Jewish pro-Trump convoy attacked repeatedly in New York

They’re coming for you next: A pro-Trump convoy of Jewish New Yorkers was attacked repeatedly by hostile anti-Trump protesters during its trip through the city today.

Multiple disturbing video clips of the convoy posted on @NYScanner show crowds not taking too kindly to rows of vehicles with hoisted Trump 2020 flags. In one video, a man can be seen appearing to throw eggs at the convoy in Brooklyn. In another video, pedestrians can be seen appearing to throw rocks at vehicles displaying a Trump flag.

The hostility evidently lingered throughout the day. In multiple clips, people can be heard yelling expletives at the “Jews For Trump” participants.

One man – on a bike, no less – appears so incensed that the “pro-Trump” vehicles have congested traffic on the Brooklyn that he resorts to punching a window. In Manhattan, a woman was arrested for allegedly using pepper spray on the convoy, according to police.

Later, a scuffle broke out between the pro- and anti-Trump crowd in the middle of a street. Masked protesters could be seen in one clip converging on a vehicle doused in red paint as “YMCA” is blasting in the background.

“Go home! We don’t you here!” somebody in the crowd shouts. “Go back to Long Island!” another person shouts.

A video posted on Twitter shows a pro-Trump caravan led by former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani shows being pelted with eggs.

The worst story was the lead attack at the link. A family of seven, including four children, were pepper-sprayed when another car pulled up beside their Trump-festooned vehicle and sprayed them through the open windows.

This is supposed to be America, the land of free speech and free debate, where your right to express your political beliefs are defended by all. Sadly, for the left and those on the side of the Democratic Party, such tolerance is no longer acceptable. Instead, they celebrate storm-trooper tactics against all who disagree with them.

I hope everyone remembers this when they vote. Remember, they’re coming for you next.

Sudan joins UAE and Bahrain in normalizing relations with Israel

The Trump administration’s successes in the Middle East continue: Sudan is apparently about to join the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain as the first Arab countries in decades to normalize its relations with Israel.

Moreover, there are rumors than another five more Arab countries are about to join in. They are probably holding back to see what happens on November 3rd. Expect a swarm of new agreements should Trump win.

This deal, along with the one with the UAE and Bahrain, are the direct result of Trump’s hard-nosed policies against the terrorist organizations running the Palestinian territories adjacent to Israel. Unlike past presidents from both parties since the first Bush, Trump has made no effort to pander to either the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. Instead, he has cut off their funding. He has also recognized the real strategic landscape in the Middle East, divided between Iran and its terrorist surrogates in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and every other Arab nation, and used that divide to gain allies.

During the 2016 campaign, he promised to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, just as practically every presidential candidate had promised since the mid-1990s. Unlike all those other liars, Trump kept that promise. He however also reshaped U.S. Middle East policy in fundamental ways, as described above, and thus has achieved real progress. Voters must remember this when they vote.

Space officials, from in and out of NASA, meet to plan Biden administration space policy

A group of senior space officials from both inside and outside of NASA held a closed door “war game” on October 20th, designed to plan out what they thought should be the space policy of the Biden administration.

About a dozen officials participated. Attendees included two former astronauts, Charlie Bolden and Pam Melroy, who have worked in space policy since their retirements. Bolden was NASA administrator under President Obama. Also participating were two former senior NASA officials—Mike French, chief of staff under Bolden, and Doug Loverro, a chief of human spaceflight for the Trump administration. Loverro was forced to step down in February and is now under investigation for improper contact with Boeing. The meeting also had participation from industry, including entrepreneur Rick Tumlinson and Marc Berkowitz of Lockheed Martin.

They claim that this is not at the behest of the Biden campaign, but what I see is a group of high-level bureaucrats from Washington gathering together to plan space policy strategy for Biden, with the expectation that should he win they will be well placed to inaugurate his policy for him.

The article did not name all the participants, but if any are presently working in the Trump administration or in NASA their participation in this “war game” was highly inappropriate. It is not their place to set policy, only to implement the policy determined by the elected president now in office.

Should Trump win on November 3rd, the attendance list of participants will thus provide a good guide on who not to hire, as well as who to fire should Trump’s new looser policy on hiring and firing take effect. These individuals have now signaled their partisan loyalties, and it isn’t with Trump or the Republicans. If any are part of his administration now they are wolves in sheep’s clothing, likely acting against his interests when no one is looking.

On this topic, I just bought this book “The Memo: 20 Years Inside the Deep State Fighting for America First,” based on this review, which states:

Higgins’ new book, “The Memo: 20 Years Inside the Deep State Fighting for America First,” is an eye-opening and unique book for a political memoir. It is not heavy on political wonkiness, policymaking stratagems, and personal vendettas typical of Washington, DC tell-alls. It is a refreshingly direct tale of a talented young man’s rise from the enlisted ranks of the military into politics and then policy-making, only to discover the realities of a brutal and seditious opposition fighting to preserve a decrepit, America-destroying agenda that culminated in an outrageous coup attempt against a U.S. president.

