Interesting Items 08/15

Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information.  Enjoy –

In this issue –

1.  Raid
2.  Ohio
3.  NRC
4.  IRS
5.  Jones

1.  Raid.  Big news of last week was the August 8 FBI raid of the Trump home in Mar a Lago, Florida.  The raid was ostensibly to recover what has been described as classified documents in his possession.  The FBI spent at least 9.5 hours inside and removed perhaps 33 boxes of stuff.  The warrant was sufficiently broad that the entire mess looks from here a lot like a fishing expedition.  This action marks the first time an administration went after the previous president, something dictators in banana republics have managed to perfect over the years.  Three possibilities exist for this raid.  First, it was an act of desperation, as the Swamp is terrified that Trump is going to run in 2024.  Second, it was an attempt to goad him into announcing his candidacy for president prematurely.  If he does so, the democrats will mitigate their potential losses in November by firing up their base and turning them out.  Third, it was an intentional provocation, an attempt to get Trump supporters to do something stupid so they can go another round with a Jan 6 hoax.  Finally, they already have an indictment drawn up, sealed, and ready to drop before a federal court in DC, with a show trial of Trump to be held to coincide with a Trump presidential campaign, and conviction in Oct 2024 (just like they did to Ted Stevens in 2008).  And a DC jury WILL convict Trump regardless of the charge.  Lavrentiy Beria would be very proud of the democrats on this one.  Regardless of the year the indictment is unsealed, and the perp walk happens, this IS their October surprise (2022 or 2024).  Note that all 4 possibilities can be simultaneously true.  Therein lies the problem.

  • Early fake news in support of the raid claimed that Trump had classified in his possession.  This morphed through the course of the week to nuclear secrets.  Kash Patel, who worked in the Trump WH has been adamant all week long that Trump declassified everything removed from the WH.  Trump has been in negotiation with the National Archives since late 2021.  15 boxes of material were returned in Jan.  DoJ visited in June about remaining documents.  Apparently, that was a cordial visit.  He was asked to put additional security on the room with the documents.  He complied with the request.  Negotiations broke down sometime between June – Aug.  The raid took place a week ago.
  • There was a parallel report that Trump issued a blanket order that everything removed is declassified.  I have not seen this any place other than the initial.  Note that we are and will continue to be in the Fog of War on this one as facts continue to dribble out. 
  • Given that the initial claim is that there is classified in Trump’s possession, let’s travel a bit down the bunny trail of some oddities concerning handling classified materials.  In the defense / intel world, things are classified generally based on protection of sources and methods for procurement of that information.  In other parts of the government, levels of personal, professional, and agency embarrassment come into play.  In other words, things are classified on a CYA basis.  Not every sentence or paragraph in a document is classified at a particular level.  The document is classified at the highest level of information contained.  For instance, an otherwise unclassified document with a single Top Secret paragraph is classified at Top Secret.  Similarly, a storage container, safe or box, is classified at the highest level of stuff it holds or can hold.  Not everything in a safe with Secret is classified Secret (but it is all labeled at whatever its actual level of classification is).  And in the world of secrets, it is the President, while he is president, that is the ultimate classification / declassification authority. 
  • There have also been unconfirmed reports that Mar a Lago had a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility).  I tend to believe these reports given the lack of excitement following the DoJ June visit.
  • For the fans of this raid being a fishing expedition, I note that Adam Schiff, who has lied through his teeth about classified information connected with Trump for the last 7 years now wants to review the seized documents and let the public know what they contain.  Yeah, that’ll work well.
  • For his part, Trump has played this brilliantly on a persuasion basis.  His response to the FBI refusing to allow his lawyer to accompany the raiding party through the residence was that the FBI was planting documents.  Given the endemic corruption of the FBI, framing people for crimes FBI informants have talked them into committing since the Randy Weaver raid in 1992.  The second brilliant persuasion move is to demand immediate return of multiple boxes based on attorney – client privilege.  Whether it works before deep states leak the information contained remains to be seen.  My money right now is on no return and massive leaks, especially if the Jan 6 Committee gets itself involved.  Finally. This morning he reported that the FBI seized three passports, one expired.  Why does the FBI seize passports of a target of a criminal investigation?  I wonder. 
  • The fact that the FBI did this and there were no public retirements by agents refusing to participate, has convinced many on Our Side that they are corrupt beyond all hope of redemption.  The FBI, like the BATFE before them must be destroyed, shut down, defunded, and put out of operation.  They are hopelessly, unashamedly, completely corrupt.  They deserve no support or trust.  They’ve turned themselves into the enforcement arm of the Deep State and democrats.
  • Finally, we have Attorney General Merrick Garland, who through these actions demonstrates that he was unfit to sit on the SCOTUS.  We dodged a real bullet with Republican senate refusal to seat him in 2016.  Trump withdrew his nomination upon taking office in 2017.  I expect that still doesn’t sit well with him, meaning he must recuse himself from everything associated with this affair.

