“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Veteran DNC operative who previously worked in the Clinton White House, Alexandra Chalupa, worked with Ukrainian government officials and journalists from both Ukraine and America to dig up Russia-related opposition research on Trump and Manafort

Everybody Is Forgetting That Clinton Allies Did The Same Thing As Don Jr.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at a reception celebrating the completion of the U.S. Diplomacy Center Pavilion, at the State Department on January 10, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The first floor of the pavilion was dedicated and named the Hillary Rodham Clinton Pavilion.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Many journalists reacted breathlessly to a New York Times report on Sunday revealing that President Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., met with a Russian lawyer who indicated she had damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

Donald Jr. admitted to the June 2016 meeting — to which he brought campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump adviser Jared Kushner — but downplayed its significance. “Obviously I’m the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent,” he wrote on Twitter Monday morning, adding that the meeting “went nowhere” but that he “had to listen.”

Many Trump critics claimed that the NYT report supported the theory that members of the Trump campaign were somehow involved in the Russian government’s hacking of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee.

But Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort’s lone meeting with the Russian lawyer pales when compared to the coordination between Clinton allies and Ukrainian government officials who hoped to see Clinton win the 2016 election.

Donald Trump and Paul Manafort (Getty Images)

Politico revealed in January some of the Ukrainian government’s anti-Trump activities during the election.

A veteran DNC operative who previously worked in the Clinton White House, Alexandra Chalupa, worked with Ukrainian government officials and journalists from both Ukraine and America to dig up Russia-related opposition research on Trump and Manafort. She also shared her anti-Trump research with both the DNC and the Clinton campaign, according to the Politico report.

Chalupa met with Ukrainian Ambassador Valeriy Chaly and one of his aides, Oksara Shulyar, at the Ukrainian Embassy in March 2016 to talk about unearthing Paul Manafort’s Russian connections, Chalupa admitted to Politico. Four days later, Trump officially hired Manafort.

“The day after Manafort’s hiring was revealed, she briefed the DNC’s communications staff on Manafort, Trump and their ties to Russia, according to an operative familiar with the situation,” Politico reported.

The Politico report also notes that the DNC encouraged Chalupa to try to arrange an interview with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to talk about Manafort’s ties to the former pro-Russia president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Manafort previously advised.

The embassy declined to arrange the meeting but was nevertheless “helpful,” Chalupa told Politico. “If I asked a question, they would provide guidance, or if there was someone I needed to follow up with,” she said, but added that “There were no documents given, nothing like that.”

Chalupa also told Politico that the Ukrainian embassy worked directly with reporters in uncovering dirt on Manafort and Trump.

Like other DNC staffers, some of Chalupa’s emails were obtained by hackers and published by WikiLeaks. U.S. intelligence services have identified Russia as the culprit behind the hacking of the DNC. In one email released by WikiLeaks, Chalupa told Luis Miranda, then the DNC’s communications director, that she was working with Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff and “connected him to the Ukrainians.”

“A lot more coming down the pipe. I spoke to a delegation of 68 investigative journalists from Ukraine last Wednesday at the Library of Congress – the Open World Society’s forum – they put me on the program to speak specifically about Paul Manafort and I invited [Yahoo News reporter] Michael Isikoff whom I’ve been working with for the past few weeks and connected him to the Ukrainians,” Chalupa told Miranda. “More offline tomorrow since there is a big Trump component you and Lauren need to be aware of that will hit in next few weeks and something I’m working on you should be aware of.”

The Open World Leadership Center, which funded Chalupa’s briefing of journalists about Manafort, is a taxpayer-funded congressional agency. A spokeswoman for the center, Maura Shelden, emphasized to Politico that the center is non-partisan and that “our delegations hear from both sides of the aisle, receiving bipartisan information.”

After Trump’s shocking electoral victory, the Ukrainian government told Politico, “We have never worked to research and disseminate damaging information about Donald Trump and Paul Manafort.” But Andrii Telizhenko, a former Ukrainian embassy officer, told Politico that he was assigned to work with Chalupa.

