Zero Hedge: After Questioning The Constitution’s Absolutism, Biden Creates Commission To Study Supreme ‘Court-Packing’

Zero Hedge writes After Questioning The Constitution’s Absolutism, Biden Creates Commission To Study Supreme ‘Court-Packing’

Having refused to answer the question of whether a Biden administration would expand the Supreme Court (so-called ‘court-packing’) in mid-October, “we, the people” are perhaps closer to knowing the answer as to what happens next to the nation.

As a reminder, when presidential candidate Joe Biden was asked by a reporter “will you stack the courts?” – he replied that voters “don’t deserve” to know his stance until after the election

But now, as The New York Times reports, The White House is taking action after progressives pushed to add seats to the court to balance the conservative stamp put on it by President Trump.

“There’s growing recognition that the Supreme Court poses a danger to the health and well-being of the nation and even to democracy itself,” said Aaron Belkin, director of the group Take Back the Court.

“A White House judicial reform commission has a historic opportunity to explain the gravity of the threat and to help contain it by urging Congress to add seats, which is the only way to restore balance to the court.”

President Biden on Friday will order a 180-day study of adding seats to the Supreme Court, making good on a campaign-year promise to establish a bipartisan commission to examine the potentially explosive subjects of expanding the court or setting term limits for justices, White House officials said.

In his executive order on Friday, the president will create a 36-member commission charged with examining the history of the court, past changes to the process of nominating justices, and the potential consequences to altering the size of the nation’s highest court.

The panel will be led by Bob Bauer, who served as White House counsel for former President Barack Obama, and Cristina Rodriguez, a Yale Law School professor who served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel under Mr. Obama.

The issue of whether to alter the size of the court, which has been set at nine members since just after the Civil War, is highly charged, particularly at a moment when Congress is almost evenly divided between the two parties. An attempt by Mr. Biden to increase the number of justices would require approval of Congress and would be met by fierce opposition.

The New York Times admits that activists who say a larger court would give Mr. Biden the chance to appoint a number of liberal justices may be disappointed by his commission. Additionally, Justice Breyer, 82, is the oldest member of the court and the senior member of its three-justice liberal wing, warned this week that efforts to expand the court for political reasons could undermine the trust that the public has in the court and the decisions that it makes on important issues.

“I hope and expect that the court will retain its authority,” Justice Breyer said.

“But that authority, like the rule of law, depends on trust, a trust that the court is guided by legal principle, not politics. Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that perception, further eroding that trust.”

As a reminder, this comes after President Biden said yesterday that “no amendment to the Constitution is absolute” when discussing his plans for gun control.

But, in theory, we already know Joe’s “opinion” on packing the courts – he thinks it’s a “bonehead idea.”

“But it was a bonehead idea. It was a terrible, terrible mistake to make, and it put in question, for an entire decade, the independence of the most significant body—including the Congress in my view—the most significant body in this country, the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”

You cannot make this up! Have we reached peak-gaslighting yet?

Zero Hedge: Million New Yorkers Can’t Afford Food As Hunger Crisis Worsens

From Zero Hedge, Million New Yorkers Can’t Afford Food As Hunger Crisis Worsens

In the seventh month of the virus pandemic, New York City is still in shambles, with more than half a million residents unemployed as the small business collapse continues. Broadway is closed, Manhattan offices are empty as remote work dominates, violent crime is surging, and an exodus of people from the city has created a perfect storm of economic chaos that will hunt many New Yorkers for years.

A byproduct of the virus-induced economic downturn is food and housing insecurity for millions of people in the Tri-state area. Deep economic scarring produced by permanent job loss has left many people in a bind; some working-poor may never recover while others could take years.

Food and housing insecurity will be, or should be, a hot subject as millions in the Tri-state area are suffering ahead of the holidays. Readers may recall in early October, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey warned that more than one million New Jerseyans were expected to suffer food insecurity by the end of the year.

Now the problem is becoming more widespread. At least one million New Yorkers are expected, or will soon, experience food insecurity, according to FOX 5 NY.

Alexander Rapaport, the executive director of Masbia soup kitchen network, said, “We have done disasters before, but nothing is even close to what we are doing now,” referring to the long lines at food banks across the city is all too common.

Masbia is a nonprofit soup kitchen network and food pantry, with Borough Park and Flatbush locations in Brooklyn and Forest Hills in Queens. Rapaport said there had been a 500% increase in demand.

In a separate report, NYT estimates the number of New Yorkers who are going hungry could be upwards of 1.5 million.

Denise Allen, a mother who visits one of Masbia’s food banks, said:

“I’m on a limited income. I visit every two to three weeks,” said Allen.

