Donald Trump

Domestic Surveillance Fan Pompeo Confirmed as CIA Head

Sen. Rand Paul the sole GOP opposition.


Ron Sachs/CNP / Polaris/Newscom

By a Senate vote of 66 to 32, Republican Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo has been confirmed to take over as director of the CIA.

Pompeo represents the pro-surveillance wing of the Republican Party. Though he voted in favor of the USA Freedom Act that restricted some federal intelligence agency access to massive amounts of metadata about Americans' communications, he has openly advocated for unrestricted information access and pushed just last year to open bulk data collection back up. He also, like President Donald Trump, has said that surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden is a traitor and should be treated as such.

One Republican voted against Pompeo's nomination—Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Several establishment Democrats also voted in favor of Pompeo, such as Dianne Feinstein of California, Chuck Schumer of New York, and Hillary Clinton's vice president choice Tim Kaine of Virginia. It's a useful reminder that there are a significant number of pro-security Democrats who favor federal authority to access data over the privacy of the citizenry.

Paul turned to Rare to explain his "no" vote:

In addition, many in Congress support a comprehensive, searchable database equipped with "public" data like "lifestyle" choices, an incredible invasion of privacy in some ways more intrusive than the English soldiers that invaded American households to search for any untaxed papers.

Advocates of such a database argue that it will only be searched after obtaining some type of court order.

These advocates fail to understand that our privacy and the Fourth Amendment are breached merely in the collection of our personal data. Our privacy is invaded first by the collection of private information and only secondarily by searching that databank.

The existence of the database itself is a violation of our right to privacy.

As the Trump administration takes shape it's going to be important to separate the president's attitude and skepticism toward foreign intervention and war from his attitudes toward surveillance and the methods he wants to pursue to fight the war on terror. They do not appear to be connected in any way. His focus on "law and order" may lead to a push for more domestic surveillance. And certainly there are going to be politicians (on both the left and the right!) who are going to encourage it.

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  1. Ed Meese clone for sure.

    1. “Meese-a want to put your information in database.”

      /Galactic Senator Jar-Jar Binks

      1. “I’m Mr. Meeseeks! Look at you!”

  2. Our own children are being radicalized to jihad against us by online videos. Pompeo will institute the necessary tools to monitor the internet to root out this existential threat to public safety. Remember, this is an evil the likes of which has never been seen by the world. The CIA must detect children who might be at risk of jihad and try to lure them into bomb plots. If they succeed – then we know they were ISIS and can proceed with killing their families! Problem solved!

    1. Trah la la
      Troll lol lol
      I’m so bored with you

      1. You swore to cherish and protect me. Now you treat me like yesterday’s newspaper. Where did I go wrong?

        1. [citation needed]

  3. ABC tweeted this story with a note that Rand was the only Republican to vote against his confirmation. Trump’s Twitter fan club was predictably butthurt.

    1. What about the Tweeter-in-Chief? What did *he* say?

      1. Rand Paul is an ugly loser. He’s just jealous that I got so many more votes than him. Sad!

        1. “I have a surgeon who operated on the human brain – the best brains. Rand Paul only does eyes. Yet he’s blind to the threat of Islamoterrorfascismobadthingism.”

          1. “The ayes have it, and the eye surgeon lost it. He clearly cuts his own hair, but doesn’t fix his own eyes, or he’d see how awesome I am.”

            1. “Rand Paul helps vain people avoid the need to wear glasses, while Mike Pompeo is busy protecting the USA from the greatest menace since Hitler.”

              Wow, this is addictive.

              1. Wait, have to work in a jab at the family:

                “My Dad was building homes for hard-working families while Rand Paul’s Dad was tearing down this great country and calling it a police state.”

        2. That actually sounds exactly like what Trump would say.

  4. Hey, news media: You were there for Women’s March, now cover the March for Life

    “‘This past weekend we saw an incredible case of anti-President Trump, anti-conservative bias with the breathless coverage of the pro-abortion, noninclusive Women’s March on Washington. This event received wall-to-wall coverage, with lionizing words like ‘historic’ repeated in headlines ad nauseam,’ says Terry Schilling, executive director of American Principles Project, a nonprofit supporting the nation’s founding principles.

    “‘But every year, when the March for Life attracts hundreds of thousands of dedicated pro-life activists to Washington, D.C., political reporters tend to ignore it entirely. If the media wants to continue to be seen as a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party, ignore the march as usual. But if journalists are serious about improving their perceived objectivity and serving the American people at large, they should show up this Friday and give the tremendous pro-life crowds the news cycle they warrant,’ Mr. Schilling notes.”

