existed to guard the system against hackers or any other outside intrusions.

Also according to the Isikoff-Yahoo News piece, Bryan Pagliano had been an information technology director for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign. Then in due course, he moved over to the State Department office of the chief technology officer but continued to maintain access to the private server “remotely” as well as paying occasional visits to the Clintons’ home to help maintain it, Isikoff’s sources said.

CLINTON CAMPAIGN'S RESPONSE

On Thursday, Hillary Clinton’s campaign spokesman said the former Secretary of State had urged Pagliano to cooperate in the probe.  “We have been confident from the beginning that Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email was allowed and that she did not send or receive anything marked classified, facts confirmed by the State Department and the Inspector General,” said campaign spokesman Nick Merrill in a statement. Merrill added this: “She has made every effort to answer questions and be as helpful as possible, and has encouraged her aides, current and former, to do the same, including Bryan Pagliano....”

Thursday, September 3, 2015

FLASH UPDATE: THE “CHERYL MILLS DAY OF TESTIMONY” EDITION

DON’T BUY INTO THE NARRATIVE THAT CHERYL MILLS’ TESTIMONY ONLY SHOWED THAT — “NO WORK-RELATED MESSAGES HAD BEEN WITHHELD OR DESTROYED”  —   SHE WAS IN FRONT OF THE COMMITTEE FOR TEN HOURS


AMONG OTHER THINGS  


SHE GAVE DETAILS ABOUT HOW SOME INFORMATION THAT CAME IN ON SECURE LINES WAS SENT OUT AS  E-MAIL MESSAGES ON UN-SECURE  SYSTEMS


SHE GAVE SOME DETAILS AS TO HOW THE E-MAILS WERE HANDLED PRIOR TO “WIPING” THE SERVER AT THE DIRECTION OF HILLARY CLINTON


MILLS TESTIMONY ALSO DISCLOSED THAT SHE REVIEWED AND MADE SUGGESTIONS FOR CHANGES TO THE GOVERNMENT’S SUPPOSEDLY “INDEPENDENT” OFFICIAL, FINAL REPORT ON BENGHAZI



ABOUT THE E-MAILS

According to the report about Mills’ testimony that appeared in Politico  — “....  Mills told the Benghazi panel she was not aware if anyone raised red flags about Clinton’s use of a personal email system at State — nor did anyone specifically approve the private server that she knew of, according to the source familiar with her testimony....  Mills said she was not involved in setting up the initial server, nor was she part of the decision to have it stored at Platte River Networks, a small start-up that was reported to have stored servers in a bathroom closet at one point....   Mills was one of several top State officials who forwarded Clinton a number of emails that the intelligence community now believes should have been classified. But she testified that she never knowingly mishandled classified documents....   Messages came to Mills and her colleagues, often from foreign service officers out in the field around the world, on two different computers: one, a classified computer system that was protected and would have prevented the forwarding of any message outside a secure network; the other, an unclassified machine, which would have allowed staff to forward the messages....  In many instances, Mills received messages from the unclassified networks and forwarded them along to Clinton, although some of those messages were deemed classified after the fact....   She also said she never moved emails from a classified to an unclassified system. In an old 2010 email exchange released this week, Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s top policy staffer who will testify before the panel Friday, explained to Clinton that he couldn’t simply pull information off the classified computer and send it over an unsecured network, for example....”  ( See “What Cheryl Mills told Benghazi investigators” by Rachael Bade,  9/3/15, Politico [http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/cheryl-mills-benghazi-testimony-213320]).

Also part of her E-Mail-related testimony,  “....   Mills testified, according to [Politico’s] source, that she used work email ‘overwhelmingly’ and almost only used personal email when she was overseas, at home at night or when their State email otherwise didn’t work. The source previewing the testimony also said she copied her State.gov addresses most of the time when she did go for personal email....”

THE HANDLING OF THE E-MAILS PRIOR TO “WIPING” THE SERVER

According to Politico, Cheryl Mills said that she —   “...  worked alongside Clinton’s lead lawyer David Kendall of Williams & Connolly to oversee the process whereby they selected which emails should be saved from a homemade personal server Clinton used during her State Department tenure. After the Clinton team finished scouring the messages, they had the server wiped clean, deleting the rest of the contents....  According to [Politico’s] source close to Mills, two employees at Denver-based technology company Platte River Networks originally pulled the messages from the server, and attornies under Kendall and Mills sifted through the messages to pull anything they thought could constitute a federal record....  Mills testified that they weren’t trying to hide anything when Clinton decided to wipe the server and that they were over inclusive in what they thought might be a work-related message. Clinton has said the remaining, erased correspondence were ‘personal’ in nature....”

