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Someone on Reddit’s The_Donald posted the following graphic at the weekend. Pity about the typo, but the broader voting message is important:

Voters can eventually be deprived of a good quality of life by supporting the same tired political party time and time again.

Over the years, we have seen a shrinking middle class denoting economic disadvantage. Inner cities are worse than ever before; developing countries have better. We have also seen politically engineered social division tear apart the once commonly-held values of our Western nations.

In the United States, a new, emerging message is one of unity instead of division. I will have more detail on this soon.

For now, look how destructive — and cynical — Democrat policies can be:

The message of this fable is to stop voting for our own destruction.

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Scott Presler is a pro-Trump activist and Vice Chairman of the Virginia Beach Young Republicans.

If the Republicans had more like him, the coming mid-terms would be less of a worry.

Presler might be atypical of the standard GOP supporter but not unusual for a Trump supporter: he’s young and gay.

Last November, he gave an interview to CNN’s Don Lemon about immigration and terrorism. He said that the average American family is concerned about putting food on the table and paying their bills. They do not need more things to worry about:

Although Presler wants voters to elect Republicans this year, he is unhappy with the GOP leadership both in the House …

… and the Senate:

Presler is fearless in his quest to be out and about for the MAGA agenda:

Sometimes, a friend joins him:

People honk in support of the messages. One man even dropped off a bag of soft drinks and snacks as a thank you.

Unfortunately, he gets threats from the Left. Fortunately, he knows how to defend himself should that day ever come. I pray that God keeps him safe.

When he’s at home, he can be found writing thank you notes to Trump voters:

He is a firm believer in putting America first:

He teaches other Republicans useful Democrat tactics:

It’s easy enough to do. Visit the website of Scott’s employer.

Fortunately, people are catching on in the Midwest …

… and further west:

As the Democrats move further left, Republican activism is essential, particularly this year. (By the way, the top tweet is a response to Presler about a threat he received):

Scott Presler agrees with Dr Trump’s assessment. On March 29, he gave an AMA — Ask Me Anything — interview to The_Donald. Excerpts follow, taken in order, emphases mine.

He wrote:

Conservatives are too nice. We have to be ruthless & relentless.

Yes, indeed!

A minority veteran wrote that he wanted to empower poorer neighbourhoods in New York City, saying that the Democrats’ policies ruined them. Scott replied:

We need your voice, especially as a Hispanic American. Minorities in the Republican party must speak up. People need to hear from you. I go out with a sign that says, “Democrats choose illegal aliens over American citizens,” and I arm myself with facts, like 3.6 Million black children are in poverty. Where are the democrats for these children?

Raise your voice. Be vocal and visible. Talk to people and share your story. Be vulnerable. People need to hear you.

Getting out the vote in 2018 requires a lot of Republicans and Scott’s employer is the place to go to enrol:

If you want to get involved and make a difference, then become an activist at actforamerica.org/activist.

Voter registration, voter registration, voter registration.

Follow @ScottPresler for information on elections and volunteering.

Also:

you can help me with phone calls, and call into other states to win elections.

Someone said it felt as if only President Trump listens to the American people. Do GOP politicians pay attention?

Trust me when I say this: They pay attention. Make the phone calls, write the emails, and make sure they know who you are. You do matter and you are important, and they need to hear from you. If they never hear dissent, they will figure that no matter how bad things get, that Republicans won’t care.

Raise your voice loud and proud.

Someone asked how Presler became an activist:

President Obama inspired me.

I started my Twitter account the day he was reelected. I told myself, “You can sit at home and explain, or go make a difference in the world.” I started volunteering, fell in love, and the rest is history.

I’ll be doing this until the day I die.

A reader complimented him on sending handwritten thank you notes:

Thank you. I’ve proudly handwritten 1,400 thank you letters. I love connecting with each of you.

I recently wrote one to a 103-year-old woman.

Who comes after President Trump?

I’m not sure anyone has the spine, courage, or bravery of President Trump. That worries me.

In the meantime, what about the Democrats pushing for a repeal of the Second Amendment?

The democrats are 100% coming after our guns. Not voting, or abstaining from voting, is a vote for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment.

Now is the time to get involved:

I say we give the democrats a run for their money. To be honest, we aren’t working hard enough. Where are our protests? Where is our organizing? … Unless we want to get crushed in November, we better start getting prepared now.

We have a country to save & I will not resign myself to watching it fail.

The GOP might have to take stances that go against traditional policy positions:

I think it’s a stroke of sheer genius for [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell to be pushing the decriminalization of industrial hemp.

Look, folks: The fact of the matter is that the next generation is going to be pro-marijuana. You want those votes, or do you want the democrats to get them?

We have to think strategically.

Hmm.

But — on voting in the primaries:

Be smart and strategic. We have to be cognizant that EVERY district is different. In swing districts, we can’t put far-right people. We have to know when and where to be strategic and put a more “moderate” candidate. The fact of the matter is that the Republican Party is still diverse. The big picture is we have to win: In order to win … we simply have to be calculating and strategic.

Someone complimented him on boldly sitting in a Starbucks window with a big message on his PC earlier this year.

Presler warned readers that the Democrats are fired up:

The democrats are fired up. I’m waiting to see the fire, passion, and energy from our side.

Prove me wrong.

Also, for those living in left-wing states:

Mind over matter. Just because you live in a blue state doesn’t mean you can’t effect chance. In fact, you have more power than you think. Imagine: the democrats are organizing in Texas, a red state. We need to be organizing everywhere.

Focus on voter registration: Grow the Republican party one voter at a time. If you are looking for other avenues, you can call into other states to get out the vote!

Someone rightly pointed out that Presler should be running voter outreach for the White House. He replied:

I wish. I want to meet President Trump so badly.

Someone asked him if he had ever received a reply to this tweet to Ronna Romney McDaniel:

He replied:

No response. The offer still stands. I want, more than anything, to help.

Presler urged Trump supporters to be active, especially this year. He agreed with someone who lamented weak willed Republicans:

EXACTLY! We control the House, Senate, and the White House. I will never understand why Republicans still don’t have a spine after a historic victory.

Not everyone can do what Scott Presler is doing, but every Trump supporter spending time online can a) tweet if they’re on Twitter or b) start a WordPress blog and post one item daily. It can even be copying a tweet, accompanied by a one sentence comment.

That’s all it takes: one short, powerful post per day.

Trump supporters need to become a GOP army, because the GOP establishment, including — nay, especially — Ronna Romney McDaniel — sure isn’t going to do anything.

