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Thursday, March 23, 2017

If you haven't read Trump's newly published interview with Time magazine's Michael Scherer, it's well worth your time. The questions about the president's awareness of reality and appreciation of objective truths are only going to grow louder as a result of some of his more ridiculous comments. He started by arguing that Hillary Clinton's emails were on Anthony Weiner's laptop, the Democratic primary race was "rigged against Bernie Sanders," and that he was "totally right" about Brexit. All three of these claims are plainly and demonstrably wrong. Trump went on to say his conspiracy theory about Barack Obama conducting illegal surveillance of him has merit because, "I have articles saying it happened." read more


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

James B. Comey -- the FBI director whom Trump celebrated on the campaign trail as a gutsy and honorable "Crooked Hillary" truth-teller -- testified under oath Monday what many Americans had already assumed: Trump had falsely accused his predecessor of wiretapping his headquarters during last year's campaign. Comey did not stop there. He confirmed publicly that the FBI was investigating possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and associates with Russia, part of an extraordinary effort by an adversary to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election in Trump's favor. "There's a smell of treason in the air," presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said. Brinkley, who has published biographies of such presidents as Gerald Ford, Franklin Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt, said of Trump's start, "This is the most failed first 100 days of any president." read more


Monday, March 20, 2017

Federal investigators are examining whether far-right news sites played any role last year in a Russian cyber operation that dramatically widened the reach of news stories -- some fictional -- that favored Donald Trump's presidential bid, two people familiar with the inquiry say. Operatives for Russia appear to have strategically timed the computer commands, known as "bots," to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories at times when the billionaire businessman was on the defensive in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton. The bots' end products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on conservative internet sites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars, as well as on the Kremlin-backed RT News and Sputnik News.

read more


Sunday, March 19, 2017

A former CIA officer responsible for previously peddling false allegations played a prime part in the fake claim that Barack Obama secretly asked GCHQ to wiretap Donald Trump, The Independent has learned. Larry C. Johnson, who made bogus charges that Michelle Obama made a racist speech against white people ... has emerged as one of the key figures behind what has become an international diplomatic confrontation between the U.S. and U.K. On March 6, the week after Trump first accused Obama of being responsible for the wiretap, Johnson "revealed" in an interview with Russian state-sponsored network Russia Today that there was a conspiracy between U.S. intelligence and "Britain's own GHCQ [sic]" to derail Donald Trump's election campaign. read more


Friday, March 17, 2017

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president's health secretary, according to a person familiar with the office. Tom Price, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, came under scrutiny during his confirmation hearings for investments he made while serving in Congress. The Georgia lawmaker traded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shares in health-related companies, even as he voted on and sponsored legislation affecting the industry. In December, the Wall Street Journal reported that Price traded more than $300,000 worth of shares in health companies over a recent four-year period, while taking actions that could have affected those companies. Price, an orthopedic surgeon, chaired the powerful House Budget Committee and sat on the Ways and Means Committee's health panel. read more


Comments

It doesn't seem as though anyone has put these new pieces together in the manner good investigators will. First, Nunes - without consulting his minority partner, Rep. Schiff - scurried off to the White House to brief President Trump on the investigation of Trump's own campaign possibly colluding with Russia to sway the election. Nunes thought that he would provide Trump with some cover over the underlying factuals of any legal investigation into the Trump campaign that was going on during the election. Instead he confirmed beyond any question that people close to Trump were/are being investigated under the FISA law:

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes tried to exonerate President Donald Trump's unfounded wiretapping accusations against President Obama, but in the process he ended up revealing that the alleged wiretap was legal and done under a FISA warrant, which means the people being surveilled are either foreign powers/agents and or may be involved in the commission of a crime.

So that's not exactly a win for Nunes or Trump.

Nunes said on Wednesday that Trump might have been wiretapped as a part of "incidental collection." Nunes said he found these bits but they have nothing to do with Russia, and he feels the president needs to know. (One might think the President would have been briefed but if he, and perhaps Nunes were a part of whatever the concerns were, they wouldn't have been briefed.)

Nunes said the incidental collection appeared to be "all legally collected foreign intelligence" collected under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The problem with that is a FISA warrant must certify that the "target of the proposed surveillance is either a ‘foreign power' or ‘the agent of a foreign power' and, in the case of a U.S. citizen or resident alien, that the target may be involved in the commission of a crime."

Nunes made things worse by saying "multiple FISA warrants out there" involving Trump.

This was a Hail Mary move by Nunes to save Trump's presidency, and perhaps his own career. It will distract the press for another few days. But then it will dawn on everyone that if it was collectedly legally under a FISA warrant, this is bad news for Trump. All roads look like they lead to impeachment for this President. What Nunes did today was out himself as unfit to run the investigation into Trump's Russia problem, and that's not good for Donald Trump or Nunes, because until today, Nunes was functioning as a gatekeeper stopping a real investigation into Trump and Russia.

www.politicususa.com

NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers agreed Monday that it was "utterly ridiculous" to allege that his agency's British counterpart, GCHQ, helped former President Barack Obama eavesdrop on Donald Trump during the election. During a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference in the U.S. election, ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) asked Rogers about the veracity of those reports, which GCHQ has dismissed as "nonsense." Rogers said no such thing occurred, and that "it would be expressly against the construct of the Five Eyes [intelligence] agreement that's been in place for decades" to ask the United Kingdom to help spy on American civilians.

