TriggerFinger


"Journalists" who are less informed than their audience

New York PostThe chief questions center on what Comey and others told the secret court’s judges about the Steele dossier. Did they disclose that it was paid for by Democrats?

Did they concede that Steele said he was motivated to make sure Trump did not become president? And did the judges know the allegations were unverified before granting four warrants?

We already know the answers to all of those questions. We've seen the redacted FISA application for Page. We know the FISC judges were not properly informed of the origins of the Steele dossier (they got a footnote suggesting it may have been paid for by political opponents, but not specifically by the opposing candidate, or going into any additional detail about the credibility problems with Steele and his information). We know they did not concede Steele's political motivations beyond that footnote, unless it was hidden in one of the redacted sections, which seems unlikely. We know the judges did not know the allegations were unverified because they are supposed to be presented only with verified information -- there is an entire chain of procedure and signoffs that need to happen before the FISA is submitted, and each and every person who signed those applications committed perjury because their signatures are supposed to provide that the application has been verified.

Horowitz's FISA report is going to be less "Did we screw up?" and more "What do we do about it?" I'm not very optimistic based on his recommendations in the Clinton email report, but there may be a new Barr to get over for this upcoming report...

Tue Jul 30 06:47:22 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Looks like we're going to get declassification starting ... tomorrow?

... according to Joe DiGenova. The catalyst was removing DNI Coats, an Obama holdover. DiGenova also indicated in very strong terms that this is a criminal investigation of an attempted coup, not just an internal review.

UPDATE: Comments by Whitaker suggest Comey and his memos are also under criminal investigation.

UPDATE: Not yet. But lots of talk about how things take time. What changed between then and now?

UPDATE: Will we get to see Bruce Ohr 302s?

Tue Jul 30 02:09:46 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Graham to call Papadopoulos to testify

The way these things usually work, when Graham calls Papadopoulos to testify to the Senate about SpyGate, IG Horowitz and prosecutor Durham will ahve already interviewed Papadopoulos and gotten everything they think they need.

What they need is presumably information on Mifsud, and there are rumors Mifsud has suddenly come out of hiding and is willing to be interviewed (perhaps already has been). Reports are also that as the release of the Horowitz FISA report approaches, people are coming to him to be re-interviewed to make sure they tell him all the things they suddenly remembered...

Categories Spygate

Mon Jul 29 06:47:23 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Kamala Harris has forgotten the housing crisis

Sara Carter“After generations of discrimination, it’s time to give Black families a real shot at homeownership,” Kamala Harris (D-CA) wrote on her twitter account announcing her plan to invest $100 billion of federal money into housing assistance for black families as part her 2020 presidential campaign.

“After generations of discrimination, it’s time to give Black families a real shot at homeownership — historically one of the most powerful drivers of wealth. My new policy will remove unfair barriers Black Americans face when they go to qualify for a home loan,” wrote Harris.

This is exactly the sort of bullshit that crashed the economy in 2008. Wealth is correlated with home ownership because (relatively) wealthy people can afford to buy homes, not because owning a home makes you wealthy.

Sun Jul 28 06:47:24 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Florida DMV caught selling personal information

WPTVA Florida woman is blaming the state government for an onslaught of robocalls and direct mail offers –- accusations that come as the Scripps station WFTS in Tampa uncovered that the DMV makes millions by selling Florida drivers' personal information to outside companies, including marketing firms.

WFTS I-Team Investigator Adam Walser obtained records showing the state sold information on Florida drivers and ID cardholders to more than 30 private companies, including marketing firms, bill collectors, insurance companies and data brokers in the business of reselling information.

It should be illegal to use this type of data -- submitted to the government only as a condition of operating a vehicle in public -- for anything other than the intended use.

The same standard should apply to private companies. Customer information is not a commodity to be sold.

Of course, in Florida, it's already against the law. Honored in the breach, I suppose.

