As Far Back as 2014, Steve Bannon Was Directing Cambridge Analytica to Test Messaging on Putin

So just what was Steve Bannon up to while serving as vice president of the board of Cambridge Analytica?

According to Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower who busted both Cambridge Analytica and Facebook a month ago – no good.

Cambridge Analytica and Facebook apparently struck a deal with the devil, with CA improperly obtaining the information of over 50,000 FB users, in order to craft propaganda before the 2016 election.

Wylie met with Democrats of the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform committees on Wednesday to expand further on his former firm’s activities.

Wylie told Democrats that Cambridge Analytics was a “full service propaganda machine,” that wanted to use collected Facebook data — at the direction of Bannon — to discourage specific groups of people from voting, including those likely to vote Democratic.

“There is one document which I have that specifically says—in bold terms—voter disengagement as an objective in the United States.,” he said, later adding that he had heard Bannon talk about voter disenfranchisement or voter disengagement.

“If by that term you mean discouraging particular types of voters who are more prone to voting for Democratic or liberal candidates, if that’s what you mean by that term, then yes,” Wylie explained.

This is just more proof that Steve Bannon and the alt-right clowns that follow his lead are bad for the political process.

So was that all he was up to?

Nope. If you look back to 2014, Wylie says that Bannon directed the staff to “test messaging,” in regards to Vladimir Putin and Russia’s expansion into Eastern Europe.

You know, like, should the language in relation to Russia’s move in Ukraine be softened?

Oh, wait… that’s something else.

“I can’t explain why it was that they picked Vladimir Putin to talk about in focus groups or to do message testing or to do models on, and why that would be useful to Steve Bannon,” he told Democrats in interviews on Capitol Hill this week. “But what I can say is that they were also testing images of Vladimir Putin and asking questions about Russian expansion in Eastern Europe.”

It’s a peculiar coincidence, I’m sure, and not at all as if there have been operatives attempting to push a pro-Russia agenda on the inside of our nation.

It would also seem that there’s enough smoke here that our lawmakers should all, regardless of party, be interested in scouring over every detail, leaving no stone unturned.

That’s just not how it’s working out, as partisanship seems to be rendering large swaths of our representation impotent.

According to the Democrats that were there with Wylie today, Judiciary Committee Republicans were invited to participate, but they refused, which is why only Democrats are hearing what Wylie has to say.

I can only assume that the mention of “Russia” makes them feel as if they’d be showing disloyalty to President Trump.

Unacceptable.

 

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Chance the Rapper: ‘Black People Don’t Have to be Democrats’

Maybe the culture war isn’t irretrievably lost to conservatives after all. Kanye West has been tweeting pro-Trump comments all day long, unfazed by the online backlash, and now Chancelor Jonathan Bennett — better known as Chance the Rapper — has chimed in, with this shocking tweet:

Among West’s tweets earlier in the day were several comments about Chicago, including one noting that eight years of President Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House had failed to bring change to the Windy City:

Bennett, a Chicago native, retweeted several of West’s posts and rejected those who were “question[ing] his mental or physical health,” saying that the two had just spoken two days ago and West was “in a great space.”

Bennett then added his tweet that “Black people don’t have to be democrats,” and his prediction that the next president would be an independent:

Bennett has been outspoken in the past about both his Christian faith and how it gave him strength to handle everything from his daughter’s health scare (she was diagnosed with a type of irregular heartbeat before she was born) to quitting smoking. Politically, he has described himself as an independent voter, but his father worked for Obama and he has been an outspoken critic of Trump. He endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016.

So this isn’t a case of Bennett disclosing that he is a secret Republican, but that likely gives his message more legitimacy. He did not support Trump, is not a Republican, but also unequivocally supports his friend as well as the idea that politics are a matter of individual free choice in this country, regardless of the color of your skin.

I’m always going to applaud free thinkers who can respect differences of opinion. The entertainment industry desperately needs more voices like this. Kudos to Mr. Bennett and Mr. West.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.

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Scientists Reveal that We’re Not Going to Die From Climate Change Anytime Soon

Good news, everyone! We’re not all going to die from the planet mimicking a global Texas summer.

According to the Daily Wire, scientists have found that the global warming models presented by climate alarmists aren’t as dramatic as what is likely going to happen:

The new study, conducted by climatologist Judith Curry and mathematician Nick Lewis and published in the American Meteorological Society’s “Journal of Climate” on April 23, downgrades the predicted global temperature increases by 30-45% compared to the forecasts of the IPCC.

“Our results imply that, for any future emissions scenario, future warming is likely to be substantially lower than the central computer model-simulated level projected by the IPCC, and highly unlikely to exceed that level,” said Lewis. The study predicts temperature increases of 1.66C and 1.33C compared to the IPCC models’ more dramatic predictions of 3.1C and 1.9C, respectively, a reduction ranging from 45-30%.

