Welcome to Sott.net
Tue, 27 Oct 2020
The World for People who Think

Puppet Masters


President Putin's 2020 Valdai Club speech articulates his vision of populist statism

putin valdai 2020
© kremlin.ru
Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the plenary session of the 17th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club via a video conference on Oct. 22, 2020.
President Putin's keynote speech at the Valdai Club's 17th annual meeting devoted a significant amount of time to articulating his vision of what can be described as "Populist Statism", or the emerging hybrid model of a strong state system driven by civil society, which represents an exciting new governance model that's perfectly suited for helping Russia adapt to the "Age of Complexity".

A Significant Speech

The Valdai International Discussion Club is globally regarded as one of Russia's top think tanks alongside the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), and it's become a tradition for President Putin to speak at its annual meeting. This year was no different, except that the Russian leader addressed his audience via videoconference instead of in person like he usually does, but his speech was still equally insightful in revealing how the person who many regard as the planet's most powerful man views the current state of the world. It's for that reason why readers are strongly encouraged to read his speech in full on the official Kremlin website, but for those who don't have the time, then the author's analysis of what he regards as its important points should hopefully suffice.

Mr. Potato

Bad strategy: Biden says election choice should hinge on the 'character' of the candidates

trump biden second debate
© REUTERS / Jim Bourg / Pool
Trump and Biden in the second presidential debate, October 22, 2020
Trump scored a decisive win in the final debate, as Biden, although lobbed softballs, teetered. The former VP rested his case on "character," despite recent exposures of a global influence-peddling scheme undertaken in his name.

In the second and last 2020 presidential debate, held at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, Joe Biden and President Donald Trump answered questions about fighting Covid-19, American families, race in America, climate change, national security and leadership. As skewed as most topics were toward Democratic wheelhouses, Trump managed to do well in nearly all of the segments, securing what can only be seen as a victory, especially considering the odds against him.

Amid growing allegations about Biden's involvement in an international graft scheme fronted by his son Hunter Biden, Trump nevertheless had long odds in a debate moderated by Kristen Welker, an ardent Democrat. Trump not only faced a political opponent, he also faced the narratives of a mainstream media that has been an unabashed accomplice intent on destroying his presidency for the last four years, and is now hell-bent on foiling his re-election bid. In the end, Trump managed to pull a rabbit out of his hat by posting a solid performance and shaking Biden with the allegations of corruption, while holding his own or outright winning on most topics.

Comment: The evening was a litany of stumbles by Biden:

'Kids in cages'
Democratic nominee Joe Biden was put on his heels after attacking President Donald Trump's immigration policies, forced to acknowledge that former president Barack Obama's detention of children at the border was a "mistake."

"They used to say I built the cages. They had a picture in a certain newspaper... of these horrible cages. They used to say: 'Look at these cages, President Trump built them,'" he said, adding: "Then it was determined they were built in 2014 - that was him," pointing at Biden across the stage.
He had eight years to do what he said he was going to do. We got rid of catch-and-release, we got rid of a lot of horrible things that they put in and that they lived with... He did nothing except build cages to keep children in.
Mask wearing
Biden has floated the idea of a national mask mandate multiple times, though he's also said he isn't sure if the president has the authority to enact such an order. At Thursday's debate, moderator Kristen Welker did not follow up after Biden's "mask" comment about any potential mandates.

Joe Biden's plans for fighting Covid-19 became a jumbled mess in his final debate face-off with Donald Trump, as he first pledged to stop the virus without a national lockdown, then reiterated that he won't rule out a shutdown.

Trump vowed to avoid any future shutdowns on a national basis, saying businesses and schools need to be kept open. "We have to open our country," he said. "We're not going to have a country. You can't keep this country closed. This is a massive country with a massive economy. You can't do this. People are losing their jobs. People are committing suicide."

Trump added: "The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself, and that's what's happening. And [Biden's] going to close down the country."
On being called out on Biden's record on criminal justice reforms
President Trump took a jab at his electoral challenger during the Thursday debate, asking, "Why didn't you get [criminal justice reform] done? ... You know why, Joe? Because you're all talk and no action."

