Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hopalong Cassidy! The Intelligence Probe Could Backfire On The Democrats.

Be careful what you wish for. (See 1 and 1a below.)


Former CIA analyst Larry C. Johnson says that according to his sources, the Obama administration worked with the NSA, the CIA and Britain’s GCHQ to disseminate information about Donald Trump that was illegally obtained via surveillance before the election.
Time will tell.
Many years ago I was told a corny story about a school teacher who asked her class to read about Hopalong Cassidy and write a parable.  
One girl wrote Hoppy wore a white hat and was virtuous, another wrote he fought the bad guys. A Jewish kid, Sam, wrote what he learned was don't screw with Hoppy.

Maybe Trump is today's Hoppy and Democrats, the mass media and intelligence folks should quit screwing with him.

When left to his own devices Trump is anything but articulate.  He is not clear when he speaks but he is also shrewd, he is also capable of getting his message across to those who comprise his audience. My advice, like him or not, don't sell Trump short.  (See 2 below.)
Russia is the real beneficiary of  the fall out from what is going on because Americans now have elevated doubt about their government.

Regarding another matter, Krauthammer recently wrote an op ed in which he concluded what we all intuitively know - once an entitlement is granted you can never take it away.  In time, the per cent of government deficits to GDP will rise and some estimate by 2030 the figure will exceed over 130%. It is now around 80%.This is an unsustainable trend and  scenario,

Consequently, unrestrained entitlement spending will eventually bankrupt our nation.  No politician can remain in office telling the truth and proposing painful action. Even Trump is unwilling to touch the entitlement third rail issue and his stepped up spending on securing our nation's borders and rebuilding our military, in conjunction with tax relief, will simply add to deficit spending until the economy kicks in and, even then, deficit spending will continue but at a somewhat reduced level.

What Trump can and is trying to do is eliminate bureaucracy, wasteful programs, reduce the cost of  government purchases and bring some improved level of efficiency to government.  If he can accomplish half of what he would like he would be entitled to a secure place in heaven because the resistance he will get even  from within his own party as well as the opposition party and the beneficiaries of government largess will be awesome.

To date the bay guys have outlasted those who earnestly tried.  Stay tuned.
Today women showed us how important they are.  Many left their jobs and caused schools to close etc.  They would do the nation a greater favor if they would quit having children out of wedlock.

Why Dems will regret a probe into Russian election hacking

The investigation of Russian interference in the US election could turn into a big headache for the Democrats. The phrase “Be careful what you ask for” comes to mind.
For months before the presidential election, I explained why the Democrats were making a big mistake by picking Hillary Clinton as their candidate. And I correctly predicted that she would lose.
The Democrats didn’t listen, and now their party is in shambles. They aren’t going to listen to me now either about the unintended consequences of an investigation of the Russians, but I’m going to explain anyway.
One of the reasons I predicted Hillary would lose was that the Russians had hacked her emails — along with those of some other Democratic Party higher-ups.
A very reliable source told me that the Russians did it, through a proxy and — this is the important part — that the National Security Agency had hacked the Russians while the Russians were hacking Hillary.
So everything the Russians have, the NSA also has. And, as I said back then, the NSA offered those hacked emails — including Hillary’s — to the FBI, which declined the offer.
Everyone now agrees with me that the Russians did indeed hack Hillary. In fact, Clinton herself treated this as a fait accompli — something that had actually happened — when she started to address what was in those emails. She said the 30,000 or so messages were mostly discussions about yoga and daughter Chelsea’s wedding.
That, of course, is absurd.
Only Hillary really knows what’s in those 30,000 emails because they never came out, although they were supposed to.
WikiLeaks, which dumped hundreds of thousands of Democratic emails onto its site, never had one email that came from Hillary or was sent to her.
WikiLeaks had promised what it called the fourth phase of email dumps the week before the election, but that’s the only promise it didn’t keep. So what happened? My guess is that President Obama’s stern warning to Vladimir Putin caused the Russian president to stop the promised leak of Hillary’s personal emails.
Any investigation of the Russian hacking is liable to result in Hillary’s emails being read, and perhaps released.
The other possibility is even more likely. Putin could get annoyed by the firestorm over his interference in the US election and decide to have the surrogate he had do the hacking release Hillary’s emails.
Imagine how quickly attention will shift if we suddenly have Hillary ’s emails about Obama, Bill Clinton, donations to the Clinton Foundation and many other topics.

