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[] Biden Surrogate: China Prefers Biden to Trump Published:5/28/2020 5:08:10 PM
[Military] The Nuclear Demagoguery of the Obama Administration in Exile
A consistent policy is a political problem.
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Published:5/28/2020 3:07:47 PM
[Law] AG Barr Appoints Federal Prosecutor to Review Obama Admin ‘Unmasking’ of Trump Associates

Attorney General William Barr appointed a federal prosecutor to review so-called unmasking requests that Obama administration officials submitted against Trump associates, a spokeswoman for the... Read More

The post AG Barr Appoints Federal Prosecutor to Review Obama Admin ‘Unmasking’ of Trump Associates appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:5/28/2020 1:07:43 PM
[Markets] AG Barr Asks Kavanaugh-Connected US Attorney To Probe Obamagate 'Unmaskings' AG Barr Asks Kavanaugh-Connected US Attorney To Probe Obamagate 'Unmaskings' Tyler Durden Thu, 05/28/2020 - 09:15

US Attorney for West Texas John Bash has been asked by AG Bill Bar to review the Obama administration's 'unmasking' practices from before and after the 2016 presidential election, according Fox News, citing the DOJ.

Republican lawmakers have demanded more information about the extent of the practice after a previously clandestine list of Obama-era officials who sought to reveal what turned out to be the identity of Michael Flynn in intelligence reports was released on Wednesday. -Fox News

Bash, a former clerk to late US Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia who has served as Special Assistant to President Trump, is the husband of Zina Bash - who clerked for Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Samuel Alito (and hilariously triggered the left by flashing the 'ok' symbol during Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings - which the progressives were tricked by 4chan into believing was a white power hand gesture).

John F. Bash, right, is sworn in as U.S. attorney of the Western District of Texas by now-Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. Bash’s wife, Zina Bash, looks on.  (via the San Antonio Express)

Meanwhile, DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec told Fox News' "Hannity" on Wednesday that US Attorney John Durham is also looking into the "unmasking," but that Bash has been assigned to dig deeper.

"Unmasking inherently isn't wrong, but certainly, the frequency, the motivation and the reasoning behind unmasking can be problematic, and when you're looking at unmasking as part of a broader investigation-- like John Durham's investigation-- looking specifically at who was unmasking whom, can add a lot to our understanding about motivation and big picture events," said Kupec.

Unmasking is a tool frequently used during the course of intelligence work and occurs after U.S. citizens' conversations are incidentally picked up in conversations with foreign officials who are being monitored by the intelligence community. The U.S. citizens' identities are supposed to be protected if their participation is incidental and no wrongdoing is suspected. However, officials can determine the U.S. citizens' names through a process that is supposed to safeguard their rights. In the typical process, when officials are requesting the unmasking of an American, they do not necessarily know the identity of the person in advance.

Republicans became highly suspicious of the number of unmasking requests made by the Obama administration concerning Flynn, and have questioned whether other Trump associates were singled out. -Fox News

In short, Bash - a trusted operator within the Trump administration - will dig even deeper into the Obama administration's use of unmasking against its political opponents.

Published:5/28/2020 8:34:37 AM
[] Barr: Time for a "review" into Obama admin unmasking requests Published:5/28/2020 8:03:59 AM
[e3203150-09d6-58dc-926a-65226b806e55] KT McFarland: Russia hoax – Obama team's shocking abuse of power. Here's what we know so far The entire Russian investigation was a sham, and Obama administration officials knew it from the get-go. Published:5/28/2020 5:07:34 AM
[Markets] These FBI Docs Put Barack Obama In The Middle Of The 'Obamagate' Narrative These FBI Docs Put Barack Obama In The Middle Of The 'Obamagate' Narrative Tyler Durden Wed, 05/27/2020 - 22:45

Authored by John Solomon via JustTheNews.com,

Agents fretted sharing Flynn intel with departing Obama White House would become fodder for ‘partisan axes to grind.’

Just 17 days before President Trump took office in January 2017, then-FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok texted bureau lawyer Lisa Page, his mistress, to express concern about sharing sensitive Russia probe evidence with the departing Obama White House.

Strzok had just engaged in a conversation with his boss, then-FBI Assistant Director William Priestap, about evidence from the investigation of incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, codenamed Crossfire Razor, or “CR” for short.

The evidence in question were so-called "tech cuts" from intercepted conversations between Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to the texts and interviews with officials familiar with the conversations.

Strzok related Priestap’s concerns about the potential the evidence would be politically weaponized if outgoing Director of National Intelligence James Clapper shared the intercept cuts with the White House and President Obama, a well-known Flynn critic.

“He, like us, is concerned with over sharing,” Strzok texted Page on Jan. 3, 2017, relating his conversation with Priestap.

“Doesn’t want Clapper giving CR cuts to WH. All political, just shows our hand and potentially makes enemies.”

Page seemed less concerned, knowing that the FBI was set in three days to release its initial assessment of Russian interference in the U.S. election.

“Yeah, but keep in mind we were going to put that in the doc on Friday, with potentially larger distribution than just the DNI,” Page texted back.

Strzok responded, “The question is should we, particularly to the entirety of the lame duck usic [U.S Intelligence Community] with partisan axes to grind.”

That same day Strzok and Page also discussed in text messages a drama involving one of the Presidential Daily Briefings for Obama.

“Did you follow the drama of the PDB last week?” Strzok asked.

"Yup. Don’t know how it ended though,” Page responded.

“They didn’t include any of it, and Bill [Priestap] didn’t want to dissent,” Strzok added.

“Wow, Bill should make sure [Deputy Director] Andy [McCabe] knows about that since he was consulted numerous times about whether to include the reporting,” Page suggested.

You can see the text messages recovered from Strzok's phone here.

The text messages, which were never released to the public by the FBI but were provided to this reporter in September 2018, have taken on much more significance to both federal and congressional investigators in recent weeks as the Justice Department has requested that Flynn’s conviction be thrown out and his charges of lying to the FBI about Kislyak dismissed.

U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen of Missouri (special prosecutor for DOJ), the FBI inspection division, three Senate committees and House Republicans are all investigating the handling of Flynn's case and whether any crimes were committed or political influence exerted.

The investigators are trying to determine whether Obama’s well-known disdain for Flynn, a career military intelligence officer, influenced the decision by the FBI leadership to reject its own agent’s recommendation to shut down a probe of Flynn in January 2017 and instead pursue an interview where agents might catch him in a lie.

They also want to know whether the conversation about the PDB involved Flynn and "reporting" the FBI had gathered by early January 2017 showing the incoming national security adviser was neither a counterintelligence nor a criminal threat.

“The evidence connecting President Obama to the Flynn operation is getting stronger,” one investigator with direct knowledge told me.

“The bureau knew it did not have evidence to justify that Flynn was either a criminal or counterintelligence threat and should have shut the case down. But the perception that Obama and his team would not be happy with that outcome may have driven the FBI to keep the probe open without justification and to pivot to an interview that left some agents worried involved entrapment or a perjury trap.”

The investigator said more interviews will need to be done to determine exactly what role Obama’s perception of Flynn played in the FBI’s decision making.

Recently declassified evidence show a total of 39 outgoing Obama administration officials sought to unmask Flynn's name in intelligence interviews between Election Day 2016 and Inauguration Day 2017, signaling a keen interest in Flynn's overseas calls.

Former Whitewater Independent Counsel Robert Ray said Friday that the Flynn matter was at the very least a "political scandal of the highest order" and could involve criminal charges if evidence emerges that officials lied or withheld documents to cover up what happened.

"I imagine there are people who are in the know who may well have knowingly withheld information from the court and from defense counsel in connection with the Michael Flynn prosecution," Ray told Fox News.

"If it turns out that that can be proved, then there are going to be referrals and potential false statements, and/or perjury prosecutions to hold those, particularly those in positions of authority, accountable," he added.

Investigators have created the following timeline of key events through documents produced piecemeal by the FBI over two years:

  • April 2014: Flynn is forced out as the chief of DIA by Obama after clashing with the administration over the Syrian civil war, the rise of ISIS, and other policies. The Obama administration blames his management style for the departure.

  • July 31, 2016: FBI opens Crossfire Hurricane probe into possible ties between Trump campaign and Russia, focused on Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. Flynn is not an initial target of that probe.

  • Aug. 15, 2016: Strzok and Page engage in their infamous text exchange about having an insurance policy just in case Trump should be elected. “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office — that there's no way he gets elected — but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40,” one text reads.

  • Aug. 16, 2016: FBI opens a sub-case under the Crossfire Hurricane umbrella codenamed Crossfire Razor focused on whether Flynn was wittingly or unwittingly engaged in inappropriate Russian contact.

  • Aug. 17, 2016: FBI and DNI provide Trump and Flynn first briefing after winning the nomination, including on Russia. FBI slips in an agent posing as an assistant for the briefing to secretly get a read on Flynn for the new investigation, according to the Justice Department inspector general report on Russia case. “SSA 1 told us that the briefing provided him ‘the opportunity to gain assessment and possibly some level of familiarity with [Flynn]. So, should we get to the point where we need to do a subject interview ... would have that to fall back on,’” the IG report said.

  • Sept, 2, 2016: While preparing a talking points memo for Obama ahead of a conversation with Russian leader Vladimir Putin involving Russian election interference, Page texts Strzok that Obama wants to be read-in on everything the FBI is doing on the Russia collusion case. “POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing,” Page texted.

  • Sept. 5, 2016: During an international summit in China, Obama meets face-to-face with Putin and tells him to “cut it out” with election meddling.

  • Nov. 10, 2016: Two days after Trump won the election, the president-elect meets with Obama at the White House and the outgoing president encourages the incoming president not to hire Flynn as an adviser.

  • Jan. 3, 2017: Strzok and Page engage in the text messages about Obama’s daily briefing and the concerns about giving the Flynn intercept cuts to the White House.

  • Jan. 4, 2017: Lead agent in Flynn Crossfire Razor probe prepares closing memo recommending the case be shut down for lack of derogatory evidence. Strzok texts agent asking him to stop the closing memo because the “7th floor” leadership of the FBI is now involved.

  • Jan. 5, 2017: Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates attends Russia briefing with Obama at the White House and is stunned to learn Obama already knows about the Flynn-Kislyak intercept. Then-FBI Director James Comey claims Clapper told the president, but Clapper has denied telling Obama.

  • Jan. 5–23, 2017: FBI prepares to conduct an interview of Flynn. The discussions lead Priestap, the assistant director, to openly question in his handwritten notes whether the bureau was “playing games” and trying to get Flynn to lie so “we can prosecute him or get him fired.”

  • Jan. 24, 2017: FBI conducts interview with Flynn.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Obama asked for the Flynn intercept or it was offered to him and by whom. They also want to know how many times Comey and Obama talked about Flynn in December 2016 and January 2017.

“We need to determine what motivated the FBI on Jan. 4, 2017 to overrule its own agent who believed Flynn was innocent and the probe should be closed,” one investigator said.

Published:5/27/2020 9:46:23 PM
[Markets] Rickards: The Coin-Toss Election Rickards: The Coin-Toss Election Tyler Durden Wed, 05/27/2020 - 20:45

Authored by James Rickards via The Daily Reckoning,

The political climate is fragile and feverish, with the nation amid a crisis that is both fast-changing and unparalleled in living memory.

The biggest change in my election forecast is that Trump’s chances of reelection in November have plunged from 74% (the pre-COVID forecast) to 50% as of today.

This does not mean Trump will lose; he could very well win. But it will be a very close election.

Deciding the outcome between Trump and Biden as of now is basically a coin toss. Many factors, some foreseeable and some unforeseen, could tip the balance.

Trump’s strengths are that he is an excellent campaigner, has enormous amounts of mo?ney for the campaign and seems to have unlimited stores of energy. He also has the power of incumbency, which usually propels a sitting president to a second term.

Trump’s weaknesses are the depth of the New Depression and his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amost no one blames Trump for the outbreak, but many found his response belated and overly optimistic in the initial stages. He did some things right (the China travel ban), but many responses were bungled (defective testing kits, shortages of masks and protective clothing, shortages of ventilators).

In stages, these mistakes were overcome. Masks and protective clothing were mass-produced. Ventilators were surged to those locations that most needed them. New hospital beds were made available through Navy hospital ships and temporary hospitals built by the Army Corps of Engineers. Testing kits gradually became available, although there is still a severe shortage.

Instead of taking credit in a measured way for these positive developments, Trump wasted time in petty disputes with corrupt journalists. Those fights might be OK in the normal political arena, but there’s nothing normal about a pandemic. Trump didn’t seem to know the difference and alienated even his supporters in the process with his pontificating and sideshow antics.

These Trump deficiencies (despite many positive accomplishments) began to show up in the polls.

Large employment losses in states that Trump must carry, especially Pennsylvania, will not help Trump’s chances in November. On the other hand, if Trump can reopen the economy and recover some of these losses, he may benefit from a positive trend even if net losses remain.

What about Joe Biden?

Biden may have pulled even with Trump in the election horse race, but he’s not a sure thing by any means. Before Biden can even turn to the campaign against Trump, he must still try to obtain unity in his own party.

Bernie Sanders withdrew from the race, which essentially guaranteed the nomination for Biden. But will the “Bernie Bros” actually turn out on Election Day? Key components of the Democratic base might not be motivated to vote.

The left wants a Biden administration ban on anyone who has worked on or near Wall Street, the fossil fuel industry, the health insurance sector and the lobbying world, to name a few.

In short, the price that Bernie Sanders’ supporters are demanding from Biden may well make Biden unelectable in key swing states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

If Biden does not embrace the socialist agenda, his lost support from the Sanders movement may make him unelectable for other reasons. Biden is between a rock and a hard place, and the Bernie Bros intend to keep him there in order to pursue their goals.

One way for Biden to appease the Bernie Sanders movement without going all-in on the progressive agenda is to choose a progressive running mate. In the eyes of progressives, the right running mate will be able to “keep an eye” on Biden and pursue the Bernie agenda inside the White House even if the specifics are not shouted from the rooftops.

Here’s a summary of the struggle going on inside the Biden camp regarding a VP choice as reported by Tal Axelrod for The Hill on April 19, in an article titled “Progressives Look for Concession From Biden With Running Mate”:

“Joe Biden absolutely has to pick a progressive champion as his VP pick. He has to unify the party, and that’s the key,” Charles Chamberlain, head of Democracy for America, told The Hill. “What we saw during the primary is… that we have two major factions of this party, the corporate wing, more establishment Democrats, and there is [the] progressive, ascendant left. And he absolutely has to choose from that progressive left to unify the party.”

Biden could pick from a number of progressive women to serve as his VP. Among the most prominent contenders who have been floated are [Elizabeth] Warren and Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and state House minority leader.

Both have openly expressed interest in the role, with Abrams saying she would be an “excellent” running mate for Biden and Warren confirming that she would accept an offer to be his No. 2.

Amy Klobuchar, the Minnesota senator, has also been mentioned as a leading candidate.

There are others, but these three have gotten the most attention.

But there’s no free lunch for Biden. The choice of Stacey Abrams for vice president would undoubtedly rally progressive and minority voters to turn out for Biden. That’s critical. But it helps Biden in places he is highly likely to win anyway such as California and New York.

Abrams’ ultra-leftist views and strident persona would drive away many moderates in critical swing states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania and possibly tip those states to Trump.

What we have today is a too-close-to-call election and six long months to go before Election Day.

Trump is aided by a solid base and a well-organized campaign strategy. Biden is aided by an electoral vote head start in big states like California and New York and a friendly media that will not criticize his many shortcomings.

The Democrats may hold a “digital” convention and keep Biden under wraps as much as possible until the October debates (where his cognitive decline may be difficult to disguise).

Republicans want to get the economy open for business and show some growth in the aftermath of a second-quarter collapse.

But there is one potential development that could move the odds in Trump’s favor…

Remember the “Russia collusion” accusations against Trump? The accusation was that he colluded with Russians to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Trump campaign aides and early appointees such as Gen. Michael Flynn, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos and others were all said to be in on the conspiracy to “steal the election.”

There was only one problem with these claims. None of them were true. Multiple congressional investigations all reached the conclusion that there was no merit to the claims. The two-year, $30 million Mueller investigation found no evidence of Russian collusion by Trump or his team.

Multiple internal reviews and inspector general reports not only found no collusion, but also revealed extensive wrongdoing by the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community when it came to false representations, doctored reports, illegal surveillance of American citizens and other egregious abuse of constitutional rights.

Well, a day of reckoning may be coming soon. U.S. attorney John Durham has been conducting a multiyear investigation of his own at the request of the U.S. attorney general, William Barr. This investigation targets the wrongdoers in the Obama administration Justice Department, intelligence community and diplomatic corps.

High-profile subjects of inquiry include former FBI head James Comey, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power and many other former high-ranking officials.

Guess what? Joe Biden has been listed as someone who requested and was privy to these reports, which raises serious questions.

The Durham investigation is criminal, so a wave of indictments and prosecutions may be coming soon. The exact timing is uncertain, but mid-July seems a likely date for announcement of the results of the investigation and any indictments.

Attorney General William Barr said Monday that he doesn’t expect criminal charges to be filed against Biden (or Obama). But Biden’s involvement in the Russiagate scandal could have implications for the election. We’ll see.

Investors have their hands full today dealing with the Wuhan virus, the new depression and an unsteady stock market. Now you can add legal fireworks to the list of things that may disrupt markets.

Published:5/27/2020 7:47:47 PM
[] Hosts of CNBC's Squawk Box Have Shouting Match on Air The Obama lover accuses the Trump supporter of "having missed the 100,000 dead," while the Trump supporter accuses the Obama lover of having pushed every single leftwing viral panic that his friends cooked up for us, thereby causing panic selling... Published:5/27/2020 5:45:23 PM
[Markets] Wikipedia Co-Founder Says Site Is 'Badly Biased' Wikipedia Co-Founder Says Site Is 'Badly Biased' Tyler Durden Wed, 05/27/2020 - 18:05

Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger has been sounding the alarm over the website for some time now - previously noting that the site had failed to reign in 'bad actors' and was 'broken as a result.'

Now, Sanger opines on the website's overt political bias against conservatives. Read on below:

Authored by Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger

Wikipedia Is Badly Biased

Wikipedia’s “NPOV” is dead.1 The original policy long since forgotten, Wikipedia no longer has an effective neutrality policy. There is a rewritten policy, but it endorses the utterly bankrupt canard that journalists should avoid what they call “false balance.”2 The notion that we should avoid “false balance” is directly contradictory to the original neutrality policy. As a result, even as journalists turn to opinion and activism, Wikipedia now touts controversial points of view on politics, religion, and science. Here are some examples from each of these subjects, which were easy to find, no hunting around. Many, many more could be given.

Examples have become embarrassingly easy to find. The Barack Obama article completely fails to mention many well-known scandals: Benghazi, the IRS scandal, the AP phone records scandal, and Fast and Furious, to say nothing of Solyndra or the Hillary Clinton email server scandal—or, of course, the developing “Obamagate” story in which Obama was personally involved in surveilling Donald Trump. A fair article about a major political figure certainly must include the bad with the good. The only scandals that I could find that were mentioned were a few that the left finds at least a little scandalous, such as Snowden’s revelations about NSA activities under Obama. In short, the article is almost a total whitewash. You might find this to be objectively correct; but you cannot claim that this is a neutral treatment, considering that the other major U.S. party would treat it differently. On such a topic, neutrality in any sense worth the name essentially requires that readers not be able to detect the editors’ political alignment.

Meanwhile, as you can imagine, the idea that the Donald Trump article is neutral is a joke. Just for example, there are 5,224 none-too-flattering words in the “Presidency” section. By contrast, the following “Public Profile” (which the Obama article entirely lacks), “Investigations,” and “Impeachment” sections are unrelentingly negative, and together add up to some 4,545 words—in other words, the controversy sections are almost as long as the sections about his presidency. Common words in the article are “false” and “falsely” (46 instances): Wikipedia frequently asserts, in its own voice, that many of Trump’s statements are “false.” Well, perhaps they are. But even if they are, it is not exactly neutral for an encyclopedia article to say so, especially without attribution. You might approve of Wikipedia describing Trump’s incorrect statements as “false,” very well; but then you must admit that you no longer support a policy of neutrality on Wikipedia.

I leave the glowing Hillary Clinton article as an exercise for the reader.

Wikipedia can be counted on to cover not just political figures, but political issues as well from a liberal-left point of view. No conservative would write, in an abortion article, “When properly done, abortion is one of the safest procedures in medicine,” a claim that is questionable on its face, considering what an invasive, psychologically distressing, and sometimes lengthy procedure it can be even when done according to modern medical practices. More to the point, abortion opponents consider the fetus to be a human being with rights; their view, that it is not safe for the baby, is utterly ignored. To pick another, random issue, drug legalization, dubbed drug liberalization by Wikipedia, has only a little information about any potential hazards of drug legalization policies; it mostly serves as a brief for legalization, followed by a catalog of drug policies worldwide. Or to take an up-to-the-minute issue, the LGBT adoption article includes several talking points in favor of LGBT adoption rights, but omits any arguments against. On all such issues, the point is that true neutrality, to be carefully distinguished from objectivity, requires that the article be written in a way that makes it impossible to determine the editors’ position on the important controversies the article touches on.

What about articles on religious topics? The first article I thought to look at had some pretty egregious instances of bias: the Jesus article. It simply asserts, again in its own voice, that “the quest for the historical Jesus has yielded major uncertainty on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how closely the Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus.” In another place, the article simply asserts, “the gospels are not independent nor consistent records of Jesus’ life.” A great many Christians would take issue with such statements, which means it is not neutral for that reason—in other words, the very fact that most Christians believe in the historical reliability of the Gospels, and that they are wholly consistent, means that the article is biased if it simply asserts, without attribution or qualification, that this is a matter of “major uncertainty.” In other respects, the article can be fairly described as a “liberal” academic discussion of Jesus, focusing especially on assorted difficulties and controversies, while failing to explain traditional or orthodox views of those issues. So it might be “academic,” but what it is not is neutral in the original sense we defined for Wikipedia.

Of course, similarly tendentious claims can be found in other articles on religious topics, as when the Christ (title) article claims,

Although the original followers of Jesus believed Jesus to be the Jewish messiah, e.g. in the Confession of Peter, Jesus was usually referred to as “Jesus of Nazareth” or “Jesus, son of Joseph”.[11] Jesus came to be called “Jesus Christ” (meaning “Jesus the Khristós”, i.e. “Jesus the Messiah” or “Jesus the Anointed”) by later Christians, who believe that his crucifixion and resurrection fulfill the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament.

This article weirdly claims, or implies, a thing that no serious Biblical scholar of any sort would claim, viz., that Jesus was not given the title “Christ” by the original apostles in the New Testament. These supposed “later Christians” who used “Christ” would have to include the apostles Peter (Jesus’ first apostle), Paul (converted a few years after Jesus’ crucifixion), and Jude (Jesus’ brother), who were the authors of the bulk of the epistles of the New Testament. “Christ” can, of course, be found frequently in the epistles.3 Of course, those are not exactly “later Christians.” If the claim is simply that the word “Christ” does not appear much in the Gospels, that is true enough (though it can be found four times in the book of John), but it is also a reflection of the fact that the authors of the Gospels instead used “Messiah,” and quite frequently; the word means much the same as “Christ.” For example, he is called “Jesus the Messiah” in the very first verse of the New Testament (Matthew 1:1). Clearly, these claims are tendentious and represent a point of view that many if not most Christians would dispute.

It may seem more problematic to speak of the bias of scientific articles, because many people do not want to see “unscientific” views covered in encyclopedia articles. If such articles are “biased in favor of science,” some people naturally find that to be a feature, not a bug. The problem, though, is that scientists sometimes do not agree on which theories are and are not scientific. On such issues, the “scientific point of view” and the “objective point of view” according to the Establishment might be very much opposed to neutrality. So when the Establishment seems unified on a certain view of a scientific controversy, then that is the view that is taken for granted, and often aggressively asserted, by Wikipedia.

The global warming and MMR vaccine articles are examples; I hardly need to dive into these pages, since it is quite enough to say that they endorse definite positions that scientific minorities reject. Another example is how Wikipedia treats various topics in alternative medicine—often dismissively, and frequently labeled as “pseudoscience” in Wikipedia’s own voice. Indeed, Wikipedia defines the very term as follows: “Alternative medicine describes any practice that aims to achieve the healing effects of medicine, but which lacks biological plausibility and is untested, untestable or proven ineffective.” In all these cases, genuine neutrality requires a different sort of treatment.

Again, other examples could be found, in no doubt thousands of other, perfectly unexciting topics. These are just the first topics that came to mind, associated as they are with the culture wars, and their articles on those topics put Wikipedia very decidedly on one side of that war. You should not be able to say that about an encyclopedia that claims to be neutral.

It is time for Wikipedia to come clean and admit that it has abandoned NPOV (i.e., neutrality as a policy). At the very least they should admit that that they have redefined the term in a way that makes it utterly incompatible with its original notion of neutrality, which is the ordinary and common one.4 It might be better to embrace a “credibility” policy and admit that their notion of what is credible does, in fact, bias them against conservatism, traditional religiosity, and minority perspectives on science and medicine—to say nothing of many other topics on which Wikipedia has biases.

Of course, Wikipedians are unlikely to make any such change; they live in a fantasy world of their own making.5

The world would be better served by an independent and decentralized encyclopedia network, such as I proposed with the Encyclosphere. We will certainly develop such a network, but if it is to remain fully independent of all governmental and big corporate interests, funds are naturally scarce and it will take time.


  1. The misbegotten phrase “neutral point of view” is a Jimmy Wales coinage I never supported. If a text is neutral with regard to an issue, it lacks any “point of view” with regard to the issue; it does not take a “neutral point of view.” My preferred phrase was always “the neutrality policy” or “the nonbias policy.”[?]
  2. On this, see my “Why Neutrality?“, published 2015 by Ballotpedia.[?]
  3. Both in the form “Jesus Christ” (e.g., 1 Peter 1:1, Jude 1:1) and in the form “Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:2).[?]
  4. That it was Wikipedia’s original notion, see the Nupedia “Lack of Bias” policy, which was the source of Wikipedia’s policy, and see also my final (2001) version of the Wikipedia neutrality policy. Read my “Why Neutrality?” for a lengthy discussion of this notion.[?]
  5. UPDATE: In an earlier version of this blog post, I included some screenshots of Wikipedia Alexa rankings, showing a drop from 5 to 12 or 13. While this is perfectly accurate, the traffic to the site has been more or less flat for years, until the last few months, in which traffic spiked probably because of the Covid-19 virus. But since the drop in Alexa rankings do not seem to reflect a drop in traffic, I decided to remove the screenshots and a couple accompanying sentences.[?]
Published:5/27/2020 5:17:02 PM
[Markets] Election Meddling? Rule-Enforcing Twitter Execs Under Fire For Anti-Trump Postings Election Meddling? Rule-Enforcing Twitter Execs Under Fire For Anti-Trump Postings Tyler Durden Wed, 05/27/2020 - 09:39

Shortly after Twitter announced it would start "fact-checking" President Trump's tweets, yet more evidence has been exposed of the blatant anti-Trump bias at the most senior levels of the social media giant.

In the past we have seen Project Veritas expose the 'fact' behind the so-called 'conspiracy theory' of shadow-banning for conservative voices on Twitter.

A former Twitter software engineer who explains how/why Twitter "shadow bans" certain users:

Abhinav Vadrevu"One strategy is to shadow ban so you have ultimate control. The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don't know they've been banned, because they keep posting but no one sees their content."

"So they just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it. I don't know if Twitter does this anymore."

Meanwhile, Olinda Hassan, a Policy Manager for Twitter’s Trust and Safety team explains on December 15th, 2017 at a Twitter holiday party that the development of a system of “down ranking” “shitty people” is in the works:

“Yeah. That’s something we’re working on. It’s something we’re working on. We’re trying to get the shitty people to not show up. It’s a product thing we’re working on right now.”

Then there is the company's associate General Counsel, Jeff Rich (his LinkedIn page is here) who in January urged his 1,500 followers to "cull" and "excise" the "cancerous" president Trump from the herd.

One wonders, Rich, does this violate Twitter's "Abuse and harassment" rules?

And more recently expressed his biased opinion:

And now, as Jonathan Turley details below,  the latest controversy concerns the person who has said that he is in charge of “developing and enforcing Twitter’s rules,” Twitter’s “Head of Site Integrity” Yoel Roth.  Critics have highlighted fairly extreme postings from Roth calling Trump and his supporters Nazis.  I do not agree that the problem is Roth’s personal views or postings. The problem is his role and the rules at Twitter.

The problem is anyone exercising this power of speech regulation. Indeed, as this controversy grew around Roth, Kathy Griffin is the latest poster to face calls for removal for effectively calling for Trump to kill himself.  Again, Griffin should be allowed to post such hateful thoughts and the rest of the world should be allowed to denounce her, again, for her unhinged humor.

Roth has attacked Bernie Sanders supporters and proclaimed how he is working against Trump. He compared senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels. He  has referred to Trump and his team as “ACTUAL NAZIS” and called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a “personality-free bag of farts.” As Fox noted, “last August, Twitter suspended McConnell’s Twitter account, prompting the GOP to threaten to cut off advertising on the site until Twitter relented.”

The attacks are numerous, raw, and offensive.  However, conservatives calling for him to be fired or his tweets censored are reaching the wrong conclusion.  

The problem is not Roth but his role.  He has a right to express himself. I have no problem with Twitter hiring people with such political views and I believe it is a good thing for people to express themselves on social media.  Indeed, we have discussed the free speech concerns as private and public employers punish workers for their statements or actions in their private lives. We have addressed an array of such incidents, including social media controversies involving academics. In some cases, racially charged comments have been treated as free speech while in others they have resulted in discipline or termination. It is that lack of a consistent standard that has magnified free speech concerns.  We have previously discussed the issue of when it is appropriate to punishment people for conduct outside of the work place. We have followed cases where people have been fired after boorish or insulting conduct once their names and employers are made known. (here and here and here and here and here and here).

Roth’s comments highlight how bias is always a concern for those who take it upon themselves to decide who can speak or who must be “corrected” in communications with others.  Twitter is notorious for a lack of consistency and coherence in the enforcement of its rules.  However, regardless of such enforcement, there remains a core free speech issue in the regulation of speech. I recently criticized the calls of Democratic leaders like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff for greater censorship of the Internet and social media. Such calls have been growing for years but leaders like Schiff are citing the pandemic as a basis for speech monitoring and censorship. Roth is merely the personification of the problem of such speech regulation.  Again, the real problem is his role and Twitter’s rules.

As Summit News' Paul Joseph Watson notes, Roth has been head of site integrity at Twitter since July 2018 and is responsible for “election security” and “misinformation,” meaning he almost certainly played a key role in the decision to ‘fact-check’ Trump’s tweets.

In the meantime, We await Twitter ‘fact-checking’ false claims about ‘Russian collusion’ or any other of the erroneous issues pushed by the blue check mark brigade that have proven to be spectacularly wrong.

Don’t hold your breath...

Published:5/27/2020 8:43:32 AM
[Markets] Trump's "Keyboard Warriors" Get The Story While The Legacy Media Ignores #Obamagate Trump's "Keyboard Warriors" Get The Story While The Legacy Media Ignores #Obamagate Tyler Durden Tue, 05/26/2020 - 23:25

Submitted by Thomas Farnan

CrowdStrike – the forensic investigation firm hired by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to inspect its computer servers in 2016 – admitted to Congressional investigators as early as 2017 that it had no direct evidence of Russian hacking, recently declassified documents show.

CrowdStrike’s president Shawn Henry testified, “There’s not evidence that [documents and emails] were actually exfiltrated [from the DNC servers]. There’s circumstantial evidence but no evidence that they were actually exfiltrated.”

This was a crucial revelation because the thousand ships of Russiagate launched upon the positive assertion that CrowdStrike had definitely proven a Russian hack.

This sworn admission has been hidden from the public for over two years, and subsequent commentary has focused on that singular outrage.

The next deductive step, though, leads to an equally crucial point: Circumstantial evidence of Russian hacking is itself flimsy and collapses when not propped up by a claim of conclusive forensic testing.

THE COVER UP.

On March 19, 2016, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, surrendered his emails to an unknown entity in a “spear phishing” scam. This has been called a “hack,” but it was not.  Instead, it is was the sort of flim-flam hustle that happens to gullible dupes on the internet.

The content of the emails was beyond embarrassing. They showed election fraud and coordination with the media against the candidacy of Bernie Sanders. The DNC and the Clinton campaign needed a cover story.

There already existed in Washington brooding suspicion that Vladimir Putin was working to influence elections in the West. The DNC and the Clinton campaign set out to retrofit that supposition to explain the emails.

On January 16, 2016, a silk-stocking Washington D.C. think tank, The Atlantic Council (remember that name), had issued a dispatch under the banner headline: “US Intelligence Agencies to Investigate Russia’s Infiltration of European Political Parties.”

The lede was concise: “American intelligence agencies are to conduct a major investigation into how the Kremlin is infiltrating political parties in Europe, it can be revealed.”

There followed a series of pull quotes from an article that appeared in the The Telegraph, including that “James Clapper, the US Director of National Intelligence” was investigating whether right wing political movements in Europe were sourced in “Russian meddling.”

The dispatch spoke of “A dossier” that revealed “Russian influence operations” in Europe. This was the first time trippy words like “Russian meddling” and “dossier” would appear together in the American lexicon.

Most importantly, the piece revealed the Obama administration was spying on conservative European political parties. This means, almost necessarily under the Five Eyes Agreement, foreign agents were returning the favor and spying on the Trump campaign.

Blaming Russia would be a handy way to deal with the Podesta emails. The problem was the technologically impossibility of identifying the perpetrator in a phishing scheme. The only way to associate Putin with the emails was circumstantially. The DNC retained CrowdStrike to provide assistance.

On June 12, 2016, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced: “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton . . . We have emails pending publication.”

Two days later, CrowdStrike fed the Washington Post a story, headlined, “Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump.”

The improbable tale was that the Russians had hacked the DNC computer servers and got away with some opposition research on Trump. The article quoted CrowdStrike’s chief technology officer and co-founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, who also happens to be a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

The next day, a new blog – Guccifer 2.0 – appeared on the internet and announced:

Worldwide known cyber security company CrowdStrike announced that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers had been hacked by “sophisticated” hacker groups.

I’m very pleased the company appreciated my skills so highly))) But in fact, it was easy, very easy.

Guccifer may have been the first one who penetrated Hillary Clinton’s and other Democrats’ mail servers. But he certainly wasn’t the last. No wonder any other hacker could easily get access to the DNC’s servers.

Shame on CrowdStrike: Do you think I’ve been in the DNC’s networks for almost a year and saved only 2 documents? Do you really believe it?

Here are just a few docs from many thousands I extracted when hacking into DNC’s network.

Guccifer 2.0 posted hundreds of pages of Trump opposition research allegedly hacked from the DNC and emailed copies to Gawker and The Smoking Gun. In raw form, the opposition research was one of the documents obtained in the Podesta emails, with a notable difference: It was widely reported the document now contained “Russian fingerprints.”

The document had been cut and pasted into a separate Russian Word template that yielded an abundance of Russian “error “messages. In the document’s metadata was the name of the Russian secret police founder, Felix Dzerzhinsky, written in the Russian language. The three-parenthesis formulation from the original post “)))” is the Russian version of a smiley face used commonly on social media. In addition, the blog’s author deliberately used a Russian VPN service visible in its emails even though there would have been many options to hide national affiliation.

CrowdStrike would later test the computers and declare this to be the work of sophisticated Russian spies. Alperovitch described it as, “skilled operational tradecraft.”

There is nothing skilled, though, in ham-handedly disclosing a Russian identity on the internet when trying to hide it. The more reasonable inference is that this was a set-up. It certainly looks like Guccifer 2.0 suddenly appeared in coordination with the Washington Post’s article that appeared the previous day.

THE FRAME UP.

Knowing as we now do that CrowdStrike never corroborated a hack by forensic analysis, the reasonable inference is that somebody was trying to frame Russia. Most likely, the entities that spent three years falsely leading the world to believe that direct evidence of a hack existed – CrowdStrike and the DNC – were the ones involved in the frame-up.

Lending weight to this theory: at the same moment CrowdStrike was raising a false Russian flag, a different entity, Fusion GPS – also paid by the DNC – was inventing a phony dossier that ridiculously connected Trump to Russia.

Somehow, the ruse worked.

Rather than report the content of the incriminating emails, the watchdog press instead reported CrowdStrike’s bad explanation: that Putin-did-it.

Incredibly, Trump was placed on the defensive for email leaks that showed his opponent fixing the primaries.  His campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was forced to resign because a fake ledger suddenly appeared out of Ukraine connecting him to Russia.

Trump protested by stating the obvious: the federal government has “no idea” who was behind the hacks. The FBI and CIA called him a liar, issuing a “Joint Statement” that cited Guccifer 2.0, suggesting 17 intelligence agencies agree that it was the Russians. 

Hillary Clinton took advantage of this “intelligence assessment” in the October debate to portray Trump as Putin’s stooge”

“We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber-attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin.  And they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing,” said Clinton.

The media’s fact checkers excoriated Trump for lying. This was the ultimate campaign dirty trick: a joint operation by the intelligence agencies and the media against a political candidate. It has since been learned that the “17 intelligence agencies” claptrap was always false.  Those responsible for the exaggeration were James Clapper, James Comey and John Brennan.

Somehow, Trump won anyway.

Those who assert that it is a “conspiracy theory” to say that CrowdStrike would fabricate the results of computer forensic testing to create a false Russian flag should know that it was caught doing exactly that around the time it was inspecting the DNC computers.

On Dec. 22, 2016, CrowdStrike caused an international stir when it claimed to have uncovered evidence that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery computer app to help pro-Russian separatists.

Voice of America later determined the claim was false, and CrowdStrike retracted its finding.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense was forced to eat crow and admit that the hacking never happened. If you wanted a computer testing firm to fabricate a Russian hack for political reasons in 2016, CrowdStrike was who you went out and hired.

Perhaps most insidiously, the Obama administration played the phony Russian interference card during the transition to try to end Trump’s presidency before it started. As I wrote in December 2017:

Michael Flynn was indicted for a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador on December 28, 2016, seven weeks after the election.

That was the day after the outgoing president expelled 35 Russian diplomats—including gardeners and chauffeurs—for interfering in the election. Yes, that really happened.

The Obama administration had wiretapped Flynn’s conversation with the ambassador, hoping to find him saying something they could use to support their wild story about collusion.

The outrage, for some reason, is not that an outgoing administration was using wiretaps to listen in on a successor’s transition. It is that Flynn might have signaled to the Russians that the Trump administration would have a different approach to foreign policy.

How dare Trump presume to tell an armed nuclear state to stand down because everyone in Washington was in a state of psychological denial that he was elected?

Let’s establish one thing early here: It is okay for an incoming administration to communicate its foreign policy preferences during a transition even if they differ from the lame duck administration….

….If anything, Flynn was too reserved in his conversation with the Russian ambassador. He should have said, “President-elect Trump believes this Russian collusion thing is a fantasy and these sanctions will be lifted on his first day in office.”

That would have been perfectly legal. It also happens to be what FBI Director Comey and the rest were hoping Flynn would do. They wanted to get a Trump official on tape making an accommodation to the Russians.

The accommodation would then be cited to suggest a quid pro quo that proved the nonexistent collusion. Instead, Flynn was uncharacteristically noncommittal in his conversation with the ambassador. Drat!

They did have a transcript of what he said, though. This is where the tin-pot dictator behavior of Comey is fully displayed. He invited Flynn to be interviewed by the FBI, supposedly about Russian collusion to steal the election.

If you’re Flynn, you say, “Sure, I want to tell you 15 different ways that there was no collusion and when do you want to meet.”

What Flynn did not know was that the purpose of the interview had nothing to do with the election. It would be a test pitting Flynn’s memory against the transcript.

Think about that for a moment. Comey did not need to ask Flynn what was said in the conversation with the ambassador—he had a transcript. The only reason to ask Flynn about it was to cross him up.

That is the politicization of the FBI. It is everything Trump supporters rail against when they implore him to drain the swamp. The inescapable conclusion is that the FBI set a trap for the incoming national security advisor to affect the foreign policy of the newly elected president.

Flynn made the mistake of not being altogether clear about what he had discussed with the ambassador. In his defense, he did not believe he was sitting there to tell the FBI how the Trump administration was dealing with Russia going forward. The conversation was supposed to be about the election.

He certainly did not think the FBI would unmask his comments in a FISA wiretap and compare them to his answers. That would be illegal.

Exhibit 5 to the DOJ’s recent Motion to Dismiss the Flynn indictment confirms the Obama administration’s bad faith in listening in on his conversation with the ambassador. The plotters admit, essentially, that they looked at the transcript to see whether Flynn said anything that caused Russia to stand-down. Had General Flynn promised to lift the sanctions, the Obama administration would have claimed it was the pro quo that went with the quid of Putin’s interference.