Rapaport said, “there is so much need. So much so that for the last three days, Rapaport, his staff, and volunteers have been operating around the clock. All three locations are now open 24/7, feeding 1,500 families a day, but it is still not enough.”

With demand high for food banks in the city, he said long lines have developed, which forced him to create an entirely new system in what he calls digital food bank lines.

“You now have to make an appointment to pick up your box of food,” Rapaport said.

Meanwhile, it’s not just the Tri-state area that is in economic distress, with millions going hungry while others are at risk of eviction; Feeding America, one of the nation’s top food banks, recently warned that it may run out of food in the next twelve months as demand has overwhelmed its network.

Food and housing insecurity for millions of people across the country signals the transmission mechanism of stimulus, if that was through fiscal or monetary, has failed to support the working poor.

Zero Hedge: We Live More And More In A World In Which Facts No Longer Matter

Michael Every of Rabobank writes this short article at Zero Hedge – We Live More And More In A World In Which Facts No Longer Matter. In the article, Every mostly talks about politics, but the concept has farther reaching implications in our society. My spouse and I have discussed it frequently during this pandemic; one of the reasons that people are so divided about various issues, including pandemic responses, is because they can pick their “facts.” We have an education system that has been so bad for so long that few people are capable of understanding even simpler scientific journal articles. Not all journal articles are equal. Some are filled with bad science, bad math, bad statistics, and/or bad methodologies. So when one study says that X is bad, and another says Y is good, people simply choose the answer they prefer.

The same is true for news articles. On the internet, you can find sources espousing just about any position on any issue, so it’s easy for people to take any position and point to those voices as proof that their belief is true. It fuels divisiveness because the different sides of an issue all believe that the facts are on their side and are incapable of objectively evaluating the underlying assumptions and information. Every debate becomes a holy war because every belief is taken on faith rather than reason.

The fix for that problem is broader education (education, not necessarily schooling) which encompasses science, mathematics, statistics, philosophy, etc. That’s a difficult change to make, and, as we know, those in power will not take the difficult road when a superficial attempt which also increases their own power will suffice. Instead of education reform, you get people calling for shutting down all of those different voices so that only the approved messages get through. Those approved messages aren’t necessarily the truthful ones, they’re the ones that support those in power.

Day by day, we live more and more in a world in which facts no longer matter. Social media, a bitterly-bipartisan mainstream media, and socio-economic and cultural polarization all mean we can inhabit the world of facts we find most comfortable and convenient. Indeed, as the economy becomes more Dickensian in terms of income and wealth equality it also becomes more *literally* Dickensian:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

And that’s just the US Vice-Presidential debate from last night, which offered up generous helpings of political pound(ing)s, shillings, and (Mike) Pence. Which for those who don’t know, was the old British Imperial money system until 1971 when, as my late grandmother referred to it, the UK joined the “decimal diddle dum dee club”. And one wonders how people ever wondered how Brexit could happen…

Of course, the VP debate also saw vast quantities of question-dodging over key issues, or answers that seemed to be to entirely different questions – to no response from the moderator-bot, which only seemed to be programmed to worry if people over-ran, rather than running over facts. It was still a vast improvement last week, however, in that there was actually some debate in it.

Who ‘won’? See the various polls from different sides of the political aisle: CNN said Harris 59% – 38%; Telemundo said Pence 76% – 24%. But the key point is that nowadays whomever *you* like won – after all, it is the ‘epoch of belief’. Likewise, whomever *you* like is comfortably winning the election. That is the meme both sides can cling to until 3 November. (And then, political risk analysts fear, it may be time for either loser to embrace a conspiracy theory as to why they didn’t actually lose.) Yet if we wanted to pretend actual facts mattered for a fleeting moment, the key question would be which side’s base feels more enthused after having sat through the VP debate: who got more policy red (or blue) meat thrown their way?

Talking of the (overdone) red meat side of things, the Heavenly side (as shall be explained), the conspiracy-theory side, and the ‘best of times, worst of times’ side, yet again we also see a Tweet from Trump trumping other news. Trump announced he believes the drug he was treated with is a “cure”; more important than the vaccine (which is coming “very, very shortly….right after the election”); and Regeneron will be shortly be freely available *and free* to those who need it. Indeed, Trump said he wants everybody to be given the same treatment he got without payment as “It wasn’t your fault…, it was China’s fault, and China is going to pay a big price.”

Is that related to the Bloomberg story yesterday talking about a possible looming US crackdown on Tencent and Ant Financial to stop China expanding its digital payments platforms? Or is it related to Mike Pompeo busily trying to form an Asian version of NATO? Or is it something else equally world-splitting if carried out in full?

