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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: June 24, 2017, 08:21:34 AM
IMO, many Dem's think this is retaliation for the Obama was born in Kenya narrative made by many after his election in 2008.  Especially since Trump himself attempted to profit from it with his "reward" for "the real birth certificate."

Big difference though.  None of the actors in that false narrative were government officials, leaked government information, or created a plethora of government funded "investigations" to decide the issue. 

Also, if you scream loudly about the alleged "wolf" of Russian interference, you can distract investigators from those events that might be highly embarrassing to your side.  For example, Podesta's ties to Putin-backed Russian operatives get subsumed by the Trump narrative.  So, does Clinton's uranium deal.  And so does Podesta's embarrassing fall for a Russian phishing scheme for his gmail account.  And so does the Russian hack of the DNC network.   

This is why the Dem's began complaining loudly about Manafort's prior political consulting deals with the pro-Russian candidates in Ukraine.  And why they expanded upon it to include any Trump associate who may have done business in Russia - including the Trump corporations themselves. 

And when Trump surrogates float an idea to fire Mueller, that part of the bureaucracy responds with a leak that Mueller's group is "investigating" Trump's ties to Russia.  Which is nothing more likely than some people in that group were reviewing the FBI files on the entire matter.

The result will be billions of dollars and thousands of man hours spent investigating a non-event while the real Russian interference attempts get short shrift and the needed security measures to reduce the likelihood of successful future hacks are ignored and not implemented in the same manner that so many government agencies still operate on 30-50 year old computing networks that do not communicate with each other.

The inertia continues because all anyone seems interested in is protecting their phony baloney jobs.
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: June 24, 2017, 08:07:59 AM
Andrew McCarthy's opinion piece

3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: June 08, 2017, 06:25:21 PM
Rubio's questioning of Comey distills well the gist of this political soap opera.

Comey did not like how his firing was handled by Trump.  He felt embarrassed and defamed (his own word) by some of Trump's comments about how he was viewed by others in the Bureau.  He then does not like Trump's tweet about Comey better be sure that Trump himself does not have any tapes of their conversations before he begins leaking to the press. So, Comey leaks his CYA memos recounting his conversations with Trump to the NYT via a friend who is a law school professor.  In other words, Comey did what Trump thought he would do ... leak. 

This enables Trump to get publicized that he has never been under investigation in the Russia probe.  And Comey is forced to admit that Trump agreed with him that it would be good to get the whole story out there and that it would be good for Trump to learn if some of his "satellites" in the campaign were in fact violating the law.

4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: June 07, 2017, 09:36:31 PM
I was glad to see the WSJ editorialize in favor of Comey's dismissal by Trump because in his prepared testimony to the Senate tomorrow, he wrote

"That concerned me greatly, given the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch."

The WSJ wrote:

"The most troubling part of Mr. Comey’s statement is his belief in what he calls “the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch,” which he invokes more than once. Independent? This is a false and dangerous view of law enforcement in the American system.

Mr. Comey is describing an FBI director who essentially answers to no one. But the police powers of the government are awesome and often abused, and the only way to prevent or correct abuses is to report to elected officials who are accountable to voters. A director must resist intervention to obstruct an investigation, but he and the agency must be politically accountable or risk becoming the FBI of J. Edgar Hoover."

This goes back to my earlier posts about the unitary executive.  The FBI Director is subservient to the President because the FBI is carrying out part of the executive power of the federal government; i.e., the statutory authority given by Congress to investigate violations of federal laws and the authority to conduct certain counterintelligence investigations.  In these respects, the FBI is exercising executive powers.  And Article II of the Constitution vests all executive power in a President of the United States.

Comey viewed Trump's Feb 14 comments as simply a request that the FBI not extend its investigation of Flynn to the matter of Flynn's allegedly inaccurate or misleading statements made to the VP about his meetings with the Russian ambassador. 

