Last night, addressing the Arlington County Republican Committee, the leader of the 8th Congressional District VCN/NextGen State Central Committee slate implied that the Conservative Fellowship was some ‘special interest,’ while also claiming her ticket was not beholden to any special interest. This is a complete falsehood, and saying it with a straight face requires unmitigated gall.
Indeed, in her quest to make the case for open primaries (more on this later), this candidate has lied numerous times in this campaign about the state of RPV’s finances and about the history and financial impact of statewide conventions.
I don’t subscribe to the “participation trophy” view of the nomination contest, so I favor party-run processes to choose our nominees. Nevertheless, even if you don’t, you should still support the Fellowship ticket in the 8th. Let me share a number of reasons why.
First, we really AREN’T beholden to anyone. The Fellowship doesn’t stand monolithically for anything beyond a commitment to ensuring the grassroots are given a voice, and to adhering to the values of the Virginia Republican Creed in a broad sense. There is a large diversity of opinion in our group.
In contrast, our opponents are cat’s-paws for many of the folks who seek to control the party from the top down, and are willing to cripple it to make that happen.
The Virginia Conservative Network is the Young Guns Virginia group rebranded. Its core is the same crowd. Eric Cantor, George Allen, Mike Thomas, Mike Wade, and the list goes on. These people see RPV as a cash cow, and believe it is their sinecure to run the party, and that the hoi polloi (the rest of us, actual grassroots Republicans) should simply shut up and take our marching orders from them.
Not least among them is our old friend Ray Allen, who infamously bragged that he would starve the party financially by keeping the donor class from supporting it. Interesting that the main criticism last night by this same State Central candidate was that RPV raised 10% of what DPVA did in the first quarter. If true, she and her allies had a direct hand in ensuring a low fundraising haul. With one hand, they do their best to deprive RPV of the funds needed to be competitive, while on the other, criticizing Chairman Whitbeck and the State Central Committee for a situation of their own creation
[As an aside, the bulk of the Conservative Fellowship wanted a Presidential Nominating Convention. Does anyone seriously doubt that our coffers would be overflowing with cash right now if we’d had our convention in late March, as originally proposed, and it was used to bind our delegates? Even without that contest, this year’s convention is poised to clear hundreds of thousands of dollars. A conservative estimate for a presidential convention had RPV clearing north of $500,000.]
If this lobbyist/consultant-driven crowd regains control of RPV, which they had until 2013, and really until John Whitbeck became Chair, RPV will again be run with the interests of current and former elected officials, establishment candidates, and consultants, and the profit margins of McGuire Woods and Creative Direct in mind. The conflict of interest is massive.
NextGen GOP is a Republican ‘millenial’-themed group founded by former staffers and supporters of Bill Bolling, and allies of the Kilbergs, who supported Terry McAuliffe once Ken Cuccinelli became the obvious gubernatorial nominee for 2013. At the same time, the Rexrode/LaCivita crew somehow got control of Cuccinelli’s campaign, hired this very same State Central Candidate as a staffer, and then tried to turn Ken Cuccinelli into a warm, fuzzy, more moderate version of himself, rather than run him as the unapologetic conservative who won by landslide margins for Attorney General in 2009! You can’t make this up.
Part of the VCN crowd’s claim is competence, supposedly in contrast to the Fellowship. Judging from what I’ve seen out of them, I wouldn’t trust this crew to assemble even a single IKEA bookshelf.
Fun fact: Bobbie Kilberg and her allies held a fundraiser in Virginia for George P. Bush in 2014 for his run for Texas Land Commissioner, but couldn’t manage to assist Virginia’s own conservative candidates. She also couldn’t make up her mind between Chris Christie and Jeb Bush for President this past time. How’d that work out for her?
These are the puppetmasters, along with elements of the House Republican Caucus, behind the VCN/NextGen State Central slate. One of the goals of the VCN is to ‘forestall as many primary challenges as possible.’ These folks are elitist in elemental form.
The candidate in question actually WORKS for George Allen, yet claims she will be an independent conservative voice on State Central, right alongside George Allen’s campaign manager, Mike Thomas, who serves as First Vice Chairman and as a lobbyist for McGuire Woods. Even better, the registered agent for the Virginia Conservative Network is actually located at the address of George Allen Strategies!
I debunked the lies she spread about RPV finances and conventions publicly at several candidate forums, and in emails.
She claimed RPV was broke, and could not afford to pay off the costs of the 2015 Advance to the Homestead. I spoke with both RPV Chairman John Whitbeck and Treasurer Rich Nilsen about this, and learned that our leadership was negotiating a potential price break for holding the advance there in future years, which is why the payment had not been made. There were plenty of funds to cover the cost in RPV’s account.
