Barr Is Wrong On FISA Reforms

Attorney General Bill Barr appears on a collision course with President Donald Trump over reforming the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court. Civil libertarians like Sen Rand Paul (R., Tenn.) are pushing for reforms in light of the abuses uncovered from the Russian investigation. Despite my respect and friendship for Barr, he is wrong in my view and the President should push forward with the reforms. When President Trump declared “Now is our chance to fix it,” he is absolutely correct.

Sen. Paul has indicated that the President is onboard with reforms, tweeing “Good talk with @realdonaldTrump yesterday and I’m pleased he is urging FISA reform NOW – and not a reauthorization of the current Patriot Act.” I have long respected Sen. Paul’s fight for such reforms and I have been a long critic of FISA since I first went into that “court” as a young intern with the National Security Agency in the Reagan Administration. Such legislative reforms are even more pressing given the FISA court’s baffling decision to appoint a defender of the abusive use of the court as its “reformer.”

Paul is pushing for limits on how the court can be used against Americans. They include modest limitations that would still allow robust surveillance, including mandatory and random audits of FISA applications by the Inspector General, ending the Call Detail Records program, mandatory disclosure of exculpatory evidence in FISA applications, and appointing amici in all “sensitive investigative matters” with access to all FISA court documents. This includes dealing directly and honestly with the status of the controversial records program under Section 215, that gathers metadata on domestic text messages and phone calls. 

I am leery of efforts to again kick this can down the road with temporary extensions of existing authority. The FISA court was designed to circumvent the Fourth Amendment’s requirement of probable cause of a crime — using the term but making it little more than probable cause to suspect someone is working for a foreign power. That is why applications for surveillance are uniformly approved. The court has little real basis to deny such applications.

105 thoughts on “Barr Is Wrong On FISA Reforms”

  1. Your real problem is one you won’t acknowledge:

    1. The culture of the federal judiciary stinks
    2. Judges are not held accountable by anyone anywhere. A lay board which remands bad judges to the pillory-and-stocks is what is needed.

      1. Go easy on him. He began with TIA x V and has climbed to XXii

        Such malcontents are hard to find in life but TIA, with his non-stop pontificating on all this America, is the most bitter man of them all.

        1. He began as DSS, not TIA whatever. Certainly not an Anonymous troll. And of course you would take the low road, criticizing his style, because for you to challenge him on substance would require something you apparently do not have.

  2. Moving this up to the top so it isn’t missed:

    https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1233520666290401281

    Tulsi Gabbard
    @TulsiGabbard

    “Reckless claims by anonymous officials that Russia is ‘helping’
    @BernieSanders
    are deeply irresponsible. I am calling on all presidential candidates to condemn any interference in our elections by out-of-control intelligence agencies.” Read more:

    Tulsi Gabbard: Presidential candidates must also condemn election interference by US intelligence agencies

    https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/485051-tulsi-gabbard-presidential-candidates-must-also-condemn-election

    Excerpt:

    The question facing any potential Democratic nominee is this: Am I going to allow myself to be manipulated and forced into a corner by overreaching intelligence agencies and the corporate media where, in order for me to win the presidency, I’m going to have to do what I know is not in the interests of the American people and world peace?

    Or will I stand up to the corrupt neocon and neoliberal establishment, condemn their lies and smears, and act with the integrity and foresight necessary to forge a rational policy that will serve all our interests?

  3. This is why I love this blog. I may not always agree with the Professor, and I don’t, sometimes vehemently, but JT’s commitment to the law is beyond admirable. As is his knowledge if the history that informs his profession. I have nothing but respect and appreciation, even though again I disagree.

  4. I’ve found myself having to explain why I would vote for Tulsi over Trump. Here’s Tulsi doing her best impression of candidate Trump(President Trump pussied out)…start at 0:45:

        1. And here’s the President evading on what the government knows about UFO’s…start at 0:37. The government has extended videos of the extraordinary UFO encounter with the Nimitz carrier group along with loads of radar data, but President Trump doesn’t want to get into the details. So much for the people’s President. Either we have secret warp drive technology or we’re being visited by aliens. Either way, Trump won’t let the people know.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud7cE6FozPo

          You can laugh about UFO’s, but you would only be displaying your own ignorance.

          1. I’m much more interested in discovering the truth regarding these great issues than I am in getting conservative judges appointed and so should everyone.

