A Coupla Things – 29 June 2020


"Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that he’s come up with a plan to cut or transfer $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6 billion budget and would not guarantee the department’s headcount won’t shrink — even as shootings surge across the city.

“I’m excited to say we have a plan that can achieve real reform, that can achieve real redistribution — while at the same time ensure that we keep our city safe, while we make sure that our officers are on patrol around where we need them around this city,” de Blasio said during his daily City Hall press briefing.

“We can do this, we can strike the balance, we can keep this city safe,” he later added.

While Hizzoner offered few details about his spending cuts plan, he would not guarantee that the NYPD’s police force would remain at its current level of roughly 36,000 officers when pressed by reporters.

“We have found a plan that will keep this city safe, that will achieve the billion dollars in savings,” de Blasio claimed during his daily press briefing Monday.

Separately, de Blasio also said his plan would move at least half-billion dollars from the NYPD’s construction and major projects budget to help fund building improvements at youth centers and public housing.

De Blasio and the City Council must reach an $87 billion budget deal by Tuesday that would cut expected spending by an estimated $8 billion overall."  NY Post



New York City may become uninhabitable and largely uninhabited.  New York City people love left wing Democrats because they themselves are mostly left wing Democrats.  De Blasio lives in Cloud Cuckoo Land where the necessity to maintain order and find actual money to fund his fantasies is simply unimportant.  The God that De Blasio may or may not believe in will provide in a world filled with benevolent and progressive human beings.    Flight from New York state and city taxes is well underway.  People have discovered that staying home with momma, the kids and the dog is not so bad and you save money on commuting costs.  Hmmm.   And, New York may well be leading a trend away from the cities.  Good . pl


New  Subject.  I just heard someone named Colonel David Hunt (don't know him) tell Bill Hemmer on Foxienews that he doesn't believe the intel people would decide not to brief Trumpy and Pence about the Russia! Russia! Russia! story of marauding GRU men paying the Taliban to kill their joint adversaries (us).  Why?  In Hunt's view because it was sooo important.  I doubt that Hunt IS an intel guy…  As I have tried to explain several times, analysts exist in the IC for the purpose of deciding which of the bits in the flood of raw information that comes to them is true and which are just bits of junk.  Non-intel people really believe that intel analysts functionally and as humans have no value because if they were not losers they would not be intel people.   The media, the operations combat arms people, State Departmet foreign service fops and politicians all generally believe that to be true.  Steven Hayes the journalist is a prime example.  He made his reputation by insisting that information DIA had rejected as false must be true because there was a lot of it.  He had gotten that rubbish from the Office of Special Plans (OSP) in Douglas Feith's DoD empire.  Nobody in OSP had ever worked in intelligence.  They were all neocon former congressional staffers.  In other words, they were ignorant of the process.  Congressional committees  do intel budget, not intel work.  In the same period endless hordes of newly emergent neocon savants (mostly childlike creatures) assured me that nothing I knew mattered because they and their colleagues  were creating a brave new world in which old things and data would be meaningless.  So, pilgrims, bottom line.

If you think a story is BS you do not brief it at the WH where it will spin the president up against the Russians or anyone else.  pl 

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34 Responses to A Coupla Things – 29 June 2020

  1. turcopolier says:

    Feith (the picture) This is the guy who told me in his office in the Pentagon that it was too bad that I was so well connected in the Arab World and spoke Arabic so well because that being the case they would not need my help. I had been invited by the Bush 43 transition team to talk to him.

  2. Antoinetta III says:

    “Construction and major projects” don’t sound like things that would put more cops on the street. What could the NYPD be spending half a billion on? Shiny new “state of the art” buildings and facilities? This stuff looks nice and feels good but doesn’t do anything to actually deal with criminality. Sounds like stuff that should be cut.
    But instead of taking $$$$ out of the police budget, it should be transferred over to hiring more cops.
    Antoinetta III

  3. Jack says:

    India bans Chinese apps. Will Trump do the same?
    The CCP already bans Google, Facebook in China.
    There’s a lot of writings on the security threat of TikTok and other Chinese apps. Is our counter-intelligence ok with it or are they too busy chasing phantom Russia Collusion?

