Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Former President Jimmy Carter Op-Ed in NY Times undermines longstanding U.S. policy.

November 29, 2016
In Brief:

An Op-Ed by Jimmy Carter (“Jimmy Carter: America Must Recognize Palestine”) that appears  on page one of The International New York Times, as well as on page 27 of the New York edition of the paper, and online calls on the outgoing Obama administration to recognize the state of Palestine and for the Security Council to pass a resolution imposing terms for resolving the conflict.

Carter misrepresents United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, the status of disputed land, and Israeli military rule in the West Bank. 

Carter undermines the core principal of Resolution 242 ,as well as longstanding U.S. policy.

 Points (as compiled from various sources):
By urging Obama Administration recognition of the state of Palestine and a U.N. Security Council resolution dictating parameters, Carter is actively  promoting a dangerous policy that will further drive the Palestinians towards rejectionism and violence.

Wrong on Military Rule, Population
 Carter errs on military rule in the West Bank, stating: “Over 4.5 million Palestinians live in these occupied territories, but are not citizens of Israel. Most live under Israeli military rule, and do not vote in Israel’s national elections.” (Emphasis added.)

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics,[which may be significantly overstated] there are some 2.9 million Palestinians living in the West Bank. In addition, there are just over 300,000 Arabs living in Jerusalem, totaling approximately 3.2 million  Arabs residing in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Of the West Bank Arabs, the vast majority live in Area A, which is under the authority of Palestinian security forces, not Israeli military rule. The only way for Carter to have reached the figure of over 4.5 million Palestinians was to include the 1.85 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, which has not been occupied by Israel in over a decade. And, of course, Gaza’s Palestinians live under Hamas’ iron grip; they most definitely are not living under Israeli military rule.

Given that the vast majority of Palestinians live under Palestinian military and civilian rule, as opposed to Israeli rule, it is obvious why they don’t have a vote in Israel’s national elections. When Palestinian elections take place (an event now some seven years overdue) Palestinians will get a vote in their own government.

Carter quotes selectively from U.N. Resolution 242, the backbone of all Arab-Israeli negotiations since 1967, wrongly implying throughout his piece that Israel is required to withdraw fully to the pre-1967 lines, and that Israeli settlements beyond those lines are “illegal.” He writes: 
The key words of that resolution were “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East in which every state in the area can live in security,” and the “withdrawal of Israel [sic] armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.”

There are, however, several key aspects of the resolution( that significantly address Arab responsibilities) that President Carter ignores which negate  his entire premise. Those include: 
  • A call for “termination of all claims or states of belligerency” against Israel by its Arab neighbors;
  • Acknowledgement of the “right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries" (emphasis added; Israel's pre-1967 boundaries were neither secure nor recognized);
  • A “just settlement of the refugee problem" (emphasis added; intentionally written to encompass Jewish refugees from Arab lands as well as the smaller number of Palestinian refugees from what became Israel).
“Illegal Settlements”: Carter Departs from U.S. Policy
 In a departure from decades-old American policy, President Carter unequivocally refers to Israeli settlements as “illegal,” as if this was the ruling of an incontrovertible law. He writes that “in 2009, at the beginning of his first administration, Mr. Obama reaffirmed the crucial elements of the Camp David agreement and Resolution 242 by calling for a complete freeze on the building of settlements, constructed illegally by Israel on Palestinian territory.”

Carter also calls for a Security Council resolution which, he said, “should reaffirm the illegality of all Israeli settlements beyond the 1967 borders.”

Obama’s administration, however, like all U.S. administrations that followed Carter’s, does not view Israeli settlement construction as “illegal.” Since the Reagan administration, which explicitly said it did not believe the settlements were illegal, U.S. administrations have instead characterized the settlements as an obstacle to peace and illegitimate. The current U.S. government, and numerous preceding American administrations, have not characterized the settlements as "illegal," a fact that the Associated Press clarified in an important correction earlier this month.

The Carter administration had held that settlements were illegal, relying on the opinion of its legal advisor Herbert Hansell, who in turn quoted the prominent authority on jurisprudence and international law, Professor Julius Stone, from his 1959 analysis “Legal Controls of International Conflict.” It is noteworthy, however, that in writing about the specific legal aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1980, Professor Stone maintained that the effort to designate Israeli settlements as illegal was, in fact, a “subversion. . . of basic international law principles.”

Carter Predetermines "Palestinian Territory"
Although the status of West Bank land upon which Israeli settlements sit is disputed, and although its final determination pends on a negotiated agreement between the two sides, Carter prejudges the resolution, calling the land “Palestinian territory.” (He refers to “the building of settlements, constructed illegally by Israel on Palestinian territory.”)

While he clings to Resolution 242 to substantiate his claim that the land upon which Israeli settlements sit is “Palestinian territory,” the resolution does no such thing. The resolution famously calls for Israeli withdrawal “from territories occupied in the recent conflict,” and not “the territories,” because the drafters did not expect Israel to withdraw from all of the territories because they did not consider those lines to be defensible. As Lord Caradon, chief architect of the resolution, said: 
It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial. After all, they were just the places where the soldiers of each side happened to be on the day the fighting stopped in 1948. They were just armistice lines. That’s why we didn’t demand that the Israelis return to them.
President Carter previously misrepresented the facts concerning U.N. Resolution 242, as well as other aspects of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, in The International Herald Tribune, the predecessor to The International New York Times, and in his error-ridden book Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid.

