26 thoughts on “News/Politics 10-6-21

  1. I’m up early, so is the news….

    “The NYT’s Partisan Tale about COVID and the Unvaccinated is Rife with Sloppy Data Analysis

    The Times’ piece on “Red Covid” obscures the reality of the pandemic and manipulates data in favor of a self-congratulatory liberalism.”

    https://outsidevoices.substack.com/p/the-nyts-partisan-tale-about-covid

    “NOTE FROM GLENN GREENWALD: The corporate media has worked very hard to propagate the liberal-pleasing narrative that COVID has become a partisan disease due to vaccine hesitancy on the right, often ignoring the inconvenient truth that large percentages of politically diverse groups, principally African-Americans and Latinos, remain resistant to vaccination. Recent reporting from The New York Times serves to further this distorted narrative, dubbing the positive correlation between support for Donald Trump and COVID death rates “Red COVID,” and brandishing it as evidence of a partisan pandemic. But the Times’ report misleads readers through statistical manipulation and data games, as illustrated by this meticulous analysis, presented in an Outside Voices contribution by Jeremy Beckham:”

    “By Jeremy Beckham”

    A widely shared article recently appeared in The New York Times’ “The Morning” newsletter titled “Red Covid,” authored by David Leonhardt. This article, presented as news reporting and not an opinion piece, argues that deaths from COVID-19 are “showing a partisan pattern,” with the worst impacts of the disease “increasingly concentrated in red America.” Given that this narrative perfectly flatters a liberal sense of superiority, it has predictably gained substantial traction on MSNBC and on Twitter.

    One particular claim in the Times’ article caught my attention: that there is a clear and strong association on a county level between COVID deaths and support for Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Specifically, the article alleged that those counties which voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump had more than a four-fold greater mortality rate than those counties which decisively voted against Trump. If true, that would indeed be a striking observation.

    But, as is often the case with epidemiological observations, the question is more complicated than two variables. There are three analytic errors that can lead someone to make false conclusions from what appears to be a meaningful association between two variables: bias, confounding variables, and random statistical error. In this case, the Times’ analysis failed to discuss significant confounding variables.

    Age is a common confounder in public health research, and COVID-19 is no exception. The mortality burden of COVID-19 is not randomly distributed across age groups. Indeed, age appears to be the “strongest predictor of mortality” from COVID-19, with one’s risk of death increasing exponentially with age. According to CDC figures, the oldest populations experience a rate of death 570 times higher than that of the youngest populations. This is precisely why older populations were vaccinated first; we knew that prioritizing this population would have the most dramatic effect in curtailing hospitalizations and deaths. Yet the crude county-level analysis reported in The New York Times failed to adjust or account for age at all.”

    “Why is it especially important that we adjust for age when comparing COVID-19 mortality rates in “red” counties with “blue” counties? Because age is not randomly distributed geographically, nor is it randomly distributed on a partisan basis. Republican voters tend to be older than Democratic voters. And rural counties, where Trump won by the largest margins, have older populations than suburban and urban counties. So this means that age is clearly a third, unaccounted for factor that is associated with both the independent variable (a county’s political affiliation) and the dependent variable (COVID-19 fatality rate) in question. This makes it a significant confounder that could easily exaggerate or distort the measured effect and lead one to spurious conclusions.

    To be clear, age affects a wide range of health outcomes, and the presence of age as a confounder doesn’t necessarily preclude a subject from methodologically sound inquiry. But you do need to account for it typically by using a statistical process like age-adjusting. For instance, one study looked at seven different nations with widely different crude COVID-19 case fatality rates, ranging from 0.82% to 14.2%. However, once the study’s authors performed age-adjusting, they found that the difference in fatality rates between these countries almost evaporated. If this research technique is not feasible on the county level, perhaps because the available data is incomplete, then it’s important to explicitly state that a known confounder is a limiting factor in extrapolating the significance of your research, so that the reader knows to take the findings with a grain of salt.

    Another way researchers try to tease apart a confounder from the variable being investigated is looking only at data where the distorting effect of the confounder is not present. We could do something similar for this research question. Take my home state of Utah, for example. Utah is a very red state. Trump won Utah by more than 20 points in 2020. But Utah also has the youngest population in the country, with a median age of approximately 31 years old. If partisan affiliation were a significant factor that explains deaths from COVID, we would expect Utah to have a greater COVID death rate than the national average, and the younger population helps us minimize the effect of this confounder. But instead, what we find is that Utah ranks 45th in the nation for COVID deaths, with 91 deaths per 100,000 population, far below the national average of 210 deaths per 100,000. This suggests (without proving) that age, not partisan affiliation or ideology, is paramount.

