05/26/18

China Annexed the DPRK, C’mon Admit it, China is an Adversary

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer: The Fiscal 2019 NDAA imposes a ban on technology products from Chinese firms such as ZTE and Huawei. Yet, North Korea has it courtesy of China.

And:

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is issued this advisory to further alert financial institutions to North Korean schemes being used to evade U.S. and United Nations (UN) sanctions, launder funds and finance the North Korean regime’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missile programs.

Private companies in China are not private at all. The Chinese state holds at least some stock and often a larger voting block. Private Chinese companies invest all over the world including Venezuela, the United States and Britain as well as regions such as Latin America and Africa.

You can bet most of those companies in North Korea are actually owned by the Chinese State.

China does bad things and yet no world leader publicly states that fact nor declares China as an adversary while China has declared the United States as an adversary. President Xi, the now eternal ruler, quotes a dynasty cliche: ‘Tǒngzhì yīqiè zài yángguāng xià’, the translation is rule everything under the sun.

So now we have ZTE: ZTE, once the scourge of U.S. authorities for its violations of Iran sanctions, has become a key source of evidence about North Korea’s use of the American financial system to launder money, said the people, who gave details about the confidential investigations on the condition of anonymity. Federal investigators have been poring through data supplied by ZTE to find links to companies that North Korea has used to tap into the U.S. banking system, the people said.

Using evidence from ZTE, prosecutors on June 14 filed a case seeking $1.9 million held in six U.S. bank accounts in the name of China’s Mingzheng International Trading Limited. Prosecutors allege that Mingzheng is a front company for a covert Chinese branch of North Korea’s state-run Foreign Trade Bank. Between October and November 2015, Mingzheng was a counterparty to 20 illicit wire transfers in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, according to prosecutors.

On Aug. 22, prosecutors in Washington filed a lawsuit seeking more than $4 million in funds tied to China’s Dandong Chengtai Trading Limited and a network of companies owned by Chi Yupeng, a Chinese national with close ties to North Korea’s military. That same day, the Treasury Department added Dandong Chengtai Trading and several of its business affiliates, as well as Mingzheng, to the sanctions list. More here.

During the negotiations for the talks between Kim Jung-Un and President Trump, ZTE was thrown in the mix. Why? China made some demands during the recent trade talks. It was just announced that Trump imposed a $1.5 billion fine on ZTE and relayed that to President Xi. More negotiations and the final fine was $1.3 billion, plus alter the board members of ZTE, which means that the Chinese state cannot have any management or vote. China will skirt that too. How so?

AEI explained it for us and quite well.

One of the substantial challenges in curtailing North Korea’s nuclear program is preventing Chinese companies from doing business with their pals in Pyongyang. Usually, Chinese companies in North Korea operate through networks of shell companies to avoid falling afoul of US and international sanctions. And most of these companies are small in scope and can easily rebrand themselves if caught. Enter Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE), not a small, expendable subsidiary, but instead a large PRC state-owned enterprise (SOE) with over 74,000 employees.

ZTE has transferred US technology to North Korea, supplying the Kim regime with US telecommunications tech that strengthens its defense capabilities by allowing it indirect access to US semiconductors (dual use technology for communications).  For that and other transgressions — including violating US Iran sanctions — ZTE paid a monster fine and entered into an agreement with the US to cease and desist. It was caught violating that agreement and banned from business with the United States as a result.

But President Trump offered China’s state-owned ZTE a lifeline via a May 13 tweet. Apparently, all that it took was for Chinese President Xi to dangle access for US agriculture exports to China in exchange for allowing ZTE to continue to do business with American firms. For what it’s worth, the president denied intending to lift the sales ban, but then followed up to describe a punishment that includes lifting the sales ban.

What’s Donald Trump’s message to Beijing (and Pyongyang and Tehran)? Companies that matter to China’s top leadership can violate US sanctions with impunity. All it takes is the will to blackmail the US and large Chinese SOEs will have carte blanche to supply the rogue regimes of the world.

Remember, Chinese SOEs that do business with North Korea are not motivated merely by profit. Instead, they are motivated by policy directives that originate in the Chinese Communist Party. Historically, China’s position on North Korea has been fairly opaque, yet its continued trade with the regime indicates Beijing has an interest in its wellbeing, in direct opposition to US interests and overall security in Asia.

At the end of the day, President Trump says he wants to cripple North Korea’s nuclear program. If North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un won’t denuclearize voluntarily, the US will have to rely on “maximum pressure,” including aggressive sanctions. Forgiving ZTE for violating US law is yet another example of the US shooting itself in the foot in dealing with North Korea. And probably not the last.