Who is Imposing a One-State Reality?
 Ignoring Palestinian responsibility and rejectionism, Carter charges that Israel is imposing a one-state reality on itself and the Palestinian people. The Palestinian leadership, first President Arafat and then President Mahmoud Abbas, has rejected every proposal to resolve the conflict and set borders, from Camp David, to the Taba talks and later the Olmert proposal. Though Carter quoted from President Obama’s May 2011 statement about the conflict, he skipped over this segment of the outgoing President’s remarks: 
For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure.  Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state. Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection.  And Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist. . . .

All the  US military  community can do is to state that the current prevailing belief is that a lasting  peace  can only be obtained through  direct, negotiations and  mutual recognition of all agreed upon  terms by the both the  Israelis  and the Palestinians .

By urging Obama Administration recognition of the state of Palestine and a U.N. Security Council resolution dictating parameters, Carter is actively  promoting a dangerous policy that will further drive the Palestinians towards rejectionism and violence.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


The Minnesota congressman has long ties to the Nation of Islam. [Updated.]

By Jeff Ballabon  The Tablet November 21, 2016 •

In late 1993 and early 1994, Keith Ellison and I were both deeply involved in politics and policy, he as a civil rights lawyer and radio talk-show host in Minnesota, and I as legal counsel to a United States senator. During that time, Louis Farrakhan’s national adviser, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, gave a speech at Kean College in New Jersey in which he attacked Jews, Catholics, homosexuals, and others in the most shocking and violent way.
Here’s a sample of what Muhammad had to say in that speech, which he delivered Nov. 29, 1993, about the Holocaust:
You see, everybody always talk about Hitler exterminating 6 million Jews. … But don’t nobody ever asked what did they do to Hitler? What did they do to them folks? They went in there, in Germany, the way they do everywhere they go, and they supplanted, they usurped, they turned around, and a German, in his own country, would almost have to go to a Jew to get money. They had undermined the very fabric of the society.
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And there was worse. I returned from a vacation to read a copy of the speech the ADL had left in my Senate inbox together with its New York Times full-page ad denouncing it. It so shocked and disgusted me that I stalked across the hall to my boss, Sen. John Danforth of Missouri, and asked what he thought of calling for a “special order” on the Senate floor; a block of time for members to make statements reacting to Muhammad’s speech. Known to his colleagues as “St. Jack,” Danforth was not only a senator, he was an active Episcopal priest, the author of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and the legislator responsible for creating a permanent Holocaust Memorial Commission, leading to both America’s annual “Days of Remembrance” and the Holocaust Memorial Museum on the Mall in Washington.
I waited silently while Sen. Danforth read the speech. Finally, he looked up. “I don’t want a special order,” he said grimly. “I want an up-or-down vote. I want it now.” I rushed back to my desk and called the Senate cloak room to tell them what was coming.
I also called Rep. Kweisi Mfume’s office leaving an urgent message. Mfume chaired the Congressional Black Caucus, and I didn’t want to blindside the members. A few months earlier, in September 1993, the CBC had entered into what it called a “Sacred Covenant” with Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam for which it had been roundly criticized. Muhammad’s speech was so grotesquely beyond the pale that some members of the CBC had already distanced themselves from it. I thought the caucus deserved a chance to distance itself officially before the pressure that was likely to follow. Then I started drafting.
Moments later, the usually easygoing senator appeared at my desk to see what I had come up with. After all, this was alien territory—Sen. Danforth had also been Missouri’s attorney general, and this was a vote to condemn what we both knew to be constitutionally-protected speech. “Just give me what you have now,” Danforth said. I printed out my rough first draft, typos and all. He looked at it and said, “This works. Let’s go.” Then he strode out of the room to the Senate floor. I lingered just a moment to ask my colleagues to keep trying Mfume’s office, then I ran out after the senator.
As soon as we arrived at the Senate floor, I headed for the cloakroom. A number of messages were already waiting from offices that wanted to join with us. Suddenly I got a frantic message from my office—I was receiving personal threats from CBC staffers. I called one, trying to explain that this was not an attack on them; that had I been trying to hurt them, I would have just ambushed them. The response was a stream of invective-laden threats, and then the line went dead.
Sen. Danforth, along with four other Republicans and five Democrats as co-sponsors, offered the resolution: “To express the sense of the Senate that the speech made by Mr. Khalid Abdul Mohammed [sic] at Kean College on November 29, 1993 was false, anti-Semitic, racist, divisive, repugnant and a disservice to all Americans and is therefore condemned.”
It passed the Senate 97-0. Three weeks later, a more detailed and explicit bipartisan companion resolution was offered in the House by Holocaust survivor Rep. Tom Lantos. It passed 361-34.
Keith Ellison and I were then both 31 years old. He was on record as defending Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism since at least 1989, under the alias of Keith Hakim. But unlike the CBC, which immediately suspended its ties with the Nation of Islam after the vote, Ellison apparently saw no reason to rethink his position. In fact, he continued to identify with Farrakhan and work actively for the Nation of Islam for years after Muhammad’s speech.
In 1995, Ellison himself organized a rally featuring Muhammad—still an outspoken racist and anti-Semite—at the University of Minnesota. Muhammad apparently brought his A-game to the rally, promising that “if words were swords, the chests of Jews, gays and whites would be pierced.”
In 1997, Ellison defended a member of the Minneapolis Initiative Against Racism who said that Jews are “the most racist white people.” In his remarks, Ellison also defended America’s most notorious anti-Semite. “She is correct about Minister Farrakhan,” Ellison insisted. “He is not a racist. He is also not an anti-Semite. Minister Farrakhan is a tireless public servant of Black people…”
