Corruption and circled wagons

The Deep State’s best efforts to hide its corrupt and illegal behavior are failing:

A U.S. House committee voted Monday to seek White House clearance to publicly release a classified Republican memo that alleges bias and counterintelligence abuses in government surveillance of people surrounding President Donald Trump, members of the panel said.

Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the majority-Republican panel decided to seek release of the memo on a party-line vote. The Republican majority refused along party lines to disclose a competing memo written by Democrats.

“This is an effort to circle the wagons around the White House and distract from the Russia probe,” Schiff said…. Releasing the memo has become a cause for conservative congressional Republicans, who say the FBI and the Justice Department pursued the investigation of possible Russian ties to the Trump presidential campaign under false pretenses. Schiff has countered that the memo is part of a Republican effort designed to distract from, and undermine, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and whether those around Trump colluded in it.

Disclosure of the memo requires White House approval because the document is based on classified information. Now, the Trump administration will have up to five days to review the document for national security concerns, though it could be released at any point. Even if the administration objects, the full House could hold a rare closed-door vote on whether to publicly disclose the memo anyway.

It will be interesting to see if what is in the memo is as bad as people are suggesting, or if it is simply more smoke that may or may not be indicative of anything substantive. Regardless, one hopes the Trump administration puts it out for public review as quickly as possible.

The key tell from Schiff is his use of the phrase “circle the wagons”. Remember, SJWs always project, and they are reliably guilty of committing the crimes of which they accuse others. There is no need to “distract from the Russia probe”. Everyone has known for months that there is nothing to be found there except for collusion between the Clinton Campaign, the FBI, and the NSA.

The only significant thing here is the discovery that there isn’t even one honest Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. If there are allegations of serious corruption and criminality in the memo and all of them voted to keep the memo under wraps, they are going to face some serious questions about their own corruption.


Deputy Director down and out

The Deputy Director of the FBI is just stepping aside for no particular reason… the day after his boss read the 4-page memo about the “secret society”. That seems likely:

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who has been attacked by President Donald Trump, stepped down Monday, multiple sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

McCabe will remain on the FBI payroll until he is eligible to retire with full benefits in mid-March, the sources said.

One source said McCabe was exercising his retirement eligibility and characterized his decision as “stepping aside.”


More missing texts

The DOJ may have them all. Or they may not. But either way, they haven’t turned them all over to Congress. Yet.

The Justice Department has given Congress less than 15 percent of the texts between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page – and that is all Congress is likely to get, at least until department experts finish an effort to recover an unknown number of previously lost texts that were sent and received during a key five-month period during the Trump-Russia investigation.

There is much confusion over some basic facts of the Strzok-Page texts. How many are there? How many relate to the two most politically-charged investigations in years, the Trump-Russia probe and the Hillary Clinton email investigation? How many have been turned over to Congress? And how many are left to be turned over to Congress?

The answers are complicated, but here is what I have been able to figure out from conversations with the Justice Department and Capitol Hill investigators.

The Justice Department has identified about 50,000 Strzok-Page texts. But that is apart from the texts between Dec. 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017 that were declared missing a week ago but are now being recovered. So, the total is apparently 50,000 plus the currently unknown number of formerly missing texts.

But that number refers only to the Strzok-Page texts that were sent and received on FBI-issued Samsung phones. There are a number of instances in the texts in which the two officials say that they should switch the conversation to iMessage, suggesting they continued to talk about FBI matters on personal Apple phones. For investigators, those are particularly intriguing texts – what was so sensitive that they couldn’t discuss on their work phones? – but the number of those texts is unknown. And of course, they have not been turned over to Congress.

How many texts have been turned over? Both Justice Department and Capitol Hill sources say the total number is in the 7,000 range, which includes all the texts handed over on two separate occasions.

The question is, is “an effort to recover” actually what it appears or is the DOJ going to follow the example of the FBI and the NSA and declare a third successive “oops, we seem to have deleted everything”?


Better than Reagan

You may recall that I told you the God-Emperor would be better than Reagan. Trump will be known as the greatest US president since Lincoln by the time his first term is done. And he will easily win re-election in a Trumpslide.

The Trump administration has pursued policies that have hewed remarkably close to the recommendations of a leading conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation, which found in a new review that nearly two-thirds of its ideas had been carried out or embraced by the White House over the past year.

Not one to dwell on the details of governing, President Trump has shown a considerable degree of deference to groups within the conservative movement like Heritage, leading to a rightward shift in social, environmental, immigration and foreign policy.

