45 thoughts on “News/Politics 9-4-18

  1. Time for Mueller to take the Sessions route and recuse himself. With such obvious conflicts, he never should have been appointed.


    “In 2009, when Mueller ran the FBI, the bureau asked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to spend millions of his own dollars funding an FBI-supervised operation to rescue a retired FBI agent, Robert Levinson, captured in Iran while working for the CIA in 2007.

    Yes, that’s the same Deripaska who has surfaced in Mueller’s current investigation and who was recently sanctioned by the Trump administration.

    The Levinson mission is confirmed by more than a dozen participants inside and outside the FBI, including Deripaska, his lawyer, the Levinson family and a retired agent who supervised the case. Mueller was kept apprised of the operation, officials told me.

    Some aspects of Deripaska’s help were chronicled in a 2016 book by reporter Barry Meier, but sources provide extensive new information about his role.

    They said FBI agents courted Deripaska in 2009 in a series of secret hotel meetings in Paris; Vienna; Budapest, Hungary, and Washington. Agents persuaded the aluminum industry magnate to underwrite the mission. The Russian billionaire insisted the operation neither involve nor harm his homeland.

    “We knew he was paying for his team helping us, and that probably ran into the millions,” a U.S. official involved in the operation confirmed.

    One agent who helped court Deripaska was Andrew McCabe, the recently fired FBI deputy director who played a seminal role starting the Trump-Russia case, multiple sources confirmed.

    Deripaska’s lawyer said the Russian ultimately spent $25 million assembling a private search and rescue team that worked with Iranian contacts under the FBI’s watchful eye. Photos and videos indicating Levinson was alive were uncovered.

    Then in fall 2010, the operation secured an offer to free Levinson. The deal was scuttled, however, when the State Department become uncomfortable with Iran’s terms, according to Deripaska’s lawyer and the Levinson family.

    FBI officials confirmed State hampered their efforts.

    “We tried to turn over every stone we could to rescue Bob, but every time we started to get close, the State Department seemed to always get in the way,” said Robyn Gritz, the retired agent who supervised the Levinson case in 2009, when Deripaska first cooperated, but who left for another position in 2010 before the Iranian offer arrived. “I kept Director Mueller and Deputy Director [John] Pistole informed of the various efforts and operations, and they offered to intervene with State, if necessary.”

    FBI officials ended the operation in 2011, concerned that Deripaska’s Iranian contacts couldn’t deliver with all the U.S. infighting. Levinson was never found; his whereabouts remain a mystery, 11 years after he disappeared.”



    “The New York Times released a report on September 1 about how the DOJ and FBI tried to flip Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to retrieve information regarding collusion between Russia and then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign.

    Deripaska’s name has come up during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, but it looks like the ties between the two men run deep and may present a conflict of interest.

    DOJ, FBI, and Deripaska

    he NYT article detailed how DOJ official Bruce G. Ohr and dossier author Christopher Steele confronted Deripaska. Back in 2015, the two men met with Deripaska to discuss “connections between Russian organized crime and Mr. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s government, as well as other issues, according to a person familiar with the events.”

    Deripaska laughed them off and did not agree to a second meeting.

    I guess it didn’t matter he didn’t agree to another meeting because FBI agents ambushed Deripaska in September 2016 at his home in New York City. Remember, the agency had already begun an investigation into possible collusion:

    Mr. Deripaska, though, told the F.B.I. agents that while he had no love for Mr. Manafort, with whom he was in a bitter business dispute, he found their theories about his role on the campaign “preposterous.” He also disputed that there were any connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to the person familiar with the exchange.

    The Justice Department’s efforts to cultivate Mr. Deripaska appear to have fizzled soon after, amid worsening relations between the United States and Russia.

    The Hill had a little more about this meeting:

    Two months before Trump was elected president, Deripaska was in New York as part of Russia’s United Nations delegation when three FBI agents awakened him in his home; at least one agent had worked with Deripaska on the aborted effort to rescue Levinson. During an hour-long visit, the agents posited a theory that Trump’s campaign was secretly colluding with Russia to hijack the U.S. election.

    “Deripaska laughed but realized, despite the joviality, that they were serious,” the lawyer said. “So he told them in his informed opinion the idea they were proposing was false. ‘You are trying to create something out of nothing,’ he told them.” The agents left though the FBI sought more information in 2017 from the Russian, sources tell me. Waldman declined to say if Deripaska has been in contact with the FBI since Sept, 2016.