And while Higgins does “name names” in his book, when describing the subversion of the Trump agenda by those inimical to it, he does so only to drive home his larger point about the incredible obstacles President Trump has faced in orienting U.S. policies toward advancing his America-first agenda.

Seems very apropos at this moment in time.

New Trump executive order suggests major house-cleaning should he win

The Trump administration has just released a new executive order that would shift many federal managers from civil service positions, where they cannot easily be removed, into a new category that will allow the President to remove them “at-will.”

The order would create a new Schedule F within the excepted service of the federal government, to be composed of “employees in confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating positions,” and instructs agency heads to determine which current employees fit this definition and move them—whether they are members of the competitive service or other schedules within the excepted service—into this new classification.

…Positions in the new Schedule F would effectively constitute at-will employment, without any of the protections against adverse personnel actions that most federal workers currently enjoy, although individual agencies are tasked with establishing “rules to prohibit the same personnel practices prohibited” by Title 5 of the U.S. Code. The order also instructs the Federal Labor Relations Authority to examine whether Schedule F employees should be removed from their bargaining units, a move that would bar them from being represented by federal employee unions.

The timing of this order is most revealing. If approved it will go into effect on January 19, 2021, the day before the presidential inauguration. This suggests that if Trump wins, he does not want a repeat of his first term, when many civil service employees worked to sabotage his administration and its goals. He wants the power to fire people in large numbers, especially those who are in a position of setting policy, sometimes policy that Trump, legally elected by the American people, opposed strongly.

Be sure that this change will be fought hard by the administrative state in Washington, as well as by their backers in the Democratic and Republican parties. And though it would also give increased power to Biden should he win, it would still be an appropriate change, as the elected president should be the person in charge, not some unelected bureaucrats buried in the DC civil service.

FAA releases new commercial space licensing rules

The FAA today released its new streamlined commercial space licensing rules, aimed at simplifying the process for launch companies. According to the press release,

The new rule consolidates four regulatory parts and applies a single set of licensing and safety regulations for all types of vehicle operations. It also provides flexibility for operators to meet safety requirements. The rule improves efficiency by encouraging launch and reentry operators to suggest and implement design and operational solutions to meet the regulatory standards.

You can read the rule here [pdf].

Though it appears the FAA and the Trump administration truly wish to streamline this licensing process, it is not clear yet that these new rules do it. Some aspects, such as the rule that allows a single license to cover multiple launches, appear effective. The effect of others however remains murky. I would love to get feedback from anyone in commercial space directly impacted by these new rules. Are they as good as the FAA claims?

NASA awards $370 million to 14 companies to develop new space capabilities

Capitalism in space: NASA yesterday issued fifteen development contracts to fourteen private space companies, totaling $370 million, to help them develop a variety of new space capabilities.

The funding is spread across 15 contracts to 14 different companies, including SpaceX, Astrobotic, Lockheed Martin, United Launch Alliance and Intuitive Machines.

Nearly 70% of the money is earmarked for the management of cryogenic fluids such as liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. SpaceX, for example, will get $53 million for an in-space demonstration that will transfer 11 tons (10 metric tons) of liquid oxygen between tanks on one of its next-gen Starship vehicles.

What makes these contracts different from past NASA development contracts is fundamental. First, the design work comes from the companies, not NASA. Therefore products will be designed with the company’s needs in mind, not the government’s, and will also likely be designed faster and more efficiently.

Second, the companies will own what they build, and will be able to sell or use it however they wish. SpaceX for example wants this capability to give Starship the ability to leave Earth orbit, for its own commercial flights.

Seven countries join the U.S. in signing the Artemis Accords

NASA announced yesterday that seven countries — the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates and Italy — have now signed the Artemis Accords, the Trump administration’s effort to create a legal framework that will protect property rights in space and get around the legal limitations imposed by the Outer Space Treaty.

I suspect this announcement was in response to statements earlier this week by Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s space agency, that they will not partner with the U.S. in its Lunar Gateway space station project. Though Rogozin cited other issues for the decision, such at the fact that they would not be treated as an equal partner in Gateway, I suspect the decision was also made because Russia’s government opposes the Artemis Accords and does not wish to sign it. China has said the same.

Since those accords are designed to shift power and control from governments to private enterprise, it is not surprising that Russia and China oppose them. Both are authoritarian top-down societies whose government reflects their culture. To sign an agreement that would take power from the state and give it to their citizens is unacceptable.

So be it. Of the countries that have signed, I expect in future years they will all prosper in space, and eventually force others to accept the ideas of freedom, private property, and capitalism that inspire the accords. Luxombourg is committed to pushing private enterprise and investment in commercial space. The UK, Australia, Canada, and Japan all follow the same principles, and all have robust space industries that should only get stronger.

And the UAE, the new baby on the block, wants to make commercial space a big part of its future. Signing these accords — along with their peace deal with Israel — indicates strongly that they mean business, and that they are trying heartily to separate themselves from the radical Islamic movements that have been poisoning the Arab Middle East for decades.

Moreover, the U.S. is requiring any nation that wishes to participate in its effort to return to the Moon to sign these accords. These nations, and their citizens, will therefore have a chance to contribute to that effort, and likely make a lot of money in the process.

