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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Jonathan Turley believes we are "one witness away from potential catastrophe".

To be clear, this one witness would not prove collusion, or prove obstruction, or prove much of anything tangible. Turley is focused on the recent Michael Cohen claims that the President knew about the Trump Tower meeting before it happened.

Now realistically, and by basically all accounts (even Turley's) this would not bring us any closer to any real "collusion". But as it stands there are approximately a half dozen witnesses (including Cohen) who have testified previously that the President was not involved prior to the meeting. Turley believe that if another witness (other than Cohen) were willing to change their story, that the others could face possible "process crimes" which in Turley's opinion would lead to a series of events that would bring the downfall of Donald Trump.

Turley believes that Don Jr could be specifically targeted for perjury.  Turley believes that the President would attempt to fire Robert Mueller, which would lead to multiple resignations, loss of support in congress, and ultimately prove obstruction and (presumably) lead to his impeachment.

The logical problem with this is that why would the prosecutor believe anyone who "changed" their story, rather than those who stuck with their original testimony. By nature, someone who changes their story seems like a less believable witness. Not to mention, that the only person who changed his story (Cohen) says he has no proof, and has not actually testified under oath.

The second logical problem would be that the President's reaction would not be to fire Mueller, but rather wait for any sort of indictment of Donald Jr and quickly pardon him (Same would hold true for Jared Kushner). While this would probably create a massive melt-down from the left, it would not cause any "constitutional questions" about whether a Special Counsel can be fired. Quite frankly, most everyone would "expect" Trump to pardon his own son or son-in-law over a "process crime" for an investigation that has otherwise come up empty.

Paul Rand and Rand Paul both to support Kavanaugh

Manafort trial begins today

What you won't hear about is Russia or Trump or collusion

Monday, July 30, 2018

How do we pay for Medicare for all?

Study: ‘Medicare for all’ projected to cost $32.6 trillion
The idea won broad rank-and-file support after Sanders ran on it in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries. Looking ahead to the 2020 election, Democrats are debating whether single-payer should be a “litmus test” for national candidates. The Mercatus analysis estimated the 10-year cost of “Medicare for all” from 2022 to 2031, after an initial phase-in. Its findings are similar to those of several independent studies of Sanders’ 2016 plan. Those studies found increases in federal spending over 10 years that ranged from $24.7 trillion to $34.7 trillion. 
So let's split the difference here and round off for the sake of simplicity. Taking an average between the low study that finds a $24.7 trillion ten year price tag and the high study that states it will cost $34.7 trillion, we get $29.7 trillion or approximately $30 trillion over 10 years. That's about $3 trillion dollars a year. That is between four and five times what we spend on our entire military, and about 75% of what we currently spend all together (approx $4 trillion)

Ocasio-Cortez has it all figured out!
See talked to an Nobel Peace winning economist!

So as it stands, we spend approximately $2.5 trillion a year on Mandatory spending (which includes all of our entitlement spending). The "Discretionary spending" (which includes all military spending) is less than half of that number (or approximately $1.2 trillion).

So how could you pay for "another" $3 trillion a year in mandatory entitlement spending? Well here are some ways:
  • Triple our individual income tax (whatever you pay now in taxes, triple it).
  • Increase our Payroll taxes (medicare, medicaid, etc) by approximately 250%.
  • Increase Corporate Income taxes by 10 times.
  • Double all three (income, payroll, corporate). 
Now, of course, you won't hear those solutions from anyone who is actually pushing for a "medicare for all" plan. People would be outraged if their taxes doubled or tripled. Rather supporters of "free stuff" will whitewash the situation by suggesting that the $30 trillion can be paid for through slashes to defense (which in total accounts for about $600-700 billion per year), raising taxes on corporations (which currently brings in just under $300 billion), raising taxes on the rich, and otherwise cutting waste in the approximate $600 billion "non-defense" discretionary spending.

So how to other countries pay for it? Well in places like Germany, people still purchase supplemental insurance, because their universal coverage only covers the bare necessities. In places like Sweden, they close their borders to immigration for the most part, and require those who do enter to pay a substantial citizenship fee. Also, none of those countries have 330 million people to work with, with people pouring over the borders wanting in.

The reality is that if the United States wants universal healthcare, then we have to figure out how to pay for it. Simply stating that other countries do it, isn't even close to an answer.

NY Times worried that labeling journalists will lead to violence?

New York Times publisher and Trump clash over president's threats against journalism
"I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous,” said Sulzberger, who became publisher of The Times on Jan. 1. 92 “I told him that although the phrase ‘fake news’ is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists ‘the enemy of the people,'” Sulzberger continued. “I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.”
So the NY Times is concerned with some sort of possible future situations where journalist might come under violent attacks. Meanwhile, the NY Times refuses to condemn groups like the "Antifa" for their blatant real world attacks on Trump supporters and Conservatives in general.

If anyone is inciting violence, it's the liberal media who continuously attack the President, question his actions and motives, and invariably demand that his Presidency is some sort of menace that needs to end. This sort of media crusade certainly place a part in the real world violence that we have seen following Trump rallies where-ever they go.

Ironic, that the NY Times editor would suddenly worry about violence, just after Trump supporters won the right to sue cities and police departments for failing to prevent such real world tangible violence against them. Ironic, because said violence was probably spurred in part by the very media that Sulzberger is attempting to solicit victim status for.

Those who live in glass houses...

Sunday, July 29, 2018

But, but, but... Trump lies you know!

Obama:
  • Average family will save $2500/year from Obamacare
  • If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor
  • If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance
  • My stimulus plan will create 4 million new jobs
  • Not a smidgen of corruption in the IRS targeting scandal
  • ISIS is the JV team
  • He signed into law the biggest middle class tax cut in history
  • Benghazi was because of a YouTube video
  • A President cannot pass amnesty through executive action

Bush:
  • Nobody could have conceivably imagined suicide bombers flying into buildings
  • We know where the WMD are located in Iraq
  • Iraq was harboring Al Qaeda terrorist
  • Vast majority of tax cuts will go to those on the bottom end of the spectrum

Clinton:
  • I did not have sexual relations with that woman
  • The Whitewater investigation was a partisan witch hunt over a failed land deal
  • I smoked but never inhaled
  • My budget will cut the deficit by $500 billion

We could continue to Bush 41 (Read my lips, no new taxes) or Ronald Reagan (Iran Contra) or how about Richard Nixon's famous (I am not a crook)... but I think everyone should get the point. Presidents lie. Maybe they shouldn't. But they do. Generally we still judge them on the performance of their job, and the results of their policies. Not on whether or not they told the truth about their love life, or whether or not they overstated a tax cut.

