41 thoughts on “News/Politics 7-24-18

  1. Despite the claims of some media outlets, progress is happening.


    “In an important first step towards fulfilling a commitment made by Kim Jong Un at the June 12 Singapore Summit, new commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station (North Korea’s main satellite launch facility since 2012) indicates that the North has begun dismantling key facilities. Most notably, these include the rail-mounted processing building—where space launch vehicles are prepared before moving them to the launch pad—and the nearby rocket engine test stand used to develop liquid-fuel engines for ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles. Since these facilities are believed to have played an important role in the development of technologies for the North’s intercontinental ballistic missile program, these efforts represent a significant confidence building measure on the part of North Korea.

    Dismantlement at the Launch Pad

    Commercial satellite imagery of the launch pad from July 20 shows that the rail-mounted processing/transfer structure has been moved to the middle of the pad, exposing the underground rail transfer point—one of the few times it has been seen in this location. The roof and supporting structure have been partially removed and numerous vehicles are present—including a large construction crane. An image from two days later shows the continued presence of the crane and vehicles. Considerable progress has been made in dismantling the rail-mounted processing/transfer structure. One corner has been completely dismantled and the parts can be seen lying on the ground. In both images the two fuel/oxidizer bunkers, main processing building and gantry tower remain untouched.”

    More here…



  2. More bad news for Democrats with delusions of grandeur…..


    “A majority of respondents in a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll of registered voters said Democratic congressional candidates are out of step with most Americans.

    Asked whether Democratic candidates’ approaches to the issues “are generally in the mainstream of most Americans’ thinking, or are generally out of step with most Americans’ thinking,” 56 percent said they are “out of step” and just one-third said they are “in the mainstream.” These figures are a marked swing from July 2016, when only 42 percent of respondents said Democratic congressional candidates were out of step and 48 percent said they were in the mainstream.

    In the July 2016 poll, Republican candidates were seen as much less mainstream than Democrats, with 31 percent of respondents saying the Republicans were in the mainstream and 59 percent saying they were out of step. A slightly higher percentage of respondents in July 2018 see Republicans as mainstream (33 percent) and a slightly smaller percentage of them see Republicans as out of step (57 percent.)

    That makes the current numbers nearly identical for both parties’ candidates.”


  3. Trump needs to let this Iran thing alone.
    It doesn’t mean anything. N. Korea has been doing it for decades.
    Like I’ve said a dozen times before, his mouth runs ahead of his brain.
    Otherwise, I think he’s doing a good job.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is bad news for everyone.


    “For the first time, scientists have found evidence that a woman can harbor the Ebola virus for more than a year and then infect others.

    The discovery involved transmission within a Liberian family in the closing days of the West African epidemic that lasted from December 2014 to mid-2016. More than 28,600 people were infected and 11,325 died.

    The episode raises new medical questions: Scientists do not know how the virus hid inside the woman for 13 months before re-emerging in lethal form.

    However, because she fell ill soon after giving birth, experts believe the immune suppression that normally occurs in pregnancy may have triggered a relapse.

    The case, published Monday by Lancet Infectious Diseases, also worries experts because fear of Ebola survivors and discrimination against them persists in Africa, and the notion that a female survivor can pass on the virus could worsen that.”


  5. The North Korean testing facility suffered severe damage during the last test. The presence of a construction crane may indicate they are fixing the facility.


  6. “Do-Gooderism: A Religious Cult For Millennials”


    “Do-gooders in America, typically of the Millennial variety, think of themselves as smarter, more worldly, and far better informed than you. They are woke. You are not. This has consequences, mostly for you.

    For do-gooders, the ends justify the means. Do-gooders believe they are saving the world, therefore any tactic is completely defensible. Anyone who stands in the way of their planet-saving mission is, by definition, evil and must be punished. Usually touted as progressivism, this cult-like ideology is actually regressive. Yet, it has succeeded at racking up political victories across the country.