Biden was quick to defend the former Democratic administration's supposed inaction on the issue, saying he and former president Barack Obama's "had a Republican Congress," which hindered any reform.

Online users were understandably giddy to point out such an obvious falsehood, and called Biden a liar.
And in his most glorious gaffe, Biden directly contradicted himself regard a policy statement that is on the record multiple times:
Biden has faced a lot of scrutiny when it comes to his views on the oil industry. He denied once again at Thursday's debate that he has ever said he is for banning fracking, despite multiple videos of him during the primaries saying just that. Edited clips of those moments were tweeted out by the president on Thursday night.


Biden business partner confirms email, Joe Biden's push to make millions from China

Hunter Biden
© Getty Images
Hunter Biden
Wait until Scranton hears about this.

One of Joe Biden's ways of contrasting himself with President Trump has been to declare the election a battle of Park Avenue values vs. Scranton, Pa., values.

Now we learn that Biden has secretly been playing footsie with China.

The statement Wednesday night asserting that the former vice president was a willing and eager participant in a family scheme to make millions of dollars by partnering with a shady Chinese Communist firm is a singular event in a presidential race already overflowing with drama and intrigue.

The dynamite assertion, believable because it aligns with earlier information we know to be true, came in a statement by Tony Bobulinski, who describes himself as a former partner of Hunter Biden, Joe Biden and Joe's brother Jim in the China scheme. Bobulinski unloads his bill of accusations in blunt but precise language and detail.

He confirms that he was one of the recipients of the May 13, 2017, email published by The Post eight days ago. That email, from another partner in the group, laid out cash and equity positions and mysteriously included a 10 percent set-aside for "the big guy."

Sources have said the "big guy" was Joe Biden. In a matter-of-fact manner, Bobulinski states that the "email is genuine" and that the former vice president and the man leading in the 2020 race is indeed "the big guy."

Comment: One of the emails Bobulinski shared, sent May 20, 2017, shows James Gillar, who originally approached him about the China deal, warning Bobulinski not to mention Joe Biden's involvement:
"Don't mention Joe being involved, it's only when u [sic] are face to face, I know u [sic] know that but they are paranoid," a screenshot of the message from Gilliar read.

Bobulinski said Gilliar and fellow partner Rob Walker were "paranoid about keeping Joe Biden's involvement secret."
Here's the press conference he held yesterday:

Breitbart has more quotes from the laptop from hell showing Hunter's associates viewed his direct 'pipeline' to the Obama-Biden administration as 'currency.'

Meanwhile, secret service travel records confirm the trips mention in Hunter's emails:
In one email reported by the Post, sent from Hunter Biden to his business partner Devon Archer dated Apr. 13, 2014, Hunter refers to a trip to Houston slated for "tmrw." Secret Service records released by Johnson and Grassley corroborate details of the trip with a travel entry from Hunter Biden for Apr. 13, 2014 to Apr. 14, 2014 to Houston.

In another email published by the Post, senior Burisma adviser Vadim Pozharski allegedly wrote on May 12, 2014 of a trip to Como Lake. Secret Service records reported a travel entry for Hunter Biden to Lake Como, Italy just more than a month earlier dated Apr. 3 to Apr. 6.

"Other reports indicate that, in May 2014, Mr. Biden and Mr. Archer may have been in Doha, Qatar," the senators wrote. "USSS records contain a travel entry for Hunter Biden to Doha, Qatar on May 11, 2014 - May 14, 2014."
But no worries. When in deep, just blame Russia:

Mr. Potato

Rudy Giuliani denies he did anything wrong in new 'Borat' movie, UPDATE: Twitter selectively ignores own 'revenge porn' rules in promoting the fake story

Rudolph rudy W. Giuliani
© Al Drago for The New York Times
Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, at the White House last month. He has recently been involved in pushing corruption accusations against Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son.
President Trump's personal lawyer has become caught up in Sacha Baron Cohen's new "Borat" satire after he was shown with an actress in an edited scene.