If I were Trump and my FBI Director viewed himself as independent of my executive authority, I would have fired him, too.  It also explains more clearly the Deputy AG's rationale in his memo to the AG that was attached to the press release announcing Comey's immediate dismissal.  Comey botched the handling of the Clinton investigation and he botched the handling of the Russia probe because he was asserting an authority for FBI Director that was far greater than permitted under Article II of the Constitution.  As the WSJ states in its editorial, this was the same problem presented by J Edgar Hoover.  Whether Trump understand these constitutional issues when he decided to fire Comey, he got the result correct and upheld his oath as President to preserve and protect the Constitution. 
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 31, 2017, 06:58:38 PM
House subpoenas unmasking records concerning Rice, Brennan, and Samantha Power, UN Ambassador and wife of Cass Sunstein.
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 26, 2017, 09:10:19 AM
As to Seth Rich, he can be a leaker to Wikileaks without his murder being part of a conspiracy to shut him up.  That could be a coincidence like when Chandra Levy's murder led to her relationship with Condit, her boss, being publicized.  However, the only leaked evidence from the anonymous DC police source to the private detective said there was evidence on Rich's computer that he had been in contact with Wikileaks.  That could mean a lot of things.  Before anyone begins speculating about the nexus of his murder to these contacts, they first better be able to ascertain what constituted these contacts.  Did he just go to the Wikileaks website?  Were there email exchanges between him and Wikileaks?  And what were the dates of these contacts?  Quite frankly, I don't believe much of what Assange says because he has his own agendas.  I don't think it is a disgrace to purse this hypothesis.  However, I don't think it is wise to fixate on it until you have definitive proof that Rich actually leaked something to Wikileaks.  If his contacts were something else, then the whole thing is a false flag planted by Assange to hide how he really obtained the emails.

I do recall public accounts stating that Podesta's personal Gmail account was phished.  Unknown third parties obtained his Google username and password by convincing him to give it to them.  I recall reading some articles that blamed an IT guy in the DNC for telling Podesta that it was OK to answer that phishing email.  That data was then sold or given to others who sold or gave it to "the Russians" who then used it access and download all of his emails.  But who are those Russians?  They could be government agents.  Or they could be just crooks.  The fact that agents ofthe Russian government may have been doing other things to try and disrupt the election; e.g., using bots to flood comments sections of various articles published online, does not prove that agents of the Russian government also were the ones behind the successful phish of Podesta's Gmail account and the ones who gave those emails to Wikileaks.  Just like in the matter of Seth Rich, there's a whole lot of hypothesizin' goin' on.

We are beginning to learn facts that point to the Obama administration's decision to investigate the Russian leaks as a justification for conducting intelligence operations against Trump for political reasons.  Disclosing confidential information has been the MO of every Obama campaign.  Someone leaked his challenger's sealed divorce records to the press when he ran for Senate.  Someone leaked Joe the Plumber's sealed records to the press in 2008.  The IRS prevented many Tea Party groups from organizing for the 2012 election by not acting upon their requests for designations under the IRC; e.g., the Lois Lerner matter.  They falsely blamed an obscure video for the Benghazi compound assault that killed our ambassador and 3 other Americans on 9/11/2012.  (I happened to look at that video on 9/12/12 and there were about only 80 views.)  We know that his NSA routinely violated an order of the FISA court.  And we can begin to isolate the persons who unmasked Flynn and others.  And we know that in early January 2017, the administration increased the permitted zone of distribution for these unmasked conversations of Trump aides.  All of this constitutes strong initial evidence of a circumstantial nature that the Obama Adminsitration used the Russian investigation as a pretext to spy on their political opponents.

7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 20, 2017, 06:55:36 PM
Both theories hold that the President is a unitary executive.

The plain language I cited from Article II, Sec 1 says so. 

Congress has a check on the President through the Senate's power to confirm appointments of those officers to whom the President wishes to delegate part of his executive power.  This is a separate power written in Article II, Sec. 2.  Congress does not have the power to prevent the President from firing an officer; but it could express its political displeasure by screwing around with the confirmation proceedings for the successor. 

The President has a right to expect loyalty from his officers.  Of course, that expectations cannot include illegal acts.  But it does include policy preferences.  Thus, if Comey did not see the importance of investigating the leaks and unmaskings of Trump people, then Trump has the power to fire him and replace him with an FBI Director that will investigate those issues. 

This is not Watergate where the burglars were caught in the Watergate Office complex during the commission of that felony against office of the DNC.  And the burglars were directed by a member of the President's staff and were funded in part by campaign contributions to the Committee to Re-Elect the President.  And, then, Nixon used his powers as President to keep the investigation from uncovering the links between the burglars and his aides and campaign staff.

