Category Archives: Abject stupidity

Boeing continues its downward spiral


The plight of Boeing continues to fascinate me. Dad's cousin was a machinist / toolmaker for them from the 1940s to the early 1970s—from the B-29 to the 727. One Sunday afternoon I listened to him explain the problems of producing the tooling for the 727's tail section. Not only did the tail carry important control surfaces, the designers had run a third jet engine through the middle. Not surprisingly, making all this work required fabricating some complex shapes out of high-strength aluminum alloys. This was before computerized milling machines so these tools were built with slide rules, micrometers, Bridgeport mills, and a whole lot of skills. The resulting aircraft exceeded every important performance projection by at least 5%, thousands were made, and there are still people who argue it was the fastest subsonic airliner to ever fly.

My brother-in law was the guy who specified for Boeing which welding method would be used for every part that would be joined using heat. For every potential operation, he would test several welding methods, X-ray the results, and then break the weld to see how much load it would take. His results became part of Boeing's institutional memory. Any time folks needed to weld up a landing gear, or whatever, they could check to see what methods had been certified. My brother-in-law had not gone to engineering school but he was so good at what he did, he was given a "field promotion" to engineer by the company (along with the increased pay grade.) Such was the "old" Boeing.

According to his account, old Boeing began to die with the merger of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas on Aug. 1, 1997. The value of the transaction was $16.3 billion. McDonnell Douglas had been on the ropes for awhile and their senior management had turned to the Wall Street sharpies for "help"—the kind of help that stressed share prices and political connections to the Defense Department over the real work of building quality airplanes. These folks came to Boeing in the merger and began an assault on the company's engineering culture. On February 9, 2000, Boeing's engineers actually went out on strike—egged on, no doubt by the designated management fool / Wall Street darling named Debbie Hopkins who wondered aloud, "Just why does Boeing need engineers anyway?" I don't know Debbie, maybe it's because punching a hole through the air at nearly 600 mph is really hard to do. Maybe it's because without engineers, Boeing does not exist.

Anyway, shortly after the SPEEA strike was settled, my brother-in-law quit in disgust and found a peaceful job teaching non-ferrous welding at a Tacoma community college where he worked into his late 70s. Debbie was soon fired but her work was done. The rot at Boeing soon showed up in airplanes that had serious quality issues. I did a post in 2013 about the troubled Dreamliner and now the 737max fleet is grounded.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Dreamliner is grounded

If anyone ever needs a lesson in what happens when Predators take over a Producer company, Boeing will do perfectly.  In it's glory days, Boeing pretty much defined a Producer company.  Engineers ran the show.  The company would occasionally bet the farm on a breakthrough product.  There was a sense of pride you could feel the moment you passed through the plant gates.  And people who knew aircraft were often fanatically loyal to their output (It's Boeing or I'm not going.)  Yes, there were other companies that made large aircraft but sensible people would often ask "Why?"  Boeing was so sure about its products that for decades, it only had one salesman.  One was plenty because everyone knew what buying from Boeing meant.

And then it started to unravel.  In 1997, Boeing merged with McDonnell Douglas, a company that had lost its airplane-making chops and had become just another cost-plus supplier hanging off the big Defense Department teat.  Boeing also had significant ties to the defense industry but were babes in the woods compared to the sharpies from McDonnell Douglas.  Soon the sharpies were ensconced in senior management at Boeing and the rot began to set in.  The open assault on Boeing's engineering culture came out into the open during the SPEEA (Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace) strike of 2000.  The cordial atmosphere between the engineers that designed Boeing's products and the engineers that managed the company was broken.  Management even moved the headquarters to Chicago from Seattle to show the divorce was final.

Once the Boeing Producer / engineering culture had been trashed, the chance for breakthrough, industry-defining projects was trashed as well.  The Dreamliner, which was not even that revolutionary to start with, became an expensive, ongoing fiasco that demonstrated the truth of the most famous sign carried during the SPEEA strike "No nerds, No Birds."  And so now, after several years of delays and $Billions of cost over-runs, the few Dreamliners that have been delivered are grounded.  The problem isn't even an aerospace problem but rather faulty lithium batteries.  If the Predators of the "new" Boeing management were actually capable of feeling shame, they would be resigning en mass. Yeah, that's going to happen (NOT)!

Boeing's travails show what's wrong with modern capitalism 

Deregulation means a company once run by engineers is now in the thrall of financiers and its stock remains high even as its planes fall from the sky

Matt Stoller, 11 Sep 2019

The plight of Boeing shows the perils of modern capitalism. The corporation is a wounded giant. Much of its productive capacity has been mothballed following two crashes in six months of the 737 Max, the firm’s flagship product: the result of safety problems Boeing hid from regulators.

Just a year ago Boeing appeared unstoppable. In 2018, the company delivered more aircraft than its rival Airbus, with revenue hitting $100bn. It was also a cash machine, shedding 20% of its workforce since 2012 while funneling $43bn into stock buybacks in roughly the same period. Boeing’s board rewarded its CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, lavishly, paying him $23m in 2018, up 27% from the year before.

There was only one problem. The company was losing its ability to make safe airplanes. As Scott Hamilton, an aerospace analyst and editor of Leeham News and Analysis, puts it: “Boeing Commercial Airplanes clearly has a systemic problem in designing, producing and delivering airplanes.”

Something is wrong with today’s version of capitalism. It’s not just that it’s unfair. It’s that it’s no longer capable of delivering products that work. The root cause is the generation of high and persistent profits, to the exclusion of production. We have let financiers take over our corporations. They monopolize industries and then loot the corporations they run.

The executive team at Boeing is quite skilled – just at generating cash, rather than as engineers. Boeing’s competitive advantage centered on politics, not planes. The corporation is now a political machine with a side business making aerospace and defense products. Boeing’s general counsel, former judge Michael Luttig, is the former boss of the FBI director, Christopher Wray, whose agents are investigating potential criminal activity at the company. Luttig is so well connected in high-level legal circles he served as a groomsman for the supreme court chief justice, John Roberts.

The company’s board members also include Nikki Haley, until recently the United Nations ambassador, former Nato supreme allied commander Edmund PGiambastiani Jr, former AIG CEO Edward M Liddy, and a host of former political officials and private equity icons.

Boeing used its political connections to monopolize the American aerospace industry and corrupt its regulators. In the 1990s, Boeing and McDonnell Douglas merged, leaving America with just one major producer of civilian aircraft. Before this merger, when there was a competitive market, Boeing was a wonderful company. As journalist Jerry Useem put it just 20 years ago, “Boeing has always been less a business than an association of engineers devoted to building amazing flying machines.”

