The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The "Professor"

There is no longer any doubt that the FBI used an operative to attempt to penetrate on the Trump campaign during his presidential run (the FBI admitted as much in a conveniently leaked document to the New York Times). There is also no longer any doubt that a concerted intelligence operation focusing on Trump began in 2016 while the presidential campaign was underway. Since this explosive information came out (consider for a moment how Democrats would react if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton has suffered the same thing), there has been a concerted effort to normalize and quash it.

The campaign is being conducted by the Democrat's trained hamsters in the media. The intent is to normalize what is, in all likelihood, the biggest political scandal in United States history. The hamsters at the Washington Post, used the audacious headline, "If the FBI used an Informant, It wasn't to Go After Trump. It was to Protect Him."

Yeah ... riiiight. I suppose that Trump's absolutely justified characterization of the vicious Latino gang, MS-13, wasn't to criticize the gang, but to give them a path for a better future. OMG!! The hamsters have literally crossed over into self-caricature.

But it continues. Here are the trained hamsters at the Washington Post, a once repected journalistic source (my comments are in indented italics), describing the FBI spying on Trump:
For years, the professor has provided information to the FBI and the CIA, according to people familiar with the matter. He aided the Russia investigation both before and after special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s appointment in May 2017, according to people with knowledge of his activities ...
So ... we use the "professor" label, rather than a name (more on that in a moment) not so much to identify the man/woman, but to soften his activities ... after all ... professors are harmless academics, right?
The FBI plant first met with Carter Page, a Trump campaign aide. Here's a excerpt from WaPo:
Page and the FBI informant stayed in touch after the conference, meeting several times in the Washington area, Page said. Page said he did not recall exactly what the two men discussed.

“You are asking me about conversations I had almost two years ago,” he [Page] said. “We had extensive discussions. We talked about a bunch of different foreign-policy-related topics. For me to try and remember every nuance of every conversation is impossible.”
Interesting technique here. The hamsters sort of put the person who was spied upon on trail. First, the hamsters ask Page ... not the 'professor' about the conversation, and when Page says he can't remember every detail, there's the subtle implication that he is hiding something. Remember, Page was the target of the FBI via the professor.
Later in their apologia, the WaPo hamsters write this about a young, unpaid assistant, George Papadopoulos to the Trump campaign:
“Please pardon my sudden intrusion just before the Labor Day weekend,” the professor wrote to Papadopoulos in a message described to The Post.

He said he was leading a project examining relations between Turkey and the European Union. He offered to pay Papadopoulos $3,000 to write a paper about the oil fields off the coast of Turkey, Israel and Cyprus, “a topic on which you are a recognized expert.”

It is a long-standing practice of intelligence operatives to try to develop a source by first offering the target money for innocuous research or writing.

The professor invited Papadopoulos to come to London later that month to discuss the paper, offering to pay the costs of his travel. “I understand that this is rather sudden but thought given your expertise, it might be of interest to you,” he wrote.

Papadopoulos accepted. While in London, he met for drinks with a woman who identified herself as the professor’s assistant, before meeting on Sept. 15 with the professor at the Traveler’s Club, a 200-year-old private club that is a favorite of foreign diplomats stationed in London, according to the emails described to The Post.

After Papadopoulos returned to the United States and sent his research document, the professor responded: “Enjoyed your paper. Just what we wanted. $3,000 wired to your account. Pls confirm receipt.”
It's worth noting that the hamsters do not comment on any of this and simply end the piece ... the implicit bribery, the subterfuge, not to mention the impropriety of it all. After all, it's Trump, and that justifies any means necessary.
Like the New York Times piece on Crossfire Hurricane, the writing is matter of fact, bland even. Activities that would have created screams of outrage if perpetrated agains a Democratic candidate are implicitly defined as "long standing practice." The spy is framed as a benign, studious investigator. He "reached out" to a Trump operative. The "professor was a good soldier who "for years ... provided information to the FBI and the CIA, according to people familiar with the matter." Nothing to worry about here, just another case for "the professor.

And then, of course, the coup de grace, that the "professor's name cannot be revealed* because ... "following warnings from U.S. intelligence officials that exposing him could endanger him or his contacts." Conveeeenient! The only people endangered here are senior appointees of the Obama administration.

It's also interesting that the WaPo hamsters don't ask the really important questions, not to mention answering them:

1. Given the obvious sensitivity of the professor's actvities, who in the Obama administration authorized it?
2. How was he/she compensationed for his/her spying and how much as she/he paid? Was it US taxpayer money?
3. What was done with the intelligence he/she gathered? Who was on the distribution list?
4. Was the legality of the spying run by DoJ lawyers and who among them said it was lawful?

Ooops! None of that is the least bit important, at least as far as the hamsters are concerned. This is just routine stuff. Nothing more to see here ... move on.

UPDATE:
-------------------

* The conservative Daily Caller reports:
Two months before the 2016 election, George Papadopoulos received a strange request for a meeting in London, one of several the young Trump adviser would be offered — and he would accept — during the presidential campaign.

The meeting request, which has not been reported until now, came from Stefan Halper, a foreign policy expert and Cambridge professor with connections to the CIA and its British counterpart, MI6.

Halper’s September 2016 outreach to Papadopoulos wasn’t his only contact with Trump campaign members. The 73-year-old professor, a veteran of three Republican administrations, met with two other campaign advisers, The Daily Caller News Foundation learned.

Papadopoulos now questions Halper’s motivation for contacting him, according to a source familiar with Papadopoulos’s thinking. That’s not just because of the randomness of the initial inquiry but because of questions Halper is said to have asked during their face-to-face meetings in London.

According to a source with knowledge of the meeting, Halper asked Papadopoulos: “George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?”
Hmmm. I guess "the professor," if in fact Halper is the guy, was either fishing or leading his target. Stay classy, FBI.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018

The denizens of the anti-Israel left, along with far too many progressive followers in the USA and Europe, supported by their trained hamsters in the main stream media, are doing what they always do when Israel defends itself against violent attacks by Hamas.

Wrapping themselves in moral outrage, the Left ignores Hamas' long and sordid history of lies and deception, violence and disregard for their own people. Leftists wail about "war crimes;" they demand UN investigations; they characterize acts of was as "protests" or uprising" giving them a revolutionary patina that they so adore; they lament the deaths on "innocent palestinian civilians" and reject subsequent evidence that those civilians are neither "innocent" nor "civilians." They demand "proportionality" implying that an Israeli must die for each Hamas attacker killed. They are useful idiots in an Islamist war to eradicate Israel.

Nothing changes. Hamas becomes violent; Israel protects itself, and the Left wails and spews its own form a bias and hatred ...

Don't believe me? Here are three excepts from posts I made after/during other violent Hamas "uprisings" over the past five years:

I wrote this as palestinian violence escalated in 2015:
No one has been paying much attention to the palestinians lately, so like a small child that demands that his parents give him time, the palestinians do the only thing they're really, really good at. They throw their version of a violent tantrum. Their leaders incite the populace using phony claims, their imams incite further anger from the mosque, and street gangs use violent attacks against Israeli civilians, police, soldiers and infrastructure to emphasize their "plight." Their intent, of course, is to provoke an aggressive response from the Israelis, after which, they will wail about the disproportionality of the response, the resultant physical damage to their "refugee camps," (actually cities with shopping malls, gas stations, hospitals and the like), the inevitable occurrence of civilian injuries, and the "war crimes" that have resulted.

Leftist politicians and their trained media hamsters in the West will cluck their tongues and condemn Israel for protecting itself, redouble their monetary support for the murderous Hamas regime, and look for UN sanctions against Israel. It's all so predictable, it would be laughable, if not for the carnage.

-----------------------------

I wrote this as palestinian violence escalated in 2014:
As Palestinian violence escalates in Israel, the Obama administration and their fellow leftists in the worldwide media ramp up the rhetoric that condemns Israel rather than the palestinians who drive cars into civilian crowds or stab innocents on the street. This open letter by Dr. Arieh Eldad, an Israeli Plastic surgeon,(validated by Snopes) has been making the rounds. It presents a counter-narrative:
I was instrumental in establishing the Israeli National Skin Bank, which is the largest in the world. The National Skin Bank stores skin for every day needs as well as for war time or mass casualty situations.

This skin bank is hosted at the Hadassah Ein Kerem University hospital in Jerusalem where I was the Chairman of plastic surgery. This is how I was asked to supply skin for an Arab woman from Gaza, who was hospitalized in Soroka Hospital in Beersheva, after her family burned her. Usually, such atrocities happen among Arab families when the women are suspected of having an affair.

We supplied all the needed Homografts for her treatment. She was successfully treated by my friend and colleague, Prof. Lior Rosenberg and discharged to return to Gaza. She was invited for regular follow-up visits to the outpatient clinic in Beersheva.

One day she was caught at a border crossing wearing a suicide belt. She meant to explode herself in the outpatient clinic of the hospital where they saved her life. It seems that her family promised her that if she did that, they would forgive her.

This is only one example of the war between Jews and Muslims in the Land of Israel. It is not a territorial conflict. This is a civilizational conflict, or rather a war between civilization & barbarism.