So Trump suggested that he had the biggest inauguration crowd. And?
He suggests that his tax cut was better than it was. So what? 
He may have lied about women he may have had sex with. Why do I care?
Trump suggests that we are the highest taxed country? Are we overtaxed?
He might exaggerate immigration statistics. He might overstate crime rates.
He might tell us he's the greatest thing since sliced bread and jelly beans.
He might even suggest he has a cool hair cut.

Why should any of this matter to me? 

Ironically, the same people who defended the tangible lies from Obama about real issues that actually effect people seem to be the ones most upset about Trump. But whereas the Obama lies were designed to help pass bad legislation or to cover up incompetency on the part of his administration, the Trump lies seem to be inconsequential to anyone other than fact checkers and those who apparently cannot function normally because we have "another" President who plays with the truth.

So all I can tell those of you impaired with late stage TDS is keep acting as if a President not telling the truth actually matters. It's actually sort of fun to mock and play with. After all,  I am not the one pulling my hair out,  losing sleep, and otherwise fretting. I am the one enjoying the rising economy, applauding the mature choices for our Judicial branch, and sleeping oh so well at night knowing that Hillary Clinton is "not" our President!

Sunday Funnies










Saturday, July 28, 2018

Collusion vs Criminal Conspiracy

Defendants, together with others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, knowingly and intentionally conspired to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of State in administering federal requirements for disclosure of foreign involvement in certain domestic activities.
So what does this mean, in a nutshell?  First of all, it doesn't mean what some liberals are suggesting. Contrary to some arguments, it is not a catch all charge for some form of generic "collusion". There is a difference between "collusion" and "conspiracy".

In the case of the Russian trolling farm, the entire conspiracy was cited as breaking several actual laws. These infringements included stealing American identities, falsely posing as those people, concealing their funding from the FEC,  obtaining travel visas under false and fraudulent pretense, and (yep, you guessed it - the tried and true Mueller favorite of) failing to "register" as foreign agents.

The reality is that the conspiracy charges are directly tied to the fact that the "co-conspirators" broke laws to accomplish their goals. No Americans were charged in the indictment, because no Americans were widely complicit with any of the actual transgressions of the law. One American was charged for actually selling the stolen identities, but was not considered part of the larger conspiracy. Otherwise, simply participating in a rally or otherwise engaging with the group is not illegal.

So by this argument, the fact that the DNC and Hillary Clinton hired a foreign agent to dig up dirt on Donald Trump may be considered collusion, but not a criminal conspiracy. The reason would that the agent (Richard Steele) did not break any laws in gathering the information. (At least as far as we know. Nobody in the FBI seemed very concerned with looking into that possibility).  Either way, the argument then becomes that this is considered legitimate "opposition research" rather than conspiracy.

But by the same standards, the idea of the Trump campaign being provided with dirt on the Hillary campaign would not be considered a criminal conspiracy unless that information was obtained illegally. The Trump Tower meeting, for example, never materialized anything substantial (or anything illegally obtained) on the Clinton campaign. It did not (as some have suggested) involve stolen emails. Rather the dirt was a vague allegation of Russian campaign contributions to Clinton. Moreover, the Trump campaign did not actually use any of that material gathered in the campaign. So by the same reasons the Richard Steele dossier may be collusion, but not conspiracy, you must also consider the Trump Tower meeting to be the same.

This is why there is such a big focus on the "email" situation. The emails were hacked and then distributed, which is a crime (albeit a seldom charged crime). This was really the only significant "crime" committed that could conceivably be tied to Americans. So if it could be shown that the Trump campaign played a part in either hacking or distributing the DNC and Clinton emails, then a criminal conspiracy charge could probably be made. But short of the Trump campaign assisting the Russians in breaking some sort of law, there isn't anything that rises to the level of criminal conspiracy.

It's really that simple.

9th Circuit gets another one right

Court sides with President Trump supporters in riot civil rights lawsuit


The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with attorney Harmeet Dhillon’s clients in the San Jose anti-President Trump riot civil rights lawsuit filed in 2016. The decision denies qualified immunity to the San Jose police officials who Dhillon says forced Trump supporters to walk into a riot. 
The rally was held on June 2, 2016. Juan Hernandez says he is a proud President Trump supporter but also says his support of then-candidate Trump cost him greatly in June of 2016. Hernandez vividly remembers images as Trump supporters left a rally in San Jose. Hernandez says they found themselves in the thick of a riot. “It was really scary because the cops aren’t doing anything, they were just watching everything happen,” said Hernandez. “They started coming to us and they attacked us, we weren’t inciting anything, we weren’t saying anything to them,” he continued. Hernandez says he suffered a broken nose, bruising, concussion and scratches. “Someone needs to be held accountable for it,” said Hernandez.
I think this speaks for itself.

Friday, July 27, 2018

So Cohen is lying or lied under oath

According to CNN:
Cohen privately testified last year to two Congressional committees investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. A source familiar with Cohen’s House testimony said he did not testify that Trump had advance knowledge. Cohen’s claims weren’t mentioned in separate reports issued by Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.
So it appears that Cohen is changing his mind about what he told the Congressional committees. Not only this, but he appears to be offering his testimony to Mueller, even though Mueller hasn't asked for it, and has basically outsourced the entire Cohen case to other parties. (Take the hint Michael). 

The reality (and this something CNN and others are having a tough time accepting) is that the Trump Tower meeting was not evidence of any collusion, criminal or otherwise. If it was, then Don Jr, Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner (to name a few) would all be charged with that particular crime. But alas, they have not been charged. Kushner's security clearance was approved. Mueller is not beating that dead horse. 

So either way, whether Trump knew beforehand or didn't is completely legally irrelevant to anything having to do with the investigation, especially considering President Trump has offered no testimony, much less sworn testimony on the subject at all. It wouldn't be Mueller's job to determine if Trump has provided honest or dishonest public statements. 

Certainly it would not be Mueller's place to take a side as to whether Cohen was lying then, or is lying now. 

