20 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-12-22

  1. Lying…..

    And now thanks to Musk, we have the proof.

    “WH Denies Biden Admin, Federal Agencies Work With Social Media To Censor Content…”

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  2. He was gonna be released soon anyway they say….

    In only 7 years….

    “Biden Spox Defends Releasing Russian Arms Dealer Viktor Bout: “He Was Gonna Get Out In 2029””

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  3. Never be part of the story….

    Or decent human beings either….

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  4. Poor Watergate criminal. 🙂

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  5. Read the room John, you clown.

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  6. Someone explain this to him please….

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  7. People ask how can Trump be banned, but child exploiters freely tweet with no fear from Twitter’s overlords?

    Simple, ask who the overlords are….. or were, in this case.

    And then a closer look at this particular “head of trust and safety” reveals even more disturbing incidents…

    Musk has been cleaning up the trash.

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  8. Of course, because they were in on it.

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  9. What advice would Obama give them?

    Learn to code….

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  10. The real question Josh, is what are R’s gonna do about it?

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  11. VDH nails it again.

    “Our Parasitic Generation”

    https://amgreatness.com/2022/12/11/our-parasitic-generation/

    “Are we sure that there is all that much ruin left in the United States?

    We are $31 trillion in collective debt. The new normal is $1.5 trillion budget deficits. The military is politicized and short of recruits. We trade lethal terrorists for woke celebrity athletes as if to confirm our enemies’ cynical stereotypes.

    Our FBI is corrupt and discredited, collaborating with Silicon Valley contractors to suppress free speech and warp elections. We practice segregation and racial discrimination and claim we do not because the right and good people support it and, anyway, the victims deserve it. The country has seen defeat before but never abject, deliberate humiliation as in Kabul, when we fled and abandoned to the terrorist Taliban a $1 billion embassy, a huge, remodeled air base, thousands of friends, and tens of billions of dollars in military hardware—and hard-earned deterrence.

    We are witnessing the breakdown of basic norms essential for civilized life, from affordable food and fuel to available key antibiotics and baby formula. Old Cairo seems safer than an after-hours subway ride or stroll at dusk in many major American cities. Medieval London’s roadways were likely cleaner than Market Street in San Francisco. Speech was freer in 1920s America than it is now.

    The Breakdown of Basic Society

    Our California always is a preamble to America’s future. Our present is likely your tomorrow.

    Each summer here we impotently expect forest conflagrations. Millions of acres of flames pour more millions of tons of smoke and carbon and soot in the skies. Tens of millions of hated combustion engines cannot begin to match the natural blankets of aerial dirt.

    The state seems to shrug it off, saying wildfires are both inevitable and natural. Old-fashioned forest management and fire-fighting strategies, honed over centuries, are deemed obsolete by our green experts. So, we let fiery nature take its better course. What is the implicit message to those in the way of fires that devour homes and trees? Nature’s way? Natural wood mulch? Or that such fools should not build their cabins or homes where they are not wanted?

    What was bequeathed to us from a state of 15 million—magnificent aqueducts, once brilliantly designed freeways and airports, superb universities and schools, perfectly engineered reservoirs, and downtowns of majestic skyscrapers—in a California of 41 million are frozen in amber or in decay. They have few updates and even fewer replacements. The decrepitude recalls the weedy forums and choked fountains of Vandal-era Roman cities, which is what happens when a later parasitic generation mocks but still consumes what it inherits but cannot create.

    Our own generation’s pale contributions are multibillion-dollar, quarter-built, graffiti-defaced high-speed rail Stonehenge monoliths. We prefer to shut down rather than build nuclear plants. Our solar battery plants are as prone to combust as they are to store electricity. And our urban streets reek of feces. All seem testaments to our incompetence, arrogance, and ignorance. We fear the idea of homelessness, and so cede to the homeless our downtowns and avoid what follows.

