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A Collection of Incidentals

I’ve come to expect and accept that FOX News Channel’s Shep Smith approaches every one of his broadcasts as a possible CNN/MSNBC audition tape…

James Rosen 2 FOX News (who … and his family … incidentally, were spied on by Obama): Potential ‘smoking gun’ showing Obama administration spied on Trump team, source says

Democrat pollster and political analystPat Caddell on Franken: ‘If Caligula Can Put a Horse in the Roman Senate,’ Minnesota Voters ‘Have Every Right to Put a Horse’s Ass’ in Senate

MSM Malpractice: Major Networks Ignore Illegal Alien Rape at High School: Watchdog finds ABC, CBS, NBC avoided national story on horrific attack

Trump Hotel In Washington Does Not Violate Conflict Of interest Rules

Party-Poopers: Illinois House rejects making Obama’s birthday a state holiday

Double Standards and Practices of the MSM: By the NYT’s Own Standards, Paper Should Hold Obama Responsible for Spying

Federal Law Enforcement Resources Overwhelmingly Spent on Immigration Crime: Half of federal law enforcement arrests in 2014 were immigration-related crimes

Exclusive: Saudi exports to U.S. to fall by 300,000 barrels per day in March – official

Canada Would Rather You Didn’t Criticize Islam, Eh?

‘Stupid & infuriating’: Journo’s ‘magnificent’ spin on #LondonAttack sends heads to desks

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Tweets of The Day: Ruh-Roh-h-h-h-h

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The Obama/Lynch Banana Republic – UPDATED

Trump Is 100% Vindicated On Wiretapping, and 7 Other Things You Should Know

1. Yes, Trump Is 100% Vindicated On Wiretapping

[…]

2. “Incidental,” My Aunt Fanny

[…]

3. Obama’s Creepy History of Manipulating the FISA System

[…]

4. This Was Political Spying; This Was a Successful Watergate Bugging

[…]

5. The National Media Knew All of This and Covered It Up

[…]

6. Devin Nunes Handled This Exactly Right

[…]

7. CNN Is a Deep State Propaganda Arm

[…]

8. The F.B.I. Investigation Into RussiaGate Is Now Tainted

[…]

And why is the Obama/Lynch last minute surveillance powers and expansive sharing of unfiltered NSA intelligence rarely brought up in all of this?

Mollie Hemingway:

Many of the reporters present didn’t seem to grasp the significance of what Nunes revealed. You can — and should — watch that press conference…

He then dropped the bombshell: “First, I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition. Second, details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value, were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting. Third, I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked. Fourth and finally, I want to be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or the investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.” Again:

1) Information was collected on the Trump team by Obama administration agencies.
2) This information had no reason to be shared in intelligence reports to Obama officials.
3) Obama officials may have flouted legally required attempts to minimize and mask personal identifying information.
4) This had nothing to do with Russia.

He later explained that these reports were related to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act-permitted information collections. Such collections of information on foreign sources require hiding and protecting information about U.S. citizens incidentally picked up during the process when disseminating reports on information gleaned. He even referenced how this reminded him of the trouble the spy agencies got in when failing to mask members of Congress they routinely picked up while spying on Israel. So his concern is not just that the personal identifying information was not masked, but that there appeared to be little or no foreign intelligence value in the spreading of information regarding the political opponents of the previous administration.

Nunes said he wants to know who was aware of this behavior, why it was not disclosed to Congress, who requested and authorized the additional unmasking, whether anyone directed the intelligence community to focus on Trump associates, and whether any laws and regulations or procedures were violated.

[…]

When an administration is spreading around reports of political and personal discussions, failing to mask that information, and the information itself isn’t of foreign intelligence value, you have the makings of a huge scandal.

Many of the reporters at the press conference didn’t seem to know the significance of what they were being told, with many asking questions about Russia or the physical wire-tapping of Trump Tower, two issues Nunes had already specifically ruled out. Finally, a reporter asked whether Trump and his team were being spied on by the intelligence community.

The response from Nunes is something: “Well, I guess it all depends on one’s definition of spying. Clearly it bothers me enough, I’m not comfortable with it, and I want to make sure the White House understands it and that’s why I briefed the speaker this morning.”

