Following The Money

Lawyers are expensive. In Washington, D.C., lawyers are really expensive. Comments I am hearing suggest that the ‘whistleblower’s report’ is written as a legal brief–not by an intelligence agent. Those familiar with the verbal cadence of an intelligence report have expressed doubt that this report was written by an intelligence agent. So who hired the lawyers and where did the money come from?

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article yesterday that provides some answers to these questions.

The article reports:

Sections of a so-called whistleblower’s complaint alleging President Donald Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country” in the 2020 presidential race relies upon a self-described investigative journalism organization bankrolled massively by billionaire activist George Soros.

The complainer admits, “I was not a direct witness to most of the events described.” Still, the so-called whistleblower goes on to allege that Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

The transcript of the phone call authorized for release by President Trump evidences no such pressure or quid pro quo and shows the request to investigate alleged corruption involving Biden and his family was a small part of the call.

…Even though the statement was written in first person –  “multiple U.S. officials told me” – it contains a footnote referencing a report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

That footnote reads:

In a report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on 22 July, two associates of Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Kyiv in May 2019 and met with Mr. Bakanov and another close Zelensky adviser, Mr. Serhiy Shefir.

The so-called whistleblower’s account goes on to rely upon that same OCCRP report on three more occasions. It does so to:

    • Write that Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko “also stated that he wished to communicate directly with Attorney General Barr on these matters.”
    • Document that Trump adviser Rudi Giuliani “had spoken in late 2018 to former Prosecutor General Shokin, in a Skype call arranged by two associates of Mr. Giuliani.”
    • Bolster the charge that, “I also learned from a U.S. official that ‘associates’ of Mr. Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team.” The so-called whistleblower then relates in another footnote, “I do not know whether these associates of Mr. Giuliani were the same individuals named in the 22 July report by OCCRP, referenced above.”

The OCCRP report repeatedly referenced is actually a “joint investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and BuzzFeed News, based on interviews and court and business records in the United States and Ukraine.”

BuzzFeed infamously also first published the full anti-Trump dossier alleging unsubstantiated collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. The dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee and was produced by the Fusion GPS opposition dirt outfit.

Somehow we keep hearing the same names.

Strategic Leaking

One of the urban legends of the Mueller investigation was that there were no leaks. Well, some information has come out that totally undoes that myth.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article showing that certain information was selectively leaked during the investigation.

The article reports:

There has been a widespread media claim for two years that Robert Mueller’s special counsel team never leaked.  However, today, while entirely obfuscating the lede aspect to their admission/story, Buzzfeed News outlines how FBI agents assigned to Robert Mueller’s team actually leaked documents from their investigation to the media.

This admission is stunning…. I don’t even think Buzzfeed realizes what they are admitting to here. It’s in these paragraphs (emphasis mine):

(Buzzfeed) […] I’d also like to share an accounting of how we came to our characterization, to give our audience and people who reasonably raised questions about our reporting as much information as possible about how the story came to be.

Our story was based on detailed information from senior law enforcement sources. That reporting included documents — specifically, pages of notes that were taken during an interview of [Michael] Cohen by the FBI.

In those notes, one law enforcement source wrote that “DJT personally asked Cohen to say negotiations ended in January and White House counsel office knew Cohen would give false testimony to Congress. Sanctioned by DJT. Joint lawyer team reviewed letter Cohen sent to SSCI about his testimony about Trump Tower moscow, et al, knowing it contained lies.”

The law enforcement source also wrote: “Cohen told OSC” — the Office of Special Counsel — “he was asked to lie by DJT/DJT Jr., lawyers.”

At the time, the sources asked reporters to keep the information confidential, but with the publication of Mueller’s report they have permitted its release. (read more)

Please follow the link to the article at The Conservative Treehouse for further details. The press is not fulfilling its calling to provide unbiased news to the American public. Part of that is their fault, and part of that is the fault of Americans who do not take the time to evaluate the news they hear.