In fact, Ellison continued to publicly defend Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam through at least the year 2000, by which time he was serving as a Minnesota state representative. But in 2006, while running for Congress, Ellison evidently had second thoughts about the usefulness of the main public affiliation he had maintained from his early 20s into at least his late 30s, when, responding to concerns voiced by the Jewish Community Relations Council, he claimed that his only involvement with NOI was during an 18-month period supporting Farrakhan’s October 1995 “Million Man March”; that he was unaware of NOI’s anti-Semitism; and that he himself never held nor espoused anti-Semitic views. Most of that is demonstrably false, the remainder begs skepticism.
Today, Ellison still traffics in libels and lies, but about the Jewish State—a form of anti-Semitic propaganda that, unlike calling Jews “bloodsuckers” or blaming them for the Holocaust, is now socially and politically acceptable on the left. There are rules to this game, of course. Thus, on a trip to Israel in June 2016, Ellison tweeted a photo of a sign, hung on a residential window in Hebron, that labeled Israel being guilty of “apartheid.” Ellison’s comment reinforced the libel.
In July 2016, at the Democratic National Convention, Ellison participated as a featured speaker in an event held by the anti-Israel group U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation—part of an alliance of anti-Israel groups, such as American Friends Service Committee, Students for Justice in Palestine, and Jewish Voices for Peace, who all promote the BDS hate campaign against Israel. Ellison also emerged as a key player in trying to make the Democrats’ official platform more antagonistic to Israel. [Update, Nov. 22, 4:00 p.m.: In response to publication of this piece, Rep. Ellison issued the following statement: “I have long supported a two-state solution and a democratic and secure state for the Jewish people, with a democratic and viable Palestinian state side-by-side in peace and dignity. I don’t believe boycotting, divesting, and sanctioning Israel helps us achieve that goal. I supported the Democratic Platform, which embraces this position.”]
It is clear that Ellison trafficked with incredibly virulent, open anti-Semites and supported and defended them until it became politically inconvenient. Then he lied about it—and once in office, he decided to target the Jewish state. Ironically, one of Ellison’s Democratic defenders, Steve Rabinowitz, acknowledges Ellison’s poor record on Israel—in addition to agitating against Israel’s blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza, Ellison was one of the very few members of Congress who opposed aid to repair Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system in a 395-8 vote. Rabinowitz gamely if patronizingly explains Ellison’s role on the Democrats’ platform fight thusly: “He fell in with a bad crowd.” So, is Keith Ellison an anti-Semite? I don’t know. But collaborating with the enemies of Jews and Israel does seem to be a lifelong habit.
Perhaps Ellison was running with the same delinquent crowd in 2012, when halfway across the country from his own district in Minneapolis, he worked to unseat pro-Israel New Jersey Congressman Steve Rothman—a fellow Democrat—in a nasty primary fight that pitted the district’s Arabs and Muslims against its Jews, and where Rothman’s support for Israel was explicitly the issue. The candidate supported by Ellison, who came to the district to campaign at a high-profile event at a mosque, was also supported by a local Hamas sympathizer and other Israel-haters. What could have motivated Ellison to go to such great lengths to try and defeat a sitting member of his own party?
Personally, I don’t care if Ellison ever did or still does hate Jews. He’s entitled to love and hate whomever he wants. What worries me is that a leading member of the extreme anti-Israel wing of the Democratic Party is poised to become the party’s chairman. What disturbs me is that the mainstreaming and elevating of this man—who, at the very least, is clearly more enthusiastic about Louis Farrakhan than he is about the State of Israel—is being done with the support of Sen. Chuck Schumer, and of organizations that claim to represent the interests of American Jewry.
It is also hard to miss the fact that these same politicians and groups are now diverting attention away from actual threats to a campaign of politically-motivated fictions and calumnies directed against Donald Trump, a man who has spent decades supporting an impressive array of Jewish causes and of the State of Israel—and whose daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren are Orthodox Jews. Trump’s daughter Ivanka chose to join the Jewish people, and she did so by all accounts with the approval and full support of her father. Perhaps Keith Ellison, despite his associations and activities, is secretly a great friend of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and Donald Trump, despite his friends and family, is secretly the raving anti-Semite his detractors allege. But even the most extreme partisan would have to admit that the evidence for either proposition is quite thin. In fact, the ADL and friends have also had to withdraw their accusations of anti-Semitism against Trump’s adviser Steve Bannon and Breitbart news, which briefly flourished after Trump’s win, since they could not point to any actual evidence that either charge was true: In fact, Bannon and Breitbart have demonstrably been among the most dedicated supporters of the State of Israel and most vociferous opponents of BDS and campus hate in the America media.
Why is such a stance necessary? During the Obama years, real anti-Semitism—grotesque libels and actual violence—grew dramatically around the world. In Europe and the Middle East victims of Islamic terror were deemed “innocent victims”—unless they were Jews, in which case they were somehow combatants in a righteous struggle. Here in America, for the first time in our lives, as Obama and Kerry’s “Israel is our misfortune” rumblings grew, we heard rabbis and Jewish leaders—including ADL’s previous chief executive—discuss in agonized tones how the world was beginning to resemble the 1930s. Under Obama, for the first time, we witnessed older Jews huddle after synagogue for hushed debates about whether there was anywhere left for Jews to run now that America was growing inhospitable and Israel was being put under the existential threat of nuclear annihilation. Younger Jews became hesitant to wear yarmulkes on campuses and on the streets.
Donald Trump didn’t pave the way for Iran—a country that quite literally and repeatedly promises to commit genocide against Jews—to acquire a nuclear bomb. Nor did Trump and his close aides seek to demonize his opponents as “wealthy donors” and “warmongers” with loyalties to a foreign power. Nor did Trump ally the United States with Iran in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. President Barack Obama did all these things, and he did them openly, with hardly a peep from the same people who now pretend to fear for their lives under Donald Trump.
Who knows? Maybe reasonable people can differ about these things. But here’s another thing to consider: The people who vouched for Obama to the American Jewish community are now vouching for Rep. Ellison, while condemning Donald Trump and his advisers for the sins of stoking hatred and anti-Semitism that Obama demonstrably committed, and the Democratic Party is now hoping to induce our community to forget.

