Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

Here Come the Midterms!!!

Sometimes Federal agencies actually justify their existence. After over 350 firearms were lifted from a Memphis distribution facility owned by UPS (who recently fell victim to the incompetence of Federally-subsidized rival USPS)

Pruitt: In Memoriam

, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) made a quick recovery.

Roland Jackson, 24, and Taveyan Turnbo, 18 (below) were both captured after fleeing on foot from the complicit U-haul in Midlothian, IL two days after UPS reported the theft.

Caught red-haired.

CBS did not explain how the passenger window got bashed in, but notes the duo fenced three of the guns prior to capture.

*

Some thieves are more successful. Rishi K. Sharma, (below) allegedly ordered $927,000 worth of cable service from Time Warner using multiple fake accounts under Ohio and New York corporate addresses.

The 28-year-old Florida man reportedly exploited the “service for 90 days until Time Warner realizes you haven’t paid the bill” feature on 68 different occasions in 2015 and 2016. He is now charged with wire fraud.

*

The FBI may have difficulty investigating Sharma because their new headquarters has been held up after $20 million in planning was disregarded. While we normally detest lavish upgrades to federal facilities, government watchdog Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington notes the overdue “renovate or relocate” dilemma regarding the FBI’s crumbling crib was punted by Trump–and his hotel interests may have factored in.

Because all citizens are criminals who exist only to feed the Federal government, the FBI workforce is expanding. GAO and GSA have agreed the current building, constructed from 1965 to 1975 at a cost of over $120 million (over $500 million in today’s Federal Reserve-eroded dollars and $60 million over budget), according to Wikipedia, must be renovated at enormous cost if a new site is not chosen, because some staff would have to lease other locations during such a renovation.

(GSA’s Inspector General found in August that the Public Building Service of GSA has neglected to report on $21 million in annual Federal lease payments for buildings that sit half-empty. This is an intriguing waste of revenue, as many of the underutilized buildings, under noncancelable lease, contain IRS employees. 

PBS blathered that since the agencies continue to make rent payments on the unused space, they are not required to report it as unused–or attempt to recover the loss to taxpayers by “backfilling” with other tenants.)

The cheapest play was therefore a new building at a different location–$1.2 billion on the face, but with $1 billion in savings promised absent the leasing employees.

Last year, GSA determined that moving forward without full funding would put the Government at risk for project cost escalations.

[…]

In February 2018, the FBI announced that instead of moving, it will build a new headquarters on the old site. The plan is estimated to cost $3.3 billion and will require 2,300 staff to move to other locations — a costly plan that does not address the needs that prompted the project.

[our emphasis]

CREW notes the newly-renovated Trump International Hotel, which opened just before election day 2016, would face competition if any of the multiple luxury hotel chains succeed in their bids to GSA for the old FBI building.

Establishment thug Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) had ensured the $390 million new digs for the FBI would land in her state just before leaving office in 2016. It’s the Feds’ money, not yours. Baltimore Sun reported early last year:

Virginia and Maryland officials have been competing for years to land the proposed the 2.1 million-square-foot FBI headquarters, which would house roughly 11,000 employees, making it one of the largest federal facilities in either state.

[…]

Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, said in November [2016] that Trump’s victory should make it a “slam dunk” for Maryland to land the FBI facility. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has long been closely allied to Hillary Clinton.

*

Trump’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley (below) is resigning in December. Depending on your political leanings, she either ordered $50,000 curtains for her state residence or merely allowed their [TRIGGER WARNING] hanging:

The New York Times reports that the curtains, installed last year in UN ambassador’s New York residence, cost $29,000, while a motorized opener for the curtains cost another $22,801.

While the installation occurred during Haley’s tenure as ambassador, a spokesman told the Times, which later updated its story, that the purchase decision was made during the Obama administration in 2016.

[our emphasis]

Who justified Haley’s upholding the purchase during hard times? Left-wing prince Patrick J Kennedy (below, sober six years) (the former Rhode Island representative, not undersecretary at the State Dept Patrick Kennedy who defended Hillary’s Secret Server because she “[did] not know how to use a computer to do email [sic].”)

Hillary Email Updates

“All [Haley]’s got is a part-time maid, and the ability to open and close the curtains quickly is important[.]” 

But the more damaging story appears to transcend such window dressing. CREW cried foul on seven private jet trips Haley disclosed from last year. Unlike the cushy flight accommodations disgraced ex-Trump associates Tom Price, David ShulkinScott Pruitt, and current perk-indulger Steven Mnuchin banked from the public, Haley’s travels were provided by South Carolina business executives, which could be construed as purchase of influence from the administration:

Jimmy Gibbs, CEO of textile machine company Gibbs International Inc., paid for four of the flights. Others were paid for by Smyth McKissick, CEO of his family’s Alice Manufacturing,  and Mikee Johnson, then-CEO of Cox Industries, his family’s wood business, according to Haley’s report. 

She also estimated the jaunts’ value at $3,200, while CREW contends it was more like $24,000.

We won’t be calling curtains on the former SC Governor’s political career just yet.

*

FEMA is back in the crosshairs as hurricane season winds down. The latest Federal success in rebuilding Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria was on display on a Ceiba tarmac.

On the water’s surface, these pallets of undrinkable water may not represent a complete collapse of the embattled agency’s routinely underwhelming efforts. Seven months ago, FEMA moved the water outside to save $300,000 in daily storage costs.

Now neither the agency nor Puerto Rico will take ownership of the undrinkable bottled water, which saw a limited distribution in May to very poor reviews.

[Ottmar] Chávez [Puerto Rico’s General Services Administration chief] said […] the agency plans to “return those waters [sic] to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) inventory.” FEMA told HuffPost in a statement that after the ASG requested and accepted the bottles, “the water became property of the government of Puerto Rico.”

Meanwhile, FEMA faces criticism of administrator Brock Long (below), who is reportedly reimbursing taxpayers for using public vehicles to commute between North Carolina and D.C.

Apparently, Long is under investigation for dragging aides along for weekends in NC and lodging them at taxpayer expense. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (her actual name) noticed Long’s routine absences from the office due to frequent six-hour drives.

The [Inspector General]’s interest was drawn after one of the vehicles — a black Suburban — was involved in an accident, according to one of the officials.

Long could have tried the Steven Mnuchin defense:

[A] former DHS official said Long, as administrator, is entitled to have a contingency aide accompany him so he can have secure communications in case of a national emergency.

Politico noted Nielsen raised the issue with Long months before they broke the story. It’s unclear if she asked him to resign. Long committed to cooperate with the IG investigation, which already found he often travel[ed] with a caravan of federal workers and has spent roughly 150 days in North Carolina since taking the job in June 2017. 

HuffPost also noted Trump moved $9.8 million from FEMA’s budget to fund immigrant detention and deportation as hurricane season kicked off. This enable DHS to perform at peak efficiency, exemplified by Border Patrol agent Juan David Ortiz, 35, (below), who stands accused of killing at least four women.

County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said Ortiz sought out vulnerable addicts and sex workers near Laredo, shooting them all in the head with a pistol in a “cold and callous way,” the AP reported.

[…]

Ortiz’s fifth alleged victim escaped on Sept. 14 and alerted authorities.

*

Hillary Clinton requested the Feds end her security clearance, as well as that of henchwoman Cheryl Mills.

According to USA Today, Mills and four other, redacted individuals had retained access to classified information after Hillary’s State Department designated them “researchers.”

ABC News reports the “researcher” designation allowed the Hillary allies to keep clearances after she resigned from State.

The 4.3-ish million Americans with security clearances are “reviewed” by the Defense Department every five to fifteen years. However, Defense has decreed “[t]o preclude excessive clearances, the Facility Security Officer should continually review the number of employees with the personnel security clearances and reduce the number of clearances whenever possible.”

Clinton associate Nick Merrill whined on Twitter that Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley should not have publicly flashed the honoring of Hillary’s clandestine request from August 30, submitted after Trump [TRIGGER WARNING] stripped Brennan last summer. Merrill suggested Grassley was dunking in a fashion as politically motivated as Trump’s reactionary move to the cretinous Brennan, who had criticized the president.

Grassley’s office released the letter Friday night despite a warning from the State Department not to do so.

Merrill also maintained State’s former secretaries retaining clearance was “customary.”

Incidentally, the failed 2016 presidential candidate recently announced she and Bill will conduct a self-promotion tour, squeezing sympathists for between $70 and $699 for a “conversation” with (between?) the power couple in 13 U.S. and Canadian cities through 2018 and part of 2019.

A Clinton spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on how much the Clintons will be paid for the tour.

