House Democrats have cause to fear blackmail 0

Yet more criminals in the Democratic Party and their employees are getting away free as air.

Luke Rosiak reports at The Daily Caller:

Five members of a Pakistani family under criminal investigation for allegedly misusing their positions as computer administrators for dozens of Democrats in the House of Representatives were paid at least $4 million from July 2009 to the present, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.

Evidence suggests some of the dozens of House Democrats — many of whom serve on the intelligence, homeland security and foreign affairs committees — who employed the suspects were inexplicably paying people they rarely or never saw. See the interactive graphic at the end of this story for the names of the employing representatives.

The suspects had full access to the emails and office computer files of the members for whom they worked.  A focus of the investigation by the U.S. Capitol Police is an off-site server on which congressional data was allegedly loaded without the knowledge of authorities.

Even before Capitol Police told chiefs of staff for the employing Democrats Feb. 2 that the Awans — including brothers Imran, Abid and Jamal, and two of their wives, Hina Alvi and Natalia Sova — were suspects in a criminal theft and cybersecurity probe, there were multiple signs that something was amiss.

For example, four of the 500 highest-paid House staffers are suspects, according to the DCNF’s analysis of payroll records. There are more than 15,000 congressional staff employees with an average age of 31, according to Legistorm.

Top slots on Capitol Hill are subject to fierce competition, and for most employees, the hours are long and job security is nonexistent. The median salary for legislative assistants is $43,000 annually, according to InsideGov.com.

Imran Awan has collected $1.2 million in salary since 2010, and his brother Abid and wife Hina Alvi were each paid more than $1 million.

Imran first came to Capitol Hill in the early 2000s and Abid joined him in 2005. Imran’s wife Hina Alvi was added to the payroll in 2007, while Abid’s wife, Natalia Sova, appeared in 2011. Finally, in 2014 the youngest sibling, Jamal, joined the payroll in 2014 at the age of 20 with a salary of $160,000.

“In Imran’s wife’s offices, she didn’t show up or rarely showed up and Imran would handle it,” a former House staffer with direct knowledge of the brothers told TheDCNF. “Once in a while he would take her around to the offices but after a while he stopped even putting up the illusion and did all that stuff himself.”

The former staffer said “Jamal was always there,” but Imran would only work “odd hours.”

Since 2003, the family has collected $5 million overall, with Imran making $2 million and Abid making $1.5 million, according to Legistorm.com, which tracks congressional staff data. Of some 25,000 people who have worked in the House since 2010, only 100 have taken home more than Imran.

As “shared” employees, their salaries were cobbled together with part-time payments from multiple members, with a result that the Awans appeared at one time or another on an estimated 80 House Democrats’ payrolls.

Yet the brothers spent significant time in Pakistan, TheDCNF was told. They even had time beginning in 2009 to operate a Northern Virginia car dealership, with Abid as its day-to-day manager. The dealership received a $100,000 loan that was never repaid from Dr. Ali Al-Attar, a onetime Iraqi politician who fled the U.S. on tax charges and who reportedly has links to the terrorist group Hezbollah.

Among the House Democrats employing the Awans was Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former Democratic National Committee Chairman whose tenure there was marked by a disastrous email hack that she blamed on the Russians.

Some of the House Democrats terminated the suspects on their payrolls following the meeting with investigators, but it’s uncertain how many have done so.

Court documents show that Imran was flush with enough cash to loan $30,000 to a friend. Yet Abid declared bankruptcy in 2012, discharging debts to others while keeping retaining ownership of two houses.

The “interactive graphic” follows which lists the Democrats who paid the Awans.

The media in general have not considered the story worth reporting. But here are the headlines of other articles in the Daily Caller on this subject.  [Go here for the links.]

House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs Committee Members Compromised By Rogue IT Staff

Brothers Had Massive Debts, Years Of Suspicious Activity

…Secretly Took $100K In Iraqi Money

…Owed Money To Hezbollah-Connected Fugitive

Received $4 Million From Dem Reps

…Allegedly Kept Stepmom In ‘Captivity’ To Access Offshore Cash

…Also Had Access To DNC Emails…Could Read Every Email Dozens Of Congressmen Sent And Received

Paul Ryan: Capitol Police Getting ‘Assistance’ On Criminal Investigation

Read the Court Docs Detailing Greed, Ruthlessness of Democratic IT Guy

House IT Aides Fear Suspects In Hill Breach Are Blackmailing Members With Their Own Data

Suspect Has Fled To Pakistan, Relative Says

Since news of their criminal activity became public knowledge despite House Democrats trying to cover it up, the Awans have fled to Pakistan.

Here is the report headlined:  House IT Aides Fear Suspects In Hill Breach Are Blackmailing Members With Their Own Data

Again Luke Rosiak reports:

Congressional technology aides are baffled that data-theft allegations against four former House IT workers — who were banned from the congressional network — have largely been ignored, and they fear the integrity of sensitive high-level information.

Imran Awan and three relatives were colleagues until police banned them from computer networks at the House of Representatives after suspicion the brothers accessed congressional computers without permission.

Five Capitol Hill technology aides told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group that [Democratic] members of Congress have displayed an inexplicable and intense loyalty towards the suspects who police say victimized them. The baffled aides wonder if the suspects are blackmailing representatives based on the contents of their emails and files, to which they had full access.

A manager at a tech-services company that works with Democratic House offices said he approached congressional offices, offering their services at one-fourth the price of Awan and his Pakistani brothers, but the members declined. At the time, he couldn’t understand why his offers were rejected but now he suspects the Awans exerted some type of leverage over members.

“There’s no question about it: If I was accused of a tenth of what these guys are accused of, they’d take me out in handcuffs that same day, and I’d never work again,” he said.

The Awans’ ban sent 20 members searching for new IT workers, but another contractor claims he’s had difficulty convincing offices to let him fill the void, even when he seemed like a shoo-in. He says he has the sense some members wrongly believed that he blew the whistle on the Awans’ theft and they were angry at him for it.

Politico reported the Awan crew is “accused of stealing equipment from members’ offices without their knowledge and committing serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network”. 

A House IT employee who requested anonymity said tech workers who have taken over some of those offices found that computers … sent all data to an offsite server in violation of House policies. Additionally, staffers’ iPhones were all linked to a single non-government iTunes account.