This week everyone’s been talking about the Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal with regard to the Trump campaign.

I wrote about it the other day but with the intention of pointing out how many of us are leaving our data open to manipulation by third parties.

Of course, the Cambridge Analytica scandal is only a big deal because it is connected to then-candidate Donald Trump, a Republican.

The much larger scandal involves Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, when Facebook was perfectly happy to let Democrats mine their users’ data.

Former Obama for America manager speaks

On Sunday, March 18, 2018, Carol Davidsen, former director of integration and media analytics for Obama for America, tweeted about an IT project used in his 2012 re-election campaign, Taargus:

And this:

Carol Davidsen received many interesting responses, including these:

Incidentally, other third parties have also tapped into social media data:

Looking at Obama’s re-election campaign, on March 19, IJR.com posted two articles about Ms Davidsen, ‘Ex-Obama Campaign Director Drops Bombshell Claim on Facebook: ‘They Were on Our Side’ and ‘Ex-Obama Campaign Director: It’s ‘Unfair’ Facebook Let Us ‘Ingest Entire Social Network of US’.

Wow, that’s quite an admission to make.

The first article displays her tweets (posted above) as well as these two:

Davidson tweeted that ‘the other side’ are at it, too.

Yes, but probably not to the extent that the Democrats have been.

The second IJR.com article refers to a 2015 video of a 23-minute talk Davidsen gave that year about Big Data, a term she herself uses, and how such information is analysed:

Because she has been working with Big Data for so many years, it is easy for her to be blasé and say that the average social media user has nothing to worry about. She did, in fact, say that such information could be misused, but she did not think it had been to date.

The problem I have with her reasoning is that, by the time data are being misused, we will be so accustomed to being analysed by third parties, we won’t even care. Therein lies the danger.

She also discussed buying advertising near the end. That part went over my head a bit, but a 2012 article in Time, ‘Obama Wins: How Chicago’s Data-Driven Campaign Triumphed’, explains what his campaign manager, Jim Messina, did (emphases mine):

Data helped drive the campaign’s ad buying too. Rather than rely on outside media consultants to decide where ads should run, Messina based his purchases on the massive internal data sets. “We were able to put our target voters through some really complicated modeling, to say, O.K., if Miami-Dade women under 35 are the targets, [here is] how to reach them,” said one official. As a result, the campaign bought ads to air during unconventional programming, like Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23, skirting the traditional route of buying ads next to local news programming. How much more efficient was the Obama campaign of 2012 than 2008 at ad buying? Chicago has a number for that: “On TV we were able to buy 14% more efficiently … to make sure we were talking to our persuadable voters,” the same official said.

Obama campaign’s use of Big Data in 2012

The link Davidsen tweeted to (see above) is for a November 20, 2012 Time article explaining how Obama won his re-election thanks to Big Data from social media: ‘Friended: How the Obama Campaign Connected with Young Voters’.

This is the campaign on which that Davidsen worked.

A few weeks before Election Day, Obama’s people wanted to get phone numbers for younger potential voters. Most of these men and women had mobile phones but no land line:

For a campaign dependent on a big youth turnout, this could have been a crisis. But the Obama team had a solution in place: a Facebook application that will transform the way campaigns are conducted in the future. For supporters, the app appeared to be just another way to digitally connect to the campaign. But to the Windy City number crunchers, it was a game changer.

Technically, there is nothing wrong with that until:

the more than 1 million Obama backers who signed up for the app gave the campaign permission to look at their Facebook friend lists.

Did their Facebook friends know that? Unlikely.

It was a resounding success:

In an instant, the campaign had a way to see the hidden young voters. Roughly 85% of those without a listed phone number could be found in the uploaded friend lists. What’s more, Facebook offered an ideal way to reach them. “People don’t trust campaigns. They don’t even trust media organizations,” says Goff. “Who do they trust? Their friends.”

The campaign called this effort targeted sharing. And in those final weeks of the campaign, the team blitzed the supporters who had signed up for the app with requests to share specific online content with specific friends simply by clicking a button. More than 600,000 supporters followed through with more than 5 million contacts, asking their friends to register to vote, give money, vote or look at a video designed to change their mind.

This is concerning because it could be abused in future:

A geek squad in Chicago created models from vast data sets to find the best approaches for each potential voter.

Big Data can change behaviour:

A study of 61 million people on Facebook during the 2010 midterms found that people who saw photos of their friends voting on Election Day were more likely to cast a ballot themselves. “It is much more effective to stimulate these real-world ties,” says James Fowler, a professor at the University of California at San Diego, who co-authored the study.

Conclusion

The Time articles are very upbeat: Obama’s people are geniuses for using Big Data to win.

Four years later, a Republican wins the presidency with a sophisticated use of social media information. The world condemns this because Republicans were involved.

Only the Left can play.

Yesterday’s post was about social media bots, one aspect of what I call Big Data.

Today’s is about another Big Data component: how data harvesting is used.

On March 17, 2018, The Guardian published the latest article in its Cambridge Analytica File series. ‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower’ is fascinating.

The Guardian is looking into Cambridge Analytica because the firm was hired for Brexit in the UK and Donald Trump’s campaign in the US. The paper is trying to make the firm look like a bad guy, even though the Left have more powerful social media and data tools to hand — not to mention censorship. That said, Britain’s Electoral Commission and a select committee of MPs are investigating Cambridge Analytica as is Robert Mueller in his stateside investigation of Russian collusion. This is because of alleged use of Facebook user data.

In the US:

Aged 24, while studying for a PhD in fashion trend forecasting, he came up with a plan to harvest the Facebook profiles of millions of people in the US, and to use their private and personal information to create sophisticated psychological and political profiles. And then target them with political ads designed to work on their particular psychological makeup.

In the UK:

Last month, Facebook’s UK director of policy, Simon Milner, told British MPs on a select committee inquiry into fake news, chaired by Conservative MP Damian Collins, that Cambridge Analytica did not have Facebook data. The official Hansard extract reads:

Christian Matheson (MP for Chester): “Have you ever passed any user information over to Cambridge Analytica or any of its associated companies?”

Simon Milner: “No.”

Matheson: “But they do hold a large chunk of Facebook’s user data, don’t they?”

Milner: “No. They may have lots of data, but it will not be Facebook user data. It may be data about people who are on Facebook that they have gathered themselves, but it is not data that we have provided.”

Personally, even if Big Data and social media didn’t exist, there would have been a Brexit vote and a Trump victory regardless.  Furthermore, to still loathe Steve Bannon now is pointless. He was fired from the White House in 2017. He left Breitbart in January 2018. He’s annoyed various people greatly, from President Trump to the Mercers (more about whom below). Rebekah Mercer bankrolls Breitbart.

