The mainstream media are obsessed with the resignation of Rob Porter because of accusations of domestic abuse by two former wives.
Considering how fast the federal government does anything, the timeline that White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders gave to the press doesn’t seem out of line.
The FBI had completed its investigation but the White House personnel office hadn’t finished with its process. However, according to the mainstream media, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is going to be forced to resign because someone whose ex-wives reported he abused them was allowed to work at the White House until it was determined whether the allegations were true or not.
They may have been abused, but you can’t believe everything that an ex-spouse says about their former marital partner. Sometimes events get exaggerated and an ex-spouse is not usually considered unbiased.
But what the mainstream media are ignoring is a completely bizarre email that former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice sent to herself a few minutes before Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20 about a meeting she reportedly had with President Barack Obama, FBI Director James Comey, Vice President Joe Biden and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
At this meeting on Jan. 5, Obama, according to Rice’s email to herself, repeatedly told Comey that he wanted the investigation of Trump to be “by the book.” Rice sent this to herself during her last minutes in office. What could the possible purpose be except to protect Obama? Sending an email to yourself about a meeting over two weeks earlier in your very last minutes in office is just plain weird.
It’s also going to be a problem for Comey, who denied meeting with Obama during that period and denied meeting with him about the Trump investigation.
Rice, as many will remember, was ambassador to the United Nations when she was trotted out to appear on five Sunday morning talk shows to explain that the attack on the American compound in Benghazi – where four Americans including the ambassador were killed – was the result of a spontaneous mob that gathered to protest a YouTube video.
The claim by Rice was preposterous at the time and has proven to be a huge lie, but Rice, who as ambassador to the UN had nothing to do with the situation, was the trusted insider who was willing to go on camera and tell this huge whopper.
Rice was later made national security advisor and evidently has total and complete loyalty to Obama. Rice as national security advisor was the official responsible for unmasking Trump associates when they were captured in the foreign surveillance routinely done by US intelligence agencies.
When American citizens are captured by foreign surveillance, their identity is masked because the intelligence agencies do not have the authority to spy on Americans. But in exceptional circumstances their identities can be revealed.
Rice routinely revealed the identities of Americans associated with Trump when they were picked up by the intelligence community. No reasonable explanation for this unmasking has ever been given.
From her past behavior it seems safe to assume that Rice did it because she was told to do it by Obama. Maybe that’s what he meant when he said a “by the book” investigation. Not by the standard book covering investigations but by the special Obama book for investigations of his enemies.
There is also more news from the congressional committees investigating the whole Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant, Steele dossier mess.
There is now evidence that not only was Steele being paid for by the Clinton campaign to do research on Trump, but Clinton supporters were feeding Steele information that Steele then put in the dossier and provided to the FBI. It was a form of laundering information. The FBI wasn’t going to pay much attention to the Clinton operatives who they knew and didn’t trust, but Steele had worked with the FBI before and was trusted.
It should be noted that the exact same information that Steele was providing to the FBI, which the FBI was swearing was true and taking to the FISA Court to get warrants for surveillance, Steele was also shopping around to the news media.
The New York Times and The Washington Post refused to publish a word from the Steele dossier because it couldn’t be verified. But the FBI used this same information that Comey described as “salacious” and “unverified” to obtain FISA warrants to spy on Americans.
It’s hard to believe, but in this case it is true that The New York Times and The Washington Post had much higher standards for verification of information than the FBI under Obama.
The only media outlet that did publish the information was Yahoo News, and the FBI then used the Yahoo News article, which was based on the Steele dossier, to claim that it validated the Steele dossier.
Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Charles Grassley have asked that the FBI investigate Steele for lying to the FBI, which is a felony. Of course, if Steele is arrested and charged with lying to the FBI, he is likely to go state’s evidence and provide information proving that the FBI knew that much of the information in the Steele dossier was false and used it anyway.
The last thing the FBI wants is to have Steele testifying against it.
The word in the conservative media is that Assistant Director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap is providing information to the congressional committees investigating the whole sordid affair at the FBI and the Justice Department.
It seems like a logical assumption. If you look at Priestap, he’s the last man standing. While all of those around him have resigned or been demoted, Priestap has been untouched.
