28 thoughts on “News/Politics 8-2-17

  1. Snopes has some serious issues.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/07/snopes-founder-accused-of-fraud-using-company-funds-to-pay-for-prostitutes/

    “Founder David Mikkelson explained on the GoFundMe page, that their recent financial hardship is due to contract dispute with one of the site’s vendors. Mikkelson claims the vendor is holding site resources hostage:

    We had previously contracted with an outside vendor to provide certain services for Snopes.com. That contractual relationship ended earlier this year, but the vendor will not acknowledge the change in contractual status and continues to essentially hold the Snopes.com web site hostage. Although we maintain editorial control (for now), the vendor will not relinquish the site’s hosting to our control, so we cannot modify the site, develop it, or — most crucially — place advertising on it. The vendor continues to insert their own ads and has been withholding the advertising revenue from us.

    Our legal team is fighting hard for us, but, having been cut off from all revenue, we are facing the prospect of having no financial means to continue operating the site and paying our staff (not to mention covering our legal fees) in the meanwhile.

    The vendor, San Diego-based Proper Media tells a different story.

    From The Daily Mail:

    But Proper Media insists that Mikkelson’s personal spending and mismanagement is to blame for Snopes’s money woes.

    In legal papers filed in San Diego Superior Court, they say: ‘But while Snopes is built entirely around the concepts of transparency and truth, its founder, Defendant David Mikkelson (‘Mikkelson’) has engaged in a lengthy scheme of concealment and subterfuge to gain control of the company and to drain its profits.’

    The company says Mikkelson unilaterally broke the advertising contract earlier this year and has bristled at shareholder efforts to rein in his spending.

    They note that even as Mikkelson claimed to be under financial duress in court filings in June, he signed the documents while on a trip to Orleans, France.

    ‘If Mikkelson is permitted to continue unabated as a director of Bardav, he will irreversibly drain the company of important financial resources through personal and unnecessary expenditures,’ said Proper Media in the lawsuit.

    The company also claims Mikkelson carried out ‘pervasive fraud’ at Snopes and used the accounts to pay for lavish trips and personal items while refusing requests from shareholders to examine his expenditures.

    According to the lawsuit, Mikkelson spent ‘tens of thousands of dollars’ from the company on legal fees for his acrimonious divorce from Barbara last year, a drawn-out battle that included disputes over Mikkelson’s salary and alleged spending on prostitutes.”

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  2. They never learn.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/07/reports-irs-rehiring-employees-fired-for-falsifying-documents-illegally-accessing-taxpayer-information/

    “The IRS seems to be in a constant state of administrative shambles. Former IRS employees fired for falsifying documents, illegally accessing taxpayer information, and a range of other conduct, ethics, and legal issues are being rehired by the same agency that fired them. This rehiring reportedly occurs despite flags and notes on the former-employee’s personnel file.

    The IRS claims that it’s too “cost prohibitive” to verify that the employees they hire had not already been fired by the agency.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    The Washington Free Beacon reports:

    The Internal Revenue Service rehired employees who were previously involved in agency misconduct such as falsifying documents or having unauthorized access to sensitive taxpayer information, according to an audit from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

    Considering that identify theft is a major concern, auditors wanted to inspect the agency to ensure the individuals they hire are of high integrity in safeguarding sensitive taxpayer information.

    The auditors found there were 200 employees who were rehired between January 2015 and March 2016 that were terminated or separated from the agency that were either under investigation or had some misconduct that caused them to leave.

    These employees had conduct issues such as falsifying employment forms or documents, unauthorized use of taxpayer accounts, misuse of email or property, absence and leave issues, workplace disruption, failure to follow instructions, and violations of the Internal Revenue Code, to name a few.”

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  3. Unmasking the unmaskers.

    https://www.circa.com/story/2017/08/01/embargoed-until-6-pm-former-obama-aide-ben-rhodes-now-a-person-of-interest-in-house-intelligence-committee-unmasking-investigation

    “Former Obama White House National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes is now an emerging as a person of interest in the House Intelligence Committee’s unmasking investigation, according to a letter sent Tuesday by the committee to the National Security Agency (NSA). This adds Rhodes to the growing list of top Obama government officials who may have improperly unmasked Americans in communications intercepted overseas by the NSA, Circa has confirmed.

