CIA to Trump: we have you in our gunsights

As with many things in politics, you have to possess the ability to read between the lines. A new story from the WaPo made me conduct such an examination.

First, the story from the WashingtonPost.com:

Intelligence chiefs briefed Trump and Obama on unconfirmed claims Russia has compromising information on president-elect

by Greg Miller

A classified report delivered to President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump last week included a section summarizing allegations that Russian intelligence services have compromising material and information on Trump’s personal life and finances, U.S. officials said.

The officials said that U.S. intelligence agencies have not corroborated those allegations, but believed that the sources involved in the reporting were credible enough to warrant inclusion of their claims in the highly classified report on Russian interference in the presidential campaign.

If true, the information suggests that Moscow has assembled damaging information — known in espionage circles by the Russian term “kompromat” — that conceivably could be used to coerce the next occupant of the White House. The claims were presented in a two-page summary attached to the full report, an addendum that also included allegations of ongoing contact between members of Trump’s inner circle and representatives of Moscow.

I recommend you read the rest of the article. The information being revealed between the lines of the story indicates, to me, a rocky road coming for President-elect Trump.

Some history, then a conclusion.

It’s no surprise that I remain skeptical concerning the “Russian hacking” of the American election, resulting in the defeat of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Demorats tried throwing every excuse imaginable onto the political wall in order to see what would stick, to include recounts for Hillary Clinton under the pretext of their being for Jill Stein, talk radio and Fox News, the Electoral College, FBI Director James Comey, misogyny on the part of females (of all things), and fake news — to encompass the Drudge Report, which is nothing more than an aggregator of news and frequently features sites such as CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe, LA Times and more. If Drudge is “fake” then most certainly those other outlets are as well. They have also been saying “Russia Russia Russia” every day since November 8th.

The corollary glory of it all is that, particularly with regard to fake news, much of it has blossomed in the other direction. Time and again the true purveyors of fake news have been proven to be the American Media Maggots and not alternative news sources. The AMM have lost their “gatekeeper” status and desperately seek to lock it back up. They are quaking and frightened to their very core because they are losing control and cash.

That said, the theme that somehow Russia hacked the election and not only favored but enabled Donald Trump to win has its proponents and its detractors. Proponents would obviously include Hillary Clinton, Demorats and the American Media Maggots because, in their minds, it certainly had nothing to do with the quality of the candidate herself or the way the campaign was managed.

Detractors or skeptics would include myself and, well, a few other tens of thousands of persons.

First, I developed information from one source (corroborated by a similar intelligence source on the opposite coast) that the NSA was responsible (read here please) for the hacks, and this was supported by Judge Andrew Napolitano — from HRC’s mishandling of GAMMA class intelligence. Read this.

Then Julian Assange (he of Wikileaks creation) came out and straight-up stated that Russia was not connected to the hacking of the DNC and Podesta’s emails at all. Assange, being the recipient of the trove of materials should, one may conclude, know. The release of the information appealed to Assange because, after all, Hillary Rodham Clinton stated she would like to have had him killed with a drone strike. That would certainly seem sufficient to take HRC off Assange’s Christmas card list.

The FBI said the Russians were not responsible. Then Obama said the Russians were not responsible. A UK diplomat said it wasn’t the Russians. Who to believe?

Now they are responsible. The party line is that “17 intelligence agencies say Russia was the source.” With, again, little or no clear evidence to back up the claims.

There was another person along the way with a healthy skepticism about the Russians being involved in the DNC hack and the hacking of the US presidential election. Donald Trump.

The meme is that the CIA, the DNI and the rest of the US Intelligence Community would not politicize intelligence except that, well, yes they would. And have. All the time. This is not finger-pointing at the line-level agents, processors or analysts. This is finger-pointing at the upper echelons of the Intelligence Community. As in: they decide what information to release to those who base policy and decisions upon intelligence take.

It’s no secret that Donald Trump has angered the lofty halls of the US Intelligence Community. They don’t care to have their character or their veracity questioned or second-guessed.

So Tuesday’s WaPo article — which contained, they admit, much speculation and little fact, could be a cautionary tale, a little sub-frequency IC message to President-elect Donald Trump: you’re in our gunsights.

One has to think that the source of whatever information “Russia may possess” about Trump personally could be the USIC itself.

Charles Krauthammer said on Tuesday:

“When you get these spy-vs-spy leaks, you can’t believe anybody because they’re all lying and that’s what they do for a living, so you never know which side is lying. But I think that the very fact this story has surfaced, is a way for the CIA to be telling Trump: you mess with us, we have a lot of information we can mess with you.”

Then, for God’s sake, there is this.

The bottom line is: there are so many political machinations on so many levels for so many mixed and cross-purposed reasons that it is all very clear.

As clear as mud.

Still and all: Donald Trump, beware.