    And all of this only accounts for one potential confounder (age). There are other potential confounders that should be addressed. For instance, the disparity in health outcomes between rural and urban populations likely means that people in counties that voted heavily for Trump have other comorbidities that place them at greater risk of death from COVID-19. And people who live in rural areas also experience significant disparities in health care access, with higher rates of uninsured, diminishing available health care facilities, and longer travel times to the nearest hospital. In the past decade, 138 rural inpatient hospitals have closed. This unjust inequity that persists in rural America has previously been a matter of persistent concern for writers at The New York Times, even in the context of reporting on COVID-19 when the pandemic was in its early stages.

    To be clear: there is no question that COVID-19 vaccines are a safe, effective, and important tool in protecting people from severe disease and death. The vaccination rate for rural counties is 41.4%, while the rate in urban areas is 53.3%. This difference also surely has an impact on the different rates of death from COVID-19. But this is only one part of the equation, and The New York Times’ recent viral article contained no such nuanced or informative discussion about this complex web of interrelated factors influencing disease burden and health outcomes. If you search the article for any mention of ‘age,’ or ‘rural’ you get no results, because these factors didn’t appear in their analysis at all. In any discussion about factors influencing COVID-19 mortality rates, failing to mention the role of these important demographic influences is journalistic malpractice that grossly distorts reality.

    So if it failed to account for any of these factors, how did The New York Times ultimately account for the higher death rate in Trump/rural counties? It does so entirely by invoking the ideological makeup of their knuckle-dragging residents and their apparent self-destructive desire to “own the left.” Under the subheading “Why is this happening?”, The New York Times asserts the following:

    What distinguishes the U.S. is a conservative party — the Republican Party — that has grown hostile to science and empirical evidence in recent decades. A conservative media complex, including Fox News, Sinclair Broadcast Group and various online outlets, echoes and amplifies this hostility. Trump took the conspiratorial thinking to a new level, but he did not create it. “With very little resistance from party leaders,” my colleague Lisa Lerer wrote this summer, many Republicans “have elevated falsehoods and doubts about vaccinations from the fringes of American life to the center of our political conversation.”

    Part of the problem is that The New York Times relied on incredibly shaky source material. Much of the article is based on writings of an individual named Charles Gaba, who appears to be a web designer and “internet consultant.” Gaba runs a Patreon page where he disseminates his writings to subscribers, which are not submitted to reputable peer-reviewed publications. But this lack of rigorous scientific review was no barrier for The New York Times relying on his “findings,” even as the Paper of Record in the same breath scolds those who it says remain “hostile to science and empirical evidence.”

    The irony is thick indeed, and the reason why should be obvious: even if the methodology is unsound, the findings fit a preferred narrative that the overwhelmingly liberal readers of The New York Times want to hear.”

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  2. Sure, because parading GrandMas are so much worse than this clown.

    “Jan. 6 commission chairman once sympathized with black secessionist group that killed cops

    Fifty years ago as a Mississippi alderman, Bennie Thompson defended the Republic of New Africa and participated in a news conference blaming cops for the group’s violence even as FBI saw group as waging “guerrilla warfare.”

    https://justthenews.com/government/congress/jan-6-commission-chairman-once-sympathized-black-secessionist-group-killed-cops

    “Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who chairs the congressional commission investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, has been a vocal critic of an event he deems an insurrection and offered his sympathy to the police officers injured that day. He’s even gone as far as to sue former President Donald Trump for responsibility for the melee.

    But as a young African-American alderman in a small Mississippi community in 1971, Thompson placed himself on the opposite side, openly sympathizing with a secessionist group known as the Republic of New Africa and participating in a news conference blaming law enforcement for instigating clashes with the group that led to the killings of a police officer and the wounding of an FBI agent. Thompson’s official biography makes no reference to the separatist RNA.

    Thompson’s affection for the RNA and its members — which FBI counterintelligence memos from the 1970s warned were threatening “guerrilla warfare” against the United States — was still intact as recently as 2013, when he openly campaigned on behalf of the group’s former vice president to be mayor of Mississippi’s largest city.