Meet leftist prof who wrote 'hit list' of 'fake' news sites

Trump-basher 'feminist' blacklists WND, Breitbart, Blaze, O'Keefe's Project Veritas

The mainstream media are going wild circulating a viral list of so-called “fake news” websites – and the list includes established news sites like WND, Breitbart, Red State, the Daily Wire and Project Veritas – but WND has found a leftist, Trump-bashing assistant professor in Massachusetts who specialized in “fat studies” is behind the effort to target and discredit legitimate news organizations.

Meet Merrimack College Assistant Professor Melissa Zimdars, a 30-something self-identified feminist and activist who has expressed great dislike for President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

She’s only actually held her teaching position at the private college in North Andover, Mass., for 15 months.
Zimdars published and circulated a list of “fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media.” She said she began writing the list because she didn’t approve of the sources her students were citing.

The problem?

In addition to some satirical and bogus sites, her list attacks the credibility of well-established news organizations such as Breitbart, BizPac Review, Red State, the Blaze, the Independent Journal Review, Twitchy, the Daily Wire, WND and James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas. In many cases (such as with her WND listing), she offers no explanation for why the news organizations were included on the list.

Mainstream media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times circulated Zimdars’ growing list. The Times headlined its story, “Want to keep fake news out of your newsfeed? College professor creates list of sites to avoid.” The Times offered no details concerning Zimdars’ qualifications or background. News organizations such as CNN, the Washington PostBoston Globe, New York Magazine, USA Today, Business Insider, the Austin American-Statesman, the Dallas Morning News and others spread the list like gospel and cited it in their reports.

But nearly none of them considered Zimdars’ political leanings or questioned her criteria or qualifications for determining which news sources should be included on her list. (Editor’s note: Zimdars removed her list following publication of this WND article. However, versions of it continue to be circulated in the mainstream media and online.)
A portion of the “fake news” list published by Melissa Zimdars

Zimdars teaches courses in radio, production, mass communication, feminist media studies, television criticism and new media and digital communication. She received her doctorate in communication and media studies just last year.

Zimdars has not responded to WND’s request for clarification on her expertise or criteria for deciding which news sources to include on her list. WND asked Merrimack College President Christopher Hopey if he stands by Zimdars’ decision to publish the list and use it as teaching material for her classes. However. Merrimack Vice President of Communications Jim Chiavelli replied, “Thanks for your question to the president about professor Zimdars pedagogy. The college has no comment for this story.”

In response to the list, PJ Media’s Stephen Kruiser wrote, “It’s no surprise that a college professor compiled this list; what’s galling is that the Los Angeles Times ‘reported’ on it without mentioning that it’s complete garbage.”

Sean Hannity’s website warned that Zimdars’ list includes “mainstream conservative sources” and “is giving us insight into just what kind of websites the left plans on targeting for censorship.”

In addition to her new job as an assistant professor, Zimdars is also a columnist and contributor for Little Village Magazine – a left-leaning magazine that says it’s focused on issues such as “racial justice,” “gender equity,” “critical culture,” “economic and labor justice” and “environmental sustainability.”

Zimdars’ social-media accounts are protected from public view, leading tweeter Vanessa Beeley to note that Zimdars “can’t take the heat. Named ‘fake media’ & then protected all her own media sites.”

But Newsbusters found tweets from Zimdars harshly criticizing President-elect Trump and Vice-President elect Mike Pence during the vice-presidential debate in October.
“Undocumented workers contribute more to this country (beyond taxes) than Drumpf ever has or ever will,” she tweeted on Oct. 4.

The same day, she tweeted to Pence that Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” comment does not equal “Trump’s constant sexist, racist, homophobic, and xenophobic comments.”
Zimdars says she’s an expert on the media’s portrayal of “fat” people. In 2015, the same year she received her doctorate, Zimdar published a paper on “fat acceptance TV” in the journal Popular Communication. The paper critiqued the TLC television miniseries “Big Sexy.” It’s unclear whether the paper was Zimdar’s doctoral dissertation.

In an interview with the “Feminist Killjoys Podcast,” Zimdar talks about her “fat studies” research.
“I mostly focus on media representations of fatness, or any kind of body that deviates from the normal health prescription,” she said.

She enthusiastically declares that she’s “less self-conscious of my own rear end than I used to be” and participates in an extensive discussion of the Kardashians, a reality TV family. She further suggests women should “celebrate eating pizza.”

Zimdars praises actress Amy Schumer for stating, “I’m probably like 160 pounds right now, and I can catch a d–k whenever I want, like, that’s the truth. It’s not a problem!”

Zimdars published a 2014 article in Little Village Magazine on the TV series “Girls,” starring Lena Dunham.
“Girls is meaningful to me mainly for one reason: Lena Dunham’s naked body,” Zimdars writes, praising Dunham’s “body confidence.”

At a University of Notre Dame conference in June of this year, Zimdars gave a presentation titled, “Failures of the Self or Failures of Fitbit?: Gendered Fit/Fatness, Tracking Technologies, and Self-SurveillingPost-Feminist Subjects.”
Zimdars racked up about $60,000 for her degrees in communication and media studies, according to the Iowa Gazette.

As a graduate student, she also complained about tuition costs in a 2014 interview with the Des Moines Register, telling the newspaper she was joining a protest because, “We wanted to all work together to bring awareness to the fact that it doesn’t have to be an issue if the state would start funding higher education again. Then we wouldn’t be acquiring so much debt as individuals.”