    Our great universities, once the most esteemed in the world from Berkeley and Stanford to UCLA and USC, grow burdened with commissars, too many of their outnumbered faculties are weaponized, and their students have never been more confident in their abilities, and with so little reason for that confidence.

    A return to syllabi and grading standards of just 30 years ago would result in mass flunkings. Failure on tests apparently means the test, not the test taker, is found wanting.

    What follows is the erosion of meritocracy and competence. And that reality is starting to explain the great unraveling: why our bridges take decades to build rather than a few years, why train tracks are not laid after a decade of “planning,”and why to drive down a once brilliantly engineered, but now crammed and dangerous road is to revisit the “Road Warrior” of film. Sam Bankman-Fried and Elizabeth Holmes are the apt characters of our age.

    Institutions That Went Rogue

    The FBI has imploded. It has all but become a Third World retrieval and investigatory service for the Democratic Party. Its last four directors either have lied, misled, or pleaded amnesia while under oath.

    In 2016, the bureau with the Democratic National Committee sought to destroy the integrity of an election by fabricating a Russian collusion hoax. Its continuance and coverup ultimately required FBI agents and lawyers to alter legal documents, to lie under oath, to destroy subpoenaed phone data, and to outsource illegal suppression of First Amendment rights to Silicon Valley contractors. The nation now fears there isn’t anything the FBI might not do.

    As we became hyper-legal with Trump, we are more sublegal with the entire Biden family. For a decade, with impunity, it gorged multimillion profits from selling the “Big Guy”/Mr. “10 Percent” Joe Biden’s name and access—sums for the most part hidden and likely not completely taxed. We all know it is true, and we all know the FBI and Department of Justice know it is true, and we know further that the truth means nothing.

    This self-satisfied generation constantly brags of transforming elections. But it will be known more as the destroyer of a once hallowed Election Day. Not so long ago 70-80 percent of the electorate took the trouble of voting under transparent protocols. We replaced it in most states with 60-70 percent of the votes without audit and the product of vote harvesting and curing. Our generation, in just a couple of years, destroyed Election Day voting and Election Night counting.”

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  12. “The media’s silence on the ‘Twitter Files’ is shameful”

    https://nypost.com/2022/12/11/medias-silence-on-twitter-files-is-shameful/

    “Whatever happened to “All the news that’s fit to print,” and “Democracy dies in darkness,” the respective mottos of the two most influential newspapers in the country, The New York Times and The Washington Post?

    Every morning, these august organs set the narrative for newsrooms across the country, and yet, time and again, we see them ignore stories that don’t suit their own agenda as propaganda purveyors for the Democratic Party and the security state.

    This has been obvious in their non-coverage of Elon Musk’s Twitter Files, four batches over 10 days so far, which have revealed a chilling censorship regime at the social media giant, which no doubt is replicated across Big Tech, including at Facebook and Google.

    We see evidence of what we long suspected, despite Twitter former CEO Jack Dorsey’s lies to Congress: Conservatives and medical professionals were silenced, as part of a crackdown on effective dissent against the government. From The Post’s Hunter Biden laptop stories and criticism of the Biden administration’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal to Dr. Fauci’s bogus edicts on masks, lockdowns and the origins of COVID, censorship has been the order of the day. That should be a story of interest to journalists at The Times and WaPo.

    Threat to democracy

    If anything is an existential threat to democracy, it is Big Tech’s assault on free speech, in service to one side of politics and under the instruction of intelligence operatives determined to rig elections against recalcitrant Republicans. In fact, the lead agency tasked with election security, the FBI, is revealed as a prime culprit.

    The best description for what The Times and WaPo are doing is “totschweigetaktik,” a great German word for “death by silence,” a tactic to kill ideas or news stories by ignoring them.

    Apart from defending Twitter’s 2020 decision to censor The Post, The Times has not covered the revelations of the last 10 days, save a couple of stories smearing Twitter’s freedom-minded new owner Elon Musk.

