“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

THE ELEPHANT BAR IS CLOSED

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, January 14, 2018

The Next Chapter on widespread abuse of FISA by Obama, FBI, DOJ and the MEDIA

Glenn Simpson retracts claim FBI had a mole inside Trump team

 - The Washington Times

Glenn Simpson, the Fusion GPS founder who sponsored the unverified anti-Trump dossier, claimed in August and again Jan. 2 that the FBI has a source inside the Trump camp who lent credence to the document.

When a transcript of his secret August testimony was released on Tuesday, news headlines immediately latched onto the disclosure as a boon to a dossier whose core charges of Donald Trump-Russia collusion have been denied and not confirmed publicly.

Then suddenly, as quick as the headlines went up, some one close to Fusion was waving off reporters. Mr. Simpson had “mischaracterized” the source. It was not some one on the Trump inside, but apparently an Australian diplomat.

He was featured in a Dec. 30 New York Times story as the source who tipped off the FBI. Campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos told him over drinks that a Russian-linked professor knew of “thousands” of Hillary Clinton emails in the hands of Moscow.

How Mr. Simpson knew of the diplomat last August was unclear. He would have known of him in January when he wrote an op-ed in the New York Times in which he again told of an insider source.

“As we told the Senate Judiciary Committee in August, our sources said the dossier was taken so seriously because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump camp,” he wrote.
Moments after Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, unilaterally released the transcript, the inside-source story spread, especially in London. The city is home base of Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who wrote the dossier.
In his testimony, Mr. Simpson told of Mr. Steele’s meeting with FBI agents in Rome in September 2016. Mr. Steele told Mother Jones magazine he was trying to jump-start an investigation into President Trump.

Mr. Simpson testified, “Essentially what he told me was they had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source and that — that they — my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point — that they believed Chris’s information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization.”

“It was someone like us who decided to pick up the phone and report something,” added Mr. Simpson, who said this person was not a Steele source, but an FBI one.
Hours after the transcript’s release, the corrections started.
“A source close to Fusion GPS tells me there was no walk-in source––that was a mischaracterization by Simpson of the Australian diplomat tip about Papadopoulis [sic],” tweeted NBC reporter Ken Dilanian.Whether the source the FBI supposedly told Mr. Steele about could be Mr. Papadopoulos is doubtful. He has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about issues surrounding his contacts with the professor. The criminal complain says the FBI did not interview him until January 2017, three months after Mr. Steele met with the agents in Rome.The story corrections correction caught the eye of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, Iowa Republican, who on Thursday sent off a letter to Fusion attorney Joshua Levy. Mr. Grassley demanded to know why Mr. Levy did not correct the record after spending hours reviewing the transcript in October and November or contact the committee last Tuesday.” If it is true that your client’s statement to the Committee was a mischaracterization, why did you not attempt to correct your client’s statement as soon as you and/or he realized it was not accurate?” the senator wrote. Mr. Levy did not return a message seeking comment.
Mr. Simpson at first requested a private interview with committee staff instead of an opening hearing. Later, he demanded the panel release the transcript, which Mrs. Feinstein did.

The dossier was financed by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The money went from them to a D.C. law firm to Fusion to Mr. Steele.



99 comments:

  1. The Obama regime will go down as the most corrupt in US history. I wonder how Kenya stands in the "shithole" scale?

    Violent crime, such as armed carjacking, mugging, home invasion, and kidnapping, can occur at any time. Local police are willing but often lack the capability to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents and terrorist attacks. Emergency medical and fire services are also limited.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kenya Corruption Report

    Kenya's competitiveness is held back by high corruption levels that penetrate every sector of the economy. A weak judicial system and frequent demands for bribes by public officials lead to increased business costs for foreign investors.

    Widespread tax evasion hinders Kenya's long-term economic growth, and fraud in public procurement is rampant. Corruption, active and passive bribery, abuse of office and bribing a foreign public official are criminalized under the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act 2003, in addition to the Bribery Act of 2016 which strengthens the fight against the supply-side of corruption. Facilitation payments are criminalized and there are rules for what types of gifts public officials are allowed to accept. Adequate enforcement of Kenya's anti-corruption framework is an issue as a result of weak and corrupt public institutions.

    Last updated: June 2017

    ReplyDelete
  3. ALL THE PIECES FIT

    OBAMA QUOTES ALINSKY IN SPEECH TO YOUNG ISRAELIS

    JERUSALEM – In his address in Jerusalem today, President Obama channeled Saul Alinsky, citing the radical community organizer’s defining mantra as he urged young Israelis to “create change” to nudge their leadership to act.

    Obama told a crowd of college students at Jerusalem’s main convention center that Israel “has the wisdom to see the world as it is, but also the courage to see the world as it should be.”

    One of Alinsky’s major themes was working with the world as it “is” to turn it into the world as “it should be.”

    In his defining work, “Rules for Radicals,” which he dedicated to “the first rebel,” Lucifer, Alinsky used those words to lay out his main agenda. He asserted radical change must be brought about by working within a system instead of attacking it from the outside.

    “It is necessary to begin where the world is if we are going to change it to what we think it should be. That means working in the system,” wrote Alinsky.

    Obama related his Alinsky quote to a suggestion that “peace” begins with the people and not just the leadership – a statement some may relate to community organizing.

    He further suggested Israelis do an end-run around the country’s leadership and “create the change that you want to see.”

    The president said: “That is where peace begins – not just in the plans of leaders, but in the hearts of people; not just in a carefully designed process, but in the daily connections that take place among those who live together in this land, and in this sacred city of Jerusalem.”

