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Elon Biography, Rigged Primary, Free Speech, CIA Covid Whistleblower, Obama in the Arena
This week’s digest covers Walter Isaacson’s biography of Elon, RFK’s accusation that the DNC is rigging the primary, a new phase in Elon’s battle for free speech, a CIA Covid whistleblower, and claims about Barrack Obama’s personal life.
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Elon Biography Fireworks
Walter Isaacson’s new biography about Elon Musk is shaping up to be the literary event of the year. It produced some major fireworks over the last week.
One much-discussed section claims that Elon refused to turn on Starlink satellite Internet to enable Ukraine to launch drone strikes on the Russian Navy in Crimea.
Part of Elon’s refusal was due to concern that the strikes would increase the probability of nuclear war.
The news that Elon refused to meet Ukraine’s request set off harsh criticism from legacy media and pro-war politicians.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper said the decision “effectively sabotaged a military operation by Ukraine, a U.S. ally.”
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow claimed Elon was “intervening to try to stop Ukraine from winning the war.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren called for the Pentagon to investigate Elon and SpaceX.
Elon parried attacks in an interview with the All-In Podcast, pointing out that Starlink has never been active in Crimea and the request came from Ukraine rather than the US government: "We figured out that this was kind of like a Pearl Harbor like attack...So they really asked us to proactively take part in a major act of war."
In one post, he stated his allegiance to the US: “I am a citizen of the United States and have only that passport. No matter what happens, I will fight for and die in America. The United States Congress has not declared war on Russia. If anyone is treasonous, it is those who call me such. Please tell them that very clearly.”
In another post, he reiterated his call to end the war: “Both sides should agree to a truce. Every day that passes, more Ukrainian and Russian youth die to gain and lose small pieces of land, with borders barely changing. This is not worth their lives.”
Another section of Isaacson’s biography described the tense relationship between Elon and Bill Gates.
Gates placed a $500M short bet against Tesla and then complained Elon was “super mean” to him when they met.
On Monday, Elon unpacked his frustration with the Microsoft founder:
In response to a reader’s comment, Elon poked fun at Gates’s relationship with sex trafficker Jefrey Epstein, urging the press to investigate further.
Elon has made Gates the target of his memes in the past.
Gates is the subject of numerous theories based on his role funding The WHO, extraordinary vaccine profits, and constant predictions of the “next pandemic.” Consequently, he is a fruitful subject for memes.
Last year, Elon made a side-by-side comparison of Gates and a pregnant man emoji as a commentary on Gates’s public health leadership.
The year before, he posted a political cartoon depicting Gates as a puppet master overseeing vaccine rollout.
In 2020, Elon distanced himself from Gates at a moment when Gates was under intense online scrutiny.
Gates has yet to respond to Elon’s latest comments.
Given their personal and philosophical differences, it seems likely the feud will continue.
What do you think: Was Elon right to deny Ukraine’s request? How should he settle his feud with Gates? And will Isaacson’s biography help the public appreciate Elon’s greatness?
On Thursday, RFK Jr’s Presidential campaign accused the DNC of trying to rig the Democratic Primary.
In an interview with Forbes, Kennedy said the DNC is attempting to reorder the primary elections to favor Biden by making South Carolina the first primary, ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire.
He added that the DNC is threatening to punish candidates who campaign in New Hampshire or Iowa first:
“They’ve made rules that if any candidate sets foot in the state of Iowa or sets foot in the state of New Hampshire, then none of the votes that are cast for that candidate will be tallied. In other words any delegate that I win in New Hampshire or Iowa would go instead to the President…If you add up all the super-delegates that they control, and all of the automatic delegates that just go to the party, I would have to win almost 80% of all the states”
RFK issued a statement for support for New Hampshire after the state’s Democrat leaders announced they would defy the DNC and continue to hold their primary first.
Kennedy’s statement is concerning in itself, but also marks a disturbing trend of accusation of election meddling.
In 2016, several prominent Democrats including Elizabeth Warren and former DNC chair Donna Brazile accused the DNC of rigging the primary in favor of Hillary Clinton and against the Sanders campaign.
Warren told PBS, “what we have to focus on as Democrats is, we recognize the process was rigged.”
Then, in the 2016 general election, the Clinton campaign turned around and accused Russia of stealing the election for the Trump campaign.
The Clinton accusations provoked a two year FBI investigation into Russian election meddling that ultimately failed to produce any significant evidence that Trump colluded with Russia.
In 2020, Trump accused the Biden campaign and DNC of election fraud. He is currently facing over 700 years in prison on charges linked to his attempts to overturn the elections result.
What do you think: do any of these claims have merit? Is declining faith in American elections concerning for Democracy?
