Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Is Fox Down on its "Heels"?

Another way to put that is, "Why does Fox suffer fools so gladly?"

According to Wikipedia:

(Spoiler alert! Pro wrestling may be...less than, shall we say, purely...random?)

Professional wrestling... is a form of performance art which combines athletics with theatrical performance...The matches have predetermined outcomes to heighten entertainment value...
Say it ain't so!!! And further, according to the Oracle of Wiki, wrestlers are divided unto two groups: The "Babyfaces" or "Faces" (the good guys) whom the audience is supposed to cheer and the "Heels" (bad guys), who are the "villains", as it were, whom the audience is supposed to boo and jeer.
Mission accomplished!

I started to notice the similarities between pro wrestling and Fox News after Fox hired Marie Harf. Marie was a State Department Spokesperson for the Obama administration, where she was, frankly, kind of an airhead, and said some incredibly stupid things. In other words,  a complete joke.

But, a joke with blonde hair, a nice smile and now, a job on Fox News, to be a 'Heel' for the audience to jeer, along with fellow heels, Juan Williams, Geraldo Rivera, Richard Fowler and others.

Why does Fox tolerate liberals who, if brains were dynamite, couldn't blow their own noses? Aside from being "Fair and balanced", I believe it's performance art. Liberal contortionists  jump through hoops of illogical rhetoric, to act as foils, and receive the occasional body slam from conservatives, primarily for the sake of ratings.

Fox's Heels are typically pleasant, friendly people who more often than not, are merely regurgitating the talking points of the Left, whose attempts at original thought more closely resemble a dumpster fire.

It's a lot easier to tolerate Fox News since I caught onto the act. The Heels don't have to be all that insightful or bright to bring in an audience.

Don't take them too seriously, and be sure to bring the popcorn!

Monday, August 14, 2017

How About A Nice Game Of Chess?

According to a published report from The Washington Post, North Korean leader Kim Fatty The Third appeared to take a step back from the brink of nuclear war Tuesday, when DPRK state media reported that he would “watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees.”
This came just hours after the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, told South Korean leaders Monday that the United States was ready to use the “full range” of its military capabilities to deal with North Korea.
I guess this means we can all look up in the sky on August 21st and see the solar eclipse without missiles passing in front of the sun at the same time.

Flowing Curves of Beauty

“There is nothing more attractive than confidence, once she sees her own beauty, everyone else will.”

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Senseless Drive To Break America Apart

On August 15, 1996, as with each presidential convention, the focus of Bob Dole’s acceptance speech invariably touched on an “America only the unknowing call a myth.”
The Republican Party is broad and inclusive. It represents many streams of opinion and many points of view.
But if there's anyone who has mistakenly attached themselves to our party in the belief that we are not open to citizens of every race and religion, then let me remind you, tonight this hall belongs to the Party of Lincoln. And the exits which are clearly marked are for you to walk out of as I stand this ground without compromise.
And though, I can only look up at a very steep angle, to Washington and Lincoln, let me remind you of their concern for the sometimes-delicate unity of the people.
The notion that we are and should be one people rather than "peoples" of the United States seems so self-evident and obvious that it's hard for me to imagine that I must defend it. When I was growing up in Russell, Kansas, it was clear to me that my pride and my home were in America, not in any faction, and not in any division.
In this I was heeding, even as I do unto this day, Washington's eloquent rejection of factionalism. I was honoring, even as I do unto this day, Lincoln's word, his life and his sacrifice. The principle of unity has been with us in all our successes.
The 10th Mountain Division, in which I served in Italy, and the Black troops of the 92ndm Division who fought nearby were the proof for me once again of the truth I'm here trying to convey.
The war was fought just a generation after America's greatest and most intense period of immigration. And yet when the blood of the sons of immigrants and the grandsons of slaves fell on foreign fields, it was American blood. In it you could not read the ethnic particulars of the soldier who died next to you. He was an American.
And when I think how we learned this lesson I wonder how we could have unlearned it. Is the principle of unity, so hard-fought and at the cost of so many lives, having been contested again and again in our history, and at such a terrible price, to be casually abandoned to the urge to divide?
The answer is no.
Must we give in to the senseless drive to break apart that which is beautiful and whole and good?
And so tonight I call on every American to rise above all that may divide us, and to defend the unity of the nation for the honor of generations past, and the sake of those to come.