    1. Telling news media what to print? I believe that’s something we call CENSORSHIP, and it’s ILLEGAL.

      1. I’m 97% certain that’s sarcastic.

        1. But 3% sure it’s shriektastic.

        2. I’m channeling It’s Always Sunny tonight.

          1. “Cannibalism? Racism? Dee, that’s not for us! You know, those are the decisions that are best left to the suits in Washington. We’re just here to eat some dude.”

            1. Is that how Simpson’s quotes sound to a non-Simpson’s watcher?

              1. Probably. This might be my favorite scene. My apartment quotes the show a lot.

                1. Is it a generational thing? I’ve never seen it nor has it every been mentioned in my circle. I’m 47 FWIW.

                  1. Possibly. It’s funny, I’d say give a few episodes a try. On netflix.

                    1. I don’t do Netflix but I see it’s on a cable channel that I do have so sure why not. I haven’t enjoyed a sitcom since Futurama to be honest – I’m very wary of the things.

                    2. That’s been a long time. Futurama wasn’t that great in its comeback. I’m going to believe that Comedy Central meddled to much when they brought it back. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

                  2. I lived in Center City, so if it says Philly I’ll watch it, just to judge realism.
                    It is really funny, if not really demonstrative of actual Philthy.

                2. Always Sunny is one of the all time best tv comedies.

  5. This sounds like it was fun.

    From the comments, “Democrats haven’t been this upset since a Republican president took away their slaves!!”

    1. How can people want to be in that club?

    2. I am sincerely curious what percentage of the white population they think buys into the ‘white privilege’ thing.

      If that’s not a pretty big number, they’re going to end up alienating close to 70% of the population.

      The Democrat Party has become completely unhinged. They seem to be actively trying to implode. Possibly the worst part about that? A lot of states are becoming one-party states and R’s with no threat to their incumbencies are just awful wrt liberty.

      1. As opposed to Republicans facing serious competition from Democrats, who need to show their statist bona fides.

        1. Perhaps. But you still end up with R’s doing just whatever the Hell they feel like.

          E.g. Nathan Deal vetoing both Georgia RFRA and campus carry.

          Zero threat from outsiders means you don’t actually have to keep your constituents happy because you know your state is safe from the other party and you don’t have to keep your voters happy.

          1. That *is* too bad – maybe the threat of Democrats makes Reps less likely to sell out their base?

            1. That’s my thinking. Throwing the base a little red meat is a way to ensure voter turnout – the cases I cited are a risk because you may stir up ‘national controversy,’ but that’s a risk worth taking *if* you think voter turnout might be important.

      2. A lot of states are becoming one-party states and R’s with no threat to their incumbencies are just awful wrt liberty.

        Well, now they get to experience the same joys that we’ve had in the one-party Blue states for decades.

      3. They’re not doing it on purpose. It’s just that they went so far with the identity politics thing that there’s no way back for them. They have to go all in, they have no choice now. And they’re going to move further left also, there’s no way out for that either.

        1. Hell, even Deblasio’s painting himself into a corner – I wouldn’t be surprised to see another 20-year run of Republican-lites in NYC.

        2. Excellent point. It’s a contest of self-righteousness- each trying to out do the other.

          Like Bolsheviks in the 20’s. Doesn’t end well.

      4. From reading NeoGaf, a video game forum, apparently every leftist does. It’s just a basic tenet.

        Basically every thread in their off topic section about politics (which is most of them) ends up attacking white people for pretty much every problem in the world.

        And if you deny this, you are suffering from “white fragility”

      5. Most likely the Republicans will end up splitting once they get large enough, between a libertarian/paleocon/small business faction, and a neocon/socon/corporatism faction.

    3. teaching Americans “how to be sensitive …”

      LOL keep digging that hole

      1. Shut up, you inbred deplorable racist hicks, and learn how to be sensitive!

        1. He’s just engaging in toxic masculinity. Typical H&R poster.

      2. Being “sensitive” means “agreeing with my politics.”

    4. “Democrats must provide “training” that focuses in part on teaching Americans “…how to shut their mouths if they are white,” urged the executive director of Idaho’s Democratic Party, Sally Boynton Brown, who is white.”

      Has Sally Boynton Brown considered leading by example and shutting her yap?

    5. Shit. I should have read upthread a little before posting this again.

  6. “Our women are fat, ugly, lazy, stupid, and unhinged. Now, why can’t I get a date?” – White Nationalist

    1. Who are you who is so wise in the ways of ugly white people?

  7. Look, the Democrats have finally figured it out and they’re getting out of identity politics.

    No more identity politics, we learned our lesson!

    1. Libertarianism is starting to seem like a practical compromise: “We promise not to demand universal healthcare and you promise not to round up and kill people by the millions.”

      1. round up and kill people by the millions

        Got a cite for that?

