Thursday, May 24, 2018

Cartoon of the Day

 

Name That Tune: The Singers Are on Their Way!

They didn't just want Hillary to win:  They needed Hillary to win!

By Rich Kozlovich

On May 23rd, 2918 Andrew West posted an article "Espionage Expert James Clapper Has BAD NEWS For Barack Obama!, saying:
"There has been quite a bit of talk about former President Barack Obama this week, which is never something that we suggest you endure. At least in this case, we’ve been conjuring the democratic deity in order to expose his vicious political chicanery."
He went on to state what should have been obvious to the most casual observer, unless you're a Democrat, a Hillaryophile or a delusional leftist:
"As we have often discovered with the deceptive and devious democrats, Barack Obama’s legacy took very little time to find tarnish after he finally slithered out of office."
 There's one thing that's become obvious as the author notes:
"The 44th President was well entrenched within the Clinton Crime Family’s inner circle, and some of the behavior that is now coming to light bears a striking resemblance to the sorts of things we’ve discovered about the democratic diva herself in the Trump Era.
And now the final curtain is going to be drawn:
The semantic gymnastics are now officially over.  There was a spy in the Trump campaign, placed there by the Obama administration.  Where on earth do we go from here?" To jail, that’s where.
It was clear to me from the beginning that Mueller's investigation - no matter how he may have corrupted it - was going to backfire on the Democrats - all in order to support a corrupt, egocentric, delusional lunatic.  To which Democrat am I referring?  Take your pick, any in the leadership of the Party of Treason would do, but in this case it's Hillary.

I've also said the time would come when the "little" people involved in all of this would find themselves facing serious jail time for their activities at the behest of those in upper ranks of the Obama administration.  When that happens, and it's starting, all of a sudden they will find harmony with people like Joe Valachi, Jimmy "the weasel" Fratianno, and Sammy "the Bull" Gravano, who tuned on the Teflon Don, John Gotti.  All turned on their Mafia bosses in spite of their Oath of Omerta - the Mafia's Code of Silence, and it turned out there was no Teflon strong enough that could protect Gotti or any of the rest of them.

When jail looms ahead for underlings - guess what?  The bosses go down because the penalties are so severe it become "every man for himself" situation, and the first to talk gets off lightly and can even escape prison entirely. 

Make no mistake about this - prison is tough on mobsters, ask Jimmy Hoffa.  He spent his life among tough guys, he spent his life beating up tough guys and he would have done anything to get out of prison.  What happens when agents for the IRS, the FBI, or the CIA go to prison?  What happens when these white collar lower echelon types go to prison?  It's not just tough on them - it's a nightmare - and they know it!  They'll sing!

The mobsters who turned on their bosses had been benefiting economically for decades with their mob connections and yet they chose to sing to save themselves.  But how have these government lackeys benefited?  Not much as far as I can see.  Certainly not as much as Hillary, Obama and their circle of cutthroats, and now the singers will be on their way.  It's just a matter of picking the time and the tune! Or maybe a different Attorney General.  And I keep wondering why this isn't worthy of a RICO indictment.  RICO is what killed the mob bosses, and it's clear that at the very least the Clintons benefited enormously through their foundation and government connections, which could only be considered an organized criminal activity by any reasonable standard. 

The nation can thank Hillary for all of this.  If she and her happy band of lunatics hadn't demanded an investigation claiming the only reason Trump was elected  was the result of Russian interference none of this may have ever come to light.  Now as Mueller stumbles down his path of collusion with the Democrats in his investigation it's all becoming a nightmare for them, not Trump.  It will be interesting to see if Mueller ends up in jail. It will be interesting to see if Comey turns on all of them to avoid prison.  It will really be interesting to see how Mueller, Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Susan Rice, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, Lois Lerner and a plethora of underlings we know nothing about will spin their parts in all of this.  It will be interesting to see who they're willing to sacrifice to save themselves.   It will be interesting to see if a former past President of the United States is convicted for his support of what must be considered criminal activities. 

But no matter what, they all have to know the singers are on their way!  


Lefty Anti-Semitism is a Serious Problem With a Long History

When D.C. Councilmember Trayon White came under fire for blaming Jews for controlling the weather, dumping a Holocaust Museum tour and donating to an anti-Semitic Nation of Islam event, the loudest voice in his defense came once again from the Working Families Party. The WFP is a spinoff of ACORN.

Rafael Shimunov, the WFP’s Creative Director, claimed that each exhibit of the Holocaust Museum was a “new trap” as the "under educated Black man was followed by rich white people waiting for him to say something offensive." Shimunov, a member of the anti-Israel hate group If Not Now, had previously also defended Keith Ellison and Linda Sarsour over their own anti-Semitic comments and history.

White isn't an "under educated Black man" victimized by the Holocaust Museum's exhibit “trap.” He has an MA in Public Administration and a BA in Business Administration. He’s a bigot. Not a victim.

But why would a senior figure in the WFP waste his time defending Trayon White’s anti-Semitism?

