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Gender: Male
Hometown: Nokomis, FL
Home country: US
Member since: Wed Nov 5, 2014, 01:58 AM
Number of posts: 23,004

About Me

Retired 3x, living comfortably on the Gulf Coast, biking, beachwalking, lifting free weights, eating mostly properly, keeping my mind active, in my seventh decade, intending to give Methuselah a run for the record...

Journal Archives

NYT Columnist Worries Mueller InvestigationActually Helping Trump

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni expressed his alarm on Tuesday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling could actually be helping President Donald Trump.

The Mueller investigation, Bruni argued, is dominating media coverage to the extent it’s crowding out coverage of what Trump and his administration are actually doing.

He’s not exactly evading scrutiny, but he’s being spared the relentless top-of-the-screen, start-of-the-newscast treatment that he would likely endure if lawmakers, journalists and other watchdogs weren’t so mesmerized by the convoluted twists of Mueller v. Trump.”

Bruni also expressed his concern the Mueller investigation might not find evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia.

Trump “knows that if he sets the bar at incontrovertible evidence of him and Putin huddled over a Hillary Clinton voodoo doll, he just might clear it,” the columnist wrote.

Trump plays media like a fine violin.. media KNOWS it.. and STILL continues to write the music...

Deep State of depression...

The “deep state” is in a deep state of desperation. With little time left before the Justice Department inspector general’s report becomes public, and with special counsel Robert Mueller having failed to bring down Donald Trump after a year of trying, they know a reckoning is coming.

At this point, there is little doubt that the highest echelons of the FBI and the Justice Department broke their own rules to end the Hillary Clinton “matter,” but we can expect the inspector general to document what was done or, more pointedly, not done. It is hard to see how a year-long investigation of this won’t come down hard on former FBI Director James Comey and perhaps even former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who definitely wasn’t playing mahjong in a secret “no aides allowed” meeting with former President Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac.

With this report on the way and congressional investigators beginning to zero in on the lack of hard, verified evidence for starting the Trump probe, current and former intelligence and Justice Department officials are dumping everything they can think of to save their reputations.

But it is backfiring. They started by telling the story of Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat, as having remembered a bar conversation with George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign.

But how did the FBI know they should talk to him? That’s left out of their narrative. Downer’s signature appears on a $25 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation. You don’t need much imagination to figure that he was close with Clinton Foundation operatives who relayed information to the State Department, which then called the FBI to complete the loop. This wasn’t intelligence. It was likely opposition research from the start.

Bernard Lewis, historian and hawk, dies at 101

Longtime Princeton University professor Bernard Lewis, a expert on Middle East history, is being remembered for his scholarship and its effect on world events after dying Saturday.

Lewis died at age 101 after a lifetime popularizing his interpretations of Islamic history, and how it connected present conflicts to deeper legacies.

In 1990, Lewis wrote the essay “The Roots of Muslim Rage” for The Atlantic, using the term "clash of civilizations" -- a conceptual framework that become popular and controversial for viewing relations between Muslim-majority countries and the West.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, Lewis became well known to a broader audience. He was an influential supporter of the Iraq War and was highly regarded by supporters of an interventionist U.S. foreign policy.

“Bernard Lewis was a true scholar & great man. I owe a great deal of my understanding of the Middle East to his work,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter. “He was a man who believed, as I do, that Americans must be more confident in the greatness of our country, not less."

"To borrow from Shiite Muslim legal scholarship, Bernard Lewis is the marja-e taqlid, 'the source of emulation,' the scholar to whom on the great questions one must make reference,” American Enterprise Institute fellow Reuel Marc Gerecht wrote in The Weekly Standard.

A good piece by Ted Olsen, Mueller v. Trump

Is there a constitutional confrontation in the offing? Can special counsel Robert Mueller require President Trump to testify before a grand jury? It would be unprecedented, and his effort to do so could lead to a major constitutional confrontation.

The president could, of course, resist a grand jury subpoena by asserting his right under the Fifth Amendment not to be a witness against himself. However, for political reasons, he may not wish to do that. And he may not need to.

Another off-ramp for the president, which he may choose not to take, is to remove the special counsel. Mueller is an appointee of the Department of Justice, part of the executive branch. He is therefore a subordinate of the president. Trump might have to jump through some hoops to remove him—such as removing the deputy attorney general who selected Mueller—but he has the power to do so. If, that is, he’s willing to withstand the public outcry and demands for impeachment that would surely follow. Legislative measures, such as those already introduced in Congress, to shackle or impede the president’s power to remove the special counsel are almost surely unconstitutional. So the president could avoid a grand jury subpoena by removing the official who is threatening to obtain one. But this is another step with potentially grave political implications that he may not wish to risk.

The president is not “above the law”; there are many court decisions saying so. But the Constitution is part of the law, and it makes the president the sole repository of the executive power of the United States. He is therefore not just like any other citizen.

As things now stand, Mueller has not made, or even attempted to make, a record to explain why he would be justified in invoking the power of the judiciary to compel the president to show up before a grand jury—without a lawyer—and answer whatever questions Mueller and his army of prosecutors may put to him.

(And more)

Rumor is we're overdue for an extinction event...

President Trump's choice to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel, confirmed...

Gina Haspel, 61, was confirmed by the Senate, which means she can officially take command of the spy agency from Mike Pompeo, who Trump nominated as Secretary of State after firing Rex Tillerson. 

She has won praise from Washington insiders – including Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden, but faced tough questions on the Hill about her connection to sites where waterboarding took place. The controversial practice, which simulates drowning, has been likened to torture but supporters say it has helped extract valuable information from hardened terrorists.

During the hearing, Haspel defended her past actions and refused to criticize her colleagues for their tactics at the time. She did, however, say the CIA under her watch would not resume such interrogation techniques. 

“After 9/11 … I stepped up. I was not on the sidelines, I was on the frontlines in the Cold War and I was on the frontlines in the fight against Al Qaeda,” she said in response to a question from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

In the end, the Senate approved Haspel with a 54-45 vote.

Lest we forget how accurate the Progressives were in 2016. And a delightful bouncy at 2 min. Mark...


Trump CIA pick Gina Haspel gets Senate Intelligence Committee recommendation

President Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel received the recommendation of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, sending the vote to the Senate floor -- where Haspel is expected to have the necessary votes to be confirmed.

The committee voted 10-5 to recommend Haspel, setting up a vote on the Senate floor as soon as this week. Haspel, if confirmed, would be the first woman to lead the agency.

“Gina Haspel is the most qualified person the president could choose to lead the CIA and the most prepared nominee in the 70-year history of the agency,” Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said in a statement.  

“She has acted morally, ethically and legally, over a distinguished 30-year career and is the right person to lead the agency into an uncertain and challenging future. I’m pleased to see the committee favorably report her nomination to the full Senate, and I look forward to her swift confirmation,” he added.

The Committee has 8 Republicans and 7 Democrats...

The United States of America was the first nation to recognize Israel and is the first nation to..

... open its embassy in Jerusalem.

THIS year in Jerusalem!
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