26 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-19-18

  1. Sure looks like it.


    “Former assistant FBI director James Kallstrom suggested Sunday morning that the constant shifting of high-ranking government officials over the last year is related to an internal plot to help Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.

    “I think we have ample facts revealed to us during this last year and a half that high-ranking people throughout government, not just the FBI, high-ranking people had a plot to not have Hillary Clinton, you know, indicted,” Kallstrom said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo.”

    Kallstrom, who worked at the FBI for 27 years, was responding to Bartiromo’s question about whether he thought that someone in the FBI was directing officials to protect Clinton.”

    “”They had a backup plan to basically frame Donald Trump and that’s what’s been going,” Kallstrom said.”


  2. Flouting the standards?

    They’ve shredded, destroyed, and set them on fire.


    “These columns have many times observed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s failure to set limits on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. To trigger the appointment of a special counsel, federal regulations require the Justice Department to identify the crimes that warrant investigation and prosecution — crimes that the Justice Department is too conflicted to investigate in the normal course; crimes that become the parameters of the special counsel’s jurisdiction.

    Rosenstein, instead, put the cart before the horse: Mueller was invited to conduct a fishing expedition, a boundless quest to hunt for undiscovered crimes, rather than an investigation and prosecution of known crimes.

    That deviation, it turns out, is not the half of it. With Rosenstein’s passive approval, Mueller is shredding Justice Department charging policy by alleging earth-shattering crimes, then cutting a sweetheart deal that shields the defendant from liability for those crimes and from the penalties prescribed by Congress. The special counsel, moreover, has become a legislature unto himself, promulgating the new, grandiose crime of “conspiracy against the United States” by distorting the concept of “fraud.”

    Why does the special counsel need to invent an offense to get a guilty plea? Why doesn’t he demand a plea to one of the several truly egregious statutory crimes he claims have been committed?

    Good questions.

    The Multi-Million-Dollar Fraud Indictments . . . and Penny-Ante Plea
    On Thursday, February 22, with now-familiar fanfare, Mueller filed an indictment against Paul Manafort and Richard Gates, alleging extremely serious crimes. Let’s put aside for now that the charges have absolutely nothing to do with the stated rationale for Mueller’s appointment, namely, Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible Trump-campaign collusion therein.

    According to the special counsel, Manafort and Gates conspired to commit more than $25 million in bank fraud. In all, the indictment charges nine bank-fraud counts, each carrying a potential penalty of up to 30 years’ imprisonment (i.e., 270 years combined). Furthermore, the two defendants are formally charged with $14 million in tax fraud (the indictment’s narrative of the offense actually alleges well over twice that amount). There are five tax-fraud counts, yielding a potential 15 years’ imprisonment (up to three years for each offense), against each defendant.

    Mind you, this indictment, filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, is not a stand-alone. It piles atop an earlier indictment in the District of Columbia. That one, filed back in October, accuses Manafort and Gates of an eye-popping $75 million money-laundering conspiracy, a charge that carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment.

    The two indictments contain many other felony charges. But sticking with just these most serious ones, we can safely say that, on February 22, Manafort and Gates were portrayed as high-order federal felons who faced decades of prison time based on financial frauds in the nine-digit range. And while I have previously discussed potential proof problems for the money-laundering charge, proving bank fraud and tax fraud is comparatively straightforward. The indictment indicates that the evidence of these crimes is well documented and daunting.

    Yet, the very next day, Friday, February 23, Mueller permitted Gates to plead guilty to two minor charges — a vaporous “conspiracy against the United States” and the process crime of misleading investigators, each carrying a sentence of zero to five years in jail. This flouted Justice Department policies designed to ensure that federal law is enforced evenhandedly across the nation.”


  3. That Drudge poll from yesterday is over a half million voters, and 75% say Mueller should be fired.


    “More than three-quarters of people who answered a poll on the conservative Drudge Report site said that President Trump should fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

    Mueller is currently investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Moscow.

    The online poll, which was posted on the site on Saturday, had surveyed fewer than 500,000 people on Sunday. (now over 610,000)

    The poll comes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe over the findings of an internal review that said he provided unauthorized information to the press and was not forthcoming with investigators during the investigation. McCabe said he was fired as an attempt to undermine Mueller’s investigation.”


