23 thoughts on “News/Politics 5-13-20

  1. All the way to the top….

    https://nypost.com/2020/05/11/looks-like-president-obama-ordered-up-phony-russiagate-scandal/

    “It looks like President Obama ordered up phony RussiaGate scandal”

    “RussiaGate is now a complete dead letter — but ObamaGate is taking its place. Just how far did the then-president go to cripple his successor?

    It’s now clear the Obama-Comey FBI and Justice Department never had anything more substantial than the laughable fiction of the Steele dossier to justify the “counterintelligence” investigation of the Trump campaign. Yet incessant leaks from that supposedly confidential probe wound up consuming the Trump administration’s first months in office — followed by the Bob Mueller-led special counsel investigation that proved nearly the “total witch hunt” that President Trump dubbed it.

    Information released as the Justice Department dropped its charges against Gen. Mike Flynn shows that President Barack Obama, in his final days in office, played a key role in fanning the flames of phony scandal. Fully briefed on the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation, he knew the FBI had come up with nothing despite months of work starting in July 2016.

    Yet on Jan. 5, 2017, Obama told top officials who’d be staying on in the new administration to keep the crucial facts from Team Trump.

    It happened at an Oval Office meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, intel chiefs John Brennan and Jim Clapper and national security adviser Susan Rice, as well as FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

    “From a national-security perspective,” Rice’s memo afterward put it, “President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.”

    This even as then-President Obama also directed that as many people as possible across his administration be briefed on the (utterly unsubstantiated) allegations against Team Trump — and as Rice and others took unprecedented steps to “unmask” US citizens like Flynn whose conversations had been caught on federal wiretaps of foreigners.

    Indeed, the Obama administration went on a full-scale leak offensive — handing the Washington Post, New York Times and others a nonstop torrent of “anonymous” allegations of Trumpite ties to Moscow. It suggested that the investigations were finding a ton of treasonous dirt on Team Trump — when in fact the investigators had come up dry.”

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  2. Why yes…. yes he did. Repeatedly.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/11/did-james-clapper-lie-to-congress-about-briefing-obama-on-flynns-phone-calls/

    “Did James Clapper Lie To Congress About Briefing Obama On Flynn’s Phone Calls?

    Accounts from former top FBI brass suggests James Clapper may have lied to Congress about whether he personally briefed President Barack Obama on the phone calls between Michael Flynn and Sergei Kislyak.”

    “Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper testified to Congress in July of 2017 that he never briefed then-President Barack Obama on the substance of phone calls between Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak and incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Accounts from fired former Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) executives James Comey and Andrew McCabe, however, directly contradict Clapper’s claim under oath that he never briefed Obama on the conversations between Flynn and Kislyak which were used to justify Flynn’s ouster as President Donald Trump’s top foreign policy adviser.

    The identities of the Obama administration officials who were aware of the calls between Flynn and Kislyak have become a key question in the investigation of U.S. attorney John Durham to determine whether any laws were broken during the course of the Crossfire Hurricane probe of the Trump campaign. The substance of those calls, which is classified at the highest levels, was leaked to multiple Washington Post reporters in early January in order to create a pretext for the FBI to interview Flynn. Handwritten documents from Bill Priestap, the FBI’s top counterintelligence official at the time, show that FBI officials wanted to use the calls and their interview of Flynn to “get him fired” as Trump’s national security adviser.

    On July 17, 2017, Clapper was called to testify before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as part of the committee’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections. During that testimony, Clapper repeatedly testified that he was bothered to learn that Flynn, at the time the incoming president’s designee to serve as White House National Security Adviser, had repeatedly spoken to foreign leaders, such as Kislyak, during the presidential transition.

    Clapper said he thought Flynn may have “violated the principle that in this country we traditionally have one President and one administration at a time.”

    “I will tell you that I had concerns about that as I watched all this before I left,” Clapper said, referring to Flynn’s conversations with foreign leaders.

    Later in his testimony, Clapper said it was “disconcerting” to learn of Flynn’s calls with Kislyak just weeks before Trump’s inauguration as president.”

    —–

    “James Comey and Andrew McCabe, the director and deputy director of the FBI, respectively, both of whom were fired for corruption, directly contradicted Clapper’s testimony that he never told Obama about the intercepted phone calls between Flynn and Kislyak.

