August 4, 2022 by the real Aj News/Politics 8-4-22 What’s interesting in the news today? Open Thread Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading... Related
Fire all of FBI leadership and rebuild.
“FBI Whistleblower LEAKS Bureau’s ‘Domestic Terrorism Symbols Guide’ on ‘Militia Violent Extremists’ Citing Ashli Babbitt as MVE Martyr”
“Leaked document is labelled as “Unclassified/Law Enforcement Sensitive” that is for “FBI Internal Use Only.”
“The “Unclassified/Law Enforcement Sensitive” document says it is for “FBI Internal Use Only.”
Of note, under the “Symbols” section, is a prominent citation of the Second Amendment, where it explains that “MVEs justify their existence with the Second Amendment, due to the mention of a ‘well regulated Militia,’ as well as the right to bear arms.”
Right below that, under the “Commonly Referenced Historical Imagery and Quotes” section, Revolutionary War images such as the Gadsden Flag and the Betsy Ross Flag are listed. Each flag displayed in the document comes with a brief description of what it means.
Under the “Common Phrases and References” section of the leaked document, Ashli Babbitt is cited as a person that MVEs consider to be a Martyr.
The same document also refers to Ruby Ridge, Waco, and even Timothy McVeigh, tying in traditional American ideas and symbols with radical and/or violent events in the past.”
Un-American vermin run the FBI now.
Like the FBI, lefties hate symbols of America.
Should be fun.
Just remember this when China unleashes the next plague on the world that Fauci and the US govt funded.
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How many times do you people need this explained to you?
Rules are for the peasants, not our approved brown shirts and rioters….
They weaponize govt against their political enemies.
The FBI, the IRS, Capital Police, the FEC, and now the FTC too.
“Biden’s weaponization of the FTC
Commissioners and experts have said it is overstepping precedent and legal authority”
“The Federal Trade Commission’s website states, “Our mission is protecting consumers and competition by preventing anticompetitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices through law enforcement, advocacy, and education without unduly burdening legitimate business activity.”
The Biden FTC, led by Chair Lina Khan, in its rush to run roughshod over companies, has forgotten about the “without unduly burdening legitimate business activity” part of its mandate. Under Ms. Khan, the FTC is attempting to fundamentally transform our economy by doing away with the traditions and rules designed to prevent this powerful agency from injecting politics into its decision-making. It is actually more than happy to impose undue burdens on business, launching cases against high-profile companies and industries to gain headlines and advance a regulatory agenda.
A July 2021 FTC news release admits, “The amendments make changes to the Commission’s procedure for initiating rulemaking proceedings, and the process by which members of the public can seek an informal hearing in a rule-making. For example, under the revised rules, informal hearing procedures make it easier for stakeholders to participate.
In the parlance of the left and its “corporate social responsibility” agenda, a stakeholder is an activist group with little to no interest in the company’s bottom line attempting to use the power of government to coerce a company to take actions adverse or at odds to its fiduciary interests.
The objective of Ms. Khan’s FTC is clear: punish businesses who fall out of line with left-wing orthodoxy using the litigation power granted to the agency by Congress.
Rather than working within the constructs of bipartisan tradition, which assures both continuity of policy and direction, Ms. Khan has chosen a path of weaponizing an agency with the power to destroy a corporation under the guise of consumer protection. She overturned the agency’s long-standing merger guidelines over the vocal objections of the two Republican-appointed commissioners and many experts.
Those two commissioners have vocally criticized the Khan-led agency for “overstepping decades of precedent and the agency’s legal authority” as she pushed through aggressive changes by narrow partisan 3-2 votes. Ms. Khan has gone further than just changing the rules, she used the votes of a commissioner who had already left the FTC — in what many labeled zombie voting.
So, predictably, the Khan FTC jumped into the fray when Elon Musk announced his intent to takeover Twitter. The FTC didn’t care if Twitter itself was cooking the books in its reporting of how many actual, real live users they have, but instead chose to evaluate whether it posed antitrust concerns.
Earth to Ms. Khan, Earth to Ms. Khan: Unless Twitter is going to suddenly be competing in the rocket ship or electric vehicle markets, no reasonable person would see this purchase as having antitrust concerns. But the Khan FTC isn’t reasonable, and it interjected itself into Mr. Musk’s business, perhaps at the behest of the chair’s former employer, the Open Market Institute, to send a message and throw regulatory sand in the gears.
