Darwin: Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.

— Charles Darwin

Posted in Charles Darwin, Controversial, Thought-Provoking Analysis

The FBI Informant Who Monitored the Trump Campaign, Stefan Halper, Oversaw a CIA Spying Operation in the 1980 Presidential Election

By Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept

An extremely strange episode that has engulfed official Washington over the last two weeks came to a truly bizarre conclusion on Friday night. And it revolves around a long-time, highly sketchy CIA operative, Stefan Halper.

Four decades ago, Halper was responsible for a long-forgotten spying scandal involving the 1980 election, in which the Reagan campaign – using CIA officials managed by Halper, reportedly under the direction of former CIA Director and then-Vice-Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush – got caught running a spying operation from inside the Carter administration. The plot involved CIA operatives passing classified information about Carter’s foreign policy to Reagan campaign officials in order to ensure the Reagan campaign knew of any foreign policy decisions that Carter was considering.

Over the past several weeks, House Republicans have been claiming that the FBI during the 2016 election used an operative to spy on the Trump campaign, and they triggered outrage within the FBI by trying to learn his identity. The controversy escalated when President Trump joined the fray on Friday morning.

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Posted in CIA, Controversial, Donald Trump, Thought-Provoking Analysis

Will Impeachment Talk Affect The Midterms?

A FiveThirtyEight Chat

What role will the prospect of impeaching President Trump play in the 2018 midterms? Namely, can Republicans employ the threat that “Democrats will impeach Trump if they win the House/Senate” as a way to spur base turnout? Or, to take it from the Democrats’ point of view, do they need to avoid impeachment talk? (Which they seem to have largely done so far.)

There’s potentially a difference between “Republicans get to play defense/counterstrike on impeachment “and “Republicans invoke impeachment as a wedge issue when Democrats aren’t bringing it up much.”

See the podcast…

Posted in Candidates, Congress, Democrats, Donald Trump, Elections, FiveThirtyEight, Impeachment, Politics, Republicans

Is this what gets Trump? How money laundering works in real estate

By Philip Bump of the Washington Post

If Michael Wolff’s reporting is to be believed, Stephen K. Bannon’s assessment of the most dangerous threat posed by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation is not the one you might have assumed.

“You realize where this is going,” Bannon reportedly told Wolff. “This is all about money laundering.”

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Posted in Business, Donald Trump, Impeachment, Investigation, Jared Kushner, Money laundering, Robert Mueller, Russia, Washington Post

The #Resistance Had A Very Good Night. But will that hurt Democratic chances in November?

By Nathaniel Rakich of FiveThirtyEight

The Democratic Party woke up Wednesday with a clear signal from Tuesday’s primary elections: The #Resistance means business. The more progressive candidate won in Democratic primaries around the country. The question, however, is whether those more liberal candidates will hurt the party’s chances in November.

Republicans held primaries, too — and, in a role reversal, for the most part they chose more electable options.

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Posted in Candidates, Congress, Democrats, Elections, FiveThirtyEight, Political parties, Republicans, Senate