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Old 2020-05-20, 18:46   #265
rogue
 
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The Senate Republicans once more want to influence the election by investigating the Democratic candidate (or family member of) in an election year. How many voters didn't vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 because of that investigation? If this gets closer to Joe, how many voters will not vote for him this year because of what his son did? It isn't a matter a guilt. It is a matter of raising enough suspicion to get those on the fence to not vote for their opponent.
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Old 2020-05-20, 23:29   #266
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I think most of those fence sitters have seen what Trump is like. If the Tara Reade accusations are not denting Biden's popularity I doubt any investigation into his son would. But what do I know? I thought Hillary would win.
Note that Hillary was held to a different standard. Seems that the American public doesn't like corrupt women but has no problems with corrupt older white men. Is that due to inherent sexism in US society?

Last fiddled with by garo on 2020-05-20 at 23:30
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Old 2020-05-21, 00:48   #267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garo View Post
I think most of those fence sitters have seen what Trump is like. If the Tara Reade accusations are not denting Biden's popularity I doubt any investigation into his son would. But what do I know? I thought Hillary would win.
Note that Hillary was held to a different standard. Seems that the American public doesn't like corrupt women but has no problems with corrupt older white men. Is that due to inherent sexism in US society?
Need you ask? Yes. It can extend to men with incorrect attractions, too. It goes totally off the rails over Trans people.
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Old 2020-05-26, 00:59   #268
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue View Post
The Senate Republicans once more want to influence the election by investigating the Democratic candidate (or family member of) in an election year. How many voters didn't vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 because of that investigation? If this gets closer to Joe, how many voters will not vote for him this year because of what his son did? It isn't a matter a guilt. It is a matter of raising enough suspicion to get those on the fence to not vote for their opponent.
Biden *bragged* publicly about putting the squeeze on the Ukrainian prosecutor to drop the Hunter Biden investigation, so it strikes me that this wound is self-inflicted.

And - whereas 4 running years of Team-DNC RussiaRussiaRussia gaslighting, trying to 'turn' electors via a coordinated faithless-elector scheme, and working hand-in-glove with NeverTrumpers in the cesspool that is the Intelligence Community to foment a coup - that's like, totally respectful of the democratic process and integrity of our hallowed (gets warm fuzzy feeling, like from peeing down your leg) democratic institutions, and not trying to influence the 2020 (or even 2016, retroactively) election in any way. Just as the Obama admin illegally using mass-scale searches of the NSA database [I will make a separate post about that below], and when that little scheme came to light and was shut down by NSA director Mike Rogers, whipping up a steaming load of bought-and-paid-for oppo research in form of the Steele dossier, complete with salacious "Putin has tapes of Russian prostitutes peeing on Trump in a Moscow hotel" Kompromat allegations - completely bogus allegations, mind you, but promptly dominated headlines for days before being slowly and oh-so-quietly debunked, and presenting said oppo research as "credible allegations" to a FISA court in order to allow it to continue and widen the spying on the Trump campaign - again, totally legitimate stuff, that.

=====================

Op-Ed in RT - yes, that stands for Russia Today, though no pee tapes accompany this piece, disappointingly enough - by Paul Street:

Bernie Sanders bares his SHEEPDOG teeth to keep own delegates in line for Biden – which was his role all along
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...And this time, the sheepdog is baring his teeth to keep his followers and representatives in line behind the neoliberal nominee like never before.

Bernie Sanders’ delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention (which may be virtual thanks to Covid-19) have been warned. They must refrain from making any disparaging or even mildly critical comments about Biden on social media –Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. They must not speak to the media without permission. They are not to write books, academic studies, and/or articles or create videos or other recordings about the presidential campaign without official authorization.

