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[IJR] Obama Says He Does Not Always Take Trump’s Attacks on Him ‘Personally or Seriously’ "I think they can often be destructive and harmful." Published:11/15/2020 6:25:10 PM
[] America’s First Black President Says It’s a ‘Myth’ That America Has No ‘Racial Caste System’ Published:11/13/2020 3:59:09 PM
[Donald Trump] The 2020 debates (Paul Mirengoff) Yesterday’s Washington Post article about top Biden adviser Ron Klain contained this passage: Klain has developed a specialized role as the Democrats’ preeminent coach for presidential debates. He worked on debate preparations for Bill Clinton in 1992 and Gore in 2000, and he has led the debate prep for every Democratic nominee since — John F. Kerry, Obama, Hillary Clinton and Biden. Klain’s debate rules for candidates, versions of which Published:11/13/2020 2:59:07 PM
[Politics] Candace Owens Blasts Obama's Book Conservative political commentator and author Candace Owens is ripping into Barack Obama, saying the former president's claim that President Donald Trump's rise to power was the product of racism is "absolutely despicable." Owens made her remarks during a Thursday interview... Published:11/13/2020 12:24:30 PM
[] Insanity Wrap #87: Dear Barack, We Won't Miss You Even If You Would Go Away Published:11/13/2020 9:27:09 AM
[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
[IJR] Obama Scorches Republicans Who ‘Go Along With’ Trump’s Election Fraud Claims "That's a dangerous path." Published:11/13/2020 7:54:01 AM
[Markets] Obama Warns Trump's Election Fraud Claims Put US Democracy On "Dangerous Path" Obama Warns Trump's Election Fraud Claims Put US Democracy On "Dangerous Path" Tyler Durden Fri, 11/13/2020 - 08:26

Barack Obama has another book to sell, and so, after making a handful of comments in the press (and just a handful of actual appearances) in support of his former VP, Joe Biden, during the campaign, Obama is breaking what has been a long TV interview fast and sitting down with a lengthy feature interview with "60 Minutes".

And as CBS News often does when it has a particularly big-name guest on America's most widely watched "TV News Magazine", teaser clips from the interview were leaked to the press.

In one clip, Obama, who was famously reticent about his successor for a while after Trump won, accused his successor of putting Democracy "on a dangerous path" with his "baseless" election-fraud claims. Obama said the whole story was the result of Republican leaders "who clearly know better" kowtowing to a "volatile" president who "doesn't like to lose."

"I'm more troubled by the fact that other Republican officials who clearly know better are going along with this, are humoring him in this fashion," Obama said. "It is one more step in delegitimizing not just the incoming Biden administration, but democracy generally. And that's a dangerous path."

Readers can watch the rest of the interview on CBS's site.

Obama also stopped by CBS This Morning for a quick sit down with Gayle King, and told King that "when Donald Trump won, I stayed up until 2:30 in the morning, and then I called him and congratulated him." Obama also complained about voter fraud allegations being "presented as facts" on right-wing talk radio.

Obama also waxed poetic about presidents being "servants of the people", adding that "it's a temporary job."

He also told King that the GOP "obviously didn't think there was any fraud going on" before Trump's baseless claims, because "they didn't say anything about it for the first two days."

But if there isn't any fraud, or anything to worry about, won't these recounts and ballot audits simply help strengthen Americans faith in their democracy, and its ability to adapt to unseen situations?

Meanwhile, the first leaks from Obama's new book have also hit, with Salon publishing a bit where Obama writes that Americans elected Trump because they "got spooked by a black man in the White House". Obama also wrote that the GOP took its first step toward embracing the "dark spirits lurking on the edges of the modern Republican Party - xenophobia, anti-intellectualism, paranoid conspiracy theories, an antipathy toward Black and brown folks - were finding their way to center stage."

It's certainly an interesting theory. But when do we get to hear the bit about his feuds with the Clintons, and how Hillary Clinton was a historically weak candidate foisted upon the American people by a corrupt Democratic Party, which really tried to use Obama as a tool to ensure she could ride in on his coattails.

Just some food for thought.

Published:11/13/2020 7:23:18 AM
[Barack Obama] The Week in radical Leftism, 11/13/2020 Welcome back! I’m trying to avoid election stories given how quickly the story has been shifting. Amazingly, there are other stories unrelated to the vote count! 11/6 – The Fake Conservatives Are Selling Out Trump This is nothing new. It’s just that now the mask has finally completely come off. 11/7 – Michelle Obama insults and condescends... Read more » Published:11/13/2020 6:53:46 AM
[Politics] What are these FALSE claims of widespread election fraud doing to our country right now? – 60 Minutes host to Obama 60 Minutes host Scott Pelley, with all sincerity and concern, asked Obama today in an interview about all the FALSE claims of widespread voter fraud and how they are harming our country: . . . Published:11/13/2020 6:23:55 AM
[Politics] What are these FALSE claims of widespread election fraud doing to our country right now? – 60 Minutes host to Obama 60 Minutes host Scott Pelley, with all sincerity and concern, asked Obama today in an interview about all the FALSE claims of widespread voter fraud and how they are harming our country: . . . Published:11/13/2020 6:23:55 AM
[Columns] Return of the Propeller Heads

Barack Obama had a nickname for the highly credentialed economists who surrounded him during his first term. He called them "propeller heads." It was his way of joshing—and asserting superiority over—figures such as Larry Summers, Peter Orszag, Austan Goolsbee, Jason Furman, and other wonks with impeccable CVs and intimidating confidence in their own opinions. The label reduced these résumé gods to propeller-beanie geeks. Like most Obama statements, it was also a self-flattering way for the president to demonstrate the value he places on intellection, data, and expert knowledge. He and his fellow progressives love the idea that reason, logic, and science legitimize the power they wield through law and bureaucratic diktat.

The post Return of the Propeller Heads appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:11/13/2020 6:23:55 AM
[8895a782-d07d-5e7b-bf3b-42c87cc0d18a] Ex-Marine Captain Frank 'Gus' Biggio: Veterans Day – Why I served In 2009, I was one of several thousand Marines taking part in Operation Khanjar, the start of President Obama’s “surge” of military forces and civilian advisers into Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. Published:11/11/2020 7:00:46 AM
[Markets] The War Is Over... GloboCap Triumphs! The War Is Over... GloboCap Triumphs! Tyler Durden Wed, 11/11/2020 - 00:05

Authored (mostly satirically) by CJ Hopkins via The Consent Factory,

OK, so, that was not cool. For one terrifying moment there, it actually looked like GloboCap was going to let Russian-Asset Hitler win. Hour after hour on election night, states on the map kept turning red, or pink, or some distinctly non-blue color. Wisconsin … Michigan … Georgia … Florida. It could not be happening, and yet it was. What other explanation was there? The Russians were stealing the election again!

But, of course, GloboCap was just playing with us. They’re a bunch of practical jokers, those GloboCap guys. Naturally, they couldn’t resist the chance to wind us up just one more time.

Seriously, though, while I enjoy a good prank, I still have a number of liberal friends, many of whom were on the verge of suffering major heart attacks as they breathlessly waited for the corporate media to confirm that they had successfully voted a literal dictator out of power. (A few of them suffer from IBS or other gastrointestinal disorders, so, in light of the current toilet paper shortage caused by the Return of the Apocalyptic Plague, toying with them like that was especially cruel.)

But, whatever. That’s water under the bridge. The good news is, the nightmare is over! Literal Hitler and his underground army of Russia-loving white supremacists have been vanquished! Decency has been restored! Globalization has risen from the dead!

And, of course, the most important thing is, racism in America is over … again!

Yes, that’s right, folks, no more racism … kiss all those Confederate monuments goodbye! The Democrats are back in the White House! According to sources, the domestic staff are already down in the West Wing basement looking for that MLK bust that Trump ordered removed and desecrated the moment he was sworn into office. College kids are building pyres of racist and potentially racist books, and paintings, and films, and other degenerate artworks. Jussie Smollet can finally come out of hiding.

OK, granted, they’re not going to desegregate liberal cities or anything crazy like that, or stop “policing” Black neighborhoods like an occupying army, or stop funding schools with property taxes, but Kamala Harris is Black, mostly, and Grampa Joe will tell us more stories about “Corn Pop,” the razor-wielding public-pool gangster, and other dangerous Black people he hasn’t yet incarcerated, so that should calm down all those BLM folks.

In the meantime, the official celebrations have begun. Assorted mass-murdering GloboCap luminaries, government leaders, and the corporate media are pumping out hopey-changey propaganda like it was 2008 all over again. Pundits are breaking down and sobbing on television. Liberal mobs are ritualistically stomping Cheetos to the death in the street. Slaphappy hordes of Covidian Cultists are amassing outdoors, masks around their necks, sharing champagne bottles and French-kissing each other, protected from the virus by the Anti-Trump Force Field that saved the BLM protesters last Summer. It’s like V-Day, the fall of the Berlin wall, and the bin Laden assassination all rolled into one!

All of which is understandable, given the horrors of the last four years, the concentration camps, the wars of aggression, the censorship, the CIA murder squads, the show trials, and all that other dictator stuff. On top of which, there was all that white supremacy, and that anti-Semitism, and that horrible wall that transformed America into an “apartheid state” where people were imprisoned in an open-air ghetto and gratuitously abused and murdered. (Whoops, I think I screwed up my citations … maybe double-check those links.)

But let’s not dwell on all those horrors right now. There will be plenty of time for all that later, when Donald Trump is hauled into court and tried for his crimes against humanity, like all our previous war-criminal presidents.

No, this is a time for looking ahead to the Brave New Global-Capitalist Normal, in which everyone will sit at home in their masks surfing the Internet on their toasters with MSNBC playing in the background … well, OK, not absolutely everyone. The affluent will still need to fly around in their private jets and helicopters, and take vacations on their yachts, and, you know, all the usual affluent stuff. But the rest of us won’t have to go anywhere or meet with anyone in person, because our lives will be one never-ending Zoom meeting carefully monitored by official fact-checkers to ensure we’re not being “misinformed” or exposed to “dangerous conspiracy theories” which could potentially lead to the agonized deaths (or the mild-to-moderate flu-like illnesses) of hundreds of millions of innocent people.

But let’s not count our chickens just yet. As much as you’re probably looking forward to life in the Brave New GloboCap Normal, or the Great Reset, or whatever they end up calling the new pathologized totalitarianism, it isn’t a fait accompli quite yet … not until Russian-Asset Hitler has been thoroughly humiliated and removed from office, and anyone who voted for him, or didn’t believe he was literally Hitler, or a Russian asset, or who otherwise refused to take part in the mindless, corporate-media-generated Anti-Trump Hate-Fest, has been demonized as a “racist,” a “traitor,” an “anti-Semite,” a “conspiracy theorist,” or some other type of “far-right extremist.” That’s probably going to take another couple months.

I’m pretty certain the plan is still to goad Trump into overreacting and trying to resist his removal from office. And I do not mean just in the courts. No, after all the money, time, and effort that GloboCap has invested over the last four years, they are going to be extremely disappointed if he just slinks away with going full-Hitler and starting a Second Civil War.

As I’ve been saying, over and over, since he won the election, GloboCap needs to make an example of Trump to put down the widespread populist rebellion against global capitalism and its ideology that started back in 2016. And no, it doesn’t make any difference whether Donald Trump is actually a populist, or whether people realize that it is global capitalism and not “Cultural Marxism” that they are rebelling against.

According to the script, this is the part where Trump refuses to respect “democracy” and has to be forcibly dragged out of office by the Secret Service or elements of the military, ideally “live” on international television. It may not end up playing out that way (Trump is probably not as dumb as I think), but that’s the Act III scenario for GloboCap: the “attempted Trump coup,” then the “perp walk.” They need the public and future generations to perceive him as an “illegitimate president,” a “usurper,” an “intruder,” an “imposter,” an “invader” … which, he is. (Being rich and famous does not make you a member of the GloboCap Power Club.)

The corporate media are already hard at work manufacturing this version of reality, not only in the content of their “reporting,” but also with the unbridled contempt they are showing for a sitting president. The networks actually cut him off in the middle of his post-election address. The Twitter Corporation is censoring his tweets. What could possibly be more humiliating … and indicative of who is really in charge?

Meanwhile, the GloboCap propaganda has reached some new post-Orwellian level. After four long years of “RUSSIA HACKED THE ELECTION!” … now, suddenly, “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ELECTION FRAUD IN THE USA!”

That’s right, once again, millions of liberals, like that scene in 1984 where the Party switches official enemies right in the middle of the Hate-Week speech, have been ordered to radically reverse their “reality,” and hysterically deny the existence of the very thing they have been hysterically alleging for four solid years … and they are actually doing it!

At the same time, the Trumpians have been reduced to repeating, over and over, and over, that “THE MEDIA DOES NOT SELECT THE PRESIDENT,” and “BIDEN IS NOT THE PRESIDENT ELECT,” and other versions of “THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING.”

I hate to rub salt into anyone’s wounds (particularly those whose faces are currently being stomped on by GloboCap’s enormous boot), but, yes, this is actually happening. Second Civil War or no Second Civil War, this is the end for Donald Trump. As Biden and the corporate media keep telling us, we are looking at a “very dark winter,” on the other side of which a new reality awaits us … a new, pathologized, totalitarian reality.

Call it the “New Normal,” or whatever you want. Pretend “democracy has triumphed” if you want. Wear your mask. Mask your children. Terrorize them with pictures of “death trucks,” tales of “Russian hackers” and “white supremacist terrorists.”

Live in fear of an imaginary plague (or perhaps a non-imaginary plague if that “very dark winter” comes to pass). Censor all dissent. Ban all protests. Do not attempt to adjust your telescreen. Click on the link to join the Zoom meeting. Have your password and your identity papers ready. Watch your pronouns. Get down on your knees. It’s GloboCap Fucking Über Alles!

*  *  *

If, for whatever inexplicable reason, you appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to support it, please go to his Patreon page (where you can contribute as little $1 per month), or send your contribution to his PayPal account, so that maybe he’ll stop coming around our offices trying to hit our staff up for money. Alternatively, you could purchase his satirical dystopian novel, Zone 23, or Volume I and II of his Consent Factory Essays, or any of his subversive stage plays, which won some awards in Great Britain and Australia. If you do not appreciate Mr. Hopkins’ work and would like to write him an abusive email, feel free to contact him directly.

Published:11/10/2020 11:21:33 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
[Markets] Ex-CIA Chief Under Obama Urges Palace Coup Against Trump So He Doesn't "Declassify Everything" Ex-CIA Chief Under Obama Urges Palace Coup Against Trump So He Doesn't "Declassify Everything" Tyler Durden Tue, 11/10/2020 - 18:04

Days ago amid the Trump administration's election challenge turmoil which has resulted in over a dozen lawsuits filed in several battleground states, Donald Trump Jr. urged the president to unleash the nuclear option"DECLASSIFY EVERYTHING!!!" he wrote in all caps on Twitter. "We can't let the bad actors get away with it."

Others also picked up on the idea: "Here’s something constructive Trump could do before leaving office at noon on January 20: he could order — demand, insist — that all classified intel and other documents related to the origin of the Russia/election investigation be declassified and released to the public forthwith — unredacted," columnist Sheldon Richman wrote.

It didn't take long for this distinct possibility to attract the attention of both the mainstream media and the intelligence establishment which has so long been at odds (or even at 'war') with the president. Reacting specifically to the ouster of Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday, ex-CIA spy chief under the Obama administration John Brennan essentially urged a palace coup against Trump prior to January 20th to ensure he doesn't declassify anything sensitive or too revealing:

In the incredible Monday evening CNN interview, Brennan - himself responsible for stoking the now widely debunked Russiagate claims from the start of the Trump presidency - brazenly urged Vice President Mike Pence to seize power.

He asserted that despite Biden preparing to transition into the White House on inauguration day, still two months away, at this point Trump is a threat to national security:

"I’m very concerned what he might do in his remaining 70 days in office," said Brennan on Monday's edition of Cuomo Prime Time. "Is he going to take some type of military action? Is he going to release some type of information that could, in fact, threaten our national security interests?"

Brennan took things even further and added specifics in terms of what the former longtime spy chief wants to see happen: "If Vice President Pence and the cabinet had an ounce of fortitude and spine and patriotism, I think they would seriously consider invoking the 25th Amendment and pushing Donald Trump out because he is just very unpredictable now," he added.

And referencing what appears to be a post-election purge and exodus following multiple federal agency top officials either being pushed out or resigning since last Thursday even as votes were being tallied, Brennan suggested this is part of a Trump conspiracy to compromise national security. 

"If Mark Esper has been pushed aside because he is not listening to Donald Trump, carrying out these orders, who knows what his successor, this acting secretary Chris Miller's going to do if Donald Trump does give some type of order that really is counter to what I think our national security interests need to be," Brennan said.

But thankfully few actually in power are likely to listen to John Brennan, given his sour grapes and anger at Trump has clearly long been personal.

After all, who can forget this episode?

John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director under President Barack Obama, struck back at President Trump on Thursday for revoking his security clearance, calling the president’s claims of "no collusion" with Russia to influence the 2016 election "hogwash" and arguing that the commander in chief was trying to silence anyone who would dare challenge him.

So given Brennan is now openly and literally calling for an illegal overthrow of the sitting president of the United States, Trump now appears fully vindicated in having revoked his security clearance in the first place.

Published:11/10/2020 5:18:37 PM
[] AP reporter reminisces about witnessing four years ago the peaceful transition of power from Obama to Trump Published:11/10/2020 4:48:57 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
[IJR] Flashback: 4 Years Ago Today Obama Welcomed Trump To the White House "My number one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our President-Elect is successful." Published:11/10/2020 3:11:55 PM
[Markets] Defense Officials Fear Trump To Initiate Covert Ops Against Iran During Last Days In Office Defense Officials Fear Trump To Initiate Covert Ops Against Iran During Last Days In Office Tyler Durden Tue, 11/10/2020 - 13:41

Included in The New York Times' coverage of Defense Secretary Mark Esper's firing on Monday was this notable and alarming bit of speculation:

Defense Department officials have privately expressed worries that the president might initiate operations, whether overt or secret, against Iran or other adversaries during his last days in office.

Illustrative CIA file image: Members of the CIA's paramilitary unit during a mission prior to entering Afghanistan in late September 2001.

Do the remaining couple months of Trump's presidency represent an opportunity to initiate war with Iran, especially among administration hawks like Pompeo?

Axios is reporting that the White House plans to slap new sanctions on Iran every week until the inauguration on January 20 in a "flood" of punitive actions making it ever harder for a future Biden administration to restore US participation in the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA).

Here's more from the Times on Esper's downfall after a rocky relationship with Trump:

"In my experience, there would only be a few reasons to fire a secretary of defense with 72 days left in an administration," Representative Elissa Slotkin, Democrat of Michigan and a former Pentagon official in the Obama administration, said in a statement.

"One would be incompetence or wrongdoing, which do not seem to be the issue with Secretary Esper," she said. "A second would be vindictiveness, which would be an irresponsible way to treat our national security. A third would be because the president wants to take actions that he believes his secretary of defense would refuse to take, which would be alarming. Whatever the reason, casting aside a secretary of defense during the volatile days of transition seems to neglect the president’s most important duty: to protect our national security."

A main criticism of the administration's 'maximum pressure' policy against Iran, which reached a peak last January with the assassination of IRGC Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani - which Iran considered to have diplomatic protections - is that it has taken tensions to the max, even to a war-footing at times, yet seemingly with no off-ramp.

While Trump held out hope for a new, better deal following the US exit from the JCPOA in May 2018, this was something Iran has repeatedly vowed it would never so much as entertain. 

Published:11/10/2020 12:42:01 PM
[Markets] Buchanan: Will Georgia Halt The Radicals' Revolution? Buchanan: Will Georgia Halt The Radicals' Revolution? Tyler Durden Tue, 11/10/2020 - 11:59

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

“In victory, magnanimity… in defeat, defiance.”

That counsel about human conflict comes from Winston Churchill.

And President Donald Trump, given all he has endured for five years from those piously pleading now for a “time of healing,” cannot be faulted for his defiant resolve to unearth any and all high crimes or misdemeanors committed in the counting of ballots in the election of Tuesday last.

Trump owes his people this, and he owes the establishment nothing.

Yet, in making this his priority, Trump should be mindful of several realities. From what we have seen so far, the prospect that the decision in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona or Georgia will be overturned does not appear high.

Indeed, it seems a certainty that not enough electoral votes could be flipped from Biden to Trump to overturn Joe Biden’s electoral vote victory.

And Trump should realize that in alleging fraud, he is creating an imperative upon himself and his team to provide the evidence to prove it.

In politics as in poker, there comes a time when you have to show your cards or fold your hand. Are the cards there?

Trump should also be aware that his reputation, the causes he has served, and the future of both, will be influenced by how he conducts himself in what appears to be an inevitable defeat.

Richard Nixon, in the 1960 election against JFK, declined to challenge the returns from Illinois, which he lost by 9,000 votes, though journalists then and historians have contended that the state was almost surely stolen in Cook County.

Nixon chose not to challenge the Illinois count.

Among the reasons was that, even had he done so successfully, after a brutal battle like the Bush-Gore contest in Florida, and even had Illinois been shifted into his column, he would have been short of the 270 electoral votes needed to win.

Nixon would have had to contest and flip Texas as well.

Also, while Trump and his campaign are devoting time and resources to the ballot count in battleground states, a last crucial battle is shaping up in Georgia, where the stakes are second only to the presidency.

Minutes after Biden declared victory last week, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, exulted, “Now we take Georgia, and then we change the world.”

Schumer was referring to the two Senate races that will be decided Jan. 5, both runoffs where none of the four candidates got the Georgia-required 50.0% of the vote on Nov. 3.

Republican Sen. David Perdue won 49.7%, just short of the 50.0% that would have ensured GOP control of the Senate through 2022. Perdue faces a runoff against 33-year-old Jon Ossoff.

The other race is between Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who is seeking to fill out the full term of Johnny Isakson who stepped down from the Senate in 2019 for health reasons. She is opposed by African American pastor Raphael Warnock.

What is involved in these runoff elections?

If Rossoff and Warnock both win, Democrats take control of the Senate. Schumer will be the new majority leader, displacing Mitch McConnell. And all tie votes will be decided by the new Senate President and Vice President Kamala Harris, who, as of 2020, was, by her voting record, the most radical member of the entire body.

What would this mean?

On Jan. 20, 10 weeks from today, Democrats would control the House with Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the chair, the Senate with Schumer as majority leader, and the White House with newly inaugurated Joe Biden in the Oval Office.

The sole residual power Republicans would retain is the filibuster, the right of extended debate, the capacity to block the radical proposals of the new Democratic majority dominant in D.C. by talking them to death.

Before the “Green New Deal,” “Medicare for All” and the Biden-Bernie tax hikes could be passed, before a trillion-dollar bailout of blue states like Illinois could be enacted, before the Supreme Court could be packed, the Senate filibuster would have to be eliminated.

But, if it were, we would be transported back to the days of 1965, when LBJ, with veto-proof majorities in both houses, rammed through his Great Society, the failure of which is manifest today in Detroit, St. Louis, Philadelphia, New York — and in our staggering national debt.

Are Democrats ready for so radical a step? Indeed, they are. Even Barack Obama is calling for killing the filibuster as a “Jim Crow relic.”

Republicans who think that Democrats would not abolish the filibuster to advance their agenda are deluding themselves.

Yet, all that is needed to block this rising radical revolution is for the GOP to win one of the two Georgia Senate seats at issue Jan. 5.

If the Democrats lose either Georgia race, the Bernie-BLM-antifa-AOC revolution may just end up devouring its children.

Published:11/10/2020 11:12:52 AM
[Markets] Brokers' "Biden Trade" May Be Misguided Brokers' "Biden Trade" May Be Misguided Tyler Durden Tue, 11/10/2020 - 10:40

Authored by Daniel Lacalle,

Many financial experts have rushed to make what has been regarded as “Biden trade” calls based on the projections by The Associated PressNBC News and other news outlets of a Joe Biden presidency. The “Biden trade” is a synonym of a recommendation to invest in assets that may benefit from a Democratic presidency judging by the main policies announced throughout the campaign.

The first risk for investors is to make significant bets on radical changes of policy when the balance of power in the House and Senate may inhibit many of the headline-grabbing policy changes. We already have reports, for example, that show how the tax hikes may be halted due to a combination of a divided government and the negotiations of a new stimulus package.

The second risk for investors is to follow apparently well-argued bets based on a political outcome which end up creating the opposite effect. In 2017, Nobel laureate Paul Krugman wrote about the stock market after a Trump victory: “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never”. The S&P 500 broke new all-time records in the following three years. The Trump presidency saw a surge in stocks, an all-time low yield in US debt and record levels of employment, rising real wages and strong growth before the pandemic. A similar situation happened with the Obama administration. Many investors and experts predicted a surge in renewable stocks and a collapse in the US dollar and large American corporations and none of it happened as expected.

What are the most-called “Biden trades”? Essentially, we can summarize the following: A weaker dollar based on the aggressive fiscal plans and deficit spending of the Biden-Harris team, an overweight Europe and China based on an expected end of tariffs and trade measures as well as weaker corporate profit for US corporates due to more regulation and higher taxes. What surprises me is that many colleagues in the finance world and analyst community defend a weak dollar and surging debt as well as a poorer outlook for investment and business. These are outcomes that hurt consumers, taxpayers and job creation.

However, we must alert to the so-called “Biden trades” judging by experience. We know from the Obama-Biden tenure that making aggressive policy-related bets may be a noticeably big mistake.

Despite consensus calls for a weaker US dollar, between the 20th of January of 2009 and the 20t January 2017, when Obama and Biden were in power, the US Dollar Index (DXY) rose 16.8%, the trade-weighted dollar index rose 15.9%, the dollar strengthened vs the euro by 20.6% and also strengthened compared to the yuan.

The idea that Biden will end tariffs and so-called protectionism is also denied by history. According to the Geopolitical Intelligence Service the United States implemented more protectionist measures than any other country in the world during the Obama administration, more than 600 measures limiting free trade including tariffs on solar panels and trade barriers on capital and imported products.

We must also remember that the fracking revolution in the United States and the biggest increase in domestic oil production happened during the Obama-Biden tenure, while solar bankruptcies soared to all-time highs between 2010 and 2017 as prices plummeted and debt became unpayable. The call to invest in the Clean Energy space based on a change of policy generated a massive underperformance relative to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. Good and solid renewable companies did relatively well as technology leaders strengthened, but the broad-based call yielded a mere 2% return of the Clean Energy Index (NEX) relative to a 182% rise in the S&P 500 and a whopping 285% of the Nasdaq.

Calls for an outperformance of China and Europe may also be misguided judging by the past. European stocks (Stoxx 600) underperformed the S&P 500 in the Obama-Biden tenure delivering almost half the return, currency adjusted, than the US broad index. A similar pattern happened with Chinese stocks, with the broad China index delivering a third of the performance of the US index, and Emerging Markets, also massively underperforming the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

Other calls assume a massive spending spree but are surprisingly benign with the deficit and debt outcome. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Biden’s proposals will increase the US deficit from 2021 to 2030 by 5.6 trillion US dollars and up to 8.3 trillion. As such, calls for a massive Keynesian effect of spending plans is likely to be -again-wrong, as growth estimates undershoot expectations and debt balloons.

Investors may want to believe in the magic wand of a president, but the reality is that the United States level of state independence, the system of checks and balances, the control of the Senate and the diversification and innovation of US entrepreneurs make it almost impossible to believe that the radical policies announced will be implemented as planned, let alone generate the consensus estimates.

If we can learn anything from the past is that the United States economy proves to be far more resilient than what analysts predict and that betting against America is a bad idea, even if the administration tries to advance anti-business proposals. The “blue wave” calls were wrong, and the likely outcome of these elections may show that we need to pay more attention to the reality of the US economy and its small and medium businesses than to headline-grabbing politics.

Betting on Keynesian and interventionist policies to work is bad for the economy and worse for investors.

Published:11/10/2020 9:40:40 AM
[] Wait, WHAT? Ben Rhodes says 'foreign leaders are already having phone calls with Joe Biden' about policy Published:11/9/2020 4:30:48 PM
[2020 Election] Trump’s (Alleged) Defeat a Stunning Rebuke to Obama, Hillary

For reasons too numerous to count, President Donald J. Trump will go down in history as a world-historic leader who defied the odds at every turn.

The post Trump’s (Alleged) Defeat a Stunning Rebuke to Obama, Hillary appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:11/9/2020 4:30:47 PM
[] The Lincoln Project Geniuses Vow to Resurrect the GOP Published:11/8/2020 10:26:38 PM
[Markets] Biden To Name COVID-19 Task Force Monday - Here's His Plan Biden To Name COVID-19 Task Force Monday - Here's His Plan Tyler Durden Sun, 11/08/2020 - 16:35

While the Biden campaign has declined to discuss potential Cabinet posts after the MSM declared him the projected winner of the 2020 election, Joe Biden is planning to announce the creation of a 12-member coronavirus task force, according to Axios.

"On Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisers to help take the Biden-Harris COVID plan and convert it into an action blueprint that starts on Jan. 20, 2021," Biden said during a Saturday night speech.

According to the report, "By announcing a COVID task force even before unveiling his senior White House staff or a single cabinet appointment, Biden is signaling that addressing the coronavirus will be the immediate priority for his transition, and then his potential administration."

The task force will be led by three co-chairs: former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith from Yale University. -Axios

"We have to function as one nation. That means having a national plan," said Murthy, former surgeon general.

Several members of the task force have been advising Biden during his bid for presidency - adopting health protocols for the Biden campaign while also discussing public policy challenges.

Biden's plan: According to NPR, "Biden's plan calls for empowering scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help set national, evidence-based guidance to stop outbreaks as well as making significant investments in vaccine distribution, testing and the creation of a public health workforce to carry out contact tracing and other services."

"What you're going to see is a laser focus on ensuring that people get ... adequate testing and clear information," said Murthy.

So - 'more testing and clear information' - and CDC scientists will now be 'empowered' to dictate national policy.

Ezekiel Emanuel - brother of former Obama Chief of Staff and ex-Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel - has been advising Biden on health policy, and told NPR: "You're going to have rigorous evaluation and constant refinement" of policies and strategies.

Specifics of Biden's plan per NPR:

1. Set shared guidance for slowing community spread

Under Biden's plan, the CDC will be directed to provide specific guidance — based on the degree of viral spread in a community — for "how to open schools, open businesses," Emanuel says, or when to impose restrictions on gathering sizes or when stay-at-home orders may be called for.

It would create a national "pandemic dashboard" to share this information with the public. This is a strategy recommended by a top group of public health experts, who released a framework for assessing community risk.

And Biden says he'd work with every governor to make mask-wearing in public mandatory in their state. Many states already have mask mandates, but though research suggests that universal masking could save more than 100,000 lives, there's currently no nationwide coordination or requirement.

2. Seriously ramp up testing

The Biden campaign has said the goal is to "ensure that all Americans have access to regular, reliable and free testing." His administration will work to double the number of drive-through testing sites and invest in "next-generation testing," including home tests and instant tests.

"It's not enough to know in seven days or five days or three days whether or not you have COVID," Biden recently said on CBS' 60 Minutes. If there's a long lag time, a person may spread the disease unwittingly while waiting for results.

There are currently several home test kits that give quick results without being sent to a laboratory in development, but none are yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration. While there has been a significant expansion in testing, "testing is still not available and affordable to all people across the country," Murthy told NPR.

3. Hire thousands of public health workers

The Biden team pledges to "mobilize" 100,000 Americans to work with local organizations around the country to perform contact tracing and other health services for populations at high risk for COVID-19.

The idea is to empower local communities and health departments to assist people with challenges such as food insecurity and affordable housing.

"Imagine a public health workforce that was also helping train school officials in how to reopen safely," Murthy told NPR. Or helping run public education campaigns about a vaccine and how to stay safe in the pandemic. "Think about a workforce that was diverse, that looked like the country that we're trying to serve," Murthy said.

4. Help people get health insurance

Millions of American have lost health insurance during the pandemic. Biden's coronavirus plan proposes to have the federal government cover 100% of the costs of COBRA coverage for the duration of the crisis. "So when people lose their employer-based health insurance, they can stay on that insurance, given the moment we are in," Stef Feldman, Biden's national policy director, told NPR.

In addition, Biden will push to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, expanding coverage by making more people eligible for premium subsidies. Biden hopes also to push for expansion of Medicaid in states that have yet to do so, and he has proposed making Medicare coverage available to Americans beginning at age 60 (instead of 65).

During the pandemic, several governors asked the Trump administration to reopen the federal Obamacare marketplace for a special enrollment period. Feldman has told NPR that Biden would do so immediately after his inauguration to allow those who've lost insurance to sign up for new plans. She called it "a basic step that President Trump has refused to do."

5. Create a caregiving workforce

During the pandemic, Biden says many families are struggling to find affordable care for their children, aging relatives or loved ones with disabilities. "At the same time, professional caregivers have either lost their jobs or continue to work while putting their lives at risk without sufficient pay," his campaign plan noted.

Biden plans to work with states to speed up waiting lists for Medicaid-paid care in homes. In addition, the president-elect supports a variety of steps to expand caregiving, including ensuring access to preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds and supporting caregivers through job training and improved benefits and protections.

Expanding opportunities in the female-dominated caregiving workforce would play a dual role in both helping families, and helping improve women's employment outlook, said Sherry Glied, dean of New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, noting that this pandemic-fueled economic crisis has hit women harder.

