Saturday, February 8, 2020

I am glad Vindman was fired

Alexander Vindman getting fired by President Donald Trump?

I am thrilled by it.

He was clearly close to leaker Eric Ciarella and conspired with him.  He needed to be gone and Mr. Trump fired him.  Good.  Mr. Trump can fire him and should.


  1. Under Pres. George H.W. Bush, the Nat’l Security Council staff consisted of 50 people. By Obama, it had ballooned to nearly 200. Dumping Vindman is but one important step to reduce the NSC bloat and, along with it, the partisans who’ve come to believe they run the republic.
  2. Good riddance, Alexander Vindman. I‘m glad this is just the start of the much-needed housecleaning of the insubordinate staff at the National Security Council (NSC). Any President of the United States is entitled to trusted advisers, especially on matters of national security.


Again, I am not upset.  I am glad that the President fired him.  If you are not, maybe read the following as starting material:

Nov 16, 2019 - Alexander Vindman prior to filing the complaint, according to the ... has not yet been confirmed, career CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella, 33, was ...
Nov 6, 2019 - Alexander Vindman, the Army lieutenant colonel and top Ukraine expert ... the Washington Examiner has established that Eric Ciaramella, who ...
Feb 1, 2020 - Johnson resubmitted the question, which included the names of Sean Misko and Alexander Vindman, Chief Justice Roberts read the names ...
Jan 22, 2020 - Barely two weeks after Donald Trump took office, Eric Ciaramella – the CIA ... Alexander Vindman: The National Security Council aide leaked to ...


He needed to be fired.  I am glad he was.  I did not enjoy last night's debate where Mr. Vindman was portrayed as a victim.  He is no victim.


I hope you caught Stan's "INDEBTED" and I hope you have watched NBC's INDEBTED but, if not, you can stream the debut episode at NBC.  It is the funny, new sitcom starring Fran Drescher and Adam Pally.

 This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
 
Friday, February 7, 2020.  As Iowa still can't get it together, another Biden scandal emerges.


Friday morning and, in the United States, there is still no clear winner in Iowa's caucus which, please remember, took place Monday night.  Australia's ABC reports:

Former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg leads Vermont senator Bernie Sanders by two state delegate equivalents out of 2,152 counted — a margin of 0.09 percentage points — following the Iowa Democratic Party's release of the results from all 1,765 precincts in the state's Democratic caucuses.
But both candidates have declared themselves victorious and there is evidence the party has not accurately tabulated some of its results.
The Associated Press said it was unable to declare a winner. The New York Times has reported the contest was a "dead heat".

Still nothing.  This coming Tuesday, New Hampshire holds its primary.  Will Iowa have its act together by then?

The whole nonsense of 'the ap didn't work' fell apart as Monday vanished at midnight and it became Tuesday.  A new ap was the problem?  Oh.  Okay.  Well stop using it and just phone in the results from each precinct -- the way the Iowa caucus did in the 70s  and 80s and 90s and . . .  It's not that hard.  It is certainly not hard enough that four days later there are no results.

This is a disaster on every level and Iowa needs to be penalized for this.  No more leading the nation.  It didn't have its act together and there's still no clear winner.  That's unacceptable.  There need to be consequences.


We don't know who the winner is but we know who the biggest loser is: Joe Biden.

He came in fourth.  The candidate who ran arguing he was the most electable came in fourth.  The candidate with the biggest name recognition and multiple high profile endorsements came in fourth.  People talk about the money Tom Steyer has wasted but what about the money -- from other people -- that Joe Biden has wasted on his vanity campaign?


Debate tonight is gonna own. I wanna see desperate Joe Biden end his political career live on stage after coming 4th in Iowa.
 
 



The campaign's desperate as well.  That's why Joe was hurried home and not campaigning in New Hampshire.  Can't have baby Joe too tired, got to get him to his own bed in Delaware or he might crack up on stage in the debate.  As ABC NEWS (US ABC NEWS) notes, "Biden has had a long-standing tradition of taking the days ahead of debates for preparation. Biden has only held a public event once on a day preceding any of the seven debates staged so far — a brief stop last month at a Des Moines, Iowa campaign office to greet supporters ahead of the caucus."

