october surprise

Originally, a ‘surprise’ was an unexpected attack. It comes from the Latin sur meaning ‘over’ or ‘above’ and prendre meaning ‘to grasp or seize’. A surprise party, originally, was a stealth military detachment that ambushed the enemy.

The political phrase ‘October Surprise’ has a vaguely weird history. It grew out of the 1980 election between President Jimmy Carter and his challenger, Ronald Reagan. It appears to have been coined by William Casey, Reagan’s campaign manager (and a former OSS officer who, after Reagan was elected, became the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency). Casey was concerned that Carter was secretly arranging the release of 52 American hostages held by Iranian revolutionaries, and would announce the deal just before the November election. ‘October Surprise’ has also been used to describe an alleged secret deal between Iran and Reagan operatives to prevent the release of those hostages until after Reagan won the election and was inaugurated (and, in fact, Iran announced the release of the hostages literally minutes after Reagan’s inaugural speech).

Almost every election since 1980 has included some sort of October Surprise —  an event designed to irreparably damage one candidate’s chances and boost the other’s. Few of them work; fewer still are actual surprises. That includes yesterday’s ham-fisted absurdist political theater. We’ve all been expecting a ‘surprise’, of course. But even given Team Trump’s reputation for bungling political schemes, this ‘surprise’ was badly managed. Comically bad.

Here’s the basic accusation as reported by the New York Post. Somebody (Hunter Biden) brought three damaged laptop computers to a Delaware computer store for repair in April of 2019. The owner of the store (unidentified in the original report) claimed to have found an email on one computer’s hard drive — an email from Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, thanking Hunter for the opportunity to meet Joe Biden, who was then Vice President. Scandal! Hunter Biden and his daddy are corrupt! Biden must be defeated in the coming election! Scandal!

John Paul Mac Isaac (This should not be taken as an indictment of men wearing kilts).

Right. Now let’s ask a few questions — the sort of questions a 14-year-old fan of cop shows on television would ask.

Who is this unidentified store owner?
— He turns out to be kilt-wearing Trump supporter John Paul Mac Isaac.

Who brought the three laptops to Mac Isaac’s shop?
— Uh…we don’t know. Mac Isaac says he has a ‘medical’ condition that prevented him from recognizing the person who brought in the laptops. Also, nobody signed any sort of repair authorization form or receipt for them. But the person allegedly said his name was Hunter Biden.

What evidence does he have to prove the laptops were brought in by Hunter Biden?
— At least one laptop had a ‘Beau Biden Foundation’ sticker on it, plus there was an email addressed to Hunter Biden on that laptop, plus there were sexually explicit images featuring Hunter Biden.

Did Hunter or anybody return to the shop to retrieve the laptops? Or called to inquire about them?
— Uh…no. After ninety days Mac Isaac said he made repeated attempts to contact Hunter Biden without success.

What did Mac Isaac do when he discovered the email?
— He contacted the FBI. No, wait…first he made a copy of the email (and apparently the sexual images) which he gave to Rudy Giuliani. No, wait…he gave the copy of the material to Rudy’s attorney, then he turned it over to the FBI. No, wait…the FBI got in touch with him about the material, then he gave it to them. Or maybe he gave it to the FBI, who later sought his help in accessing the material.

Is this the same Rudy Giuliani who has been working for a couple of years with known Russian intelligence operatives to dig up dirt on Hunter Biden to hurt Joe Biden’s election chances?
— Uh…yes, it is.

Why did Mac Isaac give the material to Rudy’s attorney before giving it to the FBI?
— Because he doesn’t trust the FBI. He seems to think maybe the FBI (possibly in conjunction with the Democratic National Committee) murdered Seth Rich (who worked for the DNC) because Rich knew ‘the truth’ about the DNC emails stolen by Russian intelligence operatives sources and provided to Roger Stone, WikiLeaks, and the Trump campaign. He also thought maybe the FBI might kill him too. So he made a copy of the material and gave it to Rudy’s attorney as insurance. He said he didn’t tell the FBI he’d made an ‘insurance’ copy, but that they would have assumed he would make such a copy to protect himself.

Why would Mac Isaac give the material to the FBI if he thought they might kill him if they knew he had the material?
— Uh…because of reasons?

What meta-data could we obtain from the email?
— Uh…none. The New York Post only had a pdf file of the email, not that actual email. So there’s no header information, no metadata. Just a picture of the alleged email.

How did the New York Post get this material?
— It was provided to the Post’s Deputy Politics Editor, Emma-Jo Morris, by Rudy’s attorney. Ms. Morris apparently became the Post’s Deputy Politics Editor yesterday, when she wrote the story. She has written three other political stories for the Post. All three were written yesterday. All three are about Hunter Biden.

