Thursday, August 23, 2018

Neuropolitics: Computers See You In Ways You Can't See Yourself

TechnologyReview |  This spring there was a widespread outcry when American Facebook users found out that information they had posted on the social network—including their likes, interests, and political preferences—had been mined by the voter-targeting firm Cambridge Analytica. While it’s not clear how effective they were, the company’s algorithms may have helped fuel Donald Trump’s come-from-behind victory in 2016.

But to ambitious data scientists like Pocovi, who has worked with major political parties in Latin America in recent elections, Cambridge Analytica, which shut down in May, was behind the curve. Where it gauged people’s receptiveness to campaign messages by analyzing data they typed into Facebook, today’s “neuropolitical” consultants say they can peg voters’ feelings by observing their spontaneous responses: an electrical impulse from a key brain region, a split-­second grimace, or a moment’s hesitation as they ponder a question. The experts aim to divine voters’ intent from signals they’re not aware they’re producing. A candidate’s advisors can then attempt to use that biological data to influence voting decisions.

Political insiders say campaigns are buying into this prospect in increasing numbers, even if they’re reluctant to acknowledge it. “It’s rare that a campaign would admit to using neuromarketing techniques—though it’s quite likely the well-funded campaigns are,” says Roger Dooley, a consultant and author of Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing. While it’s not certain the Trump or Clinton campaigns used neuromarketing in 2016, SCL—the parent firm of Cambridge Analytica, which worked for Trump—has reportedly used facial analysis to assess whether what voters said they felt about candidates was genuine.

But even if US campaigns won’t admit to using neuromarketing, “they should be interested in it, because politics is a blood sport,” says Dan Hill, an American expert in facial-expression coding who advised Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto’s 2012 election campaign. Fred Davis, a Republican strategist whose clients have included George W. Bush, John McCain, and Elizabeth Dole, says that while uptake of these technologies is somewhat limited in the US, campaigns would use neuromarketing if they thought it would give them an edge. “There’s nothing more important to a politician than winning,” he says.

The trend raises a torrent of questions in the run-up to the 2018 midterms. How well can consultants like these use neurological data to target or sway voters? And if they are as good at it as they claim, can we trust that our political decisions are truly our own? Will democracy itself start to feel the squeeze?

Security- Convenience- Social Credit- Human Factor Continuity...,

activistpost |  Big Tech has gathered unprecedented amounts of personal data from millions of people. At the same time, a system of total surveillance has been constructed: Facial recognition, biometric scanning, cell phone surveillance and more have amassed a huge amount of information.

We see the stories about the growing surveillance state, but we don’t hear about the gigantic multinational corporation that is helping to build the physical infrastructure supporting it.

Idemia (formerly Morpho), is a billion dollar multinational corporation. It is responsible for building a significant portion of the world’s biometric surveillance and security systems, operating in about 70 countries. Some American clients of the company include the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and the FBI.

The company website says that Morpho has been “…building and managing databases of entire populations…” for many years.

From the company site:
Morpho has been building and managing databases of entire populations for governments, law enforcement agencies and other government bodies around the world, whether for national ID, health cards, bank cards or even driver license programs.
In the United States, Idemia is involved in the making of state issued drivers licenses in 42 states.
The company is now pushing digital license trials in the U.S. Delaware and Iowa are among five states involved in the trials this year. With the mobile license, law enforcement will be able to wirelessly “ping” a drivers smartphone for their license. The move is part of a wider trend toward cashless payment.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Not Just In Crime-Ridden Inner Cities Any More...,

Rutherford |  Police in a small Georgia town tasered a 5-foot-2, 87-year-old woman who was using a kitchen knife to cut dandelions for use in a recipe. Police claim they had no choice but to taser the old woman, who does not speak English but was smiling at police to indicate she was friendly, because she failed to comply with orders to put down the knife.

Police in California are being sued for using excessive force against a deaf 76-year-old woman who was allegedly jaywalking and failed to halt when police yelled at her. According to the lawsuit, police searched the woman and her grocery bags. She was then slammed to the ground, had a foot or knee placed behind her neck or back, handcuffed, arrested and cited for jaywalking and resisting arrest.

