36 thoughts on “News/Politics 7-23-18

  1. Nunes has been vindicated. But don’t hold your breathe waiting for his opponents to admit it. They don’t have that type of integrity or decency.


    “The weekend release of a highly-redacted version of the FBI’s application for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to wiretap onetime Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page has renewed the argument over the Nunes memo — the brief report produced by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes detailing problems in the application. From the time of the memo’s release in February, Democrats and some in the press have denounced it as a collection of lies and mischaracterizations. On Saturday night, the denouncing started again. “The only thing the newly released FISA documents show is that Republicans have been lying for months,” the lefty think tank Center for American Progress said in a typical response.

    Now, however, we have both the memo and the FISA application, if in a blacked-out state. We can compare the two. And doing so shows the Nunes memo was overwhelmingly accurate. Perhaps some Democrats do not believe it should have been written, or they dispute what it included and left out, or they do not agree with its conclusions, but it was in fact accurate.

    The memo comprised a short introduction followed by 13 substantive paragraphs. Here is a look at each one.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Decriminalizing or legalizing drugs and focusing much more on treatment would save money, and even more importantly, countless lives.

    “For those in the grip of drugs, the openness to treatment is often fleeting, and if a slot is not immediately available, they’re back on the street, snorting, shooting up, overdosing, landing in emergency rooms or worse. In New Hampshire, a heroin user was found dead in his apartment along with a list of rehab facilities on the table next to his bed, which he had called in vain. In Springfield, Massachusetts, beds are in such short supply that those seeking help sometimes have to get arrested so that a judge can mandate them to a facility. In Huntington, West Virginia, the parents of a 21-year-old woman spent 41 days trying to get her into a facility, without success; on the 42nd day, she overdosed and died. . .

    Finally, news organizations need to rethink their approach to the drug issue. They too often focus on sideshows—the drug war in Mexico, police raids in big cities, the culpability of Big Pharma. (The number of opioid prescriptions nationwide actually peaked in 2012, and in 2016 they reached their lowest level in a decade, yet the epidemic continues.) Journalists should instead seek to expose the glaring gaps in the nation’s treatment system and dramatize the plight of those who want help but can’t get it—the real scandal in the fight against drugs.”



  3. Our sister paper did a series of stories on the drug treatment racket, if you will. It’s a money-maker for many who are unscrupulous business people.


  4. Byron York lays it out in detail Ricky. And I trust him way more than Bezos’ publication, which sits behind a paywall. You may chose to pay for trash, I won’t, so I can’t read it. So why don’t you lay it out for us?

    According to York, all 13 paragraphs of the Nunes memo are correct, as demonstrated by the new releases. So tell me where and why York is wrong. Take your time, no hurry, by the end of the day will be fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lindsey Graham says you’re wrong. But at least you still have the clueless Little Marco on your side.


    “Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday slammed the Justice Department’s application for a secret surveillance warrant on a former Trump campaign adviser, saying that it was based on a “bunch of garbage.”

    Asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” whether a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant obtained on Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser on President Trump’s campaign, was justified, Graham insisted that it was not and that the opposition research dossier that helped lay the foundation for the warrant application was bunk.

    “If the dossier is the reason you issued the warrant, it was a bunch of garbage,” Graham said. “The dossier has proven to be a bunch of garbage.”

    He also said that the warrant application, which was released by the Justice Department on Saturday, served as proof that “the whole FISA warrant process needs to be looked at.”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So do the folks at The Federalist


    “Newly released documents confirm House and Senate investigators’ claims that the Department of Justice and FBI used materially false and misleading information to secure wiretaps on Carter Page, a former volunteer foreign policy advisor to President Trump. The highly redacted documents released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests show how the FBI was able to convince the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to surveil the Naval Academy graduate and energy consultant for a year of his life.”


    “While the newly released documents remain heavily redacted, the details revealed confirm the charges of abuse laid out early this year by House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA). The documents also provide additional evidence that the Obama administration’s Department of Justice and career DOJ, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and State Department employees misused the FISA court system to spy on the Trump campaign. Here are ten key take-aways.

