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Monday, April 30, 2018

If you are young and not a liberal - then you developed your brain early

Exclusive: Democrats lose ground with millennials - Reuters/Ipsos poll
Enthusiasm for the Democratic Party is waning among young voters - so-called millennials - as its candidates head into the crucial midterm congressional elections, according to the Reuters/Ipsos national opinion poll.
The online survey of more than 16,000 registered voters ages 18 to 34 shows their support for Democrats over Republicans for Congress slipped by about 9 percentage points over the past two years, to 46 percent overall. And they increasingly say the Republican Party is a better steward of the economy.

As much as support for Democrats is waning among the millennials, there doesn't appear to be even this sort of support from the generation after millennials. At my youngest's son's school in 2016 they held a mock election.  Not only did Donald Trump win in a landslide, but there were "write in candidates" that got more votes than Hillary Clinton. In the eyes of my son and his friends (they are freshmen in high school), there was simply nothing "cool" about Hillary or the Democrats.

The inherent problem for Democrats is that every generation likes to rebel against the establishment. Right now, in nearly every school out there, the "establishment" is made up of a bunch of old stuffy teachers and faculty who want to ram yesterday's non-cool liberal ideals down their collective throats. Talking to friends that have children the same age as mine, confirm that they also see a push back from what they are being "taught". One conversation I was told about was in regards to a student trying to understand why the "teachers" are trying to "teach" the students that there are "multiple genders" when science clearly shows that there is only two.

Politics is always going to be a pendulum. The harder you attempt to swing it in one direction, the faster and further it is going to swing back the other way.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Allegations against Admiral Jackson falling apart.

Just another example of a well respected American being smeared for having the audacity to align himself with the President. This is becoming sick.
  • Democrats accused Jackson of wrecking a car after drinking at a Secret Service going-away party. Yet, there is no record of this. The story of Jackson getting drunk and wrecking a government vehicle was the easiest to check. The vehicle records have been combed over and there were a total of three “minor incidents” over the course of Jackson’s tenure and no mention of drinking.
  • Democrats claimed that agents intervened on an overseas trip to prevent Jackson from bothering Obama. The White House says it thoroughly reviewed internal documents related to all presidential foreign travel that occurred during the year in question, and interviewed personnel present during foreign travel that occurred during the same time frame. It uncovered no information to support this allegation.
  • The incident where he allegedly was drunkenly banging on a woman’s hotel door and the Secret Service had to haul him away also looks weak. CNN is sticking by that one in the article I linked above, but they’re still basing everything on unnamed sources. The Secret Service is now on the record saying there is no record of any such incident happening.
  • The most worrisome of the charges is the one about raiding supplies of Percocet and handing out pills like candy. The White House has provided audits of the Medical Unit’s handling of prescriptions and medications showing nothing having gone missing.

The latest member of the Secret Trumprussialateral Commission

You can't make this stuff up! 

Big nosed state worker or famous porn star?


Saturday, April 28, 2018

A good (and frequently missed) point about assumption of innocent and guilt

Is ‘Guilty Until Proven Innocent’ the New Standard?
Interestingly, there is an ambit more welcoming of rank hearsay: intelligence-gathering and analysis. Intelligence officers deal in probabilities, not proof, so as long as they appropriately weigh the biases and lack of verification attendant to information, they need not dismiss it out of hand. But there is a caveat: Intelligence matters are classified. A big part of why we do not police intelligence-gathering the way we do criminal proceedings is that the information is never supposed to become public, never supposed to be a source of embarrassment to the people implicated.
Intelligence is a national-security exercise, not a rendering of justice. As we have frequently stressed in pointing out that the FBI’s Russia investigation is a counterintelligence probe, not a criminal investigation, the point is to divine the intention of foreign powers that could threaten American interests. We do not owe hostile foreign governments a presumption of innocence — indeed, we could not protect the country if we extended one.
In national-security matters, if there is a threat, it is sensible to proceed with a “guilty until proven innocent” mindset because threats emanating from foreign places where our law does not apply and our investigative agencies do not operate will frequently not be amenable to courtroom standards of evidence. But the trade-off is that we know we could be wrong in a way that could slander people, so we keep the information under lock and key. If we took any other approach, if we required even a moderately demanding standard of proof before information could be considered, we could miss information that helps save lives.

There has been a lot written about this particular concept of innocent until proven guilty vs guilty until proven innocent. But I think that this particular opinion hits on an integral part of why it the idea of a counterintelligence probe being "criminalized" with a Special Counsel appointment was so wrong, and potentially dangerous.

As pointed out, one of the very distinct differences between a counterintelligence and criminal probe is the concept of classification. The reality is that Americans who are under investigation in the aspect of a counterintelligence probe are not publicly revealed in counterintelligence probes. Even the FICA courts (which allow our intelligence agencies to spy on Americans) are secret and classified. The idea that if they "get it wrong" that they don't ruin the reputation of an otherwise innocent American.

But when you put a former Prosecutor in charge of what was a counterintelligence probe, the first thing that's going to give (one way or the other) is the secrecy and classification of information. People who were otherwise being privately investigation under the guise of a counterintelligence probe, were suddenly being outed as being part of a criminal probe, even when no crimes have been proven to have taken place.

Let's look at the Steele dossier under the original concept of the FBI investigating it as part of a counterintelligence probe. We obviously know by now that it was opposition research. Steele himself admitted in court documents*  that his dossier was raw intelligence that warranted further investigation, and that it had been legitimately reported to be "unverified", "unconfirmed", and that it contained "potentially unverifiable" allegations.  A counterintelligence investigation may be justified, because there is a "potential" harm to the country, and (just as importantly) because the intelligence investigation would not be reported to the general public. Again, if none of the allegations turn out to be verifiable, then we know the intelligence was wrong and that nobody is technically harmed.

For a good portion of the time the FBI and other agencies were investigating the dossier and potential Trump Russian connections, the general public knew nothing about it. Because they shouldn't. The fact that these things remain secret "allows" our intelligence agencies to behave in certain ways that our law enforcement is not allowed to.

But if we decide to turn it into a criminal probe, then the concept of due process is turned on it's head, because suddenly names and allegations are being revealed, not only before they are proven, but even before they are legally or officially alleged as criminal by the Government. The problem becomes that an intelligence dossier of unverified (and potentially unverifiable) allegations suddenly is provided a whole lot of credibility if it is suddenly tied to a criminal probe.

Between the leaks of names and allegations, along with the very existence of special counsel, people have had their lives turned upside down, reputations destroyed, all because certain people decided that a behind the scenes counterintelligence probe should be made public, and eventually turned into a criminal probe. One has to wonder, when we listen to James Comey talk about his involvement in all of this...  if that didn't become the plan the very day he got fired.

* response 17 

Friday, April 27, 2018

House Intelligence Report on Russian Election Interference

Now here is a poll that is a little more consistent...

