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BarryLaverty

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BarryLaverty last won the day on April 3 2020

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  1. I don't have you on ignore. You just rarely say anything worth responding to...you're a turd in a punch bowl.
  2. For making the sneering suggestions or cracking jokes that it was about what it wasn't, as it was nothing less than a brutal, vicious attack on an 82 year old man.
  3. Still beating that dead horse, with the thread that I started, which showed that 'conservatives' were all about culture wars and nothing else of substance, while covering for the most corrupt administration and person in our history in Trump. Of course you changed the thread title. When's that plan for combating inflation going to be revealed? How about a real plan to address immigration? How about ANYTHING beyond tax cuts for the rich?
  4. Poor, poor Kirt had such hopes for some revelation to save his hero's reputation as a Putin loving colluder. It didn't go well, at all, in fact, there was evidence of criminal activity on Trump's part probably ignored. You 'deep state' nuts need to apologize to our national security personnel. The New York Times Barr Pressed Durham to Find Flaws in the Russia Investigation. It Didn't Go Well. Charlie Savage, Adam Goldman and Katie Benner Thu, January 26, 2023 at 3:37 PM CST WASHINGTON — It became a regular litany of grievances from President Donald Trump and his supporters: The investigation into his 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia was a witch hunt, they maintained, that had been opened without any solid basis, went on too long and found no proof of collusion. Egged on by Trump, Attorney General William Barr set out in 2019 to dig into their shared theory that the Russia investigation likely stemmed from a conspiracy by intelligence or law enforcement agencies. To lead the inquiry, Barr turned to a hard-nosed prosecutor named John Durham and later granted him special counsel status to carry on after Trump left office. But after almost four years — far longer than the Russia investigation itself — Durham’s work is coming to an end without uncovering anything like the deep-state plot alleged by Trump and suspected by Barr. Moreover, a monthslong review by The New York Times found that the main thrust of the Durham inquiry was marked by some of the very same flaws — including a strained justification for opening it and its role in fueling partisan conspiracy theories that would never be charged in court — that Trump allies claim characterized the Russia investigation. Interviews by the Times with more than a dozen current and former officials have revealed an array of previously unreported episodes that show how the Durham inquiry became roiled by internal dissent and ethical disputes as it went unsuccessfully down one path after another even as Trump and Barr promoted a misleading narrative of its progress. — Barr and Durham never disclosed that their inquiry expanded in autumn 2019, based on a tip from Italian officials, to include a criminal investigation into suspicious financial dealings related to Trump. The specifics of the tip and how they handled the investigation remain unclear, but Durham brought no charges over it. — Durham used Russian intelligence memos — suspected by other U.S. officials of containing disinformation — to gain access to emails of an aide to George Soros, the financier and philanthropist who is a favorite target of the American right and Russian state media. Durham used grand-jury powers to keep pursuing the emails even after a judge twice rejected his request for access to them. The emails yielded no evidence that Durham has cited in any case he pursued. — There were deeper internal fractures on the Durham team than previously known. The publicly unexplained resignation in 2020 of his No. 2 and longtime aide, Nora Dannehy, was the culmination of a series of disputes between them over prosecutorial ethics. Now, as Durham works on a final report, the interviews by the Times provide new details of how he and Barr sought to recast the scrutiny of the 2016 Trump campaign’s myriad if murky links to Russia as unjustified and itself a crime. Barr, Durham and Dannehy declined to comment. The current and former officials who discussed the investigation all spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the legal, political and intelligence sensitivities surrounding the topic. ‘The Thinnest of Suspicions’ A month after Barr was confirmed as attorney general in February 2019, special counsel Robert Mueller ended the Russia investigation and turned in his report without charging any Trump associates with engaging in a criminal conspiracy with Moscow over its covert operation to help Trump win the 2016 election. Trump would repeatedly portray the Mueller report as having found “no collusion with Russia.” The reality was more complex. In fact, the report detailed “numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign,” and it established both how Moscow had worked to help Trump win and how his campaign had expected to benefit from the foreign interference. That spring, Barr assigned Durham to scour the origins of the Russia investigation for wrongdoing, telling Fox News that he wanted to know if “officials abused their power and put their thumb on the scale” in deciding to pursue the investigation. “A lot of the answers have been inadequate, and some of the explanations I’ve gotten don’t hang together,” he added. At the