What I found interesting about The Guardian‘s article was how social media data are gathered, analysed and used. The genius whose idea led to the founding of Cambridge Analytica is 28-year-old Christopher Wylie. He was 24 at the time. Now he has turned whistleblower, largely because of the results of the UK referendum and US election in 2016.

Before getting into Big Data, the Left also use the same analytical tactics. Wylie learned from Obama’s campaign team (emphases mine below):

Wylie grew up in British Columbia and as a teenager he was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. He left school at 16 without a single qualification. Yet at 17, he was working in the office of the leader of the Canadian opposition; at 18, he went to learn all things data from Obama’s national director of targeting, which he then introduced to Canada for the Liberal party. At 19, he taught himself to code, and in 2010, age 20, he came to London to study law at the London School of Economics.

For me, the big issue here is how data from social media users are used to shape public thinking.

Cambridge Analytica is far from being the only firm to do this. The primary customers for such data analyses are likely to be national security agencies, the military and defence companies:

at Cambridge University’s Psychometrics Centre, two psychologists, Michal Kosinski and David Stillwell, were experimenting with a way of studying personality – by quantifying it.

Starting in 2007, Stillwell, while a student, had devised various apps for Facebook, one of which, a personality quiz called myPersonality, had gone viral. Users were scored on “big five” personality traits – Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism – and in exchange, 40% of them consented to give him access to their Facebook profiles. Suddenly, there was a way of measuring personality traits across the population and correlating scores against Facebook “likes” across millions of people.

The research was original, groundbreaking and had obvious possibilities. “They had a lot of approaches from the security services,” a member of the centre told me. “There was one called You Are What You Like and it was demonstrated to the intelligence services. And it showed these odd patterns; that, for example, people who liked ‘I hate Israel’ on Facebook also tended to like Nike shoes and KitKats.

“There are agencies that fund research on behalf of the intelligence services. And they were all over this research. That one was nicknamed Operation KitKat.”

The defence and military establishment were the first to see the potential of the research. Boeing, a major US defence contractor, funded Kosinski’s PhD and Darpa, the US government’s secretive Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is cited in at least two academic papers supporting Kosinski’s work.

The article says that, in 2013, a paper on the subject was published. Christopher Wylie read it and offered to replicate the technique for Britain’s Liberal Democrats, who were starting to become a political non-entity. Wylie made a formal presentation for them with the pitch that such an analysis could bring them more new voters. However, the Lib Dems were not interested.

That said, there was a silver lining. One of the Lib Dems Wylie was in touch with introduced him to a company called SCL Group:

one of whose subsidiaries, SCL Elections, would go on to create Cambridge Analytica (an incorporated venture between SCL Elections and Robert Mercer, funded by the latter). For all intents and purposes, SCL/Cambridge Analytica are one and the same.

Alexander Nix, then CEO of SCL Elections, made Wylie an offer he couldn’t resist. “He said: ‘We’ll give you total freedom. Experiment. Come and test out all your crazy ideas.’”

Wylie was hired as research director for the SCL Group, which had defence and political contracts:

Its defence arm was a contractor to the UK’s Ministry of Defence and the US’s Department of Defense, among others. Its expertise was in “psychological operations” – or psyops – changing people’s minds not through persuasion but through “informational dominance”, a set of techniques that includes rumour, disinformation and fake news.

SCL Elections had used a similar suite of tools in more than 200 elections around the world, mostly in undeveloped democracies that Wylie would come to realise were unequipped to defend themselves.

Wylie holds a British Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa. He worked from SCL’s headquarters in London’s Mayfair.

He first met Steve Bannon in 2013. Bannon, the then-editor-in-chief of Breitbart came to England to support Nigel Farage and his pursuit of a national referendum on whether to leave the European Union.

Bannon, Wylie says, found SCL in an interesting way:

When I ask how Bannon even found SCL, Wylie tells me what sounds like a tall tale, though it’s one he can back up with an email about how Mark Block, a veteran Republican strategist, happened to sit next to a cyberwarfare expert for the US air force on a plane. “And the cyberwarfare guy is like, ‘Oh, you should meet SCL. They do cyberwarfare for elections.’”

It was Bannon who took this idea to the Mercers: Robert Mercer – the co-CEO of the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, who used his billions to pursue a rightwing agenda, donating to Republican causes and supporting Republican candidates – and his daughter Rebekah.

Wylie and his boss Alexander Nix flew to New York to meet the Mercers. Robert Mercer had no problem understanding the SCL concept, as he had worked in AI (artificial intelligence) himself. He had also helped to invent algorhithmic trading. The pitch Wylie made to him was based on:

an influential and groundbreaking 2014 paper researched at Cambridge’s Psychometrics Centre, called: “Computer-based personality judgments are more accurate than those made by humans”.

Wylie had to prove to Mercer that such a statement was true. Therefore, he needed data. This is where another company, Global Science Research (GSR), entered the frame:

How Cambridge Analytica acquired the data has been the subject of internal reviews at Cambridge University, of many news articles and much speculation and rumour …

Alexander Nix appeared before Damian Collins, an MP, in February 2018. He downplayed GSR’s work for Cambridge Analytica in 2014:

Nix: “We had a relationship with GSR. They did some research for us back in 2014. That research proved to be fruitless and so the answer is no.”

Collins: “They have not supplied you with data or information?”

Nix: “No.”

Collins: “Your datasets are not based on information you have received from them?”

Nix: “No.”

Collins: “At all?”

Nix: “At all.”

Yet, The Guardian states:

Wylie has a copy of an executed contract, dated 4 June 2014, which confirms that SCL, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, entered into a commercial arrangement with a company called Global Science Research (GSR), owned by Cambridge-based academic Aleksandr Kogan, specifically premised on the harvesting and processing of Facebook data, so that it could be matched to personality traits and voter rolls.

He has receipts showing that Cambridge Analytica spent $7m to amass this data, about $1m of it with GSR. He has the bank records and wire transfers. Emails reveal Wylie first negotiated with Michal Kosinski, one of the co-authors of the original myPersonality research paper, to use the myPersonality database. But when negotiations broke down, another psychologist, Aleksandr Kogan, offered a solution that many of his colleagues considered unethical. He offered to replicate Kosinski and Stilwell’s research and cut them out of the deal. For Wylie it seemed a perfect solution. “Kosinski was asking for $500,000 for the IP but Kogan said he could replicate it and just harvest his own set of data.” (Kosinski says the fee was to fund further research.)

