Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that Congress is unlikely to enact economic relief legislation before the November 3rd election because Nancy Pelosi-led Democrats do not want to deliver anything that President Donald Trump could portray to voters as a win.So Pelosi held up money which could have been distributed months prior, because she enjoyed playing politics with the lives of Americans. She literally said so. There's a new president, so she's willing to deal. Why? Because she couldn't give Trump a win before the election. It really is that simple.
But Congressman Dan Crenshaw of Texas lays it all out with the truth.
Nancy Pelosi says she is willing to do a smaller covid-19 deal citing the "game changer" of Biden's election and vaccine development:"That's OK now because we have a new president. A president who recognizes that we need to depend on science..." pic.twitter.com/Egk9kxWWJV — Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) December 4, 2020
Refusing to open America up -- whilst simultaneously playing god, dangling money in front of Americans and then snatching it away "because OMB: Orange Man Bad." When in fact the proper play would have been to SAVE that money and allow Americans to do what they've wanted for months: to get back to work.
Senate Republicans have been trying since July to get more targeted, bipartisan relief into the hands of the American people. Until the election, Democrats kept saying no.I’m glad for our country that we are finally moving ahead together. pic.twitter.com/G8PUrQgGN8 — Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) December 21, 2020
STOP. Any and every bill -- specifically like this and the ACA (Affordable Bill Act, which was everything but), which contains this number of pages -- almost 6,000 -- should be on its face immediately refused unless a sufficient period of time, which should be weeks, is allowed for its processing and, more importantly, discussing openly in chambers.
Congress unveils massive $900B COVID government spending bill after months of negotiationsby Megan Henney, 12-21-20
The deal comes at an increasingly perilous time for the nation as it teeters on the brink of another economic downturnCongressional leaders on Monday unveiled a mammoth agreement on a roughly $2.4 trillion spending package that includes $900 billion in coronavirus relief after a half-year stalemate, securing another tranche of aid as a surge in COVID-19 infections threatens to further derail the nation's faltering economy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged that lawmakers won't leave the Capitol until the bill is passed, giving lawmakers and their offices just a few hours to review the massive 5,593-page bill.
The bipartisan, bicameral proposal — intended to blunt the continued economic fallout from the virus-induced crisis — will be combined with $1.4 trillion in spending to fund government operations for the rest of the fiscal year, meaning the total package costs about $2.3 trillion.And so what else did we find contained within?
The agreement was expected to provide $600 stimulus payments to millions of American adults earning up to $75,000. It would revive lapsed supplemental federal unemployment benefits at $300 a week for 11 weeks — setting both at half the amount provided by the original stimulus law. It would also continue and expand benefits for gig workers and freelancers, and it would extend federal payments for people whose regular benefits have expired. The measure would also provide more than $284 billion for businesses and revive the Paycheck Protection Program, a popular federal loan program for small businesses that lapsed over the summer. It would expand eligibility under the program for nonprofits, local newspapers and radio and TV broadcasters and allocate $15 billion for performance venues, independent movie theaters and other cultural institutions devastated by the restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.Of course, the New York Times reminded us of this:
You know. The things that actually work and keep you cool. Keep technology cool. Keep the massive server rooms of Google, Twitter, Facebook and others cool.
Climate Change Legislation Included in Coronavirus Relief Dealby Coral Davenport, 12-21-20 The legislation calls for cutting the use of powerful planet-warming chemicals common in air-conditioners and refrigerators. In the waning days of the 116th Congress, lawmakers have authorized $35 billion in spending on wind, solar and other clean power sources while curtailing the use of a potent planet-warming chemical used in air-conditioners and refrigerators. They amount to a rare party rebuke to Mr. Trump on the issue of global warming, after he spent the past four years mocking and systematically rolling back every major climate change rule. The comity may also signal that while President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is unlikely to secure his full climate plan, he may be able to make some progress in curbing global warming. Advocates for climate change policy said passage of the climate measures — especially the limits on refrigerants — could signal to the rest of the world that the United States is ready to rejoin the global effort to slow the warming of the planet. The coolant phase-down would be one of the most significant federal policies ever taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to an analysis by the Rhodium Group, a research and consulting firm. The new legislation would require the nation’s chemical manufacturers to phase down the production and use of coolants called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. They are a small percentage of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, compared with carbon dioxide from the fossil fuels that power vehicles, electric plants and factories, but they have 1,000 times the heat-trapping potency of carbon dioxide.
Things got stranger and stranger. From WesternJournal.com:
Assassin's Mace pic.twitter.com/Ngk2SogdMJ— Ethal Merman (@MermanEthal) December 18, 2020
On December 10th, this was announced:
Pentagon Blocks Biden from Meeting with Military Intel Agenciesby Jack Davis, 12-6-20 The Pentagon has so far blocked meetings between the Biden transition team and officials with the intelligence agencies that are part of the Department of Defense, according to two new reports. However, defense officials and the Biden team differ on the reason why the meetings have not yet taken place. Presumptive potential President-elect Joe Biden has formed a transition team to facilitate a transfer of power. The General Services Administration has been given a green light to assist the transition team and meetings have been taking place with various agencies. However, Biden’s transition officials have not yet met with representatives of the military intelligence agencies that are part of the Defense Department such as the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, according to CNN.
Is this because we're discovering that Gina Haspel is an impediment to freedom when she refused to release documents President Trump had declassified?
Pentagon weighs cutting most of its support to CIA's counterterrorism missionsby Luiz Martinez, 12-10-20
CIA counterterrorism missions rely on military for logistical support, personnelIn a surprising move, the Pentagon has told the Central Intelligence Agency that it is weighing an end to the majority of the military support it provides to the agency's counterterrorism missions, according to a former senior administration intelligence official. It is unclear how the decision would impact the spy agency's worldwide counterterrorism missions that often rely on the U.S. military for logistical support and personnel.
