Mar 13 2017

Congress Wants Evidence On Illegal Surveillance – Here It Is!

 

If Congress wants evidence of illegal surveillance of “Team Trump” I have the answers.

But first, please note the deliberate and specific subject of this sentence. The evidence will be about “Team Trump: which includes the Trump Campaign and its associates (i.e., “associates” = all those US Person not formally on the campaign but ready to serve in the administration if called).  And “illegal surveillance” will not only cover the method of capturing the parties and the content of their communications, but whether the intercepted names and content were legally handled in accordance to the US Constitution its the 4th Amendment protections:

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides, “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The ultimate goal of this provision is to protect people’s right to privacy and freedom from arbitrary governmental intrusions.

The childish and slippery word games being used by both Congress (Dem and Rep alike) and the Fake News Media is fooling no one. The fact a surveillance of possible national threats is legally allowed DOES NOT in turn mean the 4th Amendment is suspended in any shape or form regarding US Persons impacted during that surveillance.

The illegal application of our intelligence capabilities – to divert them from protecting this nation and instead using them for political purposes – is not a slippery or semantic problem. The law is precise: it is illegal.

If a US Person is ‘caught up” in an intelligence gathering activity targeting someone else, that fact (i.e., their name or their part of the conversation) SHOULD NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY!

To continue to pretend ‘framing’ the topic of this issue will confuse the voters is simply confirming the wisdom and insight of the pro-Trump voting block. We won’t get fooled again by the denizens of the Political Industrial Complex*. The PIC have been to the “Wordsmith’s Well” too many times. Their credibility is shot.

 

 

If Sen John McCain (already caught distributing fake dossiers about Donald Trump) wants evidence of illegal surveillance activities, he simply needs to call on Sen Rand Paul to testify:

Paul explained how the NSA routinely and deliberately spies on Americans’ communications — listens to their calls and reads their emails — without a judicial warrant of any kind:

The way it works is, the FISA court, through Section 702, wiretaps foreigners and then [NSA] listens to Americans. It is a backdoor search of Americans. And because they have so much data, they can tap — type Donald Trump into their vast resources of people they are tapping overseas, and they get all of his phone calls.

And so they did this to President Obama. They — 1,227 times eavesdrops on President Obama’s phone calls. Then they mask him. But here is the problem. And General Hayden said this the other day. He said even low-level employees can unmask the caller. That is probably what happened to Flynn.

My apologies to Gen Hayden and Sen Graham, but while someone “can” unmask the details of surveillance details about a US Person, they really cannot without running afoul of the US Constitution. Robbers “can” rob banks, Generals can issue kill orders on civilians, Police can shoot innocent people and Politicians can break laws as they see fit. If they do and are caught doing so they need to prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

No sane person claims laws stop illegal behavior. But do illegal acts by our leaders mean laws should be ignored?

What you see in these kinds of statements is resignation by our leadership to allowing rampant illegal activities. “It’s always done” is how rampant bribery and kickbacks become the norm. This kind of complacency is grotesque.

No one leaked Obama’s calls because the broader government entities knew it was unethical. Yet Donald Trump’s calls (and is campaign associates calls) are leaked to the public because …

What? He is not what these tools wanted as President?

In this prior post I noted the paper trail required for any details about US Person to be unmasked and distributed to points inside the Intelligence Community where they could be later be leaked (most likely via Congress where members (or their staff) caught leaking cannot be “fired”).

If Congress has not reviewed the FISA applications, or these records required for distribution, or any assertion by President Obama to use his independent powers to implement a surveillance program (see this early post), then they are not doing their job.

And one has to wonder why Congress would want to hold back and not look into every possible avenue? What are they concerned about uncovering?

*  The Political Industrial Complex encompasses all those elites whose livelihoods are predicated on central-control of resources and who determine who is allowed to succeed in society. It is a bipartisan exclusive club. It includes the Politicians and their career staffers. It includes crony donors and lobbyists who reap government windfalls and special treatment that average citizens cannot obtain. It includes the PIC industrial base of pollsters, consultants, etc. And it includes the pliant news media, whose success rest on access to those in power, and in return for access making sure no bad news will disrupt said power.

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Mar 10 2017

About That Infamous “Trump Server”

 

If you are wondering what in the world was the basis for all the investigating of candidate Trump and his ties to Russian banks, you have to refer back to the detailed (I would say “too detailed”) article from Slate.com on Oct 31, 2016. This is the article Hillary Clinton famously tweeted out on the same day (H/T to Kevin Johnson for the image below):

The article and tweet appear to be too well timed, giving the impression of an orchestrated media blitz. Especially since it is also in October that the Obama administration supposedly gets a court warrant (FISA or otherwise is still not clear) into this very matter. We know today that the only remaining element of the investigation of Team Trump is financial ties to Russian banks, which seems to have been initiated by events covered in the original Slate story.