This is a case in which Trump did not trust Comey to carry out his policies.  He saw how Comey had interfered in the election.  Comey would not give him any affirmation of loyalty to Trump's policy priorities.  So, Trump did not order any investigations stopped.  But he wanted to get his own guy in there.  Whether or not Trump's assessment of Comey is accurate, Trump still has the power to fire him and replace him with a different FBI Director.

8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Dershowitz on Tucker Carlson: Where's the crime? on: May 20, 2017, 05:13:44 AM
How come it's OK for Obama to fire Flynn for not being loyal to Obama's policies; but it is not OK for Trump to fire Comey for refusing to say that he will be loyal to Trump's policies?

The FBI works for the President.  It is not an autonomous directorate.  Or do some want another Hooveristic bureau if it acts that way to further their political goals?

9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 19, 2017, 06:15:11 PM
Given the performance of the same group of agenda-driven people after Benghazi in 2012, I distrust every alleged leak coming from unnamed sources. 
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 19, 2017, 01:14:18 PM
Craft Dog wrote:

Are you saying that the President can ask the FBI Director to back off an investigation of a friend of his?

IMO, yes.  He has the constitutional authority to do so. He has the constitutional authority to order the FBI to stop investigating his friend. 

The very first sentence of Article II:  "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America."

The issue is whether the request is such an abuse of that power that it constitutes an "other High Crime and Misdemeanor."  Or whether the friend bribed him for the request. Otherwise, such an order or request is a political issue that gets resolved in an election.  For example, the President can order the pardon or commutation of a friend's conviction and sentence.  He could even receive money like Bill Clinton received from the wife of Marc Rich.
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 19, 2017, 07:20:50 AM
The current atmosphere really demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the power of the President as executive and the legislation that created the 10 year term for the FBI Director.

All executive power is vested in the President.  Congress cannot take any of that power away from the President by legislation.  The President can order the DOJ or the FBI to conduct any investigation he wants conducted.  Also, he can order the DOJ and FBI Director not to conduct any investigation that he does not want conducted.  The President can make his views about any investigation known to the FBI or DOJ.  The President is the ultimate executive power and his delegation of duties to members of his cabinet or staff does not strip the President of that constitutional power.

This is no different than the Commander-in-Chief clause.  The President can overrule any commander's decision about anything.  He is the top dog in that chain of command.  In fact, many writers applaud JFK's decision to override the Joint Chiefs during the Cuban Missile Crisis and impose a naval blockade instead of ordering air strikes.  Same with Truman and MacArthur during the Korean War.

The 10 year term for FBI Director was established to prevent another J. Edgar Hoover from recurring.  That term places a limit on how long the Director can act before his position requires a review and oversight by both the President and Congress.  This limit was not added in order to make the Director somehow independent of the President.  You would not want a national police force to be independent of oversight for 10 years. 

The constitutional issue is whether the President abused his executive power when he asked Comey to move on from Flynn now that Flynn had resigned the day before.  And whether the President abused his power when he fired Comey on May 9.  And when he asked Comey whether he (Trump) was the subject of any FBI investigation.

IMO, the answer in all 3 cases is, "No."  Looking at these issues in reverse order.

3.  Trump, as the repository of all executive power under the Constitution, has a right to know if he is the subject of any FBI investigations before he makes any decisions that could constitute an abuse of power.  That includes the decision to fire Comey.  The AG and his underlings owe any President that duty because each President is elected by the majority of votes in the Electoral College.  Those election results reflect the consent of the governed for that 4-year term.  And the duty of all federal employees and officers is to the Constitution.  An act that constitutes an abuse of power under one set of circumstances and not an abuse of power under another set should not depend upon the decision of an underling not to disclose certain facts to POTUS.  Trump had a right to know all of the facts relevant to any personnel decision before making it.

2.  Comey served at the pleasure of any President who held office during his maximum term as FBI Director.  He owed any President loyalty to the extent that the President did not violate the Constitution or was seeking not to faithfully execute the laws of the land.  If Comey did not see the current leaks from the Executive office as a priority, then Trump had every power, right and duty to fire him.  Comey had no more power to set the parameters of the counterintelligence investigation into Russia or any other investigation into anything related to the 2016 election than MacArthur had to cross the Yalu into China aganst TRuman's wishes.