A Ginned-Up Cauldron Of Hatred

As we sit waiting on pins and needles for Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un to launch his ICBMs at the United States and the North Korean News Agency issues statements proclaiming, "We consider the U.S. no more than a lump which we can beat to a jelly any time,” we are destroying ourselves with resplendent efficiency from within.
Chaos and violence turned to tragedy Saturday in Charlottesville, VA as hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members—planning to stage what they described as their largest rally in decades to “take America back”—clashed with counter-protesters and law enforcement in the streets.  During the clash, a car belonging to an Ohio man barreled into the crowd leaving one person dead and 19 others injured.
At 1:19 PM Saturday, President Trump spoke to the nation:
"As you know this was a small press conference, but a very important one, and it was scheduled to talk about the great things we are doing with the secretary on the Veteran's Administration, and we will talk about that very much so in a little while. But I thought I should put out a comment on what is happening in Charlottesville...But we're closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, VA.”
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence that's on many sides. On many sides. It's been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama, it's been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America. What is vital now is the swift restoration of law and order, and the protection of innocent lives. No citizen should ever fear for their safety and security in our society. And no child should ever be afraid to go outside and play, or be with their parents, and have a good time.”
“I just got off the phone with the governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, and we agreed that the hate and the division must stop. And must stop right now. We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation and true affection—and really I say this so strongly—true affection for each other.”
“Above all else we must remember this truth: no matter our color, creed, religion, or political party, we are all Americans first. We love our country, we love our God, we love our flag, we're proud of our country, we're proud of who we are. So, we want to get the situation straightened out in Charlottesville, and we want to study it. And we want to see what we are doing wrong as a country where things like this can happen.”
“My administration is restoring the sacred bonds of loyalty between this nation and its citizens, but our citizens must also restore the bonds of trust and loyalty between one another. We must love each other, respect each other, and cherish our history and our future together. So important. We have to respect each other, ideally we have to love each other."
One year ago, Hillary Clinton devoted an entire speech warning how her opponent was “emboldening hate groups and white supremacists.”
As with Ferguson, the corrupt media sees racism and hatred around every corner and is all too happy to help write the storyline that what happened in Charlottesville “deserved an excoriating [by President Trump] of the racist rhetoric of the racial right wing.”

UPDATE:  Welcome readers of The Pirate’s Cove.  We greatly appreciate the Admiral’s linky-love.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Hillary to Campaign for Democrats in 2018

What could possibly go wrong

I mean, they already have loser Jon Ossoff from GA-6 giving seminars on how to win in '18, why not Hillary? 

("Why not Hillary?" - a question that has been asked and answered at least twice!)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Trump Was Elected President To Chew Bubblegum And Kick Ass…And He’s All Out Of Bubblegum

“Normally, your ass would be dead as fucking fried chicken, but you happen to pull this shit while I'm in a transitional period so I don't wanna kill you, I wanna help you.” ─ Jules Winnfield from the movie Pulp Fiction
President Trump’s rhetoric on North Korea, according to The New York Times, has “reached a level that has alarmed allies in Asia and many Americans at home.” 
Democrats pissed and moaned saying the president was “inflaming the confrontation” and called for diplomacy instead. More than 60 House Democrats sent a letter on Thursday to Secretary of State Tillerson asking him to restrain the president. “These statements are irresponsible and dangerous and senselessly provide a boon to domestic North Korean propaganda, which has long sought to portray the United States as a threat to their people,” the letter said.
Antagonists of the president are refusing to blame the crazy fat kid but Trump instead, as the zealot escalating tensions between the two countries.  USA Today’s morning headline read, “Trump Continues to Shock With His Belligerent Comments.”
Bellicose words are verboten for Trump to utter, but when Samuel L. Jackson does it to a white guy at a Denny’s it’s perfectly fine.