    He continued: “Speaking as a politician, I can promise you this: Political leaders will not take risks if the people do not demand that they do. You must create the change that you want to see.”

    It’s not the first time Obama used the Alinsky phraseology of the world as it “is” versus how it “should be.”|

    In a May 2011 speech, Obama stated: “There must be no doubt that the United States of America welcomes change that advances self-determination and opportunity. Yes, there will be perils that accompany this moment of promise. But after decades of accepting the world as it is in the region, we have a chance to pursue the world as it should be.”

    In an April 2009 talk to a London girl’s school, first lady Michelle Obama recalled that on her first date with Barack Obama, he took her to a “community meeting” and taught her about the world “as it is” and “as it should be.”

    ReplyDelete
  4. Obama was behind this. As I speculated before the last few weeks of the election, Obama became frantic and frenetic in his desperate campaigning for Clinton.

    Obama never expected Trump to win, but still hedged his bets to get Clinton elected. He obviously had something in mind for hist post presidential career and Clinton was supportive.

    Just wait.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The rules didn't apply to Obama. His was a higher calling. Obama's American Roots edition were shallow to non existent. For Obama, being trumped by Trump must be killing him.

    Awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  6. There is no compromise possible with the left.

    Igor Gouzenko had it right when he said the only thing a communist understood was a cocked gun against his forehead. There is no compromise possible with the left. You compromise, you lose.

    ReplyDelete

  7. Oh. ... Such fire and fury about FISA

    Which Mr Trump just renewed.

    WINNING

    We've never had it so good

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr Trump showing his true colors, once again.

      The neo-liberal from Manhattan expanding US military adventures across the globe, while busting the Federal budget.

      Delete
    2. Growing the "Surveillance State" while railing against it on Twitter


      The hypocrisy is palatable

      Delete
  8. Here's an idea: Fake storm drains leading straight down into rubber rooms in the insane asylum.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I had to endure this as a kid when they told us the Ruskies were gonna nuke my tiny town 'cause of the oilfields.

    Never bought it for a minute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So you do not consider the Rocket Man to be a real threat?

      We know MAD worked against Stalin and his political progeny, Mao's too.

      Do you think his own Assured Destruction is on Rocket Man's mind when he contemplates a first strike against Pearl Harbor?

      Delete
    2. Yeah, he's a young stud with a bright future.

      Delete
  10. We have two threads going simultaneously.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I moved the previous thread up, we can return to this later.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Speaking of Shitholes, have you been to Leytonstone lately?

    London’s first Muslim mayor has been under increasing pressure in recent months as his city has been rocked by terrorist attacks and a wave of violent crime, and he has increasingly retreated into pronouncements on international affairs which fall far outside his remit.

    Despite claims by Khan in March 2017 that London is “the safest global city in the world, and one of the safest cities in the world,” the latest crime statistics show youth homicides are up by an astonishing 70 per cent.

    Total homicides are up by 27.1 per cent, serious youth violence 19 per cent, robbery 33.4 per cent, and burglaries 18.7 per cent, among a host of other double-digit rises.

    Figures like these are thanks in no small part to Khan diverting resources into controversial projects such as his online hate crime hub, and his determination to “do everything in my power to cut stop and search” by police — which he considered problematic due to its supposedly disproportionate use against ethnic minorities.

    He is now changing course on stop and search and seeking to increase its use “significantly”, following a surge in knife crime and London being crowned the world’s acid attack capital.

    The mayor also recently admitted that around 200 former Islamic State fighters are at large in London, and that most are not being monitored.

    Months of headlines such as these culminated in Breitbart London editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam calling out the mayor for his long record of failures in an interview with Sky News which has gone viral, blasting: “To borrow a phrase from Donald Trump, London’s turning into a shithole under Sadiq Khan.”

    ReplyDelete
  13. I called that shot:

    Hawaii’s botched missile alert Saturday gave a former Obama administration official an opportunity to tee off on President Donald Trump -- even though the false alarm was a state-level gaffe.

    “Thank God the President was playing golf,” Patrick Granfield, an ex-strategic communications director at the Pentagon who now lectures at Georgetown University, tweeted just hours after Hawaii's false alarm.

    ReplyDelete
  14. OhMy!
    Canada’s minister of immigration, Ahmed Hussen, himself a former refugee who moved to the country from Somalia when he was 16, said Canada was proud to be a welcoming country but could not welcome everyone. Only about 8 percent of Haitian migrants had received asylum here since the summer, he said, while there is a backlog of about 40,700 cases, according to Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board.

    “We don’t want people to illegally enter our border, and doing so is not a free ticket to Canada,” Mr. Hussen said in an interview. “We are saying, ‘You will be apprehended, screened, detained, fingerprinted, and if you can’t establish a genuine claim, you will be denied refugee protection and removed.’ ”

    ReplyDelete
  15. An 11-count indictment has been handed down from a grand jury investigating possible Russian bribery involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Uranium One deal negotiated when she was part of the Obama administration, a report says.

    The indictment was levied against Maryland resident Mark Lambert, a former co-president of a nuclear transportation company involved in Hillary Clinton’s deal to sell U.S. uranium interests to a Russian company. A Department of Justice statement says that the 54-year-old Lambert was charged with “one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud and one count of international promotion money laundering.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surely, this will be all over the NY Times and CNN

      Delete
    2. Strangely, missing. Whodathunkit?

      Delete
    3. Where oh where is the evidence that it is
      "Hillary Clinton's Uranium One Deal"

      When did Ms Clinton gain title to this "Deal"?
      When did the Stat Department become the primary department required?

