35 thoughts on “News/Politics 4-23-18

  1. Another real scandal and collusion that the press refuses to look into, for obvious and partisan reasons.

    Fifteen Things To Know About ‘Pakistani Mystery Man’ Imran Awan


    “2. During the 2016 election, the House’s Office of Inspector General warned that Imran and his family were making “unauthorized access” to data

    A September 30, 2016, presentation alleged Imran Awan and his family members were logging into the servers of members who had previously fired him, funneling data off the network, and that evidence “suggests steps are being taken to conceal their activity.”

    The Awan group’s behavior mirrored a “classic method for insiders to exfiltrate data from an organization,” the briefing materials allege. The presentation especially found problems on one server: that of the House Democratic Caucus, an entity similar to the DNC that was chaired at the time by then-Rep. Xavier Becerra.

    3. The Awan group was left on the House computer network until February 2, 2017 — days after Donald Trump’s inauguration

    Police then banned the Awan group from the network. The Committee on House Administration put out a statement saying “House Officials became aware of suspicious activity and alleged theft committed by certain House IT support staff.” Since then, no official body has ever publicly provided any information about the case. But the IG report, obtained by TheDCNF, shows that theft was not the primary issue being warned about.

    4. Shortly after the IG report came out in September 2016, the Caucus server — identified as prime evidence in the cybersecurity case — physically disappeared

    Authorities took the disappearance as evidence tampering, they said. Becerra said he won’t discuss the incident because of an ongoing criminal investigation.

    5. Wasserman Schultz declined to fire Imran despite knowing he was suspected of cyber-security violations, even though she had just lost her job as DNC chair after its anemic handling of its data breach

    Her office claimed Imran could work on “websites and printers” without accessing the network. Watchdog group FACT has filed an ethics complaint saying this was impossible, and a cybersecurity publication called the judgment negligent.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry guys, the cavalry ain’t coming. 🙂

    And I’m not really sorry.


    “It’s not just Hillary Clinton who can’t quit Russia. The whole Democratic Party keeps going back to 2016.

    In a move that reeks of desperation, the DNC filed a civil suit Friday against President Trump’s campaign, Russia and WikiLeaks, alleging a vast (right wing!) conspiracy to tip the election to Trump.

    The suit’s flamboyant charges made headlines, but that only served to obscure the real meaning. Namely, that top Dems are giving up their fantasies that special counsel Robert Mueller will deliver them from political purgatory by getting the goods on Trump.

    The trashy suit is their way of trying to keep impeachment and Russia, Russia, Russia alive for the midterms in case Mueller’s probe comes up empty.

    Truth be told, party leaders are right to be disheartened by setbacks in the War against Trump. For the second time, the president was told he is not a target of Mueller, this time by Rod Rosenstein, the deputy assistant attorney general who created Mueller.

    While Trump could still become a target, the odds of that happening decline by the day.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hogg boy and his Dem and media enablers will need to ignore this if they want to keep the narrative of lies they been spreading alive.


    “Newly discovered statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that were never released to the public strengthen the argument for guns and blow a hole in the gun control narrative. The statistics show that guns are used in a defensive manner against crimes far more than they are used by criminals to commit crimes.

    A new report from Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck shows that recently unearthed surveys from the CDC, which were never made public, show that Americans use guns in millions of defense scenarios every year on average.

    Reason reports:

    … Kleck conducted the most thorough previously known survey data on the question in the 1990s. His study, which has been harshly disputed in pro-gun-control quarters, indicated that there were more than 2.2 million such defensive uses of guns (DGUs) in America a year.

    Now Kleck has unearthed some lost CDC survey data on the question. The CDC essentially confirmed Kleck’s results. But Kleck didn’t know about that until now, because the CDC never reported what it found.”

    More from Reason here….



  4. And since I brought up collapsing narratives……

    In case you missed it…….. here’s a recap with lots of links from last week……


    “All the news you may have missed.

    It’s all falling apart.
    Comey Memos Puncture Collusion and Obstruction Narratives
    Report: DOJ IG Sends Criminal Referral of McCabe to U.S. Attorney of DC
    Luntz Focus Group Found Comey ‘Very Weak, Pathetic’ and ‘Two-Faced’

    No one cares more than the media.
    Comey Book Event Packed With Press, Only One ‘Normal Person’ Attended

    Great strategy.
    Democrats: Give Us the House so We Can Raise Your Taxes

    Laura Ingraham Maintains Ratings, Advertiser Returns To Her Show
    NRA Membership Drive: Sign Up 100,000 New Members In 100 Days

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What agitates me is that no one is investigating the information that Wikileaks exposed.
    Everybody is charging Russia and Wikileaks, but nobody is investigating the data.

