Cover for No Agenda Show 1503: Strung Out
November 13th • 2h 53m

1503: Strung Out

Shownotes

Every new episode of No Agenda is accompanied by a comprehensive list of shownotes curated by Adam while preparing for the show. Clips played by the hosts during the show can also be found here.

Prime Time Purge
Flipped from Blue wave to Red wave about 6 weeks ago more or less - By Design?
GOP didn't support 'Deniers'
GOP helped delay vote counting for M5M to do it;s business
Trump Yun Kin
Anti Trump Wall Street Media
The Influencers against Trump
The group was recruited in January 2022 and includes Fox News’ Lisa Marie Boothe, Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson, Newsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer, The Rubin Report’s Dave Rubin, New York Post and FoxNews.com columnist Karol Markowicz, Claremont Institute fellow David Reaboi and conservative writers like Jordan Schachtel, John Cardillo, along with Ben Shapiro and Guy Benson.
Kamala benzos adavan cbd of benzos
The Announcement
Special rumor: Musk to implant Fedderman
War on Drugs
Cabbagepaps plant cultivated and grown just for me with my name on it
FTX BTC
BLM LGBBTQQIAAPK+ Noodle Boy
Climate Change
Greenhushing = Corporation being quiet about their ESG scores
Elon / Twitter
Musk is going after low hanging fruit with monetization
Online streamers, especially adult performers use combinations of Tinder, Snapchat, Twitter, and services like Only Fans and Pornhub to monetize.
The thing no one in the media talks about is the fact that every type of adult content imaginable, from softcore to hardcore fetish are available on Twitter. The only barrier is the site/app asking if you are 18. Currently from what I see, most of not all of these performers adult and non, post a lot of teasers on Twitter and drive traffic to Only Fans, Porn Hub and other adult sites and streaming services that allow for monetization. Chaturbate and other similar streaming sites again capitalize off of Twitter. Performers literally have Twitter, Amazon wishlist and other badges on their live feed to click, and ask viewers to following them on Twitter, snap etc. They also charge viewers Chaturbate tokens for things like life time access to their private Twitter, Snap, and specials on Only Fans. Many of theses performers also ask for payment outside of the platform via PayPal to avoid the service fee.
Musk has to be seeing the loss of revenue hence the future long video content, payment/kyc verification IOS first, and the ability to monitize. There performers will go blue on their iPhone for legitimacy and use Twitter another revenue source. Almost double dipping. They'll monitize on Twitter while charging users for access on streaming sites and still utilizing Only fans, Twitch, YouTube, Snap and PayPal.
Musk is just grabbing his piece of the porn pie, and all of the other illicit activity that occurs on these platforms, but Twitter up until now has failed to capitalize on in a way that makes money for the service.
Musk doing Problem Reaction Solution stuff now
Special rumor: Musk to implant Fedderman
Reproductive Freedom
Hi Adam,I loved your comment in a recent episode noting the switch from Pro-choice to Reproductive Freedom. I just happened to be reading a book called "Tearing Us Apart".
In there (Chapter 3 p.116) it talks about a California bill titled: "Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act" drafted with the help of Planned Parenthood and enforced by two two successive state attorneys: Kamala Harris and Zavier Becerra.
I guess it was referred to as the FACT Act.
Sounds like it went to the Supreme Court and then was overturned for some reason.
Anyways that name jumped out at me as I read it. Thought you would like to know.
Thanks for all you do,
-Jeff
Great Reset
Big Pharma
Food Intelligence
Ukraine & Russia
STORIES
President Trump Fires Back Against Ron DeSantis, Con Inc and Coordinated Narrative Midterm Effort - The Last Refuge
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:54
President Trump can see and hear the same things everyone else can see and hear, including the coordinated media and GOPe effort to diminish him and the MAGA movement within the Republican club.
The Democrats and professional Republican class both want to see the populist movement destroyed for the same reason Mitch McConnell wanted the Tea Party destroyed in 2010. The assembly of the united middle-class and blue-collar base inside the Republican Party, essentially the broad MAGA movement, represents a Main Street threat to Wall Street control of the GOPe.
There are trillions at stake.
As Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' megadonor and Citadel hedge fund billionaire, Ken Griffin, openly admitted recently the Wall Street goals are (1) stop the populist movement and (2) get the Republican Party back in alignment with the multinational ''corporate world.'' These are the same goals of the Republican leadership in Washington DC and the same goals as the corporate media who serve as the public relations firms for Wall Street.
The collaborative group, which includes the entirety of the funding mechanism and management behind Ron DeSantis, viewed the 2022 midterm election as an opportunity to reset the Republican Party away from the populist MAGA influence. The strategy was to roll out of the August DOJ Mar-a-Lago targeting, directly into a nationally rebranded DeSantis operation and then lead up to the 2022 midterm election.
Anything that can cast Donald Trump as a negative would be enhanced, and anything that would cast the MAGA movement as a positive would be diminished. In part, this is the intent behind the delayed positive election results from key MAGA races in CO, WA, NV and AZ, combined with emphasis on the negative -albeit controlled- election ballot outcomes from Michigan and Pennsylvania.
At the 30,000-foot level the attacks against President Trump are, quite frankly, attacks against the MAGA populist movement represented by President Trump.
The professional political class, both DNC and RNC club members, politicians and donors, want to get back to normal political business operations in Washington DC. The key element at the core of their concern is financial and economic control. Again, there are trillions at stake.
Just like we can see this coordinated effort, so too can President Trump see the construct of the narrative as it is being engineered and delivered. We can see the Paul Ryan wing, the Mitch McConnell wing and the corporate media division all working in concert. The entities described genuinely do not think the larger Republican base can see it, but they underestimate us at their own peril.
Things are never going to return to normal for them, but they refuse to accept that. The most adamant of the professional Republican apparatus, in concert with the multinational financial world, would rather see the GOP lose every election '' if that's what it takes to stop the MAGA movement. They view this as a zero-sum game, and they have planted proactive seeds for exactly this purpose.
A more than happy to assist CONservative Inc new media apparatus, the ''influencers'' as they call them, are part of the dynamic that was recruited in early 2022 {See Here}. It's the use of this crew and others of like-minded disposition that helps the corporate group drumbeat an anti-populist, anti-MAGA message with the intention to eliminate the head of the movement.
In addition to their common vertical challenges, the DeSantis 2024 influence group are almost identical to the Cruz 2016 group. The difference this time around is the pretending game; where they pretend DeSantis is not the intended beneficiary of their relentless anti-Trumpism in both print and broadcast appearances.
The group was recruited in January 2022 and includes Fox News' Lisa Marie Boothe, Turning Point USA's Benny Johnson, Newsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer, The Rubin Report's Dave Rubin, New York Post and FoxNews.com columnist Karol Markowicz, Claremont Institute fellow David Reaboi and conservative writers like Jordan Schachtel, John Cardillo, along with Ben Shapiro and Guy Benson.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been positioned as the intended recipient for the disenfranchised MAGA movement's support, if they can just get President Trump out of the equation and exploit the vulnerability in his absence. However, all previous efforts to shake the bond between President Trump and the MAGA movement have failed.
Using the 2022 midterm election control, they are pounding the wedge harder now, with increased ferocity and urgency to break the bond.
Just like in 2016, the GOPe multinationals, corporatists, Wall Street donors, Never Trump CONservatives, and just about all controlled media systems are being enlisted in this effort. President Trump can see the construct just as clearly as you can.
That's why President Trump is hitting back against the effort by singling out the wedge they are trying to use.
President Trump isn't pretending. He's targeting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis because President Trump, like us, can clearly see the nature of the construct that has been manufactured to oppose the MAGA movement. This is a fight for the future of the Republican party.
DeSantis is playing too-cute-by-half, in pretending not to be a participant in the professional republican operation. If Governor Ron DeSantis was not an active participant, he would not be playing coy with his 2024 GOP nomination intent. Trump isn't going to play pretend. As long as DeSantis pretends, he will be targeted by President Trump because Trump isn't going to allow the professional republican apparatus to destroy the populist movement.
Let Con Inc go and form a new party now of acceptable republicans. Let the people of selfie-importance assemble to take pictures of their lunches and dinners for social media shares, while the scruffnecks in MAGA assemble to push back against the new American corporatist agenda that finances them.
The new republican party is the working-class people's party, the MAGA party, and President Donald J Trump is going to defend it.
Steadfast'.... This is ''The Big Ugly''!
Posted in Decepticons,
Deep State,
Donald Trump,
Election 2022,
Election 2024,
Legislation,
media bias,
Notorious Liars,
President Trump,
Ron DeSantis,
THE BIG UGLY,
Uncategorized,
USA
Conservatives point finger at Trump after GOP's underwhelming election results: 'He's never been weaker' | Fox News
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:53
Many conservatives put the blame on former President Donald Trump for the GOP's underwhelming midterm election results, which saw Trump candidates across the country failing to gain office.
Many conservative commentators took the election results as a sign it was time for the GOP to move on from Trump. Commentators argued that Trump had endorsed outlandish candidates who turned easy victories into close races, and close races into losses.
Others compared Trump's failure to secure wins across the country with the huge wave of support for Republicans in Gov. Ron DeSantis' Florida.
"All the chatter on my conservative and GOP channels is rage at Trump like I've never seen," Michael Brendan Dougherty, a senior writer at National Review, wrote on Twitter. "'The one guy he attacked before Election Day was DeSantis '-- the clear winner, meanwhile, all his guys are s---ing the bed.'"
MIDTERM ELECTIONS 2022: LIVE UPDATES
Democrat John Fetterman, left, and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, whose Senate race was among the most contested in the country. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
"GOP Source tells me after tonight, with Trump candidates underperforming and DeSantis winning by double digits, 2024 is a "free for all," wrote RealClearPolitics reporter Phil Wegmann. "'Everybody in the water. If you want to take on Trump, he's never been weaker.'"
"If DeSantis in Florida wildly overperforms all the handpicked and Trump-supported Republicans in other swing states (particularly if they *lose* close races), well then gosh that is going to be a fascinating new narrative that will be commented upon by positively no one," wrote attorney and National Review podcast host Jeffrey Blehar.
Of the races that have been decided as of Wednesday morning, Trump's endorsed candidates have won nine and lost eight, according to an analysis from Axios.
TRUMP MOCKS DESANTIS AT PENNSYLVANIA RALLY: 'RON DESANCTIMONIOUS'
Meanwhile, DeSantis secured his re-election against Democratic challenger Charlie Crist with a nearly 20-point lead.
The poor performance of Trump's candidates comes just as he was reportedly attempting to ward DeSantis away from making a run for president in 2024. Trump unveiled the "Ron DeSanctimonious" nickname for the potential challenger last week to poor reactions.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump
The former president also warned DeSantis that a 2024 run could hurt him "very badly" on Tuesday.
"I don't know if he is running. I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly," Trump said. "I think he would be making a mistake, I think the base would not like it '-- I don't think it would be good for the party."
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
"Any of that stuff is not good '-- you have other people that possibly will run, I guess," he added. "I don't know if he runs. If he runs, he runs."
Trump confirmed to a gaggle of reporters in Palm Beach, Florida, that he had cast a vote for DeSantis.
Donald Trump, the Sensible Party and the Silly Parties
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:52
Skip to comments.
Donald Trump, the Sensible Party and the Silly Parties 3/8/2016 | MePosted on 03/08/2016 1:55:20 PM PST by snarkpup
What we have in Washington are two Silly Parties. The reason both parties are silly is because within each party the sensible people (defined below) are being outvoted by silly people (also defined below). This explains why 1) no matter which party wins an election, the downward spiral continues and 2) neither party has been able to reform itself.
We need to break out of this cycle; and I think this is what Donald Trump is trying to engineer, by doing the following:
Recruit as many sensible people as possible from both parties and create a new, Sensible Party. Stripped of their sensible people, the Establishment Factions of the two existing Silly Parties become Very Silly.
During the primary season, use this new sensible coalition to outvote the silly remnants of the Republican Party.
In the general election, use this new coalition (augmented by those former opponents in the Republican Party who will go with the flow) to outvote the silly remnants of the Democrat Party.
By creating a virtual Sensible Party within the physical Republican Party, he prevents the Republicans from running a spoiler candidate against the coalition.
Trump is breaking up both the Democrat and Republican parties into small fragments, some sensible and some silly, and trying to recruit just the sensible ones. What follows lists these and implies the definitions of "sensible" and "silly" that I think Trump is using.