And with gasoline prices through the roof due to President Biden’s draconian anti-domestic energy policies combined with his funding Iranian terrorist proxies who are attacking the world’s largest oil supplier, Saudi Arabia, Ms. Khan’s FTC is jumping into the fray investigating oil companies for price gouging.
In the mind of the George Soros acolyte, investigating those with the means to drill our way out of this Biden Green New Crisis makes a ton of sense.
Just in case you might think that Ms. Khan’s war on corporate America is restricted to the rogue Mr. Musk and the always maligned oil companies, she has launched a dubious lawsuit against Walmart — for the actions of other companies — through a partisan 3-2 vote. Ms. Khan’s FTC has decided to move forward in spite of the fact that the Department of Justice declined to act on the exact set of facts. But plunge ahead Ms. Khan must, due process be damned.
But America be assured.
The ravenous Soros-funded stakeholders are undoubtedly happy.
They have their social justice warrior, Ms. Khan, relentlessly serving as a regulatory and legal attack dog against those they perceive as their political enemies freed from the constraints of bipartisan accountability.”
“Is Cocaine Mitch Blowing It?”
“Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell used to be a feared parliamentary knife-fighter who regularly gutted the puny likes of Chuck Schumer, but lately, the blood on the Senate floor is all his. He handed Biden a gun control win by letting 15 Republicans vote for it. Then he allowed the CHIPS Act to pass but got played when Schumer and Joe Manchin resurrected a reconciliation bill. Political power is about the present, not the past, and right now, Mitch looks weak and ineffective. The GOP needs to ask itself if keeping the Murder Turtle around is worth it.
Here are some facts. The base despises McConnell, almost as much as McConnell despises the base. After all, the base is all passion and ideology and McConnell does not cotton to that nonsense. He is all about winning, and he plays the long game. Uppity voters, with their own ideas about what is important, get in the way. Trump – well, Trump was everything McConnell detests. Emotion. Improvisation. Populism. And moreover, Trump had no respect for either the institutions (including the Senate) or for the folks who had fought their way to the top of them (like Mitch himself). No one was happier to see Trump go than McConnell, and that includes the soon-to-be-unemployed Liz Cheney.
The base cannot stand McConnell because he is perceived as the essence of the establishment. He likes big donors and lobbyists and clearly prefers the trappings of power to mingling with the proles. He did the “Oh well I never” act constantly over Trump, heedless of the fact that Trump voters (accurately) took any attack on Trump as an attack on themselves. He hates culture fights, which the base loves, and wants to return to his comfort zone of corporate tax cuts, wars, and transactional business as usual. He failed to fight for election integrity and his stubbornness helped lose the Georgia seats. He sputtered on and on about the minor fracas that was January 6th, and only his iron discipline (because he knew he would get destroyed) kept him from voting for impeachment.
That he longs for a more superficially genteel GOP is obvious, but he does differ from the usual establishment hacks in one way – he is (or was) brutal to his opponents. He loved to place his Gucci loafer on their windpipe and press. Here’s the truth – at his best, there has never been a Senate leader more cunning and effective than Mitch McConnell. As frustrating as he is – and boy, is he frustrating – McConnell got it done.
No one else could have had the granite stones necessary to withstand the enormous pressure to let Obama put the disgraceful Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court. He did not budge. He saved the Constitution. The Dobbs case, the Bruen case, the EPA case – these huge victories are only because Mitch McConnell refused to back down. He deserves credit for that.
And he deserves credit for keeping a GOP coalition together in a split Senate. There is no one else who could pull together a coalition that saw Susan Collins and Miracle Whip Mitt vote again and again with Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley to stop Biden. He deserves credit for that too.
But what has he done for us lately? Because this is politics, and that’s the only question that matters.
The awful gun “compromise,” which he handed over to his would-be successor John Fredo Cornyn to handle, was a disaster. The old McConnell would have never participated in that fiasco. No Republican was elected to the Senate to vote for gun control, not one. The bill itself was relatively milquetoast compared to the confiscation agenda the Democrats really wanted, but that does not matter. Biden, who was losing, losing, losing, got a big win. It did not matter that it was barely a win; now, every pinko journalist shilling for President Crusty is touting his “gun control achievement.”
So, we got a bill that does nothing to solve the real problem, gives the enemy a victory, and infuriates an election-year GOP base that is tired of establishment betrayal. Great thinking, Mitch. Stellar.