Bibi (Netanyahu) gets it, Obama does not ...

-----------------------------

I wrote wrote this as palestinian violence escalated in 2013:
A cease fire in the current hostilities between Israel and Hamas was announced a few hours ago. It will accomplish nothing, except to give the Palestinian terrorist group a chance to re-arm by smuggling still more long range rockets from Iran. Incredibly, Hillary Clinton has "negotiated" an agreement that has the Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood policing the Gaza border to keep weapons smuggling from happening. Yeah ... right.

Throughout 2012 and prior to recent hostilities, Hamas and its sister terrorist groups in Gaza have launched almost 1000 rockets with the intent of killing Israeli citizens. I was in Eilat, Israel in April when one such rocket landed with a very loud explosion in an empty field. Israel did not respond to that rocket or hundreds of others.

Finally, it did something that Barack Obama has done dozens of times in Afghanistan—it used a weaponized drone to assassinate the terrorist leader of Hamas. When rocket fire escalated, Israel finally acted with precision air power, destroying missiles sites purposely embedded in civilian neighborhoods, next to schools, hospitals, and mosques. Even with precision weapons and great skill, collateral damage in the form of civilian deaths had to occur.

These deaths are the fault of Hamas—and Hamas uses them in what Charles Krauthammer calls "Grief Porn." First, Hamas purposely puts Palestinian civilians in harm's way, then when injuries or deaths inevitably occur, it parades the results of its use of human shields to an all too complicit western media. As I mentioned a few posts back, this is standard operating procedure for Hamas.

Worse, far too many Western diplomats and virtually all Leftists condemn Israel for being "disproportionate" in their defensive response. Michael Goodwin discusses the idiocy of this position:
Double standards are par for the course in the Mideast and all the Jew-hating salons from Turtle Bay to Paris. While the hatred is shouted with a clenched fist on the smoldering streets of Gaza City, equally absurd claims are made by striped-pants diplomats and left-leaning sophisticates who insist Israel is guilty of “disproportionate” force because it uses its huge military advantage.

Their argument moves the goal posts. They tacitly accept Israel’s right to respond, but only up to a point. No matter its losses, the Jewish state must never “escalate” because that would be unfair.

Think about that: Affirmative action has come to the battlefield, where the results must be level for the sake of fairness. Coming soon, the demand that Israel turn over half of its weapons to its enemies. Perhaps Hamas would like an Iron Dome of its own?
But none of this comes as a surprise.It's all part of the Groundhog Day feel to this conflict. The only real outcome is more of the same, postponed until Hamas can smuggle still more weapons under the less-than-watchful eye of the Muslim Brotherhood. Someday, when Hamas' weapons become more deadly, Israel will act more forcefully—as it should. That will be the day that affirmative action on the battle field dies. It will also be the day that Hamas will finally meet its bloody end.
-----------------------------

Only one thing has changed during all of this time. We now have an American President who is considerably less receptive to the anti-Israel bias of the Left. That won't change things in Gaza, but it certainly will change the American position toward the conflict.

UPDATE:
----------------

I used the phrase "useful idiots" at the beginning of this post. Jonah Goldberg does the same thing, but provides a profoundly more detailed description:
The people who insist that the Palestinians are unalloyed victims remove human agency from them. [The soft bigotry of low expectations] According to this thinking, they are not making choices; they are playing their parts. How dare you ask why someone would bring a (very sick) baby to a riot? How dare you suggest that there is subtext to the story of Palestinian righteousness? [How dare you ask why a man on crutches in a palestinian propaganda video is shown running like a gazelle in an independent video?] ... Populists always tell a story about the righteousness of “the people,” but they invariably mean only “the right people”; the rest are barely people at all.
Oh ... how true that is.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Crossfire Hurricane

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, has been vilified by many Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media for well over a year. He has been accused of everything but treason for doggedly investigating then-alleged clandestine surveillence of the Trump campaign by the Obama administration. The reaction to Nunes' investigation by Democrats was so extreme (borderline hysteria) that only one conclusion could be drawn—he and his committee were on to something, and that something was big, very BIG.

In their unhinged efforts to negate the results of their upset loss to Donald Trump, the Dems have opened a pandora's box of scandalous behavior by the Obama-era FBI and DoJ, and the Clinton campaign (the only campaign proven to have indirectly colluded with Russians to create a phony dossier on Trump). By pressing an empty collusion investigation the Dems (and a few GOP #NeverTrumpers) have also demonstrated that in recent years, dishonest testimony by the senior officials in the FBI, the CIA, and other intelligence services is commonplace.

Because of Devin Nunes' investigation, the dam of lies and deceit is cracking. It appears, based on very recent events, that the Dems understand that the truth will come out—that for the first time in modern history, a sitting administration tried to rig a national election by surveilling the opposition party candidate for president. That the Democrats, through an outgoing president from their own party, placed a "spy" inside the Trump campaign to provide intelligence. Was that intel passed long to the Clinton campaign? Stay tuned.

But the bigger question for the Dems is What to do?

Never at a loss for sleazy strategies, the Dems will rely on their trained hamsters in the media to suffocate the story, through spin, omission, and lack of coverage. Here's the scheme going back 15 - 20 months:

  1. Deny, deny any wrongdoing. That didn't work because facts got in the way.
  2. Ridicule anyone that suggests that malfeasance or worse did occur under Obama's watch. That was tried, but didn't work.
  3. Vilify the investigators who (unlike Robert Mueller) did find hard evidence of wrongdoing and demanded more information from the FBI and the DoJ. That almost worked, but Nunes prevailed.
  4. Stonewall. Requests for additional information were slow-walked or outright denied for "national security" reasons. That worked, but only for a while. The threat of contempt of congress broke the stone wall.
  5. Provide a "leak" to the Dem-friendly New York Times, that on its surface, makes the NYT seem to have produced an objective investigative report, when in fact, it is simply acting as conduit to allow the Obama-era intelligence community and DoJ holdovers to get ahead of the story for a few days or weeks. That happened two days ago.
Molly Hemingway discusses the NYT piece:
The New York Times‘ story, headlined “Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation,” is a dry and gentle account of the FBI’s launch of extensive surveillance of affiliates of the Trump campaign. Whereas FBI officials and media enablers had previously downplayed claims that the Trump campaign had been surveiled, in this story we learn that it was more widespread than previously acknowledged:
The F.B.I. investigated four unidentified Trump campaign aides in those early months, congressional investigators revealed in February. The four men were Michael T. Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said…

The F.B.I. obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena — officials said. And at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said.
This is a stunning admission for those Americans worried that federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies might use their powers to surveil, leak against, and target Americans simply for their political views or affiliations. As Sean Davis wrote, “The most amazing aspect about this article is how blasé it is about the fact that the Obama admin was actively spying on four affiliates of a rival political campaign weeks before an election.”
Yeah ... the NYT gets all agitated about an $130K payment to a porn star who is alleged to have had a one night stand with Donald Trump over a decade ago. They do deep investigation and do so with more than a little enthusiasm. But their own reporting about a conspiracy among high government officials to destroy a presidential campaign of the opposing party (or provide an "insurance policy" if Trump should win) reads like a bad book report written by a disinterested fourth grader. Not a shred of the usual NYT editorializing, not a scintilla of added information, not a hint of investigative enthusiasm—flat and detached.

But that's all part of the master strategy. Now that the 'newspaper of record' (LOL) has reported (well, more like recited) what their Dem masters have given them, any future revelations—and those revelations are coming—will be waved off with a yawn, "old news, already covered in our 'groundbreaking' article, nothing more to see here, move along."

So to add to the Dem strategy noted earlier:
6. Make any future revelations "old news" so that the trained hamsters have an excuse for not covering them.
Hemingway goes on to cite (read the whole thing) a number of "takeaways" from the NYT article. Here are the three most important in my view: First, FBI officials admit they spied on Trump's campaign. Second, the Dems are terrified about the looming Inspector General Report, and third, the surveillance involved wiretaps, National Security Letters, and at least one spy.

The interesting thing to watch is how the Dems and their trained hamsters apply their strategy to cover-up what may very well be the biggest scandal in American political history. If recent history serves, they'll succeed. And if for some reason you're rooting for their success, you don't give a damn about our democracy, about the rule of law, about the weaponization of major government agencies, about the politicization of intelligence, and about basic fairness.

Inadvertently, the bland NYT article, written to temper the blow of coming revelations, gives us a window into the reprehensible activities gladly executed by rabid partisans in the Obama administration. The perpetrators should be indicted and jailed, but our intrepid special counsel is nowhere to be seen.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Wrong Again

Regular readers of this blog already know my opinion of the vast majority of the main stream media—they are ideologically left-wing, biased in favor of the Democrats, dishonest in their reporting of the news*, utterly devoid of objectivity when it comes to Donald Trump and his many substantive accomplishments on both the domestic and foreign policy front. But there's one more thing—the majority of the trained hamsters in the main stream media are not very bright. Their comments are often uniformed and piece-meal, shocking for "journalists" at the pinnacle of the "profession."

