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Old 02-02-2018, 03:00 PM   #41
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We have a memo!

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Old 02-02-2018, 03:06 PM   #42
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What are the contents of the memo?

They're underwhelming because you don't believe them, or the allegations are underwhelming even if true?
Read and decide: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IG/IG...0129-SD001.pdf
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Old 02-02-2018, 03:17 PM   #43
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I've now read it for myself, and tried to stay away from the news spin about it.

I don't see anything particularly earth shattering in this. Yes, if true it's troubling that the Steele dossier, a document paid for and created on behalf of the DNC and Clinton campaign (at least the part that forms the dossier in question), would be used as "essential" grounds to obtain a FISA warrant on an American citizen....particularly one who was connected to a rival campaign. This information should have been disclosed to the judge who issued the original warrant.

That said, knowing how these warrants are issued, I can only assume that we're not getting a complete picture of all the information that was contained in the warrant application. If the Steele dossier represented the entirety, or even a good part, of the rationale for obtaining the warrant, that would be one thing. But I suspect there was more intelligence than that (at least I hope so). And the fact that the information may have been collected by someone with bias doesn't necessarily mean that the warrant would be invalid. Warrants are often issued based on information from biased, less than savoury sources (though that's why it would be troubling if the judge was not informed of the source of the dossier).

So yeah, I'm not sure there's much to this, other than Trump using it as a pretext to start firing people.

On the other hand, reading this thing myself, I can't exactly see where national security and intelligence gathering methods have been compromised. It's pretty straight forward, and basically just a snynopsis of stuff we already knew or suspected. So I think the outrage from that standpoint is a bit overblown as well.

So what we have here is selective information, released to the public without context for partisan purposes. Which also describes every leak that's come out about this matter....and those leaks are the basis for pretty much everything else we know, or think we know, about what's going on with this investigation.
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Old 02-02-2018, 03:22 PM   #44
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Old 02-02-2018, 03:28 PM   #45
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On the other hand, reading this thing myself, I can't exactly see where national security and intelligence gathering methods have been compromised. It's pretty straight forward, and basically just a snynopsis of stuff we already knew or suspected. So I think the outrage from that standpoint is a bit overblown as well.
Yeah, I heard similar things - this neither lives up to Hannity/GOP's et al claims, nor does it live up to Dems' warnings about national security risks.

It's a nothingburger that supporters will stand behind, and if we're lucky, someone will convince Trump not to start firing people.
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Old 02-02-2018, 03:39 PM   #46
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The GOP are scared out of their minds. Trump owns them. They know if he goes down, legally or for whatever reason, he splinters the party.
They're in an interesting spot. No one wants to publicly come out against Trump in a way that would endanger their electoral chances, but I think a sizable amount of them would be fine with Pence replacing him because they could get the same policies passed through while being able to advertise "responsibility" and "normalcy," which the press would eat right up. It's clear many of them dislike Trump's erratic nature as a demented, spoiled, inattentive dipshit, but they love the rubber stamp on the things they can manage to get through Congress. It's certainly a dichotomy.

But they made their choice on caving to that half of the party long ago. They need to cultivate what they have. It's why they've taken to gerrymandering and voter suppression. Keep the grift going as long as possible by taking away the voice of those they know they can't win over on the ballot.

As long as they are able to box minority voters out AND blame them for all of the problems, they'll win more than they'll lose no matter how erratic their leader is.
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Old 02-02-2018, 03:48 PM   #47
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They're in an interesting spot. No one wants to publicly come out against Trump in a way that would endanger their electoral chances, but I think a sizable amount of them would be fine with Pence replacing him because they could get the same policies passed through while being able to advertise "responsibility" and "normalcy," which the press would eat right up. It's clear many of them dislike Trump's erratic nature as a demented, spoiled, inattentive dipshit, but they love the rubber stamp on the things they can manage to get through Congress. It's certainly a dichotomy.
Yes. When separating the signal from the noise on Trump, what's interesting is that when you take away his obnoxious personality, the misogyny, the idiotic Tweets, etc., and just look at most of his policies, what he's done and the things he's got enacted...they're pretty standard, run of the mill Republican stuff, the majority of which any GOP President would have done (or wanted to do). That's why so many in the GOP establishment are sticking with him (and as you correctly point out, elected Republicans are afraid of his base). He's ticking things off their agenda they've wanted to get done for years if not decades.