    The Deripaska angle has not received much attention:”

    Gee, I wonder why….. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ivanka Trump… Jobs Czar.


    ““She spent two years on the campaign and heard first hand how people felt like they were the forgotten man or woman and how nobody was looking out for them. That really resonated with her,” said the official.

    Now, as the nation celebrates the 136th Labor Day, Ivanka is the face of the administration’s effort to boost jobs training, tighten the focus on computers and high-tech in schools and make vocational education just as cool as a Princeton degree.

    “The great reward of national service is seeing the policies and initiatives we’re working on uplifting and making more prosperous Americans of all ages and backgrounds,” she told Secrets. “The president pledged to fight for the forgotten men and women of this country, and he asked me to lead this effort to create economic growth and job creation through workforce development and vocational training to do just that,” she added.

    It’s an effort the country seems eager for. A new John Zogby Strategies report released Monday said that half the nation feels colleges do not provide students with the proper skills for jobs. And even Democrats — like Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine — are campaigning on the issue.

    Once expected to return to New York with her husband Jared Kushner, the duo have become Washington’s policy power couple with a long list of accomplishments.

    Ivanka’s latest win was having the president sign the revamped Perkins Act jobs training package now dubbed the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.” It set aside $1.2 billion annually for programs in states to help 11 million students. And it came with fewer strings attached than earlier versions.

    It was one of several in which Ivanka has lobbied both Congress and her father for. Her impact list includes:

    Working to help win the GOP tax cuts.

    Doubling the child tax credit.

    Designing the presidents “Pledge to America’s Workers,” which has won promises by hundreds of companies like IBM to create 4.2 million jobs.

    Helping to create and launch the National Council for the American Worker, tasked with developing a workforce strategy to expand apprenticeships, skills training opportunities and encourage investment worker education while consolidating more than 40 workforce-training programs in over a dozen agencies.

    Seeing that Trump included a paid family leave program in his annual budgets.

    Championing increased access to STEM and Computer Science education for students, the focus of a 2017 presidential memo.

    Ivanka, said Marc Short, the former White House top lobbyist, has made jobs and worker training “a priority.””

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And how will you pay for it?

    Uh…….. No clue.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. From last night:

    We have two major political parties in the US:

    One is largely pro-abortion and is pro-socialism.

    The other has been pro-life and has been imperfectly anti-socialism.

    Since Roe v Wade, the number of abortions in the US has declined, in part because of effective limits on abortion enacted by Republican legislatures in Southern and other conservative states. Republicans have also maintained free trade and enough of the free enterprise system to attract the best and the brightest people from all over the world and many of those immigrants and their children have built huge innovative new businesses that employ millions of Americans.

    When the Republican Party nominates and elects a President who abandons and rejects civility, rationality and normalcy (along with honesty, intellectual rigor and commitment to the rule of law), it taints the entire Republican Party. We have been focusing on the loss of the House of Representatives, but their will be scores if not hundreds of new Democrats elected in state legislatures around the country this fall. This Election Day will be a great day for abortionists and socialists. If Trump is at the top of the ticket in 2020, there will be more of the same.


  5. Well if they can just stop accepting it and walk away from it, did they really need it to begin with?

    Also, further exposing the lie that illegals can’t get welfare……


    “REPORT: Huge Number Of Illegals Opting Out Of Welfare Programs Fearing Trump Admin Crackdown”

    “Illegal immigrants are opting out of government welfare programs out of fear of Trump Administration crackdowns coming done the pike, reported POLITICO on Monday.

    Due to a proposed Trump Administration rule to deny legal status to illegals on welfare, both legal and illegal immigrants have been inundating health care providers with calls demanding they be dropped from federal assistance programs like WIC. “Agencies in at least 18 states say they’ve seen drops of up to 20 percent in enrollment, and they attribute the change largely to fears about the immigration policy,” says the report.

    WIC, or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, is a federally-funded assistance program from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), providing health benefits and services for low income mothers and their children.

    Illegal immigrants are asking to be dropped from the welfare program because they are scared of being deported, while some legal immigrants apparently believe their legal status will be in jeopardy because of rumors circulating about potential Trump Administration rules, according to health officials speaking to POLITICO.

    There were some 7.4 million women and children enrolled in WIC when President Donald Trump first took office; that number declined to roughly 6.8 million in May. The drop-off in WIC enrollment is also being attributed to a bolstered economy and a decline in immigrant birth rates.”

    And it ain’t just WIC. The Politico piece….


