Unmasking Susan Rice and OPEN THREAD

From FoxNews:

As Susan Rice faces growing calls to testify under oath, the former Obama administration official now accused of ordering the unmasking of Trump officials under surveillance is suggesting that she never did so for political purposes, and that it is sometimes “necessary” for investigative purposes.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a member of both the Senate Judiciary and Select Committee on Intelligence, suggested in a tweet earlier Tuesday that Rice “needs to testify under oath.”

He included a link to a Wall Street Journal piece “Susan Rice Unmasked,” a report that suggests Rice had sought the name of at least one Trump official in intelligence reports at a time when reports on Russia were reportedly being circulated broadly, according to a former intelligence official.

Responding to the accusation, Rice suggested in an interview on Tuesday that she “absolutely” did not order the unmasking of individuals for political purposes, and suggested that sometimes such a request would be necessary for an investigation.

“The allegation is that somehow Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes,” Rice told MSNBC, “that is absolutely false.”

She said there were times she reviewed a report that referred to an American who was unnamed.

“And sometimes, in that context, in order to understand the importance of the report and assess its significance, it was necessary to find out, or request the information as to find out who that U.S. official was,” Rice said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who also serves on the Judiciary Committee, told Fox News earlier that while he doesn’t know whether Rice acted improperly, “when it comes to Susan Rice, you need to verify, not trust.”

Dear Democrats: What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners Week of March 31, 2017
  • Scalia

    U.S. withdraws funding for U.N. Population Fund:

    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The State Department said on Monday it was ending U.S. funding for the United Nations Population Fund, the international body’s agency focused on family planning as well as maternal and child health in more than 150 countries.

    In a letter to U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, the State Department said it was dropping the funding because the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) “supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.”

    The cut marks U.S. President Donald Trump’s first move to curtail funding for the United Nations and is likely to raise further questions about how deep those cuts will eventually go throughout the organization, where the United States is the top donor.

    It comes after Trump in January reinstated the so-called Mexico City Policy that withholds U.S. funding for international organizations that perform abortions or provide information about abortion.

    • Retired military

      “is likely to raise further questions about how deep those cuts will eventually go ”
      Hopefully they will go DEEP very DEEP.

    • Walter_Cronanty

      Yeah! More, please.

  • Scalia

    Trump donates first-quarter salary to National Park Service:

    President Trump will donate his first three months of salary to the National Park Service, White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced Monday.

    “The president has spoken with counsel and made the decision to donate his first-quarter salary to a government entity,” Spicer said at Monday’s briefing.

    Spicer handed a check for $78,333.32 for the National Park Service to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Spicer said the paycheck starts from Jan. 20, when Trump took office, until now.

  • Scalia

    Chinese engineer ‘marries’ robot after failing to find a human wife:

    A Chinese engineer has “married” a robot he created after failing to find a human spouse.

    Zheng Jiajia, 31, an artificial intelligence expert who designs and creates robots in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, created the “female” robot at the end of last year, the Qianjiang Evening News reported.

    The robot, which he named Yingying, can identify Chinese characters and images and even say a few simple words, the report said.

    Zheng “married” his creation in a simple ceremony on Friday, according to the report.
    Yingying wore a black suit on the day and “her”head was covered with a red scarf during the ceremony, a traditional Chinese wedding ritual.

    Here we go again. Look for the Equal Protection Clause to morph again into a fundamental right to marry your robot.

    • Walter_Cronanty

      If the only words the robot can say are “Yes, master,” “You look especially virile today,handsome” and “Can I get you anything, honey” Zheng may be on to something.

    • pennywit

      Ever see Her?

      • Scalia

        Click the link.

        • pennywit

          Did click the link. No mention of the movie Her.

          • Scalia

            Being precise will get you a quicker answer. No, I did not see it.

          • pennywit

            It’s an indie movie from a few years ago. Joaquin Phoenix plays a man who falls in love with his virtual assistant program, a sophisticated AI voiced by Scarlett Johansson. The story is dystopian in a way. Among other things, people are so disconnected from each other that they hire others to write their love letters and other personal communications (Phoenix’s character is one of these writers).

            It was a semi-tragic story. Also makes me wonder — constitutional issues aside, are we eventually going to create AIs that are actually capable of thought and emotion? And if so … how are we going to deal with it?

          • Scalia

            I think you’re dealing with simulated thoughts and emotions. That makes it a property rights issue.

    • Vagabond661

      Would Muslim bakers bake a cake for a robot wedding?

      • pennywit

        I don’t know if Muslim bakers would or would not. But since “robot” is not a protected class under the public-accommodations laws, I don’t think you could compel them to do so.

        • Scalia

          But since “robot” is not a protected class under the public-accommodations laws…

          For now…

        • Vagabond661

          Well not protected…. Yet.

          • pennywit

            Well, if robots ever become less Roomba and more Data, we may have to consider amendments to those laws.

            But it won’t happen in our lifetime, I think.

          • Vagabond661

            If you can marry one, aren’t we there already?

          • pennywit

            Not that I’ve seen. You can “marry” your toaster, your refrigerator, or a cardboard cutout of Tim Tebow, but that doesn’t mean you get tenancy in the entirety and married filing jointly status.

          • Vagabond661

            Yet. As long as robots can’t vote….yet.

          • Scalia

            Yet gays could always marry in the same manner, and they could even take title as joint tenants with right of survivorship and avail themselves of other legal constructs to convey property upon death, but that wasn’t enough.

            Vagabond is right; we’re already there. It’s just a matter of time before somebody files suit. After a few failed attempts, liberals who have nothing else better to do, will take up “arms” (so to speak because guns are icky) to purge America of this outrage.

  • Scalia

    The Susan Rice ‘smoking gun,’ and why it matters:

    Shortly after Nunes announced that “[d]etails about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration … with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value, were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting,” CNN’s Manu Raju reported this: “[s]ome of the communications picked up were Trump transition officials talking about Trump’s family, Intel source says.”

