“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Where Are The Republicans?

Judicial Watch: Susan Rice ‘Unmasking’ Documents Moved from NSC to Obama Library

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The National Security Council cannot hand over records relating to former National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s surveillance of Americans, because they have been moved to the Obama presidential library and may be sealed for as many as five years, conservative watchdog Judicial Watch announced Monday.

The NSC informed Judicial Watch in a letter dated May 23 that materials related to Rice’s requests to know the identities of Americans swept up in surveillance of foreign targets, including any Trump campaign or transition officials, have been moved to the library.

The NSC’s Director of Access Management John Powers said in the letter:
Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library. You may send your request to the Obama Library. However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office.
Judicial Watch earlier this year filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for those documents, including of communications between Rice and any intelligence community member or agency regarding any Russian involvement in the 2016 elections, the hacking of Democratic National Committee computers, or any suspected communications between Russia and Trump officials.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the group will seek to find out when the records were moved, and warned of legal actions. He said:
Prosecutors, Congress, and the public will want to know when the National Security Council shipped off the records about potential intelligence abuses by the Susan Rice and others in the Obama White House to the memory hole of the Obama Presidential Library. We are considering our legal options but we hope that the Special Counsel and Congress also consider their options and get these records.
In April, blogger Mike Cernovich, Bloomberg, and Fox News revealed that Rice had requested to “unmask” — or unveil the hidden names of — Trump transition officialswho were caught up in surveillance of foreign targets.

Typically, in surveillance of foreign targets’ communications, U.S. citizens mentioned or participating in them would have their names “masked,” or hidden, due to ethical, legal, and privacy concerns. However, government consumers of the intelligence can request to have their names unmasked if it is important to understanding the communications.

According to Cernovich, The White House Counsel’s office identified Rice as the person who had requested the unmasking, after examining her log requests, Cernovich reported on April 2. Bloomberg and Fox News would later corroborate the report. The revelation lent credence to Trump’s assertion that the Obama administration had been surveilling his transition team.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board has argued Rice had no reason to request the unmaskings. Since then, the House intelligence committee has also subpoenaed the intelligence community for information on unmasking requests by Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power.

The misuse of unmasking came under media scrutiny after U.S. officials illegally leaked to the Washington Post a private conversation between former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak on December 24. Flynn resigned after those communications, not because anything inappropriate was found, but because he had misrepresented those communications to Vice President Mike Pence.


  1. June 20, 2017
    Susan Rice skates again
    By Monica Showalter

    It's pretty astonishing what President Obama's Deep State Dead-Enders will do to protect their self-claimed "right" to break the law with impunity.

    From Breitbart News:

    The National Security Council cannot hand over records relating to former National Security Adviser Susan Rice's surveillance of Americans, because they have been moved to the Obama presidential library and may be sealed for as may as five years, conservative watchdog Judicial Watch announced Monday.

    The NSC informed Judicial Watch in a letter dated May 23 that materials related to Rice's requests to know the identities of Americans swept up in surveillance of foreign targets, including any Trump campaign or transition officials, have been moved to the library.

    That's certainly convenient for Rice, whose role in illegally "unmasking" Americans caught up in spy surveillance dragnets and then leaking what she learned for partisan political purposes is explicitly forbidden by law. Well, with this sudden move of all the evidence of her crime to the Obama library, it looks as if she skates again.

    The Deep State knows how to protect itself.

    It's appalling, because these laws were put on the books precisely to prevent the sort of scenarios we have seen in the last six months: angry political partisans, embittered about the 2016 election, attempting to use U.S. intelligence resources to get back at their political enemies. Susan Rice and her tag-teamer in Benghazi talking points, former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes (who never got a security clearance), and other denizens of the National Security Council have all apparently been involved in the illegally ordered unmasking of U.S. citizens caught up in the intelligence dragnets of mass surveillance. Rice has been caught red-handed demanding to know the names of these Americans, something the law provides explicit protections for, with the unmasking of former national security adviser Mike Flynn, who spoke with the Russian ambassador, followed by a flood of news leaks from Rhodes's little buddies in what he called his "echo chamber" media.

    It's an abuse of power and a miscarriage of justice if there ever was one.

    In their by-any-means-necessary minds, U.S. spy resources were their resources, not the state's, to use as they pleased. And since they feel they have a right to rule, any abuse of power is acceptable, provided it supports their leftist president's political fortunes and his now rejected values.