President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, has become caught up in Sacha Baron Cohen's new "Borat" satire, shown in an edited scene following an actress impersonating a reporter into a bedroom and at one point reclining on the bed and putting his hands in his pants in what he later said was an attempt to adjust his clothing.

Still photos and descriptions of the scene from Mr. Cohen's new "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm," which will be released on Friday, were posted on social media early Wednesday after The Guardian reported that the movie contained "a compromising scene" featuring Mr. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor.

Comment: Mother Jones's Ben Dreyfuss seems to back up Guliani's version. From Daily Caller:

Mother Jones's Ben Dreyfuss tweeted that Giuliani's reach into his pants was not sexual, but that the lawyer meant to tuck his shirt in after it had been loosened.

"I have now seen the scene with Rudy Giuliani," Dreyfuss tweeted. "He does not have his hands down his pants in a sexual way. He is tucking his shirt back in after she unticks it removing his mic."

Giuliani originally reported the incident to the New York police in July, saying that "this guy comes running in, wearing what I would say was a pink transgender outfit," according to The New York Post.

"This person comes in yelling or screaming, and I thought this must be a scam or a shakedown, so I reported it to the police. He then ran away," he said.

UPDATE: This from RT:
Conservatives accuse Twitter of selectively ignoring own policies on REVENGE PORN, misleading content in Borat prank on Giuliani
22 Oct, 2020 01:29

Conservatives blasted Twitter for ignoring and even promoting what they called a misleading revenge-porn attack on Rudy Giuliani after censoring reporting on alleged influence-peddling by Joe Biden's family.

At issue was a picture posted on Twitter on Wednesday showing Giuliani laying back on a bed with his hand reaching inside his pants while a woman stands nearby. The image was taken from the new 'Borat' sequel, in which Giuliani, a personal lawyer for President Donald Trump, believed himself to be doing an interview on the Covid-19 pandemic with a female Russian reporter. After the interview, Giuliani and the woman go to a bedroom at her suggestion.

As it turned out, Giuliani was being pranked and filmed with hidden cameras. The scene in the movie reportedly ends when the Borat character, played by actor Sacha Baron Cohen, runs into the bedroom and says, "She's 15, she's too old for you."


There's no indication that Giuliani, 76, believed the fictional Russian reporter to be underage. And the former New York mayor said on Wednesday that the scene was a "complete fabrication," as he was tucking his shirt in after removing a microphone and behaved appropriately with the young woman. He called the police to report the incident at the time it happened, in July.


But the scene was portrayed as scandalous by media outlets and supporters of Biden, the Democrat presidential candidate. For instance, an article in The Guardian said Giuliani was seen "reaching into his trousers and apparently touching his genitals." Other media outlets, such as the Washington Post, NBC News, The Hill and Huffington Post, also put a similar spin on the story.

Critics, however, alleged bias by the media, which was seemingly eager to interpret a still shot from the yet-to-be-released 'Borat' movie after largely casting a blind eye to reports in the past week on a trove of emails found on a hard drive of a laptop allegedly belonging to Biden's son, Hunter.

The hard drive was reportedly given to Giuliani, as well as the FBI, by a Delaware repair-shop owner after Hunter allegedly failed to pay for repairs to his laptop and never returned to retrieve the computer.

The emails reveal questionable business dealings between the Bidens and a Ukrainian energy firm, and indicated that the former VP's son wanted to enrich his family through his Chinese connections.

Journalist Robby Soave suggested that based on the reasoning Twitter gave for blocking the Biden stories, it also should have banned the Giuliani-Borat tweets because the material "contains personal information obtained in an underhanded way and without Giuliani's permission."

Conservative author Mike Cernovich said the 'Borat' scene would qualify as "revenge porn" against Giuliani under New York law, as well as under Twitter's guidelines banning such content. Twitter allowed thousands of accounts to share the photo and portray it misleadingly, he said, adding that "the bias isn't subtle." In fact, Twitter not only allowed the Giuliani posts to proliferate after censoring the New York Post's Hunter Biden stories; it even promoted the topic with its own trending link as part of an effort "to make high-quality information around the 2020 US elections more accessible."