    […]

    Why in the world were conversations about Trump’s family picked up and potentially unmasked and disseminated around government? This would clearly seem to run afoul of minimization procedures, which are meant to protect U.S. citizens from such surveillance.

    The suggestion of wrongful surveillance is compounded when you consider Democratic ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff’s trip to the White House Friday afternoon to view the alleged unmasking documents. For days, Democrats had been demanding to see the evidence of wrongful surveillance. Their demands were answered when the Trump administration invited Schiff to the White House to view the information.

    Upon seeing the evidence, Schiff issued a statement that complained about how long it took for him to get the information, but — notably — he did not dismiss the allegations of unmasking. Further, when asked on CNN Sunday about the viewing, he said: “Well, first of all, I can’t talk about … the contents of any documents. So at this point, I can’t say whether anything was masked or unmasked improperly.”

    Really? After endlessly clamoring for evidence of unmasking, Democrats receive it, upon which they refuse to comment further.

    Curious indeed.

    The drip, drip, drip of information concerning wrongful surveillance is slowly mounting. And the new suggestion that Susan Rice might have played a part raises concerning questions about how high up potential unlawful unmasking might have gone.

    A smoking gun of high-level misconduct? Time will tell, but one thing is for sure: Any American who cherishes our constitutional rights should be sincerely concerned.

    Kayleigh McEnany is a CNN political commentator who recently received her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. She graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and also studied politics at Oxford University.

    • Brucehenry

      Pathetic deflection. Laughable. Emperor has no clothes.

      • jim_m

        Pathetic are the piss ant fascists like you who claimed for 8 years that this was what Bush was doing and don’t care when obama actually did it. Fuck off Bruce. Go carry water for your totalitarian friends elsewhere,

      • jim_m

        For nearly 9 months you have been claiming that there was collusion between Trump and the Russians and yet Clapper, Comey and Brennan are all on record saying that after all these months of investigation there is nothing, absolutely no evidence showing any such collaboration.

        Yet after less than a month of no investigation whatsoever, we are turning up evidence that Susan Rice inappropriately (but probably barely within the bounds of legality) had multiple Trump team members unmasked, probably Trump himself, and spread these unmasked communications throughout the federal government. We already know that some of these transcripts were leaked to the press.

        It is pretty obvious that her unmasking was solely politically motivated because she was not any part of an investigation into suspected collaboration and her unmasking activities apparently started before Trump was officially nominated at the convention. Plus, she gets summaries of intelligence gathered. SHe is not someone who analyzes raw intelligence or is responsible for gathering it. It is highly suspect as to why she was needing to look at raw transcripts in the first place.

        But all this you say is BS and that we should not even examine it. No, you claim that we should get a special prosecutor to look at what almost 9 months of investigation has shown does not exist.

        Can you please either fuck off or at least have the decency to admit that you are an apologist for fascism.

        • Brucehenry
        • Rice should be subpoenaed to testify under oath before a joint House/Senate Intelligence Committee closed session, and arrested when she declines to testify.

          • cathymv

            Rice will do what the other obama appointed sychophants have done – plead the 5th

          • Thus the Deputy U. S. Marshalls waiting outside the hearing room.

        • Hank_M

          Great summation, Jim.
          I’m just hoping the repubs have the spine to go forward with a real investigation and not let the dems side-track it.

          As usual, the dems and their lackeys in the media are concentrating on the messenger and not the deed, trying furiously to change the subject.
          You’d think that Nunez, not strictly following “protocol” was worse than a sitting president using intelligence info to spy on political opponents and undermine his successor.

      • Vagabond661

        Hopefully the democrats will grill Rice as much as they did Gorsuch.

        Otherwise, they are lying partisans sacks of shit.

        • Walter_Cronanty

          I’m sure Al Franken will make as big of an ass of himself when he “grills” Rice as he did when he “grilled” Gorsuch. Does that count?

    • Walter_Cronanty

      I’m sure the “unmasking” was due to a vile videotape posted on the internet.

  • Nixon was a piker as compared to the former President and his lackeys.

  • Retired military

    I am shocked, shocked I say, that you have these corrupt Trump admin figures going around unmasking names of Americans surveilled for political purposes.

  • Scalia

    Don’t Mock Mike Pence For Protecting His Marriage, Commend Him:

    Among the many norms broken by the media in the last year is the relative lack of profiles of the wives of the president and vice president. So it was nice to see a basic profile of Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, in the Washington Post. Even though Mrs. Pence holds political and religious views different from those held by most in the media, the article is mostly respectful of her as a person.

    A problem arose when the story’s author marketed the piece on social media:

    Mike Pence never dines alone with a woman not his wife, nor does he attend events w alcohol, w/o her by his side.

    […]

    Clara Jeffrey, the editor-in-chief of Mother Jones, attempted to plumb the depths of misogyny evinced by Pence’s actions in support of marital fidelity.

    Still other Twitter sages expressed profound disgust with Mike Pence calling his wife “mother,” though I can’t post their vile tweets so you’ll just have to trust me. My parents didn’t call each other “mother” or “father” and my husband and I don’t do it, but I’ve certainly encountered it across the country and globe, so the reaction against it suggests a certain lack of reading or travel.

    Anyway, is Mike Pence a monster for not dining privately with women who are not his wife? What about not boozing it up at parties unless his wife is around?

    Not only is he not a monster, he sounds like he’s a smart man who understands that infidelity is something that threatens every marriage and must be guarded against.

    • Walter_Cronanty

      Obviously, Pence would better serve his wife and the institution of marriage if he followed the examples of good Democrats like Ted Kennedy, Chris Dodd and Wilbur Mills.