Ain't no hangover like a Vulcan hangover!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

An Emphatically Ascendant Nightmare

I was among those who were stunned and dismayed when then-candidate Donald Trump described John McCain during a Family Leadership Summit in Ames, IA in July of 2015 as “not a war hero.”
“He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
He mocked McCain for having graduated near-last in his class at the US Naval Academy and called him a loser for failing in his bid for president in 2008.
Yesterday, the Arizona senator who has been in office for 30 years popped off following President Trump’s threat to rain “fire and fury” on the hermit nation of North Korea. 
"I take exception to the President's comments because you gotta be able to do what you say you're gonna do...In other words, the old walk softly but carry a big stick, Teddy Roosevelt's saying, which I think is something that should've applied because all it's going to do is bring us closer to a serious confrontation. I think this is very, very, very serious…The great leaders I've seen don't threaten unless they're ready to act and I'm not sure President Trump is ready to act...It's the classic Trump in that he overstates things."

McCain may be one of the last hawks left in office but the old bird sure can flap his wings when he wants to beat the drums of war as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"And so, maybe it will turn out alright, he's the president, I'm not," McCain said. "But I don't think that some of the great leaders that I have admired would have taken that same path."  When asked to rate the North Korean threat on a scale of one to 10, McCain said, "I'd say 6, 6 or 7." 
Well Maverick, you old fart, I think when the elapsed time is a mere 39 minutes for one of North Korea’s ICBMs to strike New York City the threat is far greater than a 6 or 7.
This nightmare is an emphatically ascendant one.
No one could doubt that the Sept. 11 terrorists would have gladly used nuclear bombs instead of airplanes if they had had them, and it seems only a matter of time until they try. Instead of a retreating threat in North Korea, that fanatical regime now possesses as many as eight nuclear bombs, and is just one member of a growing nuclear club.
UPDATE:  Welcome Pirate’s Cove readers. We always appreciate it when the Admiral links to one of our posts.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Little More Than A Cynical Collection Of Broken Promises

Bob Heghmann, a retired attorney in Virginia Beach was so incensed Republicans couldn’t repeal Obamacare that he filed a lawsuit in US District Court suing to get political donations back.  In his lawsuit, Heghmann accused the GOP of fraud and racketeering saying the GOP ran on “repeal and replace” raising millions of dollars from individual donors who believed the promises made by congressional lawmakers.
Save My Care, a grassroots progressive group, has s launched an ad buy against ten vulnerable GOP lawmakers:  Senators Jeff Flake (AZ), Dean Heller (NV), Shelley Moore Capito (WV) and Representatives Dave Brat (VA), John Faso (NY), Darrell Issa (CA), Tom McArthur (NJ), Peter Roskam (IL), Pete Sessions (TX) and David Valadao (CA).
The ads open with a shot of the lawmaker and a narrator exclaiming off-camera the Congress member “broke his/her promise to” their state “and voted for the healthcare repeal bill that would’ve taken coverage away” from millions of people.
The latest failed vote was an effort to move the debate to a conference committee between the House and the Senate. “Skinny repeal,” as it was called, was not a serious effort to string together coherent policies. Rather, it was an admission that the Senate was stuck. When the GOP plan collapsed, the hot potato stayed in the Senate’s hands.
“We’re not going back to healthcare. We’re in tax [reform] now," Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said.  "As far as I’m concerned, they shot their wad on healthcare and that’s the way it is. I’m sick of it.”
Congress’s overall 10% approval is the lowest in Quinnipiac’s history of data back to 2003 apart from November 2013 in the wake of the government shutdown.
Bill Cosby’s approval rating is at 12%.  At least with him you get a drink and drug before he screws you.

Shielding Hillary From Prosecution

Thanks to the pit bull tenacity of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Obama Department of Justice has exposed a secret email account (Elizabeth Carlisle, ecarlisle@jmd.usdoj.gov) used by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch to conduct official DOJ business.
When a reporter for KNXV-TV broke the bombshell news of a clandestine meeting between Lynch and former President Bill Clinton on the tarmac at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport, reporters for The New York Times, The Washington Post and Obama’s DOJ began to develop talking points in an unmitigated effort to diminish the media fallout and to get their stories straight on why the two were meeting and conspire to kill the story.
Suffice it to say there are regular policies in place when it comes to shielding Hillary from scandal and prosecution.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Flowing Curves Of Beauty

“Every woman wants a man who'll fall in love with her soul as well as her body.”

Friday, August 4, 2017

Imran, Hillary and Debbie

"If I Had a Hammer"

With my little hammer, smash a hard drive in the morning,
smash a smart phone in the evening, all over this land!