GDP at 4.1%

Three percent growth thing of the past? 
Gross domestic product grew at a solid 4.1 percent pace in the second quarter, its best pace since 2014, boosting hopes that the economy is ready to break out of its decade-long slumber. 
One to two percent growth is the new norm
The number matched expectations from economists surveyed by Reuters and was boosted by a surge in consumer spending and business investment. Stock market futures edged lower on the news while government bond yields moved lower. 
 That's the fastest rate of the growth since the third quarter of 2014 and the third-best growth rate since the Great Recession. In addition to the strong second quarter, the Commerce Department revised its first-quarter reading up from 2 percent to 2.2 percent.

Mueller needs to uncover real crime, not make one up...

So it's been suggested by people from the NY Times that Robert Mueller is reviewing the President's twitter account to determine whether or not he can muster up some sort of "obstruction" allegations based on the President's tweeting habits. Obviously Mueller would be attempting to build a case that the President is looking to impede or intimidate officers of the courts with his twitter attacks on Special Counsel and Justice Department.

Mueller fans preying for evidence of collusion!

Now quite obviously there are many many people who are simply besides themselves with anguish over the President's use of twitter. Granted, these are generally people with no lives, who have been infected with TDS to the point of incoherency, and are stricken with depression and grief because Trump is President. But these people (eg: Roger) do exist, and they would like nothing more than to see the President impeached, jailed, or even put to death over the excessive political rhetoric.

(I always wonder why these people read his twitter feed if it upsets them so - but that's a different issue all together)

But even those who are wallowing in despair, must see the difference between criticism and obstruction. The day when an officer of the court is allowed to charge someone with a crime for publicly professing their innocence or otherwise criticizing an investigation is the day when we become a police state with no regard for our First Amendment freedoms, not to mention the numerous other Amendments that protect our citizens from unfair police action.

But to the more central point of all of this, Robert Mueller's job (whether he likes it or not) is a political as well as legal one. His ultimate assignment was to find out what happened in the 2016 election regarding Russian influence, as well as find out if any American citizens (specifically Trump campaign officials) colluded with them. Unless Robert Mueller finds that there were Trump campaign officials colluding with Russia, and that Donald Trump was aware of said collusion, then every bit of Donald Trump's criticism and attacks on the process can be argued to be justified.

The reality here is that the optics for Mueller would be horrifying if he were to find no evidence of collusion on one hand, while on the other hand attempting to scrape together a unique allegation of "obstruction" against the President over what amounts to criticism of the general process and of Mueller specifically.  Mueller would come across as a man frustrated at his failure to find an actual crime, and then lashing out with a "fake crime" because he is thin skinned to criticism. This would reek of the "deep state" openly taking a swipe at a duly elected President who doesn't conform with "their" idea of political norms.

Already there are legal experts coming out of the woodwork, providing anything from a more subdued "cautioning of Mueller" to think twice,  to declaring such an attempt to be downright ridiculous. I am no expert, but I tend to lean more towards "ridiculous".

Thursday, July 26, 2018

How low can you go... how low can you go...

How low can you go? 

 REVEALED: NYT Targets Kavanaugh’s Wife, Looking For ‘Abortion,’ ‘Gun,’ ‘Gay,’ ‘Federalist’ Emails The New York Times and Associated Press target Judge Brett Kavanaugh's wife with records



It's not enough that you attempt to disparage a highly respected Judge who has literally done nothing to you, but to go after his wife? I guess that tells us exactly how desperate the left is to find "something" "anything" to grab onto. 

Quite honestly... this is downright disgraceful. Ugh!

Jerry Jones - stand for the anthem or sit for the game...

Earlier in the press conference, Jones said Cowboys players would not be given the option from the team to remain in the locker room, that they'd be expected to "toe the line." Jones said the team has always had a written policy for player conduct in regards to the anthem, but the NFL and NFLPA's recent actions kept them from submitting a document to the league like the one the Dolphins put forth earlier in the month.

Facebook to lose $100 billion in value

The tech-heavy Nasdaq was set for a big down day Thursday after disappointing quarterly results from Facebook sent the social media giant hurtling toward its biggest share price decline ever and on track to lose more than $100 billion in market value.
They say Mark Zuckerberg is poised to lose nearly 17 billion dollars in personal net worth pretty much overnight, as Facebook struggled with a pretty bad P&L quarterly statement. I guess this is what happens when can't find your own ass with both hands as it comes to manipulating the ultra-political nature of the country in 2018.


I've said it before, and I will say it again. Not everything in our everyday lives has to have something to do with politics. There still should be safe places to go with your time, where you are not hit with propaganda, rhetoric, fake news, or some ridiculous display of "protest" over whatever it is that people are upset about today.

Facebook used to be just a place where people posted pictures and updates of relevant things going in their lives. You knew your neighbors were vacationing at Disney World, you could expect to see pictures. If you were curious about how your niece's softball game went, well there was a pretty good chance you could see the score, some pictures, and highlights on your Facebook feed.

But today, everything is tied into politics. Once it became clear that Facebook was engineering their advertising feeds to push certain things, while drowning out other things, it wallowed into the area of politics that eventually defeats the entire purpose of the app. Obviously Zuckerberg was not happy with making billions of dollars. He decided to use his forum to push the political message he thought people should see and in doing so he has apparently pissed off nearly everyone in the process. Now he is wallowing in the consequences.

Bottom line: once you enter the realm of believing you can decide for other people what they should and shouldn't see (and what is and isn't fake news) - your going to lose audience. There simply isn't any way around it anymore. The only way to avoid political consequence is to actually avoid going political. But alas, in 2018,  it seems everybody believes everyone else needs to know their views.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Trump gets a big win on trade...

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s trade policy (all times local):4:35 p.m.
European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (zhahn-KLOHD’ YUN’-kur) says he has made a deal with President Donald Trump to try to ease trade tensions. Juncker says during a joint Rose Garden appearance with Trump that he “had the intention to make a deal today and we made a deal today.” Juncker says after a lengthy meeting with Trump that the EU has decided to increase imports of American soybeans and liquefied natural gas. He says, “it will be done.” He also says as long as negotiations are ongoing, “We will hold off further tariffs” and reassess existing tariffs on steel and aluminum. 
 President Donald Trump says the United States and the European Union have agreed to work toward “zero tariffs” and “zero subsidies” on non-automobile goods. Trump also says the EU has also agreed to buy “a lot of soybeans” and increase its imports of liquefied natural gas from the U.S. Trump says the EU will become a “massive buyer” of LNG to help diversify their energy supply. The president announced the agreements at the White House on Wednesday following meetings with European officials prompted by Trump’s trade dispute with the EU. He declared it a “very big day for free and fair trade.”

