From my friends at Power Line BlogPower Line Blog:
Yesterday The Daily Caller reported on one of the tools used to fight the recent fire at Notre Dame Cathedral.
The article reports:
The damage to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris could have been a lot worse. If it weren’t for a robot named “Colossus,” firefighters could have lost their lives battling the blaze.
…“The priority we set was to save the two belfries,” he added. “Imagine if the timber of the belfries had been weakened and the bells had collapsed. That was really our fear. In the beginning, it was not impossible to imagine that the cathedral structure could collapse.”
Jean-Claude Gallet, the commander of the Paris Fire Brigade, decided not to risk firefighters’ lives and instead retreat. But there was a backup plan to call in help from a 1,100-pound tank-like robot to help battle the blaze Monday and possibly save any of the Cathedral and relics that might remain.
The robot named “Colossus,” created by Shark Robotics, stands a bit more than 5 ft. tall and about 2.5 feet wide. The tank was able to venture into parts of the cathedral where the temperatures would likely have killed a human.
Gallet told The Times that the robot was able to lower the temperatures in the fire and save lives. Colossus, which is also capable of firing 660 gallons of water-per-minute and controlled via a joystick, took aim at the blaze engulfing the cathedral. It can be operated from as far away as 1,000 feet and the machine is not only waterproof and fireproof but can even withstand thermal radiation, according to the company.
What a fantastic use of modern technology.
One of the urban legends of the Mueller investigation was that there were no leaks. Well, some information has come out that totally undoes that myth.
Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article showing that certain information was selectively leaked during the investigation.
The article reports:
There has been a widespread media claim for two years that Robert Mueller’s special counsel team never leaked. However, today, while entirely obfuscating the lede aspect to their admission/story, Buzzfeed News outlines how FBI agents assigned to Robert Mueller’s team actually leaked documents from their investigation to the media.
This admission is stunning…. I don’t even think Buzzfeed realizes what they are admitting to here. It’s in these paragraphs (emphasis mine):
(Buzzfeed) […] I’d also like to share an accounting of how we came to our characterization, to give our audience and people who reasonably raised questions about our reporting as much information as possible about how the story came to be.
Our story was based on detailed information from senior law enforcement sources. That reporting included documents — specifically, pages of notes that were taken during an interview of [Michael] Cohen by the FBI.
In those notes, one law enforcement source wrote that “DJT personally asked Cohen to say negotiations ended in January and White House counsel office knew Cohen would give false testimony to Congress. Sanctioned by DJT. Joint lawyer team reviewed letter Cohen sent to SSCI about his testimony about Trump Tower moscow, et al, knowing it contained lies.”
The law enforcement source also wrote: “Cohen told OSC” — the Office of Special Counsel — “he was asked to lie by DJT/DJT Jr., lawyers.”
At the time, the sources asked reporters to keep the information confidential, but with the publication of Mueller’s report they have permitted its release. (read more)
Please follow the link to the article at The Conservative Treehouse for further details. The press is not fulfilling its calling to provide unbiased news to the American public. Part of that is their fault, and part of that is the fault of Americans who do not take the time to evaluate the news they hear.
One of my favorite baseball traditions is the seventh-inning stretch and the singing of “God Bless America.” The tradition of singing “God Bless America”
began after 9/11. The Washington Times reported yesterday that the New York Yankees will no longer play the recording of Kate Smith singing the song. Now I will admit that having lived in Massachusetts for thirty-five years, I really don’t care what the Yankees do, but this is just political correctness run amok.
The article reports:
Not because anyone has complained that the song is racist, but because Smith recorded other racially insensitive standards from and during the Jim Crow era.
The Yankees pulled Smith’s “God Bless America” from the rotation at the start of the season, but the New York Daily News reported the reason Thursday — “the Yankees were made aware of Smith’s history of potential racism.”
So can’t they get anyone else to record the song?
The article states:
“The Yankees have been made aware of a recording that had been previously unknown to us and decided to immediately and carefully review this new information,” a club spokesman said. “The Yankees take social, racial and cultural insensitivities very seriously. And while no final conclusions have been made, we are erring on the side of sensitivity.”