  4. walrus says:

    These two paragraphs from the latest NYT article on this non story demonstrate the utter stupidity and dishonesty of their reporters:
    “ The crucial information that led the spies and commandos to focus on the bounties included the recovery of a large amount of American cash from a raid on a Taliban outpost that prompted suspicions. Interrogations of captured militants and criminals played a central role in making the intelligence community confident in its assessment that the Russians had offered and paid bounties in 2019, another official has said.
    Armed with this information, military and intelligence officials have been reviewing American and other coalition combat casualties over the past 18 months to determine whether any were victims of the plot. Four Americans were killed in combat in early 2020, but the Taliban have not attacked American positions since a February agreement to end the long-running war in Afghanistan.”
    Don’t these morons understand that the U.S. dollar is the most used world currency and that it is freely exchangeable for good and services in the markets, legal and illegal, anywhere in the world? What currency would you expect to find? Rupees? Francs? What would the average criminal or Taliban foot soldier know about the origin of such cash? Nothing! Why would Taliban leadership share such information anyway, even if it was true? Doesn’t anyone in the NYT understand that Afghans have made an art form out of extortion for a thousand years or more? That is a far easier and efficient way of making money than killing Americans.
    In paragraph two, the NYT now acts as if paragraph one establishes that this is now “a plot”. Where do they get these idiotic journalists?

  5. TV says:

    NYC fully deserves whatever destruction De Blasio drops on them.
    Before he was elected, it was obvious that he was a far, far left dimwit (what else would a dimwit identify with?).
    So they elected him TWICE.
    Life’s tough, it’s tougher when you’re stupid.
    Of course, we need an intelligence capability, but we don’t need a collection of inept bumblers who missed 9/11, “found” WMD in Iraq, missed the collapse of the USSR, lost Ed Snowden and more recently lost an espionage network in China and many of the computer hacking tools developed by the CIA.
    And these are just the f-ups that we KNOW about.

  6. turcopolier says:

    You should read my essay “Artists and Bureaucrats.”

  7. J says:

    Doug Feith, ah yes, Bolton’s ‘chief of staff’. Two NEOCON bone-heads, blind leading the blind.

  8. downtownhaiku says:

    Ray McGovern says:
    (As a preparer and briefer of The President’s Daily Brief to Presidents Reagan and HW Bush, I can attest to the fact that — based on what has been revealed so far — the Russian bounty story falls far short of the PDB threshold.)
    Former CIA Director William Casey said: “We’ll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false.”

  9. Leith says:

    Off topic, but good news if true in Yemen. Houthi Yemeni Army spokesman BG Yahya Saree announced victory in Bayda-Marib axis. They secured a 400 sq km area in northern al-Bayda province and southern Marib province.
    Reportedly ~250 Saudi-backed fighters were KIA, WIA or taken as POWs. ~20 vehicles destroyed, many captured.
    Looks like bin-Salman’s money is going down the drain. Maybe he’ll lose his place as crown prince if he doesn’t stop the bleeding. Jared Kushner is going to have to start looking for a new horse to back.

  10. turcopolier says:

    I see that you still live on Long Beach.

  11. TV says:

    After reading “Artists and Bureaucrats.”, I gotta ask:
    What’s your opinion of Robert Gates?

  12. Deap says:

    Do the US bills track back to the pallets of cash Obama sent to Iran?
    As a globetrotting tourist, can’t believe how many times I was told a country does not take US dollars. Except they all do. Including Cuba, where they knew exactly the right exchange rate. The world is awash with greenbacks.
    First trip to Russia (Soviet Union) in the 1970’s (height of the Cold War), two Italians in our tour group smuggled in gazillions in black market rubles, but quickly learned there was nothing they could or would want to buy with their wads of rubles, except for champagne and caviar for the tour group at the Intourist Hotel Bar.
    So even though they got a great blackmarket rate on the rubles somewhere in Italy, they were essentially worthless in Russia herself. Only US dollars could purchase decent souvenirs in their infamous Soviet “dollar stores”.
    So that is what I did on the front lines of the Cold War. Champagne (sekt) and caviar days. And fending off the hustlers who wanted to buy our nice western watches. Would they have paid us in rubles or dollars? The other thing I learned, unless it is fresh, it ain’t caviar. Goodness sakes, the real stuff was good.

