Tag Archives: Weekly Standard

Paul Hollrah Analyzes Upcoming GOP Presidential Debates

EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a guest post by Paul R. Hollrah, a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico and retired corporate government relations executive whose life experience includes having served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard.

Editorial cartoon courtesy David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

Editorial cartoon courtesy David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

The Republican National Committee plans to conduct at least nine debates in the 2015-16 presidential primary season, the first of which will be held at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland Aug. 6, 2015. The debate will be co-sponsored by Fox News and Facebook and moderated by Fox News Channel anchors, Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace. And although the RNC is determined to hold far fewer debates than the twenty held during the 2012 primary season, the party has left the door open to the possibility of up to three additional debates if the need arises.

In a July 28 column, Kristol Clear Straw Poll #5, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol expresses what a great many people have been thinking, which is that the GOP debate format agreed to by Fox News and the RNC falls far short of the ideal.

Fox News has announced that, in order to avoid having as many as 16 candidates on the stage at one time, each vying for their share of face-time before the a national TV audience, they will limit the number of candidates to ten. Those candidates will be the top ten candidates taken from an average of the five most recent national polls… the polls to be selected by Fox.

According to one analysis of five recent national polls, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Scott Walker are almost certain to be selected, while the two remaining slots will be filled by either Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Rick Perry or Rick Santorum. Carly Fiorina, George Pataki and Lindsey Graham, each polling at roughly one percent, are apparently out of the running for the first debate.

Kristol has issued a fervent plea to Fox News and the RNC. He asks that they please abandon the “poorly-conceived ten-person, one-main-stage format” while there is still time. He argues that there simply will not be a “statistically significant difference between the 8th through 10th place finishers and the 11th through 13th places.” I would argue that there is insufficient reason to arbitrarily exclude any six of the 16 candidates. Kristol suggests that, out of fairness, the sponsors change the format to two eight-person debates, to be held on successive nights, or, in the alternative, two five-person debates and one six-person debate on three successive nights.

In order to demonstrate how the single ten-person debate would deny primary voters the opportunity to discover what some of the best, most capable, but lesser known candidates have to offer, I have developed a rating system which, as objectively as possible, points to some significant strengths and weaknesses in the candidates that the casual observer might overlook.

The rating system I have developed utilizes six separate factors: eligibility, personal appeal, experience, directness, the Trump factor and position on the issues, each scored on a scale of one to ten. (The “Trump Factor” being a measure of the extent to which each candidate has either adhered to or ignored Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, re: the Trump candidacy.)

A quick analysis of the sixteen candidates produces the following results:

Click on image above to read article that explains the red "0" next to four candidates' names.

Click on image above to read article that explains the red “0” next to four candidates’ names.

Using the above analytical format, the participants in the August 6th debate would be, in order of ranking: 1) Carly Fiorina, 2) Mike Huckabee, 3) Scott Walker, 4) Donald Trump, 5) Ben Carson, 6) John Kasich, 7) Chris Christie, 8) Rand Paul, 9) Marco Rubio and 10) Rick Perry. Those watching the debate on TV would be, in order: 11) George Pataki, 12) Lindsey Graham, 13) Ted Cruz, 14) Rick Santorum, 15) Bobby Jindal and 16) Jeb Bush. Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore has just announced and cannot be properly evaluated.

What is most interesting about the admittedly subjective analysis is that former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who regularly polls at 2% or less because she lacks name recognition, comes out tied for first place with Mike Huckabee, each winning 56 out of a possible 60 points, while Jeb Bush, the darling of the mainstream media and establishment Republicans, comes in dead last. Bush comes in last because: 1) he is not an appealing candidate, 2) he was one of the first to openly criticize Donald Trump and 3) he has a history of pandering to liberal special interests.

To date, only three of the sixteen candidates have distinguished themselves from the others. Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee have unabashedly taken the fight to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, while Donald Trump has created a firestorm with his straight-from-the-shoulder characterization of many of the illegal aliens streaming across our southern border.

What is clear is that the same not-dry-behind-the-ears incompetents who’ve managed Republican presidential campaigns since Reagan left the White House are still hanging around Washington, just waiting to see how many more presidential campaigns they can screw up. In the past two weeks they have blindly led at least seven or eight of the establishment candidates to deal with the Trump campaign in the most counterproductive way, saying some really dumb things about a totally fearless man who can always be counted upon to deliver more punishment than he receives… proving once again that it’s not always a good idea to poke at a hornets’ nest.

The Washington inside-the-Beltway political consultants are unaccustomed to honesty and forthrightness in campaign rhetoric and Donald Trump, a breath of fresh air, is now conducting a graduate seminar for them. As a case in point, two young female guests on The O’Reilly Factor on Monday evening, July 27… young women who were not alive when Ronald Reagan was president, but who now market themselves as knowledgeable campaign strategists… were both asked how the other candidates should react to Trump’s surge in the polls. True to their training, both provided the only answer they knew. They said, “It’s time for them to go on the attack. They need to go negative.” That is precisely what Trump’s opponents should not do.

What GOP establishment candidates totally ignore is the fact that Americans, in general, and conservatives and Republicans in particular, have been yearning for nearly thirty years for a presidential candidate with the courage to “tell it like it is.” They’ve longed for a conservative willing to take on the mainstream media, bare-knuckled, a leader with enough “rough edges” on him/her to scare the crap out of liberals and Democrats, both inside and outside the mainstream media. For now, at least, Donald Trump looks like a man who fits that description, although if his approach to campaigning has had any impact at all on more conventional Republicans, the GOP debates may yet uncover another contender or two.

