Thursday, August 29, 2019

Last Call For It's All About Revenge Now, Con't

The Barr "Justice" Department has finally crapped out that special inspector general report on James Comey's misconduct, and Trumpistas are still calling for the former FBI Director's crucifixion.

Former FBI Director James B. Comey violated FBI policies in how he handled memos that detailed his controversial interactions with President Trump, the Justice Department’s internal watchdog found in a report released Thursday, both in engineering the release of their contents to the press and storing them at his home without telling the FBI.

The inspector general found that the memos — which described, among other things, how Trump had pressed Comey for loyalty and asked him about letting go an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn — were official records, and as such, Comey’s treatment of them broke the rules.

The former FBI director gave one of the memos — which included information the inspector general called “sensitive,” but unclassified — to a friend and authorized him to share its contents. He also stored four of the documents in a safe in his personal home and provided copies to his personal attorneys without FBI authorization, the inspector general found.

One of those memos shared with the attorneys was later determined to contain information, such as the names of foreign countries being discussed by Trump, that was classified as confidential, the lowest level of secrecy, the inspector general wrote.

On Twitter, Comey noted that the inspector general found “no evidence” that he or his attorneys released any classified information to the media.

“I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice,” he wrote. “And to all those who’ve spent two years talking about me ‘going to jail’ or being a ‘liar and a leaker’—ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president.”

The report is the second time Inspector General Michael Horowitz has criticized Comey for how he handled FBI business during his abbreviated tenure in charge of the bureau. Last summer, Horowitz lambasted Comey for his leadership of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state, accusing him of insubordination and flouting Justice Department policies in deciding only he had the authority and credibility to make key decisions on the case and speak about it publicly.

And yet all of this is sturm und drang because we know back from the first of the month that not even Bill Barr was going to try to prosecute a former FBI Director.

Senior Justice Department officials have concluded that former FBI director James B. Comey should not be charged in connection with his handling of memos documenting conversations with President Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.

The determination comes amid ongoing internal reviews focused on federal authorities’ investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and the Trump campaign. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is conducting one of the reviews, is unlikely to produce a final report on that subject for at least a month, but one aspect of his work is largely complete, these people say: Comey’s handling of the memos.

Deciding not to charge the former FBI director, who has become an outspoken critic of President Trump since Trump fired him in May 2017, was “not a close call,” said a person who was not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity

In other words, nothing about this is new information.  The decision was made weeks ago not to prosecute, but Republicans are trying to work the refs on this anyway despite the fact the information was made clear four weeks ago.

Having said that, James Comey is still a shitbird grande whose interference in the 2016 race absolutely helped Trump, and if Trump ordered Bill Barr to abuse his powers as Attorney General, prosecuted Comey for mishandling classified info, and then chucked Comey in prison for a decade or so, I wouldn't lose a wink of sleep.

Deportation Nation, Con't

The Trump regime is already redefining who qualifies for US citizenship in a dangerous move involving children of US military and government employees, and we should expect more and more people to be excluded from automatic citizenship from now on.

Children born to U.S. service members and government employees overseas will no longer be automatically considered citizens of the United States, according to a policy alert issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Wednesday.

Previously, children born to U.S. citizen parents were considered to be "residing in the United States," and therefore would be automatically given citizenship under Immigration and Nationality Act 320. Now, children born to U.S. service members and government employees, such as those born in U.S. military hospitals or diplomatic facilities, will not be considered as residing in the U.S., changing the way that they potentially receive citizenship.

The change in policy was first reported by San Francisco Chronicle reporter Tal Kopan.

According to USCIS, previous legislation also explicitly said that spouses of service members who were living outside the U.S. because of their spouses were considered residing in the U.S., but "that no similar provision was included for children of U.S. armed forces members in the acquisition of citizenship context is significant."

That is one of the reasons why USCIS has now decided that those children are not considered to be residing in the U.S., and therefore will not be automatically given citizenship. Instead, they will fall under INA 322, which considers them to be residing outside the U.S. and requires them to apply for naturalization.

They will be allowed to complete all naturalization proceedings while living abroad, the new policy says.

"The policy change explains that we will not consider children who live abroad with their parents to be residing in the United States even if their parents are U.S. government employees or U.S. service members stationed outside of the United States and, as a result, these children will no longer be considered to have acquired citizenship automatically," USCIS spokesperson Meredith Parker told Task & Purpose.

"For them to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship, their U.S. citizen parent must apply for citizenship on their behalf."The process under INA 322 must be completed before the child's 18th birthday.
While children of service members will be allowed to complete the citizenship process outside of the U.S., Parker added, children of government employees "must enter the U.S. lawfully with an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa and be in lawful status when they take the Oath of Allegiance."  

Let's recap.

As of today, if you are a US citizen, and your child is born outside of the US, your child is not a US citizen.  You have to apply for the child's citizenship.  That citizenship can now be denied. That's wholly up to the Trump regime now.