6. Boost vaccine distribution and personal protective equipment production

States will need a lot of money to distribute a vaccine and make sure it gets to everyone who wants it. There are complex logistics that will require planning and resources. Currently state governors are asking for more guidance and financial assistance.

The Biden team proposes investing $25 billion in a vaccine manufacturing and distribution plan "that will guarantee it gets to every American, cost-free."

The president-elect also wants to solve the shortages of personal protective equipment that have plagued the U.S. health care system since the pandemic began. The Biden team says after the inauguration, it will work to make sure more of these critical supplies are produced and distributed "rather than leave states, cities, tribes, and territories to fend for themselves."

Biden says he'd use the Defense Production Act to increase production of masks, face shields and other personal protective equipment so that supply exceeds demand.

And with that Biden will wipe out COVID-19, which has apparently killed "230 million thousand Americans". 

Published:11/8/2020 3:44:43 PM
[Markets] AOC vs. DNC: Ocasio-Cortez Threatens To Quit Politics, Slams "Hostile" Dems For Not Being Progressive Enough AOC vs. DNC: Ocasio-Cortez Threatens To Quit Politics, Slams "Hostile" Dems For Not Being Progressive Enough Tyler Durden Sun, 11/08/2020 - 14:55

Just hours after the mainstream media has anointed Joe Biden as President-Elect, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seems to be having some type of meltdown. With Trump on his way out of office, AOC has turned her ire against a new cause: Democrats that aren't moving far enough to the left. 

Perhaps indifferent about the fact that the Presidential election seems to have swung in her favor since there was no "blue wave", AOC said this weekend that Democrats who lost House seats "relied too heavily on outdated Democratic National Committee campaign tactics," according to Fox News.

She called those who lost seats "sitting ducks" and refuted the claim that some Democrats thought the ideas of defunding the police and the Green New Deal cost moderates their seats; and made the Presidential race extremely close. 

AOC told the New York Times in an interview: “Our party isn’t even online, not in a real way that exhibits competence. And so, yeah, they were vulnerable to these messages, because they weren’t even on the mediums where these messages were most potent. Sure, you can point to the message, but they were also sitting ducks. They were sitting ducks.”

She continued: “There’s a reason Barack Obama built an entire national campaign apparatus outside of the Democratic National Committee. And there’s a reason that when he didn’t activate or continue that, we lost House majorities. Because the party — in and of itself — does not have the core competencies, and no amount of money is going to fix that.”

She also lashed out at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: “If you are the DCCC, and you’re hemorrhaging incumbent candidates to progressive insurgents, you would think that you may want to use some of those firms. But instead, we banned them. So the DCCC banned every single firm that is the best in the country at digital organizing.”

And she also took at shot at the leadership of her party: “The leadership and elements of the party — frankly, people in some of the most important decision-making positions in the party — are becoming so blinded to this anti-activist sentiment that they are blinding themselves to the very assets that they offer.”

“I need my colleagues to understand that we are not the enemy. And that their base is not the enemy. That the Movement for Black Lives is not the enemy, that "Medicare-for-all" is not the enemy. This isn’t even just about winning an argument. It’s that if they keep going after the wrong thing, I mean, they’re just setting up their own obsolescence,” she said. 

AOC also told the New York Times she could consider quitting politics if Democrats continue to be "hostile" toward progressive causes. And, by that, we're sure she means Marxist causes. 

She also "might quit politics," according to The Independent. She stated: “I genuinely don’t know. I don’t even know if I want to be in politics. You know, for real, in the first six months of my term, I didn’t even know if I was going to run for re-election this year.”

But, ultimately, we all know she did: “I chose to run for re-election because I felt like I had to prove that this is real. That this movement was real. That I wasn’t a fluke.”

“Externally, there’s been a ton of support, but internally, it’s been extremely hostile to anything that even smells progressive,” concluded, apparently bereft of the idea that perhaps even establishment Democrats don't find full-on socialism appealing. 

Published:11/8/2020 2:14:09 PM
[] Michelle Obama congratulates Joe Biden by trashing Trump voters Published:11/8/2020 11:47:25 AM
[Markets] As Biden Pledges 'Unity', Michelle Obama Reminds Dems Millions Voted For "Lies, Hate, Chaos" As Biden Pledges 'Unity', Michelle Obama Reminds Dems Millions Voted For "Lies, Hate, Chaos" Tyler Durden Sun, 11/08/2020 - 12:00

As millions of Americans tuned in to listen to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris deliver their post-election "victory" speech, many noticed that there was a certain something missing. With votes still being counted, and President Trump silent except for a string of tweets expressing skepticism in the vote count, Biden and Harris danced on stage, surrounded by their family (including a cleaned-up-and-sober looking Hunter Biden) before delivering a pair of remarks.

The overarching theme, as expressed by Biden and Harris to their supporters, was simple: Americans had chosen "empathy" over "divisiveness". And after narrowly squeaking out a victory despite leaving the Senate in GOP hands, while losing a surprising number of lawmakers down-ballot, Harris and Biden proclaimed that it was "time to heal".

Wearing an all-white pantsuit, Harris described Biden as a "healer" and a "tested and steady hand", adding that "while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last"..."Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities."

After Harris's brief speech, Biden, black mask on, bounded up to the stage to notably muted applause and offered some conciliatory words: "For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight..."I’ve lost a couple times, myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance."

It was, as the Washington Post pointed out, the only time Biden mentioned his rival, who has yet to make a public appearance since election day.

Despite having played a key role in our era of partisan gridlock, Biden offered familiar platitudes about 'bipartisan cooperation', claiming that partisan bickering is "a decision we’ve made" that could and should be reversed during his presidency. "If we can decide not to cooperate, then we can decide to cooperate," he said. "I believe that this is part of the mandate given to us from the American people. They want us to cooperate."

He cited the popular Catholic hymn "On Eagles Wings", and said he would "spare no effort, none" to resolve this pandemic.

In response to the speeches, Michelle Obama and "Michelle's husband" Barack Obama released statements praising Biden and Harris, with the former First Lady proclaiming that " “dignity, competence and heart” will return to the White House under the Biden Administration.

Obama ripped President Donald Trump by claiming Barack and Michelle Obama each issued lengthy statements of congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for their “historic and decisive” election win amid “hate, chaos and division.” But while 'bipartisanship', 'cooperation' and 'healing' are the new political bywords of the day, the former First Lady must have apparently missed the memo.

In her statement, she specifically called on all those who did play a role in Biden's victory to keep in mind that 70 million of their countrymen instead voted for "supporting lies, hate, chaos and division."

"We see now the reality that we can't take even the tiniest part of our democracy for granted. Every single vote must count - and every single one of us must vote," she said.

"Thank you to all of you who poured every ounce of your hope and determination into this democracy over these past four years, registering voters, getting them to the polls, keeping folks informed. More votes were cast in this election than ever before. It’s because of you. And after we celebrate — and we should all take a moment to exhale after everything we’ve been through — let’s remember that this is just a beginning. It’s a first step. Voting in one election isn’t a magic wand, and neither is winning one."

"Let’s remember that tens of millions of people voted for the status quo, even when it meant supporting lies, hate, chaos, and division."

"We’ve got a lot of work to do to reach out to these folks in the years ahead and connect with them on what unites us. But we’ve also got to recognize that the path to progress will always be uphill. We’ll always have to scrape and crawl up toward that mountaintop. And two years from now, four years from now, there will once again be no margin for error."

"We see now the reality that we can’t take even the tiniest part of our democracy for granted. Every single vote must count — and every single one of us must vote. And as a country, we should be making it easier, not harder to cast a ballot."

"So it’s up to us to stay engaged and informed, to keep speaking out and marching on. We’ve got to vote in even greater numbers in the upcoming Senate runoffs in Georgia—and every state and local election going forward."

"We’ve got to promise each other that our focus in this election won’t be an anomaly, but the rule. That’s how we can not only feel this way right now, but in the months and years ahead. It’s the only way we’ll build a nation worthy of our children."

"My warmest congratulations again to Joe and Jill, Kamala and Doug—and each of you who stepped up when your country needed you." -Source: @MichelleObama

News from the Biden camp has been pretty slow as the country experienced an almost unprecedented news vacuum, as the world waited on President Trump. Biden's camp has already launched its transition team, and has announced plans to unveil its own alternative coronavirus task force on Monday.

While Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would wait to officially congratulate Biden, calls poured in from several world leaders, and the handful of remaining #NeverTrump Republicans - Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush- wished Biden well, too.

It was a miraculous turnaround for a candidate who was all but dead in the water this time last year, heading toward what would become a fifth-place finish in New Hampshire, before Michael Bloomberg's flash-in-the-pan primary bid and debate performance, and before the remaining non-Bernie candidates threw their support behind the former Vice President who, remember, will be 78 when he is sworn in on Jan. 20, and has already promised to serve just one term.

It's easy to forget about all that on election night, when despite an unprecedented pandemic and economic crisis, President Trump and his supporters are still walking away with some notable accomplishments, not the least of which being breaking the "blue wave" that the MSM had promised.

However, for any Republicans thinking to themselves right now that the Dems are talking a pretty good game - don't forget that AOC is already making a list of Trump 'collaborators' who will - presumably - never work in Washington again, so long as "the Squad" has their druthers.

Published:11/8/2020 11:14:00 AM
[Markets] Kerry For Climate Chief, Bittigieg For Veterans, Yates For DOJ: An Early Look At The Biden Cabinet Kerry For Climate Chief, Bittigieg For Veterans, Yates For DOJ: An Early Look At The Biden Cabinet Tyler Durden Sun, 11/08/2020 - 11:10

While Trump is still far from conceding the election, whose outcome is called not by the media, but by the Electoral College on Dec 14...

... Joe Biden is already busy forming his cabinet, where he need to draw a fine line between the hard-left progressive in the Democratic party (AOC has already been quite vocal in her criticism of how the Squad has been ignored) and centrist elements. Also, in addition to rolling out such new policies as fighting climate change and aggressively promoting women and minorities, Biden will focus on an economic team that will confront the surging unemployment and business slowdown touched off by the coronavirus pandemic. In total, as he builds out his economic team Biden will need to fill out the nearly two dozen cabinet-level positions in his administration.

Starting at the very top, Bloomberg reports that Biden will look for a Treasury secretary and other key officials "to negotiate with Congress on more stimulus, roll back some of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and mend relations with U.S. trading partners." Among the contenders that have emerged to fill the top economic-policy job are Fed Governor Lael Brainard for Treasury and economist Heather Boushey as director of the National Economic Council.

Other crucial jobs include naming the secretaries of Defense, State and Homeland Security, together responsible for carrying out administration policy and overseeing a federal bureaucracy with more than 2 million civilian employees.

While Biden will be mindful of the possibility that a Republican-controlled Senate would almost certainly scuttle nominees for top posts who belong to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, liberal groups will be policing Biden’s choices closely, fearful that he won’t reach into their ranks for top positions but will instead choose "moderate" Democrats in his own mold. Biden may try to tamp down that sentiment by putting a liberals in jobs that don’t require Senate confirmation.

Most importantly, this means that "the swamp" which Trump vowed to fight - and lost - is back, because in forming his cabinet, Biden will rely on an inner circle of longtime veterans from the Obama administration as well as Wall Streeters.

Finally, while Biden could make history by naming the first women to lead the Defense and Treasury departments, his key White House advisers are likely to be White men.

* * *

With that in mind, here are some of the names being mentioned for the top jobs in a Biden administration according to Bloomberg:

Treasury Department

Lael Brainard, a member of the Fed board since 2014, is the clear favorite to become Treasury secretary. She has resisted loosening bank regulations at the Fed board, dissenting on several measures. On monetary policy, she has been a team player, going along with the majority in every vote. Her experience serving on the Fed board has given her a relationship with Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who plays an important role in orchestrating with Treasury on the response to a faltering economy in the pandemic.

Lael Brainard

Brainard was undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs during the Obama administration. The Harvard-educated economist said in a speech last month that the biggest downside risk to her outlook would be “the failure of additional fiscal support to materialize,” which she said risks longer-term scarring to the economy’s growth potential. The Harvard-educated economist has highlighted some more progressive policies recently, such as the Community Reinvestment Act. In January, she gave a speech highlighting reform efforts necessary to encourage more lending in low- and moderate-income markets.

The Biden team is also said to be looking at Jeff Zients, who was director of the National Economic Council under President Barack Obama. He was widely praised for his work to salvage the website associated with the Affordable Care Act, healthcare.gov, after a  disastrous initial rollout, and was then dubbed “Mr. Fix-it” in the administration. Also on the list are Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who was secretary of Health and Human Services under Obama, as well as Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Fed governor and Treasury official.

Jeff Zients

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, one of Biden’s progressive rivals for the Democratic nomination, is said to want the job, but she would be a tough sell for confirmation if Republicans control the Senate and is deeply distrusted on Wall Street and in the business community.

Fed Chairman

While Biden is reportedly also working with ex-Fed official Roger Ferguson and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, both Black men, for the Treasury position, Bloomberg writes that Bostic is also being considered as a replacement for Powell, whose term is up in 2022. Ferguson was widely praised for his role coordinating the Fed’s response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when then central bank injected billions of dollars into the economy.

Rafael Bostic

Council of Economic Advisers

According to Bloomberg, Jared Bernstein, Biden’s chief economic adviser when he was vice president, has seen his name in contention.  A labor economist, Bernstein helped draft a rule almost doubling the salary threshold for overtime pay. Now a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, he is considered left of center and could be a bridge to the progressive wing of the party. He also was an informal adviser to the campaign.

Jared Bernstein

Boushey is also a possibility. She is the president and chief executive officer of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a think tank launched in 2013 that focuses on inequality. She has focused on promoting policies such as paid sick days and child care.

National Economic Council

Boushey is also being considered for NEC director. She served as chief economist for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential transition team and was widely expected to have a prominent economic policy role had Clinton been elected.

State Department

Biden has two top candidates for secretary of state: longtime aide Antony Blinken, who served as Biden’s national security adviser. Blinken is a veteran Washington foreign policy hand. He worked as the Democratic staff director on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was deputy secretary of state from 2015-2017, when he helped implement the Obama administration’s policy pivot to Asia.

Antony Blinken

He also worked in the Obama White House as special assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser. Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser who was on Biden’s short list for vice president, is also being mentioned but Rice would likely not be confirmed by a Republican-controlled Senate.

Defense Department

The odds-on favorite is Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense who was seen as Clinton’s pick for the job if she’d won in 2016. Flournoy was the highest-ranking woman in Pentagon history when she was the top adviser to then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates in 2009, and would be the first woman to run the Pentagon.

Michele Flournoy

Another potential candidate is Jeh Johnson, who led the Department of Homeland Security under Obama and would be the first Black Defense secretary. Another name being mentioned is Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois. She served in the Army Illinois National Guard in Iraq, where she lost both of her legs in combat.

Justice Department

Sally Yates, a career federal prosecutor who was named deputy attorney general by Obama is among those being chatted about. She served as acting attorney general for 10 days at the beginning of the Trump administration until Trump fired her for insubordination after she refused to defend the ban on travelers from several Muslim-majority countries.d

Sally Yates

Others under consideration are Senator Doug Jones of Alabama, who lost his re-election bid, and Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who was fired by Trump.

Homeland Security

The top candidate is Lisa Monaco, who served as Obama’s homeland security adviser. He reportedly gave her the nickname “Dr. Doom” because of her dark assessments of the terrorism threat. She worked for the Biden campaign running what it called a “network” of teams vetting potential vice-presidential candidates. She also served on the committee advising Biden on a response to the coronavirus.

Intelligence

The leading contender to head either the CIA or be Director of National Intelligence is Avril Haines. She served as deputy national security adviser in the Obama administration. She was also deputy director of the CIA under Obama, the first woman to hold the position. In a top intelligence role, she would take the lead on rebuilding the intelligence community, aka the "deep state", which has been at odds with Trump.

Coronavirus Czar

Biden has proposed creating a special position to oversee the response to the pandemic. Members of the coronavirus task force Biden assembled during the campaign could be considered, including Vivek Murthy, a former surgeon general under Obama, and David Kessler, who led the Food and Drug Administration in the Obama administration.

Vivek Murthy

Biden has also said he wants Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases who has become a contrary voice to Trump about managing the pandemic, to have a role in his administration.

Climate Chief

Biden is considering establishing a new climate czar to coordinate efforts to fight global warming. Top candidates include former Secretary of State John Kerry, who helped broker the landmark Paris climate accord. During his more than a quarter-century representing Massachusetts in the Senate, Kerry led an unsuccessful push for a carbon cap-and-trade program. Another potential pick is Jay Inslee, the newly re-elected governor of Washington and self-styled “climate candidate” for the Democratic presidential nomination who has argued for a “full mobilization of the United States” to fight global warming. Inslee, who spent two terms in the U.S. House, also left an imprint on Biden’s climate plans, including the president-elect’s marquee plan to make U.S. electricity carbon-free by 2035. John Podesta, former President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, has also been mentioned.

John Kerry

Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA administrator post will be crucial to advancing Biden’s aggressive plans for fighting climate change. The top candidates are California air regulator Mary Nichols and Mississippi’s Heather McTeer Toney, a regional EPA administrator for several Southern states under Obama. For more than 50 years, Nichols has been at the vanguard of American environmentalism, pushing clean air and climate policies in California that are a model for the nation and the 13 states that specifically adhere to them. But the so-called “queen of green” could face opposition in a Republican-controlled Senate because of her high-profile status as an environmental leader and chief foe of Trump’s climate policy rollbacks. Toney was the first Black, female, and, having been elected at age 27, the youngest person ever to serve as mayor of Greenville, Mississippi. Now, she’s the national field director for the Mom’s Clean Air Force, a grassroots group dedicated to fighting air pollution. Also under consideration are former Delaware regulator and National Wildlife Federation Chief Executive Officer Collin O’Mara; former Connecticut regulator Dan Esty; former Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire; and Inslee.

Mary Nichols

Health and Human Services

The leading contenders are two women who Biden also considered for vice president: Representative Karen Bass of California, head of the Congressional Black Caucus, and New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Bass, who was a physician assistant before coming to Congress, has made health care a focus of her career. Her support Medicare-for-All legislation, which Biden has rejected, could make her a tough sell for confirmation to lead the agency that administers the health care system.

Michelle Lujan Grisham

Before becoming governor, Grisham was New Mexico’s secretary of health and helped build up the state’s public health system. She was the first Democratic Hispanic elected governor of a U.S. state and the first female Democratic governor of New Mexico. She has led her state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic since the outbreak worsened in the spring.

Housing and Urban Development

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who was also on the short list as a vice-presidential candidate, is under consideration. As a Black woman and the mayor of a majority Black city, she was praised for her response to the civil unrest last summer.

Keisha Lance Bottoms

Transportation

Phillip Washington, the head of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is under consideration, as is Sarah Feinberg, the interim president of the New York City Transit Authority and former administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.

Phillip Washington

Veterans Affairs

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who ran against Biden in the primary is a distinct possibility. He was on Biden’s transition team and was a prominent surrogate for the nominee on the campaign trail. Buttigieg served as in the Navy Reserves in Afghanistan. He would be the first openly gay head of the agency.

Pete Buttigieg

Duckworth was head of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. She was the first female double amputee elected to the Senate and first senator to give birth while in office. A Thai-American, she would be another Asian-American woman at the top of the Biden administration, along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, whose mother was born in India. Duckworth, who was a lieutenant colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard, has ancestors who have served in every major U.S. conflict since the Revolutionary War.

UN Ambassador

Buttigieg has also been one of the names circulating for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Serving in this post, which has been a cabinet-level job in some administrations, would serve several purposes for Buttigieg. It would allow him to practice the seven languages he says he speaks --Norwegian, Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Arabic, Dari and French -- and would burnish his foreign policy credentials should the 38-year-old decide to run for the presidency again.

National Security Adviser

Blinken, who is also being considered for the State Department, has worked with Biden since he was in the Senate. He said recently that the next administration’s foreign policy would aim to reverse the U.S.’s withdrawal from global affairs under Trump. “We’d actually show up again, day-in, day-out,” he told Axios in October. Rice is also a possibility for this job, which doesn’t require Senate confirmation. But she may not want it, since she had the same job in the Obama administration.

Another strong candidate for a senior foreign policy position is Jake Sullivan, who served as Biden’s national security adviser when he was vice president and and was an adviser to Clinton when she was secretary of state.

Jake Sullivan

Colin Kahl, who also served as Biden’s national security adviser when he was vice president, has also been considered.

Agriculture Department

Former Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota is most frequently mentioned. She has led a Democratic rural outreach group, the One Country Project, and has been active as a surrogate for Biden in rural areas.

Heidi Heitkamp

Other candidates include Representative Cheri Bustos of Illinois, who leads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; California Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, a former chief of staff to Obama Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Krysta Harden, a former Obama deputy agriculture secretary who now works with Vilsack as chief operating officer at the Dairy Export Council, are also often mentioned.

Interior Department

Retiring Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico is the top contender to be secretary of Interior. His father, Stewart Udall, was Interior secretary from 1961 to 1969 and is credited with a major expansion in federal land protection, including the creation of dozens of wildlife refuges, national parks and recreation areas. Udall, who says conservation is in his DNA, has laid out plans to enlist federal lands in the fight against climate change and has driven efforts to block drilling near the sandstone mesas and ruins of northwest New Mexico’s Greater Chaco region. Representative Deb Haaland, another Democrat from New Mexico, and Representative Raul Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona who leads the House Natural Resources Committee, also have won praise from environmental groups and been recommended to head the Interior Department.

Chief of Staff

The leading candidate is Ron Klain, who was Biden’s vice presidential chief of staff and led the Obama administration’s economic recovery and Ebola crisis response. Those experiences would be particularly relevant, given that Biden would be tackling coronavirus and the resulting economic downturn upon taking office.

Ron Klain

Steve Ricchetti is also a former Biden vice-presidential chief of staff, and was chairman of Biden’s 2020 campaign. Also being mentioned is Zients, a co-chair of Biden’s transition team and a former director of the National Economic Council under Obama. Close associates such as Ted Kaufman, Biden’s longtime chief of staff in the Senate who led the transition team, and Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, could also play big roles in the inner circle.

Other candidates:

According to Politico, Meg Whitman is a likely frontrunner for the Commerce position, Ernest Moniz is seen as the most likely head of the Department of Energy.

What about Republicans?

According to Bloomberg, the close and bitter end to his fight with Trump will increase pressure on Biden to pick a Republican for his cabinet in a nod at bipartisanship, as Obama did with his first Defense secretary. Possible contenders include two Republicans who spoke at the Democratic convention: former Ohio Governor John Kasich and Meg Whitman, a tech executive who ran for California governor. He is also said to be considering the late Senator John McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, for a role, along with Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, former Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and former Representative Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania.

John Kasich

 

Published:11/8/2020 10:13:59 AM
[Markets] Life Under Biden Life Under Biden Tyler Durden Sun, 11/08/2020 - 10:30

Authored by James Rickards via The Daily Reckoning,

It’s becoming increasingly evident that Joe Biden is likely to win the election.

He’s now taken the lead in Pennsylvania, which Trump needs to win reelection. Biden’s also taken the lead in Georgia, while holding onto leads in Nevada and Arizona. It’s not over yet, but everything would have to break right for Trump if he’s to win.

He’s also issued a number of legal challenges, but they’re unlikely to overturn the results in any state.

Were there instances of voter fraud in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan? It’s highly likely, but it would be very difficult to prove in court that they substantially impacted the outcome.

So it appears right now that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States, unless Trump can somehow run the table or succeed in the courts.

An Historic Turning Point Election

This was a historic, turning-point election. Turning-point elections are the most historic because they put the country on a different path: Party Politics in 1800, Populism in 1828, Civil War in 1860, Liberalism in 1932, and Conservatism in 1980.

Every 100 years, America gets a president who shakes the establishment and cleans out the Washington sewers. In the 1800s it was Andrew Jackson. In the 1900s it was Teddy Roosevelt. In the 2000s, it’s Donald Trump.

There is no doubt that Trump and Biden would lead America in almost opposite directions with profound consequences for the future of the country and for future elections.

If Trump had won, we would have gotten more of the same, which is saying a lot. Trump would offer more tax cuts (or at least preserve the tax cuts we’ve received). He’d offer less regulation, a major accomplishment of his first term. Trump would continue the trade war with China and expand it in ways that would move jobs back to the United States (or at least get them out of China into friendlier countries such as Vietnam and India).

He would also curtail Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property and cut off Chinese tech investment in the United States. Trump has also stopped foreign installation of sensitive 5G telecommunications systems from Huawei and ZTE, which are hidden arms of the Chinese military.

Trump built alliances to constrain Chinese expansion efforts. His main breakthrough was the Quad Alliance of the U.S., Japan, Australia and India that effectively surrounds and can interdict China’s sea lanes to the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Trump also made great strides toward Middle East peace with the first two Israeli-Arab peace treaties in twenty-five years – one with the UAE and one with Bahrain. Other peace treaties with Israel may have followed. Finally, Trump was imposing crippling sanctions on Iran that would have forced it to negotiate in good faith on its nuclear program or crush its economy in ways that would also impede its efforts at terrorism and nuclear weapons.

With Trump, what you see is what you get: Lower taxes, less regulation, more jobs, no new wars, peace in the Middle East, and peace through strength in confronting Iran and China.

With four more years, Trump could have accomplished his goals and perhaps be ranked among the ten most significant presidents of all time.

The Scenario Under a Biden Administration

Biden is another matter entirely. First of all, Biden is running for president in name only. He has never been that bright. He has accomplished little in his almost fifty years in public service. He is physically frail and clearly suffering acute cognitive decline.

If Joe Biden does win, he’ll be 78 years old when sworn in and 82 years old at the end of his first term. Both marks are the oldest in U.S. history for a president. Some individuals are still sharp in their late 70s. Biden is not one of them.

The result is that Biden will never be president de facto. With Trump out of the picture, Democrats wouldn’t need him anymore. Steps would be taken at some point to remove him from office on the grounds of mental incapacity under the Twenty-fifth Amendment. Nancy Pelosi recently proposed legislation to set up a commission to do just that as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.

But while he remains in office, who will be the real president in a Biden administration?

There are three camps contending for power:

The first camp is the Biden family led by Joe Biden’s wife Dr. Jill Biden, his son Hunter Biden, and Joe Biden’s brothers Jim Biden and Frank Biden. These are the individuals who have been enriched through association with Joe Biden by using or selling access to Biden’s power to win lucrative investment management roles, consulting engagements, construction contracts and other remunerative pursuits.

The Biden family will want to keep Joe in power (with Jill Biden pulling the strings) in order to keep their shakedown operation intact and avoid scrutiny.

The second camp is led by Kamala Harris and those who control her, including the Obama crew and the Resistance. If Biden is removed under the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, Harris becomes Acting President. If Biden resigns under threat of removal, Harris becomes the president.

She would be a front for the Obamas and Valerie Jarrett who would operate through a cabinet consisting of Obama family retainers including Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Sally Yates and Eric Holder.

The third camp is led by the extreme left wing of the party including Bernie Sanders, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (and The Squad), Elizabeth Warren and radical organizations such as BLM. This group is already embedded in the Biden campaign as part of a deal whereby Bernie Sanders agreed to end his primary campaign and endorse Joe Biden in exchange for Biden adopting most of the Sanders platform.

The most likely outcome is that the Obama crew and the Bernie Bros will join forces and run the Biden family off the road. The Bidens will be allowed to keep their Chinese and Russian money and will not face any scrutiny or prosecution in exchange for going away quietly.

The Obama crew will take charge of foreign policy (to preserve Obama’s deals on Iran, the Paris Climate Accord and the Trans-Pacific Partnership), while the Bernie Bros will get domestic policy including much higher taxes, free healthcare, free tuition, forgiveness of student loans, guaranteed basic income, Modern Monetary Theory and the Green New Deal.

A “Blue Wave” Could Have Meant The End of Republican Power in U.S. Politics

One initiative all Democrats can agree on is radical change in U.S. governance to ensure that Republicans never take power again. This agenda means ending the Senate filibuster so the Senate can operate with a simple majority instead of the 60 votes needed today. Democrats would add Puerto Rico and D.C. as states to ensure four new Senate seats that will likely all be Democrats.

Next, Democrats would pack the Supreme Court with six new liberal Justices to wipe out the recently achieved conservative majority after the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett. Once these changes are in place, Democrats could take further steps to eliminate the Electoral College, which means that California and New York alone will choose all future presidents.

If these governance changes were in place, the Bernie Bros’ agenda could be implemented with ease and without fear of opposition from the courts.

But, it looks like this entire agenda will be stopped in its tracks. To ram it through, Democrats would have had to take control of the Senate. With the White House, Senate and House of Representatives controlled by Democrats, Republicans would be powerless to stop them.

But, it appears that the Republicans are going to retain control of the Senate. If that holds, the Democrats’ more radical legislation will never make it out of the Senate.

One of the reasons the stock market rallied so much after the election is because it expects gridlock in Washington, meaning no punitive taxes or other policies harmful to markets.

So if Biden holds on and Republicans hold onto the Senate, you can expect a lot of bickering and a lot of gridlock. And that might not be the worst thing.

Published:11/8/2020 9:38:15 AM
[] Biden's speech: Heavy on hope, light on details Published:11/8/2020 8:38:08 AM
[2020 Election News] Democrat: If You Supported Trump, You Are a Sucker

By R. Mitchell -

In the worst look possible following a supposed victory in the 2020 presidential race, a top figure in the Democrat world thinks that anyone who voted for Trump is a sucker, stooge, moron, whatever. In a statement from former first lady Michelle Obama, she informed the world that Trump supporters fell for lies and chaos …

Democrat: If You Supported Trump, You Are a Sucker 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:11/8/2020 1:35:59 AM
[Markets] Livid Luongo Lashes Out At Democrat "Depravity" Playing Out In Real-Time Livid Luongo Lashes Out At Democrat "Depravity" Playing Out In Real-Time Tyler Durden Sat, 11/07/2020 - 23:15

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

It is one thing to know your opponents have no soul. It is quite another to watch in real time their depravity play out with gleeful disdain.

Anyone saying that what is happening right now in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan etc. is not a conscious effort to rig an election is either a victim of propaganda or being willfully obtuse.

Because they told us this is what would happen. Through the Transition Integrity Project and bread crumbs left throughout the campaign, we knew it would come to this.

For weeks I’ve been saying I hope Trump’s performance is strong enough and his coattails long enough to preclude the Democrats and The Davos Crowd from trying to pull off the theft of the election.

That they would see the magnitude of the problem in front of them and be stopped short by little things like math.

And then realize that even if they did try and cheat it would be so transparent that nothing good for them would be gained by it. But they didn’t listen.

Trump almost pulled it off. His numbers across the board were excellent, stunning even given everything that’s happened.

He may yet pull this out and I support any and all efforts to do so, but it is looking quite grim today.

The potential is there for the Republicans to pick up as many as twelve seats in the House while holding the Senate if not picking up a seat, depending on how the courts rule on the already well-documented fraud.

Coattails that long are prima facia evidence that what’s happening with the presidential election is fraud. I won’t go into the list of red flags here, others have done a far better job (and are, frankly, more entertaining), but they are big enough and red enough to get even the laziest, porn-besotted bull in the world angry.

And that’s what should be scaring the crap out of everyone on ‘the Left’ today. Because as we heard yesterday, with coattails that long and the amount of obscene behavior on display, the remaining members of the Democratic caucus in the House are scared… and not just for their political lives.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in damage-control mode, saying “but we held the House” — which they were supposed to expand their majority in — and are “on track to win the presidency,” which no one will take even remotely seriously.

I’ve had visions of seeing Pelosi dragged out of the Capitol by her expensive dyed hair choking on her dentures while being arraigned for sedition, but her getting beaten with the ‘awesome power of the Speaker’s gavel’ and lynched by her own caucus for incompetence will be even more delicious.

At around 2am Tuesday evening I realized that they were actually going to do this and I texted a friend the next morning. His response?

“Civil war it is then.”

There can be no other response to this from men and women of character. Exhaust every legal means possible, certainly, but remember that the courts are as corrupt as the county governments. Fear of reprisal makes men weak.

The one thing Trump said in his post-election remarks that rang so true and with me and should ring true with every libertarian-leaning person (left or right) alive, that the process itself is corrupting. It corrupts everything it touches.

Four years of the Democrats and the Media screaming about Russian collusion and undermining the legitimacy of Donald Trump inspired thousands of people to become corrupt poll workers, mailmen, supervisors of elections, party operatives and the like.

And they obviously feel justified in this. They are, after all, the heroes of their own stories whose motives are pure and whose hearts are in the right place.

If we just get rid of Orange Man Bad, everything wrong with America will be gone. Scapegoating is as old as mankind but it doesn’t work anymore now that we’ve internalized the story from the scapegoat’s point of view, Christ.

So, all they have now is the unquenchable envy of Marxism which burns until it consumes everyone in retribution or they are put down like rabid dogs. That’s what is on display in these counting centers.

On the other hand, even Trump’s detractors had to admit the guy did inspired work to try and bring as many people under his tent as possible. To right the wrongs they see in the most non-violent way possible, voting.

But if that’s not good enough, if the message sent wasn’t strong enough through the ballot box, then that lesson will be taught in a far uglier way.

This is why I excoriated the libertarians the other day. I could see this coming. Either cooler heads prevail or the grievances get settled with violence. It’s our job to be the voice in between, not sit on the sidelines like high school band nerds sitting through a football game.

From a market perspective the threat of a marginally-empowered Harris presidency with he slimmest House majority any party has held in decades and a divided Senate means nothing gets done until the mid-terms.

And any attempt by Harris and Obama to legislate through Executive Order will result in even more dramatic events than we’ve seen to date, including secession.

