Never Trump: Let Me Explain This to You

Hey, hey, LBJ: how many kids did you kill today?

Thus went the chant of the 60’s radicals. We’re supposed to call them “anti-war protestors”, but if they were anti-war, they would have been just as opposed to the war being waged by the government of North Vietnam as they were displeased with the American effort. Of course, they had nothing bad to say about North Vietnam’s war. This is because it wasn’t about being against the war (or war, in general) but about being against the United States and its South Vietnamese allies winning the war. And, so, led by hard left radicals, the protestors set about saying the most outrageous, slanderous and cruel things they could about American leaders. I bring this up because there’s a direct line from that chant to the slogans being used today by protest groups led by hard left radicals.

Whatever one wishes to say about President Johnson and the Vietnam War (and I’ve got plenty of negative things to say on both subjects), the bottom line is that Johnson was the leader of the good guys during the war (as was Nixon, after him). This is not to say that Johnson didn’t do wrong: he did plenty wrong. But he wasn’t the bloodthirsty, hate-filled monster the protestors made him out to be. And while those protestors were chanting their slanderous cruelty, it was taken as a given that no one was supposed to say the same things back at them. People back then who pointed out that the protestors were mere stooges of Communist aggression and were working for the eventual murder and enslavement of millions were considered the kooks. People outside the pale of decent society. The only people allowed to be nasty were those of the left – and then it was a requirement that everyone else treat them as if they were reasonable, responsible members of society.

Post-Johnson, the Democrats learned their lesson: make sure the hard left never has bad things to say about you. Do that, and you can do whatever you want and the only slanders will be launched against Republicans. Democrats could have done the honorable thing and continued to fight the hard left, but it was much easier to co-opt the hard left (money talks, folks – and he who can dispense bags of government cash to Progressive groups will find they have a life-long friend). Much easier and it provided a convenient attack dog – any time a Republican got out of line, out came the Progressive protestors to slander said Republican. And, over time, the hard left Progressives managed to gain full control of the Democrats…and, now, it became the rule that Democrats could act like hard left people (ie, say nasty things which were untrue about their opponents) and be immune from like criticism.

Back in October I wrote and article called You Can’t Say That About Democrats. I was a bit astonished – it was after Trump had rudely got into Hillary’s face during the debate and just hammered her relentlessly. The pundit class were sure that his performance had done him in. We know, now, that it didn’t. But at the time, I wasn’t at all sure that Trump had done himself a favor with that because I, too, was of the unconscious opinion that no matter how outrageous Democrats and the overall left behaved, we weren’t allowed to be like them. They could call us racists, sexists, homophobes, Nazis, fascists; they could riot; burn; loot; threaten violence…they could do whatever they wanted and we could never do a darned thing about it.

But, as it turns out, we can – or, at least, Trump could. Throwing away the Cracker Jack Book of GOP Politics (which has the GOP ritually committing political suicide every election – though some times winning in spite of themselves because Democrats are just really, really dumb when you get down to it), Trump just went at it…and as someone who grew up and thrived in the rude, vulgar and rather cut-throat world of real estate development, he simply did what came natural to him: punched back whenever he was hit. And punched back very, very hard.

And this is something, especially, that Never Trump didn’t get then, and don’t get now. With the recent fracas over Trump’s tapping accusations, we see it writ large. We’re not supposed to say things like that! In spite of the fact that President Obama proved himself both a bald-faced liar (“you can keep your plan”) and someone willing to allow government power to be used against his opponents (IRS scandal), we were still not supposed to mention it – not in any serious way which would cause him any grief. That is just unkind, you see? Its the sort of thing, if said at the swell parties, which would result in a frosty silence and no more invitations to the swell parties. Trump just went ahead and said it. And you darn well know he’s right! Given what we know of Obama and his team it would have been astonishing if the power of government wasn’t use against Trump. And I think they felt they need to, as well.

I don’t buy the claim that Hillary, et al was shocked on election night. She wouldn’t have gone to Michigan and Pennsylvania if she was supremely confident until, say, 9 pm Eastern (as the story goes) that her election was in the bag. I personally think that by late October there was enough evidence of a seismic shift in the race to scare the bejabbers out of Team Hillary and the Democrats – and, so, the last minute efforts in the “Blue Wall”…and, likely, last minute attempts to find something, anything, on Trump that might shift it back towards Hillary. That is where the attempted effort to tap Trump’s communications came from. Nothing, it would seem, was found (or we would have seen it, by now), but there was still enough there for a campaign of innuendo to be used…and that started towards the end of Obama’s Administration when orders were given to spread the collected data far and wide with the certainty that plenty of people would leak the results to the MSM.

But all that is coming out of it is slander, at the end of the day. Trump is not a Russian stooge (his foreign policy actions demonstrate this conclusively); Trump’s team is not at the beck and call of corrupt Russian business interests. There simply was no Russian hacking of the election, nor any Russian shifting of the election results. But for weeks now we’ve had this lie spread daily by the MSM and the Democrats…along with the accusations that Trump is a racist, sexist Nazi out to destroy all that is good and decent in the world. And for people like the Never Trumpers, the rule still is that we can’t say anything bad about Democrats. But, as Trump went, screw that. Of course we can – because they are being very bad people right now.