This is another example of judging history by the standards of today. There were a lot of things that have happened in the past that were not noteworthy at the time that are being taken out of context in hindsight. In order to truly evaluate history, you need to immerse yourself in the culture of the time you are studying. Insensitivity is not a crime–insensitivity in the past was not even considered insensitivity because there weren’t so many people running around being professional victims.
Keep the song. Let someone else sing it if you have to. Don’t end an American tradition because of political correctness.
Those of us who follow “Q” have known for a while know that a large part the charges against President Trump were helped along with the aid of the intelligence apparatus of some of our international allies. There is a group of countries called “Five Eyes” (Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States) that shares intelligence in an effort to keep the world safe. Part of the understanding is that we are not supposed to spy on each other’s citizens. Unfortunately, information in the Mueller Report indicates that principle was violated in the creation of the Russian collusion hoax.
The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday about the involvement of Australia.
The article reports:
In response to media inquiry and FOIA demands, the government of Australia formally admitted today to the role of High Commissioner Alexander Downer and his engagements with George Papadopoulos in 2016. The timing coincides with the Mueller Report (released today), which states it was information about this engagement from Alexander Downer that opened the FBI counterintelligence investigation in July 2016.
Please follow the link above and read the entire article. It is complicated, but explains how domestic and foreign intelligence agencies were used in an attempt to influence an election and undermine a duly-elected President.
The article includes some comments made by Devin Nunes last year:
REPRESENTATIVE DEVIN NUNES: “That’s correct. So it took us a long time to actually get this, what’s called the “electronic communication”, as we know it now for your viewers, what it is it’s the original intelligence, original reasons that the counterintelligence was started.
Now this is really important to us because the counterintelligence investigation uses the tools of our intelligence services that are not supposed to be used on American citizens. And we’ve long wanted to know: what intelligence did you have that actually led to this investigation? So what we’ve found now, after the investigators have reviewed it, is that in fact there was no intelligence.
So we have a traditional partnership with what’s called the Five Eyes Agreement. Five Eyes Agreement involves our friends in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, and of course, us. So long time processes and procedures in place where we move intelligence across.
We are not supposed to spy on each others’ citizens. And it’s worked well. And it continues to work well. And we know it’s working well because there was no intelligence that passed through the Five Eyes channels to our government.
And that’s why we had to see that original communication. So now we’re trying to figure out, as you know, we are investigating the State Department, we think there’s some major irregularities in the State Department, and we’re trying to figure out how this information about Mr. Papadopoulos of all people who was supposedly meeting with some folks in London, how that made it over across into the FBI’s hands.” (Video Interview Link)
And that explains some of the reluctance to declassify the FISA warrant information–this was an international scheme. Some of our allies were working with the deep state to install Hillary Clinton as President. They should be ashamed.
The Mueller Report is out. It is all over the news. The mainstream media is trying to find something in it that they can actually use to discredit President Trump; the Democrats in Congress are trying to find something in it that they can use to impeach President Trump. Unfortunately, the circus continues–the main event has moved on, but the clowns remain.
Yesterday, Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner that reminds us what the Mueller investigation was supposed to be about.
The article notes:
…At its heart, the Trump-Russia probe was about one question: Did the Trump campaign conspire, coordinate, or collude with Russia to influence the 2016 election? Mueller has concluded that did not happen.
…And now Mueller has determined there was no collusion. Not that there was no criminal collusion. Or no prove-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt collusion. Just no collusion. Mueller’s report says it over and over and over again. Here are seven examples:
1. “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
2. “The investigation examined whether [contacts between Russia and Trump figures] involved or resulted in coordination or a conspiracy with the Trump Campaign and Russia, including with respect to Russia providing assistance to the Campaign in exchange for any sort of favorable treatment in the future. Based on the available information, the investigation did not establish such coordination.”
3. “The investigation did not establish that [Carter] Page coordinated with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere with the 2016 election.”
4. “The Office did not identify evidence in those [contacts between Russians and people around Trump after the GOP convention] of coordination between the Campaign and the Russian government.”
5. “The Office did not identify evidence of a connection between Manafort’s sharing polling data and Russia’s interference in the election … [and] the investigation did not establish that Manafort otherwise coordinated with the Russian government on its election-interference efforts.”