Daniel Henninger comments on the current media meme that Trump has alienated "our closest allies" by (1) abrogating the Iran deal between Barack Obama and the Mullahs in Iran (a deal never approved by Congress) and (2) moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. He writes:
No one has suggested yet that the Trump withdrawal from Barack Obama’s nuclear-weapons deal will cause the sea level to rise, but we’re almost there. The chain reaction of post-withdrawal disasters cataloged by the global media includes the possibilities that Iran will race now toward building a nuclear weapon, that a war between Iran and Israel could engulf the Middle East, and that America has become “divided” from its allies ...

“America’s three closest friends in Europe,” the Washington Post reported, “are near-bursting with anger and exasperation at the United States.” A rule of thumb suggests itself: Might European anger correlate directly with the correctness of U.S. policy, such as this decision to withdraw from the Iran deal and restart the sanctions regime? And when does an ally become something less than that?

Once the media takes ownership of any fixed thought—here that the U.S. withdrawal from the Obama agreement will drive Iran to build a nuclear weapon—no other fact or consideration is permitted to intrude.
The media doesn't provide honest and accurate analysis, they promote a predefined and often dishonest narrative.

Henninger does provide a level of analysis that should be commonplace in the NYT and WaPo, but never is. The reason, it conflicts with the prevailing left-wing narrative, not to mention TDS:
Europe became an economic power whose interests are solely commercial. Despite the Middle East’s continued strategic importance, Europe’s view of it is entirely bloodless—a region that is merely a dependable trading partner for Europe’s biggest companies.

When in 2013 Mr. Obama raised the possibility of a deal that would lift the Iranian sanctions regime, the Europeans were all in. Whatever Mr. Obama’s nuclear dreams, the deal’s primary attraction for Europe—and Iran—was always overwhelmingly about money.

Recall that in 2012, the European Union’s growth rate had fallen below zero. Europe was also dealing with an existential threat in the Greek debt crisis, which required several multibillion-euro bailouts.

Once the Obama nuclear deal became final in 2015, Europe’s deal makers were inside Iran like a shot. European Union members, led by Germany, quickly became the mullahs’ main trading partners.

Bear in mind that the agreement’s flaws were recognized at the time, such as ignoring Iran’s messianic and imperial projects. Just days after the agreement was reached in July 2015, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, was in Moscow, no doubt discussing the Russo-Iranian alliance in Syria, which quickly drove torrents of refugees into Europe. In other words, the Obama-Kerry deal with Iran helped to destabilize Europe’s politics. The European publics should demand a new deal.
The same Euros who allowed their continent and their culture to be overrun by a slow motion invasion from the Middle East now suggest that Iran can be mollified and that a very bad deal should be continued (so they can make money). They're wrong again.

Footnote:
--------------

* Just last night, the vaunted New York Times hit a new low in fake news. Donald Trump on a visit to California was commenting on the Mexican drug gang, MS-13, a group that routinely murders innocents, kills the entire families including children of its opponents, and has been known to behead them either before or after they are murdered, hanging the corpses from light poles. With that gruesome information, Trump rightly characterized MS-13 members as "animals." Here's what the NYT (and WaPo and CSPAN among others) tweeted:
Trump lashed out an undocumented immigrants during the White House meeting, calling those trying to breach the country's borders "animals"
The level of dishonesty here is breathtaking. The NYT purposely omitted context so that it could reinforce the leftist meme that Trump thinks all immigrants are "animals"—a flat-out distortion and lie.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Ankle-Biting

As a person, Donald Trump can be hard to like—that's a fact. He is pompous and narcissistic, brash and inexact, often blunt and insulting to a fault. There's only one qualifier—as President of the United States, he has been remarkably effective. The list of his actual, measurable accomplishments on both the domestic and foreign policy fronts is growing longer by the week, and that creates cognitive dissonance for those who suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome. How can a man who is so un-woke, so crass, so icky be so effective?

In response to Trump's many important wins, the #Resistance and #NeverTrumpers have focused solely on character assassination of both Trump and everyone around him. Sure they've also been able to get a special counsel appointed, but even that now has morphed into a "witch hunt" with no relevance to the original phony allegations that precipitated the original investigation.

For example, Trump's daughter, Ivanka, goes to celebrate the historic opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and The New York Daily News front page headline in 148 point type is: "Daddy's Little Ghoul." Seems that the trained hamsters at the Daily News are outraged that palestinian "civilians" have been killed doing what they always do—throwing a hyper-violent tantrum. Following a palestinian script that has been their go-to strategy for over 40 years, these "civilians" were largely Hamas terrorists, those injured were cynically put directly in harm's way by Hamas, who produced fake news videos depicting the carnage which as then protoed by the useful idiot trained hamsters of the main stream media. Those palestinians killed were in the process of attacking the border fence with the obvious intent of killing the Israeli soldiers behind the fence.

Funny that no one among the #Resistance and #NeverTrumpers are "outraged" by the Daily News headline and no one has asked th editors of The New York Daily News to apologize for publicly suggesting that somehow Ivanka Trump is a ghoul who celebrates death. But never mind.

Over the past week, those same hypocrites among the #Resistance and #NeverTrumpers have become "outraged" over a leaked private comment about John McCain in a closed meeting by Trump advisor, Kelly Sadler. Hours upon hours of "reporting" at mainstream media outlets have been expended on what is essentially a non-story. Kurt Schlichter does what he does best when he writes:
And then there is the case of Kelly Sadler, the White House political advisor who the mob is seeking to decapitate for the fake sin of telling the truth in private in the course and scope of her job duties.

John McCain is dying. That is not in dispute. I had plenty of beefs with him when he was well, and now my thoughts are with his family. I choose to forget my anger and remember his service. Others are not forgiving, and that’s between them and the senator. The consequence of being a maverick who steps on people’s toes is that sometimes people stay angry about their stomped piggies. For my part, I hope he finds peace and that his family is comforted during this difficult time (and I think the people trying to score petty points in his name are doing him a disservice. Stop it.).

But none of this relates to Kelly Sadler. Her job is to analyze the political situation based on the facts, and the fact that the senior senator for Arizona is passing away is hugely relevant to the issue at hand, the controversial nomination of a new CIA director, which McCain opposes. In a closed meeting where the family was not present and the media not invited, she told the truth - he is dying and his opposition is unlikely to derail the nomination. But some jerk decided to leak this private brainstorming to the press - that person is a dirtbag and needs to be fired.

The family was outraged, and I will not fault them. They are grieving. But a bunch of other people - many of whom called McCain a ‘Nazi” and a “racist” and all the rest of the usual slanders back in 2008 - pretended that this statement of fact was somehow outrageous. It was not. It was her job, and she did it behind closed doors where speaking harsh truths is not only necessary but laudable. She was under no obligation to qualify her statements or be sensitive in private chats; her job was to analyze the political situation and McCain’s condition was one of the key facts. She chose to apologize - I would not have - but, of course, the liberals and the Fredocons still demand her as a sacrifice to their fake fussy outrage.
The people who today are outraged about Sadler's inappropriate but otherwise accurate private observation were among the same Democrats who as Schlichter notes, publicly called McCain a ‘Nazi” and a “racist” back when he was running against their candidate—Barack Obama—way back in 2008. All of this is breathtakingly hypocritical, but what else is new.

What the #Resistance and #NeverTrumpers are doing is (in Schlichter's words) "ankle-biting." They will do anything, no matter how craven, to take down Trump. There's only one problem, as they snip at his ankles, the public watches and shakes its collective head. It isn't working, and it shouldn't.

Tom Wolfe

One of the premier observers of the American scene over that past 40 years died this week. Tom Wolfe was 88. Over his long life, Wolfe wrote essays and novels that were wicked in their depiction of the hypocrisy and pretension of the glitterati, the literary elite, the intelligencia, all politicians, and other of the country's movers and shakers. He defied political labels.

In an homage to Wolfe, Roger Kimball characterized him this way:
Wolfe was a profound observer of culture, a sort of super-sociologist who could emit singing prose and deliver deadly characterizations.
Wolfe's skill was that he was never strident and rarely preachy. He told a story and you just had to smile as his characters made his sociological points for him.

He reveled, I think, in pointing out much of the idiocy of many aspects of political correctness, but at the same time, was fearless in pointing out social injustice, not as the current progressive movement thinks it is, but as it actually exists.

We need more Tom Wolfes, but his breed is increasingly rare. In Kimball's words:
With the passing of Tom Wolfe we have lost one of our greatest, if not our greatest, men of letters. He was—to cite the title of one of his novels—a man in full. His many friends will miss him. Our culture is the poorer for his absence.
R.I.P.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Complexity

In the criminal world, if you hold up a convenience store, are caught doing it on CCTV, and subsequently arrested by the police, the evidence is both simple and obvious. That's why junior assistant district attorneys love to prosecute such cases. They're a slam dunk -- in fact, they're normally settled with a plea bargin and a light sentence without a trial.

But what if there's a high level white collar conspiracy directed at an opponent of the then-current president and his preferred successor? What if the conspiracy is perpetrated in secret meetings by senior government officials and politicians? What if it's justified using sham evidence of Russian "collusion", or reports derived from clandestine spying?