Meanwhile, as North Korea blew up the tunnels leading to the already destroyed nuclear test site, no one has asked where are those nuclear weapons now? No one has mentioned other possible military dimension sites or missile locations. Just as a reminder.

05/24/18

FBI Working to Stop Massive Russian Malware Network

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Cisco’s Talos research unit yesterday reported its discovery of VPN Filter, a modular and stealthy attack that’s assembled a botnet of some five-hundred-thousand devices, mostly routers located in Ukraine. There’s considerable code overlap with the Black Energy malware previously deployed in attacks against Ukrainian targets and the US Government has attributed the VPN Filter campaign to the Sofacy threat group, a.k.a. Fancy Bear, or Russia’s GRU military intelligence service.

Ukrainian cybersecurity authorities think, and a lot of others agree with them, that Russia was gearing up a major cyberattack to coincide with a soccer League Championship match scheduled this Saturday in Kiev as part of the run-up to the World Cup. They also think it possible an attack could be timed for Ukraine’s Constitution Day, June 28th.

The US FBI has seized a key website used for VPN Filter command-and-control, which US authorities hope will cripple the campaign. The Justice Department says that VPN Filter could be used for “intelligence gathering, theft of valuable information, destructive or disruptive attacks, and the misattribution of such activities.”

***

FBI agents armed with a court order have seized control of a key server in the Kremlin’s global botnet of 500,000 hacked routers, The Daily Beast has learned. The move positions the bureau to build a comprehensive list of victims of the attack and short-circuits Moscow’s ability to reinfect its targets.

The FBI counter-operation goes after  “VPN Filter,” a piece of sophisticated malware linked to the same Russian hacking group, known as Fancy Bear, that breached the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign during the 2016 election. On Wednesday security researchers at Cisco and Symantec separately provided new details on the malware, which has turned up in 54 countries including the United States.

VPN Filter uses known vulnerabilities to infect home office routers made by Linksys, MikroTik, NETGEAR, and TP-Link. Once in place, the malware reports back to a command-and-control infrastructure that can install purpose-built plug-ins, according to the researchers. One plug-in lets the hackers eavesdrop on the victim’s Internet traffic to steal website credentials; another targets a protocol used in industrial control networks, such as those in the electric grid. A third lets the attacker cripple any or all of the infected devices at will.

The FBI has been investigating the botnet since at least August, according to court records, when agents in Pittsburgh interviewed a local resident whose home router had been infected with the Russian malware. “She voluntarily relinquished her router to the agents,” wrote FBI agent Michael McKeown, in an affidavit filed in federal court. “In addition, the victim allowed the FBI to utilize a network tap on her home network that allowed the FBI to observe the network traffic leaving the home router.”

FBI working to disrupt massive malware network linked to Russia

The FBI is working to disrupt a massive, sophisticated Russia-linked hacking campaign that officials and security researchers say has infected hundreds of thousands of network devices across the globe.

The Justice Department late Wednesday announced an effort to disrupt a botnet known as “VPNFilter” that compromised an estimated 500,000 home and office (SOHO) routers and other network devices. Officials explicitly linked the botnet to the cyber espionage group known as APT 28, or Sofacy, believed to be connected to the Russian government.

Officials said that the U.S. attorney’s office for the western district of Pennsylvania has obtained court orders allowing the FBI to seize a domain that is part of the malware’s command-and-control infrastructure. This will allow officials to redirect attempts by the malware to reinfect devices to an FBI-controlled server, thereby protecting devices from being infected again after rebooting.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers in a statement described the effort as the “first step in the disruption of a botnet that provides the Sofacy actors with an array of capabilities that could be used for a variety of malicious purposes, including intelligence gathering, theft of valuable information, destructive or disruptive attacks, and the misattribution of such activities.”

Cybersecurity researchers first began warning of the destructive, sophisticated malware threat on Wednesday. Cisco’s Talos threat intelligence group said in a blog post Wednesday that VPNFilter had infected at least 500,000 devices in 54 or more countries.

The researchers had been tracking the hacking threat for several months and were not ready to publish their findings, but when the malware began infecting devices in Ukraine at an “alarming rate,” they decided to publish their research early.

“Both the scale and the capability of this operation are concerning. Working with our partners, we estimate the number of infected devices to be at least 500,000 in at least 54 countries,” the researchers wrote.

The malware targets home and office routers and what are known as network-access storage (NAS) devices, hardware devices that store data in one, single location but can be accessed by multiple individuals — creating a massive system of infected devices, commonly known as a botnet.

