January 25, 2023 by the real Aj News/Politics 1-25-23 What’s interesting in the news today? Open ThreadShare this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading... Related
“Though the trajectory of Christian commitment in the U.S. has been on a downward slide and is in need of urgent interventions, our new data give Christian leaders cause for hope.”
Barna CEO David Kinnaman shares more in a new article:
It’s about time.
“Two Abortion Activists Arrested for Attacking Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers, They Face 12 Years in Prison”
“The Justice Department has finally arrested and indicted abortion activists in connection with over 250 cases of violence against churches and pregnancy centers.
Two Florida residents were indicted by a federal grand jury for spray-painting threats on pro-life pregnancy centers that provide women with abortion alternatives. The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in the Middle District of Florida, alleges that Caleb Freestone, 27, (pictured) and Amber Smith-Stewart, 23, attacked multiple pro-life pregnancy centers in Florida.
Freestone and Smith-Stewart targeted pregnancy resource facilities and vandalized those facilities with spray-painted threats, including “If abortions aren’t safe than niether [sic] are you,” “YOUR TIME IS UP!!,” “WE’RE COMING for U,” and “We are everywhere,” on a reproductive health services facility in Winter Haven, Florida. The indictment further alleges that facilities in Hollywood, Florida, and Hialeah, Florida, were also targeted.
The incidents came after a creepy pro-abortion march by Antifa and other radical leftists.
The indictment also alleges that Freestone and Smith-Stewart violated the FACE Act by using threats of force to intimidate and interfere with the employees of a reproductive health services facility in Winter Haven because those employees were providing or seeking to provide reproductive health services. The indictment further alleges that Freestone and Smith-Stewart violated the FACE Act by intentionally damaging and destroying the facility’s property because the facility provides reproductive health services.
If convicted of the offenses, Freestone and Smith-Stewart each face up to a maximum of 12 years in prison, three years of supervised release and fines of up to $350,000.
The attack is the latest in hundreds of crimes directed at pro-life advocates and churches in the past year. LifeNews, which kept track of the incidents, estimated an average of four per week in 2022.”
A full list of these and other abortion fanatics targets are at the link.
The left continue to groom children for perversion.
Biden didn’t self report, he was caught. Big difference.
“Have you heard the media report that the difference between Joe Biden and Donald Trump on classified document mishandling is that Biden “self-reported” it? That narrative started early and has endured over the last two weeks. Yesterday on MSNBC, Lawrence O’Donnell declared, ““Everything we know about the Biden case is because of Biden cooperation. Every single thing”:
SCARBOROUGH: “And Lawrence — Lawrence I’m sure you agree with me on this point. The fact that Joe Biden has documents, the fact that they’re — you know, they — he opened up his house, and it’s nothing like — so far nothing like — like the Trump document case. That — that shouldn’t confuse Merrick Garland, that shouldn’t confuse the DoJ, they should still be able to hold these two separate cases in separate silos and still charge Donald Trump, if Donald Trump’s case, justifies charging him regardless of what Joe Biden did.”
O’DONNELL: “Yeah, and everything we know about the Biden case is because of Biden cooperation. Every single thing —“
O’DONNELL: “— we know about it, including this last weekend’s discovery, where the Biden lawyers, in — in talking to the Justice Department said, listen, should we do more, and — and the details of the search, the Biden’s search are really important. This last search, they searched the bathrooms, they searched every single room of the house. That did not happen —“
SCARBOROUGH: “They opened up the entire house. They opened up the entire house for searching.”
Right? Actually … not so much, as Andrew McCarthy reminds us at The Hill. The White House certainly made it seem as though they self-reported the violation and offered complete transparency, and the media gleefully embraced that. But how exactly did this begin, and just how cooperative was Biden and his team? Not nearly as much as they claim:”
First, the Penn Biden Center did not open until February 2018. Biden obviously took the documents when he left the Obama White House in January 2017, so they had to have been illegally retained at some other unauthorized location for 13 months — meaning they had to have been illegally transported at least twice. Second, Biden directed his Penn Biden Center office to be packed up by his private lawyers, who did not have security clearances (and by the way, even if they had them, that would not necessarily mean they’d be authorized to review TS/SCI documents). Causing national defense information to be exposed to unauthorized persons is also a crime.
