I posted a tweet thread this morning and decided to post it here as well:
Dems always overplay their narratives. The IG report already highlighted there were security problems with 1/6. And, just like with the FBI spin show arrests of Manafort & Stone, the handling of some of these alleged 1/6 perps (no bail/solitary confinement) raises more questions.11:49 AM · Jul 27, 2021·Twitter Web App
The Pelosi script assures the mainstream media will go full hair-pulling, teeth-gnashing spin mode running Dem talking points – like this dramatic police & violent video opening.11:49 AM · Jul 27, 2021·Twitter Web App
Timing matters, so this Pelosi-directed sideshow kicks off today, just as another round of COVID hysteria’s erupting. Dems might wear out the patience of most of the American people with another TDS spin show & another COVID meltdown farce, at the same time. If BLM jumps in –.11:49 AM · Jul 27, 2021·Twitter Web App
A calm, in charge moderate leader, who bypassed 99.9% of this spin crazy, could probably flip the script on Dems & Trump and garner a lot of support. Most Americans long for some peace and quiet… and normal11:58 AM · Jul 27, 2021·Twitter Web App
Those were my quick thoughts this morning. Sorry for the gigantic crazy emoji, but I’ve got no clue how to make it smaller. I just copied and pasted the tweet and this is how it appears. BIG crazy explains most of our American politics though and truly, another round of Dem/liberal media Trump Derangement 1/6 spin theater, coupled with the “Doomsday Delta Variant Strikes” hysteria has launched. Just imagine, if BLM decides they want to steal some of the media limelight too – that would be a gigantic crazy.
As for the opening of this Pelosi-directed 1/6 sideshow, well, it’s just begun and all these overwrought cops and weeping Congresspersons, isn’t creating the optics Dems and their liberal media spin cast think it is. They’ve already over-acted this opening scene to the point, everything else will be overkill and look ridiculous – there aren’t hundreds of dead bodies to grab attention, only a replay of the Schiff type Trump-Ukraine impeachment drama, which fizzled out, but even worse, as each of the unimpeachable star witnesses testified, like Alexander Vindman, Bill Taylor, Fiona Hill, they looked way less credible the more they were questioned.
Pelosi’s efforts to exert total control over these hearings, by hand-picking who gets to speak and banishing the Republicans Kevin McCarthy selected, creates such a one-sided optic, that I suspect it will actually help Trump more than it hurts him. It already looks like a TDS gathering rather than a serious investigation.
One last comment and then I need to get some housework done. Gauging the politics Twitter flow, the BLM/MSNBC crowd appear to want to use Pelosi’s 1/6 hearings to escalate their “white supremacists everywhere” spin and that’s why if BLM decided to use Pelosi’s 1/6 hearings as a useful narrative to stage more street protests, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.
The 4th of July while usually the day for “Hooray, America!” cheering, this year found me feeling worried about many cultural and political trends. From LGBTQ gender war extremism that seems to be targeting even young children now, to much of corporate America throwing themselves all-in on embracing and enforcing the left’s gender, racial and political edicts, to our partisan political wasteland, where the news media have become more political operatives than objective reporters and our politicians, across the board, seem to be mostly corrupt, self-serving buffoons and brazen liars. Trends don’t look too promising.
Then there’s the constantly shifting PC word games, where words that are perfectly acceptable and benign today, next week might be on an ever-increasing list of words the left’s word police deem racist, sexist, ethnically-insensitive, or denoting some other socially unacceptable connotation. If the left’s PC word games aren’t exhausting enough, the left’s media hysterics scan photos and videos looking for hand signs they deem racist signals and even facial expressions they insist denote some social evil (see the Covington kid’s smirk). To compound the semantical mayhem, many partisans on the right, following former President Trump’s lead, jumped into the spin word games too.
The culture war craziness afflicts the right too, with populist frenzies over hot button issues taking hold often and totally wacko conspiracy theories spreading faster than CA wildfire. The right’s turned mindless “owning the libs’ antics into the highest virtue, while too many elected Republicans float rushed legislation, that is often in reaction to some Twitter “breaking news” uproar than about carefully thought out or researched issues, all to appease and curry favor with the Trump=supporting faction of the Republican party.
Even face masks in the midst of a pandemic became a political symbol, with wearing a mask denoting virtue to many liberals and not wearing a mask a symbol of freedom to many Trump supporters.
It seems the politicians and media pundits, whose life now revolves around being social media influencers, lead the American media outrage theater parade, while the rest of America has not a clue what the heck is really going on, but plenty of Americans sense something is going radically wrong .
There’s a lot to unpack with the policing and enforcement of speech in the American public square, which increasingly is done in online social media venues. An easy early take when Alex Jones, a kooky conspiracy theorist got banned from social media, was that social media companies are privately-owned businesses and can set their own rules for conduct on their site. That issue of social media banning now seems way more complicated than that private company vs. public space argument. The issue took a decided turn when many mainstream (liberal) media companies tried hard to limit their coverage of Trump live speeches and not covering Trump White House press briefings, under the rationale of trying to stop the spread of lies. However, now social media has targeted Brett Weinstein, a liberal evolutionary biologist, who early in the pandemic spoke out on his YouTube channel (Dark Horse) about the possibility that COVID 19 might have originated from a lab leak in Wuhan China. Weinstein also has raised concerns about the safety of COVID vaccines and about use of ivermectin in COVID treatment and as a prophylactic drug. Weinstein has now had his YouTube channel demonetized, and several of his videos were banned from YouTube. In regards to the Weinstein case, Matt Taibbi raises an important question in piece published a couple days ago, If Private Platforms Use Government Guidelines to Police Content, is that State Censorship?. Taibbi states:
“There are several factors that make the DarkHorse incident different from other major Silicon Valley moderation decisions, including the fact that the content in question doesn’t involve electoral politics, foreign intervention, or incitement. The main issue is the possible blurring of lines between public and private censorship.