1.  Any President has the power to tell any subordinate what he thinks should be done in any investigation.  Clearly Trump did not tell Comey to end any investigation into Flynn because that investigation has supposedly progressed to grand jury subpoenas.  The actions of Comey and the Bureau after the Feb 14 conversation prove that Comey was not ordered to do anything.  Thus, Trump did not abuse his executive power.
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 18, 2017, 04:48:14 PM

This has the video clip of Comey testifying under oath before the Senate committee that he has never been asked to stop an investigation for political reasons by the Attorney General or DOJ.

Gregg Jarrett column on same issue.  He is also a lawyer.

13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 18, 2017, 05:50:58 AM
Good choice for independent counsel.  But this will not stop the drumbeat.
14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 17, 2017, 02:26:27 PM
FBI reviewed Flynn's calls with Russian ambassador and found nothing illegal.  So, I ask again.  What investigation was Trump obstructing on Feb 14? 

From the 1/23/17 Washington Post

"The FBI in late December reviewed intercepts of communications between the Russian ambassador to the United States and retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn — national security adviser to then-President-elect Trump — but has not found any evidence of wrongdoing or illicit ties to the Russian government, U.S. officials said.

The calls were picked up as part of routine electronic surveillance of Russian officials and agents in the United States, which is one of the FBI’s responsibilities, according to the U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss counterintelligence operations.

Nonetheless, the fact that communications by a senior member of Trump’s national security team have been under scrutiny points up the challenge facing the intelligence community as it continues its wide-ranging probe of Russian government influence in the U.S. election and whether there was any improper back-channel contacts between Moscow and Trump associates and acquaintances."

15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 17, 2017, 10:09:40 AM
marc - why is it inappropriate for the President to tell the FBI Director how he sees the priorities in the counterintelligence investigation into Russian election interference when there is not AG and no Deputy AG?  Was it unwise?  Yes, due to the fact that Comey was part of the swamp.  But not inappropriate and not obstruction of justice.  My guess is that when we see the entire memo and hear its full context, Trump was telling Comey to investigate the leaks with as much vigor as they were investigating the Russians.  In that context, getting past Flynn now that he has resigned is a completely proper comment since Yates had presented the whole issue as a personnel problem - not a criminal investigation. 
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 17, 2017, 04:07:13 AM
Thanks, Marc.  I figured here was one place where these issues could be discussed sensibly.

On Feb 14, was there a criminal investigation of Flynn underway at the FBI?  If not, Trump cannot be obstructing justice by telling Comey that he hopes that now that Flynn has resigned that the FBI can move past this issue.  As far as we know, there is no criminal investigation of Flynn underway at the FBI.  There is a counter-intelligence investigation underway of Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.  In that context, expressing a hope that the counterintelligence investigation can move past Flynn is not obstruction. 

Under the Hillary rule, wouldn't you need to prove intent in order to charge Trump anyway?

As to subpoenas of any Trump tapes of his meetings with Comey and separation of powers, it's a good question.  The Nixon decision at the Supreme Court held that executive privilege does not shield these things from a special prosecutor when there is probable cause that a crime has been committed.  In that case, there had been a burglary and Nixon was trying to use his power to cover up the burglars' links to his own campaign. 

An argument can be made that Comey's notes of his meetings with Trump are also protected by executive privilege. 

Right now, I don't believe anything being leaked to the press because the leaks are selective, misleading and designed to advance many agendas.  E.g., some are trying to sabotage Trump's meetings with Israel and Saudi Arabia by leaking that Israel was the source of the intel that was supposedly given to the Russians.  But who leaked this?  The people who talked to WaPo and the NYT. 

If you recall, firstt there was a story floated that allowing he Russians into the Oval Office without US press there may have led them to inadvertently discover classified info sitting in the open around the office.  When that did not generate any buzz, the WaPo publishes the story based upon hearsay info.  But McMaster said in no uncertain terms that nothing inappropriate was told to the Russians at that meeting.   "I was there and it didn't happen." 