I'll cover my backside,
Plead the Fifth Amendment,
Try to hide my cash, now, obstruct a little justice,
all over this land!
(Maybe Pakistan?)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Dunkirk: A Movie Review, Sort Of

In Spring, a young man's fancy turns to not getting shot, not getting blown up, not drowning and just possibly, making it home alive. Late Spring, anyway. May of 1940. The coast of France. The beaches of Dunkirk.

Director Christopher Nolan is described by IMDB as "Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear storytelling". The movie Dunkirk is told from three points of view, and nonlinear is a good term for it. One point of view is from soldiers on the beach, another, that of a Spitfire pilot and the last, the civilian captain of one of the boats in the rescue flotilla.

The nonlinear aspect is off putting to some. In one scene you see from the cockpit of a Spitfire, pursuit of a German Messerschmidt about to attack some ships. Later in the film, from the point of view from the ship, you see a Messerschmidt about to attack, pursued by a Spitfire. Each layer adds to a fuller understanding of what is taking place, though it may not be obvious at first.

I'd known the story of Dunkirk since I was a lad, but I'd never realized its scope: four hundred thousand men, surrounded, with their backs against the sea, sitting ducks for the Luftwaffe. In a case of what may have been dueling bureaucracies, the Germans would not commit their tanks to finishing off the British army, along with their French and Belgian allies, and the British will not commit a sufficient number of Spitfires to fly cover, or destroyers to relocate the army, lest they be needed to protect the homefront.

Speaking of scope, the cinematography is tremendous and sweeping. The aerial dogfights are spectacular. The attention to historical accuracy was very good. For example the depiction of the Spitfire pilot hand pumping his landing gear was not uncommon, even in some American fighters of that era.

There have been several complaints about the movie, one from an Internet twit, who shall remain nameless, who said the movie "feels like an excuse for men to celebrate maleness". There is very little resembling machismo in this film. Just the historical account of 400,000 men trying to stay alive. Perhaps 50,000 to 70,000 of them didn't. They were bombed, strafed, torpedoed, many drowned. Those who survived, some were wounded, most watched their friends and complete strangers dying around them, wondering if any minute that fate might be theirs. Yet some extremely shallow twit person speaks of "celebrating maleness".

Still, this may not be the most stupid complaint.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Why Don'tcha Comment and See Me Sometime?

Just on a personal note, I like interacting with blog commenters. Some of you folk are pretty darn smart and make very funny and insightful remarks. And I figure, anyone who takes the time to make a comment any of the places my stuff shows up, I like to respond in a timely manner. 

When I have a piece up, I try to check at least daily... more often if I'm in front of my 'puter, but, the trouble I've been having with Disqus here is more than a little frustrating. Some of the comments made here were totally invisible to me for almost a week. Now, as far as I can see, they've disappeared again. I can't see that there are any comments at all on the last three pieces I posted, some of which I made. 

This is not any kind of whiny, 'feel sorry for me', but while the Curmudgeon's away, I didn't want anyone to think your comments were being ignored, at least by me. From the looks of some of the comments, last time I saw them, y'all could see each other just fine. I think it's a technical glitch brought about by my Pakistani IT guy, who came very highly recommended to me by Debbie Wassermann Schultz. 

I blame the Russians.

Hakuna Matata THIS, Mo Fo!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Drone Alone

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
-The Fourth Amendment

 I saw a mildly disturbing news story on Fox this AM, which is to say, slightly horrified with a soupçon of ambivalence. The story, online as UAV spots stolen construction equipment in Cecil County, tells of a successful, multi agency apprehension of the perpetrator of at least a tri-state crime spree. Stolen goods recovered during this operation amounted to $394,000. Not chump change. Much of the property has been returned to its rightful owners. No problems there!

The ambivalence comes from the fact that while I'm glad this guy was caught and hopefully prosecuted to the full extent of the law, what bugs me is the sequence of events that lead to their arrest. The New Jersey State Police had a suspect. The suspect's domicile was not visible from the road. A warrant was obtained on the basis of evidence produced by a UAV overfly of the property, but what gave them the right to do that? Turns out that much of the stolen goods were stashed behind a barn, or big shed. My question is: What's the difference between flying a drone over the barn and simply sending an officer in to walk around the barn for a look see?