Before Trayon White made headlines for his bizarre claims of Jewish weather control, he had been backed by lefty activist groups that are political allies of the WFP. White had been endorsed by D.C. for Democracy along with other anti-incumbent insurgents. He also received the backing of Jews United for Justice. There aren’t a whole lot of Jews in Trayon’s district, but, despite its name, JUFJ isn’t really a Jewish group. Like the WFP, it’s a Soros organization. And it kept trying to cover for Trayon.

But this sort of thing keeps happening to the Working Families Party.

Laurie Cumbo, a WFP endorsed New York City Council candidate, explained black anti-Semitic violence by claiming that Jews with "bags of money" were trying to force black people out.

"We don’t want to ruin the lives of young people who are too young to understand," she said, of the attackers.

In early April, New York State Assemblywoman Diana Richardson allegedly made some nasty remarks about Jews. Richardson was the WFP's candidate. And its first big State Assembly win. The Jewish Press called on Richardson to resign. And I reached out to figures within the WFP to ask them to condemn her bigotry. There was no response. The WFP doesn’t condemn anti-Semitism. Instead it defends it.

Linda Sarsour had praised Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. She even defended Farrakhan against accusations of anti-Semitism from, what she called, the “Jewish media.” Her efforts to marginalize Jews, celebrating stone throwing against Jews and BDS activism were met with Jewish protests. Four top WFP officials, Dan Cantor, its National Director, Joe Dinkin, its National Communications Director, and Bill Lipton, its New York State Director, signed a letter defending her.

Cantor and the WFP have also been enthusiastic proponents of Keith Ellison even though the longtime former Nation of Islam member had a very ugly history of anti-Semitism. The Minnesota Daily opinion editor, Michael Olenick, had even described Ellison’s writing as "a genuine threat to the long-term safety and well-being of the Jewish people." But that wasn’t a problem for the Working Families Party.

And these incidents keep popping up around the WFP and its candidates.

Some years ago one of the WFP’s field directors had to be fired from a state campaign over social media ugliness aimed at Israel. Next month, the Party pulled its support for the candidate’s campaign.

The WFP operates on the margins of the far left. And its candidates, like Cynthia Nixon, its pick for New York governor, who signed a BDS petition by the anti-Israel JVP hate group, tend to be on the anti-Israel side of the aisle. Bill Lipton’s social media and Rafael Shimunov’s activism make it rather clear that top figures in the radical group share the left’s traditional hostility to the Jewish State.

But the cases of Trayon White, Cumbo and Richardson show a comfort level with anti-Semitic bigotry in the black community that has nothing to do with Israel. Even Keith Ellison’s old history of defending anti-Semitism by Khalid Abdul Muhammed (“that old no-good Jew, that old imposter Jew, that old hooked-nose, bagel-eating, lox-eating… just crawled out of the caves and hills of Europe, so-called damn Jew”) to Joanne Jackson ("Jews are among the most racist white people I know") had nothing to do with Israel.

Women’s March leaders like Tamika Mallory have tried to change the topic from anti-Semitism to Israel. But Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism isn’t motivated by Israel. The Nation of Islam predates the rebirth of the Jewish State. The stereotypes that Cumbo, White and Richardson are drawing on are even older.

And the left has a long, ugly history of trafficking in those stereotypes.

"What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. Money is the jealous god of Israel, in the face of which no other god may exist," Karl Marx ranted.

Like some of the WFPers, Marx had Jewish ancestors, but that didn’t interfere with his anti-Semitism.

The same idea was put forward by Pierre Leroux, who had coined the term ‘Socialism’, "When we speak of Jews, we mean the Jewish spirit, the spirit of profit, of lucre, of gain, the spirit of commerce."

Charles Fourier coined the term, "feminism". "The Jewish nation is not civilized," he wrote. "It devotes itself exclusively to traffic, to usury, and to mercantile depravity."

"Every government having regard to good morals ought to repress the Jews," he demanded.

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the father of anarchism, made him seem downright benevolent. "The Jew is the enemy of the human race. One must send this race back to Asia or exterminate it.”

It’s not hard to see how the racial nationalism and socialism of the Nazis emerged. And it’s equally easy to see the same political elements at work among some of the WFP’s anti-Semitic allies.

The Working Families Party doesn’t have an anti-Semitism problem because of Israel. Neither does Jeremy Corbyn in the UK. The Labour Party’s ugly history of anti-Semitism goes back to its roots in the National Socialist Party and Henry Hyndman. "The attack upon the Jews is a convenient cover for a more direct attack at an early date upon the great landlords and Christian capitalists," the founder of England’s first Socialist political party had urged. Anti-Semitism is a class warfare political distraction.

When Rafael Shimunov defends anti-Semitism by talking about “rich white people”, it’s hard not to hear the historical echoes of the way that the left has always used class warfare to justify the hatred of Jews.

The conspiracy theories, Jews controlling the weather, may be goofier than ever, but Trayon White had fastened on a classic anti-Semitic obsession of the left. It’s the very same one that touched off the latest round of condemnations of Corbyn’s anti-Semitism in the UK. That’s not a coincidence. It’s a pattern.