Sun Jul 28 06:08:48 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

This is about as shady as it gets

A former Assistant Director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division describes the nature of the SpyGate scandal. People need to go to jail for this. And remember, as we talk about wrongdoing by Comey and the FBI, by figures in the DOJ and the State Department, by figures in the intelligence community who still remain somewhat enshadowed... in the end, it will all come to back a single text from Lisa Page: "potus wants to know everything we're doing."

Obama knew. Obama approved.

Categories Spygate

Sat Jul 27 06:08:48 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Barr insists the people shouldn't be allowed to talk behind his back

Tech CrunchU.S. attorney general William Barr has said consumers should accept the risks that encryption backdoors pose to their personal cybersecurity to ensure law enforcement can access encrypted communications.

In a speech Tuesday in New York, the U.S. attorney general parroted much of the same rhetoric from his predecessors and other senior staff at the Justice Department, calling on tech companies to do more to assist federal authorities to gain access to devices with a lawful order.

Barr has been pretty good on SpyGate, but he's definitely a conventional DOJ pick with regard to encryption policy. Neither party has been any good on this issue.

Fri Jul 26 06:08:48 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Inverting the burden of proof

PattericoLet me put it a different way: if you really think Mueller is being unfair because he’s not applying all the standard rules to Trump regarding the burden of proof, then I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say: let’s apply all the standard rules to Trump — including the one that says that guilty people get prosecuted. How about we apply the rule when a prosecutor builds a mountain of evidence against you showing your obstruction of justice, you get indicted. Let’s see how well that works out for poor oppressed Mr. Victim of a Witchhunt then.

Patterico has now gone sufficiently nuts that it justifies ceasing to follow his blog.

It should have been a clue when Comey, McCabe, and Mueller all testified under oath that their investigations had not been obstructed in any way. So all that "evidence" Mueller's ghostwritten report spewed up to cloud the issue doesn't matter. It wasn't the OLC legal opinion about prosecuting a president, either; Mueller had to correct his testimony on that, too. And while you can say all you like that prosecutors don't exonerate, they also don't release 400-page reports filled with derogatory information about people they are declining to charge, either. Mueller was way the fuck out of bounds on this one, as was the Obama administration (not just the FBI, DOJ, State Dept, NSA, CIA, and intel community; this goes all the way to the White House).

The fact is, Trump bitched, whined, and moaned about being investigated for over 2 years about a crime that never happened and for which he was spied on, had his civil rights violated, and framed. When he took office the people supposed to work for him instead continued to spy on him, lie to him, take advantage of their positions, and generally behave in appalling fashion. Like any innocent person, he wanted to fight back, and he did, in ways that stopped short of obstruction.

Some would argue he only stopped short because his employees and counsel refused to follow through on some of his requests. Yet none of those requests were inappropriate when viewed through the lens of a President facing a coup attempt from within his own administration.

If you can look at the fact pattern and come out of it that Mueller was bending over backwards to be fair to Trump, you're just nuts... or perhaps caught in an disinformation bubble so huge you can't even see the distortion.

Thu Jul 25 10:55:03 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Deal reached to raise debt ceiling

ABC NewsPresident Donald J. Trump announced late Monday that he and congressional leaders had reached a deal on a two-year budget and the debt ceiling.

Sigh. It would be nice to have a balanced budget, or failing that, one less unbalanced. But the incentives are all wrong for that. I don't see how we can possibly change this situation. Neither party cares and have stopped pretending to.

Thu Jul 25 06:08:48 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Weissman was desperately looking for dirt on Trump

So desperately, even early in the Mueller investigation, that he was offering plea deals with complete immunity to defendants in cases he had no authority over, and telling them what he wanted them to say. Apparently no one was willing to lie.

