Tag Archives: Obama

List of Obama officials who illegally used wiretaps to spy on Americans

The federal government’s intelligence services have for many years been authorized to listen in on the phone conversations of foreign nationals for the purpose of detecting any potential threats to the United States.

However, if those conversations happen to include an American citizen, they are also forbidden from revealing who that person is to anyone, including and especially their political bosses, except in extraordinary circumstances, because these spies are not allowed to spy on Americans, without reasonable cause and a warrant. And even when these names were revealed, “unmasked” in intelligence parlance, until the Obama administration such unmasking was only permitted to a very small and select number of people.

The Obama administration changed this. Obama allowed the unmasking to be revealed to numerous people in his administration, and worse, his administration made unmasking a tool for spying on his political opponents. This is how Obama and the FBI knew that Trump’s former National Security Chief Mike Flynn had been talking to the Russian ambassador (as was proper for him to do during the transition time between the two administrations). They had listened in, and then unmasked Flynn’s name, improperly.

Well, we now know some of the people in the Obama administration who ordered these illegal unmaskings.

The list revealed that then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power made unmasking requests seven times between Nov. 30, 2016 and Jan. 11, 2017. The list revealed that Clapper made three requests from Dec. 2, 2016 through Jan. 7, 2017; and that Brennan made two requests, one on Dec. 14 and one on Dec. 15, 2016. Comey also made a request on Dec. 15, 2016. On Jan. 5, 2017, McDonough made one request, and on Jan. 12, 2017, Biden made one request.

The day McDonough requested the information is the same day as an Oval Office meeting that has drawn scrutiny in the wake of the Flynn developments. The meeting included Obama, Biden, Clapper, Brennan, Comey, then-National Security Adviser Susan Rice and then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

That meeting was the first time Yates learned about Flynn’s calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to notes from her special counsel interview which were released last week. Yates, in her interview, indicated Obama was aware of Flynn’s intercepted December 2016 phone calls with Kislyak during the presidential transition period. [emphasis mine]

I have highlighted the dates because it is interesting that all these unmaskings occurred during that transition period, after Trump had won the election but before he took office. It is almost as if the Obama administration and his stooges in the FBI, CIA, and other departments are gathering information to use against Trump and his people.

Which is exactly what they were doing. They wanted to overthrow that legal election, and were digging around trying to create a scandal to do so. They didn’t find anything, but what they had gave them the chance to manufacture the Russian collusion hoax.

Note that this list is not complete. It is only the start. What we know now is that Power, Clapper, Brennan, Comey, McDouough, and Biden misused their power against their political opponents.

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House FISA court reauthorization reaches Senate

You gotta have your KGB: A House-passed FISA court reauthorization bill, which makes some superficial claims at reining in the abuses of that court by FBI and Justice officials in the past four years, has now reached the Senate.

Overall this new law is junk, and accomplishes nothing. Though it does increase penalties for misuse, and allows for outside review in more situations, the secret court will continue, available to authorize the illegal surveillance of American businesses and individuals, for political reasons.

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IG report: FBI screwed up on every single FISA warrant application it submitted

So, why hasn’t Trump fired everybody there? A new inspector general review of 29 FBI FISA warrant applications has found that on every single application looked at, the FBI made numerous errors, often failing entirely in doing the most basic required documentation.

The [inspector general] review released Tuesday suggests that the FBI’s problems are widespread. “As a result of our audit work to date and as described below, we do not have confidence that the FBI has executed its Woods Procedures in compliance with FBI policy,” the [report] said in a memo to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

More information here, including the revelation that the FBI could not even find the files for four of these warrants. The IG suspects they might never have existed.

I repeat: Why has Trump so far not fired the entire upper management at the FBI involved in this work? Every single one of these bums should be out on the street, looking for work (though to be honest, the last place I’d want to see them working is as a stock person in a supermarket. They’d hoard and steal, and everyone else would starve.).

For example, the IG memo was submitted to Wray, who has been a top manager at the agency for years, and was directly involved in issuing most of these FISA warrants. Does anyone really expect him to fix this problem? He’s part of it.

Until Trump begins a real house-cleaning, I have no faith in his claim that he is “draining the swamp.” Instead, I see him as simply doing a little light dusting, just enough to make us peons not notice the thick piles of dirt buried under the rugs and beneath all the cushions and behind the books.

Also, this IG report provides further proof that Congress should not renew the FISA court law, when it comes up for renewal again in about two months. The entire law and all involved with it are corrupt, and routinely have abused the power it gave them.

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Justice Dept abandons Mueller indictments of Russian companies

Earlier this week the Justice Dept quietly announced that it was dropping the indictments that the Robert Mueller Russian collusion investigation had made against several Russian-based companies.

Though I missed reporting this when it happened because of other events, it merits comment, even a few days late.

For one thing, when Mueller announced these indictments, I read them, and concluded that they were absurd, and nothing more than a political maneuver.

Mueller’s indictment is first and foremost a political document. If you read it, it is quite obvious that its purpose was not to bring these Russians to justice, but to imply that Russia was working with Trump to get him elected, even though a careful analysis of everything the Russians did shows that this is not the case.

Why do I say this? The indictment spends numerous pages describing in incredible detail every single pro-Trump action taken by these Russians, from organizing social media campaigns to anti-Clinton protests to pro-Trump rallies, while providing only one or two very short summaries of the anti-Trump actions they took, thus giving the impression if you do not read the indictment closely that they were essentially a Trump operation.

