James Comey just smashed Al Franken in front of the entire world

–8kh.,b60

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Al Franken thought he could just slide one past FBI Director James Comey, but learned very quickly that Comey was not there to play games or get political.

During the hearing, Franken decided that he was going to do Comey’s job for him and let him in on a little secret that might point to a preposterous reason that the Russians may have preferred President Donald Trump over his opponent, Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.

“The FBI, CIA and the NSA all concluded that Russia did in fact interfere in the 2016 election in order to, quote, help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton,” Franken said to Comey. “Is it possible that in the Russian’s views — view Trump’s business interests would make him more amenable to cooperating with them, quote, more disposed to deal with Russia as the I.C. report says?”

Comey had a clear takedown for that statement.

“That was not the basis for the I.C.’s assessment,” Comey responded.

Franken wasn’t done trying to lead Comey down the rabbit hole to get to his central thesis. He pressed further, asking if it was possible, to which Comey responded that he wasn’t able to answer questions on the “possibility” of things. In investigations, it’s not about possibilities, but facts.

So Franken cut straight to the chase when his leading questioning didn’t get him anywhere.

“Yes. Well, in order for us to know for certain whether President Trump would be vulnerable to that type of exploitation, we would have to understand his financial situation. We’d have to know whether or not he has money tied up in Russia, or obligations to Russian entities, do you agree?”

Comey wasn’t having it, responding, “That you would need to understand that to evaluate that question? I don’t know.”

In his last ditch effort Franken asked if having Trump’s tax returns would help determine the connection between Russia and Trump. And here it is… the tax returns again. Hasn’t anyone learned from Rachel Maddow’s mistake?

That’s not something, senator, that I’m going to answer,” Comey said flatly.

source-conservative tribune, tiffani grey,

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the cost of Barack Obama’s speech

–7jh.,b12

“I found myself spending time with people of means — law firm partners and investment bankers, hedge fund managers and venture capitalists,” Senator Barack Obama wrote in his book “The Audacity of Hope.” “As a rule, they were smart, interesting people. But they reflected, almost uniformly, the perspectives of their class: the top 1 percent or so of the income scale.”

He wrote in 2006: “I know that as a consequence of my fund-raising I became more like the wealthy donors I met. I spent more and more of my time above the fray, outside the world of immediate hunger, disappointment, fear, irrationality, and frequent hardship of … the people that I’d entered public life to serve.”

Is it a betrayal of that sentiment for the former president to have accepted a reported $400,000 to speak to a Wall Street firm? Perhaps not, but it is disheartening that a man whose historic candidacy was premised on a moral examination of politics now joins almost every modern president in cashing in. And it shows surprising tone deafness, more likely to be expected from the billionaires the Obamas have vacationed with these past months than from a president keenly attuned to the worries and resentments of the 99 percent.

Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, began their post-White House careers with twin book deals reported to be worth as much as $65 million.

Since Gerald Ford enriched himself with speaking fees and board memberships after leaving office, every former president but Jimmy Carter has supped often at the corporate table. It’s not beyond imagining that Mr. Obama could break with a practice whose ills he observed so astutely, and which contributed to the downfall of the Democrat he hoped would cement his legacy. The tens of millions that Hillary Clinton raised from speaking to corporate interests most likely haunts her now — or should.

Eric Schultz, an Obama adviser, said in a statement. “President Obama will deliver speeches from time to time. Some of those speeches will be paid, some will be unpaid, and regardless of venue or sponsor, President Obama will be true to his values, his vision, and his record.”

From Mr. Obama’s earliest days in government, he wrestled with what it means to be a representative public servant in an era of purchased influence. He didn’t always make the right decisions, he acknowledged. Now, as he commits to building future American leaders, we have the audacity to hope he’ll set a higher standard for past presidents.

source-nyt,, eric schultz,

sanctuary cities subject to ‘stiffest penalties in America,’ Says Texas Governor

–60fh., b28

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said law enforcement and other officials implementing sanctuary policies that release criminal aliens with immigration detainers will now be subject to the “stiffest penalties in America.” He also rebutted the hype and fear mongering being spread by some legislators, liberal chiefs of police, sheriffs, and media outlets.

Abbott’s comments came during an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas immediately following his signing of the historic bill that effectively outlaws sanctuary jurisdictions in the Lone Star State. The new law creates civil and criminal penalties for those who refuse to cooperate with immigration officials and provides for jail time for a sheriff or police chief who releases a criminal alien subject to an immigration detainer. He also took the opportunity to counter the claims that this is a “show me your papers” law and is somehow unconstitutional.