Categories Spygate

Wed Jul 24 06:47:23 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Luke Rosiak: Obstruction of Justice

Epoch TimesToday we sit down with Luke Rosiak, an investigative reporter with a penchant for uncovering congressional scandals, and author of the book “Obstruction of Justice: How the Deep State Risked National Security to Protect the Democrats.”

We explore the scandals Luke has been exposing: that of Jackson Cosko, who gained notoriety by doxxing Republican Senators during the Kavanaugh hearings, the near-unbelievable Imran Awan scandal where 44 house democrats’ servers were deeply compromised (and how this was then covered up), and the parallels between these and the currently evolving case of Jeffrey Epstein.

Get the book here. It answers a lot of questions about scandals in the House that got swept under the rug.

Tue Jul 23 06:47:22 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Grassley demands more info on Halper contracts by July 25th

Sara CarterFinance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley sent a letter this month to Department of Defense Acting Secretary Mark Esper, urging him for more information regarding contracts awarded by its Office of Net Assessment to FBI informant Stefan Halper. Halper was used by the bureau as an informant to gather information on Trump campaign volunteers during the 2016 election. Grassely stated that the information be provided no later than July 25 and he requested a full in person briefing with his committee staff on all of Halper’s contracts with the DoD.

Grassley, R-Iowa asked for the information after an audit was released by the DoD’s Inspector General’s showed that there was failure to conduct appropriate oversight of contracts awarded under the DOD. Halper had long career in the U.S. government under several GOP administrations. His connections to the CIA and FBI are extensive and he had been awarded multiple contracts with the DOD totaling $411,000 by Washington Headquarters Services on Sept. 26, 2016, for a contract that ran until this March, 2018, according to USASpending.gov.

The elephant in the room: Halper was being paid to spy on Trump and his campaign, probably Michael Flynn before that, and these contracts were make-work bullshit to provide an excuse for the accountants to write checks. You know, the normal sort of arrangement for paying spies.

I have mixed feelings about this. Of course the contracts were bullshit. But everyone knows they were bullshit. I'm not sure there is more information to be gained here. But I guess we will find out.

Tue Jul 23 05:57:02 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

I was looking forward to a fourth Thor movie...

... but honestly, now I'm really not. I'm enough of a completionist that I'm sure I will see it eventually, but like with Captain Marvel, I'm going to hold out for free first.

And once again, it has nothing to do with misogyny. What does it have to do with? They are trying to put some sort of gender-swap onto a character who is -- let's be honest -- practically the definition of masculine virtue and flaw, at least during a man's youth; strength, courage, martial skill, not yet tempered by wisdom. Swapping the character to female destroys the character. There's a subsidiary implication in the comic book arc: the idea that the real Thor is unworthy, a proposition that was already addressed and disposed of in the character's first movie. Sure, they led into that concept with Thor's arc in Endgame, but I was pissed about that, too.

So aside from the offensive, political-feminist-BS angle, what else turns me off about this movie?

Well, first off, Ms. Portman's character "broke up" with Thor offscreen in Ragnarok. That was after two movies where the characters, frankly, had very little chemistry, and now have no lingering connection even within the MCU to give Portman a reason to pick up Mjolnir. I can accept, under protest, the idea that Thor somehow became not worthy during Endgame (even though he was wielding Mjolnir during Endgame!). What has Portman's character done to show herself worthy?

Furthermore, Portman is simply not a good actress. She's pretty enough, but her roles to date have mostly included her looking pretty with no facial expressions and otherwise doing an unimpressive and very passive job. The same actress playing (a female version of) Thor? You don't get the sudden dynamic change into larger than life action hero overnight. I could maybe see Scarlett Johannson (except she's already cast in the MCU as Black Widow) or another actress with serious action movie chops pulling this off. Maybe even the actress playing Valkyri (her ability to act in action scenes is unclear but her personality as portrayed is a good match for Thor's). There's no way in hell Portman can do it. Not because Portman is female, but because I've seen her roles in the past and she just doesn't have the personality or acting ability to do it.

I can't help but see this as a disaster in the making, and likely the end of the Thor character's franchise (at least until and unless Chris Hemsworth returns to take back his hammer).

UPDATE: Looks like they want to check off the first gay heroine, too. Aside from the obvious implications that Marvel is going all-woke for this movie, it doesn't really bug me. They aren't disrupting any established characters to do it, so they can do whatever, at least in theory. (What ends up on screen might still suck, obviously).

Mon Jul 22 06:47:23 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More Democrat-inspired violence

PJMediaA man who was armed with a rifle and throwing Molotov cocktails at the ICE Tacoma Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., was killed by responding police officers, according to the authorities.

At around 4 a.m. on Saturday, the Washington state man, who has not yet been publicly identified, threw “incendiary devices” at the ICE detention center and nearby cars, setting one on fire.

“The male attempted to ignite a large propane tank and set out buildings on fire,” a statement released by the Tacoma police department said. “The male continued throwing lit objects at the buildings and cars.”

When there is a years-long media blitz calling people Nazis and describing prisoner facilities (admittedly suffering from significant and unavoidable overcrowding) as concentration camps, some of the people listening to that media blitz will decide to act on the rhetoric. Even if there are no real Nazis involved, just the ordinary men and women trying to enforce immigration law with limited resources.

People are already dying, and we are uncomfortably close to a second civil war. So far, I don't see any sign of things calming down.

Some would say I'm making a lot of assumptions about motives. I'm not. I read his suicide-by-cop note, and a local anarchist group is taking credit.

Sun Jul 21 06:47:23 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

California State Senator and gun control advocate imprisoned for arms trafficking

Just take this as a reminder that those who advocate for gun control consider themselves exempt from their own proposals. They mean to control your guns, not their own.

Hat tip to Of Arms and the Law.

Sat Jul 20 06:47:21 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Humiliation Rituals

... are the best explanation for the transgender psychosis I've seen yet. Many of the self-proclaimed "transgenders" seem to know this and exhibit it in their behavior; even if they can't present as the other gender in a way that will fool anyone, they react to any challenge or adversity with claims of prejudice, discrimination, hatred, and insistence on using their chosen pronouns "or else". The "or else" is being publicly shamed as a bigot, at which point the original problem is forgotten.

And yes, it also explains eating bugs.

That's why I won't do either.

Fri Jul 19 06:47:21 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Don't just legalize; give it away?

BorepatchLegalize and tax? Not my idea, except for pot. All the harder stuff, I want to legalize it and give it away.
[...]
Nope, I want to legalize it all the way to the coca and poppy fields. And give it away. You can not undercut my price. It's free. Just line up and we'll give it to you. No need to rob, to commit property crime, that's too much like work. Here, take it.
[...]
The terrible part of this is people are going to use till they die. Like those lab rats that keep hitting that lever. But that's happening now. Just like alcohol, we are going to have accept we can't fix it for individuals that are going to use, we have to try to save what we can of the society.

I can't say I really disagree with this, and that's scary.

The unstate consequence of this policy is that drug addicts will die in droves from overdose and general health problems. But the only realistic way to solve the drug problem is to produce people who don't want to do drugs. I suspect that's going to need a combination of social factors (hope, decent employment, etc, for those at risk due to life circumstances) and the brutal hand of evolution over generations.

There are alternative policies, but I don't really see any alternative solutions.

Thu Jul 18 06:47:21 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Warren pledges huge increase in refugee immigration

Sara CarterSen. Elizabeth Warren, released Tursday a sweeping immigration plan called “A Fair and Welcoming Immigration System”, that would increase the number of refugee admissions by almost 800 percent from FY 2018.

Warren said she would increase the admissions of migrant refugees to 175,000 per year with a ceiling of 125,000 in her first year in the White House. That in itself would represent a 800 percent increase over the roughly 22,000 admitted in FY2018 by Trump administration.

