We have listened to the hype for decades. It's a serious matter to apply for a FISA warrant. We're assured abuse is rare. Former President Obama is quoted by The Guardian:
"When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls," ...the program is "fully overseen" by "the [FISA] court, a court specially put together to evaluate classified programs to make sure that the executive branch, or government generally, is not abusing them". -To The Guardian
"What I can say unequivocally is that if you are a US person, the NSA cannot listen to your telephone calls … by law and by rule, and unless they … go to a court, and obtain a warrant, and seek probable cause, the same way it's always been, the same way when we were growing up and we were watching movies, you want to go set up a wiretap, you got to go to a judge, show probable cause." -To Charlie Rose
Also quoted in the same Guardian article in defense of FISA's electronic surveillance of American citizens:
"The NSA 'is not listening to Americans' phone calls. If it did, it is illegal. It is breaking the law.'" -GOP Mike Rogers to CNN
"NSA...surveillance law only 'allows the Government to acquire foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S.-persons (foreign, non-Americans) located outside the United States.'" -House GOP talking points
"NSA internet surveillance 'is overseen by judges who sit on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court" and is "lawful and controlled'". -The Washington Post's David Ignatius
"Before NSA analysts can invade the content of calls and emails, they 'have to go to a judge to get a warrant to actually look at the content under guidelines set by Congress.'" -The New York Time's Tom Friedman
History proves both political parties, liberal and conservative media can be counted on to defend The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. Unequivocally when doing so benefits their side. As with so many issues and policies made law; it is a very sad state of affairs when common themes, such as national security, are politicized to the extent real issues are forgotten or ignored. America has real enemies: adversarial nations, state sponsors of terrorism, plus rogue terrorists foreign and domestic. But....
Enter a new, dynamically frightening adversary, the truly ominous Republican presidential candidate: Donald J Trump. A different Mike Rogers than mentioned above, perhaps on a whim or true suspicion, "ordered the NSA compliance officer to run a full audit on 702 NSA compliance." The audit began on or just before April 18 2016. Unbeknownst to Rogers at the time. But revealed later, the audit triggered an almost immediate response.
Coincidentally the FBI on April 18 2016, fired numerous private contractors it had secretly hired in November 2015, to "access raw FISA information using “To” and “From” FISA-702(16) & “About” FISA-702(17) queries" for anything they could learn of interest regarding Republican Party hopefuls. The very next day Mary Jacoby, wife of Global GPS's Glenn Simpson, visited the White House. Days later the Hillary Clinton campaign made payments through an attorney to Simpson's Global GPS. In late April or May 2016, Global GPS hired former British spy Richard Steele and shortly thereafter they also hired Russia expert Nellie Ohr, wife of highly placed Deputy Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr of the DOJ.
Let's take a breather. Sit back and think about this for a moment. For six months, from November 2015 to April 18, 2016, the FBI clandestinely provided freebie raw data on American citizens to Global GPS without permission from a FISA court. We had been repeatedly assured by nearly every politician, intelligence agency, and media outlet such unrestrained spying on American citizens could never, ever happen. Then from late April on, following a wife's visit to President Obama's White House; FBI, DOJ, and Global GPS actors sought means to take legal and political advantage of that same raw data. They devised a vehicle many familiarly, others somewhat reverentially refer to as The Salacious and Unverified Richard Steele Dossier.
Now enter Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer. We recall President Obama did not want Blumenthal anywhere near his State Department after what he experienced during his primary race with Hillary Clinton in 2008. Suspecting Blumenthal was a source of countless made up and real damaging accusations against him, perhaps he was hopeful Blumenthal would be less toxic out of the country, far away in Libya. Well, word is Hillary Clinton was more interested in keeping up with Sid's intelligence cables than in responding to Ambassador Craig Steven's urgent request for more security on September 10 2013.
That and Blumenthal's earlier defense of President Bill Clinton by smearing independent counsel Kenneth Starr during the Senate's almost successful attempt to return him to Hope, Arkansas are quite well known. Less known is Cody Shearer, also a long time Clinton clan collaborator. So. Appropriately so. Suffice it to say Shearer was the Clintons' "Mr. Fixer."
Background regarding Blumenthal and Shearer out of the way, we're talking about them because Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham jointly released a memo identifying a new, previously unknown dossier also linked to Richard Steele. Not only was Hillary directly colluding with Russians through the FBI. Hillary's Blumenthal and Shearer team was indirectly colluding with Russians through the State Department.
Why a second dossier? Maybe Obama/Hillary/Comey and company recognized the first Steele dossier they had bamboozled the FISA Court with was a dud. They needed a new fabrication laundered to appear it was also based on foreign intelligence so they could continue to justify to the FISA Court at renewal hearings their penchant for spying on American citizens.
Which is an indication the trio were now running scared, more dependent than ever before on the "insurance policy" in the dreaded event "the forty year old died (lost her presidential bid.)"