Joe was never fit to campaign.  He's been babied the whole way since he declared last April.  He's avoided the press.  He's made 'apologies' for behavior that he's then joked about.  The press has never held him up to the scrutiny the other candidates have been held to.

"As a Biden."  Joe loves to say that.  He says trust him and "as a Biden."  He says that mainly because his whole campaign is built around, "I'm going to take it back to 2015."  As though that would answer the climate crisis, the health crisis, the never-ending wars.  Eric Bradner (CNN) observes:

Joe Biden has insisted for months he's the only sure-fire winner in a head-to-head match-up with President Donald Trump in the Democratic Party's primary field. He'd "beat him like a drum," Biden often says.
But the former vice president limped to New Hampshire on Tuesday on course to lose in the first contest of the 2020 primary.
Biden was in fourth place in the Iowa caucuses with 62% of precincts counted -- lagging well behind the two leaders, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and third-place Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The results that have been tallied so far are worse than Biden -- who had told reporters the Friday before the caucuses that "there's a big difference between second and fourth" -- had hoped. And popular vote numbers indicating Biden fell behind the 15% viability threshold to win delegates in some precincts were a clear indictment of his campaign's weak organizing effort in the state.
The former vice president must now answer new doubts about his core argument: If a candidate who has framed his campaign around the notion that he's more electable than his rivals loses the first election of the nominating process,where does that leave him?


He has nothing to offer.  So he tries to tell people 'Vote for me, I'm the most electable.'  Clearly, he isn't.  And clearly, his family problems go far beyond Deadbeat Dad Hunter Biden who tries to dodge paying child support and dodge paying the IRS.  But it goes throughout the Biden family.  And "as a Biden," this is a campaign issue.

Yesterday, THE DAILY MAIL broke the story on his brother Frank:

  • Joe Biden's youngest brother Frank, 66, is revealed by DailyMail.com investigation to owe a grieving family almost $1 million
  • He has never paid a penny in the 20 years since Michael Albano, a single father, was run over in a fatal car crash near San Diego California in August 1999
  • Frank Biden had rented the high-powered Jaguar and was in the passenger seat when he put the car into manual, and said 'punch it' to the driver
  • Albano was hit at up to 80mph by the car and Biden was allegedly heard saying 'keep driving' as the 38-year-old father of two teenagers lay dying on the road
  • The Albano family sued Biden and he was ordered to pay both the dead man's daughters compensation in 2002 - but  has never paid a cent
  • The dead man's family pleaded in 2008 with Joe Biden - then Barack Obama's running mate - to get his brother to pay up but were told he was penniless
  • Since then he has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in string of ventures, including for-profit charter schools and Costa Rican property development
  • Biden's license was suspended when Albano was killed and has a long history of driving on a suspended license - including this month in DailyMail.com pictures 


That is offensive on so many levels.  But grasp that Joe has used/invoked his first wife's memory at least 100,000 times this campaign alone.  For those who somehow missed it, Joe gets misty-eyed about the 1972 car crash that his first wife and their daughter died in.  He plays it for sympathy and no one's supposed to ever supposed to question why, in 2019, he's still bringing up that event on his own and getting weepy-eyed over it.

As we've said repeatedly as he's made the remarks about how great she was while his second wife, Jill, sat on the stage just smiling blankly.  He married Jill in 1977.  As I've said before, take the win.  Jill has been a wonderful wife, she has supported him in his deepest crisis and in his happiest moments.  I know Jill and I have nothing bad to say about her.  But as I've said before: Joe, you've been happily married to Jill since 1977 so, all these decades later, stop harping about your first wife.  Take the win.

But he wouldn't.  He's used it for sympathy and he's used it in place of any actual policy proposal that would benefit most Americans.

And all the time he's been playing 'pity me, support me and pity me,' his own brother is responsible for the death of someone in a car accident.

Does the hypocrisy ever end?



Biden's brother Frank owes dead man's family $1 million for 80 mph car crash
 
 
Meet DISHONEST Frank Biden, Joe's 'penniless' brother who has snubbed mourning family he owes $1m - but who dined at the White House, boasts of his links to the former VP and vacations at $1,000-a-night ranch
 
 
Frank Biden is a 'piece of c**p' says one of two orphans owed $1m by VP's brother
 
 
  • Projects Tied to Frank Biden Secured $54 Million in Taxpayer Backed Loans While Joe Was VP
     
     
    Did you know: Joe Biden's brother, Frank, owes the family of Michael Albano $1,000,000 after being found partially legally responsible for his death 20 years ago Why has this never come up before? I imagine if his last name were Trump this would be breaking news πŸ€”
     
     
    Frank Biden, 's younger brother, still owes the family of Michael Albano more than $1 million for his role in a high-speed collision that killed Albano as he was walking to go pick up his daughter in 1999.
     