From the Republican Party:
Recruit entrepreneurs and business owners who do not want to be micromanaged by the government. Omit crony capitalists and the "cheap labor express."
Recruit little-L libertarians and others who want limited government. Omit doctrinaire big-L libertarian anarchists who want open borders, etc.
Recruit national defense hawks who want the federal government to prevent foreign invasions. Omit "nation builders."
Recruit Pluralistic Christians and others who don't care about your religion is as long as you exhibit civic morality (work ethic, don't vote yourself largess from the public treasury). Omit Dominionist Christians and others whose displays of bigotry drive regular people away.
From the Democrat Party:
Recruit the blue-collar workers (including union rank-and-file) who make things and do things. Omit the leftist union bosses.
Recruit self-respecting unemployed and working poor who want to make something of themselves. Omit the collectivist central planners and the "moocher class" who are their myrmidons.
Recruit those minority members who want to participate in the Greatening of America. Omit those who want to remain in "victim" classes created by Identity Politics activists (race-baiters, thugs, etc.)
From both parties:
Recruit conservation-minded people like recreationists (hunters, etc.) and others who don't want all scenic lands paved and urbanized. Omit misanthropic environmentalists who want all scenic lands off-limits to everyone but backpackers. Also omit the James Watt Faction'--those who don't care if all scenic lands are paved and urbanized. (Note that all this is compatible with Trump's statements on public lands.)
This coalition, like Donald Trump himself, is non-ideological. The loaded and nebulous term "true conservative" is a political marketing buzzword that does not need to be used.
In order to assemble a coalition that is both sensible (in the sense implied) and large enough to win elections, it is necessary to organize quite a number of quite different groups. But as long as the silly people are kept out of the sensible coalition, then these groups'--entrepreneurs, little-L libertarians, Pluralistic Christians, blue-collar, white-collar, etc.'--will have no quarrel with one another. They may have various purposes; but they will be non-conflicting.
However, these groups have little reason to organize themselves into the specific coalition that 1) builds a majority and 2) excludes the silly people. Eric Hoffer said that every mass movement needs a vivid devil. The sensible people indeed have their devil'--the silly people. But this devil is amorphous, dispersed and may try to barge its way into the coalition. For the movement to form properly and take off, we need to add a vivid leader, which is where Donald Trump comes in.
If this is done right, the sensible people will be concentrated in one majority Sensible Party, while the silly people will be split between two Very Silly minor parties'--the Republicans and Democrats.
TOPICS: FReeper Editorial ; Government ; Politics/Elections KEYWORDS: insurgent ; trump 1posted on
03/08/2016 1:55:20 PM PST by
snarkpupTo: snarkpup
2posted on
03/08/2016 1:59:37 PM PST by
Byron_the_Aussie(Michelle Obama, The Early Years: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBYGxBlFOSU)
To: Byron_the_Aussie
Silly or CRIMINAL?
I report, you decide.
3posted on
03/08/2016 2:08:03 PM PST by
stephenjohnbanker(My Batting Average( 1,000) since Nov 2014 (GOPe is that easy to read))
To: stephenjohnbanker
That was my thought, too. There's nothing ''silly'' about crooked politicians who shovel money out of working people's pockets and hand it around to each other.
4posted on
03/08/2016 2:10:44 PM PST by
Cicero(Marcus Tullius)
To: Cicero
That is all they do.
The deeply entrenched Criminal Class.
5posted on
03/08/2016 2:11:38 PM PST by
stephenjohnbanker(My Batting Average( 1,000) since Nov 2014 (GOPe is that easy to read))
To: snarkpup
That's a good plan, but how many of those people are going to be alienated by all of the silly talk at the debates?
Donald being Donald is going to lose you some voters.
6posted on
03/08/2016 2:27:38 PM PST by
xTo: snarkpup
7posted on
03/08/2016 2:34:34 PM PST by
Innovative("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
To: snarkpup
Sensible Party? You really mean the Trump Party, don't you?
Pure cultism. :(
8posted on
03/08/2016 2:44:44 PM PST by
EveningStar(It's a cult.)
To: EveningStar; snarkpup
well, the OP is not far off. Trump has always described himself as a ''sensible conservative'', and the post is not a bad analysis of those who tend to support Trump, and it's intelligently written
9posted on
03/08/2016 3:44:27 PM PST by
blueplum 10posted on
03/08/2016 3:48:29 PM PST by
DoughtyOne(Facing Trump nomination inevitability, folks are now openly trying to help Hillary destroy him.)
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GOP megadonor: I'm ready to back DeSantis for president in '24 - POLITICO
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:52
Bronze-level giving by Griffin, 54, would be welcome news for one potential 2024 hopeful: Ron DeSantis. During an interview in his temporary offices in downtown Miami, detailing how he directs his political contributions, Griffin told POLITICO that he's prepared to back the Florida governor if he runs for the White House. Griffin was the leading donor to DeSantis' reelection campaign this cycle, dropping $5 million.
''I don't know what he's going to do. It's a huge personal decision,'' he said of DeSantis. ''He has a tremendous record as governor of Florida, and our country would be well-served by him as president.''
Would I support him? The bigger question is, is he going to run? That bridge has to be crossed.
Griffin, the head of Citadel, an investment firm, has been donating to political campaigns for more than 20 years, giving $5,000 and $10,000 increments in those early days to Republicans and Democrats alike when he was living in Chicago. Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel, both Democrats, were beneficiaries. And in 2008, he raised money for both presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama.
Back then, he was focused more on giving to cultural institutions. A wing of the Art Institute of Chicago is named after him, and a portion of the iconic Lakefront Trail along Lake Michigan was improved with his $16 million donation. He also gave $1 million to the Obama Foundation in 2017.
Griffin, who pulled Republican ballots in Illinois, wrote a $500,000 check for Joe Biden's 2020 inaugural committee, but his donations have otherwise shifted rightward in recent years, fueled, he said, by concerns about public safety, schools and politicians' lack of fiscal discipline. One mantra Griffin threads through his philanthropic and political giving is a focus on ''protecting the American dream for future generations.''
''Charitable giving was the lane that I was most focused on for many, many years of my life as a means of moving society to a better place,'' Griffin said. ''Watching so much of what I did on the philanthropic side be undermined by poor policies from our political sphere has pulled me more into politics with a portion of my resources.''
Politically, he's also tired of Donald Trump.
Griffin liked his fiscal policies while in the White House, but his only financial support to Trump came in donating $100,000 to his inaugural committee.
''He did a lot of things really well and missed the mark on some important areas,'' Griffin said. ''And for a litany of reasons, I think it's time to move on to the next generation.''
While he's supporting one of this cycle's biggest culture warriors in DeSantis, Griffin said most hot-button issues '-- abortion rights, battles over sex education and LGBTQ rights '-- don't define his interests. He wants to improve the diversity of the GOP and blunt the vein of populism that has complicated the party's relationship with the corporate world '-- two things he's consulted with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy about.
Public safety, however, is top-of-mind for him, and he uprooted his family and company to his native Florida because of his concern about it in Chicago.
Amid the protests over the killing of George Floyd in 2020, much of Chicago's Magnificent Mile commercial corridor was smashed and looted. Griffin publicly feuded with Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, a fellow billionaire, about doing more to stop the destruction.
Griffin acknowledged that rising crime isn't isolated to Chicago, and said it's ''a significant factor'' in how he endorses candidates or campaigns. He shakes his head that during his more than 30 years in Chicago, more than 20,000 people have been murdered, according to Chicago Police Department statistics. Crime in general has been on the upswing around the country in recent years, but murders have dropped in Chicago since the 1990s.
Last month, Griffin gave $2.5 million to the Protecting Americans Action Fund, which works to elect traditional local prosecutors and district attorneys who run counter to the progressives working to reduce the number of people serving jail time for minor crimes. It's a conservative group, but Griffin said he doesn't fit the far-right mold.
He's also donated more than $36 million to the University of Chicago Crime Lab, which studies ways to reduce gun violence as well as the harms of the criminal justice system. That work includes policing fairness and effectiveness.
Griffin shrugs at populist movements that are driven by single issues, whether its reproductive rights on the left or 2020 election denialism on the right. But he said he doesn't expect to align with candidates all the time on every issue.
As an example, Griffin openly disagreed with DeSantis' provocative move to fly nearly 50 Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard this summer. It struck a personal chord with Griffin, who grew up in Boca Raton playing soccer with Latino immigrants.
And DeSantis' blow up with Disney World '-- one of the state's largest employers '-- this spring also ran afoul of Griffin's focus on mending Republican relationships with corporate America. After the company criticized the governor and GOP-controlled state legislature for passing contentious LGBTQ legislation, dubbed the ''don't say gay'' law, DeSantis led a successful push to dismantle its longstanding ''independent special district'' status.
''I have no qualms with the very public fight,'' Griffin said, ''but the revocation of Disney's special tax district felt like retribution.''
Still, Griffin thinks there's a lot more he likes about the Florida governor.
''Would I support him? The bigger question is, is he going to run? That bridge has to be crossed,'' he said.
Griffin has been able to walk the line between establishment Republicans and the far right, maybe because of his wealth but also because he doesn't put himself in silos when it comes to endorsing the way Soros does on the left or Uihlein on the right.
During the 2022 cycle, Griffin sat down with GOP leaders to talk about endorsing women and minority candidates, which he sees as the future of the party.
''Many of the conversations with Kevin McCarthy about candidates are really about 'How do we bring more people from different backgrounds into the Republican Party?''' Griffin said. ''Kevin is really thoughtful about thinking how to make sure minorities feel the Republican Party is focused on areas important to them, whether it's education, crime or other issues they care about.''
Griffin donated $50 million to a moderate Black candidate for Illinois governor, Richard Irvin, who ultimately finished third to Trump-backed GOP nominee Darren Bailey. And he put money into Steve Kim, an Asian American candidate who ran for the state's attorney general this year. But he's also showered campaign cash on several Republican candidates of color, including Jennifer-Ruth Green in Indiana, Allan Fung in Rhode Island and Lori Chavez-DeRemer in Oregon.
Griffin said it's important to be engaged in government and politics, regardless of party affiliation, which carries into his company, too.
''There are a substantial number of my colleagues who are really passionate supporters of Democrats. I encourage that engagement and focus on supporting the candidates who they think are the strongest for the country,'' he said.
But while Griffin is happy to back candidates who align with his priorities, he gets repulsed by some of the more calculating elements of politics.
He particularly took offense to the Democratic Governors Association's strategy of promoting far-right GOP candidates during the primary season on the assumption they would make for easier takedowns in the general election.
While Irvin had his own flaws as a candidate, the DGA also spent some $35 million to prop up the more conservative Bailey, who Pritzker is expected to defeat handily on Tuesday.
''That's what I find disgusting about politics,'' Griffin said of the political maneuvering. ''The point of our elections, in my mind, is for our voters to have a choice between two really good candidates. They're of course going to disagree on the issues that Republicans and Democrats tend to disagree on, but that's OK. That debate is healthy for our country.''
Liberals Rush to Spread Bogus Lauren Boebert Escort and Abortion Rumors
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:51
Democrats have seized on a political action committee's allegations that Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) worked as a prostitute and had multiple abortions'--claims that rest on zero actual evidence.
On Tuesday, American Muckrakers PAC, co-founded by Democrat and former North Carolina state Senate candidate David Wheeler, published allegations claiming that Boebert had previously worked as an escort on a sugar-daddy website and underwent at least two abortions, one of which was related to her supposed sugar-baby work.
For Boebert's critics, the idea that the anti-abortion rights conservative had in fact had multiple abortions herself offered irresistible proof of Boebert's hypocrisy. The allegations quickly circulated in anti-Trump ''Resistance'' communities online. Occupy Democrats, a popular liberal Twitter account, conceded that it wasn't clear whether the allegations were accurate. But it urged its nearly 400,000 Twitter followers to retweet the claims ''IF YOU THINK THAT IT SOUNDS TRUE'' anyway. Boebert's name trended on Twitter.
The allegations against Boebert were echoed by other prominent online liberal Twitter pundits, including some current and former Democratic politicians, such as former House candidate Brianna Wu, Bernie Sanders ally and former House candidate Nina Turner, and current Kentucky Senate hopeful Charles Booker.
Boebert tweeted about the allegations on Tuesday night, giving them ''four pinocchios.'' She is consulting with her lawyers about a potential legal case, a senior staffer in Boebert's office said.