    1. The State Department Had Its Fingers In this Mess”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Who is betraying America?

    Hint: It’s not Trump.


    “And this is exceedingly important.

    Trump is being condemned for adopting a conciliatory tone towards Putin while employing a combative tone towards the Europeans and particularly Germany at the NATO summit. This criticism ignores how Trump operates in the international arena.

    Trump views his exchanges with foreign leaders as separate engagements. He has goals he wishes to advance with China; with North Korea; with Russia; with Canada; with Mexico; with Europe; with Britain; with US Arab allies. In each separate engagement, Trump employs a combination of carrots and sticks. In each engagement he adopts a distinct manner that he believes advances his goals.

    So far, unlike Obama’s foreign policy by this point in his presidency, none of Trump’s exchanges have brought disaster on America or its allies. To the contrary, America and its allies have much greater strategic maneuver room across a wide spectrum of threats and join adversaries than they had when Obama left office.

    Trump’s opponents’ obsession with bringing him down has caused great harm to his presidency and to America’s position worldwide. It is a testament to Trump’s commitment to the US and its allies that he met with Putin this week. And the success of their meeting is something that all who care about global security and preventing a devastating war in the Middle East should be grateful for.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I dealt with top secret material and was cleared for TS-(codeword) access. Top Secret is assigned to prevent serious harm to the US. It is not used to protect anyone from anything. The dossier they are talking about is redacted because of TS material. I seriously doubt that. It –until now- has never been used to protect people.
    There is a classification called “confidential”. But I’m not familiar with that.


  9. Their desperation is showing.


    “Democrats’ embrace of Socialism reflects the desperation of a party losing control of the judiciary and regulatory state

    Stripped of these institutional power bases, Democrats’ preference for creeping Socialism will no longer be an option. Impatient, they will demand the real thing.”

    “The energy among Democrats is fueled by anti-Trump Resistance and the embrace of Socialism.

    The anti-Trump energy will get Democrats only so far — there already is evidence it will not be enough. Democrats feel the need to be FOR something, not just AGAINST Trump.

    Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are the poster children for Democratic Socialism, which as Ocasio-Cortez has amply demonstrated recently in interviews, is really just Socialism.

    Socialism as a party platform has Democrat politicians and insiders worried, because they fear it will undermine attempts to retake the House and Senate in 2018, and defeat Trump in 2020. NBC News reports, Sanders’ wing of the party terrifies moderate Dems. Here’s how they plan to stop it:

    If Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading a leftist political revolt, then a summit here of moderate Democrats might be the start of a counterrevolution.

    While the energy and momentum is with progressives these days — the victory of rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York, buzz about Democratic Socialism and the spread of the “Abolish ICE!” movement are a few recent examples — moderates are warning that ignoring them will lead the party to disaster in the midterm elections and the 2020 presidential contest.

    That anxiety has largely been kept to a whisper among the party’s moderates and big donors, with some of the major fundraisers pressing operatives on what can be done to stop Sanders, I-Vt., if he runs for the White House again.

    But the first-ever “Opportunity 2020” convention, organized here last week by Third Way, a moderate Democratic think tank, gave middle-of-the-road party members a safe space to come together and voice their concerns.

    “The only narrative that has been articulated in the Democratic Party over the past two years is the one from the left,” former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell told NBC News.

    The Miami Herald reports that this counter-revolution within the Democrat Party has even the counter-revolutionaries doubting the socialists can be held back:”

    I love it when they show their true colors. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Earlier this year, the political world was gripped by a stunning accusation from Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) that the government’s application for a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was born of bias and almost entirely reliant on a dossier of information compiled on the dime of Democratic operatives. He had a memo that made that argument; eventually, and probably without much goading, President Trump was persuaded to release it publicly.