6. “The investigation did not establish that these [contacts between Russians and people around Trump during the transition] reflected or constituted coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russia in its election interference activities.”
7. “The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons conspired or coordinated with the [Russian disinformation campaign].”
That is definitive. It is not kinda, sorta. It is definitive. As far as Mueller’s conclusions are concerned — and remember, he was long considered the gold standard of Trump investigations — there was no collusion.
Other than dealing with the abuse of power by some former high officials in our government, can we please move on now.
The Gateway Pundit reported yesterday that House Democrat Committee Chairmen are demanding that Attorney General Barr cancel his planned press conference on Mueller’s report which is scheduled for 9:30 this morning. It seems to me that they might be getting a little out over their skis on this one.
The article includes House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler’s statement:
The Attorney General is allowed to hold all of the press conferences he wants. The reason the Democrats are objecting is that the press conference by the Attorney General will occur before they have the opportunity to spin whatever the Mueller Report says. The Democrats in Congress have still not given up hope that there will be something in that report that they can use as justification to impeach President Trump. Even if there is nothing in the report, I believe that they will attempt to impeach the President within the next year if not sooner. The whole scenario of Russian collusion, obstruction, etc., has been part of a plan to undo the 2016 election. The Democrats want to remove a duly-elected President from office. If they are successful, future elections will mean nothing and we will lose our Republic. This is serious.
I can’t imaging the Democrats would be crazy enough to run Stacey Abrams as their candidate for Vice-President in 2020, but stranger things have happened. Why do I think this might be a possibility? Rather than have her run as a failed candidate, Democrats are painting her as someone who had an election stolen from her.
The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday stating that former Attorney General Eric Holder believes that Stacey Abrams won the race for Georgia governor in 2018.
The article reports:
In making that claim, Holder echoed other prominent Democrats in suggesting that Kemp’s role as secretary of state was a factor in the outcome.
“I think the way it was conducted, the – her opponent remaining as secretary of state, basically being the referee until about the last week of the election, certainly gave the appearance of unfairness, and I think it was unfairness.”
Abrams has never conceded the race, and has also maintained on several occasions that she won.
Also speaking to The Root, Abrams placed some blame on media coverage for how the election turned out.
“I would attribute it less to racism and more to a very narrow and immature ability to navigate the story of my campaign,” Abrams said. “I was doing a number of things that were new and different and discomforting to some. But what was worse was that, for a lot of those folks, they could not comprehend how all of these things could be true at the exact same moment. I wouldn’t necessarily ascribe any racial animus as much as I would a lack of—there was some incompetence in the coverage that was problematic.”
When the Democrats lose an election, somehow it is always someone else’s fault (or it is racism). How many times can you cry ‘wolf’ and still be believed?
The Independent U.K. reported today that police arrested a man in St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York who was carrying two full gas cans, lighter fluid and lighters. The man claimed to be cutting through the cathedral to get to Madison Avenue where his car was out of gas. The police accompanied him to his car and found that it was not out of gas. At that point the man was taken into custody.
The article notes:
The 37-year-old New Jersey man allegedly pulled up in a minivan outside the landmark in Manhattan on Wednesday night, walked around the area, and then returned to the vehicle to retrieve the items, said New York Police Department (NYPD).
“As he enters the cathedral he’s confronted by a cathedral security officer who asks him where he’s going and informs him he can’t proceed into the cathedral carrying these things,” said NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism John Miller.
“At that point some gasoline apparently spills out onto the floor as he’s turned around.”
Security then raised the alarm with counter-terrorism officers who were standing outside, Mr Miller said.
It is encouraging to me that there were counter-terrorism officers standing outside.
The article reports:
He added: “It’s hard to say exactly what his intentions were, but I think the totality of circumstances of an individual walking into an iconic location like St Patrick’s Cathedral carrying over four gallons of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid and lighters is something that we would have great concern over.”
“It’s hard to say exactly what his intentions were…” Are you kidding me? That has to be the understatement of the year.
At any rate, I suspect that the police and security avoided what might have been a really awful event.
The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today that featured some remarks made by Devin Nunes on the Laura Ingraham Show. The article includes a video of the discussion.
