Excellent article by Conrad Black, summing up over two years' worth of lies, sedition and skullduggery.
Yesterday’s commentary about former FBI General Counsel James Baker’s testimony that he argued with then-FBI Director James Comey about whether Hillary should be indicted on the Espionage Act left us with one huge question –- one I think we have the answer to.
According to Baker, he and his colleagues went round and round for “a period of time” on this issue. Baker was “appalled” and “alarmed” when he saw how deeply classified the materials on Hillary’s server had been, and he thought there was evidence to indict. Keep in mind, Baker was the top attorney at the FBI; his job was to be their resident high-ranking legal expert and resolve issues such as this. His role was to advise Comey, not the other way around. But Comey –- who was not supposed to be deciding for or against prosecution anyway; that was for the attorney general –- had already made up his own mind, producing a report that changed the legal term “grossly negligent” to the softer “extremely careless” (though in fact they mean the same thing) in describing Hillary’s wrongdoings. He and others at the Bureau kept arguing with Baker until he finally changed his mind.
So the big question is: What was it specifically that changed Baker’s mind? Did they finally just wear him down, or was there some particular thing?
Dan Bongino has a lot of understanding of the inner workings of government entities such as the FBI, having been a Secret Service agent. His podcast from Thursday (Episode 927, with the appropriate title of “Justice Is Dead”) addresses this question and fleshes out a scenario we’ve all suspected. First, he makes the point that Comey, being in law enforcement but not a lawyer himself like Baker, is being influenced primarily by political considerations (Hillary as a viable candidate), not legal (Hillary as a lawbreaker). He’s disregarding the opinion of the person who is most qualified to set him straight on the legal aspects of this case.
Next, he poses the question, what were the highly classified documents found on Hillary’s server that sent alarm bells through James Baker? We know from computer records that when Comey was drafting Hillary’s exoneration, he deleted references to emails she had exchanged with President Obama while she was in a foreign country. No wonder he took that out –- the implications were staggering. Her communications with Obama (super-classified stuff) were easily intercepted by a foreign actor. Can you say “appalling”? How about “alarming?”
We know Comey changed the specific reference to Obama to “a senior government official.” A later version removed even that.
We also know that by this time, Obama had already said he was not aware of Hillary’s use of a personal server until he heard it from the media. In other words, he lied. (Recall that Obama used to say that about a lot of things.) Even worse, if Hillary were prosecuted, Obama would have been a witness in the case, even a co-conspirator. The President had been getting classified emails from Hillary from a non-secure, non-government email address.
Now, here is where Bongino’s former role working inside the White House comes in handy: To Obama supporters who say he wouldn’t have necessarily known the address, that it might have just been loaded into his phone, he replies that this explanation is not possible. As Bongino tells it, Obama had a personal Blackberry. A branch of the military, the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), working in conjunction with the Secret Service Technical Security Division and other departments, determines how the President is going to communicate with his Blackberry and any other device. The President is not going to be interfacing with a non-secure device unless it's been pre-approved.
WHCA would have had to pre-approve any email address that could come in on Obama’s Blackberry. Specifically, Hillary’s email address would have had to be approved, or “whitelisted.” The idea that this could have happened without Obama knowing about it defies logic. According to Bongino, no one on the staff would have “whitelisted” a private email address without first getting approval from Obama.
So, here’s what it looks like: Hillary was guilty, guilty, guilty of putting highly classified material at risk by setting up a private server while she was Secretary Of State. In doing so, she violated the Espionage Act. She did this deliberately, likely to hide documents from Freedom Of Information Act requests, and knew what she had done. The top FBI officials knew it. The top lawyer for the FBI knew it. Hillary’s aides knew it (and also lied about knowing it). Obama knew it. He lied about knowing about it. And he himself was implicated in the crime.
The magnitude of this was enormous, especially in the summer of 2016, when Obama was still in office and Hillary was running for President. If I had to guess, I’d say this is why Baker changed his mind from “She should be prosecuted,” to “Okay, let’s drop it.”
In a welcome court ruling, a federal judge in Philadelphia dismissed a lawsuit by two boys, ages 7 and 11, backed (some might say “used”) by environmental groups, against President Trump for rolling back Obama-era climate change regulations. The suit claimed that Trump’s decisions on how to deal with the issue violated their Constitutional due process right to a “life-sustaining climate system” and were responsible for their asthma and allergies (reminder: he’s been in office for only two years.)
The judge ruled that the Constitution does not guarantee what they claim and they can’t prove Trump’s policies caused their health problems, so they don’t have standing to sue (those points, and the sheer absurdity of the suit, would seem obvious to any reasonable jurist, but that didn’t stop a federal judge in Oregon from going along with it.)
