#2016election

Pot calling the kettle black?

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Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach revealed yesterday that former VP Joe Biden received $900,000 from Burisma Group (the one his son Hunter worked for) for lobbying activities.

Derkach publicized documents which explained the channel of getting those funds. He said,

This was the transfer of Burisma Group’s funds for lobbying activities, as investigators believe, personally to Joe Biden through a lobbying company. Funds in the amount of $900,000 were transferred to the U.S.-based company Rosemont Seneca Partners, which according to open sources, in particular, the New York Times, is affiliated with Biden. The payment reference was payment for consultative services…According to the documents, Burisma paid no less than $16.5 million to [former Polish President, who became an independent director at Burisma Holdings in 2014] Aleksander Kwasniewski, [chairman of the Burisma board of independent directors] Alan Apter, [Burisma independent director] Devon Archer and Hunter Biden [who joined the Burisma board of directors in 2014]“…

Using political and economic levellers of influencing Ukrainian authorities and manipulating the issue of providing financial aid to Ukraine, Joe Biden actively assisted closing criminal cases into the activity of former Ukrainian Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, who is the founder and owner of Burisma Group…Biden’s fifth visit to Kyiv on December 7-8, 2015 was devoted to making a decision on the resignation of [then Ukrainian Prosecutor General] Viktor Shokin over the case of Zlochevsky and Burisma. Loan guarantees worth $1 billion that the United States was to give to Ukraine was the point of pressure. Biden himself admitted exerting pressure in his speech at the Council of Foreign Relations in January 2018, calling Shokin ‘son of a bitch who was fired.”

Derkach added that international corruption of this magnitude couldn’t have taken place without the participation of then Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko.

International corruption of this magnitude, as well as interference in the U.S. presidential election, could not have occurred without Poroshenko’s participation

…We see the conflict in which the new government of Ukraine faces due to the activities of the previous president. I want to emphasize that I’m almost sure, and not only I, but many journalists, that Poroshenko personally bears responsibility for the situation in which Ukraine has ended up, for dragging Ukraine into interfering in the U.S. presidential election, for a huge number of corruption scandals and international corruption that could not have occurred without his control or participation.

Of course, all this must be proven in a court of law, but isn’t it ironic that Biden is demanding Trump is impeached when it would seem the VP (undoubtedly in the full knowledge of the President) might have been complicit in quid pro quos with Ukraine himself.

Do we believe Joe Biden? Biden claimed he had never spoken to Burisma until a picture came out showing him playing golf with Devon Archer and his son, Hunter Biden, both directors of Burisma. Archer and Hunter were managing partners at Rosemont Seneca Partners. Archer was also a co-founder of the private-equity firm Rosemont Capital with Christopher Heinz, his college roommate at Yale. Archer had served as a senior adviser to Heinz’s stepfather, Democratic Senator John Kerry Kerry, during his 2004 presidential bid. Surely Joe never heard a peep about Burisma? Almost as believable as Bill Clinton’s chance meeting with AG Loretta Lynch on a Phoenix Airport runway, a day before her testimony on Hillary’s emails. Nothing to see here.

Kavanaugh 2.0? Do texts tell anything?

CM will say this from the outset. If Trump is actually guilty of a crime that validates formal impeachment, then the law of the land must prevail, regardless of partisan bias.

Unfortunately, this impeachment process smacks of Kavanaugh 2.0. Don’t be surprised if more allegations come out of the woodwork. After Kavanaugh’s eventual confirmation, recall that many who came forward in the hearings suffered bouts of amnesia or flat out reversed the initial allegations made. The Democrats remain so deranged, that if not careful, this could create an ill wind that will blow back on them if not successful.

Luckily for the Democrats, having a compliant mainstream media which can think of nothing better than aiding and abetting an impeachment are salivating so as to recover self-inflicted slumping ratings. So much for objective journalism. How cute that they pass so little airtime over allegations that US politicians could have family members embroiled in corrupt activities while they were in office. Don’t Americans see that as worth knowing? Isn’t it odd that Hunter Biden, a man with no experience in a particular field, was given a $600k job to act as a director, 10x the average CEO salary in the country?

