Saturday, June 10, 2017

Day 141: QATAR, HANNITY, INSANITY AND LEAKS!


Welcome to SPLINKERNEWSMAX! The faux news agency that isn't afraid to speak the truth, after making sure no one else gets in trouble for telling it. SplinkerNewsMax is not owned by any major media corporation, although we are willing to entertain offers.

DAY 141 ish:  Trump has still not released his tax returns.   He promised he would, like he promised to call Comey a liar under oath, but so far none of that is happening. 

Let's take a break from Russia and spin the wheel ethics.  

IT'S TRUMP!!!!
Back in January, an ethics watchdog group filed a lawsuit against Donald, alleging that the president is in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.  Basically, foreign powers funnel money through Trump hotels and restaurants in order to corrupt the president and influence his actions.

SPOILER ALERT:  IT WORKS!  

The Justice Department has now filed a motion to dismiss, arguing the plaintiffs don't have standing to bring the federal law suit (basically saying they can't prove damages), and that their interpretation of the Emoluments Clause if wrong.  Plaintiffs have a month or so to file a response, and then we'll see what the Court has to say.  

Just keep in mind, all this is because Trump is an unethical, lying, cheat who refused to sell his assets and put the proceeds in a blind trust.  (A blind trust means that you have an impartial individual, like Fred's Bank, invest your money without telling you where it is).  

After he accidentally won the election, Trump decided that corruption was more important than removing even the appearance of ethical violations from the office of the President.  Instead of doing the right thing, our President has chosen to profit from the office, hide his tax returns, and continue to use his public position and power to increase his family's wealth.  

THE PRESS CONFERENCE!
Yesterday, Trump held a brief joint press conference with the President of Romania
There were only a few questions asked, but a helluva lot of bombshells.  Let's look at them in some detail.

COMEY!!
Trump said that Comey lied under oath and that Comey completely vindicated him.  

(Editor's note: We wanted to play the clip where Faye Dunaway gets slapped in Chinatown, but our crack investigative team couldn't find it.  Did you guys know the Blockbuster Video closed??)

Like the English language, Trump uses words he understands and throws away the rest.  Comey admitted that he told Trump he was not personally under investigation (SPOILER ALERT: HE IS NOW).  He also said Trump asked him to let the Flynn matter go, that Trump told Sessions, Pence and some other guy to leave the room before asking, and that Trump fired Comey because Trump didn't like the way he was handling the Russian investigation.

Guess which parts of Comey's testimony Trump says are true, and which are lies.

Trump also said that he would testify, under oath, that he never asked Comey for a loyalty pledge or asked him to drop the Flynn investigation.  
SPOILER ALERT: Trump will never, never, never willingly testify under oath.

The above were the big headline bombshells that everyone talked about yesterday.  But there were also two others, that are barely getting a nod from the media.  

First, Trump lied about his meeting with the Romanian President.  Trump was asked if they had discussed making it easier for Romanian's to get HB1 VISA's, so that more could enter the U.S.
Trump answered that they hadn't discussed the issue.  Then Romaina's top guy immediately corrected our President, saying that they had indeed discussed it, and the visa program was very important to Romania.  Okay, I know that doesn't SOUND like a bombshell.  But either the President thought he could get away with a lie, or he simply forgot what the two leaders were talking about.  Either way, WTF?

The last, and I think biggest bombshell, was Trump throwing the State Department under the bus, AGAIN, when he praised the Arab Gulf coalition for it's blockade of Qatar.  Trump took Qatar to task again, for funding terrorism, saying it had to stop and that this was all happening thanks to his meeting with the Gulf states a few weeks ago.

He said all this, about two hours after Sec. Rex Tillerson had made a rare public statement how our friend Qatar was being hurt by the blockade, and for the sake of it's citizens, everyone should work to lift the diplomatic blockade.

Qatar, as you may know, is what diplomats like to call a "lynchpin ally" in the fight against terrorism.  They allow us to have a military base there, which is vital in fighting ISIS.  Yes, they also fund terrorism.  As does Saudi Arabia.  That's one of the things that make this a complicated world.  But Trump is a simple man.  
  When he took credit for the Gulf States kicking Qatar out of the group, it was reported that he didn't know or "forgot" we had a military base there, or that, whatever else Qatar is, they are an ally in our fight with ISIS.  

Here's something else to think about.  A long time ago, we had a man named Ronald Reagan in the White House.  Ronald or his State Department didn't do their homework about a country called "Lebanon."  The U.S. gov't took sides with one faction.  So the other faction blew up an army barrack, killing 241 U.S. Soldiers, 58 French soldiers and 6 civilians.  Then, we were noobies when it came to mid-east politics.  We jumped in without knowing who all the players were.  And BOOM!.

We're not noobies now.  We just have a noobie president.  Trump has widened the rift between Sunnis and Shias. This is a foreign policy decision and you can argue whether or not it's a good one.  It's contrary to Obama's efforts, which sought to establish some ties and trust with Iran.  That pissed off people like Saudi Arabia.  And that always needs to be factored in when making decisions in the mid-east. 