Another good question that wasn’t asked at all at the VP debate that happened after that Trump video: is free Regeneron socialised medicine? The media aren’t asking either, instead running with the Trumpian phrase it was “a blessing from God” he caught Covid-19 (which he instantly qualified to “a blessing in disguise,” which itself is disguised in all those exegesis-esque headlines).

Meanwhile, preceding both the VP debate and the Trump video we had the FOMC minutes, a body which has played as large a role in our drift into all forms of Dickensianism as anyone. As Philip Marey notes, these represent “The quiet before the storm”. In particular, he points out that the minutes revealed quite some disagreement within the FOMC regarding the forward guidance on rates: a Dickensian dichotomy, one might say. As long as we are in a pandemic environment this may not matter very much. However, he believes that “by the time we get closer to the exit, the practice of flexible average inflation targeting may become a cacophony”. There’s something to look forward to.

The minutes also showed that the economic outlook (and thus the FOMC’s projections) assumed additional fiscal support, and that if future fiscal support was significantly smaller or arrived later than expected the FOMC thinks the pace of the recovery could be slower than anticipated. “Send more money now,” in short. This could still happen before the election in one form or another, even if Larry Kudlow isn’t in the loop. After all, if you are giving away Regeneron free now, why not?

Philip concludes that several headwinds are converging in Q4 that could upset the economic recovery, and that the next time the Fed meets will be in the stormy environment after Election Day.  

The Fed, meanwhile, will continue to try to send us the message that ends the book whose long opening line I have already quoted: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”(**Spoiler alert** – that particular guy gets his head cut off in a revolution.)

Which is what Nicola Sturgeon must be thinking of as she closes down central Scotland’s pubs (and restaurants) for over two weeks(?)

Zero Hedge: Trump to Nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett To Supreme Court

Zero Hedge, citing the NY Times, opines on the likely nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and likely opposition to her because of her religious beliefs.

Trump’s likely nominees to replace RBG on The US Supreme Court – 7th Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 11th Circuit Judge Barbara Lagoa, and 4th Circuit Judge Allison Jones Rushing – have, according to sources who have leaked their information to The New York Times, been narrowed down to Judge Amy Coney Barrett:

President Trump has selected Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the favorite candidate of conservatives, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and will try to force Senate confirmation before Election Day in a move that would significantly alter the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court for years.

Mr. Trump plans to announce on Saturday that she is his choice, according to people close to the process who asked not to be identified disclosing the decision in advance. The president met with Judge Barrett at the White House this week and came away impressed with a jurist that leading conservatives told him would be a female Antonin Scalia, referring to the justice who died in 2016 and for whom Judge Barrett clerked.

Barrett is the most feared by liberals, some of whom concede that she hasa topnotch legal mind.”

Many have focused on Judge Barrett’s devout catholicism – and therefore the abortion debate…

“She is the perfect combination of brilliant jurist and a woman who brings the argument to the court that is potentially the contrary to the views of the sitting women justices,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion political group, who has praised Mr. Trump’s entire shortlist.

Additionally, as NYT noted earlier in the week, liberal groups have been sounding the alarm over Judge Barrett for two years because of concerns over how she might rule on abortion and the Affordable Care Act.

“Amy Coney Barrett meets Donald Trump’s two main litmus tests: She has made clear she would invalidate the A.C.A. and take health care away from millions of people and undermine a woman’s reproductive freedom,” said Nan Aron, the president of Alliance for Justice, a liberal group.

In a 2017 law review article written before she joined the appeals court, Judge Barrett was critical of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s 2012 opinion sustaining a central provision of the Affordable Care Act, saying he had betrayed the commands of textualism. “Chief Justice Roberts pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute,” she wrote.

The court will again hear arguments on the fate of the law in November, and Judge Barrett’s article suggested that she would give its challengers a sympathetic hearing.

However, in one of her most revealing opinions, Barrett took an expansive view of the Second Amendment – dissenting to the right of two colleagues who were appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

In the world of conservative judges, she has particularly strong credentials. Judge Barrett began clerking for Justice Antonin Scalia 22 years ago, and her fellow clerks are quick to say she was his favorite. She graduated summa cum laude from Notre Dame Law School and joined the faculty in 2002, earning praise from colleagues as an astute scholar and jurist even if they did not always agree on her jurisprudential premises.

But, as a reminder, Alan Dershowitz notes that when Judge Barrett came before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary for her nomination to the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Senator Diane Feinstein generated considerable controversy when she said to Barrett:

“The dogma lives loudly in you.”

This was a reference to Barrett’s deep Catholic faith. Under our Constitution, Senator Feinstein’s statement crossed the line. Ours was the first Constitution in history to provide that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

Although Feinstein did not explicitly impose a religious test, she suggested that personal religious views — which she called dogma — might disqualify a nominee from being confirmed.

