Wanted for murder
Over the weekend, the media piled on the immigration enforcement agency ICE, over a claim that agents in San Bernardino stopped an illegal immigrant as he was driving his pregnant wife to the hospital to get a C-section and arrested him for deportation. The wife claimed he had no criminal record, not even a traffic ticket, which apparently was good enough for our reliable liberal media outlets, which excoriated the ICE agents for their outrageous heartlessness in leaving her to drive herself to the hospital.
Here’s the part they either deliberately left out or failed to do basic reporting and find out. The man ICE arrested, Joel Arrona Lara, did have one minor infraction on his record: an outstanding warrant in Mexico on homicide charges. That’s right: he was wanted for murder.
On the bright side, Gov. Jerry Brown is probably already working on pardoning him so he can keep driving around San Bernardino.
Accountability not chaos
This newspaper story out of San Diego is getting a lot of attention because of its claim that President Trump’s attempts to reform the Veterans Administration are introducing “chaos” and harming both the employees and veterans. Judging from some of the comments, it didn’t convince too many veterans who’ve had personal experience with the VA, and for good reason. The “chaos” described in the article sounds more like long-overdue accountability.
The article quotes a union official as saying that he’s in a constant battle to protect VA workers from firing, that it’s as though the VA is determined to fire as many employees as possible, and “we’re spending more time worrying about our jobs than doing them.”
First of all, if you’re spending more time worrying about getting fired than doing your job, then you should be fired. News flash: that’s how employment works everywhere except in government. Secondly, the article points out that 2,743 VA employees have been fired since Trump took office. Please note that the VA has over 300,000 employees, so that’s less than 1% of the work force. Considering the VA’s record when Trump took over, I’m astounded that it’s less than 1%. That’s not testament to Trump being mean or trying to politicize the VA, but to how difficult it is to fire government workers, no matter how richly it’s deserved.
Naturally, about a dozen unions are suing the Trump Administration, claiming that his orders to impose accountability on government union workers violate the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. I wouldn’t be all surprised if that were true. So while Congress is in the hands of the Republicans, how about creating a Civil Service Reform Act of 2018, one that actually includes accountability right in the job descriptions?
Do you remember the scene in “Blazing Saddles” where the ol’ sidewinder gets up in church and spews a load of indecipherable, mush-mouthed, Gabby Hayes-like cowboy jargon? Then the Mayor stands up, thanks him and says he’s especially glad the children were there today to hear that “authentic frontier gibberish.”
Well, gaze upon the 21st century version. University of Illinois education Prof. Rochelle Guiterrez, a longtime promoter of “social justice” and “creative insubordination” in the classroom, says she’s worked for the past six years “with funding from the National Science Foundation” to incorporate diversity into math education. The result: her exciting new concept of replacing mathematics with “Mathematx,” a “movement against objects, truths, and knowledge towards a way of being in the world that is guided by first principles — mathematx.”
She goes on (take it away, Prof. Gabby): “This shift from thinking of mathematics as a noun to mathematx as a verb holds potential for honoring our connections with each other as human and other-than-human persons, for balancing problem solving with joy, and for maintaining critical bifocality at the local and global level.”
There’s more stuff like that at the link. I want to thank the professor for providing both the children and the other-than-human children (puppies?) with that impressive example of leftist/academic/social justice warrior gibberish. It’s a very convincing argument. It’s convinced me of three things:
1. Never let my grandchildren go to any college that would employ her. 2. Demand a refund of my tax money from the National Science Foundation. 3. Never get on any airplane that was designed by someone who studied “Mathematx” instead of mathematics, which sounds like the equivalent of getting a degree in astrology instead of astronomy.
Resistance leader is pro-Trump troll
There’s a saying in journalism, “If it bleeds, it leads.” That describes the practice of giving give top priority to any story that involves violence, pain or death because it attracts eyeballs. But the inability of so many on the left to get over the 2016 election has created a new lazy habit of journalists: “If it dumps on Trump, we pump it up!” Any story that reflects badly on Trump will be run, no matter how suspect; any negative detail, no matter how minor, will become the focus of any positive Trump story; and anyone who claims to have dirt on Trump will receive serious media attention, no matter how dubious the source (and no, this is not about Omarosa.)
An alleged Trump insider under the pseudonym of “Mr. Smith” has been tweeting anti-Trump claims, such as the existence of a tape of Trump promising sanctions relief if Russia helped him win the 2016 election and predicting the end drawing nigh for the Donald. Progressives (you know, the self-proclaimed “fact-based” political demographic) have been sucking this swill up with biodegradable hemp-based straws. It even got mentions from CNN analysts.
Well, someone has reportedly tracked down the real identity of “Mr. Smith,” and there’s some question whether “Mr. Smith” has ever even gone to Washington. I’ll let you read the full story at the link, but here’s a hint: he’s actually a pro-Trumper, and you won’t be surprised to learn that he likes playing games.
Must-Read Opinion Piece:
A typically hilarious and no-holds-barred rant from Kurt Schlichter (who once held a top secret security clearance when he was an Army Colonel and naturally gave it up when he left the Army) on why elite DC insiders think they have a Divine right to hold security clearances for life, along with a host of other special privileges they haven’t earned. If “progressives” want to stamp out undeserved “privilege,” then here’s one area where Trump-supporting conservatives can actually agree with them.
From the “Sucker Born Every Minute” Desk”:
The GoFundMe page for (deservedly) fired (for cause) FBI agent Peter Strzok has now racked up nearly $440,000 in pledges from people who apparently had money burning a hole in their pockets and just couldn’t find any actual worthy causes to support among the thousands of GoFundMe pages for needy families, sick veterans, orphanages and animal rescues. Howie Carr at the Boston Globe has some background on the character of this American hero that you’re not likely to read anywhere else. I hope it makes some of the people who would throw money at anything that they think opposes Trump at least think twice (or even once) about this cash sinkhole and demand a refund.