These are the main issues discussed:
(1) The targeting/framing of Michael Flynn and the positioning of a false narrative around innocuous Russia contacts. (2) The use of Joseph Mifsud as an asset by the CIA/FBI running a counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign. (3) The Trump Tower meeting as organized by Fusion-GPS.
But there is a more troubling statement in the discussion:
Additionally, for the first time Devin Nunes confirms that it was Robert Mueller who blocked delivery of documents to the House investigative committees. While this might be old news to CTH readers, this confirms our earlier research. It was Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein who were protecting DOJ interests by using the Russia-probe as a shield.
That’s why Chicago U.S. Attorney John Lausch was essentially an exercise in futility (and he was never heard from). With Nunes confirmation that Mueller used his probe to keep congress away from documents adverse to his interests…. that increases the likelihood Mueller deployed the same strategy with IG Michael Horowitz (as earlier reported); and only after Mueller was completed was the IG office allowed unfettered access to evidence…. hence, the delays.
Somehow I don’t think Mueller was an objective Special Counsel. We seem to learn something every day that questions his objectivity in the investigation of something that never happened and that he probably knew never happened very early in the investigation.
Judicial Watch is one of my favorite organizations. The have turned the use of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests into an art form. They are a non-biased group that is simply demanding transparency in government–from both parties.
Yesterday One America News Network posted an article about the latest FOIA request from Judicial Watch.
The article reports:
Conservative watchdog group filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the FBI in an effort to pierce the veil of the resources used in the $25 million probe.
Specifically, the organization is looking to obtain all communications and payments made to the author of the anti-Trump dossier — Christopher Steele.
The former British intelligence officer was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee in order to compile his 35 page document.
Judicial Watch is now trying to determine the FBI’s involvement.
It’s already known that the FBI made 11 payments to Steele, but the details behind those payments were heavily redacted.
Conservatives suspect rogue actors at the bureau were looking to reverse the results of the 2016 election, which is something Attorney General William Barr said he’s looking into.
I don’t think they were rogue actors–I think the operation began very high up in the FBI, but we will have to wait to see if that is where the trail leads.
Yesterday Sara Carter posted an article on some recent actions taken by Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Elijah Cummings and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters.
The article reports:
Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Elijah Cummings and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters executed a secret Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to “target” President Trump and subpoena all his financial and banking records, according to a letter sent to Cummings from ranking committee member Rep. Jim Jordan.
Further, Jordan’s letter indicates that other MOUs have apparently been signed and agreed to with House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Ca, who has promised to continue investigations into the president despite findings by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office that there was no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. Attorney General William Barr released a summary of Mueller’s 400 page report several weeks ago and the redacted version of the report is expected to be released by the DOJ this Thursday.
I can’t believe that the American public will tolerate the use of Congressional Committees to target one American. This is the sort of thing you see done in Communist countries.
Representative Jordan has asked that Representative Cummings answer several specific questions about the MOUs.
These are the questions:
- How many MOUs with committee chairpersons have you signed as Chairman since the beginning of the 116th Congress?
- Would you provide the Committee with a detailed list of the other MOUs you have signed, including their dates, signatories, and topics?
- Why did you not publicly disclose that you had signed MOUs with committee chairpersons?
- Will you publicly disclose all the MOUs you have signed as Chairman since the beginning of the 116th Congress?
- Why did you choose not to consult with any Republican Members before signing these MOUs?
- Have you signed any MOUs as Chairman with any entities outside of the House Representatives relating to the Committee’s oversight or legislative work?
- To the extent your MOUs create duties for the Committee that conflict with the Rules of the House of Representatives or the Rules of the Committee, which duties prevail?
- The Rules of the Committee for the 116th Congress do not authorize the Chairman to bind the Committee through an MOU.Could you explain the specific authority that allows you to bind the Committee through an MOU without first obtaining approval through a vote of the Committee?
- As I understand your MOU with Chairwoman Waters, you have committed to sharing Committee information with the Financial Services Committee. This provision of your MOU may conflict with Rules of the House of Representatives and the Committee’s whistleblower protocol, which requires the Committee to keep some Committee information confidential. Will you still protect the confidentiality of whistleblower information notwithstanding your apparent obligation to share it with the Financial Services Committee?