This however is false. Not only does the indictment lack any evidence of any links between the Russians and the Trump campaign, the details indicate strongly the non-partisan nature of the Russian strategy. While prior to the election it appears they favored Trump, once he was the candidate they shifted tactics to attack both him and Clinton. The goal was not so much to get Trump elected but to cause the most negative disruption to the American election process as possible. The indictment itself admits this, though almost as an aside.

People far more expert on this subject than I, such as Andrew McCarthy at the link above, had quickly come to the same conclusion. And McCarthy had predicted two years ago that the indictment would never fly if the Russian companies challenged it in court (something Mueller’s team clearly never expected). They did challenge it, resulting in some incredibly embarrassing moments in court for these Democratic Party hacks.

I think this story is only one example of the corrupt nature of Mueller’s Russian investigation. It was a political action against a duly and legally elected president, through and through, created by those in DC who did not like the result, and wished to overturn it illegally, by any means necessary.

Or to put it bluntly, it was an attempted political coup.

People in that operation should be the ones indicted, and convicted. I wait with great pessimism whether the investigations by Trump’s attorney general will result in such indictments. They should, but I have little faith they will. In Washington DC we now have two sets of rules.The little people must obey all laws, or they will be severely punished. Those in Washington however are exempt from any prosecution, and can do as they please.

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Spygate from a scientific perspective

Back in February 2018, Republican-controlled committees in both the House and the Senate released detailed memos, dubbed the Nunes and Grassley memos respectively, accusing the FBI and the Obama Justice Department of using unverified and false information that was nothing more than opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign to illegally obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), warrants that allowed them to spy on the campaign of Donald Trump as well as his administration following his election victory in 2016.

Put more bluntly, the Republicans accused the Clinton campaign, with the help of the Obama administration, of weaponizing the surveillance powers of the FBI and the Justice Department in order to defeat their political opponents.

Not surprisingly, the Democrats and former Obama officials denied these allegations, calling both memos partisan and false. In the House the Democrats issued their own memo, claiming the Republican memos left out key information that made their arguments invalid.

Who was right? What was true? How was an ordinary citizen going to determine which of these competing political positions properly described what had actually happened?

At the time I admit my instincts and own personal biases led me to believe the Republicans. Even so, the allegations were so horrifying — suggesting a clear abuse of power and a willingness of people in Washington to subvert an American election — that some skepticism of the Republican accusations was certainly reasonable.

In fact, the best thing one could do in this situation is to take a scientific approach to the problem. The Republicans had put forth a theory, citing some data that suggested the Obama administration, the Justice Department, and the FBI had abused their power in the worst possible manner. To prove that theory the Republicans would require both corroborating evidence as well as independent reviews that confirmed their conclusions.
» Read more

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Comparing Trump vs Obama against ISIS

This very interesting article does a nice job of reviewing the history of ISIS since 2010, the year that the Obama administration released just killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, using multiple news sources and stories.

Here is a rough timeline:

Obama presidency:
2008: ISIS forces estimated to be about 700 fighters, holding practically no ground.
2010: al-Baghdadi is released.
2011: al-Baghdadi takes over ISIS.
2014: Obama refers to ISIS as a “JV team.”
2015: ISIS forces estimated to be between 20,000 to 31,000 fighters.
2015: ISIS establishes global terrorism network resulting in terrorist attacks worldwide.
2016: ISIS occupies 17,500 square miles, with 35,000 fighters.

Trump presidency:
2017: (July): ISIS pushed out of Mosul.
2017 (October) ISIS in full retreat to U.S. backed forces, loses its capital Raqqa.
2017 (December): ISIS forces now estimated to be 1,000 fighters, holding 1,900 square miles.
2019: al-Baghadi is killed.

At this moment ISIS remains a threat, but a significantly reduced one from its peak in 2016.

Like Trump or hate him, an objective look at how he has handled this issue versus Obama’s handling once again puts the victory mark in Trump’s column. Obama’s policy made things worse in the Arab Middle East. Trump has so far improved things.

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Justice expands investigation into coup attempt against Trump

The Justice Department investigation by John Durham into the Obama-initiated spying on the Trump campaign, followed by an effort to frame Trump with the fake accusation that he colluded with the Russians, has now been expanded.

Fox News previously reported that Durham would be reviewing the days leading up to the 2016 election and through the inauguration.

However, based on what he has been finding, Durham has expanded his investigation adding agents and resources, the senior administration officials said. The timeline has grown from the beginning of the probe through the election and now has included a post-election timeline through the spring of 2017, up to when Robert Mueller was named special counsel.

Meanwhile, the Democrats effort to frame Trump again, this time in connection with his phone call with the head of Ukraine, continues to unravel. Some recent stories:

As I noted in my October 1 essay on the fake nature of the Democrat’s impeachment effort, this mirrors the situation with their fake Russian-collusion accusations. As more evidence is uncovered the more untrustworthy those accusations appear.

I remain skeptical at the seriousness of the Trump Justice Department’s new investigation however. The MO of the Washington Republican crowd so far has been to gather information that shows the corruption within the federal government, release it, and then do nothing. Unless they move forward with actual indictments this will all be another variation of failure theater.

UPDATE: This article, Who Does the Whistleblower Know?, provides a nice timeline and summary of what we presently know, all of which appear to point to real corruption on the part of both Joe Biden and the Democrats in Congress and the executive bureaucracy.

