Saturday, February 3, 2018

Last Call For The Science Of Lying

Although there's seemingly no end to the number of professional climate change deniers employed by the Trump regime, the basic job requirements of any administration climate "expert" position is "smart enough not to make Trump look bad at their confirmation hearing", something Kathleen Hartnett White failed miserably at three months ago at her confirmation hearing for heading the federal government's Council on Environmental Quality.  As such, the Trump regime has been forced to withdraw her nomination.

The White House plans to withdraw its controversial nominee to head the Council on Environmental Quality, Kathleen Hartnett White, according to two administration officials briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the decision has not been announced yet.

One of the officials briefed on Hartnett White’s plans said that her nomination had failed to gather momentum even as some of the administration’s other senior environmental policy picks had won approval, with some Senate Republicans raising questions about her expertise.

Hartnett White, who once headed the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and now serves as a fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, has stirred controversy because of her statements on climate change. Testifying last fall before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, she said that while humans probably contribute to current warming, “the extent to which, I think, is very uncertain.”

Her comments, which echoed some other appointees of President Trump, contradicts the conclusion of an overwhelming number of scientific experts and the findings of the federal government. Leading scientific assessments have repeatedly found that climate change is fueled largely by human greenhouse gas emissions.

“I’m not a scientist, but in my personal capacity, I have many questions that remain unanswered by current climate policy,” Hartnett White said at her confirmation hearing. “I think we indeed need to have more precise explanations of the human role and the natural role.”

Just days before she testified the federal government released its Climate Science Special Report, a collaboration among more than a dozen agencies that found “no convincing alternative explanation” other than human influence for the warming the world has experienced in the past 70 years.

“It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” the document stated.

When asked during her hearing by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) what portion of the heat trapped in Earth’s atmosphere is absorbed by the world’s oceans — the majority of it is stored there — Hartnett White responded, “I don’t have numbers like that

But I believe that there are differences of opinions on that, that there’s not one right answer,” she added.

Whitehouse later tweeted that Harnett White “outright rejects basic science.”

Remember, the only person in the Trump regime allowed to have basic facts of science this wrong is Trump himself.  When you're such a bad nominee that even congressional Republicans think you're unqualified to serve in this administration, you've really blown it.

It's (Still) Mueller Time

The Nunes memo arrived with all the fanfare of an incontinent warthog loose at the Louvre, and it stank just as badly.  

The main argument that this odious GOP-doctored summary of the House Intelligence Committee's info made is that somehow, those super-crafty Democrats tricked four separate FISA judges into extending surveillance on suspected foreign agent and Trump campaign staffer Carter Page by omitting that the "primary source" of the info on Page was the "paid-for-by-Democrats" Steele dossier, which is "compromised by partisanship". 

However, the Nunes memo can't prove any of this, because the memo's sources remain classified, so you just have to take Devin Nunes's word for it.  This is basically your drunken estranged uncle telling you that Bigfoot exists man, but the CIA has the proof in a file cabinet somewhere in a top secret mountain bunker in Virginia but you have to believe me, I'm not crazy.

The main assumption to bolster the argument the Nunes memo makes is that FISA court judges are dumber than a box of rusty hammers at the bottom of the Everglades, which apparently didn't sit too well with people who know FISA court judges.

The court that approved surveillance of a former campaign adviser to President Trump was aware that some of the information underpinning the warrant request was paid for by a political entity, although the application did not specifically name the Democratic National Committee or the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

A now-declassified Republican memo alleged that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was duped into approving the wiretap request by a politicized FBI and Justice Department. The memo was written by House Intelligence Committee Republicans and alleged a “troubling breakdown of legal processes” flowing from the government’s wiretapping of former Trump aide Carter Page.

But its central allegation — that the government failed to disclose a source’s political bias — is baseless, the officials said.

The Justice Department made “ample disclosure of relevant, material facts” to the court that revealed “the research was being paid for by a political entity,” said one official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity.

