Category Archives: Politics

More 2016 questions

Here’s a short read by Peter Kirsanow, in The Corner section at National Review, titled, “Ask Obama”.

Kirsanow points out :

“The mainstream media remain invincibly incurious regarding the former president’s role in the Russia affair. Presumably, underlings in Obama’s national-security apparatus were running about obtaining FISA warrants, leaking, unmasking, and spying on a presidential campaign and transition without the former president’s involvement, let alone direction. He remained oblivious despite Lisa Page’s September 2, 2016 text to Peter Strzok that “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.” Everything? There was a heckuva lot going on.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/barack-obama-and-robert-muellers-report/

 

The following is an 11 minute John Batchelor interview about the Steele dossier that poses some interesting possibilities:

Definitely plenty of questions about the Steele dossier swirling since the Mueller report was handed to the attorney general.

 

 

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A clear explanation of the Mueller findings from National Review

Andrew McCarthy at National Review provided the best legal analysis of the entire Russian collusion mess for the past two years and JK kindly provided a podcast link,  located here, where McCarthy discusses the latest news on the Mueller report findings.  It’s worth your time to listen to this, almost hour-long, discussion.

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Time to finally look into the Clinton SPIN operatives

The Mueller report key findings hit yesterday, so here goes:  Mueller did not find any evidence that Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign.  On the obstruction of justice allegation over firing James Comey, there’s sure to be more efforts by Dems in SDNY to try to continue fomenting that spin effort to take down Trump.

Here are the main things the Mueller report doesn’t explain:

Who on earth were Steele’s Russian sources “close to the Kremlin”?

Were these Russian sources paid, or did they just offer up this supposed “Kremlin dirt” to Steele?

If Steele did pay his sources, where did those funds come from?

Cody Shearer, longtime Clinton operative (sleaze merchant), was reported to have produced a second dossier, which was fed to the Obama State Department as “reliable intelligence”.

How much overlap, collaboration or “collusion” (dare I say) was there between Shearer, Steele and/or Fusion GPS?

From 2018: “The second dossier — two reports compiled by Cody Shearer, an ex-journalist and longtime Clinton operative — echoes many of the lurid and still unsubstantiated claims made in the Steele dossier, and is receiving new scrutiny. Over the weekend, Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a TV interviewthat his panel is shifting its focus concerning the genesis of the Russia investigation from the FBI to the State Department. This probe will include the Shearer dossier.

In late September 2016, Sidney Blumenthal, a close Clinton confidant and colleague of Shearer’s, passed Shearer’s dossier on to State Department official Jonathan M. Winer, a longtime aide to John Kerry on Capitol Hill and at Foggy Bottom.”

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2018/04/25/test.html

That 2018 report asserts, “two reports compiled by Cody Shearer, an ex-journalist and longtime Clinton operative — echoes many of the lurid and still unsubstantiated claims made in the Steele dossier”.   Why do the Steele dossier and Shearer dossiers “echo” each other and who are the Kremlin-connected sources, or even Russian sources both Steele and Shearer relied on???

Adam Schiff, James Comey, John Brennan and James Clapper  may want to keep faith in the Steele dossier, but it’s way past time to dig into the details of who were the Clinton sewer rats behind feeding that Steele dossier to top Obama officials and then trying to figure out why these officials bought into the Steele dossier so completely.

It’s time to investigate the Clinton SPIN operatives.

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Cart before the horse… as usual

Space abhors a vacuum… so in lieu of any facts about what the Mueller report actually says, the media, partisans and the punditry “smart” set have talked themselves into extraordinary spin contortions, since news broke Friday that the Mueller report is finished.  In the political media cart before the horse fashion, by the time we learn actual details, the media spin fronts have already staked out their talking points.

The Dem spin pivot is it’s now all about the SDNY, according to Adam Schiff,  while Trump spin is working to cast Trump as a sainted martyr.

The truth remains, regardless of Mueller’s report, that both 2016 campaigns were extremely corrupt and working to acquire Russian dirt on their opponent.  While that isn’t criminal, it speaks to both Trump and Hillary being thoroughly corrupt and willing to do anything to win.  That fact should disturb every American.

All along I’ve contended that the Russians would not want to openly “collude” with either campaign, because that would require the Russians having some level of “trust” in those American political operatives and besides, why should the Russians “collude” with American political operatives, when they can feed tantalizing bits of partisan disinformation into the American media and keep the American partisans attacking each other?

