Previously, I blogged about how the Steele dossier that was used to get permission to spy on the Trump campaign was paid for by Democrats. The latest news is that the Steele dossier contained Russian disinformation. So, instead of Trump colluding with Russians, it was actually the Democrats colluding with Russians to get a fake dossier to allow spying on the Trump campaign.
At some point in 2017, the precise month is not clear, the FBI obtained evidence that Russian operatives fed disinformation to former British spy Christopher Steele.
That stunning revelation came on Friday, and not through a leak, as did so many of the anti-Trump and pro-Steele stories that have come out since the dossier was published in January 2017.
Instead, the disclosure was the product of an intense GOP-led fact-finding campaign to force U.S. intelligence officials to declassify information that the FBI had on Steele and his notorious dossier.
Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson, the two Republicans who jogged loose the new information, noted the disparity in the type of information that has leaked out of the Trump-Russia investigation in the three-plus years since it began.
“For years, the public was fed a healthy diet of leaks, innuendo and false information to imply that President Trump and his campaign were part of a Russian conspiracy to spread disinformation,” they said in a statement upon the release of three footnotes from the Justice Department inspector general’s (IG) report on the FBI’s surveillance of the Trump campaign.
The previously-classified footnotes said that an organization not identified in the IG report provided the FBI evidence that Russian operatives fed disinformation that wound up in the dossier.
The disclosure is another stunning blow to the reputation of the FBI, which made Steele’s dossier a “central and essential” component of its surveillance warrants against Carter Page.
Actually, the Steele dossier was the ONLY source for the FISA warrant that allowed the Obama administration to spy on the Trump campaign.
Now I want to review who paid for the Steele dossier that contained Russian disinformation.
The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.
Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.
After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.
The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.
The FBI and DOJ didn’t tell the FISA court about who was funding the Steele dossier when they applied for the warrant. Because if they had, they would have been denied the warrant. No FISA court would approve surveillance of the Republican party if the sole basis for the warrant was uncorroborated opposition research funded by the Democrat party. In order to get the FISA warrant, the request had to be written in such a way that the funding of the Steele dossier was not revealed, and Steele was not declared to be the source of the news articles used as corroborating evidence.
I had to blog about this story about a tough girl at UC Berkeley who is taking a lot of heat for her Christian beliefs. It would have been easier for her to keep them private. But they forced her to vote, and she had to respect her conscience. Campus Reform posted an article about the facts of the case.
Isabella Chow is an elected student senator who represents the Associated Students of the University of California party Student Action. But after choosing to abstain from voting on a resolution to oppose the recent Title IX changes proposed by President Donald Trump, Chow’s own party disavowed her.
The proposed Title IX changes lack a legal definition of gender, effectively limiting “gender identity” to one’s physical sex, according to the Wall Street Journal. The resolution before the Berkeley student government was a statement of opposition to these proposed changes, intended to display solidarity with members of the LGBT community, specifically “transgender, intersex, nonbinary and gender nonconforming students,” as reported by the independent student newspaper the Daily Californian.
That article was from November 9th, but The College Fix had some news in their article posted Monday:
Chow has faced intense backlash over her position, with numerous individuals slamming her on social media (one commenter on Facebook called Chow a “mental imbecile”) as well as in person. The response has been so hostile that Chow has made changes to how she gets around campus. “I don’t feel safe walking alone to class and take precautions not to walk alone at night,” Chow said.
Chow provided The Fix with multiple Internet postings openly accusing her of bigotry and hatred. One, from student senator Teddy Lake, said that Chow’s Christian beliefs “were not beliefs at all— they were hateful prejudices that deserve nothing less than the strongest condemnation.”
Several posts on the website Reddit were filled with angry comments. One commenter accused Chow of “sanctimonious holier-than-thou bullsh*t,” and another said: “She’s a horrible person.”
The editors of The Daily Californian published an editorial calling for Chow’s resignation, accusing her of “publicly dismissing the identities of individuals on campus” and “eras[ing] and dehuman[izing]” numerous Berkeley students.
“Chow used her powerful public platform to negate entire experiences and identities. UC Berkeley students cannot allow and accept leaders like Chow to make decisions on their behalf,” the editors wrote.
The campus’s Queer Alliance Resource Center, meanwhile, produced a statement in opposition to Chow.
“Her ‘love’ is no protection against the current oppression faced by trans, intersex, and non-binary individuals. Instead, her ‘love’ pads her condescending disapproval towards us and reminds us of our history of surviving so-called ‘love.’ Senator Chow’s ‘love’ is not of warmth and compassion but of judgement and disapproval. We cannot sit idly by while Chow sits on moral high ground casting moral judgements,” the statement reads.