Things get very complicated very fast. There is no single event that one can point to indicating that a crime has been committed. There is little hard evidence, but copious circumstantial evidence. There is considerable complexity and lack of clarity—and that's what protects the perpetrators.

The Clinton campaign paid a Democrat smear shop, Fusion GPS, to create an opposition research dossier that contained salacious slander that they hoped would destroy the candidacy of Donald trump. Nothing new there—that's Washington hardball politics. But things got very interesting when the phony dossier was used by the FBI as grounds for FISA surveillance on the Trump campaign. Even more interesting, senior FBI officials knew the provenance of the dossier but never let the FISA court know where it came from. As if that weren't bad enough, things get much, much worse.

Andrew McCarthy writes:
Something tells me Glenn Simpson did not make a mistake. Something tells me the co-founder of Fusion GPS was dead-on accurate when he testified that Christopher Steele [author of the Trump dossier] told him the FBI had a “human source” —i.e., a spy — inside the Trump campaign as the 2016 presidential race headed into its stretch run.

When he realized how explosive this revelation was, Simpson walked it back: He had, perhaps, “mischaracterized” what he’d been told by Steele, the former British spy and principal author of the anti-Trump dossier he and Simpson compiled for the Clinton campaign.

Simpson gave his testimony about the FBI’s human source at a closed Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on August 22, 2017. He did not try to retract it until the uproar that followed the publication of his testimony on January 9, 2018. The latter date is significant for reasons we’ll come to.
So ... the FBI had a "source" inside the Trump campaign. Ya think that might be a little bit unethical? Ya think that some of the intel gathered might have been funneled through cutouts to the Clinton Campaign or leaked to the Democrat's trained hamsters in the media? Ya think when the FBI's Peter Strzok texted this:
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s [McCabe, now disgraced second in command at the FBI) office - that there’s no way he [Trump] gets elected - but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Strzok texted on Aug. 15, 2016. “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
to his lover, lawyer Lisa Page, he just might be referring to a conspiracy within the FBI. Exactly what "path" and what "insurance policy" was he referring to?

But back to the funneling of the FBI intel to the trained hamsters. McCarthy explains:
Simpson’s testimony was released to the public on January 9, 2018. That was just a few days after the New York Times had published its big New Year’s weekend story claiming, based on anonymous intelligence officials, that the Russia investigation had been opened sometime in July 2016. The catalyzing event, we were told, was a report to the FBI that Papadopoulos, a young Trump- campaign adviser, had alleged that Russia possessed thousands of stolen Hillary Clinton emails. According to the story, Papadopoulos had been informed of this by Joseph Mifsud, a London-based academic who professed to have Kremlin connections. A few weeks later, while drinking in a London bar in May 2016, Papadopoulos blabbed the news to Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat.
McCarthy explains (read the whole thing) that that story falls apart when the time line of events is considered. But never mind.

Here's the thing. This is a complex story, and it's the media's job to unravel the complexity so that the American public better understands what happened, and through its elected representatives, corrects any governmental wrongdoing that did occur. But in this case, the trained hamsters revel in the complexity and make no effort to investigate and simplify it. They smirk and talk about conspiracy theorists.

Why is that? Because if they did investigate and simplify, they just might lead the public to the conclusion that the Obama administration knowingly or unknowingly allowed an FBI operation to be conducted on a candidate for the presidency to provide "an insurance policy" against a win by Donald Trump. That's wrong ... that's big ... that's a MAJOR scandal ... and that's why the Democrats trained hamsters would prefer the complexity to continue.

UPDATE:
------------

You know something is up when the Democrat smear shops and their trained hamsters in the media go into overdrive in an effort to smear one of the few Washington politicians, Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who has doggedly pursued this complex and growing scandal.

In an article aptly entitled, "The Deep State Mob Targets Nunes", Julie Kelly reports:
The Deep State Mob is continuing to squeeze the California congressman after he again threatened to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for ignoring congressional subpoenas and withholding crucial documents from Congressional investigators. Nunes has minced no words about how the Justice Department and FBI have been “stonewalling” his committee’s investigation for months. And as Nunes inches closer to revealing the stinking core of what is potentially the biggest political corruption scandal in U.S. history, the Deep State Mob is trying to close in on him first.

Nunes and other House Republicans want to find out exactly how and why the FBI’s counterintelligence operation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government began in the summer of 2016, and what intelligence sources either aided or instigated that probe. The latest showdown, according to the Washington Post, is because Nunes has issued a subpoena demanding that the Justice Department provide information about an unnamed individual referenced in a classified letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month.
The closer Nunes and his collegaues get to the truth, the more the Dems' smears escalate.

The Dems get so, so angry at any mention that special counsel, Robert Mueller, might be biased and should bring his "investigation" to a conclusion. "Let him do his job!" they proclaim.

But when Nunes gets far closer to the truth that Mueller ever will, the Dems don't seem as inclined to let him do his job. Heh.

Friday, May 11, 2018

1,826 Days

Today is the five year anniversary (actually 1,826 days) of the disclosure that the Obama administration either directly or indirectly weaponized the IRS to go after Obama's conservative opponents. During the five years that have passed, the Obama administration first denied any wrong doing; when that became untenable, they lied about the events and the breadth of the scandal; when that became a joke, they stonewalled all congressional attempts to uncover the truth. A senior IRS official, Lois Lerner, took the Fifth rather than testify, and the Democrats trained hamsters in the mainstream media were notably incurious about the entire thing.

No special counsel was appointed; no indictments occurred, no one went to jail. Of course, the Dems tell us there was nothing to see, so we better move along.

Bradley Smith, former chair of the Federal Election Commission writes:
Imagine if liberal groups discovered that President Trump’s Internal Revenue Service was targeting them for heightened scrutiny or harassment. The media and Democrats would decry this assault on the First Amendment and declare the U.S. on the brink of autocracy. The scandal would dominate the midterms, and the legitimacy of the election would be called into question.
But weaponizing the IRS, and it now appears based on Kim Strassel's Pulitzer Prize worthy reporting, the FBI, was S.O.P for the Obama administration. They did it, in part, because they were convinced that they were the truly righteous. More cynically, they did it because they were certain that another Democrat, Hillary Clinton, would follow Obama's reign, and everything would be swept under the rug. Showing incredible hubris when Hillary lost, the Dems opened the door to uncovering even more of their own dirt by specious claims of Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, and now, a combination of dirt associated with a porn star and Trump's sleazy lawyer.

CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, NYT, WaPo, etc. are obsessed with Trump-related non-stories. They have elevated an increasingly questionable special counsel investigation into a holy war. They are so biased and increasingly deranged that they repeatedly create fake news, and then become incensed when the president calls them on it. But those are sins of commission. Even worse are their sins of omission.

For five years they refused to do any real investigation of the IRS scandal. Oddly, there were no "leaks" from "unnamed sources," and no Pulitzer-Prize winning reports on myriad Obama-era scandals. Now, they outright refuse to report the ongoing mega-scandal that is enveloping the FBI at its senior levels. For details, read here, here, and here.

The trained hamsters of the main stream media have become a laughingstock, but don't realize it because they operate in a progressive echo chamber. They have done this country a great disservice.

In the meantime, the IRS scandal remains unresolved and the FBI mega-scandal? It'll probably die as well. The swamp has far too much to lose.

Questions

Ask almost any Democrat and they'll tell you that ... Donald Trump is a full-blown racist. He's anti immigrant and absolutely, positively, anti-Latino, given his position on the need to secure our southern border with Mexico.

It's odd, therefore, that under Trump, Latinos are doing well. In fact, amazingly well. Steve Cortes reports:
Among Latinos, the jobless rate has only registered below 5 percent for seven months total – in the history of this country. Six of those months have occurred with Donald Trump in the White House, including the April report released last week.

The jobs data was terrific news for Americans of all ethnicities. For the first time since the year 2000, the overall unemployment rate dipped below 4 percent. Just as significant, almost 1 million Americans who had previously given up on finding a job have rejoined the workforce since Trump was elected.
It appears that the thing that really frightens Democrats isn't Trump himself (although they'll tell you he's a monster) but rather, the successes he has achieved in improving the economy and helping people of color as a consequence. That tiggers hysteria among the Dems because they worry, I think, that people of color—African Americans and Latinos to name two, just might begin asking inconvenient questions.

Cortes continues:
This movement toward self-sufficiency is a notable achievement for all Americans, but particular focus should be placed on the gains for communities of color. Why? Because identity politics and Democrats’ Big Government policies have failed minorities. Only now, at long last, are those communities beginning to realize their potential, which has clearly been unleashed with help from the pro-growth Trump administration economic policies of deregulation, tax cuts, and border enforcement.
That's why the trained hamsters in the media offer us a daily ritual narrative of "white supremacy," all tied to Donald Trump's presidency. They hope that their cynical outrage drowns out the increasingly good economic news for people of color. That's also why they reacted viciously when Kanye West began asking the questions they hope that other people of color won't ask.

If people of color start to aggressively question why their personal economic fortunes have improved significantly under a "racist, white supremacist" GOP administration, while they didn't improve at all under the previous Democrat administration, the answers may not be the ones that Democrats what them to hear.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Hillary for NY AG

Sometimes you just can't make this stuff up.