Now, the quest to uncover the Clinton/Russian collusion will begin, as the focus shifts to trying to uncover how the Steele dossier came about and how on earth the FBI, DOJ  and top Obama intel peeps bought into it so completely.  Fun times as the 2016 SPIN information war drags on and on and on.

2016 Russian Collusion count

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Aquamarine vs. turquoise ( a 2015 blog post)

Here’s my so simple 2015 plan, that even a 5 year-old would understand it:

Finally, here is a post on factions, that’s so simple even a 5 year-old can understand the problem.  Adults might get stuck in their rigid ideological beliefs. All beliefs are not morally equal – some when carried to extremes have horrific consequences for millions of innocent people, while others can do remarkable good for the entire world.  That is the TRUTH.

Let’s say you believe very strongly that a color is aquamarine and I believe equally as strongly that that color is turquoise.  Being that we both believe a different thing, many avenues are there for us to choose.  We could argue and get so angry that we end up hating each other and never speak to each other again.  I could feel so strongly about my belief that I kill you.  We might even  kill each other fighting over who is right. I could even decide that it’s not enough to just kill you, but because you’ve convinced your whole town that the color is aquamarine, it’s necessary to kill all of them too.

Of course, on the less extreme side we might agree to consult an outside expert on color to settle the matter, perhaps, we could call the Crayola Company, after all they’ve been naming colors since 1885 in Easton, PA, near where I grew up.

We might argue, passionately and often, clinging to our beliefs (as President Obama accused those rural people in PA), but in the American tradition, we could agree to disagree and at some point, shake hands and say, “Let’s go have pizza!”  Presented to most 5 year-olds, the vast majority will agree that it’s stupid to kill other people just because we disagree, on the other hand most adults refuse to even listen to differing opinions.  Maya Angleou, renowned poet, expressed it exactly right:

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” –
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/26244-hate-it-has-caused-a-lot-of-problems-in-the

So, in America, being a country forged together by a people committed to INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM, we have The Declaration of Independence to ensure our God-given, unalienable rights are not infringed upon:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Sadly, in America our political partisanship swirls dangerously to extremes – where hate has swelled to such a level  that many Americans choose to receive all of their news from sources that align with their political views.  The hate and extremism goes so far that even the President of the United States works to divide Americans into hostile camps.  Distrust turns Americans into furtive enemies, partisans avoiding those who hold an opposing view, with ideological walls being girded to lock out all who dare to disagree.  Even codes are enacted in our universities to silence opposition.

We must tear down these partisan walls!  We must work to find common ground, or we can not face the threats beyond our borders.  President George Washington warned about the dangers of extreme partisanship in his Farewell Address:

“I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

So, beyond my stating it is a parental duty in a civil society to train your children to respect the rule of law.  George Washington tells you that it’s a duty to discourage extremist politics – the duties are required to be a good citizen.  I wrote a post in 2013 titled, “The duty of a wise people”. on this subject.

There was a time, not so long ago, when American school children were routinely taught about this speech and  American principles.  Sadly, today I suspect many school children don’t even know who George Washington was. And mentioning The Constitution, too often and too loudly, will get your name on a Homeland Security watch list as a right-wing extremist…

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Yes, the Russian threat is serious

The day kind of got away from me, so it’s after midnight and I’m finally trying to write a blog post.  I ran to my local Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market for some groceries this afternoon, did some laundry, then made some homemade beef stew for supper.  After cleaning up the supper dishes, I intended to sit down and write, but then I got the idea that I needed to make PA Dutch Pickled Beet Eggs (you can find plenty of recipes on YouTube).  Of course, I have several types of vinegar, but I forgot to buy more plain old apple cider vinegar this afternoon, and which I used the last of about a week ago.   So that meant another trip to Wal-Mart.  I have a glass gallon jar with a lid, specifically for my pickled beet eggs, because I make them fairly often.  Since my husband doesn’t eat them, I only made a dozen eggs, which will last me a while.

I use hard-boiled eggs, 2 cans of sliced pickled beets, 1 small sliced onion (optional)  I add a couple of bay leaves, a cinnamon stick, and a few whole cloves, but many people don’t add these.

