Friday, October 14, 2016

Peyton Place and Vulgar Comedians. Moxie. Obama's Nobel Peace Prize. UNESCO: The Amoral Agency. Assange - A Muckraker or An Investigative Reporter?

All the frustrated women who were not assaulted
by "Ole" Bill. (See 1 and 1a below.)

My generation grew up devouring Peyton Place.

America has always been prudish about sex
but vulgar comedians get huge applause.
This from a dear friend responding to my use of the word Moxie in a previous memo: "Dick,   Do you know where the term "moxie" came from?  From a soda that is somewhat like root beer, but with a unique flavor ... brewed from gentian root.  I was raised on it, and brought some back from Maine this summer ... the last place it is still being produced.  Let me know if you would like to "have some Moxie."     J.."

I responded: "I love Root Beer and used to get and drink Moxie.  Ever heard of two cents plain?  Cream Soda? Celery Tonic?  NuGrape? Thanks. 

My memos are my Moxie. Me"

Will Obama give back The Nobel Peace Prize he neither deserved nor earned? (See 2 below.)


Just one of the messes and challenges Obama leaves for the next president and do not forget Aleppo and Syria.

Were I Putin and/or the Iranian Ayatollah and I wanted to stir up trouble and influence the American election , I would be doing so in these remaining few months of Obama's term in office by confronting America's military.  Perhaps it has begun? (See 2a below.)
UNESCO the amoral agency of the U.N.  (See 3 and 3a below.)
I always thought there would be a Saturday Night Massacre after Comey's decision and perhaps it will still occur but very long after the fact.

For a FBI Agent does it come to employment versus integrity? (See 4 below.)

Assange may not be your favored news reporter but he is one of the few left doing investigative reporting with the courage to do so: v=TaDy3BKKA5I

Some would call him a "muckraker" but  truth is the food of good journalism. You decide!

Finally, most every liberal friend of mine and even some conservatives love to attack Trump. They begin by asking how I could possibly vote for him. I understand defending Trump is difficult at best and I am not about to defend him for his flawed character and often vulgar style of campaigning.  I simply prefer his ideas over Hillary's and believe by attacking Trump my friends are letting themselves off the hook and thus, do not have to defend Hillary.

Their's is a debating technique of placing your opponent on the defensive.  Once you accept their premise of defending Trump you are on their territory and will lose.

I generally ask them to go first and defend their vote for Hillary. Some do, but they get a bit flushed and tongue tied in the process.

Never accept the opposition's premise unless you truly believe it.

The Press Buries Hillary Clinton’s Sins

As reporters focus on Trump, they miss new details on Clinton’s rotten record.

Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi in Washington, D.C., Oct. 22, 2015.ENLARGE
Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi in Washington, D.C., Oct. 22, 2015. PHOTO: CORBIS/GETTY IMAGES
If average voters turned on the TV for five minutes this week, chances are they know that Donald Trump made lewd remarks a decade ago and now stands accused of groping women.
But even if average voters had the TV on 24/7, they still probably haven’t heard the news about Hillary Clinton: That the nation now has proof of pretty much everything she has been accused of.
It comes from hacked emails dumped by WikiLeaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, and accounts from FBI insiders. The media has almost uniformly ignored the flurry of bombshells, preferring to devote its front pages to the Trump story. So let’s review what amounts to a devastating case against a Clinton presidency.
Start with a June 2015 email to Clinton staffers from Erika Rottenberg, the former general counsel of LinkedIn. Ms. Rottenberg wrote that none of the attorneys in her circle of friends “can understand how it was viewed as ok/secure/appropriate to use a private server for secure documents AND why further Hillary took it upon herself to review them and delete documents.” She added: “It smacks of acting above the law and it smacks of the type of thing I’ve either gotten discovery sanctions for, fired people for, etc.”
Clinton staffers debated how to evade a congressional subpoena of Mrs. Clinton’s emails—three weeks before a technician deleted them. The campaign later employed a focus group to see if it could fool Americans into thinking the email scandal was part of the Benghazi investigation (they are separate) and lay it all off as a Republican plot.A few months later, in a September 2015 email, a Clinton confidante fretted that Mrs. Clinton was too bullheaded to acknowledge she’d done wrong. “Everyone wants her to apologize,” wrote Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Center for American Progress. “And she should. Apologies are like her Achilles’ heel.”
A senior FBI official involved with the Clinton investigation told Fox News this week that the “vast majority” of career agents and prosecutors working the case “felt she should be prosecuted” and that giving her a pass was “a top-down decision.”
Worse, Mrs. Clinton’s State Department, as documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show, took special care of donors to the Clinton Foundation. In a series of 2010 emails, a senior aide to Mrs. Clinton asked a foundation official to let her know which groups offering assistance with the Haitian earthquake relief were “FOB” (Friends of Bill) or “WJC VIPs” (William Jefferson Clinton VIPs). Those who made the cut appear to have been teed up for contracts. Those who weren’t? Routed to a standard government website.
The leaks show that the foundation was indeed the nexus of influence and money. The head of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Ira Magaziner, suggested in a 2011 email thatBill Clinton call Sheikh Mohammed of Saudi Arabia to thank him for offering the use of a plane. In response, a top Clinton Foundation official wrote: “Unless Sheikh Mo has sent us a $6 million check, this sounds crazy to do.”
The entire progressive apparatus—the Clinton campaign and boosters at the Center for American Progress—appears to view voters as stupid and tiresome, segregated into groups that must either be cajoled into support or demeaned into silence. We read that Republicans are attracted to Catholicism’s “severely backwards gender relations” and only join the faith to “sound sophisticated”; that Democratic leaders such as Bill Richardson are “needy Latinos”; that Bernie Sanders supporters are “self-righteous”; that the only people who watch Miss America “are from the confederacy”; and that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is “a terrorist.”
The leaks also show that the press is in Mrs. Clinton’s pocket. Donna Brazile, a former Clinton staffer and a TV pundit, sent the exact wording of a coming CNN town hall question to the campaign in advance of the event. Other media allowed the Clinton camp to veto which quotes they used from interviews, worked to maximize her press events and offered campaign advice.
Mrs. Clinton has been exposed to have no core, to be someone who constantly changes her position to maximize political gain. Leaked speeches prove that she has two positions (public and private) on banks; two positions on the wealthy; two positions on borders; two positions on energy. Her team had endless discussions about what positions she should adopt to appease “the Red Army”—i.e. “the base of the Democratic Party.”
Voters might not know any of this, because while both presidential candidates have plenty to answer for, the press has focused solely on taking out Mr. Trump. And the press is doing a diligent job of it.

1a) America’s Decadent Leadership Class

Putin doesn’t respect them, and they don’t like half the American people.

It is quite dreadful and a showing of the gravest disrespect that, if U.S. intelligence agencies are correct, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has inserted himself into America’s presidential election. And it could not have deeper implications.
If Russia is indeed behind the leaks of the emails of Democratic Party operatives Mr. Putin may have many reasons, as he often does, but the most frightening would be that he views the current American political leadership class as utterly decadent and unworthy of traditional diplomatic norms and boundaries. And, thinks, therefore, it deserves what it gets.
Why would he find them decadent—morally hollowed out, unserious? That is the terrible part: because he knows them.
Think of how he’s experienced them the past few years. Readers of these pages know of the Uranium One deal in which a Canadian businessman got Bill Clinton to help him get control of uranium mining fields in Kazakhstan. The businessman soon gave $31 million to the Clinton Foundation, with a pledge of $100 million more. Uranium One acquired significant holdings in the U.S. A Russian company moved to buy it. The deal needed U.S. approval, including from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Peter Schweizer, who broke the Uranium One story, reported in these pages how Mrs. Clinton also pushed for a U.S.-Russian technology initiative whose goals included “the development of ties between the Russian and American people.” Mrs Clinton looked for U.S. investors and found them. Of the 28 announced “key partners,” 60% had made financial commitments to the Clinton Foundation. Even Russian investors ponied up.While it was under consideration the Clinton Foundation received more money from Uranium One. Bill Clinton got a $500,000 speech fee. Mrs. Clinton approved the deal. The Russian company is now one of the world’s largest uranium producers. Significant amounts of U.S. uranium are, in effect, owned by Russia. This summer a WikiLeaks dump showed the State Department warning that Russia was moving to control the global supply of nuclear fuel. The deal went through anyway, and the foundation flourished.
But the research coming out of the initiative raised alarms: U.S. military experts warned of satellite, space and nuclear technology transfers. The FBI thought the Russian partners’ motive was to “gain access to classified, sensitive, and emerging technology.” WikiLeaks later unearthed a State Department cable expressing concern about the project. Somehow, said Mr. Schweizer, the Clinton State Department “missed or ignored obvious red flags.”
Again, what might Mr. Putin think of this? Might he amuse himself with mischief, even to the point of attempting to hack the election returns? We’ll see.
But nothing is more dangerous than this: that Mr. Putin and perhaps other world leaders have come to have diminished respect for the morality, patriotism and large-mindedness of our leaders. Nikita Khrushchev had a rough respect for JFK and his men and that respect, in the Cuban Missile Crisis, helped avert nuclear war. Mikhail Gorbachev was in the end half-awed by Ronald Reagan’s goodness and idealism; the world knew George H.W. Bush and respected his integrity, and so he was able to build coalitions that were real coalitions, not just names. Now, whoever wins, we are in a different place, a lesser and more dangerous one.