As for her list of “fake news” sites, one Twitter user offered up the following “list of journalists who colluded with the Clinton campaign.” The reporters and news organizations in his post were not included on Zimdars’ list.

He tweeted, “Here’s the actual list of fake news sites from WikiLeaks. Melissa Zimdars is a troll.”


Monday, November 7, 2016


1.     The Model :  Wag the Dog

Remember the movie: " a tale of politics, power and Hollywood so outrageous it could be true! Two weeks before re-election, the President of the United States is accused of accosting a girl scout. Before the news reaches the media, his advisors call in a political consultant specializing in image rescues. What to do? Hire a Hollywood producer to create a war — distracting public attention from the scandal and rallying Americans to their President in surge of patriotic fever.”

To pass Obamacare, the political consultant/architect was Jonathan Gruber

Obamacare Architect: Yeah, We Lied to The "Stupid" American People to Get It Passed

Meet Jonathan Gruber, a professor at MIT and an architect of Obamacare. During a panel event last year about how the legislation passed, turning over a sixth of the U.S. economy to the government, Gruber admitted that the Obama administration went through "tortuous" measures to keep the facts about the legislation from the American people, including covering up the redistribution of wealth from the healthy to the sick in the legislation that Obamacare is in fact a tax. The video of his comments just recently surfaced ahead of the second open enrollment period for Obamacare at

"You can't do it political, you just literally cannot do it. Transparent financing and also transparent spending. I mean, this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes the bill dies. Okay? So it’s written to do that," Gruber said. "In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in, you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical to get for the thing to pass. Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not."
 Today, that political consultant /architect is Ben Rhodes.

Confirmation from NBC News: Obama Administration Plans Cyber Attack ‘Message’ to Moscow

The Obama administration is considering launching a covert cyber attack against Russia to retaliate for the country’s alleged interference in this year's presidential election, according to intelligence officials, with Vice President Joe Biden saying Friday that the White House is "sending a message" to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Current and former intelligence officials, said to have direct knowledge of the plans, told NBC News in an an exclusive that the CIA has already been asked to deliver options for an operation to "embarrass" Putin and other Russian leaders.
They did not say what the CIA is planning, but told NBC that the agency has been selecting targets and making other preparations. 

On Friday, Biden dismissed suggestions that the White House has failed to respond to Russia's interference, telling NBC's Chuck Todd that "we're sending a message," and "we have the capacity to do it."
“He'll know it and it will be at the time of our choosing and under the circumstances that have the greatest impact," said Biden, adding that he hopes the public will not know.

The officials told NBC the Obama administration is still weighing its options, whether to respond with measures such as cyber attacks or through economic sanctions. Meanwhile, the potential cyber operation is being prepared by a team with the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence, documents indicate.

My major concerns are US Homeland security… Especially protection against EMP and malicious hacking. The Obama administration has done nothing and this has left  us vulnerable. [    ]

Further Joe Biden irresponsibly threatens Russia with a cyber war attack. This gives Putin the option of deeming any failure in his power system or whatever [and the Russian systems failures abound ] the option to blame the United States for an attack.

2.  Assertions were first floated by political operators (by Democrats in Congress, by the Democratic National Committee and by the Clinton campaign) that  Russia  (Putin) was behind the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s emails, the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta’s correspondence.These assertions  are  doubtful for several reasons(some of which will be presented here).

Congressional Democrats Call on FBI to Investigate Their Political Adversaries’ Kremlin Ties Glenn Greenwald  8-31-16

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has accused Russia of conducting the cyberattack operation; Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin:” the U.S. State Departments conclusion that the  hack into Podesta’s email servers could only have been ordered by senior Russian government officials."

 Pressure grew on the administration  to publicly name Moscow.
“The Obama administration has been under fierce pressure from lawmakers — led by Senate and House Intelligence Committee ranking members Dianne Feinstein (d-calif.) and Adam Schiff (d-calif.), respectively — to publicly attribute the attacks.”

Soon after, the Obama administration accused Russia of attempting to interfere in the 2016 elections, including  hacking the computers of the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security issued  the following joint  statement:

“The U.S. Intelligence Community is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations,” agencies. “.. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.”

[Obama administration publicly blames Russia for DNC hack]

3.  These assertions  are  doubtful for several reasons(some of which will be presented here).

A. Russian officials have publicly denied involvement in the hackings.If any actual Russian government fingerprints are found then Putin would be subject to very public embarrassment. The attribution  by “government sources” that  there were indications of Russian involvement based on specific “fingerprints” was made by a private consulting company working for the government. These    fingerprints apply  to a major portion of the hacking’s that have occurred during 2016. Further,  review of Julian  Assange’s closed circuit conference with a group of hackers shows him clearly explaining  (to the complete satisfaction of the participants)his technique and activities in this regard.

Putin: ‘Does Anyone Seriously Imagine Russia Can Somehow Influence the American People's Choice?'By Patrick Goodenough | October 28, 2016

B.  It appears that  Putin favors Hillary Clinton in the coming election. 

(1)     Putin is a cold-blooded.  realist  with an agenda to expand Russian  influence to encompass all of the areas of the previous Soviet Union and to become a major player in the Middle East.  It is Putin’s agenda that   guides his  actions.[ And,  from Putin’s point of view Hillary Clinton  is much more likely to help him  complete his agenda than  is Donald Trump.]

(2)      Most important to Putin  is the  very favorable political and  economic outcomes to Russia that would occur from Hillary Clinton’s expected actions relating to fracking.Thus, a major reason that he prefers Hillary Clinton is her position and  likely future actions concerning  Fracking.