Kogan then set up GSR to do the work, and proposed to Wylie they use the data to set up an interdisciplinary institute working across the social sciences. “What happened to that idea,” I ask Wylie. “It never happened. I don’t know why. That’s one of the things that upsets me the most.”

Meanwhile, I’m breathing a sigh of relief. That’s scary.

This is how the project worked — simply incredible and rather alarming:

Kogan was able to throw money at the hard problem of acquiring personal data: he advertised for people who were willing to be paid to take a personality quiz on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and Qualtrics. At the end of which Kogan’s app, called thisismydigitallife, gave him permission to access their Facebook profiles. And not just theirs, but their friends’ too. On average, each “seeder” – the people who had taken the personality test, around 320,000 in total – unwittingly gave access to at least 160 other people’s profiles, none of whom would have known or had reason to suspect.

What the email correspondence between Cambridge Analytica employees and Kogan shows is that Kogan had collected millions of profiles in a matter of weeks. But neither Wylie nor anyone else at Cambridge Analytica had checked that it was legal. It certainly wasn’t authorised. Kogan did have permission to pull Facebook data, but for academic purposes only. What’s more, under British data protection laws, it’s illegal for personal data to be sold to a third party without consent.

Wylie told The Guardian that Facebook knew this was going on by looking at their security protocols. The article says Kogan reassured Facebook by saying the data were for academic use.

In any event, Cambridge Analytica had its data:

This was the foundation of everything it did next – how it extracted psychological insights from the “seeders” and then built an algorithm to profile millions more.

For more than a year, the reporting around what Cambridge Analytica did or didn’t do for Trump has revolved around the question of “psychographics”, but Wylie points out: “Everything was built on the back of that data. The models, the algorithm. Everything. Why wouldn’t you use it in your biggest campaign ever?”

Wylie left Cambridge Analytica in 2014. He was not involved in the company’s work on Brexit or for the Trump campaign.

Facebook didn’t really think about the data mining until 2016, when Cambridge Analytica were working for Ted Cruz during the GOP primary season. The Guardian‘s Harry Davies wrote an article in December 2015 about the use of Facebook data in his campaign:

But it wasn’t until many months later that Facebook took action. And then, all they did was write a letter. In August 2016, shortly before the US election, and two years after the breach took place, Facebook’s lawyers wrote to Wylie, who left Cambridge Analytica in 2014, and told him the data had been illicitly obtained and that “GSR was not authorised to share or sell it”. They said it must be deleted immediately.

“I already had. But literally all I had to do was tick a box and sign it and send it back, and that was it,” says Wylie. “Facebook made zero effort to get the data back.”

There were multiple copies of it. It had been emailed in unencrypted files.

Cambridge Analytica rejected all allegations the Observer put to them.

Facebook commented on the data:

Facebook denies that the data transfer was a breach. In addition, a spokesperson said: “Protecting people’s information is at the heart of everything we do, and we require the same from people who operate apps on Facebook. If these reports are true, it’s a serious abuse of our rules. Both Aleksandr Kogan as well as the SCL Group and Cambridge Analytica certified to us that they destroyed the data in question.”

The aforementioned Dr Kogan is still employed by Cambridge University as a senior research associate, but he also has a position in Russia:

what his fellow academics didn’t know until Kogan revealed it in emails to the Observer (although Cambridge University says that Kogan told the head of the psychology department), is that he is also an associate professor at St Petersburg University. Further research revealed that he’s received grants from the Russian government to research “Stress, health and psychological wellbeing in social networks”. The opportunity came about on a trip to the city to visit friends and family, he said.

Social media data have turned into a powerful tool to be exploited. I have had several conversations over the past few years with Facebook users, none of whom minds who has access to their personal details: family members, friends, likes, dislikes and interests. To know that this information has been mined under the aegis of academic research then used for other purposes boggles the mind.

On March 8, 2018, Bob Woodward — who broke the Watergate scandal with his journalist partner Carl Bernstein — gave an interview to Newsweek in which he discussed his investigation of the Nixon administration, today’s journalism and the way the media reports on President Donald Trump.

It’s a good interview and worth reading for those of us old enough to remember Woodward and Bernstein’s reporting for the Washington Post in the early 1970s.

Woodward teaches an online MasterClass in journalism and is writing a book about Trump.

The Newsweek interviewer asked Woodward about the media’s reporting on the Trump administration. He replied (emphases mine):

First of all, journalists can always do better. Myself at the top of the list. I don’t think journalism is failing at all in the Trump era. But we have a lot of work to do. A number of reporters have at times become emotionally unhinged about it all, one way or the other. Look at MSNBC or Fox News, and you will see those continually either denigrating Trump or praising him. I think the answer is in the middle, and in this class I talk about how it’s important to get your personal politics out. It’s destructive to become too politicized. The emotion should be directed at doing more work, not some feeling or personal conclusion.

Townhall picked up on ’emotionally unhinged’ and posted excerpts an article written for The Guardian by Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times. Abramson detailed the clear possibilities of Democrats flipping Republican seats this year. She ended with this:

It’s easy to look at what’s happening in Washington DC and despair. That’s why I carry a little plastic Obama doll in my purse. I pull him out every now and then to remind myself that the United States had a progressive, African American president until very recently. Some people find this strange, but you have to take comfort where you can find it in Donald Trump’s America.

Abramson is long past snowflake age. I pity her.

Another Townhall article which discussed Woodward’s ’emotionally unhinged’ comment illustrated a few of the media’s reporting failures in recent months:

With a laser focus on the increasingly shoddy Russia collusion story, the serial errors in the reporting of this White House, and the inability to report on simple photo ops, like feeding coy fish with the Japanese prime minister–one could arguably say that the media has failed.

ABC News’ Brian Ross totally botched dates in his report about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn being ordered to make contact with the Russians. The news network reported that it had occurred while Donald Trump was a candidate when in fact; it was after he had won the election and this was a run-of-the-mill diplomatic groundwork exercise that occurs with any incoming administration. The report tanked the markets and it took ABC News several hours to correct—and people say Trump’s Twitter account is irresponsible.

The latest media cycle involves Stormy Daniels instead of the upcoming talks with North Korea. Yet, people continue to rely on Big Media for news.

Woodward could criticise his fellow journalists a bit more and actively encourage them to report facts instead of fake news. He, too, is suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome in a less obvious way.

Meanwhile, it’s up to Americans to keep apprised of special elections going on this year prior to the all important mid-terms. Scott Presler, a young Trump activist, tweets regularly about these elections. The next will be on Tuesday, March 13, in Pennsylvania’s 18th district, where Rick Saccone (R) will face off against Conor Lamb (D).