She also claimed that conventions lose money. This was clearly false, as was easily proved after some research. In 2013, the convention made hundreds of thousands of dollars for the party, allowing it to survive the starvation diet imposed by the VCN crowd. In fact, every convention has made money for RPV, with one exception. This was 2009, when she and her bosses and associates conspired to have the State Central Committee remove the sitting party chairman and install a willing conspirator as his replacement, and then handed the reins on the convention over to the McDonnell campaign. That convention ran far over on expenses, including over $140,000 on production alone. (Remember all the fancy audio-visuals in that convention? Really nice, but not really necessary). That convention lost $76,000 thanks to them. McDonnell’s campaign, to their credit, reimbursed RPV for the $76,000 of RPV’s money that they overspent.
Faced with this evidence, my opponent did not attempt to defend her previous errant assertions, but suddenly stopped using them, without apology or even acknowledgment. This not only demonstrates where her bread is buttered, it goes to her character.
Since then, she’s encouraged delegates to speak to her and her ticketmates privately about conventions. I have little confidence she will be any more truthful in such conversations. Such dishonesty should be a disqualification for election to the Party’s governing body. (For the record, I know several VCN folks who are fine, upstanding individuals, and this is not aimed at them).
I can promise you this: I and my ticketmates will be TRULY independent grassroots conservative voices on the State Central Committee, accountable only to 8th Congressional District Republicans who sent us there. Bank on it.
At the end of the day, THAT is what this election is about: Will Republican Party of Virginia maintain its hard-fought financial and operational independence from the Richmond establishment machine? Will current leadership be allowed to continue reversing the horrible ruin inflicted upon it by its former lobbyist and consultant overlords? Or will we once again make the Party a meaningless empty shell, whose principal usefulness to elected officials is a bulk mail account and as a place to park loyal staffers? Will the Party serve the grassroots, or will it go back to being at the beck and call of current elected officials and their minions?
The choice is clear for grassroots conservatives, and really any Republican interested in having a voice in the party: Elect Robert Kenyon, Paul Blumstein, and Anna Urman to the State Central Committee from the 8th District.
Originally posted at The Bull Elephant.
A few days after the deadly Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris, the Obama Administration vigorously defended its refugee screening process as “rigorous and safe.”
Nothing like this could happen here in the United States, right?
Until it did.
Not even a month later, two terrorists went on a shooting spree in San Bernardino. At the time (and now as well) we blogged that the attack was likely a case of premature detonation – that a bigger attack was planned, and that the two Islamists went on an early shooting spree after the male lost his temper at an office party.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if a bigger attack was planned, although if we were correct, we were lucky in that we avoided a lot more carnage, because Syed Farook couldn’t keep his temper in check. But what does matter is that the Administration’s assertions about its refugee screening process being “rigorous and safe” is apparently nonsense.
On December 16 – a couple of weeks after the San Bernardino attack – the Hill ran a column by a retired Department of Homeland Security explained how that same screening process failed the San Bernardino victims and failed America.
Philip Haney was a targeter at DHS who worked to identify terrorist networks and “connect the dots” between lesser known groups and individuals moving about and operating freely in the United States. He and his colleagues focused on individuals, mosques, Islamic Centers and schools involved in radicalization efforts – mosques such as the Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah Mosque in San Bernardino where Farook worshiped and was well-known to the congregation and leadership. And probably mosques such as the infamous Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center, located just a couple of miles from my house, where the thankfully droned into oblivion Anwar al-Awlaki spewed his poison.
Haney had these types of groups in his sights, including the Islamist group al-Huda.
Another focus of my investigation was the Pakistani women’s Islamist group al-Huda, which counted Farook’s wife, Tashfeen Malik, as a student. While the al-Huda International Welfare Foundation distanced themselves from the actions of their former pupil, Malik’s classmates told the Daily Mail she changed significantly while studying at al-Huda, gradually becoming “more serious and strict.” More ominously, the group’s presence in the U.S. and Canada is not without its other ties to ISIS and terrorism. In 2014, three recent former students at al-Huda’s affiliate school in Canada, aged 15 to 18, left their homes to join the Islamic State in Syria.
Haney says between Farook’s involvement with the Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah Mosque in San Bernardino and Malik’s involvement with al-Huda, the dots would have been connected, and additional scrutiny would have at the very least been indicated; maybe it would have led to a denial of Malik’s K-1 visa, or even gotten Farook placed on the No Fly list, perhaps in time to stop the attack, but that was not to be.
DHS shut down the investigation at the request of the Department of State and DHS’ own Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Division. They claimed that since the Islamist groups in question were not Specially Designated Terrorist Organizations (SDTOs) tracking individuals related to these groups was a violation of the travelers’ civil liberties.