    I suspect, WRT prior posts, that the Muslim Brotherhood had much access to data during Obama’s terms.


  6. Chas, Here is a summary of the Democrat data that the Russians (through Wikileaks) exposed (look under “Contents”). There is really nothing to investigate. I think that Hillary and the Democrats concede that all the embarrassing emails are legitimate. The most embarrassing stuff is about how the DNC favored Hillary over Bernie Sanders. We will never know if the leaks were decisive in the election.



  7. I agree Ricky. Hillary lost in spite of everything they could do.
    Bill was the winner, Hill was the loser.
    Always was.


  8. Interesting commentary today:

    Opinion: The end of the ‘libertarian moment’



    … Perhaps it is time to revisit the politics of the past. The oft-cited notion of former House Speaker Tip O’Neill that “all politics is local” has little place in the world of politics driven by abstract ideas. But the local approach epitomizes the very essence of the federalist vision of America, with powers dispersed between local communities and levels of government. Politicians have often succeeded by taking measures that protect communities against both bureaucratic and Wall Street overreach.

    In the long term, it is far better to have our representatives, as has been the case for most of this century, prioritize their constituencies over ideology. Moderate coastal Republicans and similarly pragmatic interior Democrats, the very groups now threatened with extinction, were often the best suited to find common ground on issues ranging from Social Security, Medicare, welfare reform and environmental protection that still respected the demands of their constituencies.
    A return to localism now constitutes the electorate’s best protection against ideologically driven, unwanted intrusions by both capital and government. Critically, this idea has been embraced by both conservative organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute and in a new book, “Going Local: Healing American Democracy,” by three prominent, long-time Democratic activists.

    The emerging localist agenda allows for our increasingly diverse communities, within some basic limits, to shape policies that reflect their own aspirations. Some areas might want transgendered bathrooms, curbs on cars, more density and greater taxpayer-supported income redistribution. Others, whether working class or middle class, may prefer lower densities, promote volunteerism and embrace traditional values. Allowing communities more choices may engender some lousy and overly narrow policies, but remains far less dangerous than a tyranny imposed from above by inquisitors propelled by political theology.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ricky,

    “There is really nothing to investigate.”

    You’d be wrong. And as is often the case where Dems are involved, just because no one does anything, doesn’t mean crimes weren’t committed. Money laundering is a serious crime.


    “The Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee allegedly used state chapters as strawmen to launder as much as $84 million in an effort to circumvent campaign donation limits, and the Federal Election Commission ignored complaints exposing the practice, a lawsuit filed Monday claims.

    The Committee to Defend the President (CDP), a political action committee formally known as Stop Hillary PAC, filed its complaint with the FEC in December 2017 with the claims that the Hillary Victory Fund (HVF) solicited cash from big-name donors, and allegedly sent that money through state chapters and back to the DNC before ending up with the Clinton campaign.”


    It also pointed out numerous possible criminal acts by the Clinton’s and Clinton Foundation.



  10. Phase II has begun.

    Fusion GPS and it’s propagandists in the media are at it again.


    “What is known about the Fusion GPS role in stoking and implementing an attempted takedown of candidate and ultimately president Trump is one of the greatest political scandals in memory. But it’s a story that only partially has been told.

    We now know that Russian-Collusion-mania had as its source-fuel Fusion GPS opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. The culmination of that effort was the so-called Steele dossier, which was used to obtain FISA court warrants to surveil Carter Page, and by extension, likely other members of the Trump campaign and transition team both in real time and historically.

    What is less known, but almost certain, is how Fusion GPS pushed Russia conspiracy stories through its close relationship with reporters, and likely continues to do so. Fusion GPS not only was tight with reporters, it was tight with DOJ officials involved in pushing the Russia conspiracy narrative.

    Manipulating the political process and media on Russia was Act I, playing out in the Mueller investigation.

    Act II, as I’ve previously written, is the SDNY investigation of Michael Cohen on a referral from Mueller. That Act II, even more so than Act I, is a more direct attack on Trump’s business dealings and history than Mueller could justify keeping under his jurisdiction.

