Trying to get on track ….

The President Visits Phoenix:

You saw last night the support for President Trump inside the building and the anger at him outside. When on script, he was clear defending and presenting his accomplishments for the eight months in office. When he went off script he attacked the media hard and went through a long defense of his Charlottesville statements, comments and actions. The off script stuff will no doubt provide the morning shows and MSM enough fodder to blast him all day. As he spoke (off script) I just imagined his staff backstage cringing. I wondered who was going to volunteer to go on GMA and CNN today, the two shows he really blasted. Those stations will be angry and ready to call him out — all day. You see they are allowed to blast the administration all day, but get very indignant if you attack them. They can dish it out, but consider it unfair to take incoming.

This is where we are today, and as we have long thought the President is to going to run against Democrats and Congress. It started with the Arizona Senate race last night. Trump was clear that John McCain cost “us” healthcare reform and their other senator Jeff Flake is weak. He all but endorsed his opponent in primary race. Kelli Ward, a staunch conservative and pro Trump person, ran against John McCain last year and this year is going against the other Republican Senator, Jeff Flake. She was in the building and Flake wasn’t.
The WSJ said this about the race: “Jeff Flake, the outspoken junior U.S. senator from Arizona, faces a tough road to re-election in 2018”. Mr. Flake opposes Mr. Trump’s trade and border-wall plans, and with the president calling the senator “toxic” and “weak on borders,” cracks are starting to show in Mr. Flake’s support from Trump voters.
We don’t think Flake will lose to her but it is an example of the divide in the party these days. If she does win the primary then the Republicans will likely lose the seat in the general election. So this is a slippery slope for Trump and team.

On that topic, the NYT this AM reports:

“The relationship between President Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and Mr. McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Mr. Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.

What was once an uneasy governing alliance has curdled into a feud of mutual resentment and sometimes outright hostility, complicated by the position of Mr. McConnell’s wife, Elaine L. Chao, in Mr. Trump’s cabinet, according to more than a dozen people briefed on their imperiled partnership. Angry phone calls and private badmouthing have devolved into open conflict, with the president threatening to oppose Republican senators who cross him, and Mr. McConnell mobilizing to their defense”.

COMMENT: Just more proof that Republicans can’t govern, Mitch McConnell should go, Donald Trump brought a huge ego to the WH and he is going to run against Democrats and Congress in the future.
Here’s a link to an incredible story if you want to read it.
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-and-mcconnell-locked-in-a-cold-war-threatening-the-gop-agenda/ar-AAqyA6r?li=BBnb7Kz

More News (Some) You May Not Have Heard:

Imagine if this were about a Trump or Bush. Did you hear that two members of the Kennedy family were arrested in Massachusetts after complaints about a party and fireworks? Police say officers responded to a home near the family compound in Hyannis Port on noise complaints. Arrested were Matthew (son of Robert) Kennedy and his daughter, 22-year-old Caroline Kennedy and charged with disorderly conduct.
I’m guessing you didn’t hear this on the MSM. But then again if Teddy can drive a car off a bridge, and a passenger dies while he goes home to sleep, why report this?

Wouldn’t you love to know what is going on behind the scenes with this whole North Korea situation? Funny he stopped firing missiles for awhile. We just think there is a lot we don’t know. The WSJ has this story:
“The U.S. is stepping up its efforts to cut off North Korea from the financial world. The Washington U.S. attorney’s office in May obtained warrants to freeze funds of Chinese firms that were processed through U.S. banks, alleging these firms help finance North Korea’s weapons program, which the country has accelerated in recent months”. 

Some stories and their headlines in the NYT:

Trump Administration Moves to Expand Deportation Dragnet to Jails
Federal officials are working with sheriffs on a legal maneuver to gain access to undocumented immigrants in local jails, a practice now limited by the courts.

COMMENT:  And the problem is?

Even Business Leaders Who Abandoned Trump’s Councils May Not Stray Far
Despite their symbolic moves, many C.E.Os will continue to advocate positions in person and through lobbyists, while people in Mr. Trump’s inner circle face a harder decision.

COMMENT:  This just supports our thoughts they are feckless and resigned because of boycott threats.

Angry Trump Grilled His Generals About Troop Increase, Then Gave In

The president, who had called for American withdrawal from Afghanistan before he took office, in the end accepted a “big military” approach as the only viable option.
COMMENT: This was actually encouraging to see he thought and listened.
The Washington Times had a story on what we reported yesterday concerning the hacked DNC.  The headline is interesting:

DNC hack theories considered extreme and fringe now entering mainstream.  Some claim party insider leaked data.
I included the article below after the ratings if you want to read it.

Laurence Kudlow the prominent financial analyst and James Carter who served as head of President Trump’s tax planning counsel proposed a novel idea for the new tax plan. They say, “Index Capital Gains for Inflation” How would that work. Here’s an example they offer:
” You invest $1,000, and after 10 years, you sell that investment for $1,200. But if inflation averaged 2.5 percent in that period, the $1,200 you receive will be worth less in real terms than the $1,000 you invested. And yet, under current law, you will pay a tax on your $200 capital gain”.
They propose changing the law to allow for inflation.
Sounds reasonable right? It has no chance because the government is spending way too much to give you a break like that. Think about that.