VPNFilter also uses two stages of malware, an unusual set up that makes it more difficult to prevent a device from being re-infected after it is rebooted. The FBI on Wednesday urged individuals whose devices may have been infected to reboot them as soon as possible.

The FBI is also also soliciting help from a nonprofit known as the Shadowserver Foundation, which will pass the IP addresses to internet service providers, foreign computer emergency teams and others to help stem the damage.

The malware is the latest sign of the growing cyber threat from Russia. News of the outbreak comes roughly a month after senior U.S. and British officials blamed the Russian government for coordinated cyberattacks on network devices in an effort to conduct espionage and intellectual property theft.

The U.S. has also blamed Moscow for the global cyberattack known as notPetya that ravaged computers across the globe last summer, calling it the most destructive and costly cyberattack in history.

The code of VPNFilter has similarities with version of another malware known as BlackEnergy, which was used in an attack on Ukraine’s power grid in late 2015. The Department of Homeland Security has linked the malware to the Russian government.

05/24/18

President Trump Withdraws from North Korea Nuclear Summit

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

There are several things in play. China, Iran and Russia and North Korea are watching all U.S. positions and it began with the Pompeo demands announced of Iran since exiting the JCPOA, nuclear deal. Iran has not only responded with several nasty-grams, they are also being threatening  towards Europe on many of their demands to stay in the deal.

National Security Counsel chair John Bolton is also being blamed by North Korea for the breakdown due to the reference of the Libya model. That is an excuse as the Libya model for removing the nuclear program was far in advance of the removal of Maummar Gaddafi and his eventual death.

Further, there is the matter of China injecting itself into the preparations and talks between North Korea and the United States. North Korea follows all advice and leads from President Xi. Now, where are those pesky nuclear weapons in North Korea since the nuclear test site collapsed and was further blown up in a gesture move for selected outside media?

There is also the issue of the other locations of interest in North Korea that the United States is well aware of that proves China has aided and assisted in the military sites and nuclear program as has Iran and Russia. China does not want to be confronted with that proof.

Further, there is the matter of the ‘nuclear umbrella’.

In this book, Terence Roehrig provides a detailed and comprehensive look at the nuclear umbrella in northeast Asia in the broader context of deterrence theory and U.S. strategy. He examines the role of the nuclear umbrella in Japanese and South Korean defense planning and security calculations, including the likelihood that either will develop its own nuclear weapons. Roehrig argues that the nuclear umbrella is most importantly a political signal demonstrating commitment to the defense of allies and is used as a tool to prevent further nuclear proliferation in the region. While the role of the nuclear umbrella is often discussed in military terms, this book provides an important glimpse into the political dimensions of the nuclear security guarantee. As the security environment in East Asia changes with the growth of North Korea’s capabilities and China’s military modernization, as well as Donald Trump’s early pronouncements that cast doubt on traditional commitments to allies, the credibility and resolve of U.S. alliances will take on renewed importance for the region and the world.

The U.S. nuclear umbrella in the region is not focused on North Korea, but also incorporates planning against potential Chinese aggression. Nullifying or weakening the umbrella over the Peninsula, some would argue, might leave South Korea open to potential Chinese coercion and send the wrong signal at a time when China is seem by some as trying to pressure Taiwan and reassert its influence in the region.

Related reading: Japan Under the US Nuclear Umbrella

Related reading: The US Nuclear Umbrella Over South Korea

05/24/18

Russia’s 53rd Missile Brigade Did Shoot Down MH17

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Now the question is why? Could it have been a single message to Ukraine to not mess with Russia as it was invading Ukraine? And directly after this attack, the President of Petro Poroshenko fled to Russia.

The other question is, what is the consequence for Russia? MH17, a passenger jet was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lampur and was blown out of the sky over Ukraine. Communications intercepts show that pro-Russian rebels had called for the launch of a surface to air missile weapon.

Fred Westerbeke, Chief Prosecutor of the Dutch Prosecutor’s office, presents interim results in the ongoing investigation of the 2014 MH17 crash that killed 298 people over eastern Ukraine, during a news conference in Bunnik, Netherlands, May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BUNNIK, Netherlands (Reuters) – Prosecutors investigating the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 said on Thursday they had identified the missile used to shoot down the plane as coming from a Russian military unit. The airliner was hit by a Russian-made missile on July 17, 2014, with 298 people on board, two-thirds of them Dutch, over territory held by pro-Russian separatists. All aboard died.

Wilbert Paulissen, head of the crime squad of the Netherlands’ national police, said the missile had been fired from a carrier belonging to Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade.

