Trump and team WERE under government surveillance

eyes-490608_640President Trump has claimed that the Obama administration bugged his Trump Tower offices.  That accusation has been mostly dismissed.

But now it turns out that President-elect Trump and his transition team WERE surveilled.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-California) said that he has seen copies of reports “unmasking” the members of Trump’s transition team and their activities.  This material was widely-circulated in the White House and in the Intelligence community.

Nunes says he believes the material was gathered legally, although information gleaned “incidentally” in the course of other investigations is supposed to be redacted.  Nunes says the information gathered did not involve Russia connections.
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Did the government wiretap Trump Tower?

8989863112_944c59f608_z (1)President Trump tweeted an accusation that President Obama wire-tapped his Trump Tower headquarters before the election.

Obama representatives denied the claim, but left open the possibility that there might have been a legal wiretap in connection with the Russia investigations.  See this.  Now Trump is demanding an investigation.

Everyone is calling for the evidence.  The source may be a story from the conservative webzine Heat Street published back in November the day before the election, citing two counter-intelligence sources that the FBI had obtained a legal warrant to wiretap Trump offices, including the candidate himself.  This was part of an investigation of Russian ties to the Trump campaign.

That story is excerpted and linked after the jump.

If it happened, bugging the opposing party’s presidential  candidate during the election campaign would indeed be an abuse of power of Watergate proportions.

But what if it was a legal warrant issued by a judge who saw strong evidence of illegal collusion with the Russians?

What if the Watergate burglars had a warrant and broke into the Democratic National Committee office because President Nixon suspected George McGovern of collusion with the Soviets?  Would that justify their interference in the presidential election?  I don’t think so.

So is it “Towergate” or just more “Russiagate”?

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Obama picks a fight with Russians

Vladimir_Putin_and_Barack_Obama_(2015-09-29)_01President Obama has hit Russia with sanctions and the expulsion of diplomatic personnel in retaliation for Vladimir Putin’s alleged interference  with the U.S. election.  He has also threatened cyberattacks against Russia.

In return, Russia is promising retaliation of its own.

With only twenty or so days left in office, the president has stirred up a conflict with Russia that his successor is going to have to deal with.  Donald Trump, with his pro-Russian leanings, will probably reverse Obama’s actions, but this will just advance the narrative that the Russians put him in office, making his new administration and the nation as a whole look bad.

UPDATE:  Putin is now saying he will not retaliate, hoping for better relations with the Trump administration.

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Obama stops off-shore drilling before leaving office

PlatformHollyPresident Obama, evidently striking a blow for the environment before Donald Trump takes office, put much of the Eastern seaboard off limits for off-shore drilling.  He invoked a law that reportedly cannot be reversed by a new president. [Read more…]

The “Hillary as Obama’s third term” fallacy

I keep hearing that if Hillary Clinton is elected, it would be the equivalent of Barack Obama’s third term.

But Clinton and Obama are extremely different.  President Obama is weak and ineffective.  My fear is that a President Hillary Clinton would be strong and effective.  I would much rather have a weak president who has trouble passing a bad agenda than a strong president who would be effective in imposing that bad agenda.   Let me explain further. . . . [Read more…]

Hillary Clinton: more of the same, or much worse?

In a column in which he coins the useful term “Hillaryism,”  Charles Krauthammer says that Hillary Clinton is offering the status quo in a time when much of the general public is desperate for change.  Thus the popularity of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.  Clinton, though, offers nothing more than the old liberal bromides and a continuation of the Obama administration.  See Krauthammer’s argument after the jump.

I wonder, though.  Would a Clinton administration amount to a third term for Obama?  I don’t think it would.  She seems much tougher and meaner than he is.  Other countries would probably be less willing to cross her.  And I suspect she would be more willing than Obama to intervene someplace militarily to throw her weight around.

And a Clinton victory would seem to put the radical feminists, the pro-abortion fanatics, and the political correctness enforcers in charge of the whole country.

Her husband, you may recall, was considered a conservative or at least a moderate Democrat, ending welfare as we know it, supporting the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, supporting the Defense of Marriage Act.  She is not.  Despite what those who are nostalgic for another Clinton administration assume, that being the last time they had money in their pockets, Hillary does not have the same ideology as Bill.  And she and her party have been pushed farther to the left by Bernie Sanders, whose mark will probably be seen in her vice presidential choice and the party platform.

What do you think her administration would be like?   [Read more…]