The salacious Boebert accusations were fueled, in part, by the fact that American Muckrakers PAC's founders backed up their outlandish claims against another Republican congressman. They rose to some level of political fame earlier this year after releasing several lewd videos of Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) that helped doom his reelection campaign.
This time, though, the group doesn't have videos to support their allegations. Instead, they have heavily redacted text message screenshots with an anonymous party supposedly close to Boebert. In the messages, the anonymous source sketches out a tale that enters the realms of lurid liberal fan fiction. The text messages describe Boebert as a sex worker plucked from obscurity on a sugar-daddy website by one of her clients, a member of the Koch family. That client, in the PAC's telling, then introduced Boebert to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who urged her to run for office.
Wheeler argues that the text messages are enough proof, since he knows the person behind them.
''They're not anonymous to me,'' Wheeler told The Daily Beast. ''I know who this individual is.''
When the source's story isn't wild enough, the interviewer on the other end of the text conversation'--one of the PAC's staffers'--pushes the source further. After the anonymous source writes that they ''don't get'' why Cruz would support Boebert's political aspirations, the interviewer asserts, without any proof, that Boebert was blackmailing Cruz.
''It's obvious,'' the interviewer writes. ''She blackmailed him.''
''Omg I never thought about that!'' the source responds.
''Yep,'' the interviewer writes back. ''You know her. She's a kniving (sic) little witch.''
At least one of the source's claims can already be disproven. In the text message log, the source provided the PAC with a picture of what's described as a picture of Boebert, wearing a short white dress, sitting on a bed. The source claims the photo was taken from Boebert's profile on a sugar-daddy website. But the woman in the picture is actually Melissa Carone, a supposed voter-fraud witness cited by Rudy Giuliani, according to a Daily Mail report from 2020.
After The Daily Beast published this article pointing out the discrepancy, Wheeler deleted the white-dress picture from his anti-Boebert website. Wheeler says he's investigating whether the Daily Mail accurately identified Carone as the woman in the picture.
''Now, if our source got it wrong or she mixed the photo up, we'll correct it,'' Wheeler said.
Boebert doesn't have a particularly close relationship with the truth herself. Among other things, in 2020, Boebert said she hoped QAnon, the conspiracy theory that posits that Democrats sexually abuse children in Satanic rituals, was real. She has also claimed that she started carrying a gun after a man was beaten to death outside her restaurant. But CNN reported in 2021 that the man died of a meth overdose, not murder.
Wheeler claims his PAC has more information it could release about Boebert, but concedes they may soon direct their attention elsewhere.
''We may have done everything we can do in Colorado at this point,'' Wheeler said.
(14) Wall Street Silver on Twitter: "Russia announces 12 more countries want to join BRICS'... If all are accepted BRICS will have 50% of the world population'... and an even larger share of commodities such as oil, gas, metals, etc... If they figure out ho
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:50
Wall Street Silver : Russia announces 12 more countries want to join BRICS'... If all are accepted BRICS will have 50% of the world popul'... https://t.co/VoKMVHjrF8
Thu Nov 10 20:02:50 +0000 2022
(14) J//G0Ξ 👁¸ãŠTYR㋠on Twitter: "Did you know: Alameda CEO @carolinecapital's Dad, Glenn Ellison is the Department Head of Economics at @MIT? And... Prior to getting appointed to the SEC, @GaryGensler was a Professor for the Practice of Global E
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:49
J//G0Ξ 👁¸ãŠTYR㋠: Did you know: Alameda CEO @carolinecapital's Dad, Glenn Ellison is the Department Head of Economics at @MIT?And..'... https://t.co/hl0jQWRAdB
Thu Nov 10 17:02:08 +0000 2022
Johntoshi Lockemoto'š 🌽 : @JagoeCapital @looking5452 @carolinecapital @MIT @GaryGensler @AlamedaResearch I've said it before and I'll say it'... https://t.co/rXmDJyR0Yw
Sun Nov 13 17:30:01 +0000 2022
Hunter Biden helped secure millions in funding for military biotech research program in Ukraine | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:49
Moscow's claim that Hunter Biden helped finance a US military 'bioweapons' research program in Ukraine is at least partially true, according to new emails obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com.
The commander of the Russian Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Forces, claimed there was a 'scheme of interaction between US government agencies and Ukrainian biological objects' and pointed to the 'financing of such activities by structures close to the current US leadership, in particular the investment fund Rosemont Seneca, which is headed by Hunter Biden.'
Intelligence experts say the Russian military leader's allegations were a brazen propaganda ploy to justify president Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine and sow discord in the US.
But emails from Hunter's abandoned laptop show he helped secure millions of dollars of funding for Metabiota, a Department of Defense contractor specializing in research on pandemic-causing diseases that could be used as bioweapons.
He also introduced Metabiota to an allegedly corrupt Ukrainian gas firm, Burisma, for a 'science project' involving high biosecurity level labs in Ukraine.
And although Metabiota is ostensibly a medical data company, its vice president emailed Hunter in 2014 describing how they could 'assert Ukraine's cultural and economic independence from Russia' '' an unusual goal for a biotech firm.
The Russian government held a press conference Thursday claiming that Hunter Biden helped finance a US military bioweapons research program in Ukraine. But emails and correspondence obtained by DailyMail.com from Hunter's abandoned laptop show the claims may well be true
Metabiota is a Department of Defense contractor specializing in research on pandemic-causing diseases that could be used as bioweapons
In April 2014, Metabiota vice president Mary Guttieri wrote a memo to Hunter outlining how they could 'assert Ukraine's cultural and economic independence from Russia'. 'Thanks so much for taking time out of your intense schedule to meet with Kathy [Dimeo, Metabiota executive] and I on Tuesday. We very much enjoyed our discussion,' Guttieri wrote
Four days after Guttieri's April 2014 email, Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi wrote to Hunter revealing that the then-Vice President's son had pitched a 'science project' involving Burisma and Metabiota in Ukraine. 'Please find few initial points to be discussed for the purposes of analyzing the potential of this as you called, 'Science Ukraine' project,' Pozharskyi wrote
Government spending records show the Department of Defense awarded an $18.4million contract to Metabiota between February 2014 and November 2016, with $307,091 earmarked for 'Ukraine research projects'
Emails and defense contract data reviewed by DailyMail.com suggest that Hunter had a prominent role in making sure Metabiota was able to conduct its pathogen research just a few hundred miles from the border with Russia.
Burisma adviser Vadym Pozharskyi (pictured). 'As I understand the Metabiota was a subcontract to principal contactor of the DoD B&V [Black & Veatch],' he wrote in an email in 2014
The project turned into a national security liability for Ukraine when Russian forces invaded the country last month.
Metabiota has worked in Ukraine for Black & Veatch, a US defense contractor with deep ties to military intelligence agencies, which built secure labs in Ukraine that analyzed killer diseases and bioweapons.
Earlier this month US officials warned congress that 'Russian forces may be seeking to gain control' of these 'biological research facilities', prompting fears that deadly and even engineered pathogens could fall into Russian hands.
Hunter and his colleagues at his investment firm Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners (RSTP) routinely raised millions of dollars for technology companies, hoping the firms would take off and make them all fortunes.
Metabiota was one of those firms. Emails between Hunter and his colleagues excitedly discuss how the company's monitoring of medical data could become an essential tool for governments and companies looking to spot outbreaks of infectious diseases.
The president's son and his colleagues invested $500,000 in Metabiota through their firm Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners.
They raised several million dollars of funding for the company from investment giants including Goldman Sachs.
But emails show Hunter was also particularly involved in Metabiota's operations in Ukraine.
Hunter's pitches to investors claimed that they not only organized funding for the firm, they also helped it 'get new customers' including 'government agencies in case of Metabiota'.
He and his business partner Eric Schwerin even discussed subletting their office space to the firm in April 2014, their emails reveal.
That month, Metabiota vice president Mary Guttieri wrote a memo to Hunter outlining how they could 'assert Ukraine's cultural and economic independence from Russia'.
'Thanks so much for taking time out of your intense schedule to meet with Kathy [Dimeo, Metabiota executive] and I on Tuesday. We very much enjoyed our discussion,' Guttieri wrote.
'As promised, I've prepared the attached memo, which provides an overview of Metabiota, our engagement in Ukraine, and how we can potentially leverage our team, networks, and concepts to assert Ukraine's cultural and economic independence from Russia and continued integration into Western society.'
Former senior CIA officer Sam Faddis, who has reviewed emails on Hunter's laptop, told DailyMail.com that the offer to help assert Ukraine's independence was odd for a biotech executive.
'It raises the question, what is the real purpose of this venture? It's very odd,' he said.
Mary Guttieri, Metabiota vice president, is seen at a meeting with U.S. and Ukrainian military
Russia's Defense Ministry on Thursday put out a diagram with arrows connecting Biden, Soros and the Democratic Party to Ukrainian biolabs
The president's son and his colleagues invested $500,000 in Metabiota through their firm Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners. They raised several million dollars of funding for the company from investment giants including Goldman Sachs
Emails between Hunter and his colleagues at Rosemont Seneca excitedly discuss how the company's monitoring of medical data could become an essential tool for governments and companies looking to spot outbreaks of infectious diseases
Guttieri had a leading role in Metabiota's Ukraine operations, meeting with other company executives and US and Ukrainian military officials in October 2016 to discuss 'cooperation in surveillance and prevention of especially dangerous infectious diseases, including zoonotic diseases in Ukraine and neighboring countries' according to a 2016 report by the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine.
At the time, Hunter was serving as a board member of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma, owned by former top government official and allegedly corrupt billionaire Mikolay Zlochevsky.
Four days after Guttieri's April 2014 email, Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi wrote to Hunter revealing that the then-Vice President's son had pitched a 'science project' involving Burisma and Metabiota in Ukraine.
'Please find few initial points to be discussed for the purposes of analyzing the potential of this as you called, 'Science Ukraine' project,' Pozharskyi wrote.
'As I understand the Metabiota was a subcontract to principal contactor of the DoD B&V [Black & Veatch].
'What kind of partnership Metabiota is looking for in Ukraine? From potential non-governmental player in Kiev? Rebuilt the ties with respective ministries in Ukraine, and on the basis of that reinstate the financing from the B&V? Or they look for partnership in managing projects in Ukraine, PR with Government institutions here, financing of the projects?'
Faddis told DailyMail.com that the attempt to get Metabiota to form a partnership with Burisma was a perplexing and worrying revelation.
'His father was the Vice President of the United States and in charge of relations with Ukraine. So why was Hunter not only on the board of a suspect Ukrainian gas firm, but also hooked them up with a company working on bioweapons research?' Faddis said.
'It's an obvious Russian propaganda attempt to take advantage of this. But it doesn't change the fact that there does seem to be something that needs to be explored here.
'The DoD position is that there's nothing nefarious here, this is pandemic early warning research. We don't know for sure that's all that was going on.
'But the question still remains: why is Hunter Biden in the middle of all this? Why is the disgraced son of the vice president at the heart of this '' the guy with no discernible skills and a cocaine habit.'
Pozharsky said in his email to Hunter that he had encountered such biological research projects before in his former job as a Ukrainian government official, and claimed that B&V worked on 'similar or the same projects' as the proposed contract for Metabiota.
Government spending records show the Department of Defense awarded an $18.4million contract to Metabiota between February 2014 and November 2016, with $307,091 earmarked for 'Ukraine research projects'.
The US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) also commissioned B&V to build a Biological Safety Level 3 laboratory in Odessa, Ukraine in 2010, which 'provided enhanced equipment and training to effectively, safely and securely identify especially dangerous pathogens' according to a company press release.
Such labs are used to 'study infectious agents or toxins that may be transmitted through the air and cause potentially lethal infections,' the US Department of Health and Human Services says.
B&V was awarded a further five-year $85million contract in 2012.
In a May 2014 email, RSTP partner Schwerin suggested: 'there are obviously some real potential synergies between Xiaoying's husband's work at the CDC and what Metabiota does. Something else to think about'
In another sign of the deep ties between Metabiota and the Department of Defense, Hunter's RSTP business partner Rob Walker said he would 'have a friend reach out to DoD on the down low', in order to prove the company's bona fides to top prospective investors Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley in October 2014
In another sign of the deep ties between Metabiota and the Department of Defense, Hunter's RSTP business partner Rob Walker said he would 'have a friend reach out to DoD on the down low', in order to prove the company's bona fides to top prospective investors Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley in October 2014.
RSTP was a subsidiary of Rosemont Capital, an investment company founded by Hunter and former Secretary of State John Kerry's stepson Chris Heinz in 2009.
