Daily Recap — July 11

“The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be.”

— Elbert Hubbard


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 A NEW ROCK BOTTOM

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I’d love to begin this Recap with the good news of how our POTUS is overseas kicking ass, taking up for the working men and women of our country. Unfortunately, the establishment GOP will be providing our lead story this evening, and for the usual reason: cowardice.

Republicans on Capitol Hill say they’re considering holding former Trump-hating FBI lawyer Lisa Page in contempt after she failed to show up under subpoena today, but her lawyer maintains she’s more than willing to cooperate and House leaders have resorted to “bullying” tactics.

Unbelievable.

 

House Speaker Paul Rino said today he was “very disturbed” by Page’s refusal to show up and indicated he is willing to hold her in contempt of Congress.
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“She was a part of the mess that we uncovered over at DOJ,” said Rino.

And by “we,” he means the Republicans who have actually been persistent in digging information on this story. People like Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz, definitely no one like Paul Rino, who would have all of this kept under wraps were he able.

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“She has an obligation to come and testify. If she wants to come plead the Fifth that’s her choice, but a subpoena to testify before Congress is not optional, it’s mandatory. We will do what we need to do to protect this branch of government.”
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Rino is talking a good game. But talk is about as cheap as the US dollar after several of his massive spending bills.

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WHAT’S HER EXCUSE?

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Page, or her lawyer anyway, claims that she wasn’t given proper access to pertinent documents and was thus unprepared to testify.

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“All she is asking is to be treated as other witnesses have under the Committees’ own rules,” said her attorney, Amy Jeffress. “She has offered to voluntarily appear before the Committees later this month. She simply needs clarification of the scope of the Committee’s interest in interviewing her and access to relevant documents so that she can provide complete and accurate testimony.”
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House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte isn’t buying that garbage, noting the committees informed Page in friggin December they would seek to speak to her. He said holding her in contempt was now on the table, but he hadn’t made a “final decision” on next steps.
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“She’s known for about seven months,” said Goodlatte. “We’ve been talking to her attorney for over a month.”
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A previously unreported letter shows that negotiations have, in fact, been ongoing, but the decision by members of the House Judiciary Committee to sign on to an April 2018 referral of Page — along with several other former FBI and DOJ officials, and Hillzdawg Clinton — for a criminal investigation, raised the stakes.

.According to Jeffress, Page has volunteered to testify later this month, as long as she receives more details about the scope of the committees’ questioning and access to certain FBI files. Jeffress said the Justice Department confirmed late last night that the files would be made available to her.


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For a while, at least, she appeared to be telling the truth. By all accounts (available at the time), the FBI was unable to grant access to the files due to a “technical glitch.” You know, just like they had a “technical glitch” when trying to find 6 months worth of Page’s texts during the IG probe. That FBI just has the worst darn luck when it comes to producing classified material related to the lovebirds. Even Meadows was understanding of her situation.

Meadows said he understood that the FBI failed to provide relevant documents to Page that she needed in order to prepare for her deposition. He said he spoke to the FBI directly on Wednesday morning and that officials confirmed a “technical glitch” prevented them from sharing the files. Page, he noted, went to the FBI and waited for three hours to obtain her files, only to be denied.

“If indeed she showed up and waited for three hours at the FBI, shame on them,” Meadows said.

“I’m trying to confirm right now whether it’s a delay or a stall tactic,” he said. “Obviously, she’s known that she’s a witness with pertinent information … yet at the same time, I don’t want to falsely accuse her of something if this was through no fault of her own.

And then came this less-than-enthused tweet from Meadows:

“Contrary to what her attorneys are telling the media, we just learned Lisa Page actually DID review documents at the FBI yesterday. Her failure to appear before Congress this morning had little to do with ‘preparation’–and everything to do with avoiding accountability.”

Holy cow. So not only is she dodging a congressional subpoena, but she lied about her reasoning for doing so? What the hell can these people not get away with? 

