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Hamilton68, Russiagate and why the scam REALLY matters

The Twitter Files reveal that one of the most common news sources of the Trump era was a scam, making ordinary American political conversations look like Russian spywork.

Hamilton 68 was and is a computerized “dashboard” designed to be used by reporters and academics to measure “Russian disinformation.” It was the brainchild of former FBI agent (and current MSNBC “disinformation expert”) Clint Watts, and backed by the German Marshall Fund and the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan think-tank. The latter’s advisory panel includes former acting CIA chief Michael Morell, former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, former Hillary for America chair John Podesta, and onetime Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. Sheerpost

The Twitter Files expose Hamilton 68 as a sham:

The secret ingredient in Hamilton 68’s analytic method was a list of 644 accounts supposedly linked “to Russian influence activities online.” It was hidden from the public, but Twitter was in a unique position to recreate Hamilton’s sample by analyzing its Application Program Interface (API) requests, which is how they first “reverse-engineered” Hamilton’s list in late 2017.

A small sample of Hamilton 68-sourced stories.

Let’s dig a bit deeper shall we….

With New D.C. Policy Group, Dems Continue to Rehabilitate and Unify With Bush-Era Neocons

A newly formed and, by all appearances, well-funded national security advocacy group, devoted to more hawkish U.S. policies toward Russia and other adversaries, provides the most vivid evidence yet of an alliance between the Democratic Party and the country’s most extreme and discredited neocons. This union is far more than a marriage of convenience to stop Trump; it reflects broad-based agreement on U.S. hawkishness toward Russia and beyond. Calling itself the Alliance for Securing Democracy, the group describes itself as “a bipartisan, transatlantic initiative” that “will develop comprehensive strategies to defend against, deter, and raise the costs on Russian and other state actors’ efforts to undermine democracy and democratic institutions,” and also “will work to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin’s ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.”

The group is led by two longtime Washington foreign policy hands, one from the establishment Democratic wing and the other a key figure among leading GOP neocons.

The Democrat, Laura Rosenberger, served as a foreign policy adviser for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and chief of staff to two Obama national security officials. The Republican is Jamie Fly, who spent the last four years as counselor for foreign and national security affairs to one of the Senate’s most hawkish members, Marco Rubio; prior to that, he served in various capacities in the Bush Pentagon and National Security Council. More here.

The widely repeated claims of “Russian disinformation” were based on bogus data Twitter knew to be false. In other words, the political partisans and pundits claiming to protect you against disinformation were most likely to be the ones spreading it.

There has been a Murder (of corporate integrity). Now it’s Autopsy time. 

Wow. What a whirlwind of a week. Still trying to catch my breath, never did make it over to my personal physician for an ECG and prescription to get my tachycardia under control. Delivered a talk/wake up/shock on the fifth-gen warfare deployed on all of us over the last three years to 1,300 paying European attendees at a Stockholm conference exactly one week ago. Delayed getting back from Stockholm (via Frankfurt) due to Lufthansa’s ongoing slow decay and inability to adhere to their own flight schedules. Got Tuesday’s essay written on the plane, posted it from the airport on landing, and finally made it back to the farm by about 11:00 p.m. EST. Wednesday, I drag my sorry rear end out of bed, get the obligatory three cups downed and begin the day with an out-of-the-blue call from a mainstream New York investigative reporter (that you would recognize) seeking background information on what the heck is going on with the Florida Grand Jury investigations (which I know very little about – they are running a tight ship!). Of course, I have to make a few calls to prepare for that before the 10:00 a.m. “on background only” discussion. Scheduled long format “Gray Matter” podcast recording at noon, requiring some background reading prior. And then, out of an otherwise cloudless blue sky, a lightning strike.

Project Veritas pings me, asks if I would review an embargoed video that they have prepared, and then allow them to record my reaction to the material via a Zoom call. The Zoom hit scheduled so tight that I can barely get through the embargoed material before we start. And boom. We launch the call and I am still reeling from what I have just viewed. Veritas uses a very tight, abrupt editing style, and they compress a half hour of my interaction/reaction with their reporters into a few moments of the most powerful comments. The investigative reporter who did the interview and captured the video is present but off-screen. I am told he is a former Pfizer employee. I am told that the drop time for the resulting video product will be 8:00 p.m. EST, asked to participate in a Twitter Spaces discussion beginning at 9:00 p.m. EST, and asked to get other physicians to join. I push out alerts that Veritas has something big coming, and to watch for it, including a personal “heads up” text message to Tucker Carlson. 

By Robert W Malone MD, MS. For more visit the good doctor’s substack – you can still read for free.

Part 1 (Including the except above)

https://rwmalonemd.substack.com/p/pfizer-responses-to-veritas-expose

Part 2

https://rwmalonemd.substack.com/p/secret-decoder-pfizer-legal-document?sd=pf

Study: Fuel Costs of Electric Vehicles Overtake Gas-Powered Cars

The cost to fuel electric vehicles in the United States is higher than gas-powered cars for the first time in 18 months, says, Anderson Economic Group (AEG), a consulting company.

“In Q4 2022, typical mid-priced ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car drivers paid about $11.29 to fuel their vehicles for 100 miles of driving. That cost was around $0.31 cheaper than the amount paid by mid-priced EV drivers charging mostly at home, and over $3 less than the cost borne by comparable EV drivers charging commercially,” said in an analysis.

However, luxury EVs still enjoy a cost advantage against their gas-powered counterparts.

It costs luxury EV owners $12.4 to drive every 100 miles on average if they charge their cars mostly at home or $15.95 if they charge their cars mostly at commercial charger stations in the 4th quarter of 2022.

Meanwhile, the fuel costs for luxury gas-powered cars are $19.96 per 100 miles on average.

The fuel costs in the analysis are based on real-world U.S. driving conditions including the cost of underlying energy, state taxes charged for road maintenance, the cost of operating a pump or charger, and the cost to drive to a fueling station, AEG said.

The Study

East Lansing, MI–January 24, 2023: 2022’s final quarter brought relief at the pump for drivers of traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles as the cost to drive 100 miles dropped by more than $2. With the cost for electricity also trending upward during the year, mid-priced ICE cars became more economical to fuel than their Electric Vehicle (EV) counterparts for the first time in 18 months.

In Q4 2022, typical mid-priced ICE car drivers paid about $11.29 to fuel their vehicles for 100 miles of driving. That cost was around $0.31 cheaper than the amount paid by mid-priced EV drivers charging mostly at home, and over $3 less than the cost borne by comparable EV drivers charging commercially.

Drivers of luxury EVs continued to a fueling cost advantage, regardless of charging method.

Findings by Vehicle Type

  • Mid-priced vehiclesIn this market segment, fueling ICE vehicles was more economical than comparable EVs in the 4th quarter, regardless of charging primarily at home or commercially.
  • Luxury cars-Drivers of high-end electric vehicles still enjoyed a significant fueling cost advantage, but the gap narrowed in Q4. Assuming mostly home charging, the cost benefit to fuel a luxury EV vs. a luxury ICE car dropped from $11.20 per 100 miles to $7.56.
  • Pickup trucks, entry-priced carsICE vehicles are still the only widely available options in these two segments.

Cost Comparison Over Time

Approach

Anderson Economic Group calculates all four categories of costs for fueling EVs and ICE vehicles across benchmarks representing real-world U.S. driving conditions, including:

  1. The cost of underlying energy (gas, diesel, electric)
  2. State excise taxes charged for road maintenance
  3. The cost to operate a pump or charger
  4. The cost to drive to a fueling station (deadhead miles)

All use cases reflect 12,000 miles/year, with the cost of residential charging equipment amortized over five years. Calculations are based on energy prices and taxes in the state of Michigan. Benchmarks for ICE vehicle drivers assume the use of commercial gas stations. For EV drivers, we consider both drivers who routinely charge at home and those who rely primarily on commercial chargers.

AEG Expert Commentary

“The run-up in gas prices made EVs look like a bargain during much of 2021 and 2022,” says AEG’s Patrick Anderson. “With electric prices going up and gas prices declining, drivers of traditional ICE vehicles saved a little bit of money in the last quarter of 2022.”

AEG is a consulting firm based in Michigan that offers research and consulting in economics, valuation, market analysis, and public policy, according to the company’s website.

Poisoning the Earth – One Green Car at a time

The Comments on this Tweet from a man who appears to know a great deal about the subject of rare earth mining are fascinating. It led me to the book below.

Speaker McCarthy Makes His Swamp-iest Move Thus Far

We actual Conservatives were quite concerned about a prospective Kevin McCarthy Speakership.  Because he isn’t, you know, conservative.  And even worse: Is, from all appearances, yet another DC Swamp Creature, writes Seton Motley.

We managed to delay slightly the inevitable: McCarthy ultimately needed fifteen votes to get the gig. 