    The House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-CA, sent the letter to the National Security Agency requesting the number of unmaskings made by Rhodes from Jan. 1, 2016 to Jan. 20, 2017, according to congressional sources who spoke with Circa. Rhodes, who worked closely with former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and was a former deputy national security adviser for strategic communications for President Obama, became a focus of the committee during its review of classified information to assess whether laws were broken regarding NSA intercepted communications of President Trump, members of his administration and other Americans before and after the election, according to congressional officials. The committee is requesting that the NSA deliver the information on Rhodes by August, 21.

    Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, Rice and former CIA Director John Brennan have all been named in the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the unmasking of Americans. A letter sent last week from Nunes to Dan Coats, the director of National Intelligence, suggested that top Obama aides made hundreds of unmasking requests during the 2016 presidential elections. The story, which was first reported by The Hill last week, stated that the requests were made without specific justifications as to why the unmasking was necessary. Rice and Brennan have confirmed they sought the unredacted names of Americans in NSA-sourced intelligence reports but insisted their requests were routine parts of their work and had no nefarious intentions. Power also has legal authority to unmask officials, though the practice has not reportedly been common for someone in her position. Rhodes also had legal authority to unmask Americans in NSA-source intelligence reports. But intelligence and congressional sources question the extent of the unmasking.

    Nunes told Coats in a letter last week that the committee has “found evidence that current and former government officials had easy access to U.S. person information and that it is possible that they used this information to achieve partisan political purposes, including the selective, anonymous leaking of such information.”

    Multiple federal law enforcement and intelligence officials told Circa, that requesting an unmasking for intelligence and analytical purposes is something that is done only when the information is absolutely necessary to analyze a specific threat or for other national security purposes. An intelligence source, with direct knowledge of the type of requests made by the Obama aides, said “it’s like hell and high water to fill out and gain approval for these types of unmaskings. It’s something analysts take seriously and could entail filling out 80 pages of paperwork to prove there is a need to unmask. If top officials were unmasking without oversight it’s something everyone should be concerned about and it puts our intelligence community in a very bad place.””

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  4. For those who are concerned about the growing Muslim population in America. Most Muslims are here because they believe in American values.

    I’ve seen the concern about some of what is happening in Europe. But the social & economic situations that Muslims face in Europe are quite different from what they face here in the U.S.

    https://www.cato.org/blog/rapid-us-muslim-assimilation-continues-alongside-rapid-muslim-immigration?utm_content=buffer7bc9d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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  5. We’ve got issues.

    THE ADMINISTRATIVE STATE DECLARES INDEPENDENCE

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/08/the-administrative-state-declares-independence.php

    _____________________________________

    Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama holdover, recently authored one of the most pernicious columns within memory in the New York Times. Her column was titled, “Protect the Justice Department From President Trump.” Yates argued, in essence, that there exists an Executive Branch that is independent of, and superior to, the President–at least as long as that Executive Branch is staffed pretty much exclusively by Democrats. This is, of course, a boldly unconstitutional theory. …

    Yates argues for a permanent bureaucracy in Washington that is impervious to the wishes of the voters, who may occasionally be so imprudent as to elect a Republican president. In Yates’s view, that must not be an obstacle to the liberal policies of the Justice Department or, by analogy, any of the dozens of other federal agencies that are manned nearly exclusively by liberal Democrats. …

    The administrative state is by far the greatest contemporary threat to the liberty of Americans. The appalling Sally Yates urges that the Constitution be left in the dust, and that unelected bureaucrats be elevated above the president whom they ostensibly serve. It is hard to imagine a theory more at odds with our Constitution or our political traditions.
    _____________________________________________

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  6. Why would we want or need more Muslims?

