“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Wilderness of Mirrors

Show Us The Crime:

Here Is a Real Crime:

ABC, NBC, And CBS Pretty Much Bury IT Scandal Engulfing Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Office

Well, just in case you didn’t hear, an information technology officer has been accused of bank fraud. He tried to flee the country, and now Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s (D-FL) office has finally fired the aide, despite this person being under investigation since last winter. His termination was made official on Tuesday.

Imran Awan is the name of the subject in question. The Capitol Police launched a probe, where he’s been accused of “serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network.” He also provided technical assistance to other Democratic members of Congress. It was a family affair as well. As Jenn noted over the weekend, his two brothers, along with two of their wives, also worked for members of Congress. Imran moved out of his house in Virginia when he found out he was under investigation last February. He rented the home to a Marine Corps veteran and his wife, a naval officer, who found hard drives that Awan had reportedly tried to destroy. The FBI now has possession of those drives. Jenn added that Imran tried to enter the home to retrieve them, though the Marine refused entry.

On Monday, Imran was arrested trying to leave the country at Dulles airport (via The Hill):

Awan and his family have reportedly worked for House Democrats for years. He declared bankruptcy in 2012, but has made millions of dollars on the House payroll over at least a decade of work for various members, according to a Politico report. 
In March, a group of House Democrats fired Awan and one other staffer over their alleged involvement in the scheme and the looming criminal investigation. However, Fox News reported Tuesday that Wasserman Schultz still has Awan on her staff's payroll despite him being barred from accessing the House's computer system since February.
Concerning media coverage, Politico has reported something on it, but the big three—ABC, NBC, and CBS—have virtually buried this story, preventing the millions of viewers that tune into these respective networks from learning about it. NBC and ABC have been silent in their broadcasts, but CBS did devote 37 seconds to it. That's it (via Newsbusters):
ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today continued on Wednesday morning the liberal media’s attempts to help Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fl.) cover up the scandal involving now-fired I.T. staffer Imran Awan after his arrested Monday when he tried to flee the country.
After all three ignored the story until Wednesday, CBS This Morning arrived at the scene, albeit it with a 37-second news brief by co-host Gayle King that only scratched the surface on this scandal concerning Awan and his family.
As The Daily Caller has reported for months, Awan and his family have provided I.T. services to not just Wasserman Schultz but prominent congressional Democrats across key committees such as the House Intelligence Committee. 
The news outlet also found that Awan and his brother secretly took $100,000 of Iraqi money, owed money to an Iraqi politician who’s been linked to Hezbollah, and possibly kept their stepmother “in ‘capivity’” for better access to offshore money. 
On Monday, The Daily Caller’s Luke Rosiak reported that the FBI had “seized smashed computer hard drives” from Awan’s home in addition to the Capitol Police’s seizure of  “computer equipment tied to [Wasserman Schultz].”
Awan’s attorney is blaming the media attention on “anti-Muslim bigotry.” Awan is from Pakistan.
Awan, who lives in Lorton, Va., was arraigned Tuesday on charges of bank fraud for allegedly attempting to get a loan from the Congressional Federal Credit Union on a rental property by claiming it as his primary residence.
He pleaded not guilty. His passport was confiscated and he was outfitted with a GPS monitoring device. 
Awan's wife, Hina Alvi, flew to Pakistan in March with the couple's three children. A federal court complaint, which noted the children had been abruptly taken out of school in Virginia, said an examination of her luggage found she was carrying $12,400 in cash. She was allowed to leave for Pakistan.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. July 30, 2017
      'Collusion' Collapses: Dem Congressional Espionage Ring Takes Center Ring
      By Clarice Feldman


    2. Also:

      July 30, 2017
      Political Unmasking of Team Trump Must Be Prosecuted
      By Daniel John Sobieski


    3. Another:

      Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Pakistani IT Scammers

      Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Photo: Joshua Roberts)


      There’s more than bank fraud going on here. In Washington, it’s never about what they tell you it’s about. So take this to the bank: The case of Imran Awan, Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s mysterious Pakistani IT guy, is not about bank fraud....


    4. July 30, 2017
      Fusion GPS - in bed with the mainstream media all along
      By Monica Showalter



    Alexandria, Libya 21 July 2017:

    The head of the Libya navy that is part of the Libyan National Army headed by Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter has banned officers and ratings from wearing beards.

    Commodore Faraj Al-Mahdawi Al-Tarhouni has said that anyone who has one will face a court martial.

    Wearing beards in eastern Libya now politically incorrect, associated with either the Muslim Brotherhood or more militant Islamist groupings.

    A number of other countries, including Iraq, also ban the military from having beards.

  3. Do we ever learn anything from anything?


    Syrian civilians celebrated their escape from an Isis stronghold in Raqqa by burning burqas, which they were forced to wear under the group’s oppressive rule.

    A group of women pulled off the black robes over their dresses and set them alight after their families were liberated from the city in the north of Syria on Thursday.

    They cursed the strict dress code imposed by Isis, who order women to cover their faces and wear loose-fitting gowns over their bodies.

  5. You have to love this:

    ...These with a thousand small deliberations

    Protract the profit of their chilled delirium,

    Excite the membrane, when the sense has cooled,

    With pungent sauces, multiply variety

    In a wilderness of mirrors. What will the spider do

    Suspend its operations, will the weevil


  6. Gerontion
    T. S. Eliot, 1888 - 1965

    Thou hast nor youth nor age
    But as it were an after dinner sleep
    Dreaming of both.

    Here I am, an old man in a dry month,
    Being read to by a boy, waiting for rain.
    I was neither at the hot gates
    Nor fought in the warm rain
    Nor knee deep in the salt marsh, heaving a cutlass,
    Bitten by flies, fought.
    My house is a decayed house,
    And the jew squats on the window sill, the owner,
    Spawned in some estaminet of Antwerp,
    Blistered in Brussels, patched and peeled in London.
    The goat coughs at night in the field overhead;
    Rocks, moss, stonecrop, iron, merds.
    The woman keeps the kitchen, makes tea,
    Sneezes at evening, poking the peevish gutter.

    I an old man,
    A dull head among windy spaces.

    Signs are taken for wonders. “We would see a sign”:
    The word within a word, unable to speak a word,
    Swaddled with darkness. In the juvescence of the year
    Came Christ the tiger

    In depraved May, dogwood and chestnut, flowering judas,
    To be eaten, to be divided, to be drunk
    Among whispers; by Mr. Silvero
    With caressing hands, at Limoges
    Who walked all night in the next room;
    By Hakagawa, bowing among the Titians;
    By Madame de Tornquist, in the dark room
    Shifting the candles; Fraulein von Kulp
    Who turned in the hall, one hand on the door. Vacant shuttles
    Weave the wind. I have no ghosts,
    An old man in a draughty house
    Under a windy knob.

