37 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-6-17

  1. The New York Times is liberal. I have never been one of its fans. However, this morning I appreciated this NYT editorial.

    I am really going to try to appreciate other intelligent writing during the time we have left before the entire nation degenerates into Trumpian idiocy. Who knows? 2020 may feature Trump vs. Oprah and all the political commentary may be penned by a Kardashian or Sean Hannity.


  2. So the old Gray Lady, is trying desperately to make herself respectable again by sounding the clarion call of danger to the democracy. ‘Quick Congress! Drop what you’re doing (the business of the people—repeal and replace, etc.) and lookie here!’ Unfortunately, she’s a couple of decades late and much more than a dollar short for the purpose. Poor old biddy. To the public in general, there are few things less noteworthy than an aging prostitute.

    From the NYT piece linked above:

    This is a dangerous moment, which requires Congress and members of this administration to look beyond partisan maneuvering and tend to the health of the democracy itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. After one of Trump’s insane rants, we will start reading stories about the 25th Amendment. There may well be a Constitutional crisis. Pence and the Cabinet are in an impossible situation, but that is what they signed up for.


  4. The country has been in an impossible situation for years, and thanks in part to the prostitutes of print, the public debate has been carefully honed to keep us there. Trump, Pence, and the Cabinet have been brought in to chart a different course. I think they knew it wouldn’t be easy, and so did their supporters.


  5. Five months ago it was: He may be a sexual predator, but he is OUR sexual predator.

    Now it is: He may be an infantile lunatic, but he is OUR infantile lunatic.

    All very disconcerting, but humorous at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was just reading a stray cat post on our local NextDoor site when, all of a sudden, there’s an explosion and then a string of back-and-forth, ALL-CAPS arguments over Trump and the Nazis. Sheesh.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. The nasty string of leaks coming from entrenched bureaucrats and BO holdovers from before and after the inauguration, and amplified by the leftist media, is plenty of evidence that President Trump and his associates have been spied on. That fact is really not even in question. The question is: How far does it go? Here is a good read on why Pres. Trump is asking for an investigation:


    Liked by 1 person

  8. As Tychicus noted above, it’s not like there isn’t reason for Trump to believe this happened. Because it clearly has in many cases. In the US, to AP’s been tapped, former CBS reporter Attkisson, and Fox News’ James Rosen. Not to mention a whole slew of foreign dignitaries. It’s also ironic that those whining loudest about foreign entities influencing elections are the same ones who tried to do just that to BiBi and Israel, not to mention numerous other cases. Here’s a detailed bunch of examples, with numerous links.


    “It is not unfounded that former President Obama would wire tap President Trump during the election process. This is because he has done this before. Here is a list of individuals who were wire tapped by the Obama Administration.

    WikiLeaks released the following list on February 23rd (see link here) of Obama Administration wire taps:

    * The US National Security Agency bugged a private climate change strategy meeting; between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin;
    * Obama bugged Chief of Staff of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for long term interception targetting his Swiss phone;
    * Obama singled out the Director of the Rules Division of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Johann Human, and targetted his Swiss phone for long term interception;
    * Obama stole sensitive Italian diplomatic cables detailing how Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implored Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to help patch up his relationship with US President Barack Obama, who was refusing to talk to Netanyahu;
    * Obama intercepted top EU and Japanese trade ministers discussing their secret strategy and red lines to stop the US “extort[ing]” them at the WTO Doha arounds (the talks subsequently collapsed);
    * Obama explicitly targeted five other top EU economic officials for long term interception, including their French, Austrian and Belgium phone numbers;
    * Obama explicitly targetted the phones of Italy’s ambassador to NATO and other top Italian officials for long term interception; and
    * Obama intercepted details of a critical private meeting between then French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Merkel and Berluscon, where the latter was told the Italian banking system was ready to “pop like a cork”.


  9. Former AG Mukasey agrees, although he doesn’t think Obama ordered it. But even if it may have been technically ordered by the DoJ and Loretta Lynch, that’s still Obama ordering it. A distinction without a difference.


    “Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Sunday said that President Trump is likely correct that there was surveillance on Trump Tower for intelligence purposes, but incorrect in accusing former President Barack Obama of ordering the wiretapping.

    “I think he’s right in that there was surveillance and that it was conducted at the behest of the attorney general — at the Justice Department,” Mukasey told ABC’s “This Week.””

    “Mukasey, who served as the attorney general under former President George W. Bush, said he believes there was surveillance on Trump Tower after reading certain news reports.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Meanwhile, In La La Land…. 🙄

    The gnashing, wailing, and whining continues.