      All this time I thought the State Dept. was just one of many Federal Agencies needed for the Uranium One Deal to be finalized.

      It is interesting that the Russians have been infiltrating US politics for years and years.

      Making their penetration of the Trump Campaign all the more likely.
      I mean Don Jr did "Love" the concept of conspiring with the Russian government.


      Donald Senior did instruct the Russians as to when distribution was needed.
      From the podium at a campaign rally, no less.

      Video of that is readily available.

      Delete

    4. Donald Senior did instruct the Russians as to when distribution
      of the stolen emails was needed.

      Delete
  16. Department of Justice
    Office of Public Affairs
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Friday, January 12, 2018


    Former President of Maryland-Based Transportation Company Indicted on 11 Counts Related to Foreign Bribery, Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme

    Executive Allegedly Paid Bribes to a Russian Official So His Company Could Win Highly Sensitive Nuclear Fuel Transportation Contracts

    An indictment against a former co-president of a Maryland-based transportation company that provides services for the transportation of nuclear materials to customers in the United States and abroad, was unsealed today for his alleged role in a scheme that involved the bribery of an official at a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation.

    Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen M. Schenning of the District of Maryland, Principal Deputy Inspector General April G. Stephenson of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General (DOE-OIG) and Assistant Director in Charge Andew W. Vale of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. Field Office made the announcement.

    Mark Lambert, 54, of Mount Airy, Maryland, was charged in an 11-count indictment with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud and one count of international promotion money laundering. The charges stem from an alleged scheme to bribe Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official at JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation and the sole supplier and exporter of Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, in order to secure contracts with TENEX.

    The case against Lambert is assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Theodore D. Chuang of the District of Maryland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. he case is being investigated by DOE-OIG and the FBI. Assistant Chiefs Ephraim Wernick and Christopher J. Cestaro and Trial Attorney Derek J. Ettinger of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorneys David I. Salem and Michael T. Packard of the District of Maryland, are prosecuting the case.

      The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs has provided significant assistance in this matter. The Department also thanks its law enforcement colleagues in Switzerland, Latvia and Cyprus for providing valuable assistance with the investigation and prosecution of the case.

      The Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all FCPA matters. Additional information about the Justice Department’s FCPA enforcement efforts can be found here

      Delete
  17. Wait till this guy starts singing.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What is immediately needed as Judge Jeanine Pirro points out is a copy or better yet the original FISA application to the court.

    Sessions or Wray ought to be doing this or even the court but nothing ever seems to happen with it.

    She is very pissed and frustrated.

    The application to the court would show to what extent Obozo and Hillary were relying on the phony Steele Dossier to spy on an American citizen, in this case Donald Trump and his campaign.

    Lots of people should be in handcuffs over this and we can all make our own lists, then share and compare.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Presenting phony evidence via a phony dossier to a court is, as has been well said somewhere, A BIG BIG DEAL.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Sounds like something Quirk might say, familiar as he is with Jurisprudence, though not with Lady Prudence herself.

      Delete
  19. BREAKING.....DRUDGE

    PORN STARS DENIES SHE WAS EVER OFFERED OR ACCEPTED $130,000 TO KEEP HER SWEET LIPS SEALED REGARDS,DING ANYTHING CONCERNING THE DONALD

    ReplyDelete
  20. CONFUSING DOSSIER CHAFF WITH WHEAT

    Clarence Feldem

    SEE: American Thinker

    "Steele was a Socialist, the perfect counterpart to John Brennan, who went into intelligence work after being a member of the USA Communist Party"

    Very good, must read.

    ReplyDelete
  21. CONFUSING DOSSIER CHAFF WITH WHEAT

    Clarence Feldem

    SEE: American Thinker

    "Steele was a Socialist, the perfect counterpart to John Brennan, who went into intelligence work after being a member of the USA Communist Party"

    Very good, must read.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Replies
    1. The Inspector General's report is due out in a couple days.

      Stay tuned.

      Delete
  23. Are the last honest Democrats extinct?

    ...Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, slammed President Trump on Saturday for “taking too long” to quell escalating tensions with North Korea, minutes after a false ballistic missile warning was sent to residents of her home state.

    Gabbard said her constituents “live with the reality of this message popping up on their phones” at any moment because of the rising conflict between the U.S. and Pyongyang.

    “Donald Trump is taking too long,” she told CNN. “He's not taking this threat seriously. There's no time to waste.”

    Gabbard, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, added that is an urgent need for easily accessible nuclear shelters.

    ReplyDelete
  24. “Donald Trump is taking too long,” she told CNN. “He's not taking this threat seriously. There's no time to waste.”

    Congressional Democrats have introduced legislation aimed at preventing Donald Trump from launching a pre-emptive attack on North Korea, as concerns grew about the administration’s failure to explore talks with Pyongyang.

    The “No Unconstitutional Strike against North Korea” bill is the second legislative attempt to curtail’s Trump power to start a war unilaterally. Earlier this year, a bill was introduced to prohibit the president from ordering a nuclear first strike against a foreign adversary without a declaration of war by Congress, amid concerns over Trump’s belligerent language, erratic behaviour and frequent tweeted threats against other countries.

    The new legislation prohibiting an attack on North Korea without congressional authority was launched by Democrats John Conyers in the House and Ed Markey in the Senate. It has two Republicans among the 61 backers in the House, but at present no formal Republican backing in the Senate.