The Latest from Seton Motley is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

DC’s Conservatism, Inc, meanwhile, chastised us for gumming up DC’s Swamp Machine – even if only a little, for a little while. 

DC, you see, has to keep cranking out the cronyism.  And any hiccup in its delivery is not to be tolerated.

McCarthy’s first responsibility after limping across the finish line – has been appointing Committee and Subcommittee Chairs.  About which we actual Conservatives were quite concerned…:

“Most unfortunately for the Republic, these gaggles wield inordinately tremendous power.  Who McCarthy names – especially as Chairs – will greatly affect the nation. 

“To make matters worse, DC runs largely on seniority and a ‘Your Next’ mentality – and almost not at all on merit.  The longer you’ve been an unproductive member of society – ie a member of Congress – is almost always the preeminent determinative factor in your moving up the food chain.”

McCarthy’s very early selections – actually provided a slight glimmer of hope for the Republic.  One way we know this?  If the likes of Newsweek don’t like the selections – they actually provide a slight glimmer of hope for the Republic. 

McCarthy Facing Backlash on MAGA Subcommittee Selections

Most unfortunately for the Republic – on Friday, McCarthy reverted to Swamp type.  On perhaps the most important Subcommittee there is in DC: The Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property (IP), and the Internet.

About we actual Conservatives were quite concerned….

CA GOP’s China Sell-Out: McCarthy Must Clean Up His and DC’s IP Theft Messes:

“From an Intellectual Property perspective – that’s exceedingly awful news.  Because – behold the exceedingly awful California Republican Darrell Issa…. 

“‘The House IP Subcommittee Will Determine the Fate of U.S. Innovation – Part 2: The Chairmanship:

“‘The Chair of the IP Subcommittee is the most powerful person on the subcommittee. The Chair sets the agenda, priorities, and can block legislation in committee. The Chair also has significant influence outside of committee with agencies like the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the International Trade Commission (ITC).

“‘Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been the IP Subcommittee Chair in the past and is currently the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee. He is likely at the top of the Republican leadership’s list for becoming the next Chair

“‘However, Issa’s record shows that he is most unsuited for the Chairmanship position, having offered one-sided legislation against patent rights and having been among the driving forces that gutted U.S. patent rights. Issa can never gain broad support or the trust of patent stakeholders necessary to protect or restore those rights.

“‘Issa revealed his true colors and belief that patents are a hindrance rather than an engine for innovation and technological progress by introducing his PARTS Act in multiple Congresses (H.R.1879, 115th Congress ; H.R.1057, 114th Congress; H.R.1663, 113th Congress; and H.R.3889, 112th Congress)….

“‘The PARTS Act is but one example of how far Issa would go to dismantle long-established protections that Congress put in place. For example, he proposed to undermine the protections of US domestic industries that Congress enacted decades ago in Section 337 of the Tariff Act by introducing in the 117th Congress H.R.5902, the CLEAR Patents Act of 2021….

“‘(T)his legislation is very damaging to U.S. domestic industry, benefiting foreign companies including Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-controlled enterprises.’”

Anyone with as awful an IP track record as is Issa’s – should never be (again) named IP Chair.  Oops…

‘Patent Troll’ Critic Issa Tapped To Lead House IP Panel

IP is almost inarguably the crucial, core component to any economy.  Because before you can develop, manufacture and sell stuff – you have to invent stuff.

And we don’t invent stuff so well anymore. 

Intellectual Property Crisis: U.S. Drops Out of the Top Ten in Innovation Ranking

Thanks in large part to Issa’s “leadership” on all things IP. 

Issa hasn’t been serving the interests of the nation and We the People with this IP idiocy.  Whose interests has he been serving?

Well, Communist China’s, of course….

Communist China’s Latest Intellectual Property Con: Stealing IP Creation

And, of course, Big Tech’s….

The US Has Institutionalized Big Tech’s Intellectual Property Theft:

“‘(Patent Trial and Appeal Board) PTAB: DCs Latest Unaccountable, Power Grabbing Government Board:

“‘DC has reverse-engineered the government entity responsible for issuing patents – to now destroy patents. Patents that government entity its own self had issued – are now destroyed by that same government entity.’

“‘Angry Inventors Accuse Patent Office’s Appeals Board of Favoring Big Tech:

“‘Since its creation by Congress in 2012, the board has angered the inventing community, which says the review process is biased.

“‘One judge, for example, represented Apple Inc. in private practice and then ruled in favor of the tech giant 17 times after joining the court….

“’Eyebrows were raised this summer when a lawyer representing the patent office in a federal court appeal of a board decision acknowledged that the agency had added extra judges to reviews in order to achieve the desired outcome….’

“Despite grandiose claims to the contrary, the PTAB was created for Big Tech:

“‘PTAB is used almost exclusively by large multinational corporations to attack patents of much smaller competitors. Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Intel, Comcast, and Cisco are top filers. Smaller companies occasionally attempt to use the PTAB, but usually adds a lot of expense without resolving the dispute….

“’PTAB adds an average of $450,000 for each challenge filed. Most disputes involved multiple patents, so the additional cost usually exceeds $1M. If the inventor survives PTAB, they have to fend off similar challenges in the regular court.’

“$450,000 per filing is loose pocket change for Big Tech. It is a crushing fortune for individual inventors.

“And what Big Tech companies often do is team up against a patent holder. They each file the same PTAB challenge, worded slightly differently, over and over and over. Bringing the ‘cheaper’ PTAB cost into the tens of millions. Thereby drowning the patent holder – and forcing him to forfeit his patent defense…and his patent.

“Shocker: The PTAB keeps ruling for Big Tech. An AWFUL lot:

“‘PTAB invalidates 84% of patents they review. In a regular court the number is about 29%. That comparison is even worse considering that regular courts allow 5 types of challenges (eligibility, novelty, obviousness, definition, and inequitable conduct) while PTAB only allows 2 types of challenges (novelty and obviousness).’”

This is a pleasant notion….

Don’t Let Big Tech Sabotage U.S. Innovators’ Protections

Except it’s WAY too late for that.

Darrell Issa Doesn’t Understand That He is the Problem

And neither does Speaker McCarthy. 

Who is – by overseeing Issa’s reappointment – only adding insult, and further injury, to egregious injury. 

How very Swampy of him.

SETON MOTLEY

US General warns of “war with China” next year

Gen. Michael A. Minihan, who as head of Air Mobility Command oversees the service’s fleet of transport and refueling aircraft, warned personnel to speed their preparations for combat, citing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s aspirations and the possibility that Americans will not be paying attention until it is too late. 

“I hope I am wrong,” Minihan wrote. “My gut tells me we will fight in 2025. Xi secured his third term and set his war council in October 2022. Taiwan’s presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a reason. United States’ presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a distracted America. Xi’s team, reason, and opportunity are all aligned for 2025.”

Was Juniper Oak a practice for Iran?

The US and Israel on Thursday announced the conclusion of their largest-ever joint military exercises, known as Juniper Oak 23.

The drills were launched Monday and involved over 140 aircraft and nearly 8,000 troops from both militaries. The massive show of force was clearly a provocation toward Iran despite claims from US officials that it wasn’t aimed at any one country. 6,400 US troops, 1,500 Israeli soldiers and over 140 aircraft, 12 naval vessels, and artillery systems from both nations were involved in Juniper Oak 2023.

The exercise was widely seen as a message to Iran, however, American officials said the live-fire drills did not include mockups of Iranian targets or of any other adversary. Israel’s Channel 12 news reported, without citing a source, that part of the drill included American bombers targeting a simulated Iranian nuclear facility.

More here: https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-us-wrap-up-largest-ever-joint-drill-in-message-to-iran/

“Trust Us” – How the bureaucrats took over.

“Trust Us” traces the rise of American technocracy: governance by bureaucratic experts. It’s a fascinating insight into how our government went from being our servant to being our master.

Beginning in the early 20th century, “Trust Us” reveals how our leaders funneled power to unelected experts, who were convinced they could engineer solutions to all our nation’s problems. Not only did these experts fail to solve those problems, but in example after example, they caused irreversible damage to the country. This is a true story of bureaucratic arrogance gone wild. What started as a few federal agencies has become today’s massive administrative state, a “fourth branch” of government that influences every aspect of our daily lives.

From economics to housing to health, “Trust Us” reveals the strange origins and tragic consequences of expert rule.

Featuring interviews with Don Boudreaux, Martin Gurri, Roger Koppl, Kevin Portteus, Joseph Postell, Amity Shlaes, and Steve Simpson.

It comes from our friends at the Pacific Legal Foundation. PLF is a nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans’ liberties when threatened by government overreach and abuse.

The Deep State Revolving Door

If you’re wondering why social media censorship only runs in one ideological direction, consider the revolving door between the Democratic Deep State and Big Tech.

The first tranche of Twitter Files, back in December, concerning the platform’s unprecedented censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story, detailed the supportive role played by Twitter Deputy General Counsel James Baker.