More Voters Want a Special Prosecutor to Investigate FBI
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters believe a special prosecutor should be named to investigate whether senior FBI officials handled the investigation of Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump in a legal and unbiased fashion, up from 49% who said the same in January. Thirty percent (30%) disagree, but a sizable 16% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Sixty-three percent (63%) of Republicans are calling for an outside prosecutor to investigate the FBI, along with 52% of voters not affiliated with either major political party. Among Democrats, 46% favor a special prosecutor, up from just 38% four months ago.

Now first and foremost, this is better worded poll. You are only allowed to support, oppose, or consider yourself undecided. There is no range of possible answers, that end up with certain people actually "not knowing" how to even answer.

All three political groups are more likely than not to support a special prosecutor, either with an outright majority with Republicans (63%) and Independents (52%), or a plurality with the Democrats (46-34). Moreover, the gap between Republicans and Democrats is nowhere near as large as they are in regards to the Mueller probe.

You can make an argument that there is bi-partisan support for a Special Counsel probe looking into the FBI. There is not any real bi-partisan support at this time for the ongoing Mueller probe.

How about some perspective?

There was much made about a recent FOX News poll that shows many Americans believe that Mueller is treating the Trump administration "fairly" and that many are also expecting Mueller to find that Donald Trump committed criminal behavior. What many of those reports didn't tell you, is that the answers to this question are extremely "partisan".

Robert Mueller was appointed as the special counsel to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election - how confident are you that he is treating the Trump administration fairly?
  • 54% of Democrats were extremely or very confident in his fairness
  • 29% of Independents were extremely or very confident in his fairness
  • 26% of Independents have no confidence in Mueller's fairness
  • 14% of Republicans were extremely or very confident in his fairness
  • 45% of Republicans have no confidence in Mueller's fairness

How likely do you think it is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation will find that Donald Trump committed criminal or impeachable offenses?
  • 59% of Democrats think it is extremely or very likely Mueller finds offenses
  • 23% of Independents think it is extremely or very likely Mueller finds offenses
  • 10% of Republicans think it is extremely or very likely Mueller finds offenses

How important is it that investigations continue into alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government?
  • 8% of Democrats believe it's not at all important to continue
  • 26% of Independents believe it's not at all important to continue
  • 57% of Republicans believe it's not at all important to continue

Bottom line here folks is that this sort of "Independent Counsel" is designed specifically to allow the American public to have confidence that the process is fair, impartial, and trustworthy. What is the point of actually having such a thing (much less call it Independent) if there is no perception that it is either fair or trusted.

A quarter of Americans have "no trust" in the fairness of Special Counsel. Nearly another third provide the luke warm "somewhat" when describing their degree of trust. Was this what the authors of this law had in mind?

Question of the day?

After 21 months of looking - why are the anti-Trumpers still required to point to everything "but" evidence... in order to try to show that Trump is actually guilty of something??


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Bill Cosby Found Guilty

On all counts!! 

Potential for 30 years in prison


California to outlaw the bible?

Land of the fruits, the nuts, and the flakes!

New proposed California law:
AB 2943, as amended, Low. Unlawful business practices: sexual orientation change efforts. Existing law, the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, makes unlawful certain unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices undertaken by any person in a transaction intended to result result, or which results results, in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer. Existing law authorizes any consumer who suffers damages as a result of these unlawful practices to bring an action against that person to recover damages, among other things. Existing law prohibits mental health providers, as defined, from performing sexual orientation change efforts, as specified, with a patient under 18 years of age. Existing law requires a violation of this provision to be considered unprofessional conduct and subjects the provider to discipline by the provider’s licensing entity. This bill would include, as an unlawful practice prohibited under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual. 

The bill would also declare the intent of the Legislature in this regard.  
(i) (1) “Sexual orientation change efforts” means any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex. 
(a) The following unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices undertaken by any person in a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer are unlawful 
(28) Advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.

But as pointed out, there is no religious exemption
  • A religious ministry could not hold a conference on maintaining sexual purity if the conference encourages attendees to avoid homosexual behavior;
  • A bookstore (even online bookstores) could not sell many recently published books challenging gender identity ideology and advocating that these beliefs should be rejected by society;
  • A pastor paid to speak at an event addressing current social topics could not encourage attendees that they can prevail over same-sex desires or feelings that they were born the wrong sex.
Technically, the law could ban bookstores from selling the bible since it declares homosexuality to be morally wrong?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Travel Ban USSC

So the final arguments were heard on the Trump travel ban (which is currently in effect due to the USSC earlier stay). A decision is supposedly due early this summer. By all accounts it was a good day for the Administration and those supporters of the ban.

Obviously you can only pick up so much from the hearing, but many legal observers make a living out of making these sorts of predictions. From what I have read, there is an indication that support for upholding the ban could see as many as seven Justices, rather than just the expected five member conservative bloc. That being said, the majority of observers are expecting another five-four split (with liberals hoping for a defector to side with the liberals).

My favorite tweet of the day came from an obscure liberal who goes by C.F.


I think that probably sums it up for the left. They simply believe that the entire constitution and rule of law should be suspended while Trump is President. But the truth of the matter is that the President of the United States has the absolute right under both the Constitution and Federal law to enact a travel ban such as he did. Furthermore, there is nothing in either the Constitution or Federal law that suggests that the executive needs to run it by a "judge" before making his decision. The President has 17 intelligence agencies who answer to him and feed him national security information. Our court system is made up of Judges who don't have security clearance (much less the time) to second guess them.

Let's hope that at least one (or more) of the liberal bloc decides to side with the conservatives in order to make this a more consistent, credible, and non-partisan ruling. Assuming of course, that the vast majority of observers are correct and the ruling comes back in favor of the Administration.

UPDATE: It's probably worth noting that when the USSC issued their original stay of the lower court order (which allowed the ban to take effect) that only two Justices (Ginsburg and Sotomayor) dissented with the stay order. The other two liberals (Kagan and Breyer) appear to have left the door open to siding with the Administration based on the transcripts of today's oral arguments. 


Arizona had a special election

This was a race that Tiperneni once held a polling lead in (Emerson poll April 16). The district certainly leans Republican (plus seventeen).  But this was an open seat race where the Republican incumbent was involved in a scandal serious enough to warrant his resignation.

  • Lesko (R) - 53%
  • Tiperneni (D) - 47%

One could argue that this is another bad sign for Republicans. Many will want to look at this race and simply transpose the results to reflect what they believe will happen in the 2018 midterms. But with the way the gerrymandering works in the House, and the inherent incumbent advantages, an open seat in a purple state like Arizona is the sort of seat that Democrats may have to start winning to take back the House. 

Guess what? It's Trump's fault!

Hatred of journalists on the rise worldwide, watchdog says
Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders says hostility toward journalists is growing worldwide, often encouraged by political leaders — even in democratic countries.
The group says many democratically elected leaders "no longer see the media as part of democracy's essential underpinning," singling out U.S. President Donald Trump for his media-bashing. It also notes the recent killings of reporters in EU members Slovakia and Malta.

It would be one thing if the article suggested an equivalency between media-bashing and killing. That would be brash enough. But no, the problem with hostility towards journalist is best defined by "singling out" Trump.  The actual killings of reporters is obviously something much less important that is best addressed by "also noting"  that it happened.   