    The Anti-Straw Craze

    Do you like plastic straws? You’re a bad person. According to do-gooders, straws end up in the ocean and eventually into the noses of sea turtles. Is that true? No. Okay, fine, there was one turtle with a straw in its nose. But when it comes to plastic pollution in the ocean, straws aren’t the problem. Fishing gear is, specifically fishing nets. As a column in Bloomberg says:

    “even if all those straws were suddenly washed into the sea, they’d account for about .03 percent of the 8 million metric tons of plastics estimated to enter the oceans in a given year.”

    Does this fact matter? No. Bad people who like straws should be punished, and Seattle will fine any business $250 for giving straws to customers. In Santa Barbara, the fine is $1,000 plus six months of jail time… per straw. Rumor has it that California might reinstate the death penalty for serial straw offenders.”

    “Judging from their behavior, diversity is far less of a concern for Millennials than is ideological conformity. And at the center of that conformity is a religious cult known as do-gooderism, which manifests itself in unscientific fads and authoritarian law-making. Woe be unto you who challenge their self-admiration.”


  7. For cryin’ out loud HRW.

    There’s a link, with pictures, 2 in fact, and you still opine to the contrary. Why am I not shocked?

    I guess I should believe you and not my lyin’ eyes, right?…. 🙄


  8. Yes. For crying out loud, HRW.

    We already have the word of two of the most honest, trustworthy people on earth: Kim Jung Un and Donald Trump. Why won’t you accept the word of a Trumpkin that the satellite images mean just what they say. No doubt Trump insured at the summit that international inspectors are there on the ground. He probably just forgot to tell us.


  9. In other news, Japan and the EU fail to follow the protectionist model of Trump and Kim and are forging new trade ties.


  10. I think I told you this before. When I was working for Defense Mapping, 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 assigned, not because of who you are, but on a “Need To Know” basis.
    Need to Know is the driver. The Only one.

    I was cleared for TS-B for years. The day I left, I went up to security. They read me off with dire warnings. They gave me a “V” (for visitor) badge and escorted me out of the secure area. I no longer had a need to know; I was an “intruder”.

    I say that to say this. There is no reason for anyone, former FBI, CIA or even President, who does not deal with classified information to have access to classified material.
    I was astounded with the brouhaha about Trump removing their security clearances. They should have been removed when they left office. No exceptions Even Obama and Bush. No need to know. That is the key.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Aj

    Note I said “may”. Given the damage rendered the site unusable why install a construction crane unless you’re building. My wifi is spotty at best so the pictures didnt load but pictures are frozen in time. They could be building or tearing but based on past experiences I’d say the former. Now if we had on site inspectators as we did in the Iran deal, which apparently wasn’t good enough, we could confirm our inferences


  12. Chas I agree I was surprised this wasnt the case. However to remove security clearance at the whim of the president is to politicize the process. All clearances should be revoked or none.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. All clearances, even Bush and Obama.
    As I said, it’s not who you are, but what you do that determines the need.


  14. It is hard to say if Michael Cohen is just as big a blowhard as Trump or if he might have relevant information to share with prosecutors.


  15. There are security clearances and there are security clearances. Even I held a security clearance by virtue of knowing “ships movements.”

    You can get an awful lot of screaming about the most minor of clearance removal, no matter how minimal the clearance might be. 😦

    But it does sound dramatic.

    WHY do they need to know, again?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. “Why won’t you accept the word of a Trumpkin that the satellite images mean just what they say.”

    I know TDS is eating your brain Ricky, but do try to keep up.

    38North and the Jerusalem Post put out the story and images, not Trumpers.


  17. More bad news for Dems. Voters in red/purple states want Kavanaugh confirmed. Now Dems will have to either let him be confirmed, or face the wrath of voters.


    “Constituents of four red-state Democrats in the Senate want to see Judge Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to the Supreme Court, according to a new poll.