Democrat legislators and left-of-center Texas news outlets claims about the constitutionality of a provision in the law allowing police officers to inquire about the immigration status of someone they have detained drew pointed criticism from the governor. In an article published April 29 in the Dallas Morning News, State Representative Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) said SB4 is unconstitutional because states are pre-empted by federal law in the area of immigration and are not permitted to conduct their own investigation. “The Supreme Court struck down most of the provisions of the Arizona immigration law on this basis.”

Abbott told Breitbart Texas this article “directly misstated what the legal status of this law was out of the U.S. Supreme Court – in the Arizona decision.”

“The so-called controversial part of this law is what some label as the “show your papers” component,” the Texas governor explained. “And what everyone seems to get wrong is they think that that provision was stricken down in the Arizona law. To the contrary, the provision in the Arizona law is stricter than the Texas law. The Arizona law required that law enforcement ASK for papers. The Texas law does not require it, it allows it so there is that one difference.”

“But despite that difference, the Arizona law was upheld by every U.S. Supreme Court justice, including the liberals,” he said emphatically. “The so-called controversial part of this law has been ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court and upheld,” the governor emphasized.

“There’s only one group of people that is targeted by this legislation and that is people who are in this country illegally, who have committed violent crimes, and are subject to an ICE detainer request.”

The law’s author, Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), said police can already inquire about the immigration status of a person they detain, during a Q&A on the Senate Floor during final passage of the bill. He said this bill doesn’t change anything in this regard and citizens and legal residents do not need “carry papers” to prove they are here legally.

“All law enforcement officers are going to be required to follow this law,” the governor stated. “If they refuse to follow this law, or if they adopt sanctuary city policies, they are subject now to the stiffest penalties in America for adopting sanctuary city policies – which includes jail time where sheriffs could wind up in the same jail they may be releasing inmates from who are the subject of ICE detainer requests.”

“But these officials also are subject to a removal action,” he advised, “and the counties or cities in which they operate are subject to very stiff fines.” The governor said these fines can go up to $25,000 per day. The law makes ignoring an immigration detainer a Class A misdemeanor, Breitbart Texas reported.

Referring to Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez and Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, who have either ignored or threatened to ignore immigration detainers, Abbott said they must come into compliance with the law. “If they don’t change their policies, if they continue to handle detainers on a case-by-case basis that means they will be in violation of this law and subject to its penalties,” he said firmly.

“This law makes Texans safer because it prevents the types of policies that California has that lead to the tragic murder of Kate Steinle. It prevents the types of policies that were adopted by the Travis County sheriff who had policies that release back out on the street, people who are either accused of, or even convicted of, very dangerous crimes and so Texas is going to be a safer place by ensuring that law enforcement will work with federal officials to ensure that we keep behind bars, and remove from this country, those who pose a danger to our fellow Americans.”

The new sanctuary city law goes into effect September 1, 2017.

spurce–bob price, breitbart, dallas morning news, charles perry, sakly, hernandez, sheriff lupe valdez,

she’s baaaack: Hillary declares herself part of ‘the resistance’

she’s baaaack: Hillary declares  herself part of ‘the resistance’–47jh.,b43

According to the newly-defanged former Democratic leader, she takes “absolute personal responsibility” for her loss — but she adds that “I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28th and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off. … if the election had been on October 27, I would be your president.”

But aside from that, she takes responsibility

Hillary Clinton announced on Tuesday that she takes responsibility for losing the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump. Sort of.

But aside from that, she takes responsibility.

She also added that places that didn’t vote for her couldn’t get “cell coverage for a mile.”

Um, no.

What does she have going on next? She says, “I’m now back to being an activist citizen and part of the resistance.”

Really? What, exactly, is she resisting? She dragged her party down almost single-handedly in the last election cycle. Now she wants to be part of the cool kids crowd again. This is precisely what’s wrong with Clinton, and what her husband understood: you can’t hijack a popular movement with which you had nothing to do. Bernie Sanders? Maybe. Hillary Clinton? No way.

But perhaps Hillary still has 2020 ambitions. Those rumors are still floating out there, and right now the three leading 2020 candidates for the Democrats are around her age: Elizabeth Warren (67), Joe Biden (74) and Bernie Sanders (75). She’s a youthful 69. What’s to stop her from running again?

Herein lies the problem for the Democrats. All of their top names are old fogeys with no youth appeal, other than the geriatric socialist who isn’t technically a Democrat. Their youth movement, however, has no exact target — it’s just a lot of people angry about a lot of different things, complaining about the evils of patriarchal, heterosexist, cisnormative society. Hillary can’t lead that bunch.

source–the daily wire, ben shapiro,

NYT columnist Stephens says there are still questions about global warming predictions.-

NYT columnist Stephens says there are still questions about global warming predictions.–21GH.,B38

On Saturday, brand new New York Times conservative columnist Bret Stephens penned a moderate column about climate change. In that column, he says that global warming due to man-made activity is a certainty: Anyone who has read the 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change knows that, while the modest (0.85 degrees Celsius, or about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) warming of the Northern Hemisphere since 1880 is indisputable, as is the human influence on that warming, much else that passes as accepted fact is really a matter of probabilities. That’s especially true of the sophisticated but fallible models and simulations by which scientists attempt to peer into the climate future. To say this isn’t to deny science. It’s to acknowledge it honestly.