1a) The Ancient Laws of Unintended Consequences 

Eight years of a fawning press have made the Left reckless. 

The classical idea of a divine Nemesis (“reckoning” or “downfall”) that brings unforeseen retribution for hubris (insolence and arrogance) was a recognition that there are certain laws of the universe that operated independently of human concerns. 

Call Nemesis a goddess. But it was also simply an empirical observation about collective and predictable human behavior: Excess invites unexpected correction.  

Something like hubris incurring Nemesis is now following the frenzied progressive effort to nullify the Trump presidency.   


“Fake news” was a term the Left invented to describe the ancient practice of propaganda (updated in the Internet age to drive Web traffic). They applied it to the supposed Russian habit of planting international news stories to affect Western elections, and in particular Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency and his tendencies to exaggerate and massage the truth.  

But once the term caught on in our faddish age, who were the more appropriate media fakers? Fake news now serves as a sort of linguistic canary to remind the public that it is customarily saturated with a lethal gas of media disinformation. 

Thus “fake news” seemed a proper if belated summation and clarification of years of liberal bias in the media that were supposed to be our custodian of the truth. 

Were NBC anchor Brian Williams’s fantasies fake news? Were Dan Rather’s “fake but accurate” Rathergate memos? How about the party line circulated in JournoList or the Washington and New York reporters who colluded to massage the news to favor the Clinton campaign, as revealed in the Podesta WikiLeaks trove? Was jailing a video maker part of an Obama-administration fake-news attempt to blame Benghazi deaths on a spontaneous riot? Was the Iran Deal’s “echo chamber,” about which Ben Rhodes later bragged, the epitome of fake news? 

Thank the Left, because suddenly the term “fake news” is becoming a common description of the media’s effort to suggest that Trump once went to Moscow to frolic with prostitutes, that his lawyer met Russians in Prague, that he removed Martin Luther King’s bust from the Oval Office, that he was going to employ “100,000” guardsmen to enforce immigration law, or that he wished to invade Mexico. 

The once liberal invention of the term “fake news” now mostly refers to media efforts by leftists to warp the Trump presidency; to progressive media celebrities who have been caught lying, colluding, or plagiarizing; and to the cohort of unapologetically left-wing journalists who, in the words of Obama White House operative Ben Rhodes, “know nothing” and thus are easily manipulated by their progressive political puppeteers.   


 Is “fake news” also the proper description for nonfactual accounts of “hate crimes,” an increasingly percentage of which prove to be pure inventions (at the University of Louisiana, in North Carolina, in Santa Monica, etc.) fabricated to accord the “victim” media attention, compensation, or sympathy? 
Or does “fake news” define the supposed epidemic of campus sexual assault, which in all too many cases involves the university’s suspension of due process and constitutional guarantees for the male accused — who is sometimes accused because he engaged in consensual sexual relations with a female student and then socially rejected her, or because he failed to stay monogamous? In other words, “sexual assault” is now redefined down to the crime of unenjoyable sexual congress, or of males proving post facto to be insincere lotharios or unreceptive cads.   


Illegal immigration offers another Nemesis moment. Media outrage now surrounds almost every effort by ICE authorities to detain an illegal alien on deportation lists compiled during the Obama administration. Activists, Democratic politicians, and Mexico itself allege that the Trump administration is hounding the blameless, as if there were neither immigration law nor a concept of deportation for violations of it. 

But usually in every media report of a victimized illegal alien, one also finds buried incidental information showing that the detainee had previously been convicted for such crimes as drunk driving, or had engaged in voting fraud, or had committed identity theft or falsified a government document, or had failed to show up for a prior deportation hearing. 

 All that the progressive frenzy over deportation seems to be doing is drawing attention to the quite surprising number of foreign guests who continue to live here illegally even though they have prior criminal convictions. How odd that the public is now learning that the Left apparently sees identity theft as a minor matter for illegal aliens, though a serious one for citizens. And how strange to witness entitled guests showing outrage at the possibility that they might not be allowed to enter and reside in the U.S. illegally and then commit crimes without having to worry about endangering their already illegal-resident status.   


In the latter months of the 2016 campaign, the Clinton team floated the narrative that Trump was colluding with Russian president Vladimir Putin, who in turn was engineering leaks to increase Trump’s unlikely chance of becoming president. 

