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Editor Daily Rundown: China Using Blackmail, Bribery To Influence Members Of Congress, DNI Ratcliffe Says

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‘THE GREATEST THREAT TO AMERICA TODAY’ … DNI JOHN RATCLIFFE, WRITING IN WSJ… China Is National Security Threat No. 1

If I could communicate one thing to the American people from this unique vantage point, it is that the People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom world-wide since World War II.

The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically. Many of China’s major public initiatives and prominent companies offer only a layer of camouflage to the activities of the Chinese Communist Party.

I call its approach of economic espionage “rob, replicate and replace.” China robs U.S. companies of their intellectual property, replicates the technology, and then replaces the U.S. firms in the global marketplace. […]

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: DNI Ratcliffe tells @CBS_Herridge that China is using blackmail, bribery and covert influence to target members of Congress and make sure “only laws that are favorable to China are passed” (VIDEO)

FLASHBACK, APRIL… NR: Chinese Consulate Asked Wisconsin State Senate to Praise CCP for ‘Sharing Key Information’ about Coronavirus, Emails Show

The head of the Wisconsin state senate recently received multiple emails from the wife of the Chinese Consulate-General in Chicago asking him to propose a resolution to praise China for its handling of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

In a pair of February emails sent to State Senate President Roger Roth, which were provided to National Review, a woman named Wu Ting, who claimed to be “responsible for China-Wisconsin relations,” asks Roth to “consider adopting a resolution expressing solidarity with the Chinese people in fighting the coronavirus.” The Chicago Chinese Consulate General’s official website matches the name to that of the wife of Chinese Consul General in Chicago Zhao Jian, and Ting confirmed her identity when reached for comment.

“The Consulate General wonders if the Wisconsin State Senate could consider adopting a resolution expressing solidarity with the Chinese people in fighting the coronavirus. It [sic] yes, it would be a great moral support to the Chinese people combating the disease,” Ting wrote in the email. “Much appreciated if you could give it a serious consideration. We have drawn up a draft resolution just for your reference.”

FOX: Ratcliffe urges Biden to let Durham probe run its course, says more docs ‘should be’ declassified

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Thursday urged President-elect Joe Biden to allow Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe to run its course, while saying he hopes there will be “folks held accountable that should be.”

Ratcliffe, during an interview with Fox News, also indicated that there are “a significant number of documents” not within the intelligence community, but that “relate to the counterintelligence investigation at the FBI and at the Justice Department” that have not yet been declassified.

“I think it is possible that some of those would be, and should be,” Ratcliffe said.

FBI LAWYER ASKS FOR LENIENCY AFTER ABUSING CARTER PAGE… AP: Ex-FBI lawyer who altered Russia probe email seeks probation

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty to altering an email during the Russia investigation “made a grievous mistake” but should be spared prison time and given probation instead, his attorneys said in a sentencing memorandum Thursday.

Kevin Clinesmith admitted in August to having altered an email that was being used in support of an FBI application to monitor the communications of a former Trump campaign aide, Carter Page. Clinesmith’s lawyers said that although he believed the information he wrote was accurate, he knowingly doctored the email by stating that Page was “not a source” for the CIA.

“By altering a colleague’s email, he cut a corner in a job that required far better of him. He failed to live up to the FBI’s and his own high standards of conduct,” his lawyers wrote. “And he committed a crime.”

POLITICO: Prosecutors want prison for ex-FBI attorney who altered email in FISA process

Prosecutors, on the other hand, are seeking a jail term of “at least” three to six months for Clinesmith, contending that his offense was so serious that he deserves incarceration.

“The Court’s sentence should send a message that people like the defendant — an attorney in a position of trust who others relied upon — will face serious consequences if they commit crimes that result in material misstatements or omissions to a court,” prosecutors working for Durham argued in their submission Thursday night.

READ THE MEMO FROM “JOHN H. DURHAM, SPECIAL COUNSEL, THE SPECIAL COUNSEL’S OFFICE”… (PDF)

DOJ: Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against Facebook for Discriminating Against U.S. Workers

The lawsuit alleges that Facebook refused to recruit, consider, or hire qualified and available U.S. workers for over 2,600 positions that Facebook, instead, reserved for temporary visa holders it sponsored for permanent work authorization (or “green cards”) in connection with the permanent labor certification process (PERM). The positions that were the subject of Facebook’s alleged discrimination against U.S. workers offered an average salary of approximately $156,000. According to the lawsuit, and based on the department’s nearly two-year investigation, Facebook intentionally created a hiring system in which it denied qualified U.S. workers a fair opportunity to learn about and apply for jobs that Facebook instead sought to channel to temporary visa holders Facebook wanted to sponsor for green cards.

“The Department of Justice’s lawsuit alleges that Facebook engaged in intentional and widespread violations of the law, by setting aside positions for temporary visa holders instead of considering interested and qualified U.S. workers,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband of the Civil Rights division. “This lawsuit follows a nearly two-year investigation into Facebook’s practices and a ‘reasonable cause’ determination by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division. Our message to workers is clear: if companies deny employment opportunities by illegally preferring temporary visa holders, the Department of Justice will hold them accountable. Our message to all employers — including those in the technology sector — is clear: you cannot illegally prefer to recruit, consider, or hire temporary visa holders over U.S. workers.”