It's difficult for citizens of a nation to stick together when some of them are permitted to act as a law unto themselves while others know if they break the law they will be prosecuted to the full extent of that law. A rift between the treatment of lawless and lawful over time can only be expected to obtain increasingly greater animosities. Add to the rift non-citizens: dreamers, illegal border crossers, and those that overstay visas; the occasionally difficult will most certainly become perpetually complex.
So today the #SchumerShutDown is inevitable. What explains the transformation of our soundly established republic into a heartless, tyrannical democracy? Why do both houses of Congress answer to whiny, squeaky wheeled protesters instead of to voters that elected both houses of Congress and a president to build a wall? To end DACA? To curtail chain immigration and revive our once wholesome merit based immigration system? Why is Congress so noncommittal to rebuilding our military, strengthening our economy, reigning in profligate spending, and reducing the intrusive role of government in our private lives? The answer? Invariably? "We don't have sixty votes."
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Senate Majority Leader Reid, that all the nation should be taxed. And this taxing was first made a mandatory healthcare fee when Obama was president of America. -Luke 2:1 (TTPV)
Those were cruel, dark days, especially considering where we once had been under President Reagan. Heralding, "It's morning in America." a glowing brightness spread across the land, Carter's malaise was forgotten while Reagan's economy flashed and boomed. Then the encroachment of an ever dimming evening sky as HW boasted of a distant "Thousand Points of Light." Clinton's night skies were mostly a downpour and overcast. A few stars occasionally broke through the fog of W. Then, too soon, after Obama's Apology Tour the lights went out. Completely. The heavens turned to brass, withholding their economic blessings. Four hundred long, painfully wasteful years passed us by.
For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse: -Romans 1:20 (ASV)
Injustices are not catastrophes. Not even longstanding injustices. Especially longstanding injustices. Because catastrophes by definition are unexpected, larger than life, generationally rare one time events. Catastrophes are not found hidden among trends, well established conditions, nor long held traditions. Catastrophes are specifically unique. Injustices are Status Quo. So. When faced with an injustice, call your congressman, not 1 (800) PRO-TEST.
Alabama Senatorial candidate Judge Roy Moore certainly has his detractors. He was already unpopular among DC's swamp creatures for pushing back against two US Supreme Court decisions: the Ten Commandments monument controversy and his stand against legalization of same-sex marriage. In both instances he exercised his God-given unalienable first amendment right to express and act according to his religious beliefs. Both times as a result of his steadfast will to remain true to his beliefs, he was removed from office as Alabama's Supreme Court Chief Justice.
...the question is whether or not the campaign vacationed in Russia. That’s the premise of the entire scope of your questioning, and the point we’ve tried to make over and over again and will continue to make is that the campaign didn't.
...Sarah, I just have one more question. So on the issue of vacationing, are you saying there was no vacation when it comes to the overall arch of the campaign? But what about the individuals? What about individuals that could be suspected of vacationing? Are you vouching just for everyone in total or individuals or what?
...these charges have nothing to do with the campaign because I was there, there was no vacation, holiday or sabbatical in Russia. So, let’s see what Mueller does, but the dam is not breaking.
Had the lawyer real stuff to deliver, Donald Jr. and the others would be in far deeper legal trouble. It turned out to be an incompetent vacation, an amateur vacation, comically failed vacation. That does not erase the fact that three top Trump campaign officials were ready to recreate.
I want to talk about two things tonight, first of all I want to talk about the idea that Donald Trump, or members of the Trump family, or members of the Trump campaign vacationed with representatives of the Russian state to affect the outcome of the 2016 election. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a fairy tale, This is a steaming plate of bullshit.
Why are President Trump and his spokespeople denying they took a vacation? There is no law against taking a vacation. As a matter of fact vacations are known to restore the soul, raise a sagging spirit, refresh a worn out expended body. Vacations are popular for bringing families together. Vacations take us away from the familiar and staid, transport us often to the destinations of dreams.
Have Ryan & McConnell Been Counting on Hillary to Transform Russian Collusion into Obstruction of Justice?
Obstruction of Justice or Entrapment? The latest Democratic Party effort, in light of recent disclosures the DNC and Hillary Clinton paid hard cash for Russian propagandists to alter the outcome of November's presidential election, is to turn President Trump's Russian collusion defense into an obstruction of justice coup. They point gleefully to Nixon's demise. He didn't do any wrong, but covered up for those who did. He obstructed justice. His only allowed options were impeachment or resignation.
But what if knowledge of Nixon's sad turn of events gave rise to a Debbie Wasserman Schultz as head of the DNC/Hillary Clinton conspiracy to entrap Donald Trump? What if they designed their scheme with federal prosecutors in mind? What if they hired lawyers to distance themselves from the Russians they hoped would make up fatal, terminal defamatory "facts" about Trump's past and present? What if they didn't care what the baseless charges would be, just so long as most any "catastrophe too good to waste" was sure to drop in their laps, the Holy Grail: obstruction of justice leading to impeachment or resignation.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to press a button when we want to know what we are up against. We troubleshoot lots of problems that way, including coffee makers and computers. Occasionally by trial and error, other times by established troubleshooting techniques we discover our premises, assumptions were all wrong. President Trump pressed the NFL owner button the other day, discovered the assumption “We’re all Americans” was disappointingly flawed, quite erroneous.
