|Tea For Two|
If a government is large enough to give you everything what you want
it is large enough to take everything you have.
Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance,
and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
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Venezuela begins power rationing as drought causes severe outages
Posted by don Saturday, 2018-March-17
By Anggy Polanco and Isaac Urrutia
SAN CRISTOBAL, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuela imposed electricity rationing this week in six western states, as the crisis-hit country's creaky power grid suffered from a drought that has reduced water levels in key reservoirs needed to run hydroelectric power generators.
The four-hour formal outages began on Thursday. But many residents scoffed at the announcement, wryly noting that they have been suffering far more extended blackouts during the last week.
"We have spent 14 hours without electricity today. And yesterday electricity came and went: for six hours we had no power," said Ligthia Marrero, 50, in the western state of San Cristobal, noting that her fridge had been damaged by the frequent interruptions.
Crumbling infrastructure and lack of investments have hit Venezuela's power supply for years. Now, the situation has been exacerbated by dwindling rains.
In the worst-hit western cities, business has all but ground to a halt at a time when the OPEC nation of 30 million is already suffering hyperinflation and a profound recession. Many Venezuelans are unable to eat properly on salaries of just a couple of dollars per month at the black market rate, sparking malnutrition, emigration and frequent sights of Venezuelans digging through trash or begging in front of supermarkets.
The Declassified MEMO
Posted by Mr Tea Friday, 2018-February-02
PROPERTY OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
January 18, 2018.
Declassified by order of the President February 2, 2018.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation .
This memorandum provides Members an update on significant facts relating to the Committee's ongoing investigation into the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and their use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Our findings, which are detailed below, 1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process. Investigation Update.
On October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC. Page is a U.S. citizen who served as a volunteer advisor to the Trump presidential campaign. Consistent with requirements under FISA, the application had to be first certified by the Director or Deputy- Director of the FBI. It then required the approval of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General (DAG), or the Senate-confirmed Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division..
The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC. As required by statute (50 U.S.C. § 1805(d)(1)), a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed by the FISC every 90 days and each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause. Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Then-DAG Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ..
Due to the sensitive nature of foreign intelligence activity, FISA submissions (including renewals) before the FISC are classified. As such, the public’s confidence in the integrity of the FISA process depends on the court’s ability to hold the government to the highest standard— particularly as it relates to surveillance of American citizens. However, the FISC’s rigor in protecting the rights of Americans, which is reinforced by 9U-day renewals of surveillance orders, is necessarily dependent on the government’s production to the court of all material and relevant facts. This should include information potentially favorable to the target of the FISA application that is known by the government. In the case of Carter Page, the government had at least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the relevant facts. However, our findings indicate that, as described below, material and relevant information was omitted..
1) The “dossier" compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory' information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia..
a) Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials..
b) The initial FISA application notes Steele was working for a named U.S. person, but does not name Fusion GPS and principal Glenn Simpson, who was paid by a U.S. law firm (Perkins Coie) representing the DNC (even though it was known by DOJ at the time that political actors were involved with the Steele dossier). The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of—and paid by—the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information..
The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked bv Steele himself to Yahoo News. The Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News. Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News—and several other outlets—in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS. Perkins Coie was aware of Steele’s initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington D.C. in 2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed..
a) Steele was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations—an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016, Mother Jones article by David Corn. Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with Yahoo and other outlets in September—before the Page application wras submitted to the FISC in October—but Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts..
b) Steele’s numerous encounters with the media violated the cardinal rule of source handling—maintaining confidentiality—and demonstrated that Steele had become a less than reliable source for the FBI..
3) Before and after Steele was terminated as a source, he maintained contact with DOJ via then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, a senior DOJ official who worked closely with Deputy Attorneys General Yates and later Rosenstein. Shortly after the election, the FBI began interviewing Ohr, documenting his communications with Steele. For example, in September 2016, Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against then- candidate Trump when Steele said he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” This clear evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files—but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications..
a) During this same time period, Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohrs’ relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC. .
4) According to the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division. Assistant Director Bill Priestap, corroboration of the Steele dossier w'as in its “infancy” at the time of the initial Page FISA application. After Steele was terminated, a source validation report conducted by an independent unit within FBI assessed Steele’s reporting as only minimally corroborated. Yet, in early January 2017, Director Comey briefed President-elect Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier, even though it was—according to his June 2017 testimony—“salacious and unverified.” While the FISA application relied on Steele’s past record of credible reporting on other unrelated matters, it ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations. Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.
