18 thoughts on “News/Politics 11-26-19

  1. First up, what to make of this guy?

    Never been a fan…. and yet I have to admire the effort he and this Sheriff are making.

    As for Osteen….. well…. no comment.


    “Sheriff Under Fire For Kanye West’s “Church Services” In Local Jails”

    “Kanye West is bringing the gospel to the masses these days and that includes ministering to the incarcerated. You may have seen stories on West’s latest career venture. His latest release, “Jesus Is King” is a gospel-rap album that went to Number One on the Billboard charts when it made its debut.

    West was invited by Houston Pastor Joel Osteen to come and be his guest at Lakewood Church, a megachurch that was once the Compaq Center sports arena. The capacity is 16,800. The church was packed for Kanye’s performance. Tickets (free) were gone immediately and traffic was clogged up in the area, as you would expect. An interesting part of the story of Kanye’s trip to Houston that weekend is his unannounced visit to the Harris County Jail. He performed two shows, with a choir – one for men inmates and one for women inmates. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez was excited to welcome him.

    West performed for more than 500 inmates, including male inmates at one jail facility, before crossing the street to another for a smaller crowd of female inmates, where they could be seen joining along in worship and prayer.

    Jason Spencer, the public affairs director for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, tweeted: “Say what you want about the man. But @kanyewest and his choir brought some light to people who needed it today at the Harris County Jail.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Minority Report is no longer just a bad Tom Cruise movie.


    “‘ARREST BY ALGORITHM’: China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Flag Entire Groups Of People For Arrest, Report Says”

    “A new trove of highly classified leaked documents from the Chinese communist government shows how Beijing operates their widespread concentration camps where they reportedly have millions of Muslims and other minorities locked-up.

    The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) reports that the leaked documents reveal that “Chinese police are guided by a massive data collection and analysis system that uses artificial intelligence to select entire categories of Xinjiang residents for detention.”

    The manual obtained by ICIJ gives detailed instructions on everything from deciding when to let detainees use the toilet to how to keep the camps’ existence totally secret.

    “The classified intelligence briefings reveal the scope and ambition of the government’s artificial-intelligence-powered policing platform, which purports to predict crimes based on these computer-generated findings alone,” ICIJ reported. “The China Cables reveal how the system is able to amass vast amounts of intimate personal data through warrantless manual searches, facial recognition cameras, and other means to identify candidates for detention, flagging for investigation hundreds of thousands merely for using certain popular mobile phone apps. The documents detail explicit directives to arrest Uighurs with foreign citizenship and to track Xinjiang Uighurs living abroad, some of whom have been deported back to China by authoritarian governments. Among those implicated as taking part in the global dragnet: China’s embassies and consulates.””


  3. A former Dem Senator is hitting Dems for being In “Impeachment Land,” and failing to focus on the American people.


  4. Spot the crime in progress.


    “Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch are the principals of Fusion GPS. In April 2016 the Clinton presidential campaign and Democratic National Commmittee hired Fusion GPS “to build a Trump-Russia echo chamber,” as Lee Smith puts it in The Plot Agains the President. Simpson promptly circulated allegations of corrupt Russian ties to the Trump campaign to the mainstream media. At the same time, Simpson and Fusion worked for Russian authorities to repeal the Magnitsy Act sanctions. Thus Simpson met on business with Natalie Veselnitskaya both before and after the infamous 20-minute Trump Tower meeting that went nowhere.

    In mid-2016 Simpson retained former MI6 spy Christopher Steele to front the allegations of Trump’s treasonous collusion with Russia in the 37-page Steele Dossier. If the Steele Dossier is what it purports to be, Steele picked up the phone in June 2016 and called his old sources high up in the Putin administration. Eager to lend a hand, they helpfully provided the allegations of treasonous collusion that we now know to be a lie. On the face of the Steele Dossier, the allegations appear at best to be disinformation.