That would clearly be unconstitutional.

But then again… when did pursuing anything ethically or legally challenged ever stop the current suite of Dem leaders from pursuing their task of ‘Never-Trump’ and ‘Never-anyone-Trump-wants’.

However, in this case, barring some unforeseen disaster, there appears little Democrats can do – despite the threats – to delay a vote on Barrett, solidifying a right-leaning shift to the court for a generation.

Zero Hedge: Empty Supreme Court Seat “Resets the Race” for President

Yesterday evening Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away. This event will change the Presidential race and perhaps further fan the flames of division around the country. Expect to see and hear much commentary/propaganda in the months ahead. Here is a collection of commentary over at Zero Hedge – “This Resets The Race” – SCOTUS Opening Creates Opportunity For Trump To ‘Change The Subject’ Before Nov. 3

We’re still waiting for the ‘October Surprise’ that Democrats are hoping will derail Trump’s quest for a second term (although it didn’t exactly work out that way back in 2016), but the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg last night has certainly shaken things up, with only 45 days left until the election.

 

VP Joe Biden sounded dejected last night as he delivered his statement on Ginsburg’s passing.

Biden, and his former boss, Barack Obama, have urged the GOP to wait until after the election to move ahead with the next SCOTUS nominee. As Biden said in the clip above: “There is no doubt – let me be clear – that the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider,” Biden told reporters late Friday. “This was the position that the Republican Senate took in 2016” and “that’s the position the United States Senate must take today and the election’s only 46 days off.”

According to Bloomberg, GOP strategists are already chattering about how the SCOTUS situation will give Trump the opportunity to change the subject away from the coronavirus outbreak that’s hobbled his economy, and toward what has been on of the GOP’s biggest accomplishments over the past 10 years: packing the federal courts with conservative justices.

It’s an area where Dems have ceded far too much ground, allowing the Federalist Society to work in concert with successive Republican administrations to ensure a steady supply of ideologically-tested conservative justices.

Ironically, Bloomberg quoted a top aide to former Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid saying that Dems need to “wake up” to the importance of the judicial branch. Of course, as we reported earlier, it was Reid who opened the door to the “nuclear option” by changing the Senate rules to allow President Obama to confirm cabinet appointments with a simple majority.

For Trump and his Republican allies in the Senate, the vacancy lets him change the subject away from the coronavirus pandemic that has imperiled his odds for winning a second term. Now, they can offer their base a chance to tighten the conservative majority on the high court for years to come.

Yet Biden and Democrats can seize on the moment, too, invoking Ginsburg’s legacy to spur turnout on Nov. 3 and give liberals a fresh reason to vote out Trump. Democrats had contributed more than $20 million to ActBlue in four hours after Ginsburg’s death was announced.

Jim Manley, a former top aide to ex-Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, said he hopes Democrats “wake up” to the importance of the Supreme Court.

The reality is that Republicans have always taken judicial nominations more seriously than Democrats,” he said. “My hope is that that actually changes with this shocking news. Whether it does or not remains to be seen.”

Mitch McConnell didn’t waste any time Friday night. Mere hours after RBG’s death, McConnell released a statement promising a vote on the Senate floor and calling on GOP Senators to back whoever is appointed by Trump to fill the vacancy. Right now, the smart money is on 7th Circuit judge Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative Catholic and a runner-up during Trump’s last two nominations.

GOP strategists are heralding this as an opportunity for Trump to flip the script, and put Democrats on the defensive.

“This resets the race,” said Republican donor Dan Eberhart. “We are not running solely on the Covid response and the economy anymore.”

Biden has rarely spoken about the Supreme Court except to commit to nominating a Black woman to the bench if he gets the opportunity.

Now he has to seize on the issue as well, and Democrats were already showing signs they were willing to join him.

Trump was widely expected to move ahead with a nomination, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly vowed that the Senate would vote on it.

To be sure, there’s also a strong possibility that RBG’s death motivates more Democratic voters to turn out to the polls. Few things can cut through the noise like the creation of another ‘martyr’.

Early reports suggest RBG’s death triggered a flood of donations to Democratic groups like ActBlue and “Demand Justice”, with tens of millions of dollars flowing into their coffers overnight. GOP pollster and Trump critic Ed Rollins told Bloomberg that the gravity of the issue could drive voters to the polls in massive numbers. Typically, higher turnout is seen as a negative for Republicans.

It could also motivate more GOP voters to come vote in critical swing-state races down-ticket, including for the Senate.

“This will be the overarching issue in not just the 2020 presidential election, but also in several Senate races that may decide who controls the Senate in the future,” said Ed Rollins, a Republican strategist who heads the pro-Trump Great America PAC.