time Barr was confirmed, he told aides that he already suspected that intelligence abuses played a role in igniting the Russia investigation — and that unearthing any wrongdoing would be a priority. In May 2019, soon after giving Durham his assignment, Barr summoned the head of the National Security Agency, Paul Nakasone, to his office. In front of several aides, Barr demanded that the NSA cooperate with the Durham inquiry. Referring to the CIA and British spies, Barr also said he suspected that the NSA’s “friends” had helped instigate the Russia investigation by targeting the Trump campaign, aides briefed on the meeting said. Durham spent his first months looking for any evidence that the origin of the Russia investigation involved an intelligence operation targeting the Trump campaign. Durham’s team spent long hours combing the CIA’s files but found no way to support the allegation. Durham and Barr had not yet given up when a new problem arose: In early December, the Justice Department’s independent inspector general, Michael Horowitz, completed his own report on the origins of the Russia investigation. The inspector general revealed errors and omissions in wiretap applications targeting a former Trump campaign adviser and determined that an FBI lawyer had doctored an email in a way that kept one of those problems from coming to light. But the broader findings contradicted Trump’s accusations and the rationale for Durham’s inquiry. Horowitz found no evidence that FBI actions were politically motivated. And he concluded that the investigation’s basis — an Australian diplomat’s tip that a Trump campaign adviser had seemed to disclose advance knowledge that Russia would release hacked Democratic emails — had been sufficient to lawfully open it. The week before Horowitz released the report, he and aides came to Durham’s offices to go over it. Durham lobbied Horowitz to drop his finding that the diplomat’s tip had been sufficient for the FBI to open its “full” counterintelligence investigation, arguing that it was enough at most for a “preliminary” inquiry, according to officials. But Horowitz did not change his mind. That weekend, Barr and Durham decided to weigh in publicly to shape the narrative on their terms. Minutes before the inspector general’s report went online, Barr issued a statement contradicting Horowitz’s major finding, declaring that the FBI opened the investigation “on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient.” But as Durham’s inquiry proceeded, he never presented any evidence contradicting Horowitz’s factual findings about the basis on which FBI officials opened the investigation. By summer 2020, it was clear that the hunt for evidence supporting Barr’s hunch about intelligence abuses had failed. But he waited until after the 2020 election to publicly concede that there had turned out to be no sign of “foreign government activity” and that the CIA had “stayed in its lane” after all. An Awkward Tip On one of Barr and Durham’s trips to Europe, according to people familiar with the matter, Italian officials — while denying any role in setting off the Russia investigation — unexpectedly offered a potentially explosive tip linking Trump to certain suspected financial crimes. Barr and Durham decided that the tip was too serious and credible to ignore. But rather than assign it to another prosecutor, Barr had Durham investigate the matter himself — giving him criminal prosecution powers for the first time — even though the possible wrongdoing by Trump did not fall squarely within Durham’s assignment to scrutinize the origins of the Russia inquiry, the people said. Durham never filed charges, and it remains unclear what level of an investigation it was, what steps he took, what he learned and whether anyone at the White House ever found out. The extraordinary fact that Durham opened a criminal investigation that included scrutinizing Trump had remained secret until October 2019, when a garbled echo became public. The Times reported that Durham’s administrative review of the Russia inquiry had evolved to include a criminal investigation, while saying it was not clear what the suspected crime was. Citing their own sources, many other news outlets confirmed the development. By the spring and summer of 2020, with Trump’s reelection campaign in full swing, the Durham investigation’s “failure to deliver scalps in time for the election” began to erode Barr’s relationship with Trump, Barr wrote in his memoir. Trump was stoking a belief among his supporters that Durham might charge former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden. That proved too much for Barr, who in May 2020 clarified that “our concern of potential criminality is focused on others.” Even so, in August, Trump lashed out in a Fox interview, asserting that Obama and Biden, along with top FBI and intelligence officials, had been caught in “the single biggest political crime in the history of our country,” and the only thing stopping charges would be if Barr and Durham wanted to be “politically correct.” Against that backdrop, Barr and Durham did not shut down their inquiry when the search for intelligence abuses hit a dead end. With the inspector general’s inquiry complete, they turned to a new rationale: a hunt for a basis to accuse the Clinton campaign of conspiring to defraud the government by manufacturing the suspicions that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia, along with scrutinizing what the FBI and intelligence officials knew about the Clinton campaign’s actions. During the Russia