This is why Bitcoin, gold, silver and U.S. Treasuries exploded to the upside. Big money moved into the most liquid assets, UST’s, while the marginal flow piled into safe havens and those worried about cross-border capital controls are running into Bitcoin and cryptos.

Everyone is holding their collective breath while we grind towards the Great Reset with most of the first world either under lockdown over last year’s flu or paralyzed by political shenanigans which makes the U.S. look like Venezuela.

The rising euro is a function of the lockdowns and the local need for liquidity. The spasming bonds markets blew out a lot of carry and interest rate trades this week. While the dollar looks like it’s getting killed, what’s really happening is trades betting on Harris destroying capital have reversed.

And the focus now turns to the wholesale destruction of European economies. Oh well, Europe was a good thing while it lasted. Enjoy the return of feudalism, folks, maybe there will be something left for me to visit before I die.

We still have our guns, FYI.

And this is why Trump isn’t going anywhere. The Deplorables now have to become The Ungovernables. No more negotiations, discussions, turning the other cheek, etc.

Ungovernable. Just say no to Commies.

Hey man, don’t let the midwit, white women off the hook there… in this Civil War race has nothin’ to do with it.

Because no matter what vote totals you manufacture or political/judicial arms you twist no one can rule for long without the consent of the governed.

This is not a LARP nor a drill. It is a simple statement of fact.

If the men who keep the engine of the world running refuse to show up one day, the God of Power the Marxists all worship will vanish like Hillary’s emails.

Ayn Rand wasn’t wrong about everything, folks.

This is particularly true when nearly all of those men are armed and are the ones that grow the food, treat the water, patrol the streets and keep the lights on.

The legal case is being built now to go to the State Legislatures, who are the ones who actually decide whose electors go to the Electoral College, and invalidate the votes in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin and Michigan, at a minimum.

Getting those Republican-controlled legislatures to throw out the suggested results of a tainted election is exactly why the Electoral College exists. It is the last defense against mob rule and the corrupting nature of politics. The commies in the DNC and The Davos Crowd don’t like to hear that and frankly don’t care but that is the reality of it.

That’s Trump’s path to the presidency at this point, because the votes will be tallied to ensure that he not only loses but lose by a large enough ‘electoral vote’ majority to nullify any rulings by the Supreme Court.

Pelosi is prepared to invoke the 20th Amendment if there is no resolution on Inauguration day, January 20th through an act of Congress. This is why many House seats have not been called even though they are over.

She made her choice. So did the all the people currently engaged in this theft. Now the nature of the State is clear for a majority of people to see.

Civil War it is, then. Molon Labe.

*  *  *

Join My Patreon, you know the drill. Install Brave, ditto

Published:11/7/2020 11:31:09 PM
[IJR] Obama Congratulates Biden and Harris, Calls on Americans to ‘Give Him a Chance’ "We’re fortunate that Joe’s got what it takes to be President and already carries himself that way." Published:11/7/2020 2:47:21 PM
[Right Column] Energy and Race: The Media’s New Intersectionality – ‘Before Trump, Republicans were losing the energy war by not fighting it’

Rupert Darwall: Before Trump, Republicans were losing the energy war by not fighting it. “Our security, our prosperity, and our environment all require reducing our dependence on oil,” President George W. Bush declared in January 2008. The transition from the Bush to the Obama presidency was well-nigh seamless in this regard. “We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy,” President Obama said in his first address to Congress.

Published:11/3/2020 10:59:27 PM
[2020 Election News] Top Biden Contender For Homeland Security Chief ‘Exerted Improper Influence’ On Foreign Visa Program, Watchdog Report Found

By Chuck Ross -

Joe Biden is reportedly considering appointing Alejandro Mayorkas to serve as director of the Department of Homeland Security should he win the presidency. During the Obama administration, Mayorkas was found to have exerted improper political influence to help several prominent Democrats obtain visa authorization for their companies under the EB-5 program.  An inspector general’s report …

Top Biden Contender For Homeland Security Chief ‘Exerted Improper Influence’ On Foreign Visa Program, Watchdog Report Found 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:11/3/2020 9:54:28 AM
[] 'Is this a romantic novel?' Barack Obama removes his mask 'as if ripping away a metaphorical muzzle' Published:11/2/2020 7:40:47 PM
[Media] Biden Loses Spotlight to Obama

On the eve of the 2020 election, CNN and MSNBC cut away from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to cover former president Barack Obama's last pitch to voters in Miami.

The post Biden Loses Spotlight to Obama appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:11/2/2020 6:41:28 PM
[IJR] ‘They’re Like Batman and Robin Gone Bad’: Obama Slams Georgia Senators up for Re-Election "They downplayed the pandemic in public, and in private they're trying to see if they can profit from it — both of them. Not just one of them ... both of them." Published:11/2/2020 4:15:08 PM
[IJR] Obama Torches Trump for Suggesting He May Fire Fauci "They've already said they're not going to contain the pandemic. Now they want to fire the one person who can actually help them contain the pandemic." Published:11/2/2020 3:10:21 PM
[Politics] Jeh Johnson 'Concerned About Foreign Interference' An Obama administration official is still concerned about foreign interference in the election. Published:11/2/2020 2:39:40 PM
[Satire] FACT CHECK: Video of Obama Making Three-Point Shot Lacks Crucial Context

Former president Barack Obama, who almost singlehandedly ensured the election of Donald Trump by persuading Joe Biden not to run in 2016, has posted a widely circulated video on social media. Obama's video is of himself, obviously, and shows the former POTUS draining a three-point shot on a basketball court.

The post FACT CHECK: Video of Obama Making Three-Point Shot Lacks Crucial Context appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:11/2/2020 9:09:03 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
[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
[Middle Column] CBS News: ‘According to a leading climate scientist, four more years of a Trump Administration is ‘game over’ for the climate’

Michael Mann: "A second Trump term is game over the climate--really! That is the prism through which I view the 2020 U.S. Presidential election." ... "We need a president who will not only meet our current obligation under the Paris accord but double down on them."

Mann:  I will be blunt, this is a make or break election for climate change. 

CBS News reporter: "it's simply a matter of math. It's not just opinion, its scientific calculation? 
Mann: "It is."

#

Earth ‘serially doomed’: The official history of climate ‘Tipping Points’ began in 1864 – A new ‘global warming’ 12-year deadline from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez

Flashback 2013: NASA’s James Hansen Declared Obama Has One Week Left To Save The Planet! — ‘On Jan. 17, 2009 Hansen declared Obama only ‘has four years to save Earth’ — Only 7 Days left!

 

Published:11/1/2020 6:57:04 AM
[Satire] White Obama Strikes Again

Pete Buttigieg has written another book, his second political memoir in as many years, because of course he has. Trust: America's Best Chance is "not an election book," he writes, "but I believed it was important to share these thoughts ahead of the November 2020 elections."

The post White Obama Strikes Again appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:11/1/2020 4:35:56 AM
[Markets] Escobar: A Dem Presidency Means The Return Of The Blob Escobar: A Dem Presidency Means The Return Of The Blob Tyler Durden Sat, 10/31/2020 - 23:30

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

A Biden-Harris White House would restore many known and some new ghouls to the corridors of foreign policy-making power...

What happens on November 3rd ? It’s like a larger than life replay of the famous Hollywood adage: “No one knows anything.”

The Dem strategy is crystal clear, spawned by the gaming of election scenarios embedded in the Transition Integrity Project and made even more explicit by one of TIP’s co-founders, a law professor at Georgetown University.

Hillary Clinton, bluntly, has already called it: Dems must re-take the White House by any and all means and under any and all circumstances.

And just in case, with a 5,000-word opus, she already positioned herself for a plum job.

As much as Dems have made it very clear they will never accept a Trump victory, the counterpunch was vintage Trump: he told the Proud Boys to “stand back” – as in no violence, for now – but crucially to “stand by”, as in “get ready”.

The stage is set for Kill Bill mayhem on November 3rd and beyond.

Say it ain’t so, Joe

Taking a cue from TIP, let’s game a Dem return to the White House – with the prospect of a President Kamala taking over sooner rather than later. That means, essentially, The Return of the Blob.

President Trump calls it “the swamp”. Former Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes – a mediocre hack – at least coined the funkier “Blob”, applied to the incestuous Washington, DC foreign policy gang, think tanks, academia, newspapers (from the Washington Post to the New York Times), and that unofficial Bible, Foreign Affairs magazine.

A Dem presidency, right away, will need to confront the implications of two wars: Cold War 2.0 against China, and the interminable, trillion-dollar GWOT (Global War on Terror), renamed OCO (Overseas Contingency Operations) by the Obama-Biden administration.

Biden became the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1997 and was the chair in 2001-2003 and again in 2007-2009. He paraded as total Iraq War cheerleader – necessary, he maintained, as part of GWOT – and even defended a “soft partition” of Iraq, something that fierce nationalists, Sunni and Shi’ite, from Baghdad to Basra will never forget.

Obama-Biden’s geopolitical accomplishments include a drone war, or Hellfire missile diplomacy, complete with “kill lists”; the failed Afghan surge; the “liberation” of Libya from behind, turning it into a militia wasteland; the proxy war in Syria fought with “moderate rebels”; and once again leading from behind, the Saudi-orchestrated destruction of Yemen.

Tens of millions of Brazilians also will never forget that Obama-Biden legitimized the NSA spying and Hybrid War tactics that led to the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff ,the neutralization of former President Lula, and the evisceration of the Brazilian economy by comprador elites.

Among his former, select interlocutors, Biden counts warmonger former NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen – who supervised the destruction of Libya – and John Negroponte, who “organized” the contras in Nicaragua and then “supervised” ISIS/Daesh in Iraq – the crucial element of the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy of instrumentalizing jihadis to do the empire’s dirty work.

It’s safe to game that a Biden-Harris administration will oversee a de facto NATO expansion encompassing parts of Latin America, Africa and the Pacific, thus pleasing the Atlanticist Blob.

In contrast, two near-certain redeeming features would be the return of the US to the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, which was Obama-Biden’s only foreign policy achievement, and re-starting nuclear disarmament negotiations with Russia. That would imply containment of Russia, not a new all-out Cold War, even as Biden has recently stressed, on the record, that Russia is the “biggest threat” to the US.

Woke Kamala in da house

Kamala Harris has been groomed to rise to the top from as early as the summer of 2017. Predictably, she is all for Israel – mirroring Nancy Pelosi (“if this Capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain is our commitment to our aid…and I don’t even call it aid…our cooperation with Israel.”

Kamala is a hawk on Russia and North Korea; and she did not co-sponsor legislation to prevent war against Venezuela and, again, North Korea. Call her a quintessential Dem hawk.

Yet Kamala’s positioning is quite clever, reaching two diverse audiences: she totally fits into The Blob but with an added woke gloss (trendy sneakers, the advertised affection for hip hop). And as an extra bonus, she directly connects with the “Never Trumper” gang.

Never Trumper Republicans – operating especially in Think Tankland – totally infiltrated the Dem matrix. They are prime Blob material. The ultimate neo-con Never Trumper has got to be Robert Kagan, husband of Maidan cookie distributor Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland; thus the running joke in many parts of West Asia, for years, about the “Kaganate of Nulandistan”.

Kagan, self-glorified and idolized as a star conservative intellectual, is of course one of the co-founders of the dreaded neo-con Project for the New American Century (PNAC). That subsequently translated into gleeful Iraq War cheerleading. Obama read his books in awe. Kagan forcefully backed Hillary in 2016. Needless to add, neo-cons of the Kagan variety are all rabidly anti-Iran.

On the money front, there’s the Lincoln Project , set up last year by a gang of current and former Republican strategists very close to, among others, Blob stars such as Daddy Bush and Dick Cheney. A handful of billionaires gleefully donated to this major anti-Trump super-PAC, including J. Paul Getty’s heir Gordon Getty, the heir of the Hyatt hotel empire John Pritzker, and Cargill heiress Gwendolyn Sontheim.

Those Three Harpies

The key Blob character in a putative Biden-Harris White House is Tony Blinken, former deputy national security adviser during Obama-Biden and arguably the next National Security Adviser.

That’s geopolitics – with an important addendum: former national security adviser Susan Rice, who was unceremoniously dropped from the Vice-President shortlist to Kamala’s profit, may become the next Secretary of State.

Rice’s possible contender is Senator Chris Murphy, who in a strategy document titled “Rethinking the Battlefield” predictably goes undiluted Obama-Biden: no “rethinking”, really, just rhetoric on fighting ISIS/Daesh and containing Russia and China.

Suave Tony Blinken used to work for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 2000s, so no wonder he’s been very close to Biden even before the first Obama-Biden term, when he rose to the top as deputy national security adviser and then, in the second term, as deputy Secretary of State.

Close to Blinken is Jake Sullivan, who under the protective wing of Hillary Clinton replaced Blinken as national security adviser in the second Obama-Biden term. He will have a top place either in the National Security Council or the State Department.

But what about The Three Harpies?

Many of you will remember The Three Harpies, as I coined them before the bombing and destruction of Libya, and again in 2016, when their remixed version’s push for a glorious sequel was rudely interrupted by Trump’s victory. When it comes to Return of the Blob, this is the 5K, 5G, IMAX version.

Of the three original Harpies, two – Hillary and Susan Rice – seem set to snatch a brand new power job. The plot thickens for Samantha Power, former US ambassador to the UN and the author of The Education of an Idealist, where we learn that such “idealist” rips Damascus and Moscow to shreds while totally ignoring the Obama-Biden drone offensive, kill lists, “leading from behind” weaponizing of al-Qaeda in Syria re-baptized as “moderate rebels”, and the relentless Saudi destruction of Yemen.

Samantha seems to be out. There’s a new Harpy in town. Which brings us to the real Queen of the Blob.

The Queen of the Blob

Michele Flournoy may be the epitome of the Return of the Blob: the quintessential, imperial functionary of what former CIA analyst Ray McGovern brilliant christened MICIMATT (the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex).

The ideal imperial functionary thrives on discretion: virtually no one knows Flournoy outside of the Blob, so that means the whole planet.

Flournoy is a former senior adviser to the Boston Consulting Group; the co-founder of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS); a senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center; under secretary of Defense during Obama-Biden; favorite of top Harpy Hillary to be Pentagon chief after 2016; and once again favorite to become Pentagon chief after 2020.

The most delicious item on Flournoy’s CV is that she’s the co-founder of WestExec Advisors with none other than Tony Blinken.

Every Blob insider knows that WestExec happens to be the name of the street alongside the West Wing of the White House. In a Netflix plot, that would be the obvious hint that a short walk of fame straight into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue looms in the horizon for the star protagonists.

Flournoy, more than Blinken, turned WestExec into a certified hit in the Beltway MICIMATT profiting from virtually no P.R. and media blitzes, and talking exclusively to think tanks.

Here’s a crucial glimpse of Flournoy thinking. She clearly states that just a benign American deterrence towards China is a “miscalculation”. And it’s important to keep in mind that Flournoy is in fact the mastermind of the overall, failed Obama-Biden war strategy.

In a nutshell, Biden-Harris would mean The Return of the Blob with a vengeance. Biden-Harris would be Obama-Biden 3.0. Remember those seven wars. Remember the surges. Remember the kill lists. Remember Libya. Remember Syria. Remember “soft coup” Brazil. Remember Maidan. You have all been warned.

Published:10/31/2020 10:54:29 PM
[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
[] 'He thought it was lid day': Joe Biden got a rousing introduction from Barack Obama in Flint, Michigan, and then... Published:10/31/2020 3:22:29 PM
[Politics] Trump and Biden make final battleground sprint as turnout soars

As Joe Biden campaigned in Michigan with former President Obama, Trump planned mass rallies across Pennsylvania, disregarding public health warnings.

Published:10/31/2020 3:22:29 PM
[Politics] Obama Slams Trump for Claims on COVID Deaths Former President Barack Obama on Saturday slammed President Donald Trump for his claims doctors are inflating the number of COVID-19 cases to make a profit and for his complaints the media is concentrating too much on the pandemic. Published:10/31/2020 2:52:21 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
[Politics] Obama, no longer biting his tongue, roasts Trump at Biden campaign rallies

For more than three years, Obama didn't respond to Trump's attacks, honoring the norm that former presidents don't criticize successors. But no more.

Published:10/30/2020 3:22:55 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
[] GOP Senate hopeful John James reveals just how 'intimidated' he is by Barack Obama campaigning for Joe Biden in Michigan [video] Published:10/30/2020 12:08:24 PM
[World] Sowing, Reaping, and Locking

One of the great rallying cries of the 2016 election was “Lock her up!” Hillary Clinton was never a very likable candidate, despite Barack Obama’s comment in 2008 that she was “likeable enough.” She wasn’t, really. And she always just seemed corrupt. Partly it was because she was married to an obviously corrupt man. Bill […]

The post Sowing, Reaping, and Locking appeared first on The American Conservative.

Published:10/30/2020 9:07:31 AM
[Markets] Texas Early Voting Just Surpassed All Votes Cast In 2016; Hawaii Breaks 2008 Record Texas Early Voting Just Surpassed All Votes Cast In 2016; Hawaii Breaks 2008 Record Tyler Durden Fri, 10/30/2020 - 09:50

Early voting in Texas and Hawaii have broken records - with Texas having surpassed the total number of ballots cast in the 2016 election, and Hawaii breaking their previous turnout record in 2008, when Barack Obama was elected president.

A worker puts a ballot into a secure box at a drive-thru mail ballot hand delivery center in Austin in October. (Photo: Sergio Flores/Bloomberg)

In Texas, at least 9,009,850 votes have been cast, surpassing the state's record of 8,969,226 cast in 2016. It is not known which party will benefit most from the surge.

According to Bloomberg, "Nowhere has seen a more dramatic display of enthusiasm than Harris County, home to Houston, Texas’s biggest city and the embodiment of its rapid growth and diversifying suburbs. The county’s voting, driven in part by innovations by freshly appointed County Clerk Chris Hollins, so far compose more than 15% of all those cast in the sprawling state."

As we noted on Thursday, the flood of early voting has some Democrats hopeful that they can flip the historically red state blue, as a flood of Californians have been moving to the state over the last few years to escape high taxes and squalor in its major cities. If they are able to flip the state blue, one has to wonder if San Francisco's drug needle and poo-coated streets are next?

Many of the Texas counties with the most dramatic surges in early voting are urban centers like Houston, a trend infusing fresh hope into Democrats’ dreams of flipping Texas. But solidly red counties have also seen records. And Texas has historically been lightly polled, leaving analysts skeptical of surveys showing a neck-and-neck presidential race. -Bloomberg

In Hawaii, statewide voter turnout as of Tuesday was approximately 55% according to the county clerks' offices. Of the 830,000 individuals registered to vote in the November 3 general election, 457,294 ballots have been received, according to Honolulu Civil Beat.

Tuesday was the last day voters in Hawaii were asked to mail in ballots. Between now and election day, voters can use a drop box or vote in person at a voter service center.

Published:10/30/2020 9:07:31 AM
[Entertainment] Why Jim Carrey’s Biden impersonation on SNL isn’t quite catching on “Like any politician, Biden certainly has particular traits that can be caricatured, but he’s absolutely not the maniacal figure that Carrey is portraying,” says one Obama White House aide. Published:10/30/2020 5:06:53 AM
[] Trump totally BROKE her: Kathy Griffin falls off the Trump gore-porn wagon cheering on Tweep who 'ran' Trump over with his truck Published:10/29/2020 10:22:44 AM
[Politics] Bill Maher Slams RBG, 'Loser' Dems Late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg should have stepped down from her position so that President Barack Obama rather than President Donald Trump could have picked her replacement, according to HBO host Bill Maher... Published:10/29/2020 7:52:39 AM
[Politics] As COVID-19 ravages Wisconsin's small towns, hostility toward Trump intensifies

Wisconsin's small towns on the Mississippi River backed Trump in 2016, but a COVID-19 surge is boosting support for Biden in a rural region that twice backed Obama.

Published:10/29/2020 7:33:17 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
[] 5 Reasons Amy Coney Barrett's Confirmation Is Entirely Legitimate Published:10/26/2020 7:58:33 PM
[Politics] What Barack Obama's memoir reveals about his long battle for healthcare reform

In an excerpt from his upcoming memoir published by the New Yorker, former President Barack Obama recalls the long battle for healthcare reform.

Published:10/26/2020 3:28:29 PM
[Democrats] Biden Unmentioned in Obama’s Telling of Health Care Bill’s Passage

Barack Obama published a 13,000-word essay Monday about passing the Affordable Care Act that only mentions his vice president, current Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, once.

The post Biden Unmentioned in Obama’s Telling of Health Care Bill’s Passage appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:10/26/2020 1:54:42 PM
[Middle Column] Study suggests no more CO2 warming – ‘CO2 & water vapor are almost completely saturated… adding more molecules will not cause more warming’

EPA's Obama-era "endangerment finding" fails IQA requirements

Precision research by physicists William Happer and William van Wijngaarden has determined that the present levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapor are almost completely saturated. In radiation physics the technical term “saturated” implies that adding more molecules will not cause more warming.

In plain language this means that from now on our emissions from burning fossil fuels could have little or no further impact on global warming. 

Published:10/26/2020 12:28:32 PM
[Entertainment] Sasha Obama Proves She's Living Her Best Life in Viral TikTok Sasha ObamaWhat has Sasha Obama been up to since her dad, former President Barack Obama, left the White House? She's hanging with her girls on TikTok, of course. On Oct. 25, the 19-year-old set...
Published:10/26/2020 11:54:11 AM
[Markets] 'Renminbi Diplomacy': How China Bought The US Government? 'Renminbi Diplomacy': How China Bought The US Government? Tyler Durden Sun, 10/25/2020 - 23:30

Submitted by Nauman Sadiq,

In an explosive scoop, alternative news outlet Zero Hedge has laid bare how China’s state apparatchik clandestinely baited the family members of the Obama-era vice president and secretary of state into joint business ventures in order to surreptitiously influence the trade and economic policies of the US government favoring China’s geo-economic interests spanning the globe.

Here are a few relevant excerpts from the investigative report authored by Christopher Balding, Associate Professor at Peking University HSBC School of Business Shenzhen, China, and also a Bloomberg contributor:

Hunter Biden partnered with the Chinese state. Entire investment partnership is Chinese state money from social security fund to China Development Bank. It is actually a subsidiary of the Bank of China. This is not remotely anything less than a Chinese state-funded play.

Though the entire size of the fund cannot be reconstructed, the Taiwanese cofounder who is now detained in China, reports it to be NOT $1-1.5 billion but $6.5 billion. This would make Hunters stake worth at a minimum at least $50 million if he was to sell it.

“The believed Godfather arranging Hunter’s business ventures is a gentleman named Yang Jiechi. He is currently the CCP Director of Foreign Affairs leading strategist for America, Politburo member, one of the most powerful men in China, and Chinese President Xi Jingpin’s confidant.

“He met regularly with Joe Biden during his stint as Chinese ambassador the US when Biden chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Later he was Minister of Foreign Affairs when the investment partnership was made official in 2013.

“Hunter Biden’s 2013 Bohai Harvest Rosemont investment partnership was set-up by Ministry of Foreign Affairs institutions which are tasked with garnering influence with foreign leaders during Yang’s tenure as Foreign Minister.

“Hunter’s BHR stake (purchased for $400,000) is now likely be worth approx. $50 million (fees and capital appreciation based on BHR’s $6.5 billion AUM as stated by Michael Lin).

“Joe Biden’s foreign policy stance towards China (formerly hawkish), turned positive despite China’s country’s rising geopolitical assertiveness.”

China is known to follow the economic model of “state capitalism,” in which although small and medium enterprises are permitted to operate freely by common citizens, large industrial and extraction companies, especially multi-billion dollar corporations doing business with foreign clients, are run by the Communist Party stalwarts masquerading as business executives.

In addition, China is alleged to practice “debt-trap diplomacy” for buying entire governments through extending financial grants and loans, and what better way to buy the rival government of the United States than by financing the Biden campaign through bestowing financial largesse on the Biden and John Kerry families and other prominent former officials of the Obama-Biden administration.

In an exclusive report for the Breitbart New on October 16, Peter Schweizer and Seamus Bruner allege that newly obtained emails from a former business associate of Hunter Biden's inner-circle reveal that Hunter and his colleagues used their access to the Obama-Biden administration to peddle influence to potential Chinese clients and investors—including securing a private, off-the-books meeting with the former vice president.

The never-before-revealed emails, unconnected to the Hunter Biden emails being released by the New York Post, were provided to Schweizer by Bevan Cooney, a one-time Hunter Biden and Devon Archer business associate. Cooney is currently in prison serving a sentence for his involvement in a 2016 bond fraud investment scheme. The report notes:

“On November 5, 2011, one of Archer’s business contacts forwarded him an email teasing an opportunity to gain ‘potentially outstanding new clients’ by helping to arrange White House meetings for a group of Chinese executives and government officials.

“The group was the China Entrepreneur Club (CEC) and the delegation included Chinese billionaires, Chinese Communist Party loyalists, and at least one ‘respected diplomat’ from Beijing. Despite its benign name, CEC has been called ‘a second foreign ministry’ for the People’s Republic of China—a communist government that closely controls most businesses in its country. CEC was established in 2006 by a group of businessmen and Chinese government diplomats.

“CEC’s leadership boasts numerous senior members of the Chinese Communist Party, including Wang Zhongyu (vice chairman of the 10th CPPCC National Committee and deputy secretary of the Party group), Ma Weihua (director of multiple Chinese Communist Party offices), and Jiang Xipei (member of the Chinese Communist Party and representative of the 16th National Congress), among others.

‘I know it is political season and people are hesitant but a group like this does not come along every day,’ an intermediary named Mohamed A. Khashoggi wrote on behalf of the CEC to an associate of Hunter Biden and Devon Archer. ‘A tour of the white house and a meeting with a member of the chief of staff’s office and John Kerry would be great.’

“The gross income of the CEC members’ companies allegedly ‘totaled more than renminbi 1.5 trillion, together accounting for roughly 4% of China’s GDP.’ The overture to Hunter Biden’s associates described the Chinese CEC members variously as ‘industrial elites,’ ‘highly influential,’ and among ‘the most important private sector individuals in China today,’ dubbed as the China Inc.

“Hunter Biden and Devon Archer apparently delivered for the Chinese Communist Party-connected industrial elites within ten days … The Obama-Biden administration archives reveal that this Chinese delegation did indeed visit the White House on November 14, 2011, and enjoyed high-level access.

“The visitor logs list Jeff Zients, the deputy director of Obama’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as the host of the CEC delegation. Obama had tasked Zients with restructuring and ultimately consolidating the various export-import agencies under the Commerce Department—an effort in which the Chinese delegation would have a keen interest.”

Schweizer suggests that the meeting may have opened the door for Hunter and Devon Archer down the road—as just two years later they formed the Chinese government-funded Bohai Harvest RST (BHR) investment fund which saw Chinese money pour into it for investments in CEC-linked businesses.

According to the report, "One of BHR’s first major portfolio investments was a ride-sharing company like Uber called Didi Dache—now called Didi Chuxing Technology Co. That company is closely connected to Liu Chuanzhi, the chairman of the China Entrepreneur Club (CEC) and the founder of Legend Holdings—the parent company of Lenovo, one of the world’s largest computer companies. Liu is a former Chinese Communist Party delegate and was a leader of the 2011 CEC delegation to the White House. His daughter was the President of Didi."

After reading the names of these high-profile Chinese business and political elites visiting the White House and cultivating personal friendships and business relationships in the highest echelons of the Obama-Biden administration, one wonders whether the latter formulated trade and economic policies serving the interests of the American masses or took care of financial stakes of global power elites.

During the last decade, all the manufacturing has outsourced to China, Chinese entrepreneurs are stealing American jobs and the American working classes are finding it hard to make ends meet, yet neoliberal Democrats are dogmatically sticking with market fundamentalism of globalization and free trade.

In order to understand the real and perceived grievances of Donald Trump’s “alt-right” electoral base, we need to understand the prevailing global economic order and its prognosis. The predictions of pragmatic economists about free market capitalism have turned out to be true. A kind of global economic entropy has set into motion, and money is flowing from the area of high monetary density to the area of low monetary density.

The rise of BRICS countries in the 21st century is the proof of this tendency. BRICS are growing economically because the labor in developing economies is cheap; labor laws and rights are virtually nonexistent; expenses on creating a safe and healthy work environment are minimal; regulatory framework is lax; expenses on environmental protection are negligible; taxes are low; and, in the nutshell, windfalls for multinational corporations are massive.

Thus, BRICS are threatening the global economic monopoly of the Western capitalist bloc: North America and Western Europe. Here we need to understand the difference between manufacturing sector and services sector. Manufacturing sector is the backbone of economy; one cannot create a manufacturing base overnight.

It is based on hard assets: the national economies need raw materials; production equipment; transport and power infrastructure; and, last but not the least, a technically educated labor force. It takes decades to build and sustain a manufacturing base. But the services sector, like the Western financial institutions, can be built and dismantled in a relatively short period of time.

If we take a cursory look at the economy of the Western capitalist bloc, it has still retained some of its high-tech manufacturing base, but it is losing fast to the cheaper and equally robust manufacturing base of the developing BRICS nations. Everything is made in China these days, except for high-tech microprocessors, software, several internet giants, some pharmaceutical products, the Big Oil and the military hardware and defense production industry.

Apart from that, the entire economy of the Western capitalist bloc is based on financial institutions: the behemoth investment banks that dominate and control the global economy, like JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs in the US; BNP Paribas and Axa Group in France; Deutsche Bank and Allianz Group in Germany; and Barclays and HSBC in the UK.

After establishing the fact that the Western economy is mostly based on its financial services sector, we need to understand its implications. Like I have contended earlier that it takes time to build a manufacturing base, but it is relatively easy to build and dismantle an economy based on financial services.

Moreover, the manufacturing sector is labor-intensive whereas the financial services sector is capital-intensive, therefore the latter does not create as much job opportunities to keep the workforce of a nation gainfully employed and sufficiently remunerated as the industrial sector does.

Although the bankers and corporate executives of the Western economies are the beneficiaries of such exploitative practices, the middle and working classes are suffering. Besides the Trump supporters in the United States, the far-right populist leaders in Europe are also exploiting popular resentment against free trade and globalization.

The Brexiteers in the United Kingdom, the Yellow Vest protesters in France and the far-right movements in Germany and across Europe are a manifestation of a paradigm shift in the global economic order in which nationalist and protectionist slogans have replaced the free trade and globalization mantra of the nineties.

Though the “alt-right agenda” of the Trump presidency has been scuttled by the political establishment and the deep state, Trump’s views regarding global politics and economics are starkly different from the establishment Democrats and Republicans pursuing neoliberal economics masqueraded as globalization and free trade.

With his anti-globalist and protectionist agenda, Trump represents a paradigm shift in the global economic order. Trump withdrawing the United States from multilateral treaties, restructuring trade agreements, bringing investments and employments back to the US and initiating a trade war against China are a silent revolution against neoliberal ideals of globalization and free trade of which China is the new beneficiary with its strong manufacturing base and massive export potential.

Thus, it’s only natural for the Chinese government to try to oust Trump from the presidency with all available means, including providing financial support to his neoliberal Democratic rivals, favoring globalization and free trade, in the upcoming US presidential elections slated for November 3.

Published:10/25/2020 10:51:36 PM
[IJR] Obama Shares a Tweet From Biden a Year Ago Warning Trump Was Not Prepared for a Pandemic "A year ago today, [Joe Biden} was talking about the leadership we need to get prepared for a pandemic, and he’s got a plan to get it under control." Published:10/25/2020 5:47:03 PM
[Markets] A Free Press Has A Responsibility To Be Fair A Free Press Has A Responsibility To Be Fair Tyler Durden Sun, 10/25/2020 - 17:30

Authored by Bruce Wilds via Advancing Time blog,

Surging Media Bias has blown away the notion the free press will be fair and this year it seems these players that shape our opinions are  doubling down. This was demonstrated when allegations regarding Hunter Biden and a laptop with damning E-mails surfaced. Rather than letting people see and decide what to think about this information the response of Twitter and Facebook, was to shut it down and block it from getting out. This is where the power of tech companies flexing their muscles allows us to see they have become a major force in the media. Other news outlets 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 idea of having a press that is free to cover the news is generally linked to the idea they will be fair because the freedom of free speech generally comes with a degree of responsibility. A common example is how freedom of speech should give someone the right to speak their mind but not scream fire in a crowded theater. This is where discussions concerning the press and President Trump get sticky. Somewhere in what often slips into an argument is the role of the media in presenting an unbiased view of events. This is complicated by the fact many news outlets have moved more towards an entertainment format. Rather than presenting the cold hard facts, they have found it is sensationalism that draws viewers.

Stahl Told The President He Is Lying

The White House, in an unprecedented decision to disregard their agreement with CBS News, recently released their footage of an interview between President Trump and Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes. The President claimed in a Facebook post that a full video revealed "bias, hatred and rudeness" on Stahl's part. Interestingly, no matter how rude or contentious Stahl became an overwhelming majority of those in the media say the footage revealed no such thing. CBS said it only shows Stahl asking firm questions about the coronavirus and other topics.

It is during such interviews that we get an opportunity to witness examples of just how badly you can treat a guest invited to answer questions. This includes over the top efforts to put words in someone's mouth and take statements out of context. When the guest represents views differing from the interviewer or media outlet doing the interview what we often see is an ambush. If a guest is favored or their views are endorsed it is often as though they had written the softball questions asked of them or as if he/she had seen the questions in advance or controlled the interview. This can be backed up by a series of scripted statements that all loop back around to support a hard or subliminal message. With such coverage being very common it is little wonder that Americans question the honesty of the media whose ranks appear to have become filled with opportunists and bums dressed as journalists.