    “President Trump’s wiretap tweets struck an emotional chord with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinksi. The morning anchor fought back tears Monday morning as she told viewers that “we are all really nervous” about what the Trump Administration is going to do.
    “This is not funny,” Brzezinski told her audience. “This is really bad. Just for the record, we are all really nervous. So if people out there feel nervous, we do too. We don’t think this is funny.”
    The host also issued a direct appeal to Trump’s staff, asking them how they can look at themselves in the mirror.
    “We are at a low point in American history and I don’t know how anybody can defend this president, even if it’s their job. Like you’ve got to have a job after this. You’ve got to look in the mirror after this. Sarah Huckabee or whoever is speaking out next. You have to look in the mirror and think about this country after this is over. You need to think of the end game here, because there isn’t one at the rate we are going.””

    REPENT! The End is nigh! 😨

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tychicus, Trump is asking for an investigation to try to find support for a wild accusation he made without supporting facts. It is a repeat of when he made the outlandish claim that he lost the popular vote because of millions of mythical fraudulent votes. Pence is now charged with conducting an investigation to support that comment. Conway will probably be sent to investigate how Nordstroms was unfair to Ivanka.
    If a Democrat acted this way we would all be saying that the person was crazy. But Trump is a Republican and most of us are tribalists, so most are still complimenting the Emperor’s New Clothes.


  12. Trump definitely has supporting facts. If there’s any difficulty looking them up–and there’s not–it’s because of lies told by the mainstream media. I used to laugh when people suggested how out of control the media is; now I see I was a bozo to shrug it off.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Tychicus, Do you understand the difference between Obama ordering Trump’s phones to be “tapped” (sic) (Trump’s allegation) and a search of Trump associates being ordered by a Federal District (FISA) Judge based on an FBI request in an investigation of Trumpsters being in contact with Russians while Russia was interfering constantly and hilariously in the recent US election?


  14. As the chief executive, Obama appears to be responsible for the tapping of a competitor who promised to dismantle his legacy. In a court of law, this is probably not actionable unless very distinct and direct lines of communication are found. However, in the court of public opinion where this battle is currently being waged, other evidences are absolutely admissible. ;–)


  15. Tychicus, Trump made these allegations (and the assault on Scharzenegger) at 6:00 a.m. after going to bed mad about Sessions. When questioned repeatedly, none of his staff could produce the “supporting facts”. Do you think the Tooth Fairy came and laid them under Trump’s pillow that night complete with the misspelling of “tap”?


  16. Debra, In the court of public opinion, the moron Trump was elected President! That is why we have laws and separate branches of government (each with limited powers) and a free press.


  17. Yes, and the gatekeepers of our “free” press are positively writhing in frustrated agony right now. Isn’t it delightful to see freedom in action? :–)


  18. Debra, If you follow the members of the press on Twitter, they are actually writhing in laughter. They also see themselves as modern day Woodwards and Bernsteins, except that Bozo the Clown is in the role of Nixon.


  19. Very interesting…….

    And I noted these “loosening of the rules” on the news post here when it happened. And yes, if this is what happened, Obama’s fingerprints are all over it.


    “The trove of IT data is stored for five years, out at that now-infamous complex in Utah, and available for retrieval. It’s only if the FBI, DEA, etc. – some entity with a lawful purpose for retrieving the data – wants to look at the message content of data relating to U.S. persons that a FISA warrant is supposed to be obtained.”

    “The purpose was not to target Trump, his campaign, or “Trump Tower.” So James Clapper probably told the exact truth on Sunday. But if someone, naming no names, wanted to dig into the gigantic data trove in Utah to see what comms there were to pull up on Trump, his campaign, or “Trump Tower” – well, the data was there. It didn’t have to be specially collected. It just had to be retrieved.”

    “With all that in mind, here’s where the circle might be completed. Something very significant, and very related to NSA comms data retrieval, happened in the weeks just before the big 11 January rollout of purported intelligence disclosures about snooping on Trump, Flynn, and the Trump campaign. I wrote about it back on 23 February. It was a quiet – even sneaky – loosening of the rules governing how the intelligence agencies gain access to NSA’s trove of identifying (“unminimized”) communications data on U.S. persons.

    The move was sneaky because the rules change was made to a longstanding presidential executive order – E.O. 12333 – in a document signed by James Clapper and Loretta Lynch. Previous changes to 12333, one of the best-known executive orders, were made by new executive orders: follow-ons signed by the president himself, containing administrative modifications to previous wording. Having Clapper and Lynch sign something, and implement it without fanfare, was an unusually stealthy and non-transparent method. Doing it in the last month of the Obama administration could have no defensible purpose.”

    “NSA watchdogs have complained for some years now that there has been a “back door” by which other agencies can too easily gain access to the identifying communications of U.S. persons stored in the NSA data base. A strong case is made here that the FBI was given such access, with a critically inadequate level of oversight, in March 2016.

    I wrote on 23 February that the Clapper-Lynch rules-change basically codified that “back door” as an official basis for information sharing. It cannot be coincidence that the stampede of supposed “intelligence disclosures” to cooperative media outlets began a week later.

    But notice this. There have been no damning specifics offered in these disclosures. If a lawless perusal of Trump’s or his people’s communications was done by someone in the Obama administration, under the Clapper-Lynch rules change, it sure doesn’t look like they found anything significant. If they had, they would certainly have put it out there it by now.”