How Crazy Have We Gotten:

When we heard ESPN moved an announcer off an upcoming football game in Virginia to one in Pittsburgh because his name was Robert Lee, that just about capped it all. The Asian Robert Lee announcer was being moved because of his name! Who has lost their way and is prejudice?
ESPN has been in a a major decline, and as many of you know recently had major cut backs. One of the main reasons people gave for not viewing the station was they had gotten too political.
You think so?

THE RATINGS:

FOXNEWS was number one for the 33rd week in a row. The report and top shows as reported by adweek:

Last week was a wild one, news-wise. The cable news networks reported on the aftermath of the Charlottesville protests, terrorist attacks in Barcelona and the resignation of Steve Bannon from the Trump administration.

Fox News came out on top among total viewers, both in total day and in prime time, for the week of August 14. With the Monday – Sunday victory, FNC has now been the most-watched basic cable network in total day for the 33 consecutive weeks, and the most-watched basic cable network in prime time for 13 consecutive weeks. FNC programs made up 11 of the top 30 basic cable programs in total viewers, including various presentations of Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Five and Hannity.

Fox News posted a -4 percent decline in prime time, but improved +1 percent in total day versus the comparable week last year (w/o Aug. 15 2016).

MSNBC continues to perform well both in prime time and in total day. The network fell to Fox News by only an 80,000 viewer average in Mon-Sunday prime time, and ranked No. 2 overall across basic cable. MSNBC also posted +86 percent year-over-year prime time viewer growth.

CNN had a very solid week in its own right, finishing No. 6 in total prime time viewers across basic cable (+75 percent), and No. 4 in total day viewers (+42 percent year-over-year)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Prime time (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (2,058,000)
  2. MSNBC (1,978,000)
  3. USA (1,490,000)
  4. HGTV (1,416,000)
  5. TBS (1,311,000)

Basic Cable Top 5 – Total Day (Total Viewers)

  1. Fox News (1,280,000)
  2. Nickelodeon (1,134,000)
  3. MSNBC (1,088,000)
  4. CNN (908,000)
  5. Adult Swim (797,000)

Here’s Saturday, Sunday (Fox Wins) and weekly Morning and Evening News (ABC wins):

Total Viewers (Live +SD)  SATURDAY FOX WINS THE NIGHT.

  • Prime time: FNC: 1.274 | CNN: 822 | MSNBC: 771 | HLN: 285
4p: 5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:
FNC NwsHQ:
955
NewsHQ:
1.063
NewsHQ:
1.096
Report:
1.157
Watters:
1.481
Pirro:
1.245
Gutfeld:
1.095
Watters:
931
CNN Nwsrm:
1.018
Nwsrm:
954
Nwsrm:
918
Nwsrm:
990
Nwsrm:
999
Dclasified:
892
90s:
575
Nwsrm:
524
MSNBC News:
868
News:
809
News:
832
News:
984
Maddow:
750
ODonnell:
818
Williams:
745
Lockup:
420
HLN Files:
169
Files:
236
Files:
238
Files:
200
Files:
243
Files:
286
Files:
327
Files:
428

Total Viewers (Live +SD)  SUNDAY. FOX CLOSES OUT WEEKEND WIN.

  • Primetime: FNC: 1.091 | CNN: 827 | MSNBC: 635 | HLN: 388
  4p: 5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:
FNC NewsHQ:
792
Gutfeld:
844
Report:
952
Report:
1.089
Watters:
1.167
Hilton:
1.029
FNSunday:
1.077
Watters:
884
CNN Nwsrm:
677
Nwsrm:
745
Nwsrm:
681
Nwsrm:
792
90s:
740
90s:
952
Comedy:
789
90s:
502
MSNBC News:
590
News:
640
News:
705
MTP:
801
Dateline:
733
Dateline:
800
Lockup:
371
Lockup:
426
HLN Files:
287
Files:
304
Files:
320
Files:
348
Hunt:
366
KillingMe:
408
Hunt:
391
Hunt:
344

EVENING NEWS:  Week of August 14, 2017: ABC WINS.

ABC NBC CBS
• Total Viewers:  7,887,000 7,484,000 5,875,000

MORNING NEWS: For the week of August 14, 2017:  ABC WINS AGAIN

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 3.987 M / NBC: 3.827 M / CBS: 3.273 M
THE WASHINGTON TIMES STORY:

DNC hack theories considered extreme and fringe now entering mainstream

Some claim party insider leaked data

The conventional wisdom that last year’s Democratic National Committee computer hack, which triggered WikiLeaks to release thousands of emails revealing Democratic Party favoritism of Hillary Clinton over Bernard Sanders, was conducted by Russian operatives is facing increasing scrutiny.

Theories once considered fringe and extreme have begun entering the mainstream, with a prominent group of former NSA and CIA officials claiming the hack that rocked the 2016 presidential election was not actually a hack at all but rather a leak by an insider with physical access to the DNC computer network.