In Alabama, police first tasered then shot and killed an unarmed man who refused to show his driver’s license after attempting to turn in a stray dog he’d found to the local dog shelter. The man’s girlfriend and their three children, all under the age of 10, witnessed the shooting.

In New York, Customs and Border Protection officers have come under fire for subjecting female travelers (including minors) to random body searches that include strip searches while menstruating, genital probing, and forced pelvic exams, X-rays and intravenous drugs at area hospitals.

At a California gas station, ICE agents surrounded a man who was taking his pregnant wife to the hospital to deliver their baby, demanding that he show identification. Having forgotten his documents at home in the rush to get to the hospital, the husband offered to go get them. Refusing to allow him to do so, ICE agents handcuffed and arrested the man for not having an ID with him, leaving his wife to find her way alone to the hospital. The father of five, including the newborn, has lived and worked in the U.S. for 12 years with his wife.

These are not isolated incidents.

These cases are legion.

This is what a state of undeclared martial law looks like, when you can be arrested, tasered, shot, brutalized and in some cases killed merely for not complying with a government agent’s order or not complying fast enough.

This isn’t just happening in crime-ridden inner cities.

Real ID

ericpetersautos |  The REAL ID card, as they’re styled.  

And the “upgrade” – as that is styled – is trackable biometric tagging, just the right word. Like the ear tags ranchers use to keep track of their cattle.

Without which they aren’t allowed beyond the barbed wire. Just like us.

The REAL ID will also plug the cow – whoops, person – into “ . . .national linked databases allowing millions of employees at all levels of government around the national to access personal data.”

That data being … everything.

Not just your DMV record, date of birth, sex and the usual data pertaining to driving. The REAL ID will tie everything about you that’s been uploaded to government/corporate data bases into one easily accessible (by the government and corporations) place. When an armed government worker pulls you over, he’ll be able to know you better than your spouse does just by scanning your card. Also your bank, employer and everyone else you’re forced to ID yourself to. 

And if you don’t get the REAL ID?  It’s the reservation for you.

How did this happen?

The REAL ID Act was imposed upon Americans back in 2005 by the enemies of freedom – that is, by George W. Bush, his puppet master, Dick Cheney and the politicians of both the Democrat and Republican persuasion – who voted to rescind the freedoms of Americans in the aftermath of the (ahem) terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

In the name of “fighting terror,” Americans would be terrorized – forced to submit to fingerprinting, retinal-scanning and other such biometric cattle tagging in order to travel . . . anywhere.

Including within the United States.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Has Trump Crossed the Black Chasm?

tomluongo |  Do you remember the Zune?  I barely do.

Do you remember the iPod?  Silly question.

The iPod changed everything.

While the Zune was technically superior in nearly every way to the iPod, the iPod became a phenomenon.

Why?  Because Apple focused on how the iPod made your life better.

In marketing there is something called “The Chasm.”  It’s an idea put forth by Geoffrey Moore in the early 90’s.  Getting 16% market share is easy. There are nearly always one in six people who are willing to adopt the new or different thing.

But, to become a social phenomenon that ‘new thing’ has to ‘cross the chasm’ by shifting the marketing message from its newness superiority to why this ‘new thing’ will make your life better.

The message has to appeal to people’s sense of shared experience and community.  And if that shift is successful your product or message will ‘cross the chasm’ and begin to see mass adoption.

For that shift to win out conditions have to be right and the message aligned perfectly with it.
If you do your new thing will explode in the public consciousness literally overnight.
Look at how quickly Jordan Peterson has blown up.

Conditions were right for people to receive his message.  And all it took was for the right moment him to stand up to a virulent ideologue like Kathy Newman of the BBC to become a hero to millions.

The First Black President

So, what does all this 16% Chasm stuff have to do with Donald Trump?