    Will Rice ever be sanctioned or scrutinized now? Not with a five-year wait on the black hole of Obama administration presidential library files.

    On that front, it's a good guess that the files themselves are likely to be raked through and scoured with "BleachBit," or whatever the favored erasure is, by Obama partisans in a bid to ensure that Rice's role never sees the light of day – and Rice never faces the music. Just the example of former national security adviser Sandy Berger stuffing documents from the National Archives down his pants in a bid to alter the historic record is a sign enough of that.

    That they could do this legally signals a problem. Congress should act to stop this travesty of justice. Obama shouldn't own any of those files. Those files are evidence as well as historic record, and in either case, they belong solely to the American people who paid for them.

    1. " Congress should act to stop this travesty of justice."

      Good fucking luck.

      It was a nice Republic while it lasted.


    A man has triggered a small explosion in Brussels Central Station, a spokesman for the Belgian federal police told the BBC.
    The man was shot by soldiers inside the station and no-one else is believed to have been injured.

    Police say the situation is under control. The station and the city's Grand Place were evacuated.

    In March 2016, 32 people died in attacks on Brussels claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

    According to Belgian newspaper La Libre, quoting prosecutors, the man who was shot was wearing a rucksack and a bomb belt.
    He detonated a device when he attracted the attention of soldiers in the station, the paper says.
    Brussels Central Station is one of three main terminals in the city.


    The EU has begun legal action against against Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic for refusing to accept refugees under a 2015 solidarity plan.

    Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the three countries had ignored "repeated calls" from the EU's executive to take their share.
    Only 20,869 of the 160,000 refugees have so far been relocated in the EU.

    The three states could be referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and eventually face heavy fines.

    The relocation plan was conceived in response to the large influx of migrants and refugees in 2015, in an attempt to relieve pressure on frontline states, mainly Greece and Italy, where the vast majority of migrants were arriving.

    EU countries agreed to relocate 160,000 asylum-seekers between them - though Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary voted against accepting mandatory quotas. Hungary and Slovakia challenged the quota last month in the ECJ.

    1. Good for Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

      They are showing good sense in declining to commit cultural suicide.


    2. You are hereby commanded to commit suicide:

      You will obey!

    3. The EU says they're gonna sue their asses.

      How are they going to make them pay up ?

      That sounds like a tough debt to collect.

      The kind I'd turn over to Qollect's Debt Collection, LLC, working out of Detroit, Michigan.

  3. Coming Soon To North Korea: Operation Enduring Covfefe?
    ALLAHPUNDITPosted at 4:01 pm on June 20, 2017

    This … seems like a prelude to something. Maybe the Georgia special election won’t end up being the biggest news tonight after all:

    Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
    While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!
    11:38 AM - 20 Jun 2017
    8,922 8,922 Retweets 34,001 34,001 likes
    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    “I’m sure China gave 110 percent effort,” says David French, drily, of the president’s latest tweet. This afternoon the State Department issued a statement demanding the release of the three Americans still being held captive in North Korea. The Pentagon made a statement too:

    The United States flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Tuesday in a show of force against North Korea, South Korean officials said…

    The U.S. military said the bombers conducted two separate drills with the Japanese and South Korean air forces. It said the flights demonstrated solidarity among South Korea, Japan and the United States “to defend against provocative and destabilizing actions in the Pacific theater.”
    The first MOAB dropped should have “For Otto” written on the side. Spicer was asked at today’s briefing whether Trump’s quasi-invitation to meet with Kim Jong-un was still open even though Warmbier’s body isn’t yet cold. Not as much as it used to be, said Spicer, wisely.

    Here’s Trump last January, a month before the Iowa caucuses, warning that if China didn’t solve its North Korea problem, the U.S. could and should launch a trade war on Beijing that would cause the country to “collapse in about two minutes.” In fairness, though, that was before China’s president gave him a 10-minute impromptu history lesson about the NorKs that apparently changed the president’s mind totally.


  4. June 20, 2017
    Democracies die in assassinations, sometimes
    By Thomas Lifson

    I am haunted by the death of democracy in 1930s Japan, as America faces an escalating wave of exhortations toward violence from the progressives that dominate our institutions of culture. In the run-up to World War II, fanatics organized a wave of assassinations that simply killed off politicians who stood in their way, ending an already shaky democracy. This period is commonly known among historians as "government by assassination." They may have been militarists, but like all true fanatics, they were serving a cause so holy and so pure in their version that any and all means necessary were justifiable in their fevered minds.