The results, Heritage found in its review, exceeded even the first year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, whose tenure has long been the conservative gold standard.”

Heritage began developing in 2016 a list of 334 policy prescriptions that a new Republican administration could adopt. It included a variety of actions, like reimposing work requirements for welfare recipients, ending the program that shields young immigrants brought here illegally as children, withdrawing from the Paris climate accord and eliminating certain gender identity protections.

Heritage said that 64 percent of those items were enacted by the administration either through executive order or another means of enforcement, or included in Mr. Trump’s budget, which has not been voted on by Congress.

In Reagan’s first year, only 49 percent of Heritage’s wish list items were embraced by the president or enacted. At the time, Heritage identified a familiar problem for why the administration’s policies were wanting. In almost every federal agency, Heritage said in November 1981, “delayed appointments, unqualified or misqualified appointments, or the appointment of individuals who are not committed to the President’s goals and policies” had delayed or thwarted policy changes.”

And yes, I know that Lincoln was actually a disastrous president and one of the worst in US history. I’m just utilizing the mainstream standard and stating that Trump will be publicly viewed as one of the four or five greatest presidents despite the entire media doing their level best to destroy him even before the start.


“A massive scandal brewing”

Thunder is beginning to rumble in the mainstream media:

During the financial crisis, the federal government bailed out banks it declared “too big to fail.” Fearing their bankruptcy might trigger economic Armageddon, the feds propped them up with taxpayer cash.

Something similar is happening now at the FBI, with the Washington wagons circling the agency to protect it from charges of corruption. This time, the appropriate tag line is “too big to believe.”

Yet each day brings credible reports suggesting there is a massive scandal involving the top ranks of America’s premier law enforcement agency. The reports, which feature talk among agents of a “secret society” and suddenly missing text messages, point to the existence both of a cabal dedicated to defeating Donald Trump in 2016 and of a plan to let Hillary Clinton skate free in the classified email probe.

If either one is true — and I believe both probably are — it would mean FBI leaders betrayed the nation by abusing their powers in a bid to pick the president.

More support for this view involves the FBI’s use of the Russian dossier on Trump that was paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. It is almost certain that the FBI used the dossier to get FISA court warrants to spy on Trump associates, meaning it used the opposition research of the party in power to convince a court to let it spy on the candidate of the other party — likely without telling the court of the dossier’s political link.

Even worse, there is growing reason to believe someone in President Barack Obama’s administration turned over classified information about Trump to the Clinton campaign.

Notice that the headline is that “evidence suggests” rather than a reliance upon rumors, whispers, reports, or insiders. Which means that unlike the special investigator’s search for collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, there is almost certainly a substantive there there.

An FBI informant has apparently informed Congress that a secret society at the FBI was holding secret meetings off-site after the election of Donald Trump. On Special Report with Bret Baier Tuesday evening, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) called it “corruption of the highest levels of the FBI.”

So much for the FBI’s once-pristine reputation. The FBI is now circling the wagons, as is the NSA, despite what they once said about the Nixon White House and how the problem isn’t so much the original crime as the coverup. The problem in this case appears to be that the crimes are so bad, and so serious, that they are even worse than those that were subsequently committed in the coverup.


The “secret society”

Seditious parties in the FBI may be hiding text messages, but they won’t be able to keep the FISA memo under wraps:

There is serious talk on Capitol Hill about the appointment of a second special counsel amid several new bombshell revelations swirling around the Trump/Russia probe. First, there are the allegations of shocking and substantial government surveillance abuses under President Obama outlined in the FISA abuse memo. Secondly, the FBI lost five months of key text messages between the anti-Trump/pro-Clinton FBI officials Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page. And now there’s talk of a “secret society” of officials within the FBI that apparently met the day after the election of Donald J. Trump to plot against the president-elect….

According to Fox News, Nunes, Gowdy and Goodlatte are in the process of going through the steps necessary to release the four-page FISA memo and intend to see it released to the public by early February.

The FBI has demanded to see a copy of the memo, but so far — understandably —  the Intelligence Committee has declined to show them their hand. Republicans believe that publishing the memo will but pressure on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a second special counsel, Fox News reported.

Reps Gowdy and Ratcliffe (R-TX) were on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum” Monday night to talk about the latest developments.

Rep. Ratcliffe said that former FBI director James Comey needs to come back to Capitol Hill to testify again under oath on the question of when the decision to exonerate former secretary of State Hillary Clinton was made. The latest batch of text messages between Strzok and Page suggests that Comey was coordinating with Attorney General Lynch on the decision well ahead of his July 5 press conference.

“It’s really clear to me that the decision was made in May of 2016 — two months before the press conference,” Gowdy said. “Of course Loretta Lynch knew he wasn’t going to be charged. Everyone except the public knew that she was not going to be charged.”

“We knew that Strzok and Page had an intense anti-Trump bias and that’s okay so long as they check it at the door and do their job,” Ratcliffe said. “But we learned today in the thousands of text messages that we reviewed that perhaps they may not have done that.”

Ratcliffe went on to mention one particular text message that referenced a “secret society” at the Bureau. “We know about this insurance policy that was referenced in trying to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president,” he began. “We learned today about information in the immediate aftermath of his election that there may have been a ‘secret society’ of folks within the Department of Justice and the FBI to include Page and Strzok that would be working against him.”

This goes well beyond basic criminality. We’re getting into serious sedition, high crimes, and treason territory here. And yes, this is definitely Storm-related. The FBI and NSA aren’t “accidentally losing” hundreds of text messages and emails because nothing is at stake.

The Conservative Treehouse explains the strategy called “the Big Ugly”, of which the aforementioned FISA memo is a key part of informing the public in a manner it can digest:

Nunes, Grassley and Goodlatte are working in concert, each with a specific attack strategy that targets the larger swamp defense. This week they began the three-pronged attack we call “THE BIG UGLY“.

The Big Ugly is the wrecking ball that will shatter the front line swamp defenses and allow the draining to begin. The plan for this strategy was developed almost a year ago after Nunes realized how the compartmented intelligence would be used to block sunlight.

ODNI Dan Coats, the man who declassified the original FISA court opinion, NSA Director Mike Rogers, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Asst. AG Rod Rosenstein have each played a significant role in preparing the landscape and armory for this conflict.

Congressional allies like Jim Jordan and Ron DeSantis will be working toward messaging and clearing the fog from the media.

It is not accidental that Ron DeSantis has asked Speaker Ryan to declassify everything…. only a week before Devin Nunes announces his request for the full house to see everything declassified and without redaction. These are Big Ugly cannon shots into the heart of deception.  The summary of the classified FISA-702 abuse, and the subsequent unmasking therein, lies at the heart of the strategy to use a four-page summary memo to inform the public of the historic issues.


Release the memo!

More sound and fury signifying nothing? Or is the government shutdown, combined with what appears to be the imminent release of the FISA court abuse memo, the first thunderclap of the much-anticipated Storm?

All hell is breaking loose in Washington D.C. after a four-page memo detailing extensive FISA court abuse was made available to the entire House of Representatives Thursday. The contents of the memo are so explosive, says Journalist Sara Carter, that it could lead to the removal of senior officials in the FBI and the Department of Justice and the end of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation.

These sources say the report is “explosive,” stating they would not be surprised if it leads to the end of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation into President Trump and his associates.

A source close to the matter tells Fox News that “the memo details the Intelligence Committee’s oversight work for the FBI and Justice, including the controversy over unmasking and FISA surveillance.” An educated guess by anyone who’s been paying attention for the last year leads to the obvious conclusion that the report reveals extensive abuse of power and highly illegal collusion between the Obama administration, the FBI, the DOJ and the Clinton Campaign against Donald Trump and his team during and after the 2016 presidential election.

Lawmakers who have seen the memo are calling for its immediate release, while the phrases “explosive,” “shocking,” “troubling,” and “alarming” have all been used in all sincerity. One congressman even likened the report’s details to KGB activity in Russia.

Now we know why the Democrats have been so stupidly intransigent in shutting down the government over a few illegal aliens. They’re just trying to shift the media narrative away from the expected fallout from the release of the memo.

It’s important to keep in mind that all of these things – all of them – are interconnected. It’s sometimes hard to remember that since the media covers every story as if it appeared ex nihilo even when the same people are involved from one story to the next, but there is absolutely no chance that the Democrats just happened to dig in their heels over nothing at this particular point in time.

After all, no one expected the Swamp not to resist its draining. And right now, the illegal collusion between the Obama administration, the Clinton campaign, the FBI, and the DOJ is its weakest and most vulnerable point.


Dreamers are not Americans

As the God-Emperor reminds everyone:

When I became your president one year ago today, I took an oath to protect, serve, and lead ALL Americans.

Democrats have since shown our country that they could never do the same.

They chose to use our U.S. military as a bargaining chip to fight for amnesty for non-citizen illegal immigrants. But a good many patriots and I REFUSED to accept their ransom.

Now American voters need to remind Democrats that we will NEVER forget their reckless decision.

Tell Senate Democrats that YOU — the American voter — will ALWAYS remember the day that Democrats put illegal immigrants before American citizens.

One hopes Trump has the wisdom to ignore the example of his predecessors and simply ignore the government shutdown until the Democrats cave completely. No party that supports smaller government should EVER back down over a government shutdown. That’s the problem for the big government party… wait a minute!


Who subsidizes whom?

California politicians are worried about their taxpayers’ new inability to offset against their Federal taxes:

The Republican-backed federal tax bill flipped the tables on a never-ending question for California politicians: Will high taxes lead the state’s wealthiest residents to flee the Golden State for the comparable tax havens of Florida, Nevada and Texas?

Republicans reliably raise that alarm when Democrats advocate for tax increases, like the 2012 and 2016 ballot initiatives that levied a new income tax on very high-earning residents.

But now, with the federal tax bill cutting off deductions that benefited well-off Californians, the state’s Democrats suddenly are singing the GOP song about a potential millionaire exodus.

“People with higher incomes pay a lot more money, and some of them may be tempted to leave,” Gov. Jerry Brown said when he unveiled his 2018-19 budget proposal last week. “This was an assault by the Republicans in Congress against California.”

That fear animates Senate President pro tem Kevin de León’s bill that would allow California residents to write off their state taxes on their federal returns as a charitable deduction, as well as other proposals that Assembly leaders have hinted they’re preparing to offer. De Leon’s bill cleared a second committee this week and is on its way to a vote on the Senate floor. Trump administration officials say it won’t pass muster with the IRS.

Democratic state lawmakers are worried because California relies so heavily on the income taxes it collects from high earners to fund government services. The state’s wealthiest 1 percent, for instance, pay 48 percent of its income tax, and the departure of just a few families could lead to a noticeable hit to state general fund revenue.

“It is a genuine concern and that’s why the legislatures in high-tax states are swinging into action immediately,” said Katie Pratt, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles who specializes in taxes.

The new federal tax law poses problems for high earners in the Golden State because it caps two deductions that Californians used to limit their federal income tax liability, restricting their ability to write off mortgage interest and their state and local taxes.

Come now. Every time the issue gets raised in Minnesota, the newspapers produce one argument after another to explain why people don’t move based on tax rates. Because great schools! And art! And people!

Of course, since liberals and progressives are totally incapable of keeping two thoughts in their head at the same time, the fact that moving a bunch of Mexicans and Somalis might degrade the value of those competing factors never occurs to them.


That’s the idea, sport

As I have repeatedly noted, Trump is proving himself to be a much better president – a much better CONSERVATIVE president – than the great Ronald Reagan himself:

The Environmental Protection Agency is on track to slash 47{4bbad798630efc4433864d09618c79dc37ec93bd369a8697e8847adaf672eacc} of its total staff by the end of President Trump’s first term, according to a report in the Washington Examiner. After just one year, EPA chief Scott Pruitt has reduced his staff to levels unseen since the Reagan administration. If just those federal employees set to retire by 2021 do indeed leave, Pruitt will have cut more than 7,000 bureaucrats.

“We’re proud to report that we’re reducing the size of government, protecting taxpayer dollars, and staying true to our core mission of protecting the environment,” Pruitt boasted. Meanwhile, other federal agencies have followed suit after President Trump’s January 2017 hiring freeze hit large swaths of the executive branch. Trump’s order stated, “No vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled, and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances,” including those pertaining to national security. Although the freeze technically lifted in the spring, most agencies have continued to abide by its guidelines. The last president to enact a major federal hiring freeze was Ronald Reagan.

With the exception of Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, and Interior, all Cabinet departments by September had fewer permanent staff than the day Trump took office. In addition, Trump’s proposed spending cuts triggered a spending slowdown across agencies despite the absence of a 2017 budget from Congress.

Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union representing 150,000 federal workers at over 30 agencies laments, “Morale has never been lower. Government is making itself a lot less attractive as an employer.”

Reagan laid off the air traffic controllers. Trump has already halved the size of the EPA and is slashing the payrolls at dozens of other agencies. There is no comparison.