11 thoughts on “News/Politics 6-29-20

  1. More fake news from the NYT.


    Botched? How about false……


    “Members of the American intelligence community have concluded that members of the Russian intelligence unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants if they successfully killed members of the American military, the New York Times reported. The problem, however, is that almost everyone involved in this story says it isn’t true. The White House, Russia and even the Taliban have said the Times’ story is false.

    According to the anonymous source that spoke to the Times, the Russians intending “to destabilize the West or take revenge on turncoats, had covertly offered rewards for successful attacks last year.”

    The source claimed that President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were briefed on the situation and the National Security Council discussed it back in March.

    Dmitry Peskov, the Press Secretary for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said the country had no diplomatic complaints on record.

    “If someone makes them, we’ll respond,” Peskov told the Times.

    In the Times’ piece, the Taliban’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the terrorist organization had no “such relations with any intelligence agency.” He labeled the accusation as an attempt to “defame” the group.

    “These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless — our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources,” Mujahid explained. “That changed after our deal with the Americans, and their lives are secure and we don’t attack them.”

    The most telling part of the article included absolutely zero details:

    The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the delicate intelligence and internal deliberations. They said the intelligence had been treated as a closely held secret, but the administration expanded briefings about it this week — including sharing information about it with the British government, whose forces are among those said to have been targeted.

    The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals. The officials did not describe the mechanics of the Russian operation, such as how targets were picked or how money changed hands. It is also not clear whether Russian operatives had deployed inside Afghanistan or met with their Taliban counterparts elsewhere.

    So this information is based on an anonymous source yet there are no details about how the operation took place, what American troops were targeted, how meetings were conducted or even how the Taliban received their so-called payments. Why are there no details?”


    Watch where you step. It’s tough to get that stuff the NYT is spreading off your shoes.


  2. So which Deep State player is the “anonymous” source?


    “The would-be putschists within our Intelligence Community are at it again.

    This morning, the New York Times ran a story headlines Spies and Commandos Warned Months Ago of Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops.

    American officials said the Russian plot to pay bounties to Taliban fighters came into focus over the past several months after intelligence analysts and Special Operations forces put together key pieces of evidence.

    One official said the seizure of a large amount of American cash at one Taliban site got “everybody’s attention” in Afghanistan. It was not clear when the money was recovered.

    Two officials said the information about the bounty hunting was “well known” among the intelligence community in Afghanistan, including the C.I.A.’s chief of station and other top officials there, like the military commandos hunting the Taliban. The information was distributed in intelligence reports and highlighted in some of them.

    The assessment was compiled and sent up the chain of command to senior military and intelligence officials, eventually landing at the highest levels of the White House. The Security Council meeting in March came at a delicate time, as the coronavirus pandemic was becoming a crisis and prompting shutdowns around the country.

    What is notable about the article is the sourcing. A bland “America officials.” Not “with knowledge” not “high ranking” not “within the Intelligence Community who were not cleared to talk about the matter” not even “current.” In short, there was no reason to give this story any more credence than any Pulitzer Prize winning story by the New York Times covering the Russia Hoax.

    Not to be outdone, Jeff Bezos’s plaything, the Washington Post, had to jump on the bandwagon with Russian bounties to Taliban-linked militants resulted in deaths of U.S. troops, according to intelligence assessments.”


    “There are two likely motives here. The obvious one is that it was calculated to politically damage President Trump by using Russia Hoax catnip the perpetrators knew the media could not resist. President has upset a lot of apple carts within the IC and four more years of a Trump administration might actually bring the IC back under control and no president would ever have to heed Chuck Schumer’s warning, “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

    But why would this off-the-wall nonsense be launched? Probably because there is resistance within the CIA to the Afghan peace plan hammered out between the various parties to the conflict that could see all US troops out of that country by May of next year bringing to an end our second longest war if one counts the conquest of the American West as the longest. The idea that we would negotiate a withdrawal with an enemy who was not only killing US troops during the withdrawal but getting paid by those devious Russkis to do so.