Black Staffers at the White House?

realclearpolitics |  CNN's Commentator and former Congressional Black Caucus Executive Director Angela Rye blasted Gina Loudon, a member of President Trump's 2020 Advisory Council, over her "nonsense" talking points about black staffers at the White House.

Transcript, via CNN:

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT now, Angela Rye, former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Gina Loudon, a member of President Trump's 2020 reelection advisory council.
Gina, let me start with you. You know, in the context we're talking about, all this discussion about Omarosa, and whether there's an N- word tape, and Kellyanne Conway not able to say the last name of one African-American she could label who worked with her in the White House, it would seem a simple question, how many black staffers work in the White House? She couldn't even give a rough number. Does that disappoint you?

GINA LOUDON, MEMBER OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S 2020 RE-ELECT ADVISORY COUNCIL: You know, what disappoints me is the division and the fact that we're having to count people based on their skin color, I don't like that. And I think that, you know, you look back at our history, we have a pretty amazing history of overcoming slavery, of expanding civil rights, of women's rights, and a lot of those things happened under American presidents who didn't have any minorities at all on their White Houses.

Thank God we do. I looked over the list of people I know there, about one-third are a minority or women. Those are great strides. Could they be better? Absolutely.

And I know -- I talked to some of my friends in the White House tonight, and they said, yes, they would love more diversity in the White House. The problem is when you have someone come out, and defend the president or even say they want to sit down and have a conversation with him, for example, Kanye West, they're completely annihilated in the press.

And so, there is a trepidation there. So, I think if we could focus on the fact that we would like to build on that and work on it together, I know the administration is open to that.

BURNETT: So, your number is roughly a third and that counts women, too. So, you're saying two-thirds are white men, and one-third are diverse in some way, but you're counting women in there? Just to make sure I understand.

LOUDON: Erin, if you look at the comms department, as far as my count, I did this cursory before the show, but Hogan Gidley is the only white guy I can even find in the comms department. So, I think it depends department to department. It's going to vary.

But I think the bottom line is the policy that comes out of this White House, 700,000 new jobs, record unemployment for all minorities and women. I mean, you know the list and it's a good list.

And there's more coming out. There's new -- on Dodd-Frank repeal. There's great news coming out about small business leaders, many of them are minorities. So, there's a lot of good news, Erin.

BURNETT: Angela?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think I got stuck at Gina saying that American presidents have done a great deal for people of color like ending slavery? Like I think I'm stuck in 1865 right now. Like I can't believe that's -- 

Is Omarosa Banned From CNN?

The controversial former White House staffer and ex-Donald Trump crony has been hawking her book, “Unhinged,” on rival MSNBC, but hasn’t been able to book an appearance on CNN.

“Don Lemon was offered one of the first cable interviews and passed,” an insider told Page Six.
We’re told Manigault Newman was also scheduled to appear on Jake Tapper’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, but CNN canceled the appearance.

Another source said CNN was initially only interested in booking commentators who would trash-talk the reality-show vixen. “They only wanted to book guests with nothing positive to say about her. They were specifically looking for people who would provide a more negative slant when discussing Omarosa,” the source said.

CNN |  Only a few paragraphs of Omarosa Manigault Newman's book are about Puerto Rico. But their claims are significant: that President Donald Trump lacked empathy in Hurricane Maria's aftermath and that the President and Chief of Staff John Kelly referred to Puerto Ricans in derogatory terms. 

The result, the new book titled "Unhinged" alleges, was a slow and cavalier response to the devastation wrought, especially when compared to Trump's swift and effective handling of the hurricanes in Texas and Florida weeks earlier.
Manigault Newman, a former senior White House adviser, wouldn't specify what offensive terms the Trump administration allegedly used when referring to Puerto Ricans, even when pressed to do so during one of her many interviews to promote her book.
CNN has not independently verified her claims, and the White House did not respond to CNN's requests for comment.
I was in Puerto Rico when the Category 4 storm tore through the island on September 20. I witnessed much of what the book describes about conditions and response on the ground unfold in real time. 
The White House has branded Manigault Newman a liar, and many have questioned her tactics, her motives and her accuracy. But based on what I witnessed in Puerto Rico and what I read in her book about the hurricane response, this might be one example where she got it right. 