Now, you are free to disagree with Obama's strategy.  But I doubt anyone things Obama didn't put any thought into it.  

Who here think's Trump knows what he's doing when it comes to Qatar?  
Who here think's Trump has made our country safer? 
Who hear has read the plan to defeat ISIS that we were promised?

And now, it's time for SplinkerNewsMax's new segment:

SEAN HANNITY IS WRONG 

Here's how we play.  I agree to watch Sean Hannity until he says something wrong, and then I call him out on it.  Now, before we start, full disclosure.  The last time I watched Hannity, he was yelling at Mr. Slave for forty minutes.  A/k/a Alan Colmes.  But, I'm betting Hannity is so full of shit, he could be president. 

So, I'm going to go on youtube right now and watch last night's show until I find something he's wrong about.  You guys wait here. 

Okay!  I got about two paragraphs into last night's transcript.  It's around there that Hannity accuses James Comey of violating the law when he gave his unclassified notes to a friend with instructions to release them to the press.  Hannity isn't alone in getting this wrong, of course.  Hayes, from the NC GOP: "It is a matter of national security when disgruntled employees leak classified information, which is exactly what Comey admitted to doing with his notes."

Except there was no leak of classified information and it is not illegal to give unclassified information that belongs to you, to someone else.  Even if you were the FBI Director.  Comey was a private citizen when this happened and the notes are his.  

Let's step back for a second.  Trump fires Comey.  Trump Tweets that Comey better hope Trump didn't tape their conversation.  Comey remembers his memos and makes sure that we get to know about them.  The memos contain no classified material, and were written within minutes of every meeting Trump had with Comey.  They confirm that Trump asked him for a loyalty oath, cleared the room and privately asked Comey to drop the Flynn matter.  Okay.  Those are the memos we are talking about.

Why didn't the memo contain classified information, you may ask.  "My thinking was if I write in such a way that I don’t include anything that’ll trigger a classification, that will make it easier to discuss within FBI and government," saith Comey. Good for him!

Here's another fun fact:  The Memo itself was not leaked.  The press did not print a copy of it.  Only that it existed and the substance of at least part of what it contained. 

And then we have to discuss the issue of Trump and his people possibly violating the Whistleblower statute. Under law, private citizens who leak unclassified information for the protection of our country are protected.  

Trump's lawyer stated they are considering on asking the DOJ to launch an investigation into Comey's release of the unclassified memo.  If they do that, Trump may be violating the law.   If you want to read the article I stole most of this information from, CLICK HERE

If you want to read about stories that are only slightly less believable than what is going on with our country, CLICK HERE!!!

That's it!  I know I promised a new segment, Queer Eye For The Orange Guy, but that has been delayed until tomorrow, due to technical difficulties and my incredibly short attention span.

It's 2:10 pm.
GOOD MORNING!

Friday, June 9, 2017

A QUICK POST COMEY COMMENT


Welcome to SPLINKERNEWSMAX! The faux news agency that isn't afraid to speak the truth, after making sure no one else gets in trouble for telling it. SplinkerNewsMax is not owned by any major media corporation, although we are willing to entertain offers.

DAY 140 or so:  Trump has still not released his tax returns.   Yesterday, I predicted that Trump would lose political capital after the Comey hearing.  I was wrong.  Or, at least, there are no signs of it as of 8:30 a.m. today.

Comey basically said two things yesterday: 

1. During a meeting with the president, Trump ordered Vice President and co-conspirator Mike Pence, Attorney General and co-conspirator Jeff Sessions, and house rigger and chief of staff, Reince Priebus, to leave the room.  Then he told Comey that he hoped he could make the Flynn thing go away.


When it didn't go away, Trump fired him.  

2.  The reason Comey felt compelled to go public with the Clinton E-mail investigation was largely due to Bill Clinton's meeting with then Attorney General, Loretta Lynch.  And that Loretta had previously asked Comey to refer to the investigation as a beautiful sunrise, or something like that.

Obviously, the hearing was more complicated than that.  Comey came out and called the president a liar, confirmed that Trump defamed Comey and the FBI, and that, based on the president's own words, he believed he was fired because Trump didn't like the way he was handling the Russian investigation.

But, the real import of yesterday's testimony had less to do with facts, and more with reaction.  Did Comey's testimony push any republicans to finally admit the president is a danger to our country and that it's time to take a serious look at impeachment.  

The answer is no.

Paul Ryan explained that the President is a poor babe in the woods, who didn't understand the clear lines of division and protocol between the DOJ, the FBI and the White House, and almost all Republicans agreed with him.

The GOP is betting that the American people's stupidity is only surpassed by their capacity to forgive.  

