Category Archives: Media

House Intelligence Committee chair demonstrates the need for a bipartisan commission and/or special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference in the U.S. election

I have said before that House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), is the reason why we need to have a bipartisan commission and/or special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference in the U.S. election as part of its information war against the U.S.  This Trump transition team member just made my point today.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes revealed Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s personal communications may have been picked up by investigators through “incidental collection” pursuant to a legal FISA warrant investigation of foreign nationals.

Remember how Nunes was pushing the GOP conspiracy du jour during the House Intelligence Committee on Monday that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn may have been improperly “unmasked” by intelligence agencies through “incidental collection” pursuant to a legal FISA warrant investigation of foreign individuals and his identity leaked to the press?

Nunes just abused the power of his position — and may have violated the law if he disclosed classified information, which includes the existence of a FISA Court warrant — for a partisan political motive by suggesting, as the White House immediately latched onto after his disclosure, that the “incidental collection” information is the equivalent of “surveillance” of the Donald Trump campaign (it is not) to give the White House cover for Trump’s false tweets that President Obama “wire tapped” Trump Tower.

Nunes’ clear implication is that FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers were not fully forthcoming when they testified that there is no evidence to substantiate Trump’s false tweets that President Obama “wire tapped” Trump Tower.

Nunes’ intentionally vague statements today were intended to provide grist to the propagandists of the conservative media entertainment complex. He has called into question the credibility of his chairmanship and the House Intelligence Committee investigation.

Nunes should be removed as chair of the House Intelligence Committee and referred to the FBI for investigation if he leaked classified information, including the existence of a FISA Court warrant, for a partisan political motive. If so, he should be forced to resign from Congress.

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McClatchy News: Russia uses ‘bots’ and trolls for information war against U.S.

For those of you who live on social media sites and believe just about anything you see posted there (don’t deny it, I can tell from the comments and links I see posted), this latest report from McClatchy News should cause you to question your faith in social media and embarrass you for having been an “unwitting agent” or “useful idiot” of the Russians. Some of our blog trolls may not be who they claim to be. Just sayin’.

But first, make no mistake: we are engaged in a cyber war with Russia, in a new strategy for information warfare:

Andrey Krutskikh, a senior Kremlin adviser, made the startling comments at the Russian national information security forum, or “Infoforum 2016,” held Feb. 4 and 5.

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Krutskikh as a “senior-level adviser” to President Vladimir Putin and “a long-standing player in cyber issues” at the foreign ministry. The official said he couldn’t confirm the details of Krutskikh’s remarks, but that “they sound like something Andrey would say.”

According to notes of Krutskikh’s speech, he told his Russian audience: “You think we are living in 2016. No, we are living in 1948. And do you know why? Because in 1949, the Soviet Union had its first atomic bomb test. And if until that moment, the Soviet Union was trying to reach agreement with [President Harry] Truman to ban nuclear weapons, and the Americans were not taking us seriously, in 1949 everything changed and they started talking to us on an equal footing.”

Krutskikh continued, “I’m warning you: We are at the verge of having ‘something’ in the information arena, which will allow us to talk to the Americans as equals.”

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Rep. Martha McSally will vote to take health care away from thousands of her constituents

As I pointed out earlier this year to the folks at “McSally Take A Stand,” It turns out that Martha McSally does stand for somethin’: Trumpism.

The Five Thirty Eight Vote Tracker still shows our “mythical moderate” Congresswoman (a myth created by our local media) voting 100% with the destructive positions of “The Donald.”

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McSally has now declared her support for the “Trumpcare 2.0” bill to be voted on Thursday, which will take health care insurance away from thousands of her constituents. Hopefully they vote and will return the favor in November 2018.

The Arizona Republic reports, Martha McSally signals support for ‘Obamacare’ repeal bill; Trent Franks doesn’t:

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally signaled support for the revised Republican health care bill Monday, but the plan’s passage remained uncertain as it headed toward a key vote Thursday in the House or Representatives.