A good watch!!!

CNN plays Cohen Tape...

Cohen tape more muddled than smoking gun 
“I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,” Cohen said in the recording, likely a reference to American Media head David Pecker. When financing comes up again later in the conversation, Trump interrupts Cohen asking, “What financing?” according to the recording. When Cohen tells Trump, “We’ll have to pay,” Trump is heard saying “pay with cash” but the audio is muddled and it’s unclear whether he suggests paying with cash or not paying. Cohen says, “no, no” but it is not clear what is said next…
To be (pun intended) "clear" here, we have two versions of these events.

The first is an argument that this was specifically about paying off Karen McDougal. The problem is that the tape never mentions McDougal or any specific payment to her. While some may want to make that assumption, it's not actually what the tape states.

The second assumption is that the what you hear on the tape is what the conversation was about. That they were talking about opening up a company (presumably to garner the story rights), and discussing whether or not the funding for the company would come from financing (loan) or if they would pay cash outright. In cases of financing business deals, cash does not necessarily mean you buy a company with a bag full of $100 bills.

Those are going to be the several "competing story lines" here. Occam's razor suggests that when presented with the competing hypothesis, that the one with the least amount of assumption is likely the correct one.

You can all decide for yourself. I am sure most of you already have.

Morning Consult Poll - Democrats Frustrated and Angry

This is what happens when the economy is good, people have jobs, and everyone is less reliant on the Government handout.

Link to survey

  • 49% of Democrats are angry about the midterms, compared with 28% of GOP voters.
  • Democrats were almost twice as likely as Republicans (44 percent vs. 24 percent) to choose a negative emotion to describe their feelings.
  • Democrats have also grown wearier over the direction of their party.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Simpleton Democrats will lose on Abortion too...

So suddenly the fact that Justice Kennedy will be replaced by a more conservative Justice, has promoted the idea on the left that Roe v Wade will be overturned. This, according to Democrats is a sure bet loser for Republicans, because a majority of Americans do not want Roe v Wade overturned. But the truth is that there are two chances that Roe v Wade will be overturned, slim and none. And as they saying goes, slim appears to be leaving the building.

What pro-choice folks are more afraid of (and have real cause for concern) is that the courts will not overturn State laws being passed that make abortions "less accessible".  While Roe v Wade establishes that it's unconstitutional to ban abortion, the ruling does not go as far as many pro-choice people would like it to.

But this is where the liberal logic breaks down. While a majority of Americans do not want Roe v Wade overturned, that has little bearing on the tangible issues being fought in today's courts. What is happening in today's courts are things that the pro-choice crowd sees as chipping away at abortion, but ultimately are generally popular.

Bottom line: according to the latest poll from CBS news:
- 45% believe Abortion should be "generally available"
- 32% believe it should be available "under stricter limits"
- 21% believe it should be "not permitted" at all.

According to a Quinnipiac poll
- 21% say it should be "legal in all cases"
- 39% say it should be "legal in most cases"
- 22% say it should be "illegal in most cases"
- 12% say it should be "illegal in all cases"

So the political sweet spot on abortion is that it should be legal, but that there should be restrictions on when and how abortions are handled (approximately 60% according to Quinnipiac). In specific issues, the idea of a waiting period is popular, as is the idea of providing counseling to women seeking abortion. There is support for banning late term abortions, as well as support for banning certain "types" of abortion. By overwhelming numbers, people believe that minors should have parental consent.

Those are the actual issues that the USSC will eventually deal with. Liberals attempting to scare people into believing Roe v Wade is about to be overturned, will fall on mostly deaf ears. They also believe (wrongly) that Americans want no restrictions on abortions. Putting abortion front and center is a mistake. The best it can accomplish is to further rile up the already riled up people on the far left. The worst it can accomplish is to push away the majority of Americans who are perfectly happy to see abortions laws that allow for (to steal the phrase that gun control advocates use) "common sense" restrictions.

Monday, July 23, 2018

A few reminders regarding Carter Page warrant application

I'll keep this simple, for those with short attention spans:
  • James Comey stated under oath that they had relied heavily on the reputation of Steele when it came to believing the dossier was accurate. 
  • However, Steele was not the source. He was simply the person who presented a variety of allegations from other unnamed sources. Those sources were never verified (but should have been).
  • Andrew McCabe admitted under oath that they would not have been able to bring an application to the FICA courts without using the information from the dossier. 
  • Andrew McCabe admitted under oath that they tried "very hard" to corroborate the dossier, but ultimately were unable to do so (other than the portion where Page openly traveled to Russia to deliver a speech).
  • Lastly, once the application was approved, the FBI could dig into Carter Pages current, future, and previous actions. The fact that he was not a part of the Trump campaign for much of the time he was under surveillance does not suggest that the FBI was not allowed comb through correspondences between Page and the campaign.
For those interested in an intelligent take on this: 

Some numbers on the Trump Putin Summit

A Post-ABC poll conducted Wednesday through Friday finds that, overall, 33 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of his meeting with Vladimir Putin while 50 percent disapprove. “The new Post-ABC poll finds 40 percent saying Trump went ‘too far’ in supporting Putin. However, almost as many — 35 percent — say Trump handled Putin ‘about right,’ while an additional 15 percent say he did not go far enough to support Putin,”
So, in a nutshell, those who felt that Trump was sucking up to Putin in a manner that (of course) is determined to be "treasonous" are actually a minority (40%). That 40% is not much larger than those who thought he hit the correct chord (35%).
“Democrats, liberals and college graduates are the only groups in the poll among whom a majority say Trump went too far in supporting Putin. Among Democrats, 83 percent disapprove of Trump’s handling of the meeting, while among Republicans, 66 percent approve of Trump’s performance.
So once again, this is a partisan (not sweeping) attack on the President. Just because those who were upset were the "loudest" doesn't suggest that they hold any large Majority. At best, the poll suggest that 50% disapprove, but some of those disapprove because they believed he should have been "more" friendly towards Putin. That still makes those demanding he is a traitor in the minority.

Lastly...
A new Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll, which was in the field before, during and after the news conference in Helsinki, shows Trump’s job approval rating has ticked up to the highest point of his presidency: 45 percent.
So perhaps the President is "not" on the way to impeachment or otherwise being removed for incompetency, as the left suggests he should be. Perhaps this was just another example of the crazies with TDS going nuts for a day or two about another example of the sky falling because of Trump.