Putting The Fox In Charge Of The Hen House

Yesterday Breitbart reported on the latest attempt by Microsoft to end the plague of fake news. It’s a valiant effort.

The article reports:

Without consulting with its users, Microsoft has installed an establishment media browser extension, purportedly designed to rate the accuracy of news websites, as a default extension on mobile versions of its Edge browser. In practice, it creates a news blacklist by warning users away from sites including Breitbart News, The Drudge Report, and the Daily Mail.

Actually all three of those sources have a better track record than many of the news sources that Microsoft has labeled as reliable.

The article cites some examples:

The website of the conservative-leaning British newspaper The Daily Mail, which has the third-highest circulation in the U.K., is also given a “red” rating. Newsguard says the site “fails to maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability.”

WikiLeaks, which has never had to retract a story due to false or misleading information, is also given a “red” rating.

Among the websites given a “green” rating is BuzzFeed, which was recently humiliated for publishing alleged details about the ongoing Mueller investigation that were contradicted by the speial prosecutor himself. BuzzFeed did not retract the story, and even led with it on its frontpage … after Mueller contradicted it.

But in Newsguard’s view, BuzzFeed “regularly corrects or clarifies errors.”

Many of the websites that recently fed the fake news feeding frenzy against students of Covington Catholic high school in Kentucky, who were falsely accused of taunting a left-wing Native American agitator, are also given a “green” rating. These include CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. 

Also “green” — Media Matters, the Clintonite Democrat website that regularly publishes hit-jobs against conservative media publications and personalities.

Rolling Stone, the magazine infamous for publishing a hoax rape allegation against members of a University of Virginia fraternity in 2015 is also given a “green” rating. Newsguard says the outlet has “consistently published well-researched, factual information about contemporary American culture.”

Some left-wing sources are given “red” ratings by Newsguard. However, they tend to be on the anti-establishment side of Democratic politics: ShareBlue and the Daily Kos, for example, both have “red” ratings. Salon and the Huffington Post, however, do not.

Obviously, to anyone who actually pays attention to accuracy in the media, the best way to use this list is to regard those news sources marked in red as reliable and those news sources marked in green as fake news. The past histories of each group support that theory.

Dueling Gotcha’s

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily reported the following:

As John Solomon reported in The Hill,  “The then-senior Department of Justice (DOJ) official (Ohr) briefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative’s work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton‘s campaign and might be biased.”

FBI, Justice Knew

Ohr himself told congressional investigators, “I certainly told the FBI that Fusion GPS was working with, doing opposition research on Donald Trump.  I provided information to the FBI when I thought Christopher Steele was, as I said, desperate that Trump not be elected. So, yes, of course I provided that to the FBI.”

Ohr at the time was the No. 4 official at the Justice Department, a powerful post. Even so, he claims he told the FBI that both his wife, Nellie Ohr, and Steele both worked for Fusion GPS. Hillary Clinton’s campaign hired Fusion GPS through their law firm, Perkins Coie, to do opposition research on Trump.

The article concludes:

They started a dirty campaign operation against Trump, used it to spy on him, then opened a special investigation that probed virtually all areas of his life and business affairs, not just his supposed collusion with Russia. It originated with the Hillary Clinton campaign. Yes, but it found more-than-willing participants in the remnants of Obama’s national security and intelligence Deep State.

None of this behavior is legal, of course. The politicization of the FBI and Justice are crimes, plain and simple. As Roger Kimball recently noted, this is not on a par with Watergate — it’s far worse. Our system is tragically broken when government officials can lie and deceive in an effort to thwart an American election.

This is the stuff of Banana Republics, where rule of law means nothing. That’s not America, where rule of law is everything. But if these crimes go unpunished, we  will surely become a Banana Republic, too.

