Starting July 1, we will only send the Evening Edition to subscribers of that newsletter. Please add your name here to receive these emails.
The wave of newfound outrage continues to roil among liberal celebrities, politicians and news media figures over the policy of separating children from their parents who try to cross the border illegally and putting the kids into detention centers. I’m still waiting to hear a solution that recognizes the parents’ own responsibility for putting their children in that situation. The current options are to send the entire family back where they came from together, which both the parents and their defenders oppose; or putting them all into detention together, where the children would be exposed to adult criminals; or letting them all go free in America, which makes a mockery of the very concept of national borders and immigration law. We know Trump's critics are outraged by the law as it is – and has been for years – but what is their solution? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?...
In the meantime, they’ve latched onto an op-ed by former First Lady Laura Bush, whose heart was naturally touched by the sad plight of the children. She compared the detention centers to the detention camps where Japanese-Americans were interred during World War II. Of course, this excited liberals who’ve been claiming ever since Trump announced his candidacy that he wanted to put immigrants into concentration camps. Apparently, they are willing to overlook their years of vicious attacks on Mrs. Bush’s husband if they can use her kind heart to advance their political agenda.
At the link is a very informative article written by someone whose grandparents were both interred in Japanese-American detention camps, explaining in detail why that was nothing like the current situation at the border, neither in terms of physical accommodations nor the reasons why people were placed in them. Anyone who wants to argue this issue on the basis of facts should read it carefully.
I’ll just add something that I’ve said before and will no doubt have occasion to say again: To this date, the only US President ever to put innocent Americans/legal immigrants into detention camps purely because of their race was Democratic icon Franklin Roosevelt.
Now, there’s a switch: the Senate questioning of IG Michael Horowitz revealed that former FBI Director James Comey is under investigation for mishandling of classified documents for his admitted leaking of his memos about President Trump. But no problem: I’m sure it wasn’t illegal as long as he didn’t INTEND to leak them to the New York Times.
In a decision that could have far-reaching consequences, a judge in California refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Twitter, ruling that the social media company’s policy that it has the right to ban users “at any time, for any reason or for no reason” may constitute an “unconscionable contract.” The judge also ruled that Twitter may be sued on the basis of misleading advertising, since it frequently states that it does not ban accounts over viewpoint or political affiliation, but frequently does.
The case involves a Twitter user who was banned for defending white supremacy, but his attorneys say it’s not about whether his particular views are right or wrong. The big news is that this is the first time a court has rejected a social media company’s claim that it has a First Amendment right to censor users’ speech based on their viewpoints or affiliations.
That’s the reason why so many on the left hate the First Amendment: it even protects speech that anyone of good conscience would find repugnant. The Founders believed in a free marketplace of ideas where all views could be heard, trusting that people would be smart enough to embrace good ideas and reject bad ones. The judge ruled, in effect, that social media companies can’t claim a First Amendment right to censor other people’s First Amendment rights. The proper solution to tweets that Twitter finds objectionable (on the basis of viewpoint rather than obscene or threatening content – and Twitter is notorious for finding conservative speech objectionable while giving leftist speech a pass) is more tweets refuting them. That’s something that I can assure you there will never be a shortage of.
I’m sure this will be appealed. Let’s keep fingers crossed that judges higher up the judicial chain understand and respect the First Amendment as much as this judge does.
Sick Hypocrisy Award: Planned Parenthood jumps on the illegal immigration virtue signaling wagon by tweeting its principled stance that precious children deserve not to separated from their parents. Unless you’re separating them with surgical tools and a vacuum hose, I suppose?
Showbiz News: Tim Allen isn’t the only cast member of “Home Improvement” who’s conservative, and this one claims there are far more in Hollywood than you’d think. They just stay in the closet to avoid being blackballed by all the tolerant liberal defenders of diversity.
