The GOPe’s on the Ropes

Over the course of the post-Reagan republican clown parade we have seen many sorry excuses for conservatives.  And from where I was watching the Bushes were not even the worst of them.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I think that George Herbert Walker Bush was the political equivalent of the Civil War’s General Burnside.  Burnside was a general so disastrously incompetent that during the closing days of the Civil War upon hearing of his latest battlefield disaster Lincoln was alleged to have said that “Only Burnside could have managed such a coup, wringing one last spectacular defeat from the jaws of victory.”  I do not make this comparison idly.  Here is a man who was handed the presidency on a silver platter from Ronald Reagan’s hands and in only four years lost it to a combination of Ross Perot and the trailer trash chasing Governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton.  Yes, the Bushes have much to be ashamed of as fake conservatives.  And the outpouring of stupidity they have provided during and since the 2016 election only confirms their terrible political skills and lack of the common touch.

Or, I could wax poetic about that “maverick,” that “Reagan foot soldier,” John McCain but his health status makes me squeamish about pummeling him with the truth.  We could talk about !JEB!  We could talk about W.  But without a doubt the worst example of republican empty suit syndrome is Willard Mitt Romney.  The whole country has had a chance to enjoy Mittens during his disastrous attempt at the presidency.  The Press had a field day with the photo of his dog riding in a crate on top of the family SUV and the infamous “binders full of women” shows how unable this man was to confront even the most inept partisan attacks against him.  And his craven supine caving to Democrat and MSM demands that he turn on Trump during the election was pure Romney gold.

But in order to really see Mitt at his best you had to live in Massachusetts during the time when Romney tried challenging Ted Kennedy for his senate seat and then later during Romney’s tenure as Governor of the Bay State.  During his senate campaign he said, “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country.”  Now this is a Mormon making this statement.  The official Mormon stance on abortion says, “Human life is a sacred gift from God. Elective abortion for personal or social convenience is contrary to the will and the commandments of God. Church members who submit to, perform, encourage, pay for, or arrange for such abortions may lose their membership in the Church.”  As a mitigating circumstance you could say that in a liberal state like Massachusetts anyone not claiming a pro-choice position had no chance of gaining elective office.  And the answer to that would be that a Mormon shouldn’t run for elective office in Massachusetts.

But Mitt had any number of pratfalls in Massachusetts.  While Governor his administration was blamed for some tiles falling from the ceiling of the newly built Big Dig tunnel and killing a passing driver.  Now the tunnel was built by the various crooked business interests that flourished under the Democratic Massachusetts House and Senate leaders who doled out the contracts as patronage rewards and squandered the federal funds and the State taxes used.  But Mitt took the blame with never a peep and almost seemed to enjoy the abuse that was heaped on him by the various rats in the legislature and press who better than anyone knew who was really to blame for the shoddy construction and outrageous price tag of the Big Dig.  And this is the real shame of the GOPe.  They never fight.  They just sit there and take it.  And even worse, they attack anyone who dares to fight back.  Instead of applauding Trump for defending himself they go out of their way to virtue signal to the press that they are more outraged than the Democrats at the shameless refusal to kowtow to scurrilous attacks.  “How dare Trump not cower like a true republican!”

But it appears the jig may be up.  In the last few months even the most dependably invertebrate members of the GOPe seem to be figuring out that you actually can beat the MSM game.  After seeing what happens when they work together with President Trump even such weak-kneed arthropods as Lindsey Graham are jumping on the Trump bandwagon and benefitting from the realization that acting like a man is possible for a republican.  Can you imagine what would happen if they survive the midterms without losing either chamber, maybe even making gains?

I’m almost afraid of what this trend could portend.  Will we see the likes of Lindsey Graham parading around the Senate floor sporting gold chains and flashing gang signs and talking trash about D’s who got curb stomped by the Notorious DT?  Man, I hope not.  But if we do, I only hope Romney doesn’t catch it too.  The image of Mitt with a gold grill and twin glocks would probably finish me off, laughing.

How Will Affirmative Action End?

For many people on the right wing, Supreme Court appointments are the highest priority for the Trump to-do list.  Gorsuch was the first act of that play.  But what they really want is a clear majority of socially conservative justices willing to act on issues where unconstitutional policy has been imposed on the country.  High on that list are the moral outrages of abortion and so-called homosexual marriage.  But at the very top of the list of unconstitutional policies that damage American life is affirmative action.  Here are a laundry list of protected classes ranging from half the population (women) to all non-white populations, to homosexuals and other deviants who only share one thing in common, they are not normal white men.  These groups are provided the coercive force of the federal and/or state government to gain preference in employment, housing and education.  And lately the sexual orientation and gender identity protected statuses are being used to dictate everything from who can be a boy scout to who can use a bathroom reserved for women.  But the truth of these laws is that they should really be called what they are.  They should be called Legalized Discrimination against Normal White Men.  Because this is the only group that is systematically discriminated against by every one of these policies.  An attempt to do this against any other group would be challenged legally and morally condemned.  But normal white men are undefended and in fact assumed to be unworthy of receiving the universal fairness that the left demands for every other group.

