I don't think Comey necessarily lied to Congress here. I think he pushed back on Trump's request to investigate the origin of the dossier because he knew where it came from (and yes, he did probably lie to Congress about that). But his FBI was already trying to verify the dossier ... meaning, find out whether or not it was true.
I think the FBI's efforts to verify the dossier consisted of trying to get warrants on the four people named in the FISA warrant application. That is, instead of presenting the FISA court with verified information containing probable cause of a crime, they presented the FISA court with a line of bullshit and hoped their wiretap would be retroactively self-verifying.
California mandates solar on new homes at $30K cost
Energy bill savings will not be considerable. I know because I priced them on my home (in Texas, an ideal place for solar). The price above was typical of the quotes (even though the government panel estimated $10K) and it takes 20 to 30 years to pay off from energy savings. The typical life of a solar panel is 30 years, meaning you have to pay it again after that.
There's a lot of California that isn't in ideal solar territory and their housing prices are already sky-high. This is insane.
Will Trump be charged with campaign finance violations?
Andy McCarthy thinks so. I don't, but mostly because DOJ policy forbids indicting a sitting president. I think Mueller will write a report saying he would have indicted Trump if Trump was not the president. He will then pass it off to Congress and invite them to consider impeachment.
Will they? The Democrats just took the House. Of course they will at least consider it. They have the votes to do it if everyone votes straight party. They can even afford to lose quite a few weak seats if they want to try to protect them. On the other hand, trying to get Trump removed from the Senate is a political non-starter, needing 67 votes when they have only 47 or so. So, to the extent that they try to impeach, they will use it as a political weapon to damage his reelection chances.
Should they? Using very weak campaign finance charges combined with even weaker lying about sex and/or lying about Moscow hotel deals, all taking place before Trump became president, none of which at this point appears to involve Trump directly but merely his campaign, to try to remove a president is facially absurd. So far there's basically no proven personal nexus to Trump's actions; campaign finance violations are usually cured by fines not felonies; Trump has the "I trusted my lawyer to do it legally" defense; Cohen's cooperation and credibility have been destroyed by his admissions of lying and the violation of attorney-client privilege. You couldn't get a conviction in an ordinary court after the necessary cross-examination and tossing out of the tainted evidence.
Historically, lots of presidents have had various affairs, including payoffs, without facing impeachment. Clinton did face impeachment for lying about it, but not removed... and his impeachment was considered one of the biggest political mistakes in modern history. (I supported it, but mostly because of all the other crap he had done, ie, Waco, etc). Edwards, as a candidate in the primary, was charged with campaign finance violations for paying off his mistress in a similar but not identical scheme. He was not convicted, as I recall.
Mark Levin has convincingly argued that using personal money to make such payoffs is both legal and necessary as they are not "campaign expenses", which would negate any disclosure requirements. (Edwards used money from supporters to make the payoffs; the exact financial structure of Trump's payoffs is unknown).
As a layman, all I can tell you is that campaign finance laws are a legal morass that appears to be impossible to avoid violating. Politicians are regularly caught up in violations and pay fines. I can't recall any of them being removed from office over the matter.
Mueller's road to Trump lies through Cohen and campaign finance..
Cohen seems pretty slimy, but a lot of the attention he's getting is due to his involvement with Trump, which doesn't really seem very fair. Oh well.
Getting to Trump on this charge seems like a pipe dream though. Trump has a near-absolute defense: "I relied on my lawyer to do the right thing." And campaign finance violations are almost always remedied by paying fines to the FEC rather than putting elected officials in jail. Not to mention the Clintons' history of paying off bimbo eruptions.
How Mueller is neutering Huber and protecting the traitors
Basically, Rosenstein is insisting that Huber wait to conduct his investigation until Mueller completes his work as special counsel. Everyone who has to testify to Congress or talk to the IG/prosecutor (Horowitz and Huber) cites the Mueller investigation to avoid answering anything not already revealed. Rosenstein promised Trump that Horowitz would get to see the full documents -- but didn't promise him when. ("When" is when Trump is out of office, presumably). This bullshit game will last as long as Trump believes Rosenstein is dealing with him honestly and the new acting AG William Barr doesn't take steps to fix the situation.
That's what Conservative Treehouse thinks is going on, anyway. I tend to agree. We won't see anything useful from Horowitz or Huber until Mueller is out of the way, and we won't see Mueller out of the way until someone gets Rosenstein out of the supervisory role. Barr's appointment should do that. But Barr is an unknown quantity.
(No, I don't think treason is too strong a term for abusing intelligence agencies to try to influence a presidential election)
What does this tell us? Well, not much. We know McCain is a piece of shit who can be trusted only if the word is immediately followed by "to betray his party". That he's willing to leak documents to the press that are aimed at torpedoing his party's Presidential candidate is just another confirmation of that. But he's dead now, so it's hard to imagine any practical use for the information. (And isn't it curious how it stayed hidden until he died?)
As for GCHQ, we already knew they were involved, just not the details. This is one of the details that fills in the story a bit. It is claimed that Steele shared the dossier after the election, but we suspect British intel was involved before that (Steele himself is ex-Brit-intel, and many key events that took place before the election happened in England). Providing the dossier to GCHQ after the election would appear to be an escalation -- Hillary's attempt to cash in her insurance policy and challenge Trump's win.
It's an interesting thought experiment to wonder what Hillary and her allies were up to that made a literal coup attempt necessary if she lost to Trump.
New York wants $1M liability insurance on firearms
Such a law would raise the costs of firearms ownership in general, while effectively taxing legal gun owners to pay for the criminal acts of others not taxes (because they don't own their guns legally).
Facebook gave NYTimes, others access to private messages
There are so many, many failures here. The NYTimes failed to be careful what access it was requesting; Facebook failed to be limited in what access it was granting and failed to remove that access when the NYTimes closed their feature that used it.
And that's assuming that NYTimes is being honest. Wouldn't such unprecedented, privacy invasive access be a tremendous boon for a company eager to find and publish whatever dirt they can on politicians and other high-profile figures?
He used what he had to try to dox Republican senators. What else did he have and how was he using it? Remember, this guy was an expert in computer security; he likely had access to a lot more than he should have.
New York Times exposes Russian Collusion... by Democrats
This is basically the same thing they did with Trump, at least in terms of smearing the candidate with baseless rumors of Russian collusion. There are no indications at this time that law enforcement or intelligence agencies were abused to spy on the campaign, but the repeated use of the smear is an interesting element.
The entire ban was predicated on the Las Vegas mass shooting, though evidence he actually used bump stock devices in the shooting seems strangely lacking, and many facts about that shooting are unclear.
Patreon allowing fundraising for communists planning violent revolution
In many of the pictures, they are holding honest-to-god firearms on public streets, wearing masks, and burning Donald Trump in effigy. And yet Patreon allows them to fundraise while deplatforming conservatives?
Google was doing this when Trump was elected. Add 10% to Trump's election totals and that reflects the real state of the nation's opinions (without Google's bias thrown in). And that wasn't enough for Big Tech -- so they are turning the bias up a notch for 2020.
This is insane. Why would criminals, bent on murder, follow any of these rules? The truth is, the purpose is not preventing mass murder and never has been. The purpose is a helpless population, unable to resist when the government openly violates the rights of the people and refuses to respect the results of elections.
It seems two minors plotted to commit a school shooting by breaking into a relative's home and stealing their firearms. So the police confiscated the firearms using a new "extreme risk protective order". This needs to be fought in court, because the owner of the guns presented no risk to anyone. Indeed, he would have been a victim of a crime had the plan gone as intended - and he was a victim of a crime by the police.