On the latest groping charges: We cannot know for certain what is true, but my experience in such matters is that when a woman makes such a charge she is telling the truth. In a lifetime of fairly wide acquaintance, I’ve not known a woman to lie about sexual misbehavior or assault. I believe Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey, and I believe the women making the charges against Mr. Trump in the New York Times. The mainstream media of the United States is in the tank for the Democratic nominee, to its great and destructive shame: They add further ruin to the half-ruined reputation of a great American institution. That will make the country’s future harder and more torn up. But this story, at least as to the testimony of its central figures, does not appear to be an example of that.


Here I would like to say a word for the spectacular illusions under which American voters once were able to operate. You used to be able to like your guy—to admire your candidate and imagine unknown virtues he no doubt possessed that would be revealed in time, in books. Those illusions were beautiful. They gave clean energy to the engine of our politics. You can’t have illusions anymore. That souring, which is based on knowledge and observation as opposed to mere cynicism, is painful to witness and bear. The other day a conservative intellectual declared to her fellow writers and thinkers: “I’m for the venal idiot who won’t mechanize government against all I hold dear.” That’s some bumper sticker, isn’t it? And who has illusions about Mrs. Clinton? No one.


The big fact of the week, however, has to do with these words: They don’t like us. The Democrats, progressives and left-liberals who have been embarrassed by the latest WikiLeaks dump really hate conservatives, or nonleftists. They don’t like half the people of the country they seek to control! They look at that half with disdain and disrespect. Their disdain is not new—“bitter clingers,” “basket of deplorables.” But here it’s so unashamed and eager to express itself.
A stupid man from a leftist think tank claimed the most “powerful elements” in the conservative movement are Catholic. “They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations,” he wrote. Mrs. Clinton’s press aide Jennifer Palmieri responded: “I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they become evangelicals.”
When I read that I imagined a conversation with my grandmother, an immigrant who was a bathroom attendant at the Abraham & Straus department store in Brooklyn. Me: “Grandma, being Catholic is now a step up. It means you’re an aristocrat! A stupid one, but still.” Grandma, blinking: “America truly is a country of miracles.”
Here’s what you see in the emails: the writers are the worst kind of snobs, snobs with nothing to recommend them. In their expression and thoughts they are common, banal, dumb, uninformed, parochial.
I don’t know about you but when people look down on me I want them to be distinguished or outstanding in some way—towering minds, people of exquisite sensibility or learning. Not these grubbly poseurs, these people who’ve never had a thought but only a sensation:Christians are backward, I saw it in a movie!
It’s the big fact of American life now, isn’t it? That we are patronized by our inferiors.
2) Aleppo Is Obama’s Sarajevo

The very least America can do is arm people who are willing to defend themselves.