What happened next is critical: The Biden private attorney who took the lead on the first batch of documents is Patrick Moore. Moore did not report his discovery of highly classified documents retained in an unlawful place to law-enforcement — i.e., to the FBI or the Department of Justice (DOJ). He reported them to the Biden White House.
We do not know who at the White House participated in the deliberations over what to do about the classified documents discovery. What we know is that the White House did not report the discovery to law enforcement. Instead, it reported the discovery to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), an executive agency (i.e., it reports to the president) that is essentially a records repository, not a law enforcement agency.
But NARA disclosed this immediately to law enforcement — right? That would make this a full disclosure by proxy, if so. Unfortunately for the prevailing narrative, that isn’t quite true either; the archivists didn’t immediately contact the DoJ on November 2, as they should have. Law enforcement didn’t get notified until November 4, and not from the normal chain of command at NARA either. Instead, the Inspector General for NARA noticed the activity and dug into what was going on between Biden and the archivists:
NARA, like most executive agencies, has an IG’s office to keep it on the straight and narrow, including by internally investigating wrongdoing and reporting it to Congress. The IG plainly realized that the inclusion of classified materials in government records returned to NARA from a non-secure location raised the possibility of criminal misconduct, and thus had to be reported to the Justice Department — just as the archives reported potential classified-information violations to Main Justice in early 2022, when former president Donald Trump returned 15 boxes of presidential records that had been retained at Mar-a-Lago and in which the archives discovered documents bearing classification markings.
Had it not been for the IG’s notification, it is doubtful that Biden’s illegal retention of classified information would have been reported to the Justice Department at all. And there is every reason to believe the public would never have been told.
One has to wonder whether Biden’s team hoped to quietly put the records back into the archives without ever having the mishandling come to light. And if that was the case, one has to wonder whether the NARA archivists hoped for the same thing. But at that point, Biden and the White House became totally transparent, right? Child, please. Back to Andy McCarthy:
Yet, when the White House conceded on Jan. 9 that Biden had retained documents, it concealed the Dec. 20 garage documents — i.e., it confirmed only what CBS had reported about the Nov. 2 Penn Biden Center documents.
Obviously, the White House hoped that no one would find out about the second discovery in the Wilmington garage. But then CBS’s Jan. 9 report was quickly followed by press reports about the documents found in the garage, as well as yet a third set of classified documents found in Biden’s Wilmington home (in his den) on Jan. 12.”
Soros and his money have further corrupted our media.
And the media willingly plays along. You know many of the names of the compromised too.
“How George Soros co-opts the media and keeps criticism down”
“A new report from the Media Research Center has exposed connections between billionaire liberal financier George Soros and 54 prominent media figures. As documented by its authors, Joseph Vazquez and Dan Schneider, these include reporters, anchors, columnists, editors, news executives and journalists.
The highest-profile media figures revealed to have connections to Soros, often due to them sitting on boards of organizations he funds, include:
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour once sat on the board of the Center for Public Integrity*, a nonprofit investigative journalism group previously funded by Soros, that critics charge mainly targets Republican fundraisers.
NBC’s Lester Holt, the Washington Post’s Sally Buzbee, Associated Press executive editor Julie Pace, and Reuters editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni all sit on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists, a Soros-funded organization that purports to defend the rights of journalists.
CBS’s Margaret Brennan and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria serve on the board of the massively influential Council on Foreign Relations, a Soros-backed think tank specializing in US foreign policy.
NBC’s chairman Cesar Conde is on the board of the Aspen Institute, a Soros-backed think tank. In recent years, it launched a left-leaning commission to combat so-called disinformation, and was implicated in the suppression of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story in the recently released Twitter files.
NPR’s president and CEO John Lansing is connected by the direct funding Soros gives his publication.
PolitiFact editor-in-chief Angie Dronbic Holan serves on the board of the Soros-backed International Fact-Checking Network, which has openly pressed Facebook to censor what it considers misinformation (i.e., anything that goes against the liberal narrative), and serves as the “high body” for dozens of fact-checking organizations under its umbrella.