    1. https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1233520666290401281

      Tulsi Gabbard
      @TulsiGabbard

      “Reckless claims by anonymous officials that Russia is ‘helping’
      @BernieSanders
      are deeply irresponsible. I am calling on all presidential candidates to condemn any interference in our elections by out-of-control intelligence agencies.” Read more:

      Tulsi Gabbard: Presidential candidates must also condemn election interference by US intelligence agencies

      https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/485051-tulsi-gabbard-presidential-candidates-must-also-condemn-election

      Excerpt:

      The question facing any potential Democratic nominee is this: Am I going to allow myself to be manipulated and forced into a corner by overreaching intelligence agencies and the corporate media where, in order for me to win the presidency, I’m going to have to do what I know is not in the interests of the American people and world peace?

      Or will I stand up to the corrupt neocon and neoliberal establishment, condemn their lies and smears, and act with the integrity and foresight necessary to forge a rational policy that will serve all our interests?

    2. Mossad, the Neocons et al. ran the 19-man Saudi hit team and rigged the Twin Towers for controlled demolitions.

      The goal was an American executed and funded invasion of the Middle East in support of Israel.

      America derives nothing from the Middle East and has no interests there other than those of religion and the purchase of market-

      priced oil which every nation on the planet may do.

      Building 7 was hit by nothing and brought down precisely in its own “footprint” as were Buildings 1 and 2.

      Mossad.

      The Deep Deep State.

  5. You won’t find that point openly discussed with well thought out support and clarity on the other side,. Especially in the ‘dirty cop’ brigade

  6. Bill Barr. 1. wrote a memo attacking Mueller. 2. Got a job overseeing Mueller. 3. Lied about Mueller report. 4. Lied to Congress about his lies. 5. Helped Trump pressure Ukraine. 6. Buried a whistleblower complaint. 7. Hid the complaint from Congress. 8. Exonerated himself and Trump.

    1. You neglected to add and hasn’t done a damn thing about the sleaze in congress, FBI, CIA, HSA and IRS, and has no intention of giving anything but lip service.

    2. Mueller had opportunities to state his specific objections to Barr’s summary of the Special Counsel Report, Fishwings.
      He did not do that, beyond writing a letter to the DOJ with a very general complaint that Barr’s summary did not capture the full “nature and context” of the SC Report.
      I think Barr’s summary was about 5 pages, and it was not intended to be a comprehensive summary of the 450? page Mueller Report.
      If you watched the Mueller Congressional testimony, you would have seen Mueller dodge questions about 200 times.
      “Beyond my purview”, “not going to discuss that”, “not going to get into that” were the frequent responses Muller gave.
      Normally, if there is an actual disagreement, it’d help to have both sides appear together and clearly state their differences.
      I don’t think anyone wanted to put Mueller through that; at that stage of his life and career, Mueller wasn’t up to debating the contents of the Report with Barr.

  7. It’s the corruption, stupid!

    Is this even conceivable:

    – FBI Director James Comey

    – FBI Director Andrew McCabe

    – FBI Director Christopher Wray

    Two may be headed to prison while the third occupies the director’s seat. The Deep Deep State ensconced these functionaries straight out of the corruption mill. They might as well have nominated Peter Strzok and Lisa Page as a tag team.

    How does the Deep Deep State get away with it right before our very eyes?

    It’s the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” no, the “dictatorship of Advice and Consent.”

    How much does the “Advice and Consent” of 100 U.S. Senators cost?

    I bet that gets pricey.

    1. Don’t forget FBI Director Louis Freeh, who accepted a bribe from Penn State (the Sanctuary City for Paedophiles) to whitewash the JoePerv Paterno scandal.

      1. Ivan, in a war which is essentially what Trump is fighting against the Democrats one has to focus their energies in a small number of specific areas. The Democrats are deeply entrenched so one has to pick their battles carefully. Trump has chosen a bunch of initiatives but I think the four most important are the economy and getting rid of a lot of regulations, illegal immigration, an improved military and trade. He has been under attack continuously with leaks impeachment and people under him that do not follow his orders. He couldn’t even get Brennan and Clapper’s security clearances voided on his first try. I think overall he has done an admiral job.

        Earlier you talked about Sanders as a preference. I liked that you had a rational even in those areas I didn’t agree. Should Sanders become President he will be in a similar position as Trump was when he started and will face opposition from both parties. He has a lot of negatives and would fail. There is no way a Sanders Presidency could improve America. At this point Trump is the only bet for those that are not happy with how the nation has been functioning.

        Should Trump win a second term and should he have the necessary support in both houses he might be able to change the dynamics of the deep state and proceed with a lot of the other things many wish to be done. I do not think Barr will remain long into a second term.

        1. You’re one of the rational voices, but I don’t accept the argument that he’s in a war with the dems and therefore he shouldn’t do what he must do- that which is entirely within his power to do.