After Trump’s inauguration, the FBI and Justice Department launched a special counsel investigation that accepted, as a given, CrowdStrike’s dubious conclusion that Russia had interfered in the election. The only remaining question was whether Trump himself colluded in the interference. There followed a two-year inquiry that did massive political damage to Trump and the movement that put him in office.

Tucker Carlson rightly made Trey Gowdy squirm recently for Republican acquiescence in the shoddy underpinnings of the Russia hoax. It was not only Gowdy, though. Establishment politicians and pundits have been all too willing for years to wallow in fabricated Russian intrigue, at the expense of the Trump presidency.

This perfectly illustrates Republican perfidy: Gifted with undeserved victory in a generational realignment that they were dragged to kicking and screaming, they proceed to question its source and validity. Because if Trump was a product of KGB-esque intrigue, then Hillary was a victim of meddling. Trump was a hapless beneficiary. The deplorables were not only racist losers, they were also Putin’s unwitting stooges.

As I first noted in December 2016, the Washington establishment deliberately set out to fan Russian anxiety to conduct war against the Trump administration. Perhaps it is time to admit that those of us chided as “crazies” who doubted Russian interference – including Trump himself – were right all along.

In the after-action assessment of what went wrong, it should be noted that non-insiders are the ones who have called this from the beginning, in places like here, here, here, here, and here. That is partly what the president means when he Tweets support for his “keyboard warriors.” As Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany pointed out on Friday, the White House press corps has completely missed the story.

This scandal is huge, much bigger than Watergate, and compromising in its resolution is destructive.

If Republicans continue to stupidly concede phony Russian intrigue, the plotters will say they were justified to investigate it.

The recent CrowdStrike testimony drop ended any chance at middle ground. This was a rank political operation and indicting a few FBI agents is not going to resolve anything.

CrowdStrike’s circumstantial evidence that launched this probe is ridiculous. We’ll soon know if the Durham investigation has the will to defy powerful insiders of both parties and say so.

Published:5/26/2020 10:42:11 PM
[Politics] National Security Council Pared in Half Under Trump The size of the National Security Council has been cut in half under President Donald Trump's latest national security adviser, Robert C. O'Brien, from what it was under President Barack Obama, the New York Post reported Tuesday. Published:5/26/2020 10:09:29 PM
[Markets] Grenell Declassifies Flynn-Kislyak Calls On Last Day As Acting DNI Grenell Declassifies Flynn-Kislyak Calls On Last Day As Acting DNI Tyler Durden Tue, 05/26/2020 - 23:05

In his last act as Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell declassified the transcripts of intercepted phone calls between former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.

The now-declassified transcripts are in the hands of his successor, former Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX), who was sworn in on Tuesday after the Senate confirmed him last Thursday by a vote of 49-44. Ratcliffe will decide whether they are released to the public, according to the New York Post.

Grenell said last week that he was in the process of declassifying the transcripts after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) made a written request for Grenell to do so, who was joined by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) - to which Grenell replied "Those are coming. It's very important for the public to see ALL of them," adding "For too long the public has been misled. Just compare your committee's transcripts to your public statements!"

The move follows a scorching Monday letter Grenell wrote to Sen. Mark Warner, who requested on May 20 that Grenell declassify intelligence reports in which Obama administration officials had unmasked Flynn's identity after Grenell revealed a list of 'unmaskers.'

In response, Grenell said on Monday that he found it "puzzling" that Warner's letter conveyed concerns over the declassification of Obama officials who unmasked Flynn - while in the next breath requesting the declassification and release of intelligence reports.

"Cherry-picking certain documents for release, while attacking the release of others that don’t fit your political narrative, is part of the problem the American people have with Washington D.C. politicians," wrote Grenell, who then asked Warner to explain his "philosophy on transparency," suggesting that "it appears to be solely on political advantage."

Flynn was fired weeks after the Kislyak calls for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about the substance of the conversations, in which Flynn asked Russia not to escalate tension after the outgoing Obama administration slapped sanctions on the Kremlin in response to claims of election meddling in the 2016 election. Flynn later pleaded guilty in 2017 for lying to the FBI about the calls, however evidence emerged in his trial that the FBI was trying to ensnare him in a 'perjury trap' in which one option was to 'try to get him to lie.'

"What's our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?" reads one handwritten note by the FBI's then-director of counterintelligence.

Last week, Flynn’s lawyer Sidney Powell joined former National Security Adviser Susan Rice in calling for the transcripts to be released.

Powell said last Wednesday on SiriusXM’s “The Dan Abrams Show” that she “would love” to see those conversations become public, arguing that she believes the transcript would help exonerate her client.

“I think the reason we haven’t seen [the transcripts] is because the word ‘sanctions’ doesn’t even appear in them,” she said at the time. -New York Post

After the FBI's plot to target Flynn emerged, the Department of Justice moved to drop the case - which is currently being stonewalled by activist Judge Emmet Sullivan.

Published:5/26/2020 10:09:29 PM
[In The News] Grenell Declassifies Document Said To Be ‘Very Significant’ To Origins Of Russia Probe

By Chuck Ross -

As one of his last acts in office, Richard Grenell, the outgoing director of national intelligence, declassified a batch of Trump-Russia documents, including one that a senior U.S. intelligence official says is “very significant” to the origins of the Russia probe. According to Fox News, Grenell also declassified transcripts of ...

Grenell Declassifies Document Said To Be ‘Very Significant’ To Origins Of Russia Probe 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:5/26/2020 7:07:57 PM
[2020 Presidential Election] Good News for Trump from … Team Obama? (Steven Hayward) There are quite a few raised eyebrows about today’s story in Politico with the headline “The General Election Scenario That Democrats Are Dreading.” The story is built around the economic forecast of the former chief economist for President Obama, Jason Furman, who is now a professor at Harvard. I sat next to Furman once at one of those big deal luncheons in Washington DC back when Furman was in the Published:5/26/2020 5:08:21 PM
[Markets] What Would Cool Hand Luke And Virgil Hilts Do? What Would Cool Hand Luke And Virgil Hilts Do? Tyler Durden Tue, 05/26/2020 - 17:25

Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

– Patrick Henry

“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

– Samuel Adams

After observing the reaction of the America people, over the last two months, to a virus that will not kill 99.97% of them, I wondered how could a country created upon the blood and courage of patriot farmers and leaders who knew they would hang if their revolution failed, have degenerated into an infantilized nation of obedient slaves to un-Constitutionalized authoritarianism. It saddens me that a country borne by revolutionary means against an overbearing authoritarian monarchy has turned into a nation of bed-wetters curled up in their basements sucking their thumbs, begging government overlords to protect them from a virus.

I guess it shouldn’t be surprising after decades of government public school indoctrination where U.S. History facts have been usurped by feelings, diversity and gender agendas pushed by less than mediocre teachers. Government controlled education hasn’t taught children to think critically or question authority, but to obey rules and allow emotions to drive their actions. When multiple generations have been programmed to feel, rather than think, using panic and fear to make them do as they are told isn’t a difficult task. This pandemic reaction is a testament to their decades long propaganda and misinformation campaign. Rather than developing herd immunity the country developed a herd mentality.

I know “they” never let a crisis go to waste, but I’m unsure whether this crisis has been manufactured, and if so, why now and for what ultimate purpose. When in doubt regarding why events develop in a certain way, it is always a safe bet to follow the money. If a particular group receives out-sized benefits as a result of a crisis and the response to the crisis, you can be sure they heavily influenced the outcome. The short-term winners and losers from this plandemic are quite easy to recognize.

It isn’t the 1% who won, as many doctors and small business owners fall into this group and have been royally screwed. It’s the .1% billionaire crowd who have reaped the benefits, including Mr. Vaccine Man himself – Bill Gates. The richest men, running the largest corporations in the world, have increased their net worth by almost a half-trillion dollars in two months – with more to come, as their obedient lackey at the Fed continues to funnel billions into their pockets with his electronic printing press.

As the plebs were thrown $1,200 and an extra $600 of unemployment for a few months by their elected politicians and small businesses were thrown a life preserver attached to an anvil, these same corporately captured political operatives and Wall Street puppets at the Fed delivered trillions of immediate wealth to their true patrons – banking and corporate oligarchs. And to be clear, your government overlords were just giving you back the money they have stolen from your paycheck. But even that is a reach, since every dime handed out to the plebs has been borrowed from your children and grandchildren.

The imminent $30 trillion national debt and $200 trillion of unfunded liabilities is our gift to them. Jerome Powell received his marching orders from his billionaire banker bosses. He was instructed to make Ben Bernanke’s bailout in 2008/2009 look like bush league stuff. He has complied beyond all expectations, driving the stock market up by 32% from its March lows, as more than 38 million Americans lost their jobs and over 100,000 small businesses were forced out of business permanently.

It took Bernanke & Yellen four years of QE1, QE2, and QE3 debt creation to increase the Fed balance sheet by $2 trillion. Powell told Bennie and the troll to hold his beer, as he has taken the balance sheet up by more than $3 trillion in a few months, to $7 trillion. And he ain’t done. J-Po has his minions creating fiat at hypersonic speed, on track to breach $10 trillion by the end of the year.

He is illegally buying junk bonds in a blatant effort to keep horribly run connected companies who should be liquidated in bankruptcy from going bankrupt. Powell and his academic dweebs at the Fed don’t believe in the concept of creative destruction as a key ingredient of capitalism. They believe in creative zombie company creation and a zombie economy with zero interest rates and debt fabrication guaranteed to crash the system. Take one look at the following chart and try to convince yourself we aren’t in a death spiral as a nation.

Not one penny of the trillions generated by the Fed out of thin air is helping the 38.6 million people who were thrown out into the streets by government decree. None of it has trickled down because it wasn’t meant to trickle down. It’s just another example of socialism for the corporate fascists and another screw job for the average working stiff. The Fed’s sole purpose is to enrich their banker benefactors, corporate titans, hedge fund managers and corrupt politicians.

The unemployment rate is headed toward 30%. GDP in the 2nd quarter will approach -40%. We’ve entered a 2nd Great Depression. There will be no V shaped recovery. The damage is permanent and ultimately fatal. The irony of this absurd episode in our nation’s short history is the response to this flu will result in 100,000% more deaths than the actual flu, as the response will result in mass poverty, suicide, civil chaos, deaths from untreated afflictions, and ultimately war with China.

Our beloved government overlords have purposely destroyed our economy and destroyed the lives of millions because of terribly (purposely?) flawed models, clueless IYI medical experts providing horrible advice, outrageously incompetent governors murdering tens of thousands in nursing homes, and those same governors revealing their dictatorial nature by using the Chinese lockdown method of crushing small businesses – while mega-corps like Wal-Mart and Target were “safe” to stay open. The tyrannical dictates of these governors are not based on science, data, or facts. They are just making up the rules as they go along, based upon their political ideology.

They hate you and despise your desire to work and earn a living; hate religion because it gives people hope and an alternative to worshiping the State. They want you hopeless, fearful, and panicked, so you will beg them for sustenance, shelter and protection. They allow mega-corporations to be open so you can consume material goods, but keep houses of worship closed so you are unable to obtain your spiritual needs and the comfort of fellow worshipers. Social distancing is doable at Target, but prohibited in churches. You can buy weed and liquor but not seeds to plant food.

Why is it safe for hundreds of people to be roaming the aisles of Wal-Mart, but not safe for three people to be in a barbershop or nail salon? Why is it OK to stand or walk on a beach, but not sit or swim? Why is it OK to go to Home Depot, but not walk in a national park or swim in a pool? You can surf in the ocean, but not swim. None of the rules make sense or keep you safe.

The rules and masks and regulations and deadlines and color codes and threats are meant to control you and bend your will to the State. Compliance is mandatory, with the threat of corporeal punishment and/or ruining your life through regulatory actions like pulling your business license or imprisonment. We are not in this together as the Madison Avenue ad campaigns claim. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Everybody knows.

It is mind numbing to consider how we arrived at this point.

Nothing but a blizzard of lies, hidden agendas, political maneuverings, incompetent government apparatchiks, media propaganda spreading fear and panic, and authoritarian governors displaying their true dictatorial nature. Let’s summarize. The virus wasn’t transmittable to humans. Then it was. The WHO said not to worry and China had it under control. They applauded the brutal lockdown of Wuhan. Fauci said nothing to worry about in the U.S. Trump said it would be over in a couple weeks.

The “experts” at the CDC said not to wear masks. They don’t help. Now they are mandatory. Only n95 masks would offer enough protection. Now a scarf is fine. The CDC said the virus could live on surfaces for days. Now it doesn’t live on surfaces at all. We needed to quarantine to flatten the curve and keep hospitals from being overwhelmed. Now we must stay locked down until a vaccine is discovered. It should be noted that 95% of the hospitals in this country were never overwhelmed, and 1.4 million hospital employees were laid off in April. I’ll miss all those Tik Tok videos from the heroes.

From the beginning, the medical “experts” knew elderly people with weak immune systems were most susceptible to the virus, but Cuomo, Wolf, Whitmer, Murphy and a slew of other Democrat boneheads purposely put infected seniors back into nursing homes, causing a mass slaughter of senior citizens. The lame ass excuse from these ego-maniacal blowhards is they wanted to relieve their overburdened hospitals.

Remember the fanfare when Trump sent USNS Comfort to NYC, the Javits Center was converted into a hospital and a $21 million hospital was built in Brooklyn? Complete waste of money, as they were never used. Nothing but hysterical overreaction based upon completely wrong models and the corporate media scaring the masses with a false narrative. Maybe Cuomo should have used them for nursing home patients.

In my state, 70% of the deaths have been in nursing homes, with 83% in my county. This is consistent across the country and the world. Our government leaders, who act like they know what they are doing, have been criminally negligent in protecting our most vulnerable citizens, while acting like nazis with regards to small business owners and young healthy citizens with no risk of dying from this flu.

The fact that millions have had this flu and were asymptomatic, will prove the mortality rate of this China flu is only marginally higher than the seasonal flu. A national lockdown was not warranted or necessary. When you purposely destroy an economy over a flu that will not kill 99.97% of the people in the country, it’s not about health. It’s about power, control, and the wealth of the ruling class.

If you are safe by leaving six feet of space between you and others, why do you need a mask? If a mask protects you and others, why do you need six feet of space? Why six feet and not five feet or seven feet? What science determined these proclamations from our leaders? They don’t know shit. Dictator Wolf and his minister of health Rachel (aka Dick) Levine have created a color coded (red, yellow, green) system for PA based upon their idiotic analysis of data.

They have set arbitrary numerical requirements in order for counties to move from red to green. When more than two thirds of cases are in nursing homes, what does that have to do with the general population? As testing increases, more asymptomatic cases are recorded, not allowing the county to meet their arbitrary goal. These control freak bureaucrats are drunk with power and are just making the rules up as they go, shitting on the Constitution all the way.

Government drones love color coding because they believe the dumbed down masses need to be led using simple herding techniques. It’s reminiscent of the threat level color coding at the outset of “The War on Terror”, used to keep the masses panicked and fearful. When was the last time you heard about the terror threat color? It served its purpose of instituting the Patriot Act and the all-encompassing surveillance state.

We now have the “War on a Flu” which we are told will change our lives forever, require obedience to all new government mandates, and of course mandatory vaccinations. I bet you can’t wait to receive your immunity certificate, which will be required to fly, attend sporting events, shop and dine. How come the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, Asian Flu pandemic of 1957, and Hong Kong Flu pandemic of 1968, which killed far more people (millions more), didn’t change the lives of Americans one iota?

It’s because this pandemic is being used by powers that be to further their own agendas. There isn’t one monolithic Deep State with one single agenda, but powerful factions which cooperate when the right crisis comes along, or is manufactured. The same scientists who peddle the global warming nonsense were all-in on Neil Ferguson’s ridiculously (purposely) flawed death model, predicting 20 times more deaths from the virus than have occurred.

These people want companies to go bankrupt and no one be allowed to drive. They want people to be imprisoned in their homes with just enough money electronically transferred into their bank accounts to survive. This is Nirvana for the green crowd. AOC doesn’t think anyone should want to go back to work, instagramming from her luxury townhome in DC, still collecting her $174,000 salary, paid by working taxpayers. Then there is Gates and his paid servants at the WHO and CDC. His global population control and mass vaccination fantasies are within his reach. He is almost giddy when expounding on how the world will be changed forever by this bio-lab virus pandemic.

It is probably just a coincidence that after a three-year coup attempt by the Deep State against Trump, which failed, with the tables about to be turned on the conspirators, a global pandemic magically appeared to take the focus off their failed plot. With an economy in its eleventh year of growth, unemployment around 3%, the stock market hitting all-time highs, and the Democrats running barely coherent badfinger Joe Biden as their candidate, Trump’s chances of victory in November seemed pretty solid. With four more years, he would be able to exact retribution on Obama, Clinton, Schiff, Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Rice and the rest of the co-conspirators.

They used this plandemic to lure Trump into destroying his chances for victory in November. With 30% unemployment, -40% GDP, 38.6 million unemployed (so far), and not a chance of recovery by November, his chances would normally be zero in November. But with a senile, rapist, bigot running against him, he still has a chance. That is why Biden will likely be cast aside by the Deep State before the election, for a winnable candidate.

As devious and undeniably diabolical as it would appear, Democrat governors almost seem to be sabotaging their state economies long enough to ensure Trump loses in November. The idiocy of this national lockdown will eventually become clear to even the densest mask wearing Karen, when the second derivative consequences of this economic disaster hit like a ton of bricks. You cannot just turn off the biggest economy in world history and then turn it back on, expecting everything to go back to normal. But maybe they don’t want anything to return to normal. We know 38.6 million have lost their jobs in the first eight weeks of this self-imposed disaster.

We know thousands of small businesses have already closed permanently. Now larger companies (JC Penney, Hertz, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew) are declaring bankruptcy. The government-imposed restrictions for re-opening will guarantee hundreds of thousands more small companies will throw in the towel. Restaurants and bars operate on thin margins and cannot possibly survive at 50% or 75% of their previous capacity.

Plus, the coronavirus fearmongers have permanently scared a large portion of the population into never eating out or enjoying a drink at the local bar again. Capacity reduced and demand lower equals going out of business for formerly profitable businesses. Every organization in America is now planning for lower revenues and profits, meaning they are going to lay-off more workers. I can guarantee you there will be a second wave of mass layoffs.

The governors, county commissioners, and mayors who continue to keep their states closed don’t have the same ability as the Feds to print money and run deficits. They are required by law to balance their budgets. Their constituents, who they imprisoned, can’t pay taxes without jobs. Income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes and the myriad of other fees siphoned from their citizens are going down by 20% to 40%. They will be forced to layoff government “heroes”. No more fire engine birthday parades broadcast on your local news stations every night. Government employment exceeds 19 million today. It will be drastically lower in the next two years.

The avalanche of unemployed has only just begun. When the Fed’s market rigging fails again and the stock market reverts to fair market value, even the Wall Street titans will start firing their Harvard MBA high frequency lemming traders. This is going to be an L shaped non-recovery. Trump, Mnuchin, Kudlow and Powell can yammer about recovery and 2021 being the best year ever, but they chose this path into depression and will go down in the history books as men who made dreadfully bad decisions, putting the final nails in the coffin of this empire of debt.

How did the American people allow this fatal farce make them kneel down and beg their “always sure, but never right” government overlords to save them from this invisible enemy? Where is the American spirit which founded this country? Where is the fortitude that compelled farmer soldiers to withstand the brutal winter at Valley Forge to create a fledgling republic? Where is the courage that compelled Pickett’s 15,000 infantrymen to charge across an open field for three-quarters of a mile towards the crest of Cemetery Ridge under heavy artillery and rifle fire for their cause? Where is the bravery of the young men on landing craft at Normandy beach where 90% of them would be dead by days end? Today, we watch commercial after commercial from mega-corporations telling us how brave we are by sheltering in place to avoid a virus with a .03% chance of killing us. What would Cool Hand Luke or Virgil Hilts think of today’s heroes?

I can’t think of two more iconic characters representative of the spirit of toughness, anti-authoritarianism, sacrifice, unflagging spirit, and a willingness to take a beating or die for their cause. They refused to conform or obey. Their insolence and resistance to authority got them thrown into the cooler on a consistent basis. They are lone wolves who inspire their fellow captives to resist and never stop fighting for freedom.

Their mental toughness and refusal to bow down to their captors, infuriates the sadistic jailers, resulting in increasingly sadistic punishment and ultimately death for one. Luke Jackson was a decorated war veteran who advanced to sergeant, but was discharged as a buck private. The unspoken story is that he failed to follow the ridiculous orders of a clueless superior officer.

Upon arrival at the prison for a fairly minor property crime, he doesn’t adhere to the pecking order among the prisoners and ends up in a boxing match with Dragline, the unofficial leader of the prisoners. He gets knocked down over and over again, but refuses to give up. Dragline eventually walks away, not wanting to inflict more damage to Luke. His tenacity and refusal to back down earned him the respect of his fellow inmates, but distinguished himself as troublemaker to the guards and warden. He later wins a poker game by bluffing with a hand worth nothing. Luke comments that “sometimes, nothing can be a real cool hand”, prompting Dragline to nickname him “Cool Hand Luke”. His continued successful efforts to escape make him a hero in the eyes of the inmates, a man worthy of worship.

Luke’s character takes on a Christ-like connotation. After winning the egg eating challenge, Luke is laid out like Christ on the cross. Toward the end of the film Luke speaks to God evoking the Garden of Gethsemane, just before Dragline (Judas) betrays him by leading the authorities to his hideout. After Luke is executed by the authorities in a church and allowed to bleed-out we are left with the impression of Christ’s sacrifice for the benefit of humanity.

The closing shot shows inmates working on crossroads from far above, such that the intersection is in the shape of the cross. Superimposed on this is the repaired photo Luke took during his second escape, the distinct creases of which also form the shape of the cross. Surrendering one’s life fighting against evil authoritarians is the ultimate sacrifice. Are there such men among us today?

The Great Escape, loosely based upon an actual mass escape of POWs from a German prison camp during World War II, had numerous big-time actors playing key roles, but Steve McQueen stole the movie with his performance as Virgil Hilts – The Cooler King. Reflecting the true American spirit of resisting authority and flaunting the rules and regulations, Hilts escapes from the prison numerous times, even purposely being caught so he can further the greater good of his fellow captives.

His insolence towards his captors is reflected in the ball and glove he takes into the cooler, repeatedly bouncing the ball off the wall – reminding him, the other inmates, and the Nazi guards that apple pie and baseball were truly examples of American freedom, and they could not destroy his spirit of dissent and desire to be free. He refused to be broken or admit defeat. At one time, this trait was widespread among Americans, but sadly is no longer prevalent.

This dialogue between Hilts and the camp commandant reflects his utter contempt for authority and unwillingness to bend to their will.

Von Luger: Are all American officers so ill-mannered?

Hilts: Yeah, about 99 percent.

Von Luger: Then perhaps while you are with us you will have a chance to learn some. Ten days isolation, Hilts.

Hilts: CAPTAIN Hilts.

Von Luger: Twenty days.

Hilts: Right. Oh, uh, you’ll still be here when I get out?

Von Luger: [visibly annoyed] Cooler!

Arbitrary rules and regulations imposed by mediocre minds deserve to be treated with contempt and ignored. Muzzled and masked Americans could learn a lesson from Hilts’ disruptive disrespect for self-proclaimed authoritarians by refusing to abide by un-Constitutional directives and utterly preposterous proclamations.

The lack of mental toughness and unwillingness to push back against the ludicrous rules imposed by our overlords is the result of decades of indoctrination by the State and perpetuation of falsehoods by the Deep State controlled media, using the techniques created by Edward Bernays to control and manipulate the masses for the benefit of the few. It is sad watching a vast swath of Americans unquestioningly following the orders of psychopaths in suits and government bureaucrats pretending to be medical experts, as they purposely lead the country into an abyss with no escape route.

This country was created by men “illegally” resisting the legal authorities. Where is the loyalty to the country and Constitution, instead of loyalty to a government controlled by enemies of the people who seek nothing more than power, control and wealth at your expense? Why are people, not only willing, but enthusiastically cheering, for their rights, freedoms and liberties to be stripped in order to obtain false security and the succor of a vast surveillance state hell-bent on enslaving you in debt and consumption servitude?

How can we remain loyal to a government run by criminals, knaves, fools, and billionaire oligarchs who see us as nothing but cows to be milked and sheep to be slaughtered? When did the land of the free and home of the brave become the land of the self-imprisoned and home of the willfully ignorant cowering masses? Where are the Cool Hand Lukes and Virgil Hiltses?

We are not in this together, no matter how many insipid propaganda commercials appear on your boob tube telling you to stay safe, stay strong and stay home. While your humanity and individuality are stripped through the wearing of muzzles (I mean personal protective equipment) and other newspeak terms like “social distancing”, “stronger together”, “flatten the curve” and “see something, say something” have been introduced by your Big Brother overlords to dumb down our language into simplistic slogans mouthed continuously by media talking heads, Hollywood influencers, low IQ athletes, and government rulers.

Any thoughtcrime which contradicts the narrative of the State, voiced on Twitter, Youtube, or Facebook is immediately disappeared and censored as conspiracy theory dissent. Those who fail to obey, conform, and adhere to the narrative are demonetized, ridiculed, prosecuted, and ruined.

I do see embers of dissent and courage flaring up in communities across the country, but will they ignite into a full-fledged firestorm against the all-powerful State, continuously trampling our rights? True courage is the willingness to fight when you know you will lose before the fight has begun. Those in power use fear of retribution to control the masses. Fear is real, but true courage is resistance to fear. And sometimes courage is found in the most unlikely places, like hair salons, barber shops and gyms.

Dallas hair salon owner Shelley Luther, New Jersey Atilis Gym co-owner Ian Smith, and Michigan barber Karl Manke have all defied the un-Constitutional shutdown of their businesses by the State and have been imprisoned, fined, harassed and had their business licenses revoked. Meanwhile, Gretchen Himmler Whitmer screeches that all protestors against her death producing lockdown are racists and nazis, while she lounges at her lakeside mansion this weekend. The irony of her actions versus her words is lost on this vacuous twit.

The State has the power to destroy your life, but each individual has the ability to resist in a small way, whether by not wearing the government mandated muzzle; bartering with locals and denying the state their vig; going Galt and reducing their financial footprint; taking your money out of Wall Street banks; not buying from mega-retailers; eliminating debt from your life; planting gardens; raising livestock; buying guns and ammo; spreading dissent on a one by one basis; supporting truth telling websites; buying gold and silver; and committing the revolutionary act of telling the truth in a time of deceit.

For the time being, we still have the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear. I believe the ruling class has gone too far this time. Their arrogance and hubris have convinced them they could use this crisis to consolidate their power, wealth and control, but they have mistakenly lit the fuse of revolution.

I’m not willing to surrender just yet. One by one, more people are channeling their inner Luke and Virgil and taking the red pill. We are faced with unpleasant truths and once enough critical thinking people decide to accept that reality, a tipping point will be reached. Courage and a complete disrespect for authority will be essential as the inevitable conflict approaches. I know we are fighting an uphill battle against a deeply rooted powerful foe.

I know the Deep State (The Party) has no intention of relinquishing power and has no interest in our well being or what is best for future generations. They are consumed by greed and an unquenchable thirst for power. They won’t blink in sentencing millions to a death sentence. It will require guile, guts and guns to defeat this entrenched vicious enemy. Voting for a different faction of the Party will not change our path or our fate. Only determined resistance using whatever means necessary and a willingness to sacrifice our lives for the sake of our children and grandchildren, along with a good bit of luck, can give us a chance to defeat The Party.

“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives.

They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.” 

- George Orwell, 1984

Our choice is to continue to accept beatings from the Captain and consent to their vision of the future – a boot stomping on our faces forever, or a 2nd Civil War. I didn’t say the choices were good. But that’s the unpleasant truth.

“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So, you get what we had here last week. Which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. And I don’t like it any more than you men.” – Captain

*  *  *

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

Published:5/26/2020 4:37:20 PM
[] On His Way Out the Door, Ric Grenell Blasts Mark Warner (Richard Burr's Boss) for Trying to Protect Obama Officials From Scrutiny While Also Attempting to Declassify Any Bullshit That Feeds His Narrative Mark Warner, the Senior Senator from Richard Burr, demanded to know why Richard Grenell was publishing the names of Obama officials who had unmasked Michael Flynn. His response is great. His basic answers are, 1., Classification is for the protection... Published:5/26/2020 4:06:59 PM
[Politics] Before Election, Voters Deserve Full Answers On Obama, Biden The President was perfectly accurate, and for once insusceptible to questions about his good faith, when he expressed surprise at Attorney General Barr's comment last week that former president Obama and former vice president Biden, "based on the information that I have," would not become subjects of a criminal investigation, "whatever their level of involvement" revealed in the examination by special counsel John Durham of the origins of the spurious Trump-Russia investigation by sp... Published:5/26/2020 2:36:55 PM
[Political Cartoons] Trump’s Shadow – Tina Toon

By Tina -

“You think he’s gone? He’s NEVER gone!” Richard Dreyfuss in “What About Bob?” Ex-President Obama is still working behind the scenes to “transform” America. No one knows this better than President Trump. Like a persistent skin rash, Obama just keeps lingering and making our lives miserable. He keeps quiet for ...

Trump’s Shadow – Tina Toon 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:5/26/2020 12:36:29 PM
[World] Did a Journalist Lose His 'Blue Check' Twitter Verification for Covering Obama Abuses? Published:5/26/2020 10:35:33 AM
[Markets] Who Deserves Impeachment More - Trump Or Schiff? Who Deserves Impeachment More - Trump Or Schiff? Tyler Durden Mon, 05/25/2020 - 19:30

Authored by Daniel Lazare via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Donald Trump was impeached last winter for one technical violation of the law and a host of made-up ones. The technical violation was his move to block $391 million in Ukrainian military aid.

It was a violation because it because it interfered with Congress’s exclusive spending powers. But it was purely technical because presidents traditionally have wide latitude in determining how expenditures are made. Back in 1801, Thomas Jefferson’s treasury secretary, Albert Gallatin, argued that the executive branch should be allowed “a reasonable discretion” while, 160 years later, John F. Kennedy had no scruples about unilaterally moving more than $1 million – a lot of money in those days – from one budget account to another to pay for a pet project known as the Peace Corps. No one thought much of it at the time, so Trump’s decision to hold up an appropriation in 2019 doesn’t seem like a big deal.

And it wasn’t, as the December 18 articles of impeachment made clear. Rather than dwelling on the blockage itself, they quickly moved on to the real question at hand, which is why it occurred. The answer, of course, was to pressure newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation into why a notorious oligarch named Mykola Zlochevsky had given Joe Biden’s son Hunter a lucrative no-show job and why the then-vice president had then pushed for the firing of a prosecutor looking into Zlochevsky’s company, Burisma Holdings.

Since any such investigation would have reflected poorly on Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, Democrats charged that Trump was seeking to “obtain an improper personal political benefit” by “enlist[ing] a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections.” After welcoming Russian interference in 2016, he was now angling for Ukrainian interference in 2020 – or so they maintained. But the charge never made sense for one all-important reason: however much Trump might benefit, the public had a legitimate interest in learning why Biden had allowed his son to enter into an obviously corrupt relationship at a time when he was supposedly serving as Obama’s point man in rooting out Ukrainian corruption.

It’s as if 1920s Chicago crime buster Eliot Ness had looked the other way while a close relative took a job with Al Capone. So while Democrats made a big show of moral indignation, Senate Republicans were unmoved with the partial exception of notorious featherbrain Mitt Romney, and Trump was acquitted.

But now let’s take a look at Schiff’s sins and see how they compare. Back in 2017, he was the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and therefore the man Democrats counted on to lead the charge that Trump had colluded with the Kremlin in order to steal the election. He did so with gusto. Quoting from a dossier prepared by ex-British MI6 agent Christopher Steele, he regaled a March 2017 committee hearing with tales of how Russia bribed Trump adviser Carter Page by offering him a hefty slice of a Russian natural-gas company known as Rosneft and of how Russian agents boosted Trump’s political fortunes by hacking Hillary Clinton’s emails and passing them on to WikiLeaks. Conceivably, such acts could have been purely coincidental, Schiff acknowledged.

“But it is also possible,” he went on, “maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected, and not unrelated, and that the Russians used the same techniques to corrupt U.S. persons that they have employed in Europe and elsewhere. We simply don’t know, not yet, and we owe it to the country to find out.”

Hours later, he assured MSNBC that the evidence of collusion was “more than circumstantial.” Nine months after that, he informed CNN’s Jake Tapper that the case was no longer in doubt: “The Russians offered help, the campaign accepted help, the Russians gave help, and the president made full use of that help.” In February 2018, he told reporters: “There is certainly an abundance of non-public information that we’ve gathered in the investigation. And I think some of that non-public evidence is evidence on the issue of collusion and some … on the issue of obstruction.”

The press lapped it up.

But now, thanks to the May 7 release of 57 transcripts of secret testimony – transcripts, by the way, that Schiff bottled up for months – we have a better idea of what such “non-public information” amounts to.

The answer: nothing.

A parade of high-level witnesses told the intelligence committee that either they didn’t know about collusion or lacked evidence even to venture an opinion. Not one offered the contrary view that collusion was true.

“I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting [or] conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election,” testified ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch told the committee that no one in the FBI or CIA had informed her that collusion had taken place. Sally Yates, acting attorney general during the Obama-Trump transition, was similarly noncommittal. So were Obama speechwriter Ben Rhodes and former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. David Kramer, a prominent neocon who helped spread word of the Steele dossier in top intelligence circles, was downright apologetic: “I’m not in a position to really say one way or the other, sir. I’m sorry.”

But rather than admit that the investigation had turned up nothing, Schiff lied that it had – not once but repeatedly.

Let that sink in for a moment. Collusion dominated the headlines from the moment Buzzfeed published the Steele dossier on Jan. 10, 2017, to the release of the Muller report on Apr. 18, 2019. That’s more than two years, a period in which newspapers and TV were filled with Russia, Russia, Russia and little else. Thanks to the uproar, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein secretly discussed using the Twenty-fifth Amendment to force Trump out of office, while an endless parade of newscasters and commentators assured viewers that the president’s days were numbered because “the walls are closing in.”

Schiff’s only response was to egg it on to greater and greater heights. Even when Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller issued his no-collusion verdict – “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” his report said – Schiff insisted that there was still “ample evidence of collusion in plain sight.”

“I use that word very carefully,” he said, “because I also distinguish time and time again between collusion, that is acts of corruption that may or may not be criminal, and proof of a criminal conspiracy. And that is a distinction that Bob Mueller made within the first few pages of his report. In fact, every act that I’ve pointed to as evidence of collusion has now been borne out by the report.

So Trump colluded with the Kremlin, but in a non-criminal way? Even if Mueller got Schiff in a headlock and screamed in his ear, “No collusion, no collusion,” the committee chairman would presumably reply: “See? He said it – collusion.”

The man is an unscrupulous liar, in other words, someone who will say anything to gain attention and fatten his war chest, which is why contributions flowing to his re-election campaign have risen from under $1 million a year to $10.5 million since the Russia furor began. The man talks endlessly about the Constitution, patriotism, his father’s heroic service in the military, and so on. But the only thing Adam Schiff really cares about is himself.

Trump’s sins are manifold. But with unerring accuracy, Schiff managed to zero in on the one sin that didn’t take place. Considering that the $391 million was destined for ultra-right military units whose members sport neo-Nazi regalia and SS symbols as they battle pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukraine, Schiff’s crimes are just as bad, if not worse. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the next candidate for impeachment, the congressman from Hollywood – Adam Schiff!

Published:5/25/2020 6:32:37 PM
[Markets] California Church Asks US Supreme Court To Intervene In Lockdown Battle After Clinton, Obama Judges Strike Down California Church Asks US Supreme Court To Intervene In Lockdown Battle After Clinton, Obama Judges Strike Down Tyler Durden Mon, 05/25/2020 - 18:00

A California church and its bishop have asked the US Supreme Court to step in after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down their emergency application to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, in defiance of executive orders issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Lawyers for the South Bay United Pentecostal Church and Biship Arthur Hodges filed with the USSC after the 9th Circuit panel split 2-1, with Judges Barry Silverman and Jacqueline Nguyen - appointed by Clinton and Obama respectively - wrote in their Friday order "We’re dealing here with a highly contagious and often fatal disease for which there presently is no known cure," adding "In the words of Justice Robert Jackson, if a ‘court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.’"

Apparently a fatality rate below 0.3% counts as 'often fatal,' and it would be a 'suicide pact' to allow people to worship freely while accepting the well-established risks of contracting COVID-19.

The panel's third judge, Trump appointee Daniel Collins, weighed in with an 18-page dissent arguing that Gov. Newsom's orders intrude on religious freedom protected by the First Amendment, according to Politico.

"I do not doubt the importance of the public health objectives that the State puts forth, but the State can accomplish those objectives without resorting to its current inflexible and over-broad ban on religious services," wrote Collins, who noted that the Governor's orders allow many workplaces to open, while religious gatherings remain banned even if they can meet social distancing requirements imposed on other permitted activities.

"By explicitly and categorically assigning all in-person ‘religious services’ to a future Phase 3 — without any express regard to the number of attendees, the size of the space, or the safety protocols followed in such services8 — the State’s Reopening Plan undeniably ‘discriminate[s] on its face’ against ‘religious conduct," Collins continued.

The legal dispute may turn on how much weight the justices choose to give to a 115-year-old Supreme Court precedent, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, which upheld a mandatory vaccination scheme for smallpox.

Lawyers for Newsom have argued that the decision gives states broad powers during a public health emergency and effectively supersedes typical protections for First Amendment activity, including religious practice.

While the 1905 high court ruling remains on the books with no case since where the justices have grappled with similar issues, in his dissent from the Friday 9th Circuit order, Collins sounded skeptical about the sweep of the century-old case.

“Even the most ardent proponent of a broad reading of Jacobson must pause at the astonishing breadth of this assertion of government power over the citizenry, which in terms of its scope, intrusiveness, and duration is without parallel in our constitutional tradition,” he said. -Politico

In other parts of the country, challenges to pandemic lockdowns have been met with mixed results in federal courts. For example, New Orleans' Fifth Circuit and the Cincinnati Sixth Circuit have granted emergency relief to churches in defiance of state orders, while Chicago's 7th Circuit joined the San Francisco-based 9tth circuit in declining to intervene.

Read the rest of the report here.

Published:5/25/2020 5:02:33 PM
[Politics] 34% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Thirty-four percent (34%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey for the week ending May 21, 2020.

This week’s finding is down one point from a week ago. By comparison, this number ran in the mid- to upper 20s for much of 2016, President Obama's last full year in office.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The national telephone survey of 2,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports from May 17-21, 2020. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:5/25/2020 10:28:49 AM
[IJR] Trump Defends Holiday Weekend Golfing After Being Slammed in Biden’s New Ad Trump is firing back and criticizing Obama and Biden. Published:5/25/2020 8:28:22 AM
[Politics] Giuliani Says Flynn Unmasking Was Criminal Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, claims there was a deliberate and criminal effort within the Obama administration to expose the FBI's investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.In an interview aired on Sinclair Broadcasting's... Published:5/24/2020 12:52:55 PM
[Markets] There's No Longer Any Question: Biden Carried Out A Cover-Up In Ukraine There's No Longer Any Question: Biden Carried Out A Cover-Up In Ukraine Tyler Durden Sun, 05/24/2020 - 07:00

Authored by Andrew Korybko via Off-Guardian.org,

Trump stands vindicated for accusing Biden of trying to cover up his son’s corruption in Ukraine after one of that country’s lawmakers released audio recordings of the former Vice President’s numerous conversations with former President Poroshenko to that effect, proving that the real Ukrainegate scandal has been about the Democrat front-runner all along.

CAUGHT RED-HANDED

Ukrainian lawmaker Andrei Derkach released audio recordings that he claims to have received from journalists which convincingly sound as though they’re truly of former President Poroshenko’s numerous conversations with former Vice President and current Democrat front-runner Biden.

The content of their chats concerns the latter’s efforts to pressure the then-Ukrainian leader to remove General Prosecutor Shokin, which Trump and many of his surrogates have claimed was undertaken in an attempt to cover up his son Hunter’s corruption at the Burisma gas company where he was employed and which was the subject of an investigation by Shokin.

The recordings are remarkably frank, with Poroshenko proudly pledging fealty to Biden and regularly updating him on the progress that he’s made in keeping what he refers to as his “promises” to the former Vice President.

THE REAL UKRAINEGATE & RUSSIAGATE SCANDALS

The Daily Beast reported that suspicions are swirling over whether the leak was an inside job in Ukraine or the result of so-called “Russian hacking”, but that’s just an attempt to distract from the calls, just like the unproven claims that Russia was responsible for hacking the DNC’s emails four years ago.

The real Ukrainegate scandal therefore wasn’t over the now-debunked allegations that Trump engaged in a quid pro quo with current Ukrainian President Zelensky in an attempt to reopen this investigation for supposedly political reasons, but over Biden’s attempts to cover up his son’s corruption in Ukraine in order to not hurt the Vice President’s future campaign prospects.