I am not an expert at how the Court system works.  What I think happens is some lower Court adjudicates some case that contradicts a Federal law.  If the lower court agrees with the existing law and finds against a plaintiff or defendant on the other side of this precedent then he has the right to appeal to a higher level of the federal court structure.  And if this continues, eventually it can reach the Supreme Court.  The decision of the Supreme Court is considered final and can even overturn a federal law if the Supreme Court finds it unconstitutional as happened with the Defense of Marriage Act.  That was Justice Kennedy’s handiwork.

How I would see affirmative action overturned will be when some white man is discriminated against because of one of these policies and he gets his day in court and a majority of Supreme Court Justices says enough is enough.  Once the whole range of affirmative action policies are looked at it will be easy to justify their complete dismantling based on the very question of fairness that the left is always trumpeting.  The only question I’m not sure about is whether the Court will decide to phase out these policies or just end them outright.  I can foresee an enormous legal and bureaucratic endeavor to strip out all the affirmative action policies scattered throughout the federal and state statutes and government policy documents.

But none of this can happen until one of the sitting left-leaning Supreme Court Justices retires (or passes away) and there exists a conservative President and Senate to put a conservative appointee on the Supreme Court bench.  I have to confess this is one of the things I wait for most impatiently.  And as much as I’d like to see Kennedy go, I’d prefer it was Bader-Ginsburg or Breyer.  Kennedy’s bad but he is alright on the non-social issues.  I can wait for him to go next.

A Murder of Manatees by Larry Correia – A Science Fiction Book Review

As noted earlier, Larry Correia has published a second installment of his Tom Stranger stories (A Murder of Manatees: The Further Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent[Audiobook] By: Larry Correia, Adam Baldwin, Audible Studios Sold By: Audible).

I have to admit.  This is a guilty pleasure.  The stories, such as they are, border on the ridiculous.  The plot is just an excuse to allow Tom Stranger and his friends and enemies to interact in an adventure that resembles science fiction in the same way that the old 1960s Batman tv series resembles Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight movies.

But I don’t care.  It’s fun.  Correia fills his little two-hour audiobook with good natured jabs at himself, modern politics, culture and the conventions of pulp science fiction.  There’s never any doubt that Tom and his associates will provide quality, excellent customer service and that the bad guys will get their comeuppance.

And we can also be assured that Adam Baldwin will continue to find ways of voice portraying whatever ridiculous characters Larry invents, no matter whether it’s a bubble gum snapping android from the Jersey Shore or a hard-tweeting U.S. President on the battle field of the Mar-a-Lago golf course.  Having only previously known Adam Baldwin’s acting skills from Full Metal Jacket, Firefly and Chuck I wasn’t prepared for his wonderfully hammy touch to this kind of goofy material.  He absolutely makes the most of the story and its characters.

I just finished it today and I enjoyed every silly second of it.  Bravo Larry and bravo Adam.  I only wish there were more.  And what I really wish is that Hollywood would wake up and make the Monster Hunter saga into a movie series (either tv or big screen).  And I think Adam Baldwin would be a natural as Agent Franks.

But that’s a rant for another day.  Meanwhile if you like goofy tongue in cheek pulp sci-fi or you’re a fan of Larry Correia or Adam Baldwin then I highly recommend A Murder of Manatees.  You could think of plenty of worse ways to spend two hours.

Trump vs The FBI

Dramatis Personae: President Trump (PT), Vice President Pence (VPP), First Lady Melania Trump (MT), Karen Pence (KP), TV Announcer who sounds like Don Pardo (TVAWSLDP)

 

Scene 1 – White House Oval Office; Tuesday, 4pm;

 

PT – Mike.  Mike!  PENCE!!!!  Where the hell are you Mike?

(Mike Pence rushes through door.)

VPP – Mr. President, for Pete’s sake!  I was just on the phone with Robert Mueller.  Alright, what can I do for you?

PT – Hey, take it down a notch Mike.  Remember you work for me.

VPP – Actually Mr. President, like you, I was elected by and work directly for the American people.  You can’t fire me.

PT – Hmmm, I’ll look into that.  Anyway, I was calling you to find out how that conversation with Mueller went.

VPP – Actually, it went very well.  He hasn’t got me on his list of interviewees.

PT – Well, aren’t you special Mike!  But don’t get any ideas about succession plans.  I’m going to be here and if you want to be part of the second term you’ll keep your nose clean and help me get some work done.

VPP – Naturally Mr. President.

