Crossfire Boomerang...the Storm has Come

BostonTim

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He’s hitting him hard.

Comey continuing to plead ignorance

---------- Post added at 10:43 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:41 AM ----------

Breaking news of Killery distraction email brief Comey doesnt recall inquiry notification.

That was a memorable impersonation of Mickey the Dunce.

Cheers
 

Dwight Schrute

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What, no contemporaneous notes?

My thoughts exactly!

Why are we reliant on this clown and his recollection abilities? You mean to tell me the head of the FBI doesn’t have a staff, and a daily event calendar, and a summation of the days events recorded?
 

patswin

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OK, maybe I misunderstood you.

I thought you were saying that the first bullet point in Ratcliff's letter showed she colluded with the Russians.

It doesn't for the reasons I stated.

I did say that the Steele/Danchenko bit was much better evidence.

if you're just talking about the latter, then we agree.

We're in agreement. I think she did, but I'm not about to go nuts posting a bunch to that effect, lest I end up looking like someone waiting for Mueller to indict Trump. It will all come out, maybe, if Trump wins. If he doesn't it will disappear like a fart in a hurricane.
 

deec77

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The troubling part?

Durham wouldn’t have green lighted any of this to be redacted if it bore an impact on his investigation.

So?

She skates.

I think you misunderstood my point ... Radcliffe gave the letter which was unreacted but the actual memos are still redacted.

~Dee~
 

O_P_T

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The troubling part?

Durham wouldn’t have green lighted any of this to be redacted if it bore an impact on his investigation.

So?

She skates.

Not necessarily, recall this post of mine in the Flynn Deathwatch thread.

Andrew McCarthy had a possible explanation for that at his NR article on Danchenko being suspected as being a Russian spy.

Apparently, the information has been concealed from the public for the sake of the Durham investigation. (When information becomes public, that complicates the ability of investigators to question people about what they know and how they know it.) But John Durham, the Connecticut U.S. attorney who is investigating “Russiagate” irregularities, informed Barr that disclosure of the information would not interfere with his investigation at this point.​

The basic idea of McCarthy's post is that you don't want information made public that's related to topics that you want to ask people questions about.

You don't want them to know what you know and see what they'll say.

If you've completed all those interviews, letting the information go public won't impact your investigation of those people.

Now I doubt seriously that Hillary would face any criminal charges, regardless.

People at her level simply aren't held to the same standard the great unwashed are.
 

Dwight Schrute

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https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/hillary-clinton-trump-russia-collusion

Fred Fleitz: Report claims Hillary OK’d effort to defeat Trump in 2016 with false Russia collusion charge

This revelation has led to several difficult questions

Fred Fleitz10 hours ago
Graham accuses Comey of having 'convenient memory' of Russia probeVideo
A letter from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe given to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday was a true bombshell, alleging that U.S. intelligence was weaponized in an effort to defeat Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

According to the letter, the CIA discovered in mid-2016 that Russia believed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton personally approved a scheme to deflect attention from her email server scandal by ginning up a narrative that the Trump campaign was collaborating with Russia to win the U.S. presidential race,

This allegation sounds plausible, since it coincides with an effort — funded by the Democratic National Committee in July 2016 — by former British spy Christopher Steele to assemble a salacious and false anti-Trump dossier that was used by the FBI to justify spying on a member of the Trump campaign.

OBAMA ADMIN BRIEFED ON CLAIMS HILLARY CLINTON DRUMMED UP RUSSIA CONTROVERSY TO VILIFY TRUMP, DISTRACT FROM EMAILS

And there was a related bombshell: one of the sources hired by Steele to assemble his dossier was suspected by the FBI of being a Russian spy.

Ratcliffe’s letter said President Barack Obama and other senior officials were briefed on the reported Clinton-approved scheme to smear the Trump campaign on July 26, 2016 and that this matter was referred to the FBI on September 7, 2016,

Ratcliffe conceded he does not know whether this is Russian disinformation or if Clinton actually approved this plot. He added there is other related intelligence on this matter that remains classified,

This revelation has led to several difficult questions.

What did senior Obama administration officials know about this and when did they know it?

How involved were President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and National Security Adviser Susan Rice in this scheme?

