Wednesday's HOT MIC
At Senate Judiciary Committee hearings this week, witnesses are testifying that Fusion GPS, the organization behind the infamous "dodgy dossier," is "a highly paid smear-for-hire operation in violation of international laws."
In a must-read at The Federalist today, Mollie Hemingway details how the shady firm shilled for corrupt Russian and Venezuelan officials while hiding its foreign work from federal authorities.
Many in the media have focused on whether Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort would testify publicly at the hearing. Less well covered has been anything to do with Fusion GPS, the “commercial research and strategic intelligence firm” behind the discredited “Russian dossier” that made outrageous and salacious allegations against President Donald Trump. The title of the hearing gives a clue that this lack of media interest in Fusion GPS is misguided: “Oversight of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and Attempts to Influence U.S. Elections.”
Thor Halvorssen, the head of Human Rights Foundation, did not testify before the Judiciary Committee Wednesday, but he submitted statements for the record in regards to his experience with Fusion GPS. Halvorssen alleges in his testimony that Fusion GPS suppressed news stories about its corrupt client's activities by operating "a smear campaign" against journalists who threatened to expose it.
A key quote:
“Corrupt government officials in dictatorships would be powerless if they didn’t have cronies in the business world, and these cronies, in turn, would be useless allies without enablers like Fusion GPS, who are eager to whitewash and profit from their crimes,” Halvorssen said. “Fusion GPS isn’t an ‘opposition research’ or a crisis communications company. Fusion GPS is a group of highly paid smear experts who function as an accessory to the crimes committed by Derwick Associates.”
Democrats on the committee used "a parliamentary maneuver" to block testimony from Bill Browder, a key witness against Fusion GPS. He is expected to testify now on Thursday.
Here is the testimony Dems don't want you to see:
This seems big...
Hundreds of thousands of dollars paid by the United Arab Emirates’ Ambassador to the U.S. to a witness testifying at a congressional hearing later today are casting doubts on his credibility, leaked documents show.
The Center for a New American Security, whose Director of the Middle East Security Program Ilan Goldenberg will testify before the House’s Foreign Affairs Committee, received at least $250,000 in from the United Arab Emirates embassy, the documents show.
The hearing “Assessing the U.S.-Qatar Relationship,” is scheduled for July 26 and called by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairman, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa.
The emails also show Mr. Goldenberg’s extensive email and phone communications with U.A.E. Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba since last summer to fund CNAS work and a trip of Goldenberg and colleagues to the U.A.E.
Rolling Stone is madly in love with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Perhaps "love" isn't the word - more like uncontrollable lust.
“Justin Trudeau is trying to Make Canada Great Again. He is using, let us say, different methods,” writer Stephen Rodrick said for a piece published online Wednesday. “Trudeau reminds me of, well, Obama as he smiles and listens patiently to me droning on about my Canadian wife as if it is actually interesting. For Trudeau, listening is seducing. But as soon as I start asking questions, he snaps into place, admiringly forthcoming on his life journey and frustratingly on message when it comes to political answers. As we chat, he smiles and locks in with his blue eyes, but Trudeau, whose mother’s side is of Scottish descent, swats away all Trump-baiting questions with a look that says, ‘Not today, laddie.’”
What is it about liberals and empty suits like Obama and Trudeau? Both are depthless politicians with only one thing to recommend them -- they make noises in support of causes near and dear to liberals hearts.
Neither Obama nor Trudeau has ever given much evidence of thinking deeply about serious issues. (Would someone who had thought through the consequences negotiated such a ridiculous deal with the Iranians?) They're always ready with the latest political talking point crafted to hit home with their core far-left constituencies.
The key word in Rodrick's quote is "seducing." Liberals love to be seduced by politicians. It makes the letdown later all the more poignant. And if there's anything liberals like better than being seduced by a politician, it's suffering when they inevitably betray them.
In addition to going gaga over Trudeau's blue eyes and not trying to hide his admiration for the PM's life story (a spoiled rich kid whose name gave him a tremendous head start on a political career), Rodrick gushes, swoons, and nearly faints when writing about him.