investigation, the FBI used claims from what turned out to be a dubious source, the Steele dossier — opposition research indirectly funded by the Clinton campaign — in its botched applications to wiretap a former Trump campaign aide. The Durham investigation did something with parallels to that incident. In Durham’s case, the dubious sources were memos, whose credibility the intelligence community doubted, written by Russian intelligence analysts and discussing purported conversations involving American victims of Russian hacking, according to people familiar with the matter. The memos were part of a trove provided to the CIA by a Dutch spy agency, which had infiltrated the servers of its Russian counterpart. The memos were said to make demonstrably inconsistent, inaccurate or exaggerated claims, and some U.S. analysts believed Russia may have deliberately seeded them with disinformation. Durham wanted to use the memos, which included descriptions of Americans discussing a purported plan by Hillary Clinton to attack Trump by linking him to Russia’s hacking and releasing in 2016 of Democratic emails, to pursue the theory that the Clinton campaign conspired to frame Trump. And in doing so, Durham sought to use the memos as justification to get access to the private communications of an American citizen. One purported hacking victim identified in the memos was Leonard Benardo, the executive vice president of the Open Society Foundations, a pro-democracy organization whose Hungarian-born founder, Soros, has been vilified by the far-right. In 2017, The Washington Post reported that the Russian memos included a claim that Benardo and a Democratic member of Congress, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, had discussed how Loretta Lynch, the Obama-era attorney general, had supposedly promised to keep the investigation into Clinton’s emails from going too far. But Benardo and Wasserman Schultz said they had never even met, let alone communicated about Clinton’s emails. Durham set out to prove that the memos described real conversations, according to people familiar with the matter. He sent a prosecutor on his team, Andrew DeFilippis, to ask Judge Beryl Howell, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Washington, for an order allowing them to seize information about Benardo’s emails. But Howell decided that the Russian memo was too weak a basis to intrude on Benardo’s privacy, they said. Durham then personally appeared before her and urged her to reconsider, but she again ruled against him. Rather than dropping the idea, Durham sidestepped Howell’s ruling by invoking grand-jury power to demand documents and testimony directly from Soros’ foundation and Benardo about his emails, the people said. Rather than fighting in court, the foundation and Benardo quietly complied, according to people familiar with the matter. But for Durham, the result appears to have been another dead end. In a statement provided to the Times by Soros’ foundation, Benardo reiterated that he never met or corresponded with Wasserman Schultz, and he said that “if such documentation exists, it’s of course made up.” As the focus of the Durham investigation shifted, cracks formed inside the team. Durham’s deputy, Dannehy, a longtime close colleague, increasingly argued with him in front of other prosecutors and FBI agents about legal ethics. Now Dannehy complained to Durham about how Barr kept hinting darkly in public about the direction of their investigation. Dannehy urged Durham to ask the attorney general to adhere to Justice Department policy and not discuss the investigation publicly. But Durham proved unwilling to challenge him. The strains grew when Durham used grand-jury powers to go after Benardo’s emails. Dannehy opposed that tactic and told colleagues that Durham had taken that step without telling her. By summer 2020, with Election Day approaching, Barr pressed Durham to draft a potential interim report centered on the Clinton campaign and FBI gullibility or willful blindness. On Sept. 10, 2020, Dannehy discovered that other members of the team had written a draft report that Durham had not told her about, according to people briefed on their ensuing argument. Dannehy erupted, according to people familiar with the matter. She told Durham that no report should be issued before the investigation was complete and especially not just before an election — and denounced the draft for taking disputed information at face value. She sent colleagues a memo detailing those concerns and resigned. Two people close to Barr said he had pressed for the draft to evaluate what a report on preliminary findings would look like and what evidence would need to be declassified. But they insisted that he intended any release to come during the summer or after the Nov. 3 election — not soon before Election Day. In any case, in late September 2020, about two weeks after Dannehy quit, someone leaked to a Fox Business personality that Durham would not issue any interim report, disappointing Trump supporters hoping for a pre-Election Day bombshell. © 2023 The New York Times Company
  5. A little perspective of the last guy in office and judges: Trump made 46 nominations for federal judgeships that were not confirmed by the Senate. Of these, 6 were withdrawn by President Trump, 32 expired at an adjournment of the Senate, and 8 were withdrawn by President Joe Biden after he took office, but still, this happened, anyway: https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2020/6/republicans-keep-confirming-unqualified-judicial-nominees-law360
