28 thoughts on “News/Politics 5-11-18

  1. Oh look. They finally found some collusion as they’ve been alleging. But once again, it doesn’t involve Trump.

    And again, thankful for Judicial Watch and their FOIA requets, because without them we’d never know the truths the govt. keeps trying to hide about FBI leadership.


    “A government watchdog group revealed Thursday that former FBI Director James Comey was advised by senior FBI officials to seek Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s advice prior to testifying before “any congressional committee” about President Donald Trump’s campaign and its alleged collusion with Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to new emails obtained by Judicial Watch.

    Comey was also advised to seek Mueller’s counsel on the circumstances surrounding his firing by Trump before providing testimony to Congress, the Department of Justice emails obtained by Judicial Watch reveal. It is the first time evidence reveals there was coordination between the Special Counsel and Comey in the long drawn out controversial Mueller investigation.

    “These documents show that James Comey, who was fired by the president, nevertheless had easy, friendly access to the FBI as he prepped his infamous anti-Trump testimony to the Senate,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, in a press release. “This collusion led to Comey’s attacking President Trump and misusing FBI records as part of a vendetta against the president.””


    “A government watchdog group released new emails on Thursday that revealed former FBI Director James Comey seemingly coordinated his testimony last year before the Senate Intelligence Committee with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

    Top-level FBI officials advised Comey to “consult” with Mueller before testifying in front of any congressional committees regarding the Trump administration firing him as FBI director and alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Journalist Sara Carter notes:

    It is the first time evidence reveals there was coordination between the Special Counsel and Comey in the long drawn out controversial Mueller investigation.”


    Here’s the evidence.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here come th sanctions.


    “US Moves To Strangle Iranian Efforts To Secure Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars To Fund Its Troubling Military Activities

    The U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed new sanctions on Iran Thursday, just two days after President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Iran deal.

    Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control blacklisted nine Iranian entities — six individuals and three firms — involved in an illegal currency-exchange network in the United Arab Emirates. Network exchangers and couriers converted and transferred hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), specifically the Quds Force (IRGC-QF), a recognized supporter of international terrorism, to “fund its malign activities and regional proxy groups,” the department said in a statement. Iran’s Central Bank is said to have been “complicit in the IRGC-QF’s scheme and actively supported this network’s currency conversion and enabled its access to funds that it held in its foreign bank accounts.”

    One of the sanctioned entities Jahan Aras Kish, a front company for the IRGC-QF, retrieved oil revenues from the Central Bank of Iran and transferred the money to couriers who exchanged it for U.S. dollars by way of two other now-sanctioned companies, Rashed Exchange and Khedmati & Co. Using forged documents, network operatives were able to operate under the radar in the UAE, distributing funds to Iran’s most radical military units and regional proxies. The sanctioned persons identified by Treasury worked for either the firms or the IRGC-QF directly.

    The latest move by Treasury, which was taken in cooperation with the UAE, follows the president’s announcement Tuesday that the U.S. will no longer be party to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.

    “As I said following the President’s announcement on Tuesday, we are intent on cutting off IRGC revenue streams wherever their source and whatever their destination,” Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said Thursday. “Today we are targeting Iranian individuals and front companies engaged in a large-scale currency exchange network that has procured and transferred millions to the IRGC-QF.”

    “Countries around the world must be vigilant against Iran’s efforts to exploit their financial institutions to exchange currency and fund the nefarious actors of the IRGC-QF and the world’s largest state sponsor of terror,” the secretary added.”

    And France and Germany aren’t happy about having their supply of money from terrorists cut off.


    “But Trump’s pullout has left international companies doing business in Iran vulnerable to the extraterritoriality of US law, which enables Washington to punish foreign companies operating in Iran if they have business dealings with the US or use dollar transactions.

    Europe has long complained about the long arm of US economic jurisdictions, which made it difficult for major European banks and companies to operate in Iran even before the US pullout. Amid uncertainty over Trump’s impending decision, European banks have avoided Iran-related transactions, fearing “the American guillotine” that has severely punished firms evading US sanctions in the past, such as a hefty, almost $9 billion fine slapped on France’s largest bank, BNP Paribas, in 2014 for sanctions evasion.

    On Wednesday, those gripes reached a pitch. Slamming the US withdrawal from the Iran deal as “an error”, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Marie complained that it was “not acceptable” for the US to play “economic policeman of the planet”.

