Distractions

Congressman Adam Schiff (D, CA), Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, wants them.  He’s so anxious to have them that he’s insisting that Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R, CA) to stop being Chairman.

Mr Nunes should step aside from any congressional investigation pertaining to Russia or to the “incidental” collection of intelligence information, like what Mr Nunes said occurred to Mr Trump’s transition team.

Mr Schiff said in a statement it was “not a recommendation I make lightly…. I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the president’s campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the chairman.”

Inadvertent Tapping and Leaks

As House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R, CA) revealed the other day enroute to the White House, intelligence community personnel, in the course of surveilling the communications and other activities of foreign nationals (vis., Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak), also surveilled incidentally members of then-President-Elect Donald Trump’s campaign and transition teams, and perhaps Trump himself.  Wire tapping, indeed, if loosely and metaphorically.

Of larger import, though, is this, also from Nunes.

…the intelligence “ended up in reporting channels and was widely disseminated.”

It was previously reported that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was “unmasked” in this way; however, Nunes said “additional names” were unmasked as well.

House Freedom Caucus of No

Yesterday, the membership of the House Freedom Caucus of No forced the American Health Care Act, the first stage of a three-stage Obamacare repeal and replace program offered by the majority of the House Republican Conference, to be withdrawn from the day’s backup vote (recall that these No-ers already had forced a delay from Thursday’s vote over their demand to have their way or there could be no Act), and so there will be no AHCA.

The Trump Tax Leak

Host Rachel Maddow said the two-page summary of Trump’s federal return for that year was first obtained by journalist David Cay Johnston, who gave MSNBC a first look at the documents.

It is unclear who leaked them. Johnston, with the website DCReport.org, said only that he found the documents “in the mail.”

If you believe that the leaked return just sort of showed up like that, maybe you’ll believe that I have some beachfront property north of Santa Fe to sell you.

Multitasking

Whatever happened to it?

I’m reading between the lines on a Wall Street Journal op-ed from the weekend.

While the press corps chases accusations of Russian-Trump election collusion and illegal Obama Administration wiretaps, few noticed the Pentagon’s first public confirmation last week that the Kremlin is violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

The specific problem that seems to have escaped NLMSM notice is this:

Privacy

Cross-posted from my comment on the matter at Grim’s Hall and based on a CNN article.

From Comey’s quote as provided by CNN:

There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America….

That’s his (cynically offered, because I don’t agree he’s either as stupid or as ignorant as he’d have to be otherwise) straw man; he’ll have to play with his dolly without me.

He also has distorted (deliberately, if not from his lack of understanding, coming from Government’s perspective as he does) what the Founders wrought:

Looking for Excuses

…to be offended, with lots of energy.  This time it’s PETA bellyaching about a professional hockey team’s use of penguins to entertain the crowd prior to a game.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent a letter to the [Pittsburgh] Penguins Thursday criticizing the team’s use of live penguins during its pregame entertainment for the Stadium Series game at Heinz Field February 25.

Never mind the experts’ perspective.

Tracy Gray, a spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh Zoo, said in a statement that the safety of its animals are a top priority and that the animals were accompanied by zoo keepers and a veterinarian during the appearance at Heinz Field.

One’s a Liar

..but the other is not?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being accused of having lied to the Senate during his confirmation hearing about whether he’d had any campaign-related conversations with Russian government officials during the campaign.  Sessions said no, nothing related to the campaign, and then it came out that he had had a couple of conversations with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in Sessions’ capacity as Senator from Alabama.  Must be a lie.  Never mind that he answered truthfully.

Then we get Senator Claire McCaskill (D, MO) tweeting out

Then other McCaskill tweets surfaced.

Call Them on Their Obstructionism

Heather Higgins, CEO of Independent Women’s Voice, says go big or go home regarding Obamacare.  Republicans in Congress should quit dithering, should not play reconciliation games, and should simply put an Obamacare repeal and replace package up for vote.  This would force the Democrat obstructionists—especially those #NeverTrumpNoHow and #NeverRepublicanNotEver Progressive-Democrats in the Senate on the record as by-name blocking reform of the Obama program that is in its death spiral, the endpoint of which will leave millions of Americans without health coverage and without even coverage providers to which to appeal.  Especially put those 10 Progressive-Democrats pretending to moderacy in order to protect their precarious reelection chances in 2018 on the spot.

Of Course He Does

California has an infrastructure failure problem that involves everything from its roads to its dams and other water control facilities.  Governor Jerry Brown (D) says it will cost $187 billion to fix its infrastructure, and he wants $12 billion per year of Federal funding to help with that.  In actuality, Brown doesn’t want Federal funding, he wants what Federal funding consists of: money taxed by the Federal government from the good citizens of financial straitened New York to help pay for his needs, he wants money taxed by the Federal government from the good citizens of nearly bankrupt Illinois to help pay for his needs, he wants money taxed by the Federal government from the good citizens of fiscally responsible and so flush Texas and Utah to help pay for his needs.