Well, sending an officer in without a warrant to search for stolen goods is an illegal search. Any evidence he found of wrong doing would be thrown out of court as "fruit of the poisoned tree". Now, suppose I just dangle him from a crane or a helicopter and swing him around the backside of the barn. Better? His feet never touched the ground! Problem solved!!

Is the Fourth Amendment mitigated by the fact that the aircraft was unmanned? Or does the fact that an operator is at the controls, looking through the camera make that point moot? Had the overflight been accidental, I can see the evidence being totally admissible. Next time, throw some tarps over the stolen goods, knucklehead! But the drone was flying over the property specifically because there was a "suspect", yet without enough evidence or probable cause to obtain a warrant. You see my dilemma here? If you're in your helicopter using your Forward Looking Infra Red because there's a lost child in the woods, and happen across a marijuana hothouse, that's one thing. But isn't warrantless unmanned electronic eavesdropping going just a bit too far? At what point does this become an "unreasonable search"?

The fact that law enforcement did not enter the property without first obtaining a warrant means they recognized that one was necessary. Although I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, it seems to me that the use of a drone was a mere legal fiction to provide probable cause for the warrant.

If I were on this guy's legal team, I would beat the Fourth Amendment like a rented mule! Still, I'm glad law enforcement put an end to this crime spree. I just wish they'd found a better way to do it.

Thus, the ambivalence.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Xavier Seen Such a Dishonest California Politician?

Californians aren't braindead, although you'd never know it from the quality of public officials they send to Sacramento year after year. And here's proof of it: liberal California politicians have to lie constantly to maintain their power, lest the common people they so disdain rise up against them. Case in point:

There is a ballot initiative coming up for a vote soon to repeal the onerous added gasoline tax to be added in November. The tax would add an additional twelve cents a gallon to gasoline that is already the highest priced in the nation. Fine. Let the voters decide. That's the democratic way isn't it? Let informed voters made the decision. It's that whole "informed" part that Democrat pols don't trust you with.

The office of the top law enforcement official in the state, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, D-Ishonest, is responsible for writing the official summary of the ballot measure, which is supposed to be an impartial description of the measure. (Stop laughing!) Becerra, who, had he been around when the saying "Crooked as a dog's hind leg"was written, might have been the maxim maker's model.

AG Becerra wrote the summary of a repeal of a regressive tax measure (minorities and poor hardest hit) without managing to use either the word "tax" or "fee" to describe it. In fact, it is so egregious that he is being sued because of it. Republican Travis Allen, remarkably a Republican, is suing Becerra for misrepresenting the initiative, casting it as an effort to, and I quote, "eliminate recently enacted road repair and transportation funding". The bastards!! The money fairies brought Californians cash to repair their roads, and some big meanies are trying to take it away from us!

And by "us", of course, he means the State Government, and the magic money fairies are you, every time you fill up your gas tank.

The stakes are high. The 43%, twelve cent a gallon hike in taxes, and the twenty cent a gallon hike in diesel fuel are expected to bring in $5 Billion (with a "B") a year. And as far as regressive taxes on the poor, this one has a double whammy, because everything you buy in the stores comes in on a truck. Your groceries, hardware, clothing, shoes, even your Amazon order, is transported at least in part by a truck or series of trucks. If the cost of fuel goes up, the prices of all those goods must go up at least incrementally. So in addition to paying more in gas to go to work, or to the store, or on vacation, you'll be paying more for everything you buy. Everything. You'll then find it harder to make ends meet and put food on the table and all the Democrat politicians will tell you it's those evil corporations that are stealing you blind. Right.

So, even though most of California's reputation is well deserved, remember this: we're not all braindead out here, and the politicians even have to lie to the ones who are to keep themselves in power.

Flowing Curves Of Beauty

“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Another Magnificent Bastard