    After such knowledge, what forgiveness? Think now
    History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors
    And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions,
    Guides us by vanities. Think now
    She gives when our attention is distracted
    And what she gives, gives with such supple confusions
    That the giving famishes the craving. Gives too late
    What’s not believed in, or if still believed,
    In memory only, reconsidered passion. Gives too soon
    Into weak hands, what’s thought can be dispensed with
    Till the refusal propagates a fear. Think
    Neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices
    Are fathered by our heroism. Virtues
    Are forced upon us by our impudent crimes.
    These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree.

    The tiger springs in the new year. Us he devours. Think at last
    We have not reached conclusion, when I
    Stiffen in a rented house. Think at last
    I have not made this show purposelessly
    And it is not by any concitation
    Of the backward devils
    I would meet you upon this honestly.
    I that was near your heart was removed therefrom
    To lose beauty in terror, terror in inquisition.
    I have lost my passion: why should I need to keep it
    Since what is kept must be adulterated?
    I have lost my sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch:
    How should I use it for your closer contact?

    These with a thousand small deliberations
    Protract the profit of their chilled delirium,
    Excite the membrane, when the sense has cooled,
    With pungent sauces, multiply variety
    In a wilderness of mirrors. What will the spider do,
    Suspend its operations, will the weevil
    Delay? De Bailhache, Fresca, Mrs. Cammel, whirled
    Beyond the circuit of the shuddering Bear
    In fractured atoms. Gull against the wind, in the windy straits
    Of Belle Isle, or running on the Horn,
    White feathers in the snow, the Gulf claims,
    And an old man driven by the Trades
    To a a sleepy corner.

    Tenants of the house,
    Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season.
    This poem is in the public domain.

  7. Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season.

  8. I an old man,
    A dull head among windy spaces.

  9. After such knowledge, what forgiveness? Think now
    History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors
    And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions,
    Guides us by vanities.

  10. when I
    Stiffen in a rented house

  11. In a wilderness of mirrors. What will the spider do,
    Suspend its operations, will the weevil

  12. During my three years in England, in the sixties, I was privileged to see and love Eliot's London.

    I had no clue at the time but as I read now, Eliot was Publisher at Faber and Faber which had offices on Russel Square, an area which had many reasonably priced hotels and much to interest a young American serviceman. One of the Beatle's lived there and there were many good pubs and a few cafes.

    My best stay was a rainy but glorious New Year's Eve. Made more glorious by a 19 year old South African beauty with family in Rhodesia, staying at the same hotel. (Take me back. I promise to pay more attention this time.) Two days later, I had to return back to base at Bentwaters and she, on school break, went to Rhodesia. I lost contact and have no idea what ever happened to her, but hopefully, all went well for her, after the blacks took over and went on a killing spree against the whites.

    Russell Square has not done so well.

    Recently, a case of cultural enrichment from Africa:

    A 19-year-old "Norwegian national of Somali origin" is being questioned by police after a woman from the US was killed and another five people were injured in a stabbing attack in Russell Square in central London.

    IMO the culture was quite well as it was.


    Two people have been killed and four others seriously injured in a shooting at a German nightclub, police said.

    The 34-year-old suspect suffered life-threatening injuries in a gunfight with police officers outside the venue in the city of Konstanz, near the Swiss border. He later died in hospital.

    Police had rushed to the Grey nightclub on Max-Stromeyer-Strasse shortly after the shooting began around 02:30 GMT.

    One person was killed inside the club and three guests were seriously wounded.

    A police officer was injured in the exchange of fire with the suspect, but police say his injuries are not life-threatening.

  14. Police later ruled out terrorism as a motive in the shooting. But by coincidence the gunman was identified as an Iraqi citizen who was not an asylum seeker.

    Konstanz police spokesman Fritz Bezikofer told the n-tv broadcaster: "The motives of the man who acted alone are unclear.

    "We are still investigating but the circumstances surrounding the events at the disco in the evening before the shooting are a bit clearer and this led us to rule out a terrorism background."

    Earlier, police said special commando forces and a police helicopter had been deployed in the city as it was initially not clear if the suspect had acted alone or had accomplices.

  15. "Norwegian national of Somali origin"


  16. Fox being off line for me for some reason, I'm watching MSNBC.

    They are taking new Chief of Staff General Kelly to the cleaner, and dissing The Mooch very severely.


  17. T.S. Eliot

    Both our Whitman and Roethke come over as so much healthier....


  18. Everyone is flexing their muscles -

    China unveils military power with huge parade...
    Communist muscle...
    Trump Warns...
    Putin shows off Russia's naval might...



    Maybe I need to go back to bed.

  19. So far it's 100% anti-Trump conspiracy mongering at MSNBC.

  20. Which U.S. States Curse the Most at Customer Service Representatives?
    Frequency and strength of profanity in complaints to 500 top brands varies from state to state.


    Virginia - 6.8 curse words per chat

    Hawaii - 0.69 curse words per chat

    Men curse 16.5 % more than women.

    July 29, 2017 at 7:00 pm | By FRANK MIELE

    Politically speaking, I’m caught between a rock and a hard place, or more appropriately between a monster swamp and a swamp monster.

    The swamp is the bipartisan disaster known more formally as the federal government. The monster is President Donald Trump, whose out-sized self-caricature approach to life makes him more of a tormented DC Comics superhero (or supervillain?) than a D.C. politician.

    There is no way I am going to support the swamp and its bureaucratic morass, which has a bottomless national debt and the moral code of a toothy gator. But accepting Trump on his own terms means you have to accept him as a “muck-encrusted mockery of a man,” as the original Swamp Thing was characterized. Sure, he means well, but he is so elemental and so alien from what we are familiar with that he is terrifying not just to the Fake News Media whom he battles for control of the swamp, but also to the rest of us who are just distant observers on dry land.

    No one likes the Twitter bombs that Trump dumps on the unsuspecting swamp creatures every morning. They are untidy and reckless. But no one liked the real bombs dropped on Dresden, Berlin or Hiroshima either. They were anything but tidy, but they got the job done.

    If you know anything about Trump, it is that he is at war, and like Gens. George Patton, Ulysses S. Grant and Douglas MacArthur, he cares less about winning a popularity contest than winning the war.

    The swamp creatures in Congress and the media pretend they like things nice and tidy, but that’s only because they are so deep inside the mud that they have no idea just how dirty they are. I guess we’d all like things nice and tidy at some level, and that’s why the swamp has survived so long. By keeping our eyes closed, we can pretend the muck doesn’t stink. We can pretend that senators and congressmen are statesmen instead of power-grubbing pigs living in the muck and feeding at the public trough.

    It would be awesome if someone would clean the mess up, we tell ourselves, but we forget that cleaning up a swamp means getting your hands dirty. In some measure, Trump disappoints us not because he fails, but because he makes us confront our own part in allowing the swamp to exist.

    To reference a superhero who pre-dates comic books by a couple millennia, it was Hercules who was tasked with cleaning up the filthy Augean stables that housed 3,000 head of cattle. According to Greek mythology, the stables had not been cleaned in over 30 years, a strangely fitting number since it also closely approximates the time period since Ronald Reagan tried to clean up Washington in the 1980s.