Awan began working for Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida in 2005, and his wife, his brother’s wife, and two of his brothers all appeared on the payrolls of various House Democrats soon after, payroll records show. They have collected $4 million since 2010.

For years, it was widely known that Awan, and eventually his 20-year-old brother Jamal, did the bulk of the work for various offices, while no-show employees were listed on members’ staffs in order to collect additional $165,000 salaries, workers said. This circumvented a rule that prevents any one staffer from making more than members of Congress.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the corrupt former chairperson on the DNC, wants her computer back. The police want to keep it while they investigate the crimes of the Awan family.  She must fear that they will find something on it that could incriminate her.

Here is the video record of her threatening the police with “consequences” if they do not return her “equipment”. The relevant altercation begins at the 3 minute mark:

The illegal activities of Obama’s NSA and FBI 1

In a video released yesterday (May 25, 2017), Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch tells how Obama used the NSA against his political opponents. Illegally, in defiance of the Constitution, the intelligence service collected information on Americans and “unmasked” them – ie. revealed their identities – for nefarious political purposes:

And this is from Circa, by John Solomon and Sara Carter, on how James Comey’s FBI illegally collected spy data on Americans, and deliberately leaked the information to serve Obama’s political ends:

The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances about how carefully it handles warrantless spy data to avoid abuses or leaks.

In his final congressional testimony before he was fired by President Trump this month, then-FBI Director James Comey unequivocally told lawmakers his agency used sensitive espionage data gathered about Americans without a warrant only when it was “lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked”.

Once-top secret U.S. intelligence community memos reviewed by Circa tell a different story, citing instances of “disregard” for rules, inadequate training and “deficient” oversight and even one case of deliberately sharing spy data with a forbidden party.

For instance, a ruling declassified this month by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) chronicles nearly 10 pages listing hundreds of violations of the FBI’s privacy-protecting minimization rules that occurred on Comey’s watch.

The behavior the FBI admitted to a FISA judge just last month ranged from illegally sharing raw intelligence with unauthorized third parties to accessing intercepted attorney-client privileged communications without proper oversight the bureau promised was in place years ago.

The court also opined aloud that it fears the violations are more extensive than already disclosed.

“The Court is nonetheless concerned about the FBI’s apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI is engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported,” the April 2017 ruling declared.

The court isn’t the only oversight body to disclose recent concerns that the FBI’s voluntary system for policing its behavior and self-disclosing mistakes hasn’t been working.

The Justice Department inspector general’s office declassified a report in 2015 that reveals the internal watchdog had concerns as early as 2012 that the FBI was submitting “deficient” reports indicating it had a clean record complying with spy data gathered on Americans without a warrant.

To put it bluntly, the FBI was lying.

FBI officials acknowledged there have been violations but insist they are a small percentage of the total counterterrorism and counterintelligence work its agents perform.

Just some lies, they pleaded. They did a lot of honest work too. Ignore the mud in the milk.

Almost all are unintentional human errors by good-intentioned agents and analysts under enormous pressure to stop the next major terror attack, the officials said.

And besides, they lied with the very best of intentions.  

Others fear these blunders call into the question the bureau’s rosy assessment that it can still police itself when it comes to protecting Americans’ privacy 17 years after the war on terror began. …

One of the biggest concerns involves so-called backdoor searches in which the FBI can mine NSA intercept data for information that may have been incidentally collected about an American. No warrant or court approval is required, and the FBI insists these searches are one of the most essential tools in combating terrorist plots.

But a respected former Justice Department national security prosecutor questions if the searching has gotten too cavalier. Amy Jeffress, the former top security adviser to former Attorney General Eric Holder, was appointed by the intelligence court in 2015 to give an independent  assessment.

Security adviser to Eric Holder? And we should expect her findings to be impartial?

Turns out they may be. She is gently critical of the violations which her report does confirm.

Jeffress concluded agents’ searches of NSA data now extend far beyond national security issues and thus were “overstepping” the constitutional protections designed to ensure the bureau isn’t violating Americans’ 4th Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.

By  early 2017, the court became more concerned after the Obama administration disclosed significant violations of privacy protections at two separate intelligence agencies involved in the Section 702 program.

The most serious involved the NSA searching for American data it was forbidden to search. But the FBI also was forced to admit its agents and analysts shared espionage data with prohibited third parties, ranging from a federal contractor to a private entity that did not have the legal right to see the intelligence.

Such third-party sharing is a huge political concern now as Congress and intelligence community leaders try to stop the flow of classified information to parties that could illegally disclose or misuse it, such as the recent leak that disclosed intercepted communications between the Russian ambassador and Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

“Improper access” to NSA spy data for FBI contractors “seems to have been the result of deliberate decision-making”, the court noted.

The recently unsealed ruling also revealed the FBI is investigating more cases of possible improper sharing with private parties that recently have come to light.

The government “is investigating whether there have been similar cases in which the FBI improperly afforded non-FBI personnel access to raw FISA-acquired information on FBI systems,” the court warned.

The ruling cited other FBI failures in handling Section 702 intel, including retaining data on computer storage systems “in violation of applicable minimization requirements”.

Among the most serious additional concerns was the FBI’s failure for more than two years to establish review teams to ensure intercepts between targets and their lawyers aren’t violating the attorney-client privilege.

“Failures of the FBI to comply with this ‘review team’ requirement for particular targets have been focus of FISA’s concerns since 2014,” the court noted.

The FBI said it is trying to resolve the deficiencies with aggressive training of agents.

Oh, “aggressive”. To make the training sound very fierce and merciless. So in future they will not be as lax as they have been in the recent past. You see?

That admission of inadequate training directly undercut Comey’s testimony earlier this month when questioned by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

“Nobody gets to see FISA information of any kind unless they’ve had the appropriate training and have the appropriate oversight,” the soon-to-be-fired FBI director assured lawmakers. 

Another lie. In this case perjury? Didn’t he swear an oath to tell the truth to the Congressional inquiry?

Now that there is a Republican Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, in place of Obama’s puppet, Loretta Lynch, will the law be applied to all who break the law, even to corrupt, felonious law-enforcement officials? Even to Barack Obama?