I put 1/2 c. to 2/3 c/ of sugar and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar into a medium saucepan, heat on medium.  Pour the juice from both cans of pickled beets into the pan.  Add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Place the shelled hard-boiled eggs, beets and sliced onion in a clean gallon glass jar.  Onions are completely optional – I like them pickled and use them on salads, along with the beets and sliced pickled eggs.   Pour the cooled liquid into the jar.  Place the lid on tightly and gently shake the jar a bit to make sure the eggs are completely covered with the pickling liquid.  Refrigerate.  Every day gently shake the jar.  The eggs will be well pickled in a couple of days.  After a week or so, you can remove the cinnamon stick, bay leaves and cloves, if the  flavor is getting too spicy.

It’s fine to add more hard-boiled eggs to this pickling juice a couple of times before making up a fresh batch.

Now, onto politics.  I wanted to clarify something, in case anyone doubts that I take the Russian information warfare threat seriously.  I take it very seriously. What I don’t take seriously is how the Dems and mainstream media are using the “Trump/Russian collusion” and the “Russian bots everywhere” hysteria to incite fear and to create another one of their pathetic, partisan narratives for their SPIN information war.

No one in the mainstream media, American politics, even our national security officials even view the “SPIN war” as a real domestic information war, dedicated to fueling partisan divides and spewing 24/7 agitation propaganda at the American people.  THAT is the larger problem with trying to deal with hostile foreign information warfare directed at America.  Our domestic SPIN war creates a wide-open media space for hostile foreign info war operators to flourish.  Heck, they just need to “amplify” domestic SPIN war messaging at respective domestic partisans and they blend right in here.

I think our national security people fully grasp the cyber/technology aspects of hostile foreign information warfare activities and work very hard to try to counter those threats.  Things like protecting networks, protecting our electrical grid, preventing cyber attacks, cyber theft, the endless hacking assuredly are easier to grasp than information operations geared toward manipulating the American people (mass media agitprop efforts, psychological operations, etc.).

After decades of the Left’s very real culture war in America and the advances of political correctness, replete with morally bankrupt terms and ideology, America no longer has a coherent sense of American values and principles and finding any firm common ground, for Americans to rally around anything presents a real challenge.  Americans unifying around anything usually lasts less than 24 hours before the partisan rancor shatters the calm.

For a few years now,  thought pieces occur fairly regularly at online political commentary sites, asserting American is already in a state of  “civil war” and I’m willing to concede the extreme partisan divides in America have deepened and definitely corrode hopes of national unity on almost anything, but I remain optimistic.  The challenge with dealing with aggressive hostile information warfare geared toward deepening partisan divides among partisans, who are likewise working to deepen partisan divides, is, well, obviously we are making it easy for our enemies to “divide and conquer” us.  This point, I’ve stated many times already – we are our own worst enemy and unless and until our rabid partisans stop our domestic SPIN information warfare, there’s no hope of countering hostile foreign messaging operations.

The best defense against hostile foreign information messaging operations is an informed citizenry, who are united by some common values and principles, so working toward that seems more important than all sorts of hysterical, knee-jerk censorship efforts.  Just trying to get Americans, who have different political views, to embrace my “let’s go have pizza” solution, which I wrote about back in 2015, might be a good start.   I’ll repost it.

 

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Russian bots everywhere…

Lately, if you listen to mainstream media news, pundits and Democrats, we all are seeing Russia from our browser window…  here a Russian bot, there a Russian bot.  All roads lead to the Kremlin in this new Dem Red Scare environment.

JK posted a comment the other day, mentioning two links, one to a 2016 article at The Root , about Hillary Clinton’s use of the superpredator term as being racist, the other, a February 13, 2019 article, BLACK CRITICS OF KAMALA HARRIS AND CORY BOOKER PUSH BACK AGAINST CLAIMS THAT THEY’RE RUSSIAN “BOTS”, at The Intercept, which deals with the hashtag, #ADOS (American Descendants of Slaves) falling under a cloud of suspicion as being a Russian bot operation.  This recent article also alleges that the 2016 attacks against Hillary/superpredator issue were also a foreign bot generated operation.  A CNN commentator made the charge:

“Angela Rye, a CNN political commentator and board member of the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, has said she believes that some ADOS arguments are not organic, but were “paid for by Russia.” She added that she’s “not saying everyone who uses the hashtag is a Russian bot,” but she does believe “it originated from Russian bots.” Rye went on to argue that the same is true of critiques relating to “some of the stuff around the crime bill” circa 2016 — presumably referring to critics of Hillary Clinton who questioned her support of the bill now widely understood to have caused overwhelming harm to black Americans.”

https://theintercept.com/2019/02/13/ados-kamala-harris-cory-booker-russian-bots/

Rye is a lawyer and Seattle native, liberal activist, not an intelligence analyst.

