25 thoughts on “News/Politics 8-16-18

  1. Democrats are clutching their pearls and crying because Brennan finally had his security clearance pulled for trying to profit off his insider knowledge and leaking info he shouldn’t. And it’s about time.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/08/15/trump-revokes-security-clearance-for-former-cia-director-john-brennan.html

    “President Trump has revoked the security clearance for former CIA Director John Brennan, the White House announced Wednesday, in the first decision to come from a review of access for several top Obama-era intelligence and law enforcement officials.

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders read a statement on behalf of the president during the start of the press briefing, saying Brennan “has a history that calls his credibility into question.”

    The statement also claimed Brennan had been “leveraging” the clearance to make “wild outbursts” and claims against the Trump administration in the media.

    “The president has a constitutional responsibility to protect classified information and who has access to it, and that’s what he’s doing is fulfilling that responsibility in this action,” Sanders said Wednesday.

    In response, Brennan tweeted hours later: “This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics. It should gravely worry all American’s, including intelligence professioanls, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent.””
    ————————-

    The media, knowing the jig is up, aren’t happy either.

    https://www.weaselzippers.us/394071-rogues-gallery-of-dems-obama-officials-comes-to-brennans-defense/

    Can someone get Comey a tissue? Poor baby…..

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  2. And it’s not like Brennan was silenced to cover up illicit activity, like this guy who got too close to discovering the hoax that is the Steele Dossier.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/aug/15/adam-lovinger-pentagon-analyst-lost-security-clear/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=socialnetwork

    “A Trump-supporting Pentagon analyst was stripped of his security clearance by Obama-appointed officials after he complained of questionable government contracts to Stefan Halper, the FBI informant who spied on the Trump presidential campaign.

    Adam Lovinger, a 12-year strategist in the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, complained to his bosses about Halper contracts in the fall of 2016, his attorney, Sean M. Bigley, told The Washington Times.

    On May 1, 2017, his superiors yanked his security clearance and relegated him to clerical chores.

    Mr. Bigley filed a complaint July 18 with the Pentagon’s senior ethics official, charging that Mr. Lovinger’s superiors misused the security clearance process to punish him. He said his client complained about excessive “sweetheart” deals for Mr. Halper and for a “best friend” of Chelsea Clinton.

    “As it turns out, one of the two contractors Mr. Lovinger explicitly warned his ONA superiors about misusing in 2016 was none other than Mr. Halper,” Mr. Bigley wrote in his ethics complaint, which called the contracts “cronyism and corruption.”

    Mr. Lovinger filed a whistleblower reprisal complaint in May with the Defense Department inspector general against James Baker, director of the Office of Net Assessment. The complaint also singles out Washington Headquarters Services, a Pentagon support agency that awarded the Halper contracts totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    In an internal October 2016 email to higher-ups, Mr. Lovinger wrote of “the moral hazard associated with the Washington Headquarters Services contracting with Stefan Halper,” the complaint said. It said Mr. Baker hired Mr. Halper to “conduct foreign relations,” a job that should be confined to government officials.

    “It was a topic of conversation within the office,” Mr. Bigley told The Times. “What is Halper doing, and why is he being paid astronomically more than others similarly situated?””
    ————————-

    And funny thing, Comey wasn’t crying about this guy losing his clearance because Comey was in on the hoax. So his whining is selective at best.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/may/30/fbi-guidelines-stefan-halper-shouldnt-be-used-spy-/

    ““Obama associates are misleading Americans about FBI surveillance of the Trump campaign,” he said. “If the FBI merely wanted to ‘protect’ the campaign and avoid tipping off the Russians, as we’re being told, they should have informed Mr. Trump of specific allegations about suspected individuals before the surveillance began. Failing that, it looks like one large sting-and-smear operation against the entire campaign, including Mr. Trump.”

    British spy connection

    James B. Comey, whom Mr. Trump fired as FBI director in May 2017, tweeted a defense of using a human source. Mr. Halper’s role was approved under Mr. Comey’s watch.”

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  3. Good question….