What is the explanation for why the FBI decided to act on the fraudulent Steele dossier but apparently ignored the alleged Clinton scheme to smear the Trump campaign?

And how can anyone believe fired FBI Director James Comey’s claims during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday that he doesn’t remember anything about the allegations in Ratcliffe’s letter?

Although Republican senators rejected Comey’s response, this is not the first time Comey has claimed memory lapses to avoid incriminating himself on the Obama administration’s weaponization of intelligence against the Trump campaign.

One of the most important questions raised by the Ratcliffe letter concerned the Senate Intelligence Committee. According to two unnamed sources cited by Politico, the Intelligence Committee knew about the allegations in Ratcliffe’s letter “early on in its investigation” of Russian meddling in the 2016 election but rejected them because they had “no factual basis.”

This poses two more troubling questions about the Senate Intelligence Committee.

First, why did committee members reject these allegations out of hand when they are so similar to allegations about the Steele dossier and involve events that occurred around the same time?

And second, even if there were concerns that allegations of a Clinton-approved scheme to smear the Trump campaign was Russian disinformation, why was this allegation omitted from the thousands of pages of five declassified reports released by the Intelligence Committee on Russian meddling in the 2016 election? This is a significant piece of information that the committee should have informed the American people about and let us judge for ourselves.

So why did the Senate Intelligence Committee hide this information from the American people?

An obvious reason is that Democratic senators and staff members objected to including this information in committee reports because it would vindicate President Trump. I believe there is other information helpful to Trump that committee Democrats also omitted. I wrote about another instance in a Fox News op-ed in April.

FRED FLEITZ: HERE'S WHAT'S BEHIND THE SENATE-HOUSE DISPUTES ON RUSSIAN MEDDLING IN 2016 ELECTION

A more important reason is that the Senate Intelligence Committee was poorly led by former Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., who was so weak that he essentially let Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., run the committee.

Burr constantly deferred to Warner’s efforts to use the Senate Intelligence Committee to promote the fraudulent Trump campaign-Russia collusion narrative. This included Burr publicly challenging findings by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., that Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants to spy on Trump campaign aides were based on the Steele dossier and that a January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian meddling in the 2016 election was rigged to hurt President Trump.

If the Senate Intelligence Committee had been competently led by Sen. Burr, the allegations in the Ratcliffe letter would have been released to the public years ago.

According to the Politico article, several former senior intelligence officials described Ratcliffe’s letter as incendiary and irresponsible. The article quoted former CIA Director John Brennan’s chief of staff, who said Ratcliffe “should be ashamed of his blatant politicization of his position.”

Senior intelligence officials appeared to leak to The Wall Street Journal that they urged Ratcliffe not to release what they called “unverified allegations about Hillary Clinton and the 2016 election.”

Of course these former officials said these things. This whole affair reflects the unseemly, chummy relationship between members of the foreign policy establishment, both Republicans and Democrats, Sen. Burr and former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. They were sucked into this relationship in the mistaken belief that everyone was working together to promote national security.

But in fact, Democratic politicians and career intelligence officers were more interested in exploiting this relationship to undermine the Trump administration.

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Thank God for John Ratcliffe, He looked at intelligence files and released vital information about the Russia collusion hoax that the foreign policy establishment and career intelligence officials don’t want to public to see.


Ratcliffe is an independent director of national intelligence who wants to get politics out of U.S. intelligence and is not interested in placating intelligence careerists or cozying up to the foreign policy establishment.

My hope is that if President Trump is reelected, he will name more officials to head government agencies like John Ratcliffe, who will use their authority to keep government honest and press career employees to keep politics out of their work.
 

Dwight Schrute

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This is Fleitz’s article from April he references in the above article. The man was on point. He should’ve had a grander stage.

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/house-senate-russian-meddoing-dueling-reports-fred-fleitz

Fred Fleitz: Here's what's behind the Senate-House disputes on Russian meddling in 2016 election

Fred FleitzApril 22
Intelligence officials 'need to be held accountable' for FISA abuse: House minority leaderVideo
While the nation is focused on the coronavirus pandemic, the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a bipartisan report Tuesday that challenges House conclusions about former CIA Director John Brennan cooking intelligence for political purposes.