    He “sounds a lot like a Republican — and, sometimes, a lot like Mr. Trump,” The Times opined, delivering the worst possible insult in the eyes of its 6.3 million subscribers.

    While it studiously ignores the Twitter Files, The Times has given ample space to Musk’s critics, including amplifying laughably bogus data from the propagandists at the Anti-Defamation League, of an “unprecedented rise in hate speech” on the platform, promptly scotched by Musk.

    The so-called “paper of record” also talked up attempts by still-in-favor Facebook to build a rival platform to Twitter.

    Over at The Washington Post, resident disinformation expert Taylor Lorenz went on TV falsely to claim that Elon Musk had laid off the staff who monitored child sexual exploitation material. The opposite is the case. On taking over Twitter, Musk declared his “priority #1” was to remove such material and, in two weeks, did more to cleanse Twitter of child abuse content than previous management had done in a decade.

    The WaPo also reported that Musk was being investigated by San Francisco authorities for creating makeshift bedrooms at Twitter HQ for employees to sleep in, which he denied.
    It was the same ignore-and-smear game across the leftie media-sphere.

    “Old news” was how The Atlantic dismissed the Twitter Files.

    NBC, CBS, and ABC devoted a total of zero minutes to the Twitter Files, according to Fox News.

    NBC’s “disinformation” reporter Ben Collins’ contribution was to tweet a “yawn” emoji.

    Yes, it’s a big yawn that so many former FBI and CIA officials were embedded in senior management roles at Twitter and Facebook. And not just the FBI’s top lawyer and Russiagate quarterback, James Baker, who was hired by Twitter five months before the 2020 election; at least a dozen others joined after Trump won the 2016 election.

    It’s a big yawn to see evidence that Twitter became a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party and federal government agencies, and that the FBI has been coercing social media companies to violate the First Amendment and interfere with elections.”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well, sure… but we got a black lesbian box checker back who averages like 12 points a game in games no one watches.

    Total win/win, right?

    “‘The Merchant of Death Is Back in Action’

    The inside story of how U.S. agents took down Viktor Bout, the world’s most notorious arms trader, and why they’re worried about what comes next.”

    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/12/12/viktor-bout-merchant-of-death-00073422

    “Shortly after 1 p.m. Bangkok time on March 8, 2008, two shaggy Colombian guerrillas locked eyes with a genial mega-rich Russian arms dealer and realized they had a lot to talk about.

    “They’re flying Apaches,” a guerrilla dubbed Ricardo raged. “They’re flying Blackhawk. We don’t have any. How can we defend ourselves with a rifle against a Black Hawk or against an Apache? … We want to knock down those American sons of bitches. Because we’re tired. Kill them and kick them out of my country.”

    “Yes. Yes. Yes,” Viktor Bout, the arms dealer, commiserated. “They act as if it was their home … Propaganda!”

    Bout assured Ricardo and his pal, Carlos, both working for the Colombian Marxist rebel insurgency known as FARC, that he shared their hatred for the United States. “We have the same enemy.”

    It could have been the start of a beautiful friendship.

    The guerrillas and Bout talked for two full hours, first in the mezzanine lounge of the Bangkok Sofitel, then holed up in a bland conference room on the 27th floor. No lunch, no wine, none of the orchid-draped prostitutes who draw sex tourists to Thailand. Just water, tea and business, business, business.

    The Colombians described life in the jungle under constant fire from the government in Bogota and its American military advisors, with their powerful helicopter gunships ripping across the canopy.

    Bout, a mustachioed, 41-year-old Russian already known as the Merchant of Death with a long bloody history in Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and other war zones, offered sympathy, and relief, in the form of a massive arsenal.

    He listed what was on offer: 30,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 10 million rounds of ammunition, or more, five tons of C-4 plastic explosives, ultralight airplanes outfitted with grenade launchers, mortars, unmanned aerial vehicles, Dragunov sniper rifles with night vision, vehicle-mounted anti-aircraft cannons that could take down an airliner, and, most audaciously, 700 to 800 shoulder-fired homing surface-to-air missiles — known in the West as SAMs or MANPADs, for man-portable air-defense systems.