  4. All those high level people who are now in so much trouble are just trying to protect Hillary.
    And Hillary doesn’t care.


  5. Everything in this article is accurate except the title and the last line. Trump perfectly represents who the American people now are.


  6. Even shifty Schiff has to concede the obvious.


    “House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who often has fought the Republicans over the actions of President Trump and the FBI, said on Sunday that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s firing from the bureau might be “justified.”

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe late Friday night, just hours before the FBI official was set to retire, jeopardizing McCabe’s ability to collect full pension benefits.

    “There’s no way for us to know at this point, but even though it may have been justified, it can also be tainted,” Schiff said on ABC News’ “This Week,” referencing McCabe’s potential role in a probe investigating the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia.

    The ranking Democrat added that he thought it was difficult to know whether the firing was legitimate because it happened before the release of an inspector general report expected to conclude McCabe was not forthcoming about matters related to the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.”


  7. It’s time for Republicans to step up and put an end to Democrat obstruction.


    “The Trump administration is putting pressure on Senate Republicans to crack down on Democratic efforts to delay its agenda, fueling talk about the need for rules reform among Republicans on Capitol Hill.

    Republicans are in discussions with Democrats about bipartisan changes to Senate rules to speed up consideration of President Trump’s judicial and executive branch nominees, but if that effort flounders – as similar ones have in the past – they’re not ruling out unilateral action.

    White House patience with the Senate’s backlog of nominees is wearing out, as Vice President Mike Pence made clear during a private meeting with the Senate GOP Conference on Tuesday, according to lawmakers who attended the discussion.

    White House legislative affairs director Marc Short on Friday accused Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) of “weaponizing” the rules to keep executive and judicial branch positions vacant.

    Short noted that Democrats have required Republicans to hold 79 cloture votes on nominees during Trump’s first 14 months in office.

    “That’s roughly five times the number of the last four administrations combined,” he said.”

    No, that’s obstruction, weaponized.


  8. Even Bill Kristol is being honest today, for a change. He wants everyone to know that he would much rather have un-elected, back stabbing, unaccountable, swamp dwelling bureaucrats in charge than the duly and fairly elected President.

    Now who’s the authoritarian?


  9. The 10:58 link wouldn’t open.
    But another did for some reason.’
    I didn’t get a chance to comment on the link I got, but I wonder:

    How long will a former head of the FBI last in a federal prison?
    And Hillary would have to be in house arrest in Chappaqua.
    She wouldn’t survive in a prison.


  10. This just gets odder and odder.


    “Last month, Kemberlee asked, What in the world is going on with the Broward County Sheriff’s Department?, and this week we learn that Broward Country school officials and at least one sheriff’s deputy recommended in September 2016 that the Stoneman Douglas High School shooter be involuntarily committed.

    In an almost unbelievable twist, the sheriff’s deputy who recommended Nikolas Cruz be committed for psychological evaluation under the Baker Act is none other than school safety officer Scot Peterson. That’s right, the same Scot Peterson who was forced to resign after reports surfaced that he hid outside the school while Cruz carried out his bloody rampage unhindered.

    It’s not clear from the reports why no action was taken to commit Cruz under the Baker Act.”


  11. I’ve been praying for him–look what happened to Charles Colson and how God has been glorified ever since when he was convicted.

    They have special prisons for government officials who would be at risk for revenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Time for Trump and Devos to end this.


    “In 2014, the Obama administration promulgated a “guidance” to America’s public schools that threatened federal investigations and litigation against schools where black students are disciplined (e.g., by suspension) more often, on a pro rata basis, than white students, on the ground that such numerical discrepancy is evidence of discrimination. Many schools responded by adopting discipline quotas, which meant in practice that after a certain number of students of a particular race had been suspended, teachers and administrators were helpless to enforce any kind of discipline in classrooms.

    The Obama administration is gone, thankfully, but its “guidance” has not been revoked. Meanwhile, state governments and federal courts that are in liberal hands have taken up the claim that disparate incidence of discipline must be discriminatory, a theory that flies in the face of common observation that misbehavior in school is not randomly distributed in the student population.