“This will drive voters to the polls in massive numbers on both sides,” Rollins said. “It will also dominate the airways and certainly will be a major factor for the rest of this campaign.”

Still, the vacancy may not necessarily be a boon for Trump because it is likely to galvanize voters on both sides of the aisle, said Brendan Buck, a Republican strategist.

“It will help shore up constituencies he needs. Battle lines are going to be drawn. But it will fire up folks on both sides, and my guess is it’s a wash at best for the president,” he said.

The Hill was slightly more pessimistic, pointing out that several influential Republican Senators were conspicuously silent last night, while others promised to back Trump’s nominee without delay.

McConnell can’t afford to lose three GOP votes in what could be remembered as one of the most important votes in that chamber in history. Two GOP senators – Alasaka’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins – released statements mourning Ginsburg…

…but saying nothing about whether they intend to back McConnell and Trump. Both Collins and Murkowski were among a group of moderate senators who initially expressed doubts about Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and later enabled Democrats to move ahead with a formal inquiry into allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior by Kavanaugh when he was in high school and an undergraduate student at Yale. Both have said previously that they wouldn’t support a SCOTUS vote so close to an election. Collins is facing tough reelection odds, as her vote in favor of Kavanaugh has been wielded effectively against her by her Democratic opponent, who is reportedly ahead in the polls. Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon currently holds 49% to the senator’s 44%, according to the Hill.

Murkowski has a long history of speaking out against a “double standard” of SCOTUS confirmation votes during an election year.

Murkowski told The Hill over the summer that attempting to fill a Supreme Court vacancy right before the November election or during a lame-duck session in December would create “a double standard” and she “would not support it.”

Murkowski pointed to Senate Republicans’ decision in 2016 to keep vacant the seat of late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia until a new president was elected in that year’s election. Then-President Obama nominated D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland to fill Scalia’s vacant seat in March of 2016 but he never received a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing or a vote.

“When Republicans held off Merrick Garland it was because nine months prior to the election was too close, we needed to let people decide. And I agreed to do that. If we now say that months prior to the election is OK when nine months was not, that is a double standard and I don’t believe we should do it,” Murkowski said. “So I would not support it.”

Another key vote is Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), the only Senate Republican to vote to convict Trump on an article of impeachment.

Though he declined to speculate about what he might do if a vacancy emerged on the court in the months before the Nov. 3 vote, Sen. Mitt Romney could provide a third vote against Trump’s nominee (though a tie would of course be broken by VP Mike Pence).

A 4th GOP defection would sink the vote, assuming no swing-vote Dems step up and defect to the other side. However, that’s not exactly guaranteed. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin backed Kavanaugh, a vote that has proven tremendously popular in his home state of West Virginia.

Several reliably GOP senators will likely have their past statements used against them. Perhaps the most notable example of this is Lindsey Graham.

However, Graham has said he’s open to backing Trump’s nominee after getting some input from his constituents, of course. Chuck Grassley, who led the Judiciary Committee when it sunk Garland’s nomination, said at the time that he would do the same thing if the shoe were on the other foot. However, he too is expected to back Trump’s nominee.

After all, Trump has a powerful argument for filling the seat. A deadlocked Supreme Court ahead of what could be a contested election could risk a constitutional crisis that could have ramifications for societal cohesion.

Time is also an issue: It has taken an average of 74 days to confirm the last 10 justices appointed to the Supreme Court, ranging from 99 days for Clarence Thomas in 1991 (a process that was elongated by the Anita Hill scandal) to 50 days for Ginsburg in 1993.

Election Day is 45 days away, and the next Congress isn’t scheduled to take its seats for another 106 days. And given the general state of things in America right now, a lot could change in that time.

WA Examiner: Fox News Silences Gingrinch on District Attorneys Funded by Soros

From Washington Examiner, Fox News panel reprimands Newt Gingrich for mentioning George Soros in discussion about BLM riots

A Fox News panel scolded and cut away from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich after he linked liberal billionaire George Soros to the violent riots that have caused damage across the country over the last few months.

“The No. 1 problem in almost all the cities is George Soros-elected, left-wing, anti-police, pro-criminal district attorneys who refuse to keep people locked up,” Gingrich said to a panel on Fox News’s Outnumbered on Wednesday. “Both Harris and Biden have talked very proudly about what they call progressive district attorneys. Progressive district attorneys are anti-police, pro-criminal, and overwhelmingly elected with George Soros’s money. And they are a major cause of the violence we are seeing because they keep putting the violent criminals back on the street.”

Host Melissa Francis pushed back immediately, telling Gingrich, “I’m not sure we need to bring George Soros into this.”