BZ

 

The stinking liar lies AGAIN

Obama LiesAnd the Washington Post calls Mr Obama out on it.

Obama’s claim that the GOP has ‘blocked every serious idea’

by Glenn Kessler

“So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked every serious idea to strengthen the middle class.”

–President Obama, weekly address, July 12, 2014

This has become a standard line in the president’s oratory, as part of making his case that he’s “acted this year to help working Americans on my own– when Congress won’t act.”

The Pinocchio Test

We make no judgement on which side has the surplus of “serious ideas,” but the president is engaging in rhetorical overkill. Certainly this congressional session has resulted in few major laws. Perhaps he could make a case that Republicans have blocked many bills that he has sought—or even that his most prized initiatives have been stymied.

But to claim that “every serious idea” has been blocked is going too far–given that the president lauded at least three bills as aiding the middle class. (Update: In a speech the morning this column appeared, the president adjusted his language appropriately: “Republicans in Congress keep blocking or voting down some of the ideas that would have the biggest impact on middle-class and working families.”)

Therefore, the Washington Post gives Mr Obama:

Three Pinocchios

 

 

This is a “nice” way to say: YOU LIE.

Speaking of “you lie,” let’s revisit an event during an Obama speech in the House regarding the ACA, on September 9th of 2009, wherein Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouted “you lie” in the midst of the address:

It turns out that Rep Wilson was prescient: it has been made abundantly clear that illegal aliens will have their healthcare covered, despite the fact that they have done absolutely nothing to earn it.

Yes, Obama lies.  He lied then and he lies now.

Again.

And no one seems to care.

BZ

 

Ted Cruz spoke the truth, Monday, 9/23/2013 — and too few listened

Except me, and a handful of others.

First, the video; and if you don’t wish to plow through Harry Reid at the outset, read the transcript below — which took me more than two hours to transcribe myself.

From Senator Ted Cruz (R, Texas):

I’m going to suggest to you, Mr President, that the senate has not faced a more important debate in the short time that you and I have served in this institution.

No American wants a government shutdown.  I don’t want a government shutdown, no one on this side of the aisle wants a government shutdown.  The House of Representatives doesn’t want a government shutdown.

Mr President, five minutes ago the Senate could have acted to prevent a government shutdown.

The request that I promulgated to the majority leader was to pass the continuing resolution that the House of Representatives passed and if that had happened there would be no government shutdown.  A government shutdown would be taken off the table.

The specter that you and I see on the television screen every day, the countdown clock that is starting to appear (snaps fingers), would disappear.

But unfortunately the majority leader chose to object.

To object and to say no.  He would rather risk a government shutdown than act to prevent it.

Now why, again, the majority leader was quite candid.  Because he supports the law called Obamacare.

Now I would note a component of that also — one of the pieces that the House of Representatives passed was a law that has been called the Default Prevention Act.

The President of the United States has been dealing a fair amount of public speaking raising the prospect of a default on our debt.

And the House of Representatives acted boldly to include in their continuing resolution language that would say that the United States would never, ever, ever, default on its debt.  In the event that the debt ceiling is not raised, we will always pay our debt first.

I suspect every member of this body has spoken publicly about the calamity that would come from a default on the debt.  I think it is quite revealing that the majority leader explicitly referenced and objected to by name — taking a default off the table.

I think that’s unfortunate.  There is a tendency, in this town, towards brinksmanship.

Towards pointing to events that can cause instability and uncertainty and using them to try to get your way.

I wish the majority leader had been willing to step forward and say “I agree, number one, that the government should be funded.  We should not have a government shutdown.  And number two, that we should never ever ever even discuss a default on the debt.”

Had the majority leader simply said “I consent,” a default on the debt would have been taken permanently off the table.

Now why didn’t he?

We all know why he did not.

Because the majority leader embraces Obamacare.  I’m going to suggest to you, Mr President, that this body a little over three years passed Obamacare.  It passed it on a straight party line vote and in the time since it’s passed America has learned that it’s not working.

Americans all over this country are suffering because of Obamacare.  It’s the single biggest job-killer in America.  Every day we’re seeing more and more evidence that Obamacare is killing jobs, that it is hurting American workers who are struggling, that it is causing people to be forcibly put into part time work 29 hours a week, and it is jacking up premiums and it is causing more and more people who are struggling to lose their health insurance altogether.

Just today the New York Times reported that, because of Obamacare, quote, “insurers are significantly limiting the choices of doctors and hospitals available to consumers.”  That’s today in the newspaper.  USA Today reported on a new, quote, “family glitch,” that could cause up to a half million children to go without insurance coverage.  A headline in the Washington Post today read, quote, “one week away, Obamacare small business insurance exchanges not all ready for launch.”

And even the labor unions, that once championed Obamacare, are now publicly decrying it is a threat to the 40-hour work week which is the backbone of the American middle class.  That is the word of organized labor.