  13. PB says:

    ….from the NYPD’s construction and major projects budget to help fund building improvements at youth centers…
    So, midnight basketball will fix everything again?

  14. turcopolier says:

    Bureaucratic politician.

  15. turcopolier says:

    It does not seem to me that the corporate owners of the MSM are neocons.. They cooperated with the philosopher kings and their “gentlemen” in various causes in the ME because what the neocons wanted was what Israel wanted and they are Zionists. In other matters they seem to me, to be standard variety lefties. I think it likely that there will be a general collapse of society, some form of civil war and then Bonaparte will appear.

  16. Barbara Ann says:

    On the subject of Zionism and corporate media owners:-

    “Progressive Democrats have put forward a strongly worded letter against Israel’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank, calling for using a “combination of pressure and incentives” to prevent it, including imposing conditions on American military aid to Israel.
    The letter, led by prominent left-wing House member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was met with immediate rejection by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Monday, setting the stage for a confrontation between progressive Democrats and pro-Israel groups in Washington.”

    Might this be a wildcard for Trump? The Zionist lobby must be petrified of the Squad gaining more power over FP. The progressive Jewish-American organization IfNotNow supported the letter and made reference to Eliot Engel’s recent loss of NY-16, despite huge financial support from the Lobby. I also note that the UK branch of BLM has voiced its support for the Palestinians.
    A lot of entrenched interests are not going to want to see the Democrats sweep the board in November with the progressive wing so conspicuously on the rise.

  17. BillWade says:

    Deap, the world is no longer awash with dollars, they are getting harder to come by for the average citizen, they are being hoarded – rumors abound about the Euro going 100% digital with major tax increases as well. This bodes well for the US stock markets.

  18. Leith says:

    Too many tourists in Long Beach, Colonel. I’m about five miles outside the city limits, where I can see deer and river otters from my back porch. Come on out sometime. I’ll grill up a salmon that will make your toes curl. But I’m only here part of the year. SWMBO and I spend the winters in AZ.

  19. Eric Newhill says:

    Barbara Ann,
    Current events in the US have help confirm my belief that the Zionist lobby is not as strong as some people say it is. I recognize has some influence on MENA policy, but it cannot be driving overall events because, as you say, the left is hostile to Israel. Why is the lobby not buying off the key politicians and media? As I suspected, they don’t have that much of a lock on things.

  20. Jack says:

    Periodically you will see comments here on SST by folks who will claim the demise of USD. I always retort, replace with what? Euro, Yen, Yuan, some mythical new digital currency?
    The question is always, what’s the preferred currency for a cab driver in Buenos Aires?
    Now of course the Fed and the Ph.Ds that run it are trying to destroy the dollar. They claim all kinds of new theories like “portfolio balance channel” or the necessity to have “accommodative monetary policies” as rationale for their money printing. But when you look beyond their sophistry and at how their own pocket books are lined, then what you’ll see is regulatory capture. Where did Greenspan, Bernanke, Powell, Rubin, Summers, Geithner, Paulson, Mnuchin make their big bucks? Whose back do they have?
    The Fed is the single most important cause of the wealth inequality and the rising stress in our society. The revolt of the Deplorables in the last election, the BLM mobs are all signs of the growing stress. While the political leadership, and the financial elite want to divide & distract and it is working extremely well as seen in the comments here, the reality is that this systemic societal stress is some 50-60 years in the making. When looking at the data one can see a major inflection point in the 70s.
    Images of protestors outside Jeff Bezos’ DC home with a mock guillotine is ominous. One of these days a leader will show up and point their finger at the political, financial and governmental elites who have sold the working and middle class down the river and the Fed will be one important institution that will be on the chopping block. We cannot sustain the growing wealth inequality,

  21. Barbara Ann says:

    You could be right. Demographics is definitely against it; every poll I see shows support for Israel diminished among the youth – Jewish-Americans included. If so, it is another of the great shifting tectonic plates indicative of the coming collapse of long cherished norms. I am not surprised that Col. Lang now assesses the likelihood of boogaloo as “likely”.