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Adventures in TSA fantasyland

Another airplane journey, another idiotic example of the stupidity of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA).

I am in the airport in Panama City, Florida, waiting for my flight home. As I was putting my shoes and belt back on at the security conveyor belt, I watched as an older couple was having their carry-on bags opened and inspected. The woman was wearing an Islamic scarf. (Despite this I am sure neither posed any threat, because both were somewhat elderly, and had been given passes that I think signified this, since anyone over 75 years old is allowed to keep shoes and belts on.)

What was amazing to me was what happened when the TSA officer discovered that the women had brought a take-out lunch with her, as well as a full set of metal silverware to eat it. The officer hardly glanced at silverware, seeming more interested in her lunch in a plastic food container. While he inspected this the woman put the silverware back in her purse, and after the officer was satisfied that the take-out food was not dangerous, he allowed them to leave, silverware and all.

As they left I was right there, putting my wallet and keys back in my pockets, with that officer only about two feet away. I couldn’t help it. I said, “Excuse me, it is now permissible to bring metal silverware, forks, knives, so forth, on an airplane?”
» Read more

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Trump give Barr authority to declassify documents related to campaign spying by Obama

President Trump yesterday gave Attorney General William Barr the authority to declassify any documents related to the campaign spying by the Obama administration that occurred during the 2016 presidential election.

Trump also ordered all intelligence agencies to cooperate completely with Barr’s investigation, an order that common sense says should be unnecessary, as Barr is their boss and they should therefore always cooperate with him. However, we live in interesting times, when federal employees now think they have the right to tell elected officials what to do, and to even act to overthrow those elected officials if they don’t like them.

Not surprisingly, the Democrats who repeatedly scream for transparency and the public release of all documents are protesting Trumps orders.

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Mueller submits report, ends investigation

Special Council Robert Mueller today submitted his report to his new boss Attorney General Bill Barr at the Department of Justice, officially ending his two year long investigation that was supposedly aimed at proving collusion between Donald Trump and the Russian government in order to get him elected.

In those two years, Mueller made a few indictments, none of which had anything to do with Trump-Russian collusion. Most were process crimes, created during the investigation against individuals for either not answering questions perfectly or because Mueller went on a fishing expedition until he found something. None would have happened had this faux investigation had not been instigated.

Moreover, according to the news story at the link, Mueller is “not recommending any further indictments” with this submission.

Or to put it more bluntly, this was all a sham, aimed at deposing the legally elected president of the United States.

Meanwhile, evidence of real collusion, involving Obama and Hillary Clinton and the Russians, was ignored, and in fact the FBI took hostile actions against those involved in revealing it.

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A good summary of the FBI coup attempt against Trump

Link here. After more than two years of “Trump colluded with Russia!”, it is now been clearly documented that there was never anything to this, and that it was instead a ploy by the Democratic Party, the FBI, and the hostile Democratic mainstream press to overturn the legal election of an American president.

This article provides a concise and clear summary of the FBI’s illegal and criminal participation in this coup attempt, now admitted to by fired FBI official Andrew McCabe. It lists and details the following seven takeaways:

  • 1. McCabe Proves Trump Firing Comey Was Justified
  • 2. McCabe and His Co-conspirators Only Ever Had The Dossier to Go On
  • 3. Much Of This Seems Like A Cover-up
  • 4. The Conspirators Might Be Turning On Each Other
  • 5. McCabe Might Be Telling The Truth About Rosenstein
  • 6. The Whole Russia Probe Is Tainted And Corrupt
  • 7. Comey, McCabe, Clapper, And Brennan Are Unpatriotic Dopes

For emphasis, I want to quote this description of McCabe’s actions, from the start of the article:

Here we have a formerly powerful and unelected government official, for all the world to see, admitting that the FBI tried to launch a coup against the constitutionally elected president of the United States, in only the first few months of his tenure.

McCabe however was not alone. He was part of a cadre of upper FBI management that teamed up to try to overturn an election, many of whom are still in office. We shall see if the new attorney general, William Barr, is willing to clean house. If he isn’t, this kind of misbehavior will only get worse.

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Trump administration: parks to stay open to public during shutdown

Compare and contrast: Unlike the Obama administration, which went out of its way to inconvenience the public during government shutdowns, to an extent that it actually cost the government money, the Trump administration is leaving the national parks open to the public during the shutdown, even as it shuts visitor centers.

The link describes the National Park Service’s policy at Saguaro National Park here in Tucson, but this is apparently the policy nationwide:

“When you arrive at the park, both visitor centers will be closed. This is because due to the lapse of appropriation, we do not have money to pay for staff, so any facility that requires staff presence is going to be closed,” said Andy L. Fisher, a park ranger at Saguaro National Park.

That includes the contact station, the education building and programs, and ranger-guided walks and hikes.

“If you come out to one of the trail heads and plan on going for a hike, we’re not go to close the trail heads. We’re not going to chase you off the trails, the roads are going to continue to be open,” said Fisher.

This approach by the Trump administration is the morally correct one. The shutdown means they don’t have the money to run the government. It does not mean the parks can’t be accessed. They belong not to the government but to the American people. If there is no money to pay the government workers, that just means there will be no government workers at these parks. The parks themselves should remain open for public use.