 

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/atf-400-guns-stolen-ups-facility-tennessee-182600581.html

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hundreds-of-guns-stolen-from-tennessee-ups-facility-recovered-outside-chicago/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/guns-firearms-theft-ups-facility-uhaul-truck-taveyan-turnbo-roland-jackson-custody-arrested-today-2018-10-03/

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-fbi-headquarters-20170310-story.html

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/406659-state-dept-spent-more-than-52k-on-nikki-haleys-apartment-curtains

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/watchdog-group-calls-for-probe-of-gift-flights-for-nikki-haley_us_5bbc3517e4b0876edaa12d30

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fema-bottled-water-hurricane-maria_us_5b9ab22ae4b0b64a336cfb3b

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/09/13/trump-fema-administrator-under-investigation-821231?nname=playbook&nid=0000014f-1646-d88f-a1cf-5f46b7bd0000&nrid=0000014e-f115-dd93-ad7f-f91513e50001&nlid=630318

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/406819-white-house-considering-replacements-for-fema-administrator-report

https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2018/09/26/navy-investigators-join-texas-serial-killer-case/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/10/12/hillary-clinton-security-clearance-withdrawn/1620250002/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/06/06/who-has-security-clearance/102549298/

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/hillary-clintons-security-clearance-withdrawn-her-request-011003338.html

Pruitt: In Memoriam

The most pathetic head of a militant, unnecessary government agency was forced out on July 5, ending months of antipathy and taxpayer dollar waste. Scott Pruitt resigned two days after evidence surfaced that he forged his official events calendars to avoid (apparently this is an emotion he is capable of harboring) embarrassment.

Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned in disgrace last week. 

As we have reported previously, Pruitt was ladling out exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard that distorts the ethanol market. Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley  and Joni Ernst were pissed, and began talking up Pruitt’s scandals.

(Interestingly, while Trump promised to continue this inefficient propping up of Iowa corn farms, ethanol subsidy adversary and Texas Senator Ted Cruz actually won the state’s 2016 GOP primary for president.)

To be fair, while Pruitt did apparently use staffers to land his daughter McKenna the position of clerk of the White House Counsel last summer, a breathlessly-shared New York Times story that he used the EPA mantle to maneuver her into law school at University of Virginia turned out to be shoddy reporting.

He did use his pre-Trump career subordinates to score a letter of recommendation from former Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, William Howell.  McKenna (below) got the coveted seat.

However, much like Veterans Affairs, the pompous Oklahoman kept two sets of schedules: the official public record, and his actual itineraries. Reportedly, the former were doctored:

Pruitt’s aides would print sections of the private calendar containing details of events, gather around a table, sometimes in Pruitt’s office, and decide what would be omitted or altered on the public calendar.

Some calendar events hidden from the public and uncovered by CNN include Pruitt noshing with coal producer Alliance Resource Partners CEO, Joseph Craft, and Vatican official (and accused sex criminal) Cardinal Pell when Pruitt blew through $120,000 of taxpayer cash in Italy last year.

Seven of the undisclosed meetings involved individuals who were nominated or reportedly under consideration for EPA positions.

Vox reported on perhaps Pruitt’s most disturbing extravagance yet:

The EPA, according to three expense line items for April, spent a total of $2,749.62 on “tactical pants” and “tactical polos.”

Pruitt’s office spent $24,115 on a variety of tactical clothing and body armor in seven separate orders. 

[our emphasis]

Unfortunately, the “arm ourselves against the weather” notion is a holdover from previous administrations:

EPA Spends $200,000 on Body Armor to Prepare For Changing Climate

Much of the dirt on Pruitt, including the calendar alterations and daughter internship overture, came from Trump handler Kevin Chmielewski (below, not Trump), who was fired from EPA in March.

Washington Free Beacon, however, found evidence Chmielewski actually resigned without giving a reason.

Apparently, the Presidential Personnel office, which had no qualms tolerating a similar situation for Jared Kushner, raised Cain over irregularities in the former bagman’s security clearance. Chmielewski, who worked briefly for DHS before EPA, was flustered:

In a lengthy, combative interview with the Free Beacon, Chmielewski repeatedly refused to answer several questions and threatened to spend the “rest of his career going after” this reporter.

He said neither the PPO, nor anyone else in the federal government, ever contacted him with background check concerns. He told the Free Beacon that he has a permanent Top Secret-level security clearance but would not provide any paperwork to prove it.

“This is how ridiculous and idiotic you are,” Chmielewski said in the interview.

Free Beacon also found $7,667 in unpaid taxes to the state of Maryland and a 2005 DUI tarnishing Chmielewski’s record.

Pruitt was replaced by deputy Andrew Wheeler, a former lobbyist who squints all the time.

Andrew Wheeler official photo.jpg

*

An ingenious Chicago man, Dushaun Henderson-Spruce (below), duped the US Postal Service into forwarding all corporate mail for (wildly more successful, despite USPS’s government-backed box monopoly) rival UPS to Henderson-Spruce’s apartment. For three months.

NPR reported the paper form–top government efficiency!–was not even filled out correctly:

At first, the initials ‘HS’ were written on the signature line, but the initials were then scratched out and replaced with ‘UPS,’ according to the charges.

Henderson-Spruce, who told investigators he briefly worked for UPS several years ago, was previously charged in 2016 for one count of misdemeanor bank fraud, for possession of a stolen check.

New charges carry a potential 25 years.

*

In May, NSA indiscriminately wiped hundreds of millions of “call detail records”–everything they (unconstitutionally) compiled since 2015–because in coercing the telephone companies to relinquish private phone records, they inadvertently bagged “some CDRs that NSA was not authorized to receive.”

Because you weren’t allowed to know they were recording all your call logs until Snowden revealed the spy agency’s Constitution trampling, you also get no insight into the deletion process. Shut up and let the Government take care of you.

*

In June, bumbling criminal and ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort was sent to jail, his house arrest revoked for new charges of witness tampering. He picked up new charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice, to which he pleaded not guilty.

After initially bitching from his private solitary suite that being two hours outside of D.C. limited face time with his attorneys to prepare his defense, Manafort is now reportedly boasting on the monitored prison phone lines that he circumvents the prison’s “no email” rule by typing emails on a laptop that his associates move in and out of the compound. The messages send as soon as the team hits a “hotspot.”

Even the smartest criminals slip up occasionally:

Russia Probe Continues While Shulkin Doubles Down

*

Delta is weathering another rough summer. First, public backlash was fierce when Delta banned “pitbull-type service animals” because–get this–they bite:

“We must err on the side of safety. Most recently, two Delta employees were bit by a pit bull traveling as a support animal last week. We struggled with the decision to expand the ban to service animals, knowing that some customers have legitimate needs, but we have determined that untrained, pit bull-type dogs posing as both service and support animals are a potential safety risk.”

(Washington Post did a fun expose in January on passengers abusing the “emotional support animal” loophole to get large dogs–and ducks–seats on planes.)

Delta said it flew 250,000 [emotional support] animals last year, up 150 percent from 2015, while “incidents” such as biting or defecating had nearly doubled since 2016.

Then, Delta’s contractor SkyWest Airlines turned a plane back to the gate at Fort Wayne International when a passenger was too slow to turn her phone to “airplane mode” during taxi.

Other passengers, including a Latina woman, who spoke up in defense of Rodgers […] [a] total of four adults and a child were removed from the flight.

The original transgressor, Robyn Rogers, is on Instagram as “DJ Reborn.”

If it matters, from the New York Post-obtained video, Rogers appears to be black, and the flight attendant white.

*

Sketchy suspected House Democrat data downloader Imran Awan, who we are not allowed to characterize as sketchy because he is an immigrant, pleaded guilty to a single charge of bank fraud.

Mr. Awan’s sentencing was scheduled for Aug. 21. Under federal guidelines, he faces a likely range of zero to six months in prison. And as part of the agreement, the government will ask the court to dismiss all charges against [Awan’s wife] Ms. Alvi when Mr. Awan is sentenced.

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! Awan Updates

Politico broke it down:

At the time of his arrest, Awan was accused of attempting to defraud the Congressional Federal Credit Union by obtaining a $165,000 home equity loan for a rental property, which is against the credit union’s policies since it is not the owner’s primary residence. Those funds were then included as part of a wire transfer to two individuals in Faisalabad, Pakistan, according to the indictment filed against Awan.

Media shrills such as Washington Post, which have completely ignored Awan & company’s sordid subterfuge because it makes the Democrats look like idiots, gleefully declared Awan’s legal victory to “debunk […] conspiracy theories.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted right-wing news sites and Trump’s reactionary interest in the “Pakistani mystery man” is an “anti-Muslim, right-wing smear job.”

Right-wing Daily Caller obtained a transcription from a September 2016 powerpoint presentation of Theresa Grafenstine, Inspector General for the House who conveniently retired last year.

