17 thoughts on “News/Politics 1-31-19

  1. Lindsey wants answers.


    “Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham is requesting an FBI briefing about the circumstances of a pre-dawn raid of Trump confidant Roger Stone’s home in Florida last Friday.

    “I am concerned about the manner in which the arrest was effectuated, especially the number of agents involved, the tactics employed, the timing of the arrest, and whether the FBI released details of the arrest and the indictment to the press prior to providing this information to Mr. Stone’s attorneys,” Graham, a South Carolina Republican, wrote FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday.

    Graham is requesting a briefing from the FBI by Feb. 5 into the raid, which he asserted matched the tactics typically used to arrest a violent criminal. (RELATED: Roger Stone Indicted)

    He is also demanding to know whether the press was tipped off about Stone’s impending arrest. CNN cameras were rolling as a swarm of armed FBI agents and U.S. marshals stormed Stone’s property shortly before dawn on Jan. 25.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now just imagine the outcry had Bush holdovers in the DoJ and their partisan wives treated Michelle Obama to such treatment.

    The outrage would be epic.

    But since it’s a Trump…… Meh….


    “The wife of a Justice Department official who worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign told Congress in 2018 that one of her tasks at the opposition research firm was to research President Donald Trump’s children, including their business activities and travel.

    Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for Fusion GPS, also told lawmakers during an Oct. 19 deposition that she recalls that Christopher Steele gave her husband, Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, materials from the infamous anti-Trump dossier funded by Democrats.

    Ohr said during the testimony that Steele, who like her was a contractor for Fusion GPS, hoped that her husband would pass the materials to the FBI.

    “My understanding was that Chris Steele was hoping that Bruce could put in a word with the FBI to follow up in some way,” Ohr testified to members of the House Oversight and House Judiciary Committees, according to transcripts confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.”

    “The Ohrs met with Steele and an unidentified British associate on July 30, 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.”


  3. Why am I not shocked?


    “California has “mismanaged” properties where its state-run veterans homes are located, failing to charge market rents to private users and shortchanging programs that should benefit from the leases, a state audit concluded Tuesday.

    The head of the California Department of Veterans Affairs agreed with the findings and said changes would be made, while a leading state lawmaker said Tuesday she was pursuing legislation to make sure the properties were handled properly.

    The department oversees eight residential facilities in the state that provide rehabilitative and medical care to California military veterans, and the surrounding acres are managed by the state Department of General Services.

    Property at the veterans homes has been leased for private uses including a theater, museum and a golf course, according to state Auditor Elaine Howle. The two agencies “entered into agreements with third parties that are inconsistent with the homes’ best interests and that violate state law by allowing the third parties to lease property for decades,” Howle wrote in a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature.

    State law requires the funds from leases to go back to the veterans facilities, but the two agencies “failed to ensure that $610,000 was appropriately directed to the homes” over three years, Howle told state elected officials.”


  4. The unsurprising, and inexcusably stupid lack of curiosity in the press…..

    Because…. Trump.


    “Certain impenetrable mysteries envelop the Mueller probe, including its charter. The media’s lack of curiosity about these mysteries is unsurprising, but it is inexcusably stupid. Andrew McCarthy’s Hill column on the indictment of Roger Stone last week takes up the mysteries of FISA warrant:

    In all four of the warrants the Justice Department and FBI sought to monitor Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, the purportedly “verified” applications outlined Russia’s hacking operations and then, following a passage that has been deleted from the publicly released application, informed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) that “the FBI believes the Russian government’s efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with [Donald Trump’s] campaign.” This representation echoed then-FBI Director James Comey’s March 2017 House Intelligence Committee testimony that the FBI believed there was a basis to investigate “whether there was any coordination between the [Trump] campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

    So here are the questions that Chairman Graham might consider putting to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (who approved the last FISA warrant application on Page):

    Do the Justice Department and the FBI still stand behind their representation to the FISC and their highly irregular, publicly announced suspicion that the Trump campaign coordinated in Russia’s cyber operations against the 2016 election?”


    There’s lots of good questions.

    But the press is disinterested in asking them for purely partisan reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The collapse continues.


    “The main takeaway from informal presidential adviser Roger Stone’s arraignment Tuesday is that the Russian collusion narrative has collapsed. If there were anything there, we’d know about it by now.

