Excerpts of Intel Committee Transcript to Release Nunes Memo

ADDED:  Released memo is full of supposition and hearsay; not a legal document AT ALL.  It is what it is–a device to give Trump a little cover to go ahead and fire Rosenstein.

Read it here.

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After reading through the House Intel Committee meeting to release the Nunes memo, it is obvious that the committee members oftentimes are not aware of the committee’s direction, what activities the committee is up to, and what individual members of the committee are up to, particularly in regards to the democratic members.  It is not clear that anyone except Nunes knows who has even had access to his memo and underlying materials.  It is not clear Nunes is particularly involved in this meeting other than to reside over it til such a time as the vote to have the memo released is passed.

As example of this dysfunction, here is how the committee comes to understand that the DOJ and FBI appear to be under investigation and, by this sudden revelation, is formed Nunes unilateral decision that no one shall review the document, because of this suddenly apparent investigation. (Please note, if any GOP committee member says again it was not put forth by this committee that DOJ and FBI are under investigation, it has been presented by the Chairman that they in fact are):

in response to Schiff’s request to have the document reviewed and redacted as necessary by the FBI or DOJ, page 21:

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Nunes answers this question by stating a subpoena was put out to receive documents from the FBI, therefore, there’s an ongoing investigation.  ?

For whatever reason this is allowed to pass until sometime later on, but read all of this, page 23-25:

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Nunes avoids answering.  It is clear to the Democrats, at this point, how this is going to go down.

The vote to release the memo.  All GOP yes, All Dems no.

The decision to have the memo reviewed by one of any outside parties. All GOP no, all Dems yes.

The vote to have the minority memo released simultaneously.  All GOP no, all Dems yes.

Chair relents to take a vote on releasing the minority memo at a later date.

Now here is the best statement made in this meeting by the honorable and right smart democrat, Jim Himes of CT:

 

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This is an accurate portrayal of what will happen.  It is entirely correct.  Let me tell you what I presume.

The Nunes memo will be released.  It will state, in some fashion, that the Steele dossier is being used to support the claim that the FISA warrant should be reissued.  It will also probably have something along the lines of an FBI payment to Steele (or something equally dreadful), that is my guess..and I think that was already alluded to in the Fusion GPS testimony.  We’ll get back to that little piece of tom foolery if and when it happens.

Following will be a mini shitstorm and then the release of the minority memo, which will, by and large, tear the Nunes memo to shreds for it’s inaccurate and incomplete portrayal.  That’s how it plays out, right?

So here’s the deal.  Assuming the minority’s argument is sound in it’s dissection of the Nunes memo, we stand back and say, “Yes, the minority argument shows the fallacy in the Nunes memo as they now stand, but…but, how can I be certain all of the facts are accurately portrayed without seeing the source document, the FISA warrant itself?”

You think Nunes hasn’t thought of all of this?  Does it seem like, in what you’ve read so far, that Nunes gives a fuck?  Is it likely that Nunes also knows that someone, “Will get tarred for being imprudent”?  He’s sitting here right now listening to all of this, and he can’t wait to just have the vote over and done with.

Page 26:

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Page 27:

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Schiff, page 28:

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Schiff, page 37:

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Page 40:

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Everything you’ve read here is a Democrat, aside from Nunes.  All the Republicans have to say is this:

 

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In the middle of all of this, Schiff says (paraphrasing): Well okay.  If that’s the way it’s gonna be.  We shall do what you refuse to do.  We’ll have the FBI look at the minority memo first, to check it for accuracy against the source data and to redact anything that could be harmful.  If this has to happen, we’re going to do it the right way.

Now why didn’t Nunes say, “You can’t do that…I’ve just told you they’re under investigation and can’t be trusted!”

He doesn’t say that.  he doesn’t care.  He doesn’t care that there’s gonna be hell to pay when this all gets cleared up.  None of that matters.