The left knows that class warfare sells better when packaged with anti-Semitism. Israel is just an excuse. Using Jews as economic scapegoats appeals to the petty tribal bigotries of the districts that the WFP is after. The WFP tweets a lot about the Nazis even while it borrows their politics of racial resentment.

And that’s why the Working Families Party has an anti-Semitism problem.


Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the following link.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.


Rise of the Rest in Appalachia

Salena Zito May 23, 2018

PIKEVILLE, Ky. -- On Election Day 2016, Jonathan Webb found himself on a lavish cruise liner with America's elite, gliding along the Atlantic outside of Miami. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, was there, and so were Quentin Tarantino, Erin Brockovich, TV legend Norman Lear and singer will.i.am. Celebrity chefs were stationed at different eateries; yoga gurus offered spiritual talks and meditations.

Webb, who was working with the Obama White House at the time, was used to being in rarefied company. But still, he found the experience surreal -- and it was about to get even weirder. On TV screens around the ship, election results started pouring in. Within hours, it was clear that Hillary Clinton had lost and Donald Trump would be the next president of the United States.

"People are crying all over the place. I mean, they're just crying everywhere and I'm kinda just standing around," Webb recalled. "I think everybody was a little bit surprised, but for me it was like, this is not a surprise, guys.".........To Read More.....

Crapweasel of the Week: Educrat Arne Duncan

Michelle Malkin May 23, 2018

Educrat (ED-yoo-krat) noun, usually pejorative. A government school official or administrator whose primary function is to spend tax dollars telling other parents what to do with their children.   Beltway education bureaucrats abhor families who choose to keep their kids out of public schools -- unless it's to grandstand over gun control.  Behold Arne Duncan, longtime pal of Barack Obama and former U.S. Department of Education secretary, who called last weekend for parents nationwide to withdraw students from classes "until gun laws (are) changed to keep them safe."..........Note that newly minted parents' rights advocate Arne Duncan never once advocated boycotting Chicago public schools, which he ran for eight years, for their abject failure to quell rampant school violence............To Read More.....

 

What California Is Now Offering Illegals Should Make Taxpayers Furious

This is outrageous.



The state of California is a hotbed for progressive thinking and the implementation of liberal policies, many of which have left the state economically and socially devastated, yet the folks living there refuse to vote for any other agenda to be governed by.

One of the most controversial issues facing the state is that of immigration, particularly the whole “sanctuary city” policy that enables many local governments to not cooperate with federal immigration authorities when it comes to dealing with those in the country illegally. Well, that is apparently just the tip of the iceberg. Now the state is poised to become one of the first in the country to offer illegal immigrants full health coverage benefits.........To Read More.....

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Cartoon of the Day

Peter Zeihan on Geopolitics

 
This Is How the World Ends, Part I


by Peter Zeihan, Melissa Taylor, and Michael N. Nayebi-Oskoui
 
I like to say that I sell context. It’s all about how seemingly disparate things like age structures and trade patterns and political evolutions and technological advances interact. In any such dynamic system there are winners and losers. My concern is that the global system itself now faces a moment of truth in which the countries of the world, first and foremost the United States, will fail to rise to the occasion. Which is a nice way of saying that what I’m really seeing – what I’m really selling – is the end of the world.

This world system was put into place 70 years ago. The core of the international system during the Cold War was the Americans’ support of the global trade and security order. The Americans agreed to provide global and regional security to their allies in exchange for deference on security matters. When issues of economic import rose to prominence, the Americans tended to give way. When issues of strategic import rose to prominence, the Americans tended to get their way because that was the deal.

This arrangement froze geopolitics as previously independent countries were pulled into a massive, interconnected system because of not only America’s overwhelming economic and military power, but also the power of the alliance structure it controlled. This was such a powerful force that it even pulled in America’s enemies one-by-one and allowed them to rise, fueled on exports. In the process, the US made the global economy dependent on the relatively free flow of goods, people, and money while also alleviating the need for the large militaries that defined the first half of the 20
th Century. In other words, the US and its alliance shifted every global system that mattered for literally every country in the world.

Everyone except the US, which managed throughout this to remain isolated economically. It maintains its own military, largely produces what it needs (though it imports a lot of what it wants) and remains the largest economy in the world. With the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, just as the world began to truly bet their economies on the American plan, the American’s need for this incredibly expensive system faded. It’s taken the US awhile, but it finally noticed.

There is no replacement for US power, economic or military. “Europe” as a concept, China, and Russia are all in existential struggles and each of them is likely to lose. There is no alternate reserve currency. There is no one who can react to any event anywhere in the world like the US can. The Americans are leaving a power vacuum and we know what happens in power vacuums.

I’ve been speaking and writing about this approaching “end” for the better part of the past decade. One of the fun things – and incidentally, one of the things that helps keep me sane – is that it is all very abstract. I can blithely note that wars will happen, that supply chains will break down, that the lights will go out, that famine is an inevitability, but so long as the timeframes are fuzzy and the locations are over the horizon it is easy to speak and write with a degree of detachment. This doesn’t affect me, and certainly not right now.