To be clear, I think the Slate reporter was given a bounty of details and help from all his sources, who probably are more than he lets on (or he understood). He could have been the useful tool of a broader effort. He writes like he wants to protect the world from evil. His sources seem a bit more cunning. So let’s see what we can find?

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Mar 09 2017

NY Times’ Orwellian Rewrite Of History

 

Andrew McCarthy is all over the news that the NY Times is rewriting history. They are doing this because they were the source of information about Donald Trump and his Associates being monitored by electronic surveillance – and then having their constitutional rights abused by the leaking of those surveillance intercepts to the media:

Turns out the story has suddenly, quietly been given a new headline. No longer is it “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.” Instead, readers are now told, “Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry into Trump Associates.”

Why would the Times change its headline in this manner, weeks after the fact?

Now that they [the NY Times] don’t want you to believe there was an investigation — because that would be an Obama abuse of power — they want to convince you that Trump associates were never targeted for surveillance.

Let’s see the FISA applications and warrants. If there was no targeting of the Trump campaign, as the media and Democrats now say, let’s hear an explanation of why they’ve pretended otherwise for four months. If the Trump campaign was targeted for an investigation, let’s hear why.

Emphasis mine. We now know there is a cover up under way by the Ministry of Truth:

The Ministry of Truth is the propaganda ministry. As with the other ministries in the novel, the name Ministry of Truth is a misnomer because in reality it serves the opposite: it is responsible for any necessary falsification of historical events.

Life is now as strange (and as horrible) as fiction

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Mar 09 2017

Obama’s Surveillance Of Team Trump: A Probable Paper Trail

Published by under Obama and FISA

 

In the shifting saga of how members of the Trump campaign/administration ended up having their phone conversations tapped under the Obama administration, the American people have been fed a series of shifting excuses on how the Obama administration would never violate the laws concerning surveillance of US Persons.

We were told the President cannot order such surveillance (which we know is a false statement, see here and here).

Then we were given the impression by the Fake News Media these “intercepts” were under a FISA court warrant. But later we learned the FISA court rejected the application by Team Obama in June 2016.

Apparently, the Obama’s administration tried twice last year to monitor members of Trump’s campaign. Once via the regular (Title III) courts and once through the FISA Court. So let’s stop pretending this was not something Team Obama desperately wanted to do. The fact they failed does not erase the efforts behind the attempts.

But then something else happened in October.  What it was is unclear. Speculation was Team Obama tried either a second run at the FISA court with a more focused application, or they possibly appealed to the FIS Review Court. The initial reports were of a successful FISA application and surveillance warrant in October.

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Mar 08 2017

Judge Napolitano Confirms Obama Could Order Surveillance On US Persons

Published by under Obama and FISA

In my previous post (see here) I cited the specific federal statute that allows the President, with concurrence from his Attorney General (under oath),  to order surveillance on any party – including US Persons. Judge Andrew Napolitano was on Fox & Friends and confirmed everything I posted (for those who need a more experienced opinion on this matter):

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Mar 07 2017

Fake News Misleads On Obama Surveillance Of Trump

 

Major Update: When crafting this long post I neglected to add one more bit of evidence that ties all these actions to the Obama White House (from The Guardian):

The White House is aware of phone calls between retired lieutenant-general Michael Flynn and ambassador Sergey Kislyak, a senior US official told the Associated Press.

It is not clear how the current administration learned of the contacts, although the AP noted that US monitoring of Russian officials’ communication within America is known to be common.

Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak reportedly included several calls on 29 December

This article is dated Jan 13, 2017. So this is clearly the Obama White House. And since it is a communications intercept from the NSA, it is clear the Obama White House was aware of the surveillance.  Also note that the US Person is named and then leaked. Unless someone wants to retract this story and its sources, we have clear evidence of the Obama White House monitoring a Trump campaign member – end update

#Obamagate (the use of our nation’s intelligence apparatus by the Obama administration to surveillance then Presidential Candidate Trump and his associates) is exploding.  The denizens of the Political Industrial Complex* (PIC) have overplayed their hand in an attempt to create a fictional crisis surrounding now-President Trump. In the process, they exposed a series of truly high crimes.

The resulting legal and political blow back from #Obamagate has the Fake News Media (the propaganda arm of the PIC) actually trying to refute their own prior reporting of facts and sources. This level of unprecedented retreat indicates how seriously exposed the media is, along with current and former high-level officials in the intelligence community, Obama administration, Obama Dept of Justice and even Congress (the most likely source for leaks of this kind).