Mediaite reported today:

Anthony Cormier is one of the two investigative reporter at BuzzfeedNews who co-authored the bombshell report published Thursday night — a report which claimed President Donald Trump directed his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie during Congressional testimony over discussions between the Trump Organization and Russian authorities about a Trump Tower Moscow project.

Cormier appeared on CNN’s New Day and revealed that he had not seen the evidence underlying his report.

Frankly I think Michael Cohen would tell Mueller that he saw Donald Trump cavorting with alien creatures from a spaceship in his back yard in order to stay out of jail. I guess I am skeptical.

Breitbart notes the following in an article posted today:

Thanks to the media’s previous bombshell report on this very same subject, a report that proved — like all the others — to be fake news, when the president’s own son, Donald Trump Jr., testified before congress on this Russia deal, he told the truth, he told congress that this particular Russia deal stayed alive (in some nebulous form) until June of 2016.

But now we’re supposed to believe that, even though his own son told the truth, Trump still instructed Cohen to lie — to testify the Russian deal died six months earlier, in January of 2016.

I think Michael Cohen might do better with the aliens and spaceships.

UPDATE: The Special Counsel has openly denied the Mediaite report. Hopefully that will be the end of this lie.

Priorities Matter–Even With Private Money

Obviously anyone making a donation to an organization might put strings on that donation. Sometimes those strings make sense; sometimes they don’t. The students march on Washington to promote infringing on the Second Amendment is not really a student-led movement–there is a lot of money coming in from private sources.

A website called Constitution.com posted an article on March 1st that goes into some of the history of the funding of the students.

The article reports:

On February 28, BuzzFeed came out with the actual story: Rep. Debbie Wassermann Schultz aiding in the lobbying in Tallahassee, a teacher’s union organizing the buses that got the kids there, Michael Bloomberg’s groups and the Women’s March working on the upcoming March For Our Lives, MoveOn.org doing social media promotion and (potentially) march logistics, and training for student activists provided by federally funded Planned Parenthood.

The president of the American Federation of Teachers told BuzzFeed they’re also behind the national school walkout, which journalists had previously assured the public was the sole work of a teenager. (I’d thought teachers were supposed to get kids into school, but maybe that’s just me.)

In other words, the response was professionalized.

The article continues with some of the other groups involved in funding other protests:

…major players and organizations — including Everytown, Giffords, Move On, Planned Parenthood, and the Women’s March LA — told BuzzFeed News they are helping the students with logistics, strategy, and planning for next month’s March for Our Lives rally and beyond. Much of the specific resources the groups are providing to the Parkland students remains unclear — as is the full list of supporting organizations — but there are broad outlines.

Giffords, an organization started by former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords that fights gun violence, is working with Everytown and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to plan the main march on Washington — as well as sister rallies across the country…

Everytown for Gun Safety — bankrolled mostly by Michael Bloomberg — recently secured a $1 million donation from entrepreneur and philanthropist Eli Broad.

MoveOn said it will encourage its millions of members to follow and promote the March for Our Lives movement on social media and attend the rally next month. The group said it had offered support in organizing logistics such as security and portable toilets, but it is unclear if the students have taken them up on their offer.

A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood said the group is “teaching and hosting trainings” for young activists across the US “to keep momentum going so they don’t get burned out.”

…In addition to the millions of dollars raised by A-list celebrities including Oprah, George and Amal Clooney, Steven Spielberg, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, the March for Our Lives GoFundMe page has raised an additional $2.7 million as of Tuesday.

Now contrast that with what is going on in Baltimore. On January 9th, The Baltimore Sun reported:

Hundreds of students, parents and teachers poured into the Baltimore school system’s headquarters Tuesday night to question officials about plumbing and heating problems that left students shivering in class — or out of school altogether — since returning from winter break.

Families stood outside the North Avenue headquarters with signs that read “Don’t be cold-hearted” and “40 degrees is inhumane” as the city school board met inside. Parents urged accountability from school board members and accused them of ignoring problems facing city children.