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The newest new standard for Trump

Is 'can't prove untrue' new standard in Trump probe?
When a political figure is accused of wrongdoing, a conversation begins among journalists, commentators, and public officials. Are the charges true? Can the accusers prove it?
That's the way it normally works. But now, in the case of the Trump dossier – the allegations compiled by a former British spy hired by the Clinton campaign to gather dirt on presidential candidate Donald Trump – the generally accepted standard of justice has been turned on its head. Now, the question is: Can the accused prove the charges false? Increasingly, the president's critics argue that the dossier is legitimate because it has not been proven untrue.
Seriously? We now must consider the President guilty until proven innocent?

  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein - "Not a single revelation in the Steele dossier has been refuted." 
  • Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe - "Retweet if, like me, you're aware of nothing in the [Trump] dossier that has been shown to be false." 
  • NBC journalist Chuck Todd - "So far with this dossier, nothing yet has been proven untrue. How significant is that?" 
  • MSNBC journalist Nicolle Wallace - "The dossier has not been proven false."

Well technically, there is a lot of things in the dossier that have been proven to be untrue. Even Michael Steele has admitted some of what was in his dossier is probably not true. But let's not quibble over minor details like the truth.  Either way...

As has been pointed out by many, the idea of proving an allegation to be "untrue" is in many cases not even possible. The more improbable the allegation, sometimes the harder it is to actually disprove. Even James Comey (according to his own statements) told the President that it would be hard to "disprove" the salacious portions of the dossier, and that any attempts to do so would just make it look like the President was being "investigated". 

For instance, if a recovering alcoholic was accused of being back on the sauce, or accused of replacing his alcohol addiction with a pain killer addiction, should we assume that recovering alcoholic to be guilty as charged, unless he can otherwise prove the allegations to be false? What exactly would it take to prove the allegations false? A simple denial will not be good enough.

That is why our criminal justice system is set up for someone to be assumed innocent. It puts the burden on the prosecution to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. An allegation that is not proven would be considered (in a court of law) to hold no weight. Without any evidence that the allegation is true, the court would likely not even allow the information to be brought up in court.

The same general concept works for almost anything. It's literally considered a logical fallacy to make and allegation and demand the other person disprove it. We understand as even small kids that allegations need to be backed up with proof. 

But this is 2018 and this is Donald Trump. When it comes to Trump, liberals are willing to turn absolutely everything upside down in attempts to score their political point. Largely because conventional fairness doesn't further their cause.

Pompeo to be confirmed as Secretary of State

Mike Pompeo won a favorable vote Monday from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after Sen. Rand Paul flipped to endorse him, paving an unexpectedly easy path for the CIA director to win confirmation as secretary of state as soon as this week.
Pompeo appeared all but guaranteed to draw an unfavorable recommendation from the committee, with Paul firmly opposed, until the Kentucky Republican opted to vote yes after getting a personal appeal from President Donald Trump. Had Paul not changed his stance, Pompeo was on track to become just the third nominee in two decades to get a negative report in committee — and likely the first in that time to win a vote in the full Senate.
Paul said his surprising turnabout on Pompeo came after multiple conversations with Trump and after getting what he described as "assurances" that the hawkish nominee sees the war in Iraq as "a mistake" and wants to wind down the U.S. presence in Afghanistan.
With bi-partisan support looming in the full Senate, Pompeo seems to be a shoo-in for the job. Moreover, he certainly seems to be the most qualified and more in sync with the President's initiatives.  

Monday, April 23, 2018

Both the former director and assistant director of the FBI...

have been referred to the D.O.J. for possible criminal prosecution


But according to liberals any problems with the credibility of the FBI is all Trump's fault.

Friday, April 20, 2018

When all else fails?

The Democratic National Committee sued the Trump campaign, the Russian government, Wikileaks on Friday, accusing them of conspiring to disrupt the 2016 presidential election.
The Democratic Party on Friday sued President Donald Trump's presidential campaign, the Russian government and the Wikileaks group, claiming a broad conspiracy to help Trump win the 2016 election.
The multi-million-dollar lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court says that "In the Trump campaign, Russia found a willing and active partner in this effort" to mount "a brazen attack on American Democracy."
The suit says that "preexisting relationships with Russia and Russian oligarchs" with Trump and Trump associates "provided fertile ground for [the] Russia-Trump conspiracy."

You just can't make this shit up, folks?  

Is it becoming as obvious to the Democrats as it is becoming to most everyone else that the Mueller probe is not going to help their "conspiracy" cause here. Because certainly if they were expecting a scathing report lined with absolute proof of Russian Trump conspiracy, they wouldn't be bothering with a lawsuit.

Perhaps they want to get this whole lawsuit going quickly, before Mueller and his probe has a chance to actually provide their report (which isn't likely going to bolster their lawsuit). Otherwise, what would be the point of civil action "while" the so called counter-intelligence criminal probe is going on?

But the real truth here is that the DNC is desperately hoping to keep this entire fantasy alive and in the news. While I am certain that the dumbest of the dumbest will fall for it, most reasonable Americans will see it for what it is. A bad publicity stunt.

Rosenstein tells Trump he is not target in either Russian or Cohen probes...

Liberals claim Rosenstein either:
  • Doesn't know the truth
  • Lied about the truth
  • Misstated the truth
  • Doesn't understand the truth


Comey Memos

From what I have read, the President never asked Comey to lay off the Russian investigation. What the President wanted, was someone (either the FBI or the DOJ) to let the public know that he was not personally a target in this investigation.

I am not sure this is was an unreasonable request. The media was speculating or even reporting that the President was in fact a target. There was supposedly leaks at the time, making such suggestions. To have some sort of formal push back regarding this, seems to be an appropriate response (especially considering there was bad information being leaked). No President should have to put up with being accused in the media of being a target of an investigation, if the FBI or DOJ could set the record straight. It's not obstruction to ask the FBI or the DOJ to state a fact.

These memos do more to crush the idea that Trump obstructed Justice than actually suggest he obstructed Justice. In fact, Trump did more to foster the idea that he wanted the dossier investigated (in order to clear his name) than to have Comey end the investigation.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Inspector General "did" refer McCabe to Federal prosecutors for criminal charges

The Justice Department’s inspector general has referred to federal prosecutors his findings that Andrew G. McCabe, the former F.B.I. deputy director, had repeatedly misled investigators, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday. 
As I explained to people (some of whom disagreed with me) the Inspector General did not have authority to bring charges against former FBI second in charge Andrew McCabe. What an I.G. can do (and what Horowitz did do) is refer the case to prosecutors to decide whether or not to bring charges.

So the fact that Horowitz only referenced FBI violations in the report, did not mean that he did believed that McCabe should not be charged with a federal crime.  By all accounts, the Horowitz referral is proof that the I.G. did believe that McCabe possibly broke the law.

This would also explain why McCabe has been busy raising money (half million as of now) for his criminal defense. 

