Sunday, May 31, 2020

You Keep Using That Word . . .

Protesters. I don't think it means what you think it means. Stacy McCain, Arson, Looting, Aggravated Assault and Attempted Murder Are Not ‘Protests’
Watching city after city go up in flames — stores looted, innocent people attacked, arsonists and criminals running wild — I had difficulty thinking: “What do I want to write about this?”

The first and most obvious thing is that this spree of criminal actity had nothing at all to do with what happened to George Floyd. People ransacking stores in Los Angeles, brutalizing people in Dallas and setting fire to City Hall in Nashville were not “protesting” against a violation of civil rights. The businesses and institutions targeted by these criminals had nothing to do with what police officers did in Minneapolis.

“Let’s loot a liquor store, because social justice!”

George Floyd’s death was not a reason for these riots, it was a pretext.

Hateful people do not need a reason to hate. Destructive people do not need a reason to destroy. They just need a pretext. Some people in the media want us to believe that rioters are like werewolves; they are normal, law-abiding citizens until the full moon rises — or there is a “racial incident” — and then they magically transform into monsters.

You can prove the falsity of this common liberal belief by asking them to apply the same kind of thinking to earlier riots. Were the participants in the 1921 Tulsa Massacre just ordinary people who were magically transformed into a lynch mob by a “racial incident”? No, the liberal will insist, the perpetrators of that atrocity were always evil racists. Stipulating this, why can’t we be allowed to say something similar about the criminal mobs engaged in lawless violence in 2020?
And sadly, a young woman probably throws her life away. But who knows, she could end up hosting a future Democratic presidential candidate at her home.

Another Day at the Beach

Another gorgeous day to end May here in Slower Maryland, about 70 F, low humidity, sunny, with a light NW breeze. Even so, the crowds were only about half of what they were yesterday.
From the shadows behind the cliffs at Matoaka.  We found 23 shark's teeth, but nothing special.
Georgia and Skye ahead on the way back to back to the parking lot.
The surprise of the day. I spotted this wet butterfly in the surf, and picked it up. It turn out to be a fairly rare White-M Hairstreak, which has brilliant blue-green upper side, which you rarely see because they keep their wings most up when not flying. I let it crawl on my hand as I walked up the beach. Once I showed it to Georgia at the parking lot, it flew off. Rescue achieved!
Social distancing, Slower Maryland style.

Reason #88 Trump Should be Reelected

Biden staff donate to group that pays bail in riot-torn Minneapolis
Campaign staff for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden are advertising their donations to a group that pays bail fees in Minneapolis after the city's police jailed people protesting the killing of a black man by a white police officer.

At least 13 Biden campaign staff members posted on Twitter on Friday and Saturday that they made donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which opposes the practice of cash bail, or making people pay to avoid pre-trial imprisonment. The group uses donations to pay bail fees in Minneapolis.

Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement to Reuters that the former vice president opposes the institution of cash bail as a "modern day debtors prison."

But the campaign declined to answer questions on whether the donations were coordinated within the campaign, underscoring the politically thorny nature of the sometimes violent protests.
If they're so openly on the side of the rioters while running they're candidate for Preznit, imagine what they'll be like if they run the Justice Dept.

At  the same time, the bail system can and has been abused. But that doesn't mean it isn't necessary. Without skin in the game, most criminals would simply skip their court appointments. It happens an awful lot anyway.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in daily If All You See…

Some Sunday Morning Russiagate

Not a lot, the weight of coverage appear to have shifted from the outrage over Flynn's prosecution to the violent response to the true outrage of George Floyd's death. Still, some filtered through. Jeff Dunetz at Da Lid,  They Screwed General Flynn For THIS? Read The Transcripts Of Flynn-Kislyak Calls (Embedded). No Jeff, they screwed General Flynn because they hated his guts, and they were deathly afraid that when he became DNI he would stop what they were doing and put a bunch of them in jail. "This" was just the best excuse they could come up with on the fly, which is why they've been dragging their feet letting the evidence out from behind the curtain.

Nick Arama at Red State has more Furious Reaction to Release of the Newly Declassified Flynn-Kislyak Transcripts, ‘Flynn Was Framed’
In her pursuit of "cruel neutrality", in About those newly declassified Flynn transcripts..., Althouse presents one quote for Sean Davis at Da Fed, one from Jonathon Chait at NY Magazine and one from Julian E. Barnes, Adam Goldman and Nicholas Fandos at NYT. The two from liberals are clearly holding out for the Logan Act excuse. Fine. Let's charge John Kerry, and let Teresa spend all her dough trying to get him off.

WaPoo whines that Judge Sullivan’s refusal to immediately dismiss Flynn’s case raises novel questions about the limits of judicial power
The pitched legal battle over the fate of President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn raises unsettled, novel questions about what happens when a judge refuses to go along when prosecutors no longer want to pursue their case.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s decision not to immediately dismiss Flynn’s case has led to an extraordinary situation in which the district judge in Washington is under orders from his colleagues on the appeals court to quickly defend his actions. Sullivan himself has taken the unusual step of enlisting a high-powered trial attorney to respond by Monday after Flynn’s lawyers asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to order the judge to drop the case and accused him of bias.

Some of the rules of the road are clear. Prosecutors can drop charges against a criminal defendant only with permission from the presiding judge, and Sullivan has the power to decide whether tossing Flynn’s case is in the public interest.

But legal experts and former judges disagree on the limits of Sullivan’s authority and how he should make that call. In practice, judges typically defer to prosecutors, and it would be difficult for a judge to go forward with sentencing, for instance, if the prosecutor has had a change of heart.

“The standard tilts heavily in the direction of saying that a judge should grant dismissal unless there’s some reason to think that dismissal would violate an important public interest,” said Stanford law professor Robert Weisberg, who teaches criminal law and procedure. “The customary and very strong presumption is that a judge will and should agree to the dismissal. But it’s not a requirement.”
I guess we'll find out.

From CNS News, Ric  Grenell: 'No Possible Way' Anti-Trump Action in Obama Administration 'Wasn't Known in the White House'. We know he was being briefed from the Strzok-Page texts.
"But make no mistake," said Grenell, "what I would say is, what happened in terms of general parameters, there is no possible way – when you look at this – that it wasn’t known inside the White House."

"Multiple layers of people knew about this over time and were completely aware," he said. "Now, the question is going to be, was this directed or was this, kind of, information sharing? That’s what we’ve got to get to the bottom of.”
. . .
Earlier in the interview, Grenell said that early in the Russia collusion investigation there were several intelligence officials who raised "red flags" but they were silenced or their words were classified away.