TRUMP: Very sadly for our Nation, it looks like Senator @JimInhofe will not be putting the Section 230 termination clause into the Defense Bill. So bad for our National Security and Election Integrity. Last chance to ever get it done. I will VETO!

CNBC: Trump doubles down on $740 billion defense bill veto threat over Section 230 tech fight

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump threatened again on Thursday to veto a colossal defense bill if lawmakers do not include a measure eliminating legal protections for social media companies.

Trump is calling for the repeal of a federal law, known as Section 230 of the Communications Act, which protects tech giants like Facebook and Twitter from being held legally liable for what is posted on their platforms.

On Wednesday, Trump referred to the provision as a “liability shielding gift” to “Big Tech” and called for it to be “completely terminated” otherwise he would nix this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA.

The president also said the measure posed a serious threat to U.S. national security as well as election integrity but did not give any further explanatory details. Trump has also said that Twitter, his social media platform of choice, has unfairly censored him.

LA Mayor Bans Unnecessary Walking As Part Of New COVID-19 Restrictions

Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a new emergency order Wednesday that bans unnecessary “travel on foot” as he warns the city is nearing a “devastating tipping point” in their fight against COVID-19.

“Our city is now close to a devastating tipping point, beyond which the number of hospitalized patients would start to overwhelm our hospital system, in turn risking needless suffering and death,” Garcetti wrote in the order. “These unfortunate facts about the spread of COVID-19 in our City mean that we must resume some of the more restrictive measures we instituted in the Spring.”

The order prohibits “all travel, including, without limitation, travel on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit,” with limited exceptions.

LEE FANG: LA completely shut down, all travel on “on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, auto, or public transit prohibited” – but an exception if you work in “music, film and television production” & private golf courses that follow state guidelines can stay open.

CBS: California to impose regional stay-at-home orders as coronavirus cases surge

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday said he would issue a regional stay-at-home order in areas facing ICU bed shortages as COVID-19 cases surge across the state. “We are pulling that emergency brake,” Newsom said in a news conference Thursday.

The measure forces a three-week closure of all bars, wineries, hair salons and barbershops in regions where ICU beds have reached 15% capacity. Retail stores will be allowed to operate at 20% capacity, while restaurants will be limited to takeout and delivery service only. Non-essential travel will be restricted.

“This is the final surge in this pandemic,” Newsom said. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

ANOTHER SMALL VICTORY FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY… LAT: Supreme Court gives partial win to churches fighting California’s limits on indoor worship services

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court told California judges on Thursday to take another hard look at state rules that ban most indoor worship services.

A week ago, the justices in a 5-4 decision lifted tight limits on churches and synagogues in neighborhoods of New York City where the virus was spreading. The court said those restrictions violated the 1st Amendment’s protection for the free exercise of religion.

Rather than issue a separate decision responding to a religious-liberty challenge to California’s restrictions, the high court issued a brief, unsigned order on Thursday telling federal judges in the Los Angeles area to reconsider Gov. Gavin Newsom’s even tighter restrictions on worship services in all of the population centers of California.

FOX: Michigan small-business owner goes viral for rant against lockdown: ‘It’s gotten extremely difficult’ (VIDEO)

A video of a Michigan restaurant owner went viral Thursday after he interrupted a news reporter on live television to express his frustration with the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Nov. 15 issued an emergency order halting all indoor social gatherings for three weeks in an effort to reduce the spiking COVID-19 cases in the state.

“There are 3,000 businesses in Michigan that are closed right now, and they’re falling daily,” Dave Morris, owner of D&R’s Daily Grind Cafe, told Fox News. “The fact that my government had enough money to work with. … You take $4 trillion and divide it among 100 million households, roughly … they could have given every household in this country $20,000 to sit down. Go home and sit.”

IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING… KYLE GRIFFIN: Dr. Fauci says he’s staying on in the new Biden administration.

@DAILYCALLER: Joe Biden says he will ask all Americans to wear a mask for the first 100 days of his administration: “Just 100 days to mask. Not forever. 100 days and I think we’ll see a significant reduction… drive down the numbers considerably.” (VIDEO)

BRAIN FOOD… FORMER FOX REPORTER DOUG MCKELWAY…

See all those reports that the new Covid spikes are causing hospitals to be filled up? I’d view them very skeptically. There’s a lot of money to be made out there by making it SEEM hospitals are filled.

Three Alex Berenson tweets:

1) “Just had a fascinating talk with someone hospitalized for Covid. I can’t repeat the specifics (they would sound too convenient anyway), but I will say: hospitalizing people to give them remdesivir – WHOSE ONLY PROVEN BENEFIT IS TO SHORTEN HOSPITALIZATIONS – is beyond perverse…

2) And those hospitalizations – along with “with Covid” incidental patients – are clearly a significant part of the fall spike. Public health types keep peddling the idea that hospitals are so full they have tightened admission criteria, but the reality appears to be the opposite…

3) Especially since hospitals now know they can easily manage the PPE requirements and get that sweet 20% DRG bonus.”