Publicly expressed dissatisfaction with Biden is strictly prohibited. Failure to abide by these rules could cause Sanders’ convention delegates to be stripped of their delegate status and thus of their right to vote on the Democratic Party’s nominees and platform.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2020-05-26 at 01:04
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Old 2020-05-26, 01:04   #269
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o More Joe Biden "long and distinguished history of pub(l)ic service" goodness:

Joe Biden’s Garbage Career: A Timeline | Rampant
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Joe Biden is not only a loyal soldier of neoliberalism, he has been the architect of much of today’s hellish political landscape. The last fifty years of ruling class ascendancy is a timeline studded with Creepy Joe’s despicable actions.
o And more on Russiagate, from a source I would have dismissed o "obviously partisan" grounds a few years ago, but given what we know about people, places and times, said author's connect-the-dots is looking pretty convincing. See original article for lots of embedded-linky goodness:

Why is Obama Panicking Now? -- The Importance of Understanding Political Surveillance In The Era of President Obama... | The Conservative Treehouse
Quote:
During the time-frame of December 2015 through April 2016 the NSA database was being exploited by contractors within the intelligence community doing unauthorized searches.

On March 9, 2016, oversight personnel doing a review of FBI system access were alerted to thousands of unauthorized search queries of specific U.S. persons within the NSA database.

NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers was made aware.

Subsequently NSA Director Rogers initiated a full compliance review of the system to identify who was doing the searches; & what searches were being conducted.

On April 18, 2016, following the preliminary audit results, Director Rogers shut down all FBI contractor access to the database after he learned FISA-702 “about”(17) and “to/from”(16) search queries were being done without authorization. Thus begins the first discovery of a much bigger background story.

When you compile the timeline with the people involved; and the specific wording of the resulting review, which was then delivered to the FISA court; and overlay the activity that was taking place in the GOP primary; what we discover is a process where the metadata collected by the NSA was being searched for political opposition research and surveillance.

Additionally, tens-of-thousands of searches were identified by the FISA court as likely extending much further than the compliance review period: “while the government reports it is unable to provide a reliable estimate of the non compliant queries since 2012, there is no apparent reason to believe the November 2015 [to] April 2016 period coincided with an unusually high error rate”.

In short, during the Obama administration the NSA database was continually used to conduct surveillance. This is the critical point that leads to understanding the origin of “Spygate”, as it unfolded in the Spring and Summer of 2016.

It was the discovery of the database exploitation and the removal of access as a surveillance tool that created their initial problem. Here’s how we can tell...
More or less immediately following NSA director Rogers' shutting-down of said unauthorized access, the bogus-but-oh-so-useful Steele dossier enters the scene, creating a pretext for continuing and even broadening such surveillance via a FISA warrant. Exceedingly damning and this-goes-right-to-the-top stuff, but I am by now cynical (or perhaps more aptly, realistic) enough to believe that no one's gonna suffer legal or even career-related sanctions as a result of the flood of revelations, because all the perps were deeply-connected insider players.
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Old 2020-05-26, 13:55   #270
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This is my first encounter with Rampant. It seems really hard hitting. Added to my News folder.
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Old 2020-05-26, 17:33   #271
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
This is my first encounter with Rampant. It seems really hard hitting. Added to my News folder.
After reading it, it is definitely hard-hitting, but some items are based upon opinion.

Also, if this source wants to be fully trusted, it should list anything positive he has done (assuming that he has done something positive).