    Speaking to reporters in Paris a day after the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, an official in the French presidency said European authorities would “do everything” possible “to find a way to protect this multilateral framework”.

    Washington has given companies between 90 and 180 days to phase out existing contracts with Iran and banned them from signing any new ones, under threat of sanctions.”

    We’re still the boss.


  3. Well Ricky I guess it’s a good thing Texas can still import illegals directly from California, because it’s getting harder to sneak them across the southern border.


    “The Department of Homeland Security has asked the Defense Department to supply an additional 700 National Guard troops and more helicopters for security efforts on the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a DHS official with knowledge of the request.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it wants more personnel to support its office, field, intelligence and air and marine operations, a DHS spokesperson confirmed to the Washington Examiner.

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will respond to the request and is expected to do so “in the coming days,” the DHS official added.”

    But there’s still good news for legal Hispanics. Do it the right way, and there’s opportunities. Do it the wrong way, and deal with DHS. Seems fair.


    “It’s baseball season in America, and any fan knows that going 6 for 7 in batting is stellar. Well, President Trump just pulled off a 6 for 7 performance — not in at-plate appearances but instead in an arena far more crucial: record jobs gains for Hispanic Americans.

    Among Latinos, the jobless rate has only registered below 5 percent for seven months total – in the history of this country. Six of those months have occurred with Donald Trump in the White House, including the April report released last week.

    The jobs data was terrific news for Americans of all ethnicities. For the first time since the year 2000, the overall unemployment rate dipped below 4 percent. Just as significant, almost 1 million Americans who had previously given up on finding a job have rejoined the workforce since Trump was elected.

    This movement toward self-sufficiency is a notable achievement for all Americans, but particular focus should be placed on the gains for communities of color. Why? Because identity politics and Democrats’ Big Government policies have failed minorities. Only now, at long last, are those communities beginning to realize their potential, which has clearly been unleashed with help from the pro-growth Trump administration economic policies of deregulation, tax cuts, and border enforcement.

    In contrast to the mainstream media narrative that the current president represents a retrenchment to a monolithic white America, the results so far suggest that exactly the opposite is happening as both Hispanic and African-American jobless figures reach all-time lows. Small and start-up businesses – the normal engine of job creation – particularly thrive under the sensible regulatory restraint of this administration. In addition, recent surveys show soaring confidence among Americans about the humming U.S. economy.”


  4. Who said Mexicans?

    I said illegals. But they do come thru Mexico, so Mexico still gets part of the blame.


  5. It is amazing how everyone in Texas gets along with each other.

    I was thinking about that last night at the convenience store outside our neighborhood. At 7:00, the SUVs with their white women drivers and kids were all at home in the garages. Inside were a handful of white businessmen in their trucks or sports cars who had worked late and were picking up dessert (for me it was ice cream) or something else for their families. There were also two vans full of Mexicans who had worked 12 hour days building new houses for our Yankee and California immigrants. The Mexicans were buying their suppers and their beer. Behind the counter were two white, tattooed Trumpkin ladies. Everyone was laughing and joking and celebrating the end of another hard day’s work.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Huh.

    So maybe Trump was “wiretapped” during the election. And note that once again, the FBI leadership is caught lying and hiding the truth.


    “The Department of Justice lost its latest battle with Congress Thursday when it allowed House Intelligence Committee members to view classified documents about a top-secret intelligence source that was part of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign. Even without official confirmation of that source’s name, the news so far holds some stunning implications.

    Among them is that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation outright hid critical information from a congressional investigation. In a Thursday press conference, Speaker Paul Ryan bluntly noted that Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes’s request for details on this secret source was “wholly appropriate,” “completely within the scope” of the committee’s long-running FBI investigation, and “something that probably should have been answered a while ago.” Translation: The department knew full well it should have turned this material over to congressional investigators last year, but instead deliberately concealed it.

    House investigators nonetheless sniffed out a name, and Mr. Nunes in recent weeks issued a letter and a subpoena demanding more details. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s response was to double down—accusing the House of “extortion” and delivering a speech in which he claimed that “declining to open the FBI’s files to review” is a constitutional “duty.” Justice asked the White House to back its stonewall. And it even began spinning that daddy of all superspook arguments—that revealing any detail about this particular asset could result in “loss of human lives.”

    This is desperation, and it strongly suggests that whatever is in these files is going to prove very uncomfortable to the FBI.