Greg Gutfeld of Fox News made a great observation: the fact that Americans have so much money to waste on such an unworthy cause should be taken as evidence of how great a job President Trump is doing with the economy.
At long last, I’m happy to report that something good has come out of the smarminess and disingenuousness of Peter Strzok. Many Americans were so disgusted at people throwing money at something so appallingly unworthy that they made it a point to give to something more deserving. Gutfeld noted that a woman who set up a GoFundMe to buy a stairlift chair for her father-in-law, a 93-year-old World War II veteran, raised a ruckus over how Strzok was being showered with cash while her dad’s fund barely had any donations. Many people agreed, and the funding soon rose. Here’s the GoFundMe page:
And here’s a heartwarming video that shows what can happen when you do something worthwhile with your money.
White House counsel testifies "fulsomely," as Trump did nothing wrong
As the joke goes, if President Trump walked on water, the New York Times story would be headlined “Trump can’t swim.”
Well, it’s no joke. Over the weekend, the Times did pretty much the same thing. Here are the basic facts they had to work with: President knows he did nothing wrong and, in the name of transparency, instructs White House lawyer to cooperate fully with special counsel on “Russia” probe. White House lawyer does so, testifying for over 30 hours in 3 sessions over 9 months as special counsel, presumably, asks different versions of same questions over and over and over. (This is how depositions typically go, to try to catch witness in evolving testimony or inconsistency.) After all that, nothing from deposed White House lawyer attests to wrongdoing by President. President also has been completely responsive to special counsel’s request for documents, providing 1.4 million of them. President did nothing wrong. President has nothing to hide. End of story.
Oh, no it’s not. Not when it’s the New York Times spinning the story.
Here is the Times’ version of those facts: White House lawyer (and his own personal lawyer) couldn’t understand why President would want him to be so forthcoming and thought President might be setting him up to take blame for any charges of obstruction that might arise. White House lawyer did everything possible to cooperate with special counsel as a strategy to protect HIMSELF from charges of obstruction. President was mixed up and mistakenly thought White House lawyer would be acting as his personal attorney and thus would protect HIM. (This from a NYT source “with knowledge of [President’s] thinking.” As if.)
It might be good here to explain the difference between a White House attorney, such as Donald F. McGahn II (the one in this story) and Trump’s personal attorneys, such as Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow. Trump’s own attorneys represent him personally, as an individual, and look out for his legal interests, while White House attorneys are looking out for the office of the Presidency itself. Often those interests mesh, but not necessarily. A personal attorney might protect the client by asserting attorney-client privilege, while a White House attorney would protect the office by invoking executive privilege. That’s it, pretty simple. It’s highly unlikely that President Trump does not understand the difference between the two. And attorneys failing to make that distinction clear would be, it seems to me, guilty of legal malpractice.
The NYT story does admit that McGahn “cautioned to investigators that he never saw Mr. Trump go beyond his legal authorities...” Wow, talk about not fitting the chosen narrative. That’s probably why they buried it deep inside –- I’d put it right up top –- and qualified it by characterizing the limits of executive power as “murky.”
McGahn’s lawyer released a statement that said, “President Trump, through counsel, declined to assert any privilege over McGahn’s testimony, so Mr. McGahn answered the special counsel team’s questions fulsomely and honestly, as any person interviewed by special investigators must.” Seems pretty straightforward to me. Incidentally, the Word Of The Day is “fulsomely.”
The President tweeted: “I allowed White House counsel Don McGahn, and all other requested members of the White House staff, to fully cooperate with the Special Counsel. In addition we readily gave over one million pages of documents. Most transparent in history. No Collusion, no Obstruction. Witch Hunt!” Also: “The Failing New York Times wrote a story that made it seem like the White House Councel [sic] had TURNED on the President, when in fact it is just the opposite - & the two Fake reporters knew this.”
Rudy Giuliani (Trump’s personal lawyer) used the word “deftly” to describe the NYT’s way of shading the idea that McGahn (the White House lawyer) “cooperated extensively,” pointing out that if McGahn hadn’t been able to answer honestly that no authority was exceeded by the President, he would have had the integrity to resign at the time he first knew of the illegality. (I could mention that this level of cooperation is a 180-degree turn from the policy of the Obama administration, which slammed the door shut on inquiry to the point where then-Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress. And none of them resigned. But I digress.)
Former assistant special Watergate prosecutor and former special assistant attorney to the U.S. attorney general (whew, these titles!) Jon Sale spoke with FOX News’ Arthel Neville on Sunday, explaining that Trump had the power to exert executive privilege if he was concerned about what McGahn might say. “He allowed and encouraged Mr. McGahn and about 30 other people connected to the White House to go in and fully cooperate,” Sale said, and added that when people see that McGahn “cooperated extensively, there’s a rush to judgment, and people are assuming that means he’s incriminating the President. Not necessarily.” He made it clear that he’s speaking objectively, not as an advocate for the President, but said he could “understand the President’s impatience” with the length of the investigation after he’d been so forthcoming. He also seconded what Giuliani had said, that McGahn “would have legally and ethically had to resign” if he’d been aware of any illegal conduct on the part of the White House involving the President. Otherwise, he would have been a part of criminal activity.
So, from that perspective, the likelihood is that McGahn’s open and honest testimony served the President well. The New York Times could just say that. Except that they...just...can’t.
Thanks to the Washington Times for providing some balance.