Shameless

Self promotion, China, and Hunter Biden...

Hey everyone.

Let me be humble here. We’ve only started The Racket News as a pre-pre-launch to “see what happens,” and as a place where David, Jay and I can write and podcast what we want to say, and hopefully, some people want to read and hear it. I’m overjoyed at the response so far. Thank each of you for being the first to sign up to read this.

Now a bit of shameless promotion. We have a domain name now, and it’s theracketnews.com. This site is now at https://www.theracketnews.com. Please share it and get your friends to share it with their friends, and so on. Anyone signing up now will forever have their name and likeness enshrined in our Pantheon of Champions, or Founders Hall, or the Museum of Strange Antiquities. That means, if this thing grows or actually converts to something we can—uhm—charge money for, you’ll have a special place in our hearts, which, with a $10 Starbucks card, can get you a grande toffee nut latte.

Shameless

Speaking of shameless, I’ve got several thoughts today. First up, is my take over at The First on Texas AG Ken Paxton’s lawsuit to force Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin to have an election “do-over.” I agree with the spirit of Paxton’s lawsuit, and the exclusive news bubbles that Democrats and Republicans live in has made the perception of a tainted election worse than it is. The “one in a quadrillion” argument really means something to millions of Americans.

The suit is about perception. Democrats put up months of messaging telling their voters to vote by mail, and that on election night, there would be a “red mirage” that would fade as the mail-in results are tabulated. That indeed happened. But Trump’s message overwhelmed his own voters, who never got the “red mirage” message. And the statistics, cited in Paxton’s propose complaint, look bad, because truly, they are bad.

Of course, the specific allegations, state by state, are frivolous, mostly untrue, and unable to show even one single state election could be overturned as a cure. Therefore these cases are, without exception, being rejected by both state and federal courts. Patxon’s lawsuit was trashed by lawyers like Erick Erickson, who called it “performative leg humping by someone desperate to curry favor with President Trump.” Even Trump apologist Andrew McCarthy called it “frivolous” and “political.”

This is exactly what I expect from lawyers. To a lawyer, filing such a suit, or asking permission from the Supreme Court to do so, is borderline malpractice. But as Paxton’s suit argues, what other forum is there for a cure when state and federal judges unwisely intervened in a presidential general election, just weeks before Election Day, in some cases while early voting was already happening, changing longstanding law and procedures, forcing officials to scramble to invent new ones ad hoc.

If, as Democrats have claimed for years, the Kraken exists, and it’s about voter suppression, then the way to “un-rig” the races should not be to go around legislatures and law, to just set an outcome the way a judge wants it. Is it fair?

On January 20th, 2021, all this will fade away like so many dandelion seeds in the wind, but the issues will remain for future races. I’d like to see legislatures act in 2021 to deal with the separate but unequal nature of mail-in versus in-person voting. Perhaps it’s time to do away with early voting altogether? But of course, that’s voter suppression.

Democrats would rather move to mandatory voting, like Australia has, but that’s authoritarian. I rather like our federal system, but I’d like it better if we leveled the playing field for mail-in, early, and in-person votes, without opening the door to massive ballot harvesting. And don’t tell me Democrats (and Republicans!) wouldn’t do it if they could get away with it.

Swalwell, Hunter Biden, and China

California Rep. Eric Swalwell gets the “pot calling the kettle black” award for his muck-raking a 2018 tweet from Donald Trump about Chinese firm ZTE to distract from his own China ties.

As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Swalwell is privy to some pretty classified stuff, but the Chinese don’t want to infiltrate our politics to get classified information. They have other ways of getting that. They want influence, and leverage, and scandal.

Axios broke a story about Chinese national Christine Fang, a Bay Area suspected intelligence operative:

A suspected Chinese intelligence operative developed extensive ties with local and national politicians, including a U.S. congressman, in what U.S. officials believe was a political intelligence operation run by China’s main civilian spy agency between 2011 and 2015, Axios found in a year long investigation.

Swalwell’s office responded: "Rep. Swalwell, long ago, provided information about this person — whom he met more than eight years ago, and whom he hasn’t seen in nearly six years — to the FBI. To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story."

Fellow Californian and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy made it rain, calling for Swalwell’s removal from the House Intelligence Committee.

“This is only the tip of the iceberg because remember what we’re hearing, these are Chinese spies that go down to the level of a mayor, they court and help a city councilmember become a congressman, this congressman now gets on the Intel Committee,” McCarthy told Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “They are only selected for the Intel Committee by the leaders of their party, meaning Nancy Pelosi. Nancy Pelosi is one of the Gang of Eight, along with myself.”

Another target of China’s influence-seeking is Hunter Biden, who has been under investigation by the FBI for tax and money laundering violations. From Glenn Greenwald:

Hunter Biden acknowledged today that he has been notified of an active criminal investigation into his tax affairs by the U.S. Attorney for Delaware. Among the numerous prongs of the inquiry, CNN reports, investigators are examining “whether Hunter Biden and his associates violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China.”

And:

The allegations at the heart of this investigation compel an examination of a fascinating and at-times disturbing speechat a major financial event held last week in Shanghai. In that speech, a Chinese scholar of political science and international finance, Di Donghseng, insisted that Beijing will have far more influence in Washington under a Biden administration than it did with the Trump administration. 

China is going to be very troublesome to America, regardless if you’re Democrat, Republican, or Libertarian. Calling out the “other side” is exactly what the Chinese government wants us to do, while they continue to make inroads in our institutions, schools, banks, corporations, and political parties.

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In case you missed it:

David Thornton wondered if we’re slouching toward civil war as the Supreme Court thumbs its nose at Trump’s legal team. Also, given how President Trump is going all-in for conspiracy, does he really love America?

My brother Jay and I have been doing a podcast for about two months, over at SoundCloud. We’re not very good at it but we entertain ourselves. Feel free to check it out. I’m beginning to move it over to this site. Here’s Episode 21 of “Breakfast with Bermans.” Enjoy.

Is there really a secret galactic council with an underground base on Mars, which has prevented us from nuking each other these last 50 years? If there is, the media is largely ignoring the story. And like all alien stories, the real thing would be much less exciting than the science fiction version of it.

And again, thank you for reading. We may adopt this “newsletter” style format for future digests, to keep you email box from overflowing the The Racket.

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