Out goes Eric Schneiderman, New York's Attorney General. Schneiderman was once the darling of the Democrats, a virulently anti-Trump crusader who was often characterized as a heroic feminist, an active supporter of the #MeToo movement, and a protector of woman. Until ... well ... he was accused of decidedly misogynist actions that allegedly bordered on sadistic behavior by not one, but multiple women.

So ... who should replace Schneiderman? Believe it or not, there are whispers that his replacement should be ... wait for it ... Hillary Clinton!!

Hopefully cooler heads will prevail, but in deep blue New York, who knows?

Charles Ortel comments:
For one thing, she [Clinton] certainly cannot fix New York's immense charity fraud problems because she is one of those problems. The last person New York needs as its chief law enforcement administrator is someone whose major credential is staying scant steps ahead of the law on too laxly enforced regulations for charities and solicitations.

Con artists, in politics and tied to charities, wrap themselves in gaudy, high-sounding themes, barrage any who might listen with frequent fundraising requests, and divert millions, even billions, of dollars away from deserving constituents or aid recipients, not to mention state, local and national treasuries.

While most of us appreciate there are few honest politicians, no thinking person truly believes that charity fraud is good — diverting money from organizations that actually help needy persons can mean you are stealing food from the hungry, medicine from the sick, or aid from victims of natural disasters.
Hopefully, the whispers are fake news and there is no possibility that HRC will get the AG nod. But let's have a little fun.

I can see it now. AG Hillary Clinton convinces Governor Andrew Cuomo to appoint Huma Abedin as head of the State Bureau of Investigation. Huma immediately orders a raid on Trump Tower and uncovers long-hidden evidence that Stormy Daniels was a Russian spy thereby bolstering the Dem's allegations of Russian Collusion. Trump is jailed on a visit to New York.

During Trump's trial, Stormy Daniels (now resurrected as a feminist hero by Democrats) is scheduled to appear as the key state witness. Bill Clinton suggests that he and Stormy need to meet secretly on a private jet owned by Bill's buddy, pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, parked at Teterboro Airport to discuss certain aspects of the case. It's a closed door meeting.

The Clinton Foundation, re-organized and re-invigorated now that Clinton is back in government and able to grant favors to wealthy donors from foreign countries, brings in tens of millions. Most of that money is allocated to the expense line of the Clinton Foundation ledger—the expenses associated with Hillary's presidential run in 2020.

In an act of faux-graciousness, Hillary offers Trump a plea deal if he'll just admit that she lost because she's a woman or a capitalist or anti-Russian or something ...

Heh.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Surplus

The Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media predicted disaster when the Trump administration proposed major tax reform. They told us, as I recall, that the middle class would not see any increase in pay and that tax reform would only benefit the rich. They told us that companies would bank the money they saved on taxes, not hire, not expand, and that "trickle down" economics didn't work. They also told us that (and this is laughable given their profligate deficit spending during the Obama years), that the debt would grow without bound because taxes would reduce revenue for the federal government.

Turns out that the Dems and the hamsters were wrong on every, single point. Every one.

Stephen Dinan reports an interesting event that went largely unreported (after all, what's more important, our country or an aging porn star with a story) by the main stream media:
The federal government took in a record tax haul in April en route to its biggest-ever monthly budget surplus, the Congressional Budget Office said, as a surging economy left Americans with more money in their paychecks — and this more to pay to Uncle Sam.

All told the government collected $515 billion and spent $297 billion, for a total monthly surplus of $218 billion. That swamped the previous monthly record of $190 billion, set in 2001.

CBO analysts were surprised by the surplus, which was some $40 billion more than they’d guessed at less than a month ago.

Analysts said they’ll have a better idea of what’s behind the surge as more information rolls in, but for now said it looks like individual taxpayers are paying more because they have higher incomes.

“Those payments were mostly related to economic activity in 2017 and may reflect stronger-than-expected income growth in that year,” the analysts said in their monthly budget review. “Part of the strength in receipts also may reflect larger-than-anticipated payments for economic activity in 2018. The reasons for the added revenues will be better understood as more detailed information becomes available later this year.”
Gosh, seems like we're seeing a lot of "best since the early 2000s" economic records in recent weeks. It's gotta be a fluke. After all, the monster Trump is bad for the country, bad for people of color, bad for ... and besides, the Dems and the hamsters couldn't possibly be wrong, could they?

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Deal Killer

Here's what I wrote in July, 2015 after the Obama administration concluded what it called an "historic" deal with Iran:
One of the most stunning aspects of the new "deal" that Barack Obama and his foreign policy Team of 2s have established with Iran is the fact that relatively few Democrats are willing to support it with enthusiasm. At best, they grudgingly state that there are serious flaws in the agreement, that Iran cannot be trusted, that verification will be difficult or impossible and that the "deal" provides a direct avenue for Iran to become a nuclear power.
One of the reasons that the deal remained just that and not a treaty is that Barack Obama knew a ratification vote in the Senate would fail. Not because of the GOP, but because Dems would have voted against it. That should have told him something, but nah.

I continued my discussion:
As example is an article written by Jeffrey Goldberg in the progressive magazine, The Atlantic. He begins his article thusly:
The theocratic regime that rules Iran—a regime that is a committed and proficient sponsor of terrorism, according to John Kerry’s State Department—will be more powerful tomorrow than it is today, thanks to the agreement it has just negotiated with the Obama administration, America’s European allies, and two U.S. adversaries as well.

This sad conclusion is unavoidable. The lifting of crippling sanctions, which will come about as part of the nuclear deal struck in Vienna, means that at least $150 billion, a sum Barack Obama first invoked in May, will soon enough flow to Tehran. With this very large pot of money, the regime will be able to fund both domestic works and foreign adventures in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, and elsewhere.
After discussing (in worthwhile detail) all the reasons why the "deal" is bad, Goldberg amazingly concludes that it's the only alternative. Using somewhat muted language he, like many progressives, is transformed by fantasy. In essence, repeating the mantra that has become a staple for Obama supporters, What's the alternative, war? If you're against this deal, you're in favor of war with Iran. That's abject nonsense, but no matter, it's their narrative, and they're sticking to it.

When pressed, many of this president's ardent supporters do what they often do when confronted with one of the Obama administration's many failures, scandals, or examples of poor judgement—they lie.

Here's Jim Geraughty on the subject:
We now know how the Obama administration and its friends will sell the deal with Iran: lie.

Here’s Representative Don Beyer, Democrat of Virginia, telling MSNBC why he’ll vote for the Iran deal: “Thanks to the Obama administration’s negotiations, Iran’s nuclear program will be under lock, key and camera 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The eyes of the international community are on every centrifuge, every ounce of uranium, in all of Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

Completely false: “UN inspectors can demand access to nuclear facilities on Iran military sites, but they aren’t immediate or even guaranteed. Any inspections at those sites would need to be approved by a joint commission composed of one member from each of the negotiating parties. The process for approving those inspections could take as many as 24 days.”
Dishonesty is, of course, the stock in trade for the Obama administration, and as congressional debate heats up, we can expect much more of it. The sad reality is that many low information voters will believe the lies.

UPDATE:
-----------------------
Despite Barack Obama's preposterous claims about the quality of the "deal" he and his Team of 2s have signed with Iran, the bottom line is really quite simple—the United States gains nothing from the "deal," allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia lose big, and Iran, Syria, Hezballah, Hamas and other terror entities share a major win.

An uncomfortable silence has descended among past supporters of this president's policies, and most thoughtful democrats appear uneasy. Criticism from Obama's opposition grows by the hour. The Wall Street Journal comments:
Start with the inspections. Contrary to Mr. Obama, the IAEA’s enhanced monitoring isn’t permanent but limited to between 15 and 25 years depending on the process. Also contrary to his “where necessary, when necessary” claim, inspectors will only be allowed to ask permission of the Iranians to inspect suspected sites, and “such requests will not be aimed at interfering with Iranian military or other national security activities.”

If Iran objects, as it will, “the Agency may request access” (our emphasis), and Iran can propose “alternative arrangements” to address the concerns. If that fails, as it will, the dispute gets kicked upstairs, first to a “Joint Commission,” then to a Ministerial review, then to an “Advisory Board,” then to the U.N. Security Council—with each stop on the bureaucratic road taking weeks or months.

This is far worse than the U.S.-Soviet arms agreements, in which the U.S. could protest directly to Moscow. Iran now has an international bureaucratic guard to deflect and deter U.S. or IAEA concerns.

The deal places sharp limits on Iran’s current use of first-generation IR-1 centrifuges. But it allows hundreds of those centrifuges to remain in the heavily defended Fordo facility, where they are supposed to remain idle but could be reactivated at the flick of a switch. The deal also permits Iran to build and test advanced centrifuges. This means Iran can quickly field a highly sophisticated, and easily dispersed, enrichment capability when the agreement expires.

All of this assumes that Iran will honor its commitments, notwithstanding its long record of cheating. Mr. Obama’s answer here is that he or his successor can reimpose sanctions, but that will be a tough sell once sanctions relief kicks in over 12 to 16 months and a pro-Iran commercial lobby resurfaces in Europe, China and Russia. A committee of the eight signatories would have to vote to restore sanctions. “Snap-back” is a mirage.