Islamist groups, who need to be thoroughly investigated before being placed on the list, were barred from investigation because they’re not on the list. Well, that makes all the sense in the world.
Do you feel safe yet?
Worse yet, DHS went back and deleted all the records of Haney’s investigation, and after the latter brought his concern to the Inspector General, as well as several members of Congress, he was subjected to adverse actions and investigations, even though his work was exemplary, as detailed in this letter of commendation he received in June 2012. Thankfully, none of retaliatory investigations found any wrongdoing, and Haney was allowed to honorably retire from government service.
But the story doesn’t end there. Or rather, it doesn’t start there.
Remember the Crotch Bomber? Right before the unhinged jihadist tried to blow up a plane with an explosive packed in his panties, but instead set his own genitals on fire prior to being captured, DHS went on a record and research scrubbing spree.
Just before that Christmas Day attack, in early November 2009, I was ordered by my superiors at the Department of Homeland Security to delete or modify several hundred records of individuals tied to designated Islamist terror groups like Hamas from the important federal database, the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS). These types of records are the basis for any ability to “connect dots.” Every day, DHS Customs and Border Protection officers watch entering and exiting many individuals associated with known terrorist affiliations, then look for patterns. Enforcing a political scrubbing of records of Muslims greatly affected our ability to do that. Even worse, going forward, my colleagues and I were prohibited from entering pertinent information into the database.
A few weeks later, in my office at the Port of Atlanta, the television hummed with the inevitable Congressional hearings that follow any terrorist attack. While members of Congress grilled Obama administration officials, demanding why their subordinates were still failing to understand the intelligence they had gathered, I was being forced to delete and scrub the records. And I was well aware that, as a result, it was going to be vastly more difficult to “connect the dots” in the future—especially before an attack occurs.
Who knows how many attacks could have been prevented had the DHS been allowed to continue its work?
No one does, because political considerations apparently trump national security in our country.
Look, there’s a very fine line between invasion of privacy and infringements on individual rights. The U.S. national security apparatus and the dedicated, committed people who work in our intelligence community and law enforcement walk that line carefully and diligently every day. An untold amount of work is done by the inter-agency before any individual or entity is sanctioned as a terrorist, or gets placed on the Specially Designated Nationals list. Legal review, leadership review, coordination with other agencies in the government. Placing an individual or entity on the SDN list is no joke, unlike some… other lists we’ve seen.
Intelligence professionals have to go through massive amounts of training. They have to learn how to safeguard personal information, whom they are allowed to collect on, what to report and how to report violations, and other agency-specific training to ensure that the rights of the people are balanced with the need to protect our nation. Their analyses are constantly challenged. Did you consider alternatives? Was your assessment based on a variety of corroborative sources? Were these sources credible? Given the fiasco that ensued after the now infamous Iraq WMD National Intelligence Estimate was published in 2002, and the subsequent Iraq invasion, it is no surprise that the Intelligence Community is much more cautious about its tradecraft.
This is all necessary, there’s no doubt. The rights of the people have to be protected.
But at the same time, ordering law enforcement and the intelligence community to scrub years of investigative research into violent extremists with obvious links to savage jihadists whose goal is to launch attacks against the United States, because they might somehow disturb a political narrative or result in some nebulous alleged “violations” of someone’s rights, is a dangerous policy. Fact is that researching a mosque’s, a group’s, or an individual’s links to terrorist organizations violates no one’s rights. If law enforcement is not allowed to do said research, or if said research is nixed due to political considerations, this nation is in danger.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, a rigorous review by the 9-11 commission revealed that lack of information sharing was partially responsible for our failure to prevent the attacks, as was not watchlisting future hijackers and not trailing them after they traveled to Bangkok, and not informing the FBI about one future hijacker’s U.S. visa.
But that’s not all the report revealed. The commission’s findings also said we did not discover fraudulent statements made on visa applications and failed to detect fake passports.
The work Haney and his colleagues were doing would likely have been helpful in identifying terrorist links, and if shared with other agencies, would have probably helped prevent future attacks. But instead DHS was ordered by the Administration to toss out its research. It will not be shared with anyone, and that could result in disaster.
Apparently, this administration has learned nothing.
Do you feel safe yet?
Originally posted at The Bull Elephant.
So stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Obama goes to a fundraiser…
OK, that’s not really a punchline, but rather more like a habit with this president! But I digress.
At this particular fundraiser Obama tells a bunch of Hollywood celebutards that “It is easier to buy a gun than buy a book.”
When was the last time you had to provide an ID with a valid address, undergo a criminal background check, and prove you’re 21 years or older in order to purchase a book?
When was the last time you were prohibited from buying a book from out of state?
When was the last time you had to pay an extra tax for an extra big book?
Come on, now! What kind of retard believes this shit?
