70 thoughts on “News/Politics 7-21-18

  1. @2:47 Poor Ricky and his New World Order Cult are dreaming of the past with Reagan. Shhhhh, don’t wake them

    @6:00 Impeach, of course. If true, it is nothing more than his duty, and surely he knows that.

    @6:10 Poor Jonah, he’s now resorted to consigning non-existent persons to hell, picture propaganda (complete with evil lighting of the President), and writing an ode to an obscure newly minted Slavic state for whom he thinks WW3 might be justified. He should have led with the dog update, and stopped.

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  2. Looks like the US is determined to continue meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. With all the millions being spent on Ukraine, I hope and trust that there will be no caterwauling against domestic spending this fall when it’s time to draw up the budget for next year.

    Just days after Russia offered to work with the U.S. in resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Department of Defense on Friday announced that it will give the Ukrainian government $200 million in security assistance.

    “This reaffirms the long-standing defense relationship between the United States and Ukraine, and brings the total U.S. security sector assistance to Ukraine to more than $1 billion since 2014,” a statement from the Department of Defense read. “The implementation of these reforms will bolster Ukraine’s ability to defend its territorial integrity in support of a secure and democratic Ukraine.”

    The Pentagon released the funds after Ukraine passed a new national-security law that “will further deepen Ukraine’s Western integration,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement after the law passed.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/united-states-releases-200-million-security-aid-to-ukraine/

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  3. More US meddling overseas.

    …….The “mistakes” of U.S. foreign policy impose staggering costs on tens of millions of people overseas. It is woefully inadequate simply to “acknowledge” them after the fact and then return to the same reckless ideological assumptions that made those “mistakes” possible. Indeed, it is not enough to call them mistakes. They need to be described accurately as crimes and abuses of power. If the U.S. can be a force for good in some situations, it is important to realize that it has been a destructive force in the parts of the world where it has been most willing to use force to achieve its goals. Across the Middle East and North Africa in particular, the U.S. has started, joined, or supported wars in the last two decades that have killed hundreds of thousands of people, displaced millions, and put many millions more on the cusp of starvation. All of this devastation hasn’t made the U.S. more secure, and continuing down this path will only create more enemies. Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has frequently used force when it didn’t need to in places where it had no reason to be involved against people that posed no threat to America. There is nothing good about that, and we should stop telling ourselves that there is.

    As we speak, the U.S. is aiding and abetting the Saudi coalition in Yemen as it commits war crimes against civilians and causes the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The U.S. has made itself the enemy of tens of millions of Yemenis who never did anything to us and posed no threat to anyone. Neoconservatives have nothing to say against U.S. support for the war on Yemen, because they are in favor of it. When the politicians aligned with them have talked about it, they have dutifully echoed Saudi talking points and voted against any measure that might restrict or halt U.S. military assistance to the coalition. As long as such despicable policies continue, conservatives and all other Americans should be focused on stopping these abuses of American power. Neoconservatives have absolutely no interest in doing that, and that means their message could not be less relevant to our current foreign policy woes.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/neoconservatism-and-the-war-on-yemen/

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  4. The anti-Trumpers can’t make up their minds.

    https://twitchy.com/dougp-3137/2018/07/20/irony-alert-columnist-for-democracy-dies-in-darkness-paper-only-the-deep-state-can-save-america-now/

    “Remember when a many people laughed off claims of the existence of a “Deep State”? Now apparently it’s the only hope for saving America from the Trump presidency, according to Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson:”
    ——————-

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  5. Did Trump undermine America?

    Or just our power abusing intelligence agencies.

    Again, B.

    http://thefederalist.com/2018/07/20/helsinki-trump-undermined-power-abusing-intelligence-agencies-not-america/

    “Trump’s Critics Are Wrong, And Trump Had A Point

    After all the selective leaking to frame the Trump administration for obstruction, after a U.S. presidential campaign was spied on by the opposing Party’s administration, after years of botched or politicized intelligence assessments, after years of arming bad guys around the world, and after multiple revelations of spying on Journalists, Congress, and American citizens — of course it is appropriate to doubt the U.S. intelligence agencies.

    Yes, Russia meddled in our election. But the degree to which Russia interfered — and favored Trump — matters. This affects the Mueller investigation, the amount of power we give the intelligence community to combat this interference, and U.S. foreign policy with the world’s other preeminent nuclear power. And the degree to which Russia interfered is still open for debate.