    Stone was hauled in to federal court Friday morning after a theatrical, televised arrest that should be the subject of a Justice Department investigation or congressional inquiry. Why the excessive threat of force? Though CNN denies it, many still wonder whether the network was tipped off. The extreme intimidation tactic might have been intended to send a message, but it only tended to confirm the biases of those who see special counsel Robert Mueller’s entire effort as a rogue operation.

    The “process crimes” Stone is charged with, such as lying and witness tampering, are potentially serious. But he was not charged with facilitating Trump campaign collusion with Russian hackers, and the indictment itself gives little reason to believe there ever were any.”


    “There’s still no evidence of collusion with Russia

    What this story indicates is that the Trump campaign didn’t have close ties to WikiLeaks, and no knowledge about what was in the emails, which presumably it would have if there were collusion afoot. And though investigations have found 100 contacts between members of the Trump circle and a variety of Russians during the 2016 campaign, none of the reported communications offers clear evidence of election tampering, quid pro quos, prior knowledge of dirty tricks, or anything else that would confirm the collusion narrative.

    The collusion story was a speculative proposition from the start. It apparently originated with former CIA Director John Brennan, who testified to Congress about his concerns that Russian agents might try to suborn members of the Trump team during the 2016 campaign, based on tips from foreign intelligence services. But rather than warning a major-party presidential candidate that he was a target of a foreign influence operation — which you would expect from a supposedly nonpartisan career intelligence official — Brennan established an interagency task force that targeted Trump’s circle. And while Brennan has more recently called President Donald Trump’s denial of collusion “hogwash,” he still cannot produce evidence to support the charge. If the Trump administration would declassify documents related to the activities of Brennan’s group during the campaign, the public might gain more insight into who was colluding against whom.”


  6. Good for Rand.


    “A jury decided Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) deserves more than half a million dollars after his neighbor attacked him in the yard of his Kentucky home.

    The trial happened in Bowling Green, where Paul lives.

    Paul sued his neighbor, Rene Boucher, after the 2017 attack left him with multiple broken ribs. The senator sought up to $500,000 in compensation and up to $1 million in punitive damages.

    The jury awarded Paul $7,834.82 in medical damages, $200,000 for pain and suffering and $375,000 in punitive damages — totaling $582,834.82.”


  7. I couldn’t bring it over, but there’s a comment on TeaParty.org that CNN has pictures of Stone’s wife barefoot and in her nightgown, being dragged out of the house.
    I don’t know what they would be doing with her.


  8. Flip the 9th Circuit?

    Oh yes please! 🙂


    “We covered the issue in Trump has opportunity to flip the 9th Circuit, so why isn’t he? Rush Limbaugh covered it today, linking to our post.

    Someone was listening.

    Tonight, Trump announced he was nominating three judges to the 9th Circuit, including two who had been previously nominated.

    The Washington Examiner reports:

    The White House on Wednesday announced a trio of nominees to fill vacancies on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a move that comes after conservatives warned that the White House Counsel’s Office was attempting to cut a deal with California’s Democratic senators over picks to the court.

    President Trump intends to nominate Daniel Bress, Daniel Collins, and Kenneth Lee to the San Francisco-based appeals court, considered to be the country’s most liberal, the White House announced.

    Collins and Lee were tapped to fill vacancies on the 9th Circuit last year, but their nominations were returned at the end of the last Congress. Bress, meanwhile, was on the White House’s initial list of candidates for the appeals court.

    The president also plans to nominate four others to federal district courts in California, including Patrick Bumatay, whom Trump nominated to the 9th Circuit last year, the White House said.

    Conservatives seem satisfied:

    “We are relieved to see that the White House has decided to move forward with a list of extraordinarily qualified nominees,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the conservative Judicial Crisis Network.”


  9. Barbaric.


    “Yes, the Virginia Abortion Bill Is Just as Barbaric as You’ve Heard”

    “Rather than rely on tweets — or even the testimony of the bill’s sponsor — let’s look at the bill text itself. Thanks to the strike-feature on the Virginia website, you can see exactly how the bill would change current law, and those changes are chilling:


    The bill reduces the number of doctors required to certify the alleged medical need for an abortion from three to one, and — critically — eliminates any required showing of severity before the doctor and mother can determine that the birth would impair her physical or mental health. Under the bill’s actual text, virtually any claim of impairment would suffice to meet the act’s requirements. Anxiety? Depression? The conventional physical challenges of post-partum recovery? Any of those things could justify taking the life of a fully formed, completely viable, living infant.