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Obamacare struck down by judge

A federal judge in Texas on Friday ruled that the entire Obamacare law is no longer valid based on changes passed by the Republican Congress in the past two years.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth sided with the argument put forward by a coalition of Republican-leaning states, led by Texas, that Obamacare could no longer stand now that there’s no penalty for Americans who don’t buy insurance.

The U.S. Supreme Court had upheld the law in 2012, by classifying the legislation as a tax. But since Congress removed the individual mandate in 2017, O’Connor ruled, there’s no way the ACA can be allowed to stand.

“The Individual Mandate can no longer be fairly read as an exercise of Congress’s Tax Power and is still impermissible under the Interstate Commerce Clause — meaning the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional,” O’Connor wrote. “The Individual Mandate is essential to and inseverable from the remainder of the ACA.”

Without the system being upheld by a wide pool of mandated participants, the ACA cannot stand, O’Connor ruled.

All of this has been unconstitutional from day one, but what does that matter in the banana republic we now live in, where childish twitter mobs rule, unelected bureaucrats have more legal power than presidents, and elected officials can pick and choose the laws they obey?

Trump, returning to his liberal roots, immediately called for a new law to protect “pre-existing conditions.” To quote his tweet: “Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions. Mitch and Nancy, get it done!”

Forcing insurance companies to accept anyone, regardless of their health, makes insurance impossible. Why would anyone buy insurance when they are healthy under Trump’s system? Instead, everyone will wait until they are diagnosed with an illness, and buy the insurance then. Lacking a pool of healthy customers, insurance companies will go bankrupt.

The silver lining here is that Congress is divided, and might find it impossible to make a deal. At the same time, I would not be surprised if both parties teamed up to give voters this fake present, continuing our slide to bankruptcy.

In the meantime, expect the reappearance of low-cost catastrophic insurance plans, the kind of plans that Obama called “junk” and banned with Obamacare, but provide lower-class people without a fancy health plan an affordable way to insure themselves against a ruinous illness or accident.

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Trump unclassifies FISA warrants, interviews; orders release of unredacted FBI text messages

Trump has today unclassified both the FISA Carter Page application and the FBI interviews connected with that application. He also ordered the release, unredacted, of all FBI text messages of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.

This information I think is going to demonstrate that the certain people at the FBI have been running an anti-Trump/pro-Democratic Party operation, concocting a false claim of Russian-Trump collusion in order to remove a duly elected President. Moreover, comparing the previously released redacted text messages with the unredacted messages is almost certainly going to reveal that someone at the FBI has acting to obstruct the investigation.

I wonder if anyone will ask the question “Who?”

I should also point out that Trump himself could have read these documents whenever he wanted. He doesn’t need to declassify them to see them, and form judgements from them. Moreover, the redactions only apply to the public, not to Trump. He could have seen this anytime, and acted immediately, if he had chosen.

Instead, he chose to wait and wait, and then release this now, at a moment when all eyes are aimed at the fake scandal being perpetrated by the Democrats against his Supreme Court nominee.

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FBI fires anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok

The FBI today finally fired anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok from his job at the FBI.

This action is far too little, and maybe far too late. What we really need is a complete house-cleaning, with a fresh set of new faces in charge at the FBI and the Department of Justice. What we have gotten so far has merely been the removal of a tiny handful of players while many of the big cheese remain in power.

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Tea party groups get major payout in lawsuit settlement with IRS

Still working for the Democratic Party: Tea party groups have settled their lawsuit with the IRS in which they will split a $3.5 million payout from the government agency for harassing them for their political beliefs.

The $3.5 million closely approximates the fines the IRS would have had to pay in damages for each intrusive scrutiny of tea party groups, had the agency been found in violation of the law. The money will be split with half going to the lawyers who argued the case and the other half to more than 100 tea party groups, which will get a cut of about $17,000 each.

Judge Michael R. Barrett called the settlement “fair, reasonable and adequate.”

The settlement doesn’t actually include an admission of wrongdoing by the IRS, though Mr. Greim and others said the payment is perhaps an even bigger mea culpa.

Meanwhile, the depositions in this suit by IRS managers Lois Lerner and Holly Paz remained sealed. Both are fighting to keep them from coming public, claiming unsealing them will put them at physical risk.

Yeah right. What I think unsealing these depositions will clearly show is how corrupt these two partisan hacks were in using the IRS to help the Democratic Party and to squelch the free speech of conservatives. This is what they don’t want the public to know.

Meanwhile, there remains no guarantee the IRS won’t do this again, mainly because the agency and its employees have generally gotten away with it. No one was fired. Many who participated in the harassment even got bonuses.

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New FISA release confirms Obama and FBI illegally conspired to spy on Trump

Working for the Democratic Party: The release this weekend of the heavily redacted FISA application that apparently began the Russian collusion investigation at the FBI has confirmed that the warrant was obtained under false pretenses, and that Obama and FBI illegally used it to justify spying on Trump and the campaign of their political opponent.

Several takeaways noted in the article:

  • Peter Strzok is a liar, though this is hardly news
  • The FISA warrant hung entirely on the claim that Carter Page was working as a spy for the Russians, but two years later he has never been charged with any crimes, suggesting that his name was used merely as a tool to open the spying operation on Trump and the Republicans.
  • The FISA warrant was almost entirely dependent on the fake dossier that had been produced as opposition research by the Clinton campaign, paid for by Clinton campaign dollars, and was not verified then, and remains unverified now. In fact, it remains an absurd tissue of lies and falsifications that should never have been brought before a judge.

