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Forced labor is bad

December 3, 2020

If there’s one thing you’d think Democrats and Republicans could agree on, it’s that using forced labor to make your products (you know: slavery) is bad. Republicans had to fight Democrats over that point in the 1860s, but they seem to have come around. Indeed, in September, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, a bill to ban products made by forced labor in China, passed the House 406-3 and is expected to soon pass in the Senate.

But now, there are reports that some major corporations have hired lobbyists to try to water down some of the provisions of the bill.

These companies include Coca-Cola, Apple and – what ho! – that ultra-woke critic of American injustice, Nike. The companies deny that they’re trying to weaken the bill or that they use forced labor. Nike replied that its lobbying efforts were merely “constructive discussions with staff of the Congressional Commission aimed at eliminating forced labor and protecting human rights.”

Meanwhile, China has denied alleged mistreatment of Uyghurs and claims that what have been described as concentration camps are actually “training centers.”

So everything’s all right then!

Oh, wait, to quote Columbo, just one more thing: Rick Moran of PJ Media reports that prominent leftist attorney and MSNBC contributor Neal Katyal, who became a darling of the left when he fought Trump’s travel ban (NOT a “Muslim ban”), was just at the Supreme Court representing corporate food giants Nestle and Cargill in a lawsuit filed by several actual former child slaves. They were kidnapped in Mali and brought to work on cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast.

Katyal made several compassionate legal arguments for why the former child slave laborers didn’t have the right to sue in the US, which didn’t seem to impress the Justices very much. Moran has more details at the link, along with the astute observation that fighting on behalf of big corporations against former child slaves will probably not make a dent in his cred among leftists. He’s already virtue signaled so hard that having no actual virtue is irrelevant.

"Who are you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?”

This line from the Marx Brothers movie DUCK SOUP seems appropriate right now, as the mind reels after a day of statements and sworn testimony Tuesday in multiple states, a parade of poll watchers and postal drivers detailing outrageous allegations of ballot manipulation: alteration, duplication, invalidation, segregation and even illegal transportation.

And the media's denial of what we can all see --- that's an abomination.

The reports involve hundreds of thousands of ballots in key states. These witnesses weren’t all Republicans and Trump supporters, either. Some were just people who smelled something fishy and thought they should speak up. Many of the claims came to light through the Thomas More Society’s Amistad Project, an independent investigation of voting and voter registration in several key battleground states.

In one report that seemed like something out of a movie (MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: Help Biden Win!), a U.S. Postal Service subcontractor said he’d been tasked with driving a trailer loaded with somewhere between 144,000 and 288,000 completed mail-in ballots (!) from Bethpage, New York, to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and that when he finished the run at the USPS depot in Lancaster, the truck “disappeared.” Yep, that’s what the man said.

Perhaps this trailer wasn’t taken by people trying to ditch a truckload of ballots. No, it might’ve been beamed up by space aliens who are studying our supposedly democratic system of voting.

Another subcontractor said he was told the USPS in Wisconsin was gathering over 100,000 late-arriving ballots on the morning of November 4 to backdate them so they’d still count. Yes, that’s hearsay, but he was told this separately by two different postal workers, who might want to consider testifying.

Multiple speakers said there was “widespread malfeasance” by Post Office employees. Besides backdating late ballots, they also ordered that Trump mail be sorted out and placed in the “Undeliverable Bulk Business Mail” bin while emphasizing that mail supporting Biden be delivered on time.

Others described violations of protocol involving Dominion voting machines. (Dominion vendors strike me as having been much too involved in our voting process.) A computer expert said that what they did rendered audits impossible “without direct forensic access to the machines.”

The Amistad group said “whistleblowers found that election officials in mostly Democratic areas manipulated ballots and campaign mail, potentially influencing the outcome. [They] detail the failure of election officials in blue jurisdictions to maintain ballot chain of custody, allowing for the potential infusion of fraudulent ballots.”

Tuesday seemed surreal, as stories such as these were pouring out at the same time the vote in key states was being certified for Biden.

And then Tuesday afternoon, the AP reported that Attorney General Barr had said that “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”

Rudy Giuliani, speaking for the Trump team, released a statement claiming there was “ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined. We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud. As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth.

But the dependable Catherine Herridge tweeted this: “From a DOJ spokesperson: ‘Some media outlets have incorrectly reported that the Department has concluded its investigation of election fraud and announced an affirmative finding of no fraud in the election. This is not what the Associated Press nor what the Attorney General stated. The Department will continue to receive and vigorously pursue all specific and credible allegations of fraud as expeditiously as possible.’”

