Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Kremlin Hoped To Paralyze Our Government


"I once said, ‘We will bury you,’ and I got into trouble with it. Of course, we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you."─Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev
We have an adversary that thrives on our division. The notion that Russian interference in 2016 was unprecedented reflects a willful ignorance of history.
Rob Goldman, Vice President of Ads at Facebook, went on Twitter roughly eight hours after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein read the indictment from the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller of 13 Russian operatives for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
Over the course of eleven presidential elections between the end of World War II and the fall of the Soviet Union, there have been three well-documented secret attempts to influence an American election.
In a published report from Smithsonian Magazine we learn Adlai Stevenson II, the Democratic nominee for president in 1952 and 1956, had advocated a ban on the testing hydrogen bombs.  Stevenson lost both bids for the presidency to Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Stevenson publicly stated he would not seek the nomination again in 1960, but Soviet Ambassador Mikhail A. Menshikov hoped he would reconsider. On January 16, 1960 Menshikov invited Stevenson to the [Soviet] embassy in DC for caviar and drinks to thank him for helping negotiate Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s visit to the United States.  But there was an ulterior motive. At one point, Menshikov pulled notes from his pocket and began delivering Stevenson a message he said came directly from Khrushchev, encouraging him to seriously consider another run for president.
“…We are concerned with the future, and that America has the right president. All countries are concerned with the American election. It is impossible for us not to be concerned about our future and the American Presidency which is so important to everybody everywhere.”
[SKIP]
“In Russia we know well Mr. Stevenson and his views regarding disarmament, nuclear testing, peaceful coexistence, and the conditions of a peaceful world. He has said many sober and correct things during his visit to Moscow and in his writings and speeches. When we compare all the possible candidates in the United States we feel that Mr. Stevenson is best for mutual understanding and progress toward peace.”
[SKIP]
“We don’t know how we can help to make relations better and help those to succeed in political life who wish for better relations and more confidence. Could the Soviet press assist Mr. Stevenson’s personal success? How? Should the press praise him and, if so, for what? Should it criticize him and, if so, for what? We can always find many things to criticize Mr. Stevenson for because he has said many harsh and critical things about the Soviet Union and Communism! Mr. Stevenson will know best what would help him.”
The report ends by noting, “Stevenson did eventually face the Soviets again.  After becoming UN Ambassador under President Kennedy, the winner of the 1960 election. Stevenson was tasked with presenting evidence to the world the Soviets had placed nuclear weapons in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. His showdown with Soviet Ambassador Zorin is one of the key moments of the Cold War. After asking the Ambassador point blank whether Russia had missiles in Cuba, he pressed the issue. When the Ambassador hesitated to answer, Stevenson said, ‘I am prepared to wait for an answer until Hell freezes over, if that is your decision.’”
In 1968, the Soviet Politburo strongly favored Democratic presidential candidate, Hubert H. Humphrey out of fear of Republican nominee Richard Nixon, a vehement anti-Communist. Soviet leaders ordered their ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Dobrynin, to approach Humphrey with an offer of clandestine funding for his campaign. Humphrey politely declined saying, “it was more than enough for him to have Moscow's good wishes."  Nixon won, but instead of confronting the Soviet Union, he embarked on an era of détente and signed the first strategic arms limitation treaty, much to Moscow’s relief.
NOTE:  If you read The Washington Post’s review of Dobrynin’s book “In Confidence” by Robert G. Kaiser, you will be left with the impression he “maintained a personal moral code while representing men in Moscow who did not.”  It is unquestionably an adroit attempt to whitewash his role in the Soviets' espionage programs.
In 1976, the Soviet Union again secretly adopted measures to influence a U.S. presidential election. Early that year, the KGB warned the Politburo that Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson (D-WA), known for his fierce opposition to the Soviet Union, stood a good chance of gaining the Democratic nomination. 

To “conquer world public opinion” the KGB set up a special department, Service A, to discredit the United States.
Service A, prepared a wide-ranging set of measures to discredit Jackson, sending forged FBI letters to prominent U.S. newspapers and journalists claiming that Jackson was a closeted homosexual. Even after Jackson’s campaign faltered and he dropped out of the 1976 race, Service A kept up its homophobic war of disinformation against him, hoping to prevent him from ever again becoming a viable presidential candidate.

