“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, December 26, 2017

Lies, Misconduct, Obstruction of Justice and conflict of interest: Obama's FBI

(CNN Host with Tourette Syndrome  gets his dumb ass handed to him)

FBI says Russia dossier's collusion charges unsubstantiated - Washington Times

 - The Washington Times - Monday, December 25, 2017

The FBI is declining to repudiate the Russia dossier on which it partially relied to start an investigation into the Trump campaign, but it concedes the document’s major core charges of election collusion remain unsubstantiated.

Sources familiar with House and Senate investigations say this is the FBI’s dossier talking point 17 months after agents were first briefed in July 2016 as Donald Trump battled Hillary Clinton for the White House.

The most recent FBI witness was Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who spent nearly eight hours last week in a closed session before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Republicans believe they have unearthed a scandal inside the bureau’s top echelons over its determination to target Trump associates based on flimsy evidence and improper Justice Department contacts.

Republican committee members pressed Mr. McCabe about a dossier that was financed by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign based on gossip-tinged information from paid, unidentified Kremlin operatives.
Mr. McCabe declined to criticize the dossier’s 35 pages of salacious and criminal charges against Donald Trump and his aides, but he said it remains largely unverified, according to a source familiar with ongoing congressional inquiries.
Sources speculated to The Washington Times that it would be embarrassing for Mr. McCabe to condemn a political opposition research paper on which his agents based decisions to open a counterintelligence investigation and interview witnesses. Some press reports said the FBI cited the dossier’s information in requests for court-approved wiretaps.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that Mr. McCabe plans to retire early next year.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz is investigating whether Mr. McCabe should have recused himself from the Clinton email investigation in 2015 and 2016. Mr. McCabe’s wife, an unsuccessful 2015 Democratic candidate for Virginia state Senate, received more than $700,000 in campaign donations from two PACs, one of which was controlled by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close Clinton ally.

Mr. Horowitz announced the investigation shortly before Mr. Trump took office. Since then, his probe has widened into whether the FBI investigation into suspected Trump-Russia collusion is rigged.

It centers on the FBI’s Peter Strzok, the lead agent in the Trump case until special counsel Robert Mueller fired him in July. The reason: He sent a number of text messages ridiculing Mr. Trump to Lisa Page, his FBI lover. He texted about a meeting with “Andy” — apparently Mr. McCabe — in which it was discussed that Mr. Trump had no chance of winning, but there was a risk he might.

“I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Mr. Strzok said in August 2016. “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

The dossier’s author, former British spy Christopher Steele, bragged to Mother Jones magazine in October 2016 that he successfully urged the FBI to begin investigating the Trump team based on his memos. Republicans have ridiculed the bureau for trusting a paid agent of the Clinton campaign.

Fox News and the Washington Examiner reported that Republicans asked what parts of the dossier the FBI had confirmed. Mr. McCabe said the only substantiated collusion-related incident was that Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page traveled to Moscow in July 2016.

The answer surprised Republicans: Mr. Page’s trip to deliver a speech at a university was widely publicized at the time.

An FBI spokesman declined to comment on Mr. McCabe’s testimony because it was given during a closed hearing.

What is unfolding for the House intelligence committee is an investigation that has broadened from supposed collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Driven by Chairman Devin Nunes, California Republican, the committee is examining the following:
⦁ Who funded the dossier and how its information was spread by paymaster Fusion GPS and then used by the FBI.
⦁ The Obama administration’s “unmasking” of the identities of private citizens caught up in surveillance of foreigners.
⦁ Recent misconduct inside the Department of Justice and the FBI.
For months, Mr. Nunes repeatedly pressed the Justice Department to explain why Mr. Mueller fired his top FBI agent, Mr. Strzok. Eventually, Justice turned over text messages showing Mr. Strzok’s deep biases toward the man he was investigating, Mr. Trump.

The committee also unearthed the fact that senior Justice attorney Bruce Ohr made contact with Mr. Steele during the presidential campaign and that Mr. Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS at the time it was investigating the Trump campaign’s Russia ties. The Justice Department stripped Mr. Ohr of one of his two portfolios.

Most recently, The Washington Post reported that James Baker, the FBI’s general counsel and a close associate of fired FBI Director James B. Comey, was being transferred. Politico reported that Mr. Baker during the election had contact with the Mother Jones reporter who interviewed Mr. Steele via Skype and gave much credence to his dossier.

“This is really problematic for the FBI and DOJ right now,” said the source familiar with the congressional investigations. “They realize stonewalling is not going to work anymore, but they haven’t decided on a new strategy to manage the deluge of information spilling out about top officials’ conflicts of interest, their use of the Steele dossier and their own connections to Fusion GPS.”