2.  Ohio.  There was an attack on an Ohio FBI office that was initially described as being done by someone reacting to the raid.  Media coverage of the event quickly died, usually an indicator that what actually happened or who did it does not support the official narrative.  The perp was eventually hunted down and killed when he decided to duke it out with armed feds.  Initial reports was that he was a Trump supporter, but that story quickly faded.  It is an odd story, as his initial weapon of choice was a nail gun.  He then moved on to firearms, dying at the end of a 6-hour standoff on a rural road.  Ricky Shiffer, a Navy Vet had apparently been on the FBI’s radar for months in connection to Jan 6.  They were trying to confirm his presence in DC during the festivities and had not yet made either a connection or an arrest.  My guess is that if anything, he was reacting to being hunted by the FBI in connection with Jan 6 rather than reacting to the Mar a Lago raid.  Poor reaction, nonetheless, but not tied to the raid.  The FBI needs to be very, very careful here.  There are some very real costs associated with turning yourself into the enforcement arm of the Deep State and the democrat party, viewing and treating half the general public as official enemies of the State because they choose someone other than Your Side in the political wars.  Among those costs are a very well deserved and richly earned lack of trust, lack of cooperation, more people choosing not to go quietly, and finally, lack of convictions.  I really don’t think they or their Do)in)J masters are going to enjoy playing under their new rules.

3.  NRC.  Good news and bad news on the clean energy front last week.  The good news is that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced an impending approval for NuScale’s small modular nuclear reactor.  The bad news is that the NRC via bureaucratic stasis has managed to all but freeze nuclear designs here in the US for 48 years.  The NuScale design is a smaller version of the currently approved light water reactor.  Since 1974, the NRC has certified six other designs.  All of these are some variations of the older light water reactor designs.  It normally takes 7 – 20 years for the NRC to approve a design.  Chances to get through certification are around 20%.  New heavy water reactor and pebble bed reactor designs have been submitted but never approved.  Both were withdrawn after a decade of inaction.  Both are used worldwide.  A cynic would suggest that no design not connected with Westinghouse has been approved.  Former Harry Reid staffer and NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko served on the NRC 2005 – 2012.  He is now vehemently anti-nuclear and uses his former position and knowledge to actively obstruct.  Yet nuclear ends up being the safest and greenest energy source.  Nuclear replaced about 20% of coal used in the US by the 1970s.  France built nuclear to 80% of its electrical generation in the 1980s for about a third of what Germany spent on wind and solar.  It took France only a decade.  There are a couple obvious possibilities for the NRC’s continuing bureaucratic obstruction.  First would be regulatory capture by the fossil fuel industry and now by the greens.  Second would be simple bureaucratic confusion, thinking their continuing budget and employment depends on approval requests in process.  Their incorrect solution is stretching the approval process out as long as possible.  Time for the NRC to get into the expedited approval business, with more approvals meaning more budget. 

4.  IRS.  Our special gift from congressional democrats including former Saviors of the Republic Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema last week was the $770 billion Inflation Reduction Act.  The Act will double the size of the IRS, authorize it to hire up to 87,000 additional agents.  It also gives the IRS another $80 billion.  IRS budget last year was $12.6 billion.  What are all those new people going to do?  My guess is that they are going to go after middle and lower middle-class taxpayers.  Small business will also be a new target.  Scott Adams is of the opinion that all small businesses cheat on their taxes, something I disagree with.  OTOH, small businesses operate on a tight marginal basis, not having the ability to survive a full up audit.  John Hinderaker at PowerLine believes that the new hires will be used like Lois Lerner was, going after conservative 501(c)(3) groups and political campaigns in order to shift the political wars in the democrats’ favor.  Lois Lerner ends up being a test run, a successful test run that congressional democrats just turned into a business model.  The only drawback to this massive expansion is that current IRS hiring essentially requires their agents to be the functional equivalent of CPAs.  There are simply not that many of those coming out of colleges and universities on a year-to-year basis, so the expansion may not be in place before a suitable Republican congressional majority defunds them.  OTOH, I do expect the IRS to change the qualification requirements to better fit the available people for hire.

5.  Jones.  A Travis County, Texas (Austin) jury found InfoWars Alex Jones guilty of offending Sandy Hook parents, by calling the entire shooting a staged hoax.  They sued him for defamation in a Travis County court, winning a $4.1 million judgment against him.  The jury then piled on another $45 million in punitive damages.  The judge refused to allow Jones to use his First Amendment rights as a broadcaster as a defense, something that may help trigger an appeal.  There may also be a reduction in the total award based on Texas law.  Jones legal team did him no favors, inadvertently giving the parents’ legal team all his cell phone texts, not just the ones related to Sandy Hook, all of them, for years.  The judge allowed those texts to be used by the prosecution.  Note that Jones has an ex-wife, who will now have access to those texts.  Jones is one of the premier conspiracy theorists operating today, and conservative media, particularly Breitbart was not supportive, a mistake.  The problem with this is that if successful in shutting down and impoverishing a distasteful, unpopular voice on the political right, that same lawfare technique will be used against other, more popular voices on the political right.  Expect the left to venue shop until they find the best location to bring their lawsuits.  And there will be future lawsuits.

More later –

– AG

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