 

According to her LinkedIn, Grafenstine (above) now works for Deloitte Consulting.

Grafenstine found that Imran made “unauthorized access” to congressional servers in a way that suggested he was trying to “conceal” his activity and that his unusual activity suggested a server could be used for “nefarious purposes.”

As we have reported previously, Awan and his highly-paid relatives, who were all fired, were trippin’ with the inventory. The IG report found over $100,000 in electronics were removed from House inventory when the alleged conspirators (“shared employees” Imran Awan, Abid Awan, Hina Alvi, Jamal Awan and Rao Abbas) could not produce them for an audit. Purchase prices were manipulated so individual items could be reported as “office supplies” to the Federal bean counters.

Also, the employees continued to access the House server months after they were fired.

It is noteworthy the IG had evidence of this potentially criminal activity at least seven months before the “shared employees” were canned in February 2017. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) kept Imran on the payroll until his July 2017 arrest.

Federal prosecutors spoke with 40 witnesses, but found no evidence that Mr. Awan had engaged in illegal conduct involving House computer systems, per the plea agreement.

As a conservative opinion writer noted earlier this year, none of the Awan IT aides were subjected to background checks for employment, using a loophole in hiring procedures that exempts potential hires from background checks if another member of Congress vouches for them.

Awan’s attorney, a longtime Hillary crony, will seek a fine for his client instead of jail time, per Fox News.

*

Speaking of plea deals for the privileged, disgraced FBI agent Chase Bishop (below) has been re-armed and offered a sweet settlement of his second-degree assault charge by the prosecution. The details will not be released, because he is your employee.

chase-bishop-in-court.jpg

Bishop’s lawyer, David Goddard, said that the FBI strongly encourages its agents to carry their guns when they’re not working

[our emphasis]

(This is why we need the Federal Government to control our gun use, while packing themselves without any accountability. Federal agents are beyond reproach.)

Also shielded from the public are Bishop’s toxicology results from the night his butter fingers put a round in the leg of Tom Reddington at a (presumably) drunken “dance-off” in a Denver bar last month. Bishop ran away, but was eventually picked up by police.

Prosecutors told Denver Post the blood alcohol level “[does] not support further charges” for Bishop.

He is due back in court on…also August 21.

*

And George Clooney was out of sight to the high-rolling driver who collided with the Hollywood has-been in Italy last week.

Ambulance personnel tend to actor George Clooney after he was involved in a scooter accident Tuesday in Italy.

Video of Clooney going up in the air was obtained by Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera.

While later headlines billed the Batman and Robin star’s transpo means as a “motorcycle,” the pictures above from CNN and OK Magazine indicate the manly mishap was indeed sustained on a scooter.

It is unclear if Clooney wore a helmet.

CNN reports he received a negative scan at Giovanni Paolo II hospital. The overrated actor also told CNN he hit 65 mph before tagging the Mercedes that cut in front of him.

The video shows the scooter going maybe 35 mph.

Related:

Clinton/Clooney Cash: Cum One, Come All

According to The Federalist and New York Post, a lawsuit originally filed with the FEC last year by pro-Trump organization Committee to Defend the President alleges Hillary bagged hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from individual wealthy donors by funneling to state Democratic parties, which can make unlimited contributions to the DNC via the Hillary Victory Fund. This would appear to be a loophole around the federal limit of $2700 per person, per candidate, per election–in the amount of $84 million. This allegedly allowed Hillary to control the DNC in exchange for paying down their debt.

BONUSIn a very public spectacle, FBI agent Peter Strzok treated the public to a 10-hour array of smug expressions (cataloged by someone on Steemit) as the House Judiciary Committee questioned Strzok about his former investigative role under Robert Mueller into Trump’s 2016 campaign. We have not watched the actual video.

550a814a8c7a20c609e1d338f0e2b88db7c37d7c818121b0e816f365aa8cf941.jpg

Apparently, Strzok, refused to answer a question out of loyalty to the FBI. GOP dinosaur and Chair of the committee, Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte (below, right), incorrectly claimed Strzok had been subpoenaed and threatened to hold him in contempt.

Republican Louie (his actual, adult name) Gohmert of Texas found an opening to mention Strzok’s extramarital affair with fellow ex-Mueller investigator Lisa Page, to the consternation of Democrats, who proceeded to suggest Gohmert harbors a psychiatric illness.

Page, who received Strzok’s “we’ll stop [the election of Donald Trump]” text that was hidden from the public until the Justice Dept IG report dropped last month, participated in part one of a two-day, private interview by the HJC. She had refused to comply with a subpoena for public hearing Wednesday and was also threatened with contempt. According to The Hill, although Republicans were gratified with her responses to some questions friend-with-benefits Strzok refused to answer, they were off-put she showed up with an FBI attorney. (Page, unlike Strzok, has resigned from the FBI.)

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/05/politics/scott-pruitt-epa-resigns/index.html

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/392461-pruitt-frequently-asked-aides-to-help

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/392570-pruitts-new-problem-with-the-gop-ethanol

http://time.com/4203690/iowa-caucuses-ted-cruz/

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/02/politics/scott-pruitt-whistleblower-secret-calendar/index.html

http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/394791-nsa-deletes-scores-of-call-records-over-technical-irregularities

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/21/17488454/scott-pruitt-tactical-pants-scandal

http://freebeacon.com/issues/epa-whistleblower-run-ins-law-enforcement-background-check-red-flags/

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/judge-jails-ex-trump-campaign-chair-manafort-ahead-155410775–politics.html

https://www.yahoo.com/news/delta-bans-pit-bulls-dogs-115851622.html

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/nation-now/2018/06/28/delta-attendant-kicks-passengers-off-plane-over-airplane-mode-dispute/741161002/

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article163818253.html

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-nation/2018/07/04/Imran-Awan-an-ex-congressional-IT-worker-for-Democrats-pleads-guilty-to-bank-fraud/stories/201807040068

http://thehill.com/opinion/cybersecurity/384125-democratic-house-it-scandal-illustrates-the-hazards-of-reckless

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/03/ex-dem-it-aide-imran-awan-pleads-guilty-to-bank-fraud-in-deal-with-prosecutors.html

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/judge-dancing-fbi-agent-accused-in-backflip-gunfire-incident-can-carry-weapon-again/

https://www.9news.com/article/news/crime/dancing-fbi-agent-offered-plea-deal-in-club-shooting/73-572427832

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/10/europe/george-clooney-scooter-accident-italy-intl/index.html

https://nypost.com/2018/06/09/democratic-parties-accused-of-funneling-84m-into-clinton-campaign/

http://thefederalist.com/2018/04/24/bombshell-fec-records-indicate-hillary-campaign-illegally-laundered-84-million/

https://steemit.com/informationwar/@gregorypatrick/my-favorite-c-span-clip-from-the-peter-strzok-hearing-did-you-use-that-smirk-when-you-lied-to-your-wife?sort=author_reputation

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/396980-former-fbi-lawyer-lisa-page-gets-closed-door-grilling-from-house

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! Awan Updates

Updated 1/7/18.

Suspected bank defrauder Imran Awan and his circle of crack ex-tech employees of the Federal Government were back in the news over the past several months.

Related:

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: July 25: Debbie, Derelict of Any Responsibility

In September, Awan’s wife Hina Alvi, at large in Pakistan from bank fraud charges after Federal agents intercepted her with a bag of cash at Dulles airport in March, then let her board the plane out, bargained with the Feds to return to America to face an arraignment. It is unclear if she actually returned, but Washington Examiner reported the deal scheduled the homecoming for the last week of September. In exchange for her children not watching her arrest, Alvi agreed to give up her passports.

We already reported on Awan’s stepmother, Samina Gilani‘s allegations that Awan coerced her to sign over assets, wiretapped her and threatened to kill family members back in Pakistan. Daily Caller found Gilani and two other women filed police reports in Virginia accusing Awan of abuse.

Salam Chaudry‘s December 2015 injury was redacted from the domestic dispute report. Awan lawyered up when the officer asked him questions. Both Awan and Chaudry insisted they were only roommates. Chaudry and her two young children stayed while Awan left the apartment that night.

Seven months later, Samara Siddique summoned police while Awan was out, claimed to be in a relationship with him, and asked for information on obtaining a restraining order.

Gilani told police Awan threatened to hurt her and a cousin in Baltimore, and that Siddique is Awan’s second wife by Pakistani law.

*

Update:

Daily Caller also fingered the Awans for a Hillary-esque, Federal-oversight defying Secret Server operation whose existence was only reported by other apparently conservative outlets.