Monday, August 20, 2018

One Mouthy Gekko Doing THEE MOST Can Eff Up The Whole Lucrative Swamp Ecosystem...,

thehill |  Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Sunday that he thinks former CIA Director John Brennan's rhetoric is becoming an issue "in and of itself."

"John and his rhetoric have become an issue in and of itself," Clapper said on CNN's "State of the Union." "John is subtle like a freight train and he’s gonna say what’s on his mind." 

Clapper's comments came in response to an op-ed penned by Brennan in The New York Times this week, in which he wrote that President Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election. 

Clapper said he empathized with Brennan, but voiced concerns for Brennan's fiery rhetoric toward Trump and his administration.

"I think that the common denominator among all of us [in the intelligence community] that have been speaking up … is genuine concern about the jeopardy and threats to our institutions," Clapper said.
Brennan's claims drew criticism from some in the intelligence community who said the timing was suspect. 

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Thursday took aim at Brennan for "purport[ing] to know, as fact, that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power."

“If his statement is based on intelligence he has seen since leaving office, it constitutes an intelligence breach. If he has some other personal knowledge of or evidence of collusion, it should be disclosed to the special counsel, not The New York Times,” Burr said.

Burr added that Trump has the “full authority” to rescind security clearance if the statements were “purely political and based on conjecture.”

Who Cares What These Overfed "Intelligence Community" Reptiles Think?

We know John to be an enormously talented, capable, and patriotic individual who devoted his adult life to the service of this nation. Insinuations and allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Brennan while in office are baseless.
(Scores of “ex-spies” later joined the original twelve.) In this post, I’m not going to discuss motive, whether Trump’s for revoking Brennan’s clearance, or the intelligence community’s outrage that he did so, or the media’s. Rather, I’m going to focus on the question of whether “the twelve” should have any standing to issue such a statement in the first place. After all, if torture, extraordinary rendition, warrantless surveillance, and whacking US citizens without due process are not “wrongdoing,” then what on earth can be?[3] To this end, I will first present a table sketching the careers and personal networks of “the twelve.” Next, I’ll look at those who did not sign the statement. After that, I’ll make a few brief comments about “the twelve” as a class. I’ll conclude by raising the issue of standing again. I hope this post will be especially useful to those who haven’t been following politics since 9/11, who may take our current institutional structures for granted (see especially footnotes [1] and [2]).

Treasonous SwampTard Tantrum

TBP |  As for Phil Mudd, he exploded in rage when the African-American gentleman pointed out that he himself had made a pile after his retirement from the government thanks to retaining his security clearances.  The gentleman should have added that Mudd’s wealth was really due not just to his clearances but to his membership in what has become known as the Deep State.  People like Mudd, who has held senior positions at the Agency and the FBI (he is a protégé of Robert Mueller, no less) are almost guaranteed huge salaries, bonuses and benefits at government contractors, think tanks, and consulting firms.  They have golden parachutes for life.  Mudd, with a look of injured outrage and indignation on his face, denied that he had ever made penny because of his clearances.  This may or may not be true in a technical sense, but, as Mudd knows very well, his claim is bullshit.  He is part of the club, he is protected from any chance of having to actually work for a living for the rest of his life.  Mudd’s performance was ridiculous for anybody who knows the score.
Of course, the real reason for his hissy fit is that he suspects (correctly, I think) that Trump is planning to cancel the security clearances of the swamp creatures like Mudd who have tried to undermine his presidency and the will of the American people.  The loss of the clearance may not have any direct effects on their earning power but it sends a powerful signal that they no longer are part of the inner circle.  That is a fate worse than death for the men who think they know what is good for the American people.

If I was Trump, any former senior official who said a peep against me would have his clearances pulled the next day.   These people are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, in or out of government.  Suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome is no excuse for the behavior of people like Brennan and Mudd.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

#BlackVotesMatter #BlackJobsMatter

zerohedge |  Support for President Trump among black voters hit 36% according to a new Rasmussen poll released on Thursday - nearly doubling his approval rating among African-Americans from the same day last year, which stood at 19%. 