    In testimony to Congress Simpson touted Steele’s expertise and superhuman powers to identify disinformation: “What he said was disinformation is an issue in my profession, that is a central concern and that we are trained to spot disinformation, and if I believed this was disinformation or I had concerns about that I would tell you that and I’m not telling you that. I’m telling you that I don’t believe this is disinformation.”

    What is to be said? Simpson kept a straight face, but this was laughable.

    One would have to be a fool to take the dossier allegations at face value. The Obama administration may or may not have taken them at face value, but they certainly found the allegations to be of use for their own nefarious purposes.

    We were never supposed to know any of this. Simpson and Steele hid behind cutouts and enlisted the mainstream media as their co-conspirators in the biggest scandal in American political history. Lee Smith names the names of Fusion GPS’s media co-conspirators in his invaluable book.

    On the big picture, Cleta Mitchell said it best in her letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee: “Glenn Simpson is a liar.” (You can say that again — and again and again.)

    Now Simpson and Fritsch return to the scene of the crime with a new book that is to be published tomorrow. The book is titled, aptly enough, Crime in Progress. Chuck Todd invited Simpson and Fritsch to appear on Meet the Press for a soft-focus interview yesterday in connection with the publication of their book.

    Simpson and Fritsch were promoting the book. What was Chuck Todd doing? That is a slightly more difficult question.”


    Chuck’s doing what he always does, carrying water for Dems and their accomplices.


  5. The press is trying to get out ahead of the full IG report with some “no big deal” spin for those responsible, and missing the real story yet again.


    “Blockbusters Buried In The IG Report On FBI Misuse Of Confidential Sources

    The media has ignored several significant revelations detailed in the FBI report Inspector General Michael Horowitz released last week.”

    “Last week, the leaks began in anticipation of the expected early-December release of the inspector general report on the propriety of the Carter Page Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance order. CNN broke news on Thursday that “a former FBI lawyer is under criminal investigation after allegedly altering a document” related to the 2016 FISA applications.

    The press and public are understandably consumed with this news—which is huge if true—but while speculating on that forthcoming report, the media has ignored several significant revelations already detailed in the report Inspector General Michael Horowitz released last week.

    That report, issued on Tuesday, summarized the results of the inspector general’s audit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Confidential Human Source (CHS) validation processes. While the media reported the main takeaways summarized in the IG’s press release—that the FBI did not comply with attorney general guidelines and that the current process for validating these sources lacked adequate controls—there were four potential blockbusters buried in the 63-page report.

    Burying Evidence to Keep It from the Courts
    The most startling revelation in the audit concerned how the FBI handles problems with a CHS’s credibility or accuracy. The report first noted that “validation documents relevant to the credibility of a CHS may be discoverable in judicial proceedings,” explaining that:

    Discovery in criminal cases is controlled by case law and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. For example, information in the validation report which refers to the CHS’s motivation or vulnerabilities may be discoverable pursuant to Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) or Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972). ‘Brady’ refers to information known to the government that is material to a criminal case and could tend to exculpate the defendant. ‘Giglio’ refers to information that could be used to impeach a witness for the prosecution.

    Then the IG detailed that its investigation revealed several troubling steps the FBI took to avoid the mandates of Brady and Giglio.

    We were told by multiple Intelligence Analysts that they received guidance to only state the facts and not to conduct analysis, report conclusions, and make recommendations in the Significant Source Review Panel validation reports. For example, one Intelligence Analyst told us that he was permitted to recommend a CHS receive a polygraph or operational test to the handling agent by phone but not permitted to document the recommendation in the CHS’s validation report. Additionally, multiple FBI officials told us that they believe that field offices do not want negative information documented in a CHS file due to criminal discovery concerns and concerns about the CHS’s ability to testify. For example, one FBI official told us that some U.S. Attorney’s offices will not use a CHS at trial if there is negative documentation in the CHS’s file.

    These admissions should outrage Americans: The FBI is intentionally failing to document confidential sources’ credibility and reliability problems so defense attorneys do not learn of them! Or, as the IG report concluded, “by withholding potentially critical information from validation reports, the FBI runs the risks that (1) prosecutors may not have complete and reliable information when a CHS serves as a witness and, thus, may have difficulties complying with their discovery obligations.”