At issue is a controversial January 2017 intelligence community assessment that concluded that Russia had meddled in the 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump win. That assessment supported the basic premise of the widely discredited Steele Dossier that, according to recently declassified FBI documents, contained Russian disinformation.

In March 2018, the House Intelligence Committee issued a report saying the intelligence community assessment had been politicized to hurt Trump. I am a former CIA analyst and House Intelligence Committee staff member who expressed such views in Fox News op-eds in January and May 2017.

SENATE INTEL SAYS THERE WAS 'NO POLITICAL PRESSURE' TO REACH CONCLUSIONS IN INTELLIGENCE REPORT ON RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE

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The report released Tuesday was the second Senate Intelligence Committee report contradicting the findings of the House and other intelligence experts. The first Senate report was issued in July 2018.

Naturally, the political establishment and anti-Trump journalists gloated about the new Senate Intelligence Committee report as bolstering their biases. NBC reporter Ken Dilanian breathlessly tweeted that it “confirmed the accuracy of the 2017 US intelligence assessment on Russian election interference, undercutting far right conspiracy theories.”

According to the latest Senate Intelligence Committee report, proper procedures were dutifully followed in drafting the intelligence community assessment.

The Committee did not discover any significant analytic tradecraft issues in the preparation or final presentation of the ICA,” the Intelligence Committee report says, adding that “The ICA reflects proper analytic tradecraft despite being tasked and completed within a compressed timeframe.”

However, the House Intelligence Committee came to a different conclusion in its March 2018 report, finding that the intelligence community assessment’s judgments on why Russian President Vladimir Putin meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election did not employ proper analytic tradecraft.

So who is right?

Accusing the intelligence community of improper “analytic tradecraft” in analyzing Russia’s strategic intentions is an extremely grave indictment for a congressional oversight committee to make. In my opinion, there is no question the House Intelligence Committee is right for the reasons in its 2018 report and other subsequent findings.

The House committee found the intelligence community assessment violated protocols for drafting such assessments. This major finding shows why America needs strong legislative oversight over the intelligence services.

For example, although the protocols require intelligence community assessments to be “community products” and vetted with all intelligence agencies and analysts with equities in a given subject, only three intelligence agencies were asked to draft this assessment: the CIA, National Security Agency and FBI.

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With the 14 other intelligence agencies left out, the three participating agencies included only two dozen “handpicked” analysts. Other intelligence agencies working on this issue, such as the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, were excluded.

In addition, House Intelligence Committee staff revealed the actual drafting of the intelligence community assessment was done by three close associates of former CIA Director Brennan, who has proven to be the most politicized intelligence chief in American history.

Contrary to common practice for controversial intelligence community assessments, Brennan’s team allowed no dissenting views or even an annex with reviews by outside experts.

These were extraordinary violations of intelligence community rules to ensure that analysis is accurate and trusted. The Senate committee reports ignored these foundational violations.

The Senate Intelligence Committee report falsely claims that “all analytical lines are supported with all-source intelligence” and that analysts who wrote the intelligence community assessment consistently said they “were under no politically motivated pressure to reach specific conclusions.”

House Intelligence Committee staff members found the opposite. They told me there was conflicting intelligence evidence on Russian motivations for meddling in the 2016 election.

More gravely, they said that CIA Director Brennan suppressed facts or analysis that showed why it was not in Russia’s interests to support Trump and why Putin stood to benefit from Hillary Clinton’s election. They also told me that Brennan suppressed that intelligence over the objections of CIA analysts.

House Intelligence Committee staff told me that after an exhaustive investigation reviewing intelligence and interviewing intelligence officers, they found that Brennan suppressed high-quality intelligence suggesting that Putin actually wanted the more predictable and malleable Clinton to win the 2016 election.

Instead, the Brennan team included low-quality intelligence that failed to meet intelligence community standards to support the political claim that Russian officials wanted Trump to win, House Intelligence Committee staff revealed. They said that CIA analysts also objected to including that flawed, substandard information in the assessment.

So why did the Senate and House Intelligence Committees come to such starkly different conclusions? Why would professional intelligence officers give different accounts to these committees?