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/gop-lawmaker-asks-fbi-did-chinese-spy-staffed-by-dianne-feinstein-compromise-classified-intel

    “A Republican lawmaker sent a letter Tuesday to FBI Director Chris Wray pressing for answers on whether national security was jeopardized by a staff member at a state office for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who was found to have been a Chinese spy.

    “While we know that the FBI approached Senator Feinstein five years ago to inform her of this threat, right now there are more questions than answers regarding this case,” Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., wrote to Wray. “The American people have a right to know whether classified American intelligence has been compromised.”

    Banks requested Wray provide him with the name of the staffer hired, the length of time the staffer was under surveillance, what type of information the Chinese Ministry of State Security received, and whether other former Feinstein employees were also under surveillance.

    Recent reporting has said Chinese intelligence officials recruited a staff member at Feinstein’s San Francisco office to provide them with details on local politics. Feinstein said she was notified five years ago about the FBI’s concerns and subsequently removed the staffer.”

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  4. So much for Obama’s “vetting” of refugees……..

    Never happened.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/iraqi-refugee-arrested-california-warrant-alleging-he-was-isis-killer-n901126?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma

    “A refugee from Iraq was arrested Wednesday in Northern California on a warrant alleging that he killed an Iraqi policeman while fighting for the Islamic State organization.

    Omar Abdulsattar Ameen, 45, and other members of ISIS killed the officer after the town of Rawah, Iraq, fell to the Islamic State in June 2014, according to court documents.

    He was arrested by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force at a Sacramento apartment building based on a warrant issued in May by an Iraqi federal court in Baghdad. U.S. officials plan to extradite him back to Iraq under a treaty with that nation, and he made his first appearance in federal court in Sacramento on Wednesday.

    Ameen could face execution for the “organized killing by an armed group” according to Iraqi documents filed in U.S. federal court.

    Prosecutors say Ameen entered the U.S. under a refugee program, eventually settling in Sacramento, and attempted to gain legal status in the United States. It wasn’t immediately clear when Ameen came to the U.S.

    The Trump administration has sharply criticized the Obama-era settlement program, questioning whether enough was done to weed out those with terrorist ties.

    Officials said Ameen kept secret his membership in two terrorist groups when he applied for refugee status, and later when he applied for a green card in the United States.

    State Department and Department of Homeland Security officials did not immediately respond to questions about Ameen.”
    ——–

    “The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force has been investigating Ameen for filing fraudulent travel or immigration documents since 2016, according to a court filing. It says the FBI independently corroborated Ameen’s involvement with the terrorist organizations and participation in the slaying.”
    —————-

    And yet he was allowed in without being properly vetted, as they insisted was happening, and was allowed to stay even after they knew he was a criminal.

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  5. Chas,

    I understand the reasons for allowing him to keep it, and actually agree with it. But when it becomes obvious he’s abusing it, and he was, both with leaking and being on MSNBC’s payroll and their go to guy, it’s time he losses it. It’s not given for personal gain as he’s used it.

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  6. Now let’s get to the rest of the rotten eggs.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/08/trump-revokes-brennans-security-clearance-considers-revoking-clearance-from-others-who-allegedly-leaked-to-the-press/

    “According to WH press secretary Sarah Sanders, said Brennan’s clearance was yanked for “erratic conduct and behavior.” Further elaborating that Brennan, “recently leveraged his status as a former high ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations, wild outbursts on the internet and television about this administration.”

    Trump is also considering revoking security clearances from James Comey, James Clapper, Michael Hayden, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr. Each of whom has been accused of leaking information to the press in order to hurt Trump.

    Whatever the reason, this seems most likely:

    ——————–

    Whaaaaaat? 🙂

    Well, it worked. See the bottom of the first post. Worked like a charm….. 🙂

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  7. An attempt at a little self reflection from a journalist?

    What a novel idea!

    https://hotair.com/archives/2018/08/15/coordinated-newspaper-editorial-campaign-against-trump/

    “A coordinated campaign by more than 100 newspapers Thursday will see publication of a wide variety of editorials, all condemning President Trump for his attacks on the press and pretty much anything and everything. (Update: Reported number now over 300.)

