Giddy Tim Kaine Presses Face Against Campaign Bus Window As Horse Trailer Drives By

The Onion,Photos of the year, August 16, 2019 LIMA, OH—Pointing at the vehicle and shrieking Tim Kainewith delight, giddy Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine reportedly pressed his face against the window of his campaign bus Wednesday to gawk at a passing horse trailer. “Look, look, there’s two horseys!” said Kaine, his eyes widening with excitement and his mouth, nose, and palms leaving large smudges on the glass as he gazed at the pair of thoroughbreds being transported. “Hillary, look! One’s brown and the other’s got spots! Do you think they’re going to a big farm?” At press time, sources confirmed the riled-up Virginia senator was galloping down the center aisle of the bus repeatedly shouting “Neigh!”

The Onion is a satirical news source.

Spy vs. Spy: Political tales calculated to drive you mad. By James Taranto Dec. 12, 2016  “Top Republicans must reject the ridiculous notion that a national election can be ‘rigged,’ ” the New York Times demanded in an Oct. 18 editorial. That was then, this is now: “[President-elect] Trump should be leading the call for a thorough investigation, since it would be the only way to remove this darkening cloud from his presidency. Failing to resolve the questions about Russia would feed suspicion among millions of Americans that a dominant theme of his candidacy turned out to be true: The election was indeed rigged.”

What occasioned the turnabout was the report Friday, first in the Washington Post and then in the Times, that, as the Post puts it, “the CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.”

The claim that Russia was behind the hacking of email accounts belonging to the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, isn’t new. It was well-aired during the campaign. On Oct. 19 a report sought to reassure a public “understandably concerned about the integrity of next month’s election”: “Election officials and cyber experts say it’s virtually impossible for Moscow or some other outside group to influence the election outcome.”

Like the Times, CNN seems to have experienced a dramatic change of attitude. Yesterday on “Reliable Sources,” during a discussion of the Russia news, host Brian Stelter posed this question to Politico’s Julia Ioffe: “Julia, we’re talking about a candidate who has lost in a historic way in terms of the popular vote but clearly won in the Electoral College. Is this something of a national emergency? And are journalists afraid to say so because they’re going to sound partisan?” (The Media Research Center’s Brent Baker has video.)

Ioffe answered that “it does feel like we’re on the verge of something potentially awful,” what with the “chaos sower in chief undermining the validity of intelligence reports, undermining the work of the press, of various government institutions, democratic institutions.” She noted that “we’ve been reporting on this all along . . . but A, people aren’t listening and, B, [they] don’t believe us.”

Could there be a good reason for that? When Mrs. Clinton’s victory seemed certain, media organizations were demanding that Americans accept the election’s legitimacy. Now that Trump has won, those same media organizations are actively trying to undermine it. The inconsistency is glaring, but so is the consistency: Many in the media not only sound partisan, as Stelter suggested in framing his (partisan) question; they manifestly are partisan.

As for the Friday reports, they are confusing and inconsistent. The Post is unequivocal in attributing to the CIA the view that the Russians were trying to help the GOP nominee; it quotes an unnamed “senior U.S. official”: “It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected. That’s the consensus view.”

But according to the Times, it is “far from clear that Russia’s original intent was to support Mr. Trump, and many intelligence officials—and former officials in Mrs. Clinton’s campaign—believe that the primary motive of the Russians was to simply disrupt the campaign and undercut confidence in the integrity of the vote.”

The Times also reports that intelligence agencies reached with “high confidence” the conclusion “that the Russians hacked the Republican National Committee’s computer systems in addition to their attacks on Democratic organizations, but did not release whatever information they gleaned from the Republican networks.” But RNC officials “have consistently said that their networks were not compromised, asserting that only the accounts of individual Republicans were attacked.”

It may just be that the Democrats’ emails were juicier. The Times reports that a site called DCLeaks posted “a collection of more than 200 emails of Republican officials and activists,” but they “have drawn little attention because most are routine business emails.” One of the GOP hacking victims, Chicago venture capitalist Peter W. Smith, told the Times: “I try in my communications, quite frankly, not to say anything that would be embarrassing if made public.” Podesta and some of the other Democrats were not as careful.