Plenty of very strong arguments can be made that Trump shouldn’t have been the GOP nominee. I’ve heard them – I made some of them. But once Trump became the nominee, it became an imperative to ensure his election. Obama had just spent 8 years corrupting American politics. Slush fund payoffs to favored groups; crony-Capitalism to donors; abuse of Presidential authority; refusal to enforce the laws fairly; the relentless use of dishonesty to advance Obama’s political goals…all of this ground up and gravely coarsened American political life. Hillary would have continued this for another 4 to 8 years, to the massive detriment of the United States. In fact, if we had wound up with 16 years of what Obama gave, we might have found our nation fatally wounded. To be sure, no one could tell what Trump would actually do – he made a lot of promises, but we all know about politicians and their promises. But, still, given what we knew about Obama and Hillary, we simply had to take a chance on Trump. For all the talk (very prevalent in Never Trump circles) that Trump represents a moral decline for the United States, the actuality is that he represents a moral step up from Obama and Hillary.

I get it that Trump hasn’t lived a life of Christian virtue. I get it that his new-found respect for religion may not be genuine (though, ever trying to live a life of Christian hope, I’m proceeding on the assumption that it is genuine). I get it that, personally, he can be quite vulgar. But has he ever had someone arrested for making a video because having that person arrested advances a political lie launched to cover up a massive policy error? No. Trump’s personal moral failings are one thing – but they pale in comparison to the betrayal of public trust represented by both Obama and Hillary. A politician who breaks the public trust while holding political power has put the lives, fortunes and sacred honor of every American at risk. Trump, only in office for a few weeks, simply hasn’t had the time to do the wrong that Obama and Hillary have done – and Hillary certainly would have continued to do, had she won. Trump may never betray the public trust as Obama and Hillary have.

Seeing as Obama and Hillary were just awful and that their supporters are continuing to act in a terrible manner, I see nothing amiss in Trump punching back. Why shouldn’t he? The only reason is the old rule that we can’t say that about Democrats. But that rule was written by Democrats to protect themselves from their actions as Democrats. Heck with that. I don’t see why we have to play nice while they play dirty. Sure, I’d like a political life where everyone treats the other fairly and we debate only solid aspects of policy. But that is not the world we live in. We don’t live in it because Democrats can’t live in it. A real debate about any issue will cut against what Democrats want – if not in total, then in enough to undercut the ability of Democrat to retain and exercise power.

As for Never Trumpers, I’d like to point out that if you got your way and forced Trump out of office then what we’ll get in replacement is a Democrat who will do precisely what Democrats do – lie, bribe, grift, use the power of government against opponents, enact ever more repressive laws against anyone who doesn’t toe the Progressive line. Trump may fail – only time will tell on that; but to help him fail is merely to help the Democrats. We must help Trump succeed – and that means meeting him honestly and fairly. When he does well, congratulate him. When he does poorly, offer fair criticism and suggest alternatives. When Democrats attack, fight back. That last bit is very important. It was disgusting the way some Republicans were quick to jump on the anti-Trump train as soon as the Russian story broke. What purpose was there in seconding Democrat complaints save to help Democrats back into power, where they can go about making life miserable for us? Why do something like that? I honestly don’t understand it.

I don’t understand it because there is no Democrat result which can be worse than any Trump result. No matter how bad you wish to think Trump is, the Democrats are worse – worse for us, worse for the nation as a whole. Until they are really and thoroughly defeated and go through their own wilderness time and rebuild themselves into a fair and honest political player, our only rational act is to do what we can to keep them out of power. This doesn’t mean become a Trump cheerleader, but for goodness sake, don’t jump in with them against Trump. There’s no upside to that. They are just trying to claw their way back into power so they can get back to bribing themselves and screwing us over.

It is time – past time, really – for everyone to make their choice. What do you want? Do you want the United States to do well, or do you want to tear down Trump because that makes you feel better? Remember, tearing down Trump – while making you feel better – will result in Democrats back in power. I fully expect that some of the stalwart Never Trumpers of today will find themselves, by 2020, full-fledged Progressive Democrats…arguing that a vote for Warren/Booker is a vote for decency. But for most Never Trumpers, I’m hoping that there is a turn to the better hope – a hope that Trump can do well; that we can help him do well. And by doing well, making our nation a better place to live. Let the Democrats do what they do. Don’t help them. Even if you don’t want to fight for Trump, don’t fight for them. Fight for America – and right now, the only way to do that is to somehow or another help Trump do what is right for America.

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46 thoughts on “Never Trump: Let Me Explain This to You

  1. Cluster March 7, 2017 / 8:33 am

    You speak as if Trump hasn’t done anything yet. He has. Some good things and that is why Democrats continue to ratchet up the hysteria. There is the federal hiring freeze, the executive orders reversing Obama’s executive orders, the TPP is gone, Canada and Mexico have agreed to renegotiate NAFTA, the wall is approved and will soon start construction, many large companies have already committed to domestic expansion, and the keystone pipeline is moving forward. This is all good stuff that never gets mentioned in the liberal media. The liberal media is too busy enflaming emotions from their ignorant base. I watch Morning Joe now only to see if Mika will cry.

    There are two undeniable facts that strongly suggest the Obama admin. surveilled the Trump administration in the last few weeks. The first is this admission in an article from the NYT on January 19, 2017:

    The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.

    And the second is Obama’s desperate attempt to share sensitive intel across agencies in the hopes of finding something:

    In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.

    As mentioned, I watch Morning Joe quite a bit and these two undeniable, revealing, and devastating facts about Obama have NEVER been mentioned. And that is the current state of our completely dishonest media.

    I mentioned sometime last year that this R vs D battle is no longer a friendly boxing match. This has now become a bare fisted street fight which will take some time to win. Trump is an existential threat to leftists and they will not go down easy ……… but they will go down.