    This is what fellow recovering journalist Kerry Dougherty so astutely calls “briar-patch-level genius.”

    Here we have a president attacking the mainstream media as lying “enemies of the people” and “fake news” trying to bring him down. And over there we have a significant chunk of the mainstream media publishing a nationwide coordinated campaign of collusion to bring him down.

    Does this not play sweetly into the man’s manipulative hands? How does this help media in their ongoing death struggle for influence, relevance and financial stability in a turbulent era of change? Or the country, for that matter?

    Let’s lay down some stipulations:

    Trump was legitimately and eagerly elected by a plurality of voters and a substantial majority of the Electoral College in results that may have surprised even him because, like everyone, he knew of Hillary Clinton’s inevitable victory from the media whose attention he so desperately craves.

    Trump was not elected despite his often outrageous behavior and statements. He was elected because of his outrageous behavior and statements.

    They promised drastic change and profound offense to so many establishment types, especially in the East and the media, who in their self-satisfied position of power and comfort had for so long patronized and ignored the complaints and pleas of that plurality.

    Had those elites of both parties paid genuine attention to flyover country’s concerns, frustrations and fears, as silly and stupid as they seem to disconnected Beltway know-it-all’s, they would not be in today’s baffling, powerless position. There would have been no need for a Trump. And by the way, isn’t it strange how a billionaire from a New York high-rise could detect the heartland’s hurt better than those elected from that region?

    Trump did not invent many Americans’ visceral dislike of the media. He’s using it, exactly as these 100+ newspapers will use their readers’ visceral dislike of Trump to influence a large audience on this day. It’s all fair game in a free society, even one as bitterly splintered as ours these days.”

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  8. Aj, I don’t understand it because “need to know’ was drilled into me for 30 years.
    When I left, I could have gone to work for GE in Valley Forge, Pa. and renewed my clearance. But without a definite job, with a “need to know”, I had no right to access to any classified material.
    That phrase is the driver.
    It does not mean that you can go an TV and appear as an “Informed” person, beyond your past experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When I was a radio operator stationed at Westover AFB, We flew C-54’s up to Thule, Greenland. It was in support of “Blue Jay”. That classified “secret” project was building Thule airbase. I don'[t think it was officially a US base, but it was. Greenland belonged to Denmark. I think it still does. Anyhow, it was secret. We knew the Soviets knew we were doing it because they could hear us. You don’t keep radio silence in the artic.
    But we couldn’t talk about it.

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  10. Chas, I hear ya, but that doesn’t square with my experience. Without going into too much detail (which, as you know, I cannot) I have to have TS (for some) or S (for others) to support applications in which all I can see is a person’s name and the training courses he has completed. I have no need to know anything that’s classified. I feel like these government agencies have gone overboard with this requirement. One actually requires an onsite urine analysis!

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  11. Well there’s the rub Chas.

    See guys like Clapper and Brennan, along with numerous others get to keep theirs. The idea being it’s so if the new guy has questions on why a policy or procedure is in place, or why a move was made, you could bring them in and ask, without the long, drawn out clearance clearing procedures. If they maintain their clearance when they leave, it makes it easier to do this and use their insight.

    But these frauds totally abused it. They used it for political gain and I have no doubt it was used to keep tabs on their “operation” to get Trump after they left. I also have no doubt that many have used it for personal gain, like Brennan.

    Given this, the process needs to end, or be severely altered to ensure no one does this ever again. This is why we can’t have nice things.

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  12. rip Aretha Franklin

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/08/respect-and-respects.php

    _________________________________

    Aretha Franklin — the Queen of Soul, as Steely Dan reminded the “sweet young thing” in “Hey Nineteen” — has died. Jon Pareles reviews the record in his excellent New York Times obituary. I cannot take her measure but we can pause to remember and pay our respects.