Another Post report notes that the FBI isn’t “on the same page” with the CIA. In a closed-door Capitol Hill briefing last week, the FBI was “fuzzy” and “ambiguous,” according to one unnamed official in attendance, whereas the CIA was “direct and bald and unqualified” in asserting the Russians were plumping for Trump. Part of the explanation:

The competing messages, according to officials in attendance, . . . reflect cultural differences between the FBI and the CIA. The bureau, true to its law enforcement roots, wants facts and tangible evidence to prove something beyond all reasonable doubt. The CIA is more comfortable drawing inferences from behavior.

“The FBI briefers think in terms of criminal standards—can we prove this in court,” one of the officials said. “The CIA briefers weigh the preponderance of intelligence and then make judgment calls to help policymakers make informed decisions. High confidence for them means ‘we’re pretty damn sure.’ It doesn’t mean they can prove it in court.”

This columnist does not have sufficient intelligence to form a firm opinion as to whether the FBI is too cautious in its conclusions or the CIA is reckless in its. We would observe, however, that broadly speaking, those who side with the CIA approach here are the same people who favor the FBI method when it comes to foreign terrorists—i.e., treating them as criminal suspects entitled to due-process protections, including the benefit of any reasonable doubt.

Two additional points. First, the Post describes the CIA’s report as “secret.” So how is it that everyone knows about it? The answer, obviously, is that officials who were privy to the secrets improperly provided them to the press. (Here we should note that we do not fault the Post or the Times for having published the information they received, and that we would have done the same.)

Second, according to the Times report, even if the Russians were trying to help Trump, they didn’t expect to be successful:

The Russians were as surprised as everyone else at Mr. Trump’s victory, intelligence officials said. Had Mrs. Clinton won, they believe, emails stolen from the Democratic committee and from senior members of her campaign could have been used to undercut her legitimacy.

So American officials made secret information public with the effect—and, one may surmise, the intent—of raising questions about the legitimacy of President-elect Trump. That’s exactly what they accuse the Russians of having planned to do to Mrs. Clinton.


Official Call: Meeting December 19, 2016

Official Call
I, Elliott Harding, Chairman of the Albemarle County Republican Committee, do hereby call a meeting of the  Albemarle County Republican Committee on MONDAY, December 19, 2016 beginning at 7:00 PM at the ACRC Headquarters at 2132 Berkmar Dr., Charlottesville, VA 22901, for the purposes listed in the agenda below.
The filing deadline for resolutions is Friday, December 16, 2016 by 5 p.m. at 2132 Berkmar Dr. Postmarks do not govern.   Or send by email, to  Server time stamps do not govern.
I.  Welcome
II.  Invocation & Pledge of Allegiance
III. Convene ACRC Meeting
IV. Officer Reports
A.        Secretary – Adoption of Prior Minutes
B.        Treasurer – Expense Report
C.        Chairman’s Report
V.  Election of New Members
      A. Applicants for Membership (See Membership List Below)
VI.                   Election of Treasurer
VII.                  New Business
VIII.                Announcements
IX.                   Adjournment

Applicants for Membership (* denotes Associate membership)

Kenneth Dove
Richard Fox
Carol Fyrer*
Sally Gieck
Lisa Huffman
Randy Huffman
Lucy Johnson

Message from the Chair

Good evening Albemarle Republicans,
A few updates in this final month of what has been a wild and wonderful 2016.
First: Due to the Republican Party of Virginia Advance scheduled for this weekend in Richmond, we WILL NOT be having our monthly breakfast meeting this month. Several of you have voiced that you will be heading to the Advance, and I encourage as many of you to take part if possible. It is a wonderful gathering of Republicans across the Commonwealth and should be filled with good spirits following last month’s election. (For more information, feel free to purchase tickets and review the RPV itinerary at Instead of the breakfast, please be on the lookout for a Holiday Happy Hour to take place on Tuesday, December 20th. Exact location and times TBD.
Second: We will be having our final business meeting of the year next Thursday (December 15th) at 7:00pm. The official call will be issued tomorrow.
Third: Next week will feature 4 days of donations at our ACRC Headquarters (Tuesday – Friday from 3-7pm). Please find as many coats, hats, scarves, and shoes of all sizes for donation. These will be delivered to First Baptist Church on Saturday, December 17th for their 5th Annual Coat Drive.
Finally, if you are willing and ready to join our Bylaws Committee, please contact Sylvia Flood at We will begin our Bylaw review and drafting process at the beginning of the year and need as much input as possible!
I look forward to seeing y’all very soon. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Elliott Harding
Chairman, Albemarle County Republican Committee

Trump’s Taiwan Play: The phone call with the island’s president looks like a calculated move.