The boost corresponds with all-time low unemployment among blacks of 5.9% in May, which President Trump and others have been touting: 

What's more, the Rasmussen poll comes amid controversy over the reported existence of a tape which contains Trump saying the N-word. The curiously timed allegations were brought by former White House aide and apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman - who was fired from the Clinton administration after being shuffled around four times

That said, the Washington Post refutes Rasmussen's results with a Friday article entitled "No, one-third of African Americans don’t support Trump. Not even close."
Polling firms that have interviewed far more African Americans, and that are much more transparent than Rasmussen, all show that Trump’s black approval rating is much lower than 36 percent.
For example, Gallup has interviewed thousands of African American respondents in 2018. Its polling suggests that Trump’s black approval rating has consistently been around 10 to 15 percent through 2018.
Perhaps it depends on who's doing the asking, and what part of the country the questions are being asked?

What Would These Degenerate Twerps Be Without A Young and Literally Captive Audience?

jezebel  |  By many accounts, the New York University professor Avital Ronell—a German and comparative literature scholar and a superstar in her corner of academia— is a brilliant woman and a sought-after advisor. Former students who have taken her classes describe her as “original” and “inspiring.” Ronell, who is in her 60s and has taught at NYU for more than two decades, inspires a kind of admiration that some have called “mystical.” She is the kind of professor whose classes students don’t want to end.

But, for the past year, Ronell has also been the subject of a sexual harassment investigation by NYU’s Title IX office, initiated after a former graduate student, Nimrod Reitman, alleged in a complaint filed last September that she had sexually harassed him over a period of several years. On August 13, the New York Times reported that after an 11-month investigation, the university has found Ronell responsible for sexually harassing Reitman while he was earning his Ph.D. The university has suspended her for a year without pay and has also mandated that any future meetings she has with students will be supervised upon her return. Reitman and his attorney are considering filing a lawsuit against NYU, as well as Ronell.

News of the sexual harassment complaint against Ronell surfaced earlier this summer, after a group of prominent academics—including the noted feminist scholar Judith Butler, Slavoj Zizek, and Gayatri Spivak—sent a letter of support to NYU officials, rallying to Ronell’s defense and decrying what they describe as a “legal nightmare.”

The letter, which was never meant to be public, was subsequently posted on the philosophy blog Leiter Reports, with the title, “Blaming the victim is apparently OK when the accused in a Title IX proceeding is a feminist literary theorist.” It is likely that without the publication of this letter, and without the signatures of so many influential and feminist scholars, many if not all of the details of Reitman’s complaint would have remained confidential—it is almost certain that much of this now very public and increasingly messy case would have been swept under the rug (a situation that I suspect NYU officials would have preferred).

In the letter, dated May 11, 2018 and addressed to NYU President Andrew Hamilton and Provost Katharine Fleming, the signers acknowledge they had “no access to the confidential dossier,” but believe that Reitman was waging a “malicious campaign” against Ronell and that “the allegations against her do not constitute actual evidence.”

Like Kryptonite To Identity Politics

theatlantic |  When the top man at The New York Times publishes a sober statement about a meeting he had with the president in which he describes instructing Trump about the problem of his “deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric,” and then three days later the paper announces that it has hired a writer who has tweeted about her hatred of white people, of Republicans, of cops, of the president, of the need to stop certain female writers and journalists from “existing,” and when this new hire will not be a beat reporter, but will sit on the paper’s editorial board—having a hand in shaping the opinions the paper presents to the world—then it is no mystery that a parallel culture of ideas has emerged to replace a corrupted system. When even Barack Obama, the poet laureate of identity politics, is moved to issue a message to the faithful, hinting that that they could be tipping their hand on all of this—saying during a speech he delivered in South Africa that a culture is at a dead end when it decides someone has no “standing to speak” if he is a white man—and when even this mayday is ignored, the doomsday clock ticks ever closer to the end.