This is similar in essence to how the real Russiagate scandal wasn’t about Russia allegedly helping Trump, but about Hillary trading the US’ strategic uranium deposits for Clinton Foundation kickbacks.

PATTERN OF HYPOCRISY

The pattern at play is unmistakable, and it’s that the Democrats have recently taken to accusing Trump of the same spirit of what they themselves are really guilty of. Be it in carrying out shady deals with Russia, Ukraine, or whichever other country’s dirty laundry has yet to reach the light of day, the Democrats have a track record of international corruption unlike Trump, who comes off as squeaky clean in comparison.

That’s not to absolve the sitting American President of whatever his administration might secretly be doing abroad, but just to point out that the two highest-profile accusations of corruption against him have been proven to be false and much more applicable to the same party that publicly made them in the first place.

INTRIGUING TIMING

The timing of the Biden-Poroshenko leaks is intriguing and deserves some further analysis. It’s unclear why they weren’t released any earlier considering that the fake Ukrainegate impeachment conspiracy against Trump began last summer, which suggests that they might have either only been recently obtained or strategically kept in reserve to unveil at an opportune moment during the 2020 campaign.

If the latter, then the current timing might be connected to the Democrats’ desperate attempts to pin the blame for the US’ controversial handling of World War C on Trump personally in yet another effort to impeach him or at the very list tilt the upcoming vote to his opponent’s favor.

Regarding that selfsame opponent, Biden seems to be afflicted with dementia and is widely considered to simply be a stand-in functioning as a puppet of more shadowy party interests.

A “DARK HORSE” FOR THE DEMOCRATS?

There’s been some debate in Democrat circles about the wisdom of promoting him as their candidate of choice, but they probably didn’t have any more viable option since the other politicians in the primary either didn’t manage to generate any genuine grassroots support from their party’s base or were considered too radical and therefore unable to appeal to the on-the-fence voters in “Main Street” America who’ll likely decide this election like usual.

With that in mind, these criminally incriminating leaks could either throw the party further into disarray or present an opportunity for a so-called “dark horse” replacement to be put forth by the party during its summer convention, meaning that they might have been an inside job by disgruntled Democrat “deep state” operatives who don’t believe in Biden’s ability to beat Trump and want to force the party to replace him.

DEMOCRATS = CORRUPTION

It can only be speculated who’s really behind the leaks and why, but they’ll likely end up being extremely damaging to Biden’s campaign. He’s now been caught red-handed doing exactly what his party wrongly accused Trump of last summer, and the average American – while generally susceptible to partisan propaganda from both sides of the aisle – isn’t so stupid as to not realize that.

At the very least, these leaks confirm that the Democrats are indeed the party of corruption seeing as how they denied Trump’s original accusations against Biden but then subsequently concocted a literal conspiracy to try to impeach him once it was proven that he took tangible action to revive the investigation into Hunter’s corruption.

They wouldn’t have done something so dramatic if there wasn’t any corruption there to begin with, which makes them look even guiltier in hindsight.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

There’s no longer any question that Biden carried out a cover-up in Ukraine, with it now remaining to be seen how this will impact his campaign and the Democrats more broadly.

In all likelihood, the party will be unable to recover from this enormous blow to its reputation, though there’s still a faint chance that they might seek to reinvigorate their electoral prospects by replacing Biden with a “dark horse” candidate during this summer’s convention.

Should that transpire, then that individual would probably be distanced from the Obama Administration since it’s now forever tainted with corruption after the second most powerful man in the country at that time has now been proven to have engaged in high-level corruption and foreign meddling.

Politically speaking, Biden is now a “dead man walking”, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Democrats dump their puppet in favor of one who they can at least portray as being “less controversial” than Trump.

Published:5/24/2020 6:22:10 AM
[Markets] Flynn Judge Outsources High-Profile Lawyer To Explain Why He Won't Dismiss Case Flynn Judge Outsources High-Profile Lawyer To Explain Why He Won't Dismiss Case Tyler Durden Sat, 05/23/2020 - 21:00

The Obama-appointed activist judge holding up the dismissal of the Michael Flynn case can't be bothered - or simply doesn't have the skillset required, to defend his decision not to grant the Justice Department's request to drop the case, according to the Washington Post.

In a reminder that the 'swamp' has many tentacles, the Post (tentacle-ception) reports that District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has retained Beth Wilkinson to represent him after the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ordered him to explain what on God's green earth he's up to, after refusing to grant the DOJ's request to drop the Flynn case in light of evidence revealing that the FBI obtained a guilty plea as part of a scheme to entrap the former Trump Director of National Intelligence.

According to the report, "The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is now examining the judge’s actions and the larger case against Flynn after lawyers for President Trump’s former national security adviser asked the court to force Sullivan to toss Flynn’s guilty plea."

Wilkinson, known for her top-notch legal skills and get-results style, is expected to file a notice with the court in the coming week about representing the judge. She declined to comment when reached Friday evening. Sullivan also declined to comment through his office.

A federal judge doesn’t typically hire private counsel to respond to an appeals court, and yet so much about Flynn’s case has been a departure from the norm. A defendant doesn’t normally plead guilty under oath and then try to withdraw that admission, as Flynn did. The Justice Department almost never drops a case once it has essentially won a conviction, a signed guilty plea, as Attorney General William P. Barr ordered earlier this month. -Washington Post

Wilkinson notably represented Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh amid accusations of sexual assault during his nomination, as well as a Clinton lawyer during the investigation into whether she mishandled classified information by using a home-brew server.

Apparently, Sullivan needs Wiklinson's help to explain what he's up to - and why he isn't simply the deep state's bitch.

Published:5/23/2020 8:17:25 PM
[Markets] Did Jack Dorsey Just Issue A 'Mea Culpa' To All Twitter-Banned "Conspiracy"-Peddlers? Did Jack Dorsey Just Issue A 'Mea Culpa' To All Twitter-Banned "Conspiracy"-Peddlers? Tyler Durden Sat, 05/23/2020 - 20:00

Did Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey just, sheepishly, issue a 'mea culpa' to all those innocent (mostly conservative) voices he has silenced in the last few years who dared to question the "Russia, Russia, Russia" narrative, the "Biden did nothing wrong" stories, the "Comey is an American hero" facts, and, of course, the "COVID started in a wet market" orgy of lies.

In a tweet, the outspoken provider of safe-spaces, retweeted an essay by Charles Eisenstein entitled "The Conspiracy Myth" which appears to go against everything Twitter has done.

So, we ask in all seriousness, why did Dorsey - who has shown himself, via his actions, to be an enemy of any non-establishment-sanctioned narrative with his suspension and banning of any tweets or twitter-ers that dare to offer alternate views - retweet an essay that raises doubts about the over-arching threat of "conspiracy theories" to snowflakes, promotes the idea of exploring all sides of an argument before dismissing it, and most ironically, rails against "information suppression" and centralized decisions based on someone's "trustworthiness"?

Read the essay for yourself (emphasis ours):

The Conspiracy Myth

The other day I was amused to read a critique of The Coronation in which the author was absolutely certain that I am a closet conspiracy theorist. He was so persuasive that I myself almost believed it.

What is a conspiracy theory anyway? Sometimes the term is deployed against anyone who questions authority, dissents from dominant paradigms, or thinks that hidden interests influence our leading institutions. As such, it is a way to quash dissent and bully those trying to stand up to abuses of power. One needn’t abandon critical thinking to believe that powerful institutions sometimes collude, conspire, cover up, and are corrupt. If that is what is meant by a conspiracy theory, obviously some of those theories are true. Does anyone remember Enron? Iran-Contra? COINTELPRO? Vioxx? Iraqi weapons of mass destruction?

During the time of Covid-19, another level of conspiracy theory has risen to prominence that goes way beyond specific stories of collusion and corruption to posit conspiracy as a core explanatory principle for how the world works. Fuelled by the authoritarian response to the pandemic (justifiable or not, lockdown, quarantine, surveillance and tracking, censorship of misinformation, suspension of freedom of assembly and other civil liberties, and so on are indeed authoritarian), this arch-conspiracy theory holds that an evil, power-hungry cabal of insiders deliberately created the pandemic or is at least ruthlessly exploiting it to frighten the public into accepting a totalitarian world government under permanent medical martial law, a New World Order (NWO). Furthermore, this evil group, this illuminati, pulls the strings of all major governments, corporations, the United Nations, the WHO, the CDC, the media, the intelligence services, the banks, and the NGOs. In other words, they say, everything we are told is a lie, and the world is in the grip of evil.

So what do I think about that theory? I think it is a myth. And what is a myth? A myth is not the same thing as a fantasy or a delusion. Myths are vehicles of truth, and that truth needn’t be literal. The classical Greek myths, for example, seem like mere amusements until one decodes them by associating each god with psychosocial forces. In this way, myths bring light to the shadows and reveal what has been repressed. They take a truth about the psyche or society and form it into a story. The truth of a myth does not depend on whether it is objectively verifiable. That is one reason why, in The Coronation, I said my purpose is neither to advocate nor to debunk the conspiracy narrative, but rather to look at what it illuminates. It is, after all, neither provable nor falsifiable.

What is true about the conspiracy myth? Underneath its literalism, it conveys important information that we ignore at great peril. 

First, it demonstrates the shocking extent of public alienation from institutions of authority. For all the political battles of the post-WWII era, there was at least a broad consensus on basic facts and on where facts could be found. The key institutions of knowledge production -- science and journalism -- enjoyed broad public trust. If the New York Times and CBS Evening News said that North Vietnam attacked the United States in the Gulf of Tonkin, most people believed it. If science said nuclear power and DDT were safe, most people believed that too. To some extent, that trust was well earned. Journalists sometimes defied the interests of the powerful, as with Seymour Hersh’s expose of the My Lai massacre, or Woodward & Bernstein’s reporting on Watergate. Science, in the vanguard of civilization’s onward march, had a reputation for the objective pursuit of knowledge in defiance of traditional religious authorities, as well as a reputation for lofty disdain for political and financial motives. 

Today, the broad consensus trust in science and journalism is in tatters. I know several highly educated people who believe the earth is flat. By dismissing flat-earthers and the tens of millions of adherents to less extreme alternative narratives (historical, medical, political, and scientific) as ignorant, we are mistaking symptom for cause. Their loss of trust is a clear symptom of a loss of trustworthiness. Our institutions of knowledge production have betrayed public trust repeatedly, as have our political institutions. Now, many people won’t believe them even when they tell the truth. This must be frustrating to the scrupulous doctor, scientist, or public official. To them, the problem looks like a public gone mad, a rising tide of anti-scientific irrationality that is endangering public health. The solution, from that perspective, would be to combat ignorance. It is almost as if ignorance is a virus (in fact, I have heard that phrase before) that must be controlled through the same kind of quarantine (for example, censorship) that we apply to the coronavirus. 

Ironically, another kind of ignorance pervades both these efforts: the ignorance of the terrain. What is the diseased tissue upon which the virus of ignorance gains purchase? The loss of trust in science, journalism, and government reflects their long corruption: their arrogance and elitism, their alliance with corporate interests, and their institutionalized suppression of dissent. The conspiracy myth embodies the realization of a profound disconnect between the public postures of our leaders and their true motivations and plans. It bespeaks a political culture that is opaque to the ordinary citizen, a world of secrecy, image, PR,  spin, optics, talking points, perception management, narrative management, and information warfare. No wonder people suspect that there is another reality operating behind the curtains. 

Second, the conspiracy myth gives narrative form to an authentic intuition that an inhuman power governs the world. What could that power be? The conspiracy myth locates that power in a group of malevolent human beings (who take commands, in some versions, from extraterrestrial or demonic entities). Therein lies a certain psychological comfort, because now there is someone to blame in a familiar us-versus-them narrative and victim-perpetrator-rescuer psychology. Alternatively, we could locate the “inhuman power” in systems or ideologies, not a group of conspirators. That is less psychologically rewarding, because we can no longer easily identify as good fighting evil; after all, we ourselves participate in these systems, which pervade our entire society. Systems like the debt-based money system, patriarchy, white supremacy, or capitalism cannot be removed by fighting their administrators. They create roles for evildoers to fill, but the evildoers are functionaries; puppets, not puppet masters. The basic intuition of conspiracy theories then is true: that those we think hold power are but puppets of the real power in the world. 

A couple weeks ago I was on a call with a person who had a high position in the Obama administration and who still runs in elite circles. He said, “There is no one driving the bus.” I was a little disappointed actually, because there is indeed part of me that wishes the problem were a bunch of dastardly conspirators. Why? Because then our world’s problems would be quite easy to solve, at least in principle. Just expose and eliminate those bad guys. That is the prevailing Hollywood formula for righting the world’s wrongs: a heroic champion confronts and defeats the bad guy, and everyone lives happily ever after. Hmm, that is the same basic formula as blaming ill health on germs and killing them with the arsenal of medicine, so that we can live safe healthy lives ever after, or killing the terrorists and walling out the immigrants and locking up the criminals, all again so that we can live safe healthy lives ever after. Stamped from the same template, conspiracy theories tap into an unconscious orthodoxy. They emanate from the same mythic pantheon as the social ills they protest. We might call that pantheon Separation, and one of its chief motifs is the war against the Other.

That is not to say there is no such thing as a germ -- or a conspiracy. Watergate, COINTELPRO, Iran-Contra, Merck’s drug Vioxx, Ford’s exploding Pinto coverup, Lockheed-Martin’s bribery campaign, Bayer’s knowing sale of HIV-contaminated blood, and the Enron scandal demonstrate that conspiracies involving powerful elites do happen. None of the above are myths though: a myth is something that explains the world; it is, mysteriously, bigger than itself. Thus, the Kennedy assassination conspiracy theory (which I will confess, doubtless at cost to my credibility, to accepting as literally true) is a portal to the mythic realm. 

The conspiracy myth I’m addressing here, though, is much larger than any of these specific examples: It is that the world as we know it is the result of a conspiracy, with the Illuminati or controllers as its evil gods. For believers, it becomes a totalizing discourse that casts every event into its terms. 

It is a myth with an illustrious pedigree, going back at least to the time of the first century Gnostics. Gnostics believe that an evil demiurge created the material world out of a preexisting divine essence. Creating the world in the image of his own distortion, he imagines himself to be its true god and ruler.

One needn’t believe in this literally, nor believe literally in a world-controlling evil cabal, to derive insight from this myth -- insight into the arrogance of the powerful, for example, or into the nature of the distortion that colors the world of our experience. 

What is it that makes the vast majority of humanity comply with a system that drives Earth and humankind to ruin? What power has us in its grip? It isn’t just the conspiracy theorists who are captive to a mythology. Society at large is too. I call it the mythology of Separation: me separate from you, matter separate from spirit, human separate from nature. It holds us as discrete and separate selves in an objective universe of force and mass, atoms and void. Because we are (in this myth) separate from other people and from nature, we must dominate our competitors and master nature. Progress, therefore, consists in increasing our capacity to control the Other. The myth recounts human history as an ascent from one triumph to the next, from fire to domestication to industry to information technology, genetic engineering, and social science, promising a coming paradise of control. That same myth motivates the conquest and ruin of nature, organizing society to turn the entire planet into money -- no conspiracy necessary.

The mythology of Separation is what generates what I named in The Coronation as a “civilizational tilt” toward control. The solution template is, facing any problem, to find something to control -- to quarantine, to track, to imprison, to wall out, to dominate, or to kill. If control fails, more control will fix it. To achieve social and material paradise, control everything, track every movement, monitor every word, record every transaction. Then there can be no more crime, no more infection, no more disinformation. When the entire ruling class accepts this formula and this vision, they will act in natural concert to increase their control. It is all for the greater good. When the public accepts it too, they will not resist it. This is not a conspiracy, though it can certainly look like one. This is a third truth within the conspiracy myth. Events are indeed orchestrated in the direction of more and more control, only the orchestrating power is itself a zeitgeist, an ideology… a myth.

A Conspiracy with No Conspirators

Let us not dismiss the conspiracy myth as just a myth. Not only is it an important psychosocial diagnostic, but it reveals what is otherwise hard to see from the official mythology in which society’s main institutions, while flawed, are shepherding us ever-closer to a high tech paradise. That dominant myth blinds us to the data points the conspiracy theorists recruit for their narratives. These might include things like regulatory capture in the pharmaceutical industry, conflicts of interest within public health organizations, the dubious efficacy of masks, the far-lower-than-hyped death rates, totalitarian overreach, the questionable utility of lockdown, concerns about non-ionizing frequencies of electromagnetic radiation, the benefits of natural and holistic approaches to boosting immunity, bioterrain theory, the dangers of censorship in the name of “combatting disinformation,” and so forth. It would be nice if one could raise the numerous valid points and legitimate questions that alternative Covid narratives bring to light without being classed as a right-wing conspiracy theorist. 

The whole phrase “right-wing conspiracy theorist” is a bit odd, since traditionally it is the Left that has been most alert to the proclivity of the powerful to abuse their power. Traditionally, it is the Left that is suspicious of corporate interests, that urges us to “question authority,” and that has in fact been the main victim of government infiltration and surveillance.

Fifty years ago, if anyone said, “There is a secret program called COINTELPRO that is spying on civil rights groups and sowing division within them with poison pen letters and fabricated rumors,” that would have been a conspiracy theory by today’s standards.

The same, 25 years ago, with, “There is a secret program in which the CIA facilitates narcotics sales into American inner cities and uses the money to fund right-wing paramilitaries in Central America.”

The same with government infiltration of environmental groups and peace activists starting in the 1980s.

Or more recently, the infiltration of the Standing Rock movement.

Or the real estate industry’s decades-long conspiracy to redline neighborhoods to keep black people out.

Given this history, why all of a sudden is it the Left urging everyone to trust “the Man” -- to trust the pronouncements of the pharmaceutical companies and pharma-funded organizations like the CDC and WHO? Why is skepticism towards these institutions labeled “right wing”? It isn’t as if only the privileged are “inconvenienced” by lockdown. It is devastating the lives of tens or hundreds of millions of the global precariat. The UN World Food Program is warning that by the end of the year, 260 million people will face starvation. Most are black and brown people in Africa and South Asia. One might argue that to restrict the debate to epidemiological questions of mortality is itself a privileged stance that erases the suffering of those who are most marginalized to begin with.

“Conspiracy theory” has become a term of political invective, used to disparage any view that diverges from mainstream beliefs. Basically, any critique of dominant institutions can be smeared as conspiracy theory. There is actually a perverse truth in this smear. For example, if you believe that glyphosate is actually dangerous to human and ecological health, then you also must, if you are logical, believe that Bayer/Monsanto is suppressing or ignoring that information, and you must also believe that the government, media, and scientific establishment are to some extent complicit in that suppression. Otherwise, why are we not seeing NYT headlines like, “Monsanto whistleblower reveals dangers of glyphosate”? 

Information suppression can happen without deliberate orchestration. Throughout history, hysterias, intellectual fads, and mass delusions have come and gone spontaneously. This is more mysterious than the easy conspiracy explanation admits. An unconscious coordination of action can look very much like a conspiracy, and the boundary between the two is blurry. Consider the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) fraud that served as a pretext for the invasion of Iraq. Maybe there were people in the Bush administration who knowingly used the phony “yellowcake” document to call for war; maybe they just wanted very much to believe the documents were genuine, or maybe they thought, “Well, this is questionable but Saddam must have WMD, and even if he doesn’t, he wants them, so the document is basically true…” People easily believe what serves their interests or fits their existing worldview. 

In a similar vein, the media needed little encouragement to start beating the war drums. They knew what to do already, without having to receive instructions. I don’t think very many journalists actually believed the WMD lie. They pretended to believe, because subconsciously, they knew that was the establishment narrative. That was what would get them recognized as serious journalists. That’s what would give them access to power. That is what would allow them to keep their jobs and advance their careers. But most of all, they pretended to believe because everyone else was pretending to believe. It is hard to go against the zeitgeist. 

The British scientist Rupert Sheldrake told me about a talk he gave to a group of scientists who were working on animal behaviour at a prestigious British University. He was talking about his research on dogs that know when their owners are coming home, and other telepathic phenomena in domestic animals. The talk was received with a kind of polite silence. But in the following tea break all six of the senior scientists who were present at the seminar came to him one by one, and when they were sure that no one else was listening told him they had had experiences of this kind with their own animals, or that they were convinced that telepathy is a real phenomenon, but that they could not talk to their colleagues about this because they were all so straight. When Sheldrake realised that all six had told him much the same thing, he said to them, “Why don’t you guys come out? You’d all have so much more fun!” He says that when he gives a talk at a scientific institution there are nearly always scientists who approach him afterwards telling him they’ve had personal experiences that convince them of the reality of psychic or spiritual phenomena but that they can’t discuss them with their colleagues for fear of being thought weird.

This is not a deliberate conspiracy to suppress psychic phenomena. Those six scientists didn’t convene beforehand and decide to suppress information they knew was real. They keep their opinions to themselves because of the norms of their subculture, the basic paradigms that delimit science, and the very real threat of damage to their careers. The persecution and calumny directed at Sheldrake himself demonstrates what happens to a scientist who is outspoken in his dissent from official scientific reality. So, we might still say that a conspiracy is afoot, but its perpetrator is a culture, a system, and a story. 

Is this, or a deliberate conspiratorial agenda, a more satisfying explanation for the seemingly inexorable trends (which by no means began with Covid) toward surveillance, tracking, distancing, germ phobia, obsession with safety, and the digitization and indoor-ization of entertainment, recreation, and sociality? If the perpetrator is indeed a cultural mythology and system, then conspiracy theories offer us a false target, a distraction. The remedy cannot be to expose and take down those who have foisted these trends upon us. Of course, there are many bad actors in our world, remorseless people committing heinous acts. But have they created the system and the mythology of Separation, or do they merely take advantage of it? Certainly such people should be stopped, but if that is all we do, and leave unchanged the conditions that breed them, we will fight an endless war. Just as in bioterrain theory germs are symptoms and exploiters of diseased tissue, so also are conspiratorial cabals symptoms and exploiters of a diseased society: a society poisoned by the mentality of war, fear, separation, and control. This deep ideology, the myth of separation, is beyond anyone’s power to invent. The Illuminati, if they exist, are not its authors; it is more true to say that the mythology is their author. We do not create our myths; they create us.

Which side are you on?

In the end, I still haven’t said whether I think the New World Order conspiracy myth is true or not. Well actually yes I have. I have said it is true as a myth, regardless of its correspondence to verifiable facts. But what about the facts? Come on, Charles, tell us, is there actually a conspiracy behind the Covid thing, or isn’t there? There must be an objective fact of the matter. Are chemtrails a thing? Was SARS-COV2 genetically engineered? Is microwave radiation from cellphone towers a factor? Are vaccines introducing viruses from animal cell cultures into people? Is Bill Gates masterminding a power grab in the form of medical martial law? Does a Luciferian elite rule the world? True or false? Yes or no? 

To this question I would respond with another: Given that I am not an expert on any of these matters, why do you want to know what I think? Could it be to place me on one side or another of an information war? Then you will know whether it is OK to enjoy this essay, share it, or have me on your podcast.  In an us-versus-them war mentality, the most important thing is to know which side someone is on, lest you render aid and comfort to the enemy. 

Aha -- Charles must be on the other side. Because he has created a false equivalency between peer-reviewed, evidence-based, respectable scientific knowledge on the one hand, and unhinged conspiracy theories on the other. 

Aha -- Charles must be on the other side. Because he has created a false equivalency between corporate-government-NWO propaganda on the one hand, and brave whistle-blowers and dissidents risking their careers for the truth on the other. 

Can you see how totalizing war mentality can be?

War mentality saturates our polarized society, which envisions progress as a consequence of victory -- victory over a virus, over the ignorant, over the left, over the right, over the psychopathic elites, over Donald Trump, over white supremacy, over the liberal elites.... Each side uses the same formula, and that formula requires an enemy. So, obligingly, we divide ourselves up into us and them, exhausting 99% of our energies in a fruitless tug-of-war, never once suspecting that the true evil power might be the formula itself. 

This is not to propose that we somehow banish conflict from human affairs. It is to question a mythology -- embraced by both sides -- that conceives every problem in conflict’s terms. Struggle and conflict have their place, but other plotlines are possible. There are other pathways to healing and to justice. 

A Call for Humility

Have you ever noticed that events seem to organize themselves to validate the story you hold about the world? Selection bias and confirmation bias explain some of that, but I think something weirder is at work as well. When we enter into deep faith or deep paranoia, it seems as if that state attracts confirmatory events to it. Reality organizes itself to match our stories. In a sense, this IS a conspiracy, just not one perpetrated by humankind. That might be a third truth that the conspiracy myth harbors: the presence of an organizing intelligence behind the events of our lives. 

In no way does this imply the New Age nostrum that beliefs create reality. Rather, it is that reality and belief construct each other, coevolving as a coherent whole. The intimate, mysterious connection between myth and reality means that belief is never actually a slave to fact. We are facts’ sovereign -- which is not to say their creator. To be their sovereign doesn’t mean to be their tyrant, disrespecting and over-ruling them. The wise monarch pays attention to an unruly subject, such as a fact that defies the narrative. Maybe it is simply a disturbed trouble-maker, like a simple lie, but maybe it signals disharmony in the kingdom. Maybe the kingdom is no longer legitimate. Maybe the myth is no longer true. It could well be that the vociferous attacks on Covid dissent, using the “conspiracy theory” smear, signal the infirmity of the orthodox paradigms they seek to uphold.

If so, that doesn’t mean the orthodox paradigms are all wrong either. To leap from one certainty to another skips the holy ground of uncertainty, of not knowing, of humility, into which genuinely new information can come. What unites the pundits of all persuasions is their certainty. Who is trustworthy? In the end, it is the person with the humility to recognize when he or she has been wrong. 

To those who categorically dismiss any information that seriously challenges conventional medicine, lockdown policies, vaccines, etc., I would ask, Do you need such high walls around your kingdom? Instead of banishing these unruly subjects, would it hurt to give them an audience?

Would it be so dangerous to perhaps tour another kingdom, guided not by your own loyal minister but by the most intelligent, welcoming partisans of the other side?

If you have no interest in spending the several hours it will take to absorb the following dissenting opinions, fine. I’d rather be in my garden too.

But if you are a partisan in these issues, what harm will it do to visit enemy territory? Normally partisans don’t do that. They rely on the reports of their own leaders about the enemy. If they know anything of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s or Judy Mikovitz’s views, it is through the lens of someone debunking them. So give a listen to Kennedy, or if you prefer MD’s only, to David KatzZach Bush, or Christiane Northrup...

I would like to offer the same invitation to those who reject the conventional view.

Find the most scrupulous mainstream doctors and scientists you can, and dive into their world. Take the attitude of a respectful guest, not a hostile spy. If you do that, I guarantee you will encounter data points that challenge any narrative you came in with. The splendor of conventional virology, the wonders of chemistry that generations of scientists have discovered, the intelligence and sincerity of most of these scientists, and the genuine altruism of health care workers on the front line who have no political or financial conflict of interest in the face of grave risk to themselves, must be part of any satisfactory narrative.

After two months of obsessively searching for one, I have not yet found a satisfactory narrative that can account for every data point. That doesn’t mean to take no action because after all, knowledge is never certain. But in the whirlwind of competing narratives and the disjoint mythologies beneath them, we can look for action that makes sense no matter which side is right. We can look for truths that the smoke and clamor of the battle obscures. We can question assumptions both sides take for granted, and ask questions neither side is asking. Not identified with either side, we can gather knowledge from both.

Generalizing to society, by bringing in all the voices, including the marginalized ones, we can build a broader social consensus and begin to heal the polarization that is rending and paralyzing our society.

*  *  *

Is this a new mission statement for Twitter 2.0 - allow adults to be adults, erase the nanny-statism, and offer the world a platform to exchange ideas freely?

Published:5/23/2020 7:20:30 PM
[Markets] Questions Over Chinese Influence Emerge After Biden Charitable Organizations Refuse To Disclose Funding Questions Over Chinese Influence Emerge After Biden Charitable Organizations Refuse To Disclose Funding Tyler Durden Sat, 05/23/2020 - 18:00

Following his departure from the Obama administration in 2017, former Vice President Joe Biden established three charitable organizations; the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware, and the Biden Cancer Initiative.

And as the Washington Free Beacon notes, many of Biden's nonprofits have become landing spots for his former - and potentially future - White House aides.

The Penn Biden Center, which had a "soft opening" in March 2017 and officially opened its doors in February 2018, has served as a national security council-in-waiting for Biden, employing his top White House foreign policy advisers Colin Kahl, Michael Carpenter, and Jeffrey Prescott. -Free Beacon

Yet, when asked about their sources of funding, the Biden entities have been anything but transparent. For example, when the Free Beacon asked a Biden Center spokesman about its funding, they said it was "a question for my colleagues at main university." Penn spokesman Stephen MacCarthy simply blew off multiple requests for comment, as did the Biden campaign.

The Biden Cancer initiative, which had $2.1 million in assets in 2018 before suspending operations last year, similarly declined to provide a list of donors.

And the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware has also refused requests for transparency by the Free Beacon.

What we do know, however, is that the University of Pennsylvania received a 300% increase in donations since the Biden Center's soft opening - from $31 million in 2016 to $100 million last year, according to records from the Department of Education. The largest contributor? China - which contributed $61 million in gifts and contracts between March 2017 and the end of last year. In the preceding four years - before the Biden Center opened, Penn took in just $19 million from China.

The donations included a $502,750 "monetary gift" in October 2017 from the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, a Chinese government agency that helps administer the regime's "Thousand Talents Plan." Federal prosecutors claim the program is linked to Chinese espionage operations at American universities and have prosecuted academics for hiding their involvement in it. Other contributors included China's Zhejiang University, the China Merchants Bank, and the China Everbright Group, a state-owned investment group, according to federal records. -Free Beacon

Is this why Joe Biden has been soft on China?

Or was Biden downplaying China due to the $1.5 billion private equity deal his son Hunter inked in 2013, weeks after the two Bidens flew to China on Air Force Two?

Back to the lecture at hand, many of the Chinese contributions to the University of Pennsylvania were listed as coming from "anonymous" donors - which experts have called an "easy tactic" which allows the Chinese to penetrate the US education system.

"Anonymous giving to universities is an easy tactic the Chinese Communist Party can use to further its pernicious influence in American universities," said Indo-Pacific studies fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, Michael Sobolik.

Between March 2017 and the end of 2019, Penn received $21 million from China spread across 23 anonymous gifts. In the preceding four years, the university had just five donations from China totaling under $5 million.

"Policymakers should investigate this vulnerability further and take necessary steps to close the loophole," said Sobolik. "If universities and professors are lax in their reporting, the Department of Education, and when appropriate the Department of Justice, should hold them accountable."

Government watchdog group, The National Legal and Policy Center, filed a complaint with the Department of Education on Wednesday requesting an investigation into Penn's anonymous Chinese funding, according to the Beacon, which received a copy.

"Joe Biden's affiliation with the Penn Biden Center further raises concerns of foreign influence not unlike those raised when the Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars in donations while Hillary Clinton was running for president," reads the complaint, which asks the DoE to "refer the matter to the Department of Justice for civil enforcement in federal court, and seek recoupment of all costs to the U.S. government for investigating and enforcing the reporting and disclosure laws of China monetary gifts and contracts."

The anonymous contributions could also run afoul of federal law that requires universities to disclose the source of any foreign donation or contract over $250,000, according to the NLPC.

"The reporting and disclosure violations of gifts from China to U of Penn and its Penn Biden Center are both numerous and flagrant," said Paul Kamenar, counsel for NLPC. "The Department of Justice should take swift enforcement action in federal court and recoup all costs getting them to comply with the law."

The NLPC said in its letter the University of Pennsylvania and the Penn Biden Center were "particularly vulnerable to China government influences due to the large amounts of China donations and contracts" at the school.

Penn's investment in the Penn Biden Center has been significant: a luxe D.C. office directly across from the U.S. Capitol Building in addition to employment for Biden's longtime foreign policy aides; highly promoted conferences featuring Biden conversing with foreign leaders; and a total of $900,000 in payments to the former vice president, according to his tax records. -Free Beacon

The website for the Biden Center - which is part of the University of Pennsylvania's "Penn Global" department - features photos of Biden meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping and other world leaders. It handles the university's foreign research and outreach programs, which have become increasingly focused on China in recent years, according to the report.

According to the Penn Global website, the university has "over 20 international partnerships with Chinese institutions" and has conducted "over 350 research projects and instructional activities in China."

In 2015, a $10 million research-matching funding program was launched. The China Research and Engagement fund was designed to fund Penn medical research in China - which has included studies to improve the country's pork production - as well as aeronautical engineering projects to help China reach its national aviation goals.

You don't say?

 

Published:5/23/2020 5:17:01 PM
[Markets] Buchanan: What Does Winning Mean In A Forever War? Buchanan: What Does Winning Mean In A Forever War? Tyler Durden Fri, 05/22/2020 - 23:45

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

When a Wall Street Journal editorial warned this week against any precipitous U.S. withdrawal that might imperil our gains in Afghanistan, an exasperated President Trump shot back:

“Could someone please explain to them that we have been there for 19 years. … and except at the beginning, we never really fought to win.”

Is that true? Did we “never really” fight to win during our 19-year war in Afghanistan, except when we first ousted the Taliban in 2001?

At one point in this longest American war against al-Qaida and the Taliban, Barack Obama surged 100,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan.

The issue here is with the terminology.

In the forever wars of the Middle East, what does “winning” mean?

To those of us who grew up in the mid-20th century, victory was Gen. MacArthur standing on the deck of the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay as top-hatted Japanese diplomats signed the articles of surrender.

Victory was unmistakable and irreversible.

Five years after V-J day, however, came Korea, a war that lasted three years and ended in deadlock, stalemate and a truce along the 38th parallel, where the North-South war had begun in June of 1950.

Vietnam also came to be called a “no-win war.”

Though U.S. troops never lost a major battle, and every provincial capital was in Saigon’s hands when we departed in 1973, the United States is said to have “lost the war” when the North Vietnamese army overran the South and Saigon in the spring of 1975.

That was a geostrategic defeat but not a military defeat.

America’s problem, in this century, lies in our concept of “winning.”

While U.S. military forces can crush any Middle East adversary, as we showed in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, we have been unable to realize the fruits of the victories our armed forces produced.

We have failed to reorient the defeated nations to our way of thinking. We have failed to win the peace.

While we can defeat our enemies in the air and on the seas and in cyberspace, we cannot persuade them to embrace secular democracy and its values any more than we can convert them to Christianity.

John Locke means nothing to these people. As for our Bill of Rights, why would devout Muslims, who believe there is but one God, Allah, and that Muhammad is his only Prophet, tolerate the preaching of heresies in their countries that can cause Muslims to lose their souls?

Millions of Muslims are familial, tribal, nationalistic, resistant to foreign intervention and proudly anti-Enlightenment.

With our “democracy crusades,” we have been trying to conquer and convert people who do not wish to be converted. Moreover, we lack the patience and perseverance to change or convert them.

As imperialists, we Americans are conspicuous failures.

Moreover, with us, the national interest inevitably asserts itself.

When it comes to spending lives and treasure indefinitely we find we have no vital interest in whether these lands we occupy are ruled by monarchs, democrats, dictators or demagogues, and we lack the staying power to occupy these countries until they accept our ideas and ideals.

If they don’t attack us, why do we not just leave them be?

Our enemies in the Middle East do not defeat our military. They outlast us. They apparently have an inexhaustible supply of volunteers willing to give up their lives in suicide attacks. They are willing to fight on and trade casualties endlessly. They do not subscribe to our rules of war.

They tire us out, and, eventually, we give up and go home.

They refuse to surrender and submit because it is their beliefs, their values, their faith, their traditions, their tribe, their God, their culture, their civilization, their honor that they believe they are fighting for in what is, after all, their land, not ours.

They are not trying to change us. We are trying to change them. And they wish to remain who they are.

Woodrow Wilson famously declared of our neighbors to the south, “I am going to teach the Latin American republics to elect good men!”

Wilson forgot the kernel of truth in the ethnic slur of his era, that you cannot grow bananas and democracy on the same piece of land.

If it is a contest between armed forces, America wins. We can impose our will on the country but cannot win their assent. They resist until we tire of trying to educate them.

Historically, the Afghans are fundamentalist, tribal and impervious to foreign intervention.

What will the Taliban do when we leave?

They will not give up their dream of again ruling the Afghan nation and people. And they will fight until they have achieved that goal and their idea of victory: dominance.

And if 100,000 Americans fighting beside the Afghan army could not force them to surrender, then why should they settle for half a loaf and accept a compromise now?

Published:5/22/2020 11:11:56 PM
[Markets] Wray's Review Of FBI's Flynn Probe "Is The Fox Guarding The Hen House" Wray's Review Of FBI's Flynn Probe "Is The Fox Guarding The Hen House" Tyler Durden Fri, 05/22/2020 - 20:05

Authored by Sara Carter,

FBI Director Christopher Wray announced Friday that he has ordered the bureau to conduct an internal review of its handling of the probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, which has led to his years long battle in federal court.

It’s like the fox guarding the hen house.

Wray’s decision to investigate also comes late. The bureau’s probe only comes after numerous revelations that former senior FBI officials and agents involved in Flynn’s case allegedly engaged in misconduct to target the three star general, who became President Donald Trump’s most trusted campaign advisor.

Despite all these revelations, Wray has promised that the bureau will examine whether any employees engaged in misconduct during the court of the investigation and “evaluate whether any improvements in FBI policies and procedures need to be made.” Based on what we know, how can we trust an unbiased investigation from the very bureau that targeted Flynn.

Let me put it to you this way, over the past year Wray has failed to cooperate with congressional investigations. In fact, many Republican lawmakers have called him out publicly on the lack of cooperation saying, he cares more about protecting the bureaucracy than exposing and resolving the culture of corruption within the bureau.

Wray’s Friday announcement, is in my opinion, a ruse to get lawmakers off his back.

How can we trust that Wray’s internal investigation will expose what actually happened in the case of Flynn, or any of the other Trump campaign officials that were targeted by the former Obama administration’s intelligence and law enforcement apparatus.

It’s Wray’s FBI that continues to battle all the Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act requests regarding the investigation into Flynn, along with any requests that would expose  information on the Russia hoax investigation. One in particular, is the request to obtain all the text messages and emails sent and received by former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

The FBI defended itself in its Friday announcement saying that in addition to its own internal review, it has already cooperated with other inquiries assigned by Attorney General William Barr. But still Wray has not approved subpoena’s for employees and others that lawmakers want to interview behind closed doors in Congress.

The recent documented discoveries by the Department of Justice make it all the more imperative that an outside review of the FBI’s handling of Flynn’s case is required. Those documents, which shed light on the actions by the bureau against Flynn, led to the DOJ’s decision to drop all charges against him. It was, after all, DOJ Attorney Jeffery Jensen who discovered the FBI documents regarding Flynn that have aided his defense attorney Sidney Powell in getting the truth out to they American people.

Powell, like me, doesn’t believe an internal review is appropriate.

“Wow? And how is he going to investigate himself,” she questioned in a Tweet. “And how could anyone trust it? FBI Director Wray opens internal review into how bureau handled Michael Flynn case.”

Last week, this reporter published the growing divide between Congressional Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee and Wray. The lawmakers have accused Wray of failing to respond to numerous requests to speak with FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka, who along with former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, conducted the now infamous White House interview with Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017.

Further, the lawmakers have also requested to speak with the FBI’s former head of the Counterintelligence Division, Bill Priestap, whose unsealed handwritten notes revealed the possible ‘nefarious’ motivations behind the FBI’s investigation of Flynn.

“Michael Flynn was wronged by the FBI,” said a senior Republican official last week, with direct knowledge of the Flynn investigation.

“Sadly Director Wray has shown little interest in getting to the bottom of what actually happened with the Flynn case. Wray’s lackadaisical attitude is an embarrassment to the rank and file agents at the bureau, whose names have been dragged through the mud time and time again throughout the Russia-gate investigation. Wray needs to wake up and work with Congress. If he doesn’t maybe it’s time for him to go.

Powell argued that Flynn had pleaded guilty because his former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, along with his prosecutors, threatened to target his son. Those prosecutors also coerced Flynn, whose finances were depleted by his previous defense team. Mueller’s team got Flynn to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about a phone conversation he had with the former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period. However, the agents who interviewed him did not believe he was lying.

Currently the DOJ’s request to dismiss the case is now pending before federal Judge Emmet Sullivan. Sullivan has failed to grant the DOJ’s request to dismiss the case and because of that Powell has filed a writ of mandamus to the U.S. D.C. Court of Appeals seeking the immediate removal of Sullivan, or to dismiss the prosecution as requested by the DOJ.