The drama series, “The Americans”, was created by former CIA agent-turned-author Joe Weisberg for the FX network; a story about a pair of deep-cover Soviet spies masquerading as a stereotypical Washington couple whose children, neighbors, co-workers and friends are completely unaware of their activities. They pose as travel agents; but at night, they weave a web of confidants, lovers, dupes, and historical figures from the Reagan-era Cold War. The startlingly realistic plot twists force the viewer to consider the real cost of an undeclared war.
The series is, of course, fictional but there’s an interesting “briefing” at the website Spy Museum which details the story of The Cambridge Five.  In 1934, before the Great Purge of the Communist Party, the repression of peasants and Red Army leaders, Soviet intelligence officer Arnold Deutsch met with five Cambridge University graduates.
All were dedicated Communists and demanded no financial compensation for their espionage services. In time, the Soviet strategy of recruiting young, disaffected members of the British elite would yield rich rewards.  Each quickly obtained key positions in the British government and intelligence apparatus.  They did immense damage to Western security when they learned of American efforts to build an atomic bomb, provided documents of “inestimable value” on the Allied strategy in the Korean War and disclosed Project Venona which broke encoded Soviet diplomatic messages.
I raise the issue of the Cambridge Five simply to illustrate the point that so many are willing to do harm to America.  It makes you wonder about dirty dossier author Christopher Steele, himself a Briton.
Many Americans have forgotten the lessons of the Cold War and the disasters witnessed in the crumbling economies and failed institutions of Communist and socialist countries in the 1990s. Communism was on its last leg, it appeared, and its little brother socialism was not far behind.
Little did we know that the fires of socialism were being stoked in corners all across America where it is held in higher regard than in nations that have suffered under it. It is obvious where such thinking abounds and continues to spread: in our colleges and universities. The ideologies of professors and educators have proven stronger than facts. The “benefits” of socialism and Communism are taught from the Ivy League to the local community college. A generation has been taught a lie and they now believe it.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Don’t You Dare Do It!

I was listening to iHartRadio on my Fire TV stick Sunday when Pennsylvania’s Democrat Sen. Bob Casey warned Special Counsel Robert Mueller against issuing a report on his findings in the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election near the upcoming 2018 midterm elections. The direness of his warning reminded me of the 1965-1968 sci-fi TV show Lost In Space with the robot that constantly warned Will Robinson of some impending danger.)
Casey told host John Catsimatidis (Cats Roundtable AM 970 in New York 8:30 – 10:00AM) doing so would distract from the mid-term elections and/or cause people to question the election's integrity. 
"I don't think we'll know anywhere near the full story until Mueller issues his report," Casey said. "But once you get into the summer and you get close to the election, I think it's a mistake for him to release it late. I think he should wait until after the election." 

If you go to the 8:20 mark at the link you can hear his remarks for yourself.

Casey is up for re-election this year. Lou Barletta is seeking to unseat Casey who has represented the Keystone State in the Senate since 2007. 
It is a fact the Democrat Party wants to puff up Casey’s resumé for 2020─a kind of Tim Kaine without the dramatic eyebrows.  The folks of Pennsylvania may well remember Bonusgate─the scandal which saw Carl Romanelli illegally stiffed in 2006 by the pro-Casey Democrat machine and then-State Treasurer Bob Casey.
Casey’s campaign “friends” worked the political system to eliminate Romanelli.  If Romanelli were in the race, chances are Casey would not now be a US Senator. Rick Santorum would have another term. What Casey knew or should have known is worthy of debate.
The dirty linen exposed was one of the biggest corruption scandals in state government history. Its intricate web involved the siphoning off of state funds, overseen by Casey’s Treasury Department to pay state government employees for spending their time working for Democratic candidates moving the Democratic Party’s goals further along. One of the major goals was to oust Romanelli from his rightful place on the PA ballot. Through massive corruption, they succeeded. Yet, Casey still stands.
Romanelli theoretically needed “only” 67,070 valid signatures. He exceeded the requirement by almost 50%. Each petition sheet held as many as 50 signatures and as few as one. The campaign against Romanelli and others, dubbed Bonusgate was big and corrupt. Attorney General Tom Corbett led an investigation leading to the arrest of six state representatives and 19 staffers. Somehow, State Treasurer Casey was not implicated. The logical conclusion is that Senator Casey had nothing to do with it. What he knew or should have known is worthy of debate.
The dirty linen exposed was one of the biggest corruption scandals in state government history. Its intricate web involved the siphoning off of state funds, overseen by Casey’s Treasury Department to pay state government employees for spending their time working for Democratic candidates moving the Democratic Party’s goals further along. One of the major goals was to oust Romanelli from his rightful place on the PA ballot. Through massive corruption, they succeeded. Yet, Casey still stands.
The grand jury investigation discovered that from 2004 to 2006, PA House Democratic Caucus employees secretly grabbed $1,641,550 in taxpayer money while working hard to elect Democratic candidates.  

