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[Markets] Barr's Appointment Of Special Counsel Leaves Biden And Democrats In A Muddle Barr's Appointment Of Special Counsel Leaves Biden And Democrats In A Muddle Tyler Durden Fri, 12/04/2020 - 12:05

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Below is my column in USA Today on the implications of the appointment of U.S. Attorney John Durham as a Special Counsel.  House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff and other Democrats have already denounced the move and called for the next Attorney General to consider rescinding the appointmentWhile Schiff previously called for legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller to complete his work without interference from the Attorney General, he ramped up the rhetoric against Durham as leading a “politically motivated investigation.”

Durham was previously praised by Democrats and Republicans alike as an independent, apolitical, and honest prosecutor. Here is the column:

Attorney General Bill Barr made two important evidentiary decisions yesterday that delivered body blows to both President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden. First, Barr declared that the Justice Department has not found evidence of systemic fraud in the election. Second, he declared that there was sufficient evidence to appoint United States Attorney John Durham as a Special Counsel on the origins of the Russia probe. The move confirmed that, in a chaotic and spinning political galaxy, Bill Barr remains the one fixed and immovable object.

By appointing Durham as a Special Counsel, Barr contradicted news reports before the election that Durham was frustrated and found nothing of significance despite Barr’s pressure. Some of us expressed doubts over those reports since Durham asked for this investigation to be upgraded to a criminal matter, secured the criminal plea of former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, and asked recently for over a thousand pages of classified intelligence material.

Under the Justice Department regulations, Barr had to find (and Durham apparently agreed) that there is need for additional criminal investigation and “[t]hat investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney’s Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances.” He must also find the appointment in the public interest.

Notably, the investigation of Clinesmith is effectively completed. So, what is the criminal investigation and what is the conflict?

Developing conflicts

Presumably, the conflict is not in the current administration since it would have required an earlier appointment. The conflict would seem to be found in the upcoming Biden administration.

Some conflicts developing seem obvious as Biden turns to a host of former Obama officials for positions, including the possible selection of Sally Yates as Attorney General. Yates was directly involved in the Russian investigation and signed off on the controversial surveillance of Trump associate Carter Page. She now says that she would never have signed the application if she knew what she knows today.

Durham is now authorized to investigate anyone who may have “violated the law in connection with the intelligence, counter-intelligence, or law-enforcement activities directed at the 2016 presidential campaigns, individuals associated with those campaigns, and individuals associated with the administration of President Donald J. Trump, including but not limited to Crossfire Hurricane and the investigation of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III.” 

The list of the names of people falling within that mandate is a who’s who of Washington from Hillary Clinton to James Comey to . . . yes . . . Joe Biden.

Bizarrely, reports have claimed that Trump was irate at the move as a “smokescreen” to delay the release of the report. That ignores not just the legal but political significance of the action. From a political perspective, the move is so elegantly lethal that it would make Machiavelli green with envy.

Over the last few months, Democrats appeared to be laying the foundation to scuttle the Durham investigation as well as any investigation into the Hunter Biden influence peddling scheme. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) denounced the Durham investigation as “tainted” and “political.” On the campaign trail, Biden himself dismissed the “investigation of the investigators.” Over in the Senate, Democrats joined in the mantra with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and others denouncing the continued investigations.

By converting Durham into a special counsel, Barr makes it harder to fire him. It is not uncommon for presidents to replace all U.S. Attorneys with political allies. Durham however is now a Special Counsel and his replacement or the termination of his investigation would be viewed as an obstructive act. Indeed, when Trump even suggested such a course of action, he was accused of obstruction by a host of Democratic politicians and legal experts.

The appointment also makes a public report more likely. While Durham already secured a conviction, prosecutors do not ordinarily prepare reports. Special counsels do.  Moreover, with the Mueller report, virtually every Democratic leader demanded that the report be released with no or few redactionsThe Trump administration waived most executive privileges and released most of the report except for grand jury information. Even that was not enough for figures like Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

“I have said, and I’ll say again, no thank you, Mr. Attorney General, we do not need your interpretation, show us the report and we can draw our own conclusions.”

 House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler demanded the release of the “full and complete Mueller report, without redactions, as well as access to the underlying evidence.”

The Durham appointment will now force Democrats to answer why they do not support the same public release of the report so that voters can “draw our own conclusions.”

Complicating Sally Yates’ nomination

The move also complicates the nomination of Sally Yates, who is widely cited as a front-runner for the position of Attorney General. Yates would be placed in an even more precarious position than Jeff Sessions who recused himself to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest at the state of the Trump administration. Yates has a clear and obvious conflict. She played a role in the earlier Russian investigation. That investigation was based in part on the “Steele dossier,” a report by a former British spy which has been shown to be unreliable and flawed. American intelligence warned that Steele’s main source was a likely Russian agent and the dossier may have been used for Russian disinformation. While the Clinton campaign repeatedly denied funding the dossier during the election, reporters later showed that it lied after finding a money trail through Clinton’s campaign legal counsel. Most recently, it was disclosed that President Obama was briefed on an American intelligence report that Clinton had ordered the creation of a Russian collusion story to take pressure off her own scandal involving her private server. Yates testified recently that she has no recollection of these warnings and does not recall knowing about the funding of the Steele dossier.

Yates would have no choice but to recuse herself in dealing with the Durham investigation. However, if the Biden administration used her designated deputy to scuttle the investigation or the report, the Biden administration will have done what Trump never actually did. All of those columns and speeches contorting the language of the obstruction statute would come back to haunt the Democrats.

It is, to use the words of fired Special Agent Peter Strzok, the ultimate “insurance policy” that Durham will be allowed to complete and release the facts of his investigation. Worse yet, the Democrats themselves made the case for him to do so.

Published:12/4/2020 11:13:31 AM
[Quick Takes] Columbia Law School Hires Former FBI Director James Comey

"Comey’s experience represents a broadening of the Mark Initiative’s focus to include leadership of major public institutions"

The post Columbia Law School Hires Former FBI Director James Comey first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.

Published:12/3/2020 7:05:40 AM
[Politics] Matthew Whitaker to Newsmax TV: DOJ, FBI 'Nowhere to Be Found' on Election Claims Former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker declared current Attorney General William Barr, the Department of Justice and the FBI as "nowhere to be found" on election fraud claims."Bill Barr, the DOJ, the public integrity section ... Published:12/2/2020 8:32:00 PM
[] Biden advisor: We're keeping Chris Wray on as FBI director -- unless Trump fires him first Published:12/2/2020 7:30:12 PM
[Law] 3 Keys to What’s Next in Probe of Why FBI Investigated Trump

The appointment of John Durham as special counsel likely means his probe of potential misconduct by FBI and other government officials in beginning the Trump-Russia... Read More

The post 3 Keys to What’s Next in Probe of Why FBI Investigated Trump appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:12/2/2020 6:00:34 PM
[News] Biden Plans To Keep Wray as FBI Director: New York Times Biden’s team was "not removing the F.B.I. director unless Trump fired him," the Times quoted the official as saying. Published:12/2/2020 5:00:57 PM
[In The News] US Return To Normalcy Could Be ‘Late Summer Or Early Fall’ Of 2021, Fauci Says

By Chuck Ross -

Christopher Wray will remain the director of the FBI into the Joe Biden administration unless President Donald Trump fires him first, a Biden transition official told The New York Times. Trump has reportedly considered firing Wray over his handling of information from the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign in 2016. Trump issued a non-committal …

US Return To Normalcy Could Be ‘Late Summer Or Early Fall’ Of 2021, Fauci Says is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:12/2/2020 3:29:36 PM
[] Carter Page Lawsuit: FBI Agent Who Interviewed Me Five Times Did So By Using... A Fake Name Carter Page has filed a huge $75 million dollar lawsuit against the FBI, the DOJ, and James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, as well as Kevin Clinesmith, personally. Page now alleges an FBI agent used a fake... Published:12/2/2020 2:01:19 PM
[Markets] Wray Stays: Biden Plans To Keep FBI Director Installed Under Trump Wray Stays: Biden Plans To Keep FBI Director Installed Under Trump Tyler Durden Wed, 12/02/2020 - 13:09

Joe Biden plans to keep FBI Director Christopher Wray in his post if President Trump hasn't fired him before he leaves office (should his challenges to the election fail), according to the New York Times, citing an anonymous senior Biden official 'not authorized to speak publicly.'

Wray notably sat on evidence from Hunter Biden's laptop indicating that Joe Biden was indeed involved in Hunter's Ukraine dealings - while Democrats impeached Trump for asking Ukraine to investigate Biden corruption. The Wray FBI also withheld exonerating evidence in the case of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, which was only pried loose by attorney Sidney Powell.

And while Wray, a Republican, was technically installed by President Trump after he fired former Director James Comey (an Obama appointee), the decision to leave Wray in charge of the FBI "would be a return to the norms around FBI directors, who are confirmed by the Senate and are supposed to have 10-year terms," according to the Times.

Wray, a Vanderbilt grad who went to Yale Law who formerly served under Comey at the DOJ, oversaw the Enron case. In 2005, he went into private practice, only to return to government service after President Trump nominated him to replace Comey.

Trump soured on Wray almost immediately - criticizing him for not moving fast enough to rid the FBI of corrupt officials installed by Comey. In October, Axios reported that Trump planned to fire Wray, along with CIA Director Gina Haspel 'immediately' if he were to be reelected.

Published:12/2/2020 12:30:57 PM
[] Columbia Law Hires James Comey as a "Leader-in-Residence" One by one every institution with prestige sets its legacy on fire because Orange Man Bad. Former FBI Director James Comey will begin teaching at Columbia Law School next year. The school announced on Tuesday that Comey will be a... Published:12/2/2020 11:30:52 AM
[Markets] Durham Gets Special Counsel Upgrade 'To Protect' Russiagate Origins Investigation Durham Gets Special Counsel Upgrade 'To Protect' Russiagate Origins Investigation Tyler Durden Tue, 12/01/2020 - 15:41

Attorney General William Bar has upgraded US Attorney John Durham to special counsel, affording him extra protection against a Biden administration canceling his investigation into the origins of the FBI/DOJ Trump-Russia probe - which cost taxpayers over $40 million and dominated the news for over three years.

According to the Associated Press, Barr said Durham had been appointed special counsel in October under the same federal statue which governed Robert Mueller's investigation in the Russia probe.

He said Durham’s investigation has been narrowing to focus more on the conduct of FBI agents who worked on the Russia investigation, known as Crossfire Hurricane.

The investigations grew out of allegations of cooperation between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russians to help him defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. -AP

"I decided the best thing to do would be to appoint them under the same regulation that covered Bob Muller, to provide Durham and his team some assurance that they’d be able to complete their work regardless of the outcome of the election," Barr told AP, who added that the Durham investigation has "narrowed considerably" and is now "really is focused on the activities of the crossfire hurricane investigation within the FBI."

Many had been expecting Durham to produce some type of report, indictment, or some type of findings prior to the 2020 election.

According to the Oct. 19 order obtained by AP, Barr authorized Durham "to investigate whether any federal official, employee or any person or entity violated the law in connection with the intelligence, counter-intelligence or law enforcement activities" used against the 2016 Trump campaign or members of the Trump administration.

A senior Justice Department official told the AP that although the order details that it is “including but not limited to Crossfire Hurricane and the investigation of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III,” the Durham probe has not expanded. The official said that line specifically relates to FBI personnel who worked on the Russia investigation before the May 2017 appointment of Mueller, a critical area of scrutiny for both Durham and for the Justice Department inspector general, which identified a series of errors and omissions in surveillance applications targeting a former Trump campaign associate.

AP notes that the focus is on the FBI, 'rather than the CIA and the intelligence community,' which essentially means former CIA Director John Brennan and current CIA Director Gina Haspel (who ran the London CIA bureau while the majority of operation crossfire hurricane took place on UK soil) are pretty much in the clear.

On Sunday, President Trump telegraphed the move in an interview with Fox News' Maria Bartiromo.

Until and unless proven otherwise, we're going to assume this is all political theater.

Published:12/1/2020 2:53:33 PM
[Markets] The Case Against Sally Yates The Case Against Sally Yates Tyler Durden Tue, 12/01/2020 - 14:46

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Below is my column in The Hill on the possible nomination of Sally Yates as the next United States Attorney General. One of the names on the short list is Judge Merrick Garland who would not only be unifying for the country but unassailable at a confirmation hearing. However, Yates’ record raises serious questions about her judgment and actions at the Justice Department.

Here is the column:

As Joe Biden fills out his Cabinet, more attention is drawn to the position of attorney general and one of the most cited names on the short list, which is Sally Yates. Her consideration is surprising for a president-elect who has pledged to unify the country and move beyond the destructive politics of the last four years. I always admired the obvious talent and intellect of Yates. But my overall assessment of her changed dramatically almost four years ago, when she staged an epic battle with a newly inaugurated President Trump and thereby forged her own legend.

Yates had only a few days left in government when she became acting attorney general in January 2017, following the departure of Attorney General Loretta Lynch. One week later, Trump signed an executive order that restricted travel to the United States from seven Muslim majority countries. Yates then took the unprecedented step of ordering the Justice Department to refuse to assist the president in implementing the ban.

I was an early critic of the travel ban, which had glaring errors like the absence of exceptions for legal residents or green-card holders. (Those errors were corrected in an amended order.) The ban was an issue upon which Trump campaigned and won the presidency and he wanted to move in that first week to carry out some of his core promises. But the order was poorly drafted, poorly executed and, ultimately, poorly defended. Yates could have worked with the White House to seek changes, as would later occur; instead, she ordered a federal department to refuse to assist the president.

In issuing her order, Yates dismissed a review by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel which found the order to be lawful. Yates did not expressly reject that conclusion; she simply stated that she was not convinced the order was “wise or just” or was “lawful.” It is not the job of Justice Department attorneys to decide if a president is acting in a “wise or just” manner but, instead, only if the action is lawful. If Yates felt the order was unlawful, she could have resigned, as did Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus in the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre” under President Nixon. However, she apparently did not want to be known simply as someone who resigned a few days before she was scheduled to leave office.

Yates knew exactly what she was doing, and what Trump would have to do: He rightfully fired her. It was a brilliant political move by Yates. With only a couple days left in her post, Yates engineered her own firing and became a self-made hero for Democrats everywhere. It did not matter that former Justice officials, including outspoken critics of Trump, questioned whether her action was ethical or justified. Former Justice official and Harvard professor Jack Goldsmith pointed out that Yates neither determined the immigration order to be unconstitutional nor cited any basis for refusing to defend it. Accordingly, he said, Yates left the impression of “insubordination that invites the president to fire her.”

Yates knew that she would be fired and her replacement would carry out the obligations of the Department to assist the President of the United States. Many of those lawyers did not agree with the travel ban but they did they job as they had promised to do in representing the United States.  Yates maintained afterward that she believed the ban might still be discriminatory, even with revisions. This was a question that divided career attorneys inside the Department and the OLC had found the order presumptively lawful. These lawyers proceeded to defend the order (and later amended versions) to allow the courts to address the issue of discrimination.

Yet the media followed the rule cited by the newspaper editor in the movie, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” — “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” The legend of Sally Yates lived on. Indeed, she made sure it did. She was given a high-profile speaking role at the Democratic National Convention, as the personification of a new Justice Department’s commitment to the rule of law. She declared: “I was fired for refusing to defend Trump’s shameful and unlawful Muslim travel ban.” The problem is that her statement is untrue. She never declared the order unlawful.

While the order was tweaked and changed, the main ban on Muslim countries remained and challengers took it to the Supreme Court in 2018. There, the challengers insisted the changes in the order did not alter the main objections to a ban on Muslim countries. The court upheld the travel ban, reversing the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It held that Trump had a “sufficient national security justification” for his order. It also held that, despite most of the banned countries being Muslim-majority, the ban “does not support an inference of religious hostility.”

Trump later expanded the ban. In other words, Yates prevented the Justice Department from assisting the president on a ban that was later found lawful, as her own OLC staff concluded.

What is most remarkable in this story is not that the ban was upheld, since there were strong arguments on both sides. It was that Yates never determined the order to be unlawful and did not leave it to the courts to resolve the issue. This was not her only controversy. Yates signed off on the application for secret surveillance of Carter Page, which was found by the inspector general to be riddled with errors and based on faulty information. Page was never charged with any crime. There is no indication that Yates made any substantive inquiries on the basis for the application, which she now says she would not have signed if she knew what she knows today. She just signed it and assumed it was legal, despite the targeting of a campaign aide in the opposing party.

Yates also showed little concern over the basis for investigating Michael Flynn, another key aide to the incoming president of the opposing party. While she recently expressed a lack of clear memory on the issue, prior reports linked her to raising the possible use against Flynn of the Logan Act, a notoriously unconstitutional law that has never been used to secure a single conviction since its creation in 1799.

The basis was Flynn’s conversations with Russian diplomats shortly before becoming Trump’s national security adviser. There was nothing unlawful or even uncommon in such a communication. Indeed, then FBI Director James Comey reportedly told President Obama and Vice President Biden that the meetings appeared legitimate. Yet Yates reportedly went to the White House to raise the alarm and, in a 2017 interview, she had no memory problems in declaring that “there is certainly a criminal statute that was implicated” by the conduct of Flynn.

So the legend of Yates was largely self-created and media sustained. Biden can create a more lasting legacy at the Justice Department, but he first will need to sever it from its mythological past.

Published:12/1/2020 1:52:31 PM
[Markets] Fragile And Unsustainable Lies Fragile And Unsustainable Lies Tyler Durden Sun, 11/29/2020 - 00:00

Authored by Robert Wright via The American Institute,

Many times throughout history, policymakers have doubled down on their own mistakes, refusing to believe that they were wrong or hoping that somehow doing the wrong thing twice or thrice would somehow make things right. Then it all came crashing down at once and the rulers lost their minds, and sometimes their necks or heads.

Economic, governance, and social systems often rely on each other in ways not readily discerned by narrow technocrats. When one crumbles, the others fall in rapid succession while all the putative experts express surprise. Look at the way that the U.S.S.R, one of the world’s two “super” powers, fell apart in the late 1980s when it lost enough feathers from its peacock tail in Afghanistan that its lies about the superiority of its command economy became obvious even to its own systematically deluded subjects.

When NPR proved inadequate to prevent Americans from seeing the few feathers left in America’s peacock tail, as evidenced by the surprise victory of Trump and his MAGA messaging in 2016, mass media joined forces with various “progressive” elements to create a propaganda machine that puts the old clunky Soviet state media to shame. 

Precisely because it is ostensibly private and domestic, America’s mass media, tarnished as its reputation is becoming, retains more credibility than any state-run media ever possessed. Many pundits have noted how 2020 resembles 1984, except the propaganda so far has come from a political resistance movement backed by parts of the government (FBI, CDC) rather than “the” state per se

The phalanx of private media and sundry have convinced tens of millions of Americans that: 

  • we are better off imposing lockdowns that cause far more harm than the virus itself (and sundry cognates, like the virus is super serious and novel, spreads easily via asymptomatic people, yet is stopped by irrational policies like curfews, as if people won’t simply start drinking earlier!); 

  • the current president is somehow illegitimate (Russian election interference, Ukrainian quid pro quo); 

  • nation-altering Constitutional reforms are necessary (de facto elimination of the electoral college, creation of additional states, SCOTUS enlargement); 

  • calling all people of Euroamerican descent racist isn’t itself racist;

  • a virus can differentiate between good protests (pro-BLM and pro-Biden) and bad ones (anti-lockdown and pro-Trump);

  • the American people chose a candidate who essentially did not campaign or set forth a coherent policy platform over one who, for all his faults, was president when the economy finally palpably improved and made enough progress in the Middle East to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Most impressive of all has been the way the mass media censored or downplayed Biden’s many weaknesses, his deplorable record on race, his almost half-century of self-serving political machinations, and his family’s dealings with Ukraine and China.

Thankfully, the Truth always prevails, it is just a matter of when and how. When the real world is heavily involved, Lies quickly die. So many a hubristic tyrant from ancient times to Hitler has fallen in war; many a fiat currency, including confederal Continentals and Confederate graybacks, has evaporated when their nominal value in circulation rapidly outstripped the real value of goods brought to market. 

The most robust, sustainable Lies cannot even be properly called such because they make no real world predictions at all but instead appeal to emotion and faith, to Revealed Truth. Some have lasted for millennia and though less popular than previously in many places they will surely outlast 2020’s Lies, even though some of those have appealed to faith, oddly in the name of “science,” as in phrases like “follow the science” reminiscent of Sunday sermons beseeching congregants to “follow Scripture.”

But religion appeals to people’s inner worlds so it can get by on dodgy slogans like “God works in mysterious ways.” The Lies of 2020, by contrast, make real world predictions and no amount of media censorship, irrational analysis, or outright obfuscation can permanently hide the fact that lockdowns impose large net burdens, Trump is no more incompetent or flawed than previous presidents, Constitutional checks and balances need to be strengthened and not dismantled, and Americans/America are no more racist than any other people/country.

Just as a fiat currency can quickly lose value through the self-interested actions of market participants, so too can lockdowns dissolve. In fact, in both cases governmental attempts to bolster its Lie (that its monetary policies or lockdowns work) will serve to speed the inevitable. If policymakers do not take the “Thanksgiving Rebellion” as a serious warning, they are dumber or more hubristic than even the most pessimistic have claimed. 

In fact, Americans should use social media, a tool like all tools that can be used for good as well as evil, to pick a time to sing some vintage Twisted Sister in unison to underscore the point: “Oh, we’re not gonna take it anymore! … This is our life … oh You’re so condescending/Your gall is never ending … If that’s your best, your best won’t do. … We’re right … We’re free … We’ll Fight … You’ll see.”

I practice what I preach and drove 12 hours from Georgia to New Jersey to spend time with my family this Thanksgiving, which as usual is gathering near one of the branches of the Atilis Gym, the owners of which gained fame earlier this year by proving the state’s restrictions on places of exercise was not just wrong but wrongheaded. To this day, not a single case of coronavirus has been linked to the establishment and, in fact, its regular patrons stand (and run, bike, squat, and row) as bulwarks against the spread of the coronavirus.

What kind of public health system bemoans the fact that 40 percent of the population is so unhealthy that they are at higher risk of developing complications from the coronavirus and then shutters workout facilities (and even at points boardwalks, parks, etc.)? A coercive state that truly cared about its people would have forced them to exercise instead of shuttering gyms, walking paths, and bike trails!

The longer policymakers allow the pandemic to play out through forced restrictions on natural interaction, the more Americans who will conclude that the public health system and Big Medicine have formed a “complex” akin to the military-industrial and scientific-technical-research complexes that Dwight D. Eisenhower warned Americans about when he left office in 1961, in the wake of another election apparently won with the aid of dead Democrats

This third complex is not interested in Americans’ health but rather their debility. Its goal is to make people dependent on pills and fancy vaccines (the kind now being tested, not the much easier and cheaper live vaccines that might have provided safe, voluntary herd immunity in a month or two, without lockdowns) and to charge through the nose for them, indirectly through taxes or insurance premia. Indirect billing renders the exorbitant costs easier to hide, but like all Lies with real world implications its effects are fragile and unsustainable as even indirect healthcare expenses become unbearable. That led to dropout (most uninsured Americans rationally opted out of insurance that was too costly relative to the expected benefit) and calls for “reforms,” all of which attempt to force everyone to pay tribute to the healthcare complex.

The big risk that I see is that some Americans are coming to understand 2020’s Lies much more quickly and clearly than others. There is a chance, therefore, that instead of The People rising up against feckless government tyrants a la Twisted Sister, tensions between the Still Masked and the Unmaskers, which started in March and intensified over the summer, may boil over into violence. That would be lamentable and counterproductive and could cause the deaths of more Americans in a single day than have perished thus far during the entire pandemic. Violence is a contagion to which nobody can become immune.

Published:11/28/2020 11:03:55 PM
[Markets] Glenn Greenwald Opines On Ilhan Omar's Misguided Defense Of John Brennan Glenn Greenwald Opines On Ilhan Omar's Misguided Defense Of John Brennan Tyler Durden Sat, 11/28/2020 - 19:00

Authored by Glenn Greenwald via greenwald.substack.com

The right to dissent from, and to work against, the official foreign policy of the U.S. Government is vital: foundational to Constitutional liberties. There is very little such dissent in the U.S. Congress, where many of the core tenets of the Foreign Policy Community (from CIA drone warfare and clandestine coups to steadfast support for Gulf State and Middle East tyrannies as well as Israel) enjoy overwhelming, at times virtually unanimous, bipartisan support.

That is one of the reasons that — as I’ve said repeatedly — I am glad that there are now members of Congress such as Congresswomen Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan who so vocally and unflinchingly dissent from this general foreign policy orientation and especially from those policies which most members of Congress either cannot or do not want to denounce.

Whether or not one agrees with these two lawmakers on every issue, having members of Congress questioning and objecting to highly consequential foreign policies is inherently healthier than full-scale agreement or fear-driven acquiescence. Dissent strengthens all democracies. That is why I have relentlessly defended Congresswoman Omar, even in the face of less-than-ideally-phrased proclamations, from what I regard as bad faith accusations of bigotry and a lack of patriotism (just as I denounced moronic claims that Trump was a “traitor”): bad faith accusations of bigotry or treason are often designed to demonize attempts to question pieties and ostracize those who do it.

For that very reason, I was quite surprised to see that late Friday night, Congresswoman Omar, in response to something I wrote, defended not only former CIA Director John Brennan — who as Obama’s CIA Director presided over the bombing of numerous countries including Somalia — but also The Logan Act. The Logan Act is nothing more than an unconstitutional attempt to criminalize foreign policy dissidents, like her, and is so dangerous in the hands of the CIA, FBI and federal prosecutors precisely because it lacks any clear definition or meaning.

Despite this, Congresswoman Omar depicted that ancient statute not as what it is — an impossibly vague and overly broad attempt to criminalize the core Constitutional right to dissent — but instead as some kind of specific, precisely defined, and well-established precedent, the contours of which are clearly established and easily applied. None of that is true.

This 219-year-old statute is one of the most unconstitutional and dangerous laws in the U.S. Code. Because it has never been used to prosecute anyone, and was only used to obtain an indictment one time in its entire history — back in 1803, against someone who wrote an op-ed criticizing U.S. foreign policy toward France — nobody knows what it actually prescribes or allows because there is no binding judicial precedent interpreting what it means. It is precisely because it has never been used to prosecute anyone that there is no judicial clarity about what it means, and that’s how the U.S. Government wants it (for the same exact reason, the DOJ has never made good on its threats to prosecute any journalist who publishes classified information under the Espionage Act of 1917: they prefer to weaponize the fear of uncertainty regarding the law’s scope and application rather than prosecute journalists under it and thus risk a judicial ruling declaring it unconstitutional or inapplicable to journalists).

The wildly broad vagueness and lack of clarity is what makes it so dangerous to leave the Logan Act on the books. These are exactly the kinds of ambiguous laws that can serve as an abusive pretext in the hands of the FBI, empowering it to investigate anyone it wants under the rubric of this archaic, ambiguous law. A law can be so vague that it can be unconstitutional for that reason alone: a failure to clearly advise citizens of what is and is not legal violates the right of due process.

But while all such vague laws are dangerous, the Logan Act is particularly menacing to those who dissent from core U.S. foreign policy and are thus often accused of disloyalty, such as Congresswoman Omar. All members of Congress, but particularly foreign policy dissidents, should be working to repeal this ancient and repressive law, not wielding it as a weapon against adversaries and pretending that it is some highly specific, clear and valid criminal constraint on the conduct and speech of U.S. citizens.

*  *  *

The context of the exchange with Congresswoman Omar, and the key role played in it by former Obama CIA Director John Brennan, is necessary to understand Rep. Omar’s point. Far more importantly, this context illustrates the severe, ongoing dangers of allowing this dangerous law to fester on the books.

On Friday, reports emerged that, just days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a key Iranian nuclear scientist was ambushed and murdered by gunmen. U.S. officials told The New York Times that Israel was behind the assassination — which should be unsurprising given that Israel assassinated several senior Iranian nuclear scientists during the Obama years.

This news provoked indignation from MSNBC’s John Brennan, formerly Obama’s Director of the CIA, an agency heralded worldwide for its righteous opposition to assassinations. Along with condemning the assassination of this Iranian scientist as “a criminal act and highly reckless,” Brennan also used his tweet to send an explicit message to Iranian officials: urging them not to retaliate but instead to wait for the Biden administration to take over, promising the new U.S. administration would “respond against perceived culprits.”

In other words, Brennan, like many people (including myself), is concerned that the Trump administration and Israel are seeking to escalate tensions with Iran during the transition — either because they seek war with Tehran or, more likely, because they want to provoke a cycle of retaliation that would prevent the incoming Biden administration from re-implementing the Iran Deal which Trump nullified and which Israel vehemently opposes.

Thus, Brennan sought to subvert what he perceives as the current foreign policy of the U.S. Government — to provoke and punish Iran — by encouraging Iranian officials to ignore the provocation and therefore not derail efforts by the incoming U.S. administration to establish better relations once Biden is inaugurated:

There are so many amazing ironies to this Brennan statement. To begin with, it’s just stunning to watch Obama’s Chief Assassin — who presided over a global, years-long, due-process-free campaign of targeted assassinations, under which the official “kill list” of who was to live and who was to die was decreed by Judge, Jury and Executioner Brennan in a secret White House meeting that bore the creepy designation “Terror Tuesdays” — now suddenly posture as some kind of moral crusader against assassinations. I have denounced these Israeli assassinations as terrorism — both in the past and yesterday — but I have also denounced with equal vigor the Obama/Brennan global assassination program.

The audacity of Brennan’s moral posturing became even more evident as he tried to explain why his and Obama’s assassination program was noble and legal, while the one that resulted in Friday’s killing in Iran was immoral and criminal. After all, this is the same John Brennan who got caught red-handed lying about how many innocent civilians were killed by Obama’s global assassination program, and who even claimed the right to target American citizens for execution by drone without any transparency let alone due process: a right they not only claimed but exercised.

When you’re reduced to sitting on Twitter trying to distinguish your own global assassination program from the one you’re condemning, that is rather potent evidence that you are among the absolute last persons on earth with the moral credibility to denounce anything. That’s particularly true when you directed your unilateral assassination powers onto your own citizens, ending several of their lives.

But that’s the Trump era in a nutshell: the most bloodthirsty monsters and murderers successfully whitewash their own history of atrocities by deceiving people into believing that none of this was done prior to Trump, and that their flamboyant opposition to Trump — based far more in stylistic distaste for him and loss of their own access than substantive policy objections — absolves them of their own prior, often-worse monstrosities. Call it the David Frum Syndrome.

But to me the most glaring irony — as I pointed out — is how similar is the transition message sent by Brennan on Friday to the Iranians when compared to the one sent by Gen. Michael Flynn to the Russians during the 2016 transition after the Obama administration sanctioned Moscow. The message of both Flynn and Brennan was virtually identical: don’t over-react or excessively retaliate: a new administration will soon take power and wants to work with you, so don’t do anything rash now that could prevent that from happening.

But the difference is that while Brennan was predictably celebrated for his message to the Iranians, with viral likes and re-tweets, Flynn was criminally investigated by Jim Comey’s FBI for his. After Comey, then the FBI Director, ordered the investigation into Flynn’s ties to Moscow closed at the start of 2017 due to lack of evidence, FBI agents deeply hostile to Trump seized on Flynn’s December, 2016, intercepted phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — when Flynn was a national security transition official just weeks away from taking over — to continue the criminal investigation on the ground that he may have violated the Logan Act by attempting to subvert current U.S. foreign policy with his message to Moscow not to overreact and instead to wait for the new administration.

Read the rest of the report here.

Published:11/28/2020 6:05:23 PM
[] California: ISIS Jihadi Stabs Four in University Classroom, University Blames Toxic Masculinity Published:11/28/2020 4:31:41 PM
[In The News] Carter Page Sues FBI And DOJ For $75 Million Over ‘Unlawful Spying’

By Chuck Ross -

Carter Page filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department, the FBI, and several key figures in Crossfire Hurricane for $75 million on Friday.  The FBI obtained four warrants to surveil Page based on unverified allegations in the Steele dossier.  An inspector general’s report showed that FBI investigators withheld exculpatory information in applications for spy warrants …

Carter Page Sues FBI And DOJ For $75 Million Over ‘Unlawful Spying’ is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:11/28/2020 4:31:41 PM
[] Justice Is Coming: Carter Page Takes Comey, McCabe, Strzok to Court in $75M Obamagate Lawsuit Published:11/27/2020 10:27:45 PM
[Markets] Infographic: The 4-Year-Long Campaign Against Trump Infographic: The 4-Year-Long Campaign Against Trump Tyler Durden Fri, 11/27/2020 - 19:00

Via The Epoch Times,

The post-election push to pressure President Donald Trump to concede, despite numerous credible allegations of voter fraud and ongoing legal challenges, is not an isolated incident.

It is the culmination of a four-year-long campaign against him, which started during his first run for president in 2016 when the FBI launched a politically motivated investigation of his campaign. During his subsequent four years in office, there have been consistent efforts to remove him from office, first through the Russia-collusion narrative and then through impeachment.

The Epoch Times here provides an overview of some of the main efforts made against the sitting president of the United States.

This is an issue that transcends party lines, as it is not only an assault on Trump, but an assault on the office of the presidency, and with it, an assault on the foundation of America.

Click on infographic to enlarge.

Politically Motivated Investigation

The FBI under the Obama administration in 2016 launched a politically motivated investigation of the Trump campaign. Based on publicly available information, we know the investigation was initiated based on the thinnest of evidence: remarks made by a junior Trump campaign adviser to the Australian ambassador in London. In reality, the investigation primarily relied on the discredited “Steele dossier,” produced by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One in Butler, Pa., on Oct. 31, 2020. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

The Trump–Russia Shadow

While the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation itself would not find any evidence of Trump–Russia collusion, the ongoing investigations, including selective leaks to the media, would create the public narrative that Trump had colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. This cast a shadow over the first few years of his presidency and constrained his actions both domestically and internationally. Some members of Congress had gone so far as to call for Trump’s impeachment over the false allegations.

Former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey, speaks via a TV monitor during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 30, 2020. (Stefani Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images)

FBI Under Comey and McCabe

The FBI under Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe pro-actively worked against Trump. McCabe was directly involved in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, working with FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page. After Comey was fired by Trump in May 2017, McCabe actively pushed the agency to further investigate Trump. McCabe’s FBI went as far as suggesting Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr reach back out to Steele, despite that many of the claims in his dossier had been disproven by that time and the FBI had cut ties with him over his leaks to the media.

The New York Times building is seen in New York City on Feb. 7, 2013. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Media

Perhaps one of the most powerful forces working against Trump during his presidency has been the news media. Over the past five years, they have relentlessly published skewed and inaccurate information about Trump while minimizing or ignoring his accomplishments, seeking to portray him publicly as an illegitimate president. This type of reporting has created a climate of anger, hate, and instability in America. It has resulted in threats made to the president’s life and acts of violence against his supporters.

The White House stands at dusk in Washington on Feb. 5, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Impeachment

The House of Representatives on Dec. 18, 2019, impeached Trump along partisan lines. Though the Senate would later dismiss the charge, it left a mark on his presidency and dragged the country through months of public attacks in the media. At the center of the impeachment was a phone call Trump made on July 25, 2019, to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump expressed his hope that allegations of potential corruption involving former Vice President Joe Biden would be investigated. Given even the publicly available information at the time, there were legitimate concerns that American political influence and taxpayers’ funds were misused in Ukraine. At the time, it was publicly known that Biden’s son Hunter had received tens of thousands of dollars a month from a Ukrainian energy giant, while then-Vice President Biden—in his own words—had pressured the Ukrainian president to fire a prosecutor as a prerequisite for receiving $1 billion in foreign aid. That same prosecutor had been investigating the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, as well its board, which included Hunter Biden.

A medical worker in protective suit conducts nucleic acid testings for residents at a residential compound in Wuhan, the Chinese city hit hardest by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, Hubei province, China, on May 15, 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

CCP Virus

Trump’s opponents have accused the president of mishandling the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus, by acting too late. This, however, is contrary to the events of early 2020. The Trump administration on Feb. 2, 2020, banned all foreign travel from China, the source of the CCP virus. This decision was made by the president against the advice of some of his top advisers and exceeded actions taken by most other nations at the time. Meanwhile, his opponents in politics and media described it as xenophobic and an overreaction. In hindsight, the decision proved immensely valuable in helping to slow the spread of the virus. As the virus spread in the United States, the Trump administration increased testing capacity, coordinated with state governments to provide them with the federal assistance they needed, used the defense production act to compel companies to produce critical health equipment such as ventilators, and provided billions in federal funding and eased federal regulations for major drug companies to push for the development of a vaccine.

Chinese troops march during a military parade in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, on Oct. 1, 2019. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)

Foreign Interference

It would be accurate to say that Trump is communist China’s biggest adversary. The president broke a decades-long U.S. policy toward China that was based on the belief that, through engagement and economic development, the People’s Republic would evolve from a totalitarian regime toward a more democratic country. In reality, this strategy of appeasement merely resulted in trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs going to China. And instead of becoming more democratic, the Chinese regime used this wealth to advance its dictatorship, creating the most technologically advanced tyranny the world has ever witnessed. The CCP has consistently worked against Trump during his presidency, both publicly and behind the scenes. Beijing has used its domestic and overseas propaganda channels—often by relying on the United States’ own media—to vilify Trump, going as far as to suggest that the outbreak of the CCP virus in Wuhan was because of the American military.

A police armored vehicle patrols an intersection while a building set afire by rioters burns in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 24, 2020. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter (BLM) has been behind the riots that have plagued American cities for much of this year. The group has hijacked the concerns people have over racism and used them to justify its advance of a Marxist agenda. In a 2015 video, BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors described herself and her fellow founders as “trained Marxists.” Just like in Russia, China, Cuba, and Venezuela, trained Marxists have hijacked righteous causes to advance the communist agenda. Many of those who lived through the Cultural Revolution in China in the 1960s have commented that the riots in the United States over the summer, which included the toppling of historical statues, were eerily similar. The result is a climate of chaos and insecurity that affects the entire country.

Antifa extremists in Berkeley, Calif., on Aug. 27, 2017. (Amy Osborne/AFP via Getty Images)

Antifa

Dressed in full black gear including armor, helmets, and masks, and trained in agitation and basic combat, Antifa extremists have been involved in numerous acts of violence during Trump’s presidency. In many cases, these acts of violence, which include the use of weapons, rocks, and Molotov cocktails, were directed at law enforcement and government property. But Antifa members have also directly targeted unarmed common citizens for simply supporting Trump. We saw this happen twice in Washington, where those who had gathered to support Trump were later attacked when alone in the city at night. Antifa’s use of a militia-style force to intimidate and physically attack citizens for their political beliefs creates a powerful climate of fear and stands against the most basic American values.

Aerial photo of the Washington Memorial with the Capitol in the background in Washington D.C. in this file photo. (Andy Dunaway/USAF via Getty Images)

The Permanent Government

Though Trump as president is the leader of the executive branch, when he came to office he inherited a federal government staffed with hundreds of thousands of employees. It’s no secret that many career officials in the U.S. government have actively sought to undermine or even openly work against Trump. Many in government have been led by false information published by media organizations to believe that they are doing the right thing, and that by working against Trump, they are putting the interests of the country first. In fact, they have done the country a disservice by blocking a rightfully elected president from executing the will of the people.

Robert Mueller in Washington, on May 29, 2019. (Reuters/Jim Bourg)

Mueller Special Counsel Investigation

Following the firing of FBI Director Comey, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein assigned former FBI Director Robert Mueller to continue the FBI’s investigation of alleged Trump–Russia collusion. Mueller would conclude in a final report that there was no evidence of such collusion. But this only came after a nearly two-year-long investigation, giving the media and Trump’s political opponents leeway to portray Trump as an illegitimate president because of his supposed affiliation with Russia.

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office of the White House on Jan. 28, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Illegal Leaks

Throughout the past four years, the Trump administration has been plagued by selective leaks aimed at damaging Trump’s presidency. Some of these leaks have been criminal in nature, such as the leak of the transcripts of Trump’s conversations with foreign leaders—a felony offense. Treasury official Natalie Edwards was found guilty of illegally leaking suspicious activity reports (SARs) on financial transactions by former Trump campaign associate Paul Manafort, among others.

Poll workers board up windows so ballot challengers can’t see into the ballot counting area at the TCF Center where ballots are being counted in downtown Detroit on Nov. 4,2020. (Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images)

2020 Election Fraud

Following the Nov. 3 elections, dozens of credible allegations of voter fraud or other illegal acts connected to the counting of ballots have emerged. Dozens of poll workers across multiple states have given testimony in sworn statements—under penalty of perjury—detailing irregularities in how ballots were counted, as well as how the workers were instructed to make otherwise illegal changes to ballots, how they were unable to properly observe ballot counting, and how they witnessed new ballots mysteriously appear out of nowhere. The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee launched a number of lawsuits to challenge the process. They’ve argued that in Pennsylvania alone, 600,000 ballots should be invalidated, as Republican election observers weren’t allowed to witness the ballot processing.

President Donald Trump speaks at Trump Tower, fielding questions from reporters about Charlottesville, in New York City, on Aug. 15, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Manufactured Narratives

The use of manufactured narratives to attack Trump has been pervasive since he assumed the presidency. Perhaps the most notable is the claim that he defended neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, when in fact he said that that there were “very fine people on both sides,” referring to people who “were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.” Trump specifically added, “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally—but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists.” Yet despite this being on public record, Trump would continue to be asked throughout his presidency, especially during the election season, whether he was ready to “denounce white supremacy,” despite having done so on many occasions, even before becoming president

Published:11/27/2020 6:25:58 PM
[Markets] Joe Biden: Return Of The CFR Joe Biden: Return Of The CFR Tyler Durden Thu, 11/26/2020 - 22:05

Submitted by Swiss Policy Research,

A Joe Biden presidency means a “return to normality” simply because it means a return of the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

 

In 2008, Barack Obama received the names of his entire future cabinet already one month prior to his election by CFR Senior Fellow (and Citigroup banker) Michael Froman, as a Wikileaks email later revealed. Consequently, the key posts in Obama’s cabinet were filled almost exclusively by CFR members, as was the case in most cabinets since World War II. To be sure, Obama’s 2008 Republican opponent, the late John McCain, was a CFR member, too. Michael Froman later negotiated the TPP and TTIP international trade agreements, before returning to the CFR as a Distinguished Fellow.

In 2017, CFR nightmare President Donald Trump immediately canceled these trade agreements – because he viewed them as detrimental to US domestic industry – which allowed China to conclude its own, recently announced RCEP free-trade area, encompassing 14 countries and a third of global trade. Trump also canceled other CFR achievements, like the multinational Iran nuclear deal and the UN climate and migration agreements, and he tried, but largely failed, to withdraw US troops from East Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, thus seriously endangering the global US empire built over decades by the CFR and its 5000 elite members.

Unsurprisingly, most of the US media, whose owners and editors are themselves members of the CFR, didn’t like President Trump. This was also true for most of the European media, whose owners and editors are members of international CFR affiliates like the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission, founded by CFR directors after the conquest of Europe during World War II. Moreover, it was none other than the CFR which in 1996 advocated a closer cooperation between the CIA and the media, i.e. a restart of the famous CIA Operation Mockingbird. Historically, OSS and CIA directors since William Donovan and Allen Dulles have always been CFR members.

Joe Biden promised that he would form “the most diverse cabinet” in US history. This may be true in terms of skin color and gender, but almost all of his key future cabinet members have one thing in common: they are, indeed, members of the US Council on Foreign Relations.

This is the case for Anthony Blinken (State), Alejandro Mayorkas (Homeland Security), Janet Yellen (Treasury), Michele Flournoy and Jeh Johnson (candidates for Defense), Linda Thomas-Greenfield (Ambassador to the UN), Richard Stengel (US Agency for Global Media; Stengel famously called propaganda “a good thing” at a 2018 CFR session), John Kerry (Special Envoy for Climate), Nelson Cunningham (candidate for Trade), and Thomas Donilon (candidate for CIA Director).

Jake Sullivan, Biden’s National Security Advisor, is not (yet) a CFR member, but Sullivan has been a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (a think tank “promoting active international engagement by the United States”) and a member of the US German Marshall Fund’s “Alliance For Securing Democracy” (a major promoter of the “Russiagate” disinformation campaign to restrain the Trump presidency), both of which are run by senior CFR members.

Most of Biden’s CFR-vetted nominees supported recent US wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen as well as the 2014 regime change in Ukraine. Unsurprisingly, neoconservative Max Boot, the CFR Senior Fellow in National Security Studies and one of the most vocal opponents of the Trump administration, has called Biden’s future cabinet “America’s A-Team”.

Thus, after four years of “populism” and “isolationism”, a Biden presidency will mean the return of the Council on Foreign Relations and the continuation of a tradition of more than 70 years. Indeed, the CFR was founded in 1921 in response to the “trauma of 1920”, when US President Warren Harding and the US Senate turned isolationist and renounced US global leadership after World War I. In 2016, Donald Trump’s “America First” campaign reactivated this 100 year old foreign policy trauma.

Was the 2020 presidential election “stolen”, as some allege? There are certainly indications of significant statistical anomalies in key Democrat-run swing states. Whether these were decisive for the election outcome may be up to courts to decide. At any rate, Joe Biden may well be the first US President known to be involved in international corruption before even entering office.

Why are most US and international media hardly interested in this? Well, why should they?

Published:11/26/2020 9:20:32 PM
[Markets] This Thanksgiving, The Government Gifts Us COVID-19 Sex Advice This Thanksgiving, The Government Gifts Us COVID-19 Sex Advice Tyler Durden Thu, 11/26/2020 - 21:00

Authored by Jim Bovard via The Libertarian Institute,

Politicians and petty czars have canceled Thanksgiving across the nation.  What have government health departments offered in lieu of a family gathering? Endless idiotic advice for “safe sex” during COVID.