    The poll, administered by North Star Opinion Research on behalf of the Judicial Crisis Network, surveyed voters in Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota, and West Virginia, all states with incumbent Democratic senators which also voted for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Three of those Senators—Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), and Joe Manchin (W. Va.) are up for reelection in November.

    According to North Star’s poll, significant majorities of voters in all four states want to see Kavanaugh confirmed. In North Dakota, 60 percent of voters support confirmation while only 22 percent oppose it; West Virginia is 55 to 30, Alabama 54 to 30, and Indiana 52 to 34.

    Support for Kavanaugh is even stronger among self-identified independents. 60 percent of independents support confirmation in North Dakota, versus 18 percent opposing; 59 support and 23 oppose in West Virginia; 54 to 30 in Alabama; and 48 to 34 in Indiana.”


  18. “WHY do they need to know, again?”

    There actually is a good reason. But now that they’ve abused this, the practice needs to end. Partisan hacks like these can’t be trusted.


    “President Trump is considering the entirely proper move of pulling security clearances from a number of former government officials including disgraced former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, former DNI James Clapper and several others. These are all people who have been abusing the credibility gained by their previous positions and potentially their continued access to our secrets in a partisan political manner.

    There is a longstanding tradition of granting former officials continued clearance to allow them to be consulted about actions they took and insights they might have. There is no requirement to do this but when all, regardless of party affiliation, are supposed to be working toward our security it provided a continuity of the institutional knowledge. That is no longer the case with these individuals.

    They seem to be wholly invested in undermining the national security priorities and policies of the Trump administration. And in some cases, it seems they were likely to have been undermining the Trump campaign while still members of the Obama administration. A security clearance is based on trust and no one should trust James Comey with continued access to our national secrets when he wrote in his own book that he improperly took classified information with him after he was fired.”


  19. FISA Applications Confirm: The FBI Relied on the Unverified Steele Dossier


    “A salacious Clinton-campaign product was the driving force behind the Trump–Russia investigation.

    “On a sleepy summer Saturday, after months of stonewalling, the FBI dumped 412 pages of documents related to the Carter Page FISA surveillance warrants — the applications, the certifications, and the warrants themselves. Now that we can see it all in black and white — mostly black, as they are heavily redacted — it is crystal clear that the Steele dossier, an unverified Clinton-campaign product, was the driving force behind the Trump–Russia investigation.

    Based on the dossier, the FBI told the FISA court it believed that Carter Page, who had been identified by the Trump campaign as an adviser, was coordinating with the Russian government in an espionage conspiracy to influence the 2016 election.

    This sensational allegation came from Christopher Steele, the former British spy. The FISA court was not told that the Clinton campaign was behind Steele’s work. Nor did the FBI and Justice Department inform the court that Steele’s allegations had never been verified. To the contrary, each FISA application — the original one in October 2016, and the three renewals at 90-day intervals — is labeled “VERIFIED APPLICATION” (bold caps in original). And each one makes this breathtaking representation:

    The FBI has reviewed this verified application for accuracy in accordance with its April 5, 2001 procedures, which include sending a copy of the draft to the appropriate field office(s).

    In reality, the applications were never verified for accuracy.”

    “Steele has not been in Russia for about 20 years. In connection with the dossier allegations, he was merely the purveyor of information from the actual sources — unidentified Russians who themselves relied on hearsay information from other sources (sometimes double and triple hearsay, very attenuated from the supposed original source).

    In each Carter Page FISA warrant application, the FBI represented that it had “reviewed this verified application for accuracy.” But did the bureau truly ensure that the information had been “thoroughly vetted and confirmed”? Remember, we are talking here about serious, traitorous allegations against an American citizen and, derivatively, an American presidential campaign.

    When the FBI averred that it had verified for accuracy the application that posited these allegations, it was, at best, being hyper-technical, and thus misleading. What the bureau meant was that its application correctly stated the allegations as Steele had related them. But that is not what “verification” means. The issue is not whether Steele’s allegations were accurately described; it is whether they were accurate, period. Were the allegations thoroughly vetted and confirmed by proof independent of Steele before being presented to the FISA court — which is what common sense and the FBI’s own manual mean by “verified”?