    In Minnesota, the Department of Human Rights has reportedly sent letters to 43 school districts and charter schools, telling them that they are under investigation because of racial disparities in discipline. There is an added Orwellian element in that news of the letters has leaked out, but no one knows what 43 school districts have gotten the letters, or what the letters say. Under Minnesota law, it apparently is difficult if not impossible for the public to get that information. So the far-left administration of trust fund billionaire Mark Dayton is able to bully school districts in the shadows, without public knowledge or recourse.

    My colleague at Center of the American Experiment, Katherine Kersten, has a brilliant op-ed on the Dayton administration’s phantom letters in today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune:”


    “Brace yourself, parents of Minnesota. Here’s what’s coming soon to a school near you: increased violence, brazen challenges to teachers’ authority and a chaotic environment where learning is an uphill battle. Teachers who try to exert control will find their hands tied, and some kids — no longer accountable for their behavior — will feel free to provoke mischief and mayhem.

    If this happens at your school, you’ll be able to thank the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR). In fall 2017, the department sent letters to 43 school districts and charter schools across the state, announcing that the schools are under investigation because their student discipline records suggest that black and Native American students are disciplined at a rate that exceeds their proportion of the student population.
    Here, in essence, is MDHR’s position: The primary cause of racial discipline gaps in schools is racist teachers and discipline policies, not differing rates of student misconduct. Schools must move to end these statistical group disparities. If administrators don’t agree to change their practices in ways that reduce black and Native American discipline rates, according to MinnPost, “[Human Rights Commissioner Kevin] Lindsey says the state will initiate litigation.”

    We’ve seen this movie before, most recently in the St. Paul Public Schools. There, it had devastating consequences for students of all backgrounds. MDHR bureaucrats must have been the only people in St. Paul who weren’t paying attention to this debacle.”

    Liked by 2 people

  13. And isn’t it way past time for these clowns to do their jobs and pass something a little more long term? Maybe have a real budget or something?……

    Do your jobs! And if it’s a rule thing, change them. Enough with the excuses.


    “Yes, the government is facing another shutdown if Congress does not pass a spending bill to fund the government through the end of September by midnight on Friday.

    It may not be that easy since some Republicans have scoffed at the $1.2 trillion price tag.

    During this fiscal year, Congress passed five stopgap bills. In February, the lawmakers “approved a bill that would allow them to increase spending on defense and domestic programs by about $300 billion over two years.” This gave them six weeks to allocate the money.

    Have they? Of course not! They have not released the omnibus bill. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) said “a four-month extension of the Federal Aviation Administration is likely to be included.” Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) thinks it will also includes funding for school safety and that President Donald Trump’s wall remains “in play.”

    The same old problems could come back up: immigration and healthcare. From CNBC:

    The bill this week is unlikely to include any provisions to extend protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump ended in September with a six-month delay. The Trump administration floated pairing money for the president’s proposed border wall with protections for the immigrants, but the idea fell flat. Court battles have left DACA in place, for now.

    But lawmakers have still made immigration an issue this week.

    Some Republicans have pushed for the bill to include more spending for immigration enforcement. Others want to add a provision that would allow the Trump administration to take funding away from so-called sanctuary cities. Democrats are unlikely to back either proposal.

    The Affordable Care Act is also a sticking point. Some Democrats and Republicans want to include provisions to help lower health-care premium costs on Obamacare exchanges.

    Conservatives have objected to what they call propping up the law they often criticize. Some Republicans also want to bar subsidies for insurers who cover abortion.”


  14. It’s time to look for solutions to the country’s opioid crisis. This is a good start, and it’s an opportunity for bipartisan cooperation.

    President Trump on Monday will release a plan to combat the opioid epidemic that includes the controversial idea of using the death penalty for some drug traffickers.

    Trump will announce the Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse during his first visit as president to New Hampshire, a state the opioid epidemic has hit hard and where 2016 presidential candidates, including Trump, discussed the issue of addiction at length.

    The plan includes a mix of efforts that advocates have been supportive of in the past, such as expanding access to the gold standard of treatment for an opioid addiction and ensuring first responders are equipped with an opioid overdose reversal drug.

