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Boom: Trump Signals FISA Bill Veto

Today’s Campaign Update, Part II (Because the Campaign Never Ends)

As congress works to pass a renewal of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, President Trump issued a tweet this morning that indicates he is seriously considering a veto:

The tweet comes as the Senate takes up the House version of the reform bill, a version that contains changes to the law that most conservatives consider to be wholly inadequate. Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul made it clear on Wednesday afternoon that they would work to kill any effort by the Senate to pass the House version without amendments mandating further reforms.

From a Politico report on the matter:

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said Wednesday that he’ll do all he can to block the House’s legislation to reform surveillance laws and is pushing President Donald Trump to veto it.

Lee’s move could sink efforts to renew provisions in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which are expiring March 15. Lee and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are pushing for several changes to the law not currently included in the House’s version.

Paul said Wednesday that he is pushing for an amendment stating that “FISA warrants can’t be used on Americans and no information gathered in the FISA court can be used to convict an American.”

Meanwhile, Lee said he is actively trying to get enough votes to block the House bill from advancing in the Senate.

“There are a lot of procedural tools at our disposal,” the Utah Republican said. “The rules and the clock are on our side here.”

The House bill comes a week after Senate and House Republicans met with President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr to discuss FISA reform. At the meeting, the president made clear that he would not support a clean extension of the expiring surveillance provisions and told lawmakers to come back to him once they reach a bipartisan deal. The president has criticized FISA after authorities used it to monitor an associate of his 2016 presidential campaign.

A senior administration official said Wednesday that “there are a lot of FISA improvements in the proposal that are wins for the president and conservatives who believe FISA was significantly abused and needed major reform.” Barr is also supportive of the proposal.

So, the President’s tweet indicates he is considering a veto despite the position taken by the Attorney General, which is no surprise. After all, the increasingly Swampy-looking Barr initially advocated the passage of a “clean” renewal with no amendments, an extraordinary position for him to take in light of the rampant abuse of the FISA law that took place during the Obama years and into the first year of the Trump Administration.

With the FISA law set to expire on March 15, expect a flurry of activity to take place around it in the coming hours and days.

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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FISA Renewal: The Key Reform is to Put People in Jail

Today’s Campaign Update (Because the Campaign Never Ends)

One of the most depressing aspects of Attorney General William Barr’s ongoing conduct of his job is his current campaign to have the FISA law renewed without a single modification. Coming as it does directly in the wake of the report by DOJ IG Michael Horowitz identifying no fewer than 17 instances in which highi-ranking  DOJ/FBI officials lied to the FISA court in order to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump Campaign/Transition Team/Administration during 2016 and 2017, this insistence on a “clean” renewal of this dangerous law is simply inexcusable.

Barr is assuring Senators that they don’t need to fix the law because he personally will see to it that real reforms of the process are implemented within the DOJ and FBI. But if the administrative reforms offered by Christopher Wray – which consist essentially of a couple of yearly on-line “training” sessions – are any indication, that’s just another deflection by people who have no intention of actually fixing anything or punishing anyone.

Appearing on Fox Business last night, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made some very astute remarks about the current debate that people need to listen to. Below is a clip of his interview with host Greg Jarrett, followed by some outtakes from his comments.

First, the clip:

 

Outtakes:

Fitton: Certainly, the process as it is set up isn’t protecting anyone’s rights. The FISA Court didn’t do its job; certainly they were the victims of a criminal conspiracy, But even when exposed, they haven’t held those responsible accountable. Forget about the Durham investigation: The FISA courts have inherent authority to investigate any criminality before the court, and I’m not seeing any evidence it is interested in doing that. If I were DOJ and FBI, I would have offered to help the court do that, but of course, DOJ and FBI are just pretending to quote, reform the system here.

The President has inherent constitutional authority to spy on foreign nationals. He doesn’t need FISA courts to do so. That authority is there, whether or not there is a FISA court. The FISA court is kind of like the War Powers Act – it’s kind of an uneasy compromise among the branches to try to restrain a presidential power that [congress] does not have the constitutional authority to restrain.