I think/fear that I’m about to lose that insulation. The end is pretty god-damn nigh. Exactly how this plays out is still very much up in the air. The blow by blow will matter immensely in the short and even medium term. So I’m going to lay out the most recent big events that seem to be giving shape to the Disorder over the course of several newsletters. Event 1: The United States withdraws from the Iran nuclear deal (May 8)

The Obama administration did not sign the U.S. up to the nuclear deal because it thought Iran would suddenly become an upstanding member of the international community. After decades of being the region’s arbiter, the American security apparatus in specific and the American public in general wanted to get out of the region. That meant the White House needed to make a choice. 
 
Option one was to appoint a “winner.” This “winner” would patrol the region, keep the local powers in line, and in general do what the Americans had done: keep the region as stable and static as possible.

The Obama team didn’t like the candidates. Iran was out as a matter of principle. Saudi Arabia didn’t field a meaningful army, much less a navy. Israel was potent, but small, and the religious angle meant it could never lead the region. Turkey may have been capable, but it had unrelated interests in Europe and the Caucasus and the Mediterranean, and so could never concentrate its efforts on such a gangly region like the Middle East.

Even then, there was no guarantee that any “winner” would look out for American interests unless a large American military presence remained… which would defeat the point of a sustained withdrawal. And the last thing Washington wanted was to cause the emergence of a new regional hegemon that was not consistently pro-American.

That left option two: establish a regional balance of power so the region would self-regulate. This balance, ultimately, is what the nuclear deal sought to achieve: partially rehabilitate Iran, partially reintroduce it into the international system so that Iran could counter – and be countered by – the other regional players. In doing so – or so the theory goes – the region’s wars will be many, but limited.

The key selling point of the balance-of-power option was that the Middle East has so many competing centers of power that no single country would ever be able to gain a significant, long-term advantage. That would keep any of the (many) expected battles bottled up within the region. It sounds a bit cruel, but the ongoing civil wars in Syria and Yemen are good examples of the balance-of-power strategy working because those conflicts keep the region’s powers at one another’s throats.

Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal does two things. First, it wrecks the balance-of-power strategy by gutting the possibilities of the region’s most active player: Iran. The resurrection of global financial sanctions on Iran will – at a minimum – halve the country’s export earnings by year’s end. This means the Americans will need a new strategy for the region. At present, the Trump administration hasn’t offered anything as to what that might be. But that is an issue for another day.

From my point of view, the second outcome of the withdrawal is far more important. The old/new sanctions on Iran uncaps what has traditionally been the Americans’ most potent economic weapon: secondary sanctions.

Secondary sanctions are not something the Americans have ever used often or liberally. They present would-be sanctions busters with a choice: do business with the sanctioned country (in this case, Iran) or do business with the United States. Since the Iranian market is roughly 1% the size of the American market, there may be a bit of whining but for most firms that’s not all that difficult a decision. And that’s before you consider the long-term demographics of the world’s major economies.

What is truly different this time around is the presence of some institutional infrastructure the Obama administration set up a few years back to force the Iranians to negotiate the nuclear deal in the first place. Via an exhausting series of bilateral negotiations, the Obama team got a good hard grip on something called SWIFT, a system for managing financial transfers between various players in the international space. They used this newfound power to apply secondary sanctions to anything that touched the U.S. dollar. Since the U.S. dollar is the only global currency of exchange (the euro position has been shrinking for years, and even the Chinese yuan has been backpedaling of late) the end result was to cut any sanctions-busters out of pretty much all international trade, even if those sanctions-busters have no direct exposure to the American market.

I think the Trump administration fully understands just how powerful of a tool it just picked up, and that tool is perfect for the job of pretty much everything else on the administration’s international agenda.

 
BOOK PETER FOR YOUR NEXT EVENT
BUY A SIGNED COPY OF ABSENT SUPERPOWER
VISIT THE ARCHIVES TO RE-READ AND SHARE

Twitter



 Up next: Europe Guts Itself.
 

Now’s the Time to Restore Integrity to EPA Regulatory Science

Calvin Beisner May 22, 2018

For decades the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has gotten away with creating regulations that lack sound scientific basis, costing Americans hundreds of billions of dollars without solid evidence that those costs were justified.

It’s done this in two ways.

Sometimes it’s simply thrown out scientific results and regulated to satisfy a political pressure group. That was largely the case when in 1972, contrary to its own scientific findings but under heavy pressure from environmentalists, it banned the use of DDT, the most effective, least expensive, safe pesticide by which to control or eradicate disease-carrying insects like mosquitos and lice.......To Read More....

