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Amaryllis

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Member since: Mon Nov 29, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 9,434

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Nunes scandal makes this even more suspicious than when I posted it 2 weeks ago. Russia connection?

I first posted this two weeks ago and it didn't get much interest. It's from July 2015 National Review, but in light of yesterday's events, I think it has new relevance:

House Intel Chair Devin Nunes’s One-Man War on the Pentagon

The powerful Republican is battling the DoD to move a massive intelligence complex to an isolated island in the Azores, at a reported extra cost of $1.2 billion. Why?

Air-traffic controllers waved off the plane carrying Representative Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) and several congressmen from the House Intelligence Committee as it descended toward the single runway at Lajes Field, a sleepy U.S. Air Force base perched along a windswept Azores island 1,000 miles from the European mainland. High winds sweeping in from the sea prevented the plane from landing, and the delegation was hastily diverted to an airstrip on a neighboring island 80 miles away.

After months of wrangling with the Defense Department, Nunes and his fellow lawmakers had come to Lajes last May to urge American officials to reverse a planned downsizing of the base. The lawmakers wanted Pentagon officials to instead move a massive, strategically vital intelligence center planned for the United Kingdom to the isolated mid-Atlantic base. The officials objected, citing a cost increase of $1.2 billion and serious operational and logistical concerns, including the base’s single runway and the area’s inclement weather, which the congressmen had experienced just the day before.

An after-action report from a Defense Department engineer shows that the group from Washington wouldn’t take no for an answer. “A few of the members and staffers were very confrontational,” the report reads. “One quote that was repeated several times was, ‘This is going to happen . You better jump on board the train or you are going to get run over by it.’”

The incident was another skirmish in the increasingly nasty war between Nunes and his allies in Congress and a group of top Pentagon officials over the fate of the obscure airbase. As chairman of the powerful Intelligence Committee, Nunes has brought the full weight of his influence to bear on the issue, inserting provisions in four separate defense bills that would stop work on the planned U.K. base and accusing the DoD of “lying” about the intelligence complex’s Lajes price tag. Recently, the House Oversight Committee opened an investigation into how the military calculated the estimated cost of basing the project in the Azores.

snip

Pentagon officials’ qualms with Nunes’s plan go beyond its price tag. Some worry that an additional delay in the facility’s construction would make it harder to monitor Russian activity in Europe, and most are loathe to relinquish a close intelligence-sharing relationship with the British. “There are routine meetings that occur on an almost daily basis” between American and British intelligence agents, one official explains.

snip

Lots more suspicious stuff:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421842/devin-nunes-pentagon-fight-lajes-air-force-base

Kittywampus post today on same subject; another older article but different source and info:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=8837272

Stop Gorsuch: DFA Live conf call w Sen. Merkley & NARAL Pres Ilyse Hogue today 8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT

DFA Live conference call with Sen. Jeff Merkley and NARAL President Ilyse Hogue taking place TONIGHT (Wednesday, March 22) at 8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT.

During this call, we'll discuss the work to stop Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch and we'll take questions from DFA members like you.

There are three ways in which you can listen to tonight's DFA Live call:
1) Streaming audio via DFA's website:

If you want to join tonight's call by listening to streaming audio of it live on your computer, you can listen to it here:

https://www2.democracyforamerica.com/attend/supremecourtdfalive?akid=8999.1646066.cpYm2Z&rd=1&refcode=g-DFAliveSC0322.d-20170322.m-8999.s-30031&t=2

At 10 minutes before the call you'll be able to login. Be sure to fill out the information on the webstream page in order to join the call. You can also find a call-in number here if you are unable to use your computer to listen to the call.

2) Call in at 8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT:

Call into the conference call using the following information:

Phone number: (855)-756-7520
Conference number: Ext. 34866#

Thanks for joining Sen. Jeff Merkley, Ilyse Hogue, DFA Executive Director Charles Chamberlain and DFA Chair Jim

Republicans Don't Want to Find Out What Happened With Russia (arguments/tactics breakdown by Slate)

Republicans Don’t Want to Find Out What Happened With Russia
March 21
That’s why they spent the Comey hearing defending Trump and Michael Flynn—and attacking the FBI.

On Monday, the House Intelligence Committee interrogated FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers about Russia’s covert operation to manipulate the 2016 presidential election. Comey confirmed that the FBI was investigating, among other things, whether anyone associated with Donald Trump had coordinated with the Russians. The committee is supposed to be conducting its own Russia probe. But Monday’s hearing showed that the Republicans who run the committee can’t be trusted.