The key reform is to put people in jail who abuse the process criminally. This reform game is just that: A game. You know, Barr may have a credible point of view when he says, just renew it. Because the reform isn’t going to fix it in the sense that there’s no penalty for criminally violating the rights of American citizens.

The President’s a crime victim, and no one’s done a darn thing about it thus far. My thinking is that DOJ doesn’t even want to do anything [regarding reforms] during this period when FISA reforms are being debated, because they want the FISA court to continue operating.

Judicial Watch found – we had to force it out of the Justice Department – they admitted the FISA courts held not one hearing on any of the four FISA applications…on warrants targeting a candidate for president and a President of the United States. Why the heck have a FISA court if that’s the rubber stamp approach it takes?

The other key point here is that we still don’t have all the information. We still don’t know what else is in those FISA warrants. We don’t have all the text messages; we don’t have all the emails. So, they’re telling us they’ve got a handle on the problem; well, we don’t know the full extent of the problem and the full extent of the potential criminality.

The President is right to be skeptical of being rushed into approving this without any of the full information needed for any serious person to make a decision here.

Jarrett: In 2002, Comey was beaten up by the FISA court for his agents lying to the Court. He promised to institute reforms called the Woods procedures. And what happened? His agents went about circumventing those procedures, and of course we saw it in the Carter Page case. I’ve seen this film before; I know how it ends.

[End]

Fitton is right, of course: The one “reform” that would create a sure and long-lasting chilling effect on further abuses of the FISA process by FBI and DOJ officials would be to see Barr and Durham issue indictments targeting those who we know criminally abused the process in 2016/17: James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, Sally Yates, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and on and on it goes.

Sadly, there is little indication that Barr has the slightest intention of pursuing real justice for any of those wrongdoers. Trusting Barr – who has repeatedly praised the worthless apparatchik Wray – to do anything real in terms of implementing “reforms” internally that would prevent future abuses is a fool’s errand.

I am generally opposed to Republicans in the Senate joining Democrats in filibusters, but this effort to renew the FISA law is a needed exception to the rule. Republican libertarians like Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz should be working to form a bipartisan coalition opposing ANY renewal of this dangerous statute until visible efforts to bring the known abusers of the system to justice are publicly taking place. Then, and only then, should the DOJ be trusted again with the use of this law.

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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RINOs Rand Paul and Mike Lee are Part of the Problem in the DC Swamp

Today’s Campaign Update, Part II
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Guest Contribution By Gregg Updike

If I remember correctly, several years ago Rand Paul was held up and harassed by the newly created TSA at an airport in either Nashville or Kentucky. He also had his ribs badly busted up at his home a few years back by some leftist radical wacko as a protest to something that got the left “OUTRAGED” over something Trump did to “OUTRAGE” them.

Same with Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and a bunch or GOP congressmen getting ambushed at a softball field by a Bernie Sanders’ supporter. In the past three years, we have seen numerous elected Democrats arguing for and promoting outright violence against members of the Trump Administration, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and other GOP/Trump supporters. Can you imagine the hue and cry and “OUTRAGE” that would happen if top Democrat bananas like a Rep. Steny Hoyer got shot or if a Sen. Corey Booker got assaulted by a right wing-nut?

I just don’t understand how any Republican – whether conservative or moderate – feels compelled to blast this president to the liberal MSM; they seem to relish the opportunity to channel their inner McCain and spew their guts, which displays their RINO tendencies. These supposedly smart and savvy politicians make these appearances on enemy-held TV and constantly get played – or maybe they want to be played – with the net effect of giving the Trump Administration a black eye, a PR hit to no positive purpose.

What did Lee or Paul gain by bitching on TV about yesterday’s intel briefing? When did Barack the Obama ever give you a brief, or listen to ANY GOP input?

Don’t these idiots realize that the MSM would do everything they could to outright defeat and destroy the Pauls and the Lees of the world if given the chance? The media’s goal is to totally destroy the Republican Party and the conservative movement. They promote the radical, violent ANTIFA and BLM groups, and denigrate and impugn the peaceful conservative TEA Party. Yet these idiots – Lee and Paul – keep lining up to give the MSM ammo to hurt Trump, and by extension, themselves; quit giving them fodder.

