Tuesday, January 28, 2020



IN THE November 2006 election, the voters demanded congressional ethics reform. And so, the newly appointed chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is now duly in charge of regulating the ethical behavior of her colleagues. But for many years, Feinstein has been beset by her own ethical conflict of interest, say congressional ethics experts.

“All in all, it was an incredible victory for the Chinese government. Feinstein has done more for Red China than other any serving U.S. politician. “ Trevor Loudon

“Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world hell-holes.  This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” ---- Karen McQuillan  AMERICAN THINKER.com

L.A. Times: Dianne Feinstein Leans Toward Voting for Trump Acquittal in Impeachment Trial; Update: Feinstein Denies

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., talks with reporters before a meeting of Senate Democrats on January 22. The California Democratic Party refused Saturday to endorse Feinstein, a 25-year incumbent, in her Senate race this fall. File Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI
Erin Schaff/UPI

Veteran Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said that she could vote for President Donald Trump’s acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial, after White House lawyers concluded opening arguments Tuesday.

Initially @SenFeinstein says she was against impeaching Trump because "the people should judge" in 2020-"that still is my view" Says hasn't made up mind, serious questions about Trump's "character"-but the fact that she's even a maybe on ultimate acquittal vote pretty interesting

The Los Angeles Times reported that Feinstein was still undecided, but leaning toward acquittal:

Screenshot / L.A. Times
“Nine months left to go, the people should judge. We are a republic, we are based on the will of the people — the people should judge,” Feinstein said Tuesday, after the president’s team finished a three-day presentation in his defense. “That was my view and it still is my view.”
Still, she indicated that arguments in the trial about Trump’s character and fitness for office had left her undecided. “What changed my opinion as this went on,” she said, is a realization that “impeachment isn’t about one offense. It’s really about the character and ability and physical and mental fitness of the individual to serve the people, not themselves.”
Asked whether she would ultimately vote to acquit, she demurred, saying, “We’re not finished.”
An Axios reporter disagreed with the Times‘ interpretation of Feinstein’s answer, pointing out that Feinstein had said the opening arguments on both sides had moved her closer to the House Democrats’ position:

Feinstein, who won re-election to her sixth term in 2018, has dissented from Democratic orthodoxy before. She faced protests from party activists in early 2017 after she voted for several Trump cabinet picks and suggested that Trump could turn out to be a “good president.”
Currently, media coverage has focused on Republicans’ internal debates about whether to accede to Democrats’ demand to call new witnesses — after Democrats denied all Republican requests for new witnesses in the House.
But Feinstein’s response Tuesday points toward a bigger problem: Democrats may have failed to convince members of their own caucus that there is a convincing case for removing Trump from office.
UPDATE 5:50 p.m. ET: 
After the publication of the Los Angeles Times article, Feinstein challenged the newspaper’s report and said the newspaper misunderstood her. She tweeted that she thinks what Trump allegedly did was wrong.

The LA Times misunderstood what I said today. Before the trial I said I'd keep an open mind. Now that both sides made their cases, it’s clear the president’s actions were wrong. He withheld vital foreign assistance for personal political gain. That can’t be allowed to stand.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


IN THE November 2006 election, the voters demanded congressional ethics reform. And so, the newly appointed chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is now duly in charge of regulating the ethical behavior of her colleagues. But for many years, Feinstein has been beset by her own ethical conflict of interest, say congressional ethics experts.