Democrats and their left-wing media allies claim the House Intelligence Committee’s findings are not credible because they were solely the work of what was then the Republican majority under then-Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

On the other hand, the Democrats and their media allies contend that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s findings must be believed because they are bipartisan and endorsed by the committee’s Republican Chairman Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina.

I strongly disagree for several reasons.

First, I’ve carefully reviewed the unclassified House Intelligence Committee reports and spoken to committee members and professional staff about their Russia investigations. I found their work credible, aggressively researched, and soundly analyzed.

The unprecedented partisanship of the present chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and his staff’s apparently authorized leaks, made a bipartisan report impossible. It is unfair to reject the House Intelligence Committee report out of hand just because it was written by Republican members.

Second, it is more reasonable to regard any bipartisan report on this subject as suspicious. Democratic lawmakers have been fanatically united in promoting the false Trump-Russia collusion narrative. So it is impossible to believe that a Democratic Senate Intelligence Committee member would allow any references in the panel’s reports that intelligence was slanted and weaponized to undermine Trump’s presidency.

If information ever reached the Senate Intelligence Committee about Brennan suppressing intelligence in the intelligence community assessment that Putin favored Clinton instead of Trump, its Democratic members and staff certainly would have demanded that those crucial facts never be known.

Third, it is well known that Sen. Burr has been an extraordinarily weak Senate Intelligence Committee chairman. Some on Capitol Hill quip that the CIA oversees Burr, not the other way around.

Burr basically has allowed Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., to run the committee. Burr refused to cooperate with President Trump’s attempts to name a new director of national intelligence last summer because of Warner’s objections.

Finally, intelligence officers likely told different stories to Republican House Intelligence Committee and bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee investigators because of the strong political bias within intelligence agencies against President Trump.

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The intelligence officers probably felt free to level with Republican staff members about how the intelligence community assessment was weaponized. But they would not level with the bipartisan Senate investigation because they worried that their honest assessments that countered the narrative would get back to their supervisors and damage their careers.

I witnessed this problem several times during more than two decades in government.

So what happens next? Acting Director of National Intelligence Rick Grenell is trying to get to the bottom of problems with the 2017 Russia intelligence community assessment. He has asked to see all of the intelligence on which it is based.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

More importantly, federal prosecutor John Durham reportedly is looking into the drafting of the intelligence community assessment as part of his investigation of possible government wrongdoing before and after the last presidential election.

One anticipates that a tough lawman like Durham, with confidence from both sides of the political aisle, will finally answer whether the 2017 intelligence community assessment was rigged to hurt Trump politically.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY FRED FLEITZ
 

tehmackdaddy

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It's so damn obvious what they were trying to do, a coup against their presidential rival and it didn't work. Heads need to roll because if this were reversed, you know exactly what would happen.

The powers that be, all of them, knew by January 2017 that Trump Russia collusion was a hoax perpetrated by the Hillary campaign and the intelligence community.

It wasn't just a political ploy to swing an election, it became a coverup for obvious criminal behavior, it sparked a fake investigation that allowed the narrative to be constantly hammered into the mindsets of Americans for more than two years by a complicit media, a fake investigation that stayed open to influence the 2018 midterm elections, a fake investigation that should have uncovered the information that is coming out now, and an attempted coup of a sitting US President.

It is the biggest political scandal in American history against a President with an outstanding domestic and foreign policy record, yet half of America doesn't care because they have been brainwashed for years by the left and the media (but I repeat myself).

It is nothing short of a travesty, and that is not a strong enough term.

Hillary and the left claimed that Trump not accepting the results of the 2016 election was a threat to our democracy, yet they have NEVER accepted the results of that election.

The same people are making the same claims about Trump not accepting the results of the upcoming election, but are on public record stating Biden should not concede this election should he lose.

It is also now painfully obvious the shutdowns this year are entirely political.

Blue states that are more shut down don't have better success against the virus than red states that are more open.

The left has been after Trump completely unsuccessfully up until February. With the economy booming and a highly successful foreign policy, Trump was a shoo-in for reelection.

They finally "got 'im" when they figured out they could fearmonger everyone into shutting the economy down (always remember: "it's the economy, stupid").

Pepper in the time-honored tradition of election-year race-pimping to millions of people who have been cooped up for months, and the incumbent with a strong record is now the underdog.