We still do not know if the Justice Department will bring charges. Obviously there is always the claim that McCabe (being fired days before his pension kicked in) has been punished enough, and therefor criminal charges would be piling on. There is also the belief that the DOJ would not want to bring down charges on "one of their own". 

But with the atmosphere as it is, and with former FBI director Mueller writing out false statement indictments like hall passes, the political optics could be brutal if McCabe is let off the hook. 

New Liberal Hero!!!

Fresno State professor Randa Jarrar
who probably never got laid in her life

(Sorry, that was inappropriate!)
“Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal."
“I’m happy the witch is dead. can’t wait for the rest of her family to fall to their demise the way 1.5 million iraqis have. byyyeeeeeee.”

Comey Book Tour

Rumor has it that only one person came and bought at book at this particular event. The store is now left with 599 out of the 600 copies that they had ordered. But there were plenty of microphones, video recorders, and cameras on hand!

All Press, no customers...

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Senate bill protecting Mueller?

Does anyone actually believe that the President would sign a bill that took away the executive branch's power to put an end to the same special counsel that the executive branch created?


So the authors of this bill would effectively require almost a hundred Republicans in the House and eighteen Republicans in the Senate to come up with the two thirds majority it would take to override a Presidential veto.

Seriously, does anyone really think these things through?

Stormy sketch identifies the guy who threatened her?

Who could it be?



Barbara Bush RIP

Died at at 92 -  a classy first lady to all

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

You can't make this shit up...

Robert Mueller’s warning: ‘Many’ news stories on Trump-Russia probe are wrong
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office is warning that “many” news articles on the Trump-Russia probe have been wrong.
The statement from a spokesperson did not single out particular stories. But the warning did come after media inquiries about a McClatchy News story on Friday that said Mr. Mueller has evidence that President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, did in fact travel to Prague in 2016 as alleged by the Christopher Steele dossier.
“What I have been telling all reporters is that many stories about our investigation have been inaccurate,” the Mueller spokesperson said. “Be very cautious about any source that claims to have knowledge about our investigation and dig deep into what they claim before reporting on it. If another outlet reports something, don’t run with it unless you have your own sourcing to back it up.” 
This mirrors the same statements made by Comey and the FBI when they ran the probe. Apparently, the media got it wrong while the FBI was in charge, and they are apparently still getting it wrong with Special Counsel in charge. Meanwhile...

NY Times and Washington Post share Pulitzer
The staff of The Times was recognized with the national reporting award for changing the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 election, investigating whether there was collusion between the President Trump’s campaign and Russia and whether Mr. Trump had tried to obstruct the investigation. The Times shared the award with The Washington Post.
Again, proof positive that our so called news media (and those who celebrate them) is no longer interested in the news. It seems more obvious than ever that writing what certain people "want to read" is vastly more important than getting anything correct. Reminds me of the Nobel Peace Prize President Obama won for basically not being George W Bush.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Where are we at with Michael Cohen?

"If the government can obtain a search warrant for particular items but then seize and review everything in an attorney’s office, the protections of the Fourth Amendment are meaningless."
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. It requires "reasonable" governmental searches and seizures to be conducted only upon issuance of a warrant, judicially sanctioned by probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. Under the Fourth Amendment, search and seizure should be limited in scope according to specific information supplied to the issuing court, usually by a law enforcement officer who has sworn by it. Fourth Amendment case law deals with three issues: what government activities constitute "search" and "seizure"; what constitutes probable cause for these actions; and how violations of Fourth Amendment rights should be addressed. Early court decisions limited the amendment's scope to a law enforcement officer's physical intrusion onto private property, but with Katz v. United States, the Supreme Court held that its protections, such as the warrant requirement, extend to the privacy of individuals as well as physical locations. Law enforcement officers need a warrant for most search and seizure activities, but the Court has defined a series of exceptions for consent searches, motor vehicle searches, evidence in plain view, exigent circumstances, border searches, and other situations. 
So if a search warrant requires a description of the place to be searched and the things to be seized, and the seizure is limited to that place and thing...  it would make perfect sense that the raid on Michael Cohen will include information that the authorities do not have the right to look at.

So, it's not only a simple case of attorney client privilege. The information that the U.S. Attorney's office seized would (in theory) also have to be sorted as to whether or not the information seized is part of what the original warrant was looking for. In other words, our law enforcement is not allowed to come into your house with a warrant looking for one thing, and then simply take everything in your house in order to look for something else to just "comes up". Not unless they see some sort of criminal evidence "in plain sight" (which of course would not include Attorney paperwork, computers, and Nook tablets.).

The current legal situation is that the Feds are not currently going through any of the information, pending the current court ruling. The Judge overseeing the case is said to be considering (or leaning towards depending on the source) allowing a "Special Master" to oversee the mess. That Special Master would view the information that the Feds seized, and determine which would be protected and which would be provided to the U.S. Attorney's office for review. This would probably server everyone's interest. Not sure why anyone would actually "oppose" the materials to be reviewed by a third party. Not like either Cohen or the material is going anywhere, and there certainly doesn't seem to be any issues with a time deadline.


Guess who won her time slot (again) and doubled CNN viewership?

So to be clear, the so called advertiser "boycott" was simply a shifting around of certain advertisers between the shows. None of the advertisers left FOX, there were plenty of other advertisers to take available advertising slots, and at least one of the "boycott" advertisers  (Ace Hardware) is back on the show. Look for more to follow in the following weeks! 


Conservatives have purchasing power too (and for several advertisers, they probably make up a lion's share of their customer base). While political correctness might create some temporary victories, at the end of the day, what matter is the bottom line. If the Laura Ingraham show continues to dominate the ratings, it will continue to attract advertisers (at least those who put profits before politics).

From twelve to four - the Democratic advantage continues to shrink poll by poll

With the Republicans’ House majority at risk, 47 percent of registered voters say they prefer the Democratic candidate in their district, while 43 percent favor the Republican. That four-point margin compares with a 12-point advantage Democrats held in January. Among a broader group of voting-age adults, the Democrats’ margin is 10 points, 50 percent to 40 percent.
Republicans owe part of their improved standing to Trump’s thawing job ratings. The Post-ABC poll finds that 40 percent approve of the president, up slightly from 36 percent in January to his highest level of support since last April.

While we can debate the causes of this, I think we can point to the fact that people are becoming tired of the Democrats continued talk about Russia, Mueller, impeachment, investigations, while simultaneously finding almost nothing else to actually campaign on. The anti-Trump message is starting to play to a smaller and smaller crowd.

So far, the idea has been seeded that they might plan to campaign on repealing the tax cuts, campaign on more open borders, and campaign on typical liberal causes such as green energy and opposition to coal and oil. Of course, with those issues being the central theme to their mid-term dreams, it might actually be more prudent to keep throwing all their eggs into the anti-Trump basket.

Fewer Americans want the President impeached....