In the five-hour hearing, not one Republican asked a question to elicit information about what Trump or his associates might have done. Instead, they hurled every imaginable defense—and attack—at the FBI’s investigation. While the Democrats acted like prosecutors, the committee’s Republicans became defense attorneys for Trump, Michael Flynn, the GOP, and Russia. Here’s a breakdown of their case:

1. There’s nothing to investigate. A real investigation would examine particular claims and evidence. Instead, Republicans on the committee tried to foreclose the whole inquiry by quoting broad statements (made by former intelligence officials on talk shows and the salon circuit) that no evidence exists. They also cynically stripped the statements of important caveats. When Comey and Rogers said they couldn’t rebut these statements about a lack of evidence (since to do so would reveal classified or investigation-related information), Republicans portrayed that as confirmation of Trump’s innocence. This is an attempt to end the investigation before it begins.

2. Russia wouldn’t have favored a Republican. Rep. Devin Nunes, the committee’s chairman, dismissed as absurd the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia had sought to favor the Republican presidential nominee. “Don’t you think it’s ridiculous for anyone to say that the Russians prefer Republicans over Democrats?” he asked Comey and Rogers. When they tried to explain that their assessment was specific to Trump, and not about party, Nunes repeated his partisan view that the whole idea was “preposterous.”

3. Russia didn’t fabricate votes. To shift attention away from Russia’s indirect manipulation of votes—for example, leaking private emails that embarrassed Hillary Clinton and persuaded people to vote against her—Nunes emphasized that Russia hadn’t tampered directly with voting machines. Rogers noted that the NSA and FBI hadn’t assessed the political effects of Russia’s operation. Nunes ignored him and shaped his questions to portray the Russian campaign as impotent.

snip
More - 15 points total, all worth reading:
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/03/republicans_don_t_want_to_find_out_what_happened_with_russia.html?wpsrc=newsletter_tis&sid=589dfd6ebcb59c58118b45d5

Dueling Messages at Hearing: Dems focus on Trump-Russia links, GOP on Trump-Russia leaks (CNN)


(CNN)Republicans and Democrats of the House Intelligence Committee both questioned FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers on Russian activities Monday, but the parties spotlighted very different issues during the hearing.

snip

While Democrats highlighted Trump's allegation that his predecessor wiretapped him and Trump campaign aides' alleged collusion with Russian operatives, GOP members grilled the two officials on who leaked information of the US investigation into Russia's communications with the campaign of President Donald Trump.

snip

House Democrats on the panel hammered away on reports of the Trump campaign's communications with Russian officials as well as the President's tweets alleging his predecessor wiretapped his phone.

House Democrats routinely pressed the focus back to which Trump advisers were in communication with Russian officials.

"I cannot comment on that," Comey said frequently, as Schiff asked him about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former Trump adviser Roger Stone and others.

In a rapid-fire series of exchanges, Schiff, Rep. Jim Himes and Rep. Teri Sewell, all pressed Comey on the details of the FBI's investigation into Trump aides. Comey batted them back, saying he could not provide specifics.

snip

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/20/politics/wiretap-russia-hearing-unmask/index.html

Spicey Presser on CNN live now denying any Russia collusion

http://www.cnn.com/specials/live-video-3
"No evidence of any collusion between Russia and Trump campaign."

This is not the droid you're looking for...

FBI Director Confirms Agency Is Investigating Ties Between Trump And Russia (HuffPo)

4 minute video clip here with Comey - worth listening to. Wish I had a transcript. I'm sure there will be one later.

snip

“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,” Comey told the House Intelligence Committee. “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.”

snip

The intelligence community publicly shared its assessment in January that the Russian government hacked Democratic entities and operatives and released damning information with the goal of helping Trump win the election. But the assessment did not indicate whether Trump and his campaign team were aware of or complicit in Moscow’s operations.

Since then, lawmakers have pushed law enforcement and intelligence officials to respond to repeated queries about ties between Trump associates and Russian intelligence. Comey, to the frustration of several lawmakers, has insisted he cannot publicly discuss the possible existence of an ongoing investigation. (Comey did, however, disclose information to lawmakers related to an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s email server days before the election. His letter to lawmakers was quickly leaked.)