    No, they were not.”

    Liked by 1 person

  20. No information, now matter how true or damaging it might be, should be used from information gathered through the warrant falsely obtained.
    It isn’t legal evidence.
    Start over.


  21. Ah yes Chas……

    The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine.


    “Fruit of the poisonous tree is a legal metaphor in the United States used to describe evidence that is obtained illegally. The logic of the terminology is that if the source (the “tree”) of the evidence or evidence itself is tainted, then anything gained (the “fruit”) from it is tainted as well.”

    This particular tree is rotten to the core, as is it’s fruit.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Even the people who paid for it didn’t believe it and doubted the source, and yet the FBI was using it to get FISA warrants as if it were gospel.

    And somehow judges who were supposed to be looking out for the rights of US citizens let this go by repeatedly.


    “Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson doubted the credibility of a source for its Steele Dossier, Sergei Millian, according to the book Russian Roulette.

    Four applications obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) show the Department of Justice relied heavily on the dossier.

    Simpson “considered Millian a big talker,” according to authors David Corn and Michael Isikoff.”

    “The veracity of the Steele dossier is once again a topic of intense debate following the Justice Department’s release of secret warrants that the FBI used to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The four applications, which were obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), show that the bureau relied heavily on the dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC, to obtain the warrants, which accused Page of being a secret Kremlin agent.

    But not only do many of the allegations in the dossier remain unverified, there is reason to doubt the credibility of a major source for the 35-page document, including for claims that the Kremlin has blackmail material on President Donald Trump and about Page’s alleged involvement in a collusion conspiracy.

    The founder of the firm that commissioned that the dossier expressed doubts about that source, a Belarusian American businessman named Sergei Millian. And Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the dossier, has reportedly told associates that allegations about Donald Trump attributed to Millian have only a “fifty-fifty” chance of being accurate.

    According to the recent book “Russian Roulette,” Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, believed that Millian was a “big talker” who overstated his links to Trumpworld.”

    The more we know, the worse it gets.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Question: Was there false information in the FISA application? Or was information presented as true which now appears to be false? I haven’t kept up with this simply because I find the whole concept of secret courts generally revolting.


  24. And a follow-up to Debra. If you think there were specific false allegations in any of the Carter Page FISA apps, please list them. As AJ said yesterday, “No rush. Any time today will be fine.”


  25. David French has a rebuttal to conservatives like George Will and Tom Nichols.

    There are two more reasons to vote for Republican Senate candidates:

    A. The Senate approves judicial nominees; and

    B. Most of the idiotic stooge-like behavior by Trumpkins was in the House. There really is not a Senate equivalent to Nunes.

    People like Will and Nichols want the dumbest Trumpkins like Nunes and Gohmert to be in the minority. That is understandable.


  26. Debra,

    The short answer is yes. The entire basis was the hearsay in the Steele Dossier, none of which has been proven accurate. It was never true, and never proven, yet warrants were approved based upon it and media reports about it, also leaked by Fusion GPS. They orchestrated it all, from the press leaks, to the FBI getting it, even though as noted above, even they didn’t believe most of it. With the help of insiders like Comey, Strzok, Brennan, and others, of course.


  27. Like

  28. Debra,

    Also, if you haven’t read this yet, you should. It explains many of the problems with what occurred and why Nunes was right all along. And another thing to note. Facts that they leave out of the application can have the same effect as providing false info by providing the appearance of legitimacy where none exists.