How they missed the allegation that the first whistleblower, failed to disclose his meeting with House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff to the Inspector General Michael Atkinson. Atkinson didn’t follow up because he had no knowledge until it came out. Never mind that according to 18 U.S. Code § 1001, anyone who “falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact” might be guilty of making a false statement. A felony?

Now that whistleblower #1’s credibility is looking even shakier (given his testimony was based on second-hand information), how surprising that whistleblower #2 has come out of the woodpile with supposedly first-hand information. He claims to have evidence supporting the first. What a surprise?

Will he/she also be found to be a registered Democrat? Will he have the same impartiality of FBI agent Peter “at no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took” Strzok when the lead investigator of Hillary Clinton’s email saga and Trump’s alleged Russia collusion?

Now the media wolf pack is seizing on comments that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made supposedly about quid pro quo. He said,  “This is what we do. Nations work together and they say ‘Boy...if you can help me with X, we’ll help you achieve Y. This is what partnerships do. It’s win-win, it’s better for each of us.” If one looked at nearly every administration, countries look for mutual benefits. What is remotely odd about that? Does America give aid to countries that benefit it? Israel perhaps? If you help keep peace in the region, we’ll sell you state of the art equipment? Saudi Arabia? If you buy our fighter jets, we’ll buy your oil?

Zelenskiy said there was no quid pro quo. Australian PM Scott Morrison spoke of exactly the type of cooperation Australia and the US has had for decades. It isn’t a quid pro quo. It is mutual benefit. Sharing common values.

Officials taking part in the texts are Kurt Volker, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine; William Taylor, who was interim chargé d’affaires in Kiev is the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine; Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union; and Andrey Yermak, a top aide to Zelenskiy.

In an exchange dated Sept. 9, in a text Taylor sent to Sondland, the career diplomat wrote: “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”

Sondland responds: “Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind.

In a July 25 message between Volker and Yermak — the aide to Ukraine’s president Zelenskiy — which occurred just ahead of the Trump-Zelenskiy call, Volker wrote:

Heard from White House—assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate/’get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington.

Weeks later, on Aug. 9, Sondland and Volker exchange texts as they try to establish a date for Zelenskiy’s visit:

Sondland: “Morrison ready to get dates as soon as Yermak confirms.”

Volker: “Excellent!! How did you sway him? 🙂

Sondland: “Not sure I did. I think POTUS really wants the deliverable

So the texts go to show there was no quid pro quo which involved “monies being withheld”, which is the real point of attack by Schiff et al.

Does Trump wanting to get to the bottom of the very collusion during the 2016 election that the Democrats had been screaming about for the better part of two years all of a sudden require impeachment because that it doesn’t suit their purposes? Do they want a president to wield a big stick or be a wallflower? 

Washington Post gave 4 out of 5 Pinocchio’s to Adam Schiff. How hard must have that been? Pelosi removed Jerry Nadler from the investigation. Surely she must think to remove him given the incompetence he has shown? Now Schiff has made himself part of the investigation. He is now a witness. A bit hard to chair an impeachment enquiry when he himself is part of it.

What a farce.

Betting agency’s kiss of death?

History repeats? In the 2016 presidential election Paddy Power paid out on an expected Hillary Clinton win two weeks early. How wrong the betting agency was. How funny to watch the one sided mainstream media switch from 90% chance for Clinton to 98% for Trump. Expensive mistake.

CM has never forgotten watching a Bloomberg screen updating tallied Brexit votes and seeing the betting agencies scramble to cover their completely wrong odds as the count swept through the Midlands.

Now SportsBet has paid out early on a Bill Shorten win over PM Scott “ScoMo” Morrison. $1.3mn in total. A great stunt but this election is about cost of living, not climate change or refugees. Labor is no slam dunk as much as we were led to believe from the string of negative polls.

To be fair this election is so hard to call. The Coalition has been terrible since the Turnbull years but Shorten, for all of the easy ride into the Lodge, has hardly shown himself to be a clear winner. What on earth made him think ScoMo’s thoughts on whether gays would go to hell was even an issue? Now his Treasurer Chris Bowen is telling people not to worry if their largest asset falls into negative equity.

