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bigtree

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Hometown: Maryland
Member since: Sun Aug 17, 2003, 11:39 PM
Number of posts: 70,746

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What the hell is really going on here?

____________________________

Trump's own NSA director says Russian interference in our elections is unchecked and likely to persist indefinitely, but the CIC hasn't ordered them to do anything about it:

(National Security Agency director, Adm. Mike Rogers), who was appointed by former President Barack Obama and is set to retire this spring, said Russia is attempting to undermine U.S. institutions and has not been deterred so far.

“My concern is I believe that President [Vladimir] Putin has clearly come to the conclusion there is little price to pay here and that therefore [he] can continue,” Rogers told the Senate panel. “Everything that as both director of NSA and what I see on the Cyber Command side leads me to believe that if we don’t change the dynamic here he is going to continue and 2016 won’t be viewed as something isolated. This is something that will be sustained over time.”

Rogers said the U.S. has not engaged in the same type of cyber operations being waged by Moscow, but he pushed back at Democrats' claims that the administration is “sitting back and waiting” to see what happens.

“Based on the authority that I have as a commander I have directed the national mission force to begin some specific work. I’d rather not publicly go into that, using the authorities that I retain as a commander of this mission,” he said.


Why is Trump “sitting back and waiting” to see what happens?

It's not strategy. This man couldn't care less about geopolitical gamesmanship, except where it directly benefits him or his personal interests. Even there Trump's not bright enough to make prescient moves on his own, and consider the way his own NSA director is essentially calling him out as a traitor.

Hell, over 90% of Congress already sent him legislation directing him to act, and he's hidden it away from America like a bad report card with a sloppily forged grade. What is he really trying to keep from happening?

One obvious reason would be his belief that keeping Russians creeping all over the next round of elections would produce the same trick that put a 2.8 million vote loser in the White House in 2016. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

There is, of course, no guarantee that the midterm results can be manipulated the same way, to achieve the same republican-affirming result. That makes the other possibility more probable, and more intriguing - that Russia actually holds something so vile, so incriminating, so humiliating on Trump, that he's scared out of his witless mind that Russia will release all of it the minute he retaliates.

It's not as if there haven't been numerous private meetings and phone calls between Putin and Trump for that threat to have been conveyed to the serial degenerate in the most direct and convincing terms.

Putin, release those tapes!

These young folks from Marjory Stoneman Douglas tweeting are breaking my heart

...they are very strong and not here for any BS.

I'm going to respect their privacy and not post any, but students have planned a protest in D.C., March 24, and we should support these strong people any way we're able.

That's how they spent the weekend, planning a campaign to demand gun control. Trump went to a party.

These determined young people are going to be a force in the future that will not yield to petty politics, political gamesmanship. We'd better be, or become, the nation they deserve.





Writing about Trump this morning, pulled up my first response to his election

...posted by email during the DU hack.


On Tuesday, roughly half of America declared war on their fellow Americans by sending a dangerously unstable demagogue, a obsessive compulsive megalomaniac, to lord over us in the White House. Prominent among those who voted for Donald Trump was a sizable bloc of people who share his racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and bigoted views.

As I sit here watching Pres.-elect Trump's plane land, as he makes his way to the White House after accepting the invitation of the man he insisted for years wasn't a U.S. citizen, and unqualified to be president, I'm absolutely overwhelmed with anxiety and foreboding for the futures of my fellow countryfolk.

I’m looking at the official reception of Trump’s presidency, and I’m witnessing a critical disconnect between the warnings Pres. Obama gave about a man with Trump's character and temperament assuming responsibility for our nuclear arsenal, as well as the rest of the myriad levers and hair-triggers of the presidency - mechanisms which can work to keep us safe and secure, or, conversely, plunge our lives into chaos and devastation - contrasted against the post-election politeness coming from him and others, urging us to 'keep an open mind,' and to give this man room to succeed.

So much of the Trump appeal in the campaign was directed at assuaging those forces which are actively working to limit or eliminate our government's protections, defenses, or aid to the vulnerable, imperiled, or afflicted among us. There was zero conciliation with the targets of his often vindictive agenda - no healthcare alternative offered, for example, to replace the Obamacare he pledged to repeal; no regard expressed for the innocent, productive, but undocumented residents who are now facing a very real threat of a major upheaval of their lives as Trump and his republican-dominated legislature threaten to muscle them out of the country, as he promised. Only his self-promoting insistence that whatever he devised would suit us all.