On March 7th a website called bluntforcetruth reported:

The Baltimore city school system could not heat the schools this past winter.

Parents stormed the school system headquarters in January to demand the schools raise the temperature in the classrooms.

But that didn’t stop Baltimore Mayor from offering to send 60 busloads of kids to an anti-gun rally in Washington DC later this month.

Mayor Catherine Pugh announced at the Tuesday rally that the city will send 60 buses to the march against guns in Washington DC. later this month. The broke city will also provide food and free T-shirts.

The Mayor has stated that the expenses involved were paid by private donors and therefore are not related to the financial problems that the schools are currently having. I would like to suggest that if private donors are willing to pay for the students to go to Washington to protest the Second Amendment, shouldn’t we ask the private donors to help with the expenses of making the schools a reasonable place for the students to learn?

I guess indoctrinating our students is more important that providing enough heat in the classroom for them to learn–particularly to leftist activist groups.

Manipulating The Next Generation

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about some of the events that have taken place and will take place as a result of the Florida school shooting. These events are anything but spontaneous, and they represent a manipulation of teenagers and of the news media that is truly disgusting. Please follow the link to read the entire article. I will try to highlight some of it here.

The article reports:

This afternoon, the Gateway Pundit received a tip from a father of one of the Parkland school shooter survivors. Concerned and enraged, he confirmed what Gateway Pundit previously reported: these children are being used as political tools by the far left to further anti-Conservative rhetoric and an anti-gun agenda. The students at the forefront of this agenda were all peers of his child, they were all members of the same drama club at their high school. This fact was verified and confirmed by Buzzfeed who sent a reporter to visit the student activists at their “command center” at one of their homes. Buzzfeed reported on, but left unexplored, the fact that these students are theater-trained:

…From our source: One of the students leading the current charge called the child of our contact up and asked if they were willing to workshop Anti-Trump/Anti-Gun lines, publish on their Twitter account, and possibly go on television with a similar statement.

The article reports the future plans of this group:

On March 14th, 2018, the largest of these groups, #Enough National School Walkout, is planning a 17-minute walk out and moment of silence scheduled for 10 AM across all time zones. Backing them are the folks behind Rock the Vote, Teen Vogue, Peace First, Rise To Run, The Gathering for Justice, and Justice League NYC.

The major force behind this walkout event is the radical far-left organization Women’s March Youth Empower. The leaders of this group are Ziad Ahmed, the youth advisor, Hannah Rosenzweig, Adam Jacobs, and Jackson Hyland Lipski. They are explicitly political in their messaging and aggressive in their stance.

The term “useful idiots” comes to mind. This is the reason we need to arm our children with critical thinking skills, otherwise they will wonder in fifteen years where their freedom is and what happened to their country.

This Doesn’t Deserve The Attention It Is Getting

Yesterday John Podhoretz posted an article at The New York Post about some unfounded allegations against President-elect Trump reported by Buzzfeed. John Podhoretz is not by any stretch of the imagination a Trump supporter, and these are his comments about the allegations:

So the website BuzzFeed decided to publish a series of memos that have been floating around for months alleging all kinds of terrible things about Donald Trump.

Some of those terrible allegations have to do with efforts to influence the American elections and Trump. Some of them have to do with Trump’s personal sexual conduct.

…There is literally no evidence on offer in these memos or from BuzzFeed that any single sentence in these documents is factual or true. What’s more, we know most major news organizations in America had seen them and despite their well-known institutional antipathy toward Trump, had chosen not to publish them or even make reference to them after efforts to substantiate their charges had failed.

…“Publishing this dossier reflects how we see the job of reporters in 2017,” Smith (Ben Smith, editor of Buzzfeed) writes. This is an amazing thing to say, because if you think it through, it means publishing open libels and slanders is the job of reporters in 2017.