I want to remove a lot of the misleading and false statements that have arisen in this recent panic-fed retreat. Bring some clarity to the discussion.

Continue Reading »

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Mar 05 2017

Obama Administration Looks To Be In Very Serious Legal Trouble

 

There is a lot of breaking news this weekend as the nation learns that a sitting President (Obama) looks to have used the nation’s national security apparatus – which is empowered to protect this nation from foreign enemies and threats – for crass political gain (read “personal gain”).  If this is even partially true, this would be Watergate on steroids and irreparably tarnish the Obama administration for all history.

These high stakes may also explain the irrational fear and hate by the democrat leadership we have seen in their scorched-Earth actions since the election.  Events may be unraveling on them big time, events that started last summer in a very different world.

Let’s begin by setting down a hard and fast rule to blunt the coming weasel words from team Obama. The President runs his administration. The President’s cabinet has some individual authority, but they confirm with the Commander-in-Chief anything that could erupt back on them either legally or politically. No cabinet member – especially the Attorney General – would run near or across legal or ethical lines without concurrence (i.e., cover from) the top person.

To say Obama did not “order” the “wire tap” against the Trump campaign is as ridiculous as it sounds. Note: Trump used figurative parentheses when he tweeted “wire tap”, so read that as meaning “surveillance” legally.

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Jan 30 2017

FoxNews Panel Demonstrates Inside Beltway Niavete

Published by under All General Discussions

Bret Baier’s panel tonight was a laughing stock of inside-the-beltway babble  regarding the immigration ban put in place this weekend. The ignorance shined through in the idea presented by all of them that if President Trump only coordinated with more people (and more sources of Fake News leaks) there would not have been a heated backlash to the ban

Really? You four really think the Soros backed and coordinated protests would not have made the Fake News headlines if Trump talked to more DC bureaucrats?

OMG – can we find some panel members who actually have a worthy thought?

Bret – get some higher wattage thinkers who are not mentally limited by the elitists view on how things MUST be done in DC. Get folks from outside DC and NY.  Otherwise, my viewership will shift as much as my preference in coffee has.

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Jan 25 2017

Trump Plays Media: Answers Their Call For Proof Of Vote Fraud

 

I don’t think the Fake News Media or the Liberal Democrats are EVER going to learn not to be played by Trump.

The best example in the last 24 hours was how Team Trump made the claim –  without any hard  evidence – that Trump would have won the popular vote if not for illegal aliens voting, a.k.a Vote Fraud.  The Fake News Media pounced on this and challenged the administration on why, if there was this much fraud, there was no investigation.  See the hook being set below at around 1:24 (H/T Hot Air):

 

 

And of course, this opened the doors for what President Trump probably wanted in the first place – an in depth investigation into typical Democrat shenanigans during our elections.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he will launch a ‘major’ investigation to look into voter fraud in the country.

“I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and….even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time),” the president tweeted Wednesday morning.

“Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!”

Mischief Managed!

Now the Fake News Media cannot caterwaul about Trump limiting voter access (strengthening voting procedures) due to the findings of an investigation they called for! The denizens of the Political Industrial Complex are sloths compared to Team Trump.

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Jan 22 2017

Trump Executive Order #1: FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums

 

The first Trump Executive Order (EO) seems to be all about nothing. Even some of “Fake News” media has had a tough time blowing this one out of proportion. But of course some leftwing rags were in full angst mode (do they have any other?). But universally the “media” did not tell the whole story either.

Let’s begin with a Drama Queen from the left – Mother Jones:

Trump’s First Move as President: Screwing Over Homeowners

The administrative order will end Obama’s efforts to cut premiums on FHA-insured home loans.

resident Barack Obama issued an executive action requiring the Federal Housing Administration to decrease insurance premiums on FHA mortgages, a change that could have potentially saved low-income homeowners as much as $900 per year.

Emphasis mine at the end.

Let’s be clear, this change was directed towards a small minority of home purchasers: low-income, first time buyers. It sounds innocuous, but as we will discover this rate reduction is an echo of those risky policies that brought on the subprime mortgage disaster in the late 2000’s, which wiped out the wealth of ten’s of millions of Americans.

Why would anyone risk a repeat of that debacle? Is this all just for Political PR?

But for now, just admire the “potentially” (supposed) savings to homeowners – $900/year. That comes to $75/month. Keep that in mind.

USA Today actually had a more reasonable, if still one-sided, take on President Trump’s first EO.

In the first hour of Trump’s presidency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sent a letter to lenders, real estate brokers and closing agents suspending the 0.25 percentage point premium rate cut for Federal Housing Administration-backed loans. The new rates, announced on Jan. 9, would have gone into effect on Friday.

The action will affect millions of homeowners with an FHA-backed mortgage. FHA backs about 16% of the country’s new mortgages [AJStrata: remember, this EO only effected a fraction of FHA loans].

That cut would have saved home buyers about $29 a month on a $200,000 mortgage. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said the cut equaled an average of $500 per year.

Still “Fake News” due to implying that this applied to all FHA loans equally.

One bright spot here is the $29 a month savings for these few potential homeowners. That is a more realistic number (confirmed below). However, poor Sen Chuck Schumer is unable to do basic multiplication – or is deliberately exaggerating the numbers as did Mother Jones. For those who struggle with math like poor Chuck, his $500/yr number translates to $33.33. What is 4 dollars per month? Nothing on and individual basis.

But when you sum this plan over millions of potentially struggling home buyers – the very target of this Obama EO – then this could result in a shift of many millions of dollars. Here is a more balanced reporting from January 7, 2017. It explains a lot more about this topic:

The Obama Administration is directing, via executive action, the Federal Housing Administration to reduce annual mortgage insurance premiums by 50 basis points, from 1.35% to 0.85%.

The White House statement says that the typical first-time homebuyer, this reduction will translate into a $900 reduction in their annual mortgage payment.

Well, at least we know were the inflated numbers came from. Was this a simple change? Not according to Congress:

While the White House says that the new premium level is fully consistent with the FHA’s commitment to continue strengthening its financial health through growing reserves, the Republicans in Congress have reservations that the Congressionally-mandated reserves are well funded.

Further, the action is certain to receive pushback in the new Republican-controlled Congress, which has to approve the cut

“We do not have an estimate of how long it might take Congress to approve such a change, and we would estimate the probabilities at 50/50 of it occurring.

So it was going to die anyway – BFD. But the risk was partially exposed – the mandated FHA reserves required to avoid another subprime meltdown in the real estate market.

Was this really going to add new first time home buyers? No, most of this was PR:

Sterne Agee analyst Jay McCanless says that while many in the industry would welcome the cut, it won’t have as big an impact on housing as many expect.

“Such a change would be marginally beneficial for the average borrower, in our opinion, and consequently, we do not believe this news, if it proves true, is a catalyst for higher housing demand and higher earnings estimates,” McCanless says. “We Estimate the Riskiest Mortgage Borrowers Would Save about $25/month on their Mortgage Payment with Smaller Savings for More Creditworthy Borrowers.

“This savings will pull some marginal borrowers into homeownership, but it isn’t enough, in our view, to assume single family housing demand increases above our current assumption of 15.0% single family starts growth in 2015,” McCanless says.

Clearly this would not have the effect on bringing in new home buyers as touted by the liberal media. There would be very little change across the board. But if this is all neutral why not try it?

Now for the down side – does this risk another subprime collapse?

On Nov. 17, the FHA released its actuarial report on the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund for single-family programs, and while the health of the regulating agency improved, it still has a way to go with its finances.

The FHA boasted a $21 billion improvement since late 2012, after implementing a series of financing changes. The MMI Fund, which handles single-family programs, gained almost $6 billion in value in the past 12 months, printing now at $4.8 billion. Last year it fell short by more than $1.3 billion.

Given that the FHA’s flagship fund – the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund  – is expected to remain below the Congressionally-mandated 2.0% threshold until October 2016, a decision to lower FHA premiums in 2015 would undoubtedly be met by considerable opposition from Congressional Republicans,” said Isaac Boltansky, analyst with Compass Point Research & Trading.

“Specifically, we believe that House Financial Services Chair (Jeb) Hensarling, R-Texas, and likely Senate Banking Committee Chair (Richard) Shelby, R-Ala., would publicly and aggressively attack a move to lower FHA premiums in advance of the MMIF clearing the 2.0% threshold,” Boltansky said in November.

Note: I am aware the dates don’t make sense here. They seem to be off (the highlighted 2015 should be 2017), but the overall point is valid. Until the FHA has demonstrated sufficient reserves to back these shaky new subprime homeowners, we should not be reducing the money that flows into the insurance reserves (i.e., mortgage insurance premiums) on some PR gimmick. In fact, given this EO did effect all mortgage insurance premiums to a much lesser degree, it would seem all the FHA would do is undo all their efforts to rebuild their reserves by reducing the premiums this dramatically.

Was the departing Obama regime leaving an economic poison pill they believed the incoming Trump administration would not discover before the financial damage was done? Why the last minute Obama EO given the clear and obvious resistance in Congress?

There is a reason this was number 1 on the Trump EO list. And it would seem they may have found one of many Trojan Horses left by a very frenetic Obama team. Don’t ignore this one as a big nothing burger. I doubt Team Trump would see this as the number one EO in a long list of EOs to com

 

 

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