Trump supporters at the polls voted to effectively allow 100's of thousands of us to die unnecessarily every year for need of life sustaining medical care enabled through the ability to obtain or afford insurance.

Trump supporters voted to allow our planet to die, with the candidate promising to reverse and eliminate every vestige of the Obama administration's efforts to unilaterally move ahead of the republican Congress' obstinacy and resistance to efforts to confront and address climate change and global warming.

Trump supporters voted to re-institutionalize racism and bigotry - usher in a new era of 'Jim Crow' - rallying behind their candidate's promise to 'ban' Muslim immigrants and advancing the man who openly disparaged the character and reputation of Mexican immigrants and citizens, alike. Trump supporters voted to uproot the lives of 742,000 young DREAMers, and place Trump in charge of thousands granted refuge and protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Trump supporters voted allow a regression in women's rights, from their candidate’s threats to reproductive choices, to implicit disregard for, and pledged hostility toward, declared victims of sexual assault. They’ve advanced a man to the highest office in the land who has been recorded bragging about his ability to ‘grab’ women in the most private of places - bragging that he’s essentially entitled to the assault by the mere virtue of his position.

Trump supporters have voted to allow Russia a role in our government’s consideration which is as dismissive as their candidate has been of Putin’s government’s abuses and intrusions into our political process – not to mention the myriad other activities of the regime which run counter to the legitimate and vital interests of our nation and our allies. Not surprisingly, just this morning, news came that a Russian ambassador is bragging of coordination between the actual Trump campaign and the Politburo.

Trump supporters have voted to legitimize white supremacy, most notably, the Klan, advancing a man into the White House who hired an avowed white supremacist as a senior coordinator of his campaign for president. Indeed, the entire white supremacy network is openly celebrating the Trump presidency as validation of their own brand of bigotry, racism, and divisive hatred.

Trump supporters voted to allow, sight-unseen, any conflict-of-interest their candidate will almost certainly have as president between his office and his many business interests and debts. Whatever he’s been hiding in his tax returns will tell that sordid tale. Couple that with an upcoming court date in his Trump University fraud trial, and you have a presidency so mired in scandal that it will have zero authority to dictate anything from that high office.

One of the only believable rationalizations offered for the disturbing and consequential statements Trump has made in this campaign, and what he’s said in the past, is that, perhaps, he didn’t really mean any of it. It was all just self-serving patter designed to win an election. That would make some sense, looking at the contradictions, duplicity, and flip-flops which have marked any (rare) discussion from the candidate about policy. He’s just an opportunistic demagogue.

What I believe is that Trump supporters have elected a dangerous, life-threatening sociopath who will only tolerate the needs of Americans as far as his own narrow, often personal, interests are defended and enhanced. I really don’t need any more evidence of this. Trump’s entire campaign has been a stark and sobering preview of the horror-show ahead. I truly fear for our nation in a way that I don’t really believe I even fully comprehend the depths we will sink to before we have hope of recovering.

We need to prepare for what will be a long and greuling opposition. We need to prepare and organize.



...letting that sink in.

Cambridge Analytica, the data firm that ran the Trump campaign's digital operations from July 2016

...listening to reports of the Mueller indictments of the Russians today, I immediately thought of Trump's data firm, Cambridge Analytica, wondering if they had any connection to the 13 Russian trolls -

from October 2017:

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) (and Mueller) is looking at Cambridge Analytica’s work for President Donald Trump’s campaign as part of its investigation into Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 race, according to sources familiar with the probe.

The company is in the process of turning over documents to HPSCI, according to a source familiar with the committee’s work. Another source close to the investigation said that the probe’s focus on Cambridge Analytica is “fruitful.”

Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, had holdings in Cambridge Analytica worth between $1 million and $5 million as recently as April of this year, Bloomberg reported. Bannon, now back as the chairman of the pro-Trump media outlet Breitbart, hasn’t been publicly mentioned as a potential witness for or target of Russia investigators. He previously sat on the board of Cambridge Analytica.