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SO WHAT NOW?

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A handful of House Judiciary and House Oversight committee members reportedly gathered an hour after Page’s interview was scheduled to start to discuss next steps.
After the meeting, Rep. Meadows said that the committee planned to give Page two options to comply with the subpoena: Appear for a closed-door interview later this week or testify alongside her former married lover Peter Strzok at a public hearing scheduled for tomorrow.
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Maaaaaaaaaan wouldn’t that be fun. A side by side with the lovebirds? Definitely a popcorn-worthy spectacle.
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Goodlatte confirmed in an interview on Fox that Page has been given those options to appear this week, but if she doesn’t, she could be held in contempt as soon as Friday.
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“She does not have days or weeks to do this. She’s got to decide now,” Goodlatte said. “We will hold her in contempt and that’s a serious matter.”
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I’m sure she’s shaking in her boots. 
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According to a couple congressional sources, the committee would vote to hold Page in contempt on Friday, which would set the stage for a full House vote next week.
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WHAT WOULD CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS REALLY MEAN?

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Following a contempt citation, should it be issued, the presiding officer of the chamber is instructed to refer the matter to the U.S. Attorney for DC. According to the law it is the duty of the U.S. Attorney to refer the matter to a grand jury for action.

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However, while the law places the duty on the U.S. Attorney to impanel a grand jury for action, some proponents of the unitary executive theory argue that the Congress cannot properly compel the U.S. Attorney to take this action against the Executive Branch, asserting that the U.S. Attorney is a member of the Executive Branch who ultimately reports only to the President and that compelling the U.S. Attorney amounts to compelling the President himself. They argue that to allow Congress to force the President to take action against a subordinate following his directives would be a violation of the separation of powers and infringe on the power of the Executive branch. The legal basis for this position, they contend, can be found in Federalist 49, in which James Madison wrote “The several departments being perfectly co-ordinate by the terms of their common commission, none of them, it is evident, can pretend to an exclusive or superior right of settling the boundaries between their respective powers.” This approach to government is commonly known as “departmentalism” or “coordinate construction.”

 

Given that PDT just tweeted this out, though:

“Ex-FBI LAYER Lisa Page today defied a House of Representatives issued Subpoena to testify before Congress! Wow, but is anybody really surprised! Together with her lover, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, she worked on the Rigged Witch Hunt, perhaps the most tainted and corrupt case EVER!”

…..I don’t think he’ll mind seeing the book thrown at Page. 

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Others argue that Article II of the Constitution requires the President to execute the law, such law being what the lawmaker (e.g. Congress, in the case of statutory contempt) says it is (per Article I). The Executive Branch cannot either define the meaning of the law (such powers of legislation being reserved to Congress) or interpret the law (such powers being reserved to the several Federal Courts). They argue that any attempt by the Executive to define or interpret the law would be a violation of the separation of powers; the Executive may only—and is obligated to—execute the law consistent with its definition and interpretation; and if the law specifies a duty on one of the President’s subordinates, then the President must “take care” to see that the duty specified in the law is executed. To avoid or neglect the performance of this duty would not be faithful execution of the law, and would thus be a violation of the separation of powers, which the Congress and the Courts have several options to remedy.

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And now for what you really wanted to know:

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The criminal offense of “contempt of Congress” sets the penalty at not less than one month nor more than twelve months in jail and a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000.

So there ya go. That’s would could possible happen to Page. What will actually happen is she’ll end up testifying before the committee, but this time she’ll know all of Strzok’s answers to questions ahead of time. That’s what all this is really about.
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She was afraid of being ambushed, and she should have been. Because she deserves to be. An employee of the FBI should be ready to answer to Congress for whatever they want, because FBI employees are supposed to be upstanding people. 
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Not this floozy. 

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BOTTOM LINE:

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Listen, I know you want to see people in handcuffs. I do too. Lisa Page deserves to be in them right now. So do many of her colleagues.