Some of us might disagree with what he's done, but most of it isn't exactly radical in terms of what's acceptable across the US political spectrum (though there are some exceptions) on the conservative side.
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Old 02-02-2018, 03:58 PM   #48
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The Dow, btw, is plummeting.
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Old 02-02-2018, 04:16 PM   #49
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I've now read it for myself, and tried to stay away from the news spin about it.

I don't see anything particularly earth shattering in this. Yes, if true it's troubling that the Steele dossier, a document paid for and created on behalf of the DNC and Clinton campaign (at least the part that forms the dossier in question), would be used as "essential" grounds to obtain a FISA warrant on an American citizen....particularly one who was connected to a rival campaign. This information should have been disclosed to the judge who issued the original warrant.

That said, knowing how these warrants are issued, I can only assume that we're not getting a complete picture of all the information that was contained in the warrant application. If the Steele dossier represented the entirety, or even a good part, of the rationale for obtaining the warrant, that would be one thing. But I suspect there was more intelligence than that (at least I hope so). And the fact that the information may have been collected by someone with bias doesn't necessarily mean that the warrant would be invalid. Warrants are often issued based on information from biased, less than savoury sources (though that's why it would be troubling if the judge was not informed of the source of the dossier).

So yeah, I'm not sure there's much to this, other than Trump using it as a pretext to start firing people.

On the other hand, reading this thing myself, I can't exactly see where national security and intelligence gathering methods have been compromised. It's pretty straight forward, and basically just a snynopsis of stuff we already knew or suspected. So I think the outrage from that standpoint is a bit overblown as well.

So what we have here is selective information, released to the public without context for partisan purposes. Which also describes every leak that's come out about this matter....and those leaks are the basis for pretty much everything else we know, or think we know, about what's going on with this investigation.
Couple things here. First, the Steele Dossier was first financed by a conservative outfit, and later by HRC campaign. Those that have seen the documents that this memo was compiled from, have stated that the court was fully aware that some of the information brought before the court was being supplied by partisan sources.
Also, those that are familiar with FISA filings, say that it is an extremely rigorous filing, and that that would have been just a fraction of the information that would have been reviewed by the judge.

Also, hilariously, this memo revealed that Carter Paige was under surveillance since 2013! The FISA warrant was renewed 3 times, and that is more evidence that they had LOTS of evidence against this guy, that he was a foreign agent.
So it is confirming that Trumps first choice, the one off the top of his head to choose for his National Security Advisor was a relative unknown that was in bed, working with the Russians. Shocking.

The part that compromises national security is that it gives dates that Paige was under surveillance and when they got information, which gives the Russians a map to learn how they were surveilled.
It also gives them information on the FISA process. Its like showing the player across the table half your hand.

The other part of all this is that it has nothing to do with the ongoing russian investigation. If Paige thinks he was wrongly spied on, there are legal avenues he can take to exonerate himself if he ever were charged.

This is a whole lot of nothing to prove something was done wrong, and a whole lot of something that shows Trump actually was connected to people connected to russians, and info that gives russians info on how we spy on them.
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Old 02-02-2018, 04:23 PM   #50
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Exactly. It leaves out that FusionGPS was originally funded by a Republican Source, and was later on taken over by the DNC. Christopher Steele had no idea who he was really working for, only that the funding came from Fusion.

This memo was supposed to be released over and over again, and just yesterday it was supposedly worked on again by Nunes and the White House. I'm sure they removed a few of the more sensitive information.

Nick, I feel you are playing the Deep game in that you just come in here to play Devil's Advocate to any thread or discussion.

The actions by Trump, his administration, and the GOP are not those of serving the interest of the country. There is no doubt in my mind if this was Clinton that I would want her impeached over a year ago. This isn't some grey line, and a bunch of internet cooks coming up with Pizzagate towards Trump. Nearly everything that has been said about Trump and Russia has come true. These guys were not very smart.