High profits masked the collapse in productive skill until the crashes of the 737 Max

But after the merger, the engineers lost power to the financiers. Boeing could increase prices, lay off workers, reduce quality and spend its cash buying back stock.

And no one could do anything about it. Customers and suppliers no longer had any alternative to Boeing, and Boeing corrupted officials in both parties who were supposed to regulate it. High profits masked the collapse in productive skill until the crashes of the 737 Max.

Boeing’s inability to make good safe airplanes is a clear weakness. It is, after all, an airplane aerospace company. But because Boeing is America’s only commercial airplane company, the crisis is rippling across the economy. Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, which ordered 58 737 Max planes, says his company cannot grow as planned until Boeing, “gets its shit together”. Contractors and subcontractors slowed production of parts for the airplane, and airline customers scrambled to address shortages of airplanes.

Far from being an anomaly, Boeing is the norm in the corporate world across the west. In 2016, the Economist noted that profits across the corporate sector were high and persistent, a function of a lack of competition across swaths of the economy. If corporations don’t have to compete, they can raise prices to buyers, lower what they pay to suppliers and workers, and reduce quality.

High profits result in sloth and corruption. Many of our industrial goliaths are now run in ways that are fundamentally destructive. General Electric, for instance, was once a jewel of American productive capacity, a corporation created out of George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison’s patents for electric systems. Edison helped invent the lightbulb itself, brightening the world. Today, as a result of decisions made by Jack Welch in the 1990s to juice profit returns, GE slaps its label on lightbulbs made in China. Even worse, if investigator Harry Markopoulos is right, General Electric may in fact be riddled with accounting fraud, a once great productive institution strip-mined by financiers.

These are not the natural, inevitable results of capitalism. Boeing and GE were once great companies, working in capitalist open markets.

So what went wrong? In short, the law. In the 1970s, a host of thinkers on the right and left – from Milton Friedman to George Stigler to Alfred Kahn to the current liberal supreme court justice Stephen Breyer – argued that policymakers should take restraints off capital and get rid of anti-monopoly rules. They used many terms to make this case, including deregulation, cost/benefit analysis, and the consumer welfare standard in antitrust law. They embraced the shareholder theory of capitalism, which emphasizes short-term profits. What followed was a radical consolidation of market power, and then systemic looting.

The disease of inefficiency and graft has spread to the government

Today, high profit margins are a pervasive and corrupting influence across the government and corporate sectors. Private equity firms moved capital from corporations and workers to themselves, destroying once healthy retailers like RadioShack, Toys R Us, Payless and K-Mart.

The disease of inefficiency and graft has spread to the government. In 1992, Harvard Professor Ash Carter, who later become the secretary of defense under Obama, wrote that the Pentagon was too difficult to do business with. “The most straightforward step” to address this, he wrote, “would be to raise the profit margins allowed on defense contracts.” The following year Prof Carter was appointed assistant secretary of defense for international security policy in the first Clinton administration, which followed his advice.

Earlier this year, the defense department found that one defense contractor run by private equity executives had profit margins of up to 4,451% on spare parts it sold to the military. Consulting giant McKinsey was recently caught trying to charge the government $3m a year for the services of a recent college graduate.

The ultimate result of concentrating wealth and corrupting government is to concentrate power in the hands of a few. We’ve been here before. In the 1930s, fascists in Italy and Germany were gaining strength, as were communists in the Russia. Meanwhile, leaders in liberal democracies were confronted by a frightened populace losing faith in democracy. American political leaders were able to take on domestic money lords with a radical antitrust campaign to break the power of the plutocrats. Today we are in a similar situation, with autocrats making an increasingly persuasive case that liberal democracy is weak.

The solution to this political crisis is fairly simple, and it involves two basic principles. One, policymakers have to increase competition for large powerful companies, to bring profits down. Executives should spend their time competing with each other to build quality products, not finding ways of attracting former generals, or administration officials to their board of directors. Two, policymakers should raise taxes on wealth and high incomes to radically reduce the concentration of wealth, which will make looting irrational.

Our system is no longer aligning rewards with productive skill. Despite the 737 Max crisis, Boeing’s stock price is still twice as high as in July 2015, when Muilenburg took over as CEO. That right there is what is broken about modern capitalism. We had better fix it fast. more

It’s payback time, folks


There are moments when I simply cannot muster the energy to be a "good sport." Whenever I think about how this country just wasted 2+ years playing an ultra-corny version of spy vs. spy,  I literally want to see heads roll. It was not just the non-stop lying, it's that the lies were so stupidly unbelievable. And for extra fun, these lies were retailed by some of the writers I have read over the years on sites I once visited regularly—The Guardian, Smirking Chimp, Crooks and Liars...

Karma can be a bitch. Smirking Chimp is having trouble paying the bills. The Guardian will have serious problems recovering from Luke Harding's crazed book Collusion. Ms. Russiagate hoaxer, Rachael Madcow has taken a serious hit to her ratings.

I could be talked out of demanding the return of the guillotine, I guess, if we could all agree to stop listening to these partially developed minds stuck in their "tell me a story" phase of intellectual development. Personally, I am stunned that in a country of 315 million souls we cannot come up with the few thousand functioning adults necessary to organize a government.

Bob Mueller is 74. He probably won't be with us much longer. Writing his epitaph won't be easy. It difficult to say nice things about someone who knew his "investigation" was utter BS yet wasted the lives of the nation for years while he tried to come up with a reason to not tell us he had no case.

Robert Mueller Is in Serious Legal Trouble - Here's Why

James Howard Kunstler, 5/10/19

For the Progressive Democratic “Resistance” (PDR), post-Modernism is in full flower. They have ruled objective reality inadmissible. There are only stories — his story, her story, they’s story, zhe’s story, and you must believe them because they come out of lived experience — for instance the lived experience of having lost a sure-thing presidential election to a cartoon character with zero political experience, and then having lost the grand inquisition to oust him. For the PDRs, the metaphysical concept of reality refers to some land of dark make-believe over a distant horizon where numbers supposedly add up (ha!) and the actions of persons are said to entail a strange cosmic condition known as consequence.

Now that the Mueller Investigation has concluded empty of charges — despite two-plus-years of sedulous effort by fiercely dedicated antagonists of its target — everything about it, including the sacred Mueller Report, begins to emit odious vapors like unto a rump roast that has laid uncovered in a pantry for three weeks, attracting the attention of flies. The PDRs might think twice about a closer examination of all that festering material. What they’re liable to find is evidence of how slovenly and dishonest it was and how the revered legal maestro in charge of composing it may well be subject to charges himself of obstructing justice and malicious prosecution.