All I can tell you is the same thing I’ve been telling you since January of last year: PDT holds all the cards here.
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He has the informational power to bring it all out. Everything related to Strzok and Page he could declare to be unclassified right this second. And by his mere declaration (and a little paperwork), voila! it would be law.
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As long as that fact remains, there will always be the question of why he’s sitting back. And sorry, I don’t believe he’s concerned with patience or, frankly, the health of our institutions. Trump cares about defeating his enemies, maybe as much as he cares about his own children. That’s how he is.
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So when PDT has had enough, I guess he’ll step in.
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Orrrrrr maybe there’s a reason he’s not exercising his power. All I can say is stay tuned because we’ll definitely find out sooner or later.

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ROSENSTEIN INVOLVED WITH KAVANAUGH?

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I know, I know. Trust me, I had the exact same reaction you did upon hearing the news that Fraud Rosenstein is inserting himself into the vetting of our SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Rosenstein sent an email this week to the nation’s 93 US attorneys requesting each one to provide up to three prosecutors “who can make this important project a priority for the next several weeks,” according to the Failing New York Times.

​The subject line of Rosenstein’s email read, “Personal Message to U.S. Attorneys from the Deputy AG.”

“As a result of Judge Kavanaugh’s extensive career in public service, DOJ may need to review a large volume of documents,” Rosenstein wrote. “In order to complete the project within the time requested, we may need the equivalent of more than 100 full-time attorneys.”
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The majority of the assistant US attorneys who participate will not be coming to the main DOJ headquarters in Washington, but can work remotely reviewing documents before production.
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BOTTOM LINE:

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I know there is a lot of hand-wringing and paranoia related to this issue so let’s cut the small talk and get to the heart of the matter.
The Office of Legal Policy at the Justice Department, which is supervising the project, has always assisted with nominations and is composed of mostly career attorneys. While the individual 93 US attorneys leading each office are political appointees, the vast majority of attorneys who work at the Justice Department across the US are in career positions.
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That Rosenstein has requested help reviewing documents is not so much an unprecedented move by the DOJ, but an action taken in an effort to efficiently wade through an unprecedented number of documents.
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How many, exactly? Well, an official of the George Dubya Bush Library has identified over a million documents concerning Kavanaugh that could potentially be responsive to document requests. “We have also identified approximately 429,870 pages and 667,824 electronic files of potentially responsive records that must be processed,” Shannon Jarrett of the George W. Bush Library and Museum said in a letter last April to Gabe Roth, who has made a request on behalf of his group, Fix the Court.
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More importantly, THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL REVIEW. This isn’t a bunch of coochie cappers sitting around like Media Matters employees looking for off-color jokes Kavanuagh made about women in 1974. What’s happening is called a “privilege review.” 
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A privilege review is a process by which parties or their lawyers review each document that may fall within a discovery request or order to determine whether the document contains information subject to the attorney-client privilege or the work product doctrine; typically, privilege review is conducted to ensure that privileged materials are not inadvertently produced in response to a discovery request or order.
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The relevant types of privilege are likely to be ‘legal advice privilege’ and ‘litigation privilege’. Legal advice privilege attaches to confidential communications and evidence of those communications, between a client and its lawyers which were created for the purpose of giving or obtaining legal advice.
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Basically, this is a review to ensure that Kavanaugh’s rights as an attorney/jurist aren’t violated in the congressional review process. Once attorney/client documents and their ilk have been redacted, then the political hacks in Congress can take over to do the actual hatchet job.
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Here is the bottom line: Kavanaugh has a LOT of documents from his career and Dims are going to try to use this to their advantage to drag the confirmation process out past the midterms. It won’t matter, since the GOP is actually poised to gain Senate seats and thus give itself an easier process anyway, but it’s all Cryin’ Chuck has to hang his hat on right now. Dingy Harry Reid killed his filibuster. He’s gotta work with the hand he’s got.
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Frankly, this order probably came down to Rosenstein from the White House itself. If you want this process to be expedited, this isn’t a bad thing. 
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I realize that this won’t be convincing to some, and the conspiracy theories will make their rounds regardless of what actual information is available, but no one can say I didn’t give them the facts.
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Have fun. 
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SHOWDOWN IN BRUSSELS

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I’ve waited my entire adult life to hear a POTUS speak the truth straight to the faces of our European “allies.” Today, PDT fulfilled that dream for me and then some.