    • M. Noonan March 7, 2017 / 11:19 am

      I’ll still put it down as “nothing” or “mostly nothing” as we can’t possibly know the long-term effects of his policies…I’m, naturally, quite encouraged by some of his efforts, thus far.

  2. Retired Spook March 7, 2017 / 10:34 am

    I don’t buy the claim that Hillary, et al was shocked on election night.

    The telling act was when the Clinton campaign cancelled the victory fireworks display over the Hudson two or three days before the election. That was really the first time I had any confidence that Trump might actually win.

    And, over time, the hard left Progressives managed to gain full control of the Democrats.

    Forgive the repetition if I posted this before, but Karin McQuillen at the American Thinker came up with a marvelous phrase to describe the takeover of the Democrat Party by the radical Left.

    The Democratic Party is being eaten by the Monster they rode to power.

    • M. Noonan March 7, 2017 / 11:21 am

      They were, weren’t they? I’ve said before that the final destruction of the Democrat Party came when, desperate to get at Bush, they enthroned the far-left kooks starting in 2003. Once let Lenin in, there’s no getting him out…

      • Retired Spook March 7, 2017 / 11:52 am

        The thing is, Lenin, and Stalin after him, killed everyone who got in their way. I don’t think today’s Leftists, at least in this country, have the stomach to repeat that. From the early 60’s, maybe earlier, the goal of American Progressives was to, in the spirit of Nikita Krushchev, take over without firing a shot. Of course the only way they could do that was to disarm those who would oppose them. Epic fail in that regard as the number of privately owned firearms increased between 1960 and 2012 (last year for which ATF data is available) from 78 million to 347 million.

        And now Progressives are caught between a rock and a hard place. The fact that, to the best of my knowledge, no one has been killed or seriously injured in any of the anti-American (might as well call it what it is) riots so far speaks volumes about the Left’s resolve to create chaos. I remember anti-war activists back in the 60’s remarking how wonderful it would be if they held a war and no one showed up. Now they’re the ones trying to start a war, and their words are coming back to bite them in the butt. Poetic justice writ large.

      • Amazona March 7, 2017 / 2:26 pm

        I have a feeling that the Left will soon escalate to more violence than just hitting people or throwing rocks. Remember, in the relatively peaceful 60s there were Americans bombing police stations and government buildings.

        Bill Ayers was guilty, by his own admission, of bombings and planning to bomb a police station timed to occur during a shift change to kill as many police officers as possible. His lovely bride, Bernadine Dorhn, and the rest of the Weather Underground actually DID kill people. And what happened to them? A couple ran and were eventually found and sentenced, but Bill and Bernie were feted by the Left, now hold lucrative positions in what we still call “education” and lest we forget are BFFs with Barack Obama.

        What more do we need to know about the Left than their recruitment, support and embrace of domestic terrorists/murderers? And what more do we need to know about the general spinelessness of this country? We have spent more than 50 years telegraphing weakness and submission to the Left, including the violent Left, and there is no doubt in my mind that they are counting on this continuing if their less violent efforts fail. Where was the outrage from about half the country at the sight of people being mauled, kicked and beaten by mobs in Leftist riots? Where are half of the people in this country when black groups call for killing law enforcement officers?

  3. Amazona March 7, 2017 / 1:55 pm

    This is the publisher’s summary of a new book called The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election

    In April 2016, computer technicians at the Democratic National Committee discovered that someone had accessed the organization’s computer servers and conducted a theft that is best described as Watergate 2.0. In the weeks that followed, the nation’s top computer security experts discovered that the cyber thieves had helped themselves to everything: sensitive documents, emails, donor information, even voice mails.

    Soon after, the remainder of the Democratic Party machine, the congressional campaign, the Clinton campaign, and their friends and allies in the media were also hacked. Credit card numbers, phone numbers, and contacts were stolen. In short order, the FBI found that more than 25 state election offices had their voter registration systems probed or attacked by the same hackers.
    Western intelligence agencies tracked the hack to Russian spy agencies and dubbed them the Cyber Bears. The media was soon flooded with the stolen information channeled through Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. It was a massive attack on America but the Russian hacks appeared to have a singular goal – elect Donald J. Trump as president of the United States.

    New York Times best-selling author and career intelligence officer Malcolm Nance’s fast paced real-life spy thriller takes you from Vladimir Putin’s rise through the KGB from junior officer to spymaster-in-chief and spells out the story of how he performed the ultimate political manipulation – convincing Donald Trump to abandon 70 years of American foreign policy including the destruction of NATO, cheering the end of the European Union, allowing Russian domination of Eastern Europe, and destroying the existing global order with America at its lead.

    The Plot to Hack America is the thrilling true story of how Putin’s spy agency, run by the Russian billionaire class, used the promise of power and influence to cultivate Trump as well as his closest aides, the Kremlin Crew, to become unwitting assets of the Russian government. The goal? To put an end to 240 years of free and fair American democratic elections.

    The book came out on February 24—long after Russia denied any involvement, long after many people including Julian Assange denied Russian involvement in leaking information from the DNC, long after many declared that the information was “leaked, not hacked”, long after Comey himself admitted that the DNC had refused the FBI access to its servers until they had their own tech people in, meaning that the FBI was never able to examine DNC servers that were in the same condition they were at the time of the alleged hack, long after Clapper stated that there was nothing linking Russia to the leaked information.

