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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Outgoing CIA Director John Brennan held nothing back in his disdain for some of President-elect Donald Trump's vitriolic Twitter rants in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that was published Monday. "I think it's the right and, indeed, the responsibility of the president of the United States to challenge the conclusions of the intelligence community," Brennan said. But he made it clear that it crosses a line to accuse these agencies of leaks. "Tell the families of those 117 CIA officers who are forever memorialized on our wall of honor that their loved ones who gave their lives were akin to Nazis," he said. "Tell the CIA officers who are serving in harm's way right now and their families who are worried about them that they are akin to Nazi Germany. I found that to be very repugnant." read more


Sunday, January 15, 2017

The outgoing CIA director charged on Sunday that Donald Trump lacks a full understanding of the threat Moscow poses to the United States, delivering a public lecture to the president-elect that further highlighted the bitter state of Trump's relations with American intelligence agencies. John Brennan's pointed message on national television came just five days before Trump becomes the nation's 45th president amid lingering questions about Russia's role in the 2016 election even as the focus shifts to the challenges of governing. "Now that he's going to have an opportunity to do something for our national security as opposed to talking and tweeting, he's going to have tremendous responsibility to make sure that U.S. and national security interests are protected," Brennan said on "Fox News Sunday," warning that the president-elect's impulsivity could be dangerous. "Spontaneity is not something that protects national security interests," Brennan declared.

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Embattled FBI director James Comey has refused to clarify whether his organization is investigating Donald Trump's ties to Russia in a closed briefing on Friday for members of Congress, angering legislators who recall his high-profile interjections about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign, the Guardian has learned. Comey's lack of candor in a classified setting, intended to brief members on the intelligence agencies' assessment that Russia interfered in the election to benefit Trump, follows a public rebuff this week to senators seeking clarification. In that earlier hearing, Comey said he would "never comment" on a potential FBI investigation "in an open forum like this," raising expectations among some attendees of Friday's briefing that Comey would put the issue to rest in a classified setting. But according to sources attending the closed-door Friday morning meeting, that was not the case. read more


Friday, January 13, 2017

The former spy told me that he had been retained in early June by a private research firm in the United States to look into Trump's activity in Europe and Russia. "It started off as a fairly general inquiry," he recalled. The former intelligence official went to work and contacted his network of sources in Russia and elsewhere. He soon received what he called "hair-raising" information. His sources told him, he said, that Trump had been "sexually compromised" by Russian intelligence in 2013 (when Trump was in Moscow for the Miss Universe contest) or earlier and that there was an "established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit." He noted he was "shocked" by these allegations. By the end of June, he was sending reports of what he was finding to the American firm. The former spy said he soon decided the information he was receiving was "sufficiently serious" for him to forward it to contacts he had at the FBI. read more


President Barack Obama publicly warned Russia last month that the United States would surreptitiously strike back against Russian hacking in any place and time and method of its choosing. Thursday it appeared the Russians may not have understood that warning, as C-SPAN was knocked offline for ten minutes and replaced with a broadcast of Russia Today, the same Russian TV station implicated in hacking the election. But as of last evening, Russia Today appears to have been knocked off the air. C-SPAN is claiming that it was essentially hijacked by itself, and that it accidentally began broadcasting Russia Today in place of its own channel. But that would require no one at C-SPAN to be watching C-SPAN, or else such a mistake wouldn't have dragged on for a full ten minutes. So if it's a safe bet that the Russians did manage to hack C-SPAN yesterday, what came next seems to naturally follow in line, as Russia Today (which brands itself as "RT") is currently off the air. read more


Comments

The Obama legacy - the gift that just keeps on giving...

#2 | POSTED BY COOKFISH

IMPACT REPORT: 100 Examples of President Obama's Leadership in Science, Technology, and Innovation
You are an ass that is beyond dumb. Can a President spend taxpayer's money, or is that Congress' purview?

What an incredibly ignorant statement to make when the actual record lies right underneath your stubby fingers.

Conservatives of Conscience Need to Stand Up to Trump on Russia

Sometimes as a political writer, events transpire such that there's not much one can say without resorting to invective or mere speechlessness. Trump calling NATO "obsolete" today is one of those times. Everything is happening here so fast it's hard to take it all in–which is part of the point as Trump continues his "shock and awe" political strategy–but let's recap just briefly.

Intelligence memos are published that, while not fully corroborated, suggest that Trump and his team are working directly with Russia and are being compromised by Russian blackmail. This includes allegations that Trump's team directly took pro-Ukraine language out of the GOP platform in exchange for Russia providing DNC emails to Wikileaks. The Kremlin is celebrating Trump's win. Trump's first meeting with a foreign leader will be with Putin. Intelligence officials are warning Israeli counterparts not to share information with Trump lest it end up in Putin's hands. The outgoing CIA chief is admonishing Trump over his stance on Russia and his irresponsible tweets. Republican leaders are threatening ethics officers while planning on removing the White House press corps.

And now Trump is openly dissing NATO as obsolete, and encouraging the weakening of the European Union–both of which are the top political priorities of Putin's Russia.

This is all so noxious and incredible that it wouldn't pass as a bad dime novel. But this is where we are.

In today's hyperpartisanized environment, it frankly does little good for liberals and Democrats to scream even louder about all this. Republicans with a sense of shame have to come out and break the wall of silence. Cutting taxes for rich people and slashing the safety net for the less fortunate has to come second to basic patriotism. President Pence will still appoint anti-abortion judges and make sure Charles and David Koch get their tax breaks. But conservatives of conscience need to stand up and make themselves heard.