    Hercules used his strength and his cunning to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of cleaning up the stables. It remains to be seen whether or not Trump will have similar success in draining the swamp, but it should be pointed out that Hercules did not get credit for his remarkable labor. Nor may Trump, but I venture to say that he will leave Washington, D.C., a fresher place than when he found it.

    Frank Miele is managing editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana. He can be reached at edit@dailyinterlake.com


  22. Heh

    James Comey Is Maxwell Smart
    How Comey’s botched mission to safeguard a Hillary presidency elected Trump.


  23. Damn do they have a bunch of dolts at MSNBC !

    1. Is Mooch Obsession distracting from RussiaGate is the topic under discussion.

    2. Rob Reiner, now fat, bald and with a white beard, is one of the participants.

    3. Is there an exhaustion with Trump in MurdochWorld ?

      Being discussed now....

    4. It's ALL about the self aggrandizement of The Donald.

      But it was not so with Hillary.....

      I'm going to BBC.

    5. What sent me away was "Fascism is happening right now in our country in real time".....

      Maybe it's just that I live in the boondocks and don't notice it ?


    6. They have some nitwit with an English accent named Claire Atkinson.....

    7. If "Fascism is happening right now in our country in real time" why hasn't a social subversive like Quirk been rounded up yet ?

      I will not believe until I see Quirk in the slammer.....

    8. See immediately below....

  24. .

    Deuce ☂Sun Jul 30, 04:30:00 AM EDT

    Syrian civilians celebrated their escape from an Isis stronghold in Raqqa by burning burqas, which they were forced to wear under the group’s oppressive rule...

    Once again you get it amazingly wrong.

    The people that it should confound are the nativists and Islamophobes here who argue without proof that the only reasons immigrants and refugees come to the US is to milk the services, try to install Sharia law, and commit terrorists acts.

    They refuse to accept the possibility that like other immigrants coming here for the last 250 years they are coming to the US for jobs, opportunity, and a better life than what they had in the shitholes of the ME, Africa, and South America.


    1. I am a proud nativist and Islamophobe, thank you very much.

      I support our Constitution, and not sharia law.

    2. All moslems support the imposition of sharia law. It is what they must believe to be moslems.

      They may argue over tactics.

    3. I'd much rather have Mexican than moslem immigrants.

    4. All immigrants are not the same.

    5. Hindu immigrants are best, tolerant and the most upwardly striving.

    6. .

      You are an idiot. I would go into the many ways you are an idiot but I don't have time at the moment.


  25. Back to MSNBC -

    Maxine Waters is being in depth interviewed....

    1. "We LOVE having you on the show !"


    Shall we let them have them, then get the hell out of there ?

  27. Contra-Trump

    Jeff Sessions: This Time, It’s Personal

    Trump’s willful misunderstanding of the obligations of an Attorney General reflects a larger flaw in his Presidency and in his character.

    By Jeffrey Toobin

    Illustration by Tom Bachtell

    The Attorney General of the United States supervises all federal prosecutors, and one of the rituals of the job involves visiting the U.S. Attorneys’ offices across the nation. When Jeff Sessions, who is now (that is, at this precise moment) the Attorney General, stopped in at the Philadelphia office the other day, President Trump had already made the first of what would be several public critiques of the nation’s chief law-enforcement officer. On this occasion, Sessions did not respond directly, but seemed to make an almost poignant attempt to reingratiate himself with his boss. Departing from his prepared remarks, he said, “I do my best every day to be faithful to the laws of the Constitution of this United States and to fulfill the goals of the President that I share.”

    The President, apparently, was unappeased, because during the next several days he continued his stream of spoken and tweeted insults, calling Sessions “beleaguered” and “very weak,” and declaring himself “very disappointed” with his Attorney General.

    On one level, this exchange resembled a reality-show version of a reality show, in which Sessions, a long-in-the-tooth apprentice, sought to avoid hearing Trump tell him, “You’re fired.” But this black comedy of manners obscured a clearer tragedy of state. Trump wasn’t taunting Sessions because of any policy differences between them but, rather, as usually seems to be the case with this President, for personal reasons. The core of the President’s grievance is that the Attorney General recused himself from the investigation into possible Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election, thereby setting in motion the process that led to the appointment of Robert Mueller, the special counsel. Sessions did the right thing; according to prosecutorial ethics, he cannot supervise a review of a campaign in which he played a prominent role. Trump’s willful misunderstanding of the obligations of an Attorney General reflects a larger flaw in his Presidency and in his character—his apparent belief that his appointees owe their loyalty to him personally, rather than to the nation’s Constitution and its laws, and, more broadly, to the American people.

    Every President has wide latitude in directing his appointees to implement the policy goals on which he campaigned, and no member of the Cabinet has worked more assiduously to advance Trump’s agenda than Sessions. He has reversed the Obama Administration’s commitment to voting rights, which had been reflected in Justice Department lawsuits against voter-suppression laws in North Carolina and Texas. He has changed an Obama-era directive to federal prosecutors to seek reasonable, as opposed to maximum, prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.

    Similarly, he has revived a discredited approach to civil forfeiture, which will subject innocent people to the loss of their property. He has also backed away from the effort, championed by his predecessors Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, to rein in and reform police departments, like the one in Ferguson, Missouri, that have discriminated against African-Americans.

    Although candidate Trump promised to protect L.G.B.T. rights, President Trump last week vowed to remove transgender service members from the armed forces, and Sessions’s Justice Department, along the same lines, took the position in court that Title VII, the nation’s premier anti-discrimination law, does not protect gay people from bias. Most of all, Sessions has embraced the issue that first brought him and Trump together: the crackdown on immigration. Sessions’s subordinates have defended the President’s travel ban on refugees and people from six majority-Muslim countries, and Sessions has stepped up enforcement of the laws that prevent undocumented immigrants from settling in the United States.

    1. All these initiatives are unwise, unjust, and counterproductive, but they nevertheless represent the kind of change that tends to occur when an Administration of one political party takes over from the other. Elections, it is often noted, have consequences. President Trump’s behavior, however, represents a different kind of change—one that threatens the basic norms underlying our system of government.

      No President in recent history has treated his Attorney General solely as a political, or even as a personal, functionary. When Alberto Gonzales, who served as the Attorney General under George W. Bush, fired U.S. Attorneys for failing to do the bidding of the Republican Party, Gonzales, quite properly, lost his job, too. He had violated a principle that, until now, seemed inviolate: that the Attorney General serves the public, not the political interests of the President who appoints him.

      Trump’s fixation on the personal allegiance of members of his Administration also led to his decision to fire James Comey as the F.B.I. director. As Comey recounted in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Trump repeatedly pressed him for his loyalty—demands that Comey tried to finesse, until the President abruptly ended his tenure. Congress set the term of F.B.I. directors at ten years, in order to establish a standard of political independence for them; no President had heretofore violated that tradition out of personal or political pique. But, as bad as the decision to fire Comey was, and as lamentable as Trump’s attempted defenestration of Sessions is, the President may be heading toward even more dramatic departures from American norms in the near future.

