Pete's Prep: Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018

#ReleaseTheMemo Memo Released

The House Intelligence Committee released the memo written by it's chairman - Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). From the New York Times: Link

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, disregarding Justice Department warnings that their actions would be “extraordinarily reckless,” voted Monday evening to release a contentious secret memorandum said to accuse the department and the F.B.I. of misusing their authority to obtain a secret surveillance order on a former Trump campaign associate.

The President has five days to look over the memo and then decide whether to release it. He has indicated he would like to see it released. But his Justice Department opposes that.

Jazz Shaw at captures the concern that all Americans should have: Link

This seems easy enough to handle. If portions of the memo are deemed to be too sensitive and risk exposing intel or assets, then they can be redacted prior to release. Far more problematic are the conclusions the public might draw if this information actually does suggest that people in the FBI were involved in partisan hijinks and disruption of investigations to favor one party over the other.

We will have reached a sad state of affairs if the allegations being suggested are validated. As a nation, we’ve long since grown used to a state of divided, ideological partisanship in the legislative branch. It’s basically the foundation for the entire system at this point. Such partisanship in the executive branch is simply an extension of that battle. It’s actually far more of a tragedy that such partisan divides have completely infected the judicial branch. It’s a national scandal when we can predict how each of the justices on the Supreme Court will vote on the most divisive issues with nearly 100% accuracy.

But all of that pales in comparison to the damage we’ll expose if this same ideological partisanship has fully infected law enforcement.

And then there's this...


Americans became LESS accepting of LGBT last year?

I wonder *cough*HB2*cough* why Americans attitudes might have *cough*HB2*cough* soured on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender folks.

From the Federalist: Link

America’s comfort level with the LGBTQ population is declining, according to GLADD, one of the oldest and largest LGBTQ organizations. GLAAD reports a drop of 3 to 4 percent drop in people’s reported “comfort levels” with several scenarios, such as learning a family member is gay. “This year, the acceptance pendulum abruptly stopped and swung in the opposite direction,” the report states. “More non-LGBTQ adults responded that they were ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ uncomfortable around LGBTQ people in select scenarios.”

The decline is paired with a significant increase in LGBTQ people reporting discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity,” the report continues. “This change can be seen as a dangerous repercussion in the tenor of discourse and experience over the last year. 2017 brought heightened rhetoric toward marginalized communities to the forefront of American culture.”

So, what *cough*HB2*cough* might have led *cough*HB2*cough* to such a shift *cough*HB2*cough* in attitudes *cough*HB2*cough*in just one year? *cough*HB2*cough*

I just can't seem to figure it out.


If we put the shift in context, it appears the LGBT focus on transgender advocacy may have an impact on how average Americans view LGBT as a whole. 

This piece is definitely worth your time.

Democrats block effort to bring US in line with international community

The United State is out of step with virtually every other nation on the face of the planet, and this sort of peer measurement is usually the way that Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) argue that some Republican, traditional, or limited-government policy needs to be overturned.

But the issue at hand is abortion, and so Democrats will not care what the rest of the world does.

When it comes to taxes, government-run health systems, same-sex marriage, genderless bathrooms, paid vacation time, and a whole host of other issues, the Democratic Party cites foreign nations as the measuring stick.

Heck, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg urged Egyptian activists to use the Constitution of South Africa as a model for their new government - not the US Constitution.

But when it comes to banning abortion after 20 weeks, like virtually every other nation on earth, the Democrats reject comparisons to the international standard.

And last night, Democrats made their position clear: Link

The U.S. Senate on Monday blocked a bill that would have banned most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and backed by President Donald Trump, would have imposed a penalty of up to five years in prison for those who attempted to perform an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The woman getting the abortion would not be punished.

The bill failed 51-46 mostly along party lines. It fell short of the 60 votes Republicans needed to prevent a Democratic filibuster.

The GOP should amend the bill - pushing the ban to 21 weeks. And then hold another vote.

And if that fails, amend it again and push the ban to 22 weeks. And then hold another vote.

And just keep going like this until Democrats finally agree to a number of weeks.

Or until they don't.

Because if the media is not going to put Democrats on the record on this, then the Republicans should.

Report: Gov. Cooper says pipeline is OK because he said so

The Carolina Journal has exclusive details on an deal to build a natural gas pipeline. But it includes a multi-million dollar payment into an escrow account, with no clear explanation of how the money would be distributed. 

[T]he memorandum of understanding hammered out between Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration and the four utilities building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Under the deal, announced Friday, the pipeline operators would pay $57.8 million for projects the governor wants, and, in exchange, the operators get to build the multibillion-dollar pipeline across eastern North Carolina. (Read the memorandum here.)

Former N.C. House Majority Leader Paul “Skip” Stam, a Wake County attorney in private practice, says the deal violates the state constitution and would take away the rights of North Carolinians to challenge terms of the agreement in court. In contrast, Gerry Cohen, the General Assembly’s former special counsel, said the agreement seems unusual because it didn’t go through normal budget channels. But Cohen thinks it could survive a possible legal challenge.

Meantime, legislative leaders are seeking guidance on the legality of the arrangement.

The memo states that the funds "shall be allocated pursuant to the guidelines and directives set forth in a subsequent Executive Order that would be issued prior to the completion of state permitting for the ACP." Link

We'll be chatting with Rick Henderson today on the show at 4:05.

Rap music and Donald Trump tap the same vein

I was sent this video today by a listener and found it pretty compelling. Jason Whitlock (of FOX Sports) said, "Watch this video with an open mind. [It] explains how rap (Jay Z) and Donald Trump are cut from the same cloth."

He went on to describe the video: "The attack on masculinity is why hyper-masculine acts like Trump and rap are successful. They're tapping into the same thing."

WARNING: It contains foul language - as it highlights rap lyrics.

(h/t: @TimberGhostHowl)

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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