The Center also produced a petition calling on Chow to resign.
[…]At a student senate meeting last week, numerous members of the Berkeley community publicly expressed their opinions, almost all of them explicitly critical of Chow.
“I condemn Isabella Chow’s words, not because they’re different from mine, but because they are dangerous, and inherently prejudiced. I encourage Senator Chow to reach a dialogue with queer-affirming Christian communities that LGBT existence is compatible with the love of God,” one student said.
Another attendee said to Chow: “Your Christian morals should not be in our student government or for any government; and if you cannot separate your religion from your job as a senator, please resign.”
Another accused Chow of “speaking words of hate, mashed under the name of love.”
Chow eventually approached The Daily Californian asking if the publication would run either a statement or an op-ed by her. The Daily refused to publish either.
She has sunk a ton of money into her education, and now she is at the mercy of far-left professors and TAs. For her sake, I hope that she is working toward a STEM degree. It will help her to find work going forward. This is definitely going to affect her whole life going forward – a lot of big companies aren’t going to hire someone like her who refuses to go along with the LGBT agenda. I hope she’s prepared for that.
I was watching this video from Prager University on resiliency, and it was talking about several ways that a person can make themselves defensible against unexpected setbacks.
I think it’s important for Christians to think carefully about what they will study and where they work. Having a good education and money makes it easier to deal with threats like the ones arrayed against Isabella. It allows you to find work more easily, to move if you have to, etc. It’s important to train your character by studying hard things, doing hard things and finishing what you start. Having a platform to tell your story is important. Having a network of accomplished friends helps, too.
If you marry, then marry someone with courage and strength, who will stand by you, and help you to persist. It’s a serious mistake to marry someone who doesn’t understand Christianity as service, and who doesn’t have any strength to deploy in case of a crisis. If you’re being attacked, you want a stable partner who has strength in practical areas, and informed convictions. Not someone who is drowning in sin, narcissism, student loan debt, peer pressure, drug addiction, reckless thrill-seeking, etc.
Some jobs and cities have a lot of anti-Christian progressives. It’s easier to avoid those if you have a good education, practical skills and a good resume. Often, the influence you have is going to be determined by the decisions you make to make yourself resilient. My ambition has always been to have an influence without allowing the secular left to easily silence me. If they know where I work, and where I live, then they can put pressure on me to recant my views. Conversely, if I am careful about education, career and finance, then I can put pressure on them to back off if they challenge me.
Here’s a concept every Christian should know that people in information security speak about… being a “hard target”:
A hard-target is a person who, due to their actions and/or appropriate protective measures, is able to minimize existing risks and thus most likely represents an unattractive target. Originally, these two terms come from the military and relate to protected and unprotected targets.
The Christian life is a lot more strategic than churches teach us. We’re obsessed with compassion, feelings, and not being judged. Instead, we should be focused on having an influence and making ourselves into hard targets for the secular culture. We have a sanitized view of how sin corrupts non-Christians, allowing them to do unspeakable evils to Christians who merely disagree with them. We think that secular leftists will behave like moral people, as if denying God’s existence makes no difference to a person’s ability to be moral. We think that nihilists will respect our basic human rights – human rights that they can’t even rationally ground in their worldview. And we think that God’s job is to protect us and make us feel good no matter how unprepared and reckless we are.
If you want to have an influence, then you need to make every decision wisely, in order to prepare for the day when your cover is blown behind enemy lines. Remember, with respect to God’s purposes in the world, your happiness is expendable.
This week, I was appalled to see that the Babylon Bee, a Christian satire web site, was attacked by Facebook for writing a satire critical of the radically leftist CNN.
This is what Facebook sent to Adam Ford for his satire of CNN. Since Facebook cited Snopes, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about two Facebook “fact checkers”, and an example of their “fact-checking”.
First, a story from The Daily Signal. Then, we’ll see examples of how Facebook’s censorship allies are biased against conservatives.
Let’s look at the first far-left Facebook partner: Politifact. Politifact is just a group of journalists from the Tampa Bay Times newspaper.
Avik Roy, health care policy expert at Forbes magazine, writes about Politifact’s assessment of Obama’s promise to Americans about keeping their health plans after Obamacare.
2008 PolitiFact before the election: ‘We rate his statement True’
Roy writes: (links removed)
On October 9, 2008, Angie Drobnic Holan of PolitiFact published an article using the site’s “Truth-O-Meter” to evaluate this claim: “Under Barack Obama’s health care proposal, ‘if you’ve got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it.’” The article assures us in its headline that “Obama’s plan expands [the] existing system,” and continues that “Obama is accurately describing his health care plan here…It remains to be seen whether Obama’s plan will actually be able to achieve the cost savings it promises for the health care system. But people who want to keep their current insurance should be able to do that under Obama’s plan. His description of his plan is accurate, and we rate his statement True.”