    “As a veteran of the Korean war, I am ashamed that our commander-in-chief is conducting himself in a reckless manner that endangers our troops stationed in South Korea and our regional allies,” Conyers said.

    “President Trump’s provocative and escalatory rhetoric, with threats to unleash ‘fire and fury’ and ‘totally destroy’ North Korea, cannot be allowed to turn into reality,” Senator Markey said. “As long as President Trump has a Twitter account, we must ensure that he cannot start a war or launch a nuclear first strike without the explicit authorization of Congress.”

    The bill’s supporters acknowledge that it will not pass without attracting more Republican support, but they argue that it helps focus attention on the unlimited authority of a US president to order the use of nuclear weapons, many of which can be launched within a few minutes. No official has the power to stop or even delay the launch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, it's the TWITTER ACCOUNT THAT WE MUST FEAR !!!

      That clarifies things.

      Delete
  25. I was listening to the Commie News Network about self driving cars.

    It was said that 1.2 MILLION people die worldwide in auto accidents each year.

    If you have the money take the plane.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Think about this. If you take the numbers of European descendent abortions in the US for the last 40 years, there would be 80 million more, native born US citizens and no rational argument for subsidized immigration from third world countries.

    ReplyDelete
  27. So, they can send out an alert to all cell phones warning of an incoming missile but they can't send out an all clear message. Another demonstration of the brilliance of the American people?

    ReplyDelete
  28. No, an example of the most Democratic State in the US and a state government program ( run by the Democrats) with staffing not run on either merit or competence. More than likely though, very diverse.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Here is a statement on how Hawaii sees itself:

    VULNERABLE POPULATIONS
    Emergencies and disasters pose a challenge for the whole community, but certain populations are particularly vulnerable to their impacts, including children, individuals with disabilities or access and functional needs, the elderly, and people with limited English proficiency.
    Just over 12% of Hawaii’s population is nine years old or younger, and approximately 14% of the population is over the age of 65.1
    Individuals with disabilities and others with functional and access needs must be considered in emergency planning. Approximately 11% of Hawaii’s population has a disability. Over 50% of residents over the age of 75 are disabled.2
    Hawaii’s population is one of the most ethnically diverse in the world, with nearly a quarter of residents reporting they are two or more races. Approximately 25% of residents speak languages other than English at home, more than any other U.S. state, and 16% of the population is foreign born. 3
    The economic vulnerabilities of Hawaii’s residents also have serious implications for the level of assistance that may be required to support the population during response and recovery efforts.
    One (1) in six (6) Hawaii residents live in poverty, one of the highest poverty rates in the nation.4

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      I blame it on the immigrants.

      Kick out the haoles. Clean up the state.

      .

      Delete
    2. The Hawaiians are incredibly racist.

      There were areas in KONA where both black and white invader Americans were told not to go at night for fear of being roughed up by the Natives.

      Delete
  30. Replies
    1. .


      Interested in the making of a new Cold War, read the new Trump Nuclear Policy Review that will be coming out later this month after the State of the Union.


      .

      Delete

  31. After perusing the stream ....

    Funny thing ...

    Deuce now believes that the DoJ and FBI are now free of political influences, that the Mark Lambert indictment was not just another piece of corrupt political theater.

    The Justice Department has been announced to be corrupt and/or incompetent, from top to bottom.
    From AG Jeff Sessions to the lowly FBI agent investigating corruption in high politics.

    How is it that the indictment of Mark Lambert is considered legitimate ...
    ... but the indictment of Paul Manafort is part of a farcical witch hunt?

    The DoJ is illegitimate, cannot be trusted to prosecute a case without perjury.
    I read that here, at the Elephant Bar

    What changed?

    ReplyDelete
  32. "How Donald Trump turned the United States into a headless giant

    By design and by mistake – to cover for his wrongdoing and because of his carelessness and indifference – Donald Trump is sabotaging the institutions and agencies that protect the United States and sustain the peace of the world, David Frum writes


    When doing things he shouldn't, Donald Trump is a hyperactive president. He blurts high secrets to Russian visitors. He fired the FBI director who investigated things Mr. Trump wished to hush up. Mr. Trump spreads disinformation, tweets abuse and hurls paper towels at Puerto Ricans like a dog owner dispensing treats. From the actual work of the American presidency, however, Mr. Trump's disengagement is extreme.

    Mr. Trump is not merely shirking work, although he is. He is wrecking the systems that enable presidents to work effectively. The United States government agglomerates giant bureaucracies, each with its distinct mission and culture, often riven by generations of mistrust. (Ancient joke: Briefing the Chief of Naval Operations, a junior officer refers to the Soviets as "the enemy." The CNO halts him. "The Soviets are our adversary. The Air Force is the enemy.")

    To yoke these agencies to a common purpose, a complex group of co-ordinating agencies has been stacked atop them inside the Executive Office of the President. These agencies have been at best neglected – at worst sabotaged – by the Trump presidency.

    Let's start with America's most lethal domestic challenge: the fight against drug addiction. A terrible epidemic of overdoses killed some 63,600 people in 2016, up from an already horrifying 52,000 in 2015. The casualties for 2017 will prove higher still, according to preliminary government reports.

    A dozen federal agencies share the job of responding to this crisis, supporting the governments of 50 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Some agencies interdict drugs from abroad. Some regulate drugs manufactured at home. Some prosecute drug dealers. Some rehabilitate drug addicts. Some educate at-risk populations. Bringing order to this vast undertaking is the mission of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) within the White House.