As much as I dislike Trump, that is a big issue I have with the both ends of the media, the lack of balance. List the pros and cons, not just one or the other.
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Old 2020-05-28, 21:39   #272
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Freedom Rider: Biden and the Low Point of Black Politics | Black Agenda Report
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Black America’s political hopes now consist solely of getting rid of Trump. There appear to be no other topics of interest or importance. A Trumpless presidency is seen as the fulfillment of every need. Apparently low wage work, homelessness, and mass incarceration will disappear if Biden wins. However, the truth is even worse. The Biden dead enders know that he won’t make these problems disappear but they are tacitly admitting that they have shrunk their politics down to a microscopic size. This negation of need is no accident. The end of black politics was a long time coming. They sealed the deal with a black president who embodied nothing that black people needed but his presence kept any doubt at bay. Now after years of acquiescence to disastrous neo-liberal policies the only thing that appears to matter is Trump’s defeat. This con job requires feats of mental gymnastics and self-delusion. But the traitorous misleaders have done their jobs well. Smart people who ought to know better ignore Biden’s history of racist policy making without complaint while simultaneously claiming not to notice his ill health and obvious stupidity.
OK, I know, lovable, goofy, fun-loving Joe Biden didn't come off as well as he might've recently when he blurted out "if you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black" in an interview with a popular black radio talk-show host mentioned in the above piece, but Joe has all his life struggled with his instinct to help the downtrodden on one hand, and his big-tent willing-to-reach-across-the-aisle-ishness on the other. Why, I still get teary-eyed when I recall him visibly struggling with these disparate instincts in his 2003 eulogy for virulent racist Strom Thurmond.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2020-05-28 at 21:40
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Old 2020-05-28, 21:53   #273
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By way of followup to my post #269, this time from a source not dismissable-by-Dem-partisans on "has 'conservative' in its name or is known for right-wing nuttery" grounds. I've recreated only the most salient embedded links, origianl artcile has lots more:

New FBI document confirms the Trump campaign was investigated without justification | The Hill
Quote:
Late last week the FBI document that started the Trump-Russia collusion fiasco was publicly released. It hasn’t received a lot of attention but it should, because not too long from now this document likely will be blown up and placed on an easel as Exhibit A in a federal courtroom.

The prosecutor, U.S. Attorney John Durham, will rightly point out that the document that spawned three years of political misery fails to articulate a single justifiable reason for starting the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation.

Those of us who have speculated there was insufficient cause for beginning the investigation could not have imagined the actual opening document was this feeble. It is as if it were written by someone who had no experience as an FBI agent.

Keep in mind the FBI cannot begin to investigate anyone, especially a U.S. citizen or entity, without first creating a document that lists the reasonably suspicious factors that would legally justify the investigation. That’s FBI 101, taught Day 1 at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Va.

To the untrained eye, the FBI document that launched Crossfire Hurricane can be confusing, and it may be difficult to discern how it might be inadequate. To the trained eye, however, it is a train wreck. There are a number of reasons why it is so bad. Two main ones are offered below (if you would like to follow along, the document is here):

First, the document is oddly constructed. In a normal, legitimate FBI Electronic Communication, or EC, there would be a “To” and a “From” line. The Crossfire Hurricane EC has only a “From” line; it is from a part of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division whose contact is listed as Peter Strzok. The EC was drafted also by Peter Strzok. And, finally, it was approved by Peter Strzok. Essentially, it is a document created by Peter Strzok, approved by Peter Strzok, and sent from Peter Strzok to Peter Strzok.

On that basis alone, the document is an absurdity, violative of all FBI protocols and, therefore, invalid on its face. An agent cannot approve his or her own case; that would make a mockery of the oversight designed to protect Americans. Yet, for this document, Peter Strzok was pitcher, catcher, batter and umpire.

In addition, several names are listed in a “cc” or copy line; all are redacted, save Strzok’s, who, for some reason, felt it necessary to copy himself on a document he sent from himself to himself.

Names on an FBI document are always listed in cascading fashion, with the most senior at the top and on down to the least senior. On this EC, Strzok is listed last, so the redacted names should be more senior to him. Those names could well include then-FBI Director James Comey, then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and then-Counterintelligence Assistant Director Bill Priestap. The document also establishes these redacted names as “case participants.”

Second, the Crossfire Hurricane case was opened as a Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) investigation. A FARA investigation involves a criminal violation of law — in this case, a negligent or intentional failure to register with the U.S. government after being engaged by a foreign country to perform services on its behalf — that is punishable by fines and imprisonment. It is rarely investigated.

In a normal EC opening a FARA case, we should expect to see a list of reasons why the FBI believes individuals associated with a U.S. presidential campaign had been engaged by the Russian government to represent and advocate that government’s goals.

This, however, was no normal EC. Try as we might to spot them, those reasons are not found anywhere in the document. Despite redactions, it has been fairly well established that an Australian diplomat, Andrew Downer, met a low-level Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, in a London bar for drinks; Downer then reported the conversation, which eventually made its way to U.S. officials in London.