And it shows in their coverage. Not only does Soros fund the media to push his radical-left agenda, his funding has the added effect of insulating him from criticism.
As Vazquez and Schneider include among their examples: During a PBS segment in 2018, Amanpour had on Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó and used the opportunity to accuse his boss, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, of being “anti-Semitic” for cracking down on the billionaire’s influence in his country.
As I noted in my book, “The Man Behind the Curtain,” bogus charges of anti-Semitism against Soros’ critics are the most common line of attack among Soros-funded outlets.
During the Brett Kavanaugh hearings in 2018, the Soros-funded ThinkProgress called reports that Soros was paying people to protest against then-President Donald Trump an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theory,” and accused Trump himself of “getting in on the anti-Semitic action.”
Meanwhile, Soros was spending $5 million on the effort to thwart Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyer Debra Katz was vice chair of the Project on Government Oversight, which has been directly funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
NPR has received nearly $2 million from Soros in the past to hire up to 100 new reporters. When Spanish language broadcaster Radio y Televisión Martí ran a 15-minute segment on the influence of Soros, warning that he has his “eyes on Latin America,” NPR branded it “taxpayer-funded anti-Semitism against George Soros” (referencing the fact that Radio y Televisión Martí is funded by the US federal government). It also voiced support for the US Agency for Global Media launching an investigation into it as a result.
This “Any criticism of Soros is anti-Semitic” narrative has naturally spread to other left-wing publications, such as the Associated Press, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and seemingly everywhere else. So mindless is this type of charge that one publication, Moment Magazine, accused the Jewish prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, of anti-Semitism for daring to criticize Soros.
Soros went into overdrive in funding his media empire in the Trump era, with other research from the MRC finding that from 2016 to 2020, Soros dished out at least $131 million to influence at least 253 journalism and activist media groups to promote far-left views on abortion, economics, the police, environmentalism, LGBT ideology, and anti-Americanism. A common strategy for when those outlets report on any misdeeds of Soros is to frame the allegations as “conspiracy theories” from people with sinister motives (similar to how the media will phrase Republicans reacting to Democratic misdeeds or failures as “Republicans pouncing” — as if they’re the ones in the wrong). Publications that employ journalists that also serve on Soros-funded boards include the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, CNN, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ABC News, the Sacramento Bee and countless more.
Others will simply downplay any alleged wrongdoing or accept Soros’ counternarrative without question. One such example came back in 2021 when the left-leaning journalism nonprofit ProPublica (which receives just under 2% of its funding from Soros) released a report that used 15 years of confidential IRS records to calculate the effective tax rate that billionaires pay on their fortunes (which was low because unrealized capital gains aren’t taxed).”
The above is the second in a series. Here’s the first.
“George Soros spent $40M getting lefty district attorneys, officials elected all over the country”
“To see just how much law and order has eroded under George Soros-backed “progressive prosecutors,” consider Loudoun County, Virginia.
The top prosecutor there, Commonwealth Attorney Buta Biberaj, announced last week that her office wouldn’t be directly involved in the prosecution of misdemeanor charges — including hit-and-run, eluding police, reckless driving, trespassing, public drunkenness and failure to appear, among others.
Soros dumped $659,000 into the Loudoun County commonwealth attorney race backing Biberaj for the position, which she won by a slim 49.5% to 47.5% margin despite the massive cash advantage. She was sworn into the position in January 2020.
After last week’s announcement, Biberaj claimed that letting all these crimes go unpunished would allow her office to devote more resources to victims of more serious crimes such as “murder, rape, and domestic violence, not speeding tickets.”
As always, the rhetoric betrays the facts on the ground. The exact types of crimes that Biberaj claims she wants to focus on are the ones she’s been neglecting most.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors decided to give Biberaj’s office a smaller budget increase than requested in 2021 due to high turnover and her handling of domestic violence cases: Of 735 cases brought to her office, she dismissed 491, bringing only 8% to trial.
Biberaj is just one of 75 prosecutors nationwide who were backed by Soros for their pro-criminal bents, as a recent Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund report noted. After investing more than $40 million into this project, Soros-backed DAs (and their ideological allies) now represent at least one-fifth of Americans.
