Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Democrats Post Charlottesville

A political friend of mine told me a joke the other day. “What do the Taliban and Virginia Democrats have in common? I shook my head and played along. “I don’t know” I responded. He gave me the punch line, “They both want to tear down century old statues they find offensive.”

There will be several years of battles over confederate statues, and it may not stop there. Sadly, we will focus so much energy on something that is not a problem. Over the last hundred years, with a slight slow up over the last four, Virginia has become a first class state. Enormous wealth and progress has been made in the shadows of those old statues.

The politically correct Democrats may expand the Jihad. Perhaps Jefferson and Washington, while neither were part of the confederacy, they did own slaves. Perhaps even the Father of our Constitution, James Madison was a slave holder. Come to think of it James Monroe said some pretty racist things….

Virginia Democrats have adopted a scorched earth strategy. They must figure only white males care about protecting the statues, and others will be too frightened to speak out. To Paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, Americans fear being called a racist more than hunger, thirst and cold. So while many if not most Virginians are opposed to the removal of the statues, they will probably just keep quiet.

After the Civil war, many Virginians came back and served our state. Robert E. Lee went to work as a teacher at Washington College. Fitzhugh Lee entered politics and became Governor in 1886. Also, Confederate veterans, Mahone, Daniel, Thomas Staples Martin became Governors. And Eppa Hunton, a veteran of Pickett’s Charge, became a US Senator.

I do fear that over the next few years our commonwealth will spend more time debating the statue controversy than debating what to do about education, (unless it is changing another school name or mascot) and transportation. My guess is while sitting on 66 I will hear on the radio another school board’s decision to change a school’s name. This will become a regular occurrence. And my commute will be just as slow.

Hey, I have an idea why don’t we just keep the statues up?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Jake Tapper's False Premises

When a domestic extremist kills innocent Americans we usually give the President the benefit of the doubt and assume he does not side with the extremist. Well, Jake Tapper and the liberal media is not going to extend that benefit to President Trump until he specifically denounces white nationalism. A few months ago he did condemn ALL political extremism, when a Bernie Sanders supporter shot up a baseball field full of Republican members of congress. They did not require him to denounce socialism, which was the religion of the shooter, but this time such a blanket condemnation is not enough. The media wants the headline, "Trump condemns White Nationalism."

The media wants something that can be seen as a denial. They also want to keep the story going. They can say one week later, Trump sill has not denounced white nationalism. Let's spend that next segment on CNN pondering why.

As I said, the partisan nature of the media has changed:

In 1995 when a member of a militia group drove a truck bomb into a federal building killing 268 people, we assumed the President, Bill Clinton at the time, opposed the action. No one in the media suggested that he needed to be forceful in his denouncing the militia movement. We all just assumed that he opposed the militias.

In 1975 Charles Manson and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme hatched a plan to start a race war in America. It failed, but no one claimed that President Gerald Ford needed to specifically denounce dangerous cults. The media just assumed he opposed dangerous cults.

But it is different today. The media hates Trump and any opportunity they can find to tar him they will take.

Years ago there was a supermarket tabloid that broke a major story. They claimed that the Soviet Union had contacts with aliens from outer space. The aliens were helping them with their space program. Only one hitch with the story. They had no evidence, but the editor came up with an idea. He told the reporter to keep calling the soviet embassy and get a denial. The reporter tried for one year, finally someone at the embassy, after laughing for 20 minutes no doubt, agreed and said "we deny it."

They had their headline, "Aliens from outer space in contact with the Russians, Soviets deny report." By denying it the Soviets gave some credence to the story.

Like the tabloid reporter Jake Tapper wants to force Trump to either denounce white nationalism, or admit he is a white nationalist. While he is at it he might want to ask if Trump has stopped beating his wife.

Jake Tapper spent two segments of his showing trying to brand Trump a white nationalist. And on his show he had, as the token Republican, Bill Kristol. You remember Bill. He is the editor of the Weekly Standard. The fake conservative magazine that promoted the Iraq war. Bill claimed that the war would be a "cakewalk". Well, Trump denounced the war as a disaster, a slight that Kristol no doubt took personally.

So Tapper has Kristol on the show, knowing he is a "never Trumper" who will attack the President. Tapper is a propagandist, and Kristol is a tool and CNN is a disgrace.

But the good news. It sure is great to have a Republican President that does not take the foreign policy advice of Bill Kristol.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Is Russian Meddling In Our Political System Unprecedented?

I am reading H.W. Brands book on Ronald Reagan, and I came across this story. Reagan's advisors told him that there was evidence that the Soviets were using the American media to try to influence American policy. What should we do they asked? Reagan jokingly responded, "We can start by canceling our subscriptions to the Washington Post."