In the meantime, while the establishment candidates are busy attacking one of their own, Mike Huckabee and Carly Fiorina are out there doing “the Lord’s work,” exposing Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the frauds they are. But if Trump’s method and message fails to teach the establishment a few powerful lessons, then it looks as if some of us old “graybeards,” veterans of the Goldwater, Nixon and Reagan campaigns, will be forced to come out of retirement to show them how it’s done.

SEE ALSO: Off-The-Radar Presidential Candidates Placed in Spotlight and Joe Biden Misses Opportunity for Another ‘Big F—in Deal’.

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Click on image above to order Bob's books.

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Veteran Interrogator’s Words Strike Chord With Author

It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that a piece written by Steven F. Hayes and published today at The Weekly Standard struck a chord with me in a big way.

The first two paragraphs of a document by Jason Beale are spot-on when it comes to blasting irresponsible behavior by members of Congress. Click on graphic above to connect with TWS article.

The first two paragraphs of a document by Jason Beale are spot-on when it comes to blasting irresponsible behavior by members of Congress. Click on graphic above to connect with TWS article.

Appearing under the headline, An Interrogator Breaks His Silence, the article surfaced in advance of the release of a widely-anticipated report by the Democratic staff of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), about Central Intelligence Agency interrogation practices.

In the article, Hayes shares a 40-page document written by a man writing under the pseudonym, Jason Beale. He goes on to describe the man as “a longtime U.S. military and intelligence interrogator with extensive knowledge of the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA on some high-value detainees.”  Further, he reports that, while Beale would not confirm he worked in the program, he was, via others, able to confirm Beale worked as a senior interrogator beginning in 2004.

In particular, one paragraph from Beale’s missive struck a chord with me:

I would examine the early days of the program and highlight the mistakes and hasty decisions made during that chaotic period, but would interview those involved to ascertain the reasons for, and lessons learned from, those mistakes. I would not allow those issues to be presented without context and follow-up.

It struck a chord, because I spent four years conducting an exhaustive investigation of the use of so-called “credibility assessment” technologies. Along the way, I had the opportunity to interview the men who interrogated members of Saddam Hussein’s “Deck of Cards,” members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and other terror suspects and detainees.

Most-closely related to the excerpted paragraph above, however, is the fact that I came into possession of never-before-published firsthand details about Defense Intelligence Agency interrogation efforts at Guantanamo Bay during the early days — what Beale described as “that chaotic period” — of the so-called “Global War On Terror.”

I learned from my extremely-reliable sources that, during a 12-month period beginning in 2004, a new-to-GITMO interrogation technology was used more than 90 times and achieved a success rate — defined as developing new, previously-unknown intelligence which was independently confirmed or confirmed existing information that otherwise could not be verified — of 92 percent despite the fact most exams were conducted using interpreters. Further, I learned that level of success stood in stark contrast to the “inconclusive” findings that had resulted from 20 percent of the polygraph exams administered previously at GITMO.

Despite the incredible success of this non-polygraph interrogation method — which, by the way, caused examinees no physical contact, pain or discomfort of any kind — Department of Defense officials inexplicably removed the new technology from the interrogators’ toolkits halfway into a two-year contract the DIA had with the company providing the technology.

After reading my book, The Clapper Memo (May 2013), in which the findings of my investigation appear, several highly-respected Americans voiced concerns about my discoveries via endorsements (below):

“An unconscionable cover-up.”Capt. Larry W. Bailey, U.S. Navy (Ret.), former commander of the U.S. Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs (BUD/S) Training Program;

“Bob McCarty has uncovered a high-tech ‘turf war’ pitting those who want the best for our troops against others who seem to be focused on their own self-interests.  Sadly, it seems the wrong people are winning this war.  I highly recommend The Clapper Memo.” – Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, U.S. Army (Ret.), former deputy commander, U.S. Army Pacific;

“Bob McCarty’s book, The Clapper Memo, represents perhaps the most thorough investigative reporting I have encountered in years.  I direct the attention of the so-called major media to it.  This is how it’s done!”David P. Schippers, U.S. House of Representatives chief investigative counsel during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton; and

“I read your book, The Clapper Memo, and was very impressed. Your book is extremely well-researched, well-written and shocking in revealing the tactics used by President Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper. It is a must read for people to understand the depth of corruption that threatens our country. Thank you for writing it.” — William J. “Bill” Federer, best-selling author and nationally-known speaker.

Others directly impacted by the actions and events revealed in The Clapper Memo offered similar words:

“Read this book & you will see how our government has for many, many years deprived our military of the best possible tool for vetting & weeding out the enemy.”MaryLiz Grossetto, aunt of LCpl. Greg Buckley Jr., a 21-year-old Marine who died Aug. 10, 2012, as the result of a “Green-on-Blue” attack in Afghanistan.

The Clapper Memo by Bob McCarty gives the reader an in-depth look into the dirty little secrets of politics and greed triumphing over safety and security for our fighting men and women as well as the average American citizen.” — Billy and Karen Vaughn, parents of U.S. Navy SEAL Aaron Carson Vaughn, a member of SEAL Team Six who lost his life along with 29 other Americans when their helicopter, call sign “Extortion 17,” was shot down in Afghanistan Aug. 6, 2011.

 For a complete understanding of what I uncovered, order a copy of The Clapper Memo today.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.