The only thing that ever mattered was creating this little window of a narrative for one to two weeks.  That’s all that matters.  There aren’t any other apparent bullets in the chamber.  This is it.  These one-two weeks.  That’s what this whole ridiculous exercise is for.

So what’s going to happen in these one-two weeks?

 

ADDED:

We cannot guess what these changes mean because we have no idea what is in either document.  Schiff’s letter seems to indicate it was not dramatic changes, he calls it a “material” changes.  Schiff argues in this letter the entire memo should be disregarded at this point, as the majority is not at all dealing in good faith.  In another time; in another place that might make a difference, but as the entire affair is a clusterfuck of theatrical obfuscation from beginning to end, I can’t see how reason or logic will have any standing in this now.

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January 30, 2018

The White House may deny they are involved in the GOP strong-arming the imminent release of the heavily biased Nunes memo, but it’s clear the White House is involved. It has been reported from multiple news outlets that Chief of Staff John Kelly had ongoing discussions with both the FBI and DOJ outlining the President’s dissatisfaction with either department voicing opposition to the memo’s release.  With Kelly purportedly using the disclaimer, “The White House is not expecting them to do anything illegal or unethical,” but it would be a solid if they did.  Couple that with minority ranking member, Adam Schiff, declaring last night that the GOP majority House Intel Committee has opened investigations into both the DOJ and FBI and we can surmise there is coordinated undue influence being exerted on those institutions.

If there were anything untoward discovered by the Intel Committee regarding the handling of the FISA warrant for Carter Page, there are several remedies available that a concerned Intel Committee would undertake, if their true concern was that the warrant was mishandled and the Committee was acting in the public interest:

  1. Take the information to the chief judge of the FISA court and have him review it.
  2. Go to the DOJ Inspector General, which is an independent entity that could investigate the matter.
  3. Take the information to the Trump appointed FBI director who could properly review and address the issue more directly and effectively than anyone.

No.  None of these things happened.  So actually dealing with the issue for the public interest, never was a priority, was it?  What was important was to get it out right now to attempt to set a narrative, which by the Intel Committee’s own admission has a possible shelf life of around 7 days.  Around that time the Intel Committee will consider voting on releasing the minority’s memo which outlines why the Nunes memo is incorrect in it’s assertions and mostly partisan cherry picking.

7 days.

What’s happening within the 7 day?   I ask because, dealing with concerns about the FISA warrant in a legitimate fashion was never the goal, so what was the real intention? So far, we’ve seen Trump rescind the overwhelmingly supported Russian sanctions as they have been deemed unnecessary.  What else is going to happen?

Rick has a lot of strong opinions about Trump and the direction of the GOP in general…I never heard the guy be “funny,” but this has to be a joke, to lift the lines from Nixon’s last State of the Union Address.  It’s a joke, right?  Yeah, has to be.  But something is afoot my friends.  What does the one-week-cover Trump shall have surrounding the release of the memo buy for him?

I believe, as I did in yesterday’s post, that we will probably get an inkling from the State of the Union Address of forthcoming draconian measures (it’s “State of the Union Address,” not SOTU!!! and he’s not the POTUS, he’s the dick occupying the office.)

But

but…is he going to attempt to fire Rod Rosenstein in the next 7 days?  That’s my question.

 

Added:  Absolutely creepy statement made by Trump today at a luncheon with journalists preceding his State of the Union Address tonight:

“I would love to be able to bring back our country into a great form of unity,” Trump said. “Without a major event where people pull together, that’s hard to do. But I would like to do it without that major event because usually that major event is not a good thing.”

The content is creepy and it’s the way it is casually related by Trump makes it extra creepy.

January 29, 2018

UPDATE: GOP votes to release their own distorted memo.  They separately voted to not release the minority’s memo outlining how the facts have been distorted.  They separately voted to not allow the FBI or DOJ to view and address the GOP memo.  Trump just needs to sign off on this now.  Schiff is currently announcing this and describing how an infected presidency has passed it’s disease to Congress.  Schiff has also said that his GOP led committee is opening up investigations into both the DOJ and FBI.  Obviously a further attempt to thwart the ongoing investigation by all means necessary even if it means the undermining of our governmental institutions.

Truly a sad day for our Democracy.  GOP has crossed a line that is regrettable.  Saving this disgusting, unqualified, idiot president is all that matters to the GOP to the detriment of everything else.

UPDATE: at around the same time this vote was going down, White House announced they decided they are not imposing the sanctions against the Russian that were overwhelmingly passed last year-

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With Trump’s State of the Union Address imminent, the relative silence on his twitter feed speaks volumes, particularly considering his incredibly light schedule for today:

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He’s always scheduled for ridiculously short days which usually lead to lots and lots of TV time and early morning and evening twatterings…not lately.  I’m going to go ahead and assume that the nativist, unqualified Trump administration “brain trust,” is working on a whammy or two for the address.

They could be crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s on an updated immigration policy that Trump will allude to, but I think it’s more likely they are going to throw a hand grenade on the floor of Congress with the outline for a proposed infrastructure bill.  Could be.

My general feeling is they are cooking up something to keep Congress and the public disoriented as that is this White House’s preferred tool for cover of whatever nefarious deeds they are up to administratively.

Will Trump make a gaff in his address?  Probably not, but does it matter anyway?  He’s already a certified fool.  Will he describe how he wants to build bridges and work in a bipartisan fashion going forward?  Of course, mostly because he has to ….and does that really matter either?

The GOP’s characterization that Democrats are being obstructionists is a flimsy tool.  Equating “Vote on exactly what we want or nothing,” with obstruction is ridiculous and not nearly as effective as Bush’s, “Vote on this war or you are not a patriot.”  Saying the Administration and the GOP want to work in a bipartisan fashion means nothing because if they can get away with not doing so, they will.  If they have to work on bipartisan legislation, their initial approach will be “our way or the highway.”

Supposedly Congress is taking a vote right now on whether or not to release D-bag Nunes’ crafted document in regards to the FBI’s use of FISA warrants and the Steele Dossier.  Again, does it matter?  At best it will start a firestorm that will burn out in a week.  Long term, what Nunes, the White House, and some of the GOP are doing is irreparable damage to our institutions and standing in the world.

This is what it looks like when we put a party that has truly been nothing but obstructionists in power.  They haven’t the ability to govern, but are advanced in the powers of destruction.

 

 

January 27, 2018

We can’t see the trees for the forest.

Standard operating practice for this administration is to keep hammering away at the public’s ability to discover and understand the ramifications of each and every action that has been taken by the administration to further their ideology.  It’s almost impossible to keep track of all of it.  It’s a continuous blitzkrieg.  We stand back and observe the ideological narrative: demonize foreigners, enact nativist laws and install fundamentalist ideologues into the courts, undermine the foundations of our democracy, and enrich corporations to whom money is owed or through which the members of the administration will enrich themselves.

There might be a few other branches I’m missing, but by and large we have a general sense of the overarching themes.

Nearly every member of this administration’s cabinet is an unqualified and detestable creature in their own right.  I keep wanting to spend time writing about each one of them individually…it’s truly mind-blowing how awful these people are.  The only one I’ve managed to find time to write about specifically, is Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.  I don’t understand how it has still not been reported that Zinke was involved with Whitefish before the whole Puerto Rico thing.

https://trumptimestamp.wordpress.com/2017/10/30/secretary-zinke-did-push-a-big-job-to-whitefish-before-puerto-rico/

Zinke definitely has his hands in the pot and the administration certainly would love to divvy up our public lands for the enrichment of oil/gas/mineral companies.  I’d like to spend time examining this one tree in the forest again.

In this administrations splatter-shot approach to proclaiming new laws through executive order, pushing half baked agendas, and generally weighing down the public with endless daily intrigues and scandals, it is possible that they will reveal their infrastructure bill in the middle of this whole budget/DACA crisis or at it’s very tail-end,  so as to fatigue the public into just not giving a fuck anymore.  Within this framework may be hidden some suspicious looking ideas about public land use.  Or, an executive order may come down at the same time declaring our new direction with public lands usage.

Leaked Documents Reveal the Trump Administration’s Plan to Sell off Our Public Lands

Reported by Politico, Axios, and Mother Jones.  The document is legit.  The administration was approached about this.  Yes, it’s for real.  The administration is highlighting: this is only a draft, it may not appear in final wording as you see it now.  Emhm.

As in all things, the devil is in the details.  It’s why I always insist on source data.

Here it is.

“Politico reported Wednesday that Trump could release his long-anticipated infrastructure plan in as little as two weeks. If it takes aim at public land, Zinke will almost certainly face the brunt of public outrage. After all, it was Zinke who said last month, “No one loves public land more than I. You can love it as much, but you can’t love it any more.”

It certainly seems as if selling public lands to entities for their own use, is written into this document.  I want to point out, that that is not all this document says.  It does not say, exclusively to private institutions.  States and other public entities may also opt to purchase these lands.

This is the phrase in particular that is catching everyone’s eyes:

“Disposition of Federal Real Property: would establish through executive order the authority to allow for the disposal of Federal assets to improve the overall allocation of economic resources in infrastructure investment.” 

Now, whether it is a state or non governmental entity which buys the land, It is necessary for whomever may buy the land, to show that it shall be a profitable venture in order for the sale to take place.  It’s a weighted condition.  Even if a state buys the land, they are probably going to have to support it through leasing it to a commercial entity…possibly the same entities that would buy it for it’s exploitable resource…so, it doesn’t really matter who is on the other side of the contract, the end use will be the same unless…unless that state bothers to show it will itself back the funding or can prove non-extraction activities will sustain it’s profitability and that’s possible.  Problem is, the details of this document heavily skew the opportunity of selling our public lands to private companies.

I’m not going to cut and paste all of the important sections here as it may look like too much to read, I’ll transcribe the relevant parts, which can always be checked from the link above.

If the land is generally perceived as being used in the public’s interest:

  1. grants will be supplied to assist in the selling of land by the federal government.
  2. those grants are tied to showing that the land will be improved upon for public usage, ie: railway, water supply, hydropower, etc.
  3. If it is for public use, 50% of the decision to sell the land thus will be hinged upon securing private funds for the project.  If standard is met, the federal grant to support it cannot exceed 20%* of the entire project cost. *only 10% collectable by any one state.

Non public use:

  1. Grants will be extended to high-risk exploratory ENERGY usage.
  2. Federal funding for 30% of undertaking, 50% of project planning, and 80% of capitol construction.
  3. If this proves to be valuable, the government has the ability to declare a right in some unclarified profit sharing.  Not a first right.  totally not clarified in this garbage document.
  4. Federal technical assistance is available.

Now which angle looks like the better deal to you?  Understand that even if the land is bought for a form of public use, the land will HAVE to be changed, improved, used some how, if you want any federal grants, otherwise…that shit is all on you.  The way it is written it is considerably less likely that any public purchase of the land does not involve a private entity and it is pretty much impossible to buy the land to preserve it.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders…is still a cunt

Today’s Propaganda Seminar Press Conference:  Sarah Huckabee Sanders says, with a twinkle in her eye and a grin on her cunt face, that the administration won’t release their “plans” for the Dreamers until Monday because it would “take away the fun…”

Take away.

The.

Fun.

Which part is the “fun” part?  The sense of total power over others?  The fear they feel?  Is it “fun” that there’s no actual, current plan in writing, but chief administration racist Miller will get around to that over the weekend?  Is that the “fun” part?

Is it hysterical to you Sarah Huckabee Sanders?

A real knee-slapper?

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is still a cunt in case you were wondering.

April 13 update.   You’re not going to believe this.  Sarah Sanders continues to be a cunt.

May 30 update: Sarah Sanders inexplicably slightly less cunty!