Then came the Build Back better debacle. McConnell was, correctly, holding the CHIPS Act hostage to keep the Democrats from breaking the budget with a Manchin-approved reconciliation package of tax hikes, Obamacare giveaways, and climate hoax boondoggles. He let the CHIPS Act pass by letting Republicans vote for it, and a few hours later, there was a reconciliation deal. He looked like a fool. Maybe Schumer lied to him. Maybe he did not see it coming. But it came and ran the Republicans over like a freight train. Again Mitch, stellar.
Then there is the PACT Act, a veterans bill that includes a sneaky $400 billion giveaway hidden in the fine print. Mitch has allowed the hack Dems to play it as “Republicans hate veterans!” They would not have tried that in the past without incurring his wrath. It’s like the Democrats don’t fear him anymore, and what’s the use of a Mitch McConnell no one is afraid of?”
Call it, it’s dead.
“The American dream is over
The most basic hallmarks of middle-class life have now fallen out of reach for millions.”
“Much of last week was taken up with arguments over the definition of a ‘recession’. After Thursday’s GDP report revealed that the US’s economic growth fell for the second quarter in a row, by 0.9 per cent, many pointed out that this meets the technical definition of a recession – a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.
But the White House pushed back, pointing to the strong labour market as evidence that we shouldn’t view this as a recession, but rather as ‘transitioning from a historically strong recovery into a period of more stable and steady growth.’ Critics accused the White House of gaslighting – something the Biden administration does often and with abandon. But in this case, I think the Biden administration has a something of a point. This is not a normal recession.
It is right to say that the US labour market is strong. There are 11million unfilled jobs, and the economy has been adding about 400,000 jobs a month. Spend five minutes walking around your neighborhood talking to local business owners and you’ll learn that everyone is struggling to find workers. It seems extremely unlikely that this recession will lead to major layoffs. For now the opposite seems to be happening.
What’s more, US labour costs increased in the second quarter of 2022, boosting higher wages. Pay in construction has grown by four per cent since last year. In manufacturing, it has grown by 5.1 per cent. Manufacturing also has a vacancy rate of 6.7 per cent. Meanwhile, pay in leisure and hospitality grew by 7.8 per cent. If it weren’t for inflation, these numbers would represent the highest wage growth that workers have seen in 40 years. Instead, inflation is driving down real wages and devastating American families. When inflation is 9.1 per cent, you are still bringing home less money, even if you manage to get an eight per cent raise.
There is an awful irony to the fact that people are finally seeing a wage increase after 40 years, only to have it eaten up at the gas pump and the grocery store. Whether we call this a recession or not, people are feeling the pinch.
We need to understand what’s happening to the US economy on its own terms and in its full context. I spoke to Rana Foroohar, a business columnist and associate editor at the Financial Times, and she pointed out that pre-pandemic, the US had been in the longest expansionary period it has had since 1845, essentially when we started keeping records. The reason for this prolongued period of ‘growth’ is that since the 2008 global financial crisis, the Federal Reserve had been keeping interest rates low and engaging in ‘quantitative easing’ – that is, it was pumping money into the economy. The effect had been to artificially stretch out the business cycle by bolstering asset prices and making it easier to borrow. ‘The Fed can’t build a new factory, but it can make rates low and make it easy for you to borrow money and cheap’, Foroohar explained.
But this period of extended growth was due to come to an end in 2020 – and then the pandemic hit, which added a huge wildcard to the expected slowdown. It meant that across the world, countries formerly tied together by the global market were out of sync, closing down and opening back up again at different times, causing havoc with supply chains. And then, there was a third wildcard – the war in Ukraine, which has fueled a global energy and food shock.
Another unusual side to this recession is that the S&P 500 recently reported its biggest monthly gains since 2020. Stocks rallied when investors began to believe that the Federal Reserve might not be as aggressive in raising interest rates as they had feared. And even as GDP has fallen, exports have expanded, rising at a whopping 18 per cent on last year.
So if the labour market and Wall Street are not in crisis, where is the recession really making itself known? Where has GDP contracted?
Remember those struggling American families? It’s there. The constricting areas of the economy are in inventory, energy and housing.
Families are pulling back on buying electronics, furniture, food and gasoline. Consumer-goods giants Unilever, Kraft Heinz and Procter & Gamble are all bracing for consumers to cut back. Arm & Hammer is seeing more demand for low-cost laundry detergent and cat litter. Store-brand goods are gaining market share over brand name items – every little bit helps. McDonald’s and Chipotle have said that low-income customers are coming in less and buying cheaper menu items.