I don’t remember any Republican (if they ever did, it was always couched in the most tepid terms possible), and certainly no Democrat ever blasting Obama for his “War Criminal Acts” of droning actual American citizens without due process (Are there any Democrats who believe in the rule of law, or due process?), or any other liberal policy when he was president. Where was the pushback on Fast and Furious, the IRS abuse scandal, pallets of cash to Iran, Dreamer EOs etc.?

Why can’t these politicians just shut up and be thought fools rather than open their mouths and remove all doubts? Taking opportunities to gratuitously rip or denigrate Trump on TV does not serve them well especially when they represent Red States/Districts and serves no good purpose. Leave that to the Democrats, and quit giving Schumer, Pelosi, and the MSM metaphorical orgasms!.

Wise up, grow up, and support our pro-American president! Be part of the solution and quit giving aid and comfort to the DEM/MEDIA ENEMY! If you RINOS can’t see the writing on the wall, or reality, then retire and let someone with brains and guts take your place.

Better yet, the primaries will soon be upon us which signals the opening of RINO Season. To all Red States and reasonable Purple States, please primary these old war horse losers and get some conservative leaders to replace them.

That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Mike Lee and Rand Paul Should be Ashamed of Themselves

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Tired of all this WINNING yet? – Gosh, it’s been like four trading days since we were able to celebrate the setting of new record highs on the various stock market indexes. Oh, hey, that’s because it has been all of four trading days since that happened. But on Wednesday that happened yet again, with both the NASDAQ and S&P 500 closing at record high levels. The Dow closed slightly below its all-time record due only to weakness at Boeing after one of its planes flown by Ukrainian Airlines was shot down shortly after taking off from Tehran. The Dow’s futures, however, are pointing to a record-high opening later this morning.

WINNING, bigly.

Speaking of WINNING, when did Rand Paul and Mike Lee, Republican senators from Kentucky and Utah respectively, become such LOSERS? This question arose late Tuesday after these two emerged from a congressional briefing conducted by the Trump Administration’s military and national security team on the situation with Iran, whining about what they characterized as the “amateurish” nature of the briefing.

Watch as Senator Lee goes absurdly ballistic upon leaving the breifing:

This seems to be Lee’s main complaint: “They [the briefers] were asked repeatedly, what, if anything, would trigger the need for the Administration to come back to congress for a declaration of war or the authorization of the use of military force? At one point I think one of the briefers said something along the lines of ‘I’m sure we could think of something.’ But they struggled to identify anything….They were asked a number of hypotheticals about situations in which they might have to appropriately have to come to ask for authorization from congress. Not once did they say yes.”

Oh, ok. Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and several other Republicans present for the same briefing completely debunked Lee’s statement, but let’s deal with that in more detail in a bit.

Before we do that, listen to Sen. Paul’s complaint as aired with the despicable Wolf Blitzer at CNN:

“No specific information given to us of a specific attack, uh, generalities, stuff you read in a newspaper was given to us. I didn’t learn anything in the hearing that I hadn’t seen in a newspaper already, and none of it was overwhelming that ‘x’ was going to happen. I’m not saying that, uh – the world being rid of Soleimani is probably a good thing. But in the end, how we go about it and the ramifications of it are very important. I think it’s made it much more difficult to have engagement or any kind of diplomacy with Iran. I doubt they’ll be coming to the negotiating table anytime soon.”

This is what happens when you get libertarian ideologues pretending to be Republicans. It is frankly stunning that someone as normally savvy as Rand Paul could witness the cowardly standing down by the Iranian Mullahs that has taken place since the completely justified killing of one of the worlds most deadly Islamic terrorist leaders and be so naive as to think it makes them LESS likely to want to negotiate. He is his father’s son at the end of the day.

It is also truly despicable for Paul and Lee to complain about the Administration briefers dealing in generalities and refusing to speculate about what Lee refers to as “hypotheticals.” Oh, golly, why might that be their behavior in a room filled with seditious Democrats?

Obviously, any classified details the Administration officials might have revealed during this briefing would have ended up being aired by Blitzer or someone else at CNN before the briefing had ended. Both Senators Paul and Lee know this reality full well.