[…]As per PolitiFact’s usual M.O., Holan didn’t seek out any skeptical health-policy experts to suss out the veracity of Senator Obama’s signature claim. Instead, its sources included Jonathan Cohn, a passionate Obamacare supporter at The New Republic, and various interviews and statements of Mr. Obama. Holan simply took the “keep your plan” promise at face value, dismissing as dishonest anyone who dared suggest that Obama’s claim would be impossible to keep. “His opponents have attacked his plan as ‘government-run’ health care,” she wrote, the scare-quotes around “government-run” being visible to all.
PolitiFact’s pronouncements about Obamacare were widely repeated by pro-Obama reporters and pundits, and had a meaningful impact on the outcome of the election. Indeed, in 2009, PolitiFact won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 2008 campaign.
Here’s the screen capture from 2008:
Before the election, it’s true! And Obama got re-elected, because people believed that. But what happened after the election?
2013 PolitiFact after the election: ‘We rate his statement Pants On Fire’
Roy writes: (links removed)
On December 12,  the self-appointed guardians of truth and justice at PolitiFact named President Obama’s infamous promise—that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it”—its 2013 “Lie of the Year.”
[…]On November 4, Jacobson rated as “Pants on Fire” the President’s new claim that “what we said was, you can keep [your plan] if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” Both pieces were edited by Angie Drobnic Holan, who had initially granted PolitiFact’s seal of approval to Senator Obama’s 2008 promise. Holan delivered the coup de grâce, declaring as PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” the “keep your plan” promise.
“The promise was impossible to keep,” says Holan in her December piece. Now she tells us! But none of the key facts that made that promise “impossible” in 2008 had changed by 2013. The President’s plan had always required major disruption of the health insurance market; the Obamacare bill contained the key elements of that plan; the Obamacare law did as well. The only thing that had changed was the actual first-hand accounts of millions of Americans who were losing their plans now that Obamacare was live.
And the screen capture from 2013:
So when Politifact rates a statement by a Democrat as true, what they really mean is that it’s pants-on-fire-false, but it’s election time so they don’t say that. It’s not like the critical assessments of Obamacare from health policy experts were not out there between 2007-2012. It’s just that the liberal journalism-major bloggers at Politifact couldn’t be bothered to read them. And this is who Facebook is using as a fact checker, because Facebook has one way of seeing issues – the radical leftist way. If you disagree, then they censor your content. Because Facebook employees are close-minded, anti-intellectual socialists who hate free speech.
What about Snopes? Maybe Snopes is a more reliable “fact checker” than Politifact?
Snopes’ main political fact-checker is a writer named Kim Lacapria. Before writing for Snopes, Lacapria wrote for Inquisitr, a blog that — oddly enough — is known for publishing fake quotes and even downright hoaxes as much as anything else.
[…]She described herself as “openly left-leaning” and a liberal. She trashed the Tea Party as “teahadists.” She called Bill Clinton “one of our greatest” presidents. She claimed that conservatives only criticized Lena Dunham’s comparison of voting to sex because they “fear female agency.”
[…]Lacapria — in another “fact check” article — argued Hillary Clinton hadn’t included Benghazi at all in her infamous “we didn’t lose a single person in Libya” gaffe. Lacapria claimed Clinton only meant to refer to the 2011 invasion of Libya (but not the 2012 Benghazi attack) but offered little fact-based evidence to support her claim.
After the Orlando terror attack, Lacapria claimed that just because Omar Mateen was a registered Democrat with an active voter registration statusdidn’t mean he was actually a Democrat. Her “fact check” argued that he might “have chosen a random political affiliation when he initially registered.”
Snopes is just spin for Democrat gaffes – playing defense for the DNC. And Facebook using them to check facts, because Facebook is basically joined at the hip to the Democrat party.
Can we verify that Snopes actually lies in order to defend Democrats. Well, yes –right here. Snopes lied about American flags being present throughout the first day of the 2016 Democrat convention.
It’s groups like these who are being relied upon to spot “fake news” for Facebook. When you are on Facebook, it’s important to understand that it is a web site run by Democrats, for the benefit of Democrats. There is no balance. There is no critical thinking. The simple fact of the matter is that many fake news stories are pushed by the leftist mainstream media, and ignored by the leftist “fact checkers”. Here’s one recent example of how that works.