    Leslie McAdoo Gordon, a D.C.-based criminal defense attorney and principal at McAdoo Gordon and Associates, branded the FBI’s failure to document issues in a CHS’s validation report a form of evidence tampering. “This ‘what they don’t know won’t hurt them’ attitude is cultural,” McAdoo Gordon told The Federalist. “Like all cultural problems, this is caused by a failure of leadership.”

    McAdoo Gordon added that “the integrity of our criminal justice system is seriously damaged when investigations are grounded on information that is biased or dishonest and those problems, moreover, are hidden from the defendant’s advocate and the court.” Unfortunately, there is nothing a defense counsel can do, McAdoo Gordon noted, because they don’t know it’s happening.”


  6. Who should run the show?

    Our duly elected president, or bureaucrats in DC?


    “Many will debate the substance of the public impeachment testimony against President Trump. To me, each of the Democrats’ witnesses of the past two weeks appeared to be well-intentioned and hard-working, and seemed genuinely to believe they know what’s best.

    But a picture also emerged of U.S. diplomats who appear to believe they, rather than the U.S. president, have the ultimate authority to determine our foreign policy. And if the president doesn’t go along? He clearly must be wrong — in their view. Or, even worse, he’s a traitor. He’s to be obstructed. Taken down.

    In an odd turnabout, they actually make the case for President Trump’s mantra that we need to “drain the swamp.”

    One can first look at the language witnesses used as they vented about Trump’s tutelage in ways that veered far from relevance to the impeachment allegations. They conveyed hurt feelings, bruised egos and strong differences of opinion. At times, the testimony sounded a bit like a human resources conference or psychotherapy session.

    The diplomats testified that they were “shocked and devastated” to learn that Trump and Ukraine’s new president did not have faith in them. They complained that, under Trump, “foreign service professionals are being denigrated and undermined” and the State Department isn’t getting the “attention and respect” it deserves. They expressed “disappointment” that Trump had the nerve to defy the federal agencies by not discussing “any of our interagency agreed-upon talking points” in Trump’s first call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. They were “embarrassed” in front of Ukrainians when they didn’t have answers about U.S. policy.

    Former Ambassador William Taylor called the team that Trump relied on the “irregular channel.” Taylor was among those who described feeling excluded or left out, at times, along with former National Security Council official Fiona Hill, diplomat George Kent, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the U.S. national security adviser who oddly confirmed under oath that he’d been repeatedly approached and offered the job of defense minister in Ukraine earlier this year.

    It was hard not to notice that virtually the entire U.S. diplomatic staff never spoke about executing U.S. foreign policy as determined by the president of the United States — the man in charge, according to the Constitution. Instead, they spoke as if their primary mission was to advocate for Ukraine and its new, unproven president whom President Trump was sizing up. They spoke of protecting “longstanding” or “official” policy — against Trump’s wishes. When Trump differed with their assessments and relied on his chosen adviser, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, they collectively lost their minds.

    Strangely, these diplomats seemed determined to prevent, at all costs, President Zelensky from making a real commitment to investigate corruption, even when it allegedly involved U.S. money, U.S. elections and/or U.S. political figures. Strange, because that seems at odds with admissions by the same diplomats that corruption is a major problem in Ukraine, that a corruption probe into the Ukrainian company Burisma was stopped midstream in 2014 — just before the company hired then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son, a hire that raised broad concerns about the appearance of a possible conflict of interest — and that Ukraine should resume its investigation into Burisma.

    Stranger still, these diplomats judged President Trump’s motivations to be purely political despite the fact that most had neither met nor spoken to him. They closed their minds to the notion of Ukrainian interference in U.S. elections in 2016, calling it a “debunked conspiracy theory,” and dismissed Trump’s concerns — while acknowledging under questioning they didn’t have full information about the allegations and none had personally investigated them. Strange, since Democrats are among those who long have pressed President Trump to pledge to “get to the bottom” of foreign interference in the 2016 elections and claimed he will be to blame if it happens again in 2020. “


  7. “Impeachment Charade Proves It’s High Time To End Court Deference To Biased Federal Agencies”


    “This entire episode, and many more, should cause us to rethink certain legal principles related to federal employees that have governed us for decades.”