Elon Escalates the Speech War
Elon’s campaign for the First Amendment has entered a new phase.
The first stage of the battle involved acquiring Twitter, rolling back censorship policies, and publishing the Twitter Files to reveal the nefarious connections between intelligence agencies and social media companies.
Now, he is going on the attack against the Censorship Industrial Complex in the legal arena.
In recent weeks, he has filed three big lawsuits against organization who’ve pressured Twitter/𝕏 to violate the First Amendment.
In August, he filed a lawsuit against the British nonprofit Center For Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) while dropping hints that the group was funded by power-hungry elites.
Then last week, he announced legal action against the Anti-Defamation League, a non-profit nominally committed to fighting anti-Semitism.
In particular, the ADL has taken issue with Elon’s decision to reverse Donald Trump’s permanent suspension.
The question of Trump’s supposed anti-Semitism is complicated by the facts that Trump’s son-in-law and grandchildren are Jewish, and he is extremely popular among Israelis.
Nevertheless, the ADL launched a campaign encouraging advertisers to boycott Twitter/𝕏 within a week of its ownership change, until the platform submits to its content moderation demands.
Elon said the ADL’s defamatory accusations have cost his company significant advertising revenue.
Elon’s lawsuit against the ADL prompted accusations that he was engaging in an anti-Semitic trope by blaming Jews.
Shellenberger accused ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt of fabricating data on anti-Semitism, writing, “You claim, ‘Anti-Jewish acts have reached... the highest number we’ve seen in 40 years of tracking it,’ but your tracking is garbage & you know it. Experts have debunked you for decades. You're spreading disinformation and demanding people be censored for it. Shame on you.”
Greenwald pointed out the ADL’s history of shaking down organizations by accusing them of anti-Semitism and then retracting the accusation in exchange for donations.
Sacks argued the ADL cynically weaponizes the accusation of anti-Semitism to silence critics of Democratic Party orthodoxy.
Elon’s final attack came on Friday when 𝕏 filed a lawsuit against the State of California.
The suit challenges a state law that requires social media platforms to disclose their content removal policies around hate speech and misinformation.
In the legal filing, 𝕏 argues that the law pressures the company to limit constitutionally protected speech.
Another skirmish in the battle over free speech resolved on Friday: a federal appeals court ruled that the FBI and White House likely violated the First Amendment by pressuring social media platforms to remove protected content, but also permitted some federal agencies to resume working with platforms to moderate content.
What do you think: has Elon gained the high ground against the Speech Cartel? What will the lawsuits reveal?
CIA Covid Whistleblower
Yesterday, another COVID bombshell dropped when a CIA whistleblower claimed the agency bribed analysts to cover up the origins of the virus.
Tuesday morning, Congressmen Brad Wenstrup and Mike Turner published a letter to CIA Director William Burns.
The letter described a senior-level CIA officer who had testified to Congress under oath that the agency created a seven-person team to investigate where the virus came from, called the CIA Covid Discovery Team.
The letter said, “According to the whistleblower, at the end of its review, six of the seven members of the Team believed the intelligence and science were sufficient to make a low confidence assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.”
The seventh and most-senior member concluded the virus’s origin was zoonosis.
At this point, the whistleblower said, “the other six members were given a significant monetary incentive to change their position.”
It is not yet known if they accepted the money. The scheme was supposedly orchestrated by former CIA chief operating officer Andrew Makridis.
Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI and Department of Energy had concluded the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
At the time, the White House cited the CIA’s uncertainty to emphasize that no definitive conclusion has been reached on the virus’s origins.
If it is ultimately determined that the virus came from the Wuhan Lab, it would likely complicate already tense US-China relations.
The two congressmen behind the letter, Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio), asked CIA Director Burns for all documents, communications and pay info relating to the investigation by September 26.
What do you think: Is the government hiding something about the origins of the virus? Why would the CIA obscure the story?
Obama in the Arena
Former President Barrack Obama’s personal life has become a hot topic on 𝕏 in recent weeks.
At the beginning of August, Obama biographer David Garrow told Tablet Magazine that Obama wrote letters to an ex-girlfriend in which he admitted he “repeatedly fantasizes about making love to men.”
The New York Post acquired a copy of one letter from 1982, in which Obama wrote, “In regard to homosexuality, I must say that I believe this is an attempt to remove oneself from the present, a refusal perhaps to perpetuate the endless farce of earthly life. You see, I make love to men daily, but in the imagination.”
The news went viral on 𝕏 for a few days but was quickly forgotten.
However, the topic burst back into the spotlight when Tucker Carlson interviewed a man named Larry Sinclair, who claims he smoked crack and had sex with Obama in the 90s.
Sinclair has been convicted for forgery, fraud and larceny, and has served prison time in three states.
