“No Durham Report” No breaking news here

  • “Huge News”? Not To Us !
  • Is been predictable for months, obvious for weeks
  • Greatest political crime in 60 years, arguably in American history
  • Effective resolution possible, but denied

We’ve suggested this so often, we’ve even bored ourselves with the repetition.

……………………………

‘Barr and Durham’, we are sad to finally acknowledge… are not a crack investigation team…or ‘prosecutors extraordinaire’!

They’re a Vaudeville Act…or should be. Webster should get going immediately to rewrite his definitions of “impeccable”, and “accomplished”, and “above reproach”.

Instead of their current ‘definitions’, these terms should be defined by what they are: “Terms used to manipulate and mislead gullible, honest people who believe that when applied to Washington politicians and bureaucrats, they are meant to imply that these are ‘people of great honor and character’.

To review, again, very briefly:

William Barr burst on the DC scene as a former Attorney General, of impeccable reputation and accomplishment. A “no-nonsense” guy who would always ‘do the right thing’. In his earliest appearances before congress and in the media, Mr. Barr expressed his shock, surprise, concern about what he had seen the federal law enforcement and national security apparatus under the Obama regime do to undermine a legally elected presidency, disenfranchise nearly half of all adult American citizens of their voting rights , and attempt to destroy the integrity of the American “Experiment”.

A grateful nation was assured that this honest, smart man would have the courage and the will to get to the bottom of this sordid event and see that true justice was done. And Mr. Barr assured us all that that was correct.

To underscore that promise,, the AG named John Durham as the ‘lead’ guy in that effort. Another “above reproach” individual, with unassailable character and enormous investigative skills. And unbelievable courage also!

Praise the Lord! America, its values, its freedoms, its promise…in good hands!

UNTIL THIS….  (via RedState)

HUGE NEWS! NO DURHAM REPORT, INDICTMENTS COMING, PER SOURCES 

This is not the kind of big news you want to get on an otherwise slow Sunday morning, but here it is. Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo is reporting this morning that there will be no Durham interim report or indictments coming before the election. By the wording, she may actually be saying there’s no report coming at all.
If true, this is a travesty of justice of the highest order given what has transpired the last five years.

This isn’t someone leaking to the Times to cover their backside. Bartiromo is typically solid and is not anti-Trump in the least.

Whether or not you believe this news will probably depend on the level of cynicism you normally operate with in regards to this topic. I’ve been far more skeptical of the Durham investigation than even I’d like to admit at times. While I want people to be brought to justice, it’s the kind of thing that never seems to happen when the targets are of a Democrat nature (yeah, I know Comey is a “Republican”).

There are other reasons to think this is true though. With only five weeks before the election, was the DOJ really going to throw an “election interference” bomb into the mix by indicting high-level anti-Trump figures right before the vote? That’s always been a fear of mine for a while, i.e. that those involved in this investigation and Lindsey Graham’s Senate investigation would successfully run out the clock and try to wait until the transition period. It appears both those things have happened, as we are now so close to the election that no one that lacks Trump’s will and demeanor, which is necessary to do what’s right in this case, is going to want to be seen as influencing the election. Trump wouldn’t care, nor should he, but Bill Barr might. Lindsey Graham would.

All of this should have ended months ago. The Durham investigation has now had nearly as much time as the Mueller investigation had. Graham’s Senate committee quite literally had years to get their interviews and report done. Now, even if they move before the election, they will be playing right into Democrat hands.

This is a strategic blunder, but it’s also a moral blunder. The American people need to know they have a justice system that treats all people fairly, regardless of political persuasion. Right now, that trust has been shattered, and for very good reason. The DOJ had a chance to pick up the pieces and make this right. Instead, they’ve delayed and stonewalled just like the FBI has. Is this a move being made to protect people because they think Trump will lose? I don’t know what the motivation is, but it’s unacceptable.

Of course, again, maybe this isn’t true? But it would be par for the course. We’ll see where this leads, but I’m not hopeful at this point.

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If Peggy Noonan defends SCOTUS nominee, are we in trouble?

Democrat Christian haters (it is now in their DNA) may try to use Trump SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barret’s membership in a Catholic prayer group “community” as fodder to accuse her of extremism or something.  From NeverTrumper WSJ columnist Peggy Noonan:

“If they are right-wing religious extremists someone had better tell Pope Francis, who appointed a member of People of Praise’s South Bend community as auxilliary bishop of Portland, Ore. The pope has created a Vatican body to serve the renewal, and reminded the world-wide movement that its work must include service to the marginalized. Austen Ivereigh, author of an admired biography of Pope Francis and an essayist who writes with some asperity of conservative Catholicism, has written that although the Charismatic Renewal hasn’t been distinguished by its social commitments, “there are important exceptions to this story,” and People of Praise in South Bend is one.” (P. Noonan’s column, 9/26)

She could be less than much of the conservative enthusiasm warrants  but the best guide for us would be her legal opinions, a reliable summary of which we will endeavor to find and post.  Even that score is not perfect as some climbers can play politics on their way up and then when the power and majesty of being a member of SCOTUS hits , their constitutional humility subsides.   V’PAC
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Great “GOP Team” Campaign Ad Out of Where Else, TEXAS

Thanks to several forwards . . .