Speculation around the claim by the group, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), is also being fueled by investigators re-examining statements by key players in the drama, including former President Barack Obama and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose carefully chosen words on the hack have drawn fresh attention.

A research memo compiled by VIPS last month directly conflicts with the U.S. intelligence community’s January claim that it was Russian operatives who orchestrated the cyberattack on the DNC network.

The memo, which the group sent to President Trump last month under the title “Was the ‘Russian Hack’ an Inside Job?” — investigates metadata and data transfer speeds found in the records of the alleged Russian cyberintrusion into DNC computers.

The memo also raises issues with assertions that the U.S. intelligence community has made over the existence of “Guccifer 2.0,” a shadowy Romanian hacker alleged to have carried out the cyberintrusion.

A January assessment publicized by the intelligence community claimed that Guccifer had hacked the DNC network on behalf of Russian intelligence and had then passed documents obtained through the hack to WikiLeaks.

VIPS argues that Guccifer was made up.

The intelligence community’s “assessment and its conclusions are a disgrace to the intelligence profession,” VIPS co-founder Ray McGovern, a retired 27-year CIA veteran, told The Washington Times in an interview.

VIPS claims the FBI, CIA and NSA never actually performed any cyberforensic analysis of the documents that the agencies claim were hacked by Guccifer and provided to WikiLeaks.

According to Mr. McGovern, there is clear evidence that some of the DNC emails given to WikiLeaks contained superimposed Russian language formatting. “Essentially, they were synthetically tainted with Russian fingerprints,” he said, adding that such tainting was done to make it appear as if Russian operatives had been involved in the hack.

Such assertions, which directly counter the widely accepted “blame the Russians” narrative, have emerged as the source of much handwringing among analysts and journalists at several news organizations.

Last week saw the left-leaning magazine The Nation — one of America’s oldest publications — consider retracting a 4,500-word investigative article that had prominently featured VIPS’ findings.

VIPS is not a new organization, nor is it an unseasoned player to controversy that sometimes accompanies heated debates over national security matters at the highest level.

The group, which has no official ties to the U.S. government, gained notoriety in 2003 by protesting the Bush administration’s use of faulty intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.

VIPS’ current hack/leak memo offers a timeline suggesting that the whole existence of Guccifer was actually made up to distract American voters and journalists.

The first mentions of the alleged hacker in news reports occurred just after WikiLeaks had released the emails showing embarrassing information about Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign and its battles with Mr. Sanders just before the Democratic National Convention.

But on the opening day of the convention in Philadelphia last summer, Mr. Assange made no mention of Guccifer when discussing how WikiLeaks had come to be in possession of the emails.

To the contrary, Mr. Assange suggested that the hack of the DNC system could have been an inside job.

“We never reveal our sources, obviously. That’s what we pride ourselves on,” Mr. Assange said at the time from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. “But if we’re talking about the DNC, there’s lots of consultants that have access, lots of programmers. And the DNC has been hacked dozens and dozens of times.”

Mr. Obama, meanwhile, addressed the issue roughly six months later, after Russia’s alleged role in the hack had mushroomed into a much wider media frenzy around accusations that the Kremlin had meddled aggressively in the 2016 election.

“The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC emails that were leaked,” Mr. Obama said during his final press conference in January, just two days before Mr. Trump’s inauguration.

On a separate front, recent weeks have brought new questions about the role played by a company known as Crowdstrike — a DNC-connected cybersecurity firm that was tasked with investigating the DNC sever that was hacked.

While Crowdstrike created a “cyberforensic” report on the alleged hack, federal investigators, including the FBI, have thus far not been able to get their hands on the DNC’s computer network.

The January intelligence community assessment made no mention of Crowdstrike.

But Mr. McGovern told The Times that the Irvine, California-based firm could be connected to a subsequent dump of documents to WikiLeaks, which occurred last March, and which the anti-secrecy organization claimed contained classified details about the CIA’s latest hacking capabilities.

Those capabilities, refined by the CIA’s Directorate of Digital Innovation, which then-director John O. Brennan had launched in 2015, allegedly included programs to listen in on smartphones and smart TVs, in addition to establishing tools to create false-flag hacks in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi.

Mr. McGovern maintains that only the CIA has the capability to make a hack look like it came from a different language. As a result, he said, current CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a rare public appearance to blast WikiLeaks just weeks after it had published the documents alleging CIA hacking capabilities.

“It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is,” Mr. Pompeo told a crowd at a Washington think tank in early-April. “[It’s] a nonstate hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

Mr. McGovern speculates that Crowdstrike, which the DNC paid more than $400,000 during the 2016 election cycle, could have been complicit in generating the narrative of Russian involvement in the DNC hack.

He argues that such complicity would explain why neither the FBI, CIA, NSA nor any other major U.S. intelligence or law enforcement outfit has ever fully examined the DNC hack. “[Fired FBI Director] Jim Comey could have gotten authority to access the DNC server, but he never wanted to,” Mr. McGovern said.

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