President Trump orders declassification of FISA warrant, texts
This is interesting. Obviously for anyone following SpyGate it's likely to be a gold mine of new information and confirmation of existing suspicions if and when it happens. But the manner in which is may happen seems interesting.
We're not just getting, say, leaks from Congressional staffers describing what they have seen in private, or yet another partial release of slightly less redacted material. The statement says "no redactions".
And we got it as a statement from the White House, not as an actual document release from DOJ. And we know Trump has been publicly (via Twitter and otherwise) pushing for this for some time, and (via less public channels) getting resistance and pushback. So what that tells me is that Trump is, publicly, through White House channels, issuing an order to his subordinates to declassify and release the documents.
Either those subordinates will follow the orders, or they will refuse and resign, or they will be fired.
That's why the order is public. It's to justify the firing if the order is refused.
We'll see what happens. But any of those three options lead to fireworks.
So in other words, this post would be illegal, and automatically blocked by censorship bots at Google, Facebook, etc, simply because I quoted from the person I linked to and added my own comments.
That's stupid, and why we have a First Amendment in the US.
But will that matter, or will the EU impose their law on the US internet?
Note that this law makes political debate online, or really any discussion of the news or current events, essentially impossible. That's not accidental with various European governments seeing political threats growing.
Bob Woodward found no evidence of Russian collusion, despite finding lots of other things people supposedly told him that they now deny telling him. I get the feeling he sold the book on Watergate 2 and then had to make up a lot of thinly sourced quotes when he didn't find shit.
We have confirmation from new Strzok text messages that he wanted to open a case and file charges within 2 hours of Comey being fired "while Andy is acting" (as in, presumably, while Andrew McCabe was acting as FBI director). More evidence the whole thing was planned out to target the President with an internal coup.
Lisa Page's deposition indicates that more than 9 months into their investigation of the Trump campaign, they had found no evidence of collusion, despite their use of national-security wiretap authority and multiple human sources. She frames it as "we still couldn't answer the question." A better characterization seems to be that they didn't like the answer.
Why would you make a statement to a judge for something that you weren't actually charged with?
Well, the prosecutor probably wants to pretend it's not all about Trump to lure Trump into a nice little fireside chat perjury trap, but also may have doubts whether he can prove a connection to Trump at all.
But if Cohen says, in open court to the judge, that Trump told him to do it, who else is listening in that open courtroom?
Reporters. Well, no. Reporters report facts. These are journalists; they write their thoughts about things they purport are facts as if their opinions are more important than simply establishing the who, what, where, when, and why. Just like, you know, writing in a journal. So, these are journalists filling the courtroom listening to everything Cohen says to the judge, and someone whispers in Cohen's ear, Tell the judge that Trump made you do it, and it will go easier for you in the clink.
Because headlines calling Trump an unindicted co-conspirator are as predictable as day following night. And if you can't support that allegation, if you don't want to be legally responsible for making it, then you just whisper to your client, or whisper to your defendant, just say it to the judge when the reporters are in the room, and we'll leave it out of the official paperwork.
The bombshell news from the Cohen plea was, of course, that he said Trump did it. Did any of the reporters bother to check the official paperwork to see what it said and whether Trump was officially accused of anything?
He's admitting to meeting with the Iranian foreign minister three or four times since he left his position as Secretary of State. As a private citizen that shouldn't really be a big deal, except that he's meeting on the basis of his previous position as SecState and purporting to negotiate on behalf of a future Democrat president. This is dishonest, wrong, and borderline treasonous depending on exactly what sort of deals he is trying to cut.
Worse, remember when Sally Yates and the FBI/DOJ scheme team tried to investigate Michael Flynn for talking to the Russian ambassador when he was the incoming National Security Advisor? They claimed that violated the Logan Act, which bars private citizens meeting with foreign powers and purporting to be representatives of the US government. (It's basically never been used, because it has serious first amendment issues... until the outgoing Obama team needed to get Flynn out of the incoming administration). As incoming National Security Advisor, Flynn had every right to talk to other governments as an official member of the transition team. But they investigated him under the Logan act -- presumably as a pretext to spy on him -- and then got him in court for not remembering everything perfectly when they ambushed him about it later.
How is what Kerry is admitting to doing now any different from what Flynn was doing then -- except that Kerry is out of government with no official position at all, rather than, as Flynn, incoming into a cabinet role?
Trump and/or his DOJ should do to Kerry exactly what was done to Flynn: investigate him under the Logan act, interview him in an ambush interview, and charge him with lying to the FBI for any and every minor discrepancy that comes up in that interview. Just to drive the point home.
I imagine they had staff members looking for any pretext, and also responded to social pressure. The obvious coordination of this action (Twitter was the only big holdout until now; the rest banned him on the same day) also raises significant questions. Bottom line, this was a test run and a precedent. They'll use this to coordinate banning more and more conservative voices. They will start on the very fringe and slowly work their way in, while leaving the left alone. The intended result will be to shift the Overton window of acceptable public opinion to the left and force people who won't parrot their dogma into a padded room on the internet -- they can yell but no one can hear them.
How to fight it is hard. I'm not reliant, here, on their platforms. But that means the audience is limited because the major audiences are on facebook, twitter, youtube, and google search.
Leland NC bans weapon transport or carry during hurricane Florence
They backed down a little, but this kind of knee-jerk prohibition of firearms whenever there is a perceived emergency is frankly stupid and makes things worse. Why governments keep trying I have no idea.
Regadless of his race or religion, he should not have been hired with those red flags on his record. And yet somehow he was. Likely, those red flags were ignored because of his race and religion, to serve a political narrative.
Apparently, Senator Feinstein sent an anonymous letter to the FBI, alleging something bad happened that dates back to when Kavanaugh was in high school. This is, basically, a delaying action and a threat that the FBI will end up investigating the nominee after he is on the bench. That would be embarrassing for everyone who voted for him, especially if whatever it is has significant evidence and is serious. And of course it's a mystery allegation, so there's no evidence to check one way or another. Congressmen are basically being asked to vote on an accusation alone, without evidence or details.
Senators should vote to confirm anyway. If the accuser is not willing to have his or her claims tested and publicly stand behind them, they should not be made at all. Certainly they should not be dispositive of a nomination decades later.
Of course, any such advertising ban won't prevent anything.
The 9th Circus will probably overrule this. I'm not sure what the Supreme Court would do on appeal from such a decision though. I worry the precedent set by bans on advertising cigarettes might cause problems. However, that ban might have come from settlements rather than laws, which would make it a distinguishable situation.
Not long ago I said that Alex Jones of Infowars was the test case. Now they are hitting anyone who links to someone they have sent down the memory hole. This effectively shuts down people criticizing Facebook and other entities for their censorship, meaning anyone who does criticize them automatically loses their platform too.
Will the last person to leave Facebook please turn off the servers?