30 thoughts on “News/Politics 5-17-18

  1. CYA propaganda.

    Nunes and Trump were right, and some people should be apologizing for their behavior.

    https://www.redstate.com/diary/gbenton/2018/05/16/nyt-runs-cya-story-deep-state-anti-trump-operation-crossfire-hurricane/

    “For those who held out hope that the “Muh Russia” narrative would ultimately prevail, today is ego Armageddon.

    Life comes at you fast, anti-Trumpers. And like dominoes, the pillars of the ‘Russian Collusion’ are collapsing tonight.

    Well, if you’ve been following verboten reporters like Kim Strassel at the Wall Street Journal, or John Solomon, or Sara Carter, or Trump Bestie Hannity, you knew tonight’s revelations were likely to be exposed sooner or later.

    I know it’s been super fashionable among the Never Trump set to mock these people as obsequious Trump shills, but the inconvenient truth is they’ve been reporting this story for a year.

    Those who preferred to believe Hillary shills over fellow Republicans and conservatives who happened to support Trump, you’ve got some soul searching to do.

    This one time, I’ll link to the New York Times, because they are breaking what I believe is a pre-emptive CYA story by the Obama Intelligence Community.

    Fair warning, if you have a beverage, put it down before reading their absurd, self-contradictory, and soon to be debunked as a vain whitewash attempt. Otherwise, brace for liquid shooting out your nose.

    Just know that as bad as this narrative collapse is, it’s about to get much, much worse.”

    Consider this the ‘let them down easy’ segue for Never Trumpers who’ve invested their psyche and credibility in the Hillary/DNC spawned narrative that Trump colluded with Russians to win the 2016 election.

    Anyone who believes that fraudulent story after reading this NYT story should, I don’t know, stop eating lead paint chips. Read it and weep, fellas, everything you’ve been led to believe about Mueller’s farce investigation has been propaganda.”

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  2. Finally someone speaks up and states the obvious.

    http://freebeacon.com/politics/california-deputy-district-attorneys-speak-soros-pouring-millions-local-races/

    “A group of deputy district attorneys in California are speaking out against liberal billionaire George Soros pushing large sums of cash into local district attorney races in the state.

    Soros, who has quietly funded numerous progressive district attorney candidates across the country, recently poured $1.5 million into the California Justice & Public Safety PAC, which his longtime treasurer established to support Geneviéve Jones-Wright, a far-left candidate for district attorney in San Diego County, the Washington Free Beacon reported last week.

    The PAC has already disbursed hundreds of thousands of dollars on television advertisements, digital advertising, and campaign literature and mailings to support Jones-Wright this month.

    Now, the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, the professional association for the deputy DAs of Los Angeles County, has released a statement on Soros’ involvement in the state, chastising the financier for his “assault on the criminal justice system.”

    “It doesn’t just seem as if there’s a new assault on criminal justice and public safety every time you turn around. There really is,” Michele Hanisee, the president of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys, said in the statement on Soros.

    “One of the latest, and most disturbing, is occurring right now in San Diego County,” she continued. “There, out-of-state billionaire George Soros is bankrolling for district attorney an inexperienced deputy public defender who has never held a management and leadership position in her office. But, she has promised to be soft on crime if elected.”

    “His anointed candidate, to whom he has thrown a whopping $1.5 million, has announced she will never seek the death penalty, refuse to charge those under 25 with crimes that could lead to a life without parole sentence, not charge drug dealers who sell to cops, release accused criminals without bail, and wants to ‘decriminalize’ low level offenses by refusing to prosecute them,” Hanisee said. “For good measure, she also is in support of closing prisons altogether.”

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  3. The narrative continues it’s collapse as more lies and deceit is exposed..

    https://spectator.org/john-brennans-exceptionally-sensitive-issue/

    “Under John Brennan, the CIA operated as an opposition research outfit for the Hillary Clinton campaign. It appears from leaked news stories in the British press that Brennan’s oafish spying on Trump began around April 2016, right after Trump’s biggest primary victories. As it became urgently clear to Brennan that Trump was going to face off against Hillary, Brennan turned to “intelligence partners” in Europe for dirt on Trump. But they didn’t have any, save some pretty skimpy material on “contacts” between Trump campaign officials and Russians.