    We can be certain about a few things. First, there was the hugely overblown and even pathetic social media campaign run by a Russian troll-farm. This campaign mostly appeared in non-swing-states, and the majority of its spending occurred after the election. In fact, only $46,000 was spent before Election Day, which should be compared to the Trump and Clinton campaigns’ combined $81 million spent on Facebook ads.

    Russia also meddled by launching a massive spear-phishing campaign — in which a hacker sends a fake email that tries to trick people into giving out their log-in information — that surely targeted the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton-campaign. But this “hacking” campaign also targeted Republicans, a fact special counsel Robert Mueller didn’t include in his indictment of 12 Russians that occurred days before the Trump-Putin summit.

    Yet Russian spear-phishing and hacking is nothing new, just like Chinese hacking is nothing new. This matters, because if the Russians targeted both sides it sounds more like routine interference—that should still be condemned—than a super-secret spy plot to change the course of American history.

    That’s why when most people talk about election interference, they are talking about the three things that actually might have had an impact: 1) The DNC documents released by Wikileaks; 2) the John Podesta emails released by Wikileaks; or 3) former FBI director James Comey’s dunderheaded announcement to re-open the Hillary Clinton investigation just 11 days prior to the 2016 election. The reality is that more evidence is still needed to prove Russian involvement in all three of these instances.”
    ———————

    “America can still be America without the intelligence bureaucracy we have today, or even with our intelligence-gathering back in the control of the Pentagon. The standalone intelligence bureaucracy is, after all, far younger than our republic, and has a terrible track-record.

    Trump undermined those intelligence agencies, but he didn’t undermine America. People in Middle America get that. And people in Middle America will continue to wonder why intelligence officials they have never heard about — nor have they ever voted for — have so much power.”

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  6. HRW, My niece and her family continue to enjoy Canada. My great-niece is celebrating her 4th birthday in the Yukon Territory. They took your advice and bought off-road tires for both the truck and trailer. Reports are that the Canadians have been very friendly to the visitors from Texas.

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  7. And here’s a surprisingly honest look at why we are meddling in other countries internal affairs, or dropping bombs at 2 million a pop in needless wars.

    America spends more on its military than all its enemies put together yet it still can’t win wars. Failed adventures in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan have drained America’s power and diminished its prestige. The bloated Pentagon budget actually makes us weaker.

    Here’s the weird bit: nobody seems to care. If any other government department spent as much and accomplished as little, the populace would be in arms, complaining about wasteful government spending. Instead we mumble “Thank you for your service” and increase defense appropriations……..

    …..Maybe the extravagant expense of the Pentagon budget is a feature, not a bug. Maybe no one objects when we spend a quarter of a billion dollars ineffectually bombing Syria or several trillion ineffectually invading Iraq because these days war profiteers make their money not by looting their enemies’ cities, stealing their land, and selling their women into slavery, but from their own governments’ spending.

    My own life confirms this intuition. The invasion of Iraq has been a disaster for the United States, for the Middle East, and for the long-suffering people of Iraq, but for many of us, it was a cash cow. For a decade, I earned a solid middle-class living working just four months a year as a news cameraman in Iraq. The war on terror bought me my house.

    Thousands of Americans (perhaps not coincidentally mostly from red states) worked as contractors for the U.S. military and pulled down salaries much higher than they would have earned in the private sector back home. A truck driver from Mississippi made over $100,000 a year hauling in supplies from Kuwait. It is shocking how little of the money America spent in that misbegotten conflict ever trickled into the Iraqi economy.

    Had our goal been to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis (or even to steal their oil), we would have hired locals to drive the trucks instead of Americans and thus garnered their loyalty. Remember, Saddam Hussein was not popular in 2003, and at least at first, Iraqis were open-minded about the American invasion. By shoveling money towards ordinary Iraqi citizens, America would have created a local constituency with solid financial reasons to support the occupation. Instead, Iraqis saw little benefit as the trillions spent on the war went straight into American pockets. The Iraqi economy was destroyed between 2003 and 2008. Halliburton’s stock price quintupled.

    The Pentagon budget creates jobs in almost every congressional district, giving congressmen solid reasons to support budget increases. Military Keynesianism is the only fiscal stimulus habitually favored by both Democrats and Republicans. Today the primary purpose of the military is not to win wars but to stimulate the domestic economy and make our leaders look manly. These are pathetic reasons to put our sons and daughters into harm’s way, not to mention slaughter the children of strangers……

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/war-doesnt-make-sense-anymore/

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  8. There is nothing like a little bit of Pat Buchanan to put it all into perspective for us. The whole article is worth a read, but really, the last sentence says it all. :–)

    ….Trump’s refusal to challenge Vladimir Putin’s claim at Helsinki that his GRU boys did not hack Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been called treason, a refusal to do his sworn duty to protect and defend the United States, by a former director of the CIA.