    The congressman’s advocacy on behalf of RNA — captured in documents, newspaper clippings and video footage retrieved from state, FBI and local law enforcement agency archives — is a pointed reminder that some of the far-left figures of a half century ago are now the Democratic Party’s establishment leaders, their pasts now a fleeting footnote in the frenzied vitriol of modern-day Washington.

    For instance, Thompson’s Democratic colleague in Congress and the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois, famously cofounded the extremist Black Panthers chapter in Illinois in 1968 before he entered politics. Both the RNA and the Black Panthers were avowed supporters of insurrection, and at one point in 1967, armed Black Panthers stormed the state capitol in California.

    Thompson, an affable, silver-haired politician known today simply as “Bennie,” is one of Mississippi’s longest serving congressmen and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. He dropped his NAACP-sponsored suit against Trump when he was appointed to lead the Jan. 6 commission.

    The congressman had a much lower national profile back in 1971, when newspapers referred to him simply as Alderman B.G. Thompson from the community of Bolton, Miss., where he became acquainted with the RNA. He was never charged with any wrongdoing in connection with the group but on multiple occasions publicly sided with RNA members, even as law enforcement documented how the group had engaged in violence and was training for possible warfare.

    Just the News was alerted to Thompson’s embrace of the RNA by former federal law enforcement officials and Mississippi state officials who remembered his advocacy for the group and criticism of police. Just the News obtained video footage, newspaper clippings and law enforcement documents from historical archives and the FBI that validate their story.

    RNA was founded in 1968 — hundreds of miles away from Mississippi — in Detroit, where its first major run-in with police led to the fatal shooting of an officer in 1969. Its members were charged with the killing but acquitted. Thompson was never linked to the shooting.

    An FBI teletype recounted the shooting as having occurred when a Detroit patrol car occupied by two officers encountered a group of black males armed with rifles near where the RNA was holding its second annual meeting.

    “Officers stopped and alit from scout car, and as they approached the group, they were fired upon,” the teletype said. “Officer Czapski was killed and [redacted name] was seriously wounded.

    By 1971, RNA was under constant FBI surveillance as it sought to move its “capital” to a 20-acre plot of farmland in Thompson’s hometown of Bolton, Miss., with an adjunct headquarters in the capital city of Jackson, Miss., where RNA members threatened to renounce their U.S. citizenship and create a separate New Africa country in the U.S. Southeast. “

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  3. This is amusing. The little dictator is out of her league.

    “Canada invokes 1977 treaty against Gretchen Whitmer”

    https://hotair.com/jazz-shaw/2021/10/05/canada-invokes-1977-treaty-against-gretchen-whitmer-n420395

    “When it comes to the “keep it in the ground” crowd, a few little things like a global pandemic, a border crisis, and the collapse of Afghanistan aren’t going to slow them down. This is particularly true in Michigan, where protesters continue to disrupt the construction of multiple oil and gas pipelines however they can. And they’ve had plenty of support from Governor Gretchen Whitmer in these efforts. One of the larger bones of contention in this battle has been Canadian operator Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, stretching from Minnesota to Ontario through Michigan. The pipeline is aging and the company is seeking to replace portions of it with a tunnel running under a strait in the Great Lakes. In the meantime, they’ve been keeping the existing line flowing despite an order from Whitmer to shut it down. The two sides have been in stalled negotiations for some time, but now the Canadian government is stepping in and asking the courts for relief based on a 1977 treaty that forbids local authorities from closing off the flow of fuel.

    The Canadian government said Oct. 4 it is requesting diplomatic negotiations with the US to keep Enbridge’s Line 5 crude and propane pipelines open in Michigan, arguing that any court-ordered closure would violate a 1977 international treaty regarding transit pipelines.

    Canada’s federal court filing in the Western District of Michigan comes after court-ordered mediation between Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge and the state of Michigan hit a standstill. Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer previously ordered the 540,000 b/d pipeline shuttered for alleged safety violations, while Enbridge has defiantly kept Line 5 flowing unless ordered by a federal court to close it.

    However, the Canadian government is now formally invoking the 1977 treaty and requests diplomatic negotiations with the Biden administration. Canada’s legal counsel, Gordon Giffin, wrote that the treaty forbids any public authority from either country, including Michigan, from interfering with the transmission of oil and gas.