- As I understand your MOU with Chairwoman Waters, you have agreed to consult with her before issuing a subpoena. Do you intend to consult with Chairwoman Waters before or after you consult with me, as required by Committee Rules? If I object to your proposed subpoena, do you intend to consult with Chairwoman Waters before or after the Committee votes, as you promised in the Committee’s organizing meeting?
- As I understand your MOU with Chairwoman Waters, you have declined to include any provision protecting the Minority’s rights to documentary or testimonial information. Can you guarantee that Minority Members will have the same access to documentary or testimonial information under this MOU as we do in every other Committee inquiry?
At least some Republicans have learned to push back against the never-ending attempts to undo the results of the 2016 election. The Democrats would do better to focus on developing policies that will win the 2020 election rather than trying to undo 2016.
The following is a graph from a New York Times article of April 14th:
To a large degree, the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained — and misleading — effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase.
That effort began in the fall of 2017, when Republicans prepared to introduce legislation that models by the independent Tax Policy Center predicted could raise taxes on nearly a third of middle-class taxpayers. It continued through Mr. Trump’s signing of the law, even though the group’s models showed that the revised bill would raise taxes on relatively few in the middle class in the 2018 tax year.
The only thing missing from the article is The New York Times taking some responsibility for what is illustrated by the chart.
It gets even more interesting. The article also includes this chart:
This might be a reflection of the news sources the Democrats choose versus the news sources the Republicans choose. It illustrates the fact that much of what is being reported in major news sources is simply not true. Much of the mainstream media is doing a disservice to the people who choose to watch it.
The Guardian is reporting today that an Australian court ruled James Cook University had unlawfully sacked a professor who had criticised scientific research about the climate change impact on the Great Barrier Reef. Peter Ridd was a professor at James Cook University in Australia before he was fired for his criticism of some of the research on climate change.
The American Thinker posted an article today noting the following:
The greatest “tell” for non-scientists evaluating the likelihood that the anthropogenic global warming theory is a fraud is that instead of critically examining the facts, warmists try to silence skeptics, with some of them even demanding jail for the thought-crime of questioning their unproven theory. So thorough has been the pressure to keep the fraud going and keep the billions of dollars a year in research funds flowing to universities and other research institutions pushing the party line that skeptics are under threat of firing — and some have been fired.
The Guardian explains:
Judge Salvatore Vasta ruled on Tuesday the 17 findings made by the university, the two speech directions, the five confidentiality directions, the no satire direction, the censure, the final censure and the termination of Ridd’s employment were all unlawful.
…Judge Vasta said the university has not understood the whole concept of intellectual freedom.
“[The] university has ‘played the man and not the ball’,” he said.
“Intellectual freedom is so important. It allows academics to express their opinions without fear of reprisals. It allows a Charles Darwin to break free of the constraints of creationism. It allows an Albert Einstein to break free of the constraints of Newtonian physics. It allows the human race to question conventional wisdom in the never-ending search for knowledge and truth.”
The Townsville-based university’s provost professor, Chris Cocklin, noted the judgment does not refer to any case law.
“We disagree with the judgment and we maintain we have not taken issue with Dr Ridd’s nor any other employee’s rights to academic freedom,” Cocklin said in a statement.
“Dr Ridd was not sacked because of his scientific views. Dr Ridd was never gagged or silenced about his scientific views, a matter which was admitted during the court hearing.”
The case has been adjourned for a further hearing to award a penalty.
My biggest problem in science classes was jumping to conclusions without examining all the facts. I think the entire concept of man-made global warming rather than natural climate cycles is a result of that sort of thinking.
The mainstream media has been less than enthusiastic about uncovering the root of the investigation into the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team. However, in spite of their efforts to bury the misdeeds of people in the Obama administration, the story is slowly beginning to come out. Most of the mainstream media is still avoiding telling the story, but you can still find it in some outlets.
Yesterday The New York Post posted an article by Andrew McCarthy that reminds us of some of the unseemly (and probably illegal) things that were going on in late 2015 through early 2017. I strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article, but there are a few things that need to be highlighted.
The article notes:
In Senate testimony last week, Attorney General William Barr used the word “spying” to refer to the Obama administration, um, spying on the Trump campaign. Of course, fainting spells ensued, with the media-Democrat complex in meltdown. Former FBI Director Jim Comey tut-tutted that he was confused by Barr’s comments, since the FBI’s “surveillance” had been authorized by a court.