I suspect this will soon be replaced by the next big issue that will (for sure) bring down Trump.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sunday funnies






FISA Documents on Carter Page released

What did we find out:


  • That the Steele dossier was not only a part of the dossier, but it was the the main piece used. Almost all of the facts used on the FISA warrant came directly from the dossier.
  • The FBI stated in the warrant that they had done due diligence to vet the facts from the FBI, and they claimed that said facts had been verified as accurate. The case supervisor signed the warrant under penalty of perjury that it was accurate. Obviously we know from sworn testimony (from a variety of hearings) that the FBI didn't verify the dossier, much less verify anything as accurate (the dossier was mostly inaccurate). 
  • That the sources used by Steele did not provide first hand information, but rather they used hear say evidence (in that they knew people who made claims). So in affect, the FBI relied on Steele, who they know relied on unknown sources, who relied on other source. All in all the FBI were using triple hearsay as facts for a FICA warrant. But claiming them as vetted.
  • The warrant suggests not only that Steele did not know exactly who he was working for, but that he was never told about any effort to discredit Trump as a candidate. The warrant suggests the the source (Steele) did not know the motivation for the investigation. Furthermore the warrant never points out that Steele had any personal motivation. The FBI suggested that they "speculated" that the investigation was done for political purposes.
  • That the warrant contained multiple references to "media reports" as evidence that Carter Page needed to be monitored. Moreover, it would appear that the sole reason for some of the renewals came from "media reports".  Most importantly, the application states that the information from the media was independent of Richard Steele. But (again) we know that is not the case, and that the FBI would have known this at the time.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Democrat offered immunity from his crime to testify against Republican who committed the same crime

The Podesta Group reportedly worked with Manafort -- a former chairman of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign -- to lobby on behalf of Ukrainian interests in the United States, without properly registering at the time under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), Carlson said. Manafort and the group worked on a campaign called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, the Washington Times reported.  
"In other words, for a near identical crime, Bill and Hillary's friend could escape and emerge completely unscathed while Paul Manafort may rot in jail," Carlson said. Podesta did not register as a foreign agent under FARA, Carlson said in a segment last October.
There really is two sets of laws. One for Democrats where nothing is a prosecutable crime, and one for Republican where they make up crimes as they go.

Weekly jobless claims lowest in nearly 50 years

The Labor department announced that the weekly jobless claims dropped to 207,000. The was the best report since 1969.

Generally anything under 300,000 is considered a strong labor market. 207,000 is ridiculously strong.

But of course a strong economy is much less important than what the President tweets or who he invites to the White house.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Are the Trump critics being hypocritical?

So... many people are upset that Trump left open the possibility that he might allow Americans to be questioned by Russian authorities. To me, this is a non-serious suggestion by Trump to prove a specific point.

The point being that if we, as a matter of national policy, decide to indict foreign nationals for actions that are not considered illegal in their country, that it invites other countries to do the same to us.

For us to declare diplomatic immunity when our citizens are being accused by foreign powers of criminal activity by their laws, while simultaneously indicting foreign actors for actions against our laws reeks of hypocrisy.

Now there are a ton of good reasons we do not criminalize actions such as election tampering, as have been written about by many. But one of the biggest reasons would be that setting this sort of precedent exposes  our own citizens to the same standards.

Personally I find these actions  (of setting national security policies) by Mueller as brash and arrogant. Nobody elected him to set this sort of policy, and it seems hardly his place to make these decisions for the country. Moreover it appears that Mueller's decisions are politically and personally motivated. It begs the question over who he consulted, if anyone, before making his decisions?

Every time Mueller indicts someone...

for issues nonrelated to collusion, the chances of actual collusion charges is reduced. 

While the media portraits every new indictment as a step closer to bringing down Trump, logic dictates that the opposite is true.

Mueller has now indicted the Russians believed responsible for the social media spam  as well as those believed  responsible for the hacking of the DNC and Clinton campaign servers. In niether case were any allegations of collusion part of the indictment. In both cases Mueller has passed off the cases to field offices for prosecution.

As has been pointed out by many, when you charge people with collusion, you would generally charge and prosecute any and all colluding parties together. You wouldn't run two prosecutions by two different teams. It makes no sense.

The most recent indictment was in regards to Maria Butina being charged with another "failure to register" crime. The indictment provided no allegations of any other parties involved, or any indication that Butina's actions were otherwise even illegal. That would logically conclude another dead end in the collusion snipe hunt. But your liberal media instead somehow demands the opposite is true.

It's not.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Trump and Putin

I've read several opinions about the Trump Putin summit, and Trump's insistence that our intelligence has been faulty throughout. These opinions range from limited support to calls of treason.

I find myself if the opinion tha this was classic example of Trump using an international forum to air his own grievances. Inappropriate? Yep. Petty? Yep. Selfish? Yep? Treasonous? Nope.

Trump is questioning our intelligence. Based on how certain members of the community have treated him personally (which has been as inappropriate as anything Trump has done), these questions have significant merit. But it is possible that they got interference correct, and collusion wrong.

As a person Trump has every right to attack those who have attacked him. As President there are times when you must rise above your personal grievances and act like a world leader. Trump needed to do that and he didn't.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Has Mueller actually found anything?

As most people are aware,  the first Mueller indictments of the thirteen Russian citizens and three Russian companies (one which doesn't exist) came from a previously published Russian magazine article, that listed the same people and same crimes.

Now it appears that the Russian Nationals he indicted came from the House intelligence report authored by Kevin Nunes. The same allegations and the same names can be found in that report. The House report was widely criticized and ignored because it did not offer any evidence of collusion.

Of course neither of the Russian indictments offered by Mueller suggests any American involvement. In fact, Rosenstein made it clear that no Americans were impicated in either indictment. The fact that both cases are being "handed off" would suggest that Mueller is not seeing a connection. If he believed these people were working with Americans, it would make no sense to pass this off.

 After all, the very idea of collusion is that two parties were involved. You cannot logically charge one person of collusion with someone without charging the other. At least not without changing the meaning. So, if he was going to offer more indictments of these Russians along with Americans, he would certainly not run separate prosecutions.