In 2008, Sinclair held a press conference about his alleged relationship with Obama, after which he was arrested on the orders of Joe Biden’s son Beau. Later, he explained his story to conservative intellectual Dinesh D’Souza.
When Tucker’s interview dropped, Elon hedged on the question of Sinclair’s believability.
At the same time, he enjoyed some memetic hi-jinx, connecting the accusation to the sexual misbehavior of Obama’s 2004 Senate opponent Jack Ryan.
Elon then reposted the meme with the commentary “Dominoes Effect” and a pizza emoji.
The pizza emoji caught the attention of some big 𝕏 accounts.
The next day, he highlighted an “in the arena” meme about the Obama accusations.
Ultimately, though, the events point to more significant questions than Obama’s personal life. In writings and speeches, he has presented himself a happily married family man. If it were to turn out that he misrepresented himself, many Americans would feel deceived.
Similarly, it would raise questions about how the media managed to miss the story, or whether they chose to overlook it.
Whether that day comes or not is anyone’s guess. For now at least, Obama’s reputation appears intact.
What do you think: Do the claims about Obama’s personal life have any credibility? Does it even matter?
Dogey Treats: News Bites
Candace Owen’s “Convicting a Murderer” debuted on 𝕏. The documentary series casts a critical eye on the smash Netflix series “Making a Murderer.”
Posts about the NFL season opener were up 20% compared to last year.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy announced the beginning of an impeachment investigation into Joe Biden’s corruption. Freedom Caucus leader Matt Gaetz called for McCarthy’s removal as speaker for failing to fulfill promises he made when elected speaker.
A clip of NYC Mayor Eric Adams warning that illegal immigration will destroy the city went viral. Elon wrote, “The public still doesn’t understand the magnitude of the problem. The mayor correctly points out that people from the entire world are using our southern border to enter illegally. The number entering per year is about 2 million and rising. If he thinks the problem is bad now, fast-forward 5 years.”
NY Times published an alternate account of the Kennedy assassination with testimony from the agent who found the bullet that supposedly struck JFK from behind. RFK said the “magic bullet theory” is now dead,
In response to the news that Alex Soros will devote more funding to defeating MAGA, Donald Trump wrote, “We can’t let this spoiled little degenerate win. His daddy controls the D.A.’s and A.G.’s in America. They are destroying our country. Mitch McConnell is helping them do it by doing NOTHING!”
Vladimir Putin said the prosecution of Trump “shows the rottenness of the American political system.”
Jill Biden got Covid, causing Joe Biden to briefly begin wearing a mask. Biden was cut off in the middle of a press conference and asked to leave the stage during a speech on foreign relations, and falsely claimed he was at Ground Zero the day after 9/11.
After Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was given 22 years in jail for his involvement in the J6 protests, Elon said the justice system is going too far with J6 sentence lengths. Tarrio was not present in Washington DC during the events of January 6th.
All government jobs reports have subsequently been revised down, calling into question the quality. government’s data.
Vivek promised to release a plan for significantly reducing the size of the federal government. Elon responded, “Wow.”
California passed a bill through both legislative branches that would factor whether parents affirm their childrens’ gender identities into child custody decisions. Joe Rogan and Bill Maher questioned the justifications for gender affirming care.
The FBI is investigating Digital Currency Group over claims the firm engaged in accounting fraud to hide losses from its crypto bets. Arkham Intelligence identified $16B of Grayscale Bitcoin on chain.
Ex-FTX executive Ryan Salame will plead guilty to donating $24M customer funds to Congress. A Turkish crypto exchange CEO was sentenced to over 11,000 years in prison for stealing $2B in customer funds.
ARK Invest filed for an Ethereum ETF
The FDA approved new Covid vaccines for children as young as six months. The approval received criticism from many in the health freedom movement. Dr. Pierre Kory said, ”It is unconscionable that the government can recommend this booster for 6-month-olds when the FDA has no data on how children might be affected.”
Big Pharma is reportedly buying up supplement brands.
Children’s Health Defense released a documentary series called Covid Unmasked.
Harvard ranked worst for free speech among American universities.
Elon touted “thousands of upgrades to Starship and launchpad/Mechazilla” ahead of Starship’s second orbital test flight.
Russian intelligence claimed that the US is attempting to assassinate military leader involved in the Niger coup because the US operates a drone base in the country it does not want to lose.
Do government housing providers evict more tenants than public providers?
Elon questioned why it is so hard to find Russian propaganda on 𝕏.
A group of British citizens known as Blade Runners are systematically dismantling a network of government cameras that automatically levy fines against older, gas inefficient vehicles.
China banned use of iPhones in government agencies.
Memes of the Week
Elon’s Memes and Posts
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