2:26 AM 4/18/2019 - ‘Three Stooges of Socialism’ and other stories

2:26 AM 4/18/2019 - ‘Three Stooges of Socialism’ and other stories

Note to John Bolton: ‘Three Stooges of Socialism’ Is Not a Terrifying Allusion - Google Search

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Bolton’s ‘Three Stooges of Socialism’ Not Very Terrifying

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Are you scared yet? Photo: John Springer Collection/Corbis via Getty Images
As his contribution to the Trump administration/GOP Red Scare of 2019–2020, White House national security adviser John Bolton gave a fiery speech to a group of aging Cuban-American veterans of the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, and brought back many memories of those wonderful days of the Cold War. Some of his lines were a bit jarring, truth be told, as Politico’s report indicates:
The Trump administration’s aggressive positioning in the Western Hemisphere was made clear by the national security adviser, who said Wednesday: “We proudly proclaim for all to hear: The Monroe Doctrine is alive and well” — a reference to a policy used in the past to justify interventions in Latin America. 
The whole idea of the Monroe Doctrine, of course, was for the United States to resist Eastern Hemisphere (originally Western European) interference with Latin America, a concept that was made ideological when Cuba was a Soviet client state and the Russkies were fomenting revolution elsewhere. Yes, today’s Russia supports Venezuela’s Maduro, Nicaragua’s Ortega, and (not so warmly any more) Cuba’s Díaz-Canel, perhaps for old time’s sake. But it’s not as though it does so as the representative of any sinister (much less Marxist) scheme to subvert the hemisphere, unless neo-Tsarism has a future here, in which case Bolsonaro’s Brazil (which Bolton has lavishly praised) and his friend Trump’s USA are the most likely prospects.
In any event, rattling the old Cold War hobgoblins fits in with the administration’s foreign policy and domestic politics, so Bolton was given free rein to twist and shout: “In all, Bolton announced seven crackdowns and sanctions targeting the governments in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua,” reported Politico.
He also brought back some contemptuous lines about Maduro, Ortega, and Díaz-Canel as the “troika of tyranny” that he deployed in an earlier South Florida speech last year. “Troika” has a nice Russian ring to it, but seemed a bit derivative of George W. Bush’s famous “axis of evil” (referring to that era’s Republican demon-figures of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea). But another nickname he had for the three leaders is palpably counterproductive: “the three stooges of socialism.”
Someone needs to explain to Bolton and/or his speechwriter that “the Three Stooges” is not an allusion likely to strike fear into the hearts of good patriotic Americans fearing the theft of their priceless heritage of freedom. Perhaps if he wants to make fun of the three leaders, he could compare them to Larry, Moe, and Curly Joe, but the comedians were by no means a “troika of tyranny.”
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Rhetorical logic aside, Bolton and his boss are in danger of arousing expectations about Latin America that they may not be willing to meet:
One of the Bay of Pigs veterans who attended Bolton’s speech, Frank de Varona, said he and other Cuban-Americans have liked what they’ve seen from Trump, which is why they backed him in 2016 and will again in 2020. But he wants to see more, starting with Venezuela.
“If Trump doesn’t get rid of Maduro somehow by 2020, he’s going to lose a lot of support,” said de Varona, who favors U.S.-led airstrikes in Venezuela in combination with ground troops sent by Colombia and Brazil.
I’m not sure how reviving the specter of yanqui imperialism comports with Trump’s America (meaning strictly God’s Country, the USA) First posture with its noninterventionist subtext. But apparently if it’s useful in keeping Florida in Trump’s column in 2020, the ends justifies the means.
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mene mene tekel upharsin meaning - Google Search

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Trump's Fox News love fest hits a rough patch