      Trump now seems set on terminating Mueller’s investigation, which he could attempt to do by directing the head of the Justice Department (whoever that winds up being) to fire him. This, of course, would be reminiscent of President Nixon’s determination, in October, 1973, to fire Archibald Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor. But a dismissal of Mueller would be worse. Nixon clashed with Cox over what was at least an arguable matter of principle—specifically, whether the prosecutor had the right to subpoena the White House tapes. Trump wants Mueller gone simply because he doesn’t want to be investigated.
      An order to fire Mueller would be an abuse of power, but one in keeping with the way that Trump has conducted his Presidency. On the Saturday night that Cox was fired, he said, “Whether ours shall continue to be a government of laws and not of men is now for Congress and ultimately the American people” to decide. So it remains today.


    2. Nice unbiased New Yorker piece, Bob.

  28. Video shows airport worker PUNCHING an easyJet passenger holding a baby and slapping phone out of his hand after he complains about 13-hour delays


  29. "Concerning media coverage, Politico has reported something on it, but the big three—ABC, NBC, and CBS—have virtually buried this story, preventing the millions of viewers that tune into these respective networks from learning about it. NBC and ABC have been silent in their broadcasts, but CBS did devote 37 seconds to it. That's it (via Newsbusters):"

    Not a problem according to Quirk.

    In his "mind" the problem are the Alt News Sources, like Newsbusters:


    I don't have to watch the MSM, I get a recap every time Quirk comments.

    1. I watched some MSNBC earlier today.

      Nothing but propaganda.

  30. Last Tango In Caracas

    Venezuela Votes Today In What May Be The Beginning Of The End
    JAZZ SHAWPosted at 3:31 pm on July 30, 2017

    As you read this, the last of Venezuela’s citizens to vote on the Constituent Assembly are making their way to the polls. (They close at 6 pm eastern time.) This could be viewed as a critical moment in the country’s history if it weren’t so obvious how badly it’s going to turn out. The country’s tyrannical president, Nicolas Maduro, was out before dawn to cast his own vote.

    Accompanied by close advisers and state media, Maduro voted at 6:05 a.m. local time, far earlier and less publicly than in previous elections. The run-up to Sunday’s vote has been marked by months of clashes between protesters and the government, including the fatal shooting of a 61-year-old nurse by men accused of being pro-government paramilitaries during a protest this month at a church a few hundred feet from the school where Maduro voted.

    “We’ve stoically withstood the terrorist, criminal violence,” Maduro said. “Hopefully the world will respectfully extend its arms toward our country.”

    CNN has a fairly good summary of what’s at stake and how little chance there is for a Democratic outcome.

    After weeks of street clashes and tension, Venezuelans started casting ballots Sunday in a poll that could mark a stark turning point for the country.

    The vote would allow President Nicolás Maduro to replace the current legislative body, the National Assembly, with an entirely new institution known as the Constituent Assembly.

    Experts say the outcome is a foregone conclusion: Maduro will be able to consolidate political power. The opposition to Maduro fears the vote will erode democracy and give the Venezuelan leader sweeping powers.
    To give you an idea of precisely how fair and democratic this vote is going to be, Maduro already announced that all protests in the streets during the voting are illegal and anyone caught participating in any such protest will get ten years in prison. (Which, in Venezuela these days, is pretty much the same as a death sentence.)

    Also, the members of this new “constituent assembly” which will replace the democratically elected legislature, are being picked from a slate of candidates who were all selected by the Maduro regime. (The opposition party did not support and does not recognize this election.) Some of the expected winners and new “legislators” include Maduro’s wife, as well as former Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez and former Vice President Diosdado Cabello.

    For those of you who have been following these stories at home, you probably recognize Cabello as one of the more sinister figures under the Chavez regime as well as being someone who has been identified by the United States as a capo in one of the largest drug trafficking cartels in Venezuela. Rodriguez is another Chavista left over from the previous regime who has most recently used her post to become the international television face of Maduro, defending everything he does, no matter how egregious. You can think of her as sort of the Baghdad Bob of Caracas.

    When the dust settle from this farce there will be essentially nothing left of the constitutional structure Venezuela once had (such as it was), having essentially been replaced by a single party, socialist – or at that point more correctly communist – authoritarian state. The remaining question is whether or not the protesters will continue their efforts in the face of violent, well armed government militias and eventually cast Maduro out. If not, this may indeed be looked back at as the day when Venezuela became the new Cuba.


    Exit question:

    Would a little gun boat diplomacy actually be worse ?

    1. The mass of Venezuelans have done the only thing they could do - abstain from the voting -


      End of Democracy...

      Maduro vows to go after political foes; Unlimited powers...


      Crisis Enters New Phase...DRUDGE

  31. Yawns as U.S. Imams Say 'Annihilate' the Jews

    It must be noted that these imams have been presented in some media circles as victims, not persecutors. The Belief blog on CNN.com honored Harmoush in 2010 as one of their “Most Intriguing People” when the local Baptists opposed the relocation of his mosque at the time in Temecula, California.


    Well, Quirk's right about one thing: They got a job.

  32. NFL player Urschel, seeking Ph.D. in math, retires from football at 26

    An avid chess player who reads math books to relax, Urschel was featured in a television commercial in which he explains the technology behind noise-cancelling headphones to J.J. Watt, a star player for the Houston Texans, who uses the technology to tune out the lecture.


  33. Reports from Venezuela are that the polling places were nearly empty all over the country.

  34. And I have finally found some good news, from an unexpected place -

    Rwanda and the dangers of democracy

    Rwandan president and candidate to his reelection for the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) party Paul Kagame (C) greets supporters in his childhood Ruhango district, Southern Province, during the kicks off of his campaign on July 14, 2017. RPF's Paul Kagame, Frank Habineza of Green Party and independent Phillipe Mpayimana are the three candidates confirmed presidential candidates in Rwanda's August 4 election. / AFP PHOTO / Cyril NDEGEYACYRIL NDEGEYA/AFP/Getty Images
    Rwandan president Paul Kagame greets supporters at the kickoff of his reelection campaign on July 14.

    By Stephen Kinzer JULY 22, 2017
    KIGALI, Rwanda

    Next month one of the world’s most remarkable leaders, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, will be overwhelmingly re-elected to a third seven-year term. Kagame runs an authoritarian state and does not tolerate serious opposition. That is not, however, the main reason he can count on such an overwhelming victory. He is being rewarded for turning his devastated country into a most unexpected success story.

    Rwandans will re-elect Kagame because they want this progress to continue. They can also be sure that while he holds power, his strong hand will assure ethnic peace. That is no small matter in a country that still lives with the unfathomable trauma of fratricide that killed nearly a million people in 1994.

    Ten years ago I wrote a book about this trauma and Kagame’s role in ending it. This is my first visit back since then. It comes as Kagame faces what may be his greatest challenge, one that few strongmen have mastered: transition to a more open society. His success or failure will resonate far beyond the verdant hills of this poor and landlocked country.