      • PBunyan

        and (just from memory) Bill Clinton, Anthony Weiner, Elliot Spitzer, Kwamie Kilpatrick, John Edwards, David Patterson, Gary Condit, Gary Hart, and on and on and on

      • pennywit

        good Democrats like Ted Kennedy

      • Retired military

        Don’t forget BIll Clinton

    • Vagabond661

      With Bill Clinton, we were scolded by the Looney Left that his dalliances were just about sex. Nothing to see here. Move along.

    • cathymv

      leftists:

      Bill and Hillary Clinton – a love story for the ages
      Huma and Anthony weiner – they are working to make their marriage work… squeeeee
      Mike and Karen Pence – misogynistic monsters!!

  • Scalia

    Agents seized 500 guns from a Clovis family. After a court fight, they got them back:

    After a lengthy court fight, a Clovis family forced the return of 500 firearms seized by the California Department of Justice in 2015.

    The weapons were confiscated by state DOJ agents acting on information that Albert Sheakalee was barred from owning guns because he was in the state’s Armed Prohibited Persons (APPS) database.

    However, his attorney, Mark Coleman of Fresno, argued that Sheakalee did not know that he was in the database. Coleman said the justice department broke a promise to Sheakalee to keep the raid confidential until a court hearing determined whether he was mentally fit to own guns.

    The arrest of Sheakalee and the gun seizure were highly publicized by the DOJ in a 2015 news release that received widespread media coverage. At the time of the arrest, the DOJ stated Sheakalee was barred from firearms ownership “as a result of being taken into custody under Welfare and Institutions Code 5150,” under which officers can take someone in for evaluation if they are deemed a danger to themselves or others.

    At the time of his arrest, Sheakalee had no prior criminal history, according to a check of the Fresno County Superior Court. He is the owner of the Green Gables Care Home in Clovis.

  • Retired military

    The MSM is really going all in on this for the dems.
    If the republicans can prove that Rice did this due to political purposes AND explain it to the public in easy to understand terms and the MSM will lose any credibility they have left.

  • Retired military

    And it is official. This is a genuine big time scandal and is very bad news for the dems.
    how do I know this?
    MSNBC has come out and said that going after Rice is sexist and racist.
    Playing both cards means that they are definitely in trouble.

  • cathymv

    There is so much more under the rock of the obama administration… the media turned a blind eye on this administration because they could not go against their puppet master!!

    • Retired military

      And they have only been out of power for 2 months. Imagine what the next 3+ years will uncover when they can only rely on their MSM lackeys to not report stuff to try to provide cover for them.

  • x18E40

    There is a political war raging in America, and the Left gets it and is on offense, while Right is still trying to pretend that everything fine. Here’s a clue-by-four for Republicans… FIGHT!!! For Pete’s sake at least understand that the blood you taste in your mouth is your own, and it isn’t a headache, your face hurts from being punched repeatedly; daily in fact! Now look in the mirror and what do you see Righties? That’s right, you’re the giant elephant, and yes… your opponent is a ferocious jackass heehawing at you. Not a perfect analogy, but you get the point. Republicans have nothing to fear, yet they are paralyzed with fear that the media might treat them unfairly. Clue number 2… You will ALWAYS be treated unfairly by the media, so suck it up, grow up and FIGHT dang it, FIGHT! What is wrong with you knuckle heads?

    If the Right doesn’t realize that they are in war and must fight to AVOID LOSING, they will lose when the race had already been run and won. Pathetic.

    • Scalia

      Absolutely. The Left took the gloves off long ago. Measure for measure.

    • Retired military

      Most republicans like McCuckold McConnell and RINO Ryan are too afraid of what WAPO and the NY Times will say about them to fight. THe times they actually do fight are when they realize that if they don’t they will get tossed out of their jobs on their ears.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    Given Obama’s politicization of the IRS, why not the NSA?
    Did the Obama Administration’s Abuse of Foreign-Intelligence Collection Start Before Trump?
    One clue: The Russia story is a replay of how the former White House smeared pro-Israel activists in the lead-up to the Iran Deal

    “At some point, the administration weaponized the NSA’s legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents,” says a pro-Israel political operative who was deeply involved in the day-to-day fight over the Iran Deal. “The NSA’s collections of foreigners became a means of gathering real-time intelligence on Americans engaged in perfectly legitimate political activism—activism, due to the nature of the issue, that naturally involved conversations with foreigners. We began to notice the White House was responding immediately, sometimes within 24 hours, to specific conversations we were having. At first, we thought it was a coincidence being amplified by our own paranoia. After a while, it simply became our working assumption that we were being spied on.”

  • Scalia

    A fellow blogger writes:

    1. The Executive Branch of our government is a consumer of intelligence. They are not responsible for collecting or analyzing it for that is the job of others. Why is it that Rice assumed the role of collector and analyst?
    >
    2. There is a consistent reference to spreadsheets of information gleaned from intercepts implying there are significant numbers of these intercepts. If they are all talking about Trump and his people, then does this not constitute targeting? Additionally, if these spreadsheets contain information about Trump’s and his people’s conversations collected from various intercepts and if the claims that these conversations had nothing to do with the alleged Trump-Russia connection, then why were these intercepts collected in the first place? Additionally, what was so important about these tangential intercepts that justified the unmasking of those involved?
    >
    3. If Rice repeatedly requested the unmasking of these intelligence intercepts and it turns out that the majority, if not all, involved Trump or his people, then the question that begs to be asked is how did Rice know what intercepts to ask for? With the extremely large population of intelligence intercepts available, it would take precise targeting in order to obtain only those from Trump and his associates. So, who told her which ones were important?
    >
    4. Obama was Rice’s one and only boss. Does anyone really believe that Obama had no knowledge of Rice’s actions. Does anyone really believe that Obama did not at a minimum condone or, more likely, direct Rice to perform these actions? Given the Farkas comments, it would appear that this intelligence collection and unmasking was a widespread activity at the White House which would almost assuredly involve Obama as the driving force. Also, it would appear that this data collection went on far longer than just during the last presidential election. So how long were these data collecting initiatives performed? Given the extent and longevity of these data collecting efforts, exactly what was Obama’s roll in this entire mess? (Remember, it was Obama’s White House that surveilled foreign leaders, newspaper reporters, and others and it was Obama’s administration that turned various agencies such as the IRS into weapons to be used against conservatives. Given that there are so many examples of a coordinated efforts to surveil those Obama did not like, the concept of Obama being the director of such actions [or at the minimum of being responsible for he was the one in charge] is almost impossible to not believe.)
    >
    5. Lastly, will Obama invoke Executive Privilege and, if he does so, then what actions are left to Congress and the Trump administration in this investigation?
    >
    (And as a last bonus question, one simply cannot resist asking how much longer the MSM will continue asking about the Trump-Russia connection with so little evidence [actually no evidence what so ever] while ignoring the scandal that is growing via the increasing amount of evidence that is coming to light every day? )
    >
    None of this bodes well for Obama, his administration, many individuals from his White House, and the MSM, for the public cannot be fooled much longer.