Instead of Curing Cancer and Acne, Rattlesnake Pills Give You Salmonella

By Alex Berezow — May 3, 2018 @ American Council on Science and Health
 
One time when I was a little kid, our family visited Arizona. We went to a restaurant somewhere out in the desert that served fried rattlesnake. As you probably guessed, it tastes like chicken.
Rattlesnake meat is perfectly fine to consume. However, snakes and other reptiles, as well as amphibians, can carry Salmonella. That's why it's important for people to wash their hands after handling pet reptiles... or to cook them properly if you plan on eating them. The CDC reports on a person in Kansas who found that out the hard way.

Some people like to take "rattlesnake pills." This dietary supplement, which according to the CDC contains "dehydrated and pulverized rattlesnake meat," is not approved by the FDA. Despite this, (literally) snake oil salesmen market the pills as cure-alls for everything from acne to cancer to HIV. Of course, you can find rattlesnake pills in any location that peddles alternative medicine and other "natural cures."

The Kansas patient recalls traveling to the State of Chihuahua in Mexico, where he purchased and consumed what he believed to be homemade rattlesnake pills. Consider the number of serious judgment errors that went into this decision:
  1. The patient went to Chihuahua, a region that is currently under a level 3 travel warning by the U.S. State Department due to violent crime and gangs. (A level 3 warning means people should "reconsider" traveling there; level 4 means people should not go at all.)
  2. He purchased rattlesnake pills, which he wrongly believes confer some sort of miraculous health benefit.
  3. He purchased homemade pills, because the best medicine is made in somebody's basement.
  4. He ate them. Not just one, but five. (If one is healthy, five must be better, right?)
As the patient found out, there's actually nothing magical about a rattlesnake. Just because rattlesnakes are tough and cool doesn't mean that you'll be tough and cool if you eat them. Instead, you might just be a dope.

Source: Bottichio L, Webb LM, Leos G, Tolar B, Dowell N, Basler C. "Notes from the Field: Salmonella Oranienburg Infection Linked to Consumption of Rattlesnake Pills — Kansas and Texas, 2017." MMWR 67 (17): 502-503. DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6717a4.

Bombshell: More Obama admin spies attempted to insert selves into Trump campaign

"I will tell you, when we finally find out the truth about this, director Clapper and the rest of them are going to be wearing some orange suits."

By Thomas Lifson May 22, 2018

Last night, Michael Caputo, the former Trump campaign aide who has been forced to sell his house to pay legal bills arising out of the Mueller probe, let slip a bombshell: he was approached by at least one other government informant who was attempting to be planted into the campaign. Appearing on The Ingraham Angle along with Carter Page, he made the stunning charge eight minutes into the interview embedded below:...........
"Let me tell you something that I know for a fact," Caputo said on "The Ingraham Angle" with host Laura Ingraham. "This informant, this person [whom] they tried to plant into the campaign ... he's not the only person who came at the campaign. And the FBI is not the only Obama agency who came at the campaign." "I know because they came at me. And I'm looking for clearance from my attorney to reveal this to the public. This is just the beginning."
Chuck Ross, who already deserves a Pulitzer for his incredible reporting on the Obama administration spy ring, spotted the revelation:...............Tick, tick, tick...............More

My Take - What did the President know and when did he know it?

Gingrich: 'Most Sobering Political Scandal in American History'

By Susan Jones | May 22, 2018

(CNSNews.com) - Reports that the FBI sent a confidential source to speak with Trump campaign advisers has the president demanding an investigation into "whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes," as he tweeted on Sunday.

The Justice Department's inspector general now plans to look into that possibility, and that's a good thing, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Fox News's Sean Hannity Monday night:
Well, I think it's rapidly becoming the biggest and most sobering political scandal in American history. Somebody pointed out earlier, back when J. Edgar Hoover was spying at Lyndon Johnson's behest on Richard Nixon, we thought it was terrible. Back when they had a break in at Watergate, we thought it was terrible.
This is a multi-year effort that has two different fronts. People need to always remember that. One front was protecting, propping up, covering up for Bill and Hillary Clinton. The other front, as Trump became more and more serious, the other front was to stop Trump at any cost.

Now, I believe that the reason you see people like (former Deputy Attorney General) Sally Yates go berserk, you see (former CIA Director) John Brennan go berserk, you see (former Director of National Intelligence) General (James) Clapper go berserk -- they're all guilty. When you see somebody in the Obama team who gets that rattled and is that angry -- what you know is they're scared to death that they're going to get drawn into all this, and their role is going to come out and it will involve, I think, felonies and frankly, I suspect it reaches to President Obama. 
It's inconceivable that President Obama could have had this many things going on and not known it, because his administration was very controlling and very tight, and I think we're going to discover all of the stuff, in the end, ends up with the Obama White House and has the president and his senior staff's fingerprints all over it.
Gingrich said the main thing for Americans to understand is that "the corruption was so deep at the top." ............To Read More....

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Why the Left Won't Call Anyone 'Animals'

A glimpse into leftist moral darkness.
"It's never right to call other human beings 'animals.' It's not something we should even have to debate. No matter how debased the behavior of a given individual or group, no matter how much legitimate anger that genuinely evil actions might inspire, dehumanizing others always leads us down a dangerous path."