   Hillary Clinton would  probably attempt to eliminate fracking (or if she could not eliminate it entirely  she would drastically reduce fracking within the United States). She would accomplish this through limiting the areas for  petroleum exploration; instituting rigorous regulations; requiring extensive environmental studies; moratoriums;  etc.

This elimination or reduction of US petroleum production by restrictions on  fracking would increase the world  price for petroleum.

 This increase would give Putin a vast  increase in  the value of  Russia’s  petroleum reserves  [ thus rescuing the currently faltering Russian economy ]; it would greatly increase the value of  Putin’s  petroleum exports.  This would give Putin additional hard currency  to help finance his expansionist  adventures.  It would restore Russia’s  previous  political and economic lock on  East Europe’s  energy supplies.

(3).   A second major reason that Putin probably favors Hillary Clinton in the coming election is Putin’s belief, [based on many years of   observation of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry]  that a  Hillary  Clinton administration would continue the parameters and trend lines  established by Barack Obama .[ The Obama administration has pulled back in every confrontation with Putin’s Russia.  Putin has seen this US  pattern and has resolved to remain the first mover, not expecting much American pushback except in words.] Examples:

a..Bill Clinton offered North Korea  emergency relief supplies and other concessions to obtain their agreement that they would cease their nuclear activities and dismantle their nuclear program. North Korea agreed and Bill Clinton publicly announced complete success of his negotiations with North Korea assuring the American public that North Korea will abandon the quest for nuclear weapons and completely demolish the nuclear development infrastructure. Here is Bill Clinton announcing the “resolution of the North Korean nuclear threat: ]

b. During the presidential debate of 2012 Romney identified Russia  as a potential major adversary  of the United States. Obama   forcefully rebuked Romney during the debate[ (Obama to Romney:”……you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years,”

c.   During a meeting with then  Russian president Dmitry Medvedev , Obama did not know that his microphone was alive. He leaned over to whisper a confidential message that he wanted carried to Vladimir Putin …it was: “tell Vladimir “that after my election I will have much more flexibility” [this signaled that Obama was going to reverse the US  missile defense agreements with Poland and other Eastern European countries. []

d.   Hillary Clinton’s  presentation of a “reset button” [  ]  

e.     Acceptance  of Putin’s aggressive intervention  in Ukraine; 

f.      State Department approval of sale of uranium reserves to a crony  of Putin. [Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal by JO BECKER and MIKE McINTIRE New York Times APRIL 23, 2015]

g.     Hillary Clinton initiatied the  negotiations with  the Iranian hardliners which  concluded in a deal which which permits Russia to sell advanced weaponry to Iran and receive hard currency (furnished by the United States); 

h.    Strategy of  bringing Russia into the Middle East as a major player (as discussed in Obama’s Syria Policy Striptease Tony Badran The Tablet September 21, 2016 ) .

i.     Obama’s White House has cut  the military “out of the loop”in key international  and military decisions [testimony of Secretary of  Defense  Ash Carter and the Joint Chiefs of  Staff…]

C.Mr. Clapper in all of  public statements is very cautious. He will not respond to reporters leading questions but rather keeps referring them back to the written  Joint statement.Mr. Clapper said: “IT’S PROBABLY NOT REAL, REAL CLEAR WHETHER THERE’S INFLUENCE IN TERMS OF AN OUTCOME [OF THE NOVEMBER U.S. ELECTIONS] OR WHAT I WORRY ABOUT MORE—FRANKLY —IS JUST THE  SOWING THE SEEDS OF DOUBT, WHERE DOUBT IS CAST ON THE WHOLE [ELECTION] PROCESS.” 

D.  To put  these specific hacking’s into  perspective, in the year 2o16 ,there have been many hundreds of hackings, intrusions, compromises, hijackings, etc.   The following site presents a very vivid graphic  illustration of the scope and magnitude of the hacking phenomena: 

  Here is a sample of other links:


E. The specific penetrations  [Clinton’s server; the Democratic National Committee; John Podesta; etc.]  were accomplished against sites that exercised very poor site protective security discipline. The specific materials that were   hacked  were not given any special  encryption and/or limited access controls. The level of skill  that is required for the successful hacking of these sites is widely distributed throughout the world.

For example, theWikiLeaks dump reveals exactly how Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, was actually hacked [ a careless response to a false request that  the site’s password be changed …which was  actually routed to a hacker’s computer in the Netherlands.] CHRIS SOMMERFELDT  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS   Updated: Friday, October 28, 2016

F.  Previous  experience demands  skepticism and thorough investigation before acceptance of any allegations of Russian responsibility.

 Intelligence analysts  have complained that their  output is being distorted by the political echelon [50 Spies Say ISIS Intelligence Was Cooked 

 Ben Rhodes’ Iran Deal ( “wag the dog”) echo chamber operation) which was  explicitly intended to mislead the US public in order to sell this administration’s desired  Iran agreement [ The aspiring novelist who became Obama’s foreign-policy guru  by David Samuels  New York Times May 5, 2016]; 

and   the false certainty of the US intelligence community that  Saddam Hussein  actually possessed nuclear weapons 

all require  that we demand  a much higher level of proof than the political echelons just asserting “we believe that” [ Eg. “U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper suggested Russia was behind a recent computer hacking operation”]and then surmising[“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,”]that if what  they believe is correct  that they then surmise  that it would require approval at the highest levels in Russia (Putin).

 Below, is an excerpt from the New York Times which reproduces in Ben Rhodes’ own words Rhodes’s  campaign to sell the Iran  
"We created an echo chamber,’ he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. ‘They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.