    Line 5 is one of the major channels for the importation of propane, a fuel that remains in high demand in the United States for a variety of purposes. Shutting it down would seriously impact the availability and drive up prices even further, just as winter is approaching.

    At first glance, Canada’s plan seems sound. Since they couldn’t reach a satisfactory agreement with the state government in Michigan, invoking the treaty allows them to cut Whitmer out of the loop and take the negotiations straight to the federal level. And the treaty, which has never been terminated, is quite clear in its terms. Canada obviously has the right to negotiate with Washington and demand that we live up to the terms of the agreement.

    But those negotiations would be held with representatives of the Biden administration. Joe Biden has already demonstrated his appetite for closing down pipelines. (Unless they are being built by the Russians, of course.) Would he really try to just ignore a standing treaty with our closest neighbor and side with Whitmer? Could he find a judge that would go along with such a breach of international diplomacy?”

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  4. Flee.

    “Minnesota Middle School Announces It Will Stop Giving ‘F’s To Fight ‘Systemic Racism’”

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/minnesota-middle-school-announces-it-will-stop-giving-fs-to-fight-systemic-racism

    “Sunrise Park Middle School in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, is the latest school to change its grading system in the name of combating “systemic racism.”

    In a YouTube video, the middle school announced that it would eliminate the “F” grade.

    “Our whole intent is to ensure that grades focus on the process of learning,” Principal Christina Pierre said in the video, according to Fox News. “Therefore, grades will not include behaviors, attitude, tardiness to class, whether the assignment was turned in late or on time. There’s other ways that we can communicate those things to parents.”

    Associate Principal Norman Bell added that students would be encouraged to retake tests and quizzes and to revise papers and projects within 10 days of grades getting posted.

    As noted by Fox, the school website mentions that an “equity audit” had been conducted and found “grading disparities among students of color,” according to Fox.

    “Grading can be one of the largest areas in which systemic racism and inequities are perpetuated. Dr. Kazmierczak and WBLAS believe grades should be a measure of what a student knows and has mastered in a given course. Grading should not be a behavior punishment and should not be a measure of how well a student can survive stress at home,” the website states.”

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  5. Parents have responded to the idiocy.

    “Joint Statement In Response to National School Board Association Accusation of Parents Engaging in ‘Domestic Terrorism’”

    https://defendinged.org/press-releases/joint-statement-in-response-to-nsba/?fbclid=IwAR33JqpJuCuJ1k0Mwo7XC2PlXrFHpvpboAid6uTjUgwKpvXjgOLLiLHhPWE

    “Dear Ms. Garcia and Mr. Slaven,

    On behalf of our 427,000 members, the undersigned organizations write in response to your September 29th letter to President Biden requesting “federal assistance to stop threats and acts of violence” against school board members, school officials, and teachers.

    In that letter you requested that the federal government “investigate, intercept, and prevent the current threats and acts of violence against our public school officials through existing statutes, executive authority, interagency and intergovernmental task forces, and other extraordinary measures” and that the government leverage “the expertise and resources of the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service, and its National Threat Assessment Center.”

    NSBA cites a tiny number of minor incidents in order to insinuate that parents who are criticizing and protesting the decisions of school boards are engaging in, or may be engaging in, “domestic terrorism and hate crimes.” NSBA even invokes the PATRIOT Act. The association of legitimate protest with terrorism and violence reveals both your contempt for parents and your unwillingness to understand and hear the sincere cries of parents on behalf of their children. To equate parents with terrorists dishonors the thousands of victims of actual terrorism around the world. Have you no shame?

    Your letter to President Biden is a thinly veiled threat, intended to intimidate into silence and
    submission the very constituents that your members ostensibly represent.

    Our organizations unequivocally oppose violence and find it deeply troubling that you imply otherwise about concerned citizens who care deeply about their community’s children – and who are concerned by the direction that America’s schools have taken.

    Citizens are angry that school boards and school officials around the country are restricting access to public meetings, limiting public comment, and in some cases conducting business via text messages in violation of state open meetings laws. They are angry that schools are charging them thousands of dollars in public records requests to view curriculum and training materials that impact their children and that should be open to the public by default. They are angry that pandemic-related learning losses have compounded the already-low reading, writing, and math proficiency rates in America’s schools.