“Oksana said that if I had any information, or knew other people who did, then I should contact Chalupa,” said Telizhenko “They were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa.”
“Oksana was keeping it all quiet,” Telizhenko said, but added that “the embassy worked very closely with” Chalupa, the DNC operative.

Like the Ukrainian embassy, the DNC distanced itself from Chalupa’s actions when asked by Politico, insisting that she was acting on her own.


  1. Read all about another big nothing burger here -

    The smoking gun that wasn’t.
    July 12, 2017 Matthew Vadum

    Donald Trump Jr. fought back yesterday against the increasingly desperate shrieking from the tinfoil-hat Left by publishing online the emails that led to his innocuous campaign-season meeting a year ago with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

    By releasing the chain of emails leading to the much ballyhooed but brief get-together at the Trump Tower in Manhattan, Donald Jr. is hoping to dispel any notion that the Trump campaign somehow colluded with the Russian government to affect the outcome of the November 2016 election. (I wrote about the Trump Jr. meeting story yesterday here at FrontPage before the emails became available.)

    The emails do not indicate any knowledge of Russian government wrongdoing, such as hacking, or Trump campaign involvement in such activities. Yet the mainstream media is going berserk, hyping the overheated ravings of leftist idiots like Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) whose disastrous performance in the vice presidential debate against Republican Mike Pence may have helped to sink the Democrat ticket last year.

    Kaine accused Donald Trump Jr. of committing treason by agreeing to meet with Veselnitskaya. "We are now beyond obstruction of justice," Kaine said Tuesday. "This is moving into perjury, false statements and even potentially treason."

    Of course, Kaine is no stranger to treason. He himself may have engaged in seditious activity in late January when he said Democrats would have to “fight in the streets” against the Trump administration.....

    1. Kaine is the most disgusting person I've ever seen on "TV"

      (My Chromebook)

  2. Hard choices -

    North Korea: The Case for War
    By Crispin Rovere
    July 11, 2017

    This analysis recommends war. It is shocking to put to print. However, with North Korea’s inexorable advance towards developing a nuclear-tipped ICBM, we enter the realm of bad choices. On balance, war on the peninsula is the least bad alternative. There are some months left for a brilliant diplomatic breakthrough that turns North Korea from the brink – these avenues must be energetically and exhaustively pursued. This analysis is presented on the fair assumption that such initiatives will fail.

    This strategic assessment assumes one of two possibilities. First, that the U.S. accepts North Korea developing nuclear-tipped ICBMs capable of reaching the continental homeland, thereby allowing Pyongyang to achieve a stable deterrence relationship. Second, the U.S. seeks to disarm North Korea with a major military strike. Related possibilities such as a limited strike are ignored, as this overcomplicates matters and escalation should be assumed in any case.

    In each scenario, I provide a range of consequences. Not all futures will come to pass, but some combination of these are a certainty and have a direct cause-and-effect relationship with the chosen course of action.

    Option One
    The United States chooses not to act militarily to destroy North Korea’s nuclear program.....

  3. "Veteran DNC operative who previously worked in the Clinton White House, Alexandra Chalupa, worked with Ukrainian government officials and journalists from both Ukraine and America to dig up Russia-related opposition research on Trump and Manafort"

  4. July 12, 1804

    Sec of Treasury Alexander Hamilton dies the day after being shot in a duel.

    1. ... The point of a political duel was to prove a man willing to die for his honor...

    2. ...Like Bill, Hill, and Hussein.

  5. Congressman introduces articles of impeachment against Trump

    Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., has introduced formal articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, accusing him of obstruction of justice.

    Sherman, who first drafted the articles in June, formally introduced H.R. 438 on the House floor on Wednesday.