Even if there wasn't the Russia thing, the fact that the President of the United States cannot stop lying, and lying about the stupidest stuff should make us pause anytime something is released from the White House.

This is what I mean by destroying our democracy. While Politicians spin, we've never had someone who just doesn't believe in Reality. So what is to come next? A return to an enlightenment era? Or Idioacracy?
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Old 02-02-2018, 04:54 PM   #51
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Couple things here. First, the Steele Dossier was first financed by a conservative outfit, and later by HRC campaign.
Not exactly. As I understand it, while Fusion was originally contracted by The Washington Free Beacon (a conservative website) to do some research on several of the GOP candidates, that funding stopped when Trump became the presumptive nominee. The Steele dossier, and most of the material contained therein, was compiled for the benefit of the DNC and Clinton campaign, who also paid for it (via an intermediary). It's incorrect to say the Steele dossier itself (which is what we're discussing) was financed by conservatives. Steele didn't even come on the job until after the Free Beacon had stopped using Fusion.

And I was only commenting on what the memo alleges....not on things I don't have first hand information about (such as what intelligence was actually contained in the warrant application). That's why I said "if true" in my comments....and made it clear that I'm well aware that there was likely more in the warrant application than this dossier. Again, I'm responding to allegations as contained in the memo. I never said I believed them.

And even if all the allegations were true, I'm not sure how much difference it would make, from a legal standpoint. Probably not much. The memos main use is political. For that reason, I don't see much point in arguing the underlying facts or intelligence behind the memo since none of us know that information first hand. If it makes you feel better, I don't think the meme should have been released, as it doesn't give a complete picture (I still don't buy that it compromised intelligence methods) and as such is irresponsible.

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Nearly everything that has been said about Trump and Russia has come true.
Really? Everything? Because what I've heard is that Trump "colluded" with the Russians to "hack the election." I haven't seen any direct evidence of that yet. Not that this didn't happen, I just haven't seen evidence of it.

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Nick, I feel you are playing the Deep game
Deeper than you realise, comrade.
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:14 PM   #52
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what this document has done is sufficiently muddy the waters enough to give some voters and some representatives a means by which to further doubt the FBI and the Mueller investigation.

nothing is objective anymore. reality itself has been politicized.

and the Russians have infiltrated the NRA. let's talk about that next.
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:18 PM   #53
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Meh. I don't think voters pays as much attention to this stuff as we think they do. As important as this is, it's pretty DC insider stuff. The people who hate Trump, hate him. Nothing is going to change that. And his 40% base is obviously sticking with him no matter what.
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:25 PM   #54
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Fusion GPS was sourced by conservatives first. Steele wasn't hired until after the switch to the DNC.

All of this is meaningless, of course. Opposition research is a bipartisan effort.
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:33 PM   #55
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Meh. I don't think voters pays as much attention to this stuff as we think they do. As important as this is, it's pretty DC insider stuff. The people who hate Trump, hate him. Nothing is going to change that. And his 40% base is obviously sticking with him no matter what.


It enables a superficial dismissal — you’re right in that most wont dig deeply into this stuff, but given it’s a news item, and we are dominated by a 24-Hour news cycle, it’s a nugget someone can latch onto. And given that I saw U2 twice last summer with more people than swung the 2016 election, every single vote counts. We’ve been bombarded with 1,000 NYT think pieces about the mind of the Trump voter, and all they need — and, yes, this goes both ways — is a modicum if doubt, or a sense that the other side (or, better, shadowy Deep State) is out to get them. That’s motivating.
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:34 PM   #56
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Fusion GPS was sourced by conservatives first. Steele wasn't hired until after the switch to the DNC.

All of this is meaningless, of course. Opposition research is a bipartisan effort.


The important point is that the research did not originate with the Clinton campaign — it was already out there. Other distinctions make no difference.
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:47 PM   #57
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The important point is that the research did not originate with the Clinton campaign — it was already out there. Other distinctions make no difference.
I'm not sure what this means...."originate with the Clinton campaign." Steele's research, and the resultant dossier, were financed by the DNC and Clinton campaign. Not by conservatives.