    Austin Bay points out at The American Spectator that, had optimal conditions (from James Hodgkinson's perspective) prevailed:

    [He] could have killed 32 Republican members of the House and two Senators. ...

    Killing 32 Republican members of the House reduces the Republicans to 207 seats. That means the nation must conduct 32 special elections. That means the Resistance (which includes Hillary Clinton) has 32 opportunities to seize a Republican seat in a special election. ...

    Agreed, murdering two Republican Senators doesn't shift power in that chamber, but it also necessitates two special elections where – in the hate-filled Occupy Whatever brain of a Hodgkinson – a Democrat might replace a Republican.

    Flipping the House makes Nancy Pelosi the Speaker, and gives her the votes to impeach Donald Trump. Once the House impeaches the President, in a 50-50 Senate two or three "Never Trump" Republicans might vote to convict and remove him!

    Check the terrorist's math. Subtract Republicans, then add Democrats.

    Even if Hodgkinson didn't see this possibility with clarity, his murder spree had this evil potential.

    The problem is that there are lots of deranged people out there on the left today who can be termed fanatics if the definition includes fighting against an ultimate evil or for an ultimate cause. Trump Derangement Syndrome is a mass phenomenon, and it is actively being fanned by powerful forces. How many disturbed people can be pushed over the edge to engage in a wave of killing? How many do you need?

    I have to presume that the FBI and other agencies are tracing the entire electronic network of communication connected to Hodgkinson. That list he carried could mean he was part of a larger group, assigned to take out a certain set of GOP leaders, but that is only a possibility, and if this is being pursued, we will not hear about it.

    I am less concerned about an organized plot against the GOP than I am about random fanatics acting out, convinced they are doing the right thing by all the cultural cheerleading for violence.

  5. Ah Ha ! What did I tell ya ?

    BOMBSHELL: New independent report suggests murder of Seth Rich not random or a robbery, possible ‘hired killer’
    Posted at 12:05 pm on June 20, 2017 by Greg P.

    Breaking news out of Washington, D.C. where The Profiling Project — an “all-volunteer group of current and former George Washington University forensic psychology graduate students and instructors” has just released a report on the murder of Seth Rich. Here’s the executive summary with the bombshell suggestion that a “hired killer” was possibly behind the

    Never Work For The Democrats

    1. My own investigators are still struggling with the case.

  6. My sources in Georgia are telling me Handel is winning....big Republican turnout....

    1. They're all pissed off over The Donald getting assassinated in NYC Central Park every evening, and people holding up severed head.....

    2. And people shooting Republican Congressmen.

    3. Live Election Results and Estimates: Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District
      Karen Handel leads by 6 percentage points over Jon Ossoff with 65 percent of precincts fully reporting. Jump to estimate of final result ↓

      Karen Handel
      100,537 52.9%
      Jon Ossoff
      89,635 47.1

    4. Live Election Results and Estimates: Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District
      Karen Handel leads by 4 percentage points over Jon Ossoff with 75 percent of precincts fully reporting. Jump to estimate of final result ↓

      Karen Handel
      108,610 51.9%
      Jon Ossoff
      100,632 48.1

    5. My sources in Georgia called it for Handel about 45 minutes ago.

      To play it safe I waited until now.

      Handel is going to win.

      Live Election Results and Estimates: Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District
      Karen Handel leads by 5 percentage points over Jon Ossoff with 79 percent of precincts fully reporting. Jump to estimate of final result ↓

      Karen Handel
      114,790 52.4%
      Jon Ossoff
      104,316 47.6

      Californians, Hollywood types and New York money colluded with Assoff to influence the election but it didn't work.

    6. Georgians decided California didn't need another Representative in the US House of Representatives.

    7. Live Election Results and Estimates: Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District
      Karen Handel has won the election, according to A.P.

      Karen Handel
      116,182 52.5%
      Jon Ossoff
      105,170 47.5

  7. Where Are The Republicans?

    Better yet, what is a Republican?

    1. Actually, they are professional DC grifters, with no desire whatsoever to drain the swamp that serves them so well.

    2. Republicans support the 2nd Amendment.

    3. They want to be able to defend their ill gotten gains.

  8. Why would she and her aides still have security clearances ? Among other problems, that might give her something to sell for donations to The Clinton Foundation. She's out of the Government.