The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented — that the Obama administration began seriously engaging with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to take advantage of a new political reality in Iran, which came about because of elections that brought moderates to power in that country — was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal. Even where the particulars of that story are true, the implications that readers and viewers are encouraged to take away from those particulars are often misleading or false. Obama’s closest advisers always understood him to be eager to do a deal with Iran as far back as 2012, and even since the beginning of his presidency. “It’s the center of the arc,” Rhodes explained to me two days after the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was implemented. He then checked off the ways in which the administration’s foreign-policy aims and priorities converged on Iran. “We don’t have to kind of be in cycles of conflict if we can find other ways to resolve these issues,” he said. “We can do things that challenge the conventional thinking that, you know, ‘AIPAC doesn’t like this,’ or ‘the Israeli government doesn’t like this,’ or ‘the gulf countries don’t like it.’ It’s the possibility of improved relations with adversaries. It’s nonproliferation. So all these threads that the president’s been spinning — and I mean that not in the press sense — for almost a decade, they kind of all converged around Iran.”
In the narrative that Rhodes shaped, the “story” of the Iran deal began in 2013, when a “moderate” faction inside the Iranian regime led by Hassan Rouhani beat regime “hard-liners” in an election and then began to pursue a policy of “openness,” which included a newfound willingness to negotiate the dismantling of its illicit nuclear-weapons program. The president set out the timeline himself in his speech announcing the nuclear deal on July 14, 2015: “Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not.” While the president’s statement was technically accurate — there had in fact been two years of formal negotiations leading up to the signing of the J.C.P.O.A. — it was also actively misleading, because the most meaningful part of the negotiations with Iran had begun in mid-2012, many months before Rouhani and the “moderate” camp were chosen in an election among candidates handpicked by Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The idea that there was a new reality in Iran was politically useful to the Obama administration. By obtaining broad public currency for the thought that there was a significant split in the regime, and that the administration was reaching out to moderate-minded Iranians who wanted peaceful relations with their neighbors and with America, Obama was able to evade what might have otherwise been a divisive but clarifying debate over the actual policy choices that his administration was making. By eliminating the fuss about Iran’s nuclear program, the administration hoped to eliminate a source of structural tension between the two countries, which would create the space for America to disentangle itself from its established system of alliances with countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and Turkey. With one bold move, the administration would effectively begin the process of a large-scale disengagement from the Middle East.
The nerve center for the selling of the Iran deal to Congress, which took place in a concentrated three-month period between July and September of last year, was located inside the White House, and is referred to by its former denizens as “the war room.”
Chad Kreikemeier, a Nebraskan who had worked in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, helped run the team, which included three to six people from each of several agencies, he says, which were the State Department, Treasury, the American delegation to the United Nations (i.e., Samantha Power), “at times D.O.D.” (the Department of Defense) and also the Department of Energy and the National Security Council. Rhodes “was kind of like the quarterback,” running the daily video conferences and coming up with lines of attack and parry. “He was extremely good about immediately getting to a phrase or a way of getting the message out that just made more sense,” Kreikemeier remembers. Framing the deal as a choice between peace and war was Rhodes’s go-to move — and proved to be a winning argument.
The person whom Kreikemeier credits with running the digital side of the campaign was Tanya Somanader, 31, the director of digital response for the White House Office of Digital Strategy, who became known in the war room and on Twitter as @TheIranDeal. Early on, Rhodes asked her to create a rapid-response account that fact-checked everything related to the Iran deal. “So, we developed a plan that was like: The Iran deal is literally going to be the tip of everything that we stand up online,” Somanader says. “And we’re going to map it onto what we know about the different audiences we’re dealing with: the public, pundits, experts, the right wing, Congress.” By applying 21st-century data and networking tools to the white-glove world of foreign affairs, the White House was able to track what United States senators and the people who worked for them, and influenced them, were seeing online — and make sure that no potential negative comment passed without a tweet.
 “People construct their own sense of source and credibility now,” she said. “They elect who they’re going to believe.” For those in need of more traditional-seeming forms of validation, handpicked Beltway insiders like Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Laura Rozen of Al-Monitor helped retail the administration’s narrative. “Laura Rozen was my RSS feed,” Somanader offered. “She would just find everything and retweet it.”
 In July 2012, Jake Sullivan, a close aide to Hillary Clinton, traveled to Muscat, Oman, for the first meeting with the Iranians, taking a message from the White House. “It was, ‘We’re prepared to open a direct channel to resolve the nuclear agreement if you are prepared to do the same thing and authorize it at the highest levels and engage in a serious discussion on these issues,’
The White House point person during the later stage of the negotiations was Rob Malley,  who is currently running negotiations that could keep the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in power. During the course of the Iran talks, Malley told me, he always kept in close contact with Rhodes. “I would often just call him and say, ‘Give me a reality check,’” Malley explained. “He could say, ‘Here is where I think the president is, and here is where I think he will be.’” He continued, “Ben would try to anticipate: Does it make sense policywise? But then he would also ask himself: How do we sell it to Congress? How do we sell it to the public? What is it going to do to our narrative?”
Malley is a particularly keen observer of the changing art of political communication; his father, Simon Malley, who was born in Cairo, edited the politics magazine Afrique Asie and proudly provided a platform for Fidel Castro and Yasir Arafat.

 As Malley and representatives of the State Department, including Wendy Sherman and Secretary of State John Kerry, engaged in formal negotiations with the Iranians, to ratify details of a framework that had already been agreed upon, Rhodes’s war room did its work on Capitol Hill and with reporters. In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

 Rhodes: “We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked.” He is proud of the way he sold the Iran deal. “We drove them crazy,” he said of the deal’s opponents. ‘We created an echo chamber,’ he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. ‘They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.’