The press was so eager for Giuliani-incriminating news on Wednesday that a hoax suggesting that the former mayor had been duped by a college student pretending to be Ivanka Trump was apparently believed and tweeted out by such media figures as MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and Politico editor David Freedlander. The student, Nick Roberts, pretended to trick Giuliani in a satirical exchange of fake text messages.

Cell Phone

US federal judge says Trump's tweet calling to release Russiagate docs with 'no redactions' was NOT official order amid FOIA suits

Donald Trump signs bill
© Reuters / Jonathan Ernst
FILE PHOTO: President Donald Trump signs a bill in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, DC.
A US judge has ruled that a tweet sent by President Donald Trump earlier this month did not constitute an order to declassify material linked to the Russiagate probe, as CNN and Buzzfeed press for the docs in ongoing lawsuits.

US District Judge Reggie Walton said on Wednesday that, while the tweet appeared to order the release of new material free of any redactions, a clarification from White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows qualified as a reversal of the move. The judge was also critical of the administration for a lack of clarity on the question.

"It is unfortunate that we are in this situation because, obviously, when there's ever a reference to declassification of classified information those words spoken should be artfully spoken, so there's no ambiguity as to what the intent was," Walton said during Wednesday's remote hearing, adding that "obviously, that's not what occurred here."

Comment: The personnel acting very slowly are helping to keep the myth of Russiagate alive while ensuring the truth is as contained as possible. Is this intentional and part of some directive from some group or individual who are acting against Trump, or is there a more mundane reason that this information that would help Trump and hurt Biden is not being shared with the people if in fact Trump did declassify the documents?


Hunter is now the hunted

Hunter Joe biden emails burisma laptop
© NY Post photo composite
Unless you've been living under a rock, you're likely already very aware of the scandal going down in the Biden family. No, not the one about Joe not being able to remember what state he's in or what office he's running for.

The Hunter Biden scandal. The big one.

On October 14, 2020, the New York Post published a story titled, 'Smoking-gun email reveals how Hunter Biden introduced Ukrainian businessman to VP dad.'

It nearly broke Twitter. In fact, it kind of did.

Twitter locked down the New York Post's Twitter account and started 12 hour bans on accounts that were sharing the information. It was a huge, huge mess.


Trump and House Republicans call for special counsel investigation of Hunter Biden laptop scandal before election

hunter biden trump
© Reuters
President Donald Trump says US Attorney General William Barr should appoint a special prosecutor to investigate an alleged influence-peddling scandal involving his Democrat rival, Joe Biden, before the Nov. 3 election.

"We've got to get the attorney general to act," Trump said Tuesday in an interview with Fox News. "He's got to act, and he's got to act fast. He's got to appoint somebody. This is major corruption, and this has to be known about before the election."

Trump's statement came one day after 11 House Republicans wrote a letter to Barr, urging him to immediately appoint a special counsel to investigate whether Joe Biden allowed his son Hunter to peddle access to him during his eight years as vice president and whether he received foreign money. Lawmakers asked that the special counsel also probe any such alleged corruption that surfaces concerning Biden's 36-year career in the US Senate.

But with just two weeks to go before the Nov. 3 election, it's unclear what a special counsel could determine and report publicly before voters cast their ballots. The Mueller investigation took 674 days before reporting that it was unable to find evidence that Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. Bill and Hillary Clinton were investigated for 1,693 days before special counsel Kenneth Starr released his report to Congress.

Comment: The FBI has also confirmed (as if it was necessary) that, despite claims from Schiff, that the laptop and emails are "not part of some Russian disinformation campaign." There is no actionable intelligence linking anything to Russia on this issue.

Multiple federal law enforcement officials have confirmed that the laptop is linked to an FBI money laundering probe. Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, claims that the laptop contains 'numerous pictures of underage girls,' including a 14yo related to Hunter:
According to Giuliani, a text message sent from Hunter Biden to his father complains about how Hunter's sister-in-law, who was once his lover, told his therapist that he had been "sexually inappropriate" with a 14-year-old girl.