As the Wall Street Journal puts it: ‘Many consumers who weathered the pandemic, with the help of government stimulus and fewer expenses of their own, are running out of steam. Some of them now face the return of commuting costs, a need for new work clothes and steeper child-care expenses.’
With Americans buying fewer goods, companies have had to cut prices and accumulate less merchandise. The result is that inventories of food and cars are responsible for a large bulk of the slowdown.
In addition to gas and private inventories, a housing downturn is gathering steam. We all remember how housing prices surged throughout the pandemic. Between April 2020 and April 2021, the price of the average home increased by 16 per cent – the largest single year increase since 1992. As people fled cities during lockdown, you started to see stories about couples desperately bidding $50,000 over the asking price to buy homes they’d never even visited.”
And remember to keep voting straight Dem tickets. It’s working so well for ya’ll.
“LIVING HELL IN MINNEAPOLIS
The Phillips neighborhood just south of downtown Minneapolis should not be the hellhole it has become. It has proved a popular area for homeless encampments that have plagued the neighborhood, but it wasn’t always like this and there is no good reason it should be this way now.
Liz Collin reports for Alpha News here and in the video below. My friend Howard Root writes that “the images of the homeless encampments and destruction are unlike anything I’ve ever seen in Minneapolis.” There seems to be no bottom to the crime and chaos and filth that the authorities in Minneapolis will tolerate or the Star Tribune paper over.”
Of course it does.
That’s how this scam works. They use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, then the death mills funnel that money back to Democrat candidates. Everybody wins. Well, except taxpayers and babies. But Dems don’t care about them anyway.
“Jean-Pierre: Biden EO ‘Paves the Way for Medicaid to Pay for Abortions’
Our taxes fund Medicaid, which is not allowed to be used to cover abortion except in the case of rape, incest, or the mother’s life is in danger.”
“Our devout Catholic president is doing everything he can to ensure women access abortion, including using taxpayer-funded Medicaid. He signed Executive Order 14076: Protecting Access to Reproductive Healthcare Services.
States have banned abortion or are on the way to banning abortion. Other states have gone all in and keep abortion legal.
Even if it means violating the Hyde Amendment, which bans using federal funds for abortion unless the mother’s life is in danger or the case of rape or incest.
The EO doesn’t cover the travel expenses to get the abortion. It covers the abortion.
Medicaid definition: “Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides free or low-cost health coverage to millions of Americans, including some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. The federal government provides a portion of the funding for Medicaid and sets guidelines for the program. Medicaid programs vary from state to state.”
In Biden’s EO: “Sec. 3. Advancing the Ability to Obtain Reproductive Healthcare Services. In furtherance of the policy set forth in section 1 of this order, the Secretary of HHS shall consider actions to advance access to reproductive healthcare services, including, to the extent permitted by Federal law, through Medicaid for patients traveling across State lines for medical care.””
“Anyway, no shame in this administration. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre didn’t even try to sugarcoat it:
JEAN-PIERRE: “Look, I mean just to — it’s really important what this is going to do. It’s going to help, in particular, low-income women. If you think about it, paves the way for Medicaid to pay for abortions for women having to travel out of state. Secretary Becerra will invite states to apply for Medicaid waivers to allow them to provide reproductive health care to women who live in states where abortions are banned, those he judged to be the strongest and most effective on both legal and policy grounds. That’s what the President is doing, he’s reviewing the options that he has.”
You guys, it’s so important that this EO will allow using taxpayer money to pay for abortions.”
Moloch will be pleased with your efforts Joe.
So the Biden admin needs 80,000 new IRS agents to go after 800 billionaires?
You don’t really believe that, do you?
Their political enemies will be targeted yet again, i.e. you and anyone who votes like you…..
“The IRS Is About to Go Beast Mode
The Schumer-Manchin bill has $45.6 billion to audit the middle class.”
“Progressives want Joe Biden to unleash what they call “beast mode” executive power, and the Schumer-Manchin tax bill supplies the cash to turn the Internal Revenue Service into Wolverine.
The pact between Sen. Joe Manchin and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer includes $80 billion in new funding for the tax man. Democrats claim this “investment” will yield more than $200 billion in revenue. That estimate is highly speculative, but if it’s anywhere close to right IRS auditors will soon be coming after tens of millions of Americans.