    • Brucehenry

      It’s funny to me how the right constructs these elaborate scenarios to pretend that “the real scandal” is one that is different from what is actually, you know, the real scandal. Pretending that leaks about Trumpkins hobnobbing with Putin’s oligarch buddies and taking money from them is worse than the actual hobnobbing and money-taking. Y’all did the same back at Abu Ghraib for a while, pretending that publishing the pictures of detainees being tortured was a WAY worse crime than actually torturing them.

      Here’s a closer version of the truth than your elaborate what-aboutist excuse making. Note the second paragraph of the following block quote:

      President Trump said on Wednesday that he thought that the former national security adviser Susan E. Rice may have committed a crime by seeking the identities of Trump associates who were swept up in the surveillance of foreign officials by American spy agencies and that other Obama administration officials may also have been involved.

      The president provided no evidence to back his claim. Current and former intelligence officials from both Republican and Democratic administrations have said that nothing they have seen led them to believe that Ms. Rice’s actions were unusual or unlawful. When Americans are swept up in surveillance of foreign officials by intelligence agencies, their identities are supposed to be obscured, but they can be revealed for national security reasons, and intelligence officials say it is a regular occurrence.

      “I think it’s going to be the biggest story,” Mr. Trump said in an interview in the Oval Office. “It’s such an important story for our country and the world. It is one of the big stories of our time.”

      He declined to say if he had personally reviewed new intelligence to bolster his claim but pledged to explain himself “at the right time.”

      When asked if Ms. Rice, who has denied leaking the names of Trump associates under surveillance by United States intelligence agencies, had committed a crime, the president said, “Do I think? Yes, I think.”

      Ms. Rice has denied any impropriety. In an interview on Tuesday with MSNBC, she said: “The allegation is that somehow the Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes. That’s absolutely false.”

      Mr. Trump criticized media outlets, including The New York Times, for failing to adequately cover the Rice controversy — while singling out Fox News and the host Bill O’Reilly for praise, despite a Times report of several women who have accused Mr. O’Reilly of harassment. The president then went on to defend Mr. O’Reilly, who has hosted him frequently over the years.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        “It’s funny to me how the right constructs these elaborate scenarios to pretend that “the real scandal” is one that is different from what is actually, you know, the real scandal. Pretending that leaks about Trumpkins hobnobbing with Putin’s oligarch buddies and taking money from them is worse than the actual hobnobbing and money-taking.”

        Please point out your outrage when Clinton OK’d the Russian takeover of about 20% of the US uranium supply while the Russians were paying millions to the Clinton Foundation and/or Hillary – all while she was SoS:

        “At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

        …the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

        As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

        And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.”

        • Brucehenry

          OK’d the Russian what? Let me guess, the Russian uranium deal you guys were all hot about for a while there? The one you’re adopting as another one of your Zombie lies?

          http://www.snopes.com/hillary-clinton-uranium-russia-deal/

          • Walter_Cronanty

            Please reread the snopes article you mention, and then read the NYT’s article I cite. Note that Snopes relies on and quotes from the NYT’s I cite. Then tell me where the NYT’s article is wrong.

          • Brucehenry

            Until I refreshed the page, your comment cut off at “when Clinton OK’d the Russian” That ended the comment. Hence my question, the Russian what?

            One of the places where NYT got it wrong was in the fact that the deal was not Clinton’s to approve or veto, which Snopes mentions but unless I missed it the NYT does not.

            Also that the timing of the donations doesn’t match the narrative of Clinton masterminding this “bribery scheme.”

          • jim_m

            So your position is that the Clinton Foundation was solely a charitable organization despite the fact that they spent almost nothing on actual charitable work that benefited the poor they claimed to be helping, and that payments to it from foreign countries had nothing to do with bribery despite those payments drying up when she lost.

            You are either the dumbest person ever to comment here or the most dishonest.

          • Brucehenry

            Talk about perpetuating lies ha ha.

            Hint: They’re still lies no matter how many times wingnuts repeat them.

            https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=16680#

            https://www.charitywatch.org/ratings-and-metrics/bill-hillary-chelsea-clinton-foundation/478

          • jim_m

            Yeah, and Charity Navigator is completely independent

            But the four-star rating had hardly been announced before the Associated Press reported that Charity Navigator was a member of the CGI from 2012 to 2014. The CGI is one of the Clinton Foundation’s best-known programs, as it regularly convenes glittering gatherings of celebrities, government officials and philanthropic stars.

            The $20,000 CGI membership fee was waived for Charity Navigator, which reported it as an in-kind contribution, according to the AP. The news organization said Charity Navigator chairman Michael Thatcher claimed his group joined CGI “to mingle with world leaders and promote its ratings.”