    Rwanda is following the path blazed by countries like South Korea and Taiwan: development first, then democracy. Under Kagame’s leadership, it will probably continue to grow and become more prosperous. A stable political system, though, would be something entirely new here. Kagame’s place in history will depend not only on what he achieves, but what happens after he is gone....


    The last I read about Rawanda was the French - the frogs - exporting millions of machetes to both sides at a good profit so they could chop one another up.

  35. Yes, Deuce, I too now have comments disappear in mid keystroke.

    ...I think it's that the page refreshes by itself.

    Best to write them somewhere else and paste, but I too often cheat and pay the price.


  36. Life in a Venezuelan Oil Camp
    Tío Conejo Meets Uncle Sam

    Standard Oil Company of Venezuela (later Creole Petroleum, a subsidiary of Standard Oil Company of New Jersey), and Shell Oil built residential camps to house their employees. In classic Jim Crow fashion, the companies created distinct areas for foreigners, typically white U.S. employees or “senior staff,” Venezuelan professionals or “junior” staff, and more modest housing for workers. The senior staff clubs included a pool, golf course, tennis and basketball courts, as well as bowling alleys while the workers club typically had a baseball field, a bolas criollas court (bocce), a bar and a dance floor. In spite of this hierarchy, by the 1950s the camps became symbols of U.S.-sponsored “modernity,” with orderly communities, higher salaries and access to a full range of services that sharply contrasted with conditions found in the local Venezuelan settlements.

    The camps represented an improvised and largely transitory society made up of residents from different parts of the United States and Venezuela. The camps allowed Venezuelans to interact with people from other regions, races and countries. With few if any roots to the local community, workers were frequently transferred between camps, and the company promoted an esprit de corps among its employees that centered on an all-encompassing corporate culture. Company practices favored hiring family members, thus handing down values such as the “American way of life” from generation to generation.

    Yet despite their artificial nature, the camps left an enduring legacy in Venezuelan culture and society. For the generations that worked in the oil industry, the camps reinforced their image as a privileged sector of Venezuelan society. Just as importantly, the camps were sites of cultural and social exchange, with the “American way of life” influencing everything from politics to values. Those employed in the industry expected the Venezuelan state to be the guardian of this distinctive lifestyle. Many residents retained a collective nostalgia for the experience of the camps, overlooking the racial and social hierarchy that prevailed and the detachment that existed from Venezuelan society.

    Caripito was typical of this oil town culture. The same ships that navigated the San Juan River to load oil also brought an array of U.S. fruits and canned products for sale in the camp commissary. I still recall the amazement of eating individually wrapped red Washington apples for the first time, or savoring crisp Mexican tortillas that came in vacuum-sealed metal cans. Long before McDonalds appeared in Venezuela, the soda fountain at the company club regularly served the “all American meal” consisting of hamburgers, fries, and Coke. The Venezuelan diet quickly incorporated U.S. culinary preferences and tastes.


    A woman that worked for my dad lived there with her husband who worked for Standard Oil.

    Didn't hear details, but got the impression that it was a pretty pleasant experience for most.

  37. Contra-Trump from Red State -

    With One Tweet, Trump Dismisses Anyone Who Ever Helped Him Get Where He Is Today
    Posted at 9:00 am on July 30, 2017 by Susan Wright

    Well, well. Who might the Tweeter-in-Chief have been talking about?

    We can speculate, but after a tumultuous week, with resignations, firings, and a shuffling of personnel in the White House, President Trump sent out this very Trump-y tweet:

    Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
    I love reading about all of the "geniuses" who were so instrumental in my election success. Problem is, most don't exist. #Fake News! MAGA
    4:15 PM - Jul 29, 2017

    The opinions of who the tweet was directed to, and who the “geniuses” referenced may be tend to be split between recently ousted Reince Priebus, who many have said was instrumental in delivering the GOP into Trump’s hands, as then-party chairman, and Steve Bannon.

    As for Priebus, he was the same weasel who eagerly thwarted the efforts of delegates to unbind and vote anyone but Trump at the RNC Convention in Cleveland.

    Priebus manipulated the Rules Committee, along with several really concerning anecdotes coming from the convention last year, and was overheard celebrating their “win” over those delegates who wanted to be unbound to vote their conscience.

    In fact, it can be said that Priebus’ later position as chief of staff was a reward for loyalty to Trump over loyalty to or concern for the nation’s well-being.

    His humiliating dismissal was a fitting end to that relationship, indeed.

    There are others, however, who feel the tweet may have been directed at the current chief strategist, Steve Bannon.

    29 Jul
    Yashar Ali ✔ @yashar
    This fresh Trump tweet is very vintage Trump.... https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/891437168798965761 …
    kevin driscoll ✔ @kevndriscoll
    Did someone print him out excerpts from @JoshuaGreen's new book?
    4:19 PM - Jul 29, 2017
    Replies 4 4 Retweets 12 12 likes
    Twitter Ads info and privacy
    From the Washington Examiner:

    It is unclear who Trump is referring to with the term “geniuses,” but multiple journalists and politicos speculated that he may be referring to Joshua Green’s new book about Steve Bannon, Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency. In it, Green describes Bannon, who went from being Breitbart News CEO to chief executive of Trump’s campaign to White House chief strategist, as being a chief organizer of Trump’s populist success.
    There was also recent news that a miniseries, based on the life and rise of Bannon is in the works.

    Bannon is about to get big publicity as the head of the Trump train. There were stories coming from the Trump camp about how upset Trump was when Bannon made it to the cover of Time Magazine. How much more must he be upset over this book and the coming miniseries, where he is just the backdrop to Bannon’s main story?

    Trump is a petty, self-absorbed man, by even the most generous standards. He has no idea how to work as part of a team, and he wants people to focus on his imagined “greatness,” rather than consider that he didn’t succeed on his own.

    It’s part of his persona, and one his base gladly embraces – Trump as lone wolf, mega-deal maker, and political messiah.

    Traditionally, overinflated, fragile egos do not make for sound leaders. At some point, they bust, and it is everyone under them that suffers the fallout.

    We’re 6 months in, and as quickly as Trump is tossing people under the bus, we’re likely to see it all fall apart before his first year is done. Those who were loyal from the beginning have become expendable.

    It’s hard to feel sorry for them, however, when all of this is perfectly aligned with Trump’s history.

    For now, all any of us can do is sit back and watch those who conspired to bring our nation down by installing this petty man as president reap the misery they sowed in for their own, mercenary purposes.


  38. Violence, Including a Candidate’s Death, Mars Vote in Venezuela

    Some fatasses in some of these pictures.


    1. National Guard Motorcyclists ride into explosion.


  39. Red State really does not like The Donald -

    Somebody Had To Say It: Iowa Evangelical Leader Says Trump Must Model Higher Standard
    Posted at 3:30 pm on July 30, 2017 by Susan Wright

    And this is the kind of evangelical voice we need. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been paying attention.

    And it may be a case of closing the barn door after the horse has made it into an entirely different zip code.

    Bob Vander Plaats is the Iowa-based president of the conservative Family Leader group. He initially endorsed Ted Cruz, but like so many other evangelicals, lost the will to fight and choked out an endorsement for Donald Trump before the election.