“All the vehicles in a convoy carrying the missile were part of the Russian armed forces,” he told a televised news conference.

Russia has denied involvement in the incident. There was no immediate comment from Moscow on the investigative development.

In an interim update on their investigation, prosecutors said they had trimmed their list of possible suspects from more than a hundred to several dozen.

“We have a lot of proof and a lot of evidence, but we are not finished,” said chief prosecutor Fred Westerbeke. “There is still a lot of work to do.”

He said investigators were not yet ready to identify individual suspects publicly or to issue indictments. The question of whether members of the 53rd Brigade were actively involved in the downing of the plane remains under investigation, he said.

Westerbeke called on witnesses, including members of the public, to help identify members of the crew that was operating the missile system. He also asked for tip-offs in determining what their orders were and in identifying the officials in charge of the brigade.

A Joint Investigation Team, drawn from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, is gathering evidence for a criminal prosecution in the downing of the plane.

The Dutch Safety Board concluded in an October 2015 report that the Boeing 777 was struck by a Russian-made Buk missile.

Westerbeke called on witnesses, including members of the public, to help identify members of the crew that was operating the missile system. He also asked for tip-offs in determining what their orders were and in identifying the officials in charge of the brigade.

A Joint Investigation Team, drawn from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, is gathering evidence for a criminal prosecution in the downing of the plane.

The Dutch Safety Board concluded in an October 2015 report that the Boeing 777 was struck by a Russian-made Buk missile.

Dutch prosecutors said in September 2016 that 100 “persons of interest” had been identified in the investigation, while Australian and Malaysian officials had initially expressed hope that suspects’ names would be made public in 2017.

Eventual suspects are likely to be tried in absentia in the Netherlands after Russia used its veto to block a U.N. Security Council resolution seeking to create an international tribunal to oversee criminal complaints stemming from the incident.

05/24/18

Deep Throat, Deep State and #SpyGate is Old News

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

C’mon… remember the Watergate break-in? Former CIA operatives were part of that. But wait, Nixon himself was being surveilled by the FBI. Anna Chennault, a GOP operative had interesting connections all throughout Asia. Those relationships were of big concern to the FBI and the Bureau was tracking those connections. That was all related to the Paris Peace talks on North and South Vietnam. Due to FBI eavesdropping and collections of diplomatic cables, Lyndon Johnson knew all about Nixon’s subterfuge. Have we forgotten the secret Nixon tapes? Too bad we can’t ask Mark Felt questions, dead men tell no tales.

Using intelligence agencies is an old habit, yet Obama appears to have made an art of that exploitation. Obama spied on journalists including James Rosen of Fox News. Obama likely approved of John Brennan’s operation to spy on the Senate staffers working on the enhanced interrogation techniques report headed by Senator Dianne Feinstein. Heck, Obama spied on Angela Merkel of Germany. Enter the NSA, they have everything. Edward Snowden proved that, right? Not too sure FISA warrants were ever really needed in the first place, think about that.

Spies, informants and operatives come in many forms. They can be staffers, hired ladies, lawyers, lobbyists, policy wonks, people having cocktails at conventions, summits or conferences where business cards are exchanged for later email/phone call follow-up.

It is all old news. Old news and old tactics that get refined due electronic communications, apps and encryption.

So, how do we know about these activities? Follow the money for starters. Remember the DNC and Hillary law firm, Perkins Coie?

The Obama for America committee paid Perkins Coie around $3 million during the 2012 election cycle, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission, A vast majority of the payments were earmarked for “Legal Services.”

Was Fusion GPS hired by Obama to surveil on Romney for opposition research? Was the media involved? Oh yeah, remember that debate and the advanced questions?  Then of course we have Fusion GPS and Trump.

Okay, this brings us to the current #Spygate and the names bubbling to the surface.

One such name is Stefan Halper. During the presidential transition, Donald Trump’s top trade advisor Peter Navarro, recommended Halper for an ambassadorship. Heck Halper was in the White House Executive Office wing last summer to discuss Asia with particular emphasis on China.

Stefan Halper goes all the way back to the Reagan/Carter days. Oh, wait… even Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush were included in Halper’s political history. Is there a difference between spying, intelligence collection and being a political operative? You decide.

There is more, How about Paul Corbin? He was a communist. And yes, he was a campaign operative too. He worked on the John F. Kennedy campaign. There was also ‘Debategate’.