“We have to improve the reputation of the current process," said Grenell. "What happened at the FBI, what happened at some other agencies, is an outrage and we have to fix it."
Jerry Dunleavy at WaEx,  Ron Johnson seeks power to subpoena dozens of Obama officials tied to Trump-Russia inquiry and 'unmasking'. Better hurry.
“We have a great tradition in this country of peaceful and cooperative transitions of power, and the American people deserve to know if any wrongdoing occurred to corrupt the process and sabotage the new administration,” Johnson said.

The Wisconsin Republican emphasized that “we are going to vote on this authorization with the hope that subpoenas won’t be necessary” and noted that “in some cases, we are already working with the agencies and individuals identified to obtain the information we need to do our work, and inclusion on the list should in no way be interpreted to suggest they have been noncompliant.”

“I am asking for this authority to ensure the committee has the ability to quickly and efficiently seek compulsory process should it become necessary," he added.
One of the key, but rarely talked about figures in Russiagate, FBI lawyer and once acting Attorney General Dana Boente, has been quietly pushed out, perhaps over his reluctance to release material favorable to Michael Flynn: WaPoo, FBI says its top lawyer is leaving the bureau
The FBI’s top lawyer, Dana Boente, who has spent nearly 40 years with the Justice Department but has been targeted for criticism over the last year by some conservative commentators and supporters of President Donald Trump for his role in the Russia investigation, is leaving the bureau.

Boente has most recently served as the FBI’s general counsel but has held a variety of roles in his 38-year Justice Department career, including acting attorney general in the early days of the Trump administration, a United States attorney in Virginia and the acting head of the department’s national security division.

The FBI said that Boente had given notice on Friday that he intended to retire effective June 30, the bureau said.

“Throughout his long and distinguished career as a public servant, Dana has demonstrated a selfless determination to ensure that justice is always served on behalf of our citizens,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement announcing Boente’s departure. “We should all be grateful for his dedication to the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the American people.”

Boente became acting attorney general in early 2017 after Sally Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration, was fired after refusing to defend the president’s travel ban, and remained in that role until Jeff Sessions was installed.

As a top Justice Department official, he approved one of three applications to renew secret surveillance warrants targeting former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. A Justice Department inspector general report from December said those applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had significant errors and omissions that cut against the FBI’s premise that Page, who was never charged with any wrongdoing, was an agent of a foreign power.

The report said that Boente and other Justice Department officials “did not have accurate and complete information” from the FBI at the time they approved them. Even so, Boente has nonetheless been criticized by conservative figures for his involvement in the Russia probe.

A Facebook post in February from the conservative group Judicial Watch announced that its president, Tom Fitton, would appear on Fox Business News with host Lou Dobbs to discuss topics including “the discovery that the FBI’s Chief Legal Counsel, Dana Boente, participated in fraudulent FISA warrants on Carter Page.”

In April, Dobbs himself alleged that Boente and Wray were blocking the disclosure of “exculpatory” information about former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. The FBI and Justice Department denied that that was the case.

NBC News first reported Boente’s departure and said he had been asked to resign by the Justice Department. Wray’s statement made no mention of that. The Justice Department declined to comment Saturday.
Needless to say, Sundance at CTH is much less flattering in BOOM – Dana Boente Removed! – FBI Chief Legal Counsel Forced to Resign… with a long list of grievances.
Finally, the DOJ has moved to remove one of the biggest background corrupt officials within the FBI. According to multiple media sources FBI chief legal counsel Dana Boente was forced to resign on Friday. Finally, sunlight has removed a very corrupt player.

In prior positions as U.S. Attorney for Virginia; and while leading the DOJ National Security Division; and then later shifting to the FBI as chief legal counsel under Chris Wray; Dana Boente was at the epicenter of corrupt intent and malign activity toward the Trump administration. First, the report from NBC:
. . .
My educated hunch is the July 12, 2018, letter from the DOJ/FBI that was fraught with false information and purposeful lies to the FISA court, is really the issue that DOJ Bill Barr could not avoid. The lies within the letter are just too brutally obvious, and contrast heavily against revelations coming from the outside USAO’s that Barr has brought in to review all of the prior DOJ and FBI activity.

Why do I think that’s the final straw? Because if you take that moment in time and start working backward what you find is demonstrable and provable evidence that Dana Boente was one of the original Trump-era officials who participated in protecting “spygate” and using his support of the Mueller investigation as an internal weapon. Remember, all the corrupt FBI players on Mueller’s team reported to Boente, including David Archey.

Dana Boente is enmeshed in all of it: the Wolfe case and cover-up, the Assange case and cover-up, and the hiding of documents in the Flynn case and cover-up. Boente’s role as a manipulative fixer to protect the ongoing corrupt action of the Mueller probe was exactly why FBI Director Chris Wray hired him.

Taking out Boente now exposes the complicit nature of FBI Director Chris Wray; who, it appears, AG Bill Barr is being forced -by new discoveries- to leave Wray naked to his enemies.

Still Too Rich For My Blood

More than a decade into their fame, the Kardashian-Jenners tend to induce eye rolls and sighs among jaded media consumers. But when it comes to their wealth, even critics of reality TV’s first family are intrigued; the Kardashian-Jenner machine—and the cash it generates—has been the subject of articles, podcasts, even books. But no one cares more about the topic than the family itself, which has spent years fighting Forbes for higher spots on our annual wealth and celebrity earnings lists.

So when the youngest of the clan, Kylie Jenner, sold 51% of her Kylie Cosmetics to beauty giant Coty in a deal valued at $1.2 billion this January, it was a watershed moment for the family. One of the greatest celebrity cash-outs of all time, the transaction seemed to confirm what Kylie had been saying all along and what Forbes had declared in March 2019: that Kylie Jenner was, indeed, a billionaire—at least before the coronavirus.
I guess she didn't need the $1,200 stimulus check to buy new bikinis. $2,400 if she collected for her daughter too.
“Kylie is a modern-day icon, with an incredible sense of the beauty consumer,” Coty chairman Peter Harf gushed when announcing the acquisition in November.

But in the deal’s fine print, a less flattering truth emerged. Filings released by publicly traded Coty over the past six months lay bare one of the family’s best-kept secrets: Kylie’s business is significantly smaller, and less profitable, than the family has spent years leading the cosmetics industry and media outlets, including Forbes, to believe.