The best part of the ruling wasn’t the specifics of why Judge Paul Diamond dismissed it, but his note on a larger issue that applies to all of these “lawfare” suits against Trump (a term coined to describe using nuisance lawsuits as a form of warfare to block the President from exercising his Constitutional powers.) Diamond wrote:
“Plaintiffs’ disagreement with defendants is a policy debate best left to the political process. Because I have neither the authority nor the inclination to assume control of the Executive Branch, I will grant defendants’ motion” (to dismiss.)
I propose that those words be carved into stone and hung over the benches of every federal court in America. And make them three times bigger in the 9th Circuit Court.
Here’s the natural end result of young people attacking history without bothering to learn anything about it first: In Dunn, North Carolina, vandals poured a flammable liquid on a statue of General Lee and set it on fire. Fortunately, it sustained only minor damage. I assume they were too dumb to know that stone doesn’t burn.
That’s a fairly safe assumption, considering it also wasn’t a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, but of World War II Gen. William C. Lee. The two aren’t even known to be related. And if the idiot vandals think of themselves as “anti-fascists,” trying to torch a statue of one of the planners of the D-Day invasion that led to the defeat of Hitler is a weird way of showing it.
All these “social justice warriors” managed to prove is that statues aren’t the only things that have heads made of granite.
Democrat presidential hopeful Kamala Harris just ruined the Democrats’ whole political strategy on healthcare, and the implications for 2020 could be huge.
For months, the Democrat Party has been sliding towards a “Medicare for All” single-payer government takeover of the healthcare industry.
Bernie Sanders, who coined the phrase, looks set to jump in the race, and virtually every declared or likely Democrat 2020 candidate — including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand — is at least giving the idea lip-service.
Liberals are convinced the idea will be popular with voters, and supporting government-run healthcare is quickly shaping up to be a litmus test in the Democrat primaries.
They may want to reconsider now that Harris has given Americans their first look at what “Medicare for All” would actually entail.
CNN devoted an entire town hall-style broadcast to its darling of the moment, and Kamala Harris used it to pitch Medicare for All.
"Let's eliminate all of that. Let's move on,” Harris said after describing some of the frustrations people have with the private health insurance market. She’s clever to focus on the flaws in our existing healthcare system, which almost everyone agrees is a confusing and inefficient mess, but she’s got the wrong prescription for treating it. Government meddling in the healthcare industry created the problem, and taking it to the furthest possible extreme is a foolish response.
Her real mistake was being too honest about the details, though. The plan she intends to run on would involve the complete destruction of the private health care industry, kicking more than 170 million Americans off of their current coverage, and putting everyone on a single government-controlled plan.
“Well, listen, the idea is that everyone gets access to medical care, and you don’t have to go through the process of going through an insurance company, having them give you approval, going through the paperwork, all of the delay that may require,” she explained, adding, “Let’s eliminate all of that.”
“Medicare for All” is dazzlingly deceptive messaging, borrowing the name of a broadly popular program to distract from its destructive nature, and until recently the strategy was working — 56 percent of respondents supported the idea in a recent poll, while 42 percent opposed it.
The same poll, however, shows Americans hate everything else about Harris’s plan, which is why she may have blown the Democrats’ whole scheme by revealing the dirty details.
The poll shows that only 37 percent of people want to eliminate private insurance, compared to 58 percent opposed. An even larger majority — 60 percent — oppose raising taxes to pay for Medicare for All’s $32 trillion price tag, something its proponents freely admit will have to happen.
The most damning finding of all for the Democrat candidates hoping to run on Medicare for All in 2020, is that only 37 percent of those surveyed were aware that Medicare for All means they would lose their private coverage. In fact, 55 percent erroneously believed they would get to keep it.
Ambiguity is essential for the Democrats, because if those people were to realize what “Medicare for All” really entails, support for the scheme would evaporate overnight.
One secret Harris didn’t disclose about her Medicare for All plan is that it includes a loophole for the super-rich and well-connected, who would still have access to expensive specialty coverage that ordinary Americans could never afford — as we see in other countries with single-payer systems that don’t explicitly outlaw private insurance.
With everyone but the elites under one government plan, Medicare for All will quickly suffer the same fate as other single-payer healthcare systems: long lines, low quality of care, and no alternatives.
Democrats are making a big gamble with Medicare for All, and they can’t afford to let the American people see behind the curtain of their benign-sounding slogan. Polling shows only 27 percent of Americans would support Medicare for All if it led to greater wait times, and fully 70 percent would oppose it.
Kamala Harris jumped in the 2020 race very early and had the role of introducing the Democrats’ latest health care proposal to the American people. She may have done the job a little too well for her own political good.