Both Tulsi Gabbard and the Green Party of the United States have issued scorching rebukes of Hillary Clinton for baseless accusations the former Secretary of State made during a recent interview claiming that both Gabbard and former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein are aligned with the Russian government.
“I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton said in a transparent reference to Gabbard.
“She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far. And that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset.”
Clinton provided no evidence for her outlandish claims, because she does not have any.Gabbard has repeatedlydenied centrist conspiracy theories that she intends to run as a third-party candidate, a claim which establishment pundits have been making more and more often because they know there will never be any consequences when their claims are disproven. There is no evidence of any kind connecting either Jill Stein or Tulsi Gabbard to the Russian government.
Of course, this total lack of evidence hasn’t dissuaded Clintonites from falling all over themselves trying to justify Mommy’s claims anyway.
“Russian ‘assets’ are not formal relationships in the USIC [US Intelligence Community] sense of the word,”CNN analyst and former FBI agent Asha Rangappa explained via Twitter.
“If you are parroting Russian talking points and furthering their interests, you’re a source who is too dumb to know you’re being played to ask for money.”
“It’s important to point out here that a Russian ‘asset’ is not the same thing as a Russian ‘agent’,” tweeted virulent establishment narrative manager Caroline Orr. “An asset can be witting or unwitting; it’s any person or org who can be used to advance Russia’s interests. It’s pretty clear that Tulsi satisfies that criteria.”
“One doesn’t have to be on the Kremlin’s payroll to be a Russian asset. One doesn’t even have to know they are a Russian asset to be a Russian asset. Have you not heard the term ‘useful idiot’ before?”tweeted writer Kara Calavera.
Yep, yeah, that makes perfect sense. One doesn’t have to actually have any formal relationship with the Kremlin to be a Kremlin asset. One doesn’t have to know they’re a Kremlin asset to be a Kremlin asset. The Kremlin doesn’t even need to know one is a Kremlin asset for them to be a Kremlin asset. Nothing has to have happened except the accusation of being a Kremlin asset. It’s just kind of a vague, shapeless nothing thing that doesn’t necessarily have any actual meaning to it at all besides the way it makes people feel inside. It’s more like a religious belief, really.
Isn’t it interesting how that works? Establishment loyalists get a damaging and incendiary tag that they can pin on anyone who disagrees with them, with the sole evidentiary requirement being that disagreement itself.
Author and antiwar activist David Swanson noticed this bizarre intellectual contortion as well, tweeting, “Notice that they carefully define ‘Russian asset’ to mean not necessarily an asset and not necessarily with any connection to Russia.”
Notice that they carefully define “Russian asset” to mean not necessarily an asset and not necessarily with any connection to Russia. https://t.co/Yp6rR1EElh
Establishment narrative managers have been performing this obnoxious trick for years; this is just the most publicly it’s been brought into the spotlight. They claim someone is a Russian asset, then when asked to provide proof that the person is working for Russia, they say they might be an “unwitting” Russian asset, or a “useful idiot”, who does the Kremlin’s bidding without realizing it by sharing ideas and information which the Russian government agrees with. Which is just another way of saying that they hold positions which diverge from the microscopic Overton window of establishment-authorized opinion.
Such positions typically consist of some form of opposition to longstanding US military agendas, such as America’s failed policy of regime change interventionism. Both Jill Stein and Tulsi Gabbard have inserted skepticism of US military policy into mainstream political discourse, which is tremendously inconvenient for the people whose job it is to manufacture consent for new wars and endless military expansionism.
The “Russian asset” smear has given the establishment narrative managers the ability to make incredibly inflammatory and scandalous accusations about anyone who opposes the US establishment foreign policy consensus, without ever having to back them up with facts. It’s no obstacle for me if I can’t prove that you have any connection to the Russian government, because I can still smear you as a Russian asset by saying your views align with Moscow’s interests, or by noting that Russian news media has done news reporting on you as our friend Neera Tanden does here:
Never mind the fact that there are many, many reasons to oppose the US establishment foreign policy consensus which have nothing to do with Russia. Never mind the fact that the US establishment foreign policy consensus has been an unmitigated disaster that has only made the world worse and is pushing the US-centralized power alliance toward a point where a direct military confrontation with Russia, China and their allies becomes inescapable. Never mind the fact that Russia is far from the only country in the world that wishes America would scale back its aggressive military expansionism. It has been firmly established beyond any doubt that it is now literally impossible for an American political figure to vocally oppose US warmongering without being labeled a Russian asset.