    That this story was knocked down so fast is a credit to both President Trump, former Acting DNI Richard Grenell, and current DNI John Ratcliffe. In the past, the head of the IC just let these stories float about and never bother to knock them down. Dan Coats and his merry band of ‘IC professionals’ might as well have actively aided the propagation of the Russia Hoax by their studied and adamant refusal to either debunk fake news stories or pursue investigations to find the source of these malicious pseudo-leaks.”


    Hey if the NYT already got a pulitzer for the fake Russian hoax, why not take another shot, right?



  3. Fake stories about Barr, and no one in the media pushing them seems to care?

    That could never happen, right? 🤣😂🤣


    “I criticized President Trump two years ago for all his ruthless and endless attacks on former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Today Attorney General William Barr is being similarly attacked by critics of the administration, as some media shows the same kind of blind rage without reason.

    While I have publicly criticized Barr for some of his policies and actions, he is someone I have known personally for years and even represented with other attorneys general during the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton. Piling on Barr has never been more popular today, but the basis for this criticism has never been weaker. Three stories seemed to entirely break free from factual or legal moorings, and no one seemed to care.

    The case of Michael Flynn has been in the media, including the hearing exploring the involvement of Barr. Of course, for Barr to be immoral, the case must be portrayed as virtually immaculate. The media coverage has steadfastly ignored disclosures about officials pushing unrelentingly for any criminal charge to use on Flynn, allegedly withholding exculpatory evidence, and giving misleading statements to the trial court.

    Confirming the facts seems irrelevant to the criticism. My colleagues at George Washington University signed a letter denouncing him over the case despite new developments. The letter is written well and raises a number of legitimate issues. But some of us felt it reached conclusions before establishing any facts. It praised the work of retired Judge John Gleeson, an appointment by Judge Emmet Sullivan that some criticized. Gleeson argued against the dismissal of the case against Flynn. It stated that the brief by Gleeson showed “gross prosecutorial abuse.”

    The faculty concluded it was thus established that “the attorney general once again sought to do a favor for the president.” A day after the letter was signed, the circuit court issued an opinion that ordered Sullivan to dismiss the case against Flynn and criticized the brief as an example of the “irregular” course of conduct by Sullivan. It noted that the brief by Gleeson was based on little more than the stories and facts “outside the record” to contrast the government grounds for dismissal.

    New evidence further supports the Justice Department position that no legitimate investigation was tied to the original interview of Flynn, a key portion of a prosecution. Notes from fired agent Peter Strzok reveal that former director James Comey told President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden that the call between Flynn and the Russian ambassador was legitimate from the start. Yet officials continued to find a way to charge Flynn on any crime, including violations of the Logan Act.

    Next is the issue of Geoffrey Berman. Barr said he was “stepping down” as the United States attorney for Manhattan to make way for Jay Clayton, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Clayton wanted to return to New York and expressed an interest in the position. Barr had told Berman that he and Trump wanted the men to swap positions, or Berman could take over the civil division of the Justice Department.

    Berman wanted to think about it, but Barr announced it. Berman issued a statement which strongly suggests his removal was an effort to influence investigations of Trump associates. The media exploded and some called for the impeachment of Barr. Meanwhile, some journalists had confirmed that the move had nothing to do with those investigations.

    There is no credible allegation that Barr has hampered the investigations since becoming attorney general, and he told the United States attorneys in Manhattan to report any kind of interference to the Justice Department inspector general. I do not agree that Clayton is the best candidate for the spot. But the substantive question is whether, as reported, Barr was trying to influence the investigations of Trump associates. There is no evidence, but plenty of media coverage, to support that proposition.”