This is not normal, and it is not OK.

Donald Trump was apparently watching Fox News this evening and heard that CIA Director John Brennan had said Trump was underestimating the Russian threat. In a semi coherent tweet, Trump blasted Brennan and then asked, "Was this the leaker of Fake News?" Based on his obsession with referring to the entire Russian pee pee scandal as "fake news," it's clear Trump is accusing the head of the CIA -- presumably without any evidence at all -- of leaking the MI6 report.

Although John Brennan is set to retire and will never have to work under Donald Trump, the decision by Trump to publicly and falsely accuse the CIA Director of leaking this intel is likely to have lasting reverberations. Who within the CIA, after seeing Trump do that to their outgoing longtime boss, will trust him or cooperate with him?

It sets up a situation where Trump and the CIA may be unable to work with each other at all. And it raises the question of whether the CIA might end up continuing its Trump-Russia investigations behind his back, until it can find enough dirt to take him down. This is seemingly not a fight Trump can win. - Bill Palmer

And you still haven't addressed the moral issue of me having liability for your decisions, but no say in them.

There is no "moral issue" as it regards many on the right as they subjectively employ multiple standards towards our laws when it suits their purposes. They have elevated non-corporeal entities into legal positions of superiority (because of their immense financial advantages compared to those opposing them) allowing for the abrogation of actual human rights for capitalistic profit concerns and then continue to deny having done just that.

Our Founders were all about personal liberty and the individual pursuit of happiness, but were not so vocal about the creation of laws where citizens are compelled to support whatever business model allows capitalists to richly profit while denying the actual creators of said wealth a fair share of their own labors.

It's patently obvious (along with why Trump's assertion that existent laws regarding his business ties don't expressly apply to him) that our Founders might have easily imagined that the privileged and powerful would use their wealth to further their own interests but they never imagined that the very citizens harmed by such laws and policies would defend their oppressor's usurpation of government and law toward their own detriment. Our current laws are inadequate to the problems capitalists created and continue to exploit toward unfettered profits, but what is legal and what is moral (just) parted company a long, long time ago.

This is why Republicans can't find a replacement for Obamacare

A key reason the Republican Party is having such a hard time with the replacement part of "repeal and replace" is that Obamacare is virtually the same privatized mandate plan it pushed for since President Richard Nixon first proposed the National Health Strategy in 1971 then again in 1974. Then the GOP revived its privatized mandate plan again in 1993 with then-Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole helping to propose the Health Equity and Access Reform Today act or HEART as the alternative to the proposed single-payer plan Health Security Act of 1993 -- commonly known as "Hillarycare" -- and then again when then-Gov. Mitt Romney proposed -- and succeeded in implementing -- the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2006 in Massachusetts.

Today's Affordable Care Act is very similar to the privatized mandate plan the Republicans pushed for 40 years. President Barack Obama -- as a compromise to have basic health reform passed -- used this same GOP blueprint with one significant change: adding a public option alongside the GOP's privatized mandate plan (basically, Obama proposed adding an option to join a form of Medicare).

John Lewis was a great civil rights icon 50 or so years ago. Nevertheless John Lewis had no reason, apart from being a partisan hack, to break with President Barack Obama's position that President-elect Donald J. Trump was fairly and legitimately elected president.

#22 | POSTED BY OSCEOLA

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said that "I don't see this President-elect as a legitimate president," who won the election on his own terms.

Asked by host Chuck Todd to elaborate, Lewis cited the intelligence community's assessment that Russian operatives intervened in the election by orchestrating cyberhacks of the Democratic National Committee and email account of Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. "I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton," Lewis said. "You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right." talkingpointsmemo.com

How many times today do you need to have your ass handed to you before you realize that the sane, intelligent, realists here are not going to let you keep trying to create your own false reality disconnected from objective truths and actual quantifiable facts?

You really should take your BS and peddle it somewhere else. Our nation is facing an unprecedented crisis and you impugn, falsify and misrepresent what anyone looking soberly can see as the actual truth and reasoning behind these matters far beyond the simple metrics of two party politics. These issues are about 'one Constitutional government" and our adherence to laws and standards held for centuries, not the rise and fall of two individuals supposedly trying to serve 'we the people' and not just their own self interests.

I simply don't understand how normally sensible people can read the variety of sources telling us precisely what the whole intelligence world already knows when more and more information continues to confirm more facts almost on a daily basis:

Moscow had contacts with Trump team during campaign, Russian diplomat says November 10, 2016 12:52pm

Russian government officials had contacts with members of Donald Trump's campaign team, a senior Russian diplomat said Thursday, in a disclosure that could reopen scrutiny over the Kremlin's role in the president-elect's bitter race against Hillary Clinton.

Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said in an interview with the state-run Interfax news agency that "there were contacts" with the Trump team.

"Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage," Ryabkov said. "Those people have always been in the limelight in the United States and have occupied high-ranking positions. I cannot say that all of them but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives."

"We have just begun to consider ways of building dialogue with the future Donald Trump administration and channels we will be using for those purposes," Ryabkov was quoted as saying.

This is a RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT speaking, not a Democratic apologist. Everything Russia says or does confirms at minimum their preference for Trump if not their own complicity in assisting his efforts. Our nation has been compromised and the future POTUS continues to attack any American questioning what the world now understands a common sense rendering of the available evidence linking Trump directly with the Russian government and its expressed interests and desires.

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