    That Act II starring Michael Cohen is an attack on Trump is suggested by none other than the co-founders of Fusion GPS, Peter Fritsch and Glenn R. Simpson, in an Op-Ed in the house organ of the Resistance, the NY Times, The Business Deals That Could Imperil Trump.”

    “Right up front they posit an ulterior motive for the prosecution, and a willingness to circulate rumors of criminality much like they circulated rumors of Russian collusion.

    They continue to put forth their suspicions, while admitting they have no hard evidence (emphasis added):

    We pored over Donald Trump’s business records for well over a year, at least those records you can get without a badge or a subpoena. We also hired a former British intelligence official, Christopher Steele, to look into Mr. Trump’s possible ties to Russia. In that 2015-2016 investigation, sponsored first by a Republican client and then by Democrats, we found strong indications that companies affiliated with Mr. Trump, then a presidential candidate, might have been entangled in foreign corruption.

    A string of bankruptcies in the 1990s and 2000s may have left Mr. Trump’s companies largely unable to tap traditional sources of financing. That could have forced him to look elsewhere for financing and partners at a time when money was pouring out of the former Soviet Union.

    Indeed, from New York to Florida, Panama to Azerbaijan, we found that Trump projects have relied heavily on foreign cash — including from wealthy individuals from Russia and elsewhere with questionable, and even criminal, backgrounds. We saw money traveling through offshore shell companies, entities often used to obscure ownership. Many news organizations have since dug deeply into the Trump Organization’s projects and come away with similar findings.

    This reporting has not uncovered conclusive evidence that the Trump Organization or its principals knowingly abetted criminal activity. And it’s not reasonable to expect the company to keep track of every condo buyer in a Trump-branded building. But Mr. Trump’s company routinely teamed up with individuals whose backgrounds should have raised red flags.

    There you have it. The media narrative for the coming year is set.

    Russian collusion as a political strategy is failing, so now it’s Trump Organization money laundering and fraternizing with criminal elements. Proof to follow, maybe.

    You should listen to what Peter Fritsch and Glenn R. Simpson are saying. They have signaled the future of media coverage, Democratic attacks, and prosecutorial focus.

    Like E.F. Hutton in its classic commercials, when Fusion GPS speaks, newsrooms, Democrats, and prosecutors listen.”


  11. Who says Trump can’t “grow in office”? He seems, at least temporarily, to have learned the difference between “council” and “counsel”.


  12. AJ, I appreciate you posting pieces from various sources that contain details about alleged wrongdoings by people who really shouldn’t be doing the wrongdoings, but don’t you know none of that is important because Trump can’t spell?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nor can Trump or his cult follow a train of thought. Chas and I were discussing the Russian/Wikileaks disclosure of Democrat emails.


  14. Ricky, when I saw you were so close to Gatlinburg, I suspected you would not be able to resist the white chocolate—especially given the uncertainty of winning it in November. But I don’t blame a fellow for hedging his bets. It looks like you guys had a great get away, and you picked a good time for it. :–)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Debra, I was afraid you would see the chocolate purchase as a sign of defeatism on my part. However, it is simply too good to resist.

    We got three days of great weather, and are spending the fourth shopping for books and toys.

    I must confess that the bet is not fair. There is no barbecue in Texas as good as this chocolate.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Even more damaging details…….

    that the press is mostly ignoring.


    “A key, if under-covered, aspect of the “Pakistani mystery man” story is that Imran Awan, the Pakistani-born IT aide of former DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, took a laptop with username RepDWS after he was banned from the House computer network for “unauthorized access to data,” and then left it in a phone booth with a letter to prosecutors.

    On Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted: “Just heard the Campaign was sued by the Obstructionist Democrats. This can be good news in that we will now counter for the DNC Server that they refused to give to the FBI, the Debbie Wasserman Schultz Servers and Documents held by the Pakistani mystery man and Clinton Emails.”

    Trump appears to have accurately identified a key issue with the “Pakistani mystery man” that comes straight from court documents.