To be sure, that doesn't make the information in the dossier bad, nor does the source of funding for the dossier mean that it couldn't be used as at least part of the basis for obtaining the FISA warrant. But the dossier wouldn't exist without that funding. It was a document created for partisan purposes. Again, oppo research is nothing new, but having it form at least part of the basis of a FISA warrant probably is.

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It enables a superficial dismissal — you’re right in that most wont dig deeply into this stuff, but given it’s a news item, and we are dominated by a 24-Hour news cycle, it’s a nugget someone can latch onto. And given that I saw U2 twice last summer with more people than swung the 2016 election, every single vote counts. We’ve been bombarded with 1,000 NYT think pieces about the mind of the Trump voter, and all they need — and, yes, this goes both ways — is a modicum if doubt, or a sense that the other side (or, better, shadowy Deep State) is out to get them. That’s motivating.
I agree that the purpose of releasing the memo is primarily political...to sow confusion, and murky the waters. I also agree it's motivating. People are primarily driven by hate and disgust for the other side.

I find the irony of this whole thing interesting. You have Republicans, always the staunchest defenders of the FBI and intelligence community, now baselessly attacking them. And for what? For this clown President. I don't know whose worse...the Republicans who are smart enough to not buy this garbage but are going along with it anyway, or those stupid enough to believe it.

And then we get the incredibly bizarro world scene on the left, who has been skeptical and downright hostile towards the surveillance state and FISA courts, now all of a sudden defending it. And it wasn't long ago during emailgate that the left was saying there was a cabal of FBI agents who were out to get Hillary Clinton, and the FBI was accused of having an "anti-Clinton atmosphere" and Rudy Gulliani was supposedly calling the shots from the NY field office.

How times have changed. Only the hypocrisy remains the same.
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:53 PM   #58
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Given that the Comey announcement was quite suspiciously timed and many think it may have swung the election, it does seem the Dems have more to complain about and undercuts GOP intentions to “cleanse” the FBI. I agree with the shoe being on the other foot, but this is not a “both sides do it” situation.

My guess is the FBI is reacting to the highly politicized environment in general — that Comey had to bash HRC in June 2016 as well as the late October surprise in order to give the FBI cover of accusations of partisanship after they failed to indict her.

Also, no one should make the mistake of equivocating emails to collusion with a hostile foreign power.
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Old 02-02-2018, 06:19 PM   #59
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Well the complaints about the FBI being out to get Clinton definitely predate Comey's last minute "reopening" of the case, and even his announcement not to recommend charges.

And who knows, maybe the FBI really was out to get Clinton and was pro-Trump...in which case Trump really blew that.
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Old 02-02-2018, 07:34 PM   #60
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Former Hippies Put in Horrible Position of Rooting for F.B.I.
Andy Borowitz

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Former hippies across the United States have been put in the unbearable position of rooting for the F.B.I., hippies have confirmed.

From Vermont to California, erstwhile hippies bemoaned a nightmare scenario that has forced them to side with a law-enforcement agency they have despised since the Summer of Love.

“I always dreamed I’d spend my retirement surrounded by my grandchildren, telling them that the F.B.I. were fascist pigs,” Carol Foyler, a former hippie who lives in Santa Cruz, said. “That dream has been shot to hell.”

Her husband, Mick, nodded his head in sad agreement. “We were so happy when pot was legalized in California,” he said. “But the fact that we’re now on the same side as the F.B.I. has ruined even that.”

Now in their seventies, the Foylers are spending their days doing things they never dreamed possible when they traipsed through the mud at Woodstock: going door to door in Santa Cruz, asking other former freaks to sign a pro-F.B.I. petition.

“Donald Trump has wrecked America’s standing around the world, spread misogyny and bigotry, ravaged the environment, and endorsed a child molester,” Carol said. “But making people like us support the F.B.I. is the most unforgivable thing he’s done.”
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