Stephens cautions against false certainty — failing to report uncertainty in data. “We live in a world in which data convey authority,” Stephens says. “But authority has a way of descending to certitude, and certitude begets hubris.” Stephens’ language about certainty is actually designed to help climate change enthusiasts — if they keep making claims that keep being proved wrong, without any doubts baked into the cake, people will simply discount what they’re saying.

This moderate take has led a mass revolt by leftists who insist they will now cancel The New York Times. They call Stephens’ column denialism, even though Stephens acknowledges global warming has taken place. They say that it’s just wrong on a factual level. Susan Matthews of Slate called the piece “classic climate change denialism,” explaining that reasonable people could not be “skeptical about the dangers of climate change.” Erik Wemple of The Washington Post actually wrote an email to the paper complaining about the op-ed and asking for answers on Stephens’ piece — something he hasn’t done on any other New York Times op-ed he’s ever reported.

SOURCE-nyt, ben shapiro, nyt, bret stephens, susam mattews, slte, erik wemple, wash post

Huma Abedin’s family members indicted by federal grand jury-

Huma Abedin’s family members indicted by federal grand jury–47jh.,b43

Hillary Clinton‘s deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, is back in the news.  Actually, she is only in the news now because of two of her family members, who have been indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy, wire fraud, and securities fraud. The indictments against two of her first cousins, Omar Amanat and Irfan Amanat, were made available via the Justice Department’s website.

Abedin, Clinton and the State Department were mentioned in the indictments. According to one of the allegations, the men encouraged Abedin to get help from the State Department.  As a result, they received $1.2 million in federal grants.

“With the revelations of other suspicious activity at the State Department regarding [Hillary] Clinton’s tenure as the secretary of State, it seems a good time by all was had at taxpayers’ expense. The State Department was a great ‘piggy bank,’” said for criminal investigator Mary Jean (MJ) Bellson. “Were these suspects and State Department officials involved in peddling access to the Clinton’s State Department? I think the answer to that question is yes.”

According to the Justice Department in July 2016, Omar, an associate of Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, the former Chairman and CEO of KITD, was charged with conspiring to manipulate the market in KITD shares with several men, and with conspiracy, wire fraud, and aiding and abetting investment adviser fraud for participating in a scheme to defraud investors in Stephen E. Maiden’s hedge fund regarding investments in Enable Invest Ltd., an investment fund affiliated with Amanat.

“What a tangled web Mr. Amanat tried to weave, when he allegedly conspired with others to devise a scheme to hide the significant losses and insolvency of the fund he controlled,” said USPIS Inspector-in-Charge Philip R. Bartlett.  “His web of deception was broken when law enforcement put an end to his criminal activity.”

With the announcement of Omar Amanat’s indictment, there were two other men indicted, Stephen E. Maiden and rima Jameel.  According to that press release, the DOJ stated:

The Scheme to Defraud Maiden Capital Investors

MAIDEN was the managing member of Maiden Capital, an unregistered investment advisory firm that managed portfolios of securities.  Clients empowered Maiden Capital and MAIDEN to make investment decisions on their behalf.  MAIDEN, in turn, was obligated to make such decisions based on the best interests of his clients.

Nonetheless, between in or about February 2009 and in or about June 2012, AMANAT, along with MAIDEN and others, devised and carried out a scheme to hide the fact that investments by Maiden Capital clients in Enable, an investment vehicle for which AMANAT raised money (based, in part, on false and misleading representations), had been lost.  To facilitate the scheme, MAIDEN, with the knowledge and approval of AMANAT, generated fictitious client account statements that failed to disclose the Enable losses.  In addition, AMANAT wired hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Maiden Capital bank account to support Maiden Capital, including to allow MAIDEN to repay investors whose redemption requests could not be forestalled and thus to continue to keep secret from Maiden Capital investors the Enable losses.

MAIDEN concealed the Enable losses, thereby acting in his own self-interest and the interests of AMANAT, his close associate, who did not want the Enable losses to be exposed.  By providing MAIDEN with capital contributions to meet redemption requests, among other things, knowing that MAIDEN’s investors had been lied to by MAIDEN about the Enable losses and the status of their investments, AMANAT assisted MAIDEN in carrying out his fraudulent scheme and helped MAIDEN to succeed in covering up the losses for over three years.