Posted under Espionage, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, May 26, 2017

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The evil of religion 1

Sam Harris on the inferiority of Islam, the superiority of the West. And the evil of religion.

The School of Athens

Part of a mural by Raphael (1403-1520) in the  Apostolic Palace of the Vatican, Rome.

The West at sunset 6

The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray is soon to be published. This, you will find at Amazon, is what the book is about:

The Strange Death of Europe is a highly personal account of a continent and culture caught in the act of suicide. Declining birth rates, mass immigration, and cultivated self-distrust and self-hatred have come together to make Europeans unable to argue for themselves and incapable of resisting their own comprehensive alteration as a society and an eventual end.

This is not just an analysis of demographic and political realities, it is also an eyewitness account of a continent in self-destruct mode. It includes accounts based on travels across the entire continent, from the places where migrants land to the places they end up, from the people who pretend they want them to the places which cannot accept them.

Murray takes a step back at each stage and looks at the bigger and deeper issues which lie behind a continent’s possible demise, from an atmosphere of mass terror attacks to the steady erosion of our freedoms. The book addresses the disappointing failure of multiculturalism, Angela Merkel’s U-turn on migration, the lack of repatriation, and the Western fixation on guilt. Murray travels to Berlin, Paris, Scandinavia, Lampedusa, and Greece to uncover the malaise at the very heart of the European culture, and to hear the stories of those who have arrived in Europe from far away.

This sharp and incisive book ends up with two visions for a new Europe – one hopeful, one pessimistic – which paint a picture of Europe in crisis and offer a choice as to what, if anything, we can do next. But perhaps Spengler was right: “civilizations like humans are born, briefly flourish, decay, and die.”

Spengler? Oswald Spengler. Author of The Decline of the West (published in 2 volumes, 1918, 1923), more lyrically titled in German, Der Untergang des Abendlandes – literally, The Going Down of the Eveninglands – which might raise an image of a crimson Western sunset.

There is a brightness of crimson fire accompanying the decline of Europe. It is caused by the explosion of bombs as the hordes of Islam surge over the continent and the warriors of Islam’s holy war blow up Europeans and the shrines of their culture.

Spengler’s theory is that successive civilizations rise and fall, and the civilization of the West is falling. One falls, another rises. It will not, however, be another civilization that follows the death of Europe, but the barbarism of Islam.

The Amazon blurb for The Strange Death of Europe includes the “self-distrust and self-hatred” of Europeans among the causes of their civilization’s “eventual end”.

Who dares to say that the culture so many Europeans apparently despise IS the best, the highest, intellectually, morally, governmentally, and physically ever achieved in the history of the human race?

Well, we say it.

It is the best intellectually as a result of the confluence of two streams: the culture of classical Greece and Rome, and the values enshrined by reason in the Enlightenment. (NOT so-called “Judeo-Christian values”; NOT Christianity whose darkness covered Europe for a thousand years before the new dawn of Greco-Roman culture was followed by the bright day of the Enlightenment.)

It is the best morally and governmentally because it recognized that the individual person mattered more than his tribe; it therefore held individual freedom to be the highest value and protected it by law; established equality before the law; taught tolerance and abolished the age-old practice of slavery. Yes, there was slavery before it was abolished. Yes, there was still much injustice. And some Western tribes betrayed their civilization, most notably the Germans with their attempt at eliminating the Jews. But the Constitution of the United States enshrined the values of freedom and equality before the law, making the best hopes of humankind possible to achieve.

It is the best physically because most people live prosperous, safe, healthy, comfortable lives in the West. Anyone who doubts that the standard of living of Europeans and Americans is far higher than that of most Africans and most Asians cannot have travelled in those realms of hardship.

It is the best not only because of its own great cultural achievements, but also because it has recognized and been hospitable to the best ideas, techniques, works, discoveries and inventions from everywhere else.

But Western thinkers see no glory in their inheritance. They blame themselves for having carried their values, their culture, and often their prosperity, to those realms of hardship, the Third World. They see “colonialism” and “imperialism” as national crimes; crimes so terrible as to require the penance of national self-destruction. 

Such thought inspired politicians to facilitate the end of their civilization by surrendering to Islam.

They welcome the Muslim “refugees”; they give them houses and education and medical services and money; they let them off when they commit crimes; they suppress all criticism of them; and still the newcomers shoot their European hosts, run them over, stab them, torture them, rape them, and blow them up with nail-bombs.

The political leaders simply cannot understand why. What more could they do for them? Will even giving them the whole of Western Europe be enough?

Mark Steyn writes about the Muslim nail-bombing of a concert audience in Manchester, England, on May 22, 2017:

Angela Merkel pronounced the attack “incomprehensible”. But she can’t be that uncomprehending, can she? Our declared enemies are perfectly straightforward in their stated goals, and their actions are consistent with their words. They select their targets with some care.

For a while, it was Europe’s Jews, at a Brussels museum and a Toulouse school and a Copenhagen synagogue and a Paris kosher supermarket. But Continentals are, except for political photo-ops on Holocaust Memorial Day, relatively heartless about dead Jews, and wrote off such incidents as something to do with “Israeli settlements” and “occupation” and of no broader significance.

So they moved on to slaughter 49 gays in a nightclub in Orlando – the biggest mound of gay corpses ever piled up in American history and the worst terror attack on American soil since 9/11. But all the usual noisy LGBTQWERTY activists fell suddenly silent, as if they’d all gone back in the closet and curled up in the fetal position. And those Democrats who felt obliged to weigh in thought it was something to do with the need for gun control …

So they targeted provocative expressions of the infidel’s abominable false religion, decapitating a French priest at Mass and mowing down pedestrians at a Berlin Christmas market. But post-Christian Europe takes Christianity less seriously than its enemies do, and so that too merited little more than a shrug and a pledge to carry on.