By the way, in related news, AG Barr also said that as of October 19, U.S. Attorney John Durham has been appointed SPECIAL COUNSEL in the investigation surrounding the origins of the “Russia” probe. Durham’s work had been slowed by the pandemic and by (yes) additional information he uncovered. This appointment was made specifically to safeguard the probe in case Joe Biden became President. Unlike a U.S. attorney, who can be fired by the President at will and who in that case surely would be, a special counsel can be fired only by the attorney general and for specific reasons that include “misconduct, dereliction of duty, conflict of interest and other violations of Justice Department policy,” which must be documented in writing. Thank you, Mr. Attorney General.

If you’d like more details, RedState.com has plenty about the rules that apply to a special counsel. Very informative if you have the time.

Anyway, with Barr’s seemingly dismissive remark and the constant “gaslighting” from mainstream media and social media, it’s easy to start doubting your own eyes and intuition about what went on. You might feel just like the wife in this scene.

Her husband must work for CNN.

The Trump legal team presses on, filing suit on Tuesday in Wisconsin, claiming that officials there included 221,323 illegal votes in the recount and asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to order Democrat Gov. Tony Evers to rescind certification until any illegal votes can be removed from the count. “...We know with absolute certainty illegal ballots have unduly influenced the state’s election results,” they said. Details here.

A poll observer told the Michigan state senate that in Detroit, the military ballots she saw looked like “Xerox copies” of the same ballot, all for Biden. That was just one of many concerns there. By now it’s clear that this election was an unholy mess.

And the beat goes on. If you’re into statistical analysis, this piece by Michael Horowitz has more about the outrageous numbers Biden would have had to get to win in Pennsylvania by the margin he did with mail-in ballots.

Here’s more detail on Pennsylvania, with some magnificent commentary by Paul Kengor at the SPECTATOR. Just one particularly suspicious batch of ballots could have flipped the state to Biden.

As for Horowitz, he hasn't made an accusation of fraud at this point. “These are not conclusions or closing arguments,” he says, “but these observations definitely warrant further investigation for one simple reason: The entire premise of having an election with one-third of the ballots cast through mail was built upon an illegal political decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which unilaterally overrode state laws, violating the federal Constitution, which vests state legislatures with the power over election procedures. It also violated the state constitution.”

Horowitz’ next words are so appropriate, I’ll let him sum up: “The suggestion that we should somehow move on from this is a greater threat to democracy than anything in our history. Republicans who think they can just walk away from this without controversy will learn the hard way in the years to come about their inability to win against this novel way of electioneering.”

In other words, believe your own eyes.

New Project Veritas Expose

December 3, 2020

In their latest expose, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas revealed that they’ve been recording CNN’s conference calls for the past two months, including directives to reporters by CNN president Jeff Zucker. I’m not sure if this actually qualifies as news, though, because I can’t imagine anyone would be surprised to learn that it sounded more like a bunch of unhinged leftists having a dorm room Trump-hate bull session than a phone meeting of professional journalists discussing the news.

We did learn that CNN didn't want to cover the Hunter Biden laptop story (Jake Tapper called it “too disgusting” - at least he didn't call it "icky"), that Zucker thought CNN’s anti-Trump banner headlines were actually too polite, that he compared Trump not conceding to the situation preceding 9/11, and that he urged his staff to “go after Lindsay Graham.” There was also some smearing of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for “naked racism” and promoting white supremacy by CNN’s general counsel. CNN tried to accuse Carlson of racism for misidentifying the speaker as a black executive, but Carlson pointed out that CNN, perhaps desperate to change the subject, once again got the story wrong. Project Veritas misidentified the speaker, but Carlson didn’t identify him at all. Well, research and accuracy are not CNN’s strong points.

Rather than claim the tapes were fake or doctored or deny what they revealed, CNN expressed outrage at O'Keefe for recording them and threatened legal action for releasing them. I’m strangely reminded of the DNC’s response to the release of all those emails in 2016.

Zucker and CNN should just take a chill pill. I hardly consider it a major revelation to find out that CNN is not a news network but a biased propaganda mouthpiece for the Democratic Party. I would’ve been far more shocked if those tapes had revealed them engaging in actual, objective journalism.