As for spot-on news and analysis, check out The Conservative Treehouse as well as the following Twitter feeds: TheLastRefuge2 (The Conservative Treehouse), Larry Schweikart and Dan Bongino, who appears on Fox News and does his own podcasts.

When President Ronald Reagan was in office, he gave sage advice to conservatives who apply the purity test to Republicans.

This image comes courtesy of AZ Quotes:

Ronald Reagan said a lot of great things during his time, but this is my favourite.

It is particularly important during 2018, which has a lot of special elections as well as the mid-terms in November.

Notice that Democrats are always united. They never break ranks.

Republicans need to keep Reagan’s advice in mind.

Save the purity test for church.

The week of December 11, 2017 has been chock-a-block with news.

It’s unlikely Big Media have reported the bulk of it. What follows are a few stories people might have missed.

The anti-Trump FBI ‘insurance policy’

A series of text messages between FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page were released on Tuesday, December 12. The Daily Caller reports (emphases mine):

Two FBI officials who worked on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation exchanged text messages last year in which they appear to have discussed ways to prevent Donald Trump from being elected president.

I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok wrote in a cryptic text message to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer and his mistress.

It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40,” Strzok wrote in the text, dated Aug. 15, 2016.

Andy is likely Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Several congressional panels have been after these text messages since the beginning of December, when news emerged of their existence. However, Strzok was dismissed from the Mueller investigation four months ago.

The text messages, some of which The Daily Caller quotes, are anti-Trump. Some have four letter words. Most are cryptic:

“Maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace,” Page wrote.

“I can protect our country at many levels, not sure if that helps,” Strzok replied.

Like many of the exchanges, the full context of the message is not entirely clear.

Strzok also offered praise for Clinton while suggesting that he planned to vote for her.

In a March 2, 2016 text Strzok said he would likely vote for Clinton. In another exchange he wrote that if Trump won the Republican primary, Clinton would likely win the presidency.

On Wednesday, December 13, the Department of Justice inspector general, Michael Horowitz, released more information about the texts. The Daily Caller has more on the story. Horowitz received the text messages on July 20:

A week later, he met with Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to inform them of the politically-charged texts.

Strzok was “immediately” removed from the investigation after Mueller was told of the texts.

Strzok, who then served as the FBI’s No. 2 counterintelligence official, conducted many of the biggest interviews in the investigation, including with Clinton and her top aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills

The FBI handed over those messages on July 20, 2017. After reviewing those exchanges, Horowitz expanded the investigation to include all of the text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page from Nov. 30, 2016 to July 28, 2017.

Horowitz’s office received those messages on Aug. 10.

Strzok’s departure from Mueller’s team was reported by ABC News on Aug. 16. The network reported that Strzok had been placed in a job in the FBI’s HR department.

The reason for Strzok’s demotion remained a secret for nearly four months as the Justice Department and Mueller’s office declined media and congressional requests for an explanation. The levy finally broke on Dec. 2, when The Washington Post and New York Times simultaneously reported the existence of the text messages.

A sample of the texts were released Tuesday night ahead of Rosenstein’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee …

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee pressed Rosenstein on that text message, suggesting that Strzok was indicating that he planned to prevent Trump from being elected.

[Senator Charles] Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Rosenstein on Wednesday inquiring about the text message.

Rosenstein said Wednesday that the Justice Department and FBI plan to soon make Strzok available for an interview with the House Intelligence Committee.

Strzok’s cryptic Aug. 2016 text [re the insurance policy] was sent just after he was handpicked to supervise the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Horowitz’s letter leaves a few questions unanswered. For one, it is not clear whether Strzok sent politically-charged texts with anyone else. It is also not clear whether the messages contained in the second requested batch of Strzok texts contain any controversial remarks.

The Wall Street Journal has more (note final paragraph):

This is a developing story which has the potential for unveiling criminality — but ultimately:

Alabama special election

In a surprise upset, the Democrat candidate Doug Jones was elected to the Senate, defeating Roy Moore.

The background to the story is that Jeff Sessions vacated his Senate seat in Alabama to serve as Attorney General earlier this year. Sessions appointed Luther Strange to replace him. Alabama governor Kay Ivey directed that a special election take place. However, I read anecdotally that she did not need to hold a special election. Strange could have served until his term ran out.

In any event, Luther Strange ran against Judge Roy Moore in the Republican primary. Strange lost to Moore. Accusations of molesting a teenage girl in the 1970s — unproven — led by an attorney who tried to smear then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016 — dogged Moore. Even so, Moore did not have any get-out-the-vote programme, whereas Jones and the Democrats did. Moore then lost to Jones — but only by 1.5%.

Could this have been a case of voter fraud in a state that votes overwhelmingly Republican?

Rumours are circulating that out-of-state voters were brought into Alabama and driven around from polling station to polling station — a classic Democrat strategy that works.

The Republican Party — specifically Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader — also refused to help Moore. McConnell’s detractors refer to him as Turtle.

Imperator_Rex has a good analysis, excerpted below:

He concludes that Trump surely has a game plan in mind.

The 2018 mid-terms require Republicans like McConnell to shape up or ship out.

However, as Imperator_Rex says, McConnell and his ilk don’t really care. They are all part of the Uniparty, so life continues for them much as before. Democrat dominance, especially when it comes to opposing Trump, is preferable to a Republican majority that might be persuaded to turn Trump policies into law.

Jones’s election nearly puts the number of Democrat senators on a par with Republicans. Danger, Will Robinson, danger!

Message to the black electorate

On December 13, the Revd Leon Benjamin and his family were guests at the White House.

They are an example of the middle class families helped by Trump’s proposed tax reform. Trump spoke about the tax plan, then invited the pastor to speak.

Pastor Benjamin had an important message, which began with:

To God be the glory!

Former Milwaukee sheriff David A Clarke expressed similar sentiments the day before:

Happy news

On Wednesday, December 13, First Lady Melania Trump participated in a charity drive for toddlers, the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots, at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders received a verbal kicking after Thanksgiving from CNN’s April Ryan, an annoying journo at the White House press briefings. Ryan criticised Sanders’s pecan pies, accusing the press secretary of not having made them herself.

So (although the crusts look store-bought) …

Here’s what happened on the day. Food really does bring people together:

Never mind that. Sarah’s dad had a message for her:

This will be my last news-related item until after Christmas.

To date, no evidence exists of President Donald Trump’s notional collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign.

