47 thoughts on “News/Politics 5-16-18

  1. Nunes and Gowdy are still seeking answers, and are still being stonewalled.

    http://insider.foxnews.com/2018/05/15/devin-nunes-doj-fbi-never-should-have-opened-counterintelligence-investigation-political

    “He said he and fellow committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) are asking the DOJ to “come clean” in a timely manner with all the documents that led to the opening of the Russia investigation.

    “Nobody’s asking for sources, nobody’s asking for methods, so let’s just lay all the cards out on the table: ‘Here’s what happened and how this counterintelligence investigation was opened.'”

    Nunes and Gowdy are also accusing the DOJ of being behind “anonymous attacks” in the press targeting a House Intelligence Committee GOP staffer who helped author the committee’s well-publicized memo alleging surveillance abuse by the FBI and DOJ during the 2016 election.

    The New York Times reported there is tension between the committee and the DOJ over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s request for records involving committee investigator Kash Patel’s travel to London last year.

    Rosenstein reportedly wants to know if Patel was attempting to interview former British spy Christopher Steele, the author behind the salacious anti-Trump dossier.

    “Attacking staffers, planting false stories, and endangering national security by leaking sensitive information to the press, including information about intelligence sources – this is what the DOJ is doing,” Nunes said.”

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  2. An unmitigated disaster……..

    http://insider.foxnews.com/2018/05/15/tom-fitton-one-year-anniversary-special-counsel-robert-mueller-trump-russia-probe

    “Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton called Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation “an unmitigated disaster” after its first year.

    “It hasn’t worked, it’s failing, it was created based on an illegal leak by James Comey, many of the people who inspired the Mueller investigation were fired from the government,” he told Tucker Carlson.

    He noted that former FBI Director Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates — who all helped move the Russia probe forward — were fired for misconduct.

    Fitton added that there are still questions about Mueller’s use of the infamous anti-Trump dossier — which was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee — and the full scope of his probe.

    “What a disaster for the rule of law,” he said. “Frankly, the president has been victimized through all of this because evidently there’s nothing to justify an investigation of him requiring Justice Department resources and authorities.””

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  3. Brennan caught lying again. Still.

    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2018/05/14/2_colleagues_contradict_brennan_on_use_of_dossier.html

    “Former CIA Director John Brennan’s insistence that the salacious and unverified Steele dossier was not part of the official Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 election is being contradicted by two top former officials.

    Recently retired National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers stated in a classified letter to Congress that the Clinton campaign-funded memos did factor into the ICA. And James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, conceded in a recent CNN interview that the assessment was based on “some of the substantive content of the dossier.” Without elaborating, he maintained that “we were able to corroborate” certain allegations.

    These accounts are at odds with Brennan’s May 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that the Steele dossier was “not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community’s assessment” that Russia interfered in the election to help elect Donald Trump. Brennan has repeated this claim numerous times, including in February on “Meet the Press.”

    In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier — described as “the Christopher Steele information” — was “added” as an “appendix to the ICA draft,” and that consideration of that appendix was “part of the overall ICA review/approval process.”

    His skepticism of the dossier may explain why the NSA parted company with other intelligence agencies and cast doubt on one of its crucial conclusions: that Vladimir Putin personally ordered a cyberattack on Hillary Clinton’s campaign to help Donald Trump win the White House.

    Rogers has testified that while he was sure the Russians wanted to hurt Clinton, he wasn’t as confident as CIA and FBI officials that their actions were designed to help Trump, explaining that such as assessment “didn’t have the same level of sourcing and the same level of multiple sources.””

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  4. Sorry. It was Friedman. The article raised a concern that my son had articulated:

    Color me dubious that a president who has not been able to manage his confrontation with a stripper, or prevent leaks in his White House, can manage a multifront strategy for confronting Iran and North Korea and trade wars with China, Europe and Mexico.

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  5. @8:18 Thomas Friedman is NEVER a good read–unless you want your mind tickled with chicanery. He’s been an outspoken defender of gutting American manufacturing by outsourcing American jobs. The world is flat indeed. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoyed this article about Mueller in Vietnam.

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  7. I rarely post anti-Trump articles since Ricky and the rest of the mainstream media have blanketed the internet with such. However, I am concerned about the President’s support of the Chinese rogue company ZTE. And I’m not a great believer in coincidences either—especially not one of this magnitude involving world leaders.