This isn’t Aleppo. It’s Dubrovnik, Croatia, under siege in 1991.ENLARGE
This isn’t Aleppo. It’s Dubrovnik, Croatia, under siege in 1991. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
“Aleppo” is about to enter the expanding global dictionary of shame. The Syrian city and its population are on the brink of becoming an annihilated ruin. One of Aleppo’s greatest casualties will be the foreign-policy reputation of the Obama presidency.
It’s not merely that the U.S. has done so little directly to help the Syrian rebels. The more fundamental failure is that Mr. Obama has refused to permit the arming of people who are willing to fight on their own behalf against a dictator committed to the mass slaughter of innocent civilians.
Aleppo has become a classic siege. The city, and everything living or standing inside of it, has been under indiscriminate bombardment since late 2015 by missiles and barrel bombs dropped on neighborhoods. All this has been rained down on Aleppo by the Syrian air force of Bashar Assad in synchronization with Vladimir Putin’s Russian bombers. With supply lines from Turkey cut off, Aleppo has been in a state of siege for a month, unable to receive food or medical supplies.
Most of Aleppo’s hospitals have been bombed to rubble, and not many doctors remain. Three of its four main water-pumping stations are destroyed. The broader Syrian conflict has killed nearly a half-million people and created 4.8 million refugees.
The civilized world, which might be defined as people who aren’t living daily with aerial bombardments, passed through this moral hell as recently as the early 1990s. The U.S. president was Bill Clinton.
The names of the two besieged cities that transfixed the world then were Dubrovnik and Sarajevo, both in the former Yugoslavia. The mass murderer directing their destruction was Slobodan Milosevic, the nationalist head of Serbia.
Things being what they are now, most millennial voters likely don’t recall much about these haunted places in the Balkans. Still, their history is worth telling.
The siege and shelling of Dubrovnik, a beautiful and historic city in Croatia on the Dalmatian coast, ran from October 1991 to the following June. The siege of Sarajevo lasted four years until 1996.
It is hard to overstate how the sieges of Dubrovnik and Sarajevo transfixed the world—in part because electronic media put their flames and rubble on view constantly but mainly because no Western nation was doing a thing to stop it. That war’s entry into the dictionary of shame was “ethnic cleansing.”
As in Syria today, foreign-policy pragmatists argued that the Balkans were a hopeless caldron of historic tribal animosities. Why get involved? And indeed the administrations of both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton stood back.
Here is a key footnote: In June 1991, Milosevic’s Yugoslav army invaded neighboring Slovenia. The Slovenes, however, were armed and ready. They defeated the Milosevic forces in 10 days. Four months later, Milosevic laid siege to Dubrovnik. The world gaped in horror—but would do nothing to help.
Oh, it did do one thing: endless diplomacy of the sort John Kerry has been doing with the Russians now over Aleppo, intended as always to “stop the violence.”
The Bush and Clinton administrations adhered to a U.N.-imposed arms embargo that disarmed only Milosevic’s target populations in Croatia and Bosnia. Arming them, came the familiar argument, would only “increase the violence.” So they died by the thousands beneath shelling that destroyed their cities.
Third key footnote: The leading U.S. proponent in 1992 of lifting the arms embargo? Senator Joe Biden. That was then. From 2011 until now the Obama administration has dithered over arming the Syrian rebels, a decision of monstrous consequence, given Russia’s homicidal military support for Mr. Assad.
We will wait for Mr. Obama’s memoirs to discover the moral calculus behind his abandonment of Syria’s rebels. We suspect the math will go something like this: I spent all my political capital on the Iran nuclear deal, forestalling a long-term apocalypse in return for the near-term disorders in the region.
Well, the world has paid a high near-term price—in cash, security and moral capital—for one nuclear deal with Iran. That includes Aleppo.
One such price is the corrosion of people’s ability to react to events such as this bloody siege. The global outcry over Milosevic was much greater than this. Messrs. Assad and Putin know that relentless savagery correlates directly with a world going numb—once its leaders have pulled down the shades and walked away. Our two presidential candidates are offering not much more than that.
What we learned in Dubrovnik and Sarajevo in fact wasn’t a big lesson. It wasn’t about nation-building or boots on the ground or seizing someone else’s oil fields.
It was that when the bad overwhelm the innocent, the least we can do is arm people willing to fight to defend themselves. If not, you invite, indeed you permit, humanitarian and moral catastrophe

2a) Iran wishes to replace the US as the regional hegemon, at the America's expense
Caroline B. Glick

By Caroline B. Glick

Off the coast of Yemen and at the UN Security Council we are seeing the strategic endgame of Barack Obama’s administration. And it isn’t pretty.