We will have to be sure to remind people of this in the general election, if she wins the primary. I don't think that position will prove as popular there.

Wed Jul 17 06:47:21 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

"Global Warming is a political tool"

Tue Jul 16 06:47:21 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Pelosi admits Democrats want open borders

Conservative TreehouseWhile explaining why she will not allow congress to debate, change or modify U.S. immigration laws, Pelosi outlines how the United States is part of a global society, without borders and without any sovereign right to impede the “human society” from entering our nation. Therefore, according to her outlook and worldview, U.S. politicians have no right to stop any migration movement.

This position is almost literally the definition of insane. Sovereign nations have borders and the right to choose who to admit as citizens. Even in early America, we exercised that right by excluding the diseased and disabled as well as those unable to support themselves. These days, they just sneak across the border -- and the terrorist threat comes with them.

The things that make America a shining example for the rest of the world are in large part the products of our culture and the benefits of our efforts over time to eliminate widespread disease through sanitation and vaccination.

If unchecked immigration continues, America will become just like the third-world hellholes people are fleeing from.

Mon Jul 15 06:47:21 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI Page warrant discussions stalled until Steel dossier

Daily Caller FBI investigators began discussing in August 2016 whether to obtain a surveillance warrant against Carter Page, The New York Times reported.
The discussions stalled until Sept. 19, 2016, when the FBI’s Russia team first received reporting from Christopher Steele, the author of the Trump dossier.
The report suggests the dossier played a crucial role in the FBI’s efforts to surveil Page.

Why does this matter? It strengthens the existing claims, including from Comey himself under oath, that the Page FISA was approved only because of the Steele dossier -- despite that document's known lack of credibility. And it strengthens as well the distinct possibility that the Steele dossier was created specifically to enable the surveillance on Page, because the intelligence community needed to retroactively justify their surveillance of Obama's political opponents going back to at least 2012.

Sun Jul 14 06:47:22 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Asked and answered

What Should A Black Law Professor Do When A White Student Wears A MAGA Hat In Class?

Teach the class.

Or, better maybe to go home and not teach the class, because, as a "visiting assistant professor of law" who cannot handle seeing a hat without hallucinating that "his shiny red MAGA hat was like a siren spewing derogatory racial obscenities at me for the duration of the one hour and fifteen-minute class," or concluding that "this student was indeed trying to intimidate and/or racially antagonize me."

Suprisingly, however, given the man's purple-hued glasses and tastefully unprofessional nose ring, he was able to have a conversation with the student about the issue: As my blood boiled inwardly, outwardly I remained calm. In an effort to assuage the perceived tension, I jokingly told the student, "I like your hat," when he raised his hand to participate in class discussion. Without missing a beat, the student mockingly grinned from ear to ear and said, "Thank you."

Sat Jul 13 06:47:20 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Biden threatens to use opposition research on opponents

Washington Examiner"I mean, I get all this information about other people’s pasts, and what they’ve done and not done. And you know, I’m just not going to go there. If we keep doing that -- I mean, we should be debating what we do from here," Biden told CNN in a Friday interview, referring to the crowded field of two dozen White House hopefuls.

The real question isn't whether Biden uses opposition research. The real question, given that he spent 8 years as Obama's vice president while Obama abused the FBA, CIA, and NSA as political tools, is: where did Biden get this opposition research?

Categories Spygate

Fri Jul 12 06:47:19 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

More about Mueller's role in the cover-up

Mueller was perfect as special counsel because he was the one who initiated the Memorandum of Understanding between CIA and FBI that allowed the CIA to use FBI contractor access to spy on Americans, including, quite likely, Obama's political opponents.

Thu Jul 11 06:47:19 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Zuckerberg admits Facebook took sides in Irish abortion debate

And by "took sides", I mean refused to allow advertising of the pro-life position during the run up to a national referendum on the question.

Wed Jul 10 06:47:20 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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