    The Chinese government is extending a $500 million loan to a state-owned construction company to build an Indonesian theme park that will feature a Trump-branded golf course and hotels.

    A subsidiary of Chinese state-owned construction firm Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) signed a deal last week with the Indonesian firm MNC Land to build an “integrated lifestyle resort,” as part of Beijing’s global influence-expanding “Belt and Road” infrastructure initiative.

    The project will include a number of Trump-branded hotels, a golf course, and a residence. While the $500 million loan will not be directly allocated to any of the Trump-branded features, Beijing’s contribution of half the project’s total operating budget ensures the success of the broader theme-park venture.

    The Trump properties are considered flagship elements of the theme park, according to MNC marketing materials, and internal documents obtained by Agency France-Presse show Trump’s sons have been directly involved in its planning.

    Though negotiations began prior to Trump’s election and his pledge to cease engaging in new business dealings with foreign governments, the project raises questions about the extent to which the Trump organization is dependent on Beijing amid contentious trade negotiations with the U.S.

    “Even if this deal is completely and entirely above board, it simply furthers the perception of impropriety” surrounding Trump’s business dealings, Christopher Balding, an economics professor at Shenzhen’s HSBC Business School, told AFP. “Especially with the potential trade war, this is not a good look….Critics will be entirely right to demand answers.”…..

    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/china-contributing-500-million-trump-linked-project-indonesia/

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Mueller’s in trouble if the media has to resort to digging up nearly 50 year old material to make him look good. Not surprising though, but still sad.

    Friedman used to be pretty smart, but if he can’t see why both Obama, Iran, and the deal should be trashed, then there’s no point trying to reason with him.As recent events have shown, it was a bad deal, made in bad faith, with bad actors. It deserves to be destroyed, totally and completely. I would think even you Never-Trump shills would see this.

    As for Brooks? The Whigs can have him. Please. We insist you take him.

    Like right now…

    Seriously, he’s yours, we wish you well, just go……….

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  9. I don’t think many will follow Brooks. Most conservatives I know who are now leaving the Republican Party are becoming Libertarians.

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  10. Interesting, and always nice to get some detail.

    https://hotair.com/archives/2018/05/16/breaking-senate-releases-testimony-transcripts-trump-tower-meeting/

    “Just what exactly happened in that infamous June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower? Everyone will get a chance to find out all of the juicy details, or at least those shared with the Senate Judiciary Committee during its investigation. Committee chair Chuck Grassley released 2500 pages of transcripts of closed-session testimony, a move that might raise a few questions about the status of Robert Mueller’s investigation:

    The Senate Judiciary Committee this morning released testimony and documents providing new inside accounts of the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting between top campaign aides to Donald Trump and Russian emissaries promising damaging political “dirt” on his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

    The roughly 2,500 pages of newly released Senate interviews provide the most detailed look to date into what happened at the June 9, 2016 meeting in the offices of Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr. Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, decided earlier this year he would permit the release the 2,500 pages of transcripts, a decision welcomed by Democrats.”
    ———————-

    “We’ll see more nuggets as the day and week rolls along. The entire archive can be found here, separated out by witness, so readers can get ahead of the media. Natalia Veselnitskaya’s testimony came in the form of written responses to a questionnaire, which is a marvel of two sides talking past each other. The committee mostly focused on Russians, while Veselnitskaya mostly focused on Hermitage Capital owner William Browder, the man she accused of being the “architect” of a new cold war between Russia and the US thanks to his activism in passing the Magnitsky Act. Expect more than a few through-the-looking-glass moments when parsing out her testimony, and perhaps that of others.

    However, the release itself raises another question. Robert Mueller’s probe is going over the same turf, especially in regard to potential Russian contacts with the Trump campaign. Did Mueller sign off on this release? If he did, has he concluded his own investigation of Russian collusion? One key point in conducting parallel probes is not to have one investigation tip off potential witnesses to what others have told investigators. If Mueller is still working these angles and looking for witnesses, this release creates all sorts of headaches for the special counsel. If Mueller doesn’t care about this testimony becoming public, though, it suggests that the Trump Tower meeting doesn’t matter to the Russian-collusion track — and without the Trump Tower meeting, that track seems pretty narrow.”
    ———————–

    Here are the transcripts…..

    https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/press/releases/materials-from-inquiry-into-circumstances-surrounding-trump-tower-meeting

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  11. Ricky,

    “Most conservatives I know who are now leaving the Republican Party are becoming Libertarians.”