Metabiota also has close ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), suspected to be the source of the COVID-19 outbreak.
WIV was a hotspot for controversial 'gain of function' research that can create super-strength viruses.
Chinese scientists performed gain of function research on coronaviruses at the WIV, working alongside a US-backed organization EcoHealth Alliance that has since drawn intense scrutiny over its coronavirus research since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Researchers from the Wuhan institute, Metabiota and EcoHealth Alliance published a study together in 2014 on infectious diseases from bats in China, which notes that tests were performed at the WIV.
Shi Zhengli, the WIV Director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases who became dubbed the 'bat lady' for her central role in bat coronavirus research at the lab, was a contributor to the paper.
Metabiota has been an official partner of EcoHealth Alliance since 2014, according to its website.
Mind the Gap, Silicon Valley's secretive donor group, plans to spend up to $140 million to beat Trump - Vox
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:48
Mind the Gap, the secretive group quietly reshaping big-money politics in Silicon Valley, is aiming to spend as much as $140 million to boost Democrats in the 2020 election, Recode has learned.
If realized, a haul of that size would cement the group, little known until Recode reported on it this week, as one of the most powerful forces in Democratic politics. And the group is accomplishing this all behind the scenes '-- without any prior public scrutiny.
This network of Silicon Valley donors raised $20 million for Democratic causes and congressional candidates in advance of the midterms. But the group has far greater ambitions in a presidential cycle: Mind the Gap told prospective donors last fall that it had already raised at least $35 million in political contributions for voter registration efforts, which is part of a fundraising goal that could stretch to $100 million, according to a memo obtained by Recode.
Mind the Gap is also seeking another estimated $30 million for get-out-the-vote work along with another estimated $10 million for ''orphan races'' '-- which means primarily funding candidates for state legislatures that the group sees as wrongly under-funded. That's in part thanks to the arrival of a new fundraising aide, Erica Slates, who recently joined the effort from Jay Inslee's now-ended presidential campaign.
All told, the group's 2020 efforts reveal two fundamental things about this political moment:
How fervently Silicon Valley millionaires and billionaires want to get rid of Donald Trump, so much so that they are willing to entrust millions of dollars to a trio of Stanford academics with no prior fundraising experience. How a new class of Democratic operatives and donors are disregarding concerns within their party about the role of money in politics and capitalizing on campaign-finance law to influence elections '-- with limited disclosure to the public.Mind the Gap is now asking for a ''minimum suggested contribution'' of $40,000, according to the memo '-- but it warns that even that is not enough. (Mind the Gap leadership previously denied to Recode that it has had any minimum contribution requirements.)
''We will never get to our goal without substantially greater contributions from those who are in a position to make them,'' the group said in its memo. ''But whatever you are able to give and wherever you choose to direct it, we encourage you to be both strategic and generous. This is the most important election of our lifetimes, with grave and in some cases irreversible implications for the country and the planet if we don't win.''
Mind the Gap did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.
In 2018, the group, which is led by Stanford law school professor Barbara Fried, raised about $500,000 for 20 different Democratic congressional challengers, many of whom were underdogs to win their bids. Ten of them won. Mind the Gap became a hit in Silicon Valley in particular because it asked tech leaders to fund races where it had calculated each dollar would have the greatest marginal impact on Democrats taking back the House, which synced with the industry's data-driven thinking.
This time around, the group is asking its donors to fund three separate voter-registration programs: the Voter Participation Center (VPC) and the Center for Voter Information (CVI), which in September alone sent out 7.1 million voter registration applications by mail, according to Mind the Gap. The last endorsed group is Everybody Votes (EV), which is training organizers to sign up voters in local communities and has used some of the $35 million that Mind the Gap has already raised to register Democratic voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota. (Future money from the group is going to do the same in Florida, Arizona, and Nevada.)
''At current funding levels, the VPC, CVI, and EV programs together will be the largest voter registration drive in US history. Fully funded, they are projected to add roughly 3,000,000 people to the voter rolls, chiefly from communities of color, and yield 750,000 additional net votes in the November 2020 election in competitive battleground states across the country,'' the group told its donors in a separate, year-end memo last month. ''Historical data suggest that 40-50% of these new voters will go on to vote in the 2022 elections without any additional campaign or GOTV encouragement.''
Almost all of the donations to these groups are tax-deductible, Mind the Gap reminds its donors. That's because of rules that allow foundations, donor-advised funds, and individuals to write these gifts off under the name of ''philanthropy'' '-- even though the donations are routed by a Democratic interest group.
Meanwhile, Mind the Gap has taken pains to avoid public detection since its inception. In a section of the fall memo titled ''Discretion,'' the group implored its donors to ''not circulate any of the highly sensitive information'' and says that information is only available through its encrypted website.
''In 2018, we managed to stay out of the news and as far as we know out of Republicans' sightlines through the entire cycle, notwithstanding that we ended up being one of the top two fundraisers for House races,'' the group boasted. ''We do not expect to be so lucky this cycle.''
''It will come as no surprise to Republicans '-- and be of little interest '-- that yet another organization is trying to fund voter registration in battleground states,'' the group says in its memo. ''But the magnitude of our efforts, the details of targeting, and the names of the organizations we are recommending, would be of great interest to them. If that information becomes public, it would make [Mind the Gap] and the donee organizations targets for Republicans and enable them to ramp up voter suppression efforts and other tactics at their disposal.''
That type of language likely worries those who worry about the impact of money in politics, including many on the left. While Mind the Gap's leaders hold themselves out to be merely ''pro bono donor advisers,'' the memo '-- and its fundraising success so far '-- makes it clear they are amassing tremendous power in Silicon Valley's new political moment.
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Inside Mind the Gap, the secretive Silicon Valley group that has funneled over $20 million to Democrats - Vox
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:48
A secretive group led by Stanford University academics has unleashed millions of dollars in political spending from Silicon Valley and is now convincing some of its biggest donors to spend millions more to back Democrats in 2020.
Mind the Gap, a network formed less than two years ago, has been quietly routing millions of dollars to Democratic candidates and groups across the country in the 2018 and 2020 election cycles, emerging as a new power center in the Silicon Valley political scene. It's just that so far, it has avoided public detection.
The group's success is due in large part to how it speaks the language of Silicon Valley, donors and operatives say: In 2018, Mind the Gap pitched donors on a statistical model that tried to assess the precise impact of each additional dollar on the chance that Democrats would win the House of Representatives '-- as opposed to funding the easiest seats to flip. It's an approach one donor called the ''Moneyball of politics.''
That supposed secret sauce has ushered in more than $20 million in new political spending from tech leaders and others who are grappling with how to best use their wealth in the age of Donald Trump, according to Mind the Gap's claims in materials seen by Recode. And the group has proven to be yet another way for Silicon Valley donors to spread their influence across the US at a time when many in the Democratic Party want to see Big Tech's power abated rather than expanded.
Mind the Gap, whose efforts haven't previously been reported, has recently petitioned some donors for at least $100,000 to support its efforts. Backers include people like Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, San Francisco power broker Ron Conway, and a coterie of major Democratic donors from across Silicon Valley, including fundraiser Amy Rao.
SV Angel founder Ron Conway is one of many Silicon Valley titans backing Mind the Gap. Scott Olson/Getty There are many middlemen on the left who have tried to take advantage of Silicon Valley's new political energy. But few are proving to be as unusual as Mind the Gap, in both its message and its personnel.
The group operates in a cone of secrecy, often exhorting its donors to keep their information secure. It has no website or presence on social media, and its leaders don't mention their involvement in their professional biographies on sites like LinkedIn. That's not by accident.
''The raison d'ªtre is stealth,'' one person with ties to the organization told Recode.
''The raison d'ªtre is stealth''
A core strategy of Mind the Gap has been to hide which candidates and groups it is backing until it's too late, so to speak. Republicans closely watch Democratic donors to see which congressional races they are financing so they can mobilize their own donors to restore fundraising parity in a particular congressional district. So Mind the Gap's game plan has been to escape a bidding war by having its donors begin shoveling money behind Democrats only in the fall of an election season '-- sometimes all on the same day '-- before Republicans have a chance to notice that they are soon to be outspent by Democrats (and then try to catch up).
That means Mind the Gap has been covert about which campaigns it is directing donors to support. In fact, some candidates who have been overwhelmed with donations from rich Silicon Valley types sometimes don't even know they're on the list, according to one donor who discussed the matter with a bewildered candidate.
What is also unusual is that Mind the Gap is led not by highly experienced political hands, but by academics with no professional backgrounds as fundraisers. The group's leaders are a pair of Stanford law professors: Barbara Fried, who has no apparent campaign experience, and Paul Brest, the former president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Graham Gottlieb, a Stanford fellow who served in junior roles for former President Barack Obama's 2012 reelection campaign and in his White House, is its executive director.
Fried declined to answer specific questions from Recode about Mind the Gap's efforts, past or present. But in a statement, she downplayed the organization as merely a ''pro-bono donor advisor to people who are interested in evidence-driven decision making.''
''Most people have no idea whether their political contributions will actually make a difference,'' Fried said. ''Our aim is to evaluate the efficacy of different forms of political and civic engagement, and provide our conclusions free to individual, interested donors so they can make more educated decisions about where their money would be most effectively spent.''
Working with a well-regarded Democratic data firm, Civis Analytics, and with early support from progressive mainstays like the AFL-CIO, Mind the Gap pitched donors in 2018 on a counterintuitive message to successfully take back the House: Don't fund the congressional races that are the likeliest to flip. Those are already overfunded. Instead, fund the slightly less likely to flip races (say, ones in which a Democrat might have a one-third chance of winning) and where each donor dollar is more likely to make a difference '-- an ''efficient funding'' model, as Mind the Gap's leaders called it.
''Democrats face a serious funding-efficiency gap: We are on track to significantly overfund many of the races perceived to be the 'most flippable,' and at the same time, underfund races that could be won if we invested in them,'' reads one Mind the Gap memo from summer 2018 that Recode obtained. ''To put it another way, most donors invest based on the perceived winnability of a race, rather than the difference their investment in the race will make to the outcome.''
That kind of pitch is catnip to people in Silicon Valley, who like to pride themselves on data-driven thinking.
The group set out to raise $10 million in the 2018 election cycle by convincing as many as 400 donors to give $2,700 each (the legal maximum) to as many as 20 different congressional candidates, according to the same memo. Mind the Gap's fundraising drive ended up doubling those figures.
''It felt like a silver bullet, and that's how they marketed it,'' the person affiliated with Mind the Gap told Recode, characterizing the group's thinking as: ''We have figured out a way to game the system.''
Wealthy people from tech attracted by the vernacular of risk and return flocked to the group, packing donor briefings at ritzy spots in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood and sharing the endorsement list with their friends across the tech industry. Those donors then flooded Democratic challengers like Xochitl Torres Small in New Mexico and Lauren Underwood in Illinois with as much as $640,000 in high-dollar donations. Mind the Gap ''infused into their campaigns almost overnight'' an average of more than $500,000 each, according to a separate, year-in-review memo distributed to donors last month and obtained by Recode.
Some of these candidates had as little as $65,000 on hand before Mind the Gap arrived.
By the end of the election cycle, Mind the Gap had convinced 800 people to support its efforts and funneled $11 million to Democratic candidates, according to Mind the Gap's internal figures seen by Recode, and another $9 million to Democratic groups. Ten of its 20 candidates, such as Torres Small and Underwood, won their races.
Mind the Gap donors contributed $597,000 to Lauren Underwood, who won a tough congressional race in Illinois in 2018. Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images ''They are incredibly grateful to you all, and many attribute their victory (rightly or wrongly) to MTG's efforts,'' the group told its donors in one memo.
Now, in advance of what's expected to be the most expensive presidential race ever, Mind the Gap is trying to bring that same thinking to the 2020 election, soliciting donors to sink millions of dollars into a trio of groups focused on voter registration and preparing to recommend more candidates later this year.
''Anything could happen between now and next November to change the picture significantly. But we have no control over most of the things that will happen,'' the group told donors in its year-end memo last month. ''As ever, the question for us is, what can we influence, and where will money make the biggest difference?''
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Unelected Infections: Paul Brest and Mind The Gap | by David Kain | Newsdive | Medium
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:47
''Iris and Paul Brest'' by DTKindler Photo P aul Brest, alongside fellow Stanford colleagues Barbara Fried and Graham Gottlieb, is behind the little-known political investment group called Mind The Gap. Emerging during the midterm cycle of 2018, Mind The Gap has focused on becoming a nucleus for high-dollar Silicon Valley investors who are keen on quietly funneling massive political donations into the Democratic Party.