Throughout the 1970's and 80's the American media operated as the water boys for the Soviets. Were they worried that the Soviets were using them? Were they worried about outside influence? I doubt it. I guess now that Russia is no longer run by the communists their influence on our politics is pernicious.

Well, Harry Truman once said the only thing new in the world is the history you don't know. The news readers at CNN and the other cable "news" outlets seem to believe that the world began in 1995, which was the year most of them were born, but they are wrong. There is a history that they don't know. A time before 1995.

KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov wrote a book claiming that the main purpose of the KGB was to undermine Democracies such as the United States. Bezmenov outlines all the KGB measures of subversions of our system. It is clear that the Russians were trying to subvert our political system as long ago as last century.

And there are numerous examples of countries trying to influence the politics of other countries. Earlier this summer I read Bernard Donoughue memoirs. Donoughue was a senior advisor to British Prime Ministers Harold Wilson and then James Callaghan. Together Wilson and Callaghan ruled Britain in the 60's and 70's. Yes, it was a real page turner. In American terms Donoughue was the British Labour party's version of Karl Rove.

Donoughue tells the story about how the IMF wanted to get rid of Portugal's leader Mário Soares. Soares was a socialist, whose profligate spending was too high even by European standards. Imagine if Martin O'Malley ran a country, that would be Portugal in the 1970's. So the big European states came up with a plan to cut off aid to Portugal and call in a number of loans to bring the government to it's knees. Well, Jim Callaghan would not go along with the plan, but it may have worked. Two years later Soares was gone.

In his book All The Shah's Men, Stephen Kinzer's , recounts the CIA's plan to re install the Shah in Iran. The plan was known as Operation Ajax, which was launched in 1953. It was headed by Theodore Roosevelt's grandson, CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt. It worked. The government of Mohammad Mosaddegh was overthrown, and the Shah was installed.

Kinzer argued that in 1979 the Iranians purposely held our hostages and only released them until after the 1980 election for the purpose of influencing the election. The Iranian mullahs wanted to bring down a U.S. President. They knew the hostage issue could possibly cost Jimmy Carter his job. And it may have contributed to the defeat of our peanut farmer President.

If we did a little research we could come up with literally hundreds of example of foreign involvement in other countries elections and politics. But to Shephard Smith, and the other news readers on daytime TV, Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential elections is unprecedented.

Did the Russians meddle in our 2016 Presidential election? I have not yet seen the evidence, but if they did it would not be the first time they tried to shape US public opinion. It would however, be the first time that the American media cared about it.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Bob Andrews Strategy

When I was a kid, boy, I must be getting old because I seem to start more and more of these post this way. But when I was in school and first getting acquainted with Virginia politics, I met a member of the House of Delegates named Bob Andrews from McLean. Bob was a liberal Republican, he voted right on a few things but mostly voted the way the Democrats wanted.

Now, Bob was such as obscure figure that I doubt there is a picture of him on google, but let me describe him. He looked just like the character Dean Travers in the old sitcom Three’s Company. For those of you that don’t remember Dean was Jack Tripper’s cooking instructor. But I digress.

Well at the time Democrats controlled the General Assembly, so they got to redraw the legislative districts every 10 years. Most Republicans lived in fear that they would be drawn out. Most Republicans, but not Bob. Why not you ask. Well, Bob let it slip one night at a party in McLean. A GOP activist asked him, “Why aren’t you afraid that the Dems will redistrict you? “Bob, responded with a smug look on his face, “I vote with them most of the time, they won’t get rid of me.”

Well, they did get rid of him. You see despite his shall we say moderate voting record, Democrats in Richmond wanted a fellow Democrat. Sure, Bob didn’t vote with the Republicans often, but they didn’t need him when they could get the genuine article, that is another Democrat.

Well, fast forward a couple decades and another McLean Republican, Rep. Barbara Comstock, is thinking of adopting the Bob Andrews strategy. Buck the Republican leadership, on the hopes of appeasing enough Democrats and keep your seat.

Word on the street is that Barbara Comstock is going to buck the Trump agenda. My guess is she won’t vote for a single Trump priority, all in the hopes of keeping her seat in toney Great Falls and McLean.

Let me tell you it won’t work. The best political strategy for her, and for virtually all other House Republicans, is to embrace Trump. Work to get good legislation passed. And talk about future good bills to work on. Rank and file Republicans want their member to work with Trump not against him.

And Barbara, Jim Moran has several more ex-wives Democrats can nominate. And no matter how anti Trump you become, heck you can demand that Trump be impeached tomorrow morning, it won’t matter, Democrats will still vote for Moran’s ex-wife, or whomever else they nominate.

Barbara, may I call you Barbara, please stick with the people that elected you, Republicans, don’t become another Bob Andrews.