 

Between in or about December 2008 and in or about September 2011, AMANAT, Tuzman, MAIDEN, and others, engaged in efforts to artificially inflate the share price and trading volume of KITD shares.  During this time period, during which KITD shares traded on the OTC Bulletin Board and on the NASDAQ, MAIDEN, at the behest of AMANAT and Tuzman, purchased and sold shares of KITD through the Maiden Fund, at times for the purpose of manipulating the stock price and at times for the purpose of creating the illusion of greater volume in the trading for KITD shares.  To facilitate the manipulation of KITD shares, AMANAT and Tuzman agreed to compensate MAIDEN in several ways, including by making investments in, and loaning money to, Maiden Capital, which agreement AMANAT and Tuzman partially fulfilled.

According to Jim Kouri, “Some of the evidence regarding Kit Digital appears in State Department emails sent to Abedin from Amanat and a non-related business partner. In June 2009, Amanat helped his business partner solicit Abedin for State favors on behalf of Soliya Inc., which was in partnership with Kit Digital. Summit Entertainment, a film company Amanat held a controlling stake in at the time, also stood to benefit.”

Then in October 2010, at the height of Hillary Clinton’s power on the world stage, her subordinates at the State Department directly turned over $1.25 million to Soliya.”

source-freedom outpost, amanat omar, amanat irfn, jean mary, tuzman kaleil isaza, maiden, stephen, bartlett, philip, jameel, rima, maiden capital, kouri jim, summit enterainment

Repeal and replace Dodd-Frank, but be wary of Wall Street

Repeal and replace Dodd-Frank, but be wary of Wall Street–46ghh.,b12-1

As Republicans in Congress and the White House begin repealing and replacing the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill, they need to remember something most of new media misses, which is that Wall Street’s big banks aren’t reliable friends of free-market conservatives in this effort.

The House Financial Services Committee is set on Tuesday to mark up its repeal and replace bill, the Financial CHOICE Act. This has Wall Street worried. “We’re not for wholesale throwing out Dodd-Frank,” JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said at a bankers conference right after the election. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said around the same time, “I wouldn’t want regulation to be repealed in total.” Dodd-Frank, like most big-government regulations, irritates big businesses but also protects them from competition. Big, complex regulations impose costs that the big guys can afford, but the small fry can’t. Making it expensive and difficult to start and build a bank is very helpful to banks that are already big and established.

Gary Cohn, who was then a Goldman executive and is now a White House official, said early in the debate over Dodd-Frank, “we support measures that would require higher capital and liquidity levels, as well as the use of clearinghouses for standardized derivative transactions.” Dimon has described derivatives regulations and the Volcker Rule, which separates a bank’s lending operations from its investment activities, as a “moat” that keeps out new entrants.

A forthcoming Manhattan Institute study reinforces this idea. Because of Dodd-Frank, small banks are combining faster with other small banks to become medium banks. But medium banks have stopped growing, because if they grow too big they crash into the law’s too-big-to-fail regulations. “The conclusion raises concerns that Dodd-Frank has created a protected class of financial firms with assets above $50 billion,” the Manhattan Institute states in a write-up of the study, which has not been released yet. “Dodd-Frank did nothing to break up America’s largest banks, but it also discourages new competition for the mega-banks that existed before Dodd-Frank.” In other words, only massive banks can afford to become dubbed “Too Big to Fail,” and they know that they will never be challenged. So the regulatory cost of being so big is protection money.

A 2015 Harvard study detected banking consolidation by another measure. Small banks lost market share more rapidly after Dodd-Frank than they did between the financial crisis and Dodd-Frank. That is, community banks could weather the financial crisis that brought the U.S. economy to its knees, but they were no match for Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank. A community bank lobbyist, William Grant, told Congress in 2012, “The cost of regulatory compliance as a share of operating expenses is two-and-a-half times greater for small banks than for large banks.”

But Republicans make the mistake of trusting big business too much. This would be a costly error as Republicans debate what to do about financial regulation.

Because Dodd-Frank functions as a protective moat around big banks, Jeb Hensarling, Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, is the right man to take on the law. He has gone to war against big business many times. He almost single-handedly brought down the Export-Import Bank for a few months in 2015. Some Republican power-brokers have criticized him for not using his gavel to raise more money for Republicans from Wall Street. The point of financial reform is not to help Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, but to ward off another crisis while making sure citizens and small businesses can get the financing they need.

Small businesses get the majority of their financing from community banks. As those banks shrink, small businesses find it harder to grow. Small and growing businesses are the heart of job creation. As Republicans tackle this Obama-era abomination, they need to ensure they don’t listen too much to Wall Street, and instead keep an eye on Main Street.

source-wash exam., the financial choice act, lloyd blankfein, jamie dimon, manhattan istitute, gary cohn, william grant, jeb hensarling,