A Kardashian would lie to the public?  Too bad my shocked face is worn out.
Of course, white lies, omissions and outright fabrications are to be expected from the family that perfected—then monetized—the concept of “famous for being famous.” But, similar to Donald Trump’s decades-long obsession with his net worth, the unusual lengths to which the Jenners have been willing to go—including inviting Forbes into their mansions and CPA’s offices, and even creating tax returns that were likely forged—reveals just how desperate some of the ultra-rich are to look even richer.

“It’s fair to say that everything the Kardashian-Jenner family does is oversized,” says Stephanie Wissink, an equity analyst covering consumer products at Jefferies. “To stay on-brand, it needs to be bigger than it is.”

Based on this new information—plus the impact of Covid-19 on beauty stocks and consumer spending—Forbes now thinks that Kylie Jenner, even after pocketing an estimated $340 million after taxes from the sale, is not a billionaire.
Only $340 million? Still not too shabby for 22. They may be a lot of things, but they aren't stupid.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the now familiar weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and linkfest. Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Blast From The Past – Bettie Page up on time and under budget.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Reason #87 Trump Should be Reelected

The United States Steps Back Into Space on its Own, SpaceX rocket ship blasts off into orbit with 2 Americans
A rocket ship built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company thundered away from Earth with two Americans on Saturday, ushering in a new era in commercial space travel and putting the United States back in the business of launching astronauts into orbit from U.S. soil for the first time in nearly a decade.

NASA’s Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken rode skyward aboard a white-and-black, bullet-shaped Dragon capsule on top of a Falcon 9 rocket, lifting off at 3:22 p.m. from the same launch pad used to send Apollo crews to the moon a half-century ago. Minutes later, they slipped safely into orbit.
Elon Musk may well be crazy, but we could use a few more people that crazy.
“Let’s light this candle,” Hurley said just before ignition, borrowing the words used by Alan Shepard on America’s first human spaceflight, in 1961.

The two men are scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth, on Sunday to join the three crew members already there. After a stay of up to four months, they will come home with a Right Stuff-style splashdown at sea, something the world hasn’t witnessed since the 1970s.
I thought we were going to start landing these things on barges and such?
The mission unfolded amid the gloom of the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed over 100,000 Americans, and racial unrest across the U.S. over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police. NASA officials and others held out hope the flight would would be lift American spirits.

“Maybe there’s an opportunity here for America to maybe pause and look up and see a bright, shining moment of hope at what the future looks like, that the United States of America can do extraordinary things even in difficult times,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said before launch.

Doug Marshburn of Deltona, Florida, shouted: “USA! USA!” as the 260-foot rocket climbed skyward.

“I’m very proud of the United States. We are back in the game. It’s very satisfying,” he said.

With the on-time liftoff, SpaceX became the first private company to launch people into orbit, a feat achieved previously by only three governments: the U.S., Russia and China.

The flight also ended a nine-year launch drought for NASA. Ever since it retired the space shuttle in 2011, NASA has relied on Russian spaceships launched from Kazakhstan to take U.S. astronauts to and from the space station.

In the intervening years, NASA outsourced the job of designing and building its next generation of spaceships to SpaceX and Boeing, awarding them $7 billion in contracts in a public-private partnership aimed at driving down costs and spurring innovation. Boeing’s spaceship, the Starliner capsule, is not expected to fly astronauts until early 2021.
It's about time. No, it's long past time.

Sundance has links to live stream coverages of the whole 19 hr voyage.

Saturday 5/30/20 Beach Report

A fine day for a beach walk, along with few hundred or so people you may or may not know. Possibly even busier than Memorial Day weekend. Some of the regulars were even complaining about the crowds. There's still clearly a lot of pent up demand to go outside.

The temperature was in the high 70s, the humidity dropped overnight,  and you can see the sky was only slightly cloudy, and the bay was all but calm. It's starting to get something like warmer too, so wading and swimming is not out of the question. No Sea Nettles yet, of course.
 We found 29 teeth, but none exciting. Skye got a few pets, but not as many as she'd like to have had. She doesn't understand this "social distancing" stuff.

A good day for boating too.

"Mostly Peaceful Protesters" Sack CNN Atlanta

Stacy McCain: Courageous Social Justice Activists Vandalize CNN Atlanta Headquarters. They probably didn't steal much, though, all that's inside is fake news. 
When they were rioting in Minneapolis, they were thugs and hoodlums, but attacking CNN? Civil rights heroes:
A protest erupted at CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta Friday amid nationwide demonstrations following the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd, with many of the protesters seen vandalizing the entrance of the building in videos posted to social media.
A crowd gathered in front of the CNN Center and grew over the course of several hours, initially breaking windows and spray-painting the CNN sign, and later throwing objects — including what appeared to be a firecracker that exploded — and reportedly shooting BB guns into the lobby.
The iconic CNN sign, a popular tourist destination in the downtown area, was covered with graffiti and others were seen jumping on top of the structure.
A CNN journalist captured footage of a window being shattered by the crowd, which can be heard sparking cheers.
Law enforcement eventually cleared the area, pushing the crowd further down the street.
Reporting from CNN correspondent Nick Valencia showed multiple police cars that were set ablaze and Georgia State Police entering the scene.
“This is terrible to witness, it’s terrible to witness,” Valencia told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.
Terrible? No, it’s beautiful. Karma is a beautiful thing.

If you were hoping to see the mob dragging Brian Stelter’s lifeless corpse through the streets or parading with Jake Tapper’s head on a pike, however, you’ll be disappointed, because Jake works out of CNN’s D.C. bureau and Stelter’s in New York, not the Atlanta headquarters.
Unlike most of the people whose businesses have been damaged or destroyed by the vandals that CNN has rooted on, I have zero sympathy for CNN.

Russiagate: Flynn Transcript Freed

Johnny Ratcliffe met and exceeded my expectations by immediately releasing the transcripts of the now infamous call between incoming DNI Gen. Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Kislyak, which was used as the excuse to charge him with lying to the FBI. Jerry Dunleavy at WaEx, Declassified transcripts of Michael Flynn calls with Russian ambassador released.  NYPo, Transcripts of Michael Flynn’s calls with Russian ambassador released.
Four calls and one voicemail are transcribed over 24 pages released by Republican lawmakers.

“Lt. General Flynn, his legal team, the judge and the American people can now see with their own eyes – for the first time – that all of the innuendo about Lt. General Flynn this whole time was totally bunk,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement. “There was nothing improper about his call, and the FBI knew it.”