“All in all, it was an incredible victory for the Chinese government. Feinstein has done more for Red China than other any serving U.S. politician. “ Trevor Loudon

“Our entire crony capitalist system, Democrat and Republican alike, has become a kleptocracy approaching par with third-world hell-holes.  This is the way a great country is raided by its elite.” ---- Karen McQuillan  AMERICAN THINKER.com

Everything we know about Hunter Biden's business connections in China

Alexandra Ma
·         President Donald Trump this week suggested that Hunter Biden had used his position as then-Vice President Joe Biden's son to secure a $1.5 billion deal with the Chinese state bank for a Chinese private equity company where he is a board member.
·         There is no evidence to this claim.
·         The $1.5 billion appears to refer to a sum that BHR, the private equity firm, was trying to raise in 2014 to invest outside China, according to The Wall Street Journal.
·         But Biden's lawyer said Biden has never profited from his work at BHR.
·         Here's what we know about Hunter Biden's business dealings in China.
The global business dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, have been thrust into the spotlight after President Donald Trump suggested without evidence that the father and son had engaged in corruption in Ukraine and China.
Trump on Thursday openly called on China to investigate the Bidens, suggesting — without evidence — that China had given $1.5 billion to a Chinese private equity firm where Hunter Biden was a board member to secure favorable deals with the US while Joe Biden was Vice President.
President Trump: "China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine. So, I would say that President Zelensky, if it were me, I would recommend that they start an investigation into the Bidens." pic.twitter.com/Xia8vLUVT2

Here's what we know about the background of this allegation.
·         Biden has been a board member at BHR Equity Investment Fund Management Company, a Chinese state-backed private equity firm, since late 2013, according to The New York Times and the South China Morning Post.
·         In 2017, Biden bought 10% of the company for about $420,000, The Times reported.
·         The $1.5 billion Trump cited on Thursday appears to refer to a sum that BHR was trying to raise in 2014 to invest outside China, as The Wall Street Journal reported at the time.
·         That sum appeared in "Secret Empires," a book published last year that criticized Biden's business activities, The Journal reported.
·         Peter Schweizer, the author, said BHR "would seal a highly unusual $1.5 billion deal with funding from the Chinese government" after Biden flew to Beijing aboard Air Force Two at the time.
·         Trump has praised the book in the past, The Journal reported.
·         Trump on Thursday suggested that Biden used his position as the vice president's son to secure the money from China's state-owned bank, and made millions in the process, the South China Morning Post reported.
·         But Biden's lawyer George Mesires said earlier this week that Biden had never been paid for sitting on BHR's board, and has not received any payouts from his investment, according to The Times and The Washington Post.
·         BHR has removed all photos of Hunter Biden from its website, the South China Morning Post reported on Saturday. BBHR has not yet responded to Business Insider's request for confirmation and comment on the date of the photo's removal.
Mesires has not yet responded to Business Insider's request for comment on Biden's current role and responsibility at BHR Partners.
BHR has not yet responded to Business Insider's request for comment on Biden's role and responsibility at the firm.

Is Dianne Feinstein out to kill off Kamala Harris's presidential bid?

Kamala Harris has always been known for her lean and hungry, pushy, grabby, ambition, which includes a willingness to sleep her way to the top to get what she wants. Her political start began as a social mountaineer with San Francisco's old-money Pacific Heights set dating from her 20s and then just moved onward and upward.
That's not sitting well with California's lizardy old-money senior Senator, Dianne Feinstein, who knows that establishment well.
And so, she's taking some action, as Fox News reports:

