08/11/20

The Lincoln Project Expands to Senators

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer:

Since its inception of The Lincoln Project last November — announced with a blistering New York Times op-ed — the brainchild of George Conway, Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson, and John Weaver has raked in more than $19.4 million, according to FEC filings, and has needled President Trump repeatedly with provocative TV ads.

But the group — which the National Review on Monday dubbed “The Grifter Project” and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) last week dismissed as a “cabal of political consultants all in it for the money” — don’t exactly practice what they preach.

Co-founder Weaver, a political consultant known for his work on John McCain’s and John Kasich’s presidential campaigns, registered as a Russian foreign agent for uranium conglomerate TENEX in a six-figure deal last year, filings with the Department of Justice show.

TENEX’s parent company is Rosatom, a Russian state-owned corporation that also owns Uranium One — the company that paid Bill Clinton $500,000 in speaking fees and millions to the Clinton Foundation after then-President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed off on the controversial merger in 2010.

Weaver backed out of the lobbying gig in May 2019 and called it “a mistake” in a tweet in which he denied having taken any money from TENEX. Read more here.

The Lincoln Project (aka Grifter Project) Out to Destroy ...

The former GOP operatives behind The Lincoln Project are expanding their list of Republican targets, infuriating allies of President Trump‘s and national Republicans scrambling to preserve the GOP majority in the Senate.

In addition to a relentless negative ad campaign against Trump, the group has so far spent more than $1.3 million attacking Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), who is among the most vulnerable GOP senators up for reelection. That’s by far the most they’ve spent on any Senate candidate.

Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings reveal The Lincoln Project has also targeted more than a half-dozen other Republicans up for reelection in 2020, including Sens. Cory Gardner (Colo), Martha McSally (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), John Cornyn (Texas) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.).

The group is running ads in support of Democratic Senate candidate Steve Bullock in Montana and independent Al Gross in Alaska, who are seeking to unseat Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), respectively.

Reed Galen, a strategist for the group, told The Hill that “the Senate map has expanded” and that off-cycle Senate Republicans “shouldn’t believe their day won’t come.” The Lincoln Project has invested very small amounts in ads going after Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.).

Galen said the group is also “taking a look at the House,” with a potential announcement on that front coming soon. In addition, The Lincoln Project is planning a “substantive and robust” effort to encourage voters to send in mail or absentee ballots.

Lincoln Project Ad Gets Twice As Many Views In 12 Hours As ...

The Lincoln Project is taking heat from Republicans for backing challengers to blue-state GOP senators and moderates, such as Collins, who voted against Trump’s efforts to repeal ObamaCare. Galen defended the attacks, saying they’ll target anyone who they believe has inadequately fought back against Trump.

The Lincoln Project has gone viral with ad campaigns attacking Trump and any GOP senator they believe has not done enough to stand up to the president.

The group’s senior members were well-known Washington Republicans before they turned to electing Democrats. The team includes lawyer George Conway, the husband of White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, as well as veteran GOP operatives and strategists Rick Wilson, Steve Schmidt, and John Weaver.

Republicans working to reelect Trump and maintain the majority in the Senate are hitting back, alleging that the former GOP operatives are “grifters” who have taken up electing Democrats because they lost their cushy establishment jobs when Trump was elected.

They’re accusing The Lincoln Project of being a “scam” PAC that funnels money directly to firms with close ties to the founders.

“The Lincoln Project is comprised of grifters who are nothing more than agents of the Democrat Party,” said Republican National Committee spokesman Steve Guest. “Above all else, these political opportunists are solely concerned with making a quick buck for themselves.”

The Lincoln Project has routed millions of dollars through firms owned or run by two of its co-founders, Galen and Ron Steslow, the president of the consulting firm TUSK Inc. More here from The Hill.

08/11/20

Trump’s ‘Operation LeGend’ Getting Results

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

July of 2020, President Trump announced Operation LeGend.

Operation LeGend was announced in Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee. Operation Legend is a sustained, systematic, and coordinated law enforcement initiative in which federal law enforcement agencies work in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials to fight violent crime. The Operation was first launched on July 8 in Kansas City, Missouri, and expanded on July 22, 2020, to Chicago and Albuquerque. Additionally, Memphis and St. Louis are part of the initiative.

President Trump sending federal agents into U.S. cities is part of “Operation Legend,” named after a 4-year-old boy who was killed while sleeping in his home last month.

LeGend Taliferro was fatally shot while he lay asleep at home in Kansas City, Mo., on June 29.

“My one and only child who fought through open-heart surgery at four months is gone due to senseless gun violence,” LeGend’s mother Charron Powell said during a press briefing about Operation Legend on Wednesday at the White House.

“Children are supposed to be our future, and our 4-year-old son didn’t make it to kindergarten,” she said.

