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Category Archives: Cronyism

Robert Mueller Did Not Merely Reject the Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theories. He Obliterated Them. By Glenn Greenwald

A salute is due to Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Caitlin Johnstone, and other alternative media liberals who don’t like Trump but nevertheless cast a skeptical eye on the Russiagate fraud. From Greenwald at theintercept.com:

THE TWO-PRONGED CONSPIRACY THEORY that has dominated U.S. political discourse for almost three years – that (1) Trump, his family and his campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election, and (2) Trump is beholden to Russian President Vladimir Putin — was not merely rejected today by the final report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It was obliterated: in an undeniable and definitive manner.

The key fact is this: Mueller – contrary to weeks of false media claims – did not merely issue a narrow, cramped, legalistic finding that there was insufficient evidence to indict Trump associates for conspiring with Russia and then proving their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That would have been devastating enough to those who spent the last two years or more misleading people to believe that conspiracy convictions of Trump’s closest aides and family members were inevitable. But his mandate was much broader than that: to state what did or did not happen.

That’s precisely what he did: Mueller, in addition to concluding that evidence was insufficient to charge any American with crimes relating to Russian election interference, also stated emphatically in numerous instances that there was no evidence – not merely that there was insufficient evidence to obtain a criminal conviction – that key prongs of this three-year-old conspiracy theory actually happened. As Mueller himself put it: “in some instances, the report points out the absence of evidence or conflicts in the evidence about a particular fact or event.”

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A Russiagate Requiem, by C. J. Hopkins

A bitingly cynical look at the Russiagate fiasco, from C.J. Hopkins at unz.com:

So the Mueller report is finally in, and it appears that hundreds of millions of Americans have, once again, been woefully bamboozled. Weird, how this just keeps on happening. At this point, Americans have to be the most frequently woefully bamboozled people in the entire history of woeful bamboozlement. If you didn’t know better, you’d think we were all a bunch of hopelessly credulous imbeciles that you could con into believing almost anything, or that our brains had been bombarded with so much propaganda from the time we were born that we couldn’t really even think anymore.

That’s right, as I’m sure you’re aware by now, it turns out President Donald Trump, a pompous former reality TV star who can barely string three sentences together without totally losing his train of thought and barking like an elephant seal, is not, in fact, a secret agent conspiring with the Russian intelligence services to destroy the fabric of Western democracy. After two long years of bug-eyed hysteria, Inspector Mueller came up with squat. Zip. Zero. Nichts. Nada. Or, all right, he indicted a bunch of Russians that will never see the inside of a courtroom, and a few of Trump’s professional sleazebags for lying and assorted other sleazebag activities (so I guess that was worth the $25 million of taxpayers’ money that was spent on this circus).

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On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won, by Matt Taibbi

The mainstream media never believed Trump could win, which is why they latched so steadfastly onto the Russia collusion fabrication. From Matt Taibbi at rollingstone.com:

Faulty coverage of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign later made foreign espionage a more plausible explanation for his ascent to power

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after his rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after his rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight’s rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand.

Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

Last weekend, I published a book chapter criticizing the Russiagate narrative, claiming it was a years-long press error on the scale of the WMD affair heading into the Iraq war.

Obviously (and I said this in detail), the WMD fiasco had a far greater real-world impact, with hundreds of thousands of lives lost and trillions in treasure wasted. Still, I thought Russiagate would do more to damage the reputation of the national news media in the end.

A day after publishing that excerpt, a Attorney General William Barr sent his summary of the report to Congress, containing a quote filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

Suddenly, news articles appeared arguing people like myself and Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept were rushing to judgment, calling us bullies whose writings were intended to leave reporters “cowed” and likely to “back down from aggressive coverage of Trump.”