PT – So what did he want?  I mean beside buttering you up.

VPP – He was cross-checking some statements that James Comey made against what was reported in the Congressional Committee report last week.

PT – Good.  I hope that dope Mueller finally gets off the dime and jails these criminals in the FBI and Justice Department that were spying on me.

VPP – Well, Mr. President, it’s not as easy as you make it sound.  Investigator Mueller will need to document criminal behavior and then obtain a Grand Jury indictment before a trial is possible.

PT – Oh wake up.  All he has to do is get these losers into that interrogation room.  You know the one.  The one with the old table and chairs.  The one where Sipowicz always roughed them up to get a confession back on NYPD Blue.  I always remember how he would close the blinds and take off his gun and badge and then beat them up for a while before they cracked.  Boy, that guy knew his stuff.

VPP – Oh, for the love of Mike!  Mr. President, that’s a TV cop show.  Investigator Mueller is not going to rough up James Comey to coerce a confession.  And even if he did, it’s illegal and the evidence would be thrown out of court and Mueller would be indicted for doing it.

PT – You know Mike, you’re making it very difficult for me to imagine you as President.  You don’t seem to want to win.

VPP – Mr. President, focus!  We are going to have to coordinate many facets of the Russian investigation and the FBI investigation in a measured way to avoid the type of media coverage that damages our ability to control the message.  You can’t expect us to indulge in banana-republic or fictional law enforcement tactics.  We must be sober and above reproach.

PT – Fine. Do it your way.  But I’m starting to think this whole thing is going nowhere.  I mean, why even bother to have a witch hunt if you don’t get to burn some witches?

VPP – But, oh never mind.  Mr. President, I’ve got to go.

PT – Whatever.

(Mike Pence leaves the scene.  President Trump sits down at the Oval Office desk and starts to type something on his computer.  Melania Trump enters the room.)

MT – Schmoopy, what did you say to Mike.  He is so sad.  I thought he would have cried!

PT – Me Schmoopy? Why I was just discussing the Justice Department business.  I thought he was very happy.  I didn’t say anything.  He must just be nervous or something.  You know how nervous people from the mid-west are. Very, very nervous.

MT – I think you yelled at him like you did to that poor Crying Chuck and made him cry.  That was very sad.  And he told that sad story about the crying statue and it was very sad.  You should not make ladies cry not even lady statues.  It is too sad.

PT – But wait, no, that wasn’t true.  Lyin’ Chuck was crying, I mean Cryin’ Chuck was lying.  Statues don’t cry.

MT – Yes, they do.  In my village there was a statue of the Virgin Mary that cried many times.

PT – Yes, but that was a miracle.  Cryin’ Chuck isn’t a saint.  He’s a Democrat which makes him an atheist.  You shouldn’t believe him.

MT – Well, okay Schmoopy, but I think you made Mike sad.  You must fix this right away.  Mike is a good friend and we need him to help you from not going the kooky.

PT – But I don’t go the kooky, I mean go kooky.  Schmoopy you have to leave these important government matters to me.  I am a very stable genius you know.

MT – Please Schmoopy, say you are sorry to Mike and bring him to Arby’s for some good roast beef.  Please, please!

PT – Maybe you’re right Schmoopy, I’ll talk to him.  He is a good friend.

 

Scene 2 The Vice-Presidential Residence.  Tuesday 8pm

(VP Pence sitting in his living room watching Wheel of Fortune while eating a tv dinner, his wife Karen is bringing in a can of beer.)

KP – Here’s your PBR dear.

VPP – Thanks hon.  You wouldn’t believe what that maniac said today.

KP – Oh Mike, let’s not talk about work tonight.  It’ll only upset you.

VPP – Alright, but I tell you, sometimes I feel like telling him what I really think.

(suddenly an announcer, who sounds a lot like the late Don Pardo, breaks into the broadcast)

TVAWSLDP – We interrupt this boring game show to bring you a message from the President of the United States.

PT – My fellow Americans I come to bring you important information.  Yes, I know you want continue drugging yourself into imbecility but drop the bong and try to concentrate.  Earlier today I was talking to Vice President Pence.

VPP – Oh great Scott.

PT – I told him I wanted to get Jim Comey in one of those interrogation rooms with the old table and chairs.  You know the ones I mean.  And I wanted to Sipowicz him.  That’s modern cop-talk for slappin’ him around.  But that was wrong.  Comey was a cop himself. He wouldn’t have been fooled into confessing.  Vice President Pence knew this and said so.  But it ticked me off.  And I said some not so nice things to him.  The First Lady let me know I was wrong and so I thought about what I should do.  What I did was go on Twitter and offer a fifty-million-dollar reward to anyone who could confirm that Jim Comey was lying about all the Russian stuff and blabbing to the newspapers about all that stuff.  Well, as luck would have it three different FBI agents provided video tape of Comey committing all kinds of offenses.  It was sort of an America’s Funniest Home Videos of Treason.  So now Investigator Mueller has agreed to prosecute Comey and then close his investigation before I find something on him.  Boy, it’s great to be rich.