Mind The GapBy the end of the 2018 midterms, Mind The Gap had attracted a ''donor network of over 800 individuals from scratch.'' In a memo sent from the organization, Mind The Gap claimed to have raised $20 million and provided ''hard-money contributions to 20 undervalued and underfunded House races.''
Opening of a memo sent from Mind The Gap to potential donorsTen of the races resulted in Democrat wins '-- including the Laura Underwood campaign in Illinois and Xochitl Torres Small's campaign in New Mexico. Selected candidates averaged about $500,000 each in contributions from Mind The Gap. Of the $20 million raised during the 2018 midterms, $11.5 million went to the 20 ''undervalued'' Democratic candidates. Additionally, voter registration/participation campaigns -including Voter Participation Center, Center for Voter Information, and Everybody Votes '-- received approximately $9 million.
Journalist Theodore Schleifer of Recode detailed on January 7, 2020 that Mind The Gap wrote a memo to prospective donors at the end of 2019. A portion of it reads:
At current funding levels, the VPC, CVI, and EV programs together will be the largest voter registration drive in US history. Fully funded, they are projected to add roughly 3,000,000 people to the voter rolls, chiefly from communities of color, and yield 750,000 additional net votes in the November 2020 election in competitive battleground states across the country.
Excerpt from the Overview of Mind The Gap memoDespite the mass migration of donors and impressive election success, Mind The Gap remains basically undetectable online. There is no website or social media accounts for the self-titled ''pro bono donor advisors.'' An underwhelming LinkedIn profile page does exist for the group.
As Schleifer wrote in his January 6, 2020 article, Mind The Gap's donation strategy is called the ''Moneyball of politics.''
''Moneyball,'' of course, refers to Michael Lewis' book Moneyball '-- which tells the story of how the 2002 Oakland Athletics finished first in the American League West division despite having one of the smallest payrolls in Major League Baseball. Lewis's book puts Oakland's general manager's bang for the buck team-building strategy centerstage.
It is this philosophy that has attracted so many donors to Mind The Gap. Instead of funding races that Democrats are most likely to win, Brest and Mind The Gap targeted underdog Democrat races where each dollar invested presented the highest potential reward. In baseball terms, instead of signing MVP Jason Giambi to a mega-contract, GM Billy Beane and Oakland targeted the acquisition of on-the-cheap players who they viewed as high potential assets that could exceed expectations if the Athletics invested in them.
Section C of the Overview of Mind The Gap memoMind The Gap's theory points out that the races that are most likely to flip are often the ones that are the most overfunded. By donating to seats that are less likely to turn Blue '-- as opposed to high-profile races '-- investments are increasingly more likely to return significant impacts. By not focusing on the perceived winnability of congressional races, Mind The Gap's plan maximizes the potential per dollar influence on election results.
This sort of data-driven analysis is like ecstasy for suits in Silicon Valley. Schleifer notes in his report that this new-age donation strategy garnered support from Silicon Valley mainstays like Ron Conway, Dustin Moskovitz, and Eric Schmidt. Mind The Gap reassures contributors that almost all donations to the organization are tax-deductible '-- written off as philanthropy.
Neither Brest nor Fried responded to emails asking about which candidates Mind The Gap supported in 2020 and whom it is planning to fund in 2022.
Mind The Gap Super PAC and DonorsAcquiring a comprehensive list of Mind The Gap donors is impossible at this point. The organization operates in the shadows. If Theodore Schleifer did not obtain and publish a copy of a memo sent to prospective donors by Mind The Gap, information about the group might have never surfaced. The tight lips policy is demonstrated by the closing section of its memo:
Closing of the Overview of Mind The Gap memoDespite most of the information surrounding Mind The Gap remaining in a public blind spot, some helpful information does exist online. There is a Mind The Gap super PAC. A list of the super PAC's donors and expenses is at OpenSecrets.org.
Open Secrets' spreadsheets reveal roughly 200 specific donations to the super PAC during the 2020 election cycle and a dozen contributions from the 2018 cycle.
The 2018 donor class shrinks even more when noticing that six of the twelve donations came from Fried, Paul and Iris Brest, and Gottlieb themselves. Regardless, the Silicon Valley-philanthropic direction of the super PAC is still easy to see via the $50,000 contribution from Ron Conway of SV Angel and the $100,000 contribution from a philanthropist and former Executive Director of Stanford's Healthy Body Image Program, Anne Devereux-Mills.
Contributors to the super PAC's 2020 funding cycle include:
Russell Siegelman '-- Stanford / Microsoft / Kleiner Perkins (venture capital) '-- $50,000
David Hitz '-- NetApp '-- $50,000
Ron Conway '-- SV Angel '-- $50,000
Ben Appen '-- Magnitude Capital'-- $50,000
Gina Maya '-- Human Rights Watch '-- $20,000
David Sze '-- Greylock Partners '-- $10,000
Graham Spencer '-- Google Ventures '-- $10,000
George Hume '-- Basic American Foods '-- $10,000
Amy Rao '-- Human Rights Watch / Integrated Archive Systems '-- $7,000
David Fischer '-- Facebook '-- $5,000
Among the other contributors to the Mind The Gap super PAC for the 2020 cycle are individuals from venture capital firms, real estate enterprises, law firms and Planned Parenthood. Unsurprisingly, the donors are overwhelmingly from California, with many listed from Palo Alto.
The use of a super PAC instead of a PAC is essential in understanding Mind The Gap's true motives. Traditional PACs have limitations on allotted donation amounts and have checks imposed on their spending powers. Limits would not sit well with the power-hungry and data-driven elites in Silicon Valley.
Super PACs cannot donate directly to specific candidates. However, super PACs have no limitations on the spending avenues that are permitted. Given that the data from Open Secrets '-- the only donor roll call I could find for Mind The Gap '-- does not highlight the full $20 million raised in 2018 or 2020's total, the existence of Mind The Gap's super PAC should raise red flags. The super PAC merely provides elitist capital and political legitimacy for the group and prospective donors. In reality, an optical illusion forms. The public is provided as little information as Mind The Gap approves of while maintaining the appearance of transparency.
Brest and the Hewlett FoundationBrest, the former dean of Stanford Law School, co-authored the book Money Well Spent: A Strategic Plan for Smart Philanthropy. The book was published in July of 2018. It serves as a guide for making the most of every dollar invested and is the product of more than a decade of philanthropy experience.
Brest operated as president of the Hewlett Foundation from 1999''2012. The Hewlett Foundation is a San Francisco-based private grant foundation whose assets are valued at $11 billion. With hundreds of millions of dollars in grants processed annually, the Hewlett Foundation invests in multiple fields '-- including global development and population, cyber, US democracy, and effective philanthropy.
The foundation's ''About Us'' page reads:
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world'...In addition, we make grants for special projects and address other timely problems, such as challenges related to cybersecurity and U.S. democracy'... At any one time, more than 2,250 of our grants are active. In 2019, the foundation awarded $454,458,000 in grants and disbursed $354,786,000 in grant payments. As of December 31, 2019 the foundation's assets were approximately $11.0 billion.
Photo from the Hewlett Foundation's ''About Us'' pageWhile Brest was president, the Hewlett Foundation made a habit of providing funding for some of the most notorious American foreign policy think tanks. On November 30, 2011, the Hudson Institute was granted $75,000. From June 2007 through November 2010, John Podesta and Neera Tanden's Center for American Progress received at least $1.65 million.
Max Blumenthal of The Grayzone wrote in February of 2021 about the imperialist ambitions of Tanden's Center for American Progress:
In the past, CAP has accepted support from arms manufacturers like BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin. Today, CAP hosts two former Raytheon vice presidents as a senior fellows, and has provided a revolving door for senior fellow Rudy De Leon to circle between the think tank sector and arms industry.
China announced sanctions against Lockheed Martin in July of 2020 after the defense giant entered into a $620 million arms deal with Taiwan brokered by the Pentagon.
Meanwhile, CAP has reaped financial support from the government of Japan, which has also positioned itself as a forward operating base for US plans to counter China. The Tanden-led think tank listed the embassy of Japan in the US as a top donor in 2019, with contributions ranging from $100,000 to $500,000.
Mich¨le Flournoy's Center for a New American Security was granted $160,000 on July 20, 2009. CNAS has received financial support from Northrop Grumman, Chevron, Comcast, Facebook, and Lockheed Martin. In 2015, Flournoy represented CNAS while co-authoring a report called ''Preserving Ukraine's Independence, Resisting Russian Aggression: What the United States and NATO Must Do.'' Flournoy joined individuals from the Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institute, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on the project.
Journalist Dan Cohen wrote of Flournoy at The Grayzone in November of 2020. Cohen wrote:
In 2005, Flournoy signed onto a letter from the neoconservative think tank Project for a New American Century, asking Congress to ''increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps (by) at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years.''
In 2007, she leveraged her Pentagon experience and contacts to found what would become one of the premier Washington think tanks advocating endless war across the globe: the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).
CNAS is funded by the U.S. government, arms manufacturers, oil giants, Silicon Valley tech giants, billionaire-funded foundations, and big banks.
Flournoy joined the Obama administration and was appointed as under secretary of defense for policy, the position considered the ''brains'' of the Pentagon.
The biggest winner of the imperialist bunch was the Brookings Institute '-- which received over $9 million from 2007''2011.
Despite Brest leaving the Hewlett Foundation in 2012, the Foundation's commitment to funding questionable organizations did not leave with him. Larry Kramer, another former dean of Stanford Law School, took over the role after Brest stepped down. The committee which confirmed Kramer as the next president of the Foundation included, among others, the Hewlett Foundation's vice president, Richard Levin (Yale University), and Byron Auguste (McKinsey & Company). Kramer's version of the $11 billion organization has advanced Brest's earlier operations.
From 2016''2019, the Foundation provided more than $2.5 million to the Brookings Institute '-- a think tank whose board of trustees includes connections to Greylock Partners, McKinsey & Company, Goldman Sachs, Amazon, TD Bank, and Nike.
From 2016''2018, the Brennan Center for Justice received over $1.5 million. Early in his career, Kramer clerked for Supreme Court Justice William Brennan. Kramer continued to provide funding to the Center for a New American Security, the Center for American Progress, and the Hudson Institute. Grants were also provided to Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and George Washington University to support its Washington Post-affiliated blog, The Monkey Cage.
In addition, the Hewlett Foundation has provided more than $3.8 million to Issue One since 2014. Issue One describes itself as ''the leading crosspartisan political reform group in Washington'' whose goal is ''to fix our broken political system.'' The organization's ''Don't Mess With US'' campaign boasts openly about its xenophobic purpose of condemning Iran, Russia, China, and other countries that don't play ball with the imperial-minded United States. The campaign's website promotes several bills that have made their way to the desks of members of Congress.
The Defending Elections against Trolls from Enemy Regimes Act, or The DETER Act, which ''imposes crippling sanction against countries that interfere in our elections,'' made its way into the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act with the help of Senator Marco Rubio. The Shell Company Abuse Act, like The DETER Act, emphasizes harsh punishments for foreign election influencers. Both bills were co-sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham, Richard Blumenthal, and Chuck Grassley.
On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Issue One hosted a webinar focussed on election integrity, foreign interference, social media usage, and disinformation. I attended the event as a viewer and asked roughly a half-dozen questions. Among the questions were:
In 2018, Issue One received $1,000,000 from the Hewlett Foundation. The former president of the Hewlett Foundation, Paul Brest, heads a secretive pro-Democrat Silicon Valley funding campaign called Mind The Gap. Brest has ties to Silicon Valley billionaires like Eric Schmidt, Ron Conway, and Reid Hoffman. Hoffman [in] particular was a lead funder of a domestic disinformation campaign called Project Birmingham. Given this, how can the public believe that Issue One opposes disinformation and election integrity?In what ways do you weigh your stance against disinformation and foreign agitators in US elections vs. how the United States meddles and disrupts elections and power structures in foreign countries? For example, President Biden's support of Jovenel Moise in Haiti and [the] insane Trump-era backing of Juan Guaido in Venezuela instead of Nicolas Maduro.No members of the panel responded to my questions. A written and audio transcript of the event is available.
A complete list of Hewlett Foundation grant recipients is available here.
Europe's mental health crisis in data: Which country uses the most antidepressants? | Euronews
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:46
Global consumption of antidepressant drugs (AD) has increased dramatically in the last two decades, with Europeans the largest consumers.