I'm not a president.  I love Pauly Shore  movies and my favorite comedian is Carrot Top.  The last book I read was "The Beginner's Guide to Sex in the Afterlife." (There are no shortage of crappy books out there.  Don't believe me?  THEN CLICK HERE )

Still, even I know that sending your attorney general out of the room and telling the director of the FBI you hope he can drop an investigation, crosses every fucking line of protocol you can think of.

Paul Ryan and his party have decided that, unless someone gives Trump a box of matches and the president literally burns the White House down to the ground, they are going to ignore his behavior, actions and words, and try to pass some legislation.  Then they'll worry about the PR.

It's a terrible bet.

So, they'll start shouting about Loretta Lynch and Comey's credibility.  It will sound laughable to anyone who's paying attention. (I don't remember Loretta firing Comey when he didn't stop calling the investigation and investigation).  And Trump will continue to be plagued by leaks and his foot and mouth.   


That's not exactly all true, however.  There are a few major tipping points that started to tip yesterday.  

First, it is now crystal clear that the investigation has expanded from candidate Trump 2016 to Transition AND president Trump 2017.  In light of this, it is hysterical that Trump and his hired mouthpiece are claiming vindication.

Yes, Comey confirmed that the president was not personally under investigation at the time of their meetings.  But it was also made clear that, given the type of counter-intelligence investigation the FBI was conducting, that was likely to change.  And it obviously has.  

The investigation into Russia's interference in the election, and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, is now an investigation into Trump's attempt to obstruct justice, and actions he has taken as President, including his reasons for firing Comey.  

And there is the issue of the special counsel and why we have Twitter to thank for it.  When Trump fired Comey, he explained, in writing that it was because of how Comey handled the Clinton investigation.  Take a second to LOL on that one.  He also said he appreciated being told by Comey that he was not under investigation - three times.  

Then, apparently fearing Comey's response, the president tweeted that Comey better hope he didn't have "tapes" of their conversations.

Yesterday, Comey testified that when he heard of that tweet, he remembered the contemporaneous memos he had of their nine conversations.  Thinking Trump might have evidence (the "tapes") that would back up the facts in his own memos, Comey arranged to have some of them released to the press.  

And that information was the basis of the the Deputy AG appointing a special counsel.

So, thank's Don!

That's it!
It's 8:58 A.M.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

DAY 140: THE COMEY RETURNS!

DAY 140!  



Welcome to SPLINKERNEWSMAX! The faux news agency that isn't afraid to speak the truth, after making sure no one else gets in trouble for speaking it. SplinkerNewsMax is not owned by any major media corporation, although we are willing to entertain offers.

DAY 140 or so:  Trump has still not released his tax returns.  I know I start off every blog post with this fact. There is a very good chance that the real scandal, or at least the scandal that sticks to the Don, will be tied to financial corruption, so it's important.  There's a fair chance that, after today, Trump is going to lose what little political capital he has left with his own party, and subpoena's for those returns and other tid bits will be more likely.  That doesn't mean we'll see 'em, but at least someone will.

COMEY'S TESTIMONY VINDICATES TRUMP!
Trump, his personal attorneys, Jeffrey Lord and 28% of all psycho ward patients, believe Trump was 100% vindicated by Comey's release of his opening remarks in today's hearing.  In Trump's case, that mistaken conclusion is understandable, as he only read whatever three sentences someone else highlighted for him.  But for the rest of the world, not so much.

First, Comey confirms that Trump did, in fact, ask him to lay off the Flynn investigation - several times. 
Oops.

Comey goes on to say that Trump asked him to take a loyalty pledge.  Comey promised honesty.  That's not something you want to hear after you just brought your date an expensive valentine's day dinner.  

Those are probably the two biggies of the seven page statement.  Of course, there are other interesting details.  Like how Comey felt so uncomfortable, he started writing down the details of his meeting as soon as he was in the car after Trump tried getting a home run on their first date.  

Or how he implored Jeff Sessions not to leave Trump alone in the room with him.

Or how Trump asked Comey if he wanted to keep his job, and implied it would be a good thing for Comey's job career if he made the investigation go away.

Or how obsessed Trump was with the allegations that hooker's peed on him when he was in Russia.  

So, vindicated?  Maybe not. At this point, he'll be lucky if he even has friends at Fox News left.  (A sock puppet can dream, can't they?).

Now, let's take a ride down memory lane,  all the way to June 7, 2017.  It was then that DNI Coats and Admiral Rogers decided they did not have to answer to the House Intelligence Committee.  They were asked, no less than twenty-thousand times yesterday afternoon, if the President of anyone else had conversations with them about killing the Flynn or Russia investigation.  They refused to answer in open court,  while admitting that the answer did not deal in classified information.  

The people they refused to provide answers too, are the people who they report too, under law.  But they still said no, no, no, no, no. A thousand times no.

That's not good.  They pissed off a lot of democrats and republicans yesterday.  Maybe someone who is smarter than me can tell us if this was unprecedented.

Okay!  That's it for now.  Time to turn log on to amazon! and buy a good book!  And then it's Comey time!

It's 9:01 a.m.
Good morning!