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Relations between the news side of Fox and its opinion arm have grown more tense since President Donald Trump took office. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images
A president accustomed to friendly coverage from the network has been finding things to complain about of late.
Updated
2019-04-17T10:35-0400
Many viewers of Monday night’s Fox News town hall with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders saw a left-wing candidate in the hot seat on a network known for its tight relationship with President Donald Trump.
But Trump himself saw something else: sinister forces at his favorite news network aligning against him. Trump complained twice about the event on Twitter over the next day, griping about an allegedly pro-Sanders audience and charging that the anchors had sucked up to one of his 2020 rivals.
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The political class may marvel at Trump’s perceived control over Fox, which liberal critics have likened to a propaganda outlet. But the president’s complaints suggest he’s frustrated that he doesn’t have enough. In particular, Trump has repeatedly aimed Twitter barbs at the network’s news anchors, griping that they are insufficiently enthusiastic about his agenda.
“So weird to watch Crazy Bernie on @Fox News,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, the day after Fox News anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum hosted Sanders for an hour. “Not surprisingly, @BretBaier and the ‘audience’ was so smiley and nice. Very strange,” he wrote. Trump went on to question why the network had recently hired the former Democratic National Committee interim chairwoman Donna Brazile as a political analyst. He complained that the audience had been packed with Sanders fans— something a spokesperson for the network denied—while his supporters were stranded outside, asking: “What’s with @FoxNews?"
Trump is picking at an open wound at Fox. Long-fraught relations between the news side of Fox and its opinion arm have grown more tense in the Trump era, according to people familiar with the network’s dynamics. Some of the network’s news anchors question what they see as the pro-Trump cheerleading of their opinion-driven prime-time colleagues. The opinion hosts say they draw bigger ratings and make more money for the network—and criticize their news colleagues for not breaking news. One prime-time employee also casually referred to the news side of the network as “the resistance."
“I don’t think he views Fox as a monolith. He’s upset with certain personalities on Fox News,” said a former senior White House official.
The official recalled hearing Trump criticize news anchors like Neil Cavuto and Shepard Smith when he worked in the White House. In March, Trump slammed Smith — perhaps the network’s most critical voice when it comes to the president — as Fox’s “lowest rated anchor” and said that he, along with two weekend news hosts, “should be working” at CNN.
As it happens, Smith has also come under fire from perhaps Trump’s top booster at the network, the host Sean Hannity. “I like Shep, but he’s so anti-Trump,” Hannity complained on his radio show in July 2017.
Trump has also come to the rescue of at least one friendly opinion host who he felt was mistreated. Last month, he urged Fox to bring back host Jeanine Pirro from her brief suspension over comments appearing to question the patriotism of a Muslim member of Congress. He also tweeted that the network should “[s]top working soooo hard on being politically correct, which will only bring you down.”
Former White House officials say that — thanks in part to the mostly -fawning coverage Trump has enjoyed from the likes of Hannity and his fellow prime-time hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham — the president, who sometimes spends hours a day watching Fox, has in effect become spoiled and highly sensitive to any unkind words on a network he seeks out as an affirming refuge in a largely hostile media environment.
It’s the “same reason that he thinks everyone at The Washington Post is doing Jeff Bezos’ bidding,” said the same former official. Trump feels that “if you have a strong leader at the top, like Fox does with [co-chairman Rupert] Murdoch that they should just be falling in line and they shouldn’t be any question about this.”
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Asked for comment on Trump’s relationship with Fox, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told POLITICO: “We expect all of the news to be fair and accurate and not trying to drive the liberal agenda. It’s astonishing that the country is doing so well yet the coverage of the president is 90% negative. ... We just wish the media cared more about the great things happening than they did about attacking the president and palace intrigue.”
Another former White House official noted that Trump has criticized Fox for the network’s coverage of him before, and that he complained about their coverage of his early 2016 presidential campaign, when he thought the network was friendlier to GOP candidates like Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.
The former official added that the network will inevitably be covering the crowded Democratic primary field as the 2020 campaign occupies more space in the news environment. “Part of it is realizing he’s not the only game in town anymore,” this person said.
While the president is a frequent guest on Fox, he tends to stick to interviews with friendlier personalities like prime-time opinion hosts Hannity and Tucker Carlson, or the network’s “Fox & Friends” morning show, which he watches regularly and where he receives consistently positive coverage. Hannity alone has conducted eight television interviews with the president, more than all other television networks combined.
By contrast, it has been more than 300 days since Baier — considered one of the network’s most balanced figures — landed an interview with the president.
“We’d love to have you on a town hall soon — or even an interview on @SpecialReport — it’s been awhile. We cover all sides,” Baier tweeted in reply to Trump’s complaints about Fox on Tuesday.
A Fox News spokesperson pointed POLITICO to several instances in which the network’s opinion hosts have pushed back on Trump. They include an early 2017 instance when Hannity chided Trump for tweeting too often; a December segment in which Ingraham challenged Trump’s claim that he is already building a border wall, saying, “There’s no wall!”; and "Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade's tweaking of Trump for attacking John McCain after the Arizona senator's death.
Rebutting Trump’s charge that the Sanders town hall audience was improperly picked, FOX News also pointed to the Pennsylvania newspaper The Morning Call, which reported that Fox had “reached out to various political and local groups in the area and mined requests to attend after it publicly announced the event.”
Some former Trump White House officials argued that Trump’s ire poses a threat to the network, which has long been the highest-rated among the cable news channels.
“President Trump’s criticism of Fox News is a clear and present danger for the network,” said Andy Hemming, former rapid response director for the Trump White House. “The president knows Fox News viewers are far more loyal to him than the network, meaning he can push those supporters to more overtly friendly outlets like One America News Network or Newsmax with just a couple of tweets and some extra access. It also goes without saying that the financial implications for these networks are massive.”
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A Fox spokesperson noted in response that the network’s ratings remain strong and that ratings for the Sanders town hall were the highest yet of any town hall featuring a 2020 Democratic candidate televised by a cable news network, including ones by rivals CNN and MSNBC.
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Did Donald Trump Say 'Mein Kampf' Had a 'Profound Effect' on Him?