    They are angry that rather than focusing on declining student achievement, large numbers of districts have chosen to fund, often with hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money, “social justice” and “diversity, equity, and inclusion” programs with finite resources.

    Your members refuse to listen to these concerns – and your association has chosen to smear their constituents rather than engage with them in good faith. It is appalling that you would choose to threaten your fellow Americans for having the courage to hold you accountable for your failures.

    We will not be bullied. We will not have our speech chilled. We have a constitutional right to petition our elected officials, and we will continue to do so.”

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  6. What a joke. They’re really desperate.

    “Trillion-dollar platinum coin could be minted at the last minute”

    https://www.axios.com/trillion-dollar-platinum-coin-mint-janet-yellen-223e7722-d7ba-47c9-b5f6-49a841d181de.html

    “A trillion-dollar platinum coin could be minted “within hours of the Treasury Secretary’s decision to do so,” Philip Diehl, former director of the United States Mint, tells Axios.

    Why it matters: Congressional solutions to the debt-ceiling problem could take weeks to implement, especially if the reconciliation process is used — and time is running out. In case of emergency, a trillion-dollar coin could be deployed to bridge any gap between the money running out and the debt ceiling being raised.

    How it works: The U.S. Mint, which Diehl ran from 1994 to 2000, already produces a one-ounce Platinum Eagle and has no shortage of platinum blanks already in stock.

    Producing a trillion-dollar Eagle would require only the denomination to be changed. “This could be quickly executed on the existing plaster mold of the Platinum Eagle,” says Diehl. Then an automated process would transfer the new design to a plastic resin mold.
    Even if Janet Yellen, the Treasury secretary, has no intention of minting such a coin, there is no reason for her not to quietly instruct the Mint director to take those steps a day or two in advance.

    At that point, a coin could be struck in minutes at the West Point mint. Even if it then needed to be physically deposited at the New York Fed, that’s only a short helicopter ride away.
    “Voila, we’d have bought ourselves the equivalent of a trillion-dollar increase in the debt limit, without any impact on inflation,” says Diehl.”

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  7. Enjoying Biden’s America yet?

    —–

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  8. I think it’s a little unfair to blame Abbott, he’s limited in what he can do, but politics is politics.

    ———-

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  9. ———

    Indeed.

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  10. “John Durham and the Mysterious DNC Email Hack

    If as is likely the DNC’s server wasn’t hacked by the Russians, who was behind the inside job and why?”

    https://spectator.org/john-durham-and-the-mysterious-dnc-email-hack/

    “Consider the following timeline of events:

    On or about April 30, 2016, CrowdStrike, a California-based private cybersecurity company headed by former FBI official Shawn Henry, was retained by Sussmann to investigate the purported hack of the DNC’s email server.

    On June 15, 2016, CrowdStrike announced that it had detected Russian malware on the DNC’s server.

    The next day, a self-described Romanian hacker, Guccifer 2.0, claimed he was a WikiLeaks source and had hacked the DNC’s server. He then posted online DNC computer files that contained metadata that indicated Russian involvement in the hack.

    On July 5, 2016, FBI Director James Comey publicly cleared Hillary Clinton of criminal charges for storing, sending and receiving “very sensitive, highly classified information” on her unclassified, private email server.

    On July 22, 2016, just days before the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks published approximately 20,000 DNC emails.

    Much to the embarrassment of Hillary Clinton, the released files showed that the DNC had secretly collaborated with her campaign to promote her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination over that of Bernie Sanders. This caused the Clinton campaign serious political damage at the Democratic convention.

    Well after the convention, Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s public relations chief, said in a Washington Post essay that she worked assiduously during the nominating convention to “get the press to focus on … the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary.”

    On July 28, 2016, CIA Director John Brennan briefed President Obama on an alleged plan by Hillary Clinton to tie Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server” ahead of the upcoming presidential election.

    Brennan’s handwritten notes (which were not declassified until 2020) state, in part, the following:

    We’re getting additional insight into Russian activities from [REDACTED]…CITE [summarizing] alleged approved by Hillary Clinton a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.

    Similarly, on September 7, 2016, U.S. intelligence officials made an “investigative referral” to FBI Director James Comey on Hillary Clinton for allegedly approving “a plan concerning U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections” in order to distract voters from her email scandal.

    Nothing ever came of this referral.