FEWER AMERICANS NOW WANT TRUMP IMPEACHED COMPARED TO A YEAR AGO WHEN HE ENTERED THE WHITE HOUSE, POLL SHOWS
A new Politico/Morning Consult poll released on Wednesday found fewer people currently believe the president should be impeached compared to this time last year. The results also showed the president’s approval rating experienced only the slightest fluctuation following Daniels’s widely-viewed 60 Minutes appearance.
Trump’s approval rating currently stands at 42 percent, just two points lower than his approval rating a week earlier, showing no significant shift in attitude towards the president following the Daniels interview.
Meanwhile, 39 percent of voters believe Congress should start the impeachment process against Trump—four points lower than in May 2017, when 43 percent were keen to see the president impeached. This is compared to the 48 percent who do not think Congress should impeach Trump.

One thing is certain. We have entered an age where the American electorate no longer see impeachment as just a tool to remove an elected official over "high crimes and misdemeanors". Many, apparently see the tool as a means to undo the results of an election, simply because they are unhappy with who won.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Less than half of American voters...

believe that the Special Counsel Probe is an honest attempt to find criminal behavior
Following Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s invasion of the office and home of President Trump’s personal lawyer, voters increasingly believe Mueller’s probe is politically biased. But they also tend to think he is unlikely to nail the president for anything criminal.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 46% of Likely U.S. Voters still believe Mueller’s investigation is an honest attempt to determine criminal wrongdoing, but that’s down from 52% last October. Forty percent (40%) now consider Mueller’s probe a partisan witch hunt, an eight-point increase from 32% in the earlier survey. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.
Whether you like or dislike the Rasmussen Reports polling, the reality is that the amount of people with trust in the Mueller probe is falling, while the number of people seeing is a witch hunt is increasing.

The longer it goes on, and the further it strays from Russian interference, the less and less people will trust the Mueller is doing the right thing. As a matter of credibility, time is not on Mueller's side here. I would fully expect that if this probe is still going on another six months from now, that these numbers will be fully reversed, with more people seeing it as partisan and unfair than see it as honest.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Is Mueller "trying" to get fired?

A couple of pundits have started floating the theory that due to a lack of any substantial uncovering of Russian collusion, or anything close to that portion of the investigation... that Robert Mueller will start to push the envelope to the degree that it may actually force Rosenstein to take some sort of action (up to or including firing the Special Counsel), which of course would directly be blamed on President Trump.

The idea, of course, that short of actually being the guy to bring Trump down, Mueller could make take a cue from James Comey and instantly becomes a celebrity martyr, with the ability to sell out book signings and speeches regarding the time spent looking into Donald Trump. Being fired, of course, would probably create the illusion that whatever confidentiality existed within the special counsel agreement, would be null and void. Similar to James Comey, deciding after his firing, that it was okay to leak FBI information to private friends to get it published.

Even it it was later determined that Mueller wanted to expand the investigation into areas that it did not warrant, his fans would ultimately see any push back from DOJ to be paramount to obstruction. He could simply suggest that he was just about the crack the case, when his investigation was brought to a premature end. Sort of like the Adam Schiff rebuttal to the Nunes memo. It's not that we didn't find anything, it's that we didn't look hard and long enough.

On the flip side, imagine that the investigation actually came to an end because Mueller himself ran out of leads. Imagine a report from Robert Mueller that actually declared that there was no actual evidence of Trump/Russia collusion (or at least none worthy of any legal action). Imagine how this would play out with the faithful.

Perhaps being "fired" would be a better political outcome than completing an investigation that comes up short. Well, it's a theory worth considering.

A couple of updates on Michael Cohen

There has been more and more information leaking out. Some of it probably true, some of it entirely speculation, and some of it is probably speculation based on what is likely true. But what has been rumored or leaked is:
  • Cohen has been under investigation for a while.
  • Cohen is under investigation for actions that only "include" Donald Trump (but not exclusive to Trump).
  • There was no emails or any other correspondence between Cohen  and Trump. 
Each of these things is significant for a variety of reasons.

The overall concept is that the FBI is interested in what is supposedly a set of coincidences where Cohen is representing high profile clients with reputations to protect, while another attorney by the name of Keith Davidson is in each case representing the clients who are being paid off to keep quiet about alleged affairs. The payments range anywhere from $30,000 for a doorman to keep quiet about an alleged Donald Trump affair, to a seven figure payoff to a playboy bunny who became pregnant from a relationship with a high profile political fundraiser. But in each case, Cohen and Davidson are the two attorneys involved. 

Andrew McCarthy calls this the biggest potential legal threat for the President (or least people around the President). That being said, McCarthy has always discounted the idea of Russian collusion, or obstruction being a real legal issue. So that would mean some potential legal liability is worse than no legal liability.  While McCarthy admits that what is publicly known (or being leaked at this point) does not constitute a criminal action, he believes that the potential for such a finding is much more likely than anything Russian or obstruction related. 

The reality is that the NDAs are not illegal. But if there was some scheme or secret agreement between Cohen and Davidson to manipulate these situations into expensive pay offs (where the attorneys naturally make a large financial gain) then it could be argued that the parties (clients) involved were defrauded or even extorted into the agreements. 

Now how that possibly relates to the President is in whether or not he was a complicit partner in these arrangements specific to him. Of course, that is where the reports that there were no sorts of correspondences between Cohen and Trump seized in the raid fit in. Now I am one hundred percent certain that the reason this information was being leaked was to push back on the President's claim that the FBI was infringing on his client/attorney privilege. But if the leaks are true, it probably goes a long way to insulating the President from potential legal jeopardy. 

In the constant world where the next shoe is always ready to drop, the anti-Trump brigade will suggest that Cohen is the next to "turn" on the President and finally send him down the river where he belongs. But there is still quite a bit of distance between some technically legal coincidental non-disclosure agreements,and a criminal conspiracy that involved the President. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Bombs over Syria !!

Nice to see that some red lines cannot be crossed without consequences. 



And no... Russia will not attack the U.S.

IG report on Andrew McCabe

While the report only suggest which FBI regulations McCabe was in violation of, the law is pretty clear as it pertains to making false statements to the FBI or investigators.

If you work for or are associated with Donald Trump, it's a felony. If you work against or are considered part of the resistance to Donald Trump, then it's probably justified.




Pardoning Scooter Libby opens door to other pardons

Reports have emerged that President Donald Trump will pardon former Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff Scooter Libby, who received a conviction of lying to the FBI and obstruction of justice in 2007.
Libby received his conviction over the leak of former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity. He had a 30 month sentence, but President George W. Bush commuted it.
Libby was convicted of one count of obstruction, two counts of perjury and one count of lying to the FBI about how he learned Plame’s identity and whom he told. Prosecutors said he learned about Plame from Cheney and others, discussed her name with reporters and, fearing prosecution, made up a story to make those discussions seem innocuous.
So the precedent already was set that a President might "commune" a sentence for someone who ultimately was charged for nothing other than process crimes. If we recall, the Valarie Plame special investigation not only found no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing, that distinction was determined fairly early in the process. But Patrick Fitzgerald was effectively provided with plenary authority to sort of just "investigate around".