    That was a massive arsenal, enough to arm an army. But the SAMs were the big attraction, and Bout was offering many more than Ricardo and Carlos had originally requested — they’d asked for just 5,000 AK-47s and a mere ton of explosives. Bout was also volunteering some items, like the cannons, they hadn’t asked for at all.

    Ricardo and Carlos weren’t newbies. Ricardo was a former Colombian soldier and weapons expert for right-wing death squads and their adversaries, Colombian cartels. Carlos, introducing himself to Bout as “the money guy,” was a doctor’s son who had turned his education to laundering drug money. They rocked back in their chairs as Bout scribbled the numbers on a notepad: “AA = 100 + 700-800.” That meant, 100 SAMs immediately, then another 700 to 800 in later shipments.

    He encircled the notation with heavy lines. As Ricardo well knew, terrorist groups the world over would thrill to get their hands on even just one or two of those light, potent killing machines. A team of fighters firing one of these small guided projectiles could prevent helicopters carrying special operations troops from landing to mount an attack on a remote jungle stronghold.

    Bout knew all that. He also knew that if FARC leaders chose, they could sell off some of their cache to other, crazier zealots like al Qaeda, to unleash chaos anywhere.

    As an offensive weapon of terror, a SAM is breathtakingly effective. A tiny ragtag band could down a single passenger airliner, inflicting mass casualties, then claim that to have more missiles in position, near three or four major international airports. The threat could be a lie, but how would the authorities know? A few suicidal, homicidal people with a SAM could paralyze international travel and commerce. For that reason, in 2004, the U.S. Congress jacked up the penalty for selling SAMs to a mandatory minimum of 25 years in federal prison and a maximum of life behind bars.

    Bout was undaunted. As he pitched weapons to the Colombians, he coolly jotted down numbers, doodled a little ultralight, scribbled and boxed the letters “UAV,” referring to an armed drone. Today, remote-controlled armed drones are commonplace in the Ukraine war, but they weren’t in 2008.

    Bout offered the Colombians even more — instructors, advisers, technology. All this bounty, he said, for $20 million to $30 million, to start. That was a whopping transaction, by conventional underworld standards, but Bout knew that despite their battered clothes and dirty fingernails, the guerillas were good for the money. He hadn’t dealt extensively with the FARC — most of his clients were African strongmen — but he did some research about Latin America on his laptop the night before the meeting. FARC leaders, though vaguely Marxist and listed as terrorists by the U.S. State Department, were known to be ardent capitalists. In 2006, the U.S. Justice Department had filed an indictment against 50 FARC leaders, accusing the organization of producing half the world’s cocaine and sending $25 billion worth of cocaine to the United States and other countries. Colombian National Police teams, often joined by agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Army special forces soldiers, regularly flew surveillance missions and mounted occasional lab raids — which is why the guerillas wanted anti-aircraft batteries.

    Ricardo and Carlos admitted that they had so much money they didn’t know what to do with it, especially in Europe, where cocaine was increasingly popular. “We can produce around 40 million euro in every month,” Carlos said. He asked for advice on how to launder the cascade of cash, which was becoming cumbersome.

    “Truth?” Bout replied. “We can find you the way to, to, uh, do it properly.” He recommended certain Russian banks.

    After about two hours of fruitful business discussions, the Colombians excused themselves, allegedly to call the man who had kindly provided them the introduction to Bout. But actually, the call was routed to Robert Zachariasiewicz, an agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, who had opened a criminal investigation into Bout in June 2007. He was with other DEA agents and a team of Thai policemen, in a room a few floors below. DEA had arrested Ricardo and Carlos years earlier, flipped them into cooperating insiders and trained them for undercover missions. For this job, the agents had outfitted the pair with tiny audiovisual devices that had recorded the long conversation with Bout. “Zach,” as his partners called him, hadn’t been listening in on the conversations because the devices didn’t transmit; their cover would have been blown if Bout swept the room with an emissions detector. But when the operatives told the agent, “Hey, we got everything,” he knew what that meant.