The $80 billion is more than six times the current annual IRS budget of $12.6 billion. The money will be ladled out over nine years and comes with few strings attached. The main Democratic command is for the tax agency to bring the hammer down on taxpayers.
The bill earmarks $45.6 billion for “enforcement,” including “litigation,” “criminal investigations,” “investigative technology,” “digital asset monitoring” and a new fleet of tax-collector cars. The result will be far more audits, civil suits and criminal referrals.
The main targets will by necessity be the middle- and upper-middle class because that’s where the money is. The Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’s official tax scorekeeper, says that from 78% to 90% of the money raised from under-reported income would likely come from those making less than $200,000 a year. Only 4% to 9% would come from those making more than $500,000.
The IRS knows the super-wealthy employ lawyers and accountants who make litigation time-consuming and risky. It also knows that Democrats would howl if the agency pursues fraud in the earned-income tax credit program, despite what the IRS has estimated are $18 billion in improper payments each year.
A particular audit target will be “pass throughs” including Subchapter S businesses that file under the individual tax code. Democrats failed to raise the top individual tax rate, so unleashing IRS auditors is Plan B.
Many of these are small businesses that will settle with the IRS rather than fight and endure years of costly litigation. The IRS won only $1.7 billion of the $4 billion in disputed taxes and penalties in cases closed in U.S. tax court in fiscal 2019. But few taxpayers can afford to fight in court.
Despite all this new money, Americans shouldn’t expect better IRS service. The agency in the 2022 filing season answered a mere 10% of its phone calls. The Taxpayer Advocate Service revealed in June that as of May 31 the IRS was still sitting on 21.3 million unprocessed paper tax returns, with millions of taxpayers “waiting six months or more to receive their refunds.” Yet the Schumer-Manchin bill devotes only $3.2 billion for “taxpayer services.”
The bill does, however, provide $15 million to study a bad Elizabeth Warren idea. An IRS task force will have nine months to deliver a report on the feasibility of the IRS running its own “free direct efile tax return system.” America has a voluntary tax system that lets taxpayers determine their correct amount of tax before the IRS checks it.
Sen. Warren wants to create what would be a federal H&R Block that assesses tax liability for taxpayers. Taxpayers would presumably have to appeal if they disagree, and who knows how long that would take.
All of this is likely to be made worse by what seems to be the increasing politicization of the tax agency. Lois Lerner notoriously targeted conservative nonprofits for special scrutiny in 2013. ProPublica, the left-leaning website, obtained and published the confidential tax information of private citizens in 2021—conveniently when Democrats were debating whether to impose a new wealth tax. The IRS has promised to investigate the illegal leak but has so far come up empty.”
This is totally innocent too….
“The IRS has 5 million rounds of ammo for some reason”
“This is a truly strange story that I was reading this morning at PJ Media. It turns out that the federal government is currently stockpiling massive amounts of ammunition and weapons. For some departments like the FBI, CIA, or Homeland Security, that kind of makes sense. But it’s not limited to just federal agencies whose primary focus is law enforcement. It turns out that the IRS has enough guns and ammo to launch a war. The numbers are rather staggering. They now have more than two thousand of their own law enforcement agents with thousands of weapons and more than five million rounds of ammunition. Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida has introduced a bill that would place a moratorium on these IRS purchases until we can see what’s going on.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has introduced a bill to keep the Internal Revenue Service from buying ammunition. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) are on board as well.
The IRS is buying bullets? Yes. They’ve amassed roughly 5 million rounds of ammo. Gee, what for?
Gaetz’s “Disarm the IRS” bill would put a stop to the tax collectors building their arsenal, which, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office, includes but is not limited to:
2,148 law enforcement officers
4,461 weapons, including 15 fully automatic weapons (for you lefties, that’s a machine gun)
Over 5 million rounds of ammunition.
There’s no question that the purchases are real. What is unknown is what they could possibly need that much firepower for. And it’s not just the IRS, by the way. Like me, you may have never heard of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board. It was created in 1935 to administer a social insurance program providing retirement benefits to the country’s railroad workers. Fair enough, I suppose. But if that’s their job, why do they have an arsenal of weapons and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition? Do they need armed guards to protect the people filling out retirement forms?
I don’t know if Gaetz’s bill will attract enough support to pass, but before we deliver any more actual machine guns to the IRS (they have 15 of them) or any truckloads of ammo, there should be hearings where the head of the IRS sits down before the appropriate congressional committee and provides some data. How many of the IRS security officers are deployed in the field on any given day? How many times per year have those security officers reported situations where they needed to draw and/or fire their weapons? Are these security officers separate from the accountants and bean counters that review our tax returns and seek payment from those who are delinquent? Or are they also performing tax collection duties on top of their security responsibilities?