    Famed journalists and former high officials of the U.S. government have called Russia’s hacking of the DNC “an act of war” comparable to Pearl Harbor.

    The New York Times ran a story on the many now charging Trump with treason. Others suggest Putin is blackmailing Trump, or has him on his payroll, or compromised Trump a long time ago.

    Wailed Congressman Steve Cohen: “Where is our military folks? The Commander in Chief is in the hands of our enemy!”

    …..A month ago, the never-Trumpers were comparing the separation of immigrant kids from detained adults, who brought them to the U.S. illegally, to FDR’s concentration camps for Japanese Americans.

    Other commentators equated the separations to what the Nazis did at Auschwitz.

    If the establishment truly believed this nonsense, it would be an unacceptable security risk to let them near the levers of power ever again.

    Using Occam’s razor, the real explanation for this behavior is the simplest one: America’s elites have been driven over the edge by Trump’s successes and their failures to block him.

    Trump is deregulating the economy, cutting taxes, appointing record numbers of federal judges, reshaping the Supreme Court, and using tariffs to cut trade deficits and the bully pulpit to castigate freeloading allies.

    Worst of all, Trump clearly intends to carry out his campaign pledge to improve relations with Russia and get along with Vladimir Putin…..

    The post-Helsinki hysteria reveals not merely the mindset of the president’s enemies, but the depth of their determination to destroy him.

    They intend to break Trump and bring him down, to see him impeached, removed, indicted, and prosecuted, and the agenda on which he ran and was nominated and elected dumped onto the ash heap of history.

    Thursday, Trump indicated that he knows exactly what is afoot, and threw down the gauntlet of defiance: “The Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war,” he tweeted. “They are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin.”

    ….Trump is edging toward the defining battle of his presidency: a reshaping of U.S. foreign policy to avoid clashes and conflicts with Russia and the shedding of Cold War commitments no longer rooted in the national interests of this country.

    Yet should he attempt to carry out his agenda—to get out of Syria, pull troops from Germany, and take a second look at NATO’s Article 5 commitment to go to war for 29 nations, some of which, like Montenegro, most Americans have never heard of—he is headed for the most brutal battle of his presidency.

    This Helsinki hysteria is but a taste.

    By cheering Brexit, dissing the EU, suggesting NATO is obsolete, departing Syria, trying to get on with Putin, Trump is threatening the entire U.S. foreign policy establishment with what it fears most: irrelevance.

    For if there is no war on, no war imminent, and no war wanted, what does a War Party do?

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/buchanan/trump-stays-defiant-amid-a-foreign-policy-establishment-gone-mad/

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  9. Bret Stephens has the transcript of the Trump/Putin meeting. I am not the only conservative who has turned primarily to satire since conservatives and Trumpers can not agree on basic facts.

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  10. This liberal admitted that when Trump humiliated himself and the country in Brussels and Helsinki, it was conservative Never-Trumpers and not liberals who spoke out most effectively in defense of the Free World.

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  11. Debra, It beats trying to convince Trumpers that Obama didn’t really put “tapps” on Trump’s phone and that Putin and Kim probably should not be trusted so readily by Dear Leader.

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  12. There are several Trump jurisprudence stories. First, as expected Trump and his former associate and lawyer Michael Cohen are not happy with each other.

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  13. We have already established that Republicans lose their ability to understand economics when they join The Cult. But Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren also like tariffs. The ignorance of protectionism is truly bipartisan.

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  14. Not a whole lot here that is new. It does make you think: Why would the Trump campaign bring Carter Page on board? There is an answer: No decent foreign policy advisors wanted to work for Trump.

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  15. Nice attempt at downplaying that Ricky.

    What it shows is that they used dossier as justification despite it being fake and unproven. They lied about it as well, both to the court and the public.

    https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-obtains-carter-page-fisa-court-documents/

    “Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding today’s release of 412 pages of documents about FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrants targeting Carter Page, who had been a Trump campaign adviser:

    These documents are heavily redacted but seem to confirm the FBI and DOJ misled the courts in withholding the material information that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC were behind the “intelligence” used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team. Given this corruption, President Trump should intervene and declassify the heavily redacted material.

    The documents were due to Judicial Watch yesterday but were emailed around 5:30 pm today.