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Did U.S. President Donald Trump once admit to reading the book Mein Kampf and being an admirer of its author, Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler?
Those are the central claims in an internet meme making the social media rounds since mid-April 2019. The text of the meme purports to quote Trump praising Hitler in a Time magazine interview published in 2002. We found instances of the meme’s being shared on both Twitter and Facebook, including a popular Facebook page titled “Joe P. Kennedy III for President 2020,” which does not appear to be owned or operated by Kennedy himself:
“Reading Mein Kampf in college had a profound affect [sic] on me. Very, very interesting. Of course there were many problems in Germany at the time, they were losers, they lost. But Adolf Hitler, that is to say, I don’t agree with everything he was saying at the time of course but I do respect him. As a leader. Tremendous respect. And I suppose you could say, I try to incorporate some of his teachings into everything I do to this day. In business, my daily life and my politics.”
– Donald J. Trump
(Interview with Time Magazine, 2002)
Not only were we unable to locate an original source for this quote, or evidence that Time magazine even interviewed Trump in 2002, but we see no discernible record of its existence before the meme first surfaced in April 2019. Yet it’s the kind of statement that would have been quoted ad nauseam in the press had Trump said it. No such references exist.
Nor were we able to find isolated instances of Trump praising Mein Kampf or Adolf Hitler in public statements. The cadence and grammar of the passage are Trump-like (“… but I do respect him. As a leader. Tremendous respect.”), but all indications point to it being fabricated.
That said, Trump was quoted in 1990 as saying he was given a copy of Mein Kampf by a friend — though it turned out he was mistaken about which of Hitler’s books had been given to him.
In its September issue that year, Vanity Fair ran a lengthy, unflattering profile of Trump written by Marie Brenner. The subject of Hitler came up in a decidedly strange passage about his alleged ownership of a book containing the Nazi dictator’s speeches called My New Order:
Donald Trump appears to take aspects of his German background seriously. John Walter works for the Trump Organization, and when he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says, “Heil Hitler,” possibly as a family joke.
Last April, perhaps in a surge of Czech nationalism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. Kennedy now guards a copy of My New Order in a closet at his office, as if it were a grenade. Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist.
“Did your cousin John give you the Hitler speeches?” I asked Trump.
Trump hesitated. “Who told you that?”
“I don’t remember,” I said.
“Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of Mein Kampf, and he’s a Jew.” (“I did give him a book about Hitler,” Marty Davis said. “But it was My New Order, Hitler’s speeches, not Mein Kampf. I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I’m not Jewish.”)
Later, Trump returned to this subject. “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”
To recap, Trump’s then-wife Ivana (from whom he was separated) told people he owned a book of Hitler’s speeches and read from it occasionally; Trump said he was given a copy of Mein Kampf by a Jewish friend (who, in fact, was not Jewish and said the book was My New Order); then Trump refused to acknowledge whether he owned the book and said that if he did, he would never read it.
In a subsequent television interview with Barbara Walters, Trump did acknowledge receiving a copy of My New Order, though he appeared to bristle at the implication that he admired Hitler’s speeches:
WALTERS: In the current issue of Vanity Fair, the author, Marie Brenner, says that you read from Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, and that these are speeches that you seem to admire. What’s your reaction? Do you have this book? Do you have these speeches?
TRUMP: It is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. A friend of mine sent me a book. A man who I think is Jewish, although I don’t know, sent me a book. It happened to be that book. All of a sudden Marie Brenner somehow found out that he had sent me a book. It is the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen, and I’m probably going to sue Vanity Fair over it.
Trump later called the Vanity Fair article “one of the worst ever written about me.” In an infamous coda to the episode, Trump walked up behind Brenner at a public event and poured a glass of wine down her back (an incident both Trump and Brenner acknowledged happening).
As the evidence stands, no strong case exists for the claim that Trump read or admired Hitler’s Mein Kampf. A quote attributed to him in which he supposedly lauded Mein Kampf and its author was clearly fabricated. It appears, on the other hand, that Trump did (and perhaps still does) own a collection of Hitler’s speeches that a friend presented to him as a gift. According to Vanity Fair, Ivana Trump told her lawyer that her husband kept the book near his bedside and occasionally read from it. Also according to Vanity Fair, however, Trump insisted he had never read it, nor would he.
In a 2016 column for The New York Times, Maureen Dowd reported Trump’s response to questions she asked about both books. “I wondered about ex-wife Ivana telling her lawyer, according to Vanity Fair, that Trump kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bed,” Dowd wrote. “Or the talk in New York that in the ’90s he was reading Mein Kampf. Nein, he said. ‘I never had the book,’ he said. ‘I never read the book. I don’t care about the book.'”
It’s unclear which book he was referring to.
Questions about what he read or didn’t read aside, we have yet to stumble upon a verifiable instance of Trump expressing respect or admiration for Adolf Hitler. What we did find is that people (including some close to him) have been insinuating that Trump has an affinity for Hitler for the better part of 30 years, which in and of itself is interesting.
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I do support Mr. Barr's intent to investigate the FBI and the other related agencies. And needless to say, it has to be bipartisan, non-political, absolutely objective, and in depth.

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I do support Mr. Barr's intent to investigate the FBI and the other related agencies. And needless to say, it has to be bipartisan, non-political, absolutely objective, and in depth.

Posted by  MichaelNovakhov on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 2:43pm
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I do support Mr. Barr's intent to investigate the FBI and the other related agencies. And needless to say, it has to be bipartisan, non-political, absolutely objective, and in depth.

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I do support Mr. Barr's intent to investigate the FBI and the other related agencies. And needless to say, it has to be bipartisan, non-political, absolutely objective, and in depth.

Trump: 'Investigate the Investigators!' https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/trump-investigate-the-investigators … 

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (196 sites): “organized crime and intelligence” – Google News: Deutsche Bank faces action over $20bn Russian money-laundering scheme – The Guardian pic.twitter.com/3VuA0EMTHv 

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (196 sites): “organized crime and intelligence” – Google News: Deutsche Bank faces action over $20bn Russian money-laundering scheme – The Guardian 

8:53 AM 4/17/2019 - None of them should be completely trusted, and all of them should spy on each other. And it is only natural - M.N.