What did Emma-Jo Morris do before becoming the Post’s Deputy Politics Editor yesterday?
— She booked guests for Fox News personality Sean Hannity.

Is this the ‘smoking gun’ October Surprise Republicans claim it to be?
— Nope. It’s not smoking. It’s not even a gun. It’s not a surprise. But it IS October.

This is perhaps the stupidest, worst prepared, least convincing, most desperate October Surprise ever. It’s the most embarrassingly bad disinformation op imaginable. It’s like Laurel and Hardy teamed up with the Keystone Kops to create a conspiracy theory. If the person responsible for this is in Russian intelligence, I’m going to guess he’s looking at a long drop from a high window, an acute case of cement poisoning following an incident of deceleration trauma.

21 thoughts on “october surprise

  1. LOL. I love watching the hypocrisy in full action here.

    Every unproven Trump “scoop” you buy hook, line, and sinker.

    But this one against Biden, well you bend into a pretzel to try and claim why we should not buy it.



      • Truth hurts huh? Knowing Biden has been lying through his teeth the entire time kinds stings like when you pee.


      • …and now Scully is proven to be a liar and in the tank for the dems and Biden. Trump’s greatest accomplishment will go down as exposing the left for who they really are.


    • Hey Billy. Here’s an op-ed from the San Diego Union-Tribune you should read.

      “Commentary: I won’t work in Attorney General William Barr’s Justice Department any longe”

      After 36 years, I’m fleeing what was the U.S. Department of Justice — where I proudly served 19 different attorneys general and six different presidents. For the last three-plus decades, I have respected our leadership regardless of whether we were led by a Republican or a Democrat. I always believed the department’s past leaders were dedicated to the rule of law and the guiding principle that justice is blind. That is a bygone era, but it should not be forgotten.

      Maybe I should’ve seen this coming, but like many of my colleagues, I fervently hoped that Attorney General William Barr’s preemptive misrepresentation of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report was an honest mistake or a solitary misstep — rather than a deliberate attempt to conceal potential presidential misconduct. After all, Barr has never actually investigated, charged or tried a case. He’s a well-trained bureaucrat but has no actual experience as a prosecutor.

      Unfortunately, over the last year, Barr’s resentment toward rule-of-law prosecutors became increasingly difficult to ignore, as did his slavish obedience to Donald Trump’s will in his selective meddling with the criminal justice system in the Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Roger Stone cases. In each of these cases, Barr overruled career prosecutors in order to assist the president’s associates and/or friends, who potentially harbor incriminating information. This career bureaucrat seems determined to turn our democracy into an autocracy.

      There is no other honest explanation for Barr’s parroting of the president’s wild and unsupported conspiracy theories regarding mail-in ballots (which have been contradicted by the president’s handpicked FBI director) and his support for the president’s sacking of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose office used the thinnest of veils to postpone charging the president in a criminal investigation along with Michael Cohen (who pled guilty and directly implicated the president). It took federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein to stop Barr’s unprecedented “retaliatory” demands to silence the president’s former lawyer as a condition for staying out of jail.

      Similarly, it took federal Judge Reggie Walton (who sharply criticized Barr for a “lack of candor”) to at least temporarily stop Barr from dismissing all charges against Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser, who admitted lying to the FBI about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador. Rather than representing the interests of the American public, Barr chooses to act as Trump’s lap dog.

      More recently, Barr directed federal officers to use tear gas in Lafayette Park to quell what were, at that time, peaceful protesters. Barr’s assertion the square was not cleared due to the president’s desire for a Bible-carrying photo op is laughable. It is certainly a case that Barr would lose before a jury (again, though, this may not be clear to him due to his unfamiliarity with jury trials).

      Barr also turned his back on the rule of law by supporting the president’s selective use of federal troops to assault citizens protesting the killing of George Floyd in Portland, Oregon. Yet he stood silently by when armed right-wing protesters stormed the Michigan state Capitol building to protest the Democratic governor’s public health orders.

      Barr’s longest-running politicization of the Justice Department is the Durham investigation — a quixotic pursuit designed to attack the president’s political rivals. Confirming his scorn for honest apolitical prosecutors, Barr refers to some as “headhunters” who pursue “ill-conceived charges against prominent political figures.” It does not appear to be a coincidence that all of these prominent political figures happen to be friends of the president. However, if I’m a headhunter because I charged and convicted disgraced local House members Duncan D. Hunter and Randy “Duke” Cunningham, so be it. It’s a badge that I will wear with honor.