More here, including the fact that it appears the warrant application was far too dependent on news stories from partisan Democratic press outlets, information that is unverified and unacceptable to use as justification for a warrant to spy on any American, no less a presidential candidate, and by the opposing party as well.

Even more here, including showing that James Comey is also a blatant liar.

The first link above sums up as follows:

The FBI’s use of flimsy and uncorroborated evidence to support spying on Page, combined with the fact that a 3-month extension was granted despite the fact that it was obvious by June, 2017 he wasn’t a Russian agent, will most certainly embolden those, like President Trump, who have called the entire Russia investigation a “witch hunt.”

The second link also adds:

What I really want to know is the identity of the judge who signed off on the surveillance of Carter Page, based on such flimsy grounds. Some are speculating that he must be from Hawaii.

That judge should be removed from office.

Moreover, the entire FISA law should be repealed. It is unconstitutional, and designed to encourage the abuse of power by those in power. Not enough people are saying this, but it really is the fundamental takeaway from this whole scandal. Just because Obama abused the law does not mean Republicans won’t. It must be repealed.

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Billions to replace or decommission thousands of wind turbines

The unintended consequences of good intentions: The tens of thousands of wind turbines installed in the last two decades are wearing out, and no one has the billions it will cost to either replace them or decommission them.

The life span of a wind turbine, power companies say, is between 20 and 25 years. But in Europe, with a much longer history of wind power generation, the life of a turbine appears to be somewhat less. “We don’t know with certainty the life spans of current turbines,” said Lisa Linowes, executive director of WindAction Group, a nonprofit which studies landowner rights and the impact of the wind energy industry. Its funding, according to its website, comes from environmentalists, energy experts and public donations and not the fossil fuel industry.

Linowes said most of the wind turbines operating within the United States have been put in place within the past 10 years. In Texas, most have become operational since 2005. “So we’re coming in on 10 years of life and we’re seeing blades need to be replaced, cells need to be replaced, so it’s unlikely they’re going to get 20 years out of these turbines,” she said.

Estimates put the tear-down cost of a single modern wind turbine, which can rise from 250 to 500 feet above the ground, at $200,000. With more than 50,000 wind turbines spinning in the United States, decommissioning costs are estimated at around $10 billion.

In Texas, there are approximately 12,000 turbines operational in the state. Decommissioning these turbines could cost as much as $2.3 billion. Which means landowners and counties in Texas could be on the hook for tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars if officials determine non-functional wind turbines need to be removed.

Or if that proves to be too costly, as seems likely, some areas of the state could become post-apocalyptic wastelands steepled with teetering and fallen wind turbines, locked in a rigor mortis of obsolescence.

The key here is that wind power is simply not profitable. The turbines were built almost exclusively because of giant federal subsidies — increased significantly during the Obama administration — that are expected to cost taxpayers almost $24 billion from 2016 to 2020.

Those subsidies might disappear under the Trump administration, but even if they don’t, they aren’t there to remove turbines but to build them. The companies that built the turbines aren’t making enough to pay for their replacement.

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Justice Department lets Imran Awan walk

The swamp wins! The Department of Justice this week made a plea deal with former House IT specialist Imran Awan, allowing him to walk away free on probation.

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday entered a plea deal with Imran Awan, ringleader of the Pakistani family at the center of the House IT scandal, and in the process defied President Donald Trump and explicitly contradicted congressional investigators who described the group as “an ongoing and serious risk to the House of Representatives.” In a statement to the court, Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors said they “found no evidence that [Imran] illegally removed House data from the House network or from House members’ offices, stole the House Democratic Caucus server, stole or destroyed House information technology equipment, or improperly accessed or transferred government information.”

The prosecutors told the court they would not object if Awan received probation, and they agreed to drop fraud-related charges against his wife. The deal means Awan is free to leave the country and won’t face prosecution in connection with his congressional employment.

The DOJ announcement flew directly in the face of Trump’s June 7, 2018, tweet saying, “Our Justice Department must not let Awan & Debbie Wasserman Schultz off the hook. The Democrat I.T. scandal is a key to much of the corruption we see today. They want to make a ‘plea deal’ to hide what is on their Server. Where is Server? Really bad!”

Trump is by law the boss of the Department of Justice, but prosecutors there continue to act as if they are in charge and the president is merely an annoyance who must be bypassed. Moreover, these prosecutors appear to have been working entirely in league with House Democrats to squash this investigation, from the beginning. Because Trump did not take control, they have now succeeded.

I should add that this case demonstrates clearly that Trump is not really acting to drain the swamp. He is cleaning out a few select agencies (EPA), but allowing the rest to remain, with the worst being Justice and the FBI. Trump is essentially a transitional president. The question remains: What are we transitioning to? To me, it increasingly appears we are transitioning to the fall of our democratic government and the freedom it formerly gave to all citizens, equal before the law. And that I write this on Independence Day is more than tragic.

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IT specialist Imran Awan solicited a bribe from at least one vendor

More corruption at Justice: IT specialist Imran Awan, while working for many Democrats in Congress, solicited a bribe from at least one IT vendor.

Democratic IT aide Imran Awan solicited a bribe from an IT vendor in exchange for contracting opportunities with the office of then-Rep. Gwen Graham, the vendor alleged to The Daily Caller News Foundation, adding that Imran spoke to him in detail about his alleged financial fraud schemes in the House.