Mr. Comey took to his Twitter account Friday night to lament Mr. Baker’s fate.
“Sadly, we are now at a point in our political life when anyone can be attacked for partisan gain,” Mr. Comey tweeted. “James Baker, who is stepping down as FBI General Counsel, served our country incredibly well for 25 years & deserves better. He is what we should all want our public servants to be.”


  1. .

    Orrin Hatch, Time to Call it a Career

    Utah's largest paper calls for Orrin Hatch to retire in 2018 or be voted out by the people of Utah. According to polls, 3/4 of the citizens in Utah don't want Hatch running again.

    The Salt Lake Tribune's editorial board named Hatch their 2017 "Utahn of the Year," a designation the paper says is given to someone who has "had the biggest impact. For good or for ill."

    The newspaper said Hatch earned the title based on "his utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power..."

    The Utah paper went after Hatch for his promotion of Trump's actions in shrinking two national monuments there, for his promotion and vote in favor of Trump's tax bill, and for saying for a couple years that he would be retiring at the end of this term in favor of passing the seat on to Mitt Romney, a move that kept a number of qualified Republicans from preparing for the race. Now, indications are will running again in 2018 for what would be his 8th term.

    [IMO Hatch is a flaming hypocrite but I didn't realize he was that unpopular in his own state.]


  2. Mr. Baker during the election had contact with the Mother Jones reporter who interviewed Mr. Steele via Skype ...

    A FBI lawyer had the audacity to speak to a reporter !!!

    Will theses outrages never end?

  3. The tax-code overhaul that Republican lawmakers approved and President Trump signed into law will raise the price of charitable giving for millions of Americans, surely reducing how much money the nation gives.

    As an economist and a scholar of philanthropy who researches how public policies shape charitable giving, I anticipate that the tax tweaks will lead Americans and U.S. companies to donate roughly $21 billion less per year to charity.

    So what? If tax benefits are a factor, it is not charity. It is a tax dodge.

    1. .

      Not if you are the person receiving it (or not).


    2. I favor charitable giving being deductible.

      What's wrong with an incentive ?

      We are not angels

      Wow 34 inches of snow in Pennsylvania....that's a bunch...white Christmas indeed

    3. There are too many areas of mischief available to tax exempt organizations who are the largest beneficiaries on "charitable giving". The Clinton Foundation comes to mind but there are thousands of 527 and 501c political organizations. Many universities are nothing more than raw political interest groups. Most of the large foundations are left leaning political organizations.

      If they want to play, let them pay.

    4. Granted.

      Make a limit of up to 10K or something for the little guys.

    5. In 2013, public charities reported over $1.74 trillion in total revenues and $1.63 trillion in total expenses.

    6. The vast majority of it goes to wages and expenses.

    7. Heh....smiley face here

    8. .

      He Who Owns the Gold Makes the Rules

      The allocation of resources in a free society requires political decisions. A tax code is a political document that reflects the priorities of a society. When it is established on a strictly partisan basis, it reflects the values and priorities of a party.

      Since the latest tax law (and budget for that matter) was passed on a strictly partisan basis and was highly unpopular there is no way you can argue that it is anything but a representation of where the GOP is coming from, what their priorities and values are.

      Things we know about Trump and the GOP minority...

      - They are not conservative. The huge deficit spending guaranteed by the law proves that.

      - They are hypocrites. They tried to sell the tax cuts as a 'tax plan for the middle class'. Not only is it not a 'tax plan for the middle class' it is also only Phase I in the GOP's ultimate goal of really sticking it to the little guy as they now talk of 'welfare reform' (read welfare cuts) to pay for their give-a-ways to the rich and the corporations. This is obvious when we see the way those who pushed through this law will profit from it personally, both in direct remuneration and indirect support in the form of campaign contributions from those who will benefit most.

      And remember, those little guys who are taking it in the ass remain little guys because of the policies this government has established over the years and decades that keep them that way.

      - They value the wealthy over the poor and the middle class. The allocation of resources reflect where their interests lie. With this law it shows their interests lie with the rich and powerful rather the poor and middle class. The US tax laws have always been progressive. The GOP has taken a big step in reversing that.

      - They are totally indifferent to the growing inequality in this country.

      - They are anti-science in that they ignore any that might hinder their profit motives even if it's only in the short term. Their budgets reflect this bias with major cuts in all the agencies and departments driven by science, EPA, CDC, NASA, OSHA, etc.