Today many people get the majority of their news over the internet. This has made a huge difference in how news is distributed allowing people more choice in how they receive their news, however, much of the content remains controlled by some rather strong players that often are driven by an agenda of self-interest. This proved to be very apparent during the presidential election where many in the media put their strong bias towards candidates front and center. It became clear to many of us that a greater force was comprised of those insiders currently in control and yearning to extend their power. Another name for this group is the establishment which now includes the high-tech social media and those collecting data on all of us.   

It is clear that over the years how we get our news has changed but it seems this is not the chief reason the public’s trust in the media had fallen. Most of the problem is people no longer view many of these outlets as fair and balanced. Gallup began asking respondents about their trust in the media back in 1972. Only forty-one percent of the respondents in Gallup’s recent national poll said that they have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in the mass media. Surprisingly this is well above the record low of 32% in 2016. Since then, the trust of Republicans has dropped the most. Republicans' trust sits at a very low level. Of Democrats, 69% say they have trust and confidence in the media, while 15% of Republicans and 36% of independents agree. While some 84% of those polled say news media is "critical" or "very important" to democracy, 86% think there is at least a fair amount of political bias in news coverage.

A Classic Example Of Subtle Bias

In many ways, the media has become viewed more as a tool of the establishment than the protector of the people and defender of our rights. This could explain why the press is often held in such low esteem by the very public that relies on them for information. Coverage filled with subtle digs or comments and even subliminal messages taint the premise media is fair.  In reaction to Trump dressing down certain news agencies or groups for bias coverage, we immediately see the fear card thrown down on the table and warnings about how dictatorships are formed. I'm a bit tired already of this charade rolled out by the press, however, a bigger concern is the cultural damage this is causing by widening the social divide in our heavily polarized country.

A fair amount of attention has been spent on "fake news" but just as important is the amount of media coverage that falls into the category of hype. Highlighted by a banner proclaiming "Breaking News" that stays on the screen for hours as we watch the same news clips and footage we have already seen several times. This is generally accompanied by rampant speculation geared to tantalize the viewer. The Sunday morning talk shows that claim to focus on the nation and the news that affects all of us have also suffered. Rather than addressing important issues, they continue dishing out a heavy dose of Trump-bashing. Taking comments out of context, straight-out misstating a person's positions, or putting them in an unpleasant light are all tricks used by a bias media. The blatantly bias coverage we are seeing is enough to force the question, is the so-called "free press" working for us or under the directive of greater forces seeking to control events?

The bottom-line is that we out here beyond the beltway in the backwaters and wilds of America should remember the media has a casual relationship with the truth. Just because the media or a politician says something does not make it true. It is interesting to note that many of the major media websites do not offer a comment area, or if they do they are restrictive in the comments they accept. This could be considered a form of censorship because it appears they would rather not show the views of those who disagree. It is becoming more obvious each day that the mainstream media controlled by those with an agenda have taken upon themselves the job of controlling our discourse and shaping public opinion. Another name for what they are dishing out as news is propaganda. This does little to inform us, bring us together, or create calm between Nations. With such coverage, the media risk a growing backlash and losing the little credibility they have. 

Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed towards influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position by presenting only one side of an argument. Propaganda is usually repeated and dispersed over a wide variety of media in order to create the chosen result in audience attitudes. In April of 2013, I wrote a piece that explored how the White House during Obama's time in office was taking to a whole new level the ability the President had to create a message by spinning, scrubbing, molding, and shaping it before sending it out to the public. While most Americans associate propaganda and the idea of news being censored with countries like China, sadly it is also happening here.

Published:10/25/2020 4:51:51 PM
[Markets] China's Elite-Capture Strategy & The Bidens China's Elite-Capture Strategy & The Bidens Tyler Durden Sat, 10/24/2020 - 22:30

Authored by Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg via The Epoch Times,.

Excerpted from the book: ‘Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party Is Reshaping the World’

In 2018 the well-connected Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin pointed out that China had been building networks of influence in the United States over many years, and that the U.S. government “is preparing for the possibility that the Chinese government will decide to weaponize” them to get what it wants. (Although Beijing is not known to use Russian-style “active measures” in the West, deploying them is only a matter of political calculation.)

One of the CCP’s most auda­cious penetration operations, Chinagate in 1996, saw a top intelligence operative meeting a naive President Clinton in the White House, along with donations to the Clinton campaign made through people with ties to the Chinese military.

Beijing has been working to gain influence in the U.S. Congress since the 1970s. Through the activities of the CCP’s International Liaison Department, and Party-linked bodies like the China Association for International Friendly Contact, China has made some influential friends. Nevertheless, Congress has for the most part remained skeptical of China, although its voice has been muted at times by the influence of “pro-China” members. The president, the White House, the bureaucracy, think tanks, and business lobby groups have all been targeted by Beijing, to good effect.

Democratic Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 22, 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Until recently, almost all players in Washington D.C. and beyond were convinced by the “peaceful rise of China” trope, and the value of “constructive engagement.” The common belief was that as China developed economically, it would naturally morph into a liberal state. This view was not without foundation, because the more liberal factions within the CCP did struggle with the hardliners, but in the U.S. it reinforced a kind of institutional naivety that was exploited by Beijing. Many of those who stuck to this view even after the evidence pointed firmly to the contrary had a strong personal investment in defending Beijing.

The billionaire businessman and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg was a late entrant in the contest to become the 2020 Democratic Party candidate for U.S. president. He is the most Beijing-friendly of all aspirants. With extensive investments in China, he opposes the tariff war and often speaks up for the CCP regime.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg addresses his staff and the media after announcing that he will be ending his campaign, in New York City, on March 4, 2020. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

His media company has suppressed stories critical of CCP leaders, and Bloomberg himself claimed in 2019 that “Xi Jinping is not a dictator” because he has to satisfy his constituency.

The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin argued that “his [Bloomberg’s] misreading of the Chinese government’s character and ambitions could be devastating for U.S. national security and foreign policy. He would be advocating for a naive policy of engagement and wishful thinking that has already been tried and failed.”

In May 2019 Joe Biden distinguished himself from all of the other candidates for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination by ridiculing the idea that China is a strategic threat to the United States. “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man,” he told a campaign crowd in Iowa City. Biden had for years adopted a soft approach to China. When President Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, was taking a tougher position towards China’s adventurism in Asia, Vice President Biden was urging caution. Biden had formed a warm personal relationship with Xi Jinping when Xi was vice president and president-in-waiting.

Hunter Biden (R) with then President Barack Obama (L) and Vice President Joe Biden during a college basketball game at the Verizon Center in Washington on Jan. 30, 2010. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

In his second term, Obama replaced Clinton as secretary of state with the more accommodating John Kerry. The dynamics help to explain why Obama’s 2012 “pivot to Asia” was a damp squib. The United States stood back while China annexed islands and features in the South China Sea and built military bases on them, something Xi had promised Obama he would not do. Breaking the promise has given China an enormous strategic advantage.

Joe Biden cleaves to the belief, now abandoned by many China scholars and most Washington politicians, that engagement with China will entice it into being a responsible stakeholder. The University of Pennsylvania’s D.C. think tank—named, for him, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement—aims to address threats to the liberal international order, yet China is absent from the threats identified on its website: Russia, climate change and terrorism. Biden has spoken about China’s violation of human rights but still clings to the idea of China’s “peaceful rise.”

So does it matter if Joe Biden has a different view of China? It does, because there is evidence that the CCP has been currying his favor by awarding business deals that have enriched his son, Hunter Biden. One account of this is given by Peter Schweizer in his 2019 book “Secret Empires.” Some of his key claims were subsequently challenged and Schweizer refined them in an op-ed in the New York Times (famous for fact-checking). In short, when Vice President Biden travelled to China in December 2013 on an official trip, his son flew with him on Airforce Two. While Biden senior was engaging in soft diplomacy with China’s leaders, Hunter was having other kinds of meetings. Then, “less than two weeks after the trip, Hunter’s firm … which he founded with two other businessmen [including John Kerry’s stepson] in June 2013, finalized a deal to open a fund, BHR Partners, whose largest shareholder is the government-run Bank of China, even though he had scant background in private equity.”

The Bank of China is owned by the state and controlled by the CCP. Hunter Biden’s exact role in the company is disputed, but one expert has said that his share in it would be worth around $20 million.

However, the point here is not the ethics of the Bidens (as the news media have framed it) but the way in which the CCP can influence senior politicians. This “corruption by proxy,” in which top leaders keep their hands clean while their family members exploit their association to make fortunes, has been perfected by the “red aristocracy” in Beijing.

Cover of the book “Hidden Hand” by Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg.

In the crucial years 2014 and 2015, Beijing was aggressively expanding into the South China Sea while Obama, Kerry, and Biden were sitting on their hands...
 

Published:10/24/2020 9:39:28 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] Top 10% Of Twitter Users Create 92% Of Tweets In US - And 69% Of Them Lean Left Top 10% Of Twitter Users Create 92% Of Tweets In US - And 69% Of Them Lean Left Tyler Durden Sat, 10/24/2020 - 18:00

The majority of Twitter content coming out of the United States, 92% of it, is created by just 10% of Twitter users, and 69% of those users are Democrat or Democratic-leaning independents, according to new research by Pew.

Most U.S. adults on Twitter post only rarely. But a small share of highly active users, most of whom are Democrats, produce the vast majority of tweets. The Center’s analysis finds that just 10% of users produced 92% of all tweets from U.S. adults since last November, and that 69% of these highly prolific users identify as Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents. -Pew Research

Several factors contribute to this phenomenon, says Pew, including that more Democrats use Twitter than Republicans, and the 10% most active Democrats produce roughly twice as many tweets per month (157) than the 10% of most active Republicans (79). [If it were the other way around, Russian bots would surely be to blame.]

Those who use Twitter on both sides of the aisle tend to be younger and more highly educated than those who don't use the platform - with some 37% of adult Democrats on Twitter falling between the ages of 18 and 29, compared to just 22% of Republican users in the same age bracket.

Twitter users of each party contain more college graduates, and are more likely than non-users to say they use multiple online social media platforms.

Although nearly identical shares of Republican Twitter users (60%) and non-users (62%) describe themselves as very or somewhat conservative, Democrats who use Twitter tend to be more liberal than non-users. Some 60% of Democrats on Twitter describe their political leanings as liberal (with 24% saying they are “very” liberal), compared with 43% among those who are not Twitter users (only 12% of whom say they are very liberal).

Beyond posting volume, Democrats and Republicans also differ from each other in their actual behaviors on the platform. For instance, the two accounts followed by the largest share of U.S. adults are much more likely to be followed by users from one party than the other. Former President Barack Obama (@BarackObama) is followed by 42% of Democrats but just 12% of Republicans, while President Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump) is followed by 35% of Republicans and just 13% of Democrats. -Pew Research

Another interesting takeaway is that most Twitter users rarely tweet - with the media US adult on the platform tweeting just once per month during the time period covered by the study. The median Democrat has 32 followers, vs. 21 for Republicans.

Democrats also appear to be more active when it comes to other aspects of their Twitter behavior, such as average number of accounts followed (126 vs. 71).

When it comes to who's following who, Presidents and other major political figures are the most followed by US adults.

U.S. adults on Twitter follow a wide range of other users on the site. The 3,518 Twitter users in this analysis follow a total of almost 750,000 unique accounts. For the most part, there is very little overlap in the accounts that different users follow. Only 10,151 of these 750,000 accounts are followed by more than 10 users in this sample. But some high-profile accounts – typically public figures from entertainment and politics – are followed by substantial shares of U.S. adults on the site.

Certain popular accounts are followed by comparable shares of Democrats and Republicans. Late-night host Jimmy Fallon (@jimmyfallon), for instance, is followed by 16% of Democrats on the site and 11% of Republicans. But it is more common for these popular accounts to be followed by a larger share of members from one party than the other. -Pew Research

 

Also interesting - among Democrats, Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris have around an equal following, however far more Republicans follow Trump than Pence.

Read the rest of the report here.

Published:10/24/2020 5:01:59 PM
[Opinion] Deep State Still Aims for Trump

By Andy Arnold -

I will not attempt to defend President Trump on any level, particularly his foreign policy. The administration is linked to repeated attempts to overthrow an elected government in Venezuela and arming Ukrainians. But given his predecessors, that is a peaceful president. The United States has destabilized countries around the world. The Obama/Biden administration helped overthrow …

Deep State Still Aims for Trump 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:10/24/2020 4:08:40 PM
[Markets] Here's How Biden Will 'Ban' Fracking Here's How Biden Will 'Ban' Fracking Tyler Durden Sat, 10/24/2020 - 13:30

Authored by C.Boyden Gray via RealClearPolitics.com,

The “fracking” revolution has unleashed an incredible American energy boom over the past decade. America is now the biggest producer of oil and gas in the world, beating Saudi Arabia and Russia. Fracking has contributed to an economic revival in areas of the country once in freefall. Pennsylvania is now second only to Texas in natural gas production, and Ohio is now fifth. This has reduced air pollution by displacing coal.

Joe Biden wants a counter-revolution, but he does not want you to know about it.

Candidate Joe Biden has sent mixed messages.

During the primary debates, Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, said they supported a fracking ban. Their campaign, however, insists that the Biden plan would ban fracking only on federal lands, not on private lands. Fact checkers regularly parrot the talking point.

For the full picture, voters should take a look at Biden’s official clean energy plan. The Biden plan borrows the Green New Deal’s ambitious goal of a “carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035.”

Burning natural gas - methane - inevitably emits carbon, so the Biden plan requires eliminating natural gas for electricity generation by 2035. 

Electricity generation is the main use of natural gas. It accounts for a third of all natural gas, using 11 trillion cubic feet of gas per year and growing. That is almost twice the amount of natural gas produced in all of Pennsylvania last year. Eliminating all this natural gas demand by 2035 would require idling countless natural gas wells and power plants, devastating local economies in Pennsylvania and elsewhere and destroying many good jobs. Without reliable natural gas electricity, states would experience California-like rolling blackouts. 

This Green New Deal goal would never get congressional approval, but that may not matter. Biden promises to achieve his clean energy goals by fiat, issuing executive orders of “unprecedented reach that go well beyond the Obama-Biden Administration platform.” A Biden administration would move to achieve its goal of “carbon-free” electricity generation through an even more aggressive version of President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” regulations. This Clean Power Plan 2.0 would require utilities to idle, then dismantle, their natural gas power plants. 

President Trump’s accusation that Joe Biden would ban fracking is therefore closer to the truth than the fact checkers care to admit. It does not take a master’s degree in communications or journalism to realize that a ban on using natural gas is a ban on extracting it, whether through fracking or through ordinary drilling. That’s the Biden plan. 

President Trump, for his part, has been crystal clear: if reelected, he will continue vigorously supporting America’s energy revolution, inexpensive energy, and jobs, as he has for four years.

Published:10/24/2020 12:36:47 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
[Markets] This Is The "Sh*t Hitting The Fan" Part Of The Fourth Turning This Is The "Sh*t Hitting The Fan" Part Of The Fourth Turning Tyler Durden Fri, 10/23/2020 - 16:20

Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

“The next Fourth Turning is due to begin shortly after the new millennium, midway through the Oh-Oh decade. Around the year 2005, a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood. Remnants of the old social order will disintegrate. Political and economic trust will implode. Real hardship will beset the land, with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation and empire. The very survival of the nation will feel at stake. Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.” – Strauss & Howe  The Fourth Turning 

“There is no darkness but ignorance. The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.” William Shakespeare

I read The Fourth Turning in 2006, after seeing it described in John Mauldin and Doug Casey’s newsletters as an uncannily accurate assessment of American history based upon generational configurations which recur on eighty-year cycles, a long human life. Strauss and Howe wrote the book in 1997 and used their generational theory to predict the Crisis that would begin in the mid-2000’s and come to an indeterminate climax in the mid-2020’s.

As a student of history, the theory spoke to me. I have been writing articles since 2009, using the Fourth Turning as a guide to interpreting what has been happening and what might happen as this crisis period accelerates towards its violent culmination. The quotes above perfectly capture exactly what has happened since this crisis began in September 2008, with the Fed/Wall Street created financial collapse. The existing social order is disintegrating, but they are willing to destroy the country rather than relinquish their wealth, power and control.

Strauss & Howe identified the core elements of this Crisis as debt, civic decay, and global disorder. No one can argue the severe distress engulfing the nation and the world traces its origins to these core elements, with the catalyst for this Crisis being the 2008 central banker manufactured financial collapse. Nothing has been normal since 2008. And 2008’s epic implosion was driven by the disastrous financial, political and military decisions implemented by the puppets of the Deep State from 2000 onward, with the Federal Reserve obligingly creating bubble after bubble as the “solution” to the previous bubble.

And now we are here again, in the midst of the greatest bubble in the history of mankind. A bubble of willful ignorance. The obliviousness of most Americans to the danger awaiting them is akin to the day before Fort Sumpter was bombed, the day before Pearl Harbor was attacked, or the dinosaurs unaware of a giant meteor rushing towards the planet and about to transform their future in a challenging way.

Real hardship has beset the land, for those not in the .1% or Deep State lackeys being rewarded for propagating mistruths, outright lies, fear, and propaganda on behalf of their oligarch benefactors. These apparatchiks mainly consist of corrupt politicians, central bank lackeys, mainstream media hacks, neocon warmongers, surveillance state traitors, and big pharma captured health “experts”. The severe distress does involve class, race, nation and empire, but most of the distress has been artificially created by those pulling the strings – Bernays’ invisible government manipulating the masses.

As the looming election advances like a deadly avalanche crashing down a mountainside towards an unsuspecting village below, a battle wages between an evil ingrained establishment and a few dedicated patriots of truth. If you don’t feel the very survival of the nation hangs in the balance, then you are either delusional, willfully ignorant, or unwilling to recognize your own cognitive dissonance. The next five to ten years will alter the course of history in a profound way. Whether the outcome is positive for average American citizens is very much in doubt.

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” – Aldous Huxley

I wish it were not so, but most human beings seem incapable of critical thought regarding how history follows a cyclical path due to human nature retaining its flaws, weaknesses, vulnerabilities and fortes throughout history. We believe we have advanced because our inventions, discoveries, and technology, but the desire for wealth, power and control over others still consumes a sociopathic portion of mankind who tend to rise to the top through any means necessary.

As Huxley lamented in the 1950’s, technological progress has actually propelled mankind backwards in terms of its humanity and relationship with nature and other human beings. The very technology we glorify as an example of our advancement is now being used by the totalitarians to imprison us. It has happened slowly and methodically over decades as generation after generation have entered the government indoctrination centers (public schools) to be taught ignorance and obedience to the state. This indoctrination has been reinforced by ceaseless propaganda injected into their brains by media conglomerates doing the bidding of the state.

The dystopian use of disinformation, false narratives, blatant lies and propaganda by the totalitarians constituting the Deep State, as their never-ending coup attempt against a duly elected president attests, will be the catalyst for the next vicious phase of this Fourth Turning. For the last four years the Russiagate coup has dogged Trump, as Obama, Clinton, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Mueller and a myriad of lesser co-conspirators have propagated the Big Lie to cover-up their traitorous actions of trying to overthrow Trump.

An honest truth-seeking press with unbiased journalists would have uncovered this conspiracy and revealed the truthful facts to a concerned public. Instead, a completely captured corporate media has turned a blind eye to the truth as they have acted as accomplices of the coup culprits. Just as evil is the suppression of truth through censorship and keeping silent regarding the truth. Huxley understood how totalitarian propagandists operated decades before the current batch of Silicon Valley authoritarians initiated their national truth repression scheme.

“Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects… totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.” – Aldous Huxley

A perfect example of this is my local ABC news affiliate doing an hour long broadcast last night with absolutely no mention of the Hunter Biden – Joe Biden pay for play scandal. The truth dies in silence. The left-wing media dominated by six mega-corporations and social media billionaire titans (Bezos, Zuckerberg, Dorsey) have colluded with other left wing billionaires (Soros, Bloomberg) and the traitorous Deep Staters (Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Clinton) to bring down a sitting president and now to memory hole proof of Joe Biden corruption and his son’s illegal dealings with foreign enemies.

These anti-rational propagandists are enemies of freedom, as they systematically pervert reality and knowingly manipulate the minds of the masses towards how they require them to think, feel and act. After years of socialist indoctrination in government schools and universities, the masses have been taught to feel rather than think. Victimhood is celebrated, while personal responsibility is scorned.

The truth has been revealed, to those capable of critical thinking since the onset of this engineered pandemic fear exercise in March 2020. We have segued from the soft tyranny of Huxley’s Brave New World towards the harsh tyranny of Orwell’s 1984. As the leftist oligarchs have unleashed their ANTIFA and BLM terrorists in cities across America in “mostly peaceful protests”, as proclaimed by the Big Brother media, ignorance is strength rings true across our dystopian landscape.

I’m amazed by the extreme level of ignorance exhibited by a vast swath of our population, as they glory in believing comforting mistruths which confirm their preordained belief structure. They don’t know because they don’t want to know. They are intoxicated by the endless stream of idiocy emanating from their iGadgets, as they willfully choose ignorance over awareness, servitude over freedom, and captivity over liberty.

As Huxley predicted, the controlling oligarchy has used technology to convince people to love their servitude, while unthinkingly believing what they are told by their government and media mouthpieces, doing the bidding of the government and oligarchs who control the government. The goal of the ruling class is to keep people from thinking, and most willingly oblige because thinking is hard and the uncomfortable truths are too much to bear for the satiated masses.

But there is a minority who want the truth and are willing and able to deal with the consequences. They realize facts don’t cease to exist because we ignore them. Facts don’t care about your beliefs or feelings. Facts lead you to the truth. And the immense coverup of facts over the last ten months as we approach this historically important election boggles the mind of every critical thinking person on the planet.

This clearly coordinated effort to mislead the public regarding our dire financial plight, the truth about this overblown flu, the true facts about the Russiagate coup attempt against Trump, and now the massive Joe Biden/Hunter Biden corruption scandal coverup, has taken on a new level of malevolence and deceitfulness. The duplicitous nature of the measures taken by the social media tyrants to control the narrative and dictate what the people must believe will climax in a violent response by those unwilling to accept their plot to overthrow the government and shredding of the U.S. Constitution.

We are now living in a world where so called “experts” declare the science is settled regarding the spread of Covid, the efficacy of masks, the need for lockdowns to slow the spread, the requirement for a vaccine to cure Covid, the danger of HCQ, the fallacy of herd immunity and the fact we will never return to normal again. If anyone dares to question the approved Covid narrative, they will be attacked by MSM talking heads, de-platformed by Twitter and Facebook, called a murderer by the thousands of Karens patrolling social media, and possibly lose their jobs. When straight talking brilliant doctors, like Dr. Scott Atlas, use facts to blow up the approved narrative, he is attacked by the MSM and social media hyenas. Facts don’t matter when fear is the preferred method of herding a nation of sheep.

Even though 99.7% of those who contract Covid will not die, with most not even knowing they had it, the pandemic promoters (Gates, Big Pharma, Trump haters, Democrats, Left-wing media) continue to exaggerate the threat and scare a country into a Depression. This coordinated charade has been instituted as a cash grab by the ruling oligarchy, a coverup for the Fed rescuing a collapsing financial system, and an effort to dispose of Trump after the failed impeachment coup.

Even though, prior to this engineered pandemic, CDC documentation unequivocally declared masks useless in stopping the spread of viruses and numerous other studies by respected institutions confirmed this conclusion (you know – science), masks (muzzles) are now required to conform to state dictate under penalty of arrest. Even though thousands of scientists and doctors have said lockdowns don’t work, politicians continue to destroy the lives of their citizens by tyrannically closing down their cities and states. For what true purpose?

Even though Hydroxychloroquine plus zinc has proven to drastically reduce the effects of Covid if taken early in the illness, costs only a few dollars per dose, has been used safely for decades in dealing with malaria, and has the support of thousands of doctors, it was declared unsafe by the health agencies controlled by Big Pharma and politically motivated health care hack bureaucrats who care more about defeating Trump than saving lives. Why support a drug that only costs a few bucks when Big Pharma can roll out treatments that cost a few thousand dollars and don’t provide better outcomes than HCQ and zinc? There are profits to be made and stock prices to support. That’s the real science going on here.

The hit job stories from the NYT, Washington Post and other left-wing media about how Sweden would suffer death on a grand scale by not requiring masks, not locking down their country, and not closing schools were being written at a torrential pace in the Spring and Summer. They continue today as they attempt to discredit Dr. Scott Atlas because he is taking a realistic balanced approach to the virus.

Sweden’s death rate was in the middle of the pack in Europe and they achieved herd immunity by the Fall. Their cases are minuscule and deaths virtually nil. Meanwhile, the European lockdown countries are now experiencing a surge of new cases and locking down again. Sweden was right, but the compliant captured press maintains silence about their success, because silence about the truth maintains their Big Lie. If they can convince everyone to believe the lie, it becomes the truth.

“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth.” – George Orwell, 1984

So, we are less than two weeks out from the election and the outcome, no matter who wins, will likely ignite a raging firestorm that will make the California wildfires look like a flickering matchstick. As we have supposedly made tremendous advancements in science and technology, reality proves we have merely achieved a more efficient means of going backwards.

The intoxication from earlier successes of science and technology have devolved into a gruesome morning after hangover of deteriorated outcomes, now threatening to imprison masked Americans in an electronic gulag of forced vaccinations and digital currency. The social media billionaire moguls, in conjunction with the Wall Street owned Federal Reserve, and sociopathic political operatives will mandate compliance regarding medical, financial and political decrees or you will be demonetized and cut-off from the ability to transact – essentially living in an electronic prison camp.

Based on the Fourth Turning generational theory, there is no doubt Donald Trump is the prophet generation Grey Champion. The term Grey Champion does not mean they are a great, noble, humane person. Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt were not nice guys. They did whatever they thought necessary to achieve their means during our previous three Fourth Turnings. Millions of Americans hated Lincoln and Roosevelt, just as tens of millions hate Trump.

The Grey Champion’s   appearance marks the arrival of a moment of “darkness, and adversity, and peril,” as the violent turmoil climax of the Fourth Turning approaches. Trump and Pence are from the Prophet (Boomer) Generation, while Biden is from the Silent Generation and Harris is Generation X. At this stage of the Fourth Turning a transfer of power to a Silent generation leader would not make sense. Trump is the lightning rod for a clash that must take place to sweep away the existing corrupted social order and replace it with something new.

Every four years we hear the same pablum about this being the most important election of our lifetime. No matter who wins this election, the Deep State, Military Industrial Complex, Wall Street controlled Federal Reserve, Big Business, Big Pharma, Big Media, Silicon Valley Titans, and Billionaires like Soros, Bloomberg and Gates will still be running the show. One man has extraordinarily little chance of confronting these wealthy power-hungry sociopaths and winning.

It remains to be seen whether the Grey Champion can ignite a civil uprising against the powerful forces of totalitarianism engulfing the country and the world. They will not be stopped through the ballot box. They had successfully convinced a willfully ignorant populace to love their servitude and acquiesce to allowing them unfettered control over their lives. But, the tyrannical lockdowns, martial law like mandates from bureaucrats, compulsory masking as a requirement to be accepted in society, and the dehumanizing of our daily lives has created a Resistance, peaceful thus far, who are enraged by what is happening.

These are the critical thinkers, non-maskers, no-lockdowners, no vacciners, unwilling to kneel before the altar of Fauci, Gates, WHO, CDC, MSM and tyrannical sociopathic politicians like Cuomo, Newsome and Whitmer. These dissidents and doubters are most certainly a minority, but it was only a minority who carried the load during the American Revolution.

They are heavily armed, but it will require stealth, guile and intelligence to defeat the entrenched establishment. The weakness of these sociopaths is their arrogance and hubris. When they make mistakes during the coming conflict, they must be made to pay heavily. Those with their eyes wide open know what is happening. But, as Huxley asked over sixty years ago, do enough people think it is worth the fight to stop our drift towards totalitarian control?

“Do we really wish to act upon our knowledge? Does a majority of the population think it worthwhile to take a good deal of trouble, in order to halt and, if possible, reverse the current drift toward totalitarian control of everything?” – Aldous Huxley

The last week of MSM hyperbolic vitriol towards Trump; censorship of all dissenters about the Covid narrative by the social media tyrants; the purposeful increase in testing to all-time highs in order to generate more cases; ignoring the plunge in Covid related deaths; seeing “neutral” journalists question Trump like he is on trial at Nuremberg while lobbing underhanded softballs to Biden like he’s a four year old (his dementia riddled brain tells him he is four years old); and seeing the MSM tout polls showing a Biden landslide just as they did in 2016, leads me to believe Trump is going to win re-election in November.

It may take weeks, there will be rampant fraud in trying to swing the vote to Biden, and it could end up in the Supreme Court, but I believe Trump will win. The deplorables are seething with an inner rage which will be released on November 3. While the election is being contested, shockingly, ANTIFA and BLM will again begin burning down cities. It was fascinating how it had all stopped when polls showed the riots having a negative impact on Biden and his Democrat cohorts. The time frame between November 3 and January 20, when the president is supposed to be sworn in, guarantees to be tumultuous, dangerous, and fraught with potential peril.

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. The myriad of potential outcomes is too vast to comprehend. What we do know is Fourth Turnings always accelerate and intensify towards a bloody finale, with clear winners and losers.

Unconditional surrender will be demanded by those maintaining the upper hand. Whether this coming conflict remains domestic or spreads internationally, the “advancements” in the technology of destruction will endanger every human being on the planet. You cannot escape the impact of Fourth Turnings, only survive and/or do your part in helping achieve a positive outcome. There is no predetermined ending.

“The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and effort – in other words, a total war. Every Fourth Turning has registered an upward ratchet in the technology of destruction, and in mankind’s willingness to use it.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

When pondering the possible outcomes of this Fourth Turning, we tend to be drawn towards the negative, because a positive outcome seems so unlikely given the current animosity roiling the country. If you step back and realize all the hate and conflict is being engineered and coordinated by a ruling class of powerful rich men, then average Americans could organize a new paradigm that honors the original intent of the U.S. Constitution, allowing citizens the liberty and freedom to create voluntary associations based upon common interests at a local level.

The ruling oligarchs find this unacceptable, so this freedom must be wrested away from them by any means necessary. There is a civil war already underway, but only one side is fighting – the billionaire class who not only don’t want to relinquish some power, but want total control over every aspect of our lives. I believe this election will turn this one-sided silent war into a hot war.

Rather than wallowing in doom and the worst-case scenarios, we should be trying to figure out how to reorganize our nation going forward, after the billionaire oligarchs are defeated. As I was trying to go back in time to see when I wrote my first Fourth Turning article, I came across an article I wrote in 2010 – Brave New World 2010.

At the end of the article I noted the wisdom and practicality of Aldous Huxley’s advice on how to restructure our society, from his 1958 book Brave New World Revisited. This should be a template for restructuring our way of life if we want a sustainable future. I am not optimistic we have the fortitude, wisdom, courage and will to choose Huxley’s suggested path:

  • As recent history has repeatedly shown, the right to vote, by itself, is no guarantee of liberty. Therefore, if you wish to avoid dictatorship by referendum, break up modern society’s merely func­tional collectives into self-governing, voluntarily cooperating groups, capable of functioning outside the bureaucratic systems of Big Business and Big Govern­ment.

  • If you wish to avoid the spiritual impoverishment of individuals and whole societies, leave the metropolis and revive the small country community, or alternately humanize the me­tropolis by creating within its network of mechanical organization the urban equivalents of small country communities, in which individuals can meet and co­operate as complete persons, not as the mere embodi­ments of specialized functions.

Huxley’s prescription of re-humanizing our country and voluntarily choosing where we want to live and who we want to associate with in small enclaves is how many rural communities already function. We can either willingly choose this path peacefully, or we will be left with this as our only option after our modern world self-destructs during the violent cataclysm, following the crashing of our Ponzi scheme debt saturated economic system.

The American Empire is clearly in rapid decline and may not survive the trials and tribulations over the coming decade. The Fourth Turning is not a prophecy, but should be taken as a warning and call to action. Sitting this out and hoping for the best will not help achieve a positive outcome. Tragedy or triumph – the choices we make will matter. The climax of this Fourth Turning may be a few years off, but the battle for the soul of America begins on November 3.

“History offers no guarantees. Obviously, things could go horribly wrong – the possibilities ranging from a nuclear exchange to incurable plagues, from terrorist anarchy to high-tech dictatorship. We should not assume that Providence will always exempt our nation from the irreversible tragedies that have overtaken so many others: not just temporary hardship, but debasement and total ruin. Losing in the next Fourth Turning could mean something incomparably worse. It could mean a lasting defeat from which our national innocence – perhaps even our nation – might never recover.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

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Published:10/23/2020 3:21:49 PM
[] Obama/Biden Administration Approved the Sale of a "Strategically Sensitive" Manufacturer With Military Applications to... Hunter Biden and a Communist China Front Company Which Makes Purchases for the People's Liberation Army Not a whiff of scandal> In September 2015, the Obama-Biden administration approved the sale of a strategically sensitive Michigan manufacturer, Henniges Automotive, to a firm connected to Joe Biden's son, Hunter, and a Chinese military contractor that was on an... Published:10/23/2020 2:54:30 PM
[] More Biden: C'mon, no one lost their private insurance under ObamaCare Published:10/23/2020 8:50:19 AM
[Markets] Blockbuster Report Reveals How Biden Family Was Compromised By China Blockbuster Report Reveals How Biden Family Was Compromised By China Tyler Durden Fri, 10/23/2020 - 01:36

In a day when half the US population remained transfixed by the ongoing revelations about the contents of Hunter Biden's "laptop from hell" and the other half was doing everything in its power to ignore the news which the socials have conveniently been desperate to censor, a far less noticed but perhaps just as important investigative report authored by the unknown Typhoon Investigations, was released by Christopher Balding, Associate Professor at Peking University HSBC School of Business Shenzhen, China and also Bloomberg contributor  (which is odd considering the clear anti-Trump bias of the Bloomberg media empire) exposing Biden activities in China which "the press has simply refused to cover", and which reveals "how Biden was compromised by the Communist Party of China."