    Before World War I, Blackjack Pershing was sent over to the Phillipines to put down a Muslim rebellion. He caught 20 muslim rebels, had them tied up to posts, brought out a couple of pigs, slaughtered them and had some of their blood smeared on the 20 rebels. Then he had 19 of the rebels shot and killed. Pershing let the last one go. The rebellion stopped immediately.

    What good is a religion if someone else can send you to hell?

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  7. Tychicus,

    😀

    And he unveiled this as well…..

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-senators-unveil-bill-cut-legal-immigration-u-151200337.html

    “U.S. President Donald Trump and two Republican senators on Wednesday unveiled a plan at the White House to half the number of legal immigrants to the United States eventually and favor newcomers who speak English.

    Trump threw his support behind a bill developed by senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia that they say would cut legal immigration by 50 percent over 10 years by reducing the kinds of relatives immigrants can bring into the country. The legislation faces an uphill climb to get through Congress.

    “This competitive application process will favor applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy,” Trump said.

    Trump and the Republican lawmakers blasted the current immigration system as out of date and argued that it hurts American workers by driving down wages.”

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  8. The Trump presidency as the media tells it, has been one disaster after another. While they drone on about the meaningless, Trump is quietly remaking the way our govt. is operating. I’m starting to think he initiates the chaos intentionally, at least some of the time. Other times it’s just ‘cuz he can’t shut up.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/what-trump-is-actually-accomplishing/535458/?utm_source=feed

    “The trick here is that the administration and this shadow government are one and the same. Even as the public government sputters, other elements of the Trump administration are quietly remaking the nation’s regulatory landscape, especially on the environment and criminal justice.

    There is so much attention paid to the chaos in the executive branch that it’s easy to come to believe that Trump is getting nothing whatsoever accomplished. Even for people who don’t support the president’s agenda—especially for them, in fact—it is useful to step back occasionally and take stock of what this presidency is doing to work toward its goals.

    Trump’s complaints that the press is ignoring his victories in favor of covering controversies ring hollow. You can’t very well go around setting things on fire and then asking why the press keeps covering the fires. But warnings that the Trump administration is doing X to distract from Y seem misguided for a couple of reasons—one being that they ascribe a greater organization that the White House evinces in any other sphere, and another being that the supposedly distracting stories are often just as catastrophic. But the large-scale disasters do keep attention focused away from what smaller agencies are doing, as Ben Carson acknowledged recently.

    “Let me put it this way,” the secretary of housing and urban development told the Washington Examiner. “I’m glad that Trump is drawing all the fire so I can get stuff done.”
    ——————-

    “One of the two biggest victories has come on border security, which was one of Trump’s top campaign priorities. Border crossings have already plummeted, suggesting that rhetoric making it clear to immigrants that they are not welcome is effective in its own right. Customs and Border Protections report that apprehensions of unauthorized people are down nearly 20 percent from the same time in 2016. (Trump continues to radically exaggerate these figures, though.) This decline has occurred despite Trump being foiled on his actual policy proposals at the border. Construction hasn’t begun on his border wall yet, and federal courts have repeatedly smacked down his Muslim travel ban.

    That said, he did get one good result in courts—and that points to a second area of success. The Supreme Court allowed parts of the travel ban to go forward, in a victory that would not have happened without Neil Gorsuch on the court, filling a seat that under all previous customs would have been filled by Barack Obama’s appointee Merrick Garland. Given his legislative struggles, the most enduring Trump victories are likely to come in the judicial branch.

    Trump may get to appoint several more justices to the high court. And in the meantime, he’s filling up lower courts with lifetime appointees. As the veteran Democratic official Ron Klain wrote recently, “A massive transformation is underway in how our fundamental rights are defined by the federal judiciary. For while President Trump is incompetent at countless aspects of his job, he is proving wildly successful in one respect: naming youthful conservative nominees to the federal bench in record-setting numbers.””

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  9. Tychicus @12:04 To be fair to Trump, all we know is that Trump directed and caused his family, staff and attorneys to lie and deceive about his son’s failed attempt to collude with Russia.