    During a 2020 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, when asked about the referral on Clinton, Comey said it didn’t “ring any bells.”

    “You don’t remember getting an investigatory lead from the intelligence community? September 7, 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to James Comey and [Peter] Strzok regarding Clinton’s approval of a plan [about] Trump … as a means of distraction?” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked Comey.

    “That doesn’t ring any bells with me,” Comey replied.”

    “That’s a pretty stunning thing that it doesn’t ring a bell,” Graham said. “You get this inquiry from the intelligence community to look at the Clinton campaign trying to create a distraction, accusing Trump of being a Russian agent or a Russian stooge.”

    Graham added, “How far-fetched is that?”

    But enough about Comey. Let’s get back to the alleged hack of the DNC’s server. When the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI learned of the hacking claim, they asked to examine the server.

    But the DNC refused.

    Instead, the server was examined by CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity company retained by Sussmann. And Comey’s FBI made no effort to gain direct, hands-on access to the DNC server, the scene of the alleged cybercrime.

    Why would the DNC, the purported victim of a crime, refuse to fully cooperate with law enforcement in solving that crime? Was it hiding something? Was it afraid the server’s contents would discredit the Russia-hacking story? Why, instead of full and complete cooperation with the FBI, was the DNC having CrowdStrike and Perkins Coie run the investigation and, in effect, filter and control the flow of information regarding the server’s contents to the FBI?

    The answers to those questions began to emerge thanks to an article in the August 8, 2017 issue of the Nation. By no means a pro-Trump publication, the Nation published an exhaustive report about an exacting forensic investigation of the DNC hack by the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), an organization of former CIA, FBI, National Security Agency, and military intelligence officers, technical experts, and analysts.

    In its analysis of the purported DNC hack, VIPS brought to bear the talents of more than a dozen experienced, well-credentialed experts, including William Binney, a former NSA technical director and cofounder of the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center; Edward Loomis, former NSA technical director for the Office of Signals Processing; and Skip Folden, a former IBM information technology manager as well as other computer-system designers, program architects, and analysts.

    VIPS concluded that the DNC data were not hacked by the Russians or anyone else accessing the server over the internet. Instead, the data were downloaded by means of a thumb drive or similar portable storage device physically attached to the DNC server.

    How was this determined? The time stamps contained in the released computer files’ metadata established that at 6:45 P.M. on July 5, 2016, 1,976 megabytes (not megabits) of data were downloaded from the DNC’s server. This took 87 seconds, which means the transfer rate was 22.7 megabytes per second, a speed, according to VIPS, that “is much faster than what is physically possible with a hack.” Such a speed could be accomplished only by direct connection of a portable storage device to the server. Accordingly, VIPS concluded that the DNC data theft was an inside job by someone with physical access to the server.

    VIPS also found that, if there had been a hack, the NSA would have a record of it that could quickly be retrieved and produced. But no such evidence has been forthcoming. Can this be because no hack occurred?

    VIPS also determined that the files published by Guccifer 2.0 on June 16, 2016, had been “run, via ordinary cut and paste, through a template that effectively immersed them in what could plausibly be cast as Russian fingerprints.” In other words, the files were deliberately altered to give the false impression that they were hacked by Russian agents.”

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  11. “Conspiracies Pass as Wisdom on the Left”

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2021/10/06/conspiracies_pass_as_wisdom_on_the_left_146518.html

    “Not all conspiracy theories are equal. While those from the right are quickly challenged by the mainstream media, left-wing fantasies are often embraced and pushed by prestigious news outlets.

    Risible claims that Donald Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election, that Hunter Biden’s laptop was “Russian disinformation,” that white Americans fear and hate people of color, that climate change is not just a problem but an “existential threat” to life on the planet, are just a few examples of unhinged beliefs peddled as serious ideas.

    For educated folks with busy lives who have long turned to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker and network newscasts to tell them what’s going on, the notion that they are being lied to routinely is too much to fathom. Instead, they embrace the bogus claims, empowering those claims, and outlets, further.

    As a result, paranoid and often apocalyptic delusions are not just a bug of modern progressive thought but a feature.