In response, the media pays its next card, NYT says that on Feb 14 Trump tells Comey that he hopes you can put the Flynn matter behind you now that Flynn has resigned.  But what criminal investigation is Trump trying to obstruct when he says that?  Nothing. 

White House says that Trump never tried to stop the Russia investigation or any criminal investigation. 

17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: May 16, 2017, 06:29:25 PM
If this is so bad, then why didn't Comey report it or resign?  After all, this supposedly occurred 3 months ago.  And the investigation of Flynn has continued.  

Since Comey worked for the FBI, his memos are FBI property.  We should be able to see all of Comey's memos about all of his meetings with superiors while he was FBI Director.
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Syria on: September 11, 2013, 06:32:35 AM
crafty -

The risk to Putin would have been more thorough UN inspections after the strikes.  At that time, a Russian link to the chemical weapons could have been discovered.  So, Syria (with Russian support) agrees to turn over the weapons.  Note - that does not state permit inspections before turning over the weapons.  Both Assad's father and Saddam Hussein received Soviet military aid.

Also, I don't think that Kerry's comment was a throw-away.  I think that he was urged to make that statement - and make it seem a throw-away. 
19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Syria on: September 09, 2013, 04:40:18 PM
The Russian offer is a good way for Putin to get back those chemicals, delivery mechannisms and other agents that he and the USSR sent to Assad's father and to the late Saddam Hussein.  We would not want to find that a permanent member of the UN Security Council had been trading those items in violation of the 1993 UN Treaty - would we?
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: June 03, 2013, 05:38:57 PM
The whole point of Watergate was that not even the most powerful government official is above the law.  The first specified charge in Article II of the Articles of Impeachment alleged that Nixon, "acting personally and through his subordinates," violated the rights of citizens by causing "income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner."

How soon they forget!
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Comments from a federal grand juror on: May 31, 2013, 05:45:08 AM
Yesterday, I finished a one year term as a federal grand juror.  Every other week we would meet and review the cases presented to us by the US Attorney before any case could proceed to indictment and arrest.  It was a great inconvenience to my work.  It also interfered with my ability to participate consistently in this group.

Inside the jury room, I was impressed by the seriousness that some of “the lowest common denominator” jurors applied to their duty.  Everyone understood that we stood between an unjust indictment and the accused.  And many of the presumptive more highly educated (mainly teachers) were pushovers for government authority.  

Here are some thoughts.

1.  Every federal agent is called a special agent; but no one could explain to me why they are special.

2.  The federal government has defined for itself a huge amount of power; and it has assumed all of that power and then some.  The lip service paid to the Commerce Clause is scary.  Everything is now a federal crime as long as something used in the crime has been a part of interstate commerce at one time in its existence.  That includes a firearm or ammunition purchased legally in a private sale in your own State as long as that firearm or ammo was manufactured years earlier in another State. (When this applies to a convicted felon, there is not a lot of sympathy.  But when will it be applied to everyone?)  It also includes file sharing if the contents of the file were ever involved in interstate commerce even though the accused himself did not use interstate commerce to obtain the file.  The government's theory is that if an ISP owns a server in another State, that is a sufficient interstate nexus even if the user's packets never left the State. (Again, when this concept is applied to a person selling child pornography, it engenders little sympathy for the accused.  What happens when it is applied to someone sharing a political file?)There is no crime for which the Federal government cannot prosecute a person.  (For example, it is a federal crime to possess or brandish a firearm if that action would constitute another crime.)  The most cynical were bank fraud cases in which a lender makes a bad loan and then co-opts the federal criminal justice system to try and collect the bad debt via criminal prosecution by flyspecking a liar loan application.

3.  The federal government is devoting a lot of its resources to the apprehension and eviction of illegal aliens.  That was the largest group of cases that we heard.  But the southern border is like a sieve.  Unless that border is secured, there is no point to other reforms.

4.  I wonder what is intended for the new agency called Homeland Security Investigations.  Keep an eye on this agency because it seems to be popping up in a lot of different situations.  It was originally the new name for ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement).  But we encountered their “special” agents in more than just immigration and customs cases.

5.  Be very careful with your personal data.  The new growing crime is acquisition of your personal data by crooks who then electronically file false income tax returns under your data and receive large refunds sent to debit cards that they control.  They get your information from all sorts of different places including medical facilities.   They don't get the data from hacking computers.  They have people on the inside who are authorized to look at your data.  They are paid to record it and transmit it to the ringleader.  