He demanded today that NATO members immediately increase their defense spending to meet a 10-year goal years ahead of the alliance’s stated deadline, which, as I explained yesterday, was a deal struck between NATO and Barry Soetoro in 2014. 

“What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy? Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment?” PDT tweeted shortly after scorning the globalists for not spending more on their own defense and relying too heavily on the U.S. for protection.


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“The U.S. is paying for Europe’s protection, then loses billions on Trade,” he added. “Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025.”

 

Waiting until 2024 for our so-called allies to pay the minimum for their own defense may have been good enough for the Obama clan, but this is a new day and, for the first time in ages, American taxpayers have a true blue representative to call their own.

After eliciting concessions from the table full o’ commies on increasing spending (though we don’t yet have it in writing), in classic Trump fashion, he immediately began the high-ball, demanding that the alliance soar past 2% and really protect themselves from Hackin’ Vlad by upping their defense spending to a cool 4%. Of course, that will never happen in a million years, as not even we spend that much (we’re currently at 3.6%), but it’s nice to see someone aim high for a change. 


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And also in class Trump fashion, he took credit for the increase in defense spending by several alliance members while drawing a contrast between his own leadership and that of his predecessors. He acknowledged that those before him had broached the issue of defense funding with NATO allies, but said that they “never did anything about it because I don’t think they understood it or they just didn’t want to get involved.”

It was the latter, Mr. President. 

But while he was pleased to see progress, he stated plainly that it’s “not nearly enough.”

“Many countries are not paying what they should. And, frankly, many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money for many years back, where they’re delinquent, as far as I’m concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them,” Trump said.  

“So if you go back 10 or 20 years, you’ll just add it all up. It’s massive amounts of money is owed,” he continued.

He’s not wrong. 

“You know, we’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France. We’re protecting everybody. And yet we’re paying a lot of money to protect,” Trump said.


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CALLING OUT HYPOCRISY:

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This was undoubtedly my favorite portion of today’s summit.

For months (or years, depending on the person), any American with a couple brain cells to rub together have been asking really pertinent questions related to the so-called Russian threat in Europe.

For example, if Russia is such a threat, why do we have to beg and plead to get European countries to pay for their own defense? One would think that with such a big, bad foe breathing down their necks right across the border, Europe would be chomping at the bit to increase defense spending across the board. 

But that’s just not the case. The fact is only 5 out of 29 countries have hit the (more than reasonable) 2% mark for their own defenses, and the monies that are actually spent toward that end are often used as nothing more than another government welfare program rather than fielding well-trained, well-funded killers ready to take down the Russians.

The truth, ladies and gentlemen — and I’ve seen this with my own eyes all over the world from Europe to the Middle East to Asia — is that they expect us to do it for them. Perhaps that’s mostly our fault for allowing them to grow so dependent. Perhaps we found it in our country’s interest to allow these countries to depend on us so long as we got to be the big dogs on the block.

Whatever the cause, the reality is we’re involved in an unfair and unsustainable arrangement to protect Europe at a time when we’re $21 trillion in debt. 


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The questions go beyond the mere hypocrisy of inaction, though. Indeed, there have been some actions that demand scrutiny, and even maybe….*gasp*…..accountability!

Before today, not many people were aware that Germany had a natural gas pipeline to Russia that accounts for nearly 70% of its energy consumption. They know now, Jack.