    Although Mr. Trump campaigned hard on the opioid crisis, he did not get around even to nominating a director of the ONDCP until September. He then picked about as bad a choice as could be imagined: Tom Marino, a member of Congress who had led the fight to make it harder to police imports of suspicious pharmaceuticals, receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures from the industry along the way.

    What qualified Mr. Trump's choice for the job? He was the fifth member of Congress to endorse Mr. Trump during the 2016 campaign – and the first from the must-win state of Pennsylvania.

    The nomination quickly unravelled under withering criticism. Today, nearly a year into the Trump administration, the director's job at ONDCP remains vacant.

    Versions of that story can be told for almost every function of government in the Donald Trump years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The most important domestic-side function in the White House is the Office of Management and Budget. Mr. Trump appointed a hyperideological director, Mick Mulvaney. As a leading figure in the House Republican "freedom caucus," back in 2011 Mr. Mulvaney declared his willingness to force a default on U.S. government obligations in order to win a budget battle. That's already strange preparation for a budget chief.

      But even stranger is that Mr. Mulvaney has declined to regard his staggeringly demanding role as a full-time job. Alongside the OMB directorship, Mr. Mulvaney has also accepted an appointment as acting director of a powerful regulatory agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (His task there is to roll back protections extended during the presidency of Barack Obama.)

      Maybe because Mr. Mulvaney is so distracted, the budget process – always a mess – has degenerated into near chaos in the Trump years. His administration still has not passed a budget for the fiscal year that commenced three months ago. Instead, the government has been funded by stopgap "continuing resolutions," premised on trillion-dollar deficits indefinitely – deficits, in times of comparative peace and prosperity, bigger than those the George W. Bush administration ran during the Iraq war or that the Obama administration ran during the worst economic crisis since the 1930s.

      Mr. Trump campaigned on "getting tough" on trade. He commenced his administration by withdrawing from negotiations for a new Trans-Pacific trade treaty. He has threatened to withdraw from the North American and U.S.-South Korean trade treaties, too, unless he gets better terms.

      Trade is shared across almost as many agencies as the drug-abuse portfolio. Treasury has a voice, for example, as does State. The co-ordinating agency here is the U.S. Trade Representative. This job Mr. Trump did fill (although there is still no head of either USTR's technology or agriculture office). Having named a reasonably plausible – although protectionist-inclined – trade lawyer as the trade representative, Mr. Trump then handicapped him by creating a second co-ordinating body, a "National Trade Council," and appointing as its head a protectionist polemicist with meagre professional qualifications: Peter Navarro. Mr. Navarro so alarmed the U.S. business community that in September, his office was joined to that of White House economic adviser Gary Cohn – effectively putting three people in charge of the trade portfolio, a practice even more destructive to policy-making than failing to name one.

      The results have been deeply threatening to world prosperity. Mr. Trump is hacking away at existing trade arrangements without even beginning to put anything in their place. Worse, the United States has been completely absent from the most important trade negotiation anywhere on Earth: the talks between Britain and the European Union on post-Brexit treaties.





      Delete
    2. The Trump administration is contemplating war in the Korean peninsula: a 30-per-cent likelihood, according to South Carolina senator and born-again Trump ally Lindsay Graham. At the same time, it has repeatedly threatened a trade war against South Korea, the most important military partner against North Korea.

      The most globally consequential of the Trump wrecking projects has been his sabotage of the National Security Council. The NSC has grown into a substantial bureaucracy in its own right. At its core is a "principals committee": a regular meeting of the most important people in the U.S. government. Amazingly, Mr. Trump's first appointments to the principals' committee excluded the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence. Mr. Trump instead included his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Steve Bannon, the white-nationalist blogger who had served as one of Mr. Trump's campaign chairmen. (Among the other chairs and managers were Paul Manafort, now in legal jeopardy for failing to disclose his work as a paid agent of the Russian government; and Corey Lewandowski, who lost his job after he was arrested for battery of a female reporter.)

      Over the course of the year, Mr. Trump's NSC has become less bizarro. Mr. Bannon was removed from the principals committee, then from the White House – and has now spectacularly split with the President altogether. Trump's first national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, was forced to step down after 24 days, and has now pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Mr. Trump's first deputy national-security adviser – former Fox News talking head K.T. McFarland – who had last worked in government as a speechwriter and communications aide back in the 1980s – was demoted. More appropriate people have replaced them. The intelligence and military chiefs were added back onto the principals committee. Many of the weirdos and security risks who previously prowled the NSC corridors were removed, or at least lost security clearances.

      Yet even now, the system does not work. Every week, the United States' allies must make sense of some jarring new outburst. What security can South Korean and Japanese allies feel when Mr. Trump boasts of the size and strength of his "nuclear button" – indifferent to the fact that those two countries are already within range of a North Korean attack?

      Is the Iran deal still in place or not? Will the United States negotiate with North Korea without preconditions? On even these basic questions, there is no clear Trump administration policy (although the President has now clarified – or at least claimed – that his "nuclear button" is larger and more powerful than that of Kim Jong-un). The National Security Strategy released in December described Russia as a revisionist competitor to the United States; Mr. Trump, in his speech releasing the strategy, praised Russia as a partner.

      Nobody is able to impose order. Crucial jobs remain empty even now. There is no ambassador to Germany: The President's nominee, Richard Grenell, a famously vituperative blogger and television personality, is stalled in the Senate, likely because the Germans have communicated that he would be unwelcome in Berlin. For nearly a year, there was no ambassador to Spain, a country that could have used the help of its friends to soothe the national-unity crisis in Catalonia. Past ambassadors to the European Union have included such luminaries as Stuart Eizenstat (formerly President Carter's top domestic-policy adviser) and C. Boyden Gray (an eminent lawyer and close friend of George H.W. Bush). The post is currently vacant, because Mr. Trump's first choice was exposed as a serial fraudster, and the President hasn't gotten around to selecting another.