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You’re A Sucker For Not Believing That The System Is Rigged, by Kurt Schlichter

After Russiagate and Jussie Smollett, is there any doubt that the American system is rigged? From Kurt Schlichter at townhall.com:

You’re A Sucker For Not Believing That The System Is Rigged

Imagine you spent two years completely screwing up at your job, I mean not merely getting every single thing wrong but loudly, proudly getting in everyone else’s face about how right you are. You’d get fired, terminated, 86’d, and Schiff-canned. But not the mainstream media. The media hacks failed for two years-plus, nonstop and without equivocation, but are they ever going to be held to account? No, they’re just going to gather in a big circle and Pulitzer each other.

Imagine you committed a racial hate crime where you falsely accused people who didn’t look or think like you of a horrible atrocity, and that you’d have gladly picked some poor saps with the wrong skin tone out of a line-up and sent them to prison for decades given the chance. Now imagine the two half-wits you hired to help you managed to get caught on video buying their stereotype get-up and spilled it all to the fuzz, though the fact you paid them with a check – because you’re a criminal mastermind – was already enough to get a grand jury to indict your sorry AOC. Now, what are the chances the DA is going to transform your 16 felony counts into a $10K fine and a couple days community servicing? Your chances of said outcome are poor. They are poor because your pals are neither Mrs. Obama or Willie Brown’s gal pal.

Now imagine that you studied really hard while the rich kids partied and smoked dope and splattered water on you by running their BMWs through puddles as you walked home from high school. Imagine your last name is “Chang,” or that your dad is a soldier and not a hedge fund manager, or that your mom is a waitress and not a TV bimbo. Now imagine how you feel when Durwood Richguy IV gets admitted to Harvard when he can’t count past 10 with his Gucci loafers on and you get slotted on a waiting list for Gumbo State.

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The 737 MAX Saga Is a Total Disgrace for Boeing and the FAA, by Michael Krieger

Many have caught on to the FAA’s regulatory capture by the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer. The FAA is just one of many alphabet agencies that have been captured. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

The Worship of Mammon by Evelyn De Morgan.

One of the first things to become apparent as I began reading about the deadly crash of Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane on March 10th, was the fact that nobody seemed to trust U.S. authorities.

As Fortune noted:

Ethiopia’s aviation authority is unable to read the black box recorders from the Boeing 737 Max plane that crashed Sunday, but a row is brewing over just where the flight recorders will be sent for analysis.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is pushing to have its experts analyze the data and voice recorders, which were partly damaged, the Wall Street Journal reports, but Ethiopian authorities would prefer to work with the U.K.’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch to ensure that U.S. experts won’t have undue influence in the probe of the American-made plane.

At the same time, pretty much the entire world had started to ground 737 MAX planes as this was the second time this model had crashed within the span of five months. By early last week, Canada and the U.S. had become increasingly isolated in insisting the planes were safe to fly, and then Canada folded too.

This represented a huge rebuke to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which continued to defend the aircraft until the very last moment. In a ridiculous stunt, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao even rode in a 737 MAX two days after the latest crash.

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The Snowflake Barons Are Eating Each Other, by Mytheos Holt

Things aren’t going so well for the social media and tech barons. From Mytheos Holt at spectator.org:

In 2008’s iconic superhero film The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger’s Joker barks at Christian Bale’s Batman:

Don’t talk like one of [the cops]; you’re not! Even if you’d like to be. To them, you’re just a freak, like me. They need you now, but when they don’t, they’ll cast you out like a leper. See, their morals, their code, it’s a bad joke, to be dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you, when the chips are down, these civilized people? They’ll eat each other.

He might as well have been talking about Silicon Valley.

Twenty-eighteen was a bad year for the totalitarian titans of tech. Faced with one scandal after another, the industry retreated behind a wall of lobbying money, hoping their bank accounts would shield them from their increasingly ugly image in the public eye as politically bigoted, misanthropic, overgrown children, incapable of following rules, norms, or even laws.