President Trump himself has filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission, in his personal capacity as a candidate for re-election as President of the United States. The suit alleges “unlawful and unconstitutional acts.” Details are at the link, along with general information and updates on Trump’s legal fight and a place to donate to his Election Defense Fund.

Interestingly, the list of alleged unlawful acts includes activities involving a group we’ve reported on recently, the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), which came in from out of state to implement a new form of balloting in Wisconsin: unmanned, absentee ballot dropboxes “without adequate or uniform chain of custody standards and security protocols contrary to the Wisconsin Election code.”

According to this lawsuit, the CTCL funded (yes, FUNDED) a plan by the mayors of Wisconsin’s five largest cities --- Milwaukee, Madison, Kenosha, Green Bay and Racine --- to use these dropboxes. The mayors are also included in the suit. The dropbox plan was adopted by the Wisconsin Elections Commission for use throughout the state.

Remember the CTCL? We reported that they used to operate on a yearly budget of about $1 million but then got a whopping infusion of $350 million from Mark Zuckerberg. That should buy a whole lot of dropboxes. This release from the Amistad Project is really a must-read if you want to know what’s going on with all that money.

Donors to the CTCL include Facebook, Google, and progressive organizations such as Rock The Vote, Democracy Fund, and the Voter Information Project, which after a few clicks tells us it is a member of “the Election Infrastructure Subsector Coordinating Council,” which after a few more clicks we find is part of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). You know, the same public-private agency within the Department of Homeland Security that Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic are members of.

And, hoo boy. The header on the home page of the CTCL will have you rolling on the floor: “We harness the promise of technology to modernize the American voting experience. What you get: High-performing election offices. Increased public confidence and trust. A more resilient and adaptive election system. Better informed voters.” They say their job is to “ensure that our elections are more professional, inclusive and secure.”

What we got in this election –- though the mainstream media won’t report it –- was a freaking mess, an unmitigated disaster. If this is the “modernized” American voting experience, give me old-fashioned in-person voting with paper ballots and poll watchers from both parties standing calmly and politely by, as in the days of the dinosaurs. (Stone tablets would be fine with me as long as signatures are verified. One bonus is that they’re too heavy for mail-in.)

The CTCL website goes on to say they offer courses such as “Cybersecurity for Election Officials.” (Again, I’ll pause while you roll on the floor, laughing helplessly.) And on their page called “20 Ways Election Officials Increased Accessibility During the November Election,” they brag that “in California, Vermont and D.C., every registered voter received a mail-in ballot for the first time.” What could possibly go wrong?

They also work to register “voters serving out felony sentences” as “an issue of social and racial justice.” Thanks to their efforts, Cook County Jail in Illinois, the nation’s second largest prison, served as a polling location this year, marking “the first time in U.S. history that a prison hosted in-person early voting for a general election. It saw a 40 percent voter turnout rate, with over 2,000 incarcerated individuals casting ballots.”

They say they are also “educating Native Americans to reverse historic suppression.” I'm not sure, but I do have to wonder if they were involved in Nevada’s get-out-the-vote effort for Native Americans.

It appears that the CTCL goes into heavily-Democrat cities and pays election officials, but with strings attached. In Philadelphia, they reportedly required the city to open 800 new polling places. Should a non-government entity be coming in and changing how an election is managed?

Now that Election Day has passed, the CTCL is crowing about what a great job everybody did. I am not kidding. “Election officials are still hard at work canvassing ballots,” they say on their website, “conducting post-election audits, and certifying results, but the November 2020 election is largely over and, overall, IT WENT EXCEPTIONALLY WELL [emphasis mine].”

National Public Radio agreed. Don’t miss reading the transcript of this roundtable, as officials are patting each other on the back for how good a job they all did. It’s quite a hoot, funny and sad at the same time. These people are in a world of their own.

Anyway, as for the Wisconsin lawsuit that sent us down this rabbit hole. Jenna Ellis, Trump attorney and senior legal advisor for his campaign, said it “reveals an apparently coordinated effort to push a new form of balloting upon Wisconsin voters that was not protected by uniform chain of custody and security standards and protocols. Regrettably, this is the same sort of conduct we have seen across many battleground states that Democrats knew they had to win to defeat the President where the rules of the election were changed at the last minute and guardrails against fraud were simultaneously lifted.”

This is what Perkins Coie attorney Marc Elias was so busy setting up during the months leading to the election.