Ever since November 9, 2016 we have been inundated with a media clinging to the Russian collusion theory that goes way beyond the bounds of rationality.  It must be true, even if it isn't.  This week they think they’ve found the smoking gun in Donald Trump, Jr.  Next week it will be something else.  None of it, in the final analysis, has anything to do with actual collusion.
Enter Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA).  Brat stunned House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2014 in the Republican primary going on to win a seat in Congress.
On Friday, Brat was being interviewed by CNN’s justice correspondent Pamela Brown.  Her first question to Brat, “Nancy Pelosi just said that Republicans are enablers.”
Noting Democrats want to impeach the President without any evidence of criminal wrongdoing Brat said, “What you gotta do is just name the statute that’s been violated.  Democrats are upset that Trump won the election and so they’ve been saying ‘impeach, impeach’ since day one.  My Senators from Virginia are getting apoplectic,” Brat argued. “Mark Warner’s seeing smoke everywhere he goes like he’s in a Cheech and Chong movie and [Tim] Kaine now thinks the son is worse than Benedict Arnold.”
“There’s collusion everywhere but the question is whether a statue has been violated,” Brat declared.  “There’s collusion between CNN and the DCCC and the Washington Post and I don’t complain about that–it’s not illegal.  I think it’s unethical but it’s not illegal.”

Friday, July 14, 2017

Special Counsel Robert Mueller Won’t Last Another 100 Days

The staff at Lawnewz made an extraordinary prediction earlier today.  It was so extraordinary Nick Givas went to press with the story at 4:44 PM for The Daily Caller.
The piece begins with what everyone clearly understands─President Trump is extremely unhappy with the protracted Russia investigation referring to it on Twitter at least a dozen times as a “witch hunt”.
The investigation has taken a decidedly more perilous and personal turn for the President. And that’s exactly why Lawnewz believes it won’t be longer than 100 days before Trump pulls the trigger on firing Mueller.  As information continues to seep out about the work Mueller is doing and the subpoenas start coming, we believe the President will be increasingly frustrated and the administration will undoubtedly continue to seek to undermine Mueller’s credibility. And let’s be clear, by any objective standard Mueller is an unassailable, apolitical public servant.
Many are saying there is no way the Administration would risk the fallout from having Mueller fired. And, as investigators are now reportedly probing Jared Kushner‘s role in potentially helping to direct a Russian operation targeting voters with fake news about Hillary, and as the specter of obstruction of justice in connection with firing FBI Director Comey hangs over the President and his Administration, we believe it now more likely than not Trump will decide that Mueller must go.
Among the reasons the Administration will likely cite:
– Mueller’s friendship with Comey
– Some yet to be discovered bias on the part of Mueller and his team
– The cost of the investigation
– The need to focus on “more important” issues
The legal website was careful to add, “Trump nor anyone in his Administration is guilty of any crime.  That is for the Special Counsel to decide.”

Game of Thrones: Libertarian Edition

Two Conjoined Twins, An Ex-KGB Spy And A Circus Bear

NBC and The Associated Press are cocksure they’ve got the nails necessary to crucify President Trump and Donald Jr.
The Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. and others on the Trump team after a promise of compromising material on Hillary Clinton was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist—a former Soviet counterintelligence officer who is suspected by some U.S. officials of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence, NBC News has learned. 
The lobbyist, who denies any current ties to Russian spy agencies, accompanied the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, to the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower attended by Donald Trump Jr.; Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law; and Paul Manafort, former chairman of the Trump campaign. 
The Russian-born American lobbyist served in the Soviet military and emigrated to the U.S., where he holds dual citizenship. 
The Associated Press identified the lobbyist as Rinat Akhmetshin, and said he acknowledged attending the meeting, though he said it was not substantive. “I never thought this would be such a big deal, to be honest,” he told the AP. 
The presence at the meeting of Akhmetshin is likely to be of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller and the House and Senate panels investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is pursuing information on Akhmetshin charging he had been working with Fusion GPS, the oppo research firm hired by Democrats to research and write an “intelligence report” senior members of the Obama Administration widely circulated in pushing the narrative of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

Live Streaming 2017 Bastille Day Parade

This event has concluded.