Perhaps most dismaying is that this nuclear deal also lifts sanctions on Iran’s conventional weapons’ trade in five years, and ballistic missiles in eight. Missiles are the most effective way of delivering a nuclear weapon—including to the U.S.—and as recently as last week Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey warned Congress that “under no circumstances should we relieve pressure on Iran relative to ballistic missile capabilities and arms trafficking.”

The U.S. appears to have caved on this point at the last minute after ultimatums from Tehran. This will be especially upsetting to our regional allies, which will have to cope with a newly empowered Iran flush with cash from sanctions relief.

It's appears that this "deal" has more to do with Barack Obama's ego and legacy than it does with any real attempt at dealing with the world's largest state sponsor of Islamic terrorism. It represents a combination of irresponsible, short sited decisions, surprising (some might say, cynical) naivete, and gross capitulation. It sets the stage for bad things long after Barack Obama leaves office.
But today, both Dem and GOP elites tell us that the sky is falling because Donald Trump abrogated what can only be characterized as a very, very bad deal with a country that is our avowed enemy. They tell us that we need a defined replacement "deal" before leaving a bad deal. Unless every T is crossed and every i is dotted, keep the deal!

Uhh. No.

Better to cripple Iran with sanctions now than to let them proceed toward nukes and regional threats. Better to fire a shot across their bow today, than wait until they and their proxies (e.g., Hezballah) become stronger and more lethal. Donald Trump did the right thing. Unlike the GOP and Dem elites, he is unwilling to kick the can down a road that keeps getting shorter by the year. And just possibly, the ensuing pain just might cause Iran to return to the negotiating table where the West can achieve a much better "deal."

In the short term, it's likely that bad things will happen as pressure on Iran mounts. But it's a mistake to indulge in the magical thinking that assumes that that the Obama "deal" would somehow contain Iran's regional ambitions, make the country's leaders more moderate, or derail their efforts to build nukes. It's time to get real with Iran and treat them like the enemy they are.

Pizza

Some people, myself including, believe that the best pizza in the United States can be found in little New Haven, CT at a place called Pepe's. It's not unusual for people to line up on the sidewalk for 90 minutes in 20 degree F weather in February to get into the place.

Every once in while someone tries to cut the line. The results are not pretty. At best, a gentle Yalie (Pepe's is relatively near Yale University) will indicate the infraction and ask the the person return to the end of the line. But more likely, a New Haven native will loudly note the problem and suggest that the person move to the end of the line or else.

There might be a few people who would be sanguine about the infraction, but not many. Line cutting is culturally unacceptable in the United States.

It surprising therefore, that most Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media are sanguine about another form of egregious line cutting—illegal immigration. Good and decent immigrants from South America, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and elsewhere have been in line to immigrate to the United States for months or years, patiently waiting for their turn, just like the patrons of Pepe's. But the Dems argue that the line is meaningless.

I know, I know ... waiting in line for pizza is different that waiting to immigrate the United States. But before the outrage brigade freaks at my metaphor, let's pursue it a bit more. The Dems argue that (by analogy) the people who cut to the front of the line at Pepe's are somehow hungrier than others in the line and therefore are justified in doing so. In fact, not only do they make that argument, they also advocate giving the line cutters "sanctuary" so they can't be placed at the back of the line.

Duroy Murdock writes:
America’s most forgotten men and women may be the legal immigrants who acquire their visas, scale no barriers, and patiently await their green cards and citizenship ceremonies. Amid the raging DACA debates, the fugitive-city outrages, and this week’s Honduran-caravan epic at the San Diego–Tijuana border, these overlooked individuals ring America’s doorbell rather than pry open the back entrance.

“I am stunned,” says Nayla Rush, a senior researcher with the Center for Immigration Studies. She is staggered by the caravan members who waved Honduran flags atop America’s border fence. U.S. authorities arrested 29 of them for illegal entry. Those fleeing Tegucigalpa’s chaos have no right to barge into the U.S. Likewise, if El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua — contiguous to Honduras — and nearby Mexico feel no duty to welcome these migrants, why on Earth is this America’s obligation?

“What I can’t understand is the arrogance, the defiance of these people,” Rush tells me. “I could comprehend someone wanting a better life, sneaking in, and, if caught, feeling apologetic. But these people are marching in front of cameras, in front of the whole world. They demand to be admitted here. Where does this sense of entitlement come from?”

Rush came to America from an oft-bloodied land — Lebanon. But rather than ford the Rio Grande, Rush did something rarely discussed these days: In 2011, she requested a visa online, spoke with diplomats at America’s embassy in Beirut, and, within three weeks, received her papers.
It's predictable that the media almost never tells the story of people like Nayla Rush—after all, it doesn't fit the progressive narrative. Instead, the Dems and their trained hamsters in the media have hijacked the illegal immigration debate, suggesting that anyone who is against illegal immigration is "anti-immigrant". Nothing could be further from the truth. You can be against people who cut the line at Pepe's, but that doesn't mean you are somehow prejudiced against the people who are rightfully standing in line.

But the problem doesn't reside with the Dems and their trained hamsters. Instead, it's the fault of opponents of illegal immigration who have allowed the Dem narrative to take hold. It's long past time that stories like Nayla Rush's and millions of other legal immigrants be told. It's time to suggest that line-cutting is something that must stop, so that people like whoare now standing in line like Nayla did get their pizza.

Monday, May 07, 2018

John, John

Regular readers of this blog know that I am not a fan of John Kerry—ex-presidential candidate, ex-Secretary of State during the Obama administration, and ex-senator from Massachusetts. Kerry is just about everything that is wrong with the elites who purport to lead the nation. Over the years I have referred to Kerry an a "nincompoop"—a man of mediocre intelligence, an ivy leaguer who is a classic example of an entitled progressive gentry liberal. He was the signature member of Barack Obama's foreign policy "Team of 2s," responsible for foreign policy failure after foreign policy failure during the Obama years.

And now, John Kerry is traveling the world, using his stentorian intonation and grave demeanor as a substitute for substance in an attempt to shore up his most disastrous "achievement"—the infamous Iran Deal. You recall—the same Iran deal that: (1) allows Iran to have nukes in less than eight years; (2) is virtually unverifiable; (3) gave Iran billions to foment chaos in the Middle East; (4) did nothing to control Iran's development of ICBMs, (5) couldn't get hostages released from Iran; (6) promised us that Iran would moderate its behavior, and (7) was accompanied by a late-night delivery of pallets of unmarked bills in a variety of foreign currencies intended as a bribe for the Mullahs. Yeah ... John Kerry is responsible for all of that. What a guy!

The blogress, Neo Neocon, comments:
Kerry would like to preserve his “legacy,” of course. And what of the Logan Act? I think if a person is against that law in general—and I am—it shouldn’t be enforced against Kerry. But if ever there was a case that fit exactly into the scenario envisioned by the Logan Act, it would be this one:
(1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953, enacted January 30, 1799) is a United States federal law that criminalizes negotiation by unauthorized persons with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States. The intent behind the Act is to prevent unauthorized negotiations from undermining the government’s position. The Act was passed following George Logan’s unauthorized negotiations with France in 1798, and was signed into law by President John Adams on January 30, 1799.
Looking at the history of the Logan Act and the two prosecutions (no convictions) that have occurred under it, I can’t see a similar situation or one in the same class as that of Kerry, in which the secretary of state of a previous administration seeks to negotiate to undermine the policy of the present secretary of state and the current president.

Of course, as Trump himself has said recently, Kerry is “not the best negotiator we’ve ever seen.” One thing about private citizens negotiating with foreign nations against the interests of present administrations is that those private citizens no longer have the power they once possessed, as those foreign nations no doubt recognize.
I suspect that foreign nations recognize a lot more about Kerry than his lack of power—a lack on intellect, a lack of negotiating skill, a lack of common sense, and a lack of the strength to conduct effective foreign policy.

Gosh, most Democrats and their trained hamsters in the mainstream media thought Michael Flynn was the devil when he met with Russian diplomats during the transition to a Trump presidency. Those same Dems and hamsters thought Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, should resign because he was caught talking (!!) to the Russian ambassador at a social function. But Kerry meeting with foreign powers including Iran ... ohhh, that's a different matter, isn't it?

Sunday, May 06, 2018

One Year

Earlier in my career, I spent considerable time writing books that required in-depth research into a specific area of technology. I used library sources (before the Web), books (I borrowed or purchased), and in some cases, face-to-face discussions (interviews) with area experts in technology. I evaluated hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of documents (articles and papers), took copious notes, and organized my finding. I then wrote draft after draft until a final manuscript was ready. This work typically took about two years of part-time effort while I also worked at my full time job. At its conclusion, my publisher (McGraw-Hill) and I produced a result—a college textbook (the largest is over 900 pages), reviewed by other professors for accuracy, structure, and pedagogy. Even the smallest error was picked apart and justly criticized.