    (Andrea Noble – The Washington Times – Tuesday, January 10, emphasis mine

    FBI Director James B. Comey, in his first public comments since the presidential election, said the bureau requested but was denied direct access to the Democratic National Committee’s email servers and other hacked devices as part of its probe of Russian hacking.
    Providing details Tuesday to the Senate intelligence committee about the bureau’s investigation into Russian hacks targeting the election, Mr. Comey said the FBI made “multiple requests” for access, but ultimately a private company was the one to conduct the forensic review and then shared details about what it found with investigators.

    “It’s not the way we would prefer to do the investigation,” Mr. Comey said.
    He said he did not know for sure why the DNC did not provide the FBI direct access to the email servers.
    )

    In other words, an experienced reporter has written a book which goes beyond the accusations of Russian hacking to state ”… Putin’s spy agency, run by the Russian billionaire class, used the promise of power and influence to cultivate Trump as well as his closest aides, the Kremlin Crew, to become unwitting assets of the Russian government. The goal? To put an end to 240 years of free and fair American democratic elections.” Of course, the reporter works for the New York Times.

    The entire publisher’s summary, which I assume is an accurate summary of the book itself, is clearly part of the massive brute force attack on the Trump administration. Calling “Trump’s closest aides” The Kremlin Crew and going on to say their goal was to put an end to 240 years of free and fair American democratic elections sounds awfully close to libel to me.

  4. Amazona March 7, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    Nothing, it would seem, was found (or we would have seen it, by now.

    Did they ever state the source of the information on Flynn?

    • Retired Spook March 7, 2017 / 4:34 pm

      Rush was talking about this today. I’m pretty sure he said the source was an NSA intercept, and that they have so far declined several legislators’ requests to release the transcript. So I guess nothing to see here folks — move on.

      • Amazona March 7, 2017 / 5:56 pm

        There are some pretty smart people working on this, I imagine/hope, so all I can hope is that it eventually comes out. If it was an NSA intercept the next question would naturally be “intercept of WHAT?”

        I thought the claim was that Flynn met with some Russian, not that he talked to him on the phone. If he talked to him on the phone the argument could be that they were tapping the Russian’s phone, not one in Trump Tower. But if they asserted a personal meeting, which is what I think I heard, then all they could have “intercepted” would have been a phone conversation about it.

        And…am I the only one doing eyerolls at all the stern insistence that according to the law this would have to happen to initiate a wiretap, or it could only be done legally if that were to happen, blah blah blah. The implication is that if it is not legal it is not possible. Which we all know is BS. If it is possible, legally or illegally, it could happen. The article I linked goes into one complicated permutation after another in which it could be legal but so far I haven’t heard a word about the fact that if the FBI or many other agencies, or just technically savvy private snoops, want to tap a phone they can, legal or not. I haven’t heard anyone call anyone out on this.

      • Retired Spook March 7, 2017 / 6:52 pm

        I thought the claim was that Flynn met with some Russian, not that he talked to him on the phone. If he talked to him on the phone the argument could be that they were tapping the Russian’s phone

        I’m pretty sure it was a tap on the Russian Ambassador’s phone and that it was a phone conversation, not a meeting. It used to be when I was active in signals intelligence that if an intercept of a phone conversation (or any kind of communication) involving both a foreign national and a U.S. person (citizen or legal U.S. resident) that the side of the conversation involving the U.S. person could NOT be recorded, and there could be no transcript of that portion of the conversation. That changed with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978 which allowed for intercept of communications of U.S. persons if they were suspected of espionage or terrorism. IIRC, you posted something the other day from an Andrew McCarthy NRO article to the effect that this may have started out as a criminal warrant for Trump or someone in his organization or campaign in June (the warrant that was denied) and morphed into a FISA warrant for a criminal investigation. I don’t know if that’s legal or not — I suspect not.

        The problem we’re faced with in this entire mess is that (and this is just my educated opinion) we are dealing with so much fake news that it’s next to impossible to determine what’s true and what isn’t.

      • Retired Spook March 7, 2017 / 6:56 pm

        A really good example of news that I wouldn’t trust to be accurate is this piece that is based on info from both Prison Planet and Russia Today.

      • Amazona March 7, 2017 / 7:08 pm

        Here is an example of the tightrope walking done by Dems on the wiretap issue, an article on the recent interview with Senator Himes by Tucker Carlson.

        Carlson then asked Himes if he thought it was a big deal that Mike Flynn resigned his position because of leaks about his interactions with a Russian ambassador.

        “Let me ask you this,” Himes responded. “We as a routine matter often will monitor the communications of people like the Russian ambassador. Do you think that’s a bad thing? And yes of course sometimes that Russian ambassador will be talking to U.S. persons and the intelligence community…”….here he seems to be admitting that it is possible that a citizen might be overheard in a conversation with a Russian….. ”and the FBI have all kinds of protections to make sure that the U.S. person is protected. Yet Flynn was NOT “protected”. Then Himes tries to deflect from the dangerous territory of how did the FBI or anyone else learn that Flynn had talked to a Russian with this sidestep: In this case, as you know, Michael Flynn lied to the Vice President of the United States…” and then inserted an attack on Pence by saying “…..who then perpetrated, or perpetuated that lie.”

        This is only one exchange of literally dozens in which Leftist mouthpieces duck, dodge, divert and generally deceive while posturing as truthful. They are good at it, some more so than others, but this is what they do.

        Earlier Himes said ”“The FBI may listen in on conversations that Americans are having if a federal judge has been convinced that there is probable cause to award a warrant. That piece of it, the probable cause, that makes it not spying.” Good to know. I always thought that surreptitiously eavesdropping on someone without his knowledge was a definition of “spying”. Now we know that the Left is going to take the tack that if they listened in on phone conversations in Trump Tower it was not “spying”. Watch for future diversions of conversations in which the questioner asks about spying on Trump and his associates and it is denied, and remember that according to the Leftist playbook this would be true, given their redefinition of the term. It’s the 2017 version of “It all depends on what “IS” is”.