“He paid for it,” Gingrich responded, prompting host Marie Harf to defend Francis.

“No he didn’t,” Harf claimed. “I agree with Melissa, George Soros doesn’t need to be part of this conversation.”

“OK?” a puzzled Gingrich said after an awkward silence. “So it’s verboten?”

A longer silent pause then ensued before host Harris Faulkner ended the segment.

“OK, we’re going to move on.”

Soros, a Hungarian-born billionaire and philanthropist, has long been financially tied to both groups and politicians with the same social justice mission as the Black Lives Matter movement. “If we’re going to say ‘black lives matter,’ we need to say ‘black organizations and structures matter,’” Patrick Gaspard, the president of the Soros funded Open Society Foundations said.

In addition to political lobbying, which Soros reportedly spent at least $48 million on in 2019 alone, the 90-year-old with a net worth of roughly $8 billion, has poured tens of millions into political campaigns across the country, specifically in races for district attorney.

Soros supported the campaign of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who released arrested rioters and looters back onto the streets citing lack of evidence in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd on May 25.

Gardner was also involved in the decision to charge a white St. Louis couple with a felony for standing outside their property holding a rifle while Black Lives Matter protesters stormed through a gate and antagonized them.

Soros donated over $100,000 to a super PAC supporting Gardner in July.

“Why are some in the left so afraid of our mentioning George Soros’ name that they scream anti-semitic?” Gingrich tweeted earlier this month. “It IS his name. He IS funding pro-criminal,anti police district attorneys. Why is the left afraid of the facts?”

See also SHTFPlan ALL Of MSM Is In On It! Fox News Host Stops Gingrich From Talking About Soros-Elected DAs

And more on the topic from ZeroHedge “Not Ideal” – Fox Offers Non-Apology To Newt Gingrich After Awkward George Soros Rebuke

And some words from Newt Gingrich himself at The American Mind, The Soros Cover-Up

Zero Hedge: Pelosi Says There Should Be No Presidential Debates

From Zero Hedge, “I Don’t Think There Should Be Any Debates” Says Pelosi, Calling Them An “Exercise In Skullduggery”. In order to protect Biden who has recently come under fire for exhibiting symptoms of dementia, top Democrats have been coming up with any reasons to avoid a Presidential debate.

Nancy Pelosi has just joined the chorus of prominent Democrats trying desperately to avoid placing Joe Biden in front of the proverbial firing squad in a debate with President Trump.

“I don’t think that there should be any debates,” Pelosi said on Thursday, one day after President Trump demanded Biden take a drug test before the two square off.

I wouldn’t legitimize a conversation with him – nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States,” she added.

Pelosi said that Trump was “disgraceful” when he ‘stalked’ Hillary Clinton during the 2016 debate by walking near her, and that he will probably “act in a way that is beneath the dignity of the presidency.”

“I think he will also belittle what the debates are supposed to be about. And they’re not to be about skulduggery on the part of somebody who has no respect for the office he holds, much less the democratic process.

“I don’t think that he should dignify that conversation with Donald Trump.”

Pelosi then suggested that each candidate could hold separate ‘conversations’ with voters, saying: “Let that be a conversation with the American people, not an exercise in skulduggery.”

Watch:

Pelosi is far from the first Democrat trying to avoid a Trump-Biden debate. As Rick Moran wrote via PJMedia earlier this month:

*  *  *

Democrats around the country have begun to pressure the Biden campaign to call off all debates with Donald Trump due to the coronavirus pandemic, they say.

In truth, the reason they don’t want Biden to debate Trump is that they don’t think Trump will play by their rules. The president would take over the debate and make it about what he wants, not what Biden wants.

Democrats are also worried about Biden’s mental stamina and his ability to remain engaged for an hour and a half during a debate.

Newsweek:

Democratic strategists and supporters of Vice President Joe Biden are urging him not to debate President Donald Trump in the lead-up to Election Day, citing Trump’s publicity stunts and disregard for the rules in 2016. Meanwhile Biden backers, including some conservatives, applauded the University of Notre Dame and the University of Michigan for cancelling their scheduled debates over COVID-19 concerns.

Former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart joined several Democratic Party strategists in bluntly advising Biden, “whatever you do, don’t debate Trump.” Speaking on CNN Saturday, Lockhart said Trump shouldn’t be given another platform which will enable him to “repeat lies,” which he said occurred in the 2016 debates against Hillary Clinton.

Trump has a knack for exaggeration and hyperbole that Democrats don’t like. It’s very effective in debates and Biden would spend most of his time on the defensive.

Automatic Earth Blog: Are The Tables Starting To Turn?