Posting is late today because Diane and I went on an 8-mile hike. My gym now idiotically requires masks while you work out, and I am certainly not going to do that. Therefore, to maintain our cardiovascular systems while strengthening our immune systems (the best defense against all flulike diseases, including the Wuhan virus), we have been doing 6 to 10 mile hikes now twice a week. It means one day a week I need to schedule some posts early, and catch up when I get home. I hope my readers understand.

Rogozin: Russia mostly bowing out of Gateway

The new colonial movement: The head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, yesterday announced during a speech at a virtual international space conference that Russia is mostly bowing out of participation in the U.S. lunar Gateway space station project, and will instead seek cooperation with China’s lunar program.

Russia apparently does not like the fact that the U.S. is insisting on taking a lead role in Gateway, and have it designed to primarily meet U.S. goals. Russia has also previously expressed opposition to the Trump administration’s insistence that any partners in Gateway sign the Artemis Accords, designed to provide legal protection for any private investment in space.

Whether they can get the deal they want from China remains very uncertain. China has made it clear they are willing to work with other partners, but China has also made it clear that they — like the U.S. — have their own goals in space, and that anything they do must serve those goals.

In his response, Bridenstine focused on the areas of agreement with Russia (establishing technical standards), but reiterated the U.S.’s commitment to the Artemis Accords. It is clear the Trump administration is fine with Russia’s decision.

For the U.S. Russia’s decision is probably a good thing. It leaves the way open to do what we want, without having to negotiate every decision. (This puts aside the issue on whether Gateway itself is a good decision.)

For Russia this announcement means they are really on their own for the first time since the Soviet era. Following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 Russia has largely been incapable of developing any new space project, and has needed to link its effort to the U.S. and ISS in order to be able to accomplish much of anything. Breaking free might actually benefit them, as the competition will force them to focus on their own efforts and actually achieve something.

Government takes down pro-Trump sign on private property, without permission

They’re coming for you next: California state officials quickly moved to take down a pro-Trump billboard, even though it was on private property and they apparently did not have permission to do so.

This LA Times report on the massive Trump sign on a hill near the 405 says that state authorities went on private property to take it down because they claimed the political speech was a “visual distraction” to drivers.

So, in California your first, fourth, fifth, and sixth amendment rights are now null and void. If government officials don’t approve of your political signage, they now claim the right to enter your property, without permission and without a search warrant, and take down your signage.

The article at the first link notes that for some reason, these same California authorities did not consider it a “visual distraction” for Antifa and Black Lives Matter protests to stand on these same highways and block traffic.

Trump orders release of all Spygate documents, with no redactions

President Trump tonight ordered officials at the various agencies implicated in the Clinton/Russian collusion hoax and the illegal spying on his campaign by the Obama administration to release of all related documents, with no redactions, declassifying everything fully.

“I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions!” Trump tweeted.

“All Russia Hoax Scandal information was Declassified by me long ago. Unfortunately for our Country, people have acted very slowly, especially since it is perhaps the biggest political crime in the history of our Country. Act!!!”

If this is so, then we are about the see the lid blow on this entire scandal, at last. These agencies have been hiding the facts by claiming that they need to redact a great deal of what is in any documents they are ordered to release. When those redactions however have been later stripped away so that we can read what was actually there, we have consistently found there was no justifiable national security reason for them. Instead, the only reasons for them was to to protect the lawbreakers at these agencies.

Since the leadership at these agencies is increasingly on Trump’s side in this matter, I suspect they will have no problem releasing everything, very quickly. I think we shall soon see clear evidence that former FBI head James Coomey and former CIA head John Brennan were directly involved in this spying operation, they made a conscious effort to manufacture a scandal for the express purpose of overthrowing the legally elected President of the United States, and they instigated it with the approval of the previous President, Barack Obama.

CIA in 2016 briefed Obama on Clinton campaign false Trump/Russian collusion claim

Newly declassified CIA documents show that the spy agency briefed President Barack Obama in July 2016, during the presidential election campaign, about a Hillary Clinton campaign effort to plant a false Trump/Russian collusion narrative in the press in order “to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”

The memos indicate the CIA first received the information through monitoring of Russian sources but deemed it credible enough to both brief Obama on it in July 2016 and to refer the intelligence to the FBI in September 2016 for possible investigation.

The warnings came as the FBI was just starting its Crossfire Hurricane probe into now-disproven Trump-Russia collusion, aided by the Clinton campaign-funded dossier by Christopher Steele. They are likely to bolster GOP claims the James Comey’s FBI ignored clear evidence that the allegations were a political dirty trick and not evidence of a counterintelligence threat.