    An instant classic of derangement passing as wisdom is Robert Kagan’s long essay in the Washington Post, “Our constitutional crisis is already here.” While Kagan (pictured) has serious thinker credentials – he’s affiliated with the Brookings Institution and the Council on Foreign Relations – his piece is a compendium of unmoored assertions supposedly showing that Trump and the GOP are planning to steal the 2024 election “by whatever means necessary.” Recall your Rachel Maddow-loving aunt holding court after too many glasses of Sancerre and you already know what he’s said.

    Nevertheless, his manic display of paranoia is being lauded as “gripping,” “persuasive,” and a “must read” by the liberal intelligentsia and NeverTrump conservatives – Maddow, natch, read much of it on air.

    Reasonable people would, of course, stop reading after Kagan’s ludicrously fevered opening: “The U.S. is heading into its greatest political and constitutional crisis since the Civil War, with a reasonable chance over the next three or four years, of instances of mass violence, a breakdown of federal authority, and the division of the country into warring Red and Blue state enclaves.”

    Reality check: We have seen nothing close to the violence that tore apart our country during the 1960s, yet Kagan is warning of far, far worse. “The Civil War”? “Warring Red and Blue state enclaves”?

    I kept reading to see how this train wreck would unfold. A part of me kept hoping Kagan would at least try to provide evidence of this imminent storm, providing details about cadres of armed Republicans preparing to instigate “mass violence.” He doesn’t – because he can’t.

    But hard evidence is beside the point as Kagan is manufacturing propaganda, not analysis. For his purposes, it’s enough that his editors at the Post and his target audience accept as an article of faith that Trump supporters are violently irrational (note that the demonizing rhetoric they use is the same language Democrats deployed during Jim Crow to stoke fears about the “Negro menace”).

    If Kagan were honestly trying to plumb our political divide, he would acknowledge that the past few years have provided scores of examples of left-wing mobs engaging in violent protests on the streets, and cancel culture in cyberspace. He would admit that at least since the contested 2000 election, Democrats have insistently ascribed Republican victories to thievery, fraud and voter suppression. (Instead he tries to rewrite history by claiming that Al Gore and his supporters “displayed republican virtue when they abided by the Supreme Court’s judgment in 2000 despite the partisan nature of the justices’ decision” — even though his own sentence reveals they never accepted the outcome.)

    Kagan ignores these troubling developments because his sole aim is to smear Republicans. For him, the only history that matters is the Jan. 6 attack. While the FBI has determined that the unarmed, unorganized mob that pushed its way into Capitol was not part of a coordinated attack, Kagan asserts that it was in the vanguard of a “revolutionary movement” that aims to overthrow the government. “Trump” he states, “came close to bringing off a coup.” It’s hard to believe that even Kagan believes there was any scenario in which Trump would still be president, but the derangement is such that he just might.”

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  12. Dems have to pass it before the people find out what’s in it.

    Enjoy!

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2021/10/06/the_dirt_on_dems_reconciliation_bill_146521.html

    “Democrats are quarreling over the price tag of their Build Back Better bill, but the real problem is what’s in it. The bill coerces workers to join unions, imposes racial preferences on every facet of life and redistributes money from workers to takers.

    Fortunately, this bill is in limbo. Moderate Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin insist the bill has to be pared down to less than half its current price tag. The far left is screaming in outrage. But the bill can’t pass without every Senate Democrat supporting it.

    Not passing it would be the best outcome. This bill is as un-American as it gets. Here are some of the bill’s details Democrats would prefer you not see. Judge for yourself.

    “First-Generation Down Payment Assistance”: Most people work and save for years to buy a home; this bill makes them into suckers. It caters to low-income, first-time homebuyers with no conditions. It’s part of President Joe Biden’s scheme to bring the city to the suburbs and increase racial and economic diversity there. First-time homebuyers can get up to $25,000 and never have to pay it back, whether they stay in the home or move for virtually any personal or financial reasons. It’s free money — as long as you’re not the taxpayer footing the bill.

    “Home Efficiency Rebates”: The bill also offers up to $14,000 to homeowners who lower energy use by installing new heat pumps, air-conditioning systems, insulation and energy-efficient appliances. It’s a pot of gold for homeowners who qualify, and will bring tens of billions of dollars in new business for contractors.

    Here’s the catch: Only unionized electrical contractors qualify. This bill is designed to twist arms and unionize the workforce. Why? Unions bankroll the Democratic Party.