At first, alleging Russian collusion with Trump was a strange strategy, given that Hillary Clinton herself, as the primary agent for the Obama-administration outreach to Putin, had pushed the red Russian reset button in Geneva. And it was quite an outreach: the shelving of long-established plans to build missile-defense shields in Eastern Europe, the open-mic promise by Obama to be more flexible with Putin after Obama’s reelection, the anemic response to the de facto annexation of the Crimea and eastern Ukraine, the constant trashing of the Bush administration as too harsh on Russia, and the ridicule showered on Mitt Romney for his supposed naïveté in naming Russia as America’s “Number One geopolitical foe.” In addition, the Trump plans of encouraging domestic oil production, updating strategic weapons, and beefing up the defense budget were not agendas conducive to Russian interests. Their Obama antitheses were. 

In addition, while the media and progressives were floating the Trump-Russian connection, it was also clear that there were all sorts of shady elements to the story that would not appear favorable to either Clinton or Obama — from the Uranium One mess, which saw concessions given by Hillary Clinton’s State Department to Russian companies buying North American uranium, to Clinton operative John Podesta’s own investments in Russian oil concerns.  

Worse, the subject of election-time courting of Russia suddenly reopened the question of past Democratic electioneering gymnastics with foreign powers, such as Ted Kennedy’s efforts in 1984 to have the Russians’ help in undermining Ronald Reagan’s reelection chances, or Bill Clinton’s 1996 campaign-finance connections with China, or the Obama-designated officials’ contact, before they assumed office in 2009, with their foreign counterparts.  

But Nemesis was not done. It is now reported that the Obama administration during the campaign went to a FISA court to tap the communications of Trump-campaign officials and unofficial supporters. FISA applications are almost never rejected (and never leaked), but the court rebuffed this one in June 2016, ostensibly for insufficient cause. Ostensibly it is also unprecedented for a sitting president’s administration to order surveillance of campaign personnel of an opposite party before an upcoming election — a fact suggesting that Obama-administration officials may have assumed that a grateful shoo-in successor Clinton Justice Department would not worry greatly about such interference. 

News reports further suggested that a frustrated Obama administration may have tried again as the campaign heated up in October 2016, may have found a more sympathetic judge, and may on the second try have begun widely tapping Trump-campaign officials.

 In addition, the Obama administration after eight years in power suddenly and deliberately expanded the number of people granted access to such surveillance, apparently in the hope (which soon proved correct) that greater dissemination would increase the likelihood of illegal leaks that in turn would embarrass Trump.  

Perhaps from such intelligence leaks, the media reported that Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general, had met in his office with the Russian ambassador, a supposed contradiction of his Senate testimony. 

But then Nemesis again appeared. It turned out that almost everyone in Washington — especially Sessions’s Democratic accusers — had met with the Russians (most commonly Democratic senators and representatives in the spirit of the Obama-reset age). 

Indeed, Sergey Kislyak was on every Democratic powerbroker’s A list and traveled throughout the United States to meetings and conferences — as part of accustomed outreach. Journalists had apparently forgotten that Russian officials were frequent guests at the Obama White House, a logical consequence of the then-current media narrative that cowboy George Bush had provoked Putin’s Russia, which in turn required a sober and judicious Barack Obama to calm down the class cut-up Putin and educate the macho former KGB officer about why American and Russia were in fact friends rather than enemies. 

Finally, after Democrats, Obama officials, and the media massaged the leaks from surveillance of Team Trump, in Samson-like fashion, Trump pulled down the temple on everyone — by tweeting groundbreaking but unsupported accusations that a sitting president of the United States and his team were the catalysts for such unlawful tapping. Apparently, he reckoned that the liberal conversation would therefore turn defensive rather than accusatory. If the progressive media and intelligence agencies were hand-in-glove leaking damaging rumors about Trump, and if none were yet substantiated, then the issue reversed and turned instead on a new question: How were they trafficking in confidential intelligence information if not from skullduggery of some sort? No wonder that some smarter observers backtracked from the Russian-Trump collusion charges of the past six months, given that the leaks were less likely to be credible than they were criminal. The accusers have become the accused. And who would police the police? 

The media and the anti-Trump Republicans decried Trump’s reckless and juvenile antics as unbefitting a president. Perhaps, but they may have forgotten Trump’s animal cunning and instincts: Each time Trump impulsively raises controversial issues in sloppy fashion — some illegal aliens harm American citizens as they enjoy sanctuary-city status, NATO European partners welch on their promised defense contributions, Sweden is a powder-keg of unvetted and unassimilated immigrants from the war-torn Middle East — the news cycle follows and confirms the essence of Trump’s otherwise rash warnings. We are learning that Trump is inexact and clumsy but often prescient; his opponents, usually deliberate and precise but disingenuous.   