In a series of tweets around noon on Thursday, Balding said that he had really "not wanted to do this but roughly 2 months ago I was handed a report about Biden activities in China the press has simply refused to cover. I want to strongly emphasize I did not write the report but I know who did."

Some more background on the origins of the report from Balding's website:

For two months I have worked on behalf of my colleague to ensure that this report helped others report on the documented evidence of Biden activities with regards to China. I want to emphasize a couple of things about my own involvement.

  • First, I did not write the report and I am not responsible for the report. I have gone over the report with a fine tooth comb and can find nothing factually wrong with the report. Everything is cited and documented. Arguably the only weakness is that we do not have internal emails between Chinese players or the Chinese and Bidens that would make explicit what the links clearly imply.
  • Second, I will not be disclosing the individual who did write this report. They have very valid reasons to fear for both their personal safety and professional risks. Throughout the years that I have known this individual we never discussed politics. I have never heard them criticize any political party other than the CCP. They are not a Republican.
  • Third, it was my very real wish that the press would have reported on the documented evidence in this report and left me and the author entirely out of this situation. I did not vote for Trump in 2016 and will not vote for him in 2020. This information however is entirely valid public interest information that the press has simply refused to cover due to their own partisan wishes. I have serious policy differences with President Trump. I am pro-immigration. I would like to see more free trade efforts to shift trade away from China and into partner countries from Mexico to Vietnam and India. I believe that institution building in Asia is vital and America needs to take that lead. However, I cannot in good conscience allow documented evidence of the variety presented here go unreported by partisans who are simply choosing to hide information.
  • Finally, I will not be answering any questions about the report. I had no wish to be involved in Presidential politics. I do not want to be on the news. I will not be answer any questions about who wrote the report. We need to return the focus to the known documented facts.

Upon review, this is how Balding summarized the report's contents in his series of tweets:

Hunter Biden is partnered with the Chinese state. Entire investment partnership is Chinese state money from social security fund to China Development Bank. It is actually a subsidiary of the Bank of China. This is not remotely anything less than a Chinese state funded play.

Though the entire size of the fund cannot be reconstructed, the Taiwanese cofounder who is now detained in China, reports it to be NOT $1-1.5 billion but $6.5 billion. This would make Hunters stake worth at a minimum at least $50 million if he was to sell it.

Disturbingly, everyone on the Chinese side are clearly linked with influence and intelligence organizations. China uses very innocuous sounding organization names to hide PLA, United Front, or Ministry of Foreign Affairs influence/intelligence operations. This report cannot say Hunter was the target of such an operation or that China even targeted him. However, based upon the clear pattern of individuals and organizations surrounding him it is an entirely reasonable conclusion.

Finally, the believed Godfather in arranging everything is a gentleman named Yang Jiechi. He is currently the CCP Director of Foreign Affairs leading strategist for America, Politburo member one of the most powerful men in China, and Xi confidant. Why does this matter?

He met regularly with Joe Biden during his stint as Chinese ambassador the US when Biden chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Later he was Minister of Foreign Affairs when the investment partnership was made official in 2013. Importantly, the Taiwanese national listed MOFA institutions as the key clients in helping to arrange everything. Yang would clearly have known the importance of Hunter Biden and undoubtedly would have been informed of any dealings. Given that he is now the point person in China for dealing with the US this raises major concerns about a Biden administration dealing impartially with an individual in this capacity. These are documented facts from Chinese corporate records like IPO prospectuses and media. They raise very valid concerns about Biden linkages to China.

Turning to the report itself, here is the 10-point summary of its findings:

Joe Biden’s compromising partnership with the Communist Party of China runs via Yang Jiechi (CPC’s Central Foreign Affairs Commission). YANG met frequently with BIDEN during his tenure at the Chinese embassy in Washington.

Hunter Biden’s 2013 Bohai Harvest Rosemont investment partnership was set-up by Ministry of Foreign Affairs institutions who are tasked with garnering influence with foreign leaders during YANG’s tenure as Foreign Minister.

HUNTER has a direct line to the Politburo, according to SOURCE A, a senior finance professional in China.

Michael Lin, a Taiwanese national now detained in China, brokered the BHR partnership and partners with MOFA foreign influence organizations.

LIN is a POI for his work on behalf of China, as confirmed by SOURCE B and SOURCE C (at two separate national intelligence agencies).

BHR is a state managed operation. Leading shareholder in BHR is a Bank of China which lists BHR as a subsidiary and BHR’s partners are SOEs that funnel revenue/assets to BHR.

HUNTER continues to hold 10% in BHR. He visited China in 2010 and met with major Chinese government financial companies that would later back BHR.

HUNTER’s BHR stake (purchased for $400,000) is now likely be worth approx. $50 million (fees and capital appreciation based on BHR’s $6.5 billion AUM as stated by Michael Lin).

HUNTER also did business with Chinese tycoons linked with the Chinese military and against the interests of US national security.

BIDEN’s foreign policy stance towards China (formerly hawkish), turned positive despite China’s country’s rising geopolitical assertiveness.

To simply the various opaque Chinese intermediaries, the report shows the transfer of Chinese state money to Hunter, via major Chinese financial SOEs.

The next chart shows how the Communist Party of China cultivated Hunter via Lian and multiple Chinese foreign influence organizations:

The third and final chart shows the relationships connecting US leaders with communist leaders in China and North Korea. While there is official state-to-state dialogue and relationships between US and Chinese leaders, just one or two levels below are connected business arrangements with their relatives and associates, who are always the personal recipients of Chinese state money.

The key section of the report begins on page 19, in which the anonymous author details how the Biden family was compromised by China:

The report also quotes from a 2019 National Review article detailing Hunter Biden's financial links to China:

Late Summer 2006: Hunter Biden and his uncle, James Biden, purchase the hedge fund Paradigm Global Advisors. According to an unnamed executive quoted in Politico in August, James Biden declared to employees on his first day, “Don’t worry about investors. We’ve got people all around the world who want to invest in Joe Biden.” At this time, Joe Biden is months away from becoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and launching his second bid for president.

The unnamed executive who spoke to Politico charged that the purchase of the fund was designed to work around campaign-finance laws: "According to the executive, James Biden made it clear that he viewed the fund as a way to take money from rich foreigners who could not legally give money to his older brother or his campaign account. “We’ve got investors lined up in a line of 747s filled with cash ready to invest in this company,” the executive remembers James Biden saying."

Incidentally, this same article also points out the following:

An outside audit of Paradigm by the firm of Briggs, Bunting & Dougherty finds a “failure to reconcile Investment Advisors reimbursement of fund expenses, failure to reconcile and review cash account on a timely basis, and failure to reconcile and review various other accounts on a timely basis.”

And while the National Review article does an exhaustive look into both Biden, Paradigm's and Seneca Global Advisors, the real focus is on China, which concludes that its "research indicates the Biden family and associates went on to execute a string of business deals with China and the CPC for nearly a decade."

Fast-forwarding through the report, we learn about a curious entity called Thornton consulting:

Shortly after BIDEN was named as Obama’s running mate in August, HUNTER founded Seneca Global Advisors and the Beijing government approved the incorporation of Thornton Beijing - Solebury Thornton(Beijing)Consulting Co Ltd.

On October 21, 2007 LIN, LAKIS and ARCHER visited HNA Group in Beijing, this time with ARCHER, acting as COO of Rosemont Solebury Capital, and had dinner with Chen. On the same day, the Thornton delegation also met with officials from PKU.

HNA, which was originally an airline carrier, is of course best known for becoming a major Chinese conglomerate which in 2015-2016 was the most acquisitive Chinese company involved in a flurry of multi-billion global M&A, including US electronics distributor Ingram Micro, CIT Group's aircraft leasing business, a 25% stake in Hilton, a 5% stake in Deutsche Bank, and is widely regarded as backed by or ultimately owned by Wang Qishan, then former vice premier (2008 – 2013).

Wang is currently China’s Vice-President and a close aide of Xi. According to the report:

"HNA has allegedly used various methods to bribe targets in the past, including hosting parties and supplying targets with young women. It is unknown if Thornton representatives were targeted in this manner at Chen’s dinner, but if any nighttime entertainment was provided, it was probably recorded by HNA/Chinese intelligence (as is commonplace in China)."

The following day a Thornton/Rosemont Solebury/SLLF delegation, including LIN, ARCHER, and LAKIS, met with Peng Fang, Director General of the NPC’s Foreign Affairs Committee , which is responsible for communicating with foreign affairs committees from other countries.74 The meeting was held in the Great Hall of the People, China’s most prestigious state building used to host legislative and ceremonial activities. In other words, the Thornton delegation met with a senior Chinese foreign affairs official at China’s most famous state building, in a meeting which would have been approved by or informed to China’s top leaders. This was clearly not a business meeting, but (at least in the eyes of the Chinese contingent), rather a nation to nation, state to state meeting.

Fast-forwarding to 2010 (the report has all the interim details), we read that between April 7-9, 2010, "HUNTER was introduced by LIN to China’s most powerful government controlled financial institutions." Here the report notes that "while the English news item is no longer accessible on Thornton’s website, but the Chinese version remains."

Only that's no longer the case, because since the publication of this report, it appears that someone had a keen interest in quickly removing that particular URL as can be seen here. However, courtesy of the wayback machine, we can see what the Thornton consulting website, which was summarily taken down in the past 3-4 weeks, had to say as of this Sept 26 (after which the website just disappears) snapshot:

The report continues that according to Thornton’s news item, HUNTER was introduced as the chairman of Rosemont Seneca and the second son of the US Vice-President, and the purpose of his visit was to “deepen mutual understanding and explore the possibility of commercial cooperation”. LIN had delivered HUNTER to the Chinese for discussions on his pay-off.

Three days later, BIDEN met with then Chinese President Hu Jintao in Washington as part of the Nuclear Security Summit. At the time Hunter was just barely 40 years old.

The Secret Service protects, by statute, the president and vice president and their families.84 As the son of a sitting Vice-President, HUNTER will have had secret service protection during his business trip to China. Freedom of Information Act request records show that HUNTER visited China from April 6 to April 9, 2010. Unusually, for such a high-profile visit, there were no media reports in English or Chinese media. Therefore, his father BIDEN (even if unaware personally, which is unlikely given how close to each other they live and work), will have been aware of his son’s business trip to Beijing through official channels. Given the sensitive nature of US-China relations, HUNTER would have been closely watched by various Chinese securities agencies during the trip.

The report then pivots to dad Joe, who August 18, 2011 held talks with Xi, then Chinese Vice-President, during a five-day trip. At the meeting Biden said the US "fully understands that Taiwan and Tibet issues are China's core interests, the U.S. will continue to resolutely pursue the one China policy, the U.S. does not support ‘Taiwan's independence’, and the U.S. fully recognizes that Tibet is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China."  Biden’s words are verbatim from China’s official standpoint on Taiwan and Tibet. Additionally, Biden said he "has spent more time in private meetings with Xi than any other world leader, including 25 hours of private dinners with Xi and one interpreter."

A few days later BIDEN delivered a speech at Sichuan University, where he said:

“China’s development and prosperity are in line with the interest of the U.S”, in comments on the university’s website. The Obama Whitehouse records published a transcript of the speech during which BIDEN said “Let me be clear -- let me be clear: I believed in 1979 and said so and I believe now that a rising China is a positive development, not only for the people of China but for the United States and the world as a whole…In order to cement this robust partnership, we have to go beyond close ties between Washington and Beijing, which we’re working on every day, go beyond it to include all levels of government, go beyond it to include classrooms and laboratories, athletic fields and boardrooms.”

A few months after Biden’s Sichuan trip, Archer and Lin worked with a Sichuan Chemical, a large Sichuan state-owned company to set-up a major potash deal (that never materialized) for Prospect Global, a listed US company at the time, that soon delisted and no longer appears to be in business. According to the report, "it is unclear if the purpose of the deal was to just deliver Archer millions of dollars in compensation, to talk up the Prospect Global stock, or if it resulted in Sichuan Chemical transferring millions of US dollars to the US (either for capital flight purposes or to be directed to US politicians such as BIDEN and KERRY)."

The story only gets more interesting from here, and focuses on the arrival on the scene in 2013 of none other than John Kerry, who is intimately tied to Hunter (and thus Joe Biden) via Rosemont Seneca's predecessor Rosemont Capital, established in 2005 by Chris Heinz and Devon Archer who were roommates at Yale University. The firm was named after a Heinz family farm, and the capital was from Heinz, heir to the Heinz food processing empire, and step-son of John Kerry, a former Yale graduate who at the time was the senator for Massachusetts. On June 25 2009, Hunter Biden co-founded Rosemont Seneca with Archer and Heinz; the company’s offices in Georgetown were located two miles from both Biden's office in the White House and his residence at the Naval Observatory, and one mile from Kerry’s Georgetown mansion.

We will let readers do their own digging but we will highlight one section from the report, detailing how the Hunter Biden received Chinese state money...

... and it involved the creation of BHR, which served as the entity facilitating the bulk of Chinese fund flows into the Bidens, as Hunter's initial BHR stake, purchased for just $400,000, is now likely be worth approximately $50 million. From the report:

On December 4, 2013 HUNTER accompanies BIDEN on his official trip to China.

HUNTER told the New Yorker that he met Li during the December 2013 trip but described it as social encounter. “How do I go to Beijing, halfway around the world, and not see them (Li) for a cup of coffee?” he said. HUNTER arranged a quick meeting in the lobby of the American delegation’s hotel in Beijing between BIDEN and Li, the BHR CEO. This was followed by a "social meeting" between HUNTER and Li, according to reports by the New Yorker.

The trip by HUNTER coincided with an official trip by the Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych. Many business deals promoting trade and investment between China and Ukraine were signed during this trip. Some deals between Chinese and Ukranian firms have ties to firms HUNTER is known to be involved with such as the Bohai Commodity Exchange, owned by the same local governments that own a part of Bohai Industrial Investment.

On 16 December 2013, a week after the BIDEN and HUNTER visit to Beijing, BHR was incorporated in Shanghai, with its registered address in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, according to State Market Regulatory Administration records.

HUNTER’s profile no longer appears on the BHR website. One archived version lists him as a director on November 16, 2015. BIDEN is referred to in the profile as a managing partner of Rosement Seneca Partners and a consultant at Boies Schiller Flexner LPP . According to a statement by BIDEN’s lawyer George Mesires on October 13, 2019, BIDEN was of counsel with Boies Schiller and advising Ukraine-linked Burisma Holdings Limited on its corporate reform initiatives. He is also listed on Chinese PE websites where he is also referred to by the Chinese name ‘Hengte Baideng’ (??·??)

SMRA records show HUNTER purchased 10% of BHR on October 23, 2017 (via his investment vehicle Skaneateles LLC) and was a director until April 20, 2020. Previously he was invested via other holding companies.

BHR’s current shareholders are Bohai Capital (30%), Shanghai Ample Harvest Financial Services Group Co Ltd (????????(??)????) (30%), Angju Investment (10%), Thornton (10%), Ulysses Diversified Inc (10%), Skaneateles LLC (10%). According to Chinese corporate records, the original owner of the US stake in BHR was Rosemont, Seneca Thornton, LLC with a 30% shareholding. This was split just under two years later into what is believed to be 20%/10% holding between Rosemont, Seneca, Bohai LLC and Thornton LLC. This was later changed again splitting Rosemont, Seneca, Bohai into Skanletes and Ulyssees. As Rosemont is the HEINZ KERRY vehicle and Seneca is the Biden vehicle, it is believed that the final split allowed HEINZ to exit the partnership divesting to ARCHER.

In summary, the Chinese government funded a business that it co-owned along with the son of a sitting US vice president and Secretary of State who was with high probability directly or indirectly invested in the holding company.

But if China funded a business, what was the value for Hunter? Here the report goes into detail calculating that the entity likely had $6.5BN in AUM, generating $100-$150MM in annual revenue, and if one day the business was sold, it could do so for ~$300 million (see page 14-15).

This returns the entire partnership to the fundamental problem: two sons of the Vice President of the United States and the Secretary of State willingly entered into a financial partnership with a government their fathers were supposed to deal with in an impartial manner.

Evidence indicates that the Secretary of State was directly or indirectly financially invested in his sons firms and benefitted from asset purchases made by firms directly linked to his son. HUNTER invested in a firm that by his own words has had almost nothing to do with, managed by state government with departments dedicated to elite capture, focusing on state enterprise deals in a foreign country, but has grown to manage $6.5 billion in assets and likely realize yearly revenue of $100-150 million. The ultimate sale price for his stake or the partnership would be whatever the Chinese Communist Party decides his partnership stake is worth.

And this is where the Typhoon Investigations report, the Biden presidential campaign, and Hunter's "laptop from hell" all converge:

On May 2, 2019 BIDEN remarked, “They can't figure out how they're going to deal with the corruption that exists within the system. I mean, you know, they're not bad folks, folks. But guess what, they're not, they're not competition for us.”

On May 3, it was reported that BHR [where Hunter was an investor] invested in Face++, a Chinese surveillance company which develops facial-recognition software for law enforcement in China, including targeting ethnic minority Muslims Xinjiang.

In September 2019, BIDEN said this of HUNTER’s business deals:

“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,”

Still, while Hunter benefiting monetarily from deals with China may be unethical, it's hardly illegal (all else equal). Where things get dicey is if to curry favor with China, and continue the freeflow of China-sourced cash, Hunter or his father, is betraying his fellow Americans. Is this what happened? Read on and decide:

Hunter Cultivated by Chinese Intelligence

Our research shows that for more than decade, HUNTER has been personally targeted by China’s intelligence apparatus and its various ‘foreign relations agencies’. A U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs published on September 23, 2020, details HUNTER’s recent payoffs from a PLA linked tycoon, Ye Jianming , chairman of Chinese energy company CEFC China Energy Company Limited .

YE’s first break came when he purchased a small piston factory that supplied the Chinese army, after which he was a proxy for PLA officials, based on a New York Times article, and our proprietary research of the PLA’s logistics network. In the early 2000s, YE was the deputy secretary of CAIFC, according to his CEFC biography. As explained, the CAIFC is a PLA front organization that has dual roles of intelligence collection and propaganda work, and worked with LIN and the SLLF a few years after YE left the organization. YE also knows Xu, who was a CAIFC special advisor, and arranged for LIN and HUNTER’s access to the highest levels of government.

In line with his intelligence role, YE arranged events that brought together retired American and Chinese military officers. In 2015, YE arranged for an aide to meet with HUNTER and in May 2017, YE met privately with HUNTER at a Miami hotel. The purpose of the meeting was for HUNTER to use his contacts to help “identify investment opportunities for Ye’s company CEFC China Energy,” and afterwards YE gave HUNTER a 2.8-carat diamond.

According to HSGAC’s Confidential Document 9, YE and his associate Dong Gongwen, applied to a bank and opened credit lines for a business named Hudson West III LLC, giving HUNTER, his brother James (and James’ wife Sarah Biden), credit cards which the Bidens used to buy extravagant items. The HSGAC report details a series of transfers and transactions worth millions of US dollars between CEFC, Hudson West and the Bidens. This – 11 years after HUNTER and James denied selling their political connections to foreigners for personal gain.

In March 2018, YE was detained and put under investigation on suspicion of economic crimes. CEFC was then declared bankrupt in March 2020 alleged to have faked deals and bribed foreign governments for oil rights. Some of these were facilitated by Patrick Ho , CPPCC member and the former Hong Kong Secretary for Home Affairs in Tung’s administration. On November 18, 2017, Ho was arrested at the John F. Kennedy International Airport on bribery and money-laundering charges, and called HUNTER for legal assistance.132 HUNTER later told The New Yorker that he doesn’t see Ye as a “shady character at all,” and he characterized the outcome as “bad luck.”

The report's conclusion:

Whether he understands it or not, it is apparent that HUNTER has been compromised by Chinese intelligence, who most likely have detailed files on HUNTER’s time spent in China, encompassing his personal meetings and any other activities. Furthermore, YE is associated with the PLA’s General Political Department, which directly opposes the US military in Asia, creating a serious conflict of interest for his father BIDEN.

Putting it all together, the report concludes that the Chinese influence operation targeting Biden and Heinz, the two most important people in US foreign policy under the Obama administration, and their children can now be tied between a small group of organizations and individuals.

"Dating back to Biden’s time in the Senate meeting with Yang, this was never from the Chinese perspective anything less than an official influence operation. Everything surrounding HUNTER took place with official Chinese organizations known to engage in and tasked with influence operations.

Of course, in exchange for funneling tens of millions to Hunter (and, indirectly according to recent allegations, his father), China also got something: this:

Over time BIDEN’s approach to China changed significantly. Under the Clinton and early part of the Bush administrations he could be considered moderately hawkish on China. However, during his time in the Obama administration as one of the key people tasked with China policy, his views became very dovish. Interestingly, BIDEN repeatedly is using preferred CCP language in describing approaches to relations or specific issues. The CCPIT specifically works with businessmen to convince their home governments it is in their best interest to avoid damaging measures such as sanctions to China. Other organizations mentioned work specifically to engage in elite capture or influence politicians or governments. The presence of all these institutions collectively strongly imply this was an influence operation by the Chinese state and whether directly or indirectly, BIDEN shifted his view from hawkish to dovish after HUNTER began receiving entrée into Chinese elite political and financial institutions.

Finally, going back to Chris Balding who originally published the report, here is his own brief summary of everything laid out in the 64 page report:

Beginning just before Joe Biden's ascendancy to the Vice Presidency, Hunter Biden was travelling to Beijing meeting with Chinese financial institutions and political figures would ultimately become his investors.  Finalized in 2013, the investment partnership included money from the Chinese government, social security, and major state-owned banks a veritable who’s who of Chinese state finance.

It is not simply the state money that should cause concern but the structures and deals that took place. Most investment in specific projects came from state owned entities and flowed into state backed projects or enterprises. Even the deals speak to the worst of cronyism. The Hunter Biden investment firm share of a copper mine in the Congo was guaranteed with assets put at risk by the larger copper company to ensure deal flow to Hunter’s firm.

In another instance, Bank of China working on an IPO in Hong Kong gave its share allocation to the BHR investment partnership. They were able to do this because even though the Hunter Biden firm completed no notable work on the IPO, it is counted as a subsidiary of the Bank of China. The Hunter Biden Chinese investment partnership is literally invested in by the Chinese state and a subsidiary of the Bank of China owned by the Chinese Ministry of Finance.

The entire arrangement speaks to Chinese state interests. Meetings were held at locations that in China speak to the welcoming of foreign dignitaries or state to state relations. The Chinese organizations surrounding Hunter Biden are known intelligence and influence operatives to the United States government. The innocuous names like Chinese People’s Institute for Foreign Affairs exist to “…carry out government-directed policies and cooperative initiatives with influential foreigners without being perceived as a formal part of the Chinese government.”

Interestingly the CPIFA is under the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When the investment partnership was struck in 2013, the Minister of Foreign Affairs was Yang Jiechi. Yang would have been very familiar with Hunter Biden from his days in Washington as the Chinese Ambassador to the United States from 2001 to 2005 during which he met regularly with Joe Biden chairing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Today the same individual who oversaw institutions helping shepherd Hunter’s investment partnership as the Minister of Foreign Affairs is Xi Jinping’s right hand man on foreign affairs and member of the powerful Politburo.

Most worrying is the financial leverage this gives the Chinese state over a direct member of the Biden family.  Despite the widely reported $1-1.5 billion of investment the reality is likely much higher. A co-founder of the investment firm reports the total assets under management as $6.5 billion.  While this number cannot be completely replicated, given that two deal alone were worth in excess of $1.6 billion this number is not unrealistic at all.  A 2% annual fee on assets under management would generate $130 million annually. Add in the 20% fee on capital gains the firm would recognize and it is not difficult to see Hunter’s stake being worth in excess of $50 million.

According to Hunter’s attorney, he did not invest his $400,000 in the company until 2017. Even assuming the veracity of this statement, this raises a major problem. Founded in 2013, the firm had large amounts of revenue and assets under management by 2017. In other words, his $400,000 stake would have already been worth far more than what he paid for it. This paltry $400,000 investment worth more than $50 million now would have realized a gain of more than 12,400% in three years.

The difficulty in eluding these concerns is their documentability by anyone who cares to look.  There is no potential for hacking because it is all public record in China. Any journalist who wishes to look can go review IPO prospectuses, news reports, or corporate records. There is no secret method for discovering this data other than actually looking. There is simply no way to avoid the reality that Hunter Biden was granted a 10% stake worth far in excess of what he paid for a firm that is literally operated and owned by the Chinese state.

I did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016 and have significant concerns about his policies in areas like immigration. Having lived in China for nine years throughout the Xi regimes construction of concentration camps and having witnessed first hand their use of influence and intelligence operations, the Biden links worry me profoundly.

Whether Joe Biden personally knew the details, a very untenable position, it is simply political malpractice to not be aware of the details of these financial arrangements. These documentable financial links simply cannot be wished away.

And this is why Beijing is desperate to get Joe Biden - whose son got extremely wealthy thanks to China's influence peddling operation for the past a decade- into the White House.

You can read the full report here (pdf link)

Published:10/23/2020 12:49:37 AM
[Markets] Russophrenia... Or How A Collapsing Country Runs The World Russophrenia... Or How A Collapsing Country Runs The World Tyler Durden Fri, 10/23/2020 - 00:00

Authored by Patrick Armstrong via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

I am indebted to Bryan MacDonald for this brilliant neologism: Russophrenia – a condition where the sufferer believes Russia is both about to collapse, and take over the world.

An early example comes from 1992 when the then-Lithuanian Defence Minister called Russia a country “with vague prospects” while at the same time asserting that “in about two years’ time [it] will present a great danger to Europe” (FBIS 22 May 92 p 69).

Vague prospects but great danger. Given the vague demographic prospects of his own country, it was a rather ironic assertion given that Lithuania’s future would appear to be a few nursing homes surrounded by forest. But he said it in the days of the full EU/NATO cargo cult. In 2014 U.S. President Obama immortalised this in an interview:

But I do think it’s important to keep perspective. Russia doesn’t make anything. Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking. And so we have to respond with resolve in what are effectively regional challenges that Russia presents.

Wrong on all counts: all he did was display how poorly advised he was.

Russia, Russia ever failing: will fail in 1992, finished in 2001, failed in 2006, failed in 2008, failing in 2010, failed in 2015. Russia’s failing economyisolationancient weaponsinstabilitya gas station masquerading as a countryDoomed to fail in Syria and losing influence even in its neighbourhood in 2020.

A country with GDP comparable to that of Australia cannot afford to be a superpower, fight a protracted war in Syria, fight in the Ukraine and develop its own stealth fighter and other equipment to match the United States.

In 2016 Stratfor, predicting the world of 2025, thought it unlikely that the Russian Federation will survive in its current form. And neither will Putin. He was only a petty dictator with a Swiss bank account in 2000; a Lt. Col. Kije in 2001; another Brezhnev in 2003; facing his biggest crisis in December 2011, under dire threat and losing his leverage in January 2015; weak and terrified in July 2015; overextending his reach in May 2016; losing his shine in June 2017; losing his grip in October 2018; losing their trust in June 2019; losing control in September 2019; his house of cards was wobbling and he was the symbol of Russia’s humiliation in August 2019. His political demise was near in January 2020; more crises and coronavirus could topple him in April, another biggest crisis in May; losing popular support in June; running out of tricks in August; holed up in isolation, another gravest crisis in October. Soon gone. Russia’s economy won’t last much longer either: smaller than Spain’s or California’s in 2014; in tatters and facing a slow and steady decline in 2015; surprisingly small in 2017; about the size of Belgium plus the Netherlands and smaller than Texas’ in 2018; headed for trouble in 2019. Weak energy prices its Achilles heel in 2020. And on and on: really weak in 2006; its three biggest problems in 2013; Russia is not strong. And Putin is even weaker in 2015. Don’t fear Russia, marginalize it because it’s weak and has a rapidly aging and shrinking population in 2018. Still weak in 2019 and Paul Gregory tells us that’s it’s weak but with nukes in 2020.

Occasionally – very occasionally – someone, more acute than most, wonders How Did A Weak Russia Ever Become A Great Power Again? or why with less money than Canada and fewer people than Nigeria, it “runs the world now”. But the explanations are facile: too much butter spent on guns or a passing situation:

In the emerging post-Cold War-era Russia, no matter how poor it is in many key areas, can be #2 in the world for many years to come. Only when China rises in the next 20 years or a new kind of President emerges in the United States will that change. Until then Vladimir Putin can play his games to his heart’s content.

Of course all of these headscratchers assume that the exchange rate of the ruble is the true measure of Russia’s economy; which is a pretty silly and misleading idea.

* * *

But at the same time Russia is an enormous, dangerous, existential threat functioning with enormous effectiveness in all dimensions.

Far from having the deceptively weak military of 2015, it is developing the world’s most powerful nuclear weapon in 2018 and in future wars the U.S. will have nowhere to hide. The next January we’re told that it and China are building Super-EMP bombs for ‘Blackout Warfare’. Russia has imposed aerial denial zones and fields eye-watering EW capabilities; it has “black hole” submarinesa generational lead in tanksan unstoppable carrier-killer missile and devastating air defence. It’s working on a new missile threat to the U.S. homeland. General Breedlove, former NATO Supreme Commander who did much to poke the bear, gives us a particularly striking example: he now fears that a war “would leave Europe helpless, cut off from reinforcements, and at the mercy of the Russian Federation.” The British army would be wiped out in an afternoonNATO would lose quickly in the Baltics – NATO’s totally outmatched. The Russian threat is unlike anything seen since the 1990s. The worry is that Nato has under-reacted.

Putin was the world’s most powerful man and, linking up with China, could soon become more powerful than the U.S. in 2018. He was wielding Russia’s formidable military and powerful economic policies in 2019. And never forget Russia’s major hacking threat and deadly malware. Its interference and influence in Western voting is stupendous: the 2016 U.S. electionBrexitCanadaFrance; the European UnionGermanyCataloniaNetherlandsSwedenItalyEU in particular and Europe in generalMexicoNewsweek gives a helpful list. And, long before Putin: “100 years of Russian electoral interference“. As a covert influence actor and purveyor of disinformation and misinformation Russia is the primary threat in the U.S. election.

Putin was a threat to the Rules-Based International Order in February 2007May 2014January 2017February 2018May 2018June 2019 and many months before or since.

During two decades as Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin has rarely concealed his contempt for Western-style democracy and the rule of law. The poisoning of Russian political activist Alexey Navalny, amid a widening Russia-supported crackdown on opposition leaders in Belarus, indicates the lengths to which Putin and his cronies will go to silence their enemies and maintain power.

* * *

So, on the one hand Russia is a failing country, with a trivial economy, a greatly over-rated military led by someone who is always facing a catastrophe at home. Nothing to worry about there: presently weak and future uncertain. On the other hand, Russia has a tremendously powerful military, an economy that does whatever its ever-young autocratic permanent ruler wants it to. Its propaganda power is immense and unbeatable, the background determinant of the world’s action. Russophrenia.

And, out of the blue, COVID gives him another opportunity to bamboozle the helpless West and undermine its precious Rules-Based International Order. Somehow. See if you can make sense of this incoherence:

This should worry the West once the pandemic has passed. Not because Russia poses a serious long-term threat to our interests; it doesn’t, although Putin would prefer us to think that his shrivelled realm does. But because Russia is not the only authoritarian state seeking to learn lessons from the current crisis which could be used in a future conflict.

Russia’s Vaccine Stunt which experts worry is dangerous is being supported by attacks on the Oxford vaccine which Russia tried to steal. Russians, Russians everywhere!

Russophrenics are unaffected by reality. Russia’s success? Forget maleficence and try competence. Its military is designed to defend the country, not rule the world: a less expensive and attainable aim. Its economy – thanks to Western sanctions – has made it probably the only autarky in the world. Election interference is a falsehood designed to damage Trump and exculpate Clinton which has been picked up by Washington’s puppies. But don’t bother with mere evidence; As the author of this New Yorker piece explains:

Such externally guided operations exist, but to exaggerate their prevalence and potency ends up eroding the idea of genuine bottom-up protest—in a way that, ironically, is entirely congenial to Putin’s conspiratorial world view.

Or as the Washington Post memorably put it: “Especially clever is planting tales of supposedly far-reaching influence operations that either don’t actually exist or are having little impact.”

Scott Adams understands the process perfectly:

Absence of evidence is evidence.

Pretty crazy isn’t it? And getting crazier.

All this would be funny if it were Ruritania ranting at the Duchy of Strackenz.

But it isn’t: it’s the country with the most destructive military in the world and a proven record of using it ad libitum that is sinking into this insanity. And that’s not good for any of us.