A Primer on "Common Sense" Gun Laws


First, let me say that I share in the loss and mourn with those who lost loved ones in that terrible Florida school shooting. Some people want to take advantage of those raw emotions to see if they can obtain some political advantage in what really ought to be a time of mourning. But I want you to fully understand that what the anti-gunners mean by "common sense" gun laws is not necessarily what the rest of us call "common sense". The phrase itself, "Common sense gun laws", polls well. I mean, it's obvious, isn't it? Who in their right mind could object to "common sense"? Poll any number of people if you think we should have "common sense gun laws" and you will get a majority, maybe even unanimity!

The gun grabbers then try to use that superficial verbal agreement, since nearly everyone agrees we should have common sense guns laws, then, you should have no problem accepting the ones they're proposing, regardless of how ineffectual they might be, whether or not they solve the problem, and whether or not there are unintended consequences to Constitutional rights, public safety or both, so long as we label them "common sense". There's the bait and switch.

A Democrat, John Dingell, of Michigan said in 1965,
"We now have on the lawbooks of this nation over 20,000 laws governing the sale, distribution and use of firearms.”
I guess it's pretty safe to assume we've added some since then. Yet, for all the "common sense" gun laws already on the books, the people whose ultimate goal is the complete elimination of privately owned firearms (the honest ones will tell you that. Stop laughing!), the anti-gunners want ever-increasing restrictions on firearms, the quantity, the quality, the ease of ownership, the cost of ownership, until they have made it too prohibitively expensive or onerous to obtain, and erode the Second Amendment rights of honest, law abiding Americans to keep and bear arms. At least you common ones! We with political clout and wealth will still require our bodyguards to be fully armed!

"But, but...you might say, we still have terrible school shootings. We have to do something!!" Aye, and we can. But before we trip down the primrose path of passing new laws, pause a moment and consider what effect new laws will have if they are enforced exactly the same way as the 20,000 plus we already have?

Flowing Curves Of Beauty


Isn’t the internet great? A man ordered a mail-order bride from Eastern Europe and received an email confirmation that his Czech was in the mail.