    During congressional testimony on March 2, 2017, Comey said Clapper himself briefed Obama on the phone calls ahead of a pivotal Oval Office meeting about the matter between Obama, then-White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Comey, and then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.”

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  3. More holes in the narrative, more lies exposed. And he lied to Congress too.

    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2020/05/12/fbi_man_in_europe_undercut_ohrs_claim_of_limited_russiagate_role_123578.html

    “FBI’s Man in Europe Undercut Ohr’s Claim of Limited Russiagate Role”

    “An FBI agent’s newly released testimony undercuts top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr’s denial of a conflict of interest between his Trump-Russia efforts and his wife’s work for Fusion GPS, producer of the discredited Steele dossier.

    The agent, Michael Gaeta, told congressional probers that Ohr had pressed him to make sure the FBI was “doing something” with the dossier. According to Gaeta, Ohr pushed Steele’s collection of memos alleging nefarious ties between the Trump campaign and Russia in part because Ohr’s wife Nellie worked for the same company that had hired ex-British spy Christopher Steele.

    Gaeta’s testimony was released last week along with 56 other Trump-Russia interviews conducted by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He recalled an August 2016 phone call from Ohr.

    “August, he calls me and says, ‘Have you seen this stuff from Steele?’ – Chris or Steele, whatever he says. I said yes,” Gaeta recalled. “And so now I assume he had either spoken to Steele or had seen him. I didn’t know, and I didn’t ask.” Ohr, the agent said, wasted no time in making a request: “And he goes, ‘We just want to make sure – we, or me and my bosses – want to make sure the FBI is handling it and doing something about it.’”

    Gaeta told Ohr, “I am putting it in the hands of this unit at headquarters who’s going to look at it.”

    “Okay, good,” was Ohr’s reply. “We just want to make sure.”

    Gaeta’s description of Ohr’s active role in pushing the dossier contrasts with Ohr’s testimony before Congress describing a more disinterested role as intermediary between the FBI and his wife’s employer, which was hired by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. Asked if his role represented a conflict of interest, Ohr said it did not because “I was not part of the investigation.”

    “As I saw it,” Ohr testified, “I was receiving information that I passed to people who were working on the investigation, and they decided what to do with it. I don’t know what they did with it.”

    Ohr told lawmakers he was in the dark. “I don’t know what investigations specifically were existing at the time. I didn’t have any input or work on those investigations.”

    Ohr was demoted in 2017 because of his contacts with Fusion GPS.

    The testimony of Gaeta – whose name is redacted in the testimony but has been confirmed by RealClearInvestigations – raises new questions about the extent of Ohr’s role in advancing Trump-Russia conspiracy theories across the government. Gaeta’s interview is of interest because of his long history with both Ohr and Steele, a former British intelligence agent who formed a private investigative firm in 2009.”

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  4. Senate R’s want answers….

    Just make sure they’re under oath, so if they continue lying, they’re in legal jeopardy. See how they like it.

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/senate-republicans-want-obama-officials-to-testify-on-origins-of-russia-probe

    “Senate Republicans Want Obama Officials To Testify On Origins Of Russia Probe”

    “Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee want top Obama officials to testify as part of its own investigation into the origins of the Russia-collusion probe that dominated the headlines until it was determined there was no collusion.

    Fox News reported that the Senate Judiciary Committee, whose investigation is separate from the one being conducted by U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham for the Department of Justice, may issue subpoenas for the Obama officials to get to the bottom of how the narrative started that President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia to steal the election. A source told the outlet that the committee wants “former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan to testify before the committee.”

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who chairs the committee, said last week that he wants former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to testify this summer.

    Fox’s source told the outlet that it would subpoena the officials if they refused to appear and that Senate investigators were looking at “various piece” from “various sources” for their investigation.

    “This is a multilevel puzzle,” the source told Fox. “They are looking at layer upon layer, and you have to be able to tell the story of exactly what was going on, and who was doing what, when, and why.”

    More from Fox:

    One area Senate investigators are exploring is a Jan. 5, 2017 meeting in the Oval Office involving Yates, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, then-National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and Obama.

    A document unsealed last week as part of the DOJ’s motion to dismiss the case against Flynn detailed a special counsel interview of Yates, which indicated Obama was aware of Flynn’s intercepted December 2016 phone calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period.