And Lee also well knows that any concession by anyone in the Administration about any single hypothetical tossed at them might require President Trump to seek congressional approval would immediately become just another Democrat/media narrative that would attempt to tie the Administration’s hands against taking any further unilateral action whatsoever as it relates to Iran.

This was despicable, shameful behavior by two ostensible Republican senators who know better.

Watch as James Lankford – who no one can claim to be some flunky for President Trump – completely debunks Lee’s claims starting at the 1:22 mark:

“Yeah, it has been very interesting. I’ve seen some of my colleagues come out and make comments like that. In fact, one of my colleagues stepped out and said the whole group was doing a briefing with us and when the questions got hard that they left and they ran off. That was absolutely, positively false. That did not occur. They weren’t running away. We started at 2:30 and we finished at 4:00 because they had meetings in the White House.”

Enough. Have a good day.

That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Senate Vote to Rebuke Trump Lets GOP Voters Meet the Real Enemy

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

The Kabuki Theater in our nation’s capital never ceases. – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – who will be the Senate Minority Leader after the 2020 elections if he keeps pulling nonsense like this – staged a show vote in the U.S. Senate yesterday that will lead to President Donald Trump’s first exercise of his veto power.

The show vote came on a resolution to reverse the President’s national emergency declaration on the border situation – which congress is completely responsible for causing and allowing to mushroom – that was earlier passed by the House of Representatives. That declaration is clearly within both the President’s constitutional authority and consistent with the powers that congress had explicitly granted to every U.S. president in a law it passed in 1976.

Given that reality, the proper thing for a congress truly concerned with protecting its own powers to do would have been to act to reverse that 1976 law. But no, this is Kabuki theater we are playing at here, and members of congress really don’t want to have to be responsible for anything other than raising money for their next re-election campaign. Thus, House Democrats and a handful of Republicans came up with this resolution targeting a single declaration by a President they hate, a power that was exercised 17 times by America’s Worst Mistake, Barack Hussein Obama.

Given that this resolution contained a poison pill provision that gave the Senate just 18 days in which to hold a vote following the Feb. 26 house passage of it, McConnell could simply have allowed it to die on the vine without bringing it to the Senate floor as he has done with literally hundreds of previous bad bills that have come over from the House during his time in the leader’s post. But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the editorial board at the Wall Street Journal, and other major advocates of open borders demanded a show vote, and McConnell gave in to pressure from senate Republicans who are beholden to those elements of the D.C. establishment universe.

In the end, a dozen Republicans joined all 47 Senate Democrats in voting to pass the resolution. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Utah Senator Mike Lee voted with the majority due to their libertarian “principles”, principles that always seem to give one or both of them reason to defect to the Democrats on matters of real national import.  Funny how that works.

But the other 10 Rs who voted that way did so simply to please their open borders benefactors, and thus deserve to be mentioned by name and remembered by every thinking American who wishes to avoid turning our own country into just another 3rd-world hovel. Those senators are:

Susan Collins of Maine

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who has more conflicts than an episode of “Empire”

Mitt Romney of Utah because of course Mitt Romney is on this list

Marco Rubio of Florida because he still thinks he might be president some day

Rob Portman of Ohio

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

Jerry Moran of Kansas

Roy Blount of Missouri

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee

Roger Wicker of Mississippi

There they are in all their D.C. establishment glory, folks. Remember their names, and vote against them if you ever get the chance.

For his part, President Trump responded to the congressional taunt in typically hilarious and blunt fashion:

It’s a power he needs to use far more often. No better time to start than with this bit of Kabuki theater brought to his desk intentionally by Mitch McConnell and the open borders crowd in the GOP caucus.

Where GOP voters are concerned, a great line from the old “Pogo” comic strip comes to mind here:

 

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Mueller Bites Into Another Ham Sandwich

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Robert Mueller has a passion for ham. – The Special Counsel’s office nabbed itself another ham sandwich in the dark of night, arresting former Trump adviser (prior to the 2016 election campaign) Roger Stone with CNN’s cameras conveniently present for the festivities. Funny how that works, huh?

The 66 year-old Stone, who is one of the most recognizable people in America at this point and not any sort of flight risk at all, was arrested at his home as FBI agents pounded on his door shouting “FBI! Open the door!” as they would if they were playing Elliot Ness in a Hollywood-produced film. Stone, after opening the door, was naturally taken away in handcuffs.

The arrest of Stone on a variety of process crimes having nothing to do with any “collusion” with anyone from Russia comes after 20 months of a Mueller-led rectal exam into every facet of his life. The obviously-coordinated media event also conveniently comes in the wake of recent releases of transcripts of the congressional testimonies of a series of FBI/DOJ anti-Trump cabal participants like Lisa Page and James Baker which contained revelations of all sorts of violations of law and process committed as part of the efforts to get Trump during 2016 and 2017. You know, actual news that CNN couldn’t be bothered to report.

Timing is everything if you’re a Special Counsel.

Stone was charged with a series of terrible-sounding process crimes like “obstruction of justice” (as if this Mueller and his band of Clinton/Obama shills were engaged in any sort of pursuit of actual “justice”), “witness tampering” and “lying to congress”, all of which sound great when trumpeted by the news-fakers at CNN. But God help him if he ever screwed up on a tax return, because at the end of the day all these other charges will almost certainly fall away and that is what he’ll end up going to jail for.

Just another day in the pursuit of “justice” by the American Gestapo.

And now for something completely different…: Here’s Irish Bob O’Rourke in a Sheep Suit.  No, really, I’m not making this up…

Conservatives like Jim Hanson making fun of Irish Bob over this video are just whistling past the graveyard.  Democrat voters eat this kind of stuff up. In their minds, O’Rourke in a onesie just makes him cool and hip and they’re all out there on Amazon this morning trying to figure out if they can buy one for themselves. And that sheep mask will be all the rage at Millennial Halloween parties this October.

At the end of the day, the release of this little snip of video will get Irish Bob another 5 percent in the Democrat 2020 nomination horse race polls.

He’s a shoe-in, folks.  Just get used to it: Beto-In-A-Sheep-Suit 2020!!!!

Actually, Mitch, you’re wrong. – The news-fakers at The Hill report this morning that GOP senators “Read the Riot Act” to Vice President Mike Pence at a closed-door luncheon yesterday. Led by Mitch McConnell, this group of half a dozen or so establishment unreliables informed the Veep that government shutdowns are “bad strategy”, with McConnell reminding Pence of his “favorite country saying” which is “there is no education in the second kick of a mule.”

Whatever that means.

We hear this nonsense all the time from McConnell and the GOP Squish lobby in the Senate and House. But every time we hear it, it is instructive to review the last time the GOP got blamed for a partial fake shutdown of the government.

That took place in October, 2013, when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Utah Sen. Mike Lee – two actual, real conservative Republicans – led filibusters of a horrible budget bill to force a shutdown that lasted from October 1 through October 17 before they finally relented and agreed to a compromise.

As we see happening today, Democrats and their coordinating agents in the fake news media reacted to that action by Cruz and Lee with glee, assuring the public that Republicans would pay dearly at the ballot box when the 2014 mid-term congressional elections came around.  Because, that is what D.C. Swamp logic told them would happen, right?  Right.

But what actually did happen in the 2014 mid-term elections?  Why, the GOP base turned out in droves, and Republicans swept to huge gains in both the House and Senate.  In fact, this was the election in which Republicans gained control of the Senate for the first time since 2006, the election that put Cocaine Mitch into the Majority Leader’s role he holds today.

One would think McConnell might actually remember such a red-letter day in his career.

I have been involved in and written about politics for almost 40 years now, and it never ceases to amaze me how so many Republicans are simply incapable of recognizing the single most important lesson the great Ronald Wilson Reagan taught them: Republicans will always be rewarded by voters when they stand on principle and keep their promises, and will always be punished by them when they fail to do so.

In this government shutdown, President Donald Trump is standing on principle and keeping his promose, and he will be rewarded by the voters for doing so in 2020 so long as he does not capitulate.  Republicans who stand with him will also be rewarded. Republicans who do not stand with him will be punished.

It really is that simple.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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