    So they’ve officially accepted defeat. Because joining the Libertarians relegates you to third party status, no hope at primary time because you’ll have zero say in who the nominees are in the major parties (at least in most states where you have to be registered R or D to vote in the R or D primaries), and you’ll be climbing into bed with some seriously fringey people from both sides the spectrum. I doubt you’ll be comfortable with the no drug laws crowd and the free love fringes.

    Plus, don’t you fight for what you believe in? Will you really just roll over and hand the R party off to us cult members? Not that I mind, it makes our job easier. But if you would do so without much of a fight I really have to question your commitment in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. An update on the biggest scandal to ever hit Minnesota……..

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/taxpayer-funded-childcare-fraud-scheme-appears-fund-terrorists-middle-east-africa/

    “Millions of taxpayer dollars appear to be going to support terrorists in the Middle East and Africa by using childcare centers as fronts, according to an investigation in Minnesota.

    Local Fox affiliate Fox 9 KMSP tracked the flow of the money and found it was going to parts of the world that raised serious red flags.

    The investigation revealed suitcases with millions of dollars, an estimated $100 million in 2017 alone, have been taken through Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and to destinations in the Middle East and Africa, including parts of Somalia controlled by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group al-Shabaab.

    The funds have originally come from daycare centers that receive funding from the government for child care benefits. However, the daycare centers in many cases are not actually watching children, with video footage from outside one center showing a mother taking children in, only to leave minutes later. The center billed the government as though the children were there all day. Another video appears to show a payment from a man to a mother as a cut for her assistance with the scheme.

    The money appears to be moved by “hawalas,” people who carry out the transfer of money to people from the United States to places where there is no formal banking system. After the money is brought out of the country, it is often brought to relatives. Glen Kerns, a retired Seattle Police detective and former member of the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, said at least some of the money is going to al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups.”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Leveling the playing field, and benefiting US companies.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/05/airlines-praise-trump-admin-for-reaching-deal-with-gulf-carriers/#more-249913

    “U.S. airlines have praised Trump for reaching a deal with Gulf carriers like United Arab Emirates (UAE), Etihad, and Qatar Airways after a long-running dispute that those carriers violated the Open Skies agreement and “have been unfairly using billions of dollars in subsidies from their home-country governments to stifle competition.”
    ————-

    “The Partnership for Open & Fair Skies (POFS) said that the agreement will protect American jobs and level the playing field:

    “This agreement is a win for American jobs and shows that President Trump stands up to countries that violate our trade agreements,” said Scott Reed, campaign manager for the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies. “We are extremely pleased that the UAE has finally admitted what we have said all along – its government subsidies harm competition. This agreement will freeze Emirates and Etihad Airways from adding additional direct flights from the United States to Europe and Asia. We deeply appreciate President Trump’s leadership in enforcing our international agreements and standing up for American workers.”

    Delta CEO Ed Bastian has not been one to bite his tongue when it comes to criticism of the GOP or Trump, but this time it’s different:

    “Today marks a truly significant moment in a years-long pursuit of a level playing field for Delta and other U.S. carriers,” he said. “We thank the Trump administration for addressing the harmful trade violations by the UAE and Qatar and for enforcing U.S trade agreements. We are grateful to our supporters in Congress, our partners throughout the U.S. aviation industry and the tens of thousands of Delta people who made their voices heard in an effort to protect millions of American jobs and end these unfair practices.”

    Delta Chief Legal Officer Peter Carter added, “For far too long, state-owned airlines in Qatar and the UAE have been able to use illegal government subsidies to compete against U.S. airlines and threaten U.S. jobs. This is a landmark step forward in the enforcement of our Open Skies agreements. We will work with the State Department and other administration officials to ensure these commitments are upheld.”