  4. Interesting…..


    “Tiny antibodies found in ALPACAS could help suppress a second wave of coronavirus and allow countries to safely lift lockdown, researchers claim”

    “Tiny antibodies found in alpacas could help suppress a second wave of coronavirus and allow countries to safely lift lockdown, researchers have claimed.

    Scientists in Sweden and South Africa have used ‘nanobodies’ from an animal immunised against the virus to prevent it from binding or infecting a human being.

    The small antibody targets the spikes of the virus which in turn interferes with its ability to infect its host.

    The experts have claimed that their research ‘potently neutralises the virus’. Due to the fact that the nanobodies are cheap and easy to reproduce they could be a widely accessible option.

    The nanobodies are also a lot easier to clone and change, according to the scientists.

    The authors, from the department of microbiology, tumour and cell biology at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, told The Telegraph: ‘The current coronavirus pandemic has drastic consequences for the world’s population, and vaccines, antibodies or antivirals are urgently needed.

    ‘Neutralising antibodies can block virus entry at an early step of infection and potentially protect individuals that are at high risk of developing severe disease.’

    The nanobody developed was called Ty1 – named after Tyson who was a 12-year-old alpaca from Germany who was immunised.

    The antibodies were then isolated.

    Gerald McInerney, Karolinska’s team leader, said: ‘In principle, all the evidence would suggest that it will work very well in humans, but it is a very complex system.’

    The academic paper has not been peer reviewed yet. It was published earlier this month. “


  5. Defund the cops?

    Ask a white liberal, they support it.

    Ask the people that have to live in the areas that would become war zones, different story.



    “The idea of “abolishing the police” or “defunding the police” has been floated as a solution to police brutality and racism in America. The left has latched onto this narrative, making it sound as though all of our nation’s problems can be pinpointed to this single so-called “solution.”

    Filmmaker Ami Horowitz took to the streets of Harlem to ask people – both black and white – what they thought of doing away with law enforcement. Not surprisingly, it was the white people who were aggressive and in favor of dismantling police departments. Black people, on the other hand, thought it was a terrible idea.

    “I’d rather have something that doesn’t work without them than what we currently have which is something that doesn’t’ work with them,” a young white man explained. “I think that they are disgusting! I @#$% hate the police! Like I just @#$% hate the police and everything they stand for.”

    “Police should go back to being, you know, members of the community,” a white woman said.

    “Policing in this country is about keeping black people down,” an older white man explained. “Police arose out of slave-catching patrols. The police are an occupying army.”

    The handful of white people that were interviewed continually said they thought the black community would be better off without law enforcement. But the African Americans that Horowitz talked to disagreed.

    “I think they’re full of crap!” a black man said. “But yes. They’re needed. I approve for them to be here ’cause my son, he’s eight now. He wants to be a police. I want to push him to be a police.”

    “I think they’re being somewhat ignorant,” a black woman said bluntly.

    An African American man said the area they were in would be “very dangerous” without the police. “People would be just going crazy! You know what I mean? It’d be worse than what it is. Robberies, looting, raping, murder…” he explained.

    An older black man wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt completely disagreed with the idea of doing away with the police. “Abolishing the NYPD? That would be suicide!” he replied. “There’s too many criminals out here, man! Are you kidding me? I wouldn’t feel safe! But you need the police to police the land, man, and the people, you know?”


  6. Democrats won’t like this. 🙂


    “Trump Executive Order Strips Federal Funding From Cities That Fail To Protect Federal Monuments”

    “President Donald Trump announced late Friday that his administration would be enforcing federal provisions demanding that cities and states protect monuments paid for by the federal government and threatening those who pull down monuments with “long prison time.”

    Trump tweeted about the executive order on Saturday, calling it a “strong” response to efforts, across the country, to pull down monuments deemed “racist” or “controversial.”

    “I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues – and combatting recent Criminal Violence. Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!” Trump tweeted.

    As The Daily Wire reported on Sunday, Trump also tweeted out a list of fifteen individuals wanted for attempting to pull down the monument of President Andrew Jackson that stands in Lafayette Square Park near the White House.