When I contacted YouTube about Weinstein two weeks ago, I was told, “In general, we rely on guidance from local and global health authorities (FDA, CDC, WHO, NHS, etc) in developing our COVID-19 misinformation policies.”
The question is, how active is that “guidance”? Is YouTube acting in consultation with those bodies in developing those moderation policies? As Weinstein notes, an answer in the affirmative would likely make theirs a true First Amendment problem, with an agency like the CDC not only setting public health policy but also effectively setting guidelines for private discussion about those policies. “If it is in consultation with the government,” he says, “it’s an entirely different issue.”
Asked specifically after Weinstein’s demonetization if the “guidance” included consultation with authorities, YouTube essentially said yes, pointing to previous announcements that they consult other authorities, and adding, “When we develop our policies we consult outside experts and YouTube creators. In the case of our COVID-19 misinformation policies, it would be guidance from local and global health authorities.””
While many Republicans rail about social media targeting Republicans and conservatives on social media for bans and having separate standards and rules on their platforms for liberals and voices on the right, it must be said that the typical Republicans in Congress response seems to be to draft ill-conceived legislation, that they know is never going to pass. It’s all a media effort, not a serious approach to dealing with the “war on words,” that’s escalating. The same Republican ill-conceived approach is sweeping through Republican-run states with legislation banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory (a controversial liberal approach to teaching through a racial lens). Many on the right see CRT as Marxist drivel that’s teaching American kids to hate America and look at everything through the liberal racial politics that’s been raging across America since the death of George Floyd last year. Poorly drafted bans on CRT and overly restrictive rules on what can be taught in public schools seems to me like the cure may be way worse than the disease.
“Supporters of former President Donald J. Trump have embraced the flag so fervently — at his rallies, across conservative media and even during the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol — that many liberals like Mr. Treiber worry that the left has all but ceded the national emblem to the right.
What was once a unifying symbol — there is a star on it for each state, after all — is now alienating to some, its stripes now fault lines between people who kneel while “The Star-Spangled Banner” plays and those for whom not pledging allegiance is an affront.
And it has made the celebration of the Fourth of July, of patriotic bunting and cakes with blueberries and strawberries arranged into Old Glory, into another cleft in a country that seems no longer quite so indivisible, under a flag threatening to fray.”
Where better to get a gauge for the opposite reaction to this NYT piece than country music, with two new songs released :
Yes, the spin information war, that drives the left’s culture war, still worries me a great deal and what concerns me is what happens when millions of Americans, who refuse to buy into the left’s BLM racial politics, get tired of being told they’re racist and having every aspect of their lives attacked? Or what happens, God-forbid, Dems pass some new gun-control laws or there’s some other high-octane situation like the BLM protests that turned violent last year or some far right-wing violence erupts or Trump or some other right-wing flamethrower ignites something worse than Jan. 6th? Where does America turn for some calm, news reporting or some calm, political leadership, who most of America will even listen to? The Dems spent months last year attacking the police, and now some Trumpers on the right are attacking the FBI and America’s top generals. I worry about the small crowd of blue-checkmark partisan flame-throwers on Twitter driving and controlling the news media coverage in America and their ability to escalate even the most trivial thing into a major outrage spin cycle, that can quickly mobilize tens of thousands of Americans into a raging mob.
I still remain hopeful about America, but this corrupt spin war, that’s now directed from a small crowd of media and political elites on Twitter really worries me.
Before closing this post, I wanted to give an update on my duck saga. Towards evening on the day the second duck showed up in my front yard, the ducks were waddling around my front yard. A pick-up with two older men stopped in front of my house and one of the men jumped out and rushed up to the ducks, happily talking to them. He told me the ducks live in his backyard, but they are wild ducks. He told me when the one duck disappeared the remaining duck kept leaving several times a day wandering around the neighborhood looking for the other duck (which was laying behind the a bush in my flower bed). I told the man that this duck showed up in my front yard and seemed injured. Long story short, this man has a pond in his backyard, lives on a nearby street, and as he talked to the ducks they followed him back to his house. As joyful as that man was to find both ducks, I can assure you, I was even more joyful to not have two Muscovy ducks living in my front yard.
Today I decided to do something that I swore never to do. I decided to vote for Trump and a straight Republican ticket. A few small things happened today, but it was my personal tipping point.
Twitter blocked The New York Post’s account over a week ago for posting a report on Hunter Biden’s laptop. In the ensuing days the mainstream media totally froze out any reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop story. Today, I saw a retweet by Brit Hume, with a sensitive content warning masking the original tweet. I clicked on VIEW and it was a Matt Taibbi piece at Axios, With the Hunter Biden Expose, Suppression is Bigger Scandal Than The Actual Story. Twitter has escalated this petty censorship effort against mentioning the Hunter Biden story and kept The New York Post blocked unless they remove a number of tweets Twitter demanded be removed. Their sensitive content warning, so you don’t see the story immediately, is meant to slow down amplification of Taibbi’s article.