“Per FBI verbal request, CIA provides the below examples of information the CROSSFIRE HURRICANE fusion cell has gleaned to date,” the September 2016.referral from the Agency to the bureau read. ““An exchange [redacted] discussing US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning US presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering US elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”

Two months earlier, then-CIA Director John Brennan briefed Obama, according to handwritten notes written after the briefing. “We’re getting additional insight into Russian activities from [redacted],” Brennan notes read. “CITE alleged approved by Hillary Clinton a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.” [emphasis mine]

These notes, written at the time by these CIA officials, also make it clear that this Trump/Russian collusion scam was directly approved by Hillary Clinton as a campaign tactic. Yet, though Obama, the CIA, and the FBI were all informed of the fake nature of this plan, the FBI under James Comey — apparently with Obama’s approval — made that plan a major FBI investigation that allowed the Obama administration, acting as a campaign surrogate for Clinton, to spy on her political opponent. After she lost the effort was then turned into a weapon to try to overthrow Trump, despite the fact that he had been legally elected by the American people.

Many people from that Obama administrion should be in prison for what to me increasingly appears to treasonable actions.

Trump proves COVID-19 is nothing to fear

The recent spat of positive tests for COVID-19 among the Washington elite, including President Trump, highlight spectacularly the continuing overreaction and unnecessary fear and terror that people have of this respiratory illness.

All told since October 1st about eighteen Washington elected officials, staffers, and reporters have announced testing positive for the coronavirus, based on several reports here, here, and here.

These of course are only the announced cases. I suspect that in Washington a lot more are testing positive but are keeping quiet about it.

And yet, among these announced cases has anyone died? No. Has anyone gotten seriously ill? No. In fact, almost no one has been hospitalized, except for Trump, and he recovered so fast that he was released from the Walter Reed hospital today after spending less than four days there. Moreover, he was sent to the hospital only out of caution, not because he was having any significant problems. During his stay it appears he continued his work schedule with almost as much vigor as before.

We used to have a saying during flu season. “Something’s going around, everyone’s got it.” » Read more

It WAS a coup attempt

In the past few days a number of news stories have confirmed, unequivocally, that the effort in the FBI, CIA, and Justice Department to spy on the Trump campaign before the election and then pin the false accusation of Russian collusion on Trump after his election were all an effort to dictate the results of the election, and then overturn it when Trump won.

It was an out-and-out coup attempt by these government officials, apparently aided and abetted by Obama when he was still president.

First we learn that the FBI agents working on the fake prosecution of former National Security were so worried their misconduct would be uncovered by the Trump administration that they bought liability insurance to protect themselves.
» Read more

NASA lays out Artemis budget and plan to get astronauts to Moon

In a obvious lobbying effort to get Congress to fund the Trump administration’s Artemis project to land humans on the Moon by 2024, NASA yesterday released a new updated plan and budget for the program.

More here.

The document [pdf] outlines the specific plans for each of the first three Artemis flights, with the first unmanned, the second manned and designed to fly around the Moon, and the third to land a man and a woman on the Moon. Overall the plan is budgeted at about $28 billion, with $3.2 billion needed immediately to fund construction of the lunar lander. From the second link:

Bridenstine said he remains optimistic Congress will fully fund lander development because of what he described as broad bipartisan support for the Artemis program. He said he’s hopeful an expected continuing resolution that would freeze NASA’s budget at last year’s spending levels will be resolved in an “omnibus” spending bill before Christmas or, if the CR is extended, by early spring. “It is critically important that we get that $3.2 billion,” he said. “And I think that if we can have that done before Christmas, we’re still on track for a 2024 moon landing. … If we go beyond March, and we still don’t have the human landing system funded, it becomes increasingly more difficult.”

And what happens then?

“It’s really simple. If Congress doesn’t fund the moon landing program, then it won’t be achieved (in 2024), I mean it’s really that simple,” Bridenstine said. But he quickly added: “I want to be clear, if they push the funding off, our goal will be to get to the moon at the earliest possible opportunity.”

I remain doubtful the present Congress, with the House controlled by the Democrats, will fund this 2024 lunar landing. Since 2016 the entire political platform of the Democratic Party has been “oppose anything Trump.” They will not fund this project if it means he will get this landing during his second term.

If however Trump loses in November, the lame duck Congress might then go ahead and fund it before December, since the landing in 2024 will then occur during the Biden presidency.

Technically the plan reveals that NASA is trying to accelerate the development of the rendezvous and docking software for Orion. During the second flight, the first manned, the crew will do proximity maneuvers with the upper stage of the rocket. Under previous management NASA had not included this ability, as they had not planned to have Orion do any rendezvouses or dockings. That lack makes it impossible for Orion to fly on any other rocket but SLS. This change means the Trump administration recognizes this is a problem, and wants to fix it, especially because they also recognize that SLS is a poor long term option for future lunar missions.

Dynetics’ manned lunar lander requires multiple launches and in-space refueling

According to company officials, the manned lunar lander being developed by Dynetics — one of three under NASA contract — will require three quick ULA Vulcan launches and in-space refueling before it will be capable of landing humans on the Moon.

Dynetics’ proposed Human Landing System (HLS) depends upon fuel depots and multiple rocket launches to achieve NASA’s goal of landing two astronauts on the moon in 2024, officials said during a webinar earlier this week. “Our lander is unique in that we need lunar fueling to accomplish our mission. In the next couple years, we will take in-space cryogenic propellant refueling technologies from the lab to [technology readiness level] 10 and operational,” said Kathy Laurini, payloads and commercialization lead for Dynetics’ HLS program.