Moving on and do NOT hang your hat on Carter Page. Remember the Washington Post editorial board doing an early interview with Trump and a question arose about his foreign policy team? Well, Trump threw out 2 names from the hip, Carter Page and George Stephanopoulos. In fact, neither had any quality role in the Trump operation. Another was Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations. Heck, Trump never met Khalilzad. He remains a back channel fella with concerns still with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. Khalilzad was part of a money laundering investigation in 2014. Could he be an operative too?

Now take a moment and see the issue of Russian operatives and spies in the United States to understand how the FBI tails these people. In 2010, there was a spy swap (10 operatives) that included 2 key people. One such person was Anna Chapman who was assigned to get inside the Hillary State Department operation(s) and she did. The other is Sergei Skripal. He is the former Russian military officer and double agent that Russia just attempted to kill with Novichok, a nerve agent. Then there was this other double agent in New York that was captured in a counter-intelligence operation as a result of spy operations that work out of the Russian Mission to the United Nations.

Are you beginning to understand the other work of the FBI? President Bush expelled 50 Russians, Reagan expelled 55 Soviets and both Obama and Trump have expelled 35 and 60 respectively.

With those facts, does it stand to reason that the FBI rank and file agents are very concerned about foreign operatives in politics and campaigns? There is for sure an argument to be made that informants and plants are not only used, but required.

Will we ever know all the puzzle parts to these cases? NO.

Is #Spygate a one off with regard to President Trump? NO.

Perhaps there is something yet to be discovered in Hillary’s missing emails or Peter and Lisa’s text messages. Hello IG report by Michael Horowitz.

The tactics are tried and true… however, when will the media much less the Republicans, call out the abuse of power the Obama administration on all of this? In summary, the Trump administration should fight back and impeach those Obama operatives, what say you?

05/24/18

Katie Hopkins In Detroit: Can Patrick Colbeck Turn Michigan Around?

The United West

Katie Hopkins of TheRebel.media talked with gubernatorial candidate Patrick Colbeck about the challenges of running for office in a state with changing demographics and profound problems.

  • 45% of out of state funding is going to the Dem Candidate campaign chest, Abdul el Sayed.
  • Abdul’s father-in-law is former president of MI CAIR (Council of American Islamic Relations).
  • First Muslim candidate for Governor of Michigan, mirror’s the left agenda of Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau.
  • A major Abdul el Sayed campaign promoter, Linda Sarsour supports Sharia for America.

05/24/18

We Are Living In A Period Of Tectonic Change

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

Many times I have opined the world is undergoing a tectonic change where yesterday’s rules no longer apply. The issue at hand is most investors are playing by yesterday’s rules, the result of algorithmic trading and indexing which accounts for over 90% of total volume. There is no macroeconomic or geopolitical analysis.

As I noted several times, I believe the mega-capitalized technology firms, specifically five companies that comprise an incredible 28% of the NASDAQ’s capitalization and 19% of the S & P 500’s value, have generally been exempted from the rules and regulations that would have sunk mere mortal companies.

Is this exemption about to change given the rising calls that these companies are monopolistic, crushing competition and to heck with customer confidentiality, further believing there is too much power concentrated in just a few?

Last week the WSJ discussed the rising number of “reeducation camps” in China. At the current pace, the number of “reeducation camps” would match the number present during the “Cultural Revolution” of the early 1970s.

Domestically, there are ample reports that today’s social media companies are attempting to “reeducate” American and western democratic societies to their view of equality. Anyone who disagrees is immediately branded as a bigot, uneducated and an unenlightened Neanderthal, dehumanizing anyone who believes in the traditional Judeo Christian ethics.

I ask what the difference between a Chinese reeducation camp is and today’s social media companies other than one is government run? I do think it is noteworthy that China has similar companies as Google, Facebook and Amazon such as Bajdu, Alibaba and Tencent that will assist in Chinese surveillance.

It could be of great market significance if greater scrutiny of today’s mega-sized social media companies occurs.

And then there is the attitude of these companies towards taxation. Greater taxation and social engineering is okay as long as they are not impacted. Is this attitude changing, utilizing Amazon’s reaction to Seattle’s headcount tax? Seattle’s city council voted unanimously to assess a $295 tax per employee on any company that has over $20 million in revenue in an attempt to resolve various social issues. Amazon is very displeased.

Yesterday it was reported cities in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, are considering a similar tax amounting to $250 to $300 per head. The corporate response is similar to that of Amazon’s.

Are these corporate behemoths beginning to adopt the attitude of the electorate that it is not okay that government dictates social policy via taxation and redistribution?

This potential change in attitude can be of great significance.