So they selected symbols of nationhood, like France’s Bastille Day, Canada’s Cenotaph, and the Mother of Parliaments in London. But taking seriously assaults on your own nation’s symbols would require you to take your nation seriously, and most western citizens are disinclined to do so. As the great universal talismanic anthem of the age has it, “Imagine there’s no countries/It’s easy if you try…”

So the new Caliphate’s believers figured out that what their enemy really likes is consumerism and pop music. Hence the attacks on the Champs-Élysées and the flagship Åhléns department store in Stockholm, and the bloodbath at the Eagles of Death Metal concert in Paris and now at Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” tour. …

“Carrying on exactly as before”, as The Independent advises, will not be possible. A few months ago, I was in Toulouse, where Jewish life has vanished from public visibility and is conducted only behind the prison-like walls of a fortress schoolhouse and a centralized synagogue that requires 24/7 protection by French soldiers; I went to Amsterdam, which is markedly less gay than it used to be; I walked through Molenbeek after dark, where unaccompanied women dare not go. You can carry on, you can stagger on, but life is not exactly as it was before. Inch by inch, it’s smaller and more constrained.

And so it will prove for cafe life, and shopping malls, and pop concerts. Maybe Ariana Grande will be back in the UK – or maybe she will decide that discretion is the better part of a Dangerous Woman’s valor. But there will be fewer young girls in the audience – because no mum or dad wants to live for the rest of their lives with the great gaping hole in your heart opening up for dozens of English parents this grim morning. And one day the jihad will get lucky and the bomb will take with it one of these filthy infidel “shameless” pop whores cavorting on stage in her underwear. You can carry on exactly as before, but in a decade or two, just as there are fewer gay bars in Amsterdam and no more Jewish shops on the Chaussée de Gand, there will be less music in the air in western cities. Even the buskers, like the one in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens today serenading a shattered city with “All You Need Is Love”, will have moved on, having learned that it’s a bit more complicated than that.

I am currently reading Douglas Murray’s fine book, The Strange Death of Europe, which lays out, unsparingly, the central illusion of the last half-century – that you could demographically transform the composition of hitherto more or less homogeneous nation states on a scale no stable society has ever attempted, and that there would be no consequences except a more vibrant range of local restaurants. Mrs May [amazingly the Prime Minister of Britain] declared this morning on the steps of Downing Street that she had held a top-level security meeting …  I’ll bet the mood around the table was one of fatalism and resignation, outside a few micro-adjustments to the budget of counter-terrorism agencies and the number of CCTV cameras and the amount of security checks at “sensitive” “high-value” targets like department stores, and theaters, and restaurants and football grounds and pubs and chip shops … 

But the arithmetic is not difficult: Poland and Hungary and Slovakia do not have Islamic terrorism because they have very little Islam. France and Germany and Belgium admit more and more Islam, and thus more and more terrorism. Yet the subject of immigration has been all but entirely absent from the current UK election campaign. Thirty years ago, in the interests of stopping IRA terrorism, the British state was not above preventing the internal movement within its borders of unconvicted, uncharged, unarrested Republican sympathizers seeking to take a ferry from Belfast to Liverpool. Today it declares it can do nothing to prevent the movement of large numbers of the Muslim world from thousands of miles away to the heart of the United Kingdom. It’s just a fact of life – like being blown up when you go to a pop concert.

All of us have gotten things wrong since 9/11. But few of us have gotten things as disastrously wrong as May and Merkel and Hollande and an entire generation of European political leaders who insist that remorseless incremental Islamization is both unstoppable and manageable. It is neither – and, for the sake of the dead of last night’s carnage and for those of the next one, it is necessary to face that honestly. Theresa May’s statement in Downing Street is said to be “defiant”, but what she is defying is not terrorism but reality. So too for all the exhausted accessories of defiance chic: candles, teddy bears, hashtags, the pitiful passive rote gestures that acknowledge atrocity without addressing it …

What’s the happy ending here? In a decade it will be worse, and in two decades worse still, and then in three decades people will barely recall how it used to be, when all that warmth and vibrancy of urban life is but a memory, and the music has died away, and Manchester is as dull and listless as today’s Alexandria. If Mrs May or Frau Merkel has a happier ending, I’d be interested to hear it. If not, it is necessary not to carry on, but to change, and soon – before it’s too late.

Is it not already too late for Western Europe? Its sun is sinking fast.

Of course the terrorist was a Muslim 1

CBS News reports that the  suicide bomber who killed 22 people and injured 60 as spectators were leaving a concert in Manchester, England, yesterday (May 22, 2017) was 23-year-old Salman Abedi, who was “known” to the British police. As a danger, that is. They knew, but they did not act.

We expected his name would be some variation of Mohamed. Anyway, he’s a Muslim OF COURSE.

CBS also reports that ISIS “claimed responsibility” for the mass murder. The ISIS nazis will be celebrating the deaths and suffering, OF COURSE.

Another atrocity carried out for Islam, the religion of war, oppression, and mass murder.  

Breitbart reports that “Leftists took to Twitter Monday night to tweet about their fears of Islamophobia following the terrorist attack” in Manchester, England. OF COURSE they did.

Will the British government, or any European Government, do anything to stop Muslims carrying out their atrocities? OF COURSE NOT.

President Macron of France says “terrorism will be part of our daily lives for years to come”, so everyone must just get used to it.

In the United States, the Left, the bureaucracy, and the media are only concerned that the feelings of Muslims must not be hurt by us Islamophobic, bigoted, xenophobic, racist Rightists saying the words “Islamic terrorism“.

Only President Trump dare speak of “Islamic terrorism”. What’s more he said those very words in the Islamic state of Saudi Arabia in the presence of its deeply religious Muslim rulers.

President Trump does not think we should just get used to terrorism. He spoke vehemently against it in his speech in Saudi Arabia.

Should we get used to living with the possibility that at any moment we might be killed or painfully maimed, perhaps permanently, in any public place, by a Muslim doing his duty to advance the Islamic holy war?

Wasn’t the whole idea of the law-and-order state that people would be protected by government from criminal injury? Is that idea to be abandoned now or discriminately applied because it makes things difficult for Muslim terrorists?

The answer is: In France, yes; in Germany, yes; in Sweden, yes. In Britain, not sure. In America?

Posted under Britain, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Terrorism, United Kingdom by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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Robert Mueller: the fix is in 4

Mueller and Comey: Two Denizens of the Swamp

The very fact that many voices were raised on the Left and among “NeverTrumpers” in praise of Robert Mueller should have been a warning sign to Republicans that he is not the right person to appoint as “special counsellor” to investigate allegations against President Trump. The allegations themselves are little more than slanderous rumors (summed up in the article quoted below as “Russia-gate”). Congressional committees are looking into them. No “special counsellor” was needed. But if there was going to be one, whose job must necessarily involve investigating the decisions and actions of the recently fired FBI chief  James Comey, why choose a former director of the FBI itself and a buddy of Comey?