    The warrants are controversial because the FISA court was never told that the key information justifying the requests came from a “dossier” that was created by Fusion GPS, a paid agent of the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. The initial Carter Page warrant was granted just weeks before the 2016 election. Today’s document release supports criticisms by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee who released a memo that criticized the FISA targeting. The memo details how the “minimally corroborated” Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ’s applications for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.”
    ——————————-

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  16. Like I said, one crime is too many.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5976131/Guatemalan-pleads-guilty-crash-killed-Colts-player.html

    “Guatemalan illegal immigrant who was deported TWICE pleads guilty to killing an Indianapolis Colts linebacker and his Uber driver in drunk driving crash that prompted outrage over border security from Trump

    Manuel Orrego-Savala, 37, pleaded guilty to two counts of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .15 or more, causing death

    Orrego-Savala had a BAC of 0.19 percent, or more than twice Indiana’s legal limit of .08 percent, when his truck crashed into Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe

    Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson was also killed in the incident

    Orrego-Savala was deported from the U.S. in 2007 and 2009 and was back in the country illegally at the time of the crash”
    ————————–

    One is too many, this is unconscionable.

    These are not victim-less crimes.

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/timothymeads/2018/07/21/ice-n2502486

    “Since 2003, ICE has “arrested more than 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography.” During Operation SOAR in 2017, ICE arrested 32 illegal aliens with past histories ranging from sexual abuse to rape. ICE also made “more than 4,800 criminal arrests in national anti-gang operations” last year. “

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  17. Conservative Charlie Sykes presents serious responses which Republicans can take after Trump chose to become Putin’s lapdog.

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  18. Maureen Dowd has given up being serious with the Trumpers. She would rather tease and torment. I understand.

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  19. Ironically, a serious article about Trump’s activities over the last week sounds as humorous and ridiculous as Dowd’s column.

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  20. An excerpt from the article. Who would have ever guessed that the idea to say he accidentally said “would” rather than “wouldn’t” came from Trump himself?

    The frantic conversations over what to do began on the flight home. While the president groused about the difficulty of the questions posed to him by American journalists, John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, mostly stayed away from Mr. Trump.

    Mr. Bolton wrote down four bullet points aboard Air Force One that he believed were relevant, including that Mr. Trump should acknowledge that he believed the intelligence agencies’ findings on the Russian meddling. He relayed them to the press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, although it was unclear whether the suggestions were delivered to the president.

    On the plane, Mr. Trump’s mood vacillated from snappish to upbeat. He asked advisers once again about the Democratic National Committee server that was hacked (he had raised the server issue while standing next to Mr. Putin), and why cyberintruders had not penetrated Republican National Committee systems.

    In the days since arriving back home, Mr. Trump has surveyed almost everyone he has talked to about his performance in Finland, but few told him just how poorly it had gone. Aides suggested different options for “changing the narrative,” without seeming to realize that a simple story would not suffice.

    Mr. Trump ultimately came up with his own solution: He would say he had left out a word in the news conference with Mr. Putin. “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,’” Mr. Trump said on Tuesday, trying to clear up the confusion but heaping on more. “Sort of a double negative.”

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  21. Regardless of what the President says, I think we all know that Russia (and perhaps other countries) tried to hack, and to some extent were successful in hacking, the RNC and DNC. As Rand Paul stated the other day, this is not even unusual. But that they were so successful and released the documents to the public, is unusual. And this goes to the heart of our security as a nation. If the US doesn’t take it’s own security seriously, there will be more of the same and with worse consequences.

    Secretary Clinton’s gross negligence, and the dismissive, partisan way in which it was handled, does not bode well for our national security. It sets a very poor precedent for judging the current administration’s handling of classified material (which I also suspect is very lax), and it places national security squarely in partisan territory.

    We can squeal all we want about Russia, but they are just doing what all nations do. And if we do not raise the bar and hold our own officials accountable for their handling of classified information, then we can hardly blame Russia or any other country for our compromised position.

    In my opinion, James Comey would be a good place to start, since he has been involved in both administrations and his leaking of classified documents for partisan purposes is not in question. We need some standards enforced publicly and internally, and a high profile offender like Comey fits the bill.

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  22. I want to see another week’s worth of polling results, but the stability here is absolutely stunning. We have just had a President beclown himself before the entire world in Brussels, attack our allies and then go to Helsinki and act as the most docile and naive stooge to Putin. He then tried half-hearted attempts to lie his way out of his prior statements. And none of this moved the polling needle at all one way or the other!

    About 42% are in the Cult and they have signed up for life. About 53% are opposed to Trump and they are also set. Most of these are Democrats, but this group also includes a small group of educated conservatives and intelligent independents.