John Brennan in Panic Mode

Former CIA chief faces the legal consequences of his dirty deeds.

John Brennan’s Plot to Infiltrate the Trump Campaign

It came out of his “inter-agency taskforce” at Langley.

George Neumayr May 22, 2018

As Trump won primary after primary in 2016, a rattled John Brennan started claiming to colleagues at the CIA that Estonia’s intelligence agency had alerted him to an intercepted phone call suggesting Putin was pouring money into the Trump campaign. The tip was bogus, but Brennan bit on it with opportunistic relish.

Out of Brennan’s alarmist chatter about the bogus tip came an extraordinary leak to the BBC: that Brennan had used it, along with later half-baked tips from British intelligence, as the justification to form a multi-agency spy operation (given the Orwellian designation of an “inter-agency taskforce”) on the Trump campaign, which he was running right out of CIA headquarters.

The CIA was furious about the leak, but never denied the BBC’s story. To Congress earlier this year, Brennan acknowledged the existence of the group, but cast his role in it as the mere conduit of tips about Trump-Russia collusion: “It was well beyond my mandate as director of CIA to follow on any of those leads that involved U.S. persons. But I made sure that anything that was involving U.S. persons, including anything involving the individuals involved in the Trump campaign, was shared with the bureau.”

But if his role had truly been passive, the “inter-agency taskforce” wouldn’t have been meeting at CIA headquarters. By keeping its discussions at Langley, Brennan could keep his finger wedged in the pie. Both before and after the FBI’s official probe began in late July 2016, Brennan was bringing together into the same room at CIA headquarters a cast of Trump haters across the Obama administration whose activities he could direct — from Peter Strzok, the FBI liaison to Brennan, to the doltish Jim Clapper, Brennan’s errand boy, to an assortment of Brennan’s buddies at the Treasury Department, Justice Department, and White House..............The members of Brennan’s working group at Langley “were just a bunch of out-of-control idiots,” says a former high-ranking CIA official to TAS.........To Read More.....

An honest Democrat savages Deep State, Mueller probe

The "deep state" is in a deep state of desperation. With little time left before the Justice Department inspector general's report becomes public, and with special counsel Robert Mueller having failed to bring down Donald Trump after a year of trying, they know a reckoning is coming.

At this point, there is little doubt that the highest echelons of the FBI and the Justice Department broke their own rules to end the Hillary Clinton "matter," but we can expect the inspector general to document what was done or, more pointedly, not done. It is hard to see how a year-long investigation of this won't come down hard on former FBI Director James Comey and perhaps even former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who definitely wasn't playing mahjong in a secret "no aides allowed" meeting with former President Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac. ............Read more

Collusion: Thank Goodness the Deep-Staters Are Idiots

One of my articles of faith is that there are no conspiracies, only stupid efforts to cover things up.  Hello, Intelligence Community! In the last week or so, we have seen the unraveling of the Russia collusion narrative, the notion that the Trump presidential campaign was in bed with the Reds. Imagine! Not under the bed, as in olden times, when the left did it, but actually in bed with the pesky Russkies!  I can't believe the Trumpists did that!

Here is the shocking truth. In addition to its vital national task of surveilling the world to detect the plans of terrorists, prevent school shootings, and foil MS-13 in its animalistic designs, our Intelligence Community found time to snag some peripheral Trump campaign hangers-on into compromising positions by asking them about Russians and emails. And that gave them a reason to wiretap these peripheral campaign hangers-on using the carefully crafted protocols in the nation's wise counterintelligence laws.

Gradually, the project to spy on the Trump campaign – you know, just in case – morphed into a conspiracy to avoid facing the embarrassment of the exposure of government spying on the out-of-power party's campaign..........But I am comforted by all of this. We have learned over the months that these Deep State hangers-on are merely fools and knaves, from Brennan to Clapper, from Comey to McCabe and the lovebird twins, and don't forget the inimitable Stefan Halper, who appears to have enjoyed too many counterintelligence lunches at his London club. Did somebody say "what did the president know and when did he know it?"................ Read more

Net Neutrality is a Fancy Term for Internet Socialism

Marina Medvin May 18, 2018

Don’t be fooled by the terminology. Net neutrality isn’t a tech term that will be hard for you to comprehend. You will get it in an instant, I promise. It’s the same old socialism, just rebranded to make it tech-trendy.  There’s nothing neutral about net neutrality. It simply means everyone pays more, for things they need and don’t need, all indiscriminately, like taxes. Net neutrality is just internet socialism.

People who originally fought for net neutrality were afraid of “unregulated capitalism.” Red flags all over the place.  Why else did you think Democrats wanted it so badly?..........
Democrat thought process: How dare you ask for the right to pay for better service! How dare you ask to pay less to save some money and not subsidize your neighbor’s internet! Everyone pays the same and gets the same. Government tells you what you need and what you pay.
 The internet is not a commune. The internet is a marketplace. I like to keep my markets free, competitive, innovative and profitable. Socialism inhibits all of that.............. To Read More....