        1. Let me know when you’re ready to make a deal.

          1. You are a very poor substitute for Monty Hall.

          2. All libertarians should be anxious to make that deal – we have no intentions of killing anyone.

        2. He must be talking about his twentieth century heroes, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Castro. I believe it’s going to be pretty easy to start citing that.

          1. I wonder if any of the marijuana dispensaries sell a Warsaw-developed strain of bud
            which they call “Pol-Pot”.

  8. It’s a useful reminder that there are a significant number of pro-security Democrats who favor federal authority to access data over the privacy of the citizenry.

    You mean, “if you weren’t paying attention over the last 8 years, the democrats are cunts who will surveill the shit out of you too”?

  9. “I have thought, an awful lot, about blowing up the White House.”

    I would love to see Madonna’s ass trying to er… change a tire. Much less build a pipe bomb to blow up the White House’s freaking mailbox. Much less the entire mansion.

    Madonna, do you hear yourself when you talk?

    1. … but I know that this won’t change anything. We cannot fall into despair. As the poet, W.H. Auden once wrote on the eve of World War II: We must love one another or die. I choose love. Are you with me? Say this with me: We choose love. We choose love. We choose love.

      1. So… meaningless platitudes?

        1. I find those who parrot “love” platitudes to be some of the most spiteful people alive. Hate was all I saw at that march.

          1. I think that constantly calling the Left “full of hate” whenever they say anything is the perfect counter to all they do.

            “So sad that those marchers were so driven by hatred.”

            “Our country can’t move forward until these celebrities learn to stop hating.”

            I’d love to see their verbal gymnastics trying to explain how they aren’t haters.

            1. They aren’t haters if they hate all the right things, CA.

            2. What you see as verbal gymnastics, they see as easy and natural as running down a hill.

              Start from the assumption that everyone thinks they’re the good guy, everyone thinks they’re the reasonable one, and work from there.

              Take Maduro. Or Hitler, Stalin, Obama, whatever. Does anyone think these people actually told themselves, “Muaaahahaha. While fully aware of exactly how much corruption, malfunction and systemic disorder my policies create, I shall do so anyways to promote the cause of EEEEEVIIIIL.”

              Fuck, no. Everyone thinks they’re the good guy, living out their personal heroic eventual autobiography. Maduro is the protege of Chavez; of course the guy will think there’s nothing wrong with his socialist policies and the reason they aren’t working is some capitalist fucking with him, erg the answer is MOAR HARDER. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! The better to skewer our haters!

              It wasn’t the shitty, unlikable, criminally incompetent candidate that caused the Dems to lose the election! It was the Russians/white women/black apathy/the Russians/racism/fake news/white women/the Russians.

              Point being that you can’t just call people haters. They “know” that they’re the good guys. Your logic is invalid, you personally are an asshole, and everything flows naturally from there. That’s how the human mind seems to work. You, me, everyone.

              The trick seems to be speaking their language. Get people to realize of their own accord that the fuck-up is theirs.

              Not easy.

              1. Excellent point.

                Perhaps ask: “Ms Madonna, can you tell me about the love expressed in blowing up the WH?”

    2. There are two possible outcomes to that scenario and both of them are good.

      1. She blows herself up.

      2. She succeeds in actually going to the Whitehouse and attempting to blow it up. Well, we all know what happens next and they won’t be firing any warning shots.

  10. “It’s a useful reminder that there are a significant number of pro-security Democrats who favor federal authority to access data over the privacy of the citizenry.”

    As a point of interest, are there any Democrats who oppose federal authority to access our data in favor of privacy?

    Do any of them do so in a principled way–because it violates our rights?

    1. When leftists are always whining about the two parties bickering all of the time and they can’t get anything done because of that, are they actually aware of what they are wishing for? Imagine a world in which the GOP and Democrats just agreed on everything and starting doing it. That’s terrifying.

      1. Sometimes it’s as if they Dems and Reps spend 75% their time working together to pass bad laws, and the other 25% of the time arguing over stupid shit to make it look like they are fundamentally different from each other.

    2. I’m sure they’re the same Democrats who have been out protesting the wars for the past eight years. There may be a few around, but they are few and far between.

    3. Ron Wyden and Jared Polis. Pretty sure that’s it.

      1. in a principle way? I thought he (Wyden) flip flopped a lot. The other guy i have never heard of.

  11. This Swiss hotel has no walls.

    The hotel has no walls, roof, or bathroom ? only a queen bed with a pair of nightstands and lamps. A public bathroom is about a five-minute walk down the mountain, Charbonnier says.

    Nonsense. There’s a tree right there in the picture.

