Tuesday, February 02, 2021


Jim: Roundtable time.  Remember our e-mail address is thethirdestatesundayreview@yahoo.com.  Participating in our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.


Jim (Con't): So a lot of news to cover. First, AP reported Friday that Kevin Clinesmith, an attorney for the FBI, was given a year's probation. His action, he falsified an e-mail. The e-mail was from the CIA responding that Carter Page was a CIA informant/asset. Clinesmith altered it so that it said he was not one. He altered it intentionally and did so in order for illegal spying to take place or continue. Thoughts?

C.I.: He needs to be disbarred immediately. That's not open to interpretation. Had he pulled that garbage in a federal court, he'd be disbarred. He knows the law and he knows was he did was wrong -- knew it when he did it. His whining that he's "deeply ashamed"? Who gives a damn. He broke the law. Disbarment's the least he should be facing -- the very least.

Jess: I'm with C.I. I cannot believe that piece of crap got off with just probation. Think about it. He works for the FBI. This was a huge crime. He intentionally altered evidence to get his way. That's disbarment. But he did this as a worker for the FBI. How can anyone ever trust him? They can't. And his getting away with it -- and probation is getting away with it -- sends the message that the FBI is lawless and can do whatever they want and they will not be held accountable.

Mike: I agree with Jess and C.I. I saw the news on Friday and spoke with C.I. then. I thought, "Was he even fired" and C.I. explained he no longer works for the FBI. That's good. But it's not enough. And that probation is a joke. He must be disbarred. His actions? He can't be an officer of the court after that. He needs to be disbarred.

C.I.: Before someone e-mails, Clinesmith also got 400 hours of community service. And that's a joke as well.

Jess: I didn't know about the community service, but, yeah, it's a joke.

Betty: They killed Fred Hampton, the FBI, and they got away with that. I'm sure Marcia could talk about other things they got away with --

Jim: Because?

Marcia: Because I'm a big fan of Gore Vidal's essays and he wrote frequently of abuses of power including the FBI.

Betty: So there's just completely out of control and they don't have to be held accountable for anything. Clinesmith should be in prison for what he did. He should be doing hard time. That was a crime, it was a crime that had national implications. He should be in a prison for a minimum of seven to ten years. I'm not joking. He betrayed public trust and he was caught. But he wasn't punished.

Donna: Okay, I agree but let me put in the nonsense that DC District Judge James Boasberg said at sentencing, okay Clinesmith "lost his job and his government service is what has given his life much of its meaning. He was also earning $150,000 a year and who knows where the earnings go now. He may be disbarred or suspended from the practice of law, you may never be able to work in the national security field again. These are substantial penalties. What is more, he went from being an obscure career government lawyer to standing in the eye of a media hurricane. He has been threatened, vilified and abused on a nationwide scale."

Marcia: No one deserves to be threatened. In terms of the rest? He should be vilified. What he did was criminal. Grasp that. He altered evidence because he knew if he presented it accurately that the spying would be stopped. He altered evidence intentionally. The spying was wrong and illegal. Do we get that? He betrayed the justice system and he betrayed his country and he betrayed the Constitution and he betrayed the people who serve in the FBI that don't break the law. Since when do we feel sorry for criminals? If Harry Brandt kills 2 kids with a gun, we don't go, "He's been vilified!'' We know it comes with the territory. This is really outrageous and shame on that judge.

C.I.: If we're talking about the judge now, I want to put something out there. I don't care that Barack Obama nominated him to his current position. I really don't. I do care that, since May of 2014, he has served on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. I care about that and think the judge should have recused himself due to that conflict. I would not be at all surprised to learn that Boasberg was actually ruling on a friend of his but let's say that somehow they don't know each other, it was still a conflict of interest and should have gone to a judge who was not serving on that court.

Jim: You believe they knew each other.

C.I.: Hell yeah. Jess, Mike, what's the first thing you would have done if he'd been your client and you learned he was going to go before a DC judge who was also a judge on the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court? You would have filed a motion objecting to that judge hearing the case. Why? Because that's the body that was lied to. And you wouldn't think your client would receive a fair hearing, you'd assume that a judge like that would be more likely to issue a harsh ruling. The fact that Clinesmith's attorney didn't demand a different judge argues that Clinesmith knew he'd be fine in that court. Why would you believe that? Because you have an undisclosed relationship with the judge or one with someone close to the judge who's telling you not to worry. Otherwise, you demand a different hearing, a different venue.

Jess: That is a very good point. That judge should not have been allowed to rule on that case. It was a conflict of interest.

Betty: The whole thing's disgusting and goes to the corruption in the US government -- executive branch with the FBI, judicial branch with that judge. Our republic is in serious trouble.

Jim: Okay, Jen Psaki was a joke during Obama's two terms and she's a joke today. Among other things, she was a State Dept. spokesperson back then. Today, she's the White House spokesperson. Last week, a reporter noted that Janet Yellen, the new Secretary of the Treasury, made at least $810,000 from a hedge fund involved in the Gamestop controversy -- $810,000 for speaking to them -- speeches. Jen was asked whether or not Yellin should be overseeing the investigation into this controversy.