Published:5/22/2020 7:10:43 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Kayleigh McEnany puts press on the SPOT, says they should ask Obama’s spox these questions about Flynn unmasking White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany ended her press briefing today by putting the press on the spot and giving them just a few questions they should be asking Obama’s spokesperson about . . . Published:5/22/2020 2:40:56 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Kayleigh McEnany puts press on the SPOT, says they should ask Obama’s spox these questions about Flynn unmasking White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany ended her press briefing today by putting the press on the spot and giving them just a few questions they should be asking Obama’s spokesperson about . . . Published:5/22/2020 2:40:56 PM
[Markets] White House Press Secretary Stuns Journos With Interactive 'Obamagate' Presentation On How To Do Their Jobs White House Press Secretary Stuns Journos With Interactive 'Obamagate' Presentation On How To Do Their Jobs Tyler Durden Fri, 05/22/2020 - 15:25

Shortly before wrapping up an impromptu press conference in which President Trump declared places of worship essential during the pandemic, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany delivered a scorching presentation to the White House Press Corps on Friday - after accusing them of failing to do their jobs regarding 'Obamagate.'

"Did anyone take it upon themselves to pose any questions about Michael Flynn and unmasking to President Obama's spokesperson?" she asked.

One journalist stammers, "but buh but Flynn's name wasn't mas--"

To which McEnany cut back in, continuing "So I would like to lay out a series of questions and perhaps, if I write them out in a slide format - maybe we're visual learners and you guys will follow up with journalistic curiosity."

She then played four slides with questions to ask:

  • "Why did the Obama Admin use opposition research, funded by a political organization and filled with foreign dirt to SPY ON MEMBERS OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN?"
  • "Why was Lt. Gen. Micahel Flynn UNMASKED by Obama's Chief of Staff, Joe Biden, Susan Rice, and others?"
  • "Why was Flynn's identity leaked - A CRIMINAL ACT - to the press?"
  • "Why did the DOJ learn about the FBI's interest in Flynn's conversations with the Russian Amb. from a CONVERSATION WITH OBAMA in the Oval Office?"

Watch:

Published:5/22/2020 2:40:56 PM
[9ed63620-52d2-536e-9590-9f972f9f0533] Tim Graham: Anti-Trump media play dumb on Obamagate – See, hear, speak no evil about ex-president Team Biden either is incredibly effective at pressuring reporters to ignore the Obama scandals or never had to pressure them in the first place. Published:5/22/2020 11:38:55 AM
[Markets] Obama's Ambassador To Beijing Compares Trump To Hitler On Chinese TV Obama's Ambassador To Beijing Compares Trump To Hitler On Chinese TV Tyler Durden Fri, 05/22/2020 - 11:25

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, American leftists have been repeatedly caught parroting the rhetoric of the CCP as they decried President Trump's use of the term "Chinese Virus" as racist while amplifying unfounded claims that President Trump is solely responsible for all of the deaths in the US, despite the growing body of evidence that the coronavirus was spreading in the US even earlier than initially believed (the first known death has been dated to Feb. 6 in California, which suggests the virus was likely spreading in the US before the end of January).

As a reminder, China didn't inform the world about the evidence of human to human transmission (which they likely possessed for 6+ weeks at that point) until Jan. 22.

Despite all of this, Democrats have taken a distinctly "soft on China" tack, in opposition to President Trump's increasing hawkishness, even going so far as to side with the CCP (which, remember, just put 1 million+ Muslims into concentration camps) over the White House, as the National Review pointed out in a recent article.

One of the most galling examples of this phenomenon to date occurred Thursday, when former Obama-era ambassador and noted Sinophile Max Baucus, also a former Democratic Senator from Montana, compared President Trump to Hitler during an appearance in the Chinese press.

The former U.S. ambassador to China during the Obama administration has compared President Trump to Adolf Hitler and Joseph McCarthy on Chinese state-run television.

Max Baucus, who served as Montana senator from 1978 to 2014 until he was appointed ambassador to Beijing, compared Trump’s rhetoric on China to that of Hitler and McCarthy during a May 6 interview on CNN. Since then, Baucus has appeared on Chinese state television and repeated his claims.

"Joe McCarthy [and] Adolf Hitler…rallied people up, making people believe things that were really not true,” Baucus told China Global Television Network on May 12. "The White House and some in Congress are making statements against China that are so over the top and so hypercritical, they are based not on the fact, or if they are based on fact, sheer demagoguery, and that’s what McCarthy did in the 1950s."

Appearing on CNN is one thing. But what, we wonder, would motivate a former US Senator to appear in Chinese state-controlled media like this, blatantly parroting Chinese state propaganda, or at least willingly playing along with it.

Aside from criticizing President Trump, Baucus has waxed about America's impending decline on Chinese television, playing into an even more sinister theme of anti-Americanism.

On May 14, Baucus told China’s state-run Global Times, “We Americans are so used to being number one. We’re so used to being the leader in the world. Now that might change.”

During his time in the Senate, Baucus rose to become chairman of the Senate Finance Committee (which is different from the Senate Banking Committee before which Mnuchin and Powell testified earlier this week) and has been credited as a chief architect of Obamacare.

Published:5/22/2020 10:38:22 AM
[Politics] Michelle Obama Starts Program to Increase Voter Turnout Michelle Obama launched an initiative geared toward increasing voter turnout in the 2020 election on Thursday, The Washington Post reports.  Published:5/22/2020 9:40:56 AM
[] Why Has Barack Obama's Unprecedented War with Inspectors General Been Forgotten? Published:5/21/2020 7:49:30 PM
[Education] Why a Return to Obama’s Student Loan Forgiveness Rules Would Be a Mistake

The battle over the Department of Education’s borrower defense to repayment rule, which governs student loan repayments when a student claims he has been defrauded... Read More

The post Why a Return to Obama’s Student Loan Forgiveness Rules Would Be a Mistake appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:5/21/2020 3:03:56 PM
[Politics] Turns out Flynn was unmasked by Obama officials weeks before the Kislyak call… A lot of the talk surrounding LTG Michael Flynn being unmasked by the Obama administration has been about the Kislyak call. But it turns out that Flynn was many times in the . . . Published:5/21/2020 2:04:47 PM
[Politics] Turns out Flynn was unmasked by Obama officials weeks before the Kislyak call… A lot of the talk surrounding LTG Michael Flynn being unmasked by the Obama administration has been about the Kislyak call. But it turns out that Flynn was many times in the . . . Published:5/21/2020 2:04:47 PM
[Markets] Flynn Targeted By Christopher Steele After FBI Offered To Pay Ex-Spook 'Significantly' Flynn Targeted By Christopher Steele After FBI Offered To Pay Ex-Spook 'Significantly' Tyler Durden Thu, 05/21/2020 - 13:15

In the weeks leading up to the 2016 election, the FBI offered to pay former British spy Christopher Steele "significantly" for collecting intelligence on Michael Flynn, according to the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross.

The FBI's proposal - made during an October 3, 2016 meeting in an unidentified European city, and virtually ignored by the press - has taken on new significance in light of recent documents exposing how the Obama administration targeted Flynn before and after president Trump's upset victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The inspector general’s report, released on Dec. 9, 2019, said that FBI agents offered to pay Steele “significantly” to collect intelligence from three separate “buckets” that the bureau was pursuing as part of Crossfire Hurricane, its counterintelligence probe of four Trump campaign associates.

One bucket was “Additional intelligence/reporting on specific, named individuals (such as [Carter Page] or [Flynn]) involved in facilitating the Trump campaign-Russian relationship,” the IG report stated.

FBI agents also sought contact with “any individuals or sub sources” who Steele could provide to “serve as cooperating witnesses to assist in identifying persons involved in the Trump campaign-Russian relationship.”

Steele at the time had provided the FBI with reports he compiled alleging that members of the Trump campaign had conspired with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election. -Daily Caller

Of note, Steele was promoting a discredited rumor that Flynn had an extramarital affair with Svetlana Lokhova, a Russian-British academic who studied at the University of Cambridge. This rumor was amplified by the Wall Street Journal and The Guardian in March, 2017.

According to the Inspector General's report, the FBI gave Steele a "general overview" of their Crossfire Hurricane probe - including their efforts to surveil Trump campaign aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, along with Paul Manafort and Flynn. In fact - some FBI agents questioned whether the lead agent told Steel too much about the operation, according to the IG report.

Via the Daily Caller

In recent weeks, the release of two documents raise questions about potential links between the FBI's request of Steele and the Lokhova rumor.

One of the documents is a transcript of longtime John McCain associate David Kramer’s interview with the House Intelligence Committee. Kramer testified on Dec. 17, 2017, that Steele told him in December 2016 that he suspected that Flynn had an extramarital affair with a Russian woman.

“There was one thing he mentioned to me that is not included here, and that is he believed that Mr. Flynn had an extramarital affair with a Russian woman in the U.K.,” Kramer told lawmakers.

Kramer said that Steele conveyed that Flynn’s alleged mistress was a “Russian woman” who “may have been a dual citizen.”

An FBI memo dated Jan. 4, 2017, contained another allegation regarding Flynn and a mysterious Russian woman.

The memo, which was provided to Flynn’s lawyers on April 30, said that an FBI confidential human source (CHS) told the bureau that they were present at an event that Flynn attended while he was still working in the U.S. intelligence community. -Daily Caller

Lokhova and Flynn have denied the rumors - with Lokhova's husband telling the Daily Caller News Foundation that he picked his wife up after the Cambridge dinner where an FBI informant said they 'left together in a cab.'

Meanwhile, a DIA official who was at the Cambridge event with Flynn also told the WSJ in March 2017 that there was nothing inappropriate going on between Flynn and Lokhova.

Read the rest of the report here.

Published:5/21/2020 12:32:03 PM
[James Comey] Spying By the Book (John Hinderaker) Michael Ramirez comments on Susan Rice’s infamous CYA memo to herself, in which she repeatedly says that the Obama administration’s investigation of the Trump campaign–really, its effort to destroy the Trump administration by fraudulent means–was done “by the book.” On Michael’s web site, the cartoon is accompanied by my post, Explosive Rice Memo Declassified. Click to enlarge: Published:5/21/2020 12:02:05 PM
[] Obama's FBI Offered To Pay Christopher Steele To Dig Up Dirt on Mike Flynn Published:5/21/2020 11:31:46 AM
[Politics] News Analysis: Trump's obsession with Obama turns two-way race into a three-way tangle

The president's animus is long-standing. Obama is eager to help Biden defeat him.

Published:5/21/2020 8:31:16 AM
[Markets] In Africa, COVID-19 Cases Near 100k As Global Total Passes 5 Million: Live Updates In Africa, COVID-19 Cases Near 100k As Global Total Passes 5 Million: Live Updates Tyler Durden Thu, 05/21/2020 - 08:26

Summary:

  • African CDC says cases pass 95k
  • Russian deaths top 3k
  • NYPost pressures de Blasio to reopen NYC
  • MSM already blaming Trump for failing to stop 'second wave' of virus
  • Nigerian doctors in Lagos end day-long "Doctor's strike" over police harassment
  • UK launches study into effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID prophylactic

* * *

The world reached a particularly powerful coronavirus milestone last night: The number of cases confirmed across the world topped the 5 million mark roughly 5 months after the first cases of the virus were confirmed in Wuhan back in December. 

We also noted that Brazil is on track to overtake Russia as the second-largest outbreak in the world (after the US, of course) as it continues to break records with its daily number of confirmed cases, as testing ramps up after months of minimal government intervention to stop the virus.

In a bold move that's bound to elicit a flood of public anger from the 'stay home, save lives' crowd, the cover of Thursday's NY Post pleads with Mayor de Blasio to reopen the city. At this point, the data around the country clearly suggests that deaths and the number of newly confirmed cases have continued to fall, even as the MSM continues to focus on a couple of examples of 'misleading' presentation of data during the earlier days of the reopening in Georgia and Florida.

Amusingly, the MSM has already pivoted to criticizing the Trump Administration for things that haven't even happened yet. To wit, the Guardian reports that 9 "Obama Administration scientists" have signed onto a warning that the Trump Administration has "just 3 months" to rebuild its stockpiles of PPE before the next wave of the outbreak, the Guardian reports. The outbreaks in Brazil and Russia - not to mention the 'partial lockdown' imposed on another 100+ million in northeastern China - aren't exactly reassuring, but this phenomenon of "pre-blaming" Trump for failures that haven't happened yet seems to be growing more common since the NYT slammed the White House over projections calling for 3k deaths a day by June 1.

In a handful of countries including India, doctors have reported experience surprising levels of harassment from fellow citizens and police as some blame them for failing to save relatives who have succumbed to the virus. As unbelievable as this might sound to Westerners, Al Jazeera reports that Nigeria's largest medical union has ordered its members in Lagos to resume work, ending a strike inspired by allegations of police harassment. The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) doctors' union, which ordered Lagos members to stop work indefinitely from Wednesday evening, said it had received assurances that doctors would be exempt from a nationwide overnight curfew and would therefore be allowed to move freely.

Despite official figures showing fewer than 500 deaths, scientists in South Africa are projecting up to 50,000 coronavirus deaths and as many as three million infections by the end of the year as the southern hemisphere braces for a rising infection rate as winter begins. SA already has the highest number of infections and deaths on the continent, with more than 18,000 identified cases and 339 deaths, but a national lockdown entering its sixth week had slowed infections.

Across Africa, the number of cases is creeping closer to 100k, after passing the 90k mark on Thursday. The number of the infected has reached 95,201, per the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the latest data, the death toll on the continent was 2,997, while 38,075 people have recovered.

For the second day in a row, Indonesia has set a new record for new cases, bringing the total to 20,162 in the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia confirmed 973 new infections and 36 new deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 1,278, according to health ministry official Achmad Yurianto.

After lifting his state of emergency order in the prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo on Thursday, Japanese PM Abe said he could lift the emergency status in Tokyo as soon as next week.

"The state of emergency will continue in Tokyo, Hokkaido and other regions. We will meet with experts (on Monday) to update the situation on infections," Abe told reporters after ending the state of emergency in Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures. "If the current situation continues, it is possible that the state of emergency could be lifted in those areas."

As the US press slams President Trump for taking HQX for prophylactic purposes, UK healthcare workers will take part in a University of Oxford-led international trial of two anti-malarial drugs to see if they can indeed prevent COVID-19.

The 'COPCOV' study will involve more than 40,000 frontline healthcare workers from Europe, Africa, Asia and South America to determine if chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine truly are effective.

Finally, in Russia, officials said Thursday that the death toll topped 3,000 after another 127 deaths were reported, bringing the Russia-wide total to 3,099. Additionally, authorities reported 8,849 new cases of the virus, which brought Russia's outbreak - the second-largest in the world behind the US - to 317,554.

Published:5/21/2020 7:30:26 AM
[National Security] Obama’s Man in China Now Beijing’s Man in Washington

As the novel coronavirus wreaks havoc across the world, the Obama administration's ambassador to China has found a second lease on life as a pro-China talking head on regime propaganda outlets.

The post Obama’s Man in China Now Beijing’s Man in Washington appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:5/21/2020 4:59:10 AM
[2d1c29ff-b0eb-53df-b5ff-1986615b6a66] Donna Brazile: Trump falsely accuses Obama of ‘political scandal’ to distract us from his own many failures No matter how hard President Trump tries to smear President Obama, we will not forget the tremendous accomplishments of the Obama-Biden administration.. Published:5/21/2020 4:29:10 AM
[Markets] Sjursen: What On Earth Is The US Doing By Bombing Somalia? Sjursen: What On Earth Is The US Doing By Bombing Somalia? Tyler Durden Thu, 05/21/2020 - 03:10

Authored by Maj. Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.) via AntiWar.com,

The Trump administration has quietly ramped up a vicious bombing – and covert raiding – campaign in Somalia amid a global coronavirus pandemic. Neither the White House nor the Pentagon has provided any explanation for the deadly escalation of a war that Congress hasn’t declared and the media rarely reports. At stake are many thousands of lives.

The public statistics show a considerable increase in airstrikes from Obama’s presidency. From 2009 to 2016, the U.S. military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced 36 airstrikes in Somalia. Under Trump, it conducted at least 63 bombing raids just last year, with another 39 such attacks in the first four months of 2020. The ostensible US target has usually been the Islamist insurgent group al-Shabab, but often the real – or at least consequent – victims are long-embattled Somali civilians.

As for the most direct victims, it’s become clear that notoriously image-conscious AFRICOM public affairs officers have long undercounted and underreported the number of civilians killed in their expanding aerial bombardments. According to Airwars, a UK-based airstrike monitoring group, civilian fatalities – while low relative to other bombing campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Syria – may exceed official Pentagon estimates by as much as 6,800 percent. Only these deaths don’t tell the half of it. Tens of thousands of Somalis have fled areas that the US regularly bombs, filtering into already overcrowded refugee camps outside of the capital of Mogadishu.

There are approximately 2.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia who barely survive and are often reliant on humanitarian aid. So vulnerable are the refugees in the pandemic-petri-dish camps, that one mother of seven described feeling “like we are waiting for death to come.” Her fears may prove justified. Recently, coronavirus cases have risen rapidly in Somalia – a country with no public health system to speak of – and due to severely limited testing availability, experts believe the actual tally is much higher than reported. No matter how AFRICOM spins it, their escalatory war will only exacerbate the country’s slow-boiling crisis.

A Sordid Backstory

While comprehensive analysis of the sordid history of US military operations in Somalia would fill multiple volumes, it’s worth recalling the basic contours of Washington’s record. During the Cold War, the US pressured the United Nations to hand over the ethnically Somali Ogaden region to Ethiopia, then proceeded to arm and back this sworn enemy of Mogadishu. That is until Marxist Ethiopian military officers took power in a 1974 putsch, at which point America turned on a dime, and changed sides. Washington then backed Somalia in the ensuing war over Ogaden. Over the next decade and a half, the US propped up the abusive and corrupt Somali dictator Mohammed Siad Barre.

Nevertheless, after the Berlin Wall came down and Barre, a notorious human rights-violator, had outlived his Cold War usefulness, Congress cut off military and – more importantly – economic aid. Barre was soon toppled in a coup, and clan-based militias carved up the remnants of the Somali state. Civil war raged, and hundreds of thousands of civilians starved to death in the ensuing famine. Thanks to the blockbuster 2001 Hollywood film “Blackhawk Down,” what came next is the one bit of Somali history most Americans know. In 1992, US troops filtered into Somalia to support what began as a United Nations humanitarian response. No doubt, they eventually did some good.

In the chaos, the UN and especially the UStook sides in the civil war. Then after American special operators killed numerous civilians in the hunt for one particular warlord, thousands of angry Somalis turned on a group of army rangers and Delta Force commandos during another botched raid. In the day-long battle that inspired the film, 18 US soldiers and – far less reported – some 500 Somali men, women, and children were killed. With no stomach for the bad press of body bags being brought home, President Bill Clinton pulled the troops out within months.

For several years, Washington reverted to largely ignoring the ongoing Somali tragedy. That is until the 2001 terror attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., placed the region – and anything vaguely Islamist – into the Pentagon’s crosshairs. There hadn’t been much of an al-Qaeda presence in Somalia at the time, so the US basically “invented” one. In 2006, after an imperfect but popular Islamic Courts movement brought some stability to the capitol, Washington encouraged, backed, and even took part in an Ethiopian invasion.

This too backfired. The more hardline al-Shabab was empowered, largely catalyzed, and grew in popularity through its resistance to the illegal Ethiopian occupation and to the corrupt UN and U.S.-backed interim governments that followed. What AFRICOM’s director of operations called the “disease” of al-Shabab is now used as a vague justification of the latest escalation in US airstrikes.

AFRICOM Inertia

How many Americans know that some 500800 US troops are based in Somalia at any given time? Fewer still likely have the faintest idea that three Americans were killed in neighboring Kenya just a few months back, when al-Shabab nearly overran an airbase that housed some US troops.

Apathy and ignorance are troubling enough, but as has been the case for nearly all recent interventions in the Greater Middle East, Washington’s aggressive Somalia policy has proven counterproductive. The more intense and overt the US military strikes and presence, the more empowered al-Shabab becomes since the group is as much nationalist resistant movement as terror group. While this admittedly abhorrent crew kills and oppresses Somali civilians as much as or more than American bombs or U.S.-backed government security forces, Washington’s self-sabotage is real. As a Brown University Costs of War Project report concludes: “Al-Shabaab is fueled, in part, by the US war against it.” Though affiliated with al-Qaeda, al-Shabab’s recruits, expertise, and grievances are mainly local. Most funding comes from piracy and other criminal enterprises.

The United Nations with tacit support from even America’s NATO allies has called for a global ceasefire during the coronavirus pandemic. The Trump team has only escalated military actions in various hotspots – particularly Somalia. This won’t play well with allies, adversaries, or neutral nations alike. If anything, it will drive the latter into the arms of Russia or China. In the face of such strategic inertia, one can’t help but wish the US military would heed its own doctrine.

It might start with number four on its list of the eight “paradoxes” of counterinsurgency: “Doing Nothing is Sometimes the Best Action.”

Published:5/21/2020 2:29:08 AM
[2020 Election] Virginia City That Voted Obama Twice Just Threw Democrats Out Of Office

Virginia City That Voted Obama Twice Just Threw Democrats Out Of Office. The people are getting tired of having their constitutional rights stepped all over by morons. Three Democratic members of the Staunton, Virginia, city council were ousted by Republicans on Tuesday despite receiving more votes than they did four years ago.

The post Virginia City That Voted Obama Twice Just Threw Democrats Out Of Office appeared first on IHTM.

Published:5/20/2020 9:57:57 PM
[] NBC: Trump abandons another presidential tradition to slap Obama Published:5/20/2020 9:28:22 PM
[] Washington Post: Flynn's name wasn't masked in FBI document about his call with Amb. Kislyak Published:5/20/2020 6:30:17 PM
[Media] Spot the Difference: Pompeo’s Concerning Dinner Parties vs. Obama’s ‘Intellectual Escapes’

Media outlets are furiously investigating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's dinner parties with politicians, business leaders, and celebrities. They note that some "officials" have "raised concerns" about the "elite taxpayer-funded dinners."

The post Spot the Difference: Pompeo’s Concerning Dinner Parties vs. Obama’s ‘Intellectual Escapes’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:5/20/2020 6:00:25 PM
[Politics & Ideas] Biden Doesn’t Have to Worry About Progressives
The Obama-Trump voter conundrum.
View Post
Published:5/20/2020 3:00:03 PM
[Politics] Liberals are losing their minds over Ted Cruz tweet that Trump retweeted yesterday Yesterday we posted on a tweet from Ted Cruz that put into perspective just how unprecedented it was for the Obama admin to spy on Trump’s campaign and transition team: Wow. Ongoing . . . Published:5/20/2020 2:00:18 PM
[Politics] Liberals are losing their minds over Ted Cruz tweet that Trump retweeted yesterday Yesterday we posted on a tweet from Ted Cruz that put into perspective just how unprecedented it was for the Obama admin to spy on Trump’s campaign and transition team: Wow. Ongoing . . . Published:5/20/2020 1:28:23 PM
[] SUSAN RICE CONFIRMS THAT SHE WAS DIRECTED TO WRITE HER COVER-YOUR-ASS "BY THE BOOK" MEMO BY OBAMA'S WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL #BREAKING: @AmbassadorRice?s team confirms to #FoxNews that she was directed by White House Counsel to write the Jan 20, 2017 memorandum documenting an Oval Office meeting in which President Obama & National Security officials discussed #MichaelFlynn.— Gillian Turner (@GillianHTurner) May... Published:5/20/2020 1:28:23 PM
[403867d9-2e19-5235-aace-444a90c9e775] Andrew McCarthy: The Susan Rice Michael Flynn CYA email We have now learned that Rice was deeply involved in the Obama administration’s Trump–Russia investigation Published:5/20/2020 12:55:07 PM
[Law] Sen. Lindsey Graham Demands ‘Unmasking’ Records on Trump, Members of His Family and Campaign

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham requested records Tuesday of Obama administration officials who made so-called unmasking requests for information on President Donald Trump, as... Read More

The post Sen. Lindsey Graham Demands ‘Unmasking’ Records on Trump, Members of His Family and Campaign appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:5/20/2020 12:55:07 PM
[] FAKE NEWS: Media Blames Trump For Refusing To Hold Portrait Unveiling for Obama Published:5/20/2020 10:30:09 AM
[2020 Election] Biden Forgets Obama Fired Inspector General

Former vice president Joe Biden drew a blank on Tuesday when asked about former president Barack Obama's dismissal of an inspector general from his administration.

The post Biden Forgets Obama Fired Inspector General appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:5/20/2020 10:30:08 AM
[Markets] Snyder: Fear Of COVID-19 Has Absolutely Destroyed America's Future Snyder: Fear Of COVID-19 Has Absolutely Destroyed America's Future Tyler Durden Tue, 05/19/2020 - 22:05

Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

Very few people are talking about it, and even fewer are bothering to object, but by borrowing and spending so much money our politicians are essentially feeding America’s financial future into a wood chipper. 

It took from the founding of our country all the way to 1981 before the U.S. national debt reached one trillion dollars.  Incredibly, we just added more than a trillion dollars to our national debt in less than a month.  On April 5th, we were 23.9 trillion dollars in debt, and by May 4th we were 25 trillion dollars in debt.  Fear of the coronavirus has caused nearly all of our politicians to suddenly become socialists, and we are being told that trillions more in spending may be coming.  This is complete and utter lunacy, and we are leaving future generations of Americans with a mountain of debt that would absolutely crush them. 

But of course our society may not even last too much longer at the rate we are going.  For years I have been loudly warning that our absurd national debt is an existential threat to America’s future, but at this point both major political parties have completely abandoned any sense of fiscal responsibility.  Now our national debt is rapidly speeding toward the 26 trillion dollar mark, and the House of Representatives just passed a bill that would borrow and spend an additional 3 trillion dollars that we do not currently have...

Last week, House Democrats unveiled their latest pandemic-relief package. The bill combines aid for families, a bailout for struggling cities and states, and additional funds for testing, tracing, and hospitals. The price tag is about $3 trillion—and it comes just weeks after the president signed an economic-relief package worth about $2 trillion.

Since we are destroying the nation anyway, why don’t we make the grand total a nice round 10 trillion dollars like the progressives at the Atlantic are suggesting?

After all, we added close to 10 trillion dollars to the national debt during the Obama years and hardly anyone seemed to mind.

Of course Trump is trying to outdo Obama.  We have already added more than 5 trillion dollars to the national debt while he has been in office, and it looks like more “coronavirus relief bills” could be on the way.

Yes, borrowing and spending money that we do not have gives us an economic boost in the present.

But it is also money that we are stealing from future generations, and we are systematically destroying the bright future that they were supposed to have.

Since Barack Obama’s first day in the White House, we have been stealing an average of more than 100 million dollars from our children and our grandchildren every single hour of every single day.

And under Trump, that pace has actually increased.

I know that figure is difficult to believe, but run the numbers yourself and you will see that I am correct.

What we are doing to future generations is beyond criminal, and it should make every American deeply angry.

But instead, many Americans are convinced that we aren’t spending enough.

In fact, Mark Cuban believes that the government should be issuing $1,000 checks to each household every two weeks

The federal government has already sent a one-time check of up to $1,200 to millions of American families, but according to Mark Cuban, the stimulus is not enough to offset the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic.

The billionaire entrepreneur proposed the government issue $1,000 checks to every American household every two weeks for the next two months, with the caveat that the money must be spent within 10 days of receipt or it expires. It would cost about $500 billion, Cuban estimated.

Everybody knows that you should never go full Weimar Republic, but since we are essentially doing that already, why not make it $10,000 for every household every two weeks?

After all, $1,000 doesn’t go as far as it once did.  These days, you can blow $1,000 in a single trip to the grocery store.

Of course I am being facetious.  We are literally watching our leaders destroy everything that all previous generations of Americans fought so hard to build, and it is absolutely infuriating.

At this point even the ultra-liberal Washington Post is admitting that “the national debt is out of control”, but of course the Post also keeps on promoting ultra-liberal spending policies.

We are like a morbidly obese guy that can’t even fit in his own bathtub anymore because he is so addicted to food.  Our addiction is debt, and no matter how loud the warnings get we are just going to keep going back for more.

Ultimately, the only way that the U.S. is going to be able to service this exploding debt is to wildly devalue the currency.  This is the road that the Weimar Republic, Venezuela and so many others have gone down, and it always ends in utter disaster.

Only this time the biggest economy on the entire planet is doing it, and the currency that we are devaluing is the reserve currency of the world.

Sadly, there is no turning back now.  Both political parties are completely committed to this course, and the mainstream media is fully behind them.  In fact, CNN insists that “now is not the time to cut back on the borrowing”.

So when will be the time to cut back on borrowing?

If we need to add trillions to the national debt to deal with a relatively minor crisis like this coronavirus pandemic, what in the world are we going to do when really bad stuff starts happening?

Last November, I was absolutely horrified when our national debt hit the 23 trillion dollar mark.  But by the time this November rolls around, we might be at the 27 or 28 trillion dollar mark.

Unfortunately, we throw the word “trillion” around so much these days that most Americans don’t even realize how much money a trillion dollars actually is.

If you would have been spending a million dollars every single day since Jesus was born, you still would not have spent a trillion dollars by now.

We are talking about an amount of money that is absolutely unimaginable, and we just added that much money to the national debt in less than a month.

Thanks to our free spending politicians and everyone that is supporting them, there is now no future for this country.

We are literally committing national suicide in front of the whole world, but we are so utterly consumed by our addiction that we don’t even realize that we should be deeply ashamed of ourselves.

Published:5/19/2020 9:09:45 PM
[3211e439-8598-57d9-8113-cfaac51fa066] Andrew McCarthy: Rice tried to protect Obama, blame Comey for withholding intelligence from Flynn & Trump team Susan Rice’s objective was to absolve President Barack Obama of any blame for directing that Russia information be concealed from Trump and his incoming national security team, particularly Michael Flynn, who was slated to become national security adviser. Published:5/19/2020 8:25:48 PM
[Politics] Rice Email Out: Comey Talked Keeping Info From Flynn Fired FBI Director James Comey told then-President Barack Obama the National Security Council might need to withhold information from incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn before he assumed his post.... Published:5/19/2020 6:21:31 PM
[Markets] Declassified Rice Email Confirms Obama, Biden And Comey Targeted Flynn Declassified Rice Email Confirms Obama, Biden And Comey Targeted Flynn Tyler Durden Tue, 05/19/2020 - 17:05

A newly declassified version of an email that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice sent to herself confirms that President Obama, VP Joe Biden and former FBI Director James Comey were actively targeting Michael Flynn over his discussions with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

According to The Federalist, "In the email, portions of which were not declassified until recently, Rice recorded that Flynn, who at the time was the incoming national security adviser for Trump, was personally discussed and targeted during the meeting with Obama."

"Comey said he does have some concerns that incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian Ambassador Kislyak," Rice wrote too herself in a now-declassified portion of the letter, adding "Comey said that could be an issue as it relates to sharing sensitive information."

"President Obama asked if Comey was saying the NSC should not pass sensitive information related to Russia to Flynn," the email continues. "Comey replied ‘potentially.'"

"[Comey] added that he has no indication thus far that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak, but he noted that 'the level of communication is unusual,'" Rice wrote - which The Federalist points out does not explain how it would be "unusual" for an incoming national security adviser to hold discussions with foreign leaders prior to the inauguration.

Many observers believe the calls between Flynn and Kislyak were little more than pretext to hide the Obama administration’s spy campaign against Trump from the newly elected president’s team and to justify a continued inquisition against Flynn.

The newly declassified portions of the Jan. 5 Rice email confirm that the targeting of Flynn was coordinated within the inner sanctum of the White House and that both Obama and Biden were deeply involved in the campaign to take down Flynn. -The Federalist

Meanwhile, the FBI tried to close the Flynn investigation on January 4, when agent Peter Strzok insisted it continue. Handwritten notes from an FBI agent tasked with investigating Flynn reveal that they were targeting Flynn in early 2017 with the intent of prosecuting him or getting him fired.

The DOJ recently filed to dismiss all charges against Flynn in light of the recently revealed FBI abuse, however the judge in the case has stonewalled the request - and is now allowing third parties to weigh in on Flynn's case.

Read the declassified letter below:

Published:5/19/2020 4:25:01 PM
[Middle Column] Paul Ehrlich on COVID: ‘We desperately need a national shutdown, and ordered from the top’ – Also admits it was ‘mistake’ to put in ‘scenarios’ (predictions) in his ‘Population Bomb’ book

Paul Ehrlich: "I don't know a single person, virologist, epidemiologist on -- I know a lot of them -- I trust them all. Everybody says the same thing. We desperately need a national shutdown, and ordered from the top."

Ehrlich on his book: "The worst mistake we made was to put in scenarios. which are little stories to help you think about the future. But every reviewer treated them as if they were predictions. And I would not do that again."

 Ehrlich: "Even people as smart as Obama won't say we have too many people, we are growing too fast."

"I don't think there is a chance in hell that we will get the changes we need to keep civilization going. I hate to tell you that. But I don't see any sign. I can't be optimistic." -  "I had great hopes I would die before the collapse really got going, but I missed. The smartest thing I ever did was to be born in 1932."

"If you think the health problems of this virus pandemic are serious. They are nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to the health threat of climate change. There is no chance as far as we can tell that this particular coronavirus will kill everybody, but climate disruption can kill everybody. And we have very little time to act. And instead of acting in the right direction, this moronic imbecile (Trump) is working very hard to kill Americans and other human beings in the future for his personal gain and profit." 

#

Overpopulation guru Paul Ehrlich still ginning up fear at age 87: ‘It’s insane to have so many people alive at the same time’ – Claims: ‘Trump’s got a lot of blood on his hands’

Published:5/19/2020 4:25:01 PM
[] 'The American people deserve answers': Mitch McConnell says 'Senate Republicans are taking steps to' move forward in 'Obamagate' investigation [video] Published:5/19/2020 2:18:38 PM
[Politics] WATCH: McConnell scorches former Obama admin over abuses targeting Trump’s campaign, vows Senate Republicans will get to the bottom of it Leader McConnell spoke on the Senate floor today about the abuses of the Obama administration of federal law enforcement agencies against the Trump campaign, and said Republicans in the Senate will get . . . Published:5/19/2020 11:49:40 AM
[Politics] WATCH: McConnell scorches former Obama admin over abuses targeting Trump’s campaign, vows Senate Republicans will get to the bottom of it Leader McConnell spoke on the Senate floor today about the abuses of the Obama administration of federal law enforcement agencies against the Trump campaign, and said Republicans in the Senate will get . . . Published:5/19/2020 11:49:40 AM
[] Trump: I'm surprised Barr won't go after Obama and Biden Published:5/19/2020 11:23:09 AM
[Markets] Senate GOP Compile Massive Subpoena List For FBI Abuse Probe; Demand Unredacted Susan Rice Letter Senate GOP Compile Massive Subpoena List For FBI Abuse Probe; Demand Unredacted Susan Rice Letter Tyler Durden Tue, 05/19/2020 - 11:05

In the wake of bombshell evidence that shows the Obama DOJ inappropriately targeted the 2016 Trump campaign, Senate Republicans have compiled a list of 53 individuals they want to interview as part of their own comprehensive probe into the matter, separate of the Trump DOJ's separate criminal investigation headed up by US Attorney John Durham.

That said, as Fox News reports, the effort is being led by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), so we expect weekly cable news appearances in which Graham wags his finger and issues the sternest of empty threats to investigate the swamp.

Graham has previously come under fire for failing to follow through on promises to seek testimony from current and former DOJ and FBI officials - telling Fox News' Maria Bartiromo that he doesn't want to interfere with Durham's probe.

But - in the unlikely event Graham isn't going to simply run cover for the swamp in a sham investigation designed to placate those who seek justice, here are the names of those on the subpoena list, via Fox News:

The majors:

[former FBI Director] James Comey, [former FBI Deputy Director] Andrew McCabe, [former Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper, [former CIA Director] John Brennan, [former Deputy Attorney General] Sally Yates.

We note that the names of both President Obama and his VP Joe Biden are conspicuously absent, despite the fact that both of them were in a January 5, 2017 meeting in which Obama gave Comey the nod to conceal information from the incoming Trump administration.

Graham, in response, said that asking for testimony from a former president would set a 'dangerous precedent.'

Everyone else:

"Trisha Anderson, Brian Auten, James Baker, William Barr, Dana Boente, Jennifer Boone, Kevin Clinesmith [the FBI lawyer who allegedly falsified a CIA email to secure the Carter Page FISA warrant], Patrick Conlon, Michael Dempsey, Stuart Evans, Tashina Gauhar [a top DOJ deputy when classified details of Flynn's calls with the Russian ambassador were illegally leaked to The Washington Post], Carl Ghattas, Curtis Heide, Kathleen Kavalec, David Laufman [who arranged a key meeting with a Steele dossier source], Stephen Laycock, Jacob Lew, Loretta Lynch, Mary McCord, Denis McDonough, Arthur McGlynn, Jonathan Moffa, Sally Moyer, Mike Neufield, Sean Newell, Victoria Nuland, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Stephanie L. O’Sullivan, Lisa Page, Joseph Pientka [who interviewed Flynn at the White House while also playing a key role in the Carter Page probe, and whom the FBI has hidden from scrutiny], John Podesta, Samantha Power, E.W. “Bill” Priestap [who authored the memo debating whether the bureau simply wanted Flynn "fired"], Sarah Raskin, Steve Ricchetti, Susan Rice, Rod Rosenstein, Gabriel Sanz-Rexach, Nathan Sheets, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Glenn Simpson, Steve Somma [an FBI case agent who apparently was involved in several key FISA omissions], Peter Strzok, Michael Sussman, Adam Szubin, Jonathan Winer, and Christopher Wray."

Priestap authored a handwritten memo that openly questioned if the FBI's "goal" in interviewing Flynn was "to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired" -- a document that the feds turned over earlier this month, even though the DOJ had been under an obligation to turn over potentially exculpatory materials to Flynn for more than two years.

Documents also revealed  that Strzok, the anti-Trump FBI agent who also participated in the Flynn interview, pushed to keep the Flynn probe alive even though the FBI's Washington field office wanted to close the case.

The DOJ revealed late Monday that it has produced the bureau's May 5 interview of Preistap, although the interview notes have remained under seal for now. -Fox News

Fox points out that Pientka - who interviewed Flynn and was involved in the Carter Page investigation, was removed from the FBI's website after the news outlet contacted the agency about his extensive role in the Crossfire Hurricane probe.

Graham's subpoena list is set for debate starting May 21, while a vote is expected June 24. In order to move forward, Judiciary Committee subpoenas would require the consent of a ranking Democrat, or a full vote of the committee.

Meanwhile, Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) requested on Monday that the DOJ turn over an unredacted copy of an email that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice sent to herself on inauguration day documenting that secretive January 5, 2017 Oval Office meeting in which Obama "shocked a top DOJ official with his knowledge of the FBI's Flynn probe."

"I understand your office is currently reviewing a January 20, 2017, email from former National Security Adviser Susan Rice," Johnson wrote to Attorney General Bill Barr. "In that email, Ambassador Rice summarized an Oval Office meeting with President Obama and other administration officials that occurred on January 5, 2017." (via Fox News)

"A majority of Ambassador Rice's email was declassified but a portion of the email remains classified. The significance of that meeting is becoming increasingly apparent as more and more information is declassified. For these reasons, it is essential that Congress and the American people understand what occurred during that January 5, 2017, meeting and how it was later characterized by administration officials. The declassification of Ambassador Rice's email, in whole, will assist these efforts."

Obama was aware of the details of Flynn's intercepted December 2016 phone calls with Russia's then-Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, apparently surprising Sally Yates in the Oval Office meeting, according to documents released this month as exhibits to the government's motion to dismiss the Flynn case. -Fox News

According to documents released earlier this month, Obama's knowledge of the Flynn surveillance apparently surprised Sally Yates during the January 5 meeting.

Obama personally had warned the Trump administration against hiring Flynn, and made clear he was "not a fan," according to multiple officials. Obama had fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014; Obama cited insubordination, while Flynn asserted he was pushed out for his aggressive stance on combating Islamic extremism.

On January 5, 2017, Yates attended an Oval Office meeting with Comey, then-Vice President Joe Biden, Brennan and Clapper, according to the newly declassified documents, including an FD-302 FBI witness report. They were discussing Russian election interference, along with Rice and other members of the national security council.

After the briefing, Obama asked Yates and Comey to "stay behind," and said he had "learned of the information about Flynn" and his conversation with Russia's ambassador about sanctions. Obama "specified that he did not want any additional information on the matter, but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently, given the information." -Fox News

Obama and Biden, meanwhile, get a pass.

Published:5/19/2020 10:18:19 AM
[671bd007-1c8a-52bd-84be-209ea4f8bfe5] Andrew McCarthy: Barr's Obama-Biden remarks – AG is making this important point The attorney general’s remarks on Monday, signaling that the Justice Department anticipates no criminal charges against Obama and Biden, should come as a surprise to no one. Published:5/19/2020 8:48:12 AM
[Politics] It takes one to know one: Biden's experience being picked by Obama shapes search for running mate

Obama's choice of a vice president altered the course of Joe Biden's career. It also is shaping how Biden is going about choosing his own running mate.