In a statement Monday night, McSally, a two-term Arizona Republican, said the bill backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan “is not perfect and I still have concerns,” but she indicated she was working to strengthen that plan.

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‘Trumpcare’ bill was DOA in Congress, so a desperate attempt at ‘Trumpcare 2.0’

Tea-Publicans in Congress want to hold a vote on their “Obamacare” repeal bill aka “Trumpcare” on Thursday for one reason, and one reason only: it is the seventh anniversary of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. The post-policy nihilism of the GOP is all about empty symbolism and marketing to the conservative media entertainment complex for them.

Just one problem: Tea-Publicans do not have the votes to pass their own bill among their own members in Congress. The radical House Freedom Caucus demands nothing less than a straight-up repeal of the entirety of the ACA (something these lunatics apparently do not realize cannot be done under the budget reconciliation process, which this bill is proceeding under). Concessions to these far-right radicals will lose the mythical moderate Republicans who have the ACA’s expanded Medicaid in their states and who are afraid of voters turning on them for taking away their health care (looking at you Rep. Martha McSally).

The so-called American Health Care Act aka “Trumpcare” bill drafted by the GOP’s alleged boy genius, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the sate of Wisconsin” and Ayn Rand fanboy Paul Ryan, is dead on arrival (DOA) in Congress. He does not have the votes and he desperately wants to avoid a defeat on Thursday which would demonstrate just how weak a Speaker of the House he is.

So boy genius last night rolled out “Trumpcare 2.0” to try to sway enough GOP members of Congress to go along in the House to avoid an embarrassing defeat. (This new version is no more likely to pass the Senate than the original bill). It is all about saving face, the one thing that really matters to boy genius.

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Takeaways from the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference in U.S. election (updated)

The House Intelligence Committee held its first committee hearing into Russian interference in the U.S. election with FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers testifying over five hours. They confirmed what we already know from press reports:

1. There is no evidence to support Donald Trump’s false tweets via right-wing radio host Mark Levin, Breitbart News and Brent Baier of FOX News that President Obama “wire tapped” Trump Tower. Period. Full stop.

2. There is no evidence to support White House pres secretary “Baghdad Sean” Spicer’s and Trump’s false claim via 9/11 Truther Andrew Napolitano of FOX News that British intelligence GCHQ “wire tapped” Trump and his campaign. Period. Full stop. Shepherd Smith of FOX News already distanced FOX News from Napolitano’s “utterly ridiculous” claim. Shep Smith: “Fox News Cannot Confirm Judge Napolitano’s Commentary”.

3. The FBI and intelligence agencies are conducting an investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election. well, duh!

4. The FBI is conducting an investigation into possible “coordination” between Russia and individuals associated with the Trump campaign. Until today, the FBI had refused to privately acknowledge the existence of an investigation, let alone what it is looking into. This is the “big news” of the day from the hearing.

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David Cay Johnston on Trump’s 2005 Form 1040

David Cay Johnston is an investigative journalist and author who is a specialist in economics and tax issues, and the winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting.  Johnston also wrote the book on Donald Trump, literally: The Making of Donald Trump (August 2016).

Johnston’s latest scoop on “The Donald” is his 2005 Form 1040 tax summary that an unidentified individual mailed to him unsolicited. DCREPORT EXCLUSIVE: Trump Earned $153 Million In 2005; He Paid $36.6 Million In Taxes:

DCReport has obtained Donald Trump’s Form 1040 federal tax return for 2005. There’s no smoking gun there, no obvious evasion, but clearly some bending of the tax laws almost to the breaking point. The document offers a rare glimpse at how a super wealthy couple can manipulate and manage our complex tax laws to reduce their obligations far below rates paid by typical salaried professionals or even blue-collar wage earners.

The White House [preemptively] confirmed the authenticity of the tax returns [before this story was reported]. “Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid,” the White House said in a statement, “the dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the President will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all Americans.”

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