[…]

If the laws and regulations guiding the collection of information by spy agencies were violated by the party in power to hurt the opposing party, that’s banana republic stuff. It matters not whether the Trump team were officially the targets, whether the targets were designed to obscure the real targets, or whether it truly was incidental collection. The effect was that members of the Trump team had their privacy invaded, and that the information gathered was disseminated and even leaked to the public by the Obama-led bureaucracy.

While the media might be laser-focused on whether Obama personally wiretapped Trump, as Trump seemed to claim in his tweets a few weeks ago, the American public is not keen on the idea that other techniques or forms of electronic surveillance were used on Obama’s political opponents. Further, the media attempts to deflect and downplay and run interference for Obama officials and other Democrats regarding this significant information reveal a journalistic complex seeking not truth nor protection of civil liberties, but partisan point scoring.

Nunes ‘Unmasking’ Report Vindicates Trump Claims on Surveillance

Time to Investigate Obama, not Just Trump

NUNES: FBI IS NOT COOPERATING WITH OUR INVESTIGATION INTO TRUMP CAMP SURVEILLANCE

The real detail of this whole thing is never put into proper context with this whole Trump-Russia bullshit. The fact that Hillary Clinton’s case of guilt was laid out on live TV by FBI director for nearly 15 minutes before announcing he would not be recommending AG Lynch indict her …. Lynch, who had days before met with Bill Clinton on a hot Arizona tarmac, and short days later Comey’s FBI agents ‘questioned’ Hillary without recording or transcripting the interview.

These people seriously believed Hillary was simply going to walk away with the election in November. And it continues to reveal just how insignificant we Americans are to these people. This is why Trump won. The American people are beyond sick and tired of being ignored and taken for granted as some brainwashed monolith to be manipulated by crooked politicians and the rabid MSM. They cannot accept that they lost more than the 2016 POTUS election. They lost on so many levels.

In addition, this Trump-Russia smoke and mirrors bullshit is meant to deflect attention from the real Russia colluded players, Podesta and Hillary.

EXCLUSIVE: Podesta Was Board Member Of Firms Linked To Russian Investors

Both Hillary Clinton And John Podesta Made Millions From Russia & Putin

Spicer: There’s ‘Probably More Evidence’ CNN Colluded with Clinton Than Trump Colluded with Russia

Anderson Cooper’s ‘Maddow Moment’: Tries To Deflect Nunes Revelation With “New Details” Of Russia Collusion

UPDATES:

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Yep, Obama Administration Spied on Trump Transition Team

MORE:

House Intel Chair Confirms Obama Admin Surveilled Trump Transition

Trump team communications captured by intelligence community surveillance, Nunes says

Is there any doubt the Obama machine had all intentions and purposes of derailing and sabotaging the Trump presidency?

Obama Admin Loyalists, Government Insiders Sabotage Trump White House: Former admin planted series of landmines to subvert Trump team

The Obama administration worked in its final weeks in office to undermine the incoming Trump White and continues to do so, according to multiple sources both in and out of the White House.

Behind the effort, these sources say, are senior government officials who previously worked under President Obama and remain loyal to his agenda. These individuals leak negative information about the Trump White House and its senior staff to a network of former Obama administration officials who then plant this information in key media outlets including the Washington Post and New York Times.

Meanwhile, holdovers from the Obama administration are working to undermine the Trump administration’s agenda through efforts to alter official communications, a number of administration officials confirmed in conversations with the Washington Free Beacon.

Multiple sources expressed concern over what they described as an unprecedented effort by the former administration to subvert President Donald Trump’s team. These sources would only speak on background because they were not officially authorized to publicly discuss the situation, which is said to have fostered a level of discomfort and distrust in the West Wing.

The Free Beacon first reported on several portions of this effort earlier this year, including separate campaigns to undermine current CIA Director Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, both of whom were subjected to leaks aimed at undermining their credibility…

Ace @ AoSHQ: Rep. Nunes: Trump Transition Team Members, Possibly Including Trump Himself, Were “Under Surveillance” After November ElectionsUpdate: Nunez Says He’s Seen “Dozens” Of Intelligence Reports That Indicate Some Kind of Surveillance

Two points:

One, Nunes has been one of the guys pushing hardest to uncover the spying-on-Trump mystery.

Two, I can easily conceive of many scenarios in which one can honestly say “It depends on what you mean by spying.”

Let me offer a few scenarios.