The Department of Justice knows of the source — the longtime owner of a major House IT company — and what he is prepared to testify, a high-level official in Jeff Sessions’ DOJ with knowledge of the investigation confirmed. But the vendor said no law enforcement ever even tried to interview them. [emphasis mine]

Read it all. The vendor also was aware of the falsification of invoices to funnel money and equipment to the Awan family illegally. Yet, no one from Justice has ever felt the need to gather that evidence.

One more detail: Graham is running for Florida governor. If you are in Florida, expect a lot of corruption should she win.

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Supreme Court upholds Trump travel ban

In a 5-4 ruling the Supreme Court today upheld President Trump’s constitutional powers to enforce immigration law by upholding his travel ban.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, made it clear that the court viewed the ability to regulate immigration as squarely within a president’s powers and he rejected critics’ claims of anti-Muslim bias. “We express no view on the soundness of the policy,” Roberts wrote.

Moreover, the court also ruled today that fascist California cannot force pro-life centers to advertise pro-abortion announcements.

“The unlicensed notice imposes a government-scripted, speaker-based disclosure requirement that is wholly disconnected from California’s informational interest,” wrote Justice Thomas. “California has offered no justification that the notice plausibly furthers. It targets speakers, not speech, and imposes an unduly burdensome disclosure requirement that will chill their protected speech.”

Thomas also wrote that the law not only forced pro-life centers to promote abortion, but to do so while diminishing their own message on pregnancy care. “As California conceded at oral argument, a billboard for an unlicensed facility that says ‘Choose Life’ would have to surround that two-word statement with a 29-word statement from the government, in as many as 13 different languages,” continued Thomas.

“In this way, the unlicensed notice drowns out the facility’s own message. More likely, the ‘detail required’ by the unlicensed notice ‘effectively rules out’ the possibility of having such a billboard in the first place.”

The left is on a bad losing streak at the Supreme Court so far this year. And with the strong possibility that at least one of its liberal judges might soon be replaced by Trump, the left’s ability to impose its will through the courts should be further diminished.

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McCain’s office joined Democrats in encouraging IRS to harass conservatives

Working for the Democratic Party: Newly released documents show that an official working for Senator John McCain’s (R-Arizona) joined the Democrats in encouraging the IRS to harass conservative groups.

Judicial Watch today released newly obtained internal IRS documents, including material revealing that Sen. John McCain’s former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner, urged top IRS officials, including then-director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner, to “audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous.” [emphasis mine]

Want to what really stinks about this? The meeting where McCain’s staffer suggested this came only ten days before Lois Lerner “admitted that the IRS had a policy of improperly and deliberately delaying applications for tax-exempt status from conservative non-profit groups.” In other words, McCain was all-in with the idea of weaponizing the IRS for political purposes.

Want to know what stinks even more? Henry Kerner was appointed by President Trump in 2017 to take over the Office of Special Council, a federal office focused on protecting whistleblowers while acting as a watchdog to prevent partisan political action by government agencies, in violation of the Hatch Act.

Boy, that sure is draining the swamp, President Trump. Keep at it!

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Obama administration ordered a “stand down” of work to stop Russian election interference

The real Russian collusion: When it was evident that the Russians were trying to use the internet to interfere with the election in August 2016, the Obama administration instead ordered a “stand down” of any work that might have stopped that interference.

Former President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity czar confirmed Wednesday that former national security adviser Susan Rice told him to “stand down” in response to Russian cyber attacks during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Michael Daniel, whose official title was “cybersecurity coordinator,” confirmed the stand-down order during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing held to review the Obama and President Donald Trump’s administrations’ policy response to Russian election interference.

…“Don’t get ahead of us,” [Rice] told Daniel in a meeting in August 2016, according to the book.

Daniel informed his staff of the order, much to their frustration. “I was incredulous and in disbelief,” Daniel Prieto, who worked under Daniel, is quoted saying in “Russian Roulette.”

“Why the hell are we standing down? Michael, can you help us understand?” Prieto asked.

It appears that the Obama administration wanted the Russians to interfere with the election, and this desire was part of their effort at the FBI to frame the Russian collusion story on Trump. They needed the interference to justify the FBI Russian investigation, which had just been instigated in late July 2016. Stopping the Russians (and defending the American electoral process) was therefore not in their interest.

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A guide to spygate, from a retired FBI agent

Link here. He gives us the educated perspective of someone who worked at the bureau and understands the bureaucratic requirements that are involved with any investigation. What he finds clarifies much of what has happened, and does so in a way that strengthens the case that the upper management of the FBI was involved in an effort to prevent Trump’s election, and if that failed, create a situation where he could be forced out thereafter.

The article is also helpful in that it helps place many of the Strzok-Page texts in context, something that also strengthens the case against them and the agency.

More and more, it appears that the FBI and the Obama Justice Department were working to nullify the 2016 Presidential election, to fix it in order to guarantee a Democratic Party victory. Many people should go to jail for this.

And if they don’t, we will no longer have a constitutional government, of, for, and by the people.

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Why is Peter Strzok still employed by the FBI?

The headline is essentially taken from this article, that asks this pertinent question in the context of the claim by FBI director Christopher Wray that “We will not hesitate to hold people accountable.”