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We wonder if every Democrat in DC has “liability insurance”?

  • Justice delayed is justice denied –  Durham not listening
  • What is keeping Durham from pressing his case — it looks like the swamp could maintain a mutual liability insurance company?
  • Deep state corruption being slow-walked by Durham, at best, only fast enough for plausible deniability depending on how the election goes

38 Days...If Barr has not made big moves on this before then…that is, releasing results of John Durham’s investigation, along with the appropriate legal action, it is all too late! Already, the liberal media will ignore the release of solid evidence of even the most serious wrongdoing by the Obama administration related to the “Russia investigation”.

Nearly all the cable networks and the so-called “mainstream” news sources will, if not ignore completely, downplay the seriousness of those actions…as the election approaches.

And, if President Trump were to fail to be re-elected, the “investigation”, and its findings will disappear from the public eye and no justice will ever be achieved.

Aren’t William Barr and John Durham aware of that?       dlh

FBI agent: Never was evidence of Russia collusion but Mueller team had ‘get Trump’ goal
Agent says Flynn case should have been shut down but FBI kept it open without legal grounds. 

An FBI agent who played a lead role investigating Michael Flynn told the Justice Department there was never evidence of wrongdoing by the retired general or Russian collusion by President Trump, but the probe was kept open by Special Counsel Robert Mueller because his team had a “get Trump” goal, according to an explosive interview released Friday.

Agent William Barnett’s interview with Justice Department prosecutors earlier this month provided a bombshell claim that both FBI superiors under agency Director James Comey and Mueller’s team exhibited bias in their pursuit of Trump that upended the normal investigative decisions, tactics and commitment to pursue evidence neutrally.

“BARNETT thought that the TRUMP campaign may have been aware the Russians were attempting to impact the election but that was far different from the TRUMP campaign and the Russians having a deal and/or working together quid pro quo,” the report of his Sept. 17 interview reads.

“BARNETT” and others joked about how the investigation into collusion could be made into a game, which they referred to as “Collusion Clue.”

In the hypothetical game, investigators were able to choose any character conducting any activity in any location and pair this individual with another character and interpret it as evidence of collusion.

Barnett added: “With respect to Flynn’s [phone call] with the Russian ambassador in December 2016 BARNETT did not believe Flynn was being directed by TRUMP. BARNETT did not believe FLYNN had any additional information to provide SCO.

Barnett believed the prosecution of Flynn by SCO was used as a means to ‘get TRUMP.’ “

Barnett described how the top levels of the FBI, including now-fired Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, suddenly took over the investigation after Trump won the November 2016 election and continued to keep the case going even though there was “little detail concerning specific evidence of criminal events.”

“BARNETT still did not see any evidence of collusion between the TRUMP campaign and the Russian government,” the interview report stated. “Barnett was willing to follow any instructions being given by the deputy director as long as it was not a violation of the law.”

The agent added that he thought the investigation was built on “supposition on supposition,” especially the predicate to investigate Flynn, which he described as “not great” and “not clear.”

Like the analysts who allegedly bought liability insurance, Barnett said he had reservations that the FBI’s conduct of the case might boomerang. Specifically, he feared, the pursuit of Trump and Flynn was “problematic and could result in an inspector general investigation.”
—–

How weak did they think their case?

Flynn Investigators Reportedly So Scared Of Getting Caught and Being Wrong They Bought Liability Insurance 

More damning reports:

https://thefederalist.com/2020/09/24/trump-was-right-explosive-new-fbi-texts-detail-internal-furor-over-handling-of-crossfire-hurricane-investigation/

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Media and guilty Democrats: NO EVIDENCE WAS PRESENTED THAT 2 PLUS 2 EQUALS 4

NO EVIDENCE WAS PRESENTED THAT 2 PLUS 2 EQUALS 4:

Hunter Biden’s Ukraine Work Raised Concerns With Obama Officials, GOP-Led Probe Confirms

Findings don’t support Trump’s accusation that Joe Biden sought to remove a prosecutor to protect a gas firm whose board Hunter Biden served on

(Wall Street Journal, 9/23/20)
———————————————————————————————————-

Findings don’t support…?

– Hunter Biden (The Sleepy One’s son), was recruited for its board by Burisma Holdings, a corrupt Ukrainian natural gas company.

– He was hired by Burisma May, 2014, just 2 months after being discharged from the US Navy for cocaine use.

– With no experience or special knowledge of the natural gas industry, Hunter was regarded as a Burisma asset apparently because his father led the US policy toward Ukraine; Hunter was paid $50,000/month for a 5 year period ending in April, 2019. 

– Two Obama administration officials raised concerns to the White House in 2015 about Hunter Biden serving on the board of a Ukrainian natural-gas company while his father, then Vice President Joe Biden, led U.S. policy efforts toward the country

– Vice President Biden, in his role as the lead on U.S. Ukrainian policy was charged with investigating alleged corruption in that country.