So, once again this looks like a P.R. move as much as anything. Designed in large part to give his allies talking points.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

An east coast vacation

Will be spending some time in Boston, before traveling up to Cape Cod to see some family. Will be mostly off line the next week or so. You can probably expect an open mic or two to keep the insult fest discussion going. Anyways, here's an excuse to post a video of one of my favorite songs of the mid 2000's...

 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Miss me yet!

Wants to run in 2020 again?

More Russians Indicted

I have three thoughts.
  1. The indictment includes no American co-conspirators.
  2. None of the Russians listed will likely face charges. 
  3. Will make for an interesting meeting between Trump and Putin. (Was the timing deliberate?)

An argument at Yale

On one side we have students and faculty who wrote an open letter praising Justice Kavanaugh. They are proud of the Yale alumni. They are proud of how he has conducted himself in his personal life. They are proud of how he has distinguished himself as a top flight jurist who has earned the respect from both the left and right of the legal community. They ultimately are proud of the fact that another Yale graduate finds himself at the peak of the profession:


  Letter from Yale Students, Alumni, and Faculty in Support of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh.  July 12, 2018
We write as students, alumni, and faculty proud of our alma mater. We join Yale Law School in its praise of distinguished Yale alumnus Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Judge Kavanaugh is eminently qualified to serve as a Supreme Court justice. Judge Kavanaugh, a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, is one of our nation’s most distinguished jurists. In his twelve years of service on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, he has demonstrated a principled approach to interpreting the law. He has reached legal conclusions free of political partisanship. Judge Kavanaugh has devoted his professional life to upholding the rule of law and our Constitution. 
_______

Meanwhile, a few liberal professors and some triggered students got together and offered that Yale should NOT be proud of Justice Kavanaugh, and that if he is confirmed...

People will die!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Peter Strzok honest and truthful?

Doesn't remember writing the text in question...
But has a 10 minute answer for why it didn't mean what it sounds like it meant.

"I swear to provide the bullshit, the whole bullshit, and nothing but the bullshit
So help me Hillary..."

Bad news for the anti-Kavanaugh crowd

So let me get this straight

If NATO ever got down to some sort of actual armed conflict or war with Russia, then Russia (our enemy in this particular encounter) would control the fuel that would be necessary for Germany (one of the prominent European members) to engage.
But of course, it's Donald Trump who is doing the wrong things by simply talking to Putin? I guess someone would have to explain this to me, because it make very little sense on the surface.

Btw... Germany got into this mess by pretty much dropping their own fossil fuel programs, and replacing them with green energy. When it turns out that green energy didn't fill the need, they outsourced to Russian. I guess business and politics make strange bedfellows.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Liberals blame Russian bots for #walkaway movement


Court document admits Manafort charges have nothing to do with Russian collusion

"Evidence or argument relating to Mr. Manafort's work for then-candidate Trump's campaign in 2016 or the Special Counsel's investigation of the campaign's alleged collusion with the Russian government," the Manafort team wrote in a June 22 motion, "is wholly irrelevant to whether Mr. Manafort's personal income tax returns were false, whether he willfully failed to file reports of foreign accounts, and whether he conspired to commit, or committed, bank fraud."
Mueller's response was two-fold. On the issue of collusion, the special counsel, in a motion filed July 6, flatly said, "The government does not intend to present at trial evidence or argument concerning collusion with the Russian government and, accordingly does not oppose the defendant's motion in that respect."
To those Trump opponents who had hoped Mueller would unveil evidence of Trump-Russia collusion involving Manafort, it was a sharp and stunning admission: there's no collusion in the case against Manafort. (link)
As pointed out by many observers, the fact that Mueller is pulling out all of the stops with regards to prosecuting Manafort, while being woefully unprepared (and disinterested) in prosecuting the Russian company he charged with actual election crimes... shows that this has become a personal issue against Manafort, who was twice previously investigated by the FBI and never charged. 


One has to seriously wonder why this is so personal for Special Counsel, and whether it's really worth tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money to prosecute old crimes of people unrelated to the probe, for what appears to be fully personal reasons. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Assuming the proof of their own argument?

So many liberals have raised the idea that the Justice Kavanaugh nomination poses the threat of some sort of conflict of interest. The argument appears to go something like this:
  • The President is under investigation.
  • Justice Kavanaugh has written papers on how he doesn't believe Presidents should be investigated while in office.
  • Therefor it would be a conflict of interest for Trump to nominate Kavanaugh, because he may end up ruling on something to do with the Mueller probe. 
  • In fact, according to many liberals, the President should be allowed to nominate anyone while under investigation.
Well let's start with the obvious flaw in the argument. The President is not a target of any investigation here. There has been no evidence produced by anyone that there was any involvement by the President in any criminal or otherwise legally suspect behavior. 

But let's move past that. Let's focus on the fundamental argument that a President should lose his constitutional powers to behave as President if he is "under investigation". By the basis of that argument, from the day a special counsel is appointed to investigate anything having anything to do with the President, till the day that special counsel completes his or her probe... the country would effectively be without a President. Considering some of these probes can last years, you could effectively wipe out an entire Presidency simply by starting any sort of probe that involves the President. In fact, it's not inconceivable that a President could be reelected as President, while under investigation, and still be unable to perform his duties as President.

So the question becomes, what is the constitutional argument being made by the left, that a President should inherently lose the powers of the office while under investigation? Is there even a constitutional argument to be made?

More to the point, one could come to a pretty simple and logical conclusion. Because the President's detractors will attempt to undermine his or her authority during any investigation that affects the President, investigating a President while in office is inherently a very bad idea. The investigation could in theory reduce the powers of one of the three branches of Government, as well as effectively disenfranchising the election process via some sort of prosecutorial coup. 

Doesn't the very argument that a President cannot be President while under investigation prove Kavanaugh's point that it's a bad idea to investigate Presidents while in office?

Just curious... 

Here is the truth

  • Democrats only own about a third of the state legislature chambers
  • Democrats only own 16 Governorships
  • Democrats are a minority in the House of Representatives
  • Democrats are a minority in the Senate
  • Democrats could not field a Presidential candidate who could beat Donald Trump
Furthermore, Justice Kennedy was a conservative Justice (who agreed with the conservatives across the board in the latest session) and was nominated by a Republican President. He chose to step down today, so that President Trump could nominate his replacement. His replacement is a former clerk of Kennedy. No doubt, Kennedy is in approval of this nominee.