            Prior to the big payoff from the Clintons Charity Navigator had the foundation on its watch list because the foundation used atypical and opaque accounting and organizational practices.

            So Charity Navigator apparently succumbed to a bribe from the Clintons. How convenient that it is taking money for access to donors from someone and then gives them an undeserved rating. What bullshit.

            Once more we see that Bruce will stoop to any level and peddle any lie to advance his agenda. Once more he should be banned from here for spreading lies.

          • jim_m

            Oh, and if the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative were such real and honest charities, why after she lost the election did CGI close? Why was its charitable mission no longer important? Seems to be the obvious answer was that the only charity it paid out for was the Clintons themselves and without political power they couldn’t bring in the cash they wanted. Kind of hard to sustain a narrative about how perfect a charity this is when it closes immediately upon it becoming useless as a vehicle for political payoffs.

          • Snopes? That’s a belly laugh.

          • Brucehenry

            Whatever

          • Retired military

            Bruce
            For computer related scams Snopes is considered reliable.
            For political stuff it isn’t considered so reliable at least by those on the right.

          • jim_m

            Snopes has shown repeatedly that it cannot be trusted to be honest when it comes to political issues. Snopes is something of a byword for covering left wing political tropes.

          • A mere adjunct of the progtard media.

      • Ha,ha!

      • jim_m

        The CIA, NSA and FBI are all on record saying that there is no evidence of collusion.

        You are a liar and a fraud. You are perpetuating lies on this site and should be banned.

        • Brucehenry

          But yet Director Comey stated week before last, before a Congressional committee, that an FBI investigation into possible collusion was ongoing. Did you forget that? It was in all the papers.

          I don’t know if there was “collusion” per se between Trump operatives and Russia. But until today, when President Toddler was suddenly shocked by Assad’s use of poison gas, he has certainly been toeing the Kremlin line.

          • Retired military

            What about collusion between Hillary’s campaign and the Russians. Surely the millions that Podesta got must count for something.

          • jim_m

            So you are expecting that after 9 months of turning up nothing and conducting continual surveillance of Russian officials that somehow they will turn up some smoking gun?

            We are talking about what happened a year ago. The FBI has full access to everything. How long is it going to take them to find what you claim is the obvious?

            You simply cannot find what wasn’t ever there. The reason they haven’t found something is because it never happened. You know it is true. You are just a lying sack of shit.

          • Hank_M

            Re: [Trump] has certainly been toeing the Kremlin line.

            Can you explain this more?

          • jim_m

            No he can’t because it is another lie.

            Bruce says this despite the statements from Russia that the Russia-US relationship is worse than it was during the cold war.

            Bruce says this despite Russia putting a spy ship inside our waters.

            Bruce says this despite Russia buzzing our navy in the Black Sea.

            Bruce says this despite abundant evidence that Trump is not a Russian toady and is actually putting more pressure on Russia and has a more aggressive stance that obama did. Of course, that isn’t hard since obama rolled over like a pussy.

            Bruce is posting unsubstantiated lies and refusing to back them up. He should be banned.

          • Brucehenry
          • Ha, ha!

          • Walter_Cronanty

            “Toeing the Kremlin line”???? 59 cruise missiles at one air base where the airplanes took off when delivering chemical weapons. We did warn the Russians who, in all probability, warned the Syrians. Thus, it was aimed at infrastructure.
            I don’t believe this was part of the “Kremlin line.”

          • jim_m

            Bruce will claim that the fact that we warned the Russians that we were making the attack is proof that Trump is in bed with them and not that he was just trying to avoid WWIII.

          • Retired military

            Correct me if I am wrong but haven’t the FBI been investigating the Clintons on and off for the past 30 years?

          • I’m thinking there’s never going to be evidence found – so the investigation’s going to continue until it can be quietly dropped off the radar.

            Besides, with all the intel leaks, if there WAS any actual evidence, I think that the NYT would most likely have broken the story before the election. You know, like the old ‘GWB is a drunk, he pleaded guilty to a DUI’ that was splattered out in 2000.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/aponline/20001103/aponline112738_000.htm

      • jim_m

        You do understand that when someone says that Susan Rice “may” have committed a crime, that attached to that statement is also the reflex osition that she may not have. No evidence for the truth of that statement is necessary because she indeed may have, and she may not have. The statement is true no matter what. Kind of like the statement that you are a lying asshole and should be banned.

      • jim_m

        The Nixon administration fell not because of an inept burglary, but because of the obvious abuse of power. Same goes for the dems.

        It is not surprising that you find no abuse of power, no twisting of federal authority to be so extreme that you will not excuse it as long as it is conducted by the dems. You have no moral compass and you will excuse any and all excesses. Had you been a german in WWII you would have excused the death camps and denied their existence even after touring them and witnessing the ovens and piles of bodies You have no shame and no morals.

        • Brucehenry

          Oh sure a lecture on morality from Jim Fucking Underscore M. Is my face red, or what?

  • Paul Hooson

    The Trump Administration seems to finally come to the conclusion that the Assad regime in Syria is indeed terrible after their outrageous war crime of dropping chemical weapons on Syrian civilians who support democratic elections in their country. Russia was supposed to be responsible for the destruction of any chemical or biological weapons in Syria. The Trump Administration seems to be finally waking to the cold hard facts that Russia supports some terrible rogue regimes around the world. While the U.S. has opposed ISIS involvement in Syria, where ISIS once controlled nearly 75% of the country, where Assad was mostly reduced down to being the mayor of Damascus, Russian involvement in Syria has done little to join the American and allied effort against ISIS, but instead Russian involvement has mostly meant bombings of prodemocracy areas North of Damascus near the border with Israel and Turkey. Russia could be far more helpful to actually rid Syria of chemical weapons and to urge some political agreement with the Assad regime and the prodemocracy rebels and civilians and then actually join the effort to fight ISIS as part of a more cohesive Syrian national unity plan.

