Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


Roland99's Journal
Roland99's Journal
December 26, 2019

Tom Nichols on the Steele Dossier. Really good thread!


Tom Nichols
Before we head into #impeachment, here's a quick revisiting of the Steele Dossier. None of you will like it. And remember, I was among those who said it should not have been public. (I am leaving aside whether the FBI should have relied on any it. That's Horowitz's call.) /1


Before we head into #impeachment, here's a quick revisiting of the Steele Dossier. None of you will like it. And remember, I was among those who said it should not have been public. (I am leaving aside whether the FBI should have relied on any it. That's Horowitz's call.) /1

You call a spook to get oppo, you get what spooks produce: a harvesting of everything they can find, public and private, true or false. Raw product includes things like "A guy overheard at a cocktail party at Embassy X said this after three Manhattans." That's a spook's job. /2

It will also include stuff that the spook knows - and that experienced analysts know - was put there by the bad guys as disinfo. This is actually useful: It tells you what the bad guys know about your search, and it gives you some insight into how they'd rather mislead you. /3

Normally, a file like this gets sent to analysts, who then go into multiple modes of verification: Internal review, asking for more from the field, checking against stuff known from other sources (including stuff the field might not have), putting out calls to other sources. /4

No one would take such a file, and say: "Well, if this here spook wrote it, it's true." Steele himself knew much of it wasn't true, but it's not the collector's job to weed that out. Collection and analysis are different. (In oppo firms, they're too close, but that's the biz.) /5

But Steele had heard enough to want to alert U.S. authorities. Because even if he couldn't verify each story, he'd heard enough to make him worried. (That's kind of like the "chatter" issue before terrorism. Not exact analogy, but too much info at all is a sign.) /6

Steele could tell that Trump and his coterie were jungled up with the Russians. Which parts he could prove, and which he couldn't, were less important than the realization that the Russians and the candidate were way, way too close. Dangerously so. /7

Put another way, think of how people are investigated for clearances. If you're in hock, have lots of creepy associates, and people who shouldn't know you personally have stories about you - even if some of them are off the wall - it's going to jam up that clearance. Rightly. /8

Steele pushed the panic button on Trump because only an idiot *wouldn't* have done so. Personally, I think the FBI would have been nuts not to move on it. And as Mueller noted, there was no proof of a conspiracy, but plenty of evidence of intentional and desired collusion. /9

It was wrong of Buzzfeed to publish the file. If you've ever been investigated for anything, you have a similar file, full of stuff that might or might not be true. Shouldn't be public. But USG takes a "whole person" approach to investigations, and so did Steele. Rightly
. /10

And it was way wrong of Maddow to play Nancy Drew with the file, because she has no background in either intelligence or Russian affairs. She did her usual thing of jacking up her audience to think they were uncovering SPECTRE or something, and I said so at the time. /11

But in the end, the reality is that the entire Trump circle, including the President, is far too connected to Russia, and imo, compromised by Russian intelligence (mostly through knowledge of Trump's finances.) I said that over a year ago here:
What Jonathan Chait Gets Right About Trump and Russia
Thirty years of contacts with Russia are hard to dismiss as a series of disconnected events.

This is a level of Russian infestation that - in a better time in our country - would never have been tolerated. The GOP has used the dumbassery around the Steele file to wear us down and eat what's left of the patriotism of a lot of people. Shame on them - and shame on us. /13

None of these tweets - duh - represent the view of the U.S. government. They are my view that Steele did the right thing, but that we have become a country tolerant of traitorous, scummy conduct on the part of an entire political party.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. /14x
December 26, 2019

Russian security forces breaking into opposition offices. Wow!!!


n Moscow, Russia, security services forced entry into the office of Alexey
’s Anti-Corruption Foundation


The raid on the headquarters of Alexey Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) in Moscow comes after one of his allies was forced to serve in the army at a remote Arctic base.

A lot has been going on there the last couple of days, apparently


Navalny's office in Moscow raided by the police again, on the day when he hosts his weekly Q/A on YouTube. All equipment used to broadcast is expected to be taken away, his spokesperson says:
December 19, 2019

Heavy gunfire heard near FSB HQ in Moscow


BREAKING: Heavy gunfire erupts near FSB building in central Moscow; reports of fatalities

Wtf is going on there??

Edit: update


UPDATE: BBC correspondent says additional gunfire heard after Russian officials said the attacker was 'neutralized' https://twitter.com/BNONews/status/1207696672333144065
BNO News

BREAKING: Suspect "neutralized" after shooting near FSB headquarters in central Moscow, officials say; number of victims not yet clear - TASS
December 19, 2019

US appeals court rules Obamacare individual mandate unconstitutional

US appeals court rules Obamacare individual mandate unconstitutional

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday ruled 2-1 that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate is unconstitutional because “it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power.”


Circuit Judge Jennifer W. Elrod began by separating issues of policy from issues of law.