Information emerged over the weeks since the Mueller Report’s release that Mr. Mueller and his team knew unequivocally that the Special Counsel’s mission and the FBI operations that preceded it were based on concocted political bullshit supplied by Mrs. Clinton and her network of flunkies and fixers, ranging throughout the permanent DC bureacuracy (a.k.a. the Swamp), to outposts in foreign intel services and the political kitty-litter box known as Ukraine. Mr. Mueller must have suspected this from the outset, but knew for sure by the summer of 2017, and omitted to advise the American public that he had uncovered a fraud. Rather, he rode on the back of that fraud for two years, as if touring a political landfill on a donkey, leaving the public to stew in anxious hallucinations.

What else did Mr. Mueller do, or omit to do? He never engaged US government forensic computer analysts to examine the DNC servers at the heart of RussiaGate story. Rather, he allowed the conclusions to stand of a company called CrowdStrike, hired by the DNC itself to supposedly investigate the theft of emails, especially those of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. (See Craig Murray’s commentary on all this.) Mr. Mueller never bothered to interview the one person who might have known exactly who supplied the purloined emails to Wikileaks, namely Julian Assange. Mr. Mueller also did not bother to interview several dozen retired Intel Community computer experts, led by William Binney, former Technical Director of the NSA, who determined that the hack was accomplished by direct download by an insider onto a flash drive.

What could possibly be the explanation for these blunders. Well, we’re going to find out in the months ahead. The DPR chairs of various House committees have threatened to ask Mr. Mueller to testify. Bring it on, I say. He sure has some ‘splainin’ to do, if not in those venues, then in a more than a few grand juries that will be convened to assess the actions of his confederates-at-law from every hummock and gator pool in the Swamp. These various parties may also seek to understand why Mr. Mueller omitted to mention the now reeking Steele Dossier in his 444-page report, and why in his 20-plus page recounting of the oh-so-crucial Trump Tower meeting he never disclosed that the two Russians present were on the payroll of Hillary contractor FusionGPS, and met with its principal, Glenn Simpson before and after the meeting. It does give off a scent of “colluding with Russians,” except obviously the odor came from the wrong direction.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared yesterday that we are in a constitutional crisis. You’re darn tootin’ we are, but it’s not coming from the flaccid threats of legal imbecile Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who wants to prosecute the Attorney General, Mr. Barr, for refusing to make public grand jury records in the Mueller report — since the law requires Mr. Barr to not disclose the material. The crisis she mis-identifies is the coming indictment of so many supposedly untouchable and hallowed public figures, up to and including the former president, Mr. Obama, and the former heads of CIA, Mr. Brennan, and Director of National Security, Mr. Clapper, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the sainted Mr. Mueller, a whole posse of former Intel Community subalterns, and an unholy host of creeping, crawling, and flying swamp creatures from Glenn Simpson to the shyster lawyers at DNC law firm Perkins Coie, to the errand boys at the Cable News Networks, Wash-Po and The New York Times who trafficked in leaked perfidious documents — that the cumulative institutional damage will destroy public confidence in constitutional government per se.  more

I want apologies from the Russia-bashers


In 1972, I went to Leningrad. This was the age of Brezhnev—scary, dark, humorless USSR. Just getting off the boat was about all I could muster. To make matters worse, the Israeli Olympic team was taken hostage the morning we were scheduled to go on our very first Intourist guided tour. I spent the morning going from fretful to scared shitless. Once the bus got underway, I began to notice things I thoroughly disapproved of. The trucks were ugly and belched thick black smoke. Consumer goods were an insult to the Instinct of Workmanship. Construction sites were a disaster. But beneath the seediness of 70s Leningrad was an undeniable reality—this was the Imperial Capital of Peter the Great. This is one of the most beautiful cities on earth—a city where over one million died of starvation during the Siege rather than surrender it to the Nazis.

It took most of the day, but I came to the conclusion that if they had better political and economic systems, this would easily be the richest country on earth. Considering USSR had to be built twice (Stalin's industrialization and then post WW II reconstruction) they weren't doing so badly even in 1972. Then came the Harvard boys to teach the Russians neoliberal "capitalism." Caused nearly as much damage as the Nazis.

Here's the mess the son of Leningrad / St. Petersburg Vladimir Putin inherited from Yeltsin in 1999:

    ▪    The country was deeply in debt to the scum like IMF and World Bank?
    ▪    The Harvard boys had created such an economic catastrophe that life expectancy was falling, whole industries lay in ruins, the former Russian middle class was reduced to selling heirlooms in the winter cold, their savings had been wiped out, the best and brightest had emigrated. (For what Jeffrey Sachs inflicted on Russia makes him a walking advertisement for bringing back crucifixions.)
    ▪    The oligarchs who had seized the best Russia had to steal escaped with their loot—mostly to London where they triggered a bubble the real estate speculators love so much.

Add to this list of great headaches, he has had to deal with: NATO encirclement, international slander, the Banderite-fascist coup in Ukraine. Of course he had to move on Crimea. The Red Army lost around a half-million folks trying to defend and then retake Sevastopol during WW II. Crimea is REALLY important for Russia and so he had to remake economic and foreign policy to deal with the fallout of keeping Crimea Russian.

In the meantime, Russian aerospace is back on its feet. The military fights with pride and professionalism. The things Russia has been good at, they are good at again—figure skating, ballet, etc. Putin is still wildly popular. He has rebuilt relationships with China. He has opened elite schools so Russian education is again world-class. Russia became the world's leading exporter of grains last year—all GMO-free.

The list is nearly endless. And why not. He has at least 40 IQ points on any politician we have in USA and was given one of those elite educations that the commies could do so well. He is so fluent in German he holds press conferences in Germany in German. He holds 3 hour press conferences for the international media without notes. He has done something that anyone examining the wreckage of 1999 would not have predicted—he has restored pride in a people who not long ago were just drinking themselves to death.

What I find so amazing is his willingness to brush off some of the most ridiculous slanders and provocations. I was raised around pacifists so am pretty conversant with the dilemmas and contradictions of this practice. I would give Putin a solid B+. Turns out it is pretty easy to be a pacifist when armed with nukes ;-) Or maybe it really is the Orthodox church. I don't know much about those folk beyond the fact they have incredibly ornate churches and their male glee clubs have amazing basses. Reportedly Putin's mother was very devout and baptized him as a baby. Whatever. It's just that under Putin, most of the damage those barbaric Bolsheviks inflicted on this element of Russian culture has been repaired or rebuilt—reportedly over 40,000 churches have been rehabbed since the end of Bolshevism.

I have not been thrilled by the mindless Russia-bashing we have had to endure these last 2.5 years. Most of it unbelievable lies. And while I detest the liars who have reintroduced the unholy practice of red-baiting, I am even more distressed by the endless stream of self-identified "progressives" who bought into the Russiagate hoax. Robert LaFollette was a real Progressive—was the party's presidential candidate in 1924. He tried to keep USA out of the insanity of WW I thereby ruining his career as a Senator. So no, anyone who was cheerleading a restart of the Cold War and McCarthyism is most certainly NOT a progressive.