    State Department probes Clinton handling of government emails, could pull her security clearance

    By Malia Zimmerman Published June 20, 2017 Fox News

    The State Department has opened a formal inquiry into whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her aides mishandled classified information while she was the nation’s top diplomat, Fox News has learned. Despite being under investigation, Clinton and her staffers still have security clearances to access sensitive government information.

    The department’s investigation aims to determine whether Clinton and her closest aides violated government protocols by using her private server to receive, hold and transmit classified and top-secret government documents. The department declined to say when its inquiry began, but it follows the conclusion of the FBI’s probe into the matter, which did not result in any actions being taken against Clinton or any of her aides.

    Depending on the outcome of the current State Department inquiry, Clinton and her aides could have their access to sensitive government documents terminated.

    Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, confirmed to Fox News the department’s formal inquiry.

    Related Image
    0524 hillary clintonExpand / Collapse
    Hillary Clinton
    Meanwhile, Grassley’s committee launched its own inquiry into Clinton’s handling of emails, an inquiry that began in March. Grassley cited among his concerns the July 5 statement of former FBI Director James Comey that the agency found Clinton and her staff members were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.” Grassley also contended there is “evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information...”

  9. Washington also described those strikes as self-defence.

    The competition between the Syrian army and the militias and US-backed Free Syrian Army rebels has stepped up in the Badia desert that stretches to the Iraqi border after IS abandoned large swathes of territory as it defends Raqqa and Deir Zor.

    The Syrian army has been able to make rapid advances allowing them to reach the border for the first time in years.

  10. US Spy Satellites Detect Activity At North Korean Nuclear Site

    The activity appears to involve some modifications around one of the tunnel entrances to an underground test area
    US officials have known that the site is ready to conduct an underground test for some time

    Washington (CNN) US spy satellites have detected new activity at North Korea's underground nuclear test site for the first time in several weeks, two US officials told CNN.

    The activity appears to involve some modifications around one of the tunnel entrances to an underground test area.
    The officials said it is not yet clear if the activity indicates a sixth nuclear test is imminent, but noted there is concern that North Korea could set off a test during Wednesday's visit to Washington by top Chinese diplomats and military officials.

    US officials have known that the site is ready to conduct an underground test for some time.
    Two senior US officials with direct knowledge also told CNN that military options for North Korea have recently been updated, and will be presented to President Donald Trump for a decision to act if there is a nuclear test.
    However, there is no indication whether any military response would actually happen.

    US officials told CNN that if a sixth nuclear test by North Korea were to occur, it would be clear that the existing pressure by China on North Korea is not working. However, other senior US officials said the administration's policy hinges on pressuring North Korea through China.

    Trump has often cited China, North Korea's longtime ally, as a key player in US efforts to rein in North Korea's quest to develop long-range nuclear missiles. But the US President took to Twitter on Tuesday to offer a grim assessment of China's role in restraining North Korea: "While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!"

    Multiple US officials told CNN they are checking on what the President meant in his latest tweet about how China's efforts in North Korea have "not worked out."

    One Trump administration official said bluntly they didn't know what the President was referencing when asked what the tweet meant. Another said there was no meeting earlier Tuesday that they believe could have spurred Trump's comment, and pushed back on the idea that the tweet could be a hint of some forthcoming diplomatic or military action....

  11. The European Union is in discussions with South Korea and China about taking a potential role as a broker for negotiations with North Korea on ending its nuclear program, according to EU officials involved in the effort.


    The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the U.S. has held secret talks with North Korea for more than a year, hoping to free U.S. prisoners and establish a diplomatic channel for efforts to constrain Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.

    EU officials said they wouldn’t do anything to undermine U.S. moves to tighten economic sanctions on Pyongyang.

  12. From Newt "the Jackal"

    The alt left liberals who said this election was a referendum on Trump were right. He Won.

    Ever since Donald Trump won the presidency, liberals have comforted themselves by saying it was all a mistake. They assume he is foolish, self-indulgent, and incompetent. Yet this consistently underestimated president just went four-for-four in special elections.

    If the elite media’s portrait of Donald Trump as an unpopular president was accurate, surely the Democrats could have won at least one seat. But no, Kansas, Montana, South Carolina, Georgia – not once were the Democrats able to turn a GOP seat blue.