6.  The IRS does not need a search warrant to invade your privacy.  To us, it was apparent that it was out of control months before the current scandal hit the media.

7.  HHS seeks to indict people and recover money on the basis of statistical samples from "audits" rather than actual proof of every fraudulent billing.

I was glad that I served.  There are a lot of well-intentioned and hard working bureaucrats.  However, the power assumed by the federal government is all-encompassing.  We no longer have a real federal system.  We have a national government with a lot of subservient provinces instead of a federal republic of States.  When the feds need to bolster their stats, they reach into the State system and federalize a case.  And the States are only too happy to transfer the financial cost of these prosecutions to the Feds.

I'm not as concerned about the federal employees as I am concerned about the Congresses that have enacted all of these laws.  They all took oaths to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.  Now, the social contract seems to be ignored for the mere sake of expediency.
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi, The Petraeus/Susan Rice affair; and related matters on: February 10, 2013, 06:06:39 PM
The knives are coming out against Brennan.
23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Benghazi, The Petraeus/Susan Rice affair; allegations of military misconduct on: December 27, 2012, 07:04:00 AM
It would not surprise me that these "leaks" are still another cover story to justify the decision not to respond. 

Whether or not the Benghazi facility was a consulate or a CIA operation is irrelevant to me.  Likely, it was used as both.  After all, Benghazi is the capital of the old province of Cyrenaica.  Also, it was a center of the resistance to Qaddafi.  The two "contractors" were killed at a safe house. 

Rather than devising these convoluted explanations, Occam's Razor says that this attack was launched on 9-11-12 as part of a coordinated effort in North Africa to remind the US that despite the death of UBL, the forces of the new al Qaidas have been dispersed but not defeated.  Benghazi was an easier target than Tripoli. This contradicted Obama's message at the Pentagon that morning.  The administration's quick response turned out to be wrong.  They persisted in the false narrative mainly for political reasons and because their polls disclosed that most Americans did not view this as a major election issue.  They went too far with Rice, but she was a perfect unwitting accomplice.  By the time the story began to unravel, it did not matter any more in the election.
24  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Nat Geo Documentary on the Dog Brothers: Fight Club on: January 24, 2008, 04:22:25 AM
You guys looked great in high definition!  The big difference in HD was seeing real blood versus Hollywood blood in the movies.  I noticed that the two anti-pack shrinks were from northeastern universities.

Since I do not participate in martial arts, I saw the program as a non-interested party.  I thought that it portrayed Dog Brothers in a very positive light.  The last two segments really pulled together the theme of the pack helping each other to progress in the discipline in order to be ready to defend land, food, family etc.  That theme made the eastern shrinks' criticism irrelevant since they seemed to be criticizing their own preconceptions of what they think you are rather than who you are.

However, the induction ceremony looked a little bit like the final scene in the original Star Wars movie without light sabers and without the princess in the low cut dress.    grin

The show is another good reason for the pack to be proud.
25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Stock Market on: January 24, 2008, 04:04:05 AM
Juniper reports earnings tonight.  Hopefully they will disclose how their MX series CESR switches are progressing.  The Juniper MX960 is the primary product in which the EZChip NP-2 is used.

The drop in price from 18 to current levels was caused mostly by a series of margin calls that hit some of the larger shareholders.  Etrade especially raised maintenance margins on the stock from 30% to 50, 60 or 70% in accounts that were heavily weighted to EZCH.  Some of the larger shareholders were hedge funds that began selling the stock to reduce exposure on all equities because they purchased a lot of their shares with borrowed funds.  Also, last Friday, Etrade's system caused a lot of selling after the ticker symbol change when it was not updated promptly.  The system called for 100% maintenance margin on EZCH; i.e., no margin allowed.  This prompted a number of holders to dump their shares on Friday morning thinking that they had margin calls.

EZCH reports earnings on February 11th.
26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Stock Market on: October 12, 2007, 06:21:27 AM
It will settle down now and consolidate for several weeks.  Q3 earnings will be announced around 15 November.  Expect some more action around that time.
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Stock Market on: October 11, 2007, 08:41:48 AM
LNOP just tripled the size of its total addressable market (TAM) with this announcement.