Perhaps another issue of great consideration, yesterday the IRS warned taxpayers to proceed with caution after high tax states including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut approved “workarounds” to the new federal limits on deductions for state and local taxes via the ability to declare such taxes as charitable deductions to offset federal taxable income.

In my view, this is yet another example that taxes and social engineering are great just as long you are not the one whose income is being redistributed.

Enough of the socio economic rant, the Minutes from the recent Fed meeting were released. Generally speaking, the Minutes were dovish indicating another interest rate hike will occur “soon” and the Committee would “welcome” a modest overshoot of their 2 percent inflation target, indicating they are in no rush to tighten more aggressively.

Equities erased losses, closing mixed. Treasuries were nominally higher in price, but the yield on the 10-year is still over 3%.

Last night the foreign markets were mixed. London was down 0.15%, Paris was up 0.35% and Frankfurt was down 0.11%. China was down 0.45%, Japan was down 1.11% and Hang Sang was up 0.31%.

The Dow should open nervously unchanged navigating escalating geopolitical and trade issues. The 10-year is unchanged at 3.0%.

05/23/18

Stacey Abrams’s Georgia Primary Victory is a Big Win for PowerPAC Marxists

By: Trevor Loudon | New Zeal

The left is taking Stacey Abrams’s Georgia gubernatorial bid  extremely seriously. They are treating her race as a national race. So must we.

Stacey Abrams’s 75%/23% landslide victory in the May 22 Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial primary should be a massive wake-up call to Peach State Republicans and conservatives, and more importantly to the national GOP.

Stacey Abrams will be a formidable opponent in the November election.

“We are writing the next chapter of Georgia history, where no one is unseen, no one is unheard and no one is uninspired,” Abrams told supporters in Atlanta Tuesday night at her victory party. “Now let’s go get it done.”

Stacey Abrams is not just a threat because of her own considerable talents. The Georgia State Senator is the protege of San Francisco Democratic power broker Steve Phillips and his wife Susan Sandler, daughter of multi-billionaire bankers Herb and the late Marion Sandler. Sandler money is a foundation of PowerPAC+ and Steve Phillips’ vehicle for electing as many far left “candidates of color” across the country as possible.

Stacey Abrams, Steve Phillips

Susan Sandler put $1 million of her own money behind Abrams’ campaign and personally recruited other big donors who committed to another another $1 million.

Phillips and Sandler want to flip red state Georgia blue and see Abrams’s campaign as a doorway to that goal.

“The upset election of Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate race in December gave a glimpse of a new electoral equation,” Sandler wrote in a memo to potential Abrams supporters. “If we elect Stacey, we will show that we know how to win in the South without compromising our principles and beliefs.”

Steve Phillips has been honored by the Democratic Socialists of America-controlled Midwest Academy as “one of the architects of the victory in Alabama.”

According to USA Today:

Sandler and Phillips  helped fuel the large voter turnout in the Alabama Senate race. They plan to use the same strategies: a mix of door-to-door outreach, phone calls and advertising to turn the tide on the Georgia governor race.

African Americans make up about 30% of the electorate in Georgia. Sandler and Phillips want some 80,000 black voters to back Abrams in the primary. They plan to hire 250 to help them push the campaign.

Phillips was a self-proclaimed Marxist-Leninist in the 1980s, closely affiliated with the pro-China League of Revolutionary Struggle. Many of his PowerPAC+ staff and board members come from the same millieu.

Phillips and many of his PowerPAC+ comrades were active in the Rainbow Coalition that coalesced behind Jesse Jackson in his 1984 and 1988 bids for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Phillips has updated Jackson’s strategy for the new millenia. Cultivating and harvesting the progressive/minority vote, ignoring white “swing” voters, is the emerging Democratic party strategy. Steve Phillips and PowerPAC+ have used the Rainbow Coalition approach to elect Cory Booker as Senator of New Jersey and Kamala Harris to the US Senate from California.

Cory Booker, PowerPAC+, 2014

Kamala Harris PowerPAC+, 2012

Cory Booker campaigned for Doug jones in Alabama. Both Kamala Harris and Booker campaigned for Stacy Abrams in Georgia.

Another PowerPAC+ beneficiary, former Ohio state Senator, now president of the nationwide Bernie Sanders support organization Our Revolution, also traveled to Georgia to support Stacey Abrams.

Nina Turner PowePAC+

Our Revolution is completely infiltrated, all over the country, by Democratic Socialists of America. Metro Atlanta DSA is about 400 strong. There are also DSA chapters in the Athens and Augusta areas. Neighboring Tennessee, Alabama and Northern Florida DSA chapters can also contribute several hundred doorknockers, phone bankers and donors to the Abrams campaign.