– The elder Biden,  had publicly bragged about how he had threatened the Ukrainian government that he would withhold US aid to the country amounting to billions$ if the prosecutor was not fired. The prosecutor is alleged to have been investigating for corruption at the time, Burisma, the company with which Hunter Biden had a very lucrative arrangement.

– Yoshiko M. Herrera, a political science professor and an expert on Russia and Eurasia, spoke with The Washington Post on conflicts of interest in Hunter Biden taking the role while his father was vice president.

“I think there is a conflict of interest even if it doesn’t break any laws. It’s a big deal,” the professor said. “It’s the vice president, who is the point person of the Obama administration’s policy on Ukraine, and his son is suddenly hired to be a director on the board of Ukraine’s largest private gas producer.”

– As Business Insider reported, there are concerns in the Trump administration that Biden improperly leveraged his role as vice president to push for the ousting of a the top prosecutor in Ukraine, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating corruption — this being the alleged quid pro quo incident involving Joe Biden.

—————

Friends, there are 39 days to go before the presidential election.

There has been an investigation by the Dept of Justice going on for well over a year to determine if there was wrongdoing on the part of Obama administration officials and the national security and law enforcement apparatus in this country. Evidence already revealed strongly indicates there was wrongdoing…of the most serious kind, and directed from the highest levels of U S government.

An Attorney General, with the reputation for the highest integrity and unassailable credentials has expressed concerns over the seriousness of the matter and the threat to the legal, governmental, and security institutions of America, and has accepted the responsibility to determine the facts of the matter and bring to justice the people responsible.

And yet, the national news media has expressed only great indifference to the matter and downplayed any evidence as it is revealed.

The favorite phrase used by the media to refute a report this week by the Senate committee about any highly plausible indication of guilt on the part of the previous administration has been, “without evidence”!

The  Senate report issued this week concerning the Biden involvement in the Ukrainian corruption scandal is  a  stark foreshadowing of how the results of the Barr-Durham investigation…if they are ever revealed…will be treated.

The Wall Street Journal, whose ‘news ‘ pages cannot be described as “pro-Trump” in any way, provide the clue to the pattern: “Findings don’t support Trump’s accusation that Joe Biden sought to remove a prosecutor to protect a gas firm whose board Hunter Biden served on”

“Findings don’t support…” (At the beginning of this piece, a few of the known facts and assessments of the Bidens’ behavior is presented.)

It’s true! The ‘prosecutor’ did not provide a notarized letter to the Journal admitting that he was pursuing a corruption case against the “gas firm”; Joe Biden also did not issue a confession that he fired “the prosecutor” in order to protect his son.

And until those things happen, the Journal is confident that the public cannot prove that 2 plus 2 equals 4…the allegation is, thus,  ‘without evidence”.

And so, it will go with the ‘so-called’ Barr-Durham investigation. Barr has dragged his feet on this matter since the beginning…either out of some unrealistic and exaggerated sense that there should never be an indictment or a conviction in a case of official corruption unless a band of angels delivers the message ‘it is so’ from the Lord Himself, or, that Barr, Durham, or both, really don’t want to uncover wanton wrongdoing on the part of the nation’s highest officials…for any number of reasons, including being accused of “politics”..

Either way, they’ve handled the case, in that light, spectacularly. They’ve drug it out until a revealing report at this point…39 days from the election…would receive no traction, no news coverage, only denials which could not be overcome in such a brief period of time.

And the Wall Street Journal has shown how deftly massive facts and evidence can be shelved, disregarded by a simple failure to show, “without evidence:”, that 2 plus 2 equals 4 !       dlh

———————-

For reference, The WSJ story: 9/23/20 see below

Hunter Biden’s Ukraine Work Raised Concerns With Obama Officials, GOP-Led Probe Confirms

Findings don’t support Trump’s accusation that Joe Biden sought to remove a prosecutor to protect a gas firm whose board Hunter Biden served on

Again:

– Two Obama administration officials raised concerns to the White House in 2015 about Hunter Biden serving on the board of a Ukrainian natural-gas company while his father, then Vice President Joe Biden, led U.S. policy efforts toward the country, a Senate investigation by Republicans concluded.

– officials working on U.S.-Ukraine relations saw Hunter Biden’s position as creating the perception of a conflict of interest with his father’s work

– a spokesman for the Biden campaign, said before the report’s release that Sen. Ron Johnson, the Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee who led the probe, was using committee resources to “subsidize a foreign attack against the sovereignty of our elections with taxpayer dollars—an attack founded on a long-disproven, hard-core right-wing conspiracy theory.”

– Republicans have accused Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden that he sought the removal of the country’s top prosecutor to protect the gas company, Burisma Holdings, from investigation.    dlh


WASHINGTON—Two Obama administration officials raised concerns to the White House in 2015 about Hunter Biden serving on the board of a Ukrainian natural-gas company while his father, then Vice President Joe Biden, led U.S. policy efforts toward the country, a Senate investigation by Republicans concluded.

