So, companies are giving out bonuses, little kids are putting flags on veteran's graves, Trump is nominating judges, several Congressmen and women in the audience can't keep their hands off their cell phones, Trump manages to take a swipe at the NFL's "We don't stand for the national anthem" BS. We're exporting energy and importing cash to invest in America. Apparently there's a presidential initiative to start drag races in Detroit; that's a better use for the real estate than a bunch of abandoned buildings.
So far, it sounds like winning, winning, more winning, so much winning you'll get tired of winning, but I'm not tired of winning yet so keep it coming.
Trade deals will be "fair and reciprocal". Trump will protect our intellectual property through enforcement of trade rules. (Aimed at china).
Here comes his request for a huge infrastructure bill. $1.5 trillion.
I'm not a fan of the spending, but if anyone can get it done without the bullshit and waste... that's actually Trump's area of expertise. Well, aside from the golden toilets. I want to see specifics about the bill. But since Trump isn't the one who writes it, he can't really give them to us.
MS-13 gang members murders. "Illegal alien unaccompanied minors" -- not said, but those are also the DACA crowd. Americans are dreamers too.
Melania looks bored, but I can't blame her. I doubt politics was on her list of life goals after "trophy wife".
"Protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration"... interesting formulation. I agree with the policy but that formation seems like a stretch.
Foreign aid to only go to friends, not enemies... keeping score of UN votes about the embassy move. Sanity!
McCabe at center of FBI controversy over leaking of manipulated stories
So, if you've been paying attention at all to politics, you've learned about normal crimes versus process crimes. Normal crimes are when you do something wrong, like set up a personal email server to avoid FOIA requests, and route classified national security information to your address there. Process crimes are when you lie to the FBI -- even accidentally, like when they ambush you in your office claiming to want to talk to you about something else -- about something you did that was perfectly legal, and then they charge you with lying to the FBI about it even though there isn't any underlying crime.
This is the same idea, except worse. According to the account in the book, which is according to the account in this article, McCabe called up Rince Priebus and told him about a "bullshit" media story about Trump contacts with Russia. Priebus asked him if he could tell the press that the story was bullshit. McCabe said he would have to check, and later said he could not. And like clockwork, the "bullshit" story went away and the story about Priebus trying to get McCabe to shut down a media story on the Russia investigation started. The obvious implication is that McCabe called Priebus to get the predictable reaction ("Can't you tell them it's all bullshit?") and mischaracterized that as the White House applying pressure to the FBI to make the media shut up. Worse, the original story appears to bear fingerprints to suggest it may have been planted by McCabe originally. FBI Director (at the time) Comey may have also been involved.
This is about as close to firing someone as it gets in government service without paying lawyers. If he wasn't fired, he's stepping out before the House votes to release the memo in hopes of avoiding fallout from it. That vote is scheduled for 5pm today.
I'll also add the likely real driving force behind this proposal: Such a network would represent a single point of surveillance. It's much easier for the government to evesdrop on everyone in the country when they own the cell phone network outright. None of those pesky warrants or third-party companies that might fight them in court.
The Trump White House announced that it would announce an immigration plan on Monday, something it thinks both sides of Congress and the issue can agree to compromise on.
We haven't seen that plan yet. We've seen what people have leaked that claims to be that plan.
In politics, those are called "trial balloons". You release leaks ahead of time, see what the reaction is, and adjust the final release to take those reactions into account. Maybe you change it, maybe you don't, but at least you know ahead of time how people will react to it.
So far, Trump's base seems to be reacting negatively. Trump may get the signal that the leaked proposal is too much amnesty and backpeddle. Or maybe the leaks didn't come from him and his actual plan doesn't resemble what leaked to begin with.
The only strong objection I have to the plan as leaked is the end of E-Verify. I don't like handing out amnesty and a path to citizenship, but for a small number of people, who can be subjected to background checks and be disqualified if they fail to remain law-abiding citizens (aside from the initial, illegal entry), it might be a workable compromise. But, because of the trust deficit on this issue, it has to be significantly delayed -- and canceled if the other elements of the deal are messed with.
My take on the issue is simple.
First, I won't waste a lot of time worrying about any proposal I see before Monday. The real proposal is Monday. Anything before Monday is a trial balloon. That doesn't mean don't react to the trial balloon. It's the reaction that makes it useful. But don't treat it as an unforgivable betrayal when it isn't even a real proposal yet.
Second, as things stand, Trump needs any bill dealing with the issue to get to 60 votes. That means significant compromise is inevitable if anything is going to pass at all. Some group of people are going to get amnestied. If Trump can keep that number down while getting significant concessions (wall actually built, enforcement actually funded, policy changes that fix some of the problems) that's not necessarily a bad deal.
Third, Trump is trying to take the middle ground here. That's generally the President's goal: let the extremes in Congress say their piece and then propose something that 51% of the population can agree with broadly. He's specifically looking for something that can break off enough Dem Senators to get to 60 votes. Every time he shakes up the game by throwing a proposal out there, he gets to see if anyone twitches like they want to go for it. He's probably not going to get Schumer or other hardliners on board. But he doesn't need to. He just needs 8-10 of them.
So. It's Monday. Let's see what the real proposal is, if any.
The problem with the idea that everyone is somehow an unconscious racist based on millesecond differences in reaction time to words is that it removes the element of choice. People choose their actions, because they control those actions. They may or may not control exactly they they think, but they absolutely control what they say and what they do. If racism is to be measured not by choices and expressed opinions but unexpressed -- even suppressed -- thoughts, then not only is everyone condemned to be a racist by this amoral measurement, they are also condemned permanently and unforgivably to that fate. It is impossible for them to NOT be a racist.
At that point, why even try to do the right thing?
I firmly believe that all people have the right to be evaluated as individuals based on all reasonably available information. But when decisions are being made and tracked at the millisecond scale, you're barely engaging conscious decision making at all. You're tracking unconscious decision-making, basically instinct, and probably not very accurately.. and then assigning that measurement a dangerous amount of moral weight. That's immoral in itself, and arguably abusive of the subjects, who doubtless did not expect to be labeled unconscious racists when they agreed to participate in the study.
DOJ withholds vast majority of FBI texts from Congress
Read the whole thing. It's an outrage. Congress is not indulging in idle curiousity here. They are investigating a serious matter with criminal implications that places in doubt the ability of the DOJ and the FBI to participate in investigations of their own misbehavior. The only appropriate response of the FBI and DOJ here is to turn over everything, without filtering, and let congressional staff handle the matter.
Not mentioned in this article is the interesting analysis that suggests the claim Strzok and Page were having an affair came from Strzok and/or Page themselves. They were talking to the reporter who originally made that claim publicly. Why would they make that claim if it wasn't true? Well, it would provide a reason for their secretive behavior and sneaking around, if they suddenly needed one because their leaking to reporters and water-carrying for Hillary started to get into the newspapers.
White House was hacked through a fishing email, and gained access to most of Obama's email. (Oops!) Funny how hackers getting access to the White House and even the president's email was not bigger news at the time, isn't it?
The State Department was hacked (under Kerry), which is what provided access to the White House... sort of. There's no need for access to state.gov to send a fishing email to whitehouse.gov, but I'll give the article the benefit of the doubt and assume it helped.
Both of those things were reported at the time and while major embarrassments for the White House, had nothing to do with the election.
There is nothing here related to the hacking of the DNC (which was probably an internal leak anyway).
There is nothing here related to Hillary's tenure at State.
There is nothing here related to Hillary's personal email server, which may or may not have been hacked; the hackers in that case did not release email dumps and the incident had nothing to do with the results of the 2016 election in any technical way; Hillary's poor judgment in setting up the server did.
There is nothing here related to the US 2016 election cycle and the election of President Trump, despite the article being deceptively written to imply that it did.
DOJ IG recovers missing text messages between Page and Strzok
Well, they sure didn't stay missing long, did they? As this incident should remind us, when the government wants to recover text messages, they can generally recover the text messages. When they don't want to recover the text messages, as with the case of the Lois Lerner IRS scandal, it's a cover up.
And speaking of coverups, I feel that I should point out that the IG had to use "forensic tools" to recover those missing text messages. That means someone tried to delete them, probably Page and Strzok themselves, which speaks to consciousness of guilt.
UPDATE: I meant to point out that the notification does not say "all" messages were recovered, which potentially leaves some wiggle room. We don't know how many messages were actually recovered, out of how many total.
Howie Carr starts it. This may seem like a big step, but realistically, the FBI was founded in 1908, so it's been around for less than half of our nation's history. In that time, it's been at the center of many political scandals, including the most recent one and the well-known corruption and blackmail of the years under Hoover. If that wasn't enough, the FBI was also heavily involved in the Waco Massacre and the Ruby Ridge incident, and knew about the Oklahoma City bombing in advance.
We now know that at least the headquarters branch of the entire agency has been irredeemably politicized and corrupted.
Howie Carr may be right. It may be time to take drastic action to disband the FBI headquarters office and reconstitute a similar agency under a new name, new leadership, and new headquarters staff.
It's ironic how many parallels there are between the plot against Trump and the "vast right wing conspiracy" that Hillary famously thought was behind her husband's impeachment. Believing in a vast right wing conspiracy is surely emotionally easier than facing your husband's serial infidelity, but it doesn't justify creating a vast left wing conspiracy to hound an innocent not-guilty-of-this-particular-crime man.
Kerry talks up a coup in the Palestinian Authority
So not only is Kerry negotiating with terrorists, and doing so in direct opposition to the interests of the American people as expressed in their choice of President, he is also doing it as a private citizen with no official government position.
And he's talking openly about conducting a coup.
Because that's what it would take to get Trump out of office before 2020. Even if the Dems take the House in 2018 and immediately file impeachment charges, the chances they get 2/3rds of the Senate to vote in favor of removing Trump from office on the basis of their transparently fake and fraudulent dossier is precisely zilch. Using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump on mental grounds seems even shakier.
How to reconcile these claims? Well, the preliminary report is from October 1st, 2017. Perhaps the investigating agencies are just keeping things quiet while they run down leads and try to apprehend any other suspects... or perhaps they still don't want to admit it was terrorism. Given the number of conspiracies revealed at the FBI and DOJ lately, coupled with the very strange information released about this attack already, I'm leaning towards the latter.
I can't fairly claim she was one of my favorite authors. She did write one of my favorite trilogies, however, something that (though much shorter) is a work of art that compares quite well with Tolkein. That would be the EarthSea trilogy (A Wizard of EarthSea, The Tombs of Atuan, and The Farthest Shore). Do not continue any farther than that; the brain eater got her before she returned to the series decades later.