ScoMo has performed very well. Strong on numbers and content. Bill Shorten couldn’t count to save himself. CM only this morning pointed out the ridiculous claims made by Labor MP Richard Marles.

SportBet May yet prove correct but history has been a poor guide in recent years.

Media treating Aretha Franklin without R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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Instead of remembering Aretha Franklin as one of the most amazing singing talents over several generations, The Daily Beast couldn’t help but use her death to take a potshot at Trump. Surely that news was as easily told during her life rather than using the opportunity of her death because the clickbait was juicier. Instead of listing the decades of amazing talent, it’s better to be grubs.

The article suggests she turned down an invite to his 2017 inauguration but happily sung for him multiple times at Trump venues over many years.

So what is the point? That Franklin was happy to make money from Trump when he was a celebrity but since she was a backer of the Hillary Clinton campaign that might have conflicted with her sense of party affiliation? Ahh, but no, the article confirms that Elton John refused to perform too! Take that you evil POTUS!

Sadly, even in the deep sorrow of Franklin’s passing, the media can’t help but use it to push a narrative of hate. Sorry, who is spreading division? How about honoring her legacy?Pretty sure her final words had zip to do with Trump.

As Aretha would have said “you better think, think, what you’re trying to do to me!

Populism isn’t just for rednecks

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It is hard not to think of NY Democrat voters following in the path of what got Jeremy Corbyn cemented as UK Labour leader. Those tired of the Blairite Tory-lite Labour Party of old swooped in on a hardline socialist agenda. Tory’s pretending to be liberals. No thanks, they cried. Democrat-Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AO-C) romped home in NY booting 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley out. While NY has long been a deep blue state, clearly Crowley wasn’t seen as progressive enough. As a disciple of Bernie Sanders, AO-C embodies the idea that the only way the Dems stand a chance is to offer a proper “hard” alternative. Free education, healthcare, open borders and rattling cages in Texas tickled voters pink. Right out of the Bernie Sanders’ playbook. Full credit to her for nailing the mood of the electorate. No one can blame her for that. She even hammered progressive NY Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for not backing her prior to the primary, tweeting,

Unsurprising, but disappointing that @SenGillibrand didn’t even bother to talk to nor consider me before endorsing…You‘d think a progressive leader would at least be interested in how a no-corporate money Bronx Latina triggered the 1st NY-14 primary in 14 years on prog issues.

She has a point. It isn’t that Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters aren’t left. It is just that they, like Gillibrand, appear to be frauds of the faith the party proclaims it instills. Pretending to have a socialist progressive agenda while living it large behind huge gated mansions and in the pockets of the lobbyists funded by the major corporates. AO-C appears the real deal. Better to be an authentic socialist. Democracy ironically delivered her win. No doubt she’ll trounce her GOP opponent.

While AO-C is at this stage a one-off, her success could well pave the way for a blue-print for winning the true heart of the Democrat voters. Apart from self-professing that she ticks a lot of the diversity boxes there is something refreshing about what she represents. That populism is not just reserved for bigoted and racist angry white male supremacists. However this has unintended consequences for further polarizing a country. We only need look at Sarah Huckabee Sanders being asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant and chased across the street. Then to have Maxine Waters encourage people to hound Trump administration officials out of restaurants or gas stations. Is this the America Americans want? Surely most are appalled by such behaviours.

We might laugh at such a notion as fringe but Rasmussen Reports noted yesterday, “Thirty-one percent (31%) of Likely U.S. Voters say it’s likely that the United States will experience a second civil war sometime in the next five years…59% of all voters are concerned that those opposed to President Trump’s policies will resort to violence, with 33% who are Very Concerned. This compares to 53% and 28% respectively in the spring of Obama’s second year in office.”

Miriam Webster Dictionary tweeted that “‘Socialism’ has been our top search (+1500%) since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s primary win last night.” There is a touch of irony in a recent CIS survey of millennials which showed that 63% of university graduates were in favour of socialism despite more than half (51%) hadn’t heard of Chinese communist revolutionary Mao,  responsible for as many as 45 million deaths during the ‘Cultural Revolution’. Similarly, 42% didn’t know of Lenin, the father of modern communism, or World War II Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, responsible for the deaths of up to 43 million people.