But if Trump were to actually pardon Scooter Libby (which many people at the time called for from Bush)... it sort of sets the precedent that anyone from this particular investigation who is charged with nothing more than a process crime, could also be pardoned. I would think this entire move might be a pretense for the eventual pardon of Flynn and possibly Cohen, depending on what is found.

I would suspect that Trump may first commune any sentences, and hold back any pardons until the investigation is completed. Certainly if a Special Counsel report fails to uncover any Trump/Russia collusion, then the idea of Pardons over process crimes becomes much more palatable and even justified. 

Comey's new book


Open Mic - Classic political argument



H/T WP

Thursday, April 12, 2018

From investigating Russian collusion to FBI raids over Access Hollywood?

Is there any reasonable liberal out there who would be willing to tell us when this might potentially or hypothetically go too far?


The sad thing about it, is that most of the pretense has been wiped away. The recent NY Times editorial all but suggests that the outright goal of all of this is to actually prove all of the unknown criminal activity that they are sure Donald Trump has been engaged in his whole life.
Mr. Trump has spent his career in the company of developers and celebrities, and also of grifters, cons, sharks, goons and crooks. He cuts corners, he lies, he cheats, he brags about it, and for the most part, he’s gotten away with it, protected by threats of litigation, hush money and his own bravado. Those methods may be proving to have their limits when they are applied from the Oval Office. Though Republican leaders in Congress still keep a cowardly silence, Mr. Trump now has real reason to be afraid. A raid on a lawyer’s office doesn’t happen every day; it means that multiple government officials, and a federal judge, had reason to believe they’d find evidence of a crime there and that they didn’t trust the lawyer not to destroy that evidence.
 As if any of this has anything to do with Russian Collusion. But I guess finding Russian collusion was never really the point, was it? It was always about trying to figure out a way to open the door to endless expansions of investigation into everything, up to and apparently including possible violations of professional conduct by Trump's personal lawyer.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Riddle me this?

So the theory here is that a $130K payment to Stormy Daniels as part of a non-disclosure agreement was in fact a "campaign contribution" and therefor illegal (as it would be in excess of what the individual in question could conceivably give to a campaign).

Keeping in mind that the main reason why the FBI is going about this as a matter regarding campaign finance and banking fraud... is because the sort of non-disclosure agreement made with Stormy Daniels is not (in and of itself) illegal. Otherwise Cohen would simply be charged with the illegal action of paying someone off for their silence. But of course, there is no such statute banning it.

So it would logically follow that rather than have Michael Cohen pay for the non-disclosure agreement (because it is being viewed as some sort of campaign expense), then the legal thing to do would have been to have the campaign itself make the payment to Stormy Daniels?

Really?

However, the FEC specifically bans the use of campaign funds that would otherwise exist irrespective to the campaign. Only expenses that exist because of the campaign can be (and must be) paid from campaign funds. The language of the law states very clearly that a campaign cannot pay for an expense otherwise just related to a candidate or candidacy. This avoids any chance that a candidate would use campaign funds to take care of personal business.

So the idea that the Cohen payment to Stormy Daniels is a campaign contribution, would suggest that the FBI considers the use of a non-disclosure contract to buy silence ("hush money") to be a legitimate type of campaign expense. Because if it is not a legitimate type of campaign expense, then you cannot charge someone with a violation of campaign contribution limits.

However, the use of "hush money" has never been considered a legitimate use of campaign funds. In fact, the use of campaign funds to buy silence was one of the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon.

Seems like a strange argument to make, doesn't it? It would appear that this otherwise perfectly legal non-disclosure contract is actually being argued to have been illegal regardless of how it is paid for? Sort of a typical use of legal gymnastics that has been routinely applied to Trump and anyone associated with him.

Ryan to Retire


What's good for the goose, never good for the gander with Democats

The Cohen Searches and Trump’s De Mini-Mess
Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was caught hiding the sources of 1,300 large campaign donations, aggregating to nearly $2 million. The campaign also accepted more than $1.3 million in unlawful donations from contributors who had already given the legal maximum.
Under federal law, such campaign-finance violations, if they aggregate to just $25,000 in a calendar year, may be treated as felonies punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment — with offenses involving smaller dollar amounts punishable by incarceration for a year or more. (See Section 30109(d) of Title 52, U.S. Code, pp. 51–52 of the Federal Election Commission’s compilation of campaign laws.)
The Obama campaign did not have a defense; it argued in mitigation that the unlawful donations constituted a negligible fraction of the monumental amount it had raised from millions of “grass-roots” donors. Compelling? Maybe not, but enough to convince the Obama Justice Department not to prosecute the Obama campaign — shocking, I know. During the Christmas holiday season right after the 2012 campaign, with Obama safely reelected and nobody paying much attention, the matter was quietly settled with the payment of a $375,000 fine.
Is the $130,000 in hush money Donald Trump’s personal lawyer paid to porn star Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election a campaign-finance violation? Probably, although it’s a point of contention. Even if we stipulate that it is, though, we’re talking comparative chump change.
Yet, as that lawyer, Michael Cohen, has discovered, what was not a crime in the Obama days is the crime of the century now.

According to past precedent, the going rate would be a $14,773 fine. That is, of course, if Cohen was working for a Democrat. Working for Trump, he gets his home, office, motel room, and likely body cavities all searched.

It's one thing to have political hypocrisy. It's quite another to literally have two different sets of legal standards for Democrats and Republicans. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

No (you *&^%ing idiots) Trump won't fire Mueller

But he might fire Rosenstein!



What some people don't realize is that that ever since Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand resigned a few weeks ago, it would leave conservative Trump appointee Noel Francisco effectively in charge of Mueller probe. Let's face it, there is no chance that Trump could expediently get anyone confirmed to replace either Rosenstein or Brand within any reasonable time. Especially if that person was going from being nominated by Trump, directly to supervising the probe. So that effectively would put the Solicitor General (fourth in line) in charge of the probe. I believe after that, it might be the local cub scout pack leader from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

While there is little chance that Francisco would do anything radical (like shut down the probe) there is little doubt that he would likely put Mueller on a much shorter leash than the spineless Ron Rosenstein, who apparently in his spare time enjoys retroactively providing authorization for investigations that started weeks prior. Francisco might even (gasp) force Mueller to concentrate on the Russian involvement in the 2016 election and whether or not there was actual collusion. You know, Mueller might have to actually follow the actual legal justification for the special counsel appointment.

Wouldn't that be a novel concept?

FBI falls to new lows...

Let's be clear about three things here.

The raid on Michael Cohen is an almost unprecedented move by the FBI. Much of what they seized is accepted by nearly everyone to be  protected under attorney client privilege. Nothing that is considered attorney client communications would be admissible in court to be used against anyone. If they openly sought that information, illegally gathered it during the raid, then anything else they found could also be inadmissible.