    The document revealed Yates learned about the calls during that meeting. At that point, the document said, “Yates had no idea what the president was talking about, but figured it out based on the conversation. Yates recalled Comey mentioning the Logan Act, but can’t recall if he specified there was an ‘investigation.’ Comey did not talk about prosecution in the meeting.””

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  5. When judges go political and violate their own rules and precedents, it’s time to remove them.

    ————

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “You can’t handle the truth!”
    —Col. Nathan R. Jessep, “A Few Good Men”

    VDH nails it again.

    https://amgreatness.com/2020/05/10/unbearable-truths-about-our-current-political-moment/

    “Sometimes the truth is like mythical kryptonite. It radiates power and yet promises great destruction. And so reality is to be left alone, encased in lead, and kept at bay.

    Take the Chinese genesis of the COVID-19 epidemic. We started in February with the usual Chinese deceptions about their role in the birth, transmission, and worldwide spread of the virus.

    No one, apparently except Mike Bloomberg and Bill Gates, was surprised by the accustomed politically correct prevarications of the Chinese-purchased World Health Organization, whose transparent lies were passed off as truth—and led to tens of thousands of deaths.

    On cue, our own obsequious media accepted Chinese and globalist myths—their shared antipathy for President Trump meant whatever he is for or says, they are against and deny.

    But by late March the bits and pieces of the truth had emerged. All that gobbledygook talk of a Chinese wet market, of patient-zero bats, snakes, pangolins and such, were likely ruses to deflect attention from a conveniently nearby level-4 Chinese virology lab.

    We are beginning to learn that Chinese scientists were conducting research on—surprise, surprise—coronaviruses in general, and in particular, methods to enhance their lethality, all for the ostensibly exalted humanitarian aim of discovering cures and vaccinations, although how that was to be so was never quite disclosed.

    China’s patient zero almost weekly was backdated by communist party officials from late January to mid-November. When the lying is exhausted, we may well learn the virus was known to the Chinese even earlier.

    In addition, we learned that China variously threatened to cut off medical supplies in transit to the United States. It stopped all flights in and out of Wuhan on January 23, but called America racist for waiting a week until January 31 to issue a travel ban on China—including, but not limited to, ending direct flights to the United States from Wuhan. Consider the Chinese communist logic: running-dog American capitalists mimicked Beijing in forbidding Chinese from flying—but only after a week-long interlude of bourgeoise debate and puerile reflection.

    Were the Chinese embarrassed that they had accused Washington of being racist for belatedly doing exactly what they had done earlier? Of course not. In their eyes, weak decadent Westerners welcome such help in aiding their own self-abnegation and debasement.

    Unbearable American Weakness in the Face of a Growing Chinese Lie

    China went on to spin lies that the U.S. military deliberately had created the virus to harm the poor noble Chinese. They seemed intent on peddling to the Trump-hating leftist media the talking points that China as the victimized “other” served as a convenient object of racial hatred by the deplorables and clingers, who, of course, nurse their racism on “conspiracy theories” about viral labs.

    China destroyed the original data concerning the discovery of the virus. Brave, gullible and naïve scientists who were willing early on to speak up about the existential danger of an epidemic ended up “disappeared” or were silenced. News censorship stopped critical early foreign knowledge of the Chinese epidemic. On various online metrics, China’s case numbers and fatalities from the virus calcified, as if the country with the most cases magically now had suffered among the least. If it was good to lie about the Wuhan virus’s birth, then all the better to lie about its adolescent spread and mature lethality.

    China’s behavior follows years of patent and copyright theft, forced technological appropriation, dumping, currency manipulation, crackdowns on Hong Kong democracy, and sophisticated espionage within the United States. It now threatens sovereign nations in Asia and the Pacific, if they dare blame China for the pandemic. Its military embarks on more aggression in the South China Sea, as rumors swirl of its stealthy violations of nuclear proliferation agreements.

    Americans began grumbling that China almost seemed to have made war against the United States, in a peremptory fashion that dwarfed Pearl Harbor. At least it seems so when tallying up the over 80,000 dead, the trillions in destroyed market equity and GDP, and, most importantly, the likely larger human toll from suicides, family and substance abuse, lapsed medical procedures and tests, and wrecked businesses and lives from the lockdown.

    So that was an unbearable truth. But what to do?”

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  7. Too little, too late. Same goes for the other states who used the same methods that cost lives.