Since Sunday, Iran’s Houthi proxies in Yemen have attacked US naval craft three times in the Bab al-Mandab, the narrow straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. The Bab al-Mandab controls maritime traffic in the Red Sea, and
ultimately controls the Suez Canal.

Whether the Iranians directed these assaults or simply green-lighted them is really beside the point. The point is that these are Iranian strikes on the US. The Houthis would never have exposed themselves to US military retaliation if they hadn’t been ordered to do so by their Iranian overlords.

The question is why has Iran chosen to open up an assault on the US? The simple answer is that Iran has challenged US power at the mouth of the Red Sea because it believes that doing so advances its strategic aims in the region.

Iran’s game is clear enough. It wishes to replace the US as the regional hegemon, at the US’s expense.

Since Obama entered office nearly eight years ago, Iran’s record in advancing its aims has been one of uninterrupted success.

Iran used the US withdrawal from Iraq as a means to exert its full control over the Iraqi government. It has used Obama’s strategic vertigo in Syria as a means to exert full control over the Assad regime and undertake the demographic transformation of Syria from a Sunni majority state to a Shi’ite plurality state.

In both cases, rather than oppose Iran’s power grabs, the Obama administration has welcomed them. As far as Obama is concerned, Iran is a partner, not an adversary.

Since like the US, Iran opposes al-Qaida and ISIS, Obama argues that the US has nothing to fear from the fact that Iranian-controlled Shiite militias are running the US-trained Iraqi military.

So, too, he has made clear that the US is content to stand by as the mullahs become the face of Syria.

In Yemen, the US position has been more ambivalent. In late 2014, Houthi rebel forces took over the capital city of Sanaa. In March 2015, the Saudis led a Sunni campaign to overthrow the Houthi government. In a bid to secure Saudi support for the nuclear agreement it was negotiating with the Iranians, the Obama administration agreed to support the Saudi campaign. To this end, the US military has provided intelligence, command and control guidance, and armaments to the Saudis.

Iran’s decision to openly assault US targets then amounts to a gamble on Tehran’s part that in the twilight of the Obama administration, the time is ripe to move in for the kill in Yemen. The Iranians are betting that at this point, with just three months to go in the White House, Obama will abandon the Saudis, and so transfer control over Arab oil to Iran.

For with the Strait of Hormuz on the one hand, and the Bab al-Mandab on the other, Iran will exercise effective control over all maritime oil flows from the Arab world.

It’s not a bad bet for the Iranians, given Obama’s consistent strategy in the Middle East.

Obama has never discussed that strategy.

Indeed, he has deliberately concealed it. But to understand the game he has been playing all along, the only thing you need to do listen to his foreign policy soul mate.

According to a New York Times profile published in May, Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes is the president’s alter ego. The two men’s minds have “melded.”

Rhodes’s first foreign policy position came in the course of his work for former congressman Lee Hamilton.

In 2006, then-president George W. Bush appointed former secretary of state James Baker and Hamilton to lead the Iraq Study Group. Bush tasked the group with offering a new strategy for winning the war in Iraq. The group released its report in late 2006.

The Iraq Study Group’s report contained two basic recommendations. First, it called for the administration to abandon Iraq to the Iranians.

The group argued that due to Iran’s opposition to al-Qaida, the Iranians would fight al-Qaida for the US.

The report’s second recommendation related to Israel. Baker, Hamilton and their colleagues argued that after turning Iraq over to Iran, the US would have to appease its Sunni allies.

The US, the Iraq Study Group report argued, should simultaneously placate the Sunnis and convince the Iranians of its sincerity by sticking it to Israel. To this end, the US should pressure Israel to give the Golan Heights to Syria and give Judea and Samaria to the PLO.