DSA recently helped elect Randall Woodfin as Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama and ultra-radical Chokwe Lumumba to the Mayoralty of Jackson, Mississippi. The left is gearing up to make the South “blue” again.

Stacey Abrams is an old friend of Metro Atlanta DSA. They may not publicly endorse her, but you can guarantee they will support her campaign.

PowerPAC+ allies and DSA played played a large role in turning once red Virginia to almost blue. Both organizations can take huge credit for Democrat Doug Jones’ Senate victory in Alabama.

Both organizations are throwing huge resurces into the Republican’s soft underbelly in the South and the Southwest. They are particularly targeting North Carolina, Florida, Arizona, Texas and Georgia – all Red States with large Black and Latino populations, who tend towards low voter turnout. PowerPAC+ and DSA are going after the minority vote in a huge way. If they can flip vulnerable North Carolina and Florida in 2018, and then Arizona and Georgia in 2020, that is the end of the Trump presidency. That is also the end of the GOP as a national force.

The Republicans must treat the Georgia gubernatorial race as a national battle with huge longterm ramifications. They must pour significant money into the race and thousands of on the ground workers into this battle.

The left is taking Stacey Abrams’ Georgia gubernatorial bid extremely seriously. They are treating her race as a national race. So must we.

05/23/18

Sec. State Pompeo’s Note-taking During Hearing

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

This was a Congressional Budget Session for the State Department Fiscal year 2019.

The Congressman Gregory Meeks got on his high horse about the commitment to diplomatic security. Meeks in his last comment proved to be an ass. Check out that little 3 minute snippet here.

Now, we can’t know if this is a ‘to-do’ list for himself or those of his staff, but an Associated Press photographer captured an interesting photo.

So, let’s go down the list shall we?

#7 Meet IG: There are several that have been published recently with regard to the State Department. They include: Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Pacific Eagle, a Fraud Alert and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. (The Freedom’s Sentinel is a quarterly report) Click here to see those IG reports.

#8 Jim Donovan: Last year, Donovan was on the short list to be Deputy Treasury Secretary and withdrew his name. He is a managing director and partner at Goldman Sachs and has close ties to Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney.

#9 Call Lavrov: Well, we should all know him, he is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia. Now this is an interesting call because Lavrov is on his way to visit the DPRK, you know lil Kim Jung-Un and Lavrov have been nurturing a relationship with Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, the Foreign Minister of Armenia. Or how about telling Lavrov, “Hey dude, this meddling thing and propaganda gig against the U.S. comes with consequences.”

#10 Mexico Ambassador: This could have a couple of options. a) Our National Guard on the border, b) The U.S ambassador to Mexico resigned in March and we presently don’t have one. Under consideration is Edward Whitacre Jr., a former CEO at General Motors and AT&T. Whitacre has also worked previously with Carlos Slim, Mexico’s richest man.

This brings us to #11 Carlos Slim: Could this be some kind of NAFTA issue or regarding The Economic Coordinating Council in Mexico?

#12 Robert Reilly: Reilly has a long history at the State Department and in global media. He is a conservative and a senior policy fellow at the America Foreign Policy Council, The Claremont Institute. He was part of the Information Strategy Office at the Pentagon as well as a senior advisor on Operation Iraqi Freedom.

#13 Need help…no idea.

#14 Diversity Data….hummm.

Could bad math have us skipping to #20? Sam Feist: Well, perhaps Pompeo has a whole truck load of stuff to discuss with Sam. He is the Senior Vice President, Washington Bureau Chief for CNN.

#21 Help…no idea.

#22 PC on Iran: After the Deal to a New Deal? Europe vs. U.S. on sanctions maybe?

Meanwhile: Pompeo says Singapore is “still” a go, cites “the preparations for our historic meeting with North Korea, still scheduled for June 12. We have a generational opportunity to solve a major national security challenge.” “We are clear-eyed about the regime’s history. It’s time to solve this once and for all. A bad deal is not an option. The American people are counting on us to get this right. If the right deal is not on the table, we will respectfully walk away.”

Pompeo assumed a similarly hard line on resuming talks with Iran, promising to “apply unprecedented financial pressure” and suggesting that economic sanctions are just one of several measures the United States will use against the regime in Tehran. To achieve a new nuclear deal, he added, Iran “simply needs to change its behavior.”

He did not back off the Trump administration’s threat to apply sanctions to European companies that do business with Iran, saying companies must wind down operations in Iran or else face penalties and promised lawmakers that: “We will come back to you seeking further authority” for additional measures to squeeze Tehran.