  6. Who's afraid of big bad George Soros??? Liars who want to spin lies in 'conservative' land.
  7. I would be interested to see what the thoughts would be regarding 'lock 'em up' laws, with the exception of 'Shall Not Be Infringed' man. (Washington Post) Gun owners favor requiring parents to lock up weapons. It’s lawmakers who don’t. After a 6-year-old shot a teacher in Virginia, there will be another push for safe gun storage laws across the country. Most will likely fail. By John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich January 26, 2023 at 7:00 a.m. EST In the three weeks since a first-grader in Virginia took his mother’s pistol to school and allegedly shot a teacher in the chest, an angry and exasperated public has again asked why lawmakers have not done more to ensure that gun owners lock up their firearms. But it isn’t the gun owners who have stood in the way of their own accountability. In fact, the vast majority would embrace it. Two-thirds who responded to a 2019 poll said they supported a mandate for all of them to secure their firearms — and yet, four years later, amid the worst stretch of school shootings in history, fewer than half the states in the country have passed any such law. The reason is simple, according to gun-safety researchers and lawmakers who have tried for years to pass safe-storage legislation: Conservative politicians fear the political power of gun lobbyists who oppose those regulations more than they fear constituents who support them. “This is all about politics and culture wars,” said Daniel Webster, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions. “The basic rationality, and our general instinct that we want to protect our kids, gets sadly pushed aside.” The widespread unwillingness of state legislatures to pass the laws — driven in part by a small but fierce core of gun rights devotees key to the Republican base — is especially frustrating for Webster and other researchers, who have collected a growing body of evidence showing that those regulations reduce the risk that children will shoot themselves or others, unintentionally or on purpose. For students, the consequences of inaction have been dire. If children as young as 6 didn’t have access to guns, more than half the country’s school shootings since 1999 would not have happened, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. In the past two years alone, at least 45 acts of gun violence on K-12 campuses would have been prevented, sparing 51 people from being shot and 44,000 children from being exposed to the terror and trauma of those incidents. The effects extend far beyond the classroom, though. Since 2000, more than 11,000 children have ended their own lives with guns, and thousands more have shot themselves or others by accident. Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for young children and teenagers in the United States. Last week, the family of the 6-year-old boy accused of shooting his teacher in Newport News, Va., released a statement asserting that the gun had been “secured.” In an interview with The Post, the family’s attorney said the weapon had been stored on the top shelf of a closet and was fitted with a trigger lock, but the family has not explained how a child that young could have figured out how to remove the lock. Most trigger locks require a key, a three-digit code or a fingerprint scan to open. It remains unclear whether prosecutors will charge anyone with a crime in the case. The Post reviewed every school shooting since the Columbine High massacre nearly 24 years ago and identified just 10 instances in which the adult owners of the weapons were criminally charged because they had failed to lock up their firearms. Six of those prosecutions stemmed from shootings committed by kids younger than 11 — even though children in that age group are responsible for only about 3 percent of the total number of shootings. Virginia has adopted a law intended to prevent children from obtaining guns, but it is considered among the weakest in the country. The statute prohibits people from “recklessly” leaving a “loaded, unsecured firearm” somewhere that could endanger a child under the age of 14. It does not, however, require that people lock up their guns, nor does it do anything to protect older teens, who are at a higher risk of suicide and are far more likely to commit mass shootings. A 6-year-old is accused of shooting someone at school. He isn’t the first. Virginia Democrats have proposed bills this session to strengthen the state’s law, just as they have in previous years. But despite fresh public demands for action in the aftermath of the shooting at Richneck Elementary, Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg, a Henrico County Democrat sponsoring one of those bills, has little hope that it will succeed. To pass, VanValkenburg said, the proposal would first have to survive a House subcommittee controlled by a GOP majority. All seven Republican members of that subcommittee have ties to the National Rifle Association: Each belongs to the organization, has been endorsed by it or has received a sterling rating from it. Four have also taken NRA donations. “It’s a very old legislative tactic,” said VanValkenburg, a high school history and government teacher outside Richmond. “Take a bill that you don’t want to pass and put it onto a subcommittee where you’ve stacked it with people who are the most antagonistic to the law.” None of the Republican members agreed to a phone interview for this story, but one of them, Del. Jason Ballard (Giles), answered questions by email. Ballard, an Army veteran who received $5,000 from the NRA in 2021, suggested that existing Virginia law is sufficient, writing that the “mandates described are unenforceable, invasive, and run the risk of severe violations of privacy.” Ballard did not directly answer a question