That DRG bonus he references in the last sentence is the Medicare Severity-Diagnosis Related Group – the federal government reimburses hospitals an extra 20 percent for each Covid diagnosis. So hospitals, naturally love the Covid diagnosis and, conveniently, the PRC test to diagnosis Covid is known to significantly inflate positives. As I said, there’s money to be made out there!

VOTER FRAUD INVESTIGATION… CBS46: Lawmakers hear bombshell allegations of Georgia election fraud (VIDEO)

Thursday, a Senate Judiciary subcommittee heard new jaw-dropping allegations of alleged election fraud in Georgia.

The supposed videotape evidence alleges proof of ballots being counted without oversight. A subcommittee comprised of both Republicans and Democrats is held a hearing at the State Capitol for perhaps the biggest bombshell presented to lawmakers from inside State Farm Arena.

For the first time, the president’s legal team led by Rudy Giuliani presented the surveillance video from the state’s largest voting center, which allegedly shows people taking out at least four boxes of ballots from underneath a table and then counting them after hours with no election supervisors present.

GEORGIA REPORTER GETS INTO TWITTER SPAT WITH GEORGIA GOP CHAIRMAN ABOUT WHETHER STATE MONITOR WAS THERE AND FOR HOW LONG…

FOX: Georgia Gov. Kemp claims GOP secretary of state has yet to order signature audit

Gov. Brian Kemp, the Georgia Republican who has been fiercely criticized by President Trumpover his approach to allegations of voter fraud in his state, said Thursday that new testimony has raised additional questions and a signature audit should be performed.

Kemp, who was interviewed on “The Ingraham Angle,” was referring to surveillance video that allegedly showed poll watchers being led out of a room at State Farm Arena, the state’s largest vote-counting center, after being told that the vote count was complete for the night. Once they left, a woman could be seen pulling out suitcases from underneath a table that allegedly contained ballots. The votes were allegedly counted for hours, with no election supervisors present, CBS46.com reported.

EXAMINER: Pro-Biden effort offered Native Americans $25-$500 Visa gift cards and jewelry to vote

Key Native American leaders working with the Biden campaign offered tribal members and associates Visa gift cards, jewelry, and other “swag” to vote in the presidential election, according to several videos being used by the Trump campaign’s effort to challenge Nevada’s vote.

In one long video, officials from the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony are shown offering a raffle for gift cards in values of $25, $100, $250, and $500 to those who can prove they voted.

Other gifts for voting include bracelets, necklaces, earrings, T-shirts, and masks.

“If you come here to vote or if you voted already, RSIC is having a raffle,” said RSIC spokeswoman Bethany Sam in one of the videos.

NYT: Juan Williams of Fox News Is Said to Test Positive for Coronavirus

Juan Williams, a veteran Fox News personality who co-hosts the popular afternoon talk show “The Five,” tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday and is isolating himself, two people who were briefed on his condition said.

Mr. Williams taped a live episode of “The Five” on Wednesday afternoon at Fox News’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters, appearing on the set with several of his co-hosts, including the popular conservative commentators Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld. The hosts, like guests on some other cable talk shows during the pandemic, sat about seven feet apart.

Mr. Williams left for vacation on Nov. 18 and returned to the Fox News studios on Monday; he was tested for the coronavirus shortly thereafter. The people familiar with his condition, who requested anonymity to share private discussions, said he received a positive result on Thursday afternoon.

NY POST: Microsoft patents new software that can detect when employees are lazy

United States Patent and Trademark Office records indicate that Microsoft is staking claim over novel software that allows employers to monitor staffers’ body language and facial expressions during virtual and in-person meetings, and delivers a numeric “productivity score,” topping out at 800, for companies overall.

The technology garnered little buzz during Microsoft’s Ignite conference in October, Forbes reported last week. Since then, security experts have had a chance to take a deeper look at Productivity Score.

“It’s horrendous,” said right-to-privacy researcher J.S. Nelson, associate professor of law at Villanova University. “Why are they monitoring people this way and what is that telling people about the relationship they should have with their employers in the workplace? What message are you sending?” he told Forbes.

VERGE: Warner Bros. will release all of its new 2021 movies simultaneously on HBO Max

WarnerMedia is pushing even more aggressively into streaming by releasing every single one of its movies in 2021 simultaneously on HBO Max.

There are some limitations to the new business model. The movies will only stream on HBO Max for one month before leaving the platform for a period of time. They will also play in theaters simultaneously, keeping the relationship with movie theater distributors like AMC and Regal. The plan is to run this experiment for one year. For people who don’t have access to HBO Max in their market, it appears that theatrical releases will still be the go-to option.

The movies Warner Bros. is planning to release for now include: The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, Reminiscence, Malignant, Dune, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, Cry Macho, and Matrix 4.

Calling All Patriots: Freedom of speech is enshrined as a fundamental right in the U.S. Constitution, but many people claim that it is now under threat. Whether its from Big Tech algorithms, government mandates or cancel culture mobs, many argue that free speech in the United States is under attack. So Patriots, what do you think is the biggest threat to free speech? Let us know in the form.