Where are we now? 

Obama officials have written contorted denials that by their very Byzantine wording suggest there is some truth to the thrust of Trump’s accusations. (Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for Obama, tweeted a warning: “I’d be careful about reporting that Obama said there was no wiretapping. Statement just said that neither he nor the WH ordered it.”) At best, the public is learning that intelligence agencies and the Obama Justice Department deliberately monitored Trump’s campaign effort (and leaked its findings), acts that fit a larger pattern of seeking to oppose his 2016 campaign. 

 Maybe there is a divine goddess Nemesis, or maybe humans inevitably become arrogant when not checked, as a reflection of their primeval genetic code. 

Or just maybe over the last eight years, the Obama administration so relied on media collusion (and Hillary Clinton’s all but sure progressive continuum) that it felt it could do things politically and culturally — monitoring reporters’ communications, politicizing the IRS, using the Justice Department to redistribute banking fines to left-wing activist groups — that otherwise no sane administration would even dare. 

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Savior Generals.
2)The Obama Admin Declared War On Trump. Trump Just Responded With His Own Declaration

President Trump has escalated the controversy over alleged Russian interference in the campaign into a political war between the current and former presidents.
President Trump labeled ex-President Obama a “bad or sick guy” in a tweet on Saturday, accusing Obama of tapping his phones during the presidential campaign. Through a spokesman, Obama denied any direct involvement in ordering surveillance on Trump, his associates, or his campaign.
By denouncing Obama in such an explosive and public manner, Trump has escalated the controversy over alleged Russian interference in the campaign into a political war between the current and former presidents. The move is Trump’s boldest play yet, the equivalent of poker’s all-in re-raise against Democrat allegations of Russian collusion. While almost all of official Washington is shocked by Trump’s gamble, there is strong reason to believe he holds the winning hand.
Details related to electronic eavesdropping approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) are classified, but press reports make clear that an application for surveillance at Trump Tower in Manhattan was approved in October of last year. Obama associates deny he ordered the wiretap, but pointedly do not deny its existence.
The mainstream media has seized upon the FISA-approval process to refute Trump’s allegation, stating that the president does not approve FISA applications and therefore that Trump is not only wrong, but stupid and ignorant. This conveniently ignores the fact that the previous attorney general, Loretta Lynch, could have ordered the surveillance either at Obama’s explicit direction, or, more likely, with his tacit approval.
The press, as members of the opposition party, have repeated that there is no evidence to support Obama’s involvement. In any case, the distinction between Obama and his administration is ultimately a false one, unless Obama is willing to explicitly repudiate the actions of his subordinates. FBI Director James Comey has requested that the Justice Department (DOJ) issue a statement denying Obama ordered the tapping of Trump’s phones, but such a statement would only confirm the obvious fact that Obama is not on record as doing so himself.

Why It’s Likely Team Obama Is Firing Blanks

A major problem in sorting facts from conjecture is the secretive nature of the FISA proceedings, so most if not all of the facts are based on leaks; however, we do know that the FBI and DOJ would have to have presented a formal affidavit for surveillance to the court for it to be legal. A previous application to the court was made in June, and named Trump in some capacity, but was rejected. To illustrate how rare is a FISA court rejection, consider that during the six years between 2009 and 2015, only one request was rejected out of more than 10,000.
The affidavit written by the FBI requested authorization to collect data on a server the Trump campaign used, ostensibly to look into ties by Trump associates with two Russian banks, although no wrongdoing was established. Given the sieve-like nature of the national security apparatus on the alleged Trump-Russia connection, one can be confident that no other wrongdoing was discovered either, otherwise it would be on the front page of every newspaper. Obama, and his allies in the media and on Capitol Hill, are more than likely out of ammunition, and they were firing blanks to begin with.
The sole casualty of this fake news investigation was Michael Flynn, whose fear of rampaging Democrats led him to mislead the vice president on a matter that was neither illegal nor improper. The fact that members of the Obama administration informed the president that Flynn had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador may be taken as confirmation that they were listening to Trump associate phone calls.
Furthermore, as Flynn was not one of three Trump associates the FBI and Justice Department initially suspected either of wrongdoing or of being a foreign agent, one may presume that the surveillance cast a wider net than the original affidavit would have suggested.

Was the Deep State Working to Benefit Hillary?