On top of that I’ve been following Andrew Cuomo and Bill DeBalsio’s escalating efforts to harass Orthodox Jews in NYC and Cuomo blustered on about his new COVID plan and how he’s going to force compliance by Orthodox Jews.
“All gatherings must include no more than three households, including hosts and guests, and must be held outdoors, lasting for two hours of less.”
“The new rules state those at a gathering “may remove their face coverings briefly to eat or drink as long as they stay at least 6 feet away from everyone outside their own household, and put their face covering back on as soon as they are done with the activity.”‘
“Gatherings that occur outdoors are significantly safer than indoor gatherings. All gatherings must be held outside. Attendees may go inside to use restrooms as long as the restrooms are frequently sanitized,” the statement added.”
There’s way more, like restrictions on singing and restrictions on playing music (no wind instruments) and a whole bunch of other draconian lunacy. And I thought, this is America’s future if Biden wins the White House and Republicans lose control of the Senate.
I detest Trump’s reality TV show presidency, I detest his pettiness, his mendacity, and most especially his vicious name-calling and I never thought I would even consider voting for him or decide to vote for him, but I did.
For a while now, I’ve believed the worst possible outcome for America would be for Dems to control Congress, the White House, in addition to liberals controlling most of the major news media organizations, Hollywood, and the largest social media companies. With this much control of information dissemination and the levers of powers in America, Democrats would be be able to totally marginalize dissenting opinions, in addition to fast-track the far-left’s radical wish list.
A few years ago, I learned about the reach of the political and news media Twitter crowd on American news reporting and on political messaging. At first I dismissed the Twitter influence operations as having so much impact, since a very small percentage of Americans even follow politics on Twitter, but then I realized that this small group of journalists, political pundits, and politicians literally battle for control of the news media’s political narratives and this is where most of the spin battles in America are really fought – out of sight of most Americans. And once I started following the politics Twitter crowd and trying to understand what was going on, I understood why President Trump felt his Twitter account had so much influence.
Twitter is the current epicenter of the American political spin war and it is where the Dems and the mainstream media people hang out to generate spin attacks and it is where President Trump and conservative media people hang out to generate counter-spin attacks. Dems and the mainstream media have waged a spin information war in America for decades, to propel leftist policy and promote Dem politicians, while Republicans floundered around trying to find a way to counter that liberal media dominance and complaining about media bias. It’s not bias, it’s an orchestrated spin information operation run by Dems, their operatives and their media friends.
I understand fully that Trump is everything that I consider a toxic leader to be, but at this moment in time, Republican control of the Senate is iffy and so is the White House. I do not want America being controlled by a Democratic Party that refused to condemn rioting and looting, engaged in smearing police across America, that ran the appalling smear campaign against Brett Kavanaugh, and who are poised to ram through the most radical leftist agenda in my lifetime. And in the midst of a COVID surge this winter, I do not want live in an America that embraces draconian policies, propelled by media-fear mongering campaigns that scare people into submitting to massive encroachment on basic civil rights.
I said NeverTrump since 2015 and I’ve written a whole lot of that on my blog, but at this point in time the choices are Dem control of the White House and Congress, which alarms the hell out of me, after watching the craziness of 2020 or hoping that Republicans can hold at least the Senate or White House and perhaps both. I do not want Democrats with unchecked power after watching their spin and smear operations escalate in the past 5 years.
If anyone asked me if I think President Trump should be removed from office today, well, the truth is I don’t care one way or the other. I do care about, to use the constantly hyped phrases, “preserving our Constitution” and “saving our democracy,” but frankly these yahoos in Washington and the media hysterically spinning 24/7 about the yahoos in Washington have zero capacity to preserve or save anything. Ditto that for the political Twitterati crowd/political punditry puff dragons.
When both sides in a political battle are thoroughly corrupt, the Dems orchestrating this impeachment inquiry and President Trump, who lies about almost everything and cares nothing about The Constitution or rules of any sort, so long as they benefit him, how does carrying out an extremely divisive political process like impeachment remedy any wrongdoing? Will removing Trump end the political corruption or bring American politics back to some sane standards?
Would removing Trump “save our democracy” or “preserve our Constitution” or would it just lead to more political chaos and a weakening of our ordered liberty?
With a Republican-controlled Senate, at best this impeachment effort seems like a poorly orchestrated spin effort. At worst it’s another effort of powerful Dems to appease the radical #Resist fringe of their party, to quell an internal revolt after Dem leaders have failed to deliver on removing Trump from office, after 3 years of promising, “Trump’s going down” and “this is the beginning of the end.”
Hypothetically speaking, if Trump was removed from office before the 2020 election, Dems would not graciously accept a President Pence – they would begin spinning up impeaching Pence too and doing everything they could to wreak havoc on the GOP… just like they did in 2016. In fact, Dems and their media cohorts would be energized (emboldened) to engage in even more extreme scorched earth spin info war tactics.
Trump would not go quietly and just more chaos would ensue.