      I remained in government service this past year at least partly because I was concerned that the department would interfere with the Hunter prosecution in my absence. Unfortunately, many of my colleagues without such a rationale appear to have started abandoning Barr’s ship. Equally troubling, highly qualified lawyers appear to be unwilling to apply to be federal prosecutors while Barr remains at the helm. Yet, as I leave government service, I take great comfort in the fact that the career people who remain in the Department of Justice are firmly committed to the rule of law, and are some of the most dedicated, ethical and industrious individuals we have in government. At times like these, I take heart in knowing that they are all committed to preserving and rebuilding the Department of Justice that I was privileged to serve.
      Halpern was an assistant U.S. attorney for 36 years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego. He is a resident of Mission Hills.


      • He is an establishment whore. Period. He is a never Trumper who cannot handle that the typical do-nothing powers that be are no longer running the show. For every one of these crybabies who complain that their freeride is now ended, there are a hundred more who love the changes being made.

        The fact that he sees the investigation into the actions of the Obama admin to politicize the FBI and to illegally investigate one campaign and not the other as so sort of attack on Trump’s critics demonstrates that this guy is an establishment hack. He does not want the apple cart tipped over for it will expose all of the rotten apples underneath, including himself most likely.

        I find it odd that he would support investigating Trump, have no problem with the FBI being used, but suddenly take issue with Barr trying to ferret out the truth about it.


  2. Again – it’s not about whether it’s true or not, it’s simply meant to sow the seeds of discredit. This “information” is now out there for fox news talking points, which will be delivered to the people whom he wants to see them.
    This is perfectly on-brand. And as you say, not a surprise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You mean like the Steele dossier? How it was used by every media outlet around the country to bash Trump with talking points. The same document proven to be false that Greg to this day relies on to call Trump Comrade? Just like that you mean?


      • “The same document proven to be false…”

        Uh. No. No it hasn’t. But you keep buying into that DTBarnum propaganda. You’re probably used to that stinging sensation by now though.


      • Uh, yes it has. The original author no longer stands by any of it and there is nothing in it proven to be true. NOTHING.


      • You mean like the Steele dossier? How it was used by every media outlet around the country to bash Trump with talking points. The same document proven to be false that Greg to this day relies on to call Trump Comrade?

        Almost every sentence in that paragraph is wrong. The so-called Steele dossier was raw human intelligence provided to GPS Fusion as part of their general investigation into Trump’s business practices. It contained no analysis and was intended only as a guide for possible further investigation. It wasn’t developed for public consumption or ‘talking points’. It was leaked to Buzzfeed by David Kramer, an aide to Sen. John McCain, not by Steele or GPS Fusion or the DNC.

        And the dossier has NOT been proven false — partly because of the nature of human intelligence reporting. When you evaluate raw human intelligence information you base it on the subject’s overall credibility as well as the credibility of the sub-sources. You accept that some parts of the intel will be accurate, some parts won’t, and some parts will be mixed.

        Much of the document has been corroborated in the official record. Some of it hasn’t been — and probably won’t be, either because those parts aren’t true, or because they’re too unimportant to merit investigation, or because they’re too sensitive, The only part of the Steele Dossier that has been disproven is his suggestion that Michael Cohen met with Oleg Solodukhin in Prague. Overall, though, even where the details of the intel haven’t been exact, the general thrust of Steele’s reporting has proven to be credible.

        And finally, the Steele dossier isn’t why I call him Comrade Trump. I’ve explained why I call him that many times. You just don’t like my explanation.


      • OK Greg, lets go this way. None of the document has been proven true. It was still used as a way to spy on the Trump campaign. For the media to attack Trump. And for bloggers everywhere to use it as a basis to continue their attacks on Trump.

        But in comparison, the Biden emails… well those are not worthy of Twitter, Facebook, or other news media. Will you at least be honest with me and admit that both Facebook and Twitter are lying through their teeth when they have shown a double standard when it comes to this and things like the docs in question and leaks about Trump’s taxes?


      • It was still used as a way to spy on the Trump campaign.

        No, it wasn’t. First, nobody ‘spied’ on the Trump campaign. There was a counterintelligence investigation to determine if hostile foreign entities were attempting to interfere with the 2016 election, focusing on the Trump campaign. The original concern was to WARN Trump that there might be a Russian intelligence operation by the FSB to infiltrate his campaign. That’s what counterintelligence is about — spotting possible threats against national security and moving to stop them. They’re not criminal investigations; they’re information gathering and deterrence investigations. The early investigation was to PROTECT the Trump campaign. The FBI was surprised to find evidence suggesting that some members of the campaign were cooperating with the Russians.

        Second, EVERY report released by EVERY DOJ, Congressional, or Inspector General investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation have agreed it began with George Papadopoulos at least two months before Steele spoke to the FBI.