Of interest, such a wave of socialism delivered by AO-C will only serve to feed the mentality of the sharks that elected Trump. AO-C has exposed just how policy-lite the likes of Waters, Pelosi and Schumer are. They realise Trump will romp home in 2020 unless there is a real alternative. Whether we like to admit it or not, Trump still has the highest approval rating of any Western leader – Trudeau, May, Macron, Turnbull and Merkel included. Incumbent Democrats have only shown their jealousy. The previous State of the Union speech spoke volumes of the inane levels of bitterness.

Americans are sick and tired of self-serving politicians. They want policy not public shaming and grandstanding. They want to see action not the use of children for political purposes. Whatever the stance of Americans on illegal immigrants at the border, decades of inaction has led to the sorry state it is in.

Of course it is easy to point fingers at POTUS for his insensitivity yet how soon it is they forget he has issued an executive order to ban separation from parents. How they overlook that countless numbers of innocent children used by smugglers that have died as they were abandoned in the desert across the border by their ‘supposed’ parents once ‘compassion’ was granted. All this prior to Trump taking office. That 80% of illegal immigrant girls and women are sexually assaulted before reaching the border, according to HuffPo. Hardly the type of humanity anyone with a pulse wants to see.

The viral Time Magazine photo-shopped cover of a little girl crying was used with great effect by the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) to raise $20mn via crowdfunding! $20 million!! Even after it was revealed that the child – stolen from her father – was never separated from the mother (who left her other 3 kids behind) and paid a smuggler to get to the border, RAICES still shamelessly uses the picture to boost its funding target to $25mn. That shows the power of just how willing Trump haters will go to support organizers with questionable ethics. Oh the irony of Democrat Chuck Schumer rejecting the very changes to the immigration laws they themselves put forward. At least AO-C seems to be walking the talk, however misguided her altruism may be.

Michael Moore correctly said before the 2016 election that “Trump is the Molotov cocktail in the system”. Despite his often vulgar methods, he has merely publicized long festering wounds created by decades of indifference. One can shout from the  roof tops at record low unemployment, record financial markets and economic growth but beneath the surface poverty remains above that seen before the GFC and income disparity has never been wider. AO-C should be sending shivers down the spine of the DNC. The incumbents though the cost of derailing Bernie Sanders was a one off. Now AO-C has exposed just how shallow the status quo is. Maybe Nancy Pelosi summed her fears best herself,

They made a choice in one district. So let’s not get yourself carried away as an expert on demographics and the rest of that. Within the caucus or outside the caucus, we are — again, we have an array of genders, generations, geography, and there is opinion in our caucus, and we’re proud of that. The fact that in a very progressive district in New York, it went more progressive than — Joe Crowley is a progressive, but she’s more left than Joe Crowley, is about that district...”

Not even Pelosi’s record breaking 8-hr speeches talking about the pride felt in her grandson wanting to be Hispanic will ever trump someone like AO-C whom seems to carry the liberal cause with the type of fervor that matches their social virtues. Populism indeed works both ways.

CM always said at the time of Trump’s election that the best outcome of his victory will be that it causes more people to deeply rethink about how much their vote truly counts. Democracy delivers. From the richest to the poorest, everyone has equal say. More politicians are slowly waking up from the slumber that incumbency in politics is no longer a given. That is a good thing, even if CM is not a fan of what AO-C supports. Then again that is a matter for American citizens alone to make, not CM’s.

Food insecurity & poverty levels by US state & the 2016 election result

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The US Department of Agriculture listed the level of food insecurity by US state as at the end of FY2016. Looking at the data, Deplorables (states that voted Republican (red) in the 2016 election) made up 20 of the 25 states that suffered the most from it. Coincidence? Looking at the % below the poverty line and 19 out of 25 states voted for Trump. Coincidence? There is a touch of irony that the Democrats, which push for citizens to be married to the state, were by and large rejected by those suffering the most and want to be free of the shackles of poverty. So is it any wonder they’d reject the establishment. Should also be a signal for the Democrats to think more widely about what makes the Deplorable tick – not free hand outs. Opportunity!

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