It's short -- two pages -- and practically all of them are redacted. Notably, though, the unredacted portions do not faithfully describe who paid for the dossier. The description is technically accurate, but does not mention the Clintons, the Democrats, or political opposition research. Instead, the funding is described as coming from "private clients" only.
Remember, the FBI and DOJ knew where this was coming from. There is no way to spin this briefing document, being presented to the President, as anything less than deliberately deceptive. It was a weasel move, by a weasel of a man who does weasel things.
This release takes on a certain new significance given that Comey recently testified to Congress that he only knew the funding came from "private clients", not specifically who those clients were. It could even be argued that the release was timed to tell Comey what the documents said, so he could claim not to know anything more than what was in the documents.
As a blogger, I'm upfront about what I do. I read news articles online, and write my thoughts about those articles, often picking up obvious factual errors, logical contradictions, or adding context with other articles. Sometimes I get my hands on original documents or transcripts and write about those, as with Comey's transcribed testimony to Congress (part 1part 2). Sometimes I write based on my own technical expertise and apply that to the news of the day. I rarely have the chance to interview anyone directly. Always, I strive to be clear about my sourcing, and I don't just make stuff up, or claim I conducted interviews where I did not.
Apparently, that's a better standard than professional journalists are able to maintain.
State Dept disseminated Russiagate documents hours before Trump took office
We knew there was an effort to do this before, but we didn't know the details. Now we know more. It's noteworthy that Senator Corker, a Republican, is on the list of recipients. I seem to recall Corker was instrumental in getting the Iran deal through the Senate by pretending it wasn't a treaty (which would need a two-thirds vote). It's also noteworthy that this effort took place after Trump had won the election. In other words, rather than treating Trump as the incoming president due (at a minimum) respect, they conspired against him.
It took a veto threat from Trump to make the Republicans back up their promises. The next stop is the Senate. My advice to Trump if it passes is to spend it quickly and make sure something concrete gets built. And it it doesn't pass with the funds to do that, veto it.
UPDATE: From a horse-trading perspectrive, why wasn't the criminal legislation reform bill tied to wall funding? Seems like the Dems want criminal justice reform so some of their voters get let out of jail, and tying the funding together would seem like an obvious deal.
Detailed comments below the fold. My overall impression is that we, again, lost out by having this held in a public forum. Comey can hide behind that to avoid answering important questions. He can also hide behind the Mueller investigation. I'd like to see this all public, but getting there requires investigators to be able to ask about classified things so the answers can then be declassified.
How the gun control thought process (doesn't) work
I believe the thought process is a lot simpler than this. So much simpler it can hardly be called thought. I think that they believe destroying a gun is an objectively good act, considered in isolation. Yes, the gun can be replaced. They don't care. Yes, the price might go up if they reduce the supply, but that's not the reasoning. Destroying those guns means fewer guns and fewer guns is objectively good.
New Jersey bans normal capacity magazines; turn in by Dec 10th
Losing national gun rights because you got caught with a metal box that was a little bigger than the state allowed is exactly how the government controls honest men. I don't think we'll see a high compliance rate for this law from existing gun owners, though they may store their magazines out of state or otherwise "creatively comply" without actually giving up ownership.
At some point, we're going to see laws like this challenged at the Supreme Court. Someone will get a pissant conviction for a metal box of the wrong size in New Jersey and then sue to restore their gun rights from Texas. Until then, blue states have a club to threaten their residents with even after they leave the state.
Sullivan throws a wrench into the Flynn sentencing, but for the wrong reasons
Because Judge Sullivan has previously seen some political schemes and machinations from the FBI (notably the Ted Stevens case), some people were hopeful that he would see through the FBI bullshit. Instead he seems to have latched on to the failure to register as a foreign agent charges (which Flynn got out of by way of the plea bargain with Mueller) and threatened Flynn into cooperating more. Disappointing.
Gotta wonder if the Deep State got to Sullivan.
UPDATE: For clarity, the failure to register charges involved Turkey, not Russia.
Mueller cannot accept Whitaker as his boss and still complete the tasks he was given as special counsel. The real tasks, that is: keeping the attention on Trump and off of the Clintons' and Obama's malfeasance with our intelligence agencies and other crimes. So, of course he's going to report to Rosenstein first for as long as he can do so.
And that means Rosenstein has to go. Read the whole thing; there are 9 more reasons to fire Rosenstein immediately.
Of course his lawyers told him not to answer the questions that might get him in trouble. One of those lawyers was from DOJ, and obviously told Comey to refuse to answer any questions that might get DOJ in trouble.
Comey talks to the media following second testimony
Comey testified to Congress for the second time today. He talked to the media afterwards. We should get a transcript sometime soon.
He says he was asked about "which form people filled out". This is either a reference to the 302s about the Flynn interview, or the procedures necessary to initiate a sensitive political investigation (which he previously admitted to not knowing or following).
He admits that he "took a decision away from Sally Yates" to avoid the appearance of political bias, which is the same reasoning he used when announcing that he would not recommend prosecuting Clinton himself (because Lynch was compromised by the tarmac meeting and other, unspecified, information). He says he did this "to make it necessary for Trump to burn down the entire FBI to stop the investigation" and was shocked that Trump was willing to do just that. He seems to think he is acting in a completely non-partisan manner and all his actions, no matter how improper or obviously partisan, are above reproach. It's disgusting.
Asked if he takes any responsibility for the hit the reputation of the FBI has taken, he blames Trump for "lying". That's bullshit; Comey was at the head of the agency while it behaved in a nakedly partisan manner to influence the Presidential election in 2016. Blaming Trump for the actions in which Trump was a victim is absurd, and he wasn't in office for the Clinton investigation.
He blames others and says they should be ashamed for being silent. This is the man who said he couldn't remember or didn't know under oath over 200 times.
He's "proud" of the way the FBI interviewed Flynn, despite admitting previously he "took advantage" of the chaos in the incoming administration.
He won't comment on whether the memos he leaked were classified. Of course not. That would embarrass him.
Guess what, Comey? You are a weasel who does weasel things.
Read the whole thing. But at least part of this answer is explained by the Hillary campaign needing a reason to pay Perkins Coie for legal services rather than opposition research. Casting Steele's dossier as legal services is batshit fucking insane, but that appears to be what they are trying to do. Imagining that they could challenge Trump's election if they lost on the basis of phantom Russian collusion should be even more batshit fucking insane, but it seems to be working so far.
Document here. Power Line analyzes it briefly, and finds that the denials that resulted in Flynn's guilty plea are actually pretty weak. Of the four things he supposedly lied about, two of them were more of a "I don't remember" than a lie, and the remaining two are still less than a firm denial. Given that Flynn was the incoming National Security Advisor and the conversations themselves were perfectly legitimate, I just don't see criminality here. Obviously a person will not remember his conversations with the perfect accuracy of a transcript. That's just how memory works.
If in fact Flynn did not accurately inform his superiors (Trump, Pence, etc) about the content of the conversation, that's a different question and possibly a firing offense regardless of intent. It's awkward, even potentially dangerous, to have your National Security Advisor talking to Russia and asking for things without passing that on. But that's a matter for Trump and Pence to consider, not something that criminal law really embraces. Especially not in a blatant perjury trap like this.
Actually, calling this a perjury trap seems inaccurate. A perjury trap is giving someone the opportunity to lie deliberately, knowing you can catch them in the lie. This was more like going to Flynn with the determination to manufacture a lie.
The warming is in the adjustments -- and only in the adjustments
Borepatch lays it out. The record temperature data, not subjected to adjustments by the "Climate Scientists", does not show the same warming that the daily temperature data shows after it has been adjusted. Indeed, in recent years more states are setting records for cold temperatures than warm ones.
Folks, we're not warming up here. The earth is not warming. It hasn't been warming nearly as much as they say for the past ten or twenty years. If anything, it's been getting colder. If the solar dynamo models are correct -- and they have better predictive value than the climate models at this point -- it's going to get much colder in 2020 or so and stay that way for about 30 years. (Yes, we'll still see summers and winters and such; it's an average temperature thing).
I'm not sure how we can prepare for this, but a wise government would be thinking about measures they can take to alleviate short growing seasons. That's probably the biggest factors. Places that get a lot of snow already prepare for that, and fuel for heating doesn't seem to be an insurmountable problem. The effects are likely to be subtle rather than a doomsday scenario. But warming is right out.
The Second Amendment Foundation has recently called for a national dialog with police on this issue. Apparently we really need one. Police response protocols (which all seem to include shouting multiple confusing and contradictory orders at people who have just been deafened by firing a gun without ear protection indoors) need to be adjusted so that innocent people don't get shot.
So that police have an incentive to pay attention, and to ensure justice is done, those who shoot innocent people by mistake should be charged, tried, convicted, and punished. Yes, even police officers.
What, you thought Soros was spending his own money on politics? You pay lobbyists and politicians, and if you can pay them enough, you get many multiples of what you paid back in the form of subsidies and grants to your organizations from the taxpayer's wallet.
No, your taxes don't count. If you are paying the IRS, you're being fleeced, not buying fleece.
We're already pretty sure that the dossier on Trump and the Carter Page FISA warrant came from a desperate attempt to get legal authority for spying that Mike Rogers, as NSA Director, had cut off (and initiated an audit of). If Mike Flynn had intended to order an even broader audit, and this became known, and if the abuses were as common and as significant as they seem to be, then this would represent a huge motive for the entire Obama administration to go after him. They could safely fire Flynn to block his audit while the Obama administration was in power, but when Trump hired him, the Obama administration would surely realize the audit was back on the table.