Ty: This is Psaki's response that many are bothered by, "It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone she was paid to give her perspective and advice before she came into office -- before she became the Treasury Secretary, I should say."

Rebecca: There are really no standards anymore, no ethics, nothing. She should not be overseeing anything to do with this matter. It's just lunacy and it goes to corruption. Is this how Joe Biden plans to start his administration? One moment of corruption after another.

Trina: Good questions but I want to jump in to offer this from WIKIPEDIA:

In January 2021, a short squeeze of GameStop stock and other securities took place on various stock exchanges, causing major financial consequences for certain hedge funds. The short squeeze increased the stock price of American video game retailer GameStop by almost 190 times from its record low to nearly $500 per share on January 28, 2021, causing large losses for short sellers. Approximately 140% of GameStop shares had been sold short, and the rush to buy shares to cover those positions as the price rose caused the price to rise further. The short squeeze was initially triggered by users of the forum r/wallstreetbets on Reddit through commission-free trading apps such as Robinhood and Webull.
On January 28, Robinhood halted the buying of GameStop and other securities, attracting criticism and accusations of market manipulation from prominent politicians and businesspeople from across the political spectrum, including U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Class-action lawsuits were also filed against Robinhood in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of New York and the Northern District of Illinois.

Trina (Con't): I don't know that everyone reading this will be on the same page so I just want to get that in there as to what took place, a brief overview, so everyone's on the same page.

Jim: Good point, thank you, Trina. So Janet Yellen should not be overseeing this and Jen Psaki's remarks were foolish.

Elaine: And what is it with this obsession with money? Jen saying Janet was worth the $800,000, the judge in the Clinesmith case lamenting that poor Clinesmith won't be earning $150,000 a year anymore? Where is the concern or the compassion for the working class in America -- not at the White House, not in a district court. It is shameful.

Cedric: Amen. This is a pandemic and yet you've basically got a judge and the White House spokesperson celebrating greed and gluttony. People are out of work. A huge number of people. Then there are the people who are barely surviving on the meager paychecks that they do have. This is appalling. A do-nothing Congress. Who does care about We The People?

Ann: Obviously none of the members of Congress or of the new administration a statement I can easily make as a Green Party member.

Jim: Democrats can't tell that truth?

Ann: Some can, some Republicans can. But Greens and Libertarians have less need to lie for a system that they're not a part of and not represented in.

Isaiah: And there are so many liars. Senator Dianne Feinstein has one of the worst ethical records and now she's failed to report finances correctly, been caught and wants to say "I'm willing to pay a fine." Her 'woopsie' moment. And US House Rep. Rashid Tlab calls her out, rightly, and you get these idiot partisans saying that's not needed. Like Rashid's the problem -- not Dianne for yet again skirting the rules.

Kat: She really is disgusting. But, hey, we backed Kevin de Leon in 2018 -- those of us who live in California. We said she was too old. We noted she was already having cognitive issues. But people wanted to look the other way. End result? We've got a Supreme Court Justice we might not have had if we hadn't put Senator Senior back in the Senate and seniority rules hadn't made her the head of the Judiciary Committee. She was always worthless. To Ann's larger point, yeah, a lot of people are idiots and won't tell the truth even when they know it's true because it's ugly truth about a politician in their same party. That's shameful and it's hypocrisy.

Ava: There are real issues. Dianne's ethics are a real issue -- and a pattern at this point. Senator Tom Cotton, who I don't care for, was not a real issue last week when various idiots tried to go after him. C.I. and Jonathan Turley both called that nonsense out. And that nonsense was fueled by partisans who saw some way to attack. It distracts from real issues and it's just b.s. Deliver us all from that garbage,non-thought machine.

Jim: We've covered a lot of topics. We haven't heard from Stan and Ruth. Anyone can jump in that wants to on this last topic but I do want to hear from Stan and Ruth especially since they haven't spoken so far. So the final topic impeachment.

Stan: Nonsense.

Ruth: Agreed.

Stan: The goal of impeachment? Removal from office if you're supporting impeachment. In this case, the voters already removed Donald Trump from office. So this is nonsense. We're in the middle of a pandemic. We need Medicare For All. This is a waste of time and money.

Ruth: It truly is. We have a do-nothing Congress. There are real issues to address. Instead of providing for what We The People need, a group of politicians are grand standing and trying to use this nonsense as evidence that they do something. This truly proves how do-nothing they are though -- what they're trying to do has already been done -- Mr. Trump is no longer president. Can we please address real issues?

Stan: Yep. This is a distraction. "Oh, we can do more than one thing at a time." Really? You couldn't in 2020. You don't seem to be able to do more than one thing at a time in 2021.

Jim: Okay. Well this has been a rush transcript. Our e-mail address? We can be reached at thethirdestatesundayreview@yahoo.com and common_ills@yahoo.com.









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