The GOP-led probe shows that officials working on U.S.-Ukraine relations saw Hunter Biden’s position as creating the perception of a conflict of interest with his father’s work, a concern that had previously been made public during last year’s impeachment proceedings. The findings, outlined in an 87-page report, don’t support a central accusation President Trump and other Republicans have made about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s duties in Ukraine: that he sought the removal of the country’s top prosecutor to protect the gas company, Burisma Holdings, from investigation.

“Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board cast a shadow over the work of those advancing anticorruption reforms in Ukraine,” the report says, calling the arrangement “problematic.”

Both Bidens have denied wrongdoing.

Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, said before the report’s release that Sen. Ron Johnson, the Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee who led the probe, was using committee resources to “subsidize a foreign attack against the sovereignty of our elections with taxpayer dollars—an attack founded on a long-disproven, hard-core right-wing conspiracy theory.” 

An attorney for Hunter Biden didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

With the report, Republicans on the Homeland Security and Finance committees sought to return a spotlight to the work the Bidens did in Ukraine, renewing a partisan battle over an issue that was central to Mr. Trump’s impeachment weeks before the presidential election. Mr. Trump’s attempt last year to press the Ukrainian president to investigate the Bidens led to his impeachment in the Democrat-led House, which ended with acquittal in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, left, with Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, center, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sept. 16.

Republicans have long said Hunter Biden’s service on the Burisma board represented a conflict of interest with Joe Biden’s policy role in Ukraine. 

In their own report released Wednesday in response to the Republican probe, Democratic Sens. Gary Peters and Ron Wyden, the top Democrats on the Homeland Security and Finance panels, said there remained no evidence that Joe Biden distorted policy to favor his son. They also charged Republicans with knowingly mirroring Kremlin-backed disinformation about the Bidens, saying the investigation relied on witnesses that have promoted Russian disinformation narratives. 

“It is unconscionable that the chairmen are continuing to advance false information intended to undermine our democratic process at the expense of the bipartisan work we should be doing to protect our national security,” Mr. Peters said.

Republicans said they relied largely on U.S. documents and testimony from U.S. officials.

The Republican investigation plumbed Hunter Biden’s financials, including payments he received from foreign entities and transactions that the report said were flagged for potential criminal activity. The committees requested information from the Treasury Department, which collects millions of suspicious activity reports from banks and financial institutions each year, as part of their probe.

Democrats wrote in their report that the information in the financial documents the committees obtained hasn’t been verified.

The Republican report contained few revelations about the Bidens’ work in Ukraine that haven’t previously emerged publicly. Republicans identified as a central finding the efforts of a State Department official, George Kent, to raise concerns in 2015 with unidentified officials at the White House working for Mr. Biden about his son’s position at Burisma. Mr. Kent served as the acting deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

Mr. Kent previously told congressional investigators in testimony during last year’s impeachment inquiry of his concern about Hunter Biden’s board position and the potential optics of a conflict of interest, which he said at the time he had raised with the Obama White House.

“The presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine,” Mr. Kent wrote in a September 2016 email to other senior State Department officials.

In testimony to the Senate committees for their investigation, the report says Mr. Kent explained he was concerned Hunter Biden’s position could send the wrong message at a time when U.S. officials were pressing Ukraine to root out corruption. He said he believed that Hunter Biden should have stepped down from his position at Burisma. Hunter Biden took the board position with Burisma in May 2014 and stepped down in April 2019 and was paid roughly $50,000 a month for his work.

Mr. Kent also said that the U.S. government never made a decision about Burisma that was affected by Hunter Biden’s presence on the company’s board.

“So there was no time, as I’ve testified, that the U.S. government, the U.S. Embassy ever made a decision about Zlochevsky or Burisma where we took the presence of a private citizen on the board into account. We made the decision on the merits,” Mr. Kent told Senate investigators.

In addition to Mr. Kent, the Senate committees also found that Amos Hochstein, a U.S. special envoy for international energy affairs, raised concerns directly to Joe Biden about his son serving on the Burisma board. Mr. Hochstein testified that he informed the vice president in October 2015 that media outlets tied to Russia were highlighting Hunter’s position to undermine his anticorruption efforts in Ukraine.

Hunter Biden has said that being on Burisma’s board while his father worked on the U.S. relationship with Ukraine showed poor judgment.

Mr. Trump and allies have said that Joe Biden’s call for the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor in 2016 while vice president was to protect his son as Ukrainian officials probed Burisma, though they never brought charges. During Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial, Republicans highlighted a video from 2018 of Joe Biden discussing with a U.S. think tank his earlier threat to withhold loan guarantees from Ukraine if the country didn’t fire the prosecutor.

Joe Biden’s actions at the time had the support of the Obama administration, Republicans in Congress and U.S. allies, and were aimed at a prosecutor accused of corruption at a time the Burisma probe was dormant. The report states that witnesses said Joe Biden was executing the U.S. policy consensus by pushing for the removal of the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin.

