Friday, February 2, 2018

The Nunes Memo Is Out. Here's What It Says

The Nunes Memo Is Out. Here's What It Says

Updated on February 2, 2018

The following is a summary of what the 4-page memo presented by Republican Devin Nunes to the House Intelligence Committee. The memo has been controversial in that Nunes presented it to be declassified and released to the public. The House voted to release the memo on a partisan basis, where the Republicans voted to release and the Democrats voted to not release. At the time of the vote, the Committee voted not to release a rebuttal memo by Democrats and not to allow the DOJ and FBI to make statements prior to the vote for the release of the memo. The FBI and DOJ both issued statements objecting to the release of the memo and stated that it contained falsehoods and omitted information. The FBI and DOJ also raised concerns regarding disclosure of classified information. The memo was sent to Trump to determine if the memo should be declassified. Trump had 5 days to review that memo and make the determination. He determined on February 1 that the memo would be released. It was released this morning (February 2.) The release of the memo has sparked controversy between Democrats and Republicans as well as between the DOJ, FBI, and the Trump administration.
Of Note: The memo was written and released on a partisan basis with support from Republicans and with heavy opposition from Democrats. The Democrats 10 page counter-memo has not yet been released.


Summary

Purpose: To update Members on significant facts related to the Committee’s investigation into the DOJ and FBI and their use of FISA. The memo states the findings “raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the FISC and represent a breakdown of legal processes related to the FISA Process.
Investigation Update: On October 21, 2016, The DOJ and FBI sought and obtained a FISA warrant authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page. Page is a United States Citizen who served as a volunteer for the Trump campaign. The application was approved by the Director or Deputy Director of the FBI, Attorney General (AG), Deputy AG (DAG, or Senate-confirmed Assistant AG for the NSA. The FBI obtained one initial FISA warrant for Carter Page and then three renewals of this warrant. The renewals are required every 90 days for a US citizen and each renewal must renew probably cause. Comey signed three of the applications for the FBI. McCabe signed one. Yates and Rosenstein both signed at least one of the applications. The memo asserts that relevant and material information was omitted from the applications for the FISA warrants.
1. The Steele “dossier” was used in the applications and was an essential part.
  • a. The “dossier” was compiled on behalf of the DNC and the Clinton campaign and Steele received over $160,000 from the DNC (Democratic National Committee) and Clinton Campaign to obtain derogatory information on Trump’s ties to Russia.
  • b. Steele was a long time FBI source.
  • c. The applications do not disclose that the “dossier” was funded by the DNC/Clinton campaign.
  • d. The initial warrant says he was working for a named US person but doesn’t name the firm that was representing the DNC.
  • e. The FBI authorized separate payments to Steele for the information in the “dossier”
2. The FISA application cited an article by Michael Isikoff from Yahoo News on September 23, 2016 that focuses on a trip to Moscow by Page in July of 2016.
  • a. The memo claims that the article was based on information leaked by Steele himself and therefore cannot corroborate the information in the dossier.
  • b. The application incorrectly states that Steele did not provide information directly to Yahoo News.
  • c. Steele has since admitted that he met with Yahoo News and several other outlets in September of 2016 where the matter was discussed.
  • d. Steele was suspended and ultimately terminated as a source by the FBI for unauthorized disclosures to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an article on October 30.
  • e. The memo asserts that she should have been terminated in September for this disclosures to Yahoo News prior to the application for the FISA warrant on Page on September 30, but Steele lied to the FBI regarding his disclosures to media in September.
  • f. The memo asserts that Steele’s disclosure to the media demonstrated that Steele was not a reliable source for the FBI because he didn’t maintain confidentiality.
3. Steele maintained contact with the DOJ before and after he was terminated as a source via (now former) Associate DAG Bruce Ohr. Shortly after the election, the FBI began interviewing Ohr and documenting his communications with Steele.
  • a. In September of 2016, Steele told Ohr that he had feelings against Trump and stated he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the President.” This showed Steele had a bias recorded by Ohr but this bias is not mentioned in the FISA application.
  • b. During the same time, Ohr’s wife was employed by Steele’s company to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided his wife’s research to the FBI. This research was from the same company as Steele that was paid by the DNC and Clinton campaign.
  • c. The relationship between Ohr, Steele and Fusion GPS (Steele and Ohr’s wife’s company) wasn’t mentioned in the FISA warrant.
4. Assistant Director of counterintelligence for the FBI, Bill Priestap stated that corroboration on the Steele “dossier” was in its infancy when the initial FISA application was submitted. An independent unit later made a reported that the FBI only “minimally” corroborated Steele’s reporting.
  • a. In early January 2017, Comey briefed Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier. He later gave testimony in July 2017 that said the “dossier” was “salacious and unverified” at that time.
  • b. The FISA warrant relied on the Steele’s past record of credible reporting and ignored his “anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations.”
  • c. McCabe testified in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought without the Steele “dossier” information
5. The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding follow Trump campaign advisor, Papadopoulos.
  • a. The memo asserts there is no evidence of any corroboration or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos.
  • b. The information on Papadopoulos triggered an FBI counterintelligence investigation in July of 2016 by Pete Strzok.
  • c. Strzok is the officer who was reassigned due to the discovery of improper text messages with his mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page.
  • d. Both Strzok and Page demonstrated a personal bias against Donald Trump in their discovered personal text messages.
  • e. The text message reveal extensive discussions of the investigation, orchestrating leaks to the media, and include a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss and “insurance” policy against Trump’s election.