According to reports, Feinstein, the senior senator from the Golden State, will throw a fundraiser next month for Democratic 2020 presidential frontrunner Joe Biden -- and not for Harris, another White House contender whose poll numbers suggest she could probably use some high-profile help.
“My candidate would be Joe Biden,” Feinstein told CNBC back then. “I watched him as vice president. I’ve seen him operate. I’ve seen him perform and I think he brings a level of experience and seniority, which I think is really important.”
The early evening reception will be the first that Feinstein hosts for Biden in the 2020 election, CNBC reported. Her husband has already participated in several fundraising events for Biden, who campaigned for Feinstein in 2018, when she was re-elected by a landslide.
Oh, spare us. Feinstein knows as well as anyone that old Joe is addled and gaffe-tastic. This is more likely about putting Kamala back in her place.
Fox News speculated that this fundraiser among the fatcat donors might just have been payback for Harris's nasty first-debate attack all but accusing Biden of being a Bull Conner racist. Remember Harris's phony earnestness in: "That little girl was me"?
Sure, it's possible. But it's also been known for close to a year that Feinstein considers Harris a wretched parvenu who hasn't paid her dues.
Remember this?
“I’m a big fan of Sen. Harris, and I work with her. But she’s brand-new here, so it takes a little bit of time to get to know somebody,” Feinstein said of the junior senator, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Her press secretary told CNN that Feinstein later added that she certainly likes her California colleague, saying, “Oh, I love Kamala.”
Translation in a plummy accent: Do we know her?
The lagniappe of 'Oh, I love Kamala,' straight from The Sloane Ranger Handbook, is a nice touch.
Hard to get a better old-money passive-aggressive remark than that one. People are either known or unknown in Feinstein's rich circles and it's pretty obvious to Feinstein that Kamala doesn't cut it.
What's more, Feinstein is a 'get off my lawn, whippersnappers' non-ideological sort of small-c conservative, or, as Fox News put it, she pulls rank. Remember this?
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein pulled rank Friday when a group of kids tried to school her on climate change.
After the group sought her support for the Green New Deal, the 85-year-old senior senator from California let them know she wasn't about to be bossed around by a bunch of youngsters.

“You come in here, and you say it has to be my way or the highway. I don’t respond to that,” Feinstein continued. “I’ve gotten elected, I just ran. I was elected by almost a million-vote plurality. And I know what I’m doing. So you know, maybe people should listen a little bit.
So just the fundraiser in Harris's home state of California was a shiv in the side to Kamala.
Why is that? 
Well, for one thing, the Democratic political set widely believes that to win the presidency, one must win California. Harris is from California, so that stacks things in her favor. 
Now Feinstein is marshalling money from California Biden's way? So that they give their money to him and feel 'donor fatigue' when Kamala comes calling?
The matter is compounded by the fact that the California Democratic campaign fatcats weren't impressed with Harris's performance in the third debate, as this CNBC report here indicates. Feinstein knows those people and may very well be egging them toward Biden, or at least piling on.
Here's another thing: Money from fatcats over little-people donations is Kamala's vulnerable spot. The queen of fake Twitter followers is also highly reliant on big dollar donors over the little guys, even as the New York Times tries to claim she's changing that. Well, maybe she is, but if she is, it would be in the infant stage and in any case, they're taking her word for it. More likely, she still relies on the big boys, because that's what she knows.
Which would mean that Feinstein's bid to separate Harris from that cash lifeline is like that of General Grant at Vicksburg, targeting Confederate supply lines. The California dinosaur strategizes.
The Feinstein fundraiser, which will channel and suction big money toward Biden, can't help but come at a cost to Harris. And Feinstein, right in the middle of the Pacific Heights crowd, is lobbing her cannon ball where the funds are richest and Kamala's ties are tightest.
It almost looks like a concerted chess move to checkmate the upstart. And given the evidence of Feinstein's antipathy toward Harris, one can't help but think it's all intentional.

Book Bombshell: Start-up Linked to Hunter Biden’s Firm Bagged $3 Million from Government Program Run by Biden Adviser

AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu, BNN Edit
An investment fund connected to Hunter Biden received three million dollars in taxpayer cash from a federal program run by one of his father’s top advisers, according to revelations in Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite—a new book by Peter Schweizer, a senior contributor at Breitbart News and the president of the Government Accountability Institute.
In December 2013, Hunter Biden along with his long-time business associate Devon Archer invested in a Hawaii-focused venture capital fund called mbloom. The investment in mbloom, meant to provide seed capital for technology startups, was the result of a public-private partnership between Biden’s firm, Rosemont Seneca Technology (RST) Partners, and the state of Hawaii.
As part of the agreement, RST would provide five million for the fund, with the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC) matching the same amount. Little-known at the time, however, was that more than half of HSDC’s contribution would come from a federal program controlled by a confidant of the Biden family.
As Schweizer reveals in Profiles in Corruption, three million of HSDC’s matching funds came from the Treasury Department’s State Small Business Credit Initiative. The program, which expenses more than $1.5 billion to state economic development agencies, was administered by then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Don Graves.
Complicating matters is that while Graves was overseeing the Small Business Credit Initiative, he was also informally advising Biden on economic and domestic policy as the executive director of the president’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. That role took on a more official form shortly after mbloom received its contribution from HSDC, with Graves leaving the treasury department and joining the vice president’s office.
“It is hard to find someone tighter in the Biden orbit than Graves,” Schweizer writes in the book. “Over the course of his career, he has served as counselor to Vice President Biden, his domestic and economic policy director, and as his traveling chief of staff.”
Since then, the two men’s personal and professional lives have continued to intertwine. Graves, now the head of corporate responsibility and community relations at KeyBank, has not only donated to Biden’s 2020 campaign, but has also taken an active role in the former vice president’s philanthropic pursuits.
“After Joe Biden left the White House, he appointed Graves to the policy advisory board of the Biden Institute,” Schweizer notes.
In that role, Graves was tasked with overseeing the former vice president’s cancer “moonshot” initiative.
Graves’ success in leveraging his relationship with the Biden family sharply contrasts with that of taxpayers in the state of Hawaii.
Within months of HSDC inking the mbloom deal with Hunter Biden’s firm, the fund was embroiled in scandal. Most notably, two of the companies that first received capital from mbloom were owned by individuals, Arben Kryeziu and Nick Bicanic, tasked with managing the fund.
The scandal only grew when the company owned by Bicanic went under, without ever reporting a profit, and Kryeziu fell afoul of the Securities and Exchange Commission. HSDC, which initially saw mbloom as an opportunity to diversify Hawaii’s service-centered economy, stepped in to stabilize the fund.
Those efforts proved futile, especially when Archer was indicted for defrauding a Native American tribe in May 2016. The charges against Archer stemmed in part from allegations that he and a business associate conspired to use tribal bonds under their control to drive up the stock price of Code Rebel, a technology company also owned by Kryeziu.
In the aftermath of the indictment, RST Partners agreed to give up its stake in mbloom to an investor lined up by HSDC. It remains unclear if Hunter Biden’s firm recouped its initial five-million-dollar investment.
Despite hopes of salvaging mbloom, further investment never materialized. In June 2016, HSDC opted to shutter the fund in an effort to prevent any more tax dollars from going to waste. Hunter Biden, for his part, would continue benefiting from his father’s political ties. Other members of the Biden family did as well.
The bombshell revelations contained within Profiles in Corruption emerge as the U.S. Senate weighs whether or not to convict President Donald Trump of wrongdoing. The impeachment imbroglio stems, in part, from Trump’s suggestion that Ukraine look into Hunter Biden’s ties to another shadowy entity.
As Schweizer detailed in his previous bestseller, Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, Hunter joined the board of directors of a Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma Holdings, in 2014. His appointment to the post, which paid $83,000-per-month—despite no expertise in the energy sector, came around the same time his father was tapped to lead Obama administration policy towards Ukraine.
Hunter’s ties to the company, troubling by themselves, took on an added dimension when Joe Biden, in his capacity as vice president, pushed for the ouster of Ukraine’s top prosecutor in 2016. The prosecutor was known to be investigating Burisma.
Democrats have accused Trump of soliciting foreign help in taking down a domestic political opponent by suggesting Ukraine look into the potential conflicts of interest between Joe Biden’s political influence and his son’s business ventures. Joe Biden, himself, admitted on Wednesday that while he did not believe his son did anything wrong, the optics were not good.
“There’s nobody that’s indicated there’s a single solitary thing he did that was inappropriate or wrong—other than the appearance,” the former vice president said while campaigning in Iowa. “It looked bad that he was there.”
Hunter Biden also seems to agree. The Daily Mail reported on Thursday, the former vice president’s youngest son is allegedly “prepping” his story in the event he is called to testify at the impeachment trial.