The downgraded forecasts of Curry and Lewis were published a few months after a study headed up by the University of Exeter’s Peter Cox, which concluded that the most dire of the U.N.’s climate change models were almost certainly too high. “Our study all but rules out very low and very high climate sensitivities,” said Cox. The scientists significantly narrowed the range of possible temperature changes from the U.N.’s widely variable range of 1.5 – 4.5C to a more moderate 2.2 – 3.4C, with a best estimate of an increase of 2.8C by 2100.

In other words, the changes alarmists at the U.N. predicted were off by quite a bit, and you should never trust an organization with a political aim to do your sciencing for you.

It seems like every year we get another doomsday chart from the church of climate change, and every year nothing happens. At some point, we’re going to have to admit that the debate on climate change isn’t as over as those who push this climate catastrophism say it is. There are so many factors, variables, and unforseen results when it comes to climate change that it’s nearly impossible to predict what’s going to happen decades down the line.

The question isn’t “is the climate changing?” The answer to that is clearly yes, but a changing climate is par for the course when it comes to planet Earth. The planet went through plenty of dramatic changes long before humans arrived. The question is how much is mankind changing the climate, and is it actually having as dramatic an effect as some say it is.

But I don’t want this answer being given to us by scientists and politicians with a motive. I want a clear, and level conversation where I’m not labeled as a social pariah because I didn’t agree with Al Gore’s latest joke of a prediction.

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Michael Cohen Takes the Fifth and Makes Stormy Work Hard for Her Money

Attorney Michael Cohen is surrounded by photographers as he walks down the sidewalk, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in New York. Federal agents who raided the office of Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, were looking for information about payments to a former Playboy playmate and a porn actress who claim to have had affairs with Trump, two people familiar with the investigation said. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

 

I sort of feel like taking a shower with Ajax and steel wool then sticking a soup spoon in my own eye for writing this, but I guess news is news.

Backstory. Michael Cohen who is Donald Trump’s personal lawyer is being sued by porn star Stormy Daniels. Cohen, who is totally a mensch, ponied up $130K of his own cash to convince Stormy not to talk about an alleged tryst between her and Donald Trump twelve years ago. Now Daniels wants out of the non-disclosure agreement and she wants to be paid for people saying mean things about her. (A pause her for commentary on aging. There was a time when once you’d owned the title “porn star” there was very little that could be said to defame you, but I digress.)

Today, Cohen filed a statement with the court saying he plans to take the Fifth.

“Based on the advice of counsel, I will assert my 5th amendment rights in connection with all proceeding in this case due to the ongoing criminal investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York,” Cohen said in a court filing Wednesday.

Cohen said the FBI raids earlier this month on his residence, office and hotel room — and the ongoing criminal probe they represent — are behind the decision not to offer testimony in the California lawsuit.

I don’t know how these things work, but I would imagine that the civil suit takes a backseat to criminal proceedings. If so:

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Mystery Solved: Arrest Made in Vandalism of Jewish Cemetery

FILE – In this Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 file photo, toppled and damaged headstones rest on the ground at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Philadelphia. The Anti-Defamation League found an increase in cases of anti-Semitic intimidation and vandalism in 2016, evidence that anti-Jewish bias intensified during the election. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

Last February, there were a number of disturbing attacks and threats involving Jewish community centers and cemeteries.  Multiple bomb threats were called into Jewish community centers.  And over 100 headstones were toppled in a local Jewish cemetery.

I wrote about it at the time, applauding this tweet from Ivanka Trump:

I did — and do — consider anti-Semitic sentiments and threat abhorrent. However, some of the incidents which were thought to be born of such sentiments turned out not to be so much so.

The culprit in several of the phoned-in threats turned out to be a 19-year-old US-Israeli citizen, as my colleague streiff covered that here.  Several more were attributed to former Intercept reporter Juan Thompson, who was reportedly attempting to get back at an ex-girlfriend.

Now, an arrest has been made regarding the vandalism at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery:

A 34-year-old Florissant man was drunk and mad at a friend when he toppled more than 100 headstones at a Jewish cemetery in University City more than a year ago, according to St. Louis County prosecutors.

Alzado Harris confessed to toppling the headstones at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in February 2017, causing more than $30,000 in damage, according to court documents.

….

“He was drunk and mad at a friend,” Magee said. The friend had recently dropped him off near the cemetery, and he took out his anger there, Magee said.

That the destruction wasn’t prompted by anti-Semitism doesn’t render it any less awful. Nor does it negate the fear and apprehension instilled in the community at the time. But it is a relief to know the person responsible will be brought to justice.

 

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Texas Governor Demands Creep Congressman Cover Costs of Special Election

Don’t mess with Texas — and definitely don’t mess with Texas taxpayers, is the message Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) sent today in a letter to former Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), who resigned earlier this month after it was revealed that he had paid $84,000 of taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment complaint filed by a former staffer.

