25 thoughts on “News/Politics 5-28-20

  1. The collaps of The Farce continues….

    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/499586-new-fbi-document-confirms-the-trump-campaign-was-investigated-without

    “New FBI document confirms the Trump campaign was investigated without justification”

    “Late last week the FBI document that started the Trump-Russia collusion fiasco was publicly released. It hasn’t received a lot of attention but it should, because not too long from now this document likely will be blown up and placed on an easel as Exhibit A in a federal courtroom.

    The prosecutor, U.S. Attorney John Durham, will rightly point out that the document that spawned three years of political misery fails to articulate a single justifiable reason for starting the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation.

    Those of us who have speculated there was insufficient cause for beginning the investigation could not have imagined the actual opening document was this feeble. It is as if it were written by someone who had no experience as an FBI agent.

    Keep in mind the FBI cannot begin to investigate anyone, especially a U.S. citizen or entity, without first creating a document that lists the reasonably suspicious factors that would legally justify the investigation. That’s FBI 101, taught Day 1 at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Va.

    To the untrained eye, the FBI document that launched Crossfire Hurricane can be confusing, and it may be difficult to discern how it might be inadequate. To the trained eye, however, it is a train wreck. There are a number of reasons why it is so bad. Two main ones are offered below (if you would like to follow along, the document is here):

    First, the document is oddly constructed. In a normal, legitimate FBI Electronic Communication, or EC, there would be a “To” and a “From” line. The Crossfire Hurricane EC has only a “From” line; it is from a part of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division whose contact is listed as Peter Strzok. The EC was drafted also by Peter Strzok. And, finally, it was approved by Peter Strzok. Essentially, it is a document created by Peter Strzok, approved by Peter Strzok, and sent from Peter Strzok to Peter Strzok.

    On that basis alone, the document is an absurdity, violative of all FBI protocols and, therefore, invalid on its face. An agent cannot approve his or her own case; that would make a mockery of the oversight designed to protect Americans. Yet, for this document, Peter Strzok was pitcher, catcher, batter and umpire.

    In addition, several names are listed in a “cc” or copy line; all are redacted, save Strzok’s, who, for some reason, felt it necessary to copy himself on a document he sent from himself to himself.”

    Names on an FBI document are always listed in cascading fashion, with the most senior at the top and on down to the least senior. On this EC, Strzok is listed last, so the redacted names should be more senior to him. Those names could well include then-FBI Director James Comey, then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and then-Counterintelligence Assistant Director Bill Priestap. The document also establishes these redacted names as “case participants.””

    ————

    Of course those names are on it, and they’re still trying to hide the dirty leaders from accountability.

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  2. He needs to own it, and so does the media who keeps carrying water for him and his deadly policies.

    ———–

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  3. Karens all the way down.

    On a planet of cops, we’re all dirty

    https://arcdigital.media/karens-all-the-way-down-cd530b0c0a0d

    “Never before has the human subspecies known as Karen been filmed so intimately and at such length in her native habitat. You have, of course, seen the video: a white woman stands in a wooded area in Central Park, holding an agitated cocker spaniel by its collar. She drags the dog in the direction of the camera, tremulously demanding that the videographer stop filming. When he doesn’t, she pulls out her own phone, pulls the mask off her face, and calls the police.

    “An African-American man is threatening me and my dog,” she says, over and over — oblivious not only to the frightening ugliness of what she’s doing, but also to the fact that she is very nearly strangling her dog with her other hand. It only ends when the spaniel yelps, and the woman puts the phone down (with a final quavering plea for police assistance) to clip the dog onto his leash.

    “Thank you,” says the videographer. And that’s the end. Except, of course, that it’s just the beginning.

    The shrill voice, the right-in-your-face racism, the kneejerk weaponization of the 911 call, the spectacle of that hapless dog twisting and wriggling with the effort to keep all four paws on the ground: this video might as well have been engineered in a lab to travel worldwide on a tsunami of outrage, one that even a cautious person could join in relative confidence. Even with additional context (in this case, a Facebook post from the videographer explains, sort of, why the woman is already freaked out and in tears when the video cuts in ) this was clearly no Covington repeat. We knew what we saw. We knew it was bad.

    And very shortly, we also knew Karen’s full name, address, email address, phone number, place of employment, Instagram handle, and the name of the rescue where she got that poor cocker spaniel — the better to get busy teaching her that bad acts (or at least, the ones caught on video at a moment when people are particularly bored, scared, and hungry for a sense of control amid the uncertainty of a global pandemic) have consequences.