The Strzok EC quotes verbatim an email authored by Downer. In it, Downer claims Papadopoulos “suggested” to him that the Trump team had received “some kind of suggestion” of assistance from Russia regarding information damaging to Hillary Clinton and President Obama. In other words, a suggestion of a suggestion.

Strzok apparently took this nebulous reporting by Downer and then leapt to the dubious conclusion that Papadopoulos and unnamed others were engaged by the Russians to act as foreign agents on Russia’s behalf. This, despite Downer also offering two exculpatory statements in the same email: 1) It was “unclear” how the Trump campaign might have reacted to the Russian claims and 2) the Russians likely were going to do what they were going to do with the information whether anyone in the Trump campaign cooperated with them or not.

Strzok then concludes the EC by moving the goalposts. He writes that Crossfire Hurricane is being opened to determine if unspecified “individual(s)” associated with the Trump campaign are “witting of and/or coordinating activities” — also unspecified — “with the Government of Russia.” He doesn’t even mention Papadopoulos.

Ultimately, there was no attempt by Strzok to articulate any factors that address the elements of FARA. He couldn’t, because there are none. Instead, there was a weak attempt to allege some kind of cooperation with Russians by unknown individuals affiliated with the Trump campaign, again, with no supporting facts listed.

What this FBI document clearly establishes is that Crossfire Hurricane was an illicit, made-up investigation lacking a shred of justifying predication, sprung from the mind of someone who despised Donald Trump, and then blessed by inexperienced leadership at the highest levels who harbored their own now well-established biases.

To paraphrase a fired FBI director: No reasonable FBI counterintelligence squad supervisor in the field would have approved and opened that Strzok EC. They know the rules too well.

Instead, the nation was left with an investigation of a presidential campaign that had no legitimate predication; that spawned a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act intercept of a U.S. citizen that had no legitimate predication; that resulted in a confrontation with a new administration’s national security adviser that had no legitimate predication; and, finally, that led to an expensive special counsel investigation that had no legitimate predication. No pattern-recognition software needed here.

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2020-05-28 at 22:10
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Old 2020-05-31, 19:13   #274
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Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Biden *bragged* publicly about putting the squeeze on the Ukrainian prosecutor to drop the Hunter Biden investigation, so it strikes me that this wound is self-inflicted.
I thought this claim had been pretty well discredited. Do you have a source for this, Ernst? My understanding is that when Biden called for Shokin's firing in March 2016, the investigation into Burisma's former owner Yanukovich had already ended, and there was no active investigation into either Yanukovich or Burisma. Or are you referring to something more recent?
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Old 2020-06-03, 20:37   #275
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Originally Posted by philmoore View Post
I thought this claim had been pretty well discredited. Do you have a source for this, Ernst? My understanding is that when Biden called for Shokin's firing in March 2016, the investigation into Burisma's former owner Yanukovich had already ended, and there was no active investigation into either Yanukovich or Burisma. Or are you referring to something more recent?
There is no doubt about the "Biden bragged about it" part because he did so in a public speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, which clip is readily findable online. There are disputed accounts as to whether he got Shokin fired or merely bragged as if he had, and what the status of Shokin's investigation into Burisma Holdings was at the time. Here the latest from The Hill's Jonathan Turley, who does not in fact believe that Biden got Shokin fired but at best sees the whole sordid affair as a clear example of corrupt influence-peddling:

Ukraine Orders Investigation Into Biden Controversy After Release Of Tape | JonathanTurley.org
Quote:
The tape confirms what is already known from Biden himself who bragged that he got the prosecutor canned. Biden maintains that he demanded the firing out of a commitment to fight corruption in Ukraine:

I have previously said that I am still not convinced that Biden made this quid pro quo demand to protect his son. There is no question in my mind that Hunter Biden’s contract was raw and open influence peddling. However, there is still no direct evidence that this action by his father was taken to shield his son. I am still inclined to believe Biden’s account...
Lots of as-the-story-evolved articles at Turley's site, if you do a search for 'Burisma'.
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