    It seems he has found his voice again, and spoke out this week against Anthony Scaramucci, after the new communications director’s vile tirade from the New Yorker made the rounds.

    Bob Vander Plaats @bobvanderplaats
    "Silence equals assent." @POTUS must model and demand a higher standard. @Scarramuci should be fired immediately. https://twitter.com/stevedeaceshow/status/890922603719872516 …
    7:00 AM - Jul 28, 2017
    81 81 Replies 96 96 Retweets 217 217 likes
    Twitter Ads info and privacy
    Silence equals assent.

    Not consent, where you just agree to allow something, but assent – approval or acceptance.

    I’ve already covered it here, but the word that has come forth since Scaramucci proved himself to be little more than a New York sewer rat in an expensive suit is that Trump very much approved of the outburst against Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus.

    It amuses Trump to see blood drawn by those clamoring to present themselves his most loyal toady. Priebus proved himself unworthy because his failure to fling globs of fecal matter back at Scaramucci didn’t provide the tense drama that makes for good reality TV.

    Vander Plaats went further in a post to his website:

    “Mr. President, it is time to look in the mirror, accept responsibility, apologize to the American people, and declare an end to this behavior immediately,” he wrote. “While what I’m urging may not be the “Trump” brand, it is the brand of a leader. We need a leader. You must lead!”

    “I suggest you lead by first washing out Mr. Scaramucci’s mouth with a bar of soap,” he continued. “After a thorough rinsing, strip his credentials and escort him personally off the White House grounds.”
    As long as the Mooch is willing to wallow in the mud for an opportunity to get next to the president, you’re not likely to see that happen.

    I actually checked to see if any of the other evangelical “leaders” who backed Trump had spoken out against Scaramucci being part of the administration after last week.

    Silence. Not even a passing mention from any I’d checked.

    1. Vander Plaats made a valiant effort at calling for leadership in this matter, but he’s directing his calls to a man who has spent more time Twitter-raging, golfing, and plotting turmoil among his staff to do much leading in any area.

      Vander Plaats may be seeing what some of us knew was coming.

      Trump has failed to do his job. He’s passed no meaningful legislation. He has done nothing to draw a coalition together, in order to work through a repeal bill and make it happen. North Korea and Iran become bolder and more brazen, each day.

      All this, and the man is playing his staff like puppets.

      And as Newt Gingrich pointed out, Scaramucci makes Trump happy, because they’re the same kind of person.

      A model who was once stuck at a table with Trump said during an interview later that he was the most vulgar man she’d ever known. If that’s true, Scaramucci’s behavior and Trump’s approval shouldn’t be a shock.

      For some of us, it is not.

      New York values, and all.

      Still, I applaud Vander Plaats for the effort. He’s already done more than so many others.

      We are at a crisis point in our nation. The Body of Christ needs to rise up and lead, because our politicians will not do it. They can’t. They’re too busy jockeying for position and power.

      Other evangelical leaders need to speak. Christians who supported Trump and those who did not need to stress how the atmosphere Trump and his new clinger are creating is not representative of us or our nation.

      It most certainly should not be allowed to stand as representative of the kind of behavior Christians tolerate or accept.

      Party needs to be put aside. This isn’t a political issue, any longer. This is a test of heart.

      Silence equals assent.


      The Donald really doesn't seem to have many of the personality traits of many decent Christians that I have known.

      But give him credit for not drinking, not smoking, and his energy level !

      His Christianity reminds me a little of that practiced by that wonderful Christian convert, Putin.


    2. If I had been named Doug Vander Plaats, I coulda been a contender.

  40. Farming is so yesterday -

    Experimental protein reactors produce basic food from carbon dioxide and electricity

    TAKE one serve of carbon dioxide. Apply high voltage. Wait a few weeks ... and you’ve got a high-protein meal. Could this be the food of our future?

    Jamie Seidel
    News Corp Australia Network
    JULY 31, 20179:36AM

    This spoonful of single-celled protein powder is the product of carbon dioxide and electricity. It could free-up crop production used by livestock. Picture: Lappeenranta University of Technology

    TAKE one serve of carbon dioxide. Apply high voltage. Wait a few weeks ... and enjoy a meal of single-cell protein. It may not be a culinary delight, but it could feed our future.

    The creation of artificial food out of thin air - with a few added microbes - is the result of a study by research groups in Finland.

    And they say the Food from Electricity program is 10-times more energy efficient than the photosynthesis of plants.

    Such protein powder is not about to garnish our plates.


    A food replicator produces a fully-formed meal out of nowhere on Star Trek: Voyager. We're not quite there yet, but science has proven it can use electricity and carbon dioxide to make single-cell proteins.

    A food replicator produces a fully-formed meal out of nowhere on Star Trek: Voyager. We're not quite there yet, but science has proven it can use electricity and carbon dioxide to make single-cell proteins.Source:Supplied

    But it may soon be reducing the strain on our crops by providing an alternative source of fodder for animal feeds.
    Ultimately, protein ‘reactors’ have the potential to create the building blocks of meals aboard long-duration space flights and as a rapid-response counters to famine.

    “In the long term, protein created with electricity is meant to be used in cooking and products as it is,” says Juha-Pekka Pitkänen, principal scientist at VTT. “The mixture is very nutritious, with more than 50 per cent protein and 25 per cent carbohydrates. The rest is fats and nucleic acids.”


    The protein’s greatest selling point is in its ingredients.
    Sunlight. And carbon dioxide.

    “In practice, all the raw materials are available from the air,” Pitkänen says. “In the future, the (solar powered) technology can be transported to, for instance, deserts and other areas facing famine. One possible alternative is a home reactor, a type of domestic appliance that the consumer can use to produce the needed protein.”

    An array of coffee-cup reactors which, in the space of a fortnight, can produce a spoonful of single-celled proteins.

    The United Nations estimates about one in nine of the world’s population — or 795 million — are undernourished. Such technology could help alleviate this growing crisis.

    It could do this by reducing livestock demand for grains. This also may help keep meat affordable as the world’s crops come under increasing pressure.

    It takes four times as much energy to feed a chicken than the protein value carried in its flesh. When it comes to cattle, that ratio is 54:1, lamb 50:1, 14:1 for milk, 17:1 for pork and 26:1 for eggs.

    So taking grains out of the equation represents a major freeing-up of food stock for human consumption.

    1. The Finnish researchers say they also hope the technology will help reduce the need for land clearance, and allow existing crop zones to be reforested.

      “Compared to traditional agriculture, the production method currently under development does not require a location with the conditions for agriculture, such as the right temperature, humidity or a certain soil type,” says Professor Jero Ahola of LUT.

      A 'protein reactor' developed by Finnish scientists. It zaps into existence a powder which is 50 per cent protein, 25 per cent carbohydrate - with the rest made up of fats and nucleic acids.