    It’s easy to explain why Karen, whose real name is Amy, deserves condemnation. Her call to the police wasn’t just an execrable display by someone who was already in the wrong, but a power play that extends a horrifying and violent history of white people reporting innocent black men to the police for non- (or fabricated) offenses — a fact of which Amy was not only seemingly aware, but trying explicitly to leverage to her benefit. That she identified her interlocutor only as A) threatening, and B) black, was incomprehensibly terrible — and dangerous not just for the man behind the video camera, but also for any other black men unlucky enough to be walking in the vicinity of the Ramble area of Central Park when the police showed up.

    What’s harder is pinpointing exactly how much condemnation is merited, and from whom. “Actions have consequences” is the clarion call in moments like this, and this case more than most demonstrates its necessity; If not for the attention of the internet, Amy would have never received any comeuppance at all for her indecency, which surely is just as bad as the inevitable over-correction.”

    ———–

    “And if you seem to be enjoying it a little too much, well, aren’t you owed a little pleasure in exchange for your fulfillment of the new social contract? If we acknowledge a moral obligation to show up and condemn Amy’s actions, maybe we can’t blame people for sticking around, grabbing a beverage, and cheering on her comeuppance like it’s a spectator sport. They’ve cancelled everything else, after all. It’s either this or Korean baseball, and nobody wants to get up that early in the morning.”

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  4. “Amy Cooper Doesn’t Deserve Sympathy, But Social Media Shaming Is An Unhealthy Norm

    Amy Cooper didn’t need to lose her job for being deeply obnoxious. She didn’t need to grapple with this mistake on the world stage. The sentence did not fit the crime.”

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/27/amy-cooper-doesnt-deserve-sympathy-but-social-media-shaming-is-an-unhealthy-norm/

    “Social media is not like Vegas. What happens on Facebook does not stay there. Sometimes it ends up in The New York Times. This applies to everyday life more broadly—what happens when you walk your dog in the park, or visit the National Mall on a high school trip, can make its way onto Facebook and snowball into national news.

    Such is the case of Amy Cooper, a thoroughly unsympathetic character who called the police on a man in Central Park, hysterical over a dispute about her dog. With dog runs in the city closed, Cooper let her cocker spaniel Henry off his leash against regulations meant to protect birds and plants. Christian Cooper, an avid birder with no relation to her, says he asked Amy Cooper to leash Henry, “who was tearing through the plantings.” She refused, according to his account.”

    ——

    “In one day, Amy Cooper lost her job, her dog, and her reputation. Even Joan Walsh, opining on Cooper’s firing in The Nation, said she “[didn’t] know if that was the right outcome.”

    Viral videos like Cooper’s spread like wildfire partially because they seem to provide clearcut reason for outrage, easily packaged and incentivized on social media platforms. As people signal their outrage, rightfully or otherwise, another group of social media users chafes at the sanctimony. But, more importantly, people push back because they realize the trend threatens everyone.

    The practice of recording public interactions with random strangers and uploading them without context (or with one-sided context) to the worldwide town square puts everyone in a panopticon monitored by the self-appointed guardians of political correctness, who work mostly in media and share mostly the same rigid adherence to cultural liberalism. With a slip of a tongue or an outburst on a bad day, you, too, could lose your career and reputation on the world stage, destined to live in the shadows until sufficient time passes for a potential employer or date or friend at the gym to hear you out.

    Public shaming can prevent and correct and punish truly abhorrent behavior. But it’s different on social media, where context can be lost or willfully misrepresented. The ease with which we’re now able to shame others on such a massive scale makes people uncomfortable. Not every video that purports to document bad behavior will go viral. Not every video that goes viral will actually document bad behavior. Some will, and their antagonists will deserve their fates.

    But Amy Cooper didn’t need to lose her job for being deeply obnoxious. She didn’t need to grapple with this mistake on the world stage. The sentence did not fit the crime. (Except, perhaps, for surrendering her dog back to the shelter from which he came.) In the broader conversation about racism, which of course has not been fully rooted out of this country, we needn’t shed any tears for Amy Cooper. (Read John Daniel Davidson on Ahmaud Arbery.)

    We should, however, understand that backlash to her public shaming stems partially from a very fair discomfort with the power social media gives us in every moment we carry our phones. And we should reckon with our use of that power, both as the people who upload and as the people who share. While it feels like social media has been with us forever, we’re still hashing out norms for this new mode of instant global communication. We can do better.”

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  5. “How Media Sensationalism, Big Tech Bias Extended Lockdowns”

    —This is Part 2 in a series. Last week, Part 1 discussed How Fear, Groupthink Drove Unnecessary Global Lockdowns.–

    That’s here if you’d like to read it first.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/05/21/how_fear_groupthink_drove_unnecessary_global_lockdowns_143253.html

    ——————–

    Part 2

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/05/28/how_media_sensationalism_big_tech_bias_extended_lockdowns_143302.html

    “Epidemiologists created faulty lockdown models. The media promoted fear. Politicians assumed worst-case scenarios, and big tech suppressed dissenting views. This is how people’s fears grew disproportional to reality and how seemingly short-term lockdowns stretched into months.”