    Even based on what was known then, the hype surrounding Nunes’s memo seemed to oversell the point. In short order, other revelations about the warrant application made it clear that the contents of the memo were iffy. It was the second time in two years that Nunes had gone to bat in defense of one of Trump’s pet theories, and neither time worked out that well.

    As it turns out though, Nunes’s efforts to raise questions about the surveillance warrant, granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, were even less robust than they seemed at the time. With the release Friday of a redacted copy of both the initial warrant application targeting Page in October 2016 and the three 90-day extensions of the warrant, we can get a better sense of just how far from the mark the Nunes memo actually was.


  11. And:

    The Nunes memo made a number of interpretive claims — assessments of the importance of aspects of the warrant — as well as a number of factual claims. Among the latter were:

    That the dossier of reports from former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele on behalf of the firm Fusion GPS were an “essential” part of the application.
    That the fact that Fusion GPS was being paid by a law firm working for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee was never explicitly stated.
    That neither Steele nor Fusion GPS are identified by name.
    That the application cites a Yahoo News article from September 2016 that “does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News.” The application also incorrectly asserts that Steele wasn’t directly Yahoo’s source for the story.
    That the application mentions another Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos but that there is no evidence of cooperation between him and Page.
    The memo made a number of other claims focusing on information related to the launch of the investigation into Page that aren’t illuminated any further by the released data.


  12. And:

    We can begin with the first point above, that the Steele dossier’s information was “essential” to the warrant.

    At the outset, Page is described in the warrant application as “an agent of a foreign power,” specifically Russia. The third section of the application details the evidence linking Page to Russia, beginning with Page having lived in the country for several years and being mentioned as a possible target for recruitment by Russian intelligence officers about five years ago, at which point he was interviewed by the FBI. The first four pages of this section, excluding footnotes, are either redacted or deal with that prior interaction with federal authorities.

    The information from the Steele dossier comprises the next 4½ pages, excluding footnotes. It is followed by Page’s public response to reports that he was under investigation, a response triggered by the Yahoo article. That response runs for about 3½ pages and makes up the fourth section of the report.


  13. And:

    Five fully redacted pages, making up the fifth and sixth sections of the document, follow, leading into the document’s conclusion.

    It’s clear that the information uncovered by Steele does play a prominent role. It’s impossible to say how critical it was to the warrant, though, because so much of the document is redacted.

    What isn’t redacted, though, makes a few things clear. First, that the Yahoo article is introduced not as a corroborating story but as the first part of the section titled “Page’s Denial of Cooperation with the Russian Government.” As noted above, that article spurred Page’s response, which is included. There’s no suggestion from the unredacted document that it was included to serve as a second source for the story.

    While the warrant application does state that the FBI “does not believe that Source #1 [Steele] directly provided this information to the press” — which was incorrect — that same footnote (No. 18) clearly implies that Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS might have been Yahoo’s source, undercutting the idea the FBI was trying to use Yahoo to bolster the significance of Steele’s findings.

    More to come. I have to go back to work.


  14. That’s some, eh… “interpretation” there Ricky. But it’s mostly false. The dossier was the basis for it, and the FBI has admitted that. Yet you and Democrats just won’t accept it.

    As I mentioned yesterday….

    The FBI used media articles (page 21, 22, 24) of the released docs, 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. No amount of spin from you gets around that.

    But don’t take my word, see for yourself. This whole thing is a fraud.



  15. And Rand Paul is not letting this miscarriage of justice go.

    This should have happened long ago. He’s unworthy.


    “Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul went after former CIA chief John Brennan, firing off a couple of tweets on Monday morning.

    Paul suggested that Brennan was making money on his continued access to sensitive information, and said that he would call for Brennan’s security clearance to be revoked.

    “Is John Brennan monetizing his security clearance? Is John Brennan making millions of dollars divulging secrets to the mainstream media with his attacks on [Donald Trump]?” Paul asked on Twitter.

    “Today I will meet with the President and I will ask him to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance!”


  16. Maybe this helps explain why the VA sucks so badly. This is a disgusting abuse of taxpayers, taxpayer dollars, and above all, our veterans.