    The metaphor of royal lineage was not entirely amiss in Aretha’s case. Her father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin, was the renowned Detroit preacher whose New Bethel Baptist Church provided the original venue for Aretha and her sisters, Erma and Carolyn. She became a child star as a gospel singer, signing a recording contract with Columbia Records at age 18 via the legendary producer John Hammond. At Columbia Aretha floundered as the label tried to turn her into a nightclub singer. Columbia never quite found the means to showcase her awesome talent. …
    ____________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I remember that song playing on the old AM car radio (with spotty reception), my dad at the wheel, my mom next to him, me in the back seat, as we were driving home from Iowa one summer, it had just hit the charts.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I don’t think it is true that Trump won a plurality of votes, as he actually didn’t win the popular vote, by about three million more votes to Clinton, not to mention however many the third party candidates garnered.

    Many Trump supporters, some on here, don’t care much about his behavior, or that he does not “act presidential”. I’ve seen some on Facebook seem to revel in his in-your-face behavior. But I’m afraid that this is going to come back to bite them on the butt when someday a Democrat with similar in-your-face behavior takes over as president. If we throw out decorum for our own guy, we can’t expect to insist upon it for the other guy.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Poor World magazine. They just can’t please everybody.

    Just finished reading the letters to the editor in the August 4 issue (I’m behind a bit). One reader complained that World is always “harping about our president’s shortcomings”, while another reader complains that although World took a stance against Trump before the election, now they “can’t seem to summon the slightest criticism of his administration.” 😀

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  16. Kizzie,

    “But I’m afraid that this is going to come back to bite them on the butt when someday a Democrat with similar in-your-face behavior takes over as president.”

    Have you already forgotten?

    ” Argue with neighbors. Get in their faces.”

    “If they bring a knife, we bring a gun”

    “Hit back twice as hard” and others from Obama so soon?

    This is nothing new, and I really wish folks would stop pretending it is.

    Just like Trump’s battle with the news media. When Obama went to war with Fox News the MSM had no problem with it. Cheered it on even. But now that the shoe is on the other foot, they whine in group think editorials. Spare me the tears editorial boards, you guys built this….

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  17. Brennan appears to have a split personality. Or he’s a liar. Either way, he’s unfit for a high security clearance.

    Brennan today…

    ““Mr. Trump’s claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash,” Mr. Brennan wrote in an op-ed published in The New York Times.”

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/aug/16/john-brennan-donald-trump-revoked-my-security-clea/

    ————————————-

    But under oath 3 months ago he said the opposite when asked by Trey Gowdy.

    “Eventually Brennan replied: “I don’t know whether or not such collusion — and that’s your term, such collusion existed. I don’t know. ”

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2017/05/23/gowdy_grills_john_brennan_do_you_have_evidence_of_trump-russia_collusion_or_not_brennan_i_dont_do_evidence.html

    ————————————

    Lying partisan hack is looking most likely.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. It isn’t Trump’s “in your face” attitude that gets my vote.
    It’s the absence of leadership for all the competition.
    I, as much as anyone else wish he would think before texting or speaking. But there is no one else around.
    I liked George W. Bush more as a person, but he was too accommodating to democrats. The absence of “in your face” if you think about it.

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  19. Interesting wording on the agenda of one of our community advisory groups:

    1. Voluntary opportunity to say the Pledge of Allegiance

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  20. There is a lot of truth in this piece shared with me by one of my editors (who, like me, is more old school when it comes to how we should approach covering the news):

    https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/nolan-finley/2018/08/16/media-must-look-itself-restore-trust/979467002/

    _____________________________________

    … The independent press was built on a foundation of objectivity. Through a tradition of conscientious commitment to telling all sides of a story we convinced our readers, listeners, viewers that we were the source of fair and balanced coverage. We were equal opportunity scourges of scoundrels on both sides of the political aisle.

    Now, too many of us are following the websites, cable networks and blogosphere into point-of-view journalism that presents the news with equal parts fact and opinion. We’ve infused our reports with commentary and call it context.

    Journalists once kept their personal views personal, lest anyone challenge the motives behind their reporting. Now reporters post their opinions on Facebook and Twitter. They sob in newsrooms over the results of an election. News meetings and editorial boards are often indistinguishable. …
    ______________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

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