    Whatever Brennan collected was so insubstantial that Robert Mueller hasn’t even interviewed him about it. Consider that for a second: Mueller was supposedly appointed to complete the counterintelligence probe into Trumpworld, and he hasn’t felt the need to talk to the father of it. Brennan has tried to explain this astonishing discrepancy away by vaguely saying that whatever Mueller needs he could find in “CIA files.”

    Those files are no doubt as elliptical as the formal document starting the probe. It appears that Brennan’s alleged “tips” were too flaky and unofficial for the Obama administration to commit to print. Brennan had his own partisan hunches, fueled by his feverish hatred of Trump and perhaps a few spit-balling conversations with other Trump-hating spy chiefs abroad (the “special relationship” had turned sinister against Trump, as evident from Britain’s sorry role in this mess), but he had no evidence to meet any reasonable threshold for a counterintelligence probe of a presidential campaign, especially one undertaken by an administration supporting that candidate’s opponent. Brennan’s espionage against Trump was as audacious as a paranoid LBJ wiretapping Nixon’s campaign plane in the thick of a race against LBJ’s vice president, Hubert Humphrey.

    In his own clumsy way, Brennan knew that he was treading on a political minefield. He referred to the FBI/CIA’s spying on the Trump campaign as an “exceptionally, exceptionally sensitive issue.” That helpful crumb comes from Russian Roulette, the book by David Corn and Michael Isikoff.

    Brennan dimly understood that there would be hell to pay if it came out that Hillary partisans in the U.S. government were spying on her opponent’s campaign, making use of opposition research that she had purchased. But Brennan, who was auditioning to be Hillary’s CIA director and choking on his anger at the thought of Trump as president, couldn’t help himself apparently. From April 2016 to July 2016, according to leaked stories in the British press, he assembled a multi-agency taskforce that served as the beginnings of a counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign. During these months, he was “personally briefing” Obama on “Russian interference” — Brennan’s euphemism for spying on the Trump campaign — and was practically camped out at the White House. So in all likelihood Obama knew about and had given his blessing to Brennan’s dirt-digging.

    The FBI’s liaison to Brennan was Peter Strzok, whose hatred for Trump equaled Brennan’s. But even Strzok knew that Brennan was blowing smoke about Trump-Russian collusion. Strzok would later tell his mistress that he sensed the probe would prove a crock — that “there’s no big there there.”

    What’s valuable about the Corn/Isikoff account is that it inadvertently provides a picture of Brennan running an anti-Trump spying operation right out of Langley. Even after the FBI probe formally began in July 2016, Brennan was bringing CIA agents, FBI officials, and NSA officials into the same room at CIA headquarters to pool their anti-Trump hunches. To give these outrageous meetings a patina of respectability, Brennan invoked the post-9/11 rationale of interagency cooperation. Corn and Isikoff, obviously supportive of Brennan’s operation, use absurdly sanitized language to describe these meetings, but the shocking political import of them is still unmistakable:”

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  4. Here’s 2 for Ricky….

    While they both make good points, they also seem to miss something. That’s the role “education” plays in the belief systems of today’s youth. Most of these youth aren’t religious, so they have no counter weight to the liberal excesses they learn from liberal instructors in school and college. There’s a direct connection between these issues. This is the fruit of the leftist educated vine.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/gop-generation-gap-young-conservatives-break-with-elders/

    ————————-

    https://www.weeklystandard.com/shapiro-win-back-young-americans

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  5. The Protocols of the Elders of Spydom

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/05/the_protocols_of_the_elders_of_spydom.html

    “We recently learned that the FBI had planted its spy within Trump’s election campaign. The existence of this mole (or maybe a few moles) fully corresponds to that asymmetric policy conducted by biased and politically engaged American intelligence agencies under the leadership of Obama. From this point of view, it doesn’t matter whether the informant was a paid agent or worked out of ideological motives, or if he was Trump’s employee, whom the FBI played in the dark, so the informant did not even suspect that he was an unwitting mole.

    Russian intelligence services could not have dreamed that their “active measures” against America, which originated in Moscow, would lead to the CIA organizing a meeting – an espionage trap – of unsuspecting Trump employees with agents of Russian, British, and Australian intelligence services in London. The FBI (on the CIA tip) “found out” about these meetings, and the “Russian case” was born.

    In other words, the operation started by the KGB was picked up by the CIA and continued by the FBI.

    Thus, the Obama administration not only established surveillance of Trump’s team, and not only organized wiretapping of his phones and e-mail, but also provided human intelligence. As a result, the crew of the special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, has, without exception, all the documents of Trump’s campaign (more than 1.4 million pages); all e-mails; all phone calls; all text messages; and, finally, the information from the mole in Trump’s campaign.

    Strictly speaking, Mueller has everything to conclude whether Trump has committed conspiracy with Putin or not. We all know the answer to this question. Mueller knows the answer as well. In a recent final report of the House Intelligence Committee, it was for the first time officially stated what the whole world has known for more than two years – that Trump’s “conspiracy” with Putin was not and could not be true.

    But Mueller, under the pretext of criminal investigation, continues the same political effort of the Clintonistas embedded in the U.S. intelligence services. His witch-hunt inquiry is directed not so much against Trump, but as a cover-up operation for the Obama administration.

    Many are calling for Trump to sack Mueller and close his shop. It seems to me that Trump has an opportunity to use a more efficient and elegant solution.

    President Trump needs to declassify all of this “Russian case” at once.

    Trump has a right to do it, and no one will dare blame Trump for obstruction of justice. Then we will find out the who, when, and how of the Washington swamp organizing the coup.”

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  6. Questions for The Trump Cult: If the FBI hierarchy was so opposed to Trump becoming President, why did they go to great lengths to keep the existence of the Trump/Russia investigation secret until after the election while revealing the reopening of the Clinton email investigation after discovery of the Weiner emails? Why didn’t they leak the various Trumpkin/Russia contacts before the election? Why didn’t they leak details of The Dossier before the election?

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  7. Ricky @ 8:27 I suspect the lifelong bureaucrats of the upper echelons of the FBI, CIA, NSA, and IRS are primarily interested in their own power—consolidating and maintaining it regardless of who is in office, and will favor anyone who will further that interest; and generally, drawing attention to themselves does not. In the case of Comey, he was forced to display some disinterestedness regarding Clinton after the very publicized meeting on the tarmac. And why would they think they needed to leak details of Trump when it would only draw unwanted scrutiny to the leaking agency? No one thought Trump had a chance of winning the Presidency anyway….or have we already forgotten that the election outcome was a shocker to newsmakers, pollsters and reporters alike.

    Then again, my opinion of lifelong bureaucrats, especially in DC where the pressure for corruption is especially intense, is not high. I know there are some very fine people in public service, and some view their jobs as actual public service, or the government would not function even as well as it does.

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  8. This confirms what many of us have suspected, Never-Trumpers have difficulty with reading comprehension. This has very little to do with Trump or “Trumpkins” and more to do with how state legislatures are choosing to enact requirements of their own.

    Why the waivers?
    A. – Because Trump supporters and Trump asked for work requirements for folks on Medicaid for all but white people?

    B. – Or because state officials asked for waivers because the work requirement is unworkable where there are no jobs?

    Let’s see……

    B. Final answer……

    http://www.businessinsider.com/medicaid-work-requirement-waivers-could-hurt-minorities-most-2018-5

    “As the Trump administration moves aggressively to allow more states to impose mandatory work requirements on their Medicaid programs, several states have come under fire for crafting policies that would in practice shield many rural, white residents from the impact of the new rules.

    In the GOP-controlled states of Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio, waiver proposals would subject hundreds of thousands of Medicaid enrollees to work requirements, threatening to cut off their health insurance if they can’t meet an hours-per-week threshold.

    Those waivers include exemptions for the counties with the highest unemployment, which tend to be majority-white, GOP-leaning, and rural. But many low-income people of color who live in high-unemployment urban centers would not qualify, because the wealthier suburbs surrounding those cities pull the overall county unemployment rate below the threshold.”
    ———————–

    “In Michigan, the GOP-controlled legislature is trying to pass a bill to make the 700,000 people enrolled in the state’s Medicaid expansion either work at least 29 hours per week or lose their benefits for a year. According to the state’s own numbers, 105,000 people could lose their insurance, but that burden will not be shared equally across the state.
    People who live in counties with unemployment rates above 8.5 percent would be exempt, and those counties are overwhelmingly white, rural, and vote Republican. But low-income residents of color in Detroit and Flint, where the joblessness and poverty are extremely high, would not receive an exemption.”
    —————-

    “Ohio’s Medicaid work requirement proposal — recently submitted for federal approval — is of a similar design, and would have the same disparities between urban residents of color in Cleveland and Columbus and rural white residents in the rest of the state.”
    —————–

    Not Trump. Try harder.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. More winning….

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/may/16/justice-department-no-isis-charges-months-us-recru/

    “The Justice Department has not publicly lodged charges against anyone associated with the Islamic State since February in what analysts said suggests the terrorist organization’s reach is waning in the U.S.

    As the number of cases slims, the ages of those charged has been climbing, indicating that the Islamic State’s attraction to younger people in the U.S. is cratering and leaving the movement with fewer recruits for terrorist attacks, an analysis by The Washington Times has found.”
    —————–

    ““There is a direct correlation between the intensifying of military efforts against ISIS and decline in prosecutions because there are fewer and fewer Americans seeking to join ISIS,” said Jimmy Gurule, a Notre Dame law professor who helped implement the Treasury Department’s global strategy to fight terrorist financing.

    After years of pitched fighting, the caliphate collapsed late last year when Iraqi security forces routed Islamic State fighters in cities along the Iraq-Syria border. After thousands of Islamic State fighters surrendered, one State Department official remarked on Twitter that the group was “now pathetic and a lost cause.”

    With the organization’s fortunes dramatically reversed, those living in America who dreamed of traveling to Syria and Iraq to join the fight suddenly had no place to go. Those travelers — dubbed “foreign fighter cases” — accounted for more than half of all the Islamic State prosecutions over the past four years, according to The Times’ analysis.”

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  10. Mueller employs delay tactics yet again.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-concord/lawyer-for-russian-company-says-muellers-office-slow-to-hand-over-evidence-idUSKCN1IH2VP?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=5afca79304d3015702a15f7a&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

    “A lawyer representing a Russian company charged with funding a propaganda operation to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election accused Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office of delays in handing over evidence at a testy hearing on Wednesday.
    —————-

    “Prosecutors say the propaganda operation was designed to help support President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and disparage Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Russia denies meddling in the election and Trump denies any collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

    Concord has pleaded not guilty and Dubelier said he expected to seek to have the case dismissed on grounds including claims that the case is unconstitutional, fails to charge a crime and contains due process violations.

    The government disclosed at the hearing it had collected nearly two terabytes worth of social media profiles as evidence.

    An estimated 310,000 photos or 17,000 hours of music could fit into one terabyte alone, according to a blog post by an IT expert and professor at the University of Oregon.

    Dubelier complained that no evidence has been turned over, and said the social media data was largely in Russian and irrelevant to his client’s case. He said his client had nothing to do with the creation of the social media profiles and was not associated with individual defendants in the case.”

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  11. You know I love a good conspiracy theory…

    The bag/set-up man?

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/05/obamas-deep-state-plant-in-trump-campaign-was-bill-clinton-classmate-and-later-advisor-to-clinton-administration/

    “Carlson determined that George Papadopoulos, the lower level campaign worker for the Trump campaign, appears to have been targeted by three individuals with ties to British and/or U.S. Intelligence: Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer and Stefan Halper.

    Mifsud and Papadopoulos obtained positions at an organization named the Centre for International Energy and Natural Resources Law & Security. Papadopoulos was a nobody and the Centre sketchy at best. Mifsud vanished in early November 2017, shortly after Papadopoulos was in the news and indicted. His whereabouts are still unknown.

    Although the common story is that Mifsud is a Russian Agent, many ties seem to lead [him] back to UK Intelligence. Julian Assange put out a Twitter Thread noting the connection between Mifsud and UK Intelligence.”

    Alexander Downer is the Australian individual who apparently overheard Papadopooulos talk about Trump and Russia in a bar which alerted the FBI to the story and their eventual spy program on Trump. This story has been refuted for months. Carlson writes –

    The Papadopoulos/Downer meeting has been portrayed as a chance encounter in a bar. That does not appear to be the case….Downer has direct ties to UK Intelligence firm Hakluyt where he served on the Advisory Board from 2008-2014.

    Shortly after the Papadopoulos and Downer chance encounter, Peter Strzok was in London per texts released by the FBI. “Strzok texts suggest he was in London on August 3, 2016.” The corrupt FBI’s investigation into Trump officially started a few days earlier.

    But, the most intriguing individual noted by Carlson is Halper. Carlson concludes his post with the following –

    My guess is Papadopoulos never knew what hit him. A young man, suddenly thrust into a position beyond his experience, Papadopoulos made for an easy intelligence target.

    Carter Page almost certainly discussed the just completed Moscow trip with his host, Stefan Halper, during the London symposium.

    It’s now being reported that Devin Nunes has learned the identity of a “top secret intelligence source” that was part of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Investigation.

    I think there’s a decent chance that source is Stefan Halper.

    Halper had contact with both Papadopulos and Carter Page. Halper has connections to UK Intelligence and US Intelligence. Halper met with Carter Page just days after Page’s Moscow trip.

    A second Internet sleuth tied Halper to the Obama team of crooks. Jacob Wohl on Twitter identified Federal Records that reveal that the Obama Administration paid Stefan Halper $282,295 to apparently spy on the Trump campaign –

    Wohl also tweeted that Halper was the same person who invited George Papadopolous to London, where he just so happened to sit down next to that infamous Australian “Diplomat” (who also worked with the Clinton Foundation) and Halper also lured Carter Page into compromising situations involving “Russians”.

    Another Twitter sleuth identified a second payment to Halper in the amount of $129,280 making the total payments to Halper more than $400,000 from President Obama’s Administration to spy on the future President of the United States.”

    ———————-

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  12. The time line.

    And he’s a Reagan guy.

    https://www.themarketswork.com/2018/05/10/ties-that-bind-stefan-halper-joseph-mifsud-alexander-downer-papadopoulos/

    “Halper is still remembered for one other event. From a 1983 UPI article:

    The New York Times reported the Reagan campaign headquarters conducted a data-gathering operation to collect inside information on Carter foreign policy and used a number of former CIA officials in the effort.

    It said Stefan Halper, a campaign aide who handled communications for Bush and provided news updates and policy ideas to the traveling Reagan party, was in charge of the operation.

    Papadopoulos speculated to the Daily Caller that the Downer/Halper meetings may have been a spy operation.

    As to questions about Papadopoulos’ complicity in all this, the FBI didn’t bother to interview Papadopoulos until January 27, 2017.

    Consider the timeline:

    Late February or early March 2016 – Papadopoulos lands a prestigious sounding job that immediately pads his resume.

    Early March 2016 – Papadopoulos learns he will become a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign.

    March 14, 2016 – Papadopoulos first meets Mifsud in Italy – approximately one week after officially joining the Trump team.

    March 24, 2016 – Papadopoulos, Mifsud, Olga Polonskaya and unknown fourth party met in a London cafe.

    April 18, 2016 – Mifsud introduced Papadopoulos to Ivan Timofeev, an official at a state-sponsored think tank called Russian International Affairs Council.

    April 26, 2016 – Mifsud claims to have met with high-level Russian government officials who have “dirt” on Clinton. Papadopoulos told the FBI that Mifsud said “the Russians had emails of Clinton” and “they have thousands of emails.”

    May 4, 2016 – Papadopoulos gives his interview to the London Times. It is not well-received in London.

    May 10, 2016 – Papadopoulos meets with Australian Diplomat Alexander Downer. It is Downer who seeks out the meeting.

    May/June 2016 – Halper invites Carter Page to July 2016 Cambridge symposium regarding the upcoming election.

    July 11, 2016 – Carter Page attends symposium with Halper just four days after his July 2016 Moscow trip.

    July 31, 2016 – FBI opens Counterintelligence Investigation into Trump-Russia connections.

    August 2-3, 2016 – Strzok travels to London to meet unknown party at Australian Embassy.

    September 13, 2016 – Papadopoulos accepts a meeting with Stefan Halper. Halper, who has connections to CIA & UK Intelligence, asked Papadopoulos: “George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?””

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  13. Rand Paul is asking questions of Haspel at her confirmation because of her close relationship to the corrupt, uncharged criminal Brennan……..

    It’s a big deal.

    ————————–

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  14. “Here is the NYT story. Everyone can read it.. and draw their own conclusions.”

    We’d much rather read the upcoming IG report and draw our own conclusions.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Exactly. Rather than the NYT who is the “paper is crafting the media-Democrat narrative”

    From Debra’s link…

    “The quick take on the 4,100-word opus is that the Gray Lady “buried the lede.” Fair enough: You have to dig pretty deep to find that the FBI ran “at least one government informant” against the Trump campaign — and to note that the Times learned this because “current and former officials” leaked to reporters the same classified information about which, just days ago, the Justice Department shrieked “Extortion!” when Congress asked about it.

    But that’s not even the most important of the buried ledes. What the Times story makes explicit, with studious understatement, is that the Obama administration used its counterintelligence powers to investigate the opposition party’s presidential campaign.

    That is, there was no criminal predicate to justify an investigation of any Trump-campaign official. So, the FBI did not open a criminal investigation. Instead, the bureau opened a counterintelligence investigation and hoped that evidence of crimes committed by Trump officials would emerge. But it is an abuse of power to use counterintelligence powers, including spying and electronic surveillance, to conduct what is actually a criminal investigation.

    The Times barely mentions the word counterintelligence in its saga. That’s not an accident. The paper is crafting the media-Democrat narrative. Here is how things are to be spun: The FBI was very public about the Clinton-emails investigation, even making disclosures about it on the eve of the election. Yet it kept the Trump-Russia investigation tightly under wraps, despite intelligence showing that the Kremlin was sabotaging the election for Trump’s benefit. This effectively destroyed Clinton’s candidacy and handed the presidency to Trump.

    It’s a gas, gas, gas!”

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  16. Another question for The Trump Cult: After you read the NYT story, can you understand how the Dems are furious and believe the FBI treated Trump better than Hillary? Tychicus, You are certainly free to revise your answer after reading the IG report. However, nothing that report says will change the most important facts:
    1. In an unusual move, Comey rebuked Hillary.
    2. The FBI publicly announced the reopening of the email investigation right before the election.
    3. The FBI took unusual steps to keep the Trump/Russia investigation secret from the public until after the election.

    I don’t fault the FBI for any of their actions. Comey was dealing with two very slimy candidates, one of whom was also a demagogue and a moron. However, if either side has grounds to protest, it would be the Dems.

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  17. Ah yes….

    The Sgt. Schultz Defense…..

    ————————

    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/05/the_plotters_who_launched_spying_on_the_trump_campaign_outed_themselves_in_leaks_to_the_new_york_times.html

    “Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal has an excellent Twitter thread that can be read here, making several key points about what the article lets out of the bag. This smacks of desperation:

    DOJ/FBI (and its [sic] leakers) have shredded what little credibility they have in claiming they cannot comply with subpoena. They are willing to provide details to friendly media, but not Congress? Willing to risk very [sic] source they claim to need to protect?

    And they accidentally have discredited their earlier claims about what launched the counterintelligence probe in the first place:

    Back in Dec., NYT assured us it was the Papadopoulos-Downer convo that inspired FBI to launch official counterintelligence operation on July 31, 2016. Which was convenient, since it diminished the role of the dossier. However . . .

    Now NYT tells us FBI didn’t debrief downer until August 2nd. And Nunes says no “official intelligence” from allies was delivered to FBI about that convo prior to July 31. So how did FBI get Downer details? (Political actors?) And what really did inspire the CI[A] investigation?

    To me, the most comic aspect of the piece is the way it claimed that James Comey, the boss of the FBI who was responsible for the spy operation, really didn’t know much at all. The Sgt. Schultz defense:

    Mr. Comey was briefed regularly on the Russia investigation, but one official said those briefings focused mostly on hacking and election interference. The Crossfire Hurricane team did not present many crucial decisions for Mr. Comey to make. …

    The F.B.I. obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters – a secret type of subpoena – officials said. And at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said. That has become a politically contentious point, with Mr. Trump’s allies questioning whether the F.B.I. was spying on the Trump campaign or trying to entrap campaign officials.

    Sundance at Conservative Tree House has a long and detailed examination of other flaws in the Times report.”