    It also includes law enforcement measures, and addiction advocates have been urging the administration and lawmakers to steer away from a war-on-drugs approach they say hasn’t worked in the past.

    “The opioid crisis is viewed by us at the White House as a nonpartisan problem searching for bipartisan solutions, and the Trump administration remains committed to fighting this epidemic from all fronts,” Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to the president, said on a call with reporters Sunday.


    Liked by 1 person

  15. Sounds like Facebook was in the tank for Obama.

    Like we didn’t know……

    Sounds like Facebook was unfairly allowing one candidate resources it wasn’t and wouldn’t allow the other side. Sounds like a violation of campaign finance law.


    “A former Obama campaign official is claiming that Facebook knowingly allowed them to mine massive amounts of Facebook data — more than they would’ve allowed someone else to do — because they were supportive of the campaign.

    In a Sunday tweet thread, Carol Davidsen, former director of integration and media analytics for Obama for America, said the 2012 campaign led Facebook to “suck out the whole social graph” and target potential voters. They would then use that data to do things like append their email lists.

    When Facebook found out what they were doing, they were “surprised,” she said. But she also claimed they didn’t stop them once they found out:”


  16. AJ @ 635. I thought the right wing mediaconsidered the FBI a tainted and corrupt institution yet here the are quoting an FBI agent as a credible source. But he wasn’t an FBI agent he resigned in 1998; 20 years ago. Yet he’s credible?

    640. Mueller isn’t fishing. He was appointed to investigate if Comey’s firing constituted obstruction and he’s doing that. Right now he’s following the money ie motivation. Indicting with a sledgehammer and accepting pleas is standard practise. Trump and his friends should be glad he’s not investigating RICO violations. That’s a warrant to investigate everything including how you hang your toilet roll.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 119

    Its fairly well know that school suspensions are useless and ineffective in terms of correcting an offenders behaviour. There’s been a real movement in the past ten years to move away from suspensions. And not always successfully. What’s missing from discussion is that suspensions work …for the rest of the school. It sends a warning to others and keeps students safe.

    In addition, in the last 10-15 years, there’s been an emphasis on data to measure school effectiveness. Suspension data is used to measure principal effectiveness in maintaining discipline. The more suspensions the less effective whether or not suspensions should be handed out.

    The result is a fear to discipline to avoid catching the superintendent’s attention. My admin admitted to me last year that to suspend would catch her boss’s attention and she didn’t want it. Thus kids did what they wanted. In the end, the parents called the super and I had the union call the super….

    I imagine the same data issue but with racial cleavages exist in US jurisdictions. This originates from the very real knowledge that suspensions dont work and punitive punishments are part of a school to prison pipeline. Unfortunately they have yet to find a alternative strategy that keeps every one safe. Meanwhile, admin acts with eye on the data chart.


  18. The opioid crisis wont be easily solved. However, the death penalty wont work. The death penalty is not a deterrent and the process is too expensive.

    The first problem is big pharma. There’s a profit in addiction. Most opioid addicts start with prescriptions. Limit the damage private pharma can create. Unless of course we want to try apply the death penalty to pharma CEOS, that would be interesting.

    Next treat addiction as a mental illness not a criminal matter. Addiction is not entirely behaviourial, its also the result of genetics and biological predisposition. Some people are more susceptible to addiction than others despite engaging in the same behaviour.

    Treating addiction as an illness has been shown to reduce other behaviours associated with drug use…..prostitution, STIs, crime, family breakdown, overdose, etc.


  19. Old threats to those thinking about a career in the FBI:
    1. Drug cartels;
    2. International terrorists; and
    3. Mob bosses.

    New threat to those thinking about a career in the FBI:
    A vengeful cult of a dishonest moron recently elected President.


  20. Here is the really sad thing about opioids. I have a 99 year old client with severe pain in one of his hands, and he is having trouble getting painkillers because of all the middle-aged Trumpers who are taking them for recreational purposes.


  21. Ricky — forget prescription pills; marijuana will work just fine. And if your client has a problem inhaling, edibles work really well. And as a bonus they’re not opioids.


  22. That’s probably good advice, HRW. However, I work in Wise County, Texas. I think they would probably jail a 99 year old for marijuana possession in Wise County.


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