    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/?ex_cid=rrpromo

    Trump and the Cult have their own facts, their own “rule of law”, their own “economics”, and their own post-war history. They even have their own spelling, grammar and vocabulary.

    I think we have learned a great deal about each other over the last couple of years. The communication has sometimes been rough, but at least we are talking. The rest of the 53% doesn’t want to hear any more from the Trumpers. They only want to defeat the Trumpers.

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  23. The 53% might spell trouble for Republicans in November if the 53% were unified, but they’re not—they’re all over the place. Even the Democrats can’t agree within their own party.
    I”s looking more and more like someone may have to order some brisket this fall. ;–)

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  24. Debra, 1. Exactly what classified information did Comey leak and how did those leaks in any way jeopardize the security of our country?

    2. As a follow-up, I believe that Trump’s behavior toward Comey in the early months of 2016 was caused by profound ignorance rather than treason. However, if Comey believed that Trump had likely been compromised by the Russians, did he not have a duty to sound the alarm?

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  25. Debra, the 53% is unbelievably unified. Every day I read pleas from Dems, disaffected Republican women and Northern NeverTrumpers to vote Democrat this November. I think the Cult is also unified, but Trump’s constant idiocy tends to depress the morale of the more intelligent cultists. The morale of the 53% is high.

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  26. Ricky, At least one of the 4 documents Comey leaked were said to be classified–and maybe more. . Comey could have escalated the matter to the Democrats and Republicans of the oversight committee, but he didn’t. And the fact is, he has a pattern of going outside of proscribed protocols. The point is not that the particular information damaged national security (which is arguable), but rather that classification is not being taken seriously at all and that is terribly damaging

    I don’t think a general witch hunt is necessary or desirable in order to emphasize to the bureaucracy the importance of maintaining security. One or two good public prosecutions with devastating penalties would be sufficient. Public servants need to know definitively what the classification parameters are, and that the consequences for violation will be severe and certain. For most bureaucrats, the certain loss of pension would be a deterrent, and for others, the thought of fines stiff enough to ensure a life of penury would suffice.

    I think Comey is a perfect candidate for such a prosecution. His loud-mouthed arrogance and public book tour all proclaim his desire to be the poster boy for something. I think we should let him.

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  27. Ricky, the 53% are very united in not liking Trump, but not on much else. If you think the 53% are all going to turn out to vote for Democrats, you are going to be very surprised in November—but then again, that seems to be a pattern for you guys lately. ;–)

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  28. Arguable? Debra, Please argue how that particular information damaged national security? I would argue that it enhanced national security by exposing the fact that a rogue president was clumsily trying to interfere in an investigation of foreign interference in a US election.

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  29. Debra, Here are things about the Trump Presidency that did not surprise me. I predicted them.

    1. He would continue to be a pathological liar and this would cause problems at home and abroad.
    2. His dishonesty and ignorance would make him an international buffoon and disgrace America.
    3. His protectionism would drive our former trading partners to seek new deals with others including China.
    4. His profound ignorance about his duties and the nature of our government would make him ineffective as an executive.
    5. His combination of ignorance regarding major public policy issues and extreme intellectual laziness would make him useless in building support for conservative legislative solutions.
    6. His toxic combination of malice and incompetence would drive the young and suburban women from the Republican Party.
    7. His weird combination of isolationism, protectionism and stupidity would poison our alliances, make him an anathema to the vast majority of the world and mark the end of The American Century.

    The only real surprise to me was that 42% of Americans joined his cult. However, the 2016 primaries gave us a clue that something was wrong in the brains and hearts of many Republicans.

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  30. From where I sit, both “parties” are in disarray. I doubt that consensus within the ranks on either side will be easy to reach in the near future.

    Everyone is adamantly against someone or something.

    Everyone’s in a perpetual uproar. And that’s about where it all just sits for now.

    I will say the Democrats may have an easier time regrouping than conservatives and Republicans going forward. They perhaps have more of the outrage and anger on their side for the time being and that alone can temporarily unify. But unify behind what, exactly?

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  31. DJ, You hit the nail on the head. It is much easier to unify against someone or something than to unify for something. As we now know, the Rs were ideologically diverse in 2010 and 2014. However, they “unified’ in the midterms against Obama and Obamacare though they had no alternative to Obamacare. Trump is viewed as a clear and present danger by the 53%. They will remain unified against him and the Republicans who have acted as his stooges (think Nunes) until Trump is gone.

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  32. RW: anti-Russia, pro free trade, pro entitlement reform, pro law enforcement

    Trump Cult: pro-Russia, anti-free trade, anti-entitlement reform, anti law enforcement

    Tychicus, Who is deranged? Who is acting like a liberal?

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  33. So what have we learned from their Saturday night document dump?

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/07/saturday-night-document-dump.php

    “We are familiar with the Friday afternoon document dump. It’s a standard tool of political scandal management. What are we to make of the Saturday night document dump by which the Department of Justice delivered the heavily redacted documents comprising the Carter Page FISA warrant application to the New York Times and other news organizations that had sought them under the Freedom of Information Act? Charlie Savage’s New York Times article draws no inferences from the timing. I say the Saturday night document dump resets best scandal management practices. These documents were not released on Saturday night because the FBI and the Department of Justice are proud of themselves for what they reveal.

    Andrew McCarthy commented this morning on FOX News: “I’m really embarrassed because I told people for months that this could never, ever happen….It’s astonishing. It’s as if they took the dossier and slapped a caption on it to give it to the judge. They ought to be looking at the judges who signed this stuff.”
    ————————

    “Professor Randy Barnett highlights the rot that is visible in the interstices of the redactions.:

    That it does, and none of it good.

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  34. There’s a reason Ricky and his liberal choices for news want to downplay it. Because it proves them wrong and shows that their false stories were used as a basis to get a warrant. This is conspiracy and collusion.
    .
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/07/first-thoughts-on-the-carter-page-fisa-application.php

    “Given that most of the application that Barack Obama’s Department of Justice submitted to the FISA court to obtain a surveillance order on Carter Page has been redacted, what we can say about the application is limited. Still, a few things stand out.

    First, the FISA application expresses confidence that Page was an agent of the Russian government, and engaged in criminal activity:

    But Page has never been charged with anything. Accordingly, the least we can say is that Obama’s FBI and DOJ were wrong.

    Second, the application’s description of Christopher Steele and the provenance of his dossier was misleading at best:

    The “identified U.S. person” is Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS. Source #1 is Christopher Steele. The DOJ’s statement that “the FBI speculates that the identified U.S person [Simpson] was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s [Trump’s] campaign” could only have been an intentional effort to deceive the FISA judge. The FBI was perfectly well aware that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC hired Simpson through their lawyers, and the purpose of doing so was to attack candidate Donald Trump. References to “speculation” about “likely” motives are entirely dishonest.

    Third, the application relies to an astonishing degree on anti-Trump news stories published in the Democratic Party press. Does the FBI really get surveillance warrants on the basis of partisan press accounts? Apparently so. For example:”

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  35. Got that right….

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/07/22/gowdy-adam-schiff-leak-collusion/

    “South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy said Sunday that, after 18 months of congressional investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government, he has yet to see a “scintilla” of evidence showing that there was coordination between the two sides.

    The Republican also said it is unlikely that any Democrat has seen evidence of collusion because if they had, California Rep. Adam Schiff would have already leaked it.

    “I have not seen one scintilla of evidence that this president colluded, conspired, confederated with Russia, and neither has anyone else, or you may rest assured Adam Schiff would have leaked it,” Gowdy said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

    “That’s why they’ve moved off of collusion onto obstruction of justice, which is now their current preoccupation,” he added.”
    —————–

    Moving the goals posts as narrative after narrative collapses.

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  36. Sigh. Carter Page was on with Jake Tapper this morning. He acted about as guilty, dishonest and stupid as Papadopoulos, Nunberg, Little Trump, Stone, Nunbetg, and Big Trump himself.

    https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/07/22/jake-tapper-presses-carter-page-russian-ties-fisa-documents-sotu-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/carter-page/

    Rubio followed and did a good job. He appeared embarrassed that a Republican would employ someone with the background of Page. He also basically supported the FBI and the four Republican judges who signed FISA warrants re: Page. Mueller will eventually tell us the truth about Page. I am expecting a few laughs.

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  37. Ricky, that’s a pretty unfair characterization of the C. Page interview – he didn’t look guilty at all. He actually did a fine job of handling Tapper’s questioning, despite the fact that Tapper kept going for a ‘gotcha’ moment, kept putting words in Page’s mouth, etc. As Tapper asked his questions, Page is almost laughing at him b/c of how ridiculous Tapper was coming across.

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  38. As Mueller and Comey have amply demonstrated, just because they’re R’s doesn’t mean they aren’t partisan hacks.

    Now for the heads of the Hydra…….

    Make sure they’re under oath too.

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/07/22/bob-goodlatte-john-brennan-testify/

    “House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte confirmed to Fox News Channel’s Maria Bartiromo Sunday morning that his committee among others want former CIA Director John Brennan and other former Obama officials to testify before its members.