      A 'protein reactor' developed by Finnish scientists. It zaps into existence a powder which is 50 per cent protein, 25 per cent carbohydrate - with the rest made up of fats and nucleic acids.Source:Supplied

      “This allows us to use a completely automatised process to produce the animal feed required in a shipping container facility built on the farm.”

      It also does away with the resource and energy-intensive need for fertilisers and pest-controls.
      “This allows us to avoid any environmental impacts, such as runoffs into water systems or the formation of powerful greenhouse gases,” he says.

      While the energy efficiency of the process is reported to be 10 times better than photosynthesis, plenty of work remains to be done to make protein reactors commercially viable.

      At the moment, the experimental coffee-machine sized benchtop facilities take about a fortnight to zap into existence one gram of protein powder.

      MORE: French fries are killing you

      Upscaling and speeding up the process is the next objective of the Finnish researchers.
      “The idea is to develop the concept into a mass product, with a price that drops as the technology becomes more common, Professor Ahola says. “The schedule for commercialisation depends on the economy.”



    2. Manna from heaven, "Draft Dodger"

  41. Blackmail? Wasserman Schultz planned to pay Muslim IT spy even while he lived in Pakistan
    By Pamela Geller - on July 30, 2017

    As the scandal widens and worsens, the media goes to extraordinary lengths not to cover it.

    “Five Capitol Hill technology aides said that members of Congress have displayed an inexplicable and intense loyalty towards the suspects who police say victimized them. The baffled aides wonder if the suspects are blackmailing representatives based on the contents of their emails and files, to which they had full access.” (more here)

    VIDEO: Democrat Muslim IT Spy Ring Sent Sensitive Intel to the MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
    Rep Steve King: Democrat Muslim IT spy ring is “an enormous act of treason, a lot of people complicit” had access to “all the communication of the Foreign Affairs Committee”
    Wasserman Schultz’s IT Muslim Spy Arrested By FBI Enroute to Pakistan After 300K Wire
    Wasserman Schultz’s Muslim IT SPY Arrested Fleeing the Country After Smashed Hard Drives Seized
    FBI Seized Smashed Hard Drives From Debbie Wasserman Schultz IT Aide’s Home
    Democrat Muslim IT Spy Scandal Spreads to Pelosi and Clinton
    U.S. Attorney Overseeing Imran Awan’s Investigation Is Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Brother
    White House Calls for ‘Thorough Investigation’ of Imran Awan, the Dems’ Muslim IT Spy Ring
    House Dem IT Suspects Wanted Untraceable Payments — and Sure Enough, Millions Disappeared
    House IT Aides Fear Suspects in Data Breach are Blackmailing Members
    House Conservatives Demand Investigation of MUSLIM SPY RING Who Stole Classified Info from Democratic Members on House Intel, Foreign Affairs Committee Servers/Networks
    Wasserman Schultz seemingly planned to pay Muslim IT suspect even while he lived in Pakistan......


  42. .

    DougSun Jul 30, 04:01:00 PM EDT
    "Concerning media coverage, Politico has reported something on it, but the big three—ABC, NBC, and CBS—have virtually buried this story, preventing the millions of viewers that tune into these respective networks from learning about it. NBC and ABC have been silent in their broadcasts, but CBS did devote 37 seconds to it. That's it (via Newsbusters):"

    Not a problem according to Quirk.

    In his "mind" the problem are the Alt News Sources, like Newsbusters:

    You're right, dipshit.

    Debbie Wasserman Shultz is an annoying human being, not quite Donald Trump annoying but at least Hillary Clinton bad. However, just as I have refrained from accusing Trump or his relatives or his minions of crimes in the whole Russian clusterfuck and will continue doing the same until information is forthcoming showing someone is found guilty of a crime there I will do the same with ol Debbie with regard the Imran Awan affair.

    So far, Awan has been 'accused' of bank fraud (I assume that means he has been charged though I haven't actually heard that term used). I heard he and others are suspected of stealing equipment from Congressional offices. As far as I know, he has not been accused or even suspected (by legal authorities) of any other crimes at this point. Ms. Shultz has been accused of being felony stupid but surprisingly that is not a crime.

    I might accuse someone of being a dumb ass but it would be rare for me to insinuate or accuse someone of a crime until there was evidence of that crime.

    The Newsbusters story insinuates a lot, but I don't see any more actual facts than what I laid out above. If you have some new evidence or an update I'd love to hear it. Until there is some actual proof or at least charges against Schultz or further charges against Awan I can wait.

    You are now free to go back to your whine. Sorry for the interruption.


    1. Try Relaxium, Quirk.

      You will be tired and grumpy if you don't get uninterrupted sleep.

      Do you have trouble sleeping ?
      Do you suffer from anxiety or feeling consumed with worry, fear and stress ?
      Do you suffer from the debilitating side effects of prescription pills ?

      I've developed an all-natural, scientific breakthrough product line guaranteed to help you sleep deeply through the night and dramatically improve your mood during the day WITHOUT the harmful side-effects of prescription or over-the-counter pills! In fact these are the same amazing formulas I have been using in my clinic for many years.
      Clinical Neurologist so and so, name unreadable.

      Go to Relaxium.com for your 1st free bottle.

    2. The guy's delirious!

      ...think's nothings amiss with Debbie and the Awan family!

      No evidence whatsoever.


  43. What are you doing up so late, Quirk ?

    It's unlike you.

    Here, perhaps you will find something in these articles and video to help you :

    VIDEO: Democrat Muslim IT Spy Ring Sent Sensitive Intel to the MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
    Rep Steve King: Democrat Muslim IT spy ring is “an enormous act of treason, a lot of people complicit” had access to “all the communication of the Foreign Affairs Committee”
    Wasserman Schultz’s IT Muslim Spy Arrested By FBI Enroute to Pakistan After 300K Wire
    Wasserman Schultz’s Muslim IT SPY Arrested Fleeing the Country After Smashed Hard Drives Seized
    FBI Seized Smashed Hard Drives From Debbie Wasserman Schultz IT Aide’s Home
    Democrat Muslim IT Spy Scandal Spreads to Pelosi and Clinton
    U.S. Attorney Overseeing Imran Awan’s Investigation Is Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Brother
    White House Calls for ‘Thorough Investigation’ of Imran Awan, the Dems’ Muslim IT Spy Ring
    House Dem IT Suspects Wanted Untraceable Payments — and Sure Enough, Millions Disappeared
    House IT Aides Fear Suspects in Data Breach are Blackmailing Members
    House Conservatives Demand Investigation of MUSLIM SPY RING Who Stole Classified Info from Democratic Members on House Intel, Foreign Affairs Committee Servers/Networks
    Wasserman Schultz seemingly planned to pay Muslim IT suspect even while he lived in Pakistan.

    Just go here:


    Click on the article(s) of your choice.

    1. At least he can spell "whine" and is motivated to do it.


      Deuce will be amused to hear that no evidence of anything unusual has yet been found!


  44. How about extortion and wire tapping, Quirk ?

    Wasserman Schultz seemingly planned to pay Muslim IT suspect even while he lived in Pakistan


    “Imran Awan did admit to me that my phone is tapped and there are devices installed in my house” and “Imran Awan threatened that he is very powerful and if I ever call the police again, [he] will … kidnap my family members back in Pakistan,” his stepmother, Samina Gilani, claimed.