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P.S. And the accuracy of assessments enhances the efficiency of the response.

8:53 AM 4/17/2019

4:41 AM 4/14/2019 - Editorial: Looking into surveillance - Opinion - providencej... 

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4:41 AM 4/14/2019 - Editorial: Looking into surveillance - Opinion - providencejournal.com Sunday April 14th, 2019 at 5:38 AM

Editorial: Looking into surveillance - Opinion - providencejournal.com - Sunday April 14 th , 2019 at 5:38 AM Editorial: Loo...

mikenov on Twitter: How Mueller’s hunt for a Russia-Trump conspiracy came up sho... 

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mikenov on Twitter: How Mueller’s hunt for a Russia-Trump conspiracy came up short – Reuters dlvr.it/R2qZJ3 pic.twitter.com/gOfVTd7X8w – Trump and Trumpism

mikenov on Twitter: How Mueller’s hunt for a Russia-Trump conspiracy came up short – Reuters dlvr.it/R2qZJ3 pic.twitter.com/gOfVTd7X8w Spread the love How Mueller’s hunt for a Russia-Trump conspiracy came up short – Reuters dlvr.it/R2qZJ3 pic.twitter.com/gOfVTd7X8w Posted bymikenov on Monday...
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Mayor Pete Is the Democrats’ Folksy Heartland Hope. Really! – Monday April 15th,... 

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Mayor Pete Is the Democrats’ Folksy Heartland Hope. Really! – Monday April 15th, 2019 at 3:27 AM – Trump Investigations – trumpinvestigations.net

The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions | The New Abwehr Hypothesis of The Operation Trump: A Study In Political Psychology, Political Criminology, and Psychohistory, and as the aid for the General, Criminal and the Counterintelligence Investigations of Dona...

The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions ... 

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The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions – Latest Posts – Trump and Trumpism

The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions – Latest Posts The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions | Latest Posts RSS Dog RSS Dog –

MikeMichael NovakhovFacebook has to be broken up, just like AT&T was, they b... 

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Mike

Michael Novakhov
Facebook has to be broken up, just like AT&T was, they became the dangerous social media and communications (!!! - that's what is important) monopoly. Replace it with the non for profit business model, make it better, truly social, and maybe even "socialist", it would fit it to the T. | @mikenov - 39s40 seconds ago - More

Mi zinkz zat Booty-booty (my cuti), Bernie, und Harris would make a good menage,... 

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Mi zinkz zat Booty-booty (my cuti), Bernie, und Harris would make a good menage, if they could only manage, und it lookz like zey will.

Michael_Novakhov shared this story from The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov - Review Of News And Opinions. Mi zinkz zat Booty-booty (my cuti), Bernie, und Harris would make a good menage, if they could only manage, und it lookz like zey will.— Michael Novakhov (@mikenov) April 15, 20...

2:39 PM 4/15/2019 - Facebook has to be broken up, just like AT&T was, they b... 

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2:39 PM 4/15/2019 - Facebook has to be broken up, just like AT&T was, they became the dangerous social media and communications (!!! - that's what is important) monopoly. Replace it with the non for profit business model, make it better, truly...

Facebook has to be broken up, just like AT&T was, they became the dangerous social media and communications (!!! - that's what is importan...

Mi zinkz zat Booty-booty (my cuti), Bernie, und Harris would make a good menage,... 

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Mi zinkz zat Booty-booty (my cuti), Bernie, und Harris would make a good menage, if they could only manage, und it lookz like zey will. – Trump Investigations – trumpinvestigations.net

The Trump Investigations Blog by Michael Novakhov – Review Of News And Opinions | The New Abwehr Hypothesis of The Operation Trump: A Study In Political Psychology, Political Criminology, and Psychohistory, and as the aid for the General, Criminal and the Counterintelligence Investigations of Dona...
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FBI is a very sick, Mafia and Nazi style type of the organisation staffed with s... 

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FBI is a very sick, Mafia and Nazi style type of the organisation staffed with shrewd but brainless and soulless psychopaths. It has to be studied and researched in depth. Their sick, unlawful, low, cynical, gypsy mentality type "secrets" and...

Investigate the investigators! Save America! Reform the FBI now! News, Reviews, Analysis, Opinions FBI NEWS REVIEW - By Michael Nova...

4:28 AM 4/17/2019 - The Facebook's editors and their system of CENSORSHIP are the absolute retards, and that is exactly what the the New Abwehr and (their long-time agent) Putin wanted: to restrict the freedom of information on the internet. It appears that the FBI is the part of this CENSORSHIP, "for security reasons", ostensibly; but in fact because The (Stupid) Dogs just cannot resist poking their bulbous noses into everything that is able to excite their doggy attention. - M.N.