The NSA head said that both he and FBI Director James Comey have found "no evidence" to support Trump's wiretapping allegation. "Our relationship with the British intelligence is one of the closest with all foreign services," Schiff said. "Isn't that true? "Yes, sir," Rogers replied.

"Our British allies have called the President's suggestion that they wiretapped him for Obama 'nonsense' and 'utterly ridiculous,'" Schiff followed up. "Would you agree?" "Yes, sir," Rogers said.

After failing to produce evidence to support his bombshell allegations about Obama having his "wires tapped," the President and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer have both pointed to a Fox News commentator's remarks about GCHQ allegedly spying on Trump (the network later said it could not confirm that commentator's reporting).

Schiff asked if those false accusations "damage our relationship with one of our closest intelligence partners." Rogers said he believed the U.S.-U.K. partnership was "strong enough" to weather this storm, but that it "clearly frustrates a key ally of ours" and is unhelpful.

talkingpointsmemo.com

Meanwhile Rick Ledgett, the deputy director of NSA, the American counterpart of GCHQ, described the claims about Mr Obama and British intelligence as "arrant nonsense". He pointed that the allegation betrayed "a complete lack of understanding in how the relationship works" between Britain and the US on intelligence.
President Trump has the world's most vast intelligence gathering apparatus at his personal disposal and this is how he chooses to put the US' and his own integrity at stake by repeatedly forwarding non-sensical allegations of felonious conduct by his predecessor based on the word of a proven liar and charlatan, Mr. Whitey Tape himself? Has Trump yet shown a grade-schooler's comprehension about how anything within our vast federal bureaucracy actually works beyond cashing taxpayer checks for his own decadent weekends at Mar-a-Lago?

I'm so far beyond the Bernie Bros. and anybody but Hillary shills to the point I wonder if anyone was actually paying attention to the obvious mental instability exhibited daily by the man now ensconced in the White House. His judgments are suspect as is his complete paranoia that his own government is out to get him while ignoring the obvious reality of his very presence as POTUS begs the question if he indeed is a threat of the type mentioned within our officeholder's oath.

The train for Crazytown left the station quite a while ago and it appears to be an express without any off ramps. Lord help this republic if a crisis ever has to be dealt with by this buffoon.

In all candor, this is a repeat story from last Friday that finally caught on with some in the media. www.drudge.com

As erratic as Trump is, I expect him to claim that he didn't realize who Kislyak was or that "communicating" doesn't pertain to casual greetings in large group settings. But that doesn't explain away many other confirmed contacts between Trump officials and Russian operatives. The question is why the need to lie if all these contacts were innocuous?

I don't think that is too much to ask from people in charge of the Executive Branch of our government since they are supposed to work for us and their intentional obfuscation calls that notion into question quite obviously based on the lying they keep doing about the subject.

From ROC's own source:

Judicial decisions, new legislation, and administrative actions also help explain the significant changes in the projected costs of the ACA's insurance coverage provisions. For example, the Supreme Court decision that made the expansion of eligibility for Medicaid optional for states significantly reduced projected costs. As a result of such developments, assessing the accuracy of CBO and JCT's March 2010 estimate has become more difficult over time.

CBO's ability to adhere to tight time lines depends on the complexity of the legislative proposal being analyzed, the vailability of data on which to base the analysis, how easily the agency's models can be adapted to the proposal, and whether the agency is required to prepare a dynamic analysis. Working quickly is particularly difficult when legislative language continues to evolve within tight time lines and when those time lines shift unexpectedly. www.cbo.gov

Beginning this sojourn down ROC's rabbit hole I stated:
Because almost every single problem... with previous CBO projections and estimates has been caused by lawsuits, poison pills or actuarial uncertainty thrown into the ACA mix by the GNOP in their never-ending quest to destroy it. Yeah, there is that one over-riding ancillary fact isn't there? Most every problem could be solved responsibly if the GOP was interested in what's actually best for all citizens instead of obsessing over the destruction of Obama's legacy.

Still looking for something other than puff opinion pieces that refute the facts I posted above.
Tick, tock.

#49 | POSTED BY RIGHTOCENTER

As I stated before, it was already done.

See above, if the Republicans don't read and understand it then they shouldn't pass it either.

#56 | POSTED BY RIGHTOCENTER

There's not a Republican alive that works long enough to actually read bills word for word before they vote on them, nor should any rational person expect them to. That is why they have STAFF. Here is an anecdote and computation on how many hours it took to read the ACA at over 1000 pages:

How long is long enough to read the health care bill?

We read the entire House version when it came out in July. Certainly, at just over 1,000 pages, it was long. At times, it was exceedingly boring. We took frequent Diet Coke breaks. Day passed into night, then day, then night, then ... memory fails. We're sorry to report that we didn't think to time how long we took.

So to explore Bachmann's comment, we wanted a back-of-the-envelope estimate of how much time it might take the average person to literally read the text of the bill. A computer program told us the House bill weighed in at 163,000 words. The average adult, meanwhile, can read passages aloud at an average rate of 154 words per minute, according to a 2003 measurement of basic adult literacy by the U.S. Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics. At that rate, the average person would need about 18 hours to read the bill aloud. So if you had the three days Pelosi would guarantee, you'd only have to spend six hours per day reading the bill.

Most people, though, can read faster when they're reading silently. The estimates we found for adult readers ranged from 200 to 400 words per minute. At those rates, a person could conquer the bill in seven to 13 hours. www.politifact.com

Now this is straight reading with no allowance for stopping to re-read, make notes or any other analysis processes. It's highly unlikely any of our representatives read and understood the entirety of the ACA before it was voted on.

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