    Other Democrats have expressed concern about Sherman’s effort to impeach Trump over possible ties to Russia, and the resolution had only one cosponsor, Rep. Al Green, D-Tex.: A successful vote for impeachment would require a majority in the House, where Republicans have 46 more seats than Democrats....

    What happened to Maxine Waters ?

    1. I say that if the MSM, Morning Joe and Mika say it should be so...

      It should.

  6. Don't look at it -

    A 75,000-mile-wide HOLE has appeared on the sun – and experts warn it could knock out communications satellites and cause blackouts on Earth

    Nasa spotted the sunspot last week, but it has lingered through to today
    Dubbed AR2665, it is big enough to be spotted from Earth
    Experts have warned the spot is large enough to produce 'M-class' solar flares
    These can cause stunning auroras, and wipe out communication satellites
    By Shivali Best For Mailonline
    PUBLISHED: 10:50 EDT, 12 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:38 EDT, 12 July 2017

    A huge spot has appeared on the sun that could send dangerous solar flares down to Earth.

    The sunspot, dubbed AR2665, is 74,560 miles (120,000 kilometres) wide – big enough to be seen from Earth.

    Experts have warned that the spot is large enough to produce 'M-class' solar flares, which can cause radio blackouts on Earth, knock out communications satellites and create radiation storms.

    Scroll down for video

    This sunspot is the first to appear after the sun was spotless for 2 days. Like freckles on the face of the sun, they appear to be small features, but size is relative: The dark core of this sunspot is larger than Earth as shown by this graphic +5

    This sunspot is the first to appear after the sun was spotless for 2 days. Like freckles on the face of the sun, they appear to be small features, but size is relative: The dark core of this sunspot is larger than Earth as shown by this graphic

    NASA's SDO monitors a sun spot as it rotates into view
    Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%0:00
    Duration Time 0:40


    Solar flares can damage satellites and have an enormous financial cost.

    Astronauts are not in immediate danger because of the relatively low orbit of this manned mission.

    They do have to be concerned about cumulative exposure during space walks.

    The charged particles can also threaten airlines by disturbing the Earth's magnetic field.

    Very large flares can even create currents within electricity grids and knock out energy supplies.

    Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory first detected the huge spot last week, and it appears to have lingered through to this week.

    Sunspots are darker, cooler areas on the surface of the sun, caused by interactions with the sun's magnetic field.

    They tend to appear in regions of intense magnetic activity, and when that energy is released, solar flares and huge storms erupt from sunspots.

    Such a storm could create stunning auroras around the world, as well as play havoc with power grids, potentially causing blackouts in some areas.

    In a statement, Nasa said: 'A new sunspot group has rotated into view and seems to be growing rather quickly.

    'It is the first sunspot to appear after the sun was spotless for two days, and it is the only sunspot group on the sun at this moment.

  7. Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition 2017 Edition

    #9 Idaho

    #27 Hawaii

    #49 Illinois

    #50 New Jersey

  8. Trump Has 6 Options to Neutralize North Korea—but None Are Good

    The carrot and the stick approach clearly failed
    By Austin Bay • 07/11/17 6:30am

    This picture taken on July 4 and released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows the successful test-fire of the intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 at an undisclosed location. STR/AFP/Getty Images
    We don’t hear mere saber rattling on the Korean peninsula. Sabers are local, short-range weapons. The dreadful noise in east Asia is something far more potent: the provocative July 4 blast of a North Korean missile capable of striking North America.

    South Korea’s Sunshine Policy to coax North Korea to end its nuclear quest? The Clinton Administration’s Agreed Framework of economic carrots and heavy oil to encourage regime moderation? Two decades (or more) of rational U.S. appeals to China to help curb the noxious Kim regime’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles and to help terminate Pyongyang’s cyclic bouts of military attacks on South Korea?

    These soft power gambits may have thrilled the editorial board of The New York Times, but they didn’t stop North Korea’s dictatorship. The Kim regime now has an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in its arsenal—one that threatens Anchorage, Alaska, and perhaps Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
    Eight years ago, on July 4, 2009, North Korea conducted a missile test. July 4 launches are clearly messages to America.