Source
This article contains no opinion or analysis. The purpose of this article is to summarize the contents of the Republican Devin Nunes's memo to the House Intelligence Committee.The full text of the memo in PDF form can be read here:

Friday, November 3, 2017

Cracked

I am covered in skin. And no one gets to come in. Its an awkward truth. One I lost somewhere and then regained again and then again. This has been a comfortable place. A cacoon. Somewhere safe to hide. No expectations. No requirements beyond my capabilities. I have just been. And that was good. That was necessary.
But have I felt? Have I experienced? What have I been doing? Just wrapping up in this spindley blanket of caterpillar spat safety? Am I to stay here? It's warm. And safe. And easy. But can I fly again? Is it worth it? Do my wings still spread? Do I still flutter and glide and land gracefully?
The cacoon is breaking open. What colors will I be this time? It is not ashes I rise from here. I did not burn to the ground and come up again with fierce, fiery might. It is a slow rebirth. A timid one. An unsure one.
What colors will I be? Bright? Black and White? Shades of gray? Will I be caught up in another net? Captured and contained? Or can I just fly? Flutter. Glide. Land gracefully.
The cacoon is cracking. The time is coming. Reborn again.

Monday, October 30, 2017

When I die

I don't expect to die any time soon but when I do someday, I have a few requests:
1. Donate any possible part of me for organ donation, science, whatever. I'd prefer to be useful.
2.  If there is some cost effective way by then, press parts of me into 3 jewels and give one each to my sons so I can be forever with them.
3. If those are not an option... do not embalm me! If I end up embalmed,  I swear on all the soul I have left that Im coming back to haunt whoever made that decision! Ill figure out a way! DO NOT preserve my body in an unnatural state after I have left it and moved on! Just dont!
*exception made if I'm donated to science. I get it. It'll be necessary to do something like that in that case. It's cool as long as I'm being useful. After I'm done being useful proceed to the other options.
4. Return me to the Earth. My absolute preference is to be buried in an unsealed box (or no box at all) so that my body can do what all bodies are meant to do and become food and fuel for nature. Yeah. Yeah.  You don't want to think of me all gross and getting eaten by worms and whatnot. Listen, I'm not going to be there anymore. I'll have moved on. My body will be food. As it should be. Don't think too much about it. Just remember I want to feed the flowers. Those flowers and grass and trees will be part me. And that is beautiful. And as it should be.
5. Ok. So it's possible there are laws against that sort of thing. It's also possible that I was donated to science and/or all split up into worthy recipients of awesome parts of me. MAYBE I am all embalmed and hacked on and used up from being useful. No worries! Burn me! If you bury me now that I'm all preserved, I'm not natural food anymore. So Burn me!  Cremate me and return me to Earth. Preferably half on a mountain and half in the sea. Just as long as I'm returning to the Earth, I won't be too picky. The yard is fine if that's all you can manage. No urns or trashbags or god forbid a tomb! Earth! Sea! Fish food! Yes please.
6. Erect a memorial if you must but don't lay me down next to 1000 others in a sea of Grey markers that all look the same. Give me a memorial that says "THIS IS SHANO! She was unique." Make it small or big or whatever but make it unique. *Sparkles preferred.* And I've never been grey. Who would describe me as grey?? No one hopefully! I'm deep black or colorful blue or black and white checkered or vibrant red or neon pink! I'm not grey.  Don't make my forever memorial grey either!
7. Regardless of how anyone might feel about this statement, I am not a Christian. I am Buddhist. Please don't have a pastor/priest do my funeral service and quote bible verses and generally droll on about how I'm tromping up the Stairway to Heaven. I'm not. I've moved on. I'm already starting my next life and my soul is probably in or on its way to another living creature just beginning. Instead, please gather and laugh and celebrate this life I had and wish me luck in the next one. Maybe you'll cry and ok. I mean, I understand. But laugh more. That's an order! I want to be remembered with a smile and an eye roll and a laugh and stories that make me live on forever. Do Not remember me with somber tears and silly talk of my new castle in the sky. I don't even want to live in a castle!  Remember me for my shiny moments and make guesses on where and in what form I've moved on to! (Hopefully I'll be reborn in Fiji. Fingers crossed!)