Bush rejected the Iraq Study Group report. Instead he opted to win the war in Iraq by adopting the surge counterinsurgency strategy.

But once Bush was gone, and Rhodes’s intellectual twin replaced him, the Iraq Study Group recommendations became the unstated US strategy in the Middle East.

After taking office, Obama insisted that the US’s only enemy was al-Qaida. In 2014, Obama grudgingly expanded the list to include ISIS.

Obama has consistently justified empowering Iran in Iraq and Syria on the basis of this narrow definition of US enemies. Since Iran is also opposed to ISIS and al-Qaida, the US can leave the job of defeating them both to the Iranians, he has argued.

Obviously, Iran won’t do the US’s dirty work for free. So Obama has paid the mullahs off by giving them an open road to nuclear weapons through his nuclear deal, by abandoning sanctions against them, and by turning his back on their ballistic missile development.

Obama has also said nothing about the atrocities that Iranian-controlled militia have carried out against Sunnis in Iraq and has stopped operations against Hezbollah.

As for Israel, since his first days in office, Obama has been advancing the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations. His consistent, and ever escalating condemnations of Israel, his repeated moves to pick fights with Jerusalem are all of a piece with the group’s recommended course of action. And there is every reason to believe that Obama intends to make good on his threats to cause an open rupture in the US alliance with Israel in his final days in office.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s phone call with Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday night made this clear enough. In the course of their conversation, Netanyahu reportedly asked Kerry if Obama intended to enable an anti-Israel resolution to pass in the UN Security Council after the presidential election next month. By refusing to rule out the possibility, Kerry all but admitted that this is in fact Obama’s intention.

And this brings us back to Iran’s assaults on US ships along the coast of Yemen.

Early on Sunday morning, the US responded to the Houthi/Iranian missile assaults by attacking three radar stations in Houthi-controlled territory. The nature of the US moves gives credence to the fear that the US will surrender Yemen to Iran.

This is so for three reasons. First, the administration did not allow the USS Mason destroyer to respond to the sources of the missile attack against it immediately. Instead, the response was delayed until Obama himself could determine how best to “send a message.”

That is, he denied US forces the right to defend themselves.

Second, it is far from clear that destroying the radar stations will inhibit the Houthis/Iranians.

It is not apparent that radar stations are necessary for them to continue to assault US naval craft operating in the area.

Finally, the State Department responded to the attack by reaching out to the Houthis. In other words, the administration is continuing to view the Iranian proxy is a legitimate actor rather than an enemy despite its unprovoked missile assaults on the US Navy.

Then there is the New York Times’ position on Yemen.

The Times has repeatedly allowed the administration to use it as an advocate of policies the administration itself wishes to adopt. Last week for instance, the Times called for the US to turn on Israel at the Security Council.

On Tuesday, the Times published an editorial calling for the administration to end its military support for the Saudi campaign against the Houthis/Iran in Yemen.

Whereas the Iranian strategy makes sense, Obama’s strategy is nothing less than disastrous.

Although the Iraq Study Group, like Obama, is right that Iran also opposes ISIS, and to a degree, al-Qaida, they both ignored the hard reality that Iran also views the US as its enemy. Indeed, the regime’s entire identity is tied up in its hatred for the US and its strategic aim of destroying America.

Obama is not the only US president who has sought to convince the Iranians to abandon their hatred for America. Every president since 1979 has tried to convince the mullahs to abandon their hostility. And just like all of his predecessors, Obama has failed to convince them.

What distinguishes Obama from his predecessors is that he has based US policy on a deliberate denial of the basic reality of Iranian hostility. Not surprisingly, the Iranians have returned his favor by escalating their aggression against America.

The worst part about Obama’s strategy is that it is far from clear that his successor will be able to improve the situation.

If Hillary Clinton succeeds him, his successor is unlikely to even try. Not only has Clinton embraced Obama’s policies toward Iran.

Her senior advisers are almost all Obama administration alumni. Wendy Sherman, the leading candidate to serve as her secretary of state, was Obama’s chief negotiator with the Iranians.

Is the Tide Turning for Israel?

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