    “The public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry have demonstrated one conclusive fact: career federal employees who have testified, as well as the secret federal employee who started all this, are not whistleblowers. When President Trump upset their established order, they became tattletales.

    Listening to and watching the testimony brought back stark reminders of what happens when civil-service-protected federal employees decide to ignore established law and precedent and throw in with one political party to do its bidding against the party’s—and the employees’—political opponents.

    I represented a number of citizens groups during the targeting by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) between 2009 and 2013. Hundreds of such groups involving thousands of American citizens suffered at the hands of career civil service IRS employees. The employees deep-sixed and held up for years the applications for exempt status of hundreds of tea party and conservative organizations. It was all in keeping with concerns by Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration about the rise of these conservative voices.

    I spoke to a number of IRS employees over the four years of the scandal, but never once did any one of them cough up that something screwy was going on, even when I asked directly, “Are you holding up the application because of this group’s opposition to Obamacare?” They lied and said “No, of course not.” Not one IRS employee ever felt compelled to formally report or blow the whistle in any manner on the clear wrongdoing by the top brass in the agency.

    Why? Because the federal workforce, largely in Washington, DC, shares the same political beliefs and philosophies as the Democrats and their hometown newspaper, the Washington Post. So when President Obama orchestrated a political jihad against his opponents, IRS employees were only too happy to accommodate him.

    After former Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) took over in 2015 as chairman of the IRS Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, he conducted a town hall meeting with a large group of IRS employees. When he talked about his concerns regarding the targeting and the need to ensure it didn’t happen again, some IRS employees reportedly challenged his comments, arguing he was in the grip of “dark money” groups, and justifying the targeting as “morally necessary.”

    We have now witnessed House Democrats trotting out career federal employees who have apparently engaged in gripe sessions about President Trump’s conduct of foreign policy because they disagree with it. Somehow, the president’s views, described very clearly during the 2016 campaign, run afoul of the views of the smart people in the career ranks of the foreign service.

    Before these hearings, most people had never heard of the “interagency consensus,” which is apparently the foreign policy position of the United States toward every country in the world that is agreed to by career federal personnel, notwithstanding the contrary views of the elected president of the United States.

    This entire episode, and many more, should cause us to rethink certain legal principles related to federal employees that have governed us for decades.”


    It’s way past time for a good housecleaning.


  8. All of this is too much for me to keep up.
    I just agree with the final statement.
    “It’s way past time for a good housecleaning”.
    I’m afraid that blood will be spilled in the process.


  9. We’re exhausting ourselves. The country needs a long, holiday time out. Hoping we get one as the folks in Washington wind down for a little while.

    I know, that probably won’t happen. But will people keep listening very much longer?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. BREAKING: Supreme Court Blocks Dems’ Subpoena to Review Trump’s Financial Records


    “Late Monday evening the Supreme Court granted President Donald Trump’s request for an emergency injunction to block Congressional Democrats’ subpoena for the president’s financial records. The subpoena is put on hold until Trump files an appeal with the lower court by Dec. 5, The Washington Times reported.

    What happens next will be determined by the lower court. If the court takes up the case, the injunction will remain in place and keep the House Democrats from obtaining the records as part of their impeachment probe. If the court decides not to hear the case, the injunction expires and Trump must turn the documents over to Democrats.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, the Supreme Court justices wanted to make sure Trump’s challenge was filed quickly so a decision was made before the 2020 election.

    The House Oversight Committee wants Mazars USA LLP, Trump’s accounting firm, to hand over financial documents – both personal and business related, from 2011 to the present.”


  11. While the folks in DC may wind it down, the media will not. And let’s face it, they’re what’s driving this, and voters know it.