I find it fascinating that Robert Mueller, with a team 17 full-time lawyers and dozens of other researchers along with an unrestricted budget and complementary resources provided by the DoJ and the FBI, cannot accomplish effectively the same tasks I performed in less time than they've already spent. By even the most conservative estimates, Mueller has expended over 60,000 (!!) person-hours of taxpayer-funded effort and has produced nothing so far.

The elites keep telling us that Mueller is a patriot, that he is the epitome of an ethical operator, that he is beyond reproach. Leaving aside that some of that may not be true,* let's assume for a moment that the elite's pronouncements are accurate. Why, when he realizes that his investigation is roiling politics in ways never before imagined, can't he and his team conclude their work? Why has he not expressed a sense of urgency in getting to a result? Why have there been no interim findings that might put some of the most egregious accusations to rest?

Spare me the argument that Mueller and his team are trying to be comprehensive, that they're following every "lead," that there's much left to do. At the risk of being indelicate—that's bull shit!

The Mueller team has had over a year to do their work and it appears that they fully intend to keep at it indefinitely.

Why?

To answer that question, ask yourself who benefits from the special counsel's interminable "investigation". Ask yourself why the trained hamsters in the mainstream media, usually quite impatient, never ask why this is taking as long as it has. Ask yourself who gains an advantage when news of administration successes is drowned out by the latest leak (often fake news) from the special counsel's office. Ask yourself why an investigation into Russian collusion (a national security threat, if it was true) is now looking into a Trump's personal lawyer who paid a porn star to keep her mouth shut (no pun intended) about an alleged affair with Donald Trump over a decade ago. Ask yourself why the NYT, the supposed newspaper of record, has a page one article this morning on "How Michael Cohen, Trump’s Fixer, Built a Shadowy Business Empire" but somehow doesn't see fit to report that Robert Mueller appeared to have allowed psychopath and gangster, Whitey Bulger, great latitude in the 1980s or why there might be serious conflict of interest (see footnote below) in Mueller's investigation.

If I could research and write a 900 page college textbook in under two years working part-time by myself, it would seem reasonable to expect that Mueller and his team of 17 lawyers and dozens of paraprofessionals, along with FBI agents and DoJ staff could produce a definitive report in under one year. Since they have not, the implication is clear. There is NO evidence to support Russian Collusion and NO evidence of obstruction of justice. The vaunted special counsel is hunting for something to pin on Trump. Does the term "witch hunt" come to mind?

FOOTNOTE:
--------------

* There are few journalists who merit praise and even fewer who live up to the standards of their profession. Sharyl Attkisson is one of them. In an article published in The Hill, Attkisson notes that Robert Mueller may have three distinct conflicts of interest:
As the special counsel investigation surrounding President Trump goes on, we still don’t know what evidence Robert Mueller and his team have amassed behind closed doors. It’s entirely possible they have built a strong case that Trump illegally conspired with Russian President Putin, which Trump’s critics have long claimed but which Trump denies.

If the New York Times' list of questions that Mueller wants to ask Trump is accurate, however, it’s hard not to notice that Mueller is treading in waters in which he — the special counsel — may have at least three serious conflicts of interest.

The first area has to do with Mueller’s reported inquiries into Trump’s alleged desire to terminate Mueller himself as special counsel, as well as Trump’s firing of Mueller’s longtime friend and colleague, former FBI director James Comey ... [Attikisson goes on to explain why that is]

That brings us to a second area of possible conflicts of interest. Mueller’s institutional ties would seem to be relevant in a case whose counterpoints rest largely on the institution’s own alleged misbehavior. By that I mean some in the intelligence community and the Department of Justice allegedly conspired to “get Trump,” promulgated and leaked questionable “intelligence” that turned out to be political opposition research, and exploited the government’s most intrusive surveillance authority to spy on Americans who were tied to Trump during the presidential campaign. Mueller was an integral part of this very “community” for the better part of three decades.

A third possible conflict of interest involves the case’s entanglements with two of the people instrumental in Mueller’s appointment as special counsel. Though we didn’t know it at the time, it was his old friend Comey who secretly leaked — or gave — information to the New York Times to spur the appointment. And Mueller’s actual appointment was made by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who we now know signed his name to at least one of the controversial wiretaps against a Trump campaign associate. To make matters more complex, Rosenstein is the one who provided President Trump a strongly worded memo supporting the decision to fire Comey — an act for which Mueller also apparently is investigating Trump.
This entire "investigation" is beginning to stink. It smacks of prejudicial conduct on the part of the investigators, who are intent, it appears, on coming up with something—anything—that will derail Donald Trump.

UPDATE: (5/7/2018)
------------------------

The editor's of the Wall Street Journal comment on Judge T.S. Ellis who challenged the Mueller team in a courtroom in Virginia. Ellis demanded to better understand the prosecutorial mandate under which Mueller et al were operating and suggested that no prosecutor has the unfettered right to indict for crimes that have nothing to do with Donald Trump. They note Judge Ellis' comments:
“I don’t see what relation this indictment has with what the special counsel is authorized to investigate. You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” Judge Ellis told Michael Dreeben, who was representing Mr. Mueller in court. “What you really care about is what information Mr. Manafort could give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment.”

Judge Ellis won’t win a diplomacy-in-judging prize, but his sharp words expose a central problem with the evolution of the Mueller probe. Though he was appointed to investigate collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign in 2016, Mr. Mueller’s indictments thus far have concerned other matters—lying to the FBI, or in Mr. Manafort’s case actions relating to his business with Ukraine .
Manafort is no angel, doing what dozens of high-priced lobbyists and operators (on both the Dem and the GOP sides) do every day in Washington. What he did was probably illegal, but Mueller was not chartered to investigate those things.
The judge put it this way: “What we don’t want in this country, we don’t want anyone with unfettered power. It’s unlikely you’re going to persuade me the special counsel has unlimited powers to do anything he or she wants.”

None of this means a get out of jail pass for Mr. Manafort. As Judge Ellis also suggested, one of his options would be to transfer the case against Mr. Manafort from the special counsel to the U.S. attorney for Eastern Virginia. But if Mr. Mueller refuses to turn over the full “scope” document concerning Mr. Mueller’s mandate [one has to wonder why that document has been redacted], Judge Ellis would be justified in throwing out the indictment.

The case of Mueller vs. Trump is fast becoming a Hatfield vs. McCoy feud, in which both sides want to destroy the other. But if the result of a presidential election is going to be overturned, and lives ruined along the way, the process must hew to proper due process and constitutional norms. Good for Judge Ellis for making that clear.
Yes ... good for Judge Ellis, a voice of reason in an atmosphere of outright hysteria, gleefully encouraged by the four constituencies who would like nothing better that the overturn the past election..

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Kanye

All of us, myself included, sometimes make more of an event or comment than is justified. That may be happening with recent events concerning Kanye West, a rap superstar (and husband of celebrity superstar Kim Kardashian), who has made very controversial comments regarding Donald Trump. But nonetheless, West's comments and the reaction to them is worth considering.

The reason Kanye West has become sooo controversial is because he had the temerity to suggest that Trump wasn't a monster (anthema to the progressives who represent the vast majority of the Hollywood and music communities and the core of the TDS movement). But he went further. West suggested that young African Americans shouldn't reflexively gravitate toward the Democratic party, given that after decade upon decade of loyalty (including absolute and somewhat understandable loyalty during the Obama years), far too many African Americans remain economically and educationally disadvantaged and continue to be overly dependent of government in many aspects of their lives.

Alarm bells went off immediately. Democrats, their trained hamsters in the media, and the glitterati launched vicious attacks on West, implying that anyone who advocates assessing actual multi-decade results and thinking for themselves is unstable and/or racist (as lightweight "journalist" Soledad O'Brien tweeted, "Hey babe, just fyi, this "new idea" is embraced by white supremacists"). O'Brien is far too dense and way too woke to recognize the irony of her implied insult or the actual meaning of West's comments.

As if on cue, a Detroit radio station, 105.1 FM, banned West's music, claiming that his comments on 'slavery as a choice' were offensive and racist. It was obvious to anyone with an IQ over 70 that he meant "the slavery" of modern dependency on big government and lock-step adherence to Democratic politics, but whatever.

Monica Showalter comments on all of this:
It's happening. Suddenly, a lot of young black men aren't all in for the Democrats anymore.

Black men's approval for Donald Trump has absolutely doubled, according to a new Reuters poll, and his overall support among blacks has risen sharply. This seismic shift just happens to coincide with rap superstar Kanye West's break with the Hollywood left, coupled with his open admiration for Donald Trump. According to the Daily Caller:

A poll taken on April 22, 2018 had Trump's approval rating among black men at 11 percent, while the same poll on April 29, 2018 pegged the approval rating at 22 percent. It should be noted that Reuters only sampled slightly under 200 black males each week and slightly under 3,000 people overall.

Trump experienced a similar jump in approval among black people overall, spiking from 8.9 percent on April 22 to 16.5 percent on April 29.

Kanye made his remarks on April 25, and much of the left panicked, calling him a sell-out, a traitor to his race, and other typical epithets black people who don't toe the Democratic Party line have endured for years. Kanye responded by doubling down, posting a picture of himself with an autographed MAGA cap, and calling Trump his "brother."
This may be much ado about nothing, but it is instructive, not so much because of the impact of Kanye West's comments, but in the broad-based progressive rejection of the notion that African Americans can't hold views that don't resonate with the American Left.