But the hearing turned combative as Democrats challenged Pompeo for presenting Congress with a State Department budget that maintains deep cuts to diplomatic and developmental activities — a budget that Rep. Eliot L. Engel (NY), the ranking Democrat on the foreign affairs panel, called “insulting” and predicted that Congress would reject. More here.

05/23/18

First Cuba, Now China? US State Dept. Reports An American Falls Ill After ‘Abnormal’ Sounds

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

It’s happened again… this time in China. An American government employee who is stationed in southern China is now showing signs of possible brain injury after reporting disturbing sounds and sensations, the State Department said on Wednesday. This is eerily similar to incidents out of Cuba. When they first started happening in Cuba, I said that it was some type of weapon, probably from the Russians or the Chinese and here we are. This employee is suffering now from the same ailments as the individuals in Cuba experienced. The question is… we removed most of our diplomats from Cuba over this, will we do so in China?

The State Department warning was issued through the United States Consulate in Guangzhou, a city in southern China. Americans were advised to seek medical attention if they felt similar symptoms. No other cases have been reported… yet. Someone is obviously targeting American diplomats and it is happening in countries that are unfriendly to us. They are using our people as guinea pigs. “A U.S. government employee in China recently reported subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure,” the health alert said. “We do not currently know what caused the reported symptoms and we are not aware of any similar situations in China, either inside or outside of the diplomatic community.” You can bet they know exactly what is going on here and aren’t saying.

The employee, who was working in Guangzhou, “reported experiencing a variety of physical symptoms” from late 2017 until April, Jinnie Lee, a spokeswoman for the United States Embassy in Beijing, said in an emailed response to questions. So, this has been going on for awhile in tandem with Cuba. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday that medical teams were heading to Guangzhou to address the issue. “The medical indications are very similar and entirely consistent with the medical indications that have taken place to Americans working in Cuba,” he said.

This does not bode well for our relations with China. Yesterday, North Korea wobbled on the summit meeting with President Trump. It’s rumored that China and Iran are behind the change of heart there. And now the Pentagon has disinvited China from an international military exercise over its militarization of islands in the South China Sea.

The American embassy in China was told today “that the clinical findings of this evaluation matched mild traumatic brain injury,” according to Ms. Lee, who said she could not reveal any more details to protect the employee’s privacy. Mild traumatic brain injury can show up as headache, dizziness, nausea, poor memory and a general foggy sensation. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately answer faxed questions about the ill American, but Pompeo said the Trump administration had asked the Chinese government for assistance in an investigation, “and they have committed to honoring their commitments under the Vienna convention.” Sure they have, just like the Cubans did.

The Vienna convention requires that countries protect diplomats stationed in their nations. Of course, everything is ruled by plausible deniability, isn’t it? So far, our government is not accusing the Chinese of foul play here. But I think it is pretty clear they are suspected of it. Americans already bristle at dealing with communists… this isn’t going to assuage anyone’s trepidation over trade, military dealings or sovereignty. Both countries where the attacks have taken place are communist.

In late 2016, diplomats posted to the United States Embassy in Havana began complaining of hearing strange, wrenching noises and suffering symptoms like headaches, dizziness and loss of hearing. A total of 24 Americans were confirmed as suffering from the attacks, most of them diplomats and some diplomats’ spouses. We still don’t know the cause, but I contend it is sonic weaponry of some sort. The United States has expelled at least 17 Cuban diplomats to underscore its view that Cuba bears some responsibility. Will we follow suit with the Chinese? Unlikely as they hold a ton of our debt. Cuba and China of course are denying any involvement… it’s the Schultz defense… “I know nothing!”

Senator Marco Rubio frequently dismissed the notion that Cuba could have been unaware of what American diplomats termed an “attack.” “The idea that someone could put together some sort of action against them, 24 of them, and the Cuban government not know who did it, it’s just impossible,” Rubio said in a Senate hearing in January. I could not agree more. Rubio also joins in my belief that Russia or China are behind these attacks.

Approximately 2,000 US employees are stationed in China. Diplomats based in the country are probably among the most closely watched by Chinese security services. The Chinese fear spies because that is what they do. The State Department is not taking chances. “While in China, if you experience any unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena accompanied by unusual sounds or piercing noises, do not attempt to locate their source,” the notice from the consulate said. “Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present.” Yeah, that’s not exactly helpful or proactive. I suggest they find the source and fast before it’s used on our military or an American population center.

The United States Consulate in Guangzhou, China. The State Department said a government employee posted in the city had reported “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure.”CreditU.S. Department of State