about whether the state should revise the existing statute to include older teens, who are far more likely to shoot themselves or other people with unsecured guns. He argued that “responsible firearm owners also teach their children firearm safety,” echoing the belief of many adults that children can be educated out of making bad choices with guns — an assumption disproved by years of research. Many parents of school shooters ignore glaring warning signs. This grandmother didn’t. “As a dad, I know that there is no government entity that is more concerned with and dedicated to the safety of my children than I am,” Ballard continued. “I believe that’s true of all parents.” An NRA spokesperson made similar assertions, emphasizing a need for responsible behavior while opposing legal requirements. “The NRA supports safe storage for every firearm owned in America and we educate gun owners to keep firearms away from unauthorized users,” spokeswoman Amy Hunter said in a statement. “We believe storage should be a personal decision based upon the specific needs of the firearm owner or household versus mandating one specific method for every gun owner.” ) Critics of the laws contend that they make it harder for people to defend themselves in case of an emergency, but many safe-storage bills specifically address that issue. State Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax) has proposed an amendment that would require owners to lock up their guns, and store them separately from the ammunition, in homes where someone under 18 might be present. But the proposal includes an exception: People would be able to keep loaded guns in safes with biometric locks, as long as children could not access them. High-quality pistol safes, which can be opened in less than a second with a fingerprint scan, are widely available online and cost less than $200. “I come from the Deep South. I have family members who have guns. ... I can understand their concerns,” Boysko said. “This is a very thoughtful, carefully crafted, common-sense piece of legislation that can save lives.” She is hopeful the bill will pass, especially in light of the Newport News shooting. A year ago, Rosemary Bayer, a state senator in Michigan, was even more optimistic that her colleagues would embrace safe-storage legislation. On Nov. 30, 2021, a 15-year-old boy took a 9mm handgun from his home and killed four students at Oxford High, in Bayer’s district. She and Democratic colleagues had long campaigned for the state to adopt a safe-storage law, and Bayer felt certain the school shooting would bring consensus. “‘Surely now you see,’” she recalled telling Republican senators. “There was no way they could ignore it.” But they did. In session after session, Bayer said, she stood on the Michigan Senate floor and read stories of other children obtaining guns and shooting people. None of it made a difference, even after the county prosecutor, Karen McDonald, charged the teen’s parents with involuntary manslaughter, accusing them of “unconscionable” negligence. Once, Bayer said, a Republican colleague told her that the gun lobbyists had made it clear to him, and to other conservatives, that supporting any new regulation would jeopardize their careers. “‘If you do not toe the line, we will primary you with so much money, you will never win another election ever again,’” she recalled him telling her. “It’s just that basic.” Eight hundred miles away in South Carolina, where at least four children have committed school shootings in the past two years, state Rep. Jermaine L. Johnson (D) said he has heard a version of the same explanation from Republicans who refused to support similar legislation. “‘I agree 100 percent with what you said. However, I just can’t vote that way, because I’ll get primaried,’” Johnson said he’s been told. “That’s the only concern that they have.” Those concerns are not imagined. From South Carolina to Kentucky to Oregon, Republicans who showed any sign of softening their support for gun-rights activists have paid for it, although there have been exceptions. This summer, 15 Republicans in the U.S. Senate defied the NRA when they voted to pass a bipartisan gun-safety bill. Two of them, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Sen. Todd C. Young of Indiana, were up for reelection last year. Both won easily. In Michigan, Bayer has a renewed sense of confidence that the state will finally create a safe-storage law this year, but not because any Republicans have changed their minds. Her party now controls both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s office, which means Republicans can no longer bury the bill in a committee and prevent it from reaching the floor of the House or Senate. Every lawmaker, she said, will be forced to make his or her position known. “They’re gonna have a heck of a hard time voting no,” Bayer said, because after Oxford, the issue has become deeply personal to voters all over the state, just as it now has for many people in Virginia. An Epic-MRA poll released in September found that 82 percent of Michigan residents wanted such a law, a sentiment held by people from one end of the political spectrum to the the other. Among Democrats: 93 percent supported it. Among gun owners: 76 percent. Among Republicans: 75 percent. Among NRA members: just shy of two-thirds.
  8. Don't interrupt their culture wars, BB, with any kind of factual nonsense! Why Monte will have a video thrown up there any minute now!
  9. I have missed hearing the sneering replies from Perfessor Nonothing, who thinks he knows so much. The Federalist Society is just a front for extremist right wingers who manipulate the system to put unqualifed, except for their puppet abilities, 'lawyers' in judge spots. It's like a modern version of Skull and Bones, only without the spanking.
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