…according to a Zogby Analytics poll, Trump’s job approval numbers are now at record high levels. And I know polls -and pollsters- can be biased, and so can the press quoting them, but to see three in a row, Reuters/Ipsos, Rasmussen, Zogby, all reporting similar movement, may still be significant…

Zero Hedge: Calls Between Biden And Ukraine’s Poroshenko Leaked; Details $1 Billion “Quid Pro Quo”

Six months ago Zero Hedge related the Ukraine indictment alleging $7.4 billion laundering scheme. Now phone call recordings between Biden And Ukraine’s Poroshenko have been leaked. Phone Calls Between Biden And Ukraine’s Poroshenko Leaked; Details $1 Billion “Quid Pro Quo” To Fire Burisma Prosecutor

Leaked phone calls between Joe Biden and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko explicitly detail the quid-pro-quo arrangement to fire former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin – who Poroshenko admits did nothing wrong – in exchange for $1 billion in US loan guarantees (which Biden openly bragged about in January, 2018).

The calls were leaked by Ukrainian MP Andrii Derkach, who says the recordings of “voices similar to Poroshenko and Biden” were given to him by investigative journalists who claim Poroshenko made them.

Shokin was notably investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that hired Biden’s son, Hunter, to sit on its board. Shokin had opened a case against Burisma’s founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, who granted Burisma permits to drill for oil and gas in Ukraine while he was Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources. In January, 2019, Shokin stated in a deposition that there were five criminal cases against Zlochevesky, including money laundering, corruption, illegal funds transfers, and profiteering through shell corporations while he was a sitting minister.

Viktor Shokin

The leaked calls begin on December 3, 2015, when former Secretary of State John Kerry starts laying out the case to fire Shokin – who he says “blocked the cleanup of the Prosecutor Generals’ Office,” and sated that Biden “is very concerned about it,” to which Poroshenko replies that the newly reorganized prosecutor general’s office (NABU) won’t be able to pursue corruption charges, and that it may be difficult to fire Shokin without cause.

Later in the leaked audio on February 18, 2016 – less than three months after the Kerry conversation – Poroshenko delivers some “positive news.”

“Yesterday I met with General Prosecutor Shokin,” says Poroshenko. And despite of the fact that we didn’t have any corruption charges, we don’t have any information about him doing something wrong, I specially asked him – no, it was day before yesterday – I specially asked him to resign. In, uh, as his, uh, position as a state person. And despite of the fact that he has a support in the power. And as a finish of my meeting with him, he promised to give me the statement on resignation. And one hour ago he bring me the written statement of his resignation. And this is my second step for keeping my promises.

To which Biden replied: “I agree.”

Four weeks later on March 22, 2016, Biden says “Tell me that there is a new government and a new Prosecutor General. I am prepared to do a public signing of the commitment for the billion dollars.

Poroshenko tells Biden that one of the leading candidates is the man who replaced Shokin, Yuriy Lutsenko who later said in a deposition that Hunter Biden and his business partners were receiving millions of dollars in compensation from Burisma.

Then, on May 13, 2016, Biden congratulates Poroshenko on “getting the new Prosecutor General,” saying that it will be “critical for him to work quickly to repair the damage Shokin did.”

And I’m a man of my word,” Biden adds. “And now that the new Prosecutor General is in place, we’re ready to move forward to signing that one billion dollar loan guarantee.”

Poroshenko thanks Biden for the support, and says that it was a “very tough challenge and a very difficult job.”

Zero Hedge: America on the Brink?

An alleged protester in Harrisburg, PA

From Zero Hedge, America On The Brink? Shocking Images Show “Pennsylvania Militia” Rolling Up To “Reopen America” Rally. Early in this pandemic, I noticed that people had stopped talking about civil war, which was rampant talk last year. As the lockdowns progressed, I began to wonder if the economic damage would knock down all the barriers that intelligence analyst Sam Culper of Forward Observer said would prevent widespread violence.

America could be standing on the edge of a revolution. Seriously, well, with National Guard troops deployed across the country, any uprising would likely be squashed.

We noted late last month that a “social bomb” was set to detonate over major Western cities. It was thought that the epicenter of unrest could begin deep within inner cities, such as those in Baltimore and Detroit, but that might not be the case.

It appears tensions are soaring among anti-quarantine protesters and state governments. The lockdown backlash started last Thursday in Lansing, Michigan.

Anti-quarantine rallies sprouted up across the country over the weekend, organized by right-wing groups that held rallies in Texas, Indiana, New Hampshire, Nevada, Maryland, Utah, Wisconsin, Washington, and Colorado.

Attempting to show force, some protesters wielded rifles, handguns, and shotguns, along with American flags, Betsy Ross flags, Trump signs and “Don’t Tread On Me” flags right up to the doorsteps of some state capital buildings.