The Vermont Department of Health captured the ethos of many health departments across the nation: “Decisions about sex and sexuality need to be balanced with personal and public health.” COVID Federal Superstar Anthony Fauci reflected that judgment when he declared in April that those who meet strangers for sex via Tinder or other dating apps are entitled to make their “choice regarding a risk.” Many government officials have been far more tolerant or even encouraging of risky sexual relations during the pandemic while mercilessly suppressing other social and economic relations.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is an Emmy-award winning hero of the COVID pandemic, regardless of the ten thousand elderly New Yorkers who died after he ordered nursing homes to admit COVID patients. Cuomo’s endless restrictions have been spurred by his view that “government can be a force for good,” as a New Yorker profile recently noted.

While Cuomo has vehemently condemned synagogues that disobeyed his orders to disperse, other officials in New York give their blessings to behavior which is reckless even by “woke” standards. The New York City Health Department recommended that people who organize orgies should “Limit the size of your guest list. Keep it intimate.” The guidance does not quite specify “rooftop” but it is clearly implied: “Pick larger, more open, and well-ventilated spaces.”

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, New York City’s deputy health commissioner, boasts, “Our health department has a really strong record of being very sex positive.” At the same time that New York cops have violently assaulted people for not wearing face masks, the city government officially sanctioned “glory holes.” The Big Apple’s health department urged people to “be creative with… physical barriers, like walls, that allow sexual contact while preventing close face-to-face contact.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom has become infamous for his bizarre list of Thanksgiving prohibitions to fight COVID. But the pandemic has uncorked other official weirdness in the Golden State.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health took preemptive action to re-define “premature” out of existence. The local bureaucrats advised:Quicker can be better. The longer we are within 6 feet of someone, the greater the risk.” Will health departments take the next step, promoting Revolutionary Era imagery celebrating the return of the “Minute Man”?

As part of its recommendations for “navigating the landscape of love,” San Francisco bureaucrats urged to “embrace dirty thoughts. And clean surfaces.” The guidance stresses the importance of cleaning “shared toys,” especially when switching “collars” and similar items from one body to another. The department also noted: “When it comes to COVID-19 risk, outdoors is better than indoors.” Considering that the local government already permits homeless people to perform any other bodily function on Market Street, adding copulation might not be that much of a change in the local scenery.

The Fenway Health Center, a “Federally Qualified Community Health Center,” served up bad news to spatially-challenged Bostonians: “Using the social distancing recommendation of 6 feet, oral sex may still put you at risk of COVID.” Bizarrely, the Fenway Center urges people NOT to wear masks during hook-ups: “Leave the protective gear to the medical professionals and those who have the virus.”

The Austin, Texas Health Department alerted local residents: “COVID-19 has been found in fecal matter. Avoid activity that could allow virus from feces to enter your mouth.” In the COVID era, “Eat shit and die” has gone from being a juvenile taunt to being an ominous government health warning. Similar warnings on the dangers of “rimming” occurred in other health department recommendations.

The City of Milwaukee Health Department advises, “Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex.” But if you wash your hands for only 15 seconds afterwards, then ‘Rona wins. Actually, if people need to be told to wash their hands after taking their pleasure, they are probably beyond redemption. Besides, do post-game prophylactics make any sense after a solo performance?

Many other government agencies have become cheerleaders for self-reliance, as if there was a dire need for officialdom to specify how hundreds of millions of Americans should let off steam. At last report, the World Health Organization had not yet added masturbation to its Five Heroic Act list though it may soon qualify for a #ThanksHealthHeroes honorable mention.

In the same way that politicians focused myopically on COVID transmission risks to justify inflicting vast collateral damage on the economy, health departments offer recommendations that might avoid COVID transmission but could be otherwise ruinous.  Instead of meeting sex partners online, the New York City Health Department recommends, “Video dates, sexting, subscription-based fan platforms, sexy ‘Zoom parties’ or chat rooms may be options for you.” Other health departments made similar recommendations.

So maybe invite Jeffrey Toobin to your Zoom party? (Toobin was fired after masturbating during a New Yorker zoom call.)  Many of the “chat rooms” that bureaucrats recommend are stockful of jailbait, police and FBI agents masquerading and looking to entrap people for underage sex or other offenses.  Maybe someone should ask Jeff Bezos about his billion dollar emailed pictures of his private parts? The National Security Agency and foreign governments vacuum up a huge amount of online activity; anything that people reveal to a group of people online could easily turn up in their dossier.

Since the pandemic began, politicians have claimed a prerogative to micro-manage citizens’ lives with one harebrained edict after another. For instance, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf decreed on November 17 that people must wear masks in their own homes whenever someone visits who does not live in that household. On Monday, Gov. Wolf banned all alcohol sales in bars and restaurants on Thanksgiving Eve – a completely arbitrary edict that sows havoc and will do nothing to make COVID vanish.

Wolf would never dare to outlaw sex outside of wedlock but somehow politicians captured the right to throttle almost every other aspect of people’s lives. But a “copulation exemption” to the de facto COVID cancellation of the Bill of Rights makes no sense. People deserve as much freedom to drink rancid Rolling Rock beer on Thanksgiving Eve as they do to throw the Philly dice for a Tinder Thanksgiving treat. When politicians are permitted to selectively nullify freedom, the injustices will be exceeded only by the absurdities.

Published:11/26/2020 8:20:11 PM
[Markets] Illinois Senators Durbin and Duckworth Are Among The Book Burners Happy With Big Tech Censorship Illinois Senators Durbin and Duckworth Are Among The Book Burners Happy With Big Tech Censorship Tyler Durden Thu, 11/26/2020 - 19:10

Submitted by Mark Glennon of Wirepoints

Democracy is subverted when the free exchange of information and opinion is suppressed.

That subversion is now reality in America and much of the world thanks primarily to censorship by big technology platforms and our unapologetically dishonest and biased national media.

Last week, the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate held hearings on one of those causes, big tech censorship. If you are unaware of how pernicious and common that censorship has become, particularly by Twitter and Facebook, you are dangerously uninformed. Comedian Bill Maher, hardly a right-winger, said it right: The censorship is “evil” and “f—ed up.”

The new media gatekeepers

This is not about Trump. He and censorship of him are now in mostly in the rear view mirror. Though censorship was blatantly targeted at him, it’s the future that matters now,  — whether the marketplace of ideas can survive in a world where big tech’s authoritarianism is broad and growing.

For example, Twitter and Facebook last week censored Oxford University scientists who posted an article about a recent study questioning the effectiveness of face masks to stop COVID-19. One of the censored authors said such censorship is “one of the reasons we face a global meltdown of free thinking and science.” His name, sadly ironic, is Thomas Jefferson.

Question big tech censorship and even prominent liberals face retribution. For example, Glenn Greenwald, a respected liberal journalist, dared to question big tech’s brazen suppression of stories about Hunter Biden’s emails and foreign influence peddling. His story on it was killed by The Intercept. Commendably, Greenwald then resigned from that publication.

With hundreds of other examples readily available, it was therefore entirely appropriate and urgent for the Judiciary Committee to take up the matter. Aside from the meltdown of free thinking and science that Prof. Jefferson described, many of America’s razor-thin elections beyond the presidential race could easily have been turned by false narratives rigged by big tech. Easily.

But how did Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, a Judiciary Committee member, preface his comments?

It’s a big waste of time and a political stunt, he told us. “I think there are more important and timely questions…but we are trying to determine whether or not the social media instruments of America are fair to the Republican Party.”

What’s more important? Oh, national security, the pandemic and the possibility that Trump would refuse to leave when the election is certified, Durbin said.

No, Senator Durbin. The Judiciary Committee is the top legislative oversight body on the rule of law in what is supposed to be the world’s leading democracy. National security and coronavirus are not within the committee’s charge. And a speculative case on presidential transition is premature for a hearing. What is within its jurisdiction, and should be top priorities, are freedom of expression and the hotly debated Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives big tech immunity and central the censorship issue.

As for the censorship, bring it on. Durbin wants more.

He wants more censorship to combat hate crimes, he said. That means stifling hate speech. Citing numbers on hate crimes, he said, “It’s clear to me that it’s more important that social media combat this more than ever.  “Are you looking the other way on that?” he asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

We’ve seen repeatedly that hate speech, to many on the left, is pretty much everything said by anybody on the right.  Would Durbin include among his concerns the endless labeling of some 72 million Republican voters as white supremacists and fascists or violence by radical leftists who are encouraged by that kind of labeling? No, Durbin made it clear he didn’t mean that. “This is not Antifa. These are documented hate crimes from the FBI…”

Under the First Amendment, hate speech is permitted as long as it doesn’t rise to the level of provoking violence. That’s as it should be. Everybody should be free to express hatred towards, for example, those they regard as fascists or communists, provided they don’t incite violence. But the First Amendment does not cover private entities like big tech and Durbin, like many on the left, showed no interest in letting First Amendment be the precedent for big tech censorship, provided it is targeted selectively at the right.

Some of Durbin’s colleagues on the Judiciary Committee joined him with calls for more censorship by big tech. Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), for example, asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey why Twitter doesn’t have a standalone climate change misinformation policy. “Helping to disseminate climate denialism in my view, further facilitates and accelerates one of the greatest existential threats to our world.”

Illinois’ other senator, Tammy Duckworth, earlier had a particularly stupefying response to concerns about big tech censorship. Regarding a previous hearing on the topic by a different Senate committee, she said it was Repubicans “aiding Trump’s and Russia’s efforts to use social media for misinformation campaigns” and “undermine confidence in our democracy.”

Got that? You’re helping Russia if you’re against censorship.

Despite such attitudes, the Judiciary Committee hearing uncovered a major turn for the worse on tech censorship: They collude on who and what to censor. Facebook, Twitter and Google use a software communication tool called Centra to communicate on who and what they want to stifle, which magnifies the impact of any decision by any one of them. What’s clear, however, is that a solution must be found because a keystone of open society is shattered.

A telling postscript to the hearing is that NBC, ABC and CBS all refused any coverage of it.

How to address the problem of big tech censorship is challenging and reasonable minds differ. Their platforms are more powerful than any other public forum in history, yet their censors make no pretense of selectively enforcing their dictates or applying any of the time-honored principles our courts have developed under the First Amendment. And Section 230 is a complicated matter.

Pending a solution, here is where we are:

First, what tens of millions of people read for news is determined by the two people shown here.

Second, the subversion of democracy by suppression of the free exchange of information and opinion is no longer just a threat. It’s here.

Published:11/26/2020 6:20:24 PM
[Michael Flynn] Trump pardons Flynn (Paul Mirengoff) President Trump has issued a pardon to Gen. Michael Flynn. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, a felony. However, a Justice Department investigation caused Attorney General Barr to conclude that the prosecution should not have been brought. Accordingly, the Justice Department sought to dismiss the prosecution. That should have ended the case, as matter of law. However, Judge Emmet Sullivan, unhappy that Flynn had either lied to the Published:11/25/2020 4:13:49 PM
[Markets] Will Trump Release The Files Exposing The Cunning Plot To Kill Kennedy? Will Trump Release The Files Exposing The Cunning Plot To Kill Kennedy? Tyler Durden Mon, 11/23/2020 - 23:40

Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

With President Trump’s critics decrying his lack of respect for America’s democratic system by his refusal to concede to Joe Biden, now would be a good time to remind such critics of one dark-side aspect of America’s much-vaunted democratic system - the national-security’s state’s violent regime-change operation in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

From the beginning, the official story has been that a lone-nut communist ex-U.S. Marine, with no apparent motive, assassinated the president. Nothing to see here, folks, time to move on - U.S, officials said. Just a plain old ordinary murder case.

If anyone murders a federal official, you can be assured of one thing: the feds will do everything they can to ensure that everyone involved in the crime is brought to justice. It’s like when someone kills a cop. The entire police force mobilizes to capture, arrest, and prosecute everyone involved in killing the cop. The phenomenon is even more pronounced at the federal level, especially given the overwhelming power of the federal government

Yet, the exact opposite occurred in the Kennedy assassination. The entire effort immediately became to pin the crime solely on a communist ex-U.S. Marine named Lee Harvey Oswald and to shut down any aggressive investigation into whether others were involved in the crime.

What’s up with that? That’s not the way we would expect federal officials to handle the assassination of any federal official, especially the president of the United States. We would expect them to do everything — even torture a suspect — in order to capture and arrest everyone who may have participated in the crime.

For example, just three days after the assassination and after Oswald himself had been murdered, Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach sent out a memo stating,

“The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial.”

How in the world could he be so certain that Oswald was the assassin and that he had no confederates? Why would he want to shut down the investigation so soon? Does that sound like a normal federal official who is confronted with the assassination of a president?

The answer to this riddle lies in the brilliantly cunning scheme of the U.S. national-security establishment to ensure that the investigation into Kennedy’s assassination would be shut down immediately and, therefore, not lead to the U.S. national-security establishment.

The assassination itself had all the earmarks of a classic military ambush, one in which shooters were firing from both the front and back of the president. It is a virtual certainty that responsibility for the ambush lay with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had been waging a vicious war against Kennedy practically since the time he assumed office. (See FFF’s book JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne, who served on the staff of the Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s.)

While the JCS were experts at preparing military-style ambushes, they lacked the intellectual capability of devising the overall plot and cover-up, given its high level of cunning and sophistication. That responsibility undoubtedly lay with the CIA, whose top officials were brilliant graduates of Ivy League Schools. Moreover, practically from its inception the CIA was specializing in the art of state-sponsored assassinations and in how to conceal the CIA’s role in them.

To ensure that the role of the Pentagon and the CIA in the Kennedy assassination would be kept secret, they had to figure out a way to shut down the investigation from the start. Their plan worked brilliantly. While the normal thing would have been all out investigations into the murder, in this particular murder the state of Texas and U.S. officials did the exact opposite. They settled for simply pinning the crime on Oswald, the purported lone nut communist ex-U.S. Marine.

Here is how they pulled it off.

As the years have passed, it has become increasingly clear that Oswald was a government operative, most likely for military intelligence or maybe the CIA and the FBI as well. His job was to portray himself as a communist, which would enable him to infiltrate not only domestic communist and socialist organizations but also communist countries, such as Cuba and the Soviet Union.

After all, how many communist Marines have you ever heard of? The Marines would be a good place to recruit people for intelligence roles. Oswald learned fluent Russian while in the military. How does an enlisted man do that, without the assistance of the military’s language schools? When he returned from the Soviet Union after supposedly trying to defect and after promising that he was going to give up secret information he had acquired in the military, no federal grand jury or congressional investigation was launched into his conduct, even though this was the height of the Cold War.

Thus, Oswald would make the perfect patsy. He could be stationed wherever his superiors instructed. And he would have all the earmarks of a communist, which would immediately prejudice Americans at the height of the Cold War.

But simply framing Oswald wouldn’t have been enough to shut down the investigation. An aggressive investigation would undoubtedly be able to pierce through the pat nature of the frame-up. They needed something more.

If you’re going to frame someone who is supposedly firing from the rear, then doesn’t it make sense that you would have shots being fired only from the rear? Why would they frame a guy who is supposedly firing from the rear by having shots fired from the front?

That’s where the sheer brilliance of this particular regime-change operation came into play. The plan was much more cunning than even the successful regime-change operations and assassinations that took place prior to the one against Kennedy — i.e., Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Cuba from 1959-1963, and the Congo in 1961.

There is now virtually no doubt that Kennedy was hit by two shots fired from the front. Immediately after Kennedy was declared dead, the treating physicians at Parkland Hospital described the neck wound as a wound of entry. They also said that Kennedy had a massive, orange-sized wound in the back of his head. Nurses at Parkland said the same things. Two FBI agents said they saw the big exit-sized wound. Secret Service agent Clint Hill saw it. Navy photography expert Saundra Spencer told the ARRB in the 1990s that she developed the JFK autopsy photos on a top-secret basis on the weekend of the assassination and that they depicted a big exit-sized wound in the back of JFK’s head. A bone fragment from the back of the president’s head was found in Dealey Plaza after the assassination. That is just part of the overwhelming evidence that establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the shot that hit Kennedy in the head came from the front.

Okay, if you’ve got a shooter firing from the back and he’s a communist, and if you have other shooters firing from the front, then they have to be working together. So, who would the shooters be who were firing from the front? The logical inference is that they had to be communist cohorts of Oswald.

That’s what Oswald’s supposed visits to the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico just before the assassination were all about —making it look like Oswald was acting in concert with the Soviet and Cuban communists to kill Kennedy.

If the assassination was part of the Soviet Union’s supposed quest to conquer the world, retaliation would mean World War III, which almost surely would have meant nuclear war, which was the biggest fear among the American people in 1963.

But why not retaliate in some way? Would U.S. officials at the height of the Cold War hesitate to retaliate for the communist killing of a U.S. president, simply because they were scared of nuclear war? Not a chance! In fact, throughout Kennedy’s term in office the Pentagon and the CIA were champing at the bit to attack Cuba and go to war with the Soviet Union.

But here’s the catch: How do you take action that is going to destroy the world when it was your side that started the assassination game in the first place? Remember: It was the CIA that started the assassination game by partnering with the Mafia to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Thus, Lyndon Johnson, the CIA, and the JCS had the perfect excuse to shut down the investigation and pin the crime only on Oswald: If they instead retaliated, it would be all-out nuclear war based on an assassination game that the U.S. had started.

In fact, when Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade alleged from the start that Oswald was part of a communist conspiracy, Johnson told him to shut it down for fear that Wade might inadvertently start World War III.

Moreover, when U.S. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren initially declined Johnson’s invitation to serve on what ultimately became the Warren Commission, Johnson appealed to his sense of patriotism by alluding to the importance of avoiding a nuclear war. Johnson used the same argument on Senator Richard Russell Jr.

From the start, the Warren Commission proceedings were shrouded in “national-security” state secrecy, including a top-secret meeting of the commissioners to discuss information they had received that Oswald was an intelligence agent. When Warren was asked if the American people would be able to see all the evidence, Warren responded yes, but not in your lifetime.

Does that make any sense? If the assassination was, in fact, committed by some lone nut, then what would “national security” and state secrecy have to do with it?

That’s undoubtedly how they induced the three military pathologists to conduct a fraudulent autopsy — by telling them that they had to hide the fact that shots had been fired from the front in order to ensure that there was no all-out nuclear war. That’s how we ended up with a fraudulent autopsy. (See my books The Kennedy Autopsy and The Kennedy Autopsy 2.)

Thus, the plan entailed operating at two levels: One level involved what some call the World War III cover story. It entailed shutting down the investigation, as well as a fraudulent autopsy, to prevent nuclear war. The other level involved showing the American people that their president had been killed by only one person, a supposed lone nut communist former Marine.

Obviously, secrecy and obedience to orders were essential for the plan to succeed. That was why the autopsy was taken out of the hands of civilian officials and given to the military. With the military, people could be ordered to participate in the fraudulent autopsy and could be forced to keep everything they did and witnessed secret.

That’s why Navy photography expert Saundra Spencer kept her secret for some 30 years. She had been told that her development of the JFK autopsy photos was a classified operation. Military people follow orders and keep classified information secret. Imagine if Spencer had told her story suggesting a fraudulent autopsy in the week following the assassination.

Gradually, as the years have passed, the incriminating puzzle has come together. The big avalanche of secret information came out in the 1990s as part of the work done by the Assassination Records Review Board.

Of course, there are still missing pieces to the puzzle, many of which are undoubtedly among the records that the CIA and national-security establishment are still keeping secret. But enough circumstantial evidence has come to light to enable people to see the contours of one of the most cunning and successful assassination plots in history.

*  *  *

It’s time to release all of the official assassination records of the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon, and all other federal agencies. The national-security rationale for continued secrecy is ludicrous and baseless. The only reason for continued secrecy is that the national-security establishment knows that the records will fill in more pieces to its November 22, 1963, regime-change operation.

In the 1990s, the JFK Records Collection Act gave federal agencies another 25 years to release their assassination-related records, based on the ridiculous claim of “national security.” That period of time expired early in Trump’s administration. After promising to release the files, Trump surrendered to the CIA’s demands for more secrecy, extending the time for secrecy until October 2021.

But we all know what’s going to happen in 2021. The CIA is going to tell President Biden that national security requires more years of secrecy and Biden is going to defer to the CIA.

Time’s up. Amidst all the hoopla over whether Trump is behaving disrespectfully of America’s democratic system, how about ordering the release of the estimated 15,000 records of the CIA and the federal agencies that are still being kept secret from the American people? After all, it’s pretty hard to reconcile regime-change and cover up with America’s much-vaunted democratic system, isn’t it?

President Trump — Do the right thing. Order the National Archives to release those long-secret assassination records to the American people now. Who cares if the CIA, the Pentagon, and other federal agencies get upset?

Published:11/23/2020 10:53:46 PM
[Markets] 'Anonymous' Anti-Trump NYTimes Writer Identified As Witness In Gen. Flynn Probe: Senators 'Anonymous' Anti-Trump NYTimes Writer Identified As Witness In Gen. Flynn Probe: Senators Tyler Durden Mon, 11/23/2020 - 16:20

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times,

Two GOP Senate committee chairs have requested FBI documents that apparently identified the “anonymous” anti-Trump New York Times op-ed writer who claimed to be part of the “resistance inside the White House” two years ago.

Several weeks ago, former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) staffer Miles Taylor outed himself as the “anonymous” author. He also penned a book that was released in 2019.

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), in a letter (pdf) to the Department of Justice (DOJ), requested the declassification of an 11-page document that allegedly “includes information about the status of the then-ongoing investigations into those individuals and references new information obtained through witness interviews.”

“One of the witnesses named in the section of the document labeled ‘Michael Flynn [CROSSFIRE RAZOR]’ is Miles Taylor,” they wrote.

“Although the document does not fully explain the FBI’s interest in Taylor in relation to Flynn, the memo included a ‘place holder’ for an ‘interview w/ Miles Taylor.'”

 

They noted that Taylor, who was former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s chief of staff before his departure in 2019, revealed that he wrote the 2018 NY Times article, “I am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” where he said he would “thwart” President Donald Trump’s agenda.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 11, 2019. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Taylor, they said, appeared to have been a witness in 2017 records pertaining to former national security adviser Michael Flynn as part of a probe. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, but he later recanted his guilty plea and professed his innocence.

“This heavily-redacted document suggests that the FBI spoke directly to Taylor and it also provides additional information relating to Crossfire Hurricane,” the senators wrote. “Accordingly, we request that the entire document be further declassified.”

The two senators also indicated that Flynn’s lobbying organization, Flynn Intel Group, met with Taylor in October 2016.

No more details were provided.

“Witness interview of Miles Taylor, mentioned in the FARA documents, indicated Flynn Intel Group’s involvement with a late 2016 Turkey-related briefing to the now-National Security Adviser to the Vice President,” their document stated.

Johnson, the head of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and Grassley, the head of the Senate Finance Committee, said the DOJ needs to explain Taylor’s role in the Flynn probe. They said Attorney General William Barr should provide a briefing on the matter and declassify more of the agency’s documentation related to the investigation.

The Trump administration said in October that Taylor, who revealed himself as the “anonymous” author, is a “liar and a coward.” Taylor’s bio on Twitter says he is currently employed with CNN.

Grassley and Johnson said the DOJ needs to provide comply with their request by Nov. 30, or next Monday.

Published:11/23/2020 3:19:44 PM
[Arab Israel conflict] Report: Netanyahu met with crown prince (Scott Johnson) President Trump is one of the most consequential presidents in American history. He accomplished great good under constant attack, including from enemies at the FBI, the CIA, and the National Security Council from day 1 of his administration. I am referring to the Russia hoax, of course, and to the related impeachment hoax, but there is much more. It turns out that Trump’s diplomacy has unleashed previously unthinkable progress toward Published:11/23/2020 6:43:56 AM
[Markets] FBI Investigating "Orgasmic Meditation" Company For Sex Trafficking, Prostitution, & Violation Of Labor Laws FBI Investigating "Orgasmic Meditation" Company For Sex Trafficking, Prostitution, & Violation Of Labor Laws Tyler Durden Sun, 11/22/2020 - 23:30

Because here at ZeroHedge, we always like to ask the hard hitting questions, back in 2019 we wrote about whether or not a company in the business of "orgasmic meditation" was really just a prostitution sex cult. Apparently the FBI is now asking that same question.

In our 2019 article, we focused on OneTaste - a controversial "business" that focused on a practice that the company calls "orgasmic meditation" (OM). The company called OM "a unique wellness practice that combines mindfulness with the power of the deeply human, deeply felt experience of Orgasm" on its website.

Bloomberg revealed the practice to be "a trademarked procedure that typically involves a man using a gloved, lubricated fingertip to stroke a woman’s clitoris for 15 minutes". 

Well it turns out the FBI wasn't as "stimulated" by the company's business plan as many of the group's members, and is investigating the company over allegations of sex trafficking, prostitution and violations of labor laws, according to the Daily Mail

OneTaste founder Nicole Daedone

The company is not being allowed to offer classes while the FBI is conducting its investigation. 

BBC journalist Nastaran Tavakoli-Far, who did an expose podcast on the issue called The Orgasm Cult, spoke to dozens of people associated with the company prior to the FBI investigation.

She said: "For years there have been rumors that OneTaste is basically a sex cult, complete with a messianic leader who everyone adored and worshiped and who expected full allegiance."

One ex-employee told her she left the company with "full blown PTSD". "I was very, very scarred and very afraid. I was, for about two years, suffering from nightmares, a deep sense of depression, and loneliness and low self-esteem," the employee said. 

Founded in San Francisco (of course), the company was focusing mostly on emotionally walled-off women, while allowing nerdy men to finger them (in exchange for a price) in "interactive classes", where participants are encouraged to learn by doing. Or, as we noted in 2019, it appeared to us that the company was simply selling sex. 

We pointed out last year that some of the company's former members, including 16 of them profiled by Bloomberg, were eager to point out the dark side of OneTaste: expensive classes, preying on emotionally vulnerable people and being shunned by group members after leaving. 

Former members spoke anonymously for fear of retribution from the company. Some called the company a "kind of prostitution ring" that would exploit trauma victims and others searching for healing. Some members believed that the company used flirtation and sex to lure in targets that were emotionally vulnerable. It is also accused of having employees be conditioned to work for free and "ordering staffers to have sex or OM with each other", or customers. 

The company's classes ranged from $199 for an introduction to $4,000 for a retreat, to $16,000 for an "intensive". The company also started charging $60,000 for an annual membership in 2014. According to the company, about 1,400 people have taken its coaching program, 6,500 have come to an intro class, and more than 14,000 have signed up for online courses and its app.

One former sales person said: “You fluff someone to get them energetically and emotionally hard. You were the dangled bait, like ‘You can have more of this if you buy this $10,000 course.’?”

At the time, the company denied this characterization, calling it "outrageous". Chief Executive Officer Joanna Van Vleck said in 2019: “OneTaste is the Whole Foods of sexuality—the organic, good-for-you version. The overarching thing is, orgasm is part of wellness.”

The company has said "any allegations of abusive practices are completely false".

Published:11/22/2020 10:45:27 PM
[Markets] Sidney Powell Says Trump Team Will Sue Officials "To Invalidate" Election Results... And An Inside Look Into Smartmatic Sidney Powell Says Trump Team Will Sue Officials "To Invalidate" Election Results... And An Inside Look Into Smartmatic Tyler Durden Thu, 11/19/2020 - 22:01

Shortly before the Associated Press announced late on Thursday that Joe Biden had won the state of Georgia after its secretary of state said that Biden had remained ahead after a hand recount of the state’s 5 million presidential votes making him the first Democratic presidential candidate in 28 years to win the state pending any potential litigation by Trump, the president's attorney Sidney Powell warned that a "flurry of lawsuits" await election officials who certify the results of the election which she believes are fraudulent.

The former federal prosecutor, who is also Michael Flynn's lead attorney in a case about lying to the FBI, told Fox Business host Lou Dobbs on Thursday that the Trump camp will press forward with legal action, targeting election officials as they certify the 2020 results in several key battleground states that have been called for President-elect Joe Biden. One of them would be Michigan's Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, who must certify the results by Friday.

Dobbs also asked if Trump's llegal team will pursue legal action against Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic: "Are you pressing forward with legal action against them for those violations?" Dobbs asked.

"Not against the company and the software," Powell responded. "But the suits will be against the election officials to invalidate the results of the election and force it to the legislatures and the Electoral College and then the Congress if necessary."

As we reported earlier, Powell asserted that Dominion and Smartmatic are "inexplicably intertwined." She appeared with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and other members of Trump's election legal team at a press conference in Washington, D.C., to accuse Democrats of an elaborate plot by his opponents to "rig" voting machines in the presidential.

During that conference, Giulianni said that he "can prove that [Trump] won Pennsylvania by 150,000 votes" and that "the people who did this have committed one of the worst crimes that I've ever seen or heard." The former NYC mayor also said there is a pattern in the voting data that suggests "a plan from a centralized place” to commit voter fraud in Democrat-run cities.

At the same time, Powell said President Trump “won by a landslide," and that their legal team will prove it.

"American patriots are fed up with the corruption from the local level to the highest level of our government," she said. "We are not going to be intimidated. We are not going to back down. We are going to clean this mess up now. President Trump won by a landslide. We are going to prove it. And we are going to reclaim the United States of America for the people who vote for freedom."

Powell alleged a transnational conspiracy involving the “influence of communist money” from countries including Cuba, Venezuela, and “likely China” to overturn the presidential race via election software.

Powell also said that the legal team has testimony from an insider who unearthed provable fraud regarding voting machines and software used in multiple states. The person said they worked with the Venezuelan military, outlining a conspiracy between Smartmatic executives, former socialist Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, and election officials in the country years ago.

The whistleblower said the “software and fundamental design of the electronic electoral system and software of Dominion and other election tabulating companies relies upon software that is a descendant of the Smartmatic Electoral Management System.”

"In short, the Smartmatic software is in the DNA of every vote-tabulating company’s software and system,” the whistleblower said.

Powell alleged that Smartmatic, Dominion, and others used technology on Election Day that was developed under Chavez’s regime years ago to “make sure he never lost an election.”

On Monday, Powell posted some of her evidence on Twitter, which consisted of three screenshots of an affidavit that she said was signed by a former military official from Venezuela about elections there. According to her and excerpts from the affidavit, elections software company Smartmatic helped the Venezuelan government rig its elections by switching votes and leaving no trail. The military official said in the excerpts that the U.S. election was “eerily reminiscent” of what happened in Venezuela’s 2013 presidential election.

“This person saw, by his own experience, exactly what was happening there was happening here,” Ms. Powell explained to Fox News on Monday.

The accusations triggered the New York Times, which dragged by its anti-Trump bias was forced to suggest that Venezuela's 2017 election was actually quite fair and open...

Previous claims that Smartmatic’s voting machines were rigged in Venezuela have been disputed and are “unsubstantiated,” according to The Associated Press.

... even though it was none other than the New York Times reporting in 2017 that "Venezuela Reported False Election Turnout" citing Smartmatic, whose machines were used in that particular Venezuela election and several previous ones.

Smartmatic has denied any ties to Dominion, while Dominion said that it has “no company ownership relationships with the Pelosi family, Feinstein family, Clinton Global Initiative, Smartmatic, Scytl, or any ties to Venezuela."  Dominion bought assets from a subsidiary of Smartmatic three years after it was sold. Smartmatic wrote on its website that it "does not have any ties to any governments or political parties in any country. It has never been owned, funded or backed by any government."

Which is odd, considering that Wikileaks has leaked several formerly confidential cables disclosing the murky background of Smartmatic. In fact, we urge everyone to read the July 10, 2006 classified cable titled "Caracas' View of Smartmatic and its voting machines" written by Robert Downes, the U.S. Embassy’s political counselor in Caracas at the time. Here is an excerpt:

The Venezuelan-owned Smartmatic Corporation is a riddle both in ownership and operation, complicated by the fact that its machines have overseen several landslide (and contested) victories by President Hugo Chavez and his supporters.  The electronic voting company went from a small technology startup to a market player in just a few years, catapulted by its participation in the August 2004 recall referendum.  Smartmatic has claimed to be of U.S. origin, but its true owners -- probably elite Venezuelans of several political strains -- remain hidden behind a web of holding companies in the Netherlands and Barbados.  The Smartmatic machines used in Venezuela are widely suspected of, though never proven conclusively to be, susceptible to fraud.  The company is thought to be backing out of Venezuelan electoral events, focusing now on other parts of world, including the United States via its subsidiary, Sequoia.  End Summary.

--------------------
Who Owns Smartmatic?
-------------------

2. (C) Smartmatic was founded in the late 90s by three Venezuelans, Antonio Mugica, Alberto Anzola, and Roger Pinate.  According to Mugica's conversations with poloffs in recent years, the three had developed a network capable of handling thousands of simultaneous inputs.  An early application was ATMs in Mexico, but the U.S. presidential election in 2000 led the group to consider electronic voting platforms.  The company formed the SBC consortium with Venezuelan telecom provider CANTV (at the time 28-percent owned by Verizon) and a software company called Bizta. Mugica said Smartmatic held 51-percent of the  consortium, CANTV had 47 percent, and Bizta, 2 percent (ref a).  The latter, also owned by the Smartmatic owners, was  denounced in June 2004 by the press for having received a US$200,000 equity investment from a Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (BRV) joint venture fund called FONCREI; a Chavez campaign adviser was placed on the board as well.  Bizta reimbursed what it called the "loan" when it was made public and shed the Chavista board member.

3. (C) Mugica has told Poloffs on several occasions that Anzola, Pinate, and he are the owners of Smartmatic, though they have a list of about 30 investors who remain anonymous. Jose Antonio Herrera, Anzola's father-in-law (and first cousin to Venezuelan Ambassador to the United States Bernardo Alvarez), told poloff in 2004 the silent partners were mainly upper class Venezuelans, some of whom were staunch Chavez opponents.  There were rumors, however, that Smartmatic's early profits came from  Venezuelan defense contracts supplied by then-Defense Minister Jose Vicente Rangel, whom Chavez later promoted to Vice President.  Perhaps coincidentally, the Vice President's daughter, Gisela Rangel Avalos, was the head of the local corporate registry when Smartmatic was registered, which contributed to allegations of the Vice President's involvement.  These unconfirmed rumors also suggested that one-time Chavez political mentor Luis Miquilena was also a shareholder in the company.

4. (C) Mugica first approached the Embassy in 2004 when the company was bidding at the National Electoral Council (CNE) to provide a completely new electronic voting system.  Mugica pitched Smartmatic as a U.S. company registered in Delaware with offices in Boca Raton, Florida.  In fact, poloffs had several discussions with Mugica in the course of facilitating his L-1 inter-company transfer visa to work in the United States.  Mugica said the company's corporate offices were in Boca Raton, but most of the research staff of some 70 employees remained in Caracas.  Smartmatic essentially purchased its electoral expertise by hiring veteran election observer AMCIT Jorge Tirado and his team of consultants. Tirado served as the interface between Smartmatic and the CNE for several elections.

It only gets better...

In May 2006, Mugica told Poloff Smartmatic's corporate structure had changed (which had come out in press reports during 2005).  Mugica said that Smartmatic was now two different companies under a Dutch holding company.  U.S. setup was essentially the same, with Delaware registry and the Boca Raton accounting office overseeing U.S. operations. Smartmatic acquired the U.S voting machine company Sequoia Voting Systems on March 8, 2005, Mugica reported.  All U.S. election machinery is assembled in New York, he said.  Mugica noted that while their U.S. operations were important, more than half their sales were outside of Venezuela and the United States.  The other Smartmatic company was based in Bridgetown, Barbados, where Mugica said the international sales operation was located.  Most of the manufacturing for their electoral and other electronic machinery was done in China, Mugica said, with some component work also done in Taiwan.  Smartmatic also manufactures some items in Italy through the company Olivetti (which built the original Smartmatic machines for Venezuela).  The research and development shop was still located in Caracas, Mugica noted.

And better...

-----------------
A Shadow of Fraud
-----------------
 
6. (C) Of course, the Venezuelan opposition is convinced that the Smartmatic machines robbed them of victory in the August 2004 referendum.  Since then, there have been at least eight statistical analyses performed on the referendum results. Most of the studies cross-check the results with those of exit polls, the signature drives and previous election results.  One study obtained the data log from the CANTV network and supposedly proved that the Smartmatic machines were bi-directional and in fact showed irregularities in how they reported their results to the CNE central server during the referendum.  (Note:  The most suspicious data point in the Smartmatic system was that the machines contacted the server before printing their results, providing the opportunity, at least, to change the results and defeat the rudimentary checks set up by international observation missions.  Since August 2004, the CNE has not repeated this practice.)  These somewhat conspiratorial reports perhaps serve to breathe life into a defeated opposition, but have never proved conclusively the fraud (refs b and c).

And better...

The Smartmatic machines suffered a major blow, however, when in a test prior to the December 2005 National Assembly elections an opposition technician was able to defeat the machine's allegedly random storage protocols and, therefore, the secrecy of the vote.  The technician took advantage of the fact that the computerized machines used a Windows operating system.  A simple program downloaded from the Internet accessed underlying Windows files created "in order" as the machine processed Smartmatic's "randomizing" software.  Although Smartmatic officials argued convincingly that such controlled results could not be feasibly replicated during a real election (ref d), the opposition parties boycotted.  Abstention rates soared to at least 75 percent and confidence in the CNE among opposition voters plummeted. The disastrous results left Chavez with 100-percent control of the National Assembly, an albatross around the neck of a leader trying to appear democratic.

And even better...

-------------------
At Least Corruption
-------------------
 
8. (C) If Smartmatic can escape the fraud allegation, there is still a corruption question.  Well before Smartmatic, Venezuelan law had dictated that voting ought to be automated to limit fraud -- the U.S. company ES&S and Spanish firm Indra had already sold systems to the electoral body.  When the new pro-Chavez CNE was named in September 2003, however, it immediately set out to replace all existing systems. Declaring the bid process to be an emergency (though there was as yet no referendum scheduled), the CNE bypassed normal procedures and initiated a closed bid process.  Smartmatic won the contract, which totaled at least US$128 million, including the delivery of 20,000 touch-screen voting machines (re-engineered lottery machines) yet to be built.  There were immediate questions about how a virtually unknown company with no electoral experience could have landed such a large contract.  Mugica asserted to poloff that everything was above board, though he conceded the company may have opened itself up to criticism by hiring a former interior vice minister named Morris Loyo to lobby the government.  There were additional allegations of impropriety in October 2005 when the press reported that Smartmatic had paid the bill of CNE President Jorge Rodriguez at an exclusive Boca Raton resort.  The company claimed Rodriguez had reimbursed them for the stay, during which Rodriguez reportedly examined an unspecified electoral system Smartmatic was developing. There were subsequent, unconfirmed rumors that Rodriguez was lobbying for Smartmatic in other countries.

Until we get to the startling conclusion:

Smartmatic is a riddle.  The company came out of nowhere to snatch a multli-million dollar contract in an electoral process that ultimately reaffirmed Chavez' mandate and all-but destroyed his political opposition.  The perspective we have here, after several discussions with Smartmatic, is that the company is de facto Venezuelan and operated by Venezuelans.  The identity of Smartmatic's true owners remains a mystery.  Our best guess is that there are probably several well-known Venezuelan businessmen backing the company who prefer anonymity either because of their political affiliation or, perhaps, because they manage the interests of senior Venezuelan government officials.

This was written in 2006. Since then one can only imagine what fascinating changes have taken place to the org chart of the mysterious "riddle" that is the "de facto Venezuelan" Smartmatic, which emerged out of obscurity to win a top government contract in 2003, prompting the US State Department to ask "how a virtually unknown company with no electoral experience could have landed such a large contract." What is more fascinating is how for so many years, this mysterious company was directly involved in one allegation of election fraud in Venezuela after another (whereby communist dictators Chavez and Maduro won in consecutive "landslides") before it somehow made its way into the US.

Published:11/19/2020 9:05:45 PM
[Markets] FBI Arrests Ponzi Suspect After Daring Escape On Underwater Scooter FBI Arrests Ponzi Suspect After Daring Escape On Underwater Scooter Tyler Durden Thu, 11/19/2020 - 21:20

A fleeing Ponzi scheme suspect is now in custody after a daring escape on a submersible scooter from FBI agents, reported CBS Sacramento.

Court documents, filed with the U.S. Attorney's office said Matthew Piercey, 44, a suspect in a $35 million Ponzi scheme, used a Yamaha Seascooter to evade FBI agents under the surface of Lake Shasta in Shasta County, California, after a high-speed car chase through the Redding area on Monday. 

"Piercey spent some time out of sight underwater where law enforcement could only see bubbles. He remained in the frigid water for approximately 25 minutes. When Piercey finally emerged from the lake, law enforcement discovered that he had a Yamaha 350LI underwater submersible device.

"Law enforcement arrested Piercey at that point, approximately an hour after their initial contact in Redding," Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hales wrote in the filing. 

Piercery's temporary underwater escape was made possible by a Yamaha 350LI Seascooter, able to travel at 130 feet below the surface for 75 minutes with speeds over 3.7 mph. 

Piercery's Yamaha 350LI Seascooter

Piercey has been indicted for operating an alleged $35 million Ponzi scheme through his Family Wealth Legacy and Zolla investment companies. According to Hales, very little investing was being done by the Ponzi suspect: 

"Piercey often paid off his lines of credit, credit cards, and personal and business expenses with investor funds, and his companies did not generate revenue sufficient to cover overhead and expenses while still paying investors the returns they were promised or otherwise led to expect. Piercey entered a pattern of paying old investors lulling payments with new investor funds, while making various false and misleading statements, half-truths, and omissions to raise new money and to hide the constant downward financial spiral," he said. 

Piercey has been under the radar of FBI agents for more than a year. Attorney Josh Kons told CBS Sacramento that his clients are victims in the scheme. 

"You know, you never know what is going through someone's mind when they're being pursued by the FBI," Kons said. "And we kept investigating, and all of a sudden today, here he is trying to escape into a lake, using a submersible device."

Court documents revealed, "few if any, liquid assets remain to repay investors." Piercey faces up to 20 years behind bars for the alleged fraud.

According to CNBC who quoted data from the website Ponzitracker earlier this year, Ponzi schemes in 2019 totaled the highest amount since around the Great Recession. These types of schemes tend to unwind at the end of economic cycles. 

Today's virus-induced recession will likely result in even more Ponzi schemes unwinding. 

Published:11/19/2020 8:34:20 PM
[Markets] Joe Biden Leaves Cannabis Reform Out Of Updated Policy Pledges Joe Biden Leaves Cannabis Reform Out Of Updated Policy Pledges Tyler Durden Thu, 11/19/2020 - 19:00

Authored by John Vibes via TheMindUnleashed.com,

It appears that President-elect Joe Biden may already be falling short on some of his campaign promises. When the Biden campaign released their transition plan, advocates immediately noticed that reform of cannabis laws was not stated in the plan, despite many promises on the campaign trail. While drug law reform and cannabis legalization are not specifically mentioned in the plan, it is possible that these issues could fall under the umbrella of criminal justice reform.

The new page says Biden is working to “strengthen America’s commitment to justice, and reform our criminal justice system” and includes specific measures, such as a ban on police chokeholds and creating a national oversight commission to track law enforcement abuses, but cannabis legalization or decriminalization is mysteriously absent. 

His campaign site, which is still up and running, includes a section titled, “Plan for Black America” where he promises to “decriminalize the use of cannabis and automatically expunge all prior cannabis use convictions.”

The fact that this language was in the pre-election press release but missing from the most recent ones has many activists very concerned.

A Biden campaign spokesman told Marijuana Moment that “Nothing has changed,” and said that Biden has many important policy plans that are not officially listed on the website yet.

Activists have good reason to be concerned that Biden won’t follow through on his promise, considering that he was one of the architects of the drug war and has been against cannabis legalization throughout most of his career.

Despite the changing attitudes towards cannabis legalization, people arrested for cannabis still make up a significant portion of cases that come through the country’s criminal court system.

According to the FBI’s recent Uniform Crime Report, more people were arrested for cannabis possession last year than for all violent crimes put together.

The data showed that 545,602 people were arrested in the US for cannabis-related crimes last year. Meanwhile, just 495,871 people were arrested for violent crimes.

Furthermore, the vast majority of the people who got arrested for cannabis were not accused of selling or trafficking the substance, but just for simple possession. 500,395 of the total cannabis arrests last year, or about 92%, were for possession, which is still more than the number of people who were arrested for violent crimes.

Overall, cannabis arrests have been going down nationwide due to the spread of legalization. Last year, cannabis arrests were down by 18% when compared with 2018.

As suspected, the FBI’s data showed that people were less likely to get arrested for cannabis in states where it was legal or available for medical use, with eastern states seeing far more arrests.

According to the report, roughly 53% of all cannabis arrests last year took place in the northeastern part of the country, where cannabis laws are still catching up with the west.

People of color are also at a greater risk of being targeted for cannabis arrests. According to a report from the ACLU, 2018 data showed that people of color were 3.6 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than white people, despite using the substance at the same rates.

Published:11/19/2020 6:12:41 PM
[Democrats] Feds Bust Cincinnati Dem on Corruption Charges

FBI agents arrested a Democrat serving on Cincinnati's city council Thursday for accepting bribes in exchange for votes, marking the third arrest on the council this year. City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld faces federal corruption charges, and federal attorneys said more charges stemming from bribery relating to development projects are coming. Sittenfeld is set to make ...

The post Feds Bust Cincinnati Dem on Corruption Charges appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:11/19/2020 11:31:27 AM
[Politics] Durham Probe Still Moving Ahead U.S. Attorney John Durham's probe into how the FBI'S Russia probe got started is moving "full steam ahead." Fox News attributed the information to a source familiar with the investigation... Published:11/18/2020 11:14:46 AM
[] The Morning Rant Should the senile half-wit Democrat become president, his incoming administration will be filled with people who hate us. I think all of the government bureaucracies, meaning the FBI, the DOJ, the IRS, etc., will be weaponized against us to such... Published:11/18/2020 10:15:16 AM
[Al Qaeda] Terrorists can’t hide from Israel and couldn’t hide from Trump (Paul Mirengoff) In August of this year, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, also known as Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was shot and killed by motorcycle-riding Israeli agents on the streets of an upscale Tehran suburb. Al-Masri was one of the masterminds behind the deadly 1998 attacks on American embassies in Africa, and was on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorist” list. He was considered al Qaeda’s number two man. Also killed in the attack was al-Masri’s Published:11/17/2020 1:31:47 PM
[Markets] Whose World Order? Whose World Order? Tyler Durden Tue, 11/17/2020 - 00:00

Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Saker blog,

In his Foreign Policy article of April 2020, Biden states that he will reverse Trump’s embarrassing foreign policy record by standing up to both China, Russia and other totalitarian nations which represent the three-fold plague of “authoritarianism, nationalism and illiberalism” and “once more have America lead the world”.