Sunday, February 18, 2018

Whoever Fights Corruption Should See To It He Does Not Himself Become Corrupt

In 2014 the Department of Veterans Affairs was awash in a scandal over massive wait times in its health care system, particularly at one hospital in Phoenix. In the aftermath, Congress and the White House took steps to reform the VA.
The scandal put a national spotlight on some of the financial incentives the VA used to encourage quicker and better care and how those incentives drove some VA employees to cheat the system, so they could continue getting pay bonuses even as they delivered abominable services to the men and women who have served this great nation.
When President Trump took office, he appointed a new Secretary of Veterans Affairs making accountability a major focus of VA reforms.
A scathing report has emerged which found Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin’s chief of staff attempted to cover up travel expenses incurred by Shulkin's wife, Dr. Merle Bari, by doctoring an email with false statements making it possible for Bari to travel at taxpayer expense.
The report comes as Shulkin, the only holdover from the Obama administration in President Trump’s Cabinet, is in the midst of a difficult attempt to overhaul the troubled VA and, in particular, its health care system.
An 11-member Veterans Administration delegation, including Bari and six members of Shulkin's security detail, traveled to Great Britain and Denmark last July, at a total VA cost of $122,334, according to the report. The trip included a tour of Westminster Abbey, attendance at the women's final at Wimbledon and a cruise along the Thames River.
Inspector General Michael J. Missal began his review last October after The Washington Post discovered Shulkin and his wife had spent nearly half their time on personal activities during the European trip. The VA said the two flew commercially and taxpayers covered her airfare as part of "temporary duty" travel expenses.
The audit found the trip violated a cost-saving directive that Shulkin himself had issued to the Department weeks prior to the trip to avoid unnecessary expenses.
Vivieca Wright Simpson, who had served at the Department for 32 years, had been a target of critics within the VA for what they saw as bureaucratic inaction on a host of reforms proposed by President Trump’s administration. She had previously served as Shulkin’s chief of staff at the Veterans Health Administration before he was promoted to the Department’s top post.  Simpson is the same person who in 2014 tried to get VA employees to hide evidence of the VA wait-time scandal from members of Congress.  She has since resigned.
IG Missal’s findings included (1) the Chief of Staff’s alteration of a document and misrepresentations to ethics officials caused Secretary Shulkin’s wife to be approved as an “invitational traveler,” which authorized VA to pay her travel costs (although only airfare was claimed); (2) Secretary Shulkin improperly accepted a gift of Wimbledon tickets and related hospitality; (3) a VA employee’s time was misused as a personal travel concierge to plan tourist activities exceeding that necessary for security arrangements; and (4) travelers’ documentation was inadequate to determine the trip’s full costs to VA. The OIG did not assess the value of the trip to VA or determine whether the Europe travel, as conducted, was “essential,” per VA policy.  The IG has also referred the matter to the Department of Justice for potential criminal prosecution.
Shulkin, in an appearance on Capitol Hill on February 15th, suggested her emails may have been hacked by individuals working against his leadership team.
“We act with the highest ethical character,” Shulkin said. “I relied upon my staff to do this, and in retrospect, I wish that I had asked more questions.”
According to a published report by The Daily Caller, Shulkin implied to Congress she might not have been responsible for that email; it might have been a hacker impersonating her. He insisted the department has “found there are people sending emails from her account that aren’t her.”
In that same Daily Caller report, it was noted, “An hour after he left the newsroom the Department’s website posted a statement saying it had found no evidence of any hack, either in June or on Wednesday. “We have thus far found no credible or conclusive evidence of a compromise to our email system or a user’s account.”
Some observers questioned Shulkin’s claims that someone was impersonating his chief of staff and were suspicious that his allegations coincided with the release of the IG report.
At least one lawmaker, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) an Army and Marine Corps veteran and member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, called for Shulkin’s resignation due to what he says is manipulation of evidence and the implication to legislators that there was credible reason to think the email might not be real.
“What we know now is there’s no evidence of a hack. I think he’s trying to muddy the waters on this. It’s not the issue itself, it’s the cover-up, it speaks to his lack of integrity,” he said.
For the record Shulkin has reimbursed the government the money for his wife’s unauthorized travel and intends to repay The Invictus Games for the Wimbledon tickets.
Also, The Daily Caller learned from a senior department official the Secretary has an upcoming official trip to the Vatican with his wife. The source reiterated that the trip is currently on the books, saying the pair are scheduled to travel to Vatican City from April 20 to 29 to attend the Pontifical Council for Culture.
“I am not going on any trip to the Vatican or any trip abroad. That is not happening” Shulkin responded.
The Vatican is one of the few countries in the world that does not have a military. The Council for Culture includes a show of European art and religious history.

A Walk On The Wild Side

Saturday, February 17, 2018

CNN: Dead Network Walking

Maybe CNN’s current bottom-of-the-barrel ratings will force the network to admit they are serving Russian interests with their rabid sensationalism of the “collusion” story.

UPDATE:  Welcome readers of Pirate’s Cove.  We are grateful to the Admiral ofr linking to this post.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Russia, Russia, Russia Is Just Nuthin', Nuthin', Nuthn'


Dilbert creator Scott Adams posted this on his Twitter page. He cites a study that concludes: "the best estimate of the effects of campaign contact and advertising on Americans’ candidates choices in general elections is zero."


The Minimal Persuasive Effects of Campaign Contact in General Elections: Evidence from 49 Field Experiments

Forthcoming, American Political Science Review
166 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2017 Last revised: 19 Oct 2017

Joshua Kalla

University of California, Berkeley, Students

David E. Broockman

Stanford Graduate School of Business
Date Written: September 25, 2017

Abstract
Significant theories of democratic accountability hinge on how political campaigns affect Americans’ candidate choices. We argue that the best estimate of the effects of campaign contact and advertising on Americans’ candidates choices in general elections is zero. First, a systematic meta-analysis of 40 field experiments estimates an average effect of zero in general elections. Second, we present nine original field experiments that increase the statistical evidence in the literature about the persuasive effects of personal contact 10-fold. These experiments’ average effect is also zero. In both existing and our original experiments, persuasive effects only appear to emerge in two rare circumstances. First, when candidates take unusually unpopular positions and campaigns invest unusually heavily in identifying persuadable voters. Second, when campaigns contact voters long before election day and measure effects immediately — although this early persuasion decays. These findings contribute to ongoing debates about how political elites influence citizens’ judgments.