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  10. The most troubling aspect of the Fox News Seth Rich fable and the alleged White House involvement in that scheme is that Trumpkin Ed Butowsky (who played a major role) was said to be “from Texas”. Butowsky is not really a Texas name, and I am happy to report that the man’s accent as revealed in this interview with Chris Cuomo proves that Butowsky definitely is not a Texan.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/ed-butowsky-cnn-chris-cuomo-seth-rich-full-interview

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  11. Re: 10:47
    This is the Koran, Sura 9
    Muslims have to believe this. Not optional. Some say that Islam is a religion of fpeace and that they say that there is no compulsion in religion. However most Muslims believe that those words have been abrogated and that Sura 9 is imposed on all believers.

    1. A declaration of immunity from God and His Messenger to the polytheists with whom you had made a treaty.
    2. So travel the land for four months, and know that you cannot escape God, and that God will disgrace the disbelievers.
    3. And a proclamation from God and His Messenger to the people on the day of the Greater Pilgrimage, that God has disowned the polytheists, and so did His Messenger. If you repent, it will be better for you. But if you turn away, know that you cannot escape God. And announce to those who disbelieve a painful punishment.
    4. Except for those among the polytheists with whom you had made a treaty, and did not violate any of its terms, nor aided anyone against you. So fulfill the treaty with them to the end of its term. God loves the righteous.
    5. When the Sacred Months have passed, kill the polytheists wherever you find them. And capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and pay the alms, then let them go their way. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.
    6. And if anyone of the polytheists asks you for protection, give him protection so that he may hear the Word of God; then escort him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.
    7. How can there be a treaty with the polytheists on the part of God and His Messenger, except for those with whom you made a treaty at the Sacred Mosque? As long as they are upright with you, be upright with them. God loves the pious.
    8. How? Whenever they overcome you, they respect neither kinship nor treaty with you. They satisfy you with lip service, but their hearts refuse, and most of them are immoral.
    9. They traded away God’s revelations for a cheap price, so they barred others from His path. How evil is what they did.
    10. Towards a believer they respect neither kinship nor treaty. These are the transgressors.
    11. But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and give the obligatory charity, then they are your brethren in faith. We detail the revelations for a people who know.
    12. But if they violate their oaths after their pledge, and attack your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief—they have no faith—so that they may desist.
    13. Will you not fight a people who violated their oaths, and planned to exile the Messenger, and initiated hostilities against you? Do you fear them? It is God you should fear, if you are believers.
    14. Fight them. God will punish them at your hands, and humiliate them, and help you against them, and heal the hearts of a believing people.
    15. And He will remove the anger of their hearts. God redeems whomever He wills. God is Knowledgeable and Wise.
    16. Or do you think that you will be left alone, without God identifying which of you will strive, and take no

    We have people who don’t believe as we do. Atheists, Jews, Buddhists, agnostics, whatever.
    None of them have the charge to make everyone adhere to their faith. Though they/and we go to great lengths to persuade them.
    Islam has a charge to make everyone Muslim. (Muslim does not mean “peace”” it means “surrender” e.g. to Allah. ,
    All you need to do is see the history of Islam.
    They intend this for America.

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  12. It is said that Muslims love and respect Jesus.
    They do .
    They believe everything we believe about Jesus, except:
    1. Jesus is the son of God.
    2. Jesus died on the cross.
    Which also means that Jesus was not raised from the dead.
    They believe that God rescued Jesus and he did not die.
    Jesus was a prophet, but Mohammed was the final prophet.

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  13. Ricky, @3:10 Little Bush and Ted Cruz are not Texan either, but that didn’t stop y’all from trying to foist ’em on the rest of the country. But it’s your state. You can pick and choose as you like—for yourselves. But for the rest of us: he went to school in Texas, he lives in Texas, and he and his wife are raising their kids in Texas. Going once, going twice, sold. You bought him; he’s yours. He’s Texan. No givebacks, no returns. ;–)

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  14. Good job, Sen. Alexander (TN). This is long overdue.