Biden went further promising to undo the harm Trump has done to NATO by re-enforcing the military body, extending its influence to the Pacific (which sounds a lot like the Esper/Pompeo doctrine for the Pacific), and even demanded that NATO go harder on Russia stating that “the Kremlin fears a strong NATO, the most effective political military alliance in modern history.”

Considering Biden’s nearly 45 year political record supporting every military intervention in American history, opposing de-segregation, eulogizing pro-KKK Senator Strom Thurmond, passing bills that incarcerated petty drug dealers for life on behalf of the cheap labor prison industrial complex and supported the rampant growth of both Wall Street, Big Pharma and the Big Tech run surveillance state, we should think twice before celebrating this man’s possible entry into the halls of the highest office in the USA.

Biden’s call for renewing the NATO alliance in opposition to Russia and China, his support for reversing Trump’s calls for military reduction in the Middle East and his support for extending NATO in the Pacific mixed with his lifelong track record, forces us to ask if Glen Greenwald was right when he quit the Intercept on November 1 saying:

“If Biden wins, that’s going to be the power structure: A democratic party fully united with neocons, Bush/Cheney operatives, CIA/FBI/NSA Wall Street and Silicon Valley: presenting itself as the only protection against fascism. And much of the left will continue marching behind it.”

As it turns out, Greenwald’s warning was absolutely on point, as the entire intelligence apparatus, Big Tech and mainstream media complex which worked desperately to oust President Trump for 4 years and is currently running a vast voting fraud operation as this is written has given its full backing to the narrative of “an inevitable of a Biden presidency”.

In a Nov. 11 article from Antiwar.com entitled Biden’s Pentagon Transition Team Members Funded by the Arms Industry, journalist Dave DeCamp demonstrates that of the 23 members of Biden’s Pentagon Transition Team, over one third are directly tied to NATO and the Military Industrial Complex.

As facts continue to emerge of the corrupt deep state structure which totally dominates the geriatric hologram known as Joe Biden, it has become obvious that even the few positive remarks Biden made in support of renewing the START treaty with Russia carry little weight.

Ignoring the very real danger of a new civil war due to the fact that either result will be denied its legitimacy by half of the nation, the question must be asked: If Trump is replaced by a Biden Presidency on January 20th, then what will be the effects both on world stability and US-Russia-China relations?

It is good that Biden supports START’s renewal, but an increasing majority of the nations are opting for a multipolar alliance premised on the defense of national sovereignty, the right to use protectionism, and the construction of large scale megaprojects such as the New Silk Road, Polar Silk Road, advanced space exploration and North South Transportation Corridor.

The very protectionist measures which allowed the USA (and every nation of the world for that matter) to build up their industrial base and economic sovereignty are attacked directly by Biden who demands the “taking down of trade barriers and resisting dangerous global slide toward protectionism” (which he goes so far as to assert without evidence “caused the great depression” and “lead to World War II”).

Attacking Trump for being soft on China’s imperial Belt and Road Initiative which Biden states is only an “outsourcer of pollution to other countries by financing billions of dollars worth of dirty fossil fuel energy projects”, Biden then asks: “who writes the rules that govern trade?” and answers: “the United States, not China, should be leading that effort.”

Beyond carbon reduction plans, and information technology investments (AI, 5G, Quantum Computing), there is very little in Biden’s “development outlook” that brings the USA into harmony with this multipolar consensus. His program to support cutting America’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 as outlined by the Green New Deal and Great Reset crowd at Davos might appear on the surface to be pro-infrastructure, professing to “create 10 million good new jobs”, but the reality on further inspection is very different.

The sorts of large scale BRI-oriented development projects now transforming more than half of the world which is increasingly operating under a completely different non-US dominated banking paradigm, are based on capital intensive heavy industry, the use of fossil fuels and also nuclear power.

Without these energy sources, then the New Silk Road and its’ sister projects could never work (much like Modi’s anti-BRI OSOWOG doppelganger has proven a total failure both scientifically and economically).

The sort of “green energy revolution” which the Davos technocrats running Biden want to impose onto the world might create short term jobs, but once the solar panels and windmills are built, the quality of energy available to nations stupid enough to walk into this cage will forever suffocate their capacity to sustain their populations and growth potential. In short, it is a green mirage obscuring a very ugly design.

In opposition to this depopulation agenda, Trump’s tendency support for space exploration, reviving protectionism to rebuild America’s lost manufacturing and his supporting large scale infrastructure programs in resolving conflict abroad (including his support for building rail in the Arctic, rail in Serbia and Kosovo, nuclear power in South Africa and Poland etc) is certainly synergistic with the multipolar system led by Russia and China and undeniably brings the USA into harmony with its own better traditions.

Additionally, Trump’s defunding of color revolutionary “civil society” groups in Hong Kong and Belarus won him many enemies from both sides of the pro-Soros isle while supporting the concept of national sovereignty which were major steps towards stability and trust-building with nations of the world who demand their sovereignty be respected as outlined in the UN Charter itself.

Compare this with Biden’s statement that we must “stand with Russian civil society which has bravely stood up time and again against President Vladimir Putin’s kleptocratic authoritarian system” and Biden’s call to host “a global summit for democracy” featuring “civil society organizations from around the world that stand on the frontlines of democracy” including “the private sector, technology companies and social media giants.”

These are the same “Big tech, and media giants” that have given their full backing to the imposition of Biden into the Presidency which have also been used to overthrow nationally elected governments in color revolutionary regime change operations for decades. These the same networks that have suppressed all evidence of systemic vote fraud in the American elections of 2020 and are stoking the fires of a potential new civil war and regime change inside the republic itself.

Whatever the case may be, the coming weeks and months will feature fierce battles that will shape the outcome of world history.

Published:11/16/2020 11:20:34 PM
[Markets] Senate Republicans Say They'll Continue Hunter Biden Probe Senate Republicans Say They'll Continue Hunter Biden Probe Tyler Durden Mon, 11/16/2020 - 20:05

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times,

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who headed a Senate investigation into Joe Biden’s family dealings, signaled they will continue their investigations in 2021 after the new Congress is sworn in.

“I’m not going to turn a blind eye” to the recent developments in the investigation, Johnson told The Hill, which claimed there is “limited appetite” among Republicans for a renewal of the probe.

“Tony Bobulinski coming forward, the computer being revealed, the FBI possibly starting an investigation. We had a hard enough time getting what evidence we got to even write a report, and then all of a sudden our report sort of opened up this logjam,” said Johnson, the head of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

He was making a reference to Hunter Biden and James Biden—Joe Biden’s son and brother—and their overseas business dealings that became the subject of scrutiny and big tech censorship last month.

“I’m very confident there are probably more financial transactions that will probably be revealed,” Johnson added to the outlet.

Both Grassley, the head of the Senate Finance Committee, and Johnson have been investigating the Bidens’ business, namely in reference to Hunter’s reportedly lucrative position on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings, which has been long suspected of corruption.

Last month, the New York Post and other news outlets reported on a laptop that allegedly belonged to Hunter Biden, which contained an email from a Burisma advisor that suggested Hunter was trying to set up a meeting for his father when he was the vice president. The Biden campaign denied the meeting ever took place but later qualified that it might have happened in an unofficial capacity.

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) speaks in Washington on Sept. 16, 2020. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo)

Later, Bobulinski told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that he was involved in business deals with the Biden family and met the former vice president on two occasions, pertaining to a deal with a Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-linked company CEFC. Biden’s campaign and Joe Biden have both denied knowing anything about Hunter Biden’s business dealings.

Grassley and Johnson released a report in September saying that the Obama administration ignored “glaring warning signs” when Hunter Biden joined Burisma, a company started by Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky. Zlochevsky is being investigated for corruption by Ukrainian prosecutors and his whereabouts are reportedly unknown.

Hunter Biden, in an interview last year, said his role at Burisma was “poor judgment on my part,” according to ABC, and he asserted he did nothing wrong. “Is that I think that it was poor judgment because I don’t believe now, when I look back on it—I know that there was—did nothing wrong at all.”

Published:11/16/2020 7:12:47 PM
[Markets] Jim Quinn Warns "This Is How Fourth Turnings Roll" Jim Quinn Warns "This Is How Fourth Turnings Roll" Tyler Durden Mon, 11/16/2020 - 18:10

Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

– H.L. Mencken

It’s now almost two weeks since the most crooked, rigged, fraudulent election in U.S. history. The engineered elevation of a handsy, sniffy, senile, empty portal, trojan horse by billionaire oligarchs, their Silicon Valley techno-geek social media censorship police, and the corporate media propaganda mouthpieces looks like it might succeed. Republican cucks like Romney and even the pliable Fox News talking heads have acquiesced to this third attempt during this ongoing coup like obedient lapdogs positioning themselves to profit from doing the bidding of their global oligarch masters.

Make no mistake. There was a master plan implemented by dark forces to steal this election, overriding the will of the American people. The anger of 70 million Americans is perfectly captured in the above quote from Mencken. If Trump and his allies are unable to prove fraud and overturn this sham of an election, myself and millions more will treat the Kamala Harris administration as illegitimate and do everything in our power to resist and insure its failure.

The level of fake news media propaganda about the “most secure fairest election in history”, and the vociferous blatant systematic censorship by Twitter, Facebook, and Google of anyone who dares to question the approved narrative of “a mostly fraud free election” on their social media platforms is all the proof a critical thinking person needs to realize this election was stolen by left wing oligarchs. Trump was too erratic, uncontrollable and resistant to their new world order agenda of climate extremism, population control through fear, communist economics, cash elimination, and ruling through a technocratic Big Brother surveillance state.

Trump, through naivety, foolishness or carelessness, allowed enemies of his administration to wield power and influence for the last four years. He chose swamp creature after swamp creature for key cabinet positions and seemed surprised when they stabbed him in the back. He failed to purge Obama loyalists holding middle level positions in the FBI, CIA, Dept of Defense, and numerous other agencies. They actively worked to subvert everything he tried to accomplish.

The military industrial complex apparatchiks are cackling like hyenas about how they misled him about troop levels in Syria and continue to ignore his orders to bring the troops home from Afghanistan. Obama and his gang of traitorous thieves conspired to bring Trump down before he assumed office and continued for the entire four years, assisted by a feckless mainstream media of faux journalists peddling fake news and disinformation fed to them by the Deep State coup collaborators.

It was creepy Joe Biden who suggested using the Logan Act to entrap General Flynn and derail the Trump presidency before it began. He was part of the plot, along with Obama, Clinton, Comey, Brennan, Clapper, and a myriad of other slimy toadies doing the bidding of their treacherous back-stabbing superiors. Joe Biden, in addition to being a senile old pervert and the father of coke addict son who slept with his dead brother’s wife, is a racist and a traitor to this country.

Along with his dishonorably discharged deviant son and his gold-digging brother, he shook down foreign leaders and sold his influence for millions of dollars. This was all revealed on Hunter’s laptop, and completely memory-holed by Jake Tapper and the contingent of Deep State media hacks pretending to be journalists. Biden was selected by the shadowy billionaires constituting the invisible government, who really run the show, as a pretend viable candidate for president – whose job was to shut up, stay in the basement, and let them do the vote rigging to hand him the presidency. So now Mencken has been proven right once again.

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

– H.L. Mencken

The “resistance”, also known as left-wing Deep State corporate fascists, have been conducting an ongoing coup since before Trump took the oath of office and it has continued through this rigged election. It has been a planned, coordinated and well-funded coup d’état against a duly elected president and the wishes of the American people. The Steele Dossier was a ploy by Hillary Clinton and her minions to undermine Trump. The accusations of Russian collusion were false and promulgated by CNN, MSNBC, NYT and Washington Post because they were active participants in attempting to undermine the Trump presidency, in collusion with Obama, the FBI, CIA and State Dept.

The Mueller investigation was a complete fraud and nothing more than a diversionary tactic from the true criminality of Obama, Clinton, Comey, Clapper and Brennan. The impeachment scheme engineered by pandemic Pelosi and bug-eyed Schiff head was based upon the fact that Joe Biden illegally interfered in the investigation of a foreign country to protect his crackhead son’s multi-million-dollar Burisma scam. It failed so miserably, not a word was spoken about the sham during the election.

Then, like manna from heaven for down in the dumps left wing billionaires, the Wu-flu was released upon the world by Biden’s communist pals in China. With the unemployment rate at 3.5%, the economy growing strongly, the stock market at all-time highs, the failed impeachment farce over, and a Democrat slate of losers, nutjobs, and communists competing for their nomination, Trump was a shoe-in to win re-election.

Hanoi Jane Fonda told the truth shortly before the election, “I just think Covid is God’s gift to the left.” As Obama’s best buddy Rahm Emmanuel once said, the left never lets a good crisis go to waste. The billionaire oligarchs Soros, Bloomberg, Gates, Bezos, Zuckerberg, and Dorsey, along with the Deep State democrats and Never-Trumpers, and their propaganda media mouthpieces hatched a plan to weaponize a flu that has a 99.7% survival rate.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” – H.L. Mencken

The anti-Trump coalition was reinvigorated by the opportunity to use the pandemic to wrestle power away from Trump by any means necessary. Under the cover of Covid, the Constitution was shredded and Democrat governors, mayors and bureaucrat drones in swing states changed the rules of the game to encourage and sanction voter fraud. The fix was in. Even though Americans could “safely” stand in long lines at Wal-Mart, Target, and Home Depot, our left-wing Governors across the land declared it unsafe to vote in person.

They had to save lives by instituting mass mail-in voting with absolutely no safeguards against fraud. Matching signatures was racist. Requiring ID verification was racist. Their voter rolls were filled with dead people and people who had moved years ago. They all received ballots. Biden received 100% of the dead vote. Over the summer, BLM and ANTIFA terrorists were encouraged to “peacefully protest” in large groups while looting and burning left wing run cities in swing states. Looting and rioting was safe, but going to church, school or voting in person was too dangerous.

You could see the plan to dispose of Trump developing as we approached Fall. Soros, Bloomberg, and their ilk poured hundreds of millions into key states to influence the vote, but the real work was being done behind the curtain. Left wing Secretaries of State in the key battleground states were issuing edicts without legislature approval to insure a Biden victory. While Hiden Biden took long naps in his basement bunker, his handlers took care of laying the groundwork for a successful election embezzlement.

When Pelosi wasn’t breaking her own lockdown rules by getting her hair did, she was blocking any bill that would help the economy recover before the election. Fauci, the CDC, and the medical industrial complex Trump haters then pushed the Covid fear into overdrive. They rolled-out mass testing with a faulty PCR test to drive up cases to all-time highs just before the election.

The MSM talking heads then did their part to hyperventilate about the coming mass death event unless sleepy Joe was put in charge. His brilliant plan of more masking and more lockdowns would surely work this time, just like they worked so well in Europe. The billionaire oligarchs propping up their corpse of a candidate understood Mencken’s truths about the ignorance of the masses.

“Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.” – H.L. Mencken

The entire Deep State apparatus was working in coordination to steal this election and override the wishes of the majority of Americans, because they know what is best for our country – government control of every aspect of our lives and a Great Reset to a new world order run by global elite oligarchs.

The hobgoblin of Covid cases has been the cudgel used to beat the masses into submission and invoke fear into those incapable of independent thought, who have been so dumbed down by the government education system they can’t understand the data right in front of their faces. If you conduct a record number of highly faulty tests, you will get a record number of false cases – not sicknesses. Elon Musk took the exact same test four times in one day and tested positive twice and negative twice.

The chart below is so scary if you can’t add, subtract, multiply or divide. The only thing that should matter to people are deaths “FROM” Covid. The fact is only 6% of the 245,000 deaths were from Covid. The other 94% died from something else, while they had Covid. We know the average age of death is 80, higher than the overall average age of death. They should have a death classification of “FROM Cuomo”. We know for a fact 50% of the deaths were in nursing homes where Cuomo, Murphy, Wolf, and Whitmer sentenced senior citizens to death by sending infected patients into the nursing homes.

We know virtually no one under the age of 50 dies from this over-hyped flu, but government school teacher unions refuse to teach children in person. Only 450 deaths between 5 and 24 years old is far less than the annual flu deaths in this age group. Anything to help derail Trump’s re-election chances has been implemented.

Back to the chart. In April the deaths per case was 7%. Two months-ago the deaths per case was 2.1%. Today the deaths per case is 0.8%. For the math challenged, the death rate has plunged by 88% since April. Have you heard that great news from Fredo on CNN or Madcow on MSNBC?  It’s pretty clear approximately 8% of the U.S. population has been infected by this flu. That’s 26 million people. The 245,000 deaths are less than 1%. Shockingly, that is the exact same death rate of the annual flu, as documented by our beloved CDC:

CDC estimates that influenza was associated with more than 35.5 million illnesses, more than 16.5 million medical visits, 490,600 hospitalizations, and 34,200 deaths during the 2018–2019 influenza season.

It’s the flu bro!!!! – And you have a 99.7% chance of not dying from this scary virus.

Does anyone really think it was a coincidence Fauci and Pfizer withheld the results of their vaccination trial until a few days after the election? Do you think that news would have swayed some votes? What I have realized is there are no coincidences. This is all part of the plan. Is it a coincidence that Nancy Pelosi’s former chief of staff is a lobbyist for Dominion or that Feinstein’s husband was a major investor? Is it a coincidence Dominion voting machines were rolled out in every swing state, even though Democrat Senators in December 2019 questioned the security of these machines?

Despite the rigged polls purporting to show a Biden landslide and a blue wave, utilized to depress the Trump vote, and the hundreds of millions spent by the billionaire elitists, it was clear Trump was going to win on election night at 2:00 am. Dorsey and Zuckerberg had been working like madmen during the last week before the election suppressing and censoring the truth about Hunter Biden and the Biden crime family adventures around the globe. But it looked like all that money and effort was going to fail.

Then another non-coincidence occurred in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Wisconsin, as they all simultaneously stopped counting votes for a few hours, when Trump had commanding leads in all four states. Mysteriously, as soon as counting resumed, an avalanche of Biden votes began pouring in. Republican poll watchers were given the boot or not allowed access to witness the vote counting. Machines “accidentally” switched thousands of Trump votes to Biden in Michigan. Bins of votes arrived in the wee hours of the morning under cover of darkness.

Data experts analyzing the vote counts show the chances of such a one-sided distribution in Biden’s favor was mathematically impossible. The results in Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee and Atlanta are skewed so far out of line with the rest of their states and the country, the only explanation is massive fraud. The frantic level of pushback from the corporate media and social media censorship police is proof the claims are true. Trump was right when he said “Bad things happen in Philadelphia”. Was the CIA Hammer program used against Trump? We know the CIA brass hates him. Were the Dominion machines programmed to switch votes from Trump to Biden? We may never find out.

Trump’s only hope at this point is for his lawyers and data analysts to prove this level of fraud occurred. As Mencken profoundly stated:

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.” – H.L. Mencken

I’ve come to the conclusion those who run our government from the shadows are dishonest, insane, intolerable and evil. If the American people allow this coup to succeed and continue to believe the lies they are being told about Covid and the communist agenda of the left, they will deserve to get it good and hard, as Mencken predicted when pondering democracy. Honoring thieves and liars, while detesting those who tell them the truth, is where we find ourselves today.

Those on the verge of gaining power want to rule over you. Freedom, liberty, free speech, and the 2nd Amendment are considered dangerous by these tyrants. These elitists want a global reset where you are nothing but a serf who will be given what they decide and told to shut up and obey. Otherwise they will destroy your ability to earn a living and will publicly shame you. If they can steal the two Georgia senate seats, and they will use any means necessary to do so, they will fundamentally attempt to destroy this country. For those who don’t believe these left-wing communist radicals would ever go as far as they bloviate on social media, heed the words of someone who experienced it first-hand in a gulag.

“All of the Communist Parties, upon attaining power, have become completely merciless. But at the stage before they achieve power, it is necessary to use disguises.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

We have arrived at a key juncture in this Fourth Turning. In my October article Fourth Turning Election Year Crisis I anticipated the current state of affairs.

“I do not believe either side will accept the outcome of the election and will treat the victor as illegitimate. Once that mindset gains control, only violent conflict can result.”

Based on my observations of fraud, I will not consider Biden a legitimate president if he is appointed by the oligarchs in January. If Trump is able to overturn this blatant fraudulent outcome, the left and their BLM and ANTIFA mercenaries will lose their minds – burning, looting, rioting and attacking defenseless white people. The violence kicked off at the Washington DC March for Trump, with the low-life left wing terrorists sucker punching old people, women and families with kids.

When they picked the wrong victim, they got the shit kicked out of them. This was only a prelude to what is coming. As the intensity of hatred between the 70 million Trump supporters and the 70 million AOC, Sanders, Pelosi, Harris, Soros contingent ratchets up to war level, this will become a shooting conflict. Assassination of politicians, bankers, and oligarchs is a likely next step. The intensity of conflict will only ramp up from here.

I’ve been wondering how Trump could be the Grey Champion if he was to lose the election. As he refuses to concede and continues to fight against this election fraud chapter of this four-year long coup, it becomes clear that even if he is forcibly removed from office, he will become the real resistance. This Fourth Turning is resembling our first Civil War. Both sides were led by men from the Prophet generation (Lincoln & Davis), so both could be classified as Grey Champions. Biden is Silent Generation and Harris is Gen X, so Trump remains the Grey Champion.

With his bully pulpit, Twitter account, mass rallies, a potential for TNN (Trump News Network), and 70 million dedicated followers who believe he was robbed, Trump can essentially create an alternative presidency. Every decision or policy from Harris/Biden will be contested by Trump. Imagine the fireworks if he chooses to hold a counter rally in DC on inauguration day. The pussy hat wearing lefties did so in 2017. Paybacks are a bitch.

I see two potential triggers for the coming violent upheaval. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Trump regarding the coordinated election fraud, the left will go berserk, but this time the Trump supporters will fight back. If Trump is unsuccessful and the wizards of fraud are able to steal the two Georgia Senate seats, the left will try to implement their radical takeover of the country by packing the Supreme Court and adding Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. as states.

If they successfully seize power, they have no intention of ever relinquishing it. They will work with their global elite brotherhood to institute their desired global reset. The right will either surrender and accept their fate as slaves or violently fight back. Trump will be provoking conflict and leading the resistance to the illegitimate Harris/Biden regime. Since Harris/Biden is controlled by warmongering statists, one cannot rule out a foreign conflict added to the mix. This civic chaos and global disorder will be exacerbated by the financial collapse caused by the toppling of the global debt Ponzi scheme.

This four-year coup attempt has radicalized millions of liberty-loving, critical thinking people who love their country, but now hate those hijacking their government. We are tired of seeing our country debauched. Good people who are driven to despair and feel they are backed into a corner are dangerous, and heavily armed.

If you are not armed, it is time to do so. Starve the beast. Do business with locals using cash. Reduce your footprint. Get out of debt. Become anti-fragile. Resist every mandate issued by dictatorial politicians and low IQ government drones. Figure out who you can depend upon and know your enemy. Do not associate with anyone who voted for Harris/Biden. Only tough choices await. Mencken’s time for slitting throats seems to be rapidly approaching. This is how Fourth Turnings roll.

“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.” – H.L. Mencken

*  *  *
The corrupt establishment will do anything to suppress sites like the Burning Platform from revealing the truth. The corporate media does this by demonetizing sites like mine by blackballing the site from advertising revenue. If you get value from this site, please keep it running with a donation.

Published:11/16/2020 5:06:08 PM
[Latest News] Jews Top Target of Hate Crimes in 2019

American Jews were the religious group most targeted by hate crimes in 2019, the FBI reported Monday, facing more than 60 percent of anti-religious bias incidents.

The post Jews Top Target of Hate Crimes in 2019 appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:11/16/2020 3:35:40 PM
[Markets] What Is John Brennan So Worried About? What Is John Brennan So Worried About? Tyler Durden Sun, 11/15/2020 - 23:00

Authored by Ray McGovern via ConsortiumNews.com,

Former CIA Director John Brennan is apparently so worried that Donald Trump might release certain classified intelligence that he suggested this week that Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet remove Trump via the 25th amendment.

Brennan appeared this week on both CNN and MSNBC to spread alarm about what Trump might do as he continues to contest the election results and appoints new people at Defense, NSA (and possibly CIA) who may do his bidding. 

Brennan warned on CNN that it was “very, very worrisome” that Trump “is just very unpredictable now … like a cornered cat — tiger. And he’s going to lash out.”

Brennan told MSNBC he was worried that Trump has called for the “wholesale declassification of intelligence in order to further his own political interests.”

Whom would he lash out at and what classified documents might Brennan be referring to?

The CIA’s point man at The Washington Post, David Ignatius, has provided the answer:

“President Trump’s senior military and intelligence officials have been warning him strongly against declassifying information about Russia that his advisers say would compromise sensitive collection methods and anger key allies.

An intense battle over this issue has raged within the administration in the days before and after the Nov. 3 presidential election. Trump and his allies want the information public because they believe it would rebut claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin supported Trump in 2016. That may sound like ancient history, but for Trump it remains ground zero — the moment when his political problems began.”

Protecting “sources and methods” is a red herring. They can be redacted from a classified document. It’s the content of these files that has Brennan extremely nervous as they might reveal Brennan’s role in the Russiagate scandal. Of course, Brennan invoked the old trope of “national security” when it appears it’s his own security he’s worried about.

As we noted at a similar juncture in March 2018 (in “Former CIA Chief Brennan Running Scared”), Brennan’s foremost worry — then, as now — was that Trump was about to expose him to the disgrace that befell ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for malfeasance in connection with Russiagate.

The president had just fired McCabe for repeatedly lying, and Brennan had good reason to worry. That was before the true extent of the roles McCabe, his boss, former FBI Director James Comey, and Brennan played in the WMD-style fabrication of “Russiagate” had became more fully understood.

Brennan landed on his MSNBC perch as a paid commentator on Feb. 2, 2018 and was riding high with adulation from the likes of former UN Ambassador Samantha Power, who publicly warned Trump that it is “not a good idea to piss off John Brennan.”

Even back then, however, storm clouds were gathering. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), who knew much more than he revealed, was warning of legal consequences for Russiagate conspirators.

Referring to the weavers and tailors of Russiagate, Nunes told reporter Sharyl Attkisson on Feb. 18, 2018:

“If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial. The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created.”

Dismissive of such warnings, Brennan accused Trump on May 17, 2018 of “moral turpitude” and predicted, with an alliterative flourish, that he would end up “as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history.” 

As the Russiagate saga has unfolded, however, it has become abundantly clear that there is more than enough moral turpitude to go around. As discussed below, there may be a reasonable hope that documentary evidence — chapter and verse — about Russiagate turpitude will see the light of day if Trump summons the backbone to get unimpeachable evidence into the open.

In my view, this is what seems to have Brennan on tenterhooks.

What Else Did Esper Refuse to Do?

John Brennan in Oval Office, Jan. 4, 2010. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

This is the big question. In the CNN interview, Brennan was not artful enough to disguise what seems to be his major worry. Right after complaining that complacent observers are “missing what is a very, very worrisome development,” the ex-CIA chief added:

“And I think it’s quite apparent from reporting that Mark Esper has stood up to Donald Trump repeatedly. Who knows what else has he [‘terminated’ Secretary of Defense Esper] refused to do?”

(For one thing, according to Politico, Esper clashed with Trump over pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.)

Brennan added:

“Who knows what [freshly appointed Acting Secretary of Defense] Chris Miller is going to do if Donald Trump does give some kind of order that really is counter to what I think our national security interests need to be?”

There are abundant — and disquieting (to Brennan) — clues to this, in the events unfolding over the past several days.

For starters, there is the role Ignatius (as close to Brennan as a Siamese twin) played in setting an unusually transparent table to interpret Brennan’s CNN interview the morning after — curiously, without mentioning the interview itself.

(Yes, this is the same David Ignatius who reported on the leaked, late-Dec. 2016 telephone conversation between Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Gen. Michael Flynn, which was used to trap Flynn and, if possible, put him in prison. After all, Flynn was a major threat. He knew — or would have been able to find out — where most of the Russiagate bodies were buried. It was imperative that he be removed quickly from his position as Trump’s national security adviser.)

Here are Ignatius’s main points:

  • Senior military and intelligence officials have been warning Trump against declassifying information about Russia that would compromise sensitive collection methods and anger allies.

  • Trump wants the information out “because he thinks it would rebut claims that Putin supported Trump in 2016 — how his political problems began.”

  • CIA Director Gina Haspel is against release; said to be determined to “protect sources and methods.”

  • NSA Director Gen. Paul Nakasone directly opposed White House efforts to release the information.

  • Defense Secretary Mark Esper — just “terminated” on Monday — supported Nakasone’s view, warning of “harm to national security and specific harm to the military.”

  • Christopher Miller is named to replace Esper.

  • Michael Ellis, former chief counsel to Nunes, has just been installed as general counsel at NSA.

Nunes: Out From Under the Bus?

After being “thrown under the bus” by Trump more than once in his attempts to expose the crimes of Russiagate, Nunes may now harbor some hope that his patience and loyalty will be rewarded after all. In October Trump ordered Russiagate documents declassified and nothing happened. The next few weeks will tell. The omens are better than before.

Not only will Ellis be general counsel at NSA, reportedly over the objections of Gen. Nakasone, but Kashyap Patel, a longtime Russiagate skeptic and former Nunes aide on the House Intelligence Committee, is replacing Esper’s chief of staff at the Pentagon. Patel is said to already have a “very close” working relationship with Miller, the acting defense secretary.  (And rumors persist that Haspel’s ouster is next.) 

In addition, former National Security Council official Ezra Cohen-Watnick has been named acting undersecretary of defense for intelligence. Cohen-Watnick not only reaps close ties to Nunes; he was also a top aide to Flynn during the latter’s abbreviated tenure as national security adviser.

Have these folks been appointed to help start a new war? They seem better placed to try to finish an old one — namely, Russiagate. They would certainly be well placed to execute a Trump order to declassify and release R-gate-related documents that have been Waiting for Godot.

This sends shivers up the spines of those with much to fear from such disclosures. At the same time, the formidable ability of the bureaucracy to resist is well known to all concerned.

Esper Slow-Walked Out the Door

Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the Pentagon, July 29, 2020. (DoD, Chad J.McNeeley)

It appears Esper may have been slow-walking a White House request to release information gathered and stored by the National Security Agency, which could document what Trump calls the “hoax” of Russiagate, and the criminal behavior of its perpetrators — including the role prime mover Brennan may have had.

It may be hard to believe, but the NSA intercepts and stores every electronic communication. All Trump has to do is to have newly appointed acting Pentagon chief Miller order Gen. Nakasone to release materials spelling out chapter and verse on the Russiagate operations orchestrated by Brennan, Comey, and ex-National Intelligence Director James Clapper. Nakasone reports to the secretary of defense.

Don’t be misled; virtually all of it can be released with ZERO danger to intelligence “sources and methods.” But release won’t happen if Trump continues to just whine to Fox News, or he “authorizes” release without follow-up (he’s already done that — to no effect).

What Brennan seems to fear is that it might dawn on Trump that he lost the election and has little time left to act. As a lame-duck he might want to go out with a flourish: revenge against the intelligence establishment that undermined him for four years with its Russiagate fable.

Trump might awake one day to find that someone has scrawled on his mirror, “Hey, I thought YOU were the president.” At that point, there would be an outside chance he might act like one, and Brennan and co-conspirators might find themselves going the way of McCabe.

In such circumstances, establishment media can be expected to make a Herculean effort to suppress the (highly embarrassing, including for the media) truth about Russiagate.

It certainly did an amazingly effective job suppressing “Huntergate.” Odds are they could succeed this time around too.

Like those huge banks ten years ago, Russiagate may be too-big-to-fail. But, at least, the documentary evidence would be out there for those who “can handle the truth” — and for future historians with some courage. This is not about the election, which has been decided. But about putting on the record intelligence interference in the last election and subsequent administration, so that future agencies might think twice about doing it again.

By finally ordering the release of such documents, sanitized in those few cases in which it might be necessary, Trump may enable anyone opened minded about Russiagate to be informed in a documented way, about what actually happened during that long-lingering, dark chapter of our recent history.

And, in the process, Russiagaters might be able to overcome their instinctual reluctance to accept the pernicious nature of the National Security State. And that would be for the best.

*  *  *

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Published:11/15/2020 9:56:11 PM
[Markets] Watch: CNN Host Compares Trump's Presidency To Nazi Purge Of Jews Watch: CNN Host Compares Trump's Presidency To Nazi Purge Of Jews Tyler Durden Fri, 11/13/2020 - 15:00

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

CNN’s anti-Trump derangement propaganda reached new heights Thursday, with a segment in which Chief International Anchor Christiane Amanpour directly compared the President’s first term with an infamous Nazi crackdown operation.

Amanpour announced that she was remembering Kristallnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”) a 1938 Nazi effort to purge the Fascist German nation of Jewish culture.

“This week, 82 years ago, Kristallnacht happened; it was the Nazis’ warning shot across the bow of our human civilization that led to genocide against a whole identity,” Amanpour declared, before stating that Trump’s presidency is the modern day equivalent.

During the Kristallnacht, Nazis destroyed hundreds of synagogues, burned and desecrated Jewish religious artifacts, ransacked thousands of Jewish businesses, homes, and schools, and rounded up thousands of Jews to be sent to death camps.

The event was essentially the beginning of the holocaust.

Depection of Nazi book burning: Prisma/UIG/Getty Images

While showing footage of Nazis burning books, Amanpour proclaimed “that tower of burning books, it led to an attack on fact, knowledge, history and truth… After four years of a modern-day assault on those same values by Donald Trump, the Biden/Harris team pledges a return to norms, including the truth.”

Watch:

Amanpour is the same CNN host who last year suggested that the FBI could arrest anyone chasing ‘lock her up’ at a Trump rally, and charge them with ‘hate speech’.

Earlier this year, Amanpour also gave a platform to an Iranian government official who once said that she wouldn’t hesitate to shoot American hostages in the head.

The host’s appalling comparison of Trump’s tenure to Nazi Germany elicited widespread backlash, but it isn’t out of character for Trump’s political opponents, including Joe Biden, who have spent the past year and more making similar comparisons.

Published:11/13/2020 2:01:29 PM
[Markets] Hunter Biden Emails Labeled "Russian Disinformation" - Yet There's Still No Evidence Hunter Biden Emails Labeled "Russian Disinformation" - Yet There's Still No Evidence Tyler Durden Fri, 11/13/2020 - 09:45

Authored by Glenn Greenwald via greenwald.substack.com

Congressman Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and, not coincidentally, the single most shameless pathological liar in the U.S. Congress by a good margin, appeared on CNN with Wolf Blitzer on October 16 to discuss The New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s emails. The CNN host asked him a rhetorical question embedded with baseless assumptions: “does it surprise you at all that this information Rudy Giuliani is peddling very well could be connected to some sort of Russian government disinformation campaign?”

Schiff stated definitively that it is: “we know that this whole smear on Joe Biden comes from the Kremlin,” adding: “clearly, the origins of this whole smear are from the Kremlin, and the President is only too happy to have Kremlin help in amplifying it.” Referencing Trump’s promotion of The New York Post reporting while at his White House desk, Schiff said: “there it is in the Oval Office: another wonderful propaganda coup for Vladimir Putin, seeing the President of the United States holding up a newspaper promoting Kremlin propaganda.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-WA), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Oct. 16, 2020

Schiff, as he usually does when he moves his mouth, was lying: exploiting CNN’s notorious willingness to allow Democratic officials to spread disinformation over its airwaves without the slightest challenge. Schiff claimed certainty about something for which there was and still is no evidence: that the Russians played a role in the procurement and publication of the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop.

As he also usually does when he publicly lies, Schiff was merely echoing the propaganda of current and former operatives of the CIA and other arms of the intelligence community who abuse their power to interfere in U.S. domestic politics: the very factions over which the Intelligence Committee run by Schiff is supposed to exercise oversight supervision, not serve as their parrot. During the same week as Schiff’s CNN appearance, as Politico reported, “more than 50 former senior intelligence officials signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails allegedly belonging to Joe Biden’s son ‘has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.’”

In that letter from intelligence operatives about The New York Post story — signed by Obama’s former CIA chief John Brennan now of MSNBC (repeatedly caught lying), Obama’s former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper now of CNN (who got caught lying to the Senate about NSA domestic spying), Bush’s former NSA and CIA chief Micheal Hayden now of CNN (who served during 9/11 and the Iraq War), and dozens of other similar professional disinformation agents — the intelligence operatives announced “our view that the Russians are involved in the Hunter Biden email issue,” adding “that our experience makes us deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case.”

With these ex-CIA officials and their servant Adam Schiff disseminating this narrative into U.S. public, both the Biden campaign and their captive media outlets began asserting this rank speculation as truth. They did so despite the fact that even the intelligence officials were cautious enough to acknowledge: “We want to emphasize that … we do not have evidence of Russian involvement” — a rather crucial fact that numerous outlets omitted when laundering this CIA propaganda and which the Biden campaign and Adam Schiff completely ignored when treating the claims as proven truth.

Letter from 50 former intelligence officials about The New York Post reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop, Oct. 19, 2020

The Biden campaign immediately embraced this evidence-free claim about Russia from Schiff and the intelligence community to justify its refusal to answer questions about the revelations from this reporting. “I think we need to be very, very clear that what he's doing here is amplifying Russian misinformation," said Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield when asked about the possibility that Trump would cite the Hunter emails at the last presidential debate. Biden’s senior advisor Symone Sanders similarly warned on MSNBC: “if the president decides to amplify these latest smears against the vice president and his only living son, that is Russian disinformation."

Far worse were the numerous media outlets that spread this evidence-free claim of Kremlin involvement in lieu of reporting on the contents of the emails. Just watch how CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell purported to “report” on this story — an emphasis on the Russian origins of the materials, featuring a former “FBI operative” who admitted he had no evidence for the speculation CBS nonetheless aired, all with no mention of the serious questions raised by the revelations themselves:

As I noted when I announced my resignation from The Intercept, a major reason I harbored so much cynicism and scorn for their claim that my story on the Hunter Biden emails had failed to meet their high-minded, rigorous editorial and fact-checking scrutiny was because that same publication was just was one of the many anti-Trump news outlets which, in the name of manipulating the outcome of the election on behalf of the Democratic Party, had mindlessly laundered the CIA/Schiff narrative without the slightest adversarial skepticism or, worse, without a whiff of evidence.

Just one week before they refused to publish my own article, they published this remarkable disinformation, featuring an utterly reckless paragraph that was nothing more than stenographic servitude to the intelligence community and Adam Schiff. Just marvel at what was approved by the fastidious editorial and fact-checking machinery of that “adversarial” publication concerning claims by ex-CIA operatives:

Their latest falsehood once again involves Biden, Ukraine, and a laptop mysteriously discovered in a computer repair shop and passed to the New York Post, thanks to Trump crony Rudy Giuliani. The New York Post story was so rancid that at least one reporter refused to put his byline on it. The U.S. intelligence community had previously warned the White House that Giuliani has been the target of a Russian intelligence operation to disseminate disinformation about Biden, and the FBI has been investigating whether the strange story about the Biden laptop is part of a Russian disinformation campaign. This week, a group of former intelligence officials issued a letter saying that the Giuliani laptop story has the classic trademarks of Russian disinformation.

Numerous other media outlets disseminated the same CIA propaganda — including The Economist (“Marc Polymeropoulos, the CIA’s former acting chief of operations for the Europe and Eurasia Mission Centre…notes that ‘the use of actual material is a hallmark of Russian disinformation campaigns’”) and (needless to say) MSNBC’s Joy Reid program (“Hunter Biden story an ‘obvious Russian plot’ McFaul believes”).

Now that this disinformation campaign has done its job — allowing Biden to get past the election without having to answer any real questions about those emails and his family’s work in Ukraine and China — the truth has emerged that there is not, and never was, any evidence for the disinformation that these materials came from the Kremlin. Some media outlets, though not all, have at least had the integrity to admit this, now that it no longer matters.

“Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Monday that recently published emails purporting to document the business dealings of Hunter Biden are not connected to a Russian disinformation effort,” USA Today acknowledged. "Hunter Biden's laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign," Ratcliffe added.

On October 20, the FBI sent a letter to Sen. Ron Johnson — in response to his request for any information showing Kremlin involvement in the New York Post story — in which they, too, made clear they were not aware of any such evidence:

The FBI is the primary investigative agency responsible for the integrity and security of the 2020 election, and as such, we are focused on an array of threats, including the threat of malign foreign influence operations. Regarding the subject of your letter, we have nothing to add at this time to the October 19th public statement by the Director of National Intelligence about the available actionable intelligence. If actionable intelligence is developed, the FBI in consultation with the Intelligence Community will evaluate the need to provide defensive briefings to you and the Committee pursuant to the established notification framework.

Numerous outlets which had originally noted suspicions of Kremlin involvement and and an FBI investigation to determine possible Russian responsibility ultimately updated their stories or published new articles noting the FBI’s admission (though The Intercept never did: its story about Kremlin involvement stands).

In The Washington Post, Thomas Rid wrote this Hall of Fame sentence: “We must treat the Hunter Biden leaks as if they were a foreign intelligence operation — even if they probably aren't.” As The New York Times columnist Ross Douthat summarized: “At this point we can posit with some certainty that The Post’s story was not some sort of sweeping Russian disinformation plot but a more normal example of late-dropping opposition research, filtered through a partisan lens and a tabloid sensibility, weaving genuine facts into contestable conclusions.”

The pronouncements of DNI Ratcliffe and the FBI should no more be treated as gospel than the accusations of Kremlin involvement by Adam Schiff, John Brennan and their CIA friends. But that is exactly what the bulk of the U.S. media did with the obvious goal of shielding Joe Biden from questions about the revelations in the emails of his son: they deceived Americans into believing that the whole story was a Kremlin “disinformation” plot and therefore should be ignored.

Whatever else is true about this whole sordid affair, no evidence has emerged — none — that the Russians have played any role in any of this. It is of course possible that one day such evidence may be found of involvement by the Russians — or the Chinese, or the Iranians, or the Venezuelans, or the Saudis, or any other state or non-state actor your imagination might conjure. One cannot prove the negative that this did not happen.

But journalism, in its minimally healthy form, requires evidence before spreading inflammatory accusations about a nuclear-armed power and, even more so, speculation designed to discredit evidence of possible misconduct by the front-running candidate for the U.S. presidency. But here we have yet another case where purported news outlets — knowing that there is no price to pay professionally or reputationally for publishing evidence-free intelligence agency propaganda as long as it benefits the Party and advances the ideology which they all embrace — casually spread disinformation without the slightest evidentiary basis.

Yet again we find that the most prolific propagators of Fake News and disinformation are not the enemies of the mainstream U.S. media. It is the mainstream U.S. media itself that deceives, propagandizes and spreads disinformation on behalf of the coalition of the intelligence community and the Democratic Party far more than any other faction or entity.

Where is the evidence that Russia was involved in this New York Post story? And how can media outlets who endorsed and spread this and now refuse any self-critique expect anything but distrust and scorn from the public when they do this?

Published:11/13/2020 8:58:37 AM
[537b3394-69ee-53d9-a258-df14bafe1428] Gregg Jarrett: In Russia hoax probe, fired FBI Deputy Director McCabe gives ludicrous defense of misconduct It's hard to think of anyone who did more sustained damage to the FBI than McCabe Published:11/10/2020 8:20:40 PM
[Markets] "Shredding The Fabric Of Our Democracy": Biden Aide Signals Push For Greater Internet Censorship "Shredding The Fabric Of Our Democracy": Biden Aide Signals Push For Greater Internet Censorship Tyler Durden Tue, 11/10/2020 - 20:05

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

We have been discussing the calls for top Democrats for increased private censorship on social media and the Internet.  President-elect Joe Biden has himself called for such censorship, including blocking President Donald Trump’s criticism of mail-in voting. Now, shortly after the election, one of Biden’s top aides is ramping up calls for a crackdown on Facebook for allowing Facebook users to read views that he considers misleading — users who signed up to hear from these individuals. 

Bill Russo, a deputy communications director on Biden’s campaign press team, tweeted late Monday that Facebook “is shredding the fabric of our democracy” by allowing such views to be shared freely.

Russo tweeted that “If you thought disinformation on Facebook was a problem during our election, just wait until you see how it is shredding the fabric of our democracy in the days after.” Russo objected to the fact that, unlike Twitter, Facebook did not move against statements that he and the campaign viewed as “misleading.” He concluded. “We pleaded with Facebook for over a year to be serious about these problems. They have not. Our democracy is on the line. We need answers.”

For those of us in the free speech community, these threats are chilling. We saw incredible abuses before the election in Twitter barring access to a true story in the New York Post about Hunter Biden and his alleged global influence peddling scheme. Notably, no one in the Biden camp (including Biden himself) thought that it was a threat to our democracy to have Twitter block the story (while later admitting that it was a mistake).

I have previously objected to such regulation of speech. What is most disturbing is how liberals have embraced censorship and even declared that “China was right” on Internet controls. Many Democrats have fallen back on the false narrative that the First Amendment does not regulate private companies so this is not an attack on free speech. Free speech is a human right that is not solely based or exclusively defined by the First Amendment.  Censorship by Internet companies is a “Little Brother” threat long discussed by free speech advocates.  Some may willingly embrace corporate speech controls but it is still a denial of free speech.