Mr. Shokin has denied any misconduct, calling his firing illegal.

The owner of Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky, a minister of natural resources in Ukraine until 2012, was accused by anticorruption activists in Ukraine of improperly granting gas-extraction licenses to firms affiliated with him, and was investigated for alleged abuse of power, illegal enrichment and money laundering. Mr. Zlochevsky was never formally charged with any crimes and has denied any wrongdoing. Mr. Kent told Senate investigators that he viewed Mr. Zlochevksy as corrupt.

Timeline: Interactions Between Trump's Camp and Ukraine

Timeline: Interactions Between Trump’s Camp and Ukraine

President Trump’s efforts to persuade Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, have set off an impeachment inquiry by House Democrats. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday lays out a timeline of interactions between the president’s inner circle and Ukrainian officials. Photo Composite: Laura Kammermann/The Wall Street Journal (Originally Published October 4, 2019)

The prosecutor Joe Biden sought to have removed had dragged his feet on those investigations, Western diplomats have said, and effectively quashed one in London by failing to cooperate with U.K. authorities, who had frozen $23.5 million of Mr. Zlochevsky’s assets.

Mr. Johnson said last year in a radio interview the “whole world” thought Mr. Shokin wasn’t doing a good job. Witnesses in the Senate probe said the U.S. wanted Mr. Shokin removed in 2016 in part so the country would investigate Mr. Zlochevsky more rigorously, according to the report.

The report includes emails provided by Andrii Telizhenko, a former Ukrainian diplomat who has accused the Ukrainian government of actively working against Mr. Trump in the 2016 election. Democrats have questioned the Republican interest in Mr. Telizhenko amid concerns from U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia is seeking to spread disinformation about Mr. Biden to harm his presidential candidacy. In May, Mr. Johnson called off a planned vote on a subpoena for Mr. Telizhenko, after a classified FBI briefing.

Republicans said that Obama administration officials had previously been in frequent contact with Mr. Telizhenko when he worked in Washington.

Mr. Telizhenko, who has worked closely with Trump personal attorney Rudi Giuliani in his efforts to gather information in Ukraine, said: “I’m glad that all the facts about Biden that were in the press before and dismissed as conspiracy theories have now been put out by the Senate.”

————–

(Joe Biden Politifact “fact checks”

Biden said:

“Here’s the deal: 3 plus 3 equals 7…no joke!”

GOP says he’s lying”

——————————————————————————————————–

Politifact: Biden did say that ; At the time, however, there were many Democrats who held the similar belief regarding 3 plus 3; therefore Biden didn’t lie; the charge is wrong!

Donald Trump ad misleads about Joe Biden, Ukraine and the prosecutor

A campaign ad from President Donald Trump claims it has “facts” about the Bidens and Ukraine, but instead mashes ideas together to create a highly misleading 30-second tale.

“Fact: Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire its prosecutor,” the narrator says, and then cuts to a clip of a Biden statement: “if the prosecutor is not fired you’re not getting the money. Well son of a bitch, he got fired.”

The ad then continues:

“Fact: the prosecutor said he was forced out for leading a corruption probe into Hunter Biden’s company. Fact: Democrats want to impeach President Trump for discussing this investigation with Ukraine’s President. Fact: Donald Trump won but Democrats want to overturn the election.”

The ad distorts the known facts about Ukraine prosecutor general Viktor Shokin and Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, where Biden’s son Hunter Biden served on the board.

The Trump campaign announced the TV ad on Oct. 9. It has also been visible on social media.

Key takeaways:

• Biden did want Shokin fired, but western leaders had widely criticized the prosecutor general as corrupt and ineffective. Biden was leading a widespread consensus in asking for removal.

• A former Ukrainian official said the investigation into Burisma was dormant under Shokin.

• Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry for Trump’s statements suggesting he wanted Ukraine to investigate a political rival in exchange for political favors.

“Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire its prosecutor.”

Biden did call for Ukraine to fire Shokin, but the ad fails to note that there were widespread calls for his ouster.

Biden assumed a lead role in U.S. diplomacy toward Ukraine after a popular revolution in early 2014 that led to pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych fleeing the country. Shokin became top prosecutor in 2015, after Yanukovych went into exile. A frustrated Biden in Dec. 2015 threatened to withhold $1 billion unless Shokin was fired, in hopes that a new prosecutor would do more to enforce the law. According to Biden, it worked. 

The Trump campaign ad includes a clip of Biden’s partial reports at a Jan. 23, 2018, event sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. Biden spoke about getting a commitment from then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and from then-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

“I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours,” Biden recounted. “If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a b—-. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”

In spite of the spin that Politifact dutifully uses to shield Biden, read carefully Trump distorted nothing about “the known facts”.  Politifact is incredibly impervious to any implications of the Biden connections and benefit from Ukraine corruption.