    Karen Handel's victory in Georgia’s 6th District Tuesday night was the most visible, and the most unpredictable of them all. Democrats poured over $30 million into their chosen champion, Jon Ossoff.

    But Ossoff was flawed. He didn’t live in the district. He raised virtually all of his money from Hollywood and other far-left radicals who lived outside the district. And instead of addressing these issues, he chose to blandly avoid them.

    Meanwhile, Republicans rose to the challenge. Handel was their champion, and they went all out to win. I have a friend who lives in the district and visited every home in her neighborhood on Election Day to ensure not a single voter failed to turn out.

    Ironically, the higher the turnout, the better the Republicans did. This of course repudiates everything Democrats have believed for a generation about turnout. However, it fits the pattern Trump set in the primaries and in key rural areas in Wisconsin, Michigan. Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.

    Throughout the race, the elite media was consistently negative, but Trump's use of social media ended up reaching a larger audience than the three major networks combined.

    In Georgia, a similar situation occurred. The longer the race went on, the more vicious the leftwing media became, the more Handel grew, and the more Ossoff shrank.

    For the Left this race had been portrayed as a referendum on Trump. After Trump’s tweets and robocalls, there was a verdict. Trump won.

    It will be interesting to watch the elite media and leftwing activists try to deal with losing four straight elections. It will be equally interesting to watch them try to comfort themselves while they attempt to explain away Karen Handel's victory.

  13. 30 million from Hollywood and the Northeast. How many Happy Meals would that buy? How many cleft palates would that fix? How many more facelifts would that buy for Pelosi? Meryl Streep could get a brain transplant. I mean, just think of the possibilities!

    1. Put that way, what a hell of a waste of money.

    2. Ho ho ho ho

      Finishing Most Expensive House Race Ever, Ossoff Calls For Campaign Finance Reform
      JAZZ SHAWPosted at 10:41 am on June 21, 2017

      Ed Morrissey may be on vacation but he’s still keeping his ear to the door of American politics. He popped up on Twitter this morning, searching for his dictionary to look up the definition of “chutzpah.” The reason for his apparent confusion was a rather off-putting interview with Georgia-06 Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff conducted by NPR’s Rachel Martin. The subject of the massive, record-breaking amount of cash dumped into this race couldn’t be avoided, so Martin asked Ossoff to weigh in. He did so, but his take on the subject rang a bit hollow to say the least. (Emphasis added)

      SEE ALSO: Did the polls get the Handel/Ossoff race wrong?

      MARTIN: How do you feel about the money that’s been spent on this campaign? The Atlanta Journal Constitution published a calculation that said you and your opponent have spent or reserved over $40 million for TV and radio ads. Does that disturb you? What does it say about our political culture?

      OSSOFF: The role of money in politics is a major problem and particularly the role of unchecked anonymous money. There have been super PACs in Washington who have been putting up tens of millions of dollars of attack ads in air for months now. When you have that kind of an environment, it’s necessary to raise the resources to fight back. I’m proud of the fact that my campaign has raised that money in small-dollar contributions, on average less than $50.

      MARTIN: Although, it was your party that started the big spending. The Atlanta Journal Constitution also found your campaign and groups supporting it spent about $2 million more in ad spending than Handel during the runoff.

      OSSOFF: Well, the overwhelming majority of money spent supporting my opponent has come from super PACs in Washington. And the overwhelming amount of money that’s been spent supporting my candidacy has come from small-dollar donors. But there’s no question that money in politics is a major problem, which is one of the reasons that we need campaign finance reform so that candidates and campaigns will spend more time talking to voters and discussing the issues and less time raising money.

      Um… Jon? A word if you have a moment?


  14. Dashcam Footage: The Shooting Of Philando Castile
    ALLAHPUNDITPosted at 6:31 pm on June 20, 2017

    This doesn't look so good. I don't see why he was even pulled over in the first place. Looked like he was driving fine to me. And he was totally up front with the officer. Dad, and mom, and a little kid, there lives ruined.....

    1. Yes, The NRA (And All Of Us) Should Be Speaking Out On The Philando Castile Shooting
      JAZZ SHAWPosted at 8:01 am on June 21, 2017

  15. NBC News: Feds looking into Flint airport stabbing as 'possible act of terrorism'
    Canadian born suspect shouted "Allahu Akbar"

    By John Steckroth - Editor , Ken Haddad
    Posted: 12:32 PM, June 21, 2017
    Updated: 12:38 PM, June 21, 2017