“If you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russia,” PDT said during his meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. “They got rid of their coal plants. They got rid of their nuclear. They’re getting so much of the oil and gas from Russia. I think it’s something that NATO has to look at. I think it’s very inappropriate.”

LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO……..Weren’t expecting that line of remarks, were you fellas?

“It’s very sad when Germany makes a massive gas oil and gas deal with Russia where you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” Trump added.


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Here’s what he didn’t add, but that’s why I’m here.

That pipeline is no accident. Remember that I told you Putin is nostalgic for the prominence of the former USSR. Just as our POTUS promotes our interests across the world, so does Putin. But his strategy is a bit different.

By making Germany so dependent upon Russia for energy, Trump is correct that Putin has made Germany captive. And that’s the point.

Remember the whole Uranium One thing, where Russia sought (and succeeded in) transferring so much of our uranium via one of their state-controlled companies, Rosatom? The reason the FBI had a counterintel probe going related to that transaction is because it’s a national security concern. They knew full well what Putin was doing when that deal was offered, but it went down anyway.

You know why?

Because that’s what Putin does. He looks for traitors in every country, people for whom money takes precedent over country. In Germany, he found his guy in former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who as Germany’s top energy guy couldn’t wait to sell out his country to Russia interests to pad his own pockets.

In the U.S., he found a treasure trove in the form of Hillary Clinton, another politician who, as Roger Stone put it, “would steal a hot stove.” 

Putin’s vision is to get as many world powers as possible entangled in Russian energy so as to give himself the leverage to punch far above his weight. To his credit, it’s been largely successful, as Russia’s influence on the world stage far exceeds what its GDP should allow.

PDT respects the fact that Putin has been able to grow such influence while wielding so little power. He sees him as a worthy adversary. You can agree with that, disagree with it, love it, hate, hug it, kick it, kiss it or just scream at the sky, but that’s the fact of the matter. Trump respects people who go to bat for their nation.

See, at least when Putin lies to your face, he doesn’t do it under the pretense of being an “ally.” 

And by the way, will someone remind me of why, exactly, Putin wanted Trump to win so badly?

The logic isn’t strong with this one.

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NOW WHAT: 

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This was just the first in what will be a series of meetings with soulless globalists throughout Europe. Upon leaving Brussels, he will travel to London for a long-awaited visit, before stopping at one of his extremely nice golf courses in Scotland.

Hey, I’m not kissing butt like Twinkletoes Graham. It’s a nice course. 

He’s then expected to meet with OMG PUTIN in Helsinki for a highly anticipated summit in which they’ll discuss how best to steal the 2020 election while kicking dogs and slapping babies. 

I’m kidding, people. I already told you, PDT wants Putin to cut defense ties with Iran and will use energy as a means of getting there.

 

In the meantime, a prediction of mine came true today in the form of British PM Theresa May deciding that PDT might be a good guy to have on her side right now, with Brexit going down the tubes along with her approval ratings.

She released a statement today talking about how pleased she was that PDT and Putin were meeting on Monday because it’s “necessary if we’re ever to have a chance of peace.” 

The London trip will be interesting but it’s all just details until the big Vlad Summit.

I’ll be here to provide play-by-play like no other. 

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IT’S ABOUT TIME

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Trumpers have been waiting forever for DC to do something about the terrorist organization known as Antifa. We now have at least one guy on Capitol Hill trying to make something happen. 

The “Unmasking Antifa Act,” introduced by Rep. Dan Donovan of New York, would impose harsh penalties on anyone who “injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person” while wearing a mask or disguise. The legislation, which could send people to prison for up to 15 years, Jack, mirrors controversial state laws originally designed at cracking down on the Ku Klux Klan.

 

The so-called antifa movement, or anti-fascist movement, originated from resistance to European fascism in the run-up to World War II and supposedly refers to leftist activists opposed to the far-right, racism, and capitalism. Adherents might work with local anti-fascist organizations, but the movement is otherwise autonomous.