In reality, “Russian asset” is nothing more than a completely meaningless noise that war pigs make with their face holes, no more coherent and communicative than the barking of a dog or the chattering of a squirrel. If we were to come up with a definition for that term which reflects the way it is actually being used in modern political discourse, that definition would be something like, “An incantation which magically makes political dissent look like something treasonous and Machiavellian.”
Establishment narrative managers are getting more and more aggressive with the psychological bullying tactics they are using against political dissidents. Applying a ridiculous, meaningless pejorative to anyone who disagrees with mainstream US foreign policy views is just one more ugly tool in their infernal toolbox. It is not normal, healthy or acceptable to accuse someone of being a Russian asset just because they disagree with the authorized commentators of the American political/media class, and when they make such accusations they should be publicly shamed for it.
China Kills Tarantino Movie Over Controversial Bruce Lee Fight Scene
China has killed the distribution of Quentin Tarantino’s film “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood,” one week before its major debut at box offices across the country, reported the Los Angeles Times.
The widespread release of the film was planned for Oct. 25th. Chinese regulators canceled those plans over a controversial fight scene featuring an actor inaccurately portraying legendary Chinese martial arts master, Bruce Lee, said a source familiar with the film.
Chinese film regulators didn’t explain their cancellation decision. But another source familiar with the movie told The Hollywood Reporter that Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee’s daughter, “filed a complaint to China’s National Film Administration” due to the inaccurate portrayal of her late father. She said Tarantino’s film made her late father look “arrogant” and “boastful.”
The decision to prevent the movie from debuting is a massive blow to Sony and the Chinese distributor Bona Film Group, that is because China has the largest box office market in the world.
Shannon Lee, chief executive of Bruce Lee Family Co., said in July Tarantino’s film was a “mockery” of her father.
“The script treatment of my father as this arrogant, egotistical punching bag was really disheartening — and, I feel, unnecessary,” Lee told The Times.
Tarantino responded to Lee’s comments in late summer by saying, “Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy. The way he was talking, I didn’t just make a lot of that up.”
The controversial scene in question involves a fight between Mike Moh, the actor who portrays Bruce Lee, and Brad Pitt’s character, stuntman Cliff Booth, where a fight eventually leads to Moh [Lee] getting bodyslammed into the side of a car.
In an interview with Birth.Movies.Death, Moh, revealed in Aug., that the original script had “major issues” when it came to an accurate portrayal of Bruce Lee.” I’m not going to tell you what the original script had exactly, but when I read it, I was so conflicted because he’s my hero — Bruce in my mind was literally a god. He wasn’t a person to me, he was a superhero. And I think that’s how most people view Bruce.”
A source close to the situation tells The Hollywood Reporter that the auteur is taking a take-it-or-leave-it stancein the wake of Chinese regulators pulling the film.
Tarantino had another run-in with Chinese regulators back in 2012 when he released Django Unchained, which the movie was pulled from theaters after graphic scenes showed excessive nudity and violence.
Django Unchained was re-released after an edit, supervised by Chinese regulators, the movie then flopped, making only $2.7 million, opposed to hundreds of millions of dollars.
The latest distribution debacle comes at a time when tensions between the US and China are at high levels due to an ongoing trade war.
Earlier this month, we reported how China canceled all broadcasts of NBA games due to a now-deleted tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey supporting protestors in Hong Kong.
China’s censorship doesn’t stop at the movies or the NBA. Apple, South Park, and Activision Blizzard, all have recently been targeted by the Chinese government to remove content or face penalties that could result in a denial of access to Chinese markets.
We followed the money and found a culture of conflict-of-interest. The confluence of federal money, campaign cash, private employment, investments, prestigious committee appointments, political power, nepotism, and other conflicts are a fact pattern.
Furthermore, members of Congress own investment stock in, are employed by, and receive retirement pensions from federal contractors to whom they direct billions of taxpayer dollars.
Moreover, members sponsor legislation that affects these contractors. The contractor’s lobbyists then advocate for the legislation that helps the member and the contractor. Oftentimes, the contractor’s lobbyist also donates campaign cash to the member.
Here are five case examples detailing the conflict-of-interest among five powerful members of Congress:
Rep. John Larson (D-CT1): United Technologies (UT) executives, employees, political action committee, and affiliated lobbyists are the #1 campaign donor to Larson’s committee ($377,050). UT collected federal grants (subsidies) $83.8 million and federal contracts $16.1 billion (2014−2018). Mr. Larson owns UT stock 2012 – 2018 (last disclosure). Larsen is a ranking member on House Ways and Means.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK4): The Chickasaw Nation and affiliates are the #1 campaign donor to Cole’s committee ($258,461). The Nation received $700 million in federal grants and $434,000 in surplus military equipment from the Pentagon, including mine-resistant vehicles, night vision goggles, mine-detecting sets, and rifles that shoot .308 rounds. Cole is a ranking member on House Appropriations.