    This is a much more biased piece, as you’ll see. The author just can’t help herself. For instance I would love an explanation for this statement.

    “Health advocates say the policy change could put more babies who are U.S.-born citizens at risk of low birth weight and other problems”

    How exactly does taking away a program from illegals affect citizens who have a right to it?

    And how does something that doesn’t kick in until AFTER the baby is born contribute to low birth weight?

    Answer: It doesn’t. In both cases.

    But I know, I know…….. it’s for the kids!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “This Election Day will be a great day for abortionists and socialists.”

    Even if you are correct, it won’t matter a lick.

    Kavanaugh’s confirmation will ensure it, and a strong anti-abortion conservative majority will guarantee it. 🙂

    Donald Trump says “You’re welcome!”


  7. This article explains how Trump complained that two Republican Congressman were being prosecuted for corruption and blasted Sessions.

    Do any Trumpkins understand what was wrong with Trump’s behavior? Do Trumpkins (like their leader) actually prefer a judicial system more akin to that of Venezuela, Russia or Haiti to those of Western democratic governments?


  8. Trump is reacting to the injustices (and they are legion) that have been heaped upon him. Like the first post, and this one, just as 2 quick examples. You rail daily against far less, yet you expect different from him?

    You don’t have to like it, but you do have to live with it. 🙂

    So stop blaming the victim.


    “Papadopoulos Court Docs Provide More Evidence Russiagate Was A Setup To Get Trump”

    “In reporting the latest developments in the case, the mainstream media quickly latched onto two sentences in Papadopoulos’ memo to push the dying Russia narrative. The language the press proffered as supposed evidence of collusion came in a passage in which Papadopoulos’ attorneys sought to portray the Trump advisor as out of his depth.

    As his legal team explained to the court, at a March 31, 2016 “National Security Meeting” with Trump and Jeff Sessions, “eager to show his value to the campaign, George announced at the meeting that he had connections that could facilitate a foreign policy meeting between Mr. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. While some in the room rebuffed George’s offer, Mr. Trump nodded with approval and deferred to Mr. Sessions who appeared to like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it.”

    The press predictably played up this exchange as a gotcha moment, while it was nothing of the sort. There is nothing nefarious about this discussion, and it has absolutely no bearing on the question of whether anyone in the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the presidential election.

    In addition to playing up the irrelevant, the press passed on the noteworthy: Papadopoulos’ sentencing memo reveals new evidence that further indicates the FBI’s goal in Crossfire Hurricane was to investigate Trump—not Russia’s interference with the presidential election.

    In the memo, Papadopoulos’s lawyers detailed the FBI’s January 27, 2017, questioning of their client, explaining that for two hours, Papadopoulos answered questions about professor Joseph Mifsud, Carter Page, Sergei Millian, the “Trump Dossier,” and others on the campaign. According to Papadopoulos, “[t]he agents asked George if he would be willing to actively cooperate and contact various people they had discussed.” Papadopoulos said he would be willing to try.

    Yet when Mifsud—the Maltese professor who in late April 2016 told Papadopoulos that the Russians had “dirt on Hillary” in the form of “thousands of emails”—visited the United States just two weeks later to speak at a State Department-sponsored conference, the FBI didn’t even bother to have Papadopoulos reach out to his former colleague.

    Instead, the FBI questioned Mifsud, then in the special counsel’s sentencing memorandum blamed Papadopoulos for the government’s inability “to challenge the Professor or potentially detain or arrest him while he was still in the United States.” According to Mueller’s office, Papadopoulos’ “lies also hindered the government’s ability to discover who else may have known or been told about the Russians possessing ‘dirt’ on Clinton,” and prevented the FBI from determining “how and where the Professor obtained the information [and] why the Professor provided information to the defendant.”

    I previously explained why the special counsel’s claim that Papadopoulos’s lies impeded the FBI’s investigation doesn’t fly. Papadopoulos’s attorneys similarly argued in their memo that their client’s lies did not actually harm the FBI’s probe, adding significantly that “George was still a cooperating source in their investigation” at the time investigators questioned Mifsud.

    That final point and the revelation in Papadopoulos’ sentencing memo that the FBI had asked the former Trump advisor if he would be willing to contact Mifsud—and Papadopoulos’ agreement to do so—exposes the FBI’s purported investigation into Russia as a sham.

