Their plan, such as it is, is to impeach Trump before the election, but not so long before the election as to allow for any possibility of holding a trial before the election. The impeachment will be hanging over his head when voters go to vote. They'll use it as an argument in Senate races as well as the Presidential race. If Trump wins anyway, they will drag out the Senate trial as long as possible in the hopes of keeping Trump distracted and blocking his agenda.
They don't actually expect to remove him from office. It's about electoral advantage and nullifying his presidency by legal harassment.
Note that, however strongly worded the letter may be, it is effectively demanding new policies and procedures rather than issuing contempt of court orders. Thus, it is unlikely to deter further abuses as none of the people involved have suffered real consequences... at least so far. Durham is still in play.
Note that the election commission which maintains the list of registered voters is basically defying the legislature here. It's another case of the Deep State in action, as well as an indication of just how many potentially fraudulent votes can be cast.
Funding bill passes with border wall money under impeachment smoke
The border wall money is a win, though less than Trump asked for. The money for Democrat priorities is a meh (the devil will be in the details there). The continuation of huge deficit spending is both inevitable and destructive.
Virginia Democrats threatening National Guard gun confiscations
Cutting funds to law enforcement to pressure them to enforce new laws seems like it will only result in cutting back enforcement of existing laws. That said, it's the relatively sane option here.
This, on the other hand, is dangerous to the point of insanity. It will be considered the first move in a hot civil war within Virginia.
Also, it's stupid. The President can nationalize the national guard, which means taking the Guard out of state control and into national control (as the word itself implies). The state Government can mobilize or call up the Virginia National Guard. Words mean things. I wouldn't complain too much if this was an ordinary citizen making the mistake, but this is a legislator who is supposed to know these things.
A good article that lays out what Horowitz should have been able to discern, but ultimately refused to see: The Hidden Hand that explains why many apparently disconnected events took place.
For example: why did a single drunken conversation between a low-level staffer and a foreign diplomat lead to a full blown FBI investigation? It's like someone at the FBI was waiting for it. And they probably were.
And, why did a lawyer on the investigative team falsify a document? It's something that will undoubtedly have hugely negative consequences for him personally. It's not a discretionary thing that can be explained away. It's a very serious matter with little apparent reason to do it.
Read the whole thing. The connections are damning.
As for the larger plan -- DOJ/FBI blaming CIA/NSA -- I think that's been their plan all along. Their argument is basically "We were dupes". That doesn't fly, because they had to swear things to the FISC that simply were not true, including that they had verified the unverifiable (ie, false) information they presented.
There must be accountability for the whole operation. FBI, DOJ, CIA, NSA, State Dept; all the way up to the White House.
Senate demands records on DNC-Ukraine collaboration
Except for two things, this sort of opposition research would probably have been perfectly legal, if perhaps distasteful. Those two things are: the information that came out of Ukraine was likely made up rather than factual, and it was then fed into the FBI and Mueller investigation to support criminal cases. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this inquiry.
If I was the FBI, I would want to know was on that list. Specifically, was the guy writing his own list of classmates, professors, ex-girlfriends, and people he had personal contact with... or was the list something someone else might have given him?
The story says it includes professors from the school, so it may be a personal list. Still...
So, to save the Star Wars brand after the disasters of The Last Jedi and Solo, widely described as a fuck-you to male fans of Star Wars, they are going to bring in Brie Larson, whose portrayal of Captain Marvel was widely described as a fuck-you to male fans of Marvel.
This is a brand-killing decision.
Sure, after The Last Jedi, it's not so much a death blow as it is a coup de grace, but still.
He's doing it by executive order, which I find a bit questionable, but I don't know if he has that authority under Kentucky law. Clearly he thinks he does.
As a policy matter this is a complex topic. As a political matter, the Democrats are clearly implementing this policy for electoral purposes, the same way they encourage illegal immigration and resist voter id laws. Any state they take temporary control of, they immediately seek to strengthen their hold on.
In this NBC News interview with AG Barr, he drops the word "blogosphere". That's a term that, at least to my knowledge, is both old-fashioned and limited to people who actually spent a significant amount of time reading (and often writing) blogs. Barr's use of the term suggests he may well have some awareness of the alternative media.
Watch the whole thing, as Barr brings both sanity and an implacable sense of justice to come. I hope we can rely on him.
If you don't have the 25 minutes needed to watch the whole thing, a brief summary is below.
She's asking for emotional damages and costs of therapy over the release of her text messages on her FBI device, which she should have been briefed has no expectation of privacy. Also her feelings were hurt when Trump supposedly faked an orgasm while reading her text messages aloud at a campaign rally. (He didn't; he did read them dramatically).
I figure this lawsuit will last right up to the point when someone tells Page about the discovery phase.
Normal heterosexual behaviors are normal and necessary for reproduction. If we want to continue as a species, we need to recognize that children are produced only by normal men and normal women having sex with each other. Without needing to appeal to a deity for moral judgement, we must accept reproductive sex as the way our species perpetuates itself. That means encouraging and supporting reproductive sexual behavior.
It's not necessary to be negative about folks who tastes do not run that way, and certainly not necessary to criminalize it. But it is entirely reasonable to mildly encourage one and mildly discourage the other.
Despite the lack of significant criminal referrals and the refusal to take anything short of a written confession as evidence of bad intent, the Horowitz report does do something significantly positive: it validates the reporting on the SpyGate controversy for one side, and destroys that reporting on the other. Nunes' initial memo outlining the problem is validated, and Schiff's counter-memo is exposed as a tissue of lies. The dossier is demonstrated to be the primary reason for granting the FISA, and is proven false. The FBI is proven to have known it was a pile of lies, yet continued to rely on it before the court, withholding exculpatory information and even falsifying data to the court.
While certain aspects are not proven (eg, the role of the intelligence agencies in creating the investigation using agents such as Mifsud), they are not disproven either.
So while the report is clearly imperfect and fails to bring the conclusions to their proper end with criminal referrals, it does significantly advance the ball for our side. If this was the final play, it would be a tie -- neither side got what they wanted. But it's not. Durham and Barr are clearly still pursuing matters.
So we're in the final quarter and the score is tied. It's up to Durham now.
UPDATE: A comment made late in the Senate hearing that I just noticed. Asked why the report doesn't specify criminal referrals, Horowitz responds that he felt the conduct within was so serious that he simply forwarded the whole report to DOJ/Barr to make those decisions. So, effectively, everyone mentioned in it has been referred for potential criminal prosecution.
UPDATE: Initial conclusions are that Horowitz identifies a lot of errors, mistakes, problems, procedures that were not followed, and so on, but fails to bring it home. It's a hefty black eye for the reputation of the FBI but doesn't really offer consequences other than suggesting a lot of performance reviews. It's not a whitewash, more like a greywash.
As for Horowitz himself, this report combined with the Clinton email report strongly suggests that Horowitz (an Obama appointee, remember) is playing a sacrificial defense game. He's admitting what he has to, doesn't have all the necessary information, and refusing to draw the obvious conclusions.