  22. Fred says:

    Barbara Ann,
    The MSM are now multinational firms with ancillary media outlets. These companies have decided that thier main revenue streams are dependant upon the asia-pacific region and communist China in particular. They don’t give a damn about the American people and care about the US only in so far as they can control or influence public policy regarding their access to markets for corporate funding and legal structures to limit thier liability. Palestinian rights? Nobody gives a damn about them, it is simply and emotional issue to agitate thier base. The left’s concern with the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet are a prime example. Where’s that lefty concern been this past decade?

  23. Deap says:

    BillWade, good point about the world’s changing currencies. Recently ordered my favorite potato chips (Zweifel Paprika) directly from a Swiss distribution company and was offered bit-coins as a payment option.
    This order does mark a low point in my own Covid Quarantine – since Swiss shipping costs were more than the cost of the potato chips. But house bound, what is a poor soul gonna do. Now at least I have something to look forward to, in this currently bleak and monotonous landscape.

  24. Artemesia says:

    Barbara Ann, Eric Newhill: I disagree that the “zionist lobby does not have that much of a lock on things,” perhaps because I’ve focused too closely on the activities of a small but massively funded (501c3) group of Jewish lawyers, Integrity First for America (IFA) whose sole purpose is civil prosecution of leaders of the Unite the Right (UtR) protest in Charlottesville.
    I may be the only person in the USA or even the Western Hemisphere who thinks that, in a general sense,* UtR voices deserve to be heard and that they are entitled to a strong defense. IFA, with its backing by ADL, which provided $100,000 seed money (IFA now has a $10 million war chest) plus access to its extraordinary database/research into “white supremacist – white nationalist – “hate” groups, has as a stated goal bankrupting and silencing UtR voices as a “message” that such speech will not be tolerated.
    Amy Spitalnick, head of IFA, is so smug and hateful it’s difficult for me to listen to her for more than a few minutes at a time — I have to ‘walk it off’ lest my head explode.
    She and her colleagues are still riding the holocaust wave; their key complaints against UtR involve “antisemitism” and what IFA characterizes as their “Nazism.” Nowhere in any of the three or four hours of Spitalnick videos that I’ve carefully reviewed does she mention Robert E Lee, secessionism, or the like: it’s all about Jews and perceived “Jew hate.”
    I think that has to stop.
    I think that German-Americans and even those who engage in historical revisionism as well as opposition to present-day zionist activities, are just as entitled to the protection of their civil rights as are BLM, not to mention the world-wide Jewish community, which has its own protective office in the US State Department
    that spends taxpayer dollars in a campaign to “make people love Jews.” https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-will-push-countries-to-love-their-jews-more-anti-semitism-monitor-says/
    Now THAT, I consider a violation of fundamental Constitutional guarantees — and a manifestation of the overweening power of the Jewish community in USA.
    * I have no use for Richard Spencer; think Jason Kessler might be a plant; but I have to admit some sympathy for Matt Heimbach.

  25. Jack says:

    The “bailout” programs this time, like last time, will have no oversight, and will result in massive financial looting, as we saw, for example, with Kashkari’s TARP & the Fed’s ridiculously corrupt TALF program.
    The only difference now is the magnitude will be many times larger.

    This is an important cause of the rising wealth inequality. The larger point being financialization. Private equity guys like Mitt Romney, Larry Fink, et al used credit to acquire American companies. Then looted them by loading them with more debt that Wall St firms got their fees on and took it out as special dividends and other fees. Made a massive profit. They retained ownership of this debt laden firm who promptly under the rubric of “restructuring” fired its workers and shuttered their plants and transferred the technology to the Chinese communists who would manufacture it cheaply. These zombie firms kept selling debt to investors for more special dividends. The investors who were once again Wall St firms were always assured of their return as Uncle Fed was captured.
    This is how the societal fracture has been incubated over the past 50 years. Of course to keep those screwed over distracted & divided, we have the faux partisan battles and the left-right prism, while the looting happens right in front of us.