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The Facebook's editors and their system of CENSORSHIP are the absolute retards, and that is exactly what the the New Abwehr and (their long-time agent) Putin wanted: to  restrict the freedom of information on the internet. It appears that the FBI is the part of this CENSORSHIP, "for security reasons", ostensibly; but in fact because The (Stupid) Dogs just cannot resist poking their bulbous noses into everything that is able to excite their doggy attention. 
The Stupid Facebook rejects my posts on the ground that they "do not meet the community standards", while these posts are just the reprints, the copies of the links to the mainstream press articles from the Google searches. The Facebook runs scared and crazy, the FBI terrorized them to death, and into the construction of the virtual Panopticon Observation Prison cum Jewish Mother + glassy-eyed Jewish Accountant pretending to be the Face Of The World and Mr. Very Sociable himself. 
Facebook is the very retarded "social marketplace" for their masses of the retarded customers. 

Und ziz iz my Opini'on. 

Michael Novakhov

4:25 AM 4/17/2019

3:40 AM 4/17/2019 - Yes, investigate the investigators!

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3:40 AM 4/17/2019 - Yes, investigate the investigators!

Yes, investigate the investigators | News, Sports, Jobs - Williamsport Sun-Gazette

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Yes, investigate the investigators | News, Sports, Jobs  Williamsport Sun-Gazette
Attorney General William Barr dared to use the “s-word.” He said in congressional testimony that the Trump campaign had been spied on by the U.S. governme.

Behind the Obama administration’s shady plan to spy on the Trump campaign

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In Senate testimony last week, Attorney General William Barr used the word “spying” to refer to the Obama administration, um, spying on the Trump campaign. Of course, fainting spells ensued, with the media-Democrat complex in meltdown. Former FBI Director Jim Comey tut-tutted that he was confused by Barr’s comments, since the FBI’s “surveillance” had been authorized by a court.
(Needless to say, the former director neglected to mention that the court was not informed that the bureau’s “evidence” for the warrants was unverified hearsay paid for by the Clinton campaign.)
The pearl-clutching was predictable. Less than a year ago, we learned the Obama administration had used a confidential informant — a spy — to approach at least three Trump campaign officials in the months leading up to the 2016 election, straining to find proof that the campaign was complicit in the Kremlin’s hacking of Democratic emails.
As night follows day, we were treated to the same Beltway hysteria we got this week: Silly semantic carping over the word “spying” — which, regardless of whether a judge authorizes it, is merely the covert gathering of intelligence about a suspected wrongdoer, organization or foreign power.
There is no doubt that the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign. As Barr made clear, the real question is: What predicated the spying? Was there a valid reason for it, strong enough to overcome our norm against political spying? Or was it done rashly? Was a politically motivated decision made to use highly intrusive investigative tactics when a more measured response would have sufficed, such as a “defensive briefing” that would have warned the Trump campaign of possible Russian infiltration?
Last year, when the “spy” games got underway, James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, conceded that, yes, the FBI did run an informant — “spy” is such an icky word — at Trump campaign officials; but, we were told, this was merely to investigate Russia. Cross Clapper’s heart, it had nothing to do with the Trump campaign. No, no, no. Indeed, the Obama administration only used an informant because — bet you didn’t know this — doing so is the most benign, least intrusive mode of conducting an investigation.
Me? I’m thinking the tens of thousands of convicts serving lengthy sentences due to the penetration of their schemes by informants would beg to differ. (Gee, Mr. Gambino, I assure you, this was just for you own good . . .) And imagine the Democrats’ response if, say, the Bush administration had run a covert intelligence operative against Obama 2008 campaign officials, including the campaign’s co-chairman. Surely David Axelrod, Chuck Schumer, The New York Times and Rachel Maddow would chirp that “all is forgiven” once they heard Republicans punctiliously parse the nuances between “spying” and “surveillance”; between “spies” and “informants”; and between investigating campaign officials versus investigating the campaign proper — and the candidate.
The “spying” question arose last spring, when we learned that Stefan Halper, a longtime source for the CIA and British intelligence, had been tasked during the FBI’s Russia investigation to chat up three Trump campaign advisers: Carter Page, George Papadopoulos and Sam Clovis. This was in addition to earlier revelations that the Obama Justice Department and FBI had obtained warrants to eavesdrop on Page’s communications, beginning about three weeks before the 2016 election.
The fact that spying had occurred was too clear for credible denial. The retort, then, was misdirection: There had been no spying on Donald Trump or his campaign; just on a few potential bad actors in the campaign’s orbit.
It was nonsense then, and it is nonsense now.
The pols making these claims about what the FBI was doing might have been well served by listening to what the FBI said it was doing.
There was, for example, then-Director Comey’s breathtaking public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on March 20, 2017. Comey did not just confirm the existence of a counterintelligence probe of Russian espionage to influence the 2016 election — notwithstanding that the government customarily refuses to confirm the existence of any investigation, let alone a classified counterintelligence investigation. The director further identified the Trump campaign as a subject of the probe, even though, to avoid smearing people, the Justice Department never identifies uncharged persons or organizations that are under investigation. As Comey put it:
“I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts . . .”
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Behind the Obama administration’s shady plan to spy on the Trump campaign