Use of antidepressants increased by nearly two and a half times from 2000 to 2020 in 18 European countries, according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) data.
OECD data also shows a dramatic increase in anxiety and depression during the COVID'‘19 pandemic. Do the happiest countries use fewer AD drugs? How do researchers explain the sharp rise in the consumption of antidepressants?
OECD datasets demonstrates the defined daily dose (DDD) consumption of ''N06A-Antidepressants''. This group ''comprises preparations used in the treatment of endogenous and exogenous depressions,'' according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The average antidepressant consumption across 18 European countries was 30.5 DDD per 1,000 people per day in 2000 rising to 75.3 DDD in 2020, a 147 per cent increase.
But this overall average conceals very different starting points for antidepressant use in 2000 in certain countries, ranging from 6.4 DDD in Estonia to 70.5 DDD in Iceland.
The Czech Republic recorded the highest increase with 577 per cent while it only rose by 38 per cent in France making it the lowest change in these countries between 2000 and 2020, albeit from a relatively high level.
It rose by 304 per cent in Portugal, 256 per cent in the United Kingdom, 208 per cent in Spain and 200 per cent in Germany in the same period.
A closer look at five selected countries ''France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden - over 20 years demonstrates how the use of antidepressant pharmaceuticals varies.
While the increase is very low in France, especially in the last 15 years, it rocketed in Portugal in the last two decades.
The bar race chart also shows how antidepressant consumption has increased year-on-year in European countries. In 14 out of 18 countries, AD drug use more than doubled.
Which countries have the highest antidepressant consumption?Looking at changes in the last decade, we have data for 24 European countries.
In 2020, the consumption of AD pharmaceuticals per 1,000 people per day varied from 20 DDD in Latvia to 153 DDD in Iceland. It is followed by Portugal (131 DDD), the UK (108 DDD in 2017), Sweden (105 DDD) and Spain (87 DDD).
In 2020, the average use across these 24 countries was 68 DDD. The largest three countries by population namely Turkey (49 DDD), France (55 DDD) and Germany (62 DDD) all recorded below average use.
Any correlation between happiness and the use of antidepressants?The short answer is no. The data on European countries does not suggest that the happier people are the less they consume antidepressants.
Iceland, which was the second happiest country in the world in 2020 according the World Happiness Report, has the highest antidepressant consumption in Europe.
Sweden, which ranked sixth in the Happiness Report, has the fourth highest use of antidepressants with105 DDD.
Finnish people, who were the happiest nation according to the report, used 82 DDD antidepressants which placed Finland seventh out of 24 countries.
Latvia which has the lowest consumption with 20 daily doses ranked 34th in the World Happiness Report. Hungary which follows Latvia with 30 DDD was on the 43th place in the happiness list.
Antidepressant consumption decreased only in Denmark in last 10 yearsThe consumption of AD drugs increased by 36.5 per cent between 2010 and 2020 in 24 European countries with average daily use up from 49.8 DDD to 68 DDD. Denmark is the only country to see a decrease in the use of antidepressants in the last decade with a 4 percent decline.
Estonia recorded the highest increase with 133 per cent while consumption only increased by 2 per cent in France.
It doubled in the UK, and increased by 50 per cent in Turkey. The change was under 25 per cent in 10 countries.
What about spending on antidepressant drugs?The cost of antidepressant drug spending is a burden on citizens and their countries.
In 2020, Germany spent $812 million ('‚¬783 million) on antidepressants. Spain ($649 million or '‚¬626 million) and Italy ($456 million or '‚¬440 million) are the other leading countries for spending on antidepressants.
The ratio of spending on antidepressants to total pharmaceutical sales suggests that it is a significant cost in some countries.
In 2020, antidepressant drugs accounted for 4 per cent of pharmaceutical sales in Portugal, compared to 2.7 per cent in Spain, 2.2 per cent in Austria, 1.9 per cent in Turkey and 1.4 per cent in Germany.
The prevalence of chronic depression in EuropeThere is no official comparable data on the share of people reported having chronic depression or consulting a psychologist, psychotherapist or psychiatrist.
However, survey results released by Eurostat provide some insights. In 2019 Eurostat found that 7.2 per cent of EU citizens reported having chronic depression which was only a tiny increase compared with 2014 (+0.3 percentage points).
In 2019, among EU countries Portugal (12.2 per cent) had the highest share of the population reporting chronic depression, followed by Sweden (11.7 per cent), Germany and Croatia (both 11.6 per cent).
The share of people reporting chronic depression was lowest in Romania (1.0 per cent), Bulgaria (2.7 per cent) and Malta (3.5 per cent).
It is interesting that the top two countries Iceland (15.6 per cent) and Portugal (12.2 per cent) in reporting chronic depression also had the highest antidepressant consumption with 153 DDD and 131 DDD in 2020 respectively.
The impact of COVID on mental healthRecent surveys released by the OECD found that mental health has deteriorated significantly since the start of the COVID'‘19 pandemic.
From March 2020 onwards, the prevalence of anxiety and depression increased in 15 selected OECD countries, including several European ones.
The prevalence of anxiety in early 2020 was double or more than double that observed in previous years in Belgium, France, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK and the US.
The prevalence of depression in early 2020 was also double or greater than double that observed in previous years in Mexico, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Sweden, the UK and the US.
However, since the survey methods differ between studies, it is not possible to offer any robust cross-country comparisons.
Did antidepressant consumption increase during the COVID?While the prevalence of anxiety and depression rose significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, did the consumption of antidepressant drugs also increase?
There is an increase of 10 per cent or more in consumption between 2019 and 2021 in the 14 OECD countries for which data is available. For example, use increased by 22 per cent in Latvia in these two years but only 1 per cent in Hungary.
However, this is against a background of a steady trend in the increase of antidepressants consumption over the last 20 years. Therefore, more research is needed to understand any possible impact from the pandemic on these recent increases.
Why the antidepressant consumption increase?There are a number of potential explanations for this rise in the last two decades.
Researchers who studied the influences on antidepressant prescribing trends in the UK between 1995 and 2011, suggested that the increase can be attributed to the improved recognition of depression, availability of new AD drugs, changes in patient/GP attitudes, availability of therapies, evolving clinical guidelines, and a broadening of the range of indications treated with ADs.
Here's a game plan: Biden replaces Harris with Newsom and then resigns | The Hill
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:46
Tuesday delivered some clarity, confusion and mystery '-- better news for the Democrats than basically everyone expected. That said, the results came despite both President Biden and Vice President Harris being unpopular with a large segment of the electorate, including a number of Democratic pundits and voters.
It's not getting as much attention as I believe it should, regarding why the anticipated red wave never reached the shore, but I believe one of the main reasons is ''Trump fatigue'' and even hatred for former President Trump. As long as he is still considered a potentially viable candidate for 2024, or a political force by the left, that fatigue and hate will be enough to drive many Americans to the polls to vote against any Republican.
But, within that force-of-nature voter reflex is a warning sign for the Democratic Party. What if Trump is not a candidate in two years? (He has said he'll make a ''very big announcement'' on Nov. 15.)
I have written that I don't believe Trump will run but will drag out the anticipation for as long as possible to keep his ''brand'' in the news and the campaign donations flowing in. If he does declare that he will not be a candidate in 2024, how much energy will leak out of the Democratic vote machine? Potentially quite a bit.
That possibility, coupled with the drag that Biden and Harris are already attaching to the Democrats' chances to retain the White House in 2024, raises a critically important question of strategy for their party: Do Democrats jettison both Biden and Harris or keep them and more than likely lose to a strong Republican ticket of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and, perhaps, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley?
What Tuesday's voting demonstrated is that our country is still equally divided and deeply polarized, with no political healing on the horizon.
That reality speaks to the need for a proven vote-getter with lots of money and a logistical machine behind him. In Politics 101, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) meets '-- maybe even exceeds '-- those qualifications.
Newsom won reelection easily and now has the luxury of turning his ambitious eyes completely toward the White House. The question then becomes, will his party turn its eyes toward him as the person who might save it from the Biden-Harris dilemma it is surely about to face?
If the answer is ''yes,'' the ''solution'' is really not complicated at all. In one scenario, Biden could ask Harris to resign and replace her with Newsom, who then becomes the heir apparent for 2024. Or Biden could replace Harris with Newsom and then resign himself, making Newsom the president before 2024 and arming him with the full force of the Oval Office.
Stop funding Russia's nuclear weaponsHouse Republican leadership an oxymoronRepublicans can write off Newsom all they want as the politician who ''ruined'' California. The fact is, he is a proven vote-getter and has a formidable Democratic machine behind him. More than that, he has demonstrated that he is no political wallflower and seemingly has no intention of ''waiting his turn.''
Might the Democrats leapfrog him into the Oval Office before 2024? It would be political malpractice for them not to consider the option.
Douglas MacKinnon, a political and communications consultant, was a writer in the White House for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and former special assistant for policy and communications at the Pentagon during the last three years of the Bush administration.
A medical debt crisis - Louisiana Budget Project
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:46
An estimated 100 million Americans, including 4 in 10 adults, are saddled with medical debt. It's a uniquely American dilemma, and a problem that keeps families from buying a home, affording a reliable car or putting money away for their childrens' college education. A new investigation by Noam Levey of Kaiser Health News, in partnership with National Public Radio, reveals that the problem is much bigger than previously thought, as much of the debt is hidden in credit card balances and loans that people take out from family and friends.
The picture is bleak. In the past five years, more than half of U.S. adults report they've gone into debt because of medical or dental bills, the KFF poll found. A quarter of adults with health care debt owe more than $5,000. And about 1 in 5 with any amount of debt said they don't expect to ever pay it off. The burden is forcing families to cut spending on food and other essentials. Millions are being driven from their homes or into bankruptcy, the poll found.
Romney unveils Child Tax Credit proposalMillions of families lost critical support, like the expanded Child Tax Credit, when Congress failed to pass the Build Back Better package last December. On Wednesday, Sen. Mitt Romney introduced a new version of the expanded CTC that would send direct payments of up to $350 per month to qualifying families. The Washington Post's Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent have the details off Romney's proposal:
The plan, which Romney introduced with GOP Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.) and Steve Daines (Mont.), is described by its sponsors as ''pro-family, pro-life, and pro-marriage,'' while also being more generous than the current CTC. The main features:
$4,200 per year for each child up to age 5, and $3,000 for each child between 6 and 17.Benefits would begin during the last four months of pregnancy, providing $700 a month to expectant families.A family must have earned at least $10,000 the prior year to be eligible for its full benefits. Those who earned less than $10,000 could get prorated benefits, which does somewhat perversely mean that the poorer you are at those lowest levels, the less help you'll receive.While the expanded CTC wasn't available to couples with incomes over $150,000 a year, Romney's proposal provides benefits to those with up to $400,000 a year in income.It would be paid for mostly by substituting these benefits for portions of the earned-income tax credit and by eliminating the state and local tax deduction (SALT).While the proposal improves on current law, it doesn't provide the CTC to the poorest children and has problematic offsets. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' Chuck Marr (via tweet thread) has more on the details of Romney's bill and its shortcomings.
Special session begins with angerThe Legislature gaveled in for a special redistricting session on Wednesday, but the GOP-controlled body seems determined to stick with the congressional map that it drew in February instead of complying with a federal judge's order that the map contain a second Black-majority district. The Illuminator's Wesley Muller notes that legislative leaders complained about the tight window of the 6-day session and are asking U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick for more time, even as House Speaker Clay Schexnayder gave his members the day off on Thursday.
Many Republican lawmakers are still hoping for a bailout from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, where defendants in the voter lawsuit have challenged Dick's ruling. She found the Legislature racially gerrymandered five of the six districts to favor white conservative candidates and specifically ordered lawmakers to redraw them to include two majority-Black districts.
Why isn't green energy booming?Gas prices in the United States hit an all-time high of $5 per gallon this week (slightly less in Louisiana), and the prices families pay to heat and cool their homes is also rising rapidly amid the global energy crisis. With fossil fuel prices rising, The Washington Post's Evan Halper wonders why it hasn't led to a corresponding boom in green energy projects. The short answer: Blame Congress for years of failure leading up to this moment.