But the FBI director has faced mounting pressure to speak publicly about the situation, amid a relentless series of leaks about seemingly bizarre communications between high-level Trump aides and Russian intelligence officials.

snip

“As you know, our practice is not to confirm the existence of ongoing investigations, especially those investigations that involve classified matters,” Comey said Monday. “But in unusual circumstances, where it is in the public interest, it may be appropriate to do so. This is one of those circumstances.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/james-comey-confirm-investigation-trump-russia-fbi_us_58cfe036e4b0ec9d29dd728c?

Comey & Rogers (director NSA) testify live Mon.10 EDT House Intel hearing on Russia investigation

House Intelligence Committee to Hold Open Hearing on Russian Active Measures Investigation

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) will be holding an open hearing on its investigation into Russian active measures during the 2016 election campaign.

The hearing will be held at 10:00 am on Monday, March 20 in room 1100 of the Longworth Building. It will be livestreamed on the HPSCI website here. (go to link below for link to livestream. Assume it will be on C-Span also?)

Who: House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI)

What: Hearing on Russian active measures investigation (Open)

When: Monday, March 20, 2017, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm ET

Where: Room 1100, Longworth Building

The hearing witnesses include:

James Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Mike Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency

Media wishing to attend this hearing must be credentialed through the appropriate Congressional Media Gallery. Credentialed media will be allowed inside the hearing room from 9:00 am on a first come, first served basis.

http://intelligence.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=770

My senator's aide said it's absolutely important to call even if we agree with him. 2 reasons why:

I am very fortunate to have two great senators and a great rep. I live in a very progressive city in a blue state and have talked to many progressives who say they don’t call because their view is in alignment with our senators and rep, so what’s the point of calling? So I asked one of my senator’s aides and one of my rep’s aides if it’s still important to call. They both said absolutely yes. Here’s why:

1. It’s a numbers game. They track how many constituents are for/against the positions the senatoir/rep are taking, so it’s critical the “agree with the senator” numbers are there. It helps hugely if they can point to constituent numbers to support their position when they are in Congress.

2. It energizes them. I never thought of this, but the aide told me that when they know have a lot of grass roots passion behind what they’re doing, it really helps to energize them. I had the image of a wave at a baseball game.

I make it a point to call every week or two and just say something to the effect of, ”Please tell the Senator that I really appreciate what he is doing and am so grateful to have a senator that I feel really represents me,” and will mention one or two of the things that are up that week that he is supporting or has done. The aides have always been very appreciative, and when I asked if that kind of message is helpful, the answer was always yes. Sometimes I even get into a little conversation with them; one of them told me once that there are a lot of really good people working behind the scenes, so don’t lose hope.

I know those of you in red states have very different problems to deal with, but I felt it was important to address what seems to be a common misconception among progressives I’ve talked with that calls don’t matter if their view is in alignment with our senators/rep,

Ellen Meets A 5-Year-Old Geography Expert Whose Map Hilariously Burns Trump




Five-year-old geography expert Nate knows about countries and flags, but he also knows what’s what when it comes to President Donald Trump’s affinity for Russia.

The preschooler showed his skills on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Thursday, bringing along his map of the world with drawings of what lives in each country. Antartica had a penguin, Africa had a tiger and Russia had a Trump.

“Why is Trump on Russia?” DeGeneres asked.

“Because he likes Russia,” Nate replied.

Nate, if the whole geography thing doesn’t work out, you might have a career in comedy ahead of you.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ellen-degeneres-5-year-old-map-trump_us_58cc32a0e4b0be71dcf4ae51?

House Intel open hearing on Russia investigation - Comey & Rogers (director NSA) testify Mon. 10 am

House Intelligence Committee to Hold Open Hearing on Russian Active Measures Investigation
f t # e
Washington, March 17, 2017

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) will be holding an open hearing on its investigation into Russian active measures during the 2016 election campaign.

The hearing will be held at 10:00 am on Monday, March 20 in room 1100 of the Longworth Building. It will be livestreamed on the HPSCI website here. (go to link below for link to livestream. Should be on C-Span also.)

Who: House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI)

What: Hearing on Russian active measures investigation (Open)

When: Monday, March 20, 2017, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm ET

Where: Room 1100, Longworth Building


The hearing witnesses include:

James Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Mike Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency

Media wishing to attend this hearing must be credentialed through the appropriate Congressional Media Gallery. Credentialed media will be allowed inside the hearing room from 9:00 am on a first come, first served basis.

http://intelligence.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=770
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