          I sympathize greatly with Trump for the madness that has come his way from the swamp and the dems. The Russia hoax/coup is the greatest scandal in US history by far. I also recognize that he has been different from other Presidents and has followed through to some extent on his promises. I don’t hate Trump(I voted for him), but I am one of the disaffected- my main concern is with the larger issues that I detailed in an earlier long comment.

          As I also said earlier, I expect Trump to win and I don’t think other independents are reacting the way I am. However, there’s the risk that they will and this should concern Trump and his supporters of which I am no longer one…I’m disappointed.

          He could end the wars in Syria and Afghanistan, but he doesn’t. He could call out Erdogan for trying to draw us into a war with Russia, but he doesn’t. He could pardon Assange and end his persecution, but he doesn’t. He could declassify all the docs Nunes and the Reps have been asking for over the past 3 years, but he doesn’t. And on and on.

          Trump had both houses of Congress in his first two years, but that didn’t help and it won’t in his next term if he gets it. The Congress is controlled by the corrupt corporations. That’s why we can’t cross the border with Canada and buy insulin for a fraction of the price here.

          So, as far as I am concerned, Trump had his chance to really make big changes, but failed to do so. Therefore, it’s time for the next “anti-establishment” candidate to take their shot at it. There’s only one ticket that would meet my criteria: Bernie/Tulsi…by that I mean Tulsi, not Bernie. Otherwise I’ll just sit and stew 🙂

          1. Thanks Ivan for the compliment.

            I have some fondest for Tulsi even though I don’t agree with many of the things she stands for. She is real but would be destroyed as well. At least Trumps visions eonomically mostly make sense and he doesn’t like fighting where no existential threat exists. Had Trump actually exited troops from the countries you mentioned he might have lost enough Republican support that he might have been impeached for something he didn’t do.

            The politics are bad in Washington. They don’t want outsiders because outsiders haven’t committed the same misdeeds and might want to correct them. Though perhaps not illegal Sanders, Biden and Warren have bcome millionaire’s through their offices. Look all over Washington D.C. and ask yourself how these people got so rich. Look at the D.C. area and take note how when the nation was suffering they were prospering. Our Republic is being stolen by elitist politicians and their elitist corporate and academic supporters. One hand feeds the other and you are angry because they are feeding off of you.

            1. I agree with what you say…that’s why I think Trump wins. I just want so much more. It’s getting rather late in the day to save/restore our republic and I’m ready to roll the dice with whoever comes from outside the establishment.

              1. Ivan, I understand what you say but last time we rolled the dice and got a winner. The time before we got Obama. You think not a winner enough and I think a big winner though I haven’t gotten everything I wanted. Time to hold and give him a chance with a better House and Senate. Considering how bad things were I don’t expect to pull a Royal Flush on the next deal so I’ll stay with what I have.

                1. I see Assange being persecuted and tortured to death while the President does nothing. I can’t put in words how that makes me feel. I see obvious fake chemical weapons attacks in Syria(Douma, etc) and the President bombs Syria rather than the jihadis(thank god for Putin’s discipline). I can’t put in words how that makes me feel.

                  These big fish are some of my core issues. The ONLY candidate to address these issues is Tulsi. She’s the new Trump in that regard. Candidate Trump cynically played to these core issues that those who don’t vote actually care about: Saudi Arabia and 9/11, government secrecy over the JFK assassination(it’s been over 50 years for god’s sake), endless wars for no reason, etc.

                  If Trump wins again then I hope he works up the courage to do the hard things: to live up to his word on the issues that have caused many to stop voting.

                  In some ways the worst thing he has done is fail to declassify the docs that the Rep’s have been asking for. This is a failure to defend himself and the nation. That inaction is the sign of a man who won’t(or can’t) defend himself…very unlike the Trump I thought I voted for. Very Bernie-like. Totally pathetic.

                  1. Ivan, I understand the individual gripes you have though there may be better explanations for those gripes than either of us has knowledge of. There is a much bigger view that has to be looked at. Did you not note the flack Trump took when he refused to keep a small number of troops where the Kurds were concerned? Think of the trade-offs Trump had to make to do that and keep peace with many of his supporters. Can’t win them all. Take the victories, live and fight another day.

                    Putin discipline as you call it assures the low standard of living and early deaths in Russia. That is one h-ll of a trade off. Think how the Russians or maybe the Syrians just killed a whole slew of Turks. I think Trump was smart and avoided a potential military engagement that would have provided zero benefit to the US.

                    Trump stated his positions. He has tried but many of them are left unfulfilled. Do you think Tulsi will do any better? Why? As VP you expect her to run the government? The Dems were furious we didn’t leave our troops in that small area to protect the Kurds in their war with Turkey which is a NATO ally and has our nuclear missiles within its borders where our base is and the Turks are not letting us have full access to our property.