Blue states won't reopen until after the election. It is part of their political strategy.

They care nothing for the people they govern and are supposed to be serving.

Millions of lives and small businesses have been destroyed.

All of this is disgusting.

The unanswerable question remains: if Trump is so bad, why do they have to constantly lie to make it seem so?
 
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Dwight Schrute

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Will All The Name-Brand People Who Pushed The Russian Collusion Conspiracy Get Off Scot-Free?​

The Russian collusion hoax has fallen apart more every day. And we haven’t heard a word of comment from any of the people responsible for pushing it and helping fracture this country.​

Drew Holden
A year ago, the story dominating headlines was the allegation that President Donald Trump had colluded with the Russian government to win the 2016 election. The idea of impeaching President Trump due to these allegations was gathering steam, with accusations from elected officials and beyond that the president of the United States was a Russian puppet, a Manchurian candidate installed by Vladimir Putin, and even an agent of a hostile foreign power for the last 30 years.

You don’t need to be a fan of Trump to be outraged about the Russian collusion conspiracy. But it’s a mark against your patriotism, your judgement, or your intellect if you aren’t. Beyond just being perhaps the most defining political scandal of our time, the hoax gets under my skin because I fell for it. And I’m enormously angry for having been duped.

Now that this narrative has been proven false and possibly influenced by actual Russian disinformation, it is time to revisit how it was created and dominated U.S. politics for so long, as well as demand justice for its perpetrators.

The “Russian collusion” narrative first got its start shortly before the 2016 election, when John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign, told reporters about an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign and suggested Trump was either “willfully ignoring” intelligence officials’ warnings or acting “as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

This accusation eventually became a central pillar of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign. She pushed the claim on social media, including never-verified allegations about a server connected to future President Trump that was supposedly tied to Russia, and called on the FBI to release information about any connection between Trump and Russia.

Her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, suggested Trump was a Russian puppet two weeks before the election. Even the FBI’s own findings from late October, announcing that, despite a months-long investigation, they found no clear links between Trump and the Russian government, couldn’t throw any cold water on the allegations.

Especially after the election, the narrative was picked up by congressional Democrats. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on the FBI to “investigate the financial, political and personal ties” between Trump and Russia. Rep. Adam Schiff, who went on to quarterback the impeachment effort, suggested multiple, unverified claims: that the Trump campaign directed efforts from WikiLeaks, that Trump requested “dirt” on Clinton, and that Trump had undisclosed financial connections to Russia.

News outlets breathlessly covered these allegations. Perhaps the most aggressive was MSNBC, who oriented their media coverage for multiple years around every undulation of the Russian collusion story. The stories spanned the bizarre, from pushing an unverified conspiracy that the Trump campaign worked with the Russia to leak Democratic National Committee emails to giving a platform for Clinton to suggest—again, without evidence—that Trump associates worked with Russia to undermine the election.

Don’t Forget Chief Conspiracist Rachel Maddow​

While the network had many personalities pushing these talking points, one host was undoubtedly the most active: Rachel Maddow. She told The New York Times she was “happy to admit” that she was “obsessed with Russia.” She wasn’t exaggerating.

On March 17, 2017, Maddow speculated that “the presidency is effectively a Russian op” borne of collusion with Russian intel. On May 23, 2018, she suggested President Trump was only in office “because Russia put him there.” Then, on July 18, 2018, Maddow said that not only had Russia elected Trump, but it may also have picked his cabinet, too.

MSNBC was far from alone. BuzzFeed News was the first to publish a trove of dubious and since largely disproven informationknown as the Steele dossier, named for its author, former MI5 officer Christopher Steele, that purported to show a clear connection between future President Trump and the Russians.

CNN even had to force out three reporters over a since-retracted story that claimed to draw a connection between Trump and Russia. Opinion and reporting headlines from The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Time, The New York Times, and others suggested President Trump was “acting on behalf of a hostile foreign power” or otherwise in bed with Russia.