The fact that much of the information collected in the raided would inevitably be unusable, it can be assumed that there is alternative reasons for the raid itself. A theoretical new hypothetical idea that a financial based non-disclosure agreement could be made into a violation of campaign finance laws is just another in the long list of "new crimes" being pretty much made up on the fly against anyone associated with Donald Trump. While it could not be completely "discounted", the fact is that there is zero precedent for a legal agreement being considered a campaign contribution. Arguing such, puts us on an slippery slope can of worms situation that no reasonable people would want to travel down to open up. It's hard to imagine that the FBI would use dubious criminal allegations to stage a raid to gather information that ultimately likely to be suppressed anyways, in order to actually prosecute real crimes?

Lastly, we have entered into the territory where there is no longer even a pretense of objectively here. The idea that certain (both special counsel and people within the FBI) are simply "out to get" Trump and anyone associated with Trump has gone from something written off as paranoia, to something that is gathering much tangible evidence. Manafort's Ukrainian business dealings were known to the FBI for years, even investigated previously, and never considered criminal until he went to work for Donald Trump. General Flynn was apparently placed under investigation for negotiating on behalf of the United States Government (the never prosecuted Logan Act). Typical behavior of any Presidential transition team that did not include Trump as the President. Several people associated with Trump have been charged for lying under oath, something we saw happen routinely (without consequence) during the Clinton email investigation.

Bottom line. Special Counsel and the FBI are losing credibility in the eyes of many Americans. Is this credibility loss mainly partisan? Sure. But that doesn't stop it from being a credibility problem. I didn't vote for Trump, and am not necessarily the biggest fan, but the things that have been happening are actually pushing me over to "his side" on much of this.

Our law enforcement community has an obligation to be seen as fair for "all" Americans, not just liberals and democrats. Our law enforcement should never allow themselves to be in a position where legal experts and former prosecutors can literally come up with lists of behaviors that are outside of DOJ guidelines, outside of DOJ procedures, outside of DOJ rules, outside of protocol and norms, and some times even flirting with being outside the actual law. There is simply no excuse not to play these sorts of things 100% by the book, to avoid any and all allegations of wrongdoing. Especially with something this important.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Yes, a President could be a "target" of an investigation

So as soon as it was released that Donald Trump was not considered a target in the Mueller special probe, about a million and one liberal pundits (all but a couple without any legal background) suggested that it didn't mean anything because the President cannot be "indicted".

The problem with that suggestion is that an "indictment" is simply a consequence of being a "target". It really has nothing to do with the legal definition. The DOJ has specific definitions of what a target is and what a subject is. Whether or not an indictment will follow isn't within the scope of that definition.

By the guidelines of a federal investigation, if the investigation has uncovered evidence that makes investigators or a Grand Jury feel a particular person has committed a criminal action, then that person becomes a target. A criminal case is likely being made. The criminal complaint might be taking form. Evidence is being analyzed.  Yes, a target should definitely worry about the possibility of an indictment, but it doesn't follow that every target requires an indictment to be considered a target.. 

So just because the President cannot be indicted (according to most experts), that doesn't mean that Special Counsel would not be obligated to still treat that person as if they have committed a criminal action. It would still require the investigator to put the criminal action into a report. It would still require them to build the criminal case. It would still require them to gather and analyze the evidence of said criminal action. They would still be treated as if they were a target.

This is what Ken Starr did when he provided a report stating the specific criminal acts that he believed President Clinton committed. It read pretty much like an indictment might read. It highlighted the laws that were broken, and the evidence of said criminal actions. I am sure if you asked Ken Starr, he would not have told Clinton and his attorneys that he was just a "subject" of the investigation. At least not if Ken Starr was following DOJ guidelines. 

Both Bush and Obama used National Guards along the border

But apparently it's a constitutional crisis when Trump does it? 
Another example of TDS
Operation Jump Start 
…the President called for up to 6,000 National Guard members to assist with surveillance, installing fences and vehicle barriers, as well as provide training. This support mission, Operation Jump Start, will provide significant assistance to securing the southern U.S. border during the next two years.
CBP Border Patrol and the National Guard coordinated with the state governors and adjutants general to deploy National Guard troops in support of Border Patrol operations. This unprecedented cooperative effort has resulted in the deployment of 6,000 National Guard personnel to California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Deployment numbers are based on operational need and threat.
This two-year deployment supplements and supports current efforts while CBP hires and trains 6,000 additional Border Patrol agents and implements the Secure Border Initiative and SBInet.
National Guard units assist CBP by executing logistical and administrative support, operating detection systems, providing mobile communications, augmenting border-related intelligence analysis efforts, and building and installing border security infrastructure.
Operation Jump Start relieves Border Patrol agents from non-law enforcement duties, allowing them to focus on border security. To date more than 350 Border Patrol agents have been able to return to traditional frontline duties due to the presence of the Guard.
 
Operation Phalanx 
The Army National Guard (ARNG) established Operation Phalanx in July 2010, based on an Executive Order from President Obama authorizing up to 1,200 Soldiers and Airmen along the 1,933-mile southwest border in support of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency. Operation Phalanx is the successor operation to Operation Jump Start, which was declared by former President Bush authorizing up to 6,000 National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from 2006 through 2008. Operation Phalanx, scheduled to end in June 2011, provides support primarily from the Southwest Border States of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
The National Guard Soldiers and Airmen assigned to Operation Phalanx have been serving as a force multiplier for the U.S. Border Patrol by spotting border intrusions and providing technical support. The National Guard has performed tasks such as ground surveillance, criminal investigative analysis, command and control, mobile communications, transportation, logistics, and training support.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

President not a Target in the investigation...

While many are attempting to read much into the idea that Special Counsel informed Trump's attorneys that he remains a "subject" of the investigation, the reality is that it may mean very little by any tangible standard.

By definition, being a subject means that investigators believes that the subject has been involved in activity that is deemed suspicious or unethical, but do not have anything that actually ties the subject to a provable crime. This is different from being a target, which requires that there is evidence specifically linking the target to a criminal action. 

Assuming the worst (if you are Trump) or the best (if you are out to get Trump) then Mueller still believes that Trump might have done something wrong and might still want to do some digging. But the fact that he is not a criminal target suggest that Mueller is still missing one small little detail...

evidence.

Too little too late?

In response to the legal strategy by the Manafort attorneys to claim that Robert Mueller did not have authority (under the terms of his special counsel) to investigate Manafort, Rosenstein released (leaked) a private memo that he penned to Special Counsel providing the authorization to investigate Manafort (and possibly others).



The memo was dated August 2nd, 2017 and was mostly redacted. But the public has been allowed to view the portion that allows Mueller to investigate Paul Manafort specifically, and this included his payments from Ukrainian business associates. 

The problem with the memo? Mueller had already been investigating Manafort, including the now famous middle of the night raid, which took place on July 26th. This falls into some murky legal and logical territory. Does Rosenstein have the authority to retroactively provide Mueller with legal cover for something that at the time appears to have been outside the scope of his investigation? 

One assumes that there will be times that things are discovered during the course of a general investigation, that would later justify a broader investigation. But conducting a late night raid of someone's residency would not be considered a chance discovery, inadvertent, or anything other than that person already being a target.