      Delete
    3. Where the Trump presidency inherited a policy from its predecessors, it has sometimes been able to continue that policy to successful outcomes. Combat operations against Islamic State-held cities in Iraq started under Mr. Obama and have nearly reached their completion under Mr. Trump.


      Delete


    4. But when it comes time to do something new, the administration is baffled. The capture of Islamic State territory has not put an end to the IS threat. The Islamic State will dematerialize into a terrorist network, recruiting online and striking inside other countries – as an IS-inspired Bangladeshi immigrant struck Times Square in New York last month. What then? Who's planning postconflict operations in Iraq and reconstruction in Syria? Who knows? If it cannot be done by the U.S. Department of Defence operating alone and unco-ordinated with other agencies or other countries, it probably will not be done at all.

      Mr. Trump subverts executive-branch institutions in order to aggrandize his own power. Maybe the most ominous of his attacks on these co-ordinating mechanisms is his drive to convert the Department of Justice and FBI into his own personal police force.

      Historically, the president oversees law enforcement, but he does not control it. He sets priorities: more or less attention to this or that area of federal jurisdiction. He does not direct the FBI to target or exempt this or that individual. If the president thinks a person has been treated unfairly, he has the pardon power – but of course, a pardon is a public act. What the president is never supposed to do is whisper quietly to the FBI, "This person is a friend of mine, please go easy on him; this person is an enemy, please arrest him."

      To protect the integrity of the law, the United States has evolved an elaborate system of rules and restrictions governing the relationship between the president, prosecutors and police. All communications between White House staff and the FBI are supposed to be routed through the White House counsel's office, and the White House counsel is usually a lawyer of high reputation.

      Mr. Trump, by contrast, chose as his White House counsel a combative partisan – who happened to be the nephew of the top lawyer for Mr. Trump's Atlantic City casino operations back in the 1980s. Mr. Trump's short-tenure communication director Anthony Scaramucci actually tried to order FBI investigations on his own authority. And Mr. Trump himself fired FBI director James Comey when Mr. Comey refused an order to shut down the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

      Delete
    5. The last time a president fired an FBI director, back in 1993, it happened as a result of credible allegations of abuse of expense accounts – and after lengthy consultations with Congress. The claim that a president can fire a director who refuses to obey an order to stop an investigation is a shocking departure from a century of federal practice. Yet, suddenly, that very claim is being asserted by this White House, by Trump allies in Congress, and by pro-Trump talkers on TV. The whole system of fencing law enforcement from politics is under attack, and not by Mr. Trump alone.

      And as law enforcement has resisted Mr. Trump's politicization, the President has turned against the law enforcers. He has vilified the FBI in his speeches; his partisans have defamed special counsel Robert Mueller and his staff; and his own Department of Justice has leaked the personal communications of FBI agents who texted negative comments about Mr. Trump. (One of those agents called Mr. Trump "a loathsome human being … an idiot": a harsh opinion, but one apparently shared by the President's own Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, who reportedly called Mr. Trump a "moron" after a Pentagon meeting on July 20, and by Mr. Trump's national-security adviser, H.R. McMaster, who reportedly called him a "dope" and an "idiot" at a private dinner with Oracle senior executives two days earlier. A new book by Michael Wolff quotes other Trump aides – and Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch – all describing the President in similarly contemptuous language.)

      Richard Nixon famously warned, half a century ago, that the United States might dwindle into a "pitiful, helpless giant." Under Mr. Trump, the U.S. government has been decapitated into a staggering, headless giant. By design and by mistake – to cover for his wrongdoing and because of his own vast carelessness and indifference – Mr. Trump is sabotaging the institutions and agencies that protect the United States and sustain the peace of the world. The insider reports from Washington accurately portray a man unworthy of the presidency.

      However petty the man, his legacy for bad is huge and growing – not only for Americans, but for America's friends and partners worldwide."

      https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/david-frum-how-donald-trump-turned-the-united-states-into-a-headless-giant/article37588493/

      Delete

    6. The Neo-liberal from Manhattan is doing what he can to diminish the long term prospects for US economy, for the rush of a "Sugar High" funded by ever increasing debt and accelerated inflation.


      ... premised on trillion-dollar deficits indefinitely – deficits, in times of comparative peace and prosperity, bigger than those the George W. Bush administration ran during the Iraq war or that the Obama administration ran during the worst economic crisis since the 1930s.



      Promises Made - Promises Broken



      Delete
    7. .

      Going down the list of every cabinet and agency head in this administration, I can't think of one whose philosophies are not inimical to the stated purposes of the organization he now represents.

      .

      Delete
    8. I guess that's what they mean when they say "Drain the swamp"

      Delete
    9. .

      Well, maybe I do see a couple as pretty good, Jim Mattis, for instance. Tillerson is still learning the job. He may turn out ok. Sessions is taking criticism from all sides but he is at least showing a little integrity in the job. But Pruitt, Price, Cohn, Mnucin, et al...lordy.

      .

      Delete
    10. Ash you are shitting us with that ISIS narrative.

      Both GENERAL 'RAT' CRAPPER and GENERAL 'DOOFUS' RUFUS feLL for that optimism and both ended up owing me money which neither have ever even thought of paying.

      WHAT TURNED THE TIDE WAS THE DONALD UNLEASHING 'MAD DOG' AND THEN KEEPING HIS NOSE OUT OF IT.