PS. If you happen to hate my guts and we are arch nemeses and all that life sort of stuff: I demand that you dance at or near my funeral. Show up and do it.  It's only right. And I would totally do it to you! You know I would.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

How to Life when You Don't Want To

It's 7:30am. My alarm has been going off for an hour. It stops giving me the option to put it off at 7:30 and puts a big red X on the screen to remind my sleepy brain that I can't procrastinate any longer. I have to get up and Life. Except, I know how to get around that mean little X. So, I punch the X in its big fat red face and I set a stop watch for 10 minutes. I just can't do it yet. I've been awake for the last hour laying here in my oasis I created for myself.

I don't want to Life today. Life feels too oppressive today. I want to stay here wrapped in my 5 pillow 2 blankets head to toe cocoon and hide from all that big, mean, scary stuff out THERE. In another year, another version of my life, I could have. I would have. I'd have stayed wrapped up in this safe hiding place until I had the courage to go out THERE. 

But it is not another year. I have to come out. I have to life. Probation is waiting for that fax from me to send a client to jail and probably save their life in the process. CPS is waiting for that progress report to take to court and give to the judge to help decide the fate of a family. Five people are on my schedule today to rely on ME to help them with Life-ing. How can I do that today? How can I help someone else Life if I can't even listen to that big red X and unwrap myself from this warm womb of safety? I don't know. I guess I just will. I have to.

I'll tell them about that time I didn't want to come out from under the covers because I was afraid and exhausted and Life-ing seemed like  just too much. I'll tell them I got up. I made coffee. I'll tell them that it seemed impossible to me to even consider using a hairbrush or a curling iron or putting my legs into my pants. I'll tell them that I took some deep breaths and I pulled out all of my courage and energy and stood up.

I'll tell them that sometimes Life-ing occurs one minute at a time, one small decision at a time. One courageous moment at a time. I'll tell them that Life can be a big, mean, scary place where people and feelings and words and memories and guilt and shame and regret are flying like bullets at you and seem to be trying to keep you from surviving. But you can't hide forever because then you'll miss the sound of the birds chirping and the smell of morning on the grass and the way your dog follows you around the house and your kitten jumps on your lap. 

You'll miss the chance to tell someone else about that time you didn't want to come out and Life but did it anyway. And how it all turned out okay.
So, here goes. I'm coming out now and shedding my safe, warm cocoon. I'm making coffee and turning on my curling iron and putting my legs into my my pants. 10 minutes late. And it will all turn out okay. At least for the next courageous minute.

My 12 Acceptance for this Today

It's been a difficult day. I'm not yet ready to talk about it. I'm hurt and having to remind myself of what's healthy for me.  So I'll simply share my acceptances for today.
1. I accept that people in my life are free to make their own decisions and are responsible for their own actions. I do not have control over them.
2. I accept that they may not and do not have to acknowldge their behavior and how it may affect me and this is not in my control.
3. I accept that their behavior about them and not about me.
4. I accept that, today, right now, it is harmful to me to be around and be subject to the behavior of certain people and I cannot maintain control if I am without help. Because of this, it is best that I try to avoid any exposure to this behavior until I am better able to manage it and it is less harmful to me.
5. I accept that I must maintain healthy boundaries that are good for me in order to have any type of relationship with these people in the future.
6. I accept that these boundaries are necessary and that consequences are necessary and must be followed through with if boundaries are not respected.
7. I accept that although I cannot have any control or "fix" anyone else, I can and will strengthen myself to be able to manage my own feelings and reactions, both external and internal, to maintain my own health and sanity and not become sick.
8. I accept that regardless of what is said or done to me, I am capable and willing to believe I am a whole person that I can trust to make decisions about my own worth and life choices.
9. I accept that I am responsible for my feelings of self worth, guilt, shame, worthiness of love, anger, sadness, and happiness and that I will trust myself to safely decide which feelings are appropriate and healthy and not a reaction to others words or behavior that is out of my control.
10. I accept that I can, have and will make mistakes and I am allowed to forgive myself and move forward on a better path.
11. I accept that I will always be damaged/affected by people I care about in my life and that I must be vigilant in my own recognition and seek treatment if I become sick because of it.
12. I accept that I am worth accepting these things for myself and those who care about me so I can have a healthy relationship with myself and others.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Making it Through

Making It Through Hard Times

One Breath At A Time...