Earlier this week, Trump tweeted:

He was referring to the spurious dossier on his alleged activities in Russia, which emerged in January before his inauguration.

One year ago, Hillary wished herself a happy birthday:

(Be sure to read the comments to that tweet: both Hillary and the Bush family shut down investigations into paedophilia. You will also discover why Chelsea doesn’t go to church.)

This year, Julian Assange retweeted the birthday greeting.

2015: Dems’ Pied Piper plan

Hillary was certain she would win. This is because the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had a campaign plan involving what they called Pied Piper Candidates from the Republican Party.

The plan was revealed in the Podesta emails that WikiLeaks dumped last year. The email number is 1120 and it is dated April 23, 2015. The email came from someone on Hillary’s campaign team:

Below please find the agenda for tomorrow morning’s 8:00 AM ET Strategy Call.

There is a memo for the DNC discussion attached to this email for your review ahead of the call.

AGENDA:

1. Clinton Cash update

2. DNC plan (see attached memo)

3. Phones / Pool plan

Thank you!

The Daily Caller has a link to the memo (PDF).

This is what it says about Pied Piper Candidates:

2016: Paul Manafort, Trump campaign manager

When Trump was the last man standing during the Republican primary season early in May 2016, he still needed to ensure he got delegates at the party’s convention in July.

In order to get the delegates, he appointed a new campaign manager in June: Paul Manafort. Manafort is a political consultant — a ‘fixer’ — as well as a lawyer and lobbyist. He has had clients in the United States and internationally. He has worked on several GOP presidential campaigns, dating back to the 1970s with Gerald Ford.

A few weeks after Manafort completed his work in securing the necessary number of Republican delegates for Trump — an arduous task, by the way — news emerged about work he had done in Ukraine. Thinking it would cast a shadow on Trump’s campaign, Manafort resigned. Kellyanne Conway replaced him.

This year, Manafort has been one of the people investigated by Robert Mueller and his team for Russian collusion. From Wikipedia (emphases mine):

On January 19, 2017, the eve of the Trump’s presidential inauguration, it was reported that Manafort was under active investigation by multiple federal agencies including the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Director of National Intelligence and the financial crimes unit of the Treasury Department.[85] Investigations were said to be based on intercepted Russian communications as well as financial transactions.[86] It was later confirmed that Manafort was wiretapped by the FBI “before and after the [2016] election … including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.” The surveillance of Manafort began in 2014, before Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President of United States.[87]

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed on May 17, 2017 by the Justice Department to oversee the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and related matters, took over the existing criminal probe involving Manafort.[84][9][88] On July 26, 2017, the day after Manafort’s United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing and the morning of his planned hearing before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, FBI agents at Mueller’s direction conducted a “no-knock” pre-dawn raid on Manafort’s Alexandria, Virginia home, using a search warrant to seize documents and other materials, in regards to the Russian meddling in the 2016 election.[89][90] Manafort has reportedly been told by Mueller’s office prosecutors that they plan to indict him.[91]

The pre-dawn FBI raid was particularly vicious. I heard on a talk show from someone close to Manafort that his wife was scared witless, and that’s putting it mildly.

Manafort has also had to appear before two Senate committees:

In May 2017, in response to a request of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), Manafort submitted over “300 pages of documents…included drafts of speeches, calendars and notes from his time on the campaign” to the Committee “related to its investigation of Russian election meddling”.[92] On July 25 he met privately with the committee.[93]

A congressional hearing on Russia issues, including the Trump campaign-Russian meeting, was scheduled by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for July 26, 2017. Manafort was scheduled to appear together with Trump Jr., while Kushner was to testify in a separate closed session.[94] After separate negotiations, both Manafort and Trump Jr. met with the committee on July 26 in closed session and agreed to turn over requested documents. They are expected to testify in public eventually.[95]

Personally, I do not think Manafort has done anything wrong in connection with Trump or his campaign.

The Podesta brothers, Russia and Manafort

If you were one of my readers last year, you probably remember my mentions of John Podesta, Hillary’s campaign supremo. The Daily Caller reported in November 2016 that he wrote the memo which included the Pied Piper Candidate strategy.

John’s brother is Tony.

The two founded the Podesta Group in 1988. It went by different names until 2007, when the firm adopted its current name. The company does a lot of work in politics as well as the corporate arena, both in the US and elsewhere in the world.

Now it looks as if Paul Manafort worked for the Podesta Group a few years ago.

Wikipedia tells us:

As of October 2017, the Podesta Group is under investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for potentially violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) in the course of its work for the ECMU. The Podesta Group was one of six lobbying firms that participated in a 2012–2014 public relations campaign organized by former Donald Trump presidential campaign, 2016 chairman Paul Manafort on behalf of the ECMU and Ukraine’s pro-Russia Party of Regions; the campaign was designed to improve Ukraine’s standing among Western audiences as a possible prelude to Ukrainian membership in the European Union (EU). A Podesta Group spokesman denied any wrongdoing.[14]

More about this below.

One wonders whether Manafort conveniently happened to work for Trump so that he would become the Pied Piper Candidate. Manafort could then resign, having done his bit for the Democrats.

It is too early to say either way.

———————————————–

On Tuesday, October 24, two big stories about Russian collusion broke. Both involve Democrats.

Tucker Carlson Tonight: Podesta Group’s ties to Russia

Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight team received a call from an anonymous source who said he had information about the Podesta Group, Manafort, the Clintons and Russia.

The man went to see Carlson to give him the story. Carlson’s staff fact checked names and dates. The first video talks about him and the second video features Bret Hume’s analysis to Carlson:

The Daily Caller has a summary of what Carlson discovered. Excerpts follow:

Carlson said in his opening segment that, according to a source Mueller is looking into the Podesta Group, a lobbying firm with close ties to Hillary Clinton, over spreading Russian influence in the United States during Barack Obama’s presidency.

Carlson said, “The central effort to extend Russian influence was focused on the executive branch, the Obama administration. The vehicle through which [Paul] Manafort worked for the Russians was a shell group called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine. The group was supposedly based in Belgium but had no offices there. It had only two employees, both based in Ukraine.

Their telephone number in Brussels rang in Kiev. It was a sham, yet it had a presence in Washington. The European Centre for a Modern Ukraine was a major client of the Podesta Group. Why did the Russians choose the Podesta Group? Because both Podestas were close to the Clintons, and Hillary was then Secretary of State. She could get things done for the Podestas’ Russian clients. It was influence peddling, the most obvious kind,” he continued.