28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 11, 2007, 06:27:22 PM
Too bad the contributions weren't made in the form of toys.  evil
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: September 11, 2007, 06:25:14 PM
I know.  Build a fence and dig a ditch!  That'll work.
30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Stock Market on: September 11, 2007, 06:21:26 PM
Hey crafty,

You like your LNOP? 

Another 52 week high and closing high today.  I think that the company is close to placing the remainder of its secondary.  It has already sold 900,000 shares of the secondary to one private investor with a last name of Cheney.  The stock is up 50% during this placement.

Here are some more fundamental tidbits that I have discovered since my last post here.  The newly announced NP-4 chip will be cost competitive with ASIC's.  This is huge because it opens up the opportunity to move downspeed with cheaper,slower chips in other parts of the network.  It will be usable with any company's switch fabric.  It incorporates the physical layer on to the chip and includes many functions that now require additional chips in a linecard.  Market share in the target market is about 50% higher than any assumption out there.  The initial ramp will run through 2012.  It has design wins at Lockheed Martin, Motorola and with the Israeli government.

The more I learn about this company, the better its prospects look.  Gilder may have stumbled onto another big winner like QCOM at its zenith and EQIX.

31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Particular Stocks on: July 10, 2007, 01:10:48 PM
Cable is not true fiber to the home because the actual connection to the home is usually standard coax that you can buy at Radio Shack.

VZ (Verizon) FIOS is the major residential fiber to the home project out there at this time.  AT&T U-verse relies upon fiber to nodes and lower capacity connections from nodes to the home.  However, both systems rely heavily upon IPTV as the means to distribute digital and HD content.  BTW, VZ is deploying the JNPR MX960.  Remember that the MX 960 contains the EZChip NP-2.

MSFT is a big player in IPTV and is involved with AT&T.  Most new overseas TV developments involve IPTV.
32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Particular Stocks on: July 09, 2007, 11:01:26 AM
EZChip NPU's operate in line cards in the metro networks.  These cards are installed in switches that route traffic from the core networks, the big pipes between cities, to the netwroks that ring the various metro areas.  They are also installed to route traffic from the metro netwroks to the networks; e.g., enterprise networks, and other end users that exist at the other edge of the metro network.  Their appeal is their programmability which is very useful to the carriers in the metro because their functions can be adjusted to meet changing circumstances.

LNOP, the parent of EZChip is a fabless company.  Thus, war in Israel would not impact the company's ability to produce NPU's.  They are produced at Taiwan Semi and IBM.  The company backs up its intellectual property in several ways.  It does have operations here in the US.  They are mainly sales offices.

LVLT and Broadwing/Corvis focused more upon the core network.  There is not as great a need for lots of programmable switching in the core because there are not as many destinations for traffic as exist in the metro networks.  They can install ASIC's in the core more efficiently.  However, in the metro, the ASIC may not be as efficient because the carriers would need to replace them frequently as needs changed.  The NPU serves these needs better.

EZChip just announced a successful design of a 100gb NPU that should be ready for production in 2-3 years.

Revenues are expected to ramp seriously beginning in 2008.  A good stock to own in conjunction with EZChip is NETL.  They make a Layer 7 solution to overflow that occurs at that point.  The performance of that stock also gives the investor an idea of what to expect from LNOP.
33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Geo Political matters on: March 23, 2007, 05:56:44 AM
Hey guys, I do lurk here frequently.

I think the spoiling attack reasoning is a rather lame excuse.  Basically, Stratfor says that the US lucks into longer term good results even though it loses these short term battles/wars.

Iraq was designed to be a winning attack and a defeat to one state sponsor of terrorists.  Also, it was designed to be a geo-political thorn in the sides of the other troublesome nations of that region.  IMO, problems began with the public justifications for this war when Bush decided to use the UN.  Instead of being able to publicly define the war in terms of US national interests, the war had to be defined in terms of UN interests.  The only UN justification for toppling Saddam was the WMD's.  None of the prior UN Security Council resolutions really dealt with Saddam and terrorists even though he had long been a major state sponsor of many terror groups and had also offered safe havens for many other terrorists.