In the midst of this death rattle has come a group of thinkers, Peterson foremost among them, offering an alternative means of understanding the world to a very large group of people who have been starved for one. His audience is huge and ever more diverse, but a significant number of his fans are white men. The automatic assumption of the left is that this is therefore a red-pilled army, but the opposite is true. The alt-right venerates identity politics just as fervently as the left, as the title of a recent essay reproduced on the alt-right website Counter-Currents reveals: “Jordan Peterson’s Rejection of Identity Politics Allows White Ethnocide.”

If you think that a backlash to the kind of philosophy that resulted in The Nation’s poetry implosion; the Times’ hire; and Obama’s distress call isn’t at least partly responsible for the election of Donald Trump, you’re dreaming. And if you think the only kind of people who would reject such madness are Republicans, you are similarly deluded. All across the country, there are people as repelled by the current White House as they are by the countless and increasingly baroque expressions of identity politics that dominate so much of the culture. These are people who aren’t looking for an ideology; they are looking for ideas. And many of them are getting much better at discerning the good from the bad. The Democratic Party reviles them at its peril; the Republican Party takes them for granted in folly.

Perhaps, then, the most dangerous piece of “common sense” in Peterson’s new book comes at the very beginning, when he imparts the essential piece of wisdom for anyone interested in fighting a powerful, existing order. “Stand up straight,” begins Rule No. 1, “with your shoulders back.”

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Bruce Ohr Was NOT a Lone Wolf...,

WSJ  | What Was Bruce Ohr Doing?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department have continued to insist they did nothing wrong in their Trump-Russia investigation. This week should finally bring an end to that claim, given the clear evidence of malfeasance via the use of Bruce Ohr.

Mr. Ohr was until last year associate deputy attorney general.
He began feeding information to the FBI from dossier author Christopher Steele in late 2016 - after the FBI had terminated Mr. Steele as a confidential informant for violating the bureau’s rules. He also collected dirt from Glenn Simpson, cofounder of Fusion GPS, the opposition-research firm that worked for Hillary Clinton’s campaign and employed Mr. Steele. Altogether, the FBI pumped Mr. Ohr for information at least a dozen times, debriefs that remain in classified 302 forms.

All the while, Mr. Ohr failed to disclose on financial forms that his wife, Nellie, worked alongside Mr. Steele in 2016, getting paid by Mr. Simpson for anti-Trump research. The Justice Department has now turned over Ohr documents to Congress that show how deeply tied up he was with the Clinton crew - with dozens of emails, calls, meetings and notes that describe his interactions and what he collected.

Mr. Ohr’s conduct is itself deeply troubling. He was acting as a witness (via FBI interviews) in a case being overseen by a Justice Department in which he held a very senior position. He appears to have concealed this role from at least some superiors, since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified that he’d been unaware of Mr. Ohr’s intermediary status.

Lawyers meanwhile note that it is a crime for a federal official to participate in any government matter in which he has a financial interest. Fusion’s bank records presumably show Nellie Ohr, and by extension her husband, benefiting from the Trump opposition research that Mr. Ohr continued to pass to the FBI. The Justice Department declined to comment.

But for all Mr. Ohr’s misdeeds, the worse misconduct is by the FBI and Justice Department.
It’s bad enough that the bureau relied on a dossier crafted by a man in the employ of the rival presidential campaign. Bad enough that it never informed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of that dossier’s provenance. And bad enough that the FBI didn’t fire Mr. Steele as a confidential human source in September 2016 when it should have been obvious he was leaking FBI details to the press to harm Donald Trump’s electoral chances. It terminated him only when it was absolutely forced to, after Mr. Steele gave an on-the-record interview on Oct. 31, 2016.

But now we discover the FBI continued to go to this discredited informant in its investigation after the firing—by funneling his information via a Justice Department cutout. The FBI has an entire manual governing the use of confidential sources, with elaborate rules on validations, standards and documentation. Mr. Steele failed these standards. The FBI then evaded its own program to get at his info anyway.