Carlson is the co-founder of The Daily Caller, by the way. Further to the story:

The Daily Caller co-founder added, “At one point, in either 2013 or early 2014, our source says a meeting was held that included both Tony Podesta and a representative of the Clinton Foundation. The explicit subject of that meeting: How to assist Uranium One, the Russian-owned company which controls 20 percent of U.S. uranium production capacity, and whose board members gave more than $100 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation. As our source put it, ‘Tony Podesta was basically part of the Clinton Foundation.’

According to Carlson, Manafort was in on the scheme.

“According to our source, Manafort was clear that Russia wanted to cultivate ties to Hillary Clinton, in the belief she was likely to become president,” he said during the segment. “These links to Hillary were apparently valuable; our source believes that the Russian money Manafort funneled to the Podesta Group greatly exceeds the roughly $1 million they were officially paid. Some of these payments, he said, could be hidden kickbacks that would be hard to trace. He described the Podesta Group’s books as a ‘treasure trove’ and highly secret. He told us the Podesta Group had no board, and all financial decisions were personally made by Tony Podesta. The Group’s employees, he said, included a person whose only official job was managing Tony Podesta’s art collection. It would be easy for such an organization to conceal financial transactions.”

Tucker was deeply unhappy that the media had not reported on this.

I think they all knew, but nearly everyone in media is a Hillary supporter, anyway. It’s much better from their perspective to rubbish Trump every day with false accusations and fake news.

Hume said that this is much bigger than Watergate and has far greater implications.

Carlson said he would continue reporting on it as he receives further information.

Washington Post: DNC paid for dossier

Returning to the aforementioned spurious dossier released in January, the Washington Post published an article, ‘Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier’.

An excerpt follows:

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

We don’t yet know who the Republican was. UPDATE 27/10: The Republican appears to be the billionaire financing the Washington Free Beacon.

The story went viral among Trump supporters:

Bret Baier of Fox News covered it:

This was Trump’s reaction:

The former Republican governor of Arkansas — and father of Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders — tweeted:

This brings us back to Uranium One, about which I wrote in the final weeks of the campaign. That post also includes information on Podesta and Clinton dealings with Russia.

Yes, indeed.

This tweet has a lengthy scenario of what has occurred and what might unfold. Click on the tweet to see all 61 points, many of which follow:

2. Two main narratives seem to be emerging, both disastrous for Obama or Clinton.

3. Narrative #1 – illegal spying on US citizens, FISA & the Steele Dossier.

4. Narrative #2 – giving Putin access to the US uranium market for cash, via Uranium One.

5. The two narratives may be linked by recent revelations concerning U1, but let’s consider them apart for the moment.

6. Make no mistake, what’s unfolding on both counts is unprecedented for America. And I suspect we still don’t know the half of it.

14. ‘The Steele Dossier’ now appears to be a DNC/Clinton funded operation that they also ‘loaned’ to Obama & his people. A conspiracy.

15. It was a failure for the Clinton Gang. The aim was using it to use it BEFORE the election, but no one was willing to publish it.

16. We now seem to have the DNC, Bush, Clinton campaign & the Clinton Foundation paying for it. Possibly even Comey’s FBI. And others – TBD.

17. When it failed, I think it was EITHER made available to Obama or CLinton & Obama decided to use it – for illegal spying.

18. It formed the basis of the 2nd FISA request on October 15, 2016. That led to Trump’s wiretapping allegations.

19. Obama and/or Clinton then decided to use the dossier to try and destroy Trump AFTER he was elected, by persuading BuzzFeed to publish.

20. Jan 11 was the date, clearly targeted at preventing the inauguration. It was an act of desperation – and failed.

21. I’m not sure that many people realize just how serious this is – and may become.

22. Apart from the multiple felonies involved, check US Code 2384 & 2385, for starters.

23. US Code 2384 – seditious conspiracy. 2385 – advocating overthrow of government.

24. No one should be in doubt. Trump IS the type to consider them both. He thinks BIG and means to drain the swamp.

Hillary was Secretary of State when Uranium One got past the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States — CFIUS in October 2010. She was also in charge of the Russian ‘reset’ since March 2009. (27)

Therefore, it is implausible that she was unaware of the impact of Uranium One, what Putin’s objectives were, particularly with a company called Tenam (28), which the FBI were watching as the firm’s operations expanded (29).

30. We know that Robert Mueller was ordered by HRC to deliver 10 grams of HEU to Russia in August 2009.

31. The official line is that the HEU was seized in Georgia (East Europe) in 2006 in a joint Georgia/CIA sting of a uranium smuggling gang.

32. I’ve always thought the story to be total BS. It’s as implausible as the Steele Dossier. You know what I think?

33. It was AMERICAN HEU. But anyway, I digress. American or not, it shows that Clinton KNEW that uranium was a national security asset.

34. Therefore, her failure at any time to oppose the deal at CFIUS – knowing what she knewis more than suspicious. It’s CRIMINAL.

35. Not only that, it is extremely difficult to believe that she was unaware of the MILLIONS flowing into the CF as all this was going on.

36. She ALSO failed to disclose these ‘donations’, in a clear breach of an agreement she made with POTUS Obama in 2008.

44. As more is revealed, the truly dangerous waters that the Clintons have led America into become clearer.

45. Because of them, Putin may well be selling US uranium (illegally) to Iran and NK. Or using it to bolster his own nuke arsenal.

46. THAT’S how serious this could be. Even that fact that the deal gave him leverage within the US energy market is astonishing.

47. Again, apart from.the many crimes committed here, Trump needs to at least consider US Code 2381 & 2382.

48. 2381 – Treason. 2382 – Misprision of Treason (concealment).

It is possible that Obama wanted to cover up Putin’s partial control over the uranium supply chain (51), causing him to make some strange decisions with regard to Russia (52). Then, along came the persistent accusation that Trump colluded with Russia in 2016.

56. The Russians DID interfere, as they always have. BUT Obama knew full well that the Trump-Russia smear was garbage.

60. ‘I’ll have more flexibility after the election’ [2012]

61. You only say this if you’ve agreed to do something but can’t deliver. And a POTUS saying this, to a Putin lackey? Totally BIZARRE.

In 2016, Hillary was furious with the DNC’s Donna Brazile after the Clinton-Trump Commander-in-Chief Forum hosted by NBC’s Matt Lauer. What she said is too foul to post, but this is part of it:

If [Trump] wins, we all hang from nooses!

More to come as news emerges. As Trump would say, ‘This is YUGE!’