Priestap was Peter Strzok’s boss, so presumably he knew what Strzok was up to. But since Trump was elected there has been a lot of turnover. Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired. FBI Director Comey was fired. FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has retired. And it goes on down the line. Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, whose wife worked for Fusion GPS on investigating Trump, has been demoted twice but he’s still getting a government paycheck and racking up retirement benefits.
It certainly appears that there is enough evidence accumulated to make some arrests in Washington of FBI and Justice Department officials.
The FBI chose not to inform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) of the provenance of the information it was using. The FBI had four opportunities to provide the FISC with that information and did not.
Deceiving the FISC by not providing it with all the relevant information or by using information known to be false or at the very least based on questionable sources is illegal.
Associate Deputy Attorney General Ohr knew what was going on because he met with Christopher Steele, and Ohr’s wife was doing opposition research for Fusion GPS, which had been hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign to hire Steele. Ohr didn’t inform the Justice Department of these facts or the fact that Steele told him that he was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”
There is overwhelming evidence that the FBI and the Justice Department colluded with the Hillary Clinton campaign to keep Trump from being elected president.
Having the FBI use its vast powers to attempt to affect the outcome of a presidential election is a terrifying prospect. Furthermore, those involved in this conspiracy were convinced that they were going to be successful; so instead of ever being punished for what they did, they thought they would be praised and rewarded by the incoming president who was aware of their efforts on her behalf.
This is where a special council is needed. It certainly appears that special prosecutor Bob Mueller is a part of this conspiracy. He wasn’t in the government when this was taking place, but his friends, then FBI Director Comey and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were right in the thick of it.
Unless a special prosecutor is appointed to get to the bottom of all of this, who is going to investigate the investigators? Who is going to prosecute the prosecutors? The idea that the Justice Department is going to investigate itself when the culprits are at the highest levels of the Justice Department is a fantasy.
It is easy to understand why Trump has not fired Mueller – the political fallout would be tremendous. Trump appears to have immense faith in the system, and because he did nothing wrong Trump appears to believe that Mueller will find that he did nothing wrong.
Trump has been enormously naive about the people left in place by the Obama administration and it may turn out that he is being naive about Mueller.
Trump appointed Sally Yates as acting attorney general, and it turned out that she hated Trump so much that she violated her oath of office and refused to obey a direct and lawful command from her superior, President Trump.
One of Mueller’s top prosecutors, Andrew Weissmann, sent Yates an email praising Yates for defying her boss. And this is supposed to be an unbiased independent prosecutor.
Politically Trump can’t fire Mueller, but why he has not fired Rosenstein is hard to fathom. In fact, why Attorney General Jeff Sessions has not fired Rosenstein makes no sense, unless Trump ordered him not to.
After Rosenstein finished stonewalling the congressional committees, Sessions should have called him on his cell phone and told him not to bother coming back to his office and that the personal items in his desk would be delivered to his house.
One has to hope that there is a master plan in place by the Trump administration to handle all of this at once instead of piecemeal. Maybe one day soon the US Marshals will put the whole crew, including Comey, in handcuffs and shackles and march them into the federal courthouse to face a litany of charges including attempting to overthrow the legitimately elected government. But that is a little too much to wish for.
These people used the power given to them by the American people to attempt to try and stop the fair and free election by the American people of a president they didn’t like.
It’s no wonder that no charges were brought against Hillary Clinton when she blatantly committed numerous felonies as secretary of state. Hillary Clinton could have stabbed Trump repeatedly on national television during one of the debates and the FBI would have found that she didn’t intend to harm him and therefore no crime was committed.
If you go back and read Comey’s speech about the Hillary Clinton investigation it makes no sense. Or it only makes sense if you realize what Comey was saying was Hillary Clinton broke a whole bunch of laws but the Justice Department isn’t going to bring charges because we want her to be in the White House next year, not in prison, and we are doing everything in our power, legal and illegal, to make sure that she wins.
Watergate was a bunch of crooked and overly enthusiastic Nixon campaign workers going way overboard to try and help Nixon get elected. No one has ever proven that Nixon knew about the break-in before it happened. Nixon’s failure and what brought him down was the attempt to cover it up once he found out about it.