    Alaska and Hawaii are minimalist interpretations of the 2017 missile’s range. Other experts fear the ICBM, a Hwasong-14, can reach the Canadian and U.S. west coasts.

    Observer Delivered to Your Inbox
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    Parts of Alaska (western Aleutians) have been within range of North Korean missiles for several years. So has Guam. There is an ongoing debate about the Taepodong-2 ballistic missile that was test-fired in February 2016. It may have had the range to hit northern California.

    The July 4 launch doesn’t mean the North Koreans can handle operational targeting; it doesn’t mean they can mount an operational nuclear warhead on a missile; it doesn’t mean they have a warhead that can re-enter the atmosphere without breaking apart; it doesn’t mean they can detonate a warhead that can reach its target. It does, however, show they are hell bent on acquiring these capabilities and their accelerated development program is succeeding.

    For the moment, the heat from North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test remains rhetorical and its fallout political. However, Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program will eventually produce nuclear warheads for its boosters.

    For almost four decades, the Kim dynasty in Pyongyang has promised to build nuclear weapons and ICBMs. Now the dictatorship’s dream is a real world nightmare.

    1. Since the 1990s, there have been three general options for halting North Korea’s nuclear weapons program: enforce stiff economic and political sanctions to isolate the regime; follow a “wait and see” political and military strategy played with cautious economic carrots and sticks; and conduct a pre-emptive air or missile strike on North Korean nuclear research and development sites, weapons stores, missile and air bases, and command and control facilities.

      Here are the current options for the U.S. to neutralize the Hermit Kingdom’s threat. Each entails grave risks.

      1.) Yet another “do the right thing” bid to Beijing. China has vulnerabilities. China’s imperial territorial expansion in the South China Sea has produced adversarial reactions. China’s other borders are anything but problem-free, and Beijing’s bullying has intensified several disputes.

      Chinese jockeying failed to shake the new government of South Korean President Moon Jae-in and force the withdrawal of a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile (ABM) battery deployed in South Korea.

      China threatened South Korean companies. It curtailed travel and cultural contacts. It threatened Seoul with political reprisals.

      The THAAD tantrum failed, and China is still processing that failure. Moon was pegged as a “peace candidate” of the timorous political stripe Beijing and Pyongyang might manipulate. He performed a brief “review” of the THAAD deployment (which he promised he would do during his campaign), but after his meeting with President Donald Trump, he declared “a unified front” against Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.

      South Korea knows THAAD provides protection. Japan also knows U.S. anti-ballistic missiles (ABM) provide protection.

      Beijing has not yet adapted to South Korea’s and Japan’s new resolve. Moon is positioned to help Beijing adapt to 2017’s new reality and encourage China to finally squeeze the nukes out of the North.

      Eighty-five percent of North Korea’s international trade is with China. North Korea’s miserable economy depends on China.

      Some North Korean defectors argue tough sanctions—meaning an embargo and blockade with China participating—could cripple the Kim regime.

      In April, Trump tweeted “a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better if they (China) solve the North Korean problem!” An economic payoff? Yes, but better than a shooting war.

      2.) Coercive diplomacy directed at China. In March, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said “strategic patience” with North Korea was over and done.

      Eventually strategic patience with Chinese posturing will also end.

      China is attempting to portray itself as “the global adult” in the Trump Era and as the “go to nation” for the next Davos. However, backing North Korea utterly exposes this Chinese narrative as the sham it is. In February, Kim Jon Un’s assassins murdered his half-brother, Kim Jong Nam. The killers smeared him with a liquid nerve poison, persistent VX. In a missile warhead, VX is a weapon of mass destruction. Assassination as a geo-political advertisement that North Korea is an outlaw regime is an action no responsible nation would permit.

      So coercive diplomacy starts with an information campaign challenging China’s pose.