In the meantime, please pray earnestly for President Trump’s safety. Also on October 24, a man embedded himself in the press pool at the Capitol building to throw Russian flags at the president, yelling, ‘Trump is treason!’ He was in close proximity to him. Scary. Where were the Secret Service agents?

The other day I wrote about Seth Rich, a DNC employee who was murdered in mysterious circumstances on July 10, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Yesterday, I provided the source for the beginning of the Russian narrative used against President Donald Trump.

Both are WikiLeaks related.

Today, those who do not already know will find out what Hillary Clinton’s campaign had in store for leakers.

That, too, is related to WikiLeaks.

The Podesta WikiLeaks revealed that Hillary’s campaign team and advisers wanted to make ‘an example’ out of ‘leakers’, even if nothing could be proven.

WikiLeaks released this tweet on October 30, 2016:

The source is Podesta WikiLeaks email no. 36082 from February 21, 2015.

That day, the Washington Post printed a story about Hillary Clinton’s campaign branding. Two of the people interviewed were involved with her presidential campaign in 2015:

Ahead of her campaign launch, Clinton has tapped some of the Democratic Party’s star strategists as well as two of corporate America’s branding wizards: Wendy Clark, who specializes in marketing age-old brands such as Coca-Cola to younger and more diverse customers; and Roy Spence, a ­decades-long Clinton friend who dreamed up the “Don’t Mess With Texas” anti-littering slogan as well as flashy ad campaigns for Southwest Airlines and Wal-Mart.

Clark took an unpaid leave in January from Coca-Cola, where she is president of brands and strategic marketing for carbon­ated beverages in North America, to help Clinton in what Clark called “a passion project.” Spence is co-founder and chairman of GSD&M, an Austin-based corporate ad firm, and has experience in politics, including with Clinton’s 2008 campaign.

John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, and political operative Joel Benenson discussed their displeasure with the article and with those two people for talking to the press without consulting the campaign managers first.

Podesta wrote (emphases mine below):

we need a strategy on this that goes beyond internal discipline. This story could have been written without any of these big mouths blabbing …

Benenson agreed:

I think we have to make examples now of people who have violated the trust of HRC and the rest of the team. People going forward need to know there are stiff consequences for leaking, self-promotion, unauthorized talking with the press. No one – literally no one talked to the press in either Obama campaign without clearing it with campaign brass.

Podesta replied in a curious way:

I’m definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it.

Campaign manager Robby Mook, who was copied on the exchange, agreed:

I would love an example being made.

How far did this go in reality?

No one knows, but many suspect — rightly or wrongly — that Seth Rich’s alleged leak of 40,000+ emails to WikiLeaks — the DNC WikiLeaks — might well have led to his death in July 2016.

On Tuesday, May 16, the torchpaper was lit. As Fox News ran with the Rich story, bringing it to the attention of the general public, three new Twitter hastags were busy: #HisNameWasSethRich, #SethRichCoverUp and #SethRich.

Some leftists did take note, primarily those employed at David Brock‘s Media Matters, who now realise they’ve been paid to circulate ‘lies’ online and said so on 4chan.org/pol/. Let’s hope that they do resign now that they know the truth.

Other Americans also doubt the Russian narrative.

With all the law enforcement silence around Rich’s murder and little information to go on over the past ten months, people are naturally suspicious details are being covered up or that nothing is being done:

People following the case since last year do not believe that Rich had no involvement in the DNC WikiLeaks:

Equally, they are disappointed that so much wasted energy is being spent on the Russian narrative and James Comey:

This could be why:

Incidentally, Seth Rich was not the only man to die mysteriously in the summer of 2016:

Pray that the truth comes out about these four men, all of whom had a relationship with the Democrats.

My intention last year was to write about the WikiLeaks emails from the Democrats.

Because of all the hubbub surrounding the 2016 presidential campaign, I never got around to it. I still have all the bookmarks of the emails themselves and related analyses from The_Donald. They are a revelation.

I hope that some people will be wondering how and where the Russian narrative used against President Donald Trump started.

Look no further than Hillary Clinton’s campaign supremo John Podesta and a journalist, Brent Budowsky, who writes for The Hill.

Much of the Podesta WikiLeaks email no. 25651, dated December 21, 2015, concerns Hillary Clinton’s stance on ISIS and Syria. There is also a mention of campaign advertising and getting out the vote.

However, the key to this is the Democrats’ strategy against Trump, primarily this one from Brent Budowsky (emphases mine below):

Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin

Budowsky was also interested in finding and releasing incriminating tapes of Trump to help Hillary, whom they knew even then was not doing well in the polls:

I suspect her negative trust ratings are locked in through election day. If there is a Trump ISIS video the campaign release it. If not, her untrustworthy numbers will remain further locked at high levels. These trust problems are self-induced and keep occurring.

Budowsky became more insistent:

Re the Trump ISIS video, if we don’t have the proof campaign should assign 100 people to look for it ASAP, there is probably something on tape somewhere.

With regard to campaign adverts, Budowsky already noted that Trump was not running them:

It is no coincidence that this year Trump runs no ads, while Jeb and Hillary run the most ads with little effect. Voter registration by contrast creates real voters and changes—and improves—the playing field itself. There is no ad on earth that will increase her trust ratings or the enthusiasm of her voters the way a mega-registration project will increase her support on election day.

They knew then that Hillary was scuppered. Based on the context, they also seemed to discern that Trump was going to be Hillary’s opponent in 2016.

In June 2016 — one month before the Republican National Convention declared Trump the GOP presidential candidate — Trump Derangement Syndrome was flying high in the Democrat camp. Obama’s campaign manager from 2008, later a senior adviser, tweeted:

On November 9, 2016 — the day after the election — Hillary’s campaign heads decided to run hard with the Russian narrative:

The quote in blue comes from an investigative book about the Clinton campaign, Shattered, which came out earlier this year.

On April 21, Breitbart included the quote in their report, which began:

The blistering behind-the-scenes book, by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, illustrates how Hillary Clinton furiously blamed her defeat on the FBI investigation into her private emails, Russian interference, and Trump’s supposed support from “white nationalists” …

Also:

The Clinton camp settled on a two-pronged plan — pushing the press to cover how “Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign, overshadowed by the contents of stolen e-mails and Hillary’s own private-server imbroglio,” while “hammering the media for focusing so intently on the investigation into her e-mail, which had created a cloud over her candidacy,” the authors wrote.

And so the Russian narrative survives, alive and well, to this day.

The Democrats and the media have been displaying abject contempt for the people of the United States ever since.

Anyone who still thinks either camp cares about them is sorely mistaken.

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