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Instead of Covid Panic Sweden Does Science

  • The many months of often draconian response elsewhere is far worse than the threat

Friends here are two articles re-posted in their entirety that appeared in The Spectator UK. We do this for key articles to facilitate learning, and any commentary we can impart, and because in the current climate who knows how long the internet gods will allow revealing but contra one-world-government doctrine to be accessed.  They may over look our humble offerings (like the search-engines do anyway).  Bold our emphasis.

How dangerous is Covid? A Swedish doctor’s perspective
spectator.co.uk/article/how-dangerous-is-covid-a-swedish-doctor-s-perspective/amp
Sebastian Rushworth       11 Aug 2020, 9:08am

I want to preface this article by stating that it is entirely anecdotal and based on my experience working as a doctor in the emergency room of one of the big hospitals in Stockholm, and on living as a citizen in Sweden. As many people know, Sweden is perhaps the country that has taken the most relaxed attitude towards the Covid pandemic. Unlike other countries, Sweden never went into complete lockdown. Non-essential businesses have remained open, people have continued to go to cafés and restaurants, children have remained in school, and very few people have bothered with face masks in public.

Covid hit Stockholm like a storm in mid-March. One day I was seeing people with appendicitis and kidney stones, the normal things you see in the emergency room. The next day all those patients were gone and the only thing coming into the hospital was Covid. Practically everyone who was tested had Covid, regardless of their presenting symptoms. People came in with a nosebleed and they had Covid. They came in with stomach pain and they had Covid.

Then, after a few months, all the Covid patients disappeared. It is now four months since the start of the pandemic, and I haven’t seen a single Covid patient in over a month. When I do test someone because they have a cough or a fever, the test invariably comes back negative. At the peak three months back, a hundred people were dying a day of Covid in Sweden, a country with a population of ten million. We are now down to around five people dying per day in the whole country, and that number continues to drop. Since people generally die around three weeks after infection, that suggests virtually no one is now being infected. If we assume around 0.5 per cent of those infected die (which I think is very generous, more on that later) that means three weeks back 1,000 people were getting infected per day in the whole country, which works out to a daily risk per person of getting infected of 1 in 10,000. And remember, the risk of dying is at the very most 1 in 200 if you actually do get infected. And that was three weeks ago. Basically, Covid is in all practical senses over and done with in Sweden. After four months.

In total Covid has killed under 6,000 people in a country of ten million. A country with an annual death rate of around 100,000 people. That makes Covid a mere blip in terms of its effect on mortality.

That is why it is nonsensical to compare Covid to other major pandemics, like the 1918 pandemic that killed tens of millions of people. Covid will never even come close to those numbers. And yet many countries have shut down their entire economies, stopped children going to school, and made large portions of their population unemployed in order to deal with this disease.

The media have been proclaiming that only a small percentage of the population have antibodies, and therefore it is impossible that herd immunity has developed. Well, if herd immunity hasn’t developed, where are all the sick people? Why has the rate of infection dropped so precipitously? Considering that most people in Sweden are leading their lives normally now, not socially distancing, not wearing masks, there should still be high rates of infection.

The reason we test for antibodies is because it is easy and cheap. Antibodies are in fact not the body’s main defence against virus infections. T-cells are. But T-cells are harder to measure than antibodies, so we don’t really do it clinically. It is quite possible to have T-cells that are specific for Covid and thereby make you immune to the disease, without having any antibodies. Personally, I think this is what has happened. Everybody who works in the emergency room where I work has had the antibody test. Very few actually have antibodies. This is in spite of being exposed to huge numbers of infected people, including at the beginning of the pandemic, before we realised how widespread Covid was, and when no one was wearing protective equipment.

I am not denying that Covid is awful for the people who do get really sick or for the families of the people who die, just as it is awful for the families of people who die of cancer, influenza, or an opioid overdose. But the size of the response in most of the world (not including Sweden) has been totally disproportionate to the size of the threat.

Sweden ripped the metaphorical band-aid off quickly and got the epidemic over and done with in a short amount of time, while the rest of the world has chosen to try to peel the band-aid off slowly. At present that means Sweden has one of the highest total death rates in the world. But Covid is over in Sweden. People have gone back to their normal lives and barely anyone is getting infected anymore. I am willing to bet that the countries that have shut down completely will see rates spike when they open up. If that is the case, then there won’t have been any point in shutting down in the first place, because all those countries are going to end up with the same number of dead at the end of the day anyway. Shutting down completely in order to decrease the total number of deaths only makes sense if you are willing to stay shut down until a vaccine is available. That could take years. No country is willing to wait that long.

Covid has at present killed less than 6,000 in Sweden. It is very unlikely that the number of dead will go above 7,000. In an average year 700 people die of influenza in Sweden. Does that mean Covid is ten times worse than influenza? No, because influenza has been around for centuries while Covid is completely new. In an average influenza year most people already have some level of immunity because they’ve been infected with a similar strain previously, or because they’re vaccinated. So it is quite possible, or in fact likely, that the case fatality rate for Covid is the same as for influenza, or only slightly higher, and that the entire difference we have seen is due to the complete lack of any immunity in the population at the start of this pandemic.