Published:5/19/2020 7:18:08 AM
[Politics] Trump-Obama Rift Could Jeopardize White House Portrait Ceremony An ongoing political divide between President Donald Trump and his predecessor former President Barack Obama may put a hold on a decades long tradition, the White House portrait ceremony. The tradition brings the former president back to the East Room for an unveiling... Published:5/19/2020 6:20:42 AM
[] Who's ready for Michelle Obama's "Prom-athon" with MTV? Published:5/18/2020 10:25:15 PM
[Politics] GOP Sen. Ron Johnson Demands Susan Rice Letter Declassified The infamous "by the book" email Obama administration official Susan Rice sent herself in her final moments on the job is now being sought to be fully declassified by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.Johnson made the request of Attorney General William Barr in a letter obtained by... Published:5/18/2020 7:12:54 PM
[Politics] Trump says he’s surprised by Barr’s remarks about Obama and Biden Trump said today that he’s surprised by Barr’s comments that Obama and Biden wouldn’t be criminally investigated, when asked about it as his roundtable meeting. Watch: Trump was in the roundtable meeting . . . Published:5/18/2020 6:42:44 PM
[Obama Administration Scandals] Obama’s Treasury Department Spied on Trump Associates (John Hinderaker) When Acting DNI Richard Grenell released the list of individuals who made unmasking requests relating to General Michael Flynn, one of the curious facts that stood out was the presence of a number of Obama Treasury Department officials on the list. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and no fewer than five of his subordinates–Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary, Acting Assistant Secretary, and so on, all political appointees in the Obama administration–all made Published:5/18/2020 6:42:43 PM
[Politics] Trump says he’s surprised by Barr’s remarks about Obama and Biden Trump said today that he’s surprised by Barr’s comments that Obama and Biden wouldn’t be criminally investigated, when asked about it as his roundtable meeting. Watch: Trump was in the roundtable meeting . . . Published:5/18/2020 6:12:49 PM
[Politics] DiGenova to Newsmax TV: Obama, Biden Shaming 'More Important' Than Charges U.S. Attorney William Barr may have said he doesn't expect a criminal investigation of former President Barack Obama and his vice president, Joe Biden, but that doesn't mean U.S. Attorney John Durham won't expose their actions in his reports on the origins of the Russia... Published:5/18/2020 5:42:19 PM
[Law] Barr Says Obama, Biden Are Not Under Criminal Investigation

Attorney General William Barr poured cold water Monday on the idea that former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden will face criminal... Read More

The post Barr Says Obama, Biden Are Not Under Criminal Investigation appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:5/18/2020 1:41:18 PM
[] Gallup: Trump Approval Rating Higher Than Four of the Last Six Presidents, Including Bush and Obama This can't just be an outlier poll at this point. At 49%, Trump is a hair away from the generally accepted 50%-51% approval political experts consider a lock to win reelection. Both Obama and Bush were at 50% approval on... Published:5/18/2020 1:41:18 PM
[] More Barr: Durham's looking at potential crimes in Crossfire Hurricane, but don't expect Obama or Biden to be targeted Published:5/18/2020 12:41:25 PM
[Markets] It Already Pays Better To Be Unemployed... Illegals Next? It Already Pays Better To Be Unemployed... Illegals Next? Tyler Durden Mon, 05/18/2020 - 13:30

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

In many states workers can do better collecting unemployment than being employed.

Please consider the Coronavirus Unemployment Calculator to determine when and where it's better not to work.

Under the CARES Act, Americans laid off due to the coronavirus receive an additional $600 a week for the next four months, ending July 31st or upon employment. In addition, the unemployment window has been increased in each state by 13 weeks.

Massachusetts generous unemployment policies combined with the stimulus means all workers making under $73,996 would receive more a week unemployed than they do from working.

Many of these salaries outstrip the state's median income, meaning the majority of workers would receive more from an unemployment check than a paycheck.

The stimulus package made significant changes to state unemployment. For the next four months, the unemployed will receive an additional $2,400 a month. Similarly, the added 13 weeks provides people longer to find a job in a new hostile job market.

The new package does mean a good chunk of the workforce are now receiving paychecks smaller than they would on unemployment. This includes workers in essential businesses, including hospitals and super markets, who are putting themselves in harm's way to keep society running.

This is ridiculous of course.

The next stimulus measure needs to cap the benefit at some percentage below what people were making. 

Instead, the next package aims to increase the amounts and pay illegal immigrants as well.

Under threat of a progressive revolt, the House Narrowly Passes $3 Trillion Aid Package

The House narrowly passed a sprawling, $3 trillion coronavirus-relief package Friday night, capping a weeklong effort by Democratic leaders to quash rebellions from various wings of their party.

The House bill includes about $1 trillion in direct aid to states and localities, including grants and education assistance, to deal with the effects of the pandemic. It would put a new round of one-time cash payments into Americans’ bank accounts, extend the duration of enhanced jobless benefits, help cover some rents and mortgages, forgive some student-loan debt and send premium pay to essential workers in fields such as health care.

The bill overcame a key hurdle Friday night when Democratic leaders were able to beat back a Republican effort to strip out a contentious provision enabling undocumented immigrants who have tax identification numbers to receive direct stimulus paymentsKey blocs of liberal and Hispanic lawmakers had threatened to oppose the overall bill if that measure were removed, but voting to preserve it was a political challenge for more centrist Democrats, particularly those in districts won by President Trump.

Republicans made clear that the bill has no prospect of advancing in the GOP-led Senate. “It’s a parade of absurdities that can hardly be taken seriously,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said Thursday on Fox News. Mr. McConnell said that he had spoken recently with President Trump and cabinet officials and that they agree another bill is probably necessary but that “it’s not going to be a $3 trillion left-wing wish list like the speaker is apparently going to try to jam down the throats of her majority.”

Undocumented Definition

Undocumented means illegal.

But it is politically incorrect to be correct. 

Dead on Arrival

The bill of course is dead on arrival in the Senate. 

Heck even 14 Democrats could not stomach the bill, and that's saying quite a lot.

Undocumented Giveaway in California

Meanwhile, in California, Governor Newsom will give $125 million to "undocumented immigrants" affected by coronavirus. 

They can apply for Covid-19 Relief starting Monday.

California is home to more than 2 million undocumented immigrants who aren’t eligible to receive unemployment or stimulus checks from the government.

But the state has set up funding to help support them during the coronavirus crisis, providing $125 million through a public-private partnership. It’s been touted as the first fund of its kind to support undocumented immigrants. The state will contribute $75 million to the fund, with the remaining $50 million coming from private philanthropic partners.

Public-Private Giveaway

California is willing to give $75 million in taxpayer money to illegal immigrants if private philanthropic partners contribute $50 million to the pot. 

Lovely.

This Mess Could Have Been Largely Solved

On January 24, 2018, Democrats offered Trump $20 billion for a wall. .

Senate minority leader Schumer went to the White House and told Trump he could have his wall. “The president picked a number for the wall, and I accepted it,” Schumer recalled in the midst of the shutdown. He had agreed to a significant sum of money for the wall—reported to be $20 billion, though the Democrat’s office will neither confirm nor deny that figure—in exchange for Trump’s support of permanent protections for the nearly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants covered under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Negotiation Points

  • Dreamers need to verify address

  • Dreamers need to have no criminal background

  • Dreamers need to have been in the US for x number of years (x negotiable)

  • Dreamers need to apply for a Dreamer's Card and will immediately be accepted if they meet the above criteria

  • Dreamers not applying for a card and caught in a crime would immediately be deported

  • e-Verify tightened

That was one hell of a great starting point that Schumer threw on Trump's lap.

Instead, Trump got next to nothing for a wall and we still have an immigration mess.

Some of these illegals have been here 5 years or longer, have kids that are US citizens, and are productive members of society. 

Instead of verifying criminal backgrounds and granting a path for citizenship for those who have been her five years or more, the plan is to slosh around money to  all the illegals on a first come first serve basis in California, and to all of them in the House Plan.

This kind of progressive nonsense will not help the Democrats in  November.

Published:5/18/2020 12:41:25 PM
[In The News] Barr Says Obama And Biden Are Not Under Criminal Investigation

By Chuck Ross -

Attorney General William Barr poured cold water Monday on the idea that Barack Obama and Joe Biden will face criminal charges in connection with the surveillance activities against associates of President Donald Trump. “As to President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement, based on the information ...

Barr Says Obama And Biden Are Not Under Criminal Investigation 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:5/18/2020 12:41:25 PM
[] 'GAWD you suck at this!' Ana Navarro's lame attempt to 'list' Obama's scandals versus Trump's goes OH so very wrong Published:5/18/2020 11:41:38 AM
[Politics] AG Barr: Obama, Biden Not Targets of Criminal Investigation in Review of Russia Probe U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Monday he does not expect a Justice Department review of the FBI's handling of 2016 election interference to lead to criminal investigation for former President Barack Obama or former Vice President Joe Biden. Published:5/18/2020 11:41:38 AM
[2020 Election] Barr says he does not expect criminal investigation of Obama or Biden as result of Durham probe

Barr says he does not expect criminal investigation of Obama or Biden as result of Durham probe. We had hopes that Barr was going to get rid of the two-tiered justice system that favors the swamp, but don’t hold your effing breath anything is going to change in Washington, DC.

The post Barr says he does not expect criminal investigation of Obama or Biden as result of Durham probe appeared first on IHTM.

Published:5/18/2020 11:41:38 AM
[Politics] BREAKING: AG Barr announces the Durham probe likely won’t lead to “criminal investigations” of Obama or Biden – [VIDEO] AG Barr just announced that the John Durham investigation into the origins of the phony Russia probe won’t likely lead to criminal investigations of either Obama or Biden: Barr says he does . . . Published:5/18/2020 11:41:38 AM
[Politics] BREAKING: AG Barr announces the Durham probe likely won’t lead to “criminal investigations” of Obama or Biden – [VIDEO] AG Barr just announced that the John Durham investigation into the origins of the phony Russia probe won’t likely lead to criminal investigations of either Obama or Biden: Barr says he does . . . Published:5/18/2020 11:41:38 AM
[Politics] 35% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Thirty-five percent (35%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey for the week ending May 14, 2020.

This week’s finding is unchanged from a week ago. By comparison, this number ran in the mid- to upper 20s for much of 2016, President Obama's last full year in office.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The national telephone survey of 2,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports from May 10-14, 2020. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:5/18/2020 10:43:13 AM
[] FLASHBACK: Obama Illegally Fired an Inspector General to Protect a Sexual Predator Published:5/18/2020 9:09:46 AM
[Markets] Turley: The 'Unmasking' Of Joe Biden Turley: The 'Unmasking' Of Joe Biden Tyler Durden Mon, 05/18/2020 - 10:00

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

The contradictions revealed in recent disclosures, including the list of officials seeking to “unmask” the identity of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, are shocking.  There seems a virtual news blackout on these disclosures, including the fact that both former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden followed the investigation.  Indeed, Biden’s name is on the unmasking list.

The declassification of material from the Michael Flynn case has exposed more chilling details of an effort by prosecutors to come up with a crime to use against the former national security adviser. This week, however, a letter revealed another unsettling detail. Among over three dozen Obama administration officials seeking to “unmask” Flynn in the investigation was former Vice President Joe Biden. This revelation came less than a day after Biden denied any involvement in the investigation of Flynn. It also follows a disclosure that President Obama was aware of that investigation.

For three years, many in the media have expressed horror at the notion of the Trump campaign colluding with Russia to influence the 2016 election. We know there was never credible evidence of such collusion. In recently released transcripts, a long list of Obama administration officials admitted they never saw any evidence of such Russian collusion. That included the testimony of Evelyn Farkas, a former White House adviser who was widely quoted by the media with her public plea for Congress to gather all of the evidence that she learned of as part of the Obama administration.

The media covered her concern that this evidence would be lost “if they found out how we knew what we knew” about Trump campaign officials “dealing with Russians.” Yet in her classified testimony under oath, she said she did not know anything. Farkas is now running for Congress in New York and highlighting her role in raising “alarm” over collusion. As much of the media blindly pushed this story, a worrying story unfolded over the use of federal power to investigate political opponents.

There is very little question that the response by the media to such a story would have been overwhelming if George Bush and his administration had targeted the Obama campaign figures with secret surveillance.

That story would have been encompassing if it was learned that there was no direct evidence to justify the investigation and that the underlying allegation of Russian collusion was ultimately found to lack a credible basis.

But the motives of Obama administration officials are apparently not to be questioned. Indeed, back when candidate Donald Trump said the Obama administration placed his campaign officials under surveillance, the media universally mocked him. That statement was later proven to be true. The Obama administration used the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court to conduct surveillance of Trump campaign officials.

Yet none of this matters as the media remains fully invested in the original false allegations of collusion. If Obama administration officials were to be questioned now, the coverage and judgment of the media may be placed into question, as even this latest disclosure from the investigation of the unmasking request of Biden will not alter the media narrative.

Unmasking occurs when an official asks an intelligence agency to remove anonymous designations hiding the identity of an individual. This masking is a very important protection of the privacy of American citizens who are caught up in national security surveillance. The importance of this privacy protection is being dismissed by media figures, like Andrea Mitchell, who declared the Biden story to be nothing more than gaslighting.

While unmasking is more routinely requested by intelligence officials, with a reported 10,000 such requests by the National Security Agency last year alone, it is presumably less common for figures like Biden or White House chief of staff Denis McDonough. Seeking unmasking information that was likely to reveal the name of a political opponent and possibly damage the Trump administration raises a concern. More importantly, it adds a detail of the scope of interest and involvement in an investigation that targeted Flynn without any compelling evidence of a crime or collusion.

The media portrayed both Obama and Biden as uninvolved. But now we know they both actively followed the investigation.

According to former acting attorney general Sally Yates, she was surprised that Obama knew about the investigation and knew more than she did at the time. Obama called upon former FBI director James Comey to stay after a meeting to discuss the investigation. Comey had mentioned using the Logan Act to charge Flynn, even though the unconstitutional law has never been used successfully in a prosecution since the country was founded.

Biden has repeatedly denied knowledge of the investigation. Just a day before the latest disclosure, George Stephanopoulos asked Biden in an interview what he knew of the Flynn investigation. Biden was adamant that he knew nothing about “those moves” and he called it a diversion. But that is not true if he took the relatively uncommon action for a vice president of demanding the unmasking of Flynn information.

Yet none of this matters. A Democratic administration using a secret court to investigate the opposing political campaign does not matter to many in Congress or in the media anyway. An investigation continuing despite the lack of credible information supporting collusion does not matter to them either. A president and a vice president who take personal interest in the surveillance of their political opponents also does not matter.

There was a time, however, when all of this did matter. There was once a time when this would be viewed as the story of the century, including the unmasking of Biden himself in this investigation. But these are not those times, and this cannot be the story. Russian collusion is the story and, as Biden stressed, the rest is just a diversion. It is up to the public to decide who has been ultimately unmasked by the Flynn investigation.

Published:5/18/2020 9:09:45 AM
[Barack Obama] On the economy, Trump, unlike Obama, actually knows his stuff.

Talking to Maria Bartiromo, Trump did more than talk about China and trade. He showed his bona fides as a president competent to lead on the economy. I watched the segment showing Trump talking to Maria Bartiromo about China. Indeed, he is not given to mellifluous phrases, big words, and

The post On the economy, Trump, unlike Obama, actually knows his stuff. appeared first on Bookworm Room.

Published:5/18/2020 6:09:57 AM
[Politics] White House Challenges Left’s Pandemic Playbook Narrative

The White House pushed back on the media narrative that the Obama administration left behind a pandemic “playbook” for the Trump administration.  White House press... Read More

The post White House Challenges Left’s Pandemic Playbook Narrative appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:5/17/2020 11:06:24 AM
[Politics] Consumer Spending Update: Americans Question Economy But Still Have Faith in Their Own Wallets

As parts of the country slowly emerge from coronavirus lockdown, economic confidence has slowed from April’s rapid descent, dropping just one point to 93.7 in May. But this is the lowest finding in six years of surveying and six points below the April 2014 baseline.

Enthusiasm about the economy started to grow immediately following Donald Trump's election as president in November 2016 and jumped to 147.8 in January 2020 and then began its decline in February. In President Obama’s final years in office, this index reached a high of 121.5 in January 2015 and was at 108.1 his last month in the White House.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.  

The survey of 1,500 American Adults was conducted on May 1, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 2.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:5/16/2020 1:54:01 AM
[Markets] The Complete "Collusion Against Trump" Timeline The Complete "Collusion Against Trump" Timeline Tyler Durden Fri, 05/15/2020 - 22:50

Via SharylAttkisson.com,

It's easy to find timelines that detail Trump-Russia collusion developments. Here are links to two of them I recommend:

On the other side, evidence has emerged that makes it clear there were organized efforts to collude against candidate Donald Trump - and then President Trump. For example:

  • Anti-Russian Ukrainians allegedly helped coordinate and execute a campaign against Trump in partnership with the Democratic National Committee and news reporters.

  • A Yemen-born ex-British spy reportedly delivered political opposition research against Trump to reporters, Sen. John McCain, and the FBI; the latter of which used the material--in part--to obtain wiretaps against one or more Trump-related associates.

  • There were orchestrated leaks of anti-Trump information and allegations to the press, including by ex-FBI Director James Comey.

  • The U.S. intel community allegedly engaged in questionable surveillance practices and politially-motivated "unmaskings" of U.S. citizens, including Trump officials.

  • Alleged conflicts of interests have surfaced regarding FBI officials who cleared Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information and who investigated Trump's alleged Russia ties.

But it's not so easy to find a timeline pertinent to the investigations into these events.

Related: Obama Era Surveillance Timeline

Here's a work in progress...

(Please note that nobody cited has been charged with wrongdoing or crimes, unless the charge is specifically referenced. Temporal relationships are not necessarily evidence of a correlation.)

"Collusion against Trump" Timeline

2011

U.S. intel community vastly expands its surveillance authority, giving itself permission to spy on Americans who do nothing more than "mention a foreign target in a single, discrete communication." Intel officials also begin storing and entering into a searchable database sensitive intelligence on U.S. citizens whose communications are accidentally or "incidentally" captured during surveillance of foreign targets. Prior to this point, such intelligence was supposed to be destroyed to protect the constitutional privacy rights the U.S. citizens. However, it's required that names U.S. citizens be hidden or "masked" --even inside U.S. intel agencies --to prevent abuse.

Click here to read "Timeline of alleged sabotage of Trump in 2016 by Democrats and Ukraine."

2012

July 1, 2012: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton improperly uses unsecured, personal email domain to email President Obama from Russia.

2013

June 2013: FBI interviews U.S. businessman Carter Page, who's lived and worked in Russia, regarding his ongoing contacts with Russians. Page reportedly tells FBI agents their time would be better spent investigating Boston Marathon bombing (which the FBI's Andrew McCabe helped lead). Page later claims his remark prompts FBI retaliatory campaign against him. The FBI, under McCabe, will later wiretap Page after Page becomes a Donald Trump campaign adviser.

FBI secretly records suspected Russian industrial spy Evgeny Buryakov. It's later reported that Page helped FBI build the case.

Sept. 4, 2013: James Comey becomes FBI Director, succeeding Robert Mueller.

2014

Russia invades Ukraine. Ukraine steps up hiring of U.S. lobbyists to make its case against Russia and obtain U.S. aid. Russia also continues its practice of using U.S. lobbyists.

Ukraine forms National Anti-Corruption Bureau as a condition to receive U.S. aid. The National Anti-Corruption Bureau later signs evidence-sharing agreement with FBI related to Trump-Russia probe.

Ukrainian-American Alexandra Chalupa, a paid consultant for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), begins researching lobbyist Paul Manafort's Russia ties.

FBI investigates, and then wiretaps, Paul Manafort for allegedly not properly disclosing Russia-related work. FBI fails to make a case, according to CNN, and discontinues wiretap.

August 2014: State Dept. turns over 15,000 pages of documents to Congressional Benghazi committee, revealing former secretary of state Hillary Clinton used private server for government email. Her mishandling of classified info on this private system becomes subject of FBI probe.

2015

FBI opens investigation into Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, including for donations from a Chinese businessman and Clinton Foundation donor.

FBI official Andrew McCabe meets with Gov. McAuliffe, a close Clinton ally. Afterwards, "McAuliffe-aligned political groups donated about $700,000 to Mr. McCabe's wife for her campaign to become a Democrat state Senator in Virginia." The fact of the McAuliffe-related donations to wife of FBI's McCabe, while FBI was investigating McAuliffe and Clinton later becomes the subject of conflict of interest inquiry by Inspector General.

Feb. 9, 2015: U.S. Senate forms Ukrainian caucus to further Ukrainian interests. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is a member.

March 4, 2015: New York Times breaks news about Clinton's improper handling of classified email as secretary of state.

In internal emails, Clinton campaign chairman (and former Obama adviser) John Podesta suggests Obama withhold Clinton's emails from Congressional Benghazi committee under executive privilege.

March 2015: Attorney General Loretta Lynch privately directs FBI Director James Comey to call FBI Clinton probe a "matter" rather than an "investigation." Comey follows the instruction, though he later testifies that it made him "queasy."

March 7, 2015: President Obama says he first learned of Clinton's improper email practices "through news reports." Clinton campaign staffers privately contradict that claim emailing: "it looks like [President Obama] just said he found out [Hillary Clinton] was using her personal email when he saw it on the news." Clinton aide Cheryl Mills responds, "We need to clean this up, [President Obama] has emails from" Clinton's personal account.

May 19, 2015: Justice Dept. Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Peter Kadzik emails Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta from a private Gmail account to give him a "heads ups" involving Congressional questions about Clinton email.

Summer 2015: Democratic National Committee computers are hacked.

Sept. 2015: Glenn Simpson, co-founder of political opposition research firm Fusion GPS, is hired by conservative website Washington Free Beacon to compile negative research on presidential candidate Donald Trump and other Republicans.

Oct. 2015: President Obama uses a "confidentiality tradition" to keep his Benghazi emails with Hillary Clinton secret.

Oct. 12, 2015: FBI Director Comey replaces head of FBI Counterintelligence Division at New York Field Office with Louis Bladel.

Oct. 22, 2015: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) publicly states that Clinton is "not under criminal investigation."

Clinton testifies to House Benghazi committee.

Oct. 23, 2015: Clinton campaign chair John Podesta meets for dinner with small group of friends including a top Justice Dept. official Peter Kadzik.

Late 2015: Democratic operative Chalupa expands her political opposition research about Paul Manafort to include Trump's ties to Russia. She "occasionally shares her findings with officials from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign."

Dec. 4, 2015: Donald Trump is beating his nearest Republican presidential competitor by 20 points in latest CNN poll.

Dec. 9, 2015: FBI Director Comey replaces head of FBI Counterintelligence Division at Washington Field Office with Charles Kable.

Dec. 23, 2015: FBI Director Comey names Bill Priestap as assistant director of Counterintelligence Division.

2016

Obama officials vastly expand their searches through NSA database for Americans and the content of their communications. In 2013, there were 9,600 searches involving 195 Americans. But in 2016, there are 30,355 searches of 5,288 Americans.

Justice Dept. associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr meets with Fusion GPS' Christopher Steele, the Yemen-born ex-British spy leading anti-Trump political opposition research project.

January 2016: Democratic operative Ukrainian-American Chalupa tells a senior Democratic National Committee official that she feels there's a Russia connection with Trump.

Jan. 29, 2016: FBI Director Comey promotes Andrew McCabe to FBI Deputy Director.

McCabe takes lead on Clinton probe even though his wife received nearly $700,000 in campaign donations through Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe, who's also under FBI investigation.

March 2016: Clinton campaign chair John Podesta's email gets hacked.

FBI interviews Carter Page again.

Carter Page is named as one of the Trump campaign's foreign policy advisers.

March 2, 2016: FBI Director Comey replaces head of Intelligence Division of Washington Field Office with Gerald Roberts, Jr.

March 11, 2016: Russian Evgeny Buryakovwhich pleads guilty to spying in FBI case that Carter Page reportedly assisted with.

March 25, 2016: Ukrainian-American operative for Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chalupa meets with top Ukrainian officials at Ukrainian Embassy in Washington D.C. to "expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia," according to Politico. Chalupa previously worked for the Clinton administration.

Ukrainian embassy proceeds to work "directly with reporters researching Trump, Manafort and Russia to point them in the right directions," according to an embassy official (though other officials later deny engaging in election-related activities.)

March 29, 2016: Trump campaign hires Paul Manafort as manager of July Republican convention.

March 30, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Alexandra Chalupa briefs Democratic National Committee (DNC) staff on Russia ties to Paul Manafort and Trump.

With "DNC's encouragement," Chalupa asks Ukrainian embassy to arrange meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss Manafort's lobbying for Ukraine's former president Viktor Yanukovych. The embassy declines to arrange meeting but becomes "helpful" in trading info and leads.

Ukrainian embassy officials and Democratic operative Chalupa "coordinat[e] an investigation with the Hillary team" into Paul Manafort, according to a source in Politico. This effort reportedly includes working with U.S. media.

April 2016: There's a second breach of Democratic National Committee computers.

Washington Free Beacon breaks off deal with Glenn Simpson's Fusion GPS for political opposition research against Trump.

Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee lawyer Mark Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, hire Fusion GPS for anti-Trump political research project.

Ukrainian member of parliament Olga Bielkova reportedly seeks meetings with five dozen members of U.S. Congress and reporters including former New York Times reporter Judy Miller, David Sanger of New York Times, David Ignatius of Washington Post, and Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

April 5, 2016: Convicted spy Buryakov is turned over to Russia.

Week of April 6, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Chalupa and office of Rep. Mary Kaptur (D-Ohio), co-chair of Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, discuss possible congressional investigation or hearing on Paul Manafort-Russia "by September."

Chalupa begins working with investigative reporter Michael Isikoff, according to her later account.

April 10, 2016: In national TV interview, President Obama states that Clinton did not intend to harm national security when she mishandled classified emails. FBI Director James Comey later concludes that Clinton should not face charges because she did not intend to harm national security.

Around this time, the FBI begins drafting Comey's remarks closing Clinton email investigation, though Clinton had not yet been interviewed.

April 12, 2016:"Ukrainian parliament member Olga Bielkova and a colleague meet" with Sen. John McCain associate David Kramer with the McCain Institute. Bielkova also meets with Liz Zentos of Obama's National Security Council, and State Department official Michael Kimmage.

April 26, 2016: Investigative reporter Michael Isikoff publishes story on Yahoo News about Paul Manafort's business dealings with a Russian oligarch.

April 27, 2016: The BBC publishes an article titled, “Why Russians Love Donald Trump.”

April 28, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Chalupa is invited to discuss her research about Paul Manafort with 68 investigative journalists from Ukraine at Library of Congress for Open World Leadership Center, a U.S. congressional agency. Chalupa invites investigative reporter Michael Isikoff to "connect(s) him to the Ukrainians."

After the event, reporter Isikoff accompanies Chalupa to Ukrainian embassy reception.

May 3, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Chalupa emails Democratic National Committee (DNC) that she'll share sensitive info about Paul Manafort "offline" including "a big Trump component that will hit in next few weeks."

May 4, 2016: Trump locks up Republican nomination.

May 19, 2016: Paul Manafort is named Trump campaign chair.

May 23, 2016: FBI probe into Virginia governor and Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe becomes public. (McAuliffe is ultimately not charged with a crime.)

Justice Department Inspector General confirms it's looking into FBI's Andrew McCabe for alleged conflicts of interest in handling of Clinton and Gov. McAuliffe probes in light of McAuliffe directing campaign donations to McCabe's wife.

FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, who are reportedly having an illicit affair, text each other that Trump's ascension in the campaign will bring "pressure to finish" Clinton probe.

Nellie Ohr, wife of Justice Dept. associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr and former CIA worker, goes on the payroll of Fusion GPS and assists with anti-Trump political opposition research. Her husband, Bruce, reportedly fails to disclose her specific employer and work in his Justice Dept. conflict of interest disclosures.

Nellie Ohr applies for a ham radio license.

June 2016: Fusion GPS' Glenn Simpson "hires Yemen-born ex-British spy Christopher Steele for anti-Trump political opposition research project."Steele uses info from Russian sources "close to Putin" to compile unverified "dossier" later provided to reporters and FBI, which the FBI uses to obtain secret wiretap.

The Guardian and Heat Street report that the FBI applied for a FISA warrant in June 2016 to "monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials" but that the "initial request was denied."

June 7, 2016: Hillary Clinton locks up the Democrat nomination.

June 9, 2016: Meeting in Trump Tower includes Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner with Russian lawyer who said he has political opposition research on Clinton. (No research was ultimately provided.) According to CNN, the FBI has not yet restarted a wiretap against Manafort but will soon do so.

June 10, 2016: Democratic National Committee (DNC) tells employees that its computer system has been hacked. DNC blames Russia but refuses to let FBI examine its systems.

June 15, 2016: "Guccifer 2.0" publishes first hacked document from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.

June 17, 2016: Washington Post publishes front page story linking Trump to Russia: "Inside Trump's Financial Ties to Russia and His Unusual Flattery of Vladimir Putin."

June 20, 2016: Christopher Steele proposes taking some of Fusion GPS' research about Trump to FBI.

June 22, 2016: WikiLeaks begins publishing embarrassing, hacked emails from Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.

June 27, 2016: Attorney General Loretta Lynch meets privately with former President Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona.

Late June 2016: DCLeaks website begins publishing Democratic National Committee emails.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine signs evidence-sharing agreement with FBI and will later publicly release a "ledger" implicating Paul Manafort in allegedly improper payments.

June 30, 2016: FBI circulates internal draft of public remarks for FBI Director Comey to announce closing of Clinton investigation. It refers to Mrs. Clinton's "extensive" use of her personal email, including "from the territory of sophisticated adversaries," and a July 1, 2012 email to President Obama from Russia. The draft concludes it's possible that hostile actors gained access to Clinton's email account.

Comey's remarks are revised to replace reference to "the President" with the phrase: "another senior government official." (That reference, too, is removed from the final draft.)

Attorney General Lynch tells FBI she plans to publicly announce that she'll accept whatever recommendation FBI Director Comey makes regarding charges against Clinton.

July 2016: Ukraine minister of internal affairs Arsen Avakov attacks Trump and Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort on Twitter and Facebook, calling Trump "an even bigger danger to the US than terrorism."

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk writes on Facebook that Trump has "challenged the very values of the free world."

Carter Page travels to Russia to give a university commencement address. (Fusion GPS political opposition research would later quote Russian sources as saying Page met with Russian officials, which Page denies under oath and is not proven.)

One-time CIA operative Stefan Halper reportedly begins meetings with Trump advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, secretly gathering information for the FBI. These contacts begin "prior to the date FBI Director Comey later claimed the Russian investigation began."

July 1, 2016: Under fire for meeting with former President Clinton amid the probe into his wife, Attorney General Lynch publicly states she'll "accept whatever FBI Director Comey recommends" without interfering.

FBI official Lisa Page texts her boyfriend, FBI official Peter Strzok, sarcastically commenting that Lynch's proclamation is "a real profile in courage, since she knows no charges will be brought."

Ex-British spy Christopher Steele writes Justice Department official Bruce Ohr that he wants to discuss "our favourite business tycoon!" (apparently referencing Trump.)

July 2, 2016: FBI official Peter Strzok and other agents interview Clinton. They don't record the interview. Two potential subjects of the investigation, Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, are allowed to attend as Clinton's lawyers.

July 5, 2016: FBI Director Comey recommends no charges against Clinton, though he concludes she's been extremely careless in mishandling of classified information. Comey claims he hasn't coordinated or reviewed his statement in any way with Attorney General Lynch's Justice Department or other government branches. "They do not know what I am about to say," says Comey.

Fusion GPS' Steele, an ex-British spy, approaches FBI at an office in Rome with allegations against Trump, according to Congressional investigators. Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr schedules a Skype conference call with Steele.

Days after closing Clinton case, FBI official Peter Strzok signs document opening FBI probe into Trump-Russia collusion.

July 10, 2016: Democratic National Committee (DNC) aide Seth Rich, reportedly a Bernie Sanders supporter, is shot twice in the back and killed. Police suspect a bungled robbery attempt, though nothing was apparently stolen. Conspiracy theorists speculate that Rich "not the Russians" had stolen DNC emails after he learned the DNC was unfairly favoring Clinton. The murder remains unsolved.

July 2016: Trump adviser Carter Page makes a business trip to Russia.

FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) rejects FBI request to wiretap Page.

Obama national security adviser Susan Rice begins to show increased interest in National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence material including "unmasked Americans" identities, according to news reports referring to White House logs.

July 18-21, 2016: Republican National Convention

Late July 2016: FBI agent Peter Strzok opens counterintelligence investigation based on Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.

Democratic operative and Ukrainian-American Chalupa leaves the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to work full-time on her research into Manafort, Trump and Russia; and provides off-the-record guidance to "a lot of journalists."

July 22, 2016: WikiLeaks begins publishing hacked Democratic National Committee emails. WikiLeaks' Julian Assange denies the email source is Russian.

July 25-28, 2016: Democratic National Convention

July 30, 2016Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr meets with ex-British spy Christopher Steele at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. Ohr brings his wife, Nellie, who -- like Steele -- works at Fusion GPS on the Trump-Russia oppo research project. Ohr calls FBI Deputy Director McCabe.

July 31, 2016: FBI's Peter Strzok formally begins counterintelligence investigation regarding Russia and Trump. It's dubbed "Crossfire Hurricane."

Aug. 3, 2016: Ohr reportedly meets with McCabe and FBI lawyer Lisa Page to discuss Russia-Trump collusion allegations relayed by ex-British spy Steele. Ohr will later testify to Congress that he considered Steele's information uncorroborated hearsay and that he told FBI agents Steele appeared motivated by a "desperate" desire to keep Trump from becoming president.

Aug. 4, 2016: Ukrainian ambassador to U.S. writes op-ed against Trump.

Aug. 8, 2016: FBI attorney Lisa Page texts her lover, FBI's head of Counterespionage Peter Strzok,"[Trump is] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!" Strzok replies,"No. No he won't. We'll stop it."

Aug. 14, 2016: New York Times breaks story about cash payments made a decade ago to Paul Manafort by pro-Russia interests in Ukraine. The ledger was released and publicized by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.

Aug. 15, 2016: CNN reports the FBI is conducting an inquiry into Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort's payments from pro-Russia interests in Ukraine in 2007 and 2009.

After a meeting discussing the election in FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's office, FBI's Counterespionage Chief Peter Strzok texts FBI attorney Lisa Page referring to the possibility of Trump getting elected. "We can't take that risk," he writes. And they speak of needing an "insurance policy."

Aug. 19, 2016: Paul Manafort resigns as Trump campaign chairman.

Ukrainian parliament member Sergii Leshchenko holds news conference to draw attention to Paul Manafort and Trump's "pro-Russia" ties.

Aug. 22, 2016Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr meets with Fusion GPS' Glenn Simpson who identifies several "possible intermediaries" between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Late August 2016:

Reportedly working for the FBI, one-time CIA operative Professor Halper meets with Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis offering his services as a foreign-policy adviser, according to The Washington Post. Halper would later offer to hire Carter Page.

Approx. Aug. 2016: FBI initiates a new wiretap against ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, according to CNN, which extends at least through early 2017.

Sept. 2016: Fusion GPS's Steele becomes FBI source and uses associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr as point of contact. Steele tells Ohr that he's "desperate that Donald Trump not get elected."

President Obama warns Russia not to interfere in the U.S. election

Sept. 2, 2016: FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text that "[President Obama] wants to know everything we're doing."

Sept. 13, 2016: The nonprofit First Draft, funded by Google, whose parent company is run by major Hillary Clinton supporter and donor Eric Schmidt, announces initiative to tackle "fake news." It appears to be the first use of the phrase in its modern context.

Sept. 15, 2016: Clinton computer manager Paul Combetta appears before House Oversight Committee but refuses to answer questions, invoking his Fifth Amendment rights.

Sept. 19, 2016: At UN General Assembly meeting, Ukrainian President Poroshenko meets with Hillary Clinton.

Mid-to-late Sept. 2016: Fusion GPS's Christopher Steele's FBI contact tells him the agency wants to see his opposition research "right away" and offers to pay him $50,000, according to the New York Times, for solid corroboration of his salacious, unverified claims. Steele flies to Rome, Italy to meet with FBI and provide a "full briefing."

Sept. 22, 2016: Clinton computer aide Brian Pagliano is held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoena.

Sept. 23, 2016: It's revealed that Justice Department has granted five Clinton officials immunity from prosecution: former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, State Department staffers John Bentel and Heather Samuelson, and Clinton computer workers Paul Combetta and Brian Pagliano.

Yahoo News publishes report by Michael Isikoff about Carter Page's July 2016 trip to Moscow. (The article is apparently based on leaked info from Fusion GPS Steele anti-Trump "dossier" political opposition research.)

Sept. 25, 2016: Trump associate Carter Page writes letter to FBI Comey objecting to the so-called "witch hunt" involving him.

Sept. 26, 2016: Obama administration asks secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) court to allow National Counter Terrorism Center to access sensitive, "unmasked" intel on Americans acquired by FBI and NSA. (The Court later approves the request.)

FBI head of counterespionage Peter Strzok emails his mistress FBI attorney Lisa Page that Carter Page's letter (dated the day before) "...provides us a pretext to interview."

Sept. 27, 2016: Justice Department Assistant Attorney General of National Security Division John Carlin announces he's stepping down. He was former chief of staff and senior counsel to former FBI director Robert Mueller.

End of Sept. 2016: Fusion GPS' Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele meet with reporters, including New York Times, Washington Post, Yahoo News, the New Yorker and CNN or ABC. One meeting is at office of Democratic National Committee general counsel.

Early October 2016: Fusion GPS' Christopher Steele, the Yemen-born author of anti-Trump "dossier," meets in New York with David Corn, Washington-bureau chief of Mother Jones.

According to The Guardian, the FBI submits a more narrowly focused FISA wiretap request to replace one turned down in June to monitor four Trump associates.

Oct. 3, 2016: FBI seizes computers belonging to Anthony Weiner, who is accused of sexually texting an underage girl. Weiner is married to top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. FBI learns there are Clinton emails on Weiner's laptop but waits several weeks before notifying Congress and reopening investigation.

Oct. 4, 2016: FBI Director Comey replaces head of Counterintelligence Division, New York Field Office with Charles McGonigal.

Oct. 7, 2016: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Department of Homeland Security issue statement saying Russian government is responsible for hacking Democrat emails to disrupt 2016 election.

Oct. 13, 2016: President Obama gives a speech in support of the crackdown on "fake news" by stating that somebody needs to step in and "curate" information in the "wild, wild West media environment."

Oct. 14, 2016: FBI head of counterespionage Peter Strzok emails his mistress FBI attorney Lisa Page discussing talking points to convince FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to persuade a high-ranking Dept. of Justice official to sign a warrant to wiretap Trump associate Carter Page. The email subject line is "Crossfire FISA." "Crossfire Hurricane" was one of the code names for four separate investigations the FBI conducted related to Russia matters in the 2016 election.

"At a minimum, that keeps the hurry the F up pressure on him," Strzok emailed Lisa Page less than four weeks before Election Day.

Mid-Oct. 2016:  Fusion GPS' Steele again briefs reporters about Trump political opposition research. The reporters are from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Yahoo News.

Oct. 16, 2016: Mary McCord is named Assistant Attorney General for Justice Department National Security Division.

Oct. 18, 2016: President Obama advises Trump to "stop whining" after Trump tweeted the election could be rigged. "There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even you could even rig America's elections," said Obama. He also calls Trump's "flattery" of Russian president Putin "unprecedented."

In FBI emails, head of counterespionage Peter Strzok and his mistress FBI lawyer Lisa Page discuss rushing approval for a FISA warrant for a Russia-related investigation code-named "Dragon."

Oct. 19, 2016: Ex-British spy Christopher Steele writes his last memo for anti-Trump "dossier" political opposition research provided to FBI. The FBI reportedly authorizes payment to Steele. Fusion GPS has reportedly paid him $160,000.

Approx. Oct. 21, 2016: For the second time in several months, Justice Department and FBI apply to wiretap former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates sign the application. This time, the request is approved based on new FBI "evidence"  including parts of Fusion GPS' "Steele dossier" and Michael Isikoff Yahoo article. The FBI doesn't tell the court that Trump's political opponent, the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, funded the "evidence."

Oct. 24, 2016: Benjamin Wittes, confidant of FBI Director James Comey and editor-in-chief of the blog Lawfare, writes of the need for an "insurance policy" in case Trump wins. It's the same phrase FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok had used when discussing the possibility of a Trump win.

Obama intel officials orally inform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of an earlier Inspector General review uncovering their "significant noncompliance" in following proper "702" procedures safeguarding the National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence database with sensitive info on US citizens.

Late Oct. 2016: Fusion GPS' Steele again briefs reporter from Mother Jones by Skype about Trump political opposition research.

Oct. 26, 2016: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court holds hearing with Obama intel officials over their "702" surveillance violations. The judge criticizes NSA for "institutional lack of candor" and states "this is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue."

Oct. 28, 2016: FBI Director Comey notifies Congress that he's reopening Clinton probe due to Clinton emails found on Anthony Wiener laptop several weeks earlier.