      - The biggest personnel complaint by businesses right now in this near full-employment environment is that they can not find enough qualified people for the jobs that are sitting open. The Trump/GOP response? Big cuts to education, skills, and re-training programs. Cuts in the number of technically qualified immigrants that want into the country. Pure genius.

      The nativists among us will argue those jobs should go to Americans as if some Silicon Valley pure research job is going to go to some 55 year old sales manager who lost his job in the great recession or to globalism or because of a plant closing and who has been out of a job for more than 6 months. Reality bite time. (Note comment on skills and re-training programs.)

      - They value profit over programs to promote health and safety. The EPA has been gutted, a 30% cut in money and personnel. Clean water and health and safety regulations have been cancelled to provide more profit to corporations to the detriment of the general population. Clean air rules were relaxed. Executive orders are issued to meet dumb ass campaign promises that make no sense. On the other hand, token and minimal moves are touted as game changers.


    9. {...}

      - We've talked about charitable giving. With the new tax law, the less wealthy will give less. The only ones giving will be those who can afford it. While this may 'sound' like a great idea; counterintuitively, it's not. What it means is a few people will determine which causes are worthy. Worse, there is the example of the Clinton charity that everyone here derides, an organization that may inadvertently do some good along the way but which also benefits the Clintons. Is anyone naïve enough to think that this is an isolated situation? It's an opportunity anyone with money and a good tax attorney would find hard to ignore.

      - On foreign policy, we were promised a draw down in military interventions abroad; instead what we got was more of the same militarily but a draw down in US leadership on all fronts, military, diplomatic, moral, you name it. Even the budget reflects this with major increases in military spending at the same time the State Department budget is cut by 30% with attendant cuts in programs and personnel.

      - I could go on and point out most parts of the budget, the tax law, and the executive orders and they all say the same, we have a government of the rich and powerful, by the rich and powerful, and for the rich and powerful. Those who deny it have clouded vision or are simply cynical hypocrites.

      There was no need for a tax cut at this time. The economy is humming along. The unemployment rate is low and in fact their is not enough qualified workers to fill the jobs we have. Profits are high. Cash balances are even higher. The corporations were not asking for a tax cut. In fact, no one was. So why did Trump and the GOP push through this unpopular bill? Simple, it's for the same reason Obama pushed through Obamacare when he did, because they could. This has been a GOP wet dream for decades. They saw the opportunity, holding both houses and the executive branch, and they took it, consequences be damned.

      They are all dicks.


  4. I see Trump is back to colluding with Russia again.

    This time by arming Ukraine.....anti tank missiles and other items...

    1. Hillary would not be doing so....

    2. That is a bald face lie, Robert "Bank Fraudster" Peterson.

      If not for Hillary and Obama ALL of the Ukraine would still be a Russian satellite.

      If not for Hiilary and her minions at State there'd have never been the Cuop/Revolution.

      You are so ignorant, Draft Dodger Peterson, looks like you should have spent less time with Chaucer and more with "The Cat in the Hat", your reading comprehension would be higher.

  5. Wow 34 inches of snow in Pennsylvania....that's a bunch...white Christmas indeed

    Lake effect. We have had a very warm fall and the water in Lake Erie is relatively warm. When an Arctic air mass moves over it, huge amounts of moisture in the form of steam are sucked into the air and it becomes a snow producing monster.

    1. Well, now that the Solstice Celebration is over, the snow plows will handle all the snow on the roads.

      All those State workers getting wages and salaries... And those rrucks and plows

      What a waste of your local taxes. You Easterners should just contract those tasks to private companies.

      Same with Fire & Ambulance servicez. The goverment waste back East ... Just stupendous.

  6. Santa skipped parts of Arizona this Christmas.

  7. The quiet probe into Clinton email investigation could be a landmine for Robert Mueller

    Pat Cotter, a former federal prosecutor, said the specter of Horowitz's inquiry should have "zero effect on how Mueller and his team do their jobs."

    "But this is a political event, too," Cotter added. "To the extent that this (agents' conduct) will be used to discredit, distract or obfuscate the Mueller investigation, maybe it will work.''

    For Horowitz, the Clinton email inquiry may be the most consequential investigation he has launched since his installment as Justice's watchdog in 2012. But the former public corruption unit chief in the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office has not shied from controversy in the past five years.

    Months after taking office, Horowitz issued a scathing account of a botched gun-trafficking operation that allowed an estimated 2,000 firearms to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartel enforcers.

    The inspector general's review of the so-called "Fast and Furious" operation managed by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives recommended 14 federal law enforcement officials for discipline, resulting in a dramatic shakeup in leadership at the ATF. The operation was halted when two of the weapons were found at the scene of the 2010 slaying of border patrol agent Brian Terry.