     
    Wait. Frank Biden killed a guy? Sheesh.
     
     



    Frank won't pay.  Madison Dibble (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) notes:

    It isn’t clear where Frank Biden stands financially, but he has described himself as a development officer for a chain of for-profit charter schools, where he identified himself as the “the brother of Vice President Joe Biden.” He also appeared in several commercials for a Florida law firm.
    Additionally, his partner, Melinda Ward, a 47-year-old flight attendant, was spotted driving a $40,000 Range Rover near their home earlier this year.
    The Daily Mail reached out to Frank Biden about the Albanos' claims. He told one reporter on the phone, "I have no interest in speaking to you whatsoever." Another reporter was told Frank Biden had no comment "at this time" about the payments. When Ward was asked about the situation, she directed reporters to Joe Biden's campaign.

    Beyond the incident with Albano, Frank Biden was arrested for a DUI in August 2003. He was also arrested in October 2003 for petty theft after a Blockbuster in Pompano Beach called law enforcement after witnessing him stuff a video down his pants and attempt to leave.




    This is the Biden family?  "As a Biden" . . . I will shove a rental video down my pants to try to steal it at Blockbuster?

    That family.

    Still on Biden, Christina Prignano (BOSTON GLOBE) reports:

    Former vice president Joe Biden is being criticized over an interaction last week with a New Hampshire student and disability-rights advocate after he appeared to stroke the man’s face while speaking with him during a campaign event.
    The interaction was captured in a video posted to YouTube by Samuel Habib, who has made it his mission during the primary season to meet every major Democratic candidate. The 20-year-old Habib, speaking through a communication device, told Biden he was a college student who took regular classes through high school.
    “How will you support more inclusive education for students with disabilities?” Habib asked Biden.
    Biden responded by discussing his support for the Americans with Disabilities Act and calling for more equitable treatment of students with disabilities in public schools.
    Biden continued: “You’re smart. You’re smart. Your disability does not define who you are," he said, reaching out and appearing to stroke Habib’s face. "It doesn’t define who you are.”
    “I’m so proud of you. It’s presumptuous of me to be proud of you but I am,” Biden added.
    The video sparked criticism on Twitter, where it was posted by the Disability Rights Center New Hampshire. Several Twitter users said that the interaction made them uncomfortable and that Biden came across as patronizing.
    Habib discussed his feelings about the incident with writer Andrew Pulrang in a piece for Forbes published Tuesday.
    “I felt like he talked down to me. And I was mad that he touched my face. Because I have a disability and use a Tobii communication device, he was perceiving me differently than another 20-year-old. As not being smart,” Habib told Pulrang.


    Joe is a non-stop embarrassment machine.  He really needs to shut down his campaign.  He's already harmed his own legacy and now he's doing serious harm to Barack Obama's.  Joe needs to go.

    Mike Bloomberg would like to see Joe go. He's presenting himself as a fresh-faced Joe but issues of cronyism and corruption dog him -- so maybe he is the new Joe!!!!

    Julie Conley (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

    Rep. Rashida Tlaib accused two members of the Democratic National Committee's rules committees of having a conflict of interest following reports that they are paid staffers of the presidential campaign billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City.
    The Michigan Democrat tweeted a link late Wednesday to a report by Sludge regarding the recent appointments of Alexandra Rooker, vice chair of the California Democratic Party, to the DNC's Rules Committee, and former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to the Standing Rules and Bylaws Committee.
    Both panels can propose rule changes to the Democratic nominating process, and both Rooker and Nutter began working on Bloomberg's campaign in recent weeks, advising him on policy and other campaign issues.

    "Out of tens of millions of qualified people, Tom Perez's DNC is seating two Bloomberg campaign surrogates" on the committees, tweeted David Moore, who wrote for Sludge Wednesday about the appointments.
    "In law school, they called this a conflict of interest," wrote Tlaib, a surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Democratic race.