    Desecrating federal monuments is already illegal, but the executive order adds some wrinkles to existing law, including providing cities and states with additional funding and support to protect targeted monuments, and threatening those municipalities that fail to keep protesters from felling statues with a loss of federal funding.

    “The new order enforces laws prohibiting the desecration of public monuments, the vandalism of government property, and recent acts of violence, withholds federal support tied to public spaces from state and local governments that have failed to protect public monuments, and withdraws federal grants for jurisdictions and law enforcement agencies that fail to stop their desecration,” Fox News reported Saturday.

    Attorney General Bill Barr has also authorized a special Department of Justice task force to “share information with local and state law enforcement and [] provide training on identifying anti-government extremists, according to an internal Justice Department memo,” per Fox News.”


  7. Standing up for sanity.



    “Protesters rally to save Museum of Natural History’s Teddy Roosevelt statue”

    “About 150 people rallied outside the Museum of Natural History on Sunday in an effort to save the statue of President Teddy Roosevelt there from removal.

    Cries of “Save Teddy!” and “Save Our History!” came from the crowd protesting the Upper West Side institution’s move to remove the bronze effigy of Roosevelt, which has stood at its entrance since 1940.

    “This statue is of a proud American. Was he perfect? No. No one was perfect… he did a lot for this country,” said Gavin Wax, president of the New York Young Republicans Club, which organized the demonstration.

    “We’re here today because we’ve bettered ourselves as a society and we continue to better ourselves as a society,” Wax said. “But we’ll never be able to do that anymore if we continue to tear down our history and forget our past — and we’ll be doomed to repeat it.”

    The protest group on Sunday held signs that read “DEFEND OUR MONUMENTS” and “Can not learn from the past if we erase HISTORY!!” as they heard from speakers during the hour-long demonstration.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As Chas likes to say, the issue is never the issue……


    “VIDEO: Smashing Statues Is The Distraction, Something Else Is Going On

    Whether in Chicago 2017 or Everywhere 2020, don’t focus on the statues.”

    “The War on Statues is not new.

    In 2017, RebelPundit filmmakers Jeremy Segal and Andrew Marcus followed Chicago community organizer, Paul McKinley, on a tour of the south side neighborhood, Washington Park, where they find local residents opposed to a pastor’s calls to remove George Washington’s name and statue from the park.

    It’s an interesting glimpse at how statue removal is often a distraction from other issues. For example, then and there, the deflection was to hide the neglect of the Chicago neighborhood. Now, it’s more of a tearing down not of statues, but of history and our civil society, mixed with a psychological collapse.

    In either case, don’t focus on the statues, there’s something else going on.”


  9. What part of this don’t these clowns get?

    “The Equal Protection Clause is located at the end of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment:

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. ”


    “Federal Judge: Cuomo And De Blasio Can’t Limit The Size Of Outdoor Religious Services If They Didn’t Care About Limiting The Size Of Protests”


    “A gratifying victory. The subtext of the ruling, wrote Peter Spiliakos, is that “the NY state and city governments were treating left-wing protest as a de facto state religion and were discriminating against other faiths.”

    Gotta treat all creeds equally under the law. No special privileges for devotional wokery.

    There were two separate issues here united by a common question: Did New York apply a double standard to religious gatherings in setting social distancing rules? Religious institutions don’t get special exemptions from laws of general applicability, i.e. laws that apply neutrally to the entire public. But if there’s reason to believe that the state is placing some special burden on religious institutions, that’s presumptively unconstitutional. You have the right to free exercise of your faith and you have the right not to be discriminated against in your exercise of that right. The state needs an exceedingly good justification to single out religion.