But all that is beside the point.  The main thing is I was mean to a friend.  Mike Pence is a good guy.  He isn’t crooked like Hillary or a liar like Ted or a crybaby like Chuck.  He’s a good guy who comes to work on time with a clean shirt and combed hair. That hair may be a little short and white but it’s definitely neat.  He’s always polite to people and he doesn’t try to stab you in the back.  He’s a little too nice for the killer stuff but that’s why I have Mad Dog.  So Mike I’m sorry.  Now stop sulking like a little girl and come back to work.  We can even go to Arby’s tomorrow, my treat.  Trump out.

KP – Oh, wasn’t that nice.  He said he was sorry.  I’ll have to thank Melania for telling him to do that.

VPP – Karen, better put the beer back in the fridge.  I’m going to need the Jack Daniels instead, no water.

KP – Yes dear.

Unbridled Enthusiasm – Trump Seems to be Cheering Up Even the Alt-Right

Terminology differs.  Alt-Right, Dissident Right, Alt-West and a few other designations exist for folks at the angrier edge of the Right-Wing.  These are folks who think it’s essentially too late to try to salvage the United States as presently comprised.  There is an underlying premise that dissolution and re-assembly into more than one fragment is the only and desired outcome.  And this has always dismayed me.  The idea that human beings cannot live under a single government that can even-handedly allow them to co-exist and prosper with the maximum of freedom and prosperity seems odd.  Even if the Alt-Right premises about unequal talents and differing preferences in life style are completely true I still don’t see why the advantages of the American way of life can’t continue to generate freedom and happiness.  But that’s their belief, that it can’t.

But I have noticed lately on a few of the sites that I check a sort of moderating mood or attitude.  It’s as if Trump’s successes are starting to encourage even these folks to think that maybe there is some hope of turning things around.  And maybe I’m just picking up the general glow of happiness that comes from seeing leftist heads explode.  But I believe I detect a hint of optimism for the American Project.

Let me add another qualifier.  I have read opinions on these sites that under the best of circumstances Trump may be able to delay the collapse of America by some short number of years.  And maybe the reaction I’m seeing is just the relaxation attendant on this temporary reprieve.  Sort of like the seventh inning stretch.  Well, either way, it appears a certain upbeat attitude seems to be suffusing the apocalyptic crew on the far right.  And I’m definitely good with that.  I have a happily ever afterward daydream where the country wakes up and corrects the excesses and abuses that Democrats and liberal Supreme Court Justices have inflicted upon us.  In this fantasy the Alt-Right eventually grudgingly accepts that they will have to forego bloody insurrection and just settle for the antagonistic and imperfect multi-ethnic and multi-racial melting pot that is the best-case scenario for human interaction that has ever been stumbled upon.

But daydreams aside, regardless of which scenario we are dealing with, lately I find myself unjustifiably optimistic.  Realistically, the best President Trump can do, even assuming two full terms and Republican majorities in Congress, is begin the job of repairing some of the damage.  And then we have to have a capable new president who can continue the work, one who can work for eight years and cement the changes already made into established policy.  The odds of this are pretty slim.  But compared to where we were under “President Black Lives Matter,” we’re living in Shangri-La.  So, why shouldn’t we feel upbeat?  Why, just this week I saw a headline from the New York Times (which, of course, I didn’t click on) that said that maybe that blue wave in the midterms might not actually occur.  Something about the tax bill actually being popular after all (who’da thunk it?).

So, I’m going to join my brethren on the far right and put aside gloom and doom for at least the time being.  This may render me less intense.  It’s going to be much harder to build up a good head of outrage.  But by the same token I predict my schadenfreude and snark will be that much stronger.  In fact, I definitely feel a “Trump vs …” post incubating as we speak.

So, rejoice my brethren and sistren, the Millennium is upon us (again?) and we will enter the Promised Land humming the opening music from The Apprentice and joyfully carrying aloft our banners adorned with the golden device of the Trumpian Comb-Over as we tread those shining streets of gold (apologies to Saint John the Divine).

 

The Text of the Nunes Memo and my comments

Beow is the Nunes memo.  The memo is in normal text.  My comments are in Bold italics.

 

January 18, 2018

 

To: HPSCI Majority Members

 

From: HPSCI Majority Staff

 

Subject: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation

 

Purpose

 

This memorandum provides Members an update on significant facts relating to the Committee’s ongoing investigation into the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and their use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Our findings, which are detailed below, 1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.