This is why I recently described myself as an Internet Originalist:

The alternative is “internet originalism” — no censorship. If social media companies returned to their original roles, there would be no slippery slope of political bias or opportunism; they would assume the same status as telephone companies. We do not need companies to protect us from harmful or “misleading” thoughts. The solution to bad speech is more speech, not approved speech.

If Pelosi demanded that Verizon or Sprint interrupt calls to stop people saying false or misleading things, the public would be outraged. Twitter serves the same communicative function between consenting parties; it simply allows thousands of people to participate in such digital exchanges. Those people do not sign up to exchange thoughts only to have Dorsey or some other internet overlord monitor their conversations and “protect” them from errant or harmful thoughts.

Russo’s comments mirror the comments of other Democrats who are seeking greater censorship. Indeed, in the recent Senate hearing on Twitter’s suppression of the Biden story, Democratic senators ignored the admissions of Big Tech CEOs that they were wrong to bar the story and, instead, insisted that the CEOs pledge to substantially increase such censorship. Senator Jacky Rosen warned the CEOS that “you are not doing enough” to prevent “disinformation, conspiracy theories and hate speech on your platforms.”

Again, as someone raised in a deeply liberal and Democratic family in Chicago, I do not know when the Democratic party became the party for censorship. However, limiting free speech is now a rallying cry for Democratic members and activists alike. At risk is the single greatest invention for free speech since the printing press.  Russo’s comments reaffirms that the Biden Administration will continue this assault against Internet free speech.  What is most unnerving is that Russo is denouncing such free speech as “shredding the fabric of our democracy.” There was a time when free speech was the very right that we fought to protect in our democratic system.  It was one of the defining principles of our Constitution system. It is now being treated as a threat to that system.

Published:11/10/2020 7:18:46 PM
[] Ted Cruz Curb Stomps Andrew McCabe, Uses Obama Lackey Ben Rhodes for the Coup de Grâce Published:11/10/2020 6:47:35 PM
[Law] McCabe Says He Would Not Have Signed Carter Page Spy Warrant Given Recent Revelations

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told a Senate committee on Tuesday that he would not have signed an application for a warrant to surveil... Read More

The post McCabe Says He Would Not Have Signed Carter Page Spy Warrant Given Recent Revelations appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:11/10/2020 6:17:21 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Ted Cruz GRILLS Andrew McCabe over Logan Act investigation of Flynn Ted Cruz grilled Obama’s former deputy director of the FBI before the Senate Judiciary Committee on his investigation of General Flynn over the Logan Act today: Sen. @TedCruz to McCabe: "Biden… is . . . Published:11/10/2020 4:48:56 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Ted Cruz GRILLS Andrew McCabe over Logan Act investigation of Flynn Ted Cruz grilled Obama’s former deputy director of the FBI before the Senate Judiciary Committee on his investigation of General Flynn over the Logan Act today: Sen. @TedCruz to McCabe: "Biden… is . . . Published:11/10/2020 4:48:56 PM
[In The News] McCabe Says He Would Not Have Signed Carter Page Spy Warrant Given Recent Revelations

By Chuck Ross -

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told a Senate committee on Tuesday that he would not have signed an application for a warrant to surveil a former Trump campaign aide had he known it contained inaccurate information. “If you knew then what you know now, would you have signed the warrant application in June 2017 …

McCabe Says He Would Not Have Signed Carter Page Spy Warrant Given Recent Revelations is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:11/10/2020 12:11:09 PM
[Markets] Donald Trump Jr: "Declassify Everything"... Donald Trump Jr: "Declassify Everything"... Tyler Durden Mon, 11/09/2020 - 12:20

Authored by 'sundance' via TheConservativeTreehouse.com,

Amid all of the election ramifications and discussions, Donald Trump Jr. outlined a thought today that has likely been on the mind of many, myself included.

I have spent a great deal of time thinking about this since the media began their insufferable onslaught and “president-elect Biden” narrative.  The time has long past for President Trump to fully demand his executive cabinet members declassify the evidence outlining intrusive government surveillance upon not only himself, but all Americans.

CTH has a rather unique perspective on the declassification angle. This conversation has traveled with me for over two years as I have talked to people inside the machinery. Ultimately the discussion ends around something like this:

Is the DC political surveillance state, and all of the ramifications within that reality, so fundamentally corrupt and against our nation’s interests, that no entity dare expose the scope and depth of it?  And ultimately… is it the preservation of institutions that is causing so many disconnected outcomes from evidence intentionally downplayed?

If we assume the scale of unconstitutional conduct has become systemic, that likely answers the questions.  Personally, I believe this is the most likely scenario.

“Likely” meaning the entire apparatus, DOJ, FBI, Legislative Oversight and the Intelligence Community (IC), is now so enmeshed within this corrupt out-of-control state that no-one, even the good guys, is willing to expose it because the institutional collapse would be devastating.

This is what I would call the Biggest of the Big Ugly.

This catastrophic outcome, in combination with DC having made the system the primary source of their income, is what unites the Republicans and Democrats to stop anyone from exposing it.  Once any elected official goes inside this system, they end up serving it.

All of that said, I have previously outlined a pre-election process for President Trump to declassify information that would lay the system naked to We The People. 

However, I don’t think post-election this will work, because the executive branch cabinet officers will refuse to support it.  The enemies inside the gate will protect DC.

*  *  *

[OCTOBER 2020]

Understanding the ordinary process of declassifying documents is a request and authorization to the executive officers and stakeholders of classified information; and understanding the current authorization is is not ordinary because the intelligence community stakeholders are adverse to the interests of the office of the president; here is a process to cut through the chaff and countermeasures.

The background here is that any unilateral declassification request, demand or authorization by President Trump puts him opposition to a variety of corrupt interests.

As a direct result the executive office of the president will be facing legal action, likely from unified democrats and republicans in the legislative branch.  With that accepted, here is the most strategic approach.

In anticipation of litigation:

President Trump informs the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, that he wishes to have a full intelligence briefing on the following documents (more may be added), all documents are to be presented without a single redaction:

  • All versions of the Carter Page FISA applications (DOJ) (FBI) (ODNI).

  • All of the Bruce Ohr 302’s filled out by the FBI. (FBI) (ODNI)

  • All of Bruce Ohr’s emails (FBI) (DOJ) (CIA) (ODNI)

  • All relevant documents pertaining to the supportive material within the FISA application. (FBI) (DOJ-NSD ) (DoS) (CIA) (DNI) (NSA) (ODNI);

  • All supportive documents and material provided by Bruce Ohr to the FBI. (FBI)

  • All intelligence documents that were presented to the Gang of Eight in 2016 that pertain to the FISA application used against U.S. person Carter Page; including all intelligence documents that may not have been presented to the FISA Court. (CIA) (FBI) (DOJ) (ODNI) (DoS) (NSA)

  • All unredacted text messages and email content between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok on all devices. (FBI) (DOJ) (DOJ-NSD) (ODNI)

  • The originating CIA “EC” or two-page electronic communication from former FBI Agent Peter Strzok: and all communication between former CIA Director John Brennan and FBI Director James Comey that started Operation Crossfire Hurricane in July 2016. (CIA) (FBI) (ODNI)

  • The full and unredacted April 2017 FISA court 99-page opinion written by Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer outlining the compliance audit conducted by the NSA in 2016. (NSA) (ODNI) (DOJ) (FBI) (DOJ-NSD)

  • ADD TO THIS – Everything and Anything related to contracts, vendors, services and the intelligence apparatus connected to the 2020 United States election.

The President selects a date for this briefing and through direct orders to his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, informs the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, to advise and coordinate with all executive branch lead intelligence officials, who were/are stakeholders in the compartmented intelligence products as described above, of their request be present for the briefing.

The White House counsel’s office is not to be informed of the intent or purpose of the meeting; however the Presidents’ White House counsel is requested to attend. Further, all of the compartmented intelligence is to be collectively assembled by the ODNI (Ratcliffe) into one volume of a singular Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB). There are to be eighteen printed copies of the PDB assembled and secured for the briefing, post haste.

Additionally, the office of the president personally informs the ODNI (Ratcliffe) of the executives’ request to invite for the briefing each member of the legislative branch Intelligence Community oversight known as the Gang-of-Eight.

Immediately after the briefing by the executive level (cabinet) department officials, while remaining in a closed and classified session, the full and comprehensive content of this collective intelligence product will be discussed with the full assembly of the U.S. Legislative Branch Intelligence Oversight known as the Gang of Eight.

Therefore, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien is instructed to coordinate with the ODNI (Ratcliffe) for the attendance of the Gang of Eight: Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, HPSCI Chairman Adam Schiff, HPSCI Ranking Member Devin Nunes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, SSCI Chairman Richard Burr and SSCI Vice-Chair Mark Warner. [Topic “TBD”]

In order to facilitate the briefing. Each member of the participating group will be provided with one full printed copy of the material assembled by the ODNI during the briefing.

[Each of the participants carries the prerequisite clearances, legal and constitutional authority to engage with the classified document according to their position and status. Only the executive can assemble the product for Go8 review and feedback]

At the conclusion of the briefing; and after hearing from, and engagement with, each of the participating members of the executive intelligence offices and duly authorized legislative oversight representatives; and after listening to their opinion as to the subject material discussed; the president announces to the fully assembled leadership of both the Executive branch (cabinet) and Legislative branch (Go8), it is his opinion the National Interests of the United States can best be served with the American people having a full, transparent and honest review of the material assembled and discussed.

The President, no-one else, only the President, then collects the printed portfolios as they were distributed to the participants, exits the briefing, and walks directly into the James Brady press briefing room within the White House; handing each of the awaiting twelve members of the national media a copy of the briefing material to be published on behalf of the American people.

At exactly the same time as President Trump enters the briefing room, one copy of the assembled portfolio is hand delivered, by President Trump only, to White House communications director Alyssa Farah with instructions to scan and release the content to the public through the White House website.

Done.

The American people are aware...

The system will now turn immediately to destroy Donald J Trump...

...while we show up en-masse to support him.

Published:11/9/2020 11:32:49 AM
[Government] A QAnon supporter is headed to Congress Marjorie Taylor Greene’s win in a Georgia House race means that QAnon is headed to Capitol Hill. Greene openly supports the complex, outlandish conspiracy theory, which posits that President Trump is waging a secret war against a shadowy group of elites who engage in child sex trafficking, among other far-fetched claims. The FBI identified QAnon […] Published:11/3/2020 10:59:27 PM
[] San Marcos police say the Biden-Harris staffer's car may have been at fault in Trump caravan incident Published:11/2/2020 5:40:18 PM
[Markets] Turley: The Case For Internet Originalism Turley: The Case For Internet Originalism Tyler Durden Mon, 11/02/2020 - 18:40

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Below is my column in The Hill on Twitter’s adoption of a “living Internet” approach to censorship policies. Notably, at the recent hearing before the Senate, Democratic Senators demanded more censorship despite the Big Tech CEOs admitting that the blocking of the Hunter Biden story was a mistake.

Twitter and Facebook responded within days with new attacks on free speech in barring conservative viewpoints from a Republican women’s group and one of the highest Trump Administration officials.

Here is the column:

Twitter finally lifted its suspension of the New York Post over its reporting on the laptop of Hunter Biden. The decision came two weeks after both Twitter and Facebook barred access to the story about his emails that appeared to reveal influence peddling and contradicted past statements of former Vice President Joe Biden. Twitter now admits there was no evidence that the emails were fabricated or were the product of Russian disinformation, a conclusion confirmed by both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the director of national intelligence.

Rather than apologize for its error, however, the company cited a curiously familiar argument to excuse its decision: Its policies are “living documents” subject to continual change. That sounds like an internet version of the “living Constitution” theory used by jurists such as the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to continually update the meaning of the Constitution. Twitter’s claim should turn every citizen into a strict “internet originalist.” Before addressing the “Living Twitter” theory, a few established facts on the story should be noted.

  • The Bidens have not denied that these were, in fact, Hunter Biden’s laptop and his emails.

  • Second, various senders and recipients of the emails have confirmed that they are real emails.

  • Third, not only was the laptop subpoenaed last year by the FBI in an investigation into money-laundering, but the FBI has confirmed that the investigation involving the emails — including Hunter Biden’s involvement — remains ongoing.

  • Finally, a former business associate has asserted that Joe Biden’s past denials of knowledge or involvement in his family’s business dealings are “lies” and has shared his allegations with the FBI, under criminal penalty for making any false statements.

There is no evidence that the laptop or emails are false. Indeed, the only obvious “disinformation” about this story has come from Joe Biden and his allies. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, for example, stated that the entire story was Russian disinformation, a claim repeated by Biden this week. In reality, Twitter and Facebook tried to bury a story by the New York Post that appears to be accurate regarding the source and the content of the emails.

After dropping its suggestion of Russian disinformation, Twitter claimed the underlying material appeared to be hacked material — a claim ridiculous on its face, since the Post’s article was based on the contents of an abandoned laptop. Now the social media company is adopting a claim that its policies should be read like a living Constitution:

“Our policies are living documents. We’re willing to update and adjust them when we encounter new scenarios or receive important feedback from the public.”

It is precisely the type of argument that would drive the late Justice Antonin Scalia to distraction. Scalia rejected this approach to constitutional interpretation as little more than opportunism to change the meaning of rights without having to ask the consent of citizens through amendments:

“You would have to be an idiot to believe that; the Constitution is not a living organism; it is a legal document. It says something and doesn’t say other things … .”

That is a view shared by newly sworn Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who recently testified that

“I interpret the Constitution as a law. That I interpret its text as text. I understand it to have the meaning that it had at the time people ratified it. So that meaning doesn’t change over time, and it isn’t up to me to update or infuse my own policy views into it.”

I am not a constitutional originalist, but I am an internet originalist. The internet was originally the greatest single advancement in free speech since the printing press. It was an open, free platform for speech that united the world. Not surprising, it also was a threat to authoritarian countries and figures who have struggled to control and censor the sharing of information and viewpoints. Originally, Twitter was the ultimate expression of those free speech values, as individuals associated with others to share instant observations and experiences.

Yet, the original free use of the internet has come into increasing conflict with liberal politicians who demand that social media companies actively prevent people from sharing information they deem to be false or misleading. Joe Biden has demanded that these companies block postings linking mail voting to fraud; Democratic leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have threatened punitive legislation if the companies do not censor groups accused of spreading false information.

In this week’s Senate hearing on Twitter’s suppression of the Biden story, Democratic senators ignored the admissions of Big Tech CEOs that they were wrong to bar the story and, instead, insisted that the CEOs pledge to substantially increase such censorship. Senator Jacky Rosen warned the CEOS that “you are not doing enough” to prevent “disinformation, conspiracy theories and hate speech on your platforms.”

That is why a “living internet” interpretation is so dangerous. These companies are driven by profits and politics, not principle. If Democrats take control of Congress and the White House, these companies will face growing demands for increased censorship. That is when “living policies” change “to update and adjust them when we encounter new scenarios or receive important feedback.”

The alternative is “internet originalism” - no censorship. If social media companies returned to their original roles, there would be no slippery slope of political bias or opportunism; they would assume the same status as telephone companies. We do not need companies to protect us from harmful or “misleading” thoughts. The solution to bad speech is more speech, not approved speech.

If Pelosi demanded that Verizon or Sprint interrupt calls to stop people saying false or misleading things, the public would be outraged. Twitter serves the same communicative function between consenting parties; it simply allows thousands of people to participate in such digital exchanges. Those people do not sign up to exchange thoughts only to have Dorsey or some other internet overlord monitor their conversations and “protect” them from errant or harmful thoughts.

It has been a long time since a bunch of geniuses came up with a new form of communication on Twitter. Back then, the platform was neutral. Its appeal was its convenience, not its supervision. Dorsey himself said the success of Twitter is based on the principle that you “make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to the perfect.”

A free and open forum for communication was the original and perfect design. And here, once again, the Constitution could offer the clarity of that original meaning to limit the detail to the perfect. To paraphrase the First Amendment, Twitter should return to a simple static, “originalist” position: It should “make no policy abridging the freedom of speech or the press.”

Published:11/2/2020 5:40:18 PM
[] Police Say Biden Staffer Vehicle May Have Been at Fault in Texas Trump Truck Incident Published:11/2/2020 3:46:34 PM
[Markets] Police Investigating 'Trump Train' Incident Say Victim 'Appears To Be' MAGA Truck Police Investigating 'Trump Train' Incident Say Victim 'Appears To Be' MAGA Truck Tyler Durden Mon, 11/02/2020 - 14:30

A Biden campaign staffer driving a white SUV 'may be at fault' after colliding with a  Trump supporter's truck on a Texas highway on Friday, after a 'Trump Train' of trucks surrounded a Biden campaign bus to 'escort it' out of the state, according to WFLA.

"The at-fault vehicle may be the white SUV and the victim appears to be the black truck," said the San Marcos, Texas Police Department in a statement after reviewing the crash via online videos.

"Calls to the driver of the white SUV have gone unanswered and SMPD has not been contacted by the driver of the black truck. Since SMPD has not spoken to either driver at this time, additional investigation would be required to fully ascertain who was at fault," the statement continues.

Over the weekend, the Texas Tribune reported that the FBI was investigating the incident.

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into a Friday incident in which a group of Trump supporters, driving trucks and waving Trump flags, surrounded and followed a Biden campaign bus as it drove up I-35 in Hays County, a law enforcement official confirmed to The Texas Tribune Saturday," according to the report.

In a video of the incident, a black truck can be seen occupying the far right lane behind the Biden bus, which was weaving between lanes. A white SUV driven by a Biden campaign staffer can be seen encroaching on the truck driver's lane when a collision occurs and the truck driver 'pushes' the SUV back out of their lane.

On Sunday, President Trump wrote over Twitter that the Trump caravan "did nothing wrong," adding "Instead, the FBI & Justice should be investigating the terrorists, anarchists, and agitators of ANTIFA, who run around burning down our Democrat run cities and hurting our people!"

As the Daily Wire notes, Texas GOP Chairman Allen West similarly responded: "Where is the liberal corporate media’s concern about that real violence?" adding "It is more fake news and propaganda. Prepare to lose…stop bothering me."

Naomi Narvaiz, a Texas Republican Party official in San Marcos, told The Texas Tribune that Trump supporters “decided we would jump on 35 to show support for our president. I didn’t see anyone being overly aggressive.” -Daily Wire

Published:11/2/2020 1:39:06 PM
[] Mark Levin has a question for the FBI after Sean Parnell's home and office were vandalized Published:11/2/2020 6:37:36 AM
[Markets] The Autocratic Future Of The United States? The Autocratic Future Of The United States? Tyler Durden Mon, 11/02/2020 - 00:00

Authored by Guy Millière via The Gatestone Institute,

There seems to have been an attempt for the last four years to instill among the population a hatred of America and of the president, to present them both as a criminal and to try to overthrow them.

In any event, it is the first time in American history that there has been an attempted coup d'état against a duly elected president.

If institutions of democracy -- the state, the judiciary, opposition parties and the free press -- suppress verifiable information instead of informing the public about it -- as has just taken place for more than two weeks regarding alleged financial corruption and the possible resultant compromise -- by ChinaRussia, and Ukraine among other countries -- of an allegedly financially compromised family as possible a national security threat -- these institutions of democracy instead become vehicles to sabotage a democracy.

danger to American democracy in the past years -- with threats to undo the Constitution by, for example, abolishing the electoral college, banning guns and, in 2014, eliminating free speech -- has therefore become imminent.

In 2026, the FBI, under the leadership at the time of James Comey, used a fraudulent document bought and paid for by the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign to launch a two year "investigation" in search of a crime against the president. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, at the time of his appointment, on May 17, 2017, knew, or should have known -- along with the leadership of the CIA, the FBI, and other key agencies, in extremely dubious, possibly even criminal, actions -- that the document on which is investigation was based, the Steele dossier, was fraudulent.

Now we have the later round. After a political experiment in California successfully used late, fraudulent voting to turn Orange County from red to blue, the effort, with the complicity of the Supreme Court, seems to have expanded. There were worries that mail-in voting might rig the election, and if the military might be needed to remove a reluctant incumbent from office. No one, of course, asked what the opposition would do if it lost the election and refused to leave. The only recommendation so far seems to have been threatening more riots.

In a recent article, Abe Greenwald, executive editor of Commentary magazine, described what is happening as "a revolution against the United States of America and all it stands for".

Roger Kimball has described in his book The Long March how, from the 1960s onwards, members of the radical left gradually took control of the universities, the educational system, culture, media. The takeover of their preferred party followed. The method pursued was defined by the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci, who advocated the infiltration of the existing civil society to destroy it from within and lead it to collapse. The tactics were set out in Saul Alinsky's 1971 bookRules for Radicals.

Former US President Barack Obama, a disciple of Saul Alinsky, said, before being elected in 2008, that his followers were "five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America". He did not say into what. Hillary Clinton, another disciple of Alinsky, was expected to win and continue what Obama had started. To these self-appointed elites, whoever seems to have taken their lace seemed to become the enemy –the obstacle that had prevented them from taking what they appear to hope will be irreversible control of the United States.

There has been talk about killing the filibuster, to pass just about anything with a simple majority, and talk about enlarging the Senate by adding more states, presumably to enable one side to hold a permanent majority. Also on the agenda has been adding more members to the Supreme Court to turn it into a branch of legislative government, eliminating America's historic system of checks and balances. There are also plans to raise taxes on everyone (remember, "You can keep your healthcare"?), abolish fossil fuels and fracking, and establish a Marxist-socialist economy of redistribution to replace a free economy.

These ideas appear to have the support of hundreds of professors, mainstream journalists, and members of the so called "cultural elites", as well as the leading social networking services, such as Twitter and Facebook, that are practicing with impunity suppression of factual information and censorship of anything that might run counter to their preferred policies, especially if it threatens to reveal national security concerns about issues they would rather keep from public view.

Many if these ideas also have the support of international financiers and entrepreneurs, who are seeking above all, to keep hiring cheap labor, and to gain easy entry into China's vast market share of 1.5 billion consumers. The long-term threat of China, outspokenly determined to unseat America and control the world, seems less of a threat than a slightly-less-spectacular quarterly report for their shareholders.

Communist China is ruled by leaders who have been stealing information for decades and using a kind of state capitalism to enrich themselves and those close to them, meanwhile ruling over millions of "serfs" who are increasingly deprived of information and freedom.

If the American people do not fight to defend their institutions and democracy, the United States could soon be ruled by an "expert" class, tech oligarchs, and other autocrats, and, although what will happen if the US government changes hands remains to be seen, many Americans could be forced to follow the usual autocratic road to serfdom.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Claremont Institute Thomas Klingenstein noted that "We are in a fight for our lives".

When you see proposals to disrupt elections and plans about destroying a free economy, believe them.

Published:11/1/2020 11:05:08 PM
[Politics] Trump Decries FBI Probe of Supporters Surrounding Biden Bus President Donald Trump on Sunday suggested the FBI should stop investigating an incident in which his supporters were seen surrounding a Biden campaign bus in Texas, which led Democrats to cancel an event there.The president's tweet came hours after the FBI confirmed that... Published:11/1/2020 10:37:32 PM
[] Wendy Davis triggers FBI investigation of the Texas Biden/Harris bus incident Published:11/1/2020 3:03:59 PM
[Markets] Hunter Biden's 'Laptop From Hell' Was National Security Nightmare Hunter Biden's 'Laptop From Hell' Was National Security Nightmare Tyler Durden Sun, 11/01/2020 - 12:50

Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop contained a 'treasure trove of top-secret material, including his father's private emails and mobile phone numbers,' and was protected by the password "Hunter02", according to the Daily Mail.

The younger Biden's MacBook Pro was full of 'classic blackmail material' between compromising sexual material and the private information of not only the Bidens, but also Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Hunter's passport, driver's license, social security and credit card numbers were also on the laptop, which revealed that he spent $21,000 on a 'live cam' porn website (while claiming he was too broke to pay his stripper baby-mama child support?).

Via the Mail:

The material, none of which was encrypted or protected by anything as basic as two-factor authentication, includes:

  • Joe Biden's personal mobile number and three private email addresses as well as the names of his Secret Service agents;
  • Mobile numbers for former President Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary and almost every member of former President Barack Obama's cabinet; 
  • A contact database of 1,500 people including actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Coldplay singer Chris Martin, former Presidential candidate John Kerry and ex-FBI boss Louis Freeh; 
  • Personal documents including Hunter's passport, driver's licence, social security card, credit cards and bank statements; 
  • Details of Hunter's drug and sex problems, including $21,000 spent on one 'live cam' porn website and 'selfies' of him engaging in sex acts and smoking crack cocaine; 

The article does not that while Hunter may have used his family name to boost deals with Chinese and Ukrainian firms, there is nothing implicating Joe Biden in any wrongdoing (just a massive like that he 'never spoke with Hunter' about his business dealings).

"'It's a data breach and dangerous to have this type of material floating around," one former police commander told the Mail. "For someone prominent, there is not only a risk of great reputational damage but also a risk of blackmail should the material fall into the wrong hands."

Hunter's laptop was filled with 11 gigabytes of material covering the period from when his father was Vice President, to when Hunter dropped it off at a Mac Store in Wilmington, Delaware.

Read the rest of the report here.

Published:11/1/2020 11:58:15 AM
[Markets] Is China An Existential Threat To America? Is China An Existential Threat To America? Tyler Durden Sat, 10/31/2020 - 22:30

Authored by Gordon G. Chang via The Gatestone Institute,

This is a crucial time in the history of our republic.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, speaking to the General Assembly on September 22, said the world must do everything to prevent a new Cold War. "We are headed in a very dangerous direction," he said.

We can agree with that dangerous-direction assessment, but we might not agree with his recommendation. Guterres recommended that the world embrace multilateral cooperation.

We can, of course, cooperate with a China that is a partner or a friend. We can even cooperate with a China that is a competitor; all nations to some degree compete. The question is this: Is China just a competitor? Can we, for instance, cooperate with a China that is an opponent or an enemy?

We have to remember that Guterres was speaking at the event marking the 75th anniversary of the formation of the United Nations. It was a rather somber event, because multilateralism, the core ideology of the UN, is failing. Countries are bypassing the UN because they realize it cannot provide security. Countries are defending themselves.

The same thing happened in the 1930s. Countries then bypassed the UN's predecessor, the League of Nations. They realized it was ineffective. Countries could not, in a multilateral setting, cooperate with that era's aggressors: Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany.

So is China merely a competitor, or is it an enemy? To answer that, I would like to look at four things:

  1. China's spreading of disease,

  2. China's meddling in US elections,

  3. China's subversion of the United States, and

  4. China's militarism.

First, disease. The People's Republic of China has attacked us with a microbe. This attack shows how, and to what lengths, China will go to injure other societies.

Everyone talks about how Chinese generals and admirals are changing the definition of war. Unfortunately, we now have an example of how they are doing so. China's unrestricted warfare -- a term Beijing has been using for at least 21 years -- now includes biological attack.

China's leaders knew for at least five weeks, maybe as much as five months, that the coronavirus was highly contagious, but during this period they propagated the narrative they knew was false.

They were telling the world that this was not readily transmissible from one human to the next. Chinese leader Xi Jinping enlisted the World Health Organization in propagating that narrative, which by the way, senior doctors at WHO knew was false. They knew this virus was highly contagious.

That is why it was right for President Donald Trump to defund and withdraw from WHO.

To make matters worse, Xi Jinping pressured countries not to impose travel restrictions and quarantines on arrivals from China. WHO helped him in this regard.

At the same time as Xi Jinping was leaning on other countries, he was imposing those same travel restrictions and quarantines internally. That means he thought these measures were effective. That means he thought his efforts regarding other countries were going to spread the disease.

Fortunately, President Trump imposed travel restrictions and quarantines on arrivals from China quickly, on January 31. He took a lot of heat, not only from Beijing, but also somebody called Joseph Biden. Biden called the president "xenophobic" for those travel restrictions, which saved tens of thousands of lives.

Now, President Trump is making China pay. We must make China pay. We must make China pay because we need to establish deterrence. As of this morning, more than 200,000 Americans have been killed by this disease and more will be killed later on.

Worldwide, we recently passed the one million death mark. We cannot allow Beijing to think they can maliciously spread another pathogen ever again.

Trump was cruising to reelection before the disease, but this reversal of fortune -- the result of China's actions -- shows the lengths to which they will go.

Beijing is working hard to unseat President Trump. They are doing so not only with their social media feeds but also with their public pronouncements and other efforts. These efforts are much greater in scope than Russia's in 2016 or Russia's this year. It is not "Russia, Russia, Russia." It really is "China, China, China!"

As an initial matter, Chinese state media and Communist Party media have gone on a bender with unprecedented numbers of news stories, pronouncements, articles, all the rest of it. As a part of this campaign, Beijing has unleashed its trolls and its bots against Trump. The New York Times reported in March that Beijing propagated, through social media feeds and text messages, the rumor that President Trump was going to invoke the Stafford Act and lock down the entire United States. Of course, Beijing knew that was false.

Beijing has also been running operations and networks, including the one called Spamouflage Dragon, which relentlessly attacked the president. YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have since taken down that network.

China's effort is massive. We have seen periodically American social media companies take down fake Chinese accounts. In June alone, Twitter took down 174,000 fake Chinese accounts. That is just one month, one social media platform, 174,000 accounts.

This blends into the third topic, which is subversion. TikTok, the wildly popular video sharing app, employs the world's most sophisticated commercially available artificial intelligence. It uses that artificial intelligence to pick videos to send to people.

TikTok, because of its artificial intelligence, knows what you like, so it sends you more of it. It knows what you do not like. It does not send you videos you do not want. This gives Beijing an opportunity to change American public opinion.

The Chinese Communist Party probably changed public opinion in connection with this spring's riots. Some observers think TikTok got college-attending white women to believe they were oppressed and therefore motivated them to demonstrate.

As Paul Dabrowa, an Australian national security expert told me, "Because of TikTok's artificial intelligence and because of its sophistication, it can get people to do things which could end up, for instance, triggering wars, economic collapse, insurrection."

This weaponized propaganda can turn people against one another and also ruin the credibility of their governments. Engineers working for Douyin, TikTok's sister app in China, develop the algorithms for TikTok's use. That is the reason China does not want TikTok sold to an American company: it wants to keep control of that algorithm.

The algorithm curates content and can motivate people to do things they otherwise might not do. People believe Beijing "boosted the signal" this June to help a "prank" against President Trump. Teens were using TikTok to spread videos to encourage people to reserve seats at his June rally in Tulsa but not go. That is exactly, in fact, what happened.

While on the subject of TikTok, we should talk about China's Houston consulate. The question is: Why did the State Department, in July, out of all China's five consulates in the US, pick the one in Houston to close?

The State Department said Houston was being used for espionage. I think State picked Houston -- although there are a lot of other consulates involved in espionage, especially the one in New York and the one in San Francisco -- because in Houston it was providing financial and logistical support to violent protesters in the United States.

Radio Free Asia reports that an intelligence unit of the People's Liberation Army actually based themselves in the Houston consulate. Using big data and artificial intelligence, they identified Americans who were likely to participate in Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests.

The PLA unit then created videos and sent them out through TikTok. Those videos instructed people how to riot.

There are also other indications China has been involved in these protests. For instance, on the night of May 31st, one block north of the White House on 16th Street, there were demonstrations. This was the burning, for instance, of St. John's Church.

At that time, there were Chinese demonstrators in the streets. A number of people observed that protesters were not only speaking Mandarin but also seemed to be acting in a coordinated fashion. Some of them were actually overheard talking about how the Chinese government had organized them to do this.

These reports are unconfirmed, but they mirror what people saw of Chinese protesters in Los Angeles, as well as other southern California locations. This month we have also read reports linking Chinese Communist Party front organizations with Black Lives Matters affiliated people.

Further, there have been a number of reports of suspicious activity. In late January, for example, US Customs and Border Patrol agents seized 900,000 counterfeit one-dollar bills from China at the International Falls Port of Entry in Minnesota.

In China's total surveillance state, no one can counterfeit American currency without Beijing's knowledge, so it appears that this operation had at least the tacit support of the Chinese government. The question is, who counterfeits one-dollar bills? People certainly do not do that for profit: the cost of counterfeiting those bills and getting them across the Pacific is higher than one dollar.

What probably happened in this case was that China was trying to support violent protesters financially. It is just a guess, but it is the only explanation that makes sense.

By the way, counterfeiting another country's currency is more than just subversion. That is an act of war. If you want another act of war, that is indeed what the PLA did at the Houston consulate.

We just covered subversion. Let us go on to the fourth topic: China's militarism. Chinese leader Xi Jinping has ambitions that span the world and are greater than we have seen since Mao Zedong or the dictators of the Axis in the 1930s and 1940s.

Xi has always believed that China should rule the world. He has also always believed he had to get the United States out of the way -- especially because Americans promote ideals that are anathema to totalitarianism.

Xi Jinping has targeted America from the beginning. This is what makes the situation so dangerous. At the same time, Xi's political position seems to be fragile. To bolster his position, Xi has looked to certain flag officers, generals and admirals, to be the core of his political support.

Many now say that, after his purge of "corrupt officers" and after his top-to-bottom reorganization of the military a half-decade ago, Xi is in control of the military. One can say this, but one can also say Chinese military officers are now so powerful that they can effectively tell him what to do. To put it another way, maybe Xi Jinping realizes that to survive politically he has to let Chinese officers do what they want. We know that the Chinese military, the most cohesive faction in the Communist Party, and other hardliners in Beijing are now setting the tone.

China's military officers are making their "military diplomacy" the diplomacy of the country. We now know that in Beijing, only hostile answers are considered to be politically acceptable.

Xi Jinping is under pressure, things are not going his way. Chinese leaders, civilians and perhaps military officers as well -- know that there is a closing window of opportunity. This became clear in January when the Xinhua News Agency, the official media outlet, ran a story titled: "Xi Stresses Racing Against Time to Reach Chinese Dream."

This is a clear indication that senior Beijing leaders know they are running out of time. It is really no mystery why they may feel this way. China's demography is in the initial stages of accelerated decline. We know that China's environment is exhausted. Think scarcity of water, despite all the flooding. Also, China's people are restive. China is losing support around the world. The Chinese economy is in distress. That was true even before COVID-19.

The reason this is important is because, up to now, the primary basis of legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party has been the continual delivery of prosperity. Without the assurance of prosperity, the only remaining basis of legitimacy is nationalism. Nationalism, as a practical matter, means military misadventure abroad.

To understand military misadventure abroad, think what is going on in India and what China is doing to threaten Taiwan at this moment -- and not just India and Taiwan. The whole periphery of China has now become a danger zone.

Let's put this hostility in the context of what is occurring inside Beijing. Xi Jinping, since he became general secretary of the Communist Party at the end of 2012, has accumulated almost unprecedented power -- and with it, unprecedented accountability. Unfortunately for him, there is no one else to blame.

At the same time, Xi Jinping has raised the cost of political failure in Communist Party circles. This means Xi knows that should he fail, he could lose everything. He could lose not just power. He could lose assets, his freedom, maybe even his life.

China's ruler right now has a low threshold of risk, meaning there is very little stopping him from engaging in especially dangerous conduct. The concern, of course, is if he thinks he is going to lose everything, he may believe that one way out of his problems is to cause history's next great conflict.

We may think that Xi Jinping should be cautious. Unfortunately, he now has incentives to cause a crisis -- one that for us would be unimaginable.

Question & Answer

Question: On the economic front, here was a deficit primer report from Bloomberg News indicating that Chinese ownership of US Treasuries is down to a little over a trillion dollars. In the Obama years, Chinese ownership was approaching three trillion when total debt was a fraction of what it is today. This suggests the Chinese now have no more power to disrupt the Treasury than a fly on an elephant unless, of course, that fly is carrying the Wuhan flu. Where has China spent or invested that money? There is not another government debt market that could have absorbed two trillion dollars without raising a lot of noise. If it has gone to the Bridges, Roads, and Ports Initiative, isn't that going to end up as one of the worst economic decisions ever?

Chang: First of all, we do not know exactly the full extent of China's Treasury holdings. We have not known that for a very long time. The reason is that China holds a number of its Treasuries through nominees, especially in London.

Those numbers seem roughly correct, especially the one about one trillion dollars now. I am not exactly sure what the number was in the Obama years. Obviously, it was a big number. The reasons there was a fall in their Treasury holdings... two come to mind.

First, since the middle of 2014, China has actually dumped about a trillion dollars or so of Treasuries. They have done that to defend their currency, the renminbi, because the fall in their own currency's value is, perhaps, the most critical problem they face. They have got to defend their currency. They use Treasuries to do that. They use the dollars they receive when they sell Treasuries to buy their own currency, thereby supporting their own currency's value.

The other reason is because Xi Jinping, as we know, has announced his Belt and Road Initiative: a huge infrastructure development plan spanning the world. They spend a lot of money on that.

This spending has resulted in a decrease in their foreign reserves.

These reserves, by the way, although they put out a number every month, that number is probably inflated. China is counting assets that do not meet the definition -- the IMF's definition -- of what may be counted as a reserve asset.

China actually may not have as much money as it says it does. All of this is critically important because of the question of the sustainability of China's initiatives. We may be seeing some very interesting developments. Their Belt and Road investments were may be the worst ever because a number of countries around the world are not paying back China on their loans. These loans were extended under terms that were onerous. Countries nevertheless accepted them.

The point is, these projects are not economically viable. China's ability to achieve its ambitions is very much dependent on the amount of money it has, specifically the amount of Treasuries.

Even China does not have enough to affect markets, at least for more than a month or so. The reason is the world is awash with liquid assets. It still is.

Although China's holdings are big, they probably cannot use them to permanently to undermine the ability of the US Treasury to borrow. The US should not borrow as it is doing, but if it wants to, it does not need China's permission.

Xi Jinping, as mentioned, had two separate initiatives. One was the Belt. The other was the Road, the road being the sea routes between China and Europe, the Belt through central Asia. Basically railroads and highways.

The idea was to be able to get Chinese goods from its east coast over to Europe. These two initiatives have now been amalgamated into the Belt and Road and now span the world. There's a Polar Belt and Road, a Latin American Belt and Road, a Caribbean Belt and Road, and so on. China wants countries to build infrastructure. This is infrastructure generally the private sector would not build. These projects, in general, are not economic. The loans that China extended actually have high interest rates.

The reason leaders in countries accepted these loans was because China just bribed them. Countries took on very high interest loans, and countries cannot now pay them back, including, maybe most importantly, Pakistan, where China's Belt and Road Initiative contemplates something like $60 billion in loans.

Pakistan has now gone to the IMF to get relief on a portion of its indebtedness.

What we are seeing right now is a number of countries, including African countries, that are not able to pay back. People ask, "Why is China's only military base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa?"

One reason is that Djibouti owed China a lot of money and could not pay back. So, China was able to get a concession on a former US military base and now has turned it into China's first offshore base for the People's Liberation Army.

If we want to understand why this is important to us, it is because a Chinese enterprise is now pouring about three billion dollars into Freeport in the Bahamas, 87 miles east of Palm Beach. That container port in Freeport never made economic sense, but it certainly does not make economic sense now that we have COVID-19 and global trade volumes are declining.

I think that we are going to see, unless the US stops it, the People's Liberation Army with a naval base 87 miles east of Palm Beach.

Question: Dr. Li-Meng Yan has said the COVID-19 virus was released intentionally. Have you please any information on that? [Dr. Yan escaped to the US, but her mother, who had nothing to do with the virus, was arrested in China on October 3. Ed.]

Chang: Dr. Yan released a non-peer reviewed paper, which looks at this strain and analyzes the splicing of protein into it. When we first heard of the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, my wife said to me, "All diseases in China come from southern China, either Guangdong or Yunan. How come this outbreak is in central China, in Wuhan? There's something suspicious about this."

Of course, China's only P-4 biosafety lab, that is the highest level of biosafety, is located in Wuhan, about 20 miles away from the seafood market that everyone originally suspected was the origin of the disease. There is certainly a lot of reason to be suspicious.

Also, we know that the State Department sent a team to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, this P-4 lab, in 2018. They reported a shocking disregard of safety protocols there.

Indeed, China Daily, an official newspaper for China, actually published photos on their website trying to convince the world how safe this lab was, but people who looked at the photos noticed that the seals on refrigerators where vials of coronavirus were being stored were broken.

There is another reason to be concerned. The Chinese themselves have admitted they stored more than 1,500 strains of coronavirus at the Wuhan Institute.

Also, they have, in Nature in November 2015, published a paper about gain-of-function experiments. In other words, artificial manipulation of coronaviruses to make them more deadly.

You put all of these things together and you have to be suspicious. There is also some physical evidence that something went on in that lab in October.

We have been monitoring their cell phone traffic. All of a sudden, there is a big two-week period where there are no cell phone transmissions from the lab. Something may well have gone on there in October or maybe earlier.

Also, in late January, China sent its top bioweapons expert, General Chen Wei, to the Wuhan Institute. She was possibly sent to clean up the lab.

The question is, why did they send their bioweapons expert to head the lab after the outbreak?

I do not have any proof that Dr. Yan is correct in her assertion, but it does not matter how this started because we know what Xi Jinping did after it crippled his country. He took steps he knew or had to know would lead to the spread of the disease beyond his borders. This is a deliberate spread. That is why this is mass murder. There is no other way to term it. China deliberately spread this disease, causing infections and deaths around the world. One million deaths and counting.

Question: Do you think Xi might try any aggression before November 3rd to derail the presidential election and derail Trump?

Chang: Xi Jinping does not want President Donald J. Trump to be reelected. Whether Xi would do anything or not, I do not know. With a president who is behind in the polls, Xi may decide he doesn't want to disrupt anything. If you listen to what domestic political experts are saying, Xi Jinping looks as if he is going to get the result he wants.

Question: What is going on in the other consulates? What should the US do with China? Decouple? If so, partially? Totally?

Chang: Just a couple of days ago, a former CIA director of Counterintelligence, James Olson, said there are more than a hundred Chinese spies in the City of New York and that many of them report and get directions from the New York consulate.

The remaining ones probably get direction from China's UN mission. Some of them must be directly monitored from China itself. We do not know.

This was brought to light because of the Tibetan who was a NYPD Community Outreach Officer and who is alleged now to be a spy for Beijing. This highlighted China's intelligence operations in Manhattan. Beijing has basically overwhelmed the city with spies.

We can also say the same thing about San Francisco. About two months ago, a Chinese researcher at the University of California Davis failed to disclose her relationship with the People's Liberation Army on her visa application and was questioned by the FBI.

She immediately ran to the San Francisco consulate, where she held up for about two weeks or so while trying to evade capture by the United States. Eventually, China surrendered her.

It is not just a question of the consulates. It is also the embassy itself. China's ambassador, Cui Tiankai, was revealed in FBI transcripts to have been trying to recruit a US scientist in Connecticut as a spy for China. By the way, Ambassador Cui did that in connection with somebody from the New York consulate.

One other thing that happens out of the New York consulate, and happens out of the other consulates, as well. That is, China monitors universities in the United States. A good friend at the City University of New York talks about being visited by Chinese consular officials whenever he gets in their face. He is very much a pro-democracy guy. He gets sat on by the Chinese consulate.

They are very much involved in trying to manipulate American public opinion and engage in activities that are inconsistent with their status as diplomats.

In terms of what to do about it? I think these consulates should be closed when we find they've been involved in inappropriate activities. I think we should also close much of the embassy because there is so much inappropriate activity.

I would leave the Chinese ambassador in place because we need someone to talk to, but I would expel the current ambassador because of his attempt to recruit a spy. I would tell China, "Look, we would be happy if you want to send a replacement, but in the Chinese embassy itself the only people that will be allowed are the ambassador, his family, a secretary or two, and a bodyguard."

To maintain diplomatic relations with China, the only thing that we need is a phone. Unfortunately, we may get to that point because we cannot afford to have these consulates not only engaging in espionage but also trying to bring down the government of the United States.

I know people are going to say, "We close their consulates. They close our consulates in China." People are going to make the reasonable argument that because China's a closed society, we need our consulates there more than China needs consulates in the United States.

That is a perfectly reasonable argument. It has a lot of validity, but because what China's doing is so dangerous, we have to make a political point to China that we are willing to take a hit to stop their attempts to bring down our government.

No one really wants to do this, everyone wants to maintain friendly relations with every country, but we cannot maintain friendly relations with a country that is trying to subvert us in the way China's been doing.

Question: What changes in China's behavior do you expect, based on your analysis, if there is a new administration?

Chang: Beijing will always test a new American president. And so, for instance, George W. Bush was tested with the Hainan incident on April 1st, 2001, when a Chinese jet clipped the wing of a US Navy EP-3 reconnaissance plane. The Bush administration was certainly found wanting as it allowed China to strip the plane. The administration even offered China a ransom to get our aviators out of China -- a low point in American history.

We know what they did to Obama. After Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that human rights was not important -- in February 2009, the second month of the Obama administration -- the following month, China interfered with the operation of two US Navy vessels, the Impeccable and the Victorious.

The interference with the Impeccable was so serious that it actually constituted an attack on the United States. The US let it slide.

Ultimately the issue of Biden's China policy is not so much a question of what Biden thinks or what his advisors think. It is a question of what Beijing will force America to do. No one know what that will be.

We know one thing. Every new president will give China a grace period. President Trump did that for about 15 months to try to develop cooperative relationships with Beijing, to see if they could work something out. We know that Xi Jinping did not reciprocate Trump's generous overtures. That is why Trump, starting around the spring of 2018, actually started to impose severe costs on China.

The problem right now with a new president -- this is not just Biden himself, what he thinks -- is that we cannot afford to lose any time giving grace periods to a regime that is relentlessly attacking us. We have to be concerned that an incoming president will do what every president has tried to do. That is the impossible: to attempt to develop cooperative relations with a militant Chinese state.

Question: Would you think that one of the key lessons companies have learned from having their supply chain in China, that replacing that manufacturing capacity outside China may potentially reduce employment and create greater security for those very companies?

If the US encouraged companies to replace Chinese labor in Central America, for example, would that take care of enhancing employment there and reduce the pressure of people wanting to enter the US?

Chang: I think the Trump administration clearly wants to decouple. It wants to reduce American vulnerability to China. We have seen that, of course, in the coronavirus epidemic where China actually nationalized an American factory making N95 masks and also turned around ships on the high seas because they were taking to the US personal protective equipment that China felt it needed for itself.