    “Cuomo’s nursing home reversal is too little, too late for those now dead”

    https://nypost.com/2020/05/10/cuomos-nursing-home-reversal-is-too-little-too-late-goodwin/

    “Gov. Cuomo will never be confused with Fiorello La Guardia. “When I make a mistake, it’s a beaut,” the legendary mayor of New York once confessed.

    Unfortunately, Cuomo’s pride and political calculations don’t allow him to admit error even as he finally reverses one of the mostly deadly policy mistakes in New York history.

    Nursing homes and rehabilitation centers have tallied more than 5,000 coronavirus deaths, yet the governor accepts zero responsibility despite his March 25th order forcing them to take infected patients from hospitals.

    Now he says they no longer have to do that, announcing Sunday that “a hospital cannot discharge a person who is COVID positive to a nursing home.”

    Indeed, the initial order denied nursing homes the right even to ask if patients being sent by hospitals had tested positive for the coronavirus.

    Now hospitals must do discharge tests and only those who are negative can be referred to nursing homes.

    Said one nursing home executive, “It feels at least a month too late.”

    The move comes amid growing calls for an independent investigation of the nursing home catastrophe, where the death count dwarfs the total deaths in every other state except New Jersey.

    Still, Cuomo claims the reversal is not a reversal, nor is it a recognition of the fatal impact of the initial order.

    “Whatever we’re doing has worked, on the facts,” he insisted.

    He should try selling that view to Maria Porteus. She lost her father, Carlos Gallegos, to the coronavirus in a Long Island nursing home last month soon after the state forced it to accept infected patients. She watched the governor Sunday and was left steaming.

    “I’m still angry and I’m still hurt,” she said. “It’s a slap in the face for him because he’s not taking responsibility for what happened to my father and so many others.”

    Porteus said she’s part of a Facebook group that has nearly 250 members who lost loved ones in nursing homes, adding: “The stories are all almost the same. And Cuomo’s still acting like he’s not the one who did this order, like it’s somebody else or it’s the nursing homes’ fault.””

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  8. AJ – (re: The BabylonBee and Snopes) – Out of curiosity, I searched “The Onion” in Snopes, and found several articles from The Onion that were also deemed “Labelled Satire” as the BabylonBee pieces are. I often see people commenting in such a way that indicates that they think a piece from either of those sites is legit. The Onion is more well-known than the Bee, but not by everyone.

    Most of my friends who share pieces from the BabylonBee make sure to mention that it is satire, because too many people take them seriously. I guess that’s sign of good satire.

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  9. Online teaching has kept me busy so I’ve given AJ a break but I’ve been far too amused lately not to comment;

    I watched the first three minutes of your Tucker video…and the leaps of logic pained me so I had to quit. From the heresay of Susan Rice, I simply see a president acting in the interests of national security — a power Trump has constantly said a president has. He asked his staff to be careful on how they handle Russian intelligence hinting that Trump and his incoming admin might be have conflicts. Trump’s business interest in Moscow is well known as was his dealings with Deutsche Bank — the bank of choice for Russian mobsters. Conducting million dollar real estate deals in Moscow with the financing of Deutsche Bank should set off alarm bells (and it did, EU officials are very circumspect with Trump). Some of Trump’s staff also had oil and gas interest in Russia and/or lobbying interests on both sides of the Ukrainian conflict. There’s conflict of interest everywhere and til he was no longer President, Obama has a right and duty to oversee national security.

    The greater conspiracy I keep seeing is the idea that Obama conspired with others even before Trump won to undermine his presidency. So life long bureaucrats, registered Republicans working in law enforcement and intelligence, and Obama personnel all work to undermine a presidency most of them didn’t see coming. Amazing, if true, Obama was a genius. Now persons claiming or advocating this conspiracy have for years claimed Obama was the worst presidency ever and they need to restore America from the failure of Obama. You can’t have it both ways — he’s either incompetent or a total genius. It can’t be both

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  10. The Flynn case is interesting. He plead guilty to perjury — in all likelihood a plea deal. Then Barr drops the case — clear political interference for I’m sure Barr was not the lead prosecutor in the case.