 

Investigation Update

 

On October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC. Page is a U.S. citizen who served as a volunteer advisor to the Trump presidential campaign. Consistent with requirements under FISA, the application had to be first certified by the Director or Deputy Director of the FBI. It then required the approval of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General (DAG), or the Senate-confirmed Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division.

 

The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC. As required by statute (50 U.S.C. §,1805(d)(l)), a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed by the FISC every 90 days and each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause. Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Then-DAG Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ.

 

Due to the sensitive nature of foreign intelligence activity, FISA submissions (including renewals) before the FISC are classified. As such, the public’s confidence in the integrity of the FISA process depends on the court’s ability to hold the government to the highest standard—particularly as it relates to surveillance of American citizens. However, the FISC’s rigor in protecting the rights of Americans, which is reinforced by 90-day renewals of surveillance orders, is necessarily dependent on the government’s production to the court of all material and relevant facts. This should include information potentially favorable to the target of the FISA application that is known by the government. In the case of Carter Page, the government had at least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the relevant facts. However, our findings indicate that, as described below, material and relevant information was omitted.

 

1) The “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

 

  1. a) Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.

 

  1. b) The initial FISA application notes Steele was working for a named U.S. person, but does not name Fusion GPS and principal Glenn Simpson, who was paid by a U.S. law firm (Perkins Coie) representing the DNC (even though it was known by DOJ at the time that political actors were involved with the Steele dossier). The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of—and paid by—the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.

 

2) The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News. The Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News. Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News—and several other outlets—in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS. Perkins Coie was aware of Steele’s initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington D.C. in 2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed.

So the FISA probable cause order was obtained using the “Steele dossier” and the Yahoo article that was generated by Steele.  None of the background about the Clintons sponsoring the Steele dossiere was provided to the judge.  Basically this was the Justice Department illegally obtaining a wiretap warrant.  They targeted US citizens purposefully and for political reasons.  And they did it to undermine a candidate who subsequently was elected President of the United States.  High crimes and misdemeanors?  How about treason?

 

  1. a) Steele was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations—an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016, Mother Jones article by David Corn. Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with Yahoo and other outlets in September—before the Page application was submitted to the FISC in October—but Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts.

 

  1. b) Steele’s numerous encounters with the media violated the cardinal rule of source handling—maintaining confidentiality—and demonstrated that Steele had become a less than reliable source for the FBI.

 

3) Before and after Steele was terminated as a source, he maintained contact with DOJ via then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, a senior DOJ official who worked closely with Deputy Attorneys General Yates and later Rosenstein. Shortly after the election, the FBI began interviewing Ohr, documenting his communications with Steele. For example, in September 2016, Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against then-candidate Trump when Steele said he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” This clear evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files—but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications.

 

  1. a) During this same time period, Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohrs’ relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC.

 

So a husband-wife team working between the DOJ and the Clinton front organization Fusion GPS colluded to establish the Steele dossier as the DOJ’s primary evidence against the Trump team.  It’s almost comical in its outrageousness.

 

4) According to the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, Assistant Director Bill Priestap, corroboration of the Steele dossier was in its “infancy” at the time of the initial Page FISA application. After Steele was terminated, a source validation report conducted by an independent unit within FBI assessed Steele’s reporting as only minimally corroborated. Yet, in early January 2017, Director Comey briefed President-elect Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier, even though it was—according to his June 2017 testimony—“salacious and unverified.” While the FISA application relied on Steele’s past record of credible reporting on other unrelated matters, it ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations. Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.

 

5) The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, but there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok. Strzok was reassigned by the Special Counsel’s Office to FBI Human Resources for improper text messages with his mistress, FBI Attorney Lisa Page (no known relation to Carter Page), where they both demonstrated a clear bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton, whom Strzok had also investigated. The Strzok/Lisa Page texts also reflect extensive discussions about the investigation, orchestrating leaks to the media, and include a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an “insurance” policy against President Trump’s election.

 

In what alternate universe did these clowns imagine they would get away this?  Compared to these guys Nixon was a boy scout.  Honestly, these people need to go to jail.  And then we’ve got to chloroform the Patriot Act.  This stuff has got to stop.  I guess Trump will have to appoint a new special counsel and I hope he’ll pull the plug on Mueller first.  Supposedly this is the tip of the iceberg and there are all kinds of other atrocities waiting to surface.  Trump and Sessions will have their hands full just prosecuting these guys, never mind trying to replace them in the DOJ and FBI.  But if somehow these characters get away without jail time then there is no hope for justice in this country.