      It gets uglier. In the U.S.-China relationship, trade politics and geo-politics intersect. Business isn’t simply business when the promise of wealth keeps China’s Communist Party in power. The United States has the economic power to damage China. Trump knows it and so does Beijing. Trump has already talked trade barriers.

    2. The U.S. is energy independent and China isn’t. The U.S. and its allies can restrict Chinese exports and access to raw materials.

      Smaller but politically irritating sanctions like denying wealthy Chinese the ability to purchase real estate in the U.S. could have political effects among Chinese elites. In the upcoming party Congress scheduled for this fall, Chinese President Xi Jinping wants to solidify his control. However, he faces internal Communist Party opposition. The U.S. could exploit emerging factions in the party elite.

      Coercive diplomacy stops when China forces North Korea to denuclearize.

      Risky? Of course. It could spark a ruinous global trade war. But it is an option.

      3.) The cynical trade and sell-out. The U.S., Japan and South Korea could acknowledge Chinese control of the South China Sea or they could give Taiwan to China in exchange for a denuclearized North Korea.

      Outrageous? Yes. India would never accept it. Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Australia would go tilt.

      I don’t think the U.S. and Japan would ever seriously contemplate it.

      But it’s an option and likely the “appeasement” deal Beijing wants to make.

      4.) Return of serve. This is an operation that could support several diplomatic options. The U.S., South Korea and Japan could use their ABMs to intercept every North Korean test launch. They might also employ cyber warfare to disrupt tests (perhaps they have already done so). The objective of “Return of Serve” is to stymie the test program and embarrass Kim Jong Un.

      5.) Decapitation. What does Pyongyang want? The murder of Kim Jong Nam suggests one key objective: to retain Kim Jong Un’s control. Encouraging a North Korean Army coup sounds great, and if you know the faction who would do it, contact CIA immediately. Targeting Kim with a missile or aircraft-delivered munitions is extremely difficult. Moreover, his death may not lead to denuclearization and attacking him would be an act of war.

      6.) Delayed reprisal and the war to denuclearize. Is a pre-emptive strike reckless? This asks another question: Just how responsible is a post-emptive strike?

      The Korean War isn’t over.

      Donald Trump is already a Korean War president—but so was Barack Obama and every other American president since Harry Truman.

    3. Over the years, North Korea has committed atrocities throughout Asia. The regime has murdered and kidnapped South Koreans, Japanese and U.S. personnel. North Korea’s embedded belligerency defies the laws of war. The War to Denuclearize would be less of a pre-emptive strike than a delayed reprisal.

      The U.S. and South Korea have exercised what they call a 4D strategy to “detect, defend, disrupt and destroy” North Korea’s missiles.

      Weapons systems involved include various U.S. aircraft and a South Korean submarine with cruise missiles.

      This is a bare sketch of some of the systems that would be employed in a “simultaneous strategic bombing strike” to knock out North Korean missiles, missile launchers, storage sites, nuclear and chemical weapons sites, command and control centers, communications systems and air-space defenses.

      The U.S. and its allies in east Asia have the aircraft and missiles (cruise and ballistic) to deliver at least 2,000 (likely more) precision blockbuster-sized conventional weapons within a two to 10 minute time frame on North Korea’s critical targets. The April U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile attack on a Syrian Shayrat airbase provides an example.

      The missiles were fired at a distance, but since they can “loiter,” the 59 missiles arrived near simultaneously. U.S. Air Force heavy bombers can drop smart bombs so that munitions dropped from different aircraft arrive near simultaneously.

      A simultaneous strategic bombing strike seeks to surprise the enemy, destroy his strategic weapons systems and suppress his key defenses throughout the battle area.

      That is asking a lot—perhaps too much.

      Success depends on many things, but the first D—detect—is vital. Conducting a successful simultaneous strategic bombing strike requires very accurate, real-time intelligence. Allied ABMs must be ready to intercept any North Korean missiles that survive the attack.