Published:10/22/2020 11:14:41 PM
[IJR] Trump Presses Biden on Why Dems Did Not Pass Criminal Justice Reform While Obama Was in Office "Because we had a Republican Congress." Published:10/22/2020 11:14:41 PM
[] 'Unreal': Politifact ruling on Trump claim about campaign spying sends heads CRASHING to desks Published:10/22/2020 10:46:05 PM
[] Biden: 'Not a Single Person on Private Insurance' Lost It 'Under Obamacare' Fact Check: FALSE Published:10/22/2020 10:03:37 PM
[Markets] Debate Post-Mortem: "Malarkey" Takes On "401K's In Hell" In Informative But Firework-Free Spectacle Debate Post-Mortem: "Malarkey" Takes On "401K's In Hell" In Informative But Firework-Free Spectacle Tyler Durden Thu, 10/22/2020 - 23:00

Thursday night's debate kicked off with both candidates behaving themselves, more or less, until the two engaged in several spats over the Hunter Biden scandal which quickly dissipated.

For a quick summary of how the candidates did aside from Huntergate:

  • COVID-19 - Tie, both stuck to well-worn talking points
  • American Families - Trump with the edge due to a 'kids in cages' moment. "Who built them?"
  • Race in America - Trump steamrolled Biden over the 1994 crime bill and inaction, plus Biden had a very senior moment
  • Climate Change - Trump, who successfully got Biden to admit he would 'shift' the country away from petroleum
  • National Security - Tie, as the topic devolved to Hunter Biden's laptop, however Biden defended against Trump's attempts to paint him as a corrupt politician - hammering back on Trump's tax returns and China bank account.
  • Leadership - Biden, who argued that he would represent all Americans

Overall, both candidates were much calmer and better organized than they were during the first debate - albeit Biden came off as very angry most of the debate. We doubt anyone is changing their mind after tonight.

Moderator Kristen Welker, who - while asking several loaded questions against Trump, allowed each candidate to follow up more than once on questions. That said, she interrupted Trump 30 times, and Biden twice.

*  *  *

Full Debate Post-Mortem

The second and final debate between President Trump and Joe Biden predictably went off the rails in short order, after a week of bombshell claims about Joe Biden's involvement in international corruption with his son Hunter - accusations which the Biden campaign and its MSM surrogates implied, without evidence, are part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

In the audience, however, was whistleblower Tony Bobulinski, a former Hunter Biden associate who has come forward with texts, emails and personal testimony that Joe and Hunter Biden peddled influence during the Obama administration.

The first question was on COVID-19

President Trump defended his administration's response, saying that while 2.2 million people were 'modeled to die,' that 'we're fighting it and we're fighting it hard.' Trump spoke of his personal experience with the disease, noting "I was in for a short period of time and I got better very fast" thanks to his treatment. Trump added that a vaccine will be 'announced within weeks.'

Biden launched into attack mode - blaming 220,000 US deaths on President Trump, and suggesting that he doesn't deserve to remain president because of it. "The president has no plan. No comprehensive plan," said Biden, who added that he would mandate masks.

When asked about the vaccine in 'two weeks,' Trump said that it's not a guarantee, but that Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson were very close, and it would be here "by the end of the year" and that there are "generals lined up" to will assist in the rapid distribution of said vaccine.

Trump got in a hit during one testy exchange over shuttering the country, saying "We can't lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does. He has the ability to lock himself up. I don't know; he's obviously made a lot of money someplace."

The two went back and forth regarding policy response to the virus - with Biden mostly spitting Venom at Trump's response - claiming "I'm going to shut down the virus, not the country."

Biden denied calling Trump's closure of travel to China 'xenophobic.' Except...

On the topic of National Security

Biden said that foreign nations meddling in US elections 'will pay a price,' noting "Russia's been involved, China's been involved to some degree, and Iran's been involved."

"We are in a situation where we have foreign countries trying to meddle in the outcome of the election," before suggesting that Rudy Giuliani, Trump's attorney, is a 'Russian pawn' - alluding to the recent disclosure of Hunter Biden's alleged laptop contents.

And then things went off the rails...

'You were getting a lot of money from Russia. They were paying you a lot of money. And what came out today - all of the emails, the horrible emails of all the money you were raking in, you and your family. And I think you owe an explanation to the American people.'

To which Biden responded, 'I have not taken a single penny from any country whatsoever,' before claiming Trump as a "secret bank account in China." Biden then said that because he's released "22 years of my tax returns" he's clearly clean.

Trump: 'I don't make money from China, you do. I don't make money from Ukraine, you do. I don't make money from Russia, you do.'

When asked about Hunter's position on the board of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma, Biden said he had no dealings with the company.

"I did my job impeccably," he said, adding that there's no evidence his son did anything wrong in Ukraine, and that nobody has claimed he did.

Then, during a brief spat over North Korea, Biden barked "We had a good relationship with Hitler before he invaded Europe."

The topic turned to American Families - in particular, healthcare.

Biden claims he supports private insurance and will pass 'Bidencare' - which he described as Obamacare plus a public option. He then claimed that he will reduce premiums and drug prices.

"He wants socialized medicine," said Trump of Biden, adding that VP running mate Kamala Harris wants socialized medicine as well."

The two then went back and forth on the coronavirus stimulus package - with President Trump blaming Nancy Pelosi for not wanting to do a deal before the election, and Biden blaming Republicans for not accepting Democrats' HEROES Act over the summer - which President Trump says 'bails out poorly run Democratic cities and states.'

Biden said Trump brought up "malarkey" over alleged Biden family corruption because the president doesn't want to discuss substantive issues affecting the country.

On Minimum Wage, President Trump said it should be a state option, while Biden insisted that the federal minimum wage should be a minimum of $15 per hour.

On Border Security, Trump and Biden fought over the child separation policy - to which Biden blamed Trump for separating children from their parents after Trump claimed children are being brought over by coyotes and 'bad people.' Later in the exchange, Trump repeated "Who built the cages?" referring to the Obama-Biden administration.

When Welker asked about the Obama administration's failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform, Biden replied that he will be "president" and not "vice president" this time - seemingly throwing President Obama under the bus.

At one point, Trump said 'I ran because Joe Biden and Barack Obama did a horrible job.'

Race in America was the next topic

When asked about the "talk" that black families give their children regardless of class, Biden says his daughter, a social worker, worked in African-American areas, which we guess makes Biden not racist. Trump claimed that Obama and Biden 'never wanted criminal justice reform.'

"It's all talk and no action," Trump said of Biden, who he slammed for doing 'nothing in 47 years except pass the Crime bill that was detrimental to black Americans.'

"Nobody has done more for the black community than Donald Trump," Trump said, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln.

Biden then appeared to have a senior moment, calling Abraham Lincoln a racist.

The debate then turned to Climate Change

Welker asked both candidates how they would combat it, to which Trump discussed the 'trillion tree program' after saying he loves the environment, and that the United States has incredibly low carbon emissions. He added that he hasn't heard Biden use the term, because he wasn't sure if 'Biden knows what it means.'

Trump said that China, Russia and India are "filthy" compared to the US, and that he pulled the country out of the Paris accord because he's not willing to sacrifice jobs because of the agreement - particularly when China's obligations don't kick in until 2030 and Russia 'goes to a lower standard.'

Biden then claimed he never opposed fracking, challenging President Trump to play a tape of him saying he did. The former VP then said that global warming is an "existential threat" to humanity, which has a "moral obligation" to solve it. Biden claims we have 8-10 years until we reach the point of no return.

Perhaps most significantly, Trump was able to get Biden to admit to 'shifting away' from petroleum.

The last topic was leadership

When asked what each candidate would say in inauguration day to the losing side, President Trump said 'before the plague came in, I was getting calls' from Democrats about the booming economy. He noted that unemployment among blacks, women and other groups were at record lows.

Trump says we have to rebuild the country to the point it was before the 'China plague' hit - and warned that if Biden is elected we will have a depression the likes of which we've never seen, and that '401(k)'s will go to hell.'

Biden responded that he'll be an American president who will represent all Americans - even those who didn't vote for him. He hopes voters will choose 'hope and science over fiction while dealing with systemic racism and creating millions of clean energy jobs.'

"What's on the ballot is the character of the country," said Biden.

Published:10/22/2020 10:03:37 PM
[IJR] Obama Shares Video of Him Voting by Mail: ‘It’s Not as Tough as a Lot of Folks Think’ Former President Barack Obama encouraged Americans to vote by mail this week and posted a video of himself going through the process, saying that “it’s… Published:10/22/2020 6:39:23 PM
[] Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says President Trump said 'the quiet part out loud' about wanting to end Obamacare Published:10/22/2020 4:46:26 PM
[IJR] Trump Suggests Obama Is Campaigning for Him "Every time he speaks, people come over to our side." Published:10/22/2020 2:17:19 PM
[] Go LID yourself! Sleepy Joe Biden sends the most Obama tweet EVER trashing Americans for not living up to the American 'idea' Published:10/22/2020 8:36:55 AM
[Politics] Rep. Jordan: 'Probably No Accident' That Iran Wants to Help Biden It's "probably no accident" that Iran is trying to help Democrat nominee Joe Biden by targeting Democrat voters with threats if they don't vote for President Donald Trump after the Obama-Biden administration "gave them a bunch of money," Rep. Jim Jordan claimed Thursday. "The... Published:10/22/2020 8:36:55 AM
[IJR] Obama Criticizes Trump for Treating the Presidency ‘Like a Reality Show’ "By the way even then his TV ratings are down." Published:10/21/2020 7:00:58 PM
[] Pierre Delecto Says He Didn't Vote for Trump, Doesn't Deny He Voted for Biden AlL tHe TrUe CoNsErVaTiVeS vOtE fOr LeFtWiNg SoCiAlIsT dEmOcRaTs!!!! Recall that the supposed "conservative" leadership class allegedly opposed Obama from 2008 to 2016 -- but lost to him on almost every issue. Now we find out that most of them... Published:10/21/2020 6:00:27 PM
[d596d288-7df3-501d-9e47-a88ee43545ee] Rick Gates: Biden campaign endangered by explosive revelations about son Hunter’s emails on business deals Joe Biden’s presidential campaign is now imperiled by allegations of inappropriate business affairs in Ukraine, China and Russia over several years to enrich his family while he served as vice president under President Barack Obama. Published:10/21/2020 5:36:39 PM
[IJR] Obama: If Americans Do Not Vote They Are ‘Not at the Table’ "The government’s us, of, by, and for the people." Published:10/21/2020 5:36:39 PM
[Politics] Obama is making his first in-person campaign pitch for Joe Biden at a Philadelphia rally

President Obama is hitting the campaign trail in Philadelphia for his former vice president, Joe Biden, Obama's first in-person rally in the 2020 race.

Published:10/21/2020 2:40:36 PM
[Right Column] How Biden Will End Fracking Without a Ban – He will ‘kill the energy industry by a thousand regulatory cuts’

Steve Milloy: "The only hope the oil-and-gas industry would have in a Biden administration is that there is no substitute for fracking. Power plants could switch out of coal and into natural gas during the 2010s, but they won’t be able to switch out of natural gas and back into coal during the 2020s. On the other hand, American politics are more irrational now than they were during the Obama years. And it isn’t clear that Biden administration regulators would care about relevant realities. A fracking ban? No. Death by a thousand cuts? Bank on it."

Published:10/21/2020 12:26:41 PM
[2020 Election] HUGE! VP of Flint, MI City Council Endorses Trump: “Mr. Trump would be the best thing for poor folks” Obama Did Nothing For Us…”Sec. of State Ben Carson brought over $30 million to the city of Flint”

HUGE! VP of Flint, MI City Council Endorses Trump: “Mr. Trump would be the best thing for poor folks” Obama Did Nothing For Us…”Sec. of State Ben Carson brought over $30 million to the city of Flint.”  Do black people want more lip service from Biden or action from Trump? “We are an impoverished community,” […]

The post HUGE! VP of Flint, MI City Council Endorses Trump: “Mr. Trump would be the best thing for poor folks” Obama Did Nothing For Us…”Sec. of State Ben Carson brought over $30 million to the city of Flint” appeared first on IHTM.

Published:10/21/2020 12:00:26 PM
[China] How Hunter Biden’s crew peddled influence with his dad to the Chinese (Paul Mirengoff) In November 2011, an elite group of Chinese Communist Party members and cronies of the Chinese regime secured a meeting in the White House thanks to the efforts of Hunter Biden’s associates. The meeting is said to have been with Vice President Biden and other Obama administration officials. Reports of the meeting comes from Peter Schweizer and Seamus Bruner. Andy McCarthy summarizes their findings here. Schweizer and Bruner were able Published:10/21/2020 12:00:26 PM
[] WSJ: Trump pressing Barr to launch criminal investigations of the Bidens Published:10/21/2020 11:31:22 AM
[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] Hunter Biden Witness Moved From Prison Cell After Exposing Influence-Peddling Operation Hunter Biden Witness Moved From Prison Cell After Exposing Influence-Peddling Operation Tyler Durden Wed, 10/21/2020 - 06:03

Hunter Biden's former business associate Bevan Cooney, who flipped on the Bidens and exposed an influence-peddling operation, has been moved out of his prison cell, according to Breitbart News.

Days after Breitbart News senior contributor Peter Schweizer and journalist Matthew Tyrmand published emails provided by Cooney, federal agents moved him from his cell in an Oregon prison around 11:00 a.m. local time on Tuesday to protect him, according to Tyrmand.

"Bevan could sense that things had changed with the rise in visibility of his story," said Tyrmand.

Cooney’s family stressed to Tyrmand they are “extremely concerned given the nervousness gleaned from Bevan’s reaction this morning and they would appreciate a sign from the powers that be that Bevan is in protective custody.” It is unclear where Cooney has been moved to, and in whose custody he currently is. -Breitbart

Cooney is serving time for his part in a 2016 investment scheme, for which he believes he was the fall guy. Biden business partner Devon Archer was initially spared jail and handed a second trial, however a federal appeals court reinstated Archer's fraud conviction in the case earlier this month.

"They [the Cooney family] believe that alerting the family is the moral thing to do if anyone in government knows anything regarding Bevan’s immediate situation," said Tyrmand in a statement to Breitbart News. "They are hopeful he is fine and permanently out of the Oregon facility in which he had been detained for over a year. They know he has been highly motivated in bringing transparency to all of the things that he was exposing by sharing his emails directly with me and Peter [Schweizer]. Given that he was supposed to be released in the coming weeks, although that had been recently pushed back without explanation, his motivation lay purely in seeing justice delivered and warning America about what he had had a front row seat to witness."

The first story published on Breitbart News last week, by Schweizer and author Seamus Bruner, detailed how Hunter Biden and his associates secured high-level White House meetings for Chinese Communist Party-connected elites visiting Washington from China. That included, per those Chinese elites, a secret unreported meeting with then-Vice President Joe Biden himself. Other emails that surfaced on One News Network showed a deeper relationship between the Bidens and the ex-wife of the former Moscow mayor Elena Baturina. More emails surfaced Monday in another Breitbart News report showing how Hunter Biden’s business associate viewed his relationship with his father, Joe Biden—a “direct administration pipeline”—as a form of “currency” to trade on and make more money. More stories are in the works. -Breitbart

We imagine Cooney would make a particularly valuable witness in any potential proceedings against the Bidens. 

Published:10/21/2020 5:26:52 AM
[4ee157c4-a776-5cee-bcac-e372a42fc30e] Tucker Carlson: America's most powerful people want you to shut up about Hunter Biden What happened to Joe Biden? Remember him? Longtime senator, Obama's VP, now running for president and on the ballot in two weeks? In fact, Joe Biden was last seen a couple of days ago buying milkshakes in North Carolina. Given Biden's present condition, that is worrisome. If you see him wandering in a park or lost in the crafts aisle at Wal-Mart, be sure to alert authorities. Published:10/20/2020 9:27:19 PM
[Markets] "I'm President And You're Not": Trump Abruptly Ends Interview With 60 Minutes' Leslie Stahl "I'm President And You're Not": Trump Abruptly Ends Interview With 60 Minutes' Leslie Stahl Tyler Durden Tue, 10/20/2020 - 19:42

President Trump abruptly ended an interview with CBS News' "60 Minutes" Tuesday and did not return for an appearance he was supposed to tape with Vice President Mike Pence, various sources reported.  After camera crews set up at the White House on Monday, Trump sat down with host Lesley Stahl for about 45 minutes on Tuesday before he abruptly ended the interview and told the network he believed they had enough material to use.

According to the Daily Caller, Trump ended a heated exchange with CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl by telling her "I’m president and you’re not."

During the interview Stahl attempted to change the subject after Trump made a comment about media dishonesty, but the president clearly wanted to make a point about the media criticizing his administration for its child separation policy that had also taken place under former President Obama.

"I’m gonna change the subject again,” Stahl said.

"Well, no, even the way you asked me a question, like, about separation,” Trump insisted. "When I say Obama did it, you don’t wanna talk about it."

After Stahl told the president they would run his answer, Trump continued: “When I say I did it, let’s make a big deal of it.”

Lesley Stahl: I’m gonna run your answer, but you did it four times, so.

President Trump: I’m just telling you that you treated me much differently on the subject.

Lesley Stahl: I disagree, but I don’t wanna have that fight with you.

President Trump: Hey, it’s okay–

Lesley Stahl: All right, I’ll get in another fight with you–

At which point the president ended the discussion: “Lesley, it’s okay. In the meantime, I’m president and you’re not.”

Shortly after the news broke, Donald Trump said he may release the CBS interview ahead of its airtime on Sunday, saying it would show bias by the reporter, Lesley Stahl and added that "everyone should compare this terrible Electoral Intrusion with the recent interviews of Sleepy Joe Biden!"

In an earlier tweet, Trump criticized Stahl for not wearing a face mask after their interview, hinting that the conversation was "contentious."

Bloomberg quoted a person familiar with the matter who said that Stahl exceeded a time limit for the interview agreed to with the White House, angering Trump who refused to record a “walk-and-talk” segment with Stahl.

Published:10/20/2020 6:52:15 PM
[Markets] What Happens If No One Wins? What Happens If No One Wins? Tyler Durden Tue, 10/20/2020 - 19:25

Authored by John Yoo and Robert Delahunty via AmericanMind.org,

Conservatives and liberals agree on few things, but one of them is that the country may well see an election crisis this year. All of the ingredients seem to be present: a closely and bitterly divided electorate; the threat of violence and disruption on Election Day or after; and the unusual circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In this essay we provide a short roadmap through the main legal and constitutional issues that could arise if Election Day fails to result in a clear winner of the presidency, identify opportunities for political mischief, and explain why the weight of the constitutional structure favors President Donald Trump in a contested election.

Unusual Circumstances

A crucial fact in this year’s election is that, largely because of COVID, an unprecedented number of voters will vote by mail. According to the Washington Post, 84% of the electorate, or 198 million eligible voters, will be able to vote by mail this year. In the 2016 election, roughly 25% of the votes were cast by mail. This year, as many of half the ballots may be mailed in.

Republicans tend to prefer voting in person while Democrats tend to prefer absentee balloting. In the swing state of North Carolina, Democrats requested 53% of the absentee ballots and Republicans 15%. A July poll reported that 60% of the Democrats in Georgia, but only 28% of the Republicans, are likely to vote by mail.

Counting mailed votes could make a decisive difference on Election Day. In the 2012 election, Barack Obama bolstered his winning margins substantially in swing states like Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania through overtime votes. Hillary Clinton picked up tens of thousands of overtime votes in 2016, though not enough to win. Last April, over 79,000 Wisconsin ballots arrived after election day (and were counted by court order) in a state that Trump carried in 2016 by about 23,000 votes. In Michigan’s August primary, 6,405 ballots missed the deadline and were not counted; Trump carried that state by 10,000 votes.

In one plausible scenario, Trump appears to be the winner on the morning after Election Day, but a “blue wave” begins in the days and weeks after, and Biden claims a belated, overtime victory.

Both Democrats and Republicans have sought either to enlarge or restrict the opportunities for absentee voting. A massive amount of litigation is already taking place. At last count, 279 Covid-related election cases are currently underway in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico—and that tally does not include other litigation over other election issues.

Vote-counting problems—and the litigation they will generate—do not end once deadlines are decided. States must match signatures on ballots to those on voter rolls and verify that each ballot is valid. Although some key states permit pre-Election Day verification, others do not. Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan were among the latter. “Real problems will emerge here,” Karl Rove has warned, “especially when there’s a big increase in mail-in ballots over 2016.”

In Pennsylvania, for example, 84,000 people voted by mail in the 2016 primaries; in 2020, 1.5 million did. In the best of circumstances, matching signatures on mail-in ballots to those on file with the state (from voter registration, ballot applications, or the DMV) is not, to the untrained eye, an easy task. Repeated and time-consuming challenges to the verification process will delay a final, official count.

The Electoral Count

Delayed election results could mean much more than the inconvenience of waking up on November 4 and not knowing who is President. They could trigger a constitutional crisis that would shake the country to its foundations.

An old federal statute, the Electoral Count Act of 1887, establishes deadlines for the states to report their official results and for the 538 members of the Electoral College to meet. The latter date this year is December 14, or 41 days after Election Day. The state deadline this year is December 8. The date is a safe harbor: if a state reports in time, Congress will accept its electors. The Act provides that if “any controversy or contest” remains after December 8, Congress will decide which electors—if any—may cast their state’s votes in the Electoral College.

Delays in counting the votes could well encroach on the December 8 deadline. State legislators and governors might come under mounting pressure to designate electors on their own if the popular vote remains incomplete, especially if there are allegations of fraud or abuse. Article II of the Constitution provides that “each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.” The time when state legislatures directly appointed electors themselves are long gone: since the 19th century, states have delegated that power to their voters. But as the Supreme Court noted in Bush v. Gore, a state “can take back the power to appoint electors.”

The constitutional question is not whether but how a state legislature could reclaim the appointment of electors. States have provided by statute for the selection of their electors by their voters; therefore it one might argue they may only resume that power with a second, superseding statute. On the other hand, the Constitution specifically designates state legislatures, rather than the executives or a combination of the two, to choose the electors.  A state legislature might argue that a past legislature-and-governor cannot constrain its discretion to choose electors today.  Is it likely that state legislatures in battleground states could reclaim their constitutional power before the December 8 deadline looms? Probably not.

While Republicans control the state legislatures in six key battleground states, only two of those states also have Republican governors (Arizona and Florida). In four other contested states Republicans control the legislature, but Democrats control the executive: Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin. Only if the Constitution allows state legislatures, acting without the governor, to choose the electors, could those states cast electoral votes in a disputed popular election.

But there is another scenario in which the state legislatures could designate electors if litigation held up a definitive accounting of the popular vote. This requires a closer look at the Electoral Count Act.

The Act contemplates a post-election period in which states have the opportunity to resolve any “controversy or contest” in accordance with their pre-election law through “judicial or other methods or procedures.” Once this process has reached a definitive conclusion or “final ascertainment,” the governor is then to certify the electors. But the Act presupposes that all such controversies or contests have run their course before the governor submits the certified list of electors. What if December 8 is at hand and the controversies are still going on?

Another provision of the Act could come into play. If a State has held an election on November 3 “and has failed to make a choice” by the December 8 deadline, the Act declares that “the electors may be appointed on a subsequent day [after Nov. 3] in such a manner as the legislature of such State may direct.” That failure could arise from fraud, uncertainty, ongoing recounts or litigation. In those circumstances, a state could be said to have “failed” to make a choice, and its legislature could pick the electors.

That analysis presumes, however, that the Act is constitutional. The founders anticipated the possibility that the Electoral College would fail. In fact, they may not have foreseen political parties that would present the same presidential candidates in every state. Instead, several Founders seem to have thought that the states would often propose local favorites, that the Electoral College would reach no majority in the face of multiple candidates, and that the election would have to go to a backup procedure.

No candidate may win in the Electoral College for less noble reasons as well. Suppose states send electoral votes that—even if certified by the governor—remain under question, whether because of fraud in the vote, inability to count the ballots accurately under neutral rules, or a dispute between branches of a state government.

While the Electoral Count Act appears to create safe harbors for a state’s report of its Electoral College votes, the Act itself might prove unconstitutional. Under the 12th Amendment, “the President of the Senate [i.e., the Vice President] shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates [of the electoral votes of the states] and the votes shall then be counted.” Left unclear is who is to “count” the electors’ votes and how their validity is to be determined.

Over the decades, political figures and legal scholars have offered different answers to these constitutional questions. We suggest that the Vice President’s role is not the merely ministerial one of opening the ballots and then handing them over (to whom?) to be counted. Though the 12th Amendment describes the counting in the passive voice, the language seems to envisage a single, continuous process in which the Vice President both opens and counts the votes.

The check on error or fraud in the count is that the Vice President’s activities are to be done publicly, “in the presence” of Congress. And if “counting” the electors’ votes is the Vice President’s responsibility, then the inextricably intertwined responsibility for judging the validity of those votes must also be his.

If that reading is correct, then the Electoral Count Act is unconstitutional. Congress cannot use legislation to dictate how any individual branch of government is to perform its unique duties: Congress could not prescribe how future Senates should conduct an impeachment trial, for example. Similarly, we think the better reading is that Vice President Pence would decide between competing slates of electors chosen by state legislators and governors, or decide whether to count votes that remain in litigation.

The Role of the House

If the electoral count remains uncertain enough to deprive either Trump or Biden of a majority in the Electoral College, then the 12th Amendment orders that “the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.” Our nation barely avoided that outcome 20 years ago in the 2000 Florida recount and has only used twice it in our history (in 1800 and 1824). So if the disasters described above occur, then the Constitution gives the power to choose the President to the House.

So it seems like Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats would get to pick the winner. But not so fast, said the framers, who feared congressional control of the executive. Rather than allow a simple majority vote, the Constitution requires that the House choose the President by voting as state delegations. If the House decides the Presidency, Delaware would have the same number of votes as California.

This unusual process makes sense in light of the larger constitutional structure. The Framers rejected the idea that Congress should pick the President, which they believed would rob the Chief Executive of independence, responsibility, and energy. They wanted the people to have the primary hand in choosing the President, but mediated through the states, because they also feared direct democracy.

Thanks to Republican advantages among the states (rather than the cities) the current balance of state delegations in Congress favors Republicans by 26-23 (with Pennsylvania tied). If today’s House chose the president, voting by state delegations, Trump would win handily.

But there is another twist. The 20th Amendment to the Constitution seats a new Congress on January 3, but does not begin the term of a new president until noon on January 20. The new Congress chosen in the 2020 elections, rather than the current Congress, would choose the President. Even though Republicans currently have a majority of delegations, Democrats have narrowed the gap—after the 2016 elections, Republicans had held a 32-17 advantage in state congressional delegations. If Democrats can win one more congressional seat in Pennsylvania and then flip one more delegation, they could achieve a 25-25 tie in the House. Then the election would require political bargaining of the most extreme kind for the House to resolve a disputed presidential election.

First Constitutional Backup

Suppose the House cannot agree, which could well happen given the polarization of our politics. The Constitution even provides for this. If the House splits 25-25 between Trump and Biden, then the 20th Amendment elevates the Vice President-elect to the Presidency.

Under the 12th Amendment, when the Electoral College fails, the Senate chooses the Vice President. Unlike the House procedure, the Senators each have one vote, meaning that under the current balance in the upper chamber, 53 Republicans would choose Mike Pence to effectively become the next President. But, as with the House, it is the Senate chosen by the 2020 elections, rather than the 2018 elections, that will choose the Vice President. On November 4, we may well learn who will win the Presidency—because control of the Senate is also at stake.

Suppose that this November, Democrats take three Senate seats—those in Arizona, Maine, Colorado, and North Carolina, while losing Alabama—and the Senate divides 50-50. Could Pence, as the sitting President of the Senate on January 3, break a tie in the Senate in his favor to make him Vice President on January 20, 2021, and hence President due to the inability of the House to break its own deadlock? It appears that this is the case; Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution says the Vice President “shall have no Vote, unless [Senators] be equally divided.” It does not restrict the Vice President’s tie-breaking vote to some functions of the Senate but not others. In those extreme circumstances, Pence might recuse himself, but the Constitution would not require it.

Second Constitutional Backup

Suppose then the House, Senate, sitting President, and even Vice President Pence decide that he should not use that tie-breaking power. Then the Constitution’s backup system for the Electoral College will have failed.

That still leaves a second backup system. Article II of the Constitution states that in “the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability” of both the President and Vice President, Congress can declare “what Officer shall then act as President” until the disability ends or a new President is elected. Don’t forget that word, “Officer,” because it may make all the difference.

Under the current federal succession statute, Congress decided that congressional leaders should assume the Presidency. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sits first in line, followed by the President pro tem of the Senate, currently Chuck Grassley. From there, the line of succession continues to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and then the other cabinet members.

But, as Yale law professor Akhil Amar persuasively argued in 1995 (at the prospect of Newt Gingrich becoming President should Congress impeach Bill Clinton!), this part of the federal succession statute likely violates the Constitution. Notice that Article II requires that the Presidency pass down to an “Officer.” The Constitution generally—but not always—refers to “Officers” as members of the Executive Branch. Further, the Incompatibility Clause of the Constitution prohibits Members of Congress to hold executive office. Neither Nancy Pelosi nor Chuck Grassley can become President. Mike Pompeo would become President—an outcome so unusual, so unexpected, it just might fit our bizarre times.

Published:10/20/2020 6:27:24 PM
[Politics] Obama Releases Campaign Ad for Lindsey Graham Opponent Jaime Harrison, the Democrat hoping to unseat three-term Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Tuesday, released an ad on Twitter featuring an endorsement by former President Barack Obama. Published:10/20/2020 5:54:07 PM
[Politics] 'Will You Take Down the Wall?' And Other Posers For Last Debate The final presidential debate of the campaign is scheduled for Thursday night, to be moderated by Kristen Welker of NBC News, with a supposed emphasis on foreign policy. In case Ms. Welker needs further inspiration, here are some possible questions. If they don't get asked, voters and journalists may want to file them away for the final weeks of the campaign, or even for contemplation on the way to the polling station. For Vice President Biden: President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton... Published:10/20/2020 1:57:18 PM
[IJR] Obama Stumps for Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Democratic Challenger "You've got to vote for my friend Jaime Harrison." Published:10/20/2020 11:47:06 AM
[Politics] Stephen Moore: Biden's Economic Plan Could Bring 'Second Great Depression' Economist Stephen Moore called former Vice President Joe Biden's economic plan "radical" and "further to the socialist left than anything such liberal nominees of yesteryear, including Jimmy Carter, George McGovern, Barack Obama, and even Hillary Clinton... Published:10/20/2020 9:41:18 AM
[Politics] That time Hunter Biden got a six figure yearly retainer from a credit card company while Daddy Biden worked on major credit card legislation Back in 2008, the New York Times wrote an interesting article on Joe Biden during his vetting to be the Vice Presidential pick for Senator Obama. The article was about Hunter Biden . . . Published:10/20/2020 9:41:18 AM
[Politics] That time Hunter Biden got a six figure yearly retainer from a credit card company while Daddy Biden worked on major credit card legislation Back in 2008, the New York Times wrote an interesting article on Joe Biden during his vetting to be the Vice Presidential pick for Senator Obama. The article was about Hunter Biden . . . Published:10/20/2020 9:41:18 AM
[Markets] "This Is Not A Russian Hoax": 'Nonpublic Information' Debunks Letter From '50 Former Intel Officials' "This Is Not A Russian Hoax": 'Nonpublic Information' Debunks Letter From '50 Former Intel Officials' Tyler Durden Tue, 10/20/2020 - 08:45

Hours before Politico reported the existence of a letter signed by '50 former senior intelligence officials' who say the Hunter Biden laptop scandal "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation" - providing "no new evidence," while they remain "deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case," Tucker Carlson obliterated their (literal) conspiracy theory.

According to the Fox News host, he's seen 'nonpublic information that proves it was Hunter's laptop,' adding "No one but Hunter could've known about or replicated this information."

"This is not a Russian hoax. We are not speculating."

Watch:

Meanwhile, the Delaware computer repair shop owner who believes Hunter dropped off three MacBook Pros for data recovery has a signed work order bearing Hunter's signature. When compared to the signature on a document in his paternity suit, while one looks more formal than the other, they are a match.

Going back to the '50 former senior intelligence officials' and their latest Russia fixation, one has to wonder - do they think Putin was able to compromise Biden's former business associate, Bevan Cooney, who gave investigative journalist Peter Schweizer his gmail password - revealing that Hunter and his partners were engaged in an influence-peddling operation for rich Chinese who wanted access to the Obama administration?

Did Putin further hack Joe Biden in 2011 to make him take a meeting with a Chinese delegation with ties to the CCP - arranged by Hunter's group, two years they secured a massive investment of Chinese money?

The implications boggle the mind.

Here's the clarifying sentences from the '50 former senior intelligence officials' that exposes the utter farce of it all:

While the letter’s signatories presented no new evidence, they said their national security experience had made them “deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case” and cited several elements of the story that suggested the Kremlin’s hand at work.

“If we are right,” they added, “this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this.”

It would appear these former intel officials are not aware of the current intel official views, confirmed by DNI Ratcliffe yesterday that:

"Hunter Biden’s laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign.”

And then there's the fact that no one from the Biden campaign has yet to deny any of the 'facts' in the emails.

Perhaps the real question is; what does Chuck Schumer know about this?

Published:10/20/2020 7:48:00 AM
[Markets] Crime Pays: Goldman Strikes $2BN Deal With DoJ To Avoid All Charges Tied To 1MDB Crime Pays: Goldman Strikes $2BN Deal With DoJ To Avoid All Charges Tied To 1MDB Tyler Durden Tue, 10/20/2020 - 07:30

Goldman Sachs is reportedly on the cusp of settling one of the biggest criminal cases involving a Wall Street bank since the financial crisis: According to a Bloomberg News report published late Monday evening, the Vampire Squid has reached a tentative agreement with the DoJ to pay more than $2 billion in penalties - a figure that BBG noted is "broadly in line with analysts expectations" - and - here's the key bit - allows the bank to avoid all criminal penalties.