 

 

My Favorite Show Last Night

So I’ve repeatedly called the Trump presidency “the greatest show on earth.” Honestly, it really is.  I watched the President’s address.  My only objection was having to hear one or two minutes of Shep Smith yammering in the background before the broadcast.  But that faded out of my mind right away.  One of the first things that struck me was that President Trump was having a good time going through the ritual.  He shook hands with Pence and Ryan more than once before he got started.  He always added something at the end of a sentence to intensify or personalize what he was reading off the teleprompter.  He applauded all of his guests very vigorously and he seemed at certain points to be speaking directly to the Democratic Congress as if to chastise them for their lack of enthusiasm about undeniably patriotic and sympathetic topics.  At one point, his expression and his hand gestures seemed to be saying to the Dems, “Come on applaud!”  The news said it was one of the longer SOTU addresses but honestly it seems to go quickly for me.  And I’m not just comparing it to the torturous Obama addresses.  Even W was too long for my tastes.  Probably because it didn’t entertain.  Trump was fun to watch.  The hand gestures, his claims to non-partisan motives and the general appeal to a patriotic agenda were highly effective.  I especially enjoyed his rhetorical shot at the NFL Anthem Kneelers right before the Super Bowl.  Masterfully done.  And, of course there was the kill shot, “young Americans have dreams too.”  Gold, Jerry, gold.

I’m sure there were some right wingers who were upset about the 1.8 million dreamers being brought up as a pillar of Trump’s four part plan on immigration but honestly, there isn’t a prayer in the world of Cryin’ Chuck accepting the wall and all the rest of the good stuff Trump loaded into his plan. I look at it as a poisoned pill that the Dems will refuse to touch.  What other choice will Trump have than to go to the American people and tell them to give him more Republicans in November to get his job done correctly.  I’m guessing a few years ago I would have been one of those complaining about this offer.  But I have learned my lesson.  Ann Coulter was right, “In Trump We Trust.”

Some of the other facets of the experience were the cutaways to people in the audience. Pelosi was the most consistent.  Her expression seemed to be saying, “That egg salad sandwich I just ate must have gone bad.”  Honestly she looked like she had to throw up but was gritting her teeth to stop it.  Schumer was draped over his chair like it was a recliner.  He was just sitting there taking it all in.  Some members of the Congressional Black Caucus looked enraged, especially when he talked about historically low black unemployment.  One of the highlights was when Trump mentioned the presence in the audience of Congressman Steve Scalise, recovered from the gunshot wounds he received at the hands of a crazed Democratic supporter last year.  That was a feel good moment that Trump seemed especially to relish.  First Lady, Melania Trump was in the gallery with the guests and looked typically dignified and lovely.  I read this morning that CNN claimed that Melania wore white as a protest against her husband’s alleged dalliance with a porn star, although why white would be an effective protest color is beyond my meager understanding.  Honestly, these people really have lost what little minds they had.  Several of the guests were associated with MS-13 gang related violence.  There were the four parents of two murdered Long Island teenage girls and an Hispanic law enforcement officer who ignored death threats to lock up a large number of these gang members.  These were highly emotional moments that made a deep impact.  However I believe the most charged moment came when Trump said that American heroes lived not only in the past but also today and the Republican audience started chanting USA, USA, USA.  At that point Democratic Representative  Luis Gutierrez literally got up and walked out of the assembly.  Good times, good times.  So what else could you ask for?  Well, actually, if you remember my recent “Trump vs SOTU” spoof, I included Trump insulting his enemies and having the FBI “Secret Society” members frog-marched out of the House of Representatives in the middle of the address and hauled off to jail.  Well, sure that would have been cool.  But you can’t expect reality to be as cool as my imagination.  But, then again, this is Trump so maybe he’s just saving something for next January.

Trump vs. The State of the Union – Part 3

Trump vs. The State of the Union – Part 1

Trump vs. The State of the Union – Part 2

(Earlier story installments at links)

Dramatis Personae:

Toffee Bredwell – An upper class British journalist from the BBC (TB)

Newt Gingrich (NG)

President Trump (PT)

 

Scene 1: US Capitol Building, 9:30 pm, following an interruption in the State of the Union Address

 

TB – Good evening again everyone and welcome back to the BBC coverage of the American Presidential State of the Union Address.  I’m your reporter Toffee Bredwell and we continue to have with us former Speaker of the American House of Representatives, the Honorable Newt Gingrich.

NG – Thanks Toffee.

TB – I’d like to start by apologizing for my unprofessional weakness a little while ago.  I reacted like some sort of Victorian heroine suffering a case of the “vapours” upon hearing of an impropriety.  My only defense is my sheltered public-school upbringing.  I am unused to such frank discussion of sexual impropriety by a national leader on television.

NG – Well Toffee, welcome to America, post Bill Clinton.  We do let it all hang out as the kids say,

TB – Quite.  And so, to bring our viewers up to date, President Trump followed up his introductory comments by instructing the various law enforcement personnel at his disposal to arrest, handcuff and escort away or as he so colorfully expressed it “frog march” the indicted FBI members in the audience to some unspecified area of confinement.