      Delete
    11. RUFUS was so embarrassed of himself he changed his name and then finally left.

      I hope he is well and comes back some day

      Delete
    12. Men that don't pay their blog betting obligations should be shamed out of polite society.

      RUFUS can be partly redeemed because he felt so embarrassed he at least had the dignity to leave.

      I WISH HE WOULD COME BACK.

      QUIRK IS A MAN OF HONOR AND HAS ALWAYS PAID HIS MANY DEBTS TO ME SOONER OR MORE OFTEN LATER BUT
      ALWAYS PAYS ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

      Delete
    13. Bob, you are one who fails to honour their blog bets. I am still awaiting my free trip to Gaza you putz!

      Delete

  33. Doubt that Mr Trump is polling favorably in Utah, when compared to "Real" Republicans.

    Republican Rep. Mia Love deplored President Donald Trump for reportedly criticizing immigrants coming to the United States from what he called "shithole countries."

    "I can't defend the indefensible. You have to understand that there are countries that struggle out there. But their people, their people are good people and they're part of us. We're Americans,"
    Love, who represents Utah and is the first Haitian-American elected to Congress, ...


    ReplyDelete
  34. Quirk:

    "The system needs redundancy that it doesn't seem to have. One guy and a button..."

    Doug:

    Done.

    They now have 2 guys on the button.



    "Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Vern Miyagi confirmed at a news conference Saturday afternoon that the error happened when someone pushed the wrong button. Miyagi said Gov. David Ige directed the agency to "hold off" on future tests of the system until the notification protocol is expanded.

    Miyagi said the agency has put a new two-person rule in place during the drill to ensure a false alarm doesn't happen again. Gov. Ige told reporters that the person who pushed the alarm was unaware an error had been made until he received the alert on his mobile device."

    https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/national-international/Hawaii-No-Missile-Threat-False-Alarm-Emergency-Alert-469144713.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Professionalizing Needed:

      US Senator Brian Schatz tweeted, “There is no missile threat. It was a false alarm based on a human error. There is nothing more important to Hawai‘i than professionalizing and fool-proofing this process.”

      Delete
  35. Poor Mia and the other members of the delicatoraite.

    Shit holes, shit for brains, chicken shit, horse shit, bullshit, shit out of luck, shit on a shingle, up shit's creek, shit storm, holy shit, shit head, shit faced, cut the shit, shitty...(most anything). and all kinds of dip shits.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I don’t want to get any messages saying, “I am holding my position.” We are not holding a Goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy’s balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all of the time. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. George C. Patton

    ReplyDelete
  37. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON’T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, “Well, your Granddaddy shoveled shit in Louisiana.” No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, “Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-Goddamned-Bitch named Georgie Patton!”

    ReplyDelete
  38. Yo Trump... Tell them all to go shovel shit on a pig farm in Louisiana!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .


      Oh, don't worry, he will.

      :o)


      .

      Delete
    2. I kinda like Mia Love.

      One can't blame another for trying to stick up a little for their own shit hole, in my view.

      Besides she is upwardly mobile and puts up with the Mormons.

      Delete
  39. 'Meghan's seed will taint our Royal Family':

    UKIP chief's glamour model lover, 25, is suspended from the party over racist texts about Prince Harry's wife-to-be

    Ukip leader Henry Bolton's girlfriend made racist remarks about Meghan Markle
    Mr Bolton is already mired in scandal after he left his wife for the glamour model
    Jo Marney, 25, said ‘black American’ Meghan will ‘taint’ the British Royal Family

    She also says that she wouldn't have sex with ‘a negro’ because they are ‘ugly’

    Marney was immediately suspended from Ukip when the messages emerged

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5266657/Ukip-leaders-girlfriends-racist-Meghan-Markle-messages.html#ixzz54C4T7ron

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now The Mail on Sunday can reveal shocking messages in which Ms Marney says that Prince Harry’s ‘black American’ fiancee will ‘taint’ the Royal Family with ‘her seed’ and pave the way for a ‘black king’.

      Delete
    2. Meghan don't have no seed.

      It's White Prince 'arry Red Hair that' s got the seeds.

      Any farmer knows that

      Delete
    3. It ain't Prince Charles line, neither.

      Delete
    4. THAT SEALS THE DEAL.

      Breed out the idiocy.

      Delete
  40. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) defended his deputy, Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), on Sunday after critics questioned Durbin’s claim that President Donald Trump had referred to “shithole countries” in a discussion about immigration in the Oval Office on Thursday.
    Sen. David Purdue (R-GA), who was at the meeting, told ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos that Durbin’s account of events was a “gross misrepresentation,” adding that it was “not the first time we’ve had a gross misrepresentation by that individual.”

    Purdue elaborated:

    The gross misrepresentation was that language was used in there that was not used, and also that the tone of that meeting was not contributory and not constructive. In 2013, Senator Durbin also made the same accusation against a Republican leader in a meeting with President Obama, and said that he chewed out the president, and was so disrepsectful to President Obama we couldn’t even have the meeting. That’s what he said in 2013. Later that day, the president’s own press secretary came out and said, and I quote: “It did not happen.” This is about a gross misrepresentation. It’s not the first time.

    Apparently in response, Schumer tweeted: “To impugn @SenatorDurbin’s integrity is disgraceful. Whether you agree with him on the issues or not, he is one of the most honorable members of the Senate.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      The gross misrepresentation was that language was used in there that was not used...


      Translation, please.


      .

      Delete
    2. .

