Tag Archives: Obama

Midnight repost: Squeal like a pig

The tenth anniversary retrospective of Behind the Black continues: Tonight’s repost was written just prior to the 2010 mid-term elections. I correctly predicted that the Democrats would get creamed in that election. I then tried to predict what would happen next politically due to that Republican victory. I leave it to my readers to determine how good my analysis was, and how well it applies to what is happening right now.

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Squeal like a pig

Let’s take a trip into the future, looking past Tuesday’s midterm election.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that, come Tuesday, the Republicans take both houses, in a stunning landslide not seen in more than a century. Let’s also assume that the changes in Congress are going to point decidedly away from the recent liberal policies of large government (by both parties). Instead, every indication suggests that the new Congress will lean heavily towards a return to the principles of small government, low taxes, and less regulation.

These assumptions are not unreasonable. Not only do the polls indicate that one or both of the houses of Congress will switch from Democratic to Republican control, the numerous and unexpected primary upsets of established incumbents from both parties — as well the many protests over the past year by large numbers of ordinary citizens — make it clear that the public is not interested in half measures. Come January, the tone and direction of Congress is going to undergo a shocking change.

Anyway, based on these assumptions, we should then expect next year’s Congress to propose unprecedented cuts to the federal budget, including the elimination of many hallowed programs. The recent calls to defund NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcastings are only one example.

When Congress attempts this, however, the vested interests that have depended on this funding for decades are not going to take the cuts lightly. Or to put it more bluntly, they are going to squeal like pigs, throwing temper tantrums so loud and insane that they will make the complaints of a typical three-year-old seem truly statesman-like. And they will do so in the hope that they will garner sympathy and support from the general voting public, thereby making the cuts difficult to carry out.

The real question then is not whether the new Congress will propose the cuts required to bring the federal government under control, but whether they, as well as the public, will have the courage to follow through, to defy the howls from these spoiled brats, and do what must be done.
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Midnight repost: Shut down fascism in the Smoky Mountains

The tenth anniversary retrospective of Behind the Black continues: In 2013 Diane and I made a trip back east to visit the Smokey Mountains and do some hiking. Coincidentally, our trip took place at the end of September, when the budget battle between Obama and the Republicans in Congress was about to cause a government shutdown. This essay, the first of three, describes the extra effort and money being exerted by Obama’s administration to make that shutdown as unpleasant and as inconvenient to the American public as possible. The later two essays, linked to as an update at the top of the essay, outline what happened next.

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Shut down fascism in the Smoky Mountains

See my October 2, 2013 update here.

Today, October 1, 2013, my wife Diane and I went hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We did this despite the news from Washington that the federal government had shut down due to the lack of a funding from Congress and that all the national parks were closed.

The news reports had said that the National Park Service would close all roads into the park except for New Found Gap Road, the one road that crossed over the mountains from Tennessee to North Carolina. They couldn’t close this road because it was a main thoroughfare used by the public for basic transportation. Moreover, my research into the hikes we wished to do told me that several of those hikes originated on trailheads along this road. In traveling the road the day before, we had seen that these trailheads would not only be difficult to close, it would be dangerous and stupid to close them. For one, the road was windy and narrow. If there was a car accident or someone had car problems, any one of these parking areas might be essential for the use of the driver as well as local police and ambulances. For another, there are people still backpacking in the mountains who will at some point need to either exit with their cars or be picked up at these trailheads. Closing the trailheads will strand these hikers in the park, with dangerous consequences.

So, despite the shutdown, off we went to hike the Appalachian Trail, going to a well known lookout called the Jump Off, an easy 6.5 mile hike that leaves from the parking area at New Found Gap, the highest point on New Found Gap Road that is also on the border between Tennessee and North Carolina. It is also probably one of the most popular stopping points along the road, visited by practically every tourist as they drive across.
Smokies from the Appalachian trail

The hike itself was beautiful, if a bit foggy and damp. The picture above shows one of the clearest views we had all day. Nor were we alone on this hike. We probably saw one to two dozen other hikers, heading out to either the Jump Off or Charles Bunion (another well known day hike destination along this section of trail).
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Obama misused intelligence agencies for years to spy on political opponents

We now have substantial evidence going back years — well before its illegal misuse of the FISA court — that the Obama administration and officials in its FBI and Justice Department misused National Security Agency (NSA) databases to illegally spy on its political opponents.

The article at the link is very long and detailed, but this is necessary to unpack the history that not only documents that spying before 2016, but why Justice and FBI high officials felt compelled then to use a fake dossier paid for by the Clinton campaign to get a warrant from the FISA court. Once they lost access to the NSA databases that year, they needed something that would allow them to continue that spying.