“No thinking person who read any of these applications would come to any other conclusion but that” the work was being undertaken “at the behest of people with a partisan aim and that it was being done in opposition to Trump,” the official said

Former senior Justice Department officials who handled applications for wiretap warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) say that such applications typically include dozens of pages and undergo rigorous vetting.

“We didn’t put in every fact, but we put in enough facts to allow the court to judge bias and motive and credibility of the sourcing,” said Matthew G. Olsen, former deputy assistant attorney general for national security who oversaw the Justice Department’s FISA program from 2006 to 2009.

The Republican memo, he said, “is unconvincing and one-sided. It raises more questions than it answers.”

If the FISA application to surveil Page referred to funding by political opponents “or included similar references that revealed a motivation against then-candidate Trump, even if they did not name the DNC . . . then the FISA applications would be fine,” said David Kris, a FISA expert who led the Justice Department’s National Security Division from 2009 to 2011.

It's patently clear that there are other intelligence sources besides the Steele Dossier that were followed up on.  The last paragraph of the Nunes memo even says so.

The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow Trump 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 refect 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.

Everything but the bolded sentence in that entire memo is Nunes trying to hide that bolded sentence.  Why he included it I don't know, because instead of pointing the blame at FBI agent Peter Strzok, it just proves that there's other intel sources besides the Steele Dossier that started the FISA warrant process in the first place.

Anyway, the game's still afoot.

Trump's Captive Audience

The Trump regime's private prison profit scam is now fully rolling ahead into its intended purpose: deportation internment camps for the millions ICE will be rounding up over the coming months and years.

Prison companies that backed Donald Trump during the presidential campaign and gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to his inaugural committee just got another boost from his administration. The Bureau of Prisons will now transfer more inmates from government-run lockups to private facilities, according to a memo sent to department staffers last week, as the agency prepares to cut federal correctional jobs.

The memo, published by Government Executive on Thursday, orders federal prisons to identify eligible inmates for the transfers by targeting low-security, male immigrants who are serving time for crimes. According to the directive, the move is intended to alleviate overcrowding at government facilities and “to maximize the effectiveness of the private contracts.” Currently, 11 private prisons contract with the BOP, and most hold immigrants convicted of crimes.

Under President Barack Obama, the Justice Department started phasing out its use of private prisons after the inspector general found them to be less safe than publicly run facilities. But when President Trump took office, the department switched course: Last February, Attorney General Jeff Sessions described private prisons as essential for meeting “the future needs of the federal correctional system.” Stock prices for prison industry giants like CoreCivic and GEO Group soared soon after.

Speaking to investors last summer, executives from both companies highlighted BOP plans for a “capacity realignment” to avoid overcrowding in publicly run prisons and ensure, as CoreCivic CEO Damon Hininger put it, that low-security inmates “are being housed in the most cost effective facilities.” While the latest directive targets immigrants serving time, prison executives have suggested that other inmates may soon be transferred too. “You’ll see the bureau evaluate U.S. citizens as they have previously evaluated criminal aliens,” J. Dave Donahue, president of GEO Group’s US corrections operations, told investors on an August call. 
At the federal level, the biggest client for these prison companies is the Department of Homeland Security, which contracts with them to detain undocumented immigrants who face deportation. Still, the Bureau of Prisons is an important partner for CoreCivic and GEO Group, which collectively run 9 of the agency’s 11 private contract facilities.

And now with Trump ordering additional steep cuts in federal prison staffing, shipping detained immigrants to private prisons will be the new norm as more corporations who literally make money by locking people up get into the game.   Private prisons need inmates to make money, and the Trump regime will make sure that America never runs out of black or brown bodies to incarcerate.

This was always the GOP plan, and it's going to get even more brutal soon.  Remember, Trump keeps screaming about how his political enemies need to be locked up.  There will be plenty of room to fill those private prisons with activists, protesters, and resisters.

We tried to warn you this would be the result. 

But her emails.
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