      Sen. David Purdue (R-GA), who was at the meeting, told ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos that Durbin’s account of events was a “gross misrepresentation,” adding that it was “not the first time we’ve had a gross misrepresentation by that individual.”

      A 'gross misrepresentation'?

      What the hell does that mean?

      Not a lie. Not that Durbin was mistaken. But a 'gross misrepresentation'.

      Damn immigrants. Why would they elect someone who can't speak simple English to the U.S. Senate?

      .

      Delete
    3. The action or offence of giving a false or misleading account of the nature of something.

      'she is seeking damages on allegations of misrepresentation'

      noun 'a gross misrepresentation of the situation'

      Delete
    4. .

      They weren't asking him about the 'situation', they were asking him about the word used, was the word shithole used, yes or no.

      The first describes a subjective impression and the second an objective, binary choice.

      .

      Delete
    5. .

      Not that I care except as a critic of poor English usage.

      Shit hole?

      I've used the same words myself especially about all the country's in the ME.

      They are all shit holes.

      However, what I find more interesting is his comment on Norway. It defines his thought process much more than his use of the words 'shit hole'.

      What I find especially interesting is the polls they have taken of Norwegians. One of the questions asked was

      Would you like to emigrate to the USA?

      The overwhelming majority answer was,

      Why would I want to move to that dritt hull?

      .

      Delete
  41. BarMate Alert

    BARMATES !!!!

    The Pillow Guy Is going to be interviewed tonight on:

    COAST TO COAST WITH GEORGE NOORY

    My wife reports he will tell his saga of rags to riches overcoming his addictions and problems....

    I am thinking of buying a couple of MY PILLOWS as it is time to get new ones.

    QUIRK used to work the MY PILLOWS account along with the RED RUBBER CATHETER account.

    This was way after he got back from advertising in Mao's China though.

    You still with My Pillow, Quirk?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      No, I couldn't take the occasional meetings I had to have with the owner, Mike Lindell.

      First, I had to travel to Minnesota, a real shithole.

      Then, Lindell would show in that same damn blue shirt he always wears and ask me...

      "Hey, Quirk, good to see you, but say, you're looking a little tired. What pillow you using these days?"

      "The memory foam, Mike. Remember, I told you the last time you asked."

      "Well, that's you problem, Quirkster. The curve probably doesn't match the curve of your neck. You should try the 'My Pillow'. It will fix you right up. Guaranteed. Besides, how you going to market the 'My Pillow' if you don't use it?"

      "I don't think..."

      "Just tell Tonya on the way out. She'll fix you up with a couple. We take all major cards. Heh, but you know that."

      "I.."

      "Say, I meet with you a little later. Got a problem on the production floor. Mix up on the thread color. Talk to Tonya..."

      The next quarter, I'd be back and the same scene would play out. Crazy how many times they manage to screw up the thread color.

      Finally said, "The hell with it."

      I also gave up the Red Rubber Catheter account. Got tired of trying to explain the real reason why they are called red rubber catheter's.

      .

      Delete
  42. Chelsea Manning, convicted of giving military documents to WikiLeaks, files to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-chelsea-manning-senate-20180113-story.html#nt=oft12aH-1li3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      She's running as Republican and threatening to kick the ass of Democrats Van Hollen and Hardin.


      .

      Delete
  43. Dental Office Cavity

    http://kdvr.com/2018/01/14/car-goes-airborne-slams-into-2nd-floor-of-california-dental-office/

    ReplyDelete
  44. Trump commits mortal sin, calls lady pretty.

    ...also mentions that she is Korean
    .
    SEXIST!
    RACIST!

    http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-pretty-korean-lady-response-2018-1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Another awful story on how Trump cannot see women for more than their looks & only sees minorities as others, not Americans," Democratic Rep. Judy Chu of California said in a tweet. "If true, this story that he called a skilled analyst just a "pretty Korean lady" is latest evidence he is unfit for this office."

      Delete
    2. That's awful.

      At least he didn't call her a NORK HO !!!!

      Delete
    3. That's awful.

      At least he didn't call her a NORK HO !!!!

      Delete
    4. .

      Watch out if she crosses him. All bets are off.

      .

      Delete
  45. Trump causes missile scare.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Hollywood+Goes+Ballistic+on+Trump+Over+Hawaii+Missile+Scare%3A...&rlz=1CAACAO_enUS720US720&oq=Hollywood+Goes+Ballistic+on+Trump+Over+Hawaii+Missile+Scare%3A...&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://is5.mzstatic.com/image/thumb/Purple71/v4/c7/06/4a/c7064a20-dd34-b4f5-6941-65613480beaf/source/1200x630bb.jpg

      Delete
    2. .

      “This Hawaii missle scare is on YOU Mr. Trump. The real FEAR that mothers & fathers & children felt is on YOU. It is on YOUR ARROGANCE. HUBRIS. NARCISSISM. RAGE. EGO. IMMATURITY and your UNSTABLE IDIOCY,” tweeted Jamie Lee Curtis. “Shame on your hate filled self. YOU DID THIS!”

      Whoa, Jamie Lee. Capital letters (admittedly not going full capital letters like some do in Idaho, but still), all the yelling? Calm down, girl, you're going all Sean Hannity on us.


      Man created god as a reflection of himself and created the devil to have someone to blame.

      The Tao of Quirk

      .

      Delete
  46. Mud can move big rocks.

    https://www.noozhawk.com/images/uploads/011318-Montecito-Flooding-Large-Rock-Highway-192-1000x667.jpg

    ReplyDelete