NG – Toffee, you have a way with words.

TB – Thank you Mr. Speaker, I do love my work.  Newt, what in the world can we expect from the conclusion of President Trump’s address?  Honestly, I’m completely at a loss as to what he can say that won’t seem overshadowed by the unprecedented actions we’ve just witnessed.

NG – Well Toffee, if we’ve learned anything from tonight’s events is that you should never assume anything when it involves Donald Trump.  He is entirely unconventional.

TB – Indeed.  Do you foresee many of the Congressional audience remaining for this second act?

NG – Well, other than those with guilty consciences I can’t imagine anyone with a ringside seat leaving this venue.  The old phrase, “the greatest show on earth” comes to mind.  There is something fascinating watching a force of nature at work.

TB – Well, we’ll have to wait for the finale to continue this discussion because I believe President Trump is resuming his place at the rostrum.

(scene shifts to President Trump back at the rostrum)

PT – I’m going to dispense with some of the formalities.  You’re phonies and liars and losers.  The American people don’t expect me to suck up to the likes of you.  But enough pleasantries.  The reason for this address is for me to report to the Congress.  The relevant passage in the Constitution is and I quote “He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Unquote.

So, here’s my information on the State of the Union.  The Union no longer exists.  It’s a disunion.  And until I came along, the leftist deviant part was killing and devouring the normal part.  Very recently I’ve been able to slow the damage and put a little hurt on the deviants but it’s just a start.  To restore the country to health I’m going to have to take a chainsaw to the parasite that’s killing our country.  The first step in the process is decapitating the Swamp Beast.  Currently that’s the Justice Department, especially the FBI.  I intend to fire all the pod people who have infiltrated the Bureau and replace them with human beings.  That should start the healing.  Then I’m going to drain the rest of the swamp.  We’ve made a good start over at the EPA and we intend to continue right along until the housing prices in Northern Virginia reach West Virginia levels.  On the political front I expect the midterms won’t turn out the way you think.  We’ll keep the House and we’ll expand our majority in the Senate.  With this situation I intend to increase my appointments to federal judgeships until I can put an end to the judicial meddling that we’ve seen for the last year.  I intend to appoint at least two more Supreme Court judges in my first term.  That’s right SCOTUS you know who I mean.  In my second term who knows?  We’ll play it by ear.

As far as legislation, I expect Congress to craft legislation to shut down immigration, restore religious freedom, undo unconstitutional overreach with respect to surveillance and so-called gay marriage and end affirmative action.  Between those actions we can stabilize this country and make it a place to be proud of again.  So, in conclusion we’ve got a lot of work to do.  Shut up and get to work.  Trump out.

(returning to the broadcast studio)

TB – Well Mr. Speaker, what do you make of that?

NG – I’d call it marching orders.  This President has an agenda and a plan of action.  It’s about time.

TB – Were you surprised at the lack of empathy or new programs for the underprivileged?

NG – You mean virtue signaling.  No.  Trump is a leader, not a cheerleader.  I’m just surprised he didn’t wade into the audience with a cat-o-nine-tails.

TB – Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen, the first State of the Union address by American President Donald J. Trump.  It was a ghastly spectacle but at the same time surprisingly energizing.  I warrant that in the months and years ahead we’ll look back at this address as the beginning of historic change in this former British colony.

NG – Toffee, you’ve got to let that go.

TB – Quite.

Trump vs. The State of the Union – Part 2

Trump vs. The State of the Union – Part 1  Note: this is a link to the first installment of this story.

 

Dramatis Personae:

President Trump (PT)

Sargeant at Arms (SAA)

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (PR)

Toffee Bredwell – An upper class British journalist from the BBC (TB)

Newt Gingrich (NG)

Melania Trump (MT)

 

Scene 1: US Capitol Building, 8:45 pm, directly before the State of the Union Address

 

TB – Good evening everyone and welcome to the BBC coverage of the American Presidential State of the Union Address.  I’m your reporter Toffee Bredwell and with me here is former Speaker of the American House of Representatives, the Honorable Newton Gingrich.  Welcome Mr. Speaker or may I call you Newt?

NG – Certainly Toffee, all my friends call me Newt.

TB – Thanks.  Now as a former Speaker of the House you are intimately familiar with the protocol, let’s call it the nuts and bolts of this event.  Can you share a little insight with our listeners about how this evening will progress?

NG – Well, normally the members of the administration and the Supreme Court will be announced by the Deputy Sergeant at Arms and when The President arrives at the Chamber door the Sergeant at Arms announces him to the Speaker.  This is followed by a long walk filled with cheers and handshaking and embraces and when the President reaches the Rostrum the Speaker announces him to the Congress and after another lengthy round of applause the President begins his address.  And during the address depending on the particular subject and the party of each of the attendees there could be applause, stony silence or recently even some booing.  In fact, during one of then President Obama’s addresses, a Congressman shouted out “You lie!”

