How does he know?

The New York Times recently reported that Russian spies offered bounties to the Taliban to kill Americans.

So, how much do you have to pay a Taliban member to kill American Troops?

The White House, Russia and the Taliban have said the Times’ story is false.

Well, they probably would say that.

When asked about it, President Trump said he had not been briefed on the allegation.

Well, he probably wouldn’t say that if it weren’t true. He does love our military, Twitter is at his fingertips, and he’s not shy about punching back.

To my actual point:
When I passed briefly through the house in the midst of some outdoor projects a few minutes ago, I caught a snippet of Rush Limbaugh reporting a “journalist” asking the following question (I think of the Press Secretary): “If the President hasn’t been briefed, then how does he know it didn’t happen?

My answer is:
Your question seems to be based on the assumption that the intelligence community of the United States, and possibly the intelligence organizations of some of our allies, have information on this they chose to withhold from the President, but gave to the New York Times.

Given the attempts of certain former leaders of American intelligence agencies to execute a coup against President Trump, I can understand why you might be suspicious.

For example, the name John Brennan, former head of the CIA, springs immediately to mind.

Neither should we minimize the possible contributions of former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, nor former FBI Director James Comey to your surmise.

And Andrew McCabe, an admitted leaker who blamed others for his perfidy, deserves an dishonorable mention.

Listing their myriad minions would make me late for my lunch appointment tomorrow.

In this republic the assumption that such information would be deliberately withheld from a duly elected President is an accusation of… well treason is not too strong a word.

Is that your point?

Withdrawal pains

There is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free.
-Barack Obama, on the withdrawal of the case against Michael Flynn

So much to unpack in a short sentence.

Of course there are many precedents for getting off (we’ll get to “scot-free” later) from being charged for perjury. Anybody can easily find them. For example, like Bill Clinton, you’re found innocent of the charge. He didn’t get off scot-free, though. He was disbarred and paid a $25K fine over Monica Lewinski, plus a $90K fine for false testimony and $850K in settlement in the Paula Jones case.

As to perjury, that wasn’t the charge laid on General Flynn. He was charged with lying to the FBI. This is simple enough that we can depend on Wikipedia:

“Perjury is the intentional act of swearing a false oath or falsifying an affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to an official proceeding.”

Flynn was not only not under oath, he was led to believe the meeting engineered by the FBI was happenstance. An oath, in itself, would have provided notification that one was under investigation. Flynn received no such notification and was deliberately led to believe he was just having a chat. Bushwhacked is an appropriate term.

Perjury, if it were at issue, requires materiality. As does the actual charge against Flynn. Emphasis mine:

“Under federal law, a false statement made to investigators is actionable only if it is material to the matter under investigation. If there was no basis to believe Flynn had committed a crime, his counsel could have argued that any false statements allegedly made by Flynn when he was questioned in January 2017 were immaterial. Ergo, Ms. Powell contends that the withholding of this information violated the government’s duty to disclose exculpatory evidence.”

And don’t forget, the answer over which he was charged with lying regarded a telephone conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn knew such conversations are routinely recorded by NSA, and that the FBI had almost certainly listened to the recording. You have to believe Lt. General Flynn to be extraordinarily stupid to believe that he lied about it.

The FBI interviewers didn’t believe it, even though newly released emails show an internal FBI debate about the purpose of the ambush:

“The documents turned over by the Justice Department late Wednesday include handwritten notes in which FBI officials openly indicated that their “goal” was “to get him [Flynn] to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired””

That was the basis of the ‘crime.’

“Getting off scot-free” is another curiosity of Mr. Obama’s thinking. Flynn’s reputation was destroyed, he was psychologically tortured, he’s been financially wrecked, and his family has been threatened. The prosecutors covered that last extortion up in collusion with Flynn’s first set of lawyers. An agreement not to prosecute his son was illegally excluded from the description of the plea deal supplied to the court. “[T]he government [is required] to disclose to the defense any promises made or benefits given in exchange for the testimony of a witness called by the prosecution.

Not satisfied with misstating the crime, insulting due process, excusing prosecutorial misconduct and FBI framing, and minimizing the burden imposed on General Flynn, our former organizer-in-chief went on to lament, “That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk.

Well, yes, but not in the way he thinks.

More to come, I think, since we also just found out Mr. Obama was aware of this charade at the time.

Hmmm.

Flynn’s current lawyer, Sidney Powell, is another Dagny Taggart Award nominee.

Update, May 11, 1:20PM:


…and, while we’re at it:
Attorney General Barr’s Office Shreds NBC’s Chuck Todd For ‘Deceptive Editing’ Of Barr’s Comments Add a little collusion from the Maim Scream Media™.

Note, too, that the soon-to-be-infamous January 5th Oval Office meeting where Obama surprised Sally Yates with his knowledge of the Kislyak phone call preceded the bushwacking meeting (Jan 24th) with General Flynn by several weeks. Obama had been briefed on the call by James Clapper (according to Comey, during Congressional testimony), but Yates, at the DOJ, had not been briefed.

Also attending that meeting were James Comey, Joe Biden, John Brennan, James Clapper, and Susan Rice. Rice was later to write a CYA email to herself:

“President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia,”

The very next day, Comey briefed incoming President Donald Trump on the Steele dossier, i.e., Russian disinformation paid for by the Clinton campaign, and already used to obtain a FISA warrant against Carter Page. Comey only discussed the salacious parts of the dossier, and neglected to tell Trump about the Kislyak phone call and Flynn. Comey lied by omission.