Bastille Day 2017: Un Américain À Paris

For the French, this year's Bastille Day has an additional poignancy as the first anniversary of one of the deadliest radical Islamist terror attacks of the past few years.
The national holiday marks the storming on July 14, 1789, of the Bastille. The taking of the Bastille was a catalyst for the French Revolution. Since 1880, the signal event of Bastille Day has been the military parade down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe.  This year America is the national guest of honor and the parade will be led for the first time by US troops.
According to Robert Sisk at Military.com, “About 200 troops from US European Command will have the honor of leading the parade to mark the centennial of the US entry into World War I in 1917. The US Air Force Thunderbirds and an F-22 Raptor will also conduct a flyover of the parade.
"France stood with us during the American Revolution, and that strategic partnership endures today," Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, EuCom commander and NATO supreme commander, said in a statement.
"On behalf of the 60,000 service members standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the French to ensure Europe is whole, free and at peace, we are honored to lead the Bastille Day Parade and help celebrate French independence," he said.
"During the centennial of America's entry into World War I, we commemorate America's sons and daughters who defended peace─many of them descendants of European immigrants who came to America seeking freedom, opportunity and a better life," Scaparrotti said.
"Amidst the horrors of war, over four million Americans served in World War I and more than 100,000 Americans made the ultimate sacrifice," he said.
The troops participating in the parade will include soldiers from the Army's 1st Infantry Division, which was the first unit to enter France in World War I.  Other units participating will be the Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade; the Army's 10th Mountain Division; US Army Europe's 7th Army Training Command; sailors from US Naval Forces Europe; airmen from US Air Forces Europe; and Marines from U.S. Marine Forces Europe.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

CNN’s Poppy Harlow Abuses The Privilege Of Being Stupid

President Trump is in France at the behest of President Emmanuel Macron to celebrate Bastille Day. 
When I read the headline at The Daily Caller I could hardly believe what I saw.  I was subsequently stunned at the weapons-grade stupidity that followed in the embedded video on their website.
After arriving at Les Invalides, the site of Napoleon’s tomb, Macron guided President Trump through the archway where a French military band played a beautiful rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.
CNN anchor Poppy Harlow, a graduate of Columbia University, did not recognize her own country’s national anthem.
In the video Poppy, bless her heart, said “Let’s just listen in to the French national anthem for a moment.”
You can hear whispering in the background after several seconds go by in which a producer corrected her gaffe.  With a chuckle she added, “The US─American national anthem─I should say.  Let’s listen.”
Dayum.  How ignorant do you have to be to work at this laughingstock network?  The Star Spangled Banner had already begun playing.  How the hell does an American citizen not recognize their own national anthem?  President Trump had placed his hand over his heart while Macron stood with his hands by his side.  That should have been her first clue.
UPDATE:  Welcome readers of Larwyn’s Linx and a special thanks to Doug Ross for linking to this post.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Nothing Is Proven Yet

After news of an email chain between Donald Trump Jr. and a British go-between was disclosed by The New York Times, viewers on CNN were told this is the long-awaited “smoking gun” on Trump/Russia collusion.
Trump Jr. was told by a business acquaintance that a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had information implicating Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee in illegal foreign campaign contributions from Russia.
Jonathan Turley writing for The Hill believes President Trump’s eldest son “fell for a classic bait-and-switch.  Veselnitskaya was representing people seeking to lift the adoption ban and it was certainly amateur hour in Trump Tower.  If this is the best the Russians can do as their big play, we have little to worry about.”
“It is common for foreign governments to withhold or take actions to influence elections in other countries. Information is often shared through various channels during elections from lobbyists, non-government organizations, and government officials. This includes former Clinton aide Alexandra Chalupa, who allegedly worked with Ukrainian government officials and journalists to come up with dirt on Trump and Manafort,” Turley continued.
The game the media is playing is dangerous.  It is effective.  If you keep your attention on the news of the day, it is easy to become disillusioned, disappointed and even depressed.  This is what journos want.
Donald Trump has defiled the office of the President of the United States!  He must resign!  We must impeach.  We must resist!
Charles Hurt (whom I love) opined in his piece in The Washington Times, “The Clintons would NEVER search for dirt against a political opponent.  Just ask Bernie Sanders, Vince Foster or Barack Obama.  Or Monica Lewinsky!  And if they ever did accidentally stumble upon the dirt of an opponent, the Clintons would be TOTALLY forthcoming about it when asked about it. It is the Clinton way. Just ask Ken Starr.  And, famously, President Obama would never stoop so low as to allow the world’s most powerful espionage apparatus to spy on his political opponents—except for all the times he did. In the past year. That we know about.”
The pull quote from Hurt’s piece is worth remembering from this point forward:
“This whole hyperventilating media drive-by investigation is nothing more than pure hysteria, the phantom pain from having lost everything—when you were so, so certain that you would win everything.”
The American people are wise to the game being played. Their trust in the legacy media, an arm of the DNC, has been lost and likely will never be regained.


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