Baker was the FBI’s General Counsel from 2014-2017, and a Forrest Gump-like figure in Russiagate — pursuing discredited accusations against President Trump.

By 2020, Baker was in a position at Twitter to encourage the company to help Joe Biden beat him.

Baker’s meddling continued until today. He was fired by Elon Musk when it was discovered he was “vetting” — deleting? altering? — documents meant to be reviewed by journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss. NYPost

The full story unfolds in this podcast.

Great article here.

Raising more questions than it answers – Here’s the Pelosi body cam footage

Tom Massie and his anxiety-inducing Debt Clock!

Watch the Kennedy interview – it’s cute at the end! Apparently he made this new fashion accessory out of copper flashing and a mini-computer to induce anxiety and a sense of urgency among his colleagues. Good luck with that, Tom, they don’t care!

How this guy hacked and leaked the No-Fly List

Photo from  crimew website here

The Transportation Security Administration’s No-Fly List contains the names of people who are recognized as a threat to national security and are not allowed on airplanes. (I have personal experience of this. McCarthy is a common Irish name and I believe at least one member of the IRA shares it. Flying after 9/11 was doubly fraught as TSA believed I was a potential terrorist).

Anyhow, it’s a sensitive document so you think it would be locked up safe, wouldn’t you? Actually, that’s not the case!

Turns out it was a bored Swiss hacker ,called maia arson crimew, who happened to be poking around in a small regional airline’s unprotected server when he came across the No Fly list on what is basically an Excel list. As he says here:

step 1: boredom

like so many other of my hacks this story starts with me being bored and browsing shodan (or well, technically zoomeye, chinese shodan), looking for exposed jenkins servers that may contain some interesting goods. at this point i’ve probably clicked through about 20 boring exposed servers with very little of any interest, when i suddenly start seeing some familar words. “ACARS“, lots of mentions of “crew” and so on. lots of words i’ve heard before, most likely while binge watching Mentour Pilot YouTube videos. jackpot. an exposed jenkins server belonging to CommuteAir.

A bit of digging later (all laid out here) and he uncovered the No Fly list.

i also share with him ( Mikael Thalen, a staff writer at dailydot) how close we seemingly are to actually finding the TSA nofly list, which would obviously immediately make this an even bigger story than if it were “only” a super trivially ownable airline. i had even peeked at the nofly s3 bucket at this point which was seemingly empty. so we took one last look at the noflycomparison repositories to see if there is anything in there, and for the first time actually take a peek at the test data in the repository. and there it is. three csv files, employee_information.csvNOFLY.CSV and SELECTEE.CSV. all commited to the repository in july 2022. the nofly csv is almost 80mb in size and contains over 1.56 million rows of data. this HAS to be the real deal (we later get confirmation that it is indeed a copy of the nofly list from 2019).

holy shit, we actually have the nofly list. holy fucking bingle. what?!

so what happens next with the nofly data

while the nature of this information is sensitive, i believe it is in the public interest for this list to be made available to journalists and human rights organizations. if you are a journalist, researcher, or other party with legitimate interest, the data is available for access (upon request) via DDoSecrets.

Could this engine with one moving part catch on?

Check out the Aquarius. It doesn’t have a rotational engine. With just one moving part, no valves, it’s almost frictionless and very light and energy efficient. There are many places it could make a real difference, don’t you think?

The Elites don’t care – Watch this Billionaire shrug off deaths

Bill Gates: “The current vaccines are not infection blocking, they’re not broad, and they have very short duration.” (Notice how calm he is as he just rattles off how the MRNA vaccines are an abject failure.)

The whole interview which took place at the Lowy Institute in Australia is below and we get to hear Bill’s take on global health, pandemic preparedness, food security and climate change. In keeping with most of his social media these days, comments have been turned off under the video.

Those pesky elites parasites

Guardian Dog Kills 8 Coyotes Protecting Herd

A Georgia dog is recovering after a violent encounter with a pack of coyotes last month.

Casper, a 2-year-old Great Pyrenees, was standing guard over his flock of sheep one night in early November at his home in Decatur, just east of Atlanta.

That’s when a pack of nearly a dozen coyotes got too close for comfort.

Casper killed a whopping eight coyotes and managed to save all the sheep in his care. But Casper himself was badly hurt in the process.

“They’re Back” – Big Tech Money Working to Again Influence Elections

(Maybe not Twitter….)

During the 2020 election cycle, uber wealthy Mark Zuckerberg orchestrated much of Big Tech’s plan to ensure that more Democrat votes were cast and counted in key precincts across the country.

In this, Big Tech was aided in large measure by three factors: the cover of COVID as an excuse to “facilitate” the voting process, lax election laws in many states, and the lure of “free” money for local officials (including Republican office holders) always eager to receive more of it.

Three years later, some things have changed that will force these players to alter their tactics in manipulating election procedures, but Big Tech’s will to do so has not in the least diminished.

Changes to voting procedures implemented in recent years, most notably widespread mail-in and multi-day voting, have become systematized to the degree that voters (and many courts) now consider it a right to be able to cast votes days if not weeks in advance of scheduled and lawful voting days. It has become the status quo.

Granted, it has not always worked out the way Democrats hoped and planned; just ask Georgia Democrat super star Stacey Abrams, who lost decisively to incumbent GOP Governor Brian Kemp last November.

On the other hand, Democrats have achieved several notable successes thanks to massive early and mail-in balloting. By all accounts, for example, Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate, and now sitting Sen. John Fetterman, benefitted greatly from having a huge number of votes cast for him in the days and weeks before his sole debate with his GOP opponent, during which he performed miserably.

Much media attention was drawn to the Left’s brazen and prideful effort in 2020 to use its vast resources to “improve” voter access to ballots and to assist vote counters, especially in key battleground precincts. A foundation controlled by Zuckerberg – the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) — did not shy away from letting the media know that it plowed some $400 million into programs to expand mail-in balloting, increase the number of ballot drop boxes, and related administrative activities by local election offices.

This go round, the Left is proceeding more subtly and indirectly; but its Big Tech mega benefactors definitely remain in the hunt to influence the 2024 elections. It is engaging the battle across many fronts, including having the CTCL lobby Congress to appropriate billions to states to help cover the rising cost of paper for ballots (used primarily for mail-in ballots, of course).

Even as Zuckerberg publicly had “sworn off bankrolling local election administration,” other Big Tech players are funding programs designed to accomplish the same electoral goal.

The Honest Elections Project (HEP) has identified one organization at the center of this drive — the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence (USAEE). This benign sounding, self-proclaimed nonpartisan entity was, according to its website, “introduced to the world at TED2022” with funding “catalyzed” from the aptly named “Audacious Project.”

In fact, the very same CTCL that orchestrated the delivery of hundreds of millions of so-called “Zuck Bucks” to local election offices three years ago, proudly announced the “launch” of this new Alliance on April 11, 2022 with an initial commitment of $80 million.

Same story, different dust jacket.

Many states do not restrict private entities, including nonprofits such as CTCL and USAEE, from giving money to local election offices to supplement their budgets. In these states, “nonpartisan” organizations funded by Big Tech can spend freely to indirectly influence voting patterns and practices, just as in 2020.

In those two dozen or so states that do restrict such financial meddling in election processes, the USAEE has to be more circumspect in how it goes about its business. Instead of directly supplementing election office coffers, the Alliance “shares knowledge, experience, and best practices” with “local election offices across the nation.” It offers training, mentoring, and support systems to help qualifying “centers” in chosen states create “values and standards of election excellence.”

Gobbledygook it is, but behind the flowery rhetoric, these so-called “dark money” groups will once again be doing everything they can to ensure their preferred, left-leaning candidates garner as many mailed-in or drop-boxed ballots as necessary to prevail.

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as head of Liberty Guard.

Why are there special counsels if they have no power to prosecute the president?

For the first time in American history, there are three special counsels who have been appointed by two Attorneys General across two administrations, the Trump administration and now the Biden administration: John Durham, appointed by former Attorney General William Barr in 2020, and Jack Smith and Robert Hurt, appointed by current Attorney General Merrick Garland in 2022, respectively.

That comes atop the appointment of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller in 2017 by former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who did not finish his investigation of former President Donald Trump until 2019 and—to the surprise of many except constitutional attorney and talk show host Mark Levin who warned of this—did not bring any charges against Trump for either conspiring with Russia to hack the DNC and put the emails onto Wikileaks (evidence was “not sufficient”), or for obstruction of justice for firing former FBI Director James Comey or considering firing Mueller himself.

Because he couldn’t. Sitting presidents cannot be prosecuted. Neither by special counsels, U.S. attorneys or the Attorney General himself. Period. And Mueller told us why, citing a 2000 memorandum by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, “A Sitting President’s Amenability to Indictment and Criminal Prosecution”.

