After an outcry over the creation of a "Ministry of Truth" within the Department of Homeland Security - with a champion disinformation-spreader hired to fight disinformation - the Biden Administration announced the program is on "pause" and the kooky director has resigned. But this is a government power grab so they can hit the "play" button at any time. Also today, champion doxxed Taylor Lorenz blames Disinfo Board demise on the "far right." And...George W. Bush accidentally tells the truth.
And the winner of "never let a crisis go to waste" is Turkey's Erdogan, who vows to block NATO membership for Finland and Sweden unless his shopping list of concessions is fulfilled by the US, EU, and NATO. Who will blink? Also today: Greece gets in on the "give us something" game. Finally: Washington Post and NYTimes drop serious disinformation on Azov surrender in Mariupol. Will Nina Jankowicz go after them?
This morning only eleven Senators - all Republican - voted against a MASSIVE giveaway to Ukraine, even as Americans suffer at home. Meanwhile, NATO assured Ukraine that its support is "open ended." War is coming closer...and now Finland and Sweden are about to enter the war mix. What could go wrong?
Fresh off his trip to Kiev, wandering the streets of a supposed war zone with America's adopted "hero" Zelensky, Senate Minority Leader out-hawked Biden's hawks, demanding the Russia be named a "State Sponsor of Terrorism." Does he even understand what the term means? Also today: Sen. Paul brutalized for just suggesting we keep track of the billions we send to Ukraine. Also...did the White House lie about vaccine availability in a recent Tweet? Disinformation? Nina?
By Ron Paul
Even by Washington standards, the Biden Administration’s recent request for $33 billion for military aid to Ukraine was shocking. Surely a coalition of antiwar progressives and budget-hawk Republicans would oppose the dangerous and expensive involvement of the US in the Russia/Ukraine conflict? No! Not only did Congress not object: they added nearly seven billion MORE dollars to the package!
In the end, not a single House Democrat voted against further US involvement in the war, and just 57 Republicans said “no” to funding yet another undeclared war.
On the Senate side, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) both demanded immediate passage of the huge giveaway to Ukraine. That’s Washington’s bipartisanship for you.
Then the junior Senator from Kentucky came to the Senate Floor and did the unthinkable in Washington: he delayed the vote.
“My oath of office is to the national security of the United States of America,” Sen. Rand Paul said. “We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the US economy.” He went on to point out that the US has spent nearly as much on Ukraine’s military as the entire military budget of Russia and that the US government has sent more military money to Ukraine than it spent in the entire first year of the US war in Afghanistan.
Sen. Paul put the package into perspective: this massive giveaway to Ukraine equals nearly the entire yearly budget of the US State Department and is larger than the budget of the Department of Homeland Security!
Schumer was furious with Paul, accusing him of “preventing swift passage of Ukraine aid because he wants to add at the last minute his own changes directly into the bill.”
What was he trying to add to the bill? In his own words, “All I requested is an amendment to be included in the final bill that allows for the Inspector General to oversee how funds are spent.”
He wanted at least a bit of oversight on the nearly $50 billion in total that Washington has sent to what Transparency International deems one of the most corrupt countries on earth. Is that really too much to ask?
For Washington, the answer is “yes.” The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) was an endless thorn in Washington’s side, because he actually did his job and reported on the billions of dollars that were stolen in Afghanistan.
In its final report on the 20 year Afghanistan war, SIGAR reviewed approximately $63 billion of the total $134 billion appropriated to Afghanistan and found that nearly $19 billion of the amount was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse. Nearly one third of the funds they reviewed were outright wasted or stolen by corrupt Afghan officials. Does anyone think it would be any different in Ukraine?
Maybe that’s why they were so furious that Sen. Paul proposed that we perhaps keep track of this $40 billion to make sure it’s not wasted: Washington doesn’t want to know. And, more importantly, Washington doesn’t want us to know.
The temporary pause is important. It gives Americans a little time to let their Senators know that they do not support this ridiculous and wasteful giveaway to Ukraine. Inflation is ripping through the country. Gas prices are through the roof. Our infrastructure is crumbling. The dollar is teetering. And we’re giving money away?
The vote appears set for Wednesday. Time to let your Senators know what you think about it!
Government is not a problem-solver, but a problem multiplier. In an effort to make college "more affordable" and "more accessible," students now live under mountains of debt. All of this credit has naturally driven up the price of going to college as well. Now government, in yet another effort to "help," is thinking about forcing everyone else to pick up the tab. The worst words in the English language remain unchanged: "I'm from government, and I'm here to help."
After a series of Administration "leaks" regarding US involvement in the killing of Russian generals and the sinking of the Moskva, the Biden Administration is seeking to plug the leaks and to clarify the types of intel it would share with Ukraine. The goal is to avoid becoming a party to the war. But has that ship already sailed? Also today: prepping in Alaska to fight Russia and China...and Biden's 'Disinfo' Czar wants to edit your Tweets.
Who’s Afraid of Elon Musk?
By Ron Paul
Any doubt that many progressives have abandoned their commitment to free speech was erased by the hysterical reaction to Elon Musk’s effort to purchase Twitter and return the company to its roots as a free speech zone. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and “woke” neocon Max Boot fretted that Musk’s commitment to free speech threatens democracy. Those confused by how free speech threatens democracy should remember that for neoconservatives and many progressives democracy means allowing the people to choose between two largely identical supporters of the welfare-warfare state. In this version of “democracy,” those whose views are outside the welfare-warfare mainstream — such as libertarians — are marginalized.
More ominous than the griping of ex-government officials and pundits was the threat of prominent Democratic politicians to haul Musk before Congress. These politicians likely want an opportunity to smear Musk and other supporters of free speech as promoters of hate and Russian (and/or Chinese) disinformation.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin and other Senate Democrats, none of whom seem to have read the First Amendment, are also investigating whether it would be “appropriate” for Congress to force tech companies to “moderate” content on their platforms.
President Biden is not waiting for legislation to ramp up the attack on free speech. His administration has created the Disinformation Governance Board located in the Department of Homeland Security. The board’s purpose is to coordinate government and private sector efforts to combat “disinformation,” with a focus on Russia. The focus on Russia is not surprising since “Russian disinformation” has joined racism and sexism as a go-to justification to smear and silence those whose views (and factual information) contradict the political and media establishment’s “party line.”
Biden’s choice to head the Disinformation Governance Board, Nina Jankowicz, is a spreader of disinformation herself. In 2020, for example, Jankowicz parroted the lie that Russia created the damning materials found on Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop. Jankowicz’s résumé also includes stints as an advisor to the Ukraine government and a manager of National Democratic Institute programs in Russia and Belarus. Jankowicz’s background suggests she will never call any lie peddled by the US war party “disinformation.”
The Disinformation Governance Board may not directly censor social media. However, by “encouraging” tech companies desperate to maintain good relations with the federal government to remove “unapproved” opinions from their platforms, it can achieve the same results. This is why anyone who values free speech, which should include everyone who cherishes liberty, should not fall for the claim that tech companies’ behavior is nothing to be concerned about since it does not involve government censorship.
Sadly, some misguided conservatives have joined progressives in promoting legislation imposing new regulations on big tech. Increased regulation will only empower Nina Jankowicz and her ilk to further pressure tech companies to restrict free speech. It will also hurt consumers by reducing the ability to find affordable goods and services online. The only way to protect free speech on the internet is to make online platforms truly private through a complete separation of tech and state.
The drive to censor is driven by the woke mob and authoritarian establishment’s fear that their policies could not maintain majority support if forced to compete in a free market of ideas. This shows that even enemies of liberty sense that the days of the welfare-warfare state are numbered.
President Biden visited a Lockheed-Martin weapons manufacturing plant yesterday, praising the workers and demanding Congress hand him $33 billion MORE to send to Ukraine. It's all about jobs, Biden said. Meanwhile, Russia has warned that NATO transports inside Ukraine delivering weapons are legitimate military targets. What could go wrong? Also today: According to a new poll, Americans aren't buying the "Putin's price hike" explanation for inflation...
The apparent leak of a draft Supreme Court decision that overturns Roe vs. Wade has unleashed a political tsunami across the United States. Protests outside the Court building hardly seemed spontaneous and abortion supporters in Congress are scurrying to pack the Court. What is the deeper issue here? What should libertarians think about it?