    “Back in May, we discussed the President’s executive order making it easier to fire delinquent government workers and cracking down on so-called “official time” for union officials. That’s the policy which has long allowed union leaders to hold taxpayer-funded government jobs but spend as much as 100% of their time doing union business rather than doing work for the public. They were also able to use government office space and resources on the taxpayer dime for strictly union business.”

    “According to the union’s own records, there are a staggering 1,700 government employees just in the VA who have been using “official time” and nearly 500 who do it 100% of the time. That’s all on the taxpayer dime. The unions are not the government. The taxpayers should not be responsible for paying the wages of their officials, providing them with office space or footing the bill for their computers, phones and all the rest. The fact that the President is allowing a limited number of them to still spend 25% of their time conducting union business is an unwarranted bit of generosity if you ask me.

    But how hard could this be to implement? The unions have office spaces with government supplies in them. Do you really need a “plan” for how to deal with this? Get Out. Go set up shop in your union hall. Problem solved.

    If you’re one of the thousands of union officers on the government payroll who are not supposed to be using your time on the clock for union business, either quit and go to work at the union hall or get back to whatever your actual government job for the taxpayers was supposed to be. It’s really not complicated. Get Back To Work Or Leave.”


  17. Apparently displaying your obvious bias on the front page every day can be bad for business.


    “The New York Daily News has been around since 1919 but the paper has fallen on hard times in the past several years. Today, there was a brief meeting lasting less than one minute during which the paper’s remaining employees were informed of a new round of layoffs. From the NY Times:

    The meeting lasted less than a minute. By the time it was over, reporters and editors at The Daily News had been told that the newsroom staff was being cut in half and that the editor in chief, Jim Rich, was out of a job…

    It was not the first time The News had made sweeping cuts. In 2015, under Mr. Zuckerman’s ownership, the paper laid off dozens of employees, including virtually its entire digital team. A company that once had hundreds of employees has over the years dwindled to a newsroom staff of approximately 75 to 100.”

    Liked by 1 person

  18. War is hell. Culture wars included.


    “I don’t like it, but the New Rules are what the New Rules are, and I propose we cram them down the left’s throat to make the foie gras of liberty.

    See, we tried reasoning with the social fascists. We tried pointing out that free speech and an open exchange of ideas are vital to a society that values liberty. But it turns out that they don’t value liberty. They value power. Their own power.

    All this SJW baloney is just a power grab by jerks, hustlers, and weirdos who would otherwise be powerless. In a sane society, some dude in a tutu insisting we address xir by xis pronouns would be a curiosity who we would politely ignore. But for some reason, our pathetic elite decided to take these people seriously instead of gently patting them on their noggins and sending them on their way.

    A lot of it has to do with the moral bankruptcy, intellectual failure, and general exhaustion of Western society’s elite. It not only lost the ability but the will to defend itself from the barbarians, both the literal ones and the figurative cultural ones. Better men and women bequeathed today’s elite what is as close to paradise as humanity has ever achieved, and their heirs turned out to be bums. Building our civilization was hard – those exertions built character in the elite. But like lay-about kids of self-made men, today’s elite didn’t work for what it has. Instead of understanding that holding onto our culture demands discipline, effort, and courage, it pretends that it holds its position because of some sort of divine right. Except inside, today’s elite knows that it is unworthy. And that makes it susceptible to all sorts of silliness.

    Normal Americans know that the only proper response to someone with green hair and a nose ring screaming that the male gaze is LITERALLY VIOLENCE and we need to stop having swimsuit competitions in beauty contests is barely controlled laughter. But the elite takes these dorks seriously – “Why yes, it seems like a really good idea to minimize the hot women aspects of our beauty contest because some misfits and malcontents who are – well – unlikely to ever be competitors, and who never watched before and will not in the future no matter what we do, have complained.”

    Wokeness is like a suicide pact among the elite. “Hey, this lady has the number one show in America but she said something. And this guy has made billions for us with his movies, but he also said something. Let’s ruin them because some people with Twitter accounts complained.”