Companies are reluctant to move out of China because they do not set US foreign policy. They do not consider issues of national vulnerability. They go where they think they can make the biggest profit. That is business.

It is up to the President of the United States to change companies' incentives. He can do that with the use of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977.

Trump used that on TikTok. A US federal judge in the District of Columbia overturned, or at least stayed, his order, which means President Trump needs, first of all, to start thinking about not only the '77 act but also the 1917 act, which is the "Trading with the Enemy Act," because judges would have less scope for overturning a designation of that sort.

On the question of Central America, that is important. These societies started to experience real problems after China's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001 because factories not only left the United States but they also left Central America. That shift destabilized those societies.

It's important to bring manufacturing back, not only to the United States but also to our neighbors to the south because with employment, with factories, with prosperity, that would stabilize those societies. That would mean much less pressure on our southern border.

We Americans -- this goes back, president after president after president -- just ignore our own hemisphere when it comes to security. It is important for us to refocus.

Trump has made some initiatives in this regard. They are good ones. Not only with regard to Mexico, the USMCA, the replacement for NAFTA, but also with his Caribbean initiative. We need to do much more because China is not going to let us alone in our own hemisphere.

Question: Do you think we should treat China as we are treating Iran: imposing sanctions and cutting off countries that do business with China? Also, have thoughts on China's attempt at overtaking globalization of communications with 5G?

Chang: On 5G, go back to the beginning of this year. It looked as if Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer, was going to take over the world's 5G networks.

The Trump administration -- and this is a triumph -- Huawei is dependent on American chips, semiconductors. President Trump, through various actions, has restricted and cut off the sale of chips to China and to Huawei.

That means Huawei may not have a future. You have to see how dramatic this is. Huawei is the world's number one supplier of telecom networking equipment. As of the last quarter, it is also the world's number one maker of smartphones.

Now, Huawei's future is in doubt. If Trump's policies in this regard are continued, we are probably not going to see Huawei as a challenger.

There are other developments that I think will undercut Huawei, as it will undercut Ericsson and Nokia, the other two suppliers of 5G equipment. We are going to go away from these one-company telecom networks. We are going to go to a diversified plug-and-play model where many companies supply 5G equipment and software for a network. This is what happened in the computer industry, for instance.

That model has certainly created a lot more innovation and lowered costs. The Lego model, as it is sometimes called, is certainly going to help the US because we have the companies that can actually compete. This model will undercut China's position.

Other countries have made it clear that they are cutting off Huawei, as well. Perhaps the best example is India. Because China killed 20 Indian soldiers on June 15, India has gone in a good direction, cutting off Huawei, cutting off TikTok, cutting off Chinese companies.

I believe we need to do the same thing. You've got to remember, China declared a "people's war" on the United States in May of last year. They told us we're the enemy, so we might as well take them at their word and start defending ourselves with the vigor that is needed.

There is a lot that we can do. I know the president wants to do that. Right now is not a time for him to do that, of course, because of the sensitivity of the election.

If he is not reelected, others, I hope, will work to make sure that the new president does the same things as Trump would do.

We have a lot to learn from India. China is trying to dismember that country. That has been clear from the writings of Chinese security analysts and goes back to the first decade of this century.

China has been increasing its territorial claims on India and would break the country apart because it has claims not only on Ladakh, which is the area of the fighting since the first week in May, but it also wants the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh.

There would not be much left of India if China gets its way. That is why India, right now, has a very resolute stance. We have seen some extremely important developments.

The first week of May, China invaded India, essentially, in Ladakh, in the Himalayas. The Chinese, in a premeditated act, killed 20 Indian soldiers on June 15. India actually responded. They counterattacked. They took back territory that the Chinese grabbed from them.

What we have found is really interesting: That is China's Ground Force, which is the army portion of the People's Liberation Army, has been incapable of fighting Indians in an area where they had initial success.

In addition to India actually engaging in successful military operations against the Chinese, more importantly, India banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps, which was a crippling blow. It also has cut off Chinese contracts in India. It is also, as mentioned, going after Huawei. If India can do it, the question is why can't the United States?

Question: What are the places near the United States besides Freeport is China trying to encircle?

Chang: In the Atlantic, there are two other places that China would like military bases. One of them is Walvis Bay in Namibia, and the other is Terceira, in the Azores. Terceira is home to the Lajes US Air Force base. The US Air Force has redeployed, basically making it, as they say, a ghost base.

China has been eyeing Lajes. Lajes is actually not far from Washington, DC. From there, China could control the mouth of the Mediterranean, control the North Atlantic, put Washington, DC and New York at risk.

I think it's up to the US Air Force to start putting people in Lajes, so the Chinese realize that they cannot take over the airfield. Its runway is almost 11,000 feet long. It can accommodate any aircraft and can threaten the United States. The Atlantic, which we have seen as a preserve, could very well become a Chinese lake.

Question: There is talk that China owns the presidential challenger because of $1.5 billion that China paid his son. Have you thoughts on that?

Chang: Most China analysts believe Beijing favors Trump. I don't buy it -- for two reasons. First, in the Democratic primaries, Chinese propaganda favored Biden over Sanders. Then we have seen Communist Party media, Chinese state, government media, overwhelmingly done its best to tar President Trump.

Chinese media has also said some nice things about Biden recently, so I think that's a real indication of where Beijing is going.

Also, if you look at their troll activities, their bots and things, we do not know the full extent of it, at least people who do not have security clearances. What we have seen, however, is that this underground Chinese social media activity is overwhelmingly directed against President Trump.

This is different than Russia. Russia in 2016 was going after everyone. They were just totally trying to create chaos. China has been much more thoughtful in the way it has been doing it. It is directing its activities against the president. That is an indication of what it wants.

Further, Biden's son, Hunter, has had unusual business dealings with China. Now, there are a lot of Americans who have been entrusted with a billion, $2 billion in Chinese money to invest. If Hunter Biden got a billion and a half, that by itself does not say anything.

What says a lot, however, is that Hunter Biden did not have experience as a fund manager. He still got a billion and a half to manage. This is extremely suspicious, along with all the other facts that are now out in the public. It is evidence of a bargain that certainly looks corrupt.

Question: Should the US ban TikTok if China keeps the algorithm?

Chang: I think we should ban TikTok this very moment. I would not wait. If I were President Trump, I would do everything possible, including the designation under the 1917 Act. I would say that TikTok's operations in the US are over.

Part of the reason the district judge overturned President Trump's 1977 act designation to stop downloads is because it looks like an attempt to permit a US company to buy, to grab TikTok. Now, I think there is nothing wrong with that, but it does not look good.

The president would be on stronger legal grounds if he just said, "Look, we're banning all of TikTok's operations this very moment, and then we will let the chips fall where they may." This would mean that Oracle could still buy it.

The terms of the deal that we know about, Oracle/Walmart, on one hand, and ByteDance, the owner of TikTok on the other, are completely unacceptable. They leave the algorithm in the hands of China.

Oracle with its cloud-providing services could deal with the issue of China using TikTok to surveil Americans. China has been using TikTok to get metadata from Americans, and then use it to power their artificial intelligence back home.

They have also been inserting malicious software on the devices of users that allows China to spy. They have been doing some other stuff like grabbing the data of minors, which is illegal. All of those things could be taken care of if Oracle hosts the data. That is not the problem. What is the problem is the control of the algorithm because that allows China to manipulate US public opinion.

The Radio Free Asia report shows how dangerous this can be. This is an act of war. I do not see why we allow a company that has committed an act of war against the United States to continue to operate here.

Question: If China purposefully released or spread the virus as an act of war, do you think they predicted the economic damage lockdowns would do to the Western economies? And would they continue to propagate data supporting lockdowns to do further damage? Would they release an additional pathogen, or intensify support of domestic groups like Black Lives Matter destabilizing US society?

Chang: I guess all of the above. The thing about what their next step would be, well, we know they are propagating the narrative that China's response to the coronavirus was superior to that of the United States and superior response shows China's form of government is superior to America's.

They had been continually attacking democracy before the coronavirus, but they are especially doing that now. They are going to use their vaccine, which I think will be out first. It might not be reliable, it might even be dangerous, but it will be out first, and they will tout that.

They are going to tout their vaccine in a massive public relations campaign against the United States. In terms of the initial part of the question, whether there might be another biological attack or not, you have to remember that China has been sending seeds, unsolicited, to Americans, to people in Britain, to people in Taiwan. That could very well be an attempt to cause havoc in the United States.

All of these things indicate a real maliciousness. In going back to that earlier question of what we can do about it, we first need to talk about these things in a realistic, blunt way. These go to the core of China's attack on the United States.

Question: Why wouldn't Trump or Pompeo get on the media and announce this, since our media refuses to report on it? Also, didn't we know about this virus in 2016 from the CDC. If not, why was our CDC not prepared?

Chang: The CDC was not prepared. Not only did China lie about the disease, not only did it pressure countries to accept arrivals from China, thereby spreading the pathogen around the world, China did something else. China, on January 20, finally admitted the coronavirus was contagious. On January 21, one day after that, they started a campaign to convince the world that the coronavirus was no big deal. Their line was that the coronavirus would be no more deadly than SARS, which is the 2002, 2003 epidemic that infected, according to the WHO, 8,400 people worldwide, killed 810.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Task Force Coordinator on Coronavirus, at her March 31 press briefing actually said, when she looked at the data from China, she thought this was not going to be a big deal. She first thought this was going to be another SARS-like event. She also said it was only after she saw the devastation in Italy and Spain did she realize that the Chinese had misled her. Because they misled her, we did not take precautions that we otherwise would have adopted. By the way, Dr. Anthony Fauci has also publicly talked about being deceived by China.

That is probably one of the reasons the response in the US was not as fast as it could have been. Remember, President Trump acted on his gut on January 31, really fast, cutting off arrivals from China. The administration then became lax on this. The Democrats say it is because of the failure of Trump's governance.

A large reason why, if that is true, is because China told the Trump administration, "Don't worry about this."

Question: Would it not be best for Trump to create an alliance to contain China? He has not, it seems, made efforts to create a multiple-country front. Had China not killed the Indian soldiers, India would also not be pushing China back. Do you think there could be an alliance of more countries to counter China?

Chang:: Actually, this is one criticism that a lot of people make about the Trump administration, that it does not work well with allies. I think that is wrong. For instance, here are two examples from recent headlines. One, of course, is the Bahrain, UAE deal with Israel, which is going to be expanded when perhaps Sudan joins, and maybe even Morocco.

You are going to see a Sunni Arab coalition in the Middle East -- a really important development. It is historic. It is important from so many different aspects, and part of it is, it is the real beginning of a US-led initiative in the region. We have been working with the Gulf States and Israel. They have been happy on their own, to cooperate below the surface. The Trump administration brought this out into the light and is sheparding really important developments.

Of course, the other thing is the Quad: India, Japan, Australia, and the United States. The Quad is actually becoming an effective grouping, and we are going to see other countries join that as well.

US relationships in Asia are actually stronger now than they were under Obama, with the exception of South Korea.

South Korea is not Trump's fault. That is because the South has a communist as a president. Moon Jae-in is very happy with what China is doing, and very happy with North Korea, and he wants to merge South Korea out of existence.

That is not Trump's fault. As a matter of fact, Trump's South Korea diplomacy has actually been the best under the circumstances.

The administration has worked hard with other countries around the world. The question is, could Trump have done more? One always could do more, but also, let us give the president a lot of credit for some really historic accomplishments that will be remembered, not just during his administration, not just next year, not just next decade. We will be talking about his accomplishments for a very long time.

Question: If after November 3rd, there is no definitive result for a month, would China risk attacking Taiwan with US leadership unknown?

Chang: Yes, I think so. I think that if Trump looked as if he was going to win the election, they might even attack before then. Now, the attack very well may not be a full-on military attack. They might grab some of the outlying islands, which are just one or two miles away from the Chinese coast.

They could also do something to destabilize Taiwan, which could have consequences that would lead to a full-on military conflict.

China right now knows the US eventually could win a full-scale war, so they are reluctant to start one. The point, however, is that China is engaging in conduct that risks accidental military encounters, which could spiral down into history's next great conflict.

We cannot control these things. Especially with Chinese generals and admirals out of control, anything can happen.

So we have to be concerned about China provoking an incident. China has regularly been sending its planes into Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone. They have also been initiating especially provocative island-encirclement missions with their nuclear-capable H-6 bombers. They have been doing a lot of stuff.

The point here is, we have to be prepared for anything. We need to make a clear declaration in public that the United States will defend Taiwan because Taiwan is crucial to maintaining our western defense perimeter.

Since the end of the 19th century, we Americans have drawn our western defense perimeter off the coast of East Asia. Taiwan is at the center of that crucial line. It is where the East China Sea and South China Sea meet.

Taiwan is absolutely critical because it protects us from a surging Chinese air force and Chinese navy, trying to get to Hawaii. We need to be very clear about this. If we are not clear, China may try to do something that leads to tragedy.

Published:10/31/2020 9:54:24 PM
[Markets] Nearly 50% Of BLM Protesters Arrested In Seattle Were White, From Other Cities Nearly 50% Of BLM Protesters Arrested In Seattle Were White, From Other Cities Tyler Durden Sat, 10/31/2020 - 21:00

An analysis of 95 arrest records from Seattle riots from May reveals that nearly half of all suspects are white are white men from other cities who traveled to Seattle to commit crimes, according to King5.

Of 95 cases obtained from public records requests and through court filings, KING 5 found:

  • 48% of suspects are white
  • 18% of suspects are black
  • 28% of cases race was undetermined or not listed
  • 32% of suspects listed Seattle as hometown -King5

The report kicks off with the story of Ed Little, a resident of Everett, WA - located approximately half-an-hour North of Seattle.

"I thought it was crazy. That shouldn’t be happening at all," said Little - who thought that peaceful protests against police brutality had been hijacked by criminals.

Then police came knocking on his door to arrest his 25-year-old son and search the family apartment after Jacob Little was caught on camera stealing a rifle from a burning Seattle police car, firing shots into a crowd, and wounding a 15-year-old boy.

"It’s hard to believe. We don’t know Jake like that. It’s not the kind of boy he is," said Little. "He’s not a troublemaker. Not normally. He doesn’t go out looking for trouble."

Jacob Little pleaded not guilty to federal charges of possessing a stolen firearm and shooting the boy, who survived.

In another case, 20-year-old suburbanite Kelly Jackson was charged by federal prosecutors with throwing Molotov cocktails into Seattle police vehicles in late May. He was immediately fired from his job as a plumber's assistant in Edmonds, WA - some 24 minutes North of Seattle where he lives with his parents.

Source: DOJ

"He definitely doesn’t seem to have an issue vandalizing and breaking into businesses and destroying other people’s property," said Noah Center Executive Director Stacie Ventura.

Court records show the 20-year-old was awaiting trial on three burglary cases in Snohomish county court when Seattle police and FBI investigators caught up with him.

Since 2018, county prosecutors have accused Jackson of breaking into an Edmonds ferry toll booth, a marijuana shop just outside the city, and a Stanwood animal rescue facility where he’s accused of walking off with a nearly 100-pound Rottweiler in the middle of the night.

“I wish I knew. We don’t know,” said Noah Center Executive Director Stacie Ventura, when asked about Jackson’s alleged motive for the canine heist. -King5

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Jacob Greenburg is accused of one of the most 'disturbing social media videos' of the protests when he was filmed smashing a metal baseball bat into a Seattle cop's head on September 23.

Read the rest of the report here.

Published:10/31/2020 8:22:23 PM
[Markets] What's Happened To Bitcoin Since Its Whitepaper Appeared 12 Years Ago? What's Happened To Bitcoin Since Its Whitepaper Appeared 12 Years Ago? Tyler Durden Sat, 10/31/2020 - 20:30

Authored by Robert Stevens via Decrypt.io,

In brief

  • On October 31, 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin whitepaper.

  • Since then, Bitcoin's journey has taken in highs and lows, from the Mt. Gox hack to an all-time high price of $20,000.

  • In 2020, it's seen renewed growth in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, as institutional investors take a growing interest in the cryptocurrency.

Today marks the 12th birthday of the Bitcoin whitepaper. There will be no party, no cake: Bitcoin’s friendship network is decentralized, and its creator anonymous. Yet, since its release, the whitepaper has had a profound impact on the world.

What’s happened? Let’s go year by year:

2008: the birth of Bitcoin

On October 31, 2008, our story began. Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym of Bitcoin’s anonymous creator—or team of creators—releases the whitepaper for Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. In it, Nakamoto sketches a plan for a system that allows “online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”

The previous month, Lehman Brothers, one of the largest investment banks in the US, collapsed as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. This was Bitcoin’s raison d'être—as the centralized US financial system ran into trouble, a gap in the market opened for a decentralized system that bypassed its burning wreck. 

2009: Bitcoin’s first year

2009 marked the release of Bitcoin. In January, its code was released as open-source software, and the genesis block—Bitcoin’s first block—was mined. Nakamoto mined the first 50 bitcoins, though they weren’t worth anything at the time. A few weeks later, Nakamoto sent Hal Finney 10 Bitcoin in the first Bitcoin transaction between two individuals. As Bitcoin turned one, Wikileaks published 400,000 documents about the Iraq war, and the Times Square Bomber—who failed to detonate in the New York City tourist hotspot—was sentenced to life in prison.

2010: Bitcoin Pizza Day

Bitcoin shared its 2010 birthday with Instagram; the photo-sharing app launched on October 6. In 2010, Bitcoin was worth around $0.20, and hit highs of $0.39 during the year. Nakamoto, who had mined around one million Bitcoins at the time, passed over the keys for Bitcoin’s code repository to Gavin Andresen. 2010 also marked Bitcoin Pizza Day: on May 22, Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 Bitcoins for two pizzas from Papa John’s. At current prices, that’s over $137 million.

Years later, Hanyecz was sanguine about his multimillion-dollar purchase, telling the New York Times that, “It wasn’t like Bitcoins had any value back then, so the idea of trading them for a pizza was incredibly cool [...] No one knew it was going to get so big.”

2011: The first Bitcoin bubble

Bitcoin took off in 2011—and it didn’t take long for the black market to take note of its supposed anonymity, with Silk Road, the dark net market which traded Bitcoin for guns, drugs, and other illegal contraband, opening for business.. 

2011 was also Bitcoin’s first bubble: Bitcoin skyrocketed in price, rising to $31.50 on June 8, but  by Bitcoin’s third birthday, its price sunk to $3.12; an early sign of the volatility that continues to affect the cryptocurrency to this day.

Bitcoin was also met with competition on its third birthday:  Litecoin, the “silver to Bitcoin’s gold,” launched in October 2011. Elsewhere in the world, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was killed as part of the Arab Spring uprising.

2012: Blackout, schmackout

October 31, 2012 marked something of a triumph for Bitcoin; on that day, the New York Stock exchange opened up again after closing for two days as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Bitcoin remained operational throughout, providing ample evidence of the power of its decentralized network.

Bitcoin’s price continued to grow throughout the year: by October, it reached highs of $12.4. Its price, which averaged $5.27, was a 1,656 percent increase from 2011.

In September, the Bitcoin Foundation was started, headed by Gavin Andresen, Jon Matonis, Patrick Murck, Charlie Schrem, and Peter Vessenes. BitPay, the Bitcoin payments service, announced that 1,000 merchants started accepting payments through Bitcoin.

2013: Silk Road seized

In February 2013, Coinbase reported sales of over $1 million, and in March, Bitcoin’s market capitalisation surpassed $1 billion. Silk Road, which opened in 2011, was seized by the FBI in October, along with 26,000 Bitcoin; its founder, Ross Ulbricht, is now serving a double life sentence without parole; in 2020, he marked his seventh consecutive birthday in prison. Prosecutors said that, from 2011-2013, sellers on Ulbricht’s site made over $214 million.

By its third birthday, Bitcoin’s market cap had surpassed $2 billion and the price for a single Bitcoin was over $200. Elsewhere in the world, Peter Higgs and Alice Munro win Nobel Prizes.

2014: Mt. Gox collapses

By Bitcoin’s sixth birthday, its market cap is over $4 billion, the price of a single Bitcoin is $329, and its daily volume is over $13 million. But not all is well in Bitcoin world: back in February, the cryptocurrency exchange, Mt. Gox stopped accepting withdrawals after 744,000 Bitcoins went missing; around $473 million, or 6 percent of the Bitcoin supply. Around 200,000 of those Bitcoins have been recovered, though the rest are gone. 

2015: Volume up

By the end of October 2015, Bitcoin’s market cap was $4.6 billion, and the price of a single Bitcoin was $312. Though the price and market cap stagnated, Bitcoin’s daily volume skyrocketed to $52 million. Outside of Bitcoin, China started to build islands in the South China Sea, and Russia got involved in the Syrian war. 

2016: Bitcoin goes mainstream

In 2016, the price of Bitcoin begins to grow. On its whitepaper’s birthday, its 24 hour volume hit $93 million, its market cap $11 billion, and the price of a single Bitcoin, $703. Many more high profile businesses start accepting Bitcoin, including Valve’s Steam video games store and ride-sharing service Uber.

In October, Colombia signed a peace agreement with FARC rebels, and Kim Kardashian had $10 million stolen from her in a hotel room in Paris. If only she’d kept it in Bitcoin...

2017: The Bitcoin bubble

2017 ushered in a new US President in Donald Trump, but for cryptocurrency holders, it was the year of the Bitcoin bubble.

On the birthday of the Bitcoin whitepaper, one Bitcoin was worth $6,131, and its market cap was over $100 billion—a figure that some attribute to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s listing of Bitcoin futures contracts, which made it far easier for the world to bet on Bitcoin. CME traded $460 million in its first week. This price was to skyrocket to over $20,000 in December. On December 7, almost $50 billion worth of Bitcoin was traded. 

2018: Down, but not out

In 2018, everything came crashing down. The market, based purely on speculation, flipped, and Bitcoin fell to $6,538 in February. The cryptocurrency muddled through a tough year: on the 10th anniversary of its whitepaper, the price of Bitcoin was $6,325. While its market cap remained strong, at $109 billion, the crypto crash prompted a backlash from mainstream publications and social media.

Twitter, Facebook, and Google duly banned advertisements for cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. Google and Facebook have since lifted the ban, with Facebook going all-in on crypto as it tries to get its own digital currency, Libra, off the ground.

2019: Bitcoin’s back, baby

In 2019, the market came rushing back, following further price drops in 2018. Bitcoin started the year at $3,764, and its price skyrocketed to $13,796 in July. Since then, its price waxed and waned, but held relatively strong, boosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping's endorsement of its underlying technology, blockchain.

On its 11th birthday, Bitcoin cost around $10,000, and its market cap was around $165 million. By that point, the Bitcoin network comprised over 55,000 nodes, while over 820,000 addresses had traded Bitcoin.

2020: New heights

Ah, 2020. Bitcoin started off strong, as excitement mounted for the imminent Bitcoin halving. But few could have foreseen how the year would pan out, as the coronavirus pandemic gripped the world in March. The chaos initially throttled the price of Bitcoin, with the cryptocurrency dropping to lows of $4,000.

But as massive stimulus packages followed lockdowns around the world, Bitcoin began to come into its own, with investors seeking it out as a hedge against inflation. Bitcoin’s price reached around $10,000, and stayed there for the remainder of the summer. The series of financial shocks endured by the world economy seemed to prove the case that Bitcoin is antifragile—not only resistant to shocks and stresses, but stronger for them.

Then the big money started to pour in; institutional investors such as Grayscale and Square scooped up vast amounts of Bitcoin, and digital payments giant PayPal introduced crypto buying and selling features, opening the door to mass adoption of the cryptocurrency.   

The news sent the price of Bitcoin soaring past $13,000; on the 12th anniversary of the Bitcoin whitepaper, it reached its highest price since 2018. Those who'd previously bashed Bitcoin, from Grayscale CEO Michael Saylor to JP Morgan, fell over themselves to sing the cryptocurrency's praises.

One thing's for certain: whatever happens next, Bitcoin is in a very different place from when it first emerged into the world, 12 years ago.

Published:10/31/2020 7:52:22 PM
[Markets] NBC Finally Responds To Hunter Biden Story... With An Exhaustive Exposé Of An Unrelated Document NBC Finally Responds To Hunter Biden Story... With An Exhaustive Exposé Of An Unrelated Document Tyler Durden Sat, 10/31/2020 - 17:50

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

We have been discussing the continuing blackout on the Hunter Biden story, even as reports have surfaced that the FBI not only rejected claims that the story was “Russian disinformation” but confirmed that it has an ongoing investigation into possible money laundering. Now, NBC has finally responded with an expose into allegations against the Biden. However, the article entitled “How a fake persona laid the groundwork for a Hunter Biden conspiracy deluge,” does not deal with the laptop or its content. It instead focuses on an obscure document that no one has covered or discussed.

[ZH: while we agree with Turley's perspective that this is a blatant distraction from the actual content of the laptop, we disagree that the Typhoon report is 'unrelated' and 'obscure' since all the points made by the report are completely backed by actual data, making the author irrelevant even as he has effectively done the media's homework for them.]

The value for the Bidens was simply the headline, which was immediately used to warn people not to follow up on the Biden story as Chinese disinformation.

The NBC is breathtaking in its careful avoidance of the real story and its apparent duplicity in seeking to shield the Bidens from any inquiry before the election.

There is something incredibly insidious in this story. The media has allowed itself to be boxed in by the Biden campaign. Reporters willingly bought into the narrative that there is no real story to pursue over the laptop.  The longer they have ignored the story; the more difficult it is to admit that there are real issues raised by these disclosures. Reporters simply cannot walk back from the dismissal of a story even as it grows daily with new disclosures. The only recourse is to discredit another story and another source.

The emails on the laptop have now been verified by various sources and those emails support allegations of an influence peddling scheme by Hunter Biden and James Biden, the brother of Vice President Joe Biden. Yet, the media has maintained a tight protective cocoon around Biden protecting him from any questions, even after a former business associate Tony Bobulinski directly accused Biden of lying in his denial of past knowledge or involvement in the dealings.  President Trump’s re-election campaign Thursday accused NBC News of “actively running interference” for Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter via a widely ridiculed report that critics feel was designed to dupe voters into thinking recent allegations that are harmful to the former vice president are simply part of a conspiracy.

That is why the NBC News story is so unsettling. Rather than ask a simply question of the Bidens about the laptop (like is this Hunter’s laptop and emails), NBC went to extraordinary lengths to find another document to discredit. It focused on a 64-page document with “questionable authorship and anonymous sourcing” that it claims as a source by “far-right influencers” to “baselessly accuse candidate Joe Biden of being beholden to the Chinese government.”  What is equally concerning is that the story makes reference to the laptop story and the Bobulinski allegations but does nothing to verify or address those allegations. It spends considerable time and resources addressing what it says is a complete fabrication in this document while steadfastly refusing to address verified emails discussing influence peddling by the Biden family and direct references to Joe Biden.

The House Foreign Affair Committee immediately jumped on the story to discourage people from looking into the Hunter Biden scandal despite the fact that it does not address the allegations and evidence in the scandal.

I will say it again. These emails are not proof of criminal conduct.  There are a lot of unanswered questions on these sources and emails. However, this is a major story either way. It is either disinformation (with criminal acts committed in lying to the FBI and Congress) or it is evidence of potential crimes and clear influence peddling by the Biden family. On its face, Joe Biden’s past denials of knowledge or involvement have been contradicted by a witness who has repeated those allegations to the FBI at his own legal peril. That is why the media blackout makes no sense. You can probe the specific allegations which now involve detailed dates, locations, and individuals — exposing lies on either or both sides. That is what the media normally does when the possible next president has been tied to possible influence peddling, suspicious foreign contracts, and direct alleged contradictions.

I have no reason to question the veracity of the NBC story, just its relevancy.  Rather than find some unknown, obscure document to debunk, NBC could start with simply asking Biden for a specific response to allegations of meetings and discussions about these foreign dealings.  Otherwise, the most relevant post-election article could be “How an evasive press report laid the groundwork for a Hunter Biden conspiracy denial.”

Published:10/31/2020 4:52:46 PM
[Markets] The Irony Of American History And Russian Disinformation The Irony Of American History And Russian Disinformation Tyler Durden Fri, 10/30/2020 - 23:00

Authored by Chris Farrell via The Gatestone Institute,

We have been subjected to four years of large parts of the US government shrieking about Russia and the threats posed by that country to the safety of our republic. How did so many miss their own serial treasons, in concert with the Soviet and Russian governments, dating back to 1917? Let us refresh our recollections of how so many Americans reframed history and disinformation.

Some of the following may be "lost history" to you, but that is okay, because we definitely need some reminders before election day.

FDR himself personally schmoozed Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs Maxim Litvinov in the White House and acknowledged the USSR diplomatically for no US advantage whatsoever in November of 1933. When Litvinov returned to his embassy from the White House, he openly mocked FDR's naïveté and gullibility to his staff.

FDR's "co-president," Kremlin-loving Harry Hopkins, has been airbrushed out of the history of the FDR White House. Hopkins went on to live in the FDR's Lincoln Bedroom between May 1940 and December 1943 while running the entire Lend-Lease Program. Hopkins bellowed "All hail to the Russian people and their gallant army!" in Madison Square Garden on June 23, 1942, while promoting US war aid to the Soviet Union.

The usual rebuff to this sort of inconvenient historical observation is, "Oh, but that was when the Soviets were our allies!" If you are satisfied with that explanation, then I recommend reading Stan EvansDiana West and Paul Kengor in order that you to get much-needed additional information and perspective.

How about when Ted Kennedy asked the Soviets to intervene in the 1984 elections? You may remember that Kennedy derisively coined the phrase "Star Wars" to mock Reagan's "Strategic Defense Initiative" and aided the Soviet Union by opposing the program. Americans repeat "Star Wars" like parrots and do not even know why or how the term came to be associated with the program. Kennedy was not alone in his "Soviet friendship." The FBI ran a program monitoring congressional contacts with the Soviet embassy for nearly 40 years, and they still will not release those records.

What about Barack Obama's wooing and collusion with Medvedev on a "hot mic," with a special message for Vladimir? Hillary Clinton conjured up the fake Trump-Russia scheme, and then paid political operative cut-outs and Russians to advance the story.

There is a 100-year-old pattern.

The Soviet Union and modern-day Russia are expert practitioners of deception, provocation, diversion, active measures, and double-agentry -- all of the tools and techniques of disinformation. Deception and manipulation are the goals of the disinformation. False information itself is not enough. There is a desired outcome. Decisions must be affected. Changes made. People persuaded. Actions taken.

One hundred years ago, there was a cottage industry of forgeries peddled around the embassies, consulates, attaches and spies of European capitals. Some of the forgers were criminals looking to make a fortune, but most were Soviet agents sowing confusion. Letters, documents, reports, maps, diagrams, etc. -- all forms of records, both physical and sometimes photographic reproductions that were used to tell a certain story to a certain audience. Books were also generated for deceptive purposes -- writing and rewriting "facts" and "history" to serve on another front of the political war. It is really no different today. We have the "Steele dossier" and James Comey running around on his book tour(s). There really is "nothing new under the sun."

We are supposed to believe that the life-long career "friends of Russia" are suddenly terrified by Russia. Someone should have told Bernie Sanders. This sudden alarm over Russia by its erstwhile admirers is similar to the "old switcheroo" many Democrats did on civil rights for Black Americans. Lincoln and the Republican abolitionists freed the slaves of the Confederacy from Democrats through a bloody civil war, suffering 600,000+ casualties. Many of today's Democrats pretend Republicans were Alabama plantation owners. Half the Republicans agree, or do not understand the insidious lie.

Many switched party affiliation colors during the 2000 election. America now stupidly assigns Republicans the color of revolutionary, communist red. That was and is always the color of the Left. Hence "Red Army," "Red Square," etc. Republicans are too stupid and lazy to challenge it in the media and their own branding, so now a whole generation of Americans have been brainwashed and do not know any better. In fact, they are proud to be "Reds!" So sad.

One must also consider the "arguments" about the "evidence" of Russian disinformation.

First off, we have unending "investigations" by various bodies and persons who are not qualified to investigate a price check at Walmart.

Here, I speak of persons like Adam Schiff or the members and staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Second, we have the "TV experts." These folks are usually the former heads of the agencies and departments that are actually guilty of the subversion and sedition that got us to this point. Think of John Brennan giving his expert opinion on the innocence and honor of James Comey. When any of these characters (and paid CNN contributors) invokes Russian disinformation (usually quoting each other), you know they are lying. Period.

Of course, anyone who asks questions about any of the logical disconnects and fallacies of any alleged Russian disinformation campaign must be on Putin's payroll. Ask a question? Sure "comrade," go ahead!

It is terribly important to be reminded of all these things just a few days before the election. You should go to your polling place in-person and "vote angry." You've been lied to -- savagely -- for nearly four years. Go ahead and take your electoral revenge.

Published:10/30/2020 10:16:03 PM
[Markets] Trump's (64-Day) Post-Election Endgame (Or, Can A Criminal Be Inaugurated President?) Trump's (64-Day) Post-Election Endgame (Or, Can A Criminal Be Inaugurated President?) Tyler Durden Fri, 10/30/2020 - 21:40

Authored by Brett Redmayne-Titley via WatchingRomeBurn.uk,

Suddenly, the anticipated Trump campaign’s October surprise: allegations that presidential candidate Joseph Biden has been a beneficiary of an international influence-peddling scheme with his son, Hunter, as the point man. This has dramatically, for the moment, turned the tables of election 2020.

This pre-election day chess move is an obvious, carefully planned Trump campaign hit job, but short-sighted, most pundits predict these allegations come too late to sway the outcome of election day.

This view is dubious and misses what could indeed be a three-move check-mate against Joe Biden, but…after the votes are counted.

Come Nov 3, the race for POTUS is far from over. Trump’s handlers seem to know this. The follow-up will be an unprecedented public spectacle that will likely very much include the Electoral College. Further, this possible coup will have sixty-four very valuable extra days, a Judiciary Committee, an Attorney General, a Senate and developing media attention, all remaining and at the RNC’s disposal.

The Trump campaign knows this and appears to be playing the long game. Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon are not political fools. Thanks to Biden’s true personality being exposed, a growing treasure chest of allegations have been handed over to Trump, four different times thus far. If these revelations prove true, should Trump lose, this will also provide his campaign no less than two more chances to bring Biden down.

The timing of the weeks four separate bombshells alleging a Biden family pay-to-play scheme mimic off course the effects of the July 22 and November 6th, 2016 Wikileaks pre-election revelations. Here, in context, it should be remembered that this massive leak of emails blew up the campaign of the, then, DNC frontrunner, Hillary Rodham Clinton. It also exposed the utter anti-democratic corruption and coup that was the 2016 DNC presidential election committee.

The Biden pay-to-play allegations also mimic those against Hillary Clinton US Secretary of State and the trove of evidence strongly indicating her own scheme in which her business partner, former president Bill Clinton, sold himself for international speeches…and access to Hillary’s State Department. And, during Biden’s tenure as VP.

Mere days ago, the initial salvo released the news of Hunter Biden’s laptop and an alleged FBI cover-up of its illicit contents. In brief, Hunter had left it uncollected for months at a computer repair shop, and after seeing the laptop’s contents the owner, John Paul MacIsaac, first turned it over to the FBI which did nothing with it. But MacIsaac had kept a copy of the hard drive, and next donated it to Trump’s top henchman, Rudy Giuliani, who tossed this bone to the New York Post, who blew the whistle to the public.

The laptop’s contents and emails made headlines… except in virtually the entirety of DNC aligned mainstream and social media. That’s most of it. This began Trump’s efforts to substantiate that Father Joe was the willing bait to sell influence in the VP’s office while he was in that office. Worse, the Bidens may have been working in concert with America’s newest enemy number one: China.

Two days later the next salvo hit. A former close business associate of Hunter Biden, Bevan Cooney, who is currently serving a prison sentence for fraud, gave-up his own laptop reportedly containing 26,000 emails that according to Breitbart News make it “explicit” that Hunter Biden was “trading off the Biden name, the Biden connections, and the Biden access.” It has recently been reported that Cooney was moved out of his cell in Oregon for his safety.

Barely a day went by before Tony Bobulinski next stepped forward with his digital paper trail of alleged Biden family conspiracy. Bobulinski has offered himself up as the total insider with the needed direct link(s) to the former VP and China. As of Tuesday night, Nov 27. when appearing with Tucker Carlson on Fox News he became the personalized face representing all these three sets of revelations. In reviewing the interview, despite his constant reminders of his being a democrat, his military record and his outrage on behalf of the American people, Bobulinski is obviously a well-rehearsed hitman. But his clownish act does not negate this purported evidence from further investigation.

A dubious side note has also been floated with a detailed investigative report authored by the unknown Typhoon Investigations, released by Christopher Balding, Associate Professor at Peking University who reportedly is a contributor to the anti-Trump Bloomberg News. The report is 65 pages, well presented, documented, charted, sourced and referenced. This presentation must be called out as to its validity if only because of the sensational but fraudulent Steele Dossier leak of four years ago.

Certainly, this report must be vetted, like the two camera moths, MacIsaac and Bobulinski. But if Prof. Balding does not cash his chips forever with Bloomberg, investigations will be in order.

If Trump loses, so begins the long game of hard-ball power politics, 2020 and ‘21.

Speaking of Investigations.

Already these allegations have provided much further de-legitimacy of the Biden campaign beyond the candidate himself. The virtual black-out of all four stories and the excuses offered by the news directors of many censors have not blinded the public. Instead, this obvious censorship has rocketed this developing story to a massive new viewership. Questions about the related FBI cover-up in burying the laptop allegations have further increased calls for an investigation. The outrage of America’s awakening public is rising daily, with at least sixty-four plus days to go.

Post-election day, should these allegations bear scrutiny there are three possible investigative bodies available to Trump. Further, the Electoral College has two more required steps to complete as well. This gives Trump, should he lose, multiple new chances to legally overthrow Biden.

Behind the scenes, as the process of the Electoral College begins before it convenes for the last time on Jan 6, 2021, the Judiciary Committee, the Senate and the Attorney General will remain republican. Assuming AG Bill Barr is willing to do his job, history may be made post-election and, if so, placing one’s hand upon the bible may not this time be the privilege of the president-elect, but that of an indicted co-defendant in court.

The first step of the Electoral College does not take place until Monday, Dec 14. In the meantime, although covering-up for Biden as the DNC media may attempt, the Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee has already announced, on Thurs Oct 22, 2020, that on Oct 28 it will be convening public hearings regarding the censorship by at least Twitter, Google and Facebook of the Biden accusations. These hearings, although in the guise of examining social media censorship, will instead be an initial public display by the RNC of many of the allegations against Biden. This will be must-see TV for the tens of millions of locked-down, unemployed, and pissed off American’s who were already holding their noses about this election’s bi-partisan stench.

Two of the three constitutionally available methods of investigation are tactically available to the RNC: A Senate Commission; or the Appointment of a Special Counsel, at the request of the Judiciary Committee, by the Dept. of Justice.

A Senate investigation would have the benefit of TV coverage, as was the case with the Watergate and 9/11 investigations. It may be included in a duet of investigations. With the Judiciary Committee already on the attack, it will almost certainly reconvene again with Biden as the target. Able to function quickly as a quasi- grand jury, upon the Judiciary Committee’s initial examination the JC will likely call for the appointment of a Special Counsel. The Attorney General, William Barr, must then immediately appoint a Special Counsel of his choosing.

Bill Barr has of late not been loyal to Trump, nor with his investigations into DNC criminal interference and collusion against a sitting president. But, if Barr fails to appoint a Special Counsel he must, by law, inform the Judiciary Committee of his exact reasons.  So, if Barr doesn’t do his job as demanded by the JC, he too will join Dorsey and Zuckerberg as coconspirators, at least in the widening minds of the public now watching closely.

Regarding the AG’s support of a Special Counsel, the regulations set forth (28 C.F.R. 600.1) require a three-part analysis: One, that “criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted.” Two, that prosecution of the “person or matter” would present “a conflict of interest for the Department [DoJ]”, and, three, whether “it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel to assume responsibility for the matter.”

By definition, Biden is in it deep.

Certainly, the next few days before the election are not sufficient to see any result of an investigation and Trump just might win. Or, lose. Trump’s campaign loyalists knew this beforehand, particularly the suddenly released from the woodshed, Steve Bannon. He and Giuliani have likely had all this info for many weeks in waiting.  If legitimate, to waste political treasure of this magnitude too early in a single pre-election attack is not likely for men as crafty as Bannon and Giuliani. Since a Trump loss is still the predicted outcome, both are more likely preparing to play the long game of the post-election day Electoral College. Presumably, both are aware of its step-by-step chronology. Almost all of American voters are not. Yet.

However fraudulent this election may be on many other state line battle fronts, the two upcoming Electoral College votes (actually fifty-one votes in total), both a month apart, are required of the EC to certify the presidential winner. With the scripted investigations thus already nicely raging in the minds of the Electoral College, and the court of public opinion, the EC has the ability to be Trump’s checkmate.

The Reality of the Electoral College.

The constitutional provisions of the Electoral College have been reported far too simply.

The Electoral College is not an institution but, more accurately, the process of certifying the final results of a presidential election after Election Day and before the inauguration of Jan 20, 2021.

Previous to the 2016 election, Electors of each state – Republican or Democrat- only “promised” that they would vote for the candidate who did prevail in their state. Few states had a legal requirement nor penalty for an Elector not doing so. Up until that election, only a total of eight Elector’s had ever in US history bucked party lines.

In July 2020, the US Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, certified a state’s ability to mandate that any elector not deviate and that any who would can be sanctioned. At this time, still many states have not mandated a penalty, and of those that do, none is punitive enough to prevent an Elector following his conscience and allegiance to country.

As the Electoral College begins and voter tabulation finally comes in sometime beyond Nov 3, the governor of each state must first prepare a “Certificate of Ascertainment” listing all of the candidates who ran for President along with the names of each of the respective Electors of the state’s party choice of president. Each state sends its Certificate of Ascertainment to the National Archives, but the C.A. of each state is also readied for a required upcoming public meeting of Electors at each of the fifty state capitols.

The public meeting of the electors must take place on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December, which will be December 14, 2020.The electors meet in their respective states, where they cast their votes for President and Vice President on separate personal ballots. After the vote, usually a formality seldom attended by members of the public, each state’s elector’s votes are next recorded on that state’s “Certificate of Vote,” which, now finalized, is also sent to the Congress and the National Archives as part of the official records of the presidential election.

But, on Dec 14 – just forty-one days in– each state’s EC must vote in public. What will be the mood of these Electors six weeks, and possibly two ongoing investigations, after election day? Regardless, each state will next have three more weeks to re-consider their Dec 14 vote, the mounting evidence… and their conscience.

Any individual protest by an elector will be merely grandstanding. However, by law, any state body of Electors might instead be influenced to collectively, “object.” This collective state protest of objection to a president-elect can be rendered at the State House on Dec 14, but also at any time before the reading of that state’s name from the floor of the US House of Representatives. That will be on Wed Jan 6, 2021.

This meeting is also, by law, public.

Yes, instead of individually influencing Electors to change their minds on individual votes at the State House, an entire state might ultimately- after days of watching the results of Biden’s true character surface daily- exert its 10th Amendment rights and chose to object to Biden’s certification. When the elector’s votes are read one-by-one by one, in alphabetical order by one of the four designated congressional “Tellers”, any state at that moment may interrupt the proceedings at the calling of its name and object. The objection must be on constitutional grounds. Such as secretly dealing with a foreign power for profit.

Just as importantly, if any state does object, the vote tally immediately stops and a separate joint session of Congress must then be held to investigate and debate the merits of that state’s objection. Should there be a subsequent objection, yet another session must be held, but it is unclear if multiple issues and state’s objections could be combined.

Although a president-elect with a criminal conviction can indeed still be elected president, any state can at least temporarily stop the proceeding for an examination of new charges by the full House. For examples of this possibility, Texas, in its state’s constitution, provides that disqualification for elected office can be for “anyone that has a conviction for bribery, forgery, perjury, and other high crimes.” Texas is a Trump state and is a strategic possibility to object on behalf of Trump once Trump makes the call to party loyalist, Gov. Greg Abbott.

Over in Georgia, their bar is lower, disqualifying anyone who has been convicted of a crime “about moral turpitude.”

What is important to note is that if Biden crosses the bar in any state, it would thus be statutorily illegal for that state to allow its electors to certify its State’s result on Jan 6. Therefore, that state must object.  Having Georgia similarly object on Jan 6 is not beyond possibility if the allegations are by then substantially proven.

As for the voter, this is certainly not a farfetched possibility. On, Oct 26, the Google search for “Can I change my vote“ was reportedly surging nationally. And, by Jan 6…?

An objection by a state has never happened. This eventuality, particularly if other states followed suit, would be far different from Biden dropping dead or impeached by his own party under the 25th Amendment due to his declining mental condition.  The objection(s) would also have the potential to remove enough Elector’s votes from the Biden’s grand total to swing that remaining total in Trump’s favour. These objections would not provide the DNC with their desired result of a Kamala Harris presidency. Nor would the Speaker of the House take over as interim president. This would be a unique electoral problem, one probably headed to SCOTUS for resolution.

And, just moments ago, Trump’s new SCOTUS appointment, Amy Coney Barrett, has now been confirmed by the Senate.

Trump’s senate.

The sound of pitchforks is an interesting sound for it tends to carry on the winds.

Come Dec 14, and then on Jan 6, on either day where will the unemployed, pitchfork carrying, depressed, angry, hungry, and disenfranchised voters be, physically and mentally.

The answer on both days could be: shoulder to shoulder packing each and every State House rotunda. Rightfully, the voters, after decades of congressional, presidential and political party corruption are quite anxious and willing to finally lynch at least one of these bastards. And Joe Biden may be the one to swing.

Will Biden fight? It’s doubtful, since he has trouble speaking much less weathering a prosecutor’s attack.

Will Kamala Harris take his place? Not a chance. No outraged voter or elector after, having taken Biden’s skin, will ever allow a black Hillary Clinton in the White House, particularly one just as corrupt as Biden.