    “The third paragraph:

    Due to the sensitive nature of foreign intelligence activity, FISA submissions (including renewals) before the FISC are classified. As such, the public’s confidence in the integrity of the FISA process depends on the court’s ability to hold the government to the highest standard, particularly as it relates to surveillance of American citizens. However, the FISC’s rigor in protecting the rights of Americans, which is reinforced by 90-day renewals of surveillance orders, is necessarily dependent on the government’s production to the court of all material and relevant facts. This should include information potentially favorable to the target of the FISA application that is known by the government. In the case of Carter Page, the government had at least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the relevant facts. However, our findings indicate that, as described below, material and relevant information was omitted.

    That is accurate, but a reading of the last sentence, of course, depends on one’s definition of “material and relevant.” There is no doubt, however, that Nunes made a case that the information left out of the application, like the specific source of funding for the Steele dossier, was “material and relevant” to the Page case.

    The fourth paragraph:

    1) The “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

    That is accurate. When the Nunes memo was released, there was controversy over its assertion that the dossier formed an “essential” part of the Page FISA application. But Senate Judiciary Committee staff, who reviewed the FISA application separately from the House, concluded that the dossier allegations made up the “bulk” of the application. Even a Washington Post article Sunday purporting to debunk the Nunes memo in light of the FISA application conceded that the dossier played “a prominent role” in the FISA application. Finally, the Nunes memo’s assertion, noted below, that former FBI number-two Andrew McCabe agreed that “no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information,” was not challenged by Democrats when the Nunes memo was made public.

    The fifth paragraph:

    a) Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.

    That is accurate. Readers will search the FISA application in vain for any specific mention of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign funding of the dossier. For the most part, names were not used in the application, but Donald Trump was referred to as “Candidate #1,” Hillary Clinton was referred to as “Candidate #2,” and the Republican Party was referred to as “Political Party #1.” Thus, the FISA application could easily have explained that the dossier research was paid for by “Candidate #2” and “Political Party #2,” meaning the Democrats. And yet the FBI chose to describe the situation this way, in a footnote: “Source #1…was approached by an identified U.S. person, who indicated to Source #1 that a U.S.-based law firm had hired the identified U.S. person to conduct research regarding Candidate #1’s ties to Russia…The identified U.S. person hired Source #1 to conduct this research. The identified U.S. person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #1’s ties to Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign.””

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Dear Trumpkin, Never Trumpers are capable of thinking about two things at the same time.
    I am waiting for the list of false allegations in any of the FISA Applications that I requested @ 7:12. Carter Page didn’t want to answer questions on that subject on the Sunday shows, and you don’t want to answer that question now.


  30. There were over 400 pages. If those FISA apps were so bad, they must have contained a number of false allegations. Let’s see the list.


  31. So while The Trump Cult is gathering its wits, let’s employ some logic:

    1. The Trump Cult tells us that most of the content of the Page FISA Applications came from the Bad Old Dossier.

    2. Although they don’t really like to deal with its contents, The Cult is always telling us that the Bad Old Dossier is bad.

    3. If the Bad Old Dossier is so bad, surely it must be full of false allegations.

    4. If the FISA apps are so heavily based on the Bad Old Dossier, and the Bad Old Dossier is so bad, why does The Cult struggle so mightily to list any false accusations contained in the FISA apps?

    There are 400 page Pulitzer winning biographies and histories that contain a number of errors.
    Yet the Old Cult struggles to find false accusations in 400+ pages of FISA apps that it says flowed out of the Bad Old Dossier.


  32. While the House Intelligence Committee is headed by the foolish and lazy (he never even read the FISA Apps) Nunes, the Senate Intelligence Committee is headed by the rational Southerner Senator Burr who concluded that the one thing the release of the FISA Apps showed is that there was great justification for why the FISA Applications were approved.


  33. Here’s how it is Ricky.

    You’re here for purposes of antagonizing others. (your words) So I’ve decided to respond to you when I feel like it. And when I don’t, I ignore you.

    You don’t seek debate, or information, or truth. You ignore info I and others give you if it doesn’t fit your far left (sorry, it is) narratives. You seek to mock and ridicule. And I’m ignoring you.

    So rant away, it doesn’t matter to me.


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