5) The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow frump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, but there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok. Strzok was reassigned by the Special Counsel’s Office to FBI Human Resources for improper text messages with his mistress, FBI Attorney Lisa Page (no known relation to Carter Page), where they both demonstrated a clear bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton, whom Strzok had also investigated. The Strzok/Lisa Page texts also reflect extensive discussions about the investigation, orchestrating leaks to the media, and include a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an “insurance” policy against President Trump’s election.
Justice Department withholds majority of FBI texts
Posted by Fat Sunday, 2018-January-28
he Justice Department has given Congress less than 15 percent of the texts between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page – and that is all Congress is likely to get, at least until department experts finish an effort to recover an unknown number of previously lost texts that were sent and received during a key five-month period during the Trump-Russia investigation.
There is much confusion over some basic facts of the Strzok-Page texts. How many are there? How many relate to the two most politically-charged investigations in years, the Trump-Russia probe and the Hillary Clinton email investigation? How many have been turned over to Congress? And how many are left to be turned over to Congress?
Object on tracks may be cause of deadly Amtrak derailment
Posted by Bob Monday, 2017-December-18
Monday’s deadly Amtrak train derailment appears to have been caused by an object on the railway, according to a government official briefed on the crash.
A preliminary investigation suggests maintenance problems are unlikely to blame because the incident took place on brand-new tracks, the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
At least six people were killed and the death toll is expected to rise, the official said.
The Amtrak 501 plunged off an overpass onto I-5 near Lacey, Washington, sometime before 7:45 a.m., during its inaugural run between Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon
Can the Justice Department be considered to be obstructing justice?
Posted by Bob Tuesday, 2017-December-05
What would happen if Pres. Trump ordered the FBI and the Department of Justice to fully cooperate with congressional investigations currently ongoing regarding Russian collusion?
Can the Justice Department be considered to be obstructing justice if they fail to comply with the congressional subpoena? When a member of the Justice Department is cited for contempt of Congress, is that a firing offense? Should Donald Trump order the Justice Department and FBI to fully comply with all request given to them by congressional committees investigating matters that interfered with the last election, including missing emails, and information gathered on pay to play operations by the Clinton crime family?
Special Counsel Robert Mueller Leaks
Posted by Mr Tea Saturday, 2017-October-28
CNN came out with some leaked information from the special counsel Robert Mueller's office. This leak is obviously for the purpose of muddying up the waters with the recent revelations of the Clintons involvement with Russia and $9,000,000 paid to the Russians for the purpose of trashing Donald Trump. A leak like this in itself is problematic, especially when it is done for political purposes.
It is time for special counsel Robert Mueller to resign from office or at least recuse himself from this Russian investigation. Being as we now know that Robert Mueller and company were involved in the Russian collusion for profit scam.
There's been much made concerning an unnamed Republican who is also involved in the Steel dossier, eventually this person's name will be made public and he or she should face some kind of repercussions for his actions.
Why do people go to sporting events?
Posted by taxbilly Saturday, 2017-September-23
Why do people go to sporting events? Is it to see multimillionaires spit on the country's flag and disrespect those who give them the right for peaceful protest? These super rich protesters are complaining about the society that made them wealthy. They are complaining about the people who keep them safe and risk their lives so they may enjoy their First Amendment rights.
When anyone complains about the spectacle on the field during the national anthem the retort is, "it is our First Amendment right to protest against abuse". And this is true but am I expected to pay you to watch you do this? Is it my responsibility and obligation to show up at your games and pay your entry fee, or to buy your memorabilia at exorbitant prices? And is it the responsibility of your employer and the NFL to give you the time and the platform to make your political statements? The stadium is no place for a dialogue concerning your complaints, because the dialogue can only go in one direction in that situation and, disrespecting the American flag and the men and women that fought for that flag is not a dialogue.
Maybe it's time that people quit wasting their money on a bunch of overpaid inconsiderate self-centered idiots, and find themselves another form of entertainment that doesn't require listening to some spoonfed mama's boy complain about how tough life is.
I for one am not coming to any more of your games, and that includes watching on television, until the NFL cleans up its act and quits forcing me to sit through this sad display of anti-Americanism and the hatred shown for those that have given their lives for these punks.
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