    Cuomo and de Blasio began from a position of strength. In a vacuum, state and city orders mandating social distancing during a pandemic are classic examples of laws of general applicability. We need the whole public to work together to tamp down this virus, right? Well, that means you too, religious believers. Social-distancing rules are neutral — in theory. In practice, the story is different. The court picked through the thicket of regulations issued by Cuomo over the past few months and discovered that indoor religious gatherings are permitted no more than 25 percent capacity during Phase 2 of New York’s reopening whereas secular spaces like retail shops and restaurants are permitted 50 percent capacity. How come?

    When Cuomo was asked about it at press briefings, he barely even tried to explain it: “’We are going to accelerate the opening of temples, mosques, [and] churches. . . . 25 percent occupancy is not as easy as 100 percent occupancy but 100 percent occupancy is a mass gathering and you really can’t do social distancing.’… He further advised New Yorkers to ‘[b]e smart. It does not mean you go to a temple or a mosque and you sit right next to a person. You have to socially distance.’” What does that mess of verbiage have to do with two separate capacity standards for indoor spaces depending on whether they’re religious or secular in nature?

    Nothing, the court concluded. And so that double standard is now nuked, i.e. enjoined.

    On its face, the 25% indoor capacity limitation applies only to houses of worship. See N.Y. Executive Order No. 202.38. Indeed, that limitation is the only one of its kind in the tangle of executive orders and the Guidance Document that have been issued in response to the pandemic; in other words, no other secular entity, save for those that remain closed in their entirety until Phase 4 or beyond, are limited to only 25% capacity. The “nonessential businesses,” dubbed “Phase 2 industries” by executive order, that enjoy a 50% capacity limitation are, however, not justifiably different than houses of worship…

    All of this is to demonstrate that these secular businesses/activities threaten defendants’ interest in slowing the spread of COVID-19 to a similar or greater degree than those of plaintiffs’, and demonstrate that the 25% indoor capacity limitation on houses of worship is underinclusive and triggers strict scrutiny review.

    If you’re going to target houses of worship for less preferential treatment, you need a way better justification than Cuomo’s word salad to get it past a court.”


  10. Once again, Roberts betrays his “supposed” conservative values…….


    “The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Louisiana’s tough restriction on abortion violates the Constitution, a surprising victory for abortion rights advocates from an increasingly conservative court.

    The 5-4 decision, in which Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the court’s four more liberal justices, struck down a law passed by Louisiana’s legislature in 2014 that required any doctor offering abortion services to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Its enforcement had been blocked by a protracted legal battle.

    Two Louisiana doctors and a medical clinic sued to get the law overturned. They said it would leave only one doctor at a single clinic to provide services for nearly 10,000 women who seek abortions in the state each year.

    The challengers said the requirement was identical to a Texas law the Supreme Court struck down in 2016. With the vote of then-Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court ruled that Texas imposed an obstacle on women seeking access to abortion services without providing any medical benefits. Kennedy was succeeded by the more conservative Brett Kavanaugh, appointed by President DonaldTrump, who was among the four dissenters Monday.

    Justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote the Texas decision, also wrote Monday’s ruling. The law poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking an abortion, offers no significant health benefits, “and therefore imposes an undue burden on a woman’s constitutional right to choose to have an abortion.”

    Roberts said he thought the court was wrong to strike down the Texas law, but he voted with the majority because that was binding precedent. “The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons. Therefore Louisiana’s law cannot stand under our precedents.”


    So they use a decision they got wrong to justify getting another wrong. They seem to think they’re infallible.


  11. More…..


    “The liberal wing’s arguments are probably too predictable to quote at length. The real question is how Roberts justified declining to take up the challenge to Roe once again, especially since he dissented in Whole Woman’s Health. Roberts points up his earlier vote on the 2016 case, but says that “[t]he legal doctrine of stare decisis requires us, absent special circumstances, to treat like cases alike.” With both Whole Woman’s Health and Casey in mind, Roberts says he had no choice but to join the plurality:

    We should respect the statement in Whole Woman’s Health that it was applying the undue burden standard of Casey. The opinion in Whole Woman’s Health began by saying, “We must here decide whether two provisions of [the Texas law] violate the Federal Constitution as interpreted in Casey.” 579 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 1). Nothing more. The Court explicitly stated that it was applying “the standard, as described in Casey,” and reversed the Court of Appeals for applying an approach that did “not match the standard that this Court laid out in Casey.” Id., at ___, ___ (slip op., at 19, 20).