Well, at the very least actor Jamie Foxx who headlined a DNC concert in Pacific Palisades last Saturday. Of course this is the same guy who condemned Hollywood for contributing to violence in this country, while making millions in such violence-filled films as “Django Unchained,” “Law Abiding Citizen,” “White House Down,” and “Collateral,” so those condemnations ring kind of hollow. That said, I enjoy his movies (Except for Annie, because that was a cinematic dumpster fire), but I certainly don’t enjoy being lectured by Hollyweird degenerates about how our gun laws need to change.
Now, the Hollywood Reporter claims that the President was referring to the ostensible lack of bookstores in low-income areas, because after all, in a country where two-thirds of the population has a smartphone and where 74.4 percent of households in 2013 reported having access to the Internet, apparently Amazon.com is a tough URL to master.
And considering guns are all but banned in the President’s hometown of Chicago, I’d venture to say that there are more bookstores in that city than there are gun stores.
So who is going to believe the President when he outright makes stuff up to push his gun control agenda?
Well… this imbecile probably will.
And, of course, the media.
I suppose when you have a ton of black market guns and a low literacy rate in some poor areas, the President’s pronouncement becomes more true than we’d like it to be. But that says more about the shoddy state of our education, and confirms the fact that more gun laws will do nothing to reduce the presence of firearms.
I’m fairly sure, however, that the President doesn’t want to go there.
I’m floored. Seriously. Either the Russian FSB is slipping, or someone in the propaganda machine over at the Kremlin has been smoking something laced with formaldehyde. Why else would they come up with the most harebrained, snortworthy piece of propaganda I’ve seen in probably years? The story comes to you from Foreign Policy magazine, which reports that the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda released a recording of two alleged “CIA agents” discussing plans for downing Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 last year. For those who don’t know, Komsomol was the old Soviet Communist youth organization run by the Party, and “pravda” is “truth,” which in this case happens to be the most laughable title for this particular rag, given the subject matter.
If you think I’m kidding, I’m not. You can listen to the whole thing right here, complete with stilted English, confused accents that start out Russian flow into British, with one of the “CIA agents” finally settling into an American accent.
Foreign Policy is chuckling at the bad production value of this supposed proof that somehow Americans were responsible for the downing of the passenger plane last July, and after having listened to this large, steaming pile of rhino dreck, I’m simply floored myself.
One sounds British for half the recording until he switches to a more American accent. The other man does his best to hide his Russian accent, but it pops up at the beginning as he clumsily asks his co-conspirator, “How are the preparations?” But the most glaring hole is in the conversation itself. The men do not talk with each other like native English speakers and use turns of phrase that sound as if their dialogue was translated to English from Russian via Google Translate. Before signing off, the two say “Luck!” to each other, a common farewell in Russian.
The video claims the recording comes from an SBU (Ukrainian security services) agent that was recruited by the “Russian Information Center – Analysis and Security” and features two agents named David Hamilton and David Lloyd Stern, who sounds suspiciously British in the recording. Gee… maybe it’s a NATO plot to discredit the Russians by blaming Russian-backed separatists for the murder of innocent civilians in Ukrainian airspace!
The botched propaganda attempt is bordering on the absurd. Bordering?? Hell, it’s surpassed absurd and gotten into the territory of “must be smoking vast amounts of crack to even attempt this absolute cornholery.”
Never mind the SBU released transcripts of real Russians discussing the downing of the plane last year! Not American fakes stiltedly discussing the downing of the plane, but actual voice intercepts.
Never mind the Russian shitbag leading the Ukrainian separatist scum Strelkov gleefully implied that he and his band of knuckle dragging assholes shot the plane down, before doing an “OOPSIE!” and taking the post down, but not before it was screen captured by numerous sites.
In the region of Torez, a AN-26 plane was just downed, it’s lying somewhere behind the mine “Progress.
We warned not to fly in “our skies.”
And here’s the video confirming the latest downing of the bird (about the closest I can come to translating it accurately).
The bird fell behind a slag heap, and did not affect the residential sector. Peaceful people did not suffer.
Also there’s information about a second downed plane, probably an SU.
As soon as it became known that this was a passenger plane, Strelkov, who, by the way, is a Russian military veteran, a likely intel operative, and an all around asshole, quickly took down the bragging post. Too bad for him the Internet is forever.
The Internet forever will record this attempt by Komsomolskaya Pravda to impersonate “CIA officers” as a Russian propaganda FAIL of nuclear proportions.
Russian propaganda machine RT will probably report it as breaking news. Dumbasses here in the United States who consider RT a legitimate news source will post the RT story as truth not reported by the American corporatist media in the pockets of evil politicians.
And the Russians will probably swallow it all like a porn star in a bukkakke scene.
Yes, they are that deluded.