The lander would launch on one Vulcan rocket, with the next two launches bringing the additional fuel.

More details here.

While it is good that this design does not require the long delayed and likely not-ready SLS rocket, it appears to require in-space capabilities that will not be ready by 2024, the Trump administration’s target date for its manned lunar landing. Instead, this design seems more aimed at subsequent operations in later years.

Since Congress has not yet funded the 2024 mission, though both parties seem interested in later manned lunar operations, this design seems cleverly aimed at that reality, designed to encourage long term government funding.

Regardless, everything hangs on the November elections, and who ends up in charge, both in the White House and in Congress. We presently have really have no way of predicting what will happen, until we know those election results.

Trump: He kept his promises

Trump at a recent rally
He does what he says.

In my long life, I have seen many politicians come and go. The one abiding constant for them all was that you could expect them to break their promises once elected.

Until 2000 Democrats routinely spouted moderate and even conservative ideas during campaigns, only to quickly move left once elected. Some, like Bill Clinton, lied routinely on all matters, simply to please whoever he was talking to. After he left office Democrats have since been more public about their socialist and even communist ideologies, but still they have often lied whenever they found it convenient, such as Barack Obama’s support for normal marriage, until he found he could support perversion and get away with it.

Republicans have been even more dishonest. For decades they would paint themselves as the defenders of small and limited government, of freedom, of balanced budgets, only to throw all those ideas out the window once they gained control. Until 1994 they could make these claims without fear of revealing their untruthfulness, since they had not run both houses of Congress since just after World War II. They were the loyal opposition, whining from the sidelines about Democratic overreach.

After 1994 that excuse disappeared, and the result was blatant lying. Even though the Republican Congress during the latter half of Bill Clinton’s administration managed to balance the federal budget for several years, they did not do this by reducing government. No, all they did was allow inflation to catch up so that a thriving economy would cover their big budgets. No agency got trimmed. No agency got eliminated. Power and money continued to flow into Washington and into the pockets of politicians of both parties.

Under George Bush Jr. this dishonesty became even more obvious. » Read more

Another Arab country normalizes relations with Israel

In a second major victory for the Trump administration, Bahrain has agreed to normalize its relations with Israel, including recognizing the Jewish state.

According to a formal statement issued by the three countries, they agreed to “the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

“This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East. Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region,” the statement said.

The statement said that Israel had also affirmed that all Muslims may visit and pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, and Jerusalem’s other holy sites will remain open for peaceful worshippers of all faiths.

This follows the opening of full diplomatic relations with the UAE, as well as the rejection by the Arab League of a Palestinian Authority resolution condemning that UAE agreement. In addition, there have been a slew of other countries in the past few weeks agreeing to move their embassies to Jerusalem.

All in all, a kind of peace is breaking out in the Middle East, rejecting the hate-mongers in the Palestinian territories who only wish to kill all Jews and have thus refused all reasonable offers of neighborly relations. It now appears that many Arabs are finally realizing that their alliance with the Palestinians has brought them nothing but problems, and it will be better to align with Israel.

Stay tuned. There have been rumors that Saudi Arabia will soon recognize Israel as well. If that happens, it will not only signal a true end to the violence in the Middle East, but the failure of the so-called “peace process” since the 1990s. It accomplished nothing while helping to escalate the worst sorts in both the Palestinian territories as well as in the Arab states, leading to Islamic terrorism worldwide. These new deals, engineered by the Trump administration, will hopefully help to put an end to that terrorism.

At a minimum it will help isolate those bad actors, making it far more difficult for them to instigate violence and murder.

NASA solicits lunar landers to bid on bringing science instruments to Moon

UPDATE: It appears I misunderstood the nature of this NASA solicitation in my initial post. I have rewritten it to correct it. Hat tip reader Rex Ridenoure.

Capitalism in space: NASA has issued a request from the private companies building unmanned lunar landers to bid on carrying a variety of science instruments to the Moon by ’23.

Initially NASA had indicated it was farming out the design and construction of the lunar landers to private companies, but would have the science instruments designed and built in-house. Since ’19 however NASA has had private companies designing and building these fourteen small science payloads, and is now in the process of determining which private landers will bring them to the Moon.

Though this approach is not very different than past NASA arrangements, what is different is NASA’s public approach. Instead of touting NASA’s part in this work, the agency is touting the work of the private companies.

The Democratic Party: The party of riots, looting, and stolen elections

Last week CNN anchor Don Lemon, who like everyone else at CNN for years has repeatedly signaled his blind partisan support for the Democratic Party, revealed something even more fundamental about Democrats and their supporters in the political world. The clip below shows Lemon discussing the rioting going on in cities across the U.S., and what Joe Biden should do to address this violence. Lemon is clearly acting as a Democratic Party front man, not a news reporter, as he thinks of ways to help that party win elections.

After proposing Biden give a speech on the subject, Lemon says this, “The rioting has got to stop. … It’s showing up in the polls. It’s showing up in the focus groups. It is the only thing right now that is sticking.”