    “Did You Know?

    As of May 20 the CDC estimates that coronavirus has an overall infection fatality rate of 0.26%. The CDC further estimates that people under age 50 have a 99.97% survival rate.

    COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped 38% within three weeks of reopening in Georgia. Some schools in Montana and Idaho have been reopened for weeks with no drama. Wisconsin had all of its lockdown restrictions struck down by the state Supreme Court on May 13 and 10 days later hospitals there were treating around 400 known COVID-19 patients across the entire state of 5.8 million people.

    New York City has had fewer than 100 total deaths from COVID-19 cases without preexisting conditions.

    If any of this sounds surprising, you’re not alone, and it’s probably a result of the reporting bias most of the media has adopted during this pandemic. I understand the media needs to create sensation for more clicks and advertising money, but some outlets have displayed such an imbalance in reporting that they can no longer be taken as an impartial source of information.

    This second article in the series will explore the media fear cycle and how it contributed to unnecessarily extending our pandemic policy disaster.”

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  6. Any excuse will do….

    ———-

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8364023/Protester-falls-moving-police-car-downtown-Los-Angeles-rally-George-Floyds-death.html

    “Black Lives Matter protester is left unconscious after falling from hood of police cruiser that was attacked as Los Angeles highway was closed down by demonstration in support of George Floyd”

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  7. The cop above was fleeing for his life.

    The idiot on the hood of his car got what he deserved. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. These cops had nothing to do with George Floyd’s death you idiots. They even attacked the patrol car that stopped to help. No sympathy for these fools.

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  8. American billionaires got 434 billion dollars richer since the pandemic. Is this the looting we are talking about? Corporations were given trillions right out of the US Treasury — perhaps that’s the looting we are talking about?

    A 12 second video clip is not enough evidence to judge the actions of the people. From reports of people who were there, the protest was peaceful until police started firing tear gas and rubber bullets, at which point protesters threw things back. If the guards at the Michigan legislature can stand still and not retaliate while armed men push and shoved, yelled and spit at them, the Minneapolis police can hide behind brick walls and security without retaliating. Once the police cleared out the protests in front of them, some people vandalized and looted the shops nearby. The police, after dispersing the crowd outside their station, did not protect the nieghbourhood. Obviously protecting their own comes before protect and serve.

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  9. Amy Cooper — the public shaming is out of control, however, I do think she should be charged with criminal mischief for the false report/911 call. In all of this, I don’t think anyone has noted the “Karen” like behavior of the gentleman — yes her dog’s unleashed in a leashed park but not much of a threat, just move on. I understand if someone asks me to keep my 90 lb German Shepherd on a short leash but this dog….. seriously — bird watching committee or not just move on.

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  10. There seems to be a concerted attempt by conservative media and politicians to normalize Covid 19 as a senior’s ailment and the rest of us should just get on with our lives. Two problems with this attitude — young people are carriers and if a young person has active Covid 19 they may suffer life long respiratory ailments as a result. When you recover from Covid your lungs don’t necessarily recover with you.

    The known closed cases of an active Covid infection have a death rate of 12%. Now this only takes into account officially diagnosed cases. I’m sure the death rate is lower if we had better data and could count asymptomatic and minor flu-like cases — I’m still not buying the death rates of below 1% some people are peddling. Better data is needed before I concede a rate that low.

    The current level of new cases reported suggests a decline in Europe with exception of the UK, Belarus and Russia — again old macho men with authoritarian populist tendencies. The Canadian rate is starting to slow down but not as fast as the Europeans. The disease seems to be heading towards the less developed nations but lingering longer in the US. Maybe the female leaders who locked down quickly, listen to the science, and made decisions based on public health not the economy were on to something ……

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  11. I read the original document that your article referenced. I only did so because I’m suspicious when the commentator cites the lack a TO and the CC to self as abnormal — he’s really stretching. So I read the initial email — nothing but a agent expressing concerning Russia was attempting to interfere in some matter into the US election and that they should investigate those involved. Reasonable law enforcement. Missed in all of this is did Russia interfere? if so why did they want Trump to win? Instead some want to shoot the messenger.

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  12. HRW,

    BS. The cops stood by while the looting occurred and watched because they were ordered to by spineless politicians. These rioters, unlike the protesters in MI. were actively attacking police. See the difference? Of course you do, but you have an anti-police agenda. And when you block a major roadway and attack drivers and police, yeah, you get the gas. Heads should have been busted.

    ——-

    And way to gloss over the crimes that happened and the good people who were slandered and attacked for the lies the whole Russia fraud was pushing. These frauds will continue to be exposed.