        Carlson caught it, and responded “OK, this is why people lose trust in government, you’re playing word games with me,” Carlson argued. Too many on our side aren’t that quick.

        Read this exchange:

        Carlson: “So you’re saying that everything that we have read,” Tucker continued, “these FISA requests, the one denied, one approved, all the reports that Manafort and two other associates of Donald Trump were under surveillance, that’s all false? Is that what you’re saying?”

        Himes: “What I’m saying is that the report, and when you say ‘lots of outlets’ you’re talking about the Guardian and the New York Times, and none of this stuff has been confirmed. We don’t know where it came from. As you know, who is being monitored according to FISA warrants is a highly classified thing, and further as you know, you used the word ‘spying,’ y’know, I don’t quite know what that means.”

        Notice that Himes does not give a definitive answer. He tries to shift the focus to the sources of that information, he says it has “not been confirmed”, he says “they don’t know where it came from” (which I think has them nervous) and then he goes off onto some other subject, which is that “..who is being monitored according to FISA warrants is a highly classified thing..” and then plays the semantics game by trying to shift it all to defining the word “spying”. That is a lot of tap dancing in 73 words, but at no time did he actually answer the question.

        http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/03/07/tucker-carlson-grills-intel-committee-democrat-on-trumps-wiretap-accusations

        I think we need to pay more attention to the areas the Left are trying to paper over,

        They are pushing the idea that if there was a wiretap it had to have been legal after going through legal means, which means (according to them) there WAS no wiretap, which is tied into their insistence on shifting everything back to FISA. If it was not legal, it didn’t GO through FISA. Duh. If you read the transcript you will see Himes start to talk about an illegal wiretap being a crime and then catching himself and ducking out of that train of thought.

        They are also focusing on the claim that Barack Obama, himself, personally ordered the wiretap, another game of semantics.

        There is the focus on the actual word “spying”.

        I’d also watch the efforts to hide behind the Russian bank located in Trump Tower, as I have seen some slippery commentary trying to act as if tapping “Trump Tower” is the same thing as tapping the bank itself.

      • Amazona March 7, 2017 / 7:13 pm

        The former CIA analyst told RT that the controversy was a “huge deal” and that Trump’s only real mistake was to call it a “wiretap” which was “technically inaccurate” and that those who have denied the charges on behalf of Obama are using semantics to fool the public. ( From Spook’s linked article)

        I forgot to mention the determination of the Left to constantly use the term “wiretap” because it seemed like another semantic diversion. There are all kinds of surreptitious means to listen in on people that don’t involve actually physically tapping into a phone line. Actually, given the fact that most people use cell phones, a true wiretap, which is based on physically accessing a landline, is pretty archaic. The “tapping” of cell phone conversations is pretty easy and pretty common.

        A good hacker can make a computer monitor a microphone transmitting everything in its range. There is technology that allows keystroke monitoring, as well as slaving cell phones.

        I am not as skeptical of the article as you seem to be, Spook, as I think it explains a lot in a low-key manner not depending on a tinfoil hat.

      • Amazona March 7, 2017 / 9:14 pm

        From: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/319589-michael-flynn-and-russia-a-timeline
        emphasis mine

        Dec. 30: Russian President Vladimir Putin says he won’t retaliate against the U.S. for the sanctions, surprising Obama administration officials. Afterward, intelligence analysts review intercepted communications and reportedly find Kislyak’s communications with Flynn.

        Jan. 12: Washington Post columnist David Ignatius first reports on Flynn and Kislyak’s phone calls, questioning whether they could undermine the hacking-related sanctions.

        Therefore, if this timeline is accurate, our intelligence agencies were monitoring Kislyak’s phone calls, which is fine, but I would expect the contents of those calls to be classified. Yet within days David Ignatius knows about them and has been told what an American citizen said in one or more of those intercepted communications.

        Ignatius would probably make a big deal out of refusing to reveal his source, but I imagine a real investigation could narrow it down. I’m not sure if a reporter has a leg to stand on if he is part of an illegal conspiracy to undermine an administration, which is what this sounds like.

      • Amazona March 7, 2017 / 9:23 pm

        Back to Trump communications being intercepted, as I do think we should shift our mental focus away from the specific term “wiretap” and broaden it to include other means of surveillance.

        This is from the comments on the Carlson/Himes interview article. I haven’t checked it out, but it looks very interesting. I have highlighted the parts I found most intriguing, as I have already commented on the oddity of most Russian hacking being done very skillfully and then, suddenly, when it is important to slime Trump by dragging in the Russians, an alleged hack has the equivalent of a note found in a wastebasket saying “Boris—we need more vodka”. The Russians went from skillful to clumsy at just the right moment for the Left.

        Wikileaks released some heavy stuff exposing CIA hacking,, like EVERYTHING, including spoofing other State actors, including leaving Russian fingerprints behind.. cough, cough Hillary server..

        full press release

        https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/

        excerpt

        ”UMBRAGE

        The CIA’s hand crafted hacking techniques pose a problem for the agency. Each technique it has created forms a ”fingerprint” that can be used by forensic investigators to attribute multiple different attacks to the same entity.

        This is analogous to finding the same distinctive knife wound on multiple separate murder victims. The unique wounding style creates suspicion that a single murderer is responsible. As soon (as) one murder in the set is solved then the other murders also find likely attribution.