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In Senate testimony last week, Attorney General William Barr used the word “spying” to refer to the Obama administration, um, spying on the Trump campaign. Of course, fainting spells ensued, with the media-Democrat complex in meltdown. Former FBI Director Jim Comey tut-tutted that he was confused by Barr’s comments, since the FBI’s “surveillance” had been authorized by a court.
(Needless to say, the former director neglected to mention that the court was not informed that the bureau’s “evidence” for the warrants was unverified hearsay paid for by the Clinton campaign.)
The pearl-clutching was predictable. Less than a year ago, we learned the Obama administration had used a confidential informant — a spy — to approach at least three Trump campaign officials in the months leading up to the 2016 election, straining to find proof that the campaign was complicit in the Kremlin’s hacking of Democratic emails.
As night follows day, we were treated to the same Beltway hysteria we got this week: Silly semantic carping over the word “spying” — which, regardless of whether a judge authorizes it, is merely the covert gathering of intelligence about a suspected wrongdoer, organization or foreign power.
There is no doubt that the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign. As Barr made clear, the real question is: What predicated the spying? Was there a valid reason for it, strong enough to overcome our norm against political spying? Or was it done rashly? Was a politically motivated decision made to use highly intrusive investigative tactics when a more measured response would have sufficed, such as a “defensive briefing” that would have warned the Trump campaign of possible Russian infiltration?
Last year, when the “spy” games got underway, James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, conceded that, yes, the FBI did run an informant — “spy” is such an icky word — at Trump campaign officials; but, we were told, this was merely to investigate Russia. Cross Clapper’s heart, it had nothing to do with the Trump campaign. No, no, no. Indeed, the Obama administration only used an informant because — bet you didn’t know this — doing so is the most benign, least intrusive mode of conducting an investigation.
Me? I’m thinking the tens of thousands of convicts serving lengthy sentences due to the penetration of their schemes by informants would beg to differ. (Gee, Mr. Gambino, I assure you, this was just for you own good . . .) And imagine the Democrats’ response if, say, the Bush administration had run a covert intelligence operative against Obama 2008 campaign officials, including the campaign’s co-chairman. Surely David Axelrod, Chuck Schumer, The New York Times and Rachel Maddow would chirp that “all is forgiven” once they heard Republicans punctiliously parse the nuances between “spying” and “surveillance”; between “spies” and “informants”; and between investigating campaign officials versus investigating the campaign proper — and the candidate.
The “spying” question arose last spring, when we learned that Stefan Halper, a longtime source for the CIA and British intelligence, had been tasked during the FBI’s Russia investigation to chat up three Trump campaign advisers: Carter Page, George Papadopoulos and Sam Clovis. This was in addition to earlier revelations that the Obama Justice Department and FBI had obtained warrants to eavesdrop on Page’s communications, beginning about three weeks before the 2016 election.
The fact that spying had occurred was too clear for credible denial. The retort, then, was misdirection: There had been no spying on Donald Trump or his campaign; just on a few potential bad actors in the campaign’s orbit.
It was nonsense then, and it is nonsense now.
The pols making these claims about what the FBI was doing might have been well served by listening to what the FBI said it was doing.
There was, for example, then-Director Comey’s breathtaking public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on March 20, 2017. Comey did not just confirm the existence of a counterintelligence probe of Russian espionage to influence the 2016 election — notwithstanding that the government customarily refuses to confirm the existence of any investigation, let alone a classified counterintelligence investigation. The director further identified the Trump campaign as a subject of the probe, even though, to avoid smearing people, the Justice Department never identifies uncharged persons or organizations that are under investigation. As Comey put it:
“I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts . . .”
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      Barr thinks spying occurred on Trump campaign
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      The FBI was spying, and it was doing so in an investigation of the Trump campaign. That is why, for over two years, Washington has been entranced by the specter of “Trump collusion with Russia” — not Page or Papadopoulos collusion with Russia. Comey went to extraordinary lengths to tell the world that the FBI was not merely zeroing in on individuals of varying ranks in the campaign; the main question was whether the Trump campaign itself — the entity — had “coordinated” in Russia’s espionage operation.
      In the months prior to the election, as its Trump-Russia investigation ensued, some of the overtly political, rabidly anti-Trump FBI agents running the probe discussed among themselves the prospect of stopping Trump, or of using the investigation as an “insurance policy” in the highly unlikely event that Trump won the election. After Trump’s stunning victory, the Obama administration had a dilemma: How could the investigation be maintained if Trump were told about it? After all, as president, he would have the power to shut it down.
      On Jan. 6, 2017, Comey, Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and National Security Agency chief Michael Rogers visited President-elect Trump in New York to brief him on the Russia investigation.
      Just one day earlier, at the White House, Comey and then–Acting Attorney General Sally Yates had met with the political leadership of the Obama administration — President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and national security adviser Susan Rice — to discuss withholding information about the Russia investigation from the incoming Trump administration.
      Rice put this sleight-of-hand a bit more delicately in the memo about the Oval Office meeting (written two weeks after the fact, as Rice was leaving her office minutes after Trump’s inauguration):
      “President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia. [Emphasis added.]”
      It is easy to understand why Obama officials needed to discuss withholding information from Trump. They knew that the Trump campaign — not just some individuals tangentially connected to the campaign — was the subject of an ongoing FBI counterintelligence probe. An informant had been run at campaign officials. The FISA surveillance of Page was underway — in fact, right before Trump’s inauguration, the Obama administration obtained a new court warrant for 90 more days of spying.
      In each Page surveillance warrant application, after describing Russia’s espionage operations, the Justice Department told the court, “The FBI believes that the Russian Government’s efforts are being coordinated with Candidate #1’s campaign[.]” Candidate #1 was Donald Trump — now, the president-elect.