In IG Michael Horowitz’s report on the Hillary email investigation, he says, “We determined that [conclusions] were based on the prosecutors’ assessment of the facts, the law, and past department practice.” Never mind for now about the law and the facts, which we absolutely know were skirted; Horowitz, sadly, appears to be spot-on when he says this train wreck of an investigation was in line with past department practice. Andrew C. McCarthy at NATIONAL REVIEW has revisited a case from 2011 which shows alarming tactical similarity with the FBI’s conduct in 2016 and the Mueller team's now. And the official who led the investigation wasn’t punished --- he was promoted.
The agent in question was David Chaves, now retired, who in 2011 was working hard to make an insider trading case against some high-profile people --- not as high-profile as the 2016 candidates for President of the United States, to be sure, but people who would certainly rate as notches in his belt: investor Carl Icahn, pro golfer Phil Mickelson and sports gambler Billy Walters. Investigators thought they saw some suspicious stock trading surrounding Icahn’s $10.2 billion bid on Clorox Co., and that motivated lead investigator Chaves to aggressively use a grand jury to target Icahn’s friend Walters, even obtaining court orders to monitor his phone calls –- a strategy normally reserved for big-time felons in conspiracy cases. But after two years of investigating, they turned up nothing.
Typically a case like this one would be closed after a couple of unfruitful years. Yet Chaves doubled down, with a campaign of strategic leaks to reporters from The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Never mind that leaks concerning grand jury testimony and sealed wiretap information were just as illegal then as they are today. McCarthy says details of the probe were released “expansively” to the press: names of targets, specific stock trades, investigative techniques they were using and might use in coming days.
With “journalists” (I have to add the quotation marks here), he took a quid pro quo approach that exchanged leaks of government information for whatever they could tell him in return, turning the reporters, in effect, into sources for the government.
One thing McCarthy explains that I hadn’t thought of is how media leaks are used on people under phone surveillance to “tickle the wire.” They bait the targets by making information public that might get their phones humming, perhaps revealing associations, “pecking order” in a conspiracy, or consciousness of guilt. Agents are not supposed to use lawless leaks to the media for this purpose, but that didn’t stop Chaves.
He started his media blitz in May of 2014, with major stories about how Icahn, Mickelson and Walters were being scrutinized by the federal government for a scheme revolving around Icahn’s investments in Clorox. According to McCarthy, they had scant evidence and not even a theory of how this was done. The Times even admitted after running the story that it had been misled by its law-enforcement source and that the FBI had had no evidence that Mickelson had traded Clorox while Icahn was preparing to bid for the company. No Clorox case was ever brought, but the investigation continued anyway, with attention shifting to another company called Dean Foods.
Read McCarthy’s piece to see how the investigation finally concluded and, more importantly, how the strategic leaking done by the FBI was dealt with by the New York field office: initial alarm by top officials, then a circle-the-wagons at the FBI and essentially no corrective action.
At the end of 2014, Chaves was PROMOTED, becoming the head of all white-collar investigations at the New York FBI.
This case certainly isn’t the only example of monitoring phones, illegally leaking to “tickle the wires,” and destroying reputations to bring down bigger fish. (In fact, McCarthy cites another one in his article.) On the contrary –- judging from the Paul Manafort case and the reputation of FBI attack dogs such as Andrew Weissmann, it seems more and more to be standard operating procedure in law enforcement. And it’s a far cry from what the judicial process should look like in a free society.
So when IG Horowitz concludes that the FBI in 2016 was following “past department practice,” that observation, to those in the know, could just as easily be read as a condemnation. To my mind, it should be.
In case you missed Monday’s questioning of IG Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Chris Wray by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, Sara A. Carter offers a nice overview, including just a few examples from Chairman Charles Grassley of the stark differences in approach to the two investigations, Clinton and Trump.
Watching DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen fight off the lion’s den of reporters who are suddenly outraged over the treatment of families attempting to enter illegally at the border (due to seeing photos) hit a nerve with people who’ve been covering this situation for years (and photographing it) as the media yawned.