Once again the democrats and their faithful idiot servants, the media, journey into a land where form always triumphs over substance, where political suppositions ignore reality and fulsome exclamations replace honest debate.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

And The Dance Continues...

Meanwhile, at the Senate National Intelligence Soiree yesterday morning, all the Dems could do was mouth "Russia, Russia, Russia" at the nation's top intelligence officials. The Dems completely ignore the real dangers to our Beloved Nation that come from within.

The Making of Pocahontas’ 2020 Stump Speech

It’s a neat trick Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s pulled off. She leveraged her fictional Native American heritage into a plum spot at Harvard Law School. She leveraged her Harvard job to fenagle a garbage scholarship on a gullible media. And now she has leveraged all of that into a plum Senate seat and transmuted herself into a fake heroine.
No one should be blinded by Warren’s deceit.
So, this morning she made a surprise appearance at the National Congress of American Indians.  Her plan, ostensibly, was to forcefully refute President Trump’s nickname for her and focus on the issue that will never go away─her fraudulent claim of being a Native American.
“I want to start by thanking Chairwoman Andrews-Maltais for that introduction. It has been an honor to work with, to learn from, and to represent the tribes in my home state of Massachusetts, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, the Aquinnah and the Mashpee Wampanoag.”
“I also want to thank President Jefferson Keel, and everyone at the National Congress of American Indians. For over 70 years, you’ve championed the rights and dignity of First Americans and I am honored to be here with you today.”
“I’ve noticed that every time my name comes up, President Trump likes to talk about Pocahontas. So, I figured, let’s talk about Pocahontas. Not Pocahontas, the fictional character most Americans know from the movies, but Pocahontas, the Native woman who really lived, and whose real story has been passed down to so many of you through the generations.”
[SKIP]
“But now we have a president who can’t make it through a ceremony honoring Native American war heroes without reducing Native history, Native culture, Native people to the butt of a joke.”
“The joke, I guess, is supposed to be on me.”
“I get why some people think there’s hay to be made here. You won’t find my family members on any rolls and I’m not enrolled in a tribe.”
“And I want to make something clear. I respect that distinction. I understand that tribal membership is determined by tribes and only by tribes. I never used my family tree to get a break or get ahead. I never used it to advance my career.” 
“But I want to make something else clear too: My parents were real people.”
[Here’s where you and I are supposed to believe that out of 330 million Americans, she and she alone, suffered unimaginable hardships.] 
“By all accounts, my mother was a beauty. She was born in Eastern Oklahoma, on this exact day—Valentine’s Day—February 14, 1912. She grew up in the little town of Wetumka, the kind of girl who would sit for hours by herself, playing the piano and singing. My daddy fell head over heels in love with her.”
“But my mother’s family was part Native American. And my daddy’s parents were bitterly opposed to their relationship. So, in 1932, when Mother was 19 and Daddy had just turned 20, they eloped.”
“Together, they survived the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. They saved up to buy a home. They raised my three older brothers, and they watched as each one headed off to serve in the military. After Daddy had a heart attack and was out of work, after we lost the family station wagon and it looked like we would lose our house, and everything would come crashing down, my mother put on her best dress and walked to the Sears and got a minimum-wage job. That minimum-wage job saved our house and saved our family.”
“My parents struggled. They sacrificed. They paid off medical debts for years. My daddy ended up as a janitor. They fought, and they drank, but more than anything, they hung together. 63 years—that’s how long they were married. When my mother died, a part of my daddy slipped away too.”
“Two years later, I held his hand while cancer took him. The last thing he said was, “It’s time for me to be with your mother.” And he smiled.”
“They’re gone, but the love they shared, the struggles they endured, the family they built, and the story they lived will always be a part of me. And no one—not even the president of the United States—will ever take that part of me away.” 
[SKIP]
“So, I’m here today to make a promise: Every time someone brings up my family’s story, I’m going to use it to lift up the story of your families and your communities.”

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