      The fact that the Trump campaign was under investigation for collaborating with Russia was not just withheld from the incoming president; it had been withheld from the congressional “Gang of Eight.”
      In his March 2017 House testimony, answering questions by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), then-director Comey acknowledged that congressional leadership was not told about the Trump-Russia probe during quarterly briefings from July 2016 through early March 2017, because “it was a matter of such sensitivity.” Let’s put aside that the need to alert Congress to sensitive matters is exactly why there is a Gang of Eight (comprised of bipartisan leaders of both chambers and their intelligence committees).
      Manifestly, the matter was deemed too “sensitive” for disclosure because that would have involved telling Republican congressional leadership that the incumbent Democratic administration was using foreign counterintelligence powers to investigate the Republican presidential campaign, and the party’s nominee, as suspected clandestine agents of the Kremlin.
      How to keep the investigation going when Trump took office? The plan called for Comey to put the new president at ease by telling him he was not a suspect. This would not have been a credible assurance if Comey had informed Trump that (a) his campaign had been under investigation for months, and (b) the FBI had told a federal court it suspected Trump campaign officials were complicit in Russia’s cyber-espionage operation.
      So, consistent with President Obama’s instructions at the Jan. 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting, information about the investigation would be withheld from the president-elect. The next day, the intelligence chiefs would tell Trump only about Russia’s espionage, not about the Trump campaign’s suspected “coordination” with the Kremlin. Then, Comey would apprise Trump about only a sliver of the Steele dossier — just the lurid story about peeing prostitutes, not the dossier’s principal allegations of a traitorous Trump-Russia conspiracy.
      This strategy did not sit well with everyone at the FBI. Shortly before meeting with Trump on Jan. 6, Comey consulted his top advisers about the plan to tell Trump he was not a suspect. In later Senate testimony, Comey admitted that there was an objection from one FBI official:
      “One of the members of the leadership team had a view that, although it was technically true [that] we did not have a counterintelligence file case open on then-President-elect Trump[,] . . . because we’re looking at the potential . . . coordination between the campaign and Russia, because it was . . . President-elect Trump’s campaign, this person’s view was, inevitably, [Trump’s] behavior, [Trump’s] conduct will fall within the scope of that work.”
      Note that Comey did not refer to “potential coordination” between, say, Carter Page or Paul Manafort and Russia. The director was unambiguous: The FBI was investigating “potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.”
      Perspicaciously, Comey’s unidentified adviser connected the dots: (a) because the FBI’s investigation focused on the campaign, and (b) since the campaign was Trump’s campaign, it was necessarily true that (c) Trump’s own conduct was under FBI scrutiny.
      Then-director Comey’s reliance on the trivial administrative fact that the FBI had not written Trump’s name on the investigative file did not change the reality that Trump, manifestly, was the main subject of the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation.
      Remember last year’s hullabaloo over special counsel Robert Mueller’s demand to interview the president? What need would there have been to conduct such an interview if Trump were not a subject of the investigation? Why would Trump’s political opponents have spent the last two years demanding that Mueller be permitted to complete his probe of collusion and obstruction if it were not understood that the investigation — including the spying, or, if you prefer, the electronic surveillance, the informant sorties, and the information gathered by national-security letter demands — was centrally about Donald Trump?
      That brings us to a final point. Congressional investigations have established that the Obama Justice Department and the FBI used the Steele dossier to obtain FISA court warrants against Page.
      The dossier, a Clinton campaign opposition research project (again, a fact withheld from the FISA court), was essential to the required probable-cause showing; the FBI’s former deputy director, Andrew McCabe, testified that without the dossier there would have been no warrant.
      So . . . what did the dossier say? The lion’s share of it alleged that the Trump campaign was conspiring with the Kremlin to corrupt the election, including by hacking and publicizing Democratic Party e-mails. This allegation was based on unidentified Russian sources whom the FBI could not corroborate; then-director Comey told Senate leaders that the FBI used the information because the bureau judged former British spy Christopher Steele to be credible, even though (a) Steele did not make any of the observations the court was being asked to rely on, and (b) Steele had misled the FBI about his contacts with the media — with whom Steele and his Clinton campaign allies were sharing the same information he was giving the bureau.
      It is a major investigative step to seek surveillance warrants from the FISA court. Unlike using an informant (a human spy), for which no court authorization is necessary, applications for FISA surveillance require approvals at the highest levels of the Justice Department and the FBI. After going through that elaborate process, the Obama Justice Department and the FBI presented to the court the dossier’s allegations that the Trump campaign was coordinating with Russia to undermine the 2016 election.
      To be sure, no sensible person argues that the government should refrain from investigating if, based on compelling evidence, the FBI suspects individuals — even campaign officials, even a party’s nominee — of acting as clandestine agents of a hostile foreign power. The question is: What should trigger such an investigation in a democratic republic whose norms strongly discourage an incumbent administration’s use of the government’s spying powers against political opponents?
      The Obama administration decided that this norm did not apply to the Trump campaign. If all the Obama administration had been trying to do was check out a few bad apples with suspicious Russia ties, the FBI could easily have alerted any of a number of Trump campaign officials with solid national-security credentials — Rudy Giuliani, Jeff Sessions, Chris Christie. The agents could have asked for the campaign’s help. Instead, Obama officials made the Trump campaign the subject of a counterintelligence investigation.
      That only makes sense if the Obama administration’s premise was that Donald Trump himself was a Russian agent.
      Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, is a contributing editor of National Review.
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      Andrew McCarthy: Behind the Obama administration’s shady plan to spy on the Trump campaign