This law is hurting the American people.  And it’s why there is bi-partisan consensus outside of Washington DC, that we need to step up and stop it.

That would be the responsible thing for senators on both sides of the aisle to do.  To say: the same rules should apply to hard working American families that apply to big corporations and that apply to members of Congress.

We’ve seen the president unilaterally put in place exceptions for giant corporations and members of Congress.  Mr President, I would submit: hard working American families deserve that same exception.

So I think that it is unfortunate that the majority leader chose to object to continuing government, to preventing a shutdown, to taking a default off the table.  But I do think it is clarified to make clear, as the majority leader just did, that he is willing to risk a government shutdown.  He is willing to force, even, a government shutdown in order to insist that Obamacare is funded.

And Mr President, that leads to the second unanimous consent request that I put forward.  A simple request that every amendment on this Continuing Resolution be subject to 60 votes.

Now Mr President, everyone in this body knows that is not an unusual request in the United States Senate.  Amendments in this body are routinely subjected to 60 vote thresholds.  Indeed you and will both recall a few months ago, when this body was debating the issue of guns, a contentious issue, an emotional issue, an issue of great moment to this country, the majority leader agreed with the minority that every single amendment on the floor would be subject to a 60 vote threshold.

Those were the terms under which every aspect of the gun debate was debated.  I would note that one amendment that was submitted during that gun debate was the Grassley-Cruz Amendment.  It was the law enforcement amendment that put real teeth in going after felons and fugitives who try to illegally buy guns and put real teeth into forcing states to report mental health records so that we can prevent those with serious mental illnesses from illegally purchasing firearms.

I would note, Mr President, that the Grassley-Cruz bill received a majority vote in this institution.  A majority of senators voted for it including 9 Democrats.  It was the most comprehensive, it was the most bipartisan of the comprehensive legislation voted on in this body.

And yet it did not pass into law because the majority leader set a 60 vote threshold for every amendment.

I would suggest that Obamacare is no less important.

Obamacare is no less controversial, and Obamacare likewise should be subject to the same threshold.  If the majority leader believes Obamacare is good for America, if the Democrats in this body believe Obamacare is good for America, then I would encourage this body, let’s debate.

Not in the artificial sense in which we debate, one or two senators talking to an empty hall.  But in the real sense of making a case to each other and the American people, about whether this law is working or whether it is not.

Because everywhere I travel in the state of Texas and across the country, Americans come to me and raise the single biggest challenge they’re facing as Obamacare — it’s killing their jobs, it’s taking away their health care, it isn’t working.

Now we all know that three and a half years ago Obamacare was forced into law on a strict party line vote.

By straight brute force.

But it shouldn’t be funded that way.

That’s not the way a government should proceed.  That’s not the way this institution should proceed.  A 60 vote threshold does not require that the majority leader get a great many Republican votes.  But it does require that he get a few.  That he simply cannot do it with only the Democrats in this body.

This country will be better off if we work together to restore economic growth and to stop the incredible job loss that is coming from Obamacare.

In fact, regarding a 60 vote threshold, here’s what the learned majority leader has had to say.

Quote, “for more than 200 years the rules of the senate have protected the American people and rightfully so.  The need to muster 60 votes in order to terminate senate debate naturally frustrates the majority and often times the minority.  I am sure it will frustrate me when I assume the office of majority leader in a few weeks.  But I recognize this requirement as a tool that serves the long term interests of the senate and the American people in our country.”

I agree with Majority Leader Reid.  I agree that 60 vote thresholds ensure that we behave not just on a partisan matter but in a way that brings us together and given the challenges coming from Obamacare.

I believe that nothing is hurting the American people more.  Nothing is hurting the economy more.  Nothing is damaging jobs more — than Obamacare.

Given the majority leader’s objection raised today, the path the majority intends to go is now clear.  It is clear for Democrats, it is clear for Republicans.  It is clear for the world to see.

The majority leader has stated that it is his intention to force a vote to fund Obamacare.  And to do so using just 51 votes.  To do so on what could be a straight party line vote and in all likelihood would be a straight party line vote.

Mr President, I would suggest that is not a responsible course of action.

And it’s not a course of action that I think Republicans should acquiesce to.

If it is the majority leader’s intent to fund Obamacare using just 51 votes, then I would submit to every Republican in this body, it is our obligation to our constituents to do everything we can to prevent the majority leader from funding Obamacare, with just 51 votes.

Any member of this body that votes for cloture on this bill will be voting to allow the majority leader to fund Obamacare on 51 votes.

I think that vote’s a mistake.  I think that vote dis-serves our constituents.  I think that vote hurts the people of America.

Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, I do not disagree with a word of Senator Ted Cruz.

I’ll submit that those were three hours well-spent in transcription from a Samsung Galaxy Note II phone.

BZ