    The bureau already has some explaining to do. Thanks to the Washington Post’s unnamed law-enforcement leakers, we know Mr. Nunes’s request deals with a “top secret intelligence source” of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe. When government agencies refer to sources, they mean people who appear to be average citizens but use their profession or contacts to spy for the agency. Ergo, we might take this to mean that the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.

    This would amount to spying, and it is hugely disconcerting. It would also be a major escalation from the electronic surveillance we already knew about, which was bad enough. Obama political appointees rampantly “unmasked” Trump campaign officials to monitor their conversations, while the FBI played dirty with its surveillance warrant against Carter Page, failing to tell the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that its supporting information came from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Now we find it may have also been rolling out human intelligence, John Le Carré style, to infiltrate the Trump campaign.

    Which would lead to another big question for the FBI: When? The bureau has been doggedly sticking with its story that a tip in July 2016 about the drunken ramblings of George Papadopoulos launched its counterintelligence probe. Still, the players in this affair—the FBI, former Director Jim Comey, the Steele dossier authors—have been suspiciously vague on the key moments leading up to that launch date. When precisely was the Steele dossier delivered to the FBI? When precisely did the Papadopoulos information come in?

    And to the point, when precisely was this human source operating? Because if it was prior to that infamous Papadopoulos tip, then the FBI isn’t being straight. It would mean the bureau was spying on the Trump campaign prior to that moment. And that in turn would mean that the FBI had been spurred to act on the basis of something other than a junior campaign aide’s loose lips.”


  7. Living in the 2010s, you have to worry about popular culture turning your descendants into perverts AND Fox News turning your parents into mindless Trumpkins. Chile, anyone?


  8. When a good idea goes bad……..


    “Extra Punishment in Texas for Rape if You’re Married — and for Rape of Married People

    This isn’t an enhancement for assaults on your spouse — it’s an enhancement for assaults on anyone, if you happen to be married.

    Texas law provides:

    [Sexual assault, which includes forcible rape and statutory rape,] is a felony of the second degree, except that an offense under this section is a felony of the first degree if the victim was a person whom the actor was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the actor was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married under Section 25.01 [“bigamy”].

    It seems broadly agreed that the purpose of the law was, “to provide higher penalties for polygamists ‘who sexually assault their purported spouses.'” But read literally, the law enhances the punishment for sexual assault by any married person, regardless of the assaulter’s relationship with the victim (except when the victim is the assaulter’s spouse), simply because married people can’t marry anyone else.”

    “Note also that the statute, as read by the court in this case, wouldn’t just enhance penalties for married rapists, but also when an unmarried rapist rapes a married victim. In either situation, after all, the rapist is legally barried from marrying the victim:

    Sec. 25.01. BIGAMY. (a) An individual commits an offense if:
    (1) he is legally married and he … purports to marry … a person other than his spouse … or
    (2) he knows that a married person other than his spouse is married and he … purports to marry … that person ….

    Finally, the statute as read by the court would also impose a lower penalty for a married person’s raping the person’s spouse (since that would still be a second-degree sexual assault) than for the married person’s raping someone else (since that would be a first-degree sexual assault). I don’t think this was the result of any deliberate judgment by legislators that spousal rape is a lesser crime (the statute expressly excludes consensual marital sex from the statutory rape provision, but that exclusion doesn’t cover the forcible rape provision); I don’t think any of this was the result of any deliberate judgment by legislators. But that appears to be the outcome.

    Second-degree felonies, by the way, call for a minimum sentence of 2 years in prison and a maximum of 20; first-degree felonies, call for a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 99.”


  9. Like

  10. An FBI informant in the Trump campaign?

    Long and detailed.


    ““The Justice Department has refused to provide the documents,” what Nunes wants. “Intelligence officials say the material could jeopardize the source, a U.S. citizen who has aided the special counsel investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign.” Now, the fact that this is a U.S. citizen matters, because if the source here were foreign, then we would never reveal who it is or we would lose cooperation with foreign intelligence services.

    So as a hypothetical, if the FBI had hired a foreign spy and implanted them in the Trump campaign — whatever this spy, whatever this informant reported could have ended up in the FISA warrant application along with the dossier — then I doubt even a court would require the name of the informant to be identified simply because of the risk we would run endangering relationships with the foreign government that the informant happened to be a citizen of.