Dec. 4, 2016   Americans had to get used to Donald Trump breaking all the rules of presidential taiwancampaigning, and it looks like the world will have to adjust to a President Trump who will also violate diplomatic convention. One early lesson is not to overreact to every break with State Department protocol as if it’s the start of World War III.

The U.S. media had their 19th nervous breakdown Friday after the Trump transition said the President-elect had taken a congratulatory call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. Mr. Trump also later tweeted that he had spoken to “the President of Taiwan.” Doesn’t he understand this simply isn’t done? No American President or President-elect has talked to a Taiwanese President since 1979, and this violation of tradition is being portrayed as a careless, bone-headed provocation to Beijing.

Well, maybe it was calculated—and perhaps even useful. Trump Asia adviser Peter Navarro has advocated cabinet-level visits to Taiwan and an end to the U.S. bow to Beijing’s “one China” policy, which insists that Taiwan is part of China and shouldn’t be treated as an independent state. Perhaps that goes too far, but it is past time for the U.S. to recalibrate its Taiwan policy.

Ned Price, spokesman at the Obama National Security Council, suggested that Mr. Trump made a mistake, saying the U.S. remains “firmly committed to our ‘one China’ policy based on the three Joint Communiqués and the Taiwan Relations Act.” But the communiqués from the 1970s and ’80s do not say that the U.S. supports Beijing’s view of “one China,” only that the U.S. acknowledges that both China and Taiwan agree on that principle. That is a crucial distinction.

Taiwan and the world have also changed since those communiqués. Taiwan has become a prosperous and democratic polity integrated into the world economy. Most Taiwanese now want to maintain their de facto independence. They resent Beijing’s bullying to force their leaders to move toward reunification.

Previous U.S. Presidents have eased restrictions on contact with Taiwanese officials to reflect this reality. Bill Clinton let President Lee Teng-hui give a speech at Cornell University in 1995. George W. Bush allowed President Chen Shui-bian to visit the U.S. in transit to countries in Latin America that maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

The U.S. is obligated to assist the self-governing territory in defending itself under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, and every Administration since has sold weapons to Taiwan. Mr. Clinton sent a U.S. carrier through the Taiwan Strait in 1996 when China was especially threatening.

Previous Taiwanese leaders tried to exploit U.S. support to push for a formal declaration of independence, which Beijing warns would be cause for war. Mr. Trump has to be careful not to encourage Ms. Tsai, who has advocated for independence in the past, to make the same mistake. But Ms. Tsai has studiously avoided such declarations since her election earlier this year, and she has been careful to say she wants good relations with Beijing despite China’s attempt to isolate her.

Mr. Trump shouldn’t concede Beijing’s power to intimidate the world’s democracies into isolating Taiwan. The U.S. has an interest in supporting Taiwan as a model for China’s future development. And adapting Taiwan policy could benefit the wider U.S.-China relationship.

Beijing says denying sovereignty for Taiwan is a core interest. But the U.S. has a core interest in preventing North Korea from threatening the world with nuclear-armed missiles. The rest of Asia has a core interest in preventing China from unilaterally asserting its dominance over the East and South China Seas. Respect for core interests goes both ways.

It’s notable that China has reacted better than the U.S. media to Mr. Trump’s phone conversation. Beijing protested but its Foreign Minister dismissed it as a “petty trick” by Ms. Tsai. Beijing censored the news inside China, while the English-language China Daily suggested Mr. Trump simply made a mistake.

President Obama had no success convincing China to rein in Pyongyang, and Chinese officials walked all over him on his first visit in 2009. Mr. Trump’s tougher stance may prove to be a better opening move in the deal-making to come.

ACRC Winter Clothing Drive: Starts Tomorrow (Tuesday)

Please join us in collecting coats, scarves, hats, gloves, and shoes for adults and children of all sizes to support those in need in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area.

We will be taking donations Tuesday (12/13) – Friday (12/16) from 3-7pm at the Albemarle County Republican Headquarters (2132 Berkmar Dr.) and ultimately delivering these items to First Baptist Church for their 5th Annual Big Coat Giveaway on Saturday, December 17th from 10:00am-12:00pm.

We all have that extra coat, pair of shoes, or winter hat that is hiding in the back of that closet. It’s time to bring them out and help out! (Please make sure these items aren’t dirty!) If you’d like to assist with the collection efforts, feel free to send me a message.

Thank you!

Elliott Harding
Chairman, Albemarle County Republican Committee