    This man “could read all emails sent and received” by Wasserman Schultz “and see all files on the staff members’ computers.”

    This is an immense scandal with multiple implications, and cries out for a full and thorough investigation. But there will almost certainly not be one: too many powerful people involved, with too much at stake. And that in itself demonstrates again why a full investigation is needed.

    “Wasserman Schultz Seemingly Planned To Pay Suspect Even While He Lived In Pakistan,” by Luke Rosiak, Daily Caller, July 29, 2017:

    Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz seemingly planned to pay cyber-probe suspect and IT aide Imran Awan even while he was living in Pakistan, if the FBI hadn’t stopped him from leaving the U.S. Monday. Public statements and congressional payroll records suggest she also appears to have known that his wife, a fellow IT staffer, left the country for good months ago — while she was also a criminal suspect.

    In all, six months of actions reveal a decision to continue paying a man who seemingly could not have been providing services to her, and who a mountain of evidence suggests was a liability. The man long had access to all of Wasserman Schultz’s computer files, work emails and personal emails, and he was recently accused by a relative in court documents of wiretapping and extortion.

    Records also raise questions about whether the Florida Democrat permitted Awan to continue to access computers after House-wide authorities banned him from the network Feb. 2. Not only did she keep him on staff after the ban, but she also did not have any other IT person to perform necessary work that presumably would have arisen during a months-long period, according to payroll records.

    Wasserman Schultz employed Pakistani-born Awan and his wife Hina Alvi, and refused to fire either of them even after U.S. Capitol Police said in February 2017 that they were targets of the criminal investigation. She said police wouldn’t show her evidence against the couple and, without it, she assumed they might be victims of anti-Muslim profiling.

    Awan booked a round-trip ticket to Pakistan in July and planned to depart Monday, July 24 with a return ticket in six months. He was arrested at Dulles Airport during his attempt to leave….

    1. The office’s insistence that his termination was prompted by the Monday arrest — and not the House Sergeant at Arms banning him and his wife from touching congressional computers or his six months in Pakistan — suggests that had he boarded the flight without incident he would still be on payroll.

      “Does that mean if he had boarded the flight as planned the office would have been paying him for six months while he was abroad?” TheDCNF investigative group asked Wasserman Schultz’s spokesman Thursday. “Why would it do that?” The spokesman did not respond.

      Awan’s wife, Hina, left the country under similar circumstances March 5, after withdrawing the couple’s three kids from school without telling Virginia education officials, packing up all of her possessions, and hiding $12,000 in cash, according to an FBI affidavit. She allegedly had hundreds of thousands of dollars waiting in Pakistan for her — money the FBI says Awan had obtained partly through mortgage fraud and had wired overseas using a false explanation.

      Two days later, on March 7, House records show Hina was cut from Wasserman Schultz’s payroll.

      Though Hina bought a round trip ticket with a return in six months, the FBI said it “does not believe that Alvi has any intention to return to the United States.”…

      Hina and Awan were both IT aides whose jobs required access to the network, but the House Sergeant-At-Arms banned them from accessing it beginning Feb. 2. Awan and Hina were her only IT staffers, and payroll records through the latest available period, March 31, indicate that no other IT staffer or vendor was added to the payroll after their ban.

      A House source said Awan was seen in the House office building multiple times after the network ban. “Imran Awan is working in an “advisory” role for Wasserman Schultz, her spokesman said, “providing advice on technology issues.”

      The spokesman wouldn’t say who did the office’s computer work after the ban, if not Awan.

      As IT administrators, the suspects could read all emails sent and received by the lawmaker and see all files on the staff members’ computers, numerous House IT aides said. WikiLeaks shows that Awan also had the password to Wasserman Schultz’s iPad.

      In public court documents filed in Fairfax, Va., Awan’s stepmother accused him of wiretapping and extortion. “Imran Awan did admit to me that my phone is tapped and there are devices installed in my house” and “Imran Awan threatened that he is very powerful and if I ever call the police again, [he] will … kidnap my family members back in Pakistan,” his stepmother, Samina Gilani, claimed in the documents (p. 21) filed April 14….


    2. "they might be victims of anti-Muslim profiling"

      In QuirkWorld, that means they WERE victims of anti-Muslim profiling.

      Case closed.


    3. And easily decided ...

      Against the case made by Doug and his butt buddy, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson

  45. This page is filled with pleasantries:

    (Multiple links to sordid tales one might choose not to follow.)


  46. Sordid Cartoon

    Debbie Does Pakistan


    1. Maybe Quirk's got a thang for Debbie ?

  47. "Wasserman Schultz seemingly planned to pay Muslim IT suspect even while he lived in Pakistan"

    "seemingly planned to pay" ??

    LOL - you guys are a hoot!

    1. Hey Doug! How's Hillary's Parkinson's progressing?


    2. .

      It's the language Spencer, and Geller, and Rick Moran and the rest of these guys use all the time. Trump does the same thing. They don't come right out and accuse someone one of a crime. They suggest and insinuate. They live off words like seemingly, maybe, it's possible. It's language perfectly suited to the levels of credulity and intellect (if one can use that word) of the illiterati that read their columns.

      And when one suggests patience or says wait until further info is released by law enforcement or charges are made or indictments rendered, you get moronic drivel like this...

      BobMon Jul 31, 06:05:00 AM EDT
      Maybe Quirk's got a thang for Debbie ?

      Even if meant as humor, it is simply another nitwiticism that shows the vacuity of the hick who utters it. But what can you expect from the same man who daily unabashedly displays his ignorance and bigotry on these pages.

      In the words of the 'the greatest president in our history', sad, so sad.


    3. Consider the source, Q

      Bob Thu May 27, 12:52:00 AM EDT

      But I did rip off the bank for $7500 hundred dollars, when I was on my knees, and fighting for my economic life, on my aunt's credit card. But that wasn't really stealing, just payback.

      Our little "Draft Dodger" and bank fraudster refuses to take personal responsibility, just like President Trump, the President our "Draft Dodger" has referred to as a fool.

      Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, the very personification of so, so sad.


  48. Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio was found guilty on Monday of criminal contempt.

    Arpaio, 85, was charged with misdemeanor contempt of court, declaring that he willfully defied a judge's order in 2011 to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants, Fox 10 Phoenix reported.

    He is expected to be sentenced on Oct. 5 and faces up to six months in jail if convicted.

    Arpaio's lawyers argued that the former sheriff did not intend to break the law. Last week, Arpaio said he felt "optimistic" about his case.

    Arpaio's tactics over 24 years in office drew fierce opponents as well as enthusiastic supporters nationwide who championed what they considered a tough-on-crime approach, including forcing inmates to wear pink underwear and housing them in tents outside in the desert heat.

    He was voted out of office in November 2016.

  49. The circus continues - Scaramucci is toast.

    heh. Deuce's man show's his savvy yet again.