    “We have lots of questions for John Brennan and he will definitely be sought by the Committees for an interview,” Goodlatte said. “This is an extremely disturbing thing to see both he and James Comey, supposedly impartial government officials carrying out their jobs in very important areas in intelligence gathering and law enforcement, express the kind of extreme bias that they’ve shown now, which I think reflects quite accurately on what they were doing back in 2016.”

    Goodlatte went on to confirm that not only will Brennan and Comey be sought but also former Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch, whose meeting with President Bill Clinton on an Arizona tarmac during the 2016 election became scrutinized as it happened while his then-presidential candidate wife Hillary Clinton was under federal investigation.”

    Like

  39. Looks like another narrative fail. Now that we know Dems were taken in as well, this story will now disappear.

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-russia-butina-exclusive/exclusive-accused-russian-agent-butina-met-with-u-s-treasury-fed-officials-idUKKBN1KC0DE

    “Accused Russian agent Maria Butina had wider high-level contacts in Washington than previously known, taking part in 2015 meetings between a visiting Russian official and two senior officials at the U.S. Federal Reserve and Treasury Department.

    The meetings, revealed by several people familiar with the sessions and a report from a Washington think tank that arranged them, involved Stanley Fischer, Fed vice chairman at the time, and Nathan Sheets, then Treasury undersecretary for international affairs.

    Butina travelled to the United States in April 2015 with Alexander Torshin, then the Russian Central Bank deputy governor, and they took part in separate meetings with Fischer and Sheets to discuss U.S.-Russian economic relations during Democratic former President Barack Obama’s administration.

    The two meetings, which have not been previously reported, reveal a wider circle of high-powered connections that Butina sought to cultivate with American political leaders and special interest groups.”

    Like

  40. Further proof the special counsel was a waste of time and money, and totally unnecessary.

    And that Ricky is wrong. Again.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/why-is-mueller-handing-off-key-cases

    “Something has been going on with Robert Mueller’s investigation of people thought to have played significant roles in the Trump-Russia affair. The special counsel, assigned to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Trump,” has been farming out seemingly important parts of the investigation to offices outside his own.”
    —————

    “What is going on? I asked a few former federal prosecutors if they saw any messages in Mueller’s move. The takeaway: These aren’t encouraging developments for those longing for a big collusion/conspiracy/coordination indictment from Mueller.

    “I think it proves that little if any of what Mueller’s team has generated so far is linked to the special counsel’s mandate,” said Former Prosecutor 1. “Everything that is public so far could, should and typically is handled by either United States Attorney offices of jurisdiction; National Security Division attorneys, or even Criminal Division attorneys at Main Justice.”

    “I think Mueller doesn’t have anything on collusion,” said Former Prosecutor 2. “I think we would have seen it. I don’t see anything that looks like there’s a crime lurking — maybe he’s got eight indictments under seal, but to me, it makes no sense. All of this says to me there is no there there.”

    Former Prosecutor 3 said the investigations passed off — Cohen and Butina — indicate the subject matter is “outside [Mueller’s] jurisdiction.”

    Some former prosecutors drew a distinction between the Cohen and Butina cases, in which Mueller handed off the investigation to others, and the 12 Russians case, in which Mueller made the indictment himself and then handed off the prosecution. That could be because Mueller realized that his team, staffed with investigators, could not manage a complex prosecution in the courtroom.

    “They don’t have the bandwidth to handle a highly technical case like that,” said Former Prosecutor 2. From Former Prosecutor 3: “Good investigators aren’t good litigators, and very often the best courtroom lawyers aren’t the best subject matter experts.”

    It has been widely observed that there is no way the 12 Russians — government intelligence officers located in Russia — will ever come to the United States for trial. And that has led some of the former prosecutors to suggest that if Mueller were serious about trying them, he would have indicted them secretly and then made efforts to nab them unawares. “Everyone who indicts international defendants like the 12 Russians would do so under seal if they were serious about prosecuting,” said Former Prosecutor 1.”

    Like

  41. Ricky: It’s amazing that you don’t see the obvious illicit practices by the FBI and DOJ over the past couple of years. When you have members of the Special Counsel’s team discussing how they are favoring their favorite candidate and saying they need to have an insurance policy if she doesn’t win, that should cause concern for even the least observant person. Couple that with another statement by one of the same members texting that POTUS wants to be briefed on everything they do is another cause for concern.

    There didn’t seem to be any hesitation by the federal law enforcement apparatus to use the unvetted dossier to obtain a warrant to monitor the activities of US citizens involved in only one campaign, with the stated purpose of looking into the activities of the Russians, without briefing the President-elect. They briefed several other non-law enforcement cabinet members.