    But you excuse it all because Orange Man Bad. Are you really this clueless, or just playing dumb, again?

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  13. Only a leftist would label this “Reasonable law enforcement. Missed in all of this is did Russia interfere? if so why did they want Trump to win? Instead some want to shoot the messenger.”

    You just keep shoveling it…..

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2020/05/grenell-reminds-rep-swalwell-that-democrats-spent-millions-to-weaponize-govt-lied-about-collusion/

    “Grenell Reminds Rep. Swalwell That Democrats Spent Millions to Weaponize Govt, Lied About Collusion

    “Your own committee interviewed more than 50 people under oath & they all said the same thing: they know of no collusion. But on TV you said the opposite.””

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  14. “There seems to be a concerted attempt by conservative media and politicians to normalize Covid 19 as a senior’s ailment and the rest of us should just get on with our lives. ”

    ———–

    Gee, where would anyone get the idea that some are more vulnerable than others?

    How about from the actual numbers.

    “THE KEY STAT: 43% Of All U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Come From 0.6% Of The Population”

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2020/05/26/nursing-homes-assisted-living-facilities-0-6-of-the-u-s-population-43-of-u-s-covid-19-deaths/#647df08274cd

    “The Most Important Coronavirus Statistic: 42% Of U.S. Deaths Are From 0.6% Of The Population”

    “Americans are vigorously debating the merits of continuing to lock down the U.S. economy to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A single statistic may hold the key to resolving this debate: the astounding share of deaths occurring in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

    2.1 million Americans, representing 0.62% of the U.S. population, reside in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. (Nursing homes are residences for seniors needing help with activities of daily living, such as taking a shower or getting dressed, who also require 24/7 medical supervision; assisted living facilities are designed for seniors who need help with activities of daily living, but don’t require full-time on-site medical supervision.)

    According to an analysis that Gregg Girvan and I conducted for the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, as of May 22, in the 41 states that currently report such figures, an astounding 42% of all COVID-19 deaths have taken place in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.”

    ———

    “Let that sink in: 42% of all COVID-19 deaths are taking place in facilities that house 0.62% of the U.S. population.

    And 42% could be an undercount. States like New York exclude from their nursing home death tallies those who die in a hospital, even if they were originally infected in an assisted living facility. Outside of New York, more than half of all deaths from COVID-19 are of residents in long-term care facilities.

    70% of COVID-19 deaths in Ohio, 69% in Pennsylvania

    Prior to last week, Ohio reported that 41% of COVID deaths were taking place in long-term care facilities. But updated disclosures last Friday, taking deaths prior to April 15 into account, upped that share to 70%.

    In Minnesota, 81% of all COVID-19 deaths are of nursing home and residential care home residents. The region from the eastern seaboard from Virginia to New Hampshire has been especially hard-hit.”

    ———-

    Nope, no idea how we got that idea…..

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  15. We’ve both watched the same videos — the Michigan protesters entered the legislature heavily armed and stood inches away from the police yelling, screaming, threatening etc. The Minneapolis protesters gathered outside the building unarmed. There was brick walls separating the protesters from the police yet the police response was far more proactive and offensive firing tear gas etc. In some cases they fired rubber bullets at people who were administering first aid to other people.

    Anti-police agenda? What does that mean? I have a law and order agenda. Throw the murderers in jail — charge all four, perp walk, orange jump suit, general pop., etc. The murderer had been cited in three other incidents that resulted in a prisoner death — this isn’t an isolated incident. Klobucher, as a prosecutor, declined to investigate and charge the police in any instance. I think her VP aspirations are dead on arrival.

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  16. I looked at the document. I saw no smoking gun, no conspiracy to get Trump. Just law enforcement following tips; they’ve thrown black people in jail for less and killed them for less.

    I know Covid deaths are mostly old people. However, old people shouldn’t be sacrificed for the economy. Their lives have the same value as a 25 year old. Slowing down the economy saves our elders, so slow it down. Mammon is the root of evil not the goal of humanity. In addition, young people will survive Covid but their lungs will never fully recover. Give people a universal basic income, tell corporations sink or swim, tax the rich and we will survive just fine.

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  17. I’m still puzzled — why are Republicans so adamant on investigating the FBI? Do they have an anti-police agenda? Why are they not worried about Russian interference? Putin is treating the US like a third world nation disregarding their national sovereignty and crickets from the party who likes to think of themselves of the party of patriotism.

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  18. Seriously, hwesseli? You think what went on in Minneapolis was peaceful protesters? Yes, there were some. Then there were the many who took advantage to loot, steal and damage. Tonight my SIL got an alert from his job about more riots. People in other suburbs are being warned not to go to the grocery stores etc. I could go on, but anyone can look it up, I would imagine. What is going on is appalling.

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