    A separate 2015 report authored by Horowitz's staff found that U.S. Drug Enforcement Agents posted in Colombia had engaged in sex parties involving prostitutes who were supplied by local drug cartels. The review concluded that some of the 10 agents involved admitted attending the parties where a local Colombian police offer often stood guard, protecting the agents' firearms and other property.

    Less than a month after Horowitz's report, then-DEA chief Michele Leonhart announced her retirement from the agency.

    In the review of the Clinton email investigation, authorities are examining whether the Justice Department and FBI followed established "policies and procedures'' when then-FBI Director Comey publicly announced that the bureau would not recommend criminal charges against Clinton related to her use of a private email server while she was secretary of State.

    The inspector general is not evaluating the merits of the now-closed criminal inquiry or challenge the conclusions not to prosecute Clinton. Rather, it will focus on Justice and FBI policies that guided the probe.

    Former Justice inspector general Michael Bromwich said that the office has a long established record as "a reliable and independent voice" that has held some of the most powerful institutions to account.

    The disclosures of the agents' text messages, he said, "has certainly re-focused the spotlight on investigation that many people may have forgotten about but remains an important piece of work that needs to be completed."

    More than once, Bromwich found himself at the center of a firestorm while inspector general. In 1997, Bromwich authored a damning review of the FBI's crime laboratory on the eve of the federal trial of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. While McVeigh was ultimately convicted and executed, the lab had been heavily involved in examining evidence in that case.

    "Michael (Horowitz) is a very solid guy with exactly the right background for the job. It's a job that doesn't make you many friends," Bromwich said. "And I don't think a lot of people will be happy when it's over. But I think he is going to call it as he sees it."

    Rotten to the Core: The DEA Under Michele Leonhart

    1. The operative word, in the title ...

      ... could ...

      Which means that EVERY THING that follows .. The hundreds of words ...

      Purely speculation

    2. .

      "Michael (Horowitz) is a very solid guy with exactly the right background for the job. It's a job that doesn't make you many friends," Bromwich said. "And I don't think a lot of people will be happy when it's over. But I think he is going to call it as he sees it."

      I'm sure the exact same things were being said being said about Mueller when he took over as special counsel. Things change depending on whose ox is being gored.

      Just saying.


    3. .

      Fox News: Robert Mueller appointment to lead Russia probe wins bipartisan praise

      If Horowitz doesn't come up with something boffo, he too will be accused of being a partisan hack who is only trying to protect the FBI and the Deep (Dark?) State. Count on it.


    4. Suck Comey's Dick.

      Just Saying.


  8. The following, an opinion ... but not one posing as "News"

    It’s a paradox, but it’s true: Trump gains a huge measure of support within the conservative world precisely because of how guilty he looks.

    Trump supporters may insist,
    “There’s no there, there.”

    They sense—as we all sense—that in fact so many “there”s lurk beneath Trump’s White House that even the most maladroit digger is liable to find something terrible:

    If not collusion with Russia, then perhaps tax evasion. If not tax evasion, then maybe bank fraud.
    If not bank fraud, then sexual assault.

    Or all of them.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. If the FBI and the DEA is as corrupt as has been reported ...

      How many convictions that were based upon "evidence" presented by those corrupt government agents will have to be vacated?

      Testimony that is so tainted that NOTHING any of them have testified to can be trusted to be the truth.

      How many convictions must be vacated because of the pervasive corruption in Federal Law Enforcement?

      Then there are the known biases of local law enforcement. The multiple failures in US urban centers of law enforcement to enforce the law.

      The message ...

      The police cannot be trusted

      Being effectively delivered.


    2. The message being delivered by Mr Trump's acolytes ...

      The police cannot be trusted

      Will certainly ...
      Make America Great Again
      ... or not.

  10. Michigan State Police tried but failed to suspend a trooper for his use of a stun gun months before he fired a Taser at a teenager who crashed an all-terrain vehicle and died, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.


    Arbitrator Steven Lett, however, found technical distinctions. He said the man was "no longer in custody" as soon as he ran away.

    "The question is whether the officer's actions are objectively reasonable in light of all the facts and circumstances," Lett said, quoting a training guide from the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.

  11. At Tuesday’s meeting, Netanyahu reportedly thanked one of the rabbis present, former Knesset  member Haim Druckman, for speaking out against the demonstration in Jerusalem’s Zion Square. Some 800 people attended the protest, which was organized by one of Netanyahu’s former top aides, journalist Yoaz Hendel, and was billed as a demonstration in favor of the rule of law.