His sister-in-law went on to say that "he had been sexually inappropriate with [redacted] when she says that I face time naked with her and the reason I can't have her out to see me is because I'll walk around naked smoking crack," the text message, read by Giuliani, allegedly said.
As the Bidens work on damage control, Joe Biden falsely claims that the "vast majority" of the intelligence community agrees there is "no basis at all" for the allegations of corruption against him and his son Hunter Biden and says that it's a last-ditch "smear campaign." Someone should tell Joe that the laptop is real, corruption is real, and if there is evidence of pedophilia and corruption in the laptop, perhaps jail will be very real for Hunter Biden.

Trump responded to the claims that this is a "Russian plot" by comparing it to Hillary Clinton's completely baseless lie that Jill Stein and Tulsi Gabbard were "Russian agents," with no evidence to back up her claims:
"This was like Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein, when Hillary Clinton said it about them... that they were agents of Russia," Trump noted, adding, "They were not agents of Russia, they never spoke to anybody from Russia."

People 2

New Zealand overtakes UK's record with most gay MPs in parliament

New Zealand gay
New Zealand now has the world's most openly gay parliament after elections that delivered a landslide victory and second term to Jacinda Ardern, allowing her to form the country's first majority government in 20 years.

The Labour Party won 64 of the 120 seats in parliament, its best performance in five decades. The centre-right National Party, the main opposition, won 35, the Greens ten and minor parties the remainder.

The result enables Ms Ardern, 40, to form the first single-party government since New Zealand adopted a proportional voting system in 1996.

Comment: Considering the tyrannical lockdown policies in New Zealand, this just goes to show that regardless of 'diversity' in politics, what's really missing in the upper echelons of power are people with a conscience: Man breaks out of quarantine using bedsheet, later detained by police, in Auckland, New Zealand

See also:


Twitter is nuking retweets until after the election

© Chelsea Beck/NPR/thefederalist.com/KJN
Twitter is temporarily changing how users can retweet during the final stretch of the election, a move which the company says will discourage the spread of false information. The website changes announced on Oct. 9 are being implemented less than a week after the platform began suppressing blockbuster reporting from the New York Post publishing compromising information of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Starting Tuesday, users who go to retweet will instead by taken to the "Quote Tweet" box prompting users to comment on the content being re-posted on their own feeds.
"Though this adds some extra friction for those who simply want to Retweet, we hope it will encourage everyone to not only consider why they are amplifying a Tweet, but also increase the likelihood that people add their own thoughts, reactions and perspectives to the conversation."

Users can still retweet if they simply post re-publish the post without typing any additional comments where prompted. Twitter says the new change will remain in place until at least the end of election week in November. Meanwhile, the Twitter account for the New York Post is still locked six days after breaking major news that expanded the public scope of former Vice President Joe Biden's growing web of conflicts while serving at the upper echelons of government.

Comment: Farther reaching than just this this particular issue, Twitter has no authority to deem what is true or false.


'No Deal!' Senate Democrats block $500B coronavirus aid package a second time

John Thune
© Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Senate Majority Whip John Thune of South Dakota
Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a GOP-authored coronavirus relief package while slow-moving bipartisan talks have significantly dimmed optimism for a new round of federal aid before next year.

No one expected the $500 billion proposal to win approval. Senate Republicans tried and failed to move the same bill in September over the objections of Democrats, who said it provided insufficient funding to address multiple needs caused by the pandemic. Democrats are seeking roughly $2 trillion. Republicans accused them of blocking a deal to hold out for a measure that was stuffed with non-coronavirus spending.

"Once again, Democrats will choose nothing over something, that if they can't get everything they want, it's better for Americans not to have anything," Senate Majority Whip John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, said. The vote was aimed at providing Republicans with an opportunity to show their efforts to pass new pandemic relief aid and to counter Democratic arguments that the GOP is not interested in addressing the crisis.

Comment: Dems are obviously holding out until after the election, hoping the odds (and big bucks) will be in their favor. They especially do not want a Trump win on this one. They have nothing to lose at this point except the public...and who cares about them.

See also: