I don't care who the President may or may not have slept with while he was not President. That's between him and his wife and ex-wives and other mistresses. So long as they are consenting, above legal age, don't work for him, and he doesn't commit perjury to get out of a sexual harassment lawsuit concerning them. I don't even care if they were Russian hookers urinating on a hotel bed in Moscow, frankly. I knew I wasn't getting a moral compass.
But the actual facts of the matter appear to be a bit disturbing on another level that isn't being talked about. We have a porn star who, apparently, attempted to blackmail the President (while he was a candidate), maybe got paid by someone (who may or may not be Trump), and now, after the election, wants to renege on the deal and claim her 15 minutes of fame and possibly huge cash rewards?
IRS documents 1.3 million identity theft cases, refers none to prosecutors
On the one hand, tax filings are generally not supposed to be a starting point for a non-tax criminal investigation. Police aren't supposed to just troll through tax records to find people to charge with something. But that's when honest citizens are filing honest taxes in their own names and making, occasionally, honest mistakes. It seems like illegal aliens committing identify theft are a bit different.
PJMedia has the story about a student who was threatened and then attacked physically for defending the NRA verbally, then suspended from school for defending himself from the attack. The student had plans to go into the military and might need to apply for a security clearance -- and the incident will remain on his record and possibly cause problems for him. And this while the people who actually need to be locked up to prevent mass murder slip through the cracks in the system.
This event was obviously intended as a propaganda whitewash of Islam, not a real discussion. The speaker's rather flustered reaction to being challenged is understandable, especially if she herself was ignorant and unprepared, as seems to be the case. However, that does not excuse the use of police to intimidate people asking honest questions and expecting honest discussion. This is a textbook chilling effect, even if no action was actually taken by the campus police.
Warrants requesting cell location data for anyone close to a crime
The only reason they can get away with this is because the warrant is applied against Google, for "records", rather than trying to get probable cause against the people whose location they really want. We're probably going to need some Supreme Court cases to fix this.
Note that this inherently confines the suspect list to people who have cell phones and brought those cell phones to the scene of the crime. What does a smart criminal do with his cell phone? He leaves it at home when planning on committing a crime, so he can't be convicted based on the location information, and can use it as an alibi ("I was at home taking a nap! Check my phone!").
Actually, Republicans are facing the prospect of a historic repudiation this November in part because many die-hard Republican officeholders don't reliably vote Republican and many more don't support Trump and the agenda that carried Trump to victory. The difference here is that Obama's party united behind him and passed sweeping, polarizing changes -- most notably, Obamacase -- while Trump's party has failed to unite behind him and failed to pass significant policy changes into law, with the exception of a tax cut. Trump and Obama may be partisan mirrors of each other, but their respective Congresses are not, and it's Congress that is up for election in 2018.
It remains to be seen which is the better strategy.
Obama campaign director admits Facebook helped them
Well, if it wasn't for the way courts have treated political campaigns and spam laws, that would count as illegal spam. Surely there are some legal approaches that can be effectively used to prevent companies like Facebook sharing the personal information of their customers directly with political campaigns without permission.
This one was in a package at a FedEx facility in San Antonio, believed to be bound for Austin. It may represent a departure -- the bomber leaving the Austin area, attempting to set off one last bomb to confuse when he left -- or possibly a mistake about how the earlier bombs were delivered. Or just changing methods to confuse the issue.
Abusing the intelligence agencies to try to influence an election is a constitutional crisis. Abusing the special counsel statute to investigate a president on the basis of zero real evidence is a constitutional crisis. Congress attempting to usurp the Constitutional role of the President would be a constitutional crisis. The only thing here that wouldn't be a constitutional crisis would be President Trump firing a man who, legally, works for him.
That doesn't mean it would be wise to fire Mueller, but it's increasingly looking like Mueller will keep escalating until he is fired -- and he will then use the firing to claim obstruction of justice.
Propublica Retracts story on CIA head's association with torture
So, they lied to you, and likely leaked classified information in the process. Will you name your sources so they can be punished for leaking and lying, and their credibility in future leaks or other public testimony appropriately reduced? No?
This is concerning for a number of reasons. First, it comes after a string of three explosions from packages left on doorsteps; all of those resulted in serious injuries and there were some deaths. This latest attempt also resulted in serious injuries. But the switch in tactics from explosive packages left on doorsteps to tripwires on packages left by the side of the road as soon as the word got out about the packages is significant. It means the person behind this is flexible and changes tactics based on response. He's not figuring it out as he goes, he already knows what he's doing. Second, tripwires on the side of the road are a tactic very similar to IEDs seen in Iraq and elsewhere, and indicate a possible connection to that conflict (ie, skills learned there) and an inherent randomness about the targets. Third, the lack of communication with the police to claim credit for a cause, along with the (so far) lack of reported connection between the targets, suggests this person is basically attacking at random and intends to continue doing so.
There was an arrest Sunday for someone who emailed a bomb threat to a specific location near to where the other bombs were placed. He was charged with the threat, but not (yet) with the actual bombings. More explosions Monday morning, after his arrest, means they probably don't have the right guy for the actual bombs.
And finally, there might be a second device that was found before it went off. Hopefully just a false alarm.
It wouldn't have happened to a better man. The firing is richly deserved, as anyone who has been following media accounts of the Hillary email investigation and Trump-Russia investigation should know well. The officially stated reasons are unauthorized disclosure to the media -- leaking -- and "lacking candor" -- that's lying -- including under oath.
In other words, he tried to take down a president with lies and backroom politics, and he failed. He learned that if you strike at the King, you must kill him, for if you strike at the King and do not, he will surely kill you. Politically, in this case. In the old days it was a bit more literal.
Note that just being fired doesn't mean he's off the hook for whatever crimes he may have committed in the process.
McCabe has released a statement in which he whines like a bitch and blames everything on a vast right wing conspiracy to cover up a vast Russian conspiracy.
Judge who accepted Flynn's guilty plea may have been colluding with corrupt FBI agents
So the judge who accepted Flynn's guilty plea, and who sits on the FISA court, turns out to have been friendly with Strzok and Page, the dynamic and adulterous duo at the FBI who so deftly spied on the Trump campaign after exonerating Hillary Clinton.
And the text messages revealing the collaboration were deliberately hidden from Congress according to the Federalist article.
So they are deliberately making up social events as cover for their nefarious collusion with a judge on the FISA court. That shows consciousness of guilt on their part, even if the judge did nothing wrong.
Reforming the FISA court results in business as usual
Appointing one of those attorneys should be mandatory, not optional. And they should be required to write a year-end summary of their work, for public consumption, speaking in aggregate without naming names. We need to know what the FISA court is authorizing so we can have a proper public debate on government surveillance of Americans.
I meant that as a joke, but it turns out to be true. The project executive is named Leonor Flores and uses feminine pronouns.
It should be noted I'm not ascribing blame here. I don't know who screwed up. But somebody did, and that's why it's important for standards in engineering to remain "can get the right answer" rather than "diversity and inclusion".
Much as McCabe deserves to be fired (and then prosecuted and jailed), I can't help but think this is bait for Mueller to invoke obstruction of justice charges. That said, you can't let that sort of thing paralyze you. Fire him.