Mueller obtains communications from Blackwater founder Erik Prince
There were reports at one point in the election cycle that Erik Prince was asked to set up some sort of communication channel between Trump and the Russians. As I recall, he denied it at the time and still is.
So, was Nader another FBI spy? Even if he was conveying a sincere offer from those governments, it's not illegal for foreign governments to offer their support to a candidate. There are ways to support a candidate (primarily through favorable press) that are legal, although certain other things -- like paying a foreign national for information on your political opponent -- are not. No one has alleged Trump has done anything specific and illegal relating to the Russians, the United Arab Emirates, or Saudi Arabia. It's just this vague cloud of "collusion".
I hate to say it, because usually this guy is pretty good (and if you read his full post, his point is made a little better), but the quote above is exactly wrong.
If the US places tariffs on imports of vehicles from the EU (targeting German cars -- BMW, Volkswagon, etc), that will raise the price of those cars in the US. It would also raise the price of Peugeot, Citroen, or Renault vehicles. (No one would care because in the US those brands are almost nonexistent).
However, if the EU -- including the French -- put tariffs in place, those tariffs would not raise the price of French cars in America. They would raise the price of American cars in France, ie, Chevrolet, Ford, and so on. Do our car manufacturers sell a lot of American cars to France? I don't know, but common sense tells me that if French cars suck, our cars might do well. And, of course, the French will have no tariffs in place against German cars.
That's the threat. It has nothing to do with raising the price of French cars in the US.
It might still make sense to raise our tariffs and try to negotiate them back down. I don't know what the trade balance and current tax structures are like. But our tariffs would be targeting the popular German cars, and theirs would be targeting our popular American brands.
Clearly, violence is already here. We've moved from violent protests to mob stalking and dead animals on porches in the space of a single week, and we've already had a politically motivated mass shooting of Congressmen not all that long ago.
And isn't it funny how the Washington Posts' response to calls for violence from Democrat legislators combined with actual violence and threats of violence from Democrat activists is... gosh you should stop because it might help the Republicans politically. Nothing about civil debate, the right to free speech, or even the right to live peacefully. No, it goes right to the left's desire for violence, their desire to impose their will upon people who see themselves as free.
More information on the House IT Awan investigation
It sounds like there was a lot of theft involved in this ring, along with likely exfiltration of data for espionage purposes, and possibly blackmail to keep it quiet judging by how desperately certain House members are trying to cover it up. Why this hasn't gotten more attention I have no idea.
Floor action could be a vote on contempt, or even impeachment.
Partially complying just isn't good enough. FBI and DOJ are slow-walking this as much as they possibly can, dribbling out bits and pieces to give the appearance of cooperation while holding back the things that are the most damaging, or that would reveal new threads to investigate.
A new censorship vector and a way to stifle competition all in one
Leaving aside the issue of censorship, this would be the end of websites or phone apps that are run by startups or individuals. It would strangle innovation, at least until some enterprising tech giant set up a "copyright service" available at low cost to startups and small websites. And once that "copyright service" was in place, well, suddenly it has market power that it can leverage, and that the government will leverage for censorship.
That's part of it, I'm sure. The Russian attempts at interference were both alibi and excuse.
It would, I think, be quite instructive for someone at CIA, NSA, or FBI to look into what the Russians tried during past elections. Were their efforts new or something they had attempted in the past? Did they try harder than before, or less hard?
I suspect the Russians treat interfering in the US elections as a hobby, and probably have done it every 2 or 4 years, regular as clockwork, and I doubt the last election was anything special. Except, well, they had Clinton who was willing and eager to pay them for lies about Trump, and Obama, who needed an excuse to spy on Trump.
I suspect the only unusual thing about 2016 was that they had an American candidate and an American administration willing to play along.
So, yeah, violence is already here. So far, it's isolated pockets and intimidation under the guise of protest or riot. But I have a fear it is going to get worse before it gets better, particularly if the Mueller coup attempt fails to gain traction after the midterms.
Roberts voted with the usual crew of leftists, which is actually rather disappointing. Privacy should be a bipartisan issue, and adhering to the Fourth Amendment in particular should appeal to the justices on the right. I'm not sure what to make of this.
Andrew McCarthy argues, persuasively, that if the IG report gives the benefit of the doubt to the figures in the DOJ and FBI, Mueller must also give the same benefit of the doubt to Trump -- and that would shut down the special counsel's investigation.
He's right, but it won't matter, because Mueller is on a witch hunt for the Deep State. He won't stop until he writes his report asking the House to impeach Trump, because he's just as politically biased as the actors in the IG report -- most of whom also participated in his investigation.
Socialist calls for burning down the opposition's tent
This sort of hateful advocacy of violence is (and probably should remain) legal, but should also be heavily criticized and denied an audience by responsible organizations. Those who call for violence against their political opponents should be lonely, solitary voices lacking in support, platform, or audience.
Unfortunately, we're seeing increasing calls for violence from people with support and with audiences, including this young socialist idiot.
Some would stop and ask whether the typical response to calls to confiscate firearms ("Molon Labe!", meaning, "Come and take them!", a reference to the last stand of the Spartans at Thermopylae) is a call for violence. It is, but it is a call for violence in defense of self and fundamental rights, and it occurs in the context of defending the principles of the nation's founding. Governments which attempt to confiscate guns violate the 2nd Amendment and the contract that grants them their powers.
The difference between violence in righteous self defense and just burning down the tent of the political opposition because you hate them and want to smash them is vast.
Supreme Court rules 5-4 for allowing states to tax internet sales
In practical terms, this means businesses will be required to remain up to date on tax laws in 50 states (and what about cities, counties, and localities that have their own sales taxes)? That's going to be impossible for small businesses to keep up with, but large businesses will be able to handle it without any problems. And what about infamous targeted taxes, like those Seattle has placed on firearms? Yet another point of complexity.
This change strikes me as very bad policy.
Legally, I vaguely remember when Congress used the commerce clause to place a moratorium on sales taxes over the internet. Congress, of course, is the right entity to make those calls on interstate commerce, while sales taxes are appropriate for intrastate commerce. Did that get changed when I wasn't looking? I suppose it must have.
I've seen that alleged multiple times, but we don't know any details, and as far as I know it wasn't in the report. He says his office intends to follow up on that matter. That's fine for Michael Flynn (who is another case of alleged modified 302s) but what about the allegations that the 302s from the Clinton case were either modified after the fact or carefully sanitized by agents as they were written? How can he follow up on that matter if he has already written his report on the Clinton email case?
Also, just as an aside: it's shameful and borderline suspicious that the FBI relies on notes from agents rather than recording their interviews.
Believe it or not, that's not referring to the likely attempts from Strzok to hide his embarrassing promise to stop Trump. It's referring to another pair of lawyers who haven't gotten much attention yet.
Public accountability demands we know who they are, so we can demand they be removed from any investigations where their bias might influence the results.
Judging by what happened with the Clinton email IG report, we may need a special counsel. That report laid out the facts, and then refused to recommend any significant corrective action. Comey's leaking likely needs significant corrective action.
I won't defend Manafort, other than to say I don't trust Mueller to fairly characterize his actions or his situation. This strikes me as another pressure tactic to coerce a guilty plea (just to get it all over with) and cooperation against Trump. These tactics are despicable in what amounts to a simple civil case, and doubly so because they are being transparently applied in service of political ends.