Nancy Pelosi? Well…need one say more?

The author offers this plausible evaluation to the reader in the spirit of bi-partisan presidential contempt.

While it is easy to detest the presidential offerings of at least the past five elections, any political junkie should put aside a partisan view-point to appreciate this possible brilliant strategic checkmate by Giuliani and Bannon. Face it, Trump’s not this smart.

Giuliani and Bannon are anything but politically naïve. If these allegations prove worthy of investigation at the Congressional level it is very doubtful that this carefully laid coup would be so short sighted as to be risked on only influencing the popular vote count.

If the allegations against Joe Biden and family begin to gel into hard proof, the aftermath of the worst presidential election in US history will only increase in turmoil. With the other ongoing election chaos, thus combined with the Electoral College, the flames already on American streets will become a firestorm that has the possibility of destroying the nation.

The American voter, no matter which horned and tailed, crimson-red phoenix does rise from these flames, constitutionally, politically, or militarily, will in less than a week, and sixty-four days after have to watch, wait and see.

Or, pick-up a pitchfork and run to the local State House!

Published:10/30/2020 8:46:01 PM
[Security] Hunter Biden’s Former Partner Says FBI Interviewed Him for 5 Hours About Chinese Business Deal

Former Biden family business partner Tony Bobulinski says the FBI interviewed him for five hours last week about his business dealings with Hunter Biden in... Read More

The post Hunter Biden’s Former Partner Says FBI Interviewed Him for 5 Hours About Chinese Business Deal appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:10/30/2020 6:45:16 PM
[Markets] BidenGate, Bobulinski, & The Campaign Of Fear BidenGate, Bobulinski, & The Campaign Of Fear Tyler Durden Fri, 10/30/2020 - 15:40

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

Everyone has a limit. Everyone.

And when pushed to that limit we all have a choice, push back or submit.

Tony Bobulinski reached his. And it has doomed the Democrats’ chances in this election cycle regardless of what happens on Tuesday.

In his widely-censored interview with Tucker Carlson Bobulinski’s ‘disgust circuit’ was on full display. I’ve talked about this in the past.

Normally the disgust circuit is triggered through the classic “Nuts and Sluts” shaming technique used on Republicans or anyone else the powers that be want removed from the public stage.

“Nuts and Sluts” is easy to understand. Simply accuse the person you want to destroy of being either crazy (the definition of which shifts with whatever is the political trigger issue of the day) or a sexual deviant.

This technique works because it triggers most people’s Disgust Circuit, a term created by Mark Schaller as part of what he calls the Behavioral Immune System and popularized by Johnathan Haidt.

The disgust circuit is also easy to understand.

It is the limit at which behavior in others triggers our gut-level outrage and we recoil with disgust.

The reason “Nuts and Sluts” works so well on conservative candidates and voters is because, on average, conservatives have a much stronger disgust circuit than liberals and/or libertarians.

Bobulinski’s disgust circuit kicked in the second House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff crossed the line, accusing him of being a Russian disinformation agent.

It was clear as day for anyone watching. Bobulinski didn’t try to hide it.

And that was quite enough of that.

That’s where his deadline to the Bidens and Schiff came from and that’s where this story is at its most interesting.

He told Schiff, the Bidens and everyone else on Capitol Hill, “You can play your reindeer games but you cannot under any circumstance make me the fall guy for it.”

Whatever he did in his business with the Biden’s he’s owning up to. Sure, his motivations for coming forward now may be as suspect as Hunter Biden’s dealings with the Chinese government.

He may have seen the writing on the wall, covering himself in the case of a Trump victory next week. He may even be a key witness in the FBI’s investigation opened in 2019 into the Bidens’ shady business dealings.

But I don’t really care about all of Bobulinski’s reasons. There may in fact be a lot of them. But the primary one on display the other night with Tucker Carlson was that of disgust.

That’s when he was at his most authentic. That’s where his real motivation came from. Adam Schiff is up to his eyes in the corruption in Ukraine.

So is Nancy Pelosi. So is Mitt Romney. So is Cindy McCain by proxy. Victoria Nuland, Hillary Clinton and likely Barack Obama himself.

Schiff has been given cover for over three years to make the most outrageous accusations and they be allowed to stand.

The media is not only complicit in this outrage, they have been rewarded with attention, showered with money by desperate victims of Trump Derangement Syndrome stoked by that same media through the crudest of propaganda techniques.

Now that we’ve reached the eve of the election the stakes for them are so high, since we can see them, that they’ve now sunk even further into the abyss of D.C. Swamp.

This prompted Gleen Greenwald to loudly resign from The Intercept, the company he helped found, when his story on BidenGate had to be gutted to be published.

We found Greenwald’s limit as well.

But Greenwald is supposed to do this. This is the minimum a good journalist is supposed to do when confronted with censorship and cover up. Good on Glenn, this was his moment to lead.

Bobulinski, on the other hand, is different.

Given the way things work in D.C. I’m sure no one ever thought Bobulinski would go through with his threat, because he’s opening himself up to loss.

And yet he did.

Because he has a limit. Joe Biden and his skeezy family haven’t found theirs yet.

That limit defines who we are and what we’re willing to fight for. It stares back at us in the mirror every morning.

And it’s obvious that Bobulinski’s limit was his family’s name and what that name was going to stand for. They figured he would cower in fear because of their power.

Schiff et. al. never thought this guy would be the one to finally break ranks and stand tall. People like Schiff never think that because of the guy they see in the mirror every day.

It’s their Achilles’ heel.

We’re a few days from an election that can best be described as a singularity. A black hole sucking the light out of the world where all of the narratives and agendas of the post-World War II era of human history boil down to a simple choice.

Courage or fear.

Joe Biden and the whole of The Davos Crowd are running a campaign of fear.

Fear of COVID-19, fear of Trump, fear of phantom white supremacists, fear of intimacy, race, color, the words we speak and, worst of all, our children.

Remember them? The ones told they have to isolate themselves lest they kill grandma? Imagine, partisan hacks, cheering on the political chaos in the U.S., being a six-year old again living with that guilt.

These are the people Tony Bobulinski finally woke up to who he was dealing with and what their limits were.

Trump, for all of his faults, has done nothing but project courage and bravery. And those are words I would never have ascribed to him in all the years of watching him manipulate the press and politicians in New York.

I watched him appease his enemies in the early days of his first term, terrified of the media backlash, and wasn’t shocked. Disappointed? Yes. But not shocked.

And he wobbled early on with the vipers surrounding him during the early days of the Coronapocalypse.

But as this year has gone along he’s risen to the task. Gotta give credit where it’s due. He led with his chin out and his Twitter feed sharp.

He’s leaving it all on the field, as Scott Adams put it the other day.

We forget that in 2016 we voted for Trump because Hillary Clinton triggered so many people’s disgust circuit.

No. Not. Her.

As my wife told a female friend of ours, “I’ve waited 25 years to vote against that bitch.” And she did.

We took a flyer on Trump because he wasn’t Hillary and he would be hilarious. Mission mostly accomplished. Today I give him credit for raising his game.

Today men of dubious character have stood up against men without any shred of it.

What’s your limit? And what do you do after Tuesday when the real fight or our future begins?

*  *  *

Join my Patreon to test your limits. Install the Brave Browser to limit Google.

Published:10/30/2020 2:43:21 PM
[Markets] Key Steele Dossier Source Revealed As Alcoholic Disgruntled Russian PR Exec In Cyprus Key Steele Dossier Source Revealed As Alcoholic Disgruntled Russian PR Exec In Cyprus Tyler Durden Fri, 10/30/2020 - 10:35

Just days before the election, but certainly still dismissed from coverage by the very networks that for years peddled the hoax, the final nail has gone into the Steele dossier coffin. 

Already widely debunked, including by no less than Special Counsel Robert Mueller who the Steele dossier advocates put all their hopes in only for their delusion to eventually be shattered, a key source for many of its claims has been revealed by The Wall Street Journal to be a disgruntled Russian PR executive living in Cyprus.

Olga Galkina, image via Facebook

40-year old Olga Galkina "stood as the dossier’s most important contributor," WSJ reported, after she was tapped by her old school friend and Steele’s employee, Igor Danchenko, to dig up dirt of Trump's dealings in Russia using the "vast network of people" from her various jobs in and out of the public sector. 

Described as a public-relations executive, she "fed notes" to Danchenko for the dossier, including many of its most central claims. And of course behind all of this was British spy Christopher Steele, himself paid by Fusion GPS, and behind this the DNC itself.

They knew each other since the 8th grade in Perm, as the WSJ details:

Mr. Danchenko told the FBI that a school friend, referred to in heavily redacted FBI notes as "Source 3," had provided him with information for Mr. Steele "across a wide range of topics," and stood as the dossier’s most important contributor. The former high-ranking U.S. national-security official told The Wall Street Journal that the source in question was Ms. Galkina.

It was Galkina who claimed Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen secretly contacted Russian intelligence in Prague to establish compensation for DNC hackers in the summer of 2016. Crucially she had fed Steele's team the name of her own Cyprus-based employer Webzilla as being behind the hack under company owner Aleksej Gubarev.

At the very time Galkina was feeding Danchenko the information she was locked in an ugly dispute with her employer (the parent company of Webzilla) which she was intent on taking down. A mere eight months after starting at Webzilla in Cyprus, the company was forced to contact Cypriot police over her erratic and even dangerous behavior, which included frequently showing up to work late and drunk while making threats. 

The WSJ notes that its reporters have reviewed the police statement, which revealed further: "The manager told police that an acquaintance of Ms. Galkina had told him he would face deep trouble, including possible death, unless he paid €10,000 ($11,740) in compensation, according to the statement, which was confirmed by a Cypriot official and a person who attended its recording."

It is here that the report emphasizes the crucial timeline:

In November 2016, Ms. Galkina was fired. Weeks later, she implicated Webzilla and Mr. Gubarev in the hacking, according to people familiar with the matter.

Thus the "damning" information on Trump and associates which triggered a special counsel investigation and what was literally multiple years of 24/7 media Russiagate hysteria originated with a deeply disgruntled executive that was let go after a lengthy and messy fight that even saw local police get involved at one point. 

If you have five minutes for an illustration on how disinformation actually works, read this March, 2017 Vanity Fair article on Steele's sources and compare to what we now know.

Here's the punchline:

By 2018 polls showed that a whopping over 80% of Democrats bought into the key claims that collectively made up 'Russiagate'. The Steele Dossier was of course the major driver that kicked it all off.

In light of the revelation, journalist Mark Ames put it best... 

"So the Steele Dossier that kicked off 4 years of Russiagate hysteria among the US ruling class was cooked up by two Russian alcoholics from Perm. Gogolesque does not begin to describe the grotesque credulity & stupidity of the American elites."

Published:10/30/2020 9:38:20 AM
[Uncategorized] DOJ Official Confirms FBI Opened Criminal Investigation Into Hunter Biden in 2019 and it’s Still Active

Why didn't we know about this during impeachment? Also, the FBI interviewed Tony Bobulinski for five hours last Friday and listed him as a material witness.

The post DOJ Official Confirms FBI Opened Criminal Investigation Into Hunter Biden in 2019 and it's Still Active first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.

Published:10/30/2020 8:09:47 AM
[Markets] 7 Key Corruption Questions Joe Biden Must Answer After FBI Bombshell 7 Key Corruption Questions Joe Biden Must Answer After FBI Bombshell Tyler Durden Fri, 10/30/2020 - 08:25

Authored by Tyler O'Neil via PJMedia.com,

On Thursday, a Department of Justice official confirmed that the FBI opened an ongoing criminal money-laundering investigation into Hunter Biden and his associates last year. Tim Murtaugh, communications director for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, urged the press to ask Democratic nominee Joe Biden seven important questions involving the corruption scandal.

News of the FBI investigation came days after Tony Bobulinski, a former business partner with Hunter Biden, spilled the beans on Joe Biden’s involvement with his son’s business deals in China, Ukraine, and elsewhere in an hour-long interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. Bobulinski first came forward before the final presidential debate, and a Senate committee has confirmed that his documents are genuine.

Bobulinski came forward after Facebook and Twitter took unprecedented action to suppress a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s emails, which first revealed Joe Biden’s involvement.

As Murtaugh noted in the call with the press, Bobulinski claimed he had met face-to-face with Joe Biden twice, and he presented evidence that the Biden family made a concerted effort to keep Joe Biden’s involvement off the books and to ensure “plausible deniability.”

The Biden campaign has not disputed the veracity of the emails or Bobulinski’s claims that he met with Joe Biden face-to-face. Instead, they pushed the narrative that the entire scandal is “Russian disinformation” or a distraction from the real issues in the campaign.

Murtaugh noted that only The New York Times saw President Trump’s tax returns before running the story and that many media outlets ran with the story despite not having seen the documents, yet most of the legacy media seems intent on entirely ignoring Bobulinski and the Biden corruption scandal.

Given this background, Murtaugh posted seven questions to Biden:

  1. Were you aware that Hunter and his associates have been under FBI investigation since last year?

  2. Did you meet with Tony Bobulinski?

  3. Have you ever met with any of your son’s business associates?

  4. Are any of these emails not authentic?

  5. Why did Rob Walker say Bobulinski could burn all of us?

  6. Do you, Joe Biden, deny that you were making business decisions about this foreign business venture?

  7. Were you, Joe Biden, in fact, a beneficiary… to receive a 10 percent stake in the deal [with a Chinese energy company]?

“It is not believable that Joe Biden was unaware that his son was under FBI investigation since last year,” Murtaugh argued. “Now that there is confirmation that an FBI investigation is ongoing… and a credible accusation that Joe Biden was involved, there is no legitimate reason to fail to cover this story.”

Indeed, the legacy media’s attempt to bury the story despite increasing confirmation and evidence is utterly damning. In fact, Glenn Greenwald resigned from The Intercept, the online news outlet he co-founded, because his editors aimed to censor his article on the Joe Biden corruption.

Published:10/30/2020 7:37:27 AM
[Markets] Plutocrat Violence And Election-Night Horror: Marxian Analysis Shows That Antifa Is Fascist Plutocrat Violence And Election-Night Horror: Marxian Analysis Shows That Antifa Is Fascist Tyler Durden Thu, 10/29/2020 - 23:45

Authored by Joaquin Flores via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

“When fascism comes to America, it will be called antifascism” 

– Huey Long (misattributed)

Antifa’s fascist violence will return on election night. That’s why it’s important to understand their fraudulence and fascism, and reject the politics of plutocrat-contrived violence. Perhaps strangely, Marxian analysis itself is best suited to communicate this point to the radical left.

This is because at the root of Marxian analysis are not self-declarations, nor definitions based in superstructural manifestations, but rather the material relationship between base and superstructure.

In layman’s terms this boils down to two things in practice: follow the money’, and ‘watch what they do and not what they say’.

The real existing financial motives and the socio-economic class behind those motives is what we will find driving the base, even while at the superstructural level we find an ideology which only nominally, only apparently, appears at odds with the real motives at the base. Antifa, at its class and financial base (i.e., its objective and material base) is a plutocrat supported and controlled operation against the republic.

“Unlike the old left, rooted in radically independent organized labor, Antifa’s leadership and activities, to the contrary, are financed through billionaire oligarchs both directly and indirectly, like George Soros and Michael Bloomberg.”

In the simplest possible terms, Antifa is fascist because while they use some of the talking points and imagery of the old left, they actually work towards a plutocratic coup (or counter-revolution) against the republic. This is not to say there is a system-wide fascist threat, for reasons we will explain in an upcoming installment. In short, the coming coup against republican norms will not establish ‘fascism’ as historically understood, but a new kind techno-industrial repressive society within the rubric of post-modernity, which has hitherto not been contemplated rigorously outside of small circles of futurists and science fiction authors.

Antifa and BLM protests have generally disappeared from the simulated reality of the controlled media lens, because these riots did not have the intended effect of delegitimizing the Trump administration, instead working against Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Antifa Explosion – What the Week of November 2nd Will Look Like

Once Trump declares victory at around 11:30 pm on November 3rd, right as social media bans, blocks, and censors Trump’s announcement of victory, we will see the start of mass Antifa violence in key cities in swing states. As the French Marxist Baudrillard would have explained, an entire media simulation will ensnare (within its simulacra) whole portions of the population, which will be encouraged to send in their late ballots, following a last minute strategic ballot harvesting ploy targeted at key locations.

The disastrous ruling of the Supreme Court allowing three-day late ballots to be counted, will encourage a whole post-election drive to harvest ballots precisely in those precincts where the known data is already in from election night. The push to throw the election for Biden post facto will focus largely on those precincts within particular communities, within swing states. The problem for Biden has been the lack of a ground campaign and any sort of excitement.

This means we should expect a very big controlled-media scandal to captivate headlines right after the election. Whether or not this will actually motivate post facto ‘voting’ is beside the point. It most only be a semi-credible narrative that will explain why hundreds of thousands of voters turned out starting November 4th to cast their late ballots organically, even as in fact these will have been the result of targeted ballot harvesting.

Why Antifa’s ‘Communists’ Are Actually Fascists

1. It Doesn’t Matter What You Call Yourself

Many Antifa members, as well as the BLM leadership, call themselves Marxists, and because this self-declaration is also convenient for their conservative opponents, these self-descriptions go unchallenged.

Likewise in terms of its membership, fascist movements a hundred years ago were largely drawn from workers and small business owners who saw themselves as socialists and liberal-progressives. People do not fit into easy categories, and besides socialism and liberal-progressivism were a mix of both enlightenment and romantic ideas relating to both myth and utopia.

What defined them as fascists in Marxian terms was not the self-professed utopian, futurist, religious, socialist, or reactionary beliefs of this or that member of the movement, but by the objective material and financial reality of being backed by the plutocracy against the public, itself. All the while posing as guardians of the public.

Marxian analytic tools demonstrate that the same as true of Antifa in the U.S. today. The conservative right has long enjoyed throwing around the term ‘socialist’ and ‘Marxist’, especially ‘cultural Marxism’, to denounce their opponents within the Democrat Party, and this has the inverse effect of drawing elements of the populist and radical left who have no relation to the ruling plutocracy within the DNC, towards down-ballot DNC politics and Antifa protest-riots.

We cannot characterize a party or movement by the plurality socioeconomic class of its members in a vacuum. Otherwise both the Democrats and Republicans are ‘labor parties’.

2. We Already Proved That Antifa Is Financed by the Plutocracy

Indeed, Antifa in the U.S. has become a plutocrat-financed fascistic movement if we are using any Marxian metric. This seems counter-intuitive, for after all they profess themselves to be antifascist, and the fascists they are opposed to are allegedly the ‘basket of deplorables’ that back Trump. This means we need to set aside the institutionally approved (Eco, Griffin, et al) definitions of fascism, ultimately liberal ones in service of the status quo, to arrive at any meaningful definition of any utility. The academic institutions themselves are compromised with regard to these matters.

This is why in our piece ‘How Can the Deep State’s Antifa Organization Be Stopped?’ we showed the plutocrat financed NGO industrial complex through organizations like Democracy Alliance, was the defining base of Antifa activism – what Marxian analysis has always held, far and above, as defining the objective nature of a movement, and not its self-professions nor characterizations by their opponents.

Marxian analysis requires that we assess a movement by a.) Its material base, meaning which class empowers it and makes it possible (finances it) and b.) In whose class interest they work to empower. The answer for both here is the plutocracy. Because they pose as ‘revolutionary left’ but are in fact plutocratic, means they are fascist.

Marxian analytic tools must be salvaged from today’s ‘Marxists’, as these are as prescient as they are timely. They go farther to explain the 4th Turning, the 4th Industrial Revolution, the declining rate of profit, the internet of things and 3D printing, and the potential for a future economy based on the natural right of liberty and human dignity, both in the world and of the soul. But its vulgar misrepresentation as the ideology of Antifa and BLM serves the purpose, perhaps intentionally, of turning-off tens of millions of Americans who could otherwise see what is useful within the analytic framework of class and economic development through history.

3. Their Tactics Are Taken From Fascism

Of course the fascism of Antifa is visible to many, because of its gang-stalking and arson, the mob intimidation of citizens and small businesses to support this nascent totalitarian movement. To force passersby to raise the fist just as eighty-five years ago, Germans and Italians were identically forced to give the Roman salute, is only a corroborating piece of anecdata, and not the root of the reasoning that Antifa is fascist in nature.

But insofar as the Antifa mob and BLM leadership situates itself ostensibly in Marxism, this is perhaps even more dangerous for the reasons we’ve explained. And yet it is Marxian analysis itself which is best suited to demonstrate that even at a theoretical level, Antifa is fascist.

The owning class weary of radical economic changes and a rising ‘right-wing’ populist movement which itself is fixated on economic issues historically associated with the left, deploys the very same ‘victims of modernity’ (war veterans, permanently unemployed of all ages, workers, vagabonds, indebted students, adventurers, petty thieves and released criminals) to bring its definition of order out of chaos by operationalizing the chaos and the chaotic tendencies of its minions.

Unlike the old left, rooted in radically independent organized labor, Antifa’s leadership and activities, to the contrary, are financed through billionaire oligarchs both directly and indirectly, like George Soros and Michael Bloomberg.

Likewise we cannot characterize something as ‘fascist’ by its explicit beliefs or by views that may be projected onto them, but rather by the class that operationalizes them, and towards what end. Race, nationality, ethnicity, religion – these are but superstructural permutations of the givens of a time and place. Here is, among many other places, where Umberto Eco and Roger Griffin and those in their image are critically errant in understanding fascism. Fascism is a matter of methods, of tactics, and of financing – not of symbols, explicit ideology, or specific positions on culture-war (wedge) issues.

That said, Griffin’s point that fascism no longer has the ability to mobilize a mass movement in the way it did prior to WWII, but that it can carry on as a smaller phenomenon that can inspire terrorism, is agreed. Many of his reasons for stating so are incorrect, even if this conclusion is apt.

4. Antifa Punches Down, the Historic Labor Left Punches Up

Both the traditional radical left and fascist right were proponents of violence towards political goals, even if in self-defense, but the traditional radical left used to focus on ‘punching up’: Attacking capital, the ruling class, the banks, big land owners.

But historic fascism in its late-nascent stage is more similar to Maoism during the Cultural Revolution (there’s a strong New Left orientation to Maoism as well). It organizes and concentrates power by ‘punching down’.

This dangerous fascistic trend among what has come to be known as ‘the left’. At the level of universities, it began in the late 90’s when coastal university classrooms became ‘call-out sessions’. It moved into mass culture through venture-capital funded click-bait websites like Buzzfeed and Jezebel. Of course all of these antics would have been unrecognizably alien to militant rank-and-file labor union members in decades past.

That Antifa punches down and that mainstream media echoes their talking points, and that public service announcements are increasingly indistinguishable from Antifa propaganda, is a clear sign of its fascist essence. Punching down is always from a position of power, and its appropriation by the overt sections of power is a clear sign that their ideas have become what the French Marxist Althousser called the Ideological State Apparatus: That anything and everything outside of nebulous, ever-changing shibboleths (i.e. ‘community standards’) can potentially be called ‘fascist’ as a justification for ‘cancel culture’ and black-listing, is precisely that which the growing ‘illiberal liberalism’ of the plutocrats indeed flourishes on.

Pro-systemic propaganda punches down. Anti-systemic propaganda punches up. It’s an equation as simple as it is true.

5. Like Fascists, Antifa Relies on Support from Local Law Enforcement, Local Business, and an Entrenched Local Political Class to Place Them ‘Above the Law’

Perhaps you’ve seen old film reel of Nazis in the 1920’s in paramilitary uniform, long before they had official power in the governmental sense, seemingly able to physically attack those they wanted at whim, without local authorities intervening. From a position of power, from local friendly police departments, business interests, and politicians who at the very least ‘look the other way’, Antifa – like its fascist counterpart – is able to get away of enforcing its power on a down vertical. Road-blocks, riots, home-burnings, against the general public – all with local official support. Their aim is to coerce from the public a fear-based passivity and conformity to the politics of their program.

It matters very little in this sense, that they call themselves Antifa. While history moves in one direction, and historical parallels are fraught with contradictions, Antifa today in the most simple terms is recruited and built from that disenfranchised and permanently unemployed hodgepodge of people of various socioeconomic backgrounds, along with thrill-seeking youth (in that age-old quest for meaning, purpose, and identity) which formed the bulk of fascist mobs in the teens and twenties a hundred years ago in Europe.

When we understand that their ability to operate ‘above the law’ in many cases, find large groups of philanthropically minded lawyer’s groups (like the National Lawyers’ Guild) to work to have their charges dropped, district attorneys who are lenient, and the media industrial complex including monopoly social media, all work in coordinated fashion to enable the Antifa organization.

6. Their Violence Has Not Once Been in Defense of Labor Strikes and Pickets

Their methods and tactics are entirely uninvolved in labor ‘general strike’ type strategies that would more correctly characterize them as traditionally leftist. As seen above, rather, their methods are taken solely from the rise of fascism. Their material financial base, as well as their methods and tactics are fascist, as we have shown. Legitimate left-wing movements arise from, and are materially (financially) rooted in organized labor at its base. The various superstuctural manifestations along the ideological plane, whether nationalist, fascist, social-democratic, communists, anarchist, etc., are not – in the final analysis – determinative of the class and socio-economic nature of its (conscious or not) ‘leftism’ in terms of its relation to organized labor.

7. Their Cancel-Culture and Voter Disenfranchisement Campaign is Against Democracy

This critical in separating Antifa from historical bourgeois-democratic movements. In Marxian terms, in the transition from feudal modes of production to capitalist modes of production, the plutocracy helped arm and organize workers and peasants, the poor and disenfranchised, to overthrow the feudal nobility and usher in an history period characterized by bourgeois-democratic liberties and freedoms, which have come to characterize the ‘western tradition’ in modernity. Antifa is not a bourgeois-democratic movement because the U.S. is not a feudal, nor semi-feudal country, and also because their actions work against the existing rights to association and speech (cancel-culture), and work against enfranchisement as they have been operationalized towards a ballot harvesting scheme.

Concluding Commentary

The views of Griffin and Eco focus overwhelmingly upon the superstructural manifestations of the fascism of a century ago, so much so that Eco’s attempt to uncover an ‘Ur-fascism’, or generalized theory of identifying fascism, is an utter failure. Rather, Marxian analysis demonstrates that both historical fascism regardless of name as well as contemporary movements of the same essence are defined not by these superstructural manifestations (ideology, aesthetics, etc.) but rather by its driving base in terms of socio-economic class (economic foundation, private property, capital.

Election night and the weeks to follow will be met with a wave of violence larger than seen before. It will be difficult for those remaining on the left to understand that the Antifa foot soldiers are agents of capital, and not of labor. This is largely because of the gradual takeover of the left by new-left identity politics which crept slowly, and then rapidly, with May of 1968 and the Situationist moment being a key signifier.

We know that the FBI’s field offices which historically have infiltrated radical left-groups are also compromised, because we would otherwise see these FBI agents – whose work is often to act as agents provocateurs – to act as de-escalating agents urging calm from within the ranks of these fascistic Antifa outfits. We have not seen this, which is a key sign that the FBI at the very top is wrought with complicit activity, which incidentally is another piece of evidence in 5., above.

Perhaps it is ironic that Marxian analysis itself is best able to demonstrate that Antifa – whose members often describe themselves as Marxists (socialists, communists, etc.) – is in fact fascist.

The defense of the republic, of the bourgeois-democratic revolutionary gains of 1776-89 which were expanded in 1865, today rests upon election integrity, voter enfranchisement, and in a strange twist of fate, the Justice Department under AG Barr.

Published:10/29/2020 11:00:33 PM
[] Tony Bobulinski questioned by six FBI agents on Oct. 23 as a 'material witness' in ongoing Hunter Biden investigation (video) Published:10/29/2020 5:32:06 PM
[] Justice Department Official Confirms that the FBI Opened an Investigation Into "Hunter Biden and Associates" in 2019 -- and that that Investigation Remains "Open and Active" today James Rosen reports: @JamesRosenTV EXCLUSIVE: A @TheJusticeDept official confirms that in 2019, the @FBI opened up a criminal investigation into "Hunter Biden and his associates," focused on allegations of money-laundering, and that it remains open and active today. More very... Published:10/29/2020 5:32:06 PM
[] Breaking: Hackers steal $2.3M from WI GOP's Trump campaign days before the election Published:10/29/2020 10:22:44 AM
[Markets] "I've Never Spent A Year So Completely Baffled By The World As This..." "I've Never Spent A Year So Completely Baffled By The World As This..." Tyler Durden Thu, 10/29/2020 - 06:30

Authored by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,

Try 2021

Had a little email exchange with Dave Collum this week. We go way back, more than two weeks even. It’s been a while though, Twitter cut me off from Dave’s tweets ages ago for some reason, and that’s just one person I know they did that with; how many others, no clue. My Twitter followers, @AutomaticEarth, have been just below the same certain number for years.

Regularly a few hundred are shaved off, and then they slowly revert back to just below that number. I don’t even care anymore. No more than I care about Facebook shutting down our account without any explanation. Let them be. We should not depend on these people, that’s just a bad idea.

Anyway, so Dave was reacting to a mail I sent him of the October 26 Debt Rattle -he’s always remained on one of my mailing lists- and that’s how we started talking again. Dave:

I have never spent a year so completely baffled by the world as this year. Nothing makes sense to me without invoking some seriously bizarre thinking (which I am not averse to doing.)

My reaction:

The game hasn’t even started yet. We’re still just warming up. Still, baseball is not the right analogy, that’s a civilized sport, this will feel much more like gladiators in the Forum fighting to the death. Biden has neither the energy not the -killer- instinct for that.

Yes, Dave, like Jim Kunstler, and like me, and many other people, have changed our views and positions on American politics quite a bit over the past 4-5 years. Mostly independently of each other. We just recognize the same patterns.

I think it’s fair to say that we all realize that there may be a million things wrong with Donald Trump, but there’s a lot more wrong with collusion to unseat a fairly elected president.

And that is what we all have faced. The FBI, and Robert Mueller, opening a years-long investigation based on a report that they already knew was fake, paid for by the DNC and Hillary campaign, relentlessly edged on by the -former- “media” sympathetic to that same campaign, and ending in absolute crickets, trying to save face by accusing Julian Assange and 13 Russians.

We have reached whole new depths with Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann. So, yes, sure, we all feel a bit vindicated when it turns out that the collusion was not on the Trump side, but on the DNC one, and very much on the Biden family’s one.

That the DNC media refuse to report on that hardly matters anymore.

They’ll have huge problems if Biden wins, because their day-to-day coverage has been based exclusively on Trump and scandal and intrigue for 5 years now, and they don’t remember how they used to make money without that, with just reporting honestly on what is going on. Trump is their golden goose. What will they do, report on Joe hiding in the White House basement? “Today, Joe slept only 12 hours!” Truman Show.

They will have even bigger problems if Trump wins, since that means his supporters will come after the entire DNC/FBI etc. cabal, including the media. I’ve often said that Michael Flynn lawyer Sidney Powell will not be satisfied anymore with a full exoneration of her client, and her legal team is sure to have accumulated an entire library of fabricated media pieces against him on top of FBI and Judge Sullivan “mishaps”.

And whatever side of politics, or even the law, you’re on, and no matter who wins the election, the judicial system will still churn on. She won’t stop, she won’t wave a white flag, guaranteed. Trump must have offered Flynn a full exoneration many times, but every one of his refusals of the offers must have been more stern than the last one.

And now, 6 days before the election, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and Google’s Sundar Pichai testified in front of a congressional committee. While, from what I’ve seen, half of US eligible voters have already cast their vote. 50% of the social media job is done. And no-one on Capitol Hill will dare touch them. Because they are the new arms and tools of US intelligence, and you don’t mess with that.

Trump wins, we’ll see a huge increase in the violent street parties dressed up as “peaceful protests” we’ve become accustomed to over the past 6 months. Just last night, like it’s some kind of warning shot, things got way out of hand in New York and Philadelphia.

Biden wins, the right wing will come looking for what’s been taken away from them over the past 4 years, with the president they elected under constant investigation based on nothing other than party political gossip – and that’s putting it nicely. The Hunter and Joe Biden files that have been revealed so far give them ample reason to do just that.

To get back to Collum’s “Nothing makes sense to me without invoking some seriously bizarre thinking”, I think we should all prepare for just that. Unless there’s a landslide win for either side, which looks impossible, there doesn’t seem to be any way to know who will win in six days, before the new year. While the “peaceful protests” rage on.

And then we end up in the Supreme Court and Amy Handmaid Barrett casts the deciding vote. That’s not her fault, it’s everybody else’s. Everything about American politics has gotten out of hand, on all sides of all aisles. We don’t want the most qualified judges anymore, or the most qualified presidents, we instead want people in all these positions who agree with everything we think is right, which we know because our media has told us.

Collum: “I have never spent a year so completely baffled by the world as this year.”

My friend, you’re in for a treat. Try 2021.

*  *  *

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Published:10/29/2020 5:48:54 AM
[Markets] Will They Really Get Away With It? Will They Really Get Away With It? Tyler Durden Wed, 10/28/2020 - 23:45

Authored by Chris Farrell via The Gatestone Institute,

Obama administration officials committed crimes against the constitution. They engaged in a seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States.

Will they really get away with it?

Forty government officials were indicted or jailed as a result of Watergate. White House staffers H.R. Haldeman and John Erlichman went to jail. White House counsel John Dean went to jail. Attorney General John Mitchell went to jail. Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy, Charles Colson and James McCord – all jailed. Nixon Press Secretary Ronald L. Ziegler called Watergate a "third-rate burglary." It toppled a president.

"Obamagate," or the "Russia Hoax" is a political and criminal scandal exponentially more serious and damaging to the constitution. Like the Richter Scale measurements of earthquakes, Obamagate can be measured in "orders of magnitude" greater seriousness than the third-rate burglary. Obamagate is the First American Coup. Not from the militaristic right, as fantasized by liberal Hollywood. Oh, no – from the "fundamental transformation" artists of the Bolshevik Left.

Writing in the New York Post on October 24, 2020, columnist Michael Goodwin listed his reasons for voting for Donald Trump, again. His reasoning included:

"The other side must not be rewarded for its efforts to sabotage and remove a duly-elected president.

"Russia, Russia, Russia was a scam that ruined lives and put a cloud over the White House for nearly three years. The sequel was partisan impeachment, a clumsy coup attempt orchestrated by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Trump haters in Congress, the deep state, and the media.

"The press corps' bias of 2016 has morphed into full-blown partisanship on a daily basis at print, digital and broadcast outlets. FacebookTwitter and other platforms openly use their power to censor pro-Trump news and opinion while promoting anything that makes the president look bad.

"It's not the algorithms; it's the people behind them.

"Their decision to block The Post's groundbreaking reports on Hunter Biden's business deals and Joe Biden's involvement should scare anyone who treasures the First Amendment. To censors, Orwell's nightmare is their dream.

"All fairness has been abandoned in a frenzy to destroy Trump and everything he represents. This culture war extends backward, too."

This is all very important stuff. It is still defective in one key area: it ignores (largely) the crime. The details of the criminal seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States.

How are we still missing this?

The (awesome and formidable) law enforcement and intelligence powers of the United States were perversely twisted and abused to advance a partisan political agenda by the sitting president (Barack Obama); his paid political operatives; and officers, agents and employees of the United States Government against Candidate Trump, President-elect Trump and President Trump.

There are handy references to keep track of the cast of characters involved in the coup plot. The Epoch Times has a resource, as does the Capital Research Center. One hopes John Durham has a reference, file or graphic that is something close to those analytical pieces. He seems to need some sort of help, since he apparently is unable to move past the anemic, pathetic Clinesmith indictment.

Seasoned investigators and attorneys can take the publicly available records and assemble sufficient facts, documentation and evidence to meet the legal threshold ("probable cause") for successfully presenting a bill of indictment to a grand jury.

Why is there reluctance today? How is it that Attorney General William Barr and John Durham are consumed with prosecutorial ennui when the crimes and cover-ups are so painfully obvious? One is left to conclude that it really all comes down to political will. Do Barr and/or Durham have the stomach to seek the indictment of people like James Comey, John Brennan, Andy McCabe and (many) others?

Granted, Lindsey Graham is certainly no Sam Ervin; and Richard Burr abdicated the running of the Senate Intelligence Committee to Mark Warner years ago – but AG Barr and Prosecutor Durham do not need committees of Congress for "cover" to pursue the criminality of the Obama administration and their operatives in the Department of Justice, FBI, CIA and State Department.

Just remember: 40 jailed for Watergate.

Published:10/28/2020 10:56:56 PM
[Markets] Hunter Biden Documents Mysteriously Vanish From Overnight Envelope, Tucker Carlson Says Hunter Biden Documents Mysteriously Vanish From Overnight Envelope, Tucker Carlson Says Tyler Durden Wed, 10/28/2020 - 23:05

Authored by Ivan Pentchoukov via The Epoch Times,

A collection of confidential documents related to the Biden family mysteriously vanished from an envelope sent to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, the host said on Wednesday night.

Carlson’s team allegedly received the documents from a source on Monday. At the time, Carlson was on the West Coast filming an interview with Tony Bobulinski, the former business partner of Hunter Biden and James Biden. Carlson requested the documents to be sent to the West Coast.

According to Carlson, the producer shipped the documents overnight to California using a large national package carrier. He didn’t name the company, saying only that it’s a “brand name company.”

“The Biden documents never arrived in Los Angeles. Tuesday morning we received word from our shipping company that our package had been opened and the contents were missing,” Carlson said. “The documents had disappeared.”

The company took the incident seriously and immediately began a search, Carlson said. The company traced the package from when it was dropped off in New York to the moment when an employee at a sorting facility reported that the package was opened and empty.

The company’s security team interviewed every employee who touched the envelope we sent. They searched the plane and the trucks that carried it. They went through the office in New York where our producers dropped the package off. They combed the entire cavernous sorting facility. They used pictures of what we had sent so that searchers would know what to look for,” Carlson said.

“They far and beyond, but they found nothing.”

“Those documents have vanished,” he added.

“As of tonight, the company has no idea and no working theory even about what happened to this trove of materials, documents that are directly relevant to the presidential campaign just six days from now.”

Executives at the shipping company were “baffled” and “deeply bothered” by the incident, Carlson said.

Carlson’s interview with Bobulinski aired on Tuesday night. In the interview, Bobulinski opined that Joe Biden and the Biden family are compromised by China due to the business dealings of Hunter Biden and James Biden. Joe Biden has not publicly responded to Bobulinski’s allegations, but during a presidential debate on Oct. 22 said he had “not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life.”

Bobulinski provided more than 1,700 pages of emails and more than 600 screenshots of text messages to Senate investigators and handed over to the FBI the smartphones he used during his business dealings with the Bidens. The documents detailed a failed joint venture between a billionaire tied to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and a company owned by Hunter Biden, James Biden, Bobulinski and two other partners.

While the corporate documents don’t mention Biden by name, emails sent between the partners suggest that either James Biden or Hunter Biden held a 10 percent stake for the former vice president. In the email, the stake is assigned to “the big guy,” who Bobulinski says is Joe Biden.

Published:10/28/2020 10:16:35 PM
[Politics] Giuliani Slams Media, FBI Cover-Up on Biden's Business, 'Crimes' President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani came out swinging Monday night, claiming a media and FBI cover-up of what he called Biden family crimes. Published:10/26/2020 8:26:32 PM
[Markets] 'You'll Bury Everyone Involved': Bobulinski Recorded Biden Operatives Begging Him To Stay Quiet, Set To Release Tues 'You'll Bury Everyone Involved': Bobulinski Recorded Biden Operatives Begging Him To Stay Quiet, Set To Release Tues Tyler Durden Mon, 10/26/2020 - 17:15

Former Biden insider Tony Bobulinski allegedly has a recording of Biden family operatives begging him to stay quiet, or he will "bury" the reputations of everyone involved in Hunter's overseas dealings.

According to The Federalist's Sean Davis, Bobulinski will play the tape on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Tuesday, when Carlson will devote his show 'entirely' to an interview with the Biden whistleblower.

As The Federalist notes:

The Federalist confirmed with sources familiar with the plans that Bobulinski, a retired Navy lieutenant and Biden associate, will be airing tapes of Biden operatives begging Bobulinski to remain quiet as former Vice President Joe Biden nears the finish line to the White House next week.

Bobulinski flipped on the Bidens following a Senate report which revealed that they received a $5 million interest-free loan from a now-bankrupt Chinese energy company.

According to the former Biden insider, he was introduced to Joe Biden by Hunter, and they had an hour-long meeting where they discussed the Biden's business plans with the Chinese, with which he says Joe was "plainly familiar at least at a high level." 

Text messages from Bobulinski also reveal an effort to conceal Joe Biden's involvement in Hunter's business dealings, while Tony has also confirmed that the "Big guy" described in a leaked email is none other than Joe Biden himself.

Of course, aside from the corruption allegations, Hunter Biden's laptop allegedly contained child porn, which the FBI sat on for nine months after a Delaware computer repair shop owner turned it over to them, only to approach Congress - and finally Rudy Giuliani, when nobody else would take action.

And while we take no position on the "Q" phenomenon - we would be remiss if we didn't point out that the MSM is panicking to cover up what appears to be yet another elite pedophile who may have had an incestuous relationship with his niece - whose mother (his brother Beau's widow) Hunter was intimately familiar with.

What's going on with these people?

Imagine if Donald Trump Jr. was smoking crack while getting footjobs from potentially underage family members, whose pornographic photos were found on his laptop.

Published:10/26/2020 4:28:43 PM
[National Security] Top al Qaeda Operative Reportedly Killed in Afghanistan

Afghan security forces claimed they killed a top al Qaeda operative listed on the FBI’s most-wanted list, Politico reported Sunday.

The post Top al Qaeda Operative Reportedly Killed in Afghanistan appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:10/26/2020 2:28:08 PM
[Markets] Joe And Hillary: Strange Parallels Joe And Hillary: Strange Parallels Tyler Durden Mon, 10/26/2020 - 13:50

Authored by John Watson via AmericanThinker.com,

I could not help but notice a strange parallel between the Biden campaign of 2020 and the Clinton campaign of 2016.

In 2016, Clinton had an email problem.

She, her party, and the compliant press all tried to hide it, play it down, and do everything else to minimize the damage. When the election was over, Clinton commented that she would have won but for the emails (exposing her corruption). I thought then, what a sick campaign strategy, to hide her corruption long enough for her to be elected, and then make it all go away. We now know others also believed and counted on a lot of activities to be pushed under the rug and forever buried with her election. Well, it did not turn out as they expected, and the evidence is now piling up about levels of corruption never before seen in American politics.

We are now in a 2020 election cycle, and Joe Biden has an email problem, too. 

As with Clinton, every effort is being made to hide it from the American voters. The leftist press is all in to hide the truth. At first, Biden denied such events as having met with a Burisma executive at his son’s request’ however, he later had to admit there may have been such a meeting. The problem is the damaging emails come from Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s own computer, now in the possession of the FBI. The Biden camp tried the old “Russians did it” thing, but our DNI quickly dispelled that myth. Other people on the email strings have now corroborated the emails as authentic, and former associates of Hunter Biden have come forth to implicate Joe Biden directly as being “the big guy” getting 10% of contemplated payoffs from the Chinese Communists, as described in the emails from his son’s computer, and confirming other sordid activities of the Biden family.

Isn’t it strange that the Democrats have twice in a row nominated candidates with serious baggage that was exposed and is being exposed by emails?

Are they so arrogant that they think they can get away with nominating such flawed candidates because they know their faithful so-called press will protect them by not printing the real news and/or printing fake news? Do they never learn a lesson from their mistakes?

The parallel is striking, but it illuminates further a huge difference between the candidates. Do we want to vote for a candidate who gave up his wealth for America, or for a candidate who gave up America for his wealth? 

Some on the left have described Hunter Biden as a tragic story of someone destroyed by drugs. Since Biden has acknowledged awareness of Hunter’s drug problems, we might ask a question of Good Old Joe, Mr. Nice Guy. What kind of father would use his drug-addled son as a bagman to rake in money from foreign governments?

Published:10/26/2020 12:54:11 PM
[Politics] Report: Trump Plans to Fire FBI, CIA Directors After Election President Donald Trump is planning to immediately fire FBI Director Christopher Wray if he gets re-elected, reports Axios. Published:10/25/2020 7:19:28 PM
[Markets] Putin Defends Bidens, Becomes 'Visibly Irritated' When Asked About $3.5 Million Moscow Payment To Hunter Putin Defends Bidens, Becomes 'Visibly Irritated' When Asked About $3.5 Million Moscow Payment To Hunter Tyler Durden Sun, 10/25/2020 - 20:00

Russian President Vladimir Putin defended Hunter Biden on Sunday, saying the saw 'nothing criminal' regarding his past business ties with Ukraine or Russia, according to Reuters.

Putin's statement would seem to fly in the face of the MSM's latest conspiracy theory that he's somehow behind the release of Hunter Biden's alleged laptop contents, and you should believe that 'whether or not it's true.' It would also suggest that Putin never possessed, or hasn't read the New York Post's undisputed evidence that Hunter introduced a Burisma adviser to his father eight months before Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire their Prosecutor General, who was investigating Burisma at the time.

Putin appeared less friendly towards Trump in remarks broadcast by Russian state TV on Sunday. In what may be seen by some analysts as an attempt to try to curry favour with the Biden camp, he took the time to knock down what he made clear he regarded as false allegations from Trump about the Bidens.

“Yes, in Ukraine he (Hunter Biden) had or maybe still has a business, I don’t know. It doesn’t concern us. It concerns the Americans and the Ukrainians,” said Putin. -Reuters

"But well yes he had at least one company, which he practically headed up, and judging from everything he made good money. I don’t see anything criminal about this, at least we don’t know anything about this (being criminal)," said the Russian leader - who leftists in America have spent four years insisting is extremely corrupt, and will now lionize as a paragon of truth.

According to the report, Putin "reacted with visible irritation" over question regarding an alleged $3.5 million payment made to Hunter Biden the ex-Moscow Mayor's widow - responding that he knew nothing about a commercial relationship between Hunter and the woman who President Trump said was tied to Putin during last week's debate.