Oct. 30, 2016: Mother Jones writer David Corn is first to report on the anti-Trump "dossier," quoting unidentified former spy, presumed to be Christopher Steele. FBI general counsel James Baker had reportedly been in touch with Corn but Corn later denies Baker was the leaker.

FBI terminates its relationship with Steele because Steele had leaked his FBI involvement in Mother Jones article.

Steele reportedly maintains backchannel contact with Justice Dept. through Deputy Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr.

Oct. 31, 2016: New York Times reports FBI is investigating Trump and found no illicit connections to Russia.

Nov. 1, 2016: FBI concludes ex-British spy Christopher Steele, who compiled anti-Trump "dossier" using Russian sources, leaked to press and is not suitable for use as a confidential source. However, Steele continues to "help," according to Jan. 31, 2017 texts to Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr.

Nov. 3, 2016: FBI Attorney Lisa Page texts FBI's Peter Strzok about her concerns that Clinton might lose and Trump would become president: "The [New York Times] probability numbers are dropping every day. I'm scared for our organization."

Nov. 6, 2016: FBI Director Comey tells Congress that Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner computer do not change earlier conclusion: she should not be charged.

Nov. 8, 2016: Trump is elected president.

Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice's interest in NSA materials accelerates, according to later news reports.

Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr meets with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson shortly after election.

The FBI interviews Ohr about his ongoing contacts with Fusion GPS.

Nov. 9, 2016: An unnamed FBI attorney (later quoted in Dept. of Justice Inspector General probe) texts another FBI employee, "I'm just devastated...I just can't imagine the systematic disassembly of the progress we made over the last 8 years. ACA is gone. Who knows if the rhetoric about deporting people, walls, and crap is true. I honestly feel like there is going to be a lot more gun issues, too, the crazies won finally. This is the tea party on steroids. And the GOP is going to be lost, they have to deal with an incumbent in 4 years. We have to fight this again. Also Pence is stupid....Plus, my god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating [Trump's] staff."

Nov. 10, 2016: Emails imply top FBI officials, including Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe and Bill Priestap engaged in a new mission to "scrub" or research lists of associates of President-elect Trump, looking for potential "derogatory" information. 

President Obama meets with President-elect Trump in the White House and reportedly advises Trump not to hire Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

Nov. 2016: National Security Agency Mike Rogers meets with president-elect Trump and is criticized for "not telling the Obama administration."

Nov. 17, 2016: Trump moves his Friday presidential team meetings out of Trump Tower.

Nov. 18, 2016: Trump names Flynn his national security adviser. Over the next few weeks, Flynn communicates with numerous international leaders.

Nov. 18-20, 2016: Sen. John McCain and his longtime adviser, David Kramer--an ex-U.S. State Dept. official--attend a security conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia where former UK ambassador to Russia Sir Andrew Wood tells them about the Fusion GPS anti-Trump dossier. (Kramer is affiliated with the anti-Russia "Ukraine Today" media organization). They discuss confirming the info has reached top levels of FBI for action.

Nov. 21, 2016Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr, works for Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, meets with FBI officials including Peter Strzok, Strzok's girlfriend--FBI attorney Lisa Page, and another agent. Ohr's notes indicate the FBI "may go back to [ex-British spy] Chris Steele" of Fusion GPS just 20 days after dismissing him.

Nov. 28, 2016: Sen. McCain associate David Kramer flies to London to meet Christopher Steele for a briefing on the anti-Trump research. Afterward, Fusion GPS' Glenn Simpson gives Sen. McCain a copy of the "dossier." Steele also passes anti-Trump info to top UK government official in charge of national security. Sen. McCain soon arranges a meeting with FBI Director Comey.

Late Nov. 2016: Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr officially tells FBI about his contacts with Fusion GPS' Christopher Steele and about Ohr's wife's contract work for Fusion GPS.

Nov. 30, 2016: UN Ambassador Samantha Power makes request to unmask the name of Trump National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was "incidentally" captured by intel surveillance.

Dec. 2016: Text messages between FBI officials Strzok and Page are later said to be "lost" due to a technical glitch beginning at this point.

Dec. 2, 2016: UN Ambassador Samantha Power and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper request to unmask the name of Trump National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was "incidentally" captured by intel surveillance.

Dec. 6, 2016: Two more Obama administration officials request to unmask the name of  Flynn.

Dec. 7, 2016: Power makes another Flynn unmasking request.

Dec. 8 or 9, 2016: Sen. John McCain meets with FBI Director Comey at FBI headquarters and hands over Fusion GPS anti-Trump research, elevating the FBI's investigation into the matter. The FBI compiles a classified two-page summary and attaches it to intel briefing note on Russian cyber-interference in election for President Obama.

Hillary Clinton makes a public appearance denouncing "fake news."

Hillary Clinton and Democratic operative David Brock of Media Matters announces he's leaving board of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), one of his many propaganda and liberal advocacy groups, to focus on "fake news" effort.

Brock later claims credit, privately to donors, for convincing Facebook to crack down on conservative fake news.

Dec. 14, 2017: There are 10 more requests to unmask Flynn's name in intelligence, including two by Power, CIA Director Brennan, and six officials from the Treasury Dept.

Dec. 15, 2016: Obama intel officials "incidentally" spy on Trump officials meeting with the United Arab Emirates crown prince in Trump Tower. This is taken to mean the government was wiretapping the prince and "happened to capture" Trump officials communicating with him at Trump Tower. Identities of Americans accidentally captured in such surveillance are strictly protected or "masked" inside intel agencies for constitutional privacy reasons.

Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice secretly "unmasks" names of the Trump officials, officially revealing their identities. They reportedly include: Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

Director of National Intelligence Clapper expands rules to allow the National Security Agency (NSA) to widely disseminate classified surveillance material within the government. The same day, 17 Obama officials request the unmasking of Lt. Gen. Flynn in intelligence.

Dec. 16, 2016: Five more Obama officials request unmasking of intelligence materials regarding Lt. Gen. Flynn.

Dec. 23, 2016: Power request another Flynn unmasking.

Dec. 28, 2016:

Lt. Gen. Flynn speaks with Russia ambassador.

Clapper and the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey request Flynn unmasking.

Dec. 29, 2016: President Obama imposes sanctions against Russia for its alleged election interference.

President-elect Trump national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn speaks with Russian Ambassador to U.S. Sergey Kislyak. The calls are wiretapped by U.S. intelligence and later leaked to the press.

State Department releases 2,800 work-related emails from Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, found by FBI on laptop computer of Abedin's husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner.

2017

Jan. 2017: According to CNN: a wiretap reportedly continues against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, including times he speaks to Trump, meaning U.S. intel officials could have "accidentally" captured Trump's communications.

Justice Dept. Inspector General confirms it's investigating several aspects of FBI and Justice Department actions during Clinton probe.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies to Congress that Russia interfered in U.S. elections by spreading fake news on social media.

Justice Dept. official Peter Kadzik, who "tipped off" Hillary Clinton campaign regarding Congressional questions about Clinton's email, leaves government work for private practice.

The FBI interviews a main source of Christopher Steele's "dossier" and learns the information was merely bar room gossip and rumor never meant to be taken as fact or submitted to the FBI and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Carter Page. (The FBI does not notify the court and applies for, and receives, another wiretap against Page).

Early Jan. 2017: FBI renews wiretap against Carter Page. FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates again sign the application.

Jan. 3, 2017: Obama Attorney General Lynch signs rules Director of National Intelligence Clapper expanded Dec. 15 allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to widely disseminate surveillance within the government.

Jan. 5, 2017: Intelligence Community leadership including FBI Director Comey, Yates, CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, provides classified briefing to President Obama, Vice President Biden and National Security Adviser Susan Rice on alleged Russia hacking during 2016 campaign, according to notes later written by national security adviser Susan Rice.

After briefing, according notes made later by Rice, President Obama convenes Oval Office meeting with her, FBI Director Comey, Vice President Biden and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. The "Steele dossier" is reportedly discussed. Also reportedly discussed: Trump National Security Adviser Flynn's talks with Russia's ambassador. 

Jan. 6, 2017: FBI Director Comey and other Intel leaders meet with President-Elect Trump and his national security team at Trump Tower in New York to brief them on alleged Russian efforts to interfere in the election.

Later, Obama national security adviser Susan Rice would write herself an email stating that President Obama suggested they hold back on providing Trump officials with certain info for national security reasons.

After Trump team briefing, FBI Director Comey meets alone with Trump to "brief him" on Fusion GPS Steele allegations "to alert the incoming President to the existence of this material," even though it was salacious and unverified. Comey later says Director of National Intelligence Clapper asked him (Comey) to do the briefing personally.

Jan. 7, 2017: Clapper and two other Obama administration officials request Flynn unmasking.

Jan. 10, 2017: The 35-page Fusion GPS anti-Trump "dossier" is leaked to the media and published. It reveals that sources of the unverified info are Russians close to President Putin.

Email written by FBI head of counterespionage Peter Strzok indicates the FBI has been given the anti-Trump "dossier" by at least 3 different anti-Trump sources.

A CIA official makes a Flynn unmasking request.

Jan. 11, 2017: Power makes another Flynn unmasking request.

Jan. 12, 2017: Obama administration finalizes new rules allowing NSA to spread "certain intel to" other U.S. intel agencies without normal privacy protections.

Justice Dept. inspector general announces review of alleged misconduct by FBI Director Comey and other matters related to FBI's Clinton probe as well as FBI leaks.

Vice President Joe Biden and the Treasury Secretary request the unmasking of Flynn in intelligence communications.

Someone leaks to to David Ignatius of the Washington Post that Trump National Security Adviser Flynn had called Russia's ambassador. “What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the US sanctions?” asked Ignatius in the article.

Jan. 13, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee opens investigation into Russia and U.S. political campaign officials.

Jan. 15, 2017: After leaks about Flynn’s call with Russia's ambassador, Vice President-elect Mike Pence tells the press that Flynn did not discuss U.S. sanctions on the call.

Jan. 20, 2017: Trump becomes president.

Fifteen minutes after Trump becomes president, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice emails memo to herself purporting to summarize the Jan. 5 Oval Office meeting with President Obama and other top officials. She states that Obama instructed the group to investigate "by the book" and asked them to be mindful whether there were certain things that "could not be fully shared with the incoming administration."

Jan. 22, 2017: Intel info leaks to Wall Street Journal which reports "US counterintelligence agents have investigated communications" between Trump aide Gen. Michael Flynn and Russia ambassador to the U.S. Kislyak to determine if any laws were violated.

Jan. 23, 2017: Leak to Washington Post falsely claims Trump National Security Adviser Flynn is not the subject of an investigation.

Jan. 24, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates sends two FBI agents, including Peter Strzok, to the White House to question Gen. Flynn. FBI Director Comey later takes credit for "sending a couple of guys" to interview Flynn, circumventing normal processes.

Notes kept hidden until May 2020 show FBI officials discussing whether the goal of the meeting with Flynn was to "get him to lie" so that he would be fired or prosecuted.

Jan. 26, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and a high-ranking colleague go to White House to tell counsel Don McGahn that Flynn had lied to Pence about the content of his talks with Russian ambassador and "the underlying conduct that Gen. Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself."

Jan. 27, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates again visits the White House.

Jan. 31, 2017: President Trump fires Acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she refuses to enforce his temporary travel ban on Muslims coming into U.S. from certain countries.

Ex-British spy Christopher Steele texts Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr who worked for Yates: "B, doubtless a sad and crazy day for you re- SY."

Dana Boente becomes Acting Attorney General. (It's later revealed that Boente signed at least one wiretap application against former Trump adviser Carter Page.)

Feb. 2, 2017: It's reported that five men employed by House of Representatives Democrats, including leader Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida), are under criminal investigation for allegedly "accessing House IT systems without lawmakers' knowledge." Suspects include three Awan brothers "who managed office information technology for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers."

Feb. 3, 2017: A Russian tech mogul named in the Steele "dossier" files defamation lawsuits against BuzzFeed in the U.S. and Christopher Steele in the U.K. over the dossier's claims he interfered in U.S. elections.

Feb. 8, 2017: Jeff Sessions becomes Attorney General and Dana Boente moves to Deputy Attorney General.

Feb. 9, 2017: News of FBI wiretaps capturing Trump national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn speaking with Russia's ambassador is leaked to the press. New York Times and Washington Post report Flynn discussed U.S. sanctions, despite his earlier denials. The Post also reports the FBI "found nothing illicit" in the talks. The Post headline in an article by Greg Miller, Adam Entous and Ellen Nakashima reads, “National Security Adviser Flynn Discussed Sanctions with Russian Ambassador, Despite Denials, Officials Say.” 

Feb. 13, 2017: Washington Post reports Justice Dept. has opened a "Logan Act" violation investigation against Trump national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

Feb. 14, 2017: New York Times reports that FBI had told Obama officials there was no "quid pro quo" (promise of a deal in exchange for some action) discussed between Gen. Flynn and Russian ambassador Kislyak.

Gen. Flynn resigns, allegedly acknowledging he misled vice president Mike Pence about the content of his discussions with Russia.

Comey says that, in a meeting, Trump states, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Comey says he replies “he is a good guy.” Trump later takes issue with Comey’s characterization of the meeting.

Feb. 15, 2017: NPR reports on "official transcripts of Flynn's calls" (saying they show no wrongdoing but that doesn't rule out illegal activity).

Feb. 17, 2017: Washington Post reports that "Flynn told FBI he did not discuss sanctions" with Russia ambassador and that "Lying to the FBI is a felony offense."

Feb. 24, 2017: FBI interviews Flynn, according to later testimony from Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

March 1, 2017: Washington Post reports Attorney General Jeff Sessions has met with Russian ambassador twice in the recent past (as did many Democrat and Republican officials). His critics say that contradicts his earlier testimony to Congress. The article by Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller raises the idea of a special counsel to investigate. 

March 2017: FBI Director James Comey gives private briefings to members of Congress and reportedly says he does not believe Gen. Flynn lied to FBI.

House Intelligence Committee requests list of unmasking requests Obama officials made. The intel agencies do not provide the information, prompting a June 1 subpoena.

March 2, 2017: Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself from Russia-linked investigations.

Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, becomes Acting Attorney General for Russia Probe. It's later revealed that Rosenstein singed at least one wiretap application against former Trump adviser Carter Page.

March 4, 2017: President Trump tweets: "Is it legal for a sitting President to be 'wire tapping' a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!" and "How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!"

March 10, 2017: Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat, steps forward to support Trump's wiretapping claim, revealing that the Obama administration intel officials recorded his own communications with a Libyan official in Spring 2011.

March 14, 2017: FBI Attorney Lisa Page texts FBI official Peter Strzok: "Finally two pages away from finishing [All the President's Men]. Did you know the president resigns in the end?!" Strzok replies, "What?!?! God, that we should be so lucky. [smiley face emoji]"

March 20, 2017: FBI Director Comey tells House Intelligence Committee he has "no information that supports" the President's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration. "We have looked carefully inside the FBI," Comey says. "(T)he answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components."

FBI Director Comey tells Congress there is "salacious and unverified" material in the Fusion GPS dossier used by FBI, in part, to obtain Carter Page wiretap. (Under FBI "Woods Procedures," only facts carefully verified by the FBI are allowed to be presented to court to obtain wiretaps.)

March 22, 2017: Chairman of House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) publicly announces he's seen evidence of Trump associates being "incidentally" surveilled by Obama intel officials; and their names being "unmasked" and illegally leaked. Nunes briefs President Trump and holds a news conference. He's criticized for doing so. An ethics investigation is opened into his actions but later clears him of wrongdoing.

In an interview on PBS, former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice responds to Nunes allegations by stating: "I know nothing about this, I really don't know to what Chairman Nunes was referring." (She later acknowledges unmasking names of Trump associates.)

March 2017: Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) writes Justice Dept. accusing Fusion GPS of acting as an agent for Russia "without properly registering" due to its pro-Russia effort to kill a law allowing sanctions against foreign human rights violators. Fusion GPS denies the allegations.

March 24, 2017: Fusion GPS declines to answer Sen. Grassley's questions or document requests.

March 27, 2017: Former Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas admits she encouraged Obama and Congressional officials to "get as much information as they can" about Russia and Trump officials before inauguration. "That's why you have the leaking," she told MSNBC.

Early April, 2017: A third FBI wiretap on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page is approved. Again, FBI Director James Comey, and acting attorney general Dana Boente sign the application. Trump officials including Mike Pompeo at the CIA are now leading the intel agencies during the wiretap.

April 3, 2017: Multiple news reports state that Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice had requested and reviewed "unmasked" intelligence on Trump associates whose information was "incidentally"  collected by intel agencies.

April 4, 2017: Obama former National Security Adviser Rice admits, in an interview, that she asked to reveal names of U.S. citizens previously masked in intel reports. She says her motivations were not political. When asked if she leaked names, Rice states, "I leaked nothing to nobody."

April 6, 2017: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes recuses himself from Russia part of his committee's investigation.

April 11, 2017: FBI Director Comey appoints Stephen Laycock as special agent in charge of Counterintelligence Division for Washington Field Office.

Washington Post reports FBI secretly obtained wiretap against Trump campaign associate Carter Page last summer. (Later, it's revealed the summer wiretap had been turned down, but a subsequent application was approved in October.)

April 20, 2017: Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord resigns as acting head of Justice Dept. National Security Division. She'd led probes of Russia interference in election and Trump-Russia ties.

April 28, 2017: Dana Boente is appointed acting assistant attorney general for national security division to replace Mary McCord. (Boente has signed one of the questioned wiretap applications for Carter Page.)

National Security Agency (NSA) submits remedies for its egregious surveillance violations (revealed last October) to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court promising to "no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target." The NSA also begins deleting collected data on U.S. citizens it had been storing.

May 3, 2017: FBI Director Comey testifies he's "mildly nauseous" at the idea he might have affected election with the 11th hour Clinton email notifications to Congress.

Comey also testifies he's "never" been an anonymous news source on "matters relating to" investigating the Trump campaign.

Obama's former national security adviser Susan Rice declines Republican Congressional request to testify at a hearing about unmaskings and surveillance.

May 8, 2017: Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testify to Congress. They admit having reviewed "classified documents in which Mr. Trump, his associates or members of Congress had been unmasked," and possibly discussing it with others under the Obama administration.

May 9, 2017: President Trump fires FBI Director James Comey. Andrew McCabe becomes acting FBI Director.

May 12, 2017: Benjamin Wittes, confidant of ex-FBI Director James Comey and editor in chief of Lawfare, contacts New York Times reporter Mike Schmidt to leak conversations he'd had with Comey as FBI Director that are critical of President Trump.

May 16, 2017: New York Times publishes leaked account of FBI memoranda recorded by former FBI Director James Comey. Comey later acknowledges engineering the leak of the FBI material through his friend, Columbia Law School professor Daniel Richman, to spur appointment of special counsel to investigate President Trump.

Trump reportedly interviews, but passes over, former FBI Director Robert Mueller for position of FBI Director.

May 17, 2017: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints Robert Mueller as Special Counsel, Russia-Trump probe. Mueller and former FBI Director Comey are friends and worked closely together in previous Justice Dept. and FBI positions.

The gap of missing text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page ends. The couple is soon assigned to the Mueller team investigating Trump.

May 19, 2017: Anthony Wiener, former Congressman and husband of Hillary Clinton confidant Huma Abedin, turns himself in to FBI in case of underage sexting; his third major kerfuffle over sexting in six years.

May 22, 2017FBI Counterespionage Chief Peter Strzok texts FBI Attorney Lisa Page about whether Strzok should join Special Counsel Mueller's investigation of Trump-Russia collusion. Strzok spoke of "unfinished business" that he "unleashed" with the Clinton classified email probe and stated: "Now I need to fix it and finish it." He also referred to the Special Counsel probe, which hadn't yet begun in earnest, as an "investigation leading to impeachment." But he also stated he had a "gut sense and concern there's no big there there."

June 1, 2017: House Intelligence Committee issues 7 subpoenas, including for information related to unmaskings requested by ex-Obama officials national security adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.

June 8, 2017: Former FBI Director James Comey admits having engineered leak of his own memo to New York Times to spur appointment of a special counsel to investigate President Trump.

June 20, 2017: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe names Philip Celestini as Special Agent in Charge of the Intelligence Division, Washington Field Office.

Late June, 2017: FBI renews wiretap against Carter Page for the fourth and final time that we know of. It lasts through late Sept. 2017. (Page is never ultimately charged with a crime.) FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein sign the renewal application.

Late July, 2017: FBI reportedly searches Paul Manafort's Alexandria, Virginia home.

Summer 2017: FBI lawyer Lisa Page is reassigned from Mueller investigation. Her boyfriend, FBI official Peter Strzok is removed from Mueller investigation after the Inspector General discovers compromising texts between Strzok and Page. Congress is not notified of the developments.

Aug. 2, 2017: Christopher Wray is named FBI Director.

August 2017: Ex-FBI Director Comey signs a book deal for a reported $2 million.

Sept. 13, 2017: Under questioning from Congress, Obama's former National Security Adviser Susan Rice reportedly admits having requested to see the protected identities of Trump transition officials "incidentally" captured by government surveillance.

Approx. Oct. 10, 2017: Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleads guilty to lying to FBI about his unsuccessful efforts during the campaign to facilitate meetings between Trump officials and Russian officials.

Oct. 17, 2017: Obama's former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power reportedly tells Congressional investigators that many of the hundreds of "unmasking" requests in her name during the election year were not made by her.

Oct. 24, 2017: Congressional Republicans announce new investigations into a 2010 acquisition that gave Russia control of 20% of U.S. uranium supply while Clinton was secretary of state; and FBI decision not to charge Clinton in classified info probe.

Oct. 30, 2017: Special Counsel Mueller charges ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and business associate Rick Gates with tax and money laundering crimes related to their foreign work. The charges do not appear related to Trump.

Nov. 2, 2017: Carter Page testifies to House Intelligence committee under oath without an attorney and asks to have the testimony published. He denies ever meeting the Russian official that Fusion GPS claimed he'd met with in July 2016.

Nov. 5, 2017: Special Counsel Robert Mueller files charges against ex-Trump national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for allegedly lying to FBI official Peter Strzok about contacts with Russian ambassador during presidential transition.

Dec. 1, 2017: Former national security adviser Gen. Flynn pleads guilty of lying to the FBI. Prosecutors recommend no prison time (but later reverse their recommendation).

James Rybicki steps down as chief of staff to FBI Director.

Dec. 6, 2017: Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr is reportedly stripped of one of his positions at Justice Dept. amid controversy over his and his wife's role in anti-Trump political opposition research.

Dec. 7, 2017: FBI Director Wray incorrectly testifies that there have been no "702" surveillance abuses by the government.

Dec. 19, 2017: FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe repeatedly testifies that the wiretap against Trump campaign official Carter Page would not have been approved without the Fusion GPS info. FBI general counsel James Baker, who is himself subject of an Inspector General probe over his alleged leaks to the press, attends as McCabe's attorney. McCabe acknowledges that if Baker had met with Mother Jones reporter David Corn, it would have been inappropriate.

FBI general counsel James Baker is reassigned amid investigation into his alleged anti-Trump related contacts with media.

2018

Jan. 4, 2018: Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) refer criminal charges against Christopher Steele to the FBI for investigation. There's an apparent conflict of interest with the FBI being asked to investigate Steele since the FBI has used Steele's controversial political opposition research to obtain wiretaps.

Jan. 8, 2018: Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr loses his second title at the agency.

Jan. 10, 2018: Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen files defamation suits against Fusion GPS and BuzzFeed News for publishing the "Steele dossier," which he says falsely claimed he met Russian government officials in Prague, Czech Republic, in August of 2016.

Jan. 11, 2018: House of Representatives approves government's controversial "702" wireless surveillance authority. The Senate follows suit.

Jan. 19, 2018: Justice Dept. produces to Congress some text messages between FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok but states that FBI lost texts between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017 due to a technical glitch.

President Trump signs six-year extension of "702" wireless surveillance authority.

Jan. 23, 2018: Former FBI Director Comey friend who leaked on behalf of Comey to New York Times to spur appointment of special counsel is now Comey's attorney.

Jan. 25, 2018: Justice Dept. Inspector General notifies Congress it has recovered missing text messages between FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.

Jan. 27, 2018: Edward O'Callaghan is named Acting Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division.

Jan. 29, 2018: Andrew McCabe steps down as Deputy FBI Director ahead of his March retirement.

Jan. 30, 2018: News reports allege that Justice Department Inspector General is looking into why FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe appeared to wait three weeks before acting on new Clinton emails found right before the election.

Feb. 2, 2018: House Intelligence Committee (Nunes) Republican memo is released. It summarizes classified documents revealing for the first time that Fusion GPS political opposition research was used, in part, to justify Carter Page wiretap; along with Michael Isikoff Yahoo News article based on the same opposition research.

Memo also states that Fusion GPS set up back channel to FBI through Nellie Ohr, who conducted opposition research on Trump and passed it to her husband, associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr.

Feb. 7, 2018: Justice Department official David Laufman, who helped oversee the Clinton and Russia probes, steps down as chief of National Security Division's Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

Feb. 9, 2018: Former FBI Director Comey assistant Josh Campbell leaves FBI for job at CNN.

Justice Department Associate Attorney General, Office of Legal Policy, Rachel Brand, resigns.

Feb. 16, 2018: Special counsel Mueller obtains guilty plea from a Dutch attorney for lying to federal investigators about the last time he spoke to Rick Gates regarding a 2012 project related to Ukraine. The plea does not appear to relate to 2016 campaign or Trump. The Dutch attorney is married to the daughter of a Russian oligarch who's suing Buzzfeed and Christopher Steele for alleged defamation in the "dossier."

Feb. 22, 2018: Former State Dept. official and Sen. John McCain associate David Kramer invokes his Fifth Amendment right not to testify before House Intelligence Committee. Kramer reportedly picked up the anti-Trump political opposition research in London and delivered it to Sen. McCain who delivered it to the FBI.

Special counsel Mueller files new charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and former campaign aide Rick Gates, accusing them of additional tax and bank fraud crimes. The allegations appear to be unrelated to Trump.

Fri. Feb. 23, 2018: Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, pleads guilty to conspiracy and lying to investigators (though he issues a statement saying he's innocent of the indictment charges). The allegations and plea have no apparent link to Trump-Russia campaign collusion.

Sat. Feb. 24, 2018: Democrats on House Intel Committee release their rebuttal memo to the Republican version that summarized alleged FBI misconduct re: using the GPS Fusion opposition research to get wiretap against Carter Page.

March 12, 2018House Intelligence Committee closes Russia-Trump investigation with no evidence of collusion.

Fri. March 16, 2018: Attorney General Jeff Sessions fires Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, based on recommendation from FBI ethics investigators.

Thurs. March 22, 2018President Trump announces plans to replace National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster with former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton.

House Judiciary Committee issues subpoenas to Department of Justice after Department failed to produce documents.

May 4, 2018: Amid allegations that he was responsible for improper leaks, FBI attorney James Baker resigns and joins the Brookings Institution, writing for the anti-Trump blog "Lawfare" that first discussed the need for an "insurance policy" in case Trump got elected.

2019

March 2019: Special Counsel Robert Mueller signs off on his final report stating that there was no collusion or coordination between Trump -- or any American -- and Russia. He leaves as an open question the issue of whether Trump took any actions that could be considered obstruction. No new charges are recommended or filed with the issuance of the report.

June 2019: Former Trump National Security Adviser Flynn fire his defense attorneys and hires Sidney Powell.

Oct. 25, 2019: Flynn files a motion to dismiss the case against him due to prosecutorial misconduct. Among other claims, Flynn says prosecutors failed to turn over exculpatory material tending to show his innocence. Prosecutors claim they were not required to turn over the information.

Dec. 19, 2019: An investigation by Inspector General Michael Horowitz finds egregious abuses by FBI and Justice Department officials in obtaining wiretaps of former Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page. The report also says an FBI attorney doctored a document, providing false information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, to get the wiretaps.

2020

Jan. 7, 2020: Prosecutors reverse their earlier recommendation for no prison time, and ask for up to six months in prison for Flynn.

Jan. 16, 2020: Flynn files a motion to withdraw his guilty plea.

Jan. 23, 2020: The Dept. of Justice finds that two of its wiretaps against former Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page were improperly obtained and are therefore invalid.

Feb. 10, 2020: The Dept. of Justice asks a judge to sentence Trump associate Roger Stone to 7 to 9 years in prison for lying about his communications with WikiLeaks.

Feb. 11, 2020: The Dept. of Justice reduces its recommendation for prison time for Stone after President Trump and others criticized the initial representation as excessive. Stone receives three years and four months in prison.

Feb. 20, 2020: President Trump appoints Richard Grenell as acting Director of National Intelligence. Grenell begins facilitating the release of long withheld documents regarding FBI actions against Trump campaign associates.

March 31, 2020: A Justice Dept. Inspector General's analysis of more than two dozen wiretap applications from eight FBI field offices over two months finds  "we do not have confidence" that the bureau followed standards to ensure the accuracy of the wiretap requests.

April 3, 2020: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court asks FBI to review whether it wiretaps are valid in light of information about problems and abuses.

April 29, 2020: Newly-released documents show FBI officials, prior to their original interview with Flynn, discussing whether the goal was to try to get him to lie to get him fired or so that he could be prosecuted.

May 7, 2020: The Department of Justice announces a decision to drop the case against Flynn.

*  *  *

Order "Slanted: How the News Media Taught Us to Love Censorship and Hate Journalism" by Sharyl Attkisson at Harper CollinsAmazonBarnes & NobleBooks a MillionIndieBoundBookshop!

Published:5/15/2020 9:52:04 PM
[Markets] Understanding The Mueller Lies About Michael Flynn Understanding The Mueller Lies About Michael Flynn Tyler Durden Fri, 05/15/2020 - 20:10

Authored by Larry Johnson via Sic Semper Tyrannis blog,

I want to help the average citizen understand how egregious and dishonest the Mueller team was in bringing charges against Michael Flynn for lying to FBI agents about what he said to Russia's Ambassador in a telephone conversation, which was likely intercepted by the CIA.

Michael Flynn did not do a damn thing wrong in that conversation and the notes from FBI agents Strzok and Pientka, which Sidney Powell finally pried loose after more than two years of the prosecutors hiding exculpatory evidence, do not support the Statement of Offense.

I suspect most of you reading this have never read the Statement of Offense. I am going to let you read for yourself the salient portions:

...

b. On or about December 28, 2016, the Russian Ambassador contacted FLYNN.

c. On or about December 29, 2016, FLYNN called a senior official of the Presidential Transition Team ("PTT official"), who was with other senior members of the Presidential Transition Team at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, to discuss what, if anything, to communicate to the Russian Ambassador about the U.S. Sanctions. On that call, FLYNN and the PTT official discussed the U.S. Sanctions, including the potential impact of those sanctions on the incoming administration's foreign policy goals. The PIT official and FLYNN also discussed that the members of the Presidential Transition Team at Mar-a-Lago did not want Russia to escalate the situation.

d. Immediately after his phone call with the PIT official, FLYNN called the Russian Ambassador and requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in a reciprocal manner.

e. Shortly after his phone call with the Russian Ambassador, FLYNN spoke with the PTT official to report on the substance of his call with the Russian Ambassador, including their discussion of the U.S. Sanctions.

...

Got that?

Michael Flynn acted professionally and followed protocol. The Russian Ambassador called him. General Flynn called K. T. McFarlane, who was at Mar a Lago with the Trump Transition Team and asked for guidance on whether or not to respond and, if he was going to respond, what to say.

Michael Flynn's communication with Ambassador Kislyak was appropriate and wise--he asked the Russian Ambassador not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in a reciprocal manner. Please tell me what the hell is wrong, nefarious or stupid about that? NOTHING. Michael Flynn could have told the Russian that Obama was a moron and could have promised, "we will eliminate those sanctions on day one." He did not do either. Mike Flynn conducted himself with discretion and with professionalism.

But there is one other important piece of news in this Statement of Offense. Someone in the Obama Administration INTERCEPTED Mike Flynn's phone call to the Presidential Transition Team (aka PTT). Who did that? The NSA? The CIA? The FBI? That question needs to be answered because there was no legal basis to intercept this conversation.

As I noted in my previous article (see here), this was the conversation that Jim Comey and Andrew McCabe wanted to use as the pretext and predicate for keeping the investigation of Michael Flynn open.

Here is what Agents Strzok and Pientka wrote in one of their initial drafts of the 302 (i.e., the FBI record of their interview with Michael Flynn). Note--the original draft is still missing in action. The FBI is either incompetent or hiding it.

Michael Flynn said, according to Agents Strzok and Pientka, "I DON"T REMEMBER."

At no point did the Agents give him the chance to review the transcript, which they had in their hot little hands.

And Peter Strzok, in a subsequent interview with FBI Agents working for the DOJ Inspector General, said this on July 19, 2017:

The FBI Agents interviewing Strzok make it clear--"Strzok and Pientka both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying."

The record is very clear and you should now be able to understand why Michael Flynn's attorney was so outraged and why the Department of Justice is dismissing charges against Michael Flynn.

Robert Mueller and his prosecutors lied. Michael Flynn did not. It is that simple.

Published:5/15/2020 7:22:56 PM
[2020 Election] VP Hopeful Susan Rice Shows Off Her Foreign Policy Chops

Former Obama official Susan Rice said this week she would be thrilled to be Joe Biden's running mate on the 2020 ticket.

The post VP Hopeful Susan Rice Shows Off Her Foreign Policy Chops appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:5/15/2020 4:23:37 PM
[01aea364-8399-546c-bd26-c543c368f7d4] Adriana Cohen: Apparent seditious anti-Trump conspiracy by Obama officials must be investigated Our democracy is under fire, thanks to corrupt officials at the highest echelons of our government – including members of the Obama administration – who we're now learning conspired with former FBI Director James Comey and other "deep state" operatives to try to stop Donald Trump from getting elected. Published:5/15/2020 3:24:18 PM
[Barack Obama] Powell vs. Obama (John Hinderaker) We are a day or two late with this, but it is still worth your attention. Barack Obama said on a phone call that the Department of Justice’s dropping of charges against General Flynn was unprecedented and, somehow, a threat to the rule of law. News organizations naturally repeated Obama’s assertions uncritically. But Flynn’s lawyer, Sidney Powell, casts a more critical eye in her Open Memorandum to Barack Obama. She Published:5/15/2020 1:49:57 PM
[Markets] No Proof That Russia Hacked DNC - Democrats Hid Sworn CrowdStrike Testimony For Over 2 Years No Proof That Russia Hacked DNC - Democrats Hid Sworn CrowdStrike Testimony For Over 2 Years Tyler Durden Fri, 05/15/2020 - 14:10

Authored by Aaron Maté via RealClearInvestigations.com,

CrowdStrike, the private cyber-security firm that first accused Russia of hacking Democratic Party emails and served as a critical source for U.S. intelligence officials in the years-long Trump-Russia probe, acknowledged to Congress more than two years ago that it had no concrete evidence that Russian hackers stole emails from the Democratic National Committee’s server.

Crowdstrike President Shawn Henry: "We just don’t have the evidence..."

CrowdStrike President Shawn Henry's admission under oath,  in a recently declassified December 2017 interview before the House Intelligence Committee, raises new questions about whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller, intelligence officials and Democrats misled the public. The allegation that Russia stole Democratic Party emails from Hillary Clinton, John Podesta and others and then passed them to WikiLeaks helped trigger the FBI's probe into now debunked claims of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to steal the 2016 election. The CrowdStrike admissions were released just two months after the Justice Department retreated from its its other central claim that Russia meddled in the 2016 election when it dropped charges against Russian troll farms it said had been trying to get Trump elected.

Henry personally led the remediation and forensics analysis of the DNC server after being warned of a breach in late April 2016; his work was paid for by the DNC, which refused to turn over its server to the FBI. Asked for the date when alleged Russian hackers stole data from the DNC server, Henry testified that CrowdStrike did not in fact know if such a theft occurred at all: "We did not have concrete evidence that the data was exfiltrated [moved electronically] from the DNC, but we have indicators that it was exfiltrated," Henry said.

Henry reiterated his claim on multiple occasions: 

  • "There are times when we can see data exfiltrated, and we can say conclusively. But in this case it appears it was set up to be exfiltrated, but we just don’t have the evidence that says it actually left."

  • "There’s not evidence that they were actually exfiltrated. There's circumstantial evidence but no evidence that they were actually exfiltrated."

  • "There is circumstantial evidence that that data was exfiltrated off the network... We didn't have a sensor in place that saw data leave. We said that the data left based on the circumstantial evidence. That was the conclusion that we made."

  • "Sir, I was just trying to be factually accurate, that we didn't see the data leave, but we believe it left, based on what we saw."

  • Asked directly if he could "unequivocally say" whether "it was or was not exfiltrated out of DNC," Henry told the committee: "I can't say based on that." 

Rep. Adam Schiff: Democrat held up interview transcripts, but finally relented after acting intel director Richard Grenell suggested he would release them himself. (Senate Television via AP)

In a later exchange with Republican Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah, Henry offered an explanation of how Russian agents could have obtained the emails without any digital trace of them leaving the server. The CrowdStrike president speculated that Russian agents might have taken "screenshots" in real time. "[If] somebody was monitoring an email server, they could read all the email," Henry said. "And there might not be evidence of it being exfiltrated, but they would have knowledge of what was in the email. … There would be ways to copy it. You could take screenshots." 

Henry’s 2017 testimony that there was no “concrete evidence” that the emails were stolen electronically suggests that Mueller was at best misleading in his 2019 final report, in which he stated that Russian intelligence “appears to have compressed and exfiltrated over 70 gigabytes of data from the file server.”

It is unlikely that Mueller had another source to make his more confident claim about Russian hacking. 

The stolen emails, which were published by Wikileaks – whose founder, Julian Assange has long denied they came from Russia – were embarrassing to the party because, among other things, they showed the DNC had favored Clinton during her 2016 primary battles against Sen. Bernie Sanders for the presidential nomination. The DNC eventually issued an apology to Sanders and his supporters "for the inexcusable remarks made over email." The DNC hack was separate from the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s use of a private server while serving as President Obama’s Secretary of State. 

The disclosure that CrowdStrike found no evidence that alleged Russian hackers exfiltrated any data from the DNC server raises a critical question: On what basis, then, did it accuse them of stealing the emails? Further, on what basis did Obama administration officials make far more forceful claims about Russian hacking?

Michael Sussmann: This lawyer at Perkins Coie hired CrowdStrike to investigate the DNC breach. He was also involved with  Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele in producing the discredited Steele dossier.

The January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), which formally accused Russia of a sweeping influence campaign involving the theft of Democratic emails, claimed the Russian intelligence service GRU "exfiltrated large volumes of data from the DNC." A July 2018 indictment claimed that GRU officers "stole thousands of emails from the work accounts of DNC employees."

According to everyone concerned, the cyber-firm played a critical role in the FBI's investigation of the DNC data theft. Henry told the panel that CrowdStrike "shared intelligence with the FBI" on a regular basis, making "contact with them over a hundred times in the course of many months." In congressional testimony that same year, former FBI Director James Comey acknowledged that the FBI "never got direct access to the machines themselves," and instead relied on CrowdStrike, which "shared with us their forensics from their review of the system." According to Comey, the FBI would have preferred direct access to the server, and made "multiple requests at different levels," to obtain it. But after being rebuffed, "ultimately it was agreed to… [CrowdStrike] would share with us what they saw."

Henry’s testimony seems at variance with Comey’s suggestion of complete information sharing. He told Congress that CrowdStrike provided "a couple of actual digital images" of DNC hard drives, out of a total number of "in excess of 10, I think." In other cases, Henry said, CrowdStrike provided its own assessment of them. The firm, he said, provided "the results of our analysis based on what our technology went out and collected." This disclosure follows revelations from the case of Trump operative Roger Stone that CrowdStrike provided three reports to the FBI in redacted and draft form. According to federal prosecutors, the government never obtained CrowdStrike's unredacted reports.

CrowdStrike's newy disclosed admissions raise new questions about whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller (above), intelligence officials and Democrats misled the public.

There are no indications that the Mueller team accessed any additional information beyond what CrowdStrike provided. According to the Mueller report, "the FBI later received images of DNC servers and copies of relevant traffic logs." But if the FBI obtained only "copies" of data traffic – and not any new evidence -- those copies would have shown the same absence of "concrete evidence" that Henry admitted to.

Adding to the tenuous evidence is CrowdStrike's own lack of certainty that the hackers it identified inside the DNC server were indeed Russian government actors. Henry's explanation for his firm's attribution of the DNC hack to Russia is replete with inferences and assumptions that lead to "beliefs," not unequivocal conclusions.  "There are other nation-states that collect this type of intelligence for sure," Henry said, "but what we would call the tactics and techniques were consistent with what we'd seen associated with the Russian state." In its investigation, Henry said, CrowdStrike "saw activity that we believed was consistent with activity we'd seen previously and had associated with the Russian Government. …  We said that we had a high degree of confidence it was the Russian Government."