Russia and the Democrats

Rob Urie, March 27, 2019

Two years ago authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes wrote in their book Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign that within 24 hours of her 2016 electoral loss, Hillary Clinton’s senior campaign staff decided to blame the loss on Russian interference. Given the apparent source of the charge in opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign, the move seemed both desperate and pathetic— a thread for Clinton’s true believers to hang onto, an effort to keep campaign contributions rolling in and a ploy to cleave liberals from the left through red-baiting.

For perspective, from the time leading up to the 2016 election through today, I chose to live amongst poor and working-class people of color, with occasional forays into the rural working and middle classes and the urban bourgeois. What became apparent early on is that the audience for the Russian interference story was the urban and suburban bourgeois who had seen their lots by-and-large restored by Barack Obama’s bank bailouts and who had no knowledge of, or interaction with, the 90% of the country that is living, by degree, hand-to-mouth.

What this implies is that the received wisdom amongst bourgeois Democrats— the bosses, bank managers, academics, realtors and administrative class, looks to be what it is: a combination of class loathing that their ‘lessors’ didn’t perceive the munificent blessing of their electoral choice; mass delusion on the part of self-styled ‘high-information voters’ about who really controls American ‘democracy;’ and studied ignorance of the consequences of the last half-century of bi-partisan neoliberal governance.

As I wrote in early 2018:
“Prior to the 2016 presidential election, if one were to ask what single act could seal a new Cold War with Russia, align liberals and progressives with the operational core of the American military-industrial-surveillance complex, expose the preponderance of left-activism as an offshoot of Democratic Party operations and consign most of what remained to personal invective against an empirically dangerous leader, consensus would likely have it that doing so wouldn’t be easy.”
The Clinton campaign’s decision to blame her electoral loss on Russian interference demonstrates why she was, and still is, unqualified to hold elected office. In the first, the U.S. – Russian rivalry is backed-up by hair-trigger nuclear arsenals that could end the world in a matter of minutes. Inciting tensions based on self-serving lies is stunningly reckless. In the second, the claim demonstrates utter contempt for her most loyal followers by feeding them purposely misleading explanations of the loss. And most damagingly for political opponents of Donald Trump, these actions give credence to the insurgent status of his retro-Republicanism against liberal and left defenders of the political establishment.

Most damaging to the burgeoning left in the U.S. is the deeply ugly character assassination of poor and working-class voters carried out by the urban bourgeois, many from the self-described radical left. People I know and like, but with whom I disagree politically but am working hard to convert, have spent the last three years being derided as traitorous, marginally literate hicks too stupid to know they are pawns of the Kremlin. The irony, if you care to call it that, is that they knew the Russian interference story was cynical bullshit all along while the graduate degree crowd was following every twist and turn as if it were true knowledge.

The Democratic Party ‘leadership’ that pursued this story is as stupid as it is corrupt. The purpose of Russia-gate was apparently to keep the Party faithful, faithful. But as was demonstrated in 2016, the faithful alone can’t win an election. This leadership turned what could have been an effective ‘give ‘em enough rope’ strategy against arrogant jackass Trump back on itself. The establishment-left had been in the process of giving self-described socialists someone to vote for in 2020. Too-clever-by-half liberal twaddle about ‘post-truth’ now has liberals— universally conflated with the left, perceived as both idiots and liars. And rightly so.

Democrats who spent the last three years making less than plausible (and politically retrograde) accusations against Mr. Trump likely still don’t understand their current position. Their call for an exhaustive investigation carried out by people they trust was honored. While the investigation was underway, the mainstream press put one ludicrous fantasy after another forward as news. This while a host of real issues affecting real people’s lives were studiously ignored. As incredulous as I am that it could be done, liberal Democrats have made corrupt oligarch Trump appear to be righteously aggrieved. Who says these people have no talent?

The New York Times and Washington Post have been publishing politically motivated ‘fake news’ in support of establishment interests since their inceptions. Their service to powerful interests is why they are still around. The FBI, CIA and NSA have been putting out politically motivated bullshit since their respective inceptions. They exist to serve the rich and powerful against all comers. To claim these as bastions of integrity was always a tough sell. To continue to claim it is the stuff from which revolutions are made. In this case, right-wing revolutions.

While the urban bourgeois have long been dismissive of the ‘burn it down’ contingent of Trump voters, they seem incapable of seeing their own roles as defenders of the establishment as corrupt and ultimately, politically suicidal. I voted for a woman for president and a black man for vice president in 2016. But they weren’t Democrats. Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election because she is a corrupt, neoliberal, militaristic piece of shit. Ironically, or not, most of Trump voters I’ve spoken with know more about the Democrats’ actual record than the highly educated urban bourgeois pontificating on NPR or in the New York Times.

A quick bet is that the 2020 presidential election is now Donald Trump’s to lose. Lying sacks of shit like James Clapper and John Brennan will tie their lots to whomever will fund their adventures in mal-governance as the world burns and species become extinct. The tragedy here is that there are real issues in need of resolution. The Democrats’ three-year adventure in red-baiting served to legitimate a financial-military-industrial complex that apparently intends to end the planet as it makes as many people miserable in the process as is possible. Congratulations assholes. more

A Very Incomplete List of Sinister Things Russia Has Been Accused of by the Finest Minds of Western Media-Political Life

From sowing discord with sex toys to weaponizing humor, sexual assault allegations, and "black America’s experiences"


A friend of the site has been keeping tabs on everything that Russia, “The Russians,” and Vladimir Putin have been blamed for in the past two years or so. We thought this list was a perfect window into the hysteria of Russiagate and published it with a few additions of our own.

Forcing Donald Trump to hire Rex Tillerson (Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law professor).

Forcing Donald Trump to fire Rex Tillerson (Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law professor, eight days later).

Forcing Donald Trump to give concessions to North Korea (Rachel Maddow, MSNBC anchor).

Meddling in the 2018 Italian parliamentary election (George Soros, billionaire; Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former president of Denmark, former secretary general of NATO; and Michael Chertoff, former U.S. secretary of homeland security).

Winning the 2018 Italian parliamentary election (Haaretz, The Hill).

Hacking the 2017 French presidential election (Michael Rogers, NSA director, Politico, numerous other outlets).

No, really, hacking the 2017 French presidential election (Jamie Raskin, U.S. congressman, after French government denied Russian involvement, stating the hack was “so simple it could have practically been anyone”).

Brexit (New York Times, numerous other outlets).

Helping rise of far-right AfD party in the 2017 German election (Time).

Causing the 2019 U.S. government shutdown (Haaretz).