Perhaps the most outlandish claim was made by Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine, who speculated in a cover piece from July 9, 2018 that Trump may have been an asset of Soviet and then Russian intelligence dating back to 1987. While suggesting that the leader of the free world was secretly acting on behalf of a hostile foreign government may have once drawn laughter, Chait was heralded as a heroic sleuth, appearing on MSNBC, NPR’s “This American Life,” and other outlets shortly after his article, as sober and serious reporters asked gravely about the implications of his speculation.

cont’d​

 

Dwight Schrute

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After the Mueller Report, the Theory Evaporated​

Then, just as these stories were seemingly building to a crescendo, they stopped. The Mueller report, which many believed would finally vindicate the collusion narrative—with supporters even writing their own fanfiction and lighting devotional candles—couldn’t demonstrate collusion. While some of the most committed advocates, such as Schiff, vowed to continue the cause, the story quickly fell from the attention of the mainstream media and Democratic elected officials.

Since then, many of the core allegations of the collusion narrative have sustained damaging, even damning, body blows. The Steele dossier’s credibility has crumbled. The “sub-source” from the dossier originally published by BuzzFeed News proved not only untrustworthy but to be someone U.S. intel had identified as a threat to national security and investigated for being a potential Russian spy, raising the prospect that the underlying finds may have been deliberate Kremlin disinformation.

A declassified ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court found that the basis for surveillance against the Trump campaign, which gave rise to the impeachment and broader collusion narrative, was based on a lie, and an FBI agent pleaded guilty to falsifying documents. Just this week, handwritten documents from former CIA Director John Brennan confirmed that the highest levels of the U.S. government were aware of the Clinton campaign’s plan to weaponize the Russian collusion allegation against Trump in the election.

Nothing to See Here, Because the Truth Helps Trump​

Outside of conservative media, these developments have largely been greeted with silence. The collusion narrative, once the key talking point for Democrats, went unremarked upon at the Democratic National Convention. While individual voices, such as Paul Farhi and Erik Wempleof The Washington Post, have been deeply critical, most mainstream outlets have avoided discussing the underlying facets of the narrative even as they imploded, or have even brought on key players to push their since-disproven talking points.

In hindsight, the allegations range from overeager to nearly comical. But it’s important to remember that they have had a real, lasting impact on American politics, and that those chiefly responsible have yet to be held accountable. There’s every reason to believe that many, perhaps even most Americans still believe in the hoax: a poll from 2019 found that nearly 50 percent of respondents believed President Trump had colluded with Russia.

Where is the follow up from anyone, at all, about any of this? If you aren’t outraged by all this, and the clear coordination across multiple organs of the U.S. government, I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know how to convince you to care that the president of the United States has been undermined for four years by a malicious lie from his political opponents.

President Trump has vowed to make public all documents related to investigations into his campaign about alleged connections to Russia. More bombshells may be coming in the weeks and months ahead, which could further undermine the original allegations.

The experience will, hopefully, serve as a cautionary tale about the rush to believe thinly sourced allegations that support one’s biases. But that will require that any lessons from this saga are learned at all.

Drew Holden is a public affairs consultant in Washington, D.C., and a former Republican congressional staff member.
 

O_P_T

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~snip~

It is also now painfully obvious the shutdowns this year are entirely political.

Blue states that are more shut down don't have better success against the virus than red states that are more open.

~snip~

Then there's this little tidbit from JTN

A tale of two COVID economies: Red state recovery, blue state recession
In red states (those voting Republican for president in all four of the last four elections), the combined unemployment rate stood at 6.6%. Among blue states (those that voted Democrat in all of the last four for presidential elections), the figure was 10.5%.

As Democratic candidates across the nation harp on the economic devastation they attribute to the Trump administration's mishandled COVID response, a closer look at state by state unemployment data reveals something far different: a tale of two economies on starkly divergent paths out of crushing shutdown economics. In "red" states, economic recovery is in full roar. "Blue" states, meanwhile, lag far behind, still staggering under unemployment levels associated with the deepest recessions. Suspended somewhere between these two poles are politically mixed "purple" states muddling through with fittingly middling unemployment numbers.

Just the News reviewed U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment data by state for August (the latest data available). The national unemployment rate — which now stands at 7.9% — was 8.4% in August. However, the economic pain represented by that number was not spread evenly across red, blue and purple states — far from it. Fueled by broader, faster economic reopenings following the initial coronavirus crash, conservative-leaning red states are by and large far outpacing liberal-leaning blue states in terms of putting people back to work.