But CrowdStrike was forced to retract a similar accusation months after it accused Russia in December 2016 of hacking the Ukrainian military, with the same software that the firm had claimed to identify inside the DNC server. 

The firm's work with the DNC and FBI is also colored by partisan affiliations. Before joining CrowdStrike, Henry served as executive assistant director at the FBI under Mueller. Co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch is a vocal critic of Vladimir Putin and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, the pro-NATO think tank that has consistently promoted an aggressive policy toward Russia. And the newly released testimony confirms that CrowdStrike was hired to investigate the DNC breach by Michael Sussmann of Perkins Coie – the same Democratic-tied law firm that hired Fusion GPS to produce the discredited Steele dossier, which was also treated as central evidence in the investigation. Sussmann played a critical role in generating the Trump-Russia collusion allegation. Ex-British spy and dossier compiler Christopher Steele has testified in British court that Sussmann shared with him the now-debunked Alfa Bank server theory, alleging a clandestine communication channel between the bank and the Trump Organization.

Henry’s recently released testimony does not mean that Russia did not hack the DNC. What it does make clear is that Obama administration officials, the DNC and others have misled the public by presenting as fact information that they knew was uncertain.  The fact that the Democratic Party employed the two private firms that generated the core allegations at the heart of Russiagate -- Russian email hacking and Trump-Russia collusion – suggests that the federal investigation was compromised from the start.

The 2017 Henry transcript was one of dozens just released after a lengthy dispute. In September 2018, the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee unanimously voted to release witness interview transcripts and sent them to the U.S. intelligence community for declassification review. In March 2019, months after Democrats won House control, Rep. Adam Schiff ordered the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to withhold the transcripts from White House lawyers seeking to review them for executive privilege. Schiff also refused to release vetted transcripts, but finally relented after acting ODNI Director Richard Grenell suggested this month that he would release them himself.

Several transcripts, including the interviews of former CIA Director John Brennan and Comey, remain unreleased. And in light of the newly disclosed Crowdstrike testimony, another secret document from the House proceedings takes on urgency for public viewing. According to Henry, Crowdstrike also provided the House Intelligence Committee with a copy of its report on the DNC email theft. 

Published:5/15/2020 1:20:14 PM
[In The News] Jeff Sessions: Leak Of Michael Flynn Phone Call Was An ‘Absolute Crime’

By Chuck Ross -

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday that the leak of Michael Flynn’s identity to the media in 2017 was “an absolute crime” that should be “prosecuted vigorously.” In an interview on Fox Business, Sessions, who is running for a Senate seat in Alabama, discussed revelations about Obama administration officials ...

Jeff Sessions: Leak Of Michael Flynn Phone Call Was An ‘Absolute Crime’ 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:5/15/2020 12:19:45 PM
[Politics] Kellyanne: White House Can Prove 'More Evidence' of Wrongdoing The White House has "more evidence of wrongdoing" against members of the Obama administration than anything found in special counsel Robert Mueller's three-year, $40 million "phony collusion" investigation, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway declared Friday. Published:5/15/2020 9:49:53 AM
[Politics] Consumer Spending Update: Americans Question Economy But Still Have Faith in Their Own Wallets

As parts of the country slowly emerge from coronavirus lockdown, economic confidence has slowed from April’s rapid descent, dropping just one point to 93.7 in May. But this is the lowest finding in six years of surveying and six points below the April 2014 baseline.

Enthusiasm about the economy started to grow immediately following Donald Trump's election as president in November 2016 and jumped to 147.8 in January 2020 and then began its decline in February. In President Obama’s final years in office, this index reached a high of 121.5 in January 2015 and was at 108.1 his last month in the White House.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.  

The survey of 1,500 American Adults was conducted on May 1, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 2.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:5/15/2020 9:49:53 AM
[Politics] Susan Rice says she would accept offer to be Joe Biden’s running mate Susan Rice is throwing her hat into the ring for Joe Biden’s veep position. The former national security adviser for President Obama said she “certainly would say yes” if asked to be the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s running mate in the 2020 election. “I’m humbled and honored to be among the extremely accomplished women who... Published:5/15/2020 8:52:52 AM
[Entertainment] How to Watch the Star-Studded Graduate Together Class of 2020 Special This Weekend Barack ObamaWhile high school seniors may not be donning their caps and gowns on school campuses this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, there's still an epic graduation ceremony being held in their...
Published:5/15/2020 8:19:30 AM
[Politics] McConnell Walks Back Comment Obama Left No Virus Plan Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., issued a mea culpa Thursday on his remarks former President Barack Obama failed to leave a coronavirus pandemic plan. Published:5/14/2020 9:45:07 PM
[Politics] Barack Obama Fires Back at Trump's 'Obamagate,' 'Vote,' He Urges Supporters After President Donald Trump went on a Twitter tirade about his predecessor, former President Barack Obama took to social message with a pared-down response."Vote," Obama tweeted, posting similar entreaties on Facebook and Instagram... Published:5/14/2020 8:15:18 PM
[Markets] Let's Not Allow Another Crisis To Bamboozle Us Let's Not Allow Another Crisis To Bamboozle Us Tyler Durden Thu, 05/14/2020 - 20:05

Authored by Walter Williams, op-ed via Townhall.com,

Former Barack Obama adviser Rahm Emanuel, during a recent interview, reminded us of his 2008 financial crisis quotation, "Never allow a crisis to go to waste." The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a wonderful opportunity for those of us who want greater control over our lives.

Sadly, too many Americans have already taken the bait. We've allowed politicians and bureaucrats to dictate to us what's an essential business and what isn't, who has access to hospitals and who hasn't, and a host of minor and major dictates.

Leftist politicians who want to get into our pocketbooks are beginning to argue that the COVID-19 pandemic is the best argument for a wealth tax. Let's first define a wealth tax. A wealth tax is applicable to and levied on a variety of accumulated assets that include cash, money market funds, real property, trust funds, owner-occupied housing and other wealth accumulations. Assume a taxpayer earns $150,000 a year and falls in the 32% tax bracket. That individual's income tax liability for the year will be 32% x $150,000 or $48,800. Say the taxpayer has a net worth of $500,000 consisting of a business or home and the government imposes a wealth tax of 32%, the person's tax liability is $160,000.

The problem with most politicians is when they enact a law, they seldom ask, "Then what?" They assume a world of what economists call zero elasticity wherein people behave after a tax is imposed just as they behaved before the tax was imposed and the only difference is that more money comes into the government's tax coffers. The long-term effect of a wealth tax is that people will try to avoid it by not accumulating as much wealth or concealing the wealth they accumulate.

A wealth tax has become increasingly attractive because it lends itself to demagoguery about the significant wealth disparity in the United States. The Federal Reserve reports that, in 2018, the wealthiest 10% of Americans owned 70% of the country's wealth, and the richest 1% owned 32% of the wealth. That fact gave Democratic presidential contenders such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren incentives to propose a wealth tax as a part of their campaign rhetoric. Leftists lament that multibillionaires such as Charles Koch, Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison and Sheldon Adelson have not made charitable efforts to address the coronavirus crisis.

My questions to these political leeches are: To whom does the billionaire's wealth belong? And how did they accumulate such wealth?

Did they accumulate their great wealth by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man, as has been the case throughout most of human history? No, they accumulated great wealth by serving and pleasing their fellow man in the pursuit of profits. Unfortunately, demagoguery and lack of understanding has led to "profit" becoming a dirty word. Profit is a payment to entrepreneurs just as wages are payments to labor, interest to capital and rent to land. In order to earn profits in free markets, entrepreneurs must identify and satisfy human wants in a way that economizes on society's scarce resources.

Here's a question for you. Which entities produce greater consumer satisfaction: for-profit enterprises such as supermarkets, computer makers and clothing stores, or nonprofit entities such as public schools, post offices and motor vehicle departments? I'm guessing you'll answer the former. Their survival depends on pleasing ordinary people. Public schools, post offices and motor vehicle departments' survival are not strictly tied to pleasing people but rather on politicians and the ability of government to impose taxes.

Some advocates of wealth taxes and other forms of taxation might argue that they are temporary measures to get us over the COVID-19 crisis. Do not buy that argument. The great Nobel Laureate economist Milton Friedman once said, "Nothing is more permanent than a temporary government program." The telephone tax was levied on wealthy Americans with telephones in 1898 to help fund the Spanish-American War. That tax was repealed over 100 years later in 2006. One of the objectives of the World War II withholding tax was to bring faster revenues to fight the war. The withholding of taxes is still with us blinding Americans on the taxes they pay. Let us not allow a crisis to bamboozle us again.

Published:5/14/2020 7:14:42 PM
[Law] 4 Big Unanswered Questions About the ‘Unmasking’ Scandal

As the “unmasking” scandal unfolds, the Senate Judiciary Committee will delve into the conduct of the Obama administration and the intelligence community in secretly investigating... Read More

The post 4 Big Unanswered Questions About the ‘Unmasking’ Scandal appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:5/14/2020 6:14:15 PM
[Markets] Flynn's Lawyer Excoriates Obama In Open Letter Flynn's Lawyer Excoriates Obama In Open Letter Tyler Durden Thu, 05/14/2020 - 19:05

Last week, former President Barack Obama reacted to the DOJ's move to end its case against Michael Flynn by declaring in a leaked private phone call that the "rule of law is at risk," and that "there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free."

"That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk. And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places," said the former President.

On Wednesday, Flynn's lawyer Sidney Powell punched back - correcting Obama's inaccurate diatribe, while managing to drop MOABs on his "wingman" - former Attorney General Eric Holder, Andrew McCabe, Loretta Lynch and others. It's quite the read.

Authored by Sidney Powell via sidneypowell.com  (emphasis ours)

To: Barack Hussein Obama
From: Sidney Powell
www.SidneyPowell.com

Date: May 13, 2020

Re: Your Failure to Find Precedent for Flynn Dismissal

Regarding the decision of the Department of Justice to dismiss charges against General Flynn, in your recent call with your alumni, you expressed great concern: “there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk.”

Here is some help—if truth and precedent represent your true concern. Your statement is entirely false. However, it does explain the damage to the Rule of Law throughout your administration.

First, General Flynn was not charged with perjurywhich requires a material false statement made under oath with intent to deceive.1A perjury prosecution would have been appropriate and the Rule of Law applied if the Justice Department prosecuted your former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for his multiple lies under oath in an investigation of a leak only he knew he caused.

McCabe lied under oath in fully recorded and transcribed interviews with the Inspector General for the DOJ. He was informed of the purpose of the interview, and he had had the benefit of counsel. He knew he was the leaker. McCabe even lied about lying. He lied to his own agents—which sent them on a “wild-goose-chase”—thereby making his lies “material” and an obstruction of justice. Yet, remarkably, Attorney General Barr declined to prosecute McCabe for these offenses.

Applying the Rule of Law, after declining McCabe’s perjury prosecution, required the Justice Department to dismiss the prosecution of General Flynn who was not warned, not under oath, had no counsel, and whose statements were not only not recorded, but were created as false by FBI agents who falsified the 302.

Second, it would seem your “wingman” Eric Holder is missing a step these days at Covington & Burling LLP. Indelibly marked in his memory (and one might think, yours) should be his Motion to Dismiss the multi-count jury verdict of guilty and the entire case against former United States Senator Ted Stevens. Within weeks of Mr. Holder becoming Attorney General, he moved to dismiss the Stevens prosecution in the interest of justice for the same reasons the Justice Department did against General Flynn—egregious misconduct by prosecutors who hid exculpatory evidence and concocted purported crimes.

As horrifying as the facts of the Stevens case were, they pale in comparison to the targeted setup, framing, and prosecution of a newly elected President’s National Security Advisor and the shocking facts that surround it. This case was an assault on the heart of liberty— our cherished system of self-government, the right of citizens to choose their President, and the hallowed peaceful transition of power.

Third, the inability of anyone in your alumni association to find “anybody who has been charged [with anything] just getting off scot-free” would be laughable were it not so pathetic.

Many of your alum feature prominently in the non-fiction legal thriller published in 2014: Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice. A national best- seller, it focusses on the egregious prosecutorial misconduct of your longest serving White House Counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler; your counter-terrorism advisor Lisa Monaco; Loretta Lynch’s DAG for the Criminal Division Leslie Caldwell; and Mueller protégé Andrew Weissmann. While they worked as federal prosecutors on the Enron Task Force—under the purported supervision of Christopher Wray—they destroyed Arthur Andersen LLP and its 85,000 jobs; sent four Merrill Lynch executives to prison on an indictment that criminalized an innocent business transaction while they hid the evidence that showed those defendants were innocent for six years. Both cases were reversed on appeal for their over-criminalization and misconduct. Indeed, Andersen was reversed by a unanimous Supreme Court.

Fourth, even if your many alumni don’t remember multiple cases that had to be reversed or dismissed for their own misconduct, Judge Emmet Sullivan should remember dismissing the corrupted case against Ted Stevens. Judge Sullivan is the judicial hero of Licensed to Lie. It is that case that caused Judge Sullivan to enter the strong Brady order the Mueller and D.C. career prosecutors violated repeatedly in the Flynn prosecution.

Fifth, there is precedent for guilty pleas being vacated. Your alumni Weissmann and Ruemmler are no strangers to such reversals. At least two guilty pleas they coerced by threats against defendants in Houston had to be thrown out—again for reasons like those here. The defendants “got off scot-free” because—like General Flynn—your alumni had concocted the charges and terrorized the defendants into pleading guilty to “offenses” that were not crimes. Andersen partner David Duncan even testified for the government against Andersen in its trial, but his plea had to be vacated. Enron Broadband defendant Christopher Calger had his plea vacated. There are many others across the country.

Sixth, should further edification be necessary, see Why Innocent People Plead Guilty, written in 2014 by federal Judge Jed Rakoff (a Clinton appointee). Abusive prosecutors force innocent people to plead guilty with painful frequency. The Mueller special counsel operation led by Andrew Weissmann and Weissmann “wannabes” specializes in prosecutorial terrorist tactics repulsive to everything “justice” is supposed to mean. These tactics are designed to intimidate their targets into pleading guilty—while punishing them and their families with the process itself and financial ruin.

Most important, General Flynn was honest with the FBI agents. They knew he was—and briefed that to McCabe and others three different times. At McCabe’s directions, Agent Strzok and McCabe’s “Special Counsel” Lisa Page, altered the 302 to create statements Weissmann, Mueller, Van Grack, and Zainab Ahmad could assert were false. Only the FBI agents lied—and falsified documents. The crimes are theirs alone.

Seventh, the D.C. circuit in which you reside vacated a Section 1001 case for a legal failure much less egregious than those in General Flynn’s case. United States v. Safavian, 528 F.3d 957 (D.C. Cir. 2008). Safavian sought advice from his agency’s ethics board and did not give them all the relevant info. The jury convicted him on the theory it was a 1001 violation to conceal the information from the government ethics board. The court disagreed: “As Safavian argues and as the government agrees, there must be a legal duty to disclose in order for there to be a concealment offense in violation of § 1001(a)(1), yet the government failed to identify a legal disclosure duty except by reference to vague standards of conduct for government employees.” General Flynn did not even know he was the subject of an investigation—and in truth, he was not. The only crimes here were by your alumni in the FBI, White House, intelligence community, and Justice Department.

These are just a few obvious and well-known examples to those paying any attention to criminal justice issues.

Finally, the “leaked” comments from your alumni call further evinces your obsession with destroying a distinguished veteran of the United States Army who has defended the Constitution and this country “from all enemies, foreign and domestic,” with the highest honor for thirty-three years. He and many others will continue to do so.


1As a “constitutional lawyer,” surely you recall that perjury (or false statements) also requires intent to deceive. In Bronston v. United States, 409 U.S. 352 (1973), the Supreme Court reversed a conviction of perjury. In Bronston, the defendant’s answer was a truthful statement, but not directly responsive to the question and ultimately misled federal authorities. The Court determined: “A jury should not be permitted to engage in conjecture whether an unresponsive answer, true and complete on its face, was intended to mislead or divert the examiner; the state of mind of the witness is relevant only to the extent that it bears on whether “he does not believe [his answer] to be true.” To hold otherwise would be to inject a new and confusing element into the adversary testimonial system we know.” Id. at 359. The FBI agents who interviewed General Flynn specifically noted that his answers were true or he believed his answers to be true—completely defeating criminal intent. Furthermore, General Flynn knew and remarked they had transcripts of his conversations.

Click here to read a PDF version of Sidney’s Open Memorandum to Obama

Published:5/14/2020 6:14:15 PM
[] Sean Davis looks into those seven unmasking requests Samantha Power made regarding Michael Flynn that she denied making Published:5/14/2020 5:44:23 PM
[] Here's an update on how many journos have been tripping over each other to defend CBS News' Catherine Herridge after Biden staffer's attack (it's a VERY short read) Published:5/14/2020 3:46:57 PM
[Politics] Alan Dershowitz to Newsmax TV: It's Up to Obama Officials to Justify Unmasking Only the Obama administration officials who requested the unmasking of former national security adviser Michael Flynn can say what the justification is, according to Alan Dershowitz on Newsmax TV. Published:5/14/2020 3:14:00 PM
[Politics] James Clapper claims unmasking of Flynn was a ‘routine thing’ in CNN interview So James Clapper came out of the woodwork this morning to add to the chorus of voices from the Obama administration and their allies that the unmasking was a “routine thing”: Former . . . Published:5/14/2020 2:45:22 PM
[Politics] James Clapper claims unmasking of Flynn was a ‘routine thing’ in CNN interview So James Clapper came out of the woodwork this morning to add to the chorus of voices from the Obama administration and their allies that the unmasking was a “routine thing”: Former . . . Published:5/14/2020 2:14:08 PM
[Politics] Sen. Graham Rejects Trump's Call for Obama to Testify Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., turned down President Donald Trump's call for the Judiciary Committee chairman to have former President Barack Obama testify about the origins of the Russia investigation. Trump had made the pitch to call Obama before the committee in a... Published:5/14/2020 1:46:56 PM
[Politics] “No more talk!” – Trump slaps Lindsey Graham, tells him to call Obama to testify This afternoon Trump slapped Lindsey Graham around a little in a tweet, telling him to call Obama to testify in “the biggest political crime and scandal” in America’s history. He told Graham . . . Published:5/14/2020 1:13:44 PM
[Politics] “No more talk!” – Trump slaps Lindsey Graham, tells him to call Obama to testify This afternoon Trump slapped Lindsey Graham around a little in a tweet, telling him to call Obama to testify in “the biggest political crime and scandal” in America’s history. He told Graham . . . Published:5/14/2020 12:47:43 PM
[Politics] Sen. Paul: Unmasking Flynn a 'Devastating Abuse of Power' The move for former Vice President Joe Biden and several key top Obama-era intelligence officials to unmask the calls of President Donald Trump's first National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was a "devastating abuse of power," and there must be an investigation into... Published:5/14/2020 11:43:53 AM
[Joe Biden] Tom Cotton has questions for Joe Biden (Paul Mirengoff) We now know that Joe Biden was among the many Team Obama members who unmasked General Flynn. The mass unmasking of Flynn is bizarre and arguably problematic, but the big sin — a criminal one — was leaking the result of the unmasking to the Washington Post. With so many suspects, it may not be easy to determined who did the leaking. However, the timing of the Post’s report seems Published:5/14/2020 11:43:53 AM
[Politics] Trump Urges Sen. Graham to Call Obama to Testify About Unmasking President Donald Trump said the first person he would call to testify in the probe of the unmasking of Michael Flynn is former President Barack Obama. Trump urged Sen. Lindsey Graham to call Obama to testify in a Twitter post on Thursday. "If I were a Senator or,... Published:5/14/2020 10:12:11 AM
[] Did Obama's U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power Commit Perjury Regarding The Flynn Unmasking? Published:5/14/2020 8:49:39 AM
[f6cdbb6c-d8e9-552c-85e0-189c4a9e7ca3] Tucker Carlson: Amoral Obama administration creeps should be punished for ruining Michael Flynn's life It is clear that Michael Flynn did not commit a crime. Obama administration officials, by contrast, did commit crimes -- felonies. Published:5/14/2020 8:49:39 AM
[Politics] Trump: Flynn Unmasking, Probe Was 'All Obama,' 'All Biden' President Donald Trump, in an interview airing Thursday, laid the blame for the unmasking of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on former Obama officials, and more directly, on former President Barack Obama himself and his vice president, presumptive Democratic... Published:5/14/2020 8:49:39 AM
[Politics] Why 2020’s Third Party Share Should Be Lower Than 2016 By Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman

When sizing up the 2020 election, it is natural for campaign pros and analysts to consider the kinds of voters who might defect from their 2016 selection. Can Joe Biden claw back some small but important share of the Barack Obama voters who defected to Donald Trump? Can Trump stop his party’s slide in the suburbs?

Published:5/14/2020 6:42:27 AM
[0a28cd92-26d7-558b-83b5-bead6ad6e21b] Bossie & Lewandowski: Confused Biden flip-flops as he changes story on Obama administration spying on Flynn What did Joe Biden really know about Obama administration spying on Michael Flynn? He needs to tell the American people the truth. Published:5/14/2020 4:10:58 AM
[Markets] The "See-No-Evil" Phase of Russiagate The "See-No-Evil" Phase of Russiagate Tyler Durden Wed, 05/13/2020 - 23:25

Authored by Patrick Lawrence via ConsortiumNews.com,

The media spinfest following the collapse of this conspiracy theory suggests our troubled republic simply cannot accept its errors, leaving us unable to learn from them.

The long, destructive conspiracy theory known as Russiagate, the mother of them all, at last evaporates into thin air. No shred of it remains as of back-to-back disclosures over the past couple of weeks. Where does this leave us? What is to come of this momentous turn of events?

Among those not inclined toward hysteria or copious quaffs of Democratic Party Kool–Aid, it has long been a question how those who concocted and sustained the tales of Russian “meddling,” “collusion,” and mail hackery would manage their embarrassment — not to mention their potential legal liabilities — once their edifice-built-on-sand collapsed, as it was destined from the first to do.

The early signs are as some predicted: They will slither quietly off the stage without comment, they will deny their incessant, ever-vehement accusations, they will profess to weariness, they will insist there are more important things to think about now.

Here is a tweet from one Bob F published Saturday. Our Bob touches nearly all of the above-noted bases. His mentions of Matt Taibbi, Aaron Maté, and Jimmy Dore reference two journalists and a talk-show host who identified the fraud from the first and had the scruples not to surrender to the liberal totalitarianism we have suffered these past three years:

Yes, Bob, lets. This is a brilliant specimen of the flaccid cowardice we’re now to witness many times over. Reassuringly enough, a modest twitter storm followed. Here is a reply from Kathy Woods, a consistently insightful commentator in Twitterland:

For good measure, here is another response to Big Bob, this one addressing his implicit assertion of Democratic Party virtue in the Age of Trump:  

There is anger abroad as Russiagate finally unwinds, plainly. This is an excellent thing. And Ms. Woods is right: It is important to make the sun shine on what became, before the end, a scandal of historic proportions. There is a chance of achieving the “complete exposure” Woods asks for, but it remains a question, as of now, whether this will come to pass. 

Two weeks ago the Justice Department made public documents showing that when, in January 2017, prosecutors wanted to close the collusion case against Michael Flynn, who briefly served as President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, because they found “no derogatory information” against him, Peter Strzok, the philandering F.B.I. agent later found to be shaping an “insurance policy” against a Trump victory in the 2016 election, cajoled them into keeping it open — absence of evidence be damned.

Two Other Developments

Adam Schiff. (DonkeyHotey caricature via Flickr)

The Strzok revelations turned out to be prelude to the two other developments further demolishing the Russiagate narrative. Last Thursday Justice finally dropped its case against Flynn altogether. We now know he was the victim of a perjury trap when questioned about his contacts with Sergey Kislyak, Moscow’s ambassador to Washington in 2016. “Get him to lie so we can prosecute him,” was the FBI’s directive.

Yet worse, Flynn’s guilty plea was in response to prosecutors’ threats to indict his son if he pled otherwise. Tell me the difference, please, between this kind of stuff and the treatment of the accused in the postwar show trials in Eastern Europe.

On the same day the Justice Department dropped the charges against Flynn, the House Intelligence Committee released documents showing that the FBI had no evidence that Russia pilfered the Democratic National Committee’s email archives by hacking into its servers in mid–2016. The FBI had none because CrowdStrike, the patently corrupt cyber-security firm on which it (inexplicably) relied, never gave it any: It had none, either — contrary to its many claims otherwise.

The taker of cake here is that the documents also show that the House Intelligence Committee, chaired by the inimitable (thank goodness) Adam Schiff, knew there were no grounds to allege Russian involvement in what wasn’t a hack by anyone, but a leak, probably by someone with direct access to the DNC’s servers.

My Consortium News colleague Ray McGovern has just detailed the collapse of the “Russians-hacked-it” ruse.

No evidence anywhere along the line of collusion, none of Russians stealing mail. There is a simpler way to put this: No Russiagate.

In truth, there has been evidence aplenty of the Russiagate fraud for some time, due in part to the researches of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, VIPS, of which McGovern is a principal. The problem has been to secure official acknowledgement of three years’ worth of wrongdoing. We now have it, even if it arrives with no admission whatsoever of responsibility.

Enter Perception Management 

(PIxabay)

Now come the lies, the dissembling, and the media’s “perception management.”  Tucker Carlson, the Fox News presenter, offered a funny-but-not-funny catalog of the liars who now stand exposed, none more thoroughly than the egregious Schiff, who ought to resign over this, and Evelyn Farkas, another Obama-era holdover with absolutely no regard for the truth. Loretta Lynch, Obama’s A–G, will also have things to answer for, assuming answers for her misconduct are required of her.

Among the press and broadcasters, it has been a spinfest this past week — led, naturally, by The New York Times, given no one in the media dares venture a syllable for which the Times has not signaled prior approval. The paper’s report on the dismissal of the Flynn case marked the judgment down as “the latest example of Attorney General William P. Barr’s efforts to chisel away at the results of the Russia investigation.” I lost count of the mentions of Flynn’s “lying” and “guilty plea” after nine. No reference to the perjury trap set for Flynn, or the threat to indict his son.

The Times ran two further pieces hatcheting Flynn and Barr in Saturday’s editions, here and here, and a straight-out character assassination of Flynn on Sunday, casting him as some kind of pathological split personality. The Gray Lady doth protest too much, in my view.

The press vastly over-invested in the Russiagate narrative from the first, and now appears set to throw yet more money after all the bad. This is not a good sign. It suggests that our troubled republic simply cannot accept its errors, leaving us unable to learn from them. This is why America in its post-democratic phase cannot self-correct. It is why we have no assurance that another Russiagate, in whatever form, will not be visited upon us.

“Attorney General William P. Barr’s efforts to chisel away at the results of the Russia investigation”? Absolutely. We have to hope he gets somewhere. Committed Russiagaters now take to charging that Barr is corrupting an otherwise snow-white Justice Department. Say what? Given all we now know, this starts to tip into the zone of black humor.

Barr and his investigators are fully armed as of last week. They have all they need to get to the bottom of this dark ocean. They have it in their power to bring to justice the three architects of the Russiagate scam when it was in motion — ex–C.I.A. Director John Brennan, ex–Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, ex–F.B.I. Director James Comey — for what amounted to an attempt to depose a president in a bloodless coup. These are the Democratic Party’s answer to former President Richard Nixon’s infamous “plumbers,” if you ask me.

Whether Barr and his investigators get the task done is to a great extent a matter of politics and bureaucratic warfare that will at best be partially visible to us in coming months. It is a question of how far he will be permitted to go.

Succeed or fail, the record is at least and at last straight.

Published:5/13/2020 10:39:14 PM
[] Report: Some Trump advisors "anxious" about him attacking Obama's integrity Published:5/13/2020 8:09:17 PM
[Markets] "My Job Is To Make Syria A Quagmire For The Russians": CIA Doctrine Made Official Policy "My Job Is To Make Syria A Quagmire For The Russians": CIA Doctrine Made Official Policy Tyler Durden Wed, 05/13/2020 - 20:05

Like with the disastrous Iraq quagmire years before the US war machine came to Syria under Obama, Washington's rationale and justification for occupying the Syrian Arab Republic has shifted and changed drastically multiple times over

When ultimately what started as US covert regime change efforts targeting Assad failed (based ostensibly in "protecting civilians"), the official mission then conveniently switched to 'defeating terrorism' — though of course this meant turning on the very jihadists the US armed and trained in the first place. Then the Kurds became the proxy flavor of the month, which also happened to have control of all the major oil and gas fields in the country's east ("secure the oil!" - Trump has repeatedly echoed of late). 

At least 100 Russian soldiers have been killed in Syria since September 2015. Image source: Reuters

When the Islamic State collapsed and became just another underground insurgency like its al Qaeda cousin, the ever-hawkish national security state establishment argued that Trump must not pull troops out because of 'Iranian expansion'.

But now that the myth that somehow Assad and the Syrians just want to hand their sovereign country over to their allies the Iranians has also largely fallen away (remember that Baathist Syria is a secular Arab and multi-confessional state, while Iran is a hardline Shia Islamic theocracy), a new official - and it might be added, provocative - US administration rationale has been concocted.

Washington now says it's all about defeating the Russians. While it's not the first time this has been thrown around in policy circles (recall that a year after Russia's 2015 entry into Syria at Assad's invitation, former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell admitted in a TV interview he views that the US should be in the business of "killing Russians and Iranians covertly").

And now the top US special envoy to region, James Jeffrey, has this to say on US troops in Syria:

“My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians.”

Ironically, Jeffrey's official title has been Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, but apparently the mission is now to essentially "give the Russians hell". 

US envoy to Syria, Ambassador James Jeffrey, file image.

His comments were made Tuesday during a video conference hosted by the neocon Hudson Institute:

Asked why the American public should tolerate US involvement in Syria, Special Envoy James Jeffrey points out the small US footprint in the fight against ISIS. "This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Vietnam. This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

He also emphasized that the Syrian state would continue to be squeezed into submission as part of long-term US efforts (going back to at least 2011) to legitimize a Syria government in exile of sorts. This after the Trump administration recently piled new sanctions on Damascus.

As University of Oklahoma professor and expert on the region Joshua Landis summarized of Jeffrey's remarks: "He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government."

But no doubt both Putin and Assad have understood Washington's real proxy war interests all along, which is why last year Russia delivered it's lethal S-300 into the hands of Assad (and amid constant Israeli attacks).

As for oil, currently Damascus is well supplied by the Iranians, eager to dump their stock in fuel-starved Syria amid the global glut. Trump has previously voiced that part of US troops "securing the oil fields" is to keep them out of the hands of Russia and Iran.

* * *

Recall the CIA's 2016 admission of what's really going on in terms of US action in Syria:

Published:5/13/2020 7:14:56 PM
[Markets] In Stunning Move, Flynn Judge Appoints Gotti Prosecutor To Argue Against DOJ Dismissal In Stunning Move, Flynn Judge Appoints Gotti Prosecutor To Argue Against DOJ Dismissal Tyler Durden Wed, 05/13/2020 - 19:05

The judge in the Michael Flynn case has gone full activist - refusing to dismiss the case after the Department of Justice requested to drop charges so that an outside party could file an opposition briefing known as a "friends-of-the-court", or "amicus" briefing.

Today, Judge Emmet Sullivan took things one step further, appointing former Gotti prosecutor and judge, John Gleeson, to argue against the dismissal.

As we noted earlier, What makes it bizarre is that the Judge, Emmet Sullivan, denied this type of third party intervention 24 times during the case - yet has suddenly changed his mind after an activist group which calls itself the "Watergate Prosecutors" moved to file an amicus brief, according to the Washington Examiner.

And as Trump ally and attorney Victoria Toensing noted, the Supreme Court ruled last week that entertaining outside interventions such as these was a "drastic departure" and an "abuse of discretion."

Earlier:

Flynn's lawyer, former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, filed a six-page motion Tuesday evening slamming the decision, writing: "This Court has consistently — on 24 previous occasions — summarily refused to permit any third party to inject themselves or their views into this case," adding "the proposed amicus brief has no place in this court."

"No rule allows the filing, and the self-proclaimed collection of ‘Watergate Prosecutors’ has no cognizable special interest," the filing continues. "Separation of powers forecloses their appearance here. Only the Department of Justice and the defense can be heard."

Powell told the Washington Examiner that the judge had denied all previous third-party interventions "until DOJ moves to dismiss and begins to expose the wrongdoing of the Obama administration.”

Flynn's lawyers have touted recently released FBI records as being exculpatory evidence that was concealed from the defense team. The documents suggest that now-fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and the FBI’s “7th floor” leadership stopped the bureau from closing its investigation into Flynn in early January 2017, even though investigators had uncovered “no derogatory information," after intercepts of Flynn's communications with a Russian envoy emerged. Emails from later that month show Strzok, along with then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page and several others, sought out ways to continue investigating Flynn, including by deploying the Logan Act. -Washington Examiner

On Tuesday, Sullivan wrote in his order that "given the current posture of this case, the Court anticipates that individuals and organizations will seek leave of the Court to file amicus curiae briefs," adding - while quoting Roger Stone judge Amy Berman Jackson (there's a clue) in saying that "while there may be individuals with an interest in this matter, a criminal proceeding is not a free for all."

"Accordingly, at the appropriate time, the Court will enter a Scheduling Order governing the submission of any amicus curiae briefs."

Earlier in the case, however, Sullivan wrote of similar amicus brief requests: "The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure do not provide for intervention by third parties in criminal cases ... Options exist for a private citizen to express his views about matters of public interest, but the Court's docket is not an available option," adding "the docket is the record of official proceedings related to criminal charges brought by the United States against an individual who has pled guilty to a criminal offense" and "for the benefit of the parties in this case and the public, the docket must be maintained in an orderly fashion and in accordance with court rules."

Published:5/13/2020 6:08:19 PM
[Politics] Trump suggests Biden lied, calls Flynn unmasking ‘a massive thing’ President Trump on Wednesday questioned Joe Biden’s honesty following reports that the presumptive Democratic nominee and other top Obama administration officials had been involved in the effort to “unmask” ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn. “The unmasking is a massive thing. I just got a list, who can believe a thing like this. And I watched... Published:5/13/2020 5:10:28 PM
[] Trump-Russia Collusion Was 'The Worst Journalistic Fiasco' in 50 Years, Driven by Trump Hatred, Brit Hume Says Published:5/13/2020 4:37:28 PM
[] 'This is the best they've got': Kimberley Strassel dismantles Ben Rhodes' spin on Flynn unmasking requests, sees something 'stunning' in the docs Published:5/13/2020 4:13:16 PM
[Politics] Biden, Comey, Clapper Among Obama WH Officials Who Made Requests to 'Unmask' Michael Flynn A newly declassified list of officials in the Obama administration who asked to "unmask" former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn includes former Vice President Joe Biden and the former heads of several intelligence agencies. Biden, former United Nations Ambassador... Published:5/13/2020 3:37:39 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Rand Paul holds presser, says Joe Biden has been caught red-handed eavesdropping on a political opponent Senator Rand Paul held a presser moments ago after the news broke of the declassified Obama officials, including Joe Biden, were in on the unmasking of General Flynn. Watch: One thing I’d . . . Published:5/13/2020 3:37:38 PM
[Markets] Greta Thunberg Repurposed For CNN Town Hall On Coronavirus Greta Thunberg Repurposed For CNN Town Hall On Coronavirus

Greta Thunberg has overcome her ruined childhood to become an expert on COVID-19, according to CNN - which will feature the teenage climate activist in a Thursday town hall to discuss the virus.

Appearing alongside Thunberg for Coronavirus: Facts and Fears will be former Obama admin officials Richard Besser, who served as director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for less than six months, and Kathleen Sebelius, who was Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services - overseeing the disastrous Obamacare rollout which resulted in Republicans calling for her resignation.

What Thunberg can contribute to a discussion on COVID-19 is anyone's guess, but we're guessing anyone who dares to set foot in an airport is in for a guilt trip.

There couldn't be a funnier parody of the "facts first" network's promo for the event:

As Brad Polumbo opines in the Washington Examiner:

There are almost no words for how ridiculous this is. Anchor Chris Cuomo has touted CNN as the “facts first” network. Reliable Sources (ironic) host Brian Stelter regularly tut-tuts Fox News (sometimes justifiably) for having unqualified guests speaking on expert subjects. But at least they don’t tell their viewers to take their coronavirus wisdom from 17-year-old, troubled teenagers.

The same liberal journalists who have scolded people for so much as questioning the wisdom of the federal government’s top coronavirus experts, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, are now literally telling people to get their scientific analysis from Greta Thunberg.

To be clear, you shouldn’t hold contempt for Thunberg — you should feel bad for her. She is a deeply troubled young woman with a long history of struggles with depression, OCD, eating disorders, bullying, and more. Sadly, she has latched onto an alarmist ascientific doomsday tale of a pending climate apocalypse as a way of coping. There’s nothing horribly wrong with this; Thunberg is a young woman of admirable passion and should pursue her beliefs. What’s disturbing is to see liberal journalists exploit such a young, ill-informed activist to push their political agenda even to her detriment.

*  *  *

We couldn't agree more.

Tyler Durden Wed, 05/13/2020 - 16:25
Published:5/13/2020 3:37:38 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Rand Paul holds presser, says Joe Biden has been caught red-handed eavesdropping on a political opponent Senator Rand Paul held a presser moments ago after the news broke of the declassified Obama officials, including Joe Biden, were in on the unmasking of General Flynn. Watch: One thing I’d . . . Published:5/13/2020 3:10:09 PM
[] BREAKING: List of Obama Officials Who Sought to 'Unmask' Flynn Released Published:5/13/2020 2:39:20 PM
[Markets] From RussiaGate To ObamaGate & The End Of Boomerville From RussiaGate To ObamaGate & The End Of Boomerville

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

From the beginning of the story RussiaGate was always about Barack Obama. I didn’t always see it that way, certainly. My seething hatred for all things Hillary Clinton is a powerful blind spot I admit to freely.

But, it’s clear that Obama was always the vector through which the entire investigation into Donald Trump pointed. He’s the only one with the power to have marshaled the forces arrayed against Trump for the past four years.

We’ve known this for a couple of years now but there were a seemingly endless series of distractions put in place to obfuscate the truth...

Donald Trump was not a Russian agent.

What’s clear now is the President Obama’s administration was regularly engaged in illegally using NSA database access to spy on Americans and political opponents. This operation pre-dates Trump by a few years.

It was de rigeur by the time the election cycle ramped up in 2016. The timing of events is during that time period paints a very damning picture. This article from Zerohedge by way of Conservative Treehouse lays out the timing, the activities and the shifts in the narrative that implicate Obama beyond any doubt.

On April 18, 2016, following the preliminary audit results, Director Rogers shut down all FBI contractor access to the database after he learned FISA-702 “about”(17) and “to/from”(16) search queries were being done without authorization. Thus begins the first discovery of a much bigger background story.

And that’s when everything changed. Because at that point, having lost access Obama’s spy team needed another way into the NSA database. Enter Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele and the ridiculous dossier used to issue FISA warrants on Carter Page and all the rest of it.

The details are all there for anyone with eyes willing to see, the question is whether anyone deep in the throes of Trump Derangement Syndrome will take their eyes off the shadow play in front of them long enough to look.

I’m not holding my breath.

Obama is guilty of the highest crimes a President can be guilty of, utilizing Federal law enforcement and intelligence services to spy on a political opponent during an election. This is after eight years of ruinous wars, coups both successful and not, drone-striking U.S. citizens and generally carrying on like the vandal he is.

ObamaGate arrives on the verge of the real 2020 election season, now that the DNC has circled the wagons around Joe Biden hiding in his Gimp Cellar because they have no one else to run who isn’t pure Kryptonite, with Obama coming out of the shadows to attack Trump’s handling of COVID-19.

Rumors abound as to whether he can be Hillary’s running mate if Biden can’t run. Their echo chamber is desperate to build up his wife Michelle as the VP candidate.

Why?

Because this is Obama’s way of running for a third term without being on the ballot.

Trump has to destroy what’s left of the Left’s Last Messiah before we get into the campaign season or he will be dealing with someone his equal on the campaign trail.

Why else would Hillary back Biden after spending the past year trying to clear the decks for her triumphal return after they trashed Trump’s economy with a fake pandemic, and even faker impeachment trial based on an even less real accusation of him being a Russian agent?

She knows that it’s time they bury the hatchet, circle the wagons and get rid of Trump the only way they can now, at the ballot box.

Because if they don’t the generations-long project for global control by The Davos Crowd on their terms will evaporate as Trump goes on a vindication tour of DC.

These people obviously missed the key point about Goebbels’ Big Lie theory of propaganda. For it to work there has to be a nugget of truth to wrap the lie in before you can repeat it endlessly to make it real.

And that’s why RussiaGate is dead. Long live ObamaGate.

Obama’s people have been covering for him for nearly four years now. They have been exposed as bald-faced liars by the transcripts of their impeachment testimonies to Adam Schiff and the House Intelligence Committee.

None of them were willing to testify under oath, and be guilty of perjury, to the effect that Trump was colluding with the Russians. But, they’d say it on TV, Twitter and anywhere else they could to attack Trump with patent nonsense.