It seems to me that changing our media culture, where extreme spin information warfare is the norm, to more objective, less overwrought political reporting and punditry appears the only path leading to actually “saving our democracy” and “preserving our Constitution,” but don’t hold your breath waiting on our political class and the media, who provide the platforms and fuel that enable spin war to even operate, to ever willingly forswear their vicious and corrupt spin information warfare. They gain power and make a fortune off of spin war and the American people literally are virtual prisoners whenever they tune in to watch or read American news reporting and commentary.
If you wonder where the epicenter of the American scorched earth spin war is, it’s currently Twitter. That could change if the American media and political class decide to relocate to some other online social media hub, but for now it’s Twitter. President Trump understood the blue check-mark crowd politicians, journalists and pundits generate spin cycles on Twitter.
“Twitter is a modern public square where many voices discuss, debate and share their views. Media personalities, politicians and the public turn to social networks for real-time information and reactions to the day’s events. But compared with the U.S. public overall, which voices are represented on Twitter?”
Pew Research Center came up with some interesting statistics about Twitter usage in America, like only 22% of Americans actually use Twitter. Out of that 22%, the actual number of Twitter users generating and keeping America’s spin war blowing is even smaller:
“In addition to teasing out these differences between Twitter users and the population as a whole, this analysis also highlights the sizable diversity among Twitter users themselves. The median user tweets just twice each month, but a small cohort of extremely active Twitter users posts with much greater regularity. As a result, much of the content posted by Americans on Twitter reflects a small number of authors. The 10% of users who are most active in terms of tweeting are responsible for 80% of all tweets created by U.S. users.”
Most of the social media spin attacks generate from Twitter amplification, even if the original video or photos originated on a different social media platform. For instance, the Covington Catholic video started on Instagram, was picked up and amplifed on Twitter:
“Late on Friday, the account posted a minute-long video showing the now-iconic confrontation between a Native American elder and the high school students, with the caption, “This MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protester at the Indigenous Peoples March.”
That version of the video was viewed at least 2.5 million times and was retweeted at least 14,400 times, according to a cached version of the tweet seen by CNN Business.
The video shared by @2020fight did not show what preceded the confrontation between the Native American elder and the high school students.
The video had been posted earlier on Instagram by someone who was at the event, but it was @2020fight’s caption that helped frame the news cycle.”
Of course, the biggest Twitter “influencer” in the world is President Donald J. Trump and he knows it. Twitter gives him a direct path, bypassing the mainstream media gatekeepers, to tweet instantly. He uses his Twitter account to generate his own spin attacks and incite his followers, but he also disrupts or blows-up Dem/mainstream media spin attacks, often with a single tweet.
The main thing working against America actually having another “civil war” in the sense of actual combatants engaging in real war is this 10% of the American population on Twitter running 24/7 agitation propaganda (our domestic spin war) would have to put down their cell phones and get off their butts to make that happen…
I just don’t see that happening, although it seems prudent to expect more random loons getting incited and acting out and more of the silly mob street protest antics, where loudmouth political agitators spew from their soapboxes , while their “followers,” and especially their media enablers, rush to tweet out video highlights and hype the “crowd size”…
I suspect more blood would be spilled, as heads exploded from the mind-crushing stupidity, than from actual “war,” as America’s scorched earth spin war spewed into more virulent partisan divides. Spin war has real impacts for the American people being ruthlessly manipulated by agitation propaganda 24/7, but for the participants, well, many of them get noticed and gain a following to whom they can hawk books, elicit campaign donations, and become a blue check-mark worthy “influencer” on Twitter…
Last night on Twitter, I observed what appeared to me, another orchestrated Dem spin mob smear operation, very similar to the Covington Catholic kids and that Native American protester/Vet, Nathan Phillips viral video attack smearing the Covington Catholic boys as racists. This time the video and photos circulating on Twitter were of a white cadet at the Army-Navy football game, making a hand sign of what used to be the “Okay” hand sign, but is now hyped as being a “white power symbol.”
The hand sign was captured on a news report, as the cadet was right behind the reporter. The interesting part of this is how this liberal social media mob attack progressed in a matter of hours from some anonymous Twitter accounts launching the photos and video narrative, to a full-blown news event, with major news organizations putting out stories about this cadet and West Point and Annapolis announcing they are investigating “the incident.”
All of this stemmed from some leftist activists spinning up a video and still photos of that cadet and framing it as a racist incident.
One of the big “amplifiers” (the term the info war expert crowd uses) BrooklynDad_Defiant, who has some big name followers among his 353,000+ following, like Cory Booker, Donna Brazile, Carolyn Maloney, Van Jones, and Ari Melber, racked up 12,500 retweets of his version of this cadet incident:
As an American, As a Navy Dad, As a decent human being…
…you hate to see racist West Point cadets emboldened by the presence of the Racist-inChief at an #ArmyNavyGame to throw up the "White Power" sign on national TV.
And today several MSNBC mouthpieces were hyping this cadet story.
It only took a few hours for a liberal social media outrage spin effort to generate a media “scandal” and get officials at two service academies to bow down and launch investigations, all before anyone even talked to this poor cadet, who has now been publicly labeled a racist.