Sorry, liberals... but you have absolutely no say in this. Demanding Kennedy should be replaced by a liberal has literally no basis in any common logic what-so-ever. Your protest is a hissy fit, akin to stomping your feet, holding your breath till your face turns blue, or crying uncontrollably because your mommy didn't buy you one of the candy bars from the check out display at the supermarket. 

Your chance to prevent this from happening went away when your party adopted the agenda and policy proposals that led that Party to it's lowest electoral success rate in nearly a hundred years. It's not up the courts to save you from yourself, or from what majority of the country wants from it's government. It's not up to the media, hollywood, or protest groups to protect you from the mean and evil Brett Kavanaugh. 

Justice Kavanaugh has offered that he will faithfully interpret, respect, and defer to the Constitution, precedent, and the known law. He is under no obligation to suggest that this promise will be tossed aside, if these elements produce a result that liberals don't like. Not sure why anyone is silly enough to believe it should. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Kavanaugh or Hardiman

It's Kavanaugh


First impressions. He seems like a real guy. Coaches his daughter's sports teams. Volunteers at the church. Feeds the homeless. Also seems nervous during his speech, which was actually short of appealing in a down to earth way. 

Right off the bat, the left is up in arms. He might do this, he might do that. On CNN they were actually arguing that he might rule the same way Kennedy did on Obamacare (if it ever came back around) and that it might matter if Roberts changed his vote.

Think about that twisted logic for a second. If the same case came around again (they never do) and one Justice changes his mind (um... why?) then Kavanaugh is unacceptable because he would vote like Kennedy?  Anyways...  apparently, the only acceptable pick from a Republican President replacing a conservative Justice is to find someone "less conservative".  Of course, if that's all you got, then you got shit. 

Bigger problems will be placating people like Paul Rand... sorry um... Rand Paul who suggests that he has doubts about some of this rulings and at one point stated he wasn't sure he could support him (but now had done an about face and claims to have an open mind). I doubt you will lose Collins, much less Murkowski on this one. But there is going to be a fight. No doubt about it.

_______

Rumors flying: 
  • Kavanaugh seen entering a black limo with secret security
  • Hardiman in D.C. - his aids told to start work on p.r. campaign
  • Media camping out - claims Coney Barret still at her home
  • Sources say Kethledge has been told he is out 
To be clear, we are looking at one source, second hand, who saw Kavanaugh in a black limo. Oh, and Hardiman is in D.C. for a conference, so it is entirely coincidence. But multiple sources say that Comey and Kethledge are no longer on the list, so it does appear that it is narrowed to two. 

I am actually surprised that the secret has not been let out of the bag with a White House so full of leakers, huh?  But given the President may have not actually made a decision but a few hours ago, there may have just not been enough people in the know to have leaked the nominee at this point. 

Here's what we know...

  • The U.S. trade deficit fell to a seven-month low in April as exports rose to a record high.
  • The Commerce Department the trade gap dropped 2.1 percent to $46.2 billion, the smallest since September. Data for March was revised to show the trade deficit falling to $47.2 billion, instead of the previously reported $49.0 billion.
  • The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Monday its index of national factory activity jumped to a reading of 60.2 last month from 58.7 in May. A reading above 50 in the ISM index indicates an expansion in manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy.
  • Strong data ranging from manufacturing to consumer spending and the labor market have led the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to estimate that economic growth in the second quarter will be close to a 4.0 percent annualized rate.
  • More than $300 billion was repatriated to the United States in just the first quarter.
  • A record 155,576,000 Americans were employed in June, the most in history as over 601,000 Americans re-entered the workforce.
But yet, the so called financial experts continue to claim that Trump's economic policies are messing up the economy and that our so called trade war is costing us dearly. Some are even demanding that we will see a global recession any day now.

Seems like the economic numbers are running afoul what the experts believe should be happening. Obviously this is all still "unexpected" and "surprising". 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Current odds

BetDSI:
  • Amy Coney Barrett +250
  • Brett Kavanaugh +350
  • Thomas Hardiman +500
  • Raymond Kethledge +800
  • Amul Thapar +1000
For what it's worth, my personal reading of the tea leaves is that Trump would like to nominate Barrett or Kavanaugh largely because there is stronger resistance to them. I get the feeling that Trump would welcome the attention that an extended nomination fight would provide. Politically, the bigger the hissy fit from the left, the bigger the potential political benefit Trump and the GOP would garner. I am not sure there isn't something to gain politically, if a well respected Justices like Barrett or Kavanaugh end up being defeated. Imagine going into the midterms, with the Democrats (and a couple of blue state Republicans) stepping up to stop the nomination. If there is one thing that would rally the GOP, it would be an open USSC seat come November. 

On the flip side, if Trump is interesting in keeping it simple and pretty much guaranteeing a confirmation by the time the next USSC session comes around, then Kethledge or Hardiman would be the logical choice. Hardiman seems to be a late entry into the mix. In spite of him supposedly being Trump's second choice behind Gorsuch last year, there wasn't much discussion (until the past 48 hours or so) on his chances. The fact that he has sort of come out of nowhere to be back in the mix, certainly provides him some dark horse status. Thapar might be my personal choice if it was my choice to make. He checks of the important mark of not being a white male, and he would likely be more conservative than pretty much every Justice except Thomas.

No matter who is is: Liberal college students are under the opinion that his pick in an abuse of power, is extreme, is radical, is racist, and should be wearing a white hood. And of course the news of this pick has spread outrage on social media:



Of course, he hasn't made that pick yet. I shutter to even consider sending my own children to college these days. They will come out a couple of brain dead followers.

Sunday funnies...






Saturday, July 7, 2018

Where are they getting these crazy demands?!?!?

Shifting Strategy, Trump’s Lawyers Set New Conditions for Mueller Interview
Mr. Giuliani appeared to be in part trying to shift responsibility onto the special counsel for the lengthy negotiations over an interview — and was most likely prolonging them himself.
“If they can come to us and show us the basis and that it’s legitimate and that they have uncovered something, we can go from there and assess their objectivity,” Mr. Giuliani said in an interview. He urged the special counsel to wrap up his inquiry and write an investigative report. He said Mr. Trump’s lawyers planned to write their own summary of the case.
The lawyers also want evidence that the special counsel exhausted every other investigative measure before asking the president to answer questions, and that he is the only person who could provide them with the information they are seeking.
The gambit by Mr. Giuliani was the latest maneuver in an all-out assault by the president and his legal team in recent months to alter public opinion about the inquiry.
Actually the irony seems lost on the NY Times in this instance. The shifting of responsibility and new conditions are neither an actual "shifting" of anything, nor are they anything "new". The fact of the matter is that if any prosecutor or investigator wants to subpoena a witness, the burden is on them to satisfy the legal requirements of a subpoena.