Scenario A: An intel group purposefully targets Trump personnel for data interception. Everyone would say this is spying. Though if it were done pursuant to a legal warrant, we wouldn’t necessarily say that. We’d say they were lawfully surveilled. (Though we might also say they were surveilled by a warrent obtained for political purposes.) Even in this easiest-case scenario, there are arguments.

Scenario B: An intel group targets Russian officials, incidentally picks up Flynn conversations, then reviews its intercepts later specifically looking for Trump associates in the collected information. This seems like spying, but one can argue about it: the capture of Flynn’s conversations was incidental, but the determined effort to sift through captured conversations specifically searching for Flynn’s voice is deliberate. Is this spying? It’s not before-the-fact spying, but it sure looks like after-the-fact spying.

Scenario C: Let’s say Trump’s team did not take the threat of Obama loyalists seriously enough for a while. Let’s say that certain well-placed Obama holdovers could overhear Trump communications. Let’s say the loyalists then collected the communications they had overheard to and began using them for purposes of Opposition Research.

Is this “spying”? In this scenario, the communications were not illegally intercepted. They’re being used after-the-fact for purposes not intended by Trump, but they were not exactly “captured.”

Anyway, Nunes seems like a pretty stand-up guy and I would not knock him for his statement. I would believe him when he says it’s a bit complicated.

I mean, to me, this is “spying” at least in the broad, sloppy sense Trump intended, and vindicates Trump well enough….

And this: Kredo: DOJ Found Malware in Trump Tower Servers ‘Mimicking’ Contacts to Russian Entities

Meanwhile, being a democrat as opposed to a republican has its perks, I guess…

The DC EXCLUSIVE: Podesta Was Board Member Of Firms Linked To Russian Investors

Secret Service Removed Alarm Sensors From Fence Intruder Climbed Over

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Terror Attack in London

BREAKING NEWS: At least two dead and a dozen hurt – some with ‘catastrophic injuries’ – after car driven by ‘Asian’ knifeman mows down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before he is shot attacking police in grounds of Parliament 

Brown skin. Full beard. Closely shaven head.
Yep, looks “Asian” to me.

Remember, England has a knife ban.
This eight-incher is definitely in spite of the ban…

On this the 1 year anniversary of the terror attack in Brussels

Right now London authorities are calling this attack a ‘terror attack’. They are reporting 2 people are dead with many others in serious condition as, apparently, a lone middle-aged man of “Asian” persuasion (in the EU that’s code word for ‘Middle Eastern’/Muslim) first drove his 4-wheel drive vehicle across Westminster Bridge, mowing down pedestrians. He then went onto Parliament where he left the vehicle wielding a knife (and a machete?) and stabbing people, including a police officer, before being shot.

WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR

Reports of gunfire and man wielding a knife outside Parliament at 2.40pm
Police shoot suspect in Parliament grounds after police officer stabbed
Reports attacker mowed down up to a dozen people in 4×4 on Westminster Bridge
It is thought he careered along bridge ploughing to all in his path before hitting Parliament gates
Police treating the attack as a “terrorist incident until we know otherwise”
Dramatic pictures show bloodied bodies strewn across bridge and outside Parliament
Theresa May bundled into Jaguar by undercover cop and whisked to safety
Westminster on lockdown with station, bridge and roads shut for foreseeable future
Emergency services urge Londoners not to call 999 unless absolutely necessary

UPDATES:

‘Someone screwed up’: Did reports identify wrong man as London attack terrorist?

Waiting for the first asshole to blame this on Pres. Donald Trump…

Woops! There we go…

NBC Reporter Fears London Terror Will ‘Put Wind in the Sails’ of ‘Right-Wing Movement’

NBC intel reporter slammed for this take on #LondonAttack coverage

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Gorsuch Hearing: Moments in Liberal/Democrat Ass-Hattery and Ass-Clownery

The democrats simply cannot touch Judge Gorsuch…

Rush Limbaugh: “The senators on the Democrat side are not discussing the law in these Supreme Court confirmation hearings. They’re asking gotcha questions, and Judge Gorsuch is at least two times as smart as any of these Democrats on the committee at minimum.”

God forbid he follow the U.S. Constitution and ‘separation of powers’:

Gorsuch to Feinstein: Here are a lot of “little guy” rulings you seem to have overlooked

Sen. Dianne Feinstein alarmed about Gorsuch’s originalist philosophy

Dianne Feinstein Attempted to Embarrass Neil Gorsuch. What Happened Next Will Astonish You.