For me, the most serious issue in the entire 2016 scorched earth SPIN information war remains the corruption of top official U.S. intelligence and FBI decision-making based on politicized, spun information being fed to them by partisan sources. From following the 8 years of the Obama administration’s use and abuse of government information, from the IRS scandal weaponizing processes to target right-wing political groups to Clinton-connected lawyers feeding op dirt information into the DOJ, State Department, and FBI, there were many disturbing actions reeking of weaponizing government information for partisan purposes.
At the same time, negative Clinton campaign dirt on Trump was being fed into official Obama administration channels, the FBI, reportedly, had two open criminal investigation into the Clintons – one was Hillary’s email investigation and the other was multiple field office investigations into the Clinton Foundation on pay-to-play corruption.
At top levels of the Obama administration, it seems to me, they wanted to grasp at any wisps of dirt on Trump and build it into treasonous “Russian collusion” and at the same time, bury and dismiss real evidence of grossly negligent handling of highly classified information and Clinton Foundation corruption. The seeming two separate standards of justice disturbs me.
James Comey, former FBI director, to this day remains sketchy on explaining what he knew about the Steele dossier’s provenance. Likewise, his explanation of his decision making in recommending no charges in the Clinton email investigation, back in July 2016, makes no sense. Later still, with the DOJ IG report’s findings regarding the email investigation, Comey’s answers about the FBI leaking, for which the IG found Andrew McCabe, lacked candor and found Comey’s version more credible, don’t sit right with me.
Those McCabe leaks to the media were unauthorized and designed to counter leaks about the FBI investigation of Clinton Foundation pay-to-play corruption. McCabe leaking was initiated to silence leaks coming out of the FBI’s NY field office Those field office leaks dealt with the tens of thousands of Hillary State Dept. emails the FBI found on the Weiner family laptop, while investigating the Anthony Weiner texting scandal.
Comey’s actions juxtaposed to his explanations smell of deceit. He went along with the Clinton spin effort in July of 2016 to bury the email investigation and his clumsy effort of reopening that investigation and doing a quickie investigation of the Weiner laptop, was just an effort to quell the leaks coming out about the Clinton Foundation corruption and Weiner laptop. That quickie Weiner laptop investigation was just cover dressing for him to bury both FBI criminal investigations of the Clintons, and hopefully secure his position and standing with whom he believed would be his next boss – Hillary Clinton.
When he was fired, Comey led the media SPIN charge, by leaking FBI memos of notes (some reportedly containing classified information) that he typed up on FBI equipment, after his private meetings with President Trump. He sent these memos to a friend, who leaked them to the media. Later, after negative press about these memos, Comey declared that the friend, Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, was his attorney. This move seemed to be an attempt to tie a pretty bow on a stinking heap of corrupt Comey leaking, which was designed to create a media SPIN furor over Comey’s firing and create political pressure for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate President Trump and his campaign on “Russian collusion”.
However, it seems to me, that in understanding our domestic spin war timeline, we need to go back to its beginnings in the 90s, and keep referring to notes from then to now. Of course there’s Team Clinton vs Team GOP ( vast, right-wing conspiracy in Hillary’s view), but in the 2008 election Team Obama emerged too and while Team Obama and Team Clinton unite on most efforts to thwart Team GOP, on some others Team Obama tries to distance itself from Team Clinton.
In early 2016, it seems to me some of Team Obama at the top were all-in for Team Clinton, while others were less enthused and at various points with these two ongoing FBI criminal investigations of the Clintons, at the very top, President Obama and his inner-circle were debating whether to throw the Clintons to the FBI hands of justice and have Vice President, Joe Biden, enter the race or help the Clinton machine bury the FBI investigations.
I believe Bill Clinton directly pressured President Obama in 2015 to make the email scandal go away. I believe that by the summer of 2016 and the email scandal still lingering, Bill Clinton was livid and I believe that is why he took matters into his own hands and orchestrated the tarmac meeting with Loretta Lynch directly, to set in motion the “for appearances sake only” 4th of July weekend FBI interview of Hillary and the orchestrated Clinton machine spin to be the end of the email investigation.
Comey decided to place his future in the hands of Team Clinton and he went along with Lynch’s corrupting the process, by refusing to recuse herself after the tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton, while abdicating her prosecutorial duties to Comey. Nothing Comey said at that July press conference made sense – especially the part about how Hillary showed no intent to break the law. He waxed on about “intent”.
Timelines matter to me, when trying to understand events. Personal connections along those timelines help create a clearer picture, at least in my mind of the story. James Comey plays clueless on what he knows about the provenance of the Steele dossier. He also plays clueless on the provenance of the Clinton private server.
Bill Clinton had that server set up in their home in the summer of 2008, after Hillary suspended her 2008 campaign.
At the moment the Attorney General is putting together a team to look at the provenance of the Trump-Russia investigation.
I haven’t sorted out the Mueller report findings in my head yet and am still reading it and mulling over the information.
A line in McCarthy’s excellent piece stuck out at me, because it prodded something that’s been missing in the provenance of the Clinton email investigation too and it explains that “intent” issue James Comey says was absent.
Interesting: “Downer has a history with the Clintons that includes arranging a $25 million donation to the Clinton Foundation in 2006, when he was Australia’s foreign minister and then-senator Hillary Clinton was the favorite to become U.S. president in 2008.”
FBI Used False Premise to Open Trump-Russia Investigation | National Review https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/05/fbi-trump-russia-investigation-george-papadopoulos/…
Here’s an interesting Clinton Foundation fact too, from the FBI Notes released in September of 2016. Justin Cooper, Bill Clinton’s aide/IT guy, told the FBI Bill Clinton’s personal email server was set up around June 2008.