    Do we know the crime C. Page committed to justify the FISA warrant? He hasn’t been charged with anything.

    Would you believe the FBI number two who said if it were not for the dossier, there never would have been an application for a FISA warrant? Words from McCabe himself, in his testimony to Congress.

    Did Hillary and the DNC collude with the Russians by paying for the dossier?

    Like

  42. Tychicus, You and other Trump Cultists are becoming more and more comfortable attacking law enforcement every day. Democrats do that all the time. Did you ever watch the local news in San Antonio or Austin? The mother and sister of every criminal caught or shot by the police always claims they were innocent.

    I saw all of the Carter Page interview. In true Trumpian fashion he repeatedly refused to answer real simple questions about contents of the FISA requests. He was much less believable that the criminals we see on DFW TV and their mamas.

    It is pretty clear that someone coached him but he was still an embarrassment.

    Like

  43. Tychicus , Just answer one question: If Hillary was Comey’s “favorite candidate”, why did he publicly scold her against normal Justice Dept policy and then announce the discovery of the Weiner emails (again against policy) right before the election while keeping the Russia/Trump investigation secret until after the election?

    When Trumpkins allege FBI favoritism toward Hillary while being completely unable to answer or even acknowledge that question, it makes the 53% completely discount and/or ignore anything that comes from The Cult.

    Like

  44. I hope you are in the Czech Republic. My car thermometer just read 114 degrees. It is reminding everyone of 1980.

    Like

  45. “If Hillary was Comey’s “favorite candidate”, why did he publicly scold her against normal Justice Dept policy and then announce the discovery of the Weiner emails (again against policy) right before the election while keeping the Russia/Trump investigation secret until after the election?”

    They already answered this for you. Pay attention.

    Because they thought she had the election in the bag and that it would do no harm. How could she possibly lose? was the thinking. And you thought it too, and you know it.
    —————————

    So Page refuses to answer questions as advised by his lawyers and it proves his guilt, yet when Strzok did the same it was some noble act against those wrongly accusing him.

    A little consistency from you would be nice. So would you acknowledging the truth for a change.

    Like

  46. I not only paid attention, I read Comey’s book. Has the Cult? Comey was not trying to help Hillary when he scolded her in July and announced the discovery of the Weiner emails in October. In fact, he knew he might be helping Trump. One of Comey’s aides warned him that the Weiner announcement could lead to Trump’s election. Why did Comey, Strzok and the rest take extraordinary steps to keep the Russia/Trump Investigation secret until after the election if they were trying to help Hillary?

    I am not faulting Comey. I have read his explanations and would not second-guess him. He had to make some very tough calls – on the scolding, the Weiner announcement and on keeping Trump/Russia secret until after the election. It so happened that all of those decisions favored Trump. That is why the 53% thinks Cultists are brain-washed when they say Comey favored Hillary.

    Like

  47. So here’s the summary thus far……

    The FBI used media articles (page 21, 22, 24) that were the results of leaks to the media. On page 23 the FBI correctly states that Chris Steele was *not* the source of one of the articles; They only knew this because they, the FBI were the source of the leaks which led to said articles. They cited their own leaks as confirmation for the original application. This whole thing is a sham.

    And Ricky’s OK with that kind of malicious misuse of our court system, as long as it’s used against his political enemies.

    Like

  48. And he fully supports this guy.

    https://twitchy.com/jacobb-38/2018/07/22/gregg-jarrett-explains-how-new-doj-docs-show-comey-has-not-been-telling-the-truth/

    “Fox News contributor and attorney Gregg Jarrett explains how the documents prove that Comey was not being truthful about the methods and reasoning used to obtain the FISA warrant.”

    His book on the subject comes out Tuesday. Should be an interesting read.

    Like

  49. More on that here. Jarrett says the newly released documents validates the evidence he lays out in his book,

    ——————

    Like

  50. Gregg Jarrett works for the American Pravda (Fox News) which was absolutely critical in convincing the weak-minded to vote for Trump in the primaries. Like fellow cult priests (Hannity, Ingraham, Pirro et al.) he will make money selling his books to brain-washed cultists. Now that Trump University has closed, the gullible have to be fleeced in new ways.

    Like

  51. The Cult does seem to be splintering. After Trey Gowdy was critical of Trump’s Helsinki performance, some of the Cult now believes that Gowdy himself is a tool of the Deep State.

    I am going to label this branch of The Cult as The Fundamentalist Trumpkins.

    Like

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