    Racial and ethnic minorities also get preferential treatment. The bill promises contractors a $200 bonus for each customer served from a “community of racial or minority ethnic concentration.” Whites go to the back of the line and have to hope the money holds out.

    “Direct Care Workforce”: The bill awards $1.48 billion to labor unions and community organizations to recruit and train workers to care for the elderly or disabled at home. Top priority is training workers in their rights and organizing them, according to the bill. This is your tax dollars at work creating a new army of likely Democratic voters.

    The bill also includes preferential tax treatment for union dues, additional tax credits for buying union-made electric vehicles and a staggering ten-fold increase in civil penalties against employers who resist unionization.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims Build Back Better is “about the children.” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman repeats the claim, saying the bill is about “securing the future” for children.

    Truth is, the bill screws our children and grandchildren. It adds hundreds of billions of dollars to the federal debt, forcing the next generations to pay interest and principal on what we’ve borrowed instead of taking care of themselves.

    Democrats can’t seem to tell the truth about their legislation. To break the stalemate in Congress, they’re toying with leaving the programs intact but funding them for a shorter time — only the first five years instead of all 10, in some cases. That’s a hoax. Manchin isn’t fooled. “Those programs will never go away,” he says. He’s right. Entitlements are forever.”

    Like

  13. “‘It’s even worse than people know'”

    https://sharylattkisson.com/2021/10/americas-botched-afghanistan-withdrawal-its-even-worse-than-people-know/

    “The following is according to firsthand accounts.”

    —-

    “As the capital of Kabul descended into chaos, the CIA managed to destroy all sensitive materials at its compound at the Ariana hotel prior to departing.

    Operatives reportedly deployed the “vulcan fire,” option, a multi-stage thermocorrosive chemical destroyer, to obliterate anything that the U.S. did not want to fall into the enemy’s hands.

    However, important and sensitive material was left behind a short distance away at the U.S. embassy.

    That included decades of biometrics information collected about Afghans who assisted the American effort: fingerprints, facial recognition data, and information on their social media.

    The biometrics files were quickly collected by the Islamic extremist Taliban.

    What did the Taliban do with it?

    According to information, the Taliban sent spoof emails, pretending that the emails were generated by the U.S. State Department, instructing the Afghans to report to “safe houses.”

    When the Afghans arrived at the fake “safe houses,” the Taliban executed them.

    “It’s criminal that [the State Dept.] did not destroy” the biometrics database and information prior to evacuating the U.S. embassy, says a source in Kabul, at the time.

    It’s unclear whether the alleged failure to destroy the material was due to the rushed exit, or other reasons.

    The U.S. military’s killing of Afghan children
    Another point of contention surrounds the horrifically bad call on the part of the U.S. military to drone-strike a vehicle that turned out to contain only innocent civilians.

    Ten Afghans were killed, including seven children. No Taliban or ISIS terrorists were among the dead, even though U.S. military officials initially implied the strike had hit the right targets.

    Military officers recently testified to Congress that they knew within a short period of time that civilians had been killed, but they did not publicly admit it at the time.

    To date, no U.S. officials have been held accountable for the deaths.

    One U.S. source who was in Kabul, and was not part of the drone strike, says numerous American officials were remotely monitoring as the U.S. drones marked the car in question.

    “Word was that the car was supposedly full of explosives,” says a source. “If so, then why blow it up in a neighborhood around a bunch of kids?”

    The source says they watched with surprise as military drones marked the vehicle and quickly moved to blow it up.

    “Everyone knew immediately there were no explosives [inside] because there was no residual explosion. Only a gas tank,” says a source.”

    Like

  14. If CNN says it’s 55%, it’s probably closer to 70%.

    Warms me heart it does….. 🙂

    ———

    See. 🙂

    Like

  15. ——–

    Like

  16. Math is hard….

    ———-

    Like

  17. That’s odd. Trump was blamed for every death, yet more have died under Biden with barely a mention.

    I guess they were unvaccinated, so their deaths are irrelevant, right?

    ——–

    Like

  18. Biden’s America ladies and gentlemen….

    ———

    Like

  19. I would feel bad for the press if they didn’t deserve every bit of this. 🙂

    ———

    Like

  20. Biden’s America…..

    Like

  21. Sorry folks, but real criminals like parading GrandMa’s are taking all their time and resources.

    It’s Joe Biden’s America now….

    ——–

    Like

  22. ——–

    Like

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