    But! But! Since he is a U.S. citizen, then all bets are off, and it is likely that someday we’re gonna know who this is. Let me read this to you again. “The Justice Department has refused to provide the documents” to Nunes. “Intelligence officials say the material [Nunes wants] could jeopardize the source, a U.S. citizen who has aided” the Mueller investigation. “The subpoena, which was reviewed by the Washington Post, demands ‘all documents referring or related to the individual referenced in Chairman Nunes’ April 24, 2018 classified letter to Attorney General Sessions.’

    “That is the only material the subpoena seeks.” Devin Nunes is seeking the identity and the activities of one person. “In an interview Wednesday, Nunes maintained that he was ‘not interested in any individual,’” meaning he hasn’t named anybody. He just wants to know who this is. “‘We’re interested in documents that should have been given to us at least last fall,’ he said. ‘That’s what we’re looking for, and any claim to the contrary is wrong, and they know it’s wrong.’

    “Nunes said that Justice officials have blocked access to specific documents and that the language in the subpoena was an effort to get access to the underlying information.” Key take-aways from the Nunes memo: “President Trump approved the release of a controversial classified congressional memo on February 2nd.” They published some of the claims in it. But this is the thrust of the Washington Post story, and it is from this week.

    Now we move to the Kimberly… Well, I think it’s Kimberly Strassel wrote it. It’s the Wall Street Journal editorial that runs today. “The latest intel leak is designed to block a House subpoena. Late Tuesday the Washington Post published a story with the headline ‘Secret intelligence source who aided Mueller probe is at center of latest clash between Nunes and Justice Department.’”


  11. From Drudge:
    “California Congresswoman Maxine Waters doesn’t want to hear any talk about making America great, especially if it’s coming from a straight white man.”

    Poor Maxine.


  12. This is the poor woman who feigned deafness so she could deny that Trump referred to #%}%#% countries. She also feigned ignorance in claiming she didn’t know Norway is a country of white people in order to protect Trump.


    When are people going to learn? If you value your reputation, do not go to work for Trump!


  13. Nunes is hunting for an insurance policy.


    “When you’re dealing with intelligence types, the first clue that they are lying to you is when they rely upon information so secret that you can’t use it. The odds of a source whose life would be endangered by having been involved in kicking off the Trump investigation are so slim as to be non-existent. More importantly, Paul Ryan isn’t buying the nonsense. He’s strongly supporting Nunes and made it clear in his statement yesterday that not only is Nunes’ subpoena reasonable and justified but that Justice had an obligation to provide that information much, much sooner.”


  14. Hopefully, Nunes will soon be hunting for a new Job. Since he seems to really like being Trump’s toady, maybe he can become an assistant to either Michael Cohen or Rudy Giuliani.


  15. So the guy who wants the truth out and is fighting to ensure it’s revealed is the toady?

    Sure. 🙄


  16. This must suck for you Ricky. Your narrative is collapsing before your eyes.

    There, there….. 🙂


  17. Enjoy your own Trumpkin reality, AJ. Hopefully, he will reopen Trump University so that you can attend. You may want to pay Michael Cohen a monthly retainer to make sure you get in the first class.


  18. @1:44 ‘Unhitching’ the desired parts from it’s whole destroy it’s integrity. Unhitch the New Covenant from the old and it won’t be long before we’re ‘unhitching ‘ Christ from both. It will be easier to remake him in our own image that way. Unfortunately that’s usually what we are secretly desiring. Bad idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Liked by 3 people

  20. I bought Comey’s book after Thai food and hope to read it tonight since there is no basketball. With my wife’s Barnes & Noble discount it was less than $15. That seems much more reasonable than Cohen’s fees (for pay to play) or the tuition at Trump U.


  21. I finished Comey’s book. It is less than 300 pages and Trump doesn’t arrive until page 211. There are really interesting parts about Mafia cases when he was young, the whole post 9/11 environment in Washington, and the Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby cases.

    The discussion of the handling of the Hillary case is very good, particularly his discussion of his October 2016 announcement when the emails were found on Anthony Weiner’s computer. At the time the FBI thought they might have found early emails that might have changed a prosecutor’s mind about whether Hillary should have been prosecuted.

    There are good parts about Little Bush, Ashcroft, Condi Rice and Obama. Mueller makes a couple of cameo appearances.

    The parts about Trump are just sad and pathetic as George Will said earlier this week. They are much sadder now that most of the Republican Party is siding with Trump against both Comey and Mueller.

    It would be helpful if most Americans would read the book. I don’t know how many Americans are still capable of reading 285 pages.


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