This conclusion makes sense of the Swedish fatality numbers – if we’ve reached a point where there is hardly any active infection going on anymore in Sweden, in spite of the fact that there is barely any social distancing happening, then that suggests at least 50 per cent of the population has been infected already and has developed immunity, which is five million people. This number is perfectly reasonable if we assume a reproductive number for the virus of two: If each person infects two new people within a five day period, and you start out with just one infected person in the country, then you will reach a point where several million are infected in just four months. If only 6,000 are dead out of five million infected, that works out to a case fatality rate of 0.12 per cent, roughly the same as regular old influenza, which no one is the least bit frightened of, and which we don’t shut down our societies for.

Sebastian Rushworth is a junior doctor in Stockholm, who studied medicine at the Karolinska Institute. This article originally appeared on his personal website.

The dangers of a Covid ‘elimination’ policy 

Spectator.co.uk/article/the-dangers-of-a-covid-elimination-policy
September 22, 2020

It’s understandable that, in a crisis, politicians reach for wartime metaphors – but they don’t always fit. There was the ‘war on terror’. Now we have politicians talking about the need to vanquish Covid-19. This is about more than language. There’s a big difference between a Covid-19 eradication strategy and one that seeks to find a way to live with this virus, in the way we learned to live with Swine Flu (or, as it’s now called, flu.)

The Prime Minister is leading by example. Addressing a committee of conservative MPs on Thursday, he said: ‘We have to make sure that we defeat the disease by the means we have set out.’ Later he said: ‘We must, must defeat this disease.’

And last week, the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, told the PM that, among other things, he should ‘Get on with defeating this virus.’

Are they aiming for elimination? If so, it’s a new strategy – and a worrying sign of mission creep. Back in March, we were all requested to ‘buy time’ for the NHS to stop hospitals being overwhelmed by a sudden surge in cases. The idea back then, in so far as it could be divined, seemed to be that we would temporarily ‘protect the NHS’, then get used to living with the virus once the acute danger had passed. But over the last few months, while the science has become clearer, the politics has changed. Preventing a surge of deaths seems to have morphed into minimising the number of cases in all age groups, which is a completely different proposition.

Of course, it can be good to have ambition and aim high. President Kennedy’s rallying call to land men on the moon and bring them safely back galvanised great things. But as the saying goes, ‘You should be careful of your ambitions, because you might achieve them.’ Having unattainable ambitions can be expensive, harmful, and, when pursued on a political scale, cause untold misery, as we all know from the disheartening historical litany of failed utopias.

In this case, it’s clearly going to be easier to control people than to control coronavirus, and, with depressing predictability, that’s what governments around the world (with honourable exceptions such as Sweden) are setting about doing. So it makes good sense to examine what, exactly, we can mean by ‘defeating’ a virus.

There is only one example of a human viral disease where ‘defeat’ has been comprehensively achieved, and that is smallpox. In its day, which was not that long ago, smallpox was a horrible disease. In 1950, it was still killing over a million people every year in India alone. In 1967, it still menaced three fifths of the world’s population, killed one in five of those infected, and left many more scarred for life or blinded. It was a prime candidate for medical intervention.

How did we succeed with smallpox, and could there be lessons for coronavirus? Although smallpox virus can enter through skin abrasions when people are in close contact, the most important means of transmission was the respiratory route: inhaling the virus in crowded conditions. Smallpox infected cells in the lung and then spread around the body, infecting many organs. These included the skin, where it produced the pox pustules in a characteristic centrifugal distribution, i.e. mainly affecting the face and extremities, allowing it to be clinically distinguished from chickenpox, which mainly affects the trunk and face.

The ability to clinically distinguish smallpox from other diseases was vital in helping to eradicate it from the world, allowing index cases to be isolated. And, crucially, it was not infectious until the patient started to develop symptoms – by which point they were usually sufficiently ill to be in bed, thus minimising transmission. There were hardly any asymptomatic infections. Very helpfully, smallpox had a typical incubation period of about 12 days – meaning that once an index case was identified, almost two weeks were available for tracing contacts and isolating them until they could be shown to be non-infectious.

There’s more. Vaccination against smallpox was known to be safe and very effective, and had been applied with increasing reach since the end of the eighteenth century. Smallpox was a stable DNA virus with only two types (major and minor), which looked exactly the same and responded identically to vaccination. And there was no animal reservoir for smallpox: it infected only humans.

These key features, combined with the awfulness of the disease, led to the motivation to eradicate it from the globe, and also aided our ability to do so, since eradication means that recognition, isolation and elimination of the disease much reach the furthest, poorest, least technologically advanced corners of the planet to be successful. Smallpox became extinct in the wild in 1979, and marked a genuine victory for humanity and ‘defeat’ for the virus.

However, the lessons for Covid that governments should be learning are almost entirely reciprocal. SARS-Cov-2 is a highly mutable RNA virus that spreads on the wind, like all successful respiratory infections, much more effectively than smallpox. There are animal reservoirs, a very high proportion of asymptomatic cases, and huge differences in disease severity in different segments of the population.