That last bit is especially important, because, as we've chronicled over the past few years, many of the bank's top executives appeared to have been personally involved with the deal, which was initially brought in by Tim Leissner, formerly the bank's top man in Southeast Asia, before he was suspended over the deal, before agreeing to cooperate with the Feds against his former employer (where he reportedly told authorities about the endemic "culture of corruption" at play within the bank).

Though we can't be certain, we suspect that the timing of former Goldman chief Lloyd Blankfein's departure was influenced by the unfurling scandal; he suddenly left the bank right around the time that Leissner flipped. Word on the street was that Goldman would be made to admit guilt as part of the deal. Indeed, a leak about an 'imminent' deal published nearly 1 year ago claimed that the bank had reluctantly agreed to the plea. Apparently, the bank's legal team was able to avert this, amid whispers that connections between Goldman's representatives and the current leaders of the DoJ might create conflicts of interest (a negotiating tactic that the bank appears to have leveraged to its advantage; note the deal is reportedly coming just weeks before a close American presidential election).

The deal comes just months after Goldman agreed to pay $3.9 billion in "reparations" to the government of Malaysia for its role in raising the $6.5 billion that seeded the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund, which was supposed to be used to finance public projects, but was instead drained by cronies of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has been convicted in Malaysia for his role in the region's largest-ever financial fraud.

That settlement included $2.5 billion in cash payments from Goldman to the Malaysian government.

But the fraud's true ringleader was a mysterious financier named Jho Low, who allegedly orchestrated the siphoning off of money from the fund, which was disbursed to bank accounts controlled by Razak, and others controlled by Low and presumably other cronies. Low went on to spend the money on a seemingly endless stream of luxury goods - jewels, fine art, yachts - Low even used some of the money to finance the film "the Wolf of Wall Street", and to make illegal campaign contributions to the campaign of former President Barack Obama (this, after Razak was once criticized for his "golf diplomacy" with the former president while his country struggled with historic floods).

The DoJ has seized billions of dollars of these ill-gotten gains, and even returned some of the stolen money to Malaysia.

Goldman has struck deals with prosecutors in at least three countries over its role in 1MDB: in Singapore, the bank could face serious criminal penalties if it is caught violating its settlement agreement. All told, the bank will pay $5 billion in cash penalties tied to 1MDB, an amount that's roughly in line with expectations.

In return, the bank and its top executives will simply walk away, while Leissner (who pleaded guilty two years ago per his plea deal) and another banker who was arrested in connection with the investigation are left to face the music.

Published:10/20/2020 6:44:47 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.

Before going deeper into this subject it is very important to look at how the "Biden revelations" are being handled by the media. The way media has handled these allegations reveal a flaw or bias in both mainstream media and social media to the point where even censorship is being deployed. A good example of the spin being put on this red flag of corruption can be seen in an article that appeared under trending stories on my city's main news outlet. Here in the conservation heartland of America, the media published a piece titled; "Biden email episode illustrates risk to Trump from Giuliani"

The Associated Press piece written by Eric Tucker shines the spotlight on Rudy Giuliani portraying him as the messenger of Russian contrived information aimed at damaging Biden and influencing the election. It starts off referring to "a New York tabloid’s puzzling account about how it acquired emails purportedly from Joe Biden’s son has raised some red flags." Then claims that during Giuliani's travels abroad looking for dirt on the Bidens he developed relationships with some rather questionable figures. These include a Ukrainian lawmaker who U.S. officials have described as a Russian agent and part of a broader Russian effort to denigrate the Democratic presidential nominee.

The piece then moves on to the area of how the FBI seems more interested in the emails as part of a foreign influence operation than wrongdoing by Hunter or his father. The people reading this article are informed how this is just another latest episode involving Giuliani that "underscores the risk he poses to the White House" which has spent years dealing with a federal investigation into whether Trump associates had coordinated with Russia.

The part of the article that got my goat was when it referred to how " The Washington Post reported Thursday that intelligence agencies had warned the White House last year that Giuliani was the target of a Russian influence operation." Sighting the Washington Post as an authority and bastion of truth is a common tactic used by journalists to add validity to their bias and lazy reporting. Tucker forgot to mention The Washington Post is the propaganda mouthpiece of Amazon and owned by its CEO Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world which has had several run-ins with the President.   

The effort to denigrate Giuliani rather than focus on Biden wrongdoings cites both "former officials' and statements made by a person "who was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity to AP," and of course, the exact scope of what was being investigated was not clear. Claiming that many people in the West Wing have been concerned about Giuliani's actions or saying the president has expressed private dismay at Giuliani’s scattershot style does not make it true.

Thinking a case can be made that Hunter enriched himself by selling access to his father but claiming Giuliani’s lack of credibility will cause the allegations to implode is a bit of a reach. This fact much of what appears to be bribe-taking at the highest levels of government has been overlooked for so long is in its self is a problem.  The appointment of an unqualified Hunter Biden to the board of a Ukrainian energy company with a reported compensation package worth some $50,000 per month led the Wall Street Journal, to publish a scathing article, on May 13, 2014. bringing the issue before the public.

At criminal.findlaw.com, FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors detail what constitutes bribery. It is offering or accepting anything of value in exchange to influence a government/public official or employee. Bribes can take many forms of gifts or payments of money in exchange for favorable treatment, such as awards of government contracts. Other forms of bribes may include property, various goods, privileges, services, and favors. Bribes are always intended to influence or alter the action of various individuals and are linked to both political and public corruption. In most situations, both the person offering the bribe and the person accepting can be charged.

Was Influence Peddled Or Bribes Taken?

Both giving and receiving bribes is usually a felony with significant legal ramifications. Influence peddling, the illegal practice of using one's influence in government or connections with persons in authority to obtain favors or preferential treatment falls into this category. One thing is clear, whenever we are talking about the involvement of huge sums of money, foreign players, officials holding high public office, or family members of politicians a few eyebrows should get raised. With this in mind, the Biden problem extends well past Hunter but also into how other family members have profited from Joe's time as Vice President such as his brother's involvement in a huge government contract in Iraq.

The issue of Hunter Biden receiving money from Russia, Ukraine, and China surfaced during the first Presidential debate and Biden claimed it was a story already discredited by authorities. This narrative was destroyed when the Washington Times acknowledged the Treasury Department records confirm Hunter Biden received a wire transfer for $3.5 million from the Mayor of Moscow’s wife. It is difficult to find anyone that holds Hunter in high esteem and the fact the United States suspects the woman sending him this money built much of her wealth through corruption does little to improve his standing. For those of us cynical of all the so-called public servants that seem to line their pockets and hold the attitude they are above the law this is a big red flag. 

If the veil of secrecy surrounding Hunter's career is lifted we will most likely find Hunter's dad did share in the spoils bestowed upon not only his son but others in the Biden family. I contend Joe Biden's cozy relationship with corruption is why former President Obama did not rush to endorse Biden when he announced he planned to run. To be clear, we are talking about, millions, and hundreds of millions of dollars or more. For us cynics, we see this as what may be only the tip of the spear when it comes to public officials throwing the American people under the bus for fun and profit. As a voter, this dovetails with my concern about Biden's relationship and attitude towards China which I consider a major issue. 

Published:10/19/2020 6:13:51 PM
[Anti-Semitism] Joe Biden and the Jews with trembling knees (Paul Mirengoff) Joe Biden, like his mentor Barack Obama, seems to get off on talking tough to Israeli leaders. In this guest post, Stephen Silbiger recalls an early instance of such behavior. He goes on to call out American Jewish leaders for their self-interested disregard of what a Biden administration would mean for Israel and its supporters. Stephen Silbiger was the chief legislative aide to Congressman Stephen J. Solarz of Brooklyn. He Published:10/19/2020 4:40:18 PM
[Middle Column] Former Obama EPA chief Gina McCarthy: insanely suggests we can ‘see & feel and taste’ CO2-induced climate change

Critics say the rollbacks on environmental regulations are part of an agenda to remove any reference to climate change across the federal government. "The Trump administration has done everything they can to deny the science and denigrate scientists," says Gina McCarthy, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and now the president of the National Resources Defence Council.

McCarthy: "They have really done everything humanly possible to try to convince people that what they see and feel and taste just isn't happening in front of them."

#

Climate Depot Response: "See and feel and taste" CO2 or "climate change"?! It should be clear to everyone by now that it is the Trump administration that is "pro-science." 

Flashback 2014: EPA Chief Gina McCarthy: ‘Acting on Climate Change for Our Children’s Sake’ – Blames global warming ‘more mold and mildew’

Trump praised by Politico: ‘People who live near most toxic sites in America say they saw a level of attention they hadn’t seen in decades under Trump’ – ‘Some [will be] voting GOP for the 1st time in their lives’

Published:10/18/2020 11:59:59 PM
[Markets] Who's Afraid Of A No-Deal Brexit? Who's Afraid Of A No-Deal Brexit? Tyler Durden Sun, 10/18/2020 - 07:00

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

To answer the question in the title... not Boris Johnson. If anything Johnson’s plan from the beginning has been to maneuver events to this state.

The latest news is that Boris just left his final offer on the table for the EU, walked away from talks but left the door open.

Johnson’s spokesman said shortly afterwards that talks were now over and there was no point in the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier coming to London next week barring a change in approach.

“The trade talks are over: the EU have effectively ended them by saying that they do not want to change their negotiating position,” his spokesman said.

Johnson’s brinkmanship, which follows an EU demand that London make further concessions, may push Brexit towards disorder, though he still left open the possibility that the EU could reconsider and offer Britain a better deal.

“Unless there is a fundamental change of approach, we’re going to go for the Australia solution. And we should do it with great confidence,” he said.

The Australia solution is No-Deal and WTO terms.

The latest public stumbling block to a Brexit deal is French President Emmanuel Macron’s insistence on France plundering U.K. fishing waters in any trade deal.

In truth that is the lamest excuse for not agreeing to a deal I could think of. But, then again, since Johnson destroyed the EU’s biggest political wedge issue, the Northern Irish border with a simple restatement of U.K. Parliamentary sovereignty, what else does Macron have to stand on?

It turns out all he’s got is a really big soap box, but no leverage.

And that begs the question of why fishing “rights?”

This takes me back to the end of last year when I asked the more salient question, “Did Johnson and Macron Negotiate a Hard Brexit in October?

Here are the reasons why they did.

The key to understanding what’s happening is the ever-shifting dynamic between France, Germany and the U.K. in relation to their relationship with the United States.

Macron is pushing France to unseat Germany as the de facto rule-setter for the EU. He wants more integration at every level, but most importantly fiscally.

Macron understands that the euro is flawed because of a lack of fiscal integration. For the euro to survive at least three major things need to happen.

1. There needs to be a single entity capable of issuing and retiring Euro-zone sovereign debt. The ECB and the EU fiscal authorities need to have a relationship similar to that of the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury Dept.

2. The euro has to weaken considerably to remove the garrote around the necks of countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and even France.

3. Much of the existing sovereign debt needs to be converted into a Eurobond, doing away with much of the stock of debt as liabilities for member states like Italy and Spain. The ECB can lead the way with its $3 trillion it’s holding on its balance sheet.

Given these dynamics are still in play today and we’re closer than ever to the Great Reset which will transform the European political and economic landscape, Macron holding firm on fishing “rights” smells, well, like old fish.

And all that had to occur all year was Johnson surviving the multiple attempts to either kill him or his government by Eurocrats who still oppose this scheme root and branch. At the same time, he couldn’t ever say he preferred a No-Deal, which is the preferable outcome for the whole of the U.K., otherwise there would have been a real political battle on his hands.

It’s like the reverse of what we had under Theresa May, who kept saying she wanted Brexit but was negotiating to keep it from happening. Johnson’s been saying he wants a deal with the EU when in reality he doesn’t.

Macron’s own agenda and France’s horrific fiscal and economic situation allows him the flexibility to go for the M.A.D. option. So, by this analysis, Macron isn’t afraid of a No-Deal Brexit either. So, who is?

Well, Germany.

Germany’s trade surplus with the U.K. was always the EU’s Achilles heel in Brexit negotiations. German industry, cut off from Russia’s markets by Merkel’s status quo antics to keep the U.S. somewhat placated, is now also going to be cut off from the U.K. once the tariffs go up and Trump wins re-election.

This is a complete disaster for Germany and Merkel knows it. She keeps trying to re-insert herself back into the negotiations, to at least salvage something for the CDU’s power base, but Macron keeps moving the goal posts.

I get the feeling now, with her draconian lockdowns that she’s preparing for the worst knowing that the civil unrest is rising over the destruction of the German economy she’s presided over.

Since she’s not running for re-election next year now has to do everything she can to deliver Germany to her Davos Crowd masters weak, divided, locked down and betrayed, as she’s been ordered to do.

It’s similar to what the Democrats are trying to pull off here in the U.S. and Labour has only partially succeeded in doing in the U.K.

Merkel has succeeded far more than Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have.

The markets have begun sniffing this outcome for weeks. The firming U.S. dollar and failed bond rout from last week in U.S. Treasuries have been your signals that smart money is beginning to leave Europe. The U.S. 10-year tried to break above recent highs at 0.79% and failed miserably.

The threat of a No-Deal Brexit is becoming real.

So, guess who else is afraid of a No-Deal Brexit? The ECB.

The euro topped out a few weeks ago and after a breakdown and snap-back rally failed at $1.18 the euro is holding on for dear life.

The ECB has to hold up the euro to keep the European sovereign debt markets under wraps.

But that’s like holding back the tide here. Johnson holding the door open to further talks is just buying time for the ECB and should be seen as a fig leaf but it won’t be by the ignoramuses in charge of Brexit talks.

And that’s pushing money into U.S. stocks as the market rightly is upgrading daily Trump’s chances of re-election. Forget the headlines and the gaslighting polls.

The early Vote-By-Mail and early voting breakdowns in the battleground states all have Trump way ahead of where he was in 2016. And Biden has become a scandal and gaffe machine.

There’s clearly something happening within the bowels of the U.S. bureaucracy. Someone is rebelling against the planned destruction of the U.S. by Obama and the Democrats post-election.

The more these people push for the Great Reset the more patriots within the government are willing to risk put an end to this slow-burning coup.

Do you really think Hunter Biden just left a laptop full of incriminating evidence at a Delaware repair shop? Really? Or do you think it’s more plausible that’s a convenient cover story for a counter-coup from within the intelligence and/or law enforcement branches of the government?

The stakes are high for everyone. The election is becoming a singularity collapsing dozens of disparate narratives and agendas into one big event horizon and the outcome will change the world regardless of who wins.

Brexit’s integrity hangs in the balance as well and the only hope left for Brussels is a Trump loss which undermines Johnson’s negotiating position.

The cross-currents between the euro, the dollar, gold, bitcoin and U.S. stocks are all indicating to me that the shift towards the U.S. with a Trump victory is underway.

These are the very things I cover twice a week in my Market Reports for my Patrons every Wednesday and Sunday, because sometimes a few pictures are worth all the money in the world.

The following report from the last day of Q3 covered all of these issues and the broad inter-market analysis for the quarterly close. This is your heads-up for where we were headed in Q4 after the election(Chart analysis starts around 14:06).

*  *  *

Join my Patreon if you want access to this analysis before the headlines. Install the Brave Browser to support the shift away from Big Tech’s Censorship.

Published:10/18/2020 6:32:13 AM
[Markets] Before The Bidens "Did" Ukraine, There Was Iraq... And Serbia Before The Bidens "Did" Ukraine, There Was Iraq... And Serbia Tyler Durden Sat, 10/17/2020 - 22:30

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The United States approaches the November 2020 election with growing apprehension, even dread.

Among the possibilities:

For those who have followed events outside the United States during the past few decades, much of this sounds familiar. We’ve seen it before – inflicted on other countries.

Now It’s Coming Home to the U.S.

As explained by Revolver News, what happens in America next to a great extent may be a form of blowback from a specific event: the U.S.-supported 2014 regime change operation in Ukraine:

‘A “Color Revolution” in this context refers to a specific type of coordinated attack that the United States government has been known to deploy against foreign regimes, particularly in Eastern Europe deemed to be “authoritarian” and hostile to American interests. Rather than using a direct military intervention to effect regime change as in Iraq, Color Revolutions attack a foreign regime by contesting its electoral legitimacy, organizing mass protests and acts of civil disobedience, and leveraging media contacts to ensure favorable coverage to their agenda in the Western press.

‘It would be disturbing enough to note a coordinated effort to use these exact same strategies and tactics domestically to undermine or overthrow President Trump. The ominous nature of what we see unfolding before us only truly hits home when one realizes that the people who specialize in these Color Revolution regime change operations overseas are, literally, the very same people attempting to overthrow Trump by using the very same playbook. Given that the most famous Color Revolution was the [2004] “Orange Revolution” in the Ukraine, and that Black Lives Matter is being used as a key component of the domestic Color Revolution against Trump, we can encapsulate our thesis at Revolver with the simple remark that “Black is the New Orange.”

This hardly should come as a surprise. The same government agencies and their corporate, NGO, and think tank cronies that are now weaponizing Black Lives Matter, Antifa, other Wokesters, and military putsch plotters here at home to remove Trump have turned regime change abroad into an art form. Ukraine was one of their signal successes, featuring a cast of characters later key to the failed “Ukrainegate” impeachment.

Another consequence of regime change: corruption. As the old saying goes, any idiot can turn an aquarium into fish soup, but no one has yet figured out how to reverse the process. Once a country gets broken it tends to stay broken, whether the “breaking” is accomplished by military means (Serbia 1999, Iraq 2003, Libya 2011) or by a color revolution from the streets (Serbia 2000, Georgia 2003, Ukraine 2004-2005 and again in 2014, Kyrgyzstan 2005, Lebanon 2005, Armenia 2018, plus many others of varying degrees of success, and failures in Iran, Russia, Venezuela, China (Hong Kong), and Belarus). With the target nation’s institutions in shambles, the dregs take over – in Libya, for example, even to the point of reintroducing trade in sub-Saharan African slaves, whose black lives evidently don’t matter to anyone at all.

Iraq: Crush, Corrupt, Cash In

Finally, once regime change occurs and corruption is rampant, another shoe drops: foreign vultures descend on the carcass, profiteers who in many cases are the very same people that helped to create the chaos on which they are cashing in. Invariably, these carpetbaggers are well-connected individuals in the aggressor states and organizations positioned on the inside track both for the carve-up of the target country’s resources and (the word “hypocrisy” doesn’t begin to describe it) for funds to implement “reform” and “reconstruction” of the devastated target.

The showcase of this scam, pursuant to Colin Powell’s reported “Pottery Barn Rule” (You break it, you own it) was the money ostensibly spent on rebuilding Iraq, despite assurances from the war’s advocates that it would pay for itself. With the formal costs conservatively set at over $60 billion to $138 billion out of a tab for the war of over two trillion dollars, the lion’s share of it went to U.S. and other vendors, including the notorious $1.4 billion no-bid contract to Halliburton subsidiary KBR, of which then-Vice President Dick Cheney, a major proponent of the war, had been a top executive. (“Rand Paul Says Dick Cheney Pushed for the Iraq War So Halliburton Would Profit.”)

In Ukraine, Biden’s Son Also Rises

The predatory cronyism vignette most pertinent to the Black/Orange regime change op now unfolding before us with the intent of installing Joe Biden in the Oval Office is that of his son, Hunter, and a Ukrainian energy company with a sketchy reputation, Burisma Holdings. (Right at the outset, even some of Hunter’s associates though the gig with Burisma was too “toxic” and broke off ties with him.) Though ignored or dismissed as fake news and a conspiracy theory by Democrats and legacy media (or do I repeat myself?), the facts are well enough known and fit the Iraq pattern to a T: then-Vice President Joe Biden pushed for regime change in Ukraine, which succeeded in February 2014 with the ouster of the constitutionally elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. In April 2014, Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was brought onto Burisma’s board (along with a fellow named Devon Archer, later convicted of unrelated fraud) at an exorbitant level of compensation that made little sense in light of Hunter’s nonexistent expertise in the energy business – but which made plenty of sense given that his dad was not only Veep but the Obama administration’s point man on policy toward Ukraine, including foreign assistance money. [NOTE: It now has come out that in 2015 Hunter put his dad, the U.S. Vice President, in direct contact with Burisma, news the giant tech firms sought to suppress on social media.]

When a troublesome Ukrainian prosecutor named Viktor Shokin seemed to be taking too much interest in Burisma, Papa Joe came to the rescue, openly threatening the western-dependent politicians installed after Ukraine’s 2014 color revolution with withholding of a billion dollars in U.S. aid until Shokin, whom Joe unironically alleged to be “corrupt,” got the heave-ho. As Tucker Carlson nails it, Shokin’s ouster followed a direct request from Burisma’s Clinton-connected PR firm, Blue Star Strategies, to Hunter to lobby his dad to get Shokin off their back. Joe did just what was asked. He later bragged: “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here [i.e., Kiev] in, I think it was about six hours.’ I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

But First There Was Serbia

Today many people remember Iraq, some have a clue about Ukraine. But Serbia, which preceded them, is off the radar screen of most Americans. To recap:

As a Senator in the 1990s, Joe Biden was one of the most militant advocates of U.S. military action against Serbs during the breakup of the Yugoslav federation, first in Croatia (1991-95), then in Bosnia (1992-95), and then in Serbia’s province of Kosovo (1998- 1999). (As has been said about others like Hillary Clinton and the late John McCain, Biden evidently has never met a war he didn’t like. Along with Hillary, in 2003 Biden helped to whip Senate Democrat votes for the Bush-Cheney Iraq war.) Channeling his inner John McCain, Biden continually called for the U.S. to bomb, bomb, bomb bomb the Serbs while (in a foreshadowing of the Obama-Biden administration’s support for jihad terrorists in Libya and Syria, which ultimately resulted in the appearance of ISIS) pushed successfully for sending weapons to the Islamist regime in Bosnia and then for the U.S. to arm the Islamo-narco-terrorist group known as the “Kosovo Liberation Army” (KLA).

Joe Biden was the primary sponsor of the March 1999 Kosovo war authorization for military action against Serbia and Montenegro, S. Con. Res. 21. (As a little remembered historical note, Biden’s resolution might be seen as the last nail in the coffin of Congress’s constitutional war power. While S. Con. Res 21 passed the Senate, it failed in the House on a 213-213 tie vote, with Republicans overwhelmingly voting Nay. It didn’t matter. Bill Clinton, reeling from the Lewinsky scandal, went ahead with the bombing campaign anyway.) The ensuing 78-day NATO air operation had little impact on Serbia’s military but devastated the country’s infrastructure and took hundreds of civilian lives. (Even now, more than 20 years later, Serbia suffers from elevated cancer levels attributed to depleted uranium munitions.) But for Jihad Joe even that wasn’t punishment enough for people he collectively demonized as “illiterate degenerates, baby killers, butchers, and rapists.” In May 1999, at the height of the NATO air assault, he called for the introduction of U.S. ground troops (“we should announce there’s going to be American casualties”) followed by “a Japanese-German style occupation.”

Eventually the bombing stopped in June 1999 when then-Serbian strongman Slobodan Miloševic acceded to temporary international occupation of Kosovo on the condition that the province would remain part of Serbia, as codified in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244. It was a promise the U.S. and NATO, not to mention their European Union (EU) concubine, had no intention of keeping. Under the nose of the NATO occupation, ostensibly demobilized KLA thugs were given virtually free rein to terrorize the Serbian population, two-thirds of whom were driven out along with Jews and Roma, the rest sheltering in enclaves where they remain to this day. Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries, many of them centuries old, were particular targets for destruction and desecration. KLA commanders – who were also kingpins in the Kosovo Albanian mafia dealing in sex slaves, drugs, weapons, and even human organs – were handed local administration.

In 2007 Senator Biden praised the new order as a “victory for Muslim democracy” and “a much-needed example of a successful U.S.-Muslim partnership.” A year later, the Bush administration sought to complete the job by ramming through Kosovo’s independence in barefaced violation of UNSCR 1244 and despite strong Russian objections. But instead of resolving anything the result was a frozen conflict that persists today, with about half of the United Nations’ member states recognizing Kosovo and half not. Touting itself as the most pro-American “country” [sic] in the world, the Kosovo pseudo-state became a prime recruiting ground for ISIS.

But hey, business was good! Just as in Iraq, the politically well-connected, including former officials instrumental in the attack on Serbia and occupying Kosovo, flocked to the province fueled by lavish aid subsidies from the U.S. and the EU, which for a while made Kosovo one of the biggest per capita foreign assistance recipient “countries” in the world. One such vulture – sorry, entrepreneur – was former Secretary of State Madeleine we-think-a-half-million-dead-Iraqi-children-is-worth-it Albright, a prominent driver of the Clinton administration’s hostile policy on top of her personal Serb-hatred. Albright sought to cash in to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars on sale of the mobile telephone company PTK, originally a Yugoslav state-owned firm that was “privatized” (i.e., stolen) in 2005 as a joint stock company, but who later dropped her bid when it attracted unwanted publicity. Also in the hunt for Kosovo riches was former NATO Supreme Commander and operational chief of the Kosovo war General Wesley Clark, who reportedly cornered a major share of the occupied province’s coal resources under a sweetheart deal that seems to have vanished from public scrutiny since first reported in 2016.

At the moment there seems to be no smoking gun of a direct Biden family payout, à la Ukraine, but there is a possible trail via Hunter’s Burisma-buddy Devon Archer and Archer’s fellow-defendant John “Yanni” Galanis, who in turn is connected to top Kosovo Albanian politicians. In any case, the Biden clan seems to have paid a lot of attention to Kosovo for not having skin in the game. Joe’s late son and Delaware Attorney General, Beau, worked in Kosovo following the war to train local prosecutors as part of an OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) “rule of law” mission (admittedly a big task in a mafia-run pseudo-state), for which a road was named after him near the massive U.S. base Camp Bondsteel. With Hunter on hand for the naming ceremony, Joe Biden took the opportunity to express his “condolences” to Serbian families who lost loved ones in the NATO air assault – of which he was a primary advocate.

A ‘Shokin’ Demand  

Perhaps the best parallel between Biden’s handiwork in Ukraine and his interest in Kosovo also relates to getting rid of an inconvenient individual. But in this case, the person in question wasn’t a state official like Burisma prosecutor Viktor Shokin but a hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

In May 2009 Vice President Biden insisted on visiting one of Kosovo’s most venerable Serbian Orthodox Christian sites, the Visoki Decani monastery. Ruling Bishop Artemije of the Eparchy of Raška and Prizren, which includes Kosovo and Metohija, refused to give his blessing for the visit, in effect telling Biden he was not welcome. Bishop Artemije long had been a bane of Biden and others advocating detachment of Kosovo from Serbia, starting with his first mission to Washington in 1997 as war clouds gathered. In 2004 Bishop Artemije sued the NATO powers in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg following their inaction to protect his flock during an anti-Serbian rampage by Muslim Albanian militants in March of that year. Then, in March 2006, as preparations were underway for a “final solution” to the Kosovo issue, Bishop Artemije launched an intensive multinational lobbying and public relations effort (in which Yours Truly was the lead professional) to try to derail the U.S. policy to which Biden had devoted so much attention. While the Bishop’s campaign was unsuccessful in reversing U.S. policy it was instrumental in delaying it for over a year – to howls of outrage from Biden’s associates in Washington. Thus, for Biden, the monastery visit snub by Bishop Artemije was adding insult to injury.

The end for Bishop Artemije came a few months later, at the beginning of 2010 at the time of two visits to Kosovo by U.S. Admiral Mark P. Fitzgerald, then Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, and Commander, Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Naples, (who retired later that year, becoming, unsurprisingly, a consultant “with numerous defense and commercial maritime and aviation contractors”). At that time, an unconfirmed report indicated that a high NATO officer (whether Admiral Fitzgerald or someone else is not specified) stated in the course of one of his local meetings (this is verbatim or a close paraphrase): “What we need here is a more cooperative bishop.” (More details are available here. Since that posting last year the NATO command in Naples seems to have scrubbed the items about Fitzgerald’s 2010 visits from their site.)

Shortly afterwards, Biden’s troublesome priest was forcibly removed by police and exiled from his see, without ecclesiastical trial, by Church authorities in Belgrade under pressure from compliant Serbian politicians installed after the October 2000 color revolution, in turn pressured by NATO. The pretext? Transparently baseless charges of financial wrongdoing. In other words, bogus accusations of “corruption” – like against Ukraine’s Shokin.

One could almost hear Joe Biden chortle: “Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

But Look at the Bright Side…

Back to the incipient coup facing the United States, there should be no illusion that what’s at stake in the unfolding scenario for the removal of Donald Trump is not just his presidency but the survival of the historic American ethnos of which he is seen as an avatar by both his supporters and detractors. Remember, we’re dealing with predators and scavengers who are happy to burn the old, evil America down as long as they can achieve total power and continue to feather their cushy nests. Short of a blowout Trump victory by a margin too big to hijack, we’re headed for a dystopian state of affairs.

If they do manage to remove Trump, “by any means necessary,” and Joe Biden takes the helm, we can anticipate a bevy of globalist warmonger appointees that make Trump’s team look like disciples of Mahatma Gandhi. Among the names floated like Nicholas BurnsAntony BlinkenMichele FlournoyEvelyn Farkas, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, all were on board with Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Syria … [NOTE: The Atlantic Council, known as NATO’s semi-official think tank in Washington and which will be instrumental in staffing a future Joe Biden administration, also has been the beneficiary of generous donations from Hunter Biden’s paymaster, Burisma.]

It’s a recipe for wars, regime changes, and color revolutions galore.

But to finish on a positive note, the potential future business opportunities will be endless!

Published:10/17/2020 9:30:08 PM
[Markets] What's Behind The WHO's Lockdown Mixed-Messaging What's Behind The WHO's Lockdown Mixed-Messaging Tyler Durden Fri, 10/16/2020 - 22:50

Authored by Stacey Rudin via The American Institute for Economic Research,

Last week, in a major departure from months of pro-lockdown messaging, Britain’s envoy to the WHO Dr. David Nabarro called for world leaders to stop locking down their countries and economies as a “primary method” of controlling COVID19.

“I want to say it again: we in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” Dr. Nabarro told The Spectator.

“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganise, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.” Dr. Nabarro’s position aligns with the Great Barrington Declaration, of which he spoke favorably, in which 30,000 scientists and public health experts have joined in advocating an immediate return to normal life for those at low risk. Nabarro and the thousands of signees of the Declaration opine that this approach will minimize overall mortality and lessen the disproportionate burden of lockdowns on the working class and underprivileged.

The day after Nabarro made his remarks, WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus flatly contradicted him, declaring that lifting lockdowns would be a recipe for “unnecessary infections, suffering and death.” Tedros claims that herd immunity can only be “safely” achieved through vaccination, a conclusion premised upon the frightening assumption that the development of a safe and effective vaccine is guaranteed, and the dubious premise that natural infections can be held back “as long as it takes” to prepare and distribute the vaccine. However, according to Tedros, there is no other way:

allowing a dangerous virus that we don’t fully understand to run free is simply unethical. It’s not an option.

It’s difficult to reconcile this stance with the data from states and nations which did not lock down for COVID19. For example, Swedish all-cause mortality is on average for 2020 — incredibly, the nation had higher per-capita mortality just five years ago, in a year in which there was no pandemic. This undeniable, easily-verifiable fact is shocking in light of the decimation of world economies on the premise of “stopping” a “highly deadly” pathogen. Far from “unethical,” allowing the virus to “run free” produced a much better result than tight lockdowns such as those imposed in Argentina and Peru — yet Tedros is ignoring this. The question is: why?

The China-Paved Path to WHO Director-General

In 2017, Nabarro and Tedros competed for the WHO Director-General role. For the first time, the position was filled by a direct vote of the member-states, and not by the WHO executive board. Tedros’s candidacy was mired in several scandals. Ethiopians and concerned global citizens pleaded with the countries voting in the election to reject Tedros because he was a representative of a repressive political regime who had helped to build and maintain a surveillance state with a total lack of government transparency. Critics pointed out that Tedros was “comfortable with the secrecy of autocratic states”— a characteristic that could wreak havoc on the world if he assumed a position of power within the WHO.

Tedros also received criticism for his role in covering up cholera epidemics while he was Ethiopia’s Health Minister from 2005 until 2012. Tedros summarily dismissed the complaint, raised by one of Nabarro’s advisers, likening it to James B. Comey’s reopening of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server just days before the 2016 presidential election. He also attributed racial and elitist motives to his accuser, claiming “Dr. Nabarro’s backers have a ‘typical colonial mind-set aimed at winning at any cost and discrediting a candidate from a developing country.’”

However, the undisputed facts depict a Health Minister who is doing one of two things: grossly neglecting cholera testing, or intentionally prioritizing his nation’s economy over protecting people from cholera. Tedros claimed that outbreaks of what he called “acute watery diarrhea” in 2006, 2009, and 2011 were not cholera, although he could not produce a test ruling out the deadly pathogen, and neighboring Somalia and Kenya disclosed cholera as the cause of their own simultaneous outbreaks. Tedros claimed that testing in his country was “too difficult,” but this was belied by the fact that outside experts were able to test and find the cholera bacteria in stool samples. Testing for cholera bacteria is simple and takes less than two days. It is hard to fathom why outside experts and other countries would be able to test while the Ethiopian government could not.