The analysis at PJ Media suggests that these non-security agencies are being armed in preparation for a possible war with American civilians. There was a time I would have laughed that idea off as something from the realm of conspiracy theorists. But in 2022, I’m not so sure anymore.”
I guess all that groveling and begging failed to sway them, eh Joe?
“Saudi Arabia Humiliates Joe Biden With Major Oil Announcement”
“Joe Biden’s recent trip to the Middle East made many headlines, and none of them were particularly good. The president first landed in Israel where he promptly insulted Holocaust victims. At several other points during the week, he looked physically and mentally frail, appearing aloof and out of it. Then there was Biden’s stopover in Saudi Arabia, which led to a now-infamous fist bump that set teeth gnashing because the left hate the Saudis.
But the topline from the president’s tour was simple: It accomplished nothing. While the White House tried to hint that a deal for increased production had been reached, there was never any evidence offered. The reason why became clear on Wednesday after the Saudis stabbed Biden directly in the front as part of a big announcement from OPEC Plus.
“Saudi Arabia is one of the original founders of OPEC, and they wield heavy influence over the OPEC and OPEC Plus nations. The entire point of Biden’s trip to the kingdom was to secure Saudi support for a large increase in production to help offset the global oil supply crunch that has driven up prices. Instead of getting a production boost of around half a million barrels a day, the president ended up with just 100,000, a massive reduction compared to the expectation. For context, the United States uses about 21 million barrels of oil a day, making a global increase of 100,000 a day nothing but a rounding error.
The situation gets dimmer, though. Apparently, that “increase” doesn’t even amount to any real increase.”
“That is what total failure looks like. The President of the United States went to the Middle East to beg a country he had previously tried to make a “pariah” for oil. Why? Because Biden’s own domestic energy policies have been so disastrous. The president then returned with no actual agreement, choosing bluster over substance. Now, the results of that are in, and the Saudis aren’t even pretending to have played along. It’s yet another embarrassment for Biden and the nation.”
But no mean tweets, right?
“The FBI Twice Interfered in the 2020 Election to Sabotage Trump. Now What?
The evidence is amassed and verified—the only unknown is what Republicans will do next.”
They. Will. Do. Nothing. They suck nearly as bad as Democrats. And the media will pretend it never happened and that they didn’t lie to the public for years to benefit Democrats.
“It could be the whopper of the year.
“I can tell you that in every case we follow the facts and the evidence and the law and we do so without regard to politics or ideology,” Matthew Olsen, head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, solemnly assured the House Judiciary Committee during a hearing last week.
Olsen was responding to a question by U.S. Representative Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) about the decision to arrest several men for supposedly conspiring to abduct and assassinate Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020. “The alleged Whitmer plot was announced on October 7, 2020 within a month of the U.S. presidential election,” Bishop asked Olsen. “How come that [was the] timing for the FBI’s announcement of this plot?”
Olsen refused to explain why, opting instead to commit borderline perjury by insisting the Justice Department turns a blind eye to politics—all evidence accumulated over the past six years to the contrary.
But now that two men have been acquitted after defense attorneys convinced a Michigan jury in April that the FBI entrapped their clients—the jury deadlocked on two other defendants who face a new trial next week—Bishop’s question demands an answer. And it won’t come from a dangerously-weaponized Justice Department focused almost entirely on prosecuting Americans who protested Joe Biden’s election on January 6, 2021 and with its sights now trained on indicting Donald Trump.
Despite Olsen’s stonewalling, the answer to Bishop’s question is in plain sight. Just as it did with phony claims of Russian election collusion in 2016, the FBI fabricated a scandal in 2020 aimed at sabotaging Trump right before a national election. FBI authorities didn’t thwart a kidnapping plot; the agency created one while simultaneously attempting to duplicate the effort in Virginia against Governor Ralph Northam. (Trump heavily criticized both Democratic leaders for sustained lockdown policies, including his April 2020 tweets to “Liberate Michigan!” and “Liberate Virginia!”)
No kidnapping plan existed outside the minds of multiple FBI agents and informants responsible for conceiving and executing these operations with approval from FBI headquarters in Washington. In fact, the men criminally charged did not even know each other before the FBI began stitching the group together in March 2020.