Cliff Kincaid writes at Canada Free Press:

The Washington Post, a mouthpiece for Obama holdovers in the CIA and other agencies, reports that “sources” say a current White House official is under investigation as “a significant person of interest” in Russia-gate, but that the sources “would not further identify the official”.

This is a case of anonymous officials talking about an anonymous official.

Interestingly, the term “person of interest” was used by the FBI against scientist Steven Hatfill in the post-9/11 anthrax letters case. He was totally innocent and the Department of Justice paid him $5.8 million in damages.

After dismissing Hatfill and several others as suspects, the FBI blamed a dead U.S. Army scientist, Bruce Ivins. However, evidence indicates that the more likely culprits were al-Qaeda operatives who got the anthrax from a U.S. lab. The truth was too embarrassing for the FBI to reveal.

Read more details about the anthrax case in the full article here.

The new Russia-gate special counsel, former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, presided over this fiasco. What’s more, Mueller was sued for malfeasance in the case by FBI agent Richard Lambert who was put in charge of the anthrax investigation.

Yet, here is what we read about Mueller, who was FBI director under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama:

  • “Widely respected by members of both parties” and “an unflinching advocate for facts,” claims The New York Times.
  • “Skilled and upright,” writes Kimberley A. Strassel of The Wall Street Journal.
  • “Widely respected” and “highly regarded by both parties,” writes Andrew McCarthy of National Review.
  • “Uniquely suited to the task,” says The Washington Post.

These comments reflect the consensus of what President Trump would call the “swamp.”

A New York Times editorial was titled “Robert Mueller: The Special Counsel America Needs”. Making no mention of the anthrax debacle, it called Mueller “one of the few people with the experience, stature and reputation to see the job through”.

The New York Times trusts him. To do what? What else but to find something damaging against President Trump? If it didn’t trust him to do that, it wouldn’t praise him.

A far different opinion is offered by Carl M. Cannon, executive editor and Washington Bureau chief of RealClearPolitics, who noted that the FBI director fired by Trump, James Comey, and Mueller “have a long history as professional allies. For Mueller to be brought in to investigate the behavior of the guy who sacked Comey seems a conflict of interest.”

Cannon pointed to their work on the anthrax case, saying, “Comey and Mueller badly bungled the biggest case they ever handled. They botched the investigation of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks that took five lives and infected 17 other people…”

Like Mueller, Comey, who was deputy attorney general, declared Hatfill guilty.

President Trump has called James Comey a nut-job. We think that is a fair description, considering his extremely odd behavior. Reviewing it, we too have concluded that James Comey is deranged.

Leaving aside Comey’s mishandling of another major investigation, the Hillary emails, consider his conduct and behavior.

While President Trump has been attacked for calling Comey a “nut job” and “crazy,” Comey friend Benjamin Wittes says the former FBI director tried to hide in the curtains during a White House visit for a ceremony honoring law enforcement officials who provided security at the inauguration.

Weird! But he did not even try to hide behind curtains, which may have actually hidden him. He apparently tried to hide in front of them because he was wearing dark blue and the curtains are dark blue, and he so he imagined himself to be camouflaged. Even weirder!  

 

The New York Times reported, “Mr. Comey — who is 6 feet 8 inches tall and was wearing a dark blue suit that day — told Mr. Wittes that he tried to blend in with the blue curtains in the back of the room, in the hopes that Mr. Trump would not spot him and call him out.”

Was the 6 foot 8 inch Comey so crazy that he went to a White House event with Trump but tried to hide from him in the drapes?

Wittes, in his own words, says that Comey: “Felt that he could not refuse a presidential invitation, particularly not one that went to a broad array of law enforcement leadership. So he went. But as he told me the story, he tried hard to blend into the background and avoid any one-on-one interaction. He was wearing a blue blazer and noticed that the drapes were blue. So he stood in the back, right in front of the drapes, hoping Trump wouldn’t notice him camouflaged against the wall. If you look at the video, Comey is standing about as far from Trump as it is physically possible to be in that room.”

However, Comey was wearing a red tie that stood out like a sore thumb. His suit was darker than the drapes. Plus, Comey is so tall that he is hard to ignore, even with drapes behind him. Frankly this is nothing more than a diversion from the real issue—FBI corruption.

Reporters would rather write about the drapes than investigate the corruption under Comey and his predecessor, Mueller.

“Corruption under Comey and his predecssor, Mueller.”  Now Mueller is to investigate corruption under Comey? And that guarantees a totally unprejudiced finding?

Who is Benjamin Wittes? He is the co-author of The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones — Confronting A New Age of Threat. He discusses the anthrax attacks in the book.

Five years after the FBI “closed” the case, Wittes doesn’t seem to accept the verdict that Bruce Ivins was the villain. He refers to Ivins as the FBI’s “suspect,” quickly adding, “or whoever else may have been responsible for the attacks”.

So why didn’t Comey reopen the case? One possible explanation is that he didn’t want to upset Mueller and the FBI officials who engaged in the cover-up. He had approved their targeting of, and conclusions about, Hatfill.

In return, Mueller, as special counsel in Russia-gate, can be expected to do Comey a big favor. He will not probe Comey’s malfeasance in using the phony “Trump Dossier” to investigate President Trump and his team. That is the real story — how Hillary donors financed by pro-Russian interests hired a former British agent to concoct an assortment of charges against Trump.

One has only to read the dossier (here) to see what a load of nonsense the concocted assortment of charges really is.

Mueller is a company man; he will protect the FBI and its former director and friend. The fix is in.

This is a far more important story than Comey hiding in the drapes. Writing about drapes may sound silly, but it is yet another way for the media to suggest that Comey was afraid of Trump trying to influence his inquiry into Russia-gate.

The story is not how Trump influenced the investigation, but rather how Comey used the phony “Trump Dossier” to go down dead-end roads and produce no results. It’s the anthrax investigation all over again.