Farenthold had promised to repay that money, but has so far failed to do so. It’s not a question of being able to afford it — financial disclosures Farenthold filed last year showed him to have a net worth of at least $2.4 million.

After the scandal broke, Farenthold announced he would not run for re-election, but his resignation on April 6 was a surprise, and triggered a special election for his seat.

Abbott had previously announced the special election would be held on June 30, with a runoff (if necessary) to be held in September.

Farenthold’s district includes part of the area heavily damaged by Hurricane Harvey last year, and Texas has been working with FEMA and other federal agencies in their disaster relief efforts. In fact, every single county in the district still remains under a state disaster declaration from the hurricane.

These hurricane recovery efforts were cited by Abbott in his call for the emergency special election, which Texas law allows to be held sooner than a regular special election, and in his letter to Farenthold demanding that he cover the costs of the election.

“While you have publicly offered to reimburse the $84,000 in taxpayer funds you wrongly used to settle a sexual harassment claim, there is no legal recourse requiring you to give that money back to Congress,” wrote Abbott. “I am urging you to give those funds back to the counties in your district to cover the costs of the June 30, 2018, special election. This seat must be filled, and the counties and taxpayers in the 27th Congressional District should not again pay the price for your actions.”

Abbott’s letter requests a response by May 2. He also posted a tweet calling on Farenthold to “pay for the special election that had to be called to fill the seat he resigned from because of his disgraceful conduct,” adding that “Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for his misdeeds.”

Victoria County Elections Administrator Vicki Vogel told the Victoria Advocate that the cost of the special election could run as much as $200,000 in total, depending on if a runoff is needed.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.

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Killing Sick Kids Is All the Rage in Britain But What About When the Little Mengeles Get It Wrong?


As I’m writing this we are waiting on Alfie Evans to die. Alfie is the little boy with a terminal condition that the British National Health Service has not only decided is not worth the effort of treating, they have gone to court to keep his parents from seeking treatment elsewhere and have even denied them the ability to take their baby home to die. For a while, it seemed as though the authorities were going to be successful in banning them from the hospital. (Please read Kira Davis’s wonderful essay on the subject if you haven’t.

Make no mistake about it, I’m not claiming anything can be done for Alfie…but I do believe in miracles and I do believe that as long as you are alive you have hope. What is dying, along with Alfie, is freedom. The larger point here is that the totalitarian regime that has taken hold in Britain has decided that some nebulous body of quacks is better suited to decide the fate of this boy that the parents. And, to enforce this petty tyranny, they have gone to court to ensure they will be proven right by the simple method of killing Alfie Evans by deprivation of water and food.

This is not the first time this has happened. In July of last year, 11-month-old Charlie Gard was removed from life support after another batch of doctors determined that he was unlikely to benefit from an experimental treatment. Apparently, the exact meaning of the word “experimental” was lost on them.

While there is no doubt whatsoever that A driving force in these decisions is cost–you can bet the British hospital system is run just like a military motor pool, where every vehicle is assigned a repair budget based on its age and when it exceeds that budget it goes to scrap yard–the cost is secondary. The real issue is control and sending a message to the proles that their pretensions to equality will not be tolerated. When one looks at the education and socio-economic class of the parents of both Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard, it his hard to escape the conclusion that the hospital system and courts acting in this way has as much to do with saying the parents just aren’t bright enough to make decisions for their children as it does with any high minded principle of health care.

Unsurprisingly, the system is not infallible. In fact, because it is a system developed in Britain, it barely works.

Let’s consider the case of Aysha King.

Aysha was a five-year-old boy who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He underwent successful surgery and the medical team wanted to put him on radiation treatment as a follow up. His parents balked. If you’ve ever know someone who received radiation treatment in the head region you’ll understand why. The wanted access to an experimental proton therapy. None was available in Britain, but the National Health Service had paid for this treatment in other medical centers in Europe. The parents and hospital were at loggerheads. On August 28, 2014, the parents took their son from the hospital and hopped a train for France. Britain issued an arrest warrant for them and instituted an international manhunt. The family was located in Spain two days later. The parents were arrested and held for over 24-hours before sanity, since deceased, prevailed in Britain and a decision was made to not extradite the couple. The case went to Britain’s High Court which ruled Aysha could receive the desired therapy at a hospital in Prague. Aysha is a fully functioning kid and cancer free. Radiation therapy almost certainly would have meant that would not be the case.

Again we see the same model. There is no idea of informed consent. There is no respect for the responsibility parents have to make decisions for their children. The difference here is that the Kings seem to be (I say seem because I simply can’t find any biographical information on the parents) to be more educated that the Gards and Evanses. They were smart enough to know they couldn’t fight the system and the the resources to win. They were sympathetic enough that Prime Minister David Cameron intervened to prevent extradition.

When you take this into context with Britain jihad against free speech, its war on any form of self defense, and it’s cultural self-loathing one has to wonder if it even has the will to exist

And, if you are in Britain, reading and commenting on this may put you at risk of arrest.

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