Maybe he knew deep down what the eruption of the Left would look like when he pressed the “SOB” button. Or perhaps he was just plain curious what would happen if he pressed another button, over there. We can only speculate if he knew how Speaker Ryan or Senate Minority Leader Schumer would react. What is becoming clear with the passage of time is a majority of regular NFL game consumers expect players and coaches to respect our flag, to stand in honor of the singing or playing of our national anthem. Football audiences by booing and tuning out revealed they object to the politicization of our flag and national anthem.
Now is the time for Americans to reclaim liberalism; that which progressives commandeered, confiscated, stole from middle America early in the twentieth century. The Left has so stomped on liberalism, trashed liberalism, rejected and scoffed at liberalism; we can only expect, like a ruthlessly abused pet, liberalism is ready to bolt, flee, escape its current twenty-first century fascist handlers.
Wary of its adoption by the likes of Woodrow Wilson, Margaret Sanger, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt; liberalism during the early 1900s suffered severe cuffs, beatings, hunger, rough language, humiliation, and angry outbursts. Liberalism patiently through FDR’s and LBJ’s wars on poverty, through Obama’s war on the 1% is still waiting like Martin Luther King, Jr. waited for an opportunity to exclaim, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, I’m free at last!”
“NAACP calls it quits. Admits their policies failed. Everyone that isn't Black is a racist now & they don't know how it happened.”
That’s how The Time Travel Pundit responded to a @NAACP Tweet on Twitter last night which read: “Pardon of Arpaio is explicit embrace of the racist policing practices that leave communities fearful of very ppl who should protect & serve.”
Across the South and North lie buried the remains of soldiers who fought and died during the Civil War.
They are America’s own.
Sharia is to Islam what Natural Law is to Nature’s God, what the Law is to Judaism, what Liberty is to Americans, what Critical Theory and weaponized Political Correctness is to The Left, and what the Gospel is to Christianity.
Cleansing or rebirth? Which is the meaning, a proper understanding of baptism? Both. Though according to Joseph Campbell, writer of The Hero with a Thousand Faces rebirth is ascendant, rises to greater importance in an individual’s heroic quest to make a difference or to become all one can be. Campbell includes St John’s gospel account as evidence rebirth is greater, when Nicodemus furtively met with Jesus after nightfall. I am said, “You must be born again.”
We can’t be sure what is going on in Washington, DC that is; because liberal firebrands like Senator Jeff Flake can appear on Bret Baier’s Special Report at Fox News masquerading as a conservative without push back, can write a book Red State takes seriously titled: Conscience of a Conservative, and can have a Red State article written about him titled: Senator Jeff Flake’s Commonsense Call To The GOP To Face Washington Dysfunction.
Congress either budgets by keeping revenues and expenses equal or Congress swindles. Those are the two options available to Washington’s politicians. We can count on one hand the number of politicians of either party that consistently vote against spending bills violating the principle of authorizing only what a taxpayer can afford. Meaning Congress is 98.44% pure, a pack of swindlers: those who promise much more than they can deliver.
The Power of The Purse is a budget, not a willpower of House members to act decisively and not a willingness to “shut down the government;” but a budget. Without a budget a purse is almost always empty, useless, and defenseless. With a budget, an honest to goodness budget that balances (what other kind of budget can there be?) a purse remains solvent, generally ready to supply the needs of most any circumstance, expected and unexpected.
As Americans we own what we work for. It’s been that way from the beginning, confirmed July 4, 1776, when a working team of Americans declared the United States free from British rule. Over and over again without using the words own or ownership its signers attested to an individual’s, a local government’s, a state’s, and a nation’s right to govern and dispose of what they considered theirs without interference by outside agents.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s image of a caravan’s wearied trek across a could-care-less desert only to stake final hopes and dreams on a useless well was clearly clairvoyant; an insight on today’s Main Street Media: frozen in time, breaking Oval Office tables, toppling lamps and shades, their sun-whitened bones scattered around a dry well, specifically The Trump Is Colluding with the Russians Dry Well. Exupery wrote in his book The Wisdom of the Sands, originally titled The Citadel in French editions, of a desert’s harsh conditions, of what’s really important when real wells are scarce and mirages are plentiful. His language is the substantive wrapped in mysticism and prose, also a scarcity in today’s America bereft of Liberal thought and imagination.
This past November, after unseating a thousand Democrats nationwide in state and federal elections over the past few election cycles, Republican voters thought finally they had government under control. With a strong President as leader, figuring Republican members of both houses in Washington would be grateful, thankful for the majorities graciously handed them, voters expected campaign promises made would be kept. In particular they counted on repeal of Obamacare. “Repeal Fixes Obamacare,” they said. So they were content to let markets restore healthcare to its former health. Fifty times Republicans had repealed Obamacare. Just one more time, they thought.
About The Pundit
This retired window washer now provides instruction on the benefits and perils of time travel through focusing an allegorical lens on the present.