Mueller’s job is to pump life into Comey’s fiasco, and turn the tables on Trump for firing Comey.

Meanwhile, corruption in the FBI goes unreported, and Congress fails to do adequate oversight of the intelligence community, which is supposed to keep us safe.

Mueller has fooled a lot of people. His appointment is good news for the Swamp but bad news for Trump.

Carl M. Cannon seems to think the outcome is preordained, noting the attitude of “official Washington” and what the “insiders” want to see happen — impeachment leading to Trump’s ouster. 

*

Update:

Headline:

Comey will speak to special counsel Mueller before testifying publicly, Chaffetz says

Read the story – manifesting not the least trace of suspicionhere.

Stupidity studies 2

James Delingpole tells this delicious story at Breitbart:

Gender studies is a fake academic industry populated by charlatans, deranged activists and gullible idiots.

Now, a pair of enterprising hoaxers has proved it scientifically by persuading an academic journal to peer-review and publish their paper claiming that the penis is not really a male genital organ but a social construct.

The paper, published by Cogent Social Sciences – “a multidisciplinary open access journal offering high quality peer review across the social sciences” – also claims that penises are responsible for causing climate change.

The two hoaxers are Peter Boghossian, a full-time faculty member in the Philosophy department at Portland State University, and James Lindsay, who has a doctorate in math and a background in physics.

They were hoping to emulate probably the most famous academic hoax in recent years: the Sokal Hoax – named after NYU and UCL physics professor Alan Sokal – who in 1996 persuaded an academic journal called Social Text to accept a paper titled Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.

Sokal’s paper – comprising pages of impressive-sounding but meaningless pseudo-academic jargon – was written in part to demonstrate that humanities journals will publish pretty much anything so long as it sounds like “proper leftist thought;” and partly in order to send up the absurdity of so much post-modernist social science.

So, for this new spoof, Boghossian and Lindsay were careful to throw in lots of signifier phrases to indicate fashionable anti-male bias:

We intended to test the hypothesis that flattery of the academic Left’s moral architecture in general, and of the moral orthodoxy in gender studies in particular, is the overwhelming determiner of publication in an academic journal in the field. That is, we sought to demonstrate that a desire for a certain moral view of the world to be validated could overcome the critical assessment required for legitimate scholarship. Particularly, we suspected that gender studies is crippled academically by an overriding almost-religious belief that maleness is the root of all evil. On the evidence, our suspicion was justified.

They also took care to make it completely incomprehensible.

We didn’t try to make the paper coherent; instead, we stuffed it full of jargon (like “discursive” and “isomorphism”), nonsense (like arguing that hypermasculine men are both inside and outside of certain discourses at the same time), red-flag phrases (like “pre-post-patriarchal society”), lewd references to slang terms for the penis, insulting phrasing regarding men (including referring to some men who choose not to have children as being “unable to coerce a mate”), and allusions to rape (we stated that “manspreading”, a complaint levied against men for sitting with their legs spread wide, is “akin to raping the empty space around him”). After completing the paper, we read it carefully to ensure it didn’t say anything meaningful, and as neither one of us could determine what it is actually about, we deemed it a success.

Some of it was written with the help of the Postmodern Generator – “a website coded in the 1990s by Andrew Bulhak featuring an algorithm, based on NYU physicist Alan Sokal’s method of hoaxing a cultural studies journal called Social Text, that returns a different fake postmodern ‘paper’ every time the page is reloaded.”

This paragraph, for example, looks impressive but is literally meaningless:

Inasmuch as masculinity is essentially performative, so too is the conceptual penis. The penis, in the words of Judith Butler, “can only be understood through reference to what is barred from the signifier within the domain of corporeal legibility” (Butler, 1993). The penis should not be understood as an honest expression of the performer’s intent should it be presented in a performance of masculinity or hypermasculinity. Thus, the isomorphism between the conceptual penis and what’s referred to throughout discursive feminist literature as “toxic hypermasculinity”, is one defined upon a vector of male cultural machismo braggadocio, with the conceptual penis playing the roles of subject, object, and verb of action. The result of this trichotomy of roles is to place hypermasculine men both within and outside of competing discourses whose dynamics, as seen via post-structuralist discourse analysis, enact a systematic interplay of power in which hypermasculine men use the conceptual penis to move themselves from powerless subject positions to powerful ones (confer: Foucault, 1972).

None of it should have survived more than a moment’s scrutiny by serious academics. But it was peer-reviewed by two experts in the field who, after suggesting only a few changes, passed it for publication:

Cogent Social Sciences eventually accepted The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct. The reviewers were amazingly encouraging, giving us very high marks in nearly every category. For example, one reviewer graded our thesis statement “sound” and praised it thusly, “It capturs [sic] the issue of hypermasculinity through a multi-dimensional and nonlinear process” (which we take to mean that it wanders aimlessly through many layers of jargon and nonsense).The other reviewer marked the thesis, along with the entire paper, “outstanding” in every applicable category.

They didn’t accept the paper outright, however. Cogent Social Sciences’ Reviewer #2 offered us a few relatively easy fixes to make our paper “better.” We effortlessly completed them in about two hours, putting in a little more nonsense about “manspreading” (which we alleged to be a cause of climate change) and “dick-measuring contests”.

No claim made in the paper was considered too ludicrous by the peer-reviewers: not even the one claiming that the penis is “the universal performative source of rape, and is the conceptual driver behind much of climate change”. 

You read that right. We argued that climate change is “conceptually” caused by penises. How do we defend that assertion? Like this:

Destructive, unsustainable hegemonically male approaches to pressing environmental policy and action are the predictable results of a raping of nature by a male-dominated mindset. This mindset is best captured by recognizing the role of [sic] the conceptual penis holds over masculine psychology. When it is applied to our natural environment, especially virgin environments that can be cheaply despoiled for their material resources and left dilapidated and diminished when our patriarchal approaches to economic gain have stolen their inherent worth, the extrapolation of the rape culture inherent in the conceptual penis becomes clear.

The fact that such complete drivel was published in a social science journal, the hoaxers argue, raises serious questions about the value of fields like gender studies and the state of academic publishing generally:

The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct should not have been published on its merits because it was actively written to avoid having any merits whatsoever. The paper is academically worthless nonsense.