    Why didn’t the FBI wire Papadopoulos and arrange for him to meet with Mifsud during the State Department conference? What would be more natural than Papadopoulos, who had spent months in London communicating with Mifsud and working at Mifsud’s London Centre of International Law, attending the professor’s speech at the February 2017, Washington D.C. Global Ties conference and inviting him for dinner or drinks? Then Papadopoulos could steer the conversation to the Russia hacking and Mifsud’s earlier comment about Russia having “thousands of emails.”

    This isn’t Monday-morning quarterbacking, either. This is exactly what the FBI did with its now-named source Stefan Halper when it wanted to know what Papadopoulos and the Trump campaign knew about the emails. As The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross reported earlier this year, in September 2016, Halper met with Papadopoulos in London and asked the former Trump campaign advisor: “George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?””

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ricky,

    I never said Roe v. Wade was in jeopardy. Just that any new laws, rules, or regulations the abortion supporters and socialists try would never make it past the SC. I doubt the “right” get’s limited, but expansion will not happen either, so your prediction is bunk.


  10. No. I need to change that slightly. I think there will be some new limitations placed on it, like medical facility restrictions and after 20 week bans and what not that some states have tried. I think they get a much better reception for their cases when Kavanaugh is confirmed.


  11. Trumpkins, like their leader, seem to be incapable of distinguishing between:

    A. A private citizen being critical of the actions of the president; and

    B. A President constantly pressuring prosecutors to take actions or refrain from taking actions in order to benefit himself, his cronies or his party.

    I surmise that many if not most Democrats are also incapable of making such a distinction. It is a sad but humorous situation. I suspect it is much more humorous to those living in another country. HRW is not the only one looking on with shock and amazement while eating his popcorn.


  12. And there is what law exactly that says the president can’t have an opinion and speak it, just like a private citizen?

    That’s right, none. So live with it.


  13. Last week, media and rabid pro-abort politicians fawned over John McCain. There was even a cute moment when Ex-President George W. Bush, author of the Iraq War, passed a piece of candy to Michelle Obama–one person who may be even more rabidly pro-legal baby killer than her husband.

    It was refreshing to see this ode to rationality and decency, because something something Donald Trumpist cult idiots.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. This is not the conduct of a Senator committed to the rule of law (because he supports amnesty for illegals) or America (he’s a globalist shill), but rather a Flake seeking to settle a political score on his way out the door because voters won’t back his disloyal, amnesty loving butt.

    There. I fixed 8:26 for you and the Flake.

    Just another free service I offer. 🙂


  15. Staged astroturfing.

    They said it was because of documents released last night, yet the organizers have been working on this for days.



    “Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) confessed that the interruptions occurring during Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing had been planned during several phone calls with Democrat leadership over the weekend.


  16. McCain’s replacement has been named.

    I assume he’s pro-Trump since he’s been the one preparing Kavanaugh for his party before Congress today.


    “After McCain passed away, Ducey contacted Kyl and told him he “was the best person to take this seat.” Kyl talked to his wife and then informed Ducey he would take the spot:

    “There is no one in Arizona more prepared to represent our state in the U.S. Senate than Jon Kyl,” Ducey said in a statement. “He understands how the Senate functions and will make an immediate and positive impact benefiting all Arizonans. I am deeply grateful to Senator Kyl for agreeing to succeed his friend and college of so many years.

    “Every single day that Jon Kyl represents Arizona in the United States Senate is a day when our state is being well-served.”

    Kyl could have his swearing in ceremony Tuesday night, but it will probably happen on Wednesday.

    This means Kyl will have an opportunity to vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Kyl served as Kavanaugh’s “sherpa” during the confirmation process, which meant that he was the nominee’s “special escort to help him meet with senators.”


    And the McCain family seems to approve.


  17. This should entertain us for 2-3 weeks. No one should be surprised. The Cult will cry, “Fake News!” People who read widely already knew most of this. A few in the middle will be swayed … possibly enough to make November a rout.


  18. From the book:

    In one revelatory anecdote, Woodward describes a scene in the White House residence. Trump’s lawyer, convinced the President would perjure himself, put Trump through a test — a practice interview for the one he might have with Mueller. Trump failed, according to Dowd, but the President still insisted he should testify.

    Woodward writes that Dowd saw the “full nightmare” of a potential Mueller interview, and felt Trump acted like an “aggrieved Shakespearean king.”

    But Trump seemed surprised at Dowd’s reaction, Woodward writes. “You think I was struggling?” Trump asked.