Check out this stunning Twitter thread of photos from 2014 posted by Brandon Darby that few of the crusading defenders of illegal immigrant families seemed to give a hang about when Obama was President.
Ed Driscoll at Instapundit really dug into the double standard archives to pull up this stunningly hawkish quote: “America is a country where the rule of law rules. This picture illustrates what happens to those who defy the rule of law and how far our government and people will go to preserve it. Come all ye who understand that.”
Is that the “xenophobic” Donald Trump cruelly celebrating the separation of parents and children? No, it’s New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman defending the photo of a federal agent acting on order of the Clinton Administration in pointing a rifle at the family of Elian Gonzalez as they yanked him from the arms of his family and shipped him back to Cuba.
And if you see a widely-circulated photo of a small child crying behind what appears to be a portable dog pen, that was actually a fake photo set up and taken by immigration protesters at a rally in Dallas.
The current situation is heartrending, but it’s a lot more complicated than “mean Trump hates immigrant families.” It’s a problem that’s been going on for well over a decade. People using emotion as an argument ignore the facts that the parents chose to break the law and it’s sometimes impossible to determine whether a minor with an illegal alien is an actual relative or a victim of human trafficking. Any real solution would involve Congress taking action or increased security turning back all illegal entry at the border.
Until the critics have the stomach to do something that would actually make a difference, their sudden outrage and tears over the sad situation at this late, politically-convenient date ring hollow.
From the “They Never Learn” File: The UK took guns away from law-abiding citizens, and criminals became bolder. So naturally, they tightened the laws to ban carrying knives, too. Surprise: knife crime is up. Now, a judge has a new suggestion: they should pass a law requiring knives to be duller.
As long as their government keeps believing that you can prevent crime by making it harder for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves – and that you can deter criminals by passing more laws – no matter how dull they require knives to be, those knives will never be the dullest knives in the drawer in the UK.
A gun control group is giving Hillary Clinton its “Courageous Leadership Award” for her “unwavering commitment to gun control.” FYI, number of consecutive years during which Hillary’s family has been protected by armed government bodyguards: 42.
Hey, wait: from listening to everything from the White House Press Corps to late night comics to the Tony Awards, I assumed everyone thought the country was on the wrong track. Guess the Gallup Poll people don’t watch Colbert.
The Southern Poverty Law Center was forced to apologize and pay a nearly $3.4 million settlement to a liberal Islamic reformer and his group for wrongly labeling them as an “anti-Islam extremist group.” Still awaiting the policies and settlements to the various Christian groups they’ve wrongly labeled as “hate groups” just for disagreeing with their far-left political policies.
It was recently revealed that major social media platforms such as Facebook are relying on the SPLC to identify groups that should be censored, which is like putting a hungry wolf in charge of the henhouse. This has not only resulted in conservative and Christian groups being silenced, but it’s also harmed groups that are trying to liberalize Islam while boosting actual Islamic extremist groups.
At the link, an explanation for how real extremist groups are exploiting the kneejerk political correctness of Silicon Valley to get social media sites such as YouTube to exclude such “insensitive” terms as “jihad” from their censorship algorithms – so that they can preach jihad without getting caught in the censorship net. Result: anti-jihad groups are banned while pro-jihad groups that actually preach hatred, violence against gays and the subjugation of women go untouched.
The Internet was supposed to be an open superhighway of information. It’s bad enough that giant media platforms have moved in and attempted to control the traffic. That needs to end, and I can’t think of a better reason to hurry that process than the news that they are letting radical political partisans and jihadists be the traffic cops.
Remember Dexter, the peacock that was banned from a United Airlines flight, setting off the backlash against “service animal” law abuse that’s turned some airline flights into Noah’s Ark? Well, he’s back in the public eye, and this time, in a much more appropriate venue. Fortunately, a local one that didn’t require him to have an airline seat next to me.
OTHERS ARE READING THIS TRENDING POST: Safaris to the Heartland of America