    In the run-up to the protest, Netanyahu’s aides contacted Knesset members from the governing coalition and other public figures on the right to urge them not to take part.

    Due to this pressure, two MKs from Netanyahu’s Likud party, Oren Hazan and Yehudah Glick, scrapped plans to attend. But two MKs from Likud’s largest coalition partner, the center-right Kulanu party, did attend – Rachel Azaria and Roy Folkman.

  12. The only person in a position to constrain Mueller and his deputies is Rosenstein, who has been overseeing all Trump/Russia matters since Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal. A former Justice Department official who worked under now-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told The Daily Beast that he’s unlikely to rein in Mueller at all.

    “As long as Rod is supervising, he is never going to put Mueller under any kind of pinch,” he said. “That’s just the way Rod operates.”

    It means that as long as Rosenstein stays in place, Mueller will likely be able to follow that money trail wherever it leads.

  13. Shares of U.S. department stores jumped on Tuesday as Mastercard Inc said shoppers spent over $800 billion during the season, more than ever before, boosted by growing consumer confidence, rising employment and early discounts.

    ... said on Tuesday that it had topped its worldwide holiday sales record this year, with more than 4 million people opting to trial Amazon Prime in one week during the period.

  14. The National Basketball Association’s annual Christmas games delivered some of their most successful overnight ratings in recent history. The league’s five games Monday, spread across ESPN, ABC and TNT, averaged a 3.35 overnight rating, up about 20 percent from last year’s Christmas games.


    The prime-time NFL game on ESPN, a showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders, drew a 6.7 overnight rating, down about 9 percent compared with the average Monday Night Football game this year.


  15. Deuce:

    "The Clinton Foundation comes to mind but there are thousands of 527 and 501c political organizations. Many universities are nothing more than raw political interest groups. Most of the large foundations are left leaning political organizations."



    Ox gored
    All Dicks
    except Trump
    (Mega Dick)


  16. Recommended by Quirk:

  17. @realDonaldTrump
    17h17 hours ago
    WOW, @foxandfrlends “Dossier is bogus. Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI TAINTED.” And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign!

    Dec 23
    How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?

    1. Donald J. Trump

      Verified account

      Dec 23
      FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!

    2. @EricTrump
      Dec 23


      A deafening media silence on the Obama-Hezbollah scandal

    3. Obama is no longer a powerful politician.

      It is not like he is still President and in debt to foreigners to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

      Not bought and paid for by agents of an adversarial government while he was a candidate to be President.


  18. .

    FBI/MSM/Obama/Hillary Collusion?

    Big Deal!

    Depends, Oxes, Gore, Global Warming, etc.


    1. Americans all, Dougo.

      No foreigners buying off Presidential candidates with favorable loan terms.

  19. Really, Mr Trump cannot control his government.

    For the good of the country and Roy Moore we should all acknowledge that Mr Trump should MAGA and simply resign.

    #MAGA Resign NOW!!!

  20. .

    My, my, I see little Dougie has his panties all in a twist again.

    The Great Whine has returned from Christmas break and is all a-tither, a huffin and a puffin and a-fouling the air.

    Following his usual MO, he puts up nonsense lists of random words, sans any intelligible argument, offering no context but throwing in the occasional profanity, all under his assumption that normal people will be able to interpret in some meaningful way what he is attempting to say without aid of a google Rorschach test interpreter tool.

    However, when he is like this as he often is one can only view him as a very frustrated Trumpy running around in circles and mad enough to spit like that homeless guy you occasionally see waving his arms like Robbie the Robot and hurling foul mutterings at drivers trapped by a red light.

    It appears it's beyond the workings of his miasmic thought processes to come up with anything like an intelligible argument so instead he takes up white space on the page with dead space filled with his passive aggressive musings and a rehash of the sound bytes and talking points he is fed by those heroes of enlightened journalism, Hannity, Rush, and Sanders.

    At this point, one can only turn away in embarrassment and to a certain degree fear hoping, in the spirit of the season and of Christian charity, that he doesn't cause any real harm even to himself.



    1. It's obvious you've been bought and paid for by the Russkies and for so few rubles too....


    2. $320 MILLION

      That's the number being bandied about "Bank Fraud" Peterson.

    3. The Russians got taken to the cleaner by Quirk then.

      Not surprising to me, knowing Q as I do.

      Pooty is playing out of his league with Quirk.

      You're not worth a single ruble yourself, Jack.

      Not even a peso....

  21. Another 19 inches of snow in that city by the lake in Pennsylvania.. Good Grief

  22. Water is still warm. Wind is still cold.