    1. Ok,
      1) Why did they need a backhoe for that???
      2) I bet that bed smells like hella mold within a month. I had a porch couch once. Furniture like that doesn’t last long outdoors (plus the tendency of neighbors to ‘play pranks’ by throwing fish under it to be found a few weeks later).

    2. Unfortunately the results don’t scale very well.

    3. I have a great hotel in my backyard. Our dog loved it, and you will too!

    4. We call it the Leaky-Leaky Room!


      It has no roof, so when it rains LEAKY LEAKY!

      I’m positive no one here knows what video that comes from.

      1. Was it the documentary “The Discoveries at Olduvai Gorge”?

  12. I figure it was a choice between someone like this, who wants to look for terrorists, and whoever Hillary would have wanted, who probably would have preferred to look for Islamophobes and people using the wrong pronouns.

  13. Since when does the president appoint the head of the Culinary Institute of America?

    1. Since we elected the guy who supervises all the apprentice cooks!

    2. Must have been an Obama executive order that we missed.

  14. Playa, one more!

    1. Well, it’s this, or my third helping of Mongolian beef. I just uncorked a fresh bottle of black vinegar, so I know where my priorities are.

  15. Dyke Bomb Mayo.

  16. “A university professor called Robert Kuttner has begun his own effort to get the [Trump] impeachment bandwagon rolling. He is trying to convene an ‘independent body of very reputable jurists and other blue-chip people’ to assemble a ‘running dossier of impeachable abuses’. The dossier (a word that now resonates in Washington) would be given to the House Judiciary Committee if, as Kuttner hopes, it eventually convenes impeachment hearings. ‘You have to let him take office,’ he told me, echoing the Congressional aide’s analysis. ‘You have to see which of his actions that look like they are impeachable carry over into his actual presidency. The evidence has to accumulate? to the point that Republican members of Congress feel the need to put some distance between themselves and Trump? this is what happened with Nixon.’

    “Professor Kuttner is pinning his hopes on the emoluments clause of the US Constitution [etc.]”

    1. Oops – here’s the link.

      Now, a trip down memory lane:

      Robert Kuttner co-edits The American Prospect, which ran this article (by Harold Meyerson) last October 20 –

      “Trump’s Refusal to Accept Election’s Legitimacy Is No Surprise…

      “Donald Trump’s Jeezus-Christ-Did-He-Really-Say-That Moment last night?saying he wouldn’t guarantee that he’d accept the result of the impending presidential election?didn’t come out of the blue….

      “…That there were larger considerations this time around?acknowledging the legitimacy of the next president, of our electoral system, of some of the more fundamental tenets of a democratic republic?well, maybe those mattered a little, but not very much….

      “…by insisting the election is rigged, Trump won’t have to acknowledge that he lost, something that could shatter his self-image. In the mind of Donald Trump, there’s nothing worse than being a loser. By avoiding conceding, by claiming that the election was stolen and fixed, then he won’t really be a loser after all.

      “What a relief!…

      1. “…The imperatives of Trump’s fragile psyche are his and his alone, but they complement the fears that haunt the entire Republican Party. What the GOP fears is not losing elections as such?at least, no more than any political party fears losing them?but losing control of the nation to a party they fear will take America irrevocably away from them…

        “Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of next month’s election, then, only took the Republicans’ existential phobia one step beyond what has become their widespread belief and common practice. Trump’s own fearful dread of losing probably compelled him to go despicably where no presidential candidate had gone before. But he couldn’t have gone there if Republicans weren’t just as terrified of losing their (real or imagined) country.”

        1. Kuttner himself, on October 18 last year:

          “Assuming that Hillary Clinton does win, Trump’s burn-down-the-house tactics are unlikely to stop on Election Day. She is not officially president-elect until the electors officially meet and cast ballots in mid-December and the results are certified by the president of the Senate after Christmas.

          “And it remains to be seen whether Trump, in defeat, will supercharge the Republican tactic through the Obama presidency of obstructing everything?or whether the schism in the Republican Party will bring closeted Republican moderates into a more prominent role.”

          1. And then the left did what Kuttner said Trump would do.

            1. I posted the above because I just saw Kuttner interviewed on TV about his plans to impeach Trump.

              The interviewer asked, aren’t you acting like Mitch McConnell after Obama’s election, promising to thwart everything Obama does?

              To which Kuttner replied that whatever your party affiliation, you must acknowledge that Obama is awesome (listing several implausible positive attributes), so that opposition to Obama could only be partisan obstructionism, whereas Trump is (lists various alleged examples of Trump’s badness), therefore it’s totally different, and I stopped listening around then.

              1. Shameless

    2. I wonder how he would have felt about the Clinton Foundation.

      1. It’s a real mystery.

  17. If only Rand Paul was as libertarian as Gary Johnson. Then reason would have supported his campaign too.

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