This is far more serious. This is the Justice Department and the FBI attempting to affect the outcome of an election. If a lot of people are not severely punished for what they attempted to do, it will be the end of the constitutional government as we know it. America will become no more than a banana republic where it will be the government, not the people, who decide who will be the next leader.
The Russians have tried to meddle in US elections for decades and will continue to do so. It may have been forgotten but the Chinese made huge contributions to the presidential campaign of Bill Clinton, and for some reason that was not seen as a serious problem. Is it colluding with a foreign power to accept their campaign donations? Evidently not. But the fact that people in the Trump campaign talked to Russians during the campaign according to the mainstream media means Trump is not a legitimate president.
According to Carter Page, who the FBI evidently thought was a spy, the information he handed to Russians and turned over to the FBI were materials he handed out in a class he was teaching, which had some Russians in it.
It doesn’t sound that nefarious. A lot of teachers hand out material to their students, even foreign students, without being investigated by the FBI.
It appears that Page was simply an easy mark for the FBI and gave them a chance to get inside the Trump campaign.
In answer to direct question from George Stephanopoulos, who worked for the Clintons before becoming a television newsreader, Page said he has never once met Trump. So perhaps the FBI should have tried going up the ladder a little further.
In today’s climate it is worth noting that it is not illegal for an American to teach Russians in a class, go to Russia and speak at an event, do business in Russia or even be really interested in Russia. Page is guilty of all of the above, but the FBI – despite over a year of electronic surveillance where they captured every electronic communication Page made – has been unable to prove that Page ever did anything illegal.
Congress should ask for an estimate of how much money was spent on the electronic surveillance of Page and find out why the surveillance continued for so long when it was producing no results. One answer to that would be that it wasn’t Page that the FBI was interested in but the Trump campaign, and it was Page’s links to the Trump campaign, not Page’s links to Russia, that led to the surveillance.
If someone could prove that they would really have something. Considering how careless Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were with their communications, it might be possible.
We now know that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the FBI paid Russians for information.
The Hillary Clinton campaign did launder the money paying it to a law firm that paid Fusion GPS, which paid Christopher Steele, who paid the Russians. This is no longer speculation but – because of the work of the congressional oversight committees – but a fact.
You might wonder why the FBI, which is so fascinated with Russian collusion by Trump, would not be interested in Russian collusion by Hillary Clinton. The answer is that the FBI was colluding along with Hillary Clinton. The FBI was going to take over paying Steele when the Hillary Clinton campaign stopped, but the FBI ran into a little problem – the congressional oversight committees discovered who was paying Steele. They had to go to court to get the bank records, but the truth came out.
The New York Times is now reporting that the FBI paid some Russian scam artist $100,000 for dirt on Trump. Since when did the FBI start paying foreign nationals for compromising information about the US president? It would be instructive to know how much the FBI spent paying Russians, Chinese, North Koreans or anybody else in an attempt to buy compromising information about former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
The fact that the FBI spent $100,000 for worthless information – mostly from newspapers – about Trump proves a couple of things. First is that the FBI is out to get Trump. The FBI is using tax dollars to pay people for information that would drive Trump from office. But second, and just as important, the FBI is not the organization that it once was and can’t tell valuable information from old newspaper articles.
However, if the FBI is willing to pay $100,000 for some old newspaper articles, I have a couple million dollars worth of old newspaper articles in my office and I’d be willing to make a deal. I’ll let them have them all, including a copy of my very favorite Jerry Bledsoe column for a mere $500,000.
After the State of the Union, one of the commentators for National Public Radio (NPR) brought up the problems that Puerto Rico is still having following Hurricane Maria. It sounds easy – send in a few billion federal dollars and fix the infrastructure – but nothing is ever that easy.
New Orleans wasn’t rebuilt in a day, or a year, and the problems in Puerto Rico are more complicated. Puerto Ricans pay almost no income tax; it’s 4 percent total. North Carolinians by comparison pay 5.75 percent state income tax and then pay federal income tax in addition. In Puerto Rica the people don’t have to pay any federal income tax, so the total income tax burden is 4 percent across the board.