    • jim_m

      Only took them a little over two months to learn what obama still has failed to learn. Not a bad record when you get to thinking about it.

      • Paul Hooson

        With the exception of military support for the rebels, isn’t this new found policy identical to the Obama policy of opposition to Assad and wary of Russian intentions in Syria, as well as continued bombing of ISIS and support of most antiISIS allies, with the exception of Iran, which opposes ISIS as well in the fractured coalition against this terrorist movement?

        • jim_m

          Really? I am impressed that you are privy to Trump policy meetings and know all about a policy he has yet to articulate publicly. Otherwise how else could you possibly be making such a comparison?

          You really are a dumbass, you know that?

          • Paul Hooson

            What is publicly known is that the Trump Administration is more willing to send larger numbers of U.S. troops into Syria on one hand. And armored vehicles have been delivered to the Arab and Kurdish rebels by the Trump Administration on the other hand.We can only judge what is publicly known about troop use or weapons transfers at this point. – Israel has a real problem with this unstable Syria right on their border, but is handicapped to offering little more than medical aid to both refugees and wounded rebel fighters, while other neighbors like Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia offer more support. Even Iran is an ally of sorts in it’s opposition to ISIS. Whether the Trump Administration can actually unite the fractured opposition to ISIS is a major challenge. In real world terms, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” model has failed to unite the opposition to ISIS or opposition to the Assad regime.

          • jim_m

            So Trump is continuing to do what obama did with regards to armaments and your conclusion is that his purposes and policies are identical despite the fact that Trump has dramatically changed (and improved) our relations with Israel and Egypt and other ME nations.

    • Walter_Cronanty

      Really, Syria still has chemical weapons? But former-President Red-Line assured us that Syria no longer had chemical weapons:

      ““The president was looking for a way to not have to make good on the threat that he had made,” Col. Andrew Bacevich (Ret.), author of The Limits of Power, tells FRONTLINE. “I think because the president having drawn that red line realized that he had no appetite for direct military engagement in Syria.”
      ***
      …it was stepping back from the imminent attack that was ahead … it was all in motion, and at the last minute, the president blinked.”
      ***
      In the end, a surprise diplomatic opportunity arose: following an off-hand remark from Secretary of State John Kerry that Assad could avoid airstrikes by turning over all of his chemical weapons, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov contacted his Syrian counterpart, who got Assad to agree.

      “It was the right decision,” Derek Chollet, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, tells FRONTLINE in tomorrow’s film. “Had we conducted the military campaign that had been planned, we would not have taken out a high percentage of his chemical weapons. The credible threat of force brought about an opening for diplomacy, to come in, which then led to something that no one thought was possible.”

      And former-President Red-Line assured us that we had destroyed Syria’s chemical weapons:

      “The Obama administration said Monday that it has finished destroying the lethal chemical agents that were removed from Syria after President Bashar Assad’s forces were accused of using poison gas against civilians a year ago this week.

      In a statement, President Obama hailed the joint civilian and military effort, which destroyed more than 600 tons of sarin and mustard agents, as “an important achievement in our ongoing effort to counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction.”

      • Hank_M

        Good catch, Walter. I’d pretty much forgotten that Obama had bragged about destroying their chemical weapons.

        Related, those were the days when we worked with Russia to broker that deal.

        • jim_m

          Not only that, but Susan Rice was just bragging about that a few weeks ago.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            In the words of Hank M, good catch Jim. I think I missed this. Susan Rice is quite the liar. When a whopper’s gotta be told, who ya gonna call?

            We were able to find a solution that didn’t necessitate the use of force that actually removed the chemical weapons that were known from Syria, in a way that the use of force would never have accomplished. Our aim in contemplating the use of force following the use of chemical weapons in August of 2013 was not to intervene in the civil war, not to become involved in the combat between Assad and the opposition, but to deal with the threat of chemical weapons by virtue of the diplomacy that we did with Russia and with the Security Council. We were able to get the Syrian government to voluntarily and verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile.

            This quote goes right up there with her statements about the Benghazi attack being caused by an internet videotape and her statement on NPR [3/22/17] when asked about the Trump transition team’s and perhaps Trump’s conversations being swept up in surveillance of foreigners: “I know nothing about this. I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunez on that count today.”

          • Scalia

            The Senate pushed the button a few minutes ago. It’s good the GOP held firm, but sad that the Dems pushed it to this.

            The noise from left-wingers is mostly about Garland. They’re foaming at the mouth over his failed nomination, so they had to throw their grad-school tantrum. It’s time now for adults to continue running the country.

          • Paul Hooson

            Garland never failed. He was denied even a fair hearing despite a lack of any evidence that he would be a poor justice. Garland was acceptable to the Bush Administration, but not the Republican controlled Senate which played politics with his nomination.

          • That was the perogative of the Senate and the Senate exercised it.

            HETL

          • Paul Hooson

            If Clinton did 80,000 votes better between Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and won the election, would it have ethical to hold up the Garland nomination for four more years than the one year obstruction? Senators certainly have the right to vote against a bad justice, however no evidence suggested that Garland was questionable in any regard.

          • If you aunt had balls would she be your uncle?

          • Paul Hooson

            Let’s act like a grownup for a moment here, little Rodney. My question is how long is ethical to delay hearings for nominees for political reasons? My view is that neither party should leave vacancies for abnormally long periods for purely political purposes. This is unethical and a disservice to the nominee and to justice if any 4 to 4 ties may have obstructed decisions. Parties may spend as much as a $1 million or more to bring a case to the court, and if a decision cannot be reached because there exists a 4 to 4 tie without a tie breaker, this is unfair to these plaintiffs.

          • FO

          • Paul Hooson

            It takes many years and a lot of money for plaintiffs to bring a case to court. The Supreme Court may have declined to hear some cases because of some concerns that a decision could not be reached with eight and not nine seated justices. The Senate did a real disservice to justice for plaintiffs to tie up the court like this, not allowing a qualified nominee a hearing to fill a vacancy on the court.

          • Scalia

            And if the American people agreed with you, they would have given the Democrats majority status in the Senate. They didn’t, and you lose.

          • Paul Hooson

            My argument is that neither party should extend a delay of a tie-breaker nominee for the court. Plaintiffs with important issues are the clear victim of this political game by either party.

          • Scalia

            The destiny of the court for perhaps decades is not a political game.

          • The dhimmocrats have been gamming the USSC for decades. That crop is now being reaped.

          • Of course it is. And it’s one the Dems will win any way they can – even if they’ve got to cheat to do so.

            But the problem for the Dems is that they used to be able to hide their machinations. The internet made that impossible – and as much as companies like CNN think they can still mold the narrative to what they want, they don’t have anywhere near the authority or credibility to do so.

          • Scalia

            The GOP took Biden’s advice and put off hearings until after the election. The GOP had advised the president before he nominated Garland, but he wen’t ahead with the nomination anyway. So, if you want to blame somebody, blame Obama.

          • Paul Hooson

            That was very poor advice, not fair to plaintiffs who might have had their cases not heard, if the justices sensed that a tie ruling may have existed given the ideology of the court.

          • Scalia

            It was actually very good advice. If you’re going to appeal to what’s good for the People, then another liberal on the court would have been very bad for the very People you claim to have sympathy for. You’re just twisted because you were deprived of the satisfaction of seeing a liberal majority on the court. You were deprived of the ability to ramrod your political agenda through the courts.

          • Paul Hooson

            It really depends on the case. If you think that clean drinking water is a bad thing, and want a court that decides on the side of corporate water polluters, then tipping the court in that direction might satisfy some, but anger others. The Louisiana water supply in some areas allows a brain-eating organism to grow in public water supplies. It has caused deaths. If citizens wished to sue and had to take this to the highest court, they do so with good intentions for their family well being.Local governments might argue the cost to provide safer and cleaner water is too expensive and hope for a court that views the case in their favor.

          • Scalia

            What a dingbat reply. If you want to make that case, you need to do it before the legislature. The court is not a place to hash out political differences.

          • jim_m

            Paul you are whining about something that isn’t in evidence. The GOP said that they would hold hearings on whoever the next president nominated. There is nothing in past history that suggests they would not have done so. Your claim that they would not have is without basis.

            Refusing action on Garland has its basis in policies advanced by both Biden and Schumer, both of whom had stated flatly that the Senate would not consider a nominee to the court in an election year. There is no reason to believe that they were lying in those cases.

            Are you suggesting that Schumer and Biden are liars and that we should not believe anything they said on the Senate floor?

          • Scalia

            If Clinton had won the election, the GOP was already on record that they would abide by the results. So, Clinton could have easily either renominated him or she could have requested that the GOP abide by its promise to accept the election results and hold hearings on Garland.

          • If frogs had wings, they wouldn’t bump their asses when they jump.

            Write that alt-History novel, Paul.

          • Scalia

            You’re still exhibiting reading comprehension issues, Paul. I said, “…his failed nomination…” Obama nominated him with the intention of placing him on the Supreme Court. That failed. Try comprehending what you’re replying to. It’ll make you look less stupid.

          • Paul Hooson

            My argument is with your use of the term “failed nomination”. It is not an accurate description for the obstructed nomination process here.

          • Scalia

            Then you need Google translate. President Obama nominated him, and the nomination failed due to the Senate’s legitimate authority to ignore the nomination.

            You only have two logical options, Paul. The nomination either succeeded or failed. If it had succeeded, Garland would be on the court right now. Since he is not on the court, it failed.

            Just take a refresher course in English, Paul.

          • I don’t think Google Translate extends to progtard-speak.

          • Scalia

            Come to think of it, you’re right. I guess he’s hopeless.

          • Heh

            You who are rich and whose troubles are few
            May come around to see my point of view

          • Hank_M

            Re: The obstructed nomination….The republicans learned it from the democrats – the biden rule. “Mr. Biden said at the time. “It would be our pragmatic conclusion that once the political season is underway, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.

          • “Didn’t make it through nomination” = “failed nomination”.

            You can play word-fuckery all day long, and at the end you know who isn’t on the Supreme Court?

            Garland. He ‘failed’ to get onto the Supreme Court.

          • His stupid burns hot and bright enough to shine through nonetheless…

          • pennywit

            their grad-school tantrum.

            They should have waited until their postdocs?

          • Scalia

            My bad. Corrected above.

          • pennywit

            Hey, it provided a funny picture.

          • jim_m

            Grad-Shool/Grade-school, not much of a difference these days to be honest.

        • Paul Hooson

          You cannot trust Russia to disarm a military ally of theirs. They are not honest brokers in that regard.

      • Paul Hooson

        It was another huge mistake for the Obama Administration to trust that Russia would guarantee that no more chemical weapons exist in the nation. You have to remember that according to the claims of Iraqi Air Force General Georges Sada, all of Iraq’s chemical weapons were transferred in airliners with the seats removed to Syria. Syria has a similar Baathist form of government as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Gamel Nasser’s Egypt once had. The latest chemical weapons attack by Syria only proves that Russia openly has allowed Syria to keep stockpiles of chemical and possibly biological weapons. The Russian military has enough use and control of Syrian air bases, which number as four.

        The Trump Administration is considering using military force in response to the chemical weapons attack, however Russia may have moved in state of the art antiaircraft defenses that could shoot down American aircraft, possibly triggering a conflict between Russia and the U.S. in the longer run and a failed military mission for the U.S. in the shorter run.

        I’d be the last to defend the foreign policy of the Obama Administration in the Mideast, which sometimes left Israel on the short end, such as the horrid Iran nuclear deal which only delayed for 10 years Iran’s nuclear program besides freeing up hundreds of millions for Iran to sponsor terrorism against Israel such as paying Palestinians $9000 each to murder Israeli civilians with cars and trucks or knives.

        • jim_m

          Gee if only the obama administration had not taken such a conciliatory posture toward Russia.. Perhaps if its members were not financially beholden to the Russians they would have stood up to them. Too bad that the left is so focused on fake collusion that they have missed the very real malfeasance on their side, which today is costing the lives of thousands every day.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    It appears that the US intelligence community, like practically all federal bureaucracies, has become severely [hopelessly?] politicized:

    The U.S. intelligence community is in the midst of a severe crisis. It has been used, or perhaps allowed itself to be used, as a tool of political destruction, against some of the same U.S. citizens it was created to protect.

    The twin serpents of politicization and political correctness — a Soviet term, by the way — walk hand in hand throughout the intelligence community, as well as every other government agency. The PC mindset that now dominates every college campus is also positioned firmly throughout our government — particularly within the intelligence community, which saw its greatest personnel influx ever in the post-9/11 environment. Today’s intelligence community, the average age of which I would estimate at 32, was raised under the beleaguered Bush administration and reached professional maturity primarily under the Obama administration, immersed in a PC environment.

    In this PC world, all diversity is embraced — except diversity of thought. Federal workers have been partisan for years, but combined with the rigid Obama PC mindset, it has created a Frankenstein of politicization that has never been seen before.

  • Retired military

    CNN (today): We wont bother to even report on the ridiculous story of Rice unmasking people for political gains.
    CNN (Jan 2017) : Trump pissed on Russian prostitutes in the bed the Obamas used.

    ———-
    CNN (2013) : Harry Reid streamlined rules of the Senate today for judicial nominees.
    CNN (Today) : Republicans destroy Senate to push through Trump’s far right wing judge.

    • Yeah, CNN’s pretty much discredited themselves at this point. It’s something of a shame – 30 years ago they were the gold standard for TV news, and their coverage of GW1 was exceptional as I recall it. Then… well, they’re not what they used to be.

  • pennywit
    • Scalia

      Yes, I saw that. Great comedian.

    • Paul Hooson

      He was one of the greatest of the legendary Jewish comics. The best at the insult comedy shtick of any comic ever. A comic genius.

  • jim_m

    That didn’t take long. US launches tomahawk missiles against Syria.

    I guess that Trump isn’t going to be the pussy that obama was.

    • Brian Brandt

      I thought that his first use of the military would be to blow some Iranian gunboats out of the water when they rushed our ships, but I guess the Iranian leaders decided that it may no longer be a smart thing to do.

    • Paul Hooson

      The 59 or 60 cruise missile attack on one Syrian airbase did have plenty of advance warning to the Russians, which likely warned the Syrians to move their aircraft to the other three airbases so likely little more a fourth runway concrete and empty building were blown up by missiles costing as much as $1.41 million per copy. The big winner? Defense contractor Raytheon which should likely see some huge government contracts during the Trump years to make holes in concrete for an expensive price.

      Important is that Trump did not order American pilots or jets deployed, which could have been easily shot down by the advanced Russian antiaircraft systems they recently moved into Syria, otherwise this could have easily become Trump’s own “Benghazi” where critics would have pointed to an American loss of life and downed jets to blow some holes in concrete and not really achieve much of value.

      The American public will buy into that Trump quickly responded to the moral outrage of the chemical attack on one hand, but given the advance warning to the Russians, I don’t really expect the result is really as much as many Americans might expect or think here. It was mostly political theater by Mr. Trump, rather than any crippling blow to Assad’s air force or his chemical weapons. But, Russia’s reaction has been that they will be even less cooperative with the U.S. than they are now, so this may not have helped move the needle ahead to combat ISIS either.

      This also signals that Trump is likely to more freely use military in situations, which could only accelerate the North Korean and Iranian nuclear program as a deterrent to any American attack, triggering a dangerous race to arms by these rogue states.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        This also signals that Trump is likely to more freely use military in situations,…

        On Thursday, before the attack, your preferred candidate Hillary stated we should blow up Assad’s air force bases. Seems to me that she is the one to more freely use military.

        The 59 or 60 cruise missile attack on one Syrian airbase did have plenty of advance warning to the Russians, which likely warned the Syrians to move their aircraft to the other three airbases…

        So you would have preferred no notice to Russians with probable Russian casualties?

        • Scalia

          Paul’s thoughts move in mysterious ways.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    Just in time:
    PolitiFact Retracts ‘Mostly True’ Ruling That U.S. Removed ‘100 Percent’ of Syria’s Chemical Weapons

    The men, women and children killed in Tuesday’s gas attack had no comment

  • Goresuch Confirmed by U. S. Senate

    55 – 45

    Sweet, sweet, progtard tears…

  • Walter_Cronanty

    Rice given 4 Pinocchios for 1/16/17 statement on NPR about Syria giving up its chemical weapons. Will WaPo be around to give Obama 5 Pinocchios when the Iran deal craps out with a loud boom?

    Our colleagues at PolitiFact have already removed from its website a fact check that had rated this 2014 statement by then-Secretary of State John F. Kerry as mostly true: “We got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out.”…

    The reality is that there were continued chemical-weapons attacks by Syria — and that U.S. and international officials had good evidence that Syria had not been completely forthcoming in its declaration and possibly retained sarin and VX nerve agent. Yet Rice said: “We were able to get the Syrian government to voluntarily and verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile.” She did not explain that Syria’s declaration was believed to be incomplete and thus was not fully verified — and that the Syrian government still attacked citizens with chemical weapons not covered by the 2013 agreement. That tipped her wordsmithing toward a Four.

    Four Pinocchios

    • The gloss of Obama’s ‘legacy’ is disappearing fast.