That memorandum stated, “the indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would impermissibly undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions.” It was following up on a 1973 memorandum from the Justice Department that stated the same thing. Today, nothing’s changed.

In other words, Trump was never going to be frog marched out of the White House—former Obama administration officials’ fantasies to the contrary notwithstanding—and neither will Biden. Bush was never in any legal jeopardy either, even though they all had special counsels.

Trump had one while being a sitting president from 2017 to 2019, and so does Biden now, starting now. Bush had one, too, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, from 2003 to 2007. Obama did not.

So, why are there special counsels if they have no power to prosecute the president?

Because we, as a nation, in a bid for partisan supremacy, are absolutely weakening the constitutional role of the Presidency under Article II of the Constitution.

In fact, the framers of the Constitution explicitly created the unitary executive under Article II to prevent a situation akin to the old Roman Republic, which had two consuls during peacetime. In the Federalist No. 70, Alexander Hamilton argued that the new Constitution prohibited executive by committee, and made the case for why we only have one president at a time for very good reason, writing, “Wherever two or more persons are engaged in any common enterprise or pursuit, there is always danger of difference of opinion. If it be a public trust or office, in which they are clothed with equal dignity and authority, there is peculiar danger of personal emulation and even animosity. From either, and especially from all these causes, the most bitter dissensions are apt to spring.”

Leading to what? Hamilton warned, “Whenever these happen, they lessen the respectability, weaken the authority, and distract the plans and operation of those whom they divide. If they should unfortunately assail the supreme executive magistracy of a country, consisting of a plurality of persons, they might impede or frustrate the most important measures of the government, in the most critical emergencies of the state. And what is still worse, they might split the community into the most violent and irreconcilable factions, adhering differently to the different individuals who composed the magistracy.”

And yet, here we are. Three active special counsels. Five in the past two decades. Three out of the last four presidencies, all preventing the unitary executive, the President, from fulfilling his obligation to faithfully execute the laws, simply because once a special counsel is appointed, for all intents and purposes, that special counsel is the Attorney General. It’s a Sword of Damacles.

Ironically, special counsels report to the Attorney General still, and can be removed by the Attorney General. This is to maintain the “appearance” of the unitary executive, if not the fact. It’s still a farce. An unconstitutional farce.

And it’s completely unnecessary. Article II, Section 4 already provides for the impeachment and removal of presidents and other executive branch members for “high crimes and misdemeanors” by Congress.

So, if there needs to be an investigation of Biden, it should be done by Congress. For example, when it comes to investigating a violation of the Espionage Act, the House and Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees need access to and should subpoena the classified Biden documents kept after he left office in order to determine if any of them match, for example, Hunter Biden’s stellar assessment of the geopolitical and economic situation in Ukraine he used to get hired by Burisma Holdings.

And if it does, then Attorney General Merrick Garland should declassify those documents and present them to Congress for proper consideration. And if not, end the farce. Congress never established a law governing special counsels in the first place. It’s time to get rid of them and restore constitutional order—before it’s too late.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government Foundation. 

To view online: https://dailytorch.com/2023/01/why-are-there-special-counsels-if-they-have-no-power-to-prosecute-the-president/

IRS: Many Americans Will See Smaller Tax Refunds This Year

The IRS has warned that many taxpayers should expect a smaller refund this tax season because of tax law changes including the expiration of pandemic-related stimulus payments that would otherwise have boosted refund balances.

Taxpayers have until April 18 to file their taxes this year, but some taxpayers living overseas and disaster victims may have later filing deadlines. Alabama, California and Georgia storm victims now have until May 15 to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

In addition, the Internal Revenue Service has reminded taxpayers that they must again answer a digital asset question and report all digital asset-related income when they file their 2022 federal income tax return, as they did for fiscal year 2021. The term “digital assets” has replaced “virtual currencies,” a term used in previous years.

The question, which appears at the top of Forms 1040, Individual Income Tax Return1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors; and 1040-NR, U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return, was revised this year to update terminology.

Digital assets are broadly defined as any digital representation of value which is recorded on a cryptographically secured distributed ledger or any similar technology as specified by the Secretary.

Digital assets include (but are not limited to):

  • Convertible virtual currency and cryptocurrency
  • Stablecoins
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

Taxpayers who electronically file a tax return with no issues and choose direct deposit should still receive their refund within 21 days of the date they file – similar to previous years.

Due to tax law changes such as the elimination of the Advance Child Tax Credit and no Recovery Rebate Credit this year to claim pandemic-related stimulus payments, many taxpayers may find their refunds somewhat lower this year.

The Child Tax Credit for 2022 is $2,000 per child, down from $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for children aged 6-17 in 2021. Taxpayers may be eligible for an Additional Child Tax Credit of up to $1,500. The tax credit for child care costs is also back to being lower in 2022, with qualifying expenses reduced to $3,000 for one person and $6,000 for two or more, and the percentage of qualified expenses that can be claimed ranging from 20-35%. The credit is also no longer fully refundable. (Zero Hedge)

Technologies previously used against our enemies now wielded against us.

The government’s campaign to fight what it terms “misinformation” over vaccine safety and election integrity has expanded to adapt military-grade artificial intelligence once used to silence ISIS. It works by identifying, “fact-checking” and censoring dissent.

The Blaze says: It has become abundantly clear that other statist elements, sometimes aligned, have similarly engaged in censorship and narrative seeding, particularly after Elon Musk’s “Twitter Files” revealed that federal operatives pressured private companies into censoring journalists, dissenters, and even a former president.

According to justthhenews the National Science Foundation (NSF) has recently awarded several million dollars in grants to universities and private firms to develop tools eerily similar to those developed in 2011 by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program. The following is from the Darpa website:

Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) (Archived) 

With the spread of blogs, social networking sites and media-sharing technology, and the rapid propagation of ideas enabled by these advances, the conditions under which the nation’s military forces conduct operations are changing nearly as fast as the speed of thought. DARPA has an interest in addressing this new dynamic and understanding how social network communication affects events on the ground as part of its mission of preventing strategic surprise.

The general goal of the Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program is to develop a new science of social networks built on an emerging technology base. Through the program, DARPA seeks to develop tools to help identify misinformation or deception campaigns and counter them with truthful information, reducing adversaries’ ability to manipulate events.

To accomplish this, SMISC will focus research on linguistic cues, patterns of information flow and detection of sentiment or opinion in information generated and spread through social media. Researchers will also attempt to track ideas and concepts to analyze patterns and cultural narratives. If successful, they should be able to model emergent communities and analyze narratives and their participants, as well as characterize generation of automated content, such as by bots, in social media and crowd sourcing.

SMISC researchers will create a closed and controlled environment where large amounts of data are collected, with experiments performed in support of development and testing. One example of such an environment might be a closed social media network of 2,000 to 5,000 people who have agreed to conduct social media-based activities in this network and agree to participate in required data collection and experiments. This network might be formed within a single organization, or span several. Another example might be a role-player game where use of social media is central to that game and where players have again agreed to participate in data collection and experiments.

Researchers will be required to certify that no personally identifiable information (PII) for U.S. participants was collected, stored or created in contravention to federal privacy laws, regulations or DoD policies. SMISC researchers will not be provided PII from any other government agency or outside source.

DARPA conducts its works within legal and ethical constraints and has taken a leadership role in the science and technology community to address privacy and ethical, legal and societal implications (ELSI).

We’re still buying Russian oil – we’re just paying more for it

In a country blessed with enough energy to meet our needs, short-sighted, green-fear, globalist liberals have decided to rely on other countries, instead.

Virtue-signaling as ever, the Biden Administration banned oil imports from Russia as a pathetic protest over the Ukraine invasion. (It also stopped the Keystone pipeline, a seriously retrograde move.)

Now we all know how this works. Some smart country – a neutral one – in this case India – buys it up in record amounts, adds a markup and sells it on to the U.S. U.S. and EU sanctions on Russian oil exports “do not apply to refined products produced from Russian crude exported from a third country as they are not of Russian origin”.

In fact, while under new ownership much of it doesn’t even go through India. Instead it’s shipped straight from Russia and Indian companies mark it up and keep the profit.

The US had been a big buyer of Russia’s virgin gas oil (VGO). But as it cannot now purchase VGO directly from Russia, it is purchasing it from Reliance Energy and Nayara Energy, in India, which prepare the VGO from Russian crude oil. The US is buying 200,000 bpd of finished products, primarily VGO from Reliance.  “The biggest destination country of Indian products is surprisingly the United States. And the biggest exporters into the United States are Reliance and Nayara,” said Katona. Read more at The Wire(India)

Genuis. Great move, Joe.

Former CIA director says Schiff leaked

Mike Pompeo claimed during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Outnumbered” that Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California has leaked classified information.

Pompeo, who served as CIA director and then as secretary of state during former President Donald Trump’s tenure, said during his time in those roles, he knows that Schiff “leaked classified information that had been provided to him.” The Blaze

What do Petraeus, Clinton, Trump and Biden have in Common?