Twenty-nineteen doesn’t look to be much better. European governments, and the European Union itself, have begun sharpening their swords for the industry, albeit sometimes in ill-advised ways. California has passed a brutal consumer protection bill that opens big tech to a host of lawsuits for privacy-related offenses. President Donald Trump’s own son has raised stern alarms about the industry’s power and “gross hypocrisy,” as he put it. Publications formerly friendly to the industry are blasting it for betraying the creators who sustain its business. Like bad imitations of Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker in A New Hope, the industry finds itself surrounded by filth, with the walls closing in. But, their research into AI withstanding, there is no Threepio around to save them, and unlike Han, Leia, and Luke, Big Tech are the evil empire.

As a result, the industry is doing what any group of cornered predators does, and eating each other to try to stay alive. Thus, a piece in Forbes magazine informs the reader that:

Microsoft, the industry’s journeyman of governmental warfare, is cleverly advocating regulation of a narrow slice of potentially creepy technology: facial recognition. Apple is pointing fingers, suggesting its data-privacy stance is holier than Facebook’s and Google’s. Facebook, in a preview of how the industry will battle its adversaries, has simultaneously called for some form of regulation while darkly warning of the unintended consequences of the wrong kind. (One argument certain to get Donald Trump’s attention: Regulate us too severely, and you’ll only empower our Chinese competitors.)

Probably the most encouraging development listed is Apple’s turn against Facebook and Google. Where once Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google were regarded as an impregnable block of interests, nicknamed (with predatory appropriateness) FAANG, now the only fangs involved are being stuck in each other.

Politically, they may be the only ones left to care about those fangs. The industry’s pervasive, irrational, and wild hostility to Republicans has converted even the stodgiest establishmentarians, including current (and former) Attorney General William Barr, into vocal public critics of tech. And the aforementioned California privacy law represents a complete failure of the industry’s political power even within its effectively monopartisan own backyard, which suggests that Democrats are no longer willing to carry water for the most vicious monopolists this side of Cornelius Vanderbilt, no matter how performatively “woke” they are.

Indeed, that California law puts tech between a rock and a hard place, as other business interests — and even some tech companies — seem to be anxious to pass a (presumably less stringent) national privacy law aimed at pre-empting the California law before it goes into place. Due to the support of big business, that national plan has the support of Republicans, but that is cold comfort for the biggest tech companies, seeing as debating a national consumer privacy law forces them into a conversation they’ve wanted to avoid for ages: namely, how much consumers’ privacy — in other words, their data — should be protected. What’s worse, having that conversation at the national level may well lead to regulations as strict, or stricter, than California’s being imposed on the entire United States. And even if the regulations aren’t as strict, the days of hoovering up data and violating privacy without anyone’s batting an eye are unquestionably over. Heads, the American people win. Tails, tech loses.

Hence, the nattering nabobs of the net, caught in a trap built from their own missteps, are trying frantically to chew through each other to escape. It will not work. Accountability has come for the snowflake barons, and while defection from the whole may spare some of them the same pain as others, there is no doubt that all of them will be put through pain. It’s about time. After all, their morals, their code, and especially their terms of service are a bad joke to be dropped at the first sign of trouble. And the more Americans realize this, the more they will be ahead of the curve.

 

 

Democrats Search For A Crime To Punish Trump And Americans Who Voted For Him, by Sara Carter

The effort to overturn the last election continues. From Sara Carter at saraacarter.com:

The House Judiciary Committee’s Democratic Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler is a man in search of a crime. Nadler and his colleague House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff have moved the conversation from Russian collusion and are now promising to investigate virtually everything connected to President Donald Trump.

Mind you, we the tax payers will be paying for these investigations and it will drag America and the administration into another two years of endless witch hunts.

Yes, a witch-hunt.

Can you imagine if someone despised you so much that all they did day in and day out was search for something, anything, that would get those around you to doubt your intentions. Imagine having to fight every single day of your life against never ending accusations. Even when those accusations are later proven false it won’t matter because the original lie has already been thoroughly disseminated far and wide among the population.

Why are Nadler, D-NY, and Schiff, D-CA, promising these investigations? Because they want to impeach Trump. It’s just that simple. They also want to send a message to the American people: your vote really didn’t matter because in the end it’s Congress that holds the power.

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