Fake news will become more sophisticated, and fake, ambiguous, and spun-up stories will spread widely,” warned an important American editor at the end of December 2016. His name: Ben Smith. His publication: BuzzFeed.

Every day we see new evidence of the threat Donald Trump as President poses to the status quo in Washington. It is amazing. It is not just Democrats–some high level Republicans would also like very much to discredit President Trump before he takes office. If he can be stopped before he takes the oath of office, President Trump won’t be able to interfere with the cushy lifestyles that Washington politicians have acquired through insider trading, rewarding large donors, and exempting themselves from the laws that they have passed. The Buzzfeed story has been claimed as a hoax (story here). However, this won’t be the last story we hear reporting horrible things about Donald Trump. I would love to be wrong about that, but I don’t think I am.

Turning A Debate Into A Cage Match

I will admit that I did not watch the latest Presidential debate. I have seen enough of the debates to feel that they are useless at this point, and I knew that I would hear about it the next day. There were a lot of articles about the debate, but one in particular caught my eye.

Yesterday Breitbart.com posted an article stating that during the debate, Fox News was acting as a super PAC for Marco Rubio.

The article pointed out a few things that lead to that conclusion:

Trump was never asked to attack his rivals. On at least three occasions, Trump’s rivals were invited to attack him.

…On a number of occasions, Wallace and Kelly tossed off their roles as moderators to actually debate Trump, in the hopes of tripping him up or cornering him. As bad as the mainstream media has been to Republican presidential candidates over the years, I have never seen anything like this.

…There were two unbelievable moments even lower than that. The first came from Kelly, who used leaked reports and unsubstantiated rumors surrounding an off-the-record interview Trump supposedly had with the left-wing New York Times.  Apparently, the Times leaked information about the off-the-record interview to the left-wing BuzzFeed, who in turn, without hearing the audio, launched a McCarthy-ite attack against Trump, accusing him of saying one thing to the Times and another to the voters regarding immigration.

The article concludes:

Fox News’s brand and reputation is already in freefall. Thursday night, in service to Marco Rubio and the Republican Establishment, Fox News stooped lower than NBC News or CNN — something many of us never thought possible.

*To justify singling Trump out with graphics and videos, Fox News announced at the beginning that the other candidates had faced these in the debate Trump boycotted.

As I have previously stated, I am not a Trump supporter, but this is ridiculous. Please follow the link to the article to read the transcripts that substantiate the various charges. For whatever reason, FOX has chosen to align itself with the establishment Republican party. Based on some of the programming choices FOX has made in recent years, that should not be a surprise. However, it is unfortunate. FOX News had a chance to truly be an objective news source. Obviously, that is not the path they have chosen.

The First Casualty Of An Election Campaign Is The Truth

The alternative headline for this article is “Do They Really Think We Are That Stupid?” I understand that the political debate can get pretty heated, but it’s time to back up, take a deep breath, and think about what we believe. If every American would do that, there would be no need for bogus campaign ads.

Speaking of bogus campaign ads…John Hinderaker at Power LIne posted an article today about a campaign ad done by the Obama Campaign. In the ad, a number of women claiming to be Republicans express their dislike for Mitt Romney. The video is called “Republican Women For Obama.” I have no problem believing the ‘for Obama’ part–it’s the ‘Republican Women’ part I have trouble with.

The article at Power Line reports:

...The ad is surprisingly ineffective, but it is also dishonest. At least one of the women who pose as “Republican women for Obama” is a long-time Democrat. Her name is Maria Ciano, and BuzzFeed finds that she has been a registered Democrat in Colorado at least since 2006.

The article then goes on to list some of the ‘likes’ the woman has listed on her Facebook page. Did they honestly think no one would check? Ms Ciano’s mother is also featured in the ad, and research on her indicates similar political views.

There may be some Republican women who support President Obama. I am not aware of any, but they may exist. It is a shame that the Obama campaign chose to use women who lied rather than searching for women who actually support them. There must be at least one out there.

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