Yet, the only thing Wray has so far done is to organize “in-depth focused training” sessions for FBI employees. No agent specifically described in the inspector general report has been fired, despite this fact:

[Strzok’s] expressed animus for Donald Trump and advocacy for Hillary Clinton in official and unofficial forums while participating in investigations of both were enough for Robert Mueller to remove him from the special counsel team. The text message, “we’ll stop it,” was known to the FBI well ahead of the release of this IG report.

If Wray isn’t hesitating to hold people accountable, why is Strzok still employed by the FBI? As Michael Horowitz told the House Oversight Committee today, even the suggestion that a high-ranking FBI agent would consider using his authority to impact an election is “antithetical” to an apolitical enforcement of the law. Horowitz also acknowledged that Strzok’s communications, and those of Lisa Page and three others involved in these conversations, created a “cloud” over both investigations that cannot easily be dismissed.

It has been more than a year since Strzok was removed by Mueller. The FBI has known of his misconduct (as well as Lisa Page’s) earlier than that. Yet Strzok remains employed by the FBI.

The problem here is not simply FBI Director Wray. He works for Donald Trump, who has the authority and power to fire everyone at the FBI. Yet, nothing happens.

As I said earlier, if sensitivity training is the only punishment that the Trump administration imposes on the FBI and Justice Department after these revelations then we are very very doomed. The corruption in both these very powerful agencies will only blossom, with everyone there now aware that nothing will happen to them if they act to interfere with the nation’s electoral process.

Update: One news story today says that Peter Strzok was escorted from FBI building. Whether he has been officially fired remains unclear.

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New texts from former FBI officials reveal contempt for Congress and the law

Newly released and unredacted texts from former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page not only reveal an effort to stonewall Congress from doing its Constitutionally-mandated oversight, they reveal an utter contempt for the law.

The article focuses on their contempt of Congress, but it really reveals that these two FBI agents, who now appear to be quite typical of much of the FBI’s upper management, were aggressively promoting a cover-up of illegal FBI actions and defying Congress in the process.

About a week after Comey’s press conference, Strzok wrote to Page that he was “Worried about work.” He was worried about “How much we decide to release, the prospect of second guessing.” It’s one thing if the second-guessing came from DoJ’s inspector general, but Strzok wasn’t about to be overseen by lawmakers: “The IG doing that bugs me;” Strzok texted, “Congress doing so infuriates me.”

He was doubly worried because, that day, Chaffetz and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte had sent a criminal referral to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia asking that Hillary Clinton be investigated, and perhaps prosecuted, for perjury. For Strzok, the referral was yet another reason to withhold information requested by Congress: “You read the referral yet?” Strzok asks Page. “We really want to drop the LHM [a summary of an investigation called a Letterhead Memorandum] and 302s [FBI interview notes] into that environment?”

Page called the requests from the Hill, “insulting” and Strzok declared “I just have no faith in Congress to respect our investigative information. The LHM and no more. Not even senior people’s 302, unless what we’d release via foia [the Freedom of Information Act].”

Even when the FBI was cornered into making documents available, they did their best to hobble efforts to read them. Here’s Peter Strzok texting Lisa Page on August 16, 2016, the day the FBI finally turned over a single heavily redacted copy of the 302 notes of Hillary Clinton’s FBI interview: “I’m strongly opposed to making any more copies for Congress. We limited on purpose, After careful consideration. If they let any particular committee get the copy, tough. Let them sort it out.” [emphasis mine]

Peter Strzok very eloquently sums up their attitude in one later text: “F them.”

Contempt for Congress is perfectly reasonable. I actually agree with them here. Refusing to obey the orders of elected officials, however, is an abuse of power, is illegal, and at a minimum should have gotten them fired, immediately. Instead, the FBI leadership (Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, etc) worked with them to defy Congress.

As I said yesterday, these people should also go to jail. They not only broke their oaths to defend and obey the Constitution, they participated in a criminal cover-up, in this case acting to protect the Democratic Party’s candidate for President from criminal prosecution.

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8 times FBI colluded with Democrats during election

Link here. The author carefully summarizes what we now know about the partnership between the upper management at the FBI and CIA with the campaign of Hillary Clinton.

The intelligence bureaucracies spied on the Donald Trump campaign: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants were granted because of a Hillary Clinton-funded and unverified document, national-security letters were issued to allow warrantless spying, and the unprecedented but not-illegal-per-se unmasking of Trump officials’ conversations with non-U.S. persons was shockingly routine.

Yet the news of a CIA-connected human source operating as far back as April or May of 2016 is about more than just spying. It is the latest example in what now looks to be a long line of attempted setups by the Clinton team, many times aided and abetted by our intelligence bureaucracies.

These events should anger any red blooded American who believes in representative democracy and the importance of the rule of law.

He then details eight examples, all well documented, where the leadership at the FBI and CIA worked hand-in-glove with the Democratic Party to help throw the election to Hillary Clinton, and failing that worked to invalidate the election results by trying to manufacture evidence that would justify removing Trump from office.

A large number of people should face prison terms for this. And it appears that at least one, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, fears this possibility greatly.

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A detailed timeline of entire Clinton-Trump-collusion-story

Link here. You want to get a good idea about this whole scandal, you have to spend a little bit of your time reading through this timeline.