In 2011, the Guardian ran a headline about former CIA Director and retired Gen. David Petraeus, “Petraeus in profile: the man who could be president,” that speculated he might run for President in 2016 as a Republican candidate.

But it was not to be. A year later, after the terrorist attacks at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, it was revealed that Petraeus had an extramarital affair with his biographer beginning in 2011 who exchanged messages in a draft folder using Petraeus’ secure email account. When discovered, Petraeus resigned as CIA Director in Nov. 2012 and later pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information.

And that was the end of Gen. Petraeus’ political career before it ever began.

In 2014, it was discovered that Hillary Clinton was using her private email server at her home to route classified emails to her smartphone as a matter of convenience, leading to Congressional and State Department and eventually FBI inquiries over her own handling of classified information, leading to former FBI Director James Comey to opt not to pursue any charges of Clinton in July 2016.

In Oct. 2016, Comey then reopened the case right before the election in light of additional emails discovered on former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-N.Y.) computer from his ex-wife, Huma Abedin, who was Clinton’s campaign vice chair. This was reported publicly, and might have partially tipped the 2016 election to former President Donald Trump.

The same year, the FBI opened an investigation of then candidate Trump, on fake charges that he was a Russian agent. It turns out, Clinton, who was running against Trump, and her campaign had hired Perkins Coie, Fusion GPS and ultimately former British spy Christopher Steele to produce the allegations, based on false sources, that Trump and his campaign had conspired with Moscow to hack the DNC and put its emails onto Wikileaks. 

The information was published before the election a couple of times, but it wasn’t until after the election that the top secret investigation went into full throttle and was carried through the presidential transition and into the Trump administration. Within weeks, Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn had been removed after it was revealed he had communicated with the Russian ambassador Sergei Kisylak during the transition in a bid to deescalate tensions between Moscow and Washington and prevent war (one we’re presently on the brink of, by the way). By March 2017, Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself, Trump fired Comey and then Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to carry on the investigation.

Mueller found there was no Trump campaign conspiracy with Russia to hack the DNC and give the emails to Wikileaks. According to Mueller’s final report in 2019 to the Attorney General, “the evidence was not sufficient to charge that any member of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with representatives of the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.”

The report added, “In particular, the Office did not find evidence likely to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Campaign officials such as Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Carter Page acted as agents of the Russian government — or at its direction, control or request — during the relevant time period.”

As a result, in 2020, outgoing Attorney General William Barr appointed Special Counsel John Durham to investigate the legal predicate for that investigation, which he says wasn’t there. 

After the President Joe Biden’s election in 2020, then outgoing President Trump, in a bid to facilitate that investigation and also public knowledge about how the Justice Department had abused its power, on Jan. 19, 2021, declassified a trove of documents related to the Russiagate investigation. 

The Justice Department led by Attorney General Merrick Garland has since refused to turn the documents over to the public, and has since appointed Special Counsel Jack Smith to investigate Trump—again—for something every president has the power to do, and that’s to classify or declassify information at his discretion under Article II of the Constitution. Trump had classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and has argued he declassified them before he left office.

In Garland’s Nov. 18 announcement of the appointment of the special counsel, Trump’s Nov. 15 announcement he was running for president in the constitutionally prescribed 2024 election was the rationale for the heightened criminal investigation.

Garland stated, “Based on recent developments, including the former President’s announcement that he is a candidate for President in the next election, and the sitting President’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a Special Counsel.” Here, Garland admitted that the justification for the special counsel was political: Trump and Biden are running against each other in the next election. 

In order for a special counsel to be appointed, according to 28 C.F.R. 600.1, the Attorney General must determine “that [a] criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted and… investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney’s Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances…”

Why, if there’s a presidential election that might involve candidates who might run against one another, the public interest, naturally, is there must be another round of Justice Department investigations. Heck, it’s only been more than 10 years of this.

Even the sitting president, Joe Biden, is now embroiled in a very similar controversy as the FBI engaged in yet another search of President Biden’s Wilmington, Del. Home, turning up more classified documents, this time from Biden’s time as U.S. Senator prior to 2009 when he became Vice President.

This comes atop documents found at a think tank then Vice President Biden used for office space from 2017 to 2019, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement with some of them related to Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Iran. More documents from his time in the Obama administration were found in his home.

So, the past decade, the Justice Department has had classified documents and other top secret criminal and counterintelligence cases against two presidential candidates, two presidents, a former president and a former CIA director who might have been a presidential contender, all of which have impacted the outcomes of at least the past two elections, and now it will ultimately have bearing on the outcome of the 2024 election, which might pit Biden against Trump again. A definitive pattern has emerged.

Maybe the first in the nation primary shouldn’t be in New Hampshire, Iowa or South Carolina. Perhaps it should just be at the J. Edgar Hoover building in Washington, D.C. so that candidates can obtain the consent of the government. It’s an unconstitutional abomination, and has no place in a representative republic, but it might be a more accurate reflection of how are leaders are actually being chosen right now. 

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy UNLEASES On Rude Reporter

When confronted by a rude reporter, U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy responds with strength and explain why he rejected Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swallwell from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Hot From Hunter’s Laptop – Stolen Intel Proves Ukraine Connection

While those classified documents were hanging around in the garage of the house Hunter was renting from his dad during a years’ long drug and hooker binge it looks like some intel was sent to Ukraine.

AF Branco: Arms Dealer

Hunter Biden email about Ukraine from 2014 looks ‘suspiciously’ like it could have come from classified information, a leading GOP senator has claimed.

Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said the April 12, 2014 message to one of the first son’s business partners resembles documents that the State Department gives members of the Senate when they travel overseas.

“It reads like one of those scene-setters — highly detailed information in terms of Ukraine,” Johnson told Fox News Tuesday.

The email from Hunter to Devon Archer includes a granular 22-point memo the Biden scion described as “thoughts after doing some research.”

Those “thoughts” include the prescient predictions that Petro Poroshenko would be elected Ukraine’s president the following month and that “some sort of decentralization will likely occur in the East.”

Sound like a drug-addled drop out to you?

Follow Miranda Devine at the NYPost as she picks through Hunter’s Laptop

https://nypost.com/2023/01/22/theres-no-hiding-bidens-fright-over-classified-document-scandal/
https://nypost.com/2023/01/25/kids-link-hunter-biden-wife-of-fbi-agent-charles-mcgonigal-tied-to-oligarch/
https://nypost.com/2023/01/25/suspicious-hunter-biden-email-may-be-based-on-classified-info-gop-senator/

Meanwhile, in that proxy war we seem to be involved in…

The US is finalizing plans to send approximately 30 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, two US officials familiar with the deliberations told CNN. 

The Biden administration announcement to send the US-made tanks could come as early as this week, CNN reported earlier Tuesday. The timing around the actual delivery of the tanks is still unclear and it normally takes several months to train troops to use the tanks effectively, officials said. 

The US will also send a small number of recovery vehicles, one of the officials said. Recovery vehicles are tracked vehicles used to assist in the repair of tanks on the battlefield or the removal from the battlefield for service and maintenance in a different location. CNN

A quick recap: The Megalomaniacal Ambitions of the WEF

Klaus Schwab at the beach. I only use this photo to symbolize the World Economic Forum because it amuses the bejesus out of me.

The fifty-third annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) brought together fifty-two world leaders, seventeen hundred corporate executives, sundry artists, and other personalities to address “Cooperation in a Fragmented World.” Fragmentation is the nemesis of the World Economic Forum and its United Nations (UN) and corporate partners. “Fragmentation” means that segments of the world population are not adhering to the agenda of climate change catastrophism and the precepts of the Great Reset.

The Great Reset, meanwhile, amounts to a hybrid state-corporate woke cartel administering the global economy (and by extension the world’s political systems) under the direction of the WEF, the UN, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the World Health Organization, as well as top corporate decision-makers like BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink.

Lest we imagine that the WEF and its meetings merely represent the grandiose delusions of some ineffectual clowns, it should be noted that the WEF’s “stakeholder capitalism”—introduced in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, the WEF founder and chair, and Hein Kroos, in Modern Enterprise Management in Mechanical Engineering—has been embraced by the UN, by most central banks, as well as by the world’s leading corporations, commercial banks, and asset managers. Stakeholder capitalism is now considered to be the modus operandi of the world economic system.

In the 1971 book, Schwab and Kroos suggested that “the management of a modern enterprise must serve not only shareholders but all stakeholders to achieve long-term growth and prosperity.” The stakeholders are the compliant and complicit corporations and governments, not the citizenry.