The key question that will have to be answered is: who and what were the intelligence services of the United States listening to and reading? Did the FBI and the Justice Department manipulate the FISA process to eavesdrop on the Trump campaign, and did they directly or indirectly assist the Clinton campaign? Watergate merely involved hiring a few criminals to bug the opposition, then attempting to cover up their crime. If true, the Obama administration’s actions would involve criminalizing large sections of the executive branch into an East German-style police state.
As it is highly unlikely that the 11 federal judges of the FISA court met en banc—i.e., all together—to review the DOJ surveillance request, did the administration use the same judge who had rejected the first request for the second one? Trump was named in some capacity in the first request, which was rejected. It is entirely possible that the second request, which did not include Trump’s name, was made to a different judge, who may have been ignorant of its relation to Trump’s campaign. This is conjecture, but given the past behavior of the Obama administration, they may have judge-shopped their request and lied by omission.
News reports indicate the existence of “a multi-agency working group to coordinate [the Trump-Russia] investigations across the government.” Why? If nothing stays a secret for more than 24 hours, and no evidence of wrongdoing has come to light, what were or are all these agencies working on?
It is a matter of public record that in his final days, Obama relaxed longstanding National Security Agency rules so intelligence could be widely shared within the government before applying privacy protections. What was the purpose of this order if not to assist government employees hostile to the incoming administration in leaking material that portrayed Trump in a negative light?

The Obama Administration’s Record Is Sketchy

Efforts by White House Counsel Donald McGahn to obtain investigative documents related to the FISA court have met howls that he is interfering in an ongoing investigation, yet who and what exactly are the FBI and DOJ investigating? One suspects they are keeping the investigation alive because its existence perpetuates the myth of Trump’s wrongdoing. They didn’t find anything, and admitting it would be severely embarrassing; and they don’t want to reveal what they did or how they did it.
Only Congress has the ability to subpoena the relevant testimony and materials, but one shouldn’t be surprised if a parade of Fifth Amendment-takers, “I don’t recall”-ers, missing memos, and shredded hard drives appear, for that is the modus operandi of Obama administration officials in all their other scandals.
Indeed, the Obama administration had a history of improperly using FISA-authorized surveillance on their domestic political enemies. As reported by the Wall Street Journal in 2015, “NSA’s targeting of Israeli leaders swept up the content of private conversations with U.S. lawmakers… wary of a paper trail stemming from a request, the White House let the NSA decide what to share and what to withhold, officials said. ‘We didn’t say, ‘Do it,’ a senior U.S. official said. We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.’”
The Obama administration also concocted a ludicrous excuse to conduct surveillance on Fox News’ James Rosen, whom it named as a “criminal co-conspirator” in an effort to track down leaks related to North Korean nuclear tests. The Obama DOJ went beyond investigating Rosen’s professional work and searched his personal emails.
Perhaps the DOJ believed Rosen was using alternative email addresses for business, in the same manner that Secretary of State Clinton, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson did to evade Freedom of Information requests, to conceal questionable activity. Obama was proven to have lied about not knowing that Clinton used a personal email, when records show he replied to it. Obama also had a private email address, which he used for official business.

This Is Going to Be Nuts

The Obama DOJ also surveilled reporters at the Associated Press in an effort the New York Times called “chilling.” The DOJ went “through The A.P.’s records for months. The dragnet covered work, home and cellphone records used by almost 100 people at one of the oldest and most reputable news organizations.”
It should be remembered that alleged Russian involvement in the campaign centered around leaking emails from the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary campaign. Did the DOJ exercise the same “chilling zeal” with the Trump campaign as they displayed with leaks given to Fox News and the AP?
Lynch met secretly with Bill Clinton at the same time Hillary Clinton was being investigated by the FBI. Comey, whatever he said in public notwithstanding, managed to take an excellent case of criminal wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton on a wide range of offenses, and either bungle or bury it.
While there is no smoking gun thus far, the cover of secrecy cannot hold against an enflamed administration armed with congressional subpoenas. The press can refuse to connect the dots and ignore the mountain of evidence piling up, but the truth will come out. The Russia-Trump scandal will likely be revealed as an ugly, possibly illegal, fabrication conducted by the “bad or sick guy” Obama, who was so obsessed with “punishing his enemies” that he violated every norm of decency that a democracy depends on to survive.
The author has worked on numerous statewide political campaigns in Virginia, South Dakota and Washington, D.C. He currently resides in the Washington, D.C. area.

No comments: