Friday, November 17, 2017

Was That The Sound Of Pandora’s Box Being Opened?

The recent Weinstein, Moore and Franken scandals have the establishment and the media in a frenzy.  Weinstein had displayed his objectionable behavior for decades.  It might be curious why it suddenly came to light.  The allegations against Moore only came to light in the last days of his campaign for the Senate.  This is understandable.  The establishment has spent millions in an attempt to defeat him.  He is a definite threat to their order.  Franked appears to be collateral damage.  In fact Franken is an example of friendly fire.  How many casualties can the establishment sustain?  We will probably be finding out.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier told Chuck Todd on MSNBC that the House had paid out $15 million in harassment settlements in the past 10-15 years.   Actually the Congress’ Office of Compliance put the figure at more than 17 Million.   Not all of these settlements were for sexual harassment.  The settlements are classified and not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.  Tracy Manzer, Speier’s spokesperson told CNN that 80 percent of people who have come to her office to share stories of sexual misconduct never told the Office of Compliance.  Speier charged, “Congress created the Office of Compliance to protect itself from being exposed.”   The current law forces victims to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

The 17 million dollar figure is only the tip of an iceberg.  It does not include non-monetary settlements: “Here’s that promotion I promised you.”  It does not include cash payments made out of the harasser’s own pocket.  Former high school coach and House Speaker, Dennis Hastert, was apparently willing to pay $3.5 million to insure the silence of a former victim.  There is also the fear factor.  Informing on your boss might not be a smart career move.  Speier knows the names of two sitting members but will not release the names because, “The victims are the ones who do not want this exposed.”

There are several incidences that have made national news.  The Mark Foley page scandal of September 2006 possibly led to the Republicans loss of control over Congress in the November 2006 elections. That was extremely convenient timing.  Foley was sending sexually suggestive emails to teenaged boys who had formerly served as congressional pages.  House Speaker, Dennis Hastert, had apparently covered for Foley as long as he could.  He was accused of a cover-up in the Foley incident.   Another Republican Congressman, Jim Kolbe, may also have been involved in improper conduct at the time. There is no need to elaborate on the recent problems of Anthony Weiner. 

Sexual Harassment may be much more widespread than the public is aware of.  Members of Congress may feel invulnerable.  Their colleagues would be reluctant to expose them because it would bring discredit to the institution or they may also be involved in questionable behavior like House Speaker Dennis Hastert.  Their allies in the media are also reluctant to publicize the faults of people they socialize with and use as sources.  The floodgates, however, may be about to break open.  There are people in power who encouraged this movement.  Movements sometimes spin out of control and the there are plenty examples of revolutions eating their children. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Roy Moore vs. The Swamp

The Swamp is in full panic mode.  They are pulling out the big guns.  They claim Judge Roy Moore is a pedophile and cannot be allowed to represent the good people of the great state of Alabama.   If Moore wins the election the Senate should refuse to seat him.  The Washington Post claims it stumbled across this story by accident:  While reporting a story in Alabama about supporters of Moore’s Senate campaign, a Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage girls.”   The Swamp media would have us believe that they do not have a double standard when it comes to conservatives.  When Sarah Palin was selected for vice president David Corn claimed, “Alaska’s getting pretty crowded…with investigative reporters and scandal-chasers.”  Six weeks after being offered an exclusive story by Paula Jones the Post printed nothing.  The Post's managing editor, Robert Kaiser claimed  "We have an obligation to the Post's readers to do our best to establish the truth and not simply to print damaging accusations the moment they are made."

The author of the Washington Post article on Moore is very conscious of the problems the paper has with credibility.  She goes to great lengths to establish the main accuser’s bona fides. Leigh Corfman is not, like Paula Jones, who Newsweek’s Evan Thomas called "some sleazy woman with big hair coming out of the trailer parks."  McCrummen claims, “none of the women has donated to or worked for Moore’s Democratic opponent.”  Corfman voted for Republicans and even voted for Trump.  She described her story consistently in six interviews with The Post.  Neither Corfman nor any of the other women sought out The Post.  All were initially reluctant to speak.  Corfman claims, “I have prayed over this.”  She is obviously what the Post’s Michael Weisskop called one of the people who are “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.”

The Swamp accepts Corfman’s allegations without reservations.  No one from the Swamp asked, “Why is this coming out now?”  After 38 years is it possible that the memories of a girl from a broken home might be distorted.
Corfman has been divorced three times and has been plagued by financial problems.  She blames her chaotic teenage recklessness; drinking, drug abuse, promiscuity and a suicide attempt on Moore.  By contrast Moore is a West Point graduate, a Vietnam veteran, a law school graduate, and what some would describe as a “holy roller.”  This is not to say that “holy rollers” have not been known to “misbehave.”  People have to decide who is more credible.

The question of credibility frequently depends on which side of the political spectrum an individual is on.  Members of the Swamp will immediately side with Corfman.  The Swamp creatures have revealed themselves yet again.  Mitch McConnell is leading the charge.  McConnell stated, “If these allegations are true, he must step aside.”  He was followed by Sen. Jeff Flake who argued, “If there is any shred of truth to the allegations against Roy Moore, he should step aside immediately.”   Sen. Susan Collins said, “If there is any truth at all to these horrific allegations, Roy Moore should immediately step aside as a Senate candidate.”  Sen. Lisa Murkowski said, “I’m horrified.”  Sen. Rob Portman said, “It was very troubling … if what we read is true and people are on the record so I assume it is.”  Sen. John McCain had no doubts about Moore’s guilt.  He tweeted, “The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.”  All of these Senators are Republicans and member of the Swamp.

McConnell and the other Swamp creatures would rather have a democrat in this Alabama Senate seat.  George H.W. Bush voted for Hillary Clinton and is an unlikely Moore supporter.  Max Boot, a Rubio consultant said, “I would sooner vote for Josef Stalin than I would vote for Donald Trump.”  He is also an unlikely Moore supporter.  These are not 38 year old allegations.

The Swamp’s Claude Rains imitations are unconvincing.    Presently Senator Bob Menendez is being investigated for financial corruption.  Federal prosecutors believe that “defendants Menendez and Melgen had sex with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic."  These are not 38 year old allegations.  Three women who made the prostitution allegations later recanted and said they were paid to level the charges.  Who paid them?  Is the Post interested?   Sen. Lindsey Graham has testified as a character witness for Menendez.  Are Swamp creatures outraged by the recent release of FBI documents claiming Martin Luther King engaged in sex orgies?   Are they outraged by a Hollywood producer, Roman Polanski, who drugged and raped a 13 year old?  Or was this not a case of “rape-rape?”

Charges of sexual misconduct have been successfully used by the Swamp in the past.  In 1989 Senator John Tower was nominated for Secretary of Defense.  The day the debate on Tower's nomination began in the Senate, Bob Woodward’s article entitled, "Incidents at Defense Base Cited, Drunkenness, Harassment of Women Alleged" appeared on the front page of the Washington Post.  Bob Woodward reported that informed sources claimed Tower had been drunk at Bergstrom Air Force Base.  Tower was not confirmed and the next day it was revealed that Woodward’s source was discharged from the Air Force for psychiatric reasons.  Another story used against him was that he danced naked on a grand piano with his mistress, a Russian ballerina. This was reported by Leslie Stahl on CBS even though the FBI had reported they had reason to believe it was not true.  Sen. Ted Kennedy told students at Yale University that he was "troubled" by reports that John Tower drank excessively and made improper advances toward women.

For many an attack on Judge Moore by McCain is the next thing to an endorsement. If McCain opposes him he must be a patriot.  The President missed a great opportunity to embarrass the Swamp.  He reportedly said that Moore will “step aside” if the charges are true.  He should have mentioned that in light of the Swamp’s past behavior this is unlikely that the charges are true. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Book Review - Harry Dexter White

David Rees’ biography of Harry Dexter White, published in 1973, understandably does not include information that has come to light in the succeeding decades.  To his credit Rees comes to the conclusion that White was at least a “fellow traveler.”  Whether White was a “fellow traveler” or a card carrying Communist or simply extremely incompetent is irrelevant.  The important thing is what resulted from the policies he so successfully advocated.

Rees comes to the opposite conclusion of John Haynes and Harvey Klehr about Communist agents influencing U.S. policy.  Klehr has stated, "In our more than twenty years of archivally based research on Soviet espionage in America, we have uncovered ample documentation of Soviet intelligence obtaining American technical, military, and diplomatic information but very little indicating successful policy manipulation."  In an interview  Haynes stated, “Soviet manipulation of American policy—which by the way Soviet intelligence agencies didn’t do that. They were into intelligence, not policy manipulation. And there are sensible reasons for that—but that’s another question.”  Rees make several references to Communist efforts to manipulate policy.  As an example: “During 1936 an “elite group,” composed of promising officials who were expected to rise in the government service, was detached from this parent group (the Ware group.)  Its paramount objectives at that time were “power and influence” rather than active espionage.”  He quotes Whitticar Chambers, “The power to influence policy has always been the ultimate purpose of the Communist Party’s infiltration.  It was much more dangerous, and, as events have proved, much more difficult to detect, than espionage, which beside it was trivial, though the two go hand in hand.”  Haynes and Klehr are two of the leading scholars in this field.  It is curious that they were willing to damage their reputations by making such a claim.

Rees contends that White was not it a position to guide U.S. policy: “So far from being able to work on a high level to propel the United States into a war with Japan, so diminishing the possibility of a Japanese attack on the Soviet Union, White was certainly not part of the policy-making process at this time, as has been noted.”  Yet he wrote, “Some of White’s suggestions were incorporated in the final ‘ultimatum,’ as it was regarded in Tokyo, which was given by Secretary of State Cordell Hull to the Japanese envoys on November 26, 1941.”  It would later be discovered that these suggestions originated in Moscow.

Rees covers White’s role in the formulation of the Morgenthau Plan.  He appears to accept the fact that JCS 1067, the policy for occupation of Germany, was based on the Morgenthau Plan.  He quotes Walter Dorn, “Treasury representatives declared that the original White Memorandum had been approved by the President.  Thus it happened that the original version of JCS 1067 became largely a Treasury document.  It literally decreed, as a State Department official put it, economic chaos.”  White was a outstanding economist.  He knew exactly what the results of chaos would be.  Philip Mosely commented, “Such a policy outlined by White would drive the Germans into dependence on the Soviet Union.”  This would result in the rest of Europe falling under Soviet control.  White was almost successful.  By 1947 both France and Italy were on the verge of electing Communist governments.  This led to the Marshall Plan and the recovery of the European economy.