In September, top Republicans called for the FBI and DOJ to investigate a series of wire transfers from Russian and Chinese businesspeople to Hunter Biden, after Senate Republicans released a report detailing the suspicious transactions - including a $3.5 million wire from a Russian billionaire whose late husband was the mayor of Moscow.

Coincidentally, the same Senate report infuriated ex-Biden business partner Tony Boboulinski after he learned that the Bidens received an alleged $5 million interest-free loan from a now-bankrupt Chinese energy company following the release of a damning Senate report.

In any event, looks like Putin backs Biden.

Published:10/25/2020 7:19:28 PM
[Markets] Outrage After WaPo Says To 'Treat Biden Leaks As Foreign Intel Operation - Even If They Probably Aren't' Outrage After WaPo Says To 'Treat Biden Leaks As Foreign Intel Operation - Even If They Probably Aren't' Tyler Durden Sun, 10/25/2020 - 17:00

As MSM outlets twist in the wind waiting for anyone to deny the authenticity of the Hunter Biden laptop contents (while blurry images of M&M's spanning Hunter's penis and crack-smoking footjob videos permeate dark corners of the web), the Washington Post is advising people to just assume that it's a foreign intelligence operation, and ignore Occam's razor, or two former Biden business associates who have gone on record and provided direct evidence.

Holding the Post accountable for their literal propaganda is journalist Glenn Greenwald, who not only shreds WaPo's farcical attempts at journalism - but the rest of the MSM's as well.

Oddly, we don't recall the Post's kneejerk over an unverified anti-Trump dossier created by a British spook, which the FBI referred to as "Crown material," being that it was part of a 'foreign intelligence operation' prior to its investigation and subsequent debunking.

Of course, in the fullness of time it turned out to be a domestic hit-job with significant foreign assistance.

Meanwhile...

And of course, social media platforms' masks are all the way off in terms of suppressing a story which would damage their favored candidate

Published:10/25/2020 4:16:32 PM
[Markets] Escobar: Make America Jeffersonian Again Escobar: Make America Jeffersonian Again Tyler Durden Sat, 10/24/2020 - 23:30

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

The whole planet has every reason to be terminally puzzled at how all those lofty Enlightenment ideals Thomas Jefferson embedded in the 1776 Declaration of Independence ended up with... Trump vs. Biden.

Jefferson borrowed freely from Locke, Rousseau, Hume to come up with an eminently quotable Greatest Hits, featuring “self-evident” truths such as “all men are created equal”, “unalienable rights”, and that searing “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Well, Baudrillard would have dubbed the exercise a mere simulacrum, because in real life none of this uplifting rhetoric applied to Native Americans and enslaved Africans.

Still, there’s something endlessly fascinating about these “self-evident truths”. They actually radiated like Spinoza axioms, spawning abstract truths that can be extrapolated at will. Jefferson’s “self-evident truths” ended up creating the whole, massive structure of what we define as “Western liberal democracy”.

So it’s no wonder that America – perennially self-described as “leader of the free world” – consider these “self-evident truths” as the basis of an ideal society.

And it’s this messianic river of fervent truth flowing out of a Himalaya of Morality that leads Americans to dismiss as “malign actors” every nation or society that is judged to be “deviating” from such obvious evidence.

Those damned furreners. They’re always up to no good.

Cut to a mini-remix of the last Trump-Biden presidential debate. In foreign policy terms, it went something like this.

The moderator is desperate to move on as she’s very much aware of time constraints and looming, incandescent clashes: “Now I want to move on to Defense. It’s established Russia and China are interfering in our election process…”

Here’s classic “self-evident truth” material, delivered according to strict Council on Foreign Relations guidelines.

Cut to Biden: any country that interferes with the American elections “will pay a price”. Russia’s “been involved, China has been involved to some degree, and Iran’s been involved.” They are interfering with “American sovereignty”. Rudy Giuliani was used “as a Russian pawn”. Trump is “unwilling” to confront Putin. Russia has “destabilized NATO” and is “paying bounties to kill Americans in Afghanistan.” And China “has to play by the rules” – or else.

Cut to Trump: “You mean the laptop from hell is another Russia, Russia, Russia hoax?”

For the record: Joe Biden did blame the contents of son Hunter’s laptop from hell on Russia.

And discussing North Korea, when Trump said he got along fine with Kim Jong-Un, Biden stated, “We had a good relationship with Hitler before he invaded Europe.” Incidentally, Germany is and remains in Europe. And it’s quite something to see Biden acknowledging in public proven US industrial and political support to Nazism.

Those damn furreners

So, inevitably, the laptop from hell had to show up.

The FBI had Hunter Biden’s laptop since December 2019 – as it had issued a subpoena for it in the first place. And yet the FBI sat on the laptop for 11 months doing nothing.

That must have given plenty of time for those pesky Russians to steal the laptop and plant incriminating evidence.

Well, not really. The FBI was busy mulling how to conduct an investigation on “money laundering”. And not on child porn – which, according to Giuliani, is the piece de resistance in the laptop. No one knows if these alleged “investigations” are ongoing.

Now, the FBI and the Department of Justice have finally “concurred”: Hunter Biden’s laptop and emails were not part of a Russian disinformation campaign – directly contradicting what Joe Biden said in the debate.

But then, right before the debate, a bombshell presser – including the FBI and Homeland Security – had announced those pesky Russians and Iranians were in fact “trying to influence opinion” on the US elections.

“Self-evident truths” were back with a bang.

One can’t make this stuff up.

And it gets even murkier when the actual “election interference” may be coming from inside the US, not from those damn furreners.

This past summer, the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) war-gamed possible scenarios post-November 3. All the scenarios lead to a huge constitutional crisis – forced, as part of the premise, by Trump’s refusal to concede his defeat at the polls.

TIP, predictably, is a proverbial Beltway bubble, composed of assorted Democratic Party higher-ups, Clintonistas, Obamistas and neo-con Never Trumpers.

Their message is now widely accepted as another avatar of “self-evident truths” because of this group’s powerful grip over Anglo-American mainstream media. Reverberations may be seen, for instance, herehere and here.

So the preferred doomsday scenario ahead spells out an engineered unresolved election, wide socio-political chaos, “continuity of government” protocols, even martial law.

What’s “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” got to do with it?

Published:10/24/2020 10:39:46 PM
[Markets] The Damage Russiagate Has Done The Damage Russiagate Has Done Tyler Durden Sat, 10/24/2020 - 18:30

Authored by Patrick Lawrence via ConsortiumNews.com,

Authoritarian liberals have unleashed a censorious syndrome peculiar to our national character, dating to 17th century Quaker hangings in Boston. 

An inhabitant of Twitterland named “Willow Inski” took to the keyboard on Oct. 11, asking why anyone still accepts official accounts of the crucial theft of emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta in the spring of 2016.   

Excellently observed, Willow. And at just the right moment. At this point we are amid a frenzy of what Hannah Arendt called “defactualization” in a 1971 essay she titled “Lying in Politics.” Facts are fragile, Arendt astutely observed, because they can so easily be manipulated to produce a desired image. “It is this fragility,” she wrote, “that makes deception so very easy up to a point, and so tempting.”

The latest example of this phenom concerns the emails of Hunter Biden, candidate Joe’s errant son, which persuasively incriminate both in very profitable influence-peddling schemes when Papa was Barack Obama’s veep.

Joe Biden, foreground, and son Hunter during inauguration of President Barack Obama, Jan. 20, 2009. (acaben, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Nobody denies the facts as published last week in The New York Post, not even Biden père et fils, but the facts are once again mutilated with assertions that it is another case of the Rrrrrrussians spreading disinformation.   

This is what we get after four years of the Russia collusion b.s., otherwise known as Russiagate. Anything goes if implicating Russia solves a political problem for the Democrats and keeps the war machine going for the Pentagon and the national security state. It defers the moment — at some point it will come — when the press is exposed for its radically stupid overinvestment in the Russiagate nonsense. The price America has already begun to pay is very high.

Willow’s expression of perplexity comes after an especially lively season of revelations as regards what must count as the largest disinformation op in U.S. history. It is now six months since the Russiagate hoax — and I am fine with President Donald Trump’s term for it — began its final crash into a pile of piffle. While it remains to be seen whether more evidence of political chicanery is coming, what evidence we already have is more than sufficient to identify Russiagate as the probable criminal fraud it was from the start.

I am refreshed that Willow Inski, who describes herself as an “attorney, wife, mother, proud American,” sees through this extravagant ruse. And yet, as she notes, a lot of people don’t. A lot of people are “still taking at face value” all the misinformation, disinformation, and outright lies our newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters have purveyed incessantly for the past four years.

Why is a very large question. All possible answers are disturbing. But here is another big one we get to before that: When we consider together all its many consequences, has Russiagate destroyed what remained of American democracy before illiberal liberals, spooks, law enforcement, and the press colluded to erect the dreadful edifice?

The Damage Done

Your columnist’s answer rests on the most scrupulously precise definition of Russiagate one can manage: What we have witnessed these past four years is an attempted palace coup against a sitting president.

Cold comfort it is that the gang that couldn’t shoot straight bungled the job. It has also created a Democratic default position: When wrongdoing by Democrats is credibly exposed, automatically blame Russia. Among much else, that has led to unnecessary tension with a nuclear power. This damage will long stay with us.

Russiagate’s foundation stone — baseless allegations that Moscow was  responsible for the 2016 DNC email intrusions — crumbled long ago. We’ve known since July 2017 that nobody hacked the email servers in question.

This was confirmed by the Dec. 5, 2017, closed-door congressional testimony of Shawn Henry, president of CrowdStrike, the firm the Democrats hired to examine the DNC servers.  It was made public only on May 7, 2020. Henry said under oath: “There’s not evidence that they [the emails]  were actually exfiltrated. There’s circumstantial evidence … but no evidence that they were actually exfiltrated. …”

Shawn Henry at international security forum in Vancouver, 2009. (Hubert K, Flickr)

The emails were most likely compromised by someone with direct access to them, probably a DNC insider. ’Twas a leak, not a hack.

But incessant propaganda and a sloppy but effective coverup have kept the fable going since then. All has been open game these past years, scabrous, apparent false-flag poisonings — the Skripals, Alexei Navalny —baseless tales of Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers’ heads. The press has reported this sort of rubbish for years as if it were confirmed fact. Spectral evidence has reigned.

It is this coverup that has been falling apart since last spring.

First came news that the collusion case against Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, was bogus and that Flynn entered his two guilty pleas when prosecutors threatened to indict his son if he refused. When the Justice Department dropped its case against Flynn, it simultaneously forced the House Intelligence Committee to release documents showing that no “evidence” of a Russian email hack ever existed, even as the Democrats, the spooks, and the press missed no chance to bang on about it.

Those who got my goat at the time were people such as Adam Schiff, the Democratic congressman from Hollywood and leader of the charge on Capitol Hill, who knew there was no evidence of Russian involvement but repeatedly insisted they had seen it whenever they faced a CNN camera. 

You are right, Ms. Inski: Crowdstrike, the grossly corrupt firm that was supposed to have all the evidence one could ever want, never had any. Former FBI Director James Comey admitted in testimony that the FBI asked for but never gained possession of the DNC server, even though this would be the “best practice.” We can surmise that this was so, so that the bureau could deny responsibility for what amounts to a psyop perpetrated against Americans. In June 2019 it was reported that CrowdStrike also never gave the FBI a final report because none was ever produced since the FBI never asked for one.

FBI Director James Comey testifying to Congress that the agency had been denied access to DNC servers, March 20, 2017. (C-Span still)

Among the congressional testimonies released last spring, two top Clinton campaign operatives, Podesta and Jake Sullivan, acknowledged that they met after Trump’s election with the principals of Fusion GPS, the infamous orchestrator of the Steele Dossier, to keep the Russiagate ball rolling. What a difference speaking under oath makes. 

Actually, what got my goat a second time was that none of this, as in none, was reported in The New York Times or anywhere else in the mainstream media.  Our once-but-no-more newspaper of record has made an absolute dog’s dinner of itself since its leadership decided to buy into the Russiagate junk. At this point I am convinced its ties to the spooks are as dense and corrupt as they were during the worst of the Cold War decades, when the publisher signed a covert agreement to cooperate with the CIA.

Clinton Approved Plan

As if any more reports were needed to deflate the Russiagate balloon, the evidence continues to accumulate. At the end of September John Ratcliffe, director of national intelligence, informed Senator Lindsey Graham that intelligence agencies had information “alleging that U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee.” Some of us knew this four years ago.

While Ratcliffe’s letter adds that spookworld “does not know the accuracy of this allegation,” it goes on to note that the intel in question was serious enough for John Brennan, then the CIA director, to brief President Barack Obama about it and forward it to Comey and Peter Strzok, respectively FBI director and deputy assistant director of counterintelligence at the time. This is the referral, of course, that Comey now claims he cannot recall a damn thing about.

Given the Podesta and Sullivan testimonies, the Ratcliffe disclosures stitch the case: In my view, the Clinton campaign’s active role in starting and prolonging the Russiagate propaganda operation is now open-and-shut. (It was first reported in October 2017 by Consortium News and predicted by me in Salon on July 26, 2016 and three days before the 2016 election by CN‘s editor).

I wrote back then in Salon:

“Making lemonade out of a lemon, the Clinton campaign now goes for a twofer. Watch as it advances the Russians-did-it thesis on the basis of nothing, then shoots the messenger, then associates Trump with its own mess — and, finally, gets to ignore the nature of its transgression (which any paying-attention person must consider grave).”

Declassifications Ignored

In the matter of goats, the Ratcliffe letter seems to have gotten Trump’s. A week later he took to Twitter calling for the declassification, without redaction, of all documents related to the Russiagate probes.

Although Trump did not issue an official order to this effect, this amounts to a direct challenge to what he has been all along referring to as the Deep State. (Trump first “ordered” the declassification, and was ignored, in September 2018.) Last Thursday Ratcliffe formally requested an investigation of the “Intelligence Community Assessment” of January 2017, a worthless put-up job that purported to confirm Russian “meddling.” The CIA’s inspector general ignored an earlier such request.

Will more come out? Will the investigation Trump ordered earlier this year by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham get all the way to the bottom? This is hard to say. We’ve since had credible reports that CIA Director Gina Haspel, known for authorizing post–2001 torture and destroying evidence of it, has personally blocked the release of Russiagate-related documents from the CIA’s files. And the repellent Haspel may win this one, given the record in such matters.  

The Russiagate “narrative” is at this point so preposterous that these recent disclosures have also gone either badly reported or unreported in mainstream media. We ought not expect more in days to come. The press has only one alternative at this point: Either black it out or allege that Russia is using people such as Ratcliffe, just as we’re now asked to believe Moscow  is manipulating The New York Post.

What an ungodly mess Russiagate has made of our splendid republic.

We have watched an attempted coup not much different from the CIA’s covert ops elsewhere over the decades, then gave the coup plotters three years to investigate the plot, and no one, as things now appear, will be brought to justice for these travesties. 

Send in the historians. One hopes they’re already here.

The CIA, in breach of its charter, has now licensed itself to operate on U.S. soil in a probably unprecedented alliance with domestic law enforcement and a major political party. And it has told us in open defiance that it has no intention of submitting itself to executive or congressional control. No voice is raised, we must note with astonishment.

Government Without a Press

In 1787, when he was our new nation’s minister in Paris, Jefferson wrote home to a friend that “were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” We are stuck with a government without newspapers now, given the ties our press has consolidated its ties with political and bureaucratic power in the course of imposing the Russiagate ruse upon us.

Political theorist Hannah Arendt. (Flicker Ryohei Noda)

They only look like newspapers now. The liberal media are now bulletin boards for those they serve — the Democratic Party, the spooks, and all the interests these two represent. Do they think that, once Trump leaves office, they can cavalierly reclaim the credibility they have profligately squandered in the service of Russiagate?

I see no chance of this. And here we have a silver lining: Russiagate will prove a key moment in the emergence of independent media (such as Consortium News) as important sources of accurate information and perspectives. This is already evident. At this point The New York Times is to sound reporting what Applebee’s is to a proper tavern serving good draft beer.

The worst consequence of Russiagate, in my view, is the swoon of hysteria it has sent many Americans into, a syndrome peculiar to our national character dating to the Quaker hangings in Boston during the early 1660s and repeated many times since. We are divided once again between the paranoid and the rational.

And there is an ideological distinction here that we must not miss. Willow Inski is a conservative and appears to be a Trumper. She addressed Paul Sperry, a New York Post reporter closely following the Russiagate debacle and also a conservative.

The paranoids, the Puritan preachers, the witch hunters, those who think censorship is a fine thing are this time one and all authoritarian liberals apparently determined to make everyone think as they do or else see to their banishment from the circles of the elect.

Let us debate opinions until the kingdom comes. But these people propose to debate facts because they understand the fragility Arendt noted all those years ago. This is not on. 

“Under normal circumstances the liar is defeated by reality, for which there is no substitute,” Arendt wrote.

“No matter how large the tissue of falsehood that an experienced liar has to offer, it will never be large enough, even if he enlists the help of computers, to cover the immensity of factuality.”

One hopes Arendt turns out to be right. One hopes the immensity of factuality eventually prevails. “Defactualization” in the service of all the Russiagate rubbish has gravely undermined numerous of our key institutions. As things now stand, this leaves us well short of what we need to reconstruct a working democracy.

Published:10/24/2020 5:33:11 PM
[Markets] FBI And GSA Gave Mueller 'Secret Access' To Trump Records FBI And GSA Gave Mueller 'Secret Access' To Trump Records Tyler Durden Sat, 10/24/2020 - 15:00

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the General Services Administration (GSA) undermined the Trump transition team by violating a memorandum of understanding between the Trump transition team and the GSA - when they complied with requests from the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller's office to provide private records on members of Trump's team, according to a Senate report released on Friday.

As Just the News notes:

The majority staff report from both the Senate Committee on Finance and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs claims that officials from both the FBI and Mueller's office "secretly sought and received access to the private records of Donald J. Trump’s presidential transition team, Trump for America, Inc.

"They did so," the report continues, "despite the terms of a memorandum of understanding between the Trump transition team and the General Services Administration...—the executive agency responsible for providing services to both candidates’ transition teams—that those records were the transition team’s private property that would not be retained at the conclusion of the transition."

?According to the report, the GSA - without notifying the White House - reached out to the FBI following Michael Flynn's resignation as national security adviser and offered to retain records from the Trump transition team in early 2017. The records compiled eventually made their way into Mueller's office, according to the report.

"At bottom," continues the report, "the GSA and the FBI undermined the transition process by preserving Trump transition team records contrary to the terms of the memorandum of understanding, hiding that fact from the Trump transition team, and refusing to provide the team with copies of its own records."

"These actions have called into question the GSA’s role as a neutral service provider, and those doubts have consequences," the report reads. "Future presidential transition teams must have confidence that their use of government resources and facilities for internal communications and deliberations—including key decisions such as nominations, staffing, and significant policy changes—will not expose them to exploitation by third parties, including political opponents."

Published:10/24/2020 2:08:29 PM
[] Rudy Giuliani says 'something really wrong' with the FBI's investigation of Hunter Biden Published:10/23/2020 6:54:12 PM
[In The News] DEEP STATE: Federal Agency Secretly Offered FBI Documents On Trump Officials, Senate Report Says

By Chuck Ross -

A Senate report released Friday blasts the FBI and General Services Administration over their handling of records from the Trump presidential transition team in early 2017.  The report cites evidence that GSA volunteered to provide the FBI with documents related to Michael Flynn.  According the report, from Senate Republicans, GSA had agreed with the Trump campaign …

DEEP STATE: Federal Agency Secretly Offered FBI Documents On Trump Officials, Senate Report Says is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:10/23/2020 4:25:19 PM
[2020 Election News] FBI Meeting With Former Biden Family Business Partner, Senator Says

By Chuck Ross -

The FBI is meeting Friday with a businessman who has come forward with a trove of documents related to the Biden family’s involvement in a deal with a Chinese energy company, according to Republican Sen. Ron Johnson. Johnson said in a statement that lawyers for Tony Bobulinski informed him that the FBI had asked to …

FBI Meeting With Former Biden Family Business Partner, Senator Says is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:10/23/2020 3:21:52 PM
[Uncategorized] Debate: Biden Dodges His Family’s Influence Peddling By Falsely Accusing Trump of ‘Amplifying Russian Misinformation’

DNI and FBI have indicated there's no evidence Hunter Biden's laptop evidence is part of Russian disinformation campaign.

The post Debate: Biden Dodges His Family's Influence Peddling By Falsely Accusing Trump of 'Amplifying Russian Misinformation' first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.

Published:10/23/2020 1:21:41 PM
[Politics] Hunter Biden's Former Business Partner Speaking With FBI An interview that was to have taken place between members of two Senate committees and former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski has been postponed because he'll be speaking with the FBI, Sen. Ron Johnson's... Published:10/23/2020 11:55:38 AM
[] Former Hunter business partner: I've got the smoking guns, and I'm going to the FBI Published:10/23/2020 11:21:16 AM
[Politics] WATCH: Tony Bobulinski just held press conference on evidence against Joe Biden Tony Bobulinski just held a presser to announce the evidence he’s about to turn over to the FBI and the Senate tomorrow regarding his business dealings with the Biden crime family: He . . . Published:10/22/2020 6:39:23 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Tony Bobulinski just held press conference on evidence against Joe Biden Tony Bobulinski just held a presser to announce the evidence he’s about to turn over to the FBI and the Senate tomorrow regarding his business dealings with the Biden crime family: He . . . Published:10/22/2020 6:39:23 PM
[] Hunter Biden's former business partner says he'll turn over electronic devices and records to the FBI Published:10/22/2020 5:10:28 PM
[] Open Thread @johnrobertsFox BREAKING: Tony Bobulinski will announce that he will turn his electronic devices and records of business dealings with Hunter and Jim Biden over to the FBI... Published:10/22/2020 4:46:25 PM
[Markets] Epstein And Bill Clinton Flew Together, Maxwell Confirms In Newly Released Deposition Epstein And Bill Clinton Flew Together, Maxwell Confirms In Newly Released Deposition Tyler Durden Thu, 10/22/2020 - 17:00

Authored by Bowden Xiao via The Epoch Times

Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime associate of deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, confirmed in a newly unsealed 2016 deposition that she had flown together with Epstein and former President Bill Clinton.

The deposition, from a now-settled civil defamation lawsuit against Maxwell by accuser Virginia Giuffre, contains countless instances of Maxwell evading lawyers’ questions. Epstein described Maxwell—a longtime member of Epstein’s inner circle—as his “best friend” in a 2003 Vanity Fair piece.

At one point in the deposition, Maxwell is asked by Guiffre’s lawyer Sigrid McCawley: “You did fly on planes, Jeffrey Epstein’s planes with President Clinton, is that correct?”

Maxwell replied: “I have flown, yes.”

Maxwell has long been accused of helping groom minor girls for Epstein. Multiple alleged victims of Epstein have accused Maxwell of luring them into his trafficking circle, where they said they were sexually abused by him and other powerful people.

In follow up questions, Maxwell was asked: “When you were on the plane with Jeffrey and President Clinton, did you observe Jeffrey and [REDACTED] talking?”

“I’m sure they did,” Maxwell replied.

When asked if Epstein and the individual whose name was redacted seemed friendly, Maxwell said “I don’t recollect.”

Laura Menninger, Maxwell’s attorney, didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment from The Epoch Times.

Clinton flew on Epstein’s jet, infamously dubbed the “Lolita Express,” at least 26 times, according to records obtained by Fox News in 2016. In a July, 2019 statement, Clinton denied ever visiting Epstein’s private island and said he had only traveled on the plane four times.

Last year, a day before Epstein was found dead in his cell, nearly 2,000 pages of documents relating to him were unsealed, including claims from Giuffre that she was directed by Maxwell to have sex with a number of rich and powerful men, including Epstein.

In those unsealed documents, a section titled “New York Presbyterian Hospital Records” detailed how Giuffre had “provided extensive medical records in this case, including medical records from the time when Defendant was sexually abusing and trafficking her.”

According to the 2016 transcript, which contained countless blacked out redactions, Maxwell was asked about her relationship with Epstein and of the allegations by Giuffre.

“I never saw any inappropriate underage activities with Jeffrey ever,” Maxwell said.

“I can’t testify to what Jeffrey did or didn’t do,” Maxwell said. She later added: “I can only testify to what I know and the fact that she (Giuffre) has lied about me from the beginning to the end and repeatedly causes me to question anything that she may feel.”

The deposition and other documents were cleared for release after the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Oct. 19 rejected Maxwell’s “meritless” arguments that her interests outweighed the presumption that the public should see the materials.

Maxwell was arrested on July 2 in Bradford, New Hampshire. She previously lived for years with Epstein and was his frequent travel companion on trips around the world. If convicted, she faces up to 35 years in prison. A trial is scheduled for July 2021.

During the 2016 deposition, Maxwell was asked how many times she had flown on Jeffrey Epstein’s planes.

“Too many times,” she replied.

Maxwell said she was employed by Epstein and hired assistants, architects, decorators, cooks, cleaners, gardeners, pool people, and pilots as part of the upkeep of six homes, according to the transcript, which takes up 418 pages.

In one instance, Maxwell acknowledged that “a very small part of my job was from time to time to find adult professional massage therapists for Jeffrey.”

Maxwell appeared evasive as a lawyers pressed her on whether she hired Giuffre to give Epstein an erotic massage.

“Virginia Roberts [Giuffre] held herself out as a masseuse and invited herself to come and give a massage,” Maxwell testified.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

Follow Bowen on Twitter: @BowenXiao_

Published:10/22/2020 4:09:54 PM
[Politics] Trump May Fire FBI Boss After Election in DOJ Shakeup President Donald Trump has discussed with his advisers the possibility of firing FBI Director Christopher Wray after the election, in part because the bureau is not delivering Trump a political shot in the arm in the final weeks of the campaign... Published:10/22/2020 12:06:58 PM
[Politics] Donald Trump Jr.: Joe Biden Compromised '100%' by Revelations Donald Trump Jr. said Thursday that if it were his laptop that was being investigated by the FBI, "it would be the biggest story in the world forever," but since the laptop in question purportedly belongs to Democrat nominee Joe Biden's son Hunter... Published:10/22/2020 11:08:36 AM
[Markets] Rudy Giuliani Describes Alleged Underage Material On Hunter Biden's Laptop Rudy Giuliani Describes Alleged Underage Material On Hunter Biden's Laptop Tyler Durden Thu, 10/22/2020 - 06:38

Rudy Giuliani described what he says are disturbing, underage photographs of young girls found on Hunter Biden's laptop, which were turned over to the police in New Castle County, Delaware on Monday.

Recall that the FBI's top child porn lawyer signed a subpoena used to obtain a copy of Biden's hard drive(s) which were dropped off at a Delaware computer repair shop by a man believed to be Hunter Biden, who signed a work order for 'data recovery' services following a liquid spill incident.

In a Wednesday episode of "Rudy Giuliani's Common Sense" podcast, Giuliani describes some of the disturbing contents allegedly contained on Biden's laptop (which, combined with evidence of Joe's involvement in Hunter's lucrative business endeavors, would give any foreign adversary massive leverage over a Biden administration).

"What we found were a number of photographs that troubled us greatly. They troubled us greatly because there were photographs of underage girls. The underage girls were dressed in a very provocative way... very little bikinis, and poses, that were sexually provocative.

That was troubling in and of itself, but then there was one that was straight out-and-out child pornography. Just straight - I mean, as [Justice] Potter Stewart once described pornography as 'you can't define it, but you know it when you see it.'

Well, you know this when you see it.

We also knew what our obligations were because Bernie [Kerik, a senior VP at Giuliani Partners and former interim Interior Minister of Iraq after Operation Iraqi Freedom] had been a policeman, and I had been an assistant US Attorney and a Mayor. As a public official, had I seen that, I'd have to report it. I'd be a mandatory reporter as are medical people. When you see child pornography, or you see evidence that we also saw in the text messages and emails of an unsafe environment for the children.

Considerably unsafe environment for the children. Again, I will not go into detail as to why. That's for the Delaware police.

Now, you would say 'well this was already with the FBI,' but I have no indication, no evidence that the FBI has ever done anything with this. Or anything with the very serious and obvious overwhelming evidence of numerous crimes having been committed by Joe Biden, which they seem to be ignoring, which no prosecutor in the world could possibly ignore. So I was afraid they ignored the young girl, or young girls."

Later in the podcast (21:15), Giuliani summarizes 'things that have come out so far' - "because there's so much to this hard drive that it'd be impossible for me to analyze it professionally before the election."

Continued below:

Published:10/22/2020 6:04:43 AM
[Politics] BREAKING REPORT: Hunter Biden’s laptop connected to Money Laundering FBI case Fox News is reporting tonight that they have confirmed that Hunter Biden’s laptop is connected to a money laundering criminal case by the FBI as of December of 2019: The FBI’s subpoena . . . Published:10/21/2020 9:00:59 PM
[Politics] BREAKING REPORT: Hunter Biden’s laptop connected to Money Laundering FBI case Fox News is reporting tonight that they have confirmed that Hunter Biden’s laptop is connected to a money laundering criminal case by the FBI as of December of 2019: The FBI’s subpoena . . . Published:10/21/2020 9:00:59 PM
[Uncategorized] Report: Hunter Biden’s Laptop Connected to FBI 2019 Money Laundering Probe

I guess Trump was right that someone needed to investigate the Bidens.

The post Report: Hunter Biden’s Laptop Connected to FBI 2019 Money Laundering Probe first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.

Published:10/21/2020 9:00:59 PM
[] Government confirms Iran was behind threatening emails allegedly from the Proud Boys to Democratic voters Published:10/21/2020 7:29:04 PM
[Politics] Iran and Russia have attempted to influence the U.S. election, officials say.

Iran and Russia have attempted to influence the U.S. election, FBI says

Published:10/21/2020 7:29:04 PM
[Uncategorized] FBI and DNI: Iran interfering in election to damage Trump, sending fake emails and other cyber activities

Purported threatening emails from "Proud Boys" were Iranian fakes. Russia also has voter information, but so far has not taken any actions.

The post FBI and DNI: Iran interfering in election to damage Trump, sending fake emails and other cyber activities first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.

Published:10/21/2020 7:00:58 PM
[Markets] "Plan For The Worst" - Law Enforcement Across America Is Bracing For Massive Election Riots "Plan For The Worst" - Law Enforcement Across America Is Bracing For Massive Election Riots Tyler Durden Wed, 10/21/2020 - 15:25

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

The fact that law enforcement officials across the nation are expecting widespread violence following the election should chill every American to the core.  As I keep repeating over and over, violence is not going to solve anything, but much of the population is not listening to voices such as mine anymore.  As you will see below, authorities have decided to “plan for the worst” because everyone can see what is potentially coming.  But if we can’t hold a presidential election without violence at this point, how much longer can our system possibly last? 

No matter who ends up winning, I think that the election of 2020 will tell us a lot about how far America has already fallen.

Thankfully, officials in most major cities do not have their heads stuck in the sand and have been preparing for massive riots following the election.  In New York, the NYPD is literally “training every day” to deal with the riots and protests that they are anticipating…

The NYPD is training every day and deploying hundreds of extra cops as it braces for Election Day and its aftermath, amid fears riots and protests could break out after the results are announced.

In Los Angeles, officers are being told that “they may need to reschedule” their vacations so that they will be available for whatever may happen…

LAPD sent an internal memo to its officers last week that said they may need to reschedule any vacations around election day as the agency prepares for possible protests or other unrest, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In so many instances, law enforcement agencies are pointing to the riots that erupted in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd as the type of scenario that they want to be prepared for this time around.

Even down in Texas, authorities in multiple cities are admitting that “they are planning for potential unrest around the Nov. 3 election”

Agencies in at least four major cities — Austin, El Paso, San Antonio and Fort Worth — confirmed they are planning for potential unrest around the Nov. 3 election. Officials in other Texas cities declined to say whether they’re doing the same.

The intent of such preparations, said Tara Long, an Austin Police Department spokesperson, “is to ensure the safety of the community while protecting the rights of people to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights.”

Of course in some cities the violent protests never seem to end.

Four years ago, chaos erupted in Portland when Donald Trump won the election, and the city has been wracked by civil unrest ever since then

Portland Police say they are preparing for possible unrest on election night after they saw saw riots after the 2016 presidential election.

It was just the beginning of what would be four years of unrest, protests and riots. Now, the 2020 election is just three weeks away and local police is preparing for the possibility of continued unrest.

Over in Minneapolis, shell-shocked officials continue to deal with an unprecedented wave of crime and violence, and the spokesman for the police told the press that their approach for this upcoming election is to “plan for the worst”

In Minneapolis, where the protests after George Floyd’s murder raged for weeks, similar preparations are being made. “We are aware that this may be a flashpoint and have made appropriate plans,” Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder. “Remember: Plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

I think that is a good word for all of us.

We can continue to hope that peace will prevail, but if you aren’t planning for the worst you are definitely making a big mistake.

At this point, even the Justice Department is “bracing for possible civil unrest”.  The following comes from the Washington Post

Bracing for possible civil unrest on Election Day, the Justice Department is planning to station officials in a command center at FBI headquarters to coordinate the federal response to any disturbances or other problems with voting that may arise across the country, officials familiar with the matter said.

Though the Justice Department monitors elections every year to ensure voters can cast their ballots, officials’ concerns are more acute this year that toxic politics, combined with the potential uncertainty surrounding vote tallies, could lead to violent demonstrations or clashes between opposing factions, those familiar with the matter said.

Personally, I sincerely hope that authorities will be successful in minimizing unrest as much as possible.

Any sort of political violence should break all of our hearts, because that should never happen in this country.

Unfortunately, an increasing number of Americans are convinced that things in this nation will soon take a very chaotic turn.  In fact, one recent poll found that 61 percent of Americans believe that we are heading toward another civil war…

The poll, which included results from the “Back-to-Normal Barometer” survey, was conducted by three firms: Engagious, Sports and Leisure Research Group and ROKK Solutions.

The poll results showed that over 61 percent of survey takers believe America is nearing a second civil war, with 41 percent who “strongly agree” with that assessment.

Those numbers are truly shocking, and they are consistent with other surveys that I have seen.

Anger and hatred have been building up in our country for years, and it appears that we are about to reach a crescendo.

I will continue to speak out against rioting, looting and all forms of political violence, and many other influential voices are doing so as well.

But there are also so many voices throughout our society that are just stirring up more anger and more hatred with each passing day.

So I would encourage all of you to “plan for the worst” for the months ahead.  It looks like it is going to be a very pivotal time in our history, and the more bitterly the election results are contested the worse the chaos is likely to be.

And when a winner is finally declared, many on the losing side will inevitably feel like the election was stolen from them.

There is still time to avoid a worst case scenario, but right now it is difficult to imagine how all of this is going to end well.

*  *  *

Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.

Published:10/21/2020 2:40:35 PM
[Markets] Secret Service Travel Logs Match Details In Alleged Hunter Biden Emails Secret Service Travel Logs Match Details In Alleged Hunter Biden Emails Tyler Durden Wed, 10/21/2020 - 14:45

Authored by Ivan Pentchoukov via The Epoch Times,

Secret Service logs obtained earlier this year by Senate investigators include dates and locations matching those discussed in the emails allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The alignment of the dates in the emails and the Secret Service protective detail logs is significant because the authenticity of the emails, first published by the New York Post last week, is the subject of heated debate. The FBI, which purportedly obtained Hunter Biden’s laptop in December last year, has not yet officially confirmed that it is in possession of the device and whether the emails are genuine.

In one alleged email, written after midnight on April 13, 2014, Hunter Biden wrote to Devon Archer, his business partner, that he will be traveling to Houston the next day. Secret Service logs obtained by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs show a trip by Biden on April 13-14, 2014.

In another alleged email, Vadim Pozharskyi, a top executive from Ukrainian gas firm Burisma, wrote to Biden and Archer on May 12, 2014:

“Following our talks during the visit to the Como Lake and our further discussions, I would like to bring the following situation to your attention.”

While the email doesn’t cite a date for the trip, Secret Service logs include a travel entry for Biden on April 3-6, 2014.

In another alleged email, Archer wrote on May 12, 2014, that he is with Biden in Doha, Qatar.

Secret Service records include a trip by Biden to Doha, Qatar, on May 11-14, 2014.

The alignment in dates and location was first spotted by the staff of the Senate Homeland Security and Finance committees. Notably, some of the alleged Hunter Biden emails included discussions of Biden’s travel after he allegedly declined a Secret Service detail. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) penned a letter (pdf) to the director of the Secret Service on Oct. 20 asking for records after the date when Biden purportedly stopped receiving a Secret Service detail.

Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, provided a copy of the alleged Hunter Biden hard drive to the Post earlier this month. Giuliani declined to provide a copy to The Epoch Times, which has been unable to independently authenticate the files.

The alleged emails in the Post stories suggest that Hunter Biden used his father’s position as the vice president for personal profit via ventures with China and Ukraine.

The Biden campaign has declined repeated requests for comment on the laptop.

Published:10/21/2020 1:56:56 PM
[Uncategorized] FBI has “nothing to add” to DNI Ratcliffe’s statement that Russia has nothing to do with Hunter Biden laptop woes

"The FBI can neither confirm or deny the existence of any ongoing investigation"

The post FBI has "nothing to add" to DNI Ratcliffe's statement that Russia has nothing to do with Hunter Biden laptop woes first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.

Published:10/21/2020 12:26:41 PM
[Markets] Will Adam Schiff's Claims Now Be Blocked On Twitter? Will Adam Schiff's Claims Now Be Blocked On Twitter? Tyler Durden Wed, 10/21/2020 - 10:47

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Just a day after more than 50 former senior intelligence officials signed on to a letter declaring that the recent disclosure of emails from the Hunter Biden laptop is likely Russian disinformation, the FBI reportedly confirmed that the material does not appear to be Russian disinformation. While former officials like John Brennan insisted that the story “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,” the FBI appears to have found no such evidence thus far.

This followed a similar conclusion from the Director of National Intelligence in response to House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff saying that the story was pure Russian disinformation.

The question is whether Twitter and Facebook will now bar access to Schiff’s statements pending further review since the actual intelligence agencies are suggesting that this could be democratic disinformation.

After all, a former Twitter executive is calling for President Trump to be barred from all social media until after the election to prevent “misinformation.”

The burden of being a free speech advocate is the the answer is clearly no. Those, like Schiff, who have called for censoring material on the Internet still should benefit from the protections of free speech.

From a free speech perspective, it does not matter if the Schiff statement and the letter have “all the classic earmarks of a [Democratic] information operation,” we all benefit from a free and robust discussion of such issues. We do not need these companies to censor or inhibit stories to protect us from misinformation.

The letter itself is striking not only in its sweeping conclusion (without actually reviewing the laptop or the emails), but it signatories. This includes some of those who have been associated with the Russian investigation of the Trump campaign, which was based in part on the Steele dossier. That dossier, funded by the Clinton campaign, was recently found to have been based on information supplied by a known Russian agent.

Throughout the campaign, and for many weeks after, the Clinton campaign denied any involvement in the creation of the dossier that was later used to secure a secret surveillance warrant against Trump associates during the Obama administration. Journalists later discovered that the Clinton campaign hid the payments to Fusion as a “legal fees” among the $5.6 million paid to the law firm. New York Times reporter Ken Vogel at the time said that Clinton lawyer Marc Elias had “vigorously” denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier. When Vogel tried to report the story, he said, Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman likewise wrote: “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.” Even when Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was questioned by Congress on the matter, he denied any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Sitting beside him was Elias, who helped devise contract.

Of course, the contents of the Steele dossier were reported in detail by the media. The reporting covered thousands of articles. It turns out that the FBI warned early in the investigation that Steele may have been used to spread Russian disinformation — a view that was strengthened by the disclosure of Steele’s many source.  To this day, the media has largely ignored this story and how it was used to spread possible Russian disinformation.

If this is not disinformation, the emails magnify concerns that Hunter Biden was involved in a pay-to-play scheme. The emails appear to refer to Joe Biden receiving money and certainly refer to influence peddling.

I have previously stated that I remain suspicious of the timing and means of this disclosure. I want to see it investigation including the role of figures like Rudy Giuliani. Conversely, I have also been struck by what the Biden campaign has not said in response to the story

Both sides of the story should be investigated. 

However, there is a virtual news blackout on the contents of the emails even though (even with hacking) the emails could be legitimate. As discussed earlier, this is what a state media looks like . . . without the state apparatus. 

Major networks are still reporting that this is clearly Russian disinformation and dismissing the story.  There is a clear effort to avoid scrutiny of the emails for just two more weeks. However, the disinformation claim is now being reportedly challenged by intelligence agencies. It does not matter. This is a fact too good to check.   We are left with an entire media establishment turning blue holding its collective breath for weeks to see if they can make it across the line. There is an easier approach. It is called journalism. You investigate and report on both sides, including a demand that Hunter and Joe Biden respond to these specific emails as well as conflicting past statements. Sometimes the simplest things are the most difficult.

Published:10/21/2020 10:00:54 AM
[Markets] The Rise Of The Corporate Censors: How America Is Drifting Toward The Chinese Model Of Media The Rise Of The Corporate Censors: How America Is Drifting Toward The Chinese Model Of Media Tyler Durden Tue, 10/20/2020 - 22:45

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the censorship of the Hunter Biden controversy by Facebook and Twitter.  The response of the Biden campaign and figures like Rep. Adam Schiff has been to dismiss the story as the likely product of Russian intelligence. Notably however they do not address the underlying emails.

As many of us have written, there is ample reason to suspect foreign intelligence and the FBI is reportedly investigating that possibility. However, that does not mean that the emails are not authentic. Hillary Clinton was hacked by Russia but the emails were still real. It is possible to investigate both those responsible for the laptop’s disclosure and what has been disclosed on the laptop. The censorship by these companies however has magnified concerns in the controversy, particularly with the disclosure of close connections between some company officials and the Biden campaign.

Chinese citizens watched President Xi Jinping deliver an important speech this week not far from Hong Kong. Well, not the whole speech: Xi apparently is ill, and every time he went into coughing spasms, China’s state media cut away so that he would be shown only in perfect health.

Xi’s coughs came to mind as Twitter and Facebook prevented Americans from being able to read the New York Post’s explosive allegations of influence-peddling by Hunter Biden through their sites. The articles cited material reportedly recovered from a laptop; it purportedly showed requests for Hunter Biden to use his influence on his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, as well as embarrassing photos of Hunter Biden.

Many of us have questioned the sketchy details of how the laptop reportedly was left by Hunter Biden with a nearly blind computer repairman and then revealed just weeks before the presidential election. There are ample reasons to question whether this material was the product of a foreign intelligence operation, which the FBI apparently is investigating.

Yet the funny thing about kompromat - a Russian term for compromising information — is that often it is true. Indeed, it is most damaging and most useful when it is true; otherwise, you deny the allegations and expose the lie. Hunter Biden has yet to deny these were his laptop, his emails, his images. If thousands of emails and images were fabricated, then serious crimes were committed. But if the emails and images are genuine, then the Bidens appear to have lied for years as a raw influence-peddling scheme worth millions stretched from China to Ukraine to Russia. Moreover, these countries likely have had the compromising information all along while the Bidens — and the media — were denying reports of illicit activities.

Either way, this was major news.

The response of Twitter and Facebook, however, was to shut it all down. Major media companies also imposed a virtual blackout on the allegations. It didn’t matter that thousands of emails were available for review or that the Bidens did not directly address the material. It was all declared to be fake news.

The tech companies’ actions are an outrageous example of open censorship and bias. It shows how private companies effectively can become state media working for one party. This, of course, was more serious than deleting coughs, but it was based on the same excuse of “protecting” the public from distractions or distortions. Indeed, it was the realization of political and academic calls that have been building for years.

Democratic leaders from Hillary Clinton to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) have long demanded such private censorship from social media companies, despite objections from some of us in the free speech community; Joe Biden himself demanded that those companies remove President Trump’s statements about voting fraud as fake news. Academics have lined up to support calls for censorship, too. Recently, Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith and University of Arizona law professor Andrew Keane Woods called for Chinese-style internet censorship and declared that “in the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong.”

It turns out traditional notions of journalism and a free press are outdated, too, and China again appears to be the model for the future. Recently, Stanford communications Professor Emeritus Ted Glasser publicly denounced the notion of objectivity in journalism as too constraining for reporters seeking “social justice.” In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Glasser insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He said reporters must embrace the role of “activists” and that it is “hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.” Problem solved.

Such views make Twitter and Facebook’s censorship of the Post not simply justified but commendable — regardless of whether the alleged Biden material proves to be authentic. As Twitter buckled under criticism of its actions, it shifted its rationale from combating fake news to barring hacked or stolen information. (Putting aside that the information allegedly came from a laptop, not hacking, this rule would block the public from reviewing any story based on, say, whistleblowers revealing nonpublic information, from the Pentagon Papers to Watergate. Moreover, Twitter seemingly had no qualms about publishing thousands of stories based on the same type of information about the Trump family or campaign.) Twitter now says it will allow hacked information if not posted by the hacker.

Social media companies have long enjoyed protection, under Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, from liability over what users post or share. The reason is that those companies are viewed as neutral platforms, a means for people to sign up to read the views or thoughts of other people. Under Section 230, a company such as Twitter was treated as merely providing the means, not the content. Yet for Twitter to tag tweets with warnings or block tweets altogether is akin to the telephone company cutting into a line to say it doesn’t like what two callers are discussing.

Facebook and Twitter have now made the case against themselves for stripping social media companies of immunity. That would be a huge loss not only to these companies but to free speech as well. We would lose the greatest single advance in free speech via an unregulated internet.

At the same time, we are seeing a rejection of journalistic objectivity in favor of activism. The New York Times apologized for publishing a column by a conservative U.S. senator on using national guardsmen to quell rioting — yet it later published a column by a Chinese official called “Beijing’s enforcer” who is crushing protests in Hong Kong. The media spent years publishing every wacky theory of alleged Trump-Russia collusion; thousands of articles detailed allegations from the Steele dossier, which has been not only discredited but also shown to be based on material from a known Russian agent.