She couldn’t do political fundraising as Sec of State. She merged her State Dept business with the Clinton Foundation business on the family personal email server. #DefinitelyEasierToUseOneDeviceIndeed
Today, President Trump took to Twitter retweeting some far-right loon, who was banned from facebook, tweeting out a message for Kim Jong Un and praising Putin. The Kim Jong Un tweet rightfully evoked outrage and is disgraceful coming from a U.S. president:
Anything in this very interesting world is possible, but I believe that Kim Jong Un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do nothing to interfere or end it. He also knows that I am with him & does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!
9:42 AM – 4 May 2019
Quite a Saturday morning for a president who should be studying serious US policy issues and actions. Instead, he was on Twitter trying to be the center of the news cycle and generating negative reactions from the mainstream media and Left. He never learns and he never actually bothers to focus on anything other than promoting himself on social media and TV.
With President Trump, it’s always about his “popularity” and promoting his reality TV show presidency. Seriously, he brags about how many “followers” he has on Twitter and perhaps, in the future, looking back on this time in our history, Trump’s ascent to the highest office in the land will serve as a cautionary tale on the dangers of social media and Reality TV fame.
For the record, my Twitter following was at 51 this morning, so I’m destined to be unpopular and a voice in the wilderness on social media… which suits me fine. Likewise, this blog is my lost in woods place where I just sit and write my observations. I thank everyone, who stops by. Comments, even critical ones, are welcome (no profanity and name-calling, please).
After tweeting too much myself last night and this morning about the Clinton corruption, I decided it’s time to actually sit down and read through more of the Mueller report and take notes, like I did when reading through all of the released FBI Notes in 2016 on the Clinton email investigation.
I have been reading about Soviet propaganda since 1980, when I first became interested in this topic. I had developed an interest in all things Russian in high school, having the luck to have a high school German teacher, who was a retired Army translator. He convinced the school administration to add Russian to our school’s foreign language offerings. I studied German for 4 years and Russian for two years, but have no knack for foreign languages. Spending my adult life around the Army and being a frequent Army post library patron, I often happened upon Soviet-themed books. My education is piecemeal at best and I am not an expert on anything, but I do know how to bake some pretty good cookies, lol.
Volume I of the Mueller report is filled with fascinating bits of information, but every time I see a redacted box labeled “Investigative Technique”, I experience a sense of disappointment, like I am deprived of the most fascinating aspect of this investigation. Although, truth be told, I am totally clueless on technology and most of the cyber lingo, so probably wouldn’t understand most of those details anyway.
Took a photo of this report sitting it on my kids’ old rocking chair, where I have other books stacked. The book, Legionary, which shows in the photo above the 9/11 Commission Report is one of my favorites – a sort of tongue -in-cheek “unofficial” Roman Soldier’s manual, filled with an amazing array of trivia and historical tidbits. Page 6 has the Roman phrase, “conscribe te militem in legionibus. pervagare orbem terrarum. inveni terras externas. cognosce miros peregrinos. eviscera eos.” (hope I copied that correctly) The translation is, “Join the legions, see the world, travel to foreign parts, meet interesting and exotic people, and disembowel them. I laughed out loud when I read that and it brought home to me that there is nothing new in the world As a young soldier in 1980, I saw a poster that had a similar sentiment that is typical soldiers’ dark humor. When I read this line, well, I was hooked.
Another odd habit of mine started in my early teens when, in a stack of hand-me-down paperbacks from my oldest sister, I acquired a beat-up copy of the Warren Commission Report. At this point in my life, after decades of pouring through “government reports”, I face new reports with dread, not eagerness to learn some fascinating tidbits. Reading through the Mueller report is going to take me some time, as I have only read a few pages at a time and am still in Volume I.
This much I have gleaned Trump and his son, Don Jr. are not merely innocent victims of the Clinton smear campaign (which was real). They were active players, embracing the Clinton spin and smear techniques, while trying to build their own smear merchant network of connections and media friends. Trump operated the same sort of sleazy gutter politics as the Clintons. He was massively under resourced compared to the deep-pockets of big donors the Clintons have, but he benefited from the Clintons’ own sleazy primary strategy (here and here) to get their media friends to promote the most extreme GOP candidates, in hopes of being able to employ Bill Clinton’s famous triangulation strategy. Trump received billions of dollars in free media during the GOP primary, which elevated his profile and created the myth that Trump was a “winner”.
However, the Mueller report, even in Volume I, which the media and Dems, pushing fevered impeachment dreams, skipped over in their rush to push obstruction of justice, indicates that Don Jr. was openly encouraging contacts with Wikileaks. He was not a victim. Wikileaks direct messaged Don. Jr. (page 60) and Don Jr. avidly direct messaged Wikileaks back seeking dirt on Hillary. I stick to my original assessment since 2015 – Trump and Hillary are the same corrupt, mendacious, ruthless animal. They will say or do anything to acquire prestige and power. Neither is morally fit to be president.