    “So essentially, a picture emerges of the FBI being under the gun to make some rain against Trump, and coming up dry. Since the FBI wasn’t getting the job done, the leadership of the DOJ and intel community – Obama loyalists – wrote themselves a “FISA warrant” to get other agencies into the unminimized NSA database.

    There would be a data trail on this. You’d just have to know where to look. If this is what the Trump administration has uncovered, it would mean (a) that Clapper is telling the truth with his denial about “wiretapping”; (b) James Comey has a reason to respond exactly as he has to the allegation (since he may not know what people on the Justice Department staff may have tried to do with NSA data); and (c) Trump is right. He was targeted by the intelligence apparatus operated by the Obama administration.”


  20. Facts?

    We don’ need no stinkin’ facts!


    “I don’t know whether Donald Trump or his aides had any improper contacts with Russian Intelligence officers.

    Neither do you, or the media. The Intelligence Community might know, but they have provided zero facts either officially or through leaks to prove any improper, much less illegal, conduct took place.

    Instead, we have trial by innuendo based on there being “contacts” between Trump campaign aides and Russian intelligence.

    Here is what we don’t know even from the leaks as reported in The NY Times and CNN:

    Who had the contacts? With whom were the contacts? When did they take place? Is there evidence the campaign aides knew they were talking to intelligence officers. Were they talking about the campaign or unrelated business?

    And most important, What was said?

    We do know from the NY Times and CNN leak reporting of the leaks is that there is no evidence so far of any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

    In this fact-free environment, imaginations and malicious intentions can run wild. We have round-the-clock media and social media speculation and frenzy throwing around terms like impeachment, treason, and so on.

    It is, in some ways, worse than harmful facts, because there is no clear accusation against which to defend, and no factual basis upon which the public can judge.”


  21. AJ, As I said yesterday, I do not expect anyone will ever find evidence of collusion between the Russians and the Trumpsters. The Russians are too smart for that. If that is the case, all of the talk on this subject would be dying out if it weren’t for the Old Tweeter in Chief going on a bender with unsupported accusations on Saturday morning.


  22. Ricky,

    I see you’ve prepared your excuse already. If there’s no evidence found, it’s only because the Russians are too sneaky. 🙄

    Unsupported? As the link above shows, there’s clearly substance to these accusations, although his choice of the term “wiretapping” might be too simplistic.

    And it needs to be exposed, in all it’s ugly details. There are some very serious crimes happening here, but you seem intent on just chalking the whole thing up to delusional ramblings by Trump.

    Are you afraid he might be right?

    Either way, this isn’t going away now, and it will be investigated thoroughly. Just in case he’s vindicated, how do you prefer your crow prepared?



  23. You misunderstood me, AJ. I am not saying the Russians are so sneaky that they could get away with collusion. I am saying the Russians are too smart to collude with the goofy Trumpsters. They know better than to take any action that might be inadvertently revealed in an idiotic Saturday morning Tweet.


  24. This has been an interesting discussion. A few other thoughts and clean-up items.

    1. I misdirected my 3:21 comment toward Tychicus. It was intended to be a response to SolarP’s 2:01 comment.

    2. If a President is going to accuse his predecessor of being “Nixon” and “bad (or sick)” and going low to “tapp” (sic) my phones”, he shouldn’t do it in 6:00 a.m. Tweets.

    3. If a President is going to publicly make such charges (albeit in a garbled and nearly incoherent manner), he should be armed with many hard facts to release to support such charges.

    4. Why would anyone (even Trumpkins) assume that a man who tried to link Ted Cruz’ father with Lee Harvey Oswald based on a picture from The National Enquirer has any evidence to back up the latest idiotic claim.

    5. Shouldn’t Trumpkins feel a little odd searching the Internet in an attempt to show that their man might have almost been sort of right by accident when Trump himself could produce no evidence to support his own charges?

    6. I’m sorry folks. I spotted the bias in the NYT and the WaPo decades ago, but there is a big qualitative difference between the NYT, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and other media on the one hand) and Breitbart and similar outfits (on the other).

    7. Journalists like DJ are professionals. Neither they nor their employers are prostitutes. They have biases as DJ has documented and we all see. However, their work is important and is not a job for amateurs.

    8. American Trumpkins may be blind. Leaders of other countries have their eyes wide open. They fully understand Trump is deranged and will try to take advantage of that mental weakness.


  25. AJ @ 7:39 If I am going to eat crow, it will be your leftovers. That will mean that the Dems were right (and we were both wrong) and Trump on Saturday was being crazy like a fox to try to cover up actual Trumpster/Russian collusion. However, that is not going to happen. There was no collusion. Trump is not crazy like a fox. He is just crazy.


  26. Like I said: Crazy, not crazy like a fox.

    The White House has acknowledged that Trump made the accusations with no idea of whether they were true.


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