                    “Do the hard things”? I think much of what he has done was thought to be impossible. That he makes it look easier than it is tells you he knows what he is doing. Courage? What other President since Lincoln has shown so much courage considering the opposition on his own side along with multiple attempts at impeachment along with leaks and insubordination. Our country is a real mess in D.C. I don’t think any of us fully recognize the complexity and dangers inherent in Washington.

                    1. All good points…although I consider Lincoln a tyrant who got what he deserved. You don’t destroy the Constitution in order to “save” the Union without consequences. Sic temper tyranus.

                      The pressure on Trump from every possible angle is enormous, but I think he wins big points by pardoning Assange and by bringing the troops home. He also might earn himself a bullet in the head from the CIA, but that goes with the territory. I expect my President to take that risk.

                      In Syria, Trump ended the CIA run gun running program to the jihadis. And when he foolishly responded to the fake chemical weapons attack he was at least wise enough to make sure no one was killed and the Russians/Syrians were notified before the bombing. I have no doubt that Hillary or McCain would have taken the opportunity to annihilate the Syrians. The difference between Trump and Clinton is enormous.

                      I wonder how you and others will view Trump when it’s shown that the chemical weapons attack in Douma was actually done by the jihadis. The OPCW is melting down behind the scenes over it’s falsified report if you aren’t aware. It’s only a matter of time before the general public becomes aware of what was painfully obvious all along. It appears that the jihadis used some chemical agent to kill Syrian citizens and then placed the freshly murdered citizens at the staged site while blaming Assad all with the full knowledge of our CIA. Few things get as disgusting as that! Perhaps your view on Tulsi would change as she is the only candidate with the balls, wisdom, and knowledge to question what happened.

                    2. Ivan, I understand your logic about Lincoln but his first job, IMO, was to protect the nation and he prevailed. The south was expansionistic and eventually I think war between the north and south would have broken out even if the secession was permitted. Once the Constitution was ratified the parts of the egg were scrambled never to be put back into a shell as egg and yolk.

                      I don’t know if Assange should be pardoned , convicted, or if there is another solution. I am not sure how to accurately define the man, but he is not worth the nation. As far as Syria. I don’t know that you are right that it was a fake attack but sometimes a show of strength like that can prevent a lot of deaths so Trump made his point without war and to me that was a win. Was he right? Who knows. A President that cannot act is far more dangerous. He acted there and elsewhere but has shown great restraint with an overall direction of pulling the nation away from intervention.

                      Tulsi might be attractive in certain spheres but in others I think she is well intentioned but a disaster.

                      ” Clearly, we have different priorities…nothing wrong with that.”

                      WE do but we can discuss these things because we are both dealing with principle and are relatively consistent. This is more of the type of discussion this blog deserves but we have to put up with those that entered this conversation only to insult and air their grievances that their parents didn’t provide them with brains. That would be Anonymous the Stupid and Ynot. Then one has to deal with Anon and all his aliases along with Paint Chips Peter’s Penis envy you wisely discussed earlier.

                    3. FYI, I put up a new comment regarding my views on Trump’s failure to do what needs to be done. Clearly, we have different priorities…nothing wrong with that.

                    4. Ivan, I put the safety and happiness of Americans over knowing the entire truth. Let’s say releasing the truth causes us to go to war and that causes American lives. This is a what if question not a debate on facts. Do you prefer to know or do you prefer to save American lives and the safety of its people?

                    5. The pressure on Trump from every possible angle is enormous, but I think he wins big points by pardoning Assange and by bringing the troops home.
                      __________________________________

                      That certainly would be good.

                      But the facts are that :

                      There is nothing to pardon Assange for. Its a miscarriage of justice that Trump is prosecuting Assange.

                      US troops in foreign lands was at a 70 year low when Trumptook office and he turned that around and it has been slowly growing in numbers.

                    6. Anon, you don’t know what you are talking about but that is usual. The Assange affair is extremely complex and something you know relatively little about. You neither have the knowledge or the brain power.

  8. The choice of a lifetime deep-state authoritarian as AG is one of the most glaring examples of Trump’s naivety. Which of Gullible Trump’s handlers suggested Barr for the job, anyway? Pence? Graham? Pseudo-libertarians at the Federalist Society?

    On the other hand, I suspect Trump’s options were few because the number of jurists who don’t view him with absolute contempt and would also pass confirmation is probably near zero.