But they do not hold out much hope for it having any more effect on the bullshit in the social sciences industry than Sokal’s hoax did – because leftist stupidity in academe is so heavily entrenched.

As a matter of deeper concern, there is unfortunately some reason to believe that our hoax will not break the relevant spell. First, Alan Sokal’s hoax, now more than 20 years old, did not prevent the continuation of bizarre postmodernist “scholarship.” In particular, it did not lead to a general tightening of standards that would have blocked our own hoax. Second, people rarely give up on their moral attachments and ideological commitments just because they’re shown to be out of alignment with reality.

What self-respecting scholar will attend a university these days – unless maybe to study math, engineering, medicine, or real (not climate) science? The Left with its ludicrous “Studies” departments has battered the institution of the University into terminal decline.

Posted under education by Jillian Becker on Sunday, May 21, 2017

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A voice for reason 0

Zach Wood quietly and persuasively defends freedom of speech.

He even catches a moment when Barack Obama said something in favor of it!

Posted under education, liberty, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, May 21, 2017

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California: communist kingdom of heaven? 1

The far left government of California is clearing the way for its employees to be openly communist.

On May 9, 2017, AP (always sympathetic to the Left) reported:

Lawmakers narrowly approved the bill to repeal part of a law enacted during the Red Scare of the 1940s and ’50s when fear that communists were trying to infiltrate and overthrow the U.S. government was rampant.

So silly, AP implies. The Red Scare. Such ridiculous hysteria. Rampant!

In fact, America was at war with communism. It was called the Cold War. What many feared was that it would become a nuclear war with communist Russia. That was not an irrational fear.  

The bill now goes to the Senate.

It has not yet been passed by the Californian Senate.

It would eliminate part of the law that allows public employees to be fired for being a member of the Communist Party.

Employees could still be fired for being members of organizations they know advocate for overthrowing the government by force or violence.

The bill updates an outdated provision in state law, said Assemblyman Rob Bonta, the San Francisco Bay Area Democrat who authored the measure.

Some Assembly Republicans said the Cold War-era law should not be changed.

A law made to deal with such a silly old bugbear of an imagined threat, AP would have us feel, is surely obsolete; yet – Oh dear! – not all the elected members of the Californian Assembly are for welcoming communists into government employment:

Assemblyman Randy Voepel, a Southern California Republican who fought in the Vietnam War, said communists in North Korea and China are “still a threat”.  [Our emphasis] 

The quotation marks might be intended to convey, “What a ninny he is!” But the communist states of North Korea and China are still a threat.

Finally, to give a boost to your mirth at what one Republican ninny had to say, AP quotes another (because no one should accuse AP of being one-sided in its reporting):

“This bill is blatantly offensive to all Californians,” said Assemblyman Travis Allen, a Republican who represents a coastal district in Southern California. “Communism stands for everything that the United States stands against.”

Yes. And whatever the United States stands against, “the Resistance” – aka the Democratic Party – is for.

On Tuesday February 21, 2017, the California State Senate memorialized one of its members who died last year: Tom Hayden.

Who was Tom Hayden? He was a leader of the resistance movement against America fighting Communism in Vietnam. 

In their 1989 book Destructive Generation, Peter Collier and David Horowitz write:

“We created the most massive resistance to a war in the nation’s history,” [Tom Hayden] boasts. Yet the corollary never occurs to him: that this resistance, which caused the defeat of America, resulted in a monster regime that, more than a decade after the end of the [Vietnam] war, still torments its own people, driving them deeper into poverty and diminishing their freedoms through Marxist repression and imperial conquest.

What happened at the memorial celebration?

Did no one protest?

Jennifer Van Laar reports at RedState:

California State Senator Janet Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam about a year after the city fell. Her family came to the United States as refugees when she was five, and was raised in Southern California. She is the first Vietnamese-American state legislator, representing a heavily Vietnamese area of Orange County.

She holds, as do many of the people she represents, strong opinions about those who gave aid and comfort to the Communists during the Vietnam War, including former State Sen. Tom Hayden, who died last year. So when the California State Senate memorialized Hayden Tuesday, she stepped out of the chambers rather than having to listen to her colleagues sing Hayden’s praises:

“He was one of the great visionaries. He was a guy with a lot of courage,” [John] Burton, the California Democratic Party Chairman, said.

“He was a maverick. He was an independent thinker. He was an intellectual. He was a true progressive,” said current Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). “He dedicated his life to the betterment of our state and our great country through the pursuit of peace, justice and equity.”

Today [February 24, 2017], Nguyen attempted to make a speech giving a “different historical perspective” about Hayden, but was shut down by Senate leadership. First her microphone was cut, then she was repeatedly told to sit down, and then finally, Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) had her led out of the chambers by the Sergeant at Arms. … Someone [told] Lara to have her removed, and he declined, saying, “that only makes it more dramatic.” Finally, State Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) interrupted and said she was “out of order” in her remarks. Nguyen kept talking until she was led out of the chamber.

The misogyny and blatant hypocrisy displayed by Senate Dems in this matter is stunning. When Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) attempted to smear Jeff Sessions’ character in a floor speech and was shut down, “She persisted” became an instant rallying cry among feminists and leftists, who defended her right to speak even in contravention of the rules. They accused Sen. McConnell of misogyny. But it’s okay to shut this woman down, because she’s a Republican. She doesn’t have the same rights Sen. Warren has.

Leftists label anyone who wants to come to this country, especially illegally, as a “refugee” worthy of our handouts and of end-runs around the rule of law. But this refugee, Nguyen, cannot be allowed to speak – because her ideas differ from what they want to hear.

Nguyen’s staff tried to clear the speech with Senate leadership beforehand, but were given the run-around. First they told her to just post the speech online. Then they suggested she speak after adjournment, but when Nguyen checked with parliamentary rules procedures she was told that was against the rules.

She told the Los Angeles Times:

“I was told I cannot speak on the issue at all.”

But she persisted. And when she did, Senate President Kevin de Leon’s chief of staff accused her of “wanting to make a scene” and that she “got what she wanted.”

She got what she wanted? She wanted to make a scene? Next thing you know they’ll be calling her an hysterical broad.