TB – Oh dear, how embarrassing.  Do you expect we’ll experience any such breaches of civility tonight?

NG – Well Toffee, unless I miss my guess, I think we might see something a little more exciting tonight.  Let’s just hope there won’t be any fisticuffs.

TB – Quite.  So, I can see that the Sergeant at Arms is positioning himself so let’s shift over to the floor microphone.

SAA – Mister Speaker, the President of the United States!

TB – Well Mr. Speaker, you weren’t exaggerating.  What a terrific up swelling of applause and ovation for this President.  These congresspersons certainly love this President.

NG – Oh, far from it, Toffee.  Most of these people despise Donald Trump but he’s just initiated a gigantic uptick in economic growth.  Something that hasn’t been seen since Ronald Reagan.  As long as he’s the stronger horse they’ll applaud.  If things turn sour the knives will quickly come out.

TB – Ah, it’s good to see politics are the same everywhere.  Well, it looks like Speaker Ryan is about to introduce the President to Congress.  Let’s go to the Rostrum microphone and we’ll return after the address to review the high points.

PR – Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the President of the United States.

(Long and loud applause.)

PT – Thank you Mr. Speaker.  Thank you, Paul.  It feels strange to be thanking you Paul.  Up until the tax overhaul bill I was ready to write you off as a total loss.  I was going to have you primaried by some kind of radical and who knows maybe you wouldn’t have made it.  But now I’m almost fond of you.  You’re still a spineless weasel but you’re my spineless weasel, so you’ve got that going for you which is nice.  And Mitch McConnell, what can I say?  You’re like some kind of petrified fossil that exists outside of the world we live in.  It doesn’t seem possible that anything as weird as you could still exist but you do.  If we could replace you with an animatronic character like a talking walrus or porcupine I believe it would increase our popularity with the voters but anyway I can’t be too mad at you either because of the tax bill.

Now, you Democrats are a different story.  You all are without a doubt the lowest form of pond scum to ever successfully masquerade as human beings.  Every time I think you’ve hit the ethical bottom you somehow dig a little deeper and go even lower.  Let’s take for instance Dick Durbin.  His lying double-crossing behavior at the DACA meeting has convinced me that if I saw Dick Durbin and a Great White Shark in the waters off of Mar a Lago I’d immediately warn … the shark!  And don’t get me started on Pelosi and Schumer.  The way people are leaving California and New York, pretty soon their own votes will be sufficient to guarantee their re-elections.  That’s right Cryin’ Chuck, the Statue of Liberty is crying over your lousy party’s inept governing of both the City and State of New York.

But it’s not all bad, I want to congratulate Al Franken for striking out for women’s rights.  He harassed enough women to ensure that a woman would replace him.  Quite a tribute.  And I’d also like to congratulate Maxine Waters for being so crazy that she now makes Rosie O’Donnell seem sane in comparison.  When Maxine said she wasn’t a Millennial but used to be I think she meant that she was born in 1000 AD.  That would explain her looks and the fact that she mostly speaks gibberish.  Back then English really hadn’t been invented yet so everyone sounded like she does.  And I know I shouldn’t make fun of a woman’s looks but honestly Maxine is so ugly she makes Pelosi and Hillary look decent by comparison.

And I’d like to thank the press for being so dishonest.  By lying at every turn you’ve made my job so much easier.  At this point I can almost guarantee that anything I say will be disputed by you folks in such ridiculous terms that even the least intelligent person will be able to tell you’re lying.  You’ve become an exaggerated parody of yourselves.  Well done and congratulations for ensuring the long tem demise of your own jobs.

And I’d like to thank all those federal judges both at the Circuit and Supreme Court level who keep usurping the constitutional power of elected officials.  You only make it easier for me to get the electorate to understand why I need to replace as many of you as I possibly can.

I’m going to take a short break while the Secret Service frog marches the Secret Society of Comey, McCabe, Strozk and Mueller down the center aisle on their way to the hoosegow but before I do I’d just like to give a shout out to one of our guests in the gallery.  I’d like to  welcome Miss Stormy Daniels coming and for confirming that I have not had sex with her.  But if I had she knows it would be the best sex she’s ever had and that my hands are ample and highly capable.

MT – Kurba!

PT – And Melania welcomes you too.  Trump out.

(Returning to the BBC broadcast location)

NG – Hello and welcome back BBC listeners.  This is former Speaker Newt Gingrich again.  Unfortunately, Toffie Bredwell has passed out.  Apparently kurba is Slovenian for whore and that was just too much for Toffie.  Stay tuned and I’m sure he’ll revive before the President continues on with the substantive portion of his speech.  But first a word from our sponsor.

 

Trump vs. The State of the Union – Part 3