Another key Cambridge Analytica investor is Robert Mercer, the reclusive hedge fund billionaire who also generously backed Trump’s presidential campaign. Mercer and his daughter Rebekah introduced several top officials to Trump’s campaign, including Kellyanne Conway and Bannon. The Mercers also are partial owners of Breitbart—among their many, many investment in far-right media outlets, think tanks, and political campaigns

read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/russia-probe-now-investigating-cambridge-analytica-trumps-psychographic-data-gurus
.

from Vox:

In June 2016, the Trump campaign hired Cambridge Analytica to take over its data operations.

We know from the reporting of Nicholas Confessore and Danny Hakim at the New York Times that Jared Kushner, who was charged with overseeing Trump’s digital operations, is the reason Cambridge Analytica joined the Trump campaign.

Kushner hired a man named Brad Parscale, a Texas-based digital expert who had worked previously for team Trump. According to Confessore and Hakim, Cambridge Analytica convinced Parscale (who has since agreed to be interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee) to “try out the firm.” The decision was reinforced by Trump’s campaign manager, Steve Bannon, who is also a former vice president of Cambridge Analytica.

It’s not clear to what extent Cambridge Analytica helped (Parscale denied that Cambridge was of any use in a recent 60 Minutes interview), but we do know that Trump’s digital operation was shockingly effective. Samuel Woolley, who heads the Computational Propaganda project at Oxford’s Internet Institute, found that a disproportionate amount of pro-Trump messaging was spread via automated bots and anti-Hillary propaganda. Trump’s bots, they reported at the time of the election, outnumbered Clinton’s five to one.

read more: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/16/15657512/mueller-fbi-cambridge-analytica-trump-russia



...anyway, here's some stuff:

https://twitter.com/tomlobianco/status/964564288584241152

https://twitter.com/thegarance/status/964561825672126464

It's not just Trump's crazy that's so hard to take

...it's the insult to the intelligence of a four-year old.

The real issue with the level of immaturity Trump displays in each and every utterance or statement is that he's playing the American people for fools. He's making fools out of us all with the juvenile defenses he serves up for his and his White House's misconduct.

It's undeniably pathological in the way that Trump's dissembling completely disregards truths and understandings about the way most of us recognize truthfulness in ourselves and each other, and blunders forward without the shame or recompense that even some of the most vile among us are resigned to.

Get the man a doctor. I'm all for it. Meanwhile, we're all victim to his deliberate, epic pouting over everything - relentless until he gets his way. That's what his doting parents, his republican Congress and Senate are obligingly making certain happens. Their interests are his interests, and the reverse.

Trump has America serving as the infantile megalomaniac's nanny; cleaning up his messes; spoon-feeding him as his disgusting political clan in Congress squeezes us again and again for tribute to their petty king. They know they have a crazy man behind the gates of the White House and they're fleecing everything they can get their hands on and get Trump to sign for, all in return for as little as a song of praise for his purloined majesty.

...and here we are, the fools.

Not to despair. As Pudd'nhead Wilson said, "Let us be thankful for the fools; but for them the rest of us could not succeed."




So when's FOX News going to start prepping Trump for his Mueller interview?

Fmr. Assist. Dir. of FBI Counterintel just made my point: "There's something about the Page wiretap"

_____________________________

Frank Figliuzzi, Fmr. Assist. Dir. of Counterintelligence at the FBI, on AM Joy, fleshing out questions I posed on a post yesterday:

Figliuzzi:

"Some Predictive analysis... What I'm smelling here is fear. There is something about this investigation, something about the special counsel's work, something about that Carter Page wiretap... This memo was derived from 'TS"...There was signal intelligence inside that affidavit...most often used against a foreign intelligence service. So, people who are privy to that underlying affidavit are very afraid that it shows intercepted, incidentally or deliberately, foreign intelligence services or governments talking about Page, or Page talking with them about the President.

There's significance to the fact that this memo was originally top secret."


Wow.


my post:

Case against Trump collusion may rise or fall on evidence gathered under FISA warrant of Carter Page

Ted Lieu @tedlieu 8h8 hours ago
Now that folks realize the #NunesMemo is a nothing burger, let's ask the real questions:
-Why is @realDonaldTrump so scared of the @FBI surveillance of Carter Page?
-What did that surveillance reveal that caused multiple judges to extend it?
-What's in the Carter Page tapes?



read/watch clip: https://www.rawstory.com/2018/02/im-smelling-fear-ex-fbi-counter-intel-director-claims-nunes-memo-release-shows-white-house-desperation/

https://twitter.com/amjoyshow/status/959819358821330945

Case against Trump collusion may rise or fall on evidence gathered under FISA warrant of Carter Page

____________________________

...at least Trump and his republican defenders seem to think so.