Since 2002, Cole’s campaign committee has hired Cole’s private political consulting partnership: Cole, Hargrave, and Snodgrass. Cole’s campaign has paid his firm a total of $224,000.
Since 2003, Mr. Cole has earned roughly $320,000 in “management fees” from his firm – while also serving in Congress. He’s also disclosed receiving $175,000 – $575,000 in “dividends/capital gains” and his “equity interest” in the firm is listed as between $250,000 – $500,000.
The Chickasaw Nation responded regarding their donations and any perceived conflict-of-interest issues with Rep. Tom Cole:
As an active participant in the political process working to enhance the quality of life of our citizens, we support candidates who have similar policy views.
The Chickasaw Nation spokesperson
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN5): Vanderbilt University’s executives and employees are the #1 all-time campaign donor to Cooper’s committee ($135,261) – including $21,500 from just-retired chancellor Nicholas Zeppos. Vanderbilt has received $2.6 billion in federal payments (2014−2018) including grants ($2.3 billion); direct payments ($31.2 million); and contracts ($187 million). Cooper is a ranking member of the Budget committee.
Mr. Cooper was employed by Vanderbilt during the period 2005 through 2017 and disclosed earnings of $250,500 in cash compensation. He made between $20,000 and $23,500 a year teaching a graduate level class in Vanderbilt’s HealthCare MBA program at the Owen Graduate School of Management as an adjunct professor.
Former Rep. – Current Governor Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota): Sanford Health’s executives, employees, and lobbyists are the #1 all-time campaign donor to Noem’s federal committee ($110,462). Top executives provided Noem campaign donations early in her career including $7,500 from CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft.
In 2019, Noem was sworn in as governor of South Dakota. She’s appointed two Sanford executives to head up state agencies. Noem’s transition chief was a Sanford lobbyist.
Governor Noem has proposed aiding the state’s nursing home industry by raising the rate of Medicaid payments and providing $5 million in grants to help innovate facilities. Sanford Health owns 32 nursing homes in South Dakota.
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI12): Although Dingell wasn’t elected to Congress until 2014, a member of the Dingell family has held MI-12 congressional seat for 86 years.
The executives and employees of the University of Michigan (U-M) are the #1 campaign donor to Dingell’s committee ($61,502). This is despite the fact that Dingell sits on two prominent U-M boards: the Ford School of Public Policy and the Depression Center. Trustees and university employees of those boards have donated to her campaign.
One of Dingell’s duties on the board of the Ford School is to help the school raise money and network.
Dingell is a ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. On March 21, 2019, she signed an earmark letter to the Department of Transportation (USDOT) in support of $7.5 million in grants to U-M and other partners regarding research on self-driving cars. In a press release, Dingell took credit that USDOT authorized the grant in August 2019.
The University of Michigan responded regarding their donations and any perceived conflict-of-interest issues with Rep. Debbie Dingell:
Our employees are free to make personal campaign contributions to any elected official they may wish to support.
University of Michigan spokesperson
Nothing we discovered is illegal. At arms-length, all of the transactions are legal. And that’s the problem.
We polled our subscribers and 1,900 people responded: 96 percent thought it was unethical for a member of Congress to solicit campaign donations from federal contractors based in their districts. Furthermore, 92 percent said it was an important or very important issue.
The American people get it. Members should refuse to accept campaign donations from federal contractors and their affiliates.
Note: A request for comment was sent to all members and contractors mentioned in this piece. No members of Congress responded to our comment requests. Contractor respondents included: The University of Michigan, full comment, here; The Chickasaw Nation, full comment, here. Sanford Health didn’t respond to this request, however, they issued this comment earlier, here.
This has got to be one of the most important statement made this year. Why have so many not even heard it? Because our news (Major media) outlet are 1.controled by or 2. outright own by the people who make their money (and lots of it) selling weapons. The more unrest in the world the betters it is for their bank accounts. In this video the enemy everyone loves to hate talking about the danger of not having a Nuclear Arms Agreement Which the U.S. pulled out of ( by not renewing the start 3 Treaty) just about the same time they said that they will now be planing for a first strike capability. This is the same as having a bully on the block and you make a deal that he will leave you alone. Then one day he said to you our deal is now off. Do you think it’s about time to be concerned?