UPDATE ON TRUMP COVID NEWS
Something to restore your faith in humanity: while some on the left reacted to news that the President and First Lady tested positive for COVID-19 with disgusting glee, other prominent Trump critics, from the Rev. Jesse Jackson to Rachel Maddow, put politics aside and wished them a speedy recovery.
Also good news: Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen were tested and are negative.
PACKING THE COURT
During Tuesday’s debate, Joe Biden refused to answer when asked if he would pack the Supreme Court. Maybe he could plausibly claim he didn’t hear the question, but the next day, in an interview with a Pittsburgh TV station, he was asked the same question very clearly and calmly. And he dodged it again.
Rule of thumb: when a politician is asked before an election if he plans to do something really unpopular, and he doesn’t immediately deny it, then the answer is “yes.”
Here’s how Biden dodged the question this time: “You know, that’s exactly what they want me to talk about so we don’t talk about how they’re violating the Constitution now. I’m not going to play Trump’s game.” And how are Republicans “violating the Constitution”? By holding confirmation hearings for Trump SCOTUS nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
Biden, who claims to have taught Constitutional law in college (and maybe that explains why so many college students don’t understand the Bill of Rights or the Electoral College) explained that the Constitution “says the American people get an opportunity to choose who they want on the Supreme Court by who they pick as their Senator and their President.”
Actually, no, it doesn’t say that. It says that the President has the authority to pick Justices with the Senate’s advice and consent. The people don’t choose SCOTUS Justices. They have influence over that by electing the President and Senators (although at the time the Constitution was written, Senators were chosen by state legislatures, not the voters.) The people chose Trump in 2016 and a Republican Senate in 2018 to serve until at least January of 2021, which is still three months away. So Barrett is the nominee of the President the people chose for that duty at this time and will be vetted by the Senate that the people chose. That’s exactly what the Constitution prescribes.
Maybe Biden doesn’t want to tell us the Justices he would name and how many more he might try to pack in because the people he would choose know or care even less about what the Constitution says than he does.
"THEY DON'T HEAR VERY WELL, DO THEY?"
The media continue to press President Trump to denounce white supremacist groups and claim he refuses to do it. I recently shared a video showing him doing that exact thing on seven different occasions. Now, someone has compiled a longer video showing him doing it on 17 different occasions. You can watch it at this link, along with some more examples the video left out, which brings the total number of public condemnations of white supremacists to over 20.
All of this is a straw man. There is no giant surge in the number of white supremacist hate groups, or the SPLC wouldn't have to keep slandering benign Christian conservative groups as "hate groups" to gin up donations. We also know that the ludicrous claim that the rioters destroying blue cities are rightwing extremists in disguise is a lie because if they really were rightwingers, instead of being immediately released to do it again, they'd actually be arrested, jailed and have the book thrown at them, like anyone in those cities who uses his Second Amendment rights to defend his life, property or family.
The idea that Trump's supporters are all racists and white supremacists is a feeble excuse the Democrats cooked up to explain why he beat them in 2016. It saved them having to do any serious self-reflection about why they were really rejected, like the fact that eight years of Obama had proven that their policies are a disaster, and that they had nominated the most arrogant, entitled, dishonest and unlikable candidate in history.
Incidentally, the one candidate in the 2020 Presidential race who actually has been endorsed by a genuine, prominent white supremacist (Richard Spencer) is Joe Biden.
His campaign denounced the endorsement, but Biden himself never has personally. So how come the media aren’t demanding that he denounce Spencer’s endorsement? Oh, right: they don’t really believe this is an issue. It’s just a way to smear Trump with the same false accusation. Over and over and over. I think Candace Owens described the diminishing effects of this tactic perfectly in one word: “Boring.”
Say, here’s a way to put a fresh spin on it and make it more interesting: how about if the media start demanding that the Democrats apologize for their long, long history of supporting white supremacists?
SPECTACULAR VIDEO, HAWLEY NAILS COMEY TO THE WALL
Because of Tuesday’s presidential debate, the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday didn’t get the attention it deserved at the time. But now, after a few days to unwind from that excruciating night, let’s take a look at what happened during the Comey hearing.
Comey was there at the prodding of Sen. Lindsay Graham, chairman of the committee, which is looking into Crossfire Hurricane and FBI corruption related to that case. If there was ever any doubt that James Comey is the slipperiest, slimiest snake in the swamp, he certainly put it to rest on Wednesday. Comey showed a selective lack of “recall” that was even more pronounced than Hillary Clinton’s, if that is possible. He just couldn’t remember with specificity much of anything he did that had to do with the “dossier” or FISA.