The Left prefers not to battle in the arena of ideas because their ideas are often weak and easy to defeat. Rather, they use ad hominem attacks, demonization, and shunning to dampen or eliminate debate. Kanye West is a case in point.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Mueller and Bulger

A little history: FBI Director, James Comey, along with he heads of two Obama-era intelligence agencies, James Clapper and John Brennan, set up Donald Trump using an opposition research "dossier" paid for by the Clinton campaign in collusion with Russian sources, and then leaked their discussions to the trained hamsters of the media. At the recommendation of the DoJ, Trump fired Comey. and the rush for a special prosecutor was on. Each of the four constituencies pushed for a special counsel, not to investigate the Clinton Campaign's work with Russian sources on the phony dossier, nor to investigate the FBI's sham investigation of Clinton's emails, nor to better understand why the Clinton Foundation's finances and contributors were so murky ... heavens no! Rather the special counsel was appointed to investigate the specious, evidence-free claim that the Trump Campaign colluded with the Russians.

Each of the four constituencies suggested that we needed a man of impeccable character, ethics, and reputation -- a man like Robert Mueller. They implied that Mueller was the real-life equivalent of the cartoon character, "Dudley Do Right" — an unimpeachable law enforcement type.


Like most things that the four constituencies told us, it was all B.S.

In a fascinating article (read the whole thing) written by Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, a little of Special Counsel, Robert Meuller's background is revealed.

First, some background: In recent years the exploits of Boston gangster, Whitey Bulger, have been popularized in movies such as The Departed and Black Mass. Like many thugs of his era, Bulger was a murderer and a psychopath, but he was also in bed with the FBI.

Dershowitz writes:
Consider the issue of criticizing Robert Mueller, the special counsel. Any criticism or even skepticism regarding Mueller’s history is seen as motivated by a desire to help Trump. Mueller was an assistant U.S. attorney in Boston, the head of its criminal division, the head of the criminal division in Main Justice, and the director of the FBI during the most scandalous miscarriage of justice in the modern history of the FBI. [emphasis mine] Four innocent people were framed by the FBI to protect mass murdering gangsters who were working as FBI informers while they were killing innocent people. An FBI agent, who is now in prison, was tipping off Whitey Bulger as to who might testify against him so that these individuals could be killed. He also tipped off Bulger, allowing him to escape and remain on the lam for 16 years.

What responsibility, if any, did Mueller, who was in key positions of authority and capable of preventing these horrible miscarriages, have in this sordid incident? A former member of the parole board — a liberal Democrat who also served as mayor of Springfield, Mass. — swears he saw a letter from Mueller urging the denial of release for at least one of these wrongfully convicted defendants. When he went back to retrieve the letter, it was not in the file. This should surprise no one since Judge Mark Wolf (himself a former prosecutor), who conducted extensive hearings about this entire mess, made the following findings:

The files relating to the Wheeler murder, and the FBI's handling of them, exemplify recurring irregularities with regard to the preparation, maintenance, and production in this case of documents damaging to Flemmi and Bulger. First, there appears to be a pattern of false statements placed in Flemmi's informant file to divert attention from his possible crimes and/or FBI misconduct….

Second, contrary to the FBI's usual policy and practice, all but one of the reports containing Halloran's allegations against Bulger and Flemmi were not indexed and placed in an investigative file referencing their names. Thus, those documents were not discoverable by a standard search of the FBI's indices. Similar irregularities in indexing and, therefore, access occurred with regard to information that the FBI received concerning an extortion by Bulger of Hobart Willis and from Joseph Murray concerning the murder of Brian Halloran, among other things.

Third, when documents damaging to the FBI were found by the Bureau, they were in some instances not produced to the defendants or the court at the time required by the court's Orders.
Wolf also made a finding that directly references Mueller’s state of knowledge regarding the “history”:
“The source also claimed to have information that Bulger and Pat Nee had murdered Halloran and Bucky Barrett. The source subsequently said that there was an eyewitness to the Halloran shooting who might come forward, and elaborated that: 'there is a person named John, who claims he talked to Whitey and Nee as they sat in the car waiting for Halloran on Northern Avenue. He sits in a bar and talks about it. He saw the whole operation.” The source added that the person providing the information to the source “will be willing to talk to you (authorities) soon.” On Feb. 3, 1988, Weld directed Keeney to have the information that he had received sent to the United States Attorney in Boston, Frank McNamara, and to the strike force chief, O'Sullivan. Weld added that: “Both O'Sullivan and [Assistant United States Attorney] Bob Mueller are well aware of the history, and the information sounds good.”

It is not beyond the realm of possibility therefore that Mueller wrote this letter, even if it is no longer in the files. If in fact Mueller wrote such a letter, without thoroughly investigating the circumstances, he surely bears some responsibility. Moreover, it is widely believed among Boston law enforcement observers the FBI was not really looking for Bulger during the years Mueller was its director. It is believed the FBI was fearful about what Bulger would disclose about his relationship with agents over the years. It took a member of the U.S. Marshall’s office to find Bulger, who was hiding in plain view in Santa Monica, Calif.
Now ... one could, I suppose, argue that all of this is ancient history, that going back 20 or 30 or even 40 years isn't fair. But that's exactly what Mueller is now doing in his never-ending, no-boundaries investigation of Trump.

The Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media are perfectly willing to allow a decade-old alleged affair with a porn star to become a major story. You'd think they might have some interest in a 40-year old alleged corruption scandal that just might impeach the ethics and veracity of the special counsel. You'd be wrong.

Bad News — Good News

There's an old saying among defense attorneys, "When your client is guilty, change the subject." This aphorism can be broadened in politics: "When your political opponent is improving the national economy and succeeding in international relations, change the subject."

The Democrats and their trained hamsters in the main stream media have done just that during the first 15 months of Donald Trump's presidency. Trump is winning where it matters—improving the lot of middle class workers, dramatically increasing minority jobs,* boosting businesses big and small, and improving the economy in general. He's reducing regulation to manageable levels and trying to reform bloated federal agencies (with less success). He's achieved some startling things on the foreign policy front (NoKo comes to mind).

But the Dems, having no explanation for those successes and no real ideas that would improve upon them, decided to change the subject, even before Trump was sworn in. Their "Russian Collusion" canard, their empty allegations of "obstruction of justice," and their insistence (with the help of #NeverTrump GOP) on a special counsel, has ensured that a continuous stream in generally meaningless news will overwhelm news of Trump's successes. There's no doubt that Trump has helped the Dems with their strategy (think: porn star Stormy Daniels) and with hindsight, his firing of inveterate liar and partisan operator, James Comey, opened the door for what Trump correctly characterizes as a witch hunt."

James Freeman provides an example of the good news:
The forecast for political news may be stormy, but the owners of American small businesses are seeing blue skies in the economy as they continue to create jobs and increase wages. That’s according to the latest employment report from the National Federation of Independent Business, due out later today. The NFIB April survey finds that small firms are healthy, and that there are more of them.

According to NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg, “The increase in new business establishments is running well ahead of eliminations, a real boost to new employment. Owners reported adding a net .28 workers per firm on average, the third highest reading since 2006 (down from .36 workers reported last month, the highest since 2006). Reported gains were higher only six times since 2000.”

The recurring story of recent months continued into April. While owners of small businesses are ramping up employment, they’re not hiring as many people as they’d like to hire because they simply can’t find the workers. Most of the 1,554 participants in the survey reported hiring or trying to hire in April, but a full 88% of those trying to add employees reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were aiming to fill.

Twenty-two percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their single most important business problem, “exceeding the percentage citing taxes or regulations. Shortages of qualified workers are clearly holding back economic growth,” says Mr. Dunkelberg.
Of course, the trained hamsters, doing the bidding of their Dem masters, do not report news like this, preferring instead to discuss the empty results of Robert Mueller's "investigation" ad nauseum.

But there is something that might concern the Dems and their hamsters. Despite the tsunami of "bad news" promulgated by the Dems, the general public—millenials included—seem to be aware of the good news. Trump's poll numbers are rising slowly and the percentage of people who want an end to the interminable "investigations" is also on the rise.

On the other hand, it's likely that the Dems will achieve their goal of a House takeover later this year, but that's not at all unusual from a historic perspective. The real problem is that their victory will encourage them to continue a strategy that does absolutely nothing to improve the lot of working people, the economy, minorities, or the country's posture on the international scene. The sad thing is — they just don't care.

FOOTNOTE:
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* Joseph Lawler reports:
Jobless claims ran at historic lows to end April, a great sign for the economy.

After hitting the lowest level since 1969 the week before, new claims for unemployment benefits rose just 2,000 to 211,000 in the last week of the month, the Department of Labor reported Thursday morning. That number was well below the 224,000 that forecasters had expected.

The past two weeks' very low readings drove the monthly average for claims down to 221,500. That's the lowest since early 1973.
But ... but ... but ... Stormy Daniels ... "racism" ... Mueller ... impeachment!!!!