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Fix Brennan Finds Himself In

consortiumnews |  After eight years of enjoying President Barack Obama’s solid support and defense to do pretty much anything he chose—including hacking into the computers of the Senate Intelligence Committee—Brennan now lacks what, here in Washington, we refer to as a “Rabbi” with strong incentive to advance and protect you.  He expected Hillary Clinton to play that role (were it ever to be needed), and that seemed to be solidly in the cards. But, oops, she lost.

What needs to be borne in mind in all this is, as former FBI Director James Comey himself has admitted: “I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president.” Comey, Brennan, and co-conspirators, who decided—in that “environment”—to play fast and loose with the Constitution and the law, were supremely confident they would not only keep their jobs, but also receive plaudits, not indictments.

Unless one understands and remembers this, it is understandably difficult to believe that the very top U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials did what documentary evidence has now demonstrated they did.

So, unlike his predecessors, most of whom also left under a dark cloud, Brennan is bereft of anyone to protect him. He lacks even a PR person to help him avoid holding himself up to ridicule—and now retaliation—for unprecedentedly hostile tweets and other gaffes. Brennan’s mentor, ex-CIA Director George Tenet, for example, had powerful Rabbis in President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, as well as a bizarrely empathetic establishment media, when Tenet quit in disgrace 2004.

The main question now is whether the chairs of the House oversight committees will chose to face down the Deep State. They almost never do, and the smart money says that, if they do, they will lose—largely because of the virtually total support of the establishment media for the Deep State. This often takes bizarre forms. The title of a recent column by Washington Post “liberal” commentator Eugene Robinson speaks volumes: “God Bless the Deep State.”

None Dare Call It An Organized Criminal Conspiracy...,

bbc  |  The 18-month investigation graphically detailed numerous instances of Catholic clergy members raping and molesting children in several Pennsylvania dioceses, which in total represent about 1.7 million Catholics.

"Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all," the 1,300-page report found.

The horrific allegations include:
  • One priest forced a nine-year-old boy to rinse out his mouth with holy water after abusing him.
  • A boy was made to confess his sins to the priest who had abused him.
  • A priest who was accused of abuse by three boys was later hired by Disney World after receiving a positive job reference from the church.
  • A priest raped a seven-year-girl when he visited her in hospital after she had her tonsils out.
  • One child was made to pose naked, like Christ on the crucifix, as priests photographed him. Priests gave that boy a gold chain with a cross so that other predator priests would know he had been abused.
  • Repeated abuse by a priest left one boy with lasting back injuries. He became addicted to painkillers and died of an overdose.

Intelligence Community and Its Captive Media Oligopoly ARE the Enemy of the People

Globe |  A central pillar of President Trump’s politics is a sustained assault on the free press. Journalists are not classified as fellow Americans, but rather “the enemy of the people.” This relentless assault on the free press has dangerous consequences. We asked editorial boards from around the country – liberal and conservative, large and small – to join us today to address this fundamental threat in their own words. 

There was once broad, bipartisan, intergenerational agreement in the United States that the press played this important role. Yet that view is no longer shared by many Americans. “The news media is the enemy of the American people,” is a sentiment endorsed by 48 percent of Republicans surveyed this month by Ipsos polling firm. That poll is not an outlier. One published this week found 51 percent of Republicans considered the press “the enemy of the people rather than an important part of democracy.”  

“The press was to serve the governed, not the governors,” Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote in 1971. Would that it were still the case. Lies are antithetical to an informed citizenry, responsible for self-governance. The greatness of America is dependent on the role of a free press to speak the truth to the powerful. To label the press “the enemy of the people” is as un-American as it is dangerous to the civic compact we have shared for more than two centuries.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Firing This Lousy POS Requires No Further Explanation - Many More To Go!

newyorker |  On Monday, in an account of the F.B.I.’s firing of Peter Strzok—the senior agent who led the Bureau’s 2016 investigations of Hillary Clinton e-mails and Trump-Russia connections—the Times reported that the move “was not unexpected.” Given the inflamed political climate in Washington, that is an accurate statement.