In other words, the riots and looting were great, as long as they helped the Democrats in the polls. According to Lemon, who is a very typical Democratic apparatchik, only if rioting should hurt Democrats in the polls should Democrats oppose them.

This fact is far more important than Lemon’s obvious partisan bias. In this one clip he demonstrates, with the nodding approval of his fellow CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, that the political leadership of the Democratic Party and their lapdogs in the press care only about polls and winning, and will tolerate anything — riots, lynchings, looting, murder, oppression — if it will get them re-elected and in power.
» Read more

State Dept employee destroyed evidence in Russian collusion hoax

Not only does it appear that almost all the sources for the Steele dossier — used by the Obama FBI and Justice Department to instigate spying operations on the Trump administration — were Russian, it now appears that, at the request of the dossier’s author a former State Department employee destroyed State Dept evidence relating to that dossier.

Earlier this year, the infamous dossier author Christopher Steele revealed he had destroyed nearly all the records detailing his dirt-digging on Donald Trump and Russia. “They no longer exist,” Steele told a British court.

Now comes word that Steele’s primary and longtime contact inside the Obama State Department, Jonathan Winer, also destroyed records of the former British MI6 agent’s contacts inside that federal agency, including many of the 100-plus unsolicited intelligence reports Steele provided the Obama administration. “I destroyed them, and I basically destroyed all the correspondence I had with him,” Winer is quoted as saying in a little noticed passage of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s final report on the Russia collusion scandal.

Winer apparently destroyed the records at Steele’s request, the report said. “After Steele’s memos were published in the press in January 2017, Steele asked Winer to make note of having them, then either destroy all the earlier reports Steele had sent the Department of State or return them to Steele, out of concern that someone would be able to reconstruct his source network,” the committee’s report released last month stated. [emphasis mine]

And why was Steele worried that his sources might be uncovered? Apparently they were all foreign, Russian or Ukrainian in nature, meaning that his dossier was actually an operation of enemies to the United States, which was then used by the Obama administration to foist the hoax that Trump was in collusion with Russia. Thus, it was Obama and his administration who were colluding with foreign powers, for their own political gain, not Trump. That collusion by Obama and his cronies even went so far as to destroy evidence.

FCC approves expansion of OneWeb constellation to 2,000 satellites

Capitalism in space: The FCC has approved the request by the satellite company OneWeb to increase the size of its satellite constellation from 720 to 2,000 satellites, at 50% of which must be launched by August ’26.

The company, now exiting bankruptcy with its purchase by a partnership of the UK government and an Indian-based communications company, appears gearing up to resume launches.

The FCC’s approval was partly because it would “increase competition for broadband services.” Under the Trump administration the goal is to encourage as many private space companies as possible, to promote innovation and the lowering of costs to the consumer. This decision continues that policy.

Democratic voters swamp CSPAN to say they are switching to Trump

CSPAN's new call lines, eliminating party affiliation

Is this a sign of hope? So many callers on CSPAN’s Democratic Party call line were calling to announce they were either switching to Trump or becoming Republicans after watching the two conventions these past two weeks that CSPAN changed the call lines from “Democrat” and “Republican” to “Support Biden” and “Support Trump.”

I always like to say “It’s the audience that counts.” In this case the audience appears to be making its preference loud and clear, which is to me is truly a sign of hope. Conservatives and supporters of liberty and the rule of law might cheer the speeches and presentations at the Republican convention, but it is how the unaffiliated general public reacts that matters. And at least from this one data point, it appears they are trending to the Republicans.

UPDATE: I stupidly listed the channel incorrectly as CNN in my initial post. This is now corrected.

It is the PARTY of Biden that must lose big in November

Modern Fifth Avenue in New York
Today’s bankrupt New York,
a typical Democrat-run city

With the upcoming November presidential election, only two months away, the major focus continues to be on Trump and Biden. Who should win? Who is better? Do we want four more years of Trump or another four years of a Obama-type rule?

My readers will know immediately where I stand. Biden would be major disaster for the country, especially because it appears he is declining both physically and mentally and seems owned by the most radical leftist elements of his Democratic Party.

This essay, however, is a call for voters to not just vote for Trump. It is a desperate call for voters from both parties and from all ethnic, religious, and racial cohorts to vote for Republicans in every election and at every level of government. Biden is only the figurehead. It is the body of the now very corrupt, anti-American, and radical Democratic Party that must be killed, thoroughly and at all levels, including the House, the Senate, and in every state, city, and local council election.

The riots and looting and the almost willing endorsement and support given to those riots and looting by local Democratic mayors and councils and state governors demonstrates their incompetence to hold office. For the United States to survive as a nation ruled by law that also supports the freedom of its citizens, voters must reject them, unequivocally.
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Russia to continue bilateral space negotiations with U.S.

According to one Russian foreign policy official, the Putin government will continue bilateral space negotiations with United States in connection with both its Artemis Accords (designed to encourage private ownership in space) and the military doctrines in space recently set forth by the U.S. Space Force.