    POFS emailed these statements from American and United:

    American Airlines Chairman and CEO Doug Parker said: “We commend the Administration for their determination to enforce our trade agreements and stand up for U.S. jobs. Our goal has always been to ensure a level playing field. American Airlines will always compete aggressively, but we believe everyone should play by the same rules. We have the utmost confidence in our 130,000 team members who take great pride in the service American Airlines provides. Today’s actions address the illegal subsidies received by Emirates and Etihad Airways and most importantly help create a level playing for American workers.”

    “From the beginning, we’ve sought to level the playing field for America’s aviation industry and the millions of jobs it supports, as well as foster competition that, ultimately, benefits the American public,” said Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines. “This development signals an important step in that direction and we applaud the administration for its efforts. United Airlines will continue to work as a constructive partner in advancing a competitive environment where American aviation can thrive and consumers win.””

    Liked by 1 person

  14. “BOIS: Moral Collapse Caused The California STD Crisis, Not Public Health Funding”

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/30655/welcome-hotel-california-where-stds-are-all-time-paul-bois

    “Welcome to the Hotel California, such a lovely place that now has a record high of sexually transmitted diseases. You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.

    According to USA Today, “The number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases in California reached a record high last year and officials are particularly concerned by a spike in stillbirths due to congenital syphilis, state health authorities said Monday.”

    In 2017, the California Department of Public Health saw a 45% increase from just five years ago in cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis: 300,000 reported cases. For people under the age of 30, chlamydia and gonorrhea were the most common STDs reported. Young women reported the highest rates of chlamydia; young men reported the majority of syphilis and gonorrhea cases.

    “The figure that caused the greatest alarm for researchers and administrators was 30 stillbirths resulting from congenital syphilis statewide — the highest number reported since 1995, the CDPH said,” reports USA Today. “Los Angeles County alone saw congenital syphilis cases jump from eight in 2013 to 47 last year.”

    Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, called the findings “shameful.”

    “For California to have a steady increase in congenital syphilis is shameful,” said Klausner, citing countries like Cuba, Thailand and Belarus as nations to have supposedly eliminated the infection among infants. “We’ve known how to control syphilis since early 1900s. Seeing it come back like this is a sign of failure of the public health safety net.””

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Our commitment has always been to conservative principles, not the Republican Party.

    It’s one thing for the Republican Party to go along with Trump’s protectionism. It’s one thing for the party to excuse Trump’s daily dishonesty and idiocy. However, when much of the party (led by the stooge Nunes) attacks law enforcement officials who are trying to determine if Trump is a criminal or just a moron, that is a bridge too far.

    We will enjoy watching The Trump Cult battle the Democrats. We are heavily subsidizing both groups. Hopefully, we will get some entertainment for our money.

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  16. Conservative principles have little in common with the globalism that the two parties have been advancing over the past few decades. And Republican leaning libertarianism has been more Randian than traditionally conservative I think. But at least you have the luxury of being entertained. I know people who enjoy going to nightclubs and watching drunk people make fools of themselves, but I could never see the entertainment value in wasting my time and money in that sort of folly.

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  17. Debra, If you don’t like to watch people make fools of themselves, then why did you vote for the guy? Deep down, I think you knew what was going to happen.

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  18. Huh.

    Good guy with gun stops bad guy with gun.

    https://www.yahoo.com/gma/police-officer-confronts-armed-man-illinois-high-school-142703469–abc-news-topstories.html

    “An Illinois school resource officer stopped an armed teenager at a high school Wednesday morning, according to the local police chief, who applauded the officer for saving “countless” lives.

    When the 19-year-old suspect fired several shots near a gym at Dixon High School, the school resource officer reported the incident to authorities and then confronted the gunman, Dixon police chief Steven Howell said at a news conference.

    When confronted, the suspect — a former student at Dixon High School — started running away, and the officer pursued him, Howell said. The suspect shot several rounds at the officer, and the officer then returned fire, hitting the gunman, the chief added.

    The suspect was taken into custody with what’s believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

    No students or staff were injured but the high school and all other schools in the district were placed on lockdown, Dixon City Manager Danny Langloss said in a statement.”

    Liked by 1 person

  19. While Ricky only sees comedy and disaster, some see something else.

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/05/16/nypd-slain-officer-trump/

    ““In his speech he was talking about some stories of the fallen officers that I guess really stood out and one of those stories happened to be my mom’s story and the tragedy surrounding her death and when he invited us up on stage, a moment like that was very — it was very important and for my mom’s heroism and her legacy to be acknowledged by the president of the United States was a very special moment for us,” her daughter told CNN.