While Politico acknowledged in March that Awan and his four relatives and friends were fired for stealing equipment from [Congress] members’ offices without their knowledge and committing serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network, the ex-employees are now alleged to have compiled server data from Democratic House members onto this unknown server as well as “Dropbox.” Since Dropbox use was prohibited, Awan allegedly used a fake account and could have accessed the data after his official clearance was revoked in February.

(In his defense, Federal officials often use fake accounts to get around FOIA requests.)

Spring Break Blitz: Stories We Sat On!!! February 27–Justice Department and EPA

The secret server (“connected” to the House Democratic Caucus, according to Daily Caller) came to light when outgoing HDC chair Xavier Becerra (D-CA) (below) resigned to become California’s attorney general and requested the server be wiped.

Xavier Becerra official portrait.jpg

Police asked to see the server (right around the time Awan and entourage were fired by everyone except Debbie Wasserman Schultz), and Awan turned in a false copy for evidence, which may carry a charge of interfering with a criminal investigation.

Awan had access to office files from 45 House Democrats prior to his removal. Mrs. Alvi reportedly received at least $25,000 per year (in addition to her salary) from Becerra’s office during his 2013-2016 chairmanship of the HDC.

*

In October, when Awan (on house arrest for bank fraud charges) argued through his attorney he should have his GPS monitor removed and curfew rescinded, the FBI’s finding that he wiped all data from his cell phone–just prior to being arrested at the airport fleeing to Pakistan–came to light.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Mirando stamped out the counterargument that the phone contained no data because it was recently purchased by producing the phone’s time stamp from three hours prior to the arrest.

*

On November 11, the Congress Committee on House Administration announced two STUPID PHRASE ALERT “listening sessions” to brief House members behind closed doors on the future use of “shared employees.” Politico suggests Awan and four associates’ charges of lifting IT equipment and illegal activity on the House network may have motivated the seminar.

*

But the strangest development was the revelation of Cars International A (CIA), an auto dealership Awan’s brother Abid (below, not feeling very photogenic) ran in tandem with his recent $164,980 “shared employee” position in for House members.  He reportedly omitted  loans to finance the dealership from his Congressional ethics form.

Abid Awan, a House IT technician suspected in a security breach, leaves court after separately being accused of insurance fraud. DCNF photo

A 2010 loan of $100,000 to CIA came from internal medicine Dr. Ali Al-Attar, who was indicted by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein for tax fraud in 2012. Al-Attar has reportedly fled to Iraq to shake additional charges.

CIA apparently took orders for cars, then procured them from AAA Motors across the street. Nasir Khattak (also from Pakistan) ran AAA, and revealed in deposition that his business subsidized Imran Awan (the actual mastermind of CIA).

Other dealerships tried to move cars through CIA, and sued when Awan screwed them. Daily Caller:

It’s not clear where the dealership’s money was going, because it was sued by at least five different people on all ends of a typical car business who said they were stiffed. CIA didn’t pay the security deposit, rent or taxes for its building, it didn’t pay wholesalers who provided cars, and it sold broken cars to people and then refused to honor the warranties, the lawsuits say.

*

Chris Gowen (below), Imran Awan’s attorney, worked for both Bill and Hillary Clinton when Hillary was a Senator.

Thanks to our sources:

http://gowenrhoades.com/christopher-gowen/

https://medium.com/@TelescreenMedia/we-the-people-have-been-compromised-imran-awan-timeline-a25a5c9d4c80

https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/baltimore/press-releases/2012/two-physicians-indicted-in-a-conspiracy-to-defraud-the-irs-by-concealing-their-income-and-filing-false-tax-returns

https://www.forbes.com/sites/frankminiter/2017/10/09/congressional-it-aide-wiped-his-phone-before-being-arrested-heres-how-the-fbi-found-out/#359227a52e13

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/07/house-lawmakers-it-probe-244662

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/democratic-it-staffer-who-fled-the-country-strikes-deal-to-return-face-charges/article/2633528

Daily Caller

Daily Caller

EXCLUSIVE: DWS IT Guy Was Banned From House After Trying To Hide Secret Server

House IT Worker At Center Of Scandal Allegedly Abused Three Muslim Women

 

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! September 5: Rhodes’ House Attempts to Rewrite History; John Brennan’s New Gig; Chik-fil-A Denied Fordham University Location; Hillary’s Hack Humiliated

The National Holocaust Museum (recent landing pad for smug press-manipulator and American-sponsored Fidel Castro funeral attendee Ben Rhodes, national security adviser in the waning days of the Obama administration) withdrew a study that reportedly softened the blame on Obama for America’s complacency in the face of Bashar al-Assad‘s Syrian genocide.

Obama Pays Respects to Anti-American Communist Killer Fidel Castro

 

The study, originally slated for release on September 11, argued that “a variety of factors, which were more or less fixed, made it very difficult from the beginning for the US government to take effective action to prevent atrocities in Syria, even compared with other [STUPID PHRASE ALERT] challenging policy contexts:

Using computational modeling and game theory methods, as well as interviews with experts and policymakers, the report asserted that greater support for the anti-Assad rebels and US strikes on the Assad regime after the August 2013 Ghouta chemical weapons attack would not have reduced atrocities in the country, and might conceivably have contributed to them.

[…]

“The first thing I have to say is: Shame on the Holocaust Museum,” said Leon Wieseltier, the literary critic and fellow at the Brookings Institution, who slammed the Museum for “releasing an allegedly scientific study that justifies bystanderism.”

The Museum’s exercise in counter-factual history, he suggested, was inherently absurd. “If I had the time I would gin up a parody version of this that will give us the computational-modeling algorithmic counterfactual analysis of John J McCloy’s decision not to bomb the Auschwitz ovens in 1944. I’m sure we could concoct the fucking algorithms for that, too.”

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! Fighting Death with Destruction–April 6

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: May 26: Speaking of Syria…

America started “surveillance” missions against ISIS in Syria three years ago. It is unclear how many troops are deployed there now (Politico reported 500 in August), but Trump’s attack of the Shayrat air fields in April (in response to Assad’s Khan Shaykhun chemical attack) was apparently our first “direct military action” amidst the genocide. This does not include the thousands of bombs we lay on Syria annually to create more refugees help.

*

Another Obama-era hack, Constitution-trampling former CIA Director John Brennan (below) became a “Distinguished Fellow for Global Security” at Fordham University’s Law School.

Image result

National Security

The private New York City institution recently backed off a proposal to bring Chik-fil-A to campus after several student groups, including the Rainbow Alliance and the United Student Government, objected.

Fordham Observer:

Representatives from Chik-Fil-A offered to collaboratively run unspecified programming with the Rainbow Alliance in conjunction with the rollout of a venue on campus. Due to continued concerns regarding this issue, however, the Rainbow Alliance unanimously voted against the proposal. Several students independently reached out to USG to voice their concerns, according to then-USG president Leighton Magoon, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’17.

“If they want to bring in Chick-Fil-A, they can bring in Chick-Fil-A,” Renata Francesco, FCLC ’19 and Rainbow Alliance Co-President, said. “But we’re not going to partner with an institution, a corporation that has so strongly supported other institutions that work to destabilize and demolish movements for queer equity.”

[our emphasis]

The university apparently considered student group feedback before rejecting the proposal of food service giant Aramark to open a Fordham location.

Aramark logo.png

Late Chik-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy‘s widely-publicized defense of “traditional” marriage (between one man and one woman) in 2012 and the chain’s donations to pro-family groups aside, the Roman Catholic university also noted “the hot entree Cloverleaf station” at Ram Cafe would have to be remodeled if Chik-fil-A were allowed on campus. Additionally:

“Certainly, there were some menu concerns as it related to special diets that Chick-Fil-A did not have a lot to offer for,” [Dining Services Contract Liaison Deming] Yaun said. “They didn’t have a lot to address special diets.”

April 12–Chik-fil-A Under Assault Again at Duquesne; Wellesley Defends First Amendment Disregard and Outlines Which Genders May Apply

*

And Hillary‘s “spiritual adviser,” the Rev. Bill Shillady (Shillady)(below), was caught plagiarizing. Oops.

Not-so-slim-Shady’s collection of sermons, whose forward was written by Hillary (when she wasn’t poring over What Happened, also out in September–post-presidential campaign speaking fees just don’t bank like they used to, apparently), is titled Strong for a Moment Like This: The Daily Devotions of Hillary Rodham Clinton. It features a non-leap year’s haul of daily scripture reflections, as well “notes,” “selected responses,” “portions of [Hillary’s] speeches,” shit like that.

Abingdon Press pulled the book from stores immediately. By September 8, the hardcover was going for just under $500 on Amazon, with an average review of 2.2 stars. At the time of this posting, however, new hardcover copies cost just under $40 and the rating was up to 3 stars.