Caruba's Corner: The End of Freedom in America

By Alan Caruba Wednesday, February 25, 2015 @ Warning Signs


 

The America that has existed from the days of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, when its sovereignty was acknowledged by a treaty with England 1783, and its founding in 1788 with the ratification of the Constitution is no more. The America for which thousands fought and gave their lives is no more.

That America ends on February 26 when the Federal Communications Commission, under intense pressure from the Obama White House and with the votes of its Democratic Party commissioners asserts government control over the Internet with a 332-page set of regulations, dubbed “Net Neutrality.”

Writing in the Feb 22nd Wall Street Journal, columnist L. Gordon Crovitz summed up what will occur saying “Obamanet promises to fix an Internet that isn’t broken…The permissionless Internet which allows anyone to introduce a website, app, or device without government review, ends this week.”

“The big politicization came when President Obama in November demanded that the supposedly independent FCC apply agency’s most extreme regulation to the Internet.” Of course Obama wants the Internet regulated and of course the Democratic Party will support this move to control who gets to put up a website or blog and, more importantly, who gets to say anything critical of the President.


The Democratic Party has been in everything but name the Communist Party in the United States for several decades. Obama was raised and mentored to be a Marxist. What we are witnessing is nothing less than tyranny replacing democracy.

Crovitz warned that “This week Mr. Obama’s bureaucrats will give him the regulated Internet he demands. Unless Congress or the courts block Obamanet, it will be the end of the Internet as we know it.”

Earlier this week, as reported by Giuseppe Macri in The Daily Caller the FCC’s two Republican commissioners, Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly, asked Chairman Tom Wheeler “to delay the vote and release his proposal to the public. ‘We respectfully request that FCC leadership immediately release the 332-page Internet regulation plan publicly and allow the American people a reasonable period of not less than 30 days to carefully study it.’”

There is some evil at work here because, as the Republican commissioners point out, “the plan in front of us right now is so drastically different than the proposal the FCC adopted and put out for public comment last May.”

Shades of ObamaCare! Even the Democrats who voted that monstrosity into law had not read it. Now neither Congress, nor the rest of America is being permitted to see regulations that will determine what can and cannot be posted to the Internet, the greatest instrument of free speech ever invented since the printing press.

Commissioner Pai says that the FCC is “adopting a solution that won’t work to a problem that doesn’t exist using legal authority we don’t have.” He estimates that the regulations will add up to $11 billion in new taxes on Internet access.
 
In a commentary, “Neutralize Obama’s Hijacking of the Internet”, Judi McLeod, the editor of CanadaFreePress.com, said “Forget NSA, the FBI, the CIA, and all warnings sent by Edward Snowden. They’ve got nothing on how Net Neutrality will silence you.”

“Someday in the near future when you type in the words “Islamic terrorists” in an Internet post, you will be knocked off the Net and find it all but impossible to climb back on again.”

Do I think the Congress will exercise its oversight responsibilities and stop this tyrannical power grab? No. Do I think our court system will do anything other than bow to precedent set by earlier FCC regulations? Yes.

As a nation founded on and devoted to freedom of speech, I think February 26, 2015 will go down in the history books as the day when that freedom came to an end in America.

Thanks to a National Security Agency we no longer have any privacy regarding anything we say using telephones, the Internet or any other form of communication.

If the Democrat-controlled FCC has its way, the Internet will slow your access and could eliminate access countless sites that provide news and express opinions the federal government finds offensive. That's what tyrannies do.

© Alan Caruba, 2015


Editor's Note: My friend Alan Caruba passed on June 15, 2015. Alan's work is insightful, logical, factual, and has a timeless about it. Alan had given me blanket permission to publish his work when he was alive. I had intended to archive many of his articles, but like most of us, I got caught up in life. Well, that effort is long overdue, so every week I intend to publish one or more of of his old articles from Warning Signs starting from the last one published as a tribute to my friend, Alan Caruba. Please enjoy Caruba's Corner!

Italy’s Countdown to Fiscal Crisis

May 20, 2018 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
As a general rule, we worry too much about deficits and debt. Yes, red ink matters, but we should pay more attention to variables such as the overall burden of government spending and the structure of the tax system.

That being said, Greece shows that a nation can experience a crisis if investors no longer trust that a government is capable of “servicing” its debt (i.e., paying interest and principal to people and institutions that hold government bonds).

This doesn’t change the fact that Greece’s main fiscal problem is too much spending. It simply shows that it’s also important to recognize the side-effects of too much spending (if you have a brain tumor, that’s your main problem, even if crippling headaches are a side-effect of the tumor).
Anyhow, it’s quite likely that Italy will be the next nation to travel down this path.

This in in part because the Italian economy is moribund, as noted by the Wall Street Journal.
Italy’s national elections…featured populist promises of largess but neglected what economists have long said is the real Italian disease: The country has forgotten how to grow. …The Italian economy contracted deeply in Europe’s debt crisis earlier this decade. A belated recovery now under way yielded 1.5% growth in 2017—a full percentage point less than the eurozone as a whole and not enough to dispel Italians’ pervasive sense of national decline. Many European policy makers view Italy’s stasis as the likeliest cause of a future eurozone crisis.
Why would Italy be the cause of a future crisis?