Making the New York Times editorial board criticize Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko (Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine).

Weaponizing sexual assault accusations in order to attack Kremlin critics (George Takei, Kremlin critic accused of sexual assault).

Weaponizing information (Theresa May, UK prime minister).

Weaponizing misinformation (NPR).

Weaponizing the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe (Philip Breedlove, U.S. general, NATO, John McCain, U.S. senator).

Weaponizing humor (CNN, BBC).

Weaponizing “black America’s experiences” (Slate).

Using the popular cartoon Masha and the Bear as “soft propaganda” to indoctrinate British children (The Times of London).

“Promoting sex toys on Instagram to sow discord in the US” (Quartz).

Influencing the Standing Rock movement (Buzzfeed).

Making “‘useful idiots’ of unwitting environmental groups and activists”(U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology).

Targeting the U.S. embassy in Cuba with “some kind of microwave weapon, that is so sophisticated, that the Americans don’t even fully understand it” (Ken Dilanian, MSNBC reporter) [The microwave weapon turned out to be crickets. As in actual insects].

“Infiltrating” America’s Christian conservative homeschooling movement(Casey Michel, Think Progress).

Inflaming “race wars” across America with Facebook ads (Julia Ioffe, The Atlantic).

Assassinating self-exiled Russian journalist Sergei Babchenko (Ukrainian government) [Babchenko turned up alive the following day and revealed that he had faked his death in cooperation with Ukraine’s security services].

Whatever the hell Jonathan Chait was trying to explain with a Glenn Becksian diagram – “a plausible theory of mind-boggling collusion” (Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine).

Arming the Taliban (John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan; Nick Patton Walsh, CNN) [Nicholson’s claim was debunked by a two star US general speaking under oath. The report by Patton Walsh was thoroughly demolished by Task and Purpose].

Employing U.S. senator Rand Paul (John McCain, U.S. senator).

Interfering in the Catalan referendum (US Congressional Democrats).

Planning to interfere in Israel’s 2019 elections (Israeli Shin Bet General Security Service).

Recruiting Princeton/NYU professor emeritus Stephen F. Cohen to influence U.S. policy (Bill Browder, CEO Hermitage Capital) [Browder’s tweet was deleted after people pointed out that casually calling for Americans to be investigated by the FBI is not a good idea].

Funding The Intercept (Howard Dean, former Vermont governor and DNC head).

Spreading disinformation about Ukrainian neo-Nazis carrying out Roma pogroms (Howard Dean, former Vermont governor and DNC head).

Inflaming the NFL kneeling controversy “to make a big issue seem like an even bigger issue” (James Lankford, U.S. senator).

Inflaming ICE detaining immigrant children in cages controversy – “using the current family separation & immigration debate to sow discord among Americans” (James Lankford, U.S. senator).

Orchestrating the mailing of pipe bombs to Democratic lawmakers and liberal figures (Chuck Todd, MSNBC anchor).

Tricking Guardian journalist Luke Harding into writing a questionable, thinly-sourced story in order to make it look like Harding is an untrustworthy journalist (“Alex Finley”, ex-CIA officer writing under fake name).

Using “Soviet-era tricks to evoke racist white fears” (Terrell Starr, Washington Post).

Harvesting “American rage to reshape U.S. politics” (New York Times).

Dividing America (New York Times).

Using “vaccine debate to sow discord” (New York Times).

Sowing discord in the 2018 elections (Dan Coats, director of national intelligence).

Targeting African-Americans to suppress 2016 election turnout (New York Times).

Amplifying “existing divisions in American society” (USA Today).

Hacking “the mindset of the American people” (Malcolm Nance, MSNBC contributor and grown man).

Tricking Americans into thinking Jesus hates Hillary Clinton (New York Times).

Supporting Bernie Sanders (New Knowledge, which was later caught interfering in the 2017 Alabama Senate election).

Tricking Americans into voting for Bernie Sanders, via Facebook ads featuring drawing of buff Bernie Sanders (New York Times).

Turning Jill Stein into a Russian agent (Zac Petkanas, Democratic strategist, former Hillary Clinton campaign director of rapid response).

Is Putin using his influence to support/oppose [insert whatever you want here]? You’re probably right! For more information, please contact the appropriate Putin disinformation warriors:
  • Anything that can be sprinkled with meaningless terms like “active measures,” “useful idiot,” and “kompromat” and repackaged as expert analysis – Atlantic Council’s Disinfo Portal.
  • Things even the Atlantic Council won’t touch – Louise Mensch.
  • Game Theory – Eric Garland. more

I want apologies from the Russia-bashers


In 1972, I went to Leningrad. This was the age of Brezhnev—scary, dark, humorless USSR. Just getting off the boat was about all I could muster. To make matters worse, the Israeli Olympic team was taken hostage the morning we were scheduled to go on our very first Intourist guided tour. I spent the morning going from fretful to scared shitless. Once the bus got underway, I began to notice things I thoroughly disapproved of. The trucks were ugly and belched thick black smoke. Consumer goods were an insult to the Instinct of Workmanship. Construction sites were a disaster. But beneath the seediness of 70s Leningrad was an undeniable reality—this was the Imperial Capital of Peter the Great. This is one of the most beautiful cities on earth—a city where over one million died of starvation during the Siege rather than surrender it to the Nazis.

It took most of the day, but I came to the conclusion that if they had better political and economic systems, this would easily be the richest country on earth. Considering USSR had to be built twice (Stalin's industrialization and then post WW II reconstruction) they weren't doing so badly even in 1972. Then came the Harvard boys to teach the Russians neoliberal "capitalism." Caused nearly as much damage as the Nazis.

Here's the mess the son of Leningrad / St. Petersburg Vladimir Putin inherited from Yeltsin in 1999:

    ▪    The country was deeply in debt to the scum like IMF and World Bank?
    ▪    The Harvard boys had created such an economic catastrophe that life expectancy was falling, whole industries lay in ruins, the former Russian middle class was reduced to selling heirlooms in the winter cold, their savings had been wiped out, the best and brightest had emigrated. (For what Jeffrey Sachs inflicted on Russia makes him a walking advertisement for bringing back crucifixions.)
    ▪    The oligarchs who had seized the best Russia had to steal escaped with their loot—mostly to London where they triggered a bubble the real estate speculators love so much.

Add to this list of great headaches, he has had to deal with: NATO encirclement, international slander, the Banderite-fascist coup in Ukraine. Of course he had to move on Crimea. The Red Army lost around a half-million folks trying to defend and then retake Sevastopol during WW II. Crimea is REALLY important for Russia and so he had to remake economic and foreign policy to deal with the fallout of keeping Crimea Russian.