        The CIA’s Remote Devices Branch’s UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques ’stolen’ from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.

        With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the ”fingerprints” of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.

        UMBRAGE components cover keyloggers, password collection, webcam capture, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques.

        So the CIA has been putting together a library of various hacking styles they can imitate to plant false clues to hackers, to “misdirect attribution by leaving behind “fingerprints” ” of other known actors.

        There were some other really good comments at the end of this:

        http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/03/07/tucker-carlson-grills-intel-committee-democrat-on-trumps-wiretap-accusations

      • Amazona March 7, 2017 / 9:28 pm

        Another quote from the wikileaks link: emphasis mine

        The agency’s hacking division freed it from having to disclose its often controversial operations to the NSA (its primary bureaucratic rival) in order to draw on the NSA’s hacking capacities.

        By the end of 2016, the CIA’s hacking division, which formally falls under the agency’s Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other “weaponized” malware. Such is the scale of the CIA’s undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook. The CIA had created, in effect, its “own NSA” with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified.

        In a statement to WikiLeaks the source details policy questions that they say urgently need to be debated in public, including whether the CIA’s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency. The source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.

        So are we going to remain stuck on the idea that the only way to monitor communications in Trump Tower is to do it legally, through FISA? Or that finding a Russian fingerprint on a hack means the Russians did it?

        Also, from the same press release: As an example, specific CIA malware revealed in “Year Zero” is able to penetrate, infest and control both the Android phone and iPhone software that runs or has run presidential Twitter accounts. If they can control the software, why can’t they monitor conversations?

  5. Amazona March 7, 2017 / 3:00 pm

    I know, listing Leftist hypocrisy would be a full-time job for a large team, but this whole Get Rid Of Trump thing calls one example to mind.

    Back when people were wondering about Obama’s eligibility for the presidency, the Left smirked and sneered and said “Tough—once he’s inaugurated it won’t matter what you find, he’ll still be president”. Now they are claiming that if they can come up with something against Trump the entire election and inauguration will simply go away as if it never happened.

    Their delusions go even deeper, as they seem to include this somehow allowing Hillary to be declared —just DECLARED—-president, and having the Supreme Court simply rewrite the Constitution to let them accomplish all their goals. In these tortured fever swamp fantasies, then the runner-up in the election would be able to step in and take over, and the existing Constitutional requirement that if the president can’t serve the vice president will, and if the vice president is also not able to serve (which would be the claim of the TDS crowd which wants to just throw out the whole election) then they would have to deal with that pesky requirement that the Speaker of the House would become president. As Paul Ryan was not elected in this election, he would not be included in the elaborate scenario cooked up by the lunatics, so that is why the Supreme Court would have to step in and change the Constitution, all by its own self, just because they want to.

    But back to the switcheroo—-the Left’s claim that once someone is inaugurated all bets are off even if he was never eligible in the first place, followed by the flip-flop that an inauguration of Trump would matter, just because——well, just because.

    • fieldingclaymore March 7, 2017 / 5:06 pm

      If his claim is true, can’t Trump as president declassify the documents. The FISA warrant(s) what have you? If so, why hasn’t he? He can declassify only parts to protect other sensitive info, no?

      • Amazona March 7, 2017 / 7:21 pm

        Yes, he probably could, but as I said above, FISA is not the only way to monitor conversations. There are so many ways to initiate remote surveillance these days, from low-tech methods such as eavesdropping on cell phone conversations with jazzed-up police frequency monitors to slaving cell phones so everything heard on one can be heard on another to buying off someone in the tech department of a cell phone provider to give access, etc. Have you looked at the stuff your cell phone does automatically and what it sometimes asks you to authorize? A skilled computer guy can get computers to turn on their cameras and/or act as microphones and transmitters.

        The Left is working very hard to get those four letters—FISA—so drilled into our consciousness that we accept the idea that any wiretap had to have gone through FISA, and of course then had to have met FISA standards and safeguards.

        I think it might be a diversion, a head fake.

      • simoneee9 March 7, 2017 / 9:12 pm

        Doesn’t really answer the question what and how Trump “just found out” his “wires were tapped”? What evidence does he have for this? Why a Congressional Investigation if he already has the information and can declassify whatever he sees fit?

      • Amazona March 8, 2017 / 12:46 am

        What makes you think Trump “just found out”? There is a good chance he was told ten days after the election by the head of the NSA—right before he got fired for talking to Trump.

        Why says “his wires were tapped”? Trump used that phrase, which is a common phrase for interception of telephonic communications, but it is less likely that the land lines were “tapped” than that other methods of interception were used.

        We don’t know yet what evidence there is. We do know that a reporter somehow learned what an American citizen said in a conversation with a foreign official, and we do know that the rules say if an American is overheard on surveillance like that the American’s side of the conversation is not even supposed to be recorded, much less made public. We have Himes stating that when that happens the American is “protected”. Yet Flynn was not protected.

        If the interception of communications was not legal, then there would be no record to unseal. It is pretty naive to assume that the Left would go through proper channels to do something that is not legitimate, and certainly using the power and authority of the federal government to eavesdrop on a presidential candidate whose success in an election would put an opposing party in power qualifies as an illegitimate thing to do.

        My question to you is, do you even have a dog in this hunt? Why do you care?

      • simoneee9 March 8, 2017 / 1:58 am

        Trump himself tweeted that he “just found out”.