Consumers are eager for more wind and solar. Companies looking to go carbon-neutral are facing growing waitlists for access to green energy, and a Pew Research Center poll in late January found that two-thirds of Americans want the United States to prioritize alternative energy over fossil fuel production. But lawmakers have balked for more than a decade at making most of the fundamental economic and policy changes that experts widely agree are crucial to an orderly and accelerated energy transition. The United States does not have a tax on carbon, nor a national cap-and-trade program that would reorient markets toward lowering emissions. The unraveling in Congress of President Biden's $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan has added to the head winds that green-energy developers face.
But there are signs of progress In Texas, where Gov. Greg Abobtt infamously misled the public by blaming frozen wind turbines for his state's power grid failure during a 2021 cold snap, the grid is performing much better this time around because of big contributions from wind and solar power. CNN's Ella Nilsen explains:
Despite the Texas Republican rhetoric that wind and solar are unreliable, Texas has a massive and growing fleet of renewables. Zero-carbon electricity sources (wind, solar, and nuclear) powered about 38% of the state's power in 2021, rivaling natural gas at 42%. '... Not only have renewables helped keep the power on during a scorching and early heatwave, they have also helped keep costs low. Prices for natural gas and coal are high amid a worldwide energy crunch, but renewables '-- powered by the wind and sun '-- have no fuel cost.
Number of the Day63% '' Percentage of people with medical debt who cut spending on food, clothing and other basic necessities as a result (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation survey)
Long COVID-19, wave of medical debt crashes down on local resident
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:45
Contracting COVID-19 has sent Alicia Pender's life into a physical and emotional tailspin since her diagnosis in December 2020.
But what is causing Pender the most stress, she said, is being overwhelmed by more than $30,000 in COVID-19 related medical bills.
About $14,000 already has been forward by Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist to debt collections and another $16,000 '-- and mounting '-- is in the process. Pender provided copies of her medical bills to the Journal.
"Being sick has caused me to almost lose everything I have worked my life for," Pender said.
Pender, 49, a Kernersville resident and mother of two daughters and a son, was employed as a travel registered nurse at several Triad healthcare facilities until contracting COVID-19 she believes from either a co-worker or a patient.
"I just feel like I just exist right now," Pender said. "I'm very ashamed and humiliated to be in this position because I have a college education."
Pender said she has been able to maintain private health insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield of N.C., with the premiums being paid by her oldest daughter, Devon.
Devon also has created a GoFundMe.com account '-- https://www.gofundme.com/f/single-mom-going-through-crisis-after-crisis?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1&fbclid=IwAR0rh4Gwh_YIAxBYkO4IlOMUUfVBymk1v0iqd2IC-n5SXxf-2-svzpd3Hgo '-- for her mother to ask for assistance in paying for her mother's expenses.
The Penders are asking for $20,000 in GoFundMe assistance for rent, food and monthly bills.
Blue Cross has paid thousands of dollars of Pender's medical bills once she met her individual $3,800 in-network deductible, but her family has not met their $7,800 in-network deductible. Pender's out-of-network deductible is $19,000.
Even with co-insurance, Pender's share of her medical bills is 40%.
Yet, she finds herself with at least $30,000 in medical debt even after meeting her annual high deductible requirement.
She said she's been told by Baptist officials that because she has private insurance, she's not eligible for charity care or other assistance through the health-care system.
Instead, they recommend she reach out to nonprofit and charitable groups to help pay her medical bills.
"I'm really frustrated because they advertise the resources, but when you call or go online to check into the resources, they are either not real or you are not eligible," Pender said.
"I can't figure out how to get out of this hellhole, this quicksand. It's a vicious cycle that having poor physical health has led me to having poor mental health.
"It just feels like everything is adding up, and the more it adds up, the more the frustration and depression mounts up and there's no end in sight," she said.
Health issues
At the top of Pender's list of serious ailments is heart issues caused by COVID-19 that has led her to undergo three cardiac ablation procedures.
Those procedures are designed to cause scar tissue in the heart in order to block irregular electrical signals. It is used to treat heart rhythm problems, such as arrhythmias.
A heart pump has been placed in her chest.
She occasionally experiences the COVID "brain fog" that also affects her balance, Her asthma has become more virulent. She underwent a total hysterectomy "because I couldn't afford the $2,000 a month for medication for my lady parts."
Part of her treatment for depression and anxiety has been electroconvulsive therapy, in which small electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure. According to The Mayo Clinic, the therapy "seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental health conditions."
Unrelated to having COVID-19, she recently had surgery on her right knee that was injured when she was assisting her bed-bound father, as well as surgery on a chronic ailment involving her right clavicle.
She's also having a biopsy done soon on a lump in her chest to determine whether it is breast cancer.
A fairly normal life
Before being infected with COVID-19, Pender said her family led a "fairly normal life" including going on vacation, make home improvements.
"I won't say I was so happy that I was doing cartwheels because all adults and some children have some level of stress," she said.
"Now, I don't know what's going to happen day to day, and whether I can afford my 13 medications for the long COVID at the same time if I can get them."
Pender said she was aware of the risk of contracting COVID-19 as a travel nurse, particularly before a vaccine became available.
"I like to think I was doing my duty by being a frontline health-care worker during COVID, and I stuck it out even after being exposed because I was told I couldn't stay out," Pender said.
"But when COVID arrived, it hit me like a ton of bricks."
Pender's youngest daughter, Bianca, also contracted COVID-19 and is dealing with her own long COVID symptoms that include heart issues.
Waking up every day with the medical debt pressing on her psyche "doesn't make me a good nurse, good mother, a good daughter, a good friend because I have to be focused on me, me, me," she said.
Pender said her experiences with debt collectors shows that "all they want is the money, most of them rude."
She said one debt collector representative seemed to empathize with her situation, saying she would put the collection efforts on hold.
"Yet, they are still calling me, so it doesn't really seem to matter what I say or what I tell them because everybody has a sob story they tell them," Pender said.
"They are going to keep blowing up my phone, and I'm going to keep not answering it."
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LLY Stock Dives '-- Taking Novo, Sanofi With It '-- After Fake Twitter Account Promises Free Insulin | Investor's Business Daily
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 14:40
Elon Musk's new pay-for-play verification system on Twitter shook pharmaceutical mainstay Eli Lilly (LLY) '-- leading LLY stock to skid Friday '-- after a fake account claimed "insulin is free now."
X The tweet went live around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday from an account claiming to be Eli Lilly. It remained online for several hours, gaining steam from hundreds of retweets and thousands of likes. As of Friday morning, the fake account is no longer verified and its tweets are now private.
But that didn't stop LLY stock from falling 4.5% to 352.30 on today's stock market. Health care stocks were broadly pummeled Friday as well.
"We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account," the company said from its official account.
The fake tweet is shown here:
LLY Stock Dive Extends To RivalsEli Lilly's official account was verified under Twitter's old rules. The new verification system allows any account to be verified for just $8 per month. The move has spurred numerous fake accounts to crop up, impersonating celebrities, politicians and historical figures.
Insulin prices have become a hot-button issue in the U.S. where no generics exist. Without insulin, some patients with diabetes would die. Lilly, Novo Nordisk (NVO) and Sanofi (SNY) supply 100% of the insulin used in the U.S. and 90% globally.
The LLY stock slide also extended to its rivals. Novo Nordisk shares fell 3.5% to 111.47. Sanofi stock lost 3.4% and ended the regular session at 42.80.
In the third quarter, alone, Lilly's insulin products generated more than $878 million in sales. Sales fell more than 20% year over year, however. Lilly noted its Humalog brand insulin underwent price cuts during the quarter. On its website, Lilly offers a program in which insulin will cost $35 per month.
Representatives of the company didn't immediately return a request for comment Friday morning.
LLY stock recently broke out of a flat base with a buy point at 335.43, according to MarketSmith.com. Shares are now beyond the 5% chase zone.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Tens of Billions of US Dollars Were Transferred to Ukraine and then Using FTX Crypto Currency the Funds Were Laundered Back to Democrats in US
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 13:51
Did you ever wonder where all those billions of dollars were going in Ukraine? Did you ever wonder why anyone was trusting the elites in US politics like the Bidens with billions in funds going to Ukraine?
Today it turns out that these were excellent questions.
We have information that the tens of billions of dollars going to Ukraine were actually laundered back to the US to corrupt Democrats and elites using FTX cryptocurrency. Now the money is gone and FTX is bankrupt.
Earlier today we reported that the FTX cryptocurrency appeared to be used in a ponzi scheme involving the Democrats and Ukraine.
TRENDING: BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Tens of Billions of US Dollars Were Transferred to Ukraine and then Using FTX Crypto Currency the Funds Were Laundered Back to Democrats in US
As reported earlier, the FTX crypto company gave at least $40 million to Democrat candidates and causes in the midterms.
Sam Bankman-Fried is Biden's second biggest donor.
In addition to this, Daily Caller lists many of the lawmakers who Sam Bankman Fried was bankrolling who oversaw the institution that was supposed to keep on eye on companies like FTX:
Sam Bankman-Fried, prolific Democratic donor and ex-CEO of now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, funded the campaigns of members of Congress overseeing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), one of the key bodies tasked with regulating the crypto industry and the subject of Bankman-Fried's aggressive lobbying.
Bankman-Fried's FTX is currently under investigation by the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after Bankman-Fried allegedly moved $10 billion in client assets from his crypto exchange to his trading firm Alameda Research, and a liquidity crisis at his exchange which prompted the company to file for bankruptcy. However, prior to the agency's probe, Bankman-Fried aggressively courted the CFTC '' and funded several key lawmakers charged with overseeing the agency, pouring cash into their campaign coffers.
FTX also happens to be related to Ukraine.
The far-left Washington Post reported on March 3 that Ukraine was dealing in crypto.
The Ukrainian government has gathered more than $42 million in cryptocurrency donations since Saturday, plus digital artwork including a limited edition worth roughly $200,000, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. The challenge is how the country cashes in on these assets to fund its war needs.
Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman Fried has come forward to help a crypto donation project. He humbly announced that FTX will be supporting the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance and other communities in collecting crypto donations for the country. The Ukrainian government has received over $60 million in crypto donations from all over the world.
FTX's CEO, Sam Bankman Fried highlighted that the war in Ukraine has been dragging on. The country is in full need of humanitarian help and access to global financial infrastructure. He also called attention to sanctions and crypto during this kind of situation. He indicated that crypto exchanges should enforce sanctions announced by the government seriously.
FTX has stressed across all of its regulatory and policy efforts, active coordination and communication with regulators and policymakers is crucial to ensuring that laws and rules achieve their intended outcome, reads a letter by FTX
FTX Appears to Be a Political Ponzi Scheme Running Dollars to Politicians and Through Ukraine
The word is now out. The Democrats sent tens of billions to Ukraine and then laundered this money back to Democrat pockets and funds in the US. Now the company is bankrupt and the funds are nowhere to be found.
This information was shared on Twitter and we can confirm from our sources that this is accurate.
pic.twitter.com/DkCx8xwsiG
'-- SARAH CONNOR (@LibertyBelleNws) November 12, 2022
Of course, the Democrats are sending billions to themselves. They steal elections, why wouldn't they steal money?
Why egg prices are surging '-- but chicken prices are falling
Fri, 11 Nov 2022 14:20
A shopper checks a carton of eggs at a San Francisco grocery store on May 2, 2022.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Which (price change) came first, the chicken or the egg?
Grocery prices are increasing at their fastest pace in decades '-- none more so than eggs. Yet chicken prices fell in October.
It may seem counterintuitive that egg and chicken prices moved in opposite directions.
The dynamic is primarily due to a severe outbreak of bird flu in the U.S. '-- which has killed many egg-laying hens but has largely left chickens raised for meat production unscathed, according to economists.
"A lot of things are up since 2020," said Bill Lapp, president of Advanced Economic Solutions, a consulting firm specializing in food economics. "But the recent spike is extraordinary in the shell-egg as well as egg-product markets."
An 'unprecedented' egg supply disruptionSurging egg prices are primarily the result of one of the worst-ever outbreaks of avian flu in the U.S.
About 50.3 million birds have been impacted by the virus since early February 2022, according to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These figures include birds like turkeys and ducks, too.
Bird flu is relatively rare in the U.S. The last bout was in 2015, when a record 50.5 million birds were impacted, the CDC said. The flu hadn't emerged in at least a decade or two prior to that, Lapp said.
Here's why this matters: Avian flu, which is generally carried by wild birds like ducks and geese, is "highly contagious," the New Jersey Department of Agriculture warned last month. It's also extremely lethal; it kills 90% to 100% of chickens, often within 48 hours, according to the CDC.
Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Farmers generally must kill their remaining birds '-- not by choice but due to federal rules meant to prevent spread, said Brian Moscogiuri, a global trade strategist at Eggs Unlimited, an egg supplier based in Irvine, California.
As a result, about 37 million egg-laying hens '-- "layers," in industry shorthand '-- have died since the beginning of 2022, Moscogiuri said. They account for about 10% of U.S. production, he said.
Egg quantity has cratered in lockstep. About 8.8 million eggs were produced in September 2022, down from about 9.7 million in December 2021, according to most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"It's a supply disruption, 'act of God' type stuff," said Moscogiuri, who called the situation "unprecedented."
"It's kind of happenstance that inflation is going on [more broadly] during the same period," he added.
Inflation, holiday recipes are boosting egg demandBird flu typically arrives during the spring migration and disappears by the summer, experts said. But this year was different; the virus re-emerged in September.
In October, the Agriculture Department revised its production forecast for table eggs downward for 2023 and the remainder of 2022 following "September detections" of bird flu.
That avian flu flare-up '-- and its associated death toll for egg-laying hens '-- is running headlong into peak demand season, when consumers use more eggs for holiday baking, experts said.
Consumer demand for eggs has also been buoyed by a pivot away from some higher-cost proteins amid broader food inflation, the Agriculture Department suggested in an October outlook report.
Elevated egg prices "could last into the first quarter of 2023," Lapp said.
'Broilers' are less affected by flu than 'layers'Meanwhile, chicken prices retreated in October, falling by 1.3% during the month.
The wholesale price of chicken breast has fallen below $1.20 a pound, a third of its peak around $3.60 over the summer, for example, Lapp said.
Chickens raised for meat consumption '-- known as "broilers" '-- aren't affected by avian flu to the same extent as the "layers."
"It's two totally different styles of production, two totally different breeds of bird," Moscogiuri said.
The lifecycle for a broiler is much shorter '-- anywhere from 5.5 to 9 weeks, from hatch to slaughter, according to Vencomatic Group, a poultry consulting firm.
Flock of broiler chickens inside a poultry house.
Edwin Remsberg | The Image Bank | Getty Images
However, the lifecycle for an egg-laying hen can be upwards of 100 weeks, Moscogiuri said. It can take about five to six months for layers just to reach full productivity, according to the Agriculture Department.
The latter are therefore more susceptible to bird flu since farmers must keep them alive for a longer time, experts said.
Broiler quantity is also up, contributing to lower chicken prices at the grocery store.
For example, about 865 million broiler chicks hatched in August '-- 2.9% higher than August 2021 and a monthly record, which had previously been set in March 2020, the Agriculture Department said.
Broiler "placements" have also climbed in recent weeks, hitting a record 194.2 million chicks in the week ended Sept. 17, according to the Department. The agency raised 2023 production forecasts on that "optimistic" hatch and placement data.
Despite the recent retreat, chicken prices are still up 14.5% compared to October 2021, according to the CPI. Higher prices for commodities like corn and soybeans '-- the primary ingredients in chicken feed '-- have likely contributed to inflation for chicken, as well as eggs. Higher energy prices also factor into elevated costs for food distribution, for example.
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VIDEO - (125) Dave Chappelle Stand-Up Monologue - SNL - YouTube
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:59
VIDEO - Multnomah County report recommends replacing gas appliances | kgw.com
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:30
A new report from county health officials notes that indoor air pollution can be especially hazardous to children.
PORTLAND, Ore. '-- Gas stoves and water heaters pose a serious health hazard, especially to children, according to a new report from Multnomah County health officials, who recommended residents replace their gas appliances with electric alternatives.
Nad¨ge Dubuisson, Environmental Toxics Program Specialist with the county and lead author of the report, said the county analyzed dozens of studies and reports on the use of natural gas appliances in homes and concluded that they should be removed wherever possible.
''Our review of the most recent scientific literature found conclusively that gas stoves are a health hazard '-- especially for children with growing lungs,'' Dubuisson said in a statement. ''To protect against pollution-driven respiratory problems, we recommend a transition away from combusting appliances in favor of healthy electric alternatives whenever possible.''
Citing research from the Environmental Protection Agency, the report raises concerns over a number of indoor air pollutants that can come from using gas appliances, specifically nitrogen dioxide from stoves.
''Homes with gas stoves have concentrations of (nitrogen dioxide) that are 50% to over 400% higher than homes with electric stoves,'' the report says. ''Children living in homes that cook with gas are 42% more likely to experience symptoms associated with asthma, and they are 24% more likely to be diagnosed with lifetime asthma due to (nitrogen dioxide) exposure.''
Asthma is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in Multnomah County, health officials said, with one in 10 adults suffering from the ailment. Rates of asthma are also higher among low-income residents and people of color, the county said, because they tend to live in places with higher levels of outdoor air pollution and are more likely to use gas stoves to heat their homes.
Reducing natural gas emissions, the primary component of which is methane, is also key to fighting climate change. Though it is much more short-lived than carbon dioxide, methane can be up to 25 times as potent at trapping heat in the atmosphere, according to federal data.
The United States is among the biggest contributors to global methane emissions with most human-caused emissions coming from livestock, landfills and oil and gas systems, according to the EPA.
NW Natural, Multnomah County's largest supplier of natural gas, said they were frustrated that the county had not engaged with the utility before the report was released.
''We were surprised and disappointed to see the Board of County Commissioners agenda item titled, 'Combustion Appliances Report' after it was posted with no prior outreach from staff,'' Kathryn Williams, vice president of public affairs and sustainability, wrote.
Williams said these kinds of reports are often based on ''questionable research that relies on skewed datasets'' and many fail to consider the role of proper ventilation, which Oregon building codes require in new homes.
''No study we are aware of has found health effects associated with the use of gas stoves under proper ventilation conditions,'' Williams wrote.
Williams stressed that the utility would like to be involved in the county's discussions of gas appliances in the home, but so far has not been given the chance.
''We are eager to learn more details about the County's efforts related to gas appliances, but thus far we have not been allowed to engage,'' she wrote. ''This exclusion is emblematic of a broken process.''
Still, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said the evidence was compelling.
''When we see evidence that the methane gas we use to cook in our homes is harmful to our health, we need to find ways to curb the risk it poses,'' she said in a statement. ''In the long run, shrinking our dependence on fossil fuels remains the most effective way to protect our air quality, while also mitigating the climate impacts that put our communities at risk today.''
County officials pointed to incentives that will kick in next year, provided under the Inflation Reduction Act, that could provide substantial assistance to people looking to switch from gas appliances to electric.
''In the long run, shrinking our dependence on fossil fuels remains the most effective way to protect our air quality, while also mitigating the climate impacts that put our communities at risk today,'' Kafoury said.
WATCH: Climate change playlist
VIDEO - Judy Woodruff stepping aside from PBS NewsHour anchor desk at end of 2022 | PBS NewsHour
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:25
Anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff announced her intent to step aside from the PBS NewsHour anchor desk on Friday, December 30, 2022. She will devote 2023 and 2024 to a new national reporting project, Judy Woodruff Presents: America at a Crossroads.
Judy Woodruff:
And at the end of this very newsy week, I have some news of my own to share. After a decade as anchor of this extraordinary program, I have decided that the end of 2022 is the right time to turn this incredibly important job over to someone else.
I am then going to undertake a very exciting new project with the "NewsHour" for the next couple of years, one we are calling America at a Crossroads.
Being the anchor has been the honor of a lifetime every single day, to follow in the footsteps of two iconic journalists, Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer, and you have sat alongside the incomparable Gwen Ifill.
I mean it when I say I cannot believe they pay me to do this work that I absolutely love.
But, on December 30, I will say thank you, and then I will transition to a new role at the "NewsHour" as a correspondent taking on a big new project to try to understand America at this very divided moment in our country.
I will travel around, talk with ordinary Americans, maybe some of you who are watching, and put together a series of reports that we hope will add up to a better understanding of what the American people want and especially, how do we repair this deep divide?
Reports will show up regularly on the "NewsHour." And we will have more on that later.
And more to come soon on who will be sitting at this desk after I step away.
But, for now, I have a heart full of thanks to each of you who watch and follow the "NewsHour." You are the reason we do what we do, and always to the utterly amazing "NewsHour" staff.
And that is the "NewsHour" for tonight. I'm Judy Woodruff.
Don't forget to tune in to "Washington Week" later tonight and to "PBS News Weekend" tomorrow.
From all of us at the "PBS NewsHour," thank you, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon.
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Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:19
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Sun Nov 13 17:07:38 +0000 2022
VIDEO - (11) RNC Research on Twitter: "Biden: ''Whether or not [the Russians are] pulling back from Fallujah and the, I mean...'' Reporter: ''Kherson.'' Biden: ''Kherson, the city of Kherson.'' https://t.co/v6ee2VJ62g" / Twitter
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:14
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VIDEO - Climate protests grip Egypt, Spain and Germany | Euronews
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 16:59
By Euronews with AP, AFP ' Updated: 12/11/2022 - 21:40
Climate activists gather at the COP27 conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt -
Copyright
Fotograma AFPHundreds of activists gathered at the COP27 climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh on Saturday, demanding an end to fossil fuels and calling for Western countries to pay for the damage caused by climate change.
It's the biggest protest to have taken place at this year's climate conference so far.
The activists marched through the Blue Zone, where talks at the climate conference were taking place, chanting, "the oceans are rising, and so are we," and holding banners with slogans that read: "Tax the rich" and "Pay your climate debt".
"We will continue to demand drastic emissions cuts and climate reparations from the countries that are historically responsible for our destruction, especially for loss and damage, but also adaptation and mitigation," said Mitzi Jonelle Tan, a climate activist from the Philippines.
Meanwhile, climate rallies were held in several European cities. In Madrid, Greenpeace led protests demanding an end to the use of fossil fuels.
More than a thousand protesters descended on Luetzerath, in western Germany to urge more action from participants at the COP27 conference in Egypt.
The village, which has become a symbol of the resistance to fossil fuels, is threatened with being bulldozed to allow the extension of a neighbouring open-air coal mine.
Many had painted their faces with the words "Stop coal", and activists unfurled a huge yellow cross -- a symbol against coal mine expansion -- in a field.
VIDEO - Scaramucci talks FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried and 'the worst week in cryptocurrency history'
Sun, 13 Nov 2022 16:51
Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital and a short-time Trump administration communications director, spoke Friday morning on CNBC's "Squawk Box" about friend and business partner Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of crumbling crypto exchange FTX.
FTX, which took a 30% stake in Scarmucci's SkyBridge Capital in September, is facing potential bankruptcy after a "bank run" on the crypto exchange left it about $8 billion short. Bankman-Fried says he was unaware of the extent of user leverage because of poor internal labeling of bank-related accounts.
Scaramucci was hesitant to attribute the exchange's failure to malice.
"I don't want to call it fraud at this moment because that's actually a legal term," Scaramucci said. "I would implore Sam and his family to tell the truth to their investors, get to the bottom of it."
Bankman-Fried tweeted Thursday morning that he is "sorry," admitting that he "f---ed up" and "should have done better."
Bankman-Fried said his first mistake was poor internal labeling of bank-related accounts, which meant that he was "substantially off" on his sense of users' margin. "I thought it was way lower."
Scaramucci speculated that Bankman-Fried could have made mistakes in the throes of the crypto bear market, specifically when Three Arrows, a massive cryptocurrency hedge fund, liquidated in June 2022.
"When Three Arrows went down, it could be possible, Andrew, that Sam had difficulty then, and then he made some decisions that turned out to be disastrous for him and both sides of this business," he said Friday, speaking to CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin.
Scaramucci told "Squawk Box" that he went to the Bahamas to help Bankman-Fried as an investor and friend. When he got there, he says, it appeared beyond the point of a simple liquidity rescue.
Binance seems to have made the same assessment. The world's largest cryptocurrency firm broke a nonbinding deal to rescue FTX after conducting due diligence and the news "regarding mishandled customer funds and alleged US agency investigations."
Scaramucci said he didn't see evidence of this mishandling when he and other investors first screened FTX as a potential business partner.
"Duped I guess is the right word, but I am very disappointed because I do like Sam," Scaramucci said. "I don't know what happened because I was not an insider at FTX."
"There's a lot of distress in the markets, and a lot of my friends think it's the worst week in cryptocurrency history," Scaramucci said.
He said he plans to buy back his equity in SkyBridge from FTX, noting that his firm did not hold assets at FTX due to a potential conflict of interest.
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Sun, 13 Nov 2022 13:53
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