It would appear that this memo was entirely an attempt by Rosenstein to cover some asses, possibly including his own. It also suggests that the lack of criminal allegations in the original order of special counsel was a tactical move in order to allow for a special counsel, without informing anyone who (or what) the special prosecutor was investigating. Again, flaunting (if not legally violating) the legal standards of a Special Counsel appointment.

The question would be whether or not it satisfies the Manafort objection. By writing the memo, Rosenstein sort of concedes that the additional authorization was legally necessary. But that would also legally concede that such authorization did not exist at the time of Mueller's late night raid of Paul Manafort's residency. 

The idea that neither Rosenstein or Mueller was required to provide any list of criminal activities or criminal targets as a matter of strategy, sort of flies in the face of Special Counsel being created with a specific interest in mind. It would literally allow for Special Counsel to do whatever they wanted, and then the acting Attorney General could just retroactively approve it.

It seems like that was exactly what just happened, doesn't it? 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

30 days!!!

Dutch attorney gets 30 days in first sentence for Mueller probe
Special counsel Robert Mueller obtained the first sentence in his high-profile investigation Tuesday, as a Dutch attorney who admitted to lying to investigators was ordered into federal custody for 30 days.
Former Skadden Arps lawyer Alex van der Zwaan, 33, pleaded guilty in February to lying to FBI agents about his contacts with former Trump campaign official Rick Gates and Konstantin Kilimnik, a suspected Russian intelligence operative who worked closely with Gates and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Take that you hooligan!!! 

Some more points on the citizenship question

Here are some questions for those who feel that the citizenship question is somehow illegal:
  • If it is illegal, why does Canada, Australia, and many European countries use it?
  • If it is illegal, how did the U.S. use it for 130 years on the standard census questionnaire? 
  • If it is illegal, how did the U.S. use it on the long form census (sent to every sixth person) from 1970 to 2000?

According to the argument being made, the only two times our country has followed the constitutional law was in 1960 and 2010, when they didn't use the citizenship question at all.

Lastly, what makes this particular question special?  Every year people either refuse or threaten to refuse the census questionnaire because they don't want to provide the federal government with certain bits of information. Arguably, every question requiring the person to provide personal information to the government is a potential question that will limit participation. 

The census bureau (by law) is not allowed to share their census information with any other agencies (including law enforcement) within the federal government. It certainly could not share that information with state government or any private entities.

Likewise, by law, every citizen must take the census survey (Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141 and 193). We must take it, even if we are required to provide information to the federal government that we might rather remain private. If we refuse, we would be in breach of the law.

Why is it that American citizens would be required to provide information that they would rather not provide, but we should take heed of illegal aliens who might have problems providing information of their own? As a fundamental matter of equal protection under the constitution, why should the privacy concerns of American citizens take the back seat to privacy concerns of illegal aliens?

Either ask all of the questions that might limit participation or ask none of the questions that might limit participation. But it seems to be unfair, unethical, and unconstitutional to pick and choose the questions based on the needs or desires of one particular group of non-citizens.

Young liberals find new vice?

From eating tide pods to snorting....  


Yes, those are condoms, folks...
A dangerous trend among teens is causing concern among the medical community. The “condom snorting challenge” is exactly what it sounds like: Teens are taking to the internet to post videos of themselves snorting a condom up one nostril and inhaling until it — hopefully — re-emerges into the mouth.

perhaps the Donald made them do it?

Monday, April 2, 2018

Trump Approval Topline Breakdown

Let's face it. Nine out of ten Americans do not look at anything other than the approval number of a poll. They don't look at what demographic they used, whether the sample was good or bad, or whether or not the poll appears to be a "outlier". They simply look for polls that reinforce their own belief system. But let's take a look at one Demographic breakdown that actually matters:
  • Trump Approval Likely Voter - 44.33
  • Trump Approval Registered Voter - 42.33
  • Trump Approval All Americans - 38.67 

So certainly 44.33% is not anything worth writing home to mother about, but it also isn't horrible considering it includes a 39% from the Democrat partisan PPP polling organization. Lets also keep in mind that Trump won the Presidency with a favorability under 40% so something in the 44% range for likely voters is probably a good number for him.

The reality is that Trump probably has a ceiling and a floor that are going to be pretty stable. I don't expect him to reach much past the 44-45% range, and short of some huge "real" scandal, I don't expect his approval averages to fall below 38-39%.

Democrats already nervous about new census

What the Census Numbers Tell Us
The trend of people moving to metros with the densest urban cores—a mainstay of media coverage—is clearly over. The nation’s two megacities, New York and L.A., are shedding domestic migrants far faster than smaller metropolitan areas. Over the last year, the two coastal giants have lost domestic migrants at a rate of 0.95 percent—five times faster than metropolitan areas between 5 million and 10 million residents. Meanwhile, metropolitan areas with between 2.5 million and 5 million residents added domestic migrants at 0.14 percent, while those with 1 million to 2.5 million people grew through domestic migration at a rate of 0.33 percent. The major surprise was in the often-overlooked medium-size metropolitan areas—those with between 500,000 and 1 million people. These metros gained 105,000 net domestic migrants, far outpacing the negative 165,000 net domestic migrants for those with populations greater than 1 million.
Last year’s growth leaders among the large metros were located heavily in the dispersed metros of the Sun Belt and intermountain West—Austin, Las Vegas, Dallas–Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Raleigh, Charlotte, Tampa–St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Jacksonville. Among metros with more than 500,000 people, Seattle is the only one in the Top 25 located on either the West Coast or the Northeast—and it comes in at number 25.
Along with the shift to medium-size metros, the Census estimate confirms a trend that, in some circles, is hard to accept: people are moving “back to the suburbs.” In 2017, the core counties lost nearly 440,000 net domestic migrants, while the suburban counties gained more than 250,000. This trend is true even in New York, where the city dominates the local economy and offers urban amenities that easily outshine those of typical urban cores. The day before the new population estimates were released, the New York Times wrote eagerly about the decline of New York’s suburbs and exurbs. But, if the editors had waited for the 2017 data, they would have stumbled on another, less-welcome statistic: in terms of domestic migration, New York’s suburbs gained five people for each one who moved to Gotham over the last year. This is a far cry from earlier in the decade, when the city routinely added more population than the suburbs.

So what this implies in a nutshell is that we may see a population shift (possibly significantly) from the coastal states to the Western, Midwestern, and Southern states. What this would mean, would be an electoral college (and possible congressional district) shift from blue states, to red states. It also may decrease the number of deep blue urban congressional districts and replace them with purple or red suburban districts within those states.

When one realizes that there is already a distinct possibility that California will lose Electoral College votes moving forward, it makes their concerns about an under count of the illegal alien population all that more urgent. Already losing legitimate citizen population, already dealing with a slowdown of new illegals, already dealing with threats of deportations, they now are concerned that what is left of their illegal population will not be represented.

In lieu of this new census projection, is it any wonder that California wants to be a "sanctuary state"? If you can't keep the citizens you have from leaving, then you apparently must try to proactively recruit new citizens to take their place. Apparently whether or not they are legal is an insignificant detail.