(Needless to say, the former director neglected to mention that the court was not informed that the bureau’s “evidence” for the warrants was unverified hearsay paid for by the Clinton campaign.)
The pearl-clutching was predictable. Less than a year ago, we learned the Obama administration had used a confidential informant — a spy — to approach at least three Trump campaign officials in the months leading up to the 2016 election, straining to find proof that the campaign was complicit in the Kremlin’s hacking of Democratic emails.
But there is more to the story. I never understood the significance of some of the other events in the story. Andrew McCarthy explains them:
In the months prior to the election, as its Trump-Russia investigation ensued, some of the overtly political, rabidly anti-Trump FBI agents running the probe discussed among themselves the prospect of stopping Trump, or of using the investigation as an “insurance policy” in the highly unlikely event that Trump won the election. After Trump’s stunning victory, the Obama administration had a dilemma: How could the investigation be maintained if Trump were told about it? After all, as president, he would have the power to shut it down.
On Jan. 6, 2017, Comey, Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and National Security Agency chief Michael Rogers visited President-elect Trump in New York to brief him on the Russia investigation.
Just one day earlier, at the White House, Comey and then–Acting Attorney General Sally Yates had met with the political leadership of the Obama administration — President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and national security adviser Susan Rice — to discuss withholding information about the Russia investigation from the incoming Trump administration.
Rice put this sleight-of-hand a bit more delicately in the memo about the Oval Office meeting (written two weeks after the fact, as Rice was leaving her office minutes after Trump’s inauguration):
“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. [Emphasis added.]”
It is easy to understand why Obama officials needed to discuss withholding information from Trump. They knew that the Trump campaign — not just some individuals tangentially connected to the campaign — was the subject of an ongoing FBI counterintelligence probe. An informant had been run at campaign officials. The FISA surveillance of Page was underway — in fact, right before Trump’s inauguration, the Obama administration obtained a new court warrant for 90 more days of spying.
This memo is evidence that President Obama was at least aware of what was going on. That should be all over the front pages of every newspaper in the country. Somehow it isn’t.
The Daily Signal posted the following today:
Obviously we have some work to do. The question that comes to mind is why do we always hear that Social Security is running out of money but we never hear that the Welfare State is running out of money. I think it is truly time to examine the bureaucracy that support each. I suspect we could save some serious money there without hurting the people who truly need government assistance.
Yesterday Bryon York posted an article at The Washington Examiner about the upcoming release of the Mueller Report. The article lists five arguments that will not be settled by the release of the report.
The article lists those five items:
1. Collusion. On the face of it, Barr’s summary of Mueller’s conclusion could not be clearer: The evidence gathered by the special prosecutor does not show that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia to fix the 2016 election. Barr included two brief quotes from the Mueller report on collusion: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities” and “the evidence does not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.” So on the question: Will Mueller show that collusion occurred? The answer seems a pretty straightforward no.
…2. Obstruction. This is a guarantee: Some readers of the Mueller report will swear that it proves the president obstructed justice, while others will swear it proves he did not obstruct justice. Mueller himself has made sure that will happen by not making what Barr called a “traditional prosecutorial judgment” on the obstruction question. Why Mueller did that is not clear; perhaps it will be revealed when the report is released. Barr said Mueller “views as ‘difficult issues’ of law and fact concerning whether the president’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction.”
…3. Impeachment. Some Democrats had hoped that the Mueller report would give them cover for impeaching the president. I was undecided, they might say, and then I saw the special counsel’s overwhelming evidence against the president, and I knew it was my duty to impeach. Some of those Democrats also hoped that the Mueller report would serve as a road map to impeachment, in effect doing for Congress the work of discovering and organizing evidence against the president.
…4. Investigating the investigation. Many Republicans, long convinced that the Trump campaign did not conspire or coordinate with Russia, have instead sought to uncover the events surrounding the decision by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to investigate the Trump campaign in 2016. It’s been hard finding out what happened. Rep. Devin Nunes, when he was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, shook loose a lot of information, but much remains unknown to the public. Now, those Republicans are counting on an investigation by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz to reveal more. And they are hoping that President Trump will declassify documents that could shed new light on the matter. One place they are not looking for answers is the Mueller report.