Sen. DiFi, hope that mic drop didn’t bruise your tender-foot.

Fear not, because Dianne Feinstein will determine if Gorsuch is a ‘reasonable’ conservative judge or witch burning ‘originalist’

Note to DiFi: In America ‘witches’ were hanged, drowned, crushed, starved to death. No witches were burned in America. Europe and Great Britain, yes.

Dick “Turban” Durbin continues he’s waaaaay below his pay-grade:

Can you see the crow feathers sticking out of Durbin’s mouth in his last comments at the end of that video?

Sen Franken Says His Constitution is ‘Different’ from the late Scalia’s and People Are Going After Him for It

Doggone it! Al Franken beclowns himself over Gorsuch for the second day in a row

The early ‘political work’ Franken was referring to was in 1976 when Gorsuch walked door to door with his mother who was running for office. Gorsuch was roughly 9 then.

My husband, God bless him, who doesn’t waste much, if any, time on this political theater happened to catch some of the Gorsuch hearings today while I was listening. Within a matter of moments he became pissed at how one democrat senator kept rewarding and answering a question Gorsuch continued to answer the same way. I told him there are a couple reasons why the dems insist on doing this:

1. to try and trip him up so they can accuse him of ‘lying’ should he answer differently

2. to get him on record answering a question, and then in the future, when he IS on the SCOTUS bench as a justice, demand he recuse himself from a case for past remarks/answers related to such a case.

MORE:

The democrats tried to paint Judge Gorsuch as a sexist for something a female former student. and democrat operative/staffer, claims he himself was stating as his philosophy…

NPR forced to do some heavy retooling of its hit piece on Judge Neil Gorsuch

“Biden’s Rule”, Sally, et al, “Biden’s Rule”!

Bastion Of Intellectualism Cosmo On Gorsuch: “Constitutional Origininalism Is Bullsh*t”

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Hearing Raises More Questions About Federal Government Agencies’ Ethics than About Any Alleged Trump – Russia Collusion

So, did “Russia ‘hack’ the 2016 U.S. presidential election” …?

Here is where and when this hearing should have ended…

So damned relieved the FBI finally tracked down and found Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey. Maybe now Directer Comey and the FBI will have the free time to track down and bust the federal employees who unmasked Gen. Flynn and has been leaking to the MSM?

Sen. Trey Gowdy would like to know too…

Gowdy Presses Comey On Intelligence Community Leaks — ‘I Thought It Was Against The Law…’

Gowdy Points To President Obama And 6 Admin. Officials As Possible Source Of Flynn Leaks

FBI Director Testifies on Trump Wiretaps, but It’s Trey Gowdy’s Response That Everyone Needs to See…

As for Russia ‘hacking’ and collusion here are some items that are not being brought up and addressed in these contrived hearings on the subject:

Russian Meddling Had More To Do With Hillary Than Trump, Comey Implies

Top Democratic Lobbyist Bundlers Tied to Russian Interests: Lobbyists hauled in millions for Clinton’s failed presidential campaign, thousands for Dem leaders

FBI Says the Democratic Party Wouldn’t Let Agents See the Hacked Email Servers

Comey: DNC denied FBI’s requests for access to hacked servers

Edward Snowden Weighs In As NSA Director Testifies On Russian Interference In 2016 Election

MORE:

I am convinced the Obama/Clinton operatives had an ‘informal’ surveillance of communications of Donald Trump and his family/staff/supporters. So illegal was this covert operation that it makes Watergate look like kids shoplifting bubblegum. I believe POTUS Trump would never have made such a public allegation if he didn’t have proof.

NSA DOCUMENTS PROVE SURVEILLANCE OF DONALD TRUMP & HIS FAMILY

Gowdy: Comey Hearing Won’t Yield Evidence To Support ‘Obama Wiretapping President Trump’

DID OBAMA COLLUDE WITH RUSSIA IN 2012?

I don’t believe so because there is no real evidence that he did. However, as I suggested yesterday, if one applies the same sort of conspiracy thinking being used to claim that Donald Trump colluded with Russia, one can make out a case that Barack Obama colluded in 2012.

Rep. Peter King made that point during today’s Intelligence Committee hearing. King pointed first to President Obama’s statement to the Russian president, picked up by a live mic, that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with Russia on contentious issues after the U.S. presidential election.