Trump on Wednesday said he’s sending federal officers into U.S. cities “plagued by violent crime” as part of Operation Legend: Combating Violent Crime in American Cities. More here.

As for results that the media and Democrats won’t report, consider the following:

1. KANSAS CITY, Mo. – U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison announced today that 59 additional arrests have been made in the past week by local and federal law enforcement officers in Operation LeGend, for a total of 156 arrests since the start of the operation. Among those arrested since Aug. 1, new federal charges have been filed against six defendants, for a total of 17 new federal cases in Operation LeGend. All of the new federal defendants were charged with firearms-related crimes. Four of the six new defendants were charged with being felons in possession of firearms. One defendant was charged with heroin trafficking and illegally possessing a firearm. One defendant was charged with participating in a conspiracy to commit armed robberies at several local businesses. Among the remaining 53 arrests in the past week, 35 were fugitives with either state or federal warrants for their arrest. The remaining 18 non-fugitive arrests were referred for prosecution in state court. Seven arrests were for homicides, for a total of 12 homicide arrests under Operation LeGend. Other offenses cited in the arrests included assault (including non-fatal shootings), drug trafficking, illegally possessing firearms, robbery, bank robbery, child molestation, sexual assault, possessing stolen property and possessing stolen firearms.

2. MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — Local and federal law enforcement officers have made 32 arrests and recovered 27 firearms since the mid-July commencement of Operation Legend in Milwaukee according to United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Officials say those arrested include individuals alleged to have committed firearms-related offenses, as well as fugitives, wanted for violent crimes, including homicide, armed robbery, and recklessly endangering safety.

3. Three men charged with illegally possessing guns and ammunition are the first in Chicago prosecuted under Operation Legend, officials announced Friday.

Darryl Collins, 30, of Dolton, is charged with one count of illegal possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. Romeo Holloway, 21, is charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a felon. And Darryl Phillips 22, is charged with illegal possession of a machine gun, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Under Operation LeGend, if you have any information on these cases, please contact the FBI at tips.fbi.gov.

08/11/20

China Stands Accused of Manufacturing the COVID-19 Virus

By: Col. Lawrence Sellin (Ret.) | CCNS

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus identified as the causative agent, SARS-CoV-2, has been consistently described as “novel” because of its unique structural features.

Also since the onset of the pandemic, the conventional wisdom concerning the origin of SARS-CoV-2 has been that it was a naturally-occurring outbreak, acquired by humans after exposure to infected animals, a conclusion aggressively promoted by the Chinese Communist Party, supported by some Western scientists and endlessly regurgitated by the left-leaning global media.

That narrative is not only unproven, but much of the scientific data being used to buttress it are faulty, perhaps even fabricated.

China has claimed that a bat coronavirus named RaTG13 is the closest relative to SARS-CoV-2 and upon which the global search for the natural origin of the COVID-19 pandemic has been largely based.

According to China’s narrative, in 2013, Zheng-Li Shi, the “bat woman,” and her team from the Wuhan Institute of Virology were asked to investigate the virus profile of a mine shaft in Yunnan Province after six miners contracted pneumonia with symptoms similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), although it was subsequently shown to have been a fungus infection.

After sampling the mine shaft for a year, the researchers identified a diverse group of bat coronaviruses from bat fecal samples, one of which was designated RaBtCoV/4991 (GenBank KP876546) and partially sequenced.

Despite being unique enough to be considered a new strain and associated with a human SARS-like outbreak as a Potential Pandemic Pathogen, thereafter, RaBtCoV/4991, de facto, disappeared from the scientific literature.

That is, until 2020.

In the February 3, 2020, Nature article, scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, led by Zheng-Li Shi, stated that the coronavirus RaTG13, known previously as RaBtCoV/4991, showed a 96.2% sequence identity with SARS-CoV-2 and, therefore, “RaTG13 is the closest relative” forming a distinct lineage from other coronaviruses and supporting China’s claim that SARS-CoV-2 is naturally-occurring.

As a result, the conventional wisdom that the COVID-19 was a naturally-occurring outbreak arose, nearly all of it based on a single scientific publication, one of whose authors had earlier received a medal from the Chinese government in January 2020.

Unfortunately, RaTG13 is not actually a virus because no biological samples exist, but a sequence of a virus for which there are now serious questions about its accuracy, based on the collection methods and sequence gaps, identified in an August 8, 2020 study, and RaTG13’s structure in comparison to SARS-CoV-2, published already on March 15, 2020.

As Dr. Li-Meng Yan, a Chinese virologist and whistleblower, implies in a detailed interview, RaTG13 may have been used to divert the world’s attention away from the true source of the COVID-19 pandemic, a novel coronavirus that originated in military laboratories overseen by China’s People’s Liberation Army.

SARS-CoV-2 has two unique features contained in the S1 section of the spike glycoprotein:

(1) a receptor-binding domain (RBD), which appears “pre-adapted” for human infection, but is structurally similar to the RBD of pangolins (scaly anteaters) and

(2) a furin polybasic cleavage site (amino acid sequence proline-arginine-arginine-alanine or PRRA), a distinctive feature that facilitates membrane fusion between the virus and the human cell and widely known for its ability to enhance pathogenicity and transmissibility, but not present in any closely related bat or pangolin coronaviruses.

A scientific study published on July 1, 2020, states that, while SARS-CoV-2 sequences share the greatest overall genetic similarity with bat coronaviruses, it is not the case for the RBD, which is “nearly identical” to that of two pangolin coronaviruses.

Those authors suggest that a cross-species recombination event between bat and pangolin coronaviruses had occurred.

Yet, there is no evidence supporting a natural viral recombination between bat and pangolin coronaviruses resulting in such an outcome.

When asked about that possibility of pangolins being the SARS-CoV-2 host, Dr. Ralph Baric, a coronavirus expert from the University of North Carolina, in a March 15, 2020 interview, stated that pangolins could not be the source:

“Pangolins have over 3,000 nucleotide changes – no way they are the reservoir species [for SARS-CoV-2], absolutely no chance.”

scientific article published on August 5, 2020, “COVID-19: Time to exonerate the pangolin from the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to humans,” totally dismisses the notion that pangolins could have acted as a natural intermediate host for a human infection.

Given the overwhelming scientific evidence, the only recombination event possible for the appearance of a pangolin-like RBD in SARS-CoV-2 would be one occurring artificially in a laboratory.

Much has been made in the media about a newly reported bat coronavirus, RmYN02, also found in Yunnan Province by China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, which shares 93.3% nucleotide identity with SARS-CoV-2.

RmYN02 also has a proline-alanine-alanine (PAA) sequence, which has been used as evidence that the unique PRRA sequence found in SARS-CoCV-2 could have evolved naturally.

What is not highlighted is that the RBD of RmYN02 showed only a 61.3% sequence identity with SARS-CoV-2, meaning that RmYN02 could not bind to human cells.

In addition, the probably out-of-alignment amino acid sequence PAA is chemically neutral, totally unlike SARS-CoV-2’s polybasic PRRA cleavage site, giving PAA no ability to cleave anything.

What can be linked to SARS-CoV-2’s PRRA furin polybasic cleavage site is the extensive research being conducted on such cleavage sites and their pathological effects on humans by the Second Military Medical University in Shanghai, China, examples found here and here.

The science is unequivocal. As hard as China and the other proponents of the naturally-occurring narrative have tried, SARS-CoV-2 has features that cannot be explained by a natural evolutionary process.

This column was originally published at WION.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, who previously worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and conducted basic and clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry. He is a member of the Citizens Commission on National Security. His email address is [email protected].

08/11/20

ViacomCBS is Meddling in the Presidential Election

By: Roger Aronoff | CCNS

While mainstream media organizations continue to worry about foreign meddling in our last election and the next one, we should take a look at how they themselves are meddling.

Without letting any of the media off the hook, the ViacomCBS behemoth deserves special consideration.  The threat from its meddling in the upcoming presidential election is a case study of a multi-headed media organization’s direct practice of attempting to defeat one candidate and help boost and cover for the other.  Anything Russia did in the last election, or any of the last 20 elections, pales in comparison.

These days, the company is known as ViacomCBS.  Its corporate structure and ownership have morphed through the years, starting nearly 100 years ago with the formation of CBS.  Viacom came along in 1970 as the syndication division of CBS.  It soon split off as a separate company and then later merged with CBS in 1995, and in 2006, Viacom and CBS split up.  CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. merged again one year ago this week, forming a $28-billion company.

In this current iteration, ViacomCBS includes CBS, CBS News, Showtime, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures, BET, CMT, MTV, Nickelodeon, The Movie Channel, and the Smithsonian Channel, to name just a few of its assets — and one more: the book publisher Simon & Schuster.  So, what’s the problem?  This company is making its purpose the defeat of President Donald Trump this November, and it is ruthless and relentless in that pursuit.

In some ways, it’s nothing new.  Back in 2004, CBS News attempted to defeat George W. Bush’s run for re-election against John Kerry.  It had a second 60 Minutes program at the time, hosted by Dan Rather, and it manufactured a story full of lies, fake documents, and dishonestly edited interviews to make it appear as though Bush had used political influence to get in the Texas Air National Guard and avoid going to Vietnam.  A disgraced Dan Rather ended up having to give up his position as anchor of the CBS Evening News and leaving the network, along with his producers.  He sued CBS and Viacom for $70 million, and after several years, the case was thrown out.  He tried unsuccessfully to get it reinstated.  In 2015, a movie ironically called Truth attempted to rehabilitate Rather and his producer, Mary Mapes.  But even with Robert Redford playing Rather, the movie bombed, grossing just $2.5 million in the U.S.