G. Hillary Clinton has willingly engaged in previous public disinformation campaigns.

[Clinton Campaign, White House Coordinated Pro-Iran Deal Talking Point…Leaked emails show effort to mislead public about Iran deal by: Adam Kredo  October 10, 2016 ]

Senior Clinton campaign officials were in direct contact with the White House to coordinate pro-Iran talking points in an effort to boost last summer’s comprehensive nuclear agreement, according to leaked emails that show the Obama administration and top figures in Clinton’s campaign played a role in promulgating information about the deal that later turned out to be factually inaccurate.

The emails, released late on Friday in a massive document dump by the hacker website WikiLeaks, show coordination between Hillary Clinton’s team and the White House, which spearheaded a massive effort to create what senior officials described as a pro-Iran “echo chamber” to mislead Congress and Americans about the nature of the agreement.

An April 2, 2015, communication sent from top White House press liaison Eric Shultz to Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri includes several pages of pro-Iran talking points that were later discovered to contain misleading information.

“Love it!!” Palmieri responded to Schultz’s email. She subsequently forwarded the information to leading Clinton aides, including Cheryl Mills, Brian Fallon, and Nick Merrill, among others.

The disclosure of these emails threatens to entangle the Clinton campaign in a growing scandal surrounding secret White House efforts to mislead Congress and the public about the nuclear deal. Congress has been investigating these efforts for months and has uncovered evidence the Obama administration inked several secret side deals with Iran, including the rollback of key sanctions on Tehran and a $1.7 billion cash payment.

The White House’s pro-Iran press machine, which was helmed by Rhodes, received support from liberal billionaire George Soros and a network of non-profit organizations that funneled money to those who helped champion the deal in the public sphere. Holes and moles in U.S. intelligence

 H. Others in the community feel as I do. Here is an article by  Cliff Kincaid :

One of the biggest lies is that the WikiLeaks disclosures prove that  Putin favors Trump for U.S. president   By Cliff Kincaid

I'm not na├»ve about Russia. I co-authored Back from the Dead: The Return of the Evil Empire, about a resurgent Russia. There are Russian links to global Islamic terrorism. They also target the U.S. for propaganda and disinformation operations

But The Washington Post has been cheerleading for Hillary Clinton for president, on the spurious grounds that she is knowledgeable about the Russian threat and Trump is not. Have we so soon forgotten the failed Russian reset and the Russian uranium deal?

There's no evidence that the Russians favor Trump over Clinton.  Clinton was duped by the Russians into orchestrating a "reset" that benefitted Russia and its ally, Iran. She played into their hands before, and they probably figured that she could be manipulated into playing into their hands again. This is especially true now that Russia and Iran have made military advances in the Middle East. Hillary Clinton continues to rely for advice on Russia from people like Brookings Institution head Strobe Talbott, a supporter of world government who had questionable dealings with the Russian intelligence service exposed in a book, Comrade J, by a Russian spymaster. In addition,  Clinton's State Department approved the Russian uranium deal, while millions flowed to the Clinton Foundation

Trump has made questionable statements about Russia, and his former campaign chairman had suspicious links to a pro-Russian Ukrainian politician. But Trump is now surrounded by realists on Russia like his vice presidential candidate, Mike Pence, and former CIA director, James Woolsey. Trump has denounced NSA defector Edward Snowden, who is living in Russia, as a traitor who deserves the death penalty. That's tougher than anything Mrs. Clinton has said about Snowden.

The evidence indicates that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks serve Russian interests. But what difference does it make if the Russians obtained the emails and turned them over to Assange for release to an American audience? Our media routinely steal and obtain documents through confidential "sources" and conduct undercover operations to secretly record their interview subjects. The term "illegal" sounds ominous, but the media have long defended getting stolen documents. Their "origin," in fact, is not the Russians but the Clinton officials who failed to protect their own communications. And, as for the "general lack of corroboration," the Clinton campaign has blamed the Russians for their release, without taking issue with the content. They suggest some portions of the documents may have been altered, but offer no hard evidence. It looks as if they are trying to divert attention from the fact that the emails are real and legitimate.

More importantly, Hillary Clinton and her associates invited this hacking by failing to protect their own emails.

Chenoweth goes on to claim that since U.S. intelligence agencies blame the Russians for the acquisition of the information, media dissemination of the emails means that this places "all of our private means of communication at risk of exposure from illegal invasion" by a foreign power and/or its intelligence agencies. So the same U.S. intelligence agencies insisting that the Russians are behind the hacking have been unable to defend the American people. That's the obvious conclusion. Again, whose fault is that? Hillary Clinton and her associates were the security risks who made all of this possible. If the American people in general are at risk, perhaps the CIA and NSA ought to do a better job of protecting us.

 The Russians are better at what they do than the American CIA and NSA. Rather than blame the Russians for embarrassing Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, why not call for an investigation of the incompetence or corruption within the U.S. intelligence community? This should be the logical outcome of witnessing an alleged "interference" in a U.S. election. Instead, Trump is blamed for citing the corruption documented in the emails, and some in the media are blamed for treating the disclosures as news. This is not only silly, but dangerous, for those who seriously want to come to grips with the holes and moles in our intelligence community.

If Putin is behind the WikiLeaks disclosures, he has provided a wake-up call regarding our vulnerability to foreign threats. But the Post is so determined to elect Hillary Clinton that it ignores her role in the debacle that now envelopes her.

Trump didn't set up her server and he didn't operate John Podesta's computer. Hillary Clinton was a security risk, and her illegal computer operations put the entire nation and its secrets at risk. We still don't know the full extent of the damage.

With a track record like that, it could be argued that Putin would prefer Hillary as president.