    Some claim it was perjury trap — i.e. he was somehow manipulated to lie. Now if he was asked a personal question irrelevant to the case — perhaps, did he cheat on his wife, I can understand the notion of a trap. However, if the claim is that the interrogation was conducted in such a way that Flynn began to contradict himself, I have a hard time believing the “trap” claim. Flynn is a smart guy or at least his position gives that impression and, if he did nothing wrong, its only a matter of staying consistent which a smart person should be able to do. Secondly, Flynn had an excellent legal team who should’ve seen any type of entrapment coming. If it was a perjury trap, he should be suing his legal team for incompetence. The fact is he had something to hide, he lied and he was caught and he then plead guilty.

    I have a hard time feeling sorry for rich old men with the best legal teams in the country needing to be rescued by the attorney general.

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  11. Interesting to note — the top 5 countries with new cases in Covid 19 are led by old authoritarian male right wing populists. This despite having absolutely dismal numbers in terms of testing…..and the countries that have done the best have been led by women…

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  12. ” He plead guilty to perjury”

    Yeah, men will do the most desperate of things to protect their family. They threatened his family, his pension, and every dime he had. Of course he did. But now we know it was all a horrible and politically motivated miscarriage of justice.

    And look who else had his dirty little fingers all over it.

    Joe Biden, who I suspect is about to develop a case of the Reagans. He won’t recall….

    4 of these 7 have no business being anywhere around an unmasking.

    Biden is one of them, along with the Ambassador to Italy, Powers, and Nuefeld.

    ——-

    You can feign disdain for those reporting it, but the facts are clear. They did everything Trump and his supporters accused them of, and even worse. They have been actively using the full force of govt against a duly elected president.

    They manipulated intelligence and suppressed evidence for political purposes. Exactly what projecting libs are claiming now about Barr, now that their years of lies and slander are being exposed.

    Enjoy the suck. You guys earned it.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/trump-spy-chief-declassifying-documents-showing-ex-cia-director-john-brennan-suppressed-russia-intelligence-report

    “Trump spy chief declassifying documents showing CIA Director John Brennan ‘suppressed’ Russia intelligence”

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  13. Since long before day one of the Trump presidency.

    ——

    While Obama was still president. The timeline above proves this, as does this one. You pretending it’s not true doesn’t really make it that way.

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  14. Golf clap for Cali….. 🙂

    ——–

    And Wisconsin….

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  15. Like I said, this alone also warrants a closer investigations. These are very serious tools that only a select few are allowed to request, for civil rights of Americans kinda reasons.

    ———–

    Get to it. 🙂

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  16. Yeah it does….. 😲

    ———-

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  17. ————

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  18. Like

  19. Its amusing to watch this — its like Hilary’s emails or Benghazi, Republicans screaming from the rooftop about a supposed scandal and in the end nothing. In Obama’s presidency despite countless attempts by Republicans to smear him they got nothing. Coming to the next election, what’s Trump running on — not his record, but that somehow somebody undermined his presidency and are to blame for his failure. He never took responsibility in his life, why start now.

    Why oppose the release of documents? I don’t know maybe the same reason the Republicans opposed the releasing of documents during the indictment and trial of Trump or Trump opposes the releasing of any of his financial records? Maybe they all have something to hide or there’s something legitimate behind it. Perhaps the Republicans want to go hunting through everything just to find something no matter what it is to smear Biden/Obama. Which is probably the same reason Democrats want to go through Trump’s tax record —- looking for the details of the Deutsche Bank loan.

    Meanwhile in the real world, over 1700 people died today of Covid 19, millions are unemployed and the economy is sinking like a rock — but yes lets try to figure out what happened almost 4 years ago because that’s really relevant to what’s happening now.

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  20. On the bright side for America — you passed Canada on tests per capita. And before you blame Trudeau, we have a far more decentralized system than the US when it comes to health care. All health care matters are the responsibilities of the provinces — the socialist-green coalition of British Columbia is doing the best. The three right wing populists gov’ts of Quebec, Ontario and Alberta are failing miserably in the testing department. On the bright side, we have far less cases per capita than the US. Some of this is due to the fact Canadians like the Nordic countries trust gov’ts and scientists and practice social distancing even when there isn’t a pandemic. We like personal space — many of my Polish, German, Dutch and American friends tend to get too close for comfort when talking to me.

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  21. Here’s one for fans of Ben Shapiro — if we take NYC out of the stats, Covid 19 is actually increasing in the US.

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  22. Sorry Canadian, but you don’t get to decide what’s news in America.

    And oh yeah, take out the state with the most, and you can make the numbers appear to say something they don’t. Deceptive, but that is the left.

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