        When pressed on the evidence bending his claim, his spokesman claimed that this claim didn’t originate with Trump and was being reported on by various news outlets.

        However, there are no such reports apart from a Breitbart article from Friday.

      • Cluster March 8, 2017 / 8:34 am

        Let’s not forget what we are NOT talking about right now – Trump’s many ties to Russia. I guess that was just another manufactured story by the media and Democrats.

        A skilled computer guy can get computers to turn on their cameras and/or act as microphones and transmitters.

        Everyone needs to read the account of former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, then come back and argue that our government doesn’t spy on private citizens – a claim which nearly made Mika cry yesterday.

        I think it might be a diversion, a head fake.

        When dealing with progressive Democrats, you start from the position that everything they say is a lie until proven true.

        The Obama administration, and the Nancy Pelosi/Chuck Schumer cabal have lied so often, about so many things that they have zero credibility or respect from the American people. Zero.

      • Amazona March 8, 2017 / 9:09 am

        Simon, what is your point?

        Are you asserting that the former administration did not intercept communications between Trump and his associates?

        Are you asserting that if Trump was told of spying ten days after the election and only recently confirmed this (a logical interpretation of “just found out”) you find the statement “just found out” dishonest?

        Are you truly claiming no other news outlets have reported any of this?

        What, exactly, is your point, other than just whining about Trump? Save us a lot of time by just saying you don’t like him or trust him, and then go away, because you are tiresome and contribute nothing to this blog except passive-aggressive sniping.

        And please answer my question—-why do you care? Do you even have a dog in this hunt?

  6. Cluster March 8, 2017 / 8:56 am

    In all of these surveillance discussions, never forget the following:

    Washington (CNN) An investigation by the German parliament is raising questions on whether the Obama administration not only spied on journalists in that country, but also interfered in the exercise of the free press under the guise of U.S. national security.

    So let’s all dispense with the notion that the Obama administration and progressives are honorable trustworthy people.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/03/politics/germany-media-spying-obama-administration/

  7. Retired Spook March 8, 2017 / 9:16 am

    Don’t forget that someone leaked the transcripts of Trump’s phone calls to leaders in Australia and Mexico to the media. How were those phone calls intercepted? Not legally, I’d wager.

  8. Amazona March 8, 2017 / 10:30 am

    I’ve recently discovered an author named Brad Taylor. He is much like Vince Flynn, but I think his writing skills are better and his characters are more well developed. One of the things I find fascinating about his books is the technology used by the operatives, so one day I went online and looked around to see if I could find any reference to the stuff he writes about, to see if it exists. He is a 21-year veteran of various Special Forces units, so he should know what he is talking about, but some of the equipment is so cool I had to wonder if it was realistic.

    I found this:

    Taylor’s books are filled with realistic, whiz-bang gadgetry and thoroughly believable scenarios. But he makes absolutely certain none of it is classified or will in any way jeopardize national security or inform terrorists about methodology.

    “Before I send something to my editor, I’ll send it to guys who are still out there,” Taylor said. “I’ll ask them if there is anything in it that would make them mad, or if there’s anything in it that shouldn’t be.”

    BTW, this is a really interesting article.

    http://www.military.com/off-duty/books/2012/02/27/special-forces-vet-uses-fiction-to-tell-truth.html

    The thing is, in these books the operatives have different ways of intercepting communications, and if he is only writing about the stuff that is not classified I have to assume the classified stuff is even more capable.

    The main theme that runs through the books (and I am on # 10) is the realization that power without oversight may start off as a good and necessary thing, but it can easily morph into evil. His characters are in special units outside the military, overseen only by a small select committee and restricted from operating domestically but they are still more free than military operatives in what they can do, and there is a lot of concern among them and their leaders and the committee about the potential dangers of something like this. It’s a moral theme that runs through the whomp-and-stomp action, and it is particularly relevant when we are talking about the possibility (and I think very real probability) that we have an agency, or agencies, or people within agencies, willing to abuse their power and authority.

    • Retired Spook March 8, 2017 / 11:22 am

      Sounds like I have a new reading list. I read all the Ludlum and Clancy books back in the day, and when they both died, I kind of lost interest in the genre.

      • Amazona March 8, 2017 / 11:42 am

        The first in the series is “One Rough Man” and it got me hooked.

        Nook is irritating, as it doesn’t always number the books in a series but there are a couple of places online if you google Brad Taylor that give them in order. I like him better than Ludlum, and these are contemporary, set in places all over the world and focusing for the most part on terrorism.

        I am terrified that Taylor will sell rights to Hollywood and Tom Cruise will end up being the star. Or some other effete Hollywood twinkie.

      • Amazona March 9, 2017 / 6:09 pm

        Another series you might like is the Joe Pike series by Wyoming writer CJ Box. Pike is a Wyoming game warden, and Box knows the back country and old timers of Wyoming well enough to spin a good yarn. Pike is not an action hero kind of guy, more of a Shane kind of hero.

    • Retired Spook March 8, 2017 / 11:24 am

      Biggest jobs number in 3 years.

      • Amazona March 8, 2017 / 11:42 am

        And I’ll bet this one is legitimate.

  9. Retired Spook March 8, 2017 / 1:40 pm

    We’ve all wondered out loud who initiated FISA warrants to surveil Trump and/or Trump Tower, and Trump associates. The headline of this post at Gateway Pundit is a bit misleading, as it assumes FISA warrants WERE issued against Trump. At this point that may or may not be true, but, if it’s true, Lynch would have had to sign off on such warrants. I would sure like to see someone of unimpeachable character and integrity get to the bottom of this, but that may be a tall order in the sewer known as Washington, D.C..