When the Steele dossier was revealed, many of us agreed on the need to investigate because, even if it was the work of foreign intelligence, the underlying kompromat could be true. Today, in contrast, the media is not only dismissing the need to investigate the Biden emails, but ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos didn’t ask Biden about the allegations during a two-hour town hall event on Thursday.

This leaves us with a Zen-like question: If social media giants prevent the sharing of a scandal and the media refuses to cover it, did a scandal ever occur? After all, an allegation is a scandal only if it is damaging. No coverage, no damage, no scandal. Just deleted coughs lost in the ether of a controlled media and internet.

Published:10/20/2020 9:53:21 PM
[Politics] BREAKING REPORT: FBI investigation into Hunter Biden’s laptop has been ongoing since December… Former Fox News reporter Adam Housley has learned from his FBI sources that an investigation has been ongoing since December of last year: From multiple agents: "They knew right away it wasn't . . . Published:10/20/2020 9:27:19 PM
[Politics] BREAKING REPORT: FBI investigation into Hunter Biden’s laptop has been ongoing since December… Former Fox News reporter Adam Housley has learned from his FBI sources that an investigation has been ongoing since December of last year: From multiple agents: "They knew right away it wasn't . . . Published:10/20/2020 9:27:19 PM
[Markets] Rudy Giuliani Turns Over Alleged Photos Of Underage Girls From Hunter's Hard Drive To Delaware Police Rudy Giuliani Turns Over Alleged Photos Of Underage Girls From Hunter's Hard Drive To Delaware Police Tyler Durden Tue, 10/20/2020 - 21:10

Things just took a very dark turn in the Hunter Biden laptop scandal.

While the alleged crack, cronyism, corruption was enough to spark the biggest media suppression in history, and no denials whatsoever from the Biden camp, the bombshell that Rudy Giuliani just dropped, if true, is egregious to say the least (not just with regard Hunter Biden but the law enforcement authorities who have allegedly had this information since before Trump's impeachment but done nothing about it).

In an interview this evening with Newsmax TV, former NYC Mayor and current attorney to President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani announces he has turned over Hunter Biden's laptop hard-drive to Delaware State Police due to pictures of underage girls and inappropriate text messages.

In one of the texts, Hunter Biden allegedly says to his sister-in-law (also his lover) that he face-timed a 14-year-old girl while naked and doing crack - "she told my therapist that I was sexually inappropriate." 

Giuliani adds, "this would be with regard an unnamed 14 year old girl," adding that "this is supported by numerous pictures of underage girls."

Watch the full interview below (the above exchange begins around 5:20):

Before this is wholly dismissed as yet more Russian disinformation or 'Giuliani' lies, we remind readers that we previously reported that Hunter Biden's alleged laptop contents included a curious piece of evidence - a photograph of an FBI subpoena which bears the signature of the agency's top child porn investigator, special agent Joshua Wilson.

FBI agent Wilson's identity was confirmed by both Western Journal and Business Insider, the latter of which compared his signature to a 2012 criminal complaint and concluded that it "clearly matches the unreversed signature on the subpoena published by the New York Post."

As BI notes:

It’s unclear whether the FBI employs more than one agent named Joshua Wilson. But the available evidence seems to show **the Joshua Wilson who signed the subpoena for Hunter Biden’s laptop, and the Joshua Wilson who investigates child pornography for the FBI, are the same person**. This raises the possibility, not explored by the Post, that the FBI issued the subpoena for reasons unrelated to Hunter Biden’s role in Ukraine and Burisma.

So why is the FBI's top child porn lawyer involved in the Hunter Biden laptop case? OANN's Chanel Rion says she's seen the contents of the hard drive, which includes "Drugs, underage obsessions, power deals," which make "Anthony Weiner's down under selfie addiction look normal."

All of which now makes some sense, given Giuliani's alleged findings, and raises a stunning question: if there is/was incriminating child porn on Hunter's computer, what has the FBI been doing about it?

Published:10/20/2020 8:21:29 PM
[Higher education] Georgetown hires disgraced Peter Stzok (Paul Mirengoff) Georgetown University has hired former FBI agent Peter Strzok as an adjunct professor. He is now listed on the university’s staff page. Apparently, Strzok is teaching a course on counterintelligence and national security. Strzok lacks a PhD. However, he knows something about counterintelligence. Strzok was an important member of a crew that used false intelligence in an attempt to undermine President Trump. And he succeeded in bringing down the president’s Published:10/20/2020 7:23:34 PM
[Politics] FBI Says Hunter Biden Laptop Not Russian Disinformation The FBI has possession of the Hunter Biden laptop referenced in the New York Post reporting and has determined the laptop is not Russian disinformation effort, Fox News reported Tuesday. Published:10/20/2020 7:23:34 PM
[Uncategorized] REPORT: Adam Schiff is a F-ing Liar

"The FBI and DOJ concur with DNI Ratcliffe's assessment that Hunter Biden's laptop and emails in question were not part of a Russian disinformation campaign."

The post REPORT: Adam Schiff is a F-ing Liar first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.

Published:10/20/2020 5:23:30 PM
[Markets] 'He's Got To Act': President Trump Calls On AG Barr To Investigate Biden Laptop Scandal 'He's Got To Act': President Trump Calls On AG Barr To Investigate Biden Laptop Scandal Tyler Durden Tue, 10/20/2020 - 10:05

President Trump on Tuesday urged Attorney General William Barr to investigate the Hunter Biden laptop scandal and release his findings before Election Day.

"This is major corruption and this has to be known about before the election," said Trump in an interview on "Fox & Friends." "We have got to get the attorney general to act. He’s got to act and he’s got to act fast, he's got to appoint somebody" the president added.

When asked how his campaign is going, he replied "It's just going very well," adding of Biden: "I think he’s imploding, you look at all that corruption in his family, tremendous corruption."

Hunter Biden dropped three MacBook computers off at a Delaware computer repair shop in April of 2019, signed a work order for 'data recovery,' and then never picked them up after the owner says he tried to contact the former Vice President's son. Contained within Hunter Biden's emails is evidence that Joe Biden was involved in leveraging his office in pay-for-play favors, including with Ukrainian energy giant Burisma - which thanked Hunter for the 'opportunity' to meet his father in 2015, before Joe forced Ukraine to fire their top prosecutor investigating the company.

Several photographs of Hunter Biden in compromising situations were also discovered - including one with a crack pipe hanging out of his mouth. There are also rumors of child pornography, a rumor seemingly supported by the fact that an FBI subpoena for the drive(s) was filed by the agency's top child porn investigator.

Democrats, most prominently Rep. Adam Schiff of California, have suggested without evidence that the emails are part of a Russian disinformation campaign - an assertion that Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe vigorously pushed back against.

"Hunter Biden’s laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign," Ratcliffe said Monday. "Let me be clear: The intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that. And we have shared no intelligence with Adam Schiff, or any member of Congress," he added.

"It’s funny that some of the people who complain the most about intelligence being politicized are the ones politicizing the intelligence," Ratcliffe continued. "Unfortunately, it is Adam Schiff who said the intelligence community believes the Hunter Biden laptop and emails on it are part of a Russian disinformation campaign."

The Bidens have not challenged the authenticity of the emails.

"That laptop, no one has ever seen anything like it, he’s gone into hiding," Trump said of Joe Biden on Tuesday.

Published:10/20/2020 9:20:28 AM
[Society and Culture] Facial recognition technology, and implications for free speech

“There is two kinds of music, the good and the bad. I play the good kind”, Louis Armstrong once said. Like with music, facial recognition technology has good and bad applications. Consider this example: it is early on a Sunday morning when you hear a loud banging on your front door. It is FBI agents, … Continue reading "Facial recognition technology, and implications for free speech"

The post Facial recognition technology, and implications for free speech appeared first on Institute of Economic Affairs.

Published:10/20/2020 5:15:43 AM
[Markets] Treason In America: An Overview Of The FBI, CIA, And Matters Of "National Security" Treason In America: An Overview Of The FBI, CIA, And Matters Of "National Security" Tyler Durden Mon, 10/19/2020 - 23:40

Authored by Cynthia Chung via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

“Treason doth never prosper; what is the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

 Sir John Harrington.

As Shakespeare would state in his play Hamlet, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” like a fish that rots from head to tail, so do corrupt government systems rot from top to bottom.

This is a reference to the ruling system of Denmark and not just the foul murder that King Claudius has committed against his brother, Hamlet’s father. This is showcased in the play by reference to the economy of Denmark being in a state of shambles and that the Danish people are ready to revolt since they are on the verge of starving. King Claudius has only been king for a couple of months, and thus this state of affairs, though he inflames, did not originate with him.

Thus, during our time of great upheaval we should ask ourselves; what constitutes the persisting “ruling system,” of the United States, and where do the injustices in its state of affairs truly originate from?

The tragedy of Hamlet does not just lie in the action (or lack of action) of one man, but rather, it is contained in the choices and actions of all its main characters. Each character fails to see the longer term consequences of their own actions, which leads not only to their ruin but towards the ultimate collapse of Denmark. The characters are so caught up in their antagonism against one another that they fail to foresee that their very own destruction is intertwined with the other.

This is a reflection of a failing system.

A system that, though it believes itself to be fighting tooth and nail for its very survival, is only digging a deeper grave. A system that is incapable of generating any real solutions to the problems it faces.

The only way out of this is to address that very fact. The most important issue that will decide the fate of the country is what sort of changes are going to occur in the political and intelligence apparatus, such that a continuation of this tyrannical treason is finally stopped in its tracks and unable to sow further discord and chaos.

When the Matter of “Truth” Becomes a Threat to “National Security”

When the matter of truth is depicted as a possible threat to those that govern a country, you no longer have a democratic state. True, not everything can be disclosed to the public in real time, but we are sitting on a mountain of classified intelligence material that goes back more than 60 years.

How much time needs to elapse before the American people have the right to know the truth behind what their government agencies have been doing within their own country and abroad in the name of the “free” world?

From this recognition, the whole matter of declassifying material around the Russigate scandal in real time, and not highly redacted 50 years from now, is essential to addressing this festering putrefaction that has been bubbling over since the heinous assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22nd, 1963 and to which we are still waiting for full disclosure of classified papers 57 years later.

If the American people really want to finally see who is standing behind that curtain in Oz, now is the time.

These intelligence bureaus need to be reviewed for what kind of method and standard they are upholding in collecting their “intelligence,” that has supposedly justified the Mueller investigation and the never-ending Flynn investigation which have provided zero conclusive evidence to back up their allegations and which have massively infringed on the elected government’s ability to make the changes that they had committed to the American people.

Just like the Iraq and Libya war that was based off of cooked British intelligence (refer here and here), Russiagate appears to have also had its impetus from our friends over at MI6 as well. It is no surprise that Sir Richard Dearlove, who was then MI6 chief (1999-2004) and who oversaw and stood by the fraudulent intelligence on Iraq stating they bought uranium from Niger to build a nuclear weapon, is the very same Sir Richard Dearlove who promoted the Christopher Steele dossier as something “credible” to American intelligence.

In other words, the same man who is largely responsible for encouraging the illegal invasion of Iraq, which set off the never-ending wars on “terror,” that was justified with cooked British intelligence is also responsible for encouraging the Russian spook witch-hunt that has been occurring within the U.S. for the last four years…over more cooked British intelligence, and the FBI and CIA are knowingly complicit in this.

Neither the American people, nor the world as a whole, can afford to suffer any more of the so-called “mistaken” intelligence bumblings. It is time that these intelligence bureaus are held accountable for at best criminal negligence, at worst, treason against their own country.

When Great Figures of Hope Are Targeted as Threats to “National Security”

The Family Jewels report, which was an investigation conducted by the CIA to investigate itself, was spurred by the Watergate Scandal and the CIA’s unconstitutional role in the whole affair. This investigation by the CIA reviewed its own conduct from the 1950s to mid-1970s.

The Family Jewels report was only partially declassified in June 25, 2007 (30 years later). Along with the release of the redacted report included a six-page summary with the following introduction:

The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s.” [emphasis added]

Despite this acknowledged violation of its charter for 25 years, which is pretty much since its inception, the details of this information were kept classified for 30 years from not just the public but major governmental bodies and it was left to the agency itself to judge how best to “reform” its ways.

On Dec. 22, 1974, The New York Times published an article by Seymour Hersh exposing illegal operations conducted by the CIA, dubbed the “family jewels”. This included, covert action programs involving assassination attempts on foreign leaders and covert attempts to subvert foreign governments, which were reported for the first time. In addition, the article discussed efforts by intelligence agencies to collect information on the political activities of U.S. citizens.

Largely as a reaction to Hersh’s findings, the creation of the Church Committee was approved on January 27, 1975, by a vote of 82 to 4 in the Senate.

The Church Committee’s final report was published in April 1976, including seven volumes of Church Committee hearings in the Senate.

The Church Committee also published an interim report titled “Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders”, which investigated alleged attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, including Patrice Lumumba of Zaire, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam, Gen. René Schneider of Chile and Fidel Castro of Cuba. President Ford attempted to withhold the report from the public, but failed and reluctantly issued Executive Order 11905 after pressure from the public and the Church Committee.

Executive Order 11905 is a United States Presidential Executive Order signed on February 18, 1976, by a very reluctant President Ford in an attempt to reform the United States Intelligence Community, improve oversight on foreign intelligence activities, and ban political assassination.

The attempt is now regarded as a failure and was largely undone by President Reagan who issued Executive Order 12333, which extended the powers and responsibilities of U.S. intelligence agencies and directed leaders of the U.S. federal agencies to co-operate fully with the CIA, which was the original arrangement that CIA have full authority over clandestine operations (for more information on this refer to my papers here and here).

In addition, the Church Committee produced seven case studies on covert operations, but only the one on Chile was released, titled “Covert Action in Chile: 1963–1973“. The rest were kept secret at the CIA’s request.

Among the most shocking revelation of the Church Committee was the discovery of Operation SHAMROCK, in which the major telecommunications companies shared their traffic with the NSA from 1945 to the early 1970s. The information gathered in this operation fed directly into the NSA Watch List. It was found out during the committee investigations that Senator Frank Church, who was overseeing the committee, was among the prominent names under surveillance on this NSA Watch List.

In 1975, the Church Committee decided to unilaterally declassify the particulars of this operation, against the objections of President Ford’s administration (refer here and here for more information).

The Church Committee’s reports constitute the most extensive review of intelligence activities ever made available to the public. Much of the contents were classified, but over 50,000 pages were declassified under the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.

President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22nd, 1963. Two days before his assassination a hate-Kennedy handbill (see picture) was circulated in Dallas accusing the president of treasonous activities including being a communist sympathizer.

On March 1st, 1967 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested and charged Clay Shaw with conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy, with the help of David Ferrie and others. After a little over a one month long trial, Shaw was found not guilty on March 1st, 1969.

David Ferrie, a controller of Lee Harvey Oswald, was going to be a key witness and would have provided the ”smoking gun” evidence linking himself to Clay Shaw, was likely murdered on Feb. 22nd, 1967, less than a week after news of Garrison’s investigation broke in the media.

According to Garrison’s team findings, there was reason to believe that the CIA was involved in the orchestrations of President Kennedy’s assassination but access to classified material (which was nearly everything concerning the case) was necessary to continue such an investigation.

Though Garrison’s team lacked direct evidence, they were able to collect an immense amount of circumstantial evidence, which should have given the justification for access to classified material for further investigation. Instead the case was thrown out of court prematurely and is now treated as if it were a circus. [Refer to Garrison’s book for further details and Oliver Stone’s excellently researched movie JFK]

To date, it is the only trial to be brought forward concerning the assassination of President Kennedy.

The Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) was created in 1994 by the Congress enacted President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which mandated that all assassination-related material be housed in a single collection within the National Archives and Records Administration. In July 1998, a staff report released by the ARRB emphasized shortcomings in the original autopsy.

The ARRB wrote, “One of the many tragedies of the assassination of President Kennedy has been the incompleteness of the autopsy record and the suspicion caused by the shroud of secrecy that has surrounded the records that do exist.” [emphasis added]

The staff report for the Assassinations Records Review Board contended that brain photographs in the Kennedy records are not of Kennedy’s brain and show much less damage than Kennedy sustained.

The Washington Post reported:

Asked about the lunchroom episode [where he was overheard stating his notes of the autopsy went missing] in a May 1996 deposition, Finck said he did not remember it. He was also vague about how many notes he took during the autopsy but confirmed that “after the autopsy I also wrote notes” and that he turned over whatever notes he had to the chief autopsy physician, James J. Humes.

It has long been known that Humes destroyed some original autopsy papers in a fireplace at his home on Nov. 24, 1963. He told the Warren Commission that what he burned was an original draft of his autopsy report. Under persistent questioning at a February 1996 deposition by the Review Board, Humes said he destroyed the draft and his “original notes.”

…Shown official autopsy photographs of Kennedy from the National Archives, [Saundra K.] Spencer [who worked in “the White House lab”] said they were not the ones she helped process and were printed on different paper. She said “there was no blood or opening cavities” and the wounds were much smaller in the pictures… [than what she had] worked on…

John T. Stringer, who said he was the only one to take photos during the autopsy itself, said some of those were missing as well. He said that pictures he took of Kennedy’s brain at a “supplementary autopsy” were different from the official set that was shown to him.” [emphasis added]

This not only shows that evidence tampering did indeed occur, as even the Warren Commission acknowledges, but this puts into question the reliability of the entire assassination record of John F. Kennedy and to what degree evidence tampering and forgery have occurred in these records.

We would also do well to remember the numerous crimes that the FBI and CIA have been guilty of committing upon the American people such as during the period of McCarthyism. That the FBI’s COINTELPRO has been implicated in covert operations against members of the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960s. That FBI director J. Edgar Hoover made no secret of his hostility towards Dr. King and his ludicrous belief that King was influenced by communists, despite having no evidence to that effect.

King was assassinated on April 4th, 1968 and the civil rights movement took a major blow.

In November 1975, as the Church Committee was completing its investigation, the Department of Justice formed a Task Force to examine the FBI’s program of harassment directed at Dr. King, including the FBI’s security investigations of him, his assassination and the FBI conducted criminal investigation that followed. One aspect of the Task force study was to determine “whether any action taken in relation to Dr. King by the FBI before the assassination had, or might have had, an effect, direct or indirect, on that event.”

In its report, the Task Force criticized the FBI not for the opening, but for the protracted continuation of, its security investigation of Dr. King:

We think the security investigation which included both physical and technical surveillance, should have been terminated … in 1963. That it was intensified and augmented by a COINTELPRO type campaign against Dr. King was unwarranted; the COINTELPRO type campaign, moreover, was ultra vires and very probably … felonious.

In 1999, King Family v. Jowers civil suit in Memphis, Tennessee occurred, the full transcript of the trial can be found here. The jury found that Lloyd Jowers and unnamed others, including those in high ranking positions within government agencies, participated in a conspiracy to assassinate Dr. King.

During the four week trial, it was pointed out that the rifle allegedly used to assassinate King did not have a scope that was sighted, which meant you could not have hit the broad side of a barn with that rifle, thus it could not have been the murder weapon.

This was only remarked on over 30 years after King was murdered and showed the level of incompetence, or more likely, evidence tampering that was committed from previous investigations conducted by the FBI.

The case of JFK and MLK are among the highest profile assassination cases in American history, and it has been shown in both cases that evidence tampering has indeed occurred, despite being in the center of the public eye. What are we then to expect as the standard of investigation for all the other cases of malfeasance? What expectation can we have that justice is ever upheld?

With a history of such blatant misconduct, it is clear that the present demand to declassify the Russiagate papers now, and not 50 years later, needs to occur if we are to address the level of criminality that is going on behind the scenes and which will determine the fate of the country.

The American People Deserve to Know

Today we see the continuation of the over seven decades’ long ruse, the targeting of individuals as Russian agents without any basis, in order to remove them from the political arena. The present effort to declassify the Russiagate papers and exonerate Michael Flynn, so that he may freely speak of the intelligence he knows, is not a threat to national security, it is a threat to those who have committed treason against their country.

On Oct. 6th, 2020, President Trump ordered the declassification of the Russia Probe documents along with the classified documents on the findings concerning the Hillary Clinton emails. The release of these documents threatens to expose the entrapment of the Trump campaign by the Clinton campaign with help of the U.S. intelligence agencies.

The Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released some of these documents recently, including former CIA Director John Brennan’s handwritten notes for a meeting with former President Obama, the notes revealing that Hillary Clinton approved a plan to “vilify Donald Trump by stirring up scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”

Trey Gowdy, who was Chair of the House Oversight Committee from June 13th, 2017 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has stated in an interview on Oct. 7th, 2020 that he has never seen these documents. Devin Nunes, who was Chair of the House Intelligence Committee from Jan. 3rd, 2015 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has also said in a recent interview that he has never seen these documents.

And yet, both the FBI and CIA were aware and had access to these documents and sat on them for four years, withholding their release from several government-led investigations that were looking into the Russiagate scandal and who were requesting relevant material that was in the possession of both intelligence bureaus. Do these intelligence bureaus sound like they are working for the “national security” of the American people?

The truth must finally be brought to light, or the country will rot from its head to tail.

Published:10/19/2020 11:12:24 PM
[Markets] Sperry Exposes The Complete History Of Hunter Biden's Crony-Connected Jobs Sperry Exposes The Complete History Of Hunter Biden's Crony-Connected Jobs Tyler Durden Mon, 10/19/2020 - 23:00

Authored by Paul Sperry via RealClearInvestigations.com,

Hunter Biden profited from his father’s political connections long before he struck questionable deals in countries where Joe Biden was undertaking diplomatic missions as vice president. In fact, virtually all the jobs listed on his resume going back to his first position out of college, which paid a six-figure salary, came courtesy of the former six-term senator’s donors, lobbyists and allies, a RealClearInvestigations examination has found.

Hunter Biden: Through a lawyer, he maintained he and his father dutifully avoided “conflicts of interest.” Democratic National Convention/YouTube

One document reviewed by RCI reveals that a Biden associate admitted “finding employment” for Hunter Biden specifically as a special favor to his father, then a Senate leader running for president. He secured a $1.2 million gig on Wall Street for his young son, even though it was understood he had no experience in high finance. Many of his generous patrons, in turn, ended up with legislation and policies favorable to their businesses or investments, an RCI review of lobbying records and legislative actions taken by the elder Biden confirms.

That the 50-year-old Hunter has been trading on his Democratic father’s political influence his entire adult life raises legal questions about possible influence-peddling, government watchdogs and former federal investigators say. In addition, the more than two-decades-long pattern of nepotism casts fresh doubt on Joe Biden’s recent statements that he “never discussed" business with his son, and that his activities posed "no conflicts of interest." 

No fewer than three committees in the Republican-controlled Senate have opened probes into potential Biden family conflicts. Investigators are also poring over Treasury Department records that have flagged suspicious activities involving Hunter's banking transactions and business deals that may be connected to his father’s political influence. 

U.S. ethics rules require all government officials to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest in taking official actions. The Bidens have denied any wrongdoing.

While most of the attention on Hunter has focused on his dealings in Ukraine and China when his father was in the White House, he also cashed in on cushy jobs and sweetheart deals throughout his dad’s long Senate career, records reveal.

"Hunter Biden's Ukraine-China connections are just one element of the Biden corruption story,” said Tom Fitton, president of the Washington-based watchdog group Judicial Watch, who contends Biden used both the Office of the Vice President and the Senate to advance his son’s personal interests.

In each case, Hunter Biden appeared under-qualified for the positions he obtained. All the while, he was a chronic abuser of alcohol and drugs, including crack cocaine, and has cycled in and out of no fewer than six drug-rehab treatment programs, according to published reports. He's also been the subject of at least two drug-related investigations by police, one in 1988 and another in 2016,  according to federal records and reports. A third drug investigation resulted in his discharge from the U.S. Navy Reserve in 2014.

This comprehensive account of Hunter Biden’s “unique career trajectory,” as one former family friend gently put it, was pieced together through interviews with more than a dozen people, several of whom insisted on anonymity to describe private conversations, and after an in-depth examination of public records, including Securities and Exchange Commission filings, court papers, campaign filings, federal lobbying disclosures, and congressional documents.

Hunter Biden's resume begins 24 years ago. Here is a rundown of the plum positions he has managed to land since 1996, thanks to his politically connected father and his boosters:

1996-1998: MBNA Corp.  

Fresh out of college, credit-card giant MBNA put him on its payroll as "senior vice president" earning more than $100,000 a year, plus an undisclosed signing bonus. Delaware-based MBNA at the time was Biden’s largest donor and lobbying the Delaware senator for bankruptcy reforms that would make it harder for consumers to declare bankruptcy and write off credit-card debt.

When Tom Brokaw asked Biden in 2008 about whether his son's job was a conflict of interest, he snapped "Absolutely not." It was an answer he'd repeat many times in the future. NBC News/YouTube

Besides a job for Hunter, bank executives and employees gave generously to Joe Biden’s campaigns – $214,000 total, federal records show – and one top executive even bought Biden’s Wilmington, Del., home for more than $200,000 above the market value, real estate records show. The exec paid top dollar – $1.2 million – for the old house even though it lacked central air conditioning. MBNA also flew Biden and his wife to events and covered their travel costs, disclosure forms show.

Sen. Biden eventually came through for MBNA by sponsoring and whipping votes in the Senate to pass the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Act.

When NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw asked Biden during the 2008 presidential campaign whether it was wrong “for someone like you in the middle of all this to have your son collecting money from this big credit-card company while you were on the (Senate) floor protecting its interests,” Biden gave an answer he would repeat many times in the future: “Absolutely not,” he snapped, arguing it was completely appropriate and that Hunter deserved the position and generous salary because he graduated from Yale.

1998-2001: Commerce Department 

Hunter also capitalized on the family name in 1998 when he joined President Clinton’s agency. In spite of having no experience in the dot-com industry, he was appointed "executive director of e-commerce policy coordination,” pulling down another six-figure salary plus bonuses.

He landed the job after his father’s longtime campaign manager and lawyer William Oldaker called then-Commerce Secretary William Daley, who'd also worked on Biden’s campaigns, and put in a good word for his son, according to public records. 

2001-2009: Oldaker, Biden & Belair 

After Republican President George W. Bush took over the Commerce Department, Hunter left the government and joined Oldaker to open a lobbying shop in Washington, just blocks from Congress, where he gained access to exclusive business and political deals.

Robert Skomorucha: Hunter had “a very strong last name that really paid off in terms of our lobbying efforts.” LinkedIn

Federal disclosure forms show Hunter Biden and his firm billed millions of dollars while lobbying on behalf of a host of hospitals and private colleges and universities, among other clients. In a 2006 disclosure statement submitted to the Senate, Hunter said his clients were “seeking federal appropriations dollars.”

Hunter won the contract to represent St. Joseph’s University from an old Biden family friend who worked in government relations at the university and proposed he solicit earmarks for one of its programs in Philadelphia. The friend, Robert Skomorucha, remarked in a press interview that Hunter had “a very strong last name that really paid off in terms of our lobbying efforts.”

These clients, like MBNA, also favored bankruptcy reforms to make it harder for patients and students to discharge debt in bankruptcy filings. At the same time Hunter was operating as a Beltway lobbyist, he was receiving "consulting payments" from his old employer MBNA, which was still courting his father over the bankruptcy reforms.

In 2007, Hunter also dined with a private prison lobbyist who had business before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee Joe Biden chaired, according to published reports. Senate rules bar members or their staff from having contact with family members who are lobbyists seeking to influence legislation.

William Oldaker: Did not just make Hunter a rich lobbyist, but secured him a $1 million loan that went sour. ldaker & Willison

Hunter’s lawyer-lobbyist firm was embroiled in a conflict-of-interest controversy in 2006 when it was criticized for representing a lobbyist under investigation by the House ethics committee. The lobbyist was still taking payments from his old K street firm while working as a top aide on the House Appropriations Committee. Hunter at the time was lobbying that same committee for earmarks for his clients.

William Oldaker did not just make Hunter a rich lobbyist. Oldaker also secured a $1 million loan for him through a bank he co-founded, WashingtonFirst, that Hunter sought for an investment scheme, which later went sour.

Joe Biden deposited hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign and political action committee donations at WashingtonFirst, while funneling hundreds of thousands in campaign and PAC expenditures to Oldaker, Biden & Belair. Joe Biden's payments to Hunter’s lobbying firm, including more than $143,000 in 2007 alone, were listed as “legal services” in Federal Election Commission filings. 

Oldaker did not respond to a request for comment left at his office.

National Group: Hunter won earmarks for the University of Delaware and other Biden constituents. thenationalgroup.net

2003-2005: National Group LLP 

While serving as a partner at Oldaker, Biden & Belair, Hunter also registered as a lobbyist for National Group, a lobbying-only subsidiary which shared offices with OB&B  and specialized in targeted spending items inserted into legislation known as “earmarks.”

Hunter represented his father’s alma mater, the University of Delaware, and other Biden constituents and submitted requests to Biden’s office for earmarks benefiting these clients in appropriations bills.

2006-2007: Paradigm Companies LLC

In 2005, when Joe Biden was thinking about making another run at the White House, after a 1987 bid that ended in plagiarism charges, his lobbyist son was looking for a new line of work too. 

In early 2006, Wall Street executive and Biden family friend Anthony Lotito said, Biden’s younger brother, Jim, phoned him on behalf of the senator. He said Biden wanted his youngest son – whom he still called “Honey” – to get out of the lobbying business to avoid allegations of conflicts of interest that might dog Biden’s presidential bid.

“Biden was concerned with the impact that Hunter’s lobbying activities might have on his expected campaign [and asked his brother to] seek Lotito’s assistance in finding employment for Hunter in a non-lobbying capacity,” according to a January 2007 complaint that Lotito filed in New York state court against Hunter over alleged breach of contract in a related venture. (Jim and Hunter Biden denied such a phone call took place as described.)

Lotito told the court he agreed to help Hunter as a favor to the senator, who had served on the powerful banking committee. He figured “the financial community might be a good starting place in which to seek out employment on Hunter’s behalf,” the court documents state. But he quickly found that Wall Street had “no interest" in hiring Biden.

So the Bidens hatched a scheme to buy a hedge fund, “whereby Hunter would then assume a senior executive position with the company.” And Lotito helped broker the deal. Despite having no Wall Street experience, Biden was appointed interim CEO and president of the Paradigm investment fund and given a $1.2 million salary, according to SEC filings. Lotito joined the enterprise as a partner, and agreed to shepherd Hunter, still in his mid-thirties, through his new role in high-finance.

“Given Hunter Biden’s inexperience in the securities industry,” the complaint states, it was agreed that Lotito would maintain an office at the new holding company’s New York headquarters “in order to assist Biden in discharging his duties as president.”

After the venture failed, Lotito sued the Bidens for fraud. The Bidens countersued and the two parties settled in 2008. 

2006-2009: Amtrak

During this same period, Hunter was appointed vice chairman of the taxpayer-subsidized rail line, thanks to the sponsorship of powerful Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, a political ally of his father.

Joe Biden: The "senator from Amtrak" had a son from Amtrak too. Michael Perez/AP for Siemens

In a 2006 statement submitted to the Senate during his confirmation, Hunter asserted that he was qualified for the Amtrak board because “as a frequent commuter and Amtrak customer for over 30 years, I have literally logged thousands of miles on Amtrak.”

Amtrak has been a major supporter of Joe Biden, donating to both his Senate and presidential campaigns and even naming a train station after him in Wilmington. In return, Biden has supported taxpayer subsidies for the government railroad throughout his political career.

In his testimony, Hunter denied his Amtrak appointment pushed conflict-of-interest boundaries. 

2009- : Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC

Hunter co-founded the investment firm five months after his father moved into the White House and incorporated it in his father’s home state of Delaware, which has strict corporate secrecy rules.

At the time, Obama had tapped Vice President Biden to oversee the recovery from the financial crisis. Three weeks after Rosemont was incorporated, Hunter and his partners set up a subsidiary called Rosemont TALF and got $24 million in loans from the federal program known as the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility. TALF was designed to help bail out banks and auto lenders hit by the crisis.

Within months, Rosemont had secured a total of $130 million from the program. Some of the government cash was then funneled into an investment fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands, SEC records show. Such offshore accounts are commonly used to evade taxes.

The move raised ethical flags with government watchdogs who suspected the bailout cash was used to benefit a well-connected insider.

Other records reveal that another subsidiary created years later – Rosemont Realty – touted to its investors that board adviser Hunter was politically connected. It highlighted in a company prospectus that he was the “son of Vice President Biden.”

2009-2012: Eudora Global 

On his resume, Hunter also lists himself as “founder" of yet another investment firm. But Eudora’s articles of incorporation show it was actually set up by a major Biden donor, Jeffrey Cooper, who put Hunter on his board after his father became vice president.

A self-described “friend of the Biden family,” Cooper also happened to run one of the largest asbestos-litigation firms in the country — SimmonsCooper LLC — and had courted Biden to make it easier to file asbestos lawsuits by defeating tort reforms. As a leader on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden had blocked reform of asbestos litigation every time bills reached the Senate floor.

Cooper’s law firm, which directly lobbied the Delaware senator's office to kill such bills, donated more than $200,000 to Biden’s campaigns over the years, as well as his Unite Our States PAC, FEC records show. In fact, SimmonsCooper was one of Biden’s biggest donors during his failed 2007-2008 run for president, pumping $53,000 into his campaign.

The firm also put up $1 million in investment capital to help his son buy out the Paradigm hedge fund as part of the arrangement brokered by another Biden family friend, Lotito, to find non-lobbying work for Hunter.. Thanks in large part to Biden’s effort to kill bills reining in asbestos trial lawyers, SimmonsCooper has hauled in more than $1 billion for alleged asbestos victims. 

Attempts to reach Cooper for comment were unsuccessful. 

2009-2016: Boies Schiller Flexner LLP 

When Joe Biden became Vice President, Hunter landed a high-paying, no-show job at the New York-based law firm, a Democrat shop long tied to the Clintons. Another major Biden donor, the firm gave him the title “of counsel.”

Boies Schiller Flexner: Got Fraud charges against Hunter Biden dismissed, then brought him aboard. Boies Schiller Flexner

Boies Schiller brought Hunter aboard in 2009 after the Bidens hired the firm to defend Hunter against charges he defrauded partners in the Paradigm investment venture. Boies Schiller managed to get the case dismissed.

In 2014, a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch, who was under investigation and looking to repair his reputation to attract Western investors, started sending large payments to Boies to support Hunter for unspecified work. It’s unclear what Hunter did for the oligarch, who ran the gas giant Burisma, but $283,000 showed up at the same time his father was tapped by Obama to play a central role in overseeing U.S. energy policy in Ukraine.

Boies Schiller has pumped more than $50,000 into Biden's campaigns, Federal Election Commission records show.

2013-2019: BHR Partners

After Obama named Biden his point man on China policy, Rosemont Seneca set up a joint venture worth $1 billion with the Bank of China called BHR – and Hunter was named vice-chairman and director of the new concern.

BHR Partners: Hunter arranged for one of his Chinese partners to shake hands with his father, the vice president. Beijing approved a business license shortly afterward. BHR Partners

Following in the shadow of his father’s political trajectory, Hunter’s new venture won the first-of-its-kind investment deal with the Chinese government at the same time Biden was jetting to Beijing to meet with top communist leaders. Secret Service records reveal Hunter flew to China on Air Force Two with his father while brokering the December 2013 deal. He arranged for one of his Chinese partners to shake hands with the vice president. BHR was registered 12 days later. Beijing OK’d a business license shortly afterward.

“No one else had such an arrangement in China,” said Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute.

Hunter resigned from the board of the Beijing-backed equity firm earlier this year as his father faced growing criticism on the campaign trail over what critics called a glaring conflict of interest. He did not, however, divest his 10% equity stake in the Chinese fund, which is estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars.

Schweizer, whose books include “Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elites,” said Biden went “soft” on the Chinese communists so his son could “cash in” on China business deals. Biden insists he did not discuss the venture with his son before, during or after his official visit to Beijing. But others see obvious hypocrisy at play in the Biden family's self-dealing in notoriously corrupt China.

"Biden was one of the most vocal champions of anti-corruption efforts in the Obama administration. So when this same Biden takes his son with him to China aboard Air Force Two, and within days Hunter joins the board of an investment advisory firm with stakes in China, it does not matter what father and son discussed,” said Sarah Chayes, author of "Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens National Security.” "Joe Biden has enabled this brand of practice.”

2013-2014: U.S. Navy Reserve

Hunter was selected for a direct commission as a public affairs officer in a Virginia reserve unit.

He clearly received special treatment in securing the part-time post. Officers had to issue him two waivers – one for his age and one for a previous drug offense.

His vice president father swore him in at the White House in a small, private ceremony.

Barely a year later, authorities booted Hunter from the Navy for cocaine use after he tested positive from a urine test. The reason for his discharge was withheld from the press for several months.

2014-2019: Burisma Holdings

The Ukrainian gas giant added Hunter to its board soon after Obama named his father his point man on Ukraine policy, focusing on energy. The company paid his son as much as $83,000 a month, even though he had no energy experience to bring to the table and was required to attend just one board meeting a year. 

Golf buddies: White House visitor logs show that Joe Biden met with Hunter’s business partner Devon Archer, far left, on April 16, 2014. Burisma put Archer on its board shortly thereafter, followed by Hunter, far right, the next month. Fox News

At the time, the vice president was steering U.S. aid to Kiev to help develop its gas fields, which stood to benefit Burisma as the holder of permits to develop natural gas in three of Ukraine’s most lucrative fields. Biden promised Ukrainian officials the US would pump more than $1 billion into their energy industry and economy during a visit to Kiev in late April 2014. He urged leaders to increase the country’s gas supply and to rely on Americans to help them. Less than three weeks later, Burisma appointed his son to the board, after already retaining him for undisclosed services through Boies Schiller.

Burisma was run by an oligarch, Mykola Zlochevsky, who was under investigation at the time and seeking Western protection from prosecution. In a move observers suspect was intended to send a message to prosecutors, the company sent out a news release in May 2014 claiming, falsely, that Hunter would be in charge of its “legal unit.” Burisma also trumpeted the fact that Hunter was “the son of the current U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden." 

Biden’s office was aware Burisma was under investigation. The administration had tried to partner with the gas company through U.S. aid programs, but the outreach project was blocked over corruption concerns lodged by career diplomats.

Viktor Shokin, ex-Ukraine prosecutor: “The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma, and Joe Biden’s son was a member of the board,” he said in a recent sworn affidavit prepared for a European court. AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov, File

In early 2016, Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if Ukraine did not dismiss the country’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma. “If the prosecutor is not fired,” Biden recalled telling Ukraine’s leader, “you’re not getting the money."

Biden’s muscling worked: Shokin was sacked in March 2016.

The former vice president says he was carrying out official U.S. policy that sought to remove an ineffective prosecutor. But Shokin had raided the home of Burisma’s owner and seized his property.

In addition, Shokin said that as part of his probe he was making plans to interview Hunter about millions of dollars in fees he and his partners had received from Burisma. He insists he was fired because he refused to close the investigation.

“The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma, and Joe Biden’s son was a member of the board,” Shokin said in a recent sworn affidavit prepared for a European court. “I assume Burisma had the support of Joe Biden because his son was on the board.” He added that the vice president himself had “significant interests” in Burisma.

The prosecutor who replaced Shokin shut down the Burisma probe within 10 months. Burisma’s founder was also taken off a U.S. government visa ban list.

Burisma/Wikimedia

Biden claims he only learned of his son joining the Burisma board from the news media. But there is evidence Biden had been consulted in advance. White House visitor logs show that Biden met with Hunter’s business partner Devon Archer on April 16, 2014. Burisma put Archer on its board shortly thereafter, followed by Hunter the next month. (Both Archer and Hunter maintain Burisma never came up during the private visit in Biden’s office, which lasted late into the night.) 

The day after Joe Biden’s meeting with Hunter’s partner in the White House, Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi reportedly emailed Hunter to thank him for inviting him to Washington and “giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent[sic] some time together.” The Biden campaign asserts it cannot find a meeting with Pozharskyi on the former vice president’s “schedule,” though it did not deny such a meeting could have taken place. The Ukrainian official mentioned going out for coffee with Hunter on April 17, 2014, which indicated he was physically in D.C. at the time. RCI has not confirmed the authenticity of the April 17 email document, first disclosed by the New York Post after obtaining it from a hard drive allegedly copied from a laptop of Hunter Biden left at a computer repair shop in Wilmington, Del. Pozharskyi did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Hunter stepped down from Burisma's board in April 2019, a month before his father announced his White House bid and after critics made an issue of the conflicts his sinecure posed. He has since kept a very low profile. Unlike Trump’s children, Biden’s son is not out on the trail campaigning for him. 

1,850 Boxes Sealed Until After Election 

“Hunter Biden had no experience in the field, but he did have a notable connection to the vice president, who publicly has bragged about making clear to the Ukrainians that he alone controlled U.S. aid to the country,” noted Jonathan Turley, a public-interest law professor at George Washington University.

Retired FBI official I.C. Smith, who led public corruption investigations in Washington and Little Rock, Ark., said both father and son should have known joining Burisma was a bad idea, adding that it gives at least the appearance he was leveraging his name for payoffs from shady clients abroad.

I.C. Smith, ex-FBI official: "I would think, given Hunter's past, the father would have asked more questions.” icsmith.com

"Clearly he's led a troubled life and would be the sort of person susceptible to becoming engaged in this sort of rather sordid deal,” Smith said of Hunter.

"When he said his father asked if the deal was on the up and up and was assured it was, I would think, given Hunter's past, the father would have asked more questions,” he added.

Hunter acknowledged in an ABC News interview last year that he lacked experience in both energy and Ukraine, but maintained that Burisma was impressed by other things on his resume.

“Ironically, Hunter highlighted his work at MBNA and his work on the board of Amtrak as evidence of his qualifications for the Burisma gig,” said Fitton of Judicial Watch. "But both the MBNA and Amtrak jobs, under any sensible analysis, were obvious favors for Joe Biden."

Fitton argued that Biden’s claim he never discussed his son’s jobs and business deals rings hollow against the lengthy record of something-for-nothing nepotism.

“That’s campaign spin,” he said. “Hunter has already admitted to having at least one conversation on the Ukraine issue with Vice President Biden.”

Biden defenders argue that many relatives of politicians are often involved in government and politics. Ivanka Trump and Don Trump Jr., for instance, have cozy relationships with, or financial stakes in, companies that may benefit from those decisions. They also point out that, while they may look bad, there's nothing illegal about such arrangements.

Fitton isn’t so sure. He said Judicial Watch is demanding Obama administration documents related to Hunter’s Ukraine and China deals, as well as other business arrangements potentially monetizing Biden’s political power.

“We can’t be sure if the arrangements were legal,” he said. “If any payments or jobs were neither ordinary nor customary, there may be legal issues.”

It’s a federal crime to provide a government benefit or favorable change in policy in exchange for something of personal value. At a minimum, argued former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, Biden “had a conflict of interest with the position his son had” on the Burisma board, noting that at the time, Biden was pushing energy policies that favored the gas giant.

The Biden School, part of the University of Delaware, which is keeping a lid on Biden records.  Biden School of Public Policy and Administration

Not all of Hunter Biden’s critics are coming from the right, either.

“It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Hunter’s foreign employers and partners were seeking to leverage Hunter’s relationship with Joe, either by seeking improper influence or to project access to him,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a liberal watchdog group based in Washington. 

The Biden Institute: Maggie Haberman, New York Times White House correspondent, was a featured speaker in 2018, according to its website. The University of Delaware holds more than 1,850 boxes of Biden records under seal. Biden Institute/University of Delaware

While Joe Biden insists “there’s been no indication of any conflict of interest from Ukraine or anywhere else," Senate investigators are seeking a number of related emails and memos generated during the Obama administration, as well as his 36-year Senate career. That period, spanning from 1973 to 2009, coincides with a large chunk of his son’s resume.

However, Biden has sealed the bulk of the records at the University of Delaware Library, which refuses to release any of his papers until after the election. It maintains more than 1,850 boxes of Biden records, including his speeches, voting records, position papers and notes from confidential interviews he’s conducted with foreign leaders, among other documents. The papers the university is keeping a lid on could shed light on Biden’s thinking behind foreign policies and controversial bills he sponsored.

A spokeswoman said the library will not release any of Biden’s papers to the public until they are “properly processed and archived.” Until then, “access is only available with Vice President Biden’s express consent,” she said, while declining to answer whether the university would comply if the Senate subpoenaed documents as part of its investigation of the Bidens.

The university houses the Biden Institute, which is part of the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration.

Through a lawyer, Hunter maintained he and his father dutifully avoided “conflicts of interest” — or even “the appearance of such conflicts." In every business pursuit, he asserted, they acted “appropriately and in good faith.”

However, in a moment of candor during a recent ABC News interview, Hunter confessed: "I don't think that there's a lot of things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn't Biden,” before adding, "There's literally nothing my father in some way hasn't had influence over.” 

Still, the elder Biden argues it’s the Trump family who has the nepotism problem. In a recent CBS “60 Minutes” interview, he slammed the president for letting his daughter and son-in-law "sit in on Cabinet meetings."

"It's just simply improper because you should make it clear to the American public that everything you're doing is for them,” he intoned. "For them.” 

Published:10/19/2020 10:12:25 PM
[Markets] Hunter Biden Is Not The Problem, The Problem Is His Dad Hunter Biden Is Not The Problem, The Problem Is His Dad Tyler Durden Mon, 10/19/2020 - 19:00

Authored by Bruce Wilds via Advancing Time blog,

It seems in our complicated world many murky relationships develop that come across as inappropriate. Over the years, growing crony capitalism has become the bane of modern society and added greatly to inequality. This is why, when we look at Hunter Biden and how he benefited from his father's role as Vice President an investigation is in order. Even before we get to what happened in Ukraine, the ties between China and the Biden family are too many and too large to ignore. President Trump has received a lot of criticism related to how he gained his wealth, however, almost all of what Trump has done he did as an outsider and not as part of the ruling political class.