“Some say that the Act is a much-needed solution to the problem of increasing healthcare costs and lack of healthcare availability. Many of the amici in this case, for example, argue that the law has extensively benefitted everyone from children to senior citizens to local governments to small businesses,” Elrod wrote. “Others say that the Act is a costly exercise in burdensome governmental regulation that deprives people of economic liberty. Amici of this perspective argue, for example, that the Act ‘has deprived patients nationwide of a competitive market for affordable high-deductible health insurance,” leaving “patients with no alternative to . . . skyrocketing premiums.’”

Elrod said that these weren’t the issues before the court, “And for good reason,” because the courts “are not institutionally equipped to address them.” She said that these issues are better left to the Executive and Legislative branches. The judge then asked the “narrower” questions of law and answered them [emphases ours]:
December 18, 2019

IANAL but, the guy all *these* guys did crimes for is probably innocent



Has twitler been able to keep his hands clean? Hardly! We’ve seen his many crimes detailed in two books from Seth Abramson as well as the evidence produced in the impeachment trial
December 12, 2019

New Report: Charter Fraud And Waste Worse Than We Thought

New Report: Charter Fraud And Waste Worse Than We Thought

The original report underestimated the number of charters that had taken federal grant funds and then either closed or never opened at all. That report found 1,000 such charters; the number now appears to be closer to 1,800. That means the failure rate is close to 37% nationally. Michigan gave grants of at least $100,000 to 72 schools that never opened at all; California gave grants to 61 unopened schools. Those two states alone account for over $16 million dollars spent without educating a single child. A grand total of 537 schools never actually opened; tax dollars spent on literally nothing.


For-profit charters have never been allowed to receive monies from this grant program, but plenty of for-profit charter management companies have had their schools apply successfully. It’s a reminder that “for profit” and “non-profit” are, when it comes to charter schools, a distinction without a difference. Hot Stuff Podunk Academy may well be a non-profit school, but if it is wholly operated by Hot Stuff Academies Charter management Company, a for profit company that handles the operation of the charter, the academy is still generating profits.


The report also provides several examples of how a non-profit charter is simply a pass through for a for profit corporation. For example, the White Hat Management company was an Ohio-based for profit charter management organization that operated sixteen Life Skills charter schools in five different states. Some of those charters paid 97% of their income to White Hat, which also operated a real estate company that leased buildings to schools. Thirteen of the Life Skills charters have ceased operations.

The report also drills down in two charter-heavy (Arizona and Ohio) to see why charters fail. In both states, enrollment was the primary cause (despite the fabled charter waiting list we often hear about) followed by mismanagement/fraud, then financial issues and academic concerns. The study also found a surprising number of charters that closed because the operator simply abandoned them. Stories also illustrate the shock and surprise that occurs when charters simply and suddenly close up shop mid year.

Among the report’s conclusion is this:

We have concluded that the practice of allowing unauthorized schools to receive funds, which has been in effect since 2001, has become a magnet for grifters, consultants and charter entrepreneurs who see an easy way to cash in.

December 7, 2019

WTF?? Twitler wants to ban... natural human childbirth??


"Right now in a number of states the laws allow a baby to be born from his or her mother's womb in the ninth month. It is wrong, it has to change."

He’s lost his damn mind finally. He’s totally oblivious of the words coming out of his own mouth.
December 7, 2019

More republican "morals". KY judge had sex with staff, alcohol, coercion, etc


Gentry's chambers: Sex, robes and rock and roll

The judge is accused of seeking to or having sex with people she employed and appointed to a panel designed to help abused children. There are three people connected to those claims.

Katherine Schulz reportedly quit a panel the judge appointed her to after the judge flirted with her via Snapchat, pressured her to seduce the judge’s husband and asked her to join the judge and a former church pastor in a threesome.

That former pastor is Stephen Penrose, who the judge hired as her case specialist after she reportedly asked the former specialist, Meredith Smith, to resign. Then, Gentry gave Penrose a salary $10,000 more than Smith’s, according to payroll records The Enquirer obtained through a Kentucky Open Records Act Request.


Gentry, a Republican, became judge in 2016 when outgoing Gov. Matt Bevin picked her to fill a vacancy. She was re-elected to a four-year-term in 2018.
December 4, 2019

Rise of the Resistance!!

Live in a few minutes!!

All the work coming to fruition! I’ve loved working with the entire team. It’s been a career-making effort!

December 3, 2019

The Shady Bunch...



Here's the story of a greedy dotard
Who was bringing up three very grifter brats
All of them had eyes of gold, like their dotard
All as annoying as gnats

It's the story of white male Repubs
Who were busy sucking up to their dotard
They were traitors, conspiring together
By the patriots they’ll be slaughtered

Till the one day when the dotard met this russian
And they knew it was much more than a hunch,
That this group must somehow form a family.
That's the way they all became the Shady Bunch.


Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Current location: Central FL
Member since: Thu Sep 16, 2004, 01:03 PM
Number of posts: 53,341

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»Roland99's Journal