The Whitmer kidnapping hoax is another flagrant instance of the FBI interfering in a presidential election. Whitmer and Joe Biden both made the most of the politically fortuitous news, blaming Trump for inspiring the alleged kidnappers.
“There is a throughline from President Trump’s dog whistles and tolerance of hate, vengeance, and lawlessness to plots such as this one,” Biden said on October 8, 2020 in reaction to the arrests. At a campaign stop the following week in Michigan, Biden had a full-blown tantrum over the plot. “All President Trump does is fan the flames of hatred and division in this country!” Biden ranted. “What the hell’s the matter with this guy?”
Whitmer played the role of victim to a sympathetic media. Throughout October 2020, Whitmer made the rounds on cable and Sunday news programs to accuse Trump of motivating domestic terrorists to “kidnap, put me on trial, and execute me.” (Whitmer, in fact, knew of the plot and was never in any danger.)
Trump and his team spent days in the final stretch of the campaign denying the unfounded allegations; the president walked out of an interview with “60 Minutes” host Lesley Stahl after she forced the issue in late October.
Some data suggests the media onslaught may have succeeded. Polls showed a precipitous drop for Trump in Michigan after mid-October as Michiganders, and millions of Americans, were voting early for president. Trump will never know how many votes he lost as a result of the damaging headlines but it’s unrealistic to believe the extensive negative coverage had zero impact.
And while the FBI was cooking up the Whitmer and Northam kidnapping hoaxes in 2020, the agency was cooking the books on a real scandal: the Biden family’s overseas grift.
According to whistleblowers, the FBI moved to quash any investigation into Hunter Biden’s financial activities including his ties to Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that paid Hunter $83,3000 per month between 2014 and 2019, purportedly for serving on its board.
“In August of 2020, FBI supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten opened an assessment, which was used by a team of agents at FBI headquarters to improperly discredit and falsely claim that derogatory information about Biden’s activities was disinformation, causing investigative activity and sourcing to be shut down,” Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) disclosed last week.
FBI officials subsequently briefed Grassley and Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) to warn that any information related to a Senate investigation was the product of a “foreign disinformation” campaign against the Bidens; news of the briefing was leaked to the Washington Post on August 5, 2020. Auten, a key FBI figure in the Russia collusion hoax, then buried any future potential probe by placing “their assessment findings in a restricted access subfolder, effectively flagging sources and derogatory evidence related to Hunter Biden as disinformation.”
That opened the door for Team Biden, Democrats, and the media to dismiss any reporting on Hunter Biden as more election-year chicanery by the Kremlin. Reports published in the New York Post shortly before Election Day were quickly designated “Russian disinformation” by top former intelligence officials including former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, two authors of the Russian collusion hoax. The trail of incriminating emails found on the laptop, the chiefs claimed in an October 19, 2020 letter, “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
This is the sort of internal warfare that takes down nations or at least tightens the grip of the ruling regime until it successfully strangles any and all political opposition.
Republicans now have two legitimate examples of how the FBI not only buried evidence of potentially serious crimes committed by Joe Biden’s family—and perhaps the candidate himself—to protect the Biden/Harris ticket in 2020 but also have evidence of how the agency fabricated other crimes to damage Donald Trump. The latter is not without a human toll; Brandon Caserta and Daniel Harris, the men found not guilty, spent 18 months in jail despite their innocence and now struggle to put their lives back together. Adam Fox and Barry Croft, Jr. have been in jail since October 2020 and will withstand another trial beginning August 9. It’s very likely they’ll either be acquitted or face another hung jury.
It does not appear that congressional Republicans have any plan to deal with this subversive agency aside from a flurry of sternly worded letters and heated television interviews—the same failed strategy the GOP pursued after 2016, which only emboldened the FBI to again play politics in the 2020 election. Some Republican leaders miraculously—infuriatingly?—hold unjustified trust in FBI Director Christopher Wray, who hasn’t faced a single question about his foreknowledge and involvement in the Whitmer caper.”
The American dream is dead. It’s been dead for quite a while. Nixon began the process, but the slow death of the dream came under Reagan; industrial decline, rising tuition, war on drugs, tax cuts for the wealth, and a growing gap in inequality all started in the 80s. Clinton made it bi-partisan and Bush finished it off with tax cuts and endless wars. Obama and Trump did little to change things. And I sincerely doubt Biden can resurrect the corpse. Where is the American dream? If you define it by intergenerational mobility (i.e doing better than your parents), look to the Nordic countries.