During the time-frame of December 2015 through April 2016 the NSA database was being exploited by contractors within the intelligence community doing unauthorized searches. On March 9, 2016, oversight personnel doing a review of FBI system access were alerted to thousands of unauthorized search queries of specific U.S. persons within the NSA database.

NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers was made aware. Subsequently NSA Director Rogers initiated a full compliance review of the system to identify who was doing the searches; & what searches were being conducted. On April 18, 2016, following the preliminary audit results, Director Rogers shut down all FBI contractor access to the database after he learned FISA-702 “about”(17) and “to/from”(16) search queries were being done without authorization.

In other words, the NSA database of phonecalls between Americans, an illegal database in its own right (the Constitution forbids such indiscriminate spying on Americans without a warrant), was being used by unauthorized individuals to gain information on Americans. From the article it becomes clear that those individuals were Obama administration operatives, and the Americans they were digging dirt on were their political opponents.

When Rogers shut down access to this keyhole, it was then necessary to instigate an unjustified warrant from the FISA court to allow these same Obama officials the right to continue their spying. At the same time they also instigated an effort to get Rogers fired.

What infuriates me about this is that even now, years later, no one has been indicted for any of these clearly illegal acts, despite substantive and documented evidence. We get reports, we get leaks, we get outraged Congressman on cable networks, and we get Trump tweets ranting about how terrible it is. What we don’t get is anyone behind bars.

Update on the investigation of the coup attempt against Trump

While the world goes childishly insane over the Wuhan flu (which by the way saw today another plunge, to 327 of the daily death toll), the investigation into the coup attempt from 2017 to 2019 against President Trump by high officials in the Justice Department and the FBI continues.

An article today at The Conservative Treehouse provides a detailed look at the attempted cover-up of that coup attempt, based on a review of information from FISA court materials that were released in April by the Justice Department under the leadership of attorney general Bill Barr.

The amount of information is large, and the story is complex. If you are concerned educated citizen however you are obligated to spend the time to read it. It shows how in the summer of 2018 upper management in both the Justice Department and FBI lied to the FISA court in order to prevent their illegal and unjustified investigation against Carter Page and Donald Trump from being discovered. It also shows in detail the corruption of the mainstream leftist press, which had bought into the fake Russian collusion story being promoted by these same high FBI/Justice officials. That press thus could not do its job and investigate the coup, for if it did it would reveal itself to have been dupes. Instead that leftist press decided to become participants in the cover-up.

The complexity of this story might explain why the criminal investigation by John Durham is taking so long. At the same time, the bulk of evidence now available to the public that confirms this coup attempt suggests it is high time for some indictments. If such prosecutions do not happen soon, then it will simply be too late. Above all some indictments must occur prior to the election.

Midnight repost: NASA, the federal budget, and common sense

The tenth anniversary retrospective of Behind the Black continues: Tonight’s midnight repost is actually two. First we have what might have been my most telling report for John Batchelor, aired in late July 2013. In that appearance I was quite blunt about my contempt for the politicians in Washington and the fake space program they had been foisting on the American public for decades. As I said,

What both those parties in Congress and in the administration are really doing is faking a goal for the purpose of justifying pork to their districts, because none of the proposals they’re making — both the asteroids or the moon — are going to happen.

Here is the audio of that appearance [mp3] for you all to download and enjoy. For reference, these are specific stories from then that I am discussing:

That rant makes for a perfect lead in to an essay I wrote in late 2011, outlining what I would do if I was in a position to reframe NASA’s budget. Everything I said then still applies. And that it does is a great tragedy, in that it means that nothing has changed, and our federal government continues to gather power while bankrupting the country.

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NASA, the federal budget, and common sense

Let’s be blunt: the federal government is broke. With deficits running in the billions per day, there simply is no spare cash for any program, no matter how important or necessary. Nothing is sacrosanct. Even a proposal to cure cancer should be carefully reviewed before it gets federal funding.

Everything has got to be on the table.
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Midnight repost: Obama’s legacy of hate

The tenth anniversary retrospective of Behind the Black continues: This essay was posted originally on August 19, 2019. It quite correctly predicts the looting, rioting, and violence going on now against monuments honoring past American heroes and defenders of freedom. It also correctly predicts that this looting, rioting, and violence is as yet only beginning. Be prepared for far worse, especially if you wish to defend the honor of the American dream of individual freedom, personal responsibility, and rule by law.

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Obama’s legacy of hate

Of all of Obama’s achievements, probably the one that is going to ring down the decades the longest and maybe do the most to destroy the United States and western civilization was his willingness to either endorse or refuse to condemn the use of slanders and lies to advance the political power of his Democratic Party and the left.