Next, King pointed to Obama’s ridicule of Mitt Romney’s claim that Russia poses a major geopolitical threat to the U.S. When Romney said this during a debate, Obama responded derisively that the 1980s want their foreign policy back.

Obama’s claim that concern over Russia should be a thing of the past was more pro-Russian than anything I can recall Trump saying on the subject. Surely, it’s more useful than Trump’s assertion of the obvious fact that Putin is a strong leader….

Fox pulls Napolitano from air after Trump report

Rush Limbaugh: Comey on Hillary vs. Comey on Trump

Gingrich Blasts ‘Amazingly Political’ Comey, Says DOJ Filled With ‘Liberal Lawyers’

The FBI’s Coming Catch-22

Hey Liberals! There Is One Problem With Those Russia Collusion Charges  

Plug the leaks and stop blaming Russians for Clinton’s loss

In terms of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, Comey confirmed this is under investigation by the FBI. He went on to say the Russian officials meant to hurt democracy and Hillary Clinton, all the while helping Donald Trump. Comey also confirmed that FBI officials are investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

So far, there is no publicly available evidence to support the claim. In my view, Russian interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign had nothing to do with the Democrat’s defeat; Hillary Clinton lost because she had the wrong message, failed to compete in key battleground states and spiked the football in the third quarter.

Stephen Green @ Instpundit: “Indeed. But although it harms the country, blaming the Russians and discrediting Trump helps Democrats politically — so expect it to continue…”

RICHARD FERNANDEZ @ PJM: Putin Is Bust, So Who Won The Pot?

If Putin is the world’s puppet master he’s not doing very well. Russia’s economy has been in crisis since 2014, with no end in sight. The Kremlin has been in the doldrums for two reasons: the continued decline in oil prices and economic sanctions imposed on Moscow for its incursions into Ukraine.

Trends have worsened rather than gotten better. Initial hopes the Trump administration would cut Russia some slack were dashed. “Enormous amounts of money have flowed in and out of Russia over the past several months as oil prices and U.S. policies turned from favorable to seemingly unfavorable”. . . .

Russia is facing a tough Nikki Haley in the UN, something that has left the New York Times baffled. ” In recent weeks, Ms. Haley has condemned what she called Russia’s “aggressive actions” in eastern Ukraine, vowed to maintain sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and, in her Senate confirmation hearing, went as far as saying that Russia was guilty of war crimes in Syria.” . . .

But the rhetoric is matched by actions on the ground. US troops arrived in Syria to support the impending assault on Raqqa. After an extended retreat before the Kremlin in the Middle East America is re-asserting itself again.

Worse the administration has been exhorting its European allies to spend more money on NATO. Though Trump’s urgings were mocked by politicians who point out the Euros spend on “UN peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against IS terrorism” it nevertheless amounts to a call to arm against Russia.

It is reasonable to suppose that puppetmaster Putin would prefer 1) less US oil production; 2) lower American defense spending; 3) a free hand in Syria; 4) lifting of sanctions but there is precious little evidence he is getting any of it. On the contrary Putin is doomed if current trends continue.

If Putin robbed the bank where’s the money? The problem with the Russian hacking stories now roiling Washington is demonstrating how any of it worked to the Kremlin’s advantage. A proper conspiracy theory involving a foreign power in the last election should at least consider China, not just Russia, as a suspect. The Chinese at least would have benefited from cheap oil. Yet even here there are problems.

Glenn Reynolds @ Instapundit: “But without conspiracy theories, Democrats would have to face reality, and that’s still too painful. Alternatively (or additionally) it may be that all this Russia-talk is there to distract from actual foreign-government influence in DC…”

ROGER KIMBALL: The Nothing Burger Gets Flipped.

It wasn’t quite “Are you now or have you ever been . . .” but it was close. You don’t have to have that good a memory to have found the whole exercise amusing: Democratic politicians abandoning the “1980s asking for its foreign policy back” in order, suddenly, to castigate Russia as a threat to US national security and even (if you can believe it) wrapping themselves in the flag of patriotism (yes, really) to denounce Donald Trump.

My own feeling is that the Dems must be very, very worried to go down that street. And what did it all add up to? Nada. Which is to say, rien. Nichts. Zilch. Nothing.

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