Disapproval rising with Mueller probe
Those legal requirements (not too surprisingly) is that the request for a subpoena include the crime being alleged that witness can provide credible testimony to prove, as well as evidence that there is no other way that the prosecutor or investigator can gather that information.

Short of satisfying those two requirements, a Grand Jury or Judge is free to reject (and technically should) reject any subpoena brought before him. I tend to believe that a sitting Grand Jury will pretty much rubber stamp anything that comes across them, as evidenced by the fact that this Grand Jury voted to indict a company that doesn't actually exist. But any Grand Jury subpoena that Mueller might garner would be immediately appealed to a Federal Court, where a Judge much more knowledgeable would make that call.

So what Giuliani and the rest of the Trump legal team are doing is calling Mueller's subpoena bluff. They are effectively asking him to show them what he would eventually be required to show a Judge in order to validate any potential subpoena request. They are also signally that this will be their legal strategy for fighting a potential subpoena. A simply request that the subpoena follow the letter of the law so to speak.

If he can show them that he would have solid legal footing to garner a subpoena, then they would likely agree to sit for an interview. If he cannot show them that he has any real standing, then they will likely continue to reject the request for a real sit down and force him to make a choice about going to court.

Trump leads liberals into depression, confusion, and chaos!

For the rest of America!!!


Friday, July 6, 2018

Here is the simple fact

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/02/15/most-immigrants-arrested-by-ice-have-prior-criminal-convictions-a-big-change-from-2009




In 2017 immigrants with criminal convictions accounted for 74% of all arrests made by ICE, according to government data used by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center in a study published earlier this year. Sixteen percent of those arrested by ICE had pending criminal charges and only 11 % had no known criminal convictions or charges, the Pew analysis found.
Let me repeat that... only 11% of people arrested by ICE had no known criminal convictions or charges.  That means that pretty much nine out of every ten people arrested and detained by ICE had previous criminal charges.

ICE is not harassing the immigrant community, as liberals would have you believe. They are harassing criminals, if you really want to refer to arresting those who committed crimes as "harassment".

US adds 213,000 jobs in June, better than expected

The employment part of the economy continued to power forward in June, adding another 213,000 jobs though the unemployment rate rose to 4 percent, according to a government report Friday. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a nonfarm payrolls gain of 195,000 and the jobless rate to hold steady at 3.8 percent, which had been tied for the lowest since 1969.
The increase in the unemployment rate came due to a rise in the labor force participation rate, which increased 0.2 percentage points to 62.9 percent as 601,000 people came off the sidelines and re-entered the labor force. A more encompassing measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those at part-time jobs for economic reasons also rose two-tenths, to 7.8 percent.
"The employment report this month demonstrates yet again the robust strength of the labor market," said Steve Rick, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group. "After a red-hot May, June kept up steady momentum in jobs and certainly hit back at any worries among economists who thought hiring was beginning to plateau after an inconsistent past few months."
The report comes amid hopes that the economy is beginning to shift into high gear. GDP rose just 2 percent in the first quarter but is widely projected to increase close to 4 percent for the second quarter. CNBC’s Rapid Update tracker of economist expectations is putting the expected gain at 3.8 percent.

Democrats reaction to the good news? 
Here is an example from Democratic house leader Pelosi: 



#Walk Away


White millennials are equally divided between supporting Republicans and Democrats in this year's critical midterm elections, as a campaign urging people to "Walk Away" from the Democratic Party has picked up steam online.
Young people do not like President Donald Trump, but whites between the ages of 18 and 34 said they are equally likely to vote for a Republican as for a Democrat in the elections for Congress this November. A full 39 percent said that "if the election for U.S. Congress were held today," they would vote for the Republican in the district where they live. Another 39 percent said they would vote for the Democrat.
This represented a nine-point shift away from Democrats since 2016. That year, only 33 percent of young white voters said they would elect a Republican to Congress, while 47 percent said they would choose a Democrat.
Young white men made the greatest shift toward the GOP. In 2016, nearly half of them (48 percent) said they would vote for a Democrat, while only 36 percent said they would vote Republican. This year, 46 percent said they would choose a Republican, while only 37 percent said they would vote Democrat — a 21 percent shift in favor of the GOP. (link)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

SHOCKING!!!

Scott Pruitt unexpectedly resigns his post at the EPA for reasons nobody can even fathom?

What just happened?

More on the Special Counsel indictment against Concord Management...

According to court records, the charges being levied at Concord Management have never actually been previously brought. While conspiracy to defraud the FEC has been brought in the past (when money was involved), there has never been a conspiracy to defraud the FEC for “electioneering communications” as is being alleged in this situation.

Given this charge has no precedent, the attorneys for Concord Management are making a basic request to see the instructions that were given to the Grand Jury as they were considering the indictment. Their questions appear to be surrounding whether or not the Grand Jury was asked to consider evidence that the defendant was aware that they were breaking a law that had never previously been charged.

The Special Counsel argument seems to be that there is no requirement that the defendants understood that their actions were unlawful, in spite of DOJ requirements on election crime explicitly stating that awareness of a potential crime is a requirement. Special Council suggested that they have taken the opposite position (that no awareness is necessary) in briefs, although they did not specifically provide any examples of any court finding that accepted that position as valid.

The Judge seems reluctant to provide the jury instructions to the defense until he makes up his mind as to whether or not the complaint (that his client cannot be charged for a crime nobody knew existed) is a valid one.

This appears to use some of the same logic used in the Manafort prosecution for witness tampering, where they asked that the Judge not require them to show that there was any sort of coercion or threat in order to prove the crime. In that case they provided examples of previous cases where coercion or threat was not necessary. However, in all of those cases, the coercion or threat was replaced with something like a bribe or other incentive or included specific solicitation (such as an affidavit) for false testimony. Special Counsel did not provide any similar examples where a person was convicted of witness tampering for simply reaching out to a potential witness.

I guess if you cannot find an existing crime to charge someone with, then you should just go ahead and make up a new one? Reason 23,634 why Special Counsels are a "bad thing".