They say when climbing Everest, the struggle is so much that you concentrate on nothing but breath. One then the next then the next. You labor to just make it through the next breath so that you can then make it through the next step. You take a step and stop then again until you have reached the top. You are nothing but lungs and breath. You are not thinking of money or your dry cleaning, the dishes or what you will eat for dinner. You are not thinking of how your spouse has offended you with an offhand comment or what car you’d like to drive. You’re thinking only of the breath you are in. You have pushed yourself so far that the air is almost too thin to sustain. But you keep going, not down, but up. You take a step then stop and breathe. You go up. On the summit, you are essentially dying, but you go up. Because on the summit, the peak is there. The end. The top. The place few others have seen. The closer you get to it, the harder it is to keep going. The worse your situation becomes. But you keep going because you know the peak is there. Each labored breath gets you closer. Each concrete footed step is 6 more inches to the top of the world. So you go. And you think only of breath. And if you pause long enough, you may think of what that breath is for. Your children, your love, your dearest friend, perhaps just the privilege of having breath. But you think of nothing else. And you are grateful for each new inhale. Grateful that you are able.
So that is the journey. Turmoil and danger and misery and breaking the limits of your will and your body. Experiencing limit after limit and pushing through them, no matter how long it takes. Excruciating cold and tooth pain wind. Reliance on guides and trails, fellow journeymen for your very life. And with each new phase, they all fade away one by one and become useless until you are relying on nothing more than your own will to pull oxygen into your lungs and push it carbon dioxide back out. Your own will to endure one more step. That is the journey you have chosen. Does the destination make all of the struggle worth it? I guess one decides for themselves. Many try, few experience the view past the jagged rocky last step to know the experience of the very last edge of human endurance. But what about those who do? They know things others never will. They have seen. They have seen and will always know what others do not, cannot. They will see the world in a way that others cannot see it. And everything, from that moment on, will be viewed through the lens of that knowledge.
And so no matter how hard it gets, take one breath at a time. Breathe, step, stop and breathe again. Keep moving up and forward. You will eventually reach the summit. And when you do, you will see and it will have all become worth it. And you will have wisdom that others cannot.

Still my little blonde firecracker

And still... going into college. My little blonde firecracker.


Raising myself

Paying for my raising more and more...

I’ve learned that there is little that can help you learn about yourself more than raising your children.
My son. My darling little blond-haired firecracker. My sweet little man who inspired me more by his mere birth than anything ever has or will. My baby…
Is turning into a teenager.
He yells and screams. He says things to me that he knows will hurt me and he says them because he knows they will hurt me. He looks me in the eye and tells me, in his own way, that he thinks I am stupid and old and can’t understand. He looks at me as though I’ve slighted him. He looks at me like it hurts him somewhere inside to have to tolerate me. He looks at me like he wishes I would disappear so he could go on with his self. Talk to his girlfriend. Keep his secrets. Throw a football to his friend and use curse words. He looks at me like I can’t possibly understand.
I understand. Every scream that comes from his lips. Every jab he throws at my psyche. Every eye roll. Every secret. Every curse word. Every overly over reaction. I understand.
Because he is me. I am my mother and father. I can read his mind because it was my mind once. I know what is bubbling under the surface of his resistance.
It is reassuring. Reassuring because “I turned out OK.”
It is distressing. Distressing because it was a grueling, tumultuous road from the first bubbling to the OK I feel today.
My little blond firecracker with his over achievement and his maniacal passion. Will he have to endure the pain, the terrible mistakes, the lifelong repercussions? Will he survive and someday be strong, armored, self aware, open and closed, happy? Will it take so long? Will it be so hard? Will he survive? Will he learn and grow?
The hardest thing I’ve ever learned about the human mind is that knowing does not give an automatic answer to knowing how. I know my little firecracker. I know him from his pinky toe to his uncut hair. I know what’s bubbling there. I don’t know how to guide him. I had to guide myself. I resented anyone who tried to guide me then and now. I have my own compass. Can I be his? Will it drive him away if I try? Does he have to find his own way? Will he survive?
Will he be contented?

The Nunes Memo Is Out. Here's What It Says

The Nunes Memo Is Out. Here's What It Says Updated on February 2, 2018 The following is a summary of what the 4-page memo pre...