Before the hurricane the government was facing bankruptcy and the infrastructure was in terrible shape because there was no money to maintain it. The damage would not have been as severe if the infrastructure had not been falling apart on its own.
So should the US taxpayers foot the bill to replace the crumbling infrastructure with all new roads, bridges, water, sewer and an electrical system? We are all American citizens. As a taxpaying American who pays far more than 4 percent in federal and state income tax, should I be forced to subsidize the government of Puerto Rico, which doesn’t tax its citizens enough to pay for basic infrastructure? We have plenty of infrastructure here on the mainland that needs to be fixed. It’s a juggling act, but Puerto Rico has to pay its fair share of the bill.
In Houston, the people paid their federal income tax like the rest of the people in the 50 states. So if federal money goes there it makes sense. They contributed their fair share to the federal government and now they need some of it back. It’s a different story for Puerto Rico.
This might be a good time to work out a reasonable solution to the Puerto Rico issue, because the current system of Puerto Rico being a US territory doesn’t appear to be working very well.
Until lately I have been an agnostic as far as the Dreamers go. If Congress wanted to grant adults who came to this country as children some kind of amnesty that did not extend to their families I was fine with that.
But having listened to a number of Dreamers and read what others have to say, I have come to the conclusion that granting amnesty for an entire group of illegal immigrants is not the correct path to take.
Two main factors played a big part in my decision. One is that the Dreamers are not what the mainstream media say they are. The mainstream media focus on people who were brought to this country as small children by their parents and grew up in the US, some with no memory of their native country. But Dreamers also include people who crossed the border illegally on their own as teenagers.
A Dreamer could have illegally immigrated to the US when they were as old as 16 and still qualify for Dreamer status, but since they are here illegally and have no legal documents, how old someone is or was when they crossed the border is difficult to prove. A person who decides as a teenager or young adult to cross the border illegally and work illegally in the US does not in my mind deserve special status. If Congress chooses to restrict the special consideration to people who actually were brought to this country as small children and have grown up in the US, I may have to consider my position again, but that is not what is under consideration now.
The other major factor in my decision is the attitude of Dreamers that they are owed something by the US and that the US government should change its laws to benefit them. They are in this country illegally regardless of how they got here. I don’t believe that the US government owes them a special favor because their parents broke the laws of this country.
I think it is this country that should decide whether to give people special status or not based on the person and how and what they can contribute to our society. I don’t see anything wrong with looking at Dreamers on a case-by-case basis. Why does amnesty have to be blanket for an entire group? Can’t the government decide that people who arrived in the US as children and are now contributing to society as students or employees deserve special consideration and those who are not should not receive any special consideration?
Not everyone who has legally immigrated to the US receives citizenship. People have to go through the process of becoming citizens. Why should Dreamers get moved to the front of the line?
I have lived in foreign countries and have even lived illegally in a foreign country. I overstayed my visa on a trip to Haiti. At that time the Haitian government decided that Americans whose papers were not in order would not be allowed to leave. It didn’t occur to me to demand that Haiti change its regulations for me. I was in Haiti and believed I had to obey the laws of that country. It was a huge hassle to get the paperwork done so that I could leave the country.
But isn’t it interesting that Haiti’s punishment for people was to not allow them to leave the country and in the US it is the opposite? Our punishment is to make people leave the country.
Some of the proof offered by the mainstream media that Carter Page was worth the effort that the FBI went through, including lying to the FISC about the information it had, was that Page knew the Russians had Hillary Clinton emails before it was made public.
I hesitate to write this because I would hate to be surveilled by the FBI, but I knew the Russians had Hillary Clinton’s emails before it was publicly released. So did any sentient being with a little knowledge of computers. The secretary of state for the United States of America was putting all of her email correspondence – classified, top secret and personal about her daughter’s wedding – on an unsecure server. Of course the Russians have those emails. So do the Chinese and the North Koreans. It would be shocking if Great Britain, France, Germany and Israel didn’t have them as well.