    1. Trump has shown himself to be a terrible judge of character. He says he wants to take on the swamp of corruption and yet he continues to appoint swamp creatures to his administration who he eventually has to fire. Unfortunately, the swamp will outlive Trump’s Presidency. He’s a failure in my eyes…and I voted for him *once*. If Bernie picks Tulsi as his VP, then I’ll vote for her. Otherwise, I’ll be sitting this one out since I simply can’t vote for him again.

      I’m an independent and I would be surprised if other independents think the way I do. I expect Trump to win, but he no longer has my vote.

      (1) FAIL: He hasn’t brought our troops home from Syria and Afghanistan. Instead he appoints corrupt chicken-hawks and stands by while Turkey provides artillery cover for suicide car bombs from al-Qaeda. WW3 beckons and he is idle.
      (2) FAIL: He continues to persecute Assange rather than pardon him.
      (3) FAIL: He hasn’t taken on the corporations. No drug reimportation bill. No breaking up of monopolies. No reform of the financial system(i.e. bring back Glass Steagle). Instead he appoints the Goldman Sachs CEO as Treasury Secretary.
      (4) FAIL: He’s taken on illegal immigration, but still wants loads of legal immigrants.
      (5) FAIL: He hasn’t declassified anything with regards to the Russia hoax. The Rep’s have given Trump a long list of documents to declassify and he’s done nothing!
      (6) FAIL: He’s allowed his friends and associates to be persecuted.
      (7) FAIL: He said he would reveal Saudi Arabia’s involvement in 9/11.
      (8) FAIL: He said he would declassify ALL the JFK assassination documents.
      (9) FAIL: We have the best documented UFO case in history(2004 Nimitz) and he fails to demand/release all the video, radar, testimonial evidence the military has in it’s possession.
      (10) FAIL: He criticized the Fed for blowing bubbles(via QE) and then comes in and demands the Fed blow a bubble so he can win reelection…what a cynical ass.

      I could go on and on, but you get the point: Trump talks a big game, but then doesn’t follow through on what really matters. In this sense, he’s like every other President: a failure. It’s time for another anti-establishment candidate(Bernie/Tulsi) to take a shot at it.

        1. The President has extraordinary powers in our system. He just needs to grow a pair. The DS can’t veto his pardons. They can’t veto his decision to bring troops home. Nor can’t they veto his declassification orders…DUH.

          1. Ivan, the President needs support in Congress. That is why this second term is so important. At present the President does not have House support and his majority in the Senate isn’t that great. When I gave IMO the four most important things the President tackled I should have made it five and added conservative judges. A lot of the crazyness we are seeing comes from the judiciary that is encroaching on the legislative and executive branches in a political way. If Trump pushes too much on less essential issues he loses support on his major issues.

            Sanders is dead in the water no matter what happens. He will have to fight the deep state on both sides of the aisle and the financially powerful elite will join together to crush him.

            1. I agree that appointing conservative judges is important.

              I’m not a fan of Sanders, but he’s as “anti-establishent” as Trump. Maybe Sanders would bring our troops home. Perhaps he would pardon Assange. Who knows? I do know that Trump had his shot, but he simply wouldn’t pull the trigger. These are self inflicted wounds as far as I am concerned and I have no patience(beyond 1 term) for it.

              1. Ivan, you have to choose what is important to you but I bet a Sanders term would mean more not less use of tropps based either on offensive or defensive moves. All one had to do was look at the Obama administration. I believe initially Obama didn’t want to go into Libya and that was right. Hillary is responsible for that fiasco. Obama’s idea of appologizing and weakness opened a power vacuum and look at what happened to the Crimea and in Ukraine, Syria etc. Look at how the Chinese took advantage of weakness in the South China Sea.

                Instability and weakness causes war. Trump is actively trying to remove us from Afghanistan and look at all the stoppers being placed from all sides. Lots of money in war, even for people in Afghanistan.

                Sanders is a communist. Until the recent time frame he was an admitted one supporting the most deplorable regimes in the world. He also doesn’t believe in personal property but used his influnce to enrich himself so today he is the millionaire he despises. He has strong support in the primaries but that is not the general population.

                I don’t concern myself with who you vote for but tossing the dice is not generally a way to make good decisions. The majority of numbers point in the wrong direction. Presently you have one in your own thinking who is moving in the right direction but too slowly for your taste. Tossing the dice generally lands on those going in the opposite direction.

                1. I wouldn’t vote for Bernie, but I would vote for Tulsi if she’s his VP.

                  Clearly I don’t actually toss the dice when deciding who to vote for. My decisions are backed with loads of knowledge and reason. The reason I use the phrase “toss the dice” is because every President I have ever seen(Trump very much included) has failed to uncover and reveal ANY of the many hideous hidden truths our government keeps as a secret from the people.