Now a similar situation is taking place.  CBS Studios purchased the rights to the memoir, A Higher Loyalty, of disgraced former FBI director James Comey.  It produced a series, and Showtime, the cable TV network that mainly carries movies and documentaries, will air it.  Comey played a key role in the attempted coup against President Trump and in the exoneration of Hillary Clinton, where clearly the fix was in.  The Showtime two-part series is called The Comey Rule.

In late June, the miniseries was finally given an air date, in late November, after the election.  But the writer/director, Billy Ray, complained, saying, “We all were hoping to get this story in front of the American people months before the coming election.”  Comey added, “I don’t understand why CBS would sit on a movie about important current events, and I hope the American people get the chance to see it soon.”  Showtime quickly changed course and scheduled it for September 27 and 28, with the first presidential debate scheduled for September 29.

And casting?  Comey will be played by Jeff Daniels, straight off his Broadway role as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.  He is thought of as this generation’s Gary Cooper.  Trump will be played by Brendan Gleeson.  In this trailer, it could be Alec Baldwin doing his ludicrous caricature of Trump.  Daniels said he had wanted the movie to be ready for airing “so he would be part of the national conversation ahead of the election.”

Showtime describes the series as “an immersive, behind-the-headlines account of the historically turbulent events surrounding the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath, which divided a nation.  It’s not a biopic, but is instead the story of two powerful figures, Comey and Trump, whose strikingly different personalities, ethics, and loyalties put them on a collision course.”

Since the obvious purpose is to lionize Comey and trash Trump, and it’s not a “biopic,” it will obviously ignore or distort Comey’s corrupt and unethical behavior.  He participated in the lies to the FISA court to enable the FBI to spy on the Trump campaign.  He released classified material in order to get a special counsel appointed to investigate Trump for conspiring and coordinating with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton when he knew that wasn’t true.  And when he testified before Congress about the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, he replied, “I don’t know,” “I can’t remember,” or “I don’t recall” at least 236 times.

There is much more to dislike about Comey.  The Epoch Times did an outstanding takedown of him called “Five Explosive Facts about James Comey,” including how he and his good friend Robert Mueller engaged in suspect deals worth, in one case, $1 billion.  If we still have equal justice under the law, then Comey will be indicted by John Durham, the U.S. attorney looking into the origins of the Russia-collusion hoax, before the Showtime propaganda airs.

Breitbart adds that in 2010, Comey’s last year with Lockheed Martin as the company’s general counsel, he earned $6.1 million in compensation.  Lockheed Martin became a Clinton Global Initiative member and “won 17 approvals for private contracts from the Hillary Clinton State Department.”

There are many more examples of how ViacomCBS has partnered with the Democrats to attack President Trump and conservatives in general while going to great lengths to give glowing coverage to Democrats.  CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is a vicious nightly hit job on the Trump family and conservatives in general, drained of all humor.  Colbert is also an executive producer of Showtime’s Our Cartoon President, which is more of the same but allows him to create his own dialogue for the characters.  CBS had a show for years, leading up to the 2016 election, called Madam Secretary, meant to humanize Hillary Clinton and help get her elected.  It was canceled once the network decided she wasn’t likely to run again.  And there are many more scripted shows, like The Good Wife, from the same perspective.  In contrast, ViacomCBS has no shows that I am aware of meant to put Trump in a good light or even a neutral light.

The president of CBS News throughout the last five years of the Obama administration was David Rhodes, brother of Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser.  Those types of relations between Democrat presidents and mainstream news media anchors and executives are common.

And finally, Simon & Schuster, another head of the hydra that is ViacomCBS.  This year alone, it has published the John Bolton book attacking Trump; the Mary Trump book attacking Trump; and, still to come, You’re Fired: The Perfect Guide to Defeating Donald Trump by Paul Begala.  The company does, however, also publish some pro-Trump and other books by conservatives such as Sean Hannity, Jim DeMint, John Solomon, and Horace Cooper (How Trump Is Making Black America Great Again).  The difference is that none of these authors will be invited as guests on any of the mainstream media, except for maybe a rare exception.

ViacomCBS’s dishonest reporting and agenda-driven productions are distributed and amplified across social media without question, on sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.  Yet at the same time, content that doesn’t fit the left-leaning narrative is consistently censored and flagged by these platforms as “misleading” and “misinformation.”  ViacomCBS is protected by the First Amendment, as we all are supposed to be, but there should be no misunderstanding of what is happening.  The people running that company have a political agenda and multi-billion-dollar platforms from which to promote it, which they do with great enthusiasm.

This column was originally published at American Thinker

Roger Aronoff is the executive director and editor of the CCNS.  He has produced and directed numerous documentaries and a weekly PBS public affairs show.