      That’s a sketch of the first 10 minutes. Over the next month subsequent strikes would occur, to make certain North Korea’s long-range missiles, chemical munitions, nuclear weapons stockpiles, missile manufacturing capabilities and nuclear weapons manufacturing capabilities are eliminated.

      The U.S. and it allies must protect Seoul. North Korean artillery can bombard the northern reaches of South Korea’s capital. Military analysts debate the severity of the threat posed to Seoul by North Korean artillery deployed along the Demilitarized Zone. Some call it overrated. Perhaps, but best to suppress and destroy the artillery. North Korea’s tube and rocket artillery systems—even the ones in caves and bunkers—are vulnerable to weapons like the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb.

      Smart bombs can close tunnel entrances.

      This is a major war, and the risks are great. But so is exposing Los Angeles to the violent whims of a nuclear-armed Kim Jong Un.

      Austin Bay is a contributing editor at and adjunct professor at the University of Texas in Austin. His most recent book is a biography of Kemal Ataturk (Macmillan 2011). Bay is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel.

      SEE ALSO: Ex-CIA Director Warns: ‘North Korea Could Kill 90 Percent of Americans’

  9. Is The Universe Conscious?

    July 12, 20179:28 AM ET


    1. I could give a shit.

      ...I just got blessed in The Lord's name by an Uber Driver from Florence Italy!

    2. What's an Uber Drive from Florence, Italy doing on Maui ?

    3. ...met his wife from Chicago in Tampa when he lived there, forgot to ask him why he moved here.

      Did ask if it wasn't more comfortable here with less humidity.

      He said yes.

    4. I met a man from Florence, Italy who is driving for Uber on Maui.

    5. Met his wife in church in Tampa.

  10. The first ever close-up images of Jupiter's gargantuan hurricane, the Great Red Spot, are beginning to trickle through from NASA's Juno spacecraft after it completed its historic fly-by a few days ago.

    Travelling at about 50 kilometres per second, Juno flew within 9,000 kilometres of the billowing brick-red cloud tops of the hurricane, which has been raging for at least 200 years.


    The Juno mission's principal investigator, Scott Bolton from the Southwest Research Institute in Texas, said one of the questions they hoped to answer was what kept the hurricane spinning for so long.

    "There are some scientists who believe that in order for a storm to have lasted that long, it must have very deep roots," he said.

    1. Bullshit!

      ...let's don't join with the Solar System Warming Deniers!

  11. I was a boy trapped in a woman's body.

    Then I was born.

    1. What about all the girls that are trapped in men's bodies? They don't get to be born. The injustice.

  12. Maui is less humid than Tampa?

  13. He said it is.

    Tampa's got the Gulf Stream so they're surrounded by some pretty warm water.

  14. Imagine a storm so vast it could swallow the Earth and so powerful that it has swirled nonstop for 350 years. That is Jupiter's Great Red Spot.


    "If you just look at reflected light from an extrasolar planet, you're not going to be able to tell what it's made of," Amy Simon, an expert in planetary atmospheres at the Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a NASA news release. "Looking at as many possible different cases in our own solar system could enable us to then apply that knowledge to extrasolar planets."


    Exclusive: DOJ let Russian lawyer into US before she met with Trump team

    The Russian lawyer who penetrated Donald Trump’s inner circle was initially cleared into the United States by the Justice Department under “extraordinary circumstances” before she embarked on a lobbying campaign last year that ensnared the president’s eldest son, members of Congress, journalists and State Department officials, according to court and Justice Department documents and interviews.

    This revelation means it was the Obama Justice Department that enabled the newest and most intriguing figure in the Russia-Trump investigation to enter the country without a visa.

    Later, a series of events between an intermediary for the attorney and the Trump campaign ultimately led to the controversy surrounding the president's eldest son.

    Just five days after meeting in June 2016 at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and then Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Moscow attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya showed up in Washington in the front row of a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Russia policy, video footage of the hearing shows....