Susan Power – The New Face of the Unmasking Scandal

What a UN Ambassador wanted with intel on Trump…

A new name has surfaced in the unmasking scandal. UN Ambassador Susan Power made hundreds of unmasking requests in the last year of the Obama Presidency. Unmasking is the process by which individuals caught up in warrantless NSA surveillance are named in intelligence reports. It is a violation of the 4th amendment when misused.

During the Trump campaign and transition period, there were leaks of damaging information only discovered by government surveillance. At some point, Trump officials were unmasked in US intelligence reports and those reports were leaked to the press. The New York Times was one that reported Trump ties to Russia that were gleaned from NSA wiretaps.  They have since attempted to back off the claim.

Illegally unmasking a US citizen and leaking that information is a felony and carries up to 10 years in jail. The prime people of interest are former CIA director Brennan, Susan Rice, and now Susan Power.

So why would a UN Ambassador be caught up in this? The potential answers to that question truly scare me. If Susan Power was leaking intel on the Trump transition team to other UN member nations, that would be a huge development. Don’t forget, much of the Russia collusion speculation came from intel provided by the UK, Germany and the Ukraine. Were they doing the spying? Or was the US doing the spying, laundering the info through them, and then using it to smear Trump and attempt to influence the election outcome and bolster the resistance movement?

A crime was committed. The fact that we know anything about the Russia investigation is indicative of the many illegal leaks. What we know shows that those leaks include information only our intelligence agencies should know.  Brennan and Rice have both been openly hostile towards the Trump administration.  It will be interesting to see where the investigation of Susan Power goes.

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Duped Again

How we all fell for another “Obama era” policy that never existed

Duped again. The Transgender Serving Openly in the Military policy was another “Obama Era” policy that never existed. After 8 years of Obama banning transgenders from serving openly, Sec. or Defense Ash Carter announced the ban would end…in 2017. Sec. of Defense Mattis, in July of 2017, extended the ban another couple months in order to finish researching the process.

I know how it can be confusing.  Since Trump’s announcement, a handful of transgender veterans have made the news.  Now retired and open, they have called Trump out for saying they are in any way unfit to serve.  I’d tend to agree with them.  So why did Trump continue the actual Obama era policy of the ban?

To be clear, when Trump tweeted that Transgenders would be banned from the military that was a reversal of declared policy, but not a reversal of actual implemented policy. For 8 years Obama maintained the ban on Transgenders in the military.

So why did Trump circumvent General Mattis’s process? Because the day before Trump’s tweet, the House defeated a measure that would prevent taxpayers from paying for gender reassignment surgery.  That was the trigger for Trump declaring the Obama era ban would continue.

Why Democrats Want Mueller Fired

The whole Russia thing has been a bust so far…

There have been some interesting theories about why Special Investigator Robert Mueller was hired, why he has put together a legal team of Clinton donors, how fair he actually is, etc. I’d like to look at another theory, why Democrats want Mueller fired. While no Democrats have called for Mueller to be fired directly, it seems a little odd to me how the chips have fallen.

Consider this, on July 19 Trump gives an interview where he suggests that if Mueller starts investigating items outside of Russia that would be grounds for firing.  July 20 headline? Mueller expands probe to Trump business transactions. Citing unnamed officials, Bloomberg says Mueller is doing exactly what Trump said would get him fired. That’s a little too convenient for me.

Special prosecutors have a history of stepping out of bounds. Patrick Fitzgerald, already knowing it was Richard Armitage who leaked Valerie Plame’s name, put Scooter Libby in jail on trumped up obstruction charges so he could try to get to Dick Cheney. Kenneth Starr turned an investigation into a shady land deal into an impeachment trial for lying under oath about sex with an intern.  It’s very likely Democrats are hoping the Russia probe will turn into something similar. Or at least a back ally way to get their  white whale: Trump’s tax returns.

There is a lot of pressure on a special prosecutor to find something to justify their paycheck. Mueller’s team of Clinton donors also may have some incentive to find something. But getting fired could be just as good.

Mueller getting fired would still be a win for Democrats. I’m sure we can all imagine the headlines. Trump fired Comey on the recommendations of his Department of Justice. Comey had screwed up a couple investigations, based findings on the phony Russia dossier, been unclear about Trump not being under investigation, and after being fired Comey released classified info to the media to get Mueller hired in the first place.  But that didn’t stop the media from speculating about Comey’s firing being obstruction of justice.

Can you imagine the media field day if Trump fires Mueller? Every tin foil hat conspiracy theory cooked up by CNN and MSNBC over the last six months will be permanently believable even if never verified. Firing Mueller will permanently create the specter of the Nixonian President who got away with it.

For Democrats, that would be a much better result than if Mueller concluded his investigation empty handed.

Booker Claims Obamacare Failure is Trump’s Fault

“Sinister” was passing it in the first place…

Senator Cory Booker said that Trump letting Obamacare fail is “not just cynical, it’s actually sinister.”  I have some choice words for Mr. Booker.

Republicans didn’t write Obamacare.  They didn’t vote for it.  They only had one thing in common really with Democrats on Obamacare: none of them read it.

Trump didn’t sign Obamacare.  He didn’t write it.  He didn’t repeal it.  They couldn’t even replace a letter in the name.  Obamacare remains largely untouched by Republicans.  If it’s failing, that has nothing to do with Republicans or Trump.  Obamacare is failing because Democrats didn’t design it to survive.

We could argue about whether or not Obamacare’s failure was intentionally designed that way, or just a bi-product of bad legislation.  But the fact remains that Obamacare is going to fail.  Next year 45 counties will have no healthcare plans on their Obamacare marketplace.  1,138 counties will have one choice.

So what is Booker talking about?  How does he get to assign any blame to Trump on this? I guess you could argue because Trump isn’t bailing out the insurance companies. Obamacare had designed in it a failsafe bailout option for if (or when) it failed. The government would take billions of borrowed dollars and funnel them to the insurance companies to save Obamacare. Trump isn’t taking that option. I guess Booker thinks that not giving insurance companies massive bailouts is sinister. That would make sense if you’re on the side of the insurance companies.

Some have argued that by saying they were going to replace Obamacare, that is what has caused insurance companies to pull out. Well, that will be easy to test.  Now that the hapless McConnell has failed, the insurance companies should come charging back into the Obamacare marketplaces, right? Cause right now the best metaphor for some of these Obamacare marketplaces is a Venezuela grocery store. But if Booker actually thought that was going to happen, what would he be worried about?

Obamacare is going to fail. Not because Republicans had anything to do with it, they didn’t. Because when Democrats rushed to pass it without any input from Republicans, they gave America a bad deal. If they had any sense, they’d offer to help the GOP fix it.

5 Times Obama Didn’t Appoint a Special Prosecutor

…but should have

I saw a meme recently mocking the Trump team for lawyering up. There’s a reason Obama and his team never needed to lawyer up. They had Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch as the attorney generals. Neither of them had any interest in looking at wrongdoing by the Obama administration. Even the thought of Obama hiring a special prosecutor to investigate himself is hilarious.
 
Here are five times Obama should have appointed a special prosecutor but didn’t:
 
1. Fast and furious – the gun running scandal where the US sold weapons to Mexican drug lords that were then lost and later used to kill US border agents. The murder of the border agents was initially used by the administration to call for greater gun control, until it was discovered where those guns came from.
 
2. The IRS targeting scandal – the IRS targeted right-leaning political groups by denying their applications and subjecting them to unreasonable questioning. Congress investigated, but no charges were ever filed by the Obama DOJ and the administration did not appoint a special prosecutor. The person responsible, Lois Lerner, never faced legal consequences.  Multiple calls for a special prosecutor were ignored by the Obama DOJ.
 
3. Benghazi – not only did the administration lie to the public, but Hillary Clinton violated the law when she distributed classified information about the Benghazi incident and destroyed classified information regarding the incident.
 
4. Hillary Clinton’s email server – despite the destruction of evidence, and Loretta Lynch completely invalidating the investigation by meeting with Bill Clinton on his private jet, a special prosecutor was not appointed. This is despite evidence that Obama knew about her server and that the Obama DOJ made unethical deals with Clinton attorneys to help destroy and hide evidence in the case.
 
5. The Iran Nuclear Deal payment – This was when Obama negotiated a poorly structured nuclear deal with Iran, and then sealed it with a huge cash payment delivered in the middle of the night. After the payment was discovered, the Obama administration claimed it was an old debt from a couple Iranian governments ago when we cancelled an arms shipment to them during their revolution.
 
Any of these were more salacious than the idea that Trump associates may have sought opposition research from the Russians. But none were investigated by any body with actual authority. None resulted in special counsels.
 
This also doesn’t include the smaller things, like the raid on the Gibson Guitar factory, Solyndra, or NSA spying on reporters.  And it doesn’t include the bigger things that came to light more recently such as Obama spying on Trump associates and unmasking them. I haven’t even touched on the leaks.
Trump fired James Comey.  Obama’s first year in office was a blood bath for Bush administration attorneys and officials.  The difference so far between Trump and Obama is that Obama had more scandals and fewer people in his government that had any interest in noticing.

What if Trump Jr got what he wanted?

Still looking for a law that was broken….

Here’s a question that’s been nagging at my mind. Forget the the fact that Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and the Obama administration colluded with the Ukraine, UK, and Germany to smear Trump and spread false information to influence the election. Forget that this Russian attorney who met with Trump Jr. did it under false pretenses and didn’t give him any information.
Let’s say it was all worst case scenario. Trump Jr. meets with this Russian lawyer. The Russian lawyer actually works for the Russian government, she isn’t just loosely associated with them like she is with the company that did opposition research on Trump. This is the real deal. Let’s pretend she gives Trump Jr. actual hard proof that Hillary Clinton was taking illegal donations from Russia, which is what this attorney claimed she had.
Badger
In our imaginary scenario, Donald Trump, Jr. meets with a Russian attorney from the Russian government and she gives him hard evidence that Hillary Clinton has committed a crime.  Maybe he turns that over to the FBI, maybe he gives it to the media, maybe he just distributes it to his campaign, who knows.  Are we saying that it should be illegal for someone to receive evidence from a foreign source that an American is doing something illegal?  Is it treason to discover that an American has broken the law if that discovery comes from a foreign source?
As Democrats call for impeachment and label Trump Jr.’s actions treasonous, it’s worth asking what we are losing out on in all of this populist mayhem and political assassination.
For one, the Obamacare replacement has ground to a halt. Before you cheer (if you happen to be a Leftist and reading this), in no uncertain terms Obamacare has failed. Forget just premiums rising at exponential rates, next year there are 45 counties in America that will have zero healthcare plans on their Obamacare market exchanges. In other words, the Obamacare marketplace is going to look like a Venezuela marketplace for thousands next year.  3 million will have one option.  That’s what government run healthcare looks like for America.
However, the false narrative that Trump has been under investigation or that this Russian meeting means anything has stymied the Trump agenda.  In fact, Republicans have devolved in their “repeal and replace” mission so far that their plan is barely more than a namechange at this point.  From ACA to AHCA.  And they can’t even get 51 votes for that.
As the mob seeks to crucify Trump and his associates, the only winner is the news media. If you believe their own producers, Russia may be a “nothingburger” but it’s been “great for ratings”.

The Left is out of Reasons

Ivanka gives the Left another trivial reason to freak out

I didn’t vote for Trump.  There are many things, including his hands off approach to healthcare reform, that I don’t like about him.  But I’m not blinded by hatred for Trump. As Hamburg burns outside of the G-20 summit, back home the Left is slowly devolving in their arguments against Trump.  What started as a juvenile exercise in aimless hate for Trump’s appearance, mixed with legitimate hate for his equal level of childishness and bad behavior, has now turned into a fake news gotcha fest.  Each “story” is more ridiculous and irrelevant than the last.

Maybe Democrats are also tired of Obamacare. Rather than filling up twitter with defenses of Obamacare, as it slowly churns towards repeal, Democrats are more concerned about trivial fake news.

Take for example the Poland handshake snub imagined around the world.  The Left was gleeful as the wife of Poland President Andrzej Duda initially didn’t shake Trump’s hand.  She shook Melania’s.  Not shown in CNN’s edited video of the event was Mrs. Duda shaking Trump’s hand twice.  President Duda himself took to twitter to mock CNN for their phony reporting.

Then there was the content of Trump’s speech in Poland.  Trump praised Poland for time and time again defeating Communism, Fascism, and terrorism.  He talked extensively about how the Nazis tried to wipe out Western civilization and Polish culture, but Poland resisted. The Left hated him for it. Vox posted an op-ed about how Trump’s speech was an “alt-right manifesto”.

The only problem was, it wasn’t.  Funny enough, his speech was anti-fascism. Apparently the leftist Antifa movement is also pro-fascism.

What alt-left Antifa fail to realize is that “western civilization” does not equal British descendants. Both the alt-left and alt-right misunderstand that term. When Trump talks about western civilization, he is talking about democracy, freedom, melting pot, all the things that Communism, Fascism, and terrorist religious extremism are not. When Trump talks about America being great, only the Left and the far Right (Ann Coulter types) think he is talking about white men.  America isn’t great because it makes white men great. America is great because everyone here at some time in their family history came from somewhere to America to be Americans.

Today, the Left struck again. The target this time was Ivanka Trump, part of the American delegation to the G-20, who sat in for President Trump briefly one time. Immediately there were calls for Trump to be removed, attacks on Ivanka for being completely unqualified to sit in his chair, and charges of unprofessionalism.  But the only people who actually care are former Obama officials and Trump critics. When asked about it, German PM Merkel said it was common for delegates to have someone from their delegation sit in if they are called out briefly. Nothing to see here.

Meanwhile, fakenews site Leftscoop.com went so far as to say Trump skipped “many of his G20 meetings today”. Of course, this isn’t true.  Even CNN said he briefly stepped out of one meeting.  Leftscoop suggested that the only reason we would even know this is because Russian media were able to sneak a shot of it.  Also not true.  But the fake story has stoked anger on the Left.

Maybe it’s just the Left being the Left. They are the most anti-women group in the country when it comes to a conservative woman holding any sort of power. But I suspect it’s something even deeper.  The Left is so ready to jump, protest, and lose their minds about even the most irrelevant fake news, it could just be that they are out of real things to be upset about. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong and find an real issue that is still worth their time and effort.