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  18. 10 Key Takeaways From The New York Times’ Error-Ridden Defense Of FBI Spying On Trump Campaign

    http://thefederalist.com/2018/05/17/10-key-takeaways-from-new-york-times-error-ridden-defense-of-fbi-spying-on-trump-campaign/

    “1. FBI Officials Admit They Spied On Trump Campaign
    The New York Times‘ story, headlined “Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation,” is a dry and gentle account of the FBI’s launch of extensive surveillance of affiliates of the Trump campaign. Whereas FBI officials and media enablers had previously downplayed claims that the Trump campaign had been surveiled, in this story we learn that it was more widespread than previously acknowledged:”

    “2. Terrified About Looming Inspector General Report
    People leak for a variety of reasons, including to inoculate themselves as much as they can. For example, only when the secret funders of Fusion GPS’s Russia-Trump-collusion dossier were about to be revealed was their identity leaked to friendly reporters in the Washington Post. In October of 2017 was it finally reported that the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee secretly paid for the Russia dossier, hiding the arrangement by funneling the money through a law firm.”
    Likewise, the admissions in this New York Times story are coming out now, years after selective leaks to compliant reporters, just before an inspector general report detailing some of these actions is slated to be released this month. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported that people mentioned in the report are beginning to get previews of what it alleges. It’s reasonable to assume that much of the new information in the New York Times report relates to information that will be coming out in the inspector general report.”

    “5. Wiretaps, National Security Letters, and At Least One Spy
    The surveillance didn’t just include wiretaps, but also national security letters and at least one government informant to spy on the campaign.:”

    “7. Ignorance of Basic Facts
    One thing that is surprising about the story is how many errors it contains. The problems begin in the second sentence, which claims Peter Strzok and another FBI agent were sent to London. “

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  19. I understand The Dossier was raw data collected by an experienced agent, but not intended to be released publicly. Having said that, exactly what part of it has been proven to be inaccurate? The most explosive part (the pee tape) is as yet unproven. However, Trump lied to Comey about the length of his Russian visit in an attempt to prove the pee tape story was inaccurate. That would appear to be suspicious behavior, but since Trump lies continually, maybe it is not.

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  20. In other news:

    Groups expected to announce suit against Iowa abortion law

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two organizations are expected to announce a lawsuit challenging a new Iowa law that bans most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

    Iowa affiliates for Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union said Monday they’ll make a joint announcement Tuesday afternoon. They declined to provide more information.

    The law, set to go into effect on July 1, bans most abortions in Iowa once a fetal heartbeat is detected. That’s around six weeks of pregnancy, making it the strictest abortion regulation in the country.

    Also here.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. David French continues to refuse to join The Cult. From his article:

    Put simply, there are facts already in the public square that should raise public concern. It’s a problem that Russia tried to support Trump. It’s a problem that his son was eager to meet with a purported Russian representative to assist in that scheme. It’s ominous that a Trump-campaign official knew of damaging Democratic emails months before WikiLeaks dumped hacked messages into the public square, and it’s inexcusable that he lied to the FBI about those communications. It’s disturbing that Trump surrounded himself with senior advisers who had financial relationships with the Kremlin and Kremlin-backed entities.

    None of this means that “collusion” actually occurred, and it’s telling that no concrete evidence of collusion (aside from Donald Jr.’s enthusiastic attempt) has yet emerged. But it does make it exceedingly difficult to believe that the Russia investigation is a deep-state “insurance policy” that was corrupt to its very core from Day One, especially since it remained largely hidden before Election Day, at the time when public revelations would have been most harmful to the Trump campaign. Indeed, before Election Day, the FBI was releasing information that was profoundly damaging to Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump.

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  22. AJ @ 10:52. I figured we would get the “There are no jobs in Trumpland” excuse.

    For the entire history of the nation, people have moved to where the jobs are:
    1. Two hundred years ago, settlers moved West in search of new land.
    2. Farmers moved to the cities for work during the Industrial Revolution.
    3. Rural people moved to industrial areas during WWII to work in weapons plants.
    4. Southern blacks and whites moved to Detroit to build cars.
    5. Okies moved to California for work and to escape the Dust Bowl.
    6. Mexicans moved to New Orleans to rebuild the city after Katrina.
    7. Every day inner city dwellers ride buses to wealthy suburbs where there are jobs.

    Last week we were told that there are more total job openings in the US than there are unemployed people. What then is the problem? Unlike all other people in the history of our nation, the poor Trumpkins are unable to summon the energy to move where the jobs are and begin work.

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