But so does Putin.
Neener, Neener, Neener...
Did you know that the military spends 5 times more on Viagra every year than it spends on transgender medical services?
Do you have any idea why that is relevant? Or the fact that the military spends $8 billion on the F-35 while spending only a paltry $8.4 million on transgender health services?
What an overpriced weapons program has to do with whether the military should allow transgenders to serve is a mystery to me. Could someone explain?
You can't, of course. I always thought that transgenderism had nothing to do with sex, that it was about feeling good in your own skin. If that's true, why bring Viagra into the argument?
The fact is, there has never been a rational reason why the entire military of the US should adjust its policies for such a tiny minority of people. Trump erred in citing the cost of gender reassignment surgery as a reason for banning transgenders. It really is a drop in the bucket.
But pro-transgender advocates are unable to explain why the military should be turned upside down to accommodate a tiny fraction of its soldiers.
Another must-read today is John Solomon's latest piece in The Hill on Obama-era NSA spying.
The National Security Agency and FBI violated specific civil liberty protections during the Obama administration by improperly searching and disseminating raw intelligence on Americans or failing to promptly delete unauthorized intercepts, according to newly declassified memos that provide some of the richest detail to date on the spy agencies’ ability to obey their own rules.
The memos reviewed by The Hill were publicly released on July 11 through Freedom of Information Act litigation by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Solomon, who is now executive vice president of The Hill and chief operating officer for Circa News, appeared with Circa's Sara Carter on Hannity last night to talk about the privacy violations.
Heh. Exactly what I did. Here's what it looks like if you go to Instagram right now:
After almost two years, the Environmentacl Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General released its report on the Gold King Mine disaster that dumped over a million pounds of metals into the Animas River, turning dozens of miles of the river orange. While inspectors general are tasked with finding out the truth and holding agencies accountable, this recently released report sheds no more light on the disaster than previous misleading reports.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has inherited not only an environmental mess, but also the mess created by an agency more interested in its narrow self-interests than truth. Pruitt now has an opportunity to send a message that would ripple far beyond the EPA.
The end state of all "liberal" programs is coercive, unaccountable fascism, enforced at gunpoint. And given that the EPA has been a sinecure for watermelon environmentalists -- green on the outside, but commie red on the inside -- you'd expect nothing less from this now-useless bureaucracy.
The line that the EPA crew never intended to breach the natural plug (blockage) is flatly contradicted by a recently released Interior Department email that includes an account that appears to have come from the main on-scene coordinator. An attachment to the email states the “material catastrophically gave-way” when the EPA crew was “attempting to relieve hydrologic pressure” by “removing small portions of the natural plug.”
Important facts supporting this Interior Department account are omitted from the inspector general report. What the inspector general kept in is less important than what the he left out.
Looks like swamp-draining and leftist mosquito-eradication is going to be a big project:
The EPA crew definitely succeeded in relieving hydrostatic pressure, though they also polluted the river with a few million gallons of acid mine drainage and hundreds of thousands of pounds of metals.
There are gaping holes in the EPA’s fiction. If allowed to stand, the message will be that misleading, deceiving, and lying works, and that bureaucrats need not follow the laws they enforce on others.
If this second Gold King Mine mess is addressed, government officials who were at the site and those who created and promoted a false accounting will be put on notice that they must abide by laws and regulations they enforce, that they will be held accountable, and that public service means serving the public, not just your agency’s interests.
The message would ripple far beyond the EPA.
The Trump administration cannot get fully staffed up quickly enough.
Stephen, in defense of the "perma-haters," Trump's Jamboree speech compromised every single part of the Scout Law, to at least some degree. As an Eagle Scout myself, I wrote the president an open letter on the issue, and wished him well, hoping for a better speech next year.
Many of those who attacked Trump on the speech did not also defend him on the Poland speech as I did. The man can give an inspiring speech, and I noted in my open letter that his Jamboree speech would likely appeal to the "red" scouts in the audience. But a Jamboree is not the place to talk about politics, and even the "perma-haters" were correct in that.