The actual creator of the #ADOS hashtag, Antonio Moore, takes issue with the Russian bot allegation:

“THE CREATORS OF the hashtag — Antonio Moore, an attorney in California, and Yvette Carnell, a political commentator — are neither Russian nor bots and are demanding an apology.

Carnell told The Intercept that she thinks calling out ADOS is an effort to delegitimize the grassroots movement they’ve worked to cultivate and to “undermine a real debate that we have about Kamala Harris within the black community.” For years, Moore and Carnell have been doing regular YouTube and radio shows together where they discuss issues like reparations and the racial wealth divide under the lens of “native descendants of American slaves.””

https://theintercept.com/2019/02/13/ados-kamala-harris-cory-booker-russian-bots/

Alleging “Russian influence operations” has become part of the Left’s SPIN messaging now, so I expect a lot more of this and also more of the corrupt Dem false flag operation, like the one they pulled in 2017 during the Moore campaign … fielding fake Russian bots.  In this corrupt political media environment, it’s impossible to know which are real Russian bots and which might be fake Russian bots, or even some other hostile country’s bots (there’s a subject for another blog post – foreign threats besides only Russia).  Russia isn’t the only foreign country waging online influence operations in American media, but it’s the only one the Dems and mainstream media want to talk about.

You don’t have to look far to find Dems and Leftists seeing Russian collusion and influence operations everywhere in American political SPIN messaging activities these days.  The political pressure on social media giants to be more aggressive at dealing with Russian influence operations ramped up and just today CNN  reported:

“Three online video channels designed to appeal to millennials have collected tens of millions of views on Facebook since September. But the pages pushing the videos do not disclose that they are backed by the Russian government.

The pages are run by Maffick Media, a company whose majority stakeholder is Ruptly, a subsidiary of RT, which is funded by the Russian government. Although Maffick Media has hired contractors and freelancers in Los Angeles in recent months, the company is not registered in the US, it is registered in Germany.
Facebook suspended the pages on Friday, saying it would reach out to the people running them to ask that they disclose where the pages are run from and their affiliation with their parent company in order to get back on the platform.
The move was an unusual one for Facebook. The company does not require users to provide information about parent companies, but it is rolling out ways to try to increase transparency about who runs popular Facebook pages, and it has been taking aggressive steps to tackle covert government-backed information operations on its service. In 2016, a Kremlin-linked troll group ran a network of pages designed to look like they were operated by real American activists.”
Here’s a CNN Business report from today, How the Russians did it, by Donnie Sullivan, who is the same CNN reporter, who reported on the Covington/Phillips video and the anonymous @2020fight, cited as the main Twitter account that amplified that video.  Sullivan writes:
“A federal indictment against 13 Russian nationals made public on Friday provides new insight into how the Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin-linked Russian troll group, set up a vast network of fake American activist groups and used the stolen identities of real Americans in an attempt to wreak havoc on the U.S. political system.
According to the indictment, the group, which is based in St. Petersburg, Russia, began monitoring the social media pages of real American activist organizations in 2014, before setting up fake pages and personas that became, the indictment says, “leaders of public opinion.”

The pages were designed to look like they were run by real Americans. They focused on a number of divisive issues in American life, including race relations, religion, immigration, and the 2016 presidential election.On Facebook alone, an estimated 126 million Americans may have been exposed to material the group produced, the social media company told Congress last fall. The indictment provides a fuller picture of how the Internet Research Agency worked. It details a sophisticated operation that allowed the group to achieve such wide reach. The agency had a budget of over $1.25 million by September 2016 — big enough to include money for bonuses.

“To measure the impact of their online social media operations, Defendants and their co-conspirators tracked the performance of content they posted over social media,” it says. “They tracked the size of the online U.S. audiences reached through posts, different types of engagement with the posts … changes in audience size, and other metrics. Defendants and their co-conspirators received and maintained metrics reports on certain group pages and individualized posts.”