    Trump called Familia’s entire family on stage with him at the event. Trump held the hand of Familia’s elderly mother throughout the end of his speech and helped her off the stage.”
    ————————–

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Speaking of comedy and disaster:

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  21. Ricky@1:55 I voted for the guy in the hope that the back of globalism would be broken. And deep down inside I knew it was a long shot and would be painful. And I still expect it to get worse before it gets better. [Debra]

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I would like to see Trump address ZTE and the Chinese money funding his enterprise in Thailand. Where’s the tweet for that one. :-/

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Debra, I was feeling bad for you today for the following reason: Trump discredits everything he is associated with. We have seen how he has brought conservatism, the Republican Party and the entire US into disrepute. Sadly, thanks to the foolish behavior of some Christian leaders, he is bringing a large segment of the Church into disrepute. He is also likely to bring protectionism and immigration hawkishness into disrepute. Americans are too lazy and/or ignorant to read and understand Hayek or Friedman. However, they can react viscerally against Trumpian positions because they recognize his ignorance and dishonesty.

    I do think Trump is getting better. The number of idiotic Tweets is down from the early months. He is still completely demagogic and dishonest, but he is doing a much better job of staying on message and away from random moronic outbursts.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Ronan Farrow is turning into a very courageous investigative journalist.

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  25. Mueller has 22 indictments filed after one year; far more successful than Benghazi after one year zero indictments. Given Mueller’s success I’m not surprised Republicans wanted to shut it down.

    ZTE demonstrates the huge conflict of interest that exists and the blatant corruption of the Trump admin. Invest in Trump enterprises and watch foreign policy do a 180 turn

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  26. Yes, HRW. Trump and Hillary are not that different. They can always be bought. You just have to hope the right folks are doing the buying.

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  27. And since you want to talk shady lawyers……..

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/05/16/report-california-state-bar-investigating-michael-avenatti/

    “Michael Avenatti, porn star Stormy Daniels’ attorney, is being investigated by the California State Bar, a new report reveals.

    Seattle attorney David Nold filed a complaint against Avenatti on March 26, as The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported. Nold accused Avenatti of defrauding the state and federal government as the owner of a Seattle coffee chain.

    “In essence, he bought a company out of bankruptcy and then used it for a ‘pump and dump’ scheme to deprive federal and state taxing authorities of millions of dollars,” Nold said in the complaint.”

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  28. HRW,

    The Flynn plea is a joke, he’s got his hands full with Manafort, and the 15 or so Russians who make up the bulk of the indictments are fighting theirs as well.

    He’s got nothing.

    And best of all, he’s got nothing on Trump, which is why Trump shouldn’t fall for a perjury trap interview. No reason to do so. Nada. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Ricky,

    Since I know the law matters so much to you, where’s your outrage that Obama pulled a Nixon on Trump?

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/05/nyt-report-confirms-obama-administrations-fbi-spied-on-trump-campaign/

    “And here it is.

    The New York Times confirms Trump’s claims, which have been frequently dismissed by major media outlets as kooky and conspiratorial, true. Under the Obama administration, the intelligence community DOJ officials spied on Trump’s campaign.

    Operation “Crossfire Hurricane” is what they called it. It was a super double secret operation that only a handful of agents and DOJ officials were aware of.

    Agents, “obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena” and “at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos.”

    The timing of the report is…suspect:”
    ——————————

    It’s damage control, by the NY Times, DoJ, Comey and Mueller because the IG report is coming any day now.

    CYA

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  30. Like

  31. So AJ, Do you think Obama put “tapps” on Trump’s phone? Was Seth Rich involved?

    Operation Crossfire Hurricane was the FBI investigation opened after Trump adviser Papadopoulos drunkenly told an Australian diplomat that he had visited with a Russian about damaging emails the Russians had hacked from Hillary. We’ve known about it for months. It is described on Page 189 of Comey’s book.

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  32. When a campaign official brags about talking with a foreign agent about conspiring to release damaging info obtained from a hostile country about a rival candidate, how could the FBI conduct an investigation without “spying” on the campaign?

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  33. Here is the NYT story. Everyone can read it and the Trumpkin responses and draw their own conclusions.

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