    Now get off my lawn….


  19. This should have already happened. As I said before, they’re unworthy.


    “The White House on Monday announced that President Trump is exploring the possibility of revoking security clearances of former Obama and Bush administration U.S. intelligence officials who have criticized him, including former CIA Director John Brennan, ex-FBI Director James Comey, former director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

    During a briefing with reporters, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the former officials “have politicized, and in some cases monetized” their security clearances, and have made “baseless accusations” about Trump and Russia “with zero evidence.”

    Shut ’em down.


  20. DJ (re: your comment about the “drug treatment racket”) – Yeah, there are those who take advantage of people in need. But there are also places that actually help.

    In reading the article I shared, I was pleased to see that although many addicts relapse, the time they are clean is worth something, and many of those who relapse will eventually succeed in staying clean.


  21. Apparently, Nunes still hasn’t even read the latest Carter Page FISA application. It is very doubtful whether he could have understood much of it.


  22. Some of you aren’t going to be able to gain access to this article, but it is also good. Adam Schiff has a bright future when the Dems take the White House in 2020. He is going to have the time of his life as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee in 2019-2020.


  23. For those who prefer video:


  24. Adam Schiff just made an interesting point. A CNN reporter asked Schiff if Nunes had lied in his “Memo”.

    Schiff responded:

    A. The Republican memo did contain falsehoods.

    B. However, it is hard to say that Nunes lied since Nunes had no idea if the Republican Memo was accurate because Nunes had not read the FISA Applications at the time the Memo was written and released.

    The new Republican leader of the House needs to appoint semi-intelligent and competent members to serve as the ranking members of important committees.


  25. So the media outlets who colluded with the leakers at the FBI and DoJ to undermine Trump and did their part to push the charade agree with Ricky and the far left. Why am I not shocked that they’d try to continue the charade? Like Ricky they’re doubling down. 🙄

    What I see is a lot of opinion, at least from the NYT (I don’t waste my time with CNN and the WaPo I won’t pay for), but not many facts taken from the documents to back their assertions.

    If you have some clear examples, please cite the page number that deals with their assertions and show Nunes to be wrong. I’ve demonstrated why I believe otherwise with links to actual page references to back their point (York) You just give opinion pieces.


  26. Indepedent analysts unanimously agree that the Nunes Memo was false and misleading as I have demonstrated. Writers who sold out to the Cult months ago like York, Hemingway and McCarthy defend Nunes as you have demonstrated. Lindsay Graham is almost as dumb as Nunes. I think even most Trumpers agree with that.

    York and Hemingway have become hacks. York is like Tucker Carlson. He knows better, but his income depends on being a Trump apologist. I am not at all sure that Hemingway knows better, but she knows where her bread is buttered. McCarthy is the only tough case. Most of the actual conservatives at NR still like and respect McCarthy. I think he just got so close to the Carter Page case that he couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

    Here is the forest:

    Page was under FBI surveillance and the subject of FISA warrants long before he joined the Trump campaign and for good reason. He claimed to be an advisor to the Russian government, he travelled to Russia, met with Russian spies and was recruited by Russian spies. He continued to be the subject of FISA warrants after he joined the Trump campaign and after he left the Trump campaign because his suspicious activities continued. Until the unredacted FISA applications are released we won’t know all the supporting data that is there that did not come from the Dossier. Schiff (who unlike Nunes and Gowdy is intelligent and intellectually honest and who unlike Nunes has actually read the FISA applications) has stated that such data is contained in the FISA applications. Four Republican judges signed the orders.

    It is very possible that Page was just a moron and not a traitor. However, his actions were very suspicious and were the types of activities we want the FBI to investigate.


  27. David French can see the forest.


  28. Oh we all want to see it. But the DoJ and FBI keep making excuses as to why we can’t. A little sunshine would clear that up, but those with something to hide and cover-up won’t open the blinds.

    It’s not Trump who is redacting it.


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