The sight is absolutely stunning, but before we continue, we must understand the right-wing groups that organized the rallies are fed up with quarantine orders enforced by state governments to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While it is open for discussion if the strict lockdowns were worth it, several things are evident, and why many of these protesters are angry, is that the economy has crashed into depression, 22 million jobs lost, businesses bankrupted, and hunger crisis unfolding. Combined this all together, and a perfect storm of unrest could be nearing.

While we could show you images of the latest rallies from across the country, that would be a bit too much. So, let’s focus on the “reopen” Pennsylvania demonstration on Monday (April 20). The location was Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, more specifically, at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Zero Hedge.

Zero Hedge: It’s Not Just Toilet Paper, Seed Shortages Spread

Zero Hedge has an article on the growing seed shortage as Americans turn to growing their own food in response to supply chain problems – It’s Not Just Toilet Paper, Seed Shortages Spread As Locked-Down Americans Turn To Growing Their Own Food 

…Americans started buying 3M N95 masks in mid-January, then non-perishables in February, followed by toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and guns.

Now apparently, plant seeds are the next big thing…

Seed companies who spoke with CBS News said they have stopped taking new orders after unprecedented demand. George Ball, chairman of Pennsylvania-based Burpee Seeds, said the recent increase in new orders is “just unbelievable.” The company will start accepting orders again on Wednesday after it stopped taking new ones for several days to catch up on the backlog.

Americans in quarantine are becoming increasingly concerned about their food security. What has shocked many is that food on supermarket shelves that existed one day, could be completely wiped out in minutes via panic hoarding. Some people are now trying to restore the comfort of food security by planting “Pandemic Gardens.”

“If I had to put my thumb on it, I would say people are worried about their food security right now,” said Emily Rose Haga, the executive director of the Seed Savers Exchange, an Iowa-based nonprofit devoted to heirloom seeds.

 “A lot of folks even in our region are putting orders into their grocery stores and having to wait a week to get their groceries. Our society has never experienced a disruption like this in our lifetime.”

One of the most significant trends besides a crashed economy and high unemployment is that tens of thousands of Americans, mainly of the working poor, who just lost their jobs, are ending up at food banks. These facilities have reported surging demand, as a hunger crisis unfolds.

Today’s economic, health, and social crisis has made people realize that relying on supermarkets for food is not a safe bet. Some are now reverting to the land for survival.

Seed Savers Exchange noticed a surge in seed demand started in mid-March, the same time lockdowns across the country went into effect. The nonprofit has also halted new orders to catch up on the backlog.

“We received twice the amount of orders we normally receive,” the company said, adding it has had to hire more staff to deal with rising seed demand.

With America at war with coronavirus, the “Victory Gardens” our ancestors planted in WWI & II have now morphed into Pandemic Gardens. The surge in seed demand suggests a new trend of the 2020s is developing, one where reliance on corporations and government for survival are coming to an end for some people, as rural communities and living off the land is the safest bet in times of crisis…

Zero Hedge: Ukraine Indictment Claims $7.4 Billion Obama/Democrat-Linked Laundering

This article comes from Zero Hedge, relating an indictment by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General against Burisma Holders, where Hunter Biden held a highly-compensated sinecure. Emphasis below is from the original article.

An indictment drawn up by Ukraine’s Office of the Prosecutor General against Burisma owner Nikolai Zlochevsky claims that Hunter Biden and his partners received $16.5 million for their ‘services’ – according to Ukrainian MP Alexander Dubinsky of the ruling Servant of the People Party.

Dubinsky made the claim in a Wednesday press conference, citing materials from an investigation into Zlochevsky and Burisma.

“Zlochevsky was charged with this new accusation by the Office of the Prosecutor General but the press ignored it,” said the MP. “It was issued on November 14.”

The son of Vice-President Joe Biden was receiving payment for his services, with money raised through criminal means and money laundering,” he then said, adding “Biden received money that did not come from the company’s successful operation but rather from money stolen from citizens.”

…According to Interfax-Ukraine, MP Andriy Derkach announced at the same press conference that deputies have received new materials from investigative journalists alleging that the ‘family’ of ex-President Yanukovych funneled $7.4 billion through American investment firm Franklin Templeton Investments, which they claim have connections to the US Democratic party”…

The son of Templeton’s founder, John Templeton Jr., was one of President Obama’s major campaign donors. Another fund-related character is Thomas Donilon. Managing Director of BlackRock Investment Institute, shareholder Franklin Templeton Investments, which has the largest share in the fund. It is noteworthy that he previously was Obama’s national security advisor,” Derkach added…

Click here to read the entire article at Zero Hedge.