Now that the heat is rising and the apparatus they used to control turns its attention to what they did, enough of them will roll over and give Attorney General William Barr what he wants. Some of them will fall on their sword for Obama.

But I don’t think Trump will be satisfied with that. He has to know that Obama is the key to truly draining the Swamp if that is, in fact, his goal. Because if he doesn’t attack Obama now, Obama will be formidable in October.

Both men are fighting for their lives at this point.

Trump was supposed to roll over and play nice. But Pat Buchanan rightly had him pegged at the beginning of this back in January of 2017, saying that Trump wasn’t like Nixon, he wouldn’t walk away to protect the office of the Presidency. He would fight to the bitter end because that’s who he is.

And here we are coming into the home stretch and the bitter end is staring these people in the face. They’ve lost all credibility, corrupted whole swaths of the Federal government beyond recognition and activated every resource they have in the media and the chattering classes to make manifest a bald-faced lie.

And it didn’t work.

Now the desperation sets in. The exoneration of Gen. Michael Flynn, the release of the transcripts and conflicting stories told by John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey and the rest all point to something beyond sinister.

You can smell the fear now. From Bill Kristol to John Brennan they can see the end of their project, whether it was for a New American Neocon Century or just the cynical push for a transnational oligarchy based around the European Union, their Utopian dreams have run into the immovable object of a people refusing to believe their lies anymore.

And if you look just a little farther into the future, once ObamaGate is behind us, one where Trump is re-elected you’ll see the end of something far bigger, the end of what I’m now calling Boomerville.

We’ve all been sucked into this fantasy of money for nothing and wars for free. That we can, as Ron Paul put it so elegantly for years, have both guns and butter.

Boomerville is that mythic image of a better world filled with unicorn farts and toxic egalitarianism and that we can issue endless debt we owe to ourselves to pay for it all.

It’s a Marxist world of power for power’s sake that lowers everyone’s status to that of worker drones while building them up to be heroes in a story only playing out in their own minds.

RussiaGate was the last ditch effort to kill off the Revolt of the Remnant, to take their Messiah, the Orange Jesus himself, Trump, and paint him as the worst thing possible.

They painted the picture that he was what they actually were.

And, by extension, us too. Those are fighting words folks.

It’s Alinsky 101, accuse your opponent of that which you are. Force them to defend themselves against the baseless and the false until they are either shamed into submission or crack under the pressure.

I warned for a long time that Trump wasn’t that guy. That his unique set of skills and personal faults — his vindictiveness, his narcissism and his disagreeableness — were his greatest strengths.

He could outlast RussiaGate and eventually turn it around onto the people who started it. And that’s where we are now. RussiaGate is now Obamagate and backed by an army who understand that his fight is their fight Trump needs to end this once and for all between now and November.

That’s where this ends, with Boomerville being over run by the Deplorables and the Resistance still trying to figure out why none of it worked.

*  *  *

Join My Patreon if you no longer want to live in Boomerville. Install the Brave Browser if you want to help others escape it.

Tyler Durden Wed, 05/13/2020 - 15:31
Published:5/13/2020 2:39:19 PM
[] CNN's latest coronavirus special will feature noted pandemic expert...Greta Thunberg Published:5/13/2020 2:16:45 PM
[] 'What did President Obama know?' Sen. Rand Paul invites Richard Grenell to testify before the Senate on declassified Flynn unmasking list Published:5/13/2020 2:16:45 PM
[Political Cartoons] Scales Of Injustice – A.F. Branco Cartoon

By A.F. Branco -

More evidence is revealed that Obama knew about and possibly lead the plot to frame Flynn. Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020.

Scales Of Injustice – A.F. Branco Cartoon 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:5/13/2020 1:24:02 PM
[Law] How the Obama Administration Shattered the Rule of Law

This week, former President Barack Obama reemerged from hibernation to lecture Americans about the threat to rule of law posed by the Trump administration. After... Read More

The post How the Obama Administration Shattered the Rule of Law appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:5/13/2020 1:24:02 PM
[] BOMBSHELL: Obama's CIA Director John Brennan Suppressed Intel That Russia Wanted Hillary to Win 2016 Election Published:5/13/2020 11:35:53 AM
[Markets] John Brennan Concealed 'High-Quality' Intelligence That Russia Wanted Hillary Clinton To Win: Report John Brennan Concealed 'High-Quality' Intelligence That Russia Wanted Hillary Clinton To Win: Report

Former CIA director John Brennan suppressed intelligence which indicated that Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win because "she was a known quantity," vs. the unpredictable Donald Trump, according to Fox News' Ed Henry.

During a Tuesday night discussion with Tucker Carlson, Henry said that Brennan "also had intel saying, actually, Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win because she was a known quantity, she had been secretary of state, and Vladimir Putin’s team thought she was more malleable, while candidate Donald Trump was unpredictable."

Perhaps Russian President Vladimir Putin has fond memories of the time Bill Clinton hung out at his 'private homestead' during the same trip where he collected a $500,000 payday for a speech at a Moscow bank, right before the Uranium One deal was approved.

And as Breitbart's Joel Pollak notes, Henry's claim backs up a similar allegation by former National Security Council chief of staff Fred Fleitz, who said on April 22:

House Intelligence Committee staff told me that after an exhaustive investigation reviewing intelligence and interviewing intelligence officers, they found that Brennan suppressed high-quality intelligence suggesting that Putin actually wanted the more predictable and malleable Clinton to win the 2016 election.

Instead, the Brennan team included low-quality intelligence that failed to meet intelligence community standards to support the political claim that Russian officials wanted Trump to win, House Intelligence Committee staff revealed. They said that CIA analysts also objected to including that flawed, substandard information in the assessment.

Fox's Henry said that he has obtained independent confirmation of the pro-Clinton Russia claim made by Fleitz.

Brennan's concealment of this key information was yet another link in the chain of the Obama administration's plot to smear Donald Trump as a Russian asset - a hoax supported by the Clinton-funded Steele dossier, which the FBI knew was Russian disinformation (or, more likely, Steele's Russophobic fantasies) before they used it as a predicate to spy on Trump aide Carter Page during the 2016 election.

And now, Brennan is a contributor on MSNBC. How fitting.

Tyler Durden Wed, 05/13/2020 - 12:00
Published:5/13/2020 11:06:08 AM
[Politics] UH OH: DNI Grenell declassifying evidence that John Brennan buried intel that Russia really wanted Hillary to win Ed Henry reported last night that DNI Richard Grenell is declassifying evidence that Obama’s dirtbag CIA Chief John Brennan buried evidence that Russia really wanted Hillary to win in January of 2017, . . . Published:5/13/2020 10:44:21 AM
[Politics] UH OH: DNI Grenell declassifying evidence that John Brennan buried evidence that Russia really wanted Hillary to win Ed Henry reported last night that DNI Richard Grenell is declassifying evidence that Obama’s dirtbag CIA Chief John Brennan buried evidence that Russia really wanted Hillary to win in January of 2017, . . . Published:5/13/2020 10:06:38 AM
[Politics] Welcome back, Barack. What took you so long?

After three years of silence as Trump accused him of countless misdeeds and eviscerated his legacy -- from foreign affairs to just human decency -- Obama finally came out swinging last week. It's about time.

Published:5/13/2020 6:40:29 AM
[5a81c5da-9147-5a99-bda1-4daddbe9d977] Ben Shapiro: Unjust Flynn prosecution shows Obama administration shattered rule of law Our institutions under the Obama administration were politicized in ways that should shock the American conscience. Published:5/13/2020 5:36:14 AM
[Politics] Senate Republicans probing Susan Rice’s Michael Flynn email Senate Republicans are looking at a January 2017 email that Susan Rice wrote to herself to document a meeting she’d had with President Barack Obama. Published:5/13/2020 4:35:12 AM
[Economy] Let’s Not Waste a Crisis

Former Barack Obama adviser Rahm Emanuel, during a recent interview, reminded us of his 2008 financial crisis quotation, “Never allow a crisis to go to... Read More

The post Let’s Not Waste a Crisis appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:5/13/2020 4:35:11 AM
[Politics] What Did Obama Know and When Did He Know It? What did President Obama know and when did he know it? That famous formulation is emerging as the question in the wake of new disclosures in respect of a meeting that took place inside the Oval Office in the closing days of Mr. Obama's presidency. The meeting included not only his national security adviser, Susan Rice, and the head of the FBI, James Comey, but also Vice President Biden, now the prospective Democratic nominee. This is laid out in, among other places, a dispatch by Molli... Published:5/12/2020 9:21:12 AM
[2020 News] U.S. Officials Have Declassified List Of Obama Officials Who Were Involved In ‘Unmasking’ General Flynn

U.S. Officials Have Declassified List Of Obama Officials Who Were Involved In ‘Unmasking’ General Flynn. Time for a mass butt pucker.

The post U.S. Officials Have Declassified List Of Obama Officials Who Were Involved In ‘Unmasking’ General Flynn appeared first on IHTM.

Published:5/12/2020 9:21:12 AM
[Markets] Crude-Chaos & COVID-Contagion Mark The End Of Imperium Americanum Crude-Chaos & COVID-Contagion Mark The End Of Imperium Americanum

Authored by Patrick Armstrong via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

A black swan is slang for an unexpected event with large consequences. 2020 has brought us two so far: the COVID-19 pandemic and the collapse of oil prices.

Each will have potent consequences for the Imperium Americanum. And there is a nest of black cygnets maturing.

COVID-19

A new infectious disease was noticed in China at the end of last year, identified as a coronavirus in January and a pandemic was declared in March. Since then economic and social life has come to a stop in the West as governments have been convinced to declare shutdowns. Restrictions became widespread in March and April and are still in effect; while some jurisdictions lessen them, others talk about more months. It is not the purpose of this essay to wonder whether these measures were justified or effective, only to state that they happened and that the world economy will have been enfeebled for two to three months or even longer. A big black swan indeed.

The fuller effects won’t be known for some time but one result is certainly that the West’s repudiation for efficiency has taken a huge – perhaps fatal – hit. Only six months earlier, a survey confidently stated that the West – led by the USA and Britain – would do best in dealing with a pandemic. Not so: “We Are Living in a Failed State: The coronavirus didn’t break America. It revealed what was already broken“; “The Death of American Competence“; “The coronavirus is the worst intelligence failure in U.S. history“; “U.S.’s global reputation hits rock-bottom over Trump’s coronavirus response“; ““The world has loved, hated and envied the U.S. Now, for the first time, we pity it”; “Coronavirus: EU could fail over outbreak, warns Italy’s Giuseppe Conte“; “The EU has bungled its response to coronavirus and it might never fully recover“. China can’t hold back its laughter “Chinese state media calls U.S. a ‘primitive society,’ says ‘democracy is dying’ amid coronavirus“. Many of the American pieces, reflecting the abyssal divide in U.S. politics, write as through it were all Trump’s fault. But it wasn’t Trump who didn’t replace PPE stocks used up eleven years ago. Whatever failures are his, the failure is not his alone. And neither are the West’s other deficiencies his doing. No one seems to have stocks of PPE – the easier and most obvious first step against the threat.

Washington deflects its failure by blaming China. But here too it’s lost its competence: here’s U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo asserting at the same time that it’s manmade and that it isn’t:

POMPEO: Look, the best experts so far seem to think it was manmade. I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point.

RADDATZ: Your — your Office of the DNI says the consensus, the scientific consensus was not manmade or genetically modified.

POMPEO: That’s right. I — I — I agree with that. Yes. I’ve — I’ve seen their analysis. I’ve seen the summary that you saw that was released publicly. I have no reason to doubt that that is accurate at this point.

To say nothing of Fauci’s money in the Wuhan lab. China may not even be the point of origin: France has just discovered a case from December and there may be a U.S. case from November. The breathlessly reported Five-Eyes assessment blaming China is fast collapsing: “mostly based on news reports and contained no material from intelligence gathering” says one of the Eyes. Washington may lash its minions into a coffle, but the rest of the world will scorn it as a pitiful attempt to distract. There will be increased rejection of the West’s assumption of competence and veracity. And, in the West itself, more will doubt the words of “experts” (especially those from Imperial College and its professors), “authorities and “trusted media sources”.

Most of the West is still shut down but China is opening. Observers know that China is becoming the world’s top economy – the World Bank had already given it that title in PPP terms in 2013 – and COVID-19 is sure to accelerate the process by giving it a head start out of the economic slowdown. With cheap energy too.

Soft power” is a useful term that describes the appeal of a given culture to others. For many years this was a potent arrow in the America quiver – I often think of the character played by Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday as the exemplar: open, honest, honourable and modern, but content to be an example and never to take advantage of her. Propaganda, to be sure, but effective propaganda. COVID-19 shows something else: in the simplest terms China has given assistance to many countries and the “U.S. accused of ‘modern piracy’ after diversion of masks meant for Europe“. Piffle like “The United States and President Trump are leading the global effort to combat this pandemic” or “America remains the world’s leading light of humanitarian goodness” just make it more obvious. From the EU we get word salads: reaffirms/recognises/supports/recalls. And only three months ago the “West is winning“. It has be-clowned itself.

Of the downstream effects of the COVID-19 black swan, we can see at least three:

  1. great and possibly fatal damage to the assumption of American and Western competence;
  2. a widening of the economic gap with China;
  3. a further change in the world soft power balance.

The “blame China” diversion (not forgetting the rest of the current Enemy Package – Russia and Iran) is childish and will earn disgust.

None of these changes is to the benefit of the Imperium Americanum.

Oil

In March Riyadh, on behalf of OPEC, proposed to Moscow that they reduce oil production in order to keep prices up. Moscow refused and Riyadh started pumping. COVID-19 shutdowns collapsed demand. A month later West Texas Intermediate futures went negative and the price of a barrel of oil passed below $20.

Generally it is estimated that the U.S. shale oil industry (about 60% of U.S. production) needs prices of about $60 to be profitable, Saudi Arabia, despite very low pumping costs, squanders so much that it needs about $80; Russia on the other hand is profitable at $45 and has half a trillion dollars in its FOREX kitty. So, if Riyadh started a price war it is not in a strong position; Moscow, on the other hand, some say, can survive $25 a barrel for ten years. As China’s industry comes back on line, it is starting to buy oil but most of it from Russia.

The end result of this price competition in a demand crash is unknown but it is unlikely that the U.S. shale industry will do well out of it. And, because so much of Washington’s behaviour is based on the confidence that it is oil-independent, the U.S. will not come out of this stronger.

So two black swans are likely to leave the Imperium Americanum weaker and less influential. And, it should be said, more contemned. But there is more.

And some black cygnets

Some may remember the excitement of TV commentators about cruise missiles in the Gulf War of 1990. And a weapon that could be launched a thousand kilometres away and hit a particular floor of the building aimed at was pretty amazing. That was the first large-scale public combat use of very long-range precision weapons and for many years cruise missiles were a signature feature of U.S. attacks and practically a monopoly. Until 2015 when Russia struck targets in Syria from otherwise insignificant small craft in the Caspian Sea. So flabbergasted was Washington by this that its first reaction was to pooh-pooh the accuracy. But they were real; many Kalibres have been launched from different platforms including submerged submarines. So, there were now two demonstrated members of the club that could, in real conditions, precisely hit a target a long distance away.

In its response to the killing of Soleimani, Iran showed that it too was a member of the club. While it seems some of its missiles did go astray, most hit exactly what they were aimed at. (The U.S. military’s opponents also took note – again – of the fact that it does not have effective air defences). And the usual reaction from Washington: downplaying at firstlater we heard of the hundred-plus brain injuries. Quite an achievement for a country that has been under sanctions for decades. And Iran just joined another small club: countries that can launch a satellite on their own (again the U.S. contemptuous dismissal: “tumbling webcam in space“).

The Trump Administration is very hostile towards Iran but no more so than most U.S. Administrations since the departure of the Shah – himself put back into power by a U.S.-UK coup. Probably the hottest moment of this undeclared war was in 1988, but there have been many other crises and we just had another threat from Washington. Tehran knows its on Washington’s hit list and has been preparing for decades. Missiles will be one of its principal defences. Washington would do well to reflect on Iran’s – surprising to it – membership in these two elite clubs before it makes any more threats. Little cygnets become big swans.

Another black cygnet is the Iraq parliament’s demand that U.S. forces leave the country. Washington is consolidating its troops but they will be besieged prisoners if the country rises against them. Which sooner or later it will when the new Prime Minister forms his government. Two consequences of the neocon-dominated “New American Century” in the Middle East have been the growth of Iran’s influence and the demonstration that the U.S. military is not the omnipotent force it thought it was. When the effort to get it out starts, Washington will have three choices: hunker down and hope it goes away, enormously reinforce its troops for a completely new war, withdraw à la Vietnam. This cygnet is growing.

* * *

A pandemic, oil price collapse, a target country showing it has more capability than assumed, threatened expulsion from Iraq. The surprises have exposed long-time weaknesses.

It’s always the unexpected things that test things to destruction.

Tyler Durden Sun, 05/10/2020 - 22:00
Published:5/10/2020 9:17:56 PM
[Uncategorized] Team Obama wants back in Team Obama was behind all of the Russia collusion fraud, the manipulation of the presidential transition, the attempt to freeze the duly elected president, and if Biden wins, they will be back in power with Biden as a nominally coherent figurehead. Published:5/10/2020 8:19:08 PM
[Politics] ‘That’s NOT remotely perjury’: Ted Cruz goes OFF on ‘Stunning’ DOJ railroad of Flynn “No wonder Obama & MSM trying hard to cover it up.” That’s what Sen. Ted Cruz said on Saturday in reference to the many revelations about the injustices committed by the gov’t . . . Published:5/9/2020 11:18:03 PM
[Politics] ‘That’s NOT remotely perjury’: Ted Cruz goes OFF on ‘Stunning’ DOJ railroad of Flynn “No wonder Obama & MSM trying hard to cover it up.” That’s what Sen. Ted Cruz said on Saturday in reference to the many revelations about the injustices committed by the gov’t . . . Published:5/9/2020 11:18:03 PM
[Politics] WOW: Obama official who told MSNBC they had goods on collusion admitted under OATH she LIED, had NOTHING Remember Obama administration official Evelyn Farkas? She was an American national security advisor, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. She’s currently running for a House . . . Published:5/9/2020 12:45:07 PM
[Politics] WOW: Obama official who told MSNBC they had goods on collusion admitted under OATH she LIED, had NOTHING Remember Obama administration official Evelyn Farkas? She was an American national security advisor, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. She’s currently running for a House . . . Published:5/9/2020 12:45:07 PM
[worldNews] Mexico asks U.S. for answers over historic gun-running row Mexico's president on Friday urged the United States to shed light on a gun-running sting that caused bilateral friction under the Obama presidency, questioning the behavior of past U.S. administrations for the third time this week.
Published:5/8/2020 4:38:05 PM
[] Are the Walls Closing In... For Obama? Larry O'Connor: "Reckoning." President Barack Obama is at the center of all of this. Indeed, Obama oversaw it all, from the start. ... For now, let's just focus on the Flynn portion. Here's what we now know about Obama's involvement... Published:5/8/2020 3:40:25 PM
[] Joe Biden Was In Oval Office SpyGate Meeting and Now the Trump Campaign Has One Question for Him Published:5/8/2020 2:38:37 PM
[] CORRUPTION 101: Mollie Hemingway SHREDS Obama admin for criminally leaking to a compliant media to take down Trump Published:5/8/2020 2:38:37 PM
[Politics] Scalise Calls for Accountability at 'Highest Levels of FBI' Over Flynn It was "really a remarkable discovery" to learn that key Obama-era officials James Clapper and John Brennan had been claiming collusion between President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia, only to learn in papers released this week that the two had told a House . . . Published:5/8/2020 2:38:33 PM
[] Levin on Obama's Smoking Gun Flynn Meeting: 'This is Obama's Blue Dress' Published:5/8/2020 12:31:31 PM
[] Trump More Popular Than Obama at Same Point in Presidency Despite Media Bias and Coronavirus Published:5/8/2020 12:01:51 PM
[Politics] “This is Barack Obama’s blue dress” – Mark Levin on new Flynn docs that expose Obama’s involvement [VIDEO] Last night Mark Levin was on Hannity’s show to discuss the new revelation that Obama discussed Flynn’s Kislyak phone call with Comey and Yates, calling it “Obama’s blue dress”: Here’s more from . . . Published:5/8/2020 11:30:53 AM
[] Publicly, Former Obama Defense Official and Current Congressional Candidate Evelyn Farkas Claimed She Had Direct Evidence of Collusion;Under Oath, She Admitted She Had No Evidence, But Just "Felt" Like There Was Collusion She made a high-profile call for #TheResistance to (illegally) disseminate classified information so that the Bad Orange Man could not destroy all the proof she knew existed. Sean Davis: Farkas, who served in the Obama administration as the deputy assistant... Published:5/8/2020 11:30:52 AM
[] Michelle Obama Says She Gave Up Her 'Hopes and Aspiration' to Have Children Published:5/8/2020 11:00:32 AM
[Politics] “This is Barack Obama’s blue dress” – Mark Levin on new Flynn docs that expose Obama’s involvement [VIDEO] Last night Mark Levin was on Hannity’s show to discuss the new revelation that Obama discussed Flynn’s Kislyak phone call with Comey and Yates, calling it “Obama’s blue dress”: Here’s more from . . . Published:5/8/2020 11:00:31 AM
[] Trump Gives Ominous Warning to Obama Officials Over Russia Hoax Published:5/8/2020 9:31:09 AM
[Politics] Trump: Obama, Biden Knew What Was Going On in 'Russia Hoax' President Donald Trump Friday railed against several figures involved in what he's called the "Russia hoax" for several years and accused former President Barack Obama and his vice president and presumptive 2020 Democratic Party nominee Joe Biden of being aware of the... Published:5/8/2020 8:31:48 AM
[8c0f50f5-c8ea-54c5-8e9e-4c311caf31f0] Michelle Obama's Netflix documentary 'Becoming' panned as 'routine,' ‘obligatory’ by critics Critics aren’t thrilled with Netflix’s recently released documentary about Michelle Obama, titled “Becoming.”  Published:5/8/2020 8:00:41 AM
[] Obama Officials Had No 'Empirical Evidence' of Trump-Russia Collusion, Intel Transcripts Show Published:5/7/2020 8:30:07 PM
[] Newly Released Documents: Obama Started the Flynn Frame Ball Rolling "By the book." Newly released documents from the Department of Justice show President Obama informed former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates of a phone call between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2016.... Published:5/7/2020 7:07:18 PM
[] BOMBSHELL: Obama Knew of Flynn Wiretaps, Declassified Docs Show Published:5/7/2020 6:26:04 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: Former Deputy AG Sally Yates says she learned of Flynn’s call with Kislyak from OBAMA It’s been revealed today that Deputy AG Sally Yates, who was acting AG until Trump fired her, says she learned of Flynn’s phone call with Kislyak from Obama himself on January 5th, . . . Published:5/7/2020 6:26:04 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: Former Deputy AG Sally Yates says she learned of Flynn’s call with Kislyak from OBAMA It’s been revealed today that Deputy AG Sally Yates, who was acting AG until Trump fired her, says she learned of Flynn’s phone call with Kislyak from Obama himself on January 5th, . . . Published:5/7/2020 6:26:04 PM
[Markets] 'Blame China, Save The Economy' - Trump Campaign Embraces New 2020 Messaging 'Blame China, Save The Economy' - Trump Campaign Embraces New 2020 Messaging

Looking ahead to November, President Trump now finds himself in an unenviable position for an incumbent. The clock has struck midnight, and Trump's heavily-stimulated growth-oriented economy has turned into a pumpkin, so to speak. Looking back over the last half-century, two one-term presidents offer obvious comparisons: George HW Bush, and Jimmy Carter.

Trump knows that being remembered as an ineffectual one-termer like Carter would almost be worse than never having won the presidency in the first place. Fortunately, unlike his two predecessors mentioned above, Trump has accomplished something unique: He's made wariness of China a major pillar of American foreign policy, giving the US a nation-state foe for the first time since the years following 9/11. And the obvious parallels make a comparison to the Soviet Union sound more appropriate. Trump's claim last night that the coronavirus is the worst attack on the US since Pearl Harbor appeared to resonate not only with Trump's base, but with the crucial swing voters in the Midwest and elsewhere. Without them, Trump is doomed. And as it turns out, they have more trust in Trump to lead the economy back to growth and confront China, than they do in Joe Biden.

Using these data as a guide, Trump's campaign team has crafted a two-pronged message that they believe will resonate particularly well in the Swing States this fall.

Several Trump aides say their 2020 campaign will now be chiefly defined by two themes: Trump is the only candidate who can resurrect the economy and that Biden will not be as tough on China, a country Trump is blaming for the pandemic.

It is a message resonating with Trump’s base, according to interviews with more than 50 voters in three swing counties in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin - states Trump won in 2016 by less than a percentage point and that will decide whether he can win a second term.

Because the inescapable truth is: No matter how many times progressive blue checks insist that referring to SARS-CoV-2 as the "Wuhan Virus" is "racist", and that the intensity of the outbreak is entirely Trump's fault, most Americans blame China for unleashing the virus on the world, and rightfully so.

This "new messaging" on Chin is being circulated to Republican leaders around the country so everybody can get on the same page .

Trump officials say the new messaging, being sent to Republican state leaders across the country and pushed in new anti-Biden ads across swing states, reflects internal and external polling data that shows voters trust Trump more on the economy, and that Americans across party lines distrust China.

"Voters know China was a bad actor on the virus. The president made clear to pinpoint China as the origin of the virus,” said Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s spokesman. "We’re going to push this."

Whereas the Biden campaign's message is far more muddy: essentially, it relies on blaming Trump for the coronavirus, something that's simply not going to fly with Trump's base and many swing voters, who have been primed to be suspicious of China since Trump first started rising in the polls during the 2016 GOP primary..

TJ Ducklo, Biden’s campaign spokesman, described Trump’s response to the crisis as a “disaster.” He accused Trump of being “duped” by China earlier this year and pointed to the fact that Trump heaped praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s handling of the outbreak during January and February.

"This election will be a referendum on Donald Trump’s historic failures as president," Ducklo said.

One swing voter who says he voted for Obama twice before picking Trump in 2016 told Reuters that he would "definitely" trust Trump more than Biden when it comes to dealing with the Chinese.

“I definitely want Trump fighting against China rather than Biden, by far,” said Engelmann, 50, who works for a food distribution company in Racine County, Wisconsin.

But Republicans can still screw it all up - which is why disseminating the nuanced talking points is important. As Llyod Blankfein explained earlier, those who frame their reopening arguments around concepts like individual liberty or economic blowback risk sounding unbelievably callous. And any hint that the virus is "a hoax" risks reviving accusations of denialism that will inevitably resonate with those who have lost loved ones to the virus.

Lee Snover, head of the Republican Party in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, recently lost her father to COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and could not be at his deathbed. She said Republicans needed to be careful about going too far in criticizing the economic shutdown and dismissing the health risks.

"Yes, we need to reopen the economy, but we also need to recognize that the virus is real and poses a threat."

With unemployment likely headed to the highest level since the Great Depression (something that might not necessarily be fully reflected in the data), polls suggest that voters trust Trump to create jobs more than they trust Biden. And of course, Biden's shady business dealings involving China certainly don't help.

In the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted Monday and Tuesday, 45% of Americans said Trump would be better at creating jobs, compared with 32% who thought Biden would be better at it.

Trump’s campaign aides also see rising anger with China over the coronavirus as an opening. Trump in recent weeks has ramped up his criticism of Beijing and threatened new tariffs on China, and officials said they were considering retaliatory measures against China over the outbreak.

A Pew Research Center survey in late April showed two-thirds of Americans viewed China unfavorably now, up 20 points since the start of the Trump administration in January 2017.

Starting next week, messaging on China will be sent to Republican state party officials, accusing China of costing American lives and that “Joe Biden is good for China but bad for America,” one campaign aide said.

Still, public frustration is high. Just like they did in 2016, the Dems have fielded an elderly white candidate who does little to inspire the party's base (though Biden is probably a better politician than Hillary Clinton, his performance so far suggests that he has cognitive abilities have deteriorated since he left office (or at least since the last time he was up on a debate stage in 2012).

Trump still needs to convince these voters that he can be - as many have said - a "uniter" and overcome the partisan gridlock in Washington to actually get things done.

Duane Miller, 82, a Northampton County resident who voted for Trump in 2016, said he was sickened by how both parties had politicized the coronavirus crisis.

“If I had to vote today – and I’ve been voting for decades – I probably would not even vote.”

Playing the blame game and picking petty fights with the press make Trump seem less like a dignified leader and more like a petulant child. Trump must inspire confidence that he can step up and lead when times get tough.

Tyler Durden Thu, 05/07/2020 - 19:25
Published:5/7/2020 6:26:04 PM
[] Court papers say that Sally Yates learned about the Flynn-Kislyak phone call from President Obama himself Published:5/7/2020 4:58:05 PM
[Politics] Trump Calls Obama DOJ That Went After Gen. Flynn 'Human Scum' President Donald Trump sounded off on the Obama administration for going after a "duly elected president, and they went after him by going after fine people." Published:5/7/2020 4:58:05 PM
[] Trump Warns a 'Big Price Should Be Paid' by Obama Administration for Targeting General Flynn Published:5/7/2020 3:57:51 PM
[] Trump Reacts: What the Obama Administration Did is Unprecedented. The Reporters Who Got Pulitzer Prizes for Pushing This Hoax Should Be Forced to Give Them Back. TRUMP ON DOJ DROPPING FLYNN CASE:"What the Obama administration did, is unprecedented.""I hope a lot of people will pay a big price because they are dishonest, crooked people.""They're scum. They're human scum." pic.twitter.com/C4wN7tfcQp— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 7, 2020 BREAKING: President... Published:5/7/2020 2:57:12 PM
[] Biden: Believe All Women (Except The Lying Whore Accusing Me) Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that she would overturn the Obama-era rule that anyone accused in college kangaroo courts must prove their own innocence, and were assumed guilty otherwise. Biden, unbelievably, rushed to say he'd return to the presumed guilty... Published:5/7/2020 12:25:13 PM
[Politics] Susan Rice: Trump Uses Obama as 'Foil For All of His Failures' Former national security adviser Susan Rice said President Donald Trump uses former President Barack Obama as a scapegoat for his administration’s problems because he is insecure. Published:5/7/2020 8:54:03 AM
[Politics] Little Sisters of the Poor: The Elephant in the Room What in the world are us mere mortals supposed to make of the Supreme Court hearing of arguments in respect of the Little Sisters of the Poor? We listened to every word streamed in the case today and came away wondering: How is it possible that in America a group of nuns has to make repeated trips to the Supreme Court to avoid having to arrange for their employees to be covered by birth control insurance? This case has been going on in one venue or another since the Obama administration. The... Published:5/7/2020 5:24:02 AM
[Satire] BUSTED: ‘Slate’ Hit Piece on Trump’s Baseball Career Fails to Mention Obama’s Embarrassing Lack of Skill

Slate published a lengthy smear job Wednesday questioning President Donald J. Trump's athletic prowess, specifically his dominance of the New York high school baseball scene in the early 1960s. The article is the embodiment of corrupt mainstream media bias.

The post BUSTED: ‘Slate’ Hit Piece on Trump’s Baseball Career Fails to Mention Obama’s Embarrassing Lack of Skill appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:5/6/2020 6:22:16 PM
[] Obama Privately Condemned Congressional Investigation of Biden and Ukraine. What's He Afraid Of? Published:5/6/2020 3:49:51 PM
[Politics] Rand Paul: Obama Hiding 'Smoking Gun' on Bidens? Former President Barack Obama could have been trying to hide a "smoking gun" with a letter sent by his office in March, Sen. Rand Paul said. Published:5/6/2020 12:18:42 PM
[Politics] Obama's Office Rips GOP-Led Senate Probe of Ukraine, Biden The office of former President Barack Obama called a Senate committee's request for records related to claims that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election in a letter sent to the National Archives and Records Administration. The letter, sent on March 13, condemned the... Published:5/6/2020 7:16:31 AM
[Politics] Trump Blames Obama Admin for Bare Stockpile: 'They Left Us Nothing' President Donald Trump on Tuesday again blamed the Obama administration for a bare cupboard of medical supplies in the Strategic National Stockpile but demurred when asked what he had done to restock since taking office nearly four years ago. "We didn't have... Published:5/6/2020 5:45:27 AM
[Politics] 35% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Thirty-five percent (35%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey for the week ending April 30, 2020.

This week’s finding is unchanged from a week ago. By comparison, this number ran in the mid- to upper 20s for much of 2016, President Obama's last full year in office.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The national telephone survey of 2,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports from April 26-30, 2020. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:5/5/2020 3:31:16 AM
[Markets] Dems' Rehabilitated Hero: Online Disgust Follows Glowing Praise For George W. Bush's COVID-19 Message Dems' Rehabilitated Hero: Online Disgust Follows Glowing Praise For George W. Bush's COVID-19 Message

Authored by Andrea Germanos via CommonDreams.org,

George W. Bush's record in office became the subject of numerous tweets after a video message released Saturday from the former president elicited praise from some Democrats.

In the video statement, shared on Twitter by the George W. Bush Presidential Center, Bush called on people to come together to face the "shared threat" of the coronavirus pandemic.

The former president said "we have faced times of testing before," referencing the post 9/11 period when he said the nation rose "as one to grieve with the grieving" — a time period his administration rolled out its war on terror, which included a torture program.

Various progressive journalists pushed back, however, against those who appeared to be sanitizing Bush's record and suggesting he was preferable to President Donald Trump.

Writing in 2018, Andy Worthington, investigative journalist and author of The Guantanamo Filescriticized...

"the bizarre propensity, on the part of those in the center and on the left of U.S. political life, to seek to rehabilitate the previous Republican president, George W. Bush."

Worthington pointed to a Pew poll as Trump took office showing that 48% of American backed the use of torture in some circumstances, saying it was "a sign of the enduring power of the Bush administration's bellicose pro-torture maneuverings in the wake of the 9/11 attacks."

* * *

And Trump himself joined in the pile-on, but for different reasons.

Tyler Durden Sun, 05/03/2020 - 23:10
Published:5/3/2020 10:30:26 PM
[Markets] Did FBI Operative's Lie Launch Flynn Investigation, And Did IG Horowitz Run Cover? Did FBI Operative's Lie Launch Flynn Investigation, And Did IG Horowitz Run Cover?

For those who haven't been paying attention, recently unsealed materials in the case against former Trump National Security Advisor Mike Flynn all but prove that the FBI set him up with a perjury trap (a 'squeeze' which even Bloomberg's Eli Lake says 'undermines the rule of law').

And as the case against Flynn continues to unravel, perhaps the most important dots have been connected by investigative researcher @JohnWHuber, better known as "Undercover Huber" on Twitter, who makes a cogent argument that Stefan Halper - the portly spy who the FBI used to conduct espionage on the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election - may have sparked the Flynn investigation after lying to the FBI.

What's more, IG Michael Horowitz's report makes no mention of the lie, or the recently-learned fact that the FBI tried to close the Flynn case, dubbed 'Crossfire Razor', in Jan. 2017, only for agent Peter Strzok to go 'off the rails' and demand it not be closed.

Thread by Undercover Huber

Continued (emphasis ours):

  • According to the IG, Stefan Halper (referred to as “Source 2”) met with the Crossfire Hurricane team twice (in Aug 11 and 12, 2016) and told them “he had been previously acquainted with @GenFlynn”. *This was immediately before the FBI opened a case on Flynn on Aug 15, 2016*
  • The IG report is silent on anything Source 2 might have said specifically about Flynn. It’s also silent on the fact the Washington Field Office of the FBI tried to close the Flynn case on 01/04/2017. Both are going to be important in a second.
  • We now know from the FBI’s draft “Electronic Communication” dated 01/04/2017 (trying to close the Flynn CI case, stopped by Strzok at the direction of Comey, McCabe or both) confirms the “CH” team “contacted an established FBI CHS to query about” Gen Flynn & held a “debriefing”
  • Except that story is a *lie*. Halper wasn’t at that event. He witnessed nothing, because he wasn’t there. And the cab ride almost certainly didn’t happen either, because @RealSLokhova says she was picked up from the event by her Husband. And she’s willing to say that under oath.
  • There are multiple pictures of that Cambridge Seminar event (attended by about 20 people). Flynn was there, as was Richard Dearlove (former head of MI6), and Christopher Andrew (then mentor of @RealSLokhova and “unofficial” historian of MI5). But Halper wasn’t. Not in any photos.
  • Halper’s lawyers never challenged that statement. Even when the federal Judge dismissed @RealSLokhova’s case (for other reasons), he did not challenge that claim, only saying that “even assuming it was false” that Halper “attended” the dinner, it wasn’t defamatory to claim he did
  • And the FBI trying to close the case on Flynn is great evidence Halper’s “attendance” at this event so he could see this suspicious cab ride is false. The FBI never tried to interview @RealSLokhova, or anyone at the dinner. Why? Because it would have proven their own source lied.
  • FYI, WaPo, WSJ and NYT have all published stories claiming that Halper attended that Feb 2014 event. None have any evidence that’s true. All the stories are anonymously sourced to Halper or Halper’s buddies. There never will be any evidence Halper was there, because he wasn’t.
  • So when Halper told the FBI that he was “previously acquainted” with Flynn, and “witnessed” this suspicious cab ride, HE WAS LYING TO THE FBI. And at the time, he was a paid Confidential Human Source - the only one cited in the @carterwpage
     FISA, other than Steele.

    That’s big.

  • But what’s arguably bigger is WHEN Halper told this lie about Flynn. When else could Halper claimed to have been “acquainted” with Flynn if not this Feb 2014 dinner (the only time Flynn attended the Cambridge seminar Halper helped organize)?

  • Now, maybe Halper told the FBI about the dinner after the CI case was opened. But that’s NOT in the IG report, despite Halper’s other meetings with the FBI being in there. In fact the IG report says nothing about Halper and Flynn, other than what I quoted

  • In addition, FBI’s Jan 4, 2017 draft Closing EC doesn’t say when this “debriefing” with Halper happened  either. The wording sort of implies it was after the case was opened, but never says it

    So it is possible that a lie from Halper actually triggered opening the case on Flynn?

  • What else did the FBI have? Their own laughable “predicate” appears to be that Flynn worked for Trump, attended an RT dinner (at the time, @RepAdamSchiff
     had previously appeared on RT!), and was “linked” to Russians (Er, he was the former head of DIA under “Russian reset” Obama)

  • Ah, but all of those things were already true between Aug 1 and Aug 10, 2016, which is when the FBI opened cases on Page, Papadopoulos and Manafort - BUT NOT FLYNN. That didn’t happen until Aug 15. He’s the odd one out.

  • Flynn obviously already worked for Trump. He already had these “links”, and he’d already attended the RT dinner long ago. The thin gruel of Russian “links” and working for Trump was enough to open cases on all the others, but NOT Flynn.

  • But what did the FBI have extra before they opened the case? Stefan Halper telling them about being “previously acquainted” with Flynn - which almost certainly refers to that Feb 2014 Cambridge dinner, where he was never “acquainted” with Flynn at all.

  • Oh, & even if Halper told this lie *after* the case was opened on Flynn, the FBI mustn’t have found it credible because they never tried to properly investigate it, and then even tried to close the case anyway. So that means at best the lie came between Aug 15, 2016 & Jan 4, 2017

  • What else was happening between Aug 16 & Jan 17? Oh yeah, the FBI was using a person they should have suspected of lying to dirty people up - Halper - as a CHS wearing a wire on @carterwpage, @GeorgePapa19 and others, AND relying on Halper as “Source #2” in the FISA warrant apps

  • Then, incredibly after their own source lies to them about Flynn to dirty him up, the FBI have the audacity to charge Flynn with lying to them! Corrupt dirty cops isn’t an adequate description. And for all we know, Halper is STILL on Wray’s FBI books as a paid confidential source

  • Finally, IG Horowitz blew this line of inquiry, and didn’t mention anything about the FBI trying to close the case on Flynn in Jan 2017. Horowitz also admitted hasn’t seen any evidence that any of Halper’s information was ever corroborated during his entire time as an FBI source

  • Durham can do what the IG didn’t, and solve this mystery quite easily with a few interviews and record checks.

    Or, the DOJ/USG can keep Halper on his retainer and ignore this. Either way, we’ll know what’s up

    /ENDS

Tyler Durden Sun, 05/03/2020 - 14:25
Published:5/3/2020 1:28:04 PM
[] Tara Reade’s 1993 Complaint May Never Turn Up, Here’s Why Published:5/3/2020 10:28:34 AM
[Politics] Axelrod: 'Tara Reade Never Came Up' in Vetting VP Biden The team responsible for vetting vice presidential candidates did not turn up any sexual assault complaints against Joe Biden before he was chosen to be Obama's running mate, according to David Axelrod, a top adviser for President Barack Obama. Published:5/2/2020 11:21:23 AM
[] 'I'm convinced'! David Axelrod vouches for Joe Biden's past because he was thoroughly vetted by Team Obama Published:5/2/2020 8:50:47 AM
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