Republicans blame Democrats and liberal policy for inner city problems. However, in my travels through Europe the cleanest best run cities are in the Nordic countries which are far more left wing than Democrats. Perhaps the decline is due to neo-conseravtivism economics (ie classic liberalism of Smith and then Friendman) and what is needed is socialism.
I’m not sue why the FBI document on domestic terrorism is surprising or upsetting. Obviously, the FBI will try to monitor those who harbor Timothy McViegh type aspirations. When doing so they will look for symbols and common causes. Those who straddle the line between right wing terrorism and genuine conservativism may or may not get caught up in the net. This has been standard when monitoring the exteme left side of the spectrum or religous fueled terrorism. And yes some of the symbols have origins or are used for other reasons but domestic terrorists have appropriated them for their own. Similarly Babbit is a martyr for domestic terrorists although others may see her as a victim of police violence.
Someone should explain to Ted Cruz that demonstrating outside private homes and in front of medical clinics has been deemed free speech by the Supreme Court. Of course he approved then as it was to allow pro life groups to protest in front of doctors’ homes, planned parenthood and other abortion clinic. The violence and intimidation from both groups is roughly equally, although abortion doctors were killed — I’m quite certain no judges have been killed. There’s really not much the DOJ can do and besides if the activity takes place outside DC would this not be a local issue unless it can be proven that it is being coordinated nationwide.
Medicare and Medicaid (and the ACA) are federal programs. The residency of those using these programs should not be a question as long as it’s in the US. Of course, Biden will include abortion care in these programs — not only is this in the Democratic programs, it makes sense for the mid terms to get the vote. You may find it morbid but for millions of Americans it’s important. And some may not be vocal (I have female friends who as evangelicals are quiet except with those who they know are sympathetic) but in the privacy of the voting booth they will express themselves.
McConnell is the most disliked politician in America. He is the very embodiment of a crooked politician with no principals other than re-election. About the only people who can tolerate him are the 1.2 million people who voted for him. In some respects, he’s done more damage to the political culture than Trump (or anyone else). With a policy of having no policies, he prevented any accomplishments and devalued the gov’t even more than Reagan.
“without unduly burdening legitimate business activity.” – A fairly ambiguous phrase that can be defined in multiple ways by whoever is running the FTC. Similar to any other agency, it’s not being weaponized but rather run according to the platform of the party in charge. A few years back, Democrats accused Republicans of weaponizing various government agencies. They really need to hand over the agencies to the bureaucrats not political appointees.
Weaponize – a very American style verb, yet some are upset that an agency has ammunition? I can’t think of a more American thing than gov’t agents with weapons. You have the most heavily armed police force in the world and you’re worried about bureaucrats with guns? I’m shocked people are shocked or upset. Depending on the state, concealed or open carry is legal and if your workplace allows or encourages it, then it’s allowed at work. Why should bureaucrats not have the same rights as other Americans. I’m sure you are aware, I would have far tighter gun control and the IRS etc would not have the opportunity nor think it necessary to arm themselves but logically in the US, bureacrats should be allowed to arm themselves and their superiors should be allowed to encourage it.
Biden won’t be happy unless babies are dying, and you pay for it.
When you’re lefties, everything from the opposition is domestic terrorism.
And they wonder why no one trusts or believes them anymore…
Gov. DEsantis delivers as promised.
As I said, the Democrats wil pound the pro-choice drum all the way to November. They see it as a winning strategy and Kansas just encouraged them. Read the link provided — I’m not sure they force a doctor to perform abortions rather provide legal advice for their particualr state rules and to advise them on federal anti-discrimination. I do think the wording is ambiguous.
Right now, in a generic vote, Republicans are slightly ahead in likely voters while Democrats are ahead in registered voters. Democrats hope the abortion issue will motivate them into likely voters.
Greenwald’s tweets are standard strawmen argumentation. The left i.e. the real left still thinks DC and most gov’ts are controlled by the American oligarchy and some of the left leaning Democrats still say it aloud. Sanders mentioned the American oligarchy and its influence just recently. Those of us on the left with a more nuanced view saw Trump as a Mussolini or Franco type character; Hitler is a real outlier as a fascist. Those who shout Hitler or Nazi are lazy thinkers. The Trump version of the Republican party does exhibit elements of typical fascism or corporatism. There are various 10, 12, 14 signs of fascism found on the internet but the classic is Umberto Eco’s