    Here the plurality expressly acknowledges that we are not considering how to analyze an abortion regulation that does not present a substantial obstacle. “That,” the plurality explains, “is not this case.” Ante, at 40. In this case, Casey’s requirement of finding a substantial obstacle before invalidating an abortion regulation is therefore a sufficient basis for the decision, as it was in Whole Woman’s Health. In neither case, nor in Casey itself, was there call for consideration of a regulation’s benefits, and nothing in Casey commands such consideration. Under principles of stare decisis, I agree with the plurality that the determination in Whole Woman’s Health that Texas’s law imposed a substantial obstacle requires the same determination about Louisiana’s law. Under those same principles, I would adhere to the holding of Casey, requiring a substantial obstacle before striking down an abortion regulation.

    So the upshot here is that Roberts still thinks Whole Woman’s Health is misguided, and doesn’t have that much reliance on Casey either. So why is he voting to reinforce both rather than take the opportunity to review either or both decisions? It’s a curious position, one that Justice Clarence Thomas dismantles by pointing out that the five justices ignored the real question — that of standing to challenge the law in the first place:

    Despite the fact that we granted Louisiana’s petition specifically to address whether “abortion providers [can] be presumed to have third-party standing to challenge health and safety regulations on behalf of their patients,” Conditional Cross-Pet. in No. 18–1460, p. i, a majority of the Court all but ignores the question. The plurality and THE CHIEF JUSTICE ultimately cast aside this jurisdictional barrier to conclude that Louisiana’s law is unconstitutional under our precedents. But those decisions created the right to abortion out of whole cloth, without a shred of support from the Constitution’s text. Our abortion precedents are grievously wrong and should be overruled. Because we have neither jurisdiction nor constitutional authority to declare Louisiana’s duly enacted law unconstitutional, I respectfully dissent. …

    Even if the plaintiffs had standing, the Court would still lack the authority to enjoin Louisiana’s law, which represents a constitutionally valid exercise of the State’s traditional police powers. The plurality and THE CHIEF JUSTICE claim that the Court’s judgment is dictated by “our precedents,” particularly Whole Woman’s Health. Ante, at 38 (plurality opinion); see also ante, at 2, 11–16 (ROBERTS, C. J., concurring in judgment). For the detailed reasons explained by JUSTICE ALITO, this is not true. Post, at 3–23 (dissenting opinion).

    But today’s decision is wrong for a far simpler reason: The Constitution does not constrain the States’ ability to regulate or even prohibit abortion. This Court created the right to abortion based on an amorphous, unwritten right to privacy, which it grounded in the “legal fiction” of substantive due process, McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 811 (2010) (THOMAS, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment). As the origins of this jurisprudence readily demonstrate, the putative right to abortion is a creation that should be undone.

    This seemed predictable from the time that Roberts joined the liberal wing to take this case, after the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court. The writing was on the wall at that point, although some hoped Roberts would use the occasion to rethink Whole Woman’s Health. Roberts seems determined to apply stare decisis as often as possible to avoid delving into Roe or Casey, or even the standing issues raised by Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch. That’s not a surprise, either; the bigger surprise might be that Brett Kavanaugh pushed back against Roberts on both occasions.

    The outcome leaves us with the absurdity of having two separate standards for outpatient surgical centers in Louisiana and Texas. Those that don’t abort babies aren’t required to have doctors with admitting privileges, while all others do. How exactly does that promote the health of women?”


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