The most obvious example of this were the false accusations by top Democrats that the Tea Party protesters against Obamacare were “racist”, despite zero evidence. (I speak from personal experience, as I was involved in Tea Party groups in both the DC and Tucson areas.) Obama was in a position to tamp down this hateful and dishonest rhetoric. Instead, he allowed members of his administration to encourage it.

This political tactic has now become pervasive and dominant throughout the Democratic Party and its minions in the mainstream press. This fact became especially evident to me this past weekend, during a demonstration in Portland by a group called the Proud Boys. This group was formed in 2016 in reaction to the modern political leftist pressure forcing Americans to adhere to leftist dogma. From their own webpage:
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Obama took lead from beginning on Flynn frame-up

Newly released FBI notes from former FBI head James Comey now reveal that as of January 5, 2017 not only did Comey and Obama consider all of the phone calls by former national security advisor Mike Flynn to Russian officials to be entirely “legit”, Obama was involved and likely instigated from the beginning the framing of Flynn.

Comey’s notes describe the discussion at that January 3rd meeting, attended by Obama, Biden, Comey, then-deputy attorney general Sally Yates, and then-national security adviser Susan Rice, about Flynn and his calls. The notes describe this unfolding conversation:

Obama: “Make sure you look at things and have the right people on it.”

Obama again: “Is there anything I shouldn’t be telling transition team?”

Comey, in response: “Flynn[‘s calls to] Kislyak … appear legit.”

In other words, Obama instigated the frame-up, even though he and these other high government officials knew Flynn had done nothing wrong.

As noted at the link,

The [January 5th] meeting to strategize against the Trump administration included just a few key law enforcement principals. Their testimony about what transpired is sometimes in conflict. Yates claimed Comey brought up the Logan Act while Comey claims Biden cited it. Rice claimed Obama directed that the anti-Trump operation be run “by the book,” but Comey claimed Obama even directed which personnel to use.

All parties agree, however, on the main substance of the meeting, which was a discussion of how to target Flynn for his “legit” phone calls and withhold vital national security information from the newly elected presidential administration. [emphasis mine]

In other words, President Obama led an effort to frame an innocent man in order to lay the groundwork for overthrowing the legally elected Trump administration. Or to be blunt, Obama was leading a coup attempt, aided by major players in his administration, many of whom remained in place as enemy agents once Trump took over.

Such behavior is not merely illegal and despicable, it is outright treasonous.

Appeals court orders hack judge to dismiss Flynn case

The DC Court of Appeals has ordered Democratic Party hack judge Emmet Sullivan to grant the Justice Department’s request to dismiss its case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

A three-judge panel on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in a 2-1 ruling, said the department’s decision to abandon the case against Flynn settles the matter, despite Flynn having reached a deal with prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office to plead guilty to making false statements in connection with a now-discredited FBI probe into whether the 2016 Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

Having lost his prosecutor, Sullivan had tried as judge to take on that role himself to keep the case going. Such actions by a judge are beyond the pale, since judges are supposed to be the neutral arbiter in any legal proceeding. By taking sides in this unprecedented manner Sullivan should be impeached and removed from office. Don’t count on it however.

Note too that Sullivan was also the judge who managed the whitewash in the Awan case, allowing that guy to skate free despite clear evidence Awan acted as a spy for Pakistan while working as the IT expert in a number of Democratic congressional offices.

NASA IG: Bolden misused NASA resources after leaving agency

According to a new NASA inspector general report released today [pdf], former NASA administrator Charles Bolden improperly used the services of his NASA executive assistant for two years after his resignation, and that misuse included aiding him in building his private consulting firm.

The [inspector general] concluded that the EA [Executive Assistant] inappropriately provided significant administrative assistance to Bolden to include managing his personal and business appointments, making travel arrangements, and coordinating special requests for almost 2 years, from his departure in January 2017 through December 2018. We further found that the EA’s assistance helped facilitate the growth of Bolden’s private consulting business and, as a result, Bolden was able to hire the EA as an employee upon her retirement from NASA in early 2019.

The report is remarkable kind to Bolden, making many attempts to excuse this essentially illegal abuse of government resources for private gain. But then, he is a Democrat who worked for the Democratic Obama administration, and if there is anything we have learned in the past decade, it is that there is an unwritten law in DC that states that no Democrat shall ever be punished for any crimes.

In Bolden’s defense, the report states the following,

Bolden took full responsibility for his actions, offered to provide reimbursement for the services he had received, and recommended that in the future specific guidance be provided to departing senior executives as to what type of administrative support they could expect to receive, if any.

I really wonder if anyone can really assign a number to this work. Moreover, there is no evidence in the report that Bolden has actually reimbursed the agency. Based on past such incidents, I am very doubtful such reimbursement will ever happen. The tactic each time has been to make a loud announcement of contrition, but then when things quiet down to conveniently forget about it.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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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.

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.

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?”
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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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