    The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee is slated to hold a bipartisan health care hearing the week they return from recess to discuss how to best stabilize the individual insurance market, Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray announced Tuesday.

    The committee is hoping to craft bipartisan legislation ahead of insurers Sept. 27 deadline to finalize premium rates. Alexander argued the committee needs to take action due to the extensive problems in the health-care industry, adding that he has encouraged President Donald Trump to continue funding cost sharing reductions to help curb destabilization in the marketplace.

    Cost-sharing reductions are subsidies on deductibles provided to low income consumers.

    “We’re talking about the roughly 18 million Americans in the individual market — about 11 million of them who buy their insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges,” he said in a statement. “About 9 million of those 11 million Americans have Affordable Care Act subsidies, and unless we act, many of them may not have policies available to buy in 2018 because insurance companies will pull out of collapsing markets.”

    https://stream.org/senate-committee-announces-bipartisan-health-care-hearing/

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  15. My theory is that most Muslims are like most people who call themselves Christians – not really deeply believing in their holy book, but being more of a cultural Christian or Muslim. The article I shared above, & others I have read, say that most Muslims who come here assimilate well. Are there some who are just pretending to assimilate? Sure. But I don’t think the majority who have assimilated are pretending. They’re just people like us who want to raise their families & live a good life in safety.

    Having said that, I am well aware that there are the jihadist Muslims who want to take over the world. And I know that there are too many of them. I just don’t think they are in the majority of those who have come to our shores. Many Muslim immigrants are escaping persecution by those jihadists (ISIS, et al.).

    Liked by 1 person

  16. And in real news involving an actual collusion scandal with foreign entities……..

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/08/congressional-gop-pressuring-wasserman-schultz-to-testify-over-it-aide/

    “Republicans have suggested that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz should testify to explain why she kept IT aide Imran Awan on her payroll after he became a subject of an FBI investigation in March.

    Wasserman Schultz did not fire Awan until last week when authorities arrested him at Dulles Airport on bank fraud charges.

    The Capital Police placed Awan along with his wife and two brothers under investigation months ago for breaching House IT systems and stealing equipment. Other House lawmakers fired the four, but Wasserman Schultz kept Awan on payroll.

    From Fox News:

    “I think she should testify,” Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told conservative radio host Dana Loesch on Monday. “If I had a staff member, an IT staff member, who had access to all of our data and all of our infrastructure and he had come under investigation … you better believe I would be cooperating.”

    Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., also indicated support on Monday for Schultz testifying, though no such hearing has been formally called at this point.

    “We have to investigate how our systems may have been compromised, and that may involve putting people in the [witness] chair,” he told “Fox & Friends.””

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  17. Tychicus @2:48 The Washington Post did break the story. Then the White House admitted Trump was “involved” in drafting the false statement, contradicting prior denials by lawyer Sekulow, who like so many before him, was left looking like an idiot when it was revealed he had simply been repeating a Trump lie.

    Debra, You know the Trump rule: Show us the birth certificate. I’ve never met a Butowsky who talks like Scaramucci who was born in this state. If you weren’t born here, you ain’t a Texan.

    By the way, why isn’t FoxNews covering the Butowsky/Seth Rich/Spicer story? Hannity promised the Rich family he would help clear the boy’s name.

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  18. In the last two weeks: Mini-Trump Scaramucci hired. Mini-Trump has X-rated rant against Priebus and Bannon which Trump likes. Trump repeatedly attacks his own Attorney General. Priebus is out. Trump makes fool of self before Boy Scouts. Head of Boy Scouts apologizes for Trump’s behavior. Mini-Trump is out. Trump lies about receiving congratulatory phone call from Head of Boy Scouts. White House admits phone call didn’t happen. White House admits Trump “helped” write Jr.’s statement, contradicting previous denials. Trump hits new low in poll.

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  19. A Golf magazine reported that Trump told country club members that the White House was “a dump”. Trump attacked the story as “Fake News”. Everyone has a few laughs.

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