I regret tweeting so much last night and this morning, but at least my time on Twitter wasn’t a total waste. I started another plastic canvas needlepoint tissue box cover and managed to get one side done (photo at the top) and started the 2nd side. I stitched as I followed Twitter. This pattern is called In-the-Pink Zinnias, from an old plastic canvas leaflet:
Busy tweeting this morning, with so much to comment about. NBC reported on the email account linked to propelling the Covington boys and the Native American man incident to go viral. Buried down at paragraph 11, there’s this bit of information:
“On Wednesday afternoon, @2020fight deleted her Twitter account, seemingly after Twitter lifted her suspension. (Suspended accounts cannot be deleted.)”
Why on earth would Twitter lift the suspension on this account at the center of the controversy? If the account was actually an account in the San Francisco bay area, was it connected with some partisan political operation? Shouldn’t the intent be to preserve an account with so many questions about it and even Democratic Senator Warner asking Twitter for more information about that account yesterday?. Check out paragraph 2, which exonerates the account holder of any malign intentions:
“But it appears that the account, @2020fight, was run not by a foreign operative trying to fan America’s political divisions but rather by a woman who described herself as a San Francisco Bay Area teacher and advocated liberal causes — and, to all appearances, did not expect to find herself at the center of a media firestorm.”
If the video wasn’t the result of foreign info operators, was it the result of domestic partisan info operators? Starting to smell like the Dems corrupt Moore Alabama type operations might be a widespread Dem social media operation.
So, many questions…
Added Comment: January 25, 2019, 11:44 am, The vague weasel words the media uses always cause my spin antennae to twitch. In the 2nd paragraph, it begins, “but it appears” and ends with “and, to all appearances”. No one states whether those conducting the investigation into the account had any conversation or communication with the account holder(s).
The account triggered suspicions, because of the profile stating it was a CA school teacher, but the profile picture was a Brazilian blogger. The CNN article quoted Rob McDonagh, an assistant editor at Storyful:
“McDonagh said he found the account suspicious due to its “high follower count, highly polarized and yet inconsistent political messaging, the unusually high rate of tweets, and the use of someone else’s image in the profile photo.””
What exactly does “highly polarized and yet inconsistent political messaging,” mean? Was it political messaging playing to (targeting) different political factions? So, we don’t know what the messaging in the deleted account, with a very high rate of tweets, which was crucial to propelling the Covington student/Nathan Phillips video to go viral, actually contained. We need more information about what McDonagh meant by “inconsistent political messaging”.
“We may never know exactly how SPIN info war evolved or who all was involved in developing the techniques. We may never know if hostile foreign intelligence was involved at its inception, but we assuredly know, with the escalated Russian cyber attacks and online troll activities, that they are definitely involved now.”
Thought from my previous blog post, About Information Voids
The weekend viral story of a confrontation of Native American activist and some Catholic high school boys wearing MAGA hats seemed to charge ahead of the Buzzfeed story claiming President Trump told Michael Cohen to lie in testimony to Congress.
According to CNN, the good news is that Rob McDonagh, an assistant editor at Storyful, an online content vetting service, was monitoring Twitter activity and noticed a suspicious account and Twitter investigated and suspended the account:
“The account claimed to belong to a California schoolteacher. Its profile photo was not of a schoolteacher, but of a blogger based in Brazil, CNN Business found. Twitter suspended the account soon after CNN Business asked about it.
The account, with the username @2020fight, was set up in December 2016 and appeared to be the tweets of a woman named Talia living in California. “Teacher & Advocate. Fighting for 2020,” its Twitter bio read. Since the beginning of this year, the account had tweeted on average 130 times a day and had more than 40,000 followers.
Late on Friday, the account posted a minute-long video showing the now-iconic confrontation between a Native American elder and the high school students, with the caption, “This MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protester at the Indigenous Peoples March.”
That version of the video was viewed at least 2.5 million times and was retweeted at least 14,400 times, according to a cached version of the tweet seen by CNN Business.”
The CNN report also quotes Molly McKew, an information warfare researcher (anti-Trumper), even though she admitted she saw the tweet and retweeted it on Saturday, claiming, “she later realized that a network of anonymous accounts were working to amplify the video.”
I wonder if we have people in our national security apparatus paying close attention to this stuff or if America is at the mercy of random civilian cyber peeps to catch this stuff?
Added thought: I’ve wondered for a long time if some of these short-lived viral stories making Americans look too dumb to exist, that burst onto social media, create mass overreaction, and garner news notice, then disappear quickly are the work of hostile foreign information operations. Seeing how this account plucked the video from an Instagram posting and then amplified on Twitter made me think about this again. An example of what I mean, are stories like that viral Teens Eating Tide Pods story. Just one more thing I will continue to ponder about.
Update: January 22, 2019, 5:54 PM
The CNN report cited above was updated this afternoon.
“The source familiar with Twitter’s investigation told CNN Business the company’s initial findings suggested the account was run from the US, but said it can be difficult to determine an account owner’s actual location.
Twitter users can try to mask their true location using services like virtual private networks, which can allow users to appear as if they are in a different country.
CNN Business has not independently determined where this account was being run from.”
CNN Business also tried to reach out to the account holder(s) to inquire about the account, but was blocked by the account holder(s). So, basically, they don’t know who the account really belongs to yet.
President Trump cabinet meeting/Reality Presidency Show season premiere today garnered huge media coverage. Numerous comments the president made raised eyebrows and evoked critical media commentary, but the thing that struck me about this Trump show is it was a boring rerun of every other Trump show, when he’s trying to talk his way past some deepening controversy.