                  I know that every President bends a knee to those that want these truths kept hidden…the pressure is simply too much for them to bear. But there’s always a chance that the next President might have the fortitude to risk a bullet from the CIA. It’s that slim chance that I’m referring to when I talk about rolling the dice. I suspect that Tulsi has much bigger balls than Trump in this regard so the chance of her stepping up to the plate for the people is higher with her. I already know Trump isn’t going to do it because he’s already had four years wherein he reversed his campaign stance to reveal SA’s central involvement in 9/11 and our cover-up of that fact. He also turned his back on his promise to release all the JFK docs. These are great disappointments to me but this inaction wasn’t unexpected.

                  It’s sad that I don’t see Trump supporters calling him out for his failure in this regard. That’s partisanship for you and that’s why nothing ever changes.

                  1. “ANY of the many hideous hidden truths our government keeps as a secret from the people.”

                    Don’t count on Tulsi for much more than we are seeing with Trump. You can probably count on a lot less.

                    Saudi Arabia: As much as I hate to say it right now Saudi Arabia seems to have parallel interests to those of the United States that would help the US depart from the Middle East. Trump is seeing to it that we have a supply of energy, enough to make us energy sufficient, so that we no longer need worry about the oil fields. AS a bonus as the relative price of oil goes down so does the income of Russia drop.

                    AS children we learn we have to be satisfied with less than we want. Want too much and a fight breaks out. Having something that one wants more of can make people strive in the right direction. I am happy that Trump changed the direction of the nation. I am disappointed that certain things haven’t been done but I will take a positive direction in favor of throwing the dice. Most of the times when the dice are thrown people are worse off.

        2. Trump had the triple crown with all three houses and just managed to buy off the Goldman Sachs crew with tax incentives which they used for stock buybacks. Sugar’s gone. Nothing left for the economy to rally for. It’s a Ponzi scheme. Today (literally this morning) in the grain market you have soybeans, bean oil, and wheat within a few ticks of their lows of last April, which were multi year lows themselves. This is what the QE payoff was for, giving cover for grain farmers to rebuild the market, which was rallying back in ’19 from their April lows…but ’20 has been a harsh bisquit. Prices dropping off a cliff since January. Bean Meal has been the exception, but that’s just because it had dropped so low that the big money funds use it as play toy to defer losses in the stock market. it’ll continue to whipsaw because the fundamentals don’t fit with the technical bursts. To sum up Trump’s QE agricultural efforts: twice the money Obama spent in QE, less then zero on the result side. Leading to staggering deficits.

          1. The Reps had the triple crown, but the Reps are not a single body acting at the behest of the President. The Congress(Reps and Dems) is owned by the corporations and so can not be made to do what’s right for the people/country.

            The economy was a Ponzi scheme long before Trump came to town. QE is about getting stock prices higher(bonds yields lower) to temporarily goose the economy…it’s a form of Keyensianism for those who hold assets and then hoping for a trickle down effect. The threat of recession due to the outbreak of coronavirus has naturally sent ALL commodity prices(oil, copper, the softs, except gold) lower. What QE “pays for” is the massive deficit spending that would normally lead to a massive rise in bond yields.

            The vast majority of QE(85%?) was done during the Obama years…you’ve got that part *completely wrong*. QE enables the Congress to run massive deficits and squashes the risk premiums.

            1. Trump’s Farm Bill >> 2x greater than Obama economic stimulus.

              And no, not ALL commodity market are dropping this week. I trade the grain markets, and this is what’s happening this week in the grains:

              Soybean Oil>> riding on historic lows.
              Wheat>> ” ”
              Soybeans>> ” ”
              Soybean Meal >> radically up. Yesterday for instance June Meal burst up 1000 points. A huge jump.

              Why is this happening when the other grains are tanking? Has nothing to do with fundamentals. Zero, zip, nada. It has to do with how big money funds invest and defer their losses when other markets they’re involved tank hard. It’s a manipulation of a market to shield against losses elsewhere. Sheer gaming theory and practice.

              1. Your comment seemed like you were comparing QE under Trump vs QE under Obama- clearly QE was far larger than under Trump…but you are instead comparing Trump’s farm bill with Obama’s “economic stimulus”? I confess that I’m not sure what you are comparing…it’s not clear. Obama “spent” 3.5 trillion on QE.

                You: “To sum up Trump’s QE agricultural efforts: twice the money Obama spent in QE, less then zero on the result side.”

                I’m a trader(of everything) as well…over 30 years now.

                1. Cool. You’re right, I often confuse QE with economic stimulus such as the Farm bill. It’s because farm stimulus pertains to my investing. And fed policy isn’t as much of a concern even though I admit to trading t bonds sporadically.

                  i’ve been at it 20 some years myself, focusing on it full time of late.