Thanks to our sources:

Holocaust Museum Pulls Study Absolving Obama Administration for Inaction in Face of Syrian Genocide

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/30/afghanistan-troop-levels-trump-242186

John Brennan Named Distinguished Fellow for Global Security

Student Groups Shut Down Chick-Fil-A Proposal

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/09/05/book-by-hillary-clintons-pastor-will-be-pulled-from-shelves-due-to-extensive-plagiarism/?utm_term=.8c45a94639b8

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/08/14/hillary-clintons-spiritual-adviser-apologizes-for-plagiarism-day-before-release-of-his-book-of-emails-to-clinton/?utm_term=.4b35d58b9437

https://www.amazon.com/Strong-Moment-Like-This-Devotions/dp/1501854038

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: July 9: James Comey, Rogue Agent

The Hill learned that recently-dismissed FBI Director James Comey sprinkled some classified details into “private memos” he transcribed after meeting with his former boss, President Donald Trump. How many of these so-called “personal recollections” contained classified information? More than half, per unnamed sources.

That Comey’s office pursued a criminal investigation into Trump’s chief rival for the presidency last year, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for a similar practice–an angle many Democrats (and Hillary herself) continue to credit for the failure of her elitist campaign amidst a sordid history of political thuggery and personal enrichment–was not lost on The Hill.

Related:

BREAKING NEWS

As we have extensively covered, the eleventh-hour “reopening” of the Hillary email investigation in the campaign’s final weeks was widely cited by Hillary and her allies (along with Russian hacking, sexism, racism and “fake news”) as tipping the November 2016 election to President Trump.

BREAKING NEWS–PART ONE

Comey testified [in June] he considered the memos to be personal documents and that he shared at least one of them with a Columbia University lawyer friend. He asked that lawyer to leak information from one memo to the news media in hopes of increasing pressure to get a special prosecutor named in the Russia case after Comey was fired as FBI director. 

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: May 9: FBI Director Comey Fired

[our emphasis]

The “Russia case” refers to the FBI probe into possible collusion between Trump and Russia, who reportedly attempted to hack the 2016 U.S. national elections. Comey’s leadership of the case coincided with highly-publicized testimony to Congress prior to his firing.

Related:

BREAKING: Comey at the Bat

The Russia investigation continues under former FBI head Robert Mueller.

Thanks to our source:

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/341225-comeys-private-memos-on-trump-conversations-contained-classified?rnd=1499645596

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: May 28: Budget Battles

Because American raids, bombs and special operations have not hurt the world enough this year, the big-military warmongers went to bat for Pentagon budget increases beyond those Trump proposed by redistributing from domestic programs such as EPA.

Spring Break Blitz: Stories We Sat On!!! January 29: Two Americans Killed

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! March 20, 25, 27–Recent American Military Operations

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! Fighting Death with Destruction–April 6

U.S. accidentally kills allies

U.S. aims 10-ton bomb at 800 ISIS fighters, reportedly only hits 36

Trump had requested $603,000,000,000, which The Hill noted merely continued Obama’s level of battle bloat, with no new soldiers, no new ships and even eight fewer aircraft than Obama’s goals.

This is not to be confused with domestic aircraft slated to be used in foreign military operations, because those are billed to the DEA budget, apparently:

The Sky’s the Limit…for Debt

Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, eviscerated the budget as [our emphasis]: “inadequate to the challenges we face, illegal under current law and part of an overall budget proposal that is dead on arrival in Congress.”

 Well then.

The irony of the phrase “dead on arrival” to characterize the Trump budget by a Republican reputed to have a hard-on for making things hard on the people crawling out of the smoldering wreckage we create in the name of freedom was, sadly, overlooked.

House Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) also declared the Trump proposal “basically dead on arrival.”

McCain and other “defense hawks” are reportedly determined to seize a full $640 billion from the American people this year to destroy non-American people.

The Pentagon has said this budget proposal is about fixing the readiness of the force it currently has and that Congress can expect the buildup to start in fiscal year 2019. But defense hawks say that’s an unnecessary and potentially harmful delay.

[our emphasis]

Todd Harrison, a defense budget analyst at Center for Strategic and International Studies, opined the Armed Services committee would look foolish if spending were authorized and not subsequently appropriated. 

“It undermines some of the authority of the authorizers when they authorize things that don’t ultimately get appropriated,” he said. “You can’t spend an authorization.”

Harrison also noted the 2011 Budget Control Act capped defense spending at $549 billion per year (as we will see soon, that don’t mean shit):

“You might have to reprioritize, maybe delay a few weapons systems. But Congress is always good at sweeping up money that hasn’t been spent. You know, shake couch cushions and a few dollars fall out.”

*

Jumping to non-military spending momentarily, while addressing her alma mater Wellesley College on May 26, Hillary Clinton had strong words on Trump’s proposal to marginally secure the crumbling financial future of the day’s graduates by cutting a paltry $3.6 billion in Federal Government bloat over the next ten years.

Reuters:

“Look at the budget that was just proposed in Washington. It is an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us.

“It grossly underfunds public education, mental health and even efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.”

 

Above: academic people always wear special costumes so we take them seriously. Photo from Quartz, who kindly compiled Hillary’s entire speech.

“You are graduating a time when there is a full-fledged assault on truth and reason. Just log on to social media for 10 seconds, it will hit you right in the face,” she said, citing hoax online reports that her campaign was tied to a Washington pizzeria that operated a child sex ring.

[Hillary does love to assault other nations: ]

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! Fighting Death with Destruction–April 6

Interestingly, Hillary seemed to address the all-female institution’s track record of suppressing disagreeable speech, which we have previously noted:

[Clinton] urged graduates of the liberal-leaning school […] not to retreat into their own partisan echo chambers,
saying, “your learning, listening and serving should include people who don’t agree with you politically.”

April 12–Chik-fil-A Under Assault Again at Duquesne; Wellesley Defends First Amendment Disregard and Outlines Which Genders May Apply

[all our emphasis]

*

Back to the defense budget. As we have previously reported, concealing waste at the Pentagon is a way of life for paper-pushers whose livelihood hinges on destroying strangers on the other side of the world:

December Disaster: Stories We Missed!

The two major parties usually collude for a compromise that adds more debt, more death and more disgrace to our nation:

In Defense of Defense

Forbes reported on July 14 that the House had overwhelmingly passed a $696,500,000,000 defense bill, which, for those keeping score, was even larger than the monstrous amount McCain & Company insisted was necessary for the military’s survival:

117 House Democrats and 227 Republicans voted for the bill.

We have been unable to find the Senate version of a defense bill on the Appropriations Committee calendar.

As the Forbes editorial points out, this is an increase of over 18% in military spending from Obama’s final year. What $20,000,000,000,000 national debt???

Thanks to our sources:

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/335352-defense-hawks-gird-for-budget-brawl

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/05/trump-budget-proposal-con/527667/

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-politics-clinton-idUSKBN18M05J

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trumps-budget-not-perfect-but-a-step-in-the-right-direction/article/2624058

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: May 19: Anthony Weiner Pleads Guilty to “Sexting” Minor

Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner (below) entered a guilty plea for his widely-publicized sexual shenanigans.

Anthony Weiner exits federal court in Manhattan

“I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse,” Weiner said, apologizing to the 15-year-old girl to whom he sent sexually explicit images and messages last year.

According to Reuters:

The charge of transferring obscene material to a minor carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, but Weiner is likely to get less. As part of his plea agreement, federal prosecutors said they would consider a term between 21 months and 27 months “fair and appropriate.”

BREAKING NEWS–PART ONE

Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin, top aide to former Secretary of State and failed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, filed for divorce two days later, according to New York Post.

The scandal contributed to the sinking of the Clinton campaign by potentiating her decision to handle all communications as the nation’s top diplomat on an unauthorized, unsecured secret email server  in the news just days before her surprise loss to Donald Trump (see above).

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/ex-congressman-weiner-expected-plead-guilty-sexting-probe-133819031.html

http://nypost.com/2017/05/19/huma-abedin-finally-files-for-divorce-from-anthony-weiner/

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: May 9: FBI Director Comey Fired

You’re fired!!!

Trump unexpectedly dismissed of FBI Director James Comey.

“Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office [.] President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”

–White House statement

Related image

Comey.

The announcement reportedly shocked the intelligence community. Comey’s termination was read to him en route to Los Angeles for a recruitment event [as] part of the FBI’s efforts to boost diversity.

Related:

BREAKING: Comey at the Bat

According to Good Morning America, Rosenstein allege[d] that Comey was wrong to later “hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation.”

Typically when the FBI decides not to bring charges against someone, it normally does not discuss its decision-making. When Comey held a July 5 news conference explaining why [Hillary] Clinton would not be facing charges but at the same time criticizing her email practices, he cited “intense public interest” as the reason for the exception.

[our emphasis]

As we are all now thoroughly aware, Hillary’s 2016 loss was completely attributed to Comey’s actions,

BREAKING NEWS–PART ONE

a shocking turn of events, given his above-detailed criminal pardon of the beleaguered Secretary of State just two months earlier:

BREAKING NEWS

The Hill:

Both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recommended Comey’s dismissal, citing “substantial damage” to the FBI’s reputation and credibility under his leadership. 

[…]

At issue, according to a May 9 memo from Rosenstein to Sessions, were Comey’s remarkable public disclosures about Clinton’s conduct. In July, he took the rostrum — without authorization from the Justice Department — to announce that he would not be recommending charges against the former secretary of State.

“I cannot defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken,” Rosenstein wrote in the memo.

[…]

The director “was wrong to usurp the Attorney General’s authority on July 5 and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution,” Rosenstein wrote, because “it is not the function of the director to make such an announcement.”

[our emphasis]

This itself is confounding, because then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch yielded to the FBI’s recommendations for prosecuting the Secret Server after Lynch’s now-infamous ambush by Hillary’s husband on the Phoenix airport tarmac, which many labeled political interference of a criminal investigation.

Rod Rosenstein US Attorney.jpg

Rosenstein (above) was nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Senate to replace Sally Yates, who had been Acting Attorney General (AAG) before her high-profile firing by Trump after 10 days on the job. Rosenstein is now Deputy Attorney General (next in line to lead Justice if Sessions dies). The 52-year-old former U.S. Attorney for Maryland, appointed by the George W. Bush administration, was one of a pair of U.S. Attorneys Trump specifically kept on board. The other was Obama appointee Dana Boente (below), 63, who served as AAG from Yates’ dismissal until Sessions’ confirmation. He has now returned to his former post of U.S. Attorney for Eastern District of Virginia.

Dana Boente.jpg

Per USA Today, Trump recently changed the Justice Department order of succession with a subtle executive order [pun alertin order to undo the executive order of Obama issued just before Trump took over the White House:

The order appears to be the first that Trump has not signed in a public ceremony. It’s dated Thursday — the same day Attorney General Jeff Sessions was sworn in — but was not posted to the White House website until Friday morning. The White House did not explain the discrepancy.

 

[…]

Seven days before he left office, President Obama changed the order of succession without explanation to remove Boente from the list. Obama’s order had listed U.S. attorneys in the District of Columbia, the Northern District of Illinois and the Central District of California.

[our emphasis]

*

U.S. Attorneys for Connecticut Deirdre Daly and Northern District of New York Richard Hartunian were granted “short term reprieves” from the mass exodus of Obama-era Justice appointees in order to “complete 20 years of service” at the Justice Department, according to Politico. This milestone determines how fat a pension check they can suck from the nation’s sapped finances until the end of their days. Both major political parties win when they can share in the spoils confiscated from the little people: it’s a bipartisan thing.

*

Burlington Free Press sued the Feds using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the resignation letters of the 44 other Obama-appointed attorneys general Trump asked to leave (according to the frantic mainstream press, he is the first president to ever do this for a transition change, or something).

USA Today noted Justice found the parting platitudes so “inherently personal” that they should be exempt from release.

But according to public records, the documents were actually withheld because they were never read by Justice.

*

Comey’s recent numbers to Congress on Hillary hack Huma Abedin‘s harried handling of the most qualified presidential candidate ever‘s Secret Server also had to be adjusted.

Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin forwarded “hundreds and thousands” of Clinton’s emails to her then-husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), to print out for Clinton while she was secretary of State.

In fact, the bureau said in a letter sent to the Senate panel Tuesday that only a handful of the 49,000 relevant emails it uncovered on Weiner’s laptop had been forwarded manually. Most of the emails got onto the computer as a result of backups of her Blackberry.

[…]

Abedin, the FBI director testified last week, “appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to [Weiner], for him I think to print out for her so she could then deliver them to the secretary of State.”

[our emphasis]

Secure!!

*

Speaking of the November election, much like Hillary refusing to face her supporters when her defeat by Trump became clear, White House press secretary Sean Spicer bumbled his “face the media” duties following the Comey termination. According to Washington Post, it did not go well:

Was Sessions involved? “That’s something you should ask the Department of Justice,” Spicer said.

Was Rosenstein’s probe part of a larger review of the FBI? “That’s, again, a question that you should ask the Department of Justice,” he said.

Did the president discuss Rosenstein’s findings with Rosenstein? “No, I don’t believe, I don’t know how that sequence went — I don’t know,” he said.

What was the president’s role? “Again, I have to get back to you [stupid phrase alert] on the tick-tock,” he said.

When’s the last time Trump and Comey spoke? “Uh, I don’t know. I don’t know. There’s some — I don’t know. I don’t know,” he said.

What were the three occasions on which the president says Comey assured him that he was not under investigation? “I don’t — we can follow — I can try, yeah,” he said.

How long did the president deliberate? “I don’t, I don’t … I can look at  [what is this guy smoking?] the tick-tock. I know that he was presented with that today. I’m not sure what time,” he said.

Why wasn’t Comey given the news in a personal phone call? “I think we delivered it by hand and by email and that was — and I get it, but you asked me a question and that’s the answer,” he said.

Did Comey’s testimony last week — which contained inaccuracies — influence the decision? “You’d have to ask the Department of Justice. They’re the ones that made the recommendation,” he said.

Why didn’t the president do this months ago? “Again, I would refer you to the Department of Justice,” he said.

Does he know about grand-jury subpoenas that have reportedly been issued in an investigation involving Michael Flynn, Trump’s previous national security adviser? “I’m not — I’m not aware of any,” he said.

Is it true that the president will meet on Wednesday with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov? “We’ll see what the schedule says. I don’t — I just — I’ve been a little tied up.”

The chronology of the Spicer charade is unclear. It sounds like he wasn’t going to make a statement, then made a statement, then [other media outlets were quite clear on this part] literally “hid in the bushes,” before agreeing to a brief interview only in the cover of darkness:

White House press secretary Sean Spicer wrapped up his brief interview with Fox Business from the White House grounds late Tuesday night and then disappeared into the shadows, huddling with his staff near a clump of bushes and then behind a tall hedge.

[…]

After Spicer spent several minutes hidden in the darkness and among the bushes near these sets, Janet Montesi, an executive assistant in the press office, emerged and told reporters that Spicer would answer some questions, as long as he was not filmed doing so. Spicer then emerged.

“Just turn the lights off. Turn the lights off,” he ordered. “We’ll take care of this. … Can you just turn that light off?”

Memes abounded.

Image result for sean spicer hedge

Thanks to our sources:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/09/politics/fbi-james-comey-fired-letter/index.html?sr=twCNN050917fbi-james-comey-fired-letter1110PMVODtopPhoto&linkId=37406591

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/fbi-director-james-comey-fired-215047657–abc-news-topstories.html

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/332613-trump-fires-comey

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/332660-trump-bombshell-fbis-comey-fired

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/332608-fbi-corrects-comey-testimony

http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/03/us-attorneys-dismissal-236009

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/10/trump-executive-order-obama-justice-department-succession/97752898/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/05/10/as-trump-fired-comey-his-staff-scrambled-to-explain-why/?utm_term=.f75ea0c74d14

April 12–Chik-fil-A Under Assault Again at Duquesne; Wellesley Defends First Amendment Disregard and Outlines Which Genders May Apply

Duquesne University in Pittsburgh reported on a March 26 Student Government Association attack on the Southern fried chicken vendor, Chik-fil-A.

The fast food franchise operates under Christian Southern Baptist values, famously closing on Sundays to allow employees to attend church. They also found themselves in hot peanut oil in 2012 when founder S. Truett Cathy (age: 91) and his son Dan (then COO, now CEO after S. Truett’s death) made statements to the media expressing their belief in marriage as a union of opposite sexes. Chik-fil-A has also reportedly given millions of dollars to pro-heterosexual marriage only organizations.

Specifically, according to Wikipedia, Dan Cathy said those who “have the audacity to define what marriage is about” were “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”

Incidentally, 2012 was the year President Obama announced his support for gay marriage. Hillary Clinton announced her support the following year. Both campaigned for president in 2008 defending marriage as a union between man and woman only.

The Duke:

Senator at Large Niko Martini proposed that the SGA pass a resolution asking the university to reconsider the inclusion of Chick-fil-A as a dining option for students.

[…]

Chick-fil-A has a questionable history on civil rights and human rights,” he said in a statement to The Duke. “I think it’s imperative the university chooses to do business with organizations that coincide with the [university’s] mission and expectations they give students regarding diversity and inclusion.”

[…]

 

Lambda [Gay Straight Alliance] President Rachel Coury personally said she worries the safety provided by Gay-Straight Alliance might be in jeopardy.

“I’ve tried very hard within the last semester and a half to promote this safe environment for the LGBTQ+ community,” Coury said. “So I fear that with the Chick-fil-A being in Options that maybe people will feel that safe place is at risk.”

Duquesne announced March 20 the addition of the Chick-fil-A Express to the Options Food Court beginning in the upcoming fall semester. The decision to add a Chick-fil-A was a response to student feedback, according to Duquesne spokeswoman Bridget Fare.

 

The problem seems to stem from a $1,017,610 donation Chik-fil-A made to Fellowship of Christian Athletes in 2014.

The FCA has a “Sexual Purity Statement” for its volunteers and staff. It includes stipulations such as, “The Bible is clear in teaching on sexual sin including sex outside of marriage and homosexual acts. Neither heterosexual sex outside of marriage nor any homosexual act constitute an alternative lifestyle acceptable to God.”

[…]

“It would be a really big deal for Lambda and the whole LGBTQ community on campus if someone could make a statement to eliminate the fear of being marginalized by having this business on campus,” Coury said.

 

[all our emphasis]

*

Duquesne is not the first left-leaning university to decry the dangerous chicken. Student government at The Johns Hopkins University in 2015 preemptively banned Chik-fil-A from operating on campus. The Southern fried chicken giant had reportedly not even considered vending to the $3.4 billion-endowed charitable organization at the time of the ban.

*

It was shaping up to be quite a day for “higher education.” The Wellesley News, student newspaper of the private all-female Massachusetts school Wellesley College, ran a typo- and error-rife editorial defending the suppression of speech they do not endorse.

It read in part:

“Wellesley is certainly not a place for racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia or any other type of discriminatory speech. Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech [sic?]. The founding fathers put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised and to protect individual citizens from the power of the government. The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging.

“Students who come to Wellesley hail from a variety of diverse backgrounds. With this diversity comes previously-held biases that are in part the products of home environments. Wellesley forces us to both recognize and grow from these beliefs, as is the mark of a good college education. However, as students, it is important to recognize that this process does not occur without bumps along the way. It is inevitable that there will be moments in this growth process where mistakes will happen and controversial statements will be said [sic].

We have all said problematic claims [sic], the origins of which were ingrained in us by our discriminatory and biased society. Luckily, most of us have been taught by our peers and mentors at Wellesley in a productive way. It is vital that we encourage people to correct and learn from their mistakes rather than berate them for a lack of education they could not control.

“This being said, if people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted.

[…]

It is important to note that our preference for education over beration [sic] regards students who may have not been given the chance to learn. Rather, we are not referring to those who have already had the incentive to learn and should have taken the opportunities to do so [sic]. Paid professional lecturers and politicians are among those who should know better.

[…]

There is no denying that problematic opinions need to be addressed in order to stop Wellesley from becoming a place where hate speech and casual discrimination is okay. 

[all our emphasis]

*

Our research of the $48,802/year-tuition outfit found some guidelines as to exactly what qualifies a woman’s application to Wellesley. (Men are ineligible to apply.)

From the Reaffirmation of Mission and Announcing Gender Policy and FAQ:

What does it mean to “live as a woman and consistently identify as a woman”?

Wellesley invites applications from all those who live as women and consistently identify as women and who are prepared for a rigorous academic environment that challenges them to achieve at their highest potential.
 
“Consistently” simply denotes a student’s commitment to her gender identity. If an applicant’s gender identity is not clearly reflected in her application materials, the College will request additional information that may include a letter from a parent, healthcare provider, teacher, or clergy, to give a few examples.

Are trans men eligible for admission?

No. Wellesley is deeply committed to our mission to educate women and the College is proud of its history of graduating women who demonstrate the value of women’s leadership. Wellesley does not accept applications from men. Those assigned female at birth who identify as men are not eligible for admission.

Are trans women eligible for admission?

Yes. Wellesley accepts applications from women. Those assigned male at birth who identify as women are eligible for admission.

Are individuals assigned female at birth who identify as non-binary eligible for admission?

Yes. That said, Wellesley is a college dedicated to the education of women. The College provides students with a uniquely empowering learning environment—one designed specifically to prepare women to thrive in a complex world. This singular focus on women is a critical part of the Wellesley experience. Wellesley accepts applications from those who were assigned female at birth and who feel they belong in our community of women.

 

What support will Wellesley provide if a student no longer identifies as a woman after matriculation?

We support all of our students. Once accepted to Wellesley, every student receives the full support and mentorship of College faculty, staff, and administrators through graduation. If, after being accepted, a student no longer identifies as a woman, the College will continue to support that student. If a student decides to transfer because the student would prefer another educational and social environment, Wellesley will support and facilitate that choice. If the student wishes to continue on and graduate from Wellesley, we will support that choice as well.

 

[all our emphasis]

Interestingly, Hillary is a Wellesley alumnus.

Thanks to our sources:

Student group leaders concerned about Duquesne Chick-fil-A

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76109_Page2.html

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/jun/17/hillary-clinton/hillary-clinton-change-position-same-sex-marriage/

http://time.com/3834244/johns-hopkins-chick-fil-a/

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/wellesley-college-2224

Free speech is not violated at Wellesley

http://www.wellesley.edu/about/president/trustees/announcement#YkQX7R11SdJJJCzC.99

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! Fighting Death with Destruction–April 6

This post has been updated 5/7/17 at 8:00 AM, including its title. The previous title, “Fighting Death with More Death,” was inaccurate because there were reportedly no casualties at the airfield from some sources; Syrian officials reported 15 dead.

Time to play war! U.S. President Donald Trump, after what had to be at least 15 minutes of careful consideration, reacted to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad reportedly gassing citizens in Khan Shaykhun with sarin (this is poisonous) on April 4 by hitting the al-Shayrat airfield in Khan Shaykhun that we think was used to launch the sarin gas. Well, sort of hitting it. ABC of Australia reported at the time:

[In] the first direct American assault on the Syrian Government, and Donald Trump’s most dramatic military order since becoming president […] [a]bout 60 US Tomahawk missiles, fired from warships in the Mediterranean Sea, targeted an air base in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack that American officials believe Syrian Government aircraft launched with a nerve agent, possibly sarin.

[…]

The base was where US officials say the Syrian military planes that dropped the chemicals had taken off.

The Russian Defence Ministry said the attack destroyed six planes in repair hangers, but said only 23 of the rockets hit the target and it was not clear where the other 36 landed, according to Russian news agencies.

Sometimes we have to get shown up by Russia on an international stage because they will call out American failures to score political points. See later in this article.

In a statement, the office of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called the attack “reckless” and “irresponsible”, saying it showed Washington was “naively pulled behind a false propaganda campaign”.

According to CNN, Assad’s original sarin spray on a rebel-held town killed more than 80 people and injured more than 500, according to a Syrian Civil Defense report on the attacks.

[Of note, the August 2013 sarin gas attack on Ghouta, Syria civilians, believed to be perpetrated by Assad, killed 1,429 people […] including at least 426 children according to a preliminary U.S. intelligence report. That attack led to America and Russia removing Syria’s chemical weapons. Or did it? See later in this article.]

Regarding the U.S. actions this time around, Russia was pissed:

Russian President Vladimir Putin [said] the US strike broke international law and seriously hurt US-Russia relations.

News agencies citing Mr Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he regarded the US action as “aggression against a sovereign nation” on a “made-up pretext” and as a cynical attempt to distract the world from civilian deaths in Iraq.

Mr Peskov was quoted as saying Russia did not believe that Syria possessed chemical weapons and the US move would inevitably create a serious obstacle to creating an international coalition to fight terrorism, an idea Mr Putin has repeatedly pushed.

Russia said it would now suspend a deal with the US to help prevent mid-air collisions over Syria.

The deal meant Russia and the US would exchange information about their flights to avoid incidents in the crowded skies over Syria.

[Next time, we should just blindfold all our pilots voluntarily. Same danger, but Russia–our ally???–won’t be unnecessarily antagonized.]

Trump supporters were pissed:

In France, National Front leader [and presidential candidate] Marine Le Pen […] appeared to distance herself from Trump, saying on Twitter that she “strongly condemned” the “horrible” strike on the Syrian airbase.

Right-wing commentator Ann Coulter, who campaigned for Trump, wrote on Twitter: “Those who wanted us meddling in the Middle East voted for other candidates.” […] “Trump campaigned on not getting involved in Mideast,” she wrote. “Said it always helps our enemies & creates more refugees. Then he saw a picture on TV.”

And Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) called on Trump to consult on Congress. “While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked,” Paul said. “The President needs congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution, and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate.”

Fortunately, some of our allies with nukes appeared to take America’s side:

[Current] French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel — with whom Trump has had particularly chilly relations — said that Syrian President Bashar al “Assad is entirely responsible for the development of the situation.”

Stateside, conservative leaders were split. Hugh Hewitt and Mark Levin, conservative radio hosts, applauded Trump’s decision, according to New York Times.

But Richard Spencer, a “far-right activist and white nationalist…who coined the term ‘alt-right'” condemned the attack.

In fact, the Times noted the most vocal in their outrage were leaders from the small but vocal white nationalist movement.

Brian Williams Babbles

Disgraced “journalist” Brian Williams, who endured a six-month suspension as lead anchor for NBC Nightly News in 2015 after making multiple on-air references to his daring jaunt in 2003 Iraq that turned out to be fabricated, called the American weapons launch “beautiful“:

Yahoo!:

“We see these beautiful pictures at night from the decks of these two U.S. Navy vessels in the eastern Mediterranean,” said Williams Thursday night. “I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen: ‘I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.’”

Brian Williams

Hillary the Hawk’s Handle

CNN had some great excerpts of Hillary Clinton urging Trump from a New York City “Women in the World” summit  in the hours before the strike to pursue that particular violent option.

“Assad has an air force, and that air force is the cause of most of these civilian deaths as we have seen over the years and as we saw again in the last few days. And I really believe that we should have and still should take out his air fields and prevent him from being able to use them to bomb innocent people and drop sarin gas on them.”

 

“I wish, obviously I wish that the international community writ large had been able to rein this in.”

[our emphasis]

[“writ large” is a fancy term for “I’m more rich and powerful than you little people, so I will make up a phrase.”]

She then talked about “the Comey letter,” “Wikileaks,” and “misogyny.” The full transcript was not available, but we assume she was reflecting on her election loss to Donald Trump.

Hillary also mentioned the Republicans had talked about “repeal and replace[ment]” of Obamacare for seven years, but “I don’t know that any of them had ever read the bill!”

*

On Friday April 7, as the legal community began to examine Trump’s unilateral decision to assault Syria, Hillary doubled down on her support of the strikes, this time with a more “it’s the world’s responsibility” tone and less of a “that’s somewhere I could have bombed as Secretary of State but I had to resign and run for president” admission.

“Look, Syria’s been a wicked problem for a very long time. And the images of innocent people, of parents and especially of children suffering in the aftermath of that most recent deadly gas attack were more appalling than I certainly can put into words. As I said yesterday afternoon, it is essential that the world does more to deter Assad  from committing future murderous atrocities. But the action taken last night needs to be followed by a broader strategy to end Syria’s civil war and to eliminate ISIS strongholds on both sides of the border. So I hope this administration will move forward in a way that is both strategic and consistent with our values. And I also hope that they will recognize that we cannot in one breath speak of protecting Syrian babies and in the next close America’s doors to them.” 

[our emphasis]

We do not have the most stellar record for slaughtering Syrians.

America dropped thousands of bombs in seven countries last year. Our executive branch has operated behind a 2001 Authorization of Military Force instead of declaring war on any country for the past 16 years.

The vast majority of the 26,171 American bombs detonated in 2016 were dropped in Iraq and Syria. Syria received 12,192. It’s okay because the candidates pandered to taxpayers during the campaign about our responsibility to shelter the refugees we helped create.

On September 17, 2016, America led 37 airstrikes in Deir al-Zour, Syria. While they were reportedly trying to hit ISIS, about 100 friendly Syrian army troops were killed instead. Oops. New York Times got this intelligence from Russia because the American military likes to sweep its utterly unconstitutional destruction sessions under the rug whenever possible.

New York Times:

The United States acknowledged on Saturday that its warplanes had carried out an airstrike in Syria that resulted in the deaths of Syrian government troops. American military officials said the pilots in the attack, in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, believed they were targeting the Islamic State.

[…]
A partial cease-fire that started on Monday continues to steadily unravel after it was declared with much fanfare by the United States and Russia.

A senior Obama administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the strike was still being investigated, said the United States had relayed its regrets to the Syrian government through the Russians for the “unintentional loss of life of Syrian forces” fighting the Islamic State.

Syria’s government labeled the disaster a very serious and flagrant aggression” that aided the Islamic State and proved its long-held assertion that the United States supports the jihadist group as part of an effort to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

These attacks confirmed that the U.S. clearly supports the terrorism of Daesh,” SAMA television, a state-run news outlet, said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. The channel quoted a statement issued by the Syrian military’s general command, which said the attack exposed “false claims of fighting terrorism” by the United States.

[U.S.] Central Command, known as Centcom, denied it would carry out such an airstrike on purpose.

New York Times spoke with “a Centcom [U.S. Central Command] official who requested anonymity because the episode was still being investigated”:

The attack went on for about 20 minutes, with the planes destroying the vehicles and gunning down dozens of people in the open desert, the official said. Shortly after this, an urgent call came into the American military command center in Qatar, the outpost in the Persian Gulf that coordinates the aerial campaign in Syria and Iraq.

The call was from a Russian official who said that the American planes were bombing Syrian troops and that the strike should immediately be called off. The Centcom official said the attack was halted within minutes, but not until dozens had been killed.

NYT confirmed with the perpetrators:

“Coalition forces believed they were striking a Daesh fighting position that they had been tracking for a significant amount of time before the strike,” the Centcom statement said. “The coalition airstrike was halted immediately when coalition officials were informed by Russian officials that it was possible the personnel and vehicles targeted were part of the Syrian military.”

Our bumbling UN ambassador at the time:

Samantha Power, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, accused Russia of pulling a “stunt” by calling for an emergency Security Council meeting over the episode.

But wait. So we killed some innocent people. The enemy [ISIS, we think] were not otherwise helped by hundreds of millions of dollars of unconstitutional American bombing accidentally hitting the wrong target. Were they?

The Syrian Army Command said that American warplanes had bombed an army base on Al-Tharda mountain at 5 p.m., allowing “a wide terrorist offensive” by the Islamic State that allowed it to seize the base.

*

Interestingly, hawk Hillary may have missed her chance to bomb Syria as she did Libya (total success, that operation) as she prepared to resign the Secretary position.

According to CNN:

The Obama administration asked Congress in August 2013 for authorization to launch a military strike on Syria [six months after Hillary resigned as Secretary of State]. That vote never happened after a preliminary agreement was struck to remove chemical weapons from Syria.

Of the chemical weapons removal America supervised at that time because we are the world’s security force, Hillary said,
“Who knows whether they hid some or they bought more. We don’t know. We just know the impact.”

 All emphasis is ours.

*

UPDATE:

It is unclear how many casualties resulted from Trump’s strike on the airfield. According to Wikipedia: zero. But just as only some of the missiles actually hit the airfield, the Syrian capabilities to launch sarin gas were reportedly only weakened. Guardian:

Observers had reported the base had been badly destroyed by the 1,000lb warheads and that several planes and a runway had been put out of service. However it is thought that an advance warning given by the US to Russia allowed Syria enough time to remove many of its aircraft before the raid. 

“Although the strike will further weaken the overall air defense and ground attack capabilities of the (Syrian air force), it will not significantly diminish the ability of the Assad regime to conduct further chemical weapons attacks,” wrote analyst Reed Foster of the defense and intelligence publication Jane’s.

In addition to Assad’s possession of 20 additional airbases,

Syrian government officials said the [al-Shayrat] base has played an instrumental role in the fight against the Islamic State group, which until recently controlled the historic town of Palmyra in Homs province.

“This very airport that was attacked by the United States has been fighting against terrorists for the last six years,” Buthaina Shaaban, an adviser to Mr Assad, said.

Also,

Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister, said the attacks had fatally undermined Moscow’s initial trust in the new US administration and brought the countries to the “the verge of a military clash.”

[all our emphasis]

Thanks to our sources:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-07/us-launches-cruise-missile-strike-on-syria/8425132

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/30/government-assessment-syrian-government-s-use-chemical-weapons-august-21

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/07/politics/donald-trump-syria-populist-support/

http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/17/middleeast/syria-claims-coalition-airstrike-hit-regime-forces/index.htm

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/327728-us-launches-missile-strike-against-syria-in-response-to-gas-attack

Hillary Backs Syria Strike, But Says It ‘Needs to Be Followed By a Broader Strategy’

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trumps-media-critics-praise-syria-strikes-154025787.html

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/06/politics/hillary-clinton-syria-assad/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/08/syrian-warplanes-take-air-base-bombed-us-tomahawks/

http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-syria-airstrike-20170406-story.html