Sen. Nguyen did post her entire statement on her Senate website, a portion of which reads:

Members, I recognize today in memory of the million of Vietnamese and the hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees who died seeking freedom and democracy. I recognize that on Tuesday you had an opportunity to honor Senator Tom Hayden. With all due respect, I would like to offer another historical perspective.

On Tuesday, instead of participating, I chose to step out of the chamber out of respect to his family, his friends and to you. In contrast to your comments on Tuesday, I want to share what Senator Hayden meant to me and to the over 500,000 Vietnamese Americans who call California their home, as well as to the over 1 million Vietnamese Americans across the United States.

Mr. Hayden sided with a communist government that enslaved and/or killed millions of Vietnamese, including members of my own family. Mr. Hayden’s actions are viewed by many as harmful to democratic values and hateful towards those who sought the very freedoms on which this nation is founded.

Instead of representing her constituents and speaking up against Communist coddling, she’s supposed to listen to the man in charge and listen when he tells her to sit down and shut up? I don’t think so.

Shame on you, Senator Lara.

The scene of the silencing of California State Senator Janet Nguyen exemplifies communism in power. 

Why do so many Americans like communism after all the unmitigated suffering it has caused over the last hundred years?

Collier and Horowitz offer an explanatory answer:

How does the Left maintain its belief against the the crushing weight of its failures in the past? By recycling its innocence, which allows it to be born again in its utopian faith. The utopianism of the Left is a secular religion (as the vogue of “liberation theology” attests), its promise of an earthly kingdom of heaven. However sordid Leftist practice may be, defending Leftist ideals is, for the true believer, tantamount to defending the ideals of humanity itself. To protect the faith is the highest calling of the radical creed. The more the evidence weighs against the belief, the more noble the act of believing becomes.  

That version of nobility is becoming popular again.

It’s time for some rational fear in California.

The Department of Treason 1

How can President Trump do the job he was elected to do when almost all the personnel in almost all the government agencies are working against him? 

So vast a treasonous plot will not be easy to destroy.

The State Department, almost entirely staffed by subversives it would seem, is surely the worst. It is Treason’s HQ: a huge powerful machine that has been striving for years to help the globalist internationalists realize their dream of world government. When they achieve it – and victory was in sight until American voters went and put Donald Trump in the White House – the Great Redistribution will be carried out. That is the consummation of all that Dame History has been working towards since she emerged from the primeval dark. The wealth –  that they say morally belongs to everyone regardless of who made it – will be spread nice and evenly over all the peoples of the earth. (After the ruling globalist internationalists have taken a generously fair share for themselves, of course.)

The elaborate plot to bring about world government, and its horrifying good works, is to be achieved through the creation of fear. Fear that the earth is burning up and only the UN’s global warming experts can save the planet and the human race.

This is from the Washington Times, by Ben Wolfgang:

Newly released documents show just how badly the State Department wanted to get the U.S. into — and now to remain a party to — the Paris climate agreement that President Trump opposed in his campaign.

As Mr. Trump meets next week with other world leaders at the Group of Seven summit, the emails and cables underscore how the Obama administration’s State Department consulted with outside liberal groups and other allies to push the deal across the finish line.

The documents were released after legal prodding by Chris Horner, a lawyer and a senior fellow at the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, amid an ongoing fight inside the administration over whether to exit the deal, which commits the U.S. to significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions over the next decade.

Some of the emails show the State Department laying the groundwork for the responsibility of overseeing U.S. participation in the deal — political power that could be lost if the agreement is scrapped.

We are happy to be able to contribute to advancing the administration’s climate agenda, and now that we [are] staffing up with expertise, we are eager to get the ball rolling on some specific work that will be relevant for you,” Rodney Ludema, a chief economist at the State Department, wrote in a February 2015 email to Todd Stern, the Obama administration’s lead climate negotiator.

In other messages, officials discuss possible economic repercussions of the deal to European countries, acknowledging that U.S. involvement is necessary to make the entire deal work. The cable focuses on how European nations are banking on the U.S. to make a similarly ambitious emissions commitment.

An exit from Paris would negate much of the State Department’s work in 2014 and 2015, both in preparing the U.S. side of the agreement and negotiating with other nations to get them on board.

“Certain sectors are concerned that too much leadership on emissions reductions could cost Europe jobs,” one cable reads in part. “While Germany is lobbying other member states to get in line with 2030 targets, a German industry group is warning that if the rest of the world does not join Europe in agreeing to substantial reductions in emissions, the European industries could face ‘billions’ in losses.” …

Critics charge that the documents, along with the broader fact that the department by all accounts is leading the pro-Paris charge inside the administration, show that State Department officials believe that remaining a part of the treaty will preserve their power and influence.

“State focuses on what’s best for State. Will their lives be enriched or made more difficult by having to advance and defend the new administration’s stated policy? Less money, no massive expansion of a climate diplomatic corps? Then undermine adoption of the policy,” Mr. Horner said.

State is largely populated by those whose worldview embraces such gestures advancing an agenda in the name of global salvationism,” he said. “President Trump should view State’s input here with great suspicion, taking note of its record on this matter.”

While other top administration officials — including Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry — also favor remaining a part of the Paris deal, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson has been among the most outspoken in favor of maintaining a U.S. seat at the table.

At a meeting of Arctic nations last week, Mr. Tillerson signed an agreement that trumpeted the Paris climate pact and stressed the importance of addressing climate change. Still, he made clear that the administration has not made a decision how to proceed.

Mr. Trump originally promised a decision before the G-7 meeting, but the timetable was pushed back amid continued debate inside the White House.

“We are appreciative that each of you has an important point of view,” the secretary of state said at last week’s Arctic conference. “We are going to make the right decision for the United States.”

Top leaders in the business community, including Mr. Tillerson’s former company, Exxon Mobil Corp., also have been pressuring Mr. Trump to remain a part of the deal.

Sources familiar with the internal White House debate say the president has been swayed by the near-unanimous support for the pact among leading CEOs.

But critics, such as Environmental Protection Agency Director Scott Pruitt, have argued that the U.S. has put itself at a major economic disadvantage with the terms to which the Obama administration agreed in the Paris deal.

Scott Pruitt was an excellent choice to head and change (and dissolve?) the vicious EPA.

But there are traitors in the White House too.

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