Just the News found that 9 of the 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates are are led by Republican governors (Montana, led by Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock is the lone exception). In startling contrast, 9 of the 10 states with the highest unemployment rates are led by Democrats (the exception being Massachusetts, led by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, a critic of President Trump).

In red states (those voting Republican for president in all four of the last four elections), the combined unemployment rate stood at 6.6%. Among blue states (those that voted Democrat in all four of the last four presidential elections) the figure was 10.5%. Among purple states (all of the others, either split 2 and 2 or 3 wins for one party and one win for the other), the unemployment figure was 7.8%.

Even within the purple states, there was a familiar, albeit far less pronounced, partisan discrepancy: Purple states led by Republican governors had an unemployment rate of 7.3%, while the rate for purple states with Democratic governors was 8.2%.

Kevin Hassett, former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, anticipated the ultimate impact of the faster reopening trends among red states in an interview with Just the News in May. "You're seeing very large variation across blue and red states right now and the extent to which economies are turning back on," Hassett noted back then, "and I think that that's probably the story of the data that's probably most under-told right now."

"[It's] definitely the case," Hassett emphasized, "that the economies are picking up quicker right now in places that are opening up."

"As astounding as the recent economic renaissance in American has been, the reality is that far too many lockdown governors are a drag upon the process, imposing unreasonable restrictions upon their states' economic activity for purely political motives," Steve Cortes, an economic advisor to the Trump campaign, told Just the News. "As strong as the V-shaped recovery is in America, it could be even better if the oppressive governors of many blue states would allow citizens to fully begin the process back to normalcy with safe openings of businesses, schools, sports etc."

The Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment from Just the News.

Jonathan Hartley, a visiting fellow at the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, cautioned that in interpreting the jobs data it's important to note that states that were strong post-pandemic were generally strong pre-pandemic as well.

"Some states have perennially low unemployment, e.g. South Dakota," Hartley told Just the News in an email.

These disparate outcomes could be part of why the president recently said he was pulling the plug on future coronavirus stimulus negotiations until after the election — Trump has said he didn't want poorly-run states to be subsidized by better-run states. The negotiations are still ongoing, with congressional Democrats reportedly negotiating with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Treasury Department spokeswoman Monica Crowley told Just the News that Democrats initially came into current stimulus negotiations wanting between $900 billion and $1 trillion dollars for state and local assistance.

"In the original CARES Act, we sent out about $150 billion to state, local and tribal governments to take care of COVID related expenses," Crowley said on "Just the News AM" Wednesday morning. "Democrats then came back and said they wanted close to a trillion to bail out states that have been fiscally mismanaged for decades — completely unrelated to COVID-related expenses. And our side said, 'No, the president doesn't want to be in the business of bailing out these states.' When you talk about unemployment, you look at the red states, you look at the blue states. You have very distinct economic agendas and visions, and the red states — you have lower government burdens, lower tax rates, lower regulatory burdens on businesses of all sizes. Blue states have more of all of that — higher taxes, more regulation, and so on. And you can see the economic ramifications of that."

Meanwhile, nearly 60% of likely voters — including 70% of undecideds — believe the U.S. shouldn't lock down again, according to Tuesday's Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.

Noting that undecideds in the presidential race oppose relocking by a ratio of almost 3-1, Rasmussen said, "If there is to be a late comeback for the president, this question might provide a clue as to why."
 

BostonTim

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Then there's this little tidbit from JTN
And as the election approaches, the numbers will careen into the stratosphere Kids will all be sent home. P)_anic will be imposed and be skeptical at your own (very risky) risk.
Cheers, :coffee:
 

O_P_T

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And as the election approaches, the numbers will careen into the stratosphere Kids will all be sent home. P)_anic will be imposed and be skeptical at your own (very risky) risk.
Cheers, :coffee:

So you're saying it will be a disaster of biblical proportions?

 

Dwight Schrute

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It’s underway.

Was just informed NH has shut down ice hockey statewide for 2 weeks as of now.

This with a survivability rate of 99.997% for 1-25 yr olds.

Flu has taken more in that age bracket.
 
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