Now, this lays the basis for denying US citizenship to a whole host of people. The Fourteenth Amendment means what Trump says it means. If the courts agree that the Trump regime can carve out exceptions for who gets citizenship when they are born, then a whole lot of people can be denied.

Think Puerto Rico or Guam.

Once you introduce the idea that US citizenship is not automatic, then you introduce the idea that citizenship can be revoked based on those exceptions.

Then the mass detainment and deportations of undocumented become mass detainment and deportations of undesirable citizens.

History tells us exactly where that leads to.

Boris Versus The Clock

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday asked the Queen to suspend Parliament for five out of the nine weeks left between now and the October 31 deadline for a Brexit deal, and the Queen has agreed.  Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is furious, calling the move a "coup" and saying Johnson will face a vote of no-confidence before the suspension starts.

Parliament will be suspended just days after MPs return to work in September - and only a few weeks before the Brexit deadline.

Boris Johnson said a Queen's Speech would take place after the suspension, on 14 October, to outline his "very exciting agenda".

But it means the time MPs have to pass laws to stop a no-deal Brexit on 31 October would be cut.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said it was a "constitutional outrage".

The Speaker, who does not traditionally comment on political announcements, continued: "However it is dressed up, it is blindingly obvious that the purpose of [suspending Parliament] now would be to stop [MPs] debating Brexit and performing its duty in shaping a course for the country."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "Suspending Parliament is not acceptable, it is not on. What the prime minister is doing is a smash and grab on our democracy to force through a no deal," he said.

He said when MPs return to the Commons next Tuesday, "the first thing we'll do is attempt legislation to prevent what [the PM] is doing", followed by a vote of no confidence "at some point
And this is apparently only the beginning of Johnson's bag of dirty tricks to run out the Brexit clock and force a worst-case disaster scenario which would of course require emergency powers for his office to be granted in order to steer the country through the mess.

BuzzFeed News has learned that in the last few days, Johnson’s senior team — led by his chief of staff Dominic Cummings and director of legislative affairs Nikki da Costa — has explored a number of increasingly controversial proposals it could deploy depending on the success of rebel attempts to thwart Brexit. The ideas under consideration include the following:

  • Attempting to disrupt a Commons debate on Northern Ireland power-sharing due on Sept. 9, a day which could be used by rebels to attempt to delay Brexit. It is described by Johnson allies as a “time bomb” set for them in the final weeks of Theresa May’s premiership.
  • Determining whether Johnson would be breaking the law by ignoring any successful rebel legislation or refusing to resign in the event he lost a vote of no confidence.
  • Using a variety of mechanisms, including a potential budget, to create new Commons debates and further reduce time for rebels to act.
  • Using the prorogation of Parliament to “kill the bill” by rebel MPs and force them to table it again after the Queen’s Speech on Oct. 14.
  • Creating new bank holidays to prevent the House of Commons from being recalled during the prorogation period.
  • Filibustering any bill by rebel MPs attempting to force Johnson to delay Brexit when it reaches the House of Lords.
  • Ennobling new pro-Brexit peers as a last resort to kill any such bill in the Lords.
  • Exploring what the consequences would be if Johnson advised the Queen not to give royal assent to any legislation passed by Parliament delaying Brexit.

The measures were devised by the prime minister’s senior aides who have spent the summer in their Downing Street bunker war-gaming how to respond to potential parliamentary manoeuvres by MPs determined to block no deal. The rebels, by contrast, spent the August holidays debating whether they would back Ken Clarke as a potential caretaker prime minister in an unlikely government of national unity.

Number 10's prorogation plan was ready to go and be put into action on Tuesday evening, just hours after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn agreed to a pact with the so-called Remainer “rebel alliance” seeking to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Downing Street’s official line is that it is not preventing MPs from debating Brexit policy, that it is routine for a new administration to hold a Queen’s Speech and for Parliament to be prorogued in the run-up, and that MPs will have sufficient time to scrutinise plans before and after the Commons is suspended.

But privately, Johnson allies admit their principal aim in the next two months is to reduce the number of days when MPs can act to stop no deal, in order to give the government the best-possible negotiating hand ahead of the European Council on Oct. 17, where it hopes to strike a new Brexit deal with the EU.

“Every sitting day, there is a risk of something going wrong,” a government source said.

One senior Brexiteer equated Downing Street’s strategy to a football team wasting time at the end of a match. “We are into the final 10 minutes, and we are holding the ball by the corner flag,” they said

The European Union has made it painfully clear that Johnson's not going to get another extension or a better deal on October 17, but apparently his plan is "If the United Kingdom is literally on fire, the EU will give in."

So at this point the UK is barrelling down the "worst-case scenario" path at record speed, and the crash could leave the country unable to function come November.  At that point, I'd expect emergency powers to come into play, and at that point, the UK ceases to be a Western Democracy and becomes something I'd expect Donald Trump would very much like to see here in the States 15 months from now.

Here there be dragons, guys.  Big ones.


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