Any more mental lapses and he would’ve been qualified to run for President as a Democrat. Except in Comey’s case, it was an act.
Someone as smooth as Comey has to be pinned down quite forcefully to show how much he has to hide and how hard he’s trying to hide it. On Wednesday, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley did exactly that. He skillfully filleted Comey like a fish. Hawley must be pleased to know that Megan Fox at PJ Media described his style as that of “a young Perry Mason with better hair.”
I\If Sen. Hawley was having a good hair day, he was also having a good questioning day. Comey could only go into his “Duh, I dunno” routine and at one point, after being hopelessly caught in an inconsistency, smirk and shrug idiotically. But Comey is not an idiot; his line of defense at the hearing was obviously to protect himself legally by “knowing” or “remembering” as little as possible, present himself as ethically pure, and give the impression that, hey, the FBI is ALWAYS this incompetent.
Comey tried to distance himself from the grossly misleading and error-ridden FISA application and weasel out of his own responsibility, even as Hawley pressed him on the fact that he had personally signed off on it. (Examples of Comey’s distancing: He said “what the FBI Director does in connection to a FISA is actually very narrow.” He said he doesn’t regret his “role” in this matter; he regrets that “it happened.”) If Comey’s not responsible for the verified accuracy and truthfulness of the content, then what does his signature to that effect even mean?
Comey claimed he didn’t have “personal knowledge that would have led me to understand that we weren’t supplying complete information.” But Hawley challenged him on the true extent of his personal knowledge, asking him if at the time he certified the first FISA application against Carter Page, he knew that Christopher Steele was working for the DNC.
"I don’t know if I knew [it was] the Democratic Party,” Comey prevaricated. “I knew that he was working for political opponents of President Trump.” (We know now that by the time of the FISA application, Comey and all those top-tier people knew Steele was working for Hillary.)
Hawley zeroed in: “Now surely you recognized at the time that relying so heavily on a biased source would undermine public confidence in the FBI’s activities, didn’t you?”
"No, I did not,” Comey answered tersely. NO, HE DID NOT??
Hawley went on, using Comey’s self-serving comments from other testimony against him. (Example: “You...said, ‘A reasonable appearance of bias can corrupt the American people’s faith in your work as much as actual bias can.’ Do you stand by those remarks?”) It was masterful.
He brought up Stuart Evans, a lawyer in the national security division of the DOJ under Obama, “reminding” Comey that before the first FISA, Evans raised “serious concerns about the ostensibly partisan nature of the information provided by Mr. Steele, did he not?”
Comey, again very tersely: “I don’t know.”
Hawley then cited Evans’ concerns as they appear in the IG report. This was a total take-down of Comey, who went on to claim not to have known who Steele’s sub-source was or anything about him. (Of course, we now know that the FBI had previously investigated this person over several years on suspicion that he was a Russian agent.) Hawley again read from the IG report: “‘Comey told us that the application seemed factually and legally sufficient when he read it. He had no questions or concerns before he signed it.’”
Comey stared into the camera like a diminished human being.
The former FBI Director actually said that the referral from the IC (intelligence community) to the FBI of Hillary’s plan to smear Trump with a story about “collusion” with Russia (the one referred to by DNI John Ratcliffe in a letter to Sen. Lindsay Graham) “doesn’t ring any bells with me.” If that is true, Joe Biden’s not the only one who could benefit from memory-enhancing drugs.
More details at the link, including the spectacular must-watch video of Sen. Hawley expertly nailing Comey to the wall.
It should now be obvious to all that James Comey and Hillary Clinton were cut from the same cloth. And the cloth is that slippery kind that slides around and won’t stay put.
Keep in mind, Comey was FBI Director, supposedly at the helm of an enormously significant and politically-charged case. Imagine: investigating a major-party presidential candidate for possibly being an agent of Russia and colluding with Vladimir Putin to win the election! That would be treason. Comey would have demanded to know every detail –- just as Obama and Brennan would have.
And yet, today, Comey is vague on the details. How was he able to write a book?
Reaching the end of his time to question Comey, Hawley asked the former FBI director, “How are the American people supposed to trust the FBI following abuses like this?” Comey responded just the way you’d expect: he focused on his own integrity.
Comey will go down in history all right, not for his integrity but for his stupendous lack of it. Thanks to Sen. Hawley for giving the world a clearer look at the FBI, from the top down, in 2016.