Thus, because of the emphasis upon the UN and WMD's, the US entered this war with the public expectation that we were toppling Saddam to gain control of large stockpiles of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.  You can recall the early media coverage of the war.  Any time the US approached what was thought to be a large WMD cache or factory, the media became all excited.  There, at last, was the ethical justification for toppling Saddam.  All of this went for naught because Saddam either had never replenished his chemical supplies from the Iran-Iraq war or he had already hidden them.  In either case, the absence of the WMD's undercut the credibility of the Bush Administration and tainted all of its other judgments about the war, the war on terror and, now, its entire administration.

Because we opted for the UN, the US was never able to emphasize the relationship of Saddam to the war on terror.  Bush elected not to emphasize the connections between Iraq and the 1993 WTC bombing.  He never emphasized the apparent close coordination in 1998 between Iraq's IIS and al Qaida before the embassy bombings.  The axis of evil came and went from the State of the Union, even more misunderstood and distorted by Bush political opponents than the famous 16 words that led to the Plame fiasco.

Iraq is not a spoiling attack.  It is a pre-emptive war.  Bush announced that doctrine on 1 June 2002 at that year's West Point graduation.  It was/is designed to draw and divert AQ resources away from the continental US and focus them on the US military in Iraq.  It ingeniously played upon the weakness of jihadi masculinity and their need to save face.

Iraq was also a pre-emptive strike against Iran.  Since 1979, Iran has been the leading state sponsor of terrorism in that region.  By transforming Iraq after we invaded Afghanistan, the US has geographically isolated Iran.  That is why Iran's little President continues to squeal like a pig and is actively seeking nukes.

However, since we used the UN justifications instead of our national interest, the US was pre-empted from accurately explaining to the public its own national security justifications for overthrowing Saddam.  The irony of being pre-empted from properly explaining a pre-emptive war should not be lost on anyone.
34  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Spammers on our forums on: October 29, 2006, 01:54:11 AM
The actual spam seemed to come from a guest user.  The professed user is not on the list of forum users.  Perhaps there is a way for guests to send personal messages without registering as a user.
35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues on: October 26, 2006, 06:49:32 AM
Compare this news wire story from today

with the following excerpt from the introduction to Michael Crichton's novel State of Fear.

"In late 2003, at the Sustainable Earth Summit Conference in Johannesburg, the Pacific island nation of Vanutu announced that it was preparing a lawsuit against the Envrionmental Protection Agency of the United States over global warming.  Vanutu stood only a few feet above sea level, and the island's eight thousand inhabitantswere in danger of having to evacuate their country because of rising sea levels caused by global warming..."

Of course, Crichton's critics claimed that he exaggerated the methods and goals of the environmental movement.  Did he?
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics and Stock Market on: October 25, 2006, 04:37:29 PM
craftydog -

The markets are sanguine because they view the worst case situation as gridlock.  That is not very much different than now for taxes.

I like your new improved forum.
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: October 22, 2006, 04:24:24 AM
This has got to be the most overly-analyzed war in history!  Everyone is likely partly right and partly wrong in their assessments.  However, it should be remembered that a full political solution in the United States took about 20 years from the First Continental Congress to the final ratification of the Constitution by the 12th and 13th colonies.  There were two failed governmental systems before the Constitution, the Continental Congress and the Articles of Confederation.  Sixty-eight years after Washington began his second term as President, political factions in the South commenced another armed revolt against the central government.

Consequently, I do not understand why there is an expectation of quickly establishing a stable government, let alone a popularly elected one, in Iraq.  Our own history tells us not to expect stability in Iraq until at least 2011 and a stable governmental system there until 2023.
38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics and Stock Market on: October 22, 2006, 04:08:03 AM
Woof crafty,

Permanent tax cuts are DOA because even if the Republicans do not lose control of either house of Congress, they still will not have 60 votes in the Senate for cloture.  There will be a lot of capital gains realization in 2007 and 2008 as many investors opt to pay the 15% tax rate ahead of possible rate hikes if the Dems control Congress and the White House.  Coupled with the projected decrease in corporate profits in the second half of next year, the likely increase in selling pressure on all asset classes, stocks, real estate and commodities, increases the risk of negative economic and investment data.  Also, it will create another spike in Treasury revenues that will give the 2009 Congress the incentive to spend even more.

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