There are no clinically-defining features sufficiently specific to be useful in case isolation, and a relatively short incubation period of about five days on average, making case isolation virtually impossible and massively disruptive if it were pursued with vigour. The reliance on testing to identify cases, requiring massive resources, and generating severe problems of its own on any reasonable assumptions about accuracy and sensitivity, means that it’s difficult to know what the burden of serious and mild disease is, even in developed countries throwing everything they have at it.

Also, there’s no vaccine. Despite much current optimism, coronaviruses have staunchly resisted attempts at vaccine development before. Even if a reasonably effective vaccine is found, its benefits may well be short-lived – the mutability of the virus means Covid may mutate away from control.

So where does this comparison leave us with Covid? Recognition is difficult, isolation very difficult and comes at enormous societal cost. Which is why elimination is, almost certainly, impossible.

This means we must learn to live with Covid. ‘Defeat’ of the virus is a false and dangerous ambition. The very large proportion of the population for whom Covid represents a small new risk should allowed to get on with their lives normally. The proportion for whom Covid represents a larger risk should be presented with the information, encouraged to make their own risk assessments, and helped to take avoidance action (if that is what they wish to do: some may prefer to keep seeing and hugging their family and regard Covid as one of the many viruses that human-to-human contact can bring).

What’s more, once a nation decides to live with a virus, relatively asymptomatic spread of the virus among large sections of the population is a good thing because it speeds our progress towards collective immunity – which is where, irrespective of what governments do, we will end up in equilibrium with the virus. Through vaccination or infection, this is how viruses dwindle. The main differences between countries will be in the size of the own goals that their responses cause in the meantime.

Ironically, there’s a lesson here from the only other human viral disease that we have nearly ‘defeated’: polio. Polio has been knocked down by over 99 per cent by a vaccine using a live, but weakened form of the virus. This is taken by mouth, replicates in the gut, and is excreted in the faeces. In most parts of the world this means that the virus then spreads effectively in the community: so asymptomatic spread to those not formally given a dose of the vaccine has actually been essential to the success of the program.

The fatality rates from Covid do not bear comparison with great scourges of the past like smallpox and plague, so coercion in the name of ‘defeat’ for the virus not justifiable, as well as not being realistic. An unrealistic ambition of ‘defeat’ for the virus might sound good in speeches, but it would be unachievable as a policy – and the pursuit of this policy, with the suppression measures it would bring, would cause harm. The Prime Minister should choose his words carefully, and his Covid policy more carefully still.
The Spectator
Dr John Lee

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2020 Dems Should Listen to 2016 Dems

Produced by the Republican National Committee.  Available via Twitter but we don’t use that or Facebook other than to monitor or post links when no other avenue exists.

More on this to come

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What happens when Trump haters don’t pay attention

  • Fake news outlets don’t even try to vet authenticity of  “undecided”
  • Then there are the rich moments when the haters prove their obliviousness

Take journalists for the first example — it would be shocking if “journalism” in America had not discredited itself so badly.

Although comment from readers is not expected, this is information it would be good to have if friends tell you that appears that most “uncommitted” voters are ‘leaning’ heavily against President Trump.

That’s certainly what the ‘fake news’ outlets like ABC would like for you to think.   Excerpt from The Free Beacon:    dlh

ABC Townhall Masqueraded Anti-Trump activists as “Uncommitted Voters”  

Multiple voters characterized by ABC News as undecided—and selected to pepper President Donald Trump with questions during a network town hall 2 weeks ago—are longtime Trump critics. While the network claimed its Tuesday town hall “provided uncommitted voters the opportunity to ask the president questions about issues affecting Americans,” a Washington Free Beacon review of social media posts found that two of the questioners have long denounced Trump.

Kutztown University professor Ellesia Blaque—whom ABC repeatedly identified as “uncommitted” in its coverage of the town hall—praised vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris during the Democratic primary, saying she would “be there, volunteering” for the California senator in Pennsylvania. The English professor was not shy about her partisanship, calling Trump a “f—ing moron,” “pathetic,” “pig,” “swine,” “punk ass,” and “LOOSER” (sic) in a slew of 2019 tweets. She is a self-described “liberal Democrat,” according to her Facebook profile, on the grounds that liberals “are not motivated by money or power, but by humanity and the needs of the people.    . . .

Then there is this delightful Trump “protestor” showing her IQ, her attentiveness and her righteousness. Not knowing her name we will call her Karma.  Thanks to SF for the forward. Media should play.

PS — watch the police stroll up towards the end. Sorry for the the person in front of her but it was for a good cause.

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Interesting Times

So much , each potentially politically cataclysmic, all at the same time.  Russia gate, Covid and liberties, SCOTUS, Riots, . . .  more erudite links (and our humble commentary) later today.

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Will Durham have an announcement in the next six hours?

I guess Barr neglected to mention …”end of summer” of what year ! (Or is ‘summer ending late this year?) 
 
Summer is slated to end on Sep 22 this year, Mr. Barr
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