Cholera can kill a person in as little as five hours. News of cholera outbreaks can have a quick and devastating impact on a country’s economy, so African nations sometimes fail to declare cholera emergencies even when they know for a fact that they have one. During the 2006 outbreak, for example, Ethiopia “did not share the results of lab tests since [the outbreak started]” because “it can mean some serious economic losses, especially in terms of international trade and tourism,” said Kebba O. Jaiteh, emergency officer in Ethiopia with the WHO.

During earlier outbreaks of cholera in Ethiopia (or “acute watery diarrhea,” depending on who you believe), The Guardian and The Washington Post investigated and reported that Ethiopian officials “were pressuring aid agencies to avoid using the word ‘cholera’ and not to report the number of people affected.” Research by Human Rights Watch found that the Ethiopian government “was pressuring its health workers to avoid any mention of cholera, which could damage the country’s image and deter tourists.” Despite this accumulation of evidence, Tedros stood by his denial, preventing aid from being delivered to Ethiopia: the UN cannot act without permission and a declaration of an outbreak.

Vaccines are also unavailable when a country fails to declare a cholera outbreak, so Tedros refused his countrymen this option even when their neighbors in Somalia and Kenya received it. This seems to have escaped the notice of Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the vaccine alliance, who praised Tedros’s “commitment” to human health and vaccination: “Tedros’s commitment to immunization is clear . . . His work with Gavi as Ethiopia’s health minister helped boost the proportion of children reached by vaccines from less than half to more than two-thirds.” Other defenders of Tedros included former CDC director Tom Frieden, who was appointed by Barack Obama to head the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Frieden praised Tedros as “an excellent choice to lead the WHO,” and today vocally agrees with Tedros on lockdowns, masks, and social distancing.

Tedros’s strongest and most important backer throughout these controversies was not an individual, but a government: China. As an opinion writer in the Indian press described it, “China propped Tedros.” American apathy in the public health arena had allowed China to “colonize” global health:

“One reason that Tedros has gotten away with so much brazen cronyism is that America pays little to no attention to global public health, save pouring in money as a sugar daddy . . . China started a scheme for global health colonisation and won because America didn’t think it was important enough. The Chinese leveraged their investments across Africa to force the African Union to back Tedros, [and] also got Pakistan to withdraw its candidate who was opposing him, sources say . . . India’s diplomatic credentials helped in covering up Tedros’ shady past and the fact his main backer was a Communist dictatorship.”

“I’ve Got Your Back, and You’ve Got Mine”: Tedros Backs the Chinese COVID19 “Supression” Strategy

Fast-forward to the COVID19 epidemic. In early 2020, Tedros went to great lengths to congratulate China on its response to the “novel coronavirus.” On January 30, the WHO issued a statement effusively praising China’s response, highlighting the Chinese government’s “commitment to transparency” and efforts to “investigate” and “contain” the outbreak. The statement declares that China’s novel “lockdown” strategy — wherein dictator Xi Jinping welded people inside their apartments in the name of “disease control” — are “good not only for that country but also for the rest of the world.” Tedros followed this up with a tweet: “China is actually setting a new standard for outbreak response.” During this time period, hundreds of thousands of social media posts later traced to China praised the lockdown, and criticized and ridiculed world leaders who failed to follow suit.

The WHO’s resounding praise of China continued into February 2020, when it convened a “Global Research and Innovation Forum” on the novel coronavirus to study “the origin of the virus, natural history, transmission, diagnosis, infection prevention and control,” among other things. On February 24, the group’s Joint Mission held a press conference to report on its findings, during which it declared, “there is no question that China’s bold approach to the rapid spread of this new respiratory pathogen has changed the course of what was a rapidly-escalating and continues to be deadly epidemic.” The stated basis for this unequivocal declaration on the effectiveness of lockdowns was as follows:

“And there’s a couple of other graphics . . . here’s the outbreak that happened in the whole country on the bottom. Here’s what the outbreak looked like outside of Hubei. Here are the areas of Hubei outside of Wuhan. And then the last one is Wuhan. And you can see this is a much flatter curve than the others. And that’s what happens when you have an aggressive action that changes the shape that you would expect from an infectious disease outbreak.

This is extremely important for China, but it’s extremely important for the rest of the world, where this virus you’ve seen in the last few days is taking advantage to explode in certain settings. And it wasn’t easy because what I didn’t mention on this slide is every one of these lines represent a huge decision by policy makers and politicians in this country and leaders to actually change the shape with big measures such as, you know, the suspension of travel, the stay-at-home advisories, and other incredibly difficult measures; to make decisions about, but also to get a population to follow. And that’s why, again, the role of the individual here in China is so important as well.”

The Joint Mission’s conclusion that China’s actions “worked” is a perfect depiction of the classic logical fallacy post hoc, ergo propter hoc: Latin for “it happened after, so it was caused by.” While it is indeed possible that a “more flat” curve in Wuhan could be attributed to government mandates, there are equal or greater possibilities: one, that testing protocols differed; two, that China simply witnessed the natural course of this “novel” pathogen. The latter is particularly likely since there was no baseline with which to compare the proffered epicurves.

It should be obvious that the mere issuance of government mandates does not automatically mean they were effective — this is particularly true here, since the global scientific community had previously considered and rejected large-scale quarantines as a method for controlling epidemics. Respiratory viruses never spread evenly throughout countries, provinces, or states, so it was nothing short of reckless to conclude that the noted variance in spread — which again, could be nothing but a recording error due to testing aberrations — was due to anything but natural factors. It was criminal to summarily conclude on this evidence that the Chinese government’s draconian actions led to a “favorable outcome,” and then use that patentily illogical conclusion to sell lockdowns to the rest of the world. But that’s just what the WHO did.

“China didn’t approach this new virus with an old strategy for one disease or another disease. It developed its own approach to a new disease and extraordinarily has turned around this disease with strategies most of the world didn’t think would work . . . What China has demonstrated is, you have to do this. If you do it, you can save lives and prevent thousands of cases of what is a very difficult disease.”

The Joint Mission repeated this assertion — “lockdowns work, they can and do save lives” — in various ways throughout its press conference, recalling to mind the words of a famous propagandist named Joseph Goebbels: “repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.” Research shows that this illusion of truth effect “works just as strongly for known as for unknown items, suggesting that prior knowledge won’t prevent repetition from swaying our judgements of plausibility.” Our parents never heard of lockdown, and understood and accepted that humans sadly cannot “stop” a highly contagious infectious disease like the flu — even with a vaccine — yet suddenly most of the planet was behaving as if this were not only a reasonable mission, but something for which it was rational and desirable to sacrifice social lives, relationships, smiles, businesses, and educations in service of.

At the helm of the WHO, Tedros undoubtedly played a key role in the creation of this perception. Thanks to the many individual worldwide lockdown experiments, we now know that he was dead wrong: no lockdown was ever needed to “flatten the curve” — in fact, lockdowns spiked the curve. No-lockdown Sweden’s epicurve was much flatter than many areas with tight lockdowns, including New York City, Italy, and Spain. While this may be adequately explained by Hanlon’s Razor, it is very interesting that the Joint Mission took great pains to protect China’s trade and travel interests despite advocating simultaneous lockdowns for other nations:

“And this brings us to what I think is one of the most important recommendations we would make in respect to getting China fully back on its feet after this crisis. The world needs the experience and materials of China to be successful in battling this coronavirus disease. China has the most experience in the world with this disease, and it’s the only country to have turned around serious large-scale outbreaks. But if countries create barriers between themselves and China in terms of travel or trade, it is only going to compromise everyone’s ability to get this done. And those kinds of measures need to be anything that goes beyond what’s been recommended by the IHR committee, has got to be reassessed, because the risk from China is dropping, and what China has to add to the global response is rapidly rising.

The human rights community did not share this enthusiasm for China, its draconian lockdown, or its offer to “help” other nations contend with the virus. On February 2, The Guardian published an opinion piece by a human rights advocate outlining the lockdown’s serious human rights violations and opining that the WHO broke its own commitment to “human rights and health” by praising China. The WHO’s commitment reads in part:

“Human rights are universal and inalienable. They apply equally, to all people, everywhere, without distinction. Human Rights standards — to food, health, education, to be free from torture, inhuman or degrading treatment — are also interrelated. The improvement of one right facilitates advancement of the others. Likewise, the deprivation of one right adversely affects the others”

To protect these “universal and inalienable” human rights during a public health emergency, international law requires that restrictions on human rights be based on legality, necessity, proportionality and grounded in evidence. Similarly, the Siracusa Principles — in which the United Nations outlines an overarching international covenant on civil and political rights — state that restrictions on rights and freedoms in the name of public health must be strictly necessary and the least intrusive available to reach their objective:

“In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.”

“Lockdown” goes far beyond these basic human rights boundaries. They are proven now to only damage societies — they even worsen COVID19 outcomes. When The Economist analyzed all recorded epidemics since 1960, it concluded that “democracies experience lower mortality rates for epidemic diseases than their non democratic counterparts.” This finding holds true at all levels of income.

Tedros aligned himself not with democracies and their fundamental principles but with an autocratic dictatorship, the same dictatorship that helped him assume power within the WHO. Together, using logical fallacies and pseudo-science, they betrayed international law governing human rights, the WHO’s own stated principles, and committed crimes against humanity on a massive scale. Should we continue to listen to Tedros, or should we turn to Dr. Nabarro, another qualified expert who — like the thousands who signed the Great Barrington Declaration — urges a return to democratic norms as necessary to minimize human suffering?

“Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never, ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer. Just look at what’s happened to smallholder farmers all over the world. Look what’s happening to poverty levels. It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year.” — Dr. David Nabarro

It is no longer possible to ignore Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s long history with suppressive autocratic regimes, including China. Whatever the motivation behind his advocacy for continued lockdowns, the data invalidates his position unequivocally. Lockdowns do not save lives — lockdowns kill. The reign of tyranny must end, immediately and forever, with a full restoration of the rights and privileges of each individual citizen to choose what level of risk he or she will accept as a law-abiding member of a functioning, democratic society.

WHO, what, where, and why? We don’t yet have all of the answers, but we do know that the WHO director-general is on the wrong side of the lockdown debate.

Published:10/16/2020 10:04:47 PM
[Uncategorized] Former Obama Speechwriter and Wife of Former Democrat Candidate Among Biden Town Hall Questioners

Would be bad enough if this were an isolated event, but it happened at a recent NBC town hall event, too.

The post Former Obama Speechwriter and Wife of Former Democrat Candidate Among Biden Town Hall Questioners first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.

Published:10/16/2020 8:28:30 PM
[] Shock: "Undecided Voter" at Biden Managed Photo Opportunity Was Actually... a Speechwriter in the Obama-Biden Administration Another Democrat-Media coproduction. A participant in Thursday night's ABC News town hall with Democratic nominee Joe Biden previously worked as a speechwriter in the Obama administration, but was only identified during the televised event as someone who works in... Published:10/16/2020 6:40:15 PM
[] Panic in progress? Barack Obama set to campaign for Biden-Harrs in Pennsylvania on Oct. 21 Published:10/16/2020 5:31:18 PM
[Markets] Hunter Biden Business Associate Flips From Prison, Releases Emails Detailing China Influence-Peddling Operation Hunter Biden Business Associate Flips From Prison, Releases Emails Detailing China Influence-Peddling Operation Tyler Durden Fri, 10/16/2020 - 16:20

Emails from a former Hunter Biden business associate serving time in prison for a 2016 investment scheme reveal that Hunter and his colleagues used their access to the Obama administration to peddle influence to potential Chinese clients and investors - including securing a private, off-the-books meeting with the former Vice President.

Devon Archer (left) with Joe and Hunter Biden

The emails, given to investigative journalist Peter Schweizer by former Biden associate Bevan Cooney and published by Breitbart also reveal that in 2011, the younger Biden and his business associates discussed strengthening relations with "China Inc." as part of a "new push on soft diplomacy for the Chinese."

As Breitbart notes, these emails are completely unconnected to the Hunter Biden emails released by the New York Post.

Cooney believes he was the "fall guy" for an investment scheme in which Hunter and business associate Devon Archer avoided responsibility. He reached out to Schweizer after the journalist published Secret Empires in 2018. Archer was initially spared jail and handed a second trial, however a federal appeals court reinstated Archer's fraud conviction in the case last week.

Cooney provided Schweizer with written authorization, his email account name, and password to his Gmail account to retrieve these emails. He authorized, in writing, the publication of these emails— notable because it is the first time a close associate has publicly confirmed Hunter’s trading on his father’s influence. -Breitbart

More revelations:

In a November 5, 2011 email, one of Archer's business contacts suggested helping to arrange White House meetings for a group of Chinese executives and government officials who would make "potentially outstanding new clients." The group, the China Entrepreneur Club (CEC) included CCP loyalists, Chinese billionaires and at least one "respected diplomat" from Beijing. According to the report, CEC - established in 2006, has been referred to as "a second foreign ministry" for China's communist regime. The gross income of CEC members is estimated to be equivalent to roughly 4% of China's GDP, according to the email.

"I know it is political season and people are hesitant but a group like this does not come along every day," said intermediary Mohamed A. Khashoggi on behalf of the CEC to a Biden / Archer associate. "A tour of the white house and a meeting with a member of the chief of staff’s office and John Kerry would be great," reads the email.

The outreach to Hunter Biden's group came after several failed attempts to secure meetings with top Obama-Biden administration officials with no success.

"From the DC side as you will see below they [CEC] have written letters to several members of the administration and others and have so far not had a strong reaction," reads an email.

"This is China Inc," wrote Khashoggi - referring to Chinese billionaires. "Biggest priority for the CEC group is to see the White House, and have a senior US politician, or senior member of Obama’s administration, give them a tour… If your friend in DC can help, we would be extremely grateful."

And according to Breitbart, Hunter and Devon Archer apparently delivered for the communists.

The original Oct. 19, 2011, email from Khashoggi was sent to Gary Fears — a controversial political fundraiser with a checkered history who was caught up in a riverboat casino scandal in the mid-1990s — who forwarded it on to Archer a couple weeks later on Nov. 5, 2011.

Time was short, as Khashoggi’s original email noted that the Chinese delegation would be in DC on Nov. 14, 2011. Fears told Archer to “reach out” to Khashoggi about the request regarding getting the Chinese businesspersons and officials into the Obama White House, adding it would be “perfect for” Archer to also “attend” with them and then “get guys for the potash deal.”

The same day Fears sent Khashoggi’s message to him, Archer took the email from Fears and sent to Khashoggi a business proposal for a potash mine deal he had lined up.

Six days after the initial overture, Archer received a followup email asking how a meeting with CEC’s representative went. The email closed with “Do me a favor and ask Hunter [Biden] to call me — I’ve tried reaching him a couple of times.” Archer responded, “Hunter is traveling in the UAE for the week with royalty so probably next week before he will be back in pocket…. The meeting with [CEC representative] was good. Seems like there is a lot to do together down the line. Probably not a fit for the current Potash private placement but he’s a good strategic relationship as the mine develops. Definitely have a drink with Mohammed and let him know how impressed I was with his whole deal.”

Screenshot via Breitbart

"Couldn’t confirm this with Hunter on the line but we got him his meeting at the WH Monday for the Chinese folks," reads a reply from Archer, one minute later.

And on the day of the meeting, November 14, 2011, Cooney emailed Fears to confirm that Archer "got the Chinese guys all taken care of in DC."

Meanwhile, White House visitor logs reveal that the Chinese delegation of around 30 members did visit the White House on November 14, 2011. The logs, however, conceal that the delegation met with former VP Joe Biden himself.

Curiously, the Obama-Biden visitor logs do not mention any meeting with Vice President Joe Biden. But the Vice President’s off-the-books meeting was revealed by one of the core founders of the CEC. In an obscure document listing the CEC members’ biographies, CEC Secretary General Maggie Cheng alleges that she facilitated the CEC delegation meetings in Washington in 2011 and boasts of the Washington establishment figures that CEC met with. The first name she dropped was that of Vice President Joe Biden. -Breitbart

Schweizer suggests that the meeting may have opened the door for Hunter and Devon Archer down the road - as just two years later they formed the Chinese government-funded Bohai Harvest RST (BHR) investment fund which saw Chinese money pour into it for investments in CEC-linked businesses. According to the report, " One of BHR’s first major portfolio investments was a ride-sharing company like Uber called Didi Dache—now called Didi Chuxing Technology Co. That company is closely connected to Liu Chuanzhi, the chairman of the China Entrepreneur Club (CEC) and the founder of Legend Holdings—the parent company of Lenovo, one of the world’s largest computer companies. Liu is a former Chinese Communist Party delegate and was a leader of the 2011 CEC delegation to the White House. His daughter was the President of Didi. "

The report adds: "Liu has long been involved in CCP politics, including serving as a representative to the 9th, 10th, and 11th sessions of the National People’s Congress of the PRC and as a representative to the 16th and 17th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Liu was the Vice Chairman of the 8th and 9th Executive Committee of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), an organization known to be affiliated with the Chinese United Front."

What's Don Jr. been up to again?

Published:10/16/2020 3:27:17 PM
[News] Obama to Campaign for Biden in Philadelphia on Oct. 21 "The popular former president criticized Trump in a podcast this week as an 'accelerant' of misinformation." Published:10/16/2020 3:02:09 PM
[Politics] Biden’s ABC town hall ‘voters’ include former Obama speechwriter, wife of former high profile Dem candidate At least two of the ‘voters’ in Biden’s town hall with ABC News last night included a former speech writer for Obama and the wife of a former high profile Pennsylvania Democrat: . . . Published:10/16/2020 11:58:08 AM
[Politics] Biden’s ABC town hall ‘voters’ include former Obama speechwriter, wife of former high profile Dem candidate At least two of the ‘voters’ in Biden’s town hall with ABC News last night included a former speech writer for Obama and the wife of a former high profile Pennsylvania Democrat: . . . Published:10/16/2020 11:58:08 AM
[2020 Presidential Election] Thoughts from the ammo line (Scott Johnson) Ammo Grrrll endorses President Trump for reelection in THE STRANGEST COUP EVER. She writes: I am not talking about the grotesque Hillary/Obama/Comey/Brennan coup to strangle the nascent Trump presidency at birth, a little practice coup for which nobody will ever do a day of time. No, I am talking about the obvious all-out war of our worthless “elites” against the rest of us – the middle and working classes of Published:10/16/2020 6:22:27 AM
[Markets] America Is Divided Over Class Not Race In 2020 America Is Divided Over Class Not Race In 2020 Tyler Durden Thu, 10/15/2020 - 21:00

Authored by Charlie Kirk via HumanEvents.com,

It's 'Skype-Zoom' v. 'Muscular' in today's 2020 political cage match...

We all know about the voice within the choir that stands out from the others with a distinct and superior sound. Such is the voice of Professor Victor Davis Hanson (VDH) when he decides to make himself heard among the monotone crowd of established political punditry. VDH stole the microphone this past week in an appearance with Tucker Carlson where, during a roughly six-minute interview, he made more sense of the current political landscape in America than any other “expert” in the past six months.

VDH is not a political analyst by trade. His background is that of being a classicist in philosophy, while at the same time being a leading military historian, especially with regard to WWII (his brief but thorough history course on the “Great War” is a must for those interested). What he has brought to the world of political analysis since his very recent entry are a fresh perspective and a very disciplined and rational mind. In short, he is thoughtful, not reflexive.

In his interview with Tucker, VDH explained what the real source of division in America is today. It is not, despite what Democrats and the mainstream media (MSM) try to force on you, a division that is primarily about race. It is a division about class. While the idea of class struggle is not new to political science, the current iteration of it is, and it has sprung up aggressively during the past six months. According to Hanson, it is the division between the Skype-Zoom class and the muscular class.

VDH argues that there is a class of people that have found refuge in their home offices and basements since the onset of the Chinese coronavirus.  They are the traders, the telemarketers, and those who can make their living through the softer professions of the mind. The “Skype-Zoom class” also includes the ruling class: those at the highest levels of society that pull the strings, and control the means to power and production.

In author Tom Wolfe’s terms, they are the masters of the universe.

While the Skype-Zoom class sits safely in their homes and uses their MacBook to make bank, outside their walls, out in the real world of production, lives the muscular class. These are the people who are delivering the food you order from Grubhub, or the disinfectants and hand sanitizers you order from Amazon, both of which might be ordered by Skype-Zoom types in order to save them the risk of leaving their home and becoming infected with the virus. Best to leave that risk for someone else, someone in the muscular class.

The muscular class people are also the ones out there nine hours a day cooking the food Skype-Zoomers ordered and manufacturing and packing the hand sanitizers.

If this talk of “musculature” and “class” brings thoughts of Marx to mind, it should. These are very much Marxian terms. Marx talked about man’s natural inclination to work and produce, and also man’s natural tendency to try to control the work and production of other men. In his first phase of history, post-primitive, Marx pointed to the need to control musculature because physical strength was required to make almost everything. The need for control led to the development of slavery, where the masters could own the source of labor. I have previously shared my thoughts on Human Events regarding the current relevance of Karl Marx.

Later in history (phase three for Marx), the masters of the universe would discover, under capitalism, that it was cheaper to just “rent” the labor of men. They pay rent in the form of wages. Wanting to maximize their profit, they exploit that labor as much as they can by suppressing wages. A class struggle develops, ultimately leading to revolution.

What VDH is pointing out relates to something that I have been trying to share with audiences of late. While Marx might be dead, Marxism isn’t, and in 21st Century America, it is taking on compelling and dangerous forms. VDH’s observation shows us that what we are witnessing right before our eyes is a mixture of Marx’s first phase of history (ownership of musculature) with his third phase (exploitation of paid workers). 

Dismiss Marx if you’d like because you think his conclusions are immoral. You do so at your own peril in terms of addressing what is happening in America.

VDH goes on to identify what this class conflict means in terms of the presidential election and how President Trump can use the current climate to make an appeal to a group of roughly 100 million largely denigrated workers. 

In terms of the two new classes, Joe Biden clearly fits the prototype for the Skype-Zoom class. In conducting a campaign from his basement and hiding from both voters and the virus—all the while criticizing every move President Trump makes demonstrating bold leadership. Biden presents as someone fearful. He is far more likely to criticize the delivery person bringing toilet tissue to his front door because his mask isn’t tight around his nose than he is to be willing to help him take the delivery off the truck.

On the other hand, President Trump has been willing to lead and take risks during this crisis. He has met with foreign leaders, and he has met with voters. He placed himself at risk of catching the Chinese coronavirus, and when he did catch it, he was willing to take experimental drugs to test them for the rest of us. While the MSM, Democrats, and the Skype-Zoom class have been critical of such risk taking, they forget that without the risk taking of others, they would not have the luxury of sitting in their basements in their $2,000 ergonomic office chairs to level their hate at the real men and women who make America work: the musculature class of America.

President Trump needs to appeal to these workers and let them know that he is the candidate that respects and honors their work effort. He needs to appeal to the muscular class. While conservatives may find class conflict distasteful, they need to recognize the reality that the country is currently awash in it. To ignore it is to risk succumbing to it.

Right now, three very distinct economic philosophies are alive in this country.

  • The first can be found in the ideas of “Bolshevik” Bernie Sanders and his complete collectivist notions of central government controlling everything.

  • The second is the corporate class mentality of Biden and Harris: they favor a partnership between very big government and very big business. It is fascist in nature and allows for greater and greater class division and exploitation.

  • The third is the President Trump model of patriotic free enterprise. This is where the free market is allowed to work, and the government makes sure that American business and worker interests are placed at the forefront of all policy-making considerations.

That third model is the one that can appeal to the muscular class regardless of their current political party affiliation. If they continue to be exploited, they are eventually going to rebel.

Marx taught us that. History itself teaches us that.

There is a myth that the Marxist movements that have arisen over the past 120 years are ideological in origin. They are not. In all cases, from Russia to China and everywhere else, the Marxist revolution took place because the workers who make up the middle class, the essential middle class, have lost faith in the system. They lose faith in those who lead it.

Right now, the system is too often being led by Barack Obama types: elitists who have a general disdain for ordinary working people. They use power to exploit others and are disrespectful of the muscular class. They are Skype-Zoomers. They are also weak.

It is my firm belief that the arc of civilization has three distinct phases.

  • In its ascent, a society is evidenced by the strong exploiting the weak. This may be an unfortunate necessity in order to build.

  • In its perfected stage, the same strong people—who once were exploiters—now protect the weak.

  • Finally, in its decline, society will show evidence of the weak controlling the strong. Increasingly in today’s America, this is what we see. It is the Skype-Zoom class exploiting and attempting to control the muscular class.

President Trump, the muscular President, has a chance to use this dynamic to his advantage. Those 100 million or so out there wearing masks, taking risks, and carrying our country on their shoulders like Atlas, might just about be ready to shrug. They need a candidate to tell them he supports them and not the basement-dwelling masters of the universe who critique them.

When the time comes that they have had enough, they are going to fight back. It is important to remember that when they decide to fight, they are the muscular ones.

Published:10/15/2020 8:17:43 PM
[Politics] Trump: 'Yes' to Peaceful Transition, but Wants 'Honest' Election, 'to Win' In a first in his political career, President Donald Trump has committed to a "peaceful transition of power," but not before pointing to the Obama-Biden administration for not living up to that standard, despite no rebuke of it. Published:10/15/2020 7:46:33 PM
[] Swing Voters Are Sticking With Trump, Expect Him to Be Reelected Published:10/15/2020 2:12:09 PM
[IJR] Obama Weighs in After Trump Suggests He Should Be Indicted: He Has ‘Breached’ All ‘Norms’ "That is stuff that you keep out of politics right now." Published:10/15/2020 7:37:11 AM
[Politics] Would Biden Do A Policy Reversal In Middle East What will happen to the Mideast's most significant peace push in more than a quarter century if America turns its back on Saudi Arabia? As Riyadh and its Gulf allies break long-held taboos on the multi-generational Arab-Israeli dispute, the poll-leading presidential candidate, Vice President Biden, signals a return to the Obama-era advocacy of "balance" between Gulf Sunnis and Shiite Iran, widely seen in the region as favoring the Islamic Republic. Marking the second anniversary of a horrific... Published:10/12/2020 11:34:29 AM
[a5be0b70-680a-50cf-a548-a7d68734b544] Sex Pistols' Johnny Rotten says Trump ‘is the only sensible choice’ in 2020 election After backing Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Johnny Rotten is now supporting President Trump during the 2020 election. Published:10/12/2020 11:09:10 AM
[Markets] ObamaGate's Endless Saga - None Dare Call It Obstruction ObamaGate's Endless Saga - None Dare Call It Obstruction Tyler Durden Mon, 10/12/2020 - 10:15

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns,

Back during the early days of the Democratic primaries I told you that the real story behind the scenes was a three-sided civil war for control of the DNC.

Not quite an equilateral triangle, the two major factions were the Clintons and the Obamas with the Soros-backed squad pushing them both farther and farther left, through the fake Progressivism of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

And with the ascension of Joe Biden as the candidate, triumphing over the inept Hillary-backed challenge from Mini Mike Bloomberg, it was clear that the Obamas won the internal battle.

Hillary eventually bent the knee and endorsed Biden along with everyone else.

After her failure to beat Trump in 2016 it became clear that Obama was the choice by The Davos Crowd to deliver the U.S. into their hands weak, divided, literally on fire and close to irretrievably insane.

In the words of Bush the Lesser, “Mission Accomplished.”

But what’s been sticking in the back of my mind for months was Trump’s tweet from May:

That was the rallying cry from him to repurpose his base’s energy towards the real villain in the RussiaGate story, Obama.

And what’s really clear now with the latest set of releases — specifically Former CIA Director John Brennan’s handwritten notes on a CIA memo — that Obama directed his people to point all the fingers at Hillary for RussiaGate’s worst abuses while keeping Obama neatly above it all.

Just the amount of this document that has been redacted is itself an affront to the idea of government transparency and a free society.

These people work for us and their activities in this affair, at this stage, have no need to be redacted if they exonerate the President of any wrongdoing and implicate former President in any.

What this release indicates is that Obama clearly knew what was going on and gave his blessing to it. As Alex and Alex at The Duran put it so well in a recent video, Obama saw the opportunity to take out both Hillary and Trump.

This conclusion tracks with the speed at which Hillary switched from “I’m in this race” to “I’m here if you need me” to “I back Joe wholeheartedly” culminating in a desperate screed that had even Bill looking for the off ramp.

She’s desperate for a Biden win simply to keep herself out of jail as I’m sure that’s part of the deal she made with Obama in stepping aside as the leader of the DNC.

Remember, it never sat well with Obama that Hillary ran the DNC while he was president. Since, as President, he was supposed to be the leader of the party. But he clearly wasn’t and she treated him as little more than a placeholder for her eventual coronation.

Obama clearly outplayed Hillary and nearly got Trump ensnared in his game at the same time, using Hillary’s avarice against her. But Trump is too disagreeable for this to have worked.

Pat Buchanan noted at the beginning of Trump’s presidency that he would not stand aside like Richard Nixon did ‘for the good of the country.’ Trump, rightly, stood his ground against Obama ‘for the good of the country’ forcing Obama and his minions to grandstand and obfuscate the truth through a complicit quisling media hoping to avoid the consequences and regain control over the White House.

And for four years we have watched a systematic stonewall go up protecting Obama at every turn while grinding the efforts of the Trump administration to a halt.

How else do you explain the behavior of Judge Emmit Sullivan in the Michael Flynn case? Or the bombshell that CIA Director Gina Haspel is the one personally holding the line on connecting the dots of the FBI’s extracurricular activities in setting up Carter Page which formed the basis for the FISA warrants for surveillance of the Trump transition team?

All of this was done to run out the clock in the hopes of deposing Trump and sweeping all of this malfeasance under the rug.

They’ve nearly gotten away with it. We’re less than 30 days to the election and nothing of substance has happened even though it’s all there in the open for everyone to see.

The problem for Obama and all of his underlings is that Trump is going to cruise to re-election next month and it’s clear from the way the Democrats are acting they know this to be true.

Obama has been protected by the highest level of the global oligarchy, using the Coronapocalypse to accelerate their plans for The Great Reset.

The obstruction has come from all the predictable sources — members of Trump’s cabinet who have worked overtime to keep him looking weak howling about collusion while they’re the ones keeping the lid on the entire mess since many of them are implicated.

Moreover, the Swamp collapsed to protect its own, refusing to give Trump any real options for cabinet picks who would carry the ball forward and issue indictments.

We all wondered by clearly horrible people like Haspel, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo were put in place around him when there were dozens of better options available.

It was to ensure that only the illusion of an investigation, the illusion of policy change could take place while not actually getting anything of substance accomplished.

And now that it’s crunch time William Barr is showing his true colors, slow-walking the indictments that should be coming to the point where he’s covering his ass in case Trump loses next month.

This is why Pelosi and company are now preparing a 25th amendment committee to “help” the Cabinet and the Vice-President make the right decision about protecting the continuity of our systemically rotten government.

Translation: Even if Trump wins the pressure will be on them to remove him from office to finish the coup that began in the summer of 2016 even before the thought of Trump winning was taken seriously by all but the most politically savvy analysts.

Maybe this is all just an elaborate sting operation that Barr has in motion? Maybe. Wake me when that dream comes true at this point.

We all know the saying, when you go after the king you only get one shot. Well, they’ve gotten multiple chances to take down Trump and he’s still standing.

So, he’s clearly not king, Obama is. But time is short, recourse options thin and the end of this pathetic period of U.S. history rests fully on the length of Trump’s coattails in an election that is sure to be even more corrupt than the four years of maneuvering that preceded it.

*  *  *

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Published:10/12/2020 9:35:18 AM
[Markets] Watch Live: Judge Amy Coney Barrett Faces First Day Of Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings Watch Live: Judge Amy Coney Barrett Faces First Day Of Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings Tyler Durden Mon, 10/12/2020 - 08:55

The Senate Judiciary Committee is preparing to kick off the first of four days of hearings involving President Trump's SCOTUS nominee, Federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Barrett's opening statement leaked to the Washington Post and other media outlets on Sunday. In it, she cited the legal philosophy of Antonin Scalia as the inspiration for her own views, which highlights a judge's duty to apply the law as written, not as they wish it were.

The hearing will begin at 0900ET, in the Hart Senate Office Building, Room 216. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is the chairman of the committee and will preside.

Barring some kind of major bombshell, Judge Barrett's confirmation just days before the election is virtually assured. Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have warned that the GOP is rushing to install Barrett before a critical post-election day ruling on Obamacare which, Dems say, could strip health insurance from 20 million Americans.

Interested parties can watch the hearing live below:

Dems on the Judiciary panel say they’ll employ various delaying tactics to try and take a stand that could hurt several GOP senators in the upcoming election, but unless a few Republicans turn against her, they can’t stop the schedule set by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, or keep Barrett off the court.

Republicans see Barrett's nomination as a chance to cement a 6-3 conservative majority on the court, potentially for decades.

As far as issues go, here's John Solomon with a summary of issues that might come up during the hearing.

Ideological split of the court

If Barrett is confirmed, conservatives will enjoy a firm 6-3 advantage over the liberals on the court. And that has sarked talk on the left of “packing” the court with justice is Democrats take control of the Washington in the November election.

Obamacare

The high court is slated to hear arguments on Nov. 10 on several GOP states’ efforts to invalidate the Affordable Health Care Act, President Obama’s signature health care policy. Barrett could be on the bench in time to join the arguments, and some Democrats are already sounding out pleas that she recused herself from that decision.

Barrett’s faith

The last time Barrett faced confirmation three years ago for a seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, she faced harsh questioning about her Roman Catholic faith. Right after her Supreme Court nomination, liberals in the media resumed the attacks with stories about groups she belonged to. But key Democrats, including Sen. Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pe