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset man­ager, holds upwards of $10 trillion in assets under management (AUM), including the pension funds of many US states. In 2019, BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, led the US Business Roundtable on stake­holder capitalism. CEOs from 181 major corpora­tions redefined the common purpose of the corpo­ration in terms of Schwab’s brainchild, stakeholder capitalism, signaling the supposed end of shareholder-driven capitalism. In his 2022 letter to CEOs, Fink made BlackRock’s own position on investment decisions quite clear. “Climate risk is investment risk,” Fink declared. He promised a “tectonic shift in capital,” an increased acceleration of investments going to “sustainability-focused” companies.

Fink warned CEOs: “And because this will have such a dramatic impact on how capital is allocated, every management team and board will need to consider how this will impact their company’s stock”(emphasis mine). According to Fink, stakeholder capitalism is not an aberration. Fink provides evidence of stakeholder capitalism’s woke imperative in his denial of the same: “It is not a social or ideological agenda. It is not ‘woke.’ It is capitalism.” This definition of capitalism would certainly have come as news to Ludwig von Mises.

Fink sits on the board of trustees of the WEF, along with former US vice president Al Gore; IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva; ECB president Christine Lagarde, and Canadian deputy prime minister and minister of finance Chrystia Freeland, among others.

In his 2023 welcoming remarks and special address, Schwab pointed to the multiple crises facing the world: “the energy transformation, the consequences of covid, the reshaping of supply chains are all serving as catalytic forces for the economic transformation.” Incidentally, these are all factors that the WEF has promoted and/or exacerbated. And together they have added to the “high inflation, increasing interest rates, and growing national debt” that Schwab also decried.

Schwab pointed to the problem of social and geopolitical fragmentation and “a messy patchwork of powers,” alluding to the war in Ukraine. But Schwab also bemoaned “large corporate and social media powers, all competing increasingly for power and influence. As a result, the trend is again moving toward increased fragmentation and confrontation”—no doubt referring, at least in part, to the recent takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk, the loss of a major platform for propaganda and censorship. Naturally, Schwab referred to “climate change” and “viruses” as existential threats that could lead to “the extinction of large parts of our global population.” The question is whether “climate change” and “viruses” or rather the responses to these supposed menaces will be the cause of mass extinctions.

But “the most critical fragmentation” threat, Klaus argued, is posed by those who “go into the negative” and hold a “critical and confrontational attitude” to the Davos agenda—those with the temerity to oppose a global agenda of climate change catastrophism, with its attendant control over production and consumption and the virtual elimination of property and property rights for the vast majority.

A central issue that the fifty-third annual meeting addressed was “the Current Energy and Food Crises in the Context of a New System for Energy, Climate and Nature.” The theme accords with the WEF’s earlier and repeated claims that the agricultural supply chain is too “fragmented” for “sustainable” farming. “A resilient, environmentally-friendly food system will require a shift away from our current fragmented supply chains,” wrote Lindsay Suddon, chief strategy officer of Proagrica, in 2020. In Suddon’s and many other WEF papers, the “fragmentation” refrain is repeated. Sustainable farming cannot be achieved under the “fragmented” agricultural conditions that currently obtain.

One paper—entitled “Can Collective Action Cure What’s Ailing Our Food Systems?,” part of the 2020 WEF annual meet­ing—argued that fragmentation represents the ulti­mate barrier to sustainability:

As the heads of leading multilateral and com­mercial agricultural finance institutions, we are convinced that fragmentation within the current food systems represents the most sig­nificant hurdle to feeding a growing population nutritiously and sustainably.

Written by Wiebe Draijer, then chairman of the managing board at Rabobank, and Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, the director general–elect of the In­ternational Labour Organization (ILO), the paper was quite telling. It warned that unless fragmentation is addressed, “we will also have no hope of reaching the Sustainable Development Goal of net zero emis­sions by 2050, given that today’s agricultural supply chain, from farm to fork, accounts for around 27% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”

Rabobank is one of the financial sponsors of the WEF’s Food Action Alliance (discussed below). On its website, Rabobank notes that it operates in the Netherlands, serving retail and corporate clients, and globally, financing the agricultural sector. The ILO is a UN agency that sets labor standards in 187 countries.

What interests could an international bank and a UN international labor agency have in common? According to their jointly authored paper, they have in common a resolve to eliminate fragmentation in agriculture. The banking interest in defragmentation is to gain a controlling interest in fewer and larger farms. The labor union management interest is to have more workers under its supervision and control. The banking and labor interests combined result in large farms worked by organized farm laborers—nonowners—under the controlling interest of the bank. A bonus rationale (more likely the main one) for this “scheme” is that the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the UN’s Agenda 2030 can thereby more easily be implemented across “agricultural value chains and farming practices.” The authors conclude: “Most critically, we need to aggregate opportunities, resources and complementary expertise into large-scale projects that can unlock investment and deliver impact” (emphasis mine). “Collective action” is the “cure.”

In terms of agriculture, that is, “fragmentation” means too many discrete and disparate farms. The solution to this problem is consolidation, or the ownership of agricultural assets by fewer and fewer entities. Enter Bill Gates in the US. The “large-scale projects” will be owned by those who can afford to abide by the European Commission’s (EC) Farm to Fork Strategy. “The Farm to Fork Strategy is at the heart of the European Green Deal.” The goal of the European Green Deal is “no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.” (More on the Farm to Fork Strategy and its effects on hunger and starvation below.)

The issue of food supply was addressed in a session entitled “Sustainably Served.” The summary caption for the session notes that “nearly 830 million people face food insecurity and more than 3 billion are unable to afford a healthy diet. Challenges to human and planetary health have been further compounded by rising costs, supply chain disruptions and climate change.”

The highlight of the “Sustainably Served” panel, which otherwise amounted to virtue signaling, came in the form of questions posed by an audience member, “Jacob, from America”:

I want to ask a question about food production. Last year the Dutch government announced harsh restrictions on the use of nitrogen fertilizers. Such restrictions forced many farmers to put much of their land out of production. And these policies led to 30,000 Dutch farmers protesting these government policies. And this was being done at a time when food production was already being severely curtailed because of the war in Ukraine. My questions are, one, does the panel support similar policies being implemented throughout the world? And do you support the Dutch farmers who are protesting? Do not such strict policies leading to reduced food production ultimately harm the poorest people of the world and exacerbate the problem of malnutrition?

The questioner was one of four, yet his questions dominated the rest of the session and led the moderator, Tolu Oni, and panelist Hanneke Faber, the president of nutrition at Unilever, which is based in the Netherlands, to become quite defensive. The latter replied:

I am Dutch, and our business is based in Holland. It’s a very difficult situation in Holland. I have a lot of sympathy for the farmers who are protesting, because it’s their livelihoods and their businesses at risk. But I also have a lot of sympathy for what the government is trying to do, because the nitrogen emissions are way too high. . . . So, something needs to be done. . . .

But it’s a very Dutch problem. I don’t think that you have to worry that those same solutions will have to go somewhere else.

This last statement is belied by the fact that the Netherlands is the headquarters of the WEF’s Food Action Alliance program and the site of the Global Coordinating Secretariat (GCS) of the WEF’s Food Innovation Hubs. Launched at the Davos Agen­da meeting in 2021, the Food Innovation Hubs have as their goal alignment with the UN Food Systems Summit: “The role of the GCS will be to coordinate the efforts of the regional Hubs as well as align with global processes and initiatives such as the UN Food Systems Summit.” And the stated goal of the UN Food Systems Summit is to align agricultural production with Agenda 2030’s SDGs: “The UN Food Systems Summit, held during the UN General Assembly in New York on September 23 [2021], set the stage for global food systems transformation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

“Sustainability” and “sustainable development” do not mean, as the words seem to suggest, the ability to withstand shocks of various kinds—economic cri­ses, natural disasters, etc. They mean development constrained by utopian, unscientific environmental­ist imperatives, inclusive of reduced production and consumption in the developed world and the thwart­ing of development that would result in the production of additional GHGs in the developing world. In terms of agriculture, this entails a reduction in the use of nitrogen-rich fertilizers and their eventual elimination and the phasing out of methane- and ammo­nia-producing cattle. In the Netherlands, the Food Hubs initiative has already led to the government’s compulsory buyout and closure of as many as three thousand farms, which will lead to dramatically reduced crop yields from the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products.

The situation in the Netherlands is also part of the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy. Under the Trump administration, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that adopting the plan would result in a decline in agricultural production of between 7 percent and 12 percent for the European Union, depending on whether the adoption is EU-wide or global. With EU-only adoption, the decline in EU agricul­tural production was projected to be 12 percent, as opposed to 7 percent should the adoption become global. In the case of global adoption, worldwide agricultural production was projected to drop by 11 percent. Further, the USDA reported:

The decline in agricultural production would tighten the EU food supply, resulting in price increases that impact consumer budgets. Pric­es and per capita food costs would increase the most for the EU, across each of the three sce­narios [a middle scenario of adoption of Farm to Fork by the EU and neighboring nation-states was included in the study]. However, price and food cost increases would be significant for most regions if [Farm to Fork] Strategies are adopted globally. For the United States, price and food costs would remain relatively unchanged except in the case of global adoption.