Stop it!

Harvard researchers say social distancing may be needed into 2022
Detailed models suggest the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could resurge as late as 2024.

The worst secondary effect of the CCP virus pandemic is the press coverage. CNET should be ashamed and so should Harvard. The idea that CCP virus will come back is intuitively obvious, but the article hawks it as unexpected.

A couple of snippets that tell you the model and the article were unnecessary:

[S]ome social distancing methods, like avoiding hugs and handshakes, could persist beyond the end of the pandemic

“The authors are aware that prolonged distancing, even if intermittent, is likely to have profoundly negative economic, social and educational consequences,”

Maintaining ‘no hugs nor handshakes’ would surprise precisely no one as a natural public response.

This behavior will not be intermittent, it’s going to be a fact of life, like more hand-washing. The lack of “hugs and handshakes” will not have “profound” effects. If they’d mentioned the six feet distancing rule, they might have made a case for “irritating effects.”

Harvard bases this on a “detailed model.” OOOh! Models. Harvard. Scientists. Changes in public behavior after a world historical pandemic. Run!

The CCP virus modeling has been wildly wrong – as bad as CAGW models. They specify 2024. Because putting a number on it makes the model seem more precise and insightful, but it is a WAG generated by a spreadsheet. Why not 2028 and 2035? People wouldn’t worry so much, and wouldn’t click on it.

A 2024 resurgence would be tempered by a vaccine, likely by effective drug treatment, likely (and sadly) acceptance of cell-phone-based contact tracing apps by those who care nothing for privacy, and by handy, 5 minute, inexpensive self-testing kits available at CVS and Walmart. If the FDA gets out of the way.

I question whether they factored those changes into their model. If they did, I’d call BS on the values they used.

To help determine the way forward, the researchers say a better understanding of immunity to the virus is key, as is epidemiological surveillance of the disease, which can be done through widespread testing and contact tracing.

They had to have a model to reach that insipid conclusion? While admitting the key element of their model, immunity, is not understood?

A plea for funding, and a quest for clicks.

Fight fiercely, Harvard

Fight fiercely, Harvard
fight, fight, fight!
Demonstrate to them our skill
Albeit they possess the might
Nonetheless we have the will

-Tom Lehrer

While the majority of the Maim Scream Media™ is parroting Chinese Communist Party talking points because of the Trump Derangement Syndrome Pandemic, it’s worthwhile to review the general tenor of Communist China.

China’s Coming Upheaval

Xi Jinping has implemented precisely the agenda of which the Progs accuse Trump

In 2018, Xi decided to abolish presidential term limits, signaling his intention to stay in power indefinitely. He has indulged in heavy-handed purges, ousting prominent party officials under the guise of an anticorruption drive. What is more, Xi has suppressed protests in Hong Kong, arrested hundreds of human rights lawyers and activists, and imposed the tightest media censorship of the post-Mao era. His government has constructed “reeducation” camps in Xinjiang, where it has incarcerated more than a million Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities. And it has centralized economic and political decision-making, pouring government resources into state-owned enterprises and honing its surveillance technologies.

…but that’s OK because at least Harvard can prevent individual Chinese students from admittance because they display “poorer personal qualities than white applicants”… or something. By that, they do not mean “we prefer football players to those suspected of eating bat soup and pangolin fritters.”

Sometimes individuals must be sacrificed for the greater good of collectives to which they do not belong. That’s not racist if you have ‘reasons,’ while the phrase “Wuhan virus” is racist if uttered by the Orange Man.

When Barack Obama was president “Chicago” was a racist word.

Place names are racist as required.

As is Harvard.

John Kerry, belatedly, proven right

Qasem Soleimani, deceased commander of the Quds Force (Iran’s amalgam of the CIA and Navy Seals), a division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps – designated as a terrorist organization last year – has a long history of conducting war against the United States.

He helped plan the attack on our Benghazi diplomatic facilities. He armed dozens of militia groups enabling them to kill hundreds of Americans. He was responsible for the Dec. 27th attack near Kirkuk that killed an American contractor. He organized the recent attack on the American embassy (i.e., American soil) in Baghdad by Quds Force proxy Kata’ib Hezbollah; who raised their flags on its walls.

He had been sanctioned by the previous administration in 2011:
Flashback: Obama Sanctioned Soleimani for Attempted Terror Attack in Washington, DC

“Under Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, Soleimani was to be removed from international sanctions after eight years, though then-Secretary of State John Kerry promised that sanctions against Soleimani would be in place “forever.””

Now, John Kerry is right. If not about the sanctions he was thinking about.

Soleimani was traveling when he died after a very short illness.

Our Maim Scream Media is describing Soleimani as a “revered figure” and a “war hero.” One Progressive wag suggested Soleimani’s demise was like the killing of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Captain America “all in one.”

This person was referring to the sentiments of Iranians, most of whom, au contraire, are glad the asshole is in pieces. Still, I can’t help but consider that promoting such concern over a terrorist is like the Confederate press favorably noting the North’s mourning of Lincoln’s assassination, the British press happily detailing celebrations of Washington’s victories, and the Red Skull posting excerpts of Captain America’s eulogy on his blog.

So, the parallel with the American press is accurate.