    As Zachariasiewicz confirmed when he and his partners quickly downloaded and checked the covert digital recordings, Bout had made a string of incriminating statements that violated specific sections of U.S. federal law. That meant he could be indicted in the Southern District of New York, which handled most federal terrorism cases. The eventual charges — conspiring to kill Americans, to kill American officials in the performance of their duties, to support terrorists and to sell anti-aircraft missiles — carried a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum of life.”

    ——

    All well and good, until Joe Biden came along.

    Read the rest and see what a mistake this was.

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  14. Remember peasants, it was for the children……

    Who weren’t in school anyway….

    “What did schools do with their emergency “pandemic” money?”

    https://hotair.com/david-strom/2022/12/11/what-did-schools-do-with-their-emergency-pandemic-money-n517095

    “Literally nobody should be surprised by what public schools did with all that pandemic aid they got during the COVID emergency.

    Very little of it actually was spent on making schools more resilient to COVID or COVID-like diseases.

    If you thought the money would be going primarily to health-related investments you would be disappointed. It isn’t going so much to buying new air filtration or similar expenses. Why would they spend the money on COVID-related things, since they worked to keep kids out of school in the first place.

    So how are schools, which are rushing to spend the money as fast as they can, using the extra dough. As you expect: expanding the money being spent on school personnel. Increases staff, salaries, and bonuses.

    Some of that money is going to remedial education, as you would expect. The teacher unions were bound and determined to keep schools closed or reduce in person time with students. This led to well-documented learning loss for students, and increased behavioral problems now that students are generally back in classrooms. So that money is going to cleaning up the mess. It will never work. They did permanent damage, and will keep asking for money to deal with it.

    But a lot is going to “teacher retention,” which is a fancy way of saying increased salaries and bonuses. The claim being made–and to be honest I cannot either confirm or dispute it, is that teachers are opting out of the profession. The money is being used to persuade the teachers to stick around. I am skeptical, but ignorant of the facts. I will keep my snark in check on this one.

    Yeah, but… None of that explains why 85% of the federal money provided last year was never used. If there was an “emergency,” you would think the “emergency” funds were necessary.

    One hint is rarely discussed by those who are desperate to pour more money into public schools: there was a huge drop in the number of students they serve. About 2 million have left the public school systems since COVID began, seeking greener pasture or completely opting out as they have lost the habit of going to school. Part of the increase in crime is actually driven by young teens who have basically dropped out. Just short of 5% of students left the system.

    Just one example from my neck of the woods: Minneapolis schools lost 15% of their enrolled students. That is an unusually high number, but Minneapolis Public Schools are unusually awful.

    Zoom in: Enrollment changes varied depending on the district.

    Minneapolis Public Schools saw the steepest decline, losing 4,300 students, or 15% of its pre-pandemic enrollment.

    St. Paul (6.7%), Burnsville (8.5%) and Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose (9.7%) also saw big declines. The state’s largest district, Anoka-Hennepin, lost 1.8% of enrollment.

    The other side: Some public school districts bucked the trend and saw increases, including Hopkins (1.5%), Lakeville (0.9%) and Edina (0.4%).

    By the numbers: Districts across the country with the most remote classes lost 4.4% of their students, compared with a 1.1% drop for those that mostly held school in person, according to the survey.

    Between the lines: The survey suggests that families who are frustrated with remote learning and other pandemic-related difficulties are likely to toggle their children to other options like charter schools, private schools, or homeschooling.

    Another is that the feds were not the only ones pouring more money into schools. The “emergency” allowed states to expand their “investments” in schools, meaning that the schools literally had more money than they could spend right away. It takes work to spend that money in a way that could be plausibly be explained. Especially when enrollment is declining fast.