The group worked hard to make its work look like it came from real Americans. Apart from the occasional typo — or a phrase that, in hindsight, was clearly written by a non-native English speaker — the group’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr pages were convincing. They looked like many other politically-themed pages on social media: Designed to take advantage of Americans’ divisions, to get engagement by stoking outrage.”

https://money.cnn.com/2018/02/16/media/internet-research-agency-mueller-indictment/index.html

This CNN Business report chronicles Russians hiring unsuspecting Americans and even one incident of the Russians using a stolen identity, including the social security number, of an American citizen.  This report also mentions the alarming 2016 incident where Russian influence operations orchestrated two opposing events, on the same day, at the same location in Houston, to try to incite an actual real world confrontation:

“The Internet Research Agency also worked hard to ensure that its influence would stretch beyond social media and into the physical world, the indictment says. It successfully organized real demonstrations.

In one case, as CNN has previously reported, the troll group organized and promoted two opposing events on the same day at the same location in Houston, Texas.”

Yes, it’s obvious the Russians upped their influence operations in America in recent years, however the mainstream media/Dem/Left new Red Scare SPIN messaging effort serves only their shallow, single focus, partisan political agenda of trying to delegitimize Trump, by any means necessary.  The absurdity of their new Red Scare messaging coupled with the destructive calls to censor social media and online speech bode poorly for American free speech rights.

There’s even a “bipartisan”, absurd online McCarthyite listing of alleged Russian bot accounts – Hamilton 68, which is the work of the Alliance for Securing Democracy. Hamilton 68 is rolling out a 2.0 effort soon, geared toward:

“Starting in 2019, we will transition to a new interface that will communicate Kremlin information operations in a manner less vulnerable to misinterpretations, with a particular focus on the outputs of overt, Russian state-sponsored social media accounts and websites – reflecting what we believe is an increased role of such accounts in driving narratives (the list of monitored accounts will be available to the public). The new site will incrementally incorporate new functions and visualizations as they come online; always improving, updating, and adapting to the outputs of Putin’s propagandists operating across the entire mainstream and social media ecosystem.”

https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/hamilton-68/

What’s the point of publishing lists of suspected Russian bots, thereby letting the Russians know which of their bots, are compromised?  Honestly, how many Americans are going to scan lists of alleged Russian bots while using social media?   If they do come into contact with a Russian bot, so what.   On social media you have complete control on who you choose to communicate with.  On Twitter, you can mute or block accounts, that you don’t wish to see.  Instead, of all this public fear mongering about Russian influence operations, the real intelligence operators should be quietly upping their game.

In my opinion, instead of media efforts hyping the new Red Scare, the time and effort would be better spent trying to educate Americans about American constitutional principles, good citizenship and treating other Americans with respect.

On Twitter, I’ve been accused several times of being a bot.  I have very few followers, dropped a few recently –  52.  I could not care less really.  Being “popular” has never been a goal of mine, nor has “amplifying”  my message to large numbers of people.  I hope a few select people might listen to my message.  For 20 years, I’ve been trying to expose “SPIN” as a vicious information warfare operation targeting the American people and it’s been run by the Dems/Left colluding with the mainstream media to “amplify” the Dem SPIN messaging and control the “spin cycles”.  Controlling the SPIN effectively controls public opinion in America.

For the umteenth time, hostile foreign influence operations have easy pickings fomenting distrust and divides in America.  Along with escalated Russian influence operations in recent years, the Dems/Left ramped up their SPIN info war and Trump broke through the Left’s lock on controlling SPIN messaging in America.  In my opinion, while all the hostile foreign influence operations are a serious threat, the much larger threat to America’s political institutions comes from within.  We have both political parties and our media totally invested in a very corrupt, divisive scorched earth homegrown SPIN information war, which provides our enemies with non-stop messaging ammunition to foment more anger and division.

Along with being “unpopular”, often I feel like a lone voice in the wilderness warning about our domestic, scorched earth SPIN information war, as the civil carnage and wholesale public corruption leave American culture a virtual wasteland.

The Dems and the media hyping Russian influence operations creates only fear, hysteria and a sense of helplessness among Americans. 

Teaching Americans that each and every one of them has the power to defeat Russian influence operations (or anyone else’s influence operations) in their own lives would do more to empower Americans.  How about teaching Americans to fearlessly think for themselves?  How about teaching them to not let media and political figures scare them?

Online influence operations are ONLY words and videos promoting a message, which every American can CHOOSE not to buy into.  Don’t let other people scare you about communicating with people on social media and expressing your opinions online.

 

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Filed under Corrupt Media Collusion, General Interest, Information War, Politics