Production declines in the EU and elsewhere would lead to reduced trade, although some regions would benefit depending on chang­es in import demand. However, if trade is re­stricted as a result of the imposition of the proposed measures, the negative impacts are concentrated in regions with the world’s most food-insecure populations. . . .

Food insecurity, measured as the number of people who lack access to a diet of at least 2,100 calories a day, increases significantly in the 76 low- and middle-income countries covered in our analysis due to increases in food commodi­ty prices and declines in income, particularly in Africa. By 2030, the number of food-insecure people in the case of EU-only adoption would increase by an additional 22 million more than projected without the EC’s proposed Strate­gies. The number would climb to 103 million under the middle scenario and 185 million un­der global adoption. (emphasis mine)

Thus, we see that “sustainably served” means sustainably starved.

Another panel of note was “Stewarding Responsible Capitalism,” which featured Brian T. Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America and chair of the WEF business council, among others. An arch proponent of stakeholder capitalism, Moynihan suggested that companies that do not meet environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria will simply be left behind. No one will do business with such companies, he said.

Moynihan’s comments revealed the extent to which stakeholder capitalism and the metric for measuring it, the ESG index, have penetrated commercial banking. In fact, over three hundred major banks are signatories of the UN’s “Principles for Responsible Banking,” “representing almost half of the global banking industry.” Meanwhile, forty-seven hundred asset management firms, as­set owners, and asset service providers have signed the UN’s six “Principles for Responsible Investment.” These principles are entirely focused on ESG compliance and meeting the UN’s Agenda 2030 sustainable development goals. ESG indexing now per­vades every aspect of banking and investment businesses, including what companies they invest in, how they adhere to ESG metrics themselves, and how they cooperate with competitors to pro­mote ESGs. Thus, the goal of the principles is to universalize ESG investing. ESG indexing raises the cost of doing business, starves the noncompliant of capital, and creates a woke cartel of preferred producers.

In the “Philanthropy: A Catalyst for Protecting Our Planet” session, US climate envoy John Kerry suggested that he and the people at Davos were “a select group of human beings, [who], because of whatever touched us at some point in our lives, are able to sit in a room and come together and actually talk about saving the planet.” Betraying the religious, cultlike character of the Davos group, Kerry suggested that his and others’ anointment as saviors of the planet was “almost extraterrestrial.” If you tell them you are interested in saving the planet, “most people,” Kerry continued, “they think you are a tree-hugging leftie liberal do-gooder.” But I submit that “most people” think Kerry and his ilk are not do-gooders at all but rather control freaks and megalomaniacs bent on controlling the world’s population.

On other panels, the speakers stated that eating meat, driving cars, and living outside the bounds of fifteen-minute cities should be disallowed.

In short, with the Davos agenda, we are confronted with a concerted, coordinat­ed campaign to dismantle the productive capabil­ities in energy, manufacturing, and farming. This project, driven by elites and accruing to their benefit, is amounting to the largest Great Leap Backward in recorded history. If it is not stopped and reversed, it will lead to economic disaster, including dramatical­ly reduced consumption and living standards. And it will almost certainly result in more hunger in the developed world and famines in the developing world. WEF chairman Schwab may out­do Chairman Mao. If we let him.

Author: 

Contact Michael Rectenwald

Michael Rectenwald is the author of twelve books, including The Great Reset and the Struggle for Liberty: Unraveling the Global AgendaThought CriminalBeyond WokeGoogle Archipelago, and Springtime for Snowflakes. He is a distinguished fellow at Hillsdale College. Original here. Reproduced with permission.

Hawley’s ‘PELOSI Act’ Would Make Criminals Out of Many Members of Congress

In a pointed reminder, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., calls his bill the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act—or the PELOSI Act.

Lawmakers and their spouses would be prohibited from using privileged information to trade stocks under legislation introduced Tuesday by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. 

Hawley’s bill follows news last year that then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, traded between $1 million and $5 million worth of semiconductor stocks shortly before Congress allocated $52 million to the industry. 

In a pointed reminder, Hawley calls his bill the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act—or the PELOSI Act. 

“For too long, politicians in Washington have taken advantage of the economic system they write the rules for, turning profits for themselves at the expense of the American people,” Hawley said in a news release. “As members of Congress, both senators and representatives are tasked with providing oversight of the same companies they invest in, yet they continually buy and sell stocks, outperforming the market time and again.” 

The bill would require members of Congress to divest any holdings or put them in a blind trust within six months of entering office. It also would require lawmakers to return prohibited stock market profits to taxpayers. 

“Members of Congress and their spouses shouldn’t be using their position to get rich on the stock market; today I’m introducing legislation to BAN stock trading & ownership by members of Congress,” Hawley wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “I call it the PELOSI Act.”  

Hawley originally introduced the bill in the last Congress under the title of the Banning Insider Trading in Congress Act. It would amend the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, which prohibits insider trading for business leaders and everyday Americans. 

“While Wall Street and Big Tech work hand-in-hand with elected officials to enrich each other, hardworking Americans pay the price,” Hawley said. “The solution is clear: We must immediately and permanently ban all members of Congress from trading stocks.”  

Elizabeth Troutman is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. Reproduced with permission. Original here.

EXPLOSIVE: Secret Interview Exposes Pfizer

Pfizer Exposed For Exploring “Mutating” COVID-19 Virus For New Vaccines Via ‘Directed Evolution’

Project Veritas released a new video today exposing a Pfizer executive, Jordon Trishton Walker, who claims that his company is exploring a way to “mutate” COVID via “Directed Evolution” to preemptively develop future vaccines.

Walker says that Directed Evolution is different than Gain-of-Function, which is defined as “a mutation that confers new or enhanced activity on a protein.” In other words, it means that a virus such as COVID can become more potent depending on the mutation / scientific experiment performed on it.

Here are some of the highlights from today’s video:

  • Jordon Trishton Walker, Pfizer Director of Research and Development, Strategic Operations – mRNA Scientific Planner: “One of the things we’re exploring is like, why don’t we just mutate it [COVID] ourselves so we could create — preemptively develop new vaccines, right? So, we have to do that. If we’re gonna do that though, there’s a risk of like, as you could imagine — no one wants to be having a pharma company mutating f**king viruses.
  • Walker: “Don’t tell anyone. Promise you won’t tell anyone. The way it [the experiment] would work is that we put the virus in monkeys, and we successively cause them to keep infecting each other, and we collect serial samples from them.”
  • Walker: “You have to be very controlled to make sure that this virus [COVID] that you mutate doesn’t create something that just goes everywhere. Which, I suspect, is the way that the virus started in Wuhan, to be honest. It makes no sense that this virus popped out of nowhere. It’s bullsh*t.”
  • Walker: “From what I’ve heard is they [Pfizer scientists] are optimizing it [COVID mutation process], but they’re going slow because everyone is very cautious — obviously they don’t want to accelerate it too much. I think they are also just trying to do it as an exploratory thing because you obviously don’t want to advertise that you are figuring out future mutations.”

6 Failures of Biden’s Presidency in Year 2

Are you better off than you were two years ago?

A number of reports on Saturday suggested that White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain will step down after the State of the Union address next month. So, it’s a good time to look back on the Biden presidency so far.

Last year, just before President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address, I wrote about seven failures of his administration.

From COVID-19 tyranny to a foolhardy retreat from energy independence to a vicious war on parents, the 46th president has proved to be far from the healing uniter he was promised to be. 

Though it seems many Americans have already forgotten about it, the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal remains one of the most humiliating foreign policy fiascos in American history. Even worse, following that disaster, there was no reckoning, no accountability for what happened.

In Biden’s second year, we saw many ongoing problems, some of which have only escalated. So, to mark the second anniversary of Biden’s presidency, I’ve updated my analysis of some of his biggest failures that are affecting Americans today.

1.) Immigration Chaos

Biden said that the border crisis didn’t begin “overnight.” Actually, it pretty much did begin overnight—the moment he took office. Since he was sworn in as president, there have been an estimated 5.5 million illegal border crossings.

In December alone, there were 251,487 illegal immigrant encounters at the border, according to Customs and Border Patrol. That’s the highest number ever recorded.

Border towns are besieged, but the whole country is now experiencing the effects of the illegal immigration crisis.

Not only are millions of people crossing the border illegally, the border situation has created additional problems beyond the humanitarian issue. Huge quantities of illicit drugs such as fentanyl are coming across the border, too, brought here by drug and human traffickers who thrive in the chaos.

It’s not a stretch to say that Biden has created the worst border crisis in U.S. history. We’ve set records for border crossings in each of his first two years as president, and at the current rate, we will set an illegal border-crossing record again this year.

This is all while Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas again and again assures us that the border is “secure.”

Does this look secure?

Of course, when the president arrived at the border, in El Paso, Texas, on Jan. 8, for his first-ever visit, everything was cleaned up to make things look orderly and normal.