What if this is all about what's in front of us? What if all of this attack on the FISA warrant is really a specific attack on the FISA warrant on Carter Page?

This second stunt by the WH and Nunes is a risky one which screams of desperation. If you put aside the republicans' and Trump's newfound objection to FISA warrants, and discount the nonsense about the political affiliations of Steele, we're left with a full-front defense by the White House and republicans against the investigation of Page.

What is it about his testimony, what evidence has FBI surveillance of Page offered Mueller that they're so desperate to cover up or discount that they'd lay this all out for everyone to gawk at? Why would they go all in with this memo to defend 'private citizen,' foreign agent for Russia, Carter Page?

Why are they throwing Papadopoulos under the burning bus at the same time they're pulling Page out of the fire? Nunes' memo admits the Papadopoulos information is what "triggered" the initial FBI investigation.



Why is there an effort in the Nunes memo to separate Page and Papadopoulos? Here's a Page interview October 2017 w/Chris Hayes:

https://twitter.com/allinwithchris/status/925163826340859905
Hayes: Were you guys on e-mail chains together, you and Papadopoulos?

Page: Look, there is a lot of e-mails all over the place when you’re in a campaign.

Hayes: Yes or no. Were you on e-mail chains with Papadopoulos?

Page: Probably a few, yeah.

Hayes: Were you on e-mail chains about Russia?

Page: It may have come up from time to time. Again, there’s nothing major, yeah.

Hayes: Well, I mean, nothing major. It was enough for him to lie to federal investigators about and then plead guilty to that he was having an intermediary come to him and say you should come to London and talk to someone who has Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.


What are they trying to cover-up and suppress? "Nothing major"

Tell them to resubmit the info about Steele's supposed dislike of Trump to FISA

...and see what the judges think.

It's not a given that those weak claims about Steele's politics would cause the FISA judge to negate the warrant granted against Carter Page. It's more likely that it wouldn't move the judge, at all. Reliable info comes from supposedly biased sources all of the time.

It's not likely the judge's opinion centered on Steele's reputation. Probable cause weighed by the court in determining whether to grant the FISA application wouldn't rest on Steele's political views or associations. Indeed, the FBI investigation and original application for a warrant predated the time the Steele dossier was obtained by the FBI.

As of now, the FISA court has declined to respond.


...even the Nunes memo admits the FISA court was looking at more evidence than the Steele dossier:

https://twitter.com/Jordanfabian/status/959480853792481282


Nunes memo:

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4365340/Read-the-GOP-memo.pdf

https://www.scribd.com/document/370598711/House-Intelligence-Committee-Report-On-FISA-Abuses#from_embed

I don't think Congress is ready to release Nunes' memo Friday

___________________
Republicans originally threw the document the White House fed them back at the WH like they planned (extremely difficult for congressmen like Nunes to get this kind of FISA info), and the White House threw it back into Congress' lap.

The people in the White House who know how to read had to tell Trump that, not only didn't the documents fit their own narrative about Rosenstein and his approval of renewal of surveillance of Carter Page (a FBI investigation which originated in 2013, predating both Rosenstein and the Steele dossier), they likely noticed releasing it would do little more than draw even more attention to the Russia investigation they're trying desperately to distract from.

The White House threw it back to Congress to release, and those folks are going to wake up tomorrow with a hangover from all of the celebrating they did in Nunes office, and recognize that they need to just sit on this thing. The WH probably told them to, or expects them to shelve it.

The best they could do is allow the Dem version to come out at the same time. That's going to be a hard swallow for them, but it may be the only way to save face.

The document's timeline is so fatally flawed that, while it might look like an initial score to release it, chances are the rebuttal will already have eclipsed it, leaving nothing but the salacious stuff about Carter Page and his work for Russia as a foreign agent while serving in the Trump campaign.

That's all that's left republicans right now. Nothing more than a shit sandwich with a sprinkle of self-incriminating irony for them to produce out of this farce. They've been Trumped.
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