With regard to that, Politico noted,   “....   Panel Republicans are skeptical that Clinton preserved all her work related emails — particularly after they discovered this spring about a dozen undisclosed Clinton emails in a separate set of messages they received from her longtime ally Sid Blumenthal. Those emails were work related, they argue, and should have been included. They suspect there could be more that didn't make the cut before the server was erased....”

The author of the Politico article, Rachel Bade also noted this:    “....  A GOP source said the emails controversy was a ‘very small part of what was discussed ... since she is Clinton’s personal attorney and has a duty to her.’ The person said it is not surprising that she testified that Clinton didn’t do anything wrong....”

ABOUT BENGHAZI AND BENGHAZI-RELATED MATTERS 

Also in the Politico article were several Benghazi-related items such as the following:   “One of the biggest surprises [ ] was that [Cheryl Mills]  said she made suggestions to change State's accountability review board report. The report was supposed to be independent from State officials that may be involved, and the GOP argues top officials should not have had input, long questioning how ‘independence’ the findings were....”

Mills also reiterated to the panel what Hillary Clinton’s insiders have consistently said about the Benghazi attack: “.... [Mills] said she knows of no ‘stand down order’ following the attacks, nor has she any knowledge of the U.S. moving weapons or knowing of other countries moving weapons to Libyan rebels....”

Mills further testified that  —   “....  Following the attack... there was no cover up or attempt to mislead the American public about what happened. Shortly after the 2012 attacks, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice on national television blamed the attack on a protest against an anti-Islam documentary  —   a suggestion the intelligence community later said was false since it was a plotted terrorist attack....  Mills said they didn’t know it was solely a terrorist attack until Sept. 21, and....  she said she didn't know why Rice went on TV to make such claims....”

I make this simple prediction: THIS ISN’T THE LAST THAT WE WILL HEAR ABOUT THE CHERYL MILLS' TESTIMONY BEFORE THE BENGHAZI COMMITTEE.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Solid Trend is Developing Showing that Most Americans Don’t Like Hillary Clinton and Say that They Disfavor Her Candidacy


An ABC News/WaPo poll indicates that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is viewed unfavorably by a majority of Americans  —   the country’s view of Hillary Clinton is at it’s lowest level since 2008


Hillary Clinton is lagging behind in key Democratic groups that supported the election of President Barack Obama



Hillary Clinton continues to decline in the polls to such an extent that it is fair to posit that there is a national trend against her candidacy for President of the United States.  A recent ABC-Washington Post Poll was no exception to that trend.  Various members of the mainstream press and the mainstream media reported on the results of that poll; two of those reports, Politico and the Wa Po itself, are discussed herein below.


POLITICO REPORT

Politico reports that —   “Americans' views on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton have gone under water, nearing an all-time low in ABC News/Washington Post polling, according to the latest survey released Wednesday....   Clinton is seen favorably by 45 percent of Americans, a decrease of 7 percentage points since July, while 53 percent said they did not have a favorable view of the former secretary of state, an increase of 8 percentage points in the same time frame. The numbers are close to Clinton's all-time low in the poll, when she took in just 44 percent in the spring of 2008....”   ( See “Hillary Clinton's favorability numbers have gone under water” by Nick Gass,  9/2/15, Politico [http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/poll-hillary-clinton-2016-favorability-213251]).

WASHINGTON POST REPORT

The Washington Post reported on the same poll in a very even hand fashion; nonetheless it did note that — “....  Fully, 53 percent have an unfavorable impression of her, the highest since April 2008 in Post-ABC surveys. That mark is eight percentage points higher than in July, though not as far from a Post-ABC poll in late May (49 percent). Intense views also run clearly against Clinton, with almost twice as many having a "strongly unfavorable" view of her (39 percent) as "strongly favorable" (21 percent)....   Concerns about Clinton's falling popularity have fed uncertainty among Democrats about her electability, as well as speculation that Vice President Biden will challenge her for the Democratic nod....”  (See “Hillary Clinton’s image continues to decline” by Peyton M. Craighill & Scott Clement, 9/2/15 [http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/09/02/hillary-clintons-image-is-struggling-but-shes-no-donald-trump-or-jeb-bush/]).

The Craighill and Clement article in the Washington Post specifically mentioned the following significant item about Hillary Clinton’s support or non support by certain Democrats: “....  Clinton's image is surprisingly weak among some core groups that helped elect Barack Obama, including younger Americans and women. Her ratings are 48 percent favorable to 51 percent unfavorable among women. Biden draws a similar 45 percent favorable-45 percent unfavorable split among women....   Among adults aged 18-to-39, Clinton splits 47 percent favorable to 50 percent unfavorable. Biden tilts slightly more positive at 46 favorable to 42 percent unfavorable.....”

The Post-ABC poll was conducted between August 26th and August 30th  2015 among a random national sample of 1,005 adults, using conventional and cellular phones. The results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.