Grassley added: “After all the screw-ups and malicious behavior by FBI and DOJ officials during the Russia investigation, we simply cannot take them at their word anymore. We need oversight and transparency to sort out this mess.”
Brooke Singman at Fox, Flynn-Kislyak call transcripts released, revealing fateful talks over Russia sanctions has a pretty good play by play. Regarding sanctions.
Kislyak goes on to discuss sanctions, saying that “one of the problems among the measures that have been announced today is that now FSB and GRU are sanctions, are sanctioned, and I ask myself, uh, does it mean that the United States isn't willing to work on terrorist threats?”

Flynn dismisses the comments, by saying: “Yeah, yeah ... yep ... yeah.” He then urges Kislyak: “If you have to do something, do something on a reciprocal basis, meaning you know, on sort of an even basis. Then that, then that is a good message and we’ll understand that message.

“And then, we know that we’re not going to escalate this thing, where we, where because if we put out--if we send out 30 guys and you send out 60, you know, or you shut down every Embassy, I mean we have to get this to a--let's keep this at a level that uh, is even-keeled, okay? And then what we can do is, when we come in, we can then have a better conversation about where we're gonna go uh, regarding, uh, regarding our relationship.”

Flynn added: “And also, basically we have to take these, these enemies on that we have. And we definitely have a common enemy. You have a problem with it, we have a problem with it in this country, and we definitely have a problem with it in the Middle East.”
Now release the "original" 302 so we can compare what they claim he actually told the FBI agents (not that we can trust it).

This is apparently construed as Flynn "discussing" sanctions, although I can imagine him thinking he was talking about Middle Eastern terrorism. It's also asking Russia not to escalate and make matters worse, which is apparently what the Obama administration was trying to do to Trump.

Via the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 05.29.20,  Twitchy has an abundance of treats.  ‘Beyond angry’: Newly declassified Flynn-Kislyak transcripts should END the ‘3-year nightmare for General Flynn’
But the usual suspects continue to claim the transcripts support their position.
It's like a Rorschach blot. Everyone sees what they want to see. Margot Clevelands notes Flynn asking Kislyak not to let Obama box them in:
That thread is particularly powerful.
Sean Davis at Da Fed points out Declassified Flynn Transcripts Contradict Key Mueller Claims Against Flynn
The transcript of the December 29 conversation, which was cited by Mueller, does not include a request from Flynn that Russia “refrain from escalating” in response to U.S. expulsions of Russian diplomats. According to the transcript, Flynn asked Kislyak for Russia’s response to be “reciprocal” so that the U.S.–not Russia–would not be forced to escalate beyond the expulsions. The transcript makes clear that Flynn fully expected Russia to respond to the situation by expelling U.S. diplomats in response to the Obama administration’s move to expel nearly three dozen Russian diplomats from the U.S., and that his primary concern was preventing a situation where the U.S. would have to escalate tensions in response to Russia.
. . .
Mueller’s operation also conflated discussions of financial sanctions levied against Russian entities and individuals via executive order on December 28, 2016 with the expulsion of Russian diplomats, which were two separate and distinct issues. In fact, the specific executive order cited by Mueller in his charging documents against Flynn pertained only to Treasury-enforced financial sanctions against nine Russian intelligence individuals and institutions, not to the separate expulsions of Russian diplomats, which were enforced by the U.S. State Department. In his remarks announcing the various maneuvers by his administration against Russia, President Obama even noted that sanctions and expulsions were entirely separate issues handled by different agencies and requiring different legal authorities.

“I have issued an executive order that provides additional authority for responding to certain cyber activity that seeks to interfere with or undermine our election processes and institutions, or those of our allies or partners,” Obama said at the time. “Using this new authority, I have sanctioned nine entities and individuals: the GRU and the FSB, two Russian intelligence services; four individual officers of the GRU; and three companies that provided material support to the GRU’s cyber operations.”
Sort of in the weeds stuff. The main take away is that Flynn was discussing perfectly legitimate items of interest with Kislyak, and had no reason to lie to the VP or the FBI. What the FBI is considering a lie seems to be a case of not remembering the fine details of a conversation which he was not prepped to answer when ambushed by FBI agents Strzok and Pientka. Speaking of in the weeds, let's not leave out sundance at CTH, Nothing Inappropriate – DNI John Ratcliffe Releases Wiretapped Flynn-Kislyak Transcripts and FBI Summaries (“CR Cuts”) Of Those Transcripts…
A fast review of the transcripts (also embed below) shows there was nothing inappropriate or improper about the conversations at all. Quite the opposite: Lt. General Flynn was direct, diplomatic, polite and represented the interests of U.S. policy from both the outgoing Obama administration and incoming Trump administration.

The views expressed by Lt. General Flynn did not impede or obstruct outgoing Obama policy nor did they undermine any position during the transition. Any media reporting to the contrary was completely false.

The FBI summaries or “CR Cuts”, created by FBI analysts, are what FBI Director James Comey gave to former DNI James Clapper on January 4th, for use in briefing former President Obama. The summaries are FBI interpretations of what the calls contained.

It has been my long-standing suspicion the FBI summaries (CR Cuts) will not accurately reflect the content of the calls; and were purposefully manipulated by the FBI to give a false impression that Flynn was undermining Obama. I am doing that comparison now.

Here’s the summaries and transcripts . . .
J.E. Dyer at Da Lid, More Strzok-Page Texts: FBI Knew Immediately Of Kislyak-Flynn Phone Calls. Of course, because they were intercepting all of his calls.

But it isn't all Flynn, George Neumayr at AmSpec, Obamagate Won’t Go Away "Too many questions remain unanswered." Christian Datoc at Da Caller, DOJ Reviewing A Trove Of Documents From ‘Very Beginning Of The Russia Investigation’ For Public Release
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed at Thursday’s press briefing that the Justice Department is in the process of reviewing for public release a trove of documents pertaining to the origins of the Russia investigation.

Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell declassified the documents prior to swearing in his replacement, John Ratcliffe, on Tuesday. One senior administration official told the Daily Caller on Thursday that the “documents are from the beginning of the Russia investigation. The very beginning.”
. . .
Trump himself hinted at a forthcoming release of Russia investigation documents during a recent interview.

“Other things are going to come out, too. And a lot of other things are going to come out,” he explained. “I would like to see it move much faster.”
Oh goody! Greg Jarrett's outfit, FBI Document From, To, and Approved by Peter Strzok Provides Smoking Gun Russia Collusion Was ‘Illicit, Made-Up Investigation’. More on the incestuous, almost masturbatory origins of the Russia probe. A letter from Strzok to Strzok.
As The Hill points out, “in a normal, legitimate FBI Electronic Communication, or EC, there would be a ‘To’ and a ‘From’ line.” Crossfire Hurricane, however, only has a “From” line. The document is from Peter Strzok as the contact for the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. Additionally, “the EC was drafted also by Peter Strzok. And, finally, it was approved by Peter Strzok. Essentially, it is a document created by Peter Strzok, approved by Peter Strzok, and sent from Peter Strzok to Peter Strzok.”

The Hill reports “on that basis alone, the document is an absurdity, violative of all FBI protocols and, therefore, invalid on its face.” The reason being, “an agent cannot approve his or her own case; that would make a mockery of the oversight designed to protect Americans.”
Trump is “not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page wrote.  “No. No he won’t,” Strzok responded. “We’ll stop it.”

Sunlight sends the rats scurrying back to the shadows, Hot Air cites WSJ, Biden Campaign Cancels Fundraiser With Mueller Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN’S CAMPAIGN has canceled plans for a fundraiser headlined by Andrew Weissmann, a former top prosecutor with Robert Mueller’s special counsel team who has been a lightning rod among supporters of President Trump. The June 2 event had been billed as a “fireside chat” with Weissmann, who departed Mueller’s team last year and is working on a book about his role in the probe, and Anne Milgram, a former New Jersey attorney general. The fundraiser was pulled shortly after it was posted late last week, but not before it garnered widespread media attention, people familiar with the decision told the Journal’s Ken Thomas.
From on top of Da Hill Roger Stone to surrender to prison by June 30. I expect some higher court to order a new trial based on the jury thing. By then the whole Mueller investigation may be totally discredited.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the now familiar weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and linkfest. Also linked by EBL in Otello 🎭Juliana Hatfield: June 6thFerris Bueller's Day Off: Danke SchoenThe Exterminating Angel 🎭Tosca 🎭Orfeo ed Euridice 🎭,  Lulu 🎭I Puritani 🎭Salome 🎭Louis Vuitton "Influencer" Promotion Backfires During Protest Looting 👜🤑😬🚔🔥 and Mireille Mathieu: Der Mai is gekommen

Rule 5 Saturday - Digital Makeup with Yumi Lambert

This Rule 5 post inspire by Althouse: The "bonkers idea" of doing a makeup job and photo shoot with the model in the U.S., the makeup artist in the U.K, and the photographer in Portugal.
When I was asked to come up with a cover and shoot idea for the annual Beauty Special issue of @theststyle and Covid 19 had just hit hard, I had an idea ... a model in the US , me in the UK and someone fabulous in Portugal to help me pull this madness off . I met amazing mixed media artist @jon_jacobsen a few years ago and knew his combined talents of illustration, photography, painting , digital art plus genuine love of makeup (he always hung out in the makeup room on shoots) would be winning!

uck. Her relatively normal face is much nicer!
We were lucky to have incredible model @yumilambert (who was actually in Maui) and Jon talked her through creating a series of beautiful self portraits that we could then use to create a cover and makeup story from. Inspiring editors @sarahjossel @sundaytimeslorraine and art director @leilahartley trusted in this bonkers idea (Thank you ) and then the fun/stress began. My main concern was that it shouldn’t look overly graphic, ‘digital’ and futuristic. So I started shooting makeup on my own face and arms with a good camera, macro lens and a mixture of daylight and ring light . I did five shoots like this so we had actual shapes and ‘makeup on real skin’ textures. Then (over probably about 100 🤪hours )Jon and I sat together on zoom as he layered and blended each bit of gloss, sparkle & colour directly from, in some cases, my arm on to Yumi’s eyelids! You can see some of the makeup is shot in soft daylight while other bits have ring flash highlights. Lorraine wanted something bright optimistic and warm for the cover and I think this combination of pinks, oranges and yellow delivers that .
Who? Yumi Lambert? Never heard of her before, but she does appear to be one of the big name models.
Yumi Lambert (born 11 April 1995) is a Belgian model. Lambert was born on 11 April 1995 in Brussels, Belgium. Her paternal grandmother is Japanese and she has a brother named Maxime.

At the age of 15, Lambert visited Dominique Models in Brussels and was signed. In September 2012, Lambert walked in Spring/Summer 2013 fashion shows for sixteen designers, including Prada, Chanel and Miu Miu. She was featured in Chanel's Spring/Summer 2013 ad campaign and walked in their Pre-Fall 2013 runway show in December.
She's got that blank model face thing wired.
In her free time, Lambert enjoys drawing manga and listening to music. Her favourite band is Arcade Fire.
A bit of NSFW.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the now familiar weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and linkfest. The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Carol Alt and FMJRA 2.0: In The Heat Of The Night out on time and within budget. Linked at Proof Positive in the weekly Best of the Web* and at The Right Way in the weekly Rule 5 Saturday LinkOrama.

Friday, May 29, 2020

PA Recalcitrance Get Bay Diet Reward

PA to get largest share of federal funds to help cut Chesapeake Bay pollution
The federal government is steering $6 million in grants to help states curb agricultural runoff in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The lion’s share is going to Pennsylvania, which has been struggling to meet its share of the Bay cleanup goals.

The funding, announced May 18 by Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is part of the $12 million allotted to Bay restoration in the budget Congress approved for this year.

Of that, $6 million went to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to be distributed through its grant programs that fund pollution control initiatives in the watershed. The remaining $6 million is to be used to fund state efforts to reduce pollution in the “most effective basins.”

As a result, the agency decided to direct the money toward reducing agricultural runoff, which is typically less costly to control than sources from developed land, and is where states need to make the greatest headway to meet clean water goals for the Bay and its tributaries.
In what world is $6 million in grants a lot of money? Remember, in all likelihood 30-50% of that will be spent on "administrative overhead" by the groups receiving the funds.

I have no problem with PA receiving a majority of the money the feds are allocating to restore the Bay, PA is a big part of the problem with nutrients from agriculture, but because it has no Chesapeake Bay shoreline, it has little incentive to clean up, bearing costs but not benefits.

Russiagate in Review

Not much new today, mostly coverage of issues that arose yesterday or earlier.

First off, let's see what up with the Flynn mess. Margot Cleveland at Da Fed says Michael Flynn Judge Emmet Sullivan Needs To Recuse Himself Already. It's long past time; he's ruined what reputation he had. Ace has this amusing video from a lawyer, Robert Barnes: "I'll Give You a Little Secret.... Judge Sullivan Is As Dumb as a Pile of Bricks"

And sundance at CTH has a video  the omnipresent Sidney Powell Discusses DOJ/FBI Selective Releases as Richard Grenell Points Out Senator Mark Warner’s Conflicts…, which is a pretty good segue to the remainder of Russiagate.  Andrea Widburg at Am Think agrees with me that Someone finally brings clarity to the Obamagate narrative regarding the Charles Lipson article I cited yesterday. Also, via the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 05.28.20,   Morning Joe, Mueller & Sleepy Joe Under The Fedora extracts a nugget from the Whitaker video I posted yesterday. Also, Don Surber: Mueller Shows The FBI Needs Disbanding. It might be time. Matt Vespa, Wait…That’s How Peter Strzok Signed Off on the FBI’s Counterintelligence Probe into Trump-Russia Collusion
There’s a pattern here, an odious timeline. Peter Strzok and the FBI concocted a shoddy and politically motivated counterintelligence probe that deviated immensely from department policy in order to justify this unjustifiable surveillance operation against the Trump campaign. No evidence of Russian collusion was found.

By the time Comey was fired, the Special Counsel’s Office under Robert Mueller was established to what seems to be turd polishing duty. The DOJ needed to have Mueller give an aura of legitimacy to this absolute waste of an investigation that broke all the rules when it was established by anti-Trump wingnut Strzok. Oh, and leading up to the SCO taking over for the FBI, the Strzok texts to Page were discovered. It’s why Mueller booted Strzok from the investigation, leading to his reassignment to human resources before his termination at the FBI. These texts were bound to be revealed. It was inevitable, but Mueller and his team were there for damage control. He’s impartial. He’ll ensure the FBI’s rogue investigation didn’t look totally insane.
Sundance has another video worth watching, Lou Dobbs Discusses “Spygate” With Investigative Journalist Lee Smith…. Tony Shaffer at Da Caller, The 6 Facts Americans Were Never Supposed To Know About The Russia Collusion Hoax. I'm sure the list could be extended substantially.

This topic was introduced yesterday. Ace wasn't impressed, but others think this is a big deal, Chuck Ross at Da Caller, Rod Rosenstein Will Testify Before Senate In Review Of Trump-Russia Probe. Matt Vespa at Town Hall reminds us Why Rod Rosenstein Is The First Witness in New Review of the Trump-Russia Collusion Fiasco and Liz Vaughn at Red State cites Dan Bongino: The Stunning Reason Why Rod Rosenstein Will Be the First Witness Before Senate Committee
So why did Rosenstein appoint a special counsel to investigate President Trump, a man he knew was innocent?

Bongino’s Analysis:
Do you understand the tactical nuke this is? Rosenstein knows, he’s been briefed by the FBI as early as April, that this case is total garbage and that President Trump is not a suspect in this thing, and they refuse to clear him. Why?
Because the Mueller probe has one purpose…To nail Donald Trump.
On May 10, Mueller is appointed to investigate Trump for a scandal that doesn’t exist.
It was always an effort to accumulate enough political damage on Donald Trump to hopefully impeach him, to get him out of office before this thing resulted in some denouement at the end.
Now you have it nailed down. Rosenstein knew what Mueller was going to do. That’s why he appointed Andy Weissmann. Andy Weissmann having a reputation for, at best, shady legal tactics. They appointed him knowing he’d keep this case open and knowing Trump wasn’t a suspect the entire time.
He ends the segment asking, “What else do you need to hear?”

I believe this is the single most extraordinary revelation we’ve heard in the last three years.
Sundance considers that AG Barr Appoints West Texas U.S. Attorney to Support Durham Investigation – Review Unmasking Before and After 2016 Election…

Chuck Ross at Da Caller, AG Barr Appoints Federal Prosecutor To Review Obama Admin ‘Unmasking’ Of Trump Associates and Capt. Ed at Hot Air, Barr: Time For A “Review” Into Obama Admin Unmasking Requests

Breitbart, Nancy Pelosi Delays FISA Vote After Progressive, Conservative Revolt, Sundance, The Line Holds – Speaker Pelosi Drops Plan For House FISA Reauthorization Vote…. Tobias Hoonhout at NR, House Dems Forced to Scrap FISA Vote following Trump Veto Promise. Time to go back and find some real reforms.

Ace, Ric Grennel Swats Eric Fartwell Around on Twitter "More from Deb Heine, here, but a few tweets below:"
News Thud, LISTEN: Mark Levin interviews Rick Grenell about unmasking and the Obama administration "The interview runs about 19 minutes but it’s a great interview from beginning to end:"

At Hot Air, AllahPundit whines Rush: Come On, Trump Doesn’t Care Whether Scarborough Murdered His Staffer. But you have to admit, they have a lot of gall objecting after all the nasty stuff they've said about Trump that turned out not to be true.

Fish Pic Friday

I caught some of these in Florida, but I forget what they're called. Whiting or King Fish!
The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Carol Alt out on time and within budget.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Snakeheads Stop Conowingo Shad Lift

Snakeheads shut down late-starting shad lift at Conowingo Dam
American shad just couldn’t get a break this spring in their efforts to repopulate the Susquehanna River.

The migratory fish got a late start on their spawning run up the Chesapeake Bay’s largest tributary because the fish lift at Conowingo Dam remained shut down for nearly six weeks out of concern for spreading COVID-19 among workers at the dam.

Then, when the dam’s owner, Exelon Corp., finally figured out a way to run the fish elevator with reduced risk to the workforce, the facility shut down for the rest of the season after less than four days. The staff spotted some unwanted interlopers — northern snakeheads — hitching a ride over the dam with the shad.

It marked the first time the invasive fish from Asia had been seen in the Susquehanna above Conowingo, which is just 10 miles upriver from the Chesapeake Bay.

“We were directed by the resource agencies to discontinue operations due to the amount of northern snakeheads that were spotted,” Exelon spokesperson Deena O’Brien said.

Only 485 American shad made it over Conowingo via the elevator before it got shut down. That’s barely 10% of the 4,787 lifted over the dam last year, which was itself an all-time low since the lift was installed in 1991.

Lift operators spied a total of 35 snakeheads mixed in among other fish in the lift, according to the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. They managed to net and remove 14 of them, but 21 eluded capture and swam upriver once hoisted atop the dam.
Sounds to me like it's closing the barn door after the horses escaped.

What will they do when they discover that Bald Eagles and Ospreys occasionally grab Snakeheads below the damn and drop them on the other side by accident?

The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Carol Alt out on time and within budget.

A Wuflu Medley

I've been accumulating some interesting article regarding the WuFlu, and I thought I'd get them out. I'm not planning on making this a regular thing, but then I'm not planning not to, if you know what I mean.

Liz Vaughn at Red State, New NIH Study: Transmissibility of COVID-19 by Asymptomatic Carriers Is Weak (The full study can be viewed here.). This makes sense. If the disease is largely spread by coughing and sneezing out droplets laden with virus, people without symptoms, for the most part, won't be doing a lot of coughing and sneezing. A large part of science is confirming the obvious.

Time reports that Up to 80% of COVID-19 Infections Are Asymptomatic, a New Case Report Says, but instead of calling this good news, they try to sell the fear.
That’s a particularly important lesson to consider as states reopen and nice weather eats away at many people’s resolve to stay home. The virus can and does spread undetected—and an asymptomatic case can still cause serious illness if it spreads to someone else. Until a vaccine is available, the safest way to keep coronavirus from spreading is to keep your distance from others, whether you’re sick or not.
Karen Townsend at Hot Air,  Fauci: Wearing A Mask Is Symbolic, May Be No Second Wave Of COVID-19. Fauci is OK, but he's a little past his use by date. He's very excited to be part of something big again, after AIDS, but he suffers from the common flaw among scientists of seeing their current problem as the world's most important problem, and wanting everything to be done to satisfy them, to the exclusion of other issues. Despite his advanced age, though, he does seem to be slowly coming around to see that the cure has been pretty hard on people who don't deserve it.

Stacy McCain, COVID-19: The ‘Experts’ Are Clueless. I'm glad he put experts in scare quotes, because, at this point, there are few true experts, and the people who should be aren't often the ones the media.
As states began reopening their economies a month ago — led by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott — the media’s favorite “experts” predicted doom. We were told to expect a deadly “surge” of new cases, a “second wave” of COVID-19 infections.

And then . . . it didn’t happen.
An interest map from Carpe Diem, the Map of the Day: US counties divided by one-third of COVID deaths

So this really is largely a New York metro area problem.  So, as WaPoo reports, Frustrated and struggling, New Yorkers contemplate abandoning the city they love. Please stay home. Another way to think of it from Pew Coronavirus death toll is heavily concentrated in Democratic congressional districts. A natural fall out from the rural/urban split in American politics with Republicans generally representing more rural interest, and Democrats mostly urban ones. The media is careful to portray this as racism, of course. Fox News, Gingrich on red-state reopenings vs blue-state lockdowns: Will be 'one of the most vivid gaps' in economic history
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday that as states begin to reopen from coronavirus stay-at-home orders, “one of the most vivid gaps in American history” will be seen between the economies of red and blue states.

“In the red states, where you have pro-Trump governors, they're opening up,” Gingrich noted.

“In the blue states, like New York, where [Gov. Andrew] Cuomo is a total disaster, the gap between how many jobs we create in the red states and how many jobs we kill in the blue states by September will be amazing, and the fact is, there is no excuse for any of the states to be closed up.”
Now that we have good testing, there's no reason to keep most of American cowering at home. Get back to work, ya'll!

Jazz Shaw, Hot Air, NY Governor’s Order For Nursing Homes To Take In COVID-19 Patients Mysteriously… Vanishes. Fortunately, the internet never forgets.

DISRN, MSNBC cameraman called out on live TV for not wearing face mask during segment on people not wearing face masks
Daniel B. Klein at American Institute of Economic Research, Herd Immunity Is Misleading. I hate being part of the herd. Medical Press, India backs hydroxychloroquine for virus prevention 1,380,000,000 people can't be wrong, can they? Actually, I think "the hydroxy" might be a poor choice for someone in serious condition, on a ventilator with blood clots caused by WuFlu, but I think evidence supports using it with zinc for prophylaxis and mildly symptomatic disease. This will probably mostly be over before we sort that out.

Some bad news regarding one of the vaccine candidates via John Sexton at Hot Air, One Of The People In A Phase 1 Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Had A Serious Reaction To The Dosage
“Then, 12 hours after getting the second injection, I suddenly had severe chills. I decided to go to sleep but woke up in the middle of the night with a fever that was over 103 degrees. I also found I was nauseous, fatigued and had quite a headache,” Haydon told TODAY.

His partner called the 24-hour hotline for the vaccine study and Haydon was advised to go to urgent care…Haydon received intravenous fluids and Tylenol… After leaving urgent care, Haydon went home to rest. His fever rose back to 101 degrees and he had to throw up.

“On my way back to bed I fainted. My girlfriend caught me as I went down and kept me from hitting my head. She woke me up. I remember being confused at the sight of my living room ceiling,” Haydon recalled.
Yikes! I remember whining a lot when the second shingles shot caused my arm to swell and get sore. I'd still get the vaccine, though.

Orange County Register,  Poop tests in sewage might predict coronavirus surge - "The race is on to study wastewater as a possible early warning for COVID-19".   I had a nice article that showed a graph of how WuFlu in crap predicted WuFlu cases a week ahead of time, but I forgot to bookmark it, and Google ain't helping.  The feds should mandate (and pay for) sampling of public sewage for  the WuFlu virus. My guess is it won't happen. It's not sexy enough.

USA Today, Pole dancing and hand sanitizer: Wyoming strip club reopens with 'masks on, clothes off' party. It's good to see things going back to sort of normal. They were never in much danger to begin with.

The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Carol Alt out on time and within budget.

Russiagate Still Humming Along

Minimal new stuff on Flynn, while the courts and Judge Sullivan wait to work out their differences. From Da Blaze, Appeals court to Flynn judge: Why haven't you dismissed this case? If I were Sullivan, I'd be mighty mad at DOJ, but not at Flynn. Still more to come out? Capt Ed at Hot Air, Today’s Hot Question: When Will Ratcliffe Release Transcripts At Heart Of The Flynn Prosecution? My question is "if" not "when". If he doesn't release them he doesn't have guts enough for the job.
The real question isn’t will but when. Now that Grenell has declassified the documents, it won’t be long before House and Senate Republicans will want to see them, and that means they will leak quickly. They also might be subject to FOIA demands from outfits like Judicial Watch and others, as well as media outlets with some interest in exploring the ways power might have been abused in Russiagate. That might leave out the major media outlets, admittedly, but they have a significant number of competitors who will tread that path whether mainstream outlets do or don’t.

One party to the call has a particular interest in those transcripts. Flynn attorney Sidney Powell openly complained last week that the defense had never been provided the calls or the transcripts. She bet that the word “sanctions” never appeared in any of them even though that was the issue on which the FBI and DoJ later claimed Flynn lied, leading to his prosecution. Even if Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak, though, it would have been legal for him to do so as part of the incoming presidential transition team. The full set of transcripts could answer definitively whether the FBI and DoJ ever had a legit case against Flynn for obstruction — and that might embarrass one judge in particular, who refuses to sign off on the DoJ’s dismissal motion.
The best summary of Russiagate I've seen yet. Comprehensive, but not too deep in the weeds from Charles Lipsom at RCP, What the 'Obamagate' Scandals Mean and Why They Matter. Consider it a homework assignment. And speaking of in the weeds, Sundance at CTH has the video of an ET interview with Matthew Whitaker at The “Obstruction of Justice Trap” – Former AAG Matt Whitaker Confirms Mueller Probe Was Used As Weapon to Cover Coup Effort….. It's long but well worth the time. I'd be happy with him as AG in the Ivanka Trump administration.

At Da Wire, Ryan Saavedra, Grenell Declassifies Document That Is ‘Very Significant’ To Origins of Russia Investigation
The documents include transcripts of the phone calls that then-incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn had with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, which is at the center of the Obama administration’s “unmasking” scandal.

The newly declassified documents will have to be released by new Director John Ratcliffe, who was sworn in on Tuesday morning.

Fox News reported “that Grenell also completed the declassification review of other documents related to the origins of the Russia probe — including one that a senior intelligence official told Fox News was ‘very significant in understanding how intelligence was manipulated to support launching the Russia investigation.'”
Kevin Brock from Da Hill thinks the New FBI document confirms the Trump campaign was investigated without justification
To the untrained eye, the FBI document that launched Crossfire Hurricane can be confusing, and it may be difficult to discern how it might be inadequate. To the trained eye, however, it is a train wreck. There are a number of reasons why it is so bad. Two main ones are offered below (if you would like to follow along, the document is here) . . .
Insty, IT WAS AN ATTEMPTED COUP, DESIGNED TO OVERTURN AN ELECTION, AND THE PERPETRATORS SHOULD BE JAILED OR SHOT: New FBI document confirms the Trump campaign was investigated without justification. But we’ll be lucky if they pay any serious price at all.
A parting shot from Grenell:
But I'm not sure Rubio is who we need at the head of the  Senate Intelligence Committee, Marco Rubio zeroes in on Russia — not Obama (Politico).  "The new Senate Intelligence Committee chairman has no interest in fighting Trump's election-year battles." Sundance is sure, Marco Rubio Moves to Protect Senate From Exposure in Their Role Against President Trump….

WaPoo, Rod Rosenstein to testify in Senate committee’s examination of Russia probe. Sundance, Rod Rosenstein Scheduled to Testify to Senate Judiciary Committee – June 3rd, 10:00am… "Yeah, Rosenstein has a lot to answer for." Ace, Lindsey Graham Responds to Pressure to Finally Investigate Russiagate by Inviting Rod Rosenstein to Testify
Boy that Lindsey. What a hero.

Of course, Graham is inviting one of the lesser figures to testify. He's not making waves by demanding Clapper, Brennan, Comey, McCabe, Baker, Strzok, or Page testify.

Inviting this one lesser figure to testify will give him six months of tough-but-folksy-sounding soundbites to offer up to Fox & Friends.

Not all heroes wear capes, you know.
I'm interested in hearing from Rosenstein. My feeling was that he was an "institution" man, more interested in keep DOJ running smoothly than in pursuing the President, but took over an institution where many at the top had that goal. He was just sitting on the fence the whole time. Fox News, Barr asks US Attorney John Bash to review 'unmasking' before and after 2016 election, DOJ tells Fox News
Attorney General Bill Barr has asked U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas John Bash to review the practice of "unmasking" before and after the 2016 presidential election, a controversy that has picked up steam after the Justice Department moved to drop charges against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, the DOJ told Fox News on Wednesday night.

Republican lawmakers have demanded more information about the extent of the practice after a previously clandestine list of Obama-era officials who sought to reveal what turned out to be the identity of Michael Flynn in intelligence reports was released earlier the month. The DOJ had moved to drop the Flynn case after internal memos were released raising serious questions about the nature of the investigation that led to his late-2017 guilty plea for lying to the FBI about his Russia contacts.

DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec told Fox News' "Hannity" that U.S. Attorney John Durham, who has been reviewing the origins of the Russia investigation, was looking into "unmasking" but Barr determined certain aspects of the practice needed further review, and Bash has been assigned to do so.
Texas, huh? That's interesting. Hold those treason trials in a red county, not Washington D.C.

Sundance, Devin Nunes: House Cannot Debate FISA Reauthorization When Democrats are Not Here…. Video at link. Chuck Ross at Da Caller, Trump Urges House Republicans To Vote Against Spy Tool Used To Snoop On His Campaign. Fox, DOJ urges Trump veto on FISA legislation, vote in limbo. Curiously, Trump and the Barr DOJ are on different sides of this; Trump wants FISA reformed more after it was used against him; Barr wants less reform so he has tools against terrorists. But it gets them to the same place: BREAKING: President Trump Vows to Veto FISA Reauthorization if Passed… (Sundance). WaPoo, House effort to pass surveillance overhaul collapses after Trump tweets and pushback from DOJ

Via the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 05.27.20 Nice Deb at American Greatness reminds us Former Mueller Prosecutor Weissmann Now Fundraising For Joe Biden. Ace, Andrew Weissman, the Real Ringleader of the So-Called "Mueller" Report, Is Such an Extreme Partisan That He Quits a High Paying Job at MSNBC Rather Than Skip His Fundraiser for Biden
"Nah, I don't want money of my own. I'd rather raise money for a Democrat politician."
Is exactly the sort of thing a non-partisan who can be trusted with an inherently partisan investgiation says all the time.

I mean, every non-partisan independent I know is always using vacation days to canvass for Democrat politicians. Non-partisan independents just can't wait to take their own wealth and assets and donate them to Democrat politicians.
"If the fundraiser goes forward, I’m withdrawing from MSNBC so I can be in compliance with their policy," Weissmann said in a Friday night phone interview, in reference to the network's policy that employees avoid activities "that may create the appearance of a conflict of interest."
There's one circumstance where this makes perfect sense: If you are very scared you might be facing criminal liability from a Trump Administration but definitely not a Biden one, it would make sense to quit a job to campaign for the guy who will end the investigation into your crimes.
Hot Air cites WSJ in Trump Imitates The Steele Dossier In Attacks On Joe Scarborough. After all the horrible things they've said about Trump over the last three years that turned out not to be true, a little sauce for gander is amusing, if not especially presidential.