The White House and its media apologists first attempted to write off this crisis as a “seasonal” phenomenon. Nope, it wasn’t that. Now, they’ve gone with the more usual excuse for the president’s failures. He’s a victim of circumstances.

The ongoing, shambolic nature of the illegal immigration crisis is an inevitable product of the administration’s policies and ethos. From the moment Biden became president, he has stripped and chipped away at border enforcement and signaled to would-be border crossers that if they can make their way into this country, there’s a good chance they will be able to stay, whether they are detained or not.

It’s hard not to conclude at this point that what’s happening at the Southern border isn’t just incompetence, it’s intentional.

2.) Ballooning Debt

Pretty much every modern president and Congress has failed on the national debt issue. But Biden has ratcheted it up to a whole new level.

The United States started the 2023 fiscal year with a national debt of more than $31 trillion, which is 120% of the entire U.S. economy at this point. That debt increased by about $4 trillion since Biden arrived in office. And the administration is eager to pile up more debt, with a student-loan forgiveness program that will cost half a trillion dollars if it survives court challenges.

What’s the administration’s plan to deal with the debt that’s quickly reaching its congressionally authorized ceiling and flirting with a big Capitol Hill showdown? Well, some of the administration’s backers suggest that the Federal Reserve create a $1 trillion coin. 

Yes, a coin.

The proposal is of dubious legality. When questioned on this, the leading proponents of this “solution” suggested that the White House ignore the courts—creating a constitutional crisis—and march troops on the Federal Reserve if it doesn’t comply.

Sounds like a real plan for economic stability.

But don’t expect help from Congress anytime soon. The massive omnibus spending bill passed late last month in the lame-duck Congress locked in spending until September. A debt apocalypse isn’t here yet, but the consequence of limitless spending is starting to catch up with us. 

That leads to the next failure of the Biden presidency.

3.) Inflation

Inflation may be slowing down a bit—while food prices soar—but for the most part, the U.S. economy under Biden has suffered its highest levels of inflationsince the Jimmy Carter administration in the late 1970s.

The result is that while the U.S. economy has low unemployment, for now,inflation and the cost of living are wiping out the wealth of the average American.

In fact, according to E.J. Antoni, an economist at The Heritage Foundation, the average American family has lost $7,100 in purchasing power under Biden due to inflation and high interest rates. So, while the Biden administration has celebrated a rise in take-home pay, the reality is that inflation during his presidency has more than nullified those gains.

Antoni also took issue with Biden’s spin on the slowing inflation. Slightly lower inflation is hardly a major victory.

“[Biden] is right to say inflation is going down, but that is not the same as prices going down. Inflation going down means that prices are still rising, just not quite as fast as before. A 7.1% inflation rate is still horrific. It means prices will double in about a decade,” Antoni said in a December interview with The Daily Signal, the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.

Put another way, the house is burning down, but the good news is, we might save a few chairs.

4.) Woke Administrative State

The federal bureaucracy is being transformed into an apparatus more wholly devoted to the cult of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Following Biden’s 2021 executive order to establish a “government-wide initiative to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in all parts of the federal workforce,” the bureaucracy has been hard at work injecting every college campus-style inanityinto its everyday operations.

Yes, NASA and the Pentagon are now discussing microaggressions and otherwoke nonsense. That’s comforting to know.

Moreover, all of this extends beyond the bureaucracy’s day-to-day operations.

In April, the Biden administration issued guidance through the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that “transgender youth receive the care they need.”

What does that mean? This is from a Justice Department memo released at the same time:

Intentionally erecting discriminatory barriers to prevent individuals from receiving gender-affirming care implicates a number of federal legal guarantees. State laws and policies that prevent parents or guardians from following the advice of a health care professional regarding what may be medically necessary or otherwise appropriate care for transgender minors may infringe on rights protected by both the Equal Protection and the Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The bottom line is that Biden, with the power of the federal government, wants to ensure that your child will be gender-transitioned, whether you like it or not.

The Biden administration also redefined Title IX protections for women to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Among other things, that could mean that gendered facilities in schools that receive federal funding could be eliminated or opened to the opposite sex.

The order means that the Department of Education will now go after, for instance, public school libraries that try to remove books with sexually explicit content that deals with LGBT identities.

5.) Specter of Scandal

A more recent development in the Biden presidency has been the discovery that he had classified documents from when he was the vice president under President Barack Obama.

Of course, when the FBI seized documents from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago compound in Florida, the media treated it as the scandal of the century. At the time, Biden said he couldn’t believe how “anyone could be that irresponsible” to keep classified documents.

The media are working overtime to draw a distinction here to soften the blow for Biden, but the reality is that this looks bad for the president. It also undermines their arguments about Trump and Republicans being some kind of unique threat to the country.

Before Biden was elected, there were questions about scandal in his family. Was his son, Hunter Biden, using his father’s name and influence to enrich himself? Was the now president in on this corruption?

Of course, Big Tech and the media infamously quashed this story in the days before the 2020 election. It’s not going away now.

The Republican-controlled House will almost certainly be digging deep into potential corruption in the Biden family in the next two years. Even left-wing media and Democrats are acknowledging this is becoming a serious problem for Biden’s presidency.

Even Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said that the recent discovery of classified materials in Biden’s Delaware home and the Penn Biden Center “diminishes the stature of any person who is in possession of it” and that Biden “bears ultimate responsibility.”

6.) No Return to Normalcy

Not only did things generally seem broken and dysfunctional in the past year, but Biden and his administration frequently took opportunities to portray half the country as evil, anti-democratic monsters.

That’s a real winning combination.

In Biden’s now infamous speech with a blood-red backdrop where he ranted and raved at length about the wickedness of “MAGA Republicans,” the president effectively defined his opponents as an existential threat to the country.

“As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under assault,” Biden said. “We do ourselves no favors to pretend otherwise.”

He kept doubling down.

“MAGA Republicans have made their choice. They embrace anger. They thrive on chaos. They live not in the light of truth, but in the shadow of lies,” Biden said. That’s quite ironic given images like this, from his Sept. 1 speech in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, which one news account headlined this way: “Biden shocks viewers with ‘hellish red background’ for polarizing speech.”

Now, Biden might not have genuinely believed what he was saying. After all, his 50-year career in politics seems to be mostly a long practice in opportunistic cynicism.

Biden’s primary strength as a politician has been in carefully triangulating to remain with the current of the Democrat Party, whatever direction that may take him.

One way or another, the speech most certainly represents what people in his administration believe. Many influential people on the Left in America apparently think that anyone to the right of Hillary Clinton—or who takes positions on social issues endorsed by Obama in 2008—should be ostracized, lose their job, and possibly have a powerful federal agency unleashed on them.

Ever the wily character, Biden tried to soften his position a bit after the speech. But the fact remains that that’s now a common view on the Left.

To a certain extent, Biden might have been right. What we are dealing with now truly is a battle for the soul of the nation.

The problem is, Biden is on the wrong side of that battle. He promotes extremist gender ideology, obliterates the wealth of the average American, empowers fanatical bureaucrats in Washington, and demonizes his fellow Americans, all while failing to uphold his constitutional duty to carry out the laws of this country and allowing millions of people to flood into this country illegally.

Biden’s presidency has been a failure. He’s the tottering, corrupt, intellectually bankrupt face of a radical, broken regime.

After years of making us do this we find out it’s useless

Image: Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/plastic-bottles-bottles-recycling-115071/

Recycling is now an industry that uses increasingly expensive labor to produce materials that are worth less and less. China is no longer prepared to be the trash bin of the world, transportation costs are escalating and the return on recycling investment is nil.

Even Greenpeace has finally acknowledged the truth: Recycling plastic makes no sense.

This has been obvious for decades to anyone who crunched the numbers, but the fantasy of recycling plastic proved irresistible to generations of environmentalists and politicians.

They preached it to children, mandated it for adults and bludgeoned municipalities and virtue-signaling corporations into wasting vast sums — probably hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide — on an enterprise that has been harmful to the environment as well as to humanity.

It’s time to come to terms with it. In an attempt to conserve resources we should consider all-time habits such as reuseable containers, such as milk bottles. Using paper and the new corn “plastic” products for packaging. There are a gazillion ways we can save the earth from pollution if we start earlier in the chain. However, we cannot let the Greens get their filthy mitts on this policy as they will prevent us from using anything to store foods other than a woven basket and a hand-thrown pitcher!

In New York City, recycling a ton of plastic costs at least six times more than sending it to a landfill, according to a 2020 Manhattan Institute study, which estimated that the city could save $340 million annually by sending all its trash to landfills.

The environmental price has also been high because the plastic in American recycling bins has gone to developing countries with primitive waste-handling systems. Much of it ends up illegally dumped, burned (spewing toxic fumes) or reprocessed at rudimentary facilities that leak some of the plastics into rivers. (NYPost)

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