    “Voters Know the Media Cares More About Impeachment Than They Do

    “plurality of voters say that the media’s coverage of the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Trump is biased”

    “If you have watched CNN or MSNBC over the last few weeks, you know that their coverage has been non-stop impeachment mania. Each new supposed “bombshell” brings giddy anticipation of the end for Trump.

    Average Americans are more concerned about the economy, jobs, and the security of their families. They also know that the media cares much more about the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry than they do, according to a new poll.

    Unsurprisingly, the findings fall along party lines.

    Tess Bonn writes at The Hill:

    Poll: Plurality of voters say media coverage of impeachment inquiry is biased

    A plurality of voters say that the media’s coverage of the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry into President Trump is biased, according to a Hill-HarrisX poll released on Thursday.

    Forty-six percent of Americans said the media’s coverage of the ongoing probe was biased against Trump, compared to 12 percent who thought coverage was actually biased in favor of the president.

    A significant portion, 42 percent, said that media coverage wasn’t biased one way or the other.

    The results were largely split along party lines: 67 percent of Republicans said Trump is being treated unfairly by the media’s coverage of impeachment, while just 27 percent of Democrats agreed with that sentiment.

    Fifty percent of independents sided with Republicans, saying the media wasn’t treating Trump fairly in their coverage of the probe.

    Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist points to another, related report in Vanity Fair:”


  12. Voters have moved on already. They see there’s no there, there.



  13. The left’s plan to counter Trump in swing states?

    More Dem propaganda disguised as news, of course. I told you of this plan before, but here it is in action.


    “After Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 election, progressive strategist Tara McGowan came up with a solution to winning future elections in battleground states: fake newspapers. McGowan left her job at Priorities USA, the largest Democratic super PAC, and created Courier. Courier is a collection of progressive news sites which have been created to appear to be local news sources in various states when in fact they are Democratic media operations:

    McGowan is spearheading what may be the most audacious project this election cycle. She’s raising $25 million from a host of wealthy liberals to establish a for-profit media company, Courier Newsroom, that has already started rolling out digital newspapers with local reporters and editors in six key swing states—Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin—to fill the news deserts, deliver the facts favorable to Democrats that she thinks voters are missing, and counter right-wing spin.

    While the articles she publishes are based on facts, nothing alerts readers that Courier publications aren’t actually traditional hometown newspapers but political instruments designed to get them to vote for Democrats. And although the articles are made to resemble ordinary news, their purpose isn’t primarily to build a readership for the website: It’s for the pieces to travel individually through social media, amplifying their influence with persuadable voters…

    Several months ago, without fanfare, McGowan launched the first of her newspapers, the Virginia Dogwood (“Your source for Virginia news”). The next, Arizona’s Copper Courier, followed in early October, and the rest are scheduled to make their debuts sometime around year’s end.

    You can check out the VA Dogwood here. The about page is very vague about what the site is:

    As the number of local news outlets declines in Virginia and across the country and the amount of digital information surges, it’s hard to know where to turn. We want to fill the gap – and your social feeds – with content that is thoughtful, engaging, inspiring and motivating.

    We’ll bring you the story behind the story and explore how our readers’ lives are impacted by the news of the day. Our reporting is honest, to-the-point and in the service of our readers.

    I guess there’s some truth to that, so long as the readers are Virginia progressives. But there’s no clear explanation that this is part of a multi-state scheme to win elections for Democrats. There is a mention at the bottom of the page that the Dogwood is “Owned by Courier Newsroom.” A link takes you to the Courier site which has it’s own vague “About” page:”


  14. And yet even that Vanity Fair article has its spin–and apparently doesn’t recognize it. Most of the adjectives are unnecssary for the facts and display their opinion..

    Frankly, I’m paying very little attention to the news cycle. It’s just bread and circus and I have other more important things to do.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. AJ – When I heard about West appearing at Osteen’s church, I cringed a bit. But then I thought that he is a baby Christian and may not know better. So I am praying that West will grow “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”, and be given wisdom about theology.

    Liked by 1 person

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