    Lawyers for Pakistani-born Imran Awan currently have a copy of the contents of a laptop with the username RepDWS
    Wasserman Schultz wanted to block prosecutors from seeing what was on it
    Imran’s lawyers have attempted to set up a situation where it is up to Imran whether prosecutors can see the laptop, claiming “attorney client privilege”
    Other analysts say the laptop should be fair game for review
    Each twist has increased the intrigue:

    On Feb. 2, 2017, Imran was banned from the House computer network for making “unauthorized access” to congressional data, according to the House inspector general
    This happened not long after Wasserman Schultz was fired from the DNC after a cyber breach, yet she refused to fire Imran or even put him on paid leave, claiming that an IT aide didn’t need to access the internet to do his job Wasserman Schultz’s refusal to fire him meant he had continued physical access to the congressional office buildings, even though all of his other part-time employers fired him and he knew there was an ongoing criminal investigation

    On April 5, 2017, despite not being allowed to connect to the House network, he was in possession of a laptop with the username RepDWS and left it in a phone booth, where it was picked up by police who confiscated it because they recognized that it was left there by a criminal suspect

    Let that sink in. A Pakistani IT aide, who had just been fired by all his other employers for being a suspected hacker, left a laptop with the username RepDWS in a phone booth. The laptop was placed next to a letter to prosecutors. What it said is not publicly known. The cache of documents also included copies of Awan’s ID (which assured that police tied the laptop to a criminal suspect and seized it as evidence rather than returning it as lost property) and a note that said “attorney client privilege,” which put the laptop into legal limbo.”


  17. The article by Marco Rubio was very good. If he had figured all that out before the Republican primary in 2016 he would be President now….maybe. It is very encouraging that he has not thrown in the towel like so many others. He’s young and still has some fight in him.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Looks like yet another campaign promise kept by Trump.


    “President Donald Trump secured a commitment from French President Emmanuel Macron Monday to increase the country’s NATO defense spending by more than a third.

    Trump hosted Macron in Washington, DC Monday, after which the White House announced France’s commitment to meet NATO’s two percent GDP defense spending minimum, an increase of 35 percent.”


  19. 14 states have hit record low unemployment.


    “Fourteen states have set new records for low unemployment rates in the last year, nearly a decade after the recession put millions of Americans out of work.

    The states hitting new unemployment lows run the ideological gamut, from conservative Texas to liberal California, suggesting a recovery stronger than any particular political persuasion.

    In March, eight states saw new record lows, including Hawaii (2.1 percent), Idaho (2.9 percent), Kentucky (4 percent ), Maine (2.7 percent), Mississippi (4.5 percent), Oregon (4.1 percent) and Wisconsin (2.9 percent).”


  20. Bad news from Canada.


    “Police in Toronto say they have arrested a male suspect after a white van mounted a curb in the city’s north end, killing nine people and injuring 16 others.

    Deputy Police Chief Peter Yuen told reporters Monday afternoon that police received multiple calls around 1:30 p.m. about a vehicle “driving on Yonge Street, striking a number of pedestrians between Finch Avenue and Sheppard Avenue.”

    Yuen said one suspect was in custody, the van had been located and all available resources had been mobilized to investigate the situation. Sources told CTV’s Mercedes Stephenson that the suspect is Alek Minassian.”


  21. Ricky,

    Cdn colleges/universities noted this trend last year already. Not coincidently the same decline occured in the UK aftet Brexit. Both Australia and Canada are the beneficiaries. Education and science is still mostly done in English and the US/UK are missing out on a large amount of foreign money for grad programs.


    The DNC suit has two purposes. It gives the DNC a legal standing in case Mueller is fired. They could then demand all Mueller’s documents be preserved as pertinent to their case. Second civil suit have a lower threshold to determine culpability. The DNC sued the Republicans after Watergate and made out quite well.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hrw is anon.

    The research in the Trump Organization has to do with motive. Given his shady financial situation its a legitimate angle to investigate.

    The CDC is prohibited from researching gun violence. The stats cited are over 20 years old. If the gun lobby wants the CDC to study gun violence I’m sure the gun control folks would agree. After the waffle house shooting the CDCs mandate to examine mental illness could easily expand to the connectionto gun violence and mass shootings.

    Closer to home, it appears a young man of Armenian background delibrate ran people over with a rental van killing nine and injurying much more. When he was arrested it was obviously he wanted suicide by cop but the police refused to shoot. Watch the video the suspect appears to be pointing a gun but the police refuse to shoot. I criticize the police quite often but that was impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Chas, as HRW says, the suspect appears to be of Armenian descent. Armenians are traditionally Christian, and the Armenian-Canadian community has been a valuable asset to Canada ever since their immigration here in the wake of the Armenian genocide by the Ottomans. Every community has its criminals.


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