For the simple reason that it is only the 4th-largest economy in Europe, but this chart from the Financial Times shows it has the most nominal debt.


So what’s the solution?

The obvious answer is to dramatically reduce the burden of government.

Interestingly, even the International Monetary Fund put forth a half-decent proposal based on revenue-neutral tax reform and modest spending restraint.
The scenario modeled assumes a permanent fiscal consolidation of about 2 percent of GDP (in the structural primary balance) over four years…, supported by a pro-growth mix of revenue and expenditure reforms… Two types of growth-friendly revenue and spending measures are considered along the envisaged fiscal consolidation path: shifting taxation from direct to indirect taxes, and lowering expenditure and shifting its composition from transfers to investment. On the revenue side, a lower labor tax wedge (1.5 percent of GDP) is offset by higher VAT collections (1 percent of GDP) and introducing a modern property tax (0.5 percent of GDP). On the expenditure side, spending on public consumption is lowered by 1.25 percent of GDP, while productive public investment spending is increased by 0.5 percent of GDP. The remaining portion of the fiscal consolidation, 1.25 percent of GDP, is implemented via reduced social transfers.
Not overly bold, to be sure, but I suppose I should be delighted that the IMF didn’t follow its usual approach and recommend big tax increases.

So are Italians ready to take my good advice, or even the so-so advice of the IMF?

Nope. They just had an election and the result is a government that wants more red ink.

The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page is not impressed by the economic agenda of Italy’s putative new government.
Five-Star wants expansive welfare payments for poor Italians, revenues to pay for it not included. Italy’s public debt to GDP, at 132%, is already second-highest in the eurozone behind Greece. Poor Italians need more economic growth to generate job opportunities, not public handouts that discourage work. The League’s promise of a pro-growth 15% flat tax is a far better idea, especially in a country where tax avoidance is rife. The two parties would also reverse the 2011 Monti government pension reforms, which raised the retirement age and moved Italy toward a contribution-based benefit system. …Recent labor-market reforms may also be on the block.
Simply stated, Italy elected free-lunch politicians who promised big tax cuts and big spending increases. I like the first part of that lunch, but the overall meal doesn’t add up in a nation that has a very high debt level.

And I don’t think the government has a very sensible plan to make the numbers work.
…problematic for the rest of Europe are the two parties’ demand for an exemption from the European Union’s 3% GDP cap on annual budget deficits. …the two parties want the European Central Bank to cancel some €250 billion in Italian debt.
Demond Lachman of the American Enterprise Institute suggests this will lead to a fiscal crisis because of two factors. First, the economy is weak.
Anyone who thought that the Eurozone debt crisis was resolved has not been paying attention to economic and political developments in Italy…the recent Italian parliamentary election…saw a surge in support for populist political parties not known for their commitment to economic orthodoxy or to real economic reform. …To say that the Italian economy is in a very poor state would be a gross understatement. Over the past decade, Italy has managed to experience a triple-dip economic recession that has left the level of its economy today 5 percent below its pre-2008 peak. Meanwhile, Italy’s current unemployment level is around double that of its northern neighbors, while its youth unemployment continues to exceed 25 percent. …the country’s public debt to GDP ratio continued to rise to 133 percent, making the country the most indebted country in the Eurozone after Greece. …its banking system remains clogged with non-performing loans that still amount to 15 percent of its balance sheet…
Second, existing debt is high.
…having the world’s third-largest government bond market after Japan and the United States, with $2.5 trillion in bonds outstanding, Italy is simply too large a country for even Germany to save. …global policymakers…, it would seem not too early for them to start making contingency plans for a full blown Italian economic crisis.
Since he writes on issues I care about, I always enjoy reading Lachman’s work. Though I don’t always agree with his analysis.

Why, for instance, does he think an Italian fiscal crisis threatens the European currency?
…the Italian economy is far too large an economy to fail if the Euro is to survive in anything like its present form.
Would the dollar be threatened if (when?) Illinois goes bankrupt?
But let’s not get sidetracked.3

To give you an idea of the fairy-tale thinking of Italian politicians, I’ll close with this chart from L’Osservatorio on the fiscal impact of the government’s agenda. It’s in Italian, but all you need to know is that the promised tax cuts and spending increases are on the left side and the compensating savings (what we would call “pay-fors”) are on the right side.


Wow, makes me wonder if Italy has passed the point of no return.

By the way, Italy may be the next domino, but it’s not the only European nation with fiscal problems.
P.S. No wonder some people want Sardinia to secede from Italy and become part of “sensible” Switzerland.

P.P.S. Some leftists genuinely think the United States should emulate Italy.

P.P.P.S. As a fan of spending caps, I can’t resist pointing out that anti-deficit rules in Europe have not stopped politicians from expanding government.