It’s like dumping a pile of hundred dollar bills on the sidewalk and because people are honest expecting no one to pick up a few. It is extremely valuable information, perhaps not because of the information itself, but it gave everyone who was interested a look at how the State Department actually worked and what Secretary of State Clinton did other than rack up more frequent flyer miles than any previous secretary of state, and hopefully any future secretary of state up until we have interplanetary travel and the secretary of state has meetings on Mars and the moons of Jupiter.
I read the mainstream media and watch CNN and MSNBC sometimes. One practice that is not just bias but extremely poor journalism – the kind of journalism that used to get people fired – is that the mainstream media ignore what Trump says but accept anonymous leaks from the White House as fact, despite those facts being denied by named sources such as Trump and the people who work for him.
Take the accepted fact that Trump ordered special prosecutor Mueller fired. Trump has denied this ever happened. But anonymous sources say that they heard that it did.
The long accepted way to report that is as a disputed point: “Anonymous sources report they were told that Trump ordered Mueller fired. Trump denies this ever happened.” What a good journalist didn’t do before Trump was elected was report, “Trump ordered Mueller fired” with no conditions or explanation that Trump who was there and the anonymous sources who are only listed as being familiar with the situation not being witnesses to it say that he did.
Anonymous sources – particularly anonymous sources who only heard about something happening – are the way of the world, not just in Washington but in journalism. What any politician will tell you on the record is extremely different from what they will tell you off the record. On the record the person can be quoted, off the record comments usually require corroboration.
An on-the-record denial is supposed to trump (pun intended) an off-the-record assertion. Or it always has until Trump became president. In the Trump White House, anonymous sources trump named sources if the information is critical of Trump.
Trump has introduced his budget and suddenly the Democrats and the liberal mainstream media are concerned about the deficit. But this is par for the course. When the Democrats are in power they see no problem with running up the national debt. It almost doubled during the eight years Obama was in office and that was not a problem for the Democrats or the liberal mainstream media, but it was a huge problem for Republicans.
Now the Republicans are in power and the deficit is not a problem because they get to decide where the money is going to be spent. All that talk of our grandchildren being saddled with debt by Republicans is gone. Some more debt is a good thing according to Republicans.
But there is one point that the mainstream media haven’t mentioned about Trump’s plan to cut spending on food stamps, now called SNAP, and other social programs, which according to them is horrible.
The food stamp program increased by 70 percent during Obama’s eight years in office. The number of people receiving government assistance of some kind or another also sky rocketed. They didn’t call them Obama-phones without reason.
For Trump to cut back to what it was during Obama’s first term doesn’t seem unreasonable. During the Obama administration, government employees were going door to door to try and figure out how people could qualify for more government assistance. It is safe to assume that they signed up people for government assistance who didn’t need it. Not many people are willing to give up free food or money, and presumably not many people did.
It is worth noting that Trump’s budget removes the funding for the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and NPR. This should have been done as soon as the Republicans had the power to do it. NPR is more liberal and less fair to conservatives than CNN or MSNBC.
On NPR, conservatives are spoken about like they are beings from an unknown culture where it is impossible to comprehend what they are doing. For instance, NPR can’t understand why anyone would vote for Donald Trump, unless they are simply stupid and were somehow brainwashed by Trump. The very idea that anyone would agree with his politics is not even considered possible.
After the State of the Union, an NPR analyst talked about the secret messages Trump was sending to his supporters through the use of certain terms that evidently are like the orders given to someone under hypnosis, and when his supporters hear certain words they find themselves doing weird things and can’t explain why they are acting the way they are.
Imagine for a moment if someone from Fox News had said that former President Obama was sending secret messages to his supporters, messages that no one else understood. They mainstream media would still be making fun of the absurdity of it all, but on NPR they actually believe this kind of ridiculous stuff, like there are code words and every Trump supporter gets a secret decoder ring so they can really understand what Trump is saying.
There is no reason why taxpayers should fund PBS or NPR. Let NPR become what it claims to be, “listener supported radio.”
What is in some ways even more ridiculous than the extremely liberal and biased news shows is that NPR stations broadcast music that not enough people want to hear for it to be on commercial radio. Why should the taxpayers pay for a relatively few people to listen to music that has an extremely small audience?