  26. Deap says:

    Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi – -the story, and spin, that will not die, since the same names keep coming up over and over again even today:
    ……”.However, FEITH said there were several larger issues that relate to the politicization of intelligence surrounding the mishandling of the Benghazi attack.
    “One is downplaying that it was a preplanned terror attack because they didn’t want to highlight terrorism because they wanted to claim the administration was succeeding against terrorism,” he said.
    Additionally, the administration, mainly through White House counterterrorism adviser John BRENNAN, a former CIA analyst, has played down or ignored the Islamist nature of jihadist terrorism, Feith said.
    “That has had a really harmful strategic effect throughout the administration,” he said, “because there is an Islamist extremist problem in the world.”
    “The terror problem is a subset of the Islamist extremism problem and you can’t deal with either if you’re not clear on the nature of the challenge,” Feith said.
    The OBAMA administration “instinctively” looks for American actions—not those of the attackers—that they can blame for attacks that U.S. enemies take against the United States, he said.
    “That is the frame of mind that leads you to say ‘What did we do to provoke them?’ And that is exactly what they [the administration] did.” …….”

  27. TV says:

    Based on what we’ve seen over the last 4 years FBI counterintelligence is just that – COUNTER intelligence.

  28. Barbara Ann says:

    AFAIK UtR did (does?) not have an anti-Zionist agenda. Like a lot of right-wing ethno-nationalists, the UtR folk may in fact be quite sympathetic to the motivations & goals of the wannabe ethno-state in the Levant.
    I would make a distinction here between the core efforts of the Lobby – on behalf of Israel’s interests directly – and ancillary attempts to combat imagined (and in this case, at least to some degree real) antisemitism. The example you cite has certainly garnered very significant backing.
    The coming danger, I think, is a weakening core pro-Israel lobby casting about for ways to gin up support. My expectation is that they’ll double down on the reliable Wunderwaffe of antisemitism, but for the reason set out above, UtR makes an imperfect target. The usual attack vector for this weapon is to conflate anti-Zionism with antisemitism. It doesn’t work as well the other way around.
    This leads to the question of what action the Lobby will take against the rise of the young & highly popular Dems who have the audacity to consider that Palestinian Lives Matter too.
    Here they will need to tread carefully, as someone like AOC, with her 7.4M Twitter acolytes, calling out the Wunderwaffe for what it is, could be a watershed. A frontal assault is out of the question and as she genuinely seems idealistic they probably won’t be able to buy her off. Even the Epstein style kompromat thing is out of the question, I expect. No, if they do decide AOC needs taking down it will have to be thru other means of discredit.
    I have made the point here before that suppression of actions/thoughts critical of Israeli government policy, by applying the antisemite label may one day lead to catastrophic blowback. Perhaps young Jewish-Americans already feel this – it may help explain the loss of enchantment with the present government of the Homeland. I hope for their sake the Zionists’ favorite tactic is identified and stopped, before it is too late. If someone like AOC is the one to finally do it, such that the scales fall from brainwashed people’s eyes, then so be it.

  29. Seward says:

    Regarding your “new subject” Col. Lang, my experience in the IC was somewhat different, albeit many years ago, and at a lower level: After two years of Pre-Engineering in a small college, I joined the Army for three years, before I’d have transferred to an Engineering school. I worked as an intelligence collector in the Army (once originating a Critic, unusual for an EM). Then after getting a degree related to my Army work, I worked four years a an Intelligence analyst, eventually becoming technical advisor to my agency’s JAEIC member. What I found there, before DIA was formed, was that one military service blatantly distorted and refused to accept observable facts that contradicted their “doctrine,” a distant echo the missile gap, obviously to increase their appropriations. I also found back at my agency increasing pressure to find what the higher levels wanted, the motto being: “Get on the team.” In disgust, I went back to engineering, getting in on the ground floor of the computer revolution, still in the IC, but insulated from politics.

  30. turcopolier says:

    Yes, it is an imperfect world and the conflicting interests of the IC chiefs make it more imperfect. Read my essay “Artists and Bureaucrats.”

  31. J says:

    Epstein’s Mossad partner Ghislaine Maxwell has been arrested in New Hampshire and is in Federal custody.
    Now the 64 dollar question, who has her suicide contract?

  32. JP Billen says:

    J: SDNY just announced the Ghislaine Maxwell case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.
    Interesting that sex trafficking cases are not normally prosecuted by DOJ’s Public Corruption lawyers, unless of course there is some potential angle against a public official.

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