                  Nice to meet another “hardest way to make an easy living” person.

            2. And yes, all three branches have been working in unison with Trump since he entered office…his lack of experience made him the perfect Trojan Horse for things the R’s have wanted for years…, i.e. tax breaks, making a run at Obamneycare, stacking courts, deregging the EPA, etc.

              Making it a much different reality than, say, when Obama had almost a super majority after Ted Kennedy died and still had to go to war with the Blue Dogs to get get the individual mandate through.

              1. Republicans threatening to impeach Trump if he fired Mueller is hardly working in unison. Yup, that happened and that’s why the bs “investigation” happened in the first place. “Unison” my ass.

                1. And, clearly, we can tell this by R’s upholding their threat to impeach Trump for firing Mueller??

                  Maybe unison is the wrong word. Repubs saw Trump as an opportunity.

                    1. The only reason he didn’t fire Mueller was because he was afraid of the backlash from the Republicans. Clearly, he didn’t fear the backlash over firing Comey, but I don’t recall any serious threats in this regard from the Rep’s.

                2. Tough sell there considering the dedication the R’s had to not impeach Trump. That Mueller threat was just talk, clearly. Yes, McGahn threatened to resign over it, but Barr provided the escape hatch. Sorry, not buying R’s having any scruples in regard to Trump.

    2. The Deep Deep State sets the appointments, among its many other duties, by way of constitutional “…Advice and Consent of the Senate,….”

      1. The people responsible for this travesty are Trump and Flynn.

        Trump fired Flynn for lying and Flynn told the court he lied to the FBI.

        Trump creates these phony kayfabe controversies that are supposed to make us believe that trump is battling the deep state swamp, but it is all nothing but a steaming pile of BS.

        Mueller spends pages describing how Trump pressured Comey to “go easy” on Flynn and Comey said he could not “go easy” on Flynn. And now we find out that Mueller, Comey, Flynn and Trump all knew that Flynn had done nothing wrong and they were all just pretending that he had.

        1. No. The people responsible are those that concocted the bogus Russia hoax, those that backed it, and those useful idiots that believed it. Trump is a failure for not yet exposing this enormous scandal via the powers of declassification that he has as President.

          1. The people responsible are those that concocted the bogus Russia hoax
            _______________________________________

            Trump concocted the hoax.

            All trump has to do is tweet “it’s a witch Hunt” and a “coup attempt” and that is all it takes to get the knuckle dragging goobers to believe it is real.

            1. Only goobers believe Trump is a Russian spy. You have to be real stupid and ignorant to have fallen for such obvious nonsense.

              1. Actually, Trump is now an asset for U.S. intelligence because he’ll tell Putin what he knows. Makes him a perfect vehicle for disinformation for U.S. intelligence.

              2. Only goobers believe Trump is a Russian spy.

                _______________________________________
                That is correct. The morons on the left are the goobers that believe the Russia hoax and the Ukraine hoax.

                On the right you have the goobers who are the morons that believe Trump is engaged in a mortal battle with the deep state.

                Its all fake. The deep state swamp loves Trump.

                The FBI helped Trump get elected by repeatedly announcing to voters that Hillary was the subject of FBI criminal investigations but made no damaging announcements about Trump. The FBI did affect the election, but your bogus FISA warrant deal had zero effect on the election.

    1. The Democratic Party is a criminal organization,

      If we were to seriously consider what our government does in comparison to what their limited constitutional authority permits, then the entire enterprise should be treated as we do organized crime, with competing families like the Democrat and Republican parties.

  9. President Obama approved on several occasions the submission of knowingly false material misrepresentations to the FISA for the purpose of unpredicated spying on US citizens.

    The signature activity of every totalitarian regime remains the unwarranted and unjustified spying on its citizens. President Obama knew and approved the NSA’s unlawful search and collection of US citizen’s private communications.

    The media refuses to investigate or report on Obama’s activities which are far worse than anything Trump has suggested, tweed, or performed.

  10. There are 3 ways of handling FISA.

    1) Abolish FISA. That ends FISA abuse but leaves the nation vulnerable.
    2) Kick the can down the road. That leaves us open to even worse FISA abuse in the future.
    3) Reform FISA. That is something that can work but unless there are prosecutions and convictions for wrongdoing the same thing will happen all over again.

    Is the law stronger than the bureaucracy or the bureaucracy stronger than the law? We have to insure the former.