    Now let's move to Iraq.  Non-community members keep e-mailing the public account that I have ignored an import article on Iraq.  I have ignored it in every outlet it's been republished in.  It's not an important article.  The man who got his doctorate in 2019 may be smart, he may not be. But he's uninformed on Iraq.  I was trying to be kind but the e-mails keep pouring in.  Here's the article.  Here's one of the biggest problems:


    During a subsequent phone call with US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, Iraq’s prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, requested a US withdrawal. But instead of heeding the Iraqi authorities’ decision, the US State Department declared that it would not discuss the withdrawal of US troops as their presence in Iraq was “appropriate”. It claimed that there was instead a need for “a conversation between the US and Iraqi governments not just regarding security, but about our financial, economic, and diplomatic partnership.”

    Pompeo met with him after Mahdi had issued his resignation.  He has no authority and no real role.  A prime minister-designate has been named and given 30 days to form a Cabinet.  If he's named prime minister, Mohammed Tawfik Allawi is tasked with one immediate issue: bring about new elections so that a new government can be formed (that would include a prime minister).  If Allawi becomes prime minister in a few weeks, he may or may not have the power to ask US forces to leave but even Mahdi has admitted that he doesn't have the power, as outgoing prime minister since December (he formally made the resignation in December but had issued an announcement back in November), to call for US forces to leave.

    I want US forces out of Iraq.  I've wanted that forever and a day. But I'm not going to lie about events to try to make that happen.

    Bobby Ghosh (GULF NEWS) offers this on Allawi:

    Allawi is the compromise candidate agreed by Iraq’s most powerful Shiite leaders — Hadi Al Amiri, who is Iran’s man in Baghdad, and the radical cleric-politician Moqtada Al Sadr. Tehran has welcomed his nomination. Al Sadr has gone farther, by withdrawing his supporters from Tahrir Square and other spaces occupied by the protesters. Indeed, the Al Sadrists are now trying to force the protesters to leave.
    The new prime minister knows what Al Amiri and Al Sadr expect of him: a carve-up of lucrative government ministries among their supporters and the expulsion of US forces from Iraq. Al Amiri will push for more pro-Iran policies, deepening Iraq’s economic dependence on the Islamic Republic. Al Sadr will seek political dominance, which requires weakening the influence of Iran-backed militias.


    Allawi twice served as communications minister under a previous Iranian favourite, prime minister Nouri Al Maliki, but resigned in protest against corruption and his boss’s overtly sectarian politics. Under different circumstances, this would have earned him some goodwill with the protesters, but they see him as a hopelessly compromised member of the discredited political elite, and endorsements from Al Amiri and Al Sadr have hardened their suspicions.

    Where is little Moqtada al-Sadr?  The little baby or little chicken has fled to Iran.  Why?  He fears the outgoing prime minister may have him arrested.  And Mahdi might do that in his final days as prime minister.  Moqtada was part of the effort to topple Mahdi.  And Mahdi would be within his rights ordering Moqtada arrested for his mob's killing of protesters.


    We've already noted this week that Moqtada's orders to his mob and their killing of the protesters is in direct violation of the call Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani made last Friday.  This morning, XINHUA reports:

    Iraq's top Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani on Friday condemned the recent attacks against the anti-government protesters.
    "The repeated calls by the religious authority for rejecting violence and adhering to peaceful demonstrations ... did not prevent the occurrence of unfortunate and painful incidents during the past days," the representative of al-Sistani said in a televised speech during the weekly Friday prayer in the holy Shiite city of Karbala, some 110 km south of the capital Baghdad.
    "The Religious Marj'iyah (Shiite religious authority headed by al-Sistani) condemns all attacks and abuse ... from any party," the representative added.
    The official security forces are responsible for avoiding chaos and turmoil, as well as protecting the protests sites and the peaceful demonstrators, he noted.

    On Wednesday, clashes between the followers of the prominent Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and demonstrators erupted when al-Sadr's militiamen stormed al-Sadrain Square in Najaf and set fire to the sit-in tents, killing up to eight protesters and wounding some 100 protesters and al-Sadr's followers.


    AP notes, "Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's words came two days after at least eight protesters were killed in the holy southern city of Najaf. They died when followers of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stormed a protest site and fired live rounds."




    The following sites updated: