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More Obama-NSA abuses

Yet another story that should be all over the media, but I haven’t seen it much. (If you have, let me know.)

Why wouldn’t it be covered? I find that it reflects great discredit on the Establishment (both political parties, Deep State and Controlled Media). As I started to say yesterday, they have ways to decide what you’re going to hear about. For as long as they can, they will bury stories that don’t fit their agenda.

To review some background:

  • Under the 4th Amendment, the government isn’t supposed to spy on U.S. people without a court-ordered warrant.
  • “The FISA Court” is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 “to oversee requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies inside the United States by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.” (Wiki)
    Note, foreign.
  • But FISA Court hearings are secret and only the government and the court judge are present, like a kangaroo court. The adversarial system is abandoned.
  • As such, FISA tends to be very lenient to the government. Over time, they have created a secret body of law that gives the government sweeping powers to do domestic warrantless surveillance under an alleged “special needs exception” to the 4th Amendment.
    • One example – In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked a FISA order that requires phone companies to provide a daily, ongoing feed of everyone’s phone call data to the NSA. Super invasive!
  • Even so, FISA isn’t toothless and doesn’t approve everything – as you shall see. They need to preserve respectability, at least in their own eyes.
  • FISA judges are appointed solely by the Chief Justice of the United States. In this regard, Establishment Republicans control the FISA court.

That’s just background. Now for the news, as reported by John Solomon and Sara Carter at Circa.com.

Under President Obama, the NSA secretly conducted years of surveillance and searches on Americans that not even the secret, super-lenient FISA Court would approve.

The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community…

The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm…

The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.

The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans.

Circa has reported that there was a three-fold increase in NSA data searches about Americans and a rise in the unmasking of U.S. person’s identities in intelligence reports after Obama loosened the privacy rules in 2011.

Officials like former National Security Adviser Susan Rice have argued their activities were legal under the so-called minimization rule changes Obama made, and that the intelligence agencies were strictly monitored to avoid abuses.

The intelligence court and the NSA’s own internal watchdog found that not to be true…

The American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself…

RTWT. Naturally, the NSA is scrambling to reassure people that it has fixed the problem. Riiiiiiiight. And Susan Rice didn’t lie and none of the surveillance data was ever misused against Obama opponents or improperly unmasked. Riiiiiiiight.

To people who understand civil liberties and limited government, all this is a huge deal that shows how far out of control the U.S. “intelligence community” (Deep State) has gotten. Chris Farrell at Judicial Watch compares it to President Lincoln’s suspension of habeus corpus during the U.S. Civil War.

Where is the Special Counsel on this?

Or the media coverage? Bush’s NSA did some illegal surveillance in the 2000s – and in 2005, was duly slammed by The New York Times. A large kerfuffle. “But that was then.” It served the interests of someone powerful – someone in deep alliance with, or control of, The New York Times – to weaken Bush. Not so much with Obama, eh?

See the FISA Court’s declassified order spanking the Obama administration, here. By the way, note how large sections of the relevant law and dockets are blacked out, showing how the FISA system has created secret law that the citizens aren’t supposed to know about. That’s horrible.

Also from Circa: Comey’s FBI was neck deep in the abuses.

The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances…

How the Establishment uses “special counsels”

The Obama administration used the IRS to target their domestic political opponents. AND they used the intelligence agencies as well (“unmasking”, “distributing” and leaking data from the U.S. surveillance apparatus) to target U.S. opponents.

Why has no special counsel ever been appointed, to investigate all that?

Or the Clinton Foundation corruption?

Or the innumerable classified-info leaks of recent months, many likely to be from Obama holdovers in the government?

Trump-Russia has been Fake News from minute one. My first reaction when a special counsel was appointed there was “Fine, let them spin their wheels on nothing”. That was too sanguine of me. It is indeed bad, for a couple of reasons.

First, as it is a witch hunt, they will keep looking until they entrap somebody in the Trump administration into a “process” crime. A la Scooter Libby, in the Plame affair. He ended up in jail, even though it was Richard Armitage who had illegally leaked Plame’s name.

Second and probably more important, it consumes DOJ and FBI resources that could and should be used to look elsewhere. And that’s the point of the thing. Democrats want to make sure no one will look at their horrific scandals.

Having a special counsel on the comparatively scandal-free President Trump, instead of themselves, is a huge coup. As in, coup d’etat against a lawfully elected President.

UPDATE: We could also talk about other types of investigation, such as complaints to the House Ethics Committee. Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch asks, “Why the double standard?” against Rep. Devin Nunes.

  • Rep. Devin Nunes chairs the House Intelligence Committee. He blew the whistle on the Obama administration’s illicit “unmasking” of surveillance data. Democrats responded by filing an ethics complaint on him.
  • Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat of the same committee, has been all over the media for months, possibly leaking classified information (or at least confirming leaked info, improperly). Judicial Watch filed an ethics complaint on him.
  • Guess Which the Ethics committee is acting on? And why?

I’ll say why: This is how the U.S. power structure works. By manufacturing (or at least spreading) one narrative; burying another. What you hear about, from investigations and the Controlled Media, is decided behind the scenes. Someone decides which thing you’ll hear about, and they decide because they have the hidden political power and it suits their agenda.

In this case, the House Ethics committee is run by Establishment Republicans. As such, they’re part of The Swamp; they are bedfellows to Democrats and the Deep State. Nunes sinned by bringing out a (true) story that strengthens Trump’s position. They would rather intimidate, mislead or weaken Trump into “playing ball”.

With every Deep State investigation and every Controlled Media “narrative”, you should ask: Why this one, not that other one? And why now?

(NB: Added and rewrote a lot, after first publication. Will stop now.)

Let the DOJ appoint another special counsel

…to look into the Obama administration’s surveillance of its political opponents.

  • whether it was truly “incidental” to legitimate (other) concerns, and/or done under FISA warrants
  • whether FISA warrants were obtained properly (rather than relying on, say, a “dossier” hacked together by a foreign intelligence agency as a political favor)
  • whether NSA Susan Rice, an Obama White House operative who apparently ordered the “unmasking” of Trump associates’ names in the surveillance data, did so for honest and legal reasons
  • whether the subsequent distribution of the “unmasked” intelligence was necessary, legal and proper
  • and who leaked it (along with Trump campaign information) to the media and/or the Hillary campaign, possibly committing felonies in the process.

Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. We, the American people, need to know exactly what the Obama administration was up to with its domestic spying on Americans and especially on its political opponents.

And if illegal unmasking, distribution or leaking occurred: let there be indictments.

UPDATE: Tucker Carlson has a point: President Trump could have blocked the DOJ’s special counsel for Russia. And President Hillary would have (for anything connected to her). She would be too afraid of where an independent investigator might go. Trump isn’t.

I notice Trump calling it a witch hunt, but that’s a slag on the Left’s hysteria; not on the DOJ or Director Mueller.

Trump Makes School Lunches Great Again

The headline is Zero Hedge’s and it made me laugh, so I had to share it. 🙂

Not all that much to it.

Nailed It

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The 2016 Election in Three Memes

Last Tuesday, Obama gave his “farewell” address, which prompted all sorts of ridiculous, weepy posts from Obama supporters about how “classy” he was and how much they would miss him, and how his administration was “scandal-free.” Needless to say, these folks will remain clueless as to why Trump won in November as long as they put Obama on a pedestal. Most of us don’t remember the last eight years with any fondness at all. Instead, we remember a thin-skinned, spiteful, petty man who always had his mind set on one thing, and that was advancing his own power and his party’s grip on power.

Back in October 2013, I wrote a post where I called Obama’s administration the Dawn Davenport Presidency, and it has remained as true in the intervening years as it was then. At the time, I used the website meme creator to create a meme which I considered using to illustrate that post, but I didn’t post it at the time. Now that there are only five days remaining in Obama’s second term, I am bringing it back, because it provides one explanation for what happened with the voters in 2016.

Of course, this election was also about Hillary Clinton.

In the past week, there has been a lot of buzz about Meryl Streep’s harangue at the Golden Globe Awards. Over the summer, though, Streep also attracted attention for two things, her film about Florence Foster Jenkins, and her deranged appearance during her speech at the Democrat National Convention in August. The Jenkins film was what interested me, though, because it seemed to offer a perfect metaphor for Clinton’s political career. Florence Foster Jenkins was famous for having a tin ear and little talent in her chosen field. She benefited largely from her husband’s connections.

Last February at ZeroHedge, I saw a great post outlining Hillary Clinton’s Six Foreign Policy Catastrophes where a commenter named Elliott Eldrich memorably declared: “Hillary’s greatest ability is her uncanny talent for producing the most wretched results imaginable, and then loudly claiming how amazing her accomplishments are. I believe it’s because she somehow manages to convince herself of this first, which makes selling it to others all the easier. She’s the Florence Foster Jenkins of statecraft.”
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“Climate of Hate” update again

I hope future readers (if any) realize that the title is ironic. Left-liberals claim that we’re living in a climate of hate. If we are: It’s the hatred that is spewed by America’s Left.

First: Yesterday, President Obama clarified that he will NOT call off the anti-Trump protestors.

“I would not advise people who feel strongly or are concerned about some of the issues that have been raised over the course of the campaign, I would not advise them to be silent,” Obama said during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Obama said protests are just something Trump would have to get used to as the leader of the free world.

“I’ve been the subject of protests during the course of my eight years,” he said. “And I suspect that there’s not a president in our history that hasn’t been subject to these protests.”

…Obama [said] that the right of free speech should be exercised…

Let’s be clear: This is beyond baloney. Obama never faced protests where conservatives smashed windows, set fires, and physically attacked his supporters in the streets. Destroying property and people isn’t “free speech”.

As lefties told everyone last spring, when the Left’s paid agitators were trying to foment violence at Trump rallies: The leader’s duty to denounce the violence and insist on peaceful speech/protest from his supporters. That is Obama’s duty, now. Once more, the clown Obama disgraces America and himself.

And by the way: Obama didn’t face protestors in any number, until long after he was sworn in and did some (bad) things. While we’re at it, Merkel’s Germany does not let German citizens have free speech. The article describes Germans who were threatened with jail for criticizing Germany’s refugee influx on social media. Pathetic!

Some other items:

Obama’s Bottomless Pettiness

Posted by V the K at 12:58 am - October 6, 2016.
Filed under: Obama Arrogance

George W. Bush proposed building a base on the moon. Obama cancelled it … to deny Bush a legacy achievement

Chiao suggested the decision to remove the Moon as a possible destination was driven by politics, rather than what might be best for the US space enterprise. “Frankly, it came down to us on the committee to not talk too much about the Moon, because there was no way this administration was going to go there, because it was W’s program,” he said. “Ok, that’s a pretty stupid reason not to go to the Moon. I’m hopeful with this election cycle that maybe the moon will be a possibility again.”

This is why we can’t have nice things… like moonbases.

alpha_eagle_05

For the record: YES, Hillary is a criminal

…who sought-and-received such special treatment that now, in her own person, she embodies the most corrupt, disgraceful and dangerous aspects of American political life.

Allen B. West gives a summary:

…here’s what FBI Director Comey said regarding Hillary Clinton and this email server episode:

  • He concluded Hillary was “extremely careless” in handling our nation’s secrets.
  • He admitted no reasonable person could have believed putting these emails on a private server was at all appropriate or acceptable.
  • He admitted 110 emails on the server were classified at the time they were sent — showing Hillary not only lied, but knowingly endangered national security as secretary of state.
  • He admitted Hillary deleted work-related emails before turning them over to the State Department, despite her claims otherwise.
  • And, most shocking, Mr. Comey even admitted it’s likely foreign governments hacked her emails — and our adversaries could know critical secrets about the U.S. government because of Hillary’s actions.

[…]
Consider that just last week, there was a secret, private meeting between former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch…Over the weekend, quietly, Hillary Clinton visited FBI headquarters and then came out to give an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd — who stated he had inside information there would be no charges. Then…Director Comey announces a press conference — as the pre-flight checks were being conducted on Air Force One, preparing to fly President Obama and Hillary Clinton on a campaign ride to North Carolina…Comey announces no charges, and Air Force One takes off. Barack Obama is flying, on taxpayer dollar, not with someone under criminal investigation — but a recently-exonerated Hillary Clinton. This, Ladies and Gents, is the “policy of political corruption” on full display.
[…]
When Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton stood together on that stage [in North Carolina last weekend], you saw two people who abandoned Americans to die and lied about it.

In short, and even if we leave aside the Benghazi deaths, Hillary Clinton is 100% guilty of crimes of negligence – and obstruction of justice (lying to prevent investigation). She was given a giant pass, for no reason except politics.

David Petraeus, convicted.  Scooter Libby, convicted.  Youtube filmmaker, jailed.  Edward Snowden, charged.  Hillary Clinton, Democratic nominee for President.

RELATED:

UPDATES:

Tyranny of the Pajama Boys

Posted by V the K at 11:33 pm - May 17, 2016.
Filed under: Obama Arrogance

VDH on the intellectually vacant, incredibly arrogant pricks who are running their country; including the intellectually vacant arrogant prick-in-chief.

Pajama Boy condescension? “It’s not surprising then they get bitter — they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” Or the prep-school graduate talking down to the elite-forces combat veteran: “Bibi, you have to understand something. . . . I’m the African-American son of a single mother, and I live here, in this house. I live in the White House. I managed to get elected president of the United States. You think I don’t understand what you’re talking about, but I do.”
My favorite part is the dude in the comments who slugged his whiny-pants Pajama Boy nephew.

Will the Left call this kid “racist”?

Note: CJ Pearson is probably a descendant of the African-American slaves. Barack H. Obama, by his own official biography, is not.

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The gender pay gap: a myth?

Like others, I don’t care much about the Oscars. But I understand that Patricia Arquette made a stir on Sunday night, with her speech about “All women deserve equal pay”.

Let’s be clear: Women and men absolutely deserve equal pay, when we’re talking about equal work. That is: work of the same category and experience level, that either a woman or man could do, done with equally good results, under equally good (or bad) conditions.

The point of contention is: Are left-wing feminists really talking about that? Are they correct to claim a large gender gap exists? And are left-wing politicians correct, when they claim to be the answer?

Powerline reminds us of research from 2011 about the gender gap being a myth. And also how, on the surface at least, Hillary and Obama are hypocrites – for example, Hillary has paid her women 72 cents on the dollar (compared to her men). While left-wing hypocrisy is a delightfully inexhaustible subject, the first piece is most interesting for the points it makes.

Basically, research supports the idea that men *on average* tend to choose more dangerous (or less popular) careers; more stressful specializations within the same career; and more uncomfortable and undesirable work locations. And tend (on average) to work longer hours including more nights and weekends, and to take fewer lengthy mid-career breaks. When adjusted for such factors, the gender pay gap disappears – or even turns slightly in favor of women.

If you disagree, please feel free to post your facts/logic in the comments.

UPDATE: Peter Schiff makes a good point, that if he *could* pay a woman less for the same work, women would have a competitive advantage. He “would be an idiot to hire a man” – and would gladly hire nothing but women. He doesn’t, because it just isn’t so. (At least in financial services. Maybe, over in show business, George Clooney’s career will indeed age better than Patricia Arquette’s.)

UPDATE: At the same link, Schiff adds, “in adult entertainment [as opposed to Arquette/Hollywood] women are paid much more…this disparity has nothing to do with discrimination…The porn audience cares about the female stars…So pay rates reflect market forces…I wonder if at the next Adult Video News awards a male winner will demand equal pay during his acceptance speech?”

It’s nice that he’s asking, this time

Remember the Left going on and on about President Bush’s supposedly “illegal” and “unilateral” Iraq war? When, in reality, the Bush administration had gone to great lengths to obtain (and did obtain) authorization for Iraq from both Congress and the U.N.

Even Senator Obama got in on the act, saying later in 2007 that “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” His words were correct – but again, irrelevant to the Bush case (since Bush had Congressional, bipartisan approval).

Then President Obama felt like bombing Libya out of the blue (no terrorist threat was involved – until after Ghaddafi was gone). And he sought no authorization from Congress. Did the Left care? A little; but really not much.

President Peace Prize also went on to embroil the U.S. in wars in Syria and Ukraine – unilaterally and with no authorization. And to blow any gains of the Iraq war, allowing ISIS to take hold; an event that President Orwell referred to as his having “ended the war”.

Now that he has done so, he proposes to resume the Iraq war. Except this time, he finally wants authorization first. I suppose that’s nice of him. I suppose we must be grateful, to such a terribly great man, for the small graces that he grants to us, his subjects.

The Emperor and the Empress Have Felt the Lash of Racism in America

Posted by V the K at 9:22 am - December 17, 2014.
Filed under: Obama Arrogance

Michelle and Barack Obama want everyone to know that they have suffered the horrors of racism. And the reality of the horrific racism in America is that it’s so horribly, horribly… slightly inconvenient and mildly annoying.

Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs,” Mrs. Obama said in the Dec. 10 interview appearing in the new issue of PEOPLE.

“I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”

Being asked to assist someone in getting an item from a shelf at Target is just exactly like living in the Jim Crow south, I guess. Worse, the Empress is miffed that the lady in the story didn’t seem to realize she was in the presence of the Great Michelle Obama. No Empress should be asked to stoop to help a peasant.

Curiously, neither mentions the role race may have played in getting preferential treatment in college and law school admissions; much less the political advantages of melanin.

1000 Words:

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 9:48 pm - December 4, 2014.
Filed under: Constitutional Issues,Obama Arrogance

For your consideration:

Barak Obama-United States-Politics

– Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from The Casa)

President Jarrett Is a Horrible Boss

Kim Strassel laments that the White House is a hostile working environment for anyone of intelligence or the capability for independent thought.

“Doormat” has been the job description for pretty much every Obama employee. The president bragged in 2008 that he would assemble in his cabinet a “Team of Rivals.” What he failed to explain to any of the poor saps is that they’d be window dressing for a Team of Select Brilliant Political Types Who Already Had All the Answers: namely, himself and the Valerie Jarretts and David Axelrods of the White House.

The experienced Bill Daley came in 2011 as the chief of staff tasked with repairing Mr. Obama’s relations with the business community. He left a year later, having been stripped of many duties and trashed by the White House to the press. The sage Leon Panetta stepped up as defense secretary in 2011; he too left after 20 months of getting his head patted. The folks who look smartest now are those who fled early, while the fleeing was still relatively good—Rahm Emanuel, Austan Goolsbee, Larry Summers, Peter Orszag, Vivek Kundra.

Who would want to work for a boss who micromanages everything but takes no responsibility when things don’t work out? This president’s playbook for controversy: Deny knowledge, blame subordinates.

Read the whole thing.

Obama has previously declared that he is a better speechwriter than his speechwriters, and know more about policy than his policy advisers. Such a megalomaniac has no interest in hearing, much less entertaining, opinions that do not align with his own. So much for diversity.

But then again, it often seems President Obama doesn’t really run the White House; he’s off playing golf, partying with celebrities and billionaires. Every once in a while, they put a suit on him and stand him up in front of a TelePrompter. It is very much the consensus that the real authority in the White House comes from former Slum Queen Valerie Jarrett, an “advisor to the President” (think “Wormtongue”) who has been granted her own secret service detail and is the first and last word on White House policy and hiring decisions.

It is little wonder that Obama and Jarrett have created an environment where anyone of any intelligence leaves, but those who can enthusiastically mouth the official party talking points … like Jen Psaki, Josh Earnest, and Maria Harf … thrive.

Schoolhouse Rock for the Age of Emperor Barack

Posted by V the K at 12:14 pm - November 23, 2014.
Filed under: Obama Arrogance,Obama Watch

Indeed. [HT: The Blaze]

OK: Video won’t embed, but you can see it at The Blaze link above or at this link. Is worth it.
Update: Success!
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The End of the Republic

Posted by V the K at 7:22 am - November 20, 2014.
Filed under: Obama Arrogance,Obama Watch

Tonight, apparently, His Imperial Majesty Barack Obama I — because the legislature has displeased him — will unilaterally impose his will on the country; and on the stupid American voters who don’t know what’s best for him.

B21NirNCcAAULjM

The ironic part about this situation is that Democrats claim that Republicans want to impeach Obama because he’s black. But the truth of the matter is that the entire reason Republicans *won’t* impeach Obama is because he is black; no white male president could get away with the abuses of power Obama gets away with; not just on Amnesty, but on the abuse of the IRS to target political opponents, the unilateral exemptions granted under Obamacare, running guns to Mexican drug gangs. The Democrats would like nothing more than an impeachment trial that they and their media wing could turn into “Racist GOP Impeaches First Black President.” Obama’s approval ratings may be underwater with the citizenry, but his approval ratings in the media looks like North Korean election returns.

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Obama Throws Tibet, Celebrity Left Under the Boss

In Communist China this week, Obama let all the people and celebrities with “Free Tibet” bumperstickers know exactly where he stands.

Speaking in Beijing shortly after announcing the US and China had reached a deal to curb greenhouse gases President Obama said on Wednesday, “we recognise Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China. We are not in favour of independence.”

I find the use of the Royal We particularly Obamaesque, don’t you?

So, in Obama’s world, China gets to keep Tibet, Russia gets to keep Ukraine, but Israel is evil for building apartments on Israeli territory.

What’s the best news of this election?

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 3:33 am - November 5, 2014.
Filed under: 2014 Elections,National Politics,Obama Arrogance

Given how crazy U.S. political culture has become – in other words, given that too many of today’s Republicans are not that much better than Democrats, who went insane years ago – it’s a bit hard for some of us to be pleased by any political news, even news of a Republican victory.

Still, let’s all try to be pleased. What’s the best news of the 2014 election? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. For starters:

What else?

UPDATES (some from comments or Twitter):