The official also made note of a Russian-Chinese agreement related to the use of space, which seems to counter what the Trump administration is pushing with the Artemis Accords. However, the fact that these bilateral agreements and negotiations now exist actually gets the U.S. what it wants, foreign treaties that set out goals and rules that bypass the restrictions of the Outer Space Treaty. Those restrictions make private ownership in space legally questionable. That Russia is willing to continue negotiations with the U.S. means that it might agree eventually to some framework that allows private property in space, in order to remain a partner in the Trump administrations Artemis lunar project.

Minor FBI official pleads guilty of altering evidence in Russian collusion hoax

Yawn: The so-called Durham investigation into the effort by high-level FBI and Justice Department officials to misuse their power to try to overthrow the election of President Trump has gotten its first guilty plea, that of a minor FBI lawyer who had altered evidence in order to help justify the FISA warrant against Carter Page that made possibly the political spying on the Trump campaign and administration.

Clinesmith was charged in federal court in Washington D.C. with one count of making a false statement for altering information he had received from the CIA in June 2017 to hide the fact that Trump campaign official Carter Page was a source for the Agency. The alteration caused the Justice Department to make a false representation to the FISA Court that approved surveillance of Page for nearly a year, the criminal information filed by Durham states.

Clinesmith “did willfully and knowingly make and use a false writing and document knowing the same to contain a materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement and entry in a matter before the jurisdiction of the executive branch and judicial branch,” the court filing said.

The statement Clinesmith’s lawyer released to the Washington Post is especially laughable:

“Kevin deeply regrets having altered the email. It was never his intent to mislead the court or his colleagues as he believed the information he relayed was accurate. But Kevin understands what he did was wrong and accepts responsibility,” the lawyer told the Post. [emphasis mine]

“It was never his intent.” What a bald-faced lie. Clinesmith was told by the CIA that Carter Page was a source of information for them. He then consciously changes the words in a CIA email (which stated as much) so that it stated the exact opposite. This faked evidence is then included in the warrant request presented to the FISA court to justify spying on Page, and the Trump administration. If the FISA court had known Page was a CIA source, the entire FISA warrant request, as written, would have made no sense, and would have been denied.

Regardless, while it is good that this guy has plead guilty, he is small potatoes. Unless some of the big fish get fried — such as James Comey and Andrew McCabe and maybe even Barack Obama — this investigation is junk and the first administrative coup attempt by an unelected bureaucracy will go unpunished, guaranteeing more such coup attempts in the future.

Or to put it even more bluntly, since the administrative state is tightly aligned with the Democratic Party, it will become impossible for anyone from any other party to ever gain power ever again. For even if they should win an election, that administrative state will quickly move to remove them, under false pretenses, knowing it will not be punished for voiding a legal election.

A more hopeful take would be to say that Clinesmith has struck a deal and is going to provide the information necessary to indict these big fish. Recent history has not born out such hopeful takes, however, as the Justice Department, under Republican rule, even under the Trump administration, has routinely failed to follow through in this manner. Instead, they scapegoat the people at the bottom (maybe), and then make excuses for those in charge.

We shall see.

UAE to establish full diplomatic ties to Israel

Big news: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has agreed to recognize Israel and establish full diplomatic relations, in exchange for Israel’s promise it will not annex portions of the West Bank that the Oslo Accords reserved for Israel, as it has been considering doing.

The UAE is the first Gulf nation to recognize Israel, and the third Arab nation, after Egypt and Jordan. This agreement signals publicly the growing secret ties and alliances within the Arab world with Israel that have developed in the past decade, most especially since Trump became president.

It also signals the growing weariness in the Arab world of Palestinian intransigence to any real negotiations. No matter what deal is offered them, no matter how good, their fundamental position remains the same: Israel must be destroyed (including all the Jews living there).

The deal also illustrates a fundamental split in the Islamic Middle East, between the allies of Iran (where chants of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” are encouraged by the government) and those more aligned with the U.S. The former apparently like the idea of war and genocide, while the latter are working to avoid both.

Penn Republicans surrendering to mail-in voting

The stupid party: Republicans in Pennsylvania are joining Democrats to call for mail-in voting in the coming November election.

“Now is a time for all Americans to stand up and put their country over their party,” said former congressman Patrick Murphy, a Bucks County Democrat. “From the elderly grandmother to young people, everyone needs to understand that the process of mail-in voting is trustworthy, and if they want to vote in person they need to know how to do that safely.”

Murphy, who also once served as acting secretary of the U.S. Army, has joined forces with former Pennsylvania House Republican majority leader Dave Reed to chair VoteSafe Pennsylvania. The group launched its statewide information campaign on Tuesday. “With everything going on here in 2020 and it happening to be a presidential election year as well, I think it’s fair to say we have a really polarized nation right now politically,” Reed said in an interview. “This project is just focused on making sure people feel safe and secure in voting with the mail-in ballots. And for folks who want to go to an in-person ballot precinct, making sure those places are safe and that folks are comfortable in doing so.”

“The bottom line is just very simple,” Reed added. “We just want to make sure everybody has an opportunity to participate this year.” [emphasis mine]

The article then goes on to related the numerous problems experienced in Pennsylvania with tabulating its mail-in votes in the most recent primary. It took some counties weeks to count the vote, and there were innumerable problems.