In the meantime, Russian aerospace is back on its feet. The military fights with pride and professionalism. The things Russia has been good at, they are good at again—figure skating, ballet, etc. Putin is still wildly popular. He has rebuilt relationships with China. He has opened elite schools so Russian education is again world-class. Russia became the world's leading exporter of grains last year—all GMO-free.

The list is nearly endless. And why not. He has at least 40 IQ points on any politician we have in USA and was given one of those elite educations that the commies could do so well. He is so fluent in German he holds press conferences in Germany in German. He holds 3 hour press conferences for the international media without notes. He has done something that anyone examining the wreckage of 1999 would not have predicted—he has restored pride in a people who not long ago were just drinking themselves to death.

What I find so amazing is his willingness to brush off some of the most ridiculous slanders and provocations. I was raised around pacifists so am pretty conversant with the dilemmas and contradictions of this practice. I would give Putin a solid B+. Turns out it is pretty easy to be a pacifist when armed with nukes ;-) Or maybe it really is the Orthodox church. I don't know much about those folk beyond the fact they have incredibly ornate churches and their male glee clubs have amazing basses. Reportedly Putin's mother was very devout and baptized him as a baby. Whatever. It's just that under Putin, most of the damage those barbaric Bolsheviks inflicted on this element of Russian culture has been repaired or rebuilt—reportedly over 40,000 churches have been rehabbed since the end of Bolshevism.

I have not been thrilled by the mindless Russia-bashing we have had to endure these last 2.5 years. Most of it unbelievable lies. And while I detest the liars who have reintroduced the unholy practice of red-baiting, I am even more distressed by the endless stream of self-identified "progressives" who bought into the Russiagate hoax. Robert LaFollette was a real Progressive—was the party's presidential candidate in 1924. He tried to keep USA out of the insanity of WW I thereby ruining his career as a Senator. So no, anyone who was cheerleading a restart of the Cold War and McCarthyism is most certainly NOT a progressive.

Russia and the Democrats

Rob Urie, March 27, 2019

Two years ago authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes wrote in their book Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign that within 24 hours of her 2016 electoral loss, Hillary Clinton’s senior campaign staff decided to blame the loss on Russian interference. Given the apparent source of the charge in opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign, the move seemed both desperate and pathetic— a thread for Clinton’s true believers to hang onto, an effort to keep campaign contributions rolling in and a ploy to cleave liberals from the left through red-baiting.

For perspective, from the time leading up to the 2016 election through today, I chose to live amongst poor and working-class people of color, with occasional forays into the rural working and middle classes and the urban bourgeois. What became apparent early on is that the audience for the Russian interference story was the urban and suburban bourgeois who had seen their lots by-and-large restored by Barack Obama’s bank bailouts and who had no knowledge of, or interaction with, the 90% of the country that is living, by degree, hand-to-mouth.

What this implies is that the received wisdom amongst bourgeois Democrats— the bosses, bank managers, academics, realtors and administrative class, looks to be what it is: a combination of class loathing that their ‘lessors’ didn’t perceive the munificent blessing of their electoral choice; mass delusion on the part of self-styled ‘high-information voters’ about who really controls American ‘democracy;’ and studied ignorance of the consequences of the last half-century of bi-partisan neoliberal governance.

As I wrote in early 2018:
“Prior to the 2016 presidential election, if one were to ask what single act could seal a new Cold War with Russia, align liberals and progressives with the operational core of the American military-industrial-surveillance complex, expose the preponderance of left-activism as an offshoot of Democratic Party operations and consign most of what remained to personal invective against an empirically dangerous leader, consensus would likely have it that doing so wouldn’t be easy.”
The Clinton campaign’s decision to blame her electoral loss on Russian interference demonstrates why she was, and still is, unqualified to hold elected office. In the first, the U.S. – Russian rivalry is backed-up by hair-trigger nuclear arsenals that could end the world in a matter of minutes. Inciting tensions based on self-serving lies is stunningly reckless. In the second, the claim demonstrates utter contempt for her most loyal followers by feeding them purposely misleading explanations of the loss. And most damagingly for political opponents of Donald Trump, these actions give credence to the insurgent status of his retro-Republicanism against liberal and left defenders of the political establishment.

Most damaging to the burgeoning left in the U.S. is the deeply ugly character assassination of poor and working-class voters carried out by the urban bourgeois, many from the self-described radical left. People I know and like, but with whom I disagree politically but am working hard to convert, have spent the last three years being derided as traitorous, marginally literate hicks too stupid to know they are pawns of the Kremlin. The irony, if you care to call it that, is that they knew the Russian interference story was cynical bullshit all along while the graduate degree crowd was following every twist and turn as if it were true knowledge.

The Democratic Party ‘leadership’ that pursued this story is as stupid as it is corrupt. The purpose of Russia-gate was apparently to keep the Party faithful, faithful. But as was demonstrated in 2016, the faithful alone can’t win an election. This leadership turned what could have been an effective ‘give ‘em enough rope’ strategy against arrogant jackass Trump back on itself. The establishment-left had been in the process of giving self-described socialists someone to vote for in 2020. Too-clever-by-half liberal twaddle about ‘post-truth’ now has liberals— universally conflated with the left, perceived as both idiots and liars. And rightly so.

Democrats who spent the last three years making less than plausible (and politically retrograde) accusations against Mr. Trump likely still don’t understand their current position. Their call for an exhaustive investigation carried out by people they trust was honored. While the investigation was underway, the mainstream press put one ludicrous fantasy after another forward as news. This while a host of real issues affecting real people’s lives were studiously ignored. As incredulous as I am that it could be done, liberal Democrats have made corrupt oligarch Trump appear to be righteously aggrieved. Who says these people have no talent?

The New York Times and Washington Post have been publishing politically motivated ‘fake news’ in support of establishment interests since their inceptions. Their service to powerful interests is why they are still around. The FBI, CIA and NSA have been putting out politically motivated bullshit since their respective inceptions. They exist to serve the rich and powerful against all comers. To claim these as bastions of integrity was always a tough sell. To continue to claim it is the stuff from which revolutions are made. In this case, right-wing revolutions.

While the urban bourgeois have long been dismissive of the ‘burn it down’ contingent of Trump voters, they seem incapable of seeing their own roles as defenders of the establishment as corrupt and ultimately, politically suicidal. I voted for a woman for president and a black man for vice president in 2016. But they weren’t Democrats. Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election because she is a corrupt, neoliberal, militaristic piece of shit. Ironically, or not, most of Trump voters I’ve spoken with know more about the Democrats’ actual record than the highly educated urban bourgeois pontificating on NPR or in the New York Times.

A quick bet is that the 2020 presidential election is now Donald Trump’s to lose. Lying sacks of shit like James Clapper and John Brennan will tie their lots to whomever will fund their adventures in mal-governance as the world burns and species become extinct. The tragedy here is that there are real issues in need of resolution. The Democrats’ three-year adventure in red-baiting served to legitimate a financial-military-industrial complex that apparently intends to end the planet as it makes as many people miserable in the process as is possible. Congratulations assholes. more

A Very Incomplete List of Sinister Things Russia Has Been Accused of by the Finest Minds of Western Media-Political Life

From sowing discord with sex toys to weaponizing humor, sexual assault allegations, and "black America’s experiences"


A friend of the site has been keeping tabs on everything that Russia, “The Russians,” and Vladimir Putin have been blamed for in the past two years or so. We thought this list was a perfect window into the hysteria of Russiagate and published it with a few additions of our own.

Forcing Donald Trump to hire Rex Tillerson (Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law professor).

Forcing Donald Trump to fire Rex Tillerson (Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law professor, eight days later).

Forcing Donald Trump to give concessions to North Korea (Rachel Maddow, MSNBC anchor).

Meddling in the 2018 Italian parliamentary election (George Soros, billionaire; Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former president of Denmark, former secretary general of NATO; and Michael Chertoff, former U.S. secretary of homeland security).

Winning the 2018 Italian parliamentary election (Haaretz, The Hill).

Hacking the 2017 French presidential election (Michael Rogers, NSA director, Politico, numerous other outlets).

No, really, hacking the 2017 French presidential election (Jamie Raskin, U.S. congressman, after French government denied Russian involvement, stating the hack was “so simple it could have practically been anyone”).

Brexit (New York Times, numerous other outlets).

Helping rise of far-right AfD party in the 2017 German election (Time).

Causing the 2019 U.S. government shutdown (Haaretz).

Making the New York Times editorial board criticize Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko (Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine).

Weaponizing sexual assault accusations in order to attack Kremlin critics (George Takei, Kremlin critic accused of sexual assault).

Weaponizing information (Theresa May, UK prime minister).

Weaponizing misinformation (NPR).

Weaponizing the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe (Philip Breedlove, U.S. general, NATO, John McCain, U.S. senator).

Weaponizing humor (CNN, BBC).

Weaponizing “black America’s experiences” (Slate).

Using the popular cartoon Masha and the Bear as “soft propaganda” to indoctrinate British children (The Times of London).

“Promoting sex toys on Instagram to sow discord in the US” (Quartz).

Influencing the Standing Rock movement (Buzzfeed).

Making “‘useful idiots’ of unwitting environmental groups and activists”(U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology).

Targeting the U.S. embassy in Cuba with “some kind of microwave weapon, that is so sophisticated, that the Americans don’t even fully understand it” (Ken Dilanian, MSNBC reporter) [The microwave weapon turned out to be crickets. As in actual insects].

“Infiltrating” America’s Christian conservative homeschooling movement(Casey Michel, Think Progress).

Inflaming “race wars” across America with Facebook ads (Julia Ioffe, The Atlantic).

Assassinating self-exiled Russian journalist Sergei Babchenko (Ukrainian government) [Babchenko turned up alive the following day and revealed that he had faked his death in cooperation with Ukraine’s security services].

Whatever the hell Jonathan Chait was trying to explain with a Glenn Becksian diagram – “a plausible theory of mind-boggling collusion” (Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine).

Arming the Taliban (John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan; Nick Patton Walsh, CNN) [Nicholson’s claim was debunked by a two star US general speaking under oath. The report by Patton Walsh was thoroughly demolished by Task and Purpose].

Employing U.S. senator Rand Paul (John McCain, U.S. senator).

Interfering in the Catalan referendum (US Congressional Democrats).

Planning to interfere in Israel’s 2019 elections (Israeli Shin Bet General Security Service).

Recruiting Princeton/NYU professor emeritus Stephen F. Cohen to influence U.S. policy (Bill Browder, CEO Hermitage Capital) [Browder’s tweet was deleted after people pointed out that casually calling for Americans to be investigated by the FBI is not a good idea].

Funding The Intercept (Howard Dean, former Vermont governor and DNC head).

Spreading disinformation about Ukrainian neo-Nazis carrying out Roma pogroms (Howard Dean, former Vermont governor and DNC head).

Inflaming the NFL kneeling controversy “to make a big issue seem like an even bigger issue” (James Lankford, U.S. senator).

Inflaming ICE detaining immigrant children in cages controversy – “using the current family separation & immigration debate to sow discord among Americans” (James Lankford, U.S. senator).

Orchestrating the mailing of pipe bombs to Democratic lawmakers and liberal figures (Chuck Todd, MSNBC anchor).

Tricking Guardian journalist Luke Harding into writing a questionable, thinly-sourced story in order to make it look like Harding is an untrustworthy journalist (“Alex Finley”, ex-CIA officer writing under fake name).

Using “Soviet-era tricks to evoke racist white fears” (Terrell Starr, Washington Post).

Harvesting “American rage to reshape U.S. politics” (New York Times).

Dividing America (New York Times).

Using “vaccine debate to sow discord” (New York Times).

Sowing discord in the 2018 elections (Dan Coats, director of national intelligence).

Targeting African-Americans to suppress 2016 election turnout (New York Times).

Amplifying “existing divisions in American society” (USA Today).

Hacking “the mindset of the American people” (Malcolm Nance, MSNBC contributor and grown man).

Tricking Americans into thinking Jesus hates Hillary Clinton (New York Times).

Supporting Bernie Sanders (New Knowledge, which was later caught interfering in the 2017 Alabama Senate election).

Tricking Americans into voting for Bernie Sanders, via Facebook ads featuring drawing of buff Bernie Sanders (New York Times).

Turning Jill Stein into a Russian agent (Zac Petkanas, Democratic strategist, former Hillary Clinton campaign director of rapid response).

Is Putin using his influence to support/oppose [insert whatever you want here]? You’re probably right! For more information, please contact the appropriate Putin disinformation warriors:
  • Anything that can be sprinkled with meaningless terms like “active measures,” “useful idiot,” and “kompromat” and repackaged as expert analysis – Atlantic Council’s Disinfo Portal.
  • Things even the Atlantic Council won’t touch – Louise Mensch.
  • Game Theory – Eric Garland. more

The Leisure Class amuses itself


The following is from the Caucus99percent site. This is where all the good writers from Daily Kos went after it became abundantly clear in 2016 that Kos had no tolerance for the Progressive / Populist / New Deal wing of the Democratic Party and went out of his way to annoy the Bernie Sanders supporters.

The Russia Hoax sickens me. I have precious little tolerance for these sorts of maneuvers but this is worse than even the 1950-60s. My problem is that I have seen Russia, read her literature, listened to her music, and marveled at her playwrights.

And Ice Hockey—it's damn easy to follow the game in Minnesota and watched when Herb Brooks spent six seasons at the University of Minnesota reverse-engineering the hockey theories of Anatoly Tarasov—the supreme genius of Russian hockey. His efforts were rewarded when he coached a bunch of college kids to a Gold Medal in 1980 beating the top ranked teams in the world to do it—vs Czechoslovakia 7-3, USSR 4-3, Finland 4-2. Their only blemish was a 2-2 tie against Sweden who had the utterly awesome Pelle Lindbergh in net. Tarasov himself, who through bureaucratic Soviet stupidity was no longer the coach of the Big Red Machine, recognized that Brooks was his peer. How can such a relationship NOT be a good thing? And yet 39 years later we are being told that our diplomats are criminals if they even talk with their peers in Russia—thanks for nothing Russia bashers.

For me, the Russians are fellow people of winter and I find it exceeding difficult to watch politicians and news media defame these people for some cheap political advantage. They have suffered through great hardships over the last 150 years, and I find it disgusting to watch an ignorant weasel like Adam Schiff look into the camera and tell us easily refutable lies about one of the great cultures in history.

Moreover, the world is facing a climate calamity. Time is running out quickly. Our tax money should be spent of remediation, NOT on some exercise of "who can tell the biggest whopper and get away with it."

If You Have Been Playing "THE RUSSIA HOAX" at Home, along with Our Studio Audience, You'll Want to Grab this Clue!

Submitted by Pluto's Republic on Thu, 01/17/2019

Over the past few months, the table has slowly turned. Now the clues are taking us back to the corrupt nest where this plot to destroy the 2016 election and sabotage American democracy began. Who will be the Insider who turns on all the rest of the vipers in the Greatest Crime Against American People in US History?

Just how dirty was that Dossier?

According to the Tyler Durdens, it is dirtier that anyone imagined. This story was originally broken at The Hill by Jon Soloman:

We now have insider testimony that — from the beginning — the Justice Department and the FBI were both fully aware that the notorious Steele Dossier was connected directly to and paid for by Hillary Clinton (and likely not the DNC). Hillary Clinton's lawyer from Perkins Coie eventually admitted to paying Fusion GPS, disguising the payments as legal bills when it was in fact opposition research.

The Dossier was thus contaminated and biased - a crucial detail which was omitted just weeks later from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant used to spy on the Trump campaign.
When the annals of mistakes and abuses in the FBI’s Russia investigation are finally written, Bruce Ohr almost certainly will be the No. 1 witness, according to my sources.

The former #4 Department of Justice (DOJ) official, Bruce Ohr - who had extensive contact with Steele, briefed "both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele's Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative's work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton's campaign and might be biased."
Ohr’s activities, chronicled in handwritten notes and congressional testimony I gleaned from sources, provide the most damning evidence to date that FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in October 2016 in their zeal to obtain the warrant targeting Trump adviser Carter Page just weeks before Election Day.

Ohr's activities also contradict a key argument made by House Democrats in their attempts to downplay the significance of the Steele Dossier; that the FBI claimed it was "unaware of any derogatory information" about Steele, and that the former MI6 operative was "never advised ... as to the motivation behind the research." The FBI further "speculates" that those who hired Steele were "likely looking for information to discredit" Trump's campaign.

There was no "speculation" going on by the FBI. Thanks to Ohr's warning, they absolutely knew about Steele's bias against Trump while working for a Clinton-funded project to gather harmful opposition research on him.
Ohr had firsthand knowledge about the motive and the client: He had just met with Steele on July 30, 2016, and Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the same firm employing Steele.

“I certainly told the FBI that Fusion GPS was working with, doing opposition research on Donald Trump,” Ohr told congressional investigators, adding that he warned the FBI that Steele expressed bias during their conversations.

“I provided information to the FBI when I thought Christopher Steele was, as I said, desperate that Trump not be elected,” he added. “So, yes, of course I provided that to the FBI.”
When lawmakers pressed Ohr as to why he would volunteer that information to the FBI, he answered "In case there might be any kind of bias.... I tried to be clear that this is source information, I don’t know how reliable it is. You’re going to have to check it out and be aware."
::

We now discover that Ohr’s early consultations about the creation of the Steele dossier weren’t limited to the FBI, whom he reached out to on July 31, 2016. Ohr disclosed that in August 2016 — nearly two months before the FISA warrant was issued — he was asked to conduct a briefing for senior Justice officials.
Those Ohr briefed included Andrew Weissmann, then the head of DOJ’s fraud section; Bruce Swartz, longtime head of DOJ’s international operations, and Zainab Ahmad, an accomplished terrorism prosecutor who, at the time, was assigned to work with Lynch as a senior counselor.

Ahmad and Weissmann would go on to work for Mueller, the special prosecutor overseeing the Russia probe.
::

So, Mueller has known all along that the FISA warrants were bogus, but the desperate cover-up team gave him carte blanche to dig through every part of the warrant victim's lives looking for crimes — anything at all that could be thrown out to the media and the American people, like red meat to hungry dogs.

Meanwhile, throughout 2018, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee repeatedly sought to downplay Ohr's connections to Steele. Democrats were relentless in their cover-up efforts pertaining to the illegally obtained FISA warrants, using already debunked assertions as facts. One example is the House Memo on the FISA warrants, which is heavily redacted except for the copy sitting on President Trump's desk.
The Memo defending the FISA warrants from House Democrats - led by Rep. Adam Schiff's (D-CA), says that Ohr's contact with the FBI only began "weeks after the election and more than a month after the Court approved the initial FISA application." In the Memo, Schiff insisted that Ohr only notified the FBI about Steele after Steele was fired by the FBI in November 2016 for improper contacts with the media.

Ohr's testimony, however, refutes Schiff's Memo making it clear he was in contact with both FBI and DOJ officials well before the FISA warrant or the 2016 US election.

Ohr divulged his first contact with the FBI was on July 31, 2016, when he reached out to then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and FBI attorney Lisa Page. He then was referred to agents working Russia counterintelligence, including Peter Strzok, the now-fired agent who played a central role in starting the Trump collusion probe.
Ohr explicitly made the point to the FBI back then that Steele seemed desperate to see Donald Trump defeated. He told the FBI that Steele — the UK spy that he and his wife were working with — was biased in the extreme. The FBI never tried to guess or speculate as to Steele's motives in the Dossier, as they so testified.

So there's that. And so much more. The involvement of CrowdStrike in the forensic work and the incubation of the Hoax is a bonanza of malfeasance that I cannot wait to see fully exposed. If it is exposed before the whole thing is deep-sixed. Rumors are flying that the case could be shut down, buried in irrelevance, and classified forever. more