The special counsel, Robert Mueller, removed Strzok from the Russia investigation last year, after it was discovered that he had sharply criticized Donald Trump, who was then running for President, in private text messages with Lisa Page, another F.B.I. employee, with whom Strzok was having an affair. Earlier this summer, a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, said that Strzok’s text messages to Page “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.” Since then, President Trump has been attacking Strzok regularly on Twitter. Last month, Strzok testified at a public hearing on Capitol Hill, where congressional Republicans tore into him. At one point, Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, called for Strzok to be jailed.

But, despite all the noise and fury, there is now a basic question that needs an answer: Why was Strzok fired? Before the Clinton and Trump investigations, Strzok had racked up twenty years of distinguished service in the Bureau, rising to the position of deputy assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division.

Since his communications with Page have become public, Strzok has insisted that his personal views about Trump didn’t affect his actions while overseeing the Clinton and Russia investigations. During his testimony on Capitol Hill, he insisted that when, in the course of discussing Trump’s Presidential bid with Page, he wrote to her that “we will stop it” he was referring to the American public at large.

Omarosa's Toast, and Gets No Ghetto Pass....,

AP |  For years, Omarosa Manigault Newman stood at Donald Trump’s side, making her deeply unpopular with African-Americans who see her as a sellout for aligning herself with a president who has hurled one insult after another at black people.

Her falling out with Trump and her decision to call him a racist as she sells her new book — and in turn, his calling her a “dog” — have not been enough for many African-Americans to invite her back to the family picnic.

Too little, too late, many said.

“Her tell-all mea culpa won’t win her any brownie points with most blacks,” said Earl Ofari Hutchinson, author of the book “Why Black Lives Do Matter.” ″Their loathing of Omarosa is virtually frozen in stone. She’s still roundly lambasted as a two-bit opportunist, a racial sellout and an ego driven hustler.”

Few in the black community immediately rushed to defend Manigault Newman after she wrote a book titled “Unhinged” about her time in the White House. It paints a damning picture of Trump, claiming without evidence that tapes exist of him using the N-word as he filmed “The Apprentice” reality series, on which she co-starred.

She has since stepped up her attacks on Trump as she promotes her book, telling The Associated Press on Tuesday that the president is “a racist, a misogynist, a bigot.”

“I want to see this nation united as opposed to divided,” she said. “I don’t want to see a race war, as Donald Trump does.”

The deep hostility that African-Americans harbor for Manigault Newman stems largely from her defense of the president or her public silence as he repeatedly attacked the American citizenship of former President Barack Obama; insulted various minority groups and described some African nations as “shithole” countries. He has also insulted prominent blacks like U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters and NBA superstar LeBron James, said that “many sides” are to blame for the violence at last year’s white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and ripped African-American athletes for protesting racial injustice.

Long Overdue, .45 Finally Puts His Foot In Brennan's Flabby, Pasty Ass...,

realclearpolitics |  I do believe that, uh, Mr. Trump decided to take this action, as he has done with others. He has tried to intimidate and suppress any criticism of him or his administration and revoking my security clearances is his way of trying to get back at me, but I think I have tried to voice the concerns of millions of Americans about Mr. Trump's failures in terms of fulfilling the responsibilities of that sacred and solemn office of the presidency. And this is not going to deter me at all, I'm going to continue to speak out.

But I am very worried about the message that it appears Mr. Trump is trying to send to others, including those who apparently hold security clearances within the government. I think he included Bruce Ohr, a current DOJ official among those whose clearances he is reviewing. Is this an effort to try to cow individuals both inside and outside of the government to make sure they don't say anything that is critical of Mr. Trump or with which he disagrees? And I've seen this type of behavior and actions on the part of foreign tyrants and despots and autocrats for many, many years, during my CIA and national security career.

I never, ever thought that I would see it here in the United States. I do believe that all Americans really need to take stock of what is happening right now in our government, and how abnormal and how irresponsible and how dangerous these actions are.