The group itself is nothing new, to be sure, but the Trump election victory transformed them from benign, maladorous hippies into rabid fascists — yes, fascists — who seek to silence opposing political views at all costs.

That’s what fascism is, people. It seeks to destroy dissent in create uniformity by any means necessary. Orwell could not have written this any better. 


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UNCONSTITUTIONAL BILL?

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Some critics, coochie cappers to be precise, feel that the bill may be unconstitutional because it targets a particular group. However, their legal standing is shaky at best.

Constitutional challenges to state anti-masking laws have previously proven difficult. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor previously heard a KKK challenge on a New York anti-masking law when she was a circuit court judge. Sotomayor’s opinion “said the anti-masking law didn’t interfere with their expression because they could express their affinity for the KKK through other means like their robes and their signs.”

The bill would be unconstitutional if it targeted Antifa for their political views, but it doesn’t. It targets their tactics and can be applied to anyone, not just Antifa. Lots of bills mention the names of groups or people. Many are even dedicated to particular groups or people. So long as their consitutional rights aren’t being violated, it’s all kosher. 

 


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BIG PICTURE:

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This should have been at the president’s desk before the end of the 2016 election, not that it would have been signed, as we’d be silly to expect Obama to come down hard on his own brownshirts. 

It’s better late than never, though, and though the cynical side of me assumes this to be a way for Donovan to get into the papers before the midterms, I’ll take cynical political motives over inaction. 

Will it pass? If we had competent politicians on our side, it absolutely could. Antifa have given us a treasure trove of footage and statements that could make for a very effective PR campaign and put red state Dems in a very difficult position. 

But this is the GOP, so no, it probably won’t happen.

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STRZOK DUE ON THE HILL

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Lisa Page didn’t make it to her testimony today. Let’s see how her boyfriend does. Two powerful committees — Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform — will publicly grill Strzok tomorrow. 

Strzok, who is under subpoena just like his mistress Lisa Page, has agreed to appear but has criticized House Republicans as having a “disdain for the truth.” He has called for lawmakers to release the transcript of an 11-hour interview he gave investigators behind closed doors last month, which I’m certain he wouldn’t mind a bit since he hid behind his lawyer for every tough question. 


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Just to remind you for the millionth time….

Strzok was not a rank and file minion for the Hillzdawg probe, but rather a key investigator in both Clinton email probe and the counterintelligence investigation into the PDT’s alleged ties to Russia.

Page, meanwhile, was a close adviser to then-Deputy Director Deep State McCabe, who more or less worked wearing a “Clinton, Inc.” name tag. 

Also, Inspector General Horowitz recently found that he “could not rule out” bias in Strzok’s decision to leave classified emails on Spanky Weiner’s laptop while rushing into the phony Trump probe.

Yes, the IG essentially said he thinks he looked the other way so he could target the president.

YOU MAY WANT TO BRING THAT UP TOMORROW, GOP. 

 


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But if reports are true, it looks like they may be doing just that.

Following his recent closed-door testimony, Republicans hinted strongly that they had learned unspecified new information that is connected to the FBI’s handling of investigations during the 2016 campaign — but provided no evidence or specifics to substantiate their claims.

The GOP members who attended that interview were particularly interested in the timeline of events surrounding the opening of the PutinGate probe, the exact window of time I just mentioned, in which they knew hundreds of thousands of emails had been found on that laptop.

I’m heartened that the GOP are asking the right questions, or at least appear to be.

We’ll see how many good ones they ask tomorrow. More importantly, we’ll see how many get answered. I’m less than hopeful. 


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I don’t yet have a time for Strzok’s testimony tomorrow, but these things tend to begin around 10am EST. I’ll be sure to post more exact information as soon as I can.

Time to see how our favorite spook does under the bright lights!

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There it is, homeskillet. You know the drill: questions, comments, concerns, memes, insults, compliments, stickers, jokes, emojis and, if we have time, complaints.


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