    Then, in an even more remarkable move, Dowd and Trump’s current personal attorney Jay Sekulow went to Mueller’s office and re-enacted the mock interview. Their goal: to argue that Trump couldn’t possibly testify because he was incapable of telling the truth.

    “He just made something up. That’s his nature,” Dowd said to Mueller.

    The passage is an unprecedented glimpse behind the scenes of Mueller’s secretive operation — for the first time, Mueller’s conversations with Trump’s lawyers are captured.


  19. Kelly says the same.

    And yes, we did notice the distraction attempt Mr. President…….

    From this…..


    “‘This Drivel is Patently Absurd’: Sen. Ben Sasse Rips His Colleagues to Shreds Over Supreme Court Theatrics”


  20. Ricky, I appreciate and mostly agree with your take on Trump, even though you put us in the mind of a donkey articulating it, but you should exercise a little more credulity with these Trump books. You were gaga over the Michael Wolff thing, and he’s a demonstrable doofus. Woodward’s word isn’t necessarily gospel. Don’t let the derangement get the best of you. Some of us hold out hope it’s not too late.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I was wondering when Ricky would start quoting Woodward’s book.

    I watched seven minutes of the Kavanugh hearing. The Democrats looked annoyed at the demonstrations….it was an unnecessary distraction from the legitimate points they were making.

    The Republicans should slow down and be more transparent at least make an appearance of it. After Garland and now the farce of a hearing, the legitimacy of the court will be in question, as it should be. Yet they rush. And the rationale is obvious; they are afraid of losing the House and maybe the Senate. And they are afraid of Mueller. For the president to appoint a judge while he’s under investigation lowers the legitimacy of the appt.

    However, many will assert the the end justifies the means. It doesn’t. When you disregard process and rules, you lower both the legal and moral legutimacy of your cause. In terms of abortion, pro life has won the moral battle but they risk losing it to win the legal battle that isnt needed. Abortion is now at a lower rate than prior to Roe vs Wade.


  22. I’d have more respect for Sasse’s opinion if he spoke up for Garland and Republicans were more forthcoming about Kavanaugh’s record in the Bush administration..

    Politicization and activists involvement in the Supreme Court is on both sides. Multiply sides each want an influence and each want an activist court. If all Sasse wanted was an impartial jurist, he might want to skip the appt of someone who worked in a political capacity for the Bush admin.


  23. HRW, This may be the last hurrah for conservative justices for a long time. I am hopeful that the Rs will retain the Senate, but that is now in doubt. Schumer and Co. will not approve conservative Supreme Court justices and may shoot down some new Court of Appeals judges if they take control. Ginsburg will try mightily to hold on until 2021. Thomas is getting up in years.

    I don’t expect a significant new abortion decision to come from the Supreme Court in the next few years. You are right that the pro-life crowd has won the hearts and minds of young people with the help of science. Sonograms are powerful.

    Trump did have one major victory this weekend. His best issue right now to rile up his base is the kneeling of the NFL players. I expect we will see a bunch of Tweets against Nike and the Caepernick deal. A number of my Trumpkin friends have already sworn off the NFL for the year. I have accused them of being late-comers and moderates since I swore off the NFL when Tom Landry was fired.


  24. HRW, Sasse is a conservative, maybe the most conservative member of the Senate. However, he is not a sycophant, a moron or a coward. That is why he routinely corrects Trump.

    Sasse also looks for ways to fix problems and will work across the aisle to do so. After 2020 he will be in the minority for a long long time if he stays in the Senate.


  25. RBG will live forever.

    Judges in the US are political, Sasse’s selective protestations aside.

    The NFL is boring and predictable. If i want to watch football I watch the CFL. Then agains hockey starts soon.

    I agree on abortion. Right now both sides use it as to motivate their base. But in reality, the decline in abortions will continue bc of sonograms, moral persuasion, birth control, free health care etc, not activist judges.


  26. In a normal Administration, you would expect Woodward to paint a more accurate picture than Omarosa. However, when you are dealing with idiocy and dysfunction, old Omarosa is sort of an expert.


  27. Omarosa just walked around the White House with her phone constantly on “record”. Everyone else in the White House asked what she was doing there and suggested she should be fired, but she “always said nice things” about Dear Leader so he protected her for some time.


  28. Yep.


  29. Like

  30. When you’re quoting leftists like Wilson and Begala and a smattering of never-Trumpers to make your case, you’ve already lost the argument.


  31. Rick Wilson is to the right of Trump and the Cult to the extent that dishonest childishness can be placed on any Left to Right scale.


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