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      Attorney General William Barr dared to use the “s-word.” He said in congressional testimony that the Trump campaign had been spied on by the U.S. governme.

      Trump: 'Investigate the Investigators!' - Washington Examiner Mon, 15 Apr 2019 13:14:00 GMT | "Barr to investigate FBI" - Google News - 1:31 AM 4/17/2019

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      "Barr to investigate FBI" - Google News 
      Trump: 'Investigate the Investigators!' - Washington Examiner Mon, 15 Apr 2019 13:14:00 GMT - 1:31 AM 4/17/2019

      Trump: 'Investigate the Investigators!'

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      President Trump is taking up a common refrain of his allies who are critical of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia-focused probe: Investigate the investigators.
      Trump on Monday morning added extra emphasis to the refrain, tweeting about Mueller, 2016 Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and others, "Mueller, and the A.G. based on Mueller findings (and great intelligence), have already ruled No Collusion, No Obstruction. These were crimes committed by Crooked Hillary, the DNC, Dirty Cops and others! INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS! 
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      The symbol of "The end of the Western Civilisation" or the intention to create such a symbol? - M.N. - 1:02 AM 4/17/2019 | "I do support Mr. Barr's intent to investigate the FBI and the other related agencies. And needless to say, it has to be bipartisan, non-political, absolutely objective, and in depth." - M.N.

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      Eerie photo of the altar inside Notre Dame, by Reuters' Philippe Wojazer.

      The symbol of "The end of  the Western Civilisation" or the intention to create such a symbol? -  M.N. - 1:02 AM 4/17/2019

      I do support Mr. Barr's intent to investigate the FBI and the other related agencies. And needless to say, it has to be bipartisan, non-political, absolutely objective, and in depth. Posted by MichaelNovakhov on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019...
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      Trump: 'Investigate the Investigators!'

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      President Trump is taking up a common refrain of his allies who are critical of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia-focused probe: Investigate the investigators.
      Trump on Monday morning added extra emphasis to the refrain, tweeting about Mueller, 2016 Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and others, "Mueller, and the A.G. based on Mueller findings (and great intelligence), have already ruled No Collusion, No Obstruction. These were crimes committed by Crooked Hillary, the DNC, Dirty Cops and others! INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS! 

      The investigate-the-investigators mantra follows a series of official actions in that direction recently.
      During testimony last week before a House committee, Attorney General William Barr said he is putting together a team to examine the Department of Justice's original probe in 2016 about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia elements — including whether the DOJ, then under Obama administration control, improperly pried into Trump campaign matters.
      "I want to make sure there was no unauthorized surveillance,” Barr told lawmakers. “The question is whether it was adequately predicated. And I'm not suggesting it was not adequately predicated. But I need to explore that,” Barr said.
      Barr’s use of the term “spying” drew outrage from many Democrats.
      Trump’s comments come amidst an independent investigation into possible FISA abuse and other Justice Department actions by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz. When it was launched in March 2018, DOJ’s inspector general said it would “examine the Justice Department’s and the FBI’s compliance with legal requirements, and with applicable DOJ and FBI policies and procedures, in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.” Barr said the investigation will conclude by May or June.
      And U.S. attorney John Huber was also tasked by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March 2018 with looking into the actions by the DOJ and FBI as well. The progress that Huber’s office has made, if any, is not known.
      Meanwhile, Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, has also been putting together a series of referrals of Justice Department and FBI officials for months. Nunes is trying to meet privately with Barr about the referrals.
      And in recent weeks, House Judiciary Committee ranking member Doug Collins, R-Ga., has released transcripts of the private interviews of former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, his wife and former Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr, former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, former top FBI official Bill Priestap, and former FBI general counsel James Baker. Collins and fellow House Republicans suggest institutional plotting against the Trump campaign at the highest levels of federal law enforcement.
      Republicans have criticized the way the DOJ and FBI conducted themselves during the Trump-Russia investigation, pointing to, among other the things, the use of the unverified so-called Trump Dossier by the FBI to obtain FISA warrants to spy on onetime Trump campaign official Carter Page. That dossier, compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele during his time working for Fusion GPS, was funded in part by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee through the Perkins Coie law firm. The dossier was given to more than a dozen members of the media and found its way into the DOJ and FBI through various individuals.
      Democrats have countered that the FBI acted appropriately in obtaining the authority to surveil Trump campaign associates over concerns about Russian influence. In its rebuttal to the House Intelligence GOP memo, Democrats said the DOJ and FBI "met the rigor, transparency, and evidentiary basis needed to meet FISA's probable cause requirement."
      Mueller’s report — with Barr’s redactions — is expected this week. Congressional Democrats want the entire unredacted, 400-page document. A court fight may be looming over access to all the materials.
      Read the whole story

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      Barr says spying on Trump campaign 'did occur,' but provides no ...

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