The dropbox plan is just one of the directives of the Wisconsin Elections Commission cited in the lawsuit. Trump accuses them of ordering election officials to “tamper with witness certifications on absentee ballot envelopes,” making it easier to count unlawful ballots. He also accuses them of issuing orders with the purpose of “undercutting” the state’s photo ID law.

It looks as though Big Tech, through lots of money and “directives” issued by the CTCL to heavily-blue cities, played a major role in creating the chaos we now have. Trump’s legal challenges are bringing this to light –- one more reason why he’s performing a public service by doing this.

President Trump’s team is continuing to challenge the vote, and I believe in giving him time to make his case, but it does appear that the odds are getting longer, with officials certifying votes and courts throwing out cases. Still, I believe in not reporting news until it’s actually news, so I have held off on commenting on all the speculation over who Joe Biden will name to his Cabinet. But now that Biden is actually giving us some names, it’s worth pointing out that, aside from the media, the reaction is not universal adoration.

So far, what we’ve seen is exactly what many expected: a lot of warmed-over Obama-era failures and entrenched Deep Staters with egos far in excess of their abilities, the very people Trump was referring to when he said that if the Obama Administration hadn’t been so bad, he never wouldn’t gotten near the White House. I already mentioned John “Iran Deal/Logan Act” Kerry being picked as "climate czar" (I think "Secretary of Hot Air" would be more accurate), but here are a few more blasts from the past that could be returning to prominence if Biden becomes President.

Biden is rumored to be considering Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin as CIA Director. At least it’s not John Brennan, but here’s what Michigan GOP chair Laura Cox had to say about that pick.

“From her support of the failed Iran Nuclear Deal to her inability to articulate any plans to fight America’s adversaries, Congresswoman Slotkin has proven time and again how grossly unqualified she is to handle foreign policy matters. It comes as no surprise that Joe Biden would consider someone this incompetent for his CIA Director, but I hope for the sake of the American people he has the wherewithal to pass on what would be a disastrous appointment.”

Okay, safe to say that might not be a universally acclaimed choice. But how about his reported pick for head of the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden?

Turns out she has a long history of spreading discredited Russia collusion hoaxes (ironically, she suggested that Russia switched votes to Trump in the 2016 election), and more to the point, a string of Twitter tweets rudely and viciously smearing the very Republican Senators who would have to vote for her to confirm her to the job. A spokesman for Sen. John Cornyn put Tanden’s chances of confirmation at “zero,” while other former top GOP staffers described her nomination as “a funeral” and “a sacrifice to the confirmation gods.”

Biden’s reported choices to lead his national security team, including the Secretaries of State and Defense, went straight from the Obama Administration into a DC consulting firm that doesn’t disclose its clients. The lack of transparency and ethics even drew criticism from leftwing blogs and the New York Times.

Even one of the people he chose to lead his transition team is under fire for being in charge of Los Angeles Metro while it’s under two federal criminal investigations.

I could go on, but you get the picture. He's being slammed for considering failures, liars and crooks, but what else does he have to choose from? Biden isn’t even officially the President-elect, and already the long knives are coming out from both directions. Even if he does become President, it might not be long before he starts feeling the wisdom of the old proverb: “Be careful what you wish for. You might get it.”

Johns Hopkins University published and then retracted a study that found that there has been no major increase in the expected number of deaths among all age groups in the US this year due to COVID-19.

The researcher found that while there was a sharp increase in COVID-19 deaths, there was a drop in deaths attributed to other causes, such as pneumonia or heart disease. In fact, “the total decrease in deaths by other causes almost exactly equals the increase in deaths by COVID-19.” He theorizes that deaths from other causes are being categorized as COVID-19 deaths. Also, the very elderly victims might have been expected to die of old age, seasonal flu or other causes if the pandemic hadn’t occurred.

Interestingly, Johns Hopkins University didn’t retract the study because they could cite anything inaccurate, but because it “was being used to spread misinformation about the pandemic,” and discount the danger of the virus or the need to take precautions. But if the numbers are correct, then why should the study be retracted? Is it the job of the university to only publish scientific facts that support a particular narrative, or to suppress facts just because someone might misinterpret or misuse them?

The researcher said he was even accused online of being a “COVID denier” (of course, he was.) He called those false accusations “devastating,” but said, “I stand my ground. The goal is never to undermine the effects of COVID-19 but to suggest a possible over-exaggeration in death numbers due to the pandemic.”

I thought we were supposed to listen to the scientists. I must be getting old because I remember when liberals thought that refusing to accept “inconvenient truths” was a bad thing.