That $40 million is a drop in a bucket to the $32 billion that backs his political empire. But by focusing on key local races, Soros is having an outsize impact on people’s lives.
Flipping a legislature and changing the law is a lot more daunting than just electing one person who refuses to enforce the law. In many cases, Soros’ prosecutors decline to prosecute cases, toss charges or cut lax plea deals — bypassing the statutes on the books.”
Hillary taught them well.
“Seattle officials deliberately ‘purged’ thousands of CHOP-related text messages, despite ‘legal obligation’ to retain them: Federal judge”
“Several former and current Seattle, Washington, officials who were in office during the 2020 Capitol Hill Organized Protest or Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone — better known as CHOP or CHAZ — deliberately “purged” evidentiary text messages related to that event, a federal judge has determined. As a result, the jury that will eventually consider a lawsuit about that event may presume that the missing text messages were “unfavorable” to the city and to those officials.
On June 8, 2020, a rogue group of leftist activists, some affiliated with Black Lives Matter, cordoned off about six or eight blocks in the Capitol Hill district of Seattle and declared the area an “autonomous zone,” a quasi-sovereign state that is separate from the U.S. However, infrastructure within the zone quickly collapsed as violence raged. By July 1, Seattle police had quashed the protest, and CHOP was dissolved, leaving two dead teenagers and several severely injured victims in its wake.
But physical violence was not the only harm CHOP caused. Businesses located within the occupied territory suffered serious injury to their bottom line, to say nothing of the integrity of their buildings, because protesters refused to allow employees and clients to access them. More than a dozen of those businesses quickly filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming that officials had supported CHOP by providing various accommodations to the protesters, including barriers, portable toilets and washing stations, and dumpsters. Now, a federal judge has determined that that lawsuit can go to trial.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly sided with the plaintiffs on two key counts in the lawsuit, while dismissing three others. Zilly will allow a jury to determine whether city officials — including former Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D), former police Chief Carmen Best, fire Chief Harold Scoggins, and others — were culpable for “taking” the public’s “right to access” those establishments.
However, the most crucial ruling Zilly seemed to give in his 39-page order relates to text messages missing from the “City-owned” phones that had been given to those public officials for government use. Though attorneys for the plaintiffs issued several letters to the city in June and July 2020 requesting that its officials retain their text messages as possible evidence, nearly all of the text messages in many of their phones were wiped clean.
On August 21, 2020, a city attorney discovered that all of Durkan’s texts had been deleted from both an old and a new phone. Durkan claimed that she’d dropped her phone in water on July 4. Though damaged, that phone retained enough function for Durkan to power it on and restore its data to the iCloud, but Durkan claimed she then performed a reset on her phone, at which time, she accidentally selected a “Disable and Delete” option that ended the synchronization between her data and the iCloud and began deleting all text messages that were more than 30 days old.
On July 7, she received a new phone, which “someone” set to continue the “30-day delete” option, causing more than 5,700 texts to be permanently lost. No backup of the data from her previous phone was ever made. Zilly asserted in his order that Durkan’s “various reasons for deleting her text messages strain credibility.”
A similar discovery regarding police Chief Best’s phone was made six months after she tendered her resignation on September 2, 2020. According to the court document, Best manually deleted more than 27,000 texts before she surrendered the phone back to the city. Best later testified that she periodically deletes her text messages, but stated she did not recall deleting all of her messages before returning the phone. Best also claimed that she thought, like emails sent from city-issued email addresses, all of the data on city-issued phones always had a backup copy. Officials later blamed “COVID work requirements” for not discovering the missing messages until March 2021.
The texts on Scoggins’ phone were not discovered missing until February 2021, several months after he’d input the wrong passcode too many times and locked himself out of the device. When he took the phone to an Apple Store to be serviced in October 2020, “an employee reset the device, deleting all prior messages,” the court document stated.
Though experts have been able to recreate more than 160,000 lost messages sent to other recipients, not a single text message exchanged between Durkan, Best, and Scoggins between June 8 and July 1, 2020, has been recovered.
“City officials deleted thousands of texts messages from their city-owned phones in complete disregard of their legal obligation to preserve relevant evidence,” Zilly wrote on January 13.