  11. Most alarming is Barr’s absolute disinterest in fixing the FISA court…and his disinterest in prosecuting any of the Democrat insurrectionists in the FBI. It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that Barr is one of THEM, not one of us. That, once again, we’ve been promised a fair shake and have wound up with ANOTHER Swamp rat doing all he can to preserve the status quo.

    1. I would add that Chief Justice John Roberts who overseas the FISA court seems completely disinterested as well. It’s one giant sht show.

  12. I agree with Rand Paul’s proposed FISA reforms. The abuse that has come to light should horrify all Americans, and fuel those reforms while the memory is fresh.

    1. “The abuse that has come to light should horrify all Americans,…”

      Most people don’t know the half of it.

  13. The FISA court was a lowering of the bar (no pun intended) and mostly served to generate more information but not necessarily better intelligence. Truthfully, pre FISA, it was possible to generate the same level of intelligence. In fact, having to jump through more hoops for it actually strengthens intelligence gathering on many levels.. I may be on the same page with Paul and even Trump on this one.

  14. The allure to know everything about everybody is greater than any current or reformed rules. Rules will be ignored when it is in the interest of those to do so.

    1. Al O’Heem,

      Agreed.

      Any ‘reform’ leaving that power lying around will be abused sooner or later and probably sooner.

      Abolish the FISA Court.

      I still suspect the court was not deceived in the recent mess. It looks a little as if they went along with the crimes with a wink and a nod.

      The FISA court is a greater risk to the country than the supposed harms it is intended to guard against. It was used to try to overthrow the President, for goodness sakes.

      1. “I still suspect the court was not deceived in the recent mess.”

        I would definitely add that it’s not a “recent” mess and that the “mess” is MUCH messier than most know. It extends to the abuse of the NSA database that has all our communications data. NSA whistleblower Russ Tice said in 2004 that Supreme Court Justices, Presidential candidates, and Congressmen were all being targeted. It’s also been rumored that Dick Cheney had someone who could access the dbase so that they could monitor their political opponents.

        1. Ivan: I agree that it is not altogether a recent mess. The rot has been growing for years. What is recent is the use of these tools to upend an election.

          That these criminals may have previously gone after Sup. Ct. Justices no longer surprises me. After his Obamacare decision I wondered if Justice Roberts had been compromised. It was very strange.

          Fifteen years ago I would have ridiculed these suspicions; now I share them. Confidence in the integrity, and intelligence, of those entrusted with the machinery of government has declined steeply in the last few decades. It is not safe to assume that they are good people.

          1. Yes, the inevitable has happened: “the recent use of these tools to upend an election.”

            We’re deep in the rabbit hole and, unfortunately, Trump is not going lead us out of it. FISA reform, on it’s own, means nothing to me without prosecutions and very long sentences.

            1. Yes, the inevitable has happened: “the recent use of these tools to upend an election.”
              ______________________________________
              What election was in any way affected by FISA?

              Was there a single vote changed as a result of anything the FISA court did?

              1. The attempt was made and failed. The corruption is in place and in the hands of people willing to use it. The next attempts may not fail. I do not want to take the chance. If one suceeds then millions of votes will be ‘changed’ by nullification. Abolish FISA.

                1. The attempt was made and failed.
                  _____________________________________
                  Ha Ha Ha You got to be a moron to believe that

                  How would this ever possibly succeed in upending an election?

                  _________________________________
                  The next attempts may not fail.

                  ____________________________________
                  The FISA warrant did not fail. It accomplished its intended purpose of making people believe that Trump is in a battle royale with the deep state swamp.

                  Its called Kayfabe. Look it up.

                  ___________________________________
                  If one suceeds then millions of votes will be ‘changed’ by nullification
                  _________________________________

                  Of course you can’t even begin to explain how a FISA warrant could change millions of votes.

                  Don’t get me wrong I would be happy to see FISA abolished. It is an obvious violation of the 4th amendment. But your belief that the FISA warrant was tampering with the election is even more delusional than the belief that the Russians tampered with the election.

                  1. It doesn’t matter using public office for illegal purposes is wrong regardless.

                    However this one wil cost the socialistas big time and they don’t have any room to spare given the flight of real citizens from the lefts foreign ideology based ideology

                  2. Jinn, I won’t bother to frame a formal response to your post. It is enough to say that I believe Allan has the right of it.

                    1. Jinn, I won’t bother to frame a formal response to your post
                      _______________________________

                      The fact is you don’t have a response. The FISA warrant did not in any way influence the election.

                      The FBI did in fact influence the election by repeatedly announcing to the public that Clinton was the subject of FBI criminal investigation. If the FBI wanted to help Clinton they would have kept quiet about Clinton and smeared Trump instead by making repeated announcements that Trump was the subject of criminal investigations.

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