    • Amazona March 8, 2017 / 2:38 pm

      Interesting. I wonder where these applications fit into the timeline that includes her little heart-to-heart with Bill on the tarmac.

      I don’t question that FISA warrants were requested, or even that one was issued. I just don’t think that means all surveillance was done through FISA warrants. This whole thing is such a big convoluted mess we may never get it completely untangled.

      I’d be comfortable with Cruz and/or Lee working on it.

      • Retired Spook March 8, 2017 / 3:00 pm

        The Lynch/Clinton tarmac meeting was on June 27th. I haven’t been able to determine the date the FISA application in June was denied, just sometime in June. The two events may or may not be related, but nothing surprises me anymore.

      • M. Noonan March 8, 2017 / 5:03 pm

        One thing I feel certain about is that the tarmac meeting was meant to be noticed – she meets Bill on June 27th; the meeting gets out in the public square and a couple days later Lynch makes the announcement that she’s going to do whatever the FBI recommends rather than recusing herself from the issue because of the meeting…I view the meeting as a pointed hint to the FBI on just what they should recommend. I think it may have been that the FBI was going to recommend charges until that tarmac meeting and Lynch’s subsequent announcement…but once it became clear to the FBI that a fix was desired, Comey must have blanched at the prospect of recommending charges against the person everyone expected to be his boss come January.

      • Amazona March 8, 2017 / 3:09 pm

        So if one were to speculate, it would be reasonable to speculate that she was either getting her marching orders or reporting in.

      • Retired Spook March 8, 2017 / 5:03 pm

        If one were to speculate those would be two reasonable assumptions.

      • Amazona March 8, 2017 / 7:00 pm

        Mark, I don’t know why she couldn’t have just said this to Comey. She was, basically, his boss. I always thought it was a black eye for them to have her having a private chat with the husband of the candidate, and to me the subsequent statement from Comey only made it worse. I think it would have been much smarter to just tell him what she wanted, or even to just make the statement without telling him upfront.

        I always thought it was one of those things that wasn’t well thought out. “We can both be on the ground at the same time in our planes and if you come over into my plane no one will see you because you won’t ever be in the terminal” might have sounded pretty good, but it didn’t work. and the end result was that it looked like the two were up to funny business.

        I get your point—that by setting up the meeting to be noticed she gave herself an out and an excuse to hand off to Comey—but it also lit her up as untrustworthy, having the meeting in the first place. It also tainted Comey’s decision, making it look like it was due to pressure from his future boss. If that was how she and Bill set it up, they threw Comey under the bus because he looked like a lackey when he made his statement. Maybe that is why he tried to balance the scales later. Of course. people on the Left never care how things look, because they have their base locked up and know no one cares what they do.

  10. Amazona March 9, 2017 / 6:33 pm

    http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/03/09/latino-students-tired-of-cultural-appropriation-tell-whites-to-remove-hoop-earrings/

    [T]he art was created by myself and a few other WOC [women of color] after being tired and annoyed with the reoccuring [sic] theme of white women appropriating styles … that belong to the black and brown folks who created the culture. The culture actually comes from a historical background of oppression and exclusion. The black and brown bodies who typically wear hooped earrings, (and other accessories like winged eyeliner, gold name plate necklaces, etc) are typically viewed as ghetto, and are not taken seriously by others in their daily lives. Because of this, I see our winged eyeliner, lined lips, and big hoop earrings serving as symbols [and] as an everyday act of resistance, especially here at the Claremont Colleges. Meanwhile we wonder, why should white girls be able to take part in this culture (wearing hoop earrings just being one case of it) and be seen as cute/aesthetic/ethnic? White people have actually exploited the culture and made it into fashion.

    I would like to hear from owners of ethnic restaurants on this topic. How do they feel about the message that examples of “Latino culture” should be off limits to people of other ethnicities? How many Chinese restaurants hope to only attract Chinese customers?

    Do these idiots intend to graduate from any of the Claremont Colleges (which used to be known for academic rigor, evidently far in the past) and get jobs where they are not allowed to “appropriate” the fashions of their co-workers? That is suits and ties and generally accepted office attire? Who’s going to be in charge? Does the Left, always big on Thought Police, plan to institute Fashion Police to rule on the ethnic origins of any piece of clothing or jewelry and compare it to the ethnicity of the wearer to pass judgment on whether it is allowed? What if there is such a thing as “American fashion”? Does this mean that these preoccupied-with-themselves WOC can’t wear it? Are Jimmy Choos Asian? Is tweed Scottish? What should I do with my turquoise jewelry? Can I still make osso bucco for dinner tonight?

    This determination to divide Americans into various demographics is now extending into areas like this, in the name of “cultural appropriation”, and as it continues in its effort to first divide and then segregate, with different schools, different clubs, different fashions, different music, etc. their goal of splintering the nation is clear.

    In the same vein as the old “Shut Up And Sing” comments to entertainers, to the Claremont Sillies I would say “Shut Up And Study”—-or at least find a cause that is worth fighting for and calls for more involvement than scrawling ugly graffiti (which is egotistically called “art”) and whining about what someone else is wearing in her ears. Maybe get out SoCal and haul your Liberal little butt down to the favelas in Rio, for example, to actually try to make a difference?

    And BTW, little whiny snowflake, if you made it into Claremont you ought to know by now that you don’t say “created by myself”. Duh. Or “reoccuring”.

    • M. Noonan March 9, 2017 / 11:27 pm

      Just upset I didn’t think of it…

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