“The Court finds substantial circumstantial evidence that the city acted with the requisite intent necessary to impose a severe sanction and that the city’s conduct exceeds gross negligence,” he added.
For these reasons, the jury which will hear the case against the city officials on behalf of the plaintiff businesses “may presume that the City officials’ text messages (deleted after Plaintiffs commenced this action) were unfavorable to the City, and Plaintiffs will be allowed to present evidence and argument at trial regarding the City’s deletion of the text messages,” Zilly ruled.”
“How ‘The Twitter Files’ Undermine The J6 Report”
“Censorship-hungry Twitter employees vented to the House Select Committee on Jan. 6 that their company wasn’t authoritarian enough when it came to curbing former President Donald Trump ahead of the 2021 Capitol riot, a newly released 122-page memo shows. “The Twitter Files,” however, prove Big Tech went out of its way to suppress the Republican president long before his ban from the platform on Jan. 8, 2021.
When the Twitter staff, or “Tweeps,” gave witness testimony to the J6 Committee last year, they likely didn’t anticipate a fact-check of their public statements against their internal communications. Then Elon Musk acquired the company in October of 2022 and released internal documents exposing Twitter’s key censorship decisions and election meddling.
Some of the material in the revelations dubbed “The Twitter Files” corroborates what these ex-staffers told the J6 Committee about Twitter’s hesitation to ban Trump until Jan. 8. Many of the uncovered documents and communications, however, prove that long before the riot, Twitter treated Trump differently than it did most world leaders.
Tweeps Agree: Big Tech Not Authoritarian Enough
Anika Navaroli, a member of Twitter’s censorship team, told the J6 Committee in anonymous testimony in July of 2022 that Twitter’s decision to delay the permanent suspension of Trump until after the riot was “absolutely indicative and emblematic of Twitter’s hands-off, willfully ignorant approach to the former President’s rhetoric on the service and on the platform.”
Much like hundreds of Twitter employees who wrote an open letter demanding the president’s permanent suspension, Navaroli claimed she lobbied for the curbing of Trump long before he was banned on Jan. 8, 2021, but her demands for action were ignored.
“For months I had been begging and anticipating and attempting to raise the reality that if nothing — if we made no intervention into what I saw occurring, people were going to die,” Navaroli said in her interview with the Democrat-dominated committee. “On Jan. 5, I realized no intervention was coming. As hard as I had tried to create one or implement one, there was nothing. We were at the whims and the mercy of a violent crowd that was locked and loaded.”
Navaroli’s frustrations furthered when, after being tasked with evaluating the validity of Trump’s online rhetoric following the Capitol riot, she ultimately dismissed the outgoing president’s tweets as above board under Twitter’s policies.
“I also am not seeing clear or coded incitement in the DJT tweet,” Navaroli wrote in a Slack chat with her colleagues on Jan. 8. “I’ll respond in the elections channel and say that our team has assessed and found no [violations] for the DJT one.”
Navaroli wasn’t alone. Another unnamed member of Twitter’s safety policy team told the J6 Committee that Twitter’s censorship teams weren’t equipped to “find a rationale to suspend the President’s account from the service, and ‘stop the insurrection’” on Jan. 6.
“The team was left to respond to rampant incitement on Twitter under its own initiative, once again without clear instruction,” the committee report states, adding later, “This understaffed, ramshackle made [one of the employees moderating content on Jan. 6] feel like she was a security guard hovering over the Capitol, trying to defend the building as the crowd tweeted out its progress during the course of the assault.”
It’s clear from these accounts that Twitter employees tried to find a cause for deplatforming Trump under the Big Tech company’s then-policies. When they failed to obtain the political results they desired, partisan Twitter executives sidestepped free speech loyalists at the company by changing the rules to target Trump alone. The Capitol riot was simply their catalyst.”
He may grow on me yet.
This is immensely stupid.
One of the Us’s best battlefield weapons will end up in the hands of our enemies.
The corrupt Ukraine govt is probably already in talk with our enemies.
Pass the Pelosi Act.
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When I saw the acronym PELOSI I rolled my eyes, sure that Hawley must have mangled syntax somehow to come up with that, but it actually fits pretty well!
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