The one bright light in this darkness is that both of these idiots are former state legislators, and have clearly teamed up to push elected officials to buy their scheme. We can only pray they don’t get what they really want, a way to rig elections easily for their own benefit.

Obama misused intelligence agencies for years to spy on political opponents

We now have substantial evidence going back years — well before its illegal misuse of the FISA court — that the Obama administration and officials in its FBI and Justice Department misused National Security Agency (NSA) databases to illegally spy on its political opponents.

The article at the link is very long and detailed, but this is necessary to unpack the history that not only documents that spying before 2016, but why Justice and FBI high officials felt compelled then to use a fake dossier paid for by the Clinton campaign to get a warrant from the FISA court. Once they lost access to the NSA databases that year, they needed something that would allow them to continue that spying.

During the time-frame of December 2015 through April 2016 the NSA database was being exploited by contractors within the intelligence community doing unauthorized searches. On March 9, 2016, oversight personnel doing a review of FBI system access were alerted to thousands of unauthorized search queries of specific U.S. persons within the NSA database.

NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers was made aware. Subsequently NSA Director Rogers initiated a full compliance review of the system to identify who was doing the searches; & what searches were being conducted. On April 18, 2016, following the preliminary audit results, Director Rogers shut down all FBI contractor access to the database after he learned FISA-702 “about”(17) and “to/from”(16) search queries were being done without authorization.

In other words, the NSA database of phonecalls between Americans, an illegal database in its own right (the Constitution forbids such indiscriminate spying on Americans without a warrant), was being used by unauthorized individuals to gain information on Americans. From the article it becomes clear that those individuals were Obama administration operatives, and the Americans they were digging dirt on were their political opponents.

When Rogers shut down access to this keyhole, it was then necessary to instigate an unjustified warrant from the FISA court to allow these same Obama officials the right to continue their spying. At the same time they also instigated an effort to get Rogers fired.

What infuriates me about this is that even now, years later, no one has been indicted for any of these clearly illegal acts, despite substantive and documented evidence. We get reports, we get leaks, we get outraged Congressman on cable networks, and we get Trump tweets ranting about how terrible it is. What we don’t get is anyone behind bars.

Midnight repost: It’s the hate, not the violence

The tenth anniversary retrospective of Behind the Black continues: Though tonight’s essay was written in June 2017 it still applies today. The mindless hate that moves the left has now escalated beyond Trump and the Republican Party to encompass all of American history.

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It’s the hate, not the violence

The last few days have probably been the ugliest I have ever seen in American culture. Not only was an attempt made to commit mass murder against a group of Republican elected officials, the response from too many mainstream Democrats has generally been tone deaf and even supportive of the violence. Worse, the violence appears to be on-going, with no sign of relief.

My list is hardly complete. The stories above are only a small sampling of the ugly stuff I have read since the shooting on June 14. The best I have seen from some Democrats is a hint that maybe they have let their rhetoric get out of hand, but even here they often backtrack to blame Republicans and only Republicans for the shooting.
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Ballot harvesting in Oregon’s vote-by-mail system demonstrates Democratic strategy to steal elections

Link here. The article describes what the Democrats do when they make voting-by-mail legal.

[I]n Oregon’s vote-by-mail system, county elections offices don’t just sell your party registration and voting history, they also regularly inform campaigns of the status of the voter’s ballot, usually daily throughout Oregon’s lengthy 18-day voting window. Ballot harvesting is when campaigns determine exactly which voters have already turned in their ballots, and then they come after those who have not. Lots of phone calls, lots of door knocks, lots of robocalls. If you purposely wait to vote until the last day (voters have realized that many major scandals haven’t surfaced until the final days of a campaign), the efforts border on outright harassment.

In a primary election, most “1×4” and “2×4” voters are not as likely to vote. That’s when the unions go to work. Dozens and dozens of public employee union workers build and track voter files daily on Democrat-leaning voters. Then they turn their public employee armies loose to gin up votes for their candidates.

Imagine the knock at your front door. The union member offers you a flyer for their candidate, then asks if you’ve voted yet (they know you haven’t). Next they offer to wait while you fill out your ballot. Maybe then they offer to return your ballot envelope. (If you indicated a preference for the other primary candidate, do you think your ballot will really be delivered?)

None of this is illegal. All of it should be done by Republicans also, but then, the Republican Party has too often shown itself as cowardly wimps eager to lose. The result is that Democrats harvest a lot of extra mail-in votes. And I am sure they use the mail-in system to put their finger on the scale to disqualify or lose as many Republican votes as possible, as mailed ballots are so easy to manipulate.

This is their plan for November. They are now pushing for mail-in-voting nationwide, and will certainly get it in many more states before the election. In each case they will use it to up their vote count, as the Republican Party twiddles its thumbs.

It seems to me that rather than buy lots of stupid television ads, Trump and the Republicans should be investing in the same kind of door-by-door army, harvesting their own votes in this manner. It seems a far more effective way to win elections.

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