    Another complicating factor is that schools are using one-time money for ongoing expenses:

    The temporary nature of the funding complicates the rationale for using it to hire staff, however.

    “If you use this money to pay for more positions, then you’re setting yourself up for what they call a fiscal cliff,” Butcher said.

    The final round of funding expires in the fall of 2024, which could put some jobs and programs in jeopardy.

    “At the most basic level, there’s the mismatch of choosing to use one-time federal money to buy things that commit the district to spend money beyond this year and next. Case in point: using temporary funds to hire a slew of new employees, most with an expectation of continued employment, steady salary raises, and future retirement benefits,” Marguerite Rosa, director of Georgetown University’s Edunomics Lab, wrote in a piece for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

    New York City’s public schools have spent a significant chunk of the relief money on growing its universal pre-K program, which was a wish list item that long predated the pandemic and that critics say has virtually nothing to do with helping students recover from learning loss.

    “The second-largest part of New York City’s allocation, $1.98 billion, or 28.4%, targeted the full expansion of the city’s 3-K initiative (universal free educational childcare for 3-year-olds), which began before the pandemic hit,” the state comptroller’s office noted last month in an analysis of how the city school district had used its relief money.”

    ——-

    And taxpayers will be expected to pick up the slack when the “free” money runs out.

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  15. A woman I know shared on Facebook that her boyfriend’s (live in) car was stolen. They moved to Minneapolis last summer. Apparently, Hyundi and Kia cars are stolen regularly. They had just gotten the car the day before and had two new car seats in it. Car was found quite trashed, and seats gone. Now the fight about the title not being transferred yet and the other losses. Houses are cheaper in Minneapolis and there is a reason for that. People are buying less of those kinds of cars because of how easy they are to steal (15 seconds) is what I heard. So evil to keep putting up with all this crime!

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  16. Socialists have long argued the corporate control of media impeded free speech. Those on the free market side of the argument point to property rights. As corporations controlling private property they are under no obligation to grant you a platform or so the private property argument goes. Hence, you can’t claim suppression of free speech if the NYT refuses to print your letter to the editor. The solution, for leftists, was to promote arms length autonomous gov’t supported media; BBC is the best example of this. Now some Republicans are adopting the socialist argument of corporate silencing of free speech but their solution appears to be trust in the benevolence of a rich guy. Just trust Musk (or Murdoch) and free speech will reign.

    The evidence seems to be the other way – Musk is arbitrarily shutting down accounts merely for annoying him. Parody accounts mocking him are down. Just recently he joined Dave Chappelle on stage and was roundly booed for several minutes by the audience. However, you can’t find any video evidence on Twitter. He later blamed the “woke” audience, which is amusing since Dave Chappelle audiences are hardly “woke”.

    The “Twitter files” and its discussion on social media is amusing. Rarely do I see any series of Tabbi’s in order. People are picking and choosing what suits their politics. Tabbi usually publishes his work in Rolling Stone – either they didn’t want to publish or Musk opened up the files to him on condition he publish it on Twitter in order to maintain an audience.

    The one thing many on the right side of the Internet missed is how common it is for Twitter to receive requests to monitor, take down, or suspend accounts. Both Republican and Democratic politicians and their campaign teams made requests. Aside from politicians, actresses, athletes and just ordinary people made requests. Ultimately the decision is made based on corporate liability and brand image. And the decisions are made by millennials most male with a university degree and probably on the west coast. It would be a natural inclination for them to understand Democratic complaints rather than Republican. And in the end, they made decisions for a corporation who controls private property in this case a social media platform.

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  17. Did anyone know there was an American teacher being held in Russia before Grier was released? Grier was traded for Bout not because she was a black lesbian but because as a two time gold medal winning Olympian she was an athlete and a celebrity. And they will get attention. Americans and their gov’t value athletes and especially celebrities, they even elected one president. The good thing about the Grier release is the teacher is finally getting some attention.

    Like

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