Trump really is a one-trick pony repeating the same media gimmicks over and over.
Today was a boring rerun of Trump’s staged attacks against his enemies. It’s just like his May 31, 2016 press conference he staged to silence the controversy over the funds from his January 2016 debate temper tantrum, where he staged a vet fundraiser rally. By the Spring of 2016, media questions started swirling about which veterans groups received funds from that January fundraiser and exactly how much money was raised:
Today, Trump repeated this same press conference, except he used his cabinet as stage props instead of some veterans, who support him.
“The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December. The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a “sucker” in world affairs all defined his presidency down.
It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not. When he won the election, I hoped he would rise to the occasion. His early appointments of Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Nikki Haley, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster, Kelly and Mattis were encouraging. But, on balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.”
This op-ed added to the growing criticisms of Trump’s handling of announcing a Syria pull-out via a tweet, without even informing our allies or his own national security team about the decision first. The bad press escalated with General Mattis’ resignation as Secretary of Defense, followed by Trump’s spiteful announcement he was moving up Mattis’ departure.
As criticism over both Trump’s Syria decision and how he went about it escalated, the president began ramping up his mean tweeting in recent days. He retaliated over the weekend when General McChrystal answered a reporter’s question about whether he would ever serve in the Trump presidency and whether he believes the president is immoral. McChrystal, I believe, answered the questions honestly. In typical Trump fashion, Trump decided to wage the only strategy he knows – a vicious divide and conquer attack.
We now have a POTUS committed to playing American generals against each other and even more disturbing, publicly undercutting top retired generals to curry favor with the troops. He is undercutting confidence in the US military and its top leaders, all to win spin cycles…
The truth is these retired generals should tread very cautiously criticizing the President and avoid it. Engaging in public spin attacks back and forth with Trump will only damage military morale and could easily begin to damage confidence in America’s top military leadership. If these retired generals or former Trump administration officials feel strongly about Trump’s competency, conduct in office and handling of national security matters, the proper way to air that would be to testify to Congress, under oath.
The real big picture threat is America’s adversaries are watching the Trump Reality Presidency Show and they understand that Trump’s shallow narcissism makes him so easy to manipulate. Since Erdogan talked Trump into pulling out of Syria, both Kim Jong Un and Putin made public overtures to Trump about more meetings. They obviously feel confident they can easily play Trump again. All it takes is stroking Trump’s ego, by praising him as a strong leader. How much Trump will sell America down the river remains to be seen, but for a reality check, Trump doesn’t bother with facts or details.
The media latched onto a Trump comment in his presser that speaks to Trump’s colossal ignorance about American foreign policy and history. Trump touted the Soviet view on their invasion of Afghanistan, not the Reagan foreign policy view. It was a surreal comment coming from a sitting American president:
Trump: “The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia.” This is simply not true. The Soviet Union ventured into Afghanistan as part of its effort to prop up communism abroad, not because terrorists were striking the Soviet homeland.
Eli Stokols added,
Aaron BlakeVerified account@AaronBlake
Trump’s bizarre history lesson on the Soviet Union, Russia and Afghanistan https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/02/trumps-bizarre-history-lesson-soviet-union-russia-afghanistan/…
5:10 PM – 2 Jan 2019
I also commented on a tweet by a top Trump Spin Commando this afternoon and added a few comments beyond that:
Any Republican who sticks his head up to rally opposition or a GOP insurgency against Trump will quickly be knocked out by Trump’s Spin Commandos. To wage a real insurgency against Trump would require careful planning & a comprehensive strategy to neutralize Trump’s Spin forces.
Kurt SchlichterVerified account@KurtSchlichter
This is cliche ridden hash. Romney is trying to help his clique within the elite retake their position as the “conservative leadership” even though we fired those failures after…
When Repubs respond to Trump outrages, they are playing into Trump’s spin game – that just feeds Trump and his Spin Commandos more free ammo. They wage smear campaign, mock, belittle… marginalize these attacks on Trump quickly. The real stakes are winning hearts and minds.
Those Repubs against Trump would be smarter to ignore Trump’s outrages as much as possible, and use their public platforms to quietly work to pull Americans away from extreme partisanship, toward a saner middle ground.
Retired generals are perfectly situated to be apolitical public leaders. They could work hard to unify Americans around core American principles, good citizenship, and treating everyone with respect.
Trump knows only one strategy – a vicious divide and conquer character assassination strategy. His minions rant about the horrific smear campaign waged against Brett Kavanaugh and, yes, it was, vile, but the truth is Trump and his Spin Commandos wage the same exact type of attacks from the gutter, as the Clinton/Dem smear merchants do.
The Dems/mainstream media have been throwing every type of smear against Trump since late 2015 and Trump is still standing, his followers mostly don’t even listen to most of these attacks anymore. Trump and his minions real threat is not from Democrats or the mainstream media, it’s from people Trump’s followers might admire – like a conservative or especially retired generals. That’s why Trump staged this phony cabinet meeting presser and that’s why the long knives came out for Mitt Romney and General Mattis.
Romney’s op-ed spoke to traditional values Trump’s followers used to espouse and General Mattis is a dedicated Marine, who devoted decades to keeping America safe. Trump recognized their threat and attacked.