      • Wow, you just regurgitate that the dems and the media have told you. Why was the Steele dossier used in the FISA warrant, not once, but 3 times? If they were worried about Russian interference into our elections, why not also investigate the Hillary campaign and have people under cover there and have listening devises installed in their meetings?

        This was a targeted effort on part of the left to spy on Trump, to try and pin things on him that were not true in order to steal an election because they KNEW they were losing from their internal polls.

        Ansd BS on trying to blame this all on Papadopoulos, The Steele dossier was being written already. If Papadopoulos was the reason for the investigation why was the dossier needed to get the FISA warrants on Trump’s campaign? They used the fake dossier because they KNEW that the BS that had a Papa was just that, BS. The Russians did not have Hillary’s emails and Papa was just being played. They approached him and he never had anything discussed with the Russians on this and when he did mention it, it was almost in passing in a bar when he said he was told the Russians have Hillary’s emails.

        Again, the evidence against Biden and his son actually has truths and facts behind it, but again you ignore it because it does not suit you. And now it looks like the FBI had the Hunter laptop during the impeachment and withheld evidence. Exposing the deep state, exposing the corruption and lies of the left, and getting rid of the establishment in Washington every day.


      • you just regurgitate that the dems and the media have told you
        Nope. I repeat the information I’ve obtained from government sources and the depositions of Fusion GPS.

        why not also investigate the Hillary campaign
        Because 1) the Clinton campaign was the VICTIM of the stolen emails and 2) Russian intel operatives weren’t setting up meetings and trying to influence the election in her favor.

        a targeted effort on part of the left to spy on Trump
        Dude, the FBI isn’t a leftist organization. And if you look back at media reports in the Fall of 2016, you’ll see numerous reports about FBI hostility to a Clinton presidency, referring to the FBI as Trumpland. The notion that the FBI as an agency was anti-Trump is ludicrous. The notion of a ‘deep state’ conspiracy against Trump is a paranoid fantasy.


      • Where to begin:

        1. Clinton being a “victim” of stolen emails. 1st off she deleted the emails that should have never been deleted. She withheld evidence and destroyed it after being found to have used the private server for government business. Her server was NOT secure and thus she should have been under investigation as to why she would be willing to put herself and the country at such risk.

        2. All reports have stated that the interference with the election was for both sides. There was just as much pro-Hillary propaganda being pushed by Russian bots as there was Trump. So pretending that this was only about Russia supporting Trump is a lie.

        3. As for the FBI, you have Comey inventing language that does not exist in the law to exonerate Hillary. There is NOTHING in the law about intent. Kristian Saucier who snapped a handful of pictures on his phone of his nuclear sub had no intent of sharing them with the enemy but still got a year in jail and a dishonorable discharge. Clinton did not even get a slap on the wrist. This was of course after Bill Clinton had his famous meeting about “grandkids” on the tarmac with Obama’s AG. Nope, nothing odd going on here at all.

        Then you have the text messages of Peter Strzok and his GF where he expressed his hatred of Trump and he said “We’ll stop Trump”. This from the guy investigating Trump!!

        Come on man, you cannot be this naïve to think that the Obama Admin and his AG were not using the FBI with the help of Comey and Strzok to try and get Trump.


      • she deleted the emails that should have never been deleted.
        Billy, you need to get your email conspiracy theories straight. The Russia investigation involved emails stolen from DNC servers. The issue with Hillary Clinton’s emails are unrelated to the Russia investigation.

        There was just as much pro-Hillary propaganda being pushed by Russian bots as there was Trump.
        Sorry, no. There’s no evidence Russia helped Clinton. That doesn’t even make sense.

        you have Comey inventing language that does not exist in the law to exonerate Hillary. There is NOTHING in the law about intent.
        Okay, first — criminal intent is the defining characteristic for determining culpability. Prosecutors ALWAYS consider the four levels of intent when charging (or deciding NOT to charge) an accused person.

        Second, to say Comey ‘exonerated’ Clinton is naive. He simply said she lacked the requisite level of intent to charge her with a crime.

        More importantly, Comey effectively torpedoed the Clinton campaign by publicly announcing a renewed investigation into the Clinton emails AND linking her to Anthony Weiner (who was under investigation for sending sexually explicit messages to teenage girls) a week before the election. Comey actually helped elect Donald Trump.


  3. That Facebook is still dragging its feet is proof FB is still trying not to piss Trump off too much. Hopefully the stronger action of Twitter plus FB’s same ol’ same ol’ will be a sufficient anti-viral for this story. All of this will be overshadowed if the the ratings for tonight’s dueling town-halls give Biden a 2-1 win or better.

    As a public service, I urge everyone to read this:


  4. Pingback: dezinformatsiya | gregfallis.com

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