5. Why a special counsel? Some Republicans question whether there was really a need for a special counsel to investigate Trump-Russia. First, they cite the fact that there was no underlying crime. There was no crime specified in Mueller’s original scope memo, and Mueller could never establish that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia. Second, they point to the circumstances of Mueller’s appointment, when fired FBI director James Comey leaked confidential documents in order to set off an uproar that he hoped would result in the appointment of a special counsel. As it turned out, things went according to Comey’s plan. But was a special counsel really necessary to investigate the crime that did not occur? Like so many others, don’t look for that argument to be resolved by the Mueller report.
The Mueller investigation cost American taxpayers approximately $31 million. In the end, it proved to be nothing more than a way to keep a number of political people in Washington employed for a while after the administration they supported was not reelected.
CNS News posted an article today about a recent comment by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
The article reports what Speaker Pelosi said in a statement issued Sunday:
“Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video” of Rep. Omar’s comment.”
This is the full statement:
“Following the President’s tweet, I spoke with the Sergeant-at-Arms to ensure that Capitol Police are conducting a security assessment to safeguard Congresswoman Omar, her family and her staff. They will continue to monitor and address the threats she faces.
“The President’s words weigh a ton, and his hateful and inflammatory rhetoric creates real danger. President Trump must take down his disrespectful and dangerous video.”
So what is this disrespectful and dangerous video? It is simply a video of Congresswoman Omar stating that “CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) was founded after 9/11 because they realized that some people did something.”
So wait a minute. I am missing something here. First of all, CAIR was founded in 1994–not after 9/11. Second of all, how is showing a video of a person making a speech disrespectful and dangerous? The Congresswoman has stood by her words–she has not apologized for them or backed down in any way. Why is the video disrespectful and dangerous when it simply shows Congresswoman Omar making a speech? If the video is not edited in any way (no one is arguing that it was altered), whose speech is dangerous–the one saying the words or the one reporting the words? Is the problem with the speaker or the one reporting the speech?
The Los Angeles Times is reporting today that a decision to put an American flag graphic on the side of the Laguna Beach police cars is opposed by some citizens of the community. The citizens either praise the flag graphic on police cars or pan it as too aggressive.
The article reports:
After hearing the criticism and acknowledging that the image they approved didn’t quite match the final results, officials agreed to reconsider their February decision to paint the Laguna Beach Police Department’s fleet of 11 squad cars. The City Council will take up the issue again at its Tuesday meeting.
“People are screaming that the American flag on a police car is somehow or another … hurting people’s feelings who might be immigrants or visitors,” said Councilman Peter Blake. “People are actually ridiculous enough to bring up comments about our cop cars having American flags on them.”
Artist Carrie Woodburn went to the podium at the March 19 council meeting and said it was “shocking to see the boldness of the design” when the newly painted Ford Explorers rolled out.
“We have such an amazing community of artists here, and I thought the aesthetic didn’t really represent our community,” Woodburn said. “It feels very aggressive.”
Has it occurred to these artists that the flag represents the country that has given them the freedom they have as artists?
The Daily Caller posted an article today noting that although Valerie Jarrett’s book, “Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward,” appears as number fourteen on The New York Times’ Best Sellers List, it is number 1,030 on Amazon’s list of top sellers and number 1,244 on Barnes and Noble.
The article notes:
“Given the organic sales of that book and the fact that during the entire week of rollout it barely cracked the top 100 on Amazon, there’s no way the book should have a place on the NYT Best Seller list. Inconceivable,” one prominent book industry insider, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “There’s likely an effort to game the system, it’s the only explanation.“
Jarrett’s book outsold all but the top four books on the NYT list, according to BookScan, which tracks sales figures. But instead of putting it at number five, the Times placed it lower, including behind one book billed as “a behind-the-scenes look at the daytime talk show ‘The View,’” which is seventh.
Have Valerie Jarrett and her cronies ever been involved in anything where they didn’t try to ‘game the system.?
From my friends at Power Line Blog:
Today The Conservative Treehouse posted an article with the following title, “Jay Sekulow: “Three” FISA Applications Were Denied in 2016 and What This Means…”
The article reports:
During a rather innocuous podcast discussion panel yesterday, one of President Trump’s personal lawyers Jay Sekulow mentioned the FBI had three FISA applications denied by the FISA court in 2016. [Podcast Here – Note comment at 25:05] The denials were always suspected; however, until now no-one in/around the administration has ever confirmed.
Jay Sekulow did not expand on his statement and did not explain where the information was derived from; however, if accurate this may explain the backstory to why FISA Judge Rudolph Contreras was recused. This issue has been nagging many people since the recusal notation in December 2017.
The article continues, explaining why this is significant and the role the FISA court played in the undermining of the Trump campaign and transition team.
The most intriguing part of the article (at least to me) was the list at the end of the evidence needed to expose the misdeeds of the government during 2016 and beyond:
♦ Prove the July 31st, 2016, Crossfire Hurricane operation originated from fraud by exposing the CIA operation that created the originating “Electronic Communication” memo. Declassify that two-page “EC” document that Brennan gave to Comey.
♦ Release and declassify all of the Comey memos that document the investigative steps taken by the FBI as an outcome of the operation coordinated by CIA Director John Brennan in early 2016.
♦ Reveal the November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702 search query abuse by declassifying the April 2017 court opinion written by FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer. Show the FBI contractors behind the 85% fraudulent search queries. [Crowdstrike? Fusion-GPS? Nellie Ohr?]
♦ Subpoena former DOJ-NSD (National Security Division) head John Carlin, or haul him in front of a grand jury, and get his testimony about why he hid the abuse from the FISA court in October 2016; why the DOJ-NSD rushed the Carter Page application to beat NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers to the FISA court; and why Carlin quit immediately thereafter. Squeeze this bastard’s nuts in the proverbial legal vice.
♦ Prove the Carter Page FISA application (October 2016) was fraudulent and based on deceptions to the FISA Court. Declassify the entire document, and release the transcripts of those who signed the application(s); and/or depose those who have not yet testified.
♦ Release all of the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages without redactions. Let sunlight pour in on the actual conversation(s) that were taking place when Crossfire Hurricane (July ’16) and the FISA Application (Oct ’16) were taking place.
♦ Release all of Bruce Ohr 302’s, FBI notes from interviews and debriefing sessions, and other relevant documents associated with the interviews of Bruce Ohr and his internal communications. Including exculpatory evidence that Bruce Ohr may have shared with FBI Agent Joseph Pientka. [And get a deposition from this Pientka fella]
♦ Release the August 2nd, 2017, two-page scope memo provided by DAG Rod Rosenstein to special counsel Robert Mueller to advance the fraudulent Trump investigation, and initiate the more purposeful obstruction of justice investigation.
Hopefully this evidence will emerge soon.
Yesterday CNBC reported the following:
After a disappointing February in which just 20,000 jobs were added to the economy, the job market is back on track, adding 196,000 jobs in March.
That’s according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statics, which also showed unemployment remaining at 3.8% and wages increasing by 3.2% from a year ago.
“I think the March report will reassure investors after the weak report in February brought about concerns of a possible slowing economy,” Glassdoor’s chief economist Andrew Chamberlain tells CNBC Make It. “The report is strong across the board and it’s hard to find any weaknesses. It shows that even after 102 months of positive job gains, the economy still has room to grow.”
At some point the economy will slow down. We have not yet dealt with the debt that runaway spending has created in recent years, and we have not yet fully revised trade deals that were detrimental to our country. However, March was a good month for Americans looking for work and Americans in the workforce.
The article reminds us that there may be a recession in the future, but not in the near future:
Though February’s numbers may have been alarming to some, Hamrick, Gimbel and Chamberlain agree that there’s no need to worry about a recession just yet.
“There’s no sign that one is imminent,” says Hamrick, though he adds, “we know that one is inevitable at some point.”
Gimbel adds that, “In 2018, we created, on average, about 200,000 jobs per month. That is astonishing at this point in the recovery and highly unlikely that the economy is going to keep that up moving forward. So if we drop down to creating 180,000 jobs a month, or 150,000 or even 100,000, that is OK.”
Having a businessman as President has been a good thing for the majority of Americans.