The U.S. government is under the ‘hack of a decade’ after massive cyberattack grows12-17-20 Hackers have breached America’s nuclear weapons stockpile, bringing grave risk to the U.S. government. Homeland Security issued a warning today. And a cybersecurity expert says there’s little doubt the hackers were from Russia.
Some have said our nuclear launch codes were breached.
How the US government hack happened, and what it means, explained by an expert12-18-20 “This has only started,” Columbia University’s Jason Healey told Vox.
Suspected Russian government hackers breached the computer networks of the US Defense Department. The Commerce Department. The Treasury Department. The State Department. Homeland Security. Even the part of the Energy Department that oversees America’s nuclear arsenal.
And it appears they’ve had access since as far back as March.
It’s one of the largest and most brazen hacks in American history — and it may just be the beginning of a much larger global espionage effort.
What makes it even more troubling is that it’s still unclear precisely what they got access to. Some experts believe it may take years before the hackers are completely out of the US government’s networks and the full extent of their spying efforts are understood.
The FBI, the CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement on Wednesday night, December 16th, confirming they became aware "over the course of the past several days" of "a significant and ongoing Cybersecurity campaign" targeting US government agencies through SolarWinds software.Cyberscoop.com wrote:
In the wake of the SolarWinds breach, the National Security Council has activated an emergency cybersecurity process that is intended to help the government plan its response and recovery efforts, according to White House officials and other sources. The move is a sign of just how seriously the Trump administration is taking the foreign espionage operation, former NSC officials told CyberScoop. The action is rooted in a presidential directive issued during the Obama administration known as PPD-41, which establishes a Cyber Unified Coordination Group (UCG) that is intended to help the U.S. government coordinate multiple agencies’ responses to the significant hacking incident.So what happened?
The SolarWinds breach — in which suspected Russia-backed hackers concealed malware in software updates by SolarWinds, a company that serves U.S. government and private sector entities — has reportedly compromised targets in the National Institutes of Health and the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, Defense, State and Homeland Security. The breach is still being investigated. But the early signs indicate the reach of the stealthy supply-chain attack will have substantial aftershocks; SolarWinds claims to have 300,000 customers, including the National Security Agency, all five branches of the U.S. military, and entities in the health, technology, telecommunications, media and finance sectors.Cybersecurity expert Jason Healey from Columbia University said:
Oh. And they hit Microsoft also. Which means you. And me. Lou Dobbs spoke on the 17th with Morgan Wright, former Senior State Department Security Advisor.
The Russians, knowing they would struggle mightily to get into hard targets — the US government and also members of the Fortune 500 — instead found that they all used the same software for network management, made by a company called SolarWinds.
Rather than trying to come in the front door, they hacked SolarWinds and inserted their own code into the software. Then SolarWinds signed it and said, “Yes, this is authentic SolarWinds software.” Then all of those targets, and surely European and other democratic governments, also downloaded and accepted that Trojan horse unknowingly — and it’s been sitting there for months.
Alright. When, where and how?
How Attorney General Bill Barr Built A $40 Million Fortuneby Dan Alexander, 7-19-20 William Barr made his name serving as attorney general for two presidents, George H. W. Bush and Donald J. Trump. But he made his fortune out of office, collecting more than $50 million in compensation as an executive and director for some of America’s largest companies. Today Barr, who did not comment for this story, has an estimated net worth of $40 million, after accounting for taxes, personal spending and modest investment returns. That figure is more precise than what’s on Barr’s public financial disclosure report, a document that deals only in broad ranges and shows assets worth somewhere between $24 million and $74 million.
The money started piling up around 1993, when Bush left the White House and Barr reentered the private sector. The next year, Barr became general counsel at telephone giant GTE Corporation. When GTE merged with Bell Atlantic to form Verizon in 2000, Barr stayed onboard as executive vice president and general counsel. From 2001 to 2007, he raked in an average of $1.7 million in annual salary and bonuses, according to documents filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Barr also received valuable stock options, some of which he traded while at the company, collecting an estimated $3 million after taxes from 2003 to 2007."The private sector been belly-belly good to me."
The Verizon job came with other benefits. Barr got a $31,000 flexible spending allowance, $10,000 or so for financial planning, plus use of the company jet for personal purposes. The biggest benefit, however, came upon retirement. Barr stepped down from the company at the end of 2008, receiving a $17.1 million distribution from Verizon’s income deferral plan, according to an SEC filing. On top of that, company documents also detail an additional $10.4 million separation payment for Barr.One might conclude that William Barr is not hurting for cash.
Retiring did not mean Barr was done working. The year after he left Verizon, he joined the boards of two publicly traded companies, Dominion Resources and Time Warner. From 2009 to 2018, Dominion paid Barr $1.2 million in cash and granted him another $1.1 million in stock awards, according to SEC filings.Wait. Did you say Dominion? The company that owns voting machines?
Time Warner paid him $970,000 in cash and $1 million in equity awards for serving on its board from 2009 to 2016, when the company agreed to combine with AT&T. That deal was lucrative for Barr—he disclosed $1.7 million of income related to it on his financial disclosure report. But the merger was troubling to Trump, whose Justice Department tried to block it. During his confirmation hearing, Barr promised to recuse himself from the case as attorney general. Barr also served on the board of Och-Ziff Capital Management, joining in 2016, the same year a firm subsidiary pled guilty to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Och-Ziff agreed to pay $412 million in penalties. It also paid Barr $190,000 in cash and $530,000 in stock awards from 2016 to 2018. The attorney general no longer serves on the boards of Och-Ziff, Dominion Resources or Time Warner.The board. Of Dominion Resources.