The following take-aways to me seemed the most important:

  • Though the whole Mueller investigation and scandal is supposedly centered on collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russians to rig the election, the timeline once again shows no such collusion. Some members of Trump’s campaign do have ties to Russian sources, but it is not clear if this has any significance. Regardless, as soon as Paul Manafort’s ties are made public he was immediately forced out of the Trump campaign.
  • The timeline does document a great deal of collusion between the Democratic Party and Ukrainian sources, some from within its government and some not. This collusion is all aimed influencing the election by swinging voter support away from Trump.
  • The timeline also shows a lot of internal conflicts of interest in the FBI aimed at helping Democrats and hurting Republicans. Some of these conflicts are downright blatant, designed to foil any investigations into Clinton’s illegal activities, while expanding investigations (without evidence) against Trump and Republicans.
  • Beginning in 2011 and throughout the Obama administration, the timeline documents an exponential increase in spying on Americans, much of it unconstitutional, and suggestive of having political motives. Two quotes:

    From 2011: U.S. intel community vastly expands its surveillance authority, giving itself permission to spy on Americans who do nothing more than “mention a foreign target in a single, discrete communication.”

    From 2016: Obama officials vastly expand their searches through NSA database for Americans and the content of their communications. In 2013, there were 9,600 searches involving 195 Americans. But in 2016, there are 30,355 searches of 5,288 Americans.

    The timeline also reveals that once Trump took office this spying was immediately cut back.

  • Obama is clearly caught in a number of outright lies designed to hide his participation in many aspects of this scandal. Similarly, Comey, Lynch, McCabe, Rice, Clapper and many other Obama officials are also caught in outright and well documented lies.

Finally, and most important, the timeline shows that shortly after Trump’s election the spying of Republicans and Trump’s transition team by Obama administration officials accelerated, and was aimed at sabotaging the newly elected administration as well as hiding certain things from that administration. This quote especially stands out:

Fifteen minutes after Trump becomes president, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice emails memo to herself purporting to summarize the Jan. 5 Oval Office meeting with President Obama and other top officials. She states that Obama instructed the group to investigate “by the book” and asked them to be mindful whether there were certain things that “could not be fully shared with the incoming administration.” [emphasis mine]

In other words, hired employees of the executive branch were now conspiring to work against the newly elected Republican president, and were going to do so under orders from the outgoing Democratic president.

There is a lot more. In general, the timeline reflects very badly on Obama and everyone in the executive branch, especially those in charge at the FBI. Rather than doing their jobs as an investigative federal police force, the top management of the FBI had become Democratic Party operatives.

Read it all. If you want to understand the corruption that has taken over Washington and now wishes to wield great power over your life, you need to read this.

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Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign

Confirmed: The Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign, using a variety of illicit methods, from monitoring phonecalls to inserting spies within the campaign.

The article outlines the entire range of abuse of power by the Obama FBI and Justice Department, but two actions stand out to me as most egregious, both outlined in this quote:

The F.B.I. investigated four unidentified Trump campaign aides in those early months, congressional investigators revealed in February. The four men were Michael T. Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said…

The F.B.I. obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena — officials said. And at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said.

First, the Obama administration went after the campaign of their opponent, based not on any reasonable suspicion of a crime but merely because they were participating in an opposition campaign.

Second, much of this spying was instigated using these national security letters, which do not require a judge’s warrant and on their face are completely unconstitutional.

Read it all. This behavior was a direct attack on our American democracy. If no one gets punished expect far worse from future administrations, from both the left and the right, all intent on maintaining their power regardless of the wishes of the American electorate.

I must add one more detail. This information comes from a badly written New York Times propaganda piece designed to support the actions of the Obama FBI. Yet, buried in that report was this quote:

A year and a half later, no public evidence has surfaced connecting Mr. Trump’s advisers to the hacking or linking Mr. Trump himself to the Russian government’s disruptive efforts.

Let that sink in. After two years of open-ended investigation using unlimited resources, these petty tyrants have yet to find any evidence of Russian collusion. The time has come to shut this kangaroo court down.

Update: This article does an excellent job of outlining the outright abuse of power by the Obama administration. As the author notes succinctly,

The scandal is that the FBI, lacking the incriminating evidence needed to justify opening a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign, decided to open a counterintelligence investigation. With the blessing of the Obama White House, they took the powers that enable our government to spy on foreign adversaries and used them to spy on Americans — Americans who just happened to be their political adversaries. [emphasis in original]

This is Watergate times infinity, and if there is anything left of our Constitutional government, it should put a lot of people from the Obama administration in jail.

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Redactions in Strzok/Page texts reveal FBI/Justice is hiding something

Link here. Essentially, the author did a very careful review of the texts between anti-Trump FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page during the week in July 2016 when the FBI investigation into Trump-Russian collusion began. What he found was that the many redactions in the texts serve only to hide what was really happening, as well as the extent of involvement in the Obama White House.

It would be interesting to know what is in the emails that apparently clarify how the Obama administration divided responsibility for running the Trump-Russia investigation. Just like it would be interesting to know what is behind all the many redactions in these texts about how and why the Trump-Russia investigation got started.

On what basis has the Justice Department concealed passages and references to government officials from these significant conversations? Are Justice and the Bureau claiming that the redactions are necessary because the information is classified — even though we’re talking about communications between highly trained intelligence officials?

And if that is the claim, are they telling us that Hillary Clinton was investigated — and given a pass — for the unauthorized transmission of classified information by FBI officials who were themselves actively engaged in the unauthorized transmission of classified information?

Based on past revelations, when we finally see what was redacted I expect we shall discover that the redactions had nothing to do with national security and everything to do with hiding malfeasance and the abuse of power by the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Obama administration.

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