    That’s infanticide. That’s barbarism.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Some are backpedaling due to public push back. Although I can’t help note she could have avoided this evil by reading the damn thing in the first place. Idiots.


    “Virginia lawmaker says she wouldn’t have co-sponsored controversial abortion bill if she had read it closely”

    “A Virginia lawmaker sent an email to her constituents Wednesday night apologizing for attaching her name to a controversial abortion bill without reading it closely enough.

    In a newsletter, Del. Dawn Adams, D-Richmond, said she “did not exercise due diligence” before co-sponsoring the abortion legislation with Del. Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax. Tran became the focus of a social media firestorm this week after Republicans circulated video of her saying the bill would allow abortions up until the moment of birth if one doctor certified that the mother’s physical or mental health was at risk.

    “I made a mistake, and all I know to do is to admit it, tell the truth, and let the chips fall where they may,” said Adams, a first-term delegate who won a close upset victory in 2017 in her suburban district and could face a competitive re-election campaign this year.

    Though other Democrats are standing by Tran, the response from Adams is the strongest public showing of regret from a lawmaker associated with the abortion bill, which has already been defeated.”


    And they’ll just keep trying. You know they will.


  11. Negotiations? What a joke.

    Do it already.


    “Report: White House “Finalizing” Details Of Emergency Declaration In Case Immigration Negotiations Fail”

    “CNN reported a week ago, the night before the shutdown ended, that the White House had been tinkering with the language of an emergency decree for the border. But they were vague on the timing; it sounded from the story as if they’d begun putting something together at some point during the shutdown but then stopped to focus on other avenues towards building the wall.

    According to Politico, they’ve now resumed work on it with an eye to rolling it out on the 15th, assuming Congress can’t make a deal before then. Which of course it can’t.

    The White House is finalizing details of a potential national emergency declaration to secure President Donald Trump’s border wall, even as lawmakers are trying to broker an immigration deal that could avert another shutdown in just over two weeks.

    Trump met with his budget chief, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Jared Kushner and other top officials, including White House lawyers, on Tuesday to walk through the logistics of such a move. And White House aides have been quietly meeting with outside conservative political groups to build support for the president to take such an action. Those talking points, which emphasize Trump’s legal authority, have begun to show up in such conservative media outlets as Breitbart News…

    One senior White House official told POLITICO the goal is to have such a declaration 100 percent ready and coordinated should Trump decide to move on it rather than scrambling ex post facto to draw up and justify one.”


  12. I just started reading “Ship of Fools” bu Tucker Carlson. I’m too early in it for much comment. However, there is a relevant observation that makes sense. (Om my Kindle, I can’t give a page number, but early.)
    Concerning Bill Clinton’s election: “Voters knew from the beginning who Bill Clinton was. They knew from the beginning. They always know. In politics, as in life, nothing is really hidden, only ignored”

    True. I suspect Trump will be re-elected because the Democrats have nothing on the table. If there were a Democratic equivalent of Trump, he (she? ) would already be out there.
    As before, I don’t like Trump as a person, but he is the best President we have had in decades.


  13. The Roger Stone arrest was of course overkill but why is anyone surprised. The US has the worlds largest prison population, small town police forces routinely receive military surpluses, reality tv shows follow the police everywhere, no knock warrants are routinely used to arrest non violent criminals, etc…The only real surprise is the police used these tactics on an old rich white guy. The US has slowly over the years become a police state and now its been extended to include even the rich whites not just the minorities, the poor and the leftist


  14. LOL at the “rich white guy hot taek”!!! Getcher hot taeks, here! You just KNOW there had to be something about rich white guys when something happened in the news! Or in the case of the Covington Hitler Youth, rich white boys!!!

    Anyhoo, back at the grownup table…

    AJ, good reference on the Plant song. May I suggest this World Party “Ship of Fools” tune, as well. It includes a few good lines, such as